Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Becky, this one's for you!!!

Becky, look at what Cricket Collection just came out with! You tempted me on your last blog with new Wabbits, and now I'm getting you back with these darling little Easterish (forgive my New England background creeping in there...) designs. But, really, who could resist them!!?? Lois has them at Elegant Stitch. And, there's a darling little lambie wreath that's new, too. You all have to check these out! I'm not usually one for cutesie...but just wait 'til you become a grammie...:))

The Sting in the Vine!

OOpsie! Have any of you purchased the very beautiful "Vintage Stitches" and other companion pieces from Jeannette Douglas designs, as I just did??? Well, here's the little detail I discovered after having joyfully opened the envelope and read the chart...the threads required are unbelieveable! When I read that the entire thread package with chart would be over $50.00, I thought I could just fill in with my own stash (which I will,of course>>), but you can't believe the threads required on this one! I've never even heard of "Lorikeet" before this, and I (used to) consider myself a pretty up-to-date stitcher!! LOL

The other design I received for my stash is "Seaside Stitches." Isn't it beautiful, too?
I'm not sorry I have these two in my stash...I just have to figure out a way to convert some of the required threads to things I have in my house!! Do you think I can get "Lorikeet" at my local "Pet Smart?"

Monday, March 19, 2007

Peacock Chair Flies Home!

It's here, finally..."The Peacock Chair" by Cat's Whiskers...all of you know it by now, of course. I couldn't stand to stitch it with the fab. & threads called for in the chart. Naturally, it had to be my own chair, so here's my choice of one that will fit with my personal things. I think it's final place of honor will be my bedroom dresser where I'll put a hat pin or something decorative in it. And, I may hide a ring in the back pocket. My bedroom is decorated in the light teal blues of the multi-colored Gloriana silk, and has some of the yellow tones, lavenders and greens, too. I'm a silk pillows person...never too many pillows!!! Anyway, here is my "thread toss" along with the silk ribbon. I may use the chenille to edge the chair instead of the twist of verigated silk.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

'Fess Up Time!

I'm checking in with you to keep myself honest. Here are my two weeks of stitching for the month of March. I'm going on to Taj Mahal and St. Petersburg of Chatelaine Designs, so I want to check these in for you. It's so hard to put things down in your rotation, isn't it!? But, then you can't keep other things afloat and started if you don't... Martina let me in to the St. Petey's this morning so I just have to go there and start my inner cross center. I've been waiting for such a long time, it seems. Anyway, here's my months progress on:

"And They Sinned" Here you can see I was only able to stitch from the peacock's to this section of the alphabet before I stopped. This is in keeping with my ATS Sisterhood of the Sinful Stitchers to take the first week of each month and only stitch on this piece!

"Houses on Hawks Hill Run" I got my threads kitted, chose my final fabric, and got this first section started. Stitched a week here on and off. I used some of my stitching time haplessly trying to organize my stash. I make piles of things and then stop....and make more piles...sigh...

Thank you for your comments and support as I forge ahead on Taj and St. Petey!

Hugs to all my stitching friends!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Found Beatrix!!

Yessss!! I found her!! I found my very own copy of Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler (Ackworth School)-an original chart!! I'm so psyched because everywhere I've been looking they are OOP!
I've been so desperate to find one because I want to do a collection of B. Potter things for my granddaughter's room, and I thought this sampler would be just the thing for her to keep forever. When I make lap quilts for her, I'll have to put some faded ecru and brown ticking or toiles in with the shabby chic roses and other fabbies, now.
So happy I could dance on the ceiling about this one! Where did I find it?? Em-Li's ...she has 2 left as of this afternoon, if anyone wants one.

Freebies and RAK Registry

Have you seen this darling tiny pincushion and fob yet? It's on Caron Collection's classroom section on Lois Caron's site. The design is actually a Carol Tinson design and has finishing directions, which I am most in need of...though most of you are way past needing those! I just love the little pillowy look of both of these. They are from 2006, so you may already have them...new to me.

