Friday, December 14, 2012

Love One Another

Now Available at your local needlework store!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Love One Another

Although this design is not a Christmas Design, it is fitting for this time of year...And any time of the year. I have a sneak peak at my new design and a new series. This is #1! I am busy putting together the packets and it should be available through Hoffman Distributing and Norden Crafts in approximately two weeks. Please check with your local needlework store to find it. If you do not see my designs, please ask them to order them for you!
Thought the Christmas Tree was very appropriate! Happy Holidays to everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Abby Rose distributor!

Great news...Abby Rose Designs has a new distributor! Norden Crafts has picked up my entire line of designs! I look forward to working with such a great company! A quick update! Working on a couple of new designs. Looking At a mid to late December release. Thank you to all who have purchased my designs! Thanks to all the shops who put them up on their Facebook and web sites. I am having a great time designing and getting them ready for your stitching pleasure! Happy stitching and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Christmas House Sampler

Coming Soon to your favorite Needlework Shop!  Christmas House Sampler!
30 count R & R Reproductions Old Town Blend.  Threads used are overdyed by Gentle Arts Sampler Threads and Weeks Dye Works.

Preview of Noble, Right, Pure!

Hello Everyone!  It's always so exciting to release a new design.  I picked up two yesterday from my framer.  They always do such a fine job and make my designs look better than I ever imagined!  I am working on my photography skills but I still have a long way to go I'm afraid!

Noble, Right and Pure
Stitched on 30 count Espresso, R & R Reproductions
I need to take a class...but time is always an issue.  This one will be available at Hoffman Distributing and your local needlework stores in about a week.  I will post the DMC colors soon as I did use Weeks Dye Works and Gentle Art Sampler Threads on this one.

I also picked up my small Christmas Sampler, I will post pictures later on it.  It is small and can be stitched up quite quickly for the holiday season.  I usually design an ornament, but this year wanted something in a frame. 

Happy Stitching and have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Thursday!

Hope everyone is having a great week!  Every year about this time, I get the urge to clean and organize.  I don't know what it is but...I have been cleaning eveything in sight!  I've been wanting to organize my sewing room/office so I have been working on it too.  I didn't get too far with it yesterday, but I will work on it again today.  I went over to Hobby Lobby to find some type of cabinet to organize my thread...I have quite a bit...don't you know!  My husband, who was trying to help me identify how large my cabinet should be said..."so how much thread can you haveanyway, that you need something large."  So I showed him... I've been collecting for awhile!  Since 1997...that's when I learned to stitch.  He should see my collection of linen!  I'll save that for another day!
I found these cute shelves at Target, a good way to display some small stuff. I am planning to add a couple more of these. I have some smalls that I would like to display and you can change your collections easily.  Although they are sturdy, I wouldn't want to put my collectables on them. 

My husband found this old sewing machine with cabinet.  I'm not really into sewing....although I did try my hand at quilting, but I prefer cross stitch.  I love the cabinet though and it also a good place to display things you collect.

Now here's the mess!  I have tried everything to organize these shelves.  Usually there are more baskets...but I take them off to sort thread, or whatever else I need to do and then I do not return them!  I also have another set of wooden shelves with know, they look so cute in magazines, but they are not very effective.

Most precious of all though, is my helper, Coco.
She's very patient and sits on the rugs while I sort through my stuff!

Monday, I took both of my new designs to the framer, so I am hoping that at least one of them will be ready to release next week.  Several weeks ago, I put together a Christmas design, but just didn't have the time to stitch it.  I sat down last weekend and started to work on it and before I knew it, it was almost stitched.  So I put my self in high gear and finished it by Sunday night.  It is a small sampler, titled, Christmas House Sampler.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Noble, Right and Pure!

