Friday, December 28, 2007

Wrapping Paper and Ribbon from Christmas

I made a rule this year, that I had to use up paper and ribbon left over from past Christmases -- I had to use it all up before I could shop for any more.

In the bottom of a very large box was this gold tissue paper. I combined it with an old old old satin ribbon that is a khaki green and then some curling ribbon in gold. Along with these I cut up some old wired ribbon and made bows, tied with the curling ribbon. The package tag is a much brighter gold and white, but when I finished, I thought, oooo isn't that pretty, I saved a bit of all of it for future inspiration and then today took a photo of it to post on My Blog and in my classroom.

This time of year is a wonderful time to clip inspiration from catalogues, wrappings and Christmas cards. It is so much easier when working on a visual project to have some visual aids. Surround yourself with lots of visual aids and they will begin to work their magic on your mind.

Gay Ann

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Hope you had a wonderful day! I had a blissfully quiet one, even managed to stitch for a while this afternoon.
Early this a.m. I posted instructions for The Catalogue Game in my Shining Needle Society Classroom.

Still to come: The Christmas Card Game.
And a surprise Valentine's Day project.

I am having a great time thinking up games and surprises for my classroom at Shining Needle Society.
Wish you would come join us. for an invitation.

Gay Ann

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tis the Season: Still More on Catalogues

People in my Shining Needle Society Classroom have been busy collecting catalogues (at least I hope they have been) and stacking them under the Christmas tree with a bow and a note on top saying 'Merry Christmas to Me from Me.'

As soon as they check their computers on Christmas morning, the people who are in my Shining Needle Society classroom will find a note from me wishing them Merry Christmas and instructing them to open the catalogues and start our game.

I am hoping it will be reminiscent of childhood. Look at it this way: this year I am playing Santa for the child in each Shining Needle Society member who will learn the games soon!

Please come join us, save your catalogues, stack them under your tree and join my classroom by contacting Kate Gaunt (

SEE you on Christmas morning.

Gay Ann

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tis the Season: More on Catalogues

Are you busy saving your catalogues? Even one or two will do the trick. Of course, more is
best, but one or two are better than none. Just set them aside for a while.

For those of you who are groaning at the idea of more clutter, I have a suggestion: put them
in a stack, put a bow on top of them, tie a gift card with 'to me from me' on the bow and put
the stack under the Christmas tree. If you don't put a ribbon around the whole stack, you can
keeping adding to the stack as you find them or finish with them.

What will you do with these?

Merry accumulation!
Gay Ann

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tis the Season, Part 1: Catalogues

All those catalogues that flood your mailbox?
DON'T throw them away! Save them carefully!
I have a plan for them....

Gay Ann

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Information about Digital Cameras

Today is an exciting day in my Shining Needle Society classroom: Arlene Jones who is an avid stitcher and knows a ton about digital cameras will start answering questions about digital cameras and needlework late this afternoon.
Look for my introduction in my classroom.

For those of you who would like to participate, please feel welcome to join Shining Needle Society.
Write to: Kate Gaunt,

Exciting! I am looking forward to questions from members and Arlene's answers!

Gay Ann

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The First Shining Needle Society Cyber Stitch-in

Yesterday afternoon, between the hours of noon and 6 p.m. we had the First Shining Needle Society Cyber Stitch-in.

What is a Cyber Stitch-in?
I set the time frame of 6 hours yesterday afternoon and anyone who wished to participate set aside half an hour (more time if she could afford it), laid aside the tasks of the day, picked up her needle and stitched.

Then many people reported back how long they had stitched and what they had worked on. Three people even got together, ate lunch and stitched for the afternoon.

I myself attended the Cyber Stitch-in. I worked on a project, in fact I took the first stitch on a little project I have been meaning to stitch for a long time. I saw the time as a gift and I felt refreshed. Time set aside for my favorite thing to do.

I am looking forward to many more Cyber Stitch-ins and I hope that many of you who follow my blog will come join me.

Membership in my classroom is open to anyone who would like to join.
My classroom is a part of Shining Needle Society whose directors are Kate Gaunt and Marie-Therese Baker. Shining Needle Society is up to 600 people now and Kate and Marie Therese are looking forward to offering all sorts of different activities in all sorts of classrooms over the next year. Mine is only one of the classrooms.

For an invitation to join, write to

Gay Ann

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shining Needle Society opens my new classroom

For 8 months now I have had a chatroom featuring my Redwork Mystery. My mystery has just finished and I am about to move into a brand new classroom at Shining Needle Society. Tomorrow, on Thanksgiving, Shining Needle Society will officially open my new classroom and welcome anyone who wants to join.

I hope you will join me for a series of online projects, classes and play, lots of surprises and along the way small exercises to encourage creativity in needlework. Membership is free, just write to and she will send you an invitation.

At Callaway last year, Jennifer Taylor took a wonderful collage photograph using a small grouping of my projects. I think Jennifer Taylor is nothing short of amazing and the photo she took is my favorite photo ever taken of my work. Clever Kate posted the photo as the logo-photo in my new classroom, so right away I was at home there.

We hope you will come to see one amazing photograph and let us welcome you officially.
See you at Shining Needle Society!

