Thursday, July 20, 2017

Love Never Fails - Barbara Ana Designs

Hello readers!  Back at it again!  Truth to be told, I would have updated my blog yesterday, but I spent the whole day, trying to back up my photos from my iPhone.  Something according to YouTube videos and also articles on the internet are supposed to be so easy to do.  The reason being, as I refuse to spend more money on storage, especially when it's a monthly fee, not a one time purchase.

I'm sure if anyone of my three children were here, that are a lot my technically experts than I am, it would have been completed in a nano second.  For me, I had to just keep plugging along, until I found something that actually worked, or rather I could get it to work.   You're probably asking yourself why I did this!  It's because I kept getting these pesky reminders that I was running out of Icloud space.  Believe me, I was.   Filled up with text messages and photos, my icloud, and soon my phone would have been overflowing!

After much research, I finally downloaded Google Photos to my phone, which is a free app., backed up all my photos, videos, etc., to it, then when in and deleted all the pictures on my phone.  I now have more than half of my available storage back! Plus a picture I took this morning was already showing up in the Google Photos place, which means the transfer is immediate.  Plus it's unlimited storage of those photos for free.  Course the proof will be in the pudding, in whether I will be able to post pictures to the blog.

Not that it previously hasn't been a real chore as it is!  Blogger decided not to update it's application for mobile devices, so, the only way I can post to blogger is through my lap top.  If I tried to make an entry to my blog through my phone, it would freeze, erase everything, do some crazy stuff.  I live my life through the belief that there is more than one way to "skin a cat!"  (sorry animal lovers, I would never actually skin a cat, but it a familiar saying!) So to fix that little bleep, I would type my post through my lap top, then use my phone to edit the post, just to add pictures.  Now it seems I may be able to do all that, from the laptop.  HOPE HOPE.

As my previous post states, I lost my stitching MOJO for Ann Hill.  It still is on my floor stand, but I decided to pull out a random sampler, that looked easy, had the fabric for, and just work on that for the time being!  Love Never Fails by Barbara Ana Designs.  Copy right 2014.  I found that I had the right count of fabric in my stash, probably a lighter in the color, than recommended, but hey, got to use up the stash when you can!  As I catch up on every episode of "Persons of Interest," I stitch away!
I finally know where, and when the two women characters came to be, and where the dog came from.
Something I had no idea about. 

Cute little reproduction style sampler, done in I think they call it Frankur style.  With my German, Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, I just sort of speaks to me. 

Other than that, nothing much is going on.  Waiting for some 27 ct., unbleached/raw linen to come.  Good price, and I have several charts which call for it.  Hoping to get several of out the piece I bought.

With that, I will end!  Guess I figured out the whole upload thing!  Happiest of Stitching!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Ann Hill Sampler continues

My Some samplers are quick stitches, some are not!  Ann Hill falls into the Not category.  Maybe if I spent more time stitching, I'd be further along.  But, I've been busy!

I had a visitor from Daytona Beach, Fl.  My friend Lori, who I've known, since I was her supervisor when I was in my 20's.  I'm over 60 now, so for 40 years.  Truth be told, we haven't been continuous friends the whole time.  Not because we had a falling out, or a disagreement, but sometimes life just gets in the way, and you lose touch.  But, Lori is one of those friends you can pick up where you left off, no matter how much time is in between. 

With company arriving, I had to forgo stitching and clean my entire house.  All the bedrooms, all the bathrooms (4 1/2), make beds, vacuum, dust, on top of laundry.  I always do a deep clean before I have company! I don't want people to think I live like a pig or a hoarder.  It's never really that bad, but I do tend to let it go, sometimes.

While Lori was here, we made a trip to In Stitches, in Alexandria, Va.  I found 3 charts within the first 5 minutes, I was in the place.  Thankfully, they were having a sale and I had a $60.00 gift card.
Took Lori a bit longer to find some charts.  Only because I think she was overwhelmed by the sheer volume they have.  Plus she bought some fabric, since evidently Daytona has no cross stitch stores.
We spent the evening watching old episodes of Person of Interests, since both of us liked the show and had managed to miss quite a few episodes.  I always wondered where the two women came from that became a part of the crew, and where the dog came from.  I now know where the dog, and one female character came to be.

