July 2013 TUSAL

For those who don’t remember reading about this before, TUSAL stands for Totally Useless Stitch Along.  For me it is a way to mark time.  Another way to examine my progress, or lack thereof, in my stitching.  Once a month, more or less, those of us participating share images of our ort collection jars.

I collect my orts in my folding ort box and then transfer them to my jar according to the TUSAL calendar.  As you can see, I’ve been frogging!  But I must admit that some of the orts are from sewing two pair of shorts and a summer shirt.

Since we decided to stay in Alabama for the summer, I found my wardrobe was sorely lacking for temperatures that stay above 90 constantly.  I have fabric to make another pair of shorts and three slip style dresses.  I don’t love making clothes, but I appreciate Home Economics in Junior High School where I picked up the skill to be able to do this for myself.

I am typing on someone else’s computer with a baby keyboard as my monitor died.  That’s why I’ve been MIA.  But I’ve also been participating on a couple of mystery SALs.  Two have ended, even though I’m still stitching on one.  And a third started on July 1.  I will start Camille as soon as I finish B. Blok.  Check out the links for the patterns.  And next time I’ll share my photos!

These are all lovely patterns, fast and satisfying to finish.  I hope you enjoy them!

What Are Those New Buttons About?

If you’re like me, you are more likely to hit the button links on blogs than sifting through lengthy blog rolls.  In fact, some reading I’ve done suggests it’s not a great idea to have blog rolls on your site.  Why encourage people to leave your site, after all?!  That’s why you don’t see such lists on my blogs.  You will find references and resources as that is part of my mission with my blogs.

But buttons…they’re a bit different in my opinion.  To me they are links to community sharing and community building.  A good thing.  Blogging and computing can be such isolating activities so it’s important to find some connection to others, for your

            • sanity
            • creativity nurturing
            • perspective
            • education
            • giggles

With giggles in mind, let me tell you about the TUSAL button.  TUSAL stands for Totally Useless Stitch Along.  Yup.  Totally Useless!  I love it!  Once a month you post a picture of the container you store your orts in.  What is an ort you might ask?

ORT
noun
Usually, orts. a scrap or morsel of food left at a meal.
Origin:  1400–50; late Middle English;  cognate with Low German ort, early
Dutch oorete;  compare Old English or- out-, ǣt  food (see eat)

Stitchers use this term to mean the scraps and morsels of thread, floss, ribbon, etc left over when working a project.  They are typically thought to be totally useless.  So instead of “stitching along”  with one another on a project, this SAL is all about saving something thought to be useless!  Hence TUSAL!  Want to know more, click the button!

So, what about the other button?  WIPocalypse!  Sounds scary, right?

WIP = “Works In Progress”

a·poc·a·lypse
noun
3.  a prophetic revelation especially concerning a cataclysm in which the forces of good permanently triumph over the forces of evil.
Origin: 1125-75; Middle English   Late Latin apocalypsis   Greek apokálypsis  revelation, equivalent to
apokalýp (tein ) to uncover, reveal kalýptein  to cover, conceal) + -sis 

You’ll notice that Measi made a new word using WIP and apocalypse.  But what does it mean?

Most family members and friends of stitchers view the various works in progress and new starts as a kind of horror story.  It is not uncommon to hear, “but you haven’t finished x, y, or z yet” when a new project begins.  One’s home may actually look like a bomb has gone off when the stitcher sorts through the ‘stash’ of stitching patterns, projects, and paraphernalia.

On the other hand, per the dictionary definition #3 the forces of good (intentions) can overcome the forces of evil (stitching stagnation)!  Through WIPocalypse we stitchers can unit and REVEAL our WIPs and the actual PROGRESS part of “WIP”!
Not scary after all!  No, very exciting in fact!  Join the revelation, push the button!
I’m participating in both.  Here are my photo updates.
Ort Jar

My ort jar

Ort Jar close up

Stitching memories, almost as pretty as the completed pieces.

Blackwork Thread Sampler book cover

Should I redo the last line? Julie should go left, I think

Erna Scheppulius in Weeks Dye Works peony

Erna Scheppulius, CA 1900 to date, two more lines of text and two more borders to go!

New Page on The Shop Sampler

I have created a new page.  You’ll find the tab for it on the top bar next to the other pages that are kind of integral to this blog.  I hope you’ll check it out now and then as, like the Sampler Sayings, it will be updated periodically.  Here is the text as I have posted it today:

Noteworthy Stitching Blogs

As I have been taking classes and participating in stitching challenges, I’ve come across some incredible stitchers and beautiful work along the journey.  Too many to include in a blogroll which according to the blog tipsters I read should be kept on the shorter side so your own work can shine.  So, I decided I’ve give these special people their own page on my site with a link to the latest work that they have done that is my favorite for the moment.

So, here are the “winners” (as they say on Dancing With the Stars) in no particular order.  Please, check out the work.  I know you won’t be sorry!

Check this page now and then as I’ll update it regularly.

◊◊◊

Pinterest, Creative Property Rights, and Miscellany

Thank you, Linda!  Actually you have been “pinned” four times now.  I like to let people know when I pin their site so they can say if it’s okay or not.  After all, your blog is your creative property and you have a right to determine how it is used!  Further, your blog stats may not reflect the true power of your site when images may be being viewed by 30 pinterest viewers who have not clicked through to your site, but now know who you are! 

