September 11th, 2010
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New Gallery Pictures

September 10th, 2010
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Look at the beautiful pictures I received from some of my stitchers. Thanks for sharing ladies. I love to receive pictures of your finishes. It makes me proud. 🙂

Sallie B. stitched this. Can you believe it is the Attic Collection in a different color. She added some stitching instead of beads. It always amazes me what a difference just a color change will make. Beautiful work Sallie.

Sally W. sent me a picture of her Sampler Garden Casket. Absolutely beautiful work Sally.

There are lots more pictures of finished works on the message board. We stitchers love to share. 🙂


Mary Wigham Wardrobe

August 19th, 2010
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Hello again. Wow, another post already. 🙂 The reason I am posting today is that I have decided to open up the class for the Mary Wigham Wardrobe once more. I have had so many requests for this wardrobe that I have decided to open the door to the class for a very short time. I very seldom re-visit a design so I thought that those interested in this wardrobe might like to take this opportunity to get it. I must tell you that the online finishing class will be this coming August 28, 2010 so you will probably not get your stitching completed in time to finish your wardrobe during class, but, you will be able to join the class and check out all the pictures of the different color linens and fibers that class members have chosen to use. There will be some beautiful finishes for sure. And, I am here for those late comers if you have any questions when you are ready to assemble your wardrobe.

So, one more time…if you would like to have this Mary Wigham Wardrobe this is your chance to get it and join in the fun in the JAT online class. I am sorry, kits are no longer available but the supplies needed for finishing your wardrobe are available in the JAT store. You can email me at JudyOdell@justathought.net if you are interested in getting into this class and I will get you signed up. Hugs

JAT Designs

Part 2 – Array of Style – Free Sampler

August 17th, 2010
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If you are not a member of the JAT message board you can register by clicking on the “message board” link in the top menu bar and then click on “Register”. Be sure to send me an email with your username so I can activate your membership once you have registered. I WILL NOT ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP UNLESS I RECEIVE A PERSONAL EMAIL FROM YOU WITH YOUR USERNAME. Once you submit your registration just go to the top right corner of the page and click on my email link. Simple as that.

Free Sampler located on the JAT message board:

Part two of the Array of Style Sampler is complete. This is the final part and members of the message board can get it free, along with part one of this sampler via the message board. Just sign onto the message board and scroll down to JAT Specials – Array of Style – free sampler.

JAT Designs

Free Sampler: Array of Style – part 1 – Outside border

July 23rd, 2010
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Free Sampler located on the JAT message board:

The first section of the Array of Style sampler is the outside border. It is free and it is on the message board just waiting for you to download. It is turning out just beautiful. I have added cross stitch, French knots and Satin stitches on the border. Cross stitching with overdyed fibers and adding tiny French knots over the cross stitching makes the little flowers absolutely beautiful. I am very happy with them and I think you will like them also. I am working on the next section. I am not sure how it will turn out but for now it is looking beautiful with some pulled thread work and decorative stitches.


Lady’s Cabinet Class finish

July 16th, 2010
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The Lady’s Cabinet class has just finished and we have some beautiful finishes already. Look at this blue cabinet that Sandi V. completed. How beautiful is this. There are more to see posted on the message board.
Way to go ladies. I am always amazed at how changing the color of the fibers gives such a different look to the box. Beautiful work Sandi.


I’m Back!

June 29th, 2010
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I have moved my office and it is somewhat put back together. I still have lots to do but it is together enough for me to work again. I got all the stash reduction orders out. Wow, it surprised me how quickly things went. It is almost time to get our Christmas exchange started. We always have lots of stitchers that join the exchange because it is easy and tons of fun; no stitching necessary. This year we will be exchanging decorative boxes. With stitching or not…just think of the possibilities. More on this later….

What am I up to now? So glad you asked. 🙂
This is the beginning of a free design I am going to be sharing with all my message board members. I don’t plan on it being a mystery sampler…I hate mysteries. But, I am stitching and designing as I go so it will come in parts. I will share my progress as I release sections each month for you all. This is just the start of this sampler. I am hoping to have all kinds of different stitching techniques so I am calling it “Array of Style” for now. Who knows what it will end up being called. The name generally comes to me as I stitch. I can tell you that this free design will be a sampler but there will be a most beautiful treasure chest to match once this sampler is done. It is going to be hard for me to wait to start the chest but I am going to try to be patient. Gosh…I hate having to be patient…just ask anyone who knows me. Patience is not my virtue. Hmmmmm…my virtue???? 🙂

Just two more things:
1. If you want to be notified when a new section of this sampler is released then you may want to click on the “Shop” link in the top menu of this page and subscribe to the newsletter. Otherwise, just keep checking back to see my progress.

