Sunday, July 14, 2013


Well, one of the heavy rains last week swept my trash can down the street and I have yet to find it. Sort of makes me think I shouldn't be surprised if I see an ark floating down the street in the next downpour. I have no recent memory of a summer that has been as wet as this one. I hope you are staying dry this summer because I'm certainly not!

There has been a little bit of stitching going on since my last post but not as much as I would like to have gotten done. I needed a few red, white, and blue threads in my life over the last week or two so I started my Melissa Shirley canvas with the little boy holding the Flag. I am using a stitch guide by Carolyn Hedge Baird. This time last year I stitched Melissa's little girl with the watermelon slice. You can see her photo over to the right side of the blog. Both canvases are from a series that Melissa Shirley put out about three or four years ago.

Here's my little patriotic boy so far -

I'm working on the stars this weekend and may start putting in some of the diagonal stripes in the background, too. Such a fun, small project!

I also finished up Egg #9 in the From Russia with Love club. Another satisfying finish -

Egg #10 - the blue egg with the green gems - is another current work in progress.  Stitching 4 Jessicas is the extent of my progress on this egg - but it's a start!

I had a very enjoyable July 4th weekend in Jacksonville with Andrew and Anna. It seemed like a short visit but it was wonderful as always to be with them. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend as well!

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Mother Nature has slowly been easing us into Summer this year with lots of rain, cool mornings, and moderately warm daytime temperatures. By this time last year, we had already seen some temps over 100 and this year we haven't even come close to those scorching temps. It's been wonderful!

There hasn't been a lot of stitching done in the last couple of weeks. Between work and some sort of injury to my shoulder, stitching just hasn't been at the top of my list. After a visit to the chiropractor at the beginning of last week, my shoulder is feeling better but still not up to stitching using the floor frame. I'm hoping another visit to the doctor tomorrow for an adjustment will get the shoulder back to normal. At first, I was concerned that the rotator cuff was involved but since there was an immediate improvement after the adjustment, I'm less worried about a more serious problem.

This week I finally finished the gold work on the 9th egg in the From Russia with Love series. These month-long projects are so satisfying! Signing up for this club was one of the best stitching decisions I made last year.

The main feature of this particular egg is the beautiful gold work. The background is stitched in Neon Rays using the basketweave stitch. The gems are turquoise colored. Kit # 10 has already arrived and looks to be another beautiful project.

My shoulder problem brought a halt to any progress on my Tudors Home Study project. I look forward to picking it back up again. Amy has given us some challenges with this piece but that's how we grow as stitchers. I'll show pictures soon of my Catherine of Aragon section.

My posts this summer will be sporadic so don't be surprised if a few weeks go by and you don't hear from me. This time of year I spend so many hours a day on my work computer that when the weekend rolls around I don't have much enthusiasm for picking up my laptop even if it's to blog about my stitching. Thanks for understanding!

Hope your summer is off to a wonderful start! Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Welcome, Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon arrived at my house this week. How often can you say that? Catherine is actually the theme for the second kit in the Tudors Home Study by Amy Bunger. Catherine brought her jeweled necklace for application to the canvas. My first step was to glue the "sapphires" to the canvas.

Once they had dried completely, I began the basketweave area using a burgundy Impressions. We will apply a blackwork design on top of this basketweave area.  The other two areas we'll focus on in this kit are the orange paisley section and the black and gold patterned border. I probably should mention that the photo is upside down but we are also stitching this section of the canvas upside down. Much easier than reaching the length of the canvas to stitch if it were right side up.

As I had hoped, I finished the purple egg with the green gems this week. It's another beautiful egg and I love the richness of the deep purple which is set off by the gold threads and green gems.

Egg #9 which is the pink egg with the turquoise gems is on the stretcher bars and ready to receive some attention today.

I spent an enjoyable hour out on the patio last night after dark. There was a nice breeze and the temperature was perfect. What was most enjoyable was that there were no mosquitoes! I know it won't be long before they drive me inside so I will enjoy the evening hours outside while I still can.

Hope you have a great first week of June ahead!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Remember Me?

