Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Lotta Pillows

I think I've officially reached the point where I need to stop needlepointing pillows. This creates a bit of a "Problem," as I have also reached the point where I need to stop needlepointing pictures for the walls. In fact, my ANG SOTM is almost finished--I just have this month's finishing work to do--& I think I am stalling a little, as I have no idea where I'm going to put it. There's nothing else oriental in my house.....leaving me at a bit of a loss as to what to do with this gorgeous kimono. I do remember saying this to myself as I dithered over whether or not to do the mystery SOTM. But it is so beautiful....

Oh, wait a minute! I purchased a few miniature kimonos by Lee a few months ago, when we all thought they were going out of business. So maybe I'll make an "Eastern" area in my house---somewhere.

So. Back to the pillows. My Tuscan pillow came back (surprise!) from the finisher. I added it to my bedroom pillows. I took some photos of some of my bedroom pillows for you. Can you see the crystals on the fringe of the Tuscan pillow? Cara especially finds these attractive. I am not amused by her attraction.
We had a snowstorm here last night, about a foot. Last night I did all the prep work for a terrific slow cooker beef stew--plugged it in a little while ago. My daughter has her two friends from college here, & they're having a mini-reunion. There are quite a few wine bottles in the recycling bin. And I think there were margaritas at some point last night.
I have to get to wrapping....Christmas is almost here! Wrapping will then tell me what I forgot...oh, boy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Return from Lunacy

It has been insane around here since Thanksgiving week. I told Linda on Friday that I was actually eating dinner at home with my husband and daughter for the first time in eleven days. Not that we haven't seen each other, but we just haven't all been at the same place at the same time for almost two weeks. So sometimes I've been alone (rarely), oftentimes with my husband, and occasionally with my daughter.

Virtually no stitching has gone on, & my DVR is ready to explode.

But this week does look better. We should only be out 3 nights this week (did I say only?).

Next weekend Ashley's friends are all coming to celebrate Christmas & her friend Chris' birthday, so I am sure things will be quiet & peaceful then too. :)

Did I mention that I really DO love Christmas?

(Although the annoying woman in Marshall's on Friday morning, when I was trying to get some shopping done, I could have done without.)

The tree is up. The new needlepoint tree is also up. Ashley felt we needed a second tree for the family room downstairs, that we could dedicate to needlepoint ornaments. The big tree upstairs is almost 12 feet tall, and we have so many ornaments, she did not want the needlepoint ornaments to get lost. The big tree is filled with the oldest ornaments (many are as old as I am--my birthday is November 24, & I think my mother & grandmother were so excited to have a girl, they bought every pink ornament sold that year. We have tons of them! You can see them on the big tree. Of course we have lots ornaments acquired over the years, and like Linda, I love the memories that go along with them. So that the needlepoint ornaments did not get lost in the shuffle, we gave them their own new home. Which is nice because we do spend a lot of time in the family room too. The tree is right next to where I sit & stitch....when I sit & stitch!

The house is filled with Christmas things. I can't believe how much Christmas stuff we have. Every year we seem to have more & more. You can see Ashley's 1st stocking--stitched while I was still pregnant with her, from a Bucilla kit--as well as the stockings I made for all 3 of us last year.

I also posted a photo of my Lladro nativity. This is why I can't do Amy's nativity, despite my admiration of the canvases & their stitching. My very good friend Kathy gave me this Lladro set. We spend every Christmas Eve & Christmas Day with Kathy. Kathy's mother, Katie, was my daughter's sitter until my daughter was 4. We were very close to Katie & Kathy, & I always admired the Lladro nativity. When we moved into this house, Kathy gave us this beautiful set. It has a place of honor on the 2nd floor bridge, and you can see it as soon as you walk into the house.

I have more finAdd Imageishing to show you, which I will save for later in the week. Enjoy!


