Tuesday, December 26, 2006

About Half an Hour Ago...

About half an hour ago I took this photo out of my living room window with my new Christmas toy: a digital camera from my husband via Arlene Jones. Thank you, Jim! Thank you, Arlene, for ALL your help!

I am trying to learn how to use the camera and one of my goals is to be able to post photos on my blog.
Now I will see if it works.

Happy Day After Christmas.

Gay Ann

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Flora is going to Callaway

If you have visited my website, you may recognize Flora as my logo. Flora is a goddess of spring and a popular subject for cameos. When I was stitching all my projects for cameos, I thought it would be a challenge to stitch my idea of a cameo and Flora is the outcome. When Laura did my website, she used Flora as my logo.

This past spring I exhibited Flora in a needlework show here in Southern California along with Treasured Remembrance Sampler, Verena's Golden Flowers and Hollyhock House. Laurie McLellan was very involved in the show and said she thought I should support the needlearts. She is right, of course, so I entered the show.

Flora, Verena's Golden Flowers and Treasured Remembrance were in needlepoint; the organizers put Hollyhock House in another category, Petit Point.

Well, I was lucky: I won a first, second and third place for Flora, Verena's Golden Flowers and Treasured Remembrance Sampler and a first place for Hollyhock House. Doesn't this make me sound so important? Very important until you learn that my three were the only entries in their class, Canvas original, and Hollyhock House was the only entry in Petit Point original.

Much to everyone's excitement, there were a gazillion entries in other categories, more than a gazillion attendees and the organizers were so happy! It reminded me that we all have a responsibility to help needlework by showing our needlework.

With this in mind, and with some fear and trepidation, I sent off 10 pieces of my needlework to Callaway day before yesterday. Most are models for my classes this year and next, but I did send Flora as an entry for the show. I wanted her there for my cameo class anyway and I thought, why not.

Part of the reason I am writing this entry: I have a question for you out there in stitcherland. Have any of you ever entered the Woodlawn show? How did you find it? Did you mail in your pieces and were they returned promptly and in good order?

Over the years I have thought of sending in entries for this show but have always backed off because I don't know anyone involved in it and I am hesitant to send off my work blindly. Just yesterday I received an entry form for the show and thought, I should ask about it.

I would certainly welcome any comments.
Thank you and again, Jolly Holidays.

Gay Ann

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tis the Season

I didn't realize a month had gone by without a post to my blog. I was busy making and mailing kits. I call it Kit Hell and I live there often.

The Christmas season is here and in my needlework world, Christmas means Callaway is not far away. Callaway School of Needle Arts is at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain Georgia for 2 sessions in January. Jody Adams has been the director for as long as I can remember and I have been going each year as a teacher for a long time. I think about 300 avid stitchers attend each year and it is all about stitching! Classes go on each day; in between stitching sessions we eat, and then in the evening lots of us go back to class and joke, drink wine, eat more and stitch. Callaway is friendly and serious all wrapped into one needlework school and those of us who go wouldn't miss it!

This year I am teaching for 8 days. The first 4 days I am teaching Treasured Remembrance Sampler which is on my website and Angie a Sampler Maker and Xena a Sampler Maker. Angie and Xena aren't on my website yet. I have a combination of students this year, many I already know and a few new to me. I am greatly looking forward to Callaway, but then I look forward to it each year.

Meantime, I face the usual Christmas preparations.

Happy Holidays to you all.

Gay Ann

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dolly Varden Thimble in Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly

I just came home yesterday from a teaching trip to Denver. I ended up staying a day longer than I expected because of Denver's snowstorm. I was staying with Marnie Ritter and she was kind and let me snuggle up in her pretty warm house for an extra day. What a beautiful winter wonderland! I spent the entire day looking out on her beatuiful white yard, such a treat! Thank you, Marnie, and thank you, Denver EGA, for such a nice time.

