Thursday, December 18, 2008

Coming soon...

sometime after the new year, Scarlett's Stitching Pretties! I hope to be up and running with an Etsy shop selling my hand-painted rulers, needle cases, and needle-minders. They are my original designs and will feature my favorite sampler motifs: birds, houses, trees, sheep, ships, flowers, and on and on. I will also take special orders, but mostly I like to paint whatever I'm in the mood to. Eventually, I have plans to include coordinated scissors fobs. Once the online shop is ready to roll, I'll be offering a set as a giveaway on this blog, so stay tuned. Here's a few examples.
A Scarlett house, of course!

This set was painted as a gift. I love painting birds, so I'm sure I'll be doing more.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I hate turquoise!

I've been stitching away on Dutch Spot~Motif Sampler for a week or so, and I'm just not in love with it. The charted colors look nothing like the way it was photographed for the magazine. I knew that I didn't like the colors when I converted them to silk. I should have switched the colors out right then and there. Actually, I do like the rusty reds, but not the turquoise green. But, I went with it, since I always figure that the designer knows better than I, after all it is their design, right? Since I have no desire to ripped out ye offending color, and restitch it, I decided to try my old trick of dyeing the piece. It tones down the colors, and I always like it better. Here's how it looked on vintage Luna from Lakeside Linen.

Fresh out of the dye in the kitchen sink, here's my new version. Instant aging! I think I can live with it now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Miscellaneous Monday

First things first, Red House Sampler is framed and hanging. I went with a warm colored frame because I thought it suited the colors of the linen and threads. I didn't realize it at the time I chose it, but the frame has carved medallions that are very similar to the border design.

So, with that out of the way, here's a look around at how I decorate our house for the holiday.

I love the simplicity of small wreaths hanging on the Windsors and greenery tucked in with fruit. We put the tree in the dining room this year, our house is fairly small, and it fit well in the corner. I enjoy looking at it at dinner time.

What more can I say? I'm a colonial at heart.

A small collection of Santa's. I like the unusual and skinny ones the best. You won't find any roly-poly well-fed Santa's in the lot.

The kitchen counter tree, filled with small cooking utensils, and sitting in a coffee cup.
More kitchen...

More Santa's on the pie safe. These fellows are all salt-glazed. They are made by Eldreth Pottery in Lancaster, PA., and a new one is issued each year. I just noticed that the one on the right is a roly-poly chubby Santa, so I stand corrected.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday this and that

Here is Quaker Christmas Sampler from Carriage House Samplings. It's stitched on 40ct. leftover linen from my stash with one strand of Sampler Threads in Cinders. I don't often use variegated over-dyes anymore, but I like the color changes for this piece. It's finished very simply into a pillow, and this is where it will sit for the next several weeks.

I hope to have the Red House Sampler framed any day now. I'm waiting for my husband to re size the frame I've chosen, and then I can get to work. The whole time I was stitching that sampler, I was planning ahead to what I would stitch next, like I know we all do. What I thought I would stitch next is not what I've decided to do after all. Yesterday, I sat on the floor and surrounded myself with my stash, wondering what would catch my eye. Do you do what I do, and narrow it down to a few then decide? Well, I ended up choosing to start Dutch Spot~Motif Sampler which was in an issue of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly awhile back. I have long loved this sampler, especially the stags. Also, notice the simple border. I was able to finish the bottom part last night.

I would also like to give special thanks to Sherry from Blog It for honoring me with this award.

I have been asked to pass it on to five blogs, however, I'd prefer to share it with those of you in my Inspiration list. Your blogs truly do inspire me, and I love sharing common interests with you all.
I've been busy decorating for Christmas, and I hope to post some pictures soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Red House Sampler

is now finished. I survived the border, but I did leave a little of it off. It's only missing a few spaced stitches by the leaves. I'm happy with it this way. It was stitched with a combination of HDF and NPI silks, on 40ct. vintage Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linen. I'm not sure what I'll do next. I've been working on Quaker Christmas by Carriage House Samplings on and off, and it would be nice to have it done for THIS season. Last year at this time, I promised myself that I would stitch a small sampler ornament each month until I had enough for a small fir tree. Didn't happen. I did manage to stitch four or five, and they need the finishing done, which is not my favorite part. Maybe if I get at least one or two done, I can have a Charlie Brown tree!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Answers for...

