Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Colors Puzzle

It's still sort of Christmastime.  Decorations are still out.  New Year's Eve is tomorrow so it's not really too late to unveil a new Christmas design.  This is the latest collaboration between myself and EyeCandy Needlearts. 

You may remember the mystery class this summer - Harvest Colors Puzzle.  It was so much fun that it has morphed itself into several variations.  First there was the charted version for my counted canvaswork friends and now there is the Christmas Colors Puzzle!

It is once again a painted canvas with stitch guide.  All decked out in pretty colors to welcome Santa....next year :-)  It stitches up quick!

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Holidays

Where has this month gone???  Just days ago it feels like we started the holiday mystery and here we are at the last class already. 


I found great buttons that were perfect additions to the Noel and Jingle canvases and as you know with me, one thing leads to another and before you know it we have jingle bells on the canvas too!  What fun it is when your canvas jingles...... and you are still stitching on it.


I did add a few more beads in the background for a little extra sparkle. 

I know I will finish mine as pillows but the current game plan is for them to be very different pillows.  I'm waiting for trim to arrive. As soon as it does, the elves will work their magic. Yes, the elves are tired but they want to see these pillows complete too, so I think they will work quickly.

The shop is closed for a few extra days around Christmas.  I'll be working  hard on stitching other things to make you smile during the gray days of winter.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Ruth

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Fruits

Well, not necessarily holiday fruits, but fruits non-the-less and fruits to be given as a holiday gift. So, in a round-about way, I guess they really are holiday fruits.


I designed a series of fruitful canvases, Pears, Apples and Watermelons that can fit in various Stirling leather goods.  Some are 8 x8 and some are 4 x 8.



For as much as I would like to say that I have stitched models of everything I design, it doesn't always happen.  But sometimes, friends stitch my canvases as surprise gifts for their mothers and I get to show off their talent too!!!!
Here's the 8 x 8 pear canvas stitched by Pamela and finished on the front of a gorgeous tote!


Her mom is going to love it!!! The pears are beautifully stitched in a variety of threads and stitches and of course beads!

No peaking under the tree or you'll spoil the surprise.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Trivia from your resident Needlepoint Geek

Did you know that you can gift an iapp?


I didn't, but how cool is that?  

For quite some time users have had the ability to gift albums and songs through iTunes, and of course users always have had the ability to purchase iTunes gift cards. Back in March, Apple came out with the ability to “Gift an App” on iTunes. This new “Gift an App” feature allows gift givers to gift their favorite paid apps for a more personalized holiday experience. Here's an article that was published in March that briefly walks through the steps on how to do this, but it’s really easy. Basically you select “Gift this app” through a drop down box, enter the recipients information including a message, and purchase. The recipient is then notified of their app gift and it appears in their iTunes account. Pretty cool.



So, if you are looking for  a virtual stocking stuffer I am pleased to suggest iStitches Volume One or iStitches Volume Two!  Both volumes are now available and are happily functioning on iPods, iPads and iPod Touch everywhere.  Each volume has 300+ stitches diagrammed and sorted both alphabetically and by stitch type.  Search by name, enlarge the diagram and all from the convenience of your gadget of choice - with you 24/7.





You may now resume your shopping, gift wrapping and general yuletide stressing over the hundreds of things to be done

Happy Holidays

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Love Letters?

Letters TO Santa?
  
Letters from Santa?.....

          Letters on our Christmas mystery canvases of course.

I love typography;  it's the graphic designer in me. 


It's important that the lettering looks good and is the star of the show on this canvas.  Today was lesson #2 in our holiday mystery at the shop so today we tackled the lettering. 



I knew when I selected this canvas that I wanted to bead the letters, but I also knew I wanted a little more than just beads.  So we created a grid of Smyrna Crosses and filled that grid with seed beads.  Part of the magic of the pattern is the contrast between the metallic thread for the smyrnas and red opaque non metallic beads for the rest of the pattern. 



It takes some time but the vote was unanimous.  It was worth the effort.  The letters look like candied jewels!

Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Perfect Stocking Stuffer

I'm a bling girl.  I know it;  you know it;  we all know it.

If there's a way to add beads or crystals to my needlepoint, I'm going to do it.  I sometimes forget I can also add bling via my favorite tool, the hot fix crystal applicator.  Yesterday, I happily added crystals to too projects and they look great.

On one I used the crystals as the finishing touch to bring it to life just before sending it to the finisher, on the other I'm not even halfway done and I've already blinged it up!  And there are plans for more bling!

Hot fix crystals sit flat on the canvas as opposed to beads which are round or bicone shaped.  They reflect light differently, so why not mix it up and all the bling to add perspective and depth to our needlepoint too?

