Monday, December 7, 2009

A finish and two starts

I do love this holiday season that starts with Thanksgiving and glides into Christmas and then rolls into the promising New Year. So much to be thankful for and all of the little ways holiday season joy is shared with family and friends. No matter how bumpy the year was up to this point, it ends as a reminder of the goodness in life.

So, Sarah Tobias is finished and actually has been for awhile. I just haven't had much time to do the fun stuff on my computer. This was a fun piece to stitch and a forgiving one, too. A minor miscount doesn't ruin the design or require much unstitching. I will probably have her framed next year. Please just overlook the quality of the pictures. I think my aging camera is not long for this world.

Sarah Tobias

I was very excited to start Kind Fond Love by The Sampler Company. I went back and forth deciding whether to use Lakeside's Vintage Maritime White or just Maritime White and finally decided on the nonvintage. Here is my progress so far.
kind fond love

I just started Blackbird Designs' Merry Christmas from their Joyeaux Noel book. It is a joy to stitch. I'm having fun stitching it while I watch Christmas movies. I want to stitch Joyeaux Noel next year. And wouldn't the little Eiffel Tower stocking be cute to use as a gift container for a pair of earrings, necklace or other small gift?

Merry Christmas

I have been thinking a lot about this bowl. I adore this bowl. I cherish it deeply and it gives me so much pleasure to use it, and I've used it a lot during this cooking season. It was my grandmother's bowl. While I love the set of bone china she left me, I think if I had to choose (which I hope I never will!), I would keep this bowl. It's nothing fancy. It's a Homer Laughlin that she probably found a long time ago in a dime store. It never goes in my dishwasher and I store it in a safe place. The chip on its edge is no longer sharp but worn smooth from constant use. I know why she chose this bowl and used it frequently - it's cheerful with its green polka dots, scalloped edge and fading flowers in the center. My grandmother loved her family, flowers, feeding birds and homeless dogs. Her heart always had room for more. Every time I use it I remember the wonderful times spent in her home, the pecan sandies in her cookie jar, the Cokes in little bottles in her pantry, her big front porch with the swing, and the good Southern food she cooked.

favorite bowl

Now I'm off to catch up with blog reading. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone is stitching!

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Miss Tobias, Sisters and One Seed

It's beginning to feel a little like fall here. The sky is starting to show a crisp, clean blue free of haze and the air has a sharpness in it. I love sitting in my living room and looking out at the woods while I read or stitch. The trees are starting to turn to luscious plum, red, orange, gold and yellow colors, and I love to watch them drop their leaves, like flecks of gold spinning to the ground. I truly hope heaven is a perfect autumn day.

Well, slowly but surely I am moving along and Sarah Tobias is almost done. I have thoroughly enjoyed stitching this piece and I think it's because of a combination of things - 40 count Lakeside linen that I love, same for the NPI silks, variety within the design, lovely colors, thinking about who Sarah Tobias might have been, and the fact that the design is forgiving of my stitching errors. I had in my mind that a symbol was for a thread color other than what it was supposed to be. It seemed to work out fine, or at least I like it just as it is.

Sarah Tobias
Sarah Tobias, Blackbird Designs
40 count Vintage Light Examplar, NPI threads

I seem to be photographically challenged lately and the pictures aren't very clear. But you get the idea.

I started Sampler Sisters of the Thread. This is another fun piece to stitch. I really like the alphabet, especially the unexpected shape of the letters. Look at the G and J, and the long leg of the K. Very nice. I've misplaced the Moss thread and that is why there are gaps in the alphabet. I've been twice to my LNS to buy it, but end up sidetracked and leaving without it.

Sampler Sisters of the Thread
Sampler Sisters :) of the Thread, Primitive Needle
40 count Pearled Barley, recommended threads

And you may not really be able to see the next photo, but I updated One Seed for Another with the thread I had to order. I absolutely love fences and gates in samplers and this one is no exception. I adore this vine covered gate. I cannot say the same about the over one verse! You can see the little bit of progress I've made on the one over one verse. After taking out the G in Goode a couple of times, I decided to come back to it later.

