Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another giant step for needlepoint technology

I am a techno geek.  I love gadgets.  Particularly computer gadgets.  I'm old enough to remember life without computers, but I still can't imagine how we got along without email.

I think that TIVO is one of the most amazing life changing developments.  I know there are a million bigger more important things.  I'm just talking about things that rock my little corner of the world.

The iphone is another such life changing gadget.  Apple does it like no other.  They continually put out a great product that simply works consistently and then they add beautiful design to it.  Yes, there are other smart phones but they aren't as intuitive or as pretty.  Yes, I love my iphone.  And yes, I have ordered my ipad and am waiting for it to come.

In 2006 I launched my first CD.  Stitches CD Volume One.  300 stitches organized both alphabetically and by stitch type (Straight Stitches, Diagonal Stitches, Crossed Stitches, Decorative Stitches).  You can browse through them and print out just the stitches you need for a project or since they are all pdfs, simply copy them to your laptop and you have your stitches with you 24/7.  No extra book to carry! 

 


So, of course the next logical step for the Geek Queen was to transform Stitches CD Volume 1 into an iphone app.  I'm pleased to announce it is available in the app store!!!

   

Simply log into the itunes store and search for iStitches or Ruth Schmuff and you will find the app.  You can also click here to go directly to the store.  Everything works just like it does on the cd.  View stitches alphabetically or by type.  You can now search for a stitch.  Type in Mosaic and get all the versions of mosaic stitch in the library.

The diagrams are numbered and they do enlarge.  Now you can have your stitches with you anytime, anywhere.  I hope you enjoy it!











Saturday, April 24, 2010

Be Still My Beating Heart

The Melissa Shirley heart pillow is back from the finisher.  I love it!  The finishing is simple. Well, sort of simple.  We inset the needlepoint into the perfect shade of red orange silk and pleated the inset.  A covered cord is then wrapped with 7mm ribbon in the same orange that we used for the swirls.  The whole pillow just glows.  The only word for it is yummy.  Sort of a really decadent box of chocolates, kinda yummy.

Here we are, before and after......






Until next time......

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More signatures for our wall!

Yesterday was Day 4 of the Big Event.  We were winding down, finishing things up.



Each of the teachers signed our wall. That's always fun.

As you can see, Meredith Willet hasn't lost her spunk.


Tony Minieri was goofing around; he was going to sign really tiny in the corner. 


Suzanne Howren signed next.  


And finally, Beth Robertson signed.


As you can see by the end of the day, we had deteriorated into silliness.......



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Ah Ha Moment

Today was day Three of the Big Event.  I'm toast.  We're having a great time.  It was definitely a day of Ah Ha Moments.  See, Suzanne had one too.



Muskoot Farm took a major turn today.  I ripped almost everything out.  I had put in a bit of this and a bit of that but looking at it today the colors just weren't vibrant enough. So, back to the drawing board. With Tony's help and just about every thread line in play we finally found new colors!  So we start anew tomorrow.  It might be a long time before we see this one complete or even in progress but I love our selections.

Beth Robertson had the middle table today.  I'm excited to see what she added to each of those canvases.


Suzanne gets our table tomorrow.  She's loads of fun.



Take a close look at these trees.  They look so cool. Sue is doing a fabulous job on them. Lots of needles with different threads but the perfect angle on each stitch makes them look so real.


This photo doesn't do the stitching on this canvas justice. It's the dog lady stocking from my line and her hat, her hair and her collar are too fabulous. MaryAnn is doing a great job.  The collar looks like persian lamb.



I know, this canvas has lots of little details and plants but look at each one closely. The tree on the left is Twisted Lazy Daisy Stitches.  There's Twisted Stem and Cast On Stitches. Very cool.


Mary is working out the checks on this Leigh canvas so that the stitches she wants to use fit. It's going to be great.  Love the couched borders.


I posted this canvas yesterday, but now you can see how great this purple flower looks.  Love the stitch, and you know I'm going to love it even more with the beads added.


All of the teachers are incredibly talented and giving with their time.  Thank you all!


Time for bed for me.  Until tomorrow.........

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Really Big Bummer :-)

How can you not love a teacher who refers to ripping out stitches as a "Really Big Bummer?"  It's impossible.  Today at the Big Event our table had the irreverent Meredith Willet.  She's the best!  She's a girlie girl, she's fun and yes, she will be coming back to Bedecked and Beadazzled to teach!

She's our very own Vanna White......



We learned how to use a punch needle for Turkey Work.  This is one of Meredith's specialties and it is oh so easy.  Yes, you can draw blood with the punch needle, but just don't fall asleep at the needle.  It goes super quick and you can use just about anything.  So just think how many more fuzzy things we can stitch!



We made more progress on our individual canvases today. Everyone worked really hard.


