Oct 30, 2014

Eliz Laidman

Good day everyone.  Here she is, Eliz Laidman from Threads of Gold (available here) with the dark stain over the crown and other areas as I saw in the original.

If you plan to stitch this sampler, there is one error that I found when studying the original's photo.  The center crown on the chart is missing the bottom.  She is an easy project with no speciality stitches or over one.  Staining was done with my home made black walnut juice that has been kept in my fridge for two years.
  Dabbed in some spots and splattered with a toothbrush in others.  Dip the brush and tap once or twice to remove excess, then test on a paper.  It goes everywhere but I control it by covering areas with wax paper.  The quicker you flick, the finer the spray.


Until I have these rooms finished, I'm just using tacks to hang the samplers.  I doubt if they will ever be framed, but you never know.  When I see old unframed needlework it is usually sagging in the center and quite distorted.  Weird me likes that look.  But to protect these until I am sure they will not be framed, I use this method at the top to keep them from stretching.  You've seen it before, but here it is again on Pomeroy.
Line up the margins and press top and side hems.  This is usually where I would want the piece wrapped around the mat board if framed.
Now my fabric has even support across without fusibles, easily undone, leaving plenty of fabric for mounting if I do so later.  If there is too much side fabric, I trim but still leave a decent amount.  I run a machine basting stitch along the top and sides which is also easily removed. The bottom needs to be fringed or just hanging without a hem.  If it's hemmed, the weight of the folded part doesn't allow it to hang flat.  For a really heavy piece, stack two tapes before stitching.  Some of my samplers that will never be framed have the fusible interfacing at the top which helps but you still get a little droop which is fine with me.  The corners are extended a few inches down from the top and an extra square is fused over them.  I use a stiff one that is cut to the width I need, not the fusible hem tape.  Yes, I know, this bothers some stitchers but I don't care about 50 years from now and I believe linen will outperform and outlive anything other than fire.  Fusibles can also be removed by heating them again under a pressing cloth which softens the glue and peels away.
What's next?  A stitching break for a few days or until my stiff hand is more comfortable.  Until then, I'll be readying boxes for a sale and working at Carole's so I probably won't be back until next week some time.
Have a great weekend!
Thanks for visiting.

Oct 29, 2014

Window washing

Greetings!  How's your day going?  Ready for a boring post about how happy I am with my clean Dawned windows?  And a beat up piece I found at the antique mall?
Our storm has come and gone, left a mess, but the sun is starting to peek through this chilly day. Before the downpours, I worked outside all day with those damn chores that pile up.  After years of smeared and streaked windows (and cussing), I tried a different approach several years ago and am very pleased with the results.  Between the road's gritty dust, the leaves and the lawn tractor kicking up a dust storm, my window washing was always time consuming and frustrating. 
One year I filled a bucket with hot water and Dawn, covered a scrub brush mop with an old terry towel,
saturated it without wringing, scrubbed down everything, hosed it off before the soap dried, left to air dry (you can dry them with another thick towel over the mop)
and they shine.  Clean clean clean, no residue.  And no ladder needed.  They were hit hard with the rain last night but still look great.  I can go over them with my glass cleaning microfiber rag, either damp or with a squirt of Cinch, but that's quick and easy, may not even do that.  The dirt and smears are already gone.  I've tried so many types of cleaners, natural and not, but I went through rag after rag and still had film/smearing.  This works for my dirt and doesn't take long. I love Dawn.
Stopped at the antique place and told them to get more beat up pieces.  I'm tired of all the glass and silver!  I saw this before and passed on it, but bought it today thinking it would fit nicely on the back of the commode but of course it does not.  It was made from a wooden box stamped Trojan Powder Allentown, PA.  Odd hexagon shaped nails with flat heads.
Trojan is a type of dynamite and several workers were killed in an explosion in Allentown in 1914.  I saw a few early antiques elsewhere and just shook my head at the prices.  So if I see something beat up and reasonable like this piece, I get it.  I like the look, not concerned about authenticity.  Long ago I purchased a type of spinning wheel that I hadn't seen elsewhere.  When I tried to sell it, I couldn't even get what I paid for it.  So it stays here.  Maybe I'll take a few snaps and someone can tell me more about it. 
I finished the sampler last night and will show her next time. 
Have a great day!
Thanks for visiting.

