Some of My Favorite People

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Sending everyone wishes for a safe and properous 2012. May the year be full of fun projects, interesting people, and the time to enjoy both.
God bless!

Happy New Year!
Designer: Me
Copyright Samplerbird Stitchery 2011 

I tried to make this chart downloadable but technology is not my friend today. Urghh!
If you would like a copy of the chart, please email me at and I will happily email a pdf back to you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trick or Treat

No tricks, just a stitchy treat from Samplerbird Stitchery.

"Trick or Treat Ditty"

I was doodling around with my design software today and came up with this little design. I think it would look sweet as a little treat bag or as a basket ornament. It's "hot off the presses", which really means I haven't selected fabric or floss yet. So if "Trick or Treat Ditty" appeals to you, pick your favorite Halloween colors and stitch one up. Oh, and please share your finish with me, I'd love to see your version.

Thank you for stopping by my little neck of the woods today. And a special thank you to all my followers: it has been pretty quiet around here for the last few months and I appreciate your continued interest in my blog more than I can say.

Have a wickedly fun Halloween!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Stitching

Yeah, it's been awhile.

Haven't been blogging much, just a peak here and there, to see what all my blogging buddies are up to. I've been struggling with life issues of late, parent getting older and needing more of my time, looking for a permanent position in the state agency where I have been working on a "limited term", and some chronic hip/back pain issues. My Mom and the pain issues are ongoing but I was lucky enough to land a permanent position. So I am officially permanently employed!! I no longer have to spent every other free minute revising my resume to fit job descriptions or writing cover letters or working on STAR scenarios to describe my work experience/results in interviews. Thank goodness!!! I was so sick of thinking about all of that!

But through it all, I did find some time to enjoy some stitching (and designing) along the way. Here's a rundown of what I have been working on over the last few months:

First up is Quaker Sampler designed by one of my all-time favorite designers, Sandy Orton. Love her attention to detail! (The sampler is one of the featured designs in Donner Kooler's Encyclopedia of Needlework, published in 2000.) I stitched it on 36 ct. LL Lt Examplar with a combination of Crescent Colors Cupid and Threadworx Bleeding Hearts. I started it last summer on impulse with Cupid knowing I would need to order more. Of course, when the newly ordered floss arrived, it was a different dye lot and too brownish. So I put the sampler aside and began a six-month long search that would span several overdyed floss brands and multiple shades  of red until I found just the right mixture. In the end, it turned out the way I envisioned. (The sampler is a bit brighter in person.) 

Next is Liberty House designed by Ewe & Eye & Friends. (Sorry for the wrinkles, but it is too hot to even think about getting the iron out.) Just had to dig this design out of my stash after seeing Faye's version on her Carolina Stitcher blog. I worked on this while camping a couple of weeks ago. I'm stitching it on Ice Blue 32 ct linen using 1 strand of the recommended fibers. I tried stitching with 2 strands but thought it looked to heavy so frogged out the initial stitching and started over. Unfortunately, the little froggers didn't know enough to go away, so I have had to frog and restitch several areas. And to top it off, I discovered the little amphibean varmits added a horizonal stitch. Arghhh!!! Decided to leave it and finagle the motifs to compensate for my lack of counting ability. (Those of you that know this design, may notice that I took the liberty of replacing the year with the word "Liberty.")   

When we travel, if I'm not driving, I like to have a project to work on. I chose The Prairie Schooler's Prairie Birds to work on. I'm using a brown 28 ct. natural linen from my remnant stash and the recommended DMC floss. I don't usually stitch on 28 ct. but I needed something that I could actually see while riding down the road. Some of these Michigan roads are definitely not "stitcher friendly"! I plan to stitch a few of the designs that depict the birds I see in my backyard and make them into ornaments. My DH found some birch branches, as pictured on the front of the pattern, to use in displaying them. He's a sweetie!   

Speaking of stitching while riding or camping, this is the container that I use to collect my orts. It was formerly a Q-tip container. I can slide it closed so other debris can't get in (like bugs, which I do not like). I use this one for traveling or stitching outside. My main ort jar, which is a jelly jar stays by my stitching chair in the living room.

