Flosstube Episode 33: Black Swan

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg flosstube/podcast! In this episode I share my starts on two new SALs and progress on a couple WIPs.

SALs:

  • Join Emily (eclecticpossessions) and I on Instagram for #dark13stitching where we stitch on something dark and creepy on the 13th of every month
  • Melanie’s Soulful Stitching Facebook group also has monthly Darktober stitching SALs on the 13th of every month
  • Join the Hawk Run Hollow SAL hosted by Abi Bellastitch and I – on Instagram you can use the #hrhvillagesal if you’re stitching on Village and/or use the tag #letsallmovetohawkrunhollow for any Hawk Run pieces.  Abi set up a Facebook group called Let’s All Move to Hawk Run Hollow if you’d like to join!
  • Year of WIPs Challenge in Melanie’s Soulful Stitching Facebook group
  • Salem Notforgotten SAL – in honor and remembrance of the 325th anniversary of the Salem witch trials.  We are using the Instagram tags #salemnotforgotten and #salem325 For more information on the Salem witch trials, here is a brief article.
  • Dutch Beauty SAL on instagram #dutchbeautysal with Emily (eclecticposessions) and I

Show notes:

My memorial sampler for my dad is John Reed 1844 by Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches.  Stitched with silks on 40ct Confederate Grey by Weeks

Finishes:

  1. None

WIPs:

  1. Coffee Quaker by Heartstring Samplery – Weeks, GAST, and CC on 40ct Stars Hollow by R&R
  2. Salem Remembered by The Primitive Needle – silks on 40ct Lakeside linen
  3. Dutch Beauty – converting mine to be much darker colors with a black swan
  4. Merry Wind Farm Hornbook freebie – SNC Elephant & Castle on 40ct Weeks Tin Roof

Stash:

  1. None

Shout Outs:

  1. None

Reading:

  1. Reading Sour Grapes by Rachel Goodman

Thanks so much for watching!

Grateful for my ancestry.

John Reed

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I barely know where to begin.  I’m so happy to finally be posting photos of this finish, but at the same time it’s a little bittersweet.  You may remember that I lost my dad last year, February of 2012.  And there have been a couple of pieces stitched in his honor, one by my sweet friends and one by me.  In fact I haven’t touched my Anniversaries of the Heart since completing his block.  But this piece, this sampler, is his memorial. 
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A while back I stumbled across the chart for the John Reed 1844 sampler by Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches.  And when I saw it I knew that one day I would have to stitch this sampler, because my dad was John Reed as well, but born in 1944.  It took me awhile to get my hands on the chart but I finally found a shop that could order it for me.  At the time I figured this would be one of those things I’d stitch and then show my dad and he’d launch into one of his genealogy stories, but be secretly thrilled that I’d stitched something for him.  Unfortunately, I never got the chance. 
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Last year on his birthday, even though I was sitting in a hotel room in Wichita, Kansas after a long day of meetings, I started his sampler.  I’d ordered the Au Ver A Soie silks that the chart called for and had tried a dozen different fabrics before finally deciding on 40 count Confederate Grey.  It seemed fitting.  And there was no way I was going to stitch this on the ivory or cream fabric that the chart called for.  It needed something richer, something to make the colors pop, something unique. 
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The house itself did bring about its own set of challenges.  The chart called for GAST Adobe for the house, but since it was the only variegated thread in the piece, I did want to go with silk if possible.  My friend Laurie graciously offered to take my skein of Adobe with her and choose a couple of options for a similar silk thread.  Out of the two she brought me I ended up using Gloriana Pecan.  And it really is almost identical to the Adobe.  
The other issue I ran into on the house was the color for the roof.  The chart called for an AVAS that is essentially “seafoam green”.  Not at all what I wanted as a roof.  Of course I scoured the internet hoping for a better photo of this sampler than what is on the chart, but try as I might the only photos that come up of this sampler that aren’t the chart cover are mine.  And that wasn’t going to help me.  I tried skein after skein of different silks but nothing worked.  Finally I pulled the DMC conversion listed in the chart and tried that.  (the DMC called for was not at all seafoam green but more of a greenish grey).  Unfortunately, with the color fabric I chose, that color wasn’t going to work.  So, I went about three shades darker.  And suddenly, I had a roof!
The final fork in the road I ran into was for the windows of the house.  When I looked at the blue chosen for the windows my only thought was no way.  I tried a lighter blue, I tried a pale yellow, I thought about leaving them empty.  But, when I finally got the motifs stitched on either side of the house I realized that there was no blue anywhere in the bottom of the sampler.  John must have known what he was doing, because it really did need that blue to balance everything out.  But, I stitched the windows in tent stitch to lighten it up a tad.  I’m really happy how it turned out. 
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When I started this piece I, of course, knew that I wanted to personalize it for my dad.  The designer had done her own personalization on her reproduction of the antique, but in the chart mentions that the original said “John Reed, Brendan, Aged 14, 1844.”  So, my own personalization has my dad’s name, the year he was born, and the city he was born in.  
I look forward to framing it, and showing it to my mom.  She hasn’t seen it in all the time I’ve been stitching on it.  As I mentioned, I started it in June of last year on his birthday and it’s been pretty much the only thing I’ve stitched on this year.  I put the last stitches in on September 26.  I will miss stitching on this piece, it has been a good way to work through my grief and to remember him with every stitch.  I hope that more people will stitch this sampler, I think it would be nice to know there are more John Reeds out in the world. 
I am grateful for a legacy. 

