Saturday, February 27, 2010

Framework Is Complete

Just finished the first lesson on the Haunted House. I am really pleased with the way the shading enhances the different areas of the house. Amy did a great job with her tips about shading. I did not see the effect of the shading until I turned the canvas upright and then it really came to life. Cannot wait to see what our next step will be.
Off to start Stirha. I am looking forward to the challenges she will offer. Hope to have some time before Frank arrives so I can get some work done on the Nativity's Shepherd.
A special thanks to Peggy (Needlepoint Study Hall Blog) for all her helpful hints.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Just received my second class for the Halloweenies. I was totally blown away when I saw the notebook for the Halloweenies. Amy had this notebook specially made for the Halloweenies and of course I had to have one. I never expected anything so awesome. I cannot wait to put the first lesson of the Haunted House and Stirha Cal-Dron in it.
In my box I also received Stirha Cal-Dron and Robin's Katt Z. Witch. Robin did a really fabulous stitch guide for Katt Z. Witch. Amy as usual did an great guide for Stirha Cal-Dron. In both guides, I will be learning new techniques and working with new threads. In just briefly looking through Amy's stitch guide I can tell that our vacation is over. The Haunted House was a brief respite now the work (fun) really begins. I wish I could add more hours to my day. I am going to have to find a couple extra hours somewhere to get all my stitching in.
Still on baby watch. Tomorrow and Friday we are expecting a major snow storm. I hope the little one does not decide to arrive during it.
I am almost done with the Haunted House. Just have one small section left to do. Hope to get started on Stirha by tonight or tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Out of the Water & Onto the Rocks

I am done with Ponza Sunset's water, & now am ready to move on to the rocks. I have done a little bit of work on the border as well; you can see the tent stitch in Kreink on the top & halfway down both sides. I will be doing the same border on this & all the other Ponza canvases in this series as I did on my first Ponza canvas; that border was designed by Tony Minieri.

The water was done in little wavy stitch, with the longer stitches done in single strands of silk overdyes by Thread Gatherer or Gloriana. The little stitches were with various mixes of Accentuate, 2 plies at a time, mixing up the various blues, greens & other colors.

My goal is to try to get this Ponza sunset done by mid-March, as my next Tony Minieri class at Stitch by Stitch (in Larchmont, NY) is the last Sunday & Monday in March. I will be doing the Ponza door with a stitch guide from Tony. The last of the Ponza canvases (so far) will be with the help of Sharon G, with our online class through the Shining Needle Society. You can see all the Ponza canvases here (

In looking at this post, I realize it must seem a little bit schizophrenic here. Linda is happily working away on Halloween, while I am working on these Ponza canvases; what do these Stitching Sisters have in common? Think of it this way: we appeal to many audience members. Or we're crazy. Whichever you prefer :)
We must remain distracted until the arrival of Linda's grandbaby. I personally can't wait to start speaking Italian to this baby in person (I have spoken Italian to the baby in utero all along & received positive feedback from the baby so far. I need to have someone besides Tony Minieri to speak Italian to when I am needlepointing).
We will keep you posted. Ciao! Denise

Friday, February 19, 2010

Progress on Haunted House

I have completed the roof, first floor, space between rails and part of the second floor. Have not had a lot of time to stitch. Have been very busy preparing for the baby. Hopefully, the little bundle of joy will be here by the beginning of next week. I am really trying to finish my homework on the Haunted House before the baby arrives. No serious stitching is going to get done once the baby is here. I see myself spending a lot of time just loving and bonding with the baby.
Work on the Haunted House is not very difficult so far. The most challenging part is deciding how you want to shade your house and the constant changing of needles to achieve your goal. So far it has been a really fun stitch. I know that Amy has some real challenges in store for us with Stirha Cal-Dron so enjoy the easy stitching on the house.
Will keep you posted on progress of the house and the baby. Have my bag ready for the hospital with my Kindle and needlepoint.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Few Good (Gingerbread) Men

Here are the latest completions at the Ward household.....the Santa Gingerbread man, which I did, and the Winter Wonderland Gingerbread man, which was completed by my daughter. She started hers a few weeks ago; I started mine more recently, but we finished pretty much simultaneously. Ashley selected all the stitches on her own; except for the turkey work (the pom pom on the hat), she did it all herself. I selected my stitches too, but of course researched and researched, surrounding myself with many volumes. I think both methods worked; her gingerbread man is as cute as mine, I think.

We both have a few projects going on. She's a lot less obsessive than I, so she actually can go weeks without stitching. I get a little cranky after a day or so of not stitching. Although, I must admit, ever since I got my nook, I have spent a bit less time stitching, & a lot more time reading. Have I mentioned that I love my nook? Linda's had a Kindle since they came out, & in fact has the latest generation. It was at our holiday dinner that her husband challenged me with "I can't believe you don't have one of these" that I became more interested. The look that my husband shared with Jennifer & my daughter when that comment was made was priceless. And my Stitching Sister is a top notch enabler. That single remark launched an obsessive internet research into e-readers, with the nook being the winner.

Wait. Isn't this a needlepoint blog? Oh, yes. I am waiting for our LNS to get the needlepoint nook & kindle covers so I can needlepoint a cover for my nook cover. Don't ask.

I am still working away on my Ponza sunset canvas; my progess is also posted here. The sky is done, as is the sun. Sharon G has given me some great ideas for the rocks, & now I want to do some research on the shrubbery, for the threads & stitches. I like to have ideas to toss out to Sharon in our online class, & get her feedback. Since this photo, I've started on the border, which I am doing the same way as the border in my last Ponza canvas, which had a stitch guide designed by Tony Minieri. I told him I was going to carry the border forward on all 4 Ponza canvases. I will be starting another Ponza canvas with Tony in March. And I plan on starting the last Ponza canvas with Sharon in the later spring, probably May. My plan is that all 4 Ponza canvases will be done by year end.

Oh, & there will be some surprises too...can't tell you everything at once!

Have a good weekend! Denise

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Roof Is Done

I just finished the Roof to the Haunted House. Oh, what a wonderful year long journey we are going to have. Amy is going to really challenge and teach us so many wonderful things. I have some advice for anyone who is doing the Halloweenies and has not yet done a Home Study with Amy. First do not get overwhelmed. Take each piece one step at a time. Follow all directions as written. Read and reread them to make you sure understood everything. Looking at the whole picture is overwhelming and if you just break it down to one step at a time you will realize that it was not as difficult as it first appeared. Second, if you happen to have Amy's DVDs use them. Sometimes you are doing a stitch or technique that you just does not seem right. Just check to see if it is on one of the DVDs - I found this to be very helpful. It is just like having Amy there showing you exactly the right way to do the stitch or technique. Third, remember it is your piece and you should be having fun. If you cannot get something call or email the store and you will get answer to your problem. Remember we have Needlepoint Study Hall that is already a big help in giving us advice on this project.
Off to start the green walls.
In just about two weeks my daughter, Jennifer, is due to have our first grandbaby. So I am just preparing you that you will be seeing a lot of baby pictures. You will be the first to know.