Sunday, July 31, 2011

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood

We had a great time in class today.  We created the perfect softly shaded sky for our trees. 

The canvases from Colors of Praise are so beautifully painted that I didn't want to cover all the shading.  That is after all one of the things that originally drew me to the canvas.

You can imagine the cool breeze blowing when you look at the tree. OK, that's my imagination wishing there was a cool breeze, but there is definite movement to the sky.

We used Soie 100/3 which is quickly becoming a favorite thread of mine.  It's about the size of sewing thread.  The first time I saw it, I swore you would have to be crazy to use it.  Years later, I love it!

A single strand in an open stitch is all that is required to give just a little life to our sky. We had 2 options for the sky stitch.  The one shown below is how I stitched mine, but I included a second option in the instructions if you aren't in the mood to concentrate as much.

The clouds are beautiful and sparkly.  Two strands of Accentuate and they shimmer and float across the sky.

 We also stitched and beaded the upper border.

Next up the floor and the fun borders!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our bird has flown home

The final step in our Mystery Classes is when my piece returns from the finisher.  I am pleased to announce that Mama Bird is home and safely guarding her nest.

She resides happily in the shop so that you can visit her anytime.

I had Karen from Zecca make even more buttons to as she says "make the nesting bird even fancier".  The fun buttons are attached to corner blocks on the frame and one center bottom.

I have a few sets of buttons if you would like to add this element to you bird. They aren't all identical but they are fun. 

Karen the brilliant designer from Zecca hasn't seen the finished piece yet.  I think she will be pleased.  Just look at the fun and inspiration in her booth at market.  You can see why she inspires me. We may just have to do another Zecca mystery!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Needlepoint can fool your eye

Today was the first class of a new Mystery at Bedecked and Beadazzled.  We are stitching the lovely very traditional Colors of Praise Tree.  Marie Barber the designer behind the Colors of Praise line is a delight.  She has years of designing for Cross Stitch in her history and has now branched into needlepoint.  Her designs are typically traditional but she updates them with brighter colors and fun borders.