Now I am home again in my land of eternal summer. I had not been home for 24 hours when the latest issue of Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly, one of my favorite magazines, arrived on my doorstep. Of course I had to thumb through and see all the beautiful things they present. I settled in with a big headline: "Rare "Dolly Varden" Thimble Fetches $2000 at Thimble Collectors' International Auction."

$2000! How extraordinary!

So what is a Dolly Varden thimble? I guess I can quote Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly because they quoted me:

The [Dolly Varden] thimble celebrates the 1901-1902 musical comedy, Dolly Varden. Dolly was the coquettish daughter of a locksmith in Charles Dickens' 1841 novel, Barnaby Rudge. The novel dealt with the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780 in London, but the musical comedy borrowed almost nothing from the novel except the heroine. It was a huge success, and Stern Brothers [the thimble maker] advertised the Dolly Varden thimble, along with other jewelry, in a full-page advertisement in October, 1901. The band of the thimble repeats six times the head of Dolly Varden in her 18th-century bonnet. (From my book, American Silver Thimbles, pages 133-134).

If you are interested in thimbles and wish to see an excellent photo of the Dolly Varden thimble, along with the latest auction information and prices at Thimble Collectors International, do treat yourself to the new issue of Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly, volume 45, $6.99 available in many needlework shops.

Gay Ann

Friday, September 29, 2006

I am home again from the Tucson Seminar

It is difficult to believe that the ANG Tucson seminar ended 2 weeks ago. Time has gone so quickly!

The seminar hotel this year was such a nice one, easy to get around, no elevator waits and a tiny refrigerator in each room! The views of the desert were great. I have always loved the desert in the early morning and late in the afternoon because of the light. Desert light is just wonderful and desert colors so inspiring.

I enjoyed my classes. I tried to teach a little more than "up at one and down at two" stitch patterns. I always have thought there are two parts to needlepoint: the first is how do do it and the second is what to do with it once you know how to do it. If I were interested only in the first, I would have left long ago; it is the latter that has kept me going for more than 37 years.

My most successful class, from my point of view, was my second class. In that class, Kate Gaunt asked me a great question: she asked, if I were to stitch my project again, what would I change. My answer led to a number of students changing colors which is always exciting. I have only one rule that uses the word "never" and it is this: never work in colors you don't like. If you don't like the colors you won't do your best work.

Needlework offers some good classes in color and design theory but our field is sorely lacking classes about the application of theory to specific projects. With this in mind, I was excited to learn that Betty Chen Louis will offer such a class at Callaway. To me, Betty is the Queen of Line in needlework.

I came home from seminar with good feelings about the direction I hope ANG will take in the future. While I was at seminar, I talked to several people who are willing to serve on the board and whose ideas are substantial and creative. I hope these people do indeed take board positions and I look forward to hearing more about their ideas.

Gay Ann

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Hint about the Surprise Windows in My Redwork Mystery?

Several people have written asking for a hint about the Surprise Windows in my new mystery. They want to know if the windows hold stitch patterns or little motifs, or just what.

I'll never tell!
But I did say this to each: I don't think you will be disappointed!
My only reluctance in making this project a mystery is that the final piece looks so much more interesting when the windows are all filled in.

Still, I'll never tell. Not even a hint.
Gay Ann

Friday, August 04, 2006

Information about My New Redwork Mystery: How It Works and How to Order It

My new mystery is a Redwork Sampler with an English Thatched Cottage in the center "window" and 8 surprise windows around the cottage. A photo of Part 1, the cottage and the dividing bands is posted right now on my website: www.GayAnnRogers.com/group projects.
This mystery will also be available from Elegant Stitch (website: wwwelegantstitch.com; Lois' email: lois@elegantstitch.com) and all supplies will also be available from Elegant Stitch, should you wish them.

Registration is open from now until March 1, '07.
By March 15,, '07 I will mail Part 1 which includes the cottage, the dividing bands, a stitch glossary for the surprise windows and a color copy of the cottage and dividing bands (similar to the copy on my website).

