Thursday, June 25, 2009

Russian Magi Is Complete

I just finished the first Magi. He was a really fun stitch. I am totally amazed by the thread and stitch selections that Amy comes up with. I just think that she has totally out done herself only to find out that I was wrong. Every piece of the Nativity just gets better and better. You are challenged but not to the point of pulling out hair - just enough not to get bored. I am having such a great time working on this Home Study Course. Amy is just one of the most amazing people I have ever met and her knowledge of threads and stitches is just mind blowing. The second Magi should be arriving shortly so I really have to rush the fifth All That Glitters Ornament.
On a more personal note, I just want to let you all know that My Stitching Sister, Denise, had gall bladder surgery today. I spoke to her a little while ago and she sounded really great. Everything went well with the surgery and she should be home tomorrow. Hopefully, she will have a quick recovery. I had the same surgery last July so I know what she will be going through. Hope to get to visit with her tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Sky over Ponza's Seacoast

I know everyone thought I just fell into the sea while stitching away on Ponza's seacoast, but here I am, back to show you what I've accomplished.

What I've worked on since Tony's class has been the sky. You might be able to see bits and pieces of stitching here & there on the canvas, but that was at Tony's suggestion, so I could be sure I could master the stitch guide. Once the class ended I went to the part of the canvas that was farthest away--the sky. I worked this in two shades of Dinky Dyes, a darker blue on top, a lighter blue on the bottom closer to the water. The two blues are blended with a Waterlilies overdye as they approach the center section. The Waterlilies is absolutely gorgeous, with all the colors of this sky as they are on the canvas AND in real life, with shades of blue, and some peach, and lavender. In the center of the sky, I used just the Waterlilies alone, then on to the lighter shade of the blue Dinky Dye. Stupendous match.

The stitch is a modified Kennan stitch, worked on the diagonal. It's a very open stitch, perfect for this canvas in letting the beautiful Sharon G painting show through.

My next area that I am going to work are those dark hills in the background. Actually, that's a few small, uninhabited islands near Ponza, great for a day of swimming & picnicking.

Ah, I can smell the sea air......


Thursday, June 18, 2009


I have just gotten back from the finisher today two All That Glitters Ornaments. I still have one that is out at the finisher and one ready to stitch as soon as I am done with the first Magi. All together I have four finished and the fifth to stitch. I should have six or seven done before the cutoff date for Christmas finishing.
The framed needlepoint is a David McCaskill canvas that I had stitched over a year ago and my daughter, Jennifer put into a purse for me.
I do not use the purse that often so I decided to have the canvas framed. This way I can get to enjoy it all the time. This was a fun piece to stitch. The framer did a great job in matching the matting to the canvas. Am very happy with how it turned out. I will do a bargello to put into the purse to replace this canvas. Jen puts the canvases into the bags she makes so that they can be changed off depending on your mood.
The first Magi is almost done. Have about three more days to work on it. This one was a really fun piece. Amy did a great job with her selection of stitches and threads. He is very regal. Will post a picture as soon as he is complete.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tony Mineri's Class

As my stitching sister has informed you we had a wonderful time for the past two days with Tony. He is truly a wonderful teacher. We had a lot of laughs and a great time learning new techniques.
This is a picture of my piece for the class. It is a Shelly Tribbey canvas entitled Tea Time Tilley.
I have most of the tea cup finished. The most exciting thing about the tea cup is that Tony designed a stitch specifically for my canvas and named it the Lupiani Stitch. I was so shocked that he named a stitch for me. The Lupiani Stitch is the yellow section of the tea cup. This is a really fun piece to stitch. I still have a lot of work to do on it and look forward to finishing it. I am thinking of making it into a pillow for my sewing room.
This year has been filled with two wonderful stitching experiences for me - first Amy and now Tony. Both of them are excellent teachers and you learn so much from them. I cannot wait until next year when I get to experience them both again.
Off to work on the first Magi. Hope to have him done by next week and then hopefully I will have a week or two to work on Tilley.

Wonderful Day!

Today we had our second day with Tony Minieri.  What a fantastic experience this has been!  I know that I learned so much, and Tony just is an inspiration as a teacher.  He stresses a positive, "can-do" attitude in the classroom, and the depth of his knowledge is just amazing.  We have had a terrific time.

