Gay Ann Rogers  Needlework


March 29, 2020 Sunday     

A couple of weeks ago I finished the Mini-Echoes Tudor Rose Square currently on Queendom Website's home page.

I had started it several years ago and for some reason I don't remember, I abandoned it and had forgotten about it. When I came across it, I finished it.

That's not all of the story. Along with Mini-Echoes Square, I found three other small Echoes designs also unfinished. Another square which I obviously intended to be the pair for the Tudor Rose (no Tudor Rose on this one), a much smaller square and a needle book.

I had a bit more stitching to do on the Echoes Square, about an hour's work more. I had finished the stitching on the smaller square and the needle book, but they all needed beads.

So I hauled out beads. Now I easily have a bead shop's worth, so it took me a while to pull out baggies of everything I thought might work, and for much of the day yesterday I played in my bead stash.

Over the years since I had started these designs, I had much 'bead enhancement' shall we call it. A couple of times in the past 3 or 4 years I had a chance to add significantly to my vintage beads collection: lots and lots and lots of vintage nailheads and montees, particularly the marquise-shaped montees.

These beads, mostly from the 20's through the early 60's have a faint Art Deco look about them which is an interesting mix with Tudor.

If I finish the larger square today, I will post it tomorrow morning. There are a lot of beads to sew on, so it may take me a couple of days. Whatever. I am not pushing myself these days, so when I finish, I will finish.

I hope you continue to take it easy. Go utside and get some fresh air, have a walk, do what makes you happy. Hopefully, as is true with me, some time with your needle will make for a bit of happiness.

Onward with the day.

P.S. We are actually doing ok living out of a tiny fridge; second tiny fridge arrives on Wednesday.

March 28, 2020 Saturday     

I call yesterday 'dithering day'. I couldn't make up my mind among the options I thought up for my large piece, so I dithered and dithered: I tried this and that and ripped them all out (my seam ripper got a lot of use yesterday) and in the end was nowhere. Bet some among you will be able to sympathize.

We have had a bit of a catastrophe here: our refrigerator died. We have one of those large (and worthless) high-end fridges where the fridge and the freezer have different compressors; the freezer side is fine, fridge is gone, and nobody to repair it right now.

Have any of you heard this? Do NOT replace the old fridge, get it fixed. The new ones last a year or two and then the problems are worse.

Lucky, we have a studio apartment on the side of our house and it has a little fridge-freezer, so we do have some refrigeration.

And DH ordered a small fridge to get us by the pandemic. He said reviews are good -- it will last 2 years and then break down, but hopefully we will be able to get our big fridge fixed. Hopefully.

So between dithering all day long and fridge emergencies, yesterday wasn't my favorite day. But in the scheme of things, we are so lucky!

I watch NY Gov Andrew Cuomo every day. He is amazing and at the end of his news, I feel like I have a better understanding, a bit of personal pep talk and a great realization how lucky DH and I are to be in good health. The rest doesn't matter.

Stay safe and healthy and keep on stitching.  

March 27, 2020 Friday     

Friday is here, the end of a tumultuous week, with only a few days left in March. I don't remember a March like this, ever. It sounds like the news will grow only worse over the next weeks before it can turn the corner. Let's hope that it will turn the corner.

I continue to stitch. I have three more small Echoes projects that I found at the same time I finished the Mini-Echoes now on Queendom Website's home page and I finished the stitching on the last one of those. Now they need beads and pearls. And I continue to rotate work on my big new Tudor project.

In times like these, one looks for rays of hope and I found this one. If you think that babies are a ray of hope, here are three babies and a diligent mom taking care of them. An important symbol of our country lives on for another generation. Enjoy!

March 26, 2020 Thursday     

Today is an exciting day for me: I'm doing a podcast this afternoon with Gary Parr. It is always fun to talk to him -- he makes it easy and is so good at keeping the conversation going. We are talking about the role of stitching in helping us through tough times. Wish me luck that I do OK.

Yesterday I sent this bit of beauty to a friend who wrote back and said 'thank you for that moment of calm.'

