Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year in Review - 12/31/17

December 31, 2017-- Happy New Year!  With all the traveling we've done this year, I still managed to complete a few projects shown below.  Click on the caption of each photo for more details.  
2018 promises to be as much fun if not more than 2017 with lots of new projects.  On the agenda are trips to Southern California, Oregon State, Arizona State, ANG Seminar in Washington, DC, a class in February in Maryland (Toni Gerdes' Fire & Ice ), a stitching retreat to Winterthur in Wilmington, Delaware in March, another stitching retreat in Ocean City, MD.   Lots to keep me excited and engaged in this wonderful passion.


Rozashi Baby Iris

Rozashi Imari Sampler



Trimming the Tree Ornament


ANG Distance Learning Correspondence Course Chair Name Tag

Holiday Gift Blue Ornament

Holiday Light Copper Ornament

Holiday Brass Bell Ornament

Shades of Christmas Poinsettia Ornament

Holiday Gift Copper Ornament

Nutcracker Santa

Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg

Star in the Meadow Stocking

American Beauty Rose

SOTM 2016 









Saturday, December 30, 2017

Rehoboth Beach, DE Needlework Exhibit - 12/30/17

December 30, 2017--News:  the Needlework Exhibit in Rehoboth Beach, DE will be held in September/October of 2018.
The museum's director recently wrote....."As many of you know, the Historical Society, which operates the museum, has been raising money to complete construction on the second floor. We have finally raised enough money to begin construction and we will do so beginning January 2, 2018. Construction will continue through at least the end of April, 2018. This means that the Needlework exhibit will not be held at its regular time in 2018. We will hold the exhibit in September and October of next year. This would mean drop-off dates of mid-to-late August, and opening the weekend of either Labor Day or the week after, and a pick-up the last weekend of October. One benefit of this time frame is that it moves the exhibit farther away from the Woodlawn exhibit, and gives the exhibit the chance to be seen by more visitors."
This is good news for those who participate in both exhibits (Woodlawn and Rehoboth Beach) and about the museum's 2nd floor construction. Actual exhibit dates will be published once they are known.
Rehoboth Beach, DE Museum


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Frankie - Updated 11/26/17

November 26, 2017--My sister sent me this picture of Frankie in its new frame.  Love the texture of the frame and filet.  She says it looks perfect in her living room.  Me---so happy she likes it.


Frankie Framed

Frankie Frame and Filet Closeup

September 11, 2016--Frankie is DONE!  And I love it.  And I wish I could keep it.

This is a gift for my sister which will be given to her when visiting next month in her new Florida home.  Can't wait to see how it will look on her walls.

Frankie Completed
August 20, 2016--Working on Lesson 7 consisting of the background stitches.  There are three parts to this lesson:  Bokhara Couching Pattern for the narrow horizontal and vertical bands, Burden Stitch for the wide vertical bands and lastly the outer border area.  The first of the three parts is done and here's a picture.

Frankie through Lesson 7.33
August 12, 2016--Lesson 6 is completed.  This lesson covered the Walnetos with Jessicas and Eight Point Stars.  Love those stars--they are quick to stitch and the results are beautiful.  The color difference in the stars is due to the fact that in one, the gold is stitched first, while in the other it is stitched last.

The last lesson covers the background or filling stitches, and the braided border.  There's a lot to do here, but now this is a good TV watching project.

Frankie through Lesson 6
August 9, 2016--Lesson 5 covering the Double Fans Doubled and Chilly Hollow stitches is done.  Only four more "diamonds" to fill in, then all that's left are the background stitches.  Rounding the bend to the finish.

Frankie Through Lesson 5
July 24, 2016--Back from traveling in New England and Canada and have finished Lesson 4.   This lesson covered stitches for the Diagonal Padded Waffle and Mini Double Fans (these remind me of pinwheels).  The colors are blending nicely.

Frankie Through Lesson 4
July 11, 2016--Lesson 3 is now complete.  This lesson included the filling for the Diamond Jessicas (which I had already stitched before wrapping up Lesson 2), the Amadeus Stitch on the upper and lower bands and the Wheat Sheafs along the outer edges.  Now on to the really fun stuff--those highly engineered Jean Hilton stitches.

Frankie Through Lesson 3
July 5, 2016--Happily stitching along and have finished Lessons 1 and 2, and half of Lesson 3 (out of a total of 7 lessons).

The instructions call for stitching each of the Diamond Jessicas (DJs) before doing the Waffle Stitches and Circular Jessicas that fit inside the DJs.  I changed this by stitching the Waffle Stitches and Circular Jessicas BEFORE stitching the Diamond Jessicas.  This made it a lot easier for me to properly execute the last stitches that go behind the first section.  So here's my progress todate:

Through Lesson 1 - Plaited Stitch Columns

Through Lessons 2 and Half of 3 - Diamond Jessicas
Filled with Waffle Stitches and Circular Jessicas
June 29, 2016--Three years ago I signed up to stitch Frankie, a project by Michael Boren and Carole Lake of StitchPlay Designs (project photo below).  It was being offered through Shining Needle Society and I was very excited to find it available as an online class.  I had planned to stitch this as a gift for my sister whose home has a bit of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Frank Lloyd Wright styling. When I visited her that year in 2013, she even helped me to choose threads to go with her decor.

