Thea's November - December Newsletter!
I've enjoyed a busy and exciting fall, with lots of activity at home, and
increased participation in the
Victoria Sampler studios. The weather here in Sidney B.C.
has been pretty typical for this time of year; some rain and some blue skies and
sunshine.. but now it's seriously looking like Winter. No wonder.. it's
getting to look a lot like Christmas, too! The arrival of Black Friday means
we're all gearing up for St. Nicholas to arrive.
Back in October, I took a trip to Massachusets, where I connected
with stitchers at a favorite Retreat,
Stitcher's Hideaway in Sturbridge. I was invited to teach, so I created the
'Bling Tree'.. a fun creativity excercise for everyone! Students were sent their
pre-work ahead, which was to Cross Stitch the entire tree, and the words around
it. Then during class I taught the Specialty Stitches for a day, and on the
second day we all decorated our tree with sparkly stuff; beads, strings of Xmas
lights, buttons, charms and other fun things. I had also asked that if they
wanted to, everyone could bring their own decorations, and that meant that
everyone's tree wa
s quite different! What fun it was to see our
students having fun attaching their Bling to their trees!
Lots of fun times; laughter and shopping during class, even
Santa came to visit, we enjoyed fabulous
meals at the Pioneer Inn where we were staying, and Jen really thought of
everything to make things fun! Jen is the new owner of Stitcher's Hideaway..She
is such a kind and gentle person! Even with a family with kids and a full time
job, she still manages to find the time and energy needed for a super successful
retreat! Plus, she really knows how to make everyone feel welcome, thanks so
much Jen for having me! It wa
s truly a blast!!
Directly after the Retreat was over, Sue (the original owner of Stitchers'
Hideway) had planned to whisk me away in her little Blue Super Bug (VW) to a 4
day vacation in Vermont..! We drove up north
quite a way into the mountains to Stowe, the place
where all the best foliage colours was meant to be. Well, we did find a few
trees ablaze with gold, but the true colours had apparently already been a week
before! LOL We were left to read, relax, shop at the Vermont Country Store, walk
through the town, and generally make nuisances of ourselves. Thanks Sue
for an unforgettable vacation!
I've been very lucky and haven't had any untoward health problems, and am very
grateful for my good health. Life is good here in Sidney! Love riding my
bike, and hiking along the beaches.. this view is of a bumper Pumpkin crop a few
blocks from my house.. the ocean view behind this field is so spectacular! Click
on this link for my latest Halloween Bookmark
Pattern now on our website.. you'll recognize the pumpkins !
Now on to more news about what's happening with Victoria Sampler designs! - Thea
From the Studio..
Thea's Gingerbread Mice Leaflet and Acc Pack
Christmas Hollow Leaflet and Acc Pack
Introduction to Hardanger Student
different Hardanger Scissors, and Thea's Scroll LapFrame!
FROM THE STUDIO
... Some design news -
The Victoria Sampler Studios are sooo busy.. We're both very
pre-occupied with our lovely
Facebook Chat Group,
This past September, I designed a free Nativity Christmas Ornament (available in
VS Facebook group) for our Mystery Stitch-Alongs! Come a
nd join us, as we're all still stitching on our Ornament and all
1700+ of us would love to have you stitch-along with us too! Lisa and I are
creating a bunch of new ideas for you all to stitch in the New Year too!
In January you'll find an adorable and scrumptious Strawberry Pincushion design
along with the wooden form to put it on! We're also finally releasing the
Victorian Pincushion design, and both can be mounted on a Wooden
m, imported from Italy! I k
now you'll LOVE both designs! The Intro to Hardanger will
be available as a Leaflet and Acc Pack, and I'm also designing an "I Love Dogs"
sampler, one that I hope any
Sampler lover will adore. And now, on with the Victoria Sampler Releases!
#203 Gingerbread Hollow - Leaflet and Pack!
Welcome to our Gingerbread house in the woods! Imagine visiting this delicious
candy covered home, full of the aroma of ginger cookies and delicious
candies..yum! This Cross Stitched scene is so much fun to stitch! The kids and
the family dog are playing outside in the snow. They’ve made snowman and fed the
birds while Mom is busy stitching inside waiting for them to come in for lunch.
This scene is easy to stitch and frame, the stitches are mainly Cross Stitch,
and will add to your Gingerbread decor on your walls.. especially if you have no
time to stitch and finish a three-dimensional Gingerbread Village building this
year! We even found the perfect Gingerbread Frame for you! It’s painted with
hearts and tiny gingerbread men and fits your piece beautifully. The linen I
used is a wonderful dark grey-blue, to evoke a dark and snowy winter sky and to
set off the white snow. Buy the matching Gingerbread Frame, and go to our
Youtube Channel for easy finishing directions! This is a perfect design to hang
in your home or cottage, or to give to someone dear, to remind us of the
delicious scents of Christmas!
