Counting House Finished

I finished the Counting House!  I had several frogging sessions on this one and one bigger mistake that I just let go.  The colors are as charted except I replaced the blue (DMC 3768 — it was too close to my fabric color) with DMC 3072, which was already in the design.

Lousy cell phone picture

I have a new start going but it is going to be a long term project — nothing quick about it.  I also cut out some fabric today to try making some bags.  I have never sewn in a zipper before and will admit to being nervous about it.  I don’t really enjoy sewing at all.  And I grew up around sewing.

My parents and grandmother had a drapery/interior decorating business at my grandmother’s house.  Downstairs was my dear great-grandmother’s house, and her living room became the cutting room.  She had her personal machine — a treadle — in her den where she did her own sewing.  Sometimes she sewed the pinch pleats for the business.  Upstairs, my grandparents lived.  Their living room housed several industrial sewing machines.  The dining table was converted into a huge ironing board.

My grandmother was an excellent seamstress.  She made hand-beaded wedding gowns and beautiful dresses.

I spent all my school vacations there, plus all summer, every year.  As a child, I could hand-sew pinch pleats, fold draperies, and could even sew on the industrial machine.  I remember making true draperies on an industrial machine– even using buckrum and making pinch pleats — for my dollhouse.  So how I came to hate sewing I don’t know (unless it was watching my great-aunt sew her finger on the industrial straight-stitch.  I still get queasy thinking about it.)  I clench my teeth the entire time, whether I am hand sewing or using a machine, and relive unpleasant unrelated memories.

If I ever join church, I realize this is a HUGE problem.  My minister’s wife has seen my quilts and my cross stitching and insists that I can sew.  I can quilt — but I hate it.  I told her she will have to make all my dresses,  and she insists that she can teach me.  We’ll see.

Cutting fabric is so painful for me that I did all the cutting this morning with no intention of sewing tpday.  Maybe tomorrow.  Meanwhile my fingers are so painful I can barely type.

Also coming soon, I am going to try a flat fold finish again.  Hopefully the person cutting the mat board for me will cut them all the same this time.

Hopefully YOUR days are pain-free and your stitching frog-free!

Thanks for reading, and happy stitching!



Framed finish

Here is Simple Joys, framed and hanging on the wall of my living room.  🙂  The frame is a little big but it will do.

sj framed againnnn

This is the Counting House, before my re-start:

counting house

I re-started it Tuesday night.  I barely worked on it yesterday.  Today I got a little bit done but then I was on the phone for an hour and have been cooking.  This is what it looks like this afternoon:

CH May 26 330 pm

If I still haven’t received my latest online-shop order by the time this one is done, I am not sure what I will do next.  These smaller finishes are holding my interest for now.

Happy stitching!


Stitching Update

I have a few finishes to share!

I finished this one in April.  This was one of the wrong-sized frames I had ordered and this pattern fit it nicely.  It is a freebie from La-D-Da called Tiny Sampler.  Apologies for the dreadful photography.


I also finished this one back in April.  I used leftover silks from another project and tried making it into a flat fold with help from the Twisted Stitcher’s video tutorials.  Vonna is great.  But mine came out… eh…  I have autoimmune inflammatory arthritis in my fingers and pulling and pressing and tugging just hurt so bad.  The design is a freebie from La-D-Da.  I just love her designs.  I have her Cat & Dog coming in my next order along with one of her older patterns.


And just finished today…


It’s been pressed and is being framed as I type this!  Yay!!!!

It is Simple Joys by Little House Needleworks.  I substituted for the Classic Colorworks floss (I didn’t have them, sadly) with Weeks’ Dye Works Moss, Plum, and Chestnut and Gentle Art Sampler Threads in Cornhusk.

