Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Cora Lipton's Marking Sampler

I have finally finished my little marking sampler. It was an absolute joy to stitch. Though I doubt I could do it often, it was wonderful to sit down and just stitch without worrying about counting stitches or constantly having to look back to a chart. I must confess that I did cheat, or at least try to. When I began stitching the cursive alphabet up top of the sampler it became obvious I was going to have trouble fitting a full alphabet. I did pull up my pattern maker software and try to configure it in such a way that I could include the entire alphabet. I couldn't figure out how to do it without frogging stitches so I left it as is. I have seen many antique samplers with incomplete alphabets so I imagine I am in good company in just simply running out of room.

In this sampler I also experimented with intentionally pulling stitches so that the piece would look as if it were worn through time. I left out a couple of letters and a few of the borders are incomplete and I purposefully left blank most of the lower part of the sampler. In a few places I pulled the thread under in the back to secure it and then pulled it back out through the front in the last place I had stitched leaving a little of the thread hanging to make it look as though the stitching had come undone. Again, I doubt I could do this regularly but it does give the sampler a very old feel to it.

The threads are lovely. I used Gentle Arts Picnic Basket, Gentle Arts Toasted Barley and Gentle Arts Wood Trail as well as Crescent Colours Green Onion and Crescent Colours Onion Skin. They are beautifully faded colors of brown and green with Crescent Colours Green Onion being the most subtle. It mostly appears as white but there are slight hints of a very pale green. I adored working with the thread. I didn't intend to stitch the entire cursive alphabet in that particular color but once I started stitching with it I didn't want to stop. The linen is a scrap of 30ct R & R Reproductions Flax. It's a smaller pattern and not much linen is needed.

When the sampler was finished I signed the bottom Cora Lipton. For a week's worth of evening stitching my husband and I were watching Band of Brothers on DVD. I have an affinity for war films and it is a wonderful mini-series. Lipton is the last name of one of mine and my husband's favorite characters. I can't explain it but the name got stuck in my head and it just seemed . . . right. Cora was simply a first name that I liked. It is odd how we come up with these things isn't it? Wrapped up in this little sampler is a memory of my life that will now always come to mind when I look at in years to come. I imagine each and every one of you can say the same thing about things you have stitched. It doesn't always occur to me as I'm stitching but it is true that every stitch carries with it a little piece of the women (or man) stitching it of that moment in her life.

I finished the piece by folding over the edges and binding it with a blanket stitch. I've considered stitching a ribbon to the back and hanging it on the dresser in my bedroom. For the time being it looks lovely sitting on the table in the living room. I just have to remember to move it every time Mina climbs onto the sofa :)

If you would like to stitch this little sampler it is available as an e-pattern only and the cost is $7.50. The pattern is complete, showing all the "missing" stitches and a second chart included contains the rest of the cursive alphabet. Perhaps you could find a way to incorporate the remaining letters into the pattern? The sections where I chose to have "missing" stitches are marked. As always the pattern will include a color photo of the finished piece, both black and white and color charts to print and finishing instructions.

If you would like to purchase the pattern for Cora Lipton's Marking Sampler you can e-mail me or use the Paypal button on My Design page.

Now onto finishing the sampler I put aside when I started working on this one. There seems to be a never ending stash of designs to stitch but unlike with say, laundry, I love always having something waiting to be worked on :)


Jennie Lynn

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

No stitching, but something even better. This is a picture from our outing yesterday. We took the children out of school early and went to not one but two pumpkin patches. The first has the most spectactular corn maze. It has large towers to climb up, rope bridges, and tunnels to climb through. I lost track of the boys more than once as the ran through the maze. This was Mina's second trip and her first since she's learned to walk. This is the only photo I have of her that isn't of her backside as she's running off. The second pumpkin patch is where we selected our pumpkins. I didn't take many pictures there since I was the one tasked with pulling the wagon that carried both Mina and the pumpkins.

It was a wonderful day and for our family the official start of the Autumn season. How are you celebrating the season?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A gift from a friend and a giveaway prize

My sweet, sweet friend Lynn sent me this little care package of flosses. Two are Crescent Colours which I don't normally stitch with and don't really have a stash of. Of course now I need to start one. She also sent a skein of Gentle Arts Brandy. I already have a skein (or two) of that thread but the one she sent me is a completely different shade. That's one of the things I adore about hand dyed threads: no two dye lots are identical. It was such a sweet and unexpected little surprise. Thank you, Lynn!