I decided she is right, and that I would post this bit of beauty on Queendom Website. How a human voice can be this beautiful never ceases to amaze me. Of course the music itself helps a lot too. Hope you will enjoy:

March 25, 2020 Wednesday     

The news continues to be bad, bordering on dire and very sad indeed. I hope everyone continues to stay secluded at home as the doctors like Dr. Fauci say it helps.

I have returned to stitching and continue to enjoy it. My big piece is complex and engrossing and that helps. I hope more of you will join me and find a bit of joy and solace with your needles.

I thought I should post this: I am retired from teaching. I gave it up back when because I couldn't keep teaching and doing my little business. Simply not enough hours.

If you run into a snafu, my suggestion is punt. Chances are good it won't make any difference if your piece is not exactly stitch by stitch like mine. In fact, I think it will add to the integrity of your piece as well as your own sense of accomplishment if you bring a bit of yourself to it.

Maybe it will help if you remember this: there is no historical precedence for anything I stitch. It is true, I often look to the past for inspiration, but inevitably I put my own spin on the piece. As good as not, I woke up one morning when I was working on a design and thought, eh, this might look good; if it were a different morning, I would have thought of something else. There are always dozens of ways to work, no one better than another. Look to the way I did a design as an inspiration for you, not as a fixed-in-cement Must Do.

March 24, 2020 Tuesday     

I have written that I've been stitching up a storm, and this morning on Queendom Website's home page I posted a little piece I just finished. I don't remember when I started it, but in cleaning up around here, I found it half finished and promptly finished it. I don't remember when I started it or why I abandoned it. Actually, I had forgotten about it.

I enjoyed finishing it and it's why I've returned to Tudor themes. I'm at work presently on a large piece and have stitched for so many hours in the last few days, I have to take a break and let my eyes rest a bit.

Maybe I'll actually go back to real work today.

We continue to stay sequestered at home. Today we are actually going on an outing: we are driving 10 minutes down to the post office to mail a bill. Who would have thought that driving to the post office would turn into an exciting adventure!

Stay safe. Stay home. Stay happy in the company of your needle.

March 23, 2020 Monday     

I have spent quite a bit of time looking at portraits of Elizabeth 1 and I have re-discovered some notes about colors. If you look at the portraits and can remove the jewelry, the colors are quite quiet.

Here is a nice color exercise that I enjoyed doing: I looked at the portraits, imagining them without the pearls and jewels, and I assembled swatches (in my case little skeins of Soie d'Alger). Black, gray, tan, muted gold and quiet rust.

I remember, when I was stitching my portrait of Elizabeth and I was filling in all the black and the white and brown, and commenting to DH: my Elizabeth looks like a nun.

DH chuckled and made a case for the costume straddling the line between Medieval and Renaissance. I said, but the Renaissance was pre-Elizabeth: 15th century, and Elizabeth the 16th century.

'Not everywhere at once,' was DH's reply.

So I am working once again in black, and a gray and brown, and ecru, with touches of an off white and a shadow for the off white. Fun memories of all that time ago I was working on Elizabeth.

I am doing Tent Stitch for much of the day today. Boring in some senses, but calming in other senses. Yes, it goes on and on but it doesn't have to be perfect, because it has lots of 'jewels' and patterns on top.

March 22, 2020 Sunday     

I am late posting this morning because I just finished watching Andrew Cuomo's report on the coronavirus.

Whatever your politics, whatever your opinion of Andrew Cuomo, I have to say, he has stepped up to the plate and taken a real leadership role in giving information and reassurance and I find it helps a lot. He is blunt and abrasive, there is no doubt, but he delivers amazing reports.

Many of our governors have done their jobs so well. It can't be easy -- it isn't easy for any of us -- but they in particular have made some tough calls and I bet they haven't slept much.

I am stitching away and enjoying it. I alternate between watching the news and listening to music or podcasts as I stitch, and sometimes when I have to think about what I'm doing, I turn off MacSoph and the television all together.

I am working on a difficult project (I showed you the beginnings a few days ago) and I have an easy one going too, so that I can switch back and forth according to my mood. Both have to do with Tudor themes, both have Tudor Roses, both are fun to work on.

