Monday, March 29, 2021

Our Heart is hurt today...........

So many of you know and love Renee as much as I do, so I felt compelled to reach out to ask you to keep her in your hearts and your prayers.  She has suffered a devastating loss.  Her husband of over 50 years died suddenly in his sleep yesterday leaving a massive hole in her heart and the hearts of his two daughters and his granddaughters.  He will be missed by us all.  But right now Renee needs your prayers.  As many of you are aware she is not in the best of health and I am afraid for her.  While Renee is one of the strongest and bravest women I know, who has faced disabling illness since she was in her 20's valiantly and unwaveringly, I'm afraid this is one more blow than she can take.  So we must all work together to show her life will still be worth living if she can just give it some time.  Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Suns shining and spring is on the way...

With the sun shining and temperatures rising, spring isn't too far behind so my thoughts and stitching are now fully focused on spring and Easter.  Since I showed you my first Easter finish last week, this week I'm showing my first spring finish.  This is from a series called "Festive Little Fobs" from Heartstring Samplery.   And just as it says in the title there are a variety of small designs for fobs, needlebooks, etc.  When I first opened the first chart, I saw a sampler as Beth didn't separate the designs individually but shows them all together.  I loved how the chart looked so much that's how I've shown them ever since.  I usually finish these as a pincushion done over 1 on 32 ct., and add a scissor fob, with the design I like the most so it matches, and in the end, I have a small set.  Others I finish to hang on a hornbook as I did with the latest, This is "Springtime Edition"

I finished using Lady Dot's mini pom pom trim in a deep green.  But no matter how you do it, this makes a wonderful addition to any spring display you are making.  And now the fun begins again with a totally new project and I have already started a cute bunny for Easter.  UPDATE: last night I was stitching on my bunny and that little voice kept telling me something was wrong, but I ignored it and kept stitching and when I was almost to the halfway point I finally realized that little warning voice may have had a valid point.  So I studied the pictures on the package (in other words I just looked at them) realized the 2 pieces of perforated paper enclosed were two different sizes and I was stitching the wrong bunny for the size I had.  YIKES!  My bunny will never fit on the size I'm working on...the cut is too short.  No way I'll ripping all this out so this mornings project is to graft extra perforated paper on this piece I'm working on.  Have never done it before but since the entire piece is stitched I can't figure out why this won't work.  So I'm going forward and I'll let you know how this works.  I hate when stitching goes wrong, but I sure do have it happen more often that I like.  Hope your day goes forward with no ripping.  At least the sun's out and it's scheduled to be in the high 50's.  Life can be fabulous.  Hope you get a little stitching in today.  Have a great day....

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Getting ready for Spring...

 Spring brings many images to mind, flowers blooming, sunshine days which are becoming warmer and warmer, Easter, and for us Jackie DuPlessis classes and Spring Retreat.  But also for stitchers, it brings new projects featuring all those things.  I started already with a cute little ornament for the Easter tree.  It's called Jelly Bean Delivery from Brenda Gervais' latest booklet, "Jelly Bean Jubilee."  The book is fabulous and has 7 Easter-related designs.  All shown using DMC colors.  Linen colors aren't specified so pick your favorite linen and have fun.  I stitched on 28 ct. linen which happened to be a mint shade of Colorscapes collection from Wichelt.  I stitched using the recommended fibers, however, I did use a couple of specialty stitches.  The satin stitch for the jelly beans and the chick's wing, a Smyrna stitch for the chick's cheek, and straight stitches on the wheel.  I used rick rack in the finishing.  The overall finished size of the ornament is 3 1/2" x 2 1/2".  Fun to stitch!  

Now I'm working on Heartstring Samplery's, Springtime Edition Festive Little Fobs, which I stitch as one design instead of 9 different smalls.  I've done several of these Fob editions and just love stitching them.  It's usually fast and easy, but apparently, I've has been distracted and I've had to rip out several sections.  UGH!  But I've decided to leave one section in which I used the wrong color and call it done.  I'll post it tomorrow after putting the date and initials on.  Then I get to pick out a new project and tht's always a good thing, even though there are so many to choose from.  I'm also getting really excited about the upcoming online needlework show.  I miss the Nashville market terribly and all the people I usually get to see there this online show will help ease that pain.  So I'll post again soon, and hope that you have time to put your needle to work and enjoy the stitch.  

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Don't we all do this at timesx...

