Monday, August 26, 2013

Chart to Benefit Southern Pines Animal Shelter: St. Stephen's Day

St. Stephen's Day has been celebrated in Ireland for hundreds of years and is one of the country's nine official holidays.  To this day, on December 26, merrymakers dress in old clothes and straw hats and go door-to-door with fake wrens to dance and make music.  These revelers are sometimes called "Mummers," which is how I got the inspiration for Mary's last name.

There is a wonderful song to celebrate St. Stephen's Day, and you can see an older recording of it  by The Clancy Brothers here:

I am making this graph available to you and am asking you to make a donation of any size to Southern Pines Animal Shelter by using your Paypal account.  Go to Paypal and send your donation to (Valerie is our grant writer and fund raiser extraordinaire!)  If you do not have a Paypal account, you can send a donation check directly to the shelter at 1901 N. 31st. Ave., Hattiesburg, MS 39401 (as always, I don't recommend you send cash in the mail.)  I am not requiring any particular donation, but can tell you that just $10 will feed two animals for a month.  Five dollars will buy us ten (very needed) rolls of paper towels for keeping things clean. If you're feeling extra generous, $30 pays for neuter surgery for one male cat or kitten.  Even just $2 will help us protect an animal from rabies with a vaccination.

To access this graph, you can click on the graphic below (the chart), and drag and drop it on your desktop. Then you can print it out for use; I have saved it for you 600 DPI as a jpg file.  The quality of the copy you print will depend on the capability of your printer.  If you don't have much luck printing this off, try asking a friend with a different printer to print it for you.

If THAT doesn't work, you can send me a SASE to Theresa Venette, 10 Plainview Crossing, Hattiesburg, MS 39402.

For fabric, I would choose something hand-dyed and old-looking.  I might suggest Vintage Exemplar by Lakeside Linens or Espresso by R&R Reproductions.  The key appears below the graph.

Symbol/DMC floss (over-dyed alternatives)
■ 3371 (Sampler Threads Cherry Bark)
= 831 (Sampler Threads Endive)
X 829 (Sampler Threads Heirloom Gold)
. 613 (Weeks Dye Works Light Khaki)
3 3826 (Sampler Threads Gingersnap)
w 3859 (Sampler Threads Raspberry Frost)
+ 3857 (Weeks Dye Works Rust
↑ 3031 (Sampler Threads Pecan Pie)
/// 3781 (Sampler Threads Maple Syrup)

A little bit about what we do at the shelter: Southern Pines was established in 1952 and last year accepted 5,000 unwanted, neglected, abused and lost dogs and cats from a 15-county area.  We are a non-profit organization that strives to reunite lost pets with their owners, educates the public about the importance of responsible pet ownership, adopts out thousands of animals a year, sends other animals on transports and to breed-specific rescue groups, assists with hoarding, neglect and abuse cases, offers pet food to those in need, and much, much more.  We operate a low-cost spay and neuter clinic that has done over 20,000 surgeries in the 3 1/2 years it has been open.  We also have opened a Thrift Store and Adoption Center to assist us in our mission.

Thank you for your help.  I hope you enjoy this design!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'm back!

Well, to be fair, I never left. In fact, in my neck of the woods, there's been a lot more of me everywhere.  I've been putting in very long, hard hours at the animal shelter I manage. I go to bed so very tired every night, that some mornings I wake up in the same position in which I went to sleep, sore on that side, and still aching from the previous day's work.

I've still been fostering kittens, and of course my days are filled with animals.  In the last ten weeks, our shelter has taken in around 1,700 animals.  I have hired staff (and let a few go), have handled multiple crises with as much grace as I could muster, have been on the news a number of times, and really, I've just been working my butt off.

And when I get home every night around 7...or 8... I think about cross stitch.  But I haven't had the strength to even pick up a needle.  I had to close down my shop in the last few weeks, too, so that means in addition to extremely long weeks at the shelter, I've been hauling boxes, tearing down displays, and moving things back home.  I'm setting up a home office; I found a desk and chair yesterday to order, so for today, I'm on the kitchen table, and we're just going to have to eat our dinner in our laps.  I have missed you guys!

Okay, so ...

I've got Mary Bate's reproduction ready to go.  Look for it on my eBay shop.  The chart price is $20.00.  The piece is 270 by 390 stitches and can be stitched in DMC floss or Needlepoint Silk/Gloriana/Silk N Colours.  Here is a supply list, if that helps:

Needlepoint Silk 763, 993 (3), 756, 203, 693, 957, 913 (2), 333
Gloriana Silk Old Gold (2)
Silk N Colours Rye Grass
Linen: 40 count Espresso by R&R Reproductions or 40 count Vintage Light Exemplar by Lakeside Linens

Yes, I've been fostering.  But I've got a roast in the oven, so I just want to share some pictures with you real quick, hopefully to tide you over until next time.  I have lost a few kittens, but have saved a bunch this year.  I am trying to limit myself to three at a time, but right now have five (several came back sick from the shelter.)

Currently here at the house -- absolutely one of the most affectionate kittens I've ever had.
A baby doll.

Super-funny and active.  And look at those amazing whiskers.

Came in by herself, and was terrified at first.
Trying to get over a cold here at the house.
So nice.

Freddy Mercury.
Also came in by himself.
Adopted last weekend.
His new little boy has the same color hair he does!

At the house -- also with a cold.
VERY unusual coat of cocoa brown and cream.
Her eyes have become concerned-looking, but she hasn't a care in the world.

Also at the house.
Slightly cross-eyed.
Handsome, nice, and very soft.

I hope life has been treating you well.  Life is treating me well, and I'm treating it well right back.

Be good!  Hope to talk to you again real soon.