Jan 31, 2014

Ann's wallets

Hi everyone.  I mentioned before about showcasing a few pieces of Ann Madges' work.  Here's a little about her in her words.  " I love stitching (belong to EGA, Dayton and Cincinnati Chapters and to the Queen City Sampler Guild) and have samplers on many walls. Since I have little wall space left, I have now become obsessed with doing smaller 17th18th century reproduction pieces such as pinballs and men's wallets."  I asked to see her work, she obliged, and I think they are well worth viewing.  Beautifully stitched and finished!  You can find Ann on Pinterest here, and check out her boards for a variety of needle arts. 
The first one is Casper Yeakel which is a kit from The Essamplaire here, stitched on 30 count with Appleton wool, linen lining and tape.

The next one is from The Scarlet Letter, Ann Davis 1762 found here, which Ann stitched on linen with linen lining, DMC threads, and wool tape.

This is available from Colonial Williamsburg, Ezekiel Teel's Pocketbook kit, here.  Irish stitch on 27 count using Appleton wool, linen lining, and wool tape.

This is from Susan Siegler's book Needlework Patterns from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Paternayan wool on 32 count in tent stitch with wool lining and binding.
Next is Scarlet Letter's the Gardner Pocketbook of 1755, found here.  Done in cross stitch and eyelet on 35 count, wool lining and binding.
The last is also from The Scarlet Letter, E.S. Pocketbook here, Irish stitch with Appleton crewel wool, lined with silk, edged in wool tape.
Ann inserts a photo of the original piece inside each wallet, and told her family that each can choose a wallet as a remembrance when she is gone.  But she's not giving them up until then!  Aren't they treasures?  What a collection to display.
Thank you for sharing Ann!
I hope you all enjoyed the show!

Jan 29, 2014

Beating my drum, part 2

Well I feel foolish!  I cut another circle for the bottom, marked the 3 1/2", eased the circle as it went along, and it ended perfectly!  No excess, no problems. 
 So why did I have so much trouble with the top piece?   Here's the perfect bottom, and how I pressed the edges.  
Now for the inside.  I cut a piece of foam board (cardboard or mat) to fit in the bottom, and a piece of Mylar (plastic sheet) that is 1 1/2 times around the outside and 1/8" shorter than the height.   I stuck my hand in to pull the seam allowance up so the board sits flat on the bottom. 
Double sided tape would have helped because it was moving around a bit.   I rolled the Mylar, inserted, and it unrolled itself to fit the inside.  Pushed down on it, and then added a piece of quilt batting at the bottom, hoping it would keep the filling from wandering.  I used those little plastic beads because I've had them for years and want rid of them.
I stopped 3/4 way up the tube, and smooshed them down, tapping lightly to settle.  When I pressed on the beads, they expanded the Mylar to the limit and made a firm drum.  The reason for cutting the Mylar much bigger than the drum is to have an overlap inside to keep the filling from getting behind it.   

Added another layer of quilt batting over the beads.  Next will be several inches of crushed walnut shells for the pins if it would be used as a pincushion.
 Then gather the muslin over the walnut shells, secure, and trim excess.  A single layer of thin quilt batting to cover the muslin, and then hand sew the lined top to the drum. Maybe tonight!  Maybe not. For a shorter drum, I don't know if I would use the same method inside.  This is tall and I want it to sit well.  Using all sawdust would make an excellent drum and I'll see how stable this is before the final stitches.  If it's not, I'll try the sawdust.  I'm just glad it worked out because I really like this finish for a sampler I thought I wouldn't like.   All that's left is the little bit of hand sewing.
This wonky bird is on an antique wallet that I saw on Pinterest.  Still need to show you Ann's, (who has piqued my interest in wallets) work .  So for the next drum, will I machine sew the top and use the muslin on the bottom?  Probably.  But I will keep this drum finish in mind for short and wide samplers like this one.  I think using the Mylar and bottom disc would allow a much bigger round but shorter drum, too.  Theresa gave me a great idea to use wool or wool felt for the circle, which doesn't ravel.  Just press or tuck the drum's top edge, and hand sew a wool top to close.  Thanks Theresa!
Thanks for visiting!
  Hope I didn't bore you with this!