Glenna, who just cracks me up. She asks lots and lots of questions. So, this post is for her.

Text Color Question #1
Here is the sampler you asked for a close up of. It's by Carriage House Samplings. Second one in from right, right?
Question #2
This is stenciling that I did three quarters of the way up in the master bedroom. I know it sort of looks like wallpaper, but it's not.

More stenciling. This is from the guest bathroom. It's hard to photograph with the mirrors. It's about to get a makeover. I'll try to take pictures then, but for now thought I'd include it.

Question #3
The walls are all painted a warm color that matches an old tan salt-glazed crock. I had it color mixed from a crock. Really, I did. Unfortunately, the walls look greenish in some photos, but it's really not green at all. Let me know if I left out anything, will you, Glenna?
Many, many thanks to you that left me such lovely comments on the last post. I appreciate them, and I love hearing from you. Lastly, I've spent the entire morning labeling the samplers in my stitching album. It was long over due. I have no idea why I didn't do it in the first place. Many times I get asked about a particular one that I've done. For the most part, I could remember the details, but a couple were stitched long ago. If you double click on "This stitchers work" to the right, you'll get to the album.
Have a great weekend and happy stitching!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Around the house, part two

It's a fact. We're all voyeurs, I think. I love seeing how others live, and especially how they decorate and furnish their homes. I also enjoy sharing some of my favorite things, so here's another look around the house:
A view from the dining room looking into the kitchen. I love decorating for the holidays. Before long, the pumpkins and gourds will be replaced with evergreen. The witches hat chandelier is a fun place to drape berries and vines.

Although it's not an antique, I treasure this table. I searched high and low for a farmhouse table that looked old but was still functional. Everything I liked was too big for the space or it was in the Midwest. How would I get it to AZ? I came across a really big coffee table that was the perfect size. My husband cut the top off and added the new legs. I love the look of pine with the black Windsor chairs. Also in the dining room is a possum belly table. The bins were once used to hold staples such as flour. Whoever owned it before me painted the galvanized tin a hideous shiny gold color. Once again my husband came to the rescue and was able to strip the gold off. It looks much better, believe me.

The clock was a gift and it needs repairing. Someone got a little too carried away with the winding. Someday, I'll make the effort to have it fixed, but for now I enjoy it in the hallway. As you can see, I've started filling the wall with samplers.

This is in the entryway. I use it to store some of my stitching stash.
Okay, I feel sort of weird showing you where I sleep. So, forget about that and just look at the bed. I have wanted a canopy or four poster bed for my entire life. Several years ago, my husband made this for me almost entirely by hand. It took a lot of work to get the pencil posts just right. He then matched the color perfectly with the dressers and armour. The bed's pretty high off the ground and I still think about hanging a canopy eventually. He's a husband, this is.The salt-glazed Noah's Arc is another favorite thing. It was a birthday gift many, many years ago. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Red House Sampler update

All that's left is the date and my initials, and the border, of course. I tried to take Glenna's advice and work on and off on the border. Couldn't stick with it for long, so now I have no choice but to finish it. My favorite part has been stitching the row of bunnies and moose, two of my favorite animals. As always, I'm anxious for it to be completed. Anticipation of what to stitch next has been consuming me. I have a couple of samplers that I want to do for a guest bathroom redo. They involve ships and are very colonial.
Thanks to you that left such lovely comments on the previous post. Glad you could take a small tour of The Scarlett House. It's been suggested that I do a part two. I may just do that.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Around the house

When I created this second blog, my intent was to post about my stitching, of course, but also occasionally about antiques and decorating. For me, the three are infinitely entwined. Some people, my children in particular, think that by surrounding myself with antiques, I somehow am living in the past. And that's a bad thing? For as long as I can remember, I have loved the simplicity and warmth of this style. I shudder when it's categorized as "country", but I can't define it any better. Modern colonial, maybe? I could no more live in a contemporary style home than a man in the moon. It's just not who I am, or what makes me happy. Today, I thought I'd share some of my favorite things.
Salt-glazed crocks. Who'd have thought that something so
utilitarian could become so treasured?