Gay Ann

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Redwork Mystery's Bonus Surprise

Here it is, my little bonus for all of you. It isn't a new scene, rather a way to use any one of the little rooms on the Redwork Mystery.

When I thought it up, I thought the timing would be perfect: it would make a little Christmas present for someone special. And here's the best part: no finishing deadlines because you can do the finishing yourself in about 20 minutes.

I will post the instructions in my Shining Needle Society chat room later on today.
If you would like them, please join Shining Needle Society by writing to Kate Gaunt (
Membership is free and if necessary, Kate will help you with the forms.

I am not posting the instructions on My Blog because they are odd: for the first time in my long career of writing instructions, I have done a simple list with no graphs. If you belong to the chatroom and you have questions, you will have a good support system in there.

Again, thank you one and all for stitching my Redwork Mystery. I thought I would be so happy to see it end, but I am not. I miss the anticipation of unveiling a new room.

SEE you in Shining Needle Society!

Gay Ann

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Redwork Mystery: A Surprise Bonus coming soon!

For all of you who followed my Redwork Mystery, I have a photo of a little Surprise Bonus which I will post late Wednesday or early Thursday.

I will post the photo here. Should you wish to make the the little Bonus, I will post the instructions in my classroom at Shining Needle Society. If you wish to make the ornament, I ask you to join Shining Needle Society by writing to Kate Gaunt (

Membership is free and Kate will help you join.

Gay Ann

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Shining Needle Society Reaches 500 People

Good News! Shining Needle Society reached 500 this afternoon! Kate Gaunt emailed me to tell me the news!
Congratulations to the fledgling organization! Wow!

If you are interested in joining, please contact Kate Gaunt (
Membership is free and she will help you register if necessary.

Gay Ann

My Sampler Makers are Finished!

About half an hour ago I finished writing the instructions for the fourth of my Sampler Makers.
They are finished!

(Click on each photo for a larger image)

Gay Ann

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Redwork Mystery's Window #8 is in the mail

I sent off Surprise Window #8 in today's mail, so you should have yours in a few days.

As soon as I start hearing from people that their letters or packets have arrived (in about a week's time), I will post a photo of a little bonus to wrap up my mystery. It is a little add-on surprise for all of you, a way of saying thank you for participating in my mystery.

I will post a photo of the little bonus here; instructions for the bonus will be available in my Shining Needle Society Chat Room.
Please come and join by contacting Kate Gaunt ( Membership is free and Kate will help you.

For the past months my Shining Needle Society chat room has been a support group for my mystery. As those of you who belong can attest, it has been a lively room with lots of photos showing variations people have made of Redwork Mystery.

After I post instructions for my little bonus, my chat room will evolve into a permanent room called 'Gay Ann's Shining Needle Society Class Room.' My classroom will be one of several, as Shining Needle Society becomes an on-line seminar.

Already Janet Casey has joined Shining Needle Society and she will offer two of her Santas for a Christmas-stitching adventure. Early in the New Year Jane Zimmerman and Judy Souliotis will join in and I suggest watching for other well-known teachers also as Shining Needle Society moves forward. All of us will offer projects, ideas, exercises and on-line classes as Shining Needle Society grows.

I hope you will join us for this exciting new stitching adventure.

Gay Ann

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Redwork Mystery: The Complete Sampler Revealed

Here is my Redwork Mystery Cottage with all its rooms in place.
Click on the photo for a larger image.

Thank you for following me for 8 months as the mystery's rooms were revealed.
I will be back with a new mystery soon.
Gay Ann

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise Window #8, the last one

Here it is, my last surprise window, and many of you guessed correctly that it would be the bathroom.
This is my second favorite room in my mystery house (after the stitching room) because of the claw-footed tub and the monogrammed towels.

Redwork Mystery has been going for 8 months and I thought I would be happy to see the end of it. Instead, I am rather sad it is over. So I concocted one last little surprise. I will post it here and Kate will post it in the Shining Needle Society chatroom two weeks after I mail Surprise Window #8.

Thank you to each of you who has followed my mystery. I enjoyed it each step of the way and hope you have too.

I will be back with a new mystery, next time a geometric called "Mystery in a Corner." When? One of these days. How will you know? I will post it here and in Shining Needle Society's chat room.

Gay Ann

Thursday, October 25, 2007

For My Callaway Class, Cameo Extravaganza

Dear Callaway Student,

Below you will find postings showing 7 cameo projects. Please look at them all, then email me with your choice.
The class is set up for you to have a complete kit of your choice; then you may have also whatever other ones you wish also.
I will email you with the class particulars.
Please email me at with any questions.

This is the real reason I chose to have a website and a blog. How easy it is!
I look forward to hearing from each of you soon.
Gay Ann

For Callaway Class: Two Cameo Heart Samplers

Two Cameo Heart Samplers

On the left, Plus Grand Cameo Heart Sampler, the larger of the two, is 8 1/2" tall x 6 3/4" wide.
On the right, Plus Petit Cameo Heart Sampler, the smaller of the two, is 7 1/4" tall x 5 3/4" wide.

Click on photo for a larger image.
Gay Ann

For Callaway Class: Two Small Samplers

Two small samplers.

The larger one 'Plutot Petit Cameo Sampler' is a little over 6" tall x a little under 5" wide.

