Saturday, December 31, 2016

The End of the Stitching Year, The Beginning of the New

It doesn't seem possible to me that 2016 ends tonight. Where did the time go?
Wherever, it is gone, and it is a reminder that 2017, so full of promise now as I look ahead, will vanish almost as quickly.

I ended this year working on a couple of holiday hearts; I will begin next year finishing a set of instructions and working on some small kits for my February Sale. But these tasks won't take too long and when I finish them, my time will belong to me.

My big event in 2017 will be the arrival of my portrait of Eleanor of Aquitaine on May 2, 2017.
The good news is that Eleanor is finished and proofed and the kits are almost finished. All I have to do is print the instructions and check the kits.

In addition I have a great start on E-Week 2017 which is still 10 months away.

All this means I will have time to stitch. I should have at least 3 months stitching time this spring.
So what do I plan to do?
Stitch two samplers, maybe even a third one.
And I plan to keep at my followers to stitch along with me.

To begin the New Year, I've written TWO sets of New Years Resolutions for Stitchers.
I will post them on my website near midnight tonight and we will start the year right, with our needles in our hands. Bright and early tomorrow morning.

Happy New Year! Here's hoping the New Year is indeed filled with time in the company of our needles.

Gay Ann

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Jolly Holiday: Making Time for Stitching!

I can't believe where the last months have gone.
I keep turning around to see if they are really behind me. Truth: they are!

For me this holiday season so far has been all about food! Sweet food, which I find impossible to resist. I have my English grandmother's terrible sweet tooth, and this year I have Marcia and Ferris to thank for a huge box of my favorite candy, Judy A to thank for a delicious tin of home-made Christmas cookies, Dave and Clyde to thank for wonderful Baklava, and too many other goodies that I have all too happily devoured. And it isn't even over yet.

I am still (yes STILL) waiting for the last of the things I owe people to arrive, namely scissors and needles. I keep calling the distributor and asking and they keep telling me it will only be a couple of days more. A couple of days has morphed into 2 months. Hopefully it will all end early in the New Year.

If they had come now, I would have had to abandon the season and pack packages, so I guess there is always a bit of silver lining, in that I can enjoy the season and also have some time for stitching.
I am stitching early in the mornings, and again in the late afternoons, nice way to begin what will be a busy day, and nice way to end it too, and yesterday I am happy to write that I just finished a jeweled sewing case, a pretty one if I do say so. It was so satisfying to take the last stitch. In this case the last stitch was sewing on a pretty little pearl.

The holidays are such a fun time to stitch and this afternoon I started a Christmas design. Even though I won't finish it in time for Christmas, it is such fun to work on something season-appropriate. So what am I working on? A heart that is a Christmas Dress, all in red and green. I wanted to make it plaid, but even the smallest plaid is too bold for the small scale. Then happily I came across a stitch that looks a bit like a plaid but is more delicate. I am anxious to see if it works.

I always write on my website at this time of year: I know everybody is so busy, but it is both helpful and healthy to take a few deep breaths and take a few stitches. Kick back and pick up your needle and relax and lose yourself in a handful pretty threads and colors. I am absolutely convinced that stitching is a form of meditation. Relaxation is necessary even in the busiest of times.

Gay Ann

Monday, October 17, 2016

In Two Days: my biggest needlepoint sale of the year. October 20, 2016

The last post I wrote was almost 2 weeks ago, when I was working overtime to prepare for my biggest needlepoint sale of the year.

This year is special because it marks the return of perhaps my most popular design: my portrait of Elizabeth 1. It is the first time I have sold the kit in 5 or 6 years (I can't remember exactly.

Along with Elizabeth, I have designed some new Elizabeth-inspired designs and I will be selling them also, along with an elaborate sewing case and two new heart designs.

I hope you will stop by my website on Thursday morning, October 20. The sale opens at 8:00 a.m. California time and remains open until Wednesday evening, October 26, hence the sale's name:
E-Week (E-Merchandise Week coined because of Merchandise Night at EGA Seminars and eventually shortened to E-Week.

This is my 9th year of having a big fall sale. Where did the time go?

Gay Ann

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Preparing for My Biggest Sale of the Year: E-Week 2016

Last August in Mid-Summer Sale I sold designs I have offered before. Featured in that sale were my miniatures of Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bess of Hardwick. My portraits are by far my most frequently requested designs, and my kits for Mary and Bess were gone in a short number of hours.

Now I am preparing for my largest sale of the year, marked this time by the return of my portrait of Elizabeth. I have a good number of the kits but the number is held in check by the availability of the tiny pearls it takes to work the design.

So Elizabeth is set to go. She will be available at on Thursday, October 20 at 8:00 a.m. California time and I will leave her for sale for a week or as long as my supply of kits lasts.

Fine, said my friend Natalie, but what are you going to offer for your followers who already have Elizabeth?

So I began last year stitching a series of new designs related to Elizabeth.

Fine, said my friend Natalie, but what are you going to offer for your followers who have Catherine?
She was referring to my portrait of Catherine the Great.

So I have a new offering for Catherine's fans, quite a significant one, if I do say so. It is the most elaborate and jeweled one of its type that I have undertaken. It is splashy, that's for sure, and I hope people will think it is pretty as well.

Although much of my sale revolves around the return of Elizabeth, there are several other designs also and the return of my Surprise Windows on Saturday, October 22 at 8:00 a.m. California time.
More about Surprise Windows in my next post.

Gay Ann

If you wish to sign up for my Newsletters about E-Week and my other sales, email me:

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
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:

To sign up for my Newsletter, email me:

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:

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:
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:
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 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