Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Needle's Work Sampler - Weeks 5 & 6

Once again, I have been particularly lax about updating my blog.  I think as the weather has gotten nicer, I have been stricken with Spring Disease, and have had so many things that I still need to get done.

I will admit, that week 5 of this sampler, I didn't work on it at all.  I sort of lost my stitching "mojo!" I actually made a comment to my 95 year old mother about my lack of "mojo" and her response was hysterical.  Evidently, she is not familiar with the term "mojo" and her response was "well maybe it fell off, and it's under your chair!"  If it was only so easy to lose and find again!  If any of my readers are interested in getting your own copy of the Needle's Work Sampler chart of your own, please leave your email address in the comments section, and I will send you the information.  This chart is no longer available in stores, and can only be obtained directly through the designer.

I finally got my samplers back from Michael's and will post the pictures.  Left Loara Standish there for them to redo, as I didn't care for the buckling along the edges of the sampler.  I have already figured out where to put them.  Ann Rayner will go directly above my grandfather clock in the front hallway and the rest will be grouped together on a wall between my son's room and the guest bedroom.

I also tried framing one of my smaller projects myself.  After wondering for a long time, I finally found a frame, I thought was about the right size.  I had my hubbie remove the wall hanger from the short side of the frame, and put it on the long side.  I then, watched several You Tube videos on framing needlework, including lacing the back.  I also received some hints from a FB friend in Oregon, who frames a lot of her own needlework, that was very useful in keeping the fabric lined up and even on the foam board.  I may try to do some other projects myself, as far as the lacing, and perhaps save some amount of the mounting costs.  Especially since the framing costs, with coupons is still outrageous.  There are a few things I did learn from this project, that I need to make a mental note, if I decide to do my own in the future.

Interesting topic on one of the FB stitching groups this weekend.  It was a show and tell weekend of stitcher's  WIP (works in progress) or UFO's (unfinished objects.)  OMG!  I have to tell you, I'm a one at a time sampler stitcher.  I used to have at least 3 projects going, one a take along, one lap stand up on the first floor, and one in the basement on my floor stand.  Since I rarely go anyways, no need to have a take along project.  Once the hubbie started working out of the house, I no longer spent so much time on the first floor, and therefore, stopped putting one on my lap stand.  Now - it's floor stand only.  I'm not saying that towards the end of any project, I'm not sick of it, or I can't wait till it's finished.  But.....finished is the end result.  Stitching should be something you do because you love it and enjoy it, but having all these just started, half finished projects, sitting around would drive me crazy.  I have found that many of the multiple project stitchers, have some sort of rotation of their various projects.  I can tell you I'm a voracious stitcher!  Stitching usually many a hours a day, because I don't work outside the house.  Even then, some of my samplers have taken anywhere from
5-6 weeks if not months to finish.  That's working on it, every single day.  I guess I don't understand the math, if you have 10-15 projects in some stage, and work on it a day, a week, when can one anticipate a finish?

To be quite honest, I guess it also boils down to that I'm lazy and cheap!  I don't want to break my floor stand down every single time to switch out one project to the next.  I have a multitude of scroll rods, but I don't want to have a bunch of extra scroll rods that I don't need, and threads.  I pull threads for the project I am working on, then once completed, file them back, and pull threads for the next project.  Works for me.

I am happy to share, that I did manage to finish the two Christmas ornaments I volunteered to donate to a family that their stitcher passed away.  Took me for ever to find an appropriate chart, since I didn't know the lady personally, other than through FB.  I thought the sampler style ornaments were the answer.

With that, I will end my rambling and wish you all a wonderful week and Happy Stitching!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Needle's Work Sampler - Week 3 & 4

It's amazing to me sometimes, the way the days and weeks go by.  All of a sudden, I realize I have neglected to post and update to my blog, and I feel sorta bad about that.

It's been a particularly busy week at the Casa de Tanner!  We got new windows in our kitchen.  Totally replaced the jalousie windows, with the screens on the inside to regular double hung windows.  Course, to install the windows, the blinds had to come down.  Once the installation was done, hubbie says "it's ok to put the blinds back up!"  They were totally disgusting.  Dirty, dusty, and so I decided to give all four of them baths, before I hung them back up.  Why does it always seems, you go to do one project, and it creates several more?    Takes time to wipe down all those slats!

