Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sara is finished!

Happy Sunday everyone!  Sara Schultz is finished and now I have two 2010 finishes!  She was a joy to stitch and considering I started her on January 5, I think she was a quick stitch too!  I actually finished Sara around midnight on Friday, Jan 29.  I had every intention of posting her yesterday but as luck would have it, I came down with a terrible 24 hour stomach flu, fever and all, just a few hours after my last stitch on her.  So yesterday was spent on the couch oblivious to the snow falling outside.  I am MUCH better today and just finished ironing Sara...here she is!

Thank you to everyone who has been keeping up with her!  I greatly appreciate your postitive comments and enthusiasm!  I can't think of the last time that I finished two projects in one year.  I am so thankful to have found this blogging community and its wonderful stitchers.  It has been a blessing to find others who share my hobby.  I have always enjoyed stitching but there aren't many people in my area that stitch.  So, it is easy to get out of stitching when it seems no one is interested in what you do.  Now, I have a whole community of wonderful people who are interested in what I do and it has meant the world to me!  Thank you so much!

I hope that everyone has a great rest of the weekend.  I am off to finish my research papers for class...yuck.  I will post my new project VERY soon!  Till next time...Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fabric and Threads

Hello everyone!  The snow is a comin' here in the Shenandoah.   The grocery store was a zoo yesterday and I can only imagine what it will be like today.  I ran to my LNS (40 mins away) yesterday to get some threads and fabric.  I think I will be finished with Sara by tomorrow and I wanted to get started on a new project.  So I bought threads and fabric for TWO new projects.  Sorry, I could not help myself!  I have joined the Beatrix Potter SAL and want to get started ASAP and I needed the fabric and threads.  The called for fabric is Antique White and I decided to go with a different color thread than the original (which I believe is a reddish color.)  I have been stitching with a lot of browns, reds, greys, pinks lately and I was drawn to this gorgeous teal-y color called Bretheren Blue (GAST.)  I love the color but it is a bit dark so I am going to rinse the threads first and  hopefully get rid of any residual dye that may bleed onto the fabric.  Here's hoping!


I don't plan to stitch on Bea more than a day or two a week so my other new project will be "Family Record Sampler" by Hester's Needle (another hubby present.)  Here are two pics...sorry about the lighting it is dark outside due to the impending snow.





I wanted to change the called for colors, A LOT.  My idea was to use the colors of the dogwood tree, pinks, white, green and brown since I am going to stitch my grandmother's family (father, mother, brother and sisters) and the dogwood is my grandmother's favorite!  But the lady at the LNS said that it might be better if I went monochromatic and stuck with one color.  At the time, I liked the idea since I plan on stitching this piece more than once.  So, I chose a bright raspberry color and natural linen.  As she was cutting the linen, I saw another color that I just had to have, Berry Patch (Cresent Colors.)  It was perfect since it looked just like the colors of my great-grandmother's rose bush. 

However, at first I thought the fabric was too dark, but when I put the threads with lighter fabric I like the darker better.   What do you think?  Does the rose show up against the Natural fabric?  Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated!  As time has passed, I am also leaning towards not using only one color.  I think that I am going to introduce a green for the flower vine, a darker and lighter rose for depth. Still, I am going to stitch what I can in this color first.  Another trip to the LNS just for thread never ends up being just for thread!  Besides, I gotta save money for my trip to Williamsburg and the Gathering of Embroiderers!  Well everyone, thanks for stopping by!  I adore reading everyone's comments and appreciate your taking the time to visit.  I plan on finishing Sara today or tomorrow, so you will be hearing from me soon!  Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pictures and a Giveaway!

Hello all!  It is sunny here in the Shenandoah today...but the snow is a comin'!  Apparently on Friday...guess we will see!  I did not get called in this morning so I have been catching up on here and getting some schoolwork done.  Then...stitching! 

First I want to share with you a giveaway on a fellow blogger's site.  Sharlotte from the happy needle is celebrating her 100th post by giving away the most ADORABLE strawberry emery. 


It is from Blackbird Designs.  So head on over, visit Sharlotte and enter the drawing.  I am sure that you will enjoy the trip! 