Here's hoping that you are stitching too, right along with me.

I'm off now for my walk, then back to work. Enjoy your Sunday.

March 21, 2020 Saturday     

This morning I posted a photo of Elizabeth 1 Armada Portrait and a link to YouTube commentary about the portrait by Brit classist Mary Beard, a short and fun video. I hope you enjoy it!

So what am I doing with Elizabeth 1's Armada Portrait? I have spent some time perusing Elizabeth's Portraits, essentially mining them for pattern ideas. It is a super distraction from the world aroud us right now.

I look at the colors and the patterns and the interaction of it all. Tudor pattern is so busy, with pattern after pattern after pattern stacked together and very little negative space, definitely not for the minimalist eye of 'less is more.'

I am not making more portraits, but I am returning to Tudor designs, more like Echoing Echoes.

First I found a Mini Echoes Square that I had started but never finished. More about it on Monday.

Try and spend some time with your needle this weekend. Join me, as I plan to stitch all weekend long.

March 20, 2020 Friday     

I fear the news grows bleaker: last night our governor closed down many businesses in hopes that social distancing will help the coronavirus curve. I hope it will help.

Gary Parr and I emailed yesterday, and next week we will do a podcast on creative ways to stave off anxiety and do the best we can to cope with the inevitable anxiety. Almost every hour I am thankful for my stitching. I have stopped work per se, I just don't have the focus for it, and I am sitting here stitching away and listening to favorite music.

Keep up your spirits by rotating projects and enjoying the progress you make. I have two designs going currently and today hope to start a third.

Chin up!

March 19, 2020 Thursday     

When I wrote my post yestereday morning, everything seemed so bleak to me. I think I had watched too much news.

I spent the whole day stitching and by the afternoon felt ever so much better! Such is the power of stitching in my life.

Yesterday I made a suprirsing amount of progress and am back at it this morning.

Are there other things I should be doing, like cleaning up and sorting things? Absolutely, but they can wait. High on my list is coping with anxiety and stitching is helping so much, I figure everything else can wait.

This morning I posted a photo of my project on Queendom Website's home page, a photo with one large and four small squares, a sure sign that cutwork is on the way. I couldn't decide whether to do the actual cutwork or make up fake cutwork. Finally decided I was in the mood for the cutwork, but should the design work out well (I never know at this stage), I will design some fake cutwork as well. I guess I should soften the language and say 'imitation cutwork'.

Enjoy the day. There's not much we can do about anything except stay at home, so might as well make the best of it.

March 18, 2020 Wednesday     

The news is growing worse. Some of it is couched in language to keep us from panicking, but there is little doubt it is worse. We have to stay at hoe now and do our best and I can think of two points that make a difference to me:

The first is losing myself in my version of creativity. I have parked work for the time being and I am drawing and stitching up at storm.

The second is to stay in touch with people by emails and through social media, if nothing else just 'Hi, I've been thinking about you and wanted to stay in touch.'

Yesterday someone likened this virus to the black plague of the Middle Ages and added the comment that it lasted for 300 years.

So I told DH. The historian in DH rolled his eyes, then added, remember, the black plague gave way to the wonders of the Renaissance.

St Paddy's Day, 2020 Tuesday     

I am up and stitching and should finish a small piece today. I started it a while back and then parked it and never got back to it. I was cleaning up and found it and thought, oh why didn't I finish this? And immediately started work again on it.

I suspect it will delight a few of my followers. I will tell you why when I finish it.

Meanwhile, we're hanging in there. Word now is that this may go on until July or August which is a long time from now, if we are to continue staying at home, not venturing out. But the sunny side is, a lot of time to stitch!

Hope you will join me. In many ways yes, this is a sad time for the world, but for us stitchers, it is a gift of some time to stitch more. And that's exactly what I plan on doing. Soon as I finish this small design, I will return to work on my big pair and six little.

Business on hold for a while.

