Friday, February 25, 2011

If you go to: and look at the February 15th blog entry, there's a really cool sampler stitched by a boy named James Wilson (looks like early 1800's). You can purchase the graph using Paypal, and they'll send you the chart via PDF file. I just ordered one. SO COOL! The proceeds go directly to the museum. Don't-cha just love those squirrels?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Market Report: A Fun Weekend!

Hey all, I'm still sitting in my pajamas this morning (the cats woke me up a little earlier than my alarm would have). But I thought I'd jot off a quick market report before I head back to the shop to start scanning everything, printing more graphs, answering e-mails, packing orders...all of that fun stuff I get to do after playing "hookie" for a few days. This is one of the couple of weeks a year where I work seven days a week for a's fun, but very tiring. Rather than bore you with a COMPLETE rundown of the whole weekend, I'm going to give you snippets and highlights.

On the way to Nashville, I drove over a bridge that spans the "Chunky River." Shortly after that, I passed a Nestle truck carrying a load of Baby Ruth's. No matter how much I honked at that guy, he wouldn't stop to sell me one.

Sue's daughter Ellen came along to help out and see the world. I gave her a package of Bump-It's as a funny gift. Ellen ended up trying them out, and everyone agreed they were very cute. Niky Farrauto from Italy tried them out, and thought they were so wonderful, she headed to Target to take a set back to Italy.

I taught a class about an hour after arriving at the hotel. I had the honor of sharing the responsibilities with Pam Reed (Old Colonial), Amy Bruecken (AB Designs), and Lori Markovic (La D Da). I presented an awesome idea for a "Sampler Muffin," and later this week, I'll post a picture and instructions on how to make it.

A new series will debut soon via Crescent Colours of "Maggie Bean's" small sampler designs. She is Jenny Bean's little sister (and so she does small samplers, as she's just learning.) I had run out of time to stitch the first one for display, so I took fabric, fibers, a needle, scissors, the frame, and finishing supplies. I started stitching it around 9 Friday night, went to bed around 10, got up and finished it, and delivered the framed piece to Sharon for her booth about 15 minutes before market started. All in a day's work.

Barb and Alma of Blackbird Designs were just down the hall from me at the hotel, so they stopped in a few times. They each bought a few things, and both of them asked me about my MD's Christmas Sampler piece. EVERY market they try to buy that chart again, and EVERY market I tell them they already have that one, which they love. They both said they should just go home and stitch the darn thing.

I was THRILLED to get my hands on some wooden Colonial dolls at Old Colonial. Pam only made two hundred of them, and they are dressed in the coolest clothes. You stitch on a pre-finished apron a little Quaker design. I told her Monday morning at breakfast that she was crazy for making all of those kits (she sewed all of the clothes, including the bonnets, which she said were a pain in the neck.) She did not disagree with me that she was crazy.

I took the original Ann Grant sampler along to market, and everyone thought the reproduction sampler was awesome. The shops loved the colors, and they were also enthusiastic about the "A Sampling by Ann," which is a smaller showcase of motifs from the sampler. I presented the idea of my going back and designing pieces the same size/shape using my other reproductions (and framing them in the same frame.) They thought that was a great idea. We don't all have time for 40,000-stitch projects.

I missed my cats. And my family.

I found a number of wonderful reproduction samplers (and original samplers) to bring back to market. I showed some designers and shops a picture of the Ann Dale sampler I am in the process of buying. Luckily, I had plenty of towels from the hotel to wipe up the drool.

Cecile and Patti recently worked out an agreement where Cecile took full ownership of Just Another Button Company (now Patti can concentrate on designing cross stitch and quilting, which she did before she helped found the button company.) Both ladies have found renewed creativity, and their new designs (pincushions and buttons for Cecile, cross stitch designs for Patti) are SOOOOO cute. A lot of shops at the show commented on how they can tell already that the change was good for both of them. And they both seem so happy!

I always buy at least a little something at market just for me. This market I bought: a piece of Walnut linen and a bag of lavender at The Heart's Content; a really cool hand-made (old-lookin') frame and a pack of walnut dye at Cardan Antiques; a stack of dyed wool quarters at Weeks Dye Works; two back issues of Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly at The Marking Sampler; a raspberry martini at Carraba's on Sunday night. I also had a number of designers come in and give me little gifties or their favorite new graphs.

