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!