I haven't been around the blog much the last couple of weeks but there has been a little bit of stitching going on in the evenings when work hasn't left me mentally and physically drained. The busy season for my work has arrived with a vengeance this year. I was distracted last week by Dan Brown's new book, Inferno. It was an enjoyable and a very fast-paced read - so much so that I got very little stitching done last week. Now that I have read it for the plot, I may go back and read it again for the fascinating in depth descriptions of the sights of Florence and Istanbul.

On the needlepoint front, I finished Laura J. Perin's Bargello Egg. This was a fun project!

The Tudors Home Study project is moving along with only the red silk band to stitch to complete the first kit. Can't wait to see what Amy has in store for us in the second kit.

My eighth egg in the From Russia with Love club is languishing in my stitching bag only because I am stitching dark purple thread on a purple canvas. It's almost as bad as stitching black on black even though it is only basketweave. This is the first time the next egg in the club has arrived with my not having finished the one before it. Maybe I can show you a finished egg next week.

There's lots of good stitching time to be had today in front of the television beginning with the Formula One Monaco Gran Prix this morning followed by the Indy race and NASCAR later in the day. I hope you are having a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. We are having a picture perfect, temperature perfect weekend here in Georgia. Wish I could move the television outside!

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

An Egg-citing Week for Finishing

I can't tell you how excited I was this past week to receive my four finished From Russia with Love eggs from The Needle House especially after the week before it seemed that they hadn't even started them.

The eggs are expertly finished! Each one is like a beautifully wrapped package. The fabrics, trims, and ribbons have been carefully selected to coordinate perfectly with each egg.

The side views are as lovely as the front views. I think I will keep these out for awhile as they really are too pretty to put away!

My work this week left me too tired to stitch most evenings but a burst of energy Wednesday evening and some quality stitching time on Saturday helped me make some nice progress on The Tudors.

The red triangular shaped area and the red strip at the top are a six-step stitch pattern. Yesterday I finished Step 5 of the 6 steps. This is the beading step and I always enjoy beading. Not the greatest picture today but the camera and the computer didn't seem to want to cooperate today. It's much prettier than this picture would indicate!

Last week I promised that I would show you one of the canvases I ordered from Amy during the January market. In this group photo on the left is Melissa Shirley's cat canvas. She offers this silhouette in several designs. I chose this one because of the other two Melissa Shirley canvases that I have. Last year I bought the Whimsy canvas along with the threads and stitch guide from Bestitched. Then I saw a companion piece in the Bloom canvas. My thought is that with the stitch guide for Whimsy I have lots of ideas and threads that I can use when it comes to stitching the Bloom and cat canvases. Now, I just need to find time to put Whimsy into the stitching rotation.

It has been a cool, gloomy, rainy week here in Georgia. I'm hoping for warmer weather and sunshine in the upcoming week. I'm heading to Jacksonville for the Mother's Day weekend.  I can't believe I haven't been there since Christmas! Can't wait to see Andrew and Anna!

I'll take this opportunity to wish my stitching friends who are Moms a Happy Mother's Day and hope that you are able to spend it with your family and friends.

I'll be back in a couple of weeks but until then have a great week ahead!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Don't Underestimate the Accessories

I had a wonderful box of canvases and accessories arrive from Amy's Golden Strand this week. The eagerly anticipated Home Study - Royal Pain in the Tudors - canvas, threads, stretcher bars, and stitch guide was the first to be unwrapped. For the Home Study, Amy has chosen this intriguing banner from JP Needlepoint Designs that incorporates textile pattern sections that represent each of Henry VIII's six wives.

We are starting with the Anne of Cleve's section up at the top of the canvas. Amy has designed a fabulous six step stitch pattern for the red triangular area. This week I completed the three rows of plaited ribbon design and most of the first step in the red fabric area. So far, so good!

I think most of you would agree with me that we enjoy our accessories as much as we enjoy the project we're stitching. Is that ever the case with this new Home Study! First of all, Amy included with this first kit a beautiful, large Tudor Rose magnet. It's wonderful to have a large magnetic surface with which to work.

The next two fabulous accessories that arrived is this set is from Merry L. Prints. She has designed a magnet and scissor fob set for each of the six wives. This set is Anne Boleyn.

This set is absolutely beautiful - pearls with black, garnet, and gold beads! Very regal and fit for a queen! The fob is attached to my sleek Italian Ring-Lock scissors. I just ordered another pair because I don't want to ever be without these scissors!