2. Each new section will be released in PDF format on the message board so you should register if you are not a member yet. Just click on the “Message Board” link in the top menu also. NOTE: be sure to send me a private email with your user name once your registration is complete. Your membership will not be activated until I receive your personal email. Hitting the submit button does not send a personal email…it just sends your registration form.

Ok, way to much talk and not enough work so I am off. I shall return with something more for you soon.
Hugs everyone!


Random Thoughts

June 9th, 2010
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I am currently busy moving my office from the garage to the back bedroom. It is empty now and, as the picture shows, the view is just beautiful. So why not…I cannot believe the accumulation of stuff…this seems to be the only word that fits as it is not junk nor is it necessary…it is stuff. 🙂 Anyway, for some reason I am a little sentimental and emotional. Maybe it is just the fact that the room is empty and used to be full of kids and messes…the kids that occupied this room have grown but are not far away as yet…18 and 21…and I am not ready to kick them out of the nest. So…they have taken my spot in the garage. I think all of us are happy for the move. 🙂 I know that one day I shall look at that garage and, like this room, it will be empty of kids and their mess and I will wish they were still here. I tend to not let go…and I know I hold on too tight…but hey, who’s perfect.

My daughter sent me this beautiful poem the other day. She left the nest quite some time ago and is going through some trials herself currently. Anyway…it seems to fit each person that reads it differently…so I thought I would share it with you all…..

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open,
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today, because tomorrow’s ground is too
uncertain for plans, and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get to much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for
someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…that you really are strong,
And you do have worth.
And you learn and learn…with every goodbye you learn.
……..Comes The Dawn…….Author: Veronica A. Shoffstall……………


Newsletter: Summer 2010

May 22nd, 2010
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Welcome friends. I hope you enjoy yourself and find something you are interested in.

What’s New………………………………………

The Northwest Sampler Guild (NSG) class project is finished. The name is Ribbon and Roses – Scissor Safe Workstation and you can sign up for it through NSG by going to their website and reading all about it. If you want to see more pictures of this little scissor safe you can scroll down to the blog below this one where you will find lots of pictures for you and also a direct link to their guild site. You will find the information regarding the cost and time of the class on their site also. The design is a scissor safe with scissor cubbies inside that move back and forth so you can get the scissor you want out. The side compartment is for your larger working scissors and tools. Add smaller tools like pins, thimbles and needle threaders in the small drawers below the scissor cubby. The cute little needle book on the side will hold your needles while not in use. The private class will be held on the JAT message board and registration is through NSG only. I will add you to the private class but they will register you.

Let’s Talk Finishing!

Let’s talk finishing! This is a new thought. I wanted to write finish instruction for designs that could be made in one or two days. No stitching required unless you choose to add it. Embellish it as you choose. I will embellish it the way I like but you can embellish yours any way you choose. Or, if you prefer, don’t add any embellishment at all. This is the Victorian set and is the first set in the “Let’s Talk Finishing!” series. These little PDF’s are available in the JAT store in the Design section, left margin-“Let’s Talk Finishing”. I plan on releasing more of these little sets so you can just mix and match them as you like. These little designs are perfect for a quick easy gift or just for the fun of finishing. 🙂

What’s Happening Now………………………………..

Mary Wigham Wardrobe is in full swing. Everyone seems to be enjoying the class and the stitching. It is such fun to chat with other stitchers and see what colors they have chosen for their wardrobe. Registration for this class is now closed. Pictures will be posted of the different finished wardrobes once the class is over and maybe some of the stitchers will share their thought’s on the class.

A Lady’s Cabinet class will be ending soon. The stitchers are finishing up the last section and the finish class will be held sometime in July. At the time of this blog we have not settled on a date but once the class is over we will be sure to add some pictures of finished cabinets. I am very excited to show the class members how easy it really is to finish. I know some are a little intimidated by finishing but I think they will all be surprised. We shall see. 🙂

The JAT store is still coming along.  I keep adding things as often as I can, which is slow going.  Anyway, I have set up some categories in the design section to help you find things a little easier.  Here is how it works…When you click on “Shop” in the top menu of this page you will see a  “What’s New” page.  Hopefully I have a few new things showing.  Then you can click on “Designs” in the top menu.  You will get a page that has all my designs.  Look at the left menu.  There you will see categories you can click on instead of scrolling through all my designs to find a particular design.   I hope this helps.    Moosie is trying to teach me how to do this and I know I am frustrating her and testing her patience most of the time.  Well you know the saying about “Old dogs and new tricks”?  I am a very old dog.  And I want to do the tricks my way. Thank goodness Moosie is a very dear friend.  🙂

Hot Tip ………………………………..

