Some of My Favorite People

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And the Winner Is....

I am thrilled to announce the winner of my "Merriest Christmas!" Giveaway. I used to generate the winning number and the winning number selected was #16. After counting comments and then then recounting to be sure, the giveaway winner is Lisa V of Perth, Australia!

Congratulations Lisa! I'll be sending an email to you shortly to gather all the mailing details so that your Samplerbird Stitchery gifties can be on their way to you. I  hope you have fun stitching it up for yourself or someone you love!

A big Thank You to all for taking time to comment on my last post and a hearty "Welcome" to my new followers! I can't tell you what a heart-warming and encouraging experience it has been to read through the comments. At a time when my self-confidence is struggling with the out-of-work blues, it means the world to me. Thank you for brightening my day!

EMAIL: If anyone sent an email to me in the last week and I have not responded, please resend it to me. For some reason, AOL placed emails related to my blog in the Spam Folder and as I was sorting out the true spam, I accidentally clicked "delete all" instead of "delete" so I lost it all. Arrrgghhh!

Finishing: I've been trying to do some Christmas stitching finishing over the last couple of weeks. Here are a few pics:

Peace and Joy (front) - The Drawn Thread
Stitched this year on 32 ct. raw linen over 1 and over 2. I substituted over-dyed cotton floss for the silk threads that I did not have and used beads and buttons from my stash for embellishment. Santa's beard and coat trim are stitched with Whisper. Finished using Cynthia's wonderful directions included with the pattern.
"Peace and Joy" (back) - The Drawn Thread

"Frosty" - Designer unknown.
Stitched long, long ago on 18 ct Aida with DMC. One of those stitched designs that had been lanquishing away in my 'finished' box for years. Wanted to try the finish I've seen on so many blogs this year and pulled this out to experiment with. 

"Festive Redbird" - Homespun Elegance
Stitched in 2009 on 28 ct. linen remnant from my stash using over-dyed floss. I substituted a brighter shade of red to match the beads that I wanted to use. Finished using Sandra's directions included with the patttern.

"Angels Sent" - Susan Greening Davis (Still Stitching with Susan) from the 2010 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue. Stitched on 30 ct white evenweave from my stash using DMC 115. 
I had the pleasure of spending numeroues hours (and $$$) in Susan's Michigan shop when it was open and I couldn't resist stitching this up for me and one for a friend.

Samplerbird Stitchery News: I'm busy stitching the model for the "Peace on Earth" ornament that I will be offering as a freebie before New Year's Eve (stay tuned for a sneak peak in a day or two) and I am working on a couple of new design ideas, the first is based on two things that I love, samplers and quilts, and the second is a set of smalls with a winter theme. Hope to have them ready by mid-to-late-January. 

Several of the comments to my last post mentioned that it was nice to find a design that fits in a standard size frame. I wholeheartenly agree. In fact, that is one of the factors that I am taking into consideration as I design. It is frustrating when we stitch up a perfectly lovely design and then put off framing because a custom frame costs so much. I was lucky enough to grow up with a Dad who was a master-woodworker and he showed me how to do so many things (if only I had paid more attention). I did learn how to construct a frame and over the years I've accumulated the equipment to do so but I don't always want to make a frame, sometimes I just want to go to the store and pick out a ready-made frame and get on with the framing. So I will try as I move forward with my designing to accomodate those of us that prefer to use a standard size frame. 

An Anniversary: I'd also like to mention that this week marks the 4th anniversary since our little Birman twins, Zissou and Zoe, joined our family. 

Zoe and Zissou settling into their new home.
Zissou and Zoe, this year, supervising the annual "putting up the tree" event. Note: Zoe (right) is smaller than Zissou (left) although it doesn't look like it in this picture. Sorry, the flash hides their blue eyes. 

By the way, I neglected to acknowledge Zissou as the model in the "Merriest Christmas!" picture from my last post. He has been a little miffed at me so I promised that I would show his latest glamour shot today. Isn't he handsome!

Thanks for stopping by today and a big CONGRATULATIONS to Lisa V for winning the "Merriest Christmas!" pattern pack, linen and threads.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My 2010 Christmas Giveaway & My Newest Design

Happy Holidays! I’m so happy that you stopped by today! I must say, I was overwhelmed by the positive comments about my "Holiday Spirit" design. I can’t thank those of you that left a comment or sent an email enough for taking time to brighten my day and encourage my designing endeavor. {{{Hugs}}} to all of you!

I have a new Samplerbird Stitchery design that I’m excited to tell you about. Let me introduce you to…Merriest Christmas!