New Design!  I haven't written much lately but I have been busy working on a couple of new designs!
Also did a bit of traveling over the last few weeks so that kind of slowed me down a little...
It has finally cooled down just a tad here in South Texas.  I won't get too excited, it's only in the upper 70's but it is better than the 100 degree temperatures that we've had since June!  The winters here are great and something I look forward to every year.  I grew up on the east coast so I do remember the long cold winters and I don't think I could handle that anymore!  The winters here are mild, warm days, ususally, and cool nights.  About 5 years ago, we had a big surprise when we woke up on Christmas morning.  We had snow!  Not much, but enough that it did lay on the ground until the sun came out and melted it!  That hadn't happened in over 100 years so I don't expect it to happen my lifetime!

I included a sneak peak of my new design.  It goes to the framer tomorrow, so it should be released in a couple of weeks.  It comes from a bible verse...Whatever is noble, right and pure, lovely.  Think on these things.  Hope you will enjoy stitching it...warning there are a few eyelet stitches, but they are easy!

Also working on my Christmas design...Christmas House Sampler.  Love working with red and greens.  I'm expecting a late October release on it.
Happy Stitching everyone!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New Fabric, New Threads!

I don't know if you are like me...but I'm guessing you are...I get so excited when I get some new fabric and some new thread! It's not like I don't already have some...I have cabinets full! I'm not fabric or thread deprived! But there is nothing like the sight of some brand new stash. It gets your spirit soaring....I had some ideas in mind when I ordered the linen and thread...but now that it has mind is really racing! I've been asked where do my ideas come from and I can tell you it is a multitude of ways. Sometimes it a verse I have read, it might be a motif I've seen but some times it comes with colors I love, linen I love, the season. Anyway, I have discovered that I have the attention span of a fly! My designs are usually something that you can stitch in a couple of days or a weekend and they are simple cross stitch. Now every once and a while I throw in an eyelet or another specialty stitch, but not often. Beware, I am working on a design that has a few eyelet stitches, but I'll put a warning sign on the back of the package to let you know. I read a cute blog the other day where the writer said it upsets her when she finds out there are other stitches included...I thought it was cute and I understand! Basically though I design what I like to stitch. If I start a design and it doesn't feel right or I'm not enjoying it, I move on. If I'm not having a good time, I don't think you will either. I do have favorite designers and I think they influence me, I love Blackbird Designs, I'm a fan of Plum Street Samplers and I admire Lizzie Kate's, graphic arts talent. Wish I had more of that in me! I do follow quite a few blogs, such as Sampler Girl, The Scarlett House and quite a few other stitcher blogs. My favorite linen is R&R Reproductions, always has been. I did see some Old Salem linen that I would like to try. I loved the antiqued look. I like the coffee dyed and the smell when it comes out of the bag. Gentle Arts Sampler Threads and Weeks Dye Works are my favorite over dyed thread. I use both in most of my designs. But I've know from reading the blogs that there are so new overdyed companies and I will probably try some of their products eventually. I also have a love of old antique samplers. I have already released "Ann Merchant" who was a distant relative on my mother's side. I have two more in the works. One is Mary Pilgrim and the other is an English sampler that I purchased and it is very colorful. That's the reason I chose it....although I do like the subtle colors in the American Schoolgirl Samplers. My ancestors were from Virginia and I grew up in that area, although I have been in Texas for the last 35 years. We were fortunate enough to visit many historical sights as a child and I think that is where my love of history and antiques began... We'll enough about me. I have to get back to stitching my new design. Hopefully I'll have a photo soon. I'm expecting it will be a mid October release. Happy Stitching! Happy Weekend!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Oh Happy Day....New English Sampler

Today my new sampler came in the mail! Oh happy day! It's feels like Christmas! I really need to stay off eBay,but I can't seem to help myself. This is my first English sampler and I have to say when I opened the package I was pleasantly surprised. Although I absolutely love our american samplers they sometimes lack the vibrant colors I long to use when stitching. This one has vibrant pinks, greens (my favorite color),blues and beiges and even a tad of violet. I believe this time I'm going to use overdyed threads. The original Ann Merchant was stitched with silks and I tried to stay very true to the original (because she was a family member). But this one has all kinds of possibilities. With Ann, I also tried to recreate what she would have looked like 150 years ago. On this one, I think I will reproduce it looking aged. It has stood the test of time very well. It came to me already framed so it has been preserved well. The verse on it reads: Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth. Eccles. XII I. I have so many ideas for new original designs and am working on a new release for later this month. I am still charting another sampler, Mary Pilgrim that I purchased last summer! She is very detailed and has some over one stitching that kind of slows you down when charting...but I think she's also going to be a beauty when completed. Also planning to participate in the Online Needlework Show in October. The summer went by quickly here in south Texas. I'm ready for some cooler hurricanes so far this year...but we aren't out of the season I'll just keep my fingers crossed that we can make it on through hurricane season without any storms. A cool front is scheduled to come through here will be 90 degrees instead of our usual 100-102 degrees :). I don't care, it's a start to cooler days! Happy stitching!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ann Merchant