My dear stitching friend, Linda, gave me this incredible wooden laying tool last year. This is the Henry VIII laying tool. The tool comes with such an interesting description of each section of the tool and how it relates to the story of Henry and his wives. The perfect accessory for this project! All of these accessories are available from Amy's Golden Strand in Memphis.

One other Tudor accessory for which I don't have a picture is my iPad with the Netflix series - The Tudors. This series is a fun companion while stitching. It's a great series even if you're not stitching a Tudor themed project.

I ordered a few more fun magnets which also arrived this week.

I just realized that I forgot to take photos of my new Melissa Shirley canvas and my new book that also arrived from Amy's this week. I'll save those to show you next week.

Until the Home Study arrived this week, I was moving along with my stitching on the latest From Russia with Love egg and the Bargello Egg. I love both of these projects!

I look forward to wrapping up both of these in the next week or so. I am determined to have a great display of eggs for the Easter season next year!

I hope you will enjoy following along with me over the next several months as I stitch my new Home Study. With Amy's excellent stitch guides, I'm sure there will be no royal pains involved in stitching these Tudor designs!

Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eggs are the Focus This Week

What a heartbreaking week this has been! So much sorrow for lives that have been lost and for those lives that changed forever in just seconds. It certainly brings perspective to the minor problems and  inconveniences in our own lives. Most of us aren't faced with the sudden death of a loved one or the loss of an arm or a leg or other life threatening injuries as a result of the actions of radical religious fanatics. Let's stop for a moment and offer up prayers for all of those affected by the events of this past week.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Masters golf weekend last week and no one could have asked for a more exciting finish! Laura J. Perin's Bargello Egg was the perfect project for a weekend planned around watching golf on television.

I completed the bottom half of the egg and am ready to move on to the top half. It has been a pleasant change of pace to stitch with perle cotton and not have to worry about plying the threads and laying them with a laying tool.

Egg #8 in the From Russia with Love club arrived this week. This one looks as if it will be another quick stitch. The colors are so rich - a royal purple background, gold work, and emerald green crystals for the flowers.

Another beauty! I have loved everything about this club as I have told you so many times but I was a little taken aback this week when I found out that the egg canvases I sent for finishing to The Needle House in January had not even been started. That was an unpleasant surprise to say the least! I hope the finishing makes them worth the wait.

I'm looking forward to the arrival this week of the first kit from Amy Bunger's new Home Study - Royal Pain in the Tudors. I think a few of the things I ordered from the January market will be in the box as well. My UPS driver and USPS mail carrier have no idea how much I look forward to seeing either one of them this week! I can't wait to show you what arrives this week!

Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mission Accomplished!

When I left you last week, I was lamenting the fact that there was a gaping hole on the shelf at The Fresh Market where the cheese straws are supposed to be. I was staring at the gaping hole on the shelf again on the Tuesday trip to The Fresh Market when the manager of the store happened to walk by. When I asked about the cheese straws, he shook his head and said that the warehouse was completely sold out and that they would not be getting any more in for another week or so. But, he remembered that there were a few boxes of the White Cheddar Parmesan Cheese Straws on an end cap near the registers and promptly led me right to them. Those were exactly what I wanted!!!


It was my lucky day and now I am all set for a Sunday afternoon of golf on television. I have my peach iced tea and my cheese straws and my needlepoint so I am all set.

I decided that I wanted to stitch something this weekend that would not require a lot of concentration so I started the Bargello Egg by Laura J. Perin.

It's quite a large Easter egg - 7.5" x 9". The stitch guide includes a matching ornament. The colors are lovely and are tied together with the choice of a Watercolors thread appropriately named Easter Egg. Once I established the pattern across the middle, the other sections above and below don't require too much concentration.

I am looking forward to working on this during the afternoon stitching/golf activities.

Yesterday I had high hopes of finishing the Acorn Cracker in the Melissa Shirley Golden Cracker club. And then I got to the part where you add the bugle beads to the inside border around the acorn and the top and bottom border. 

