Jun 30, 2013

Coloring Eliza

Greetings!  Hope your weekend is a good one.  Mine has been one mishap after another, and this time, no mannequins were involved.   I haven't had much time to read blogs, answer emails, or stitch but am managing to continue on Eliza little by little.  New brite liners are on my shopping list because there is a lot of coloring on this chart.  Of course, I make copies and don't deface the original chart, but on this sampler, totally necessary or I would have been very frustrated.  There's not really a pattern to follow in most of these elements and I have a tendency to continue stitching without checking the chart often enough.  These colors make it easy at a glance for a careless stitcher like me.

 I'm starting the big house which will be such a bore, but something I can outline and then fill in when sitting on my swing without needing the chart.
She's getting long enough that the top of the sampler will be rolled and clipped and I will turn the chart upside down and work the bottom area that way.  I know some of you don't believe me, but the stitches are exactly the same when you work it upside down on these long pieces.
I did change the house outline color of 922 to the muted 922 that I dipped in the gray dye.  The house is yellow and when the roof is filled in I'll have to check the shades to see if I want it darker or lighter.  Eliza is still available where I purchased mine - Wyndham Needleworks here.  But if you've never visited or ordered from them, please read their home page about no longer being Wyndham - they've changed to PAWS (Pound Animals are Worth Saving) and proceeds now go to the cause. 
I feel like the old lady that I am after moving a corner hutch, Mom's marble topped tables, her LaZboy recliner, two dining tables, a dry sink and other crap into other rooms in preparation for the flooring.  I used Sliders which helped, but on my larger pieces I always cut industrial felt to match the bottoms and use permanent glue to secure.  Whenever I need to dust the corners or beneath, it easily slides out and back.  I moved one kitchen table and chairs into the center of my tiny parlor which is where I have my stitching supplies, and although very crowded, I like having it in there!  Since this will be continuing for a while, I decided to put all the baskets in large trash bags and move them to the attic along with gourds, drieds, and any other small pieces.  The samplers will be stored in bags in another bedroom, and my pinkeeps and such are bagged also.  The house is getting emptied, but it will be less hassle when it's time for more dust and moving.  Wednesday is the meeting with the kitchen guy who finally called but he claims he can't start for months.  We'll see.  I doubt if the other clients hired him LAST SEPTEMBER!!!
  I'm going to be listing a few charts on Ebay soon including my never used Village Square (Mary Allen), SL's Ideal Landscape, Frances Eden, and Barrick's Scrub Pine along with Mary Beale ornaments.  EBay is the easiest for me for when charts are involved. 
I also have this from 1994 and will never do these samplers or the other needlework projects, but I haven't decided if I should try to list it or not.  Today will be another tiring day which is good.  Feeling tired is actually a good feeling because I know I worked and accomplished something.  Hitting that soft mattress and pillow is so gratifying!  It's another pop-up storm day and we will try once more to get the drywall home.  The 4x8 sheets hang out of the car's back and wet roads splashing are not a good thing!  I came up with an idea that Patti agrees with to solve a problem and will show you next time.  My coffee is rushing to the end of it's bodily journey and I need to skedaddle.
Both Krissy and Sharon will be receiving the full kit that I offered. 
Thanks for visiting!!  Have a wonderful day.

Jun 27, 2013

A new winner

Hi everyone.  It will be a week tomorrow and I've had no response from the kit winner who is also no-reply.  I think it's enough time, so Random generated another winner.  When I enter the names, I have Random scramble them and then I print the list in case something like this would happen and I need it again.  So.  The new winner is Sharon Ruffner - also no-reply!   Sharon - email me with your address please!  The other winners' charts have been mailed, and after explaining to the postal clerk that Portugal is not in Brazil, I hope Mónica gets hers!

