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Thea's January Newsletter!  [contents

Dear friends...!

 Along with everyone else in the developed world, I seem to have a penchant for 'starting over' on January 1st, but like all good resolutions, there seem to be a lot of delays and procrastinations! Not sure why, but I never end up starting any self  improvements on Jan 1st!  Even now, I'm still reluctantly hanging back. Please, just one more sleep-in or one more cappuccino. It's hard to give stuff up!  I seem to just like leading up to things, treading softly and not shaking up the status quo too much! This year is no different.. 'tried' to begin my yearly cleanse on January 1st, but somehow I've ma naged to delay until today.. a week after I started back to work! Never mind.. I'm in it now.. some good resolutions to increase my excercise, cut down on the little indulgences, and invest more time in play.  Yay, I've begun my resolutions for 2017!

As for my January Plans.. Besides stitching, teaching and designing, it is decluttering time again. This time I'm working on scanning my old slides. The timeline for slides was from high school days to the days when my kids were born. Below is one photo I've not seen for decades!  Peter and I were just heading for our boat, carrying my firstborn, Dori in a snuggli, and chatting to my friend Barbi.. that's 1976 spring..!  What a treasure some of these old photos are! The little scanner is easy, and I've managed to go thro ugh 10 projector carousels of slides so far.. yay! But now, I can hardly wait to get to the photo albums and boxes of photos! There are wayy more photos than slides, and I don't think I have time or energy to do them all myself.. so first there's the sorting and throwing out of all slides that don't meet the criteria.. 1. No photos of landscapes I don't recognize. 2. I have to actually remember the occasion. (LOL) and most important 3. I have to remember names of people in the photo. I am pleased to say that I probably won't have to scan too many photos given my memory..! ;) Then I'll take the remaining precious memories to a professional. I found a young man who is scanning photos etc. as his first entepreneurial job after high school and college. He's very conscientious so I think he'll do a great job. 

This last photo is of a a fun group of women with whom I sometimes play Mah Jongg. I love their socials.. here's our annual Xmas get together at the Union Club for this year. The fellows were enjoying our antics and we dragged them into our photo just before the real fun started! LOL Sending you some extra love for the New Year and hoping you will take special extra time for YOU this year!  You deserve it!


Losing 50 pounds las year has been life-changing!  I love my new meals, new clothes, new health, and new energy! Some stitchers have asked me what I've done and why I'm so confident that I will keep it off.. so I have some links from the program director so you can get information for an other Bootcamp starting in January 2017! If you're interested, please Click this link for details. This program works for even the most stubborn weight problems.. you can now deal with the neuroscience of your brain! 

Now on to more news about what's happening with Victoria Sampler designs! - Thea

Victoria Sampler News!


Some news from Victoria Sampler - We've really had a beautiful Holiday here at the Victoria Sampler studios.. and hope you did too! The season just sped by, but this year both Lisa and I are feeling caught up with our work, and getting enthusiastic about the new designs that we are releasing this year!  I'm thrilled to tell you I'm working on a Beginner's Hardanger Home Study Course but have no photos or scans to share with you yetThis course will start the stitcher with counted cross s titch experience in the beautiful cutwork called Hardanger. There will be videos explaining exactly how to work Kloster Blocks properly, as well as showing you how to cut your linen threads, and fix cutting mistakes(!) and also some simple needle-weaving like Dove's Eyelets. I'm really enjoying making up the simple design students will stitch as they learn!

There is another sweet design coming out in the spring called Ocean Boulevard, and we will also be releasing a beautiful Needlepocket Home Study Course. It's no wonder life has been busy! I'm going to share the four teaching projects I've managed to get ready this year.. and I hope you'll come and stitch with me for one or all of them! :)

Teaching Projects for 2017
scr oll down to bottom of this Newsletter for dates and times!

Victoria Sampler Retreat in 2017 in Victoria B.C.  --  This Retreat is Full now but please put your name on our waiting list. in 2017 the Victoria Sampler turns 20 years old! So I created the "Happy Birthday" Sampler to celebrate! I try to kee p my teaching designs enjoyable for all levels, so there are specialty stitches, and a bit of Hardanger and other cutwork in this one too. There is video instruction to illustrate each stitch.. and to accomodate everyone's different level of mastery. We are all soo looking forward to seeing all old and new students!  click to view...!

