Which brings me to my next point. Since I am finding all of these great samplers, and since I'm only one person, I'm looking for model stitchers. I would really like to start releasing one a month, but I cannot possibly run my shop, design, reproduce AND stitch all of these great things. If you're interested, you can send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are some stipulations:
1. You do not need to have previous model-stitching experience, but it helps.
2. You need to be comfortable working on 32, 36 and/or 40 count. Often my reproductions have areas of over-one stitching and/or some specialty stitches (usually things like Algerian eye, or some straight stitches...usually nothing too difficult.) I provide, obviously, the chart, threads, fabric, needles.
3. Your stitching needs to be neat and study (threads tidily and well-anchored on the back. These pieces get taken all over the country, so they need to be able to stand up to some mileage.)
4. You do not need to be a speed demon, but I can't wait a year for a piece to get stitched. Obviously, you need to be able to devote time to stitching when you agree to finish a piece for me. Sometimes I have deadlines, and sometimes not. Sometimes the pieces are large, but you would get a picture of the antique before you agree to stitch the reproduction.
5. You cannot cheat me by selling (or giving away) copies of the graphs I send you to stitch the model. Believe it or not, this happens. The design is mine to release. You will be paid for your time.
6. Which brings me to my payment structure. I pay my model stitchers 1.5 cents per stitch. To give you an idea of what that works out to, a piece like the Ann Grant sampler will earn a model stitcher about $650.00. A piece like Elizabeth Mary Gandey is about $250.00. I figure out the stitch total -- my software counts the stitches in the graph! The stitched model belongs to me, then.
It's wonderful to have model stitchers to help me out, and it's easiest for me to "farm out" my reproductions. As much as I like to stitch them, I also stitch my original designs. And since the reproduction sampler colors are set by the original, I don't have to make adjustments once I've done color selections. With my original designs, I often change my mind about colors, and do more ripping/tearing/frogging. (Rip-it, rip-it.)
OK, one last thing, and then I'm done. Elvis has found a home! I had my friend Jennifer and her family take care of Dottie and Elvis while I was up north. Her husband Hobbie wasn't too keen on watching two kittens (they have two cats already, and he has allergies.)
But the day after I dropped them off, he posted a picture AND a video on his Facebook page. A few days later, Jennifer e-mailed that Hobbie was hoping her sister Sharon would adopt Elvis. Then a few days later, she texted me that Hobbie wanted them to adopt Elvis! It's true! So, I get to watch Elvis grow up, and it's too, too wonderful, because he'll have a great family and two "sister" cats to help him learn what he needs to know.