MacSoph is my trusty little Apple 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 abundance of crowns and things Royal on Queendom Website.
During special sales, Early Morning Sales happen on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings 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.
Mail Jail is its own form of torture, and during sales it dominates my life.
Somehow I missed the organizational gene and every year I struggle, make mistakes, get chastised by the Organized People of the World, make my apologies and continue to struggle.
Eventually though, for those willing to be patient, I do indeed get through it all. It just takes patience on everybody’s part.
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
Here is a column about my Sales, essentially my attempt to answer my most frequently asked questions (FAQs)
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!
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 right before a sale starts and again right after the sale starts. That's it.
So when do I usually sell designs?
I usually sell designs three times a year: in February, in May and in mid-October.
In May 2017, Eleanor of Aquitaine arrives. She will be for sale starting May 1.
What if you missed a pattern you want
Email me with its name.
I will try and bring back at least two oldies at each sale.
If there are other requests for the pattern you would like, chances are good I will bring it back in a future sale.
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 ?
Again I'm getting requests for all my queens.
I have no plans to bring back Elizabeth, Mary, Bess or Catherine.
Right now I'm concentrating on Eleanor and her impending arrival.
What is the status of Echoes of Elizabeth Sampler?
Echoes of Elizabeth Sampler will be back in October 2017.
And with it a surprise. A big surprise.
April 21, 2017 Friday
10 days to go and Eleanor will arrive on Queendom Website. With all the planning that MacSoph and I have been doing behind the scenes, it is inevitable that I would reminisce about my first two portraits.
This morning I have posted a photo of my own Elizabeth; In the next few days I will post my memories of creating Elizabeth and of the people who have stitched Elizabeth. A little trot down memory lane.
April 20, 2017 Thursday
MacSoph has been ill. In short, she's been plagued by tech problems for the past few days, everything from website software issues to internet difficulties. Most of the issues are straightened but solving them eats through the hours of the day and I am now behind. There are still a few issues to conquer and I suspect it will take a couple of days more.
Once tech issues are behind us, MacSoph and I will begin transitioning Queendom Website for Eleanor's arrival. Only 10 days to go now.
Birdie update: Our little dove is nestled low in her fuchsia plant, so low that you wouldn't know she was there. We can see her head and one wing only from our kitchen window now. We assume she must have laid her eggs now because she never leaves.
I guess in Dove Society, Mr. Dove swaps places with her and sits on the nest about half the time, but we haven't seen the swap. We have seen him bring her food.
April 18, 2017 Tuesday
Tax day 2017. Definitely not the day to go anywhere near the post
office, so I plan to stay away. I have two packages promised today but
I forgot about tax day.
Today will be interesting: I plan to start writing my first lessons for Eleanor so that I will have them set up in Eleanor's secret rooms for the first people who have their Eleanors after May 1. In fact, I am hoping to use this time wisely so I can return to stitching as soon as possible.
I have been drawing a bit. I drew a new sampler and hope to get started on it as soon as work is well under way. I haven't stitched a big sampler in a long time and my fingers are itching to start.
The sooner I get busy, the sooner I will be able to stitch again.
April 17, 2017 Monday
I googled Doves nesting in hanging plants and sure enough, it is a
favorite place for dove nests. Day 1 all Ms. Dove did was sit there;
Day 2 the spot was full of twigs that weren't there on Day 1. Ahh, the
joys of spring!
We had a lovely Easter Sunday, hope you did too. Another day of
holiday and then back to work. I still have some canvases to cut and
MacSoph and I have webwork to do. 13 days till Eleanor arrives.
April 16, 2017 Easter Sunday
Happy Easter, Happy Springtime.
It is springtime, my favorite season of the year, and our yard abounds with signs that spring is here.
We have a very large palm tree in our side yard and in the springtime it functions as a condo complex for nesting birdies. DH always comments that for all the birdies who fly in and out, it must indeed be a crowded complex.
