Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Ornament by DebBees Designs for 2018 - 5/11/2019

May 11, 2019.  Sometime in January of this year, Debbie Rowley of DebBees Designs offered a free ornament for 2018 through FiberTalk, the Podcast by Gary Parr.  I ordered this unusual design and just recently began stitching it.  Debbie uses a new 6 strand thread by DMC called Etoile (click here for a nice review).  I find this thread easy to work with and it gives a soft look of sparkle.  Below is my progress to date.

Ornament by DebBees Designs for 2018 Stitched to Date
Since this one is dated 2018, I wonder if she'll produce a new ornament each year going forward (cannot find ornaments for prior years).

A photo of the stitched project can be found on the right under the tab labeled "In Process Projects".

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Expressions in Rose Gold - 6/4/19

June 4, 2019--Completed the stitching on the 7th Nancy Cucci project to date.  This one is called Expressions in Rose Gold.  The others I've stitched are:  Mini Embellishment OrnamentSistersLone Star HeartIrresistible IridescentsStitches in Sterling, and Close to My Heart.

Now off to the framer.

Expressions in Rose Gold by Nancy Cucci Completed

May 15, 2019--Serious progress has been made on this beautiful project.  The central section was the hardest and most time consuming portion to stitch with all the various beads.  Now onto the outside sections stitched in Anchor 1 White and Kreinik 021 Copper.  These boxes will take no time at all.

Expressions in Rose Gold Central Portion Completed

March 26, 2019 - A while ago, I signed up to take a class offered by the Northern Virginia (NOVA) Chapter of ANG (of which I am a member) taught by Nancy Cucci herself called Expressions in Rose Gold.  I've seen this piece completed by others and have always wanted to stitch it.

Even though I couldn't be in Virginia for the class (a medical issue) that was held last weekend, I was able to ghost it.  And to feel part of the program, I completed the prework that was mailed to everyone a few weeks ago.  So now I'm waiting for the complete instructions, threads, and all the beads associated with this project.   And there will be lots of beads, I'm sure.  Once this is framed, I know exactly where I'm going to hang it.

Expressions in Rose Gold Prework

Monday, May 6, 2019

Needlefest 2019 - 5/6/19

May 6, 2019--Last Saturday, May 4th, I attended Needlefest 2019 located in Somerset, NJ.   This event is put on by Needleworker's Delight of Metuchen, NJ.  I had the pleasure of sitting with the ANG NJNA Chapter members.  In fact, the members had two tables at the event.  Kevin and Jim of Needleworker's Delight also brought many items from their store to sell at Needlefest.  There were other vendors as well--lots of shopping opportunities of which I took advantage.

Below is a  picture of the lovely ladies who were my table mates as well as photos of heavily laden tables of door prizes, raffles, etc.  I won the table prize of a $10 gift certificate to Needleworker's Delight which I was able to spend immediately in their shop.  Fun.

Prior to the event, I had a delicious dinner with some of the NJNA members at the Red Oak Grill in Basking Ridge, NJ.

A very full weekend.  Thank you Rosie L. for having me as a guest in your beautiful home.  Can't wait for Needlefest 2020.

Left to Right:  Back Row:  Brenda C, Rosie L, Diane B, Ada D, Janice M, Sue C.
Front Row:  Linda M, Ellen S, Sue R.
Missing from the Picture:  Amy (taking a class)

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Podcast Interview by Gary Parr of FiberTalk - 4/28/19

April 28, 2019--A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Gary Parr of FiberTalk Podcast to talk for 60 minutes about needlepoint and all that entails.  The interview went up earlier this afternoon, and I must admit, after listening to it, found myself laughing again at some of the conversations we had.

You can find the interview 2 ways:

On the podcast at:  https://wetalkfiber.com/2019/04/28/fiber-talk-with-brenda-cote/

On FlossTube at: https://youtu.be/itU96EOtn-A

If you use the podcast app, you can increase the speed to 1.5 to 2 times normal to get through the hour faster.  Or really slow it down and use it to put yourself to sleep.  LOL.

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed talking with Gary.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Coaster RG Mystical Stairs - 4/26/19

April 26, 2019--Finished stitching the RG Mystical Stairs project started while at the Checkerspot Stitchers Ocean City, MD Retreat.  The leather bound coaster and blank canvas were given to us by Jane B. and we had the fun of looking online for easy 3" x 3" designs to stitch, then insert into the coaster.  Below is a photo of the result.  Love it.

