Friday, November 2, 2012

Renouveau - also known as lady in the swing

This is the other project I had framed.   This one is either going in the guest bedroom or in my mom's bedroom.  Haven't decided yet.

Carriage House - Alphabet Blocks

Isn't it great when you can finally get your project(s) framed?  We, wait until there is a sale, usually at Michaels Arts and Crafts.  This month, Michaels issued a coupon for 55% off, plus another 25% off.  According to my husband, the math wizard, he says that still equals to about 60-65% off.  But, I guess if they print the coupon the first way, you think you are getting alot more off.  My husband, offered to pay for the last two projects to be framed, and literally you could see vapor trails out of me, to get those off to Michaels.  And.....maybe a little dishonest, but since he was covering the cost, I actually picked out a more expensive frame than I usually do for this one.  SHHHH, he'll never know!  I know, it's kind of sneaky, but sometime a girls got to do, what a girls got to do!

Anyways, here is it:   Carriage House - Alphabet Blocks

Downstairs project - Grateful Heart Band Sampler

I only work on this when I am actually doing laundry.  So it gets maybe a couple of hours, one or two days a week.  However, I will tell you that I certainly enjoyed working on this, as it uses different stitches, which I have never used before.  Plus added bonus is it uses the Gentle Arts threads, which with the variation from being hand dyed are beautiful.

Upstairs Project - Rose Manor - Spring Quakers

Well, it has been awhile since I posted, but it has been quite hectic here.  Hurricane Sandy made it's way through the DC area, thankfully with no damage to our house.  Although we were without power for maybe 2 hours, considering that was it, we are terribly lucky.  I know what it is like to go through a hurricane and have no power.  The last time was in Virginia Beach, Va. and we went without power for a week.  Although my sister still has the record, having survived Hugo in Charleston, S.C., they were without power for 3 weeks.  I think I added it up, and this is either the 5th or 6th hurricane, I have had to go through.  Most of which, were without having a spouse here,  if your spouse is in the military the first thing they do, is make sure ships and aircraft make it to someplace safe. 

With that lead in, I wanted to update the blog to reflect the progress I have made.  Course have had alot of time to do so, cuz the weather was so crappy here, it's either cross stitch or clean.  Of course I picked cross stitch.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lady in the Swing

This is not the real name of this sampler, but....everyone who knows me that knows that I worked on this sampler, knows which one I mean when I tell them it's the lady with the swing.   Somewhere in my earlier posts I have the correct name, but right now I am too lazy to go look for it.  It is completed.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Down stairs project - The Grateful Heart Sampler

As you can see, I haven't worked on this as much lately.  Guess, I just haven't had that much laundry to do. far I have enjoyed working on this, because of love using the Gentle Arts threads for their colors.  In addition, this sampler has different stitches other than the "X" in it, and I have enjoyed trying to figure out how to do those, and putting them to use.

New upstairs project - Rose Manor - Spring Quakers

First of all, I have to admit, that until I actually started this project the only reason I thought it was called Spring Quakers was because it uses a hand dyed green fabric, and I figured the threads were spring colors.  Little did I notice, that the reason it is called Spring Quakers is because it has the names of flowers all over it.   DUH!  Still okay, because I bought the pattern because it visually called to me in the first place no matter what was on it.   I did use the Valdini thread as suggested in the pattern.   It's expensive $40.00 for the 12 colors.  But absolutely love working with it.  You cut it off the spool and use it.  No separating the threads, with the exception of the flower names in back stitch. 

Take Along Project - Williamsburg Sampler

Thought I'd post the latest picture of the Williamsburg Sampler.  It is coming along.  The only time I work on this, is basically when I am waiting, or riding in the car.  Course not while driving, although if I could figure out how to drive and cross stitch at the same time, I would be all over that!  Talk about multi-tasking.

