Saturday, May 27, 2023

Rozashi Daiya Variations Kit - Updated 5/27/23

May 27, 2023--I really enjoy Rozashi (which, in Japanese, means Ro - Canvas and Zashi - To Stitch).  You use mostly a vertical stitch on a type of canvas where the horizontal threads are much wider than the vertical ones.  In the United States, this type of canvas is only available through a few instructors from whom I've been fortunate enough to take classes (all online at this point).  

Here's a photo of the finished Daiya Variations using the Lee Ornament holder.  It's a good thing we are taught to seriously "paste" the back of the stitching because I had to cut about 1/4" off the circle as drawn for us on the canvas.  This meant cutting into the stitching--something I hated to do, fearing the threads and canvas would unravel.  Phew, because of the heavy Nori paste/starch, everything remained intact.  Next, the stitched circle had to be pushed, using a butter knife, into the Lee Ornament Holder.  This too caused me some anxiety fearing all that manipulation would hurt the piece.  Nope--everything held up fine and I now have a pretty ornament to hang in my dressing closet, along with all my other "smalls".

Rozashi Daiya Variations Ornament Finished

May 12, 2023--CyberPointers Chapter of ANG recently had a Rozashi class offering taught by Kate Festo called Daiya Variations.  I'm just now beginning to work on this beautiful piece and enjoyed going through everything in the kit which includes a rozashi canvas glued onto a wood frame, written instructions, 2 sumptuous silk thread colors and 1 packet of gold threads, needles, nori paste, AND a gold Lee round ornament to "finish" this project.  

I've read the instructions and watched the Zoom video by Kate, so I'm now ready to stitch.

Rozashi Daiya Variations Kit

BTW, Kate Festo is the daughter of Margaret Kinsey, famed Rozashi instructor and designer.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Russian Spiral Bracelet - 05/15/23

May 15, 2023--I now have a bracelet to match the Russian Spiral necklace (see below).  Matchie, matchie, I say.  And I love how it sparkles and can be dressed up or down.  I now see myself wearing these two pieces with blue jeans quite often.

Russian Spiral Bracelet 2023-05

May 11, 2023--As I fall deeper into the rabbit hole of beaded jewelry making, I have another item to show off, so to speak.  This time its's a Russian Spiral necklace using the pattern given me at a bracelet class taken from Karen Baratta but elongated into necklace length from which I can hang various pendants.  The beads used are silver-lined straw gold, size 11, and silver-lined cobalt blue, size 8.  This is so pretty that I want to now make a matching bracelet and a pendant (stay tuned for this one).

Russian Spiral Beaded Necklace 2023-05-11

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Russian Spiral Necklace - 5/11/23

May 11, 2023--As I fall deeper into the rabbit hole of beaded jewelry making, I have another item to show off, so to speak.  This time its's a Russian Spiral necklace using the pattern given me at a bracelet class taken from Karen Baratta but elongated into necklace length from which I can hang various pendants.  The beads used are silver-lined straw gold, size 11, and silver-lined cobalt blue, size 8.  This is so pretty that I want to now make a matching bracelet and a pendant (stay tuned for this one).

Russian Spiral Beaded Necklace 2023-05-11

Thursday, May 4, 2023

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey - Updated 5/4/23

May 4, 2023--Here is the addition of the May installment to ANG's Stitch of the Month (SOTM) project.   In future months, more will be added to the squares as well as to the project's edge.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 5 May

April 19, 2023--This beautiful ANG Stitch of the Month (SOTM) project designed by Melita Glavin is now stitched through the April lesson and I'm loving the process.  There's lots more to do, but the lessons are distributed one month at a time, so I have to wait until next month for more.  This process actually makes the project very manageable and not so daunting when you have a year to complete it.

Here's Crescent Journey through the April lesson:

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 4 April

March 8, 2023--The March installment of ANG's Stitch of the Month (SOTM) project called Crescent Journey by Melita Glavin is now stitched and everything put away until the April instructions are published on the ANG website.   This is really a fun and challenging project so far.  Each section worked up adds to its beauty.  Here's a photo of what it looks like so far.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 3 March

February 14, 2023--Happy Valentine's Day!!!  This blog, however, isn't about hearts, but instead about the 2023 ANG Stitch of the Month (SOTM).  So far, I've stitched both the January and February installments and below is a photo of the results to date.  

Whew--the center medallion was certainly a challenge, but a fun one and I can appreciate how much more beautiful it will look with the addition of beads.  Looking forward to the March instructions.

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 2 February Closeup

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 2 February

January 5, 2023--I just completed the first month's lesson to this year's Stitch of the Month (SOTM) project designed by Melita Glavin and available for free to members of the American Needlepoint Guild (one of the wonderful benefits of membership).