Coaster RG Mystical Stairs Finished

Coaster RG Mystical Stairs Finished Side View

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Ocean City, MD Stitching Retreat with Checkerspot Stitchers - 4/18/19

April 18, 2019--Recently returned from a 3 day stitching retreat at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City, MD organized by the ANG Checkerspot Stitchers Chapter of Silver Spring, MD (of which I am a member).  This is my third year attending this wonderful event and, as in the past, enjoyed it tremendously.

Dunes Manor Hotel, Ocean City, MD
Arrived on Saturday morning to a room dedicated to stitching for the retreat's duration, and already filled with members working on a myriad of projects--some new, some WIPS.

One of the members, Jane B., gifted us with a leather, corked backed, coaster to insert a 3" x 3" piece of needlepoint (she gave us the canvas to stitch our own design).  I chose the navy blue color thinking it would work nice with the (Oliver Twist) teal, navy, green threads I brought with me from my stash. I found a free, easy to stitch square on the Rainbow Gallery website called Mystical Stairs and have already completed one-quarter of the design.  Debbie F. also found an RG bargello design which looks like hearts, and was able to finish her project.  It looks great in her red coaster.

Navy Leather Coaster with Cork Backing (Blank)

Oliver Twist Threads

RG Mystical Stairs Free Pattern One-Quarter Completed
The weather in Ocean City, for the most part, was all fog, fog, fog.  Didn't see the Ocean for 2 days.  On Sunday night, in the wee morning hours, a horrifying storm came through the Eastern Seaboard causing tornado warnings to hit our cell phones.  I must admit to being quite frightened and found myself sitting in the bathroom during the storm's worst winds (to be away from windows).  I swear I felt the hotel sway.

But with the daylight came beautiful views of the Atlantic.  Still lots of wind, but the day turned out balmy and sunny.

Thank you Barbara E. for organizing this wonderful retreat.  Looking forward to attending next year.

Checkerspot Stitchers Name Tag

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Ort Box With a Twist - Updated 4/16/19

April 16, 2019--It's finished!  I attended a needlepoint retreat in Ocean City, MD last weekend and was able to finish this beautiful project while there.  All I had to do was sew the lining to each panel, then, using the binding stitch, attach all panels together.   Love how it looks sitting on my sewing cabinet.

Ort Box With a Twist Finished

Ort Box With a Twist Finished Bottom View

March 30, 2019--The pockets have been lined and put together, and all edges of the pocket panels, side panels and bottom have been cross stitched.  All I need to do now is attach the lining to the back of all panels, then put the whole shebang together using the binding stitch.   Here is a photo of the completed panels ready to turn into a box once lined.

Ort Box With a Twist Ready to Line and Bind Together

Thinking of lining, I wasn't happy with the Ultrasuede colors I had in my stash (basically, just black and white).  So off I went to the closest Hobby Lobby located in Salisbury, MD to look for anything that might work.  I couldn't find any Ultrasuede (they have mostly quilting fabrics and some upholstery yardage), but did find some REALLY inexpensive sheets of flannel that had a nice weight, but not too thick to inhibit folding.  At first I feared it might catch on everything too easily, snag, etc.  But after some serious handling while stitching it to one of the panels, it works just fine.  High five to me.  LOL

The only other issue I had was covering the "in channel" thread tails on the pocket pieces as shown in Diagram 7.  Since I stitched the edges using only the cross stitch as suggested by Marilyn in her Day 1 instructions (not adding the "bar" as directed in the main instructions on page 9).  This meant the light brown pin stitches were showing under the blue/green cross stitches.  So I undid the pin stitches and brushed the little tails outward so they were captured by the canvas fold before adding the cross stitched edge.  Problem solved.  If you really look hard, you can see a "shadow" of brown threads, but they are not immediately visible.

March 21, 2019--All the panels (4 sides, 2 with pockets, and bottom) are stitched.  Let the finishing begin!

Ort Box With a Twist - Bottom Panel Stitched

Ort Box With a Twist--All Panels and Bottom Stitched

March 19, 2019--Continuing to work on this cool Ort Box with a Twist.  I'm a little behind--had hoped to complete the stitching in time for the CyberPointers March program of putting it together.  Oh well... did print out the instructions by Marilyn Owen and will probably get it pieced together by the end of the month, if not sidetracked by something else.  And there always seems to be a something else.  Here are photos of side panels.

