Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dressing the Doctor

Dr. Acula has been most patient with me as I attempted to get him dressed this week.  Despite him being a "doctor", he has been no help to me as I coughed and sneezed my way through the week. The dust, dirt, and heat at our warehouse finally got to me this week and stirred up my allergies. Dr. A didn't know whether to prescribe the cold/flu medications, the allergy medications, or the high blood pressure cold medications. Don't tell my real doctor, but I think I took an assortment of all of the above at some point during the week in an attempt to rid myself of the watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, cough, etc.

Dr. Acula is dressed for the most part. He needs his bow tie, buttons, and the gold trim for his cape. Today I added the orange puffy lining to his coffin. Photos don't do this part of the design justice. There's so much more dimension to it than a photo can deliver. I've added the green outline stitches around the upper lid and can see that it will take 2 or 3 rows of brown outline to fill in the outer edges.

I'm disappointed that this canvas won't be finished by the time W. Herr Wolfe arrives at the end of the week. But, it's just been a crazy month with work and all that has come with it. My plan is to work on the candelabra next, then move down to the grass and our friend, Rhett. I'll tackle the bottom border and then finish up with the "X" background and the large spider web.

Did I tell you that Bridezilla and her Groom are honeymooning in San Francisco? They heard such wonderful things from Stirha and Frank about Marlene's that they wanted to go there, too. I don't think they will make it home in time for Halloween, but there's always next year. I sent my Merry Christmas canvas with them and I hope I will get that one back in time for Christmas.

I gave into temptation yesterday and called Ruth Schmuff at Bedecked and Bedazzled and ordered her 3D holiday tree series. The Halloween tree looks like this. Ruth offers this as a one sided tree or as a 3D tree. The tree series stitch guide will be featured in Needlepoint Now magazine so Ruth will be sending the canvas and the threads/ribbons/tchotchkes, etc.

And, as if that wasn't enough, I also signed up for one of Ruth's mystery classes. I want to stitch the Beth Gantz Noel canvas as seen here. I must have lost my mind (although maybe I was under the influence of too many cold medications!). I am counting on my work load slowing down by the end of October and having a little more energy at the end of the day for more stitching. But, never fear, the Halloweenies continue into the new year and they will remain at the top of my stitching priority list.

It's a rainy night in Georiga for the first time in weeks! It's supposed to continue into tomorrow and Tuesday. It couldn't be more welcome!

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Busy Week = Little Stitching

It's been a really busy week at work. I usually work from home but the last two weeks have found me working at our warehouse for most of the day. I don't know what the September temperatures have been like for you, but here in Georgia it's still in the mid-90's every day. Our warehouse is not air-conditioned and by the time I come home, the heat has worn me out and I don't want to do much more than just sit in front of the television. And, as a result, I haven't stitched a lot this week.

I stitched a little bit on Dr. Acula's cape this week and today I added the detail to his face. I had to break out the heavy duty clip-on light to stitch the black cape. Without it, I couldn't see the black stitches on the black canvas.

I just have to say that I can't imagine that there's anyone who can detail a face like Amy. Dr. Acula is the 5th Halloweenie character we have stitched and each of the faces has been so expressive. Everything from the shading of the skin to the eyes, mouth, nose, and hair really brings life to each character. And they are charted so well, it's hard to stitch it incorrectly. Thanks Amy!

September is moving by so quickly, don't you think? We'll be welcoming the next Halloweenie before we know it.

It's back to the warehouse in the morning for me. Will my stitching friends in Canada please send some cool autumn air our way? Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Frank and Stirha's Holiday Home

Frank and Stirha have taken up residence for the Halloween season on my living room mantle. While their larger Haunted House is being stitched, they are quite happy with the ceramic haunted house that I brought home from Bath and Body Works. I had seen this house when Anna, my daughter-in-law, and I had shopped at B and BW over Labor Day weekend. I resisted buying it then but have been thinking about it ever since. I caved, what can I say!

Inside the Haunted House I am burning the Slatkin & Co. Autumn 3 wick candle from B and BW. It really sets the mood for the season - a little apple, a little spice, and a tiny touch of wood smoke. I highly recommend it - it scents most of the house. There's plenty of room for more Halloweenie characters on the mantle. But, for now, Frank and Stirha each have a buddy. Check out these cuties!


The foliage across the back of the mantle is a glittered black pine bough with shiny purple and orange balls attached to it. I found them at a cute shop in Augusta called Cudos. The little resin figures came from there as well. I have a few more things to add but just have to find them.  Now that I have downsized my home, I find myself putting things away in odd places (wherever there's room) and then can't find them when the season rolls around again. I have some Jim Shore Halloween pieces that are hiding from me but there are only a few closets in this house so I know I'll find them!

