Thursday, December 13, 2007

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This is a picture of Neal Sinclair's Sampler Stockings. Aren't they lovely? The problem with making your family these stockings is that it is a never ending job! There are always new babies being added! I have heard from some of you and realize that a picture of all the stockings that you have made is difficult (or even impossible!) since many of them are scattered around the country, or in some cases, the world! If it is possible this Christmas, please take a picture (or have a picture taken!) of any, or all of the stockings you have made and send me the picture(s) after Christmas. I would greatly appreciate it! I want to put Sampler Stocking pictures and stories! I think it would be so interesting and yet familiar at the same time! Merry Christmas!

Posted by Mary at 07:36 AM CST

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

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I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! My entire family is leaving for Italy on Saturday. We will be staying just outside of Orvieto. This is a picture of the cathedral in the center of town. Isn't it beautiful? Can't wait to see it. I have never been to Italy, so I am very excited!

Posted by Mary at 08:35 AM CST

Monday, November 26, 2007

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I have sent out an email to all of you who have ordered from me recently, but I wanted to let ALL of you know that I really want to put up everyones Christmas stockings this year. I think it would be so great to not only see the stockings, but have just a brief story about the history of your family stockings. If you did not receive my email about the stockings, please do email me so that I can send you the information on how to send your stocking photographs so you can be included in this!

Posted by Mary at 11:46 AM CST

Saturday, November 10, 2007

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I didn't realize how long it has been since I have written in my journal! I wanted you to see this picture. Isn't it wonderful? I have been working on all things medieval. I hope to have a project on this next fall. In the meantime, I will have some small things available in January. This manuscript is from Aberdeen, Scotland.
I will be sending out emails soon about the Sampler Stockings. I am hoping to have LOTS of pictures!! If you have done some (or all!) of my Sampler Stockings send me an email so I can make sure you get the link to upload your picture. I will also need a brief "story" of your stockings with the picture.

Posted by Mary at 07:39 AM CST

Monday, September 24, 2007

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I just love this picture! It is a carving over one of the doors to King's College Chapel in Cambridge, England. The entire chapel is filled with carvings, stained glass, etc. Notice the HR on the door? That is from Henry VIII, who provided most of the funds to complete the chapel. I must admit that I am writing this from past memories... Anyway, I am especially excited about the richness of all the decorative arts in Cambridge because we will be living there most of this upcoming academic year. In fact, we leave Sunday. I will look forward to sharing my discoveries with you.

Posted by Mary at 04:02 PM CST

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

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Well, my youngest daughter's wedding has come and gone. It was a wonderful day and just tons of fun! We feel blessed to have her new husband as part of our family. The only negative thing about the whole day was the heat. It was warm! It could have been worse, but it felt good to go back inside for the dinner and dancing. We are back in Maine recuperating for a little while longer until we drive home in September and leave for England in October. This is going to be a busy year!
This picture was taken by a dear friend of ours. This is my husband bringing our daughter down the "aisle." He also performed the ceremony...very special.

Posted by Mary at 01:35 PM CST

Sunday, July 29, 2007

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Margaret Chess from New York just sent me another picture of her Days of Advent Sampler....all finished!!! She stitched five squares across so she could add a personal square at the end. I am so impressed with her work, I wanted to share it with you all.

Posted by Mary at 04:23 PM CST

Thursday, July 5, 2007

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Well, it's been a long time since I have written in my journal. I am going to rearrange my web site again (it's kind of like moving furniture!) so I will be adding to my journal on a very regular basis since it will be the main "feature" along with whatever new project I am working on. I will still have the shop and gallery as well as other things. Hopefully, that will happen in September.

I hope you had a nice 4th! Here in our little town we had what I consider a "classic" 4th that involves the whole town! There was, of course, the parade, then games and a benefit lunch at the church. In the afternoon, there were lobster boat races and finally, a crate race between two warfs. The water by the way was a mere 46.8 degrees! Watching these 8 to 10 year olds fly across twenty or so crates was just amazing! This is the way the 4th should be!

I am very grateful the weather was good because if the 4th had been today there would have been NO celebration! There are supposedely 20 mile an hour winds along with rain blowing sideways, but being a veteran of several hurricanes (including one whopper in Cambridge, England) these are NOT 20 mile an hour winds! My husband and I think it's more like 50 mile an hour winds! It has given me a new appreciation for the paintings of ships enduring storms like the one pictured above. Just hope our little sea side cabin can endure!

Posted by Mary at 12:55 PM CST

Sunday, June 3, 2007

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The last two parts (the final parts) of the Days of Advent Sampler went out about a week ago. I am slow in getting the colored drawings of this second part to you. I felt that it was more imperative that you get the actual designs first! I did these color drawings first so the actual chart might be slightly different than the color drawing.