Edit - Krissy was the original winner and left a comment here that she did contact me.  I never received the email from her!  She replied to the new post email that is sent to followers and those are all noreply@blogger.com.  She didn't know it doesn't go to the blog owner and I had no way to contact her.  I guess I will be sending out two kits!!
Here's rocking Bud, and Nitzy watching Bud the raccoon eat a slice of bread in the background.
I'm working on Eliza and will be doing my first group of Lazy Daisy stitches.  They look easy enough.  I purchased a small finished reproduction sampler last night for the first time.  I would have liked to stitch it myself but it's from an old SANQ that I don't have, and it was really reasonable.  As soon as it comes I'll show you.
That's all.  Hopefully Sharon will contact me and I can mail this package before it gets misplaced in the upheaval!
Enjoy your weekend - stay safe.
Thanks for visiting.

Jun 26, 2013

Pear XI - one more to go!

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Hi everyone.  This July pear has the start of the Declaration of Independence's most quoted line....
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I say, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all women are not created equal, that those endowed with menopause have unalienable rights, that among these are confusion, memory loss, unexpected emotions, girth growth, loss of eyebrows, new facial wires hairs, sweat, the right to bitch for no reason, limitless chocolate, and most of all, the unalienable right of indecisiveness.
 you have the right to choose your own 1776 design.
I cannot.
The chart is for the basic and you can easily modify to your preference.  It's under the Pears tab.
I mentioned a gift from Miss Shirlee and here it is.
How cool is this?  She added a slice of bread in her hand to feed the stag.  This is me!!!!  Without the bun and the boobs.
I have searched her seams, with magnifiers, and cannot find the hand stitched closure. Seriously.  How the heck she does this so perfectly is beyond my patience and skill.    Thank you again my friend ~ a treasure.
Here is what's happening after the storms in my backyard today.  Peace.  For now anyway!!  The new kid (#4) is an unneutered male, and my Bud may accept him, but #4 doesn't hang around after eating.  Typical unneutered male of any kind.
He eats more than my 100# Lab did.
That's it!  Gotta get moving.
Have a wonderful and safe day...
thank you for visiting!

Jun 25, 2013

Checking in

Hi all.  I've been working on the pear for July and I'm sure you know by now that I continually change things.  I really thought this would not be the case for XI, but colors and placement took most of two days.  By the time I finished, we had heavy rains and darkness so I couldn't take a good photo of the fabulous birthday gift from Miss Shirlee.  Tomorrow for sure.  I will have a few tags then too. 
I do want to show you how close I came to the linen's left edge!  I stitched three pears all on the same piece of linen and didn't bother measuring.  Yes, I waste a lot of time but it's not until I see it finished that I realize a change is needed.  I used woven fusible facing this time, front and back.  Certainly helps prevent raveling.  I get a lot of emails about finishing the pears and using the template with the center line, held up against a light, is the best method.  This time I took a few photos of the seam pressing.  When you press the backing to the center, you can see where the bulk is and where the trimming should be.
I will be posting the chart as soon as I get it in the computer file, but here's what it looks like.  I'm really anxious to get back to Eliza, but I will have an even bigger house mess soon.  I SO love the new floss hanger.  It's always there, in order, and I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.
Hope you're having a good week.  Thank you for the birthday wishes.  Unfortunately, my cousin did not come home.  They are fitting her leg with a brace and maybe next month it will happen.  Be back tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting!

Jun 21, 2013


HIYA!!!  Thank you all so much for participating in this giveaway.  It took a while because after entering all the names earlier, I lost IE and it started over without the names!!!  Entered them all again and after Random.org mixed them up and pulled a number, Krissy G came out as the winner for the sack kit.  What I didn't tell you, is that I am also pulling two other names for the chart only.  They are Mónica Silva, and Debi.  So everyone, please send me your address and I will get this in the mail tomorrow.
Thank you all so much again!!!

Some women like jewelry...

and I prefer old wood and rust.   Patti knows this and that's exactly what she presented to me for my birthday.  She really knows how to decorate in a primitive style and has an old hook on her door which I love.  So she came to see my mess and brought this...

 a fabulous rusty hay/bale hook.  So I played for quite a while, hung it upside down over a door, and ended up with my rusty paint can on a post.  She also gave me a sock darner in the same shape as my mom's, which I rarely see.  Mom's is the top right and my gift is bottom right.
 Thank you thank you thank you Patti!  She such a great girl and could use your prayers once again.
No one commented that they have used the Alene fabric tape, so I will buy it, give it a try, and report. 
Here's Eliza - I'll be starting the big bottom soon and there are satin stitches and lazy daisy in that area.  Yes, that's a binder clip you see holding the excess linen.  Quicker and safer than a safety pin.
  And I have a perennial that was given to me by a friend who has passed, and I don't know the name.  It's the brightest, clearest yellow.  It makes new buds beneath the bloom and continues this way for a month.  At night, they close.
That's all I got.  I'll be back tonight with the winner of the kit.  I have all the names entered and will wait till the last minute to scramble and draw.  Just in case a hot flash disrupts my memory, I'm setting the timer.

