My World of Needlework
May 23, 2018 Wednesday
In the early a.m. this morning I was trolling through history posts to find out what I was doing on my earliest days of Queendom Website, and I came across a surprise: one of my very earliest activities on Queendom Website was selling Mystery in a Corner.
I had no idea that Mystery in a Corner was that old and related to my early website days until this morning!
Off and on I've had it for sale for 10 years now, and I still have it for sale on my 'Groups' page. And would you know, within the last two months two groups have ordered Mystery in a Corner!
Old as Mystery in a Corner is now, it isn't by any means my oldest geometric. That honor goes to Santa Fe Square.
Santa Fe Square was the first ever geometric I stitched. I know by the date on the back of it that it is more than 25 years old. I had a 25th anniversary celebration for it and that was a number of years ago.
I'm getting old. No, I'm correcting that: I'm getting older.
Better get busy this morning, time it is a wasting!
May 22, 2018 Tuesday
My trot down Memory Lane takes a slightly later twist this morning, but one I think about every day: this morning I say thanks yet again to my tutor Andy at Apple who years ago shamed me into learning Illustrator.
If you have a set of my instructions written after my Portrait of Elizabeth (my last hand-written set of instructions), you will have a piece of my history with Adobe's App called 'Illustrator'. It is literally my favorite computer tool.
Yes, it is a bear to learn (the learning curve is indeed terrible), yes, it can be overwhelming sometimes, but it also makes my life wonderful!
Recently I taught someone how to do graphs in Pages, Apple's pagelayout app. Yes, it is much easier to learn, but it is much less flexible and therefore more difficult ultimately to use.
I can't resist giving you one example: Illustrator works in layers, I begin with a graph-paper layer, then make another layer and draw stitches on that layer, another layer and more stitches, and so forth. Sometimes I have 20 layers, each superimposed on the last.
When I wrote the instructions for Eleanor, Carol discovered a bad mistake and it could have been a nightmare to fix. But Illustrator made it easy: I locked all the layers and superimposed the correction on a new layer, make the necessary adjustments, locked that layer, then unlocked the offending layer and deleted the mistakes.
Illustrator has a great feature (most Adobe apps do) called 'Paste in Place'. After I finished making the corrections and deleted the mistakes, I coped the corrections from my 'fix' layer and used 'Paste in Place' to insert them into their correct layer. Bingo, fixed.
So on this Tuesday morning in May, what am I doing besides posting on Queendom Website? Writing instructions in Illustrator.
Thanks yet again, Andy, for the best tool I use.
May 21, 2018 Monday
Tomorrow watch for a photo of one of my favorite Apple kids who significantly changed my work life, so significantly that rarely a day changes that I don't think of him and say a small thank you.
I've enjoyed trotting down Memory Lane but I wonder every day, how can it be 10 years ago! What happened to those years! Of course as I look through my files on MacSoph, I know the answer: I stitched and I posted my stitching on Queendom Website. Yes, that simple.
When I look at it that way, I loved almost every minute of those 10 years.
May 20, 2018 Sunday
As we trot along toward Queendom Website's 10th Anniversary, I am certainly taking a stroll down Memory Lane. Today I've written about my very first day at the Apple Store that would become my home away from home for the better part of 10 years.
In lots of ways those were my favorite years.
Going way back into my childhood, I was always hopeless at math and science. It was odd, given that my father was a whiz at them (probably the best way to explain how much of a whiz is to tell you that he went to Cal Tech).
I am his child -- I look like him, I even act like his side of the family -- except I was terrible at math.
But the computer was different. The kids at the Apple Store said I learned computer stuff super fast; most of the time (although not always) it just made sense to me.
And DH told me, there it was, my father's heritage finally coming out in me. Nothing could have surprised me more.
And to end this post, here is a wee bit of bragging: throughout my Apple years, the kids told me I was my Apple Store's Valedictorian.
It took me till my 60's to be Valedictorian of anything :-)
May 19, 2018 Saturday
I woke up early enough this morning to see much of the Royal Wedding. I watched it on PBS and enjoyed the BBC's coverage. They didn't jump into every moment with long explanations of every detail, they just let it unfold. Nice.