I have nothing against bugle beads but those that came with the kit just seemed too large for the areas in which they were to be used. I didn't like the way they lay on the canvas or the way they stuck out beyond the painted areas of the top and bottom borders ( it would have been a nightmare for a finisher). I scrounged around in the stash and found some beads I could use in the inner border areas that sort of mimic what I would have been doing with the bugle beads but I've got to come up with something for the outer borders. It shouldn't be too hard since those borders are just a 3 thread width. I'm a little frustrated with this club at the moment since I have two kits that are missing beads and this one has beads that are just too big (in my opinion) for the canvas. Stitching time is supposed to be enjoyable and not frustrating so this frustrating project is going away until later in the week.

Time to start stitching! Hope you have a great week ahead!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Seven Down, Five to Go

How can it be that I have stitched seven of the From Russia with Love eggs? Seems like I just started them. If only all needlepoint projects could be like these eggs - quick and extremely satisfying! Actually I can't think of any of my projects that haven't been satisfying but they certainly aren't as quickly finished as these eggs.

What can I say? Another pretty egg was finished this week. I know there are still five more eggs to come my way but I am already a little sad that this club will be coming to an end soon. I am still eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 4 eggs I sent to The Needle House back in January. I may have to give Nancy a call this week to check on when I might expect them.

Masters week here in Augusta officially starts today. It has been years since I have had a ticket to the tournament but that doesn't mean I don't get caught up in the excitement of the week ahead. I made my trip to both of my favorite grocery stores yesterday to stock up for the week ahead. Both stores are located within a stone's throw of Augusta National and not easily accessed during the coming week. I went to The Fresh Market specifically for their Cheese Straws - an important part of my ritual of watching the tournament on television next weekend. They are sold out! There was a big gaping hole on the shelf where all the boxes of Cheese Straws are supposed to be! The cashier who checked me out said that another delivery truck would be in this afternoon so maybe one more trip to Fresh Market is in store for me. I must keep the ritual alive!

Looks like my stitching for the week while glued to Masters coverage will be the Acorn Cracker in the Golden Cracker Club. Photos to follow next week. Maybe I'll pull the July 4th March out of the closet and give it some attention as well.

Azalea and Dogwood Report - azaleas and dogwoods are in full bloom! Should make for beautiful television next weekend if you tune in to CBS to watch the Masters.

Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Welcome Easter!

Happy Easter morning to everyone! Hope you have a wonderful day planned with friends or family! I have a day of stitching and reading planned and look forward to every minute of it.

I made some nice progress this week on the latest From Russia with Love egg. Even though I don't enjoy working with the heavy Coronet Braid that is used on most of these eggs, it really is worth the trouble and the sore fingers once I have finished with the sections where it is used. Fortunately, the braid doesn't have to be pulled through the canvas too often as it is couched in most areas. Despite using a needle with a larger eye when I threaded up this braid, I snapped a needle just trying to get it through the canvas last night. Once I finished couching the braid in the middle section of the egg, I decided to take a break from the braid and just focus on some mindless background.

Finishing up the Gift Cracker is on hold until some beads arrive from Fireside Stitchery so I have nothing new to show you this week on the cracker project.

I was saddened to learn this week via Facebook that our stitching friend, Sue VanderNoor, passed away earlier in the week. I had never had the pleasure of meeting Sue in person but we had a common love of needlepoint that brought us together through the internet. We enjoyed many of the same designers and stitched the same projects. She was always a cheerleader for me as I stitched my way through the Halloweenies Home Study projects leaving encouraging comments on the blog for me each week. My condolences go out to her family and friends. We will miss you, Sue!

Again, Easter greetings to everyone! Have a lovely, spring day!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Small Spring Treats

The Easter bunny made an early visit to my house this year and brought me two fabulous scissor fobs from Paprika Pi in Texas. I had such a hard time choosing the one I wanted that I decided to buy the two I liked the most. I ordered these from The Needle Works in Houston, Texas.

The fobs are made of a baked polymer clay and fashioned into the cutest beads that are accented with other crystals, charms, and beads. The bee hive fob may be my favorite. Love the hive itself and the very detailed bee beads. Both the the bee hive and the flower pot allow you to stick the end of your scissors into them to protect the points. You can learn more about Paprika Pi by checking out their page on Facebook.