I will probably go back to the Counting House for a little while.  I need to get a picture of that one before I start it back up.  I believe I have the house finished.  After that I am not sure what I will start.  I don’t really feel like working another big project, especially since the buyer for Spiritdancer vanished after all that hard work.  (Although Quaker Gone Tropic has been calling to me, I will continue to resist the urge.)  I still have frames without designs to go in them… ugh… two are older frames from long ago, and another is a newer one.  I have learned my measuring lesson when ordering frames!  You have to count the real estate between the edge of the frame and where the mounting board fits.  Duh…

So for this year, I have finished dozens of yarn projects (knit and crochet) and the following cross stitch patterns:

  1. Spiritdancer by Butternut Road
  2. The Petal Fairy by Mirabilia
  3. Tiny Samper by La-D-Da
  4. Alphabet with Hare by La-D-Da
  5. Summer Breeze by Brittercup Designs
  6. America by Little House Needleworks
  7. Simple Joys by Little House Needleworks

I had a goal of 50 handmade items this year, but I have already done it.  Most of my things were donated to charity, or are here waiting for something to sell in my Etsy store so I can buy the postage to mail this HUGE box of things like burial gowns/blankets for babies, prayer shawls, etc.  I need a new goal.  I thought, how about 50 finishes in cross stitch?  But that is most likely not do-able, especially since I tend to make big or complicated things.  Maybe 50 cross stitch starts this year, except I don’t have 50 things in my stash (though I do have magazines!)  I turned 50 this year (seems IMPOSSIBLE since I don’t really feel OLD) so I wanted to do something fun yet stay within the virtually nonexistent budget.  I have been thinking this over but haven’t decided anything for certain yet.

When Simple Joys is framed and hanging, I will post a picture.

Happy stitching!



Stitching Update and Another Story

Here is Simple Joys after 4.5 hours of stitching.  I have a lot more done now, but lost track of the time.


I am really enjoying this piece.  I tried the frame out for size against the top and it works.  Once I have one of the sides down to the bottom, I will try it again and hopefully it will work!

CAM00702 (3)
There’s a funny (now) story to go with this one…

This is a Shepherd’s Bush sampler from a kit, called “Apple Kissed Autumn.”  I stitched this in either 1995 or 1996, making my 3rd child 2 or 3  years old at the time.  Yes, there is a story behind this one, too.

Moms just are not allowed bathroom breaks.  Tragedy strikes if they dare sneak into the rest room.  And tragedy certainly befell this project.

I snuck off to the bathroom for 2 minutes at the most while I was working on this project.  When I came out, the two older children were playing while the youngest had taken my SHARP embroidery scissors to the linen of this one!  He cut several small holes right in the path of the stitching.  I was beside myself.  What should I do now?  It was a kit.  I was already down to the row of leaves, so there would not likely be enough silk to start over again on another piece of linen.

At the time, I had a LNS and I called, frantically telling my story.  The shop owner urged me to “Just get in here!” so I packed up the children, grabbed my ruined sampler, and off we went.  The shop owner decided that I could play with the design and “fudge” the stitching over the holes.  So if you look at the apple baskets, you will notice that the one on the right is too far to the left.  It’s covering a BIG hole.  If you look below the words “apple baskets” you will see an off-sized whatever-it-is on the right.  It is hiding the small holes.  This was the store owner’s suggestion and she assured me that no one would ever notice.  But you know that is all I see when I see this piece!!!  And now that is all you notice too!

I still hang it every year.  I do smile at it now.  My son is grown and I blame any and all bladder trouble on him.  😉

Have a peaceful weekend!

A Finish

It has been stormy here in the Sunshine State, so I have not been able to get any good pictures of my finish from 2 nights ago.  I finished Little House Needleworks’ “America” while listening to the hockey game.  😉  This is the best photo for now until the sun shines again.

lhn america

I stitched it on hand dyed Jobelan left over from Spiritdancer with the DMC floss colors specified in the pattern.  I have had this one for a long time!  It was a quick stitch (not counting frogging sessions) and a fun one too.  I love the colors.

I’ve been auditioning it on the walls of my home and it just doesn’t go.  My colors are Florida cottage style.  My dream colors are these though!  This one will go in the drawer dubbed “The Cross Stitch Graveyard” by one of my sons.

I brought out the Hannah Jackson sampler and remembered why I rarely work on it.  I hate the fabric (light color, scratchy, barely any margins — it came in a kit), the floss is all cut very short, many of the colors are blended colors, too much orange, and one big frogging session yesterday.

