Gay Ann Rogers  Needlework


May 29, 2020 Friday

I turned on the news this morning and stitched my way through the grim reality of the racial tensions enveloping our country right now. All the way around it is a tense time and now more than for a long time, we need strong guidance and leadership.

When I feel a need for strong guidance and leadership, I sometimes listen to Winston Churchill's speeches from WW II, many on YouTube.  I know, I know, I hear from DH about many of the complexities of Winston Churchill, but for sheer ability to inspire his nation, he succeeded.

My stitching continues to help. I would be lost without it.  I spent yesterday doing a bit of designing I wasn't sure I could pull off. I had to concentrate hard on it and I did it: I stitched the marks of several of my favorite thimble-makers. It may seem like an easy task but it wasn't and it took me all day. Two are in place now on the sampler, two more to go.

I was happy for the distraction and am happy with the results, always a nice feeling.

We are nearing the end of May; DH and I are now in our third day of Week 13 of quarantine and we are hanging in there. Hope you are too.

May 28, 2020 Thursday

As the country begins to open up, a grim reality of 100,000 people dead from the coronavirus. Like many families DH and I have lost an important person to the virus and it brings home loss and the need to be careful and stay safe.

So our regime of sheltering continues and as I have done all through nearly 13 weeks now, I have turned to stitching. It saves me, as it has many many times in the past.

People are writing me about my business, a sufficient number that I thought I should say officially: yes, my business is on hiatus indefinitely. For how long? I have no idea. I am one of those people who does better looking ahead and having a plan, but this is not possible right now.

DH has suggested to me numerious times that I carry on as if I will open my business again some day, and then if circumstances are such that I can't, so be it.

So that is what I have done, carried on as if I will again open my business. It is a positive note and I have carried on stitching and keeping track of what I have stitched by drawing oversize and master graphs and keeping notes.

We will just see. Meanwhile I have some nice moments planned for today: it is a big decision day for my Thimbles Sampler.

Take care, stay safe, this too shall end some day.

May 27, 2020 Wednesday

Another day gone by without much change in our daily routine, but as I wrote yesterday, life in other ways is very rich indeed.

I worked on my thimbles sampler almost the entire day and by the end of the day I had stitched two thimbles into place. Nice part is, I like the thimbles I stitched, I think they will work well on the design.

It is still so early in the life of the design that I am working on whim and guess. I can think of a dozen ways to do something and sometimes I just say eeny meany miny mo and start.

I do have some rough sketches; their value is, they give me approximate spacing and location, but endlessly I change and modify my earlier decisions. This morning I was trying to decide on spacing -- I went back and forth, this or that, which should I do, and right before I started stitching, I changed my mind and did something entirely different.

This is a good explanation of why I don't spend a lot of time on drawings, beyond noting some different alternatives. In the last stages of a drawing I am usually eager to start and I think, why spend a lot of time on this drawing because I am just going to change it anyway, and that's exactly what I've been doing all morning long: changing things.

Drawing is one way of looking at something, stitching something is so different. As I learned early on in designing, it is not a good idea to hem oneself in too much.

May 26, 2020 Tuesday

The days, in some senses, run together as my routine on the surface has little variety. That's on the surface. Sitting in my favorite spot to draw and dream and stitch, I have a surprising variety of activities.

As I look over the past 12 weeks I have stitched and stitched and my stitching has been a joy. In the last three days I have started a sampler about thimbles. While the sampler has some thimbles on it, the bulk of the sampler is about scenes and dividing bands inspired by the tiny designs on the thimbles themselves.

I have had my own thimbles under a magnifiying glass, I have poured over my thimbles book, and I have been shopping. And drawing, and redrawing and finally I started stitching.

I have bought four thimbles in the last few days, for interesting reasons, not reasons usually associated with collecting.  I bought two thimbles with tiny American scenes on the bands. I could see the bands in photos, but what I couldn't see was the flow of the design, one element into another. These are tiny chased scenes and as you might imagine, leave much to the imagination. The fun of this sampler will be figuring out how to fill in what is not on the thimble band and yet have it remain true to the spirit of the original.

First task: deciding which to use: the farm scene or the water scene, or maybe if I can figure out a way, I will combine the two. Until I see the thimbles and can spend some time reflecting on the flow of the design, I won't make up my mind.