One of its present tenants is a lady dove who is very pregnant right now. Earlier she was so busy building her nest in the palm-tree condo complex (or so we thought) and now she is so busy darting here and there across our yard.
Yesterday she flew up to and landed on top of and squished our big hanging fuchsia (which belongs to our resident lady humming bird and over which she wages many many many territorial wars).
Ms. Dove sat there for the longest time, squishing lower and lower into the plant till parts of her head and one wing were the only visible parts of her. And she stayed, and stayed and stayed.
DH and I were watching her for the longest time and we thought, oh no, were we wrong and has she built a nest in the top of the fuchsia plant and not in the palm-tree condo complex and what will happen when the automatic watering system turns on? (amidst what is going on in the world, this is a big worry, don't you think?)
Finally, after the longest time Ms. Dove flew away and into the palm-tree condo complex. DH got out the ladder, climbed up and looked in the squished fuchsia plant. No nest, just squished plant leaves.
This is a lesson in how small details in our yard can distract us both for the longest time. Spring fever? Maybe. We finally looked at each other, shook our heads and went back to work.
Update: Mid-morning, Easter morning
We were wrong: Ms. Dove was back. DH noticed because the fuchsia plant was swinging and sure enough, there she was.
She stayed a long while, then flew off again and we had another look: she's brought in all sorts of twigs since yesterday.
Easter morning brought this news: Guess she changed her mind about the palm tree condo complex and we're going to have Dove babies in our fuchsia plant.
April 15, 2017 Saturday
Margaret Foster who is Queendom Website's resident poet, has written a poem in Eleanor's honor. I will post the poem as we wind up to Eleanor's arrival. In the meantime, in the spirit of Margaret's poem, I have collected a small number of quotes related to needlework (some loosely) and I will post them over the few days.
This morning's is a wonderful conceit about mending a sock. It is from a children's book that sounds like one I might like. And in googling it, I found a children's book I definitely want to read soon, Robin McKinley, The Sword and the Crown.
I have been on a kick on and off for a year, with the goal of reading all the Newbery Medal books, and I think this one was in 1984.
I think I will order both.
April 14, 2017 Good Friday
I had a day off yesterday. My iPad Pencil revived and I spent the better part of the day drawing. In the afternoon I took a 2 hour nap.
MacSoph was happy too; her keys had a good rest.
It was a wonderful day!
Back to work today.
April 13, 2017 Thursday
As the days grow closer to Eleanor's arrival on Queendom Website, I have been receiving emails about reserving Eleanor.
I am not taking a list of reservations for Eleanor mostly because I can't see how you would seriously reserve Eleanor before you have seen her and know her details, and I want her to be a surprise.
I promise, I have a hefty number of kits, enough to last quite a while. I plan to leave Eleanor for sale for the month of May or until I run out of kits.
That said, if you see her and set your heart on her, I'm not saying you should wait two or three weeks to decide, but you do have time to ponder and make your decision. I don't want you to rush into the sale and then regret it. I want you to love her well enough to put all those hours into stitching her :-)
Yes, Eleanor will be a class at Shining Needle Society. I will write more about the class as we get closer to May 1.
Eleanor will arrive on Queendom Website at 8:00 a.m. California time on May 1.
April 12, 2017 Wednesday
Quite by accident last evening I came across a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes and couldn't resist posting it this morning.
April 11, 2017 Tuesday
My deadline is this morning and I am on my way to the print shop in a short while: delivery of my first Eleanor kits is in order; I just moved them into the trunk of my car and am on my way shortly.
Home again and I will work on the balance of the kits for the rest of the day.
Exciting as we move closer to Eleanor's arrival.
April 10, 2017 Monday
Monday morning and I'm just taking a bit of time now to update News&Views. MacSoph and I are so busy! We worked all day yesterday on Queendom Website and this morning I've been checking kits, namely all the silks.
Tomorrow morning is my deadline to deliver the first round of Eleanor's kits. I'm checking everything and then I will be ready.
It is all coming together!
