Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Quick Update

No photos this time. A trip to my LNS, Stitch by Stitch resulted in another stash increase, this one a little canvas that will be a Christmas gift (disclosure: I actually had wanted this little canvas for myself but my daughter, ever alarmed that my stash will overtake the entire house, pointed out that I "really did not need another Christmas canvas." So I used my mental energy to figure out a way to get the canvas anyway). This is the Melissa Shirley canvas:

Cute, right? I picked up a music box at Stitch as well, playing Silent Night; I will make a little stand up house.

Ok, need to get to work. Gotta pay for that stash one way or the other ;)


Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Fifth!

Here's the fifth Vintage Ornament. This one took a little longer to complete; it was a tiring week at work, & I skipped stitching quite a few nights. There were really only two stitches here, a cashmere checker for the background & a chain stitch for the swirls. The swirls, worked up in boucle', look pretty but I didn't love working with all that Boucle'. Another sacrifice for beauty.

I signed up for a club last week, & the first canvas arrived on Monday. The past few months, ever since January's TNNA, a ton of designers, shop owners & stitchers have come over to Facebook now, especially thanks to Jane of Chilly Hollow, who created a Needlepoint group for us to hang out. Last week, Alison Hodgkiss, owner of A Stitch in Time posted up finished products of her latest group, some adorable witches from Kelly Clark with custom stitch guides by Alison. I am not a Halloween fan, and these tempted me (you-know-who was also tempted). However, wandering around the site for Alison's store, I discovered a DIFFERENT club she had started just this past January. This one is a set of 12 Raymond Crawford flower designs (are we seeing a pattern here?) which can be used for a perpetual calendar. Here's the link for this club: Since I love needlepoint projects like this, you can see why this grabbed my attention.

So now I am really feeling the pressure of my stash, as I want to get started on this right away. Truly not enough hours in a day.

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Love My Framer

I have to admit that I love my framer. He's quite a character; he's been framing my needlepoint for over 25 years. I used to live right near his store, & my husband & I literally stumbled upon him & his store on an evening walk one night after we first got married.

He's got such a good eye for color enhancement, putting frames & mats together so well. But you need to have a tough skin---he doesn't tolerate a lot of chit chat and the indecisive truly irritate him. When I went to pick up this Positano canvas, there was a couple at the front table, arguing with each other about frames & mats & shades. I looked around for Phil, who was working with another customer at a back table. He called out to me "Ward---you know why I'm back here, right?" I know that bickering couple must have gotten on his last nerve.

I just waved & grabbed my work. No need to watch those fireworks! I do believe in letting the professionals do their work. Ognuno al suo misteri--to each his own specialty.


Wrapping Up Jakefest

The final celebration for Jake's 1st birthday was a family brunch. The guest of honor took his morning nap a little later than usual, so he kept us waiting a bit. We toasted him with mimosas while we waited.

He seemed to enjoy the gifts we gave him; a few books, a fun spring outfit, a mower that made all sorts of surprise noises. I tried to open it up for Jake to enjoy, but was foiled by safety packaging. I hope he plays with it at Nana's house so that she can carry him a little bit less, & save her shoulder a little.

We had a great time with the little guy and it's amazing how quickly he grew this year. I know the years will fly by even faster now.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fall Tree Is Ready for Finishing

Last week I finished the Fall Tree by Eye Candy with stitch guide by Ada Haydon that appeared in Fall issue of Needlepoint Now. This tree was such a fun and quick stitch. I chose to do the single tree for two reasons. First I do not have the patience to stitch the same thing three times and second the way I envision it finished does not require the three trees. I am going to keep the finishing a secret of now. I will take this tree with me when I go to Ruth's for the Kelly Clark class in April. I will tell Ruth all about my ideas for the tree and I am sure that Ruth will have some suggestions that will really be totally awesome. I enjoyed stitching this tree so much that I plan on stitching the three remaining trees. I already have the Winter tree and will pick up the Spring tree when I go to Ruth's.
I am presently working on one of Kelly Clark's Halloween Apples with stitch guide by Amy Bunger. Amy did such a great stitch guide for this canvas. I am having such fun with it. I am so happy to be working on small projects. It is really nice to see a finished project at the end of one or two weeks. I hope to get the second apple that I got from Amy done before I go to Ruth's so that I can give the two of them to Ruth for finishing. I cannot wait to get my third apple and the wonderful Kelly Clark Bats that Amy is also doing stitch guides for.
Before I know it the Creche will be arriving and that will be taking up most if not all of my stitching time. I want the Creche for this Christmas and that means I have to have it completed by the end of August. Hopefully, I will not need surgery because that will really put a halt to all my stitching for awhile. So far physical therapy seems to be working and I am really hopeful that PT will be my cure. I can see Denise rolling her eyes as she reads this - she is saying that Linda lives in a world of denial. I really don't live in a world of denial - I just have a lot a faith in my PT technician and myself.
In just a few short weeks, I will be going to Baltimore for the Kelly Clark class at Ruth's. I am so excited about meeting Kelly and seeing the wonderful canvases she has chosen for the class at Ruth's. Karen and I have been counting the days until we go. I do not know who is more excited about this trip. I think it might be me since it will be a little vacation for me from my Nana Day Care Job. I love the little man but could really use a break.
Enjoy your weekend of stitching.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

And another one....

