Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Happiest Time of the Year!

Ode to the Ort Basket
With Thy Needle and Thread/Brenda Gervais
Released at the 2017 Nashville Needlework Market
Limited Kit
40 ct mystery linen from stash
NPI Silks 206, 209, 346, 695,  923, 925

The time between Christmas and New Year's is one of my favorite times of the year.  Things begin to slow down a little (shopping, baking, decorating, wrapping, commitments), I take time off from my work, and there are many, many football games.  What makes the time extra special:  stitching, quilting, hooking, punching!

This Ode to the Ort Basket caused quick a kerfuffle in 2017.  It was released at the Nashville Needlework Market and there was a limited number of kits available to shop owners.  Shop owners struggled to get the kit and stitchers were on a search for the basket and design.  AppleJack helped with the painting and sanding of the basket.  It is stitched on 40 count linen, I am not a big fan of stitching on higher count linen.  I'm trying to get over my fear of stitching on the higher count linen and sticking to smaller, easier designs.

The Gift Keeps Giving #65 (2015)
Summer House Stitch Works/Beth Ann Seal
32 count mystery linen from scrap stash
Gloriana School House Red (my favorite color and silk)

At our Homespun Gathering Group in July 2019, we are having a box exchange.  I can't wait!  It is all about the box.  I thought I better practice.  I'm not happy with the way the piece fits in the box (the foam core is cut to small) and I may add some kind of embellishment (chenille or rick rack).  AppleJack helped with the painting, sanding, aging and waxing of the box--it came from Hobby Lobby.

This is the inside of the box.  Someone gifted me the flannel, I added the Lady Dot measuring twill, the scissors are from Hobby Lobby and the Needleminder is from Kelmscott.  

I am second guessing myself, I kinda wish I had added thread rings instead of the buttons.
This is not the box I will be exchanging--this is a learning piece.  Since the exchange is in July, we have a patriotic theme and since red, white and blue are some of my favorite colors, I have tons of ideas rolling around inside my pea brain.  I have already started gathering the inside contents--waiting until the last minute is not my style--I am not at my best under pressure.  

Snippet:  Thankful String
Lizzie Kate
35 count Weeks Dye Works Straw (a scrap from my stash)
NPI:  154, 184, 187, 245, 695, 865 and 904

This was suppose to be stitched and finished in time for Thanksgiving, I didn't make it for Thanksgiving 2018 but it will be ready for Thanksgiving 2019.  This is my first Lizzie Kate stitch.  It was simple, whimsical and perfect fall colors.

The board came from Hobby Lobby and am going to attempt another finish.

Am currently stitching the pig from the Prairie Schooler Barnyard Christmas, another quick stitch--one good football game and it should be a finish and then it is on to some punching.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Violet Noel

It is a busy time of the year for Santa and because he is so busy, he sometimes makes an early delivery.  Introducing Miss Violet Noel.

Miss Violet Noel is a Tori (Tortoiseshell):  black with orange and yellow, no white.  She is all Tori:  smart, feisty, curious, playful, expressive (a talker) and a hang-with-me girl.  Her most important trait:  she is a survivor!  The past few months have been challenging for Violet.  She was dropped off at the Humane Center, underweight and injured.  When the vet and techs evaluated her, she was thought to have a broken pelvis.  A very kind, generous, loving foster family family took her home because she was so underweight (4 lbs.) and to help her regain muscle strength.  When she was returned to the Humane Center,  she had gained a pound and was regaining muscle strength.  She was re-evaluated and the vet decided against surgery.

The day AppleJack and I met Violet she had had a very busy day.  She had gone from the foster home to the vet for evaluation and x-rays and then returned to the Humane Center.  Needless to say, she was more than ready to call it a day.  Enter her humans in training.

Violet is adjusting and learning her new home.  She has put her humans in a training program and feels confident she can have them whipped into shape and meeting all her needs in a short period of time.  Hopefully, the kitten food (high in protein and no grain) will help her to grow strong and heal.   She has a voracious appetite, I think she is making up for those times when she had no food.  She has a limp and may always have a limp.  But do not be deceived, she like the late President George H. W. Bush has two speeds:  full throttle and asleep.  She is very quick and fast.  With each day, she is gaining confidence and trusting her new humans to protect her and to keep her safe.  She can pack away all her fears, watch the birds from her personal upstairs window seat, sleep on a down comforter, have her own personal hairdresser and masseuse and be bold in asking for treats.

Violet is still a kitten, seven months old.  She will have her kitten moments:  Climbing, getting into things she should not get into, breaking things, voicing her opinion.  Extra attention will have to be given to floss, ribbons and strings and her humans do hear bumps in the night.

