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Greetings from Boston, Massachusetts Postcard
Hi, Primmies... I stitch reproduction antique samplers and dolls. I also have lots of great artists and their sites featured as well as tutorials and some recipes for you to enjoy. Eventually we will have our own items for sale. Until then I hope you will enjoy the content, please leave a comment on any post you wish to.

Thank you,
Susan

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January 31, 2012

THE EAGLE HAS LANDED

One of the eagles is in the nest right now. I think
it's Mom. Click the arrow and if an ad comes on
that's normal, the live feed starts right after.
Hugs,
Susan

MY GIVEAWAY WIN FROM TRICIA OF HILLCREST HOME PRIMS

Hi again, Primmies:


I got my package today from Tricia of
Hillcrest Home Prims . I only knew that

she was sending some Christmas items
and "surprises". Well, oh boy was I
surprised:


             Snowman Shelf Sitter, his little legs dangle

Adorable Snowman Votive Holder, he's on my cupboard shelf next to my Snowman Crock.

This adorable peppermint stripe candle ornie and      a Grubbied Candle Light       
                        Pretty knitted Mitten Ornie   

This was a total drool fest surprise. Wrought Iron Candle Stick that holds the little skinny tapers.

Finally, this wonderful Snowman in Santa Hat. I love everything, Tricia, and I can't believe how
generous you were to me. You are a wonderful
friend. Thank you so much!
I'm way behind reading blogs and commenting
and also on my stitching. I know, bad primmie but 
this primmie has the nasty habit back of not being
able to sleep at night again. So I'm exhausted and
fall asleep in early morning for a few hours. Not
the same as a restful nights' sleep. I haven't had one of those well I can't remember. I am so looking
forward to that visit with the Pain Center in
Boston. I haven't received my appointment yet. It's supposed to be only a two week wait. Finger's crossed...

I have to go with the Mister tomorrow morning, he's having an EMG and he's been having trouble holding on to things so he might want me to drive.
Can you imagine, I guess a lot of you can because
you craft, your hands failing you? He's a woodworker and finish carpenter so it's reeking havoc with him. I feel so badly for him. I hope the doctor can help him, too. He's got a killer headache.
On a happy note, the kitties are all better. Puffy's rash is gone and Biggie isn't losing his meals
as much, just when  he has a  hairball. The special
food from the vet is really helping. They are due for
next treatment of flea and tick med. They are both
sleeping on the top of the sofa next to Mr. Glen Oaks. So sweet, they always know when one of us
isn't doing well. They watched closely while he
colored my hair last night. I don't know what they
were so interested in, Puffy had a worried look.
I always feel special after the Mister does my hair.
I haven't been able to get Tricia so if you happen to read this girl, THANK YOU!
Hugs,

Susan

January 30, 2012

A Valentine Giveaway On To Stitch Or Not To Stitch

Hi, Primmies:


Barb of To Stitch or Not to Stitch is having a 
Giveaway in celebration of Valentine's day.
Click on the link above to read her post and
enter the giveaway. Her post is sweet:
Barb stitched with silk and trimmed the edges with delicate pink beads. There is more in the giveaway,
some treats too. She will pick a winner on next Saturday.


Hugs,

Susan

January 29, 2012

Update To I've Got Worms! My Win From Rugs and Pugs Giveaway

Hi, Primmies -


This is an update on this post. I forgot
to put up the photo of the huge box of
wool that I won in the giveaway.
I'm blaming it on menopause fog...
          My huge stash of wooly worms
We just got home from my doctor's appoint-
ment. I am seeing a new doctor who is right
in my hometown rather than travelling to
Worcester. It was just too much, 2-3 hours
in her office and one hour each way in the
car. Ugghhh... I like this doctor very much,
he's on point and he's very kind and listens.
Unfortunately, I'm still in a huge amount of
pain. I'm going to be set up with a visit to
the Boston Pain Center and it's a total
approach to your pain and your entire body
as it is affected. Psychological, physical  and
physiological symptoms. So everything is
addressed. I'm encouraged and very excited
about going to this clinic. 