Stitching Under the Oaks 2017! The same "Happy Birthday" Sampler design will also be taught on the East Coast in Florida in June of 2017!  Those of you who are unable to come to Victoria, may want to join me there instead!  I'm so happy that I'll be going back to teach the SUTO gang in Florida again next year! Thank you for inviting me back.. and for trusting me to teach you something colourful and fun during my 20th year in business.. it's a Happy Birthday to Victoria Sampler!

In Minnesota, I'm teaching two projects for the Mi nnesota Needlework Guild, which holds their retreat in August of 2017.  For my first class, I designed a simple but very cute "Sunflower Cottage" Pillow".. a sweet little house on an imaginary street in an imaginary floral town.. where Sunflowers grow... ! It is part of the collection of easy and quick learning samplers started last summer with the "Hydrangea House" and then the winter "Poinsettia Place" Sa mpler.. bright and cheerful and easy to stitch!  I was also asked to design a Gingerbread Flower Shop with Sunflowers outside, for a second class, and now that it's done, I just know this will fit in beautifully with my Gingerbread Village Collection!  It was soo much fun to design, with flowers on every side.

Finally, Sue at Stitcher's Hideaway asked me to design a Thanksgiving Sampler for her Retreat at Sturbridge in October of 2017.. So, I created a project I call "Thanksgiving Sampler".  It was inspired by all the different ways we spend this favorite holiday of the year..
And now.. o
ur newest offerings...and news below..

NEW! Cherry Blossom Cottage Sampler!

Welcome to our newest little cottage by the sea! This adorable little pink cottage is the perfect place to enjoy Spring in all its glory! Surrounded by a bountiful garden full of daffodils, primroses and tulips, and climbing white clematis flowers covering the wall. The Weeping Willow turns pale green with new buds and the little Cherry Tree drops its blossoms as you sit on the front porch watching the grass grow. All you have to do is weed your little garden, as the whitecaps dance on the blue ocean.. ahh Bliss! The linen used is “Ice Blue” Cashel but you can use a light blue linen of your choice. Your LNS will have several available, so enjoy choosing your own favorite linen to bring this project to life! This is a perfect design to hang in your home or cottage to help you dream of Springtime by the sea! - Thea

NEW! #HS-02 "Tulip Terrace" Sampler Pillow

Buy the exclusive Tulip Terrace Pillow Student Kit from us to stitch this sweet little sampler full of tulips!

Tulips are close to my heart. Every year, when we still lived in Amsterdam, my family would drive out of the city and through tthrough the tulip fields of Keukenhof to celebrate the return of spring! Seeing the carpets of nature’s colour must have influenced my being even then, because I simply love masses of bright colour in all areas of my life..!

The third of what will be a collection of lovely little samplers focused on cottages and garden flowers, this sampler also continues a new series of Home Study projects. Stitched with luscious over-dyed silks, silk flosses, Perle Cotton, and sparkling beads on cream linen, it is perfectly designed for learning! It is not too big, so you can more effectively master how to stitch the few lovely specialty stitches like Bargello, Couching, Arrowhead, Foliage Stitch, Diagonal Queen Stitch, Fir Stitch, Triple Rice, Lazy Daisy, Stitching over one fabric thread, Smyrna Cross, French Knots and some simple Drawn Thread.

- Tulip Terrace Home Study Group on FACEBOOK!

Once you've bought our Student Kit, come and join our VS-Tulip Terrace FB Group, where you will find Thea, Lisa and other stitchers stitching this delightful design! There is lots of help, and you can get started sorting your threads, putting your linen on your frame. This project is for Intermediate Level stitchers. If you have not done any hemstitching  before, don't worry. You will be able to do it with our videos showing you exactly how to stitch the hemstitching in this sampler! (For further help, we have wonderful basic Hemstitching Learning Kits in the Beyond Cross Stitch series Level #4 on our website.)

In the Facebook Group, we will share some of our excellent STITCH VIDEOS teaching you how to do the specialty stitches. The videos also show Lisa and Thea's FINISHING VIDEOS so you can see exactly how to construct this lovely Pillow! Follow our clear and simple diagrams included in this leaflet and enjoy the journey to Tulip Terrace! You don't need to join the group online. You have enough instruction and colour photos in your leaflet to stitch and finish it all by yourself if you wish. –Thea

HS01 - Gingerbread Retreat Cottage  Student Kits!
Get an exclusive Student Kit from VS online, to stitch this delicious Gingerbread Retreat Cottage, another addition to the Gingerbread Village. This full kit contains the Leaflet, the Accessory Pack, the Linen Pack, the White Silk Floss Pack, Perle Cottons, and needles needed to complete this project. (except acid-free mat board which you can get at your local framers). Register for our dedicated Facebook Group to enjoy stitching with others and to view our Stitch and Finishing Videos!

