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Harald Miller

Kristiina Frost

Kristiina Frost was a long time resident of the house on the

Codori farm and is marketing cross stitch patterns of that house and the barn.

http://www.historicallyyoursgettysburg.com/houses/

 

Kristiina Frost creates her Historically Yours cross-stitch patterns on her home computer in Washoe Valley. The piece in front of her is of the Codori House, circa 1854, and the Codori Barn, circa 1884, in Gettysburg, Pa. - Lisa J.Tolda/RGJ

Lisa J.Tolda/RGJ

 

Kristiina Frost creates her Historically Yours cross-stitch patterns on her home computer in Washoe Valley. The piece in front of her is of the Codori House, circa 1854, and the Codori Barn, circa 1884, in Gettysburg, Pa.

 

DETAILS:
Kristiina Frost can be contacted at Historically Yours, 2225 Beaver Drive, Carson City, NV 89704, or by e-mail: btlc@supernet.com.
The Web site: www.historicallyyours.com.

RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL

3/7/2004 10:38 pm

Tim Andersonn

For the past seven years, cross-stitcher Kristiina Frost of Washoe Valley has had designs on history.

Most of her original designs in the popular art has focused on the Gettysburg National Military Park, where she and her family lived for eight years. But since moving to Northern Nevada in 2002, she has begun to branch out.

With recent exposure in a national publication — Just CrossStitch magazine — Frost is hoping to thread her way to additional success in her Historically Yours mail-order business.

Frost said a friend taught her the basics of cross-stitching 17 years ago.

“To me, it was more interesting than knitting or crocheting. It’s actually very therapeutic. It didn’t take long before I was hooked,’’ Frost said.

But she didn’t become seriously involved in the sewing activity until moving to southern Pennsylvania in 1994, where she had an opportunity to live in the middle of a Civil War battlefield and the site of a pivotal event in American history.

The chance came because of her husband Bert’s employment with the National Park Service as a natural resource specialist. They lived in the Codori House, located on the site of the famous Pickett’s Charge of July 1863.

“It was an amazing and remarkable experience to be surrounded by so much history. It gave me a great deal of inspiration,’’ the 45-year-old Frost said.

She worked at the park’s bookstore, and said many female visitors asked whether the shop carried any cross-stitch designs of the battlefield’s monuments.

“I discovered others who worked in the shop were getting the same kinds of questions, so it got me to thinking about filling the void. That’s how I got started in cross-stitch design,’’ Frost said.

She started her small at-home business in 1997 and her initial design was of the Codori House and Barn. During extensive research into the buildings to ensure historical accuracy, Frost said she learned both Union and Confederate soldiers had barricaded themselves in the basement of the home during the battle.

The park bookstore and three cross-stitching shops in the Gettysburg area began carrying the design, and Frost started to make plans to produce about one or two historic pieces a year.

But shortly after the first design was released, Frost suffered a serious accident. She fell two stories through a faulty hay-drop door in the barn and sustained a broken back, three broken ribs, a collapsed lung and fractured her left wrist.

After surgery, she was in physical therapy for 10 months. Despite not having the use of her dominant hand, she said she was able to sit in a body brace for part of the day to design patterns at the computer with her right hand.

“I had just started my business and I wasn’t about to quit,’’ Frost said.

After her recovery, she designed a pattern of the Pennsylvania memorial for fallen Union soldiers. Later, she designed Virginia’s monument to Confederate soldiers.

In all, she has done designs on 11 buildings and monuments and noted it takes her three to four months to finish each one. They include two Gettysburg Samplers, which have a number of words and phrases related to the battle and are her top sellers.

Also, the adjacent Eisenhower National Historic Site commissioned her to design the Eisenhower Home — where the former president and first lady lived — as a cross-stitch pattern.

Frost also had an opportunity to work in another art form. She said a friend in Gettysburg wrote a child’s primer on a union soldier and asked her to draw the illustrations.

“My husband reluctantly agreed to be the model,’’ Frost said.

When her husband was transferred two years ago to the University of Nevada as the cooperative ecosystems studies coordinator for the Great Basin, the Frost family searched for a place where they could have horses. They moved to New Washoe City and began making a major adjustment to their lives.

Frost, originally from American Fork, Utah, has lived in 10 states and never has been anywhere for a long time. But she said her family’s emotional attachment to Gettysburg was very strong.

“It was very difficult to leave. We were crushed,’’ Frost said.

Last year, she received more bad news when she was informed the park service’s concessionaire was dropping her design patterns from its Gettysburg store. She said she was told there was a long-forgotten policy where present or former employees are prohibited from selling items of present or former employees.

“It was hard to take. I told them this is one thing the Civil War offers to women,’’ Frost said.

But she said she began looking at ways to regroup.

“My designing business started as a way for me to try to make a little money for my family and I wanted to continue down that road,’’ Frost said. She and her husband have two teenage daughters.

While reading an edition of Just CrossStitch magazine, she said she noted an invitation for designers to send in résumés and the type of work they do for possible inclusion in the publication.

“I’ve never been one to promote myself, but I thought I’d give it a chance,’’ Frost said.

She said someone from the magazine contacted her and said they wanted to do a piece on her — including the use of an unpublished design.

Despite limited time, Frost produced a design of the Irish Brigade monument at Gettysburg, as well as a historical house. Magazine editors featured the design in the March/April issue along with a profile of Frost.

Since the magazine was released, Frost said she’s been getting e-mails from people throughout the country.

Meanwhile, Frost has started what she calls the Trilby-Mina Collection, named after two aunts of her husband. Patterns in the collection include inspirational-type messages and sayings.

She recently introduced the collection in Utah, where there’s a major demand geared toward the Mormon faith and culture as young girls are taught the art of stitching.

Frost said she also does special orders and since moving to Northern Nevada has produced a design of the Reno Arch. And she said she’s started to do research on a Bowers Mansion design, which she hopes to finish by September.

Her design patterns, including a detailed chart on what colors to use and a historical information sheet, retail for $8 each.


 Codori House (c. 1854) and Barn (c. 1884) located on Pickett's Charge of the battlefield

The Codori House and barn are located on the battlefield, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the area known as "Pickett's Charge." The farm sits on the east side of Emmitsburg Road which runs south from the town of Gettysburg. Nicholas Codori was one of the town's butchers and his business was across the road from the house and barn. Mr. Codori owned the house and surrounding property, but did not reside there himself. On July 3rd, 1863, the Codori house was in the path of the advancing Confederate army, with General George Pickett's division at its center. It is theorized that General Pickett took a position near the Codori farm and watched in disbelief as his men were cut down by the Union army. The barn and house were used for the wounded in the days after. The original barn was dismantled some 20 years after the battle and the larger one seen today, was raised.

Hints

If you ordinarily use a single strand of floss for back stitching, you may want to try two or even three strands to get the desired effect with the windows and bricks on the buildings. On your finished piece, be sure to include your initials, the year, and the abbreviation of your state (e.g. KWF 1197 PA).
Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy. This design is number one in a series of historic houses and monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield.