August 25, 2013

Blessings Be Thine

Hey, does everyone realize that Christmas is exactly four months from today? I was in a holiday frame of mind, so I went to TJ Maxx to scope out whether they have their Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff out yet and was disappointed to see that the only nod to the changing of the seasons was autumnal. Eh--pumpkins. But it's never too early to stitch Christmas designs, in my opinion. I'd still like to stitch some Christmas ornaments, but I did turn all that early Christmas spirit into a nice finish. By Blackbird Designs: "Blessings Be Thine." My stitching pal, Carol M, loaned me hers so I could stitch it. Thanks, Carol! I poked along slowly on the first half, and then in the last week, I was on fire to finish it. It is stitched on a piece of Lakeside in 40 count from my stash--an older, blotchier piece. There are only four colors in it; it was charted for overdyed cottons, and I substituted Belle Soie silks for the green, the red and the brown, and I used a very white mystery silk (probably white Silk n' Colors). (Pssst--I notice there's a chart of this on ebay right now...$7.99 and no bids yet)
I even stitched some on Blackbird Designs' "Agnes Platt." Again, I have substituted Belle Soie for the overdyed cottons. The effect is a little more vivid, but I prefer the look, and especially the feel of the silk.
I recently took out this project as well--I kitted it up about 5 years ago. I love the fabric (Lakeside in 40 count--I think vintage Meadow Rue), but I don't like the coverage of the cotton, so I'm going to pull it out and substitute Belle Soie. (There's one of these on ebay too--$5.00, one bid).
And I'm about to start this. Patricia loaned it to me to stitch when she heard I'd been unsuccessful at bidding on it in an ebay auction. Thanks so much, Patricia!
Please note the evil Kitten-Kitten, lying on the sampler.
Pink and Peaches say, "Blessings be Thine, and happy week!"

August 18, 2013


Happy Sunday, all! I have a new blog header, courtesy of the heavy traffic on interstate 95 yesterday. There was a 40-mile backup southbound (mostly southbound beachgoers to the North Carolina Outer Banks, and other vacationers), so I got off the highway and took the long route home through the country: through Independent Hill and Catlett and Aden and Ruby. I spied this house and pulled off to take the photo of the sunflowers against the old farm house. This was not my most productive week, but I got some stitching done on Sampler Tendresse--most of the "M" block is done.
And I purchased something new at In Stitches yesterday (and kitted it up and started it right away): "Angels Among Us" by Examplars of the Heart.
I'm stitching it on 40 count Lakeside in Bisque, using the called for NPI.
Kitten-Kitten, making a pest of himself in my stitching bag.
Pink says he can't see that cats are much use. He also wants to know why this carrot is so stunted and bitter, but he loves the carrot tops.
Happy week ahead!