Jun 19, 2013

Sampler Sack

Hello everyone.  If you are interested in purchasing the Sampler Sack chart, here are the details.
Price is $10.00 including US shipping.  International price is $12.00 including shipping.
Please send payment through Paypal to samplersandsantas@gmail.com
Note added - it seems Paypal is not listing addresses when you pay - please type your address in the note section or email it to me.
For check or money order payment, contact me at the above email address and I will send instructions.

Approximate size of stitched area is 4 3/4" x 11 1/2" on 30 count linen.
Stitch count is 171 H x 69 W
Thanks for your interest!

Jun 18, 2013

Anyone tried this?

Hi everyone.  Having a good day?   I saw something at Walmart and wanted to ask if anyone has used this product. 
Alene's fabric tape.
This may be easier to use than glue to close seams but I'm wondering how it would work on coarse linen.  The tape would need a smooth finish to bond to and I doubt that it would work on the type I stitch with.  The backing fabric would stick, but I thought I would ask if anyone used this product on a linen.  I guess it comes in sheets too that you can cut to accommodate your projects.  Yes, I'm always looking for ways to close a seam without having to stitch it.  For some reason, it never looks as good or crisp as using fabric glue, especially on the pear bottoms.  Smalls like needlebooks can be hemmed by pressing and then completely finished by using something like this.  Or adding applique or pockets.  I like that it doesn't have to be pressed with a hot iron like the fusibles.  I'm getting a few ideas.

I've been working on the unit for the remodeled room and pulled a large kitchen cabinet up the stairs from the basement.  I do stupid things.  But then I lifted it onto the 36" high drawer unit.  Stupid times 2.  I can't bend, but I can bow my head today which I couldn't do yesterday.  Advil is helping and as soon as I can get in a car, my chiro will help too, shaking his head as always.   

 Anyway, I think I have a plan to utilize the two units that were in mom's little area, add the shelves from the corner, which will run into another solid tall cabinet.  This is really rough but the best I can do in Paint.  I love these full extension deep drawers but don't like them here.  In fact, the more I look at this, I don't like it at all.
   The drawer fronts and cabinet doors will be replaced with custom flush panels and rattail hinges.  Nope.  I still don't like it - something isn't right. 
Some of you mentioned how gardening is getting more difficult, so I thought I'd post about this seat/kneeler in case you don't have a large garden center near you and never saw them.  It has an available pouch for tools and is found on Amazon and even Walmart, a deeper seat model is on Gardeners.com and some even rock. I use the adjustable aluminum shower seat on the lowest notch too. 
  An aid for those chores that make us groan like a moose in heat.  Today, after that cupboard moving, I could call in the whole herd along with a few elk. 

Tomorrow I will post the chart pack for sale if anyone is interested. 

Thanks for visiting!  Have a safe and happy day.