March 16, 2020 Monday     

Trying times are definitely here: I got up early this morning to go to the grocery store and, even though we had had a message yesterday saying that the market was busy restocking shelves, the shelves were empty. Not a loaf of bread to be had, no produce to speak of, no washing soap, but there was lots of ice cream still.

Can one live on ice cream? Answer, YES if it is chocolate. Guess what I bought.

Trying times for sure, and last night I heard that this could go on for months longer.

I have stopped working. Right now I decided it is important to stay calm and try hard not to worry. The solution for me is always stitching.

So guess what I am doing today!

I hope you will join me and destress by stitching.

The Ides of March, 2020 Sunday     

Trying times right now can produce such anxiety! One of the best ways we stitchers can cope with stress is to stitch. I am convinced it is a valid way of meditation that takes us away for a while and focuses us on the here an now.

Bravo for stitching!

With this in mind, I have started eight new projects. Yes, eight of them! On Queendom Website's home page is project #1 with its first stitches. It's always exciting and full of hope to start something new, and it is precisely what I need.

March 14, 2020 Saturday     

I read a long newsletter on the coronavirus yesterday, from an outstanding integrative medicine doctor here. She suggested a list of tips to help people through the trying times we are all facing. Among her suggestions, stop watching the news and start watching light enjoyable movies, eat lots of dark berries and leafy greens and -- this is the one I took most to heart -- do some form of meditation/yoga.

I don't do meditation or yoga because I firmly believe I have my own form of meditation, great quality time spent with my needle.

Usually after such a long hiatus from work because MacSoph was gone, I would dive into work immediately. Yesterday I decided to postpone obligations and spend time drawing/ sorting threads/ trying swatches of stitches and so forth for a while longer.

I decided there isn't anything I'm doing that can't wait a while longer. Maybe just as well, as times are stressful enough already.

March 13, 2020 Friday     

So where have I been?

MacSoph, my computer, crashed and had to go to Apple. Turns out she had mulitiple problems and was away for 8 days.

I found out: my business life hard without my computer! I had no access to anything! No patterns, no passwords, and worst of all, no software, so of course I am way behind where I had hoped to be.

Still, I had a very productive time: in those 8 days I designed two large and a handful of small projects. I am still modifying all the drawings, but am happy to report that the large ones are ready to go. I just have to get the threads and sit down and start.

Now, it is back to work.

March 4, 2020 Wednesday     

The morning after and I've been watching the results from Super Tuesday and counting threads for little heart kits. Last night for about 4 hours I printed and cut out labels for six hearts. Whew! That task behind me.

Today: more little kits, a couple of hours more writing instructions and then I think I will take off a little time and start my new geometric, a small one that fits in with everything else and is likely my final piece of Patriotica.

Yesterday I made a great stride forward on my final heart's instructions, only to discover I had drawn one of the motifs wrong. It took me all afternoon to redraw the graph and rewrite the instructions, going back to page 1.

I was slightly ahead till then, now I am a little bit behind, but not by much. With any luck I will catch up today.

Hope your day finds a wee bit of stitching time. Hope mine does too.

March 3, 2020 Tuesday     

If you are a politics junkie, tonight is optimum stitching time in front of the television. I have a new geometric all set to go for the occasion and am looking forward to time with my needle.

All day long today my task is writing instructions. I am making progress, I am happy to say; my goal is to finish by March 12, in time to send out the hearts for finishing.

On Queendom Website's home page for a few days more I will leave the link to Counted Needlepoint Nation and hope you will brave the world of facebook and join us there.

Yes, I agree that the world of facebook can be scary because of privacy issues, but I had good advice in the beginning: don't fill in any information not required. I have a business page and facebook is forever urging me to 'tell my story' more fully. I simply ignore all requests for more information.

March 2, 2020 Monday     

I posted my surprise yesterday, then forgot to write in News&Views to say welcome to March on Queendom Website.

The new Counted Needlepoint Nation is humming right along and there have been some interesting posts already.

I hope you will join us all! The link is on Queendom Website's home page.

Meanwhile I am very busy writing instructions for Patriotica Hearts and even casting an eye toward 2021 and yes, also 2022. Why do I have to work so far in advance? To stitch and write everything in time for proofers to proof it and suppliers to supply the threads and beads. And so it goes.

