Friday, January 29, 2010

What a difference a color makes

Wow, what a difference. This summer a group of us stitched Melissa Shirley's Mellow Yellow canvas as the very first Mystery Class at Bedecked and Beadazzled.

It was so much fun, and I love my finished purse.

But wow, what a difference a color change can make! A friend of mine stitched the background of hers in black. That was the only color change. We did a different stitch in the background to cover the pink paint more thoroughly, but that's it. Everything else is exactly the same. It is stunning!

Thanks for sharing the photo Sue!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What a class

Today was the first day of our Melissa Shirley Mystery Class. I think I surprised a few people with the choices I made for how to stitch this canvas.

Here's the canvas after lesson #1's stitching is complete.

I hope you can see the subtle details, because it is really cool. Ultimately, I want this heart to be rich and dramatic —— a sparkling jewel of golds and roses.

We began by attaching sequins in the background of the design area. The only challenge here is that we are using invisible thread and invisible thread really is invisible.

Now for the fun part. Thanks to taking a class with Caela Conn Tyler last October I have been introduced to the magic of tulle. Tulle is bridal veiling and comes in multitudes of colors. Lay the tulle on top of your canvas and you can oh so subtly change the color of the design. I wanted to warm up the canvas colors on this piece.

You need to tack the tulle in place. We learned that the tulle stretches in one direction more than the other so tacking the tulle loosely on all 4 sides is a must.

Once the tulle is in place we worked an open stitch over the entire background using Sparkle Braid in the gold/pink/green/blue mix. This gives everything an elegant richness that is way too cool.

Working through tulle has pluses and minuses.
A. It is really, really pretty.
B. You can not use a laying tool when stitching on tulle, you will snag it so choose your threads and stitches accordingly.
C. If you make a mistake while stitching, you can not back your stitches out. You have to unthread the needle and one by one take your stitches out.
D. The color tulle you choose to put on top of your canvas is not always the color you expect. We tried pinks, and creams and light yellow but the color that worked its magic on this piece is dark gold!

Everyone now has choices to make. Add the tulle or don't add the tulle. We'll see who chooses what next time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

If you don't love cute kitties come back in a few days

What can I say, sometimes the spirit just moves me to post kitty pictures. I try not to do it often but sometimes I just can't resist.

Here's Richie, my youngest.

Here's the canvas we designed from one of his baby pictures.

Tigger who was the dearest cat I ever met. Boy did he love ice cream with mom :-)

He too has a special canvas.

And last for today is Hunter. He is by my side through every needlepoint project but he does wish I would stitch smaller pieces. Those big evertites are scary.

He too has a canvas. Yes, he does have that wonderful spot on his side.

Hugs from me and the boys. Happy Stitching.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sometimes Enough is not Enough

Our Merry Christmas Mystery Class came to an end today. And while I will miss all of you dear friends and the fun we have had, I'm excited to be sending it off to the finisher. This piece is singularly the best time I have had stitching anything to date. How's that for a big statement.

Today we tackled the center square. The background is a pretty open stitch and must be completed first before the letters.

What to do with letters that are this thin? We could Tent Stitch them, but then we would have jagged edges on many of the curves. We could Cross Stitch them which would even everything out. Or we could do my favorite option. Couch Kreinik metallic along the strokes of the letters. To me this is the prettiest option. It does have some drawbacks.

Since the background is semi-open, you do have to pay attention to where your threads travel on the back. This means tacking your red and green threads directly behind the letters. It's a little fussy, but worth the effort. Take it slow and when necessary scooch the threads behind the letters and tack them in place.

After I finished the center I still wasn't satisfied. I felt it needed more. Enough wasn't enough. I added a simple gold border around the entire design.

Now it's finished and as I said, off to the finisher. It will be back in a few short weeks ready for your perusal.

Merry Christmas from she who still has her tree up!

Friday, January 08, 2010

New Year New Project

Woo Hoo I get to start a new project! You know that elation of the first stitches on a brand new canvas. Well, we have a new Mystery Class Starting at Bedecked and Beadazzled at the end of January and I finally get to start stitching on it. I've had to leave it in the shop untouched for months waiting until I could bring it home to play.

I have so many fun ideas that I'm just itching to try. Stay tuned, hopefully you will enjoy watching what I come up with.

Here's my latest muse. Handpainted on 13ct canvas by Melissa Shirley.

For those who are following we have our last Mystery Class with Raymond Crawford's Merry Christmas on Sunday. I'll post the final stitched piece that evening. Then it's off to the finisher!
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