Jul 31, 2011

New start...little finish

Hello everyone.  I'm sitting outside enjoying the summer which seems to be flying by.  Hard to believe it's August!   I loved that little "witch" chart from The Primitive Hare so I had to stitch it right away.  I changed the letter placement somewhat and moved the loop to the top.  Why?  I don't really know because I love everything about her design, yet mine is different.   Her idea of the snap clip is what I'm having so much fun with and I intend to buy a bunch in different colors and sizes.


The project I started is France F. from Sheepish Antiques, for three reasons.  One.  Ann Wragg is still missing.  I remember reading the instructions with parts I wasn't too happy about.  She may have sensed this and knowing my affinity for matches, booked out of here just in case.  Two.  The EB sampler I decided to start was also no where to be found.  By the time the new project was started, she showed up in the scanner where I left her from the last post.  Three.  I found this piece of linen and it is the perfect size for the copy of France F. that was on the floor under the hutch, living with the dust bunnies.   This piece of linen could be 28 count, and I don't know what the stitch is that I used on the edges, but since I try to come up with different ways of displaying samplers, this will work nicely.   Kind of putting the cart before the horse isn't it? 

 The sampler is about 15" on 28 count.   Of course I should stitch the border side to see if it will fit but will I?  Probably not. If I had doubt I would, but I'm sure it will fit.
 I don't ever remember using a lot of lavender in samplers, but that doesn't mean I didn't.  This shade of 3041 is very nice and I changed it to 3740 for the letters.  Just a little darker - I didn't want the flowers, border, and adjoining letters to be indiscernible.   It worked out to 16 threads on each side before the fringe - whew!

This is the border stitch and I will have to try my best to identify it (I'm a basic "x" girl) since I will have to complete the bottom with the same.  I plan on hemming the top selvage edge and running a wire through, curling the ends, and pinning to the wall.

Elizabeth Moor was also on the short list but the entire verse is over one, except for the first letter of every word, and there are lots of errors reproduced that won't be much fun.  Regardless, I really like the design and I love the verse....
"Time is fleeting, life is a span, make of youth the most you can"
and further down...
"Arise thou sluggard, go to the ant, consider her wars and be wise.

My favorite of her sampler..
Virtue alone has that to give which makes it joy to die or live,
While vice can only that supply which makes it pain to live or die.
I think I may do this verse alone over two and have it finished to hang on a door or cupboard.  And I learned a new word.  Sluggard.  I was surprised to find it in the dictionary.

Remember my burlap basket ? 


I'm dealing with a new stray female cat, and all her boyfriends.  I'm getting closer to her every day, and my husband wants to know what happened to the chicken that was in the fridge.  I hope to gain her trust before I run out of chicken.

That's it.  It's getting really dark out here and I need some treats so I'm heading in.   Other than a doc appt. I plan on sticking to my swing and stitching a lot tomorrow.  It's my kind of sampler - a little primitive, all simple cross, 28 count, easy to handle.  What more could I ask for???   Have a great week everyone!   Thank you much for reading.   Witch........over and out.

Jul 27, 2011

What's next?

Hello everyone.  It's a cooler day here in PA and I'm hoping that those of you suffering in the terrible heat are getting relief also.  The tree pros came out Monday and removed the downed trees, we raked for the final time, cut the grass, and now have to fill all the stump holes and repair the truck's damage.  Never ends!  All the fabric boxes were mailed by morning 7/26, and believe me it took a lot of tape to keep them shut!  After reviewing other international post pricing for packages, it was a deal.  Hope you will be happy!

I completed the sliding box and I'm liking it.  It can stand on the mantle...

Be used for storage to hold supplies, projects, remotes, or chocolate...

Or displayed as a framed sampler in a grouping. 
 I like this box idea!  It's framed but I can stand it and move it around depending on my hormones mood.

Lucy Redd is still my next big project, but since I love to be outside on my swing, it's a little too cumbersome because of its 23x21 size.  I don't hoop but probably should try it some day.  
Not the ideal place to stitch, but I love to be outside and had electric run on the post so I can plug in a fan (mosquitoes can't fly in a breeze), computer, or additional light.

Considering a smaller project brought me to Ann Wragg or this Sheepish Antiques...

and since I can no longer find Wragg, I may pull supplies for the EB.  Something about this one appeals to me, and something doesn't.  It may be the wallpaper which is detracting from the piece.  Mary Oldfield is another to consider being  less than 7" wide.

