Mar 30, 2013

Sampler Pear VIII

Greetings to all. First -
I want to wish everyone that celebrates Easter, a happy and blessed day. And to those of you in school districts and states that have banned the word Easter, let me say it for you...
How can you preach tolerance when you teach the opposite?
Moving on ~
Here is the eighth pear!  Only four more to go!! Chart is available in the Pears page under the header.  I saw so many lovely spring designs with pastels, vibrant greens, rabbits, and chicks.  Although beautiful, just not me.  So I chose the 730's and 830's in their glorious odd gold/green/brownness and I like the result.   I have to say, that last pear was yuk to me.  I just couldn't handle it.  I dipped my paintbrush in black coffee and saturated it the other day.  It helped, but not enough.  I think the heart threw everything off and it should have been solid and much smaller, but I tried that on paper and didn't like it either.  Too late.  You know I always set fire to things that aggravate me and if I didn't need it for a group photo, probably would have by now.  Chances are really good that I will disassemble and change the center.  And yes, the fusible interfacing is on the back, but reheating it under a pressing cloth will allow it to be removed .  It softens the glue bond and will come off in one sheet.  Just heat again if it doesn't.  With that off, I am back to linen and can make changes, or light a match.
This one goes so well with my little mustard drawers.  I didn't attach leaves this time, just wrapped the grapevine stem with heavy hemp.
I'm back to working on Lori's design but the house is pretty large and I'm missing my usual letter stitching.  I may pick out a sampler to switch back and forth, but that's not something I like to do. 
I was at the grocery store the other morning and shoppers close to me thought I was having an attack.  I was!  For the first time ever, I saw these.  A friend sent this bar to me and I loved it, but never saw it locally.  I could have been missing it which is entirely possible, but not this time.  Guess how many of these are left as I type?   Nope.  Try again.  ......  One more time....... yep!  You got it.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, a blessed Easter, a joyous Passover.



Mar 27, 2013

Finishing a pear

Hi everyone.  I receive a lot of emails from stitchers about finishing the pear designs, so today I snapped a few while doing the latest.  Lots of boring photos in this post.  First off, here it is - pattern needs tweaked a little and I will post it this weekend.

I use the template that I originally posted with the first pear, on a bright color cardstock (so I can locate it). Whether it be square or shaped, I always fold my templates to make sure they are the same each side, and then mark the fold in black.  Depending on the pear size, I resize it on the copier.  After fusing the interfacing to the linen and the backing fabric, I hold the linen up to a window with the template on the backside. 

You can see the center line through the linen which helps a lot.  Two pins to hold it, and then I use a chalk pencil to outline right onto the interfacing.  This is NOT the cut line, but the stitching guide.  Some times I go a little over since I can always go back to make it a little smaller.  I always use basting 8-10 stitches/inch to make it easier to remove if necessary and it holds with the interfacing very well. 

Turn it right side out to check the shape and then either sew it in further or remove the stitching to make it larger (that has never happened), or hopefully be perfectly pleased and no changes are needed!  Clip the seams and trim the excess fabric.

The bottom is folded and pressed as is the seam to open it.  I use a plastic letter opener to crisp the seams by sliding it between the backing and the seam allowance, never on the linen side. 

A smaller piece of cardstock is inserted (so the batting slides easily) and after cutting the batting smaller than the original template, slid inside to fit the shape. If I use Mylar to hold the shape, it's cut slightly smaller than the pear and kept in.  For a flatter pear, one layer of the thickest batt, but usually it's two, one on each side of the paper.  It's easy to insert the stem between the batting through the top opening now, while the paper is separating the two.  Remove the paper and fold the fabrics over the batting. 
 The bottom is usually wonky and I open the seam where necessary and hand stitch or glue to shape and close.  A little strip of additional batting is sometimes needed here.  Done.

