Sunday, November 29, 2009

Light your fire

Well as you can guess today's Merry Christmas Mystery lesson was the candle. Light your fire is the perfect name for the sparkling candle accented with sequins and beads.

This week's lesson really is a quick stitch.

The candle is of course the star of the show. The candle flame is Water N'Ice in Long Stitch and it just sparkles!!! The candle itself is 3 different stitches all quick and fun to do. The dripping candle wax is another quickie, flair in long stitches. Now here's a little side note, if you want your candle wax to have a little yellow cast from the reflection of the candle flame, stitch areas in yellow first in plain old basketweave and then add the long stitches of flair over the top. The yellow shows through just a bit. Very cool effect.

We also did the green square in Star Octagon Stitch - that's a fun little stitch that looks great in a combination of silk and metallic.

Haven't decided if I want to do the ornament or the holly yet. Depends what arrives in beads and crystals early this week.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Merry Christmas Poinsettia

Today was the day we tackled the poinsettia in the Merry Christmas Mystery Class. We're coming along. When you look at it, we've already completed quite a few squares.

I really like the poinsettia. And not just because there are crystals in the center. While that isn't a bad thing, that's not the only thing I like about it.

We started with T Stitch in Sparkle Braid covering all the petals and allowing just a bit of the shading to show through. Now, here's the cool part. After all the T Stitch was done we filled in some of the open stitches with Tent Stitch in a darker shade of Sparkle Braid. It's just enough to make the shading pop.

This is a great technique for anything that is painted with a lot of shades and tones. One color of one thread across everything in an open stitch and then enhance the dark shadows.

To really bring the Poinsettia to live we added veins in Chain Stitch and Stem Stitch and of course crystals in the center.

We also finished two other small squares in class!

I'm off to start lesson #4. Wonder what fun we can have there.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Perfect Pears

Apparently I have a thing for needlepoint pears.

Vintage Pears is a Melissa Shirley canvas that I just love. Beverly Churchfield did the stitchguide for it and it is amazing. The stitch selections and thread selections are so much fun they really take the canvas to the next level.

I added pears to my line of handpainted canvases this Summer. We have the large and small sizes to fit in different sizes of Stirling bags. This is the large size and it fits the smaller Stirling tote.

And here's the small size that fits in the shoulder bag or the accessory bag. The design looks good both horizontal and vertical. Stitch it up and decide on the bag later. One of my smarter moments :-)

This isn't a new obsession for pears. Back in the late 90's (yes, I've been around that long) I designed Gilded Pears, a counted work piece. It's also available as a painted canvas with a stitch guide.

I guess its true, I have a thing for needlepoint pears.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Merry Christmas Lesson #2

Here we go. Lesson #2 of the Merry Christmas canvas was today at the shop. We tackled a few more squares. Still many to go but this is a great way to stay on track and feel like you are accomplishing lots! Little goals do the trick.

Today we did simple Long Stitch triangles in 2 of the squares. Nothing exotic, we needed an easy square to get us started today.

We made a big sparkly pink snowflake. I'm convinced the world would be a better place if it snowed pink. Maybe some purple too. You may have noticed that I like bling. I also try to go for the unexpected, so rather than completely beading the snowflake which was my first thought, I put beads in the background. It's just a bit of glitter. The snowflake itself is a Laid Filling Stitch. Long Stitches of Perle Cotton overstitched with Petite Sparkle Rays. The final touch are the crystals on top for a little more sparkle.

We also did the diagonal pink and white striped section at the top. It's the easy sections that give me the most pause. The stripes aren't painted on a true diagonal nor are they perfectly even, so I had to do something that didn't work against those things. It's nothing more elaborate than Long Stitches but then I ruched Petite Sparkle Rays and couched it in place to make the sections divide with a little bit of frosty magic. Not a bad solution.

That's it for this lesson. It's super quick to stitch. All of you lovely ladies who are trying to play catch up because you have just received your canvas or are still waiting, here's your chance!

More bling to follow.......

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