So, about the worms; I won Lauren's giveaway for the wooly worms. Now I can be a hooker! Lauren is the author of  Rugs and Pugs. She rescues Pugs and she hooks beautiful rugs and ruglets.
I came home from the doctor and there was
a box on my porch. Lauren included the most
awesome surprise, a beautiful vintage 
flatware keyring. The flatware has "W O O L"
stamped into it.  This was a total surprise.
 It's a beautiful keepsake. Here's a photo:


 Lauren attached the sterling key fob to this sweet note she wrote me: " Susan, thank you for being such a loyal reader/commenter!
Hugs, Lauren".



Isn't it beautiful? I'm so touched by this gift,
Lauren. Thank you so much!!
Here's my huge stash of wooly worms that
I won:


There is the most gorgeous range of
colors here. I am so happy. I just need the
proper hook and backing, a pattern and I'm good to go. There are some wonderful bloggers like Lauren that have done tutorials on rug hooking from start to finish. I should
be able to do a small ruglet or mug mat.
Right now Polly Daggett's sampler has me consumed, it's for my first giveaway you know, in case you gals forgot.
So, I got hardly any response on the framing
question. Should I frame under glass or not?
Let me know, primmies. It's going to be YOUR sampler, one of my followers! ~~~~~
I'm intending to get some stitching done on
the sampler tonight, depending on how I feel
I hope to get at least a few rows done.
Whatever you are doing tonight, enjoy your
evening and be warm and safe.

Hugs,


Susan







January 28, 2012

Please Read This - You'll Need Your Box Of Tissues

I received this through email:
Click HERE to read the remarkable story of Freedom and Jeff . We thought  it should be shared.


Hugs,


Susan

FREEBIES FOR CRAFTERS: DIY Labels - Tutorial

I found this tutorial for Sewing Labels using transfer sheets. The links will take you to the blog where it
is posted.



FREEBIES FOR CRAFTERS: DIY Labels - Tutorial:


'via Blog this'

Sweet Free Prim Valentine Cross Stitch Chart

Here's a nice Valentine cross stitch design from
http://e-subrosa.blogspot.com/2012/01/valentine-free.html 
You'll have to have Google Translate, the blog is in
Hungarian language. Not necessary if you just want
the design I guess.


                           Copyright Sub Rosa


For everyone who's been so wonderful and thoughtful about leaving comments about my health, 
THANK YOU!!! And I feel very good today, I haven't had
pain since late last night and I hope I didn't just
jinx myself!!

Hugs,



Susan

Check Out This Idea From The Pickled Herring Blog

                                                Felted Dryer Balls - The Pickled Herring

These cut down the time for drying your clothes.

http://the-pickled-herring.blogspot.com/2011/09/felted-dryer-balls-tutorial.html?showComment=1327763445473#c6417031388010861729

January 25, 2012

Update On My Stitching Progress

Hi, Primmies -
I hope everyone is safe and warm tonight. I stitched today on
the Polly Daggett sampler and I have some more pictures of
my progress so far. It doesn't look like I've come very far
when I look at the photos, but Mr. Glen Oaks said I've stitched
more than one third of the sampler so far. That was very
encouraging. Thanks, hunny!






