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Archive for October, 2006

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After reviewing the out of control stash situation, it’s time for me to join the 10/25/50 project stash challenge. I’m going whole hog and attempting 50! Above is my 1st (new) project, but which will count as the 2nd project finished (if and when I finish it!). I’ve decided not to “age” it the way it is shown, but will gently tea-dye it when finished to soften it. I’m stitching it on cream Edinborough and the colors look a bit bright to me. I will post my progress at the end of the week.

The rules (as posted at www.hasturtorres.blogspot.com) are:
1. Have fun reducing your stash.
2. There is no time limit- people have different size projects they would like to work on.
3. Thou shall not purchase any new patterns until 10, 25, or 50 projects have been stitched. Pattern size does not matter.
4. This challenge can also apply to knitting, beading, sewing and crocheting patterns.
5. You can make some exemptions – I am not placing limitations on this due to commitments that people might already have. Remember, though, the goal of this challenge is to reduce stash so too many exemptions will sabotage these efforts.
6. Gifts, gift cards, trades, RAKs and patterns bought with gift money are not a violation of this challenge. This also applies to purchasing patterns for gifts that give other people. Woohoo!
7. Freebies count as part of your total and you can aquire them at any point.
8. The offical start date of this challenge was Sept 1, 2006 since I have been posting about it for awhile and want to make sure the everyone’s projects have been included.
My own modification will be that if, after completing the stitching on a piece, I actually “finish” it into something, either an object or a framed picture, it will count as 2 finishes.

My 50 projects, subject to deletions or additions from my current stash, are:
1. Frances Burwell – The Examplarery (FINISHED! – yea 1 down, 49 to go!)
2. Cure Tree – M Designs (WIP)
3. Celtic Sampler – Homespun Samplar (WIP)
4. Sailing Home – Blackbird Designs (WIP)
5. My Betrothed Sampler – Birds of a Feather (WIP)
6. White Christmas Ornament 1 (WIP)
7. White Christmas Ornament 2
8. White Christmas Ornament 3
9. White Christmas Ornament 4
10. Bands of Many Colors – The Sampler House
11. Take a Lovely Sampler – Lauren Sauer (WIP)
12. Stitching Chair Necessaire – Hillside Samplings (WIP)
13. Sampler Pinkeep – The Heart’s Content (WIP)
14. Noah’s Needle – Just Nan
15. Baby Garden – Just Nan
16. Assissi Band Sampler – Samplar Workes
17. Spanish Sampler – Samplar Workes
18. Nonesuch Band Sampler – Samplar Workes
19. Happy Hearts Sampler – Birds of a Feather
20. Sally Spencer Sampler – Birds of a Feather
21. Welcome Home – Birds of a Feather
22. Bitter Flower Sampler – Birds of a Feather (WIP)
23. Peace – Birds of a Feather
24. Be Kind and True – Blackbird Designs
25. Strawberry Garden – Blackbird Designs
26. Anonymous Sampler – Chartmakers (WIP)
27. Scottish Sampler – The Essamplaire (WIP)
28. The Good Neighbor – The Drawn Thread
29. Flower Scissors Companion – Ewe & Eye & Friends
30. Friends Are Angels on Earth – The Heart’s Content
31. Ann Smith – The Scarlet Letter (WIP)
32. Emmanuel’s Song – Shepherd’s Bush
33. The Toy Gatherer – Shepherd’s Bush
34. Seaology – The Trilogy
35. Time for Tea – Barbara Jackson (WIP)
36. Sampler Slide Purse – CA Wells (WIP)
37. Friendship – Brightneedle
38. Evensong – Brightneedle
39. Hearts & Flowers – Carriage House Samplings
40. Houses of Hawk Run Hollow – Carriage House Samplings
41. Village of Hawk Run Hollow – Carriage House Samplings
42. Stitcher’s Prayer – Carriage House Samplings
43. Bookcover – The Essamplaire (WIP)
44. Abigail Brown – The Examplarery
45. Ann Bowers – The Examplarery
46. Loara Standish – The Examplarery
47. Ann Holewll – The Examplarery
48. Bird in Bough – The Scarlet Letter (WIP)
49. With My Needle – The Goode Huswife (WIP)
50. Heart in Hand – Little Angel in the Clouds

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Here is Max and his Nana in the hotel pool 2 weekends ago. Aren’t they cute? Like two peas in a pod, I tell you. I say he is just like her, but she says he is her grandmother reincarnated. Great.

Doesn’t my Mom look awesome for 68 years old? Must be the asian genes.

No stitching to show you today. Not that I haven’t been trying! I got about 10 stitches in last night before Max’s bedtime (and mine).

