Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What to do

When the pile of WIPs is as crazy as mine (from the crazy January challenge of 2011) it is sometimes hard to choose what is going to be next on the docket.  However, I thought a great way to choose a project was just open up 1 of the 2 WIP bins, grab and go.  Well, on Sunday night when I did that, I grabbed And They Sinned.  This is not a terrible project-- in fact, since alot of you are stitching it, I think it is a great idea, to kind of stitch it with you.  So, on Sunday night I continued down the side of the border, which is easy enough to do, after completing Isabella around 10:30pm.  I cant just sit there you know, and watch the movie!!  LOL.
The color is not as green as the pic, it was late..... what do you want at 12 midnight??!!!!  But, in fact it is another shade of Vintage Maritime White.  Like I said yesterday, it is one of my favorite colors-- I have many favorites, but the next few projects I want to work on, are on this shade. So, I digress, as I usually do.......
Last night I didnt feel like working on ATS, but it isnt put away, just put down the end of the couch, still all sprawled out-- which I have taken over and kicked my poor husband to another comfy chair.  No worries, he like reading his ipad wherever.
So last summer a Friend of mine and I have been wanting to stitch this next piece forever, and I thought it was an easy one to get out of the way.

Using these glorious colors, and 40ct burlap linen, here is what I will stitch on this week.
City Stitcher- Weeping Tree Sampler (OOP). I had a tiny bit of the top of the tree done and the edge of the white as you can see before starting last night.  I didnt stitch any more of the border, but laid the ground work for the rest of the tree, which is done on the left. I am going to keep ATS out, perhaps when I am done stitching this one, I will get to her also.
Amazing it is the last day of January right?!  Just 15 minutes ago we were all working on the list and pulling wips out for January 2012.  Well, as Margaret said, this is going to be a great year for finishing WIPS and I feel she is right on the ball with that comment.  I would like to start Ann Dale-- Big and Tall, but I am holding out for now.  I would like to see these WIP bins empty, to fill with new stash perhaps.  I told my husband about Margaret's theory, and he said well, you keep getting new stuff, but finish the old stuff-- there are some really nice samplers in that bin.  Right on!!!!!!!!! 
Thats the plan folks :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Miss Johnstone

Another great weekend has been put to bed.  Some much planning goes into some of these weekends it is incredible.  Then within a blink of an eye, it is all over and what we have left are fabulous memories!!  I surprised some of my friends this weekend at a stitching event, and I think they were almost left speechless!!  Yea!!  I am so excited to see everyone!!!!!  I love surprises, it is hard to get me to be surprised.....I am too much of a busy body.  But surprising others, easy :)
Yesterday was one of the wettest days I can remember.  I think it rained, and it rained hard for like 18 hours.  It was pouring when I finally got up, and was pouring till about 11pm.  WOW.  But, there is no real negative to this day---- only positive.  I got alot of stitching done.
We watched 3 movies, and I stitched and stitched and stitched.  Even during the day!!  Very unusual for me to stitch in the daytime.  I have an enormous feeling of guilt because I should be doing work......but I said to heck with work, I am stitching.  And, here she is:
My mistake and I feel bad, that I have been calling Miss Johnstone, Miss Johnson.   I forgot the 't'.  Oh well, as long as her name is stitched right, that is all that matters!!  LOL.  So petite- she is 6 1/2" wide x 9" tall.  Stinkin' cute right?!  She will go with the other finished ladies to be framed in no time.  She is worked in most of the called for Belle Soie colors on 45ct Vintage Maritime White (love this color).  I made some 'adjustments' in the flowers, just because.  I am happy to have her complete!!  I already grabbed another project that I stitched on last night ATS-- but I am not sure that piece will be the one I work on for a while or something else.  One of the very best things about finishing a sampler (for me) is that I can go into the basement and look through the stash/WIPs to see which one is yelling the loudest!!!!!
I hope all of you had a fantastic weekend, I look forward to a great week!!!   For so many reasons!!!!!!!
Thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Most days, I have a hard time being creative in my blog post title.  Why is that?  I try to give a mystery, what could be so fabulous in her new post?  Well, today is for sure not one of those creative days.  I am drawing a blank.  However, no matter the title, I am excited to see folks coming to take a look.  There has to be something new if there is a new post right?  Something exciting and inspiring??!!!  I am not sure on the new part, or finding something so fabulous in the back of the basement.......but, maybe some inspiration.  I have made some nice progress on my love of the week Isabella.
Like most of you that have this super cute sampler already stitched and hanging beautifully in your home; I am crazy about the cow.  You know when you are a kid, that brown cows have chocolate milk.  Well, this one is for strawberry milk :)
I just have to fill in the rest of the cow, his head is done.  I wanted to see what it looked like before I hit the pillow last night.  Upon being satisfied with it, I knew that tomorrow (now today) is a new day.  I started with the right tree, finished the grass across the way, finished the left tree......saving the cow for last.  Not last but not least either----- I still have a few more things to get finished up.  Tonight, I will continue on the bottom 2 pages of the pattern and get her put to bed hopefully by this weekend.  I am not holding my breath however.
Stitching is always interesting, no matter the size.  Seeing pics close up, and getting excited about them I always wonder about what count folks are stitching on.  For the most part, I stitch on 45ct, then 40ct.  Rare but not out of the question, some of the others.  Stitching Isabella on 45ct it is VERY hard to really see her size.  I have added a dime (from my husbands personal collection) next to my cow, so you can really get perspective of how big he really is!  Can you imagine, this dime is from 1914.  The original Isabella Johnson sampler is from 1854.  I think this dime is ancient, almost 100 years old and wow, 1854.  Really gets you thinking right?  What did the dimes look like in 1854?  I will have to check it out.
I was chatting with one of my friends this week about how in this industry, being a married woman, being legally allowed to be in love with so many others.  AND, I am encouraged to do so.  Last week was Rosina, this week Isabella, next week ????.  LOL.
Maybe the next time I show her, she will be closer to the finish, or finished!!!! 
Thank you to all of you and your kind words on my Rosina Payne.  If you are thinking about stitching her, I assure you, she is a pleasure to work on.  She doesn't talk back, and she gives you enjoyment in each and every stitch.