In addition, my mother wanted some pants hemmed. - Like a good daughter, I volunteered!  Except my Babylock sewing machine decided to go all loosey-goosey on me, and wouldn't stitch correctly.  After pulling out the instructions, rethreading it, redoing the bobbin, replacing the needle, it still didn't stitch!  Time to take her into the experts and get a tune-up!   Thankfully, I was never did dispose of my Sears Kenmore sewing machine.  I pulled that one out, and it worked like a champ!
Still more stitching projects that need to be done, a tent flap, pillow covers.......

Somewhere, I need to work in stitching a Christmas ornament, for someone, who passed away.  Finally found a chart that I thought was appropriate for the family, in remembrance of their loved one.

I took in 6 of my samplers to be framed this week.  I won't go into gory details, but even with a 70% off coupon, it was almost as much as people in Michigan spend on a beater car for winter!  Luckily I also had some gift cards too, so that brought the out of pocket expense down too.  Pictures to follow, when they are back from the framers!

Have you ever used to the video chat on FB?  I accidently butt dialed, a lady in Oregon this week, she was kind enough to return the call, even though I apologized and told her it was a mistake.  We spent the next hour and a half, talking about samplers, and framing, and silk threads vs. DMC. It was a wonderful talk and experience!

And before I end today, I want to further opine about the internet!  Having access to the internet is a wonderful thing, you can buy things, research things, reconnect with family and friends without ever leaving the four walls of your home.  But, the downside is, that there are people that think it's perfectly okay to say anything they want, or however they want to, from the safety of their own keyboard.  I don't post or share political posts!  Why!?   Because everyone doesn't share my beliefs or my opinions.  Just like I may not share theirs!  It's not my job in life to sway anyone's beliefs or opinions.  People need to ask themselves a few questions before they hit the send or share button!
1.  If I was in front of a person, would I bring this up in a conversation?  To someone who may be an acquaintances and not one of your BFF's?  Would you say something snarky or mean if you were standing face to face with someone?  Probably not!  If the answers are no, then save yourself some hassle by not hitting send or share.

And with that, I wish you all a great week and happy stitching!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Needle's Work Sampler - Week Two

Wanted to share this week's progress on my little reproduction style sampler.  

Haven't worked on this particular sampler as much as I have previous samplers. Only because I have had other things that must be done.  But, I did want to show this part of the sampler, which I'm going to refer to as "death by a 100 curly cues!"  Luckily the band right beneath is a single row of Italian cross stitch and also more letters of the quotes.  Will definitely be skipping around, so that I won't be bored by stitching one curly cue after another.

I did manage to get Dixie cut.  Took her outside today it, on a particularly nice day in No. Va.  picked up all the dog hair, and once I tossed it, I realized I should have left it for the birds for their spring nests.  Still needed to brush out her legs and chest area and do some scissor cutting.  But, like previously stated, a bit at a time with Dixie, since her tolerance to being fooled with is minimal.

I was invited back to the FB group I left last week,  over a kerfuffle about my post, by the administrator.  Really appreciate the invite back, but am debating whether to or not! 

Not much else going on this week to report!  So, to my readers - Happy Stitching!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Needle's Work Sampler

The Needle's Work Sampler
The Needle's Work - Dawn Lewis
27 ct. Tea stained linen

Wanted to share my progress on the next in line to stitch from my stash.  As previously posted, I am trying to stick to my plan, of stitching my stash by copyright date.  This beauty is from 1991, and is a reproduction style sampler.  After finishing Ann Rayner, I was oh so glad, that this is really a simple little sampler, with lots of pretty colors, and a variety of stitches.

Great starter sampler, for someone, who is knew to sampler stitching, and would like to try some other stitches other than "X."  So far I have done the Rice Stitch, Herringbone Stitch, Double Running Stitch, an Long Arm Cross Stitch.  The band I'm working on right now, also calls for Satin Stitch.  Other bands, will use the Montenegrin Stitch, and Italian Cross Stitch, Algerian Eye Stich, Two-Sided Italian Cross Stitch.