So Hannah went back into the UFO drawer, and I started Simple Joys by Little House Needleworks.  I started this one because it should fit in a frame I already have.  I ordered four frames at once and ordered them ALL too small.  I have used three of them on different projects and this should use the last of them from THAT order.  I have another frame from a previous order and have a piece that will fit it but haven’t felt like starting that one yet — an over-3 reproduction sampler.

I did not have all the called-for overdyed colors so I had to make several substitutions.  It looks very close to the pattern though — nothing drastically changed.

I ordered some patterns and accessories via an online needlework store since there is no LNS anywhere near me.  This was one of the patterns.  Two weeks later, I emailed asking if  something was wrong.  They had taken the money up front, of course.  The next day I received an email containing a tracking number — period.  No explanation.  So my order had just been sitting around.  One chart wasn’t there and was backordered, which I discovered from the packing slip.  I waited four more weeks and asked if I should cancel the last pattern.  Again I received an email the next day with just a tracking number.  Period.  Again no explanation.  No note in the order when it arrived, no packing slip, nothing!   I guess that chart had been there for who knows how long too.  I won’t be ordering from there again!

Ordering online has mostly been a flaming disaster for me.  I could write post upon post about the BAD customer service I have experienced.  Only one store has been exceptional, but she doesn’t always have what I am looking for, unfortunately.  And I have been to several stores around the state and had similarly negative experiences in varying degrees.  If you have a good LNS, treasure it and frequent it!  I wish I did…

The List of Current Projects

Sort of current projects, anyway.  My list of UFOs/WIPs:

The aforementioned Loara Standish Sampler — barely started.  It comes out once in a blue moon because it is so big and so unwieldy in Q-snaps.  A scroll frame would solve the problem but I have never met a scroll frame that I have liked and I am not willing to tie up lots of money waiting on one for months and months.

Beekeeper’s Cottage by Shepherd’s Bush — an oldie and also barely started.  I stitched this one before but gave it away.  It was to be my car-only project.  Except I have remembered to bring it along for the ride exactly once.

Hannah Jackson reproduction sampler — I am probably 1/3 finished on this one, but haven’t worked on it this year.  It is on light fabric and I usually like my samplers on darker fabric.

Humminpatches — just started and have one page nearly finished.  I only work on it on Sundays.  I am stitching it on Stormy Seas fabric which I dyed myself.

America by Little House Needleworks — just started, probably 1/3 done.  This is a fun one but I am not certain whether I want to keep it or not.

The Counting House by Little House Needleworks — barely started.  Another fun one.  I am definitely keeping this one!

Madonna of the Garden by Mirabilia — does a handful of stitches count as started?  This one got disrupted when someone asked me to stitch Spiritdancer for her.  I spent four months stitching her instead, only to have the buyer disappear.  Lesson learned: Demand a deposit before you waste over 200 hours of your life stitching something for someone else.  It is hard not to get angry about it, especially when I have autoimmune inflammatory arthritis in my fingers.  Over 200 hours + 4 months + pain + walked buyer = unhappy stitcher.  I still don’t have my stitching mojo back.

Cardinal Points by Long Dog Samplers — Oh, how I despise this project!  The shop owner told me how bright and bold and lovely it was in person.  Our idea of bright and bold are quite different, apparently.  Dull colors, monotonous stitching.  Never again.  I probably will NOT keep this one.  My mother likes the colors so I might just give it to her.

I didn’t realize I had 8 projects started.   I thought I only had 5!  I guess they just multiply without me realizing it.  Does anyone else have an ancient UFO?  Or a project started that you just really dislike?  Have you persevered through those, or do you just get rid of them?





The 19 year old UFO aka The Story Behind the Angel Sampler

Well, this is embarrassing.   The Petal Fairy was sitting around the house while unfinished –for 10 years!  It was my current oldest UFO, which is now the Loara Standish Sampler.  (I barely have it started.)  However, for most of its life, the Petal Fairy was NOT my oldest UFO.  It was far younger –by 11 years — than the oldest, which was the Angel Sampler.