In addition, I took her to my favorite used book store in Manassas.  McKay's!  She walked out with 6 books for less than $10.  Two of the books were .06 each.  Plus, we made a trip to the Wegmans grocery store, bought some horseradish cheddar cheese, which we gulped down.  Plus some olives from their olive bar.  We passed on the desserts, but they certainly looked delicious!  On her last day, we walked one neighborhood of Potomac Mills, which is our outlet mall.  Lori splurged and bought a few pair of shoes.  I bought a few things from the Vera Bradley outlet (always trying to organize my purse!) and a shirt on sale from the Ann Taylor store.  Course, we couldn't leave the mall without splitting a designer caramel apple.  It was to die for!  Had caramel, chocolate, nuts, and pieces of heath bar.   Yummy.  Plus, a visit to T.J. Maxx, where I stocked up on puppy things.

In addition, my son and his girlfriend asked me to come to Norfolk for a visit, to meet my new grandson.  Andersen is lovely.  I spent 3 days, and 2 nights there.  Mostly just holding the baby!  I did give them a few recommendations.  But.....I'm just the grandmother, and even though I birthed 3 babies myself and raised them, what could I possibly know about children?  Makes me laugh, that they will find out on their own, just like I did, since babies don't come with a book!

With updating my blog tonight, I have been doing laundry most of the day, stripped my guest bed, and did manage a trip to the grocery store.  Also stitching on Ann. 

With that, I will sign off, I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!  As always.....Happy Stitching!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ann Hill Sampler

Still plodding along on stitching this sampler.  Truth to be told, I took a week off of working on her, as we had a family vacation in the Outer Banks.  I didn't even work on a take along project.  I spend most of the week, sitting by the pool, and reading romance novels.  In fact, I read the 3 books, I had brought with me, and had to make a quick trip to Walmarts to purchase a few more.

I made the conscience decision, not to post about the vacation on any type of public media, as in today's world, you don't know who is paying attention, and you come home to find your house has been broken into, robbed, or even a family of squatters have moved in!   It's a crazy world!

The day we left the OBX, my husband drove to Eastern Shore of Md., and picked up his new fur baby.  Meet General Beauregard of Bull Run.  Beau for short.  Sweet boy, has puppy breath, and is a typical puppy full of energy.  Dixie and Holly accepted him into the house, but what could they do?  They didn't get a vote.  Right now Beau isn't quite a tall as Dixie, so he doesn't yet have the upper hand, but it won't be long, before those wobbly long legs, that seem to go in every direction, will have him towering over him.  Poor Holly being the littlest one, takes the brunt of Beau's attentions.  She is totally unappreciative, as he is not very careful with his size in trying to play with her.  Holly spends a lot of time crawling under furniture, to keep her distance.

I will be honest, that I thought I would go down to one dog, after something happened to Holly and Dixie.  But after bringing a new puppy into the house, I even rescinded that idea.  I just truly don't want to be bothered anymore with the housebreaking, training, chewing stage that all puppies go through.  My husband is totally "into" Beau, including sleeping on the floor with him the first night he brought him home.  Good for him.  I still take over when he has to go someplace for whatever reason.  The other day, I spent the whole day, watching him, meaning I got nothing else done, to make sure he was been fed, walked, taken out.  Don't get me wrong, I love dogs.  But I was glad when the hubby came back from spending a night on the Eastern Shore of Md., so he could resume his daddy duties.

On even better news.  I am officially a member of the grandparent's club.  My son and his girlfriend delivered a beautiful baby boy, Andersen James, born 6/15.  7 lbs, 5 ozs., 20" long.  I celebrate his arrival and look forward to meeting him in person.  They asked us not to come down, as their living arrangements are tight, and they want the time to bond with their baby. Course, we assured them, we'd come running if they wanted/asked us to.

They may come up here for the 4th of July.  I also will be having a friend from Daytona Beach visiting me.  So.....I have been trying to clean my house and get everything ready for company. 
In cleaning my upstairs, I decided it was time to hang my framed samplers.  I hung a group on one day, and located a bunch more that I had forgotten about.  Hubby came up to the landing when he heard the hammering and just started laughing at me.  Hubby is perfectionist when it comes to hanging stuff.  He gets out the level, and measuring tape, and starts doing mental math, to make sure they are all perfectly aligned and evenly space.  Would I like that to happen? Yes!  But he just doesn't have the time, and sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands.  Which I did. 
Not perfect, but they're on the wall!

