Friday, January 29, 2016

A very busy start to the new year!

I can remember many years ago when the holidays were over it was time to sit and relax and stitch. MANY years ago! I have not had that pleasure for the last 10 years since I started this business. There are occasional summer stretches when I have some slow time but never in the winter. When stitchers are busy I am busy.

I think I previously mentioned that I had quit making the motto frames for at least 6 months about a year ago. After hand carving over 500 of them, and 4 hand carved corner leaves for each one, my arthritic hands told me to quit. Well...I was swamped with requests to continue to make them so I had my son take over making the frames since my husband wanted to quit. I then do the carving and staining and the story continues. I also stitch mottoes for many of my customers who do not stitch or are intimidated by stitching on paper and want the antique style needlework. And do they keep me busy? In the last 3 weeks I have stitched 7 mottoes (they take 8-12 hours each) and carved 12 frames. I also stitched my two newest mottoes in the large and the mini sizes. And now.....I have 3 mottoes and 5 frames to do in the next 6 days for orders I just got in the last two days. Any why am I telling you this????? Because my new floss line is on the back burner once again until I get these finished. I had hoped to be done by the end of I am hoping for the middle of next month. The ebay orders are a priority as they have to be completely quickly to maintain a good rating.

This has been a very busy new year so far! Keeping busy is good but there are times when I am too busy. I prefer to do all the custom stitching myself for quality control. I had a gal stitch a few model samples for me years ago but it didn't work out. And as for frames....I will continue to do the carving for now. I have been teaching my son a little of the carving but I think it has to be a real fascination and interest in carving to attempt all that work. They are carving duplicating machines that we have seen but I don't like the look of the finished product and to spend $12,000 on a machine....I need to like the finished product. And they can't carve the sides of the frames so here we are. Hand carving.

I hope you are having fun with new projects for 2016. I hope to do a few mini sampler patterns this spring and maybe....just maybe....have the time to sit and stitch a little. Sounds heavenly!

I thought I would share what has been keeping me busy. Thanks for stopping by...thanks for listening.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

To my followers for my give-aways

I had a couple questions from followers. So many of us lost followers the past the I was reading around is what I found:

DATED today January 26-27th 2016
loss followers update

I noted I lost another 300 followers just last night.... ( jan 26)
All of them were those who followed who did not have a GOOGLE ACCOUNT...
sadly it reflects on our numbers but not visitors...
Those who follow you will still follow you ....

I have not lost visitors, in fact you have been following more each day 
than last thank you....

Many of you will note your followers have dropped too this morning,
you did not offend 10-12-100 followers in a day....
it is not PERSONAL....just GOOGLE trying to make things better for us....

( your lost followers by the way will not be reflected back in your numbers
they are gone forever...sad to say) 

here is their message..

Dear bloggers,

As we mentioned some weeks ago, starting this week, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. To follow a blog via Google Friend Connect now, readers will need a Google Account (the same they use for Gmail or YouTube). There will be no need for readers to be signed in, or to have a Google+ profile.

  • What does  this mean for you and your blog? We’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count

  • What can you do now? You should encourage your users to re-follow your blog using a Google account. Another way to allow users to follow your blog is with the  “Follow by Email” gadget, which  requires you to set up Feedburner. By subscribing to your blog, readers will be notified via e-mail every time there is a new post.
Sooooo.......I want to make sure my followers have a chance for my give-aways, Do you have a google account? It is so easy to sign up....I do encourage you. Don't get discouraged....simply sign up again to follow so you have a chance at some great gifts from my give-aways.
Thanks for listening.......I wish they would quit changing things!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mini Motto kits and frames are ready

Thank you for all the inquiries on the new mini motto kits and frames for The Sewing Parlour and The Stitching Parlour. My son made quite a few frames this week and they are stained and ready to go.

I forgot to mention that you can have any color floss for any kit. You don't have to take what is pictured. I usually stitch in reds and greens because so many of my antique mottoes are stitched in those colors and to be honest, those colors photograph better than lighter colors.
The mini motto is 4-1/2" x 9-1/2". With the frame it is 7-1/2" x 12-1/2". I will also be selling the frames separately.