The smaller one 'Tres Petit Cameo Sampler' is 4" x 4"

Click on photo for a larger image.
Gay Ann

For Callaway Class: Two Cameo Ornaments

On the left is Cameo Ornament.
From the top of the hanger to the bottom of the tassel, Cameo Ornament measures 12"
The stitched part of the ornament is 5" tall x 3 1/2" wide.

On the right is Cameo Ornament: Portrait of a Lady
From the top of the hanger to the bottom of the tassel, Portrait of a Lady measures 10 1/2"
The stitched part is 4 1/2" tall x 2 1/2" wide.

Click on the photo for a larger image.
Gay Ann

For Callaway Class: Cameo Collector

On the left is a photo of the whole 'Cameo Collector'
On the right, a detail showing the top and the first three cameos.
The length, from top to tip of tassel is 21"
The width is 3 1/2"

Click on photo for a larger image.
Gay Ann

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

E-Merchandise Week: Deadlines

Several of you have written noting that it is past my deadline but asking if you can still order or pay for kits and patterns.
I try to be understanding about missing deadlines but this time I am sorry, I can't be flexible.

E-Merchandise Week was much larger than I would have ever guessed and I need to finish mailing things and get back to my own not inconsiderable deadlines.

Thank you anyway.
Next time!

Gay Ann

Monday, October 22, 2007

E-Merchandise Week is Over! Thank you!

Thank you to all of you who made my first E-Merchandise Week quite an experience! I have sold patterns and kits at merchandise nights at seminars for several years but this was a first. It was great fun to e-chat with so many of you! Thank you for all your notes, especially notes of encouragement. Often, when I felt overwhelmed by it all, those notes really helped.

This is a roundabout way of saying I am keeping up fairly well with your orders. I am still waiting for a single thread and the supplier has promised me it will be here soon. Its delayed arrival may hold up a few of your packages and I apologize for the inconvenience. I will write to those of you who are influenced by it. I have high hopes that the rest of the packages will be in the mail a week from now.

So what are you going to do with all of these patterns I am mailing to you? I have an idea.

I have asked Kate Gaunt and Marie-Therese Baker if they will let me keep my Shining Needle Chat Room after my mystery finishes next month. I would like to turn it into E-Studio Time for a while. That way you can all get to work and it will be fun if you share your progress. Please come and join Shining Needle Society by writing to Kate Gaunt (

So what about a second E-Merchandise Week? When will it be? Jane Zimmerman told me that Brigadoon returns every hundred years. I told her it dates us both that we even know about Brigadoon! I hope it will be sometime before a hundred years from now. How about thinking about it a year from now. If any of you have reflections or suggestions for me, please write to me, or post them here on my blog.

Meanwhile, I say goodbye to E-Merchandise Week with a photo of one of the most recent additions to my heart collection, Santa's Heart. I have to chuckle: remember the days when Christmas didn't go up in the stores until after Thanksgiving? Long gone are those days!
So Santa's Heart won't feel strange here for a while.

Again, thank you!
Gay Ann

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #7 is in the Mail!

I mailed Surprise Windows #7 this afternoon. I know it is early, but I had them all ready to go and thought, why not!
My house is mired down in canvas, instruction booklets, threads and kits, so mailing off these helped me feel like I was accomplishing something!

Enjoy the Dining Room.

I thought I would be relieved when the mystery was over; instead I find I am sad to think it only has a month to go.
I have enjoyed it and hope you have too!

Gay Ann

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #7, The Dining Room

Some of you are just too too smart: you figured out Surprise Window #7, the Dining Room.

I can't believe we have only one more window. I have enjoyed this mystery so much! Hope you have too.

I will post a note as soon as I have shipped them.

Gay Ann

Friday, September 07, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #6 is in the Mail!

I sent off all patterns for Surprise Window #6 late this afternoon. I got to the post office just as they were collecting the mail so I watched the packages disappear into the big bin on wheels.

The patterns should reach you all in a few days. I hope you enjoy my favorite of the rooms.

Gay Ann

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #6 The Stitching Room

Here is my favorite room in the redwork house, my Stitching Room.
To see it in place on the sampler, go to my website, and click on group designs.

I will mail the patterns probably on September 7.

Gay Ann

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #5 is in the Mail

Just about 2;30 this afternoon, Tony, our mailman, picked up all of your patterns for the Library, Surprise Window #5.
I hope you enjoy the room.

I may be delayed next month, at least with posting the photo of Surprise Window #6. I will be on my way home from ANG's Seminar in Baltimore on September 1. As soon as I am home again and human enough to post the photo, I will do so.

Gay Ann

Monday, August 06, 2007

My Redwork Mystery: thoughts related to books

In tonight's email Zeena sent me the following. Thank you, Zeena.

This poem by Clarence Day is shown stitched in a book Hope Hanley wrote, many years ago.

The World of books
is the most remarkable creation of man.
Nothing else that he builds ever lasts
Monuments fall,
Nations perish
Civilizations grow old and die out.
And after an era of darkness
new races build others.
But in the world of books are volumes
that have seen this happen again and again.
And yet, live on, still young,
still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling
men's hearts
of the hearts of men centuries dead.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #5 The Library

My husband Jim is a retired history professor. Once a friend commented after meeting him that he is nice but a bit bookish. I chuckled; there are so many history professors in this world who aren't bookish, right?

