Jan 31, 2019

Thinking of Santa

Hello all.  I have a mess of excess in my tiny parlor, now the inventory room, and that is where the totes filled with Christmas stitchery still reside.  Along with that massive wooden bowl that does not fit most places.
 I finally packed them neatly and decided that the older Aida ornaments are some I would like to stitch again on a high count linen.   Did I sell the Prairie Schooler charts?  Yepper I did.  But I kept a few that were my favorites (duplicates from my SIL) and hope I have what I need.

I visited Meg's blog post from last year http://livetostitch.blogspot.com/2018/02/hello-february.html to read about her treasured gift for her birthday and saw this....
 I caught up with current posts and she has great ideas and sources for goodies.
Meg I hope you don't mind my sharing your photo.  He is one of the large Santas in the Leisure Art hardcover series.  I of course, gave all of mine away, but I could never stitch something like this.  Samplers are so much easier than the color changes and fine details of such projects.  My Santas are small and simple, the Postman that you see at Christmas was a gift from my SIL.
She also mentioned using Mary Ellen's Best Press to remove severe creases in her new linen.  I use my 50% off coupons at JoAnn's and have several bottles on hand.  Most of my linens are rolled but a few still have creases from the shop so I will attempt removal with the spray.
Still cold today and 50 next week.  Yippee!  Those damn brats are so bored inside and were crying at the door to go out at 11:30pm.  Thinking they will not use the litter box (and they are spending nights inside) I opened the door.  They started running up trees, attacking each other, blitzing around the snow drifts, and had a heck of a good time.  Guess they just needed to expel some energy and then return to their warm room for the night.  I have a huge litter box in their garage condo complex and a regular size in the house.  Because all three were inside, I brought the large one in and laid carpets and cardboard around it because they dig as if they are hiding a body.  This morning, I awoke to litter all over the floor.  They squeezed beside the chair and used the little one instead of their usual large one!  Why?  WHY???  When I removed the small one (rarely ever used) I put their large (always used) one in its place.  Yet they went on a search for the little one and found it.  They drive me nuts. Nitzy sits and stares at me all day.  He is so goofy.
I diced a huge bag of carrots and celery and onion and bagged/froze them for future soups.  That prep is always time consuming so this will make it easy to grab the College Inn and a bag from the freezer for a quick start.  Today is Pioneer Woman's cauliflower soup which I adore.  I use a lot more carrots and onion than is called for.  It reminds me of my mom's creamed chicken made with broth and cream and lots of carrots.  SO love that dish. 
This cat is freaking me out so I'm going back upstairs to finish the purge.  And I'm closing the door.
Hope all is well with you folks.
Thanks for visiting.

Jan 30, 2019

Purge finds

Hi.  I'm almost afraid to ask how cold it is in your state.  We are in the deep freeze but the temps experienced are not as bad as other states.  I hope there are enough shelters for those in need and you know how I ache for the animals.
During the craft room closet purge, I found a few things that tickled me.  I love tiny tools and I kept my dad's smalls, came across a brass checkered handle screwdriver that I kept just because it was different.  To my surprise, the end unscrewed and out came several others, each smaller in size. The last one is the tiniest ever!  I was so excited! 
I also found two more fans.  The first is very thin decorative wood ribs. 
The fine material's design is pronounced white on one side, and metallic on the other.  
It's much larger than the second one I found, similar to one I keep in my purse.  I should check, maybe it's the same!  These folding fans are so handy and really do a wonderful job during a flash.  So much better than those large flopping menus and brochures and credit applications I'm always removing from the nearest counter.  This one will stay in the family room by my chair.

My sister dated a military man stationed overseas when I was a little girl (over 55 years ago!) and he brought back many gifts from there, I think these were a few.
Not very interesting to you but I lead a boring life and it doesn't take much.  And when I find something that makes me smile, I like to share with my blog buds!!
Stay safe.

Jan 29, 2019

Just in case

you love Sharon Cohen designs and don't want to stitch them, I thought I would mention the two completed works for sale on Ebay.  Click on the titles to see the listings.  Starting at a low price for the pieces, I'm sure it will rise considerably.  Or will it?

