Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Finish and A Start

Today, I finished all of the Skip Tent in Accentuate. It is very hard for you to see, I know. I put a piece of silver Lame' behind it in the hope of getting it to show up better, but don't think it worked real well. This gets mailed to Gone Stitching tomorrow for the finishing. You will recall I won this by listening to Gone Stitching radio!
Next up will be the Diane Rishfield Ribbon and Roses piece.This is the piece I took with me to Callaway Gardens in my class with Carole Lake called Painted Canvas Workshop: A Gallery of Ideas for Stitching. You recall each day we took turns putting our canvas on the wall and discussing ideas for how to stitch the pieces. We explained why we bought the canvas--I did because I like roses and tassels. However, everyone felt that the yellow rose became the focal point. My intent was to have the ribbon, pink roses and tassel become the priorities. Therefore, my canvas, my prerogative. I contacted a couple of designers for advice on:

Painting the background and the yellow rose! I have painted out the tiles and dark blue ribbon shading in the background and also put a coat of white over the yellow rose. This certainly brought the focus back to what I was looking for. I was a little apprehensive about doing this, but so far, so good!

For those of you who remember Pierette's beautiful stitching, she created a photo blog only so we can see what she is stitching and that she is completing beautiful pieces to share! I hope you go and look! I have her listed on my blog roll but here is the direct link.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Using a single strand of Accentuate, I am doing Skip Tent Stitch in rows from the top right to the bottom left on all the rose petals and leaves. All but the far left petal is done. It is amazing how much you can do when you are snowed in! LOL


I finished all the outlining with the Lacquered Jewels. Each petal and leaf is completed with the two strands. My tip for working with Lacquered Jewels comes from previous tangle issues. I take the new bundle, remove the paper tag with the number and set is aside. I then pull out an empty card from a Rainbow Gallery fiber. I snip the tied end, untwist the bundle and set it on two opposing points. I then wind the entire skein on the card. I tuck the color number into the back of the card and can easily pull the desired amounts off the card without tangling the rest of skein.
I actually finished this last night. Just as I was coming up to post the photo the power went out from all the snow! We received 11 .25 inches of snow since 3 p.m. yesterday. We were ready for it, and I read by kerosene lamp for a while and went to bed. The power came back on in the middle of the night. It is still snowing which is better than the sleet from a couple of hours ago.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This one is better

I put white behind the canvas tonight and you should be able to see this a lot better! Did you notice the green dot up at the top right? Good! I took two strands of Lacquered Jewels in color470 and started outlining all around the petals of the roses and the leaves. It is a gray black shiny so hopefully you can see it up next to the black, and it definitely pops on the actual petals. You can also see where I quit.....where the thread is laying on top of the bottom rose and going up to the needle holder. I hope to finish all of this tomorrow. We are supposedly going to get somewhere between 6-12 inches of snow! I will just have to stay in and stitch then!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Background

The background is finished! I completed all of the Expanded Alternating Continental and it really sparkles. I hope you can see it in this picture! I put black velvet behind this tonight so I hope the stitches show up in the enlargement. Next up, the final touches!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Up to speed

See, I really have been working on this. As a reminder, I took this canvas with me to the Canvas Workshop with Carole Lake at Callaway, and after discussion, we decided that less is more on this piece. Not all canvas areas have to be stitched. The designer painstakingly created a work of art and in order to let those beautiful roses retain the focal point that they are, I will be stitching less. Here, I have finished the pistils that surround the center of each one. I used Kreinik Cord in 001C silver in an outline stitch. I did the French knots using Belle Soie silk by Crescent Colours. It is a 12 stranded spun silk and I used three strands, wrapped three times. The darker color is called Petunia and the lighter is Lara Lilac. I then used two strands of Petunia to attach the SJ Design beads, size 12/0 in color D117. The top left side is the Kreinik #4 005HL black in Expanded Alternating Continental.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The last part