I look at it this way: it keeps me out of trouble. Mostly out of trouble. Speaking of trouble, those of you who like old needlework tools might want to visit Carolyn's website as I spied a very beautiful ivory stiletto there....

February 29, 2020 Saturday     

The end of February, one of my favorite months, has arrived, so farewell to Valentines and Love and Hearts, if not for a year, at least for a while.

Well, not for me. I still have two hearts to write instructions for and then I will be finished with them for a while. I am busy today drawing graphs and writing away. I had a good productive start.

Tomorrow will bring some exciting news! Can't wait to share it!

Enjoy our 'extra day' this leap year. Try to sneak in some stitching and I'll be back tomorrow with my news.

February 27, 2020 Thursday     

We had a lovely day off yesterday. We drove up the coast which is such a pretty drive and had lunch right on the ocean. DH said it was a perfect birthday.

Back to work today, mostly writing instructions, but hopefully a bit of stitching also. I need to finish stitching the last of my Patriotica Hearts.

My goal was to finish stitching and writing the Patriotica Hearts by March 1 but I will miss the goal by about two weeks, if not a bit more. As a rule, if it takes me 2 weeks to stitch a design it will take me the same amount of time, perhaps a bit longer, to write the instructions.

I have made myself out a timeline for the spring because I had hoped to find 6 weeks time  to write my special design from last summer. I predict it would take me every day all day long for at least 6 weeks.

But I have too many other deadlines. Most of these deadlines are to meet other people's schedules. Finishers, proofers and -- worst of all -- delivery of supplies.

I am slowly giving up. I realized yesterday that I can't meet my heart finisher's deadline of Feb. 28, so I canceled the appointment. Does anybody know a good finisher who could make my hearts toward the end of March and in less than 6 to 8 weeks?

February 26, 2020 Wednesday     

This morning I have posted Imperial Aquamarines Heart, the fifth in my series of Imperial Jeweled Hearts. These are the five I sold. I have one more stitched and proofed, but I never got around to making the kits and selling it.

And I have a seventh I intended to stitch and never did.

As I look through them, I want to stitch the last one, I just need the time.

I have another problem: I can't find the hearts. I don't have even a single one which means I have stashed them all together somewhere. If I find them, I will make the seventh, and if I find the supplies for them, I will try and bring them back again, not this year but in 2021. Hopefully by then I will be better organized. Hope for organization always springs eternal.

It is early in the a.m. and I am drawing graphs. Today is DH's birthday and I am taking off the day to celebrate.

More later.

February 24, 2020 Monday     

Monday morning, I am up very early and working away because DH and I have such a busy day today. I am trying to fit in some good solid time writing instructons before the day officially begins.

Five days left in February.

This morning I posted the fourth of my Imperial Jewels Hearts, this one Imperial Diamonds Heart. It is so sparkly in person and the photograph just doesn't show the sparkle!

I had planned to take a photo of the whole series to say good bye to February, but I can't find the Hearts. I can't find even one of them which means I have carefully stashed them somewhere together for safe keeping.

Maybe just as well for now because I have a question and will end February with my question instead.

February 22, 2020 Saturday     

Today DH and I are off to the Apple Store. Our IT guy told us that Jim's computer was past its life expectancy, and with DH's birthday right around the corner, a new computer for him is on the horizon. I am eager to see if Apple has improved the keyboard.

I spent early a.m. drawing graphs and beginning to write instructions for one of my recent Patriotic Hearts. I have finished writing three, this is the fourth one.

This afternoon? Big stitch in time to watch the caucus commentary and results. Will anybody stitch along with me?

February 21, 2020 Friday     

I spent all morning long drawing a very complex graph of one of my new little Patriotic Hearts. I still have a couple of hours to go but it is progressing very nicely.

If I finish it, I will reward myself with an hour's stitching time, then back to writing instructions.

This morning I posted on Queendom Website my friend Natalie's favorite of the Imperial Jeweled Hearts, Imperial Pearls Heart. Whenever I look at the heart it makes me think of Natalie, a nice memory.

