Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Little More Finishing

These photos are of some items I finished myself. Last year I went to Syracuse & took a finishing class with Pat Mazu (my stitching sister was supposed to come but she opted for emergency gall bladder surgery instead). Last year I finished a few items myself, but never did the detail work on them, like closing them up & putting the little hangars on the ornaments. The class gave me a whole new appreciation for finishing. This batch is a group of Teeny Mittens & Socks from my Fireside Stitchery Club. They are really fun to stitch & come with great little stitch guides. I learned that it is very, very difficult to turn a mitten thumb. Very Difficult.

This next batch are some teeny mittens I picked up at our LNS. The one with the "D" was the first one I did, & then my DH & DD became jealous as to why there were no mittens with their initials on them. So, I picked up a few more teeny mittens, & embroidered on some initials. Frank pretty much lost his thumb on his mitten. Oh well. My grandmother always said it was the imperfections that made hand made items perfect. You're right, Nanny.

These are two more small boxes that I finished on my own. I did these from some charts that were in Needlepoint Now in the September/October 07 issue. I have the materials to do the rest---I did one other that I finished last year. The other boxes remain on "The List." It's gloomy here in NY---so much for my plan to sink my toes into the sand at a local beach for a few hours. Working on the Ponza canvas has made me want to hear the ocean a little. But not today. I will have to be satisfied with stitching. Sigh. :)

Enjoy the rest of the weekend....Denise

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Whole Lotta Finishing Going On

While I have been busily stitching away on my Ponza canvas (I will post a photo of my progress soon, I promise), quite a few things have come back from the finishers. Here are some candy canes for you to check out.

I think they are fabulous! Some folks like a bunch of ruffled ribbons on top; I prefer not, as I think it takes away from the stitching. Not that I think too much glitz at Christmas is a bad thing, though!

Here are a few more candy canes. You might notice that there's still one missing.
Our LNS says there's no rhyme or reason as to what comes back first. As our LNS has closed for almost 2 weeks, it will be a while before I see any more finishing. Luckily, though, I've saved up more finishing to show you all on another post--including a few I finished on my own!

Enjoy the weekend! D

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Merry Christmas Mystery Class

Just opened my newsletter from Bedecked and Beadazzled and Ruth announced the canvas for her next mystery class which begins in October. It is a Raymond Crawford canvas that has all different Christmas designs in the border and the center of the canvas says Merry Christmas. I can only imagine what magic Ruth is going to work on this. Check it out on her website and click on news and events. In Ruth's newsletter she said that the class is limited so if you are interested sign up soon. What a fun project to get us all in the Holiday spirit.

Progress is really coming along on the Mellow Background. Will post a picture as soon as I have the background done.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Magi of the Orient

Last night I finished the Magi of the Orient and this morning I mailed both Jen's and mine off to Amy for finishing. They will get to Amy before the Christmas cut off so we should have all six pieces this year for Christmas.
I thought this was going to be a quick stitch since it really did not have any composite stitches but I was wrong. Never seem to complete them in under two and a half weeks. Amy as always did a fantastic job in her stitch and thread selection. The detail on all these pieces is amazing. The Angel of the Lord should be arriving any day. I want to get the background done on Mellow Yellow, the long distance class I am taking with Ruth Schmuff, before I start the Angel. Hopefully, this will not take long since it is on 13 mesh but again the background is a three stitch process.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A New On-Line Community

Ruth Schmuff of Bedecked and Beadazzled has just started a new on-line community for us. It is called Stitcherie. I just joined and cannot wait to start communicating with fellow stitchers. Ruth just announced Stitcherie on her blog, It's Not Your Grandmother's Needlepoint, today.
In her announcement, she says that it is a community for all needlework skill levels and is designed for us to come together to discuss projects, ask questions, share our ideas and just have fun. You can join groups or start your own and even post pictures of projects you are working on. What a wonderful idea. Thank you Ruth for opening up another line of communication for us stitchers.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ruth Schmuff

Here is a picture of my next project. It is a Melissa Shirley canvas with stitch guide by Ruth Schmuff of Bedecked and Beadazzled. Ruth is not only a very smart business woman but she is also a fabulous designer. Ruth has done an amazing stitch guide for this canvas and her thread selection is spectacular. The class is taking place in her store and meets about once a month. Each class is a total mystery. You do not know what section is being done and you have no idea what it will look like until the day of the class. I am taking the class "long distance". My stitch guide and threads are mailed to me right after the class is held. This is such a fun concept. The best part about it is that you are always surprised with the next step and it keeps you wanting to come back to see what wonderful idea Ruth comes up with for the next section. Another great part of this class is that you pay as you go along. You do not have a large expense for the class all at once. It is spread out over the length of the class. In today's economy, this is a real plus. You do not have to think twice about taking a class because of the cost. Now you get to pay for it as you go along.
Ruth is going to be doing another Mystery Class starting some time in October. It is called Merry Christmas. I cannot think of a better way to get into the holiday spirit. I do not know any of the particulars on what the design will be but knowing Ruth you can be guaranteed that it will be gorgeous.

If you are lucky enough to live near Cockeysville, Maryland, you can take a class from Ruth directly. Unfortunately, I do not live close enough to go for a one day class but I can still partake by doing the long distance class. Ruth is very good about answering any questions you might have and will usually answer your questions within 24 hours or less. If you have never been to her store Bedecked and Beadazzled, please treat yourself and go visit. Every time I go visit, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. The store itself is beautifully displayed and the selection of threads and canvases just take your breathe away. I try to visit at least once a year. A must to add to your list of stores to visit.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Painter's Windowbox

Here is my most recent completion. I think it just jumped into the lineup because of its bright colors & the fact that it's on 14 mesh canvas; sometimes, you just need something that doesn't have teeny holes.