Tuesday's merchandise night included a variety of vendors. There were some older painted canvas available, a great vintage and collectibles table including tons of buttons, wooden scissor stands, bags, totes and purses, several of the class teachers with some of their kits, wooden shaker boxes, and that is about all I can remember! LOL. During class that day, I got a lot of great ideas for the rose and tassel canvas which I will discuss with you as I work that project.
Wednesday during class, we started on the second round of canvas, after reviewing the boutique samples. We discussed layering, and lots of books and our collections of same! Can you say "I am a bookaholic, threadaholic, or stashaholic (fill in your own description here!)"
DH and I went to Columbia and met several of his old friends and had dinner and visited with all of them for a while. What fun! We got back a little late, but it was worth the trip.
Thursday was the last day of class, and we finished up all the second canvas that anyone had wanted to discuss and reviewed the first ones if anyone had other questions, comments. Several people had made great progress in those four days! A couple of people added new canvas to their stash from the boutique and almost everyone bought a little thread!! The closing reception and dinner were wonderful. Prime rib, salmon or chicken were the main course choice. Awards were presented for the gallery of stitched items that were on display during the week, and several door prizes were awarded.
All in all, it was a great week. I have lots of notes, had lots of fun too, and now know another large group of stitchers. If you get the chance to go, I encourage you to do so.....Maybe I will see you there sometime!

P.S. I stitched some more on the purse flap background tonight and tomorrow there will be pictures!! Promise!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More about Callaway

Several of you are asking for more details about my excursion to Callaway, so I decided to go into greater details. We arrived on Sunday afternoon, checked in and then and checked out the villa(photos previously posted), and unpacked. We settled in for a bit, and I checked my schedule of events. The boutique and bookstore were open so I left DH with a movie and I walked the five minutes over to the conference center. I picked up the black Micro Ice, the black Vineyard Silks Shimmer in the boutique (needed for a future project) and wandered over to the bookstore. I picked up the books (shown in the previous photos) and headed back to the villa. After chatting a bit, we went over to the Lodge for the teacher display and wine and cheese reception. Several of the attending teachers were there, including Carole, and we chatted with several of them. After having some wine and cheese and visiting with some of the women from the local guild, we met them for dinner and met Pam and Neva from Lincoln, NE. DH did very well with a table full of women and enjoyed himself. He is not shy and had great conversations with the ladies! We headed back to the villa after dinner in the Plant room which is served buffet style and serving up options for everyone's tastes.
Monday morning we headed to breakfast, and then DH dropped me off for class and left. Carole started the class by talking about what we would be doing for the next four days. We started off by discussing several canvas supplied by the boutique. What was the focal point? What fibers could be used? Would you buy the canvas? Is so, why? If not, why not? It was not her intention to write stitch guides for the canvas we took, but to raise our awareness and abilities to figure out what and how. We each received a book of stitches by Carole as well as any empty notebook for writing down ideas and sketching stitches. We then began working through all the canvas all of the students brought throughout that day. Some had fiber some did not. If after reviewing your canvas, you needed threads, you went to the boutique to shop and return to review.
After class on Monday, DH and I had dinner and I stitched a little bit. After so much excitement and information, I must admit I did go to bed early!
Tuesday class started by reviewing more boutique canvas, and then discussed a lot of the stitches in Carole's book and how to use it. We had a great conversation about stitching books and reviewed progress on some of the canvas that were reviewed on Monday where the owner had started stitching. Tuesday night was Merchandise night and after dinner, I walked through the displays. There were so many wonderful things available!
I will pick up this thread tomorrow and finish more details then. Meanwhile I am working on the Boots Bailey purse flap....just in case you thought I wasn't stitching!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Look what I got! times 2

