Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Although it's only June...

...Giblet is considering possible Halloween costumes. This is Giblet as a bottle of water.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Have a good day...from the kitties

Soba hopes you have a good day.

And Elvis hopes you have a good day, too.

Dottie hopes you walk around all day with a dryer sheet stuck to the butt of your pants. Naughty kitty!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mary Bate joins my brood

I met someone online last night -- her name is Mary. Or rather, her name was Mary, and I now own her handwork! I apologize for the quality of the pictures -- I cleaned these up the best I could, but will have to wait to take better pictures when the sampler shows up in the mail. (As always, you should be able to click on the pictures to make them a little bigger.)

An antique coins dealer in Nottingham posted the sampler a few days ago as a "Buy It Now," and I stumbled across it last night. I called Pat at Lakeside Linens right away (she was still at the office dyeing linen). I often will call Pat when I see a sampler I like; she and I have similar taste in antique samplers. She agreed that Mary's sampler was well-worth the price (around $350), considering the date, condition, and quality of the sampler/design. Then she cursed me for having called her, because once I got her looking, I doomed her to spending the rest of her evening browsing through all of the pretty samplers online.

Here is the verse (and this was part of what I really liked about this one):

THE human soul without Education
is like marble in the quary which (shows?)
none of its inherent beauties until
the skill of the Polisher fethes (sic) out
the colours makes the surface shine
and discovers every ornamentel (?)
spot and vein that runs through the
body of it Education after the same
manner when it works upon the mind
draws out to view every latent virtue
and perfection which without such
helps are never able to make their
appearance (squiggly line)
Keep such Company as you may im
prove or that may improve you and
if you or your Companions cannot
make one anothor (sic) better rather leave
than grow worse by them
Her Work In The Year Of
Our Lord 1796 B Oct 29 83 (Born October 29, 1783.)
Strait School

The sampler is about 12" by 15 3/4", which means the linen is probably very fine (judging by how much stitching is in the piece for something that size.) Pat and I estimate it's between a 40 and 50 count linen, but I'll know more when I receive the sampler. I'll share more of what I discover when the sampler arrives and take better pictures with my fancy new Nikon camera. I just thought I'd share a few (smudgy) pictures of my latest acquisition. What do you think of it?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Harrison is twenty

Two decades ago, I met a wonderful person. It has been one of the best experiences of my life to watch him grow, learn, and develop. He is a one-in-a-billion kind of guy, and I feel so fortunate to call him "my son."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Free graph over at Needleprint

It's summer, which to me is time for red thread. But of course, Christmas is a good time for red thread. And so is Valentine's Day. Really, red is a good color any day. Jacqueline over at Needleprint has a free sampler download up on our blog, and I thought I'd point you over to her blog. (You can also download, for a fee, reproductions there.)

You can find the S'Gravenhage 1892 reproduction on her blog. She will also soon have a new book (THIS MONTH!) -- Micheal & Elizabeth Feller The Needlework Collection: 1. I can't wait to have one in my stash -- you can pre-order through me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A new sampler and some new kitten pics

Elizabeth Mary Gandey is back from my model stitcher, and doesn't it look grand? Kathy did a wonderful job in stitching this lovely reproduction. Thank you, Kathy! The piece is stitched on 36 count Vintage Pear by Lakeside Linens in a variety of silks. A conversion to DMC is provided. I think this is a lovely summery-looking sampler with the red, white and blue flowers 'round the border, and lots of grass and green trees. Plus, pink butterflies! (You can click on any of the pictures in my blog to make them larger.)

The verse is: Love God with all your soul and strength,/With all your heart and mind;/And love your neighbor as yourself;/Be faithful, just and kind./Elizabeth Mary Gandey. Aged 8 years.

Dear Elizabeth was only 8 years old when she stitched the original sampler in fine wools on linen. She did not date her sampler, but I'd put it in the 1830-1840 range. I purchased the original on eBay UK for around $75.00 about a year and a half ago. Elizabeth would be proud to know that her sampler is going to bring a lot of you some stitching joy. You can order the chart from me now, and my distributors will soon have it, so you can encourage your shops to order it in as well.

I also know a lot of you have been anxious to see our latest kittens we are fostering. I will divulge that I purchased a new toy last weekend -- a Nikon DX3100 camera. I'm still learning to use it, but this should allow me to take much better pictures for my site, blog and graphs.

Here, first, is Chi. She is almost 8 weeks old, which means we will soon have her spayed and put her up for adoption through the shelter. She has grown a lot this last six weeks, and her personality is even cuter than she is. Chi (which means "life energy") loves to cuddle, play, and will let you hold her upside down like a baby to pet her belly. She's smart and sweet, and we will miss her.

Next is Soba, Chi's brother. He's named for the noodle, which is an inexpensive fast-food typically eaten in Japan. He's so small, but thinks he's very big. Huge personality -- social, confident, talkative. Everyone is moaning and groaning that he will soon be gone, too. He's got a special place in our hearts.

Below is Dot. A local professor found her in his backyard four weeks ago with three other kittens, two of which did not survive. He put the call out on our shelter's Facebook page, and I begged and pleaded for the shelter to let me raise them to get them ready for adoption (they were euthanizing all kittens at that time, since we had too, too many). I got the go ahead (it pays to have some strings to pull.) And Dottie is such a dear heart. SO quiet, so soft, so beautiful. She will make a wonderful lap cat for someone who likes to brush long, lovely hair. Dot's sister, Consuela, died last week after a stroke or seizure.

And last is little Elvis. Elvis' brother Cash died the first week we had the kittens (my friend Jennifer was helping watch the little ones at the time.) We believe he had some kind of genetic defect, but at least he was loved, and was warm with a full belly when he passed. Elvis is tiny -- he was in bad shape when he was found, and had probably been abandoned by his mother. (We believe Dot and Consuela were one litter...Elvis and Cash were another.) Elvis is the typical little brother around the house -- always following the big kids, and getting picked on a little. Still, he loves to wrestle, and is turning out to be very handsome. He loves affection and a warm bottle.

I hope summer is treating you right so far. It's 100 in Hattiesburg this week, and will be ... oh, until October, I imagine. But the peach man has set up his stand on my route home, so life is good.

(P.S. For those of you BREATHING DOWN MY NECK about the Ann Dale reproduction, it will be released this fall. Good things are worth waiting for, and great things take time! Wish me luck!)