One Seed for Another
One Seed for Another
Goode Huswife
40 ct Vintage Light Examplar, NPI silk

In case you've been wondering how Miss Kitty is doing, here she is sporting her new pink collar with tag labeled with her name and phone number. When she gets bored she jumps up on my desk and sprawls out on my work papers as if to say, "Really, you are very boring today and it's time for you to rub my tummy."

miss kitty

Hope you are all well and have a very good week!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Finishes and a new start

Finishes, finally! Actually, they've been finished for a little while, but I've been waiting for the rain to stop and clouds to leave so I could take pictures.

A Whistling Girl is finally finshed. Although I liked the design, I wasn't crazy about using just one thread on 36 count, but I do see that it fits the piece.

a whistling girl

A Whistling Girl
Hands to work
36 count Examplar
recommended threads, one over two

The Amanson sampler is also finished. Whenever I work on a reproduction piece, I always wonder about the original stitcher. Can you imagine what Erika would think if she knew that her little sampler was being replicated today? Imagine how you would feel if in a hundred plus years someone found a sampler you stitched and reproduced it - that would be amazing! Reproduction stitching always reminds me of something written by Thomas Carlyle:

Past departs not, nothing that was worthy in the past departs; no Truth or Goodness realized by man ever dies, or can die; but is all still here, and recognized or not, lives and works through endless changes. ~"Characteristics" Thomas Carlyle, 1831~

Erika Katrina Amanson

Erika Katrina Amanson (1870)
The Essamplaire
32 count Vintage Examplar
conversion to Weeks, GAST

Since its release, I've wanted to stitch Blackbird Design's Sarah Tobias. I like the neatness and clean design of each motif. I converted the threads to NPI silks using Joy's conversion as a guide, and am in love with the color of this red thread (although the picture doesn't do it justice). It complements the mossy brown and different greens very nicely.

The first motif is missing its left flower and stem and will have to wait til later to add it as I really wanted to be done with it and move on to the next motif.

Sarah Tobias

Sarah Tobias
Blackbird Designs
40 count Vintage Light Examplar
NPI conversion

Hope you have a great weekend!

Fresh peach ice cream!

BabyGirl and BF - fresh peach ice cream!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dog days

This summer is almost gone and, although there are many hot days left before our fall gets here, we are entering the dog days of summer. And it's time for Georgia Bulldog season as well - stitching and watching the Dawgs on tv = a good thing and one that's on my agenda for today!

BabyGirl is back at college : ( and it's funny how even though she was in and out of the house all summer, the house feels like it's missing something when she's away at school. Miss Kitty, who pretty much ignores me whenever BG and her boyfriend are around, is hanging out with me again.

The Amanson sampler is almost finished. I ran out of a thread and will finish stitching it whenever it gets here. In the meantime I'm going to finish A Whistling Girl. I have so many projects I really want to start but am really trying to focus on finishing a few first ... we'll see how that goes!

Ericka Katrina Amanson
Ericka Katrina Amanson, The Essamplaire
32 count Vintage Examplar
Weeks, GAST conversion

My wonderful husband and I celebrated our 27th anniversary this week, which is why I chose all Allman Brothers songs for my playlist this week - so many good memories! It's hard to believe that much time has gone by. As I tell him regularly - he is one lucky man!

Random summer shots from my phone camera. I never seem to have the real camera with me:

Dinner on the Lake - BabyGirl and SweetBoyfriend
Baby Girl and SweetBoyFriend, dinner on the lake

Beautiful morning on the beach

Miss Kitty - Office Assistant
Miss Kitty, my Office Assistant

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Whistling while I work

I like to mark certain points in life by choosing and starting a new design. Fall, winter, spring and summer. Vacations, my birthday, Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas and the New Year. All call out for a new stitching start. Not that I don't start new projects at other times, because honestly it doesn't take much to encourage me to start something new. But the special occasions are different. I enjoy thinking about which design to choose and fabric to use. I make sure I have the threads together to start it at the right time. These starts are more deliberate and not so spontaneous as just the regular, ordinary starts.