Monday, December 7, 2009

The Tree is Up

Here are pictures of my decorated Christmas tree. I decided to take one picture with the lights off - thought it would show off the ornaments better. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love bringing out everything that has been put away and remembering all the memories that each one has. My tree is basically a Hallmark Christmas tree except for my needlepoint ornaments. Every year since my daughter was born. I bought a daughter ornament for her and my husband bought me a mom ornament and I bought him a dad ornament. The tree is filled with such wonderful memories of Jennifer growing up. Hallmark had a stitching series of ornaments and I bought one every year that they had this series. I love all my stitching ornaments. Then friends bought me friendship ornaments and they hold a special place in heart.
I decorate so early so I can enjoy all the loving memories for the whole Christmas season. After all that is what Christmas is all about.
Hope your home is also filled with such loving memories.
I will be trying out some new cookies recipes and if they are really good I will share them with you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Magi of the Orient Arrived

My Nativity is now complete for this year. The Magi of the Orient arrived yesterday and he was immediately placed on the mantel. He is my favorite Magi. I love his colors and his long braid. Cannot wait until next year when my mantel will be filled with all twelve pieces. I am still working on the elephant. Am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Hope to be able to start the donkey by next week and the shepherd has already arrived.
The last picture is of my advent tree. I stitched small Princess and Me ornaments for this tree.
Christmas has arrived. As soon as we put up our tree, I will post pictures of it with all my needlepoint ornaments.
Amy has all the information on her website about the new Home Study Class, the "Halloweenies". It will be starting in February - so I have to really get the Nativity done so I am ready to start. Cannot wait to see the magic Amy works and all the new exciting threads she will be using. If you have not done a Home Study, you really should seriously think about doing one. Not only are you learning new techniques and composite stitches, you are also working with all different types of threads. Some you will love and be so very happy to have a new thread to use on your projects and others you will tolerate using but probably will not use again.
Off to work on the elephant.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Beautiful New Kitchen

Here are pictures of my new kitchen. The first picture is of my sink area. I have glass cabinets above the sink that I put in my small collection of tea pots. Also on the wall you can see two of my needlepoint Italian scenes. The second picture is of my stove area. I love my new stove. It is very high tech. It tells me when to check the food. The third picture is of my refrigerator area. On this wall I have a pull out pantry and my pull out drawers for my pots. The fourth picture is a view from the kitchen into the family room. The last picture is a view from the island area in the family room into the kitchen. We decided that we did not want our table and chairs any more and decided to add this counter height area for eating. The cabinet matches my kitchen cabinets and holds all my holiday dishes. The granite top is the same as the kitchen. I love the stools we got from Frontgate. They match the wood pieces in the family perfectly. There is nothing I would change in the kitchen. I am totally happy with everything. We still have to have some work done in it. The painter has to come back to do some touch up work and the carpenter has to come back to replace the panel that holds the lighting over the sink. The wood split within a day of installation.
Just heard from Amy's and my third Magi is on his way. Will post a picture of my completed Nativity when he arrives.
Check out Amy's December newsletter. Yes, it is out. Some really great items to get for your stitching friends. The bead tower and parking spot for your laying are only two great items to chose from. Have fun shopping. I know I did.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Nativity

I have posted pictures of my Nativity display for Christmas. I decided to place the pieces on my mantel since it is in my family room and I can enjoy the Nativity from my kitchen and also the family room. The third Magi (Magi of the Orient) should be arriving any day from Amy and I will post another picture of the Nativity with all the finished pieces. I am so pleased to finally have a Nativity to display. Next year the whole mantel will be filled with all twelve pieces.
I am very proud of these pieces. Thank you to Kelly Clark for her beautiful canvases and to Amy Bunger for bringing the canvases to life.
After almost a month, I am finally starting to feel better. I had two set backs after surgery but seen to finally be on the road to recovery. I still have to be careful with my knee since the surgeon had to remove some of the stitches so that the wound could drain. Since I have an open wound, I have to be careful not to put too much stress on it. This was not too easy since I decorate the day after Thanksgiving and had to go up the attic to get everything down. My daughter and husband helped so that made it much easier. Thank you to everyone for all your well wishes.
Hope to post more pictures on Monday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Thanksgiving's approach has me reflecting on the many things I am thankful for in my life. So, a list:

My darling daughter, who lights up a room for me when she's there. I could write posts endlessly about her, so....
My dear husband, who never blinks when he sees me walk in with another bag from the LNS, or cheerfully tells me "there's a package here from a needlepoint store."
For my Stitching Sister, Linda, who is finally getting better & never complains--even when I do it for her.
For my Stitching Sister, Linda, for her infinite patience with everyone & a generosity of spirit & enthusiasm which amaze me every single time I speak to her.
For my stitching niece, Jen, for her talent & discipline, I am always so impressed.
For my kittens, Cara & Mia, who are confident they are the center of the universe--& have learned to leave Mommy's stitching stuff alone.
For my other family members, who are finally getting how much I love to stitch, & have stopped saying, "oh, how do you have time for that knitting?"
For my family members who immediately respond when someone says something like that, by saying, "It's needlepoint, & she's so good at it. We are so lucky when she makes something for one of us."
For my Nanny, who taught me how to hold a needle, & for my Nonna Teresa, & my great grandmothers, who I never met, but who had skills that passed to me as evidenced by the lovely work I have from all of them.
For my father, & grandfather, who, like my dear husband, always said, "That looks great, Denise."
For my mother, who was completely incapable of even sewing a button, yet still got me my requested sewing machine for my 13th birthday....& never ceased to be amazed at my interest in all things stitching.
For all my cyberspace buddies that I have met through this blog, & theirs, & their fabulous creativity.
For Jane of Chilly Hollow, the master enabler.
For Amy & Ruth & Marina & Theresa & the many other shop owners & workers who spend their day making my hobby their passion, & the reason I get through my work day & onto my couch at night.
For Spinster Stitcher, for making me laugh out loud so often.
For my local needlepoint store, Stitch by Stitch, for always having something for me to cast my eye upon.
For all the many other excellent needlepoint shops I have seen with my Stitching Sister, like Edwardian Needle, Fireside, Rittenhouse, Beadecked & Bedazzled, Ridgewood and so many others that I have come to love visiting like an old friend.
For my Stitching Sister who will drive anywhere with me.
For teachers like Tony Minieri & Sharon G & David McCaskill who give so much of themselves every time they look at a canvas.
For Sharon G for bringing my beautiful Ponza to canvas.

And for all of you...getting through this sentimental post!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Friday, November 13, 2009

On the Road to Recovery, Hopefully

I have been so busy for the past six weeks that I have not stitched, checked out the needlepoint blogs or my emails.

After the kitchen renovation, I was scheduled for minor surgery. I have had a cyst below my knee for awhile and the past year it kept getting infected. The doctor would drain it and a couple of months later I was back for the same thing. After the third time, it was recommended that I have the cyst removed. Off to the surgeon I went, like a good little girl. Surgery was scheduled or Monday, November 9. It was out patient surgery. I arrived at the hospital at 8:30AM for registration and surgery was scheduled for 9:30. The surgeon was running late so my surgery actually took place at 10:30.

I kept telling myself that it would not be too bad but I was really very nervous about it. I did not like the idea of being awake and knowing what was going on. To my amazement, I was allowed to keep on my street clothes and just had a surgical gown, booties and cap put on.
Everyone is talking and finally my doctor arrives in the operating room. First words out of his mouth are, "This has gotten a lot bigger since the last time I saw you". Now my first wave of panic sets in. Finally, they inject the area around my cyst. I think okay now we have to wait a couple of minutes for it to take effect. Wrong. Surgery begins immediately. I knew as soon as the first incision was not. Not that it was painful but you could feel everything that was being done. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would say the my pain was about a 4 or 5. I asked for more medication but either they did not hear me or ignored. So I just held my breathe. That really got their attention. Everyone is yelling at the same time breathe, breathe. Unknown to me, my holding my breathe caused my blood pressure to sky rocket. I said okay but give me more medication, which they immediately did. Surgery took only thirty minutes. I thought there would be some down time but no I was immediately released. I was home by 11:30.

The next day, I started running a fever. It started and 100 and rose through out the day. I called the surgeon's office (of course after hours) and he immediately called me back. Told me to come to the office on Thursday (no hours on Wednesday). My DH offered to go with me on Thursday but being the stoic person that I am I told him I was capable of driving my self the 10 blocks. Big mistake. As soon as the surgeon took a look at my leg he said, "This is not good". I said that it looked worse yesterday. He said again "This is not good". I told him that incision looked really good. Meantime the area around the incision is all red. He removed the dressing I had put on and immediately said, "I see what the problem is". Unknown to me the only thing I do fast is heal. The skin had already closed and did not allow any opening for the wound to drain. So now he takes out a stitch, makes an opening for the wound to drain, and beings to drain the wound. I now have a piece of gauze in the opening to hold the wound open so it can drain. Am on a mega dose of antibiotic that I have to take twice a day that is going to do a number on my stomach and have to try to keep my leg elevated as much as possible. I go back on Tuesday for him to check out everything.