"Merriest Christmas!"
Designer: Samplerbird Stitchery
Stitched on 32 ct. Rue Green Zweigart Belfast linen with overdyed floss: Weeks Dye Works Snowflake and Holly, and Crescent Colors Cupid. Framed using a standard 5 x 7 frame purchased at Hobby Lobby.  
Three things inspired me to design this piece, the joyful feeling that this season brings to my heart, new fluffy snowflakes, and the look and feel of an old-fashioned type greeting card. After several transitional morphs, I found the “look” that I envisioned. I hope you like the results.

I combined my thoughts for a Christmas giveaway and my new design introduction and arrived at my, “2010 ‘Merriest Christmas’ Giveaway.”

"Merriest Christmas Giveaway winner will receive:
The “Merriest Christmas!” pattern.
A 10 x 12 piece of 32 ct. Rue Green linen.
And…three skeins of over-dyed floss to stitch this baby up!
The drawing will be conducted on Tuesday morning, December 21, 2010, at approximately 9:00 a.m. EST. To enter, simply comment on this post and tell me that you want to be included in the drawing. Please include your email address, if it isn’t on your profile, so I have some way to contact you for your address if your name is drawn. You must be a follower to win. The best of luck to all!

A couple of things before I sign off. First, I’m setting up an Etsy shop to sell my Samplerbird Stitchery designs, including “Merriest Christmas!” and I’ll post more about that in a few days. Secondly, I’ll be publishing my next complimentary chart, “Peace on Earth” here on my blog prior to New Year’s Eve. Stay tuned!

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the world today. Take care, have some fun with needle and thread, and enjoy yourself!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My October Gift and a Free Holiday Pattern for You!

December greetings! I hope that everyone had a fun Halloween and a Happy Thanksgiving. I have missed spending time here. I am so behind posting, reading, and commenting, that I may never catch up. I guess I'll move forward and hopefully do a better job of keeping in touch. Thank you to all that commented on my last post about the pumpkins. I'd be glad to share how easy they were to make if anyone is interested. Let me know by commenting on this post or just send me an email.

I missed posting my October finishes, but I just have to show the gift that Julianne (one of the sweetest and most generous stitchers around) sent to me. I received her little "just because" gift in October. Thank you again, dear Julianne. 

Lovely surprise in lovely packaging from Julianne.
 Don't you just love the rose embossed gold bag! And the "pear" card was perfect for October. Inside the bag was the sweetest ornament. Julianne stitched the robin design from Prairie Schooler's "Signs of Spring". I collect robins and I just love it!!! It is hanging from the lamp by my stitching chair so I can admire it whenever I sit down to stitch. (I plan to send a little something Julianne's way after the first of the year.) 

Robin from PS "Signs of Spring"
Here's a pic of Miss Zoe, my very own "Dora the Explorer" checking out the new gifties that came in the mail.   

Zoe (doing her best Vanna Whiskers impression.)

Since I am "between employment" at the moment, I decided to pursue one of my long-time goals: designing. Back eons ago when my Mother and Aunts was collecting dollhouse miniatures (70's/80's?), I designed and stitched quite a few mini samplers and linens for their dollhouses and displays and I designed and stitched an extended family tree in honor of my grandparent's 50th Wedding Anniversary. All designed on graph paper with colored pencils. About five years ago I purchased charting software. Until now, I have only used it to customize little bits and pieces of charts that I was stitching, but haven't taken the time to start fresh and let the creative juices flow. 

So over the last several weeks, I have been charting and stitching, recharting, frogging, and restitching and today I put the finishing touches on my first original ornament design, "Holiday Spirit" from Samplerbird Stitchery (that's me). 

 I included words that evoke the spirit of the holidays for me. I wish I could stitch one for each and everyone of my blogging friends and the wonderful shop owners that have kept me supplied over the years. You are all very dear to me and make even the roughest days a bit brighter. Since I can't stitch that fast, it is my pleasure to gift the chart to you. I hope that you like it.

If you stitch it, I would love to see how you choose to finish it. There are so many possibilities. The matching trim and ribbon that I used were purchased at Michaels (this year) to add lots of bling! I like bling at Christmas. It's a quick stitch, especially if you leave off the beads and just use a simple cross stitch. Enjoy!
Click on the picture to make it bigger.
If you have any questions, you are most welcome to email me at Happy Holidays!

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the world today! 

"Holiday Spirit"
Designer: Me!
Copyright: Samplerbird Stitchery 2010