Jun 16, 2013

Back to Eliza Low Pumroy

Greetings.  Hope everyone had a great weekend and all the dads in your family had a nice Father's Day.  We sure miss ours.  Several days ago my nephew became a grandfather to a red haired perfect little boy.  My sister is now a great grandmother at 74 and I'm a great-great-aunt at 62.  At the graduation party, we saw our "almost" cousins (my cousin's cousins) and they inherited skin without pores, wrinkles, sags, or bags.  So depressing!  We joked about our ages and I always get ribbed from Mike about owing my life to him.  He is my mom's sister's son, and because he was the cutest baby anyone ever saw, Mom decided on just one more - me.  He's the little devil on the far left and I'm on the far right, back in the days of traditional families without electronics, on a family picnic.
Age has changed my likes, dislikes, philosophy, judgment, patience, TOLERANCE!, but mostly, physicality.  While grocery shopping, I forgot myself and crouched down to see the price on the bottom shelf.  Big mistake.  I can't get up from that position without help.  Thank goodness no one was in that aisle.  I had two choices - 1. grab a shelf to pull myself up risking the entire shelf and its contents falling on me and creating a scene or 2. fall onto my side, roll until I was on my hands and knees, try to straighten my back legs hoisting my butt into the air while grabbing my knees to stabilize and letting out that grunt old people make.  Years ago I lost my balance while hopping on one leg trying to get a shoe on, grabbed for the shelf, and toppled the entire shoe rack in an outlet store.  I chose #2.
On to Eliza progress. I've completed the large alphabets and the fancy dividing bands and am now working on the last few rows before the bottom section.

She's going to be fabulous with a fringed bottom, at 9" wide and about 31" long on 30 count.  I may have to attach another piece of the same linen with a border stitch onto the bottom for fringing.  I really like the longer bottom margin like on this Mary Oldfield - one of my favorite sampler finishes, but there will only be about two inches on Eliza.  We'll see.  With her length the shorter bottom margin may be fine.

Thank you for such a great response to my offering.  In answer to emails, yes I will be selling this chart.  No I'm not published, I just printed my own packs and the chart on 11x17 paper, with an attached photo.  I don't know how to offer a PDF because most printers can't do that size paper.  It will be this week for sure.
I charted the July pear right after number X, and may stitch that to have it ready.  It shouldn't take long at all.  Famous last words!  I like the first draft, and don't think any changes will be made.
Have a good start to a great week, thank you for visiting, stay safe.

Jun 14, 2013


Hello people.  Been really busy the last few days and I'm on my way to a graduation party, but wanted to get this posted.  Because of the upheaval in the house, I decided to offer something that doesn't have to be painted, printed, sized, sanded, or stained.  How about this?
My first chart, 13" x 18" piece of Scarlet Letter's 30 count unbleached linen, the floss necessary, osnaburg for the lining, a piece of the olive brown corduroy for the back, and the leather for the drawstring.  OK?
Now I'll tell you the good news I mentioned earlier, and the reason for a celebration.  My cousin in CA with the massive stroke, is going home with help, on June 22.   I didn't want to say anything until it actually happened because of a possible setback, but I'm thinking positively!  Her right arm is not usable, she is speaking better, and is trying very hard to walk with a cane.  Because of the right arm, she is unable to use a walker which would be so much safer.  She has worked so hard and will continue with daily therapy.  They remodeled her home for easier access and she will try her best to prove she can stay there.
So.  If you would like to be included in the kit giveaway, please leave your name on THIS POST ONLY, with your name or initials if you are no-reply.  Oh heck, leave it even if you aren't.  The drawing will be in one week on June 21 at 8pm.  Someone please remind me.
I've got to run now!
Thanks for visiting!  Have a great and safe weekend.

Jun 11, 2013

A newfangled floss holder thingy

Hi!  How's everyone?  Except for walking into a automatic door that didn't open, another run in with the JCP mannequins, and an annoying batch of hives, I'm good.  I can't swallow pills, even small ones.  Recently, vitamins and supplements are coming out in gummies so I purchased CoQ10, B complex, 2 multi vitamins, and some other items so I'm assuming one of those caused the bumps. 
I want to thank you all again for the response to my sampler sack.  I must say again, that in my post about the magazine, I stated that I was not happy with their sampler being folded in half to make that bag, so I designed my own based on that shape.  Many readers thought it was the project from SANQ, but it's my own.  I was at the printer today and had problems with print quality.  I'm still trying to put it on one 11x17 sheet instead of two. 
 But today I am so excited with my newest brain storm!  First my floss box, now my floss stand!  I had my husband make this for me and I love it.  It slides under the sofa cushion and the floss bags are held in numeric order, suspended from the sturdy arm.  No more bags twisting on a ring.  I can easily see the floss number or color, open the bag and let it hang!  I absolutely love it.  He made a shorter model too for setting on a table.
Ain't it cool???  I'm back to Eliza and also had wood cut for new tags because I'm tired of searching for everything so I'm starting over.  But I couldn't wait to show this off. 
Thanks for visiting!  Have a great hump day.