I recently had the pleasure of being introduced to The Primitive Hare.  Visit her blog and you'll find a really neat little free chart HERE.  I just love it and found lots of ideas and items to purchase.

So next time, you'll see what I chose.  I'll leave you with two of the growing kittens.  One from the litter has found a home, and we're still trying with the remaining.
I'm leaving soon to have the first of routine cardiology tests, which is why this post may have some errors - no time to proofread.  Not sure if a stress test will also be ordered this year, but I can tell you that a man came up with that one.   When I hear a woman refer to experiencing stress, it's never walking on a treadmill!  I understand that exercise can "stress" the heart, but endurance would be a more appropriate name.   Just my opinion. 
Have a good day all!

Jul 23, 2011

Winners and James Creek

Hello everyone.   FIRST - if you requested a box of fabric, please check that page to see whose name was pulled for each one.    You can email me samplersandsantas@gmail.com for my address to send a money order, check, or if you want to use PayPal.  Please send your complete address in the email also.  Winners in another country will be postage of $13.95, and U.S. will be $5.20 + .80 for tracking.  Let me know if you want the tracking or not, international tracking is unavailable.  I will fill out customs forms and hopefully they won't open the box cause it's stuffed!!  If you've changed your mind, decided for any reason you don't want the box, please let me know - I've kept the entries and have no problem drawing another name.   No need to feel obligated!   I feel bad that I didn't have enough for everyone and I'm sorry for that. 

SECOND - Hub and I went to Volant, PA to one of my favorite shops (click on) James Creek Galleries.
 Look how cool this is!  It has a separate lid and a nice deep box.  Wonderful distressed paint.  The whole thing is 15 1/2" tall.  And now for the best part.  It was under $30! 

This place has some high end furniture (go to their Facebook page and check out the first pic in the second row of photos).  The double Charlestown Buffet from JL Treharn is a knockout.  There are so many other items and colonial style goodies in all price ranges, most of them very reasonable.  LOVE this place.   They have everything you need to decorate your home.

Now for the reason I didn't do any stitching or work on the sliding box.

 Four trees down, debris everywhere, and my birch that shaded the house, twisted like a pretzel and will have to be removed.


I finally finished raking the entire yard this afternoon of the twigs and limbs.  One 40' tree was bent over sideways to about six feet above the ground and blocked the road like a gate.  It never broke or came out of the ground.  Weird.  It naturally had to be cut.  The rest will be taken care of by professionals and I'm sure it will cost plenty.  We have a $500 deductible, and the insurance will only cover up to $500 over that.  The rest is out of pocket.  After the last two days of working in sun of 95 degrees, I will pay anything!!  I was so drenched in sweat I thought for sure I'd lost a pound or two.  Nope.  Too old for this crap.

That's it for now.  After I recover, and get the fabric boxes done with, I will start something new. 
BTW - "Signs" is on.  One of my favorite movies.  That little girl is so sweet and the end is so good!!!  Have a good weekend and stay cool everyone.

Jul 20, 2011

One hell of a day

Good day to you!  Hope it's going better than mine.  It started off with a bladder infection.  I got an appointment with my doc and after giving my specimen, tried to close my pants and the zipper tab came off.  I tried pulling the zipper closed with my fingers which worked until my skin got pinched and as I yanked away, the thread that was in the area yanked too, taking the button it was holding along with it.  Thank goodness for safety pins tucked into wallets, and men's T-shirts that are long.  Yes, I buy men's T-shirts.  They are longer, looser, better fabric, cheaper.  I hate the tight skimpy t's for women.  Roll the sleeves up, put on some bracelets, and you're good to go.  So the pins held, the t-shirt covered the mess, all was well.  Until I got home and tried on the new white t-shirts I just bought at Penney's.  I had just gathered laundry and put on an old crappy bra since I was washing my regulars.  Standing at least six feet from the mirror and using a hand held mirror to see the t-shirt from the back, I see this black spot moving around my upper back.  OMG.  It has to be a big spider, of which I have an irrational fear.  I'm hitting my back with the mirror and checking and it's still moving.  I've got to get this shirt off and as I'm removing the shirt over my head, it disappears.  OMG.  It's in my hair.  I felt something moving at the nape.  Now I'm pounding on my head and neck, not knowing where it is, and actually getting goosebumps on a 95 degree day.   How do I get this dead or alive out of my wild hair?    Husband is on the golf course.  No one around.  I can't see the back of my hair close enough to check!!  The vacuum!!!  I wheel it around and use the hose to suck him out of my hair while hanging my head down.   When I was done, I looked in the mirror and felt a picture for my cousin was in order.  She always gets a laugh at my hair. 
And yes, my hair can stand up by itself.   As you can see, I am still in my old bra, not even thinking of putting on another t-shirt.  My mind is still on this creature I hopefully sucked into a crowded dust bag.   Hey - I hear the UPS man coming with my new jacket.  YAY!!!  I run down the stairs, answer the door, with this hair and this bra.   I guess I'm still having a problem with distractions and short attention spans.   Not as bad as this presentation, though.  I don't think I can ever top that scary sight.

