Drawn Thread's approach to this pattern is interesting. It is created in a way that allows the stitcher to personalize it, to make it more meaningful to themselves or family. I thought it was a great idea and a lovely design, so I had to try it. The pattern is laid out with "optional areas" that are denoted by placeholder boxes within the pattern. There's an accompanying booklet that gives various options for each of these boxes to be filled. It recommends for certain areas to be filled with scraps of fabric or lace. Some are supposed to have charms, and others have stitched motifs. In most cases, the stitcher gets to choose which option to use.
All of that works fine, as long as you want to put scraps of fabric/lace and charms on your sampler. It doesn't work quite as well if you don't want these things. Guess what? I don't. I chose to stitch this design on 36 ct. Edinburgh linen, and I really want the whole thing to be stitched. No beads, no charms, and no bits of fabric. I found out too late that certain parts of the design do not have anything available to stitch in the optional blocks if you don't use a charm.
I also discovered-- too late-- that certain areas are supposed to have initials and dates. I presume these are for marriages, children, etc. I don't have these things. Well, I had a marriage, but certainly NOT one that I want to commemerate on a sampler. LOL My only "children" are the four-legged furry kind. So, what to do? Mostly, I'm planning to improvise. ;) You'll see a little of that in the photo.
The top half of the sampler really didn't give me any trouble. I was able to choose optional motifs from the pattern, and I'm happy with the result. The only area that is still lacking is the very top border. I might end up using some tiny buttons from some of my own baby clothes, but I am not absolutely sure yet.
Also in the top half is the nasty little tree that caused me so much grief a few weeks back. I'm happy to report that the tree, along with it's neighboring house, additional trees, and tiny little birds are all in exactly the right spot. :)
The bottom half of the sampler is where I am running into trouble. There are three tiny, blank areas that I don't quite know how to handle. The first two are by the "P" and "R". I will probably use those to sign & date the sampler. That leaves the obvious, slightly larger area that is to the right of "S". I have a feeling I'm going to be stuck putting a charm there, whether I like it or not. It's an odd shape-- 8 x 9 stitches-- and I don't feel like designing something to go there.
You might notice that there are a pair of initials & a year above the house. Those are for BF & me. The date under the house is 2008, which was supposed to be the year the sampler was completed. We're just going to pretend that I intended it to represent the year that BF & I moved to the "country". ;)
I'm getting so close to a finish on this one that I really need to decide what to do about the few stray areas. Otherwise this will be destined to become a UFO, and it's way too pretty for that.