This lesson focuses on stitching the outline on 18 count mono canvas, and I love the stitches used by the designer.  Instead of the usual gobelin or smyrna stitches, Melita chose Mosaic and Diagonal Knitting Stitches, and the results are very attractive.  I chose to work this up in the Neutral Colorway which incorporates golds, silvers, beiges and black (with some beads thrown in).

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Lesson 1

Below is a photo of the completed project worked up in the colors I've chosen.  

SOTM 2023 Crescent Journey Designed by Melita Glavin Project Photo


  1. Glad to hear you and see you got through the center area!


Thursday, April 20, 2023

Beaded Bracelet Peyote Silk Flowers - 4/20/23

April 20, 2023--Another bracelet worked up.  This one is done in the peyote stitch with lots of color changes.  Learned so much with this one--how to organize lots of different bead colors on my beading tray, how to decrease the bracelet ends, how to make a "ruffled" side edge with beads, how to place a tubular clasp with decorative beading, etc.  Thank you to Beads Gone Wild for another excellent kit with easy to understand instructions.

Bracelet Peyote Silk Flowers Laid Flat

Bracelet Peyote Silk Flowers On Wrist

Bracelet Peyote Silk Flowers On Wrist

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Beaded Bracelet Pearl Bliss - 4/15/23

April 23, 2023--Loved working up this beaded bracelet designed by Beads Gone Wild called Pearl Bliss.  It has lots of texture and I learned more techniques like ladder and herringbone stitches.  These little bracelets are fast and quick to work up while keeping me challenged.  I am falling deep into the rabbit hole and loving every minute.  

The wrinkles you see in the photo of the bracelet laid flat disappear when curved around the wrist.  Nice.

Bracelet Pearl Bliss on Wrist
Bracelet Pearl Bliss Flat

More news about the Stage 2 portion of ANG's Master Needlepointer Certification Program--it's done and mailed to the program chair for review.  Yay!!  Hope to have something to blog about by early Summer.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Beaded Bracelet Peyote Dogwood - 4/1/23

April 1, 2023--I'm hooked on working up beaded bracelets, and this time it's a peyote beaded one with a dogwood button clasp.  I love the YouTube videos produced by Beads Gone Wild, the shop where I purchased the kit for this bracelet.  They give you lots of detailed instructions, much of which can be used in other projects.   

And I'm continuing to work on my ANG Master Needlepointer Certificate Program, Stage 2.  All of the designing, drafting and testing on the last section of this project have been done and I'm happily stitching away.  I actually believe the stitching and report will be completed in plenty of time (deadline for mailing is about April 17th).   I should be able to blog about it once the piece has been "graded", sometime in early Summer.  Stay tuned.

Bracelet Dogwood Peyote Laid Out

Bracelet Dogwood Peyote

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Beaded Bracelet Holiday Russian Spiral - 3/26/23

March 26, 2023--Here I go--deeper into the rabbit hole of beading delight.  I ordered some kits on sale from Beads Gone Wild and easily completed this beautiful Holiday Russian Spiral bracelet.   The kit had everything--beads, thread, toggle hardware, instructions, needles, etc.  I was also able to find additional video instructions on YouTube.  

Now I have to discipline myself to finish Stage 2 of ANG's Master Needlepointer Certification program.  The last portion required some serious planning, drafting, graphing, etc.  That's behind me now and all I need do is stitch it up.  It all still requires a lot of counting.  Whine,, wine.

Holiday Russian Spiral Bracelet--kit by Beads Gone Wild

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Bracelet Beaded Taught by Dinna V - 2/23/23

February 23, 2023--Yesterday I met with a group of serious beaded jewelry makers and am about to fall into a delightful rabbit hole.    Our host showed us her gorgeous necklaces and bracelets and found a simple bracelet design for me to copy.   She even gave me the supplies to work it up.  

The pattern is simple enough--one large bead, then add five seed beads, a small bead, then 5 seed beads.  That's basically it.  Of course, sewing it together requires a particular technique, but that's for the experts to teach.  

Now I really want to make more of everything, especially peyote beaded pieces.  

I know making beaded jewelry isn't needlepoint, but it does involve one half of the needlepoint requirement of “any counted or free stitchery worked by hand with a threaded needle on a readily counted ground” (I have a threaded needle in hand to make jewelry).   So, I'm good with it and will call it "needlework".

