Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Whole lotta froggin' going on...

I decided to frog the red flowers on this tree, highlighted in this picture with a black circle. They just looked too stark against the pale green branches. I'm re-stitching with the suggested brown, which I originally thought would look bad. Truth is, it looks better than the red.

Also notice the fleur-de-lys (sp?), circled in black. I'm frogging the one on the right. I realized I'd used the wrong color (the two fleurs-de-lys are supposed to be the the same color).

I hate frogging! It seems to take 4 times longer than the original stitching.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Justine, after 5 months...

Wow, I've been stitching this daily for 5 months!! I'm a slow, inefficient stitcher, and it's a big chart ... but I'm making progress! I absolutely love this pattern.

I do regret, though, sticking with linen floss for the blue color. My only option was a light baby blue, and I know it would look better with something like a deep turquoise. Oh, well, c'est la vie!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

the mystery solved...

Over the years I've seen this magazine for sale on eBay. I thought the cover sampler (described only as "The Scarlet Letter sampler") was interesting and always wondered what the verse said.

I contacted a couple sellers and asked them about the verse but, apparently it was too much work for them to tell me, because none ever responded. So I figured what the heck, it's only a few bucks, and I bought the magazine. (What can I say? I'm a sucker for green linen...!)

The magazine has a nice feature on the Scarlet Letter company. It's simplistic to call this sampler "the Scarlet Letter sampler" because it's only one of their many, many reproduction samplers. It is actually the "Chloe Jenkins 1814 Sampler."

Here's a better picture of the text:

And here's a picture of the sampler done on white or cream linen. I think I prefer the green.

Verse reads (and includes many misspellings):
Chloe Jenkins was born in Scituate March the 6th 1802 This done in the
13th year of my age and in the year of our Lord 1814 (note: how is this possible? Wouldn’t she either be 12 years old or wouldn’t it have to be 1815??)

When Death transfers me to the dust
May I be numberd with the Just
My soul assend to worlds of blifs
Where dwells immortal happinefs
See here I leave my name behind
Forgetful mortals to remind
That once I live’d

But can I hope this slender webb
Entwind with party coulourd thread
When bronze or deep cut marle bust
With time is crumbling back to dust
Will give me life nay but to live
I must to tame a trumpet give
With virtue tun’d (???)

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Justine progress pics

Here's my latest -- one picture taken with a flash, one without. Maybe I'm a quarter done...? It's going slowly; I wish I had more time to stitch!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Ok, so why is there no "b" in the French "November" in Justine? Novemre??? This does not seem right to me.

But that is the way it was stitched in the original Justine and, hence, that is the way it is charted. So I will stitch it this way. But I'm curious about the spelling.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Justine, a comedy of errors

I started Justine maybe 2 months ago or so and got as far as the letters "SE" in Louise. I actually stitched them several times, sure and then unsure about the daggone vertical thread. Argh!

Anyway I put it down and stitched something else. Well, I returned to Justine and was happily stitching away and had completed another 13 letters, only to discover that I'd miscounted by one thread and none of my new stitching lined up with the vertical thread! I'm sure a purist would have frogged those letters and done them correctly. But I just figured it was a sign from Providence to accept my inadequacies and perhaps to give me license to make more mistakes on this sampler!

I am stitching it with DMC linen floss. There are only 24 different colors of linen floss, so there's not a lot of color options. Anyway, I started stitching "Louise" and "12345" with a color called dune. I think it would look nice on a cream colored or antique white linen, but it seems to blend in with this vintage Maple Sugar fabric. So I'm switching to ecru, as in the word "cette."

I realize that the blue for "*AaBC" is really too light, but there are no other options if I want to stick with linen floss (which I do).

Despite these snafus and setbacks, I remeain entranced by Justine and its beauty!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Ok, so I am supposed to be "on the Wagon," meaning I am supposed to be stitching from my stash and not buying anything new. But I stumbled on "Sampler Wreath" by Mary Beale and couldn't resist it. I got it for $25 on eBay and was happy to get it for that price.

Lovely, isn't it?

And then I heard of a needlework shop closing in the Washington, D.C. area. I believe the lady who runs the shop also designed a few pieces (under the name Merry Designs). So I had to buy her Day Lily design before it becomes unavailable. I saw it in person at a needlework exhibit a year ago, and it was striking.

Well, so much for staying on the Wagon...!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Peace, without an "I"?

This is a beautiful piece. I admire all the work that must have gone into designing it, and I realize the dedication it would take to complete this piece. But... I am aware that many historic alphabet samplers do not include the letter "J." But I have never heard of anyone omitting the letter "I." I wonder why the designer did it? Any ideas?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bent Creek 'Love'

I decided to stitch something quick and easy. This is "Love" by Bent Creek.

I stitched it on a piece of 19-ct driftwood Cork linen that had been in my stash for eternity. It's not the ideal fabric for this because the white floss kind of disappears into the white fabric threads, but I really wanted to use it up. The heart at the top is supposed to be done in French knots, but I just used whole crosses. I'm disappointed with the dye lot for my Weeks "Cocoa." There is essentially no color variation. I could have just used regular DMC for the same effect. The buttons used are a little bigger than the suggested buttons (which I couldn't find).