Away knots? Knot anymore! I don’t use away knots any longer. Not even when I stitch with over-dyed fibers that have to be turned in the same direction or are pre-cut so are too short to fold over. With DMC one can just fold the thread in half, making a loop on one end. Thread the two loose ends into the needle. Make the first leg of your cross stitch, or whatever stitch your working, and catch the loop of the thread when you come back up for the next stitch.

Well, with over-dyed fibers you have no folded end. (Remember, both lengths of thread have to go the same direction.) So I tie a little tiny knot at the end of my thread. I cut the tail off right at the knot and work it just as if it were a folded thread. Perfect, no away knots for me. 🙂

How to?……………………….

Thread Roll-up

So fast, so easy and ever so cute. I did get the old dusty sewing machine out for this but you could do it by hand….well you could!

1. Cut a piece of cotton batting or wool felt about 8 inches by 36 inches. Cut a piece of decorative fabric 8 inches by 36 1/4 inch. Pin whatever lace you have chosen onto the cotton batting so that the lace is facing the inside. If you don’t want lace you could add beads, cording or whatever you can think of once your thread roll is finished. But if you want lace like the picture, you need to add it now.

2. Pin the decorative fabric, right side down, onto the cotton batting, sandwiching the lace between them. Sew around the thread roll-up about 1/4 of an inch away from the edges. Leave one short end open so you can turn it.

3. Turn your thread roll-up inside out. Pin the open end closed. Stitch about 1/8 of an inch all the way around the roll-up.

4. Add a ribbon tie to the outside of your thread roll up. I cut about a 24 inch ribbon.

5. Roll it up, tie it and tuck it away until you need it again.

This is so easy I know you are thinking…why didn’t I think of that? 🙂 The threads stick like magic. They stay where you put them.

Give as gifts and you will be a star. Who would not want one or two of these. I just love them. Make a larger one and roll your working linen in it for storage. You could roll your thread roll-up inside your linen roll-up. Make one larger and you have a bed cover…oh ha…now I am just being too silly. 🙂 But you get the idea. Enjoy!

Spotlight on Accessories……………………

PVA Finishing Glue: Wow, this is great stuff. It opens the door to many wonderful ideas for me. No more hot glue, well ok, just a bit maybe here and there for instant bond. But this glue is fabulous. I will be carrying it in my store for a short time…not sure how long though. We shall see. But I have it while it lasts for now.

This is acid free glue. It dries fast, flexible and clear. You can clean up any messes with water. I think the most important factor is that it is flexible when it dries. After I heard about this glue I had to find a manufacturer and try this stuff. I was not disappointed…it is wonderful. I love it and I use it now instead of any other glue on my designs. Actually, I use super strong double sided tape and this PVA glue. They partner so well together.

Spotlight on Finishing……………………

Ribbon Gathering Many of you have heard me say this before…I tried ribbon roching and just could not do it. So I came up with ribbon gathering. Here is how I ribbon gather.

Start by folding the beginning of your ribbon under and taking a few tacking stitches to keep it folded in place. Attach the folded end to your project.

Weave your threaded needle in and out of the ribbon just like when you gather normally. I generally space my weaving about 1/8 inch apart and weave three times each trip.

Pull your thread to gather the ribbon and insert your needle into the linen about 1/4 inch away from where you last attached to the linen.

Weave again…pull your thread…insert your needle into the linen about 1/4 inch away from where you last attached to the linen.

Continue repeating these steps until you are done. Attach the end of the ribbon by folding it under again and tacking the folded end securely where it meets the beginning of the ribbon.

What’s coming?……………………

I am working on a new cabinet with a pyn cushion to go with it. I am thinking it will be a PDF release and not a private group release. I am not sure but I am leaning this direction.

I am also going to be releasing a new box for the “Just A Box” series and of course I have plans already for a new “Let’s Talk Finishing” design series. These are so much fun to make.

Who knows what will happen first but I am antsy to do the cabinet and cushion so I am thinking that will be my next release. 🙂 I will be sending newsletters out each time I release something new so if you don’t want to hear from me from time-to-time then just option out when you get the newsletter. If you just happened on this blog and want to be sure you do not miss anything then look at the top of this page and click on “shop”. The first page you get will have a “subscribe” box in the right menu. Just add your email address and submit. You will receive a verification email that you need to click on to let me know it is really you and you really do want to subscribe. Just click on it and you will be done. Finished…easy as that!

