I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Saying goodbye to a year full of stitches

and looking forward to a year full of new stitches to learn and.......
........hopefully projects finished?
It seems that no matter how many days I have with every year to stitch, I never seem to have enough time to stitch and finish  every thing that I have started working on ..........
is that the way it is for you?
I looked through all of the things I have labeled
"works in progress"
and have decided to devote at least one day a week to working on them.......
well, it's a good idea at least........don't you think?
I even have them all placed in a work basket beside my stitching table, so I have no excuse to ignore them..........
How about you? 
Are there things to stitch, paint, or create that you have started and not finished........
and then declare that this is the year to get it all done?
Maybe a new job has stolen your time away............
or maybe new things have happened within your family that has
taken your attention...........
One thing I have always loved about embroidery..........
no matter how stress packed and busy my day has been,
it is always so relaxing to end my day with a few stitches......
it seems to calm the worries in my head
and to think things through as I work.
Here's wishing you a new year for a creative journey with time and enjoyment for all the things you wish to do!
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I have a wonderful Christmas cookie recipe posted on my cooking blog
just click onto this link  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My rusted screen stitching and pincushions has captured attention

thanks to a dear friend who scooped them up and took them to show her co-workers, 
who loved them..........

These past days I have been stitching flowers



and snowmen......all on rusted screen wire. 

Pincushions have also been a favorite. 
 I am thrilled that a desire to use up my scrap material and old rusted screen  has served a use for others to enjoy! 

I also found the perfect vintage tree for my vintage shop.........
do any of you remember these ceramic trees?
A friend had given this to me years ago.........
and now it sweetly lights up a corner in my shop!
So tell me...........
have you gotten your holiday decorating done?
Are you busy painting, stitching, and creating those last minute gifts?
I would love to hear!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Did you know that J C Penny once sold embroidery kits?

  I found this out when I purchased this beautiful stitched piece at a junk store. It was lying underneath a few things on a table and I just happened to see a corner of it, when I pulled it up.
 Someone had written on the back that it was purchased at the downtown J C Penny store in 1978.
The entire piece  is so beautifully stitched 
 and at first I thought that is was an already stitched picture that was purchased from the store. 
 However, I researched and found that it was actually a stamped kit that looks like this.The company that supplied J C  Penny these kits was 

Paragon Needle Craft
Paragon made 127 kits from 1937-1982 and are still making kits today.
Little is known about Paragon Needlecraft except that it was in business for 60+ years selling quilt kits and different kinds of needlecraft kits thru stores such as: J.C. Penny, Sears, Macy’s, etc and catalogs, especially thru Lee Wards. The following is taken from an online site about National Media Corporation which is headquartered in Encino, CA.
 National Paragon Corporation was engaged in the needlecraft business for more than 60 years. In 1984 it formed National Syndication, Inc., a subsidiary that managed a variety of specialty catalogs and mail-order businesses. In October 1985 National Paragon filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act. A year later it emerged from Chapter 11 and in November 1986 acquired Media Arts International as part of its approved reorganization plan

The one who stitched this piece so beautifully did not sign her name to it..........these are things I always look for in stitched pieces. 
For years I have been looking for the right picture to hang in our dining room above the doorway . This stitched piece looks perfect for that spot.
How about you? Did you know that J C Penny once sold these kits?
Did you ever purchase and stitch one yourself? 
I would love to hear!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wishing You A Wonderful Thanksgiving

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. 
Author Unknown

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Did you know that you can stitch on ...........screen wire??

 It's true!
Throughout the years, the screen doors need to be changed and I always love the rust look of an old screen...........and I have always thought that they had the perfect cross stitch grid to them.

I carefully cut a piece of and old rusted screen, and picked a cross stitch design to fit it.
To keep the rust on the screen and from tainting your floss and hands...........
spray a clear sealer onto the screen and let it dry for 30 minutes. 

Trim away ......as much as you can of the wire strands that are sticking out and do be careful because the edges are still prickly and can poke you! Work your cross stitch design, being careful not to carry over a thread because the screen shows through unlike fabric.  
I also stitched my initials at the bottom.........