This got me to thinking that the hot fix crystal applicator would be the perfect stocking stuffer.  Not too big, not too expensive and imagine the fun you could have sparkling Christmas Day to a new level.  Just remember to ask Santa to bring crystals too.  Otherwise, you will be just like the kid on Christmas morning with no batteries for his new toy.


Applying crystals is super easy and fun.  Plug in the applicator, let it get hot and away you go.  Pick up a crystal with the applicator, allow the glue to melt for a second or two and then position where desired on needlepoint, clothing, greeting cards.  What could be easier?  The crystals come in different sizes and colors.  Yes, there is glue involved on the back of the crystal and over time it could degrade but really, is it going to happen in this lifetime?  Probably not.


Have fun, add some sparkle to your world and feel free to remind Santa that you are a bling girl too!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Magic Fairy Dust

She is magic.  I had absolutely the best time ever stitching this canvas.  The canvas is an adaptation of an illustration by Paper d'Art.  Ruben's illustrations are just so dear.  They are magic by themselves.  They have all these tiny details that I love.

I am much more about tiny details and changing colors and adding beads than I am about large areas of one thing.  If you know me, you know my definition of a large area is anything over 1 inch.  But I digress.



I played when I stitched this fairy.  There's lots of floss, different sizes of metallics and beads and crystals.  Regular Tent Stitches change direction as needed to follow a curve.  I plied up or down on the floss to get the depth that I needed. 

I wasn't really sure how I wanted to finish her and then we can up with the idea that she should be a large ornament.  Imagine her hanging over a little girl's bed.  She's guaranteed to bring nothing but sweet dreams.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Noel/Jingle all the way

Thank you everyone who joined our Christmas Mystery class.

Today was the first class of the 2010 holiday adventure;  I had a great time and hope you did too!

This year, our canvas was by Beth Gantz Designs.  It's a simple design but very cute — The word Noel or Jingle on a striped background.  This is going to be a great canvas to get us in the mood for the holidays.  Not too hard, painted on 13ct and only a few colors.

We started with the background.  I love the stripes but wanted to play with them and not do the obvious, one stitch in the dark stripes and a different stitch in the light stripes.









To change things up we started with an all-over blackwork pattern changing the colors as the stripes changed.  Other than the typical issues of compensation that was a pretty straightforward task.

I do have a hint courtesy of my mom for compensating the stitch across the letters.  She continues the pattern on top of the letters in a different color of thread.  Then when everything is stitched and she knows everything lines up, out come the wrong colored stitches!  Pretty neat trick.  Thanks mom.

Once the blackwork is complete it was time to embellish the pattern with metallics.  This time rather than changing the color we changed the embellishment stitches.  How cool is that?


I'm off to start stitching the next lesson.  Now the fun can really begin!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tis the season for PEACE

What a weekend!  Could we have picked a better project to wrap up our Fall classes at the shop??


Peace! will take you back to Woodstock and make you think of the freedom and color of the 60's.  You know I love color and the more the merrier.  This is part of a new series I designed and introduced this summer. 

The classroom was colorful and bright with all the variations the series has to offer hanging on the walls.



Wendy Harwood of Aristeia came East to teach her rendition of PEACE and we had a great time.



And, we have another signature for our autograph wall! 



I've been stitching away on my canvas.  It's a fun project, lots of threads that lend themselves to making progress quickly. And most importantly, some really fun stitches. 

Thanks for coming, Wendy.  We had a great time!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Patterns and Color and Fabrics Oh My!

I can while away a ridiculous amount of time looking at pretty pictures on the web.  I go from site to site making connections and finding my way from artist to artist.  It's interesting that the world isn't really all that big and sometimes you keep coming back to the same familiar places but from different routes.

photo @ Amy Butler Designs

photo @ Amy Butler Designs


One of the designers whose work I am drawn to again and again is Amy Butler.  I fall in love over and over with her textile art.  Her art is beautiful and lush, a combination of flowers and architecture all in a bright tropical palette.  Check out the inspiration page on her website and I promise you will be inspired!

Amy designs textiles and sewing patterns and each is happier and fresher than the one before. You know my need for color and pattern and these pieces fit the bill.

Yet again, as life would have it, I stumble onto Amy's site.  And OH MY!  She now designs exquisite Fashion and Travel Bags. These are just the prettiest bags, lush Egyptian Cotton in gorgeous prints trimmed in leather.  They are yummy.  All different shapes, sizes and patterns.  I can't decide which is my favorite.  They have lots of pockets and are perfect for carrying your needlepoint, or just carrying anything.

They arrived in the shop today and we're in love!  I can't stand it, I want them all.  Stop in and see them, it's worth the visit.




