Friday, August 18, 2017

Thursday-Friday Round Up

I just finished a two day class with Laura Smith called Blue Ridge Harmony. This is a mixed media class involving lutradour, paint, heat tools, respirators, fabric, threads for both machine and hand stitching.

Let's just say way off the grid and out of my comfort zone.

But I thoroughly enjoyed learning new things. And thanks to Merchandise Night, I know own two books on machine embroidery.

Plus I scored some of my favorite older magazines.

And I made a beeline for Allison Cole like many people did. Bought three kits and two books. And will remember this seminar for the fabulous visit we had with Allison while waiting on line for lunch on Thursday. I didn't realize whose hair I was complimenting, then she turned around and we noticed her beautiful pin that she made before we ever saw her name tag. What a lovely person she is.

So one Moxie from a friend to get me through the day and I'm ready to face tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday - Holly Days

A day in which I learn how to do real or nue.

Kay Stanis is a fabulous teacher. Spent the morning doing the prep work - lacing our frame, transferring our pattern, and winding our Koma.

After lunch, it was a slow slog. I managed four rows. Will do better at home with proper lighting and magnification. My turns are terrible, but I will have lots of practice.

Tuesday

More shopping, including a trip to Weaverville to visit Sassy Jacks, a new needlework shop that opened this summer.

Easy to get to, filled with charts, threads, fabrics, and fun stuff! Very charming owner and helpful staff. And they share a wall with a quilt store.

Tuesday night was a mini-class, Summertime Swan. This will grow up to be a card case. Nice use of Rhodes and crescents to make a swan.

Sunday and Monday

Lunch at Woolworth's restored soda fountain shop! And shopping on Sunday. Then off to tour Biltmore on Monday where every inch is spotless and shiny. 

EGA Seminar Blue Ridge Rendezvous

Trip down to Asheville included a stop in Raleigh @ Needlepoint.com

A little retail therapy never hurts. Just threads for me.

Plus a lovely lunch at the Mediterranean cafe across the way.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

August FUN

Tomorrow is all about deadlines and packing.

I just finished two ornaments for the granddaughters. Off to the finisher they go. One deadline met.

Tomorrow I've got magazine deadlines to meet. Should be doable.

But also laundry and packing.

Because bestie and I leave for North Carolina early Saturday morning. We're heading to Asheville for the EGA Seminar.

We're excited! Time to challenge ourselves in classes and hang out with new friends and old friends who all love stitching!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Bunny Finish

Completely adorable Melissa Shirley bunny canvas. Driving a carrot car - ha!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Floor Sighting

Slowly getting things sorted out in my studio. Found all kinds of interesting things including an uncashed paycheck (don't ask.)

I'm trying to make decisions about where things go. And I'd like to decide once and not have to revisit my decisions. Thus I'm taking my time.

First photo is old kitchen cabinets in my studio. Place for TV and DVD player. Blank wall space, too.

My desk which I love, love, love. I can sit here and just stare at the trees. It's big enough to spread out all the parts of a large project and reference materials. And have room leftover for other things.

My new short bookcases need organizing, but that's not a high priority. I've already identified multiple copies of two books.

My closet needs sorting. I really should write a list of all my WIPs. Kind of scary contemplating that.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Transformation

I didn't mean to be away for so long from my blog.

Apologies. Those who don't see me on Facebook, I'm fine. Everything is going smoothly.

The days I thought about writing and didn't, started to add up and then weeks and weeks passed.

I'll try to update everything.

First, here's what I'm trying to accomplish this month. A studio makeover.

I'm starting with removing the wall unit I rescued from the Scarlet Thread when the store closed. It started off living in our basement bar. Then my son and I moved it upstairs when I claimed my daughter's room for my own purposes. It'll take me about 20 trips to get this downstairs. Right now it's in pieces at the top of the stairs. Then on to the curb for pick up tomorrow.

So where did everything go that was in my  room? Into the guest room. Looks like a huge mess, but it really isn't. Next week I should have the new furniture arranged. And I can see how my new setup works.

It's all planned out on graph paper. Lol

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend Workshop

How to have a fun weekend? Have a needlepoint workshop with friends and colleagues.

And because I knew I was giving up weekend time with my honey, he and I went off adventuring on Friday. We visited the Green Valley Book Fair in Mt. Crawford for the first time. And yes I found beading books that I couldn't pass by. My stitching library has reached alarming proportions. But I just can't seem to help myself.

Then we drove a little further south to Verona and the Factory Antique Mall. I could have gone nuts in here, but restrained myself to one pickle dish for a friend and one bowl for me.

And because it had been a long time since breakfast at the Virginia Kitchen in the morning, we finally took a break for food. Back up to Harrisonburg for a lovely German meal at the Black Forest. German restaurants always start us to reminiscing about our three years in Hanau. Beer, schnitzel, and memories.

Which set me up for two days with Ann Strite-Kurz. Our ANG chapter had picked Br-rrr-rdbath for our workshop. We had some pre-work to do to create our wonderful circle. And we started our day with making a pedestal for our birdbath.

I've included photos of Ann's piece and my progress at the end of day one. We had two delightful days contemplating this Charley Harper design that Ann created twenty plus years ago. His work is so timeless. I'd love to write more but it's time to get to work!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Bunny Finish

One splendid pink bunny driving a carrot car. I had so much fun stitching this that I will go back and purchase one or two more of this series from Melissa Shirley Designs. 

 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Stitching and Flying

I flew to Europe working on a 13ct ornament. Nothing exciting. Just basketweave.