Model is stitched on 30 count Weeks Dye Works Parchment
Available now through Hoffman Distributing or your local needlework store!  
Ann Merchant 1838 Reproduction Sampler 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Poor Poor Pitiful Me!

This past week has been something else! Most of the week I was in denial that I had a matter that I was so congested I could hardly breathe or that I went through at least two boxes of tissues. I was determined that it was allergies! So on Friday, I went to the doctor...for my allergies...he informed me it was a cold and I should go home, rest and quit infecting everyone. And I hope...I didn't cause anyone else this kind of suffering. I don't know why I can't except it when I am sick. I guess I am used to enjoying good health...which I am very thankful for....and I don't want to miss anything :). Life is full of great adventures and I don't want to miss out on any! But anyway...this week, I was glad iPads and Pinterest were invented. That's about all I had the strength to do. Speaking of adventures...I am having the greatest time with my adventure....Abby Rose Designs. My series has been well received by all of you and I feel very blessed! It is great to get an email from someone who has said they love your work. And I thank you! I also got a surprise email from Ann Robbins of R&R absolute favorite linen, asking me to let them know before I release a pattern, so they can prepare.( I usually use their linen.) I guess this week wasn't so bad after all! Well the fact that I am posting today means I am about to rejoin the land of the living. Congestion's better, tummy is growling so I guess I'll close and go find some Campbell's chicken noodle soup. That's what mom gave us and it always helped to make me and my two sister feel better. Keep stitching!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Reproducing An Old Sampler...'s been a while since I last posted!  I picked up my Ann Merchant from the framer a couple of days ago and the frame I chose was even better than I expected!  Of course, it didn't hurt that the owner of the frame store has a wonderful eye and knows exactly what you want!  It took just a couple of tries and we both agreed that the final selection was the best.  My framer did a wonderful job and I plan to take the original and have it framed in the same style.

This has been a process and since it was my first reproduction....I wanted to get it as close to the original as I possibly could....also Ann Merchant was a member of my family so I wanted to give her...her due respect!

I purchased this sampler back about 2 years ago.  She laid waiting patiently for at least a year...then I began the process of charting her.  I had to decide if she was going to be reproduced exactly...or respectfully reproduced...meaning a little change here and there while keeping the idea of the original sampler.  Of course, I chart her to the best of my ability....just as I saw the sampler.  I'm glad I did...when you put them side by is a wonderful sight to see old and new!

I was lucky in a way, that the back side was not completely covered.  The sampler was not given it's due respect over the years and came to me in a very bad way...she is nailed to a wooden frame!  Well, she will be given the royal treatment now and framed properly to preserve her for another hundred fifty years!  Anyway, because the back was open, I could see the original color of the linen and silks!
I took her to my local needlework store and with the help of another lover of samplers, we chose the silks and linen by pulling and matching to the closest possible was great fun and very exciting!  We were on a mission to do right by Ann! 

Now chart is and linen chosen, time to start stitching!  Again, I lucked friend, Lenore Ramos lovingly stitched her for me.  She is a beautiful stitcher, loves samplers, and I think a speed stitcher...she puts me to shame!  Anyway, the end result is something I am very proud of...the new Ann Merchant looks like an old sampler...mission accomplished!  I have added a sneek peek for you.  She will be released in about 2 weeks.  I am now preparing her for her release.  She has had her picture taken ( a hundred get the best photos), and I have almost completed her instructions, working on her DMC conversion and putting together her family tree information.  I had a great time and I feel like I saved another one of our American Samplers!  If you are a sampler stitcher, I hope you will enjoy this one!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Speak Kindly Release

Hi Everyone!  Just a quick note.  I've had several e-mails regarding the release date for "Speak Kindly".  It should be released tomorrow through Hoffman.

