Sunday, April 26, 2015

NJ Needle Festival 4/26/15

April 26, 2015--Just returned from the NJ Needle Festival put together by Susan Hoekstra and held this year on Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Bedminster, NJ .  Had a wonderful time with my 5 table mates--Lori, Linda, Melita, Naomi and Elizabeth (pictured below).  Even though the festival ran from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, we certainly didn't spend all that time stitching.  Telling stories, walking around to see what others were working on, visiting and shopping at the many vendor booths, eating lunch, winning raffle drawings, etc., kept us very busy all day.  

And speaking of raffles, yours truly won a beautifully hand hooked wool rug.  Almost lost it though because I was in the rest room when my name was called.  Thanks to the wonderful ladies at my table, they convinced Susan that I had not left the festival and would be returning any second.  It was fun to walk into the room to find everyone loudly yelling (happily) at me to hurry up because I won a raffle drawing.
Lori, Linda, Melita, Me, Naomi, Elizabeth

Looking forward to doing this again next year!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Winter Table by Melissa Shirley 4/22/15

April 22, 2015--Have just returned from a two-day class for a beautiful painted canvas called Winter Table, designed by Melissa Shirley (project photo below) and taught by Laura Taylor.  It was held at Louise's Needlework owned by Jill Mashburn Elia in Powell, Ohio.  

We had a bonus third day with Laura who helped us with stitches and embellishments for our own canvases.  Learned even more (including ribbon work) by watching and listening to what she said to each student.   I'm a very happy camper indeed!

Winter Table by Melissa Shirley Designs Painted Canvas Project Photo
Laura Taylor, Instructor, and Jill Mashburn Elia, Owner of Louise's Needlework

What fun we had learning to embellish this piece with a wide variety of stitches and threads in ways I would never have dreamed of.  Laura Taylor gave us instructions on how to do each section with lots of examples and in such a way as to keep our attention (with much humor too).  This was the first time I've taken a class from Laura and look forward to the next opportunity to do so again.  

Jill, the delightful owner of Louise's Needlework, was a most gracious host--and so very organized. She, along with Emily and Karen who work with her at the shop, had everything ready for us when we arrived. The canvas was taped and tacked to large stretcher bars, all the threads and beads (with matching beading thread) were placed in labeled bags and held together on a ring.  Extras such as paints, paint brush, felt, tracing paper, needles, eyelash thread, and twill tape were in a separate bag and labeled. Other necessities such as glue, paper towels, plates and toothpicks were on each table. Then we were given a large clear, zippered project keeper with handles to place everything in when we were ready to leave.   Jill also lent us floor stands, lighting and lots of plugs, as needed.  

And when we were hungry, delicious lunches were brought in for all 3 days, along with snacks, beverages, etc.  There were bagels and coffee in the morning too.  We wanted for nothing!

And finally, I had a most wonderful time with my classmates who not only came from the local area, but from places far and wide.  Some of us stayed at the Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center where Jill negotiated a special rate for class participants and arranged for van transport to and from her shop each day.  The two room suite was first class and I so much appreciated not having to worry about transportation.

On this piece called Winter Table, I learned lots of new techniques, such as stitching the chrysanthemums with TG Eyelash and beading the centers in such a way as to give a 3D effect.  The paper white petals are padded then beaded--wow, really pretty.  The small white flowers are made with, or all things, Wrights Twill Tape.  We also learned how to shade the leaves with paint instead of using thread.   The pine cone is given dimension using a "lazy daisy" twist.   This is a large project (for me) and I plan on taking my time with each section.

This is a canvas I fell in love with when it first came out.  It so looks like my husband's sun room where he grows paper whites, christmas cactus, etc. and where we see cardinals out the window.  Our female cardinals have more red on their crown and wings than the one painted on the canvas, so I'll add some color to the pretty bird.  Also, our christmas cactus has red blooms, so again, will make a color change.

Female Cardinal
I'll post again as more progress is made on the various sections.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Family Coat of Arms

April 16, 2015--One of my cousins recently posted on our family Facebook page that our ancestor, Jean (John) Côté, one of the founding fathers of Quebec City (originally from the Region of Perche, France), has a coat of arms.  He also sent along an interpretation of the emblem, describing what each segment stands for.   I love the design and have decided to do it in needlepoint.  If there are other Côtés out there with family from Quebec, we probably share the same ancestry.  When my sister visited Quebec in 1970, she found 17 pages of Côtés in the phone book, so we have a very, very large family, both here in the U.S. and in Canada.  

I understand Avance Au Large is loosely translated to mean "Advance--Go Forward".    

Armoiries de la Famille Jean Côté

Monday, April 13, 2015

Justin's Beach House Updated 4/13/15

April 13, 2015--Today, I and six other members of Delaware's Seashore Chapter of ANG presented Beach Umbrellas to Kathy Green, Executive Director of the Justin's Beach House and Craig Nantais, Chairperson of the Justin W. Jennings Foundation.  Below is a picture of the framed project.

Below is a picture of Kathy and Craig receiving the project at Justin's Beach House.

Kathy Green, Executive Director of the Justin's Beach House and Craig Nantais, Chairperson of the Justin W. Jennings Foundation

January 27, 2015--The beach umbrellas project is now done and ready for the framer.  Our ANG chapter, Delaware's Seashore Chapter, will have this framed and labeled before we present it to the Justin's Beach House sometimes next month.

Beach Umbrellas Completed

December 15, 2014--Almost done.  A few more embellishments then it's off to the framers.

August 26, 2014--Lots of progress being made on the Justin's Beach House project.   Our chapter has some mighty fine stitchers.

Beach Umbrellas as of 8-26-14

July 8, 2014--The picture below shows some progress being made on the stitching of our ANG chapter's community project for Justin's Beach House.  Looking forward to seeing it again at our next meeting.

Beach Umbrellas as of 7-7-14
June 2, 2014--Our ANG chapter had its Anniversary Lunch yesterday and I was able to snap a picture of the progress made to date on our community project.  Love how well it's coming along.

Beach Umbrellas as of June 2, 2014
May 6, 2014--Below is a picture of the progress to date on this chapter community project.  It's coming along nicely.  The little black threads will eventually be secured with stitching and the knots removed.

Beach Umbrellas as of May 5, 2014
March 28, 2014--For this year's community project, the Delaware's Seashore Chapter of ANG recently chose Justin's Beach House.

They were so gracious upon meeting us and loved the idea of our doing a needlepoint piece for this wonderful beach home away from home for those who are, or have been, seriously ill.  We chose Shay's Beach Umbrellas, a painted canvas with stitch guide and threads, donated by one of our chapter members.  Everyone in the chapter is looking forward to stitching a small section.  Below is a picture of how it looks today and I hope to take more pictures as the work progresses.

Beach Umbrellas

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lots of Stitching--Nothing to Write About

April 3, 2015--Currently I'm doing lots of stitching, but can't write about anything yet.  However, soon you'll see blogs about:

1.  Pilot stitch project

2.  Class I'm teaching my local ANG chapter in May on drawn thread work

3.  A cute little something to be given as table favors at my local ANG chapter's anniversary lunch in June

Will also begin stitching on a UFO in the hopes of completing it by December (one of my chapter challenge pieces to be done this year).    

Hope all of you are happily stitching away.

Happy Easter!