I am feeling much better. Everyday I was light headed and dizzy and today is the first day I feel almost back to normal. Hopefully, I will be able to do some stitching. Now I am going to sit down with my leg up and read my Needlepoint Now Magazine that just arrived. Just at a quick glance I already saw things that I know are going to get me in trouble.

I promise that in the next few days, I will post pictures of finishing I have gotten back, progress on Ruth's Merry Christmas Mystery Class and Jen's baby bedding.

Oh, I almost forget my kitchen is just beautiful. I absolutely love it and will post pictures of it too.

Off to rest.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where have the Stitching Sisters Gone??!

Where, oh where are the Stitching Sisters?
Here we are! Or, at least, here I am. I can provide a report to what I've been doing, as well as the status of my missing sister, Linda, as well.
First, Linda. She is just about out of kitchen renovation HELL (it looks GORGEOUS, I am SOOOO jealous). Just a few missing cabinet doors, lights to be swapped out, switch plates, painting touch ups, etc. Linda did not cope well with the chaos of the past month. I can't say that I would have coped well either, but she really had a hard time ignoring the mess every night, and has spent the past few weeks cleaning, wiping, vacuuming over & over & over. I can ignore dust far better than Linda. Of course her first visitor was yours truly, and as soon as I got there, I pulled on a handle to look at what I thought was a drawer & pulled it right off ---I wanted to DIE. The carpenter quickly scurried away as soon as he fixed it---I am sure he will never come back if I am there again.
I am sure as soon as she fully recouperates from this exhausting project, she will have lots more to tell you & show you. She has been stitching intermittently, & did show me her next 3--or was it 4 projects in her line up. The chaos, & her being tired from cleaning all the time, has made it hard for her to concentrate on stitching. She is, after all, working on the challenging Nativity pieces from Amy. They are stupendous in person, but as Linda will tell you, require your full attention.
In the interim, I did, as promised, a few more little projects. One went to my LNS without a photo--it was another of my teeny ornaments. The other two projects I finished are seen above. The first is an adorable canvas that was a gift to my daughter from Jody of Jody Designs. Jody graciously sent this canvas to me when I ordered those bookend canvases that I did this summer while recovering from the infamous gall bladder-hernia surgery. This was done completely from stash, with the lovely Vineyard Silks for the "ball" & some Silk & Ivory for the criss cross hungarian for the "a;" a little Kreinik for the top. And those beads were in the stash closet as well.
The other project is my hope that winter won't last too long. As I packed away (most--not all) of my flip flops, I decided to do this canvas for my Switch Flops. There are two cute little fish buttons that will be attached by the finisher. I am hopeful that their return from the finisher, perhaps in February, will signal that winter plans on ending soon.
I can dream, can't I? I know. I live in NY. Last year we had the heat on for Memorial Day weekend.
Tomorrow I am going to Edwardian Needle for my Tony Minieri class--probably without my Stitching Sister, as she was feeling a bit under the weather earlier.
Perhaps after I get my threads I will post some Ponza photos. I have a crazy weekend ahead though....oh oh!

Friday, October 30, 2009

What I did while I stalled

I am slightly stalled in my Ponza seacoast project as I need some threads from Edwardian Needle. I am going there on the 11th & really can't get there much before that. Sharon G made some excellent suggestions for threads, so before I move forward I have some shopping to do. I intend to do a little work on the border next week, & I've done as much of the sky as I think I can for now.

So, in the interim, I picked up another project from my stash. I love this! I think I got this at a trunk show at a cute little store in Southhampton, NY. I got most of the threads at Edwardian (Pam is a genius). Silk 'N Colors for the white petals (diamond pavilion) & the leaves (satin), some outrageous thread that I had never seen before for the orange border. Some Splendor (two shades) for the blue tent stitched background. Kreinik for outlining emphasis. And, of course---ribbons! I got the idea for the diamond pavilions from the canvas shown on the rear cover of the current Needlepoint Now. I like all my stitch selections.

I am going to try to do a few small pieces in the next week or so, as I wait to get to Edwardian. Have a great weekend!!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Overused Word

As I was finishing this canvas, a survey was reported that Americans found this to be one of the most overused words in the language. Makes sense, then, that there's a canvas for it, right?

I originally saw this canvas, by Renaissance Designs, in black in Fireside Stitchery. My daughter loved it, but of course wanted it in pink. It was special ordered for her & came with threads & a stitch guide by Marina Ketterman (of Fireside). In theory it was hers to stitch, but since she wanted it for her newly painted room, you know who this got assigned to, right?

