Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Re-visiting 1758 via Elizabeth Simon

I'm excited to be joining Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year Challenge with my stitching of Elizabeth Simon's 1758 sampler!  This is a beautiful reproduction of Elizabeth's sampler which was charted by The Scarlet Letter.

Here's a picture of what the completed piece will look like:

Anyone can join this challenge - I posted the complete "rules" in my previous post which I copied and pasted from Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year blog (section three). 

Check out the gorgeous reproduction samplers available as charts or full kits with fabric and/or cotton or silk flosses at The Scarlet Letter's site: 

Even if you're new to counted cross stitch, there are reproduction samplers you can try.  The site identifies each sampler as Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.  Don't be afraid! Counted cross stitch is fun, relaxing, and a great way to meet new people and create lasting pieces of art to use as gifts or to display in your home.  (It's also great therapy for pain management - trust me on that one.) 

If you've never explored cross stitch, or think the only designs and kits available are those for sale at the mega craft stores like Michael's, you don't know what you're missing. Samplers are only one genre of counted cross stitch, and new and exciting designs are being created every day by many companies and designers. 

A site you might like to explore, just to take a look at some of the varied designs on the market today, is www.stitchandfrog.com.  There are tons of sites out there on the Internet, and you may even have a  LNS (local needlework shop) right in your area that you've never explored!  I'm fortunate to have The Crossstitch Cupboard in my own backyard of Fort Lauderdale, but these types of shops are all over the country (and world!) 

Take a look today and see what's out there.  Maybe you'll discover a brand new hobby, or find a new project to enjoy.  Or perhaps you'll join the Scarlet Letter Challenge with us!  

Want to take the challenge?

Challenge Rules

The Challenge Bit by Nicola

2013 will be a "red-letter" year for me as I turn 50 in February. It is going to be a special year both as a milestone in my life's journey and as I plan for the year to be filled with Scarlet Letter samplers.

I am inviting you to join me on a Scarlet Letter Challenge and to enjoy the wonderful selection of reproduction samplers that Marsha has charted 

There are 326 samplers to choose from in various sizes and skill levels. The Scarlet Letter website rates each chart either beginner, intermediate through to advanced.

It is easy to participate, there are only two requirements:-

Start or resume a WIP of one or as many Scarlet Letter samplers as you like (each finish will give you another entry) between now and February 20th 2014, regularly sharing with me your starts, progress and finishes via this blog.

Post about the challenge on your own blog or if you don't have a blog just pass on news about the challenge to a friend in another way.

On February 20th 2014 I will draw seven names from a hat, there will be two first prizes of $50 vouchers for Scarlet Letter, one has very generously been sponsored by Marsha. In addition there will be 5 runner up prizes of Scarlet Letter charts of your choice.

There will be a monthly draw on the 15th of each month for a prize which could be a Scarlet Letter chart or some of my favorite Au Ver a Soie threads, whatever it is it will be something I enjoy using. To be included in the draw you will need to post in that month about your sampler.

The Scarlet Letter website has an online shop where charts can be purchased or  a list of international suppliers can be found here. There is a UKretailer wye.co.uk and although they only show kits Dean will order the chart(s) for you.

I will be working on as many as I can from the charts in my stash, but which ones? It is so hard to decide - they are all wonderful.

I do hope that you will take up the challenge and share my passion for Scarlet Letter and reproduction samplers.


The Technical Bit by Jo

If you’d like to join the challenge please email joanneperry179 (at) gmail (dot) com with your blog address if you have one.  If you don’t have a blog you can still join in as long as you have a Google account.  I am happy to help you learn how to make a post here and attach photos too.

You can copy the Red Scarlet Letter logo from the Home Page or the top of this page to make a link on the side bar of your blog.  I can help you do this if you're not sure how.  Please add the words "Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year" above it so everyone knows what it's about!

When you add a post to this blog please include the following information in the Labels section of the post:

Your Name,
Name of the Sampler,
Status of Sampler ie New Start, WIP, Finish or Framed
(use “Framed” if you include a new post showing a photo of a framed piece you have previously posted as a “Finish”).

This will help Nicola and me keep track of who is stitching which piece and how many finishes they have!!

We will also add images of all the finished pieces onto the special Finishes page!

Any technical blogging questions please contact Jo by email
Any stitching questions please contact Nicola by email!



Michele said...
Jo, I sooo need help doing all of this.

carolm said...
I would love to join your challenge but I do not have a blog.HopefullyI will be able to do some of my many starts from decades ago as well, as the new one I will start Dec7, The product of my needle. Maybe my friend will post where I am when she posts. Carol M
Kevin Tober said...
Looking forward to joining this challenge. I'm new to Scarlet Letter, but just purchased my first kit from the site today. Very excited to get it and start work on it.
Jean said...
I want to join your challenge, I have to SL samplers that I want to get started on. I'm almost finished with Happy Christmas and then I can start Ann Grimshaw.
Kevin Tober said...
I'd really like to copy and paste this entry to my own blog, but so far I haven't figured out how to do that. Does anyone know of a way to copy from one Blogger blog to another? Thanks!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Macbeth and cross stitch?

I really love it when I discover a cross stitch chart that has some ties to literature.  I guess because it unites two of my passions - the art of literature and the art of stitching - these types of charts just sort of intrigue me.