Thank you, Dinna V, for supplying me with the beautiful beads, thread and clasp to work up the bracelet pictured below.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Holiday Ornament Gift Pink - 2/22/23

February 22, 2023--In between some of my needlepoint obligations (working on the ANG Master Needlepointer Certificate and putting together a class on stitching ribbon flowers on canvas), I took a break to stitch up one of Susan Portra's Holiday Ornaments--this one being the pink gift.  As with all the other Holiday Ornaments I've stitched, this will get finished into an ornament when the set is all done.   I love how pretty the RG Fyre Werks thread (darker shiny pink) looks--almost jewel-like. 

Ornament Holiday Gift Pink Completed

Ornament Holiday Gift Pink Completed Side View

Monday, February 6, 2023

Game is On Checkerboard - Updated 2/5/23

February 5, 2023--My local framer, Michael's Arts and Crafts in Rehoboth Beach, DE, had a devil of a time putting together the frame that was part of the "Game is On" checkerboard kit.  It's an adorable frame with grooves for holding checkers, but the frame itself wasn't squarely cut or mitered evenly, so it looks a bit wonky and uneven.  She showed me some of the problem areas, but personally, I don't think it's that bad, so after two tries, I took it home.  

The frame and checkers that came as part of the kit were unfinished.  In my earlier blog about this project (see the postings below), I wrote about having to spray paint the frame and paint the checkers with a brush.   The frame was very easy to spray paint and any unevenness doesn't show since the color is "clear".  Painting the checkers was a bit more of a challenge since I've never done anything like this and had to handle each checker nine times to get the top, side and bottom painted twice, then placed one coat of shiny stuff on all twelve checkers.  Whew!  

So here's a picture of the results.  It's really very cute and sits on the bottom shelf of my living room coffee table.

Game is On Checkerboard Finished

January 24, 2022--Just completed stitching 6 rows of basketweave in black all around the checkerboard so the canvas will be totally covered under the glass inside the frame.  I also purchased a can of polyurethane to spray the frame, but this won't get done until the weather warms up (want to do this outdoors in fresh air).  I also need to purchase some paint for the checker pieces.  Lots of bits to take care of, but when done, this will be quite the conversation piece.
Game is On Checkerboard Completed

January 7, 2022--This project is stitched EXCEPT for additional rows needed so that the checkerboard will fill up the the frame that came as part of the kit.  I need about 6-7 rows in black basketweave around the project, so I'll do 6 rows then paint a couple of canvas threads in black in case the canvas does show.  

Game is On Completed Except for Black Border

December 22, 2021--The stitching is done through Area 8 of this interesting project.  I'm loving the stitches, threads, and even the unusual colors.  The next border sections, Areas 9, 10 and 11, should go quickly now that I'm over halfway done. 

I met with the manager of the framing department in Michaels Arts & Crafts who is willing to help me learn how to paint the frame for this piece, along with the checkers.   Once the project is completely stitched and the frame painted, she will then insert the checkerboard into the frame after she has put it together.   Fun.

Read below for more information about the source of this project.

Game is On Stitched Through Area 8

December 2, 2021--The checkerboard portion of this project is now completely stitched and I'm ready to work on the borders.  They look very interesting with a bit of a challenge.   

Game is On Checkerboard Portion Completed

November 20, 2021--I've begun working on a Pilot Stitch project for Susan Hoekstra of Foxview Needlepoint called Game Is On.  It's a beautiful checkerboard with amazing stitches using wonderful threads, some of which don't require a laying tool (yay!).  So far, I've stitched 36 of the 64 squares, so am a little over half done with the checkerboard portion.

Susan will be teaching this piece at ANG's 2022 Seminar in Tucson, AZ and a photo of the project can be seen on ANG's website (click here).  

The kit not only includes a line drawn canvas with delicious threads and excellent instructions, it also comes with a frame that has grooves to hold the checkers that are not in play.  Cool.  The hard part, though, is having to paint the frame and checker pieces.  Since I've never done anything like this, I'll have to ask someone at Michael's Arts & Crafts how to go about getting it done right (if I can find someone there who can help me).  Stay tuned on this bit.

Game is On Checkerboard Half Done

Friday, February 3, 2023

Floor Stand Clamp Repaired Again - 2-3-23

February 3, 2023--Exactly eight years ago today, I blogged about the clamp to my K's Creations floor stand having to be repaired (see older post below).  Well, it had to be repaired again, but this time I like the new one so much better.  For one thing, the top "Tri-knob" is much easier on my hand when tightening or loosening the clamp than the metal "T-knob" I had.  Secondly, the top portion of the clamp is now made of wood which, in my opinion, seems to "give" just enough to seriously tighten, but not enough to strip the screw.  Lastly, I was given a whole new clamp with an improved bar that attaches to the arm of the floor stand.  Easier to attach and feels more secure.