I was just minding my own business, cleaning the house and doing laundry and DH came up with a package that came in the mail! Since I wasn't expecting anything, I looked to see who it was from--Jane in Chilly Hollow. Oh, I said, she is just returning the beads I had sent for possible use in an upcoming project, and off he went. Then, I opened the package, and sure enough there were some beads I had sent, but another tissue package as well. Hmmm, what is this? I carefully opened it and TADA! She sent the Kimberly Crum tool case to me!! Happy dancing all the way downstairs to brag and boast to DH!! Look, look, look what Jane sent me!! He stopped reading and appropriately ooohhhhd and aaaahhhd too! Thank you, Thank you, Jane! (I guess all that sniveling and whining I did had an effect! LOL) You are a sweetie! In case you missed seeing this on Jane's blog, you can see it here:

Before I started cleaning and dusting and laundering, I went to the framers and dropped off the Kimono. I am trying another framer and I must tell you when I walked in with the piece, the woman who does the needlework there was amazed. She loved the piece but was ecstatic about how straight and flat it is. She said she usually had to spend a great deal of time working on needlepoint pieces as they were distorted. I explained to her that I used a different frame called Evertites and gave us worker bees an added bonus by not having to work so hard to keep it straight. I will pick that up in a week. I also went to the other framer and picked up this piece:I am very pleased with how well it came out after the second attempt. It was not straight in the frame when they first did it, so I asked them to redo it. I know, I am very picky! It it now hanging in the bedroom. Yippee!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fixed and Finished!

I fixed the May stitch all the way down to the hem. It didn't take as long as I thought it would to restitch it and a little of the April stitch I removed. I then put in the collar and hem with vertical Gobelins using Frosty Rays color201. Basketweave was next to fill in below the collar area using Pebbly Perle. Moving on, I couched the lines on the patchwork, hem, and collar areas using 1 strand of Accentuate 003 and couching down one strand of 107HL #8. the sash and the entire outside area are couched with the same Accentuate but couching down 1 strand of Razzle Dazzle 6. Even though the directions did not call to outline the Kimono, I did because I am not doing any background stitches. I do not want to distract the eye from the kimono and want the black background to pop the kimono as it is. This will go to the framer tomorrow! Thanks to Tony Mineri and to the ANG for providing the pattern for this piece.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It is the Donahue!

Yes, I finished the February SOTM! I worked the Donahue stitch in Panache, color 40. This area also worked up very quickly. Then....... I backed away from the piece and saw the error on my part. The double front band needs to extend down to the hem. Before proceeding with the finishing touches section, I will remove the stitches from yesterday and rework the front band to make it technically correct. That is what I get for just whipping out that Nobuko Variant! LOL
P.S. See, Jane, even those of us that have counted for a while make mistakes!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And April too

April is the Nobuko Variant Stitch and I love the Nobuko stitch! It zips right along and I used Panache in color 39 and stitched this area in tonight fairly quickly. There is just a little more to do and this will be completed!

Progress on SOTM

Well, I did it again. I started on the November stitch and it was a four step filling pattern. I felt it was too heavy for the whites and golds. After scouring my "stitchy" books, I decided to use the Jacquard stitch. The white is Vineyard Silks Shimmer in Cloud and the metallic is Kreinik #8 in color 3221. In order to lay in the pattern I also laid a line of thread on the diagonal under the sash and continued the pattern down to the right.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Class, Purchases, etc.

