Apr 20, 2012

A surprise RAK and the price of stitching

I hate changes which is hard to believe since I am constantly changing my mind, but I don't like Blogger's dashboard changes.  So I clicked on the little tool wheel at the top right and chose "old blogger interface" and got the style I am used to.  I prefer seeing my blog list updates on the dashboard in the smaller version instead of a wide page with less updates.  I wonder if I will be able to keep the old style for good - but probably not.

I had a wonderful surprise in my mail the other day along with the sweetest note.  An RAK from Shirlee.  She knows I love samplers and santas and stitched the most perfect design for me.  I love it, love it.  Shirlee, thank you so much.  What a lovely surprise!  She did a beautiful job and even had it professionally finished for me.  If I had cheeks, they would be blushing.  Unfortunately, they are down around my jaws.  It's the main reason I don't wear lipstick.  When your jowls are larger than your lips, it's not a good idea to draw more attention to that area.
I decided to play around with dyeing a few pieces of linen from the stash.  I no longer have use for pastel colors so I bleached and then dyed (several times) until I was happy.  The sweatshirt I was wearing will soon have patchwork down the arms and front to hide the bleach and dye marks.  I like the two final colors.  While I was at it (and Mark was gone) I did a few samples for the sofa I plan on changing.  There is just too much red in most every neutral color I use so I need to buy a few other shades and mix my own again.

I already sprayed the sofa with a Dawn and water mix to remove the sizing and allow the stain to penetrate.  The walnut stain was barely noticeable so I moved on to Rit liquids.  Still up in the air about the whole thing, not knowing if I should try selling the sofa (very long) and buying a smaller piece or plan on re-upholstery if the dye doesn't work.  I'm trying this on the back of the sofa which isn't seen in case it doesn't work.
And then there's Lucy.  Poor Lucy.  She is so large and being man handled, scrunched, folded, rolled, and pinched, but I am still working a little every evening on her completion.  Once these eyelets are done, the bottom houses and florals will hopefully go quicker.
I did want to mention something that will  probably have quite a few stitchers upset, but I will anyway.  I had Lucy at the doc's office so I could mindlessly stitch the eyelet bands, when a lady commented.  We started talking and she told me that most of her friends didn't mind paying for larger pieces clearly printed on stock, but when the small ornaments and simpler designs rose to $10 and above on a folded piece of paper, they started trading with fellow stitchers.  When I mentioned about the pirate sites many bloggers have posted about, she said she didn't know about them, but wasn't surprised.  Her group felt that simple and small designs were overpriced and they will trade unless offered on Ebay or a good discount.   I told her that most stitchers have no problem with prices and will follow their favorite designers regardless, and everything has gone up in price!   I wondered how many others felt this way,  but since I'm not a designer, it's none of my business!!!   Has needlework become too expensive for the casual stitcher and only the devoted and addicted like us are left? 
Well I better just shut up now.  I don't want anyone thinking I'm on a soap box for this woman who was wearing lipstick and had no jowls. 
For that reason alone, I didn't like her.

Have a wonderful weekend, stay safe, thank you for visiting!

28 comments:

Margaret said...

I don't think you have jowls. At least I don't remember seeing any in the one picture i remember seeing of you. You're so funny! Love Lucy Redd! Did I ask you this already? Are you using DMC???? Such a nice gift from Shirlee too! So sweet! Interesting to see your whole dyeing process. Hope you end up with something you like. I love that fabric anyway.

Jan - Life on Buttermilk Hill said...

You are too funny!! I don't like that jowl-less woman either! ;) Shirlee really treated you with that santa/sampler!! it is wonderful!--smiles, Jan

Anonymous said...

I think stitching is still one of the less expensive hobbies - compared to say quilting or rug hooking. Designers deserve to be paid for their work - they are professionals, and earn a living from their talent. There are lots of freebies given by designers online, and many charts can be bought second hand if the cost is an issue. Everythingis expensive now!
Colleen

Vickie said...