Now, I realize that these pictures date back to December but I finally downloaded the from the camera and was just amazed at some of them.  I wanted to share with you a few pics from the Blizzard of 2009.  We got about two feet of snow during that storm (in Virginia, no less!) and the pics were taken the day after the storm hit.







You can really see how deep the snow was here! 

Thanks for stopping by today.  I am finishing up Sara Schultz this week so I hope to have her pics for you soon!  Happy Stitching!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Blast from the Past

Good morning everyone!  The sun is out after days of rain.  However, no substituting for me today...schools were closed because of flooding.  We have had so much precipitation over the past couple of months that the rains from the past two days have pushed the small rivers out of their banks.  Funny how we are under a Flood Warning and the sun is out.  Luckily, I am in one the higher elevations and not near any body of water.  But I have heard that the waters are raging elsewhere so my thoughts and prayers go out to those who are being affected by this weather.

I don't have a progress picture of Sara today.  It never fails, as soon as I get close to finishing something, I find a mistake and set myself to frogging.  Oh,well.  My goal is to have Sara finished before the end of the month.  I am still on track...as long as I pay attention!

As I was going through stash this weekend, I came upon my very first piece of cross stitch.  I was nine years old when I stitched this and I just had to share it with you.  It was a kit that was given to me by a close family friend.  Everytime I look at it, I smile.  I can't help it.  I smile because of its simplicity, the memories attached and well, because it was my first project!  I've come a long way, baby!



Cute, huh?  Well, I thought that I would take a picture of the BACK of the piece.  Now this is going to make you laugh!




Holy smoke!  Look at all of those knots!  Now, I am still proud of my little girl, but I cannot help but think of the antique samplers that other nine year olds stitched.  Mine is a far cry from those girlhood embrodieries but I guess we all have to start somewhere!

I hope that I was able to bring a little giggle to you today.  I will be framing my "I Am Special" girl soon and  I will share it with you when she is finished.  I plan hang her with my other needlework...a reminder of how far I have come!

Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sara, the work continues...

Good morning everyone!

It is cold, icy, snowy and rainy in the Shenandoah today.  School was cancelled so that meant no substituting for me!  Yay!  I have been away for awhile because I have been busy stitching and working on school assignments.

I must admit that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I am enrolled in a program for teaching licensure which is truly a blessing.  I will be able to get my teaching license in less that 6 months.  Naturally, the program is going to be a very intense, fast paced course.  I expected that.  However, on Orientation Day this past Saturday, one of our professors said that we need to tell our families that we would not see them again until May and that they needed to get used to living in a dirty house.  If they cannot live in a dirty house then they need to learn to clean it themselves or move.  I giggled of course, but then I saw the assignments.  Holy smoke we have THREE research papers due EVERY week.  Then we have to peer review nine other papers.  Plus we have a group project, plus we have student teaching to complete.   So, just suffice it to say that I was crazy with worry.  Besides, when would I have time to stitch?  Over the past week, I have gotten myself together and tried to formulate a schedule.  The schedule consists of doing some kind of school work for several hours a day and then I will "reward" myself with stitching.  It seems to be working since I am on track with my assignments and making great progress on Sara.

Speaking of Sara, here she is! 


I only have about a quarter (or a bit more) left to stitch on her.  I am hoping to finish her before the end of the month.  That will mean that for the first time EVER I have started and finished a project in the same month of the same year!  WOO HOO!  She has been a joy to stitch (only a few frogging incidents) and quick as well!

I have gotten a bit behind on reading my blogs, but I do wish to say thank you to those who continue to stop by and leave such wonderful comments.  I promise to stop by soon and visit you too!  I hope that everyone has a great day...Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Gathering of Embroiderers

I just sent off my registration for the Gathering of Embroiders in Williamsburg on Feb 18.  I have never been to a 'gathering' before and I am excited to meet some new people and hopfully some fellow bloggers!  Money is a bit tight so I only registered for one class, The Richmond Sampler.  It is being taught by Margriet Hogue from The Essamplaire.  I cannot wait!!  I think that I may have to de-stash so that I can come up with some extra $$$ since there will be vendors there as well.  It will be so much fun to see all of the pretties and new charts.  I love my not so local, local needlework shop but it will be nice to see what others have to offer.  If you are interested, there are still some seats available in some of the classes.  Here is the link for more info http://www.stitchingbee.org/ and here is a pic of the Richmond Sampler...isn't it gorgeous?


