Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Needlepoint Hearts

I've long forgotten when I stitched my first heart, although I remember which one it was. It was a 'Merry Christmas' Heart. How many have I stitched? I have no idea, but I know the answer is a lot.

In these, the Dog Days of Summer, I decided to while away the time on my website by posting a retrospective of my hearts. If you would like to see them, go to www.GayAnnRogers.com.
I've posted them on Facebook as well.

I confess, I'd forgotten about some of them and I've enjoyed revisiting them. I can't sell many of them any longer -- often I am out of the beads, or the threads have gone extinct and I can't find a replacement. I've been thinking of making some new ones: a new Tuxedo Heart and Wedding Dress Heart, some of my earlier beaded ones, it would be fun to revive them.

And I always have a portfolio of drawings for new hearts, so new ones come almost every sale.
In the last year I've made six Imperial Romanov Jewels Hearts to go along with Catherine the Great. I've sold four of them; two to go, one in E-Week in October and the last one in my Hearts Sale in February.

Why hearts?
I like the shape; they're small and usually quick and easy to stitch and when I finish one, it seems like I've stitched a fun pattern that happily didn't take forever. It usually takes me 3 evenings to stitch a heart and double the time to write the instructions. Instructions always take longer than stitching a piece.

So yes, I will continue to stitch hearts and more hearts and likely still more.

Gay Ann

Monday, July 25, 2016

Needlepoint Sale on Thursday Morning, July 28

I haven't had a sale of anything since February and a good number of my followers have been writing with requests for patterns from my past.

So MacSoph (my trusty little MacBook Pro) and I have been constructing a sale and we are set to go on Thursday morning, at 8:00 a.m. California time. It is Mid-Summer Sale. I intended it to be a very small sale but it had a way of growing and growing and now I am selling 25 designs from my past.

The main feature is the return of my Miniature Portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bess of Hardwick, my uppity ladies from the 16th century. Nothing like the Stuarts and the Cavendishes all returning at once.

The kits for the miniature portraits are limited, but many of the other designs which are instructions only are unlimited. I say unlimited in a qualified sense -- it depends on my energy for packing and shipping, ie Mail Jail.

To find the sale on Thursday morning:
www.GayAnnRogers.com

To sign up for my Newsletter, email me:
GayAnnRogers@me.com

I promise not to flood your inbox with Newsletters: I send them only to alert people to a sale and during the sale. I just sent a new Newsletter this morning bright and early, at 6:20 a.m.

Mary and Bess return on Thursday; can my portrait of Elizabeth 1 be far behind?
Elizabeth will arrive at my October sale, my biggest of the year, called E-Week.
Remember mid-October.

Meanwhile I hope you will come and visit Queendom Website.

Gay Ann

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Sales of My Needlepoint Patterns and Kits: FAQs

Lately I have had quite a few inquiries about patterns and kits for sale. Newbies to my website say they see designs of mine that they wish to buy but they can't find where to pay for them. Lately a note of frustration has crept into their emails. I thought it best if I wrote a post to answer questions about my admittedly idiosyncratic business practices.

Why don't I sell designs all the time? 
Because I'd be in Mail Jail forever and have no time to stitch. I like to stitch as much as you do, maybe even more!

So when do I sell designs?
I sell designs three times a year: in February, in May and in mid-October.
(Apologies that I missed May this year -- I'll have a sale sometime between mid-July and early August to make up for it).

How can someone find out about my upcoming sales?
Sign up for my Newsletter.
To sign up, email me: GayAnnRogers@me.com.

Will I flood your email inbox with Newsletters?
No, that I promise.  Essentially I send a Newsletter right before a sale starts and again right after the sale starts. That's it.

What about old patterns, how can you get the one you want?
I receive requests  almost daily for designs I've sold in the past.
I try to bring back a couple of patterns from the past at each sale. Usually I ask followers for suggestions and I bring back the most frequently requested.
If there is one you have your heart set on, email me: GayAnnRogers@me.com
I won't promise it, but if I receive other requests for it, I will try and bring it back.

Which old patterns am I considering bringing back in the next sales?
Right now my most-often requested designs are these:
Elizabeth 1 portrait. Since the day I first sold her, this has been my most frequently requested design.
Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick miniatures
Downton Abbey designs
Flowers, Hearts and a Peacock Sampler
Hollyhock House Sampler.