Some of our classmates have taken classes with Tony before, and he is patient and generous with his time.  When we sent our canvases to him, we were asked to identify our stitching level.  I considered myself an intermediate stitcher.  I feel that the guide Tony created is perfect for me, not too easy, not too overwhelming---just right.  Do I sound like Goldilocks?  I can't say enough terrific things about Tony.  I just never met anyone like him--creative and mathematical at the same time.    

We have to thank our LNS, Stitch by Stitch for all their hard work in putting this class together. We know this was a great effort on their part, and it all paid off.  Everything went smoothly, the space was very comfortable, everyone seemed to be having a good time--& lunch was great! We can't wait until Tony comes back!  

Here's some photos from class. Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting my progress with this first Ponza canvas.  Stay tuned.....


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Canvas Embellishment with Tony Minieri

Today, Linda & I, & 13 other lucky stitchers enjoyed the first of a two day class with Tony Minieri.  We were lucky enough to be able to take this class at our LNS, Stitch by Stitch, in Larchmont, NY.

 Each of us selected a canvas, which was submitted months ago to Tony for his creation of an individualized stitch guide. I submitted one of the canvases created by Sharon G from my photos of Ponza.  For me, this piece would have been impossible to create a stitch guide for; this is a real place, I've been there countless times; I have photos of this location all over my home.  The image is imbedded in my mind.  I've had these canvases for some time now, and they've scared me.  

Obviously, this canvas didn't scare Tony one 
 bit.  As he told us, he "becomes one with the canvas" while he's creating a guide.  To prove his point, at the beginning of class, he led us through each individual canvas, the stitches and threads he selected, and why he made his selections.  He did this all from memory, without consulting a note.  Talk about a photographic memory!  And the stitches!  On more than one canvas, he used stitches that he created himself--Linda has a surprise about a stitch on her canvas that I'll let her tell you about.  He has so many unique, creative ideas.  The entire day was jam packed full of fun & information.  

We then got started with our pieces.  We were urged to read through our guides carefully---use these days to have him show you what you needed to know.  Jump around the canvas, different areas, different techniques--be sure you understand Tony's plan.  Tony broke my canvas down into 5 areas, incorporating about 12-15 stitches.  He selected predominantly overdyes for me, in cottons & silks and combinations, Dinky Dyes and Weeks and Waterlillies and Thread Gatherer.  There's some glitz, too, in the Petite Treasure Braid & Kreinik for the water & sky.  

Today I focused on the rocks & the hills in the background.  Tonight I plan on spending a little more time on the rocks, so that tomorrow I can be sure to master the stitches he's suggested for the water & the sky.  This has been so much fun so far.  

 It has also been fun has been listening to Tony teach a classmate.  For example, he was teaching my friend Susan about negative space today....using a stitch to distort the canvas thread a bit, to create a lacy effect.  Whoa!  It looked amazing.  Watching Tony teach on someone else's canvas is a big part of the experience.  Just listening to all that information! 

Wait!  Did I mention the excellent lunch & desserts?  Great job with those too!    

These are some photos of Tony working with our classmates.  Can you find my stitching sister?  
More tomorrow. 


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Great News

We are going back to Amy's next June. Denise is coming this time. We are all so excited. Jen and I know what to expect but Denise is just busting she is so happy.

Next week we will be taking Tony's canvas embellishment class and we will let you know how we are doing with our canvases and what the class is like. Looking forward to meeting Tony. Only heard good things about him.

Progress on the Magi is going slow. Had a lot going on this week and have not gotten to sit down and stitch until after 9P.M. Hope things improve so I can make some serious progress.

The latest All That Glitters arrived. Was not crazy about the color combination of pink and orange so I changed it to green and pink. Now I have to see how it works once it is stitched.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Jen's Class Progress

Jen is really progressing on her class piece. She is basically done with all the leaves (all done in a variety of knots) and will now be moving onto the flowers. She hopes to get it done by the weekend so she can start on her Magi. Last night Jen was over for dinner and we went onto Amy's website and checked out the home study course for the Nativity. The finished Elephant was on it. You have to check this out. You cannot believe the magnificent job Amy did on the Elephant. The detail on this piece is just unbelievable. This will certainly make you want to do this course. The Nativity is a big time commitment but the reward in the end is more than worth it.
I have the bottom three borders on the Magi completed and now onto the background.
The ort box is finished. Jen finished off the initial for me and I attached it to the box last night.
Will take it to the Tony Mineri class next week.