My favorite part? I loved the colors in the Queen's dress and hat. I have to keep a photo of her in that outfit and borrow the colors for a little needlepoint project.
A nice way to start the day, now back to work. I'm dedicating at least the morning and as long as I can last into the afternoon writing instructions. Ultimately I have 7 sets of instructions to write. Happily, I have proofers for all of it, I just have to write it all.
May 18, 2018 Friday
My trot down Memory Lane continues this morning as MacSoph and I build up to Queendom Website's 10 Anniversary Celebration.
In this morning's entry, Shining Needle Society was born; it grew back then out of a support room for my Redwork Mystery House, an 8-month-long mystery in which I mailed out a different room each month.
When my Redwork Mystery House arrived, Queendom Website's very beginnings were still almost a year into the future.
In the present: I decided I had better start kitting my little project to celebrate Queendom Website's Anniversary. That's my weekend task ahead. Actually, I look forward to putting together the kits.
May 17, 2018 Thursday
I enjoyed retracing my early pre-Queendom Website days, I'd forgotten the sequences until I looked them up.
Watch tomorrow and see the beginnings of Shining Needle Society.
May 16, 2018 Wednesday
June 1 is an important day in my life for it marks the 10th anniversary of Queendom Website.
I ask myself, how can it be that Queendom Website is 10 years old!
So MacSoph and I want to celebrate with a surprise I created reflecting Queendom Website's History and Present.
In the two weeks leading up to Queendom Website's Anniversary, come with me on a trot down Memory Lane as I retrace Queendom Website's earliest history.
And then on June 1 watch for the surprise: a special design incorporating a wee bit of luxury will be for sale.
May 15, 2018 Tuesday
May Gray continues this morning, overcast and cold, but likely it will wear off and like yesterday we will have a sunny afternoon.
I still have about 2 hours work to do on my scissors case. I will see if indeed I can finish it today. Do you ever have projects that seem to drag on but for no apparent reason, except life distracts you?
Such is my case.
May 14, 2018 Monday
I hope all moms had a great day yesterday and a little time with your needles.
It is almost mid-May which seems impossible. We had beautiful days at the beginning of May but now our typical May Gray days are here, even with a few sprinkles. DH saw that we had .01" of rain the other day. I guess that .01" of rain is better than no rain.
Mrs. Dove has resettled somewhere near our front door -- she flies away every time we go out our front door; guess we will have to start going out our garage door instead (which we do most of the time anyway).
I didn't finish my project yesterday; I thought I would, but we had company and they stayed on through the afternoon. It was lovely but I didn't pick up my needle until the evening.
I will try to make up for it today.
May 13, 2018 Happy Mother's Day
I hope all Moms have a great day today! Hope Stitching Moms have a little time with their needles.
I had a very good day yestereday: I finished my fob --I packed an amazing amount of stitching into such a little thing. It was fun to do. I have finished all but one piece of the series now, and with a little bit of luck today I may finish the last piece.
Then on with a Crown for the Last Queen.
May 12, 2018 Saturday
Yesterday I had a stitch-and-rip day for most of the day, but finally in the evening I had a chance to set aside my stitch-and-rip project and start my fob. I watched the news and worked on it: pleasant hour and a half, except the news these days isn't so wonderful.
I'm writing this post in the very early a.m. while I'm waiting for the first light. I stitched a part of the fob after sunset last night and before I continue, I want to see what it looks like in the daylight.
Early morning is my favorite time of the day, before the world gets going and 'regular' life takes over. For me, it is my best creative time. I think I'll draw for a while until daylight arrives.
May 11, 2018 Friday
Finally toward the end of yesterday I had time to sit down with my needle. I enjoyed every minute! A box top, a needle book and a scissors case: can a fob be far behind? I drew one last night.
Sometimes, surprisingly, fobs are the most difficult pieces because of the size. Over the years I have learned that the largest piece is in many ways the easiest: more stitches, more room. As I look at the size of a fob and think how few stitches there are, I realize it is difficult to develop a theme that harmonizes with the larger pieces.
