Friday, July 26, 2013

Summertime Summertime!

Summertime in Houston is only good for two things ~ Lemonade & Needlepoint!  I have been making good use of both this summer.  And, managed to do both in the company of friends!

I finished the Keep Calm & Needlepoint canvas and sent it off to the framer.  This will be my second project to have framed and I am excited to see the finished product.  Until then, here is the completed canvas!

This was a very quick project and very relaxing!  I beaded the crown, but the letters are basketweave and the background stitch was easy and enjoyable!

Then, as an Ode to the Seashore (another mandatory summertime activity) I started on the Mystery Class from Ruth Schmuff, Aquamarine.   I quickly nicknamed her the "slutty mermaid" for my own purposes.  Sweet little thing, I hope that she did not mind!  I LOVED doing this project.  It follows the same theme as the "Keep Calm" project of ease of stitching.  I did really struggle with how to begin on the black curls, but, once I got started it was an easy task.  This, too, has been sent off for framing and I am really excited to see how it comes back.  

I was also thrilled to get Shaw's belt back from Elizabeth Turner Finishing,  He loves it and modeled it for some photographs below!

So, now you have seen it all.....even a little peek of his boxers sticking out ...... what a lucky day for the blogoshere!

On a related stitching note, I decided to do some reorg in my office and ended up with some new boxes for my needle point.  The two photos below will show you some of the fruits of my labors!

I think that this is a better way for me to know what I have and to be able to look at stash thread to ensure that I do not purchase more and more of the same thread!  Instead, I bought out the container store of all of these convenient storage bins!

I am back to the stitching chair to work on Tudor's Kit 3.  Kit 4 is on its way as I type this entry!

Time to get some lemonade and stitch!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Everything Old is (Or)Nue Again!

I am excited to complete a portion of my Tudors Project (Amy Bunger Home Study).  It is a technique similar to that of "Or Nue".  One strip of the Tudors project uses this technique.  I have never done it before and found it rather daunting before I started.  But, I ended up really enjoying the process and the end effect!  The basic principle is that you lay a thread and then cover that thread strategically to reveal a pattern when you are finished.  Here is an explanation from Historical Needlework Resources and an example of a famous piece of Or Nue.

Or Nue (or shaded gold) is a form of goldworkembroidery using couching where different colored silk threads are stitched over the metallic base of gold threads to form patterns or designs, often figures or narrative scenes. The finished product is a definite pattern, deliberately stitched so that the metal shows through. The density and placement of the silk over stitching makes the design. The entire design, background and foreground, is stitched, using small upright stitches.
The technique was worked particularly in Belgium, France and the Netherlands in the Middle Ages. Embroiderers in Italy and Flanders developed this technique to an impressive level of sophistication.

Below, by contrast is my tiny area of Or Nue - esque stitching.  I am already thinking of other places that I could use this!  I love it!  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summertime, Summertime

Summer in Houston: is there a better excuse to stay indoors and Needlepoint?  I think not!  I have made a valiant effort on the stocking for Henry, but I have found myself distracted by a couple of other things!  Kit Two of Tudors arrived and it has been great fun so far.  I have completed the blackwork on the burgundy background and this weekend will attack the black and gold band on the side.  I read the instructions tonight and was thoroughly confused by them, so, I decided it was time to quit for the evening.

Ruth Schmuff's Mystery Class Aquamarine is coming along well.  I finished the seahorse (which I love) and started on the basketweave for the hair.  Next will come couching the wonder ribbon....yikes!

And, I am rolling right along on my Keep Calm and Needlepoint canvas.  I ran out of thread tonight, but should be able to finish it next week since I will wait to finish the next section of the Tudors before I come back to it.

All this to say that I have NEVER had so many projects actively working at the same time.  I actually like it much more than I ever thought I would.  Very odd, indeed, but the distraction of each one is nice.

Will take some pictures before I post next time!  This is pretty boring, I know!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Alice, is this Wonderland?

"But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."

"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.” 

Well, Lewis Carroll pretty much sums up my purchasing strategy when it comes to needlepoint.  Needlepoint anything: canvasses, tools, books.  If you are going in the water, why not jump in feet first? 

This sets up an admission!  I purchased another canvas and guide and threads this week.  I am waiting to receive Ruth Schmuff's Mystery Class , Aquamarine the Mermaid.  I have no idea why I am so taken with the project.  I was clicking around on the internet (damn you, Al Gore) and I came across her.  Like a siren directly out of Homer's Odyssey, the song bemused me and I found myself running ashore.....or at least running to the email to order the canvas and kit.  Like all good sailors, I convinced fellow mate, Laurie to crash into the rocks with me!  We are excited to get the package ~ hopefully this week!