This was really fun to stitch. The background stitch really makes this canvas pop. It was done in a Sparkle Braid in a hearts darning pattern. The border is done with a Double Hungarian using Very Velvet & Waterlilies. There's a different stitch on each letter, and beads on some of them as well. I did change one or two things on the stitch guide. I find it hard to work Petite Velvet on 18 in any kind of smallish diagonal stitch, like Nobuko (which I find annoys me sometimes) or Diagonal Mosaic (which never does). The finishing touch, in my opinion, is the outline stitch around each letter in Kreinik braid.
I am continuing to work on my next Ponza canvas, which I am working up with Sharon G in the Shining Needle Society class. This class is such a terrific idea; the opportunity to work with the designer on a canvas--incredible.
I will need some more threads for the Ponza canvas, which necessitates a run to Edwardian Needle. I will probably just wait until my Tony M class on November 11 to get the balance of the threads; Sharon just gave me some excellent suggestions. So in the interim I have a little canvas I worked up (almost done, photo sometime this week). And I just got my package from the Shining Needle Society Baskets class--this looks like there are lots of stitches I will use here! This class starts on November 1. Also on November 1, the second to last stitch will be revealed for the ANG SOTM kimono. I will have plenty to do between now & my Edwardian visit.
For those of you concerned about my stitching sister, Linda is caught up in renovation hell. She is not happily handling the chaos & mess of this pains me to hear her misery! But I can't wait to see it done! I have restrained myself from visiting during construction. Every once in a while she gets in a little stitching. But she spends a lot of her day as the carpenter's assistant. I think they (and she) will be done with the bulk of the work in the next 2 weeks. I think even one thing out of place will drive her crazy though. My prescription: she needs at least two uninterrupted weeks in her sewing room after this is over.
Stitch away!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Completed Ponza Canvas

I finished the first of the Ponza canvases last weekend. Here you can see a close up of the rocks & foliage from the upper left side of the canvas.

I am very pleased with the way the whole canvas came out. Tony Minieri did a terrific job on the stitch guide. I saw Tony this week at the Techniques class that Linda & I are taking with Tony at The Edwardian Needle, & I brought this canvas along for him to see the finished item. I think Tony was happy with my work & proudly showed our class the canvas. He made sure to emphasize that Sharon G did this, & the other Ponza canvases from the photos I sent her from my home in Ponza. I did blush. ;)
I did not get to Ponza this year; I wish I did. This ocean scene is very representative of the beauty of the island, as are the other Sharon G canvases. Tonight I will start on the next of the Ponza scenes, a sunset. The link to that canvas is It is canvas DPW-02. I started my online class with Sharon through the Shining Needle Society on Wednesday of this past week. I love Sharon's work, & so I signed up for the year long class. I am already enjoying the class immensely.
BTW, I did break down & add the Fireside Vintage Ornaments Club. These were just too beautiful to resist, DESPITE the fact that I SWORE I had done more than enough Christmas ornaments for a while.
I actually finished another canvas this afternoon & will post a photo of that...perhaps tomorrow.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Reply & A New Club or Two

Hi! There's been quite a bit of blogger silence from me lately. I have been furiously busy at work, & I finished a needlepoint project that I can't show you, as it's a surprise gift for someone. On the other hand, Ponza is finished, so I plan to post a photo of that this weekend.

I do have some news for you. After I posted the Painter's Windowbox canvas, I got quite a few inquiries as to the designer. I didn't know, as it was a canvas I picked up in the sale bin at Ridgewood Needlepoint. Fortunately, Eileen Aird, Ridgewood's owner recognized the canvas & the designer. It appears that Painter's Windowbox was designed by Jean Smith Designs. I contacted Jean & she told me: "DENISE - YES, THAT WINDOW BOX DESIGN IS MINE. IF WE HAVE THE RIGHT ONE, IT IS 8 INCHES SQUARE AND IS PART OF A SERIES. THEY HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED FOR SOME TIME. I DO HAVE 4 WINDOW BOX DESIGNS NOW. THEY ARE 14 INCHES SQUARE ON 13 MESH."

Her web site is filled with lovely flower designs; go see for yourself:

And, last night, after a VERY long day, I got home to find a lovely newsletter from Fireside Stitchery. They have some new canvas clubs starting up. What's nice about Fireside is that you can just pick a few from a club if you'd like. You can find their new clubs here:

I am particularly eyeing a couple of those "Meowy Christmas" canvases & the Vintage Christmas Ornaments are just lovely.