Friday, November 05, 2010

Harvest Colors Puzzle Mystery solved

If you've been following my blog, you know we are all about Mystery Classes at Bedecked and Beadazzled. You sign up for a class knowing only what the canvas will be.  You then come to class every 2 weeks or so either in person or virtually and receive a new section of the stitch guide along with the threads, beads and whatnot for that section.  I'm only stitching about a week ahead of you!
You can see our past and future Mysteries on the mystery class page of the website. It's never really too late to join the fun. Even if a mystery is solved we can still kit the project for you. You've just skipped ahead and know how the mystery ends!

We finished the Harvest Colors Puzzle Mystery Class about 2 months ago and I didn't know how I wanted to finish the piece. 



I could frame it, or make it a wonderful pillow with just the perfect trim, or inset it into a box top or tray, or make a needle notes book.  (More on this another day.)  What to do????

Inspiration finally struck.  I had this great totebag from lantern moon.  It's woven something, probably bamboo leaves, in a wonderful orange color.  Away the two pieces go.  Tote bag and needlepoint to be combined into the perfect stitching tote.  Here's the results.



Pretty cute isn't it?  Here's my moment of genius.  Well, not really genius, but a pretty darn good idea.  I sent the finisher a piece of black tulle to stretch over the needlepoint.  Now there is a semi-protective layer over the stitching. Much less worry about the stitches and beads getting snagged! When you see it in person you can barely tell the tulle is there.  It doesn't make it busy.  You do have to find the right color but I just used black and it simply made all the other colors richer.


While I was teaching the mystery I also thought it would be fun to turn the same design into a charted design in a different colorway.  Here it is.  I stitched it in turquoise, lime and navy on teal canvas from JAR Designs.   If you would like a new counted thread project for your collection, you can order the chart here


It's getting cooler out so more stitching time.  I have lots planned to share so we'll talk soon!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween from our girl Hermina Batwings

Well, here's how I looked for class today.  Does it give you a clue how the day went?  We were silly.  Everyone said they had trouble taking me seriously.  I don't know why.... really, I'm a girl in a pink sweater, what's the problem?

TRICK OR TREAT!

Hermina is out trick or treating.  She's very proud of her costume.  She has a bevy of bats flying around her and two particularly fun yo-yo bats hanging from either side of her wings.  Pretty clever girl isn't she?  She hung those bats from glow in the dark strings so that you can hardly see the strings.  I can just imagine them swinging and swaying as she walks from house to house.

The bottom edge of her skirt has a row of orange pumpkins across it.  Either these pumpkins magically levitate or they are the ruffle on her skirt.  I think they are a ruffle, after all what do little girls like?  Bows, and roses and pageant gowns!  OK, too much Project Runway, but I digress.  The ribbon roses are super fun to do.  Ours are extra special and overlap.

Look closely in the background and spooky eyes await.  Stitch as many or as few as you like.  They make a simple but fun background, particularly when you realize they glow in the night.

For her photo opportunity, Hermina stands on a purple base perfect for any little girl witch to show off her costume.


We wish you a Happy Halloween.  Tomorrow we'll deal with the sugar rush.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monet meets Caela Conn Tyler

We just finished another wonderful class with Caela Conn Tyler.  This was Caela's second visit to teach at the shop. If you follow my musings on the blog, you may remember she was here last year just days after we moved into the new location!

 





















This year in addition to the color theory class, she taught a wonderful project, Polar Shadows.


This is Caela's interpretation of a little known Monet painting.  Caela's projects are always interesting.  She layers small stitches with subtle color differences to create depth and dimension.  She also layers beautiful colors of tulle and organza over the needlework to soften and manipulate the colors.  This is one of my favorite techniques.  I learned it from her last year and I love the look.  Definitely something I will continue to explore.

























Caela's projects are packed full of theory.  Minimal stitches are used but those that are used are modified to create variations.  Each variation allows the viewer to create a different viewing plane/angle or different depth in the design.


This was early in the day yesterday before the switch to doodle cloth was made - Looks like a good bit of stitching was done.



Thank you Caela for another great class.  Thank you everyone who attended, we enjoy your company and love that you share our enthusiasm for the art!

See you soon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Color Details with Caela Conn Tyler

Today at the shop we were fortunate to host a one day COLOR class with Caela Conn Tyler.


Here's how Caela describes the class.....

Color Details: "Crossing the Wheel” explores direct complements in depth thus demystifying one aspect of color theory for students.  Each student will select a preferred direct complement combination and explore the range of colors available within that combination by creating tints, tones, and shades, then a myriad of surprising new hues as they mix complements and tint the mixtures.

Yes, we painted!  Everyone sat at tables based upon the colors they chose to explore.  Interestingly enough, they also dressed in the same colors!  :-) 


There was the blue table


and the purple table.