Has anyone ever been to Edenton, North Carolina? A friend of mine is interviewing in Norfolk, Virginia and she of course, would like to us to move closer to her if she gets the job. Which is sounding good with a Maine winter looming ahead. Of course, we won’t move, but it’s nice to fantasize. And when I have time on my hands at work, I like to surf the web because people can’t tell if you’re really working or not. So this week, I’ve built up a little fantasy about moving South to Edenton, NC. This is a very picturesque, tiny town on the coast. Looks ideal. Now all I need to do is win the lottery so I can afford the $845,000 house I’ve set my heart on. When I daydream, I go whole hog!

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Random Stuff

Thank you everyone so much for your wonderful comments about Frances! I hope to have new photos soon. It’s disgustingly dark now when I get home from work and mornings have been hectic. Max had a stomach bug that started on Friday night and is still lingering.

We had a very nice stitch-in at Patti’s house on Saturday. Lisa came up from Connecticut and Nancy up from Massachusetts. Patti made an awesome beef stew and we had a nice time stitching and chatting. I made remarkably small progress on a sampler that I’m stitching as a gift – pictures to come when Blogger is more cooperative.

I’ve also been busy creating on a website for my EGA chapter, which will probably take until the end of the year to get up and running because of all of the people that need to approve the content, etc. But it’s fun work. I don’t mind “fun work.” I do mind grunge work, like cleaning the bathroom. But I love to work on things that mean something to me, not that clean bathrooms don’t mean anything.

Here are links to some good things:

UNIFEM – United Nations Development Fund for Women
UNIFEM in the United States

Give Life – what a great title, that is what you do when you donate blood – you give life. I’m scheduled to donate on Monday. Do you know that the State of Maine only gets about 200 pints of blood a day and it gets donated to 39 hospitals and clinics? That’s not much. In fact, not enough. It’s not only accident victims who need the blood, but also people going through cancer treatments, etc. People need it every day. I used to be afraid that I would pass out, or it would hurt, but when my neighbor was diagnosed with cancer, he needed constant transfusions. We were the same blood type, so for him I donated every 6 weeks. It was a good feeling. You really do leave smiling, feeling that you’ve helped someone and possibly saved a life. PLEASE DONATE BLOOD.

You can open these sites and click on the buttons to help fund free mammograms, health care for kids, animal rescue, etc. It costs nothing to click! I’ve been doing this for years and they are trusted sites. I will be adding buttons for these to my sidebar when I get around to reorganizing my page. I’m getting sick of the green, so look for a new template here soon!

The Breast Cancer Site
The Child Health Site
The Animal Rescue Site
The Hunger Site
The Literacy Site
The Rainforest Site

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Frances Finally Finished


Here she is! I promise to take better pictures soon. It was raining when I took these. I finished her on Tuesday night. I am so happy! I will bring her to the frame shop next week.

This is the bottom.

Here is the top third.

She is so pretty. These pictures do not do her justice. I will try for better ones tomorrow morning. Lisa and I decided to do this as a SAL, starting in January. Lisa finished before me even though I had a 15 row head start, as she is fond of pointing out! Although some of those rows are only 1 stitch high. It was really a lovely sampler to stitch – the colors are much more beautiful than in these pictures and the stitches were a lot of fun. I stitched mine reversible, I’ll try to remember to take a picture of the back as well.

So — what to start next? I’ve got a few plans for Christmas gifts, but both of those women read my blog, so you can’t see those pictures. Bummer. Yesterday I started a Birds of a Feather Christmas ornament. I think this pattern may be OOP as I can’t find a picture of it online. I stitched one of the ornaments a few years ago as the front of a mail art exchange and I loved it. Has anyone else stitched any of these? There are four in the chart. Is anyone else stitching for Christmas? I always procrastinate and start my holiday stitching really late. Maybe I’ll keep stitching for Christmas after Christmas and then I’ll be ready for next year!

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Essy’s Friends


Very short post today. I’m hoping to have Frances finished this week so I can show her to you in her complete glory.

Does anyone have this kit that would like to sell it? It is called Cure Tree by M Designs and is part of an automatic from Elegant Stitch.

My cousin is going through treatment for breast cancer and I would like to make this for her for Christmas, but it is all sold out. If anyone has one to sell, please let me know.

Thank you all!

10/16 Thank you everyone – Patti has one for me. I appreciate your good wishes! – Sandy

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Ok people, driving is a privilege, not a right. So you should try to do it to the best of your ability, right? After all, your life (or someone else’s) may depend on it. Now, I’m originally from Massachusetts, where drivers are so bad, they’re called Massholes. I’m not kidding. But this week in Maine I’ve seen some pretty crappy driving. For example:

To the chick in the Green Jeep Cherokee with Maine license plate JAA – driving while talking on the phone with one hand and brushing your hair with the other IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. Stop it now. It’s dangerous for one, and you look like an idiot, for another. Keep at a MINIMUM one hand on the wheel. What were you driving with — your boobs?