Well, got to run, as I still have lots of things to do, the list gets longer, and the time gets shorter!  I wish all the Father's out there to have a absolutely, positively wonderful Father's Day.  For all you stitchers!   Happy Stitching!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ann Hill Sampler - Plodding Along

The stitching on Ann Hill continues!  Like I said in previous posts, because I elected to stitch the border in a manner that works for me, it's just a lot of extra steps and just takes more time.  It is, what it is!  Stitching is much like life!  It's a marathon and not a sprint, so you just have to resolve yourself, that you finish when you finish, and what happens between the start and finish, you have little control over.

By the way, I don't know what it is that I manage to locate errors in charts, but I found one in Ann Hill.  Area 7 on the chart says you are supposed to stitch this band in 822/5830/268, except the chart does not call for any of these colors!   By looking at the photo, I am doing it in color DMC 613, as it looks like the beige to me!

My mother left for Illinois today, to visit my sister for several months.  I got my sewing machine chair back, at least for the next several months.  My mom takes up residence in my "task chair/office chair" to watch TV.  I know it's so she can hear the TV better, am so hoping the purchase of hearing aids, which were obtained under duress by her, will help!  Because having the decibel level so high on the TV so that she can hear it, really results in the rest of the family having raging headaches by 10 p.m.

Because their is now an vacancy in my sewing machine chair, I was able to finish off 2 sides of a tent flap, that I have been sewing for my hubbie, on his own design, after the flap to our tent just up and disappeared.  I completed two sides this morning, and have a few other sewing machine tasks, I really need to finish!  But...I felt sort of mean asking my mom to vacate my chair, so I just put those tasks off until she was on her visit to my sister.  

Speaking of sewing, I bought a serger, or two.  Actually I bought a Kenmore Serger when we first moved here.  I was so intimidated, I never used it!  So it sat collecting dust.  I then went out on the internet and searched for a serger that could be operated by idiots!  Brother 1034/D, so I bought that too.  I must admit, I still have to use the aid of a YouTube video to thread it, but it has come in so very handy. Meanwhile I tried to sell the first serger, with no takers.  People just don't do that type of sewing these days, in addition, the ones that do, many are intimidated by using a serger too!  This week I was talking to one of my good friends in the area, and she was saying how she almost called me up to see if I could serge something for her.  I told her I would have gladly done that for her.  But, she used an overlock stitch from her sewing machine.  The next day, I remembered I still had the Kenmore serger, gathering dust.  I called her up and offered to it for free, no strings attached, just wanted it to go to someone who would use it.

My serger has been used in sewing slip covers, I serge all the edges of my needlework so it doesn't fray.  It even works on Aida!  I have managed to serge seams on T-shirts that came undone.  I used it to serge several layers of fabrics together, so that they won't slide, when I go to do the final sewing.  All in all, it's been a good investment, and now one, I don't regret. 

In my last post, I neglected to post pictures I the new charts, I purchased to add to my stash.  So much for my resolve to not add to my stash, until I made a huge dent in my stash.  Oh the temptation!

Well, that's all for the week. Got a busy week ahead, and hope that I will be able to get some house cleaning in as well.  My mom comes looking for me if I'm gone too long.  So, until the next post,
HAPPY Stitching!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Yes, I'm calling this post a menagerie, because it's appropriate.  It is a collection of things that I forgot to share in previous posts.  Mostly because I wasn't being very good at posting on a weekly basis, as I had done in the past.

When that happens, you forget to share the things that you would have included in the weekly post.  So bear with me, my readers, and enjoy, the things I have also been doing, when I fell off the blogger wagon!

First, I picked up 5 more samplers from Michaels.  Other than the two I have previously finished, I'm pretty caught up on my stash requiring framing.  Previous posts, show my work on these, but I always like to share the completed framed one.

Karoline Berlinger - Summer House Stitch Workes

Ann Pegg 1977- The Scarlett House

Isabella Gray - Samplers Revisited

Mexican Schoolgirl Sampler - Samplers Remembered

Antiques Sampler - BH & G cross Stitch And Country Crafts Magazine Mar/April 1992

Speaking of framing, I decided to make a go of another smaller project, and laced another souvenir piece, I found after rooting around in my supplies.  Finding frames for your own projects can be quite the challenge.  I was lucky enough to find a frame at Michael's but to say that it didn't have issue, would be so untrue.  First of all the rabbit which holds the glass and your art work, wasn't very deep, so I was unable to use the back provided with the frame, once I added my needlework.  Once again, I had to have my hubby add some sort of hanger, since the one on this pre-made frame, was attached to the back that was provided.

