Tuesday, December 26, 2006

dining (245k image)

I hope that you had a Merry Christmas yesterday. I wanted to ask everyone to do me a favor before you take down your Sampler Stockings this year. I thought that it would be fun to have a Christmas page next year of everyones Sampler Stockings. I know that many of you have made fourteen, or more. Please take a picture of all of your stockings "hung by the chimney with care" and send it to me! Linda's trees were such a huge success with everyone, I thought it should be followed up with "stockings and stories" about the stockings. If you have done the Medieval stockings instead of the Sampler stockings, that would be great to see as well. This is a picture of my dining room that I took with my new camera today. I am still trying to get used to my camera.

Posted by Mary at 07:17 PM CST

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

iStock_000000457088Small (474k image)

I hope by now you have all had a chance to view Linda Wallace's Christmas trees. If not, why not pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy? Just go to my web site's front door and click on "decorating." One thing that I did not mention is the amount of time it took to actually put all ten trees. Linda said it takes her one month to put up all of her trees. I think that would be the fun part. What I wouldn't want to do is take them all down and store everything. If you have any burning questions, that don't seem to be answered on the decorating page, please email me.

Posted by Mary at 02:31 PM CST

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

currier4 (117k image)

I just wanted to let everyone know that, hopefully, by December 1st we will have a new door up on the web site. Last year Linda Wallace sent me several pictures of all the trees she decorates for Christmas along with other pictures for her gallery page. I was so impressed I asked her if I could share her wonderful trees with everyone this year. She has just finished decorating for this season and is sending me the photographs. I think you will find her Christmas decorating very inspiring!

Posted by Mary at 11:53 AM CST

Monday, November 27, 2006

money (154k image)

This is a 17th century painting entitled, “Payments.” It has nothing to do with Christmas but, because it is the holiday season, one could put a whole new spin on this painting. The men in the painting are meeting in secret (hence the candle in a dark room), so that they can share the gift ideas they have for their wives. On the book in the middle of the table is a list of all of the ideas they have come up with so far. The man on the right, clutching his money, has already decided what he is getting for his wife; therefore, he is about to take his bag of money and go buy her a gift! Do you see the man in the left corner wearing the hat? He looks clueless and discouraged. He must not like any of the ideas shared so far. I don’t think he has any idea what to buy his wife for Christmas.

Now I can help this man, just like I helped my husband buy me a Christmas present yesterday! I made it so easy, all he had to do was pick it up, and pay for it!

I am adding a $75.00 gift certificate to my shop. If you would like my new Days of Advent Sampler for Christmas, just send your husband (this could work just as well for mothers, sisters, etc.) to my web site. Tell him to click on “shop” then click on “gift certificates” and pay for it online! He doesn’t even have to get up out of his chair the way my husband did! I love the internet this time of year because it allows me the freedom to shop online!

Posted by Mary at 11:54 AM CST

Friday, November 10, 2006

daniel (116k image)

I just love this piece so I thought I would share it with you. It is from the web site samplings.com. They sell antique needlework. I have always loved looking at their things! I guess because I am working on my Days of Advent Sampler I appreciate how someone else depicted Daniel in the lions den. Mine is different. The lion looms over Daniel...but then I am getting ahead of myself! Anyway, I thought you might enjoy the web site and this picture.

Posted by Mary at 02:15 PM CST

Sunday, November 5, 2006

sewing1 (18k image) I just wanted to give you an update on my Days of Advent Sampler. I need to make some final corrections and make sure that my instructions are as clear as possible. This last little part usually takes me much longer than I think it will. I do think that I will be able to have this project available by Wednesday (of this upcoming week) at the latest. I am definitely burning a lot of midnight oil. I am sorry for the delay!

Posted by Mary at 06:54 PM CST

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

adventsampler (164k image)

I wanted to let you know that, hopefully, by the end of the week my Days of Advent Sampler will be available in the shop. I am planning to send out an email once it is ready. This will be almost a year long project (Nov 06, Feb 07, May 07, Sept 07). There will be twenty-four designs in all, as well as decorative buttons. Each individual design is 4.5 inches wide by 5.3 inches long. This design can be finished several ways and I will include finishing ideas with the first installment.

The hand-colored charts pictured here are the first six designs of The Days of Advent Sampler. Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have. I have been working on this sampler since last spring. By next fall, I hope to add a coloring book of these designs for the little people (as well as big people!). I am very excited to offer this project to you!

Posted by Mary at 04:25 PM CST

Saturday, September 9, 2006

before photo
I never realized that a whole year could be taken up with making a 1000 square foot cottage liveable! It did take just that long though. Here is a before and after picture of the main room in our Maine cottage. This was taken by a friend who came to visit us over the fourth of July. After they left, we put in new wide pine flooring and then new double hung windows to replace the leaky old windows facing the ocean. This picture gives you the idea though. You can see my husband and our friend, Kevin making use of the time we had between the events we attended on the fourth. after photoI, on the other hand, have always had a problem "walking and chewing gum," as they say! I just don't multi-task well at all. As I said, it took all of my energy for a year to renovate and prepare our place. There is a lot more to do, but it will have to wait until next summer!

