When I send a new reproduction off to a model stitcher with flosses, fabric, chart and notes, I am always anxious in anticipating how the finished product is going to look. And I get it back, and it's like Christmas to see it finished. And then when I get it in the frame...even better! I present to you Ragamuffin #2: A Quaker Sampler.
This sampler was a challenge to reproduce, because the alphabets were almost entirely MISSING IN ACTION. I think that the last time this original sampler was framed, someone thought they were being clever and washed this dear sampler and a lot of the letters just fell out. So, while the sampler is very clean, it is (to me) a ragamuffin...a little rough around the edges. You will notice (see below) that the original is more square-shaped, and the reproduction is rectangular. The original was stitched on an un-even weave linen (meaning the stitches are shorter than they are wide.)
I could see where some of the letters had been near the top, and could tell what type of alphabet was used. And I did some research with my sampler books at home, magazines, and even called Pat Ryan from R&R Reproductions. She took a look at photos of the original and gave me some great advice. I think the alphabets I have put in are pretty close to the feeling the original would have had. And I love the juxtaposition of the dark and angular lettering against the whimsical and free-spirited motifs at the bottom.
There are a lot of "essential" Quaker elements on this sampler -- the alphabets, a swan, a wreath, Quaker stars, a bird in a branch, urns. The colors are gentle golds and greens, with a soft black and cream. The "white" areas of stitching are done with TWO strands of silk, rather than one, to help that show up better. The original sampler had areas that were almost the same color as the fabric, and I wanted this faded feel for the reproduction.
Anyway, I hope you like it -- I'm working on printing/packing charts, and will be ready in a few days. You can order through me, or contact your local/favorite needlework shop to pre-order a chart.
We had more graduations this weekend! I took four cats over to PetSmart on Monday afternoon. And is my house more quiet? No. I picked up more kittens (I took three sweet ones out of the "E" room at the shelter Monday afternoon. The "E" room is not the place to be at the shelter. These three do not have names yet, but it's two orange males and one tortie female. The tortie has NO tail at all, one of the orange fellas has half a tail, and the other a full one. I'll post pictures soon.)
I also have a sweet little black fella named Shaggy who only weighed 14 ounces when I found him in the Kitten Cottage. Once I took him home, I realized that he did not know how to eat solid food, and probably hadn't eaten since he arrived at the shelter. We're alternating between formula and wet food, and he's doing great. He wants me to hold him ALL OF THE TIME. ALL OF THE TIME. I mean, literally, ALL OF THE TIME. He's really nice. And I have Maiden, who is a white/black short-hair. She's also very, very sweet. Maiden and Shaggy have been non-stop purring machines since they came home with me. I'll post pictures of them soon, too.
But, onto the graduates:
I wasn't able to get a good final shot of Peep. She is an anxious girl, and once I got the carriers out, she was just a blur. The only couple of pictures I snapped are just big splashes of black. Her siblings and mother left the house about ten days before she did. And she cried. But she had a cold, and actually, she got a lot more used to human interaction without her mother around. She had never purred before, and once her family left, she started purring.
The shelter called her "Miss Priss," but we called her "Highness," "Your Majesty" or "Princess." This lovely little cat was also taken out of the "E" room by yours truly. She had ringworm on her back and was almost put to sleep. I got her all cleaned up, and now she's a healthy, big girl who is ready for adoption. A very nice and regal cat.
Willie's final pictures were a little blurry, too. (Kittens are very difficult to photograph.) She was in Violet's litter, and it made me a little sad remembering dear Violet when Willie and Charlie were taken to PetSmart. Willie is smart, loyal, friendly, and a solid cat. She has kind of a "wild" coat, but a great personality. Willie likes to be blown with the blow dryer and then lifted up to drink from the sink. Now when I blow dry my hair in the morning, I think of Willie.
And here's dear Charlie. He drove me crazy when I was bottle feeding him. He would always bite my nose REALLY hard. Finally, I hissed at him a few times, and after that, he was very gentle, but would still put his mouth on my nose after eating. He's a talker, and has a really earnest quality to his personality. He'll be such a nice companion for his new adopter.
And I received another picture of Savannah with Bunny this morning by e-mail. You can tell this little girl is still pleased-as-punch with her new kitten friend. Bunny's new name is "Sprinkles." This is why I foster -- for the animals and for the adoptive families on the other end. And for me, too. Kittens are so, so beautiful.