Friday, September 28, 2007

Embroidery in Moline 

Well, dear readers I'm tapping in from beautiful Quad Cities area. Yesterday was spent at the Butterworth House in Moline. The Mississippi River Valley EGA is holding their biannual show there.

The house is a lovely mansion once owned by a member of the John Deere family and is full of woodwork, stairways, nooks and crannies - you get the picture. The exhibit has been displayed beautifully by members of the guild in various rooms according to themes. The holiday room is particularly beautiful and they have done an entire Chrismon ornament tree that is the best I've seen to date.

I spoke last night on embroidery history and the crowd was kind enough to say "well done". It may have been the free admission as well.....

Back today to visit more with those attending the exhibit and those working for its success. I'm quite spoiled as I've been the guest of designer, Cindy Valentine. She and her kind spouse Ian and Iris her Mum have been super. I've been able to get a preview of her new GCC project and her class project for upcoming National.

Home tomorrow and then London on Monday.

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It was NOT the free admission, I'm sure, you have a very pleasant speaking voice and your love of your subject comes through and captivates an audience. I wasnt able to stitch for a couple of years due to a medical difficulty, but I remember the Lancaster show and still have my keychain with the piece of lace.

Hugs from an old friend
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Monday, September 24, 2007

It's a Small Friendly World 

The other day Sharon B. kindly reviewed some of my books on her blog, In A Minute Ago. One of her faithful readers, Allie Aller then ordered a few books from me (they're on the way Allie) and shared her blog info with me.

What a nice blog it is too. Allie's In Stitches gives a real glimpse into the life of a quilter, gardener, stitcher, liver-of-life.

Reading her blog and the entries about her Quilts of Valor reminded me I needed to change my shopping cart a bit. I do offer free shipping to folks who live at an APO/FPO but after reading Allie's blog, I added shipping to VA Medical Centers, Rehab centers or Domiciliaries. The majority of my health care is thanks to my local VA Medical Center so I know how much it means to vets to be remembered day after day after day -- not just on national holidays.

So we've completed quite a small friendly blogging circle.

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The Work of Worms 

I was happy to find Michael Cook's site Wormspit.com

As Michael writes, it is about silkworms, silkmoths & silk. Check out Michael's methods for dyeing silk, reeling, etc.

Michael has also generously hosted two small vintage publications about silk and allows you to download the pdf's of them.

It is a delight to see a textile artist who is passionate about their chosen field.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

The Case of the Stolen Silk 

The Old Bailey site is one of those deep and rich sites full of history of London as well as crime. The site encompasses the years1674-1834.

Amongst the subjects covered is a history of the French immigrants in Spitalfields (silk weavers) and at least one case involving the theft of silk.

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Interesting proceedings Linn - at first I wondered what he was going to so with 122 yards of silk then realised of course sell it! Doh! Obviously I am not sparking on all 4 cylinders tonight.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's Up? 

You may think because I haven't been blogging often that I have dropped off the edge of the world. Wrong!!!

I'm madly getting ready to travel to Moline next week to spend time with a designer chum, Cindy Valentine, and visit the Biennial Needlework show of the Mississippi River Valley Chapter of EGA on the occasion of their 20th anniversary. I'm honored to have been invited to give the keynote lecture on their theme this special year -- Yesterday, Today and Forever. I know I will be seeing old friends, making new friends and will see heaps of fabulous embroidery.

Then it's home for a day and off to London. I'll get a few days' research in before our tour group arrives. Most are coming a few days before the official tour starts. We are not a sightseeing tour but Libby will be taking some of the group to splendid places during those early days and I will be taking a few of the group members to explore London research libraries.

So, lots of handout production, lots of stuffing goodie bags, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

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have a great time!!
Have a fantastic time, Linn! Please give my best to Libby. Safe travels!
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Last Call For London 

We have a couple of spots available for folks wanting to join us on our yearly London tour beginning October 7th.

Just let me know if you are a spontaneous traveler who would like to spend a week in London visiting great needlework collections and take in the largest needlework show in the world.


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Give Drawing A Chance 

Julie Baumler at Orange Rug Yarn Stitchery has addressed a refrain oft heard amongst needleworkers "I can't draw" with a very non-threatening challenge.

You might consider giving it a go.


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Friday, September 07, 2007

Free Admission - Museum Day 

Visit the Smithsonian Museum Day page and print off a card giving you and a guest free admission at hundreds of museums and cultural sites on September 29, 2007.

I will be traveling that day, but it looks like a very nice way to visit a local museum. I'd be interested to hear from folks who take advantage of the offer.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Scanned Photo Charts - A Rant 

A PR blurb from DMC USA triggered a rant around here. It seems DMC will gladly take stitchers' money to convert their photos automatically into cross stitch charts. WRONG, EVIL, BAD IDEA

Now I use top of the line charting software and it has sophisticated ability to turn a scand photo or graphic into a stitching chart. Well what it manages to do is turn out rubbish. To get any sort of stitchable chart one needs to set the parameters (number of colors, stitch size, etc.) very carefully and then spend hours of "cleaning up" the resultant chart.

Marginally more useful is the ability of the program to lay a blank graph over a graphic so one can input a design on the graph, bit by bit, by computerized hand.

Just turning out an automatically generated chart will buy you a lot of single stitches, odd colors and ragged lines. You can improve your result by scanning and turning into a chart a watercolor rather than a photo.

So, if you really must have a stitched version of man's/woman's best friend or your favorite kidlet, plan on doing the job yourself so you can refine the chart and plan on spending many hours cleaning up the computer generated result. It can be done, but it is very labor intensive.

Designer Libby Covington has published a booklet with all the best tips on turning a photo into a decent chart and it includes a disc with trial versions of the various charting programs for you to "try before you buy". Trust me -- listen to Libby if you really want to Chart Your Favorite Memory. You won't regret it.

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