I wanted a primitive look to my wire, so I attached mesquite tree limbs to the top and bottom with light jewelry wire. No matter how much I tried to wrap the wire on the side edges, the screen still had places where it poked my fingers.

I cut strips of matching paper and glued them onto the sides.

Now it is a pretty stitched piece to hang either in the window......

or on a porch.  
What do you think?
What is an unusual thing you have stitched or painted on??
I would love to hear.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I have been thinking up ways to use the small leftover scraps of fabric

that I have left over after working on a project.
They are just too pretty to throw away.......

I wanted to make something unique, but also "usable".
I decided to make pincushions...........working with my hand embroidery and beads.......
and placing a vintage button in the center.............
and also giving each one a distinct name. 
I designed this one from the joy I feel as I walk along my gardens 

gazing at the flowers that grow there as well as the butterflies and bees that dart in and out.
I placed one of my favorite antique buttons in the middle. 

This one I designed by piecing together many of the spring fabric scraps and then embellishing it with flower beads, pearls and a vintage button.

I designed this with  darker nostalgic scraps and embellished it with flower beads, pearls, tiny glass beads and a vintage button.

I designed this with a mix of floral and homespun fabric scraps.  I incorporated vine and leaf embroidery with beads and a vintage button.

I wanted to capture a cold crisp morning with different hues of embroidery, tiny glass sparkling beads and clear beads along with a rhinestone button.
I think it would be wonderful for a seamstress to have her own personal pincushion , so I designed this one with a letter, tiny glass beads, pearls, flower beads and a rhinestone button in the middle.

They are all so pretty and unique..........
eye candy with a useful purpose.
So tell me, 
what do you do with all of those little scraps that you have left over?
I would love to hear!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Come, little leaves, Said the wind one day;

Come to the meadows
With me and play.
Put on your dresses
Of red and gold;
For summer is past,
And the days grow cold.

Soon as the leaves
Heard the wind's loud call,
Down they came fluttering,
One and all.

Over the meadows
They danced and flew,
All singing the soft
Little songs they knew

Dancing and flying,
The leaves went along,
Til Winter called them
To end their sweet song.
Soon, fast asleep
In their earthy beds,
The snow lay a coverlet
O'er their heads.
Words by George Cooper

Friday, September 19, 2014

Is there a last stitch at the end of the needle??

Well, yes..........probably,
if I would stick to stitching on one project at a time........
instead of 3 ......or more.

Don't worry, you are not seeing double......well in a way, you are.
I started these "flower of the month" a long time ago. I am stitching two sets at a time, on a large cloth, because I want to sell one set in my vintage shop and I want to keep a set for myself.

So I pick a day of the week, and devote it to stitching on this project.

Another day of the week,
 I focus my stitching on this vintage tablecloth that I found a while back in a junk store. It also has a few holes that I am repairing a long the way.

There are only 4 motifs, which were pre- printed on this cloth
one in each corner..........
and I decided to stitch them in different colors ........

because of the different dishes I have.

I am almost through with this motif and have only one more motif left to stitch.

On another day of the week, I work on 
 another wonderful tablecloth that I found in a junk store. 
It is linen and  4 napkins to match. 
I used a morning glory design for each corner
and since the cloth has lavender and  purple on it,
I am stitching lavender and purple morning glories on it. 

Many of you might remember me posting about this shirt......
which I call my garden shirt.

I embroidered the pocket on the outside and a little bit on the inside to make it look like the flowers were spilling from the inside of the pocket.

So yet, on another day of the week..........
I have been working a large panel of morning glories across the shoulder and dipping down the front and a little down the back

and going down the top shoulder of the sleeve.  This is taking me longer, because I am still deciding what I want on the shirt and where I want to place the design. 

and in between all of this............I make pie.........what could be better??
This is a Cherry Crumble Pie.
If you would like the recipe just click onto this link
and it will take you to my cooking blog.
So maybe in a while I will be able to show you 
the last stitch at the end of my needle..............
in all honesty............I don't ever want to see the last stitch of my needle.............
I want to stitch up until my last breath.........
How about you?
Is the last stitch in sight for your projects?
I would love to hear!