I'm sorry I haven't been reading blogs or responding to comments.  I have so much going on right now and my head is spinning, unfortunately in the opposite direction that I would like.   When I was getting quotes for home owner's insurance, I told the agent that we are classed as a Type 2 alarm system.  She asked what we have - I replied a menopausal woman with a gun.  She laughed so hard she snorted.  I wasn't kidding.  The moods are raging!!!!
The chart for this will be posted in a few days and until then, stay safe, have happy thoughts, fabulous food, and good stitching!
Thank you for visiting!

Mar 25, 2013

First day of what?

Good day to you!  I was hoping this latest storm would miss us, but a very fine, wet, heavy bunch of white crap is falling.  I don't know how long it will last, but I am printing the mailing labels and going to the post office today.  Thanks to everyone for your orders!  My oval boxes came in Friday and I purchased 60 of them.  Hopefully, I will be painting them soon and have them ready for labels.  Starting over is not something I look forward to.

I wanted to show you some finished pear designs.  First one isn't even a pear.  Daniela in Finland made this as an exchange for Pokua in Australia. 
She moved a few letters that resulted in this sweet pincushion.  
Plumbrod's sweet finish.

A bowl of pears from Jubama
And the latest is something different. Dorothée made this wonderful pinkeep - take a look at the back!
Well, after having to start completely over with downloading these photos and signing in again over ten times, this laptop may see the white crap up close and personal.  My old Vista with the new hard drive is 20 times slower than before, and now this new one is giving me fits by logging me out of Blogger, Pinterest, Ebay and others every few minutes. 
So the tags will be mailed today, I charted the next pear last night, and will stitch it this evening.  I'm sure there will be changes in colors as I go along.
Have a great week - stay safe - thank you for visiting!

Mar 21, 2013


Hi everyone.  My ground is white, my thermometer is 20, and there is no sign of spring!  I sent emails to all those that requested tags.  If I missed you, please let me know.   I have two Karens, a Kathy L, Lori, and backporchcarver, that are all no-reply so I can't contact you.  If you are still interested, please send an email (not through Blogger) so I can reply.  I am listing the designs on the Box/Tag page, and will probably be selling the beginning of April.  More wood needs to be cut and stained first.  Thank you so much for the response. 
I did a little scissor tag for myself to match my Ghoul.  I only have a few cuts of this size and don't plan on any more so they won't be offered.  Just wanted to make you jealous.
This is my progress on Lori's free chart after removing the house start.  It is charted for 611 but I love the colors it printed, and decided to change it to 3011.  Looks better on the mystery linen color.
And I found a solution to my little girl's ivory necklace.  What a putz.  All I have to do is add more beads or chain!  The double string is accessible through the screw clasp so I can change the entire piece with different beads or just add the chain to the back.  I used my Dremel (LOVE that thing) stone to grind down the bright yellow flower centers.  All these years of searching for a little girl to give it to and I could have been wearing it.
I think a cup of hot chocolate is in my immediate future and the thought of elderberry pie popped into my head this afternoon.  I still have some in the freezer along with the dough for crust.  Oh my.
Have a great evening, stay warm and safe, enjoy the sunshine if you have it, rain if your land is thirsty, and curse the white crap.
Thanks for visiting!

Mar 20, 2013

Stick a fork in me

Please!  I'm done!  I can't keep playing like this when I have so many other things needing attention.  But this is me.  Thirty years ago when I was working and the company was changing over to computers, we worked morning to night.  Well, I did.  Just couldn't stop because I was never satisfied and couldn't leave things for the next day.  I wouldn't leave my desk, didn't eat, just smoked, until my tampon weighed 48 pounds.  My world has done a 180 because I became procrastinator extraordinaire.  Anyway, in answer to emails (Kathy and Kathy L- you are no-reply so I can't), I will list all of the tags with numbers for your final choice.  Anyone who has already requested Clare w/wo others, I have it.  When I email you about payment, you can change anything then, and let me know your final order in your reply.  Then I will list all of them, probably on the blog under a page for now.  These are yesterday's and today's, (so much easier to tone with blue houses instead of red), and I will choose who will stay and who will go.  Dancing with the tags. 
 I think the Ghoul tag looks best the way Paulette designed it don't you?
All done.  Taking a break and I will start varnishing and emailing those of you that have ordered tomorrow evening, after I show them all with their numbers (and a better photo).  That will give me the weekend to cut, sand, stain, glue, and finish.
Thanks everyone!