Tree of Life with Dragon

English Pyn Pillow

If you're interested in seeing other completed pieces, click this
There are several really nice samplers including a very large Permin. 

Jan 28, 2019

Going down the Tube

OK.  Overload!  I got lost in time!  I visited Linda's recommendations, and also caught up with Marlene and I didn't realize how much time had passed.    I was looking back at older posts that were missed because I didn't ring that damn bell and before I knew it, it was bedtime.  But I didn't eat during that time which was a perk.  If I could figure out what technology items will transfer the laptop to the TV, allow me to remotely control it, use headphones to hear while drowning out the treadmill …. oh hell that's too much trouble.  Never mind.
I watched a few of Vonna's tutorials (excellent!) including the large drum, and wondered where mine is.  I must have sold it, which is fine, but as I go through the smalls I am remembering some that are not here.  I gave quite a few away and also sold a few, no, I don't regret it!   My regret is that I did not journal the finishes and who received them as I had planned.  Those notebooks purchased for that specific task were off to a good start but as with many things, I failed to follow through.  Maybe constructing a journal that I love (inspired by the Primitive Stitcher) would entice me to use it. 
When I did my large drum I lined it with Mylar which made it really smooth and gave it stability to stand on its own.  I've used that material in smalls too, sandwiched between quilt batting.  I forgot all about it until the video jogged my memory.  I did come across one of the my favorite backings, mainly because it lined up perfectly!
I am trying to come up with a plan to hang the unframed samplers on the newly painted wall.  I don't want to put nails in right now and would like to use those 3M Command strips.  Problem is, they do not stick to the coarse linen.  There is a huge vertical hump in the wall from workers without levels (a common group around here) and I cannot hang anything rigid, it will not lay flat.  The unframed pieces will curve over the hump and they are the best solution for hiding the defect.  I'll figure something out.  I really like the light bare walls and may not want them covered.  I have a large wall where we were planning to construct a very long rack for all the wooden bowls, but I am hesitating on that too.

Tomorrow before the frigid temps come, I am going with Chris to get his new insulin pump, the latest model.  I sure hope this helps him.  He just cannot focus and I understand that it is more automatic and hopefully will prevent the sudden drops during sleep.  Mark had to go over there last week again and this time Chris was combative, which happens when glucose levels are extremely low.
 Maybe February will bring a change in the weather.  Either way, we're getting closer to summer!
Thanks for visiting.

Jan 27, 2019

Watching ....

From that website listing I showed in the prior post, I found a few of the Tubers I was missing.  One of them was the Primitive Stitcher who has been sharing for a few years.  I browsed the many videos on her page and watched three that sounded interesting.  And then I felt inadequate.  Talk about organized!  She is lucky to have several great pieces to accommodate supplies and I saw these at the now gone antique mall, never considered a purchase.  Damn.  The other video of her handmade stitching journals made me want to search for images and construct a few, whether I stitch or not.  The journals can be daily life and thoughts and it would be fun to collage images to make them reflect yourself.  My cover would be something like this ..
With this on the back....
Her voice is soft and I must increase my laptop volume when watching, but I did enjoy these.  Many of the items she features are unknown to stitchers without shops and I learned quite a bit from #50.
Floss Tube #24 stitching journal and floss management
you can skip the first four minutes if you're impatient
Floss Tube #25 fabric storage
Floss Tube #50 A few favorite tools
Pizza tonight.  I took a break from pitching and purging for online viewing but now it's time to return to the mess.  I think that list and the number of videos within each should keep me occupied until summer.
Have a good week!

