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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Secret Stitching - 5/26/17

May 26, 2017--Doing plenty of stitching, but unable to say for whom, what or why, at least not yet.  But I can say it involves lots of Perle 8 weight threads.  Here's a picture of some when I went stash diving--Caron Wildflowers, RG Elegance, DMC Perle 8, RG Panache, etc.  Lots and lots of beads too.  Best of all, many of my chapter mates at ANG Delaware's Seashore Chapter, are also working on this project.

Perle 8 Weight Threads


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Winterthur, Delaware Retreat by Art Needlepoint

May 18, 2018--I just learned that Art Needlepoint is hosting a fabulous retreat at Winterthur Museum in Delaware from March 23 to 25, 2018. 

The initial brochure for this event can be found by clicking here.  I'm told there's a 5% discount for ANG and/or Winterthur members.  Of course, you can save a whopping 10% by registering and paying in full by July 15, 2017. 

I'm personally excited about this event because of

1) the venue
2) the techniques to be taught
3) the beautiful canvases to be offered
4) the lectures and tours

More information regarding kits, teachers and accommodations will be available shortly.  Feel free to contact Doreen at Art Needlepoint (contact information on the last page of the brochure)

It promises to be a full weekend filled with fun and information, and let's face it--anytime you can stitch with like minded spirits is a very, very good thing.

Click here to access Art Needlepoint website.

Tree of Life from Art Needlepoint



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Shades of Christmas Poinsettia Ornament - Updated 5/10/17

May 10, 2017--This pretty little poinsettia is complete and all that needs to be done is turn it into an ornament.  I really like the variations in the thread colors, but think the size used--Caron Wildflowers (perle 8 to 12 equivalent), is too thin and doesn't cover the linen as well as I would have liked.  Maybe once it is pressed the thread will "flatten" out and cover more.

Ornament Shades of Christmas Poinsettia Completed
May 4, 2017--I am nearly finished "cross stitching" a beautiful Christmas poinsettia called Shades of Christmas led by Bobbie R. of Delaware's Seashore Chapter, ANG.  I am learning a little about cross stitching (this being my second chapter project) and like how pretty the projects are along with the challenge of counting stitches and thread color changes (I think the crosses are all going in the same direction).  Once the green leaves are stitched, I plan on making this into a very simple ornament with fringed edges.

This is a free chart designed by Crossing Montana for Eterna Silk.  However, I'm using Caron Wildflowers for the threads.  Love the variegations.

Ornament Shades of Christmas Poinsettia

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Holiday Gift Copper Ornament - 4/25/17

April 25, 2017--I've wanted to stitch Susan Portra's Holiday Ornaments ever since they began being published in Needlepoint Now Magazine in 2013, and at last, I've completed the first one--the Holiday Copper Gift.  All that's missing is the beautiful ribbon bow which gets applied after it's finished into a hanging ornament.  The photo doesn't do it justice--it has a lot of shine and glimmer to it.  For more information about the series, click here.

Holiday Gift Copper Ornament




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Purse "Let The Good Times Roll" - Updated 4/11/17

April 11,2017--Steadily working away on this project.  Finished stitching the outline of the diamond shapes in silver Kreinik, painted in the black diamonds so that white canvas won't peek though the stitches (no stitches done yet), AND, beaded the Fleur de Lis in "brick stitch" pattern.  I'll wait until the end to add the black "tie down" beads on the Fleur de Lis.

Let the Good Times Roll Purse as of 2017-04-11
Beaded Fleur de Lis Side View

April 5, 2017--I started stitching this purse at the ANG 2016 Seminar in New Orleans, LA in a class taught by Janet Zickler Casey called "Let The Good Times Roll.  This is a very large piece which will be made into an envelope clutch with a beaded handle. I spent much of the class time making the handle since my beading experience for items such as this is practically nil.  It came out well and I hope some day to do more in the way of beading bracelets, necklaces, etc.

Janet offered two colorways for this purse--black and white like the one I'm doing; Mardi Gras colors in green, purple and gold.

Here's my progress to date and a picture of the handle.

Purse Let The Good Times Roll at 2017-04-05

Purse Let The Good Times Roll Beaded Handle
Here's the project photo.  This picture shows the red beaded Fleur de Lis positioned on the back of the purse.  Mine will be on the front.

Purse Let The Good Times Roll Project Photo

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Nutcracker Santa - Updated 4/2/17

April 2, 2017--Lesson 4 and the nutcracker is done.  He's a cutie.  The instructions said to leave the space between the red shoulder epulets and hair blank, but I couldn't do that, so filled it in with an ecru colored thread T stitch--a very faint shading of color.

