Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Exhibit in Texas

"Not Your Granny's Needlepoint"

These sound like lovely, creative people. Too bad they had to go there with the name...

It's in Wichita Falls, Texas which is not readily apparent from reading the article.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Strawberry Sampler

Not the best photo...

Earth Threads piece that was published in a magazine in the 1990s. I didn't finish it till 1999, but I know I started it before then.

I was the one who asked  Betsy for a Blueberry Sampler as a companion piece. Which I have in my stash.

Earth Threads

Back in the 1990s, I had a span of time when I stopped stitching. I had offered to stitch someone a gift and they chose a large piece that I hated and it took all the joy out of stitching.

About 18 months later I came back to my then small stash -  it all fit in a dresser drawer quite comfortably. I became quite active on the AOL cross stitch boards. Unraveling Threads was a favorite place to hang out.  But one special board was formed for the fans of Betsy Stinner. The Earth Threads board had a group of over 100 diehard Betsy fans. Betsy herself would even stop by and post.

My first piece using overdyed threads was Betsy so Strawberry Sampler.  I love her well-designed band samplers. So many stitches to learn.  In fact,  this piece has the first queen stitches I ever did.

I have maybe a dozen of her charts? I still want to stitch most of them. I'm  sorry I never got to take a class with her. Her illness got in the way the one time I  was going to. I'm  sorry she has lost her battle with breast  cancer. I will always  think of her with tremendous fondness.

Betsy C. Stinner Obituary: View Betsy Stinner's Obituary

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sampler Time

Just in case anyone is thinking that I've gone over to canvas side full-time, here's a sampler post. 

We are doing a marvelous project at the Loudoun Sampler Guild which is a year-long mystery sampler. We have volunteers from within the group designing a band a month. Our first band was provided by Betsy Morgan, who is our programs chair. 

 Thus this is my stitching of the January band. All done except for the horse. Because I keep thinking I'm going to add a fox and will need room to place him. That explains that kind of blank area in the middle.

What we are doing, is getting the design, then choosing our own colors, maybe our own stitches, and in general tweaking things if we want to.

After we received this band in January, we had a programs meeting where no one tried to fight me for the opportunity to design a band for February. I had something in mind, which is why I volunteered. 

 Thus this our February design by me. There's a bit of the March border on top of my band...

I knew about certain samplers that had bargello bits in them. In fact, in the Feller book, Volume 1, there's a sampler in the last section that has two bands somewhat like this, with a glowing words about Queen Anne in the middle. I was not going to be praising the Queen here in the U.S. And I started looking for quotes. I couldn't find anything needlework related that I could make fit in the space I was allotting. And then I tumbled across this quote by Claude Monet. It's absolutely perfect for me. 

A sharp eye might notice that my two sides are not equal. There's more on the left than the right. That's what happens when you design on the fly. I started stitching this band with the word torment and worked my way up. I didn't realize my problem until I hit the Color line and by then I was not frogging all that over one lettering. (Note: when I made my chart, I corrected this problem. Mine will be the only unevenly balanced piece, unless someone else makes a mistake.) 

When the year ends we'll have some very unique projects. At the March meeting I got to see some wonderful variations on my bargello band. They shrunk. They morphed. The color choices are magnificent. Truly amazing stuff. 


What I am doing right now. Avoiding work. Being quite successful at it, too. I've caught up on my blog reading. Now I'll do my blog writing. And then, I absolutely, positively must get to work. Or I'll have no one to blame but myself for the problems that will ensue. LOL

My Moxie canvas update:

I was here yesterday. All threads gathered, canvas painted, plan in my mind.

 I got to here last night:

 I'm outlining my letters with a very dark navy Vineyard silk. Oh how I love Vineyard silk on 18ct canvas. So easy to work with. 

Moxie is truly a regional product. If you didn't grow up in New England or possibly in an area of Pennsylvania, you have no idea what Moxie is. First of all, despite the orange can, that is not its flavor. It looks like a cola, but tastes nothing like a cola. It's slightly bitter. And this may help explain why there are six different bottles of bitters on our bar right now - Bittermens' Burlesque being my current favorite. But that's another story. 