Thanks for stopping by again, and have a fantastic day!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The first one

I have anticipated for the last few days the finish of my Rosina, but I have not be able to accomplish as much as I had wanted.  It has been quite the week.  Where does the time go??  Already it is this afternoon........... Low and behold, I have put the finishing over 1 words in this morning and here she is.  Miss Rosina Payne.  The first finish of 2012!!!!
I just love her.  FINALLY finished her!!!!  She is one of my favorites, and I am looking so forward to her framed.  I have added a few other pics for your viewing pleasure.....

I am looking forward to getting back to Isabella Johnson and my January 1st project-- Drawn Thread.   Tomorrow is another day :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and I look forward to continued progress reports from all of you!!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Happy Tuesday!!  Everyone enjoy their 3 day weekend??  (I know, some of you already have that :))  What a great opportunity for extra stitching!!  So I wanted to share an experience that I had this weekend, and knowing in our little stitching community-- while large, is still quite small.  Knowing some of the most exquisite items landed in NY 5 months ago, to prepare for their debut this weekend was too much for me to handle.  2 words is all I have to say--- Betty Ring.
I have been waiting for this weekend with most patience since the post somewhere last August, claiming Betty's prized possessions would indeed be sold.  Well, the weekend had finally arrived and my Husband and I had the utmost privilege to see them.  The catalog has been shipped, and you can see them virtually online, but I assure you------- there is NOTHING like seeing them in person.  I slept fine the night before, and knowing the next day would bring such excitement did not keep me up.
 Arriving at Sotheby's at around 11:30 the first day of the exhibit-- knowing that these girls were all inside was truly amazing.  I have never been to Sotheby's before and found that the folks inside were most pleasant.  Each ready to help point you in the direction of what you came to see.   While there are many items on display, each floor had its own exhibit- from art to furniture to Betty Ring.  Of course, with all of the items they have on display, it is indeed set up like a museum, and there are guards everywhere.  After ID's were scanned for security, we were off.
Upon reaching our floor this is the view you see first.  There was a gal sitting at this desk, handing out catalogs for reference while you walked around.  We asked her if we could take pictures of the samplers.  She checked with Nancy Druckman herself, and she said not a problem.  So, I was elated.  Entering this room of 197 samplers, I finally felt the importance of this event and tears filled my eyes.  I couldnt believe I was standing here with all of this precious girls.  This experience happened several times-- upon seeing some of my favorites I have been coveting in the books and catalogs. 

We have all been seeing this sampler on Sotheby's website for over a month now, and to see it in person-- look at the above pic, the detail is just incredible-- and this detail is repeated in every sampler in the room. 
Each sampler had its own description -- who what where and when, and of course the rough estimate of worth.  The blue dots you see on each of them, is the number of the lot that the sampler belongs too.
My absolute favorite samplers in the room are the Mourning Samplers.  I knew that Betty had the most extensive collection of them and I just couldn't believe how many there really were.  The hair on my neck next stood up.  The pic right above, is a closeup of the sampler in the pic above that one......I hope this makes sense :)

Each and every sampler is more incredible than the next one.  The different stitches used, the amount of french knots used, queen stitches, over one, eyelets, you name it, these samplers are full of them.
 The veil covering her face, looks so real-- so 3 dimensional right??  Looking super close it is just perfect painting.