My second surprise this week was winning Sandy's giveaway on her blog The Humble Stitcher. This sweet little pinkeep arrived in the mail just yesterday. The stitching on the piece is beautiful and the fall colors are so rich. My youngest daughter, Mina, went to it as soon as I opened the package. Apparently, she's a lover of prim as well. She especially loved the buttons hanging for its' beak. I haven't decided yet where I'm going to keep this little lovely but it will have to be out of her reach.

Last week Mina was evaluated for a speech delay. Despite being 20 months old she has the speech production of a 9-12 month old. Both of her older brothers had moderate speech delays and are still receiving therapy for some articulation issues. They're seven and nine years old, so issues like these aren't resolved quickly. It's a struggle for both Mina and I, but having been through it twice already I feel as though I am in more of a position to help her than I was with either of my sons. I am just thankful that this is so far the biggest challenge any of my children have had to face.

Other than that it's been quiet here. Later this week my husband is going out of town. It's both a blessing and a curse. I enjoy having time with just the children and I and yet it's also very challenging having so much time with just the children and I. I don't realize how much I rely on my husband for back up until he's not there to help. The weather is warming up again; Summer is having one last hoorah. By next week the Autumn season will be in full swing. The Halloween costumes will be arriving, we've planned a trip to the local pumpkin patch and corn maze, and soon after will follow pumpkin carving and decorating. By far my favorite time of the year it always goes so fast. I've often complained to my husband to move to a part of the country where the weather is more often like it is now. I swear, Summers here last nine months of the year. But then again if we did move to such a place then Autumn wouldn't be nearly as precious, so I'll simply enjoy the days I have, and wish all of you the same.


Jennie Lynn

Friday, October 7, 2011

Progress . . .

My little project appears to be turning to a small marking sampler. I stitched row after row of borders then decided to add in the alphabet. Since I took this photo I've added an uppercase alphabet as well. Another alphabet? Some motifs? I have no idea where I'm going to go next and I'm perfectly fine with that!

My laptop is currently out of commission. I know nothing about computers; that's my husband's department. I do know that I love my laptop. I also know that it's the only laptop we own that hasn't (in four years) ever had to be taken in to be repaired. It's the only laptop of that particular brand that we own and has turned out to be a real trooper taking quite a bit of abuse and never once failing. It's funny, though, because the only reason I purchased that brand was because it was the only laptop available at the time that came in pink. A silly reason, I know, but it worked out well for me. The only issue I have ever had is having to replace the power cord. This will be the fourth time I've had to do that. It's a small expense compared to other computer repairs we've had but I do have to wait for it to arrive in the mail. For the time being I'm "borrowing" the children's laptop which doesn't have any of my photos, files, or programs. I actually think the kids are having a harder time of it than I am having to share with Mommy who can be a bit of a computer hog.

Well, there is always a bright side, and less time putzing on the computer means more time to stitch!


Jennie Lynn

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flea Market Find

This past Saturday was the perfect fall day. It was in the mid 60's (a little chilly) but sunny with a nice breeze. I should have been cleaning out our mudroom but couldn't bear to stay indoors. After rummaging through bins to find cool weather clothes from last year that still fit the boys and after they gathered together their allowance monies we went to the local flea market. I feel it's my responsibility as a parent to pass on the joy of flea markets and antique stores to my children and each boy did indeed find his own "must have". It makes me so proud to see :)

Helping them look through the booths and count out their money left little time for me to browse but I did find this wonderful antique photo album. I love collecting old photos though my husband finds them a bit creepy. Despite that, I decorate throughout the house with them, dotted here and there amongst other displays, changing them out every so often. The ones that aren't displayed I would keep in an envelope in a drawer. This photo album is soooo much nicer and I couldn't pass it up.

Here are a few of my photos tucked neatly into the pages. The book is old and worn which to my eyes makes it all the more beautiful. The spine is damaged but the album still looks great tucked into the bookshelves in the dining room. The picture below is one of my favorites. The baby has the cutest expression on his/her face.

When we got home my youngest son began inspecting his wares. He had chose a tray with some small wine glasses. He draped a dish towel over his arm and served us all water at the dinner table. He practiced carrying the glasses on his tray without spilling. He did this throughout the day. Everyone had to carefully navigate around him while he was practicing and I always had water on hand to drink, whether or not I was thirsty :)

I still haven't gotten the mudroom tidied up but as far as I'm concerned it's more than a fair trade. Cleaning can wait; memories can't. I hope everyone enjoyed the first October weekend and hopefully soon I'll have some pictures to share of my stitching.


Jennie Lynn