In the meantime, when I have not been purchasing canvasses, I have actually been stitching.  I have worked on three of the Funky Fantasy Flowers.  I am finished with Felicity .  I have the first two parts of Farrah completed ~ now I need to find some beads before I can move forward.  Yesterday, I started Fiona.  I made a lot of progress.  I am not doing any of the backgrounds until I have them all finished and I will choose three greens to use for the backgrounds on the various canvasses.


Now, I am pleased to announce that I have made some stocking progress as well.  I am finished with the background and I am working on the rabbits at the bottom of the canvas.  Judy Meyer and I had Laurie Walden give us a long and short class.  I am not sure that I have the hang of it, still.  But, I will press on with the rabbits!  I am at the point, now, that I am making progress again that I will try to push through and get to end of this project!  It is about time!

In regards to my painfully slow progress on the stocking for Henry, I again resort to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland ~The Mad Hatter to Alice,

"You used to be much more....."muchier".  You've lost your muchness."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May I??

Apparently, I am going to post once a month!!  No, I promise to do better!  I had a great trip to Memphis for some stitching at Amy's shop with Laurie, Mary, & Pam.  We had some time to catch up with Jill and that was great fun!  We also had an EPIC night at Flight that included Amy amusing us with her old fashioned whistle......we all laughed and laughed....not sure how our fellow guests received it!  Of course, there was some Gus's World Famous Chicken; not to mention a few martinis!

Laurie and I had Amy focus on the Funky Fantasy Flowers that we bought ~ it inspired Jill to go home and purchase the set for herself ~ why does that delight me so much??  Amy had some great ideas for interesting techniques and stitches for the flowers and I think we ended up with guides for all but three of the canvasses.  Laurie and I have already knocked out one each, and we are anxious to see Jill's first floral fantasy flower!  Pam worked on a Ewe and I house (most of the time) and took the final few stitches in her John Johansen Pig ~ it is amazing.  Mary worked diligently on one of her Ewe and I house scenes.  Laurie, Mary, and I all got to pick up our Tudor's canvas and first kit.  That was fun also!  As usual, we had a great time and look forward to the next time we can get away and stitch together!

As I mentioned, I finished the first of the flowers from the Funky Fantasy Flower series.  I am waiting on the background as I want to coordinate the background on the series when I get to the end, I think.  They will be different shades of green.  Here is the website photo of the series.  I will post a photo of the one that I completed tomorrow!

Funky Fantasy Flowers

Was so excited to get two more of my eggs back from Pam.  I am happy with the way that they turned out!  I really loved stitching "From Russia with Love"!

I have finished with the first kit of The Tudors series.  It was the "Anne of Cleeves" section.

So, I think we all know what this means ~ yes the dreaded stocking must hit the System 4 yet again!  Pam tried to kick start me this week by offering to add some of the nebulous boughs on the background.  Hopefully, I can work up the effort to hit it hard!  No promises!

Sleep well, gentle readers, may visions of canvasses dance through your heads!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Memphis in the Rear View window!

Just back from a fun trip to Memphis with Laurie, Mary, & my favorite partner in stalking, Pam!  (Pam and I like to stalk the famous people staying in the hotel!)
We had a marvelous time stitching with Amy & Jill!  More details to reveal soon!

Friday, April 5, 2013

April? What??

April?  How did that happen??  The year is slipping away and I am not getting any stitching completed!  Well, last Sunday, March 24th, I began the wedding book canvas for my friend and neighbor's son.  Nothing like a good old approaching deadline to get me back on track!  I finished it last night.  I think it is really beautiful.  The canvas is simple and classic, by Ann Wheat Pace.....she always gets it just right!
So, now that I am back on track, what will I work on and I both has to be Henry's stocking.  That poor child should have me excommunicated as God Mother!  I am a disgrace.

But, I will embark on it AGAIN and hope that I can fully commit!  Please send encouragement!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ode to St Valentine!


I love St Valentine's Day.  When I was little, my grandmother, affectionately known as Honey, would tell me the story of St Valentine and I would think about it all during February.  It does not hurt that it is  also the season of conversation hearts.  I love them, too!  Remember when they used to be easy to read?

I always keep an eye out for St Valentine's decorations that I might like, but seldom do I like the ones that I see.  When it comes to needlepoint, I have purchased and stitched a few things to celebrate the special day!

My favorites are the candy boxes with Needlepoint on top.  Finished by The Amazing Pam, I love these sweet boxes.  I bought the candy boxes at the drug store and let my children empty out the contents.  I sent them off to Pam and they came back like this!  I made two for Emma Grace and the big one for Shaw.  I love the canvas on his that says "Masking you to be mine" with the masked boy!  So Cute.  I stitched these when the children were about 3 and 5!  (Back in the day when they wanted me to be their Valentines!)