Going to this exhibit, I did not expect many people there-- which is good and sad at the same time.  I did talk to several of the ladies looking around, and to see their excitement with all this beauty was soo very awesome.  Each one of us pointing out another stitch, another detail.  There was a great variety of linen size-- the one pictured above I would guess just looking at it, close to 55 or 60 count.  Alot of them were larger in count, and the sizes varied from small, to HUGE.  Some samplers there from the girls who went to Mary Balch school in Rhode Island-- (I had to have my picture taken with those!!!)   (This was another tear jerking moment!!) You will recognize some of the above pics from being on the covers of her books.

I wish the place was packed, and I know that there will be several of you going to view these fine pieces.  If you have the chance, I highly recommend it.  It is free to view all these gorgeous pieces-- although it will cost you to get into NYC-- and then there is lunch :)  The hardest thing was selecting which pictures to share with you.  There are too many to share all of them.  I know this small sampling will wet your whistle.  I would love to have a collection like this, but knowing they will go to good homes, is all that is important.  It is sad they cant be viewed in one place all the time-- like in a museum.  I know that there is no money for this sort of ongoing exhibit and it is a shame.  This will be the last time these girls are all hanging out together.  (There is always the lottery!!!!)

I hope that all of you have enjoyed this small tour :)  I am so motivated to stitch now!!!!!  LOL.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Half Way

This post is a few days past due, and I wanted to share with all of you the progress I have been making on Rosina-- the over 1 verse I can best explain is in 4 parts.  2 on the left, and 2 on the right.  I have completed the 2 on the left and see the light getting brighter as I near the end of this over 1 tunnel!! 

She has her name on the sampler now, which looks great too :)  I am taking the night off from stitching and will resume work on her tomorrow night. 
I spent one day this week with Grandma.  She loves a good hot dog all the way with onion, so I thought I would bring her lunch--- she says it has been almost 4 years since she has had one.  I am going to make sure that this dry spell doesnt happen again--LOL.   I also had tea and homemade cookies, along with alot of great laughs and deep talks.  What a great way to spend the day.  I look forward to seeing her again real soon.  She has recovered from the big party we had for Grandpa, and while Grandpa was there, he spent most of his time napping :)
One thing I wanted to share that I have seen at her house since I was a little girl, is the mugs that she uses almost daily, rotating of course from the others in the closet:
Dont you just love it?!  I keep threatening her that one day, I am going to put it into my big bag of crazy and take it home.  LOL.  No, I wouldnt do it, but I assure you it is very tempting.  I have looked and looked, but still, I have not seen any like this.  The search will not be over until I have my own.
I am fired up with all the comments and texts about my last post.  I am glad I wouldnt have been the only one LIVID with that stupid mistake.  Glad to hear it from you all!!!!  I know it is a busy weekend for most, and I am looking forward to updates next week!!

Have a great one, stay warm and stitch alot!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

What a week!

Wow, this past week has been something else!!  Not only on the stitching front, but on various activities as well.  First, I will update Isabella for you and I am not as far as expected:

The algerian eye took forever, almost 2 nights worth.  It turned out fantastic and so delicate.  I modified the color as I previously mentioned so it is slightly lighter than the top alphabet.  I am anxious to start the next section-- the 2 trees and the center cow, but I have refrained, and put her down for a small bit.
What for you ask?  To start the over 1 on Rosina.
You see where it reads "and then"?  Well that is the 2nd time I stitched it.  HOLY **(@#))@!!  I couldnt believe my eyes when I read the chart and thought it was wrong, so immediately I ripped it out.  Then I re-read the pattern, and laid the 2 sheets next to each other and WOWZA.  It was RIGHT the first TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!! **((())!!!!))!)!))!)!)!%%%$&#(@+++===%.  Crap!
So, I restitched it, and it took almost all of my time to stitch it, rip it out (over 1 on 45ct--full cross) and then restitch it, and added a few other words.  I am not as scared as I was last week about stitching the over one-- something finally clicked and it isnt as hard as I thought.  I am actually looking forward to stitching it and getting her done!!!!!!!  Yeah!!!!
Onto the other fun stuff!!!!!  How many of you have ever been to an auction?  I mean, not at a large NY auction house, where things are through the roof and out of most of our pay grades?!!!!!  Well, we went to one and WOW was it sooo much fun.  The amount of things up for auction consisted of anywhere from furniture- all makes and models, tools, old toys, pictures, rugs, glassware, etc., etc., etc and things were CHEAP!  I picked up a few things, and 1 being a pair of old wooden spindles for 3 bucks.  3 bucks!!!!  I think that the most expensive item sold over the 5 hours was $280 bucks for a old display case-- including original rippled glass.  What a deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   We had so much fun, we are looking forward to another auction real soon :)
Looks good right?  Nothing like starting off the day with a naughty treat :)  We have been so good, and this past week has been soooooo bad!  I am ready to get back to routine asap.  But, what can you do but enjoy a good donut from Dunkin' Donuts.

