Monday, April 30, 2018

Imperial Rubies Heart - Updated 4/30/18

April 30, 2018--Finished!  Again, this is "do it yourself" finishing and continues to be a learning process.  Love the hearts designed by Gay Ann Rogers.   The cording around the heart was made using my kumihimo disk.

Imperial Rubies Heart Finished Front
Imperial Rubies Heart Finished Back

December 21, 2015-- Was so eager to complete this beautiful heart that I sat down and worked all the beading yesterday.   The side views show the dimensions and beauty of the beadwork.

Almost couldn't finish--discovered I didn't have a needle small enough to fit through the tiny pearl beads, and there were 22 of them on the two necklaces.  Fortunately I remembered purchasing a new type of beading thread from Louise's Needlework shop in Ohio while there for a class last April.  It's a very fine, strong braid and stiff enough to manually thread through the itty, bitty, teeny, tiny pearls. They are so small that I couldn't hold them with my fingers--had to use a pair of tweezers.   Of course, I had to continuously thread up and unthread the needle to pick up the crystal beads.  Took a bit longer than anticipated, but now that it's done, I'm very pleased.

Imperial Rubies Heart Completed

Left Side View

Right Side View

Beading Thread - Braided and Strong
Manually inserting Thread into Pearl Bead (no needle)

December 20, 2015--All the stitching has been done and ready for beading.

Progress through 12-20-15

November 24, 2015--This is my work so far on this lovely heart.  Almost finished with the needlepointing.  The beading will add the beautiful dimensions.   See the In Process Tab above for a project photograph.

Stitching through 11/24/2015

October 17, 2015--For the very first time, I participated in Gay Ann Rogers' sale of her royal hearts and was able to purchase the Imperial Rubies Heart.   Looking forward to getting the kit in the mail--these hearts are so beautiful.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Theo Fabergé's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg - Updated 4/25/18

April 25, 2018--The Theo Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg is now "finished" into an ornament. This one was a real challenge to put together--had to remove some extra beads that were hanging over the edge, then had to deal with the white beading thread that was showing.  Took my cue from the couture houses--when you make an error, cover it up, cut it out, or incorporate it into the design.  In my case, I used the "cover it up" principle.  Won't say where (LOL).

I love the plaid fabric on the back.  In person, the color is a lot more intense and shiny.  BTW, the dark lines on both sides of the backing fabric are part of the design, not gaps between the edge and cording.

All in all, I think it looks nice.  

Ornament Theo Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg Finished Front
Ornament Theo Faberge's Jeweled Spiral Coil Egg Finished Bsvk

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Rozashi Baby Iris - Updated April 24, 2018

April 24, 2018.  On a roll with finishing ornaments.  This is the third and last of the recent rozashi projects, but there will be more to come, that's for sure. 

Tried to make cording by twisting 1/8" ribbons--not a total success.  Should have made the twist tighter.  Also needed to make the mounting board a little smaller so that the stitches would wrap around to the back OR for future projects, will need to add a row or two of tent stitches so that the canvas won't show if I have a mounting board size issue.  Hmmm....

Rozashi Baby Iris Finished Closeup

Rozashi Baby Iris Finished Back
December 7, 2017--This little Rozashi Study called Baby Iris by Margaret Kinsey was a CyberPointers class in 2013.  I ordered the kit, then put it aside, not comfortable with the style and method.   Well, that problem ended after completing the recent Rozashi Imari Study class, a recent CyberPointers offering.  I was able to stitch this up in a few days and really like the technique using all vertical stitches on a Japanese canvas called "ro".

The next step is to block the piece by spreading a thin layer of Yamato nori stitcking paste (a type of glue) all over the stitches in the back, then while still damp after an hour, hold an iron above the canvas and steam the devil out of it until it is dried, then do it all over again.  At least that's how I interpret the instructions.  Once that's done, I'll make a little egg shaped ornament out of it and hang it on a drawer knob in my dressing closet.

I found some rozashi projects in the 2005, 2006 and 2009 NeedlePointers Magazine, so will have to find a source for "ro" canvas and work on those.