Here is another one from the same section of Caron's site. I think I'm going to try using some flower thread I have on this one. I've been waiting for just the right thing to use it for. The color is Caron's Wildflower's "Pistachio Nut," although it has more lavender and mulberry running through it than "nut!"

I mailed my RAK Registry gifts off yesterday to my special stitching person! I was so delighted to do that. It was my very first time of taking part in a RAK group and I hope my person who receives it is happy with it. She's a delightful stitcher, whom I think most of you will recognize...maybe....we'll see when she gets the package and hopefully tells about it somehow...someway....hmmmm. The postmaster and I had alot of fun discussing the package and mailart, which is my next new attempt coming up before June. He seemed very excited about all the stitching happenings. He said people are always mailing odd things...the oddest he's had was a shoe, a single unpackaged shoe that was mailed around the country to several women. Never thought of that one!
Thanks for reading. Hope you like the above freebies as much as I did!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Lord Remembered Hannah

Admittedly not the best of pictures for my new stitching project: The Lord Remembered Hannah! This one is a reminder to myself and my DD, Jessica, to trust in the Lord, and it's to encourage us along the way as we wait on Him. I love the antique look of it, but most of all, I love the message that God doesn't ignore or forget our prayers. He honors them, and wants the very best for us, and He is able to perform miracles in His timeframe. The chest is way too much for me to purchase. I thought I would just make a large, segmented piece to frame. I'm thinking I will see if I can work this in Vicki Clayton silks...or whichever silks I can find that will give a faded, antiqued look. The chart came immediately via email, if any of you are interested in Mary Beale's pieces. Katrina is stitching Mary's Advent Calender, which is another awesome piece! I'd love to do that one, too, another time. We should compare progress, Katrina!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Antique Pattern Library

Can it be said here that I feel as if I have just stumbled upon Dumbledore's hidden library and I have a weekend to sit and read, and a handy magical copy machine to copy everything for me just because! The perfect reading glasses on Earth are mine, and the most comfy seat, and a long, fabulous library table with good lighting. Someone very inconspicuously brings me iced tea laced with lemonade and lots of ice, and tiny, yummy cucumber and chicken salad sandwiches and fresh cookies. I never get sleepy or tired. In the corner a velvet chair that's just the right size with a stitching frame is all set up for me...fabric on stretchers, gleaming yarns to choose from, everything there...lots of gorgeous, shiny scissors and needles to use. And, best of all, you're there, too, to share it with!

What brings us there? This website of freebies...which you have to tag on your favorites list. The charts for counted cross stitch are so fabulous and the books themselves are treasures to read. Please go to The Antique Pattern Library and see for yourself. Karin from NV posted it to our TGOSM group chat. She got it from another group. All that can be said is, whomever originally found it is awesome! A big thanks to her/him!!! Sorry I can't upload an image for you...you'll just have to go peek yourself. :)) And, dream a little dream with me. Comments, please!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Organizing Stash

Honestly, I'm ready to give up! My best friend, Deb in CT can testify that I have no real organizational skills. I'm a stitcher and a colorist/artist when it comes to design and needlework, but I simply stink at organizing. Deb always has things just so. She can take her beautifully manicured fingers and delftly touch stitching tools, fabrics, threads, delicate thingies and they just sigh and melt in her hands, resting into little organized pockets and places like they were always meant to be there at her command. She knows where everything is!

My stitching things, on the other hand, seem more like Alice-down-the-rabbit-holeish- misfits...there if you know where to look, say the magic word and drink tea upside down with a broken flamingo neck!!

I'm sure I have more stash than Debra-The Stitching Cat, but she can put her hands on more stash than I can....so who really wins in the end!!?? To prove my case, here's a picture of a couple of sides of my dainty little stitching/sitting room. I had such dreams for this room, as I always do for my stitching rooms. Yet, they always end up looking like this. I really need help, but I can't bear to throw or give my stash away! I'm not completely selfish. I do give alot of it away, and I feel good about that, but you know how we all feel about our collections and things we just can't part with. I'm convinced that some of you can organize and some of us can't. And, that separates the sheep from the Cheshire Cats!!