#202 Gingerbread Mice Ornaments and Packs!
a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...!”
Mice have been associated with Christmas for many years, and this year, I’ve
created three tiny Gingerbread Mice for you, each one stitched with different
Christmassy floral motifs and specialty stitches. One features Poinsettias,
another has a Bunny with some lovely Hellebore Blossoms, and another some Pine
Boughs and Cones. The bottoms of each mouse can be personalized with name and
date if you like (Alphabet in our online Free Patterns - in menu to left) and they are meant to live
either in your Gingerbread Village, on the
boughs of your Christmas tree, as part of your Christmas table decorations, or
peeking around a book on your shelf ! Go to the Victoria Sampler
for Lisa's easy finishing directions on video. Buy the Accessory Pack for this
leaflet, so you can stitch and finish all three Gingerbread Mice to enjoy as
part of your Christmas decor! I just love these sweet little creatures!
#200 Christmas Memories - Leaflet and Packs!
Stitch these two delightful ornaments that speak of yester-year! One ornament
shows a little red truck which carries a freshly cut Fir tree and the other
shows some carolers stinging out on the town. There are memories of Christmas
that are common to many of us, whether you’re young or young at heart. The
memories I cherish are embedded in my daily life. I would visit my grandparents
on a neighbouring island, and there we would drive their red farm truck to pick
out the one perfect tree somewhere in the forest on their 300 acre farm.
Bringing that home was a huge adventure! I have sung almost all my life, so not
Christmas went by without the joy of singing carols with my group of singers.
The air was crisp and our cheeks red! We even have some lovely green Wool Felt
for you to finish these ornaments! Enjoy stitching these two heartfelt
ornaments, each a special memory in my heart! I will likely add more designs to
the Christmas Memories Series!
#201 Gingerbread Flower Shop - Leaflet and
we are releasing the
Gingerbread Flower Shop as a Leaflet and Accessory Pack! It is the10th addition to the Gingerbread
Village; including the Tree Etui, the Stitching House, Church, Candy Cane
Cottage, Bakery, Haunted House, Needlework Shop, Quilt Shop, and Retreat
Cottage! this little Gingerbread Flower Shop looks positively European with its
striped awnings and colourful floral display! At the front of the shop you’ll
see buckets full of cut flowers, a topiary tree with French Knot blossoms, A potted Christmas Tree and a potted Sunflower, while the shopkeeper brings out
a flat of forgetmenots. On the back, you see more staff working at their potting
counter where there are a variety of flowers. On the two sides are fantasy
specialty stitched flowers to learn to stitch! The roof
is decorated with white buttons and Cross Stitched snow patterns, and there are a few
lovely vines under the eaves. You will be stitching with yummy silk flosses,
Perle Cottons, silk ribbon, sparkling beads and delicious looking ‘candy’
buttons. This building was not lined, which makes finishing easier and faster!
Finishing instructions and colour photos are included at the end of this
leaflet. Look for more Gingerbread Village additions in future years! -Thea
#HS08-SK Introduction to Hardanger Student Kit!
Stitch these two
beautiful pillows designed for the Cross Stitcher to learn Beginner's Hardanger!
The little roses are Cross Stitched with luscious silk flosses and the Hardanger
is stitched with 2 different sizes of white Perle Cotton. The kit also includes
buttons and sparkling metallic threads and antique white evenweave fabric with
optional tea-dyeing instructions included.
Each of the five pieces are a manageable size, so you can more easily master the
Hardanger stitches. The little pillow is meant to be stitched first, so you can
learn the stitches without any cutwork.
Then you will learn to cut, withdraw thr
eads, and work the needleweaving of each
of the other four designs of the large pillow, progressing step-by-step with the
basic but intricate cutwork designs.
Buy the exclusive
Finishing instructions to create the two pillows, both small and large, are also
included. All stitch and finishing videos are available online so you can learn
along with Thea! This design continues our new series of Home Study learning
projects; including the “Gingerbread Retreat Cottage”, the “Tulip Terrace
Sampler” pillow, Stitching Under the Oaks, Celebrate Sampler and Gingerbread
and join our
Youtube Channel, where you will find Thea and Lisa's Videos for this
delightful design! You will be able to do it with our videos showing you exactly
how to work the many specialty stitches in this gorgeous piece. On Youtube we share some of our
excellent STITCH VIDEOS teaching you how to do the special stitches. The videos
also show Lisa and Thea's FINISHING VIDEOS so you can see exactly how to
Lap Frame with 1 arm, comes with 16" rods!
