Friday, July 31, 2009

Finished Nativity

Here are the first three finished pieces of my Nativity. I am so pleased with the way they came out. I have to let the straw on Baby Jesus calm down before I trim it. Before I sent it in for finishing I had to cover the infant with tissue paper and then use pink hair tape to fold the straw up to cover the infant so that when it was finished the straw was protected. The Russian Magi and Arabian Magi have just been sent in for finishing and as soon as I get the Magi of the Orient done I will send him in. I should have a total of six pieces for this Christmas.

I have been working on "boo" and am having such fun with it. Hope to finish it by the weekend since I have to start the Magi of the Orient to get him in on time for finishing.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Breaking News At Amy's

Exciting things are happy at Amy's. Amy and Kelly Clark are once again collaborating. A new Home Study Course is in the works. Kelly Clark will be designing a Halloween series for Amy's and Amy will be doing the stitch guides. The Home Study Course will be called "Halloweenies". I know that there will be a haunted house and "Halloweenies". How can it get any better then this - you have Kelly Clark, a fabulous designer, and Amy, one of the best stitch guide designers, coming together to bring us a new series that will take our breath away once again. I have already signed up sight unseen. No need to see it, you know that is is going to be great.

If you loved the Nativity and what Amy did to bring the canvases to life, you are going to fall in love with the Halloweenies. I am sure that if you call Amy's store (901) 458-6109, they will be able to answer any questions you have about Halloweenies.

If you have ever dreamed about doing a Home Study Course, this might be the one for you.


Monday, July 27, 2009

A Pair of Arabian Magi

Sorry I have not posted recently. I have been very busy picking out kitchen cabinets, counter top, back splash, etc. Yes, we are putting in a new kitchen.
I have posted both my finished Arabian Magi and my daughter's finished Arabian Magi.
I know that I say this every time I finish one of the Nativity pieces but I am totally amazed with the stitch guides that Amy does. Most of the painted canvas is ignored. Amy will graph out what she wants you to do for example, faces, hands, hair, etc. Amy also uses a lot of composite stitches for the clothing. Her selection of threads and stitches for the composite stitches is just totally amazing. I cannot understand how she comes up with such totally unique stitches and then picks the perfect threads to really make them pop. It must be wonderful to be so gifted. I have been so fortunate in taking this Home Study Course. I know that Jen and I have learned so much and are continuing to learn something new every month. I will be sorry when all the pieces are stitched.
Today I mailed off both Jen's and my finished Russian Magi and Arabian Magi. I got an email from Jill from Amy's today and I think that our finished Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph are back from the finisher and were mailed to us. She told me there was a surprise in our next Magi box and I hope it is the finishing. If it is, I will post pictures of both our finished pieces.
Right now, I am working on "boo" a canvas by & More with stitch guide by Amy Bunger. I do not know how much I will get done since the next Magi is due to arrive on Wednesday and we have to get them done before the deadline for Christmas finishing. Such pressure.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A New Favorite Place (unrelated to stitching)

One day, a few weeks after Ashley came home from Philadelphia, she shouted (as I was driving), "OH MY GOD they opened a Rita's up here!!!!!"

"What's Rita's?" I (calmly) inquired.

"OH MY GOD it is this absolutely amazing ice/slush place, I CANNOT BELIEVE they've opened a Rita's HERE!"

"I'm glad you're now happy to be home again," I replied.

Ashley can be a little dramatic at times. Can't imagine where she gets it from ;)

Anyway, for the past few weeks, on many evenings, there'd be a note somewhere in the house, "Gone to Rita's."

Ok. If she's happy, I'm happy.

Well, this afternoon I suggested, "Why don't we go to Rita's after dinner." My DH then wanted dinner at 3:15 pm. I stalled for a while.

After dinner, we took a ride.

OMG. To quote my darling daughter.

This is a very special place. We all had "Gelati," which have custard on the top & bottom with the flavored ice in the middle. I had a banana split ice with sugar free vanilla custard. Frank had Black Cherry Ice with vanilla custard. Ash had sugar free pink lemonade with sugar free vanilla custard.

I was compelled to call my Stitching Sister from the location so we could plan an excursion IMMEDIATELY.

I recommend that you lobby for one to be opened nearby. As long as they don't close mine.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Stitch Box

Here's my Stitch box back from the framer. Actually, it was back last week, but I was too lazy to get this posted for all of you sooner.

The canvas is Ruth Schmuff's, as is the stitch guide. Ruth's stitch guides are always a lot of fun, with a few challenging stitches, a few fun stitches, and always great threads & colors. When I decided to put the canvas in this deliciously colored HP Designs box, I added the skip tent background in one strand of Accentuate.

I think Ruth really likes these colors. As I uploaded this image to the blog, I remembered that I had another Stitch box with one of Ruth's canvases. Here's the other one. This was a Raymond Crawford canvas, with a Ruth Schmuff stitch guide.

Best wishes for a great summer weekend...Denise

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Polishing Techniques

It is apparently all the rage to polish up needlework techniques this summer. You may recall that Linda & I are taking Tony Minieri's "Techniques" class, which will meet once a month over the next 6 months or so. Tony is apparently teaching this class elsewhere around the country, in 4 day stints, or, in some cases, once a week for about 6-8 weeks.