I also have a TON of books (mainly Civil War) that I will put up on ebay or maybe AbeBooks.  My FIL frequents estate auctions and buys boxes and boxes of CW books for me.  My major in college was history and one of the periods that I specialize in is the CW.  Many of the books he has given me I already have in my collection so I figure that I can sell the others.  Besides, it is going to a good cause...new stash!

Also, I am starting to think about what pieces I am going to enter in the local fair.  Last year not one person entered any needlework!  What a shame!  I plan on changing that.  I entered one of my pieces several years ago but there were other pieces that year and I got second place.  I framed the piece myself and I am convinced that I did not get first place because the other entry was professionally framed.  Oh, well.  This time I am going to enter several of my finished pieces.  Blessed Be and Sara will be two of them.  So many people browse through the arts and crafts and maybe, if I am lucky, someone will take an interest in antique samplers too.   I would love to form a local sampler guild...but I am getting ahead of myself!

Well, I guess that is enough blabbing for one day.  I hope to have more done soon on Sara to share with everyone...till next time...Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More work on Sara...

Good evening!  It is a clear, cold night here in the Shenandoah but there is a heat wave predicted for Friday.  I have heard from trusted sources that we may reach over 45 degrees on Friday!  WOO HOO!  I might actually be able to sit next to my stitching window this coming week.  The windows in the house are TERRIBLY drafty and lately it has been so cold that I freeze when I sit next to my window.  I love my Ott-Lite, but nothing beats actual sunlight. 

Speaking of stitching, I have gotten some stitching done on Sara this week.  Actually, I should be further along but Sunday night I realized that the first motif on the left was over too far by two stitches.  It took me most of the night to pull it out.  How frustrating!  I guess that I should consider myself lucky that it was only one motif and not half of thee sampler like my last project (see Blessed Be...) 


I am really enjoying stitching on Sara and I have decided that I am going to contact the Reading, PA museum where the original is housed.  As I stitch on Sara's sampler I feel a sort of connection with her...especially when I come across her mistakes and stitch them exactly as she did!  (See, not everybody is perfect!)  Nonetheless, I would love to know more about her and I hope that the museum in Reading will be able to help me.  Hopefully one day I will go to Reading and see Sara's original in all its glory. 

Before I go, I would like to thank everyone who has stopped by to visit my blog.  I have really enjoyed reading the wonderful comments that you all have been kind enough to write.  I know how hard it is to find time to read the blogs and commenting is one of those things that takes time as well.  Please know that it is very appreciated!  THANK YOU!  I have enjoyed this experience and look forward to more blogging fun in 2010!  Till next time...Happy Stitching!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My New Project! Sara Schultz ~ 1827

Good evening!  Here in the Shenandoah today the sun was shining and only a slight skiff of snow was seen from our snowfall last night.  I did not get called in to sub today so I had a few hours to stitch!  I wanted to show you my newest project, Sara Schultz from Ginger and Spice.  This is one of my "Santa Presents" and I am really enjoying stitching her!  I bought the fabric and thread on Monday and have gotten a good start on her, I think. 

This is the pattern book.  It says that the sampler is in the collection of the Reading Public Museum.  Guess the next time hubby and I are in PA we will have to swing by and take a look at the REAL Sara!



This is a closer shot of the sampler.  I am trying to hurry through the letters so that I can get started on the beautiful motifs!



This is what I have stitched so far...



Here are the threads...the picture does not do them justice.  I chose 28 ct. Zweigart Antique Cashel Country Grain fabric and sampler threads Dark Chocolate (Gentle Art), Gingersnap and Toffee (Simply Shaker.)  These colors remind me of a really good latte with an extra shot of espresso!  YUM!

Well, I am off to get supper ready and stitch a little bit more.  I hope all is well with everyone and you have been able to find some time to stitch today!  Till next time...Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Welcome to Sharlotte, Tracey and Ranae!

I was thrilled that you came by to visit!  Thank you for the wonderful comments!  Yes, I am a lucky girl and all those wonderful charts will certainly keep me busy! 