Enjoy the day.

February 20, 2020 Thursday     

Real life and stitching life (if one can make a distinction between the two) entertwined themselves last night: I watched the debate (oh, my) and used the time to finish a graph showing complex compensation (a labor of love if ever there was one).

Then I started a tiny heart.

By the end of the evening I was exhausted from the television experience, but happy I used the time to finish the graph and start the tiny heart.

Today I will finish the tiny heart and maybe even start another one. Stitching does calm the nerves.

February 19, 2020 Wednesday     

This morning, I posted the first Imperial Jewels Heart I stitched, Imperial Emeralds Heart, on Queendom Website's Home Page.

I made great progress yesterday on my newest heart and with any luck will finish it this evening. As I worked on it a little bit in the early a.m. I asked myself, is it possible to make too many hearts? Then I decided, as I looked at my drawer full of them, if I were planning to say 'yes' I should have said it long ago.

As I have written before, I love making hearts -- they are large enough to have space for developing a design, but small enough that they don't take an eternity to finish.

So I'm not looking back, just marching forward. It is the way life should be, or so people tell me.

February 18, 2020 Tuesday     

I meant to change my heart photo on Queendome Website's home page this morning, but I got caught up in reading the NYTimes and politics and suddenly too much time had passed.

I will change it tomorrow morning, meanwhile, having closed down politics for the day, I'm working away at graphing my newest heart. I decided that the compensation is too detailed, so I'm including a graph showing the ins and outs of the background.

My goal is to make good progress by the end of February.

February 16, 2020 Sunday

Another week gone by and here we are, over the half-way point in February. I know that Valentine's Day is past, but I am still in the mood for hearts, so this morning I posted another heart from my past, Imperial Rubies Heart from 5 years ago. Can it really be that long ago?

Yesterday I finished the heart I was stitching, so guess what: I started another heart. I planned it yesterday afternoon and started stitching first thing this morning. Always so full of promise, a new design, and all the fun ahead of working out its mysteries.

I have been stitching lettering and the backgrounds around lettering, and I have been corrupting the compensation. As soon as I have a bit of time, and before I forget it, I will write a lesson on this sort of compensation. I always find it interesting that visual presentation and stitching rules are at odds. When this happens, I vote for visual presentation. And so it was with my recent compensation days.

February 15, 2020 Saturday

I hope you had a nice chocolate-filled Valentine's Day. Anybody have the sugar blues this morning<g>?

I am in the last stages of one of my Patriotic Hearts. It has quite a lot of detail and therefore the background needs a ton of compensation. The same is true for my little San Francisco Heart (still on Queendom Website's home page if you want to look at it).

I cheat. I get to the really dicey compensation and I draw it all in Illustrator. The beauty of the app is that I can lock all the layers of the design and superimpose a blanket of the background stitch on top. Then I simply go through it and change the symbols to reflect the compensation stitches according to the layers of the design. Bingo, I have the chart and stitching is then easy.

So here's my question: do I include the compensation with the pattern? Or do I add a graph without the compensation and let you work it out?

I know, you will say, include the compensation. DH would tell me to make you do it, it is good for your brains. Haha, in this world of important problems, this little dilemma hardly qualifies, but it made for a good column this morning <eg>.

February 14, 2020 Friday

Happy Valentine's Day! Today is all about love, flowers and chocolates: I hope a lot of all are in your life today.

February 13, 2020 Thursday

The day before Valentine's Day brings to Queendom Website a heart that looks to me like Valentine's Day and also a heart with a different purpose. This heart remembers my MIL whose birthday was today. I know, I know, all the MIL jokes there are, but I was super lucky: I had a wonderful MIL who was super smart and very witty and she treated me like a daughter which was lovely. I loved my years of knowing her and miss her greatly.

Happy Birthday, MIL, I miss you.

I am in high stitching mode. So much in high stitching mode that I have worn myself out and had to have a nap yesterday afternoon, thereby squandering precious daylight hours.

The day is hazy-sunny today, perfect for stitching so I'm off to hunt up some more thread and get on with the day.