Maureen's Native Women are amazing.  Check out the woven baskets and the headresses.


The onion domes on this Peter Ashe cathedral are exquisite.  Michele is a beautiful stitcher and the stitch selection brings out the best of everyone.


I can't wait to see what Judy does with Mr. Boots.  The detail in the lace ruff is going to be gorgeous and Tony promises Crescents and Chain Stitches to make the necklace look real.


Check out the stitch in Mary's flowers.  Love it!  And the vase with the layers of stitches in the circles are too cool.  She's planning on adding hot fix crystals in the very center of each of those rings.  You know I love that!


Every time I look at this canvas I see more gems of stitches and ideas.  The composite stitch on the pumpkin is great.

There really are treasures in each piece.  That's the fun of embellishment classes. You take away a stitch, a thread, an idea from every canvas you see.

Lot's more photos to share......

Night-y, Night.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Big Event Day One

Today was Day 1 of the Big Event!

We were graced with the pleasure of the company of Tony Minieri, Meredith, Willet, Beth Robertson and Suzanne Howren. They are a great group.
We had 2 technique demos. One was on the correct sequence to execute the parts of a stitch.  I have to work on that one.  Makes sense when you think about it, but I really need to remember to think about it.

The second demo was on the tips and tricks for padding. Gotta love padding. If you want to really, really bring something forward, pad it.

In between these demos we worked on our individual canvases.  Today we reviewed threads and stitches for our canvases.  Each table had a different teacher.  (I did window mullions. No photos of that.  Maybe tomorrow.)

Mom had a good time and even let me take her picture.
 


Meredith worked with Karen pulling threads for the Tapestry Tent Halloween march.



Tony demonstrated stitches on Carolyn's Guadalajara canvas by Leigh.  Gotta check out the progress on this one.  It's such a pretty canvas.


Beth is stitching melons.  This is a great canvas to just fill with big stitches.  Look at all that background.




And then of course, every class needs their class clowns.  I'm glad these 2 are also my friends.


Now the question is, what mischief is planned for tomorrow?  Hopefully, lots and lots of fun.  More pics to follow.

We're ready to roll!

The rooms are ready for the students......

Everyone's canvas is mounted and ready to stitch - bags of threads and stitch books are waiting to be opened.

All we need now are teachers and students.

Each student at the Big Event will find monogrammed thread bags and matching frame weights at their seats as mementos of the Big Event at Bedecked and Beadazzled.
 

I just think everyone needs a gift!

Let the fun begin.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

T Minus 60 hrs

That sounds like such a long time.  60 hours.  But when you are putting together a class for lots of ladies with 4 of the top names in NEEDLEPOINT it isn't so long at all.

Welcome to



April 17th -20th will find Tony Minieri, Meredith Willet, Beth Robertson and Suzanne Howren all teaching at the shop.  Four teachers, four days, ONE BIG EVENT!

Each student will have a different canvas and each of the four teachers will be making suggestions for how best to enhance the canvas with stitches and threads.  In addition, there will be 2 techniques demonstrated each day.  It's like 2 classes in one!

The classroom is set up;  it's cozy but I think will work well.  Canvases are mounted, threads are at the ready.  Students will be arriving Saturday morning.  We can't wait to see you all.

My canvas will be this one from Maggie — Muskoot Farm.  Now, I'm not a farm girl, but I do like red and orange and lavender buildings.  That's a pretty cool world.


I'll be reporting in as much as I can.  I'm taking the class too, so this will be twice the fun for me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunlight through the trees

The land of the 90 foot cat is coming along nicely.  I've been told he isn't really a 90 ft cat and those aren't trees next to him. He's really a regular size cat wandering through the weeds.  Either way he's quite dashing.

Today's first mission was the background.  You may have noticed, I'm not a traditionalist.  Now while there's a lot to be said about stitching the foreground of the design first, I prefer to stitch the background early on. It makes counting the stitch pattern so much easier!  You just have to remember that whatever stitch you put in the background everything else has to have more punch.


The background is a laid filling stitch.  I love laid filling stitches.  I started with long vertical stitches the entire height of the background in...... metallic.  They are overstitched with small horizontal stitches in a pattern. The pattern uses more metallic at the top and less at the bottom.  So, it looks like sunlight sparkling through the trees.

We also stitched the large floating leaves in the sky.  These are super super cool because they use a new thread that Anne from Gloriana Threads dyed just for us. Duchess Silk, It's gorgeous!  Everyone loves it and it's great to stitch with.  100% silk, dyed in typical Gloriana beauty and the perfect size for 13ct canvas.  I'm in love.

I added a sprinkling of Sundance Drop Beads across the bottom of the design to give Shamus our cat something to stand on.  I had to have a little something random and embroidery-like.

Next weekend is the Big Event so it will be 3 weeks before we finish the cat.
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