Later on today I will see if my fob drawing worked.
There is a good part and a bad part to each size. The bad part of a fob, not very many stitches, the good part: I'll know very soon whether it works or not. The good part to a large design, many many more stitches to accomplish a goal, the bad part: it is always a long time before I know whether the design works.
Eh, it's all in a day's work.
May 10, 2018 Thursday
May 10 and a busy Thursday today, tied up with personal appointments etc. It is the early a.m. right now and I've been stitching for a while; soon the day will begin and I won't be able to stitch again until the early evening.
I'm making progress, maybe just not quite as fast as I had hoped.
May 9, 2018 Wednesday
Jewels, packages of jewels, arrived in my mailbox and it was fun to unwrap them all.
I took them and laid them out on my drawing of the Queen's Crown and I was lucky, they work perfectly. Soon as I finish my present series, I will stitch the Queen's Crown.
Such a good time, all this stitching. Of course I'm dodging computer issues; I know they won't go away, but for now I'm avoiding them and stitching.
May 8, 2018 Tuesday
It is definitely high spring at our house. We have a large palm tree on our side yard and in the spring we call it the condo complex for all our birdies nesting in there. Every year our oriole family nests in there and yesterday we saw Mr. Oriole flying in and out, in and out. In a while I owuld guess we will see new little orioles.
I am almost finished with the front on my tiny needle book and it is pretty if I do say so! Can't wait to start the scissors case to match it.
Life is nice right now, not without its problems ahead, but for now a lot of stitching. Very nice indeed.
Enjoy this beautiful time of year with its lengthening days. Lots of daylight, lots of time for stitching by natural light.
May 7, 2018 Monday
Monday morning, one of my favorite days of the week. I know that Sunday is really the first day of the week but it always seems like Monday is.
I worked for most of the day yesterday on a small needle book to go with my geometric square, all in celebration of the Last Queen.
I had hoped it would look like lace and happily it does.
I have some mailing to do today, otherwise the day belongs to me, nice thought.
Beautiful May day today, no May gray today, just balmy and bright sunshine.
May 6, 2018 Sunday
Not long ago Betty Nelson sent me a photo of her newly finished Tudor Rose Sampler. Betty is one prolific stitcher, good for her! I also posted some words from Betty about the importance of stitching in her life and I think I'll leave them up for a long while.
As I thought I might, I finished my geometric square yesterday, now I have to write the instructions. Today I have a set of instructions that I want to correct. A bit of a surprise which I will tell you more about as the month wears on. For now, I have to work in the mornings but the afternoons will belong to my needle and me for a while longer. Nice feeling!
Cinco de Mayo, 2018 Saturday
The best day to eat all the Mexican food you wish because there are no calories in it today! Yum! How about some crab enchiladas, a tostada and at least a quart of guacamole with great fresh chips. Sounds good to me.
Nice fantasy. Reality: I will finish my little square today.
I am working on paraphernalia for the Last Queen and I've enjoyed every stitch. I hope to start a little needle book later on today.
Nice to leave the woes of the world behind and just stitch the day away.
May 4, 2018 Friday
The chances are good I will finish my little geometric square today.
One design down, two ornaments to go. It has been lovely to have this stitching time and I look forward to more of it. Soon as my beads arrive.
May 2, 2018 Wednesday
I had a nice May Day, mostly stitching. I made some progress on my new geometric square. I am waiting for some beads and then I will start two ornaments. When I finish them, I will start two big samplers I've been looking forward to stitching for a long time.
When they are underway, I will return to having a look at designing a new website and see if it is possible.
Busy days ahead.
May 1, 2018 Tuesday
To welcome the; month of May I have posted a favorite sampler of mine, The Flowers of Spring. I made it years ago and at the time, I drew large samplers for Summer, Autumn and Winter as well, but I never stitched them. About once a year I take out the drawings and look at them and think, 'I would really like to stitch all three.
But then I stitch what I need to stitch to keep going. I always seem to have a sufficient number of large projects but am always chronically short of small projects, so I end up stitching a disproportionate share of small projects.