Family Tree

Yesterday, I received the call from Michael's that my Family Tree was ready for pick-up.  So, I hot footed it over to Michael's to get it.  It's great to finish a project, but even better when you finally can get it framed.  Even with all the discounts offered, it is still so expensive.  But it doesn't really stop me from getting them framed.  Just stretch it out by doing one a month, with whatever company is running the best deal.  Although it just seems to happen, that there is a particular Michael's employee who I almost always seem to get when I go in to have my cross stitch framed.  I told her that I should be able to get some sort of super duper special preferred customer discount for all the work I bring in to have framed.  Most are not small items.   She just laughed.  Course I guess she hears that alot from other customers in there as well.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Family Tree

Yea, I finally finished my family tree cross stitch.  I put the last stitches in this morning.   YIPPEE.
Now I get to start on another downstair project.   What to do?  What to do?  Quite the dilemna!
So many projects and so difficult to pick out a next favorite.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Upstairs Project

Well, it is coming along.  You know if I didn't spend so much time ripping out and correcting mistakes, I would be done alot sooner.  Somewhere on this project I am off, and for the life of me I can not find where.  Bottom line is, that I had to go back, use regular sewing thread, and count off the linen count across the width and length and try to get back on count.  My sister says that what happens when you skip around.  Instead of consistantly working from left to right, or right to left.  I will post a picture to accompany this latest development.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dining Room

Well, I haven't had much time to cross stitch cuz I have been really busy completing my dining room.  At some point I painted the wood work, and 3 of the 4 walls below the chair rail.  But....since I have company coming this week, I decided last Fri.  I had better finish the room.  So off to Home Depot to buy wall paint for above the chair rail.  In addition, I had to paint the ceiling which probably still had the original builder's paint on it. is the final product.  Please excuse any mess on the dining room table!  The table is perfectly clear now.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Take Along Project - Williamsburg Sampler

Did I mention that I now have a take along project as well.  Like having two other projects going wasn't enough?  I truly am addicted!   Many times when we have visited places on vacations, I have picked up small cross stitch charts/kits for remembering the visit.  Have I a few from Ocean City.  One of DC that I did many years ago, before we actually lived in the area.  I also picked up one of Mt. Vernon which is George Washington's home.  The last time I was in Williamsburg, I picked up a small sampler kit.  That is what I am working on as well.  I bought one of those snappy frames and it seems to work better than all the hoops I used for years.  In addition, I can leave my floor stand and lap stand with the dowels alone, and don't have to dismantle it to take it with me.  I will post pictures of the Williamsburg sampler and also the DC one I did years ago later!

Renouveau - upstairs project

I have been also plogging along on this.   In the evenings, I sit on the couch and occasionally glance at the TV while I am stitching away.  I love this sampler.  The colors are awesome especially given the fact that I elected to use the Gentle arts thread.  I like the variations of colors when you are filling in a large area.  There is a part of the the pattern that has a wreath on it.  For some reason it has the initials or letters J D in it.  I can't for the life of me figure out why.  But considering the pattern directions are written French I probably will never figure out why.  But have decided to change those out for my own intitals.  Also the date on the pattern is 2009 and I will also change that out to the current year.    Since I have had some difficulty with the wreath, I have decided to move on to other parts of the pattern.  Especially since I think I have already ripped it out twice.  I figure the 3rd time will be the charm.

Family Tree - Down Stairs Project

Thought I would post the progress I have made on my family tree project.  This particular one, was timely only because most of  family tree was covered with stitches.  I am down to the point that all I have to do is finishing adding names.  Thank God for laundry!   I can't believe I actually said that!  Because laundry is the reason I was able to work on this as much as I have.

Rosters- Framed and Hung

I realized that I talked about my rosters that I had completed and finally had framed, but never posted a picture of them.  They look great where I finally decided to hang them and especially given the fact that they were called Chicken Soup.  If you look closely you can see that one of the roster's body is made up of different types of pastas, and the other roster's body is made of vegetables.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Well, I finally got to start stitching on this particular sampler.  Got to admit the letter A was a real doozey.  I am not sure that I worked on 36 ct. linen before, but I can tell you thank god I didn't purchase the 40 ct. as called for in the pattern.  I would have been blind!  In fact most of the letter A was worked using the super duper little round magnifier part of my stitching magnifier.  I didn't have as much difficulty when I went to a darker thread.  I don't know if by then I was used to the count, or that the lighter color thread was also thinner.  The colors are terrific.  However I can tell you that these pictures do not do justice to the color of the linen which is more on the brown side then is reflected in these pictures.  Somehow when I purchased the thread, I missed the color Tin Bucket.  Although they give you the DMC equivalent it seems to me that the DMC color is more blue and the Gentle Arts Thread is more on the grey side, from what I can see from a on line picture.  WHAT TO DO?  Do I go all the way back to Alexandria for the one skein of thread?  Or improvise using the DMC?  The problem is if I go to IN STITCHES, I can't seem to walk out of there with the one thing that I went there for.  I always see another pattern that I just can't seem to not have.  Or some sort of stitching necessity.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Renouveau" le marquoie

Here is a picture from the chart that will be my new upstairs project.   I am using mostly the Gentle Arts thread, as called for in the pattern.  Although there are a few DMC colors which evidently Gentle Arts does not have a comparable match.  I also missed picking up a color called Tin Bucket, and am using the DMC equivalent as I don't feel like driving to Alexandria for one skein of thread.