One chart which is in my pile of stash is Mirabilia's "Shakespeare's Fairies" by Nora Corbett.  I really must push this project higher up in my "to be stitched" pile!

I also love The Primitive Hare's designs which pay tribute to Dickens, such as The Christmas Carol Sock and The Christmas Carol Sampler.

I know there are others out there as well, but these are a few of my favorites which I own in my stash. 

I happened to DVR two episodes of "Shakespeare Uncovered" on PBS last night, and I'm watching Ethan Hawke prepare for the role of Macbeth, and I'm thinking to myself, what an awesome series of charts those would be which paid homage to Shakespeare!  I mean, his characters have been the subject of artwork for ages, so why not cross stitch, right?  

If I could design charts, I'd love to do a series reflecting upon the many characters and settings of Shakespeare's works.  Think of the possibilities of the Scottish landscape and Dunsinane,  Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and their evil quest for the crown, or the eerie Three Witches! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ryan Gosling and the knitting needles

Aha!  Seems like Ryan has discovered just how enjoyable and relaxing a craft involving needles and textiles can be!

Ryan, I coulda told you this a long time ago, man.  Being introduced to counted cross stitch while recuperating from back surgery was definitely a blessing in disguise for me.  Yes, it was relaxing! Yes, I had something I made with my own two hands when done!  It gave me something positive to concentrate on, rather than the pain that was beginning tondrive me mad. And, anyone who says it's a craft for little old ladies obviously hasn't taken a look at the vast array of charts available today or tried it for themselves.

The world of arts and crafts has been making a resurgence since the likes of mega craft stores like Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts started popping up in just about every suburban area around the country.  And the local needlework shop (LNS) still continues to exist despite the claims that these crafts are long gone. Online shops abound which sell everything you'd need or desire to create a stitched piece resembling just about anything from a Quaker sampler from centuries ago to "modern" abstract designs or samplers rife with four letter words meant to shock and amuse.  Etsy.com allows crafters of all kinds to market their handmade wares or locate crafting materials like antique linens and buttons.

I love this craft. I just wish the stigma that cross stitch isn't something for men would die out already.

Maybe Ryan will become the Rosie Grier of the new millennium? ;)


The Reproduction Sampler addiction begins

Just last week I discovered the world of reproduction samplers.  Of course, I've known there were sites such as The Essamplaire which specializes in charting reproduction kits of actual antique samplers, but I honestly had never really given this genre of stitching all that much thought.  Then, for whatever reason, I decided to dig a little deeper on the web and investigate this topic a bit closer.

I discovered another site, The Scarlet Letter, which also produces reproduction sampler kits, and there I happened to discover and fall in love with quite a few of these works of art.  I was so enamored, in fact, that I made my first purchase of a kit with silks to stitch.


The sampler I've chosen is Elizabeth Simon 1758.  I just loved the colors and design of this sampler

 immediately, and once I saw the 23rd Psalm incorporated into this piece, I felt I had to stitch it myself. 
So, with some birthday money recently deposited into the checking account, I bit the bullet and ordered 
this!   I can't wait for the kit to arrive. 

I also happened upon another blog (another new passion! Blog hunting!) and this blog is devoted to a 

challenge for 2013 to complete a reproduction sampler from The Scarlet Letter! Perfect timing, kismet, 
or what?  Now, I had already purchased and even managed to put a few stitches into another HUGE 
challenge this year to stitch the Dames Exemplar's work, "And They Sinned."  So, I have a busy year
 ahead of me, but I couldn't be happier! 

My goals then, are ...

1 - work on And They Sinned
2 - join the Scarlet Letter Year with Elizabeth Simon 1758


3 - work on finishing up my vast stash of WIPs, namely Carriage House Samplings "Village of 
Hawk Run Hollow" among others.  Oh yes, there are quite a few others! 
4- learn a bit more how this Blogger works!  I know I really need to spice this up with PICTURES! 

Happy Saturday and Happy Stitching!  Next post will hopefully have lots of pics to share. ;)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Here we go!

I've always wanted to write a blog, and I decided that this morning is as good a time as any to start.

I chose the title of my blog by using a line from Lewis Carroll's poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter."  Here is a short excerpt from the poem:

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

In other words, knowing my tendency to ramble on about whatever pops into my head, I know this blog will most likely meander off its main topic of stitching and my passion for samplers and other counted cross stitch and canvas work pieces.   Much like the Walrus in Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, I can sometime be nonsensical and silly.  (Who wants to read a serious, heavy and burdensome blog anyway!?) 

So, here we go.  My blog is created.  I've (finally) decided upon a name that suits my fancy, and I have so many works of counted threadwork in my pile of WIPs (works in progress) that I'm sure I'll have plenty to post about. I hope you'll stop by from time to time to take a look, read a post or two, share your comments and feedback, or simply say hello!   This is me, by the way -- taken some time ago (2007 I believe) during my last year as a high school English teacher. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone.  Brew your coffee or tea, take out your stitching or newspaper, turn on the news, or maybe blast your favorite tunes on your iPod or stereo and start your day.  My coffee pot's calling, so time to get caffeinated myself here and get back to a Christmas ornament I never quite finished in time for Christmas.  At least I'll have it done for next year! LOL!  I'll post a pic later, and share a little bit about myself - hopefully I haven't scared you away yet.