So that is where I am in the sampler. After the dividing band of
X  X X 's comes Polly's name, another easy band, the numbers, another band and then the beautiful basket designs.
There will be the soft blue-greens, golds and ivory. 
The borders would have been stitched first and then the main
designs but it didn't work out for me doing it that way. I kept
coming out uneven so I'm going right to left but I'm doing the
border as part of each row. There will be more boo-boo's on
this sampler besides the ones Polly made. I hope she will
forgive me!
I'm framing this sampler but I don't think I'm going to frame
it under glass. I don't know for sure but I don't think a
colonial stitcher would have had hers under glass. I'm going
to investigate this as best I can, and if any of my readers knows
about this glass/no glass please let me know.
I would appreciate any information that you have. I do know
that most work was simply rolled up and put away in a dresser
and when they needed to refer to their sampler for stitches when
marking their family linens, they took them out. Of course they were framed, too. I imagine to show the talent of the girl who stitched it. Some samplers have survived in beautiful condition because of the fact that they were stored away, where light could not deteriorate the threads and fabric. 
We are feeling about the same, unfortunately. I do not think
that the shots have been successful. We can go for another one
in a couple of weeks. We're wearing our TENS units and I'm
getting much relief from that. They sent me a new unit that
has more settings and does deep muscle penetration. I'm just
learning the different settings so I'll hopefully find one that
works for me. I'm putting the electrode pads on my left leg
tonight and I'm hoping that I'll really get some pain relief.
I haven't eaten anything today so I should go and have
something now. 
Have a good evening everyone.

Hugs,

Susan

January 23, 2012

Cute Tutorial For Valentines

Hi, Primmies -
I found a cute and easy tutorial for these  Patchwork Cones  from the people at Crafts n Things magazine.
I see these made from old quilt scraps, burlap with
a muslin liner. The muslin could be gathered at the
top making a ruffle and of  course tea/coffee dyed
and as grungy as you want. A cinnamon dough
heart on the outside, a rusty heart or even a rusty snowflake. You gals are all so creative I'm sure you
could take this basic tutorial and make a great prim item from this. Maybe a red osnaburg fabric cone grungied and/or sanded worn spots, burlap or muslin liner ruffled or not. *i like ruffles*
I worked on Polly Daggett sampler this afternoon
until I made my first mistake and then I stopped.
That's what I do, stitch until I make a mistake cuz that  means I've stitched too long for my old eyes.
I felt much better by tonight, made Swedish meat-
balls in brown gravy, buttered noodles and a salad. Not really allowed on  my new diabetic diet but I ate small portions. 
Mr. Glen Oaks is doing poorly tonight. He had a bad pain day and can't get comfortable. Poor guy.
I don't know what to do for him.
I've got to clean up the kitchen so I'll close now.
I hope sometime tomorrow I'll have really gotten
far on the sampler and have another picture for you. Take care and have a very nice night all.
Hugs,
Susan

January 21, 2012

PROGRESS ON THE POLLY DAGGETT SAMPLER

Good Afternoon, Primmies -


Here's an update on my stitching  progress on 
the Polly Daggett sampler:



I'm not pleased with the color of the linen. But for  my first attempt at this in over 20 years I'll have to
be satisfied. 
This picture has all of the floss colors that I haven't stitched yet. They don't appear in the sampler until
the middle and the end. I'm sick of black!
I'm hoping to finish the alphabet today and start
on the pine trees. There will be a dividing band of
a rust color, her name in black (again) and then
the pretty colors. Lots of teal and light blue, cream
and yellow/gold. 
The color for the border looks nothing like the
original border. I'm supposing the true colors are
on the back of the sampler and what I'm stitching
is what they must have looked like before fading and aging.
So we have some snow and it's pretty and we didn't get too much so I'm happy. I'm having a hard time
keeping the house warm today. It's really cold
outside today. Just have to turn the heat up more.
I'm sorry to say that the spinal injection did not
help me. I think it actually made my pain worse in that I have no relief as opposed to before when I could have some pain-free time with ice packs and
medicine. Mr. Glen Oaks got relief for his problem
(one of them) and I'm happy for that. Thank good-
ness his leg pain is gone. His back is still very bad
and they are talking about doing 14 levels of spinal
injections of corticosteroids. Oh, boy - not me. I'd
be too afraid. I'm supposed to have another round or two of these injections and if they don't work I
don't know where I go from there. Probably crazy.
Stay warm and safe today.
Hugs,