I am thinking of using this little sliding box for my tiny sampler. 
I can keep remote controls, or tablets and pens, or a small stitching project in this box, and it can stand on its side and look like a standing frame too.  The box itself is 9" x 7 1/2" and the opening is made for a 5" x 7" photo.  This sampler is also made for that size frame so it fits perfectly. 

I will probably paint and distress the box instead of staining and sealing, maybe line the interior with something soft.  What do you think?   The way things have been going today, I will wait till tomorrow to start the finishing.  I'm just sayin'.

Have a good day - stay cool - be thankful for creature free hair.

Jul 18, 2011

My little sampler and a big mess

Hello everyone.  I just posted the list of fabrics on a separate page and if you click the "fabrics for postage" link under the blog header it will take you to the result of the most confusing day I've had in a long while.  At least a week.   I hope it goes smoothly but menobrain can't figure out a better way to do it.  So until I am enlightened by your blogging expertise on multiple give-aways, I will keep the page as is, and notify you if there are any changes.  Technically, it's not a give-away since you have to pay for postage.  It's more of a rid-away. 

Here's my little sampler which would have been completed if it wasn't for the rid-away mess. 

 My husband said "why don't you just throw this stuff away?"  Well, I hate to throw anything away that someone may use, and I've frightened enough Amish women with my "please take this" in parking lots.  Sell it?  More trouble than this.  Ebay buyers can get nasty some times and I have not thoroughly examined this fabric, can't specifically state the color name, and listing each one would be a real pain.  I guess I could have listed them in boxes like this.  Hey.  I could have had some new stash money!!!  That's another example of the word "menopause".  Many times, there is a pause in reasoning, manners, correct usage of the English language, and memory.  Memory is the fun part.  When I found out I was receiving a package in the mail, I was excited.  Two days later I forgot all about it.  A week later I was reminded of it and I got excited all over again.  When I finally received it, I got distracted and left it in the garage on the way back from the mailbox.  A week later, I found it!!!  I had the pleasure of that new chart excitement THREE times!   I guess today the mental pause has cost me a few bucks.  Nah!!!  I'm teasing.   I want you guys to have it.  Even if you don't want it. 

Look who came to see me today - the baby!!! 
I'm not seeing the raccoons as often during the day because the babes are out of the nest.  This old mama only has one but she's training her to come to the back door for their treats.  I know it's a odd picture but I didn't have time for another - two cups of coffee were causing a mad dash.

I want to thank you for the sweet and thoughtful emails I've received.  Unfortunately, many are set as no-reply on Blogger accounts and I can't respond since your email isn't on file.  So if you haven't received a note from me thanking you for your wonderful encouragement and compliments, it's because I can't, not because I don't appreciate you.
 It's been really hot in PA and will continue all week.  It's high temps for this area, but other states are having it much worse, so I hope you are staying as cool as you can.  Hard to believe that summer is half over.   Please put water out for wildlife if possible.    Remember, if you have any suggestions for me, please email!!  Thanks for reading, have a good week, and eat a piece of chocolate before it melts.

Jul 15, 2011

Linen and flowers and charts, oh my!

Hi all.  I want to thank everyone for sending me the helpful links on over one stitching.   I'm glad I mentioned the problem, otherwise, I would not have known there is a solution.  But thanks to all of you, I won't be having a problem with slipping stitches!   Again, I appreciate your help and guidance. 

No big projects yet....still favoring Lucy Redd....Mary Oldfield?   Decided to play with this tiny (4x6) one from Hinzeit. 