We do not know who named her Violet, maybe her foster family, the person who rescued her, or a tech at the Humane Center, but AppleJack and I like the name.  She responds to being called Violet (yes she answers when she is called) and she needed something consistent in her life.  The name Violet comes from the French and means a diminutive flower.  With her challenging start in life, she may be a diminutive girl.

Welcome to our home and hearts, Miss Violet Noel!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Justice for All

Justice for All
Blackbird Designs released 2002
40 count Old Massachusetts linen by The Primitive Hare
Needlepoint Ink Silk Williamsburg Blue Range 328 and Russet Red Range 209

Christmas is in sixteen days, most people are stitching beautiful Christmas pieces.  Me, I'm stitching patriotic pieces.  Last night I was watching one of my favorite Christmas movies:  Griswold Family Christmas.  At the end of the movie, Aunt Bethany begins singing the national anthem as Santa and the reindeer are catapulted into the sky.  I had myself a double good belly laugh:  laughing at the Griswold's singing the national anthem and me watching a Christmas movie and stitching a patriotic piece.  Does this mean I am becoming Aunt Bethany?  

Those Blackbird girls have been releasing winning designs for many years.  The font of the elongated letters was very appealing to me and the sampler gave me inspiration to stitch more of my family history.  The initials JSS are for my 5th Great Grandmother, Julianna Steinz Shultz and the year 1780 is the year of the Battle of King's Mountain.  The Battle of King's Mountain was a Revolutionary War battle and a turning point in the war for the American patriots.  

The Battle of King's Mountain
October 7, 1780

By the year 1780, the American Revolutionary War was well under way.  Great Grandparents, Johan Martin Shultz and Julianne Steinz Shultz may have thought that moving west from Pennsylvania into North Carolina might be a way of escaping the war.  

A few weeks before the Battle of King's Mountain, British Major Patrick Ferguson bluntly warned the local revolutionaries who lived in the Carolinas, that if they did not cease their rebellion, he would march over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay waste their settlements with fire and sword.  This bold statement by Major Ferguson angered the colonists living in the Carolina's and they felt forced to defend themselves, their families and their homes.  

Colonel John Sevier learning that Grandfather Johan Martin was a (self-taught) surgeon, asked him to join his troops.  Colonel John Sevier and Colonel Isaac Shelby joined their troops together and rendezvoused at Sycamore Shoals (Tennessee) on September 25, 1780.  On that day, Sevier and Shelby arrived with 240 troops and joined Colonel Charles McDowell, who was already there with 160 North Carolina riflemen.  Colonel William Campbell joined the march with 400 Virginians.  

When the American revolutionaries arrived at Quaker Meadows in Burke County, North Carolina, they  were joined by Colonel Benjamin Cleveland and 350 North Carolinians. The Americans arrived at the foot of King's Mountain in the early afternoon of October 7, 1780.  They launched a four pronged attack with two columns on each side of the mountain led by Colonels Campbell and Sevier on the right and Shelby and Cleveland on the left.  Ferguson and his men were taken by surprise by the bold aggressiveness of the Overmountain Men.  Over the sound of the battle could be heard a shrill shriek from the silver whistle Ferguson used to direct his troops.  It was soon silenced, as Ferguson was killed while leading a desperate attack by a few of his men to break out of the mountaineer's cordon.  Captain Abraham DePeyster, the second in command of the British troops, almost immediately raised a white flag.  In an hour's time, Ferguson and 119 of his men had been killed, 123 wounded, and 664 captured.  The Americans had lost 28 killed and 62 wounded.  The victory at Kings Mountain demoralized the British.  No longer could the British depend on the Loyalists in the Carolina Piedmont.  King's Mountain was a turning point in the Revolutionary War, and on October 19, 1781, General Cornwalls surrendered at Yorktown.

The British had one doctor, Dr. Uzal Johnson and the colonists had Dr. Martin Shultz.  The problem was lack of supplies:  no medicine, no bandages, no splints.  Amputations were carried out with whisky and brute force.

"A terrible night followed the terrible day of the battle.  the cold was intense, and a strong wind swept across the mountain.  The wounded lay around where they had fallen, upon the bare ground, among the unburied dead, with no shelter but the grey sky above them.  There were no splints for their shattered limbs, no bandages for their flowing wounds, and only one surgeon among the entire two hundred and fifty."  Said one who witnessed it:  The scene was heart ending in the extreme--the groans of the dying and the constant cry of the wounded for water.  Taken from the notes of The Bear Guard of the Revolutions by James R. Gilmore page 261 and 262.

While Grandfather Johan Martin was away, with Colonel Sevier tending to the wounded, Grandmother Julianna was home in Tennessee with their children:  Valentine 18, David 16, John 11, Jacob 9, Marin 7, and Julia Ann 5.  I sincerely doubt if Grandmother Julianna had the time, energy, linen and threads to stitch a sampler.  This sampler is my way of honoring and remembering my Grandparents and the sacrifice they made for me.