So reflecting on my rather ho-hum routine these days, this is the flip side of it all: a time to think and create and find inspiration in the things around me, never ho-hum activities. Life is always full of twists and turns. I never would have guessed even as short a time ago as a week that I would become so totally immersed in thimbles. Immersed I am.

May 25, 2020 Monday

Today is Memorial Day, a time for recognizing people who have served the U.S. and the unofficial beginning of summer. Today here in La Jolla, it is dark and gloomy and so far not a sign of the sun peeking through. We will see if the morning gloom clears as the day moves on.

I am stitching again today. I have sidelined Henry for a day or two and started on my Thimbles Sampler. Henry is at the easy stage now; Thimbles Sampler is brand new and therefore challenging. I spent yesterday counting the beginning of the border, got in the count for a quarter and then of course discovered I had couinted it wrong. Rip rip rip and I started over again in the early a.m.  Sigh...

The world continues to seem so weird. Here DH and I are, about to start another week in isolation, I think it will be Week 13 -- actually, I am beginning to lose track of the number of weeks. As I have said, I am so grateful for my stitching, even if I have to rip and rip and rip. It sustains me.

I hope you are taking care and your stitching is doing the same for you.

May 24, 2020 Sunday     

Henry has officially reached the boring stage: I have busywork stitching to finish him (except for the beads, but I have to finish the stitching first.

I am drawing graphs  and making notes so I can retrace what I have done. It's boring too.

So when Carolyn Meacham wrote me a note about thimbles, I switched gears and started refocusing on thimbles again. As a part of my Patriotica, I decided to stitch one last project, a small sampler commemorating American silver thimbles.

I had an idea and began drawing. I wanted to take the tiny design motifs that American thimbles are known for and use them to create a version of a 19th century pictorial sampler.

I have my own reference guide right here, my book on American Silver Thimbles, a repository of examples from 53 different collectors and for me in this circumstance, a great repository of design ideas. I went to work and I had a splendid time!

I have the crudest of drawings blocked out. As soon as I make my Henry notes, I can start, but in the meantime, I have some observations about thimbles.

For most of my collecting life I have been like the great number of thimble collectors: I looked for the flash commemorative thimbles like the Golden Spike on my home page this morning. For all my collecting life I never paid much attention to thimbles by Stern Bros. beyond being excited when I found a Dolly Varden thimble.

Now, in looking for tiny designs for my sampler, I rediscovered these tiny little treasures. Above is one I bought, just look at the quality of the simple design. You think it was easy to design because it is simple? Think again!

So I have a whole new perspective on an old old hobby of mine, thimble collecting. And some new distractions to while away time in quarantine.

May 23, 2020 Saturday     

An overcast May morning but I now see some blue sky trickling through the clouds. Maybe a beautiful May day ahead as May begins to wind down.

I've been stitching up a storm and Dressing Henry is indeed emerging from my needle. I had made all my decisions, but in trying one, I decided I didn't like it, so I'm switching gears and adjusting a bit. Overall, I would like to choose well because I'm very happy with the general design.

Stitches aren't isolated; they are a part of the overall balance, one reacting off another. Worry about lights and darks, density and scale far more than you worry about individual stitches per se. If you pay attention to those considerations, you will arrive at groups of stitches that will work well, and you can slot in a favorite. If you have to choose between easy and hard, and each will work, why not choose easy.

There, that's my soapbox for the morning.

May 22, 2020 Friday     

Tough day yesterday: I slipped, slid, tripped and went splat, yep I took a bad tumble, hit a table and a chair.

I was very lucky, I'm fine. I have some sore body parts and one really black and blue arm where my arm hit the table, but I didn't break anything; I got up, dusted myself off and went about the day.

Here's why I am mentioning all this: Apple Watch.

My watch immediately registered my fall and asked: are you OK? If I hadn't clicked OK, ie if I hadn't replied, my watch would have noted my location and called for help.

At times (like a month ago when my computer broke down), I get fed up with technology, but yesterday I was very impressed. I knew about the feature but I'd forgotten about it and then there it was.

Here's the silver lining: bruised and aching, yes, but nothing broken. With relief, a reminder that I don't have osteoporosis.