What's a post these days without an update on the latest From Russia with Love egg? Egg #7 - the Green and Fuchsia egg - arrived this week. I started stitching on this one while I watched the Arnold Palmer golf tournament at Bay Hill this weekend. I have really enjoyed the gold work on these eggs. It gives them a very rich, elegant look.

I haven't shown you my latest canvas (the Gift Cracker) in the Melissa Shirley Golden Cracker club from Fireside Stitchery. I had begun this piece several weeks ago by stitching the white trees on each side of the cracker. I could never get the stitching sequence right on this section so I put it away and was thoroughly disgusted with myself for not being able to stitch it correctly. I finally pulled it out again this week and immediately cut out the offending stitches and started over again. I was happy with my efforts this time and have quickly moved on to stitch most of the cracker. I was disappointed, however, to find that the Miyuki beads needed for the borders were not included in my kit. I need to remember to check each kit when it arrives to make sure everything has been included that should be.

Hope Spring is making an appearance in your area. It turned cold and rainy again here in Georgia this week which was no fun at all. My azaleas are showing signs of color and the dogwoods are almost ready to burst into bloom. It should be a beautiful Easter followed by Masters week. Here in Augusta, we tend to obsess over our azaleas peaking during Masters week. This year that might actually happen.

Maybe Spring will return this week with some warmer weather for all of us. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Another Finish for 2013!

Top o' the Morning, my fellow stitchers! Hope your St. Patrick's Day is off to a good start!

I'm stopping by with a quick post this morning to show off my latest From Russia with Love finish.

This is egg # 6 - the lovely white egg with the amber crystals. I can't believe that I've already stitched six of these beauties. Egg # 7 should be on its way to me this week. I would love to think that the four eggs I sent off to be finished at the end of January might make it home in time for Easter. Let's hope!

My poor July 4th March saw no stitching this week. Maybe tonight since I have no egg to stitch!

Lots to do today so it's a short and sweet post. Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

When is a March a Crawl?

A March becomes a crawl when you don't spend a lot of your spare time stitching and when you do stitch it is only on the background. That pretty much sums up where I am at the moment with the July 4th March.

When we were last together, I showed you the beginning of the blue field on the flag that is stitched in a Gloriana silk. That part is now finished and I am so pleased with the color variations in the shading. A few white sequin stars and gold beads will be the perfect finishing touches for this part of the flag. I'm not quite ready to tackle the stripes on the flag and will leave that until later in this project.

Before moving on to the regal eagle, I decided to work some of the background. I wanted to get a feel for how to approach this pattern. Half of the pattern I stitched in one diagonal direction and the other half in the opposite diagonal direction. Amy calls this a pinwheel with stars pattern. The stars will be stitched in a Kreinik in those open squares. I want to stitch more of the pattern in the darker portion of the sky before I move on to the eagle. Maybe a little golf action on television this afternoon will help me accomplish that.

My sixth egg in the From Russia with Love series arrived in mid-February. This one is another beauty - white and gold with amber colored crystals. The background is alternating continental which I'm finding a little tiresome. I also wish that with the extra stitching effort that the pattern were more visible. Good old basketweave would have been a better choice (for me, anyway) for this background.

My excuse for not posting the last two weeks is that I was busy preparing for a huge yard sale that I had last Saturday. I spent some of my spare time over the last two months cleaning out closets and drawers and getting things priced. Andrew and Anna drove up from Jacksonville to help me. I couldn't possibly have done this by myself and they braved the windy, cloudy, sprinkly 33 degree morning of the sale with me. The sale started an hour earlier than planned. People started showing up at 6:30 AM when we were just starting to bring things outside. It was over by 11:30 AM and the remainders were packed up and taken to Goodwill by 12:00 PM. It was a successful sale and my house is hundreds of pounds lighter than before the sale. It's a wonderful feeling!

I've moved on from the house to the yard this weekend cleaning out pots and planters and getting the yard ready for Spring. My hydrangeas are starting to leaf out and the buds on the azaleas are almost ready to open. So many of our flowering trees bloomed earlier in February and now the forsythia, dogwoods, and azaleas are awaiting their turn to show off.