I could not have invented a house without a library for Jim, so here is Jim's room.

I will put the patterns in the mail, as usual, on the 8th of August and will post a note here after I have mailed them.

Gay Ann

Sunday, July 29, 2007

E-Merchandise Week

So many of you have contacted me in the last few months about patterns/kits of mine that you would like to buy.
My life is always a series of deadlines and right now I am getting ready for ANG's seminar in Baltimore. I am also trying to finish writing instructions for Callaway's classes.

I cut back on my participation in seminar this year; by this I mean, I will not be doing Expo (Merchandise Night). When I am home again and I have some time, I decided I would have an E-Merchandise Week from My Blog. I have a stash of patterns and kits that many of you have requested and I think I will sell them for a week in mid-October.

I will write more about this sale when I am home again from Baltimore, so if you are interested, I suggest you follow postings on My Blog and click on My Blog.

I will not have everything in my portfolio for sale; I will not have unending copies of everything.
If there is something you would like in particular, email me and I will see if I can do it.

If this goes well, I may make E-Merchandise Week a regular feature, maybe twice or three times a year.

Gay Ann

Friday, July 13, 2007

In Our Side Yard This Evening

I cannot resist posting this photo of our resident Lady Hummingbird. I tried for a long time to get a photo of her at the feeder but she would see the reflection or the movement and fly off. This evening I was lucky. Camera was up and focused just as she swooped in for an evening drink.
Enjoy a summer's evening treat from me to you.

Gay Ann

Monday, July 09, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #4 in the Mail!

Finally, about 2:00 this afternoon I made it to the post office and sent off all of Surprise #4. You should start receiving them in a few days.
Gay Ann

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #4, The Kitchen

Here is a Kitchen to add to your house. I can't remember who, but someone said I wouldn't include a kitchen. Well, I did! Fitting that I included a kitchen for July so that there is a place for all the hamburgers and hot dogs. You will have to look through the kitchen window to see the barbeque, though.

I will mail patterns after the holidays, probably on July 8th or 9th and will post a note on my blog when they are in the mail.

You now know what half of the Surprise Windows are. Four more to go, including my favorite one. Anybody wish to guess what the four will be?

Gay Ann

Monday, June 18, 2007

Congratulations, Donna Nelson!

Congratulations, Donna, on winning the June Zimmerman Silk and metal Thread Award for Malachite and Pearls.
I don't have a photo of Donna's, but I snapped a photo a short while ago of mine and here it is.

A nice photo of Donna and her Malachite and Pearls is featured in the June 07 issue of Needle Arts, on page 53.
Thank you, Yvonne, for writing me about this.

Gay Ann

Friday, June 08, 2007

My Redwork Mystery: Surprise Window #3 is in the Mail

My husband just left to drive to the post office with all my Surprise Windows #3.
If he arrives there safely and is in his usually reliable mode, the Surprise Windows will be in the mail in just about 7 minutes.

Gay Ann

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Quick Questionnaire

I had an interesting experience today. I was down in Needle Nook and in came an acquaintance of a friend of mine. The acquaintance had lost her house to a fire and was starting to replace her belongings, I gather. She had been in the antiques shop across the street as she was looking for new silver. Silver new to her, I should say.

She had found a pattern she liked and had a xerox of it. She said it was very close to the silverware she had that had been destroyed in the fire.

On the way home I was thinking about it. If you lost your silver flatware, or for that matter, anything you have had for a long time, and you had to replace it, would you buy:

(1) Something just like the flatware you lost.

(2) Something very similar.

(3) Vaguely similar.

(4) Totally different.

I don't know why I decided to ask this, but must confess, I am interested in your answers and am hoping you will post on my blog or write to me personally.

Gay Ann

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #3 The Music Room

Here is Surprise Window #3, my Music Room. I don't play the harp but Leslie Durst does, so in her honor, I put a harp in the music room. Please notice that there is a little Victorian stool, complete with a fringed top, as well as a chest for music and lots of sheet music on the top of the chest. I wanted to include a violin and bow, and of course there are wall-sconce candles for the right atmosphere.


I will mail the patterns sometime around June 9 or 10, a bit later than last month. I am not sure exactly which day but will post on my blog when the patterns are all in the mail. For those of you concerned, be sure to check my blog.

Gay Ann

Saturday, May 05, 2007

My Redwork Mystery: Surprise Window #2 is in the Mail

Surprise Window #2 is in the mail!
Kate Gaunt, the Shining Needle Society leader, was visiting with her charming husband (they were on their way to a convention) and I have been busy driving and eating!

My husband volunteered to mail all my packages and envelopes and I thought he was going to take them this morning. He didn't - he was on his way to the bank yesterday and as our bank was right across from the post office, he sent them a day early. I am guessing many of you will have them on Monday or Tuesday.


I hope many of you will still consider joining Shining Needle Society. There is quite a lively conversation going on about my Redwork Mystery. If you wish information, it is posted on earlier messages here on My Blog, or you can write to Kate Gaunt ( and she will send you a personal invitation.

Gay Ann

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #2 The Bedroom

Hooray, Hooray, it's the First of May
Here is the Bedroom on view today.