Sue and Ellen were eating bananas while I was out shopping on Sunday. One of the bananas had a bruise at the top, and they were going to flush that little bit down the toilet. They left it in there for me to find. When I did, I thought, "Wow, someone isn't chewing their food." Weirdos!

Lindy from The Silver Needle came in and scooped up a bunch of my models at the end of the show to take back to Tulsa. I always joke that market is like a family reunion for me, because I never get to see all of my pieces together, except at market. (By the way, it is totally fine that she borrows them. They're in good hands!)

Giblet shredded an entire roll of toilet paper while I was gone.

I LOVE bread, and we don't have local bakers here (well, we do, but they bake cakes, cookies, bars, muffins, etc....but no bread.) Our hotel was five minutes from a brand new Panera bread, so I stopped Monday morning on my way home and bought a huge sack full of it for my freezer. When I was telling the young Panera employee about the lack of bread in my town, and that I was taking this all back to Hattiesburg for my freezer, she mistakenly thought I'd driven all the way to Nashville just for the bread. I wouldn't do that, silly girl! (There's a CLOSER Panera in Alabama.)

I have one minute until I have to get in the shower, so I'm going to close for now. Please know I'm home safe and sound, and I will be working very hard this next few weeks to update the site, get orders out, and deal with the fall out from the past few weeks. Thank you everyone for your kind support and comments. I'll talk to you soon!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The rest of it...almost...

OK, here are some other of my market offerings. I am "keeping" two surprises...a new little sampler series by Maggie Bean (Jenny's sister) and a class piece I am turning loose on the shops to teach y'all (yes, you will be able to buy it from me, too.)

This piece is called "Tread Lightly" and is stitched on 40 count Vintage Copper linen by Lakeside Linens. I have charted this so you can stitch as three separate pieces OR stitch it all together as one long piece. It's not terribly large -- each of these little guys is about the size of a playing card. Fibers are Gloriana silks Jacaranda and Gilded Pinks and Silk N Colours Gingersnap. I did put a DMC conversion with this graph (as I always do).

God Bless Those: This is a little limited edition kit that comes with either 32 or 40 count Vintage Exemplar linen and three limited edition Sampler Threads. I designed this in honor of Egypt's struggle for freedom, and finished stitching it at 5 o'clock this morning. Aren't I a trooper? I'll be kitting it tonight. I am only making 200 of these.

Home Springs Eternal: Jim at the Gentle Art called two or three weeks ago and wanted to know if it was too late for me to design and stitch something using a limited edition thread pack. I can never say no to that guy. I love the colors in this one, and it gave me the chance to use a limited edition button that JABCo made for me LAST YEAR. The buttons are available separately (see it on the urn?) The thread packs will be available at market -- I think there will only be around 400 of those, but the charts will be available for a long time. I did a conversion to DMC AND to the regular line of Sampler Threads. It's stitched on 32 count French Vanilla linen by R&R Reproductions.

Every year I take stuff to market, and every year (invariably) someone will say: "Is that it?" (Meaning: of the nine new designs you have designed, stitched, charted, printed, packed and carried to that IT?) YES! THAT'S IT!!! Nine new things is all I could come up with by myself! That's IT! That's IT! THAT IS IT!!! (sigh) I do have some other things I'm working on, actually, but those are going to have to wait a few weeks while I deal with market fall-out. This is my busiest week of the year, and while it's fun, it's very tiring. I hope y'all enjoy my new stuff. I feel like I am continually improving.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A couple more...

I am neck-deep in printing, packing, charting, the rest...this is one of the busiest weeks of my year, and I've got a bunch of new stuff for market! I'll put the rest up tomorrow (save a few surprises), but here are a few more of my market releases for you to gawk at. I hope you like them. (As always, you can click on each picture to make it larger.)