Hope Spring is beginning to make itself known where you live!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Parade is Back on Track

Last week I was bemoaning the fact that my July 4th flag bearer's wig was giving me fits. This week I can at least say that the wig is behind me and I'm moving on to more fun aspects of the July 4th March. I decided not to follow the stitch guide suggestions for the hair (long and short stitches or packed outline) and instead went with a padded satin stitch which made me much happier. I blended two shades of Weeks Dye Works threads to get the color I wanted, padded the stitching area, and jumped right in. Voila - a completed wig with slide bullion curls.

I started the blue background on the flag last night and am in love with the Gloriana Overdyed Silk thread in Denim. The shading is perfect for this flag. I also have it mind for the Patchwork of Peace flag project that is still waiting in the wings. Amy has chosen a pinwheel design for this area with white star-shaped sequins scattered around and small accents of gold beads on top of the background. I think it will be perfect! I hope to have this area finished by the next time I post. I may save the star sequins until the end so that I'm not snagging threads on them as I stitch other parts of the design.

There was another satisfying finish for one of the From Russia with Love eggs this week. It is always such fun to add the "jewels" at the end of these beautiful canvases. These green briolettes are no exception! They just sparkle in the sunlight! I wish their photographs did them justice. A new egg should be on the way to me this week and I can't wait to see what it will be. I'll show it to you in the next blog post.

I have a new guilty pleasure to tell you about today. I "discovered" House of Cards on Netflix this week. I am hooked!

This series (only available on Netflix) stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as an unbeatable (maybe/maybe not!) husband and wife team in Washington, DC. Spacey plays Francis Underwood, the Majority House Whip from South Carolina. His wife played by Robin Wright heads up a non-profit agency fighting for clean water around the world. Oh, the intrigue! I have no doubt that this show is accurately portraying how things get done at the Capitol, the White House, and Washington in general. If you have any interest in politics, don't miss this series. The entire season is on Netflix even though it only started at the beginning of February. It is produced and directed (a few episodes) by highly acclaimed director David Fincher. Netflix may be on to something with this well-acted, well-directed series that they have produced. House of Cards won't be shown on regular network or cable channels - only on Netflix. Fans of Arrested Development like me are eagerly awaiting the new season that will also be shown exclusively on Netflix in a few weeks. Can't wait to see that series back again! Thank you Netflix!

That's it for me in the needlepoint and Netflix world this week. So happy to see the sun out this morning after what was a very gloomy, wet week. I won't be here next week but look forward to being back with you the first Sunday in March.

Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

How I Spent My Saturday

Are you thinking that I did something fun or that I have a lot to show you after a day's worth of stitching? No such luck! I did spend most of my day stitching. It's just that I have nothing to show for it. My goal for Saturday was to devote my stitching time to the the July 4th March. What was not in the plan was to rip out everything I had stitched - twice. I wanted to finish up the flag bearer and figured I would spend my stitching time on his wig.

Amy's stitch guide calls for a base of basket weave at the front of the wig with a slide bullion curl on top of that. The wig is to be stitched in three colors using long and short stitches or packed outline stitches. First I stitched the wig in the long and short stitches. I only made it half way through the wig before I ripped it all out. Next I  tried packed outline stitches and they actually looked worse than the long and short stitches! Those stitches were ripped out as well.

I think it's time to regroup on the wig stitches. I may just go with some felt padding and satin stitches as I did with the baby's wig. The slide bullion curls will add a little more interest to it, I think. Whatever I choose to do will come later next week. I need the immediate gratification of stitching my From Russia with Love egg. So that's what will receive my stitching time today. Here's my progress so far this week.

My stitching friend Elizabeth Hurd posted a wonderful photo on Facebook this week of all 12 of her completed eggs. They are so fabulous and she stitched them so beautifully. I sent four of my eggs to The Needle House this week for finishing. I asked to have them finished as standup eggs. Can't wait to see the finished product!

Happy Valentine's Day and have a great week ahead!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Temptation is Calling

I know it's Super Bowl weekend but in the needlepoint world it is the weekend when needlepoint shop owners are buying canvases and accessories with which to tempt stitchers over the weeks and months to come. Shop owners are at TNNA market in Long Beach, California this weekend and many of them are taking us along with them - virtually. Thanks to social media, stitchers are able to see the latest offerings of their favorite and soon-to-be favorite designers. Having been a buyer for several retail stores, I know first hand how much effort goes in to "working" the trade show floor. Add to that job the work required to keep customers abreast of all the new designs via Twitter, Facebook, and blogs and you can only imagine what our shop owners are trying to juggle at this show. Let's give a big round of applause to shop owners and designers across the country for the great job they are doing to keep us apprised of the temptations that are to be found at the market!