Mar 19, 2013

A few more.....

Hi everyone.  Just a quick post to let you know I'm working on the St. Clare for you and also a few others.  I'm trying to get them available to make sure you have all the choices before I send them.  And I'm really excited that Miss Paulette of Plum Street Samplers has generously granted me permission to use her Ghoul design for a tag!  I changed a few things around instead of the work Ghoul but either can be made.  I love it!  In addition, there are two more houses since it seems most of you prefer that type.  Myself, I'm a sampler girl and prefer the letters.  Each label takes me about four or more hours of work and I may stop for a while at this point, so these will probably be the last designs, making a total of twelve plus Clare.

I started stitching Lori's free chart and can't wait to have it finished.  I fell in love with it immediately and it doesn't make sense to not be stitching something while wasting time choosing a sampler.  I wasted some money today by buying another brand of dark chocolate that was on sale instead of my Dove.   I'll take the bags to my new McDonald's and give it to the kids that pour my coffee.  I don't know if the new equipment makes the difference but the coffee is so good, and better than any other that I've been to.
That's it!  Light snow and lots of wind has made it a very cold day here.  Uh-oh.  I just remembered I let the cats in to warm up a while ago!!  I better go find them!
Stay safe and thank you for visiting!!

Mar 18, 2013

A day without sunshine-but everything else

Greetings from Pennsylvania's official day of all forecasts.  Started with snow, then ice, then icy snow, then freezing rain, then rain, a little more snow, possibly a storm later, and a high wind warning - everything except sunshine!  I can't believe how the wind is howling and whipping the ice into the windows.  Needless to say, I'm not venturing out.  So instead of making decisions and lining up material lists to complete the mess in the house, I'm browsing charts.  I hate this.  Really.  The last several choices kind of fell into my lap with timing and I accepted gladly.  This time, just chart after chart of choices.  They are all from this and this post. 
 I also started Eliza Pumroy a while back and had "issues" with her.  The colors are very bright and I dyed the floss with a tiny touch of Rit's pearl gray.  Where are they?  Maybe this is why I can only stitch one project at a time, fearing I would never locate the other starts.  Well, in a pile of linen I don't care for, and loads of unfiled charts, I came across Eliza again.  That's an indicator that she should be next and to stop wasting time browsing.  I'll think about it.  Little Dorothy Allen from R&R is calling to me and a very quick stitch.  Lori's free chart is too. 
I really like the display of a long sampler with the fringed bottom like my Mary Oldfield and Eliza is even bigger.
I'll probably do one of the smalls and then try to reunite with Eliza. 
When searching for other photos of the R&R charts, Google led me to their blog.  Why didn't I find this before? 
Now the tags.  Thank you for the Clare requests, I'll make more today and search for mailers on EBay which will give the varnish a few days to dry completely. I will email you with payment options and you can let me know then if you would like any of these included.  I still haven't decided if Etsy is needed or using my other blog or page only for sales would work.  I doubt I will sell that many so probably not necessary.
Thanks for the kind words about my sister.  Yes, it's getting unnerving.  She will have an aortic valve replacement within a few years and now her coronary calcium levels are over 900.  Yep.  Over 900.  Strange (as usual), she was told the levels were fine after the first part of the test and they proceeded to administer the Lopressor to continue with the scan, because with the heart beating too fast results would not be clear.  She waited hours there with additional meds and the rate never calmed down so they sent her home.  The phone call this morning was for the cardiac MRI scheduling and she was told that her levels were over 900 and they could not have proceeded with the first scan because of that.  Well then why was she made to sit and wait and loaded with meds if they couldn't scan?  Who has the wrong results?  The doc administering the scan that claims the numbers were fine, or the doctor's office claiming they are alarmingly high?  She has an appointment today but her house sets on a steep hill with a curved driveway conducive to luge sledding in this type of weather.   I think she'll reschedule. 
I'm sorry I have not been keeping up with blogs and emails.   So much on my mind lately and my menomoods have changed into anxiety!  Never felt this before but I think that's what is happening. 
Thanks for visiting - hope your weather is good, your needle sharp, and your chocolate dark.