A celebration was had this week, with my grandfather turning 90.  Unbelievable right?  I was thrilled to be able to go to the party and help with cake, cookies and almond treats.  See why this week has been sooooo naughty?!!!  LOL.  I got some great pics and video of my grandfather, cousins, aunts and uncles.  Grandma was telling us that she made 2 cakes the previous day, put them outside on the back porch and to her dismay, the squirrels had thought the party started early :(.  So she made 2 more!!!!  She most certainly doesnt need the practice, but I am sure she wasnt amused!!!!!

Looks like alot of progress has been made with the January WIPs and inspiration has been going strong.   Looking forward more updates this week!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


What could be better in the winter time ---when it is freezing out???  Besides stitching, is having a great big roaring fire!!!!  Yes, it has been super cold and last night we were toasty warm by this great fire :)
Yes, along with the warm fire, was a glass of wine and some stitching!!!  Of course!!!  I chose to continue with Isabella for a bit, and I am loving her.  She is ever so delicate and even with the cow, very elegant dont you think? 
I took this picture while Isabella was laying across my lap, so she is a bit lop-sided in the picture, but I assure you she is not :)  I hope to get the next section done, so that maybe tomorrow night I can start on the infamous cow.  I am going to have to make some adjustments to the colors, the poison apple belle soie that I am using, does not have much variation, so I am going to add a lighter color to get the look like the original.  I have to do a little more diving today--- darn it.  I hate looking at my stash!!!!!!!!!!!  LOL.
Thanks for all the encouragement on my decision to work on WIP's this January, I am looking to start the Drawn Thread piece, and also Ann Dale: Big and Tall but I am not sure when.  Ann, among all the other Ann's that I have playing in the yard, needs a bit of work-- and I mean choosing the right color linen, and playing with some of the silks.  When that finally happens, I will start her.  In the meantime, I am enjoying Isabella :)

Hope everyone is stitching madly and staying warm!!!!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Already the 2nd

Another great New Years Rockin' Eve under our belts and now it is time to get serious :)  I mentioned in the last post, that I didnt really have much thought into this Januarys challenge and yesterday, I got it all figured out.  I went into the basement and got out a couple of WIP plastic totes that I have been keeping them in, and brought them into the light.  As soon as the lids came off--- you could here the angels  "Aaahhhhhhhh"
And each one of these bags started moving around and wiggling.  It was quite a sight.  I should have taken a video!!!  So, pulling them out, and going into my WIP stash diving stance, I had a blast revisiting these projects from last years crazy challenge.  I was so excited to see the ones I had started, and the ones that I have decided are going to be my challenge for this year, is to finish some of these fabulous pieces up.  I went through the list of starts and wips from a year ago, and out of the 31, I did complete 12.  Now, it is almost half, and some werent even on the list of finishes that I did complete-- ie. Double Dee :)  I must admit, I have chosen some great samplers to stitch, why wouldnt I want to continue stitching them??????  I would love to see them framed and hanging someday.
Rosina has all of her motifs complete, I finished those up on new years eve, and I have to do the verse yet.  I am still betting she will be close to first, although, there might be a small contest between these girls!

My January 1st start began without a hitch.  See the progress I have made so far?!  I have never done a darning sampler, so this one will be interesting.  I will have to keep you posted on this one for sure :)
I did however, choose something to stitch on last night, that I have been anxious to work on.  (Again, digging out of the WIPS)  Isabella Johnson has made a wonderful appearance, and I think Rosina and her are going to be neck and neck for completion!!!

In the above pic, is where I started her last night after supper at about 8:30 and the bottom is where I stopped (12:15am) stitching her, and after several episodes of Pawn Stars.  I love that show!!!!!!!!  Focus, focus!!!  I think I will work on her again tonight.  Progress on her is going great, and she is stitched on 45 count, so for the closest thing I had for perspective, is a mint chocolate Hershey kiss-- pictured in the top right hand corner.  I will have to get the exact measurement out.  I love the frame, and will have to look into getting one close to it.  I know just the place too :)
I have put together a big bag of crazy with some of my great one of a kind project bags/WIPS to keep me inspired.  I have to get a few more of these-- looking at my first picture in this post, those bags are boring!!!!!!!!!  Need to spice it up a bit-- just like getting a new sweater.  Bringing it home and putting it into the closet-- there is a small rustle through the air-- what do we have here?!!!  Spice!!!!! 
Onto a great new day here in January.  Looks like this is going to be a fun week!!!!  Looking forward to seeing new starts and inspiration from all of you, it is going to be very very exciting!!!!!