I'm taking it easy today: I'm going for a walk for a bit of fresh air and to see if the walk will loosen me up a bit, then I am chilling with my needle in my hand.

May 21, 2020 Thursday     

Another day gone by, half of it with my needle in my hand. I arrived at a certain point and decided I needed a minor rebalance of colors, so I spent some time with my trusty Bohin seamripper also.

My rebalance is a good illustration of why I never want to box myself in by overplanning in the beginning. What I've found out time and time again is this: the design was fine the way it was, but I could see that I could improve it with a few tweaks.

No color, no stitch, no pattern lives in isolation; as exciting as a good choice may be, if it doesn't harmonize with its surroundings, it can unbalance the ebb and flow of the design and become a distraction. In my case, I needed to skew lighter, so I changed a darker color to a lighter one and the design looks better. For now.

On down the line, I may find I need to darken another area more than I had planned because I lightened the area next to it. I won't know until I get there, but for this morning, given what I have on the canvas, the design is looking much improved for my rebalance.

We'll see as the day wears on.

May 20, 2020 Wednesday     

Yes, as I predicted, I whiled away much of yesterday with my needle in my hand. The good news is, I made a handful of revisions and refinements yesterday and now I have only two more spots that need decisions. Essentially the patterns are in place, so much of my remainder work is busywork.

Always fun to reach this point because the design has emerged from my pencil lines and swatches of stitches and I have a good idea now what it will look like. Is it different from my drawing? Yes. My drawing was very rough, essentially just a series of rough-sketched outlines, many revised and modified as I stitched.

I have been working this way for many years. In the beginning of my needlepoint adventuryes I made more complete drawings and followed them more faithfully. Now I prefer to begin with a very rough drawing, set aside most decisions and make those decisions on the fly.

Often I don't know where I am going and the piece ends up quite different from my original idea, but I prefer the edge and the excitement of working this way.

So am I happy with Dressing Henry? I can see now where it is headed, but it lacks the focus that the beads will bring to it. I have done some preliminary bead gathering and auditions, but I will leave those decisions until I complete the stitching.

May 19, 2020 Tuesday     

True to my prediction yesterday, I stitched the day away again. My design is at a fun stage now, it is emerging from its ugly duckling stage of pencil marks and swatches of patterns and yesterday I could see glimpses of what it will look like. Difficult to set it aside at this point.

Back to the needle book: I applied a short narrow strip of Valenciennes lace to the needle book. As I had stitched the sampler, I went looking for the various laces. These are machine made in France early in the 20th century for use on lingerie.

It took me a long time and a lot of networking but  I found enough of various different patterns that I can make some kits of the sampler and the needle book if ever I manage to get them written and proofed. So far I haven't done a very good job of either.

If I'm honest, I probably won't make any progress even finding the needle book today. I would guess I will lose another day to stitching on Dressing Henry. Not a bad way to spend a day.

I'm off to check on bead caps and then pick up my needle. Enjoy your day.

May 18, 2020 Monday     

Monday morning again.  This morning I switched gears and posted the photo of a front of a needle book I made a while ago.

I have collected white work handkerchiefs forever, mostly for their embroidery. Most mid-19th century handkerchiefs with beautiful whitework embroidery come with borders of hand-made Valenciennes lace. In my best examples, the lace and embroidery feature the same motifs, indicating that the lace was made to go specifically with the embroidery.

One day I found a saying about lace and I dropped my life right then and drew and began stitching a sampler to feature the saying, and I started writing to all the dealers I knew asking for early 20th century machine-made Valenciennes lace. Over time, as I stitched the sampler, I accumulated enough yardage for samplers, should I ever write and sell it.

I had such a good time stitching the sampler -- it is definitely what I like best to stitch -- that I continued on and made the needle book. I had forgotten about the needle book until I was cleaning up photos one day and found its photos. I have to go in search now and find the actual needle book.

I haven't written the instructions for the needle book or for the sampler. As I stitch designs I keep my computer open to Illustrator (my draw app of choice) and keep track of what I stitch and I did this for both projects, I just never have written them.

My column is long enough now, I'll add more comments on the needle book tomorrow morning.

Enjoy your day! I should be writing instructions and sorting sorting sorting through the mess around here, but I don't. Yesterday I stitched the day away again; early in this a.m. I went bead shopping online, and now I suspect I will pick up my needle for the day and soon the day will be over. And so the days go....