Nutcracker Santa Completed
February 25, 2017--Here's the Nutcracker Santa through Lesson 3.  Love all the shine.  Due to the working threads rubbing against his nose, I'll have to stitch over some of the worn areas.  Will do that at the very end.

Nucracker Santa Through Lesson 3

Nutcracker Through Lesson 3 Side View
February 21, 2017--Last Fall I signed up to take another Janet Zickler Casey online class through the Shining Needle Society (SNS) called Nutcracker Santa.  This is my fourth santa class taken through SNS and I love how clear and easy Janet's instructions are.  Below is a picture of my progress through Lesson 2 (out of 4 lessons).  You've got to love the nose.  It's satin stitches over a shortened cotton swab (like a Q-Tip).  Click on "In Process Projects" on the right side of the blog page to see a picture of the project as it should look when done.

Nutcracker Santa through Lesson 2

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Holiday Ornaments by Susan Portra - Updated 3/28/17

March 28, 2017--Here's another Holiday Ornament in the collection by Susan Portra called Pink Holiday Gift.  It's found in the March, 2017 issue of Needlepoint Now Magazine and is number 15 in the series.  Here's a photo of the project.

Holiday Gift Pink - NPN 2017 Vol XIX, 2
January 20, 2016--The January, 2017 issue of Needlepoint Now Magazine has another new ornament by Susan Portra, number 14 in the Holiday Ornaments collection.  This one is called Yellow Holiday Light.  Below is the project photo.

Holiday Light Yellow - NPN 2017 Vol XIX, 1
November 9, 2016--The December, 2016 issue of Needlepoint Now Magazine has a new ornament by Susan Portra, number 13 in the Holiday Ornaments collection called Fuchsia Holiday Bell.

Holiday Bell Fuchsia - NPN 2016 Vol XVIII, 6
July 20, 2015--Ever since I first read about Susan Portra's holiday ornaments in the Needlepoint Now magazine beginning with the November, 2013 issue, I decided I would stitch them all.  There will be a total of 24 ornaments altogether and so far 12 have been published in the magazine through July, 2015:  3 bells, 5 gifts, and 4 lights (pictures below *).  Today I sat down to determine what threads need to be purchased and what can be used out of my stash and am planning a shopping trip to my closest LNS, a 3 hour drive from my home.  The trip will include an overnight stay at a dear friend's home and, of course, I'll bring wine.  Life is sooo good!

Holiday Bell Blue - NPN 2015 Vol XVII, 1

Holiday Bell Brass Antique - NPN 2013 Vol XV, 6

Holiday Bell Green - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 6

Holiday Gift  Copper- NPN 2013 Vol XV, 6

Holiday Gift Blue - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 3

Holiday Gift Green - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 6

Holiday Gift Red - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 4

Holiday Gift White  - NPN 2015 Vol XVII, 4

Holiday Light  Copper- NPN 2014 Vol XVI,  2

Holiday Light Red - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 6

Holiday Light Turquoise - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 3

Holiday Light White - NPN 2014 Vol XVI, 4

*  I received permission from the editor of Needlepoint Now magazine to publish these pictures in this blog post.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Still Traveling--No Stitching - 3/23/17

March 23, 2017--Having a lot of fun this month, but haven't been able to do any stitching.   In the meantime, enjoy this mini video of the Blue Angels practicing in Pensacola, FL.  Was fortunate to see them while cruising the bay.


video

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Knitting--Exercise for Needlepoint Fingers - 3/12/17

March 12, 2017--Have been traveling for the last 2 weeks and find it difficult to needlepoint in the car--too many little tools and bits to get lost under the seat, etc.  So thought I would knit some dish clothes--they are fast and easy.  However, I wanted a challenge and what better way to do that than to learn a new technique--continental or left handed knitting.   The beginning was a bit tedious--kept dropping stitches, couldn't figure out yarn tension around my left hand, had to continuously look at You Tube videos to check my technique, etc.   But the results are below and am very confident that everything I knit going forward will be done using this style.  Of course, my needlepoint will be resumed shortly, but doing something different with my fingers is great exercise.

Dish Clothes Knitted Using Continental Technique

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rehoboth Beach Museum's 7th Annual Needlework Exhibit - 2/22/17

February 22, 2017--It's time again for Rehoboth Beach Museum's Annual Needlework Exhibit.  This is the 7th year that the Delaware museum has put on a needlework exhibit and it's a big hit for those who reside in the state as well as for visitors to the beach.  It runs from March 18 through May 21, 2017 and all are invited to submit entries using the form which can be found here,   Hope to see you there.