Evening Bookgroup

Tonight was the first meeting of our new evening bookgroup, and this is the first book we've chosen to read. It was one I recommended. I haven't read it, but it's about Adele, the ward of Rochester...the daughter of his former "lover" who was the actress and dancer in Paris. Remember her from "Jane Eyre?" Well, this story of Adele tells us what she thinks of Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, how she feels about the mysterious happenings up the staircase, who is Rochester to her...father or simply a kind man who's "ward" she is, and more I hope. Those who don't remember "Jane Eyre" will either read the book again or see the PBS movie so they can keep up with the discussion. It was such fun tonight! A great group of women, and all of us so excited to start our club. We are an off-shoot of Newcomers of Naples, so all making new friends.
Here are the other two books we will be reading for the following 2 months:
The Memorykeeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow-Lindburg (An absolute must read for everybody on earth! I give it to everybody I know and love!!)
Here were other suggested books we didn't choose for the next 3 months but may go back to:
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos
Snow Flower and Secret Fan
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picot (?)
Revenge of the Middle-aged Woman
The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates
Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
The Kite Runner
If any of you have bookgroups and want to share with me books you've enjoyed, all of us would love to hear about them. I'm still smiling...we had so much fun tonight; they don't want anyone else to join us and wanted me to close the group to new members!! Naughty girls! Will just have to help others start another group...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

HAED News!

I forgot to say that I got some Heaven and Earth charts this weekend and I'm so happy about them. Didn't get this one pictured, but it is cute. I put it here for my daughter to see because she is a big fan of mermaids. The ones I bought are by Selina Fenech..."Dark Waters," and a couple of her others, then a Ravencroft design. I'm really fond of Ravencroft's elves and fairies because they have attitudes!

Any others of you have favorite HAED artists? Any tips on stitching?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saturday at the Flea Market

It was a flea market day today! We flew down the road with the sun-roof open and Clara (our Yorkie) hanging half-way out the window, wind blowing her long hair back, sun blinding us all, and somebody unknown and unintelligible blasting on the radio. It was a perfect day for flea market shopping. DH and I had $40 between us, and all I wanted was one of those little pin cushions we used to have that are like tomatoes with the little china dolls holding on to the sides of it with cute outfits on and darling black hair. I figured I could afford a couple of them...one for me and one for a friend or two. We didn't find any. :(( However!! I did find a $1.50 change purse in pink leather that's small with the squeezie sides. And, I found 2 different types of enamel "Lady Scarlet" knock-off ladybugs that open up just like the "you know who's" ones do...and these even have crystal stones in them and everything....for about $20 each!!! I didn't get them, but I may go back for one of them. And, I found a cute T-shirt that said, "Burn your buns in Naples, FL," which I did not buy. So, it was truly a great day when all was said and done.
Then, we came home, DH cooked a supper of chilean sea bass for us which was yummy with lots of fresh lemon. He watched some show about the Dark Ages while I kitted up CHS "...Hawk Run..." and started stitching that. Clara, who had enjoyed her flea market jaunt, sacked out on the lap quilt at my feet. And all was well that ended well. Hope you had a good Sat., too.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Meeting with Stitching Friends

I had a great day with stitching friends at an ANG meeting today. When things are good and people can share in harmony, it's so nice. I have been to those clubs where a stitcher or two can just break your heart with an unkind word or a snobbish attitude. I'm so happy when a group is full of stitchers happy to be stitching what they're stitching and delighted to share and encourage others!! A dream come true! It was a mixed bag of needleworkers. I brought my ATS and a Flying Santa that needed some "frogging." There were some working on a Joan Thomasson pilot class for an up-coming ANG Seminar class...it was beautiful with delicate stitches in silks and flosses. A couple of women were working on quaker medallions and a small Needle's Prayse sampler. And, a group were doing a project called "Gracie" that was a crazy little stitching woman with frizzy hair and stitching tools. An eclectic group, all ages, different tastes, from all over the States...and happy to be there. Refreshing!

