Friday, January 16, 2015

A Bit of a Mish Mash

Ok, where to start?  I have a lot of little things to share with you.  I think it is actually going to get above freezing for a few days.  Everything is a sheet of ice, and I really need to get down all the outside lights and roping.  I see a lot of people still have their's up, so I guess we are all in the same boat.

The main thing that has been taking most of my time is stitching on my reproduction sampler Elena Tratman.  It is coming along and should be finished in a couple of weeks.  But, what to do then?  I have no idea how to sell, market, whether to just have it available on my Facebook and blog, whether I can do that and also send some to shops.  I'm hoping that I can go to the Apple store and they can show my how to put this in  PDF or whatever you call it, so that it can be printed.  Need to take pictures, write up a blurb and instructions... so much to do and no idea how to do it!  Here is a picture of part of the main house.  I sure hope people like it and that it is a success..  I'm already trying to pick which of my samplers to try next.


Poor Manifesto hasn't seen much light of day lately.  I hope to get back to it soon.  So close and yet so far away!


In December, I received my advance copy of Judy Condon's new book, Country Homes and Gardens.  As usual, it is a great book and I am so honored to be included in it.  It is available now.



The credit card that I use is an Amazon card, as the points are used for Amazon purchases.  I always save them up for books, and recently added these two to my collection.  I always manage to have enough points to buy all the new needlework and rug books!


Scottish samplers...my favorite!  Such a beauty on the inside cover!



Another great book from Kim Ivey on quilts, from Colonial Williamsburg.  Great eye candy!



A really nice antique store that has been in Tipp City for years closed down.  So sad.  I had to stop in the last day just to see what I might find.  Came home with these, my first antique stick sheep.  Very fragile, but adorable.  Love the little pink collars.


I realized that I don't own any belsnickles and would like to start a collection.  While browsing on shop goodwill.com, I came across this small set of Santas Through The Ages, made in Taiwan, but hand painted.  I bid $20 which I though was reasonable, but was sniped at the last minute.  By now I really WANT these little santas, so I looked on eBay, and, guess what, found the whole set of 6 in 
original boxes for $3.00  total plus $6.00 shipping buy-it-now!  Hooray!  Too bad I have to wait an entire year to display them.  They are not as washed-out looking as the photo.


Geesh, the computer froze up for a minute and I thought this was all going to disappear!  Too many photos?  Better post now.  Melinda

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas is almost here!!

Are you ready?  All the shopping, decorating, wrapping done?  As of today I'm in pretty good shape I think, although I was really late with the decorating this year.  I think I've been too obsessed with the antique sampler I am trying to reproduce.  Time has gotten away from me.  Here is a sneak peek of my progress.  I thought when I had managed to chart the design that I was home free.  But choosing colors, stitching, ripping it out and picking different colors...aarrgghhhh...this is harder than I thought it would be!


Here are the stitched ornaments that I have made through the years.  I have added 5 more this year, but they still aren't assembled.


Now to some Christmas decorating...if you follow my blog, you know all about my cats and kittens.  The tree this year is nothing but soft, unbreakable ornaments.  This morning when I came downstairs, there were four of them on the floor.  But at least they weren't broken!  Hopefully in a few years when the kittens are older and settled down a bit I'll bring out all the shiny breakable ornaments again.
Beneath the tree is my mother's toy piano from when she was a child.


Here is my reindeer display.  Some of the celluloid reindeer were my parents', and I have added to the collection, always keeping my eye open for them in antique shops.  The beautiful painting on the wall is a treasured gift from Lauren of Rugs and Pugs.


Here is a collection of Santa and his reindeer from Hallmark, circa the 1990's.  I love them, but I can't tell you  how much I spent at Hallmark that year ...you had to make a purchase each time in order to be "allowed" to buy a piece of the collection.  The last reindeer has a broken leg, so he is propped up on a piece of boxwood.


The rest of the mantel.  I didn't take any thing down, just added some little lights.  One of the kittens gets up here too, so I didn't want to add anything breakable.


My angel collection.  The choirboys and noel angels were my grandmother's.  The small ceramic angels were my late husband's father's, I think he got them in Germany when he was stationed there after the war.  The large angels with instruments are my mother's.  The cats don't get up here in the pie safe, so hopefully all this will be fine.



I would like to wish all my friends in blogland a very happy and joyous Christmas and a good New Year!
Melinda

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Early Work Mercantile is up!