There are 12 colors in this small sampler!  Should be pretty nice, maybe become a note pad cover or a small booklet of some sort.  Maybe not.  But it'll be quick, that's for sure.   I really don't know which linen I'm using, but it's stiff.  Really stiff.  That's OK with me because I don't like the soft linens, especially on the lower counts.  Since most of my samplers were Scarlet Letter's,  I used her linen or one similar and never thought to keep a record.  Now, I will keep a small swatch and note the name, color, and count so I don't have to continue this guesswork. 
I started going through the fabrics and charts and what a disaster this will be.  To give you an idea, here's the Santa/Christmas charts.... 

There's Mary Beale, Alma Lynn, Cinnamon Stick, Homespun Elegance, Boehringer, Major, Sew Fine, Schooler, Victorians and on and on.  I didn't realize how ridiculous this will be.  Not only can I not list photos (the page would be overloaded), but how would I keep track of who's what's where?  Maybe I should group them and put on Ebay.  At least I have a record of purchaser's address and it's a lot easier for a large number as this.  There's not as many of non-holiday charts which will be easier to deal with.  As for the fabric, there's a lot of Jobelan, and several piece of Lugana.  I think I will make three lots, comment if you want them, and I'll draw a name for each if need be.  Postage only.

I took a few shots of flowers to show you how I "recycle" my old pots.  I hate to load up landfills with metals, so I drilled my old aluminum pots, and enameled canner, and used them as pots. 

My large old stainless fry pans are filled with water for the birds and critters, minus the handles.  Very easy to clean.  And here's what makes the flowers do fabulous...
The ratio is 1 Tbsp to 1 gallon, but I put 1/2 to 1 tsp. in every gallon and use it all the time instead of once a week.    These are my watering cans.  
Again, no recycling here so I hate to throw them out.  I fill them and keep them in the shrubs or around the deck, so when I need to water I don't have to search for the can and hose.  These also make great greenhouses in early spring to get a head start.  Any plastic gallon jug will do.  Cut the bottom off and press it into the ground over your tomato plants, leaving the lids off.  As soon as the weather warms, remove.  Here's what this method of fertilizing does for my flowers..

This is where I quit on the outside projects.

I filled the step sides with "good" dirt, planted Ajuga Black Scallop ground cover, and never got to add more base and do the stones.  My landscaper, as cute as he is, did the grass planting and will finish the stones for me, as well as lay the stones for a small patio area in the back.    Oh - one more thing - this is for Fiona.  Your Google setting is for "no-reply" so I can't email back!   In answer to your question about the chenille.....You can go to http://www.quiltersstation.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=158 for a 20 yard spool, or you can purchase on EBay from seller 2500nancy, and also from http://www.countrystitchesonline.com/ under accessories.  Hope this gets to you!!

That's it.  Sorry.  Some times a girl just has to ramble.  Girl?  WHAT??  Too much chocolate?  Or coffee?  Whatever - too much other stuff and not enough stitching!!  Have a great weekend everyone - thanks for reading - happy stitching!

Jul 12, 2011

Another little finish!

Wow.  I'm moving right along!  Still haven't picked a project but I'm miserable with my neck problems so I decided to play around a little more.  I'm beginning to think that the Pear chart is responsible.  I was so tight, my shoulders felt like they were up by my ears.   My first attempt at that count, and then being over one, was a little much.  My stitches kept ending up horizontal and slipping behind the linen threads, and I had to keep readjusting or removing.  I'm just not experienced enough to be comfortable so the tension in my neck area could have contributed, or even caused this.  Anyway, here's today's work.....

I have two magnifiers, each a different power, so I put that number on the first pouch.  Usually the glasses have the power stamped on the stem, but these do not, so I thought this would help.

That's it.  At least I'm stitching!  And I now have something I like to keep my glasses safe.  I really like these little projects.  Maybe I'll stick with my freebie folder and keep making smalls for a while.   It's certainly not too early for stitching Christmas ornaments, and I should try to paint a few Santa boxes.   THAT will really cause some tension!  Haven't painted in years except for one or two and I really enjoy it, until the fine details start getting to me.   I'll wait until my neck is better, which I hope will happen.  Doc said it can get worse in a short time or stay as is for a long time.  Anything to delay surgery around the spinal cord is top priority!!!  

I would like to start getting rid of my inherited charts and Jobelan fabrics plus a few small items (and beads!) and hate to take it all to Goodwill again.   Do you think posting the fabric on a different blog and only charging for postage is a good or bad idea?   I have a yard or two of Klostern too.  I think I will make a chart listing with one price for any chart (cheap!) and keep it there until they're gone.   No samplers....maybe one or two.  Prairie Schoolers will probably go on EBay.  I'll see.  I'm sure there are stitchers who use Jobelan and do projects other than samplers.  But where are they?????  HELLO!!!  Can you hear me now???  I don't have many followers and the viewer numbers aren't great either, but maybe one of you know someone who could use the items.  I'll let you know when I have an inventory list. 