Buy a good Lap Frame to create beautiful needlework!
The Standard Z-Frame is one of my favorite tools!
Both Lisa and I each have two frames on the go, and we've enjoyed the K's Z -
Frame's versatility and quality for the last 20 years.
Why use a Frame? The question is why use a frame at all?
Comfort - Stitching on a Frame reduces the stress and fatigue
associated with holding your needlework project for prolonged periods. If you
suffer from arthritis or any other ailment, when using frames you will be able
to stitch for greater periods of time with a new level of comfort and enjoyment.
Cleaner Work - frames will minimize them number of times you have
to touch or handle your work. This will reduce the amount of hand oil and dirt
that will accumulate on your project.
Easier Finishing - When you work on a scroll frame, the project held
with even tension results in a less distorted project. When you "free stitch" or
hold your work in your hand threads will tend to bunch in certain areas.
Finer Quality Finished Product - The less cleaning and blocking required to finish the project the more beautiful the end result
is. Why take any chances on the finishing after months and sometimes years or
hard labor on your needlework project?
Needlework is fine art and should be treated accordingly. K's fine quality
frames and accessories are top in the needlework industry. We recommend buying
one each of the scroll rods (10" and 12") for those smaller projects!
Subscribe to our
Youtube Channel for assembly and
Scissors for Hardanger Cutting!
Our newest Bohin 3.5" Embroidery Scissors for ALL your needs!
All of 3.5"
embroidery scissors are tested in our studios, and pass with flying colours!
They are good for snipping errant floss ends, cutting a bit of fabric, as well
as making the clean cuts necessary for 'nub'-less Hardanger embroidery. We stand
behind these mid-range models for all your basic and advanced stitching need
A beautiful pair of
scissors always lifts our hearts as we stitch. We love the various colours of
the handles and blades that are now available, but more than that, we really
appreciate a good cut!
love the heft, and the very fine blades. If the blades are narrow, I can easily
slip them under the fabric threads for drawn thread or Hardanger cutting! Even
the toughest linen threads cut like butter and there are very few nubs!A must for all your delicate
needlework projects. The red/gold handled scissors have soft handles for ease of use, and
very sharp blades, the better to make that perfect Cross Stitch or Hardanger
cut! Made of the highest quality steel in France.
Victoria Sampler is
on Facebook in the FB Search Box. Our Company Page is a great place to come
visit for news. Come and 'like' us and leave a message or comment..! It's fun
to keep up with Victoria Sampler! ;) We have a
VicSampler CHAT Group on Facebook as well.
That's where you can find us most Facebook Fridays at 10:30 am Pacific Time. Just check out the link or search for it. I also have a personal page listed
under my name.
with videos and Animations!
Learn how to work specialty stitches of the featured design, and
finishing techniques to make Thea's designs come alive. What a fun way to learn!
Click on this link to Buy
Student Kits for these exclusive Home Study designs!
here to subscribe to our
NEW Victoria Sampler YOUTUBE Channel! We have launched a new Youtube Channel
for your enjoyment and education! Enjoy stitching with us as you learn how to make the designs
and projects shown in the "Home Study" or "Previous Designs" sections. There is
also a section for
Hardanger stitches only; and a section for previous Live Webcast Classes
recordings. Spend some time browing through..!
Free Patterns on
The Halloween Bookmark Free pattern is available! Enjoy scrolling down to view
and print our needlework gifts to you! You are welcome to print some or all, but
please don't kit these designs for profit. Be sure to include all the
information, including copyright and company information, in all printouts.
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 and
our Home Study 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
A few letters
from our readers.
for your email and notes. For more comments and participation, please visit
'The Victoria Sampler' and the
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! :)
Thank you ...! We are grateful for your emails to our studios, Lisa and I love
receiving your kind notes and congrats.. you make our hearts glad! If you want
to share your progress or happy dancing finishes, we now urge you to check out
our Social Media presences. At the moment we're mostly on Facebook but we plan
to share through a few others to share our love of needlework with everyone
there! I am more grateful than ever that there are so many nice people in our Victoria Sampler
family.. ! - Thea
Teaching online.. or
Come and join
...in the next in-person
CLASS or my new
Courses through Youtube. You will meet new people and learn new stitches and finishing. I am always looking forward to meeting old and new friends... so check
Link in the menu of our website for all Teaching events, to check for dates and times.
See below. -
Future Stitching Retreats and Webcasts with Thea
Welcome to VS