Also, thanks to everyone who has begun to sign up for this blog.  It is appreciated and in the next couple of weeks I will post a contest so someone can win a couple of sets of my latest designs.  Tell your friends to sign up too!

Still working on my Christmas design.  Had it almost complete and then decided I didn't like one of the colors.....of course it was a major part of the design.  Took me almost all Sunday afternoon to take it all out.  I kept wondering if it would have been easier to just start over!

I don't know about you but I am sure looking forward to Fall and Winter!  It will still be warm here in south Texas but it will tolerable! 

Will be spending next week in Dallas for a work conference.  Hoping to get out to a few needlework shops while I am there.  Any recommendations?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Speak Kindly!

While on vacation, I haven't designed or stitched much.  "Speak Kindly" did make it back from the framers and will be available soon at your local needlework shop.  Here's a peek!  This is part four of the series, " Live Simply, Care Deeply, Love Generously and Speak Kindly".  I've had many kind e-mails saying that you have enjoyed sitiching this series, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to e-mail.  What's next....well, I have 2 reproduction samplers in the works, a Christmas Design and I am working on a small booklet of various designs.

I have also promised myself that I am going to start blogging more often and get this going properly!
When you visit, if you haven't already, sign up.  When I get at least 30 followers signed up, ( and I know that there are alot of you already reading, who haven't yet signed up) I am going to post a contest and will give away a couple of sets of the series!  So hurry, sign up, so we can start the contest!  I hope everyone is enjoying a great summer!  Stay cool!


It has been a very hot summer here in South Texas but we took a little time off and headed to one of our favorite spots...South Padre Island.  Every year we try to spend as much time there as possible.  It is a tropical paradise to relax, shop and of course the seafood is great! 

As you can see Coco loves it too!  After a hot day she likes to come inside and get a quick nap.  Some how she managed to get a pillow in her dog bed!  We still haven't figure out how she did that....she is something else!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Christmas in June?

Today I worked on my Christmas Design! It's kinda hard to get into the Christmas spirit when it's 95 degrees outside! Now to order the supplies and decide on colors and then work on the stitching. I have several projects in the works...which reminds me of a post I read on one of my favorite blogs. The writer said, today I have stitcher's ADD, I've been jumping around from one project to another. I totally understood what she was saying...I just never knew what to call it. I guess we all have those days when you can't seem to settle on a project. BTW...I am looking for model stitchers. If you are interested, email me at and I will give you the details. Three more weeks until my Catherine Jorden class. I'm so's a combination of a little stitching, painting and dyeing fabric. I received the instructions for what to bring to class and it mentioned not to wear good we are gonna have a great time! The rest of the summer is full for me....and before I know it...summer will be over. My husband and I are going to spend a week at the Gulf of Mexico right after my stitching class, then 2 weeks later I am off to Chicago for a conference and then back to Dallas for a second conference. So I have stitch when I can... I purchased a beautiful tote to make my stitching supplies a little more mobile. It has 3 cat faces and was designed by Laurel Burch who also designs needlepoint canvases. I'll get a photo of it and post it later. I hope you are having a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Speak Kindly

This morning I put the last stitch in "Speak Kindly".  So off to the framer tomorrow.  I've enjoyed working on this series and hope you have enjoyed stitching it too.

I've had a few e-mails regarding how to stitch these as one...

When I designed them, I wanted each sampler to be 58 X 58 stitches.  If you choose to stitch them as one, you could stitch them horizontally and separate each sampler with about 10 to 20 stitches depending on your preference.  You could also leave off the individual borders and stitch one border around all four.  I kind of like the look of the individual borders.  They were designed so the colors would alternate using piney woods and peacoat.

You can also stiched them vertically for a different look.