Tomorrow? Think foil-covered chocolate hearts! I'd best take time off from stitching and go get some.

February 12, 2020 Wednesday

Two days till Valentine's Day. I am ready for some chocolate, preferable hearts wrapped in silver and red foil, doesn't that sound good?

I continue to stitch. And stitch and stitch. Great fun way to whiddle away one's days. I have about half an hour more to finish another heart, and I've started yet another. They're very rewarding, as I've said before, because there's enough space for a bit of design, yet you don't have to work on them for months to finish them. Unless, like me, you're making so many of them.

February 11, 2020 Tuesday

When I posted Malachite and Pearls Heart on Sunday morning, I thought I should go looking for a photo of the Geometric that inpsired it and this morning I just posted it.

It isn't the easiest geometric I've ever stitched because of the cutwork corners. As cutwork goes, this cutwork is very simple, just wrapped bars, dozens of them, but it lends a nice dimension to the finished piece.

For many a moon this design was a favorite among my followers. A number of years ago a came across four kits and sold them at E-Week, then retired the designs, both the geometric and the heart because I didn't have any more malachite beads.

At a bead show about 6 months ago, as luck would have it, I found the malachite ovals. I bought them. Should I bring back these designs or make new ones? Remains to be seen.

Whatever, it won't happen tomorrow. I am too busy making Patriotica Hearts. I just started another one yesterday.

February 9, 2020 Sunday

On this lazy Sunday morning I posted Malachite and Pearls Heart on Queendom Website's Home Page. It is the same vintage as Amethyst and Pearls Heart as you might guess from the names.

I took the design for Malachite and Pearls Heart from my Malachite and Pearls geometric long ago. Eventually I retired both because I ran out of the malachite beads in the center. As I had so many requests for the designs of both, I hunted and hunted and finally thought I'd never find them.

Now years later (about 6 months ago) I walked into a bead show and there they were. I bought them to add to my stash and thought, maybe I'll make something new, maybe I'll see if I can find the rest of the beads and bring back both designs one of these days.

So far 'one of these days' hasn't happened, but if I ever get around to it, I have the beads.

Way it is, isn't it.

I'm having great fun working on Patriotic Hearts. I have three finished, two substantially under way, ideas for Carolyn's whole Liberty Tree and a question: do I really want to make a dozen? And even if I stitch a dozen, do I want to write instructions for the whole dozen?

We'll see. Meanwhile, on with stitching.

February 8, 2020 Saturday

I need to send two packages and I haven't yet packed them. Too busy stitching! My best time of day is early morning, so it makes sense that I should design and work out stitching problems while my brain is at its best. The problem is, I get so caught up in it, I have trouble disciplining myself to stop.

Sigh. I am having a great time making Patriotic Hearts. I have always wanted to dabble in miniature landscapes and that's exactly what I'm doing. Nice part is, I'm learning a lot as I go. They're not the easiest pieces I've ever made but I love it when I manage to get one where I want it!

So, will I be strong enough to stop and get packages mailed? Or will I say, oh I'll do it on Monday. Would you guess the latter?

February 7, 2020 Friday

This morning a favorite heart from the past with a sad story. I haven't posted it often because it is a sad story, but I loved the heart and the sewing tools that went in the box along with it, and I decided sad stories are a part of life too.

The upside is that I met another jeweler who could make the thimble again for me and if I ever find the boxes and the beads (I might because I have been sorting and cleaning up things) and I find the time, I would like to make it again.

I love the colors: Amethyst, off white and charcoal. Sometimes I use black but much more often I used charcoal. The charcoal isn't as severe as black and blends better with my choices of colors.

My favorite charcoal: Soie d'Alger's 3226. I use it  over and over again, the most noteworthy time in my Elizabeth 1 Portrait. The first time I kitted Elizabeth 1, I went through almost 7000 yards of 3226 charcoal. I can't imagine how much I have used of it over the years.

February 6, 2020 Thursday

Woo Hoo! A wonderful new printer installed and working so well. I tried a couple of color prints and they were so good! Picture me happy: I can now print color again. In has been a couple of years.