Susan



January 19, 2012

SOME BASIC WAYS TO DYE YOUR LINEN

Good Morning, Prim Friends -

I've been experimenting with different methods of dyeing my linen for cross stitching. I don't see why you couldn't use any fabric that you want to age, though. I used the tea method that I shared in a post HERE. Tonight I overdyed the Polly Daggett sampler that I'm working on. I used espresso coffee that I've had bottled for 3 weeks. I re-wet the linen, dipped it in the espresso, added the
alum and it's hanging in the kitchen to dry. I'm
anxious to see what it looks like when it dries.
I'll take a picture and post it tomorrow; I've made
more stitching progress and I'm into the alpha-
bet section now. 
You can make a pot of very strong tea and bottle
that and let it sit for 3-4 weeks. You would use this tea instead of the boiling water for a darker result.
Don't forget to try both ways, dry linen and wetting the linen. The dry linen will take the
color in an uneven pattern if you like that look.
You can also let the brewed coffee sit for 3-4 weeks, espresso brewed and stored for 3-4 weeks and follow the directions in the post HERE.
Always add alum for the final time in the dye.
And in my book, it states that if you spray your
stitched sampler with Scotch Guard (Reg.trade-
mark) it will make black floss run, making streaks on the linen. There are some original samplers
where this has happened. I found that information interesting. I haven't tried it yet.
If stitching samplers is your thing, you should get a copy of the book American Samplers by
Ethyl Bolton and Eva Coe, published in 1921 by
the Daughters of the American Revolution 
(D.A.R.). It's been republished by Dover Publi-
cations, Inc., in New York.
There are the greatest verses printed  in  the book.
Verses were seldom original to the stitcher. They
were taken from the scriptures or from church
sermons. They also copied from other samplers.
Or they could have been about the girls' parents,
birth and death records of the family or about
sewing and stitching, love and marriage:
"when two fond hearts as one unite, the yoke is
easy and the burden light" 1822.
I'd like to make some pin keeps or cupboard tucks with the simple sayings.
I'm still hurting from the injection. It takes a while for the medicine to work it's way through the spine and if it is going to work it's supposed to in a couple of days. I had a bad day and night yesterday, my left leg pain was unusually bad.
Blogging and the stitching takes my mind off of the discomfort.
Tricia of Hillcrest Home and I finally got together yesterday. I emailed her and left her my phone number and she called me! She's a wonderful gal and we talked for over an hour. We plan on chatting on a regular basis. I'm anxiously awaiting my package from the giveaway and there are surprises in there that I don't know about.
I've been so lucky with the giveaways that I can't wait to finish the sampler and have my own giveaway. I feel a little guilty and think I should not enter anymore for a while!
I'll leave you with another verse that describes
how I feel:
"No star so bright as my delight" (1792)

Susan
4:05 a.m.


January 16, 2012

PROGRESS ON THE POLLY DAGGETT SAMPLER

Hi, Primmies -

I've made some progress on the Polly Daggett Sampler. I started in the upper right corner and I'm working right to left. I'm on the third
row:

Remember that the sampler has been charted to include Polly's mistakes and changes to thread thicknesses among other things.
As I read through the chart it's becoming obvious that Polly was not interested in needlework, at least not in working on this sampler!