So what's next...  Several years ago, I published a design called,
"Home is Where You Hang Your Needlework" which was very popular.  I still have people ask me where to find that design.  It's still out there in a few shops. I've also seen it on the web.  My new design is similiar to it, just a bit updated and a of course a new "saying".  It  will probably be released in the late summer.  I have an ornament that will be released soon and of course my two reproduction samplers that are in production right now.

It's many little time!

 I hope everyone is having a great summer.  It is HOT here in Texas and it's only the middle of June.  Makes you wonder what the rest of the summer will be like!  We are in hurricane territory to I am hoping that we can get away with another summer without a major storm.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Love Generously by Abby Rose Designs

I've attached a photo of Love Generously.  It was released today by Hoffman Distributing so you can now order or purchase it from your favorite needlework store.

Thank you to everyone who has e-mailed to say they love this series.  As a new designer, it is always fun to hear what your thoughts are about my designs.  It also helps me decide what is next.  The final sampler is "Speak Kindly".  It will probably be released some time next happens to be my personal favorite of the series.

Wishing everyone a great weekend and "Happy Father's Day to our male stitchers!

Send me pictures of your stitched series and I will happily post them on this blog! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Today Was A Good Day!

Today was a good day! Another design back from the framer! Love generously is the third in my series and I have one last that is a work in progress right now. It's kind of funny how ideas for designs come to you. I have been playing around with the design for Speak Kindly for a couple of weeks now I have the basic idea for the design but was having some difficulties with the details. Then I was in my car on the way home from the grocery store and the idea suddenly came to me and I knew immediately what to add to Speak Kindly. That's usually how it works... So tomorrow I'll finish up the computer work and move on to picking out the colors and start stitching. By the way...Care Deeply was released today so you should be able to find it at your LNS or order it online. I'm also taking Ann Merchant to the framer next week. She is my first reproduction sampler. I had so much fun charting her. By the time, I was finished, I felt like I knew her. She was stitched by a very dear lady Lenore Ramos who stitched this sampler in record time....I think it was not quite three weeks. It's not a small sampler! So thank you Lenore, I can't wait for everyone to see your beautiful work! Tomorrow I will post a picture of Love Generously and maybe a peak at Ann! Hope everyone has a great weekend. Happy stitching.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

DMC Conversions for Live Simply, Care Deeply

I had a request for the DMC Conversions for "Live Simply" and "Care Deeply" which should be available tomorrow. 

GA-Piney Woods 3021,CC-Whatley Woodlands 838, GA-Ye Old Gold, WDW-Molasses 3031, WDW- Peacoat 310, WDW- Baked Apple, 3857, WDW- Maple Syrup 3031, WDW- Whitewash white or ecru,
CC-Manor Red 902, WDW- Bullfrog 501 or 502, WDW-Onyx black, GA-Dried Thyme,GA-Claret 3685, GA-Flax 739

Please remember these will be a little different from the overdyed threads but were chosen as close as possible to the colors used in the charts.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Catherine Jordan's Map Class

It's fun to take time off from designing and to learn something nePicturew!  I just signed up for a class by Catherine Jordan to be held in Austin in July.  It sounds really wonderful!

You get to be a map designer!  Using paint and dye and some stitching, you reproduce an old style map.  I am really looking forward to this one.

It's already hot here in Texas!  Not looking forward to the intense heat through September/October!  But with a little iced tea, air conditioning and a few trips to the beach, I guess it's not so bad.  A good reason to sit inside in the air conditioning and stitch.

Today, I was going through some old design work and to my surprise I found two unpublished designs from back in 2007.  They were actually pretty good, with a few tweaks here and there, I will probably publish them.  It's funny, there are some days when you really want to just thinking about your next design, just stitch and then I have those days when I am in the designing mood! 

I also found a "small" that I did a few years back that I want to pass on to whoever would like to stitch it.  I chose some colors for it but you can use your imagination and make it yours!

Hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend!

You can add a heart charm of your choice in the place where there is not a heart or stitch another heart.  It can be put into a small frame or you can make it into a pin cushion.  Stitch it on a smaller
size linen and it could be a scissor fob.  Great idea for a stitcher's birthday or gift exchange.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Coming Soon!

