Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earth Hour

Last night during Earth Hour, we dutifully turned out our lights hoping it might get the attention of the "powers that be". One hopes they are paying attenion, but who knows.?!?
Maybe they are too busy sipping brandy in their penthouses to look out the window and notice the darkness!

We have an old Jotul #6 woodstove that can be opened up and used as a fireplace. We hardly ever use it that way because it is more efficient to close it up. (It is still quite cold here in NY). Last night however, was a perfect night to open it up!

My husband took this video. It was quite a pleasant way to spend an hour.

The only down side was that I was not able to get any stitching done! I thought about all those stitchers in the olden days, working by the fireside. I guess they had better eyes than I do. Unfortunately I need my magnifying light!

Monday, March 24, 2008

February's Love is Done on The Red Thread

I managed to finish up February last night.

I made a little start on March's "Go Fly a Kite".

Hopefully I will be caught up soon!

Hmmm! Still not entirely sold on these colors. I guess time will tell!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

China Killing Thousands of Cats!

I do not wish to bring down everyone's Happy Easter, but I have been so very disturbed since I heard about this a few days ago, that I have to speak out!

Apparently, in preparation for the Olympics, the Chinese govenment has ordered the round-up of thousand of cats.

Working under the misguided premise that these cats bring disease, they have been sending them to death camps, even convincing owners to turn in their own pets!

The Chinese govenment does not have a very good record with human rights, let alone animal rights, but this is horrible even by Chinese standards! has a petition on their website to oppose the trapping and killing of Beijing's cats. Please sign it so we can bring awareness to this atrocity.

For those of you who have blogs, it would be great if you could put a link to their website.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Red Thread from Bent Creek

The Red Thread
An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.
-An Ancient Chinese Belief-

Bent Creek, known for its little designs that can be put together in a theme, has come up with a design based on the Red Thread.

There is a little design for each month that can also be stitched separately for an ornament, and there is a separate chart for the border. The idea is that the red thread flows through the whole design, tying each one to the other.

It will look like this when it is completed.

Generally, I do not like to stitch "cutsie" things, nor do I like charts that are spread out over a year, but this one caught my eye.

I am stitching it on 32 count Light Mocha. I decided to use DMC instead of the hand dyed threads. I think the DMC looks just fine, and I have the all the colors on hand, which is a plus.

After working on The Chase Sampler for five months, I needed a little change of pace, something lighter!

This is what I have done so far.

As soon as I get caught up with the third month, I will probably start on another little design. I haven't quite decided which one I will do just yet.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hooray! "The Chase" Sampler is Finished!

Last night I finally finished the verse on "The Chase"!

My first 2008 finish!

I am not entirely happy with the lettering on the verse but there are only so many times you can pull it out without damaging the linen.

I did the entire verse in backstitch. Toward the end, I started having second thoughts about the backstitch. I thought that maybe I should have tried it in a cross stitch, but I think I made the right decision. The little spacers were done in a cross stitch.

There are issues with stamped linen. I stitched in the original verse, however this was not the intent of the kit maker. It was meant to be left blank, or to have you stitch in your own name. The design is stamped on the linen, generally with the grain, however the count is very dense. I noticed that the two stamped lines for the verse were not exactly straight. This made it difficult to square up the letters.

Also, I am not entirely certain of the numeral on Mary's birthday. My best guess is that it is January 9, but it is hard to be completely certain.

I signed it by the urn.

All that is left to do now is to gently wash it, mount it, and frame it.

I will have to go to the framers for the frame because of the unusual size. It is about 17" x 25".

I have been collecting frames for years, and yet somehow I never find the right one in my attic!

Here is the finished sampler. Not the greatest picture. I will take another one when it is framed.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The "Chase" Sampler - The Original!

I finally found a photo of the original"Chase" Sampler.

Click on photo to enlarge.

I think the Paragon kit is remarkably like the original!

I enlarged, and lightened the signature and verse section to try to see the spelling of the name.

The name appears on the first and third line. The first line is very faded and hard to see in this photo. On the third line, I can make out "Mary Starker" (near the center). It looks to me that it ends with an "r", which would agree with the Paragon kit.

That is how I am going to stitch it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Issues with "The Chase"

Up to now, I had been trying to fit the information, verse and biographical information on the two lines.

I found out that it was divided up into three lines. The area above the two stitched lines is to be used as a line.

Well, this meant ripping out part of the line I had already stitched.

While doing the research, I encountered another problem.

The biographical information given on the kit clearly lists the girl's name as "Mary Starker". When I tried to research this, I also found references to "Mary Starkey".

Which one is it?

Joanne Harvey of The Examplarery released a new reproduction of this sampler in December of 2006. In that version she shows the name as "Mary Starkey".

I have tried unsuccessfully to find information or a picture of the original.

I would really like to be as accurate as I possibly can, however I would also really like to finish it!

I am wondering if perhap the stitching on the original was hard to read. Could the "r" have looked like a "y"?

If anyone has any information about this, please let me know.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Free DMC Cross Stitch Starter Kits!

I was surfing about on a freebie ( website when I came upon this offer.

DMC will send you 4 mini kits when you sign up to be a DMC Mentor!

The DMC Cross-Stitch Mentoring Program is designed to share your love and passion for cross-stitch with a friend, family member, scout troop, class or anyone you think would enjoy cross stitching as much as you do.
Worth a look!

Hooray! "The Chase" Backround Finally Finished!

Last night I finally finished the background!

This step took longer than anything else. The long outline stitch can be very tedious. If I had it to do over again, I think I would have worked the background a little at a time. I thought of doing this but I was afraid the discontinuity would show up in the stitches. Now I don't think this would have been a problem. There is enough variation in the stitches done in one sitting anyway.

Of course, by the time you get to the end, you have mastered the sitch. I found that in many cases it was easier to turn the work sideways and work on it that way rather than working it vertically.

Next I have to do the signature line and the verse.

I have used some straight pins to measure out the eight, quarter and halfway points along the line to try to get an idea of the spacing.

It will have to be done in a straight stitch. There is no room for a cross stitch.

There are no guidelines given for this at all. I will have to play around with it a bit. It will be a tight fit to get everything on the lines.

I need to do a little more research on the Colonial alphabets.

I was thinking of doing the verse and the signature line in a medium pink. I think pink would have appealed to an eleven year old girl.