After 14 months of B-I-G canvases that I have loved, loved, loved, but which I worked on for months......

Here's number 4 of these little ones. I am really dashing through these. I'm starting to get a little scared about my finishing bill :)

Robin asked who painted these canvases. These are Raymond Crawford canvases with stitch guides from Fireside Stitchery. This was a club from Fireside last year. It is not shown on their web site any more but I imagine the canvases & guides can be obtained.

Jake is feeling a little better & I hope to see him this weekend to wrap up his first birthday festivities. The brunch last weekend was cancelled due to his tummy.

Tomorrow I plan on doing my SNS Christmas Stitches II homework & moving on to number 5. Frank has been out doing taxes every night, so I've been getting a lot done.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

And the Third Vintage Ornament is Completed

I am zooming along through these, aren't I? Love these quick projects. I have a bunch to drop off for finishing soon. Actually almost finished with number 4 now.

Linda has finished her Eye Candy tree but is too tired to post. Jake's been a little under the weather with a stomach bug so he's been knocking Nana for a loop since last week.


I Need a Bigger House

All of the Ponza canvases have come back from the framer, together with their corresponding photos. I had the photos that Sharon G worked from to paint the canvases enlarged & framed. The eight framed pieces have not been hung yet; I am actually getting a professional picture & mirror hangar in to hang them.

My husband commented that these may take up the last available wall space in the house. I told him, then I guess we need a bigger house.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And the Second Vintage Ornament is Completed

But before I go on to that topic, was my Godson just the absolute cutest or what? I can't wait to see him this weekend.

Wrapped up this ornament on Wednesday evening, but held off posting so you could all enjoy Jake's party. Wish I could have been there, but it was another wonderful day in Tinseltown, as they say. Sometimes I just want to throw the phone out the window.

Am starting up the next Vintage Ornament right away, the Golden Bell. What I love about these is that I can finish them up pretty quickly, in a week or ten days.

The hycianths are peeping up through the soil. Spring must be thinking about coming, right? Today at Bed, Bath & Beyond I bought k-cups for my Keurig coffeepot to make Vanilla Iced Coffee. My family laughed at me. Harumph. What do they know?

I keep dreaming about stitching out on my patio on Sunday afternoons, one of my favorite things.



PS: It is storming big time outside. We are expecting 4" of rain before noon tomorrow. Will my patio be there in the morning? Sigh.

Jake's First Birthday!!!

It is hard to believe that a year has gone by already. It seems just like yesterday Denise and I were sitting in the waiting room of the hospital waiting for Jake to be born. He was born at 7:15 P.M. on year ago today. I have really bonded with my Little Man. Watching him everyday has taken its toll on me but I love every minute I spend with him. The first picture is of his birthday cake, which I ordered from a new bakery in Bronxville called Chantilly. The cake was vanilla with lemon filling and butter cream frosting. It was very good. I would get another cake from them but only for a special occasion since they are very expensive.
The second picture is of Jake showing us how big he is. Jake shows you how big he is and then clamps his hands. He is walking but when he really wants to get someplace fast he crawls.
He loves his books and will sit for long periods of time just looking at them. As you can tell he is the love of my life.
I started PT for my shoulder in hopes of avoiding surgery. I hope it works and I get some strength back in my arm. I have four more weeks of PT twice a week and then will go back to the doctor to see what my options are.
I have been working on Ada Hayden's Fall tree and am having such fun stitching it. I should have it done by the weekend and will post a picture of the completed tree.
Hope you enjoyed Jake's Birthday Pictures.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Visit to Positano

I think I've mentioned that I really love Positano, a lovely village on the Amalfi coast. I've enjoyed this Sharon G canvas, which very vividly evokes images of this pretty place. I started this canvas last June, when Linda & I went to Amy's. Amy wrote a fabulous stitch guide, and I was challenged by her creativity. There was one technique which I did not follow; Amy wrote the guide with Sorbello knots on the potted tree. I struggled with these, and did master the technique but was not happy with the look. I'm sure I missed something. In any event I did the tree in french & colonial knots, & I think it looks lovely. The flowers on the tree are a cup stitch, another new technique. I can see why Linda loves those Home Study projects, as Amy challenges you but does not overwhelm you.

Our LNS, Stitch by Stitch has a Tapestry Tent trunk show going on, so I added to my stash this past weekend. I got a pretty pansy canvas that I intend to use as an insert to my Italian leather Lee handbag. I also got a tiger belt that I want to do as a strap for another handbag. And I am working on collars for Cara & Mia. These are my basketweave projects.

But I intend to stick to my plan to stitch up some Christmas canvases. I had signed up for a Raymond Crawford monthly club last year and did not even one in 2010. I have completed one canvas so far and want to get as many of these done as I can before this Christmas finishing cut off; the snow is barely melted here & I am already thinking of Christmas cut off dates---what is WRONG with me?!!

Happy Stitching!