Ort Box with a Twist--All Side Panels Stitched

Ort Box with a Twist--Closeup of Side Panels that Fold (No Pockets)

January 31, 2019--The March, 2019 program of the CyberPointers Chapter of ANG will be led by Marilyn Owen on how to put together her Ort Box With a Twist.  Of course, it needs to be stitched first in order to benefit from the class, so I purchased the instructions from the chapter and have started to work on it.  So far I've stitched the two sides that have pockets, pictures below.

This is just the type of project I like to stitch--a wide variety of stitches with a bit of a challenge, yet small enough to be done quickly (sort of like immediate gratification).   Marilyn's instructions are crystal clear and easy to follow with no blackwork.  Yay.

I've stitched 3 of Marilyn's ort boxes--a blue one for myself stitched with threads given to me by my mother, a pink one for my sister, also stitched with my mother's threads, and a black, silver and red one for my husband's desk at his office (which is now with me at home since his retirement).   Click on the colors to link to each one.  This new one "with a twist" will be a bit different from the others to put together, so a class will be helpful.

PS:  The instructions call for Caron Impressions thread to eliminate the need of using a laying tool.  Unfortunately, I don't have much Impression in my stash, so am using DMC floss.  It's a little more work, but manageable.

Ort Box With a Twist Pocket Panels

Ort Box With a Twist Pocket Back
Ort Box With a Twist Pocket Front

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Overdyed Spools - 4/29/19

April 29, 2019--Found this little simple frame in my stash and it's perfect for this project.  Now to hang it in my craft room.

Overdyed Spools Framed

April 10, 2019--At my ANG Delaware's Seashore Chapter meeting last week, April 1st , I took a class led by Melita Glavin, the designer of the ANG Chapter Project Book piece called Overdyed Spools.

Melita's talk on how to manipulate and handle overdyed threads was well done and opened a world of possibilities of what to do with the many types of overdyes in the thread world.  We were fortunate that Melita was willing to come to Delaware for this class and enjoyed learning that she and her husband spent the weekend taking advantage of all that Southern Delaware has to offer.

I just finished stitching this piece and love how the overdyed thread fell in clumps in the 2 horizontal blocks, and, by controlling the colors, were striped in the 2 vertical blocks.  Definitely a most enjoyable project, and it will look great framed and hanging in my craft room.

Overdyed Spools Completed

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Rehoboth Beach, DE 9th Annual Needlework Exhibit - 4/9/19

April 9, 2019--Heads Up!!!  I just learned that the 9th Annual Rehoboth Beach, DE Needlework Exhibit will open on Saturday, September 14, 2019.  Pieces for the exhibit are to be dropped off the week after Labor Day.

Please plan on not only attending this delightful venue at the beach, but to also participate by entering your needlework into the exhibit.  September is a beautiful time of year to visit the beaches here in Delaware and viewing the exhibits on display at the museum would be a fun addition to your holiday.

More details and entry form to be announced soon.  Hope you take home one of these ribbons.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

My Stitching Post (aka Happy Chair) - Updated 4/4/19

April 4, 2019--A few years ago (3 to be exact), I wrote about a storage solution for my needlepoint thingies (see below) and for the most part, was satisfied with the arrangement.

Recently I exchanged chairs with my husband (a back issue)--me getting the LZB Rocker/Recliner and he getting the LZB Loveseat/Recliner.  Not having the seat next to me for placement of my little blue plastic storage container, I tried placing said container on an old wicker side table.  Didn't like this at all.

Small Wicker Table Holding Blue Storage Container

So I began shopping on the Facebook Market Page using the key words  "Side Table Sewing" and came across lots of listings for something called Martha Washington's Sewing Cabinet.  From what I understand, these functional units were manufactured around the 1930s (depression era) and were a hit.  No one wants them now and they are available everywhere (found 10 within a 30 mile radius of my home in Delaware).

Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet --The One I Purchased

So here it is in my living room next to my Happy Chair.  Love the increased amount of storage and the two baskets on each end will be great to house my knitting.  We call this our Living Room, and we most certainly do live in it.

January 18, 2016--I've been browsing through storage container and craft stores to find something that has a few small but deep drawers on the bottom, and a larger drawer or space on top to hold my needlepoint tools and other stuff needed for stitching (including eyeglass cleaner, hand cream, etc.). Maybe even something like a very large jewelry box.  This is to clean up the mess that resides to the right of me on my loveseat.