I have several things on my wish list. I'll be narrowing it down as the day goes along. However, I have already ordered Julia Snyder's new book Great Layers for Needlepoint and a new white sheep magnet from Mag Friends.

Before I order any more canvases, I suppose we ought to look at the ones I am trying to finish before any new ones make their way into the stash! Another From Russia with Love egg was finished this week and a new one was started!

Stitching these eggs is just like eating potato chips - you can't stitch just one! Here's a photo of the four that are finished. I may send these off for finishing this week.

Last night I put a few beginning stitches in the Fuschia egg.

This week in the life of the July 4th March, I made a little progress on the flag bearer's coat.

The coat is actually a small area to stitch but it takes a deceptively large amount of time to stitch it. Lots of stitches to be laid with the laying tool! This week I hope to finish up his clothes and boots and move on to his wig. I'm considering starting work on the sky once the flag bearer is finished. There's a lot of sky to stitch and I don't want to leave all of that to work on toward the end of the project.

I have a nice, long afternoon and evening ahead of stitching and watching golf, football, and Downton Abbey.  Didn't Downton Abbey just kill you last week? Wow, I wasn't expecting that turn of events and I won't say what happened in case you haven't seen that episode yet. If Maggie Smith doesn't win some sort of award for her short scene with Mr. Carson, there's just no justice in the world! I may have to turn on the Closed Caption option tonight if there are any more whispering prison guards in tonight's episode. Even after watching last week's episode a second time,  I still couldn't understand what was being said about Mr. Bates. It was whispering so it had to be bad! I'm growing a little weary of Mr. Bates being in prison. Let's get on with a happy life for him and Anna!

Well, I think it's time to make sure that the chips and guacamole are ready for the afternoon and evening. It's also time to check in on Facebook and see more new needlepoint canvases from the market. I know that temptation will get the best of me today!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dreams of Needlepoint

When I woke up this morning, I realized that I had been dreaming about needlepoint.  How nice is that?
I don't know where this dream was taking place but it was in a two story house where a group of us were stitching upstairs and all of the canvases, threads, and supplies were downstairs. I wasn't actually stitching but instead I was walking around with a handful of canvases and watching other people stitching. Occasionally I would wander downstairs and pick out threads for the canvases I had been carrying around. I know this wasn't a particularly strange dream but I think it came about as a result of reading through the posts in Needlepoint Group on Facebook right before I went to sleep. All those fun projects that everyone is working on! I want to do them all! In my dreams, right?

Did I dream that I finished my second Golden Cracker this week? No, I did actually finish the Candy Twist Cracker. This one was quite a fast finish or seems like it anyway. The next one should be arriving in another week or so. Such a fun little project!

My turquoise and gold egg is moving towards a finish, too. I know that each week I say how much I love this From Russia with Love series but I can't help it. They are small, quick to stitch, and incredibly beautiful. Can't wait to get back to work on this one this afternoon.

Now, moving on to the July 4th March. I stitched the white cap on the little girl after padding several parts of it with felt. The ribbon ruffle along the edge of the cap will come later when the majority of the stitching is finished. I am not entirely happy with the middle section of the cap and wonder if any of you have suggestions on how to deal with the problem I am having with it. This particular section is padded with three layers of felt with four strands of silk horizontally Satin stitched over it. The problem comes at the edge of the felt layer. The threads tend to separate where they cross the felt edge and expose the felt underneath. I added extra layers of Satin Stitch in this spot thinking that more threads would solve the problem but that doesn't seem to have helped. Any ideas? I may email Amy this week and ask for her help.

The majority of my stitching on the March this week was on a few sections of the fence. When I look at the photograph, it seems like such a small amount of work but it took hours to stitch. I love the Gloriana silk that Amy chose for the fence. I may work a little more of the fence this week and then move on to the Flag Bearer.

Many thanks to those of you who offered suggestions last week for how to handle the coils of "hair" that will be added to the wig on the baby. I appreciate your taking the time to give me your thoughts!

Hope you all have a great week ahead!