But then I started this Melissa Shirley bunny driving a carrot car. Too cute. I have everything I need in one gallon size plastic bag. Canvas mounted on bars. Appropriate magnet. A Walker bag with my threads. A Trish Vine fabric tray to contain my orts and threads and scissors. Just making it up as I go along. The only thing I don't have is my Bunka brush to fuzz up my bunny.

No problems at all flying international with my little scissors.

More progress coming as we cross the  Atlantic.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Last Night

We are about to go to our last dinner in Venice. Tomorrow we arise, have breakfast, and get on a boat to Marco Polo International.

It's been grand. And I mean grand. I've got a thousand photos on my large camera and three hundred more here on my phone. I have memories of games and hugs and kisses to last me until I see my little girls again.

Arrivederci.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Trip

We are fortunate to have two wonderful granddaughters and we are in the middle of our first visit with the littler bug. She's six months old and loves to smile. And jump. And roll. And the older bug hasn't forgotten us at all in the year and a half they've been gone. She's as brilliant as the sun.

Which brings us to Italy.

Where I've seen some interesting needlework in interesting places. But those photos aren't on my phone so we'll have to wait. Meanwhile enjoy the scenery.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bracelet with Bling

One more off to the finisher. This is an Ann Wheat bracelet with her stitch guide. I used my own threads and followed the stitches for the most part.

I originally intended to finish this myself until I saw a leather backed bracelet. Love that. So off it goes.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ornaments

Two ornaments back from the finisher. One is an ANG Chapter Project Book of a poinsettia on congress cloth that we first painted. Design by Joni Stephenson. I added the blue. It's all laid fillings so I learned a lot.

The other one is a painted design by Mile High Princess called Nasal Congestion. Stitches and threads are all mine.

And if the photo shows up, it's Pierre. A French snowman from the Princess and Me. Stitch slightly modified.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Casalguidi

How many years have I had this Shining Needle Society class piece? I think this was the first or second class I took. It's by Jane Ellen Bauzelweit.

I had fun proving to myself that I could do this. I added the hem stitching. It was meant to be an Altoids tin topper. I don't know what I'll do with it, but it's done.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Happy Dancing for a Finish

Finally. Finally finished my turtle canvas by Julie Pischke. And yes, I still need to attach it to the bag.

On this one I looked. I bought it in March of 2011. Only 6 years to stitch. What an idiot I am.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Finally Framing

I have a feeling that I could look back on this blog to find out when I stitched this piece. I'm going to guess 2005 or 2006. I just framed it this year.

It's no secret around here that some of us needleworkers love our framers at Total Framing. I've slowly been digging into my finished, but unframed box. And bringing things to them for their transformation. If you're in the area of northern Virginia, go see them at either location, Fairfax or Chantilly. I've been really  happy with everything they've framed for me and my friends.

I believe this is a Bent Creek piece that originally said Long Winter. Which just seemed like a bad idea to me so I changed the words. I may have freely substituted threads and fabric. I honestly don't remember.

And I love this reclaimed wood frame. Sets it off perfectly.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Shop Girl Fun

Few things working in a needlepoint shop are more fun than helping someone pick out threads for a painted canvas.

Sometimes business is slow and you can devote all the time in the world. Other times you need to speed up the process.

I'm pretty confident of my color sense. Which helps when you're trying to do this quickly. But it's a real challenge when someone wants to perfectly match some colors. (Purples are notorious for not having enough to choose from especially if someone won't strand threads.)

You have to read your customer. Will they strand? Does it need to be flat, shiny, or fluffy? What are they willing to work with. Some people automatically reject certain threads they've had bad experiences with. I don't blame them. Tell me I need to use a rayon based thread and I have fits. But eventually I'll calm down and use it carefully.

So it's always good when new threads come in. This week I got to put up the new shades of Rainbow Gallery's Silk Lame. Pictured is the 18ct. But they also come in 13ct and Petite.

And here's the new colors of Glisten also from Rainbow Gallery, a merino wool with a shiny metallic. I'm looking forward to trying this. And I've got the perfect project to use it on.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tiki Love

I took this Raymond Crawford canvas to Camp with me. Because I wanted to fix his nose.

I had originally stitched it with an orange Vineyard silk in an overlapping kind of fishbone stitch. So I carefully removed that. Did a little padding with #5 pearl cotton and then satin stitched over it with Neon Rays. Way better.

Also filled in the sides a smidge with white to get a solid, unbroken line.

Now it will be off for finishing.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Slow But Here

Here's a photo of a Camp start and finish. Only took about two hours. It's a pendant designed for the EGA seminar in Asheville in 2017.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Camp Wannastitch

Once a year 170 or so stitchers descend on Ocean City for a four day weekend.

This is the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Embroiderers' Guild of America retreat.

We arrive with a circle of friends that grows every year. We laugh, we talk, we eat, we stitch from the wee hours of the morning until the wee hours of the next morning. (Not everyone, of course) We walk on the beach, we go shopping. We share things new and old. We ring a bell for our Camp finishes and get showered with applause and cheers. We get asked for advice and we ask for advice. We have so much fun we want to stay longer!

My photos are of one Judy giving another Judy a quilt she won from the raffle at the Woodlawn Needlework Show. And a sunset because beach!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

Not too much stitching today. I settled on making progress with the boring sky on this Cooper Oaks version of the Warren Kimble winter season.

Yes. I do have all four seasons. Not a priority. Just stitching now and then. But if I finish this one, I'll feel motivated to keep going and get them framed.