I never learn.
Having been home with a kiddo that had a gross stomach virus, I was feeling the need to indulge in retail therapy. And, woodencha know, the special Halloween issue of Just Cross Stitch is available online! So click click click, I own it.
Blah. There are only a handful of designs I like enough to stitch, and a couple of those are reminiscent of designs from previous years. I printed off the "Carpe Noctem" bat (although I will NOT be stitching it on a t-shirt -- what is it, 1985 again?) and the "Boo" blocks, just because for $10 I figured I should stitch something from the issue. But ugh. There is just too much that I do not like - and I shouldn't be surprised, with design names like "Spooky Hollow Quilts," "Halloween Bouquet," "Victorian Halloween," and a couple others that just aren't my style. It felt like everything was one extreme or another - tons of backstitching and shading to create not-quite-realistic weirdness, or way too primitive for my tastes. Also, I'm not a big fan of the turn toward "bright and bold" colors that designers seem to be using lately. Even that blue owl on the cover is a little too freaky for me.
Of course, I'm totally fine with a "to each their own" attitude, and I do hope others find things they like here!