Great illustrations in this little pamphlet of the different stitches, and so far, I haven't had a problem following the steps to complete the stitch.  And...I haven't had to pull out any of my 3 "go to" books when I don't understand, the concept of a stitch a chart is requiring.

Yesterday, so very proud of myself, when I changed the beater bars on both my upright vacuum cleaners, that I just didn't like they were picking up anymore.  Dixie still requires a haircut, and I still haven't completed my living room accent pillows.  Still working out the concept since I'm not using a pattern, and just winging it.  But can't afford to just really be wild about winging it, since the fabric was $30 a yard, and I only purchased 1 yard. 

I wanted a share a bit, or even vent a bit, on an experience I had on a stitching FB group recently.  I belong to several, and am not going to specify which group it was.  However, some readers may be able to figure it out.  One of the groups, has a Stash Dive Thursday, where members go into their stash, and share a sampler that they haven't quite gotten to yet. 

I like to be an active participant of the groups I belong to, and so in my excitement to share and participate, I posted a picture of the sampler I am currently stitching.  I posted in the description, that it was a Reproduction Style sampler, and that it was a great one, for someone who wanted to try some new stitches. 

Since, I belong to many groups, to be quite honest, I don't always remember the specific rules for each group.   Evidently, this group is ONLY for reproduction samplers, and no other samplers are supposed to be posted there.  (By the way, I was not the only person, who shared a Reproduction Style Sampler.  One particular member, who was not the administrator, decided to take it on her own, and call me out for the post.  I ignored it.  Just like I scroll through/past many posts I receive on FB. However, when other members pointed out to this particular member, that she was not the administrator, and people shouldn't criticize other stitchers, the discussion went downhill from there.

I finally responded, and explained that I inadvertently shared my post, and apologized, but I thought her comments would have been better received with a friendly PM instead of calling someone out publicly.  To me, it's like being called out by the teacher in front of the whole class.  This women's defense to me was she didn't feel like it was in her ability to send me a PM just as a informative member, or since she wasn't the administrator, was perfectly acceptable to call me out publicly.  I finally decided, to delete the post, since it obviously upset her so much.  But evidently the administrator beat me to it.  I will tell you that because of this women, I decided to leave the Group.  At 62 years old, I don't need someone else policing my activity, and have better things to do with my time, and efforts, than openly tell this individual her comments are/were offensive to me.  And she really took the shine off belonging to this group and I don't need her negativity in my life.  As a stitcher, I love to share, love to participate, love to be helpful to others, so to borrow a line, I decided to take my bat and ball home, and I'll participate elsewhere, where my contributions will be received positively and without conflict!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ann Rayner 1839 - Hints and Pitfalls

Evidently a lot of stitchers have Ann in their stash, and after I shared my updates and final finish, have expressed an interest of the things I discovered, in stitching Ann.  So, I decided to share these hints and discoveries, and then you can decide whether to ignore them, use them, or wing it on your own.

First of all supplies!
These are the colors I recommend that you should have 3-4 skeins of DMC of each color.  These colors are used over and over again, and are the predominate colors in the sampler.  If you have these on hand prior to starting, you aren't going to have to work about lot color changes.

DMC 347    3-4 skeins
DMC522     2-skeins
DMC760     3-4 skeins
DMC 3012  3-4 skeins
DMC 3363  3-4 skeins

Outside border

If you look at the border, prior to stitching, you'll note that there are squares that are left blank,
or have "\", or "/".  If you are like me, and especially since this chart is printed on large paper, you may want to make a working copy, to stitch from.  Note the blanks, \, /, and decide for yourself, whether you want to stitch in these areas with DMC 3363.  There is no DMC color associated on the symbols list for either the "/" or "\".  These same symbols appear randomly throughout the sampler, so you will need to decide how you want to stitch them or not stitch them!

Long Stems and Short Stems for Outside Border
These are stitched quite regularly, except for 2 places.  The pattern goes as follows, long stem, 11 stitches, short stem, 4 stitches.  The only exception, is on the top right side of the chart, there is a "5" on the chart, where there are 5 stitches instead of the four, like the rest of the chart.  Also, on the bottom left, there is one section that has 10 stitches before the short stem, instead of the 11stitches before the short stem.  It is clearly noted on the chart.  Also, the short stem on the top right side (3 one down) has an irregular stitch pattern.

