Sunday, June 26, 2011

Perfect Weekend

My perfect weekend began on Friday afternoon with the UPS man delivering three boxes from Amy's. Yes, three boxes. The first box had the last lesson for the Creche, &More canvas Happy Halloween with stitch guide by Amy Bunger and Melissa Shirley's Thanksgiving house. The second box had my new K's Creation Metal Floor Stand, and the third box had the arm attachment for larger canvases. I put my stand together that night and immediately feel in love with it. It makes stitching so much easier for me. I do not have the pain in shoulder the way I did with the System 4 and I can adjust the length of the arm to bring the canvas as close as I want when I stitch. I switched from the System 4 for a few reasons. My shoulder being the main reason and also the fact that when working on larger canvases they would slide out of the clamp after awhile. I was spending more time putting the canvas back into the clamp then stitching.

Saturday was a really special day. Denise was so excited to meet Sharon G, who she totally adores, and I was just thrilled that she was getting this opportunity to finally meet Sharon. As Denise said in her post, Sharon is just a wonderful person. I was shocked to find that the stitch guide for our piece, which measures 6 by 6 was 25 pages. Sharon writes a spectacular stitch guide. Every detail of the stitching of the canvas is full explained, her diagrams are large and very easy to understand and read. She went over every area of the canvas so that when we left we were all confident that we understood and knew exactly how to finish stitching the piece. Karen, the owner of The Nimble Needle, is such a warm and friendly person. She made us feel right at home and could not have been nicer. I was so happy that Denise finally got to meet Sharon. We had a wonderful time and look forward to taking another class from Sharon. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class given by Sharon, please take it you will be so happy that you did.

Today was a good day because I got to see Jake. Jen and Jake came by after his swimming lesson (he was the best student in the class) and stayed for breakfast. Nana Day Care is officially over until September and so I now get to enjoy the big guy. Jake now weighs 28 pounds and is 33 inches tall.

My next needlepoint adventure is on July 9, when Karen and I go to Ruth's for a class with Julia Snyder. This will be my last adventure until November when we go to Amy's. I will be having surgery on July 14 for my rotator cuff. I have all my small projects ready to stitch until I can go back to my bigger pieces. The surgeon told me that I could start stitching three days after surgery. I hope he is right.

The belt is one of my small projects. It is almost done and I hope to get it in for finishing before my surgery.



I want to clarify on behalf of Linda that the System 4 stand did not cause her shoulder problems; these existed & were exacerbated this past year. The new K's stand currently makes stitching easier for her because of how she can position it. A floor stand is a personal choice. Linda & I have both used System 4's for years, and both the K's & the System 4 are excellent stands. The K's stand is supposed to work especially well on large canvases, and we are all looking forward to Linda being able to work on some of her large projects, such as her Nativity Creche after her successful surgery. I will keep you all posted. D

Wonderful Day

Our day trip to The Nimble Needle was such glorious fun! I was so excited to meet Sharon G in person, and of course Linda & I love meeting new needlepoint shops & their owners. Linda, Ashley & I figured we needed to leave by 6:30 AM to avoid beach traffic going to the Jersey shore. We did well driving down, just a little construction congestion but nothing really difficult.

Haddonfield is a pretty little suburban town, with a nice downtown area ripe with plenty of little shops. As we drove through, searching for (of course) Starbucks, all of us found a shop or two that caught our eye. I brought my framed Ponza canvases to share with Sharon, Karen, the shop owner & our classmates; Karen quickly found a spot to display them during class.

As we were getting set up, Sharon arrived, with a trunk show in tow! Great fun! Ashley helped Sharon bring in the show, as the rest of us mounted our canvases on stretcher bars & sorted out threads; right away, I saw plenty of Kreinik, beads & silks.....oh, this was going to be lovely.

After Ashley left us to visit friends in Philadelphia, Sharon handed out the pieces as well as the 25 page stitch guide. What detail!! And Sharon's guides even include two beautiful color photos of the piece, one on the glossy cover of the guide.

Sharon started us off by explaining her guide & we set out to work on the dragonfly, the highlight of the piece. I am always impressed by the professionalism of teachers dealing with the various skill levels in their classroom, and Sharon was exceptional. Karen's shop has a terrific variety of stitchers, some of whom are real newbies, stitching less than a year, others who were lifetime stitchers. It's a real credit to shop owners who encourage their customers to learn, and our classmates were no exception. Couching can be a challenge, but Sharon walked us through & talked us through. As we began mastering the dragonfly, she reminded us that we could just make these beautiful creatures on our own, with nothing but canvas & the lovely, sparkly threads.

We took a little break mid-morning, where I & my classmates took the opportunity to shop the trunk show. I had to restrain myself to just two canvases, one of which I've had my eye on since its debut, the beautiful vases. I also scooped up a Tuscan landscape that I just called to me. After lunch at The Bistro, we set down to get into the rest of the piece. Sharon went through each of the ten areas, explaining techniques & threads & giving tips. Then we selected a canvas area & stitched, with Sharon coming around to lend some insight.

The day just flew by, and before we knew it, everyone was packing up. Linda & I had a terrific time. I was so looking forward to meeting Sharon in person, and she was just such a joy to be with. And Karen, The Nimble Needle's owner, is so lovely and gracious; I think her shop reflects her dedication to the craft & I was duly impressed.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Revising the Schedule

You can see here the latest Raymond Crawford Christmas canvas that I completed last night. I am glad to have this ornament completed, as I was a bit disenchanted working it up. It was filled with things I do not love to do: encroaching gobelin, couching, stitches where you alternated threads every other stitch. Tedious. I did get to do the newest beading technique, stringing the beads for the leaves. Now that's it's done, though, I see it is very pretty & glittery. And I do love the way the beaded leaves look.