Love your giftie. :) You are so adventurous with a looong sofa!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Your Lucy looks wonderful. The gift Shirlee made for you is so sweet... she knew the perfect gift for you.
Have a nice weekend.

Jeanne said...

What a lovely gift you received and your sampler is really coming along. No, stitching isn't cheap but do you know a hobby that IS? Quality quilting fabric is now $10-$12 a yard, then there's all the gadgets and tools and patterns. Nice quality yarns are expensive. Art supplies and beading is expensive. My husband's hobbies are all expensive too. I don't blame you for not liking the jowl-less woman LOL.

TheCrankyCrow said...

No jowls? Really! The nerve of some people! ;o) I don't think you were out of line - I think there is a lack of understanding out there....and let's not get into the whole Pinterest issue. !!!!

On to happier subjects!! You're making grand progress on Lucy!!! And, hey - I kind of like that lower right hand corner - is that the walnut stain that you said wasn't noticeable? Otherwise, I like the lower left next to it....more pronounced, but not as "redish" as the upper two.....

Love Shirlee's gift....Isn't she just the sweetest?? Can't think of anything more appropriate than a sampler and santa for you......

Happy Friday! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Susan At Glen Oaks Primitives said...

You're so funny! That's a sweet stitching from Shirlee, really pretty.
I wonder how this dye job on the sofa will come out. I'm curious to follow along with this and see where you go with it.
I don't know why people would complain about a price but go out of their way to get the chart anyway, obviously it has value to them to have it so why not just buy it?
Craziness...
Hugs,
Susan

marly said...

Thanks Jeanne and Colleen. Some times I have quick come backs and other times I'm a wimp. Wimp won today. She was very nice but I couldn't help focusing on the tight jawline. If she had jowls, I could have been in top form on a level playing field.

Rugs and Pugs said...

Marly ~
OMG! You are too funny.
I know crafts are not cheap, I'm a rug hooker for Pete's sake, but I may be in the minority. I find some of the small charts overpriced and choose not to purchase even though I'd love to stitch them. Just MHO.
Hugs :)
Lauren

barbara said...

Jowls? I have been noticing the underside of people's chins lately ... as in, is there another chin? Gravity seems to be getting the better of mine. :( I've read that chin surgery is actually the latest hot fad in plastic surgery, so maybe I'm not the only one who has felt that way, LOL.

As for the price of patterns, the 'smalls' that are $10 and $12 bucks just usually don't make it into my stash. I have done a little designing and I'm well aware of how expensive the process is from the designer's side ... but sometimes it's just too much. I'll wait for them to go on a 20% off sale and try to catch one or two that way. Sadly, the pattern cost increases have caused me to cut way back on purchases and I wonder if designers are actually earning less by charging more.

Bertie said...

ROFLOL!!! What are Jowls, never heard that before, you do make me laugh a lot Marly. Your Santa is fabulous. Lucy is coming along wonderfully, good to hear you stitch anywhere too, here's another one! I think that red lipped woman should start to design her own patterns, see what she says then! In the USA patterns are not to badly priced for us Europeans~ using 123 stitch!
Have a wonderful weekend:))

Sherry said...

What a sweet gift! I know you will enjoy it. Good luck with the sofa. I will be anxious to see the results or if you decide to get a new one. We need a new sofa too. Jowls are a curse of mine as well. Lucy look wonderful!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Love the Santa Sampler gift you got - it's adorable! Lucy is just gorgeous - I love the way eyelets look but a full alphabet of them does get tedious!

Ann said...

Marly, I use a lot of RIT dye and I think it can be very tricky. Tan rit dye on fabric always turns peachy for me. I don't use Tan on basket reed, as it wouldn't be a "strong" enough color. What I mean is there wouldn't be enough of a change to distinguish it from natural reed. I also have to mix in either Dark Brown or Cocoa Brown into the Reds to eliminate the cool blue hues that Rit tends towards.