Band after the first alphabet
Everyone stitches differently, I decided to tackle this band in 3 parts.  I stitched the top line, 3 stitches, 1 down stitch, space, stitch, up, then 3 stitches.  Repeat.  This was the quickest for me.
Please note after the 17 section of 3 stitches, the border takes a shift down one stitch for the rest of the border.  If you look at the chart this shift happens right about where the N and O are.  This band follows a pretty specific stitch pattern, EXCEPT for the part around the letter X.  There are four stitches there and only there.  The second part of the band, I stitched, 3 stitches, space, stitch, space, 3 stitches, and just followed the pattern from the top line of this band.  Bottom stitches of the band where stitched 3 stitches, up 1, stitch, space, stitch, down one, 3 stitches.

2 small alphabets and band in between
If you read the directions, it suggests to use 2 thread over 1.  I didn't.  Didn't like how it looked, I decided to use 1 thread over 1 (in fact that all areas that called for 2 over 1. Like the people and the lambs).  But that is up to you.  According to the separate sheet of this chart, it shows you the detail for stitching the small alphabet and where to line up with the letter Z.  I didn't care for the suggestion, and adjusted my stitching, so that the alphabets end would line up on the far right, creating more space between the beginning of both small alphabets and the Z.

I stitched the smallest letters first, since it was the longest line.  I lined it up using the stitches from band above.  If you look at the band above, I counted over 4 circles from the only area on that band that has 4 stitches.  This sits slightly left to the letter U above it.  My little letter "a" starts in the middle stitch of the 3 stitches on the bottom part of the circle.  Both alphabets, and the line, end at a the middle stitch of the circle on the farthest left. (Last circle)

Stitching the Lady
If you look at the main chart for stitching the lady, she has 9 stitches of "Z" in a single line.  This is a mistake!  You won't find it until you look at the detail part of stitching the lady. It should be,
from bottom to top, 1 stitch of Z, then 4 rows of 2 stitches of Z , then 4 single stitches, of  Z.

Stitching the Pasture
Pretty much like it shows.  Although once again, it will show some blanks, or random symbols, that you will need to figure out to include or not.  The only thing, is the 3 sheep from the left's back hoofs go into the actual border of the pasture.  I missed that, and so my 3rd sheep's back hoofs, begin 1 stitch up where they supposed to be.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ann Rayner - 1839 Finish

This evening I put the last stitches in Ann.  Thankful, I am done, just so I can move on to another project(s).  I think before I start another sampler from the 1990's, I have some other things that I really need to take care of, that have been sort of postponed, while I sewed like a fiend, to finish Ann.

Things like house cleaning, and I really do have a few sewing projects, I really have to finish.  Can tell you, I am still not 100%.  I've had this terrible cold, and it just seems to want to linger on.  Been doing a lot of sleeping, so it's a wonder I got any sewing done!  Plan to try to go to bed early this evening, since I didn't work in a nap today.  Hopefully tomorrow, I will feel even better.

I did manage to purchase another chart.  Couldn' t resist!  Someone was stitching it on one of the FB groups, and it just called out to me.  Luckily, I found the chart on ebay, for around $13.00 plus postage, and since I had all these ebay bucks from Christmas shopping, the chart cost me, a whopping $1.72.

Name of chart is Eugenie Deval by Reflects de Soie.  Hasn't arrived yet, but I understand it is in transit.

Well, I also managed to sell the Hall Tree this week.  Got it out of the house, and figured the $150. I made from the sale, goes to offset some of the cost I paid for the Grandfather clock.  I also told my husband, I needed to start saving towards getting some of my cross stitch framed, as they are really beginning to pile up!  Although I love the sewing, they don't do me very much good, rolled up, and kept in a box.  Plus, maybe it's a good time to try to go for my sampler wall.

Well,, that's bought all for this week!  Happy Stitching all!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Ann Raynor - 1839

I'm late on last week's post and early on this week's post.  So, I'm consolidating them together.
Ann is still moving along.   I keep stitching and stitching and stitching some more and am no closer to seeing the end in sight.  At times, I look at it and feel I haven't made any progress, but I know that I have.