The Victoria Sampler is on Facebook. Just enter The Victoria Sampler in the FB Search Box.  We've been there for quite some time. Come and 'like' us and leave a message..! It's fun to keep up with Victoria Sampler! ;) We have a new Victoria Sampler Chat Group  Just check out the link or search for it. I also have a personal page listed under my name.

Magazine Designs and Free Patterns!          
NEW! Inspired by tradition, this little Free pattern is perfect for your fellow readers! Look in our catalogue for Tiny Packs for Tiny Packs for the latest of these free patterns for your convenience! Check our Website menu to find some free patterns as well as other features like our Search feature, Shop Finder, Catalogue, Stitch Animations. Also, you can find our new Stitcherama Webcast classes to learn some of the specialty stitches!

Discontinued Products Notice!  REMINDER: Just a note to let you know, we are discontinuing some of our products as we run out of stock. Almost all our full kits have been discontinued or will be soon, except the Beyond Cross Stitch Learning series. Many of Cathy's and some of Linda's and my Accessory Packs are now discontinued. Many of our Tiny Packs are also discontinued. So remember to buy the products in your wish list now, as they may no longer be available from us in future! 
NEW Office Hours! Just a quick note to all my stitching friends. I love my work and won't retire yet, but my designing will slow down a bit.. :) I am going to cut back my stitching time, computer time, and online teaching time, to take it easier. Lisa will work full time, and Kathleen will join us part time too, as Cathy has retired. So, now our office hours will be 9am - 4pm Monday-Thursday.

A few letters from our readers.
Thank you for your email and notes. For more comments and participation, please visit Facebook: 'The Victoria Sampler' and the 'Victoria Sampler CHAT Group'  where many of our fans now write to us!  I also want to remind you to notify your service provider that our email address is safe, and to keep your VS online Account current by updating your email and details as needed! :) 

#87 Heirloom Nativity Sampler!

Hello! I'm just putting away the last of my Christmas decorations. These are my most special decorations - all made from your wonderful Victoria Sampler patterns. - Wendy Welsh

Hello Wendy!.. Leaving mine up a little longer also.. but it's a wonderful idea to put it away for a while, so you can have the pleasure of unpacking it again next Christmas. Nice choices! :) Thanks for the peek! - Thea

Beautiful #F07 Spring Box  .. !  
Hi Lisa, Thea,All finished ready to give to my sister. Her birthday is C hristmas day so I am giving her the box for her birthday and the others for Christmas. All the octagon pieces weren't all exactky the same but still fitted 😆Now I should make up the first box. It was square. Think it was winter and it has stitching over one around the sides of the lid. Once I got started it wasn't that bad. Just shows it doesn't matter how long you have had a project for, you can finish it. I have the gingerbread house to stitch as well

Thank you ...! We are grateful for your personal pictures and letters to share your experiences with Victoria Sampler designs, so keep em coming! Send stories letters etc and pics to me. Thanks to all of you who wrote.. you make our hearts glad.  I am more grateful than ever that you are all in our Victoria Sampler family.. ! - Thea

Classes online or in person
Come and join me... the next in-person CLASS or my new  Home Study Courses through  Facebook. You will meet new people and learn new stitches and finishing. I am always looking forward to meeting old and new friends... so check the Teaching Link in the menu of our website for all Teaching events, to check for dates and times. See below.  - Thea :)

Future Stitching Retreats and Webcasts with Thea

Victoria Sampler's Retreat 2017 !  - waiting list being taken
Will be held in Victoria, April 27 - 30, 2017
Email Lisa at:

Stitching Under the Oaks 2017 ! 
Will be held in Florida, June 2 - 4, 2017
Email Jen at:
Phone Jen at: 352-406-1176

NEW! Needlework Guild of Minnesota 2017 !
Will be held in Buffalo Minnesota, August 2017
Email Gloria at:

NEW! Stitcher's Hideaway 2017 !
Will be held in Sturbridge, Sept-Oct 2017
Email Sue at:

Please let me know if there are any errors in this newsletter by emailing me at


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#128 Pumpkin Patch Farm Leaflet ... !

The Pumpkin Patch Pumpkin Farm is a companion to Babe’s Honey Farm, Ravenhill Farm, Strawberry Fields Farm and Jingle Bells Christmas Tree Farm. Parts of this design can be stitched separately, and can be used in many different ways. Stitch this one for Halloween.. or Thanksgiving! ... click and scroll down for more