Friday, February 17, 2017

Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg - Updated 2/17/17

February 17, 2017--Completed the stitching, beading and thread couching on this beautiful needlepoint version of Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg.  The multi-colored beads really sparkle.


Ornament Theo Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg
Ornament Theo Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg Side View
January 27, 2017--Finished laying the gold ribbon and am beginning the beadwork.  The first picture below shows how the egg looks with the canvas threads running true vertival.  The second picture shows it slightly tilted to have more of an egg shape.  This is how it will hang when finished.  The purpose is to visually reduce the slant of the gold ribbon diagonal lines while making the beads look like they are coiling sideways around the egg.


Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg at 1-27-17



Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg at 1-27-17 Tilted
January 15, 2017--This is one of the classes I took while at ANG's 2016 National Seminar in New Orleans, LA.  It's called Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg and is designed by Michele Roberts, known for beautiful goldwork projects.

I haven't had an opportunity until today to resume working on this piece.  Here's what I accomplished in class.

Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg at 1-15-17


Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Star in the Meadow Stocking - 2/9/17

February 9, 2017--My ANG chapter, Delaware's Seashore Chapter, had a class led by our incomparable Geri W. on stitching Pat Mazu's stocking called A Star in the Meadow.   This was a free download (click here) made available by ANG Needle Pointers Magazine.  Due to the bargello or florentine stitches over multiple threads, this was a very quick finish.  Too bad the shiny Swarovski Bicones don't show well in the photo.  This is the third Pat Mazu project I have ready to finish into a stocking.  They make darling ornaments.

A Star in the Meadow Stocking

Thursday, February 2, 2017

American Beauty Rose - Updated 2/2/17

February 2, 2017--Made this beautiful rose into a piped knife-edge pillow.  I like the way it looks more like a rose now that the padding rounds out the center.   And the fabric color adds a nice "frame".  All in all, very happy with the results.  My Bernina sewing machine has programming for simple numbers and letters, so I added the following to the back since it's a gift for my mother.

Happy 90th Birthday Mom

Marie-Rose Irene Cote

With Love From

Yours Truly

February 15, 2017

I added her name so the staff at the nursing home where she resides will know it's hers if it happens to "walk".


American Beauty Rose Finished Front

American Beauty Rose Finished Bac

January 8, 2017--Done, and in plenty of time to make this rose into a pillow to give my mother on her 90th birthday next month.  It's an unusual piece--you need to stand far back to actually see a rose.  Once it is piped with a dark purple fabric, the rose should be easier to view.

American Beauty Rose Competed on Stretcher Bars

American Beauty Rose Completed
December 15, 2016--Wow, it's been over 2 years since I last worked on this project.  And work on it I must now do!  This is going to be a gift for my mother's 90th birthday in February and I have a lot yet to stitch.  I have a small suspicion that it won't get done in time.  If that happens, I'll show her the project and explain it'll be a beautiful pillow when done--and promise she'll get it ASAP.   In the meantime, however, I'll stitch on it furiously and see if I can make the finish happen in time.

American Beauty Rose as of 12/14/16
November 30, 2014--Status to date.  Thought I would do as Liz Morrow has done with her rose (she's stitching hers in neutral tones) and complete a full quadrant.  Still am unable to see the rose yet.  Will now go back to working on one color/stitch at a time.


American Beauty Rose Upper Left Quadrant
American Beauty Rose Upper Left Quadrant Completed
10/13/14--This project has 8 different stitches done in 8 different colors.  The picture below shows the first color and stitch done, and a little of the 2nd one started (the canvas color is Lavendula/Lilac).

Not doing a lot of stitching these days--have been traveling and more trips are planned.

Stitch and Color One
8/11/14--While at the 2012 ANG Seminar in San Antonio, TX, I purchased instructions for DebBee's Designs American Beauty Rose with the intent of stitching this project for my mother's 90th birthday, using her favorite colors in the violet/lilac range.  Well, she'll be 90 in a little over 2 years and I figure I better get this started sooner, rather than later.

Since I'm not really good at making color substitutions--in this case from reds (listed in the directions) to violets, I wrote Debbie Rowley of DebBee's Designs for help.  Wow, she really was very helpful.  Debbie went to her LNS, The Stitcher's Garden in Conway, AR and worked with Lynda Bass Gaiser, first gathering the red colorway, then finding the perfect violet/lilac threads.  Debbie sent me the first picture below and asked if the colors they chose would work.  I immediately responded with YES! and ordered her suggestions from Lynda.  The second picture is a closeup of the violet threads that came in the mail yesterday.   Cannot wait to begin stitching.  Soon.......
Thread Comparisons--Reds to Violets

Violet Colorway


DebBee's Designs American Beauty Project Photo