The lady and man, still remain headless, only because they are one thread over one thread.  I have been doing some of the stitching on the women's arm, but have been skipping around on stitching ALOT!  When I get tired of working on one color or on one particular area I skip to someplace else.
I guess that's the beauty of stitching samplers.  But the house!   UGH!  It seems to be never ending!  I don't know how my sister does it, since her sampler of choice, usually contain some sort of house!

Here are some pictures I took last week, which had I been a good blogger, would have been included in that post.

I am happy to report that my kit that I requested for Christmas from European Reproductions finally arrived.  Well over a month, it took to arrive here safely in Manassas.  The picture on the chart
(as chart pictures often do!) does not reflect the beauty of this sampler.   However, I hope you can see by the thread colors, what a beauty it will be, when I finally get around to this in my stash!

Made some cookies this week, cleaned a few bathroom, and as always, the never ending laundry, that even when it's now only two people is needed to be done quite often!

After searching for months, I finally got my grandfather clock that I have been searching for.  Very happy with my choice!  It's a Ridgeway, originally made in Va., but now made side by side, by Howard Miller Co. of  Michigan.  So.....I have both states that have become home to me.  It's not very tall, but that's okay.  The case was in really good condition, and the chimes is very soothing, and it keeps really great time.  The man, who sold us the clock, told us it was made in 1972, the year I graduated from high school.  Guess it was meant to be.  Not sure what the next thing I will be on the look out for! 

Now I can get rid of the hall tree that I have had for many years, that have become a convenient dumping ground.  Drives me nuts, especially since the hall closet is almost directly across from it.
Not sure, whether to donate it, junk it, or try to sell it.  You know what they say about someone's junk is another person's treasure!

Well, that's bout all this week.  Messed up about the Phil Vassar concert!  It's actually tonight, and we are leaving the house at 5:30 to make sure we get there, find a place to park and get situated!  Can't wait for him to sing Amazing Grace.  Not the church song! 

Until next week!  A very happy productive stitching to one and all!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ann Rayner - 1839

Another update on the lovely Ann.  I could have posted last night and for some reason, just got side-tracked. 

Was so happy to have the second 1/3rd finished, so that I could move my scroll rods up.  Always makes me feel like I'm making huge progress, if I get to move the scroll rods.

Soon, I will be working on the whole farm, sheep scene at the bottom of the chart.  The thing that really drew me to this chart, when I saw it displayed at the Woodlawn Embroidery Show, many years ago.

I did a bit of going back on my blog, and discovered I only purchased Ann in 2014.  As a final reprint from Threads through Times before she closed her door to cross stitch charts.  So....very lucky considering this chart has been around since 1990.

Today, I had to ask for a refund from European Reproductions, for a kit, my husband ordered for me for Christmas.  Sadly, it has never arrived.  So....asked Paypal for a refund, and will now have to reorder, from Sabine, and hope I have better luck on the second order.

Speaking of ordering, over Christmas, I ordered what I thought to be 2 of those bathroom scrubber things they show on TV.  One for the rest of the bathrooms, and one for exclusive use by my mother for her bathroom.  I haven't a clue, how it happened, or exactly what I did wrong, but somehow I ended up with FIVE of these things.  After talking to customer service, they said, I could send them back.  Big FAT lie.  Only if I was willing to pay the $45.00 to mail them back. kids all get a bathroom scrubber, whether they want one, need one.

I got to see my daughter this weekend.  She surprised us by showing up late Friday nite, with her idiot dog Dopey.  Not his actual name, but what I call him, since he's got as many brain cells as a potato.  He's a nuisance.  Chews on everything, and if he can't chew on it, then he urinates on it! 
So, you can imagine that I spent some of my day, mopping the kitchen floor.  I'm sure my two dogs are all so glad to see him leave.  He's sort of a bully to them, with my dogs being both older and smaller.  And.....the house is quieter, since Dopey is also a howler!

On the agenda this week, is more stitching, and I get to see Phil Vasser in Alexandria, Va.  Tickets my hubby bought me for my birthday.  Other than that, it's gonna be a quiet week!  So...until next week - Happy Stitching!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ann Rayner - 1839

Little late on posting (yet again!).  No good excuse this week.  Have been stitching my little heart out on Ann.  I really just love the colors!  At this point, I'm about a 2/3rds done.