Jenny Bean's Creation Sampler is stitched on 40 count Vintage Pear linen by Lakeside Linens. You need Sampler Threads Endive, Uniform Blue, Willow, Lambswool, Mustard Seed, Acorn, Oatmeal, Fisherman's Wharf, Toffee, Espresso Bean, Cinnamon, Piney Woods, Summer Shower, Mulberry, and Old Hickory, The frame is FAR-BKBL by Eastside Mouldings (size 7 by 13 1/2 if you're stitching on 40 count.)

Ann Grant Reproduction Sampler is stitched on 32 ct. Vintage Sand Dune by Lakeside Linens. (You will need a half a yard if you're using 32 count. The stitch count is 290 by 350. Fibers are Gloriana Schoolhouse Red and Pecan; Au Ver a Soie 2635 (2), 3812, 3431 (2), 3745, 3815 (2); Belle Soie Baguette and Chocolat; Silk N Colours Camelot's Lady and Potter's Clay; Needlepoint Silk 993 and 222. You use ONE STRAND over two (most of the verse is over-one). You can get the frames from me, if you like. I love this!

Here's a Raise the Roof offering -- it's called "Official Crazy Cat Lady" and is stitched on 32 ct. Heritage by Picture This Plus. It calls for a Just Another Button Company button pack and uses Crescent Colours Blackbird, Sweetest Heart, Milady's teal, Deep Fennel, Ye Olde Gold, Timber, Cerise, Tiny Vine; and Weeks Dye Works Linen, Pebble and Graphite.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Because I love you guys...'s another sneak peek -- this is "A Sampling by Ann," and is designed using elements from the Ann Grant sampler. I changed the colors, the fabric, flipped a few motifs, tidied up a few more, added my own flair, and voila! I think it's AWESOME! I wanted to create something for stitchers who wanted something historic, but who don't have time for 40,000 stitches. You can order this from me, but you can also ask your local shop to pick this up at market.

Here's a supply list:

40 ct. Heritage Linen (by Silkweaver)
Needlepoint Silks 207, 148, 203, 587, 315, 181, 336, 693
Au Ver a Soie 2212
Frame: 7 by 7 "The Auntie" in Fleamarket Blackbird by The Family Tree Frame Co. (aka, Crescent Colours)

More sneak peeks coming...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ann Grant sneak peek...

OK, just to tease y'all, here is the Ann Grant reproduction FINISHED! I'll be picking the frame up tomorrow (hopefully), stretching and photographing it, and then I can pack graphs. It is beyond wonderful. The colors are awesome, and I even got to do some of the stitching. My model stitcher put in about 32,000 stitches, and I put in another 6,000 or so (I did the over-one verse and a few of the motifs), so it was a team effort. This one is FUN to stitch, and it is just a quintessential sampler. It's got a house, birds, a beautiful tree, strawberries, and an Algerian Eye alphabet. Plus, red, pinks, olive greens and browns? It's drool-worthy.

I'll be posting an update before I go to market of ALL of my new designs (there will be eight or so.) Wish me luck in getting everything framed, printed and packed. This is a super-fun time of year for me, and I appreciate your support. :)


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Warning: Sad Story

Readers: Sunday morning I woke up to the following message on my Facebook account. Since so many of you commented on "Mustache Man's" adoption of Alexis and Zeeba on January 15th (I got phone calls and e-mails about it, too), I wanted to let you in on this story. I have been talking to Gene (aka, Mustache Man) since Sunday, and he is doing okay. I will continue my part of the update below, but I warn you, you may need a Kleenex.

I also need to say that I made a mistake in my first post -- it was Zeeba (the orange kitty) who first climbed up on Gene's belly, and growled and meowed at him until she was comfortable. This is important to make this correction, and you will know why shortly.


Dear Theresa,

As I type this, Ziva (the silver tabby known as Alexis) is curled up against my chest - well now she has moved to the folded blanket next to my keyboard and is laying with her paws tucked under chest, purring, watching me type. It's Panther's old blue American Airlines inflight blanket that she used to lay on in front of my printer as I typed my papers for college. think Panther would approve of another kitty enjoying its softness. (Theresa's note: Panther was Gene's 20-year-old cat who passed away Christmas eve.)