I was tied up with IT stuff for most of the day, but I did steal some time to stitch last night. I had ripped apart one of my Patiotica Hearts and I've been working on redoing it.

I've been rotating projects: I've been working on two little hearts and I've now drawn drawings for another four. Rotating projects is new for me. I usually work on only one at a time.

This morning on Queendom Website's Home Page I posted a photo of the interior of my little Heart-Shaped Sewing Case I stitched so long ago.

February 5, 2020 Wednesday

Wish me luck today: Tech guy whose name is Fabio is coming this afternoon to set up a new printer for us. I hope it works! If it does, I will be able to print color again, something I've not had a chance to do for over a year.

I ripped apart one of my little hearts. I decided I didn't like the background so I ripped it all out and am so happy I did: this morning I worked on finding some new solutions and it looks so much better. It involved ripping out so much, but was worth the time.

I have long relied on Bohin seam rippers. Soon after I started using one, I found out how dangerous they can be, but have long learned to tilt up the blade slightly and move with caution. I rip twice as fast with one and it has been a long time since I cut any canvas meshes. (Fingers always crossed).

I think Bohin Seam Rippers are the best bargain in the needlework field: $4.00 or so and they are always consistently high quality and without doubt necessary to my stitching well being.

Today is lovely: until IT guy comes, I'm stitching. And stitching, and maybe a few sketches. Fun day! Wish they were all this way, but then maybe I wouldn't appreciate the ones that are.

February 4, 2020 Tuesday

I was searching through my stash of little Hearts and I found a few Heart-Shaped Sewing Cases I stitched a number of years ago. I added one of them to Queendom Website's Home Page this morning. This one is pale blue, with ribbon roses and pearls and beads. They are small and hold needles and tiny scissors.

I never sold them because I didn't have time to paint the canvases. Maybe one of these days I will design another without the painted canvas, we'll see.

It's always about time.

February 3, 2020 Monday

I decided to do a fifth little Patriotica Heart for sure and did a rough drawing of it. I love to make hearts and have made gazillions of them: there's enough space to do something in miniature but not so much that they take a ton of stitching time. When I finish, I feel like I have accomplished something but it hasn't taken me months.

I have had questions asking when I will sell these Patrioitic Hearts. Answer is, right now I don't know, probably either in the summer or in E-Week next October. I have to work so far in advance because of the time proofers need to proof stitch them, the finisher to finish them, the supplier to send the threads -- and it takes me a long time to put together kits.

I wish I could finish stitching a little design today and send it off tomorrow, but it doesn't work that way.

February 2, 2020 Sunday

I'm a day late posting the beginnings of February and my favorite time of year, but Ground Hog Day is a good day to start welcoming February.

This morning I posted a new heart, the beginning of a series of Patriotic Hearts. There's this one, and I've finished two more and am just starting a fourth one. My question is, do I stop with four or make a fifth and a sixth?

Carolyn Meacham thinks I should make a tree full for Christmas and call it Liberty Tree. She even sent me some photos of wire trees, and I admit, I would love to do it!

We'll see.

Meanwhile, welcome to the beginning of my favorite time of year. Yes, it is still High Winter, but the promise of spring is just around the corner. Soon our birdies will be back, and the days are already starting to grow longer.

February 1, 2020 Saturday

Welcome to February, one of my favorite months of the year. Have you noticed that they days are just beginning to get a tad bit longer? More daylight, more stitching time.

I almost forgot to post this moring, I was so caught up in stitching my little heart. I have a long list of to-do's but I want to finish this heart. Always the best stitching time happens when there are pressing lists of to-do's. Have you discovered that?

I've been stitching the little pattern on the right side of this page and it's working surprisingly well.

I will leave up the facer presently on Queendom Website's home page for another day, then we will finish with January's month of faces.

Enjoy today and this month: yes, it is winter but there's always hope in February that spring is right around the corner.

Sales of Kits and Patterns

Updated January 2020

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.


In 2020 I will have two sales: in June and in October.

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).

To Sign up for my Newsletter,

Click here and email me

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: