Saturday, July 31, 2010

Here Is The Back Of The Frame

I love the way the picture is going in. The color of the back is just perfect for the frame.
Just love it.

Jake's Spectacular Christmas Frame

What a beautiful frame for Jake's First Christmas Picture. This is a Raymond Crawford canvas and was a Mystery Class given by Ruth Schmuff. Ruth's Mystery Classes are just the absolute best. Her stitch guides are very clear and a fun stitch. Ruth's choice of threads, stitches and embellishments really bring the canvases to life, and you look forward to stitch each section . The best part of the Mystery Classes are that they are east to get finished by the of the class. About every two weeks you get a new lesson and it should take no more than a few nights to stitch. So if you do your lesson every time you get it, you should be finished by the end of class. I opted not to do the Merry Christmas in the center of the canvas, so that I could put a picture in that space. I am just thrilled with the frame.
The finisher did such a great job. I should have taken a picture of the back. If I have time, I will post it later or tomorrow. You would not believe how great it is. Just love everything about the Christmas Frame. I personally think that Ruth has the best finishers. Their work is always beautifully done. The main reason the finishing is so spectacular is Ruth. She comes up with best ideas, trims and embellishments that really make your finished piece pop.
In just about a month, I will be going down to see Ruth and take a canvas embellishment class from Brenda Hart. This just came about this week. Someone cancelled out of the class and it just so happens Jen, my daughter, is off from work and I am off Jake duty. I am so excited about seeing Ruth, her new store and traveling with my new stitching friend, Karen. We are going to have such a wonderful time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My New Favorite Books

Ruth Schmuff has put her Stitch CDs Volumes One and Two into book format. What an absolutely wonderful idea. There are 300 plus stitches in each book. The stitch diagrams are big and easy to read. It is so easy to determine the pathway of a stitch. Another great feature of the stitch diagrams is that they are broken down into steps. The first step is in one diagram and the second part of the stitch is in another diagram and so on. Sometimes it gets confusing to follow the number sequence in complicated stitches and this makes it so much easier. The books are broken down into stitch types arranged alphabetically and the index at the end of each book is also alphabetical. Even if you have the CDs I would recommend getting the books. I have both and feel that is just easier to go through the book while stitching and designing your stitch guide and then once you have your stitches your can print them out from the CD if needed.
These would make a wonderful addition to your needlepoint library. I can see them being referred to frequently. I have not even put mine away yet. I am using them to help me with stitches for Jake's mini stocking. Great job Ruth! Thank you for two wonderful reference books.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shepherd Is Finished

Just finished the Shepherd yesterday. What a fun stitch he was. Amy as always amazes me with the stitches she comes up with. The lamb's ears are detached needleweaving. Having Amy's DVD makes it so much easier to do a technique you are not familiar. Watching Amy actually stitching the ears showed me the proper way to do them plus her helpful hints were what made the ears look so good. I am a visual person and watching DVD # 7 really was helpful. The Home Study Stitch Guides are detailed enough to accomplish any stitch in the guide but if you have Amy's DVDs watching Amy demonstrate how to do a stitch you are not familiar with or just want to make sure you doing it the right way is helpful. It is like being class with Amy. I am off to start Mama and Baby Lambs today. I should make the Christmas cut off for finishing without any problem.
I know there has been some discussion about some needlepoint stores not being very welcoming or helpful. I count myself as being very lucky in that I have had only one bad experience with a shop in California. I had called them inquiring about a stitch guide and when they found out that I already had the canvas they hung up on me. Needless to say they will never get any business from me.
I have also been blessed to have had exposure to three outstanding teachers - Amy Bunger, Tony Mineri and Ruth Schmuff. All three are very different but each one brings out the best in you as a stitcher. How very lucky we are to have such talented people who love their art and are also willing to share their talents with us.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ponza's Helper

Finally, some photos of my progress. I have finished the water, & the sky, and three of the four borders. The last border, which will be the rice stitch, I am saving for last, as it will be the most fun and will make this canvas just so stunning.

The rocks are coming along. I put in quite a bit of time yesterday; it was dreadfully hot, just too hot to leave the house. My husband was at a Yankee game, my daughter was doing her own thing---was I alone? Really? Just me and the laundry? So I plugged my ipod into my speakers, turned on Stuart Woods' latest book, Lucid Intervals, & stitched away on the rocks. Once the rocks are done I have about 6 shades of boucle for the bushes, with some pretty yellow & white ribbon for the tiny flowers....some french knots are in all likelihood in my future.

Cara helped me take today's photos. She's giving me a piece of her mind right now, as she really wants to be held & I am just insisting on posting to this blog. Honestly! She certainly sympathizes with Stewey.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer of My Discontent

There have been few postings from me lately, and I apologize. At least we've had Jake to keep us amused.

This has been a not-so-happy summer for me. I am wildly busy at work, with complex projects that require a lot of focus; I've put in a lot of late nights this past 2 months. This economy stinks, and it is unsettling not to see improvement on the horizon. I would not say I am an optimist, but I do think I have a bit of Scarlet O'Hara in me, often saying, "tomorrow is another day," with the implied hope that it will be better. It's getting harder & harder to say that, I'm finding. The weather has been exhausting too. Also because of the economy, I think, everyone is a little bit cranky & testy & impatient, which just makes everything a bit harder.

I haven't had time or energy to stitch much, and in fact am feeling a little bit overwhelmed by my stash as well. Just about everything I've worked on this past year has been large sized. When I do sit down to stitch, I enjoy it just as much as ever, but there just aren't enough hours.

On the plus side I still love my nook. :) While I may be too tired to stitch I am not too tired to read.

Last night I finished the baby buggy canvas that Linda photographed for you over the weekend. I will try to drop it off for finishing this week. It was a Princess & Me canvas, which are fun to stitch, although their stitch guides are......well, see my references above about cranky and testy & impatient. I did enjoy working the canvas up, and look forward to giving it as a gift this Christmas.

Now, I will return to Ponza's rocks. This is the last of the rocks canvases; I am hopeful to finish the rocks in the next 2 weeks, and then go on to the Ponza door canvas. I will post some progress this weekend---I will really try!!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Life is Good

Denise, my stitching sister, and I have not seen each other since we got back from our trip to Amy's. Denise has been overwhelmed at work. She is so busy that she has not been getting home until 8 or 9 at night and is then just too tired to stitch. Saturday she came over for lunch and stitching. It was so good to see each other and just catch up on everything. We ate lunch, stitched had gelato and biscotti and stitched some more. Jen and Jake came by to see Aunt Denise and to eat too.
Denise is working on a Princess and Me Baby Buggy Ornament. We covered the name since it is a surprise and we do not want to spoil it. I have the same one for Jake in blue. We are going to have them made as stand-ups with music boxes inside them. I have not gotten to mine yet.
I just picked up this pirate ship canvas Saturday morning at our LNS. I started it right away since I have to get it done for Christmas finishing deadlines. This will have to serve as Jake's temporary stocking. Next year he will get a big one.
Work on the Shepherd is progressing. I hope to be able to put a finished picture of him up by next weekend.
Jake and Jen came over today to try out Jake's pool. At first he was a little taken a back by the pool but then he really got into it. Splashing and laughing and just having a great time. I am glad the 45 minutes it took me to inflate it were worth while.
Off to work on the Shepherd. Hope to finish the blue robe and get to the staff tonight.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sterling Bags - A Great Experience

Today, it is very rare to find a company that stands behind their product and when you do, you have to let people know. I found one such company in Sterling Bags.
My Sterling Bag was purchased in February from Amy's and I just loved it and the canvas that I had custom painted for the insert. In June, when I went to Amy's for my Cook-Up Class, I took my bag with me. I used the bag while in Memphis and then changed to my running around bag when I returned home. I was very upset to discover that in the bottom corner the leather had worn away. Usually, I would just let it go but I decided to email the company. Within a couple of hours, I heard back and was told to send the bag back to them and they would replace it. I got an email the other day that they had received my bag and a new one would be shipped out to me on Monday. I never expected to get a response let alone a replacement bag. Sterling is certainly one company that stands behind their product. I love their products and would highly recommend them. Cannot wait to get one of their Kindle covers when them come out sometime after the Winter Trade Show. Sterling gets an EXCELLENT RATING for standing by their product and customer satisfaction.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Progress on Amy's Cook Up Class and Jake

Amy did such a wonderful and fun stitch guide for Kelly Clark's New York Santa. I have done all three borders except for the beading in the middle border. I have tried to touch just about every area on the canvas and have about a week or two left to stitch. Unfortunately, I have to put it aside to work on the Nativity Home Study. I have to get the Shepherd and Lamb completed and sent to Amy's before September 1. As soon as I have them finished, I will go back and work on my Santa. Our LNS deadline for Christmas finishing is October 1 so I should be able to make this deadline. I also wanted to get a small Princess and Me ornament done for Jake that I am going to have finished as a stand up music box.
Just had to post a few pictures of Jake and all his new stuff. Jake did not know where to look first when we put him in his exer-saucer. He just could not figure out what to touch first. He loved his high chair. He is able to now sit at the table with us when we have dinner. I think the swing was his favorite. He could stay in it all day. Good thing to have for when he comes in September.
Off to work on the Shepherd before Jake arrives.