How dark was your walnut dye? Did you apply it warm? I can't use room temperature walnut dye on my baskets - it doesn't "grab" the dye must be heated. I usually let my walnut dye simmer all day to achieve the dark color that I like on my baskets.

I realize you are dyeing your fabric on the couch rather than being able to dunk it into a dye pot, which must be difficult. I'm trying to think of other things that I do with my dye - if I remember anything else, I'll shoot you an email. ~Ann

Keeper of the Crowes said...

Lucy is amazing, wrinkled or not. Hope you get lots of time to stitch. I'm anxious to see her finished!!!
Linda

Krista said...

Love your Lucy sampler! And that RAK from Shirlee is the sweetest, love how it is finished.

Loraine said...

You crack me up! Jowls, huh? Never thought of jowls and lipstick before. LOL.
Love your little gift. What a sweet thing to do.
I am very curious about your dying process, as I have many pieces of linen that I don't love anymore. Can you tell us your recipes? It seems I remember reading a post a while back that you said you add some green Rit Dye to the tan. Is that right? Your linens turn out wonderful! Hand dyed linen is really expensive, so if I could replicate some of it, I would love to.
About the designing...I have passed on buying some smaller projects that seem to be getting up there in price. If I really like something, then I'll splurge on it, but it is getting expensive to cross stitch or quilt.
Have a good one!

Penny said...

What a sweet gift from Shirlee! Love seeing your progress on Lucy, she's beautiful! The eyelets are time consuming but so pretty. Way to go with the jowl-less woman. :)

Barbara Shores ~ Village Folk Art said...

OHHHH Marly, You made my day with a real belly laugh for starters. Sounds like my jowls could give yours some good stiff competition ... I still wear lipstick on special occasions. Now I will have to reconsider that option.
How nice of the lady Shirlee to give you such a generous gift ... it is so precious.
Lucy Sampler is showing signs of progress ... how great is that?

Hope you have a wonderful weekend with much Peace, Barb

Deb said...

Great gift that you received!! I love Lucy too - I would think that those specialty stitches would be a little tedious, but when finished, they're going to look so good.

Viola di Nebbia said...

I Love this Santa! *.* And this sampler is very beautiful! *.* You are always impeccable in your works *.*

Joanie said...

What a beautiful gift you received! I love it!!! And you are very adventurous with your sofa. Wow.
Lucy is coming along and the eyelet alphabet will be stunning after it's finished.

Melody said...

Jowls..hmm. Maybe she couldn't afford to purchase charts because she was spending her excess on surgery to remove any excess skin in the jowl area?? hmm?

too funny. Your sampler is lovely, and it will be interesting to see how your sofa adventure turns out. I've not tried any dyeing, but it's interesting.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the way to get back to the old blogger look. I hate the new way too.
Why to they always have to redesign and change the look? Can't some things just stay the same?

Carol said...

Oh, Marly, I know I'm always in for a smile when I visit your blog :) Your jowls description is too funny!! And I'm sure you're exaggerating...

Such a wonderful surprise from Shirlee--she certainly captured your style perfectly. And I'm watching your "Couch experiment" with wonder--mine is remarkably like the tinted one in the lower right. I love it, but after 14 years of cat claws "petting" it--it is need of reupholstering itself. Just another thing I keep putting off.

Thanks so much for the hints on blogger--I'm off to change mine back right now!

Catherine said...

Love the jowls comment! Years ago when talking to a shop owner about maybe one day wanting my own ~ she had some wise words for me, "One should never be in this business expecting to make money, it is more for the love of the craft.". That being said, I understand that most designers aren't making a killing on their patterns and probably make a little above their costs ~ pattern sharing cuts into what little profit they may see.
Love the santa you received ~ so cute!
Thanks for the blogger info ~ I'm going to try and change mine back!

Anonymous said...

I understand how that woman felt. Once you purchase the pattern at about $10.and all the dyed threads. It really adds up. At one point I calulated to be about $25. just for the thread! And don't get me started on the various colors & how the vary. So if you're on afixed income, it does get pricy. thanks for listening. M

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