Mar 17, 2013

Starting over

Good evening.  Hope your weekend was peaceful and safe, or exciting and fun depending on what you prefer.  I'm long past exciting.  My sister's cardiac CT scan was a failure after 6 doses of Lopressor couldn't bring her heart rate down and excitement was the last thing we needed! 
  I've received comments and emails requesting the Clare tag, so instead of offering the dozen I have ready, I'm thinking that taking requests would give me an idea of how many to make before I use them for the other labels.  Please let me know if you want one and then I can make sure I have enough tags.  Is that OK?  They will be $8.00 including the small snap ring, and shipping will be $2.50 for up to 4 tags.  If you want a Clare but would be interested in other designs too, I can hold it until the others are ready and all can be shipped at once. 
I ordered five dozen of the tall oval boxes and planned on making those too.  Well guess what?  My second crash took out everything I saved after the first crash and I forgot that fact.  Damn.  I have to start over and sizing and cutting and pasting takes forever.  Anyway, one that fits these boxes and I have permission to use is this.
When I use the entire sampler without changes, there will be a label on the back stating the sampler name and where you can find it.
So I have a lot of work to do and I really don't know where to start.   It's too late to change my order and I guess the boxes can be stored in the attic for a while.  This design will be available on the 5.5" wide and 4" tall oval soon.
No new chart chosen yet and my laptop battery is ready to die so I'm outta here!
Thanks for visiting!

Mar 16, 2013


Happy weekend to you.   Thank you all for the comments on my Mary Haslehurst.  Here she is fulled dressed.
A few changes to the original chart, and I'm so glad I decided to stitch this design.  It's not very large and I did enjoy learning these other stitches.   I will certainly keep using Needle 'n Thread's videos and I'm grateful for the help she has offered with these tutorials.  I only found one area that needed my muslin patch on the back.
I was also working on the St. Clare tags in addition to a few other designs. 
I will post tomorrow about purchasing. 
 This is what I woke up to today.  The brats have a little food shelter to keep it dry and the plastic covered box next to it is the holding box.  When they want more food, they stay in the box and look into the house until I bring more out.
Needless to say I'm not happy, but it will all be ending soon and if white crap is all I have to be upset about, I'm a very lucky gal.  Today will start the search for the next chart.  I'll be boring you with photos of them again, because things become more clear to me when I do a post.
Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!!  Happy St. Patrick's day to all that celebrate!
Thank you for visiting!

Mar 14, 2013

Interrupted by a cat fight!

Hi everyone.  Mary would have been completed if not for my warrior's bad attitude.  Honestly, I thought having him neutered would help but he is so territorial.  Bud is very calm and sweet, until he spots another of his kind.  I have two other strays that want to come for food and he tears into them.  I was working on the final flower when I heard it.  It was already dark and they ran to the woods where I couldn't distract them.  After that, I was searching the yard with spotlights trying to find them and so upset I couldn't concentrate to finish.  He's fine today, but I worry about the others. 
The bottom of this sampler has some wacky looking two color odd leaves in the center and I didn't care for them so I just repeated the outside leaves.  The right hand flower will complete her this evening.
 And now, some things you are not interested in but I'm showing them anyway.  In my closet and drawer travels, I came across a few more old items from mom, and this wonderful little girl's 13" ivory necklace that my sister's old boyfriend bought for me when he was overseas in the service 50 years ago.   I tried to have this appraised to sell years ago and no one around here has dealt with old ivory so I still have it in my drawer. 
You can see the cross hatching on the ivory and it passed the heat test.   At that time, it was legal to sell and I understand that poaching is rampant once again.  I say shoot the poacher!  Did you know that the amazing elephants actually shed tears and grieve for their lost?  They gather around the sick and dying, and each one gently nudges their lost member to say goodbye.  
I also found mom's old fan that she carried when church was stifling.  This was also a gift from old what's his name.