It's not just Jane in Chilly Hollow who enables, you know ;)

xx Denise

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What is better than needlepoint?

My daughter, Jen, is expecting her first child in February. Being a grandmother is better than needlepoint. We have known for a while about the baby but I did not want to announce our joyous news too soon. As you can imagine, we are all on cloud nine. I am looking for canvases to stitch. Jen is very particular about what she wants. She does not want any baby canvases. If a girl, she is looking for canvases with dresses, a monogram pillow, teddy bears. If a boy, she is looking for boy outfits, teddy bears and if I can persuade her maybe trucks and trains. The baby's room will not have a baby theme. She has made all her own bedding for the baby. The color scheme is green and cream. I will post pictures of her bedding as soon as I can get all my boxes of kitchen supplies out of the way.
I will be watching the baby once Jen goes back to work. Jen is a psychologist and works for a school district so she will be off from February 2010 until September 2010. So come next September I will have my precious grandchild. Jen has already registered the baby and me for Italian school. They accept children starting at 6 months. Our LNS want us to come and visit so they can all play with the baby. I will find out from the local library what if any story hours they have for a 6 - 7 month old, ans Jen also is also thinking about signing us up for baby yoga. I am going to be very busy. Looking forward to this new phase of my life.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Creche Arrived

The Creche arrived for my Nativity. Here is a picture of the Blessed Family in it. I had to take the picture on the floor since it was the only clear spot I could find in the house. Jen and I bought ordered this Creche from Lenox. Jen will probably keep hers but I am going to do the Kelly Clark backdrop Creche for the Nativity - so mine will be only temporary. I am very pleased with the workmanship on the Creche. If anyone is interested in ordering one, the order number is 086859, the price is $49.99 and I ordered it from Lenox (1-800-225-1779).
Progress on the kitchen is really coming along. Cabinets are being hung and hopefully will be done by tomorrow or Saturday. Crown molding cannot be put up until the electrician does the under cabinet lighting. I am extremely happy with my choice of cabinets. I am always afraid that what I choose will not look right but it all is working out fine.
Off to work on the Elephant. Progress is slow since I am cleaning up after the carpenter leaves and am just exhausted.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Progress Is Being Made

Here is a picture of my monogram canvas. Just a small amount is stitched in the right hand corner. I am back to working on the Elephant. I think he is going to be my favorite piece in the Nativity. He is so regal. I am still working on the background for the Elephant. Hopefully within the next day or two I get to stitch the Elephant himself.
Progress is coming along in the kitchen. All the demolition work is done. The electrical work is next before the walls are closed up. Cabinets are being delivered tomorrow. Hopefully, they will be able to start putting them in on Thursday. Granite is scheduled to be measured on Monday and appliances delivered shortly thereafter. I asked the Pete, the carpenter, if I would be done by Halloween. Hopefully yes was his answer. It is going to take me a good month to get my house back in order. Hoping to be able to get some of the heavy cleaning done during the down time of waiting for the granite.
I was able to talk my husband out of keeping the old cabinets. They are now out of the family room and on the deck waiting to be hauled away. One less mess to take care.
Off to do some paper work and then hopefully stitch.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Renovation Has Begun

As you can see from the pictures, renovation has begun. The first picture is my view from the sewing room into my family room. My DH has decided to keep all the old kitchen cabinets, now being put into the family room. With the encouragement of Pete, our carpenter, he decided to put some into the garage for storage/work table and some in the utility room for storage. Like I really want the old cabinets filling up the family room. The only good thing is that they have to be out before Thursday since the new cabinets are coming and they are going into the family room. The second picture is part of my living room. The living room is the furniture warehouse for the dining room, family room and of course the living room furniture. The dining room is going to be the warehouse for the new appliances and the family room for the new kitchen cabinets. Jen's bedroom is the warehouse for all the boxes from the kitchen cabinets, lamps, floral arrangements, etc. Needless to say I am in a complete mess. The only rooms that are untouched by this are my sewing room, our bedroom and the bathroom. I do not function well in disorder and am having a really hard time with this. I cannot even block the view from my sewing room since I have glass french doors separating it from the family room and have a clear view at the mess. I know that when this is all done and my life is back in order that I will be very happy but I have to get through this first.
Last night I was so exhausted from moving all the furniture (yes, I moved all the furniture myself) that I could not work on the Elephant. I need to be fully alert to stitch the Home Study Class from Amy and I knew that if I worked on the Elephant that I would be taking out more than I stitched. So I worked on my monogram pillow which is mostly basketweave. I will post a picture of it tomorrow. Hopefully, I will get to work on the Elephant today.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I forgot to show you...