For the little window in place on the sampler, see my website: projects.
Click on the photo for an enlargement.

And a new correction. I think I will just print the email from Jane (thank you, Jane):
"I'm finishing my little living room tonight. I notice that the lowest floor board in the photo, the "dotted" one, and the chart don't match. The chart shows the board only part way across the left side of the picture. Should it extend all the way across?"

My answer:
Here's the solution: the right side is correct. Start on the right, follow the chart to the center, then mirror image it. Should come out just like the photo. Usually I don't recommend stitching from the photo (because I often change things when I write the instructions) but this time it works.

Gay Ann

Friday, April 27, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise Window #2

Time is passing so quickly and here we are, almost through April. Next month I will be at a seminar when I am supposed to mail Surprise Window #2, so I will send it out early, likely on May 5.

Gay Ann

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shining Needle Society Reaches 100

I am happy to report that Shining Needle Society chat room for my Redwork Mystery has reached 100 members! I have enjoyed following the comments and seeing the photos of the different color combinations people have chosen. One member counted a part of the cottage wrong, made a grreat correction and posted a photo of the correction. Another member commented that the correction was so good one would never have guessed it wasn't the original design. Congrats to the imaginative stitcher!

I am hoping still others will join Shining Needle Society.

To join, write to and Kate will send you an invitation.
For those of you who are technologically brave, you can go directly to the SNS Home Page and sign up:

Gay Ann

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My Redwork Mystery: Cross Stitch and Double-Running Stitch

I have heard several whines about Cross Stitch and Double-Running Stitch, but you will find in me no sponsor of a pity party. The single most important aspect of this project is the small scale, and large and bulky stitches were just not welcome in my tiny spaces.

As a reward for stitching diligently all the Double-Running and Cross Stitch, here is a small hint: When you have seen Part 1, you have seen the boldest parts of the sampler. Everything else is all about small scale!

So you can all look forward to more Cross Stitch and particularly more Double Running Stitch. Enjoy!

Gay Ann

Friday, April 06, 2007

My Redwork Mystery: Shining Needle Chat Room is up and rolling!

I am happy to report that Kate Gaunt's and Marie-Therese Baker's Shining Needle Chat Room for my Redwork Mystery is up and rolling!

We now have 60+ members who have joined and we have had some lively observations, questions and conversations already!
I do wish to encourage all of you who are doing my Redwork Mystery to join. Just write to and Kate will send you an invitation to join.

For those of you who are technologically brave, you can go directly to the SNS Home Page and sign up:

Gay Ann

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise Window #1 in the Mail

Just about half an hour ago I handed packets and envelopes of Surprise Window #1 to our mailman.
Yippee! Gone!

You should have your copy sometime in the next week, I would guess. One down, seven to go.

Gay Ann

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Here is a little eye candy to brighten your day: some favorite Pretty Girls.

I love cameos. I always liked them, but fell in love when I stitched my Treasured Remembrance Sampler.
After Treasured Remembrance Sampler, I got carried away and stitched another five or so projects with cameos.


Gay Ann

Monday, April 02, 2007

Guild Teacher Certification

Lately on the ANG List several people have discussed certification and its value. I could not resist writing about it, so I posted the following note on the ANG List and decided to post it here too.

Gay Ann

Comments on Certification

Although I am certified by EGA, I do not know whether this has helped me with teaching jobs, either when I started or now that I have been teaching for a long time.

I can think of half a dozen needlework teachers whose wonderful classes and beautiful projects made them stand out as the icons of the age. As I look back on it, some were certified, some weren't. I don't think it mattered. The content and presentation were what mattered.

More important, as I look back, I think of Newton's concept of standing on the shoulders of giants. More important to consider the legacy some of these legendary teachers left us than to fuss about certification.

Gay Ann Rogers

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Surprise #1, the Living Room

Here it is, Surprise Window #1. It is the living room for the house. Please note that I used the little pictures on the left and the right for my initials.

If you wish to see how Surprise Window #1 fits on the sampler, go to my website, and click on group projects, then click on the photo. The photo will enlarge and you will see the living room in place on the sampler.

So Margaret, you came the closest to guessing. Shall we sit in the two chairs and stitch together for a while? It is chilly here this morning, so I am glad the fire is roaring.

Gay Ann

Saturday, March 31, 2007

My Redwork Mystery and Shining Needle Society

In my March 12 blog entry, Redwork Mystery: New Surprises and Puzzles, I wrote about a New Surprise connected with my mystery. The time has come to reveal the Surprise.

Kate Gaunt and Marie-Therese Baker have formed a new group called "Shining Needle Society" and their first venture is a chat room for my Redwork Mystery.

Please come join the chat group and meet others who are working on it. Write frequently about your progress -- for starters, tell us what colors and ground you have chosen and ask any questions you might have. The more the merrier and I promise to write as often as you do!

If you are interested, please write to Kate: for the details. Here's even better news for those of you who have struggled with online forms: if you have trouble joining, Kate said she would be delighted to help you. I am already signed up and Kate helped me. Thank you, Kate!

Whatever Kate and Marie-Therese do is just super. For years, and I do mean years, we guild teachers were greatly indebted to them for their diligent work on ANG's Seminar Faculty Committee (SFC). They were great hand-holders, problem-solvers par excellence and just all around wonderful liasons between teachers and students. I am so delighted they decided to start "Shining Needle Society."