May 17, 2020 Sunday     

No eagle drawing yet, I've been busy working on Dressing Henry. As I suspected I would do, I spent most of yesterday stitching, not doing the tasks I should do.

Productive day as far as designing goes, I have only a small number of undecided areas on Dressing Henry, a not inconsiderable task on a complex piece.

And I have indulged in buying more beads. A dealer offered me a fairly large quantity of vintage nailheads at a great price, so I bought them. Nailheads, usually from the 1920's, convert to nice-looking Tudor Jewels and right now that's what I'm interested in.

Late last year I found a bead dealer with an uncommon supply of vintage navette montees and I bought her entire supply. I used some rare aqua ones on Dressing Elizabeth and love their accent to the piece.

As I have written frequently I have a bead store's supply of beads hiding in the nooks and crannies of our house. when I find a bead I like, I usually buy all the dealer has; I rarely buy under 200 of a single bead, I am much happier if the number approaches 1000.

So I am living in Tudor times these days and my eagle will likely have to wait.

Enjoy this Sunday. I plan on stitching again and hope some of you are able to join me.

May 16, 2020 Saturday     

I have been collecting photos of our national symbol and decided I would like to make a Bald Eagle Heart to add to my Sea to Shining Sea Collection.

Meanwhile I have had a super time reading about the (lack of) moral character of our national symbol, namely thievery and I found such a funny example of a very cheeky bird. Click on the link below for the 48 second video that made me laugh:

So here's my first question of the day: do majesty and beauty excuse a lax moral character?

And here's my second: when will I get around to stitching an eagle heart? Suffice it to say I will add the heart to the queue.

And here's my third: will I exhibit any signs of industry and return to work that needs doing, or will I shirk responsibility and stitch away today? We'll see.

Meanwhile, stay safe and stitch a lot.

May 15, 2020 Friday     

My ambitions to work yesterday flew out the window and I spent most of the day stitching. I get so caught up when there are decisions to make. I think it is the part of stitching I enjoy the most and I spent the whole day stitching and ripping, stitching and ripping.

The day was indeed productive, as I am happy to say I emerged from my needle and scissors yesterday with most of the decisions about Dressing Henry in place. Right now the design looks terrible, all sorts of splotches of ideas not flushed out fully, but I'm hoping a swan will eventually emerge from my currently ugly duckling.

Here we are, half way through May. I do notice the days are so long -- it was 7:00 last night before the skies were dark, and for that I am thankful. I love this time of year normally because of the long days.

But not much is normal this year. We have essentially been at home in our house for all but our daily walk. As I have said countless times, stitching keeps me going.

With that in mind, back to my needle! Hope you have some time today to stitch too.

May 14, 2020 Thursday     

As I have said, I have been stitching more Patriotica than I have dreamed of stitching.

And all along, off and on, I have been following a live cam showing the nest of two of our national symbols. By accident I saw next to the YouTube a notice for this video:

I just plain loved it!

The video is not professional, it is very homespun and I said to DH, that just adds to its charm. I am tired of sleek Madison Ave  productions and messages. This is one about an earnest passion and a life long commitment.

It raised my spirits so much that I sent a small check to Martin Tyner. Never did I think I would ask to pay for dead frozen whole-carcass mice, but that's what I specified. To my surprise, I was happy to pay for some, I'm just relieved  I don't have to handle them, let alone eat them!

If nothing else gets to you in these days of turmoil, surely the last frames of the video, a series of photos of  our national symbol soaring back into the wild, will do the trick.

And now I will have to make one more heart in my series of 'From Sea to Shining Sea'.

May 13, 2020 Wednesday     

Ten Weeks inside now. Would I have guessed it was possible? In the beginning I had more stress, now it has leveled off, I am used to our routine and I have used and used stitching for its calming effect.

As I take stock of my last ten weeks, here is what I have accomplished: I stitched a large and intricate design called 'Dressing Elizabeth' and now I have a good start on a pair called 'Dressing Henry'. In addition I have stitched a 6" box top square which has three squares of imitation cutwork as an alternative to all the cutwork on Dressing Elizabeth.

