Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Big Reveal!

Things have been very busy around here as I prepare to premier a new teaching project in about 6 weeks at the Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild in Michigan. (The class is already full.)

Kindred Spirits is also the name of my new project. Because several of the guild's members have taken all of my classes, I was asked if I could come up with something new. Hence the "birth" of this new teaching piece. I think Kindred Spirits is the perfect name for it because as needleworkers we are truly kindred spirits.

The project consists of a beautiful tiger maple Shaker divided-carrier, which is lined with embroidered linen bands and dupioni silk. In addition to the carrier, there is a needleroll, scissors holder, ruler holder, pipkin (or thimble case), and a pin cube.

There are 21 different stitches! Yes, 21! They are Algerian eye, alternating double backstitch, backstitch, closed herringbone, cross stitch, cross stitch over one linen thread, diamond eyelet, eyelet, four-sided, herringbone, mosaic, nun's stitch, Rhodes, rice, satin, Smyrna cross, tent, tied half-Rhodes, tied herringbone, triple cross, and Williamsburg stitch.

The class kit includes the beautiful tiger maple divided carrier, 36-count linen, dupioni silk, silk threads, overdyed silk ribbons, cat's eye beads, and a custom-made bee marking pin.  In addition, there are 30 pages of instructions including charts and detailed stitching and assembly directions. The carrier measures approximately 12-1/2 inches long x 8-3/4 inches wide x 2-1/2 inches high, excluding the handle.

Here are some photos of the carrier and all the "goodies".






I'll also teach the Kindred Spirits project at Stitchville USA's Spring Retreat (in Minnesota), May 1-3, 2015. Registration opened 3 days ago, and already 47 out of the 60 class spots have been taken! You can read more about the class at the teaching page on my website or on Stitchville USA's event page.  I'm really excited because I've heard so many wonderful things about Deb's past retreats!

The class kit is available only to those attending the class.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Birthday Times Three!

Since we have three birthdays in our family within a two-week time span, we thought it would be fun to celebrate all of them yesterday at a park.  We decided to go to Carriage Hill Metropark in the Dayton area because it is halfway between where our daughter and her family live in Columbus and where the rest of us live in West Chester.  None of us had ever been there before, but I think we'll be returning.  It was such a fun day for all!

We decided to first take a walk around the lake.



None of us had any idea that there would be so many wildflowers in bloom in mid-September.





Then it was time for some games.  All the "boys" had fun with both a football and a soccer ball.  Of course, the little boys enjoyed just running around and doing the things that boys like to do.




Then it was time for a picnic lunch followed by opening birthday gifts.  Here is Tom setting up the lawn dart game that he got.  Haiden and Garrett were very anxious to try it out.


Then it was time for birthday cake cupcakes.  

Here are the birthday guys who just happen to be arranged left to right in the order of their birthdays. (Stephen's was yesterday, September 14.  Garrett's is on September 23, and Tom's is on September 28.)


Then we went to the Carriage Hill Farm.  The farm is a recreation of a farm from the 1880's.






...and then, all too soon, it was time for us to go home!  We all had such a good time that I'm hoping we'll all go back again.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Snooty Parrots Have Come Home to Roost!

I'm very sorry that  I have been so remiss in updating my blog. There simply doesn't seem  to be enough hours in the day!

Last week I finally had the time to pick up Snooty Parrots  (designed by Barbara Menendez) from my framer, Carol. I made a number of changes to the original design, some intentional and others accidental.

I'm so glad that I decided to add my initials to the sampler along with those of my husband,  my daughter and her husband and their son, and my son and his wife and their son. This personalization makes this sampler extra special for me.  The sampler is now hanging in my family room. In order to accommodate it there, I had to rearrange some of my samplers. My sampler walls are forever changing.


I  have a couple of blog  posts on the "back burner" and  hope to  make those within  the next few days.  Please bear with me. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Introducing Hannah and A New Find!!