Continuing with my "all things green" needed for March, I was going through charts and ran across this by, who else, Brenda Gervais.  It's really a chart I'd already told Sara I wouldn't be stitching, although I do fudge a lot, but it's a green frog so was put into rotation.  To keep it completely green I changed the lettering from black to WDW Juniper, which is a black-green.   I stitched over 1 on 28 ct. Antique White linen, just to make it cuter...everything done over 1 on any count makes it smaller and cuter don't you think?  Anyway, definitely a one-day stitch, easy and that is my motto.  I used a real needle under the frog, although the needle is charted for you.  I used the called for threads, WDW Scuppernong, and GA Cornhusk for the frog and the crown which is charted for you I replaced with a crown shank button I had (didn't even remove the shank just make a hole big enough to shove it through).  The needle I didn't attach but slide it under 1 thread on the left and one thread on the right.  Then called Sara and after making a few snide remarks regarding my statement of not ever stitching it,  she had a frame made to the correct measurements and it's done and will be in the shop tomorrow.  Now I'm done with St. Patrick's Day stitching (unless something else pops up), because I have several pieces already done in the shop.  

Moving on to Spring and Easter, can't believe Easter is less than 30 days away.  I need to get busy!  Have a wonderful week.  Hope you find some time to stitch.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Another finish.......

Yes, I finally finished 'I See Red" by The Scarlett House which I stitched on 28 ct. Antique White linen using Gentle Arts Endive.  When I realized I had enough February display pieces, but not enough March pieces I made the decision to switch to a green and use it for St. Patrick's Day.  As it turns out I do like stitching alphabets and I figured it didn't make any difference what color this piece was stitched in.  While there is a little over one done, most of it was over two...another selling point.  Since the total design measures approx. 7" x 5".  when complete it works up pretty quickly so in just a few days it was finished.  When you've struggled to stitch getting pieces done quickly helps get you going again.  After it was finished I faced the dilemma of how to finish it for display.  Initially, I had thought I'd be hanging it on a hornbook (one of my favorite finishes).  But it's a little too big as we didn't have a big enough hornbook to use and of course I didn't want to wait to get one in.  So then it's a pillow or frame, which just didn't inspire me, but then I decided to make it into a drum.  Usually, my drums are larger in diameter than this as it would be less than 2" in diameter, but I decided to ignore that and move ahead.  The top went fine, but after stuffing it and then starting to attach the bottom my circle of mat board was a lforittle to large, so I cut it down a little and began the process.  I used WDW wool on the bottom and began the attachment and a little voice in my head kept saying, take it apart and cut a little more off, but I refused to listen to that voice kept attaching, and when I was on the last 1/2" I was kicking myself for not listing to that little voice.  This became a pain because the round was still a little too large but I finished it anyway and made it work.  Because of that, I had to use something to cover the join.  I didn't have any Lady Dot Chenille in the color I wanted (and of course I wouldn't go to the shop and get it), but I did have a dark green pom-pom trim that did look fine.  Because the drum was already finished I had to cut the edging off the pom-poms and I then attached it to the drum.  Then, of course, I wanted pins to put in the drum for the presentation. (presentation is everything, right?)  I got out all my bead cases and my green beads were too bright and shiny and the wrong color green.  Then I realized the beads I purchased for fall (which didn't work out for fall) were perfect for this.  Their color is similar to camouflage colors, greens, browns, and rust.  So now the drum and pins are together and look like they go together beautifully. I learn something with each finish.  With this, I learned the size of the mat board I use is extremely important and needs to be the right size rather than fudging it.  But a great project my first sampler drum...but I have a feeling it won't be my last.  

Now I'm off to look for projects for April and May, and maybe I'll find another March project I can fit in.  Hope you all have a great weekend, filled with stitching and finishing projects.  Enjoy the journey!


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

I feel it's safe to say my mojo has finally returned completely!