Then, a couple of years ago I saw a series in the Needlepoint Now Magazine.  It was a "bucket" full of needlepointed hearts that were finished on painted sticks.  I ordered them toot-sweet.  They took, literally, about 2  or 3 hours each  to stitch.  The series came with a hand painted bucket, but it was not really my style.  Some of the hearts are not as cute as others, but all together they are darling in a crystal vase like a dozen roses to celebrate the kind hearted St Valentine! Nancy helped me choose ribbons to adorn the sticks and added to the finishing, again from The Amazing Pam!

I have just received in the mail a new series of small round flower ornaments to be finished like this as well so that I will have several needlepoint bouquets around to remind me of Honey at St Valentines Day!

Click Below to read the story !

Happy February & Happy St Valentine's Day!


 I still miss you, Honey!
xoxo, your Valentine!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Well, I saw this image tonight (dare I call it a that the correct use of that word?).  What ever you want to call it, I can call it one thing for sure.....TRUE!
I was re-inspired by Pam to get focused on the stocking last night.  Now that I am re-inspired, I did not have one free moment to stitch today.  But, I will tomorrow, and this is exciting!  In the meantime, I will dream about the creepy hoarders music and the chance that I would be featured for my Needlepoint stash.  Goodnight, fellow hoarders!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Needed: Faith (of the spider that is)

I simply can not motivate myself to work on the stocking.  I have many cheerleaders, Mary, Pam, Laurie, and Jill!  Instead, I started the first of my first 12 Days Of Christmas by Shelly.  It is easy to take on the go, or at least that is how I rationalized it to myself!  Finished the sky and half of the grass on the Partridge in a Pear Tree....and still the stocking sits.  Seriously, this is a TIRED post!  I need to get motivated and just blast through the task at hand!  I am hoping that putting it into words (again) will serve as motivation for me!

For the time being, here is the sky on the 12 Days of Christmas!

P.S. I am excited to try to use my stash threads on this project.  I used a size 16 Krienik for this background and the string that you see is all the is left ~ mission accomplished ~ stash reduced!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Success through trial!

Well, after much consternation and crankiness, I finished the project.  Whew!  Good news is that finishing it somehow made me inspired to get back to the stocking!  Perhaps I needed to realize that it was actually something that I wanted to stitch!  So, a grateful "thank you" to the project that caused me to curse yesterday!

Friday, January 4, 2013


Frustrating night of stitching!  I am working on a project for someone else and it is making me crazy!  To make matters worse, I have already stitched this project.  So, I have given up for tonight! I shall let the frustration win and give up!  UNCLE!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Who Gives a Hoot?

Apparently, I give a hoot.....or 9 to be exact!  I finished Lily tonight, my 9th Raymond Crawford owl.  She is pretty in pink and was just about 100 too many French Knots for my taste!  My fingers are numb from all the french knots!

Meet Lily

Oops, now I am seeing that there are about 8 french knots in the lower right corner that I left off.  I will get right on that.  Obviously, I am loving these Owls.  Many of the Needlepoint bloggers refer to WIPs (works in progress).  Well, count this as one of mine....completed tonight, Day 3 of 2013!  

Obviously, I will not keep this pace up as I am ticking off all the smaller things that I have on my list.  It is funny that I am so reticent to begin again on the Stocking for henry.  I have quoted her before and I will do so again, " I can't think about that today, I simply go crazy if I do.  I'll think about that tomorrow." (Thank you Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler .......obviously, you suffered from indecision and procrastination as I do!)

More to stitch tomorrow!  Cheers!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tried and True Cliché

Cliché: Dangle a carrot in front of him. Explanation: 1. To motivate someone by providing an incentive or reward. 

 How to begin the New Year of stitching?  Well how about a little needlepoint motivation?  I finished my first project as the midnight hour had just passed and 2013 had arrived!  Thinking in terms of the reward I will give myself if I am able to relieve my stash list of some of its members.  Undoubtably, the reward will be new additions to the list.  (Yes, I see the irony in this!).  

Associated Talents provided me the realization of this cliché with one of the Easter carrot canvasses.  I love the way Pam finishes these for us at Needle House....and truth be told, it was the finishing that made me want to stitch a couple of these.  Here is my first project for 2013:

Also, completed today is one of the Raymond Crawford Owls that I am stitching.  I started it in late December and just added some finishing touches tonight.  As a matter of fact, after this photo, I added his feather "whiskers", but I did not take another photograph because I have put some temporary stitches in to train the feathers to extend in the direction that I desire.  So, I will add a refreshed photo of him in a week or so, when his whiskers come out of "traction"!

Meet Archimedes!

These two items put me on the track for a successful Needlepoint Year!   Cheers!