That's it.  Time for chocolate and Advil.  Have a good week and stay cool.  Thanks for taking the time to read!

Jul 11, 2011

A little scrap project

Hiya.  I went outside to feed the birds this morning and felt like I was walking into an atmospheric hot flash.  So I decided to play around inside, even though my right arm is numbing from my neck problem.  I guess the work is catching up with me.  I used to make these in the old days for stitcher's gifts or anyone that wears magnifiers.  You know those long skinny strips you have left from cutting (AUGH!) into your linen yardage?  They're only a few inches wide and very long, usually too small for an ornament.  I made magnifier pouches with them and decided it would be a very quick project, and I could use another pouch.  Instead of a peacock or another little freebie, I stitched the eye chart I will be gazing at in a few days at my doc's.  Just stitch your favorite little design, or personalize with initials, cut a piece of lining, iron on fleece, fold it, sew the sides, and voila.  I some times would use a button on the flap and a cord to wrap around a button on the pouch, but decided to add a little square of the lining for a self stick velcro dot instead.                      

This is Amber 28 count and after that piece of work fruit that I just completed, this was like stitching a piece of burlap with a cord.  I can certainly see now why stitchers using the higher counts stick with them.  It was really weird and I kept thinking I was going over too many threads with too much floss. 

All I have left to do is attach the velcro dot on the lining and I'm done.  Such a quick project - nice to have several ready for quick gifts (if you have friends and aren't a stick in the mud bitch like me), and a nice project to use up your linen strips.  I also made these for the short Line-a-Timers.  You know what?  Since I was making these 20 years ago, you probably have too, and this is another instance of my living in the old days and telling you something you already knew.......................Never mind.

Jul 10, 2011

The veins have popped

Hello all.  Happy dance!  This pear design was one that I always kept to the front of the stash as one of my favorites smalls.  Even though I have been frustrated at times, questioning whether picking up the needle after so many years would be enjoyable, shying away from over one and higher linen counts, I chose this.  Didn't make any sense to do so, but menobrain does foolish things at times.  Except for the algerian eye and long arm cross border, all done on 36 count over one.  And I survived with not a match in sight.  So here's my finish ...
Not sure if I want to add chenille trim or not, and I don't know where this little thing will be displayed.  I love pears and will probably have this in with my beeswax and pomanders. 

I'm just glad it's over!  My goodness that was tedious for me.  I'm still working outside quite a bit, and sitting to relax with a few stitches was certainly not the case with this fruit.  My shoulders and neck would tighten and it was just not enjoyable at all.  But I did it.  And I will never do it again!  There is a positive outcome of wanting to pick a project now, feeling it will be easy and fun.  Of course it will be over 2 and on 30 count, but that's me.    This is me, too...

My mom's wieners!  Love these things on a bun or a plate.  It started with leftover hot dogs from a picnic. 

She would brown lots of sliced onions....    slice and brown the leftover cooked dogs...

Add them together, throw in some ketchup, and there you have it. 

Mom's leftover wieners.  I've even thrown them in a crock pot for a party.  You can eat them as is, or add whatever you want on a bun.  I've used Ball Park's fat free, Angus, and even mixed them.  My favorite is Smith's but I can't find them anymore.

So that's what is happening here.  Still not finished outside but closing in.  I ran out of flagstone to complete the front and can't locate any more at a stone supplier.  I was told it is against the law in PA (Fish and Boat Commission?) to take those flat stones out of even the smallest of creeks, so I'm not taking any chances.  People can obviously be responsible for the death of a child and go free, but I would be in jail for taking a rock.  So thanks for reading, visiting, and bearing with me.  I promised you I would do better and I expect to keep it.  Not sure what will be next but I'll post the new project soon.  I recently saw the Scarlett House's Coverlet Birds completed and forgot all about ordering that chart, so I need to do that and browse a little for a few more.  The recent Attic's newsletter has featured Scarlet Letter charts and I just love that Sarah Brown.  And of course many more!  You could make a whole day of perusing the offerings.  I still haven't had the time to go through all the beauties on the Antique Samplers site.  But as soon as I pilfer a few flat stones, I should have lots of time sitting in that cell.  Think they'll let me have my laptop? 
Have a good week everyone!!

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