Care Deeply, Design 2 of the 4 part series!

Now that it's framed, it looks alot better! Available soon!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Love Generously is coming right along! I love progress!  Hopefully I get this finished today and off to the framer tomorrow. 

And if all goes well...Care Deeply will be ready and available next week through Hoffman Distributing!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Little Help From My Friend

Couldn't resist showing you a picture of my assistant!  She is with me from the beginning of a design until it is finished!  She's a little camera shy...I can't ever get her to look directly at the camera!  She's an angel.  Her name is Coco and she is almost 4 years old.  She is the friendliest pet I have ever owned...she loves cats and reminds me of a mother hen.  She never meets a stranger...human or otherwise.  We have to tell her that not all animals are as friendly as she is...... She loves the beach and can't wait until we take our travel trailer there for the summer.  All we have to say is.... ready to go the beach and she runs around in circles and chases her tail!  Yes, she does have sunglasses.  She'll put them on and pose for you soon!  Have a great weekend!

Love Generously!

Love Generously is the 3rd design in my series.  This is just a little peak at part of the design.  I don'tusually stitch from the bottom up but I couldn't wait to stitch the little medallion. 

I should have this one finished over the weekend and ready to send to the framer.  I'm on a roll...when I pick one up at the framer....I drop the next one off.  Care Deeply will be ready to pick up on Monday so I've got to get busy and finish this one over the weekend!

Live Generously is available now through Hoffman Distributing or you can ask for it at your local needlework store and they can order it for you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Live Simply

Part One, Live Simply is finally complete!  Should be available from Hoffman Distributing soon and then at your favorite LNS.   To follow in the series will be " Care Deeply".  It's at the framer as I write...should be ready in a week.  I'm now stitching "Love Generously" and hope to finish it in a few days.

These designs are easy to stitch and fun!  They can be completed quickly, it usually takes me about 8 hours over a weekend to finish.

The series can be framed individually as I have done...or you could stitch the entire series which are all 51/2 X 51/2, same color family, and frame them together.  I used 30 ct Cafe Kona by R & R Reproductions.  In another post I will list the threads used.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Boo Boos and Other Stuff

I am patiently waiting for my "Live Simply" sampler to come back from the framer. Well, not exactly patiently....I get so excited when I have a new Chart about to be published. It's exciting to see which ones become favorites. The Ann Merchant sampler is being stitched for me while I work on my series. I have had such a time getting this series ready...first my sweet little dog, Coco decided to eat my chart which had all of my color notes on it. I'll have to post a picture of her. She is my helper...she loves to sit beside me as I stitch....sit on my lap when I'm on the computer charting and pretty much follows me around where ever I go. Anyway, after I recovered the color codes, I started through the first one, started on "Care Deeply" stitched the whole thing and was so proud of myself. Got it ready for framing....looked down and saw I left the f out of the chart. Now how could I chart and stitch the whole thing and not miss the f ??? If it had been the j or u, I would have just said I did it on purpose. Those were the two letters that were left off of a lot of early samplers. But since I didn't think anyone would believe me...I stitched the entire thing over. Mistake was at the top of the chart, just seemed like it made more sense. I'm about halfway through the second and I actually like it better. Someday I'll get this series finished. Another great thing that happened...I usually stitch all of my own projects, but since I have a more than full time career as a non-profit executive director, I decided to have someone stitch my Ann Merchant reproduction. Asked around and found a wonderful lady who loves samplers as much as I do. I went over to visit her the other day to see how things were coming along and got to see lots of projects she has completed.she has attended many classes,with teachers like Merry Cox, who was my very first teacher. She also had a couple of antique samplers that she purchased on a trip to England. They were both beautiful...anyway we decided that in exchange for stitching my piece, I would chart one of her antique pieces for her. I love charting so it seemed like a great deal for both of us. I think we will probably work on some more projects together. My point to all of this is...stitchers are just great people!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Easy Cream Cheese Pound Cake!

I've been busy working on several needlework projects that will be out soon.  So I don't have much to post.  So I thought I'd post one of my favorite recipes that I use all the time!  I actually even get requests for it.

