Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Yes. I am still here. I've just been a very bad blogger. I have been working in the needlepoint shop thru the lockdown. We were very busy, just two of us, answering the phone and delivering via curbside pickup and mail. It was literally exhausting.

We've been open to a limited number of shoppers at a time for about a month now. Happy to have people back in again. But still exhausting. And a lot less fun than it once was. Not to be a complainer, but some shoppers are just too much. Don't get me started on the one who told me over the phone that this "isn't the bubonic plague and we all needed to get over ourselves."

Anyway. Locals, if you come in, I'm still smiling behind my mask and will gladly assist you in anyway I can.

I briefly put down my needlepoint for some detours. First up, crewel work.

This is an Anna Scott design called Scarlet Glory. Look up Fine Stitch Studio on Etsy. She's got some beautiful kits. It's nice to sometimes play with a sharp needle on fabric. Crewel is the first needlework I ever did back in the 1960s. And I take great pleasure in a how easy wool is to work with.

I also detoured into a quick bracelet. A simple peyote pattern with size 11 delicas and two sizes of triangle beads. Pattern and kit from Caravan beads. Just a couple of hours and it's a bracelet!

Sunday, April 05, 2020

April 2020

We all know what is going on in the world.

But here's what's happening in my world.

March 20th, my daughter, boyfriend, and cat moved in with us all the way from California. We are much relieved to have them here.

At the LNS where I work, we've been adjusting. We are currently just doing mail order. I've been going in 2 days a week. Though I've always been against it, maybe we do need headsets as it seems that most of my time is spent answering the phone.

I have a good size painted canvas that I'm working on which I'll come back this week and show.

But last week I got tired of it and literally picked up the first thing on the floor that needed putting away and decided to work on it.

It's Give Thanks from Nancy's Needle.

I'm pretty sure I kitted and started this in 2011 or 2012.  I had like 20% stitched. It's on a dyed canvas that is way too soft.

But I always meant to stitch this one and its many companions From Nancy.
Uh huh. Five kitted and four more charts. 

I'm prepared to stay here for a while. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

February Finish

 Look it's a ladybug paperweight! 
Husband says I need 11 more. For a ladybug picnic.

It's a Lee canvas. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

February Progress

 I finished a Kathy Shenkel mini sock ornament. This is one of many that was begun by my friend, JoAnn. She did like 9 stitches in the middle of the ribbon. So I had her threads and had to figure out what to do with them. I did end up ditching the #5 pearl cotton for the dolphin and used an overdyed #8 pearl cotton from the House of Embroidery. And I added some beads. 

And this is another JoAnn project. She'd be so happy to know someone is finishing what she started. I did the steps and the grass. She had stitched all building except the roof which she had barely started. 

This makes 3 out of 20 finishes for 2020. 

Still can't see well. It'll be a while before we take care of the eye problem. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

January Update

 So if it's January, it must be Camp Wannastitch time. We had our usual grand time stitching, visiting with old and new friends, shopping, and eating, and more stitching.
 Right now, I apparently need lots of pie.
 Sunrise in Ocean City is beautiful. I miss the ocean in my regular life.
 Not my desert. But I did get a taste.

Booze. Because.

The real news buried here at the end is that I've been losing vision in one eye. Even had a brain MRI done to rule out a tumor. Fortunately one old school doc came to my rescue. I have what is called an oil drop cataract. Regular cataract surgery should restore my vision. And my mood. Because I'm miserable without stitching.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

First Finish

One Heirloom Santa from Willmaur Crafts Corp. This is the Artic Santa. 

Yes, I have a huge backlog of these. 

And I am having eye issues that are keeping me from being more productive. So a finish is a finish even if it took a whole month. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Welcome to a New Year

New Year. Time to reset. I've decided to do my version of 20 in '20.

I'm aiming for 20 finishes. And I will list the first four now. I don't have complete access to my studio at the moment, but our houseguest departs tomorrow.

Thus 4 of my 20 will be:

1) The Artic Santa, a Sandra Cozzolino paper Santa from the early '90s.
2) my Or Nue Bee, the winter version
3) my first Kaliedecycle - I have 8 of 24 triangles done. We have an assembly class at the end of January
4) a Kathy Shenkel mini-sock. It's 50% done at this point.

I will not be limiting the acquisition of new projects. I know myself.

Here's a December finish. This is my own design which got named Holiday Frost. It was designed for my ANG Chapter.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Blast from the Past

I believe I began this piece back in early 2008. It's from the Fall 2007 issue of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly. Designed bt Martina Dey in response to the 2004 tsunami that happened in southeast Asia.

I was looking for a Quaker sampler when this was published. And I remember agonizing over threads at the Scarlet Thread every Thursday. 

It was designed for Hand-Dyed silks, but I chose Crescent Colors overdyed cottons.

I worked on steadily in the beginning. And sporadically over the years. But I hit a motif that I just couldn't find a rhythm for and eventually I tucked it away in a corner. 

I'm not quite halfway finished. And if I can just put a couple of threads in every week, maybe some day this will be done. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Colorfast - a Word that Caught My Eye

Today at work I was putting up an order of Gentle Arts threads when I noticed the word "colorfast."

See. I always thought that overdyed threads were not colorfast. But apparently that has changed. 

 Looking closely from left to right: 

No mention of Colorfast on the left. Middle thread says Colorfast. Thread on right says Colorfast (and then in teeny tiny letters) by industry standards. 

Edit:  left to right, oldest, older, and just arrived 

 Random pile to hang up because who doesn't love a lot of thread?

According the Gentle Arts website, we can wash our overdyed threads. See their care instructions here:  Gentle Arts

And turns out Weeks Dye Works has been doing the same. See their info here: 
Weeks Dye Works  

Now I don't want to alarm anyone, but in another trend I've seen, it's that some needlepoint threads are arriving with a dry block only notice on them. I've seen this on both DMC pearl cotton #5 and Vineyard silk. Not on all the threads, just certain ones. 

Really? What's a person to do?

Wash your hands frequently. Use a frame of some sort. Keep your work covered when not stitching. 

I'm not going to let this bother me.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Little Fun

 I have these canvases that I inherited from a friend. I have a few of her works in progress that she didn't get to finish. So I will finish these for her. Because it would make her happy to know someone got joy from what she got joy from. 

So this is the back so you can see that all she had done was the start of the bow.
 I looked at the threads in the bag and decided I needed a darker pearl cotton to go with the overdyed pearl on the bow. By the way, this is a Kathy Shenkel design that has a little felt dolphin that will go in the stocking. These designs are adorable. And kind of addicting.

I slowly started figuring out what to do with her thread choices when I decided that none of the stitches I was trying to do for the dolphin were working. My brain kept telling me packed stem stitch. But my thread was a bit heavy for that. Well, fortunately for me, the House of Embroidery was at the Fredericksburg Quilt Show so I bought some overdyed gray #8 pearl cottons. That's more like it. 

Hope JoAnn likes it.