Will I sell the above designs soon?
I plan to sell my Elizabeth 1 portrait kit in October.
I plan to sell Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick sometime this summer.
I'll sell Downton Abbey designs again this summer and I'll try to bring back Flowers, Hearts and a Peacock Sampler and Hollyhock House Sampler either in October or next February.

Where can you see photos of the above designs?
My website: www.GayAnnRogers.com
Click on 'Portraits' and on 'Samplers' on the yellow navigation bar.
Sometime soon I'll start a gallery of sewing cases too.

What is the status of Echoes of Elizabeth Sampler?
I sold Echoes of Elizabeth Sampler last February and immediately afterward received a bunch of emails asking for it again.

Right now, because I am out of several beads for it, I have retired Echoes of Elizabeth Sampler.
If I can find appropriate beads, I will try and bring it back sometime in the future, but I'm not holding my breath.
Read on and you may be happy.

What about new designs? What am I planning for the future?
Up till my eye surgery, I had been stitching up a storm. Now I have new glasses and lots of new plans.

This may make Echoes of Elizabeth Sampler fans happy:
Echoes of Elizabeth Sampler #2, the pair for Echoes.

Here's what else I've been working on:
More Russian designs to go with Catherine the Great.
More Tudor designs to go with Elizabeth 1.
Three new geometrics, two ornaments, two sewing sets and...
A big surprise for 2017.


There are two more questions I am asked all the time:
What is my most popular design?
What is my favorite piece of my own work?

I'll save the answers to those questions in a future post.
For now I hope I've answered your questions about my sales.

Thanks for your interest.
Gay Ann





Monday, May 30, 2016

New: Needlework Lessons on Threads

It has been a long time since I've posted on my Blog. I hadn't realized so much time had passed.

I was on hiatus from webstuff and needlework for a month and a half this spring and during that time, I wrote a new series of lessons on Threads. Really, they are little essays on my favorite threads and how I use them.

There are eight lessons and this morning, I just posted the third one.

If you would like to read them, travel to www.GayAnnRogers.com and click on any of the photos on Queendom Website's Home Page.

Writing lessons was a good way to pass my time this spring. I couldn't stitch so I wrote lessons and instructions for projects and made kits. Oodles of kits which is super because I am ahead. I don't think I have been ahead for years and it is a nice feeling!

Speaking of kits, I had intended to have a sale in May but my hiatus blitzed those plans. I'm thinking now of having a small sale sometime in mid July or early August. I need to fulfill my promise to sell my miniatures of Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick. I promised in 2016 that I would bring back my Elizabethan designs. Elizabeth herself will arrive again at my October 'E-Week' sale and I thought it too much to bring back all three at once.

So look for a small sale sometime in the summer.

Meanwhile, nine days until I have my new glasses and can pick up my needle again.
Can't wait!

Happy Memorial Day.
Gay Ann

Thursday, January 07, 2016

In the New Year: Finding Stitching Time

Here it is, a New year and I am busy trying to keep resolutions and one of my resolutions is to find more stitching time. This morning I wrote this post for my Catherine the Great Stitchalong Room at Shining Needle Society. I started out to write a different post and it just evolved into this one. I like it so much I ended up posting it in all my Shining Needle Society classrooms and I decided to post it here too. I'd be interested in hearing if it works for any of you.

Happy New Year!

Finding Stitching Time
Needlepoint is my full time job and as such it follows that I should be stitching all day every day, doesn’t it.
But that doesn’t happen that way, too much else to do to keep my little business running and I have to do what you do, find the time.. 
Stitching isn’t a task, it’s a joy and as such I save stitching time so I can savor each stitch. Then I run out of time and another day passes without my needle in my hand.

Sound familiar?

So what can we do about it: find the time. I see finding time in two ways:  the first is Carving Out Stitching Time, that is, setting aside definite stitching times. 
Watching Downton is a good example of Carving Out Stitching Time. I know every Sunday night for the next few weeks I will be stitching while I watch Downton Abbey.

The second suggestion is Snatching Stitching Time Little snippets of time that I don’t plan on but try to take advantage of when they present themselves. 
I have a perfect example.
I’m one of those very prompt people. I’m married to DH who has never been on time to anything.
So I’m always ready and DH is rarely ready (although over the years he’s gotten much much better).
What does this mean? Perfect Snatched Stitching Time.  Even for 5 minutes; even for 2 minutes. Hey, three stitches stitched in Snatched Stitching Time is three stitches stitched.