The mini motto kits and frames are $46 for the package plus postage. You can email me orders at I also list them on ebay but appreciate direct sales as ebay fees are so high.
I removed the glass to prevent a glare in the photo. It comes with glass, backing and hanger attached and ready to hang.

I also have a frame with rustic notches along the sides and not the dressy groove on the frame. It looks more primitive/country.
Your choice of frame with your kit.
Thanks for stopping by...have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mini Mottoes are back and so are the mini frames!

I love the little mini mottoes...they fit into spaces between the larger frames on the wall. Perfect little quotes and sayings. I first designed these about 8 years ago after I had a few requests for smaller mottoes. We made over 300 of the mini frames and couldn't keep them in stock. When my husband quit making frames I dropped the frames from my inventory but kept the mini kits. My son now makes all of our frames and he agreed to make them for me (I hardly had to twist his arm at all). And I am having him make a frame that is not criss cross at the corners so we have another style in the shop. I may need to twist his arm harder on that one.
Home Sweet Home is a best seller in the large and small kits.
A customer asked me to do a smaller version of "To my Dear Sister" I did the pattern this morning and two hours of stitching later....yes they only take 2-3 hours to stitch.....

Shown are just a few of the patterns that I have and I have done dozens and dozens of custom patterns over the years. The little mottoes measure 4-1/2" x 9", the frame is a little larger.
This morning I also did a pattern for The Sewing Parlour and The Stitching Parlour. I will find some time to squeeze in the stitching for those two. This week has been nothing but custom mottoes and I need to get back to the floss. I also need to stain a dozen small frames later today. The kit and frame is $46 and I will list them soon.

Are you feeling the pinch of the postal rate increase? It was bad enough that the post office raised their rates....but ebay threw a wrench in the mix that has me furious. They used to give us sellers a shipping discount on the small first class packages. It was $2.54 for 1-3 ounces and with our discount (that I passed right on to my customers) it was $2.04. And believe me. I have had customers complain when they purchase one skein of floss at $2 and postage was $2.04. I tell them that a dozen skeins can ship for the same price. Anyways, now ebay is no longer giving us the discount on 1-3 ounces. So a 1 ounce package costs $2.60 to mail! This (I hope) will really hurt ebay as I know it will hurt all sales on the smaller items. Greed is a sad thing....and we all pay in the long run. Sorry...but I needed to vent. I doubt that they will ever reverse their decision but one can only hope.

Back to work.....lunch break is over and I have a schedule that will keep me busy until 10 tonight.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Two very different mottoes

It's amazing how the design can change the whole look of a motto. The Sewing Parlour will soon be hanging in my office/workroom. The Stitching Parlour has a casual, primitive or country feel to it.

I charted the Stitching Parlour and it is going out to a model stitcher to be done on linen. I will chart the other one at a later date. I am putting the kits together today to list and listing the chart. For the Stitching Parlour kit I found some very close matches to DMC in my colors which was nice. That way the model shown on the perforated paper will look similar to the motto stitched on linen with DMC floss. By using several shades of green, dark at the bottom, medium in the middle, and lighter at the top, it gives nice shading without needing to use overdyed floss. I used one color for each leaf or stem but you can also use those three shades in each section. I have even used one strand of each color to blend the two together for grass on samplers and it look very nice. Gives it lots  of texture without the striped area look.

I just wanted to show you the work I did this week on these two mottoes. Now that my toe is better I will get back to standing all day long and dyeing floss once again for the new line. I really hope to be done by the end of the month and show you the new colors....and give a few away of course!!!

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure you have entered the Valentine's Day give-away and joined the Birthday Club. Send me the month and date of your birthday if you haven't already done so.
Have a great day!


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Be My Valentine give-away, enter now!

I always like to have a Valentine's Day give-away........and this year I thought I would have two gifts and draw two names. The first name drawn gets the necessaire. Second name drawn gets the charts.
For the first gift I made a red necessaire....and filled it with lots of hearts! Red heart buttons, wooden painted heart buttons, primitive wood heart buttons, mother of pearl heart buttons, heart charms, sewing charms, lace trims, my signature felted wool button bag and needle pages and a skein of my floss in Valentine Red!!