Move forward to 2016 and I've finally begun working on this piece.  The instruction manual along with all the online class materials have a 1.5" width and are quite heavy.  Just reading the pre-work portion of the instructions took some time to wade through.  Well all that's behind me now and below is a picture of the pre-work completed.  It looks a little wonky, so imagine vertical bars with stitching to cover all the traveling threads and bar tacks.

There's a reason for starting this project now--I'm visiting my sister in October to see her new home in Florida (she moved from Dallas, TX) and would like to have this project finished by the end of the visit so I can leave it with her for framing.  I plan on getting at least 75% of it done before I leave.  It's a 19 hour train ride from Delaware to Florida, so should be able to get more stitching done while traveling.

This is a beautiful project and am looking forward to putting color on the canvas.

Frankie Pre-Work Completed
Frankie by Michael Boren and Carole Lake of StitchPlay Designs Project Photo


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Will There Be Enough Thread? - 10/26/17

October 26, 2017--This has happened or will happen to all stitchers.....you run out of thread and cannot find the exact dye lot.  Do you rip out the old color or try to camouflage the new.

In Elizabeth's Between The Threads Newsletter for Needlepoint Now News, she wrote about a wonderful hint from Brian Shaw, a needlepointer and manager of the Needlepointer Shop in Washington State.  He says....

"...if you are not sure how much thread is needed for a project, cut the skein or card of thread in half. Put one half aside. Using the other half to stitch, it will be easy to judge when you are halfway done with the project if you will have enough left to finish. If you see that you will need more, order right away and blend the half you had set aside with the new thread, so it won’t be obvious if the dye lots are different."

What a great idea this is, especially for projects requiring large amounts of one color, e.g., a background where a dye lot change would be highly visible.  Thanks Elizabeth and Brian.



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Trimming The Tree Ornament - 12/3/17

December 3, 2017--Finished this project into an ornament in time for the ANG Delaware's Seashore Chapter annual Holiday Luncheon and Ornament Exchange tomorrow.  I stitched two--one for the exchange and one for my tree.  Here they are....

Trimming the Tree Ornament Finished

October 10, 2017--Completed the stitching of this ornament and for picture taking purposes, placed the cut-out oval on top of the canvas to confirm I've got the right shape.  Looks good.  Now to turn it into an ornament with beautiful cording around the edge.  

PS  The black edge along the oval top is caused by shadow, not a pencil.

Trimming the Tree Ornament Completed

September 26, 2017--I've shied away from finishing ornaments into oval shapes--didn't know how to draw a perfect oval template.  Well, no more.  I'm nearly finished stitching the "Trimming The Tree" ornament by Eula C. Malson published in the September, 2003 issue of Needle Pointers, and before I decide to fill in the background with something like the "T" stitch, I needed to pencil in the oval shape on the canvas.  Here's what I did.

I used Microsoft Word's shapes to draw an oval, then used an old bit of software called "Cool Ruler" to make it the length and width I needed to fit my ornament.

Cool Ruler used to measure how far to pull down the oval to the length desired


Cool Ruler used to measure how wide to pull the oval for the width desired

Once the oval shape was set, I used Word's shapes to draw straight horizontal and vertical lines through the middle and printed it out on standard 8.5" x 11" paper.  Then I placed my stitched ornament on top of the template, using the lines to help locate the exact center of top, bottom and sides, then drew my oval.

Lines on Template Visible Through Canvas for Centering
Here's a picture of my ornament with a perfectly shaped oval.  The top has more space than the bottom because a star will be stitched on top of the boxes after I fill in the background.



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Needlepointed Black Velvet - 9/24/17

September 24, 2017--Below is a needlepointed picture of Pam and Ray's (our friends) horse, Black Velvet (or Blackie for short).  It's all done in tent stitch and I just had to share it here.  The use of thread to "paint" the horse and background is so fine that it looks as if it were done with delicate brush strokes, not with needle and thread.

Needlepointed Picture in Tent Stitch

Close Up of Stitching

Signature on Back of Needlepointed Picture
The stitcher, a Bulgarian woman who was the mother of our friends' friend began working on this piece in 2005 using the original photograph from which the below painting was made.  Unfortunately the stitcher's name is forgotten and cannot be deciphered from the signature on the back of the piece (our friends believe the first line says "with respect").

Painting of Blackie Front View

Painting of Blackie Side View
In 2000, Blackie was commissioned to be painted from a photograph by an artist who lived in Soprin, Hungary. At the time, our friends lived in Vienna, Austria.

The needlepointed picture was given to them by their friends, Glennis and her boyfriend, as a Christmas gift in 2007 (2 years after the stitching was begun) while they were stationed in Frankfort, Germany.   Both the painting and needlepointed piece now hang in their study where they can be quietly enjoyed.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

ANG Stitch of the Month 2017 - 9/21/17

September 21, 2017--Almost a year ago I was invited to pilot stitch the ANG Stitch of the Month project designed by Deborah Forney.  Almost forgot that I worked on some of this since time restraints prohibited me from completing all of the steps.  Below is a picture of what I stitched.   It really is a fun project. 