The Hidden Children

I suppose it had never occurred to me to wonder about the children who were hidden for safety reasons during World War II and the Nazi Reign of Terror in Europe. But, today I went to Naples Newcomer's luncheon and the speaker scheduled was one of our own who had been a "hidden child" from a jewish family during those times. What a story she shared of her childhood.
Taken from her mother and father when she was only months old, returned sporadically, then taken for years when she was 2 yrs. old to a safe house in Belgium where a brave French woman secreted her to a convent in France. Nuns hid her, gave her a name, and a birthday/French name day, and taught her all she knew...she was lonely and had no physical comforting. Kept hidden from the world, she never knew other children. Hunger was her constant companion along with cold and fear. She was never to go anywhere unless accompanied by the nun assigned to her, she slept on a cot and they rarely washed or changed her clothes. She grew up having several names, not knowing her parents or grandparents, with no friends, no formal education except memorized Catholic religion, she was always hungry and afraid. She didn't know what a jew was, and she didn't know she was one. When she was about 5 yrs. old she was taken in the middle of the night to a French farm where she lived with a kind family with a child near her age, with food and comfort for almost a year...she was able to see her mother briefly, and she knew her first happiness.
Her mother was then taken to Auschwitz; her father was already at Dachau. The French neighbors became nosy and curious, so she was removed in the middle of the night to a children's orphanage and reform school back in Belgium where she was treated like a criminal child. There she stayed until her mother was able to survive the Camp with the War over and come to get her. Her mother was very sick, and her grandmother, who had also survived, along with this little girl, lived in Germany with very little to eat, sweaters her mother knitted from the yarn of old rugs she washed and dried and cut into strips, and they kept warm by a coal stove. Her father, who had also survived, took a refugee ship to America...which was not allowed to dock...it docked in Canada. He made his way, eventually to the USA, and then sent for them when the little girl was an early teen. She never had had one day of an education. Yet, she went to school in the US as a middle-schooler...the school taught her from 1st to 8th grades in one year. She graduated from high school, and was accepted to a college on a special "verbal" basis, where she graduated with honors. Today she is a part of the historic Holocaust Museum record in Washington, DC, on the Hidden Children. She rarely tells her story, and she shared today that even her own children never learned of her sad and terrifying childhood until they were adults.
Today, when I think of the girls and women in the history of the world, all that we have done as mothers, wives, women and children...I am humbled by such children as those that suffered and lived during those times in WWII.
It makes me introspective and prayerful about the children today who suffer so much in our country with parents who abuse them, with predators who harm them, natural catastrophes that take their homes, war that takes their daddy's and mommy's away, and so on... And, I think about the children around the world who suffer because of wars and terror, and famine.

Then, I thank God for the brave women who risked their lives to shelter and hide this one little girl in Belgium and France. And, I thank God for all the brave women and children across time and nations who have that spark of nurturing life inside who know the same knowledge that speaks to us, "Every child's life is important. Save the children." or "my sister's life is important and precious, or my brother's life...." And I remember the pictures of children holding children in war-torn regions and I am saddened more and more that there is war...I am against war.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


I'm not sure if you can really see the top of this table. But, it's a decoupage I did which is a sort of impression of place-settings of different french-influenced locations or eras from around the world: Paris, Montreal, Provence, Marie Antoinette... It was such fun to make. Decoupage is actually one of my very favorite things to do. The muse strikes me out of the blue every once in a while, and I'm off collecting and cutting paper with a theme that just evolves from somewhere connected to something in my subconscious and an art piece evolves through this medium! I decoupage lamps, boxes of all sizes (several that store my charts and threads), table tops, cocktail tables, and small things. I'd really like to decoupage a screen sometime. Maybe it will be my next project...when the muse hits me. I try to overlap images so that it has a 3-D look. And I underpaint, distress and, as in this table, I over-lay some with goldleaf. (Hard to tell in the photo here.) For some reason, I'm really drawn to pictures of oriental and other handmade rugs...hooked rugs...handmade crafts...things like that in pictures that I can decoupage. One of the famous artists who used decoupage as his medium said that he used contemporary pictures because he wanted to convey the current era. I tend to like to blend the old, the ancient and the art and craft of the handmade of our time. I'm really not fond of "modern or contemporary" as it were. Frankly, I don't think ultra modern really expresses the mind of the majority of our time.
Anyway, hope you enjoy my decoupage!