I have also drawn six smaller canvases and gathered the threads for the six smaller related canvases.

Thanks to help from Nancy Horne and yesterday Amy Bunger, I have (for the moment) a pattern of Turkey Work that I like and will use on Snow Maiden and on Dressing Henry.

I learned a complex variation of Chain Stitch which makes a wonderful robust chain for Dressing Elizabeth.

I decided that Snow Maiden (who is far enough along (face and hair designed) so I can guess she will work, might someday need a friend in the form of Flower Maiden. This option is way off in the future, but I spent a bunch of very entertaining hours watching YouTube videos on different flowers, most based on Bullion Knots and Buttonhole Stitch, different twists on stitches I have used throughout my long needlework tenure.

As I look back at the last ten weeks, I think of all I should have done and I forget to look at all I have accomplished. As I write this, I am thinking positively: I have done OK.

And now: marching on with today's stitching. Today? A Tudor Rose on Dressing Henry. Yes, there is one on Dressing Elizabeth too.

May 12, 2020 Tuesday     

Tomorrow will mark the end of DH's and my 10th week of quarantine and I plan to spend the day finishing my Patriotic Hearts.

Meanwhile today is my lesson. I am prepared for it; I am stitching away this morning with the last trials I want to run and my stitching is going well. My lesson is all about Turkey Work, but in preparation for the Turkey Work, I needed to fill in a Chain Stitch Variation that I just learned how to do. I've been practicing and yesterday I actually filled it in on my canvas in #8 gold Kreinik braid. Fun to do something new 'for real' so to speak.

Now on with my Turkey Work. I plan to stitch for most of the day today and hope some of you will join me.

Stitching is such a good distraction from the world around us.

May 11, 2020 Monday     

Great stitching day yesterday! I am all ready for my Amy lesson. Mostly I have worked it out but one can always use input.

I am receiving requests for information about my sales and inquiries for Newsletters from people who have signed up but haven't heard from me.

I haven't sent a Newsletter since last October. I have no news about sales right now as my business is on hiatus indefinitely. I am stitching a lot and at DH's suggestion, I am drawing the graphs for what I stitch. Once I have started adding layers to a design, I can't retrace my steps, so I graph as I stitch something.

DH has told me that I should work as if I will return to my business one day and not try to decide now. It is a good suggestion and I am keeping an open mind about it all. And indeed I am doing as he suggested.

Monday morning; I am on my way for my daily walk, home again to listen to Andrew Cuomo, and then an afternoon of stitching. It isn't a hard life. A bit scary but not hard.

Happy stitching.

May 10, 2020 Sunday     

Happy Mother's Day! Enjoy your day, all you mothers. Treat yourselves well today and stay safe.

I'm having a splendid time stitching. I have by now made endless swatches of Turkey Work. I also learned how to do a rather complex variation of Chain Stitch to make a chain-like cord. I have more or less sorted out the Turkey Work; the cord needs a lot more practice. Fun to learn something new, I highly recommend it as a way to cope these days.

I recommend watching some YouTubes. I learned how to make an interesting Turkey Work flower (like most Turkey Work I think it needs a bit of refinement but that's fun to do too) and a weird flower made by bundling wool. There are so many interesting bits of embroidery on YouTube, it's worth a look.

I have noticed on YouTubes about embroidery: Bullion Knots play a very dominant role. People have always asked me, why do I like Bullion Knots so well and the answer is simple: it is almost impossible to garden with a needle if you can't make Bullion Knots.

So a friend asked me not long ago: why not just do a fake Bullion Knot? I shrugged, it's OK, but why not learn to make a real Bullion Knot? They're not difficult, just take a bit of practice. 10 minutes a day for 10 days.

Chances are, you are going to be sequestered for more than 10 more days, so watch a YouTube on how to make a Bullion Knot and then practice.

As I mentioned above, the strangest flower I found was made with a pre-wadded-up bit of wool, then fastened to the canvas and held in place with a cup of Detached Buttonhole Stitch. Like Turkey Work it rose too far off the canvas for me, but I liked the idea and plan to tinker with it.

I'm getting ahead of myself thought. Before I can return to gardening with a needle, I have to finish the half dozen canvases I have going now.

In short, back to Turkey Work and weird cords that need a lot of practice.