Of course, they don't always come to life on fabric the way I imagined or planned. This was the case with my Fourth of July start, Sweet Liberty by The Marking Sampler. I liked the simplicity of this little design and thought it would be a good addition to the patriotic collection I have planned for the white plate rack in my kitchen. I chose a 32 count fabric rather than the recommended 40 count to avoid stitching the words over one on 40 count, but should have gone with the 40 count so it wouldn't seem so bulky. I'm not posting what I did stitch, but I have put the chart aside to restart on 40 count at some point. Here is the chart model:

Sweet Liberty
Sweet Liberty
The Marking Sampler

For a recent trip to the beach, I chose to start a Swedish sampler from The Essamplaire, Ericka Katrina Amanson (1870):

Ericka Katrina Amanson

Ericka Katrina Amanson (1870)
The Essamplaire

It is a simple, sweet design which had been on my "to stitch list" for awhile. Katrina included an anchor, a happy looking dog, a pretty pink house with a fence, and various short borders. I don't know how old Katrina was when she stitched it, but the colors have a certain innocence to them which appealed to me. It was charted for DMC, I worked up a conversion for GAST and Weeks threads. The fabric looks more pink today than it really is.

Ericka Katrina Amanson (1870)

Ericka Katrina Amanson (1870), The Essamplaire
Lakeside Linen, 32 count Vintage Examplar
GAST, Weeks

I also started A Whistling Girl, Hands To Work, before I left for the beach. I like to whistle and I like the humor of the verse. I hope to prove the verse wrong, though! The girl in the sampler has her hands on her hip and has a spunky attitude. She reminds me of the woman in my Sarah Verrier (you can see her in my avatar) who also stands with hand on hip. I didn't notice at first, but there is a difference between the model picture and the actual chart. Can you find the difference?

Here's the model:

A Whistling Girl

A Whistling Girl by Hands To Work

And here's my work following the design as charted:

A Whistling Girl

A Whistling Girl
Hands To Work
Lakeside Linen, 36 count Examplar

1 over 2, GAST & Weeks

I've also made additions to my stash, but I will save those for another day.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Voila! C'est fini!

A small finish to share (I know - shocking, isn't it?!). Blackbird's charming (and free) Souvenir de France design offered on their blog. I worked on it while I watched the French Open. It was a fun stitch.

souvenir de france

Blackbird Designs
Souvenir de France
32 count PTP Melo
Waterlilies silk in Periwinkle

This weekend is BabyGirl's nineteenth birthday. These nineteen years have gone by so quickly and are so packed with memories and images. I don't want a single one of them to slip from my memory. We are very lucky to have her in our lives.

I look forward to gardenias every year and this year our gardenia bushes were so full with blooms. It's such a great plant and gives so much for so little care - shiny deep green leaves all year and gorgeous creamy white blooms during May and some of June. They were one of my gifts on my first Mother's Day and are very special so I am propagating them in case anything happens to the originals. The are planted next to my study windows and I leave the windows open so I can enjoy their fragrance while I work.



Hope everyone has a glorious weekend - à bientôt!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So! May is unbelievably almost gone! BabyGirl is home for the summer and it's so much fun having her home. Except for the laundry part ... She and her SweetBoyFriend always keep it very interesting here.

We've had some very warm sunny days already, and a lot of overcast and sometimes rainy days. I love a good storm!

stormy day

May and June are typically very busy months for our family, so I'm not surprised that I haven't stitched as much as I would like. I have worked a little on One Seed for Another. I still need to order the one green silk needed for the grass, vine and one of the trees in the part I've stitched, but I'm just working around it for now. (The picture is small, but Blogger was cutting off the image on the right side for some reason.)