The second gift is two of my Quaker chart packs. Be True in Heart and  Love and You shall be Loved. Perfect for Valentine's Day!

Rules: You MUST be a follower at the right. Click to follow by Faithful Friends. You must post a comment here. Post on your blog or Facebook and get 50 more entries. Yes I do check! lol
Drawing to be February 14th. Good luck to all who enter!
                             Won't you be my Valentine?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Stitching Parlour chart

I decided to play with the pattern this afternoon. Orders finished for the day, dye pot put away and sat down and got serious with the stitching program. I did the new chart (available in a couple days). I wanted this one to be different from The Sewing Parlour in several ways. A more casual motto so I did sprigs of flowers for the little design elements. I won't have time to stitch this one on perforated paper for a few days. More orders have come in and dyeing floss is the first priority these days. I still may do a cross stitch pattern for the other motto when I have time. I figured with both perforated paper kits available and this chart, well, that should work for a little while. I am also going to do the mini mottoes with simple patterns of these two sayings. The mini motto on perforated paper is 4-1/2" x 9-1/2". They stitch up in a couple hours.
Well I thought I was going to have an evening to relax but another request has come in for a motto so I will be back at my desk this evening. I just wanted to give you a peek at the new design. I'm not sure if I will have this one stitched on linen. I have the other motto to display in my office and the picture of this motto on linen for the cover looks good enough for now. Maybe at a later date......

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Grow Old Along with Me motto

It's always a pleasure to design a motto that will be treasured by a family and become a future heirloom. I have had the pleasure of designing dozens and dozens of such mottoes. Tributes to family members, honoring family members, etc. The motto I designed yesterday was for a gentleman who wanted an anniversary gift for his wife. Stitched and framed. What a guy.......I have had several men buy these as gifts for their wives. So the motto I had that he liked was Grow Old Along with Me. But he wanted me to add their initials and year of their marriage. I changed the whole pattern to fit that in and I actually like it better this way. He wanted red instead of the pink roses and dark pink lettering. I love red so I was happy to stitch this and I wanted to show you a preview of it. The motto was an 8 hour stitch yesterday and I carved the frame and the stain is curing. It is shown in a plain frame. Not very bright out this morning but here it is. I love the simplicity of these mottoes.

I need to get back to the dye pot and floss but I have one more custom pattern to do this week.
Thanks for stopping by. Be sure and stay tuned as I will have the Valentine's Day give-away real soon.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Sewing Parlour is finished

Thank you for your input on my new motto design. I decided to stitch The Sewing Parlour to hang in my office/workroom. I stitched half last night and the other 4 hours this morning. In my favorite color red of course. We made the slightly smaller frame and I will need to carve and stain it today.
I snapped a quick photo....I will take another when it is framed.
I will do a chart after I get quite a few custom orders out of the way. The counted cross stitch charts take me about 12 hours to do when converting a motto to a chart. I probably will do a chart for The Stitching Parlour too. I have not decided which one I will have a model stitcher do on linen. One thing at a time and as I said, I am swamped at the moment.

I also did a less formal pattern with flowers and leaves on it....maybe I will stitch that one on perforated paper at a later date to have another option on this motto.

I just wanted to give you a peek at the new motto. I will be offering it available as a  perforated paper kit soon. Thanks again for all your helpful comments on which one you wanted me to stitch.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Thank you for your input on the motto

I want to thank everyone who replied and gave me their input on the motto. The Sewing Parlor vs The Stitching Parlor. I will do some rough drafts this weekend. As I previously said, this motto will be on perforated paper for my workroom. I will offer it as a kit after I get mine stitched since I need the finished model for photographs. I will then chart the motto for cross stitch and send it out to a model stitcher. These arthritic hands can only do so much.

