April 22, 2012

Elisabeth/Elizabeth and Ann

Greetings, everyone! I wanted to post on my progress on Elisabeth Easdon, on which I've been stitching steadily for the last couple of weeks. The colors in this shot are fairly true. There are tons and tons of motifs in this--it's simply scattered with trees, baskets, birds, etc. This is another sampler that I'd like to complete and get framed this year. Seems likely.

This photo was taken in September (bad light).

Remember Ann Anthony? Here's a little progress. More about Ann in a moment.

I discovered this "book of patterns and instructions" for American Needlework (by the Editors of Woman's Day) dated 1963 in my father's basement. Probably my mom had bought it years ago, although I'm not ruling out the possibility that I picked it up at a book sale sometime in the 70s and left it there. It features pattern sheets for "reproducing Other Early American Designs in Embroidery, Crewel Work, Cross-Stitch, Needlepoint, Patchwork, Applique, Quilting, Hooking, Candlewicking and Rugmaking." This album of designs is available on the 'net (I checked both Abebooks.com and Amazon). There seems to be a companion hard cover book that I do not have--it possibly has the color photos missing from the charts and instruction booklet.

This thumbnail photo caught my eye; I identified it immediately as a Rhode Island sampler design. Intrigued, I looked inside, taking out the pattern sheets for the half-dozen cross stitch designs.

Look at Ann Anthony's photo. Do you see the little thumbnail? Hint: bottom row of people.

Yep, it's Ann Anthony! This is the "American Needlework" version of Ann. It's almost the same as the Essamplaire version, except that Am. Needlework suggests charting your own name in the "white" row beneath the alphabet. I don't agree with that. I sometimes sign my name to repro samplers in a small, out-of-the-way area, but I don't hijack an entire section of the design. The AA chart (although it's entitled "Colonial Sampler") is copyrighted 1961, so I imagine the rights ran out on the Woman's Day pattern.

There are other appealing charts in this volume as well: "Brick House Sampler."

I want to do this one: "Cat Sampler." Have you seen this anywhere else? I'll note, by the way, that if you want to acquire this book of designs, the charting is pretty terrible. You can see it, but they took a lot of shortcuts in the charting. Note the left-hand column with the blank lines. They have charted two border flowers, which are shown elsewhere, and you are expected to duplicate those on each of the lines. All designs are charted for DMC, by the way--after all, it was the 1960s.

We have a new family member! Meet Elizabeth! Elvis found himself a girlfriend--he fell in love with her while he was boarded at Bunny-Lu in Haymarket. Bunny-Lu's owner had noticed that he seemed depressed that Pink and Peaches were so tightly bonded, and since bonding attempts between Elizabeth and other bunnies had failed, she placed Elizabeth with Elvis and it was love at first sight between these two lionheads. He's so happy to have a girlfriend. Tom says to Elvis "hey, your girlfriend has a mustache!"

Awwwww. We were going to adopt through Pink's rescuer, and in fact, my own choice would have been another uppy-eared white bunny (frankly, lionheads are stubborn and obnoxious), but as Woody Allen would say, the heart wants what it wants, and I wasn't going to argue with Elvis!

Happy week ahead!

April 08, 2012

Stitch All Day

Happy Easter, everyone! My wish for today was to sit and stitch all day on something I haven't worked on for a while and then prepare a simple Easter dinner. Wish fulfilled! We are having roasted arctic char with mushrooms and steamed cherrystones with melted butter along with steamed spinach. I'm not fond of ham and turkey bores me to tears. I've spent the entire day (since 8:30) working on Anne Anthony by the Essamplaire. I restarted it on a whiter linen (Lakeside) so that the odd colors show up better. There's lots of over-one on this (see the botton row with the little strawberry plant)--all the strawberries plus the people in the bottom row and probably the people flanking the house.

Here's the chart of the repro:

The Easter bunny woke up grouchy from his nap, as you can see. Too many jelly bean deliveries last night, I guess.

My contract position is over after tomorrow, so I am headed to the Cape next week before I start my new permanent job. Photos from the Cape to come. Maybe it will be warm enough to fish finally?

Happy week ahead!

April 01, 2012

Sarah and Lucky and Mary Beth

Greetings, all! I've been suffering from stitchers' ADD, so I've been jumping from project to project when I stitch at all, but I've finally settled back into working on Sarah Hatton McPhail. I WILL get her finished, and I WILL frame her this year. (I've heard if you visualize accomplishing something, you're more likely to accomplish it. I am visualizing every last stitch done, and handing her over to Karen at In Stitches, and selecting a linen mat and a nice gold frame. Yes.) Since I love before and after pictures, here's where she stands as of half an hour ago.

This is what she looked like in January.

A sad note tonight. Our friends at the House of Rabbits have lost a dear one, Lucky, a sweet lop-eared rabbit. Our hearts go out to Rabbits Guy and Bunny Lady.

Speaking of pets, we have been feeding a couple of stray kitties outdoors, and this lady has shown up lately to eat the leftovers. Meet Mary Beth. Isn't she lovely?

Here she is, in all her loveliness. I particularly like her little hands and feet. Possums are interesting to watch (and she's quite unafraid of the camera flash or the sight of me watching her through the window) and our critter control guy said that they're great cleaner-uppers and don't carry a single disease, so they're actually beneficial to have around. Not everyone likes their grins, of course, but she can't help that.

Off I go to get ready for the week!