Sunday, October 11, 2009

In keeping with my promise to myself ...

to not work on anything of my own or do anything that "has" to be done on Sunday, this morning I worked on a chart that I received from my friend Karin, via Marie-Thérèse Saint-Aubin, that is so dear to my heart that I am having trouble keeping myself away from it during the week.

L' Adieu by Marie-Thérèse Saint-Aubin

But so far, so good as you can see from what little I've accomplished:

The picture makes it look so small! To give you an idea of the size of the finished design, the fabric I am working it on is cut to 20" x 20" (Natural Undyed Belfast). Stitch count is 208 X 222. I already have a spot picked out for it on the wall of my living room and constantly visualize it framed and hanging there .... simply mounted on another piece of linen with no hemstitching, etc. just raw edges, surrounded by a mat and a simple wood frame. Can you tell how much I dearly love this beautiful design? I wish you could see the flowers. I wish I had a bigger picture, but you can see one here, along with some other exceptional works by this true artist of cross stitch.

The poem, by Guillaume Apollinaire, (my translation unfortunately) reads:

I have picked this sprig of heather
Autumn is dead you must remember
We will not see each other again on earth
Scent of time sprig of heather
Remember that I wait for you

If I have totally mis-translated this poem, please reprimand. But this is how I read it and how I love it. If ever it is finished, and framed, I promise to post a photograph.

Meanwhile, Ms. Hana (or my "slave labor" as she calls herself) is coming home this next weekend to put together all the kits for our special little Christmas ornament kit and I am working on Good Yule, moving some things around and changing some things I was unhappy with on the stitched model. It's very difficult to draw a piece, chart it and then send it off to someone to be stitched. Quite often it comes back looking very different from what you had envisioned. Not the fault of the stitcher. Just the difference between paper and linen, pencil and silk. This one has a few little areas that need tweaked, and so I will spend a good part of next week ripping out and re-stitching things that could use a bit of refinement.

It's cold and wet here today and I have been debating all day if I should go take the normal Sunday hike with the dog. I've been trying to talk myself out of it with various excuses, but I have to remember that the weather is just downhill from here and I have to get used to spending some time getting bundled up and braving less than perfect weather if Sami and myself are to get any exercise this winter. I do have a treadmill, but use it grudgingly, only in the worst sort of weather, simply because it's mind-numbingly boring. I'm not much of a TV watcher and I find it difficult to read on one of those things. I'm an "in bed with a big bowl of popcorn" reader. But I do resort to the treadmill every so often. We have two of them.  Side by side. One for me and one for Sami. Don't ask :-) But my daughter does wonder frequently what I am going to do when that old dog finally has to leave for what ever heaven waits for him. She keeps saying "we have to get mom a new one before he dies" but I don't think so. Not yet. Not yet.

So, down we go to dig out the raincoat and find a hat in the pile stashed away in the "winter" closet. It is a good thing .... to get away from this computer and out into it all.

See you soon, ci vediamo a presto, à tout à l'heure, gauw tot ziens,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


It's here! Thanks to the wonderful people at our small town post office and all of your prayers and crossed fingers, Good Yule was retrieved from the people it was delivered to originally (unopened) and re-delivered to my post office box this afternoon. Thank you Teri for the beautiful stitching job .... now if we can just get you out of Le p'tit monde de la blonde, where you live with my friend Evelyne ..... :-) Oh, never mind. You are a beautiful stitcher. Maybe I'll just come to live with you two there :-)

Big sigh of relief and back to work. We need to get it framed and photographed now.

See you soon, ci vediamo a presto, à tout à l'heure, gauw tot ziens,


Monday, October 5, 2009

Steamboat Springs, Colorado • October 5 • 4:45 pm

I haven't been good ...

about keeping up with the blog lately. We've just been too, too busy, busy, busy. I'm always pleasantly surprised and grateful at how well our new releases are received .... and it keeps us running, trying to keep up with orders ... so there has been little time to sit and think and write, but finally I've found a few moments of calm before the On-line Needlework storm on Wednesday and wanted to use it to catch up a bit with friends and followers.

On the stitching/design front ... well ... my big Christmas sampler scheduled to be released next month (Good Yule) is now officially lost in the mail. I am heartbroken. The woman who stitched it is heartbroken. This design is 110 stitches wide by 350 stitches long and was not an easy stitch ... lots of over one, beads, specialty stitches. It was mistakenly sent to the wrong address. We contacted the people at that address and they say they have not received the package. The post office said it was delivered there on September 30th. No one seems to know where it is. It was insured, of course, but no amount of insurance can cover this kind of loss. We haven't given up. We hope it can be found, but it may not be released this year if it is not found soon. It takes quite a while to stitch a piece of that size, as you all know. I'm trying not to think about it and just praying it will turn up. Karma.

We have other things in the works that can be released instead, but we will have to work double time to try to bump them up the schedule. I do truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I live by that philosophy. It will be interesting to see, eventually, what the reason for this glitch is.

Meanwhile, a little sneak peak at our first biannual limited edition Christmas Ornament kit. Luckily I was working on this little guy even before I found out that Good Yule was lost, so he will still be coming to town even if Good Yule doesn't make it. We plan on doing two different ornament kits a year in a limited quantity, one for November release and one for "Christmas in July".  Why limit the quantity of the kits? Everyone is always curious about that. We don't do it to drive up the price. We try to keep the price of our kits as reasonable as possible. Limiting the quantity of kits we manufacture allows us to use unique or "limited availability" supplies in the kits .... things that we love and would like to see on a design but know we can get only get limited quantities of .... i.e. special buttons or ribbons or trims. We buy up what ever quantity is available and make as many kits as we can from that inventory ... and then ... when it's gone, it's gone.

I made a rule for myself, earlier this year, that I would never again use a Sunday to do anything I "had" to do or that "needed" to be done. So, I took Sunday to relax with my daughter who was visiting and to pursue some things I've been wanting to do. I don't have much time to knit anymore. I use most of my crafting time to stitch, but I always like to have a winter knitting project on hand for cold evenings in front of the fireplace (or TV) and I spent a few hours on Sunday going through the yarn stash and planning a project. Over the past few years I seem to have collected a plethora of small balls of hand spun yarn. I love the way it looks, the complex textures and mixtures of colors, but there is never enough to make anything substantial. Still, I buy a few ounces here and a few ounces there because it is impossible to resist. So Sunday I got all the balls of hand spun together, picked a group that would go together and finally found a pattern I thought would work with my potpourri of different yarns.

The pattern is a free pattern and I think I'm in love with it ... it is so adaptable to so many different yarns and sizes. Since you start by making a triangle (increasing each side) until the piece is the width you want, and then continue, on the diagonal with a decrease on one side and an increase on the other, you can make it as wide and as long as you like .... depending on how much yarn you have. You don't even have to worry much about gauge ... perfect for my collection of hand spun since I can just keep knitting until I run out. Of course, you have to make sure you leave enough yarn to finish the corner but I kept track of how much I used to make the beginning corner, so I know exactly how much I need to finish. Now I'm thinking about those 12 balls of a discontinued color of Noro Silk Garden I have stashed away for a shawl/stole out of the same pattern.

Meanwhile, back to the search for Good Yule. I have been calling the post office a few times a day. I will not despair. If it's gone, it was meant to be gone. If it is found, then we will release it on schedule. (sob sob :-( Maybe if everyone out there crosses their fingers for me ... it will turn up.

See you soon, ci vediamo a presto, à tout à l'heure, gauw tot ziens,