Marching to a different drum

Hi everyone.  Hope you're doing well.  I thought I would show my disaster attempt at a pinkeep drum.  Drum pinkeep.  Damn pinkeep.  The frustrating tricky part is of course, getting the round top sewn on.    Now keep in mind, I am not a professional nor do I play one on TV.  This is my own way to find the laziest and easiest method, which may not even work. 
Started off with my lint brush, then a light interfacing.   I'm really glad I finally had a lucid moment to think of this.  One way, the brush makes all the hidden tails appear, the other way it removes the cuts. 
I removed a linen thread the same distance on each side and the bottom.  I kept this removal about 1/4" from the where the seam will be sewn.  Folding it in half and matching up those lines makes perfect alignment.
Then I trimmed the top to the right height and removed threads until I got a perfectly even edge. 
 So far so good.  This is where it all fell apart. So we'll pause here for something cute.
I measured the distance between the seam and divided by Pi (3.1416) to get the size for the top, which was 3 1/2".  No I did not remember how to figure this but my smarty pants husband remembers everything he was taught from every subject.  Really.  Ticks me off.  After cutting the denim circle at 4" (1/2" added for seam allowance-was this wrong and where I made my error?), I basted and gathered, pinned and sewed to the inside of the drum.
Looked a little too small and kind of wonky.  So I took it apart and tried again, shortening the seam allowance and giving the top piece more fabric.  This time it was too large and looked like a muffin top.
 So before I lost my patience, I decided to try something else.  And here it is.
I sewed a strip of muslin to the top edge and then basted to gather.
Then I drew a circle on another piece of muslin and sewed it right sides together to the denim.  All the way around, no opening for turning so I had a perfect circle.  A slit in the muslin, seams pressed open, right side out, and another press.
 I will probably sew a circle to the bottom and then I can stuff the drum, gather the top closed, and trim excess.  The denim circle can then be hand sewn to the top.
I quit for the day and will pick it up tomorrow.  Not sure how the finishing will go, but I really expected this to be easy.  Maybe I was just tired.
To be continued...............

Jan 28, 2014

Room two

Barnwood.  Valspar color mixed at Home Depot - Behr eggshell enamel.  It's more brown than shows here.  A nice grayish brownish with NO pink tones. Slight greenish cast in certain light.  Lots of ish's.
 I'm taking a paint break to work on the pinkeep drum.  My car battery is dead and we'll be venturing out into the cold for a new one when he gets home from work.  And buying more cat food and litter. 
Bud just came back in after a half hour outside, and where in this zero temp he found water and mud is a mystery.  But he is filthy.  Muddy paw prints everywhere and his white legs are brown.   Nitzy was so cozy in the lighted box that he wouldn't come in last night.  I couldn't coax him out!  We will buy another plug-in socket ($2!) at Lowe's and grab another extension cord to hook up a second box for Squeak.
I thought about what I asked you to think about and came to a decision.  Wait.  Never mind.  If I had a designer outfit, I wouldn't want my friends wearing knock-offs for 1/4 the price.   Would that pertain to an antique?  I think it would.  Unless I was the one offering the knock-off.  So my answer - it would depend on the item and how I felt at the time.  How's that for waffling?  But it's true.
Right now I need to wipe muddy prints off the floor and jump in the shower.  Wish me luck on my first drum.  Because of its height, I'm pretty sure I will be using Mylar for shape and stability.  We'll see how that goes.  Only one way to find out!!
Stay safe - thanks for visiting.