Gay Ann

This afternoon Kate sent to me the following information about joining Shining Needle Society. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask her or me.

For an easy way to access the discussion group and sign up on Yahoo Groups, go to:

If you are already a member of Yahoo Groups, you can try signing up by sending an e-mail to:

Just be sure to send your e-mail from the address that is registered with Yahoo Groups.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Corrections for My Redwork Mystery

In previous posts I have compiled a list of corrections, but I thought I should consolidate them into one posting. So far these are the errors people have reported. If people find others, I will add their comments to this posting, so please consult it throughout the project.

So far I have 4 errors to report.
(1) In the early copies of Part 1 I listed the red floss as Anchor #1009; it should be Anchor #1005 and I corrected it in most of the copies. If your copy is an early one, please correct the number.
(2) And Zeena Maclean discovered a typo: the word "stitch" on page 10.
(3) And the correct number of skeins of floss is 6 (not 8).

(4) Cora Howe in Sacramento wrote the following: "I believe I found a small graphing error between Oversize Graph A and C. On the left side bricks on Graph A the bricks are one thread lower than on Graph C."
My answer: Follow Graph A which has the whole cottage on it.
If someone has followed Graph C, don't worry -- it will work out fine.
Let's write the worst case scenario: Say you followed Graph C and the whole cottage ended up one thread higher.
The worst consequence: the cottage may be one thread taller and the chimneys will be one thread closer to the top border.
Not a problem.

Since I first posted the above errors, cherron has added:
"This is just a perspective question. On page 6 you Step 2 A (4) Left Side of Cottage; you show the stitches slanting from tp left to bottom right and vise-versa for the right side .. i.e. top right slanting to bottom left. The picture shows the stitching for the left side to be as graphed for the right side of the cottage; (that is unless you are stating the left side of the cottage as if you were standing in the front door facing out.) I am following oversize graph A for slant of stitches. I also noticed that you graphed the bushes as if you were in the yard looking toward the front door - hence bush on left pg 8 and bush on right page 9.

These blips do not cause any harm, but just thought you might like to be aware of them. Enjoying working on the piece and ready to start the surprise window. Should be bunches of fun"

And on April 10, Ann added:
Hi everyone
I came across a very inconsequential typo in the instructions, which I
am sure will not confuse anyone--but here it is.
Page 24, (5) Picture over the fireplace:
DOOR--should read second elongated cross stitch #37 [not #36]

Monday, March 26, 2007

Design Inspiration: Note #1

For years my students have asked me where the inspiration for my needlework projects comes from. Sprinkled through the next year, I will write a series of short notes about the sources of my inspiration and a bit on how I use these sources.

One important source comes from Greeting Cards. I collect them and have baggies full of them. Shoe boxes also. For the most part I keep them divided into categories: houses, gardens, house furnishings, hearts, Christmas, Valentine's Day and so forth.

For example, a very useful card I found several years ago pictured a chest of drawers. Not particularly a chest of drawers I would replicate, but I liked the way the artist had painted the shading on the drawers and the bunches of tiny flowers between the drawer knobs. I have never stitched a chest of drawers that looks like the one on the card, but it inspired the way I have constructed several of the chests of drawers I have stitched.

Of course I have practical Greeting Cards too, for girlfriends and birthdays and such. Occasionally I find cards I love so much that I have to keep them. I have two all-time favorite cards and I can never decide which is my favorite. I thought I would write about both, even though they don't relate to my designs or needlepoint.

FIRST CARD is a birthday card but it contains certain Universal Truths about marriage:

On the cover are three blind mice who are covering sensitive parts of their anatomies with their paws as the card sings:
Three blind mice, three blind mice, see how they run, see how they run, they all ran away from John Bobbit's wife who cut off their **** with a carving knife...

Open the card and inside: so be nice to your wife, be nice to your wife, from someone on the cutting edge.

SECOND CARD is a Far-Side card and it speaks to the Philosophy of Life:

The four personality types:
1. The glass is half full
2. The glass is half empty
3. The glass is half full, no it is half empty, no it is half full, etc.
4. Hey, where's my cheeseburger.

I would say that most of us who grapple in creative pursuits probably belong to personality type 4.

Meanwhile, today is the 26th of March. Less than a week to go till I post the first Surprise Mystery Window.

Gay Ann

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Perspective on Perspective

I have noticed that academic perspective as it applies to needlework has been of interest lately in the guild magazines and several teachers and stitchers have contributed their ideas about it in the last few years.

I have always wanted to put in my 2 cents worth but never had the occasion. Then the other night I watched a DVD my husband gave to me for Valentine's Day: The Post Impressionsits - Cezanne.

The two art historians on the DVD did such a great job discussing Cezanne's innovative approach to perspective. It was a delightful hour and a significant reminder that acaedmic perspective is not the only approach to capturing three dimensional subjects on a two-dimensional surface.

If you would like to see a different perspective on perspective, watch The Post Impressionists - Cezanne, available for $17.95 on I just looked up price and availability this morning and noticed there are also used copies available from $11.26.