To the idiot driving North on 295 in Portland and exiting at the Falmouth exit at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, DO NOT READ THE SPORTS PAGE WHILE DRIVING. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD, not at the paper in your lap. Got it?

To the crazy lady in the white Ford something – what the hell were you doing yesterday morning on I90 going into Portland? Why were you swerving all over the road? It must have made your dog nauseous. I thought you might have been impaired, but after 10 minutes you got your crap together and started driving straight, but I was THIS CLOSE to pulling into the state trooper barracks and getting one of them to follow you. You nearly sideswiped FIVE cars and some type of chemical tanker.

You people are so damn distracting, you’re going to make ME have an accident. Come on, let’s drive!

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Get a Piece of the Rock!


Our trip to Plymouth is over. Did you know you can touch a piece of Plymouth Rock in the Pilgrim Hall Museum? Yep, you can, and yep, I did. The rest of the actual rock is outside in mausoleum which you can’t reach, but you can see it. It’s quite small compared to what most people are expecting, so it’s a little of a disappointment. The EGA program, however was not a disappointment on any level!

Initially, we broke into two groups. My group first were treated to a talk by the very knowledgeable Peg Baker. She showed us 6 gorgeous unframed antique samplers, front and back. The good news is that Joanne Harvey is recreating two of them. They will be gorgeous! We didn’t touch the samplers ourselves, but we were within inches and could soak up every stitch. It was truly wonderful. We then traded places with the other group and had a highlight tour of the remainder of the museum, paying special attention to the fabulous Loara Standish Sampler and the Mercy Otis Warren cardtable. I have to stay that these photographs are terrible and do not do these lovely pieces justice. I was just drooling over the card table. The colors are not black and red at all. The background is a soft teal and the flowers are fantastically shaded in greens, pinks, blues and yellows. It is very lovely.
After the luncheon break, we were in for a real treat. An interview with Elizabeth Creeden. I’m sure I can’t describe this afternoon adequately. But I’ll give it a try. Elizabeth is a needle artist. She designs crewel work and used to the own the Sampler. You can order her kits from The Twining Thread. I highly recommend the Pastoral Fan. I was able to see the original and it is gorgeous. On to more gorgeousness. A number of years ago, the Plymouth Library had built a new children’s wing and asked for submissions of art for the wing. Elizabeth proposed a design based on Alice in Wonderland in the May Morris style. Sadly, the Library choose something else. They really missed the boat. But serendipitously, someone saw a drawing of Elizabeth’s work for this project and commissioned her to create it for his home. The hanging piece is done on a wool teal damask and measures 7 FEET by 7 FEET. Yep, feet. We were able to see the top part of the tree finished. It is beyond description. I will have a photo printed and scanned and put in here within a day or two.

Our trip to the Sampler was a big disappointment. It has changed since Elizabeth has left. I had called a few weeks in advance to let the owner know that a few dozen stitching people (we actually had 40 in our group) would be in town and would she stay open a little later to accommodate such a large group? I never heard back. When I went to the shop, the shelves were bare. I didn’t see any new models from when I had last been in there 3 years ago. In all my years of going to the Sampler while attending Sampler Gathering, I had a usual habit of spending a few hundred dollars at a time in there, as did my traveling companion (BFF Lisa) . It was an effort to spend $40.

To make up for the lack of stash enhancement, I stopped at Yankee Cross Stitch , which has also recently been under new ownership. I have to say that this was a much better experience. The new owner here, Erica, has been doing a fantastic job. She made some changes and they’re terrific. There is even a shop cat – Fletcher.

I know you’re all dying for a stash report, right? You can click on each for a link to a picture.
An Ideal Landscape – The Scarlet Letter
Dainty Housewren – Carriage House Samplings (with ink spot black fabric)
Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly magazine (I have to renew my subscription)
My Friend – A Stitcher’s Hands (this will hopefully be a Christmas present)
John Foster – Historic Stitches
The first 3 installments of Summer Snapperland (I think I’ll stitch these without the snaps)
Pink Carnation by The Sweetheart Tree (this came kitted in a plastic box) I think I will do this as a needlebook and then take the center motif and make a fob out of it – too cute!

All in all, it was a great weekend. Good foods, great friends, and stitching! I got exactly as much done on my Frances sampler as I had hoped and am looking forward to finishing it before the stitch-in at Patti’s house at the end of the month.

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