Jan 26, 2019


After clicking on the bell for updates on FlossTube (thanks to your instructions) I'm now getting notices of new videos.  There were quite a few that I clicked "subscribe" but not the bell (still can't understand that) and I don't remember all the names.  When trying to search I was getting the same Tubers and none that I recognized, so I Bing'd it and found this site....
It lists 200 FlossTubers and I can now go down the list hoping to ping the brain into remembering a name.  I'm sure there are more than this but it's a damn good start, and you can register and add your channel to the group.  You can click on their name in the list to go to their latest videos, or click on their box in the left column to see all of their posts.  Drop down menu allows you to change the listing to alphabetic or by # of subscribers.  As Martha used to say, it's a good thing.  I do have a question for you …. do you move the video along and skip some parts, think a few are too long, not holding your interest?  Or is it my impatience?
The Family Homespun Weavers fabric that I wanted to sell was laid out on the bed to check for flaws, all six yards, both sides.  The Angstadt pattern has several large ones and I guess I'm stuck with it. 
I may contact them and ask if I should just cut and knot these fibers but may not bother.  Would make a great bed topping, shower curtains?   The linen shade will still look fine in a very light bedroom.  But I doubt I will sew it, and really don't need more bedding.  Not enough to recover a chair and I think it will go in the attic, I am done with it.  On to FlossTube!
Hope your weekend is warm and cozy.

Jan 25, 2019


Greetings folks.  I do not want these books and am offering them to anyone interested, for postage cost.  Media mail would be $3.50, you can request first class, still under $5.
If you aren't familiar with them Google search can give a description.  Personally, I am using other search engines now.  Just so tired of hypocrites with no tolerance or respect for others, demanding tolerance and respect from others, and broadly labeling people.
  Anyway, these are the books.
Books have been claimed - both gone.
They are in very good condition, in fact one is new.

A Gallery of American Samplers
The Theodore H. Kapnek Collection
Glee Krueger

Historic Samplers
What's in a Name?
Witney Antiques

If interested, please email samplersandsantas@gmail.com with your zip and I will calculate postage.
Another snap of the courthouse, each side has a grand entrance.  The grounds occupy the entire block and have a park like area to sit.  There is a memorial to WWII veterans comprised of bricks which can be purchased and engraved.  Our five family members are honored there.
And can anyone tell me what is so fascinating at night that these brats sit and watch for an hour?
Have a good evening.

Jan 24, 2019

Sale start

Hiya.  I finished the Samplers for SALE tab.  Finally!

Jan 23, 2019

Mercer Courthouse and sale date

in PA not NJ.  I was chosen for the first group of jurors, walked in the icy frigid temps, and today in the freezing rain (now just rain).  After all that, the accused settled for a plea bargain and I'm home and done.  I am grateful.  I am not a social person, lack confidence in all areas, and as I age it has only gotten worse.  So being with strangers and deciding someone's fate was not something I was looking forward to.  But if the case involved animal or child abuse, I would have jumped up and screamed for the death penalty.
The interior of our old courthouse is wonderful and I would love to wander and gaze, but there was no doubt I would be lost and end up where I was not welcome.  So I took a few photos on my $5 phone and this is its history.

History of The Mercer County Courthouse

The First Courthouse was built on the current site in 1807 from the proceeds of the sales of lots in Mercer at a cost of $7,116. The courthouse was a square structure of brick, two stories high, with wings on the east and west sides of the first story. The lower story was occupied by the court room. The upper story was divided into jury rooms and the wings housed the county offices. In 1840 the wings were taken down and large additions were made at a cost of $1,500. The building was then destroyed by fire in 1866, but all official records were saved from the fire.

Second Courthouse was built immediately after the first Courthouse burned down at a cost of $100,000. It was made of red brick with stone trimmings and was surmounted by a belfry to which was later added a town clock. This Courthouse then burned down in December 1907. All official records were saved from the fire.

Present Courthouse was erected in 1909 at a cost of approximately $500,000. The contractor suffered a huge loss since he had bid it at $324,000. The architect was Charles F. Owsley.

The very wide marble stairs have the most gorgeous bronze? brass? railings and wood throughout.   After my initial gasp at the workmanship, I wondered who dusts them.  I chose to not take the elevator because climbing these steps and the second series was a treat.  Sort of a breathless treat.
Doors are original and even the old windows have their original hardware and hinges on the push out casement windows.