I did the window section (where the orange window frames are) using Water & Ice, in the clear & in the blue tinted colors. I think it made the blue nicely intense, reflecting a beautiful summer day (which we've had very few of here in NY, I might add). The orange window frame was carefully laid in gobelin. I did the leaves in all different stitches, wanting them to be from different types of plants; I just kept reaching for my books, looking up "leaves," & trying something new as it caught my eye. Most of the threads are Needlepoint Inc. silks and some Vineyard Silk (for the browns). The flowers were my favorite part, in ribbons of varying diameters, between 4 mm & 7 mm, in both solids & variegated.

I am going to drop this off tomorrow at my LNS to have a pillow made...what do you guys think? Frame it out? What kind of trim, if any?

I was able to pick up the thread I needed to finish the water on my Ponza canvas. Hopefully, I will be done with the water this weekend & show you my progress.

Have a great weekend!! Denise

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Amazing Face

I usually do not post a picture of the Nativity until I have finished the piece but I could not wait until the piece was finished. After I finished the Magi's face last night, I was so in awe of how realistic his face looked that I had to post this picture. Amy always graphs out the faces. We are told to ignore the painted canvas and the diagram rules. I was totally amazed at how she really brought his eyes to life. I wish I had the talent that Amy does in being able to redesign the canvas.
The rest of the canvas should not take me that long to stitch. Once the background is done, the canvas moves along quickly. He will be done and in for finishing before the Christmas deadline. This year I should have six pieces of the Nativity, the three Magi, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. Next year my Nativity should be complete with all twelve pieces.
As soon as I finish the Magi, hopefully by this weekend, I am going to work on Ruth Schmuff's mystery class. Ruth is doing a class on Melissa Shirley's Mellow Yellow canvas. It is called a mystery class since we do not know what the next area looks like until we get to class. In my case, since I live too far to attend the class, when it arrives in the mail. I have the background to do before the next step arrives. Ruth chose the most beautiful colors and threads for the background. It is all pink, my favorite color. Will post pictures on my progress.
My kitchen renovation is coming along. The kitchen designer and carpenter were here to make final measurements before ordering the cabinets. We have picked out the granite, lighting and appliances. We have tile, knobs and flooring left. Hopefully, the work will start by the end of September or being of October and I will be finished by November sometime. Have to coordinate with the painter also.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Giraffes Return Home

My little Kathy Shenkel giraffe mini sock is back from the finisher. I had a good time doing this ornament, as I just love giraffes and small ornaments fit so well into my need for a quick finish fix. I have a LOT of ornaments out for finishing...I think about 13 or I am glad if they come in slowly, to make it easier to pay for them!

There isn't anything small in the lineup right now though. They are all big, long term projects. I am working on my Sharon G Ponza seacoast with Tony Minieiri's stitch guide. When I finish the water, I will post a photo of my progress--I'd say in about a week or so. I just (almost) finished a pretty canvas called "Painter's Windowbox" that I picked up in a sale bin on one of our road trips. I ran out of some thread that I will pick up this week and finish it up, and post a picture for you before it goes off to the finisher. My daughter pulled a Renaissance canvas out of my stash for me the other night, with a "this would look really cute in my room now that it's repainted" comment. So that got started last night. There's also my ANG SOTM Kimono canvas (August's stitch completed!) as well as my homework in the SNS "Under Construction" class. And there's my flag, which I haven't touched since I got to the 100 out of 247 boxes status, about a month ago. Work has been so insane that I was too tired to stitch at night this past Thursday....that's very unusual for me!

I am off to take my Stitching Sister to lunch at her favorite restaurant for her birthday. There are no needlepoint stores near The Cheesecake Factory. On the other hand it's across the street from the Container Store.....

Have a great weekend!


Monday, August 3, 2009

"boo" Is Finished

I just finished "boo" last night. This was such a fun and quick stitch. The canvas is by & more and the stitch guide is by Amy Bunger. Amy picked really fun stitches for the stripes. Her thread selection is amazing. I really enjoyed this piece for two reason - first, you never got bored. The stripes were stitched so quickly that you never had a chance to say, "How much more of this do I have to do?" Second, it was a nice break from the Nativity. I love stitching the Nativity but it is very intense and you really have to think and pay attention. "boo" was just a fun stitch, no real thought required. Tomorrow I will drop this off for finishing. I have some really different ideas rolling around in my head. It will be interesting to see how it comes out.

Now I am off to start the third Magi. I think this one will be my favorite. I love the colors of the Magi of the Orient.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Amy's August e-newsletter

There is always something new to learn in Amy's e-newsletter. This month's lesson on how to reattach the bell that came off Amy's elephant really hit home. I have been working on the All That Glitters club and this month when I got back one of my finished ornaments two beads were hanging off. Needless to say I was very upset and could not figure out how to fix it. One option was to give it back to our LNS to send back to the finisher - not something I like to do. Another option was to try to figure out how to fix it myself. To the rescue came Amy. I am not happy that Amy's elephant had a minor accident but that accident really helped me.

If you do not yet get Amy's monthly newsletter (which is free), I strongly suggest that you do. You never know when you will get a helpful hint that you really need.