And here we have the staple of all the older woman in my family for keeping rain off their perfectly styled hair.  My aunt was never without one in her purse.  They are large and patterned, fold into a flat little case, and I need to find a lady who has been looking for one.
I'm not one to throw anything away that someone else could use.  Part of my recycling mentality I guess.  My young neighbors put out sofas, chairs, desks, anything they are replacing with newer pieces and there isn't a thing wrong with the old.  It sits on the roadside waiting for the garbage pickup.  That really irritates me.  Do they not realize someone would be happy to have it, or do they not care?  I've heard from many people that they are tired of donating because too many expect, instead of appreciate, but it doesn't matter.  Usage is always better than a landfill.  And no, they don't like it when you try to talk to them about it.  Young people with attitudes and I do not mix.
That was me jumping off the soapbox.
Have a great day!!  Thank you for visiting and all your kind words about Mary.
Also, I truly appreciate the offer of greetings for my cousin, but Donna believes that it would upset Marcie because she doesn't understand some things.   They all feel that cards from someone she doesn't know will confuse her and she gets frustrated trying to understand.  She took a step the other day with assistance so albeit slow, it's still progress!!

Mar 13, 2013

When bad samplers go quickly

Hi everyone.  Looky looky.
The stitches aren't perfect and I changed the horizontal stem to vertical in a few places.   It didn't take long at all to do this side. I had to steam steam steam the linen to restore the stretched areas from my prior stitching but I think it will be fine when mounted.  I'm so surprised that this was completed in one sitting with no frogging, unlike prior attempts. 
Do you think this had something to do with it?
I found several St. Clare images but this was my favorite.  Crackled and aged looking in beautiful colors.  If you're wondering when the tags will be for sale, so am I.  I thought this would be a really cheap ship because of the size but our postal service claims 1/4" thick is a package.  Anyway, I need to get the envelopes ordered and I'm still working out a few more designs.  They will probably be $8 or $8.50 including the snap ring for hanging, plus shipping. 
So here is Mary with just the bottom to finish and then I'm moving on to the pile of possibilities that will create a decision making dilemma.  Do you think Clare can help me with that? 
Mary certainly is different and I think she will frame nicely. 
 I wish you all a pleasant week with happy stitching,
good coffee, and dark chocolate.


Mar 12, 2013

When good samplers go bad

Good grief.  What a mess I'm making.  Are those curved stem stitch lines on the chart for one row or two?  Is there a trick to stitching on a curve or is my gripping tension the problem?  Whatever I'm doing wrong is making me change the design.   Take a look at how the linen is stretched and wonky.  I started with two rows and then changed to one, forgot that the stitch is to be started at the END of the prior, not in the middle, and after removing it several times, I may not try again. 
The right side scallops were charted as cross stitch for most and I filled two more with it to avoid any more frustration.  The left side only has two with cross, the rest are curved stems. Will I try again?  Probably.  The stitches are so easy to do and I'm considering changing the stem to chain ~ maybe this will help?  We'll see.
I can always fill with cross stitches but they can't be done in curved lines.  At this know the rest.  What about the bottom?  Not sure.  If it starts badly, I'll stop and try to mimic the side scallops.  Whatever, I just want to finish it before I get really discouraged and leave it.  The Scarlet Letter always states the experience level for their designs.  Well I'm not an intermediate level needleworker and won't pretend to be ever again.  I miss my marking samplers!!!  I promise never to stray again!!   Remember St. Clare, the patron saint of stitchers?  This article is one of several about St. Clare of Assisi, friend to Francis, and namesake of Assisi embroidery.  And as I'm typing this, I'm thinking of sizing her image to put on a floss tag.  Think it will help?
Enjoy your day.  Thank you so much for visiting and welcome to new followers!
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