I Don’t Do Mondays…

How many times through my life I have heard this expression! Today like never before I feel the true meaning of it. Today I am completely lost. I have not touched a needle, I have not opened a book, I have not been outside… I can blame it on over stitching last week, on the weather that brings humidity that makes hard to enjoy being outside, on the fact that I am out of my favorite coffee! I am glad this unproductive day is almost over…

Sitting comfortably in my chair, I am going through “the pages” of the very talented stitchers on the www.gmna.org.uk/meet_members.html. Some of these people are not with us anymore and it is a wonderful way to remember them and their little masterpieces. Just look at this miniature Gold work (Daphne’s quilt) by Daphne Turner.

King Charles Spaniel by Juliet Blake, original design from a Staffordshire pottery stitched on 140 count silk gauze. The dog measures just 2cm (13/16″) high. I have 136 count silk gauze and have never heard or seen of anything higher than that.

Floral design on a red circle ground by Eric Burke, stitched on 112 count silk gauze, actual size: 3.2cm (1 1/4″) diam.

Quilt by Dora Lockyer, Hexagonal patchwork quilt

1/8th. inch hexagons, 1/12th scale

I find their work very inspiring and on this note I will end my Monday today.

I wish a wonderful and creative the rest of week to everyone!


Manage your Attention, not your Time

or, my new organizational strategy.

I admire people who are strong enough to stick to one project till it is finished. It is different in my little world of consciousness. I must try each idea that comes across my mind RIGHT NOW! This is how I do accumulate the projects that are screaming at me due to me missing a color and waiting for it to arrive, giving attention, and spending more time on a new design, or being busy with real life issues. 

Due to some personal reasons, I took time off to regain the energy for my obsession with Petit Point and other needlework. It is a fact that I have a lot of projects have been started and have not been finished. Particularly there are about 20 framed projects that need my attention. They include Petit Point, Cross Stitch, Goldwork. I have put a lot of thoughts into organizing all stitching projects giving a priority to the most important. I have searched on Google different ideas other stitchers are sharing on how to catch up with all UFO’s and concluded that none of them are working for me to reach my goal.

The expression “Manage your attention, not your time” makes more sense for me. Know your priorities, right?

I put on the list 16 prioritized designs that need my urgent attention and must be finished within a year. You can see them all below

Four of them, marked in red, are the ones that I am planning to work daily on, excluding the weekends.

Another four in green are smaller works and I am thinking about devoting an hour to each daily.

Those on the list in blue color are on a “waiting list” and each of them will be merged to the list above in green as soon as any project on the green list will be finished.

It means that each week this ladder will be changed with finished projects moving out of the list. I am exceptionally good at planning than at following the plan. However, at the end of the month, I will gladly report about how productive I will be and if this system works for me.

Happy new creative week to you!


House on the Rocks, WI Part 2

The display model of Buckingham Palace was created by a British architect for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth 2 in February 1952.

The tour of the House on the Rock took more than 3 hours. It was worth to see the World’s largest Carousel in history. It contains over 20,000 lights, 182 chandeliers, 269 animals on the carousel. The carousel is 80 feet wide, 35 feet tall, weights 36 tons and was premiered on Easter 1981, and there is NOT one horse on the carousel. The carousel was moving and it was impossible to take a nice static picture, :).

Full size sleighs, it is one of them

There was another carousel-display with hundreds of dolls.

In 1979 President Jimmy Carter and his family cruised on the upper Mississippi aboard the steamboat Delta Queen. They travelled south from St. Paul, Minnesota so St. Louis stopping along the way to greet the crowds who lined the banks. While in Dubuque, Iowa the President signed this model of the Delta Queen.

There is still much more to show left, but I encourage you to visit this place if you are in the area.

House on the Rocks, WI Part 1

Visiting the House on the Rocks, Wisconsin was an amazing, one of a kind and at the same time overwhelming experience.

It all began in 1940s when Alex Jordan returned to Deer Shelter Rock where he had picnicked with his family years before. Over the years, he dreamed of creating a wonderful house, an artist’s refuge where he could pursue his interests in music, literature, and sculpture. What took shape on and around the Deer Shelter Rock is a truly remarkable achievement.

He couldn’t keep his retreat secret for long and in 1960 he gave in to public demand and opened the House to visitors. Soon this man-made wonder became the most popular attraction.

The House has a massive collection of music boxes, the World’s Largest Carousel, The Secrets of Yesterday (a recreation of a 19th century American street), the mysterious Organ room, guns, armor, lamps… and of course, dollhouses.

In the late 1970’s Alex Jordan bought his first collectible dollhouse.

After he realized that buying a few dollhouses was not going to be enough if he wanted to build a world-class collection. He hired a staff headed by Virginia Reynolds for this project and soon dollhouses of every shape and description were being created in the workshop.

Alex visited the workshop every day and took a special interest in the design, building, and installation of each house. The houses are designed to represent early American style through the first part of the 20th century. The collection also includes a series of small shops and even a gas station in miniature. The work lasted years and filled the workshop to the rafters. The Jordan’s dollhouse collection contains more than 250 structures. To my huge regret it was not possible to see the interior of each house due to how they are displayed, also the pictures do not make justice because of the lack of lighting. Enjoy it!

This house is a replica of the Grunow Estate Lake Geneva Home. It is made to 1/12th scale and is 4,5 feet high, 12,5 feet long and 5 feet wide. The house weighs more than 800 pounds and took more than a year to complete.

April Installment SAL 2021

Here is my stitching progress on Stitch-A-Long 2021 Colorful Amalgam. The pattern for an April Installment (as other installments as well) could be found HERE.