Oct 28, 2014

And then there was one

One of the fawns.  No idea what happened to mama.  We saw the other fawn on the highway, but if mama was hit elsewhere, someone could have picked her up.  Many times they continue to run into the woods severely injured, then again, there is a bowhunter behind my house so we will never know.

I worked yesterday on the winter condos.  Nice sloped overhang to shed rain and protect the entry, oak porch floor, and detached garage with step for Squeak.  He's still not family to them so there is a hallway between the triplex and garage.  I finally realized why I wake with a sore throat and headache.  It's them!  Every evening when they are finished gallivanting for the day, I let them in.  The next morning my head is a mushroom.  Foam was half off at JoAnn's so they have an extra set of "matresses" beneath the sherpa fleece pad.  They love it.  I also line the bottom with bed protectors (vinyl backed quilted pad) to help with dampness from the cold.

Ran into a slight problem on Eliz.  Started another card of Uniform Blue and it looked different when stitched so I removed it.  There is much more blue than gray in this one.  I don't mind that it is darker, but the blue is too strong.  The top skein is Soot, more gray, and blends better.  What to do?  Use one strand of each.  Two lines to finish and I think my solution will work fine.
Warm temps followed by thunderboomers and COLD temps for a few days.  Several trees have not shed so we'll be busy for another week with leaves.  Mark ran the lawn tractor to mulch and pick up, but it's so wet he just tore up the yard so back to the Little Wonder.  That's the brand name of our blower and it's true.  The only thing I like about fall is the colors.
Have a great day people!
Thanks for visiting.

Oct 26, 2014

The finish is near

Hope you're enjoying what's left of the weekend.  Last one in October!  Damn.
Eliz's fancy alphabet is complete and the bottom section should go a little quicker.  No dividing bands, just verse.  This sampler is a little bigger than I expected.  I plan on staining it in the same areas as the original. 
 When I was searching for the original photo, I came across the webpage of Blesssing Hill Primitives.  She has some very nice items on her pages, like these, some of which are sold.  I'll be anxious to see what will be offered on her Primitive Christmas page
Since she offers a PinIt button for Pinterest, I took the liberty of pinning some of her items here from her Gallery page.  Very nice site you can find here and then click on the various pages for items. 

 She stitched a shortened version of Eliz on Aida with three different blues.  Great idea.  If you want a monotone to not be monotonous, use several subtle shades of the same color.  I think hers looks great.
Now I have to verify that Gentle Art threads are colorfast before I drop some stain on them.  If they aren't, I will use Nancy's method of a light touch using an archival ink pad.  Much of the stain is in the bottom portion of the sampler - maybe I should do that now before I complete the stitching. 
Thank goodness for Advil, heat, ice, and compression.  I used to wear a lot of jewelry and scarves, but the older I get, my accessories become aids.  Strapped on, hanging from, or wrapped around.
Thanks for visiting!

Oct 24, 2014

Hit me like a ton of bricks

That's what it felt like when I received Mary Lamin.  Why?  I've seen the design before and liked it, contemplated purchasing, forgot about it, waited to include it on a larger order, forgot about it, then it hit me.  I need it I want it.  Now.  What up with that?  Then I opened the envelope and fell in love.  Seeing a chart in person is a luxury many of us do not have and no matter how good something looks online, it's always better than expected when the mail comes.  A tough decision will be coming, whether she or Mary Spinney will be the next project.  Harriet Hazlin did not arrive and is on backorder.
This afternoon the sun is shining and I'm going for my injections again.  Every two weeks.  It will be a nice ride (I'm making Carole take me) taking the older road along farms and foliage. 
Many of you recommended throwing stuff out the window, but her cape cod has windows only in the back, directly above a triple picture window, in front of which she sits.  Can't get out the door either without passing her.  I'm keeping some family items and her fancy glassware, utilitarian items, wearable coats and such, but after all is fought and won said and done, I am getting estimates from companies for the cleaning.  So far, two agencies said they will not move furniture and will not rinse walls after washing (she has an oil furnace).  I'm still making calls.  Her son is worse than she is and would keep everything because someone may be able to use it one day.  He has had ADHD since childhood and goes from one thing to another without completion - I would get NOTHING done!  His son's girlfriend has a little boy who has been getting disability checks since he was three years old for being "hyper". No medications. Smart kid.  He told me he is disabled and gets $650 a month for it until he's "legal", plus free "tooters" and "rappers" if he wants them.  I assumed he meant tutors, and wrap arounds but that's not how he spells them ..  he turned five last spring.  Compared to how Carole's son was growing up, this disabled kid is no where near hyper, distracted, unfocused, forgetful, learning deficient, overactive, uncontrollable, emotional, reckless.  Chris was.  He's better as an adult, but still distracted and lacks focus.  Not the best helper!
Enjoy your weekend.
Thanks for visiting.