Update on Ackworth Quaker Posts

Thanks to Katrina, I now have resources to find the below-mentioned Posts. (See her comments on the last entry) And, I found a source in the UK, too! (samplerguild.co.uk)

Thank you so much, Katrina! You have really been a friend with your comments and a help as I've been setting up this new blog. Also, I was interested to learn that perhaps the owner of Criss Cross Row has had some personal problems and this may account for the lack of proper follow-up with my order. So, I'm able to give them the benefit of the doubt there. I appreciate your setting me straight on that, as well.

It's a good feeling to know you can put out a call for help to stitching friends and get someone to hear you!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Ackworth School Quaker Post

Does anyone know where I can get this Quaker Post collection from the Ackworth School? This is the one that has several designs for postage stamps and the contest one could enter to create an envelope using the designs, that ends September 2007.
I had ordered the chart from Criss Cross Row (online shop) over a month ago, but they basically have not sent it, and have been telling me they did send it for the last 2 weeks...Not!! So, I had to cancel my order...not trusting them anymore.
Anybody know where I can find the chart to order it???? I really appreciate your help.

Easter's Coming

I'm adding a new category to my stitching this month...Easter. I'm thinking I need to stitch a little token for my granddaughters, so these bunnies are so cute and fun, they'll be great to start with. They've been in my stash for years. But, they never get tired or old looking. The other thing I'd love to work on are those really great egg, rabbit and carrot designs (See below) from CricketCollection. They are so great! So many cute things, and not enough time!!!
Here's my working list for March:

1) And They Sinned

2) I Saw Three Ships (...on Christmas Morning)

3) Easter Wabbit (above by Sheepish Designs...there are several. I'm making 2)

4) Taj Mahal

5) Leporello

6) Nautical Journey

7) Mermaid of the Pearls

Here's "Rabbit's Big Day!"

Monday, March 5, 2007

Going to the Beach

It's a beachy day here in Naples, FL, and I'm off with my little dog, Clara, my DH, and my hat..."High Maintenance"...which my DH bought for me to keep the sun off my head, least the sunstroke make me desperate for more stitching stash! We're going to the Sanibel area beach where Clara can run with us. There are some beaches, of course, where dogs are only allowed after hours, but Sanibel has some stretches that are open and nice this time of year. Above pic. is Bright Needles, "Under the Sea."

My "And They Sinned" is getting lots of attention the last few days, and I must say, it's enjoyable. Rotating is really the way to go! It makes everything so refreshing and fun to come back to. I feel so accomplished! LOL Anyway, I'm on the peacocks section just before the alphabets, really making progress down the sampler as far as I'm concerned. So, I'm happy! My "Sisters of the Sinful Stitchers" SAL group has promised the first week of each month to ATS, so I'm wishing them all good progress, too!

A beachy needlepoint canvas. This one is done with lots of textured stitches. I like to add texture to some of my cross stitch, as well in the mermaid's hair and things.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Gift of Stitching Magazine

Of all the magazines I get every month, I have to say this one is fast becoming my favorite. I can hardly believe the quality of charts and writing produced in this online magazine for cross stitchers. If you haven't yet gotten onboard and ordered your copies, you are so sorry you haven't! This month's "Jane Austen Sampler" from the Sampler Girl is worth a year's subscription alone. And it's a delight to see a write-up and colorful threads: Ginnie Thompson's flower threads. I love this magazine. We have quite a chat group going as well, and Kirsten Edwards, the editor from Aussie, is fabulous! There's a several part chart of a Long Dog Sampler, too. Oh....this "The Gift of Stitching" is a great magazine!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

To All Harry Potter Readers!