This is probably the easiest cake I have ever made that tastes like a "from scratch" cake.  It comes out great everytime.  Sometimes I buy frozen mixed berries, (strawberry, black berry, raspberry combination), add some sugar and let them sit for an hour two, then serve the berries on top of the cake with whipped cream.  Yum!  Try it and let me know what you think.  One of the best cakes you'll ever eat!

The recipe:
1 Butter Recipe Cake Mix
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
4 eggs
1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons butter (softened)

Mix cake mix with water and sugar.  Add oil and eggs.  Add cream cheese and butter.  Mix well. Bake at 350 degrees in greased and floured bundt pan for about 45 minutes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Live Simply

New Design that will be available from Hoffman Distributing in a few weeks.  Part 1 of a 4 part series.
Live Simply, Care Deeply, Love Generously and Speak Kindly.... Sneak Peak before it was framed!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ann Merchant Sampler Original

The antique Ann Merchant Sampler.  As you can see she was attached to a wooden frame with nails...She will be lovingly framed soon.  The verse which cannot be seen on the bottom from the middle to the right reads:  My Mother, My Father, I know your kindness I cannot repay.  But I hope that as older I grow, I shall learn your commands to obey.

Her name is also faded but it on the left bottom.  Ann Merchant aged 11 years 1838.

Mary Pilgrim Sampler

My lastest...Thought you'd like to see the original Mary Pilgrim Sampler.  She was dated as 1707 but the date is not on the original.  This photo does not do this sampler justice!  She is stitched on at least a 50ct. linen....alot of the work is over one thread.  The colors are still good although there are several holes in the linen but the stitched areas still seem to be intact.  It is so will take me some time to reproduce.

Update on Abby Rose Designs--Ann Merchant 1838

Just finished the instructions for Ann Merchant.  This past week I had a great time at my LNS.  I went over with Ann Merchant (the original) in tow and selected the Needlepoint silks for the design.  We carefully checked the back of the piece for clues of what the original colors were back in 1838.  And then, pulled and pulled colors to match them up!  What did we ever do without the hundreds of thread choices that we have now?  I also selected the fabric for the sampler.  Again, we took our clues from the back and I chose Weeks Dye Works Parchment linen, 30 count.  The original design was a 29 count and I wanted to keep the size as close to the original as possible.

It is remarkable that the original sampler has no holes in the linen.  There are some threads that are very worn but still in tact which made it hard to chart those areas....But with several magnifying glasses, I was able to study it carefully and I believe it is charted as accurately as humanly possible.  The original came to me unframed so I'm assuming by the aging the piece, that it has been unframed for many years.  I plan to have her professional framed to preserve Ann's work for many years to come.  We are so fortunate to be able to find some of these old samplers...I feel like I am preserving our American stitch at a time.

I have asked a local guild member to stitch Ann Merchant.  I usually stitch all of my work, myself.  But I have several projects waiting for my attention and another sampler to reproduce.  I am so excited about Ann Merchant,  as soon as she is stitched, she will be ready to market and you will be able to find her at your LNS.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ann Merchant Reproduction

Thought I'd give you an update on Ann Merchant! Today I completed the middle of the chart. Just need to complete the flowers on the boarder. Reproducing Ann's work was very interesting. She was just eleven when she worked this sampler and I am amazed at some of the ideas she came up with...she had no chart, so I'm sure with her teacher's instruction, she stitched her sampler with her mind's eye. After some research, I discovered that Ann's sampler was a Pennsylvania German sampler typical of the area where it was discovered and the year 1838. The linen is a course uneven weave and has a yellowish hue, also typical of the time. The fabric count is 29 threads per inch. I have chosen to stitch my reproduction on a 30 count but you can still find 29 ct. linen but you might have to order it. Ann's colors were blues, white, and cream. Again, typical colors that might be easily dyed. This could be the reason for the 3 different colors of blue that I found. Ann was not framed so I was able to turn the sampler over and look at the back for help in choosing colors. I do believe that this sampler was once framed because it did arrive on some type of wooden frame with paper partially on the back. Time has caused the paper to crumble somewhat but a portion of it is still in tact. I plan to have the sampler framed as soon as I have completed the reproduction. After much though I have decided to use silk threads instead of overdyes. The threads that Ann used were probably silk and I would like to keep her sampler as authentic as possible. The verse she used: My mother, my father, I know I cannot your kindness repay. But I hope that as older I grow, I shall learn your commands to obey. I would love to stitch this one myself but will have to find a stitcher to do it for me. I have 5 projects waiting for attention. And...another sampler found it's way to my home....Mary Pilgrim, 1707, an Adam & Eve sampler, completely stitched over one. This one might take a while to reproduce!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Summer Vacation, Part II.....