August 11, 2013


Happy Sunday, all. I have a tale of exquisite inspiration later in this post. But first, something I've been fiddling with this week. Does anyone recognize this piece? I'm stitching it on 40 count Lakeside from my stash (something yellowy), using the called-for DMC.
It's an older Cricket Collection piece called "Winter Cabin." I stumbled upon it on ebay a while back. I don't remember ever seeing it in a shop. It has a copyright date of 1996.
I put in some time to finish the "G" block of Anagram Diffusion's Sampler Tendresse, and then started the "M" block, which will be illustrated by a white mouton. There are no specialty stitches in this sampler, but I wonder if I should stitch the sheep with french knots.
Someone asked last week what charts I had added to my stash, and here they are (I haven't started any of them yet; I'm waiting to see whether the St. Charles Market will offer up something I'm even more excited about, although I love all four of these). I've got a nice large piece of Picture this Plus in Heritage or Legacy for the Blackbird Designs series (I'll be stitching most of them), but it's tempting to buy a piece of the new 50 count Lakeside for the project.
There are a lot of birds here.
Here's the inspiration that I promised. Those of you who've been reading this for a while know that occasionally I post photos of houses for sale that particularly speak to me. IRL, I have looked at two houses (one a condo, one a house in my neighborhood) where there have been one or more originaly samplers, which is always a huge kick for me. Everyone else is busy looking at bathrooms and kitchens and noting the kind of material used in the countertops, and there I am, mooning over the sampler(s), making little mewing acquisition noises. And I'm a big fan of online house hunting as well, critiquing the decor and always, always keeping an eye out for really nice art, fabrics, furniture and samplers. But you know, samplers are as scarce as hen's teeth, even in traditional old Virgina, where every house, old or new, is described as a "colonial."
But look at this. What do you see going up the stairs? Inconclusive--could be simple artwork, right? But that piece with the ship--and the writing on the top. Sampler or not? By the way, note the scrollwork on the stairs. Looks old and substantial, doesn't it? The house was built in 1989.
This clarifies things, doesn't it? That IS a sampler over the fireplace. A quaker. Hand done by the occupant, or an original (Does anyone recognize the particular sampler? It rings a bell with me, but perhaps any quaker might)? Note that to the left and right of the fireplace there may be two smaller samplers. Or not--you decide. Note also the pillows and the bench/footstool.
[Edited to add:] Thank you, is the Permin Vierlande 1826 sampler seen here (this photo from the permin website:
Here's another sampler. The photo points out the stained glass window, but I wanted the photo to go a little lower!
For the entire set of photos, go here: (I can't get it to do a proper link; try pasting it in your browser. Click on "virtual tour" for the photos.)
If for some reason the link doesn't work, try copying and pasting it. The home is offered in Spotsylvania county, for $730,000, by Coldwell Banker's Locust Grove office. There are approximately 30 photos, and from room to room, there is a glorious but restrained series of quilts, toile, penny rugs, needlepoint, a hooked rug tombstone angel at the foot of a bed and various pieces of folk art. My question: needleworker or just someone with really good taste in handcrafted items? If they ever offer an open house, I'll be there, drooling. It's a beautiful and inspiring home.
Elizabeth: I can tell that they don't have bunnies, because none of the woodwork is chewed.
Happy week ahead!

August 04, 2013

Cape Cod Girls

Greetings, all! It has been a while since I last posted, partly because of being busy at work, partly because I spent some time recently in Maine and on Cape Cod, and partly because I've hardly stitched, so bear with my non-stitchy photos, please: Two weeks ago I headed for central Maine (Dexter, which is in the Bangor/Moosehead Lake region). Dexter is a gem of a small town that has undergone a number of economic calamities but is still chugging along. There are some lovely properties that were built around the turn of the century; it is possible to find a very reasonable historic home in this area (heating it in the winter may be a different matter, however). While this home is not for sale, it is typical of many in the area built around the turn of the century. Love the fish scale roof.
I was in Maine for the memorial service of my aunt, who died last January. Here I am with my cousin's sweet boys.
From Maine I headed to Cape Cod. (I so wished I'd had time to enjoy more of Maine.) I didn't get any photos on the Cape, because I was pretty busy with my dad. He has reached a point where it may be necessary to sell his home and place in him in assisted living, so I toured facilities and apartments and talked with Realtors and his care providers. It was a fruitful visit, and I have learned to my relief and surprise that his town has a large number of clean, safe and attractive subsidized facilities for seniors on fixed incomes. Those of you who like redware will recognize the plate in my banner photo, which is by R. Geering, who works and lives in my father's town. Mr. Geering is a kind and very interesting man; he was doing exterior painting at his home when I visited. As you can imagine, his picket fence is not painted ordinary white, but alternates green and white pickets. The script on the plate is "Cape Cod Girls." (Note--it drives me nuts that Blogger does not recognize paragraphs when you put them in. There are three different paragraphs in the above.) I did put some stitches into Peaceful Paradise.
Friday, I headed home--a 12-hour trip in heavy traffic. Yesterday I stopped at the needlework shop and purchased a few charts I've been wanting, then picked up the bunnies, who had been staying at bunny sleepaway camp. Pink says he's pleased to be home. So am I.
Happy week ahead.