I'm thinking about giving this piece away (my brother's anniversary is later this week; I think this would be cute in lieu of a card...) and restitching it for myself one of these days. If I can't locate smaller buttons, I think next time I'd omit the heart button above the "v" and maybe only use one button beside the "z" to make it less busy.

All in all, a fun cute stitch!

Friday, March 6, 2009

A little more on Family Tree...

Here's a very short post. I'm making some progress on Arbre Généalogique. Here's the latest pic:
I am LOVING stitching this. It's simple (all whole cross stitches) which, for me, makes the stitching more enjoyable. And I'm enjoying the ease of working with only one color floss.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Justine on hold...

Gosh, I was sure I would have started Justine by now. I actually ironed the gorgeous fabric, put it a Q-snap, and began the dreaded task of trying to find a "vertical thread" to begin stitching. There must be something wrong with me because I find this task nearly impossible. I spent more than an hour looking at the fabric trying to figure out where to start. I wish I'd never heard of the "vertical thread." I feel like it has robbed me of some of the joy of stitching. Well, that just stressed me out too much so I decided to stitch something else.

For about 3 days I've been stitching Arbre Généalogique by Isabelle Vautier / Savoir-Faire Vailly. It's beautiful, and I love it! I am stitching it on Siena fabric, a 32-ct Italian linen. I've never stitched on it before, and it's quite nice. I am using DMC 115, a variegated red/burgundy floss. I am not stitching each "X" the way you're supposed to with variegated floss, and I don't care. I hope to stitch this twice, so that each of my children can have their own Arbre Généalogique. We'll see.

Here's what I've done so far:

Here's what the final version will look like:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A few more notes on Justine...

I've been ogling the Justine chart and noticed some differences in the colors of the text in the photo of the original Justine vs. the colors used in the charted version.

Here's what I think:
"Agee" - this is charted for DMC 304 (red). But, from the photo, it looks like it really shoudl be DMC 612 (drab brown, lt).

"A Salon" - this is charted for DMC ecru. But, from the photo, it looks like it really should be DMC 612 (drab brown, lt).

"Le 12" - this is charted for DMC 612 (drab brown, lt). But, from the photo, it look like it really should be ecru.

Just food for thought... I wanted to be sure to note this before I begin stitching.

Another thing I've noticed is that some stitchers have altered the colors in the bottom left fruit tree. The original does not use any red for that fruit tree, but some stitchers have opted for it with a rather nice effect.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's here!

Justine arrived in Saturday's mail! I am thrilled with Violarium's speed! The chart is just so beautiful.

I couldn't resist; I dashed to my LNS the following day and bought some beautiful fabric for Justine. I'm not sure that the chart specifies any fabric, but it seems many stitchers have opted for 40-ct Lakeside Linens Vintage Nutmeg. I've never stitched on 40-ct and knew I wanted to go with either 32- or 36-ct. The LNS didn't have Vintage Nutmeg is these stitch counts, but I found a gorgeous piece of 32-ct Lakeside Linens Vintage Maple Sugar. It is just perfect. (It was expensive, though! $57 for a half-yard!).

The photo doesn't do justice to the fabric. It is stunning in person.

My pattern was coded for DMC and Gentle Arts. I pulled both flosses and, of the two, preferred the Gentle Arts. After I got home from the LNS, I received the following conversion courtesy of Deb from the Legacy Board:

DMC 304; Gentle Art-Cherry Wine; Dinky Dyes #58-Kayla's Rose; NPI-225
DMC 522; Gentle Art-Dried Thyme; Dinky Dyes #88-Saltbush; NPI-292
DMC 612; Gentle Art-Grecian Gold; Dinky Dyes #46-Topaz; NPI-901
DMC 3013; Gentle Art-Shutter Green; Dinky Dyes #50-Acacia, NPI-342
DMC 3046; Gentle Art-Willow; Dinky Dyes #16 Lemon Line; NPI-692
DMC 3752; Gentle Art-Old Blue Paint; Dinky Dyes #10-Cloudy Sky, NPI-923
DMC Ecru; Gentle Art-Straw Bonnet; Dinky Dyes #61 Pearl; NPI 877
DMC 3828; Gentle Art-Summer Meadow; Dinky Dyes #14 Autumn Leaves, NPI-902
DMC 729; Gentle Art-Gold Leaf; Dinky Dyes #62 Aussie Gold; NPI 694

I will take a look at the other fibers the next time I'm at the LNS. Another possibility is stitching with linen floss. The matte look of linen floss and its muted, limited palette is really attractive to me for this chart. I hope to finish my current WIP before starting Justine, so I have a couple weeks to decide.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Staking out the mailbox...

I've been drooling over 'Le Marquoir de Justine' since I first saw it online a couple years ago. I finally succumbed to my desire and ordered it. I don't think it's available in the U.S.; I ordered it from Violarium, in Finland. The company notified me that they mailed it 3 days ago and that I should take 7-10 days to ship. I can't wait to receive it!

Here's a picture of the chart from Violarium. I think it's stunningly beautiful!