Jan 27, 2014

Something to think about

Greetings.  Got snow?  It's really getting old isn't it?  Anyway, an update on the horses.  I heard back from the very nice owner at the same time the inside photo of the purse was sent to me from Pinterest pins.  The chart will not be for sale or share because I am honoring her request.  You still have Primitive Needle's chart of it!  It was sold from a museum years ago and she feels that stitchers recreating it would decrease its value.  I know that many of you will disagree because an original sampler will continue to increase in value, even though it has been finely reproduced into a chart, and many times because of the exposure and popularity.  But they are her ponies.  What would your position be if you paid for a pricey one of a kind stitchery?  Would you be upset that others can recreate it for so little, or would you not care?  Myself, I would have to think about it.  Maybe I would feel like the queen with diamonds in my gold tiara, while you peasants had rhinestones in plastic.  Maybe not.  Since I'm not in this quandary, I don't have an answer.  And if I did, you know I would change my mind weekly.  So I will be featuring a different project (as soon as I choose one - here we go again!).
A sad story. My sister and I are really upset about her little raccoon Mickey.  This little guy showed up a few months ago, is very small, and has no usable front legs.  He walks on his hind legs and without the front, can't forage for food.  She feeds him twice a day under her car and her son shovels a path in the snow to their shed under which he lives.  Two days ago, he took her car and a mile down the road, Mickey fell out of wherever he was hiding, and jumped into the ditch, then hopped into the brush.  He saw this in the rear view mirror and immediately knew it was Mickey.  Chris went back after his appointment and tried to follow Mickey's tracks which showed he was trying to get under a maintenance shed behind a rest area off of I-80.  With all the brush and briars, fresh snow, and Chris being at work, he hasn't found him.  We're sick about it.  This little guy can't survive without help, can't climb a tree, and has no shelter.  I know Mother Nature can be a real bitch, but when you take care of a little visitor looking for handouts every day, it's even harder to accept. 
And it's snowing again.  The blast is coming back.
The cats are having a ball inside and even though I am letting them out for fresh air and running, they come back inside to use the litter box.  Brats.  Squeak has been in the lighted box for two nights now.  Of course the brats are not one bit happy about it.

So think about it - what would you do about your pricey piece?  I'm curious to hear how needleworkers feel about owning an antique.  Not your opinion - your decision if approached.

Take care and stay safe. 
Thanks for all the hand products info and
thanks for the visit!

Jan 26, 2014

Portrait of a slub

Hello people.  Another day of bad coffee.  But I'm safe inside and fortunate to have heat so I will enjoy that bad cup and be grateful.
Got a few emails regarding the last post and I was surprised to read that many of you try to slay the slub also.  I don't feel so alone now.  Thanks!  For those of you asking what a linen slub is, here you go.
This one I would definitely try to remove and if I fail, this coarse linen is very easy to weave in a replacement thread.  The needle needs to be large enough for the eye to take the linen strand so I always keep a 22 or 24 handy. The other piece is loaded with them in all directions, throughout the entire half yard. Most of these I would leave and only try to reduce the bad ones. I use a needle and gently pick up a little fuzz at a time, then grab tweezers to remove it. Most are left alone.

So far....

I think this horse area with the two largest flowers will be the most difficult part to chart.  Well, I should be truthful.  Trying to chart from a blurry photo is a crap shoot.  I hope the rest goes quick and easy, and with smaller less detailed flowers, that should be the case.  I'll start stitching this to check for color and then move on to the top portion.  Sorry I printed across it but I received an email that a few of my freebies are being sold and two have minor changes.  Play nice!  You don't want me coming to your playground.  Trust me.

For Karen (you're no-reply), the center sampler is an old Sheepish Antiques of Salina Dunwoody.  Check with Em-Li's since she owns Sheepish Designs now.  I think.

Thanks for reminding me about O'Keefe's.  My sister found it at Walmart so I will check next time I'm there.  Must be inventory month because most of the stores are bare of many products.  I've used Miracle Hand Repair and love it but it doesn't heal cracks.
That's all.  Still snowing.  Frigid temps coming again this week.  Maybe I'll venture out into the cold when the roads are clear and the snow has stopped.  May?  June?
Enjoy your day and your favorite drink.
If you see a helpless abandoned pet, please give it shelter or take it to one.
Thanks for visiting!


