Friday, April 23, 2010

Stitch Box

At last I got my stitch storage box. About four years ago I asked our carpenter to make me a box and have been waiting ever since. Finally I asked my friend Kathy if her carpenter would make me one. Four weeks later here it is. The canvas that will be going into the lid of the box is a Raymond Crawford canvas with stitch guide by Ruth Schmuff. I have had the canvas done for three years and have just been waiting for the box. Tomorrow I am off to the framer to have the canvas mounted into the lid. Cannot wait to pick out the matting. Such fun colors in the canvas that it is going to be hard to pick out two or three. The box is an 18 inch cube with bun feet. I am going to store some of my works in progress in it. I have to get everything out of sight before my little man comes. Jake is fine now since he really is not mobile but in a few months things are going to change.
I am so happy to finally have a home for my Stitch canvas. Will post a finished picture of the box when I get the lid back from the framer.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Update on Jake

I just took these pictures today. Hard to believe that he is six weeks old already. Today when I got to Jen's, I said Hi to Jake and he smiled at me. He is smiling alot now and you can tell that he is even trying to laugh. I cannot believe how big he is getting. Jen takes him to Music Appreciation once a week. So far he has slept through both classes. As part of the class, they give you a CD of the music. Jake loves it. When he starts to fuss, we put the CD on and he forgets his problems and becomes a very happy baby. That CD is pure magic. I had to get a copy for my house for when Jake visits.
Off to work on Frank. Progress is slow because of My Little Man, Jake but hope to get him done soon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Second Ponza Canvas Completed

Whew! This last stretch was t-o-u-g-h!! I feel like I've been saying this canvas is "almost finished" for months, but at long last, I took the magnets off the canvas just moments ago. The rocks were done up in literally at least a dozen stitches. Rocks don't look all smooth & similar, especially lava rocks in the Tyrenhhian Sea, so I just kept on mixing up threads & stitches. My stitching library got a lot of action the past few weeks.

Next on the list: finish my belt for my handbag; homework for the SNS Haute Couture class; then a canvas for my Godson. There is a Ponza canvas sitting on bars that Tony Minieri made up a great stitch guide for, and there's the last Ponza canvas that I'm going to do with Sharon G's suggestions from our continuing on line class.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stirha Is Finished

I am so happy with the way Stirha came out. Amy did such a fantastic job on Stirha. Her selection of threads and stitches really brought Stirha to life. I love everything about Stirha even Rhett the Rat is so cute. Amy's attention to even the smallest details in this canvas really helped bring Stirha to life. The bottom borders were such fun to stitch and the detail that Amy put into it just makes it pop. Look at Stirha shoes are they not to die for. Cannot say enough about the many talents of Amy. Now off to Frank. I started his background last night. Frank is going to be a really fun stitch. I am a little nervous about his fingers (totally new technique for me) but I think I am up for it.
Jake is doing really well. Have to take some new pictures to show everyone how big he has gotten. Got him a pair of Gap jeans yesterday. Will try to get a picture of him in them.
Frank is calling got to go.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Few More Finished Items

Here are some photos of a few more finished items. The first is a little Princess & Me ornament. I had this finished as a little standup, as I thought it was a bit oversized for an ornament. It came with a stitch guide, which I followed at times but not always. The second item is a cookie from the Little Shoppe of Stitches cookie collection. I had already done 13 other cookies, but last year, Fireside offered 12 cookies as a club. The nice thing about Fireside is that you can choose which club months you want. Since this was the only cookie I hadn't done, I added this one to the cookie tray. The cookie canvases always come with a stitch guide as well, and in doing all of the cookies, I followed the guides precisely. I must say that the tray of cookies is always a big hit with visitors.
This past Sunday Linda & I took a class at Ridgewood Needlepoint with Carole Lake, entitled "How to Write a Stitch Guide." I must say I always enjoy my classes at Ridgewood, and I am sorry I am missing the David McCaskill class next month. The class with Carole was very insighful, and, as part of our class fee, we got a terrific book by Carole, "Textured Effects for Painted Canvas." The book is excellent. I really felt very comfortable with Carole; she's a very nice lady, and has some neat ideas. I felt that many of her teaching ideas were in sync with mine, and it was very empowering to hear her say that a stitch guide that is written by another is a starting point; you don't have to stitch it exactly the way the guide says. I came away from the class with a sense of confidence in my ability to select threads & stitches for canvases.
Ponza 2 is really almost finished. I have a few flowers to add, and 2 borders. Then there will be a photo, I promise!
It has been a crazy week already at work this week. Also, Linda has Round 2 of Home Improvement hell starting (hopefully) today.
Thank God it's Wednesday!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Quite a few items have returned from the finisher for me lately, & I apologize for not posting as often. Here, we have Ashley's new handbag. The bag is a beautiful, soft leather you can get from our LNS, Stitch by Stitch, and is made by Susan Treglown. It come in a variety of colors. Susan has designed a number of straps for the bags, or, if you have a belt with no particular direction, you can use a belt strap. What you do is finish the strap to an appropriate length for you, and then it is sent to the finisher and finished with leather belt straps on each end. The purse itself comes with belt buckles on each side. Linda & I were all over this idea, but Ashley quickly interjected herself into the mix. She had a half finished belt that was perfect for this project. So, instead of working on my strap, for my bag, I got to finish her belt, for her bag. "Mommy, you stitch so much faster than I."