First, I took Carole Lake's Painted Canvas Workshop: A Gallery of Ideas for Stitching for four days. It was a fantastic class! I highly recommend taking it if you are interested in expanding your canvas enhancement abilities. Carole led a group of twenty of us with two of our canvases in group discussions and brain storming ideas to get them out of our closets and onto the walls or wherever they belong. It was not a class where Carole writes a stitch guide for you, but you all work together and come up with ideas, stitches and threads. There was a large variety of canvas with all kinds of creative ideas to stitch them. Carole was an excellent enabler as well as educator and has a great sense of humor to boot! I will talk more about my canvas and how I will stitch them at a later date.
Second, the photo shows what I purchased. There was a wonderful boutique run by Barbara Jackson and her wonderful helpers. If you needed threads or additional ones, during our class you went to the Boutique and Leigh helped you pick them out! My canvas came with the threads and we will discuss those later also. There was also a bookstore by Ruth Kern and there I picked up the long skinny book called Categories for Needlepoint Stitches, The Midas Touch, and Embroidered Flora and Fauna. In the boutique, I purchased the Vineyard Shimmer Black, Micro Ice in black,the SJ Designs star beads and two Pearsall silks in grey. The Vineyard silk and Micro Ice are for a DeeBee's design in the stash. The beads were because they are cute, and the Pearsall's I thought I might use on the purse flap. At Merchandise night on Tuesday, I picked up Marnie Ritter's Aurora Revisited kit and the four pieces of Ultrasuede in the foreground.
Last, it was a fun filled busy week. On Sunday, after check in both the boutique, book store and exhibit were open and then there was the faculty showcase followed by a wine and cheese reception and dinner. Monday classes started. Tuesday night was Merchandise night and Thursday night was the closing banquet.
There are several restaurants available but mostly we ate our meals in the Plant Room restaurant which was a buffet for every meal. Breakfast and lunch also had a specialty island with omelettes for breakfast and different things like hot Caesar salads made while you waited. The service was excellent. Breakfast items included cereals-hot and cold, eggs, meats, breads and rolls, fruit. Lunches were salads, sandwiches, hot main entrees and veggies, cookies, fruits and brownies for dessert. Dinners were salads, hot veggies, hot entrees, and pies, cakes etc for desserts. Soups were available at lunch and dinner. Every meal also has coffee, tea, juice etc. The wait staff were all friendly and all meals were on china, and provided linen napkins. Pretty first class in my opinion!
I hope you all get a chance to go and get really spoiled for several days!

ISP Issues

As I started to upload my photo and info last night our ISP died. DH is
working with them this morning to get the situation remedied. Hopefully
I can post my purchases photo for you tonight!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rest of the villa

Since some of you asked to see the rest of the villa, I am posting those pictures for you! We did not stay at the Lodge itself,but the Villas which are a two minute drive from the center itself. They offered 1,2, or 3 bedroom units. Ours was a one bedroom. All have screened in porches and decks. The first picture is standing in the dining room looking to the living room and DH is working crossword puzzles.

The dining room light is in the top left of the picture and it is over the table which I showed before. Behind him the sliding glass doors lead out to another deck with a bbq grill. The fireplace is on the right and he built a fire two different days. There is a CD player in the bookshelf, along with CD's to listen to, on the end closest to the single window and the tv is closest to us in the picture. The cable is there also for internet connections. A nice wing back chair, a full couch and a love seat provided more than enough seating!
Below is the picture of the stained glass windowed front doors, opposite the dining room, with a large foyer area. On the right is a walk in laundry room and the left is a closet.

Below is the huge bathroom with two sinks, and a padded bench in the bay window where I sat to put on my shoes! Through the open door is the shower and commode. There is a huge closet on the right side and a cabinet and drawers on the left side before you walk into the tiled floor.
Since I was going to leave him to entertain himself for a while each day, I felt it was worth a little more to have all the comforts of home.

Tomorrow I will show you what I bought--don't act so surprised! You knew I would come home with something!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Less is More

Here is the photo of what I have done so far. Instead of covering up the beautifully painted flower petals and leaves, I will leave them to show. I am doing French knots with three strands of Belle Soie, wrapped three times in two different shades in the center. A single strand of Kreinik silver cord in the stem stitch is the stamens, and the beads are from SJ Designs. The background is worked in a single strand of Kreinik #4 in black in Exploded Alternating Continental.


Standing in the living room looking towards the dining room and kitchen,
The bedroom and porch off of it,.