Oct 23, 2014


 Jane Ballard arrived yesterday, beautifully wrapped with paper and ribbon, packaged well.  She's a big one.  I unfolded the chart, and unfolded the chart, and then unfolded the chart.  Twelve sections on one sheet!  I'll be folding to 11 x 17 sized sections, or 8 1/2 x 11,  or 8 1/2 x 14,  while standing at the copy machine in Staples.  Some smart ass will hold up a smart ass phone and film me wrestling with it. Folding and unfolding trying to get all the pages, until a temper tantrum erupts and a piece of paper larger than a sixth grader goes flying.  I wonder if they will have audio.  Hope not.  This won't be easy and I need to be careful so I don't damage the chart.  I color them, use highlighter, make notes, and do a bit of damage to the original which is why I copy more involved samplers.   Even if I didn't, this would be too unmanageable for me and my Magma.  My Magma and I.  Might be a song in there.

Here's progress on Eliz - got to the unusual letters and the thread's shading is coming out better than I expected.  Working on her a little at a time.  I'm really exhausted from pushing and pulling that machine up and down.  My sister's did me in too.  I can't even explain and don't want to. Suffice it to say that when I went to the second level of her cape cod to check out storage space, I was speechless.  Wearing heavy knee high rubber boots, I made at least 30 trips up and down carrying heavy loads of "stuff".  Two days of this and only a small dent.  Didn't even begin to clear her first floor bedroom or treat the fleas.  Came home and worked on the leaves afterward so I am really beat.  Many of us have attics and basements filled with items we don't want to give up, but when is it too much?  Just because we have the room for storage, does that give license to pack it full?  If we don't need it, don't use it, why keep it?  Because our moms taught us to never throw anything away?  Donating is not trashing it.  Let it go!!!  Everything I brought down, she had to "go through".  NO.  If I am working my ass off to clean (I would need a high pressure fireman hose for that and I already have the boots)...(a fireman would be nice too), I will determine what goes.  Sheets and blankets that don't fit your bed - gone.  Mom's tablecloths that are stained - gone.  Books from school - gone.  Afghans, comforters, clothes you never wear - gone. Your son's, grandson's, and ex DIL's old stuff - gone. Junk - GONE!  Her heart valve and knees have prevented her from climbing stairs for many years so if it's been up there that long, she hasn't needed it, she hasn't missed it - GONE!!  I honestly don't know if I can continue because it's overwhelming and she is too involved and slowing me down.  This is not a weekend project.
 To treat my aching body, I fried myself two day old donuts which I haven't done in quite some time.  You see that shine?  That's a thin crispy crust.  Heaven.
Mark is off Thursday and Friday so I'll relax a little and maybe go for a ride to enjoy the sunshine that is forecast.  Carole got her monitor's report and they are still leaning toward the AV node ablation.  Family doc recommended a trip to Cleveland Clinic, I say Pittsburgh.  We'll see.  She wants to wait a while before making an appointment. That's right Carole.  Wait until the middle of winter when the roads are covered in ice and snow is blowing sideways, and then ask your afraid to drive paranoid panicky directionally challenged menopausingly bitchy sister to be trapped in a car for hours while she preaches about your messy house.  A trip to remember.
Enjoy what's left of October and have a safe weekend.
Thanks for visiting.
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