I've talked about my "stitching mojo" constantly since March 2020 when it up and left me sitting on my sofa unable to stitch.  I tried many different things trying to get it back, but it refused to return.  Now it wasn't as if I got no stitching done, but I got very little done.  Since I'm the model stitcher for Salty Yarns this was devastating to me as well as to Sara, who in 2021 starting doing models herself to help me out.  I was able to stitch  very few projects, one which I loved dearly and couldn't put down, so I thought my mojo was back, but the minute it was done my mojo was as well.  So Coming to America by Brenda Gervais which I stitched over 1 on 28 ct. linen was done on time in November and I loved every second of that stitch. Unfortunately I still haven't decided whether to frame it or make it a bellpull.    I quickly tried to start another project after that but to no avail.  I kept starting different projects but just couldn't get interested in anything.  It was such a depressing time for me.  Especially since my job in Sea Trader was over when they (Sara and Mary) rented out my space to Jessica's Candies. (Yikes, the last thing I need to be near is a candy/ice cream store).  To be precise, Sara called me and said I had the rest of the winter off and they moved all the displays and merchandise from Sea Trader downstairs to Sbell Stocked.  Sweet Jesus thank God Vernon called me for fear I'd show up to see what was happening and told me to stay away from the hotel as they were doing it in one day.  I went in on Sunday and darn if they hadn't done it in one day.  Amazing, but sad for me as it was my space to sit and talk to customers and just be part of the action.   Oh, yes I also sold giftware when I wasn't talking.   I always complained about wanting to be home, but when it happens with no warning it was shocking.  But I do love not having to go in and now dread spring when I'll have to go back to the new location downstairs next to Shell Stocked.  Hopefully, we will be able to get some of the J1 students into work so I don't have to work 7 days a week.    Anyway, being home and with nothing to do but stitch, but not being able to stitch was a pain.  I did manage to stitch "Reindeer Games" by Erica Michaels before the holidays.   I made the drum and the strawberry and enjoyed them but they took me longer than normal so that drove me crazy, but I did enjoy the stitch and didn't mind the finishing so that was a win-win.  I used the colors suggested but not in the same place Linda did.  For instance her garland was red but I switched it to the green.  I also stitched the blocks around the lettering using red with white floss wrapped around the red back stitch to give the candy cane effect.   That's the biggest thing and then I did the lettering in the same green.  I used Weeks Dye Works green wool for the top and bottom of the drum as well as the holly leaves on the top of the strawberry.  

Reindeer Games Drum and Strawberry

The day after Christmas I thought I'd try again to stitch and decided to try Hands on Design's,  "Ready, Set, Snow."  I managed to stitch that with no problems, however, I misplaced the clay to make his nose.  The chart includes a piece of Weeks Dye Works wool to make his nose but I wanted the dimension so I'm still waiting to find my clay...ugh!  After that I moved on to the February models.  I was still slow in stitching, but feeling more like my old self and with Brenda Gervais' new booklet for Valentines Day -"Love Notes"I was off and running.  From that moment I haven't stopped stitching.  It's like the old days where I wake up around 2 a.m. to make the bathroom run, and then decide I can spare a few hours stitching before the day starts.  First I picked "Love Birds".  Every design in this booklet is stitched using DMC and since I have a huge stash of it I decided to use that.  I picked random 28 ct. linen from my stash, Antique White in this case, and stitched as directed.  I did run into difficulty since the chickens are white and I stitched on white so I changed their color to WDW Straw.  I have to say in hindsight I wish I'd picked a darker color of linen so my chickens could have been white as well.  But overall I thought it was cute and finished it as a pillow.

  Then I moved on to "Love Stamp" and again I was going to use all DMC but didn't have the DMC bin near the sofa and since I was on a roll didn't want to go back to my stitching room so I pulled my overdyed bins out (I keep them in the living room where I sit) and grabbed GA Ruby Slippers.  I stitched this one on 28 ct. Mocha linen.  Then when I was trying to figure out how I was going to finish it I found some of the metal trays I keep in cabinets under the T.V. and it fit beautifully in the red tray.  So that was an easy finish.  And I used a favorite type of tray as well which has been waiting for 2 years for me to use it.  

There was another design from this booklet I wanted to stitch, however I also had a sampler piece done in red that I wanted to do for some time so I switched to another Brenda Gervais project,  "L. Genders -1875 " and since it is stitched in red it's perfect for February.  Most of the piece is over 2 so that moved quickly, but part is also over 1 and slowed me down a little however, still just a few days work start to finish.  This is a small piece and a needleroll, however, as anyone who knows me at all, will tell you  I just can't have blank spaces on the inside of a needleroll or etui, I just can't.  Because it was a needleroll I added needle tags on the inside of the piece for several sizes of needle and while it's very hard to see made a button needle minder which is attached to the very left of the tags for holding a working needle.  While the original used twill tape to wrap around the piece, I didn't have any twill tape which matched in any way so I went with ribbon.  Loved stitching this piece. Because I changed the original design, I left of the number 11, I put my name and date on it.  