Another interesting fact is that most of you are familar with moxie as a word. Well, the soda is where the word originates! 

noun Slang.
vigor; verve; pep.
courage and aggressiveness; nerve.
skill; know-how.
1925–30,  Americanism; after Moxie,
 a trademark (name of a soft drink)
Yes. We do a tiny bit of Moxie memorabilia at our house. A couple of tin signs and a couple of old bottles. My favorite is the sign that says "What this country needs is plenty of Moxie." 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

All Set Up and Ready to Stitch

Look I grabbed the photo off my own facebook page. LOL So it's not the best photo. 

But I'm all set to commence stitching. Good thing that I love the color orange. Otherwise this could get ugly. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Project

I've got a new project and this one is personally quite exciting to me. In fact, it had me dancing in my chair yesterday afternoon. 

 A week or so ago, I had one can of our dwindling supply of Moxie. Now if you aren't from New England, you have probably never run across this beverage. Or if you have encountered it after reaching adulthood, you probably thought it was disgusting. 

It doesn't taste like any other soda. And we buy a 12-pack or two every time we are home in New Hampshire. (Note: we don't drink soda my house. Except for the occasional Moxie.)

For those of us die-hard Moxie fans who grew up on the stuff, there is nothing else in the world like it. 

On a rainy afternoon:  tomato soup, grilled cheese, and Moxie equals nirvana. It's a cherished childhood memory of both me and my hubby. Our kids appreciate Moxie, which may mean that this obsession is heriditary. We have even been owned by a cat we named Moxie. 

While drinking that particular can, I suddenly had a thought about creating my own canvas. I left the can on counter and mulled my options for a few days. 

Then last week, while talking to DH as we sat in our respective comfy chairs in the living room, my eyes fell on the framed sheet music that his parents had given him.


Thus, I took the shee music and the can and created this:

Which I put on my lightbox and transferred to a piece of 18 ct mono canvas.

Yes. Somewhere along the way in this process I picked up some orange threads. And some navy blue to outline the letters. And I've got the white in my stash. 

A quick trip to Michaels during which I snagged some orange acrylic paint. DH wanted to know why I had to paint the canvas orange. That's because I'm going to be stitching there with orange threads and don't want any white showing through - in needlepoint parlance this is called dandruff. 

And thus we have one handpainted by me canvas. Which I can't start stitching on because wouldn't you know I don't have the correct size stretcher bars in my house. But I'll remedy that soon.

And a big P.S. Surgery won't be until April. So much for "urgent." But I will get to check out the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that is a the combination of the old Walter Reed Hospital and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. How exciting. (Holding up a sign that says "sarcasm" now.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Mistakes all fixed. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Backwards Sigh Again

Lately I've been going through more than my fair share of frogging. Taking out because the color is wrong. Taking out because the count is off.

It's getting old.

And maybe I know why this happening. Maybe I haven't been feelling my best. Maybe I've been a tiny bit distracted.

So very soon that pesky little gall bladder and I will be parting company.

And after I get over the pain meds maybe I'll be able to concentrate again.

Here's a photo of my latest frogging. I went too far with my rice stitches in green on the bottom. That's 25 rice stitches that are in the process of removal. The good news is this is only a couple of hours till it's done.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

March UFO

It's March so I unearthed this UFO. It's a Sekas & Co. piece that was meant to be stitched on fabric. But I decided for some reason to stitch it on 18 ct canvas.

I don't remember exactly when I started this - 2 or 3 years ago?

I had stopped before the line of shamrocks because I thought I was going to do something else there. But when I picked it up this week, I saw no need to change things.

I'm using three threads from my stash. The green is a Carrie's Creations overdyed floss. The gold floss is Olde Willow Stitchery "Society of Friends Gold." And a gold Kreinik #12 braid.

I had some other threads with this but I hadn't used them on the top and probably won't on the bottom.

It's been interesting doing the

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Tree Top

Moving along. On Wednesday I was contemplating my tree top. So I asked my facebook friends if they thought I should do basketweave or closely cropped turkeywork.

I was leaning towards turkeywork when it hit me that I could do knots. By the time I shut off the computer and got myself into my stitching chair, someone on facebook  had already suggested French knots.

Here's the tree top. I had fun. I like knots.