Jan 15, 2018

It's snowing

and I'm crabby as hell.  Still frigid too.  But more than anything right now, I am so ticked off with my hair.  What the hell did menopause do to it?  My once Brillo textured mess is now so soft I can't even keep it off my face.  Tried shorter layers, all types of products, and my next fix will be Elmer's.  That's right, glue.  Watered down and combed through.  The magic marker works so well on my roots, I'm thinking office supplies is the aisle for solutions.
So after digging through linen, I decided on a piece of ???? maybe Country Mocha?  Since this sampler is small, 28 or 30 count would do just fine.  The size difference is minimal between the counts and I like the 5-1/2" x 9" resulting size of 30 count.  Perfect for hanging on the side of a cupboard.  This isn't 30 as I thought, it's 32.  Here we go again.  One strand (side) is not enough, two (top) is too much.  I'm not sure if I should just do two strands and let it go, or grab a piece that is clearly marked as 28 or 30. 
A reader gave me an excellent tip a while back about my twisting threads and uneven tension.  I always used the secure loop start when using two strands.  The two tails at the end of the needle would always be uneven and one of those strands looser in the stitch making it bumpy.  Not pretty.  She recommended threading one strand through the eye and centering the needle in the length.  The loop would be in the needle and the two thread ends loose, needing to be secured on the back.  Having the needle in the center allows for the same tension on each strand.  Still need to give a little right twist to the needle or let it hang freely so it doesn't tangle, but it sure is a good way to have neater stitches.  Especially if they are cramped in a 32 count hole.
And then there's the brats, roaming the house, sneaking up the stairs, down the stairs.  I give up.  Nit was so bored he started chasing his tail and fell off the sofa.  One of my sister's many cats had to have his tail shortened because he bit it bloody every day.  He was never calm because that damn thing was after him and his eyes were always going to the side, waiting, expecting, readying himself for the attack.  And then it showed itself and the screaming began.  When he would bite his tail and it hurt, poor guy though it had got him and that thing was causing the pain.
Have a good day folks!

Jan 14, 2018


Miss Mary's Sampler 1796 was, believe it or not, in the little basket hanging on the drawer knob of my side table.  The one I throw stitching items in when finished to later put away.  No wonder I saw it the other day, it was right in front of me.
The lady helping my sister with housework is having a garage sale early spring to raise funds for some needed items.  She has been great in taking items the family no longer wants and her family could use.  She is thin, as I once was, and has a new wardrobe from brand new clothing I expected one day to squeeze in to.  Ain't happening.  So far this week, I have a huge wicker dog bed, a new afghan, specialty baking ware I never used, a battery charger, and old hard case luggage. 
Still looking for more since it's a great opportunity for household reduction, and I came across my little Singer.  Oh how I loved this!  It still works and amazes me how efficient it is, even without having a bobbin case.
I think I will leave it out for display.
I also found a log carrier for the fireplace that I planned to attach another handle.  Of course I could not find the woven strapping so asked Mark if he had any in his sporting goods stash.  He came up with an old ArtiCreel he used for trout fishing decades ago.  It's pretty beat up and he no longer needs it, told me to remove the strap if I need one.  No way! 
Wouldn't this be wonderful filled with impatiens in the top and vines in the zipper?  It's lined with heavy plastic so filling with dirt and holding water will not be a problem and I think it's prefect for hanging on the siding at the back door. 

I think spring will be here before we know it.  I better get my butt in gear and have the doors and windows ready for order, stain color chosen, and all other decisions MADE!
I was a little surprised that many of you do not carry over between letters.  I hate running the thread ends (especially when the needle is too blunt) and doing it for such small areas is not something I am willing to do.  But then you already know I do not follow rules and therefore, am not an expert, proficient, or even careful stitcher.  I did post about the pin stitch last year but I don't use it to end, only start.  Good question but I don't know why.  I do not like sheer or soft linen either but when ordering online, it's a crap shoot.  My other 35 and 40 count in unbleached can stand up on its own and feels like it was spray painted.  Hard to get the needle through the hole, no way threads will be seen through it.
Hope the weekend is going well.  Husband is ready to start yelling at the Steelers.  I plan to stay upstairs and continue the hunt for excess.   This also keeps me farther away from the chocolate covered pretzels.
Thanks for visiting.

