Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lost Girls Found!

The fantastic news is that two of our "lost girls" have been found!  Ann Wade was found thanks to our friend Amy Mitten, and Sophia Beare was tracked down by the tireless efforts of Amy Finkel of M. Finkel and Daughter.  Amy Finkel has been such a boon to us - just because a photo didn't happen to be hers didn't mean she stopped looking for a clue and was able to help us with a number of images.  Thank you so much to Amy F. and Amy Mitten - the owners of both samplers have now given us permission to include images in the book and we couldn't be happier about that!

Of course, that DOES still leave nine images who continue to elude us!  Please, if you have any ideas as to where these samplers are, let us know, or let the owner know we're looking for them.  We'd so love to include them. Who's still missing?

Elizabeth Fryer - date obscured - May ????  Sorry for the poor picture - she wouldn't hold still!  

Ruth Potter 1835 - all we have is this black and white photo - last seen at Christie's Auction house

Mary Ann Coward 1828 - last seen at Christie's Auction house - we don't have a picture of Mary Ann

Mary Linstead - date obscured by camera flash - was thought to have been at the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, but this has turned out to be incorrect.  The name E.P. Dutton has been associated with this sampler.

Rebecca Gidney - 1811  - 
Had been thought to be at the V&A, but is not found there

Mary Gidney - 1798 - 
Had been thought to be at the V&A, but is not found there

Susan Dunn – 1771 - was reproduced by Marcia Van Valin, but she has no record of her whereabouts.  This photo is of the reproduction.

Hannah Bowen
– 1824 - last seen at Charlton Hall Auction House

Sarah Everitt – 1777 – last seen in book “Samplers Selected and Described” by Leigh Ashton.  Photo has the name Mrs. Croly beneath it.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!  Just email us at - thank you so much!

Meanwhile - where are we on the Dark Alphabet?  You know how it is when you're reading a book you really enjoy - you slow down at the end - not wanting it to be over.  I kind of feel that way about the last letters of the Dark Alphabet - this has been a wonderful journey - we've made new friends, developed some great ideas and learned some pretty "iffy" things!  Some of us are still recovering from the "god of the toilet", hahaha.  X Y and Z - that's all that's left, and after today, just the last two letters!  We do hope you've been enjoying the Dark Alphabet - we have thoroughly enjoyed learning about underworld gods and nasty imps!  Speaking of which - X is a prime example!
Image of Xaphan (Za-FAN) from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire infernal 

X is for Xaphan and X-stitch!

So many times I have said regarding someone I've heard about, that with all that creative knowledge, why can they not put it to good use instead of bad? Such knowledge and inventiveness gone wrong.  However I didn't know they were following in Xaphan's footsteps! 

In Collin de Plancy's book, Dictionnaire Infernal, Xaphan was one of the fallen angels. He rebelled with Satan, and is a demon of the 2nd rank. He is said to have an inventive mind and came up with the idea to set fire to heaven before he and the other fallen were cast out. He has a bellows as an emblem, but must fan the flames of the abyss with his mouth and hands, and is said to be the reason why coals glow.

Xaphan also appears in Marvel Comics: Nightcrawler vIII#3, Deadpool Team-Up#897, and Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions v1#1.[1]  And if you have a hankering to write a horror story - why not use the Xaphan font?

"X" stitch

Cross stitch, or "X" stitch - what we will call it here, because we could not find any counted thread stitches that started with "X"! So if you know one that we missed, please share! "X" stitch is one of the most ancient and commonly known stitches in embroidery. It probably developed from the tent stitch. This is a beautiful stitch for it's evenness, each leg of the same size and the final cross always in the same direction.  Historically this stitch was completed before going to the next stitch, but if you are like me, you have learned many variations on how to create this stitch!  Do you complete the first leg of the journey across the whole row and then work your way back? Do you start on the left or the right, top or the bottom, how about in the middle? There are so many ways to create this stitch as well as many variations on this stitch. 

There are so many beautiful stitches out there, but "X" stitch is always my favorite. The rhythm you find when you are stitching in "X" stitch is part of the wonderful stress release I have when I find the time to sit and stitch a bit.

I think most of you know how to cross stitch if you are here working the charts, but you never know maybe we have some newbies or maybe you might just like to have some fun and check out The Subversive Cross Stitch site! I thought it might be a little devilish for our Xaphan character!

Of course one of our favorites for a reference of this stitch is The Red Book of Sampler Stitches by Eileen Bennett.

As always, click on the chart to go to our Freebies page or click on "Freebies" in the sidebar.

Have fun with Xaphan - but don't get burned!


  1. Didn't predict this one either! Don't think many people would have TBH.
    Stitching wise, I like my top leg to come up through a hole with only one stitch in it already. So if I'm stitching from the top down I'll start //// left to right then \\\\ back again with the \ starting at the bottom of the stitch. If I'm stitching from the bottom up I'll stitch //// right to left then \\\\ back again with the \ starting at the top of the stitch.
    Does that make any sense without a diagram?!!

  2. Hahaha - I can't believe SOMEONE wouldn't have guessed it, tee hee. I know what you mean - and whenever possible, I like to come up through a hole with nothing in it, so my stitches are all over the place - nobody should be looking at my backs! I always feel better when I look at some of the old samplers and see what some of those backs look like! I also understand Kafe Fasset's backs are a mess, and his designs are so beautiful!



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