I was not allowed to photograph the jury and court rooms on the second floor, all with stained glass ceilings and magnificent light pendants.  There is a third floor with additional modern court rooms above the glass but with lights between the floors, their colors shine brightly.
This is the rotunda ceiling.  Not really a round room, but close enough.
The balconies and courtrooms that surround the rotunda.  There are large wooden pews in the second floor court rooms and they also line the halls outside of them.  All the wood appears to be walnut but I'm not a pro at identifying wood species.  The wainscot and elaborate door casings throughout are perfectly aged and matched.  There are other court houses in PA that are just as nice or even more so, but for this small area it is very nice.  Mercer was one of PA's "dry towns" where no bars/alcohol exist.  Not sure if it has changed.  The population is less than 2000.


There was something that sort of shocked me.  For some reason, maybe because I don't have a phone filled with selfies and photos, I picture myself in my head as I looked many years ago.  Well the shock came when I saw myself passing in a large beautifully ornate mirror and thought …. who the hell is that?  Holy crap.  That's the old woman that couldn't get off the restroom's standard height commode and afraid of breaking the toilet paper holder in the giddy-up process.

OK.  I am listing the for sale items tomorrow at 7pm est.  I will send another post at that time but for those of you that only get updates at night, I wanted to let you know ahead of time.
Terri sent me an email and recommended KrudKutter (Home Depot) for any type of stain without ruining your fabric.  Will definitely look for it.
I bought a Rubbermaid FreshWorks container and it worked for my lettuce.  I open the salad bags and lay the contents on a dish towel, pick out any bad pieces, and let it dry a little.  Then I put it all into the FreshWorks with a half piece of paper towel on top and it stays nice and fresh for days.  That never happens when kept in the bag.
Hope your week is going well!
Thanks for visiting.


Jan 22, 2019

Because of ...

I had to do this to my sweatshirt.

His claws are like razors!  Missy has damaged clothing too, but this is the first time for Budman.  I sort of miss doing this to clothing.  So quick, so easy, and Mom got so excited when she saw her "new" items.  She didn't realize they were her clothes that she stained, and I covered up.  I painted some but she really liked the fabric pieces with buttons.  Instead of machine zig zag, I did a straight stitch a fraction in from the edge so it will (hopefully) fray a little during washings.  Easily attached with the fusible web to a piece of fabric, cut out the shape, remove the paper backing, and press onto whatever you'd like.
Here's the …. copied from a photo sampler.  Don't know what else to call it.  I have a leather lace for hanging and will probably pin to the back since it may not hang, or it will, and I can easily remove the hanger when needed.

She and my sweet Dorothy Allen are getting along nicely.  Still one of my favorites on the piece of gifted R&R 18th Century Rook.  The old one, the stiff one, the brownish bronzy greenish one.  Never to be found again.  I have two pieces in 35 count that are nice, but not the same color or feel.
Heading out to the courthouse and feeling miserable.  I don't know if I have a bladder infection or a huge piece of chocolate wedged in my abdomen, but I've been very uncomfortable for several days.  Hoping now that I am not chosen and I can come home and lie down. 
Have a good day!

Jan 21, 2019

Coming up....

These items will be for sale at the end of this week.  I didn't realize that many of you get email updates rather than checking blogs and they are delivered late at night after the sale has begun.  So I will post the sale date the day before, rather than the same day.
This sampler was displayed around a large box and the margins were folded to the back about a 1/2" from the stitching.  That left a crease in the linen which would be hidden by matting or a frame.  Not noticeable but of course it is to me.  There is also an unexplained darker line in the right edge margin. ????  No idea. 
From Elizabeth's Garden, Lydia C. Durgin.  This chart was gifted to me by Frances and I in turn passed it on to another.  She deserves a nice frame which I don't do, black would be perfect.  This was 30 count SL linen that I dyed.  The stitched area is 6" x 11" with a 1-3/4" to 2" margin for mounting.  Black and taupe thread.

The ponies.  Ah.  The ponies. Two Horses design by The Primitive Needle, 4-1/4" x 8-1/4"

Homespun Elegance design, Simply Red stitched on 35 count Tin Roof in my color choices, 4-1/4" x 5-1/2".