One Seed for Another

One Seed for Another
Carriage House Samplings
40 count Lakeside Linen Vintage Pearled Barley
NPI silks

Mom and I also recently took a little road trip to a neighboring town and visited an antique store and a quilting supply store. On the way home we stopped at a wonderful locally owned pizza restaurant, Jonah on Johnston's, and had lunch. Not only is their pizza fantastic, they also bake wonderful breads and pastries.

jonah's on johnston

More food related activities (I promise I have done more than eat since my last post!)

Dinner on the lake after a day of rain. It was a cool evening so we ate great catfish on the restaurant's screened porch. I only had my phone camera, so the pictures aren't the greatest, but it was pretty evening, clouds and all.

dinner on the lake 2

diinner on the lake 1

And one more food related activity! Friends from the office got together on day off to make cannelloni in the office kitchen. Our very talented Betsy orchestrated the event and the cannelloni was perfection! (phone camera again...)

betsy and gwen stretching the pasta

Betsy and Gwen working that pasta!

Miona rolling cannelloni

Miona filling and rolling the pasta

rolled and ready for sacue


So, that's it for now. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's time to post progress on Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. Progress? Did I say progress? Well....not really progress..... I've been reading more than stitching and interest in this project was low this month. I hope that's a temporary thing. But I am enjoying seeing everyone else's progress.

I've never had DMC thread shred the way it has on this piece of fabric (40 count Antique Cotton from R&R Reproduction) , so I've had to take out quite a few stitches whenever that would happen.

shores of hawk run hollow : carriage house samplings

Here is what I stitched on One Seed for Another. I like working on this piece. I missed one of the colors when ordering my thread, so I've skipped over those parts for now. I didn't realize how long it had been since I'd used Lakeside Linen and had forgotten how smooth it is to stitch on. It will be fabric of choice again for awhile.

one seed for another : goode huswife

I saw Nicole's CHS etsy purchase and of course had to click right over to see what I couldn't live without. These charts now have a new home and came, like Nicole's, in a beautiful folder:

charts from new carriage house samplings

CHS folder

Field Aray was printed under Chartmakers logo. I adore the charts themselves for the pretty graphics that are printed on them:

field aray : chartmaker again

field aray : chartmakers once again

On the Goode Huswife site's out of print page I found The Little Red R Sampler:

little red sampler : good huswife

And, finally, I added Hands to Work's A Whistling Girl, Chessie & Me's Tree & Crown Sampler, and A Friendship Sampler by Plum Street Samplers:

new charts

I think I just went a little chart crazy there. And still only have a fraction of everything I'd like to own! I need several decades to stitch everything on my wish list!

That is everything for now! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's the weekend! And it looks like it will be a great one! Before I start on my list of errands, I thought I would update here.

First, pictures of little things from my life lately:

wild azaleas outside

and inside

wild violets

the ever hopeful Miss Kitty keeps an eye on the bird nest

I saw Joy's wonderful finish of Goode Huswife's One Seed For Another and it inspired me to pull out my chart and order supplies for it. I liked the fabric she chose, 40 count Vintage Pearled Barley and her conversion to NPI silks, which she shared. Here are the supplies:
40 count Vintage Pearled Barley
NPI silks

and here is my start:

One Seed for Another
40 count Vintage Pearled Barley
NPI silks

I worked a little on Shores and finished outlining the first square and worked on the rocks. I'm still enjoying this design.

Shores of Hawk Run Hollow
40 count Antique Cotton & DMC

Remember cute little Mr. Carrot Nose on his spotted pony? Here he is now:

He apparently couldn't control his spotted pony whose head ended up being one square away from the tree trunk. Now they are both being removed and redone. Taking out this much of something I stitched would usually make me not want to finish the project, but I really like this design so I will keep working on it and will try to pay more attention to the count!

Today is a beautiful day and perfect for picking out annuals for the front porch and rummaging around in flea markets and antique stores. All of which I hope I to do.

That's it for now! I hope everyone has a great weekend!