Angel Sampler was started in 1995.  All this stitching was accomplished right away.  Somehow I lost interest in it and it just sat in storage.  It moved several times and dwelt in several states.  In 2014, it still looked like this.

In November, I took it out and decided to try working on it.  Christmas was coming, after all, and maybe that would help keep me interested and working on it.

13 days later…

Angel Sampler

Why I hadn’t worked on it before then is beyond me.  I never cared for the bottom as designed, but my youngest child suggested adding another sheep in the center and that worked for me.  Maybe the project just needed a certain little boy to be born, grow a bit, and make a great suggestion.


The Story Behind…

I thought I would explain the stories behind some of the pieces I have stitched, and to start, I thought I would explain about the Petal Fairy.

We had been doing some traveling and were fortunate enough to be near a cross stitch shop. This was exciting for me, since there was no shop anywhere near our home. Fortunately, the shop was open as it was their stitch-in night and it was there that I bought the pattern, beads, metallic thread, and fabric for the Petal Fairy. I decided to change the fabric from the original but was leaving everything else the same.

I was so excited to start her, that on the way home I bought a set of Q-snaps (like I didn’t have a dozen sets at home!) and some of the floss needed so I could start her in the car on the way home. Which I did, even though it makes me get a horrible motion-sickness headache.

Once home, I was very quickly going through this design. At about the second or third week, I was finishing up the top half of the design! I had started from the center and was working my way up when…

It couldn’t be!

She was NOT going to fit on the fabric!

I re-measured the center and I was spot on. What on earth could be wrong? The fabric was facing the right direction. ???

Uh-oh. It was stitching night when I bought the pattern. There was lots of chatter as I met the owner and the ladies stitching. She couldn’t have cut the fabric wrong?

That was exactly what had happened. The fabric was too small. The fairy would never fit on this piece of linen.

I took a photo and sent it to the store. The owner felt terrible and sent me a new piece of fabric. My family felt terrible and I had a volunteer pick all my stitching out of the old piece of fabric, to be saved for another project.

The new fabric came. I had been on such a roll, maybe I could “get there” again.

It was not to be. I re-started her, but my heart was no longer in the project. She stayed like this for years:

Stitchery-- April 27, 2009 005

This is about three years of progress.   And it didn’t get much better from there.


This is 2013, about when I realized that I had used the wrong color gold beads.  Which I carefully took out and fixed last year.

I thought she would look lovely in my home.  But I have since moved.  Three times.  😉

She and I were just not meant to be.

She doesn’t exactly pass the church test, although my fellow stitchers at church do admire the work that went into her.  When I started her I had never even *heard* of Amish-Mennonites!

May 2016.  11 years after she was started, she is finished.  I am stubborn and rarely give up on a project, so I persevered through this one.  She is lovely and hopefully will go to a good home, where she can be loved and admired and will make someone happy.

And that’s the story behind the Petal Fairy, which is no longer my oldest UFO.  🙂






Available Now

All of the following are in my eBay store:

A piece of 32 count lambswool linen (16 x 21″)

Lots of used (barely) cross stitch patterns (Little House Needleworks Little Sheep Virtues, Winter by the Cricket Collection, Spring Row by Bent Creek, Moon and Back by Heart in Hand), Main Street Flower Shop by CCN; Handblessings Baseball Player; Little House Needleworks Batter Up!; February in Chalk; CCN Main Street Gazebo

New patterns:

Jane Tonge reproduction sampler

Country Cottage Needleworks Count Your Blessings and Welcome Home

Little House Needleworks The Gathering Room

Workbasket Quaker Sampler


New KITS:  From Shepherd’s Fold 2014, Goodness and Grace AND Cherish Life



Over 60 skeins of DMC perle cotton #5


Framed pieces:

Lizzie Kate

Teachers Touch the Future – framed

On linen

Gentle Arts threads with a little metallic thread

8.5 inches square

Professionally framed

This can be added to my store by request.  I will be relisting it at a future date.

DSCN5463 (2)

Celtic Spring, framed


Stitching Before 2015

Examples of my work over the past 25 years…