The lined linen pouch with heart.  Closed it is 6-1/2" x 3-1/2".

More photos and prices will be posted for the sale.

Jan 20, 2019


It started bad

and ended worse.


So I did a little hand sewing. 

These sweet pouches were made from linen banding  and never really finished.  I hand sewed muslin lining inside and then the side seams for the finish.  
Both will be included in the next sale which I hope will be this week.  Jury duty leaves the entire week in limbo, or jail, depending on my mouth.
Will need to find the week's location of the pacemaker testing because Carole is wanting her rate changed back to static.  Normal rates are around 65 for resting which increases during movement.  Since hers starts at 80, she is going well over one hundred when moving which makes her breathless.  Her walking rate is my exercising rate and that's not going to work.  I'm thinking her weight may cause more vibration and falsely indicate she is moving faster than she actually is, causing the device to increase even more.  They need to lower the base to 70 if she can handle that or set her back to constant 80.  We shall see!  Mark will be driving me to the duty which is about a half hour away, the parking is a distance from the courthouse and with two feet of snow, not good.  So hopefully this will be done with and we'll both be free to take her wherever we need to.
Hope your weekend is going well.
Thanks for visiting!

Jan 19, 2019

The first,

and the last project bag I will ever attempt.
I used the Moda sampler fabric but because this color's pattern was somewhat skewed, it was indeed frustrating. 
I did three pieces rather than a single length of fabric so the sampler would be upright on front, back, and flap.   Lining is the coordinating ticking.
Trying my best to line up the flap's pattern with the front's (because I am … you know) and I should have chosen the blue fabric.  Regardless, between the stiff interfacing and the light fleece lining and the sides and the seams and the everything with this project, it has soured me for a second attempt.  Besides, I like my clear zip pockets better.  I can see the contents at a glance and several fit nicely into a larger tote like Peg was making (I can't find the link to her totes!)
We took Carole for her pacemaker checkup and this time worked with the guy that saw her immediately after the surgery.  After I asked why it is set at 80 and does not increase with activity, he replied that he just made that change.  Finally!  I've been asking for 4 years!  Since the AV node ablation which disconnected the chambers, she cannot beat on her own and has 4 leads to her device.  This amazing thing can actually increase her heart rate based on her body's vibration, such as her foot hitting the floor.  The more she moves, the more the device increases her beats to compensate.  It will be interesting to see if this helps since walking around a store drains to the point of extreme weakness.  It may not help, it may help.  Right now she has to walk so slowly to prevent this feeling and can't walk any distance.  She wanted the Dove chocolate that Walgreens had on sale but we didn't go there, I just gave her a bag of mine.  She called last night and asked why there are nuts in it.  There aren't.  It was her tooth that broke off at the root.  Here we go again!
They said the snow will start at 11 am today and it's right on the money.  Mark will be home from breakfast at the Italian Home soon and make sure the snow blower works.  My previous office hired snow removals and they used leaf blowers except for the heavy wet snowfalls.  Worked like a dream. 
 Have a good weekend!  Stay safe and warm. 
Please help any stray and lost critters in the cold.

Jan 18, 2019


Thank you!

Here are the Moda Blackbird fabric sizes and options.  One pattern is called Beach House which is not the current Moda Beach House.  These are from a number of years ago so don't go by that.  They are already washed and dried, ready to stitch.  Those green stickies were to show size but that didn't work out real well now did it?

The blue

The green


The brown
This sampler pattern was printed a little wonky, slightly off edge, it will go for free with the brown ticking stripe.

If you are interested in any, please state color and either "sampler" or "print/stripe" (blue sampler, green print ...).  If you want both coordinates ask for the color set.  Shipping in a plain 10 x 13 envelope.  Two piece postage will be around $4.  Each piece is $3 except for the brown sampler, I'll add it to the brown stripe for free.
Let me know at samplersandsantas@gmail.com, hoping to mail before the postal increase end of next week.  I am on jury duty all week, God help them all.
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