If possible, I try to pick up a little project, of places we visit.  This one obviously is from a vacation in Ocean City, Md. many years ago.  If you ever visit Ocean City, you must check out the needlework shop Salty Yarns on the boardwalk!  Each year, the introduce a new little souvenir cross stitch chart.
I have bought another one on another vacation, and it remains unfinished.  Need to throw it in my take along bag! 

In addition, I have started working a Christmas gift for a relative.  Nowhere near completion, but I have made a decent stab at putting the items together, and am fairly confident, they will be done, in time for Christmas!  I just wanted to share a picture of the lovely fabrics.

In addition to all that, I still continue to perfect my answer for the Ann Hill Sampler border.  I have discovered using hand quilting thread works better for outlining. Doesn't fray, and pulls out easier.  It's a process!

I also managed to squeeze in a bath, brush, and nail cutting for Holly!  Pretty ding dang proud of myself! 

With that, I'm quite certain I am all caught up, with all the news fit to print.  Happy Stitching!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ann Hill Sampler

My final dirty little secret.  Yes, that's correct, a sampler I started back and 2013 and has been languishing in my stash.  Why you might wonder?  Because the freehand border just totally intimidated me!  I can read a chart like no one's business, but ask me to just freehand stitch a design on linen, and I become the village idiot! 

Especially when the chart graph lines are huge in relation to the 36 ct. dirty linen, I'm supposed to be stitching on.  I thought and I thought and I thought, just how I might make this happen.  Obviously it took me 4 years of thinking.  That,  and it's one of the two samplers charts I have left from the 90's that I just want to get finished, and move on to a new decade of sampler charts.

After much thought, I admit it, there was no way I could do the freehand.  There was no way I was going to try free hand drawing on my fabric.  I can barely draw stick figures.  Plus I have seen way to many stitch projects posted on FB, where the stitcher used one of those pens that is supposed to wash out or fade away, and didn't! solution involved the use of my personal copy machine. Best Christmas present ever!  Well except for the year when my oldest was working at Home Depot and he bought me a new dishwasher. 

After much, fooling around with the settings, I finally came up with - if I could reduce the original chart by 63% than it ended up being almost the exact count per square inch as 36 Ct. dirty linen.
I then placed the copy over my linen, by lining it up with the inside and outside border, plus I had run a graph line horizontally between the borders, that would line up with the graph line on my copy.

I then used a very sharp needle, one strand of regular sewing thread, and ran a running stitch along all the lines for the flowers, vines and leaves.  Stitching through the paper and linen.  After that, I used a cuticle scissors and cut out all the paper, so that all that was left was the stitching lines.  Be especially careful, a cuticle scissors have points and could easily put a hole in your linen.

Once those steps were taken, I could fill in the out lines of the flowers and petals with the satin stitch and use the outline stitch for the vines.  I would then snip out and pull out any random threads of my outline.  Tweezers come in handy for this step!

Okay, it's slow going, and a lot of extra steps!  But....I am happy with the result and although it is taking me longer to do all the additional steps, at the end I will have a finished sampler! Maybe it's cheating a bit, but sometimes you have to do whatever works for you!

And with that, I'll end my post for the day!  Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dunvegan Sampler - Sampler Workes

I take pride in the fact, that once I start a project, that I finish it whatever may come.  Well, that's not entirely true!  I had two samplers, that I had started, and just never finished.  The Dunvegan Sampler was one of the two. 

I had it completely finished, except for the head of the thistle stitched in Queen Stitches.  For someone reason, I totally had a meltdown, when it came to this one part of the sampler.  I looked through stitching books, I went on YouTube and watched videos.  I even went to a stitching group and asked for help.

Oh, I knew the basics of the stitch.  Knew where to come up, and go down, knew where I should tack the stitch and what direction.  I could do this stitch in theory, but putting it in practice was a completely different matter.  Every time, I tried to stitch the thistle, it looked like a tangled, hot mess.

I practiced on the edges of my fabric, the stitches looked good, but put them on top of each other and next to each other and it looked liked chaos!  I ripped them out so many times I felt, I was gonna leave a hole in my linen.  Then I'd be really up a creek without a paddle!

So after the completion of the Needle's Work Sampler, I pulled out my dirty little secret and just was gonna finish my lowly thistle!  Bite the bullet, put my head down, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other! 

Picture prior to the completion!

Close up of the thistle head.    The trick was to use one thread of DMC rather than two!

Picture of completion

So I have another completion for my framing pile!  Yea!