Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sarah Elizabeth Brooke Correction

It has been brought to my attention that there is a mistake on Sarah's chart.  Somehow the bird in the middle of the two purple faced people lost his tail and part of the wing.   Also, the vase has some missing symbols, which happen to be the same color.  The graph below shows the way it is supposed to be charted.  I am so sorry for the confusion and inconvenience.  If you have any questions, please email me.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Tis the season...

for a little decorating around the house.  I'm going to apologize in advance for showing similar photos from year to year, but I pretty much stick with the same thing.  Plus, I know that some of you might be new visitors, so maybe you will enjoy them.  The rest of you...just bear with me, okay?
Our home is small, so I try to keep it fairly simple.  My attempt at creating a colonial feel here in the desert.  Sprigs of greenery tucked here and there.
I found this driftwood Santa in Iowa. He looks like he has a really bad back ache.  I have a thing for skinny Santa's.  No roly poly guys need apply.
More greenery amongst some red ware.

These gentlemen are definite repeats.  I know I show my collection of  Eldreth Pottery Santas every year, but I only get to display them for such a short time.  Hey, there's a chubby Santa in the front did he get in there?

One of my favorite Christmas stitches, Blessings be Thine from Blackbird Designs.  I'm almost tempted to leave it out all year.  You know that weakness I have for canning jars.  I can't take credit for putting this together.  Another Iowa find, and it was in my arms in a split second.

These primitive stars are just the thing for my kitchen counter.

What few snowmen I have seem to end up in the guest bath. 
This is a new display for me.  Several of you inspired me to fill a dough bowl with some smalls.  It's a start.  The sweet little oval box with the silhouette was a gift from a dear friend who knows me well. 

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  May your holiday be filled with comfort and joy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hannah Tingey 1823

I'm pleased to present my new release, the Hannah Tingey 1823 reproduction sampler.  For the model,  I used 45ct. vintage Butter Cream from Lakeside Linen and Needle Point, Inc. silk.  A   conversion to DMC is provided with the chart.  The verse and Hannah's name and date are stitched over one. 

Little Hannah must have been a bird lover, as she chose to stitch 14 of them on her sampler.  I enjoy feeding the birds that come to our yard, so naturally I was excited to reproduce it.  The verse is particularly meaningful.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Three turkeys and stitching...

These three are ready for turkey.  There's no convincing them that they aren't direct descendants from the original pilgrims either.  We all want to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving on Thursday. 

Stitching bags!  Who isn't thankful for the great variety of bags out there?  When I started stitching back in the stone age, I think I must have carried my projects in Ziplocs.  I couldn't have imagined that one day I'd have so many fun ones to choose from.  The red and lime green mesh ones were found at Barnes and Noble, and while not actually marketed for stitching, they sure come in handy.  I love the ones made out of the very cool sampler-like fabric.  At a recent trip to the Attic, the teal colored one in the back was spotted.  There were many different ones to choose from, all unique.  Several of us were looking at them at the same time, and it was an absolute frenzy.  It was really funny trying to get the one you fancied the most without being too pushy.  There might have been an elbow or two thrown though.  My friend, Natalia makes awesome stitching wallets.  She has a great eye for selecting fabrics, and the construction is top notch, too.

This little tote came home from South Carolina with me.  It's perfect for carrying my stitching out to the patio.  I bought it from CJ's Creations, who was one of the vendors at the PALS retreat.  They can be embroidered, and come in several colors.  One of the neat things about this tote is that it collapses flat
The model for Hannah Tingey 1823 is finished.  I'm finalizing the chart, and she will be available the first week of December.  I hope you like her.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

South Carolina Part Two

This was my first glimpse of the beach.  It was exactly as I remembered it from all those years ago.  Now, I've been to many beaches since that first trip to Myrtle Beach, but this place is special.  It must be the memories associated with it, but I felt like I had come back to a place that I've held in my heart for a long time.  I had a very hard time concentrating on stitching with this view outside.
Shortly after arriving, Paulette and I headed down to the beach to check out the surfers, um...I mean surf. 

Hurry let him get away.  Oh, I forgot.  You have a zoom lens! 

Nice boards...hee-hee!

Two of my favorite people.  My long time friend, Patti on the left, travelled with me.  (She's the short one who needed the step stool to climb into that high four poster in Charleston).  I can't thank you enough for all the help, and for the fun, Patti.  On the right is today's birthday girl, Nicole.  Happy birthday, my friend!  I had so much fun with you, and I appreciate you helping us navigate.  I especially want to thank you for insisting that I needed that red bag :) 

Here is the fabulous, Faye.  She is one of the nicest gals on the planet.  I can't wait to see more of your Sarah Elizabeth.  Thank you again for the scissor fob.  Just looking at it makes me smile.

Michele is stitching my Jingle all the way on red!  Make sure you send me a photo of it finished.  It was so fun to meet you.