Rozashi Baby Iris Completed Closeup

Rozashi Baby Iris Completed

Monday, April 23, 2018

Rozashi Ornament East Meets West - Updated 4/23/18

April 23, 2018--Finished this lovely rozashi project into an ornament.   For the most part, I'm pleased with how it turned out.  I kept the shape of the ornament as it was drawn on the "ro" canvas by the designer, Margaret Kinsey, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have redrawn the shape as a proper circle.  As it is, it looks a little out of kilter, but not the end of the world.

Rozashi Ornament East Meets West Finished Front
Rozashi Ornament East Meets West Finished Back
The bow on the top of the ornament was made with a special ribbon I found online.  The ribbon is about 1/8" wide with a string running through it.  To make a bow, all you need do is pull the string to make as many loops in the ribbon you would like.  Cut, secure, and voila--done.  I now want to find this in all the colors I use a lot of.

Diagram to Make a Ribbon Bow 

This is what the ribbon looks like with string running through it.
February 11, 2018--After stitching Margaret Kinsey's Imari Sampler and Baby Iris Rozashi projects, I just had to stitch another.  Found this delightful ornament in the September/October 2005 Needlepoint Now Magazine and just had to stitch it--but first, to find the "ro" canvas.  I learned that Margaret Kinsey is the only US distributor of this canvas, so  I emailed her letting her know I wanted to purchase some ro for the ornament project she designed for the magazine.  Well, she wrote to let me know she had a pre-made up kit and would I like to purchase it.  Yes, yes--the kit not only included the line drawing on ro, but it was already mounted on the special frame and included the sumptuous silk threads used in rozashi.  Happy dance.

Once the kit arrived, I dropped everything and got working on it.  It was so easy to do, and now that it's stitched, need to get this, and the other two rozashi projects, made into hanging ornaments.

I did learn something while stitching this piece--Margaret's instructions on which direction to stitch initially confused me until I finally figured out she uses the economic method instead of the "wrap" method for the bargello like stitches--duh (hand hitting head--LOL).  This makes for half stitches on the back, but does save a lot of thread.  A good thing considering how expensive the silk threads are.

I recenty found a You Tube video of Margaret talking about rozashi and showcasing many of her beautiful projects.  Saw two or three I'd like to tackle.

Here's the completed Rozashi East Meets West Ornament.

Rozashi Ornament East Meets West Designed by Margaret Kinsey

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Stitching Retreat in Ocean City, MD - 4/17/18

April 17, 2018--Just returned from a four day stitching retreat in Ocean City, MD put on by the ANG Checkerspot Chapter of Silver Spring, MD.  This is my second year in attendance and, as I did last year, had a wonderful time.  We stayed at the Dunes Manor Hotel, an old but well maintained and renovated charming spot in the heart of Ocean City.   The package included two breakfasts and one night's dinner in the dining room, and the food was delicious!  Our stitching room was bright, large and comfortable with a view of the sea.

Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City, MD
The weather, though cold, rainy and VERY windy, enhanced our delight at being able to stay in and stitch, stitch, stitch.  Barbara E. surprised us with three little projects.  The first consisted of two button forms sold by Toni Gerdes.  The buttons come with 64 pre-drilled holes you fill in with needlepoint.  Here's what I came up with though I may redo them later with fancier threads.

Button Forms by Toni Gerdes

The second project was a bookmark.  Barbara had the cutest designs and I chose the Scandinavian looking one.  Didn't have the right threads to stich it while at the retreat, so took a few hours this morning to whip it up.  Think I'll remove the canvas from the green felt and turn it into a luggage tag or a label.

Bookmark Closeup

The third project is my favorite and one that I will teach to my local ANG chapter if they'd like to learn how to do it.  It's a tassel that has 3 beads at the end of each loop taught to us by Debbie L.  Easy to do and the results are beautiful.  This is the first time I've every made a tassel, and now that I know how, I see lots of tassels in my future.   The thread and beads were also supplied by Barbara.  She thought of everything.

Tassel with Beaded Ends Side View

Tassel with Beaded Ends Top View

I did manage to work on a large project I took with me, but didn't finish it as I had hoped.   But the time spent on these fun surprises, stitching and talking with wonderful fellow chapter mates, and in a very nice environment means I'll be there again next year for sure.  Thank you Barbara E. and Checkerspot for hosting this event.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Study in Rozashi--A Petite Imari Sampler - Updated 4/12/18

April 12, 2018--Finished this rozashi project into a little ornament.  Like how it came out.  I'm hanging non-Christmas type ornaments like this in my new all wood dressing closet by Closet Works.  They look sweet hanging from the sides of the supports.