Class was interesting, informative and full of ah ha moments.....  

If you ever have the opportunity, take a class from Caela.  You won't be disappointed.  You'll learn a lot and have a great time doing it. Don't be timid, she'll have you diving in and having fun before you know it.




Thanks for joining us.  Until next time.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's all about the eyes!

Well here we are, lesson #3 of totally silly needlepoint -- Hermina Batwings the current mystery class at the shop!  Our little girl Hermina's costume is complete and she's holding a wonderful purple gourd with a frog hanging onto it for dear life!  There's no other way to describe the look on his face.

 

I've known since I started this canvas how I wanted to stitch the frog and the purple gourd.  It's all about the eyes!  The frog eyes are these great scrapbooking brads that I found and horded for all my stitchy friends.  The gourd's eyes are plastic rings covered with buttonhole stitches of Kreinik Fine Braid.  Love both eyes.


Now here's the fun part, for the frog's eyes, do you want your eyes to tilt up or down?  The choice is yours!


The beads are another fun part of this lesson.  You know how much I love beads.....  The little frog uses beads in two different ways.  We only have one green bead that is the right color so we needed to get depth with only one color.  The trick here is attaching the beads in two different ways!  Each way reflects the light differently and allows his little hands to come forward wrapping around the stem on the gourd.

Next class is Halloween.  TRICK OR TREAT!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hermina's Closet

Hermina is quite a fashionable little girl playing dress up as a witch for Halloween. 

Today in class we created her clothes.  Her sweater is a bulky striped knit of Fuzzy Stuff and Ribbon. It's a good solid knit that mom would approve of to keep her warm while Trick or Treating.

Over the top of her sweater she has a giant cut out pumpkin.  Yes, it's a cut out pumpkin.  It's flat.  Now, I love the stitch we used on her pumpkin as the round shape of the stitch echoes the roundness of the pumpkin but because it is stitched in plied silk with accents of metallic ribbon it really does read as a flat.  It's not a big round dimensional pumpkin.

My favorite part of her outfit is her skirt.  It's a great stitch worked in 3 parts with 3 different threads.  It has lots of texture in just the right shade of yellow.


Her shoes are shiny and sparkly and will keep her feet moving until next class when we meet her friends, the frog and the silly gourd.  Until then......

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just look at the frame!

Okay, look at the needlepoint, really look at the needlepoint.... I do love it when everything comes together.  The framing on the Watering Can lady is wonderful.  It's everything I had in my mind and more.



This was a mystery class that we ran several months ago at the shop — A Maggie canvas brought to life with stitches and thread choices from my crazy little head.

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you can join us sometime. Mystery Classes are loads of fun.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The face is most important

I start a canvas with the parts that I know have to be a certain way. Sometimes its a certain color that sets a tone or a stitch or a patter that I see in my head. In this case it was her face. She had to look cute! She is a little girl playing dress up with the most amazing costume ever. The cats and bats over her shoulder, are they real or are they only in her imagination?

Today was lesson #1 of the Hermina Batwings class at the shop. Today was a day for stitching things we can not see. BLACK! OK, I must be getting old. Black bats, black cats, black hat and then the face, green on green.


I really do like her face;  it's one ply of silk in the same yummy green color she was painted.  One ply allows the pink of her cheeks to gently show through.  I'm never happy with the blending of thread colors in such a small space so very light coverage allows the blush on her cheeks to show through. 

The bats have a fun little pattern worked in 2 different black threads that moves quickly and looks good.

Next lesson, I promise lots and lots of color!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What fun we are having

Brenda Hart, Canvas Embellishment Guru has been here this weekend for her annual Fall trip.  We have a great time.  It's a very informal class with lots of give and take of ideas.  Brenda is really quite brilliant with her stitch choices.  She looks at a canvas and knows what details to edit and what details to bring to life.



One of the best things about Brenda's personality is her open nature.  She's willing to work with you.  If you put in a stitch and don't like it; we'll find another.  There's no one answer, there's lots of answers and she's willing to find the one that works for you.


Over time, students come back and show off finished pieces which is always a treat.

This peacock canvas by Shorebirds was stitched in class a year or so ago and is absolutely stunning.  I love the background and would never in a million years have thought of it.  That's the beauty of Brenda.



Sue stitched this canvas from Maggie and with the help of Brenda's vision it really shines!


Amanda Lawford's Poppy is brought to life with great stitches and fun buttons.



Now of course as every needlepointer knows, much of the fun of taking the class is the shopping!


Seriously, though, most of the bags were already Karen's but she looked so cute here.

Thanks everyone for coming and making this another special weekend at Bedecked and Beadazzled.

Ruth

P.S. Brenda had so much fun, she asked to come back in January; she doesn't want to wait until May. How cool is that?
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