I have two post scripts. The first, Cezanne was a favorite of my mother who, for as long as I could remember, kept a coffee-table book of his paintings. As a child I remember her leafing through it quite often.

Second, as you work your way through my Redwork Mystery, stop and think what I did with perspective on the piece. I guess this comment in itself is a hint about my mystery, isn't it. Keep guessing! I have enjoyed reading your guesses about my Surprise Windows.

Gay Ann

Friday, March 16, 2007

Redwork Mystery Guessing Game

I have heard from many of you that you have already started stitching Redwork Mystery.
It is March 16 today and on April 1st, Laura will post the first of the Surprise Windows on my website
( projects).

I decided it would be fun for the next two weeks to have a guessing game:
anybody want to guess what in in Surprise Window #1?

Gay Ann

Thursday, March 15, 2007

PLEASE Vote in the ANG Election!

This is a reminder that today is the final day to mail in your ballot for the ANG election.

I can't resist:
Does anybody know the reason ANG chose TODAY to end its election?

Anybody think of a traitor and a death long ago associated with the date today?

Gay Ann

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Redwork Mystery: Oops, four errors (so far)

In my entry "I am out of Mail Jail" I list four errors that you have written me about. I just learned about the fourth this afternoon and posted it straight away.

I wish I were perfect. Alas, I am not. The important part: the pattern is still workable. How do I know it is workable? I had two very reliable proof-stitchers stitch the project. They may not catch every little error but they do catch errors big enough to keep someone from being able to work the pattern.

As the mystery progresses, I will write about designing the mystery, in fact how I design everything. A number of you have asked me to write about inspiration, sources and the process and I will enjoy writing about it. When you read the description of how I work, you will learn it isn't an exact art. But I will save all this till later. For now, carry on, all of you out there in stitcher-land, write me if you find errors and I will post them on my blog.

Gay Ann

Monday, March 12, 2007

My Redwork Mystery: New Surprises and Puzzles

As all of you receive your copies of Redwork Mystery, Part 1, watch my blog for a new surprise connected with the mystery.

And for you puzzle-lovers, there is a small observation you might make about a pattern in the color copy of Part 1.
Can anyone find it?

Mysteries, Surprises and Puzzles!

Gay Ann

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Part 1 of My Redwork Mystery: I am out of Mail Jail

I am officially out of Mail Jail (translation: all of Part 1 of my Redwork Mystery are in the mail! All by Priority on March 9 , 10 and 12).

As you receive your copy, please notice the different sections of Part 1: the color copy of Part 1 (the same photo on my website), and Oversize Graphs A, B and C folded around a stapled booklet.

Remove the staple and notice that the booklet divides into 2 sections: the Instructions for Part 1 and a Stitch Glossary. I recommend you slip all pages into sheet protectors and store them in a looseleaf notebook. The Stitch Glossary is a very important part of this project, for it is the reference for all 8 mystery windows. Be sure to store it carefully; you will refer to it constantly in the months to come.

To start: read the "box" on the cover, gather together the supplies listed on page 1 and follow the "To Start" instructions also on page 1.
With Oversize Graph A in front of you, work Step 1 A as directed, then proceed through the booklet, step by step.

So far I have 4 errors to report.
(1) In the early copies of Part 1 I listed the red floss as Anchor #1009; it should be Anchor #1005 and I corrected it in most of the copies. If your copy is an early one, please correct the number.
(2) And Zeena Maclean discovered a typo: the word "stitch" on page 10.
(3) And the correct number of skeins of floss is 6 (not 8).

(4) Cora Howe in Sacramento wrote the following: "I believe I found a small graphing error between Oversize Graph A and C. On the left side bricks on Graph A the bricks are one thread lower than on Graph C."
My answer: Follow Graph A which has the whole cottage on it.
If someone has followed Graph C, don't worry -- it will work out fine.
Let's write the worst case scenario: Say you followed Graph C and the whole cottage ended up one thread higher.
The worst consequence: the cottage may be one thread taller and the chimneys will be one thread closer to the top border.
Not a problem.

Please continue to watch My Blog postings. I will write updates as I hear from all of you.

Meanwhile, be sure you take The Thread Test (described in my posting "Supplies for My Redwork Sampler") before you begin work.

Gay Ann

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cameos are in the NY Times!

Susan Richardson sent me the following link to an article on vintage jewelry and it features cameos.
Thank you, Susan.

To my friends who have written to me about Treasured Remembrance Sampler and all my little cameo samplers, the article in the New York Times mentions some great sources for cameos. Read and enjoy and check out some of the online sources.

As soon as I have my mystery mailings underway I will take a series of photos of some of my favorite cameos and post them here, on my blog. Look for the first photo sometime around the end of March. In the meantime, I have Liz and Ginger coming for a week, Goddess starts on March 1 and after that, I have a zillion mysteries to mail.

If you have a favorite cameo, email me a photo of her and I will see if I can figure out how to post her on my blog.
If any of you from my pilot class and from Callaway have finished Treasured Remembrance, email me a photo and I will see if I can post it on my blog.

The time has come to celebrate cameos!

Gay Ann

Friday, February 16, 2007

Suggestions for Using Overdyed Thread on My Redwork Mystery

Several of you have written to me about using overdyed thread for my Redwork Mystery and I have a couple of comments:

1. If you decide to use an overdyed thread, be prepared to "edit" (ie remove) those parts of the thread too light in value. For the design to work well, you need a good contrast between thread and ground fabric.

