April 27, 2013

Soldiering On

Greetings, everyone, and happy Saturday night! Believe it or not, I'm a bit tired of stitching today; I put in about five hours on GigiR's "Maria's Sampler 1831." It's riveting! Photos below. But first, back from the framer! I love the glossiness and the bright green color on this contemporary looking sampler. I started the sampler about 25 years ago from the pages of a long-forgotten book, and completed it a few months ago. It had some indelible grubby hoop marks (20 years or so on an old hoop will do that) but the framing ladies at In Stitches got it mostly cleaned up, and the rest is difficult to see.
And a finish! Catharine McNeal 1843 by Samplers Revisited. Stitched on 40 count Picture This Plus in Legacy, using the called-for NPI. A very fun stitch. I made several major changes: I don't enjoy large areas of satin stitch, so I cross stitched those spots instead, which I regret a bit because I think the texture of the satin stitches is part of the charm of this sampler. I also made a greater than normal number of mistakes on this sampler, for some reason. I left those in. I deducted a woman on the left, and I added my initials and the year I completed the sampler. Off I went to In Stitches last Saturday to select a frame. I can't wait to get it back.
I have put some time into "Snowy St. Nick" (Dimensions). While I love historic reproductions, this is a nice break. And it's loaded with glitz and beads at the end.
Here's the chart cover, since it's kind of hard to figure out exactly what you're looking at without a face.
Here's what I worked on today: Gigi R's "Maria's Sampler 1831." The chart photo is not very clear, and it's of the antique, so this doesn't really give a good indication of just how much action there is in this sampler!
There are tons and tons of people on this sampler; here's a little soldier. I am stitching the inside swirly border to count down. There are seven alphabets at the top, and although they're very nice, and stitched in different stitches, I didn't want to stich alphabets today. This is a huge sampler, 494x562. This is a redo for me; the first time I started it, I decided I didn't like the dark fabric I was using. I'm stitching it on Picture This Plus in Fog, 40 count. Fog is a lovely oystery white with a light wash and pale veins of a taupey brown. And I did a thread conversion to overdyed silks from the designer's called for overdyed cottons. I'm using mostly Belle Soie as well as some Silk n Colors and Soie Crystal.
I have to show you photos of my New Bedford dream house. It is amazingly preserved and updated. Notice the neighboring house in the background (I'd take that one too, although it's huge, isn't it?)
Master bedroom. I wonder if that's a working fireplace. Note the wallpapered coffered ceiling.
Check out the foyer. Papered ceilings here too. That treatment extends to most of the rooms I saw; think the walls are too busy for samplers? Note the fine woodwork.
A look at the kitchen: modern yet not. I wonder if that stove works. Here are some more photos of the house if you're interested. Because we live in the DC metro area where the cost of housing is super expensive, the cost of this lovely 1875 home, $398,500, seems very reasonable--a comparable house here would probably sell for over $1 million.
Pink says "if wishes were horses then rabbits would ride..."
Happy week ahead all!

April 14, 2013

Still Stitching

Hi, Everyone! In spite of my long silence, I have been stitching steadily, as you'll see below. I have lost a lot of my blogging mojo because it just seems harder to post pictures, especially since I have used up my "free" Picasa photo storage and have moved on to Photobucket (where I have used a fair percentage of that free storage as well). I'm contemplating what to do next but haven't seen anything that's not somewhat cumbersome, and frankly, my free time is limited; do I want to spend it uploading and shepherding photos, or do I want to spend it stitching? Then again, I have blogged for so long--since 2005--that it seems a shame to abandon it. I spent a week on the Cape a few weeks ago. Here's a shot from one of my meals. These were most excellent clams, steamed, dipped in clam broth and then butter.
Here are a couple of shots of Fall River, where I stopped to pick up pierogies from Patti's Pierogies on the way to the Cape. They were fabulous, and the shop/bar that makes them up is worth a visit, where, road weary and hungry (and increasingly there is nothing but McDonalds or food courts at the rest stops along the interstates), I polished off a most incredible ground kielbasa meatloaf sandwich on thick rye bread. My dad was looking at these photos over my shoulder on the computer and said of the below: "Where were you? Russia?" Sorry for the fence. I took this photo from the car.
I have an increasing homesickness for Southern Massachusetts, which is not something that those who are near and dear to me understand or support. There are some lovely old homes for sale in Fall River and New Bedford. The area has been distressed/depressed since I don't know--the 20s or 30s when the cotton trade moved to the southern states. Or maybe since the decline of the whaling industry after the civil war. The areas suffer urban problems, but I prefer it all to the manicured suburban wasteland I occupy. Not a battle I plan to fight today, but soon... I'm in my 50s, and in the taking-stock that one tends to do at this age as parents and even friends die, I'm looking at my life and thinking I'd like to live differently.
Here's a little shot of the tidal estuary near my dad's house right after the snowfall I woke up to one morning.
Now to the stitching! I am ever so close to being done on Catharine McNeal.
I spent time this weekend working on this little over-one basket of fruit.
Liz Easdon is coming along nicely also--I have put in a lot of time with her lately. I am actually working on 3-4 others that I have been lazy about photographing, but these two are the most likely projects for a finish by May.
I've started working on Ann Anthony again, because I couldn't justify buying the newest Rhode Island sampler from the Essamplaire until it's done (or nearly done):
I plan to get this when I've finished a few of my others--I just love RI samplers. Cynthia Burr (and yes, I know it comes with transfer sheets because there's significant freehand stitching): Cynthia isn't the only project in the wings this year: I've purchased the re-released Scarlet Letter Christmas sampler and I have my eye on the newest large Shakespeare's Peddler design (Sarah Chapple) and a few others. (Photo of Cynthia Burr borrowed from The Essamplaire's website.)
Elvis says this post has worn him out, so he's catching a little nap.
Happy week ahead!