That’s it….I hope you enjoyed yourself. I shall be posting another large blog this coming winter. There will be more surprises for you, new ideas for you to try and hopefully some new designs for you to check out. Oh, I will still be here but my blogs won’t be quite as long winded as this one.

Keep stitching everyone…and remember to “Keep looking up – you can bet someone will be looking back.” Just A Thought from Judy Odell


May 14th, 2010
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If you are not a member of the JAT message board you can register by clicking on the “message board” link in the top menu bar and then click on “Register”. Be sure to send me an email with your user name so I can activate your membership once you have registered.


Northwest Sampler Guild – Ribbons and Roses

May 13th, 2010
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I told you I would be posting class pictures soon. Sorry it has taken so long but I wanted to let the NSG announce it first. I thought it only fair. 🙂 But here it is. The class will be an online class, as usual, except it will be released all at once so you can go at your own pace. We will still have the sharing and chatting. For information about the class itself you will have to go to Northwest Sampler Guild for details. But for those curious folks, not stitcher’s of course 🙂 , here are some pictures. Title: Ribbons and Roses – Scissor Safe Workstation. The little cubbies you see inside the cabinet move from side to side so you can add your scissor fob if you want, and get into each cubby easily. Enjoy…

JAT Designs

My stitching long ago

May 6th, 2010
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I was talking with a friend yesterday and of course we turned to stitching chat. Actually we started talking about the Lady Evelyn book I had last blogged about. I had ordered her one as a gift and in doing so I somehow ordered two. I have no idea how I could have done this as I had to submit my card a second time…very strange… Anyway, we were discussing the fact that one cannot get really large count linen and very small thin fibers any longer. Lady Evelyne stitched some of her beautiful laces on 180 count linen…if you can imagine. Anyway, as happens, the conversation turned and we were chatting about some of the stitching we had done some time back. I mentioned a piece I had stitched about 15 years ago when I first started stitching. Yep, one of the first things I ever stitched. It was a butterfly I stitched in gold threads. But the unusual thing is I did not realize I could not stitch it like I did…I actually stitched it on 40 count linen, over one thread. The entire background is cross stitched also. The original linen color is a natural linen color. Mind you, they are full cross stitches over one linen thread on 40 count linen. Well, no one told me yet that I just could not do that. My friend wanted a picture so I thought maybe some of you would like to see a picture also. Here it is…my Butterfly !

As I was getting it out of the cabinet I started looking at some of the stitched pieces and noticed this Santa ornament. This was the very first thing I ever designed. I actually learned to chart from this little Santa. Hmmmmmm….this might just make a good Christmas ornie this year for the members of my message board. Hmmmmm…yep, it is already designed and all I would have to do is write the finishing. …… Oh, sorry, just talking to myself again. Anyway, I thought I would show it to you here also since we are talking about old things we stitched. That is what we were talking about right? 🙂 I was just turning from needlepoint to cross stitch and was still new to needle work. I used a lot of needlepoint stitches and had a great time stitching him. Here he is…my old Santa USA. Is there anyone out there that actually remembers this old design? Santa USA


Book Review: Lady Evelyn’s Needlework Collection

April 26th, 2010
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I wanted to share the most wonderful book with you all. I have had this book for years and I pull it out all the time just to re-read it. This book has it all…Lady Evelyn’s life story, her amazing needle work (can you believe she actually stitched 180 per inch thread count) and charted designs for you including instructions to stitch them. There are tons of pictures both in color and black and white of her family, herself and most of all her amazing needlework. Sections of the book include: Lady Evelyn’s Life, Her Needlework Collection and Embroideries for you to Stitch. This book is now out of print but if you can get your hands on one it will be a priceless addition to your needlework book collection. Have you ever heard of Mary-Dick Digges presenting anything but the best? I have included some pictures from my book for you to check out.


NSG sneak peak #2

April 17th, 2010
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Here is another little tease. This is the most beautiful cabinet to date I think. Just wait until you see the whole thing. I am working just as fast as I can so it won’t be long. But here is a clip of part of the cabinet. Enjoy….


NSG Sneak Peak

April 9th, 2010
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This is a little sneak peak at just one section of the Northwest Sampler Guild’s cabinet.  I mentioned this class earlier in the blog and this cabinet will soon be complete and the details released to everyone that might be interested in taking this private online class. It will only be available through Northwest Sampler Guild.
This is just a little bit of home. And the tease begins. More to come soon. Now, if you have not already done so you need to trip on over to the Northwest Sampler Guild web site and check them out. I think you will like what you see. And, as they say here in California…I shall return.