My spinning wheel, a gift from my friend, Cindy, who is no longer with us. I think of her every time I walk by it, and to me it's priceless. It is also a favorite with my Grandson, Kai. He just loves spinning that wheel.
What once held pies to cool, now is jammed packed with holiday decorations.
It's really quite a mess inside, but we won't go there.
Windsor chairs are my favorite. I paid $67.00 for this way back when. An odd amount, I took it in exchange of cash to settle a phone bill. I get pretty nervous if anyone tries to sit in it. Not very practical, I know.I rescued this big boy from a back room of a body shop. It was filthy, covered in grease and grime, and was being used to hold a car engine. I got the tip that this guy was willing to sell it, so I made my way to a not so nice part of town. It was worth the trip. It's solid wood, and it took four college guys to deliver it. It took me months of planing and sanding to get it to look like this. It sits now where an island used to be. I could never part with it.

On top of the butcher block, sits a bowl full of flat-backed cookie cutters. I have more in a glass jar on the counter. These are some of my favorite things to collect. I always look for unusual shapes, and particularly birds and animals.

I couldn't leave out the butter churns. I don't have any plans to make butter, but it's nice to know that I could. Again, it's the love of salt glazed pottery.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the tour.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sampler box

If you'd like to see the box I painted to keep my current stitching project in, go here. Thanks and happy stitching!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Here is a little sample of Wednesday's progress. The lawn area, willow tree, and courting couple are complete. It's hard to tell from the picture, but the lady's dress is really bright fuchsia. Not a color that I'm used to working with, as many samplers favor such drab colors. I have to say that I like it though, it's a nice contrast to all of the green. I've started the bottom border, which we all know I hate doing borders. It's the repetition of repeating the same design that bores me. I love the way borders frame the design though, and I always feel such satisfaction when I'm finished.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Red House Sampler

Okay, Glenna, since you've asked to see it, this post is for you. It seemed like the house took forever to finish, but it is the main focus of the design. Now I'm on to my favorite part of adding the plants, wee folk, and critters. As with all The Sampler Company's designs, this one is pure joy to stitch. I like everything designed by Brenda Keyes. I wonder if she has a fan club? Maybe I'll start one and nominate myself for president. I'm using a combination of NPI silks and HDF's. The fabric I've chosen is 40ct. vintage Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linens

Monday, September 29, 2008

An autumn stitch

The calendar says that autumn is here, but our weather says otherwise. Here in the desert it is still really hot and anything but "fall" like. Nonetheless, my house is decorated for the season. Here is one of my favorite little samplers. I stitched it a couple of years ago, and I don't think I posted it over on RTWR before. But, If I did, oh it is again. It's stitched on 28 or 30ct linen over one with Gentle Art Sampler Threads. I can't remember the name of it, but I'm pretty sure it was a Black Star Design.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Governor's Palace