So this week try both: plan Carving Out Stitching Time. Think of it as a date with your needle, and how it is terrible to stand up a date (am I dating myself? I suspect….)
And Snatch Stitching Time as the opportunity presents itself.

Keep track of both by drawing a line down a page and noting Carved Out Stitching Time on one side and Snatched Stitching Time on the other side.
Do this for a week and see which adds up to the most stitching time. The results might surprise you.


Now I am going to violate a concept I just hatched: I’m going to put this in all four of my stitching rooms because I think it pertains to all of them.
And if some of you have to read it four times, maybe it will result in some good productive impulses.
Think so?

Gay Ann

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas Stories

I have not written a post for my blog in the longest time. My work life has been in a bit of a whirlwind: I've been stitching madly and last October I ran a small sale that turned into a larger sale than I had expected. My stitching plus Mail Jail kept me too busy through the autumn.

Now here it is, time to decorate my website for Christmas.

In the past I wrote two Christmas stories about the power of friendship through our needlework. The first was the story of a woman I knew back in the 1980's, the second a story of two friends and Twelve Santas.

This morning I posted the story of the two friends on my website. I can't believe that it has been five years since I told the story, and now I've brought it back.

To read the story of The Twelve Santas, visit Queendom Website:
www.GayAnnRogers.com.
The story is on my home page.

Later on in the week I will post the first story called 'Marian's Christmas Box'.
I think it is 7 years since I wrote it.

Now I am writing another Christmas Story and I will post it when we are closer to Christmas.
This story will double as my Christmas card this year.

Happy Holidays to everybody. Remember to take a bit of time to sit, relax and hold your needle in your hand.

Gay Ann


Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Summer Has Passed Me By; What Does This Title Have To Do with Needlepoint?

Here we are, still in the heat of summer, but Labor Day has come and gone and soon there will be autumn's nip in the air.

Summer is my least favorite season. I could say it is the summer weather, too hot and too humid, but that's not the worst of it. The worst of summer is the traffic in and around where I live. The roads are crowded and parking in the places I like to park (as in near the post office) is impossible. And worst of all this summer, I got sick.

Yep, this year I spent my summer, or at least most of it, with a wretched disease called shingles. At first I was quiet about it, just suffered all the itching and pain (it was awful).

Then I decided I should make myself a public example in my world of needlepoint and here's why:

I had had the shingles shot. About 50% of people who have the shingles shot get shingles anyway, and I was one of those. But, said my doctor to me, the vaccine would likely help me: my case of shingles would be lighter and most important, the vaccine would likely protect me from the post-shingles nerve damage. My doctor proved right: my case (although thoroughly miserable) was lighter and I did escape post-shingles nerve damage.

So I set about telling my needlepoint friends of a certain age to ask their health providers if a shingles shot would be appropriate and if the answer was yes, march themselves right in for the shot.

And guess what: they did! Many reported to me that they even took their husbands along.
This was great news as it might help people escape a lot of misery.

As I was recovering and people were writing me their shingles tales, I stitched 'Shingles Ornament'.
No, it isn't all full of red rashes and scabs, although I admit for a short while I was tempted to see if I could make Bargello Rashes and round Rhodes-Stitch scabs. Happily that temptation only lasted a minute or two.

Shingles Ornament as I stitched it looks a bit like a ribbon (rosette) you might win in an needlepoint show. It is intended as a 'Badge of Courage' for stitchers who survived shingles or as a 'Badge of Intelligence' for stitchers who got the shingles shot, or a 'Badge of Love and Friendship' for stitchers who helped a friend or loved one through the dreadful experience.

It is small and takes only a couple of hours to make. I made three in three evenings: one for me because I survived, one for my doctor because she helped me and one for DH because he went to CostCo and got the shingles shot.

Where are Shingles Ornaments now? They are being made into ornaments and I will have them at my Autumn Sale. No, Shingles Ornament isn't sale, it's a gift to anybody who writes me her personal shingles story, be it personal survival or helping a friend or marching yourself in to see your health provider.

If you write to me after October 15, I will send you a link to a downloadable file for the pattern.
Worried about forgetting the date? I'll remind you in another post.


So the summer is past, and I survived, slowly my stamina is returning and I've returned gently to work. Yes, I've returned to preparations for a smaller sale in October and I'm stitching again and life is a whole lot better! I'm happy it's unofficially and almost officially Autumn now.

Gay Ann