I have done dozens of custom mottoes over the years and some really cute sayings. One gal asked me to do Needlework Goddess and It's Good to be Queen in mini mottoes. They stitch up in 3-4 hours. One gal saw these the other day and asked me to do a large motto in It's Good to be Queen so I just did that pattern for her.  Then she asked me to do a motto called Dream of counting the Sheep. So then I had that pattern to do......I just wish I could add on another 12 hours to each day to get everything done that I would like to do. On top of everything else this week, the furnace that was 16 years old gave up the fight and died on us. Installers are putting in the new furnace today...and informed me that the air conditioning unit needs to be replaced too. What a way to start the new year!

So........ back to work....I just wanted to thank everyone who left a comment on the new design. I will show some pictures when I am finished with the new pattern(s).
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I would love your opinion.......

So in between a million yards of floss (ok, I exaggerated a little but it feels like a million) being dyed every day, custom motto orders and hand carved frames for my ebay business, I am also working on a new motto pattern in my spare time. LOL    I think the last time I had spare time was 2004, the year before I started this business. So back to the pattern......

I wanted to do a motto for my office/work room. It will hang above the door. Now to describe this room.....I love antiques. My whole house is antiques so it's no wonder they filtered into my work room. An antique desk, lace curtains, curio cabinet, assorted clocks, treadle sewing machine that I just moved into there and antique mottoes and my samplers on the walls from floor to ceiling. I will show you a couple pictures after I fit in the new floss line. I should say squeeze in because that is what it is going to take to get it in this room.
So for the motto I wanted The Sewing Parlor. Fitting in with the antiques I thought the word parlor was appropriate. So I mentioned this to a good friend (definition of good friend: a person whom you love dearly even if they want (suggest) you change everything you just worked on because they like their idea better). She says I should use The Stitching Parlor. I think Sewing would be a better word and fit in with the antique atmosphere. I would think Victorian ladies had a sewing room, not a stitching room. I reminded her that I have 2 sewing machines in that room, not stitching machines. No, she thinks modern stitchers would prefer Stitching Parlor since I will be selling the chart. And then she casually mentions while trying not to laugh...........that she will want a chart for her STITCHING ROOM! Now the devious mind of my dear friend is showing how crafty and clever she can be when wanting to change my mind on a design! Gotta love her.

So I would love to hear from you. Lets vote on it. I won't be offended if you want stitching instead of sewing. I promise not to cross your names off the list when I have give-aways!! LOL

The Sewing Parlor or The Stitching Parlor

I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Starting the New Year with a Primitive Rainbow Floss give-away, enter now!

Lets start the New Year right.....with a Primitive Rainbow of floss!
I gathered a few skeins from different collections and I thought they made a nice rainbow. Maybe I will do a pastel rainbow next....we will see.

I gathered some cheerful but subdued colors for this rainbow. From reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blue and violet to purple. 12 skeins, 20 yards each.  240 yards. These will also be available direct from me or listed in my ebay shop later today. A Classic Primitive Rainbow. I still have to print the fold over cards that go with each box of floss. They are a nice addition if you are giving the box as a gift.

RULES: My rules are the same for each give-away. If you are new to my blog be sure to read. You MUST be a follower at the right. Click to follow by faithful friends. I do check to see if you are a follower when the names are drawn. You MUST post a comment here. Post on your blog or Facebook and get 25 more entries. If you do post on other sites be sure to use the above photo and not one of the old photos.
You MUST check back to see if you are a winner. I truly don't have the time to hunt you down and you must follow!!!

Drawing to be Feb 2nd. I will also have a Valentine drawing soon so stay tuned. Thank you for participating in the fun that we have at The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. It will be a great year.....I have so many great friends!!

Friday, January 1, 2016

January Birthday Club winner for 2016!

We have a great beginning to a new year with the first winner of The Birthday Club for 2016. On the 1st day of each month I draw a name for a nice gift from me. Today the name that was drawn was Danice. Her birthday is the 14th. Congratulations Danice! Please email me and give me your address so I can have your gift in the mail. I would also like to know your favorite colors.

Be sure you have entered the Birthday Club. You must be a follower at the right.
All you have to do is email me and give me the month and date of your birthday. You never could be a winner!!