Busy as a Bee

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You guys probably thought I dropped off the face of the earth, huh?  Well, things have been very busy around here and a lot of late nights and early mornings at work.  I managed to take Friday off though so that I could have a four day weekend, which I really needed.  And amazing what a little sleep will do for you – I actually made some good progress on my stitching!  
This is how my John Reed sampler is coming along.  I’m working on the middle third of the piece.  The house actually stretches down into the bottom third, which is why I only have the top floor stitched.  All of that fill in was getting a bit boring, so I decided to get back to the motifs.  Last night I managed to stitch ten bees, the beeskep and the two little trees.  Not too shabby!  I have to say though, that house was actually a lifesaver.  Those nights when I was so tired from work I couldn’t think straight – mindless fill in was the perfect thing to stitch on. 
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I hope you are all having a lovely Memorial Day.  I am rather enjoying a quiet day at home.  Oh, with my helpers.   
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I also posted up some photos of Memorial Day from last year on my other blog, if you’d like to visit.   And speaking of my other blog…you might notice that there have been a lot of changes going on around here.  I’ve linked my two blogs, so you can now go to my home page and reach either blog from there.  You’ve probably also noticed that I’ve changed my template and layout on this blog.  Once I got the blogs all linked and took a look at this blog again I decided that it was just too busy for my taste these days.  So, I’ll probably be playing around a bit with things for awhile, but I hope you’ll take a few minutes to look around at the other blog and see some of what I’ve been working on.  
Thutmose is always glad when I include him in my posts.  Thanks for visiting!
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I am grateful for my country.

Two Cakes in One

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So far this year, each one of my WIPocalypse posts have featured a finish, which is pretty fantastic. First it was Margaret Cottam, then last month it was the bonus block from Anniversaries of the Heart and this month it’s another Anniversaries of the Heart block. I’m a little overdue for my WIPocalypse post this month, but I wanted to wait because I was so close to having another little finish – and this one is important.

You may remember that I decided to go ahead and start the June block instead of moving on to the March block next because I wanted my dad to be able to see it finished? The June block is actually called “Happy Birthday” and I made a some changes to it. I wanted this block to represent both my dad and his mother – they both have June birthdays only two days apart. I decided to put each of their names on the block, over one, instead of initials as charted. I also changed the color on the names so that they were a bit easier to read. And then instead of splitting up the year on either side of the house, I stitched the year each of them was born over one as well.

So, on the left side of the block – it says Margaret and the year 1915. This is my dad’s mother.

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She died long before I was born. In fact, I think my mother only met her once before she died of cancer in 1965. The photo above is from 1937. She must have been an amazing woman, and to hear my dad talk about her, she was. He sent me an email once with the subject line “My mom is braver than your mom” and the photo below attached.

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She must have been something. (Although to be fair, there just isn’t any photographic evidence of my mom being chased by a wild bison.)

The right side of the block has my dad’s name, John, and the year he was born – 1944. As soon as I saw this block I knew I wanted to change the wording inside the cartouche from “Happy Birthday Dear Friend” to something more meaningful.

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My dad told me once that he and his mom would celebrate their birthdays together – she would make a big cake for the bottom layer and a smaller cake for the top layer. One for each of them. And she would whisper to him “two cakes in one” because it was their little secret. Here’s my dad in 1948 with his mother’s carving knife and their cakes.

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And here’s my dad in the Air Force.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get my dad’s block finished in time for him to see it. He died on February 24th. I did my best, but I just wasn’t fast enough. But, I’m glad it’s finished and I took it to show my mom yesterday and she told me he would have loved it. I think it’s a good remembrance of him and his mom even if those lazy daisy stitches seemed neverending!

And speaking of the lazy daisies, on the morning of the day he died, I noticed my mom’s neighbor’s trees were all in bloom so I took my mom out to show them to her.

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Coincidentally, the block has little pink trees on either side. So, it will always remind me of that little moment of beauty and the peace of that morning.

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I miss you.

I am grateful for a legacy.