And then there was this group...the Carolina Connection!  Michele and I snuck in there, too.  I am not exaggerating, when I say that you are the nicest, funniest, friendliest, and most special bunch that I have ever met.  I had a blast being an honorary Carolina girl.  I can still hear Lynn laughing in my head , and I start in all over again.  Have you started your Williamsburg ort can yet, Sandra?  Remember, we promised!  Linda, I now have a southern drawl thanks to you.  I can't wait to meet up with you all again.  Have fun in Tennessee.

I want to thank Amy for inviting me.  It was my absolute pleasure to be a part of this fun event.  I met some truly wonderful ladies, and I so appreciate the enthusiam and response to my designs.  Thank you all very much.  I hope you find that Candy Corn!

Ahhh, I could have stayed like this forever...

Monday, October 31, 2011

I can't help myself...

We have a tale of two witches.  Can you guess which witch is the bad witch?  Actually, they are both good witches!  They are only giving me the evil eye because I made them sit still and pose.

Now this the devil.  There's no doubt about it.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

South Carolina Part One

I'm back home from a wonderful trip to South Carolina.  I visited there over thirty-seven years ago, and I've had "Carolina in My Mind" ever since.  The first stop was Charleston, an incredibly beautiful and historic city.  We spent two days exploring almost entirely on foot, with the exception of a carriage ride tour.  When we were worn out, we escaped back to our room at The Meeting Street Inn.  It is a fabulous inn.  The rooms are furnished with amazing antiques.  Yes, those beds are high.  What you can't see is the step stool in between them.  It came in very handy for my short companion.  It was such an awesome place to stay.  I really hated to check out.

This was a cemetery that we walked through.  It was a peaceful and lovely place. 

The architecture captivated my attention the most.  I could live in any of the houses, and be perfectly happy.  I loved the shuttered windows, wide southern porches, gas lights, intricate iron work, and well...everything.  The gardens were beyond stunning.  Many were very English looking in their layout.  Wouldn't you love to be sitting in one of those rockers stitching away?

A highlight of the trip was a visit to The Charleston Museum.  I am very grateful to my friend, Carol for suggesting that we make an appointment to view some of the many samplers housed there.  I knew that the Ann Wragg Sampler below was there, but I didn't know that samplers aren't always on display.  The curator was very gracious and let us view several.  Seeing Ann up close was a thrill.  It is a small sampler, but the stitching is perfectly done. 

My other favorite was the Mary Bella Hopkins Sampler.  A large sampler with beautiful stitching in really nice colors.  Oh, how I wish someone would reproduce it.  I would be first in line to buy the chart.
In my next post, I'll tell you about the trip up the coast to Myrtle Beach.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hobbling to the beach...

 I am finally ready to head to the beach bright and early tomorrow morning.  It's been a busy, busy week filled with all the last minute things to do before a trip.  If I can get my suitcase zipped, I'll be good to go.  The hobbling part is because I have a bad knee that has been acting up.  A quick trip to the doctor for a cortisone shot was necessary.  So, I might be limping, but it won't keep me from enjoying this "me" time with the girls.  To those of you who are going...I'll see you there.

I haven't painted in a very long time, but I did this week.  Out of all the sets I've done, I never kept one for myself.  I thought it was about time to do just that.  I love colonial stencilling, and I love silhouettes, so I was inspired to combine the two.  My dear friend Patti, brought me the sweet little bag back from Paris.  It's the perfect little accessory case.  Every time I look at it, I'll be reminded of my little boy back home who's really going to miss his mama for a few days.

On a side note, I've been getting emails about where to purchase my charts.  I am distributed through Hoffman, so any shop can order directly through them or me. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Here's my latest design, Jingle all the way.  It's a pin keep, but I like to use them in potpourri filled bowls.  I love the linen, it's called Swamp, and it's from PTP Colorscapes.  Not your traditional Christmas color, but it was fun to use.  My model is stitched with Belle Soie Mahogany and Icing on 36ct.  If you'd rather use cotton over-dyes, Cayenne and Toasted Marshmallow from Crescent Colours are good conversions.  I thought the bell was a nice touch, but it is charted with a snowflake if you'd prefer it that way.  The bell was found at Hobby Lobby.  The trim is jumbo Rick Rack from Wrights in the color Bark. 
Thanks again to the amazing Vonna for taking my visions and making them work. 