While I have  3 more pieces stitched, I can't show them yet because I haven't completed the finishing.  But I've had a fun 2 months of stitching and thrilled I'm back in the loop.  We are also working on a new website which I hope will debut in the next week or so which is why I haven't done much updating to the existing web site.  And now that I'm stitching again I'll be blogging more often and Sara has our first retreat for 2021 listed and we are preparing for that, so we are really excited about what's happening after a year of heartbreak for us all.   It will be wonderful to connect with everyone again and meet in person for a laugh and a giggle.  So stay strong, keep on stitching and posting as it was wonderful and inspiring during my difficult time to see all the beautiful pieces being stitched and finished.  You inspire me everyday and I thank you for you for that.  The Needlework Nation never lets me down.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

March online shop

 Haven't blogged in a while, although I've started several, but felt I must start showing what we will be seeing in the upcoming needlework show.  Today's show is all about Theresa Kogut and she's got quite a few.  If you are interested in any just let Sara know and she'll put you on the list.

Rise and Shine-$10.00

Whimsy Halloween-$10.00

Rejoice Rejoice Snowman-$10.00

Pa. Dutch Farm Series-$10.00
The Heifer

Psalm 91;11-$10,00



Come to the Garden-$16.00

Soul Sisters

This is the Day

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Jackie du Plessis is coming to town!

It's been way too long since I last blogged, or stitched for that matter, but I'm hopeful this new year will bring my stitching mojo back with a vengeance. In the meantime, Sara has started lining up retreats once again..... First .. Jackie du Plessis will be spending the weekend of April 9-12 with us and she'll be teaching 4 days of fabulous stitching with 2 classes.  

Friday & Saturday Class

Ode -  (includes 2 nights lodging, and a boxed lunch for both days-)  This is a take-off of an antique lace display desk Jackie saw many years ago.  She had it scaled down to 7" x 8" and done with a cherry finish.  Jackie was inspired by Jane Austin's words and created her own tapestry of silken stitches as the desk's bottom  $650

The class includes the desk, all stitching and finishing supplies needed to complete the project as seen.  Fibers are silks-Hand dyed and solid and 100/3.   Ribbons are hand-dyed and Mokuba from Japan.   All finishing by hand-only the pinkeep gets a machine guideline for finishing.  Linen is 32 ct.  

The collection of items created to fill the Ode desk consists of

Desk bottom - Regency period wallpaper inspired the circle-shaped border. Jackie added the hand-dyed medley colored flowers to add a bit of nature's beauty. Various bands and motives of nature stitched to mimic a tapestry for the desk base. 

Sewing case - that has two functional ends, the storage case interior features an alphabet, paying homage to Jane and her masterful weaving of these letters into timeless stories.  The two functional ends consist of a pocket for trinkets and the second is a padded mattress pincushion that lifts to reveal a needle storage section.  Two thread holding Hedobo rings embellish the interior.  The outside of this sewing case features a circle pattern that is used to frame the desk bottom and can also be seen on the Pin Keep, Messenger thread storage bag.  This circle pattern was inspired by the regency period wall-paper.   When the case closes it fits perfectly vertically into the desk bottom.
Message bag thread pouch - Jackie wanted to create a special holder for finishing thread that mimic's the message carrier of yesteryear.
Button Pouch - Wanting to capture nature and all the beauty it brings, Jackie stitched a base of green leaves, each of these leaf edges is cupped with tiny Hedobo scallop stitches creating a scallop leaf effect. From these leaves, pretty flower buds sprout as if they hold a promise of things to come. The back of the button-bag features a stitched butterfly.
Pin Keep case - inspired by a watered-silk antique from Jackie's collection of smalls.
Bottle/trinket holder - holds three storage bottles.  The top and bottom of these two panels that are pulled at the sides to snugly hold the bottles in place are cupped with a Hedebo scallop edge.

Sunday and Monday Class

Gardenesque -  (includes 2 nights lodging, boxed lunch for each day)
Spend two enjoyable days stitching a series of needlework accessories to outfit the glorious hand-painted Gardeneque wooden basket. $850

 The basket is approximately 5”x7” in size, with a lid on each side of the handle, with an oval cut-out for a pincushion to be inserted.  The basket has a swing handle and at the bottom a pull-out drawer for more treasures, running the length of the basket.  The basket is made of tiger-wood maple and the lids, handle, and drawer have a hand-painted design of flowers, leaves, and a border. A collection of needlework accessories fit and stow neatly in the glorious workbasket.

The class includes the basket, all stitching and finishing supplies needed to complete the project as seen.