  • RE:  PINTEREST

Here’s the link to the four of your images that have been pinned so far:  http://pinterest.com/source/linda-hubbard.blogspot.com/  When someone clicks through the images, the clicking person is sent to your blog or website.  Pinterest is a relatively new phenom that combines searching with social networking.  The Pinterest subscriber (it’s free!) creates bulletin “boards” of his or her interests and then “pins” images that are related to that interest.  Like-minded people can see what has been found and share what they have found, too.  You can search for your favorite topic in Pinterest and get an image of every pin anyone else has made associated with your search term.  I use it as a kind of “rolodex” to save “scraps of paper” for addresses I want to see again.  More manageable than my browser favorites and with a pictoral reminder, too!  Your Cretan Stitch sample is on my Board titled “Beautiful Embroidery, Incredible Stitchers.”

  • RE:  STUMBLE UPON

A similar service out there that is not image dependant is Stumble Upon.  I belong to both services.  And when I find a blog I like I hit the “I like it!” button and if no one has ever donet that before the blog gets added to the Stumble Upon search list according to the category I assign the blog to.

  • FOR THE NOVICE BLOGGER

For novice bloggers out there, this is another reason why tagging your photos and giving them good descriptions and captions is SO important.  A Pinterest tag cannot occur if you do not have photos.  And your photos might not be found if they do not have keywords associated with them.  Give your photo title one ripe with key words and give the alt title other good key words to ensure you get noticed by search engines!  (An aside:  Another pet peeve of mine is when bloggers or web site writers create a link that opens on the page you’re on.  To ensure your readers don’t stray from your page, have your links open in a blank page.  That way when they close the link window, they are still on the wonderful, incredible resourceful site that is YOURS!)  For more tips on blogging (especially for wordpress sites) check out Time Thief at her blog One Cool Site.  She is the absolute best.  Her tutorials on using HTML tables to present your photos in a neat fashion are excellant and you can copy her code to create your own template even if you know nothing about HTML or any other computerese.

  • MISCELLANY

As far as my header, thank you so much.  This image snippet was from the first needlepoint project I completed as an adult, the second of my life.  Actually my first project was petit point and I never wanted to do it again.  My EGA friends pointed out most needlepoint is not quite as challenging and is easier on the eyes.  The petit point I did as a teenager.   The header pattern can be found (free of charge) under the American Needlepoint Guild’s Education section.  It is called “Honey, I Shrunk the Heart.”  Check out this pattern and the other wonderful info to be found in the Stitch of the Month resource!

  • A NOTE TO ALL WHO COMMENT

In my reply to your comment, I will link back to your blog or website.  Some people don’t know that by clicking on your name they can contact you or your site.  If I put a link in my reply it makes it easier for others to find you.  I don’t have room on my blog to list all the wonderful sites I visit.  Where I can, I will add your site to Stumble Upon or Pinterest (and let you know that I have done so.)  If this is not acceptable, please use the contact form found under the TSS Mission Button at the page top to contact me privately, or tell me not to link back in your comment!  I appreciate all the kindness I have found in this community! 

  • READERS 

Please be kind to my commentors and check out the links in my replies to their comments!

Works in Progress

I’m all over the place these days.  I’ve got my three blogs I am trying to get beyond infancy.  Only one is ready to walk, Blackwork Lessons.  I’ve finally figured out just about everything I need for right now, except the tag and category stuff along with promoting.  My site for the dogs, Sight Sniffing, is really still waiting to be born.  I’ve gone through about four themes for that one, but I think the one I’ve settled on will work nicely.  Now just to get into content which will be mostly photographic.

I think the next step that is necessary for success is to develop a schedule of when I will sit down and update each blog so they each stay current.  It’s hard to do because I am so focused on blackwork and design right now.  That is not to say that I’m not doing other stitching.  I am.  But, I am committed to writing a book that will be called Blackwork Lessons.  And my head is wrapped all around what the book will look like and include as well as getting permissions from other artists to be able to include some of their work because no one can do it better.  Like the Skinner Sisters.

Nonetheless, I’ve started these three blogs and I must care for all of them.  I will start this one with an update on Works in Progress.  I am working on Carol Leather’s Blackwork Chessboard which is a sampler of fill patterns shaped into a chess board.  I am also working on Kathy Rees’ Amazing Color sampler.  Amazing is an understatement.  Just got the third set of instructions from the Shining Needle Society class being run by Robertson and Howren called Stitches For Effect:  Climb Every Mountain.  I have two name tags to complete for two ladies who will be instructors at ANG’s 2012 Seminar in Philadelphia.  Then there’s that piece I want to give to Mom for Christmas.  (It’s okay, still a secret–she only uses a computer for playing games!)

I’ve just downloaded a new (to me) software (open source) that will allow me to use the same system Kim Brody Salazar uses and describes in her blog, String or Nothing.  A little stuck right now, but tomorrow’s another day.  Today I started a database on my Blackwork Lessons Yahoo group to list symbols found in stitching as I came across a couple Mayan references while reading the HandEye newsletter.  Also wrote a note to self to start a database to include cool sayings I’ve found that would be great on samplers so I can finally throw all those little slips of paper away!  And I need to start a poll to see if the yahoo group wants to have an online meeting in October.  That’s when I had originally planned to unveil my own blackwork sampler creation.

So, I haven’t been avoiding you, dear Shop Sampler!  Just too disorganized to give you the time you deserve.  I’ll be better.  Promise!