Paula Deen's Restaurant, The Lady and Sons
Savannah, Georgia......I fell in love with this place and it is now on the top of my favorite places to visit list!  So absolutely beautiful.  We were there in mid June and it was already a bit warm but had a great time!  There where several downpours during the day and that cooled us off a bit.

We stopped in at Paula Deen's Restaurant and had lunch...  

And toured the Historic District many, many times.  I couldn't get enough.  They have these great trolleys that will take you all over Savannah all day long.  It was very convenient because you could get off anytime you wanted and then get back on and go see something else.

Savannah Historic District

What a wonderful time.....if you get an opportunity to visit either city, I would highly recommend it! 

Summer Vacation....

Lately I've been thinking about summer vacation.  I guess I am in need of a vacation very badly or I my mind wouldn't keep going there....

This doesn't have anything to do with needlework but I was going through pictures and found these of last year's vacation.  Every year I like to travel to either a favorite place or find somewhere new that I haven't been.  Last summer I was fortunate to be able to travel to two of my favorite places....Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia.  Since they are only about 100 miles apart, we decided that we should see both. 

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina

We landed in Charleston, South Carolina and I couldn't wait to get off that plane and get to my first plantation!  I have seen many plantations....New Orleans, Virginia, Mississippi......but this was my first one in South Carolina and it was beautiful!!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ann Merchant, an 1838 Reproduction Sampler

This morning I began the process of reproducing a sampler that I purchased last summer. The sampler was found in Pennsylvania. It was well worn but what called my name when I saw it was the fact that my mother's maiden name was Merchant. I have spent quite a bit of time researching the Merchant Family over the years and I know that the family came to this country in the 1600's through Massachusetts but evenly settled in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York. My family eventually settled in Virginia. I have gone through all of my research but only found one Ann Merchant that was born around the right time. The sampler was dated 1838 so it was easy enough to research. There wasn't enough information to know for sure that this was the same Ann Merchant who at age 11 worked so diligently on her sampler. I have tried to photograph it but the threads are so old that it does not do justice to the piece. This Ann was probably a relative of mine because of the location of where it was found but for sure I doubt that I will ever know. But one thing I do know is her work found it's way to me. It will be loved and proudly displayed at a home of a needleworker.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Care Deeply

Just completed the second  design in the series, "Care Deeply".  I am hoping to have all completed and ready to go to the distributor in mid April.  Now on to designing the third...."Love Generously".

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Coming Soon-New Series from Abby Rose Designs

"Live Simply", the first design in a series of four.  Stitched on 30 ct. Cafe Kona from R&R Reproductions.  The threads I have chosen are deep rich colors.  This one has been very fun to stitch! Each design will be 5 1/2" by 5 1/2" and can be stitched individually or together. 
Will be available through Hoffman Distributing. Designs to follow will be "Care Deeply", "Love Generously" and "Speak Kindly".

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Soul Is Fed

My latest design.  It's been awhile since my last design! Hope you like it!

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Design

My Soul Is Fed
One of my most popular designs a few years back was "Home Is Where You Hang Your Needlework".  "My Soul is Fed" is along the same line.  The verse is "My Soul is fed by my needle and thread."  It was designed using browns, greens, reds, gold and yellow on 28 count linen, with cross stitch over two and long arm cross stitch.

It has been sent off to the framer but I will have it posted as soon as it returns.