By April 5, '07, I will post a photo of the first surprise window on my website, or here on my blog, and by April 16 (a day late because of tax day) I will mail a small color copy and the instructions for the first surprise window.

By May 5, I will post a photo of the second surprise window and mail it by May 15; I will post and mail surprise windows on a monthly schedule for a total of 9 mailings.

Ground fabric: congress cloth or 28-count linen.
Because much of the sampler is worked in Cross Stitch over 1 Mesh and Double-Running Stitch, the stitches look sufficiently delicate on either of these grounds. There is no need to work on a finer ground than 28-count linen unless you just can't resist.

Now is the time to be a bit creative. The entire sampler is worked in a single color, so choose a color you love! Just be sure the color is strong enough that a single ply stitched in Double-Running Stitch shows up well against the ground.

Use Silk (Au Ver a Soie or Needlepoint Inc.) or floss. Either will work well.

For single subscribers: $45.00 for all 9 parts, plus $12.00 postage ($4.00 for Part 1; $1.00 for each window).
For groups of 10 or more with a single mailing to a leader: per person, $39.00 for all 9 parts, plus $10.00 postage.

After March 1, '07 there will be a price increase.

For single subscribers: send name, address and email to: Gay Ann Rogers (GARRogers@earthlink.net) or to
Lois Mouriski (Lois@elegantstitch.com).

For groups of 10 or more: send leader's name, address and email to: Gay Ann Rogers (GARRogers@earthlink.net) or to
Lois Mouriski (Lois@elegantstitch.com).

Payment in full is due by March 1, '07

There will be no delays from month to month because...
I have finished the sampler, I have written the instructions, and now, even as I write, my trusty proof-stitcher is stitching away to make certain it all works.

Post them on my blog or email me and I will answer them best I can.

Friday, July 21, 2006

My New Mystery and its Progress

Thanks, Zeena, for writing.

Thanks too, Ginger, for the comments on my mystery.

I have finished stitching the mystery and I have only a few more days to go on the instructions. After I finish writing them, I am going to take some time and think how to handle the whole thing. Right now I am inclined to mail everything out, but to post a little photo of each month's mystery window on my website right before the mailing. As I am new to the idea of cyber classes, I think I will back into the idea slowly.

Next week if I make progress on seminar preparations, I will work on the description of the mystery and will post it here.

Again, thanks for your comments.

Gay Ann

Saturday, July 15, 2006

My First Blog Entry

Hello and welcome to my first blog entry,

Laura just made me a blog and I am glad to have a place for questions, opinions, comments, whatever.

Who is Laura? Excellent Laura has made a website for me, www.GayAnnRogers.com.
Thank you Laura!

Who am I? A needlework designer and teacher.

I have been designing needlework projects for 37 years, as close as I can remember. I cut my teeth painting canvases back in the dark ages, then EGA hired me to teach at a national seminar some 20 years ago. I have now taught at more seminars than I am old, if you count EGA and ANG and Callaway and NAN. A scary thought! I exhaust myself just thinking about it.

Now that I have my website, I have to figure out what to do with it, and here's what I think I will do first: a new mystery. I have a history of mysteries: I have done a mystery sampler and two geometric mysteries. Right now, as I write, I am working on a new one: A Redwork Sampler with Lots of Surprises! I have stitched the piece in red Anchor floss on congress cloth, but it could be in any strong color, in silk or floss, and on any ground: congress cloth, linen congress cloth or any linen 24-28 count.

This mystery has a series of dividing bands that create 9 "windows." In the center "window" is a thatched cottage; surrounding the cottage are 8 mystery "windows." Now that it is almost finished, I have to decide how to proceed.

If anyone who reads this has any words of advice for me, I would welcome them.

Meanwhile, if you want to see a redwork design I did a couple of years ago, please go to my website, and under designs/samplers, find "Redwork Cat Sampler."

Gay Ann