Yesterday I put in the final stitches on Hannah Pepper (from the magazine Fine Lines). Over the past few weeks I was able to spend more hours a day than usual stitching because we were with Tom's father as he recovered from surgery.  Some days, we didn't even leave the house.  It is amazing how much one can accomplish without many of the usual distractions you have when in your own home.

I used 36-count light sand linen from Zweigart and one ply of DMC thread.  The linen is yellower than shows in the photos.  I hope to get a "truer" photo once Hannah is framed.



I always "sign" my samplers in the linen margin where it won't show when the piece is framed.

Several people have asked me about getting the chart for Hannah Pepper.  The chart was published in three issues of  the magazine Fine Lines which is no longer in business.  Most people I know treasure their issues and aren't willing to sell them.  Try checking Ebay because issues occasionally show up there.  Good luck.

 Since returning home (after having been gone 28 days--yikes), I've been very busy catching up on things as you can well imagine.  There have been chart orders to fill, supplies to order for my upcoming classes in Michigan, as well as the directions for my newest teaching project, Kindred Spirits.    Progress is slow, but steady.

Earlier today I finished making the thread cards for the A Lady's Worke Box class, minus the one thread I still need.  Here they are on my spool cabinet in my family room waiting to be taken into the basement with the other class supplies.


Did you notice the hexagonal black box on the top of the left side of my spool cabinet?  It was a new find yesterday at Hobby Lobby.  My original idea was to stitch six small samplers or sampler motifs for the openings.  However, yesterday I wanted to come up with something to put in the openings temporarily.  I went through photos of my antique samplers and came up with six samplers that were nearly square (to fit the openings).  I've decided that I'm so happy with the antique sampler photos that I may not replace them with stitching after all.  The lid of the box comes off, and is the perfect place for me to store some of my stitching needfuls.  There is a lazy Susan on the bottom so I can spin the box around.  I'm tickled pink with my new find.


Over the next few weeks my days will be mainly occupied with getting my new class project ready.  This means that there will be little time for stitching during the day, other than my usual very early morning stitching.  So last, but not least, here is the project I started this morning.  I had made more progress than what you see....until I discovered that I needed to frog two of the berries.  Phooey!!


I still need to pick up my Snooty Parrots sampler from my framer.  I'm very anxious to get it, but between working on the new teaching project and getting ready to have a very special weekend house guest (our six-year old grandson, all by himself), it may be next week before I can get it.  At the same time, I can drop off Hannah Pepper for framing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On the Road Again....

We recently drove to Jacksonville to visit Tom's father.  We decided to drive leisurely and spend a little bit of time in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Neither Tom nor I had ever been to Chimney Rock, North Carolina so that is where we went.

We spent two nights at a lovely inn in the town of Chimney Rock.  From our room we could hear the sound of a stream and had a good mountain view.  The restaurant at the inn was so good that we ate there both nights.  After dinner, we had fun playing air hockey.  I had never played it, and it was so much fun.  I wonder if we could get one to put in our basement.

Our main point of staying where we did was to be close to Chimney Rock, a 315-foot high monolith.  However, we wanted to see what else was in the area.  The staff at the inn suggested that we visit the Flowering Bridge in nearby Lake Lure.  

We had never heard of the Flowering Bridge and were blown away with what we saw.  The 155-foot bridge, which goes over the Rocky Broad River, was built in 1925.  When a new bridge was built adjacent to the old one in 2011, there was no need for the old one--at least for traffic.  The town people decided to turn the bridge into a garden.  In reality, there are twelve gardens on the historic bridge, all maintained by volunteers.


















Then it was on to Chimney Rock State Park.  You can take either the steps or an elevator to the top.  The elevator ride takes you up 258 feet, or the equivalent of 26 stories, in 45 seconds.  We took the elevator, and Tom ventured by foot to a higher vantage point.  We also took a hike to see Hickory Nut Falls with its 440-foot drop.








And then before we knew it, our short stay in the mountains was over, and it was time to head further south.