Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Cat Steps Off the Canvas

Here he is, stepping out of the forest and right off the canvas!  I'm convinced he is a 90 ft. cat.

Here's what I can tell you about how I stitched the cat.

He is one cat so all the stitches needed to work together. The stitches needed to relate to each other.  If each area of the cat were a different stitch it would look too much like a sampler. Not like a real cat.

At the same time if the entire cat were one stitch it would not be fun to stitch!

So we start with the front leg, stitching it in vertical rows of balloon stitch.  That's the starting point.

From this point on everything needs to coordinate.

The sides of the cat are Diagonal Scotch, it looks like a small version of the Balloon Stitch and it goes back in space causing the sides of the cat to look like they go back in space from the front leg.  Each side goes in the opposite direction.

The paws are Tent Stitch, they needed to be simple.

Now for his head, hmmmmm.  It needs to be a bigger version of what we already have going on.  Large stitches come forward.  Small stitches recede.  His head is Balloon Stitch just like his front leg but a larger version and the direction of the stitch changed from vertical rows to horizontal rows.

The finishing touch is his muzzle.  Long stitches over layers of felt padding give it just the lift it needs.

I think he is quite cute.  His face is softer now than in the painted canvas original.  He seems more kitten-like to me.  I even named him with the help of a friend.  We call him Shamus.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm a magpie

You probably could have guessed, but I really am a magpie. Magpie's are known for being attracted to anything shiny and sparkly.  Yep, that's me.  They grab it and take it home to their nest.  Yep, that's me too.

This is one of James Audubon's paintings. 

I found this fun poem about seeing magpies:
One for sorrow. 
Two for Joy. 
Three for a girl. 
Four for a boy. 
Five for silver. 
Six for gold. 
Seven for a secret never told.
Eight is a kiss. 
Nine is a wish. 
Ten is a chance never to be missed.

I'm not sure what that has to do with needlepoint, but it amuses me this morning.

My latest obsession with all things sparkly are these gorgeous dichroic glass magnets from Lee Cox.  Dichroic glass contains multiple micro-layers of metal oxides which creates the beautiful sparkly layers of color.

Lee makes big magnets that will hold your scissors when you flip your needlepoint over on the frame and smaller magnets for your needles.

There are hearts in both sizes.  They are all so pretty you really can't go wrong.

These pictures are pretty, but now imagine all the colors dancing with light and magic.  You will love them.  They just make me smile.

Lee also makes matching scissors fobs;  they are just too cool.  If you think the magnets are pretty, wait until you see the fobs!

We have lots of the little pretties in the store and online.

Join me and bring a little sparkle into your world.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fendi Needlepoint Kit

I never, ever, ever thought I would see this.  

Fendi has taken their classic baguette handbag originally created in 1925 and turned it into a needlepoint kit!!!  Karl Lagerfeld is the creative director, I want to see what he does next.

For $995 you can own this bag in its oh-so-cool little box with Fendi embroidery floss and thimbles (okay, why do we need 3 thimbles to needlepoint a bag?)

I'm still just so amused by it.  The entire bag is made from double weave canvas (the old penelope).  I can't tell if it is lined, the flap looks like it isn't.  The edges are bound and the entire thing assembled with the signature gold Fendi clasp.

Here's the handbag outside of the kit. You can see the construction better in this photo.

Maybe it will go on sale.  Not sure what I would stitch on it, but it's just so darn cute.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What to do while stitching?

I'm working diligently on the first lesson of the HP Deco cat.  He's our next mystery at the shop and class starts Sunday March 28th.  This is another canvas with large areas that needbegs to be filled with fun stitches.  You may know that large areas are not really my thing.  I like lots of changing of threads and stitches.  But I will say I am having a great time watching this canvas come to life.

I've started listening to Blog Talk Radio while stitching this canvas.  Of course the show I listen to is needlepoint related. Gone Stitching.

Renee Seidman of Gone Stitching in Bergenfield, New Jersey hosts the show.  Every Monday at 2 pm she chats with a different needlepoint designer, shop owner, thread manufacturer etc.  She couldn't be warmer or more engaging. 

The "celebrities" of our industry are delightful.  Of course I already knew that.  Each person I meet in the needlework world is nicer and more giving than the next.

You can listen to the show live time or you can come back and listen at your convenience or download it to your ipod etc.  All the links to the show are here.  It's like sitting with your friends at your local stitch in but you're in your own home.

If you haven't already, check it out, I think you will enjoy it.

Back to stitching the Deco Cat for me.  Until next time.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tah Duh!

All of a sudden the heart sprang to life.  It sparkles; it glitters;  it's magical.  I really did enjoy stitching it and am very pleased with how it turned out.  I hope you are too.

The flowers in the heart are a wonderful Diagonal stitch worked in Vineyard Silk that leaves little spaces for metallic thread or crystals.  I used the new hologram kreinik ribbon as the accent in some of the red flowers, crystals in others.  I love the sparkle of the hologram thread. 

The stitch pattern I selected for the flowers is a little bit of a challenge, I admit it.  Partway through class today we decided we needed an option.  The option we chose is Diagonal Parisian Tent Combination.  I've attached the diagram here for those of you stitching this long distance.  Feel free to substitute this stitch for some or all of the flowers. Your choice.  If you work the Diagonal Parisian in the Vineyard you can still use metallic or crystals for the accents.

The orange spots are completely crystalized with swarovski crystals. 

The final touch is the border.  Squiggles upon squiggles of fuchsia and orange Chain Stitches.  They are fun and whimsical and quick to stitch.

All in all this was the most fun mystery to solve yet!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Bedecked and Beadazzled Bewitching Boo-tique

This is where all the fashionistas in the witchy world shop. A boo-tique so cool, a boo-tique so magical, a boo-tique so hip that everyone who is anyone shops there.

Even a silly little black cat named felix put on his ghosty costume to sneak into the shop unnoticed.

We are delighted to announce this club, our first collaboration with Janet Burnet of A Collection of Designs. She designed the handpainted canvases based upon this notion of a boo-tique that I had. I did the stitchguides and I hope you will agree it is a new and different take on the Halloween Club.

There are beads and crystals and doo dahs, pom poms and trim, silk threads, sparkly threads and fuzzy threads all waiting to snare you into their spell.

Want the details on joining the club. Click here and read all about it!

Happy Halloween! I'm only about 7 months early.


If you read Jane of Chilly Hollow's blog you may know that I have been experiencing some blog issues. I'm working on it. I'm still here blogging, it's just that the links to me from other sites are now wacky. Most of them don't work.

I've rebuilt the blog and maybe that will help. You can subscribe to the posts via the link on the right, or bookmark Not Your Grandmother's Needlepoint and check back pretty much weekly. I try to post more, but we all know how that goes.

I will be posting again later today or tomorrow, I have an exciting new club to announce. I can't wait to share it with you.
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