Jun 10, 2013

I love it - do you?

I want to thank everyone for the sweet comments and for taking the time to answer me.  I received a few emails regarding this photo and wanted to mention again about Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly's similar bag on the cover.  This isn't it!  That bag is a large sampler that is folded in half, which I chose not to do.  I couldn't see stitching it and having half of it covered, so I designed and stitched my own sack with leather drawstrings.  I will offer it as my first chart, but I designed and stitched it so quickly that I am not prepared for packaging as yet.  

Jun 9, 2013

My sampler sack is done!

Hi everyone.  My sack would have been completed a day or two ago if I hadn't ripped out areas over and over to change colors. I have been stitching like crazy for a few days and wasting a lot of paper with changes. One thing I learned - always tear up the prior chart when a revision is made. That was another big time waster. I wanted to show you the bottom corner and how I sneaked the year into the sampler.  Well.....kind of.
I will be doing the finishing work tomorrow and then figure out what to do next.  A trip to Staples should help me with that.
And a few changes outside this year.  Inside of hanging my rusty paint cans on the hooks, I decided to hang a few from the arbor.
My galvanized tubs aren't on hooks this year either.  Just propped at an angle with a rock and the hanging basket inside.
 To Barbara - you asked me which magazine I was referring to regarding the sampler bag and you're no-reply so I can't email.  It is Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly.
I'm going to sit on my swing and relax for a while now.  Finally warm enough to not need a sweater!  Bud says hi.  He has stopped fighting with the newest stray which I call #4, but there are still a few growling sessions.  Nitzy chases it all the time too. 
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay safe.
More later!  Thanks for visiting.

Jun 7, 2013

More confessions

Hello hello hello.  Hope you're all well and enjoying your day. 
In prior posts I've confessed this
"I don't follow the rules, I don't baby the linen, I snack while I'm stitching, I leave the needle(s) in the fabric, I knot the floss, I've wet and machine dried a finished piece, I don't use glass anymore, I even used a heat gun to quickly dry a spot, I insert plastic, I glue seams. For those of you that fainted, my apologies."  That was taken from this post.  As I'm stitching Eliza with the excess fabric rolled up and held with safety pins, a Dove dark chocolate with almonds (my new favorite) nearby, a full cup of coffee sitting on the bench where I throw the project when I get up, I was reminded of my confession of being a reckless stitcher.  I have another.  I'm a sampler snob.  No longer can I see cute projects and want to stitch them, or even a newly designed symmetrical sampler that would look fabulous in someone's home.  Just not mine.  I learned by working on reproduction samplers but did other pieces, including angels from Told in a Garden.  The shops I had here many years ago displayed samplers large and small, framed and not, mostly on unbleached linen and all reproductions.  I was in heaven.  The one in town displayed more traditionals and florals which was OK back then, but not now.  I enjoy seeing the variety of your work and admire it, but unless it's primitive in design, a reproduction, or a marking sampler, I have no desire to stitch it.  So many designers have projects that I would like to do, but I end up purchasing and not completing.  I thought it was because of my home style that is turning toward stark primitive/colonial and these designs don't fit in, but I don't want to stitch them as gifts either.  I'm a sampler snob!  I know that everyone has a preference of designers, tastes, and styles, but I think I've become very rigid.  Santas, ornaments, pinkeeps are still delightful and these smalls are the exception. 
 I think that about wraps up my confessions.
The kitchen man has not called and I'm getting concerned.  I emailed the plans and he's probably thinking ............ she's going to change it again.  Well I'm not.  But I did come up with another idea.  This is a photo from The Seraph of a corner pantry.
And this one is from Bridgewater Primitives.
I don't want either of these, but I came up with a plan for something similar. 
Instead of squeezing into my little kitchen, I plan on using this corner and back of the kitchen wall, to have some open shelves and cupboards, storing potatoes, larger items, and whatever I want.  I wanted to have my little beat up table under the window with an upholstered chair but it's awkward and I think a unit from the window wrapped to the door opening would be great storage.  This wood floor will be removed and the new one installed throughout.  It's ash and difficult to stain so we decided to just start over.  The other end of this room was mom's TV room and it had carpeting so trying to match a new floor of a different wood would not work.  I've decided to put everything I can in large plastic bins to make it easier to move from room to room and keep it protected from the dust.  What a mess!!  Many things were found in this upheaval that were missing, but not all of my tags supplies yet. 
My husband will be coming home from fishing soon and we're having hot dogs, baked beans and cob corn.  I try to watch fat intake so I got the "light" weiners.  You know why they're light?  Because half of them is missing!  They're a little thicker than a pencil.  With enough chili sauce, hopefully he won't notice.
Have a great day everyone - thanks for visiting.
p.s.  Giveaway coming soon - I know why but I don't know what.