I have plans for two large samplers and as soon as I finish all the small projects it takes for E-Week, I plan to stitch the large ones. I even have Jan to proof them and I've promised to have them stitched and written by December.
I am looking forward to making them enormously! Can't wait!
MacSoph is my trusty little Apple MacBook computer.
Actually I have two MacSophs,now. They both work on Queendom Website, particularly during Sales.
Back in the late 1980’s DH and I had an SE and an English friend named that computer ‘Sophie Enchilada’ a bit of ridiculousness that stuck and our computers have been ‘Soph’ ever since. As I said, I now have two MacSophs.
DH is my 'Dear Husband' who helps me by running Mail Jail. Actually he does most of my bookkeeping also since I am so bad at it.
The main thing to know about DH in connection with Queendom Website is the concept of ‘First Thing in the Morning’.
First Thing in the Morning means just that to me: it is the first thing I do in the morning.
DH has a different concept: First Thing in the Morning can often mean before 4:00 in the afternoon. DH isn’t a morning person.
This arises in connection with ‘Mailing Packages First Thing in the Morning’.
How Queendom Website Got its Name
Not long after MacSoph and I started our website, a friend said to me, your website is just like your own little private kingdom.
I replied, “yes, but not a kingdom, it’s a Queendom and I am Queen.”
And that’s why I usually have an abundant number of crowns and things Royal on Queendom Website.
E-Week is my big once-a-year sale usually in mid-October. I have other sales during the year but E-Week is my extravaganza.
E-Week is named after Merchandise Night at seminars. Merchandise Night at seminars is an evening when teachers and other vendors sell their wares for 2 hours or so. Now I have E-Merchandise Week, shortened along the years to 'E-Week'.
During E-Week, Early Morning Sales happen on Saturday morning at 8:00 sharp California Time.
Early Morning Sales have special items, often limited in number, for a short period of time. If I do say so, they are a special part of E-Week and they are great fun!
Mail Jail is the shipping division of my little business and it is the main reason I don’t have things for sale on Queendom Website all the time.
I used to be mired in packages until December; at last year's E-Week I was in Mail Jail until February which was way too long.
So I found Jay who has taken over Mail Jail for me. He is so efficient at it and I am delighted that he is willing to do it.
Every needlework teacher knows about Kit Hell. That’s the time before a class when you do nothing but order supplies and then divide them up into kits.
Even though I am retired from travel-teaching, I still have a bit of Kit Hell now and again.
If you have ever spilled 10,000 seed beads, you will know about Bead Mania.
This is all the Queendom Website Jargon I can think of right now. If I think of more of it, I will post it here.
Queendom Website's staff includes:
Queen Consort (DH) who manages Mail Jail and now has become a staff writer,
and Queendom Website's Faithful Subjects, MacSophs II and III (my trusty little MacBook computers).
Sales of Kits and Patterns
Updated April, 2018
Here is a column about my Sales, essentially to answer my most frequently asked questions (FAQs).
How can someone find out about my upcoming sales?
Sign up for my Newsletter.
To sign up, email me: GayAnnRogers@me.com.
Will your email inbox be flooded with Newsletters?
No, that I promise. Essentially I send a Newsletter a few days before a sale starts and again right after the sale starts. That's it.
Why don't I have everything for sale all the time?
Because I'd be in Mail Jail forever and have no time to stitch. I like to stitch as much as you do, maybe even more!
So when do I usually sell designs?
I usually sell designs three times a year: in February, in May or June and in mid-October.
In 2018 I will have an additional sale on August 10/
What about old patterns, how can you get the one you want?
If there is one you have your heart set on, email me: GayAnnRogers@me.com
I won't promise it, but if I receive other requests for it, I will try and bring it back.
Which old patterns am I considering bringing back ?
Probably the original Echoes of Elizabeth. I discontinued the pattern because I was out of one of the beads. Happily I found a suitable substitute.
What is the status of my Queens?
I have no plans to bring back Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary or Bess or Eleanor, but there will be 'The Last Queen'.
Who is The Last Queen?
You will find out on August 10.