Thursday, January 31, 2013

Still Thinking of Samplers

Last year our programs chair at Loudoun Sampler Guild challenged us to create a piece without using anh cross stitch.

I have a piece in the works but didn't get it finished. But a few people did.

One piece really intrigued me. My friend, Barbara, took a cross stitch design and changed everything. There's about a dozen different stitches on this piece. It's not quite finished,  but she's close to done.

I have this piece. It's a Kreinik kit from the Remember the Ladies line. You can see yhe original here -

I think she's done a fabulous job.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

I am hoping February comes with more moments that I can sit down and relax than January has had. But it's all been good. I will slowly catch up here on the state of my current projects. 

First up - sampler time. (If you now have Hammer Time running through your head, go on and blame me. Stop. Sampler Time.)

I really have not spent any time working on my Scarlet Letter Challenge. 
I've been carrying it everywhere with me and it sits forlornly in its bag. I promise to remedy this soon. 

I have spent some time on a new sampler which is the unnamed Loudoun Sampler Guild year long mystery sampler. We got this design 2 weeks ago at the January meeting. This bottom band is designed by Betsy Morgan. The next band is mine! I've been stitching on Betsy's to get some color on the linen so I could make decisions about mine. I now have less than two weeks to start to stitch mine and get a chart created.

This piece will be long and I didn't have a lot of choices on fabric. I'm using 30ct R & R Sheeps Straw. My friend, Melissa, and I were both working on this at the Ocean City retreat. Hers is on 36ct and it's wonderful that they look alike yet so different. 

The plan for this piece is to stitch a band a month from January to December of this year with various guild members supplying the designs. I have to say that in January when I volunteered to do February no one fought me for the opportunity. LOL! I wouldn't have volunteered if I didn't already have an idea in my head. And I did have some one hit me for volunteering - what was I thinking? After all my years of volunteering I still have not learned how to say no. *shaking my head*


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Museum Attendance

Shortly before leaving for NH in December there was an article in the Washington Post about historic houses and their declining attendance numbers.

I'd like to highlight a place that is experiencing the opposite - rising attendance. 

In the summer of 2011 I visited the John Paul Jones House in Portsmouth, NH to see their sampler collection. And I was surprised by how many pieces they had. I came home and wrote about it here on my blog. And I'm happy to highlight an article I read in the Foster's Daily Democrat when I was in NH at the beginning of the New Year.  

"PORTSMOUTH — The John Paul Jones House Museum, operated by the Portsmouth Historical Society is reporting their best year in over a quarter of a century. This year the museum saw a 24 percent increase in admissions.

The curator, Sandra Rux, continues to refine the museum’s fine textile collection. Recent accessions include a needlework sampler by Ann M. Gerrish that was purchased from Sotheby’s dated August 20, 1832. Recently conserved was a printed handkerchief of George Washington which was archivally framed and has now returned home to the parlor."

Full text of the article can be viewed here:  Foster's Daily Democrat 

The website for the house is here:  John Paul Jones House

 One of my photos of the house. 

And a few photos of the samplers. Unfortunately these were taken before I really mastered my camera. Very hard to take photos without glare from the lights.

I can highly recommend stopping by Portsmouth next summer to all the sampler lovers. And I wonder if the increase in attendance has anything to do with those of us who appreciate old needlework.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I'm sorry I didn't get to post from my retreat this past weekend, but I was busy!

For those who know me on facebook, you saw some sunrise photos because I did get up and walk on the beach. Cold, but way better than last year. The first morning out, I saw two foxes trotting down the beach towards me. I tried to get my phone out of pocket quickly, but I only got video of them trotting away from me. I talked to woman the next morning on the beach and she said they used to be skinny, but now they are fat and happy foxes. Good eats at the beach!

I'll come back tomorrow and post photos of my work over the weekend. 

Good luck and safe journeys to my son who left today for Ft Benning and Army Basic. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

First Finish of 2013

Feels good to have completed something. I'm all over the map with my stitching these days. And just when I thought I'd have some free time to stitch on whatever I felt like stitching, I took on another (small) project and apparently according to my friends have a baby sampler to make. 


Anyway. I'm leaving for Ocean City and the Camp Wannastitch retreat as soon as I post. 

Enjoy your long weekend everyone because I certainly will.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 2013

One week ago I was sitting here at my computer innocently working on some documents, doing some editing, etc. Everything perfectly normal in my little corner of the universe. 

This week I'm sitting here on my computer editing some documents. And things have changed greatly in my little corner of the universe. 

See Wednesday evening I came home from an EGA board meeting to find my son at our house. He had some news for us. By Friday that news had morphed into a question that I said yes to. 

And on Sunday afternoon my son and his girlfriend got married at our house. Yes. Things are happening fast. Next Tuesday he reports to Army boot camp. 