The kittens came home and spent a few days in the master bedroom and soon were romping and playing - the first night was on the schedule as such: eat, drink, play non-stop for 40 minutes, then pass out against me for an hour and a half. Needless to say, when I finally let them have the living room/kitchen/dining area for play and exploration, sleep came much easier for me as I no longer suffered (happily I might add) being pounced on, my face patted and little heads rubbing faces rubbing against my face, mewing, wanting me to play. I would come home and go to the bedroom and when I announced, "hello ladies", two furry heads would pop up from the blankets and start mewing until I got on my knees and gathered them to me, the purring drowning out any other noise.

Nalla (Zeeba) became my favorite as she would always come to me - I became her play toy, napping spot (was embarrassing when she started kneading the fat - kept telling her, to no avail, that fat doesn't fluff. Nevertheless, I am back in the gym again after that!), conversation buddy, and general affection sponge. And yes, she would talk to me when I look at her. she would always sleep up near my face and both would waken me with purrs, paws patting my face, little heads rubbing on mine, and whiskers tickling as they whuffled my ear.

Neither would stay skinny either - two food bowls kept filled with Hill's Science Diet for indoor kittens have added to their frames, and skinniness gave way to lithe, athletic feline forms. Rarely had to intervene unless the sounds during wrestling went from play growls and meows to "Hey, that hurt!" They soon inherited another play tree - they got the super tall one with the sheepskin hammock initially - it is in the master bedroom - and then a shorter one to go in the living room - mainly to save the couch from claws. but both got major play action.

I strongly discouraged both from playing behind or underneath my couch. It is a double recliner and as such, has multiple metal stress bars, springs, and the metal frame itself, which can gravely injure a small animal if they are caught under it. Friday night I heard both playing underneath - tilted it forward and shooed both of them out form underneath - what I didnt' see was Nalla going back under it as I lowered it back down. I sat down and my worst fear was realized as I heard it. I sprang up, sick with fear and literally flinging the couch across the living room, snatching up Nalla, wrapping her in a blanket, keys and shoes and we went flying to E-Vets, the whole time, I am saying, Not my Nalla, hang on baby. Raced in and the vet got me to a room, but Nalla was already gone. When I got home and put the couch back, I saw why she zipped back under it - she had gone back to retrieve her favorite toy - a green rabbit's foot that Panther had stashed somewhere in the apartment and that Nalla had found.

Ziva hasn't looked for her, (she saw me pick up Nalla's body and wrap her in a blanket to go) but instead has become almost inseparable from me. I make sure she gets a lot more playtime and holding time and she has taken up Nalla's habit of sleeping on my chest as I sit back in a chair, reclining. Before they kept each other entertained, bathed, and were bed buddies. She follows me everywhere and today I had her assistance in making the bed and in folding laundry - she prefers that I fold tee shirts her way - with a helping paw and a lot more wrinkles in the shirts.

Please know that in the short time Nalla was with me - she got all the food she wanted, two playtrees, her littermate to play with, her favorite toys (the rabbit's foot was the ultimate tho) which she played with almost nonstop with the exception of naptime and food, and unlimited affection from and to me. I have not been able to type this without having to stop several times and not because of Ziva. (she's asleep now) But her fur was absolutely luxurious and that tail would have been the envy of many a cat - she talked to me as much as Panther did. Dr. Brenda, on her visit, thought both were absolutely gorgeous and was happy for me.

I will adopt another because Ziva, being so young, needs companionship when I am not here, and I really got used to having two cats - have always had one, but two added so much and I never realized what I was missing.

I wanted to let you know and to thank you for your help with both - and if you would help us (Ziva and I) find another kitty who would need a home such as she enjoys now. (by the way - Ziva avoids behind the couch and has not been under it since.)

My thanks so much for what you did for all three of us.



Theresa here again -- sorry for the sad story. But we are on the look-out for another cat for Gene. I told him we won't be able to replace Nalla, but that we will find him another sweet cat to love. There are so many who need homes. I will update this story as I know more.

If you would like to send Gene an e-mail of support, his address is I know he'd love to hear from some of you fellow cat lovers. He is just heartbroken at his loss; please know that he is exactly the type of person who is perfect to own pets. Keep him in your throughts and prayers.