When I told DH about my dilemma, he said wait--I may have just the thing in the garage that would work.  And lo and behold he did and it works perfectly.  It's not pretty, but will be very easy to move into another room when we have guests.   Now compare this picture with the one further down from November's posting.

PS  The recliner is in the up position so you can see how easily my K's Creations floor stand can be maneuvered to where I stitch.

New Container for Stuff--Nice and Neat
November 10, 2014--I love seeing pictures of needlepoint nooks, happy chairs, etc. that many bloggers write about, so I thought I'd say something about mine.

My stitching haunt is on a leather love seat/recliner located in my living room.   Here I can happily stitch while keeping DH company, watch television, look out through the windows unto our lovely back yard and gardens; plug myself in to listen to audio books; make telephone calls, etc., etc., etc.

As you can see, I have the required floor stand (a K's Creation); an Ott floor lamp; a side table to hold my PC, iPad and iPhone; needlepoint magazines and reference books; and a basket and bin next to me on the love seat to hold my various needlepoint accouterments.   However, these days I'm more on the road than in my chair, so it is calling to me.  Soon, soon, I'll be ensconced in my favorite seat working on my favorite past time.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Holiday Ornament White Light - 4/2/19

April 2, 2019--Here's number 8 of the 16 Susan Portra Holiday Ornaments collection (click here for more information about them).   This one stitched up almost by itself--very fast and easy.  Only one problem--the opal Ribbon Floss Metallic thread 144 - 10 has a lot of red in it, and it shows up quite a bit in the photo.  In person, though, not so much.

Ornament Holiday White Light

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Hardanger University - 2/28/19

February 28, 2019--I spent last weekend in Myrtle Beach, SC attending Hardanger University, a Spirit of Stitching Event.  I understand this type of seminar has been going on for many, many years, but for only about 5 years under the new name of Hardanger U.

There were three different classes taught by three different instructors held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  We were housed at the Embassy Suites Hotel, part of the Kingston Resort, and our classrooms were a shuttle ride away.  I was fortunate to be in a group that consisted of only 5 other students and we were together the whole time.  We did learn a lot about each other and I look forward to continuing friendships made over the weekend.  Here are my classmates:

Kathi B, Meredith M, Karen C, Donna G and Elizabth H.

My first class on Friday was taught by Terri Bay of Terri Bay Needlework Designs.

Terri Bay
She began by having us work on a small ornament sized project, but gave us enough fabric and threads to complete the larger design shown below, Crystal Daisies.
Terri Bay's Teaching Piece

Instructions for Full Size Terri Bay Project 
She also introduced us to an Australian perle thread by Cottage Garden Threads (CGT).  They are dyed so that the color changes are consistent from one skein to another.  Beautiful colors too. 

Here is the status of my ornament at the end of class.....

The second class on Saturday was taught by Marion Scoular, a long time instructor and author of the booklet given to us as part of the kit.  Can you see her beautifully stitched collar?    If you ever have the pleasure to dine with Marion, be prepared for lots of laughter at her stories--enough said.  LOL.

Marion Scoular

Hardanger Booklet by Marion Scoular

Her project, an adorable bell which can be mounted on one of four blank cards included in the kit, can be stitched 2 ways as shown in the examples below.    The fabric used for this project is called "hardanger" and consists of 2 threads woven tightly together, both vertically and horizontally, and stitched as if they were one.

Marion Scoular Project Bell Version 1

Marion Scoular Project Bell Version 2
 Here is where I left off at the end of the day.  Learned how to do picots and dove's eyes.  Whew.

Blank cards included in kit for mounting hardangr bell

My third class on Sunday was taught by Donna Olson.

Donna Olson
She gave us plenty of thread and Laguna fabric to complete four large projects pictured below called Satin Stitches Hardangersom.  

This is the project I chose to work on.

 Here's where I left off at the end of the day.  Much of the practice was done on a "doodle" cloth.

Both Marion and Donna stressed the importance of basting over and under 4 threads and, after making a few counting errors, can appreciate why.

All in all, I was very impressed with the high caliber of the three instructors.  Each approached hardanger from a different perspective offering up alternatives to the common and more difficult stitches in the genre.  I was also very happy with the lodging and class room facilities--can't go wrong staying at the resort (my room had an ocean view).   Will I go again next year?  Don't know.  I would like to complete the three projects begun last weekend and explore the hardanger world on You Tube.  Would I recommend this seminar to anyone else?  Yes, yes, yes!

Pictures of my fellow classmates and teachers are posted with their permission.