Gay Ann Rogers has also decided to get us all to toe the line, as she has also introduced a "Techniques" Column on her website, which is very interesting as well. Janet Perry of Nuts about Needlepoint is also dropping gems of information regularly, too.

I could just sit and absorb all this information constantly! I am, however, feeling better and need to re-introduce myself to the regular workday, so my studies must be set aside for late night reading....sigh.

Today I tripped all over myself trying to tie a knot the way Tony taught us. Not a pretty sight. Mia, the kitten enjoyed it immensely though.

On the other hand, with Tony's voice whispering (loudly) in my ear, I never put down my laying tool while I was stitching.

So, one step forward, one back....I guess it's sort of like reverse stitching :)


Friday, July 10, 2009

Latest Finished Ornaments

Here are the latest ornaments that I just picked up from our LNS. The Santa is from Ruth's Schmuff Santa Club. He is my all time favorite. I just love the colors pink and green - after all I am a pink and green girl. Ruth did a wonderful job with her thread and stitch selection. I am always amazed at how great they come out.
The second ornament is my fourth in the All That Glitters Club. This club is by Needle House and the stitch guide was done by Nancy Laux and Kate Cook. They have done a wonderful job with this club. They have come up with really creative stitches for these ornaments. The crystals are fantastic. The fifth one is at the finisher and the sixth one was waiting to be stitched.
Progress on the Arabian Magi is really coming along. I am now working on the fun part- the Magi himself. Amy has really chosen wonderful threads and creative stitches for him. Hopefully, I will be able to post a finished photo of him by next week. Jen is just about finished with hers. Now that she is off from work, she is able to get in a lot of stitching time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Bookends

These two bookends are lovely Jody Designs Needlepoint canvases, custom sized for me by Jody to fit into this set of Sudberry House Bookends. These were fun to stitch during my recovery, as they were small and I was quickly able to see my progress. I love my framer, he quickly fit them into the bookends and I think they really brighten the room!

PS: Went to work for a little while today. Not bringing lunch was a good idea. Got hungry by 12:30 & had to leave ;)


Monday, July 6, 2009

How to Recouperate (when you never expected to be sick)

I would not be the best person to write a self help book with that title. I have no patience for myself as a patient, no patience with not feeling better consistently. As my Stitching Sister provided in my health report below, I am recovering nicely, despite the fact that I obviously felt the need to challenge the surgeon's skills by adding a surprise hernia operation to the relatively routine gall bladder extraction. I am cleared to go back to work, in the surgeon's words, "very slowly for no-stress activities." Not an option with my job and Type A personality. He really told me that I need to take it very slowly for the next few weeks, and "be patient with yourself." I am really not allowed to exercise strenuously for the next month. No gym. Aerobics only....mild aerobics--like walking. Or, as he said, strolling. I think that the surgeon has figured me out already.

So tomorrow I will try to go to the office for an hour or so. My plan is not to bring lunch so I will have no choice but to go home when I am hungry. "Do not allow me to order in a sandwich" are going to be the first words I say to my assistant.

As Linda told you, I did do quite a bit of stitching once I felt a little better. My darling daughter Ashley decided we needed to catch up with the rest of the world and watch the TV series, "Brothers & Sisters." (Tonight I finished Season 2 & now need to wait until September for Season 3 to be released on DVD so we can find out what the rest of the world already knows about Ryan. Don't tell me!)

So, as I watched, I worked up two custom canvases from Jody Needlepoint, two fleur di lis with two different color backgrounds for two bookends from Sudberry House. Then I did a fun "Stitch" canvas from Ruth Schmuff that Linda gave me for Christmas, which I plan to insert into a bright orange HP lacquer box. And, I did the Stitch of the Month for the Tony Minieri ANG Mystery Kimono, which is pictured here. Oh, and I also did a little canvas from my Teeny Mittens & Socks monthly club from Fireside Stitchery. And I read 3 books. And did 2 audio CLE's. And made my office bring me the mail every day except Friday.

But I rested. I took a nap every day. I slept until at least 8:30 AM every day. That's resting, right?

Sorry we both hit you with a blog update on the same date. It's either feast or famine around here ;)


Wonderful News

Today my stitching sister, Denise, went for her follow up appointment with the surgeon and got a clean bill of health. She still has to take it easy with respect to strenuous activity. In addition, to the gall bladder surgery Denise also had unexpected hernia surgery. Denise always says that she is great at multi-tasking and I guess surgery was no exception. She has gotten a great amount of stitching done. She has finished at least four projects. Am sure that she will be posting pictures as soon as she gets them back from the framer.

Wednesday we are going to take the first of the year long monthly techniques classes with Tony Minieri. Will keep you posted on the class.

I am working on the Arabian Magi. He is going to be another masterpiece. Amy just out does herself every month.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Amy's Newsletter

Today the July issue of Amy's e-newsletter came out and it is just a wealth of information. This is one thing that everyone should sign up for and it is free. Go to Amy's website www. and click on newsletter. You are going to just be amazed at what you find. In this month's issue, Amy is working on & More "boo" canvas. She has written a stitch guide for it and it is fabulous. She has a lesson on beading - what color beading thread to use when beading to get the effect you want to achieve. Also her stitch of the month is about beading. This issue is just full of information and insights into the trade show. Sign up today so that next month you will automatically get it emailed to you.

Congratulations, Robin for an outstanding newsletter. I look forward every month to getting the newsletter.