Rozashi Imari Sampler Finished as an Ornament

December 3, 2017--Finished lessons 3, 4 and 5, completing all the stitching.  These sections are called Kaku (upper left), Tortoise Variation (upper middle) and a pattern with no name (lower right).  Margaret advised us to be frugal with the use of the kitted threads since we could run out if mistakes were constantly made.  Well, I took that advise to heart and was careful to place the stitches correctly.  In the end there was plenty of thread left.  Of course, there were mistakes that had to be ripped out, but fortunately, they were small ones. 

Rozashi consists of vertical stitches over horizontal threads and I found this type of work to go very quickly.  Will now look for similar projects using this method.

This will make a lovely framed picture for my in-home office.

Rozashi Imari Sampler Completed Closeup

Rozashi Imari Sampler Completed
November 29, 2017--Lesson 2 for sections called Tortoise and Daiya is now done.  More challenges with all the compensation that's needed.  Still enjoying this project.  Working on such a small canvas, however, does require good magnification.  Glad for my mageyes.  It's also a good thing that this is worked "in the well" so to speak (canvas is attached in back of the wood holder).  I'm stitching right to the edge of the wood and it's easy to end threads on the back because there's nothing in my way.

Rozashi Imari Study Lesson 2 Tortoise and Daiya Closeup

Rozashi Imari Study Lesson 2 Tortoise and Daiya

November 27, 2017--Lesson 1, section called Diamond Flower, is done.  This was a bigger challenge than expected.  Margaret Kinsey instructed us to stitch in a diagonal direction when working the light peach area.  Because of all the compensation stitches, I found that hard to manage, so I stitched along the horizontal line.  I don't think it changed the appearance that much.

Love the shine of the silk threads.

Rozashi Imari Sampler through Lesson 1 Diamond Flower Closeup

Rozashi Imari Sampler through Lesson 1 Diamond Flower

November 12, 2017--Last June I signed up to take this class through ANG's online chapter called CyberPointers.  The lessons were held during the chapter's November meeting and I'm loving it.  I'm still working on Lesson 1, but can see how beautiful this little sampler is going to be.

The working surface is very different from the mono canvases to which we're accustomed.  Rozashi stitching is done on starched silk gauze material called a "ro".  There are 3 horizontal threads, called "dan" that are woven very close together and are considered as one thread for stitching.  This causes an elongated vertical stitch.  A very pretty effect.  The "ro" is glued to a thin wood frame and all stitching is done "in hand"--no floor or table stands needed, at least not for a project this small.  And the twisted silk threads are scrumptious.  They reflect so much light.

I'm even learning to count up to three in Japanese.  Ichi is one, ni is two and san is three.  This count is important as all stitches are done over ichi, ni or san dan.    Margaret Kinsey's instruction booklet is wonderful and the added lessons through CyberPointers are very helpful.

Here's what I've done so far.

Rozashi Imari Sampler through 11/12/17

Closeup of the "dan" row of a "ro" canvas

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Name Tag for ANG Checkerspot Chapter - Updated 4/11/18

April 11, 2018--Finished the name tag for the ANG Checkerspot Chapter.  Lined the canvas with shiny red fabric which shimmers through to the front.  The trim is made out of 8 strands of 1/8" ribbon braided on a kumihomo loom.  I know it's not perfect, but the results are getting better and better with every ornament, name tag, etc. I finish.

Name Tag for Checkerspot Stitchers Chapter Finished

October 6, 2017--I recently joined the ANG Checkerspot Chapter located in Silver Spring, MD.  They are a delightful group of stitchers located within a day's ride round-trip of where I live in Delaware.  Not long ago they changed their name from Executive Branch to Checkerspot which is Maryland's state insect and attached is a picture of a glorious specimen.  Love the butterfly colors they incorporated into their name tag.

ANG Checkerspot Chapter Name Tag

Checkerspot Butterfly, Maryland's State Insect