Standing at the front door looking towards the back porch.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Callaway #1

DH and I arrived around two this afternoon! Nice sunny, but chilly, day for a ride. This is my first trip to Callaway Gardens in Georgia. We have a beautiful one bedroom villa! A kitchen--but I am not cooking--complete with dishwasher, dining room, living room with wood stocked fireplace, bedroom with two double beds, huge closet and bathroom with double sinks, dressing area. First class! We registered and then unpacked. I registered for the class and then did a quick cruise of the boutique, bookstore and exhibit. Found some goodies and will post about them later along with photos of the villa. We attended the teacher display, the opening reception and then had dinner with six women from our area area and Lincoln Nebraska! Rick loves having a harem to dine with! More tomorrow!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Boots Bailey purse flap

I also brought this piece with me to Callaway and I have started working on it! I need to take a picture in the daylight and post it on Wednesday. Classes are great and I am having a great time along with taking notes. The class is about choosing fibers, stitches and bringing the canvas to the potential each piece has. Carole Lake is not only an excellent teacher, but has a great sense of humor, along with a wealth of knowledge!

Roses & Tassel

This piece is Diane Rishfield's painted canvas. I am taking a class from Carole Lake at Callaway Gardens called Painted Canvas Workshop. We all brought a canvas from our stash and are brainstorming ideas for stitches and threads for all of the different canvas pieces we brought. This has been in my stash for about a year and I am looking forward to input to get started on this piece.

July Stitch of the Month

Today I completed the July stitch called the Russell Variant-the lowest band from left to right. I used Rainbow Gallery Cashmere in H15 for the vertical thread group. I then used Kreinik #12 in 002 HL for the diagonal loops. After I had gotten started, I made a note to self that when I do this stitch again that I will put in the diagonals first and then the verticals. It would be easier to tuck the verticals under the diagonals than the other way around.

Also, working on black canvas, I have a tan background under my feet so that I can easily see the holes for the needle. If you don't, use a white pillowcase or whatever to lay across your lap and you will be able to stitch very comfortably.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sally's Diamonds

Sally's Diamonds is the August stitch of the month. I first put in three strands of Splendor in 802 which is the filler for the diamond. Then, I used #8 Kreinik in 3202 to create the outside of each diamond. It is a fairly heavy stitch but will be offset in the next areas. Next up is the July stitch which covers from the top left clear to the bottom right.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Souffle Stitch is finished!

Blogger will not let me upload the photo again last night. Blankety, blank, blank! I used the laptop this morning! I am now moving to the August stitch which is right below this area.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Top shoulder progress

I worked more on the Souffle' stitch last night and got a great photo! Blogger would not let me upload it last night, but it is! Again, I am using the Neon Rays and Kreinik #12 in 210.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Two issues equal a deviation.

Second, I apologize that the photo is not better. I thought it was clear when I shot it, but after uploading it....not so much. But for the first:
The top right is supposed to be the October SOTM called the Upright Trellis. There are four steps to the stitch. I first laid out the grid as described in instructions step one and two. I then came back and add step three to about the top third and then also completed step four in the same area. This was very heavy and marched up and down. The left side flows diagonally towards the center. When I backed up and looked at the overall piece, I did not like that the left shoulder now dominated rather than melded with the rest of piece. Soooooo, I took it all out! I spent some time cruising my books and started over. I am using the Souffle' stitch instead. It lays diagonally, opposite the left side and towards the center also. First, I laid in Neon Rays 03, and then came back and filled in with Kreinik #12 in 210. The balance came back and I am pleased with the substitution. The next photo will be better, I promise!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cassique Stitch is done

This is what is left of the DMC Overdyed #4150 that I used on the Cassique stitch. I put it on a white card in hopes that you could see the slight overdyed variation.
I completed the sash section tonight and used the #12 017HL for the tied filling stitch. Tomorrow I will start at the top right to fill in the next area.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Change of Plans

First, Happy New Year everyone! May 2010 be a stitch filled year for all of us!

Since my LNS has to order the Kreinik I need to finish the Tooth Fairy Box, I moved on to the next week's project--the Stitch of the Month Kimono by Toni Mineri. I am working on the September stitch for the sash on the right side. I am using my DMC overdyed perle and #12 Kreinik for the tied stitch. I hope to finish this section tomorrow!