The leather pieces you see are installed by me with glue dots to help hold my stretcher bars in place.  I stitch "in the well", so the tacks that I use to mount my canvas unto stretcher bars would cause the bars to slip around in the clamp.  This doesn't happen anymore because the tacks "sink" into the leather.

Now, if I need to get this repaired again in another eight years, I hope Brett Schulle of K's will still be able to help me.  He has been very responsive and helpful.

Floor Stand Clamp Repair 2/3/15

February 3, 2015--I really do love my floor stand from K's Creations but had a problem with the clamp.  Discovered I had totally stripped the clamp's screw and it would no longer hold stretcher bars in place.  You can see this in the first picture.  Frantically I contacted the fine folks at K's using the contact tab on their web site and Brett Schulle immediately responded, requesting I mail the clamp to him for repair, after which he would mail it back to me.  

Clamp with Stripped Screw
So off to the post office to mail the clamp, which by the way, was very easy to remove from the stand's long horizontal arm.    And in no time at all, I received the fully repaired clamp in the mail. Easily got it screwed back onto the arm and am in business again, happily stitching.

Newly Repaired Clamp
You may notice there is a piece of leather on the clamp's bottom plate.  I put this in place using "glue dots" and find it really helps to hold stretcher bars with less tightening of the screw.  This is because I stitch in the well, tacking the canvas unto the back of my stretcher bars.  All too often the tacks would slide and slip in the clamp, causing me to overtighten the screw.  Now those tacks settle into the soft leather with no slippage.   Easy solution and hope it may help someone who may have this problem.

  1. I too stitch in the well, and will go and find a leather patch! Thanks!

  2. Great idea! I love my K's stand, too, and am a fellow well stitcher.


Friday, January 20, 2023

Bracelet Russian Spiral Beaded - 1/20/23

January 20, 2023--Ever since I learned the Peyote Stitch to make the needle case cover while on the Rhine River Cruise last spring (click here), I've wanted to learn more about making things with beads.  At the Rehoboth Beach Needlework Exhibition, I met an award-winning beading artist who got me in touch with a local bead teacher named Donna Baratta who teaches beaded jewelry classes out of the Rehoboth Art League facility.

So yesterday I was finally able to set in motion my plans for beaded jewelry making and I'm a happy camper indeed.  Below are photos of my results after 4 hours in class.   The bracelet is made with size 8 brown and size 11 gold seed beads.  I also discovered there's a bead shop in Laurel, MD, about 2 hours from my home, called Bead Soup that should satisfy my bead lust, so to speak.  Stay tuned for more in the months and years ahead.

I highly recommend taking a class with Donna.  She's very patient, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about everything beading.

Bracelet Russian Spiral Closed

Bracelet Russian Spiral Closeup of Toggle

Bracelet Russian Spiral Open

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Janet Zickler Casey Santas Stitched to Date - 1/3/23

 Click on the photo caption to view more information about each santa.

January 3, 2023--I had the opportunity to stitch a few more Janet Zickler Casey's santas in 2022.  Here are the new ones and if you scroll down, you'll see the ones stitched in prior years.  Now there are 16 stitched santas in the collection.

To see the santas yet to be stitched, please click on the 2 Pages on the right side of this blog called Planned Projects-Santas by Janet Zickler Casey and In Process Projects.

Santa Snow Cone

Santa Holly Jolly

January 1, 2022--In keeping with my goal of stitching one new and one old Janet Zickler Casey's santas each year, I stitched the below Cashmere and North Wind Santas.  This makes 14 santas stitched to date.

Cashmere Santa Completed

North Wind Santa Completed

May 18, 2020--Here's the 12th santa ornament stitched so far--North Wind Santa

North Star Santa Completed

May 12, 2020--the 11th Janet Zickler Casey santa stitched to date called Santa in the Moon.

Santa in the Moon Completed

January 5, 2020--The 10th JZC santa, Heart Santa, is stitched.

Santa Heart

February 11, 2019--The 9th JZC santa is stitched.

Star Spangled Santa

January 9, 2019--Here's the eighth stitched so far to add to the list below.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Santa

November 16, 2018—Recently I counted up the number of santa ornaments designed by Janet Zickler Casey that I’ve stitched over the years.  Below are 7 out of 23 total to date.  As new ones are completed, I’ll add them to the list.  My goal is to stitch two a year (one new, one old) until all are done.  Click on the caption for more information about each santa pictured.

Candy Swirl Santa
Pine Cone Santa

Nutcracker Santa
Christmas Tree Santa

Silver Bell Santa

Christmas Light Santa

Candy Cane Santa

  1. I did not stitch a Santa in 2020. I need to get one on the frame as they are so much fun to stitch!