The monthly instructions posted on the ANG website (click here) will entice you to stitch each month's section and look forward to working on the next.  Of course, if you start now, the first nine months of instructions are already available.   Please post pictures of your progress--would love to see your color choices.

ANG Stitch of the Month 2017 Partial


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Back from Seminar - 9/14/17

September 14, 2017--Currently doing lots of stitching, but there's nothing I can write about.  The projects I'm working on are for the 2018 ANG Seminar in Washington, DC.

But what I can write about is the 2017 ANG Seminar in Anaheim, CA I attended from August 24th through September 2nd.  Took two wonderful classes--the first with Cynthia Thomas on how to use Excel to write stitch guides.   A few years ago I wrote a stitch guide for a drawn thread class I gave to Delaware's Seashore Chapter (click here).  I used software that was .jpg based and once the work was saved, could not make changes.  A very cumbersome process.   Using Excel would have been so much easier.  Now I know.

The second class was Coy Koi, a needlepointed purse by Janet Zickler Casey.  Not only did we learn how to work the front and back sections, Janet also showed us how to mount the canvas on the pre-formed "clam shell" style purse form which was included with the class kit.  I can't wait to blog about this one.

Coy Koi Purse by Janet Zickler Casey Project Photo
Will take a break from 2018 Seminar stitching to work on Christmas ornaments soon, so that will be fun to write about.  In the meantime, my cable TV company, Verizon Fios, has given me free HBO streaming through November 30th, so DH and I are binge watching GOT, seasons 1 through 7.  We're currently up to season 4 and all I can say is WOW!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

ANG Seminar 2017 Name Tag - 8/22/17

August 22, 2017--My new ANG name tag showing that I'm a member of Distance Learning (DL) as Correspondence Course (CC) Chair is ready and attached to the bottom of my chapter name tag.  I'll be sporting this at the ANG seminar in Anaheim next week.

While at seminar, I'm taking Creating Diagrams and Stitch Guides using Microsoft Office by Cynthia Thomas on Monday and Coy Koi by Janet Zickler Casey on Thursday and Friday.  I'm also working on the Hospitality Desk Wednesday morning and in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday afternoon.

Looking forward to seeing you there.






Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Holiday Gift Blue Ornament - 8/1/18

August 1, 2018--Completed stitching the 4th ornament in the Susan Portra Holiday Ornament series which I wrote about here,

This one is the blue gift which will be adorned with a pretty silver ribbon bow when finished into an ornament.  The silver square in the middle of the top area is where the bow will be attached.

Holiday Gift Blue Ornament

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Needle Storage Tubes - 7/23/17

July 23, 2017 - Last month, Nuts about Needlepoint (one of my favorite blogs), had a post about Prym Needle Twist Tubes for storing needles (click here).  Loved the idea since I have a hard time picking up needles from my flat magnetic storage case.  The problem isn't serious--I get my nails manicured with acrylic topped with gel polish.  This adds a bit of thickness to the nail bed prohibiting me from picking up small items like needles, dimes, etc.  The good thing about this, however, is that the nails are sooo hard that I can often use them like thimbles to push needles into canvas and the polish never chips or cracks.  I digress.....

As nice as the Prym needle twist tubes are, I thought they were a bit pricey, so began a search online and found a packet of 3 Dritz Needle Storage Tubes for a very reasonable price.  They are perfect.  There are little pre-printed labels you can use to identify the needles in each case, and blanks to write your own labels if desired.  The tubes are not as highly engineered as the Prym holders, but work very similarly.  It's now easy to pick out a needle from the opened tube.

Next I'll purchase one of those acrylic lipstick organizers and stand up the Dritz needle tubes in each slot.   The tubes are slim enough to fit nicely.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Holiday Light Copper Ornament - 7/7/17

July 7, 2017--The third in Susan Portra's Holiday Ornament Series called Holiday Light Copper is stitched.  Learn more about them by clicking here.   I love how the padded hearts give a slight 3-D or stumpwork effect.

Holiday Light Copper Ornament


Holiday Light Copper Ornament Side View

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Organizing Ribbons for use in Ornament Finishing - 6/24/17

June 24, 2017--I was perusing the internet a few days ago looking for ribbon storage ideas.  There are lots of plastic boxes for sale, but nothing that "rang my bells".  Found lots of pictures of how people stored their ribbons and came across one where a pant hanger was used (cannot credit source--nothing was available).  What a great idea--I had one of those hanger types (very, very old) and it's perfect for my needs.

Ribbon Organizer Using Pant Hanger



Friday, June 23, 2017

Holiday Bell Ornament - 6/23/17

June 23, 2017--Completed stitching the second in the Holiday Ornament series by Susan Portra (click here for more details).  This one is called Holiday Bell Antique Brass and will have a 9 mm gold jingle bell attached to the bottom area to look like a clapper.  Next in the series to stitch will be the copper light bulb.

Holiday Bell Antique Brass Ornament