I forgot to show you my finished pillow of the Painter's Windowbox. I think it's quite pretty.

Last night, we went to dinner with some friends at a terrific local restaurant, Trevi. Excellent meal. As we were getting ready to go, I went looking for a shawl, but not a woolen one, as it has been damp & humid but not really either cold or hot. I found one---and I found this needlepoint purse that I forgot to show you as well.

You will note that there are two different canvases on the front of this evening bag. That's because they are mounted on a magnet, a very strong one, and there's a magnet inside the front flap of the purse as well. That way you can change the canvas on the front. I made this for my daughter & myself. I found this neat little purse at Fireside Stitchery. It isn't on their web site that I could find, but they had it on display, and my daughter, lover of all purses great & small, fell in love.

I think the canvases are Sharon G, one of my favorites. And of course the fact that they are small, and Fireside works up a stitch guide for you, makes them even more fun.

Going to sit outside and enjoy the last of the Indian Summer (sunshine today, thank goodness). I am working on a gift for a family member, and it's a surprise, so I can't show or tell you more--at least for a few months!

Then I will go back to Ponza...and Whatever...and my Tony Minieri SOTM kimono...and my flag.

And I can't wait for the Sharon G SNS class to begin.

Oh, and lastly. My Stitching Sister, Linda, is in the midst of chaos & soon will have dust too, as the kitchen demolition begins. I think she should just go into her sewing room & stay there for 3 weeks. I'll have sandwiches delivered.
PS: I apologize for the way these photos are laying out. Having great difficulty with Blogspot on this issue lately. Sorry :(

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Progress on Mellow Yellow

I am sorry that I have not posted for awhile but I got an unexpected call from carpenter to tell me that he will be starting the kitchen demolition on Monday. I have been busy packing up the kitchen.
I have made some progress on Mellow Yellow. Lessons 1 and 2 are complete and lesson 3 is about a quarter done. Ruth has done such a wonderful job on this canvas. The stitches for the flowers really bring them to life. Unfortunately, I have to put it aside for a couple of weeks.
The Nativity Elephant arrived today and I have to get him started. This canvas is bigger than the others and really has a lot detail.
Off to try to finish the yellow flower that is almost complete and then off to the Elephant.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mellow Yellow

This is a Melissa Shirley canvas with stitch guide by Ruth Schmuff. Ruth did an absolutely fantastic job on this piece. Her thread selection and stitches are just to die for. This is such a fun stitch. The background is finished and the leaves are almost done. I have two leaves left to stitch before I attach the heshi shells. Then on to the stems and flowers. I want to try to catch up with the class schedule so I can finish up before the next Mystery Class starts. Ruth really went over the top with the piece. She has made this canvas an artistic masterpiece. It is truly a work of art. Cannot wait to see what she does with the Raymond Crawford Merry Christmas canvas.

Off to finish up the leaves before dinner.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Back from Finisher

Here are two pictures of my finished "boo" canvas. The second picture is of "boo" in its new home. This canvas is by & More with stitch guide by Amy Bunger. I was surprised that this came back from the finisher so quickly. I was hoping to get it back in time for Halloween but was not sure since I handed it in late. I gave a lot of thought into how I wanted this finished. Our LNS store had the owner of Spinning Wheel (the finisher they use) come in and discuss options for finishing. I really got a lot out of this demonstration. So I decided to think outside of the box and I came up with this finishing idea for "boo". I wanted it done as a box with wooden painted feet to match the canvas. I also wanted black raw silk fabric for the back and all sides of the box with ribbon to match the colors in the canvas. The last thing I asked for was some Halloween decorations coming out of the ribbon on top. My wish list really was granted with my finished "boo". I am just thrilled with how it turned out. It now has a permanent home in my sewing room.
I will be posting for the next couple days. Mellow Yellow is coming along and I am just thrilled with it and yesterday something I ordered arrived and I will be posting about that too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Angel of the Lord