Ah, motherhood. I am about halfway done with my strap. Sigh.

I have been busy with Jake, too. Jennifer has given me a great honor, and asked if I would be Jake's godmother. I am so moved by this. Jake & I have a wonderful relationship already. I got to visit with him last night, and we read some of the books I picked up for him at Borders in the afternoon. He has been a little demanding with wanting to be held all the time, which is fine for Linda & I but not so easy on his parents. He and I discussed this last night. I was not particularly persuasive--not yet at least.

I will post photos of some of my other finished items soon. Tomorrow, Linda & I have a class at Ridgewood Needlepoint, on "How to Write a Stitch Guide." I am sure we'll both learn a lot.

Have a good weekend.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Nativity, Tassel and Progress on Stirha

I received the finishing on the Elephant and Donkey in with Frank. He was not too happy traveling with an elephant and donkey. Cannot wait until all the pieces are on the mantel for Christmas. I have three pieces left to stitch. I have to do the Shepherd (about half done), the Sheep and the Camel. Unfortunately, I will have to take time from the Halloweenies to work on the Nativity. I will probably take the month of May to finish the Shepherd and do the Sheep and then try to fit in the Camel in between working on the Halloweenies. Such pressure.
The Tassel is from the canvas embellishment class with Tony Mineri. I have the background and beading to do. Very close to being done.
Stirha is so close to being finished. I had hoped to have her done by now but a little man by the name of Jake keeps interfering with my stitching. I just had to show you how spectacular she is. Amy is doing such a wonderful job on the Halloweenie Characters. I never thought she could top the Nativity but I was wrong. Frank is going to be a really fun and challenging stitch. His hands are going to really challenge me but with patience and helpful pointers from Needlepoint Study Hall, I am sure I will get them done. Just remember that Frank is not a perfect man so if his fingers are a little rough around the edges they are just perfect for him.
Off to go watch Jake, Jen and Eugene are going for a required meeting before the baby's Christening. Godmother Denise is coming to keep me company. The real reason is she wants to spend some quality time with her God Son.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jake's First Easter

Jake and his Easter Basket - I guess I got a little carried away with his basket. It was filled with clothes for Spring and Summer and of course I had to get him a pair of Ralph Lauren Sneakers.
He is going to be one well dressed little man.
Stirha is coming along very slowly. She should have been done by now but Jake is just too cute to resist. Hope to have her done by the end of the week.
Tomorrow night is our last Back to Basics class with Tony Mineri until next year. Denise and I are going early so she can get threads for projects she is going to start and Tony is going to help me with my tassels. I will post pictures of them for you to see on Thursday. They are really going to be spectacular when they are done.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jake Coloring Eggs With Mommy

As you can see, Jake was more interested in sleeping during the egg coloring process.
We had a fun day at Jen's today. Denise and Ashley came for lunch and bonding with Jake. Later on one of Jen's friends from high school came by with her mother for tea and cookies.
Jake had a great time being held by everyone but he especially like being held by his Aunt Denise the best.
After dinner Jen wanted to color eggs with Jake but he was exhausted from all the ladies falling all over him.
Stirha is almost done. I only have the the flames, beading and smoke to do. I do not get as much time to stitch as I would like since Jake arrived. My days are pretty much filled with watching Jake so Jen can go off to the gym, grocery shopping etc. Hopefully, I will get more time once Jake gets his shots and he can go to Mommy and Me yoga, a music play group for infants and meeting other friends in the park.
Hope to post a picture of Stirha by the middle of the week and of course a picture of Jake with his Easter basket.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Zi Zi Visits with Jake

Today I visited with Jake, which is my first visit with him since our meeting at the hospital. Of course Nana & Momma keep me up to date on his daily doings, but he & I needed some quality time together. I think we had a great day.
Jake & I chatted at length in Italian, & I read him the portion of the card I wrote to him in Italian. Jake & I have been speaking Italian together all along, as he was pretty quiet in utero for Jen, except for when I got up close and spoke to him in Italian. Then he would show his Italian side, and kick & jump around. Clearly, he is so very smart, he was multilingual from the start.
I really acted like an only child today, & pretty much wanted to hold Jake all to myself. I did not really see the need to share, but Jennifer insisted. I did allow Ashley to hold him for a little while, & his Momma, too. I begrudingly gave him over to the other two guests who visited him too. I shared pretty well, I guess. I saw no need for my stitching sister to hold him much. She can see him all the time ;)
Jake clearly prefers being held to any other options, such as hanging out in his crib or sitting in his bouncy chair. Since I didn't even bring along any needlepoint, I can't assess his interest in our hobby yet. Worked for me that he wanted to be held. Jen was less amused, and threatened a call in the middle of the night. More to follow on that one.
Oh, yes, needlepoint. Ponza 2 really is almost finished. A little bit more rock work, some puffy flowers, some borders....hopefully by the end of next weekend. Which is good, as the next quarter of my Sharon G online class has begun, & I want to move along with the Ponza canvas I gave to Tony, as well as start the last one with Sharon. Whew!
Linda will have an update on her Halloweenies soon.
Happy Easter!! Denise