Yes. They ARE wearing their Patriots shirts...

Elvis laid on the floor in the middle of things. At one point he heaved a kitty sigh because no one was paying attention to him. He got up and sauntered off to his basket.

Make a crazy face time!

Before the wedding plans, we did start all this with the news of impending grandparenthood...LOL

I told you things have changed!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Cross Stitch Wall

Found on the Kreinik blog - a restaurant that has an entirely stitched wall. 

See it here.

 That's some crazy stuff. But I would so love to do something like this someday.


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Playing Catch Up

It's a new year and many of you are talking goals and such. I'm not much of a goal oriented person. I have them, but they exist in my head and are rarely stated in writing or out loud. 

I have a few stitching deadlines coming up and then I'll be free to focus on whatever I want for the remainder of the year. I like this idea of freedom. And I will try hard to resist new deadlines for the next two years. Mostly because I've taken on the presidency for my EGA guild. So from here on till January 2015, all classes and challenges will be met on a casual basis, i.e., they will get done, when they get done. No pressure. 

On the health front - can I say after more than decade without having to use any antibiotics, I've been on them twice since the end of October. They served their purpose both times. But the side effects are brutal. Even with kefir and probiotic pills and raspberry leaf tea. I may strenuously resist taking any more. 

Continuing on health - I have been walking. A lot. It makes me happy. I feel better. I like being outside. Here's a quote from a large person who started walking nearly one year ago:

But the truth is, exercise does not work, diets do not work, feeling crummy does not work. Nothing works. My advice: Quit trying to be something you're not, be happy with the life you've been given, and just go for a pleasant walk outside. 

This is from something Michael Moore posted on facebook. And he's right. No magic solutions. Get up and move.

That's it for me starting a talk about goals this year.    

On our way north, we had a great drive right until I hit Connecticut. Then the spector of snow that evening made everyone start their travels early. Such a pain through CT and then the Turnpike in Massachusetts. I thought we'd never arrive. Here's Francisco who is now our traveling companion taking a rest in MA after some serious dancing. He's very fond of Macklemore's Thrift Shop song.

Here's our favorite stop both north- and southbound. It's in Vernon, CT, just north of Hartford. On the trip home, I had the matzoh ball soup and I swear that was the cure for my antibiotic problems. 

December 27th, we woke up to the promised snow. Francisco only had his Santa hat so I didn't let him play outside too long. But a few days later, he received another hat and a scarf. He's prepared for winter now. 
Favorite outdoor activity while home? Sitting around the fire at my sister's neighbor's house.
Enough reading and writing. Time to put away the laundry and make dinner and stitch a bit.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Rated ML for Mature Language

(I'm serious about the language warning. Just saying.)

(Of course, some people write like this way more often than I do. But if you ever meet me on my hometown turf, I can swear like a sailor. I try to leave that behind when I head south.)
Last spring my niece had posted a photo of a subversive cross stitch piece on facebook. Her husband chimed in with a like. I squirrelled away that little nugget of information and one Saturday in December I graphed this piece, went upstairs to the studio pulled a nice piece of Mello Cashel out of the stash and picked colors from the DMC 3800 range. 

Here's what I finished after a few hours.  
I like the first one so much, I made a second one for my father-in-law. These were my last two finishes for 2012. I did warn you in the title, so please, no complaining about my using four letter words. It's my blog and I'll do what I want to. 

Try as I will, I can't seem to locate any photos of Dame Judi Densch doing the same type of work in needlepoint. Though I can find references to her doing it.

I've made bare bones progress on my Scarlet Letter sampler. But a little bit is better than no progress at all. 

And here's another little project that I couldn't show because it's for my daughter. But now she has seen it and the bunny can come out into the light of day. I bought this two years ago in New Orleans at the Garden District Needleworks. It's a Lee canvas and I have the black hipster bag that it fits into. 
I like this so much, I debated keeping it for myself. But I'm going to be good and send it on to its recipient as soon as it's done.

Here's a little bargain I picked up in an antique shop in New Hamsphire. 
It needed rescuing. My original thought was to ditch the needlepoint, refinish the wood and stitch my own piece. I may just see how clean I get the needlepoint. It's much dirtier than this photo makes it look. If I can salvage it, I may.

Look. Another current project jumped in here. Not saying any more...

Up early as some people left New Hampshire at o dark thirty. Making sure the rest of us saw the sunrise. 

It was a wonderful visit. Could have managed without the two snowstorms. Or that zero degree morning. But hey, it's New Hampshire. 

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Home Again

We had a lovely visit to our home state of New Hampshire where we got to spend time with our son and daughter, their significant others, and lots of extended family. More Christmas celebrations and my Left Brain got to celebrate turning 50.
When I get back on the computer I'll share my last finish of 2012. And I'll have some new finishes soon.