Please check out all the talented artists :)
http://earlywork-merrywindfarm.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Elena Tratman 1824

is actually charted!!  Happy dance!  I finally broke down and purchased a MacStitch program.  Probably the best $65 I have ever spent.  I had been struggling away for 6 months trying to chart mt first antique sampler.  I printed off lots of graph paper, invested in an array of colored pens and pencils, and spent hours trying to examine the sampler with a magnifying glass.  Of course, every time a mistake is made you have to start over.

Well Macstitch is the best thing since sliced bread.  I accomplished in a two weeks what I had been trying to do for months!  Of course, this is not taking into account the fact that when I was 2/3 done, I decided to try and resize the chart, and of course messed it all up and had to start over.  Now to stitch her and then print up the charts.  I sure hope I'm not to old to start this new endeavor .


Probably an English sampler, I would hazard to guess northern England.  Strawberry border, house, animal motifs and trees.  Unusual in that there is no alphabet.


I'm trying to research this building and see if it resembles any castle of the time.

Love how she squeezed in her name.



Several cute deer and a verse from 1743.

I hope you like this sampler!  On to stitching the model.  I hope to have this finished and available in a few months.

Melinda

Friday, November 14, 2014

Early Work Mercantile

It's that time again!  Please check in out.  Button is on the left.
Thanks,
Melinda

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Battening down the hatches..

Hello, As you can see I have changed the header picture back to winter.  This photo is from last winter.  I finished up the remainder of the leaves today, as a "polar express" is supposed to arrive around mid-week with plunging temperatures.  The gardens are put to bed, the electric horse buckets are installed, extra insulation is up in the barn to protect from the cold, and the horses are enjoying what is probably their last few days in the pasture.

I have finished a hooked rug, well, almost finished, except for the binding.  It is a pattern called Antique Dog and Cat by Maria Barton of Star Rug Company.  I purchased it from her a couple of years ago when she was here in Tipp City for a workshop with Ali Strebel.  I really like how it turned out, with the exception of the doggie ear.  Sort of looks like he's missing a big chunk of his head!  The last photo shows the wonderful hand-dyed yarn from Ali Strebel that I will use for whipping the edges.  It isn't this bright, the flash went off.


My rugs always turn out kind of half-hazard looking.  I can't color plan for the life of me.  I just grab some wools and a lot of worms and start in.  This way does give it the look of "making do".




I have also tried my hand at making some fabric covered boxes.  It is harder using fabric than wallpaper, but old wallpaper is nearly impossible to find and the selection of reproduction fabrics is incredible.



Here are the five "kittens" plus Smokey ( the grey one) playing with the laser pointer.  Sometimes I think I spend most of my time cleaning up after animals :)  In the front on the footstool is another rug hooked from Maria Barton's pattern.


And here is Oliver cuddling on a heated pad with yet another cat...Ginger.



If you are expecting the cold weather where you live ...stay warm and safe!
Melinda

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fall greetings and a couple of finishes

Hello, and autumn greetings to everyone!  Today is rather a dreary, rainy day,  we have had a lot of these lately.  Fortunately, I have already made a good dent in the fall gardening chores, and have made some progress at mowing up the leaves.

Rainy weather is good for stitching and finishes up projects.  The first is a small penny rug I made from Cee's kit Early Style Penny Rugs.  The kit came with two mats to make but I have only completed one.  I just love her wools!  Aren't they gorgeous?
And I finally got around to quilting a quilt that I pieced from Civil War reproductions several years ago.  I did a simple grid pattern, which I think helps with making it look old.  It is just a simple birds in the air pattern.
Now that I have a few things finished, I am going to concentrate on Christmas ornaments and things and then after that I hope to buckle down and finish Manifesto!  I am nearly 3/4 done and I want to finish!!

Here are a few pictures of fall on the farm.
The pictures with the flowers were taken a week or so ago before pulling out all the annuals.  The first is my dear Mother, 88 years young, surveying her flower boxes.
She'd have a fit if she knew I took her picture ..haha!  The next picture is looking up from what used to be the old pool.  The flowers in the boxes outdid themselves and are hanging down.  Chicken coop behind.

If you are still with me, please check out my EARLY WORK MERCANTILE update this evening.  Perhaps you can find a Christmas present.  Just click on the button on the left column.
Melinda