Some of My Favorite People

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bunny Tails

A couple of months ago I had a craving to stitch a sampler. I wanted something small because I have upteen other projects going on right now, something that I didn't have to decide floss colors for, a little something I could pick up and stitch on without thinking too much. Do you ever feel that way? 

So stash diving I went and I pulled out an oldie but a goodie, "Meg's Bunny" from Sheepish Designs.  

I had a piece of the recommended 36 ct cream linen in my stash (don't you love it when you have the fabric already in your stash!) and pulled the recommended DMC floss.

And so I commenced stitching...

And I changed a couple of colors, moved things around a little bit, and stitched...

I kept worrying about whose initals to stitch in the top border. I finally decided to avoid that decision and finagled the strawberry border to replace the initials, switched the bluebirds to robins (of course)...and kept stitching, yes, when I should have been working those upteen other projects

And I finished stitching the little sweetie this week!

Meg's Bunny
Sheepish Designs

Here's a closer look at the changes I made to the top border:

Check out the bunny's tail in the picture below; instead of cross stitches, I used french knots! It took three attempts before I found a color that showed up on the cream linen.

I love the strawberry border but I think that little tail is my favorite part of the sampler. What an enjoyable stitch!

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world today and thanks to those who left comments and advice about my Ann Norman sampler. I apologize for the delay in responding to your messages. My wireless router finally gave up the fight last weekend and I have been without the internet until this evening. (Yes, I have been suffering from withdrawal.) It will take a couple of days to get caught up. 

Have a wonderful week!  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My status: Enchanted!

A few weeks ago, Ann Norman arrived on my doorstep. Of course, I was bursting with excitment to see her. My hands shook as I opened the box and I held my breathe as I pulled her out and unfolded her wrappings. My first impressions, in order, were: "She's beautiful and colorful and so full of little details and I love the border", then relief set in ("I didn't buy a fake antique, she's the real thing"), and finally joy that she was mine. I think I even hugged her!

May I introduce to you the handiwork of Miss Ann Norman!

Ann Norman - aged 13 years April 27, 1854
Stitched in cross-stitch on high count linen (40+ threads per inch) with silk threads.

When I began looking closely at her condition I could have cried. The linen is discolored and stained especially around the edges where it probably was covered by a wood frame, and distorted from being nailed to that @#$% backing board for so long. There are a few spots that I'm guessing may be stained with blood (perhaps where Ann poked herself with her needle?), one of the bottom corners appears to have been water damaged as the colors have bled, and there are a few small holes scattered around, but I am, never-the-less, simply enchanted by dear Ann!

Close up of top right corner where Ann escaped from one of those awful nails.

Seeing Ann up close, led me to think about the antique samplers that have survived over the years despite the handling, mounting, framing, and storing methods that were used. I am so thankful for the survivors! Perhaps they survived because they were stored away in a drawer, or the back of a closet, or up in an attic and forgotten for decades until someone discovered them again. And I'm thankful for the finders that didn't disregard them as just handiwork and of no value.   

Almost as soon as Ann arrived, I knew I wanted to stitch her again to see her as clean and as bright as she once was. I've been having so much fun pouring over her little, sometimes miscounted, stitches to chart her that I can hardly pull myself away. As I chart, I feel like I'm getting to know a bit about Ann. I'm sure she liked flowers, dogs and birds because she stitched lots of them into her sampler.

I imagine sampler-making wasn't one of Ann's favorite pastimes. For one thing, she wasn't particulary concerned about stitching on the vertical thread or allowing two threads for each stitch or space. Sometimes Ann left an even number of threads between stitches and sometimes an odd number. Another interesting tidbit I found is that when Ann discovered she stitched the wrong color or changed her mind about a color, she simply stitched over the original color with the new color. One of more obvious examples of this is in the lower section. Ann stitched two red birds and then went back and added a few black stitches on top of the red stitches (perhaps to make the birds look more like cardinals?). This young Ann didn't have the time or the inclination to create a perfect sampler. I think she was just itching to get it done and move on to more interesting activities. Ann was definitely not a frogger!     

I have no idea where Ann lived or even if she was American, but I would love to find out. The linen she used has a blue woven line along the right and left selvage edges. From edge to edge the linen is 13 inches wide. Does anyone know where this linen was from? Does anyone recognize anything about the sampler style that might place it?

I would very much appreciate any advice or leads to information about conservatively remounting and framing antiques samplers.

As always thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world. Wishing you a wonderful week and hope you find time for stitching!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! -- And Liebster Award News

I received a blog award from Karen at The View from the Stitching Chair last week. Thank you Karen! I'm so glad you like my blog!

Here's the Liebster Award scoup:
Liebster is a German word meaning favorite, dearest or beloved and is awarded by bloggers to newer bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. By accepting this award I will:
1. Choose 5 blogs to award the Liebster to.
2. Thank my friend and link back to her.
3. Post the award on my blog and list the bloggers I pass the Liebster on to with their links.
4. Let them know by leaving them a comment.
5. Share 5 random facts about myself that people do not know about me.

The 5 blogs I'm passing the award on to are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Lorraine - Sew Be It!

These are wonderful blogs! I'm always inspired by their talent, creativity, and love of needlework. If you haven't visited their blogs yet, then you are in for a treat!

Now, let's see...5 random facts about myself that people do not know about me:

1. I collect robins for two reasons, my name is Robin and it is the Michigan state bird.

2. I'm an avid American Idol fan! Wouldn't miss it! Thank goodness for the DVR!

3. My mother and my mother-in-law's first and middle names are the same, "Shirley Ann." I'm going to stitch them on a sampler one of these days.

4. My interest in needlework was ignited by two inspirational women in the 1970's: Erica Wilson, who had a wonderful needlework television show on PBS, and Ginnie Thompson, "The First Lady of Cross Stitch" who spurred American interest in counted cross stitch. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to attend one of Ginnie Thompson's classes. That's when I switched from aida and hardanger to linen.

5. In the eighties, I entered the Rokome Gardens National Counted Cross Stitch Show and won two ribbons. First Place in the Paula Vaughan category and Third Place in the sampler category. Check out my entries:

 Bright and Shining Star (I think that is the name)
Paula Vaughan 

 Country Kitchen Sampler from A to Z
Deborah Lambein

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful week!