Ranae - hopefully I got the wonderful charts because I was a good girl...if I was a bad girl then I am happy to continue on that road since it appears to pay off too!  hehehehe...

Sharlotte - about the quilt...I wish I could say that I made it but alas I must give credit to LL Bean.  I found it in a LL Bean outlet this summer.  I loved the colors and I put it on the daybed that I have in the computer room.  I just makes everything so much brighter!  Thank you for the compliment!

Tracey - I know that you must LOVE your Ott-Lite!  I bought mine at Michael's this summer with a 50% off coupon + 15% more off!  I hit the jackpot on that one!  However, I would pay full price if something happens to the one that I have.  It is indispensible!  Enjoy your stitching!

Again ladies, thank you for coming by.  I look forward to keeping up with your blogs!  Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Boy, Santa was good!

Hello everyone!

As I write, the snow has just begun to fall here in Virginia.  I like snow, but this winter it has begun to wear out its welcome.  The snow from the storm on December 18-19 is STILL ON THE GROUND!  And I don't mean just a little!  We have had one other snow since then and this falling snow makes the fourth snow fall of the winter!  Oh, well...it just gives me a great excuse to curl up in my stitching chair and work on my newest project.  Speaking of new projects, I realized today that I had not shared my Christmas presents with you.  My hubby, who thankfully appreciates my hobby (obession?), was with me several weeks ago at my LNS.  While we were there he put several of the samplers that I drooled over on a wish list.  Lo and behold, on Christmas Day guess what I found under the tree?  Not one or two or three patterns...but SEVEN!  I was, excuse the pun, like a kid at Christmas!  Several of the charts are Pennsylvania Dutch samplers and I am excited to try them.  DH is from Pennsylvania Dutch country and honestly, until I met him had never really explored PA Dutch needlework.  It simplicity is charming so my next project will be "Sarah Shultz~1826."  She is not pictured here because I have begun stitch her and I need to take a pic of the fabric, threads, etc.  Pictured here are:  Hester's Needle "Family Record Sampler", Rosewood Manor "Family Reunion" and "Willkommen", Sandra Sullivan "Woolly Squirrels", The Goode Huswife "PA Christmas" and Carriage House Samplings "A Mind Independent and Free."  Am I a lucky girl or what??? 







I did take a closer picture of one sampler that I think I will start rather soon.  Rosewood Manor, "Family Reunion" is a collection of motifs that can be personalized with family initials.  This was the first pattern that I found and immediately fell in love with it.  There are a total of 46 motifs and about 45 alphabets; a goldmine!  I love genealogy and I thought this would be a beautiful way to stitch something that would include mine and hubby's family.  Also, some of the motifs will make gorgeous Christmas ornaments!  While I was in PA for Christmas, I gathered some info and names so that I could start relatively soon.  I am going to order the fabric and a few of the threads so I can get started by February. 

Thanks for looking...stay warm everyone and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Needleprints...Oh My!

Thanks to a fellow blogger I have been introduced to the Needleprints blog.  I have had a glorious time reading the blogs, downloading the *amazing* software and planning my next projects.  For those of you who don't know, you can download wonderful, editable stitching software and two gorgeous Ackworth sampler charts (editable too!) all for $20!!  There are other printable charts all of which are available in PDF if you don't wish to download the stitching software.  I love being able to print my charts over and over without worrying about copyrights!  No more torn charts with holes worn in them!  If you have not visited Needleprints, please do so but make sure you have a good chunk of free time and a big pot of tea with you!  Here is the link: http://needleprint.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 4, 2010

A 2010 Finish!


I put the last stitches in "Blessed Be..." this evening.  I have enjoyed stitching this sampler, but I can honestly say that I am *thrilled* to be finished with it!  It has been a long time coming too!  I have been working on the piece since January of 2008 and it is a wedding present for my hubby (eventhough we were married in July 2008!)  I was on the way to finishing in October until I uncovered a horrible mistake.  Somehow, the house was not centered and I ended up ripping out half of the sampler so that it would be correct and not look odd.  It is dated 2009 and I am leaving it since most of it was stitched in 2009.  I am so excited to move on to something new!  I had forgotten how great it feels to finish a project...glad that I could share it!  Happy Stitching!