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!