May 9, 2020 Saturday     

Life has gotten to be much more fun and exciting around here in the last day: I have been stitching swatches of Turkey Work.

Turkey Work is a stitch I have avoided for the whole of my embroidery life and here I am now with two designs needing it.

Why don't I like it? Instead of seeing the whole design in a pleasing ebb and flow,  all I see is the TURKEY WORK. Great big perfectly over-packed channels of Turkey Work sticking up high off the canvas and causing a total distraction from everything else. It's all I ever see.

Now here I am, needing it for not one but two designs. My task is to see if I can reduce it down to a scale that fits with my sort of design.

A few months back, I spent a day in class at LNS with a very nice local teacher and I had a great time.  Then along came the Coronavirus, life went in a different direction, I put Turkey Work on a back burner and worked on a couple of other designs.

In the last few days I was chilling from computer problems by surfing on facebook and Pinterest and I found a stitched santa with uneven, wispy Turkey Work  still a tad bit too strong for me, but definitely moving in the right direction.

I found out that the stitch guide was Amy Bunger's, and I wrote to her and asked her if I could have a lesson.

Lesson is next Tuesday. An hour to look forward to.

A change of pace, something new, and maybe a long avoided technique will become one I like. We'll see.

Whatever, I am glad to work on something besides computer woes.

So how are the computer woes? Eh, they're there. I have two problems left, an easy one and a difficult one. They will wait for another day. Time to stitch today.

May 8, 2020 Friday     

I spent a couple more long days in Computer Hell. The upside is, I've had some terrific help from the people at Applecare and I've learned a lot. I'm predicting I have about three more days of this and then I will have set up DH's computer and my own. It's only a prediction, and as we are both functional now,  I am taking off some time and stitching.

I am happy to report that I have two interesting pieces going right now. Both are fun to work on and both are a stretch, for different reasons. Right now I am working on jewels on one of them. I'm setting up the ground onto which I will later fit jewels, beads and pearls, and I'm experimenting with some slightly dimensional stitches.

For me, this often means Buttonhole Stitch and its variations. Buttonhole Stitch is one of those basically very easy stitches that has many iternations and it can turn into so-hard-you-can't-believe-it stitches. I'm working right now in what I would call the medium range of Buttonhole Difficulty. A bit of a challenge but not so hard I scream and shake my hands (nice visual, don't you think?)

As I rounded the corner of Computer Hell yesterday, life improved and this morning I've been stitching and graphing and in my cloistered little world I look forward to a pleasant day.

The world out there is so frightening, one has to seize small pleasant things where one can, and for me this is a day ahead of some pretty threads and patterns.

May 6, 2020 Wednesday     

I'm late this morning. I'm in Computer Hell again. I've decided it is a permanent condition, sigh... so I'm leaving Hell and I'm stitching.

I have had such a good example of serendipity and why I don't like to plan my stitching too far in advance. Spontaneously I've tried a pattern, not anything like I had planned or even thought of, just on the fly I decided to try it -- and I love it! Total serendipity because of the thread and color I had sitting in front of me.

I think I'll stitch for a good part of today and leave my computer woes behind.

Enjoy the day.!

Cinco de Mayo, 2020 Tuesday     

Early morning news: the predictions for us are so dire: perhaps 130,000 Americans dead from Corornavirus by early August? Please be careful! Stay at home and work on your stitching!

That's what I'm doing. Well, I have another task: computers. But yesterday after stress related to computers I decided I had had enough and I picked up my stitching and guess what happened: stress fled and calm returned.

What would I do without my needlework? At least for now I don't need to find out as I have ideas galore and enough stash to realize them. That is my happy thought for today.

Please be careful! Take care and stay safe.

May 4, 2020 Monday     

Early this morning I had computer issues derived from transferring data and settling in my new computer. It is going to take me a couple of days to deal with issues including updating my website on all devices.

I had planned to post photos here on Queendom Website and on facebook as well, but I will postpone it all until I have completed some computer housekeeping chores.

I still wish for the end of device issues, although it might not be as soon as I would hope.

May 3, 2020 Sunday     

Today I had a morning of organization: I am preparing to move to my new computer, as a matter of fact, as I am writing this, I am moving. I got through the first stage and now I have some hours as I transfer the data.