I just finished the seventh piece of the Kelly Clark Nativity. This piece was a really fun stitch except for the wings. I am not a random stitcher and get really uptight when I have to do something random. My first attempt at the wings was my best but I did not know that at the time. So I redid them . Each time I redid them I got more uptight and the worse they looked. After the third attempt, I finally decided that this is the best they are going to look. Aside from the wings, I love how she came out. Amy did a fantastic job with her thread selection and stitches. Amy's selection of threads really brings the stitches to life. In the Angel's dress we used two different threads and three different colors of one and two of another. Amy did an absolutely amazing job with the detail to her hair. I especially love the trim in her hair. Her banner is totally amazing and so easy to do. I am so happy that I have all of Amy's DVDs (a must have for your library). We had to applique flair onto the banner and I was really getting stressed about this until I watched Amy demonstrate how to do it on her #6 DVD. The directions in the stitch guide very clearly told you what to do but seeing it just made it so much easier. I know I say this every time I finish one to the Nativities but I cannot say it enough. Amy's Home Study stitch guides are just the best. Amy's attention to every detail in her written directions and stitch diagrams are like nothing I have ever seen. If you have a problem understanding something, you just have to email or phone and help is given to you immediately. The Home Study classes are not just stitch guides and threads. They are truly an advanced stitching experience. If you have done one of the Home Studies, you know what I am talking about. It is just like nothing you have ever experienced. I hope that someday you treat yourself to such a wonderful enriching learning experience.
I am just waiting for Jen to finish her Angel and then will ship them off to Amy for finishing. The Christmas deadline has past but we decided to send her in anyway.
Off to work on Ruth Schmuff's Mellow Yellow class. Hope to get caught up before the Elephant for the Nativity arrives.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What I did this week (while fighting off a cold)

On Wednesday, I was hit by a truck. Not exactly. Just a cold, but a pretty bad one, bad enough to send my hypochondria into overdrive googling "swine flu symptoms." I did not have the swine flu, but I did feel pretty lousy. So I kept my infectious self home & decided to score a massive hit on my inventory list; I decided to do all of the teeny ornaments on hand in my stash. And so, here they are:

I tried to get these photos lined up horizontally, but apparently they had no desire to look like they were meeting an executioner, so the vertical line up it is.

All of these ornaments are from Fireside Stitchery's Teeny Mittens & Socks Club, which, in my opinion, is a great deal. You get the canvas, an ample amount of thread to stitch the canvas, decorative touches (like the button on the Peppermint Hat) or the beads on many of the canvases, needles, a very good stitch guide by Marina Ketterman & of course the canvas. You can see the club here:

Everyone have a great week!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ferragosto in September

Today was the Ferragosto celebration in the Arthur Avenue neighborhood of the Bronx. What is Ferragosto? Well, in Italy, Ferragosto is on August 15; it is a national holiday, & basically the entire country closes from this date until August 31st for vacation. Seriously, it's the worst time to go on vacation in Italy, as all the ITALIANS are on vacation, so every vacation spot is crowded, crowded, crowded. Here, in NY, the Italian section of the Bronx, known as Arthur Avenue, has an annual festival, complete with local foodstores selling their delicious wares on the streets, including outrageous sausage & pepper sandwiches at my cousin's meat market (Vincent's Meat Market), gelato from another cousin (Morrone's Pastry Shop) & of course zeppole from another vendor (imagine, not a relative!). The weather was splendid after an awful rainy, gloomy Friday & Saturday, so the crowd was full of smiling faces. There was street music, including bands & DJ's, playing do-wop (this was Dion's old neighborhood, after all) & Italian favorites. An excellent time was had by all....

Oh, wait. Did you want to hear about some needlepoint?

Here are my two most recent items, back from the finisher. We have a teeny mitten & a teeny sock. These are part of the series from Fireside Stitchery that I've been working up. Last week, I showed you some of these that I finished myself. These two were finished professionally.

There actually was some stitching that went on this weekend as well (there had to be, it rained all weekend, so my plan to spend a little more time at the beach was foiled). I worked up another teeny sock this weekend, with a Santa face & fantastic beard. I am going to try to do one or two more teeny canvases before the Christmas finishing cut off. Then I will refocus on Ponza & the Whatever canvas. And the ANG Kimono. And my SNS project.

Sigh. Not enough stitching hours. Always too much work.

Ah, the Fall TV season approaches. Maybe I can get some stitching done then ;)