The Pattern calls for the use of Autumn Gold by Lakeside Linens 40 ct.  Instead of using 40 ct., cuz it's just plain to tiny, I bought the 36 ct. in Autumn Gold by Lakeside Linens.  I will add the Linen is a really pretty hand dyed fabric.  Can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Carriage House - Alphabet Blocks

Finished!!!! Yippee!!!  I will admit that I was delusional when I figured I could knock this out in a month, finishing a block a day.  I was lucky to finish one block in 3 days, and that's if I didn't do anything else. is finished and now I can move onto another project which I have already picked out.

However, I will point out the problems or pitfalls that I ran into while working on this project.  First, originally these blocks were sold individually.  Evidently, Carriage House was asked to create a sampler using all the blocks together, which they did.  But.....if you are looking at the pattern, please be aware that on the list of supplies they call for Bittersweet to be used as the backdrop color for the word.  I kept true to the pattern and used Bittersweet, which whoever did the original one for the picture on the pattern used a golden color.  Which really is neither here nor there, you can decide to use whatever color you want, just want you to be aware that when you are looking at the individual blocks all of a sudden you will note that random outlines for the words are done in different colors then what they suggest on the supply list.  I thought it about it later and it would have been very pretty to pick a color out of each block to outline the work, as long as you are smart enough to do some pre-planning and don't end up with the same colors next to each other.  

In addition, after perusing all the pages several times, I noted that there was no suggestion(s) whatsoever for the border.  Although it is charted it, there are no colors suggested to use. I actually wrote to Carriage House and asked if that was on oversight in the pattern, and maybe there was a page missing.  No....I was told that it was up to the stitcher to chose the colors.   I decided not to limit my border to 3 colors, cuz I would get so sick of working on he same 3 colors over and over again for 90 flowers.  Yes.  There are 90 flowers, I know I counted them.  Instead, I chose to use color combinations that were already used in the blocks.  I used dried thyme for the border vines and leaves.
I used mulberry/pomegranate for the first flower.  Deep Sea/Peacock for the second, Bittersweet/Fragrant Clove for the 3rd, Cherry Bark/Old Red Paint for the 4th, and last DMC 327/Hyacinth for the last.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Well, I finally took my chickens to be framed yesterday at Michael's.  Michael's was having a 60% off plus and additional 15%.  Even then it cost me $114.00 to get them both framed in plain black wood frames.  They should be ready in two weeks, and I can't wait, as they will be a great addition to my kitchen.  Especially given the fact, that the kit of the two roosters was called Chicken Soup, since one of the Roosters has pasta as part of the body, and the other rooster has vegetables incorporated into the design. It feels good to get something I did back in 2008 framed.

Rosewood Manor - Quaker Diamonds

I was going back through my blog and realized that sometimes I call the company Rosewood Manor which is the correct name and Rosehill Manor.  What a dope I am sometimes.  I decided that I would try to get more organized with the cross stitch patterns, kits that I currently have in my possession, and those that I might be interested in purchasing in the future.

So, yesterday I went out onto the web and found pictures of the some of the patterns/kits that I have.  Others, the package had a great picture, so I just went ahead and copied those.  I am going to organize them in a book, haven't quite figured out how yet, other than I have the dividers and binder.  But....I think that will save me from figuring out what I already have (so I don't try to buy the same thing twice like the Ann Hill Sampler) and also what I might like to try in the future.

On those sheets, I will note whether I already have fabric, or if there is any sort of special yarn required other than DMC and whether I have the appropriate thread.  I will put the sheets in sheet protectors, and then also add to it the cross stitch calculator sheet for fabric and also a list of colors that I may need.
Nothing worse than starting a project and realize you don't have it all.

Also, it will be handy when I travel to my local cross stitch store!