Have you experienced chenilley goodness yet? I ordered a selection of chenille trims from the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. Lovely colors! I can't wait to use them! (And get more!)

In my last post several months ago, I showed a picture of my progress on Leaping Cat, a sampler by La-D-Da. I did finish her up and here she is in all her leaping glory. She is stitched on a Hand Dyed Fibers 36 ct. linen using 1 strand of the recommended over-dyed floss.  

My next project will be an Adam & Eve sampler that I've designed. I'm floss tossing to settle on the main colors, which is always a tough decision for me. 

I think that about covers the main events in my stitchy world for the last several months. Thank you for hanging around while I have been absent. And a heartfelt thanks for the inspiration you have given via your blogs. Some days, it was the hi-light of my day to have a few minutes to visit even if I didn't have the energy to comment. A big appreciative {{{hug}}} to all! 

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world today. Stay cool, if you can, and enjoy the day!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Greetings! I'm late for the TUSAL showing this month. Where does the time go? I have been stitching a bit here and there, but my new job has definitely put a crimp in my stitching and designing time. I am thankful for my job and I'm not complaining really, just stating the fact of the matter.

I am disappointed though that I haven't felt very creative lately and so haven't made much progress on several designs that I have in the works. In the evenings when I have the time and energy, I have chosen instead to work on "Leaping Cat" from La D Da and "Easter Frills" from With Thy Thread and Needle.

My TUSAL jar with current works in progress.
(Picture taken in the last bit of sunshine before sunset.)

Notice the foreign object on the left side of the picture? Any guesses as to what it is?

If you guessed a cat's foot, you are correct!   

The foot belongs to Zissou (a.k.a. Zee-Zee or Mr. Z).
Typical cat behavior! He has to be into whatever I am doing. The little ham, he even looks like he's giving me the raspberry to boot!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world. Please come back and visit again. Take care, and until next time, happy stitches!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Wow, has it only been a month since last TUSAL? I know that I am a couple of days late posting this month but it has been a little crazy around here.

A couple of weekends ago, my sister and I went to see Rick Springfield in concert at the Motor City Casino in Detroit. (Very cool casino and the the concert was great too!) We decided to make a day of it so my sister could attend his book signing in the afternoon. (BTW, we did meet him and she did get her book signed.) 

On the way to Detroit, we stopped at a couple antique/second hand stores and I found a few treasures. One of which is the beautiful drawn thread piece in my TUSAL picture above. Does anyone know if there is a more specific name for this style of needlework? Isn't it breathtaking? I couldn't believe that it was only a $2. Other than a couple of small discolorations, it is perfect. I absolutely love it! Here is a closer look at the detail:


I also found a hankerchief with delicate drawn thread work. Again, it was another steal. I also picked up two small oil cans (forget to include them in the pictures) to use on a couple of With Thy Needle and Thread finishes. 

I have a little bit of stitching progress to report, although my new job and the flu have definitely taken their toll on my time and energy. In the picture above, you can see my St. Patrick's design, tentatively titled, "Shamrock Reel". I plan to finish it as a small box cover similar to the Valentine box that I designed and finished last month. In the scroll frame is "Easter Frills" by With My Needle and Thread.

I also started the "Leaping Cat" sampler from La-D-Da in February. I'm using a piece of 36 ct. linen from Hand Dyed Fibers. I saw it and fell in love with it stitched on 40ct gauze but I chickened out and chose linen instead. 

I started a new job towards the end of February and came down with the respiratory type flu last weekend so I haven't had the energy to even sign on to my computer lately. I can't wait to get back to visiting around blogland and see what everyone is up to. And I am impatiently waiting for my first paycheck so I can do some market stash enhancement with a free heart. A week and a half to go! Woohoo!

So that about wraps it up for the happenings in my little world over the last few weeks.  I do need to mention my sorrow at learning of Lisa Roswell's passing this last week. To say that I am saddened and shocked is an understatement. How tragic. My heart and prayers go out to her family. She will be missed by so many. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

TUSAL and Preparing for a HS Happy Dance

Time for the February TUSAL check-in. I'm using a small jelly jar to collect my orts. Once the little jelly jar is full, I'll dump it into the large Ball jar setting beside it. Most of the orts are from the little sampler that the jar is sitting on. 

A "Berry" Nice Sampler by Hillside Samplings
Stitched on 30 ct. Northern Cross Natural linen with DMC floss.
Changes: Switched to a slightly deeper yellow for the strawberry blossom centers and replaced the stitched center strawberry with the porcelain strawberry button that was intended for the pin pillow. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a funk and needed something colorful to stitch. Went stash diving and pulled out "A "Berry" Nice Sampler" from Hillside Samplings. This has been on my "want to stitch" list since I first laid eyes on it. I loved stitching this little sampler! With such a pretty palette of colors and an interesting variety of stitches, it was hard to put it down! Finished the stitching last night, ironed it today, and I'll be adding the the porcelain strawberry button to it this evening. Then I'll be happy dancing!   

This is a picture from the leaflet cover. Notice the center strawberry is stitched. When I bought the pattern, I also bought the linen and the porcelain button. Imagine my disappointment when I set down to really look over the pattern and discovered that the button wasn't used for the sampler. Probably one of the reasons that it has been waiting for 10 years to be stitched!  

Here's another view of "A "Berry" Nice Sampler". Sorry about the bad lighting. The actual colors show up much nicer in the first photo. 

A few of the orts in my TUSAL jar are from Carriage House Samplings "Alphabet Sampler". I'm stitching it from the cards that I collected before the full sampler chart pack was released.

"Alphabet Sampler" -  Carriage House Samplings
Stitched on 40 ct. Sandstone linen using overdyed threads. (Again, the lighting does not do the colors in this sampler justice.)

I have this by my stitching chair and whenever I am between projects or need to take a breather from what I am stitching on, I pull it out and stitch awhile. 

I'll leave you with a picture that I came across when I was browsing through some of my pictures. This is why I no longer leave my laptop on the floor if I have to step away.     

Megan, the queen of warm and cozy places.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world today. And sincere thanks to all that left comments to my last post. It means so much to me. 

Hope you are staying warm and finding time to do something you love!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

No finishes to report, but I have an answer for Glenna...

First of all, thank you for the kind comments regarding my pile of unfinished finishes. I appreciate that no one scolded me for not being more proactive in the finishing department. What can I say, I'm just the kind of girl that enjoys stitching. As for the finishing, well, not so much.

I haven't finished anything this week although I have been experimenting with paint colors. I'm trying to decide what color to paint frames that I made last spring for:

"Sally Spencer" from Birds of a Feather
Stitched on 32 ct. hand dyed linen with overdyed floss.
Personalized with my immediate family's initials and the first two letters of the name of each of the cats that I have had.
Which of the two darker paint colors (see craft sticks to the left of the sampler) look best? Thoughts?

"Button Button" from Hillside Samplings
(I can't find the chart right now, but I think that's the name.)
Stitched on 32 ct Lt Mocha linen with Caron Waterlilies in Fir and embellished with pearl buttons.
I finished stitching this sampler in 1997 and I mounted into the frame with glass and three layers of spacers to accomodate the buttons, but I'm not happy with the stain I used. Too light. Can't restain because I sprayed a coat of sealer on it. I'd like to find a coordinating paint color, slightly darker than the Waterlilies for it. Everything I've tried so far looks too bright (see light paint colors on craft stitcks in the picture above). Any suggestions for this one?  

In my last post, Glenna left a comment asking about one of the pieces in my UF (unfinished finishes) box. I think this is the one that she described. (Glenna, I would have emailed you sooner but I was unable to find your email address. Let me know if this isn't the one that you were asking about.) 

"Woodland Snowfall" from Little House Needleworks
Just Cross Stitch 2004 Special Christmas Ornament Issue
Stitched on 32 ct. scrap of mystery brown linen.
My plan was (and is) to finish it as a needlebook.
Well, my stitchy chair and my cat, Sophie, are calling to me. Time for a diet coke, some tummy rubbings (Sophie's, not mine) and some stitching. Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world. Take care and stay warm! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 Goals (kind of) and Finish Finishes

I kind of set a goal to pick out two of my stitched finishes each month to finish finish. I say "kind of" because I'm not going to kick myself  if I miss a month or two along the way. Life happens, right? My plan is to frame one piece and finish one piece into a small of some kind each month. If all goes as planned, by year's end I'll have 24 finished finishes.

Recently Diane invited me to join POSSIBIL(I)TIES, a blog she started for stitchers to encourage one another to finish-finish stitching project finishes. I jumped at the chance and joined right away. I am also practicing goal visualization. I have this picture in my mind of me smiling on December 31 looking over all my finished finishes and wondering why it took me so long.   

So with my goal in mind, last weekend I opened up the 6" x 20 1/2" x 14.5" tote that I use to store my stitched finishes and thought, "hmm, where do I start?"

I have no idea how many stitched pieces are in there...but as you can see, it is pretty full.  

I reached in...held my breathe...and pulled out a couple of Blackbird Designs finishes. I dug around in my stash for backing fabric, trims, buttons and charms, dusted off the old sewing machine and got busy. Here are the results: 

"Small Token"
Reward of Merit Pincushion by Blackbird Designs
Stitched on Vintage(?) 32 count linen using overdyed threads.  Finished using the background fabric for the backing and lace from my miniatures (old hobby) stash.

Reward of Merit Pincushion by Blackbird Designs
Stitched on the recommended fabric with the reccommended overdyed floss.  Finished using the background fabric for the backing and charms and buttons from my stash. 
 I attempted tacking tan rick-rack around the Bluebird pincushion but after several rocky attempts, I decided it wasn't worth the battle and frogged it all out. Not sure if I'll have another go at it or not. What do you think, should I or shouldn't I?

Thank you for stopping by today. And thank you for the comments regarding my last post. I've loved peaking at all the 2011 Challenge starts across blogland over the last couple of weeks and as a result, I'm just bursting to start some new projects myself. But so far I'm staying focused on a little set of winter themed needlework smalls that I'm designing and filling in on the CHS Alphabet.

Take care and hope you are enjoying your stitching as much as I am enjoying mine, which is A LOT! Hugs...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Happy New Year! Here's wishing many blessings for you and yours in 2011!

I joined Daffycat's Totally Useless Stitch A Long and here is my first TUSAL picture. 

I've been collecting orts for awhile so I can't place a timeframe on the collected orts in the big jar. I didn't think to start a new jar until today and I was too lazy to pick out the orts from the last few days. So everything was dumped unceremoniously into the big jar. I start filling a new jar tonight.

I'm behind (a lot) due to several unanticipated events. First, my Mom's water heater died right after Christmas. I had to locate a plumber that had the right size water heater in stock AND who was available to install it the next day. I decided to spent the install day at my Mom's in case there were any problems. Luckily, everything went smoothly and my Mom and I had a nice day watching movies. I stitched and Mom helped my pick out buttons and charms for 'Blackbird Designs'' Bluebird pincushion. Then, the next day, my brother called stressing about the New Year's Day party he was planning. Long story short, being the big sister that I am, I volunteered to have the party at my house. Let's just say I was NOT prepared, and had to hustle my bustle to get the house and  food together. Despite limited sleep, everything turned out well and everyone had a good time, including me.

I planned to sit and stitch all day Sunday, but ended up sorting, straightening, and organizing my stash instead. I decided to avoid the 15-new project challenge and opted to be the cheerleader for all those that joined. Instead, this year, I plan to "finish finish" some of the things that have been lanquishing in my "stitched" box. I've kind of set a plan of framing one piece and finishing one unframed piece each month. If I stick to my plan, by year's end, I will have 12 framed samplers/pictures and 12 ornaments/smalls.

I am finishing a few things that I'll share with you hopefully tomorrow, that is if all the appliances continue working and my siblings don't have any emergencies. :)

I'm thankful that you stopped by my little corner of the world today. Take care, stay warm , or cool, depending on your location, and find time to do something you love.