Jan 25, 2014

The slub trap

Hello dear readers.  It's the final weekend of January - spring is getting closer.  But not close enough for me.  I haven't been out much this week so I had planned on going into town for a good cup of coffee this morning.  Not to be.  We are getting several inches, again, and I'm not taking a chance on another accident just for good coffee.  If you've ever tasted mine, you may disagree and feel it's not only worth the risk, but necessary.
My fingertips have a few painful cracks from using cleaners and washing so often to remove paint, so I decided to try charting the teal horses instead of stitching.  Not as easy as I had hoped, but it's coming along.  I plan on stitching it as I go, charting 1/4 at a time, so I can see if my colors and shading will work.  If I wait until the entire piece is charted, I may have to go back for changes.  This way, I can see what may be off and correct it in the next 1/4.  
I started a few stitches prior to cracking and learned something about linen slubs.  On dyed linen, they are a trap.  I know you aren't supposed to pick the fat fuzz off or try to lessen their bulk, but I do anyway.  When I've come across a break in a weave, I took a linen thread from the edge and wove it in after removing the broken thread. The entire way if a small project, or just where the break happened in larger cuts.  If you leave long tails of the weave on the back, you can add the new thread in the damaged area only.  It's really not difficult to do and so unnecessary if you are sane and do not pick slubs. 
Unbleached and natural is what I use most and had no idea about the trap.  Here is the big fat slug slub on the backside after picking.  See that white strand?  It was covered by the fuzz and I have no idea why it did not accept the dye, but it didn't.  Good thing I saw this and worked from the back because the front is still good.  If I would have paid more attention to the weave before starting to stitch, I could have avoided it.  It's smaller now and won't be messed with again!  Would this happen to every dyed linen?  Who knows.  I'm probably the only wacko that tries defuzzing, and in my defense, it has always worked before.
We rigged Squeak's house with a 25 watt bulb about an inch away from the styrofoam top and sides.  Doesn't seem that warm in there to me, but my brother (cat man) claims that 15 watt is better.  He still leaves at night.  I touched him yesterday while he was eating and he made his brrt sound and didn't swat me.  This is the new toy that they all seem to love.

Except for the steel exterior front door that won't be painted until the weather cooperates, everything else is finished in here with two coats. I think I finally found the trick to painting door panels.  I did the recessed areas separately, and used a wet rag to wipe any paint that overlapped onto the flat areas.  Once those coats were dry, I used a cabinet sponge roller on the flat areas.  You have to work really quick with that roller to get an even finish but it worked so much better than trying to do the entire door at one time.   I know you saw these doors before but they are done and I'm happy to move on.  I'm glad the new room's trim, crown, and base were coated before installation so only the final coat is needed, but not glad that I didn't use the final color.  The important thing is - I like it much better so the extra work is worth it.  I use leftover plywood and drywall pieces for paint tests and purchase the $3 samples first.  It helps tremendously!  But I still have a paint problem.  They really hate to see me coming.
I found out a little more about Bloglovin.  I have seen a few now that list their blog on the profile page, so the ones I viewed that had no option for that, obviously don't have a blog.  I was mistaken in believing that everyone using it was a blogger.  I still use my reading list on my dashboard.
Enjoy your weekend, stay safe and warm.
Thanks for visiting! 

Jan 23, 2014

The winner is....

Lady Jane, I will be emailing you shortly for your address.  Thank you all for participating!  Another offer will be coming for my anniversary in February.  I'm still painting! 
I'm not a big fan of broccoli, but when I make the stems, oh baby.  Peel them, slice into sticks, a little oil in a med hot pan, sprinkle with salt and granulated garlic.  Mmmmm.  So tasty.
And this is how easily a used candle can be removed from the glass after two days in the freezer.   Then use the wax in a tart burner.
Sorry, but since I haven't been stitching, I don't have much to show other than broccoli and candle bits.
So there you have it. 
One more thing.  When someone follows you on Bloglovin, how can you find their blogs or if they have one?  I clicked to follow a few and all I receive is updates on what they are following!  I see a profile but that's it.  Is Bloglovin for followers that don't have blogs?  Or younger people that have smart phones and brain cells?  I refuse to get a phone that is smarter than I am.
Stay warm - thanks for visiting!
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

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