April 4th, 2010
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Happy Easter Everyone…


Newsletter Coming

March 23rd, 2010
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I’m back.  Finally!!  I have been away for a long time now but I have been so busy.  Spring has arrived in Valley Springs. Everything is looking so beautiful and green. I love the spring. But who doesn’t?

The class for the Mary Wigham Wardrobe is in full swing.  There are a few seats left but we are out of almost all the supply kits.  Everyone has such great ideas for what color to stitch their wardrobe.  I can’t wait to see all the pictures.  When the class is over I shall post pictures of the finishes  in the Rewards forum on the message board.  Yep, this wardrobe is worth $50.00 if it is completed by the time class is over.  I figure that is a pretty good incentive to help the class members get their stitching done.

Now on to other things.  Let’s see…..

1.  I am working on a very special cabinet for the Northwest Sampler Guild in Washington.  No it is not like the cabinets I have released so far.  Would I do that to you…make something you don’t want.  Be nice now… mahahahaaaa.  Anyway, it is going to be a stitch along held privately on the JAT message board.  I will be going to Washington to give a finishing class so if you are interested it will be just a short while before every thing is finalized, and we will let you all know so you can sign up and/or join the guild if you are interested.  Actually, you can go here Northwest Sampler Guild and check out some of their past classes.  They do have some great classes and their newsletter is wonderful.

2.  Now, speaking of newsletter.  I will have one shortly.  Moosie has the skeleton  ready actually but I have no time to put it together to send out.  It is next in line though so keep checking back so you can subscribe.  I will try to keep it interesting. I plan to  publish quarterly.

Hmmmm…I know I had a #3 to mention but I forgot.  Geeeeesssss…I do a lot of forgetting lately.  And misplacing.  My new motto is, “Touch it – Lose it”.  Really, I swear someone is playing tricks on me because sometimes I don’t even get up out of my seat and I can’t find something I had one minute ago.  Darn kids….  🙂  Can’t hurt to blame them.

Ok, I’m done for now.  I shall try to get back very soon with something interesting to say.  Don’t forget to check out the new shop if you have not done so yet.  And I am going to go onto the message board and ask for ideas to add into the newsletter so if you have something you would like be sure to go visit the message board and let me know.

Thanks everyone.  Take care.  Hugs


Our new store has opened….

February 28th, 2010
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PLEASE NOTE:  I have just posted class information on the message board.  You can find it inside the message board or for those that are not registered yet, it is on the registration page.  Just click on “Message board” in the top menu and then click on “Private Groups Available ” .

You can now register for the Mary Wigham  Wardrobe class. Just click on “Shop” in the top menu bar and then click on Mary’s Wardrobe to reserve your seat in the class. Please note:  you must be registered on the message board before you can order.  You need your message board USERNAME  when ordering.   You are registered in the class via your username and all class email (if any) will be sent to the email address you add to your profile.  I will be posting more information regarding the kits in the private class.

This is such an easy stitch I know you are going to love stitching it.  And the finishing is a cinch.  Truly it is.  Now I am heading to the message board to post a lot of little details that everyone wants to know about how the class will be held.  I will see you in class.  🙂


Get ready….Mary is coming and so is a new store……

February 28th, 2010
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Yep…I can hardly contain myself, I am so excited.   Just a Thought is opening its new store doors soon.  I am becoming a blog, forum and store.  Yep, cart and all.  Moosie has been working her “fingers” off  (ha fooled you)  and while there will undoubtedly be a lot of little fixes that you will all find, I think we will get it all ironed out very quickly. Wow, this has been hard work.  I am very excited about it.

So be ready…we move into our store in minutes or hours….any time now.  🙂  And as soon as the store opens you can all order your spot for the Mary Wigham Wardrobe class.  I know you have all be wondering where and what is going on with it but this has been the delay.  I wanted you all to sign up on your own.  When the class is full it will not allow any more registrations.  I have not gotten the wardrobe kits ready yet but we have plenty of time for that.  The decorative fabric will be so limited I probably should not even offer it but I know it is very difficult for some of you to get supplies so we shall talk about it later, in class.  OK, I’m off to go check with Jo and see how the grand opening is coming along.


Message board registration

February 24th, 2010
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If you are not a member of the JAT message board you can register by clicking on the “message board” link in the top menu bar and then click on “Register”. Be sure to send me an email with your user name so I can activate your membership once you have registered.