One of my many projects today was to frame this piece. I'm very happy with the way the frame looks with it. It's a dark charcoal grey, almost the exact color as the alphabet. The fabric has more gold in it than the photo shows. If you remember from a few posts ago, the linen was an off white color originally. Halfway through stitching it, I just wasn't "feeling" it, so I dyed it to give it more of a vintage look. I also changed it a bit from the way it was charted. It was supposed to have window panes and much lighter windows. I did one window, didn't like it, so in my version, it's night time and every one's asleep in the palace.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I tried to resist

starting the Red House Sampler, the wonderful new design from Brenda Keyes, I really did. I wanted to make it my winter project. I even started Meeting House Hill and maybe stitched a quarter of it. It just kept calling me, so I started with the planting of the row of trees. I'm now moving down to the building of the house.
I knew I would love stitching this design. I'm using 40ct vintage Meadow Rue linen and a combination of Needlepoint, Inc. and Hand Dyed Fiber silk. I converted the colors from the way it's charted for DMC for the most part, with the exception of the red. It was a little too bright for my taste, so I went with a different hue.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Look what I found

Yesterday, I was digging through some linen and came across this piece. It is from The Goode Huswife and it's called "Our House". I stitched it last year and totally forgot about it. It is done over one thread with silk on 30ct linen. I even had an unfinished frame set aside for it. Today I painted the frame and now it's ready to hang. I'm so glad I found it. Fall is my favorite season.
I've been decorating a bit with bittersweet, gourds, and pumpkins. It's still pretty hot here in AZ., but the mornings are getting cooler. Autumn can't be too far away.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Governor's Palace and new stash

I've been stitching like a mad woman. I am so anxious to finish this sampler. The birds need their beaks, panes need to be added to the windows, the alphabet done in Algerian eyelet needs completed, and of course, the border does, too. This sampler gets better with each stitch. The reason for wanting this piece finished is because I recently added two new charts to my stash. I have not decided which one to start next, but here they are: The first one is the newest design by my very favorite, Brenda Keyes, of The Sampler Company. It is called Red House Sampler. It is one of the most beautiful samplers that I have ever seen. It arrived from across the pond the other day. I almost tackled our mailman as he made his way up our walkway, so excited was I. This one will be pure joy to stitch. It has all of my favorite design elements.
Although not a new design, Meeting House Hill by Carriage House Samplers, will also be a great design to stitch. It combines over two and over one stitching, and I love that. Isn't it funny how you can look at something over and over and then one day it grabs you? You know you just have to have it. That is what happened with this one. I love the colors, and I'm thinking a nice vintage piece of linen will be perfect.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Making progress on the Palace...

The Governor's Palace, Williams burg, VA., that is. It is a beautiful sampler by Homespun Samplar. Williamsburg has long been on my list of places to visit, but til that day comes, this will have to do. I'm using mostly silk fibers. Vikki Clayton's Hand Dyed Fibers to be exact. They are lovely to stitch with and reasonably priced. I have a terrible habit of becoming bored with a piece about half way through. I guess it could be the anticipation of wanting to begin something new. Either way, it happens. I wasn't overly excited about how this was looking on the plain cream 40ct. linen. I love the look of vintage linen, the more distressed the better. So in a flash I was up and setting about dying my fabric. Looking back, I guess it was crazy to do this after it was partly stitched. Tea staining doesn't add enough color for me, so I mixed small amounts of tan and yellow Ritz dye. It gave it a totally new look.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Two recent finishes

May I present "Sibley Hall" by the Goode Huswife? I stitched this piece over one thread on 30ct linen with one strand of silk. I've had this frame forever and thought this design would be perfect for it. I really enjoy stitching over one now and then. I love the way it is so compact and petite. They are hard to see, but those are dogs marching across the lawn. Birds and dogs and houses...a few of my favorite things to stitch.

Here is Maria P. Oliver by Barrick Samplers. It was a thoroughly enjoyable quick stitch. Stitched on 40ct. linen with one strand of silk over two. After it was stitched, I coffee stained it. You never know how staining your piece will come out, but I was pleased with the result.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

At last

I have finally finished #17 New England Schoolgirl Sampler. It was stitched on 36ct linen with one strand of silk. The top part grassy area and sheep were stitched over one. It is not even close to being stitched as originally charted. I switched a few colors, omitted all the Queen stitches and, redesigned the side border a bit. As always, I got antsy about finishing it about three quarters of the way though. I'm glad it's done.