Our recent Tony Minieri Safari Teapot class was cancelled, which has revised the summer stitching schedule. We won't be having our next class until July 20, and we'll be finishing up the teapot in the fall. Since I am always planning my next stitching project, I am currently going to focus on four more ornaments from the Fireside Vintage Ornaments club from last year; I would really like to finish these last four, & be able to say I have completed the entire set.

But there are a few other stitching events in the way: Stitch by Stitch is starting the "Twas the Night Before Christmas" class next week; this class is scheduled to meet about every other week until late August. And this Saturday Linda & I are going to The Nimble Needle to take a class with Sharon G (so excited!!!!).

And my social, business & personal calendar is insane until the end of July. So stitching opportunities look.....slender. But I will work to fit it in--I need it!

Enjoy the day outside, if you can; it's supposed to rain here all week. Ugh.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Taking an Opportunity

Here you see the latest Raymond Crawford canvas which is part of the calendar series from A Stitch in Time Needlepoint. I am proud of myself for staying caught up so far with this series.

This was another fun canvas. The nasturtiums were all in satin stitch, with beautiful Splendor & Neon Rays +. Kreinik & some an imaginative darning pattern in two different directions makes for a pretty cool bucket. Those bullions....well.

The one thing I've changed from all the stitch guides is that I do the backgrounds first. That makes it easier for accuracy & to keep the pattern of the backgrounds which have all (pleasantly) been quick, open stitches.

Our Teapot Safari class at Stitch by Stitch in Larchmont with Tony Minieri was cancelled this week due to an apparent gigantic traffic jam which kept Tony trapped in Jersey, on the other side of the George Washington Bridge. I had actually (as you know) finished my homework, so now I have a gap in stitching time which I was going to use to do the homework for the next, & last (for this canvas) Tony class in July. So I have two weeks before the Sharon G class at The Nimble Needle to stitch up some Christmas ornaments that were in the lineup. Last night I started one up that I should be able to show you in the next few days.

Today it's gloomy outside, but I am going to Larchmont to visit with my stitching friends and pick up a finished piece. I think what came back is either something of Ashley's or a Christmas gift for my niece. If it's Ashley's I'll put up a photo.

Am enviously watching the blogs for news from Columbus, as I am sure you all are as well. After all, we wouldn't want those stashes to get too small, now would we?

Have a great weekend!


Monday, June 6, 2011

So excited!

I am so excited! I am finally going to take a class with Sharon G!

I learned on Chilly Hollow that the Nimble Needle in Haddonfield, NJ was having a Sharon G class in a few weeks---& there might be an opening! I immediately sent off an email, & was thrilled when Karen, the proprietor, happily advised that there was a spot! I'm in!

We are hoping that Linda will be coming along for the class as well, as soon as she has her doctor's appointment next week.

Can't wait for this!

Here's a link to the blog post about the class.

And & nudge & a wink & a thank you to the master enabler, Jane....


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Doctor Is In The House

On Wednesday I received a HUGE box from Amy's. Dr. A was one of the things in my box. I forgot how much I liked him. Amy's finisher did a spectacular job finishing him. I am thrilled with him and he will be put away with Frank and Stirha until Fall. Also in my box was the third Kelly Clark Halloween Apple that Amy did a stitch guide for. What a great stitch guide Amy did for this apple. Cannot wait to start but I will have to wait awhile since one of the threads was back ordered. I also got the Landscape book by Little Shoppe. What wonderful little book this is. Congratulations on your first book! Also in the box was the red Dovo scissor case. I love it and have my Dovo scissors in it. The third lesson for the Creche was also in the box and the last thing in the box was Jake's stocking, stitch guide and threads. Robin did the stitch guide and did a spectacular job. Jake will have to wait until next year for the stocking.

I have not posted lately since I have been having a lot of problems with my right shoulder and have not really accomplished much in stitching. My arm gets tired very quickly and I have a hard time reaching on large canvases. I have finally finished lesson one (the night sky) for the Creche and was going to start lesson two but think I might have to wait. I am having a hard time reaching up to stitch. Amy has done such a wonderful stitch guide for this piece I am so looking forward to stitching and finishing it. I really wanted it for this Christmas but do not know if that is going to happen

I will go to the doctor on June 14 and see what he says. I am hoping he feels that physical therapy will do the trick but I am prepared for him to say surgery is needed. I am able to basketweave with my left hand and have taken out some belts that I bought and have never gotten around to stitch. I hoping that I will be able to stitch them. I purchased threads that I do not have to ply or lay since I will be stitching basically with one hand. I will keep you posted and I am sure that Denise will also keep you informed.

Karen and I are planning on going to Ruth's to take Raymond Crawford's Christmas Ornament piece that Julia Snyder is teaching. I am so looking forward to this mini needlepoint trip (just a quick overnight). If surgery is needed and can be scheduled for when I get home, we are going but if for some reason the only opening I am given is for before the class then we will not go. I really hope that we can make this class.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Halfway to Africa

I am about halfway done with Tony's African teapot. I was pleased to finish up with the giraffe ( I LOVE giraffes---can't stitch enough of them!); my homework is done for our class next Thursday. Good thing I finished up, as I am out every night next week & will have little time for stitching.

Just got started with the next canvas in the calendar series, hoping to work that up quickly. Summer has landed here in NY, hazy, hot & humid already. I got all my planting done one evening last week, hoping to spend some time on the patio over the weekend. Sadly, the Memorial Day weekend weather proved too hot to stitch outside.

Talk to you all soon.