It only took me years...but this past year, I discovered the joys of reading the Harry Potter series. I thought I was too grown up to enjoy juvenile literature. I was so wrong. Now, I make tracks to the children's section once a month to find out if there's anything new I need to add to my book collection along with the stack of novels, stitching magazines and other odds & ends I find. I've become a big fan of Harry and his friends. And, I officially apologize to everyone I smirked at and made fun of in the past who was over 9 yrs. old and read them!!

So, here I am out hunting at 2AM on the web and find this Harry Potter Compatibility Quiz. So much fun. And, I score as Dumbledore! I can only believe this since I'm probably the typical old poop and not your young and flippant Hermione type. :( But, on the other hand, I love Dumbledore as much as the next person, and I can live with this.

Have you all tried this quiz? What really worries me is that I'm more like Voldemort than Ron!!! How on earth did that happen? Ron is so solid and reliable...I may need to take an evaluation of myself. And, I have such an affection for Luna Lovegood.....yet it seems we have so little in common. For the life of me I can't even remember Oliver Wood, and he and I would be able to understand so many things! I'm going to need to read up on him, I guess. And, then there's Harry. At least he understands me. Thank Goodness for Harry!

You scored as Albus Dumbledore.

You are very wise, observant, and analyctical. You have a very "well-organized" mind, which makes you function in a calm and fair manner. Though you get angered easily, its rare of you to ever act our of temper. You are constantly seeing the good in people and are naturally forgiving because of it. You're easy to please and a great person to learn from.

Albus Dumbledore
Harry Potter
Oliver Wood
Sirius Black
Remus Lupin
Hermione Granger
Neville Longbottom
Lord Voldemort
Ron Weasley
Percy Weasley
Luna Lovegood
Severus Snape
Bellatrix Lestrange
Draco Malfoy
"Harry Potter Character Combatibility Testcreated with QuizFarm.com

Friday, March 2, 2007

The English Have It!

Well, here's a very cockeyed picture of a Textile Heritage piece I did some time ago. (The link is for Cross Stitch Unlimited, a shop in MA, that my Chatelaine Designs stitching friend, Lori, used to haunt, I believe...) The name of this piece in the "Tudor Hearts" collection, is Pea Pods & Butterflies, I think, and was one of those easy to carry around pieces that ended up fitting just right in this box opening. This company kits-up their pieces, so they are easy to take with you. I'm not a fan of aida cloth, but I stitched this one with it, as well as a couple of their key fobs, pin cushions and bookmarks which turned out really cute. It's a nice change/relief on the eyes and the result is very pretty. At least, I thought so, and those who saw them...stitched some too! At any rate, I thought I'd mention them because they have charts for lovely needlecases, small needlepurses, pincushions, fobs, etc... And, you can always change to any fabric you choose. Look at this one!

"The Promise List"

My only daughter is going through the worst of times with fertility treatments. She tells me there is a whole world out there of young women online with blogs and support groups trying to manage this sad and awfully stressful situation. It's really so heartbreaking. As a mom, I have hit a wall in knowing what to do to help and comfort. This seems to be a personal journey that my sweetheart daughter must take on her own, but I know she needs my support and caring. It's so hard to watch her, and hear her as she goes through this time in her life. Please pray for her, and keep her in your thoughts.

We have, as stitchers, support groups for breast cancer and heart disease, preemies and Katrina survivors, and we share in exchanges and RAKs, etc... I'm wondering if it wouldn't be nice to just add these sweet young women to our list for an outreach. Wouldn't it be nice if we could have a "little sister" to send a smallie or a note/card/blog comment of encouragement to?

I'm organizing a group for the purpose of encouraging these women, and it's called: "The Promise List." If you would like to be a part of this group, please comment here. As a mom who's in the midst of the struggle, I know that any little bit of encouragement helps! Let me know if you want to help.