I am using 48 count silk gauze and stitching this rug with over dyed Gloriana silk floss. I am spending minimum an hour daily on this carpet since I have other projects on my hands that requires more time.

I think that these squares stitched separately could make nice pillows, especially if stitched on 56 count silk gauze. Being stitched on 48 count the size of each square measures 1 1/2″ and on 56 count as pillows they will look even better. I would use Tudor Gloriana silk floss for the pillows. Hopefully, I’ll have enough time and desire to finish these 9 pillows (there will be 9 squares in the carpet).

Happy stitching!

Natalia Frank

Reproduction of an Antique Sampler by May Nicholls, 1894

Working on reproduction of this antique sampler was a delight!

Late 19th century antique sampler by May Nicholls aged 10 is worked in wool and cotton on even weave gauze. This sampler is completely charming with neat stitch work throughout.

The gauze has overall discoloration consistent with its age. There is also some stitch loss to the outer red chevron border and the odd stitch elsewhere.

I chose to stitch a reproduction of May Nicholls’s sampler, that was finished in September 1894, and comes from my personal collection, on 40 linen using 1 strand of new over dyed colors from DMC one over one. That is why my sampler looks much smaller than the original. The size of May’s sampler is 11″ x 13″, and the reproduction is 2 1/2″ x 3″. I used the same stitches as May did: a tent continental and cross stitch mixed.

The upper section of the sampler is stitched with rows of alphabet letters, numbers and border patterns, all underlined with a Greek key style border.

The lower section of the sampler is stitched with the words “The Lord is my Shepherd”, underlined with a zigzag border which has row of trees and cups and saucers below. There is a central fruit basket below which has a tree and a cross to each side, the date September 1894 above and May’s name and age below. The whole piece is then surrounded by a narrow red chevron border.

I added my initials NF and a year the sampler was finished 2020 on each side of the fruit basket.

The pattern of a reproduction of an Antique Sampler by May Nicholls, 1894 is available at www.dollhouseneedlepoint.com

March Installment

I finished February installment. I am actually so happy I managed to do it since I have several projects on my frames at the same time. I promised myself to devote minimum an hour daily for the February square to stitch and be able to finish it at the end of the month. It took me 12 hours to do it. Now I know that I can finish this rug at the end of this year if I stick to my plan. I chose 48 count of silk gauze and my favorite over dyed Gloriana silk floss.

March has arrived and it is time for a new installment of the Stitch-A-Long Colorful Amalgam 2021. If you click on the image it will take you to the website to download the file for March 2021. Guess what I am going to do today? I am going to play with Gloriana silk to chose colors for this part of the pattern! It always excites me! Happy stitching!

february installment

Here is a link to download a PDF file for February Installment for Stitch-A-Long 2021

Antique Sampler G.M. 1910

First from the Miniature Series of Reproduction of Antique Samplers “Timeless Treasure Troves” is reproduction of an antique sampler “G.M. 1910”

This sampler has been chosen first in the series, because of the colors the sampler is stitched with, green and red. It reminds Christmas and the New Year holiday festive time.

Original sampler is stitched on canvas with wool and signed G.M. 1910.

The miniature sampler reproduction is stitched on 48 count silk gauze with Gutermann silk floss.

I chose to stitch the background, when it’s not really necessary.

79 x 99 stitches

The Antique Sampler G.M.1910 could be stitched on any count of canvas or linen. It measures if stitched on:

28 count – 2.82” x 3.54” (7,17 x 8,98 cm)

36 count – 2.19” x 2.75” (5,57 x 6,69 cm)

40 count – 1.98” x 2.48” (5,02 x 6,29 cm)

48 count – 1.65” x 2.06” (4,18 x 5,24 cm)

56 count – 1.41” x 1.77” (3,58 x 4,49 cm)

60 count – 1.32” x 1.65” (3,34 x 4,19 cm)

72 count – 1.10” x 1.38” (2,79 x 3,49 cm)

The kits for the reproduction of an antique sampler G.M.1910″ could be purchased at www.dollhouseneedlepoint.com

Happy stitching!

Natalia Frank

Stitch-A-Long: January

I invite you to join me in Stitch-A-Long 2021. I am offering a design that could be stitched on any type of canvas and be finished as a pillow, little carpet and, of course, a dollhouse miniature petit point rug in 1/12th scale. For January month I am offering a frame/border of the rug. The field of this rug consists of 9 squares. Each month I’ll post a pattern in black and white symbols for you to color with threads and needle. Each finished project, based on this pattern, will look different, one of a kind, because you will chose a canvas, fabric and its count, threads (wool, cotton or silk) of your choice. To download a PDF file for the border of this design, please go HERE.

To share the stitching progress and meet like-minded stitchers join our Facebook group COLORFUL AMALGAM

303 x 303 stitches

It measures:

If stitched on 18 count – 16.83″ x 16.83″ (42,76 x 42,76 cm)

If stitched on 22 count – 13.77″ x 13.77″ (34,98 x 34,98 cm)

If stitched on 36 count – 8.42″ x 8.42″ (21,38 x 21,38 cm)

If stitched on 40 count – 7.58″ x 7.58″ (19,24 x 19,24 cm)

If stitched on 48 count – 6.31″ x 6.31″ (16,03 x 16,03 cm)

If stitched on 56 count – 5.41″ x 5.41″ (13,74 x 13,74 cm)

If stitched on 60 count – 5.05 ‘ x 5.05 ‘ (12,83 x 12,83″)

Happy stitching!

Natalia Frank