Friday, April 13, 2012

EH 1875 - European Reproduction Samplers

I am truly addicted to cross stitch, and I do try to stay off e-bay, the internet, and making a trip to my favorite cross stitch store in Alexandria, Va.  However, sometimes I just can't resist.  Recently, while surfing the net, I came accross a site.  I fell in love with one of the samplers, and it is not sold in the United States.  I ordered it on-line and paid through paypal.  It was approximately $35.00 including postage.  The owner of the site is a Sabine Taterra, who is lovely to deal with.  The chart arrived yesterday, and the packaging of the complete chart is one of the nicest I have ever seen!  The directions are in German, however I was able to use Google Translator to translate what I needed to know from German to English, and use a centimeter to inches conversion chart to figure out the size.
Now the only problem will be when I will be able to start it!

Downstairs Project - Family Tree

This is a family tree chart, which I bought a kit from E-bay.  I thought I was just purchasing the chart, so I was quite surprised when it arrived and it was a kit.  It wasn't that expensive, but once again, I am constantly worrying whether I will have enough thread to finish.  Especially given the fact, that although they give you the DMC numbers for the thread, when I matched the threads in the kit, to my inventory of DMC, it was off in color on pretty much every color.  This project has been a challenge, as it is much like the Cat one I did for my sister, almost every inch is covered with a stitch.  However, since I spend alot of time in the basement during the week, I am able to work on it practically every day.

Upstairs Project - Carriage House Alphabet Blocks

I have two projects going at the same time.  One is what I refer to as my upstairs project.  It is because, my husband works from home, so in the evenings, I work on this one, in the family room.  I am almost done.  I have one more row of blocks, plus have to redo "Q" as I miscounted and had to rip most of it out. Then the border, and it will be the on this list to frame.

Moira Blackburn - again

Here is my framed finished project.  Love the colors in this one!

Three Things - Moira Blackburn

I love Moira Blackburn's design.  I seem to be drawn to them, they speak to me for some reason.  This is one of the largest samplers I have worked on to this point.  Originally, I bought the material, started it, and realized I had done a huge mistake, and there was no way to recover.  So......I just bought new linen, and started over.  Here is the completed framed sampler.

A house is made of brick and stone

This is a sampler I did way back in 2008.   I did post a picture of it, unframed, but here is the framed version.   Now trying to decide where to hang it.

Spring has sprung

Recently I have been trying to organize a storage area in my basement, and in doing so, I located a grape wreath that was covered under one of the piles.  I certainly don't want to be seen on an episode of the hoarders and so, I decided to recycle the wreath for my front door.

Bought some sale silk flowers at Michaels, some new ribbon.  This is the final result, which now hangs on my front door.

Rosewood Manor - Quaker Diamonds

Framed and already hung


These are probably one of the next things to get framed.  I did these many years ago, from a kit that I bought through some cross stitch catalog I received.  I don't really like kits, as I hate having to sort the thread.  I am always afraid, I will run out of thread, or sorted the color wrong.  But....these came out pretty good.  The name of the kit is chicken soup.  If you look closely you will note that one of the chickens has vegetables in it.  The other chicken has various pasta noodles incorporated into it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Although not a true sampler this a cross stitch I did for my sister.  At the time, she had 6 cats living with her.  Four of the cats were hers, and 2 belonged to one of her children, who was moving, and needed a place for the cats to stay, while the transition was being made.  Somehow, it seemed appropriate for my sister to own this.  I will tell you it took me about a year to complete this.  I took it with me everywhere!
Not only was most of the canvas covered with stitches, but most of the also had to be back stitched in black as well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not the only thing I work on

Well it has been a while since I posted on my blog.  Not because I haven't been working on anything.  I always have some sort of project going.  In fact, sometimes more than one.  The real challenge is to finish them!  My sister and I still talk about the red wool plaid in my mother's fabric stash, that she was going to make pleated skirts for both of us.  We are now both over 50 and alas we never did get our red plaid skirts.  The promise to myself was to finish projects that I start, sometimes with a sabbatical imbetween, but finish them never the less. 

Recently I was looking for decorative vases, for my fireplace mantel.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find any that I liked, or that I was unwilling to pay that out the ying yang for.  So....I came up with an idea that I would make my own.  I found glass vases at JoAnns.  Ordered variagated metal foil over the internet, and let my creative juices flow.  Here are the results.  

I have yet to put some antiquing glaze on them, which will age them a bit.  So I imagine they will darken up some.  Things I would have done differently?  Um....think I would have hoge podge some tissue paper to the vases first, and created some texture to apply the foil to.  May try that later on.