2. If you decide to use an overdyed thread, you may wish to find a couple of solid-dyed colors to use along with the overdyed thread. For example, you may wish at times you could extend a certain part of the overdyed thread before it evolves into the next color. The easiest way to make this extension is with a solid-dye the same color. If you do this carefully, everyone will think you were just lucky and got a "long run" of just the perfect color.

3. Before you start the pattern be certain to work "The Thread Test"
For "The Thread Test" see my comments in Supplies for My Redwork Mystery, posted earlier on My Blog.

Gay Ann

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Photo of Part 1 of My New Redwork Mystery

A couple of you have written to me asking about a photo of Part 1 of my new Redwork Mystery.
If you wish to see a photo, go to my website, projects.

All other information for ordering the mystery is here, on my blog.

Thanks to you who have written.

Gay Ann

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Hint about My Redwork Mystery

I finally thought up a hint about my Redwork Mystery that I can tell those of you who have been writing to me:
IF YOU LIKE my sampler called "The Guardian Angels of Hollyhock House" you will like my Redwork Mystery :-)
There, that's all I will say.

If you want to see Hollyhock House, go to and look for the big house with 2 Angels over it.

Less than a month to go....
Gay Ann

Thursday, February 01, 2007

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

A Reminder: It is February 1, only a month to go until the registration deadline for my new mystery.

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 on my website: projects.
This mystery will also be available from Elegant Stitch (website:; Lois' email: and all supplies will also be available from Elegant Stitch, should you wish them.

Registration is open 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 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 ( or to
Lois Mouriski (

For groups of 10 or more: send leader's name, address and email to: Gay Ann Rogers ( or to
Lois Mouriski (

Payment in full is due by March 1, '07.

Gay Ann

Friday, January 26, 2007

Shopping Spree for My New Idea

I found more little items for my new idea today in the Container Store. There I found a little red hinged plastic heart-shaped box for 99 cents and a little felt bag with a tiny teddy bear in it for $5.49. The bag is red felt with a little white heart appliqued to it. "Be Mine" is written on the heart. The teddy bear is very small and very soft and she has a heart hat on her head. I also found some sandwich baggies, 20 of them for $4.99, with hearts on them.

I am writing about these items way before I will do the project because they are all seasonal items and will likely disappear in 2 weeks.

Now back to work on my Mystery Sampler.

Gay Ann

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A New Idea and Something to Shop For

I am home again from Callaway which was just super! I have such a good time at Callaway each year and this year was no exception. Callaway is absolutely my FAVORITE venue. In a couple of days I will write more about my 2 sessions this year, also about Flora in the exhibit and lots of other tidbits.

I was running errands today. Most of my ideas come to me as I am driving down Mission Bay Blvd and so it happened there again. I have to see if my idea is feasible but a teensy part of the idea will be on the market for only a very short time (the teensy part is related to Valentine's Day).

In case you would like to follow the progress of my idea and are interested in the first small part, go to your nearest Hallmark store and ask for the "Miniature Measuring Tape" called "Love can't be measured." It is a dear little red heart-shaped tape measure in a faux leather case and it costs $10.00. I have mine sitting here right in front of me.

To be continued...

Gay Ann

Monday, January 08, 2007

Supplies for my Redwork Mystery

Now that the holidays are past and we have 2 months to go till the deadline for my Mystery Sampler (called A Redwork Sampler Full of Surprises), people are starting to write to me with inquiries about supplies. I will answer each of your questions individually, but thought it a good idea also to post the information on my blog.

Here is the list of the supplies I used:
White congress cloth 14" tall x 17" wide.
6 skeins of Anchor floss #1005 red.

Notes on choosing supplies other than the ones I used:
You may choose any ground fabric (congress cloth or linen) you wish, so long as it is 24 - 28 count. Much of the design is worked in Cross Stitch over 1 Mesh and Double-Running Stitch, so the design will look very delicate on 24-28 count. There is no need to work on a finer ground, say 30 count or 32 or 40 count unless you have an obsession. In this case, use what feeds your obsession. (Heaven forbid we not satisfy obsessions).

You may work in any thread you wish as long as it approximates the weight of Anchor embroidery floss.
If you choose silk, you will have to calculate the amount you need. A skein of 6 ply embroidery floss has 8 meters (for those of you who need reminding, a meter is 39").

You may work in any color (or combination of colors) you wish, so long as the thread you choose passes The Test.
Here is The Test:
With a single ply of your thread (for example, one ply of the six in embroidery floss), work a short length of Double-Running stitch. If the color shows up clearly and crisply on the ground fabric, it will work well; if it fades into the fabric, find a stronger color.

If you have any questions, let me know.
If the same questions come from a number of you, I will post them on my blog.

Gay Ann

Monday, January 01, 2007

Sunrise on 2007

Still working on learning to use my Christmas camera, I took this photo out of the side window in our livingroom as the sun was coming up on 2007. Happy New Year!

As soon as I am home again from Callaway, I will post updates on my Redwork Mystery Sampler.

Remember: the deadline for Mystery Sampler registration is March 1.

Gay Ann