Dr. Acula is feeling a little neglected and I have promised to work on his cape tonight. Last night I was good for nothing but sitting in front of the television all evening. Some evenings are like that -

Have you decorated for fall or Halloween yet? Martha Stewart's latest issue of Living inspired me to get started. I can't help but believe Martha would be jealous of our Halloweenie characters!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nice Progress This Weekend

I think I made some nice progress on Dr. A this weekend. I finished the pumpkin and the kitty in the little coffin as well as the major wood sections of Dr. A's coffin. I had my doubts about the kitty as he looked like a big black blob until all the details were stitched. I love his coppery collar! I had not used ThreadworX floss before and Amy selected a fabulous green for us to use in the bed of both coffins and the pumpkin leaf. I particularly like the shading in this green color.

Another new fiber for me is the Kreinik Laser metallic thread. You will see more of it later as I work on other areas but for now you can see it in the edges of the pumpkin leaves. It has sort of a holographic effect. I don't know that you can see it in the photo but even just a little bit of it gives off an unexpected  sparkle.

This afternoon I stitched the main color in Dr. A's face. Without the details of his face, he's looking a little evil. He just needs his eyebrows, I think. I doubt he's as evil as he might want us to think. This week I'll concentrate on his face and clothes. That should make him look a little more friendly!

Hope you all had a good weekend and are ready for the week ahead!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

They're Back from San Francisco!

What a surprise it was to find a package from Marlene's Custom Finishing in San Francisco on my doorstep this afternoon! Frank N. Stein and Stirha Cal-dron have returned from their trip to be finished at Marlene's. I am so pleased with them! Thank you Marlene, Amy, and Kelly for your wonderful finishing, stitch guides, and canvas design!!!

Let me re-introduce you to Stirha Cal-dron. She's looking more lovely than ever.


As you can see, Stirha is finished in a medium moss green silk with a black and gold accent ribbon and beautiful cording in purple and moss green. The bottom is finished with orange ball feet. My white countertop has washed out the green silk but it is almost a perfect match to the green in the spider border.

Frank is looking particularly handsome these days. He is finished in a deep, fern green silk with a gold and green accent ribbon. The green silk matches the greens in his jacket. The cording is done in deep orange and moss green. Frank stands on green feet.


They make a handsome pair and hopefully can soon be joined by Bride Z. Illa and Zomm B. Grum'e. It will be such fun to decorate with them for Halloween. If it weren't 92 degrees outside, I could really get into the decorating mood!

Hope you have enjoyed seeing these two finished pieces. Thanks to all of you who stitch along with me for your kind comments and encouragement. I had finished these two before I began the blog but I have enjoyed stitching the other characters and the Haunted House right along with you. We still have lots of fun ahead of us!

My real work is finished for the day so I think I'll go finish Dr. Acula's pumpkin now. See you soon -

Monday, September 6, 2010

Carpentry Skills Come in Handy

I didn't accomplish much on Dr. Acula this Labor Day weekend as I would have liked but the work that was completed required my best carpentry skills. I decided to begin this canvas by stitching the Dr.'s coffin. Amy's choice of stitches and color combinations of the Weeks Dye Works threads gave the box a definite woodgrain look. We were given the choice of stitching the knobs for the handles first and then the wood paneling or vice versa. Each way has its own pros and cons. I chose to stitch the knobs first so that I had the correct number of available spaces to stitch the Jessicas (the circular stitches around the brown center). It wasn't difficult to put in the straight stitches by running them under the Jessicas where necessary.

Tonight I think I'll stitch the little cat's coffin and then move up to the pumpkin before working on the top of the coffin.

I was happily distracted from stitching this weekend because Andrew and Anna were here for a visit. Anna arrived a few hours ahead of Andrew and we headed out to the Village Deli, a friendly neighborhood restaurant where we shared what has become a new favorite for us - fried dill pickle slices  with ranch dressing - mmmm good! Saturday we had a quiet day with a little shopping in the late morning, a great lunch at California Dreaming (hadn't been there in forever), followed by a walk through Hobby Lobby for some Halloween and Christmas inspiration - and there's lots to be had there!

Sunday we headed up to Greer, SC so that Andrew could turn in a press car (a 1 series) on loan to  him from BMW.  We discovered that the Garmin had no idea how to get us to the BMW factory despite the fact that we had correctly entered the address. There are many nice neighborhoods (and a few dodgy ones) in Greer as we quickly discovered. We eventually found BMW and turned in the car. After that we drove on up to Asheville, NC for a late lunch at The Grove Park Inn. What a beautiful view from the Sunset Grill at the Grove Park - the restaurant on the open porch across the back of the Inn overlooking Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was a perfect day - not a cloud in the bright blue sky and a pleasant 80 degrees. You couldn't ask for more! We wandered down to the award-winning Grove Park Gallery down the hillside from the Inn. There was an interesting sculpture exhibit out in front of the Gallery. I loved the elephant ear sculpture - just didn't care for the $1500 price tag!

I don't think I've ever walked out of the Gallery without a purchase but I managed to this time despite being sorely tempted by the incredible glass artistry on display.

Hope you all had a restful and fun Labor day holiday. Back to reality tomorrow!