Jun 5, 2013

Sampler bag start

Greetings!  I may be able to take my sweatshirt off today.  Ed was working here yesterday so another mess on my hands.  He wants to take up the old floor and install the hardwood before the kitchen is worked on.  Yikes.  Three rooms at one time of moving furniture and sheets!
I worked up a design for the long skinny sampler bag the same day the magazine arrived.  Couldn't wait to start.  Very anxious to finish Eliza and although new to me, I may be working on two samplers at one time.  With my lack of decision making ability, I may spend more time trying to determine which to pick up than stitching.
There will be errors and oddities along the way because I am changing color as I go along, and you can see in the aqua border, if I get tired of doing the same stitch or impatient to complete a line, plans will change.  Yes, the top border's broken stitches are deliberate since this would be the likely corner of the bag that would be handled the most.
Two other things to show.  The size of my $18 basket compared to the local nursery's standard 10" hanging basket...................
and a full house!
Thanks for visiting.
Stay safe and enjoy your day!

Jun 3, 2013

What to do with those hankies and my coloring lesson

Good day all.  We're back to needing a sweatshirt today!  There seems to be no happy medium. 
 As most of you do, I use the thin highlight pens to color my charts.  This time, I learned something from it.  Whenever I came across the type of three row border that consisted of adjoining X's, I went from top to bottom skipping the two threads between each.  Well, DAH!  When I was coloring this time, I realized that the X was not the pattern, a diagonal row was easier, quicker, and a much neater back.  Why it came to me this time and never before is anyone's guess.  It still baffles my menobrain that these slants create an X!!  I would be lost without doing this to my multi color rows and it certainly helps define the pattern before I even start stitching.
Back to the hankies.  Just wanted to share what I've done over the years with the more special pieces.  First off, mom's friends that shared her life received a hanky in a note thanking them for their help and condolences after the funeral.  The newer ones were donated to the nursing home and they brought on many smiles. 
When mom first moved in with us and we teased her about the number of hankies,  I stuffed them in the center, tied them up and created a hanky Christmas tree for her.  We also made sachets for our drawers with lavender. 
 Scoop lavender or potpourri into the center (or make little muslin bags), pull the center of the sides in first, then the corners, tie and voila.
They make sweet little favors for a party too.  What I used to make and sell many years ago, is the hanky envelope sachet.  I made muslin inserts to fit and lie flat.  They're pretty without anything inside too, and so easy to make.  All you need is an iron.  You can insert a special handwritten note to your loved one, or one from them.  A little stitch can hold them together, or the temporary glue stick for quilting.  Here's a sampling of some.
Most need to be lined with another plain hanky, paper, or a piece of muslin.  You can see the difference in these two.  Pressing these for the photos made me want to start selling them again.
  Just fold the sides in and overlap, then the bottom flap up, and fold the top over.  Envelope!  Using paper as the lining helps them lay nicely in a basket or stand against a vase.  Using fusible interfacing helps but it will never be a hanky again. That's my lessons for today!  But you already knew all this didn't you?  But did you know you can also cut corners off fancy napkins and embroidered pieces, sew into a square, and make an envelope from almost anything?  You did?  Well, there has to be someone out there that didn't because it was unknown to my sister.
Have a great day!  Thanks for visiting!

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