Posted by Mary at 01:25 AM CST

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

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I wanted to let everyone who might not have seen this have a look! This is Margaret Chess's Days of Advent Sampler. Since I am making mine into a calendar, I have a bunch of separate pieces. I really love seeing her piece with all of it together. Margaret is doing hers five across (instead of four) because she will make the last square personal. I do want to have these designs up during Advent this upcoming Christmas. I know that several of you are making this into a book (how wonderful!) and someone is also doing this project over ONE! I can't imagine! Anyway, I think it will be so inspiring to see them all this Christmas season. For those of you who ordered the charts by mail, I mailed them yesterday. I will post my colored drawings of the final twelve soon.

Posted by Mary at 12:45 PM CST

Saturday, March 17, 2007

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I am working on the last half of the charts for the Days of Advent Sampler. I hope to have an entire page dedicated to the project soon. I just need to come to a good stopping point. I will include the group of stitchers that are working for me now, as well as, one of my customers who gets the "smoking needle" award. She has completed almost TEN of the panels (my guess is she has probably finished the tenth one by now)! As time goes on, I would like to feature customers that are stitching and finishing this project in various ways. Please email me if you would like to be a part of this page. I think that what motivates us are stories and pictures! In my opinion, there are never too many stories or pictures.

I continue to look at sources in my books and online that relate to the subjects I am trying to picture. I found this medieval psalter picturing David as a shepherd. It was exciting for me to see the colors since they are ones that match the silk colors that I chose for this project.

Posted by Mary at 03:51 PM CST

Friday, February 23, 2007

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This is without a doubt one of my favorite paintings. It is entitled, The Sacrifice of Isaac, by the Italian painter, Caravaggio. It was painted c.1603. He is famous for the way he used light and shadow in his paintings. Notice the ram in the right corner and the angel pointing to him.

I want to let those of you who are interested know that the DMC conversion chart is available in the shop for the Days of Advent Sampler. Just go to "new charts" and in the copy next to the hand colored charts of the Days of Advent Sampler you can click and receive a pdf file to download with the color code. I want to be perfectly clear that the colors are much brighter, and the project stitched with DMC will not look the same as those using silk. There will not be the same subtlety of color. I have done my best to match all of the colors.

Posted by Mary at 04:00 PM CST

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

elkanah (55k image) The Days of Advent sampler, Part II is in the mail for those who ordered it sent by post. I think there might be some confusion because I believe we used the wrong list to inform customers that the second part of the sampler was ready. Instead of informing just the online customers, the email was sent to the whole list! If you ordered mailed copies, you will be getting those copies in the mail. I am sorry for any confusion! The DMC conversion chart will be ready by the end of the week.

By the way, this is Hannah and Elkanah worshipping in the temple. I think this Hannah looks rather irritated. Maybe this is when her other five children (she had after Samuel) were were teenagers. This is from the medieval manuscripts from St. John's College Cambridge.

Posted by Mary at 09:28 PM CST

Friday, February 16, 2007

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I wanted to let you know that the next set of six charts for the Days of Advent Sampler will be emailed today to those of you who ordered the online version. For those of you who ordered by mail, you should have them by the late part of next week since we have a holiday on Monday. I hope you will enjoy this next group of designs. If there is any problem getting your online charts, please email me. I am planning to do a DMC conversion chart. It should be ready by next week. I will post it here when it's ready.

Posted by Mary at 04:40 PM CST

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Well I am finishing up the next six charts to send out for The Days of Advent Sampler. The last minute things always seem to take me a long time. I am hoping they will go out on the 12th. If not, it will be shortly after that.
I have had a “fly thrown into the ointment” with my timetable. Actually, it is a rather fun distraction. My youngest daughter, Hannah, who is twenty, is engaged. She and Eric, her fiancée, will be married this August. Because she is in nursing school and working, we have had to do things around her schedule. I have had a lot of fun working on the wedding but there is one difficulty, it’s not MY wedding! As my husband reminds me, we are only paying for it (minor detail!). Hannah and I think pretty much the same way though. We want the wedding to be visually beautiful, but at the same time casual and fun. I have discovered that is a real trick. I will share more about the wedding as time goes on. I have learned a lot!

Posted by Mary at 06:15 PM CST

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

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Happy New Year! I might be the only one who feels this way, but does anyone else think that time is going faster? It seems as if we just had new years last week. I have, though, for the first time in a long time, decided to make a few new years resolutions. Besides losing weight, which is a perpetual “resolve,” I want to start my online magazine. I have had this in my mind for a long time and actually mentioned it here in my journal several years ago...yikes. The magazine will be similar to my later Pocketbook Needlework series where I always worked around a theme, but this time I can add a lot of visuals! I want it to look like this open air market in Mexico where there is so much to look at you feel as though you will never tire of looking!

Right now I am still immersed in my Days of Advent Sampler. The next six charts will be out in February. While the magazine is still in the planning stages, email me your thoughts and ideas. I’m all ears.

Posted by Mary at 05:23 PM CST