Jan 13, 2018

Your thoughts

Hello  hello!  If you're disgusted with the cold temps and snow, raise your hand.  Damn.  We received about 8" on top of the ice and it is back to frigid.  Which means, brats in house.  They're being very good today and all are using the litter box.  Bud thinks the objective is to cover his doodoo with a mountain.  That cat can dig for a half hour until every speck of litter is in a neat foot high pile. 
Does it bother you to see carry overs through the linen, even if they are minor?  Do you hide them before taking to a framer?  Have you ever been disappointed after framing, not realizing how prominent they were? 
This sampler I sold recently is on a fine (sheer) linen.  I offered to mount it for framing since she has no where locally that she could trust and was concerned about the sheerness. 
The cross over threads are only one or two stitches but because of the linen and brightness of the floss, it still bothered me.  I have no acid free tissue paper to use so I shredded some muslin and with needle and tweezers, pulled it through those areas. 
I fray the ends so there isn't a harsh line, but with the muslin being so soft and thin that would not be an issue anyway.  The mounting board is the color of the muslin and will blend it all, completely hidden.  You can't see any threads between the numbers now but before there was a purple line visible between them.

The gold (wool) and gray threads are not as noticeable from the front, it's only the very obvious that I hide.  Does it bother you?  Do you do this?  Or do you think that those threads are part of needlework and should be visible?
When I worked for a framer, many customers were so upset when seeing the finished piece because of the carry overs showing.  I don't think they laid the piece on a white backing to check, not realizing the mount board would bring out the contrast.
I'm just curious.  I'm assuming that threads over a very short span are not a concern to anyone.  The majority of my samplers, especially the early ones, are all on unbleached or darker linen.  It wasn't until I used a lighter fabric that this bothered me.  And it shouldn't! 
My other question (and also from a reader) - What do you use to keep your place on a chart, especially a fancy border or design?  How about when you end your stitching for the day, do you have a method to mark where you left off?
I still haven't found my new sampler chart even though I saw it a few days ago.  Actually considering a big one, too.  Still not feeling much love so it may be a bad idea. 
Stay warm!


Jan 11, 2018

A taste of spring

for a day and a half until the ice comes Friday.  All the greens from Christmas are arranged in the woods to provide shelter for the birds and the decorations are back in the attic.  Even the newest little tree that I bought two days ago.  I'm not crazy about the shine of the needles but a Krylon matte spray solves that.  Half price and a sweet little 2' perfect for a bathroom.  Do I put trees in the bathroom?  Not really, but it was the only reason I could think of to justify another tree so next year, bathroom tree.
I was debating whether to choose a Santa or a sampler for the next stitch.  The Boyd Santas need some planning for colors and linen choice, not ready for that attention to detail.  I would prefer they all be on the same higher count linen and except for raw 28 and 30 count, I have nothing large enough for them all.  So I decided on the last sampler chart I purchased, small and easy.  From JBW designs, Miss Mary's Sampler 1796.  As soon as I find it, I will pull the threads.
We cleaned and rearranged the garage, put the brats' condos in a confined area with a heater, they are happy.  Being good during the cold spell lasted just until a break in the weather.  They couldn't wait to get back in the garage.  Not having someone scream NO every ten minutes may have been an incentive.
Have a great weekend!  Stay safe.
Thanks for visiting.


Jan 10, 2018

Seeing red

Ellen's red has me wanting more.  Being bland dull and faded is reflected in most of the samplers I stitch.  I do have a few with bright colors and was surprised to find that I enjoyed stitching and seeing them displayed.  But there was an older project that featured red and continued to elude my sharp keen memory.  Found it.
Carriage House Samplings' Pennsylvania Redware.
Ooooooh baby. 
It was taken off the wall to paint a LONG time ago, the painting isn't done, but this is going back on the wall. 
Blast from the past!
Hope your week is going well.

Jan 8, 2018


Ellen is finished with a compromise.  I did not move the center so it is slightly off, but I did line up the outer edge motifs to match left and right.  This is the type of bag I would like it sewn to, heavy wool with the same for the strap.  The sampler would be mounted to the front wool, not sewn into the seam so the material would show around the stitchery. 
The bag would be a perfect size, Ellen is 4-3/4" x 6-1/4".
Do I use the bright red?  It's a beautiful red, but would it be too much?
Or do I use a beautiful olive green that matches the green floss? 

I think the red in the sampler stands out more with the green, but I like the red.  So what do I do?  I may take this to the only person I know that sews locally since I need a wool coat hemmed anyway.  I was not totally pleased with the wool blazers she worked on, but she does wedding gowns and men's suits!  So maybe it's my menobutt that is the problem. 
We had our group return .....
and they brought a few friends.
They were no help in choosing color though. 
Have a good day!
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