Hopefully I will hand DH's new computer back to him this afternoon and my move will be complete.

It is exciting but also nerve-wracking, so this afternoon as soon as I can, I plan on stitching. I am working for the third day on my complex blackwork pattern. I have to say, it was a ton of work but I love the way it looks!

Now I want to dabble in Celtic Knots and I plan to surf for ideas. What fun!

DH has convince me that I need to look on the bright side of having all this time to do things. As usual DH is right!

May 2, 2020 Saturday     

Another day gone by, for me a pleasant one: I spent the whole day designing a super intricate blackwork pattern and then trying to stitch it. It took me a few tries to get it to weave in and out. Early this morning I am happy to say I got it to work.

I love to do blackwork but don't always follow the rules and I don't confine myself to over two meshes (traditionally over three) horizontal, vertical or diagonal and to do this very complex pattern, I resorted to every blackwork unconventionality that I have worked out over the years. It's been a fun challenge and if I do say so, I love low it looks. Now I have to mirror image it.

I can usually mirror image things easily, but this time, after a day long struggle with following the pattern, I'm going to flip it on the computer and 'cheat'. What is life but finding ways to fudge everything.

Ahh, the real fudge, the chocolate sort, not the cheating sort. wouldn't it taste divine? Can you tell, I am starved for something sweet.

Enjoy this spring day.

May 1, 2020 Friday     

It is indeed the First of May today. Time marches on and still we are sequestered. DH and I are now 2 days into our ninth week of staying home. We are lucky, I know we are, we both have things to do, we have somebody to do our shopping and we are fortunate enough not to worry about paying for our food, house, etc.

Still, the walls are closing in around me and I worry what is ahead, not just for DH and me, but for the country.

As I've written so many times, stitching saves me and I am planning to stitch most of the day tomorrow. Maybe a little work but not much.

This morning on Queendom Website, look at the photo I posted; more will follow.

Sales of Kits and Patterns

Updated May 2020


Given the circumstances of our country right now, I don't know when I will have a sale again. For now all sales continue to be postponed.

But I am very busy stitching and maybe some day I will be back.

Selling My Kits and Patterns

I only sell kits and patterns at certain times during the year.

You can find out about my sales by signing up for my Newsletter:

click on the button above and email me.

Will your email inbox be flooded with Newsletters?

No, I send out a Newsletter a few days before a sale and another sometime during the sale. That's it.

Requesting Old Patterns

If you wish to request an old design of mine, please email me with your request. I will do my best to bring back your requests in future sale.

Queendom Website’s Own Jargon


MacSoph is my trusty little Apple MacBook computer.

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


DH is my 'Dear Husband' who helps me with Mail Jail. He does some of my bookkeeping and he and I drive together to the post office because of parking.

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'.

Surprise Windows

During E-Week, Early Morning Surprise Windows happen on Saturday morning at 8:00 sharp California Time.

Surprise Windows 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

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 do all my shipping, then I found Jay and he does my shipping now. He is much more efficient than I ever was and I am delighted that he is willing to do it.

Kit Hell

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 in my life.

Bead Mania

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 Production Team

Queendom Website's staff includes:

Queen (me),

Queen Consort (DH) who helps with bookkeeping and is an occasional staff writer (when I can talk him into it).

and Queendom Website's Faithful Subject, MacSoph (my trusty little MacBook computer).

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July 9, 2019 Tuesday

The First Day of My New Website

You will find a different look, but in reality much the same website as before:

Home Page, News&Views, For Sale, Gallery, Lessons, For Groups and My Book Shelf.

A week ago I started over again on new software. I had planned to spend all of July and August and then I would move toward the end of August.

Life had different plans: I woke up on July 7 and started work. My computer went all wonky from new downloads and when the dust finally cleared, I could no longer publish my existing website.

Immediately I called Apple and a sweet young thing told me 'sorry, no longer possible.' I won't go into the details, but it is finished.

I moved my domain name, and it now opens this site. From now on, this is the only website I will be able to update: I can no longer do anything with my other sites.

This move at this time was totally unexpected, so my website is barely started. I hope you will stay with me and watch as it grows. Eventually everything will be here.

If you have any suggestions for me, do write to me:

When the going gets tough, the tough do go shopping: here's my most recent find.