I'm still working on the model for Hannah Tingey, but I'm itching to get back to stitching for fun.  I'm thinking ahead to what projects to take for the trip to Myrtle Beach for the Pals 2011 Stitchin' At The Beach retreat which is coming up soon.  I'm beyond excited to see some old friends, and make some new ones.  I'm a surf and sand girl, so I can't wait to get to the beach.  We're spending a couple of days in Charleston before heading up the coast.  I've never been to that city, and I just know I'm going to love it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Emma, Hannah, and I

Happy Fall!  We are still waiting for those cooler temps, but they can't be far away now.  To be honest, I've hardly paid any attention to the weather.  My needle has kept me busy.  I've spent more time with Hannah, below and Emma Mills, above.  The antique Emma is a sweet little sampler in my collection, and the chart will be released next week.  The original sampler was stitched on fabric that looks like dirty linen.  I tried to reproduce it with similar linen, but I was never happy with the result.  I then tried Meadow Rue, and that didn't work either.  I finally settled on vintage Lentil, and I used a variety of cotton overdyes.  It needed a bit of brightening up.  One has to wonder what prompted little Emma to stitch her admonishment about the evils of money
Hannah's red house is going up brick by brick.  I love stitching bricks for some odd reason.  I couldn't wait to get to the deer, and it was a fun motif to do.  I forgot to mention that I'm using 45ct. Buttercream and NPI for her.  Her release will probably be late in October.  In addition to Emma, I will be releasing a new design called "Jingle all the way" very soon.  The talented Vonna has worked her finishing magic once again.  It's a Death By Candy Corn meets Christmas idea , and it's somewhat primitive.   
We recently bought this small motorhome to travel with the dogs in. I'm hoping that we will escape the heat more often next summer.  We took it up to the pines of northern AZ this weekend.  If you look closely, it appears that I am fenced in.  Um, that would be for the pups who were too busy lounging on the beds inside.  The van has all the comforts of home, but I think it needs a sampler or two hanging in there somewhere.  Just saying...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Red House Addiction

I've started the model for my next reproduction sampler.  I purchased Hannah Tinguey 1823 before we went on vacation last month.  I'm really drawn to red lettering on samplers, and the red house pretty much sealed the deal.  The stitching on the original is very, very tiny and just exquisite.  I was amazed to see that the thread colors are still very vivid.  The verse is also charming, and I love the way she spelled denied as deniyed. 

Aren't those big eyed stags wonderful?

It seems that most of the antique samplers that I come across come from England.  I thought about that as I was waiting for her to make the trip across the ocean.  I can only surmise that our young American girls were much too busy with day to day chores and basic survival in the early 18th and 19th centuries. 

I grabbed my camera when I saw these three sitting together.  It doesn't happen that often as Scarlett doesn't like to be next to Henry.  She tolerates him, but barely.  I'm sure if she could talk she'd say something like "girls rule, boys...yea, not so much". 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


 There's a very good reason for my lack of blogging lately...I've been in the Midwest.  Actually, the road trip took us through nine states, but Iowa and Minnesota were the main destinations.  While there, we visited family and enjoyed some incredible weather.  Sadly, we came home to temps around 116.  I keep telling myself that we are near the end of the heat, but there is still more than a month of it to go before we head into the chamber of commerce weather. 
I'm fairly certain that I hit every antique shop between here and there.  Above is some of the misc. loot that came home with me.  I see a theme going on with the alphabet, don't you?  I guess I'm pretty predictable, I always seem to look for the same things every trip such as vintage photos, old buttons, canning jars, silhouettes, and pewter.  I really had no intention of bringing home another piece of salt-glazed pottery, but I couldn't resist these two.  The crock was a steal at $40, and the jug, complete with "turkey droppings" was only $15.  I had no clue what a turkey dropping was until a woman stopped me to admire them on the jug.  She enlightened me with a story about the brown splats.  The glaze apparently drips/drops onto the ones below them in the kiln.  According to her, they make a piece more desirable and valuable.  Who knew?

We attended this event in Minnesota for the second year.  Last year, I flew and was limited to what I could bring home.  This year, I was prepared and brought our van.  We were just about to leave when I spotted the spinning wheel.  I have to say that I was feeling a little disappointed because I hadn't found any samplers worth buying and had missed out on a wonderful old spool cabinet by minutes.  So, when this came into view, I was excited.  It has the original blue/black paint, and is from 1844. You can see where the paint has worn from use.

The bee skep is not old, but I have always wanted one.  I'm hoping that it will age in time.

 Now this is something that you do not see everyday.  It was originally a large rhubarb leaf.  My sis-in-law participated in a fundraiser by making these.  I can't remember the exact process, but it involves forming an actual leaf over a mound of dirt to form the bowl.  Then some type of plaster mixture is added to make it hard.  This one was painted, but I love how you can see the veins.  I'm using it for a small bird bath along the walkway.

 We were on hand to wish brother-in -law, Mike a happy 50th.  He was golfing at the time, and came home to a surprise party.  That is yours truly in the middle.  I'm the only one not holding up a "50" napkin.  Another sister-in-law had just given me something from Tastefully Simple, and that is what I am displaying.

 We also spent time in this resort  I mean farm, of yet another sister and brother-in-law.  It is absolutely lovely here, and the dogs ran and played until they could run no more.  I sat on the patio and was heaven.