Polly most likely was taught to stitch by a governess or in school.
We can assume this by the fact that a child would stitch her
teacher's full name or the teacher's initials somewhere in the sampler, as Polly did. She included the letters "A" and "J" near    the bottom of her sampler. 
Polly crossed stitches whichever way she felt like it and often did half cross stitches and left threads loose and hanging. She often crossed the wrong threads in the linen.  Perhaps she was thinking about the unrest in the colonies. If Polly stitched this sampler around the age that most girls were when they worked on
them, ten years old, it would have been 1770 when she stitched this.
That was the year in Boston that  British soldiers shot into a crowd
on March 5th; this has been referred to as The Boston Massacre.
Polly was born Mary Daggett, in a town called Holmes Hole (which is now Vineyard Haven) on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
She was born in the year 1760 and Polly was an affectionate nick-
name. The people of Martha's Vineyard had erected a liberty pole
on a hill that represented to the British their independence. When a British ship named HMS Unicorn arrived in the harbor her captain spied the pole and insisted that the people deliver it to the ship the next day. They needed it as a replacement spar for the ship. An island legend tells that Polly and her friends packed gun-
powder in holes that they had carved in the pole and blew it to pieces.
Polly married at the age of 19. Her husband was Peleg Hillman, a master mariner. He was quartermaster of a privateer ship named
the Oliver Cromwell. Polly only remained married for 10 years, she
divorced Mr. Hillman and lived out the remainder of her life in
the village of Tisbury. She was known as "Aunt Polly" to the island children and much loved by them.

'Nite, Primmies -
 Susan

January 14, 2012

We Dyed Last Night

Hi, Primmies -


I received my order of 25ct. linen and threads for the
Polly Daggett sampler. Here is a photo of it stitched:

Photograph copyright Allen D. Bragdon Publishers, Inc.

This is my scan of a picture from the book of the stitched sampler. The colors in this picture are much lighter than the actual colors used by Polly. I am using DMC floss
because the colors are a truer match to the colors used by
Polly, who stitched with silk. With the exception of one or
two samplers in the book, the floss used is DMC. Two
strands of DMC are the thickness of one strand of silk. It
will be stitched over two threads with a few exceptions
where I will use three or four threads and leave a stray
thread hanging here and there as Polly did. All of her
"mistakes" are charted as in the original which is going to
make this an authentic reproduction. Tomorrow I will
give you some of Polly's background and where she lived
when she stitched her sampler, and what was going on
in the colonies during her time. Today I'm going to show
you how I prepared the linen to "age" it to match the
antique original at the Dukes County Historical Society in Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown,Massachusetts.
I used Tea #1 dye recipe from the historic samplers
book. I was supposed to use Coffee #2 recipe but it called
for the coffee to stand for four weeks and I don't have time
to wait for that. I have to get stitching! So I improvised:
Boil enough water in your kettle to half fill a large pan or
pot. Use 5 or 6 bags of any breakfast tea and allow the tea
to steep about 10 minutes
While the tea steeps wet the linen in plain water if you prefer the dye to be fairly even. If you want the dye to
take unevenly put the dry linen in the dye pot, the
uneven color that some antique samplers have



Biggie wanted to supervise this stage of wetting the linen.
This is the cat that has to drink running water from the
faucet, not the bowl. He likes the shower, too. At this point he was bored...

Squeezed out the tea bags and into the dye bath it goes
Leave the linen in the dye pot for ten minutes and then I
checked the color, trying to match the color of the original.
(Tea dyed linen is supposed to dry one shade lighter than
when wet) I like the color, I think it will be a good match to the original when dry. The next step sets the color so it will
be colorfast in case you want to wash it when you are done
stitching
add one teaspoon of alum. I had some in the spice cupboard
from when Mom used to put up crock pickles. It's in the spice aisle at the grocery store
Mr. Glen Oaks wanted to be in on this so he added the alum and stirred it into the dye bath with the fabric still in there.
Stir it up well and you can leave the linen in the dye bath for another ten minutes if you need to for a correct color match. The mister didn't think it was quite dark enough the 
first time so we went with the extra time
We decide that this is a close match so I'm drying the linen.

I rolled it up in a towel because for this sampler I don't want wrinkles and uneven color lines. Remember, I'm trying to match the original.
Save your tea dye bath because if you decide the linen should 
be darker you can dye it again but you need to add
another teaspoon of alum to the dye bath each time you
re-soak the linen.
. Tomorrow the fun starts!

Susan 



January 11, 2012

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