For me the beauty of Maine, the little town where we lived all proved to be so inspiring this summer! I am now working on a major project that I hope to have available for you in a few weeks. As you can, see several of the "doors" on my web site are gone. That does not mean that there won't be wonderful trips to view, or that you can't follow our house renovation, but these will be special features we can put up when they are ready.

Posted by Mary at 07:33 PM CST

Monday, April 10, 2006

plaka (11k image) I have been meaning to write in my journal about Greece, but the time has eluded me! I am probably the only person that can boast the fact that I have been to Greece three times and never set foot on an island (boo, hoo!). Actually, this trip we had planned to take a day trip to a few islands, but the wind was so bad, I knew I would be miserable. I don't do well in any kind of boat when there is motion! Our trips to Greece are not "vacations." My husband has a lot of former students that are Greeks and they have invited us over to teach. All of these folks are very special to us and we love spending time with them when we can. As for what one should do on the mainland, I do have a few recommendations. When you are in Athens, you must spend at least an afternoon in the plaka. It is the old part of the city with shops and outside cafes. What I love are the men outside twirling their "worry beads" and trying to get everyone to come into their restraurant. Try to go to one that is right under the Acropolis. Also, make sure you have time to visit the museums. They are wonderful. Before you leave for Greece though you must watch "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." It will get you in the right spirit!

Posted by Mary at 01:41 PM CST

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

greece (38k image)

Just thought I should let you know that I am leaving for Greece today. My husband will be teaching over there for two weeks. I am taking my camera so I will share my pictures in "Touring" when I return.

Posted by Mary at 09:21 AM CST

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Since Murray is making ten more caskets, I thought I would like to put up Betty Amstutz’s finished casket with the Hannah panels. This first picture is the casket taken on Betty’s dining room table.


These are the front two panels that begin the story of Hannah.

The front left panel is Peninnah, Elkanah other wife, and her children.
“Peninnah would provoke Hannah bitterly to irritate her because the Lord had closed her womb.” I Samuel 1.6
The front right panel is Elkanah trying to comfort Hannah.
And it happened year after year, as often as Peninnah would go up to the house of the Lord, she would provoke Hannah, so that she wept and would not eat. Then Elkanah, her husband, would say to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart so sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” I Samuel 1.7,8


This is the left side panel.

This is where Hannah is crying because she is barren and Eli comes up to her thinking she is drunk. She explains she is oppressed in spirit.

And Hannah, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of Thy maidservant and remember me, and not forget Thy maidservant, but will give Thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life”… Then Eli the priest answered and said to her, “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant the petition you have asked of Him”…I Samuel 1.10, 11


This is the right side panel.

In this panel Elkanah and Hannah return from worshipping the Lord.

“And Elkanah had relations with his wife, and the Lord remembered Hannah.” I Samuel 1.17, 19



These are the two back panels.

The panel on the left side is Hannah with Samuel. Elkanah is leaving to go worship.

And it came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of the Lord.” Then Elkanah went up with his household to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him that he may appear before the Lord and stay there forever.” I Samuel 1.20-22

The panel on the right side is Hannah bringing Samuel to Eli the priest.
Now when she had weaned Samuel, she took him with her and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, although the child was young. Then they…brought the boy to Eli. And she said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I have asked of Him. So I have dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” And they worshipped the Lord there. I Samuel 24-28


The final panel is the top panel. This is the panel that I give you room on both sides to add your initials and personal touches. I absolutely love what Betty has done with her top panel. It looks so perfect!

This panel shows Hannah with the other children the Lord gave her and Elkanah.

Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you children from this woman in place of the one she has dedicated to the Lord.” And the Lord visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the Lord. I Samuel 2.20, 21

Posted by Mary at 08:11 PM CST

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

saturdaymorning (28k image)

I think this painting by Jennifer Li should be entitled “I’d rather be in Paris” instead of Saturday Morning. The woman scrubbing the floor looks annoyed. I know I would have preferred to be in Paris, or really anywhere besides my basement for past two weeks. It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it since I live with “pack rats” (the majority of whom have their own places now…but I have all of their stuff!). I am the only one who will actually throw anything away. Well, the job is almost complete, thank goodness! I have moved on to my office, which is easier because I don’t have to sneak around throwing things away! The cleaning time has cleared my brain too. I have been thinking about projects I am working on and what else I would like to do this winter and spring. I will put more in the journal in the next couple of days on that. I really just wanted to say, “Happy New Year” even though I am almost two and a half weeks late! By the way, Jennifer Li has a web site with a lot of paintings that I really like. Much of her work reminds me of the 19th century New England itinerate paintings, but with a look that is more today and yet retains an old quality. Her web site address is www.jenniferli.info.

Posted by Mary at 04:07 PM CST

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