I was able to help out another stitcher this week, as she really wanted this chart.  I was able to locate a copy at In Stitches.  I try to do this, as much as possible.  Just like when all the people were looking for the Mon Ami Pierre  Renouveau chart.  I just happened to go to In Stitches and realized they had 3 copies of the chart.  I was able to go back through my FB post and find 3 stitches that were specifically looking for this chart. 

Perhaps that makes up for the flack, that some stitchers,  feel if you have the audacity to sell your used charts, or charts that you never stitched, and were never going to stitch.  Then you were doing something really bad.  Some of the quotes were "piracy, stealing, etc." Believe me, for a long time I didn't sell my charts.  Just held onto them.  But....there comes a time, when you have quite a bit of money sitting there.  Where, if you divested yourself of these charts, you could actually buy a few newer charts, or fabrics, or threads. 

Making sure first, by checking with my husband, the patent attorney, to ensure I wasn't doing anything wrong.  I got quite the education on copyright law, and First Point of Sale Law.  I'm glad for several reasons!  I know that I am not doing anything illegal, and maybe, just maybe I help educate some other stitchers, that the Copyright police are not going to come to your door and drag you away, should you decide to sell a few charts.  Plus, what really makes me get rid of my used stash, is the women that I remember, who became cross stitch hoarders, and then passed away, leaving their families to sort through and deal with all the stuff.  In fact, my sister just sent me a whole box of Cross Stitch back issue magazines, that I can dispose of how I feel fit.  Definitely will try to sell those, and what isn't sold, will go in the recycle bin, so I can save a tree or two!
Am still waiting for one of my Christmas presents from European Reproductions.  My husband ordered a kit for me, and according to Sabine, it was mailed on 12/15.  So far, it's a no show.  I anxiously await the mail each day in hopes that it will have arrived.  But...if it's anything like the chart I mailed to someone in August and didn't show up until December, I may have a long wait!

All the decorations are down, and stored away for another year.  It went by so quickly.  I haven't a clue when the next time I will see one, or all my children.  They are grown and have their own lives and are just busy.  I do get a text once in awhile from one or all of them.  Lets me know they are thinking of me. 

Bout all for this week, Happy Stitching!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ann Rayner - 1809

A very late Merry Christmas, and pretty much on time Happy New Year!

As, soon as Loara was off my scroll rods, I was already pulling the threads, prepping the fabric and getting everything ready for my first official start of 2017.

Ann Rayner - 1839, Threads Through Time, on 32 ct. Light Exampler and using DMC.  I fell in love with Ann when I saw her at the Woodlawn Embroidery Show! 

I have managed to get some stitching in between all the Christmas activities, and Holiday Meal prepping!.  Lots of wrapping.  No wonder, I haven't been able to squeeze much time to even update my blog.

I had a wonderful Christmas, with my kids.  My daughter wasn't able to be with us, due to her job as a shock/trauma nurse.  She was low man on the totem pole, and therefore had to work throughout Christmas.  My hubbie, being the great dad, brought her presents down to her on Christmas Day, and brought her food.  However, we did manage to surprise our daughter with something she wasn't expecting for Christmas.  A cork holder.  Looked at them in stores, and they were smaller and kind of pricey.  So we bought a shadow box from Michaels, drilled a hole in the top, and I ordered the motto from someone on Etsy.  Now I will admit, that we may have messed up the first one, as when my husband drilled a hole in the box, it broke the glass.  But., 2nd time was a charm, and it took over an hour to peel off the motto off the backing paper, due to the fine font.  But we were all happy with the results!

Did I get any more cross stitch for Christmas?  Of course!  My husband ordered a new chart from European Reproductions, which sadly has not arrived yet.  But it's okay, since I have plenty to stitch!
Along with a gift card from In Stitches, and.....a gift card for Michaels.  I'm a happy camper.

This week, I will start taking the candle lights out of the windows, and taking the ornaments off the tree, and it will all be over for another 11 months. 

I hope every one has a wonderful, joyous New Year, filled with plenty of love, laughter, friends and family, and of course - stitching!  Until next, week Happy Stitching.

Loara Standish Finish

Very Happy to report that I was able to finish, Loara Standish before the end of 2016.

Close up of the last several bands, and a final finish picture.