Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Queen Speaks

Now, that's the Queen in all of us.  The Queen of Unfinished Projects.

Is there anything a needlepointer likes more than starting a new project. Oh, the exhilaration of finding a new canvas, pulling threads, selecting beads and crystals and then.....the first stitch.

Probably the only thing more exciting than that, is the happy dance when it comes back from the finisher more beautiful than you ever imagined it in your mind.

I would like to introduce you to my tribute to the Queen in all of us.   

 The Queen of Unfinished Projects.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Formal Denim Makes for Happy Needlepoint

Today was the first day of a new Mystery Class at Bedecked and Beadazzled.   After the serenity of the last canvas, I wanted something that was fresh and frivolous so I selected a Maggie canvas.  It is called Watering Can and the original painting is by Corinna Luyken.

I love stitching her canvases.  I have another in progress and who knows what I will find at market in a few weeks. I can't wait to see.

There are lots of fun areas on this canvas to fill with stitches and pattern and texture.  The trick to all of this is keeping it somewhat cohesive so that it doesn't get too busy.  One of those tricks is to use related stitches. I learned this from listening to Caela Conn Tyler teach.  The more I thought about it the more I realized that it was so obvious.  Using the same stitch but changing the angle or the size makes it look different but not so different that it makes a piece busy.

The Merry Christmas Mystery canvas used quite a few Mosaic Stitch Variations.

The Deco Cat Mystery used Balloon Stitches in 2 sizes and Diagonal Scotch where the Balloon Stitch needed to go back in space.

Now to employ the same logic on our Watering Can Lady.

We stitched her face in T Stitch using only 2 ply of Soie d'Alger.  It gives a light coverage and is just enough.

Her dress was lot's of fun.  It is a larger T Stitch but instead of working it in the traditional manner which would be horizontal rows, we worked it as a darning pattern.  See the stitch sequence below.

The reason for working it as a Darning Pattern was so that we could randomly change our stitching threads.  Yes, random. We started with one length of thread, when it ran out, we switched to the other and so forth.  It's a mix of black embroidery floss and Kreinik #8 Braid in 060.  It makes for a subtle shimmer on the black dress.

Once all the stitching was complete, we added beads for more fun.  The beads are a wonderful bright matte blue/purple but surrounded by all that black they are toned down a bit.  In the end, her dress looks a little like formal denim when complete.

I can't wait to see what I do next.  :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Cat Walks Out of the Forest

Here he is, our favorite cat Shamus is strolling, or is it stalking from the forest.

The cat is dramatic and the framing is even more so.  I had this idea while stitching him of continuing the trees onto the mat to add even more depth to the already dramatic canvas. Off to the framer I went with sketch in hand.  It worked!  They were able to capture the look I wanted with the extra trees on the mat.  I do love it when a plan comes together.

With one mystery canvas finished, it's time to start another!  This Sunday will be the first class of our next project.  I can't wait to show you what I'm doing with it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho Aloe

Don't ask me what that title meant. Sounded cute in my head.  Guess that means we are still giddy and happy from class yesterday.

Brenda Hart taught the stunning Lani Aloe canvas and everyone had a great time as these photos prove.

This is Kathy and her daughter Katie.  We haven't seen Kathy in a year, so it was double fun when she decided to bring her daughter for girl's weekend.

As a truly special treat, Wendy Harwood of Aristeia in CA came to play for the day.  

Judy and Karen, working diligently.  Please note, Judy trying not to smirk at the photographer :-)

Alma is always gracious and puts up with our nonsense.


This is our other Kathy who we truly don't see often enough.

Thanks Brenda, we had a great time!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Brenda Hart is coming to town!

I'm so excited!  I have a thousand things to do, but I'm excited.  Brenda Hart will be in the shop this weekend for her Spring Fling teaching engagement.

Brenda is not only a dear friend, but she is a teacher extraordinaire and author of 5 stitch books.  Based in Tucson, Brenda mostly travels the West Coast offering canvas embellishment classes.  Twice a year she flies east and plays with us.  The teachers and classes truly are one of the treats of owning the shop.

We're changing it up this time.  Instead of Brenda simply doing her canvas embellishment thing where she picks stitches on the fly for each student's canvas, we've added in a special project class. This allows us to host a larger group of stitchers as we will all be doing the same canvas.  The special project class this time is Lani's Aloe canvas. Brenda has selected stitches, threads and beads for each area.  We have it in the shop partially stitched and it is spectacular.

Brenda will be back in September, again with 2 days of canvas embellishment and a third day that is a truly special class where you can stitch one of three Leigh Designs Guadalajara canvases.  You can see the choices here.  You know can't decide.  These canvases scream my name.  I already own three and am looking at a fourth. Save me from myself.

Happy Stitching.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Too cool at the prom!

I had to share.  One of my dearest friends stitched a cummerbund for her son's prom.  Renee whipped it out in just a few weeks, it was then off to the finisher and back in time for the prom all at Wil's request. 

Doesn't he look handsome? Hayley, the redhead, is of course gorgeous and she stitches too!

Renee's family is a creative one.  Renee Wilson is the owner of Bijoux Jewels in Baltimore, one of Baltimore's best jewelry stores and her husband Harry Connolly is a photographer extraordinaire.  So I guess we shouldn't be surprised that their son has a creative streak too. I wonder what the future will hold for him.

Just a little sign that needlepoint isn't only for grandmother's;  it can be cool!

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Shamus the 90 foot cat is complete, and he is oh so cool!  We had our last class stitching this canvas today. 

We finished the tall trees in the Fan Vaulting Stitch worked with Lorikeet wool from Gloriana and stitched the small artichoke looking trees all in ribbon.  I love working with ribbon.  It's instant gratification. 

Here's the funny thing, while I thought Shamus was finished, he isn't.  Lynda used more beads across the bottom on her canvas and I love it.  So, now I'm back to sewing on more beads.  Oh well, he's almost finished. 
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