April 9, 2017 Sunday
MacSoph and I are working away on so many details. One thing we've been working on is the photo of Eleanor so that she will look her best.
Most of you will never see my Eleanor in anything but a photograph on Queendom Website, therefore the quality of the photograph is important. It has to match and describe my Eleanor the best it can.
Arlene Sheras took my official photo of Eleanor and MacSoph and I have been spending some hours working on the image. My Eleanor has sat beside us as we've worked to color match her on my monitor and describe her details as best I can. Boy does a great raw image make a difference. I love working on Arlene's photos and this one is no exception.
April 8, 2017 Saturday
MacSoph and I started diligent work on preparing for Eleanor's arrival yesterday, with more of the same today, and I am checking Eleanor's kits to make certain that everything is in order. It will take me a few days to complete the check.
All in all, I am sorry to say, no stitching time. Maybe I can sneak some time with my needle but right now as I look at my 'to do' list, I can't see when.
But you never know.
April 6, 2017 Thursday
Two birthdays ago, DH gave me iPad Pro and Pencil. It was a wonderful gift that I use daily. Ever since I put Apple Pencil to iPad Pro, I haven't sketched on real paper with a real pencil.
At first I had hoped that iPad and Pencil would help me practice making better drawings and that eventually I would learn to paint in Procreate. No such luck.
If anything my drawings have gotten worse: I scrub out an outline and monkey with the drawing a bit and then I am anxious to start stitching, so there stays my grubby little drawing.
So why do I love iPad and Pencil when I've gone downhill so much? Speed! With pencil and paper, a small drawing could easily take me a couple of hours; on iPad it takes me 10 minutes. I once drew a heart I liked in 2 minutes, maybe not even that. It is so easy!
So yesterday I had an idea for an ornament I wanted to make for E-Week and I thought, the idea is pretty well formed in my mind, it should only take me about 5 minutes to sketch it and then I will start stitching.
Well, what do you know but Pencil died. Not a wimper of a line out of him, he is just dead.
So I found paper and a real pencil for the first time in a year plus.
I didn't like it at all and I realize I am addicted to iPad and Pencil..
Sad story, hopefully with a happy enough ending soon.
April 5, 2017 Wednesday
MacSoph and I worked all day yesterday on cleaning and dusting Queendom Website. We've long neglected our webchores and now we face several days of cheaning, moving, adjusting everything.
Once Queendom Website is ready, we will begin to move everything into place for Eleanor's arrival.
I discovered yesterday, there are only so many hours we can do our chores, then there has to be a reward. Resting is MacSoph's reward, stitching is mine. After a few days away from stitching, I plan to return. I had thought of starting a big sampler, but I think I will tackle something smaller, maybe an ornament for E-Week next October. Sounds like a plan.
April 4, 2017 Tuesday
All the signs of spring are here, for certain when we saw our pair of hawks flying close together over our canyon, obviously in search of lunch. I've wondered countless times where their nest is, and we speculate somewhere in a high tree within what must be miles of their territory.
We have a very big palm tree on our side yard and we call it 'the condo complex' because of the number of birdies flying in and out: there are pairs of orioles, doves and mockingbirds. We also have a resident lady hummingbird and her nest is back behind the house. We see her quite often because we have two new hanging fuchsia plants right by the side window.
And this year we have a nest above an outside light on the corner of our living room. What a crazy place to build a nest!
Yes, it is a very busy season around here.
And every day my favorite part of spring: the days grow longer and longer. More daylight hours, more stitching time. It's wonderful!
April 3, 2017 Monday
I was so industrious yesterday: I finished writing a long and detailed set of instructions. I have a couple of errands to do this morning, and then the day belongs to me. I plan to celebrate the end of a long task by stitch a good part of the afternoon. I hope you will join me!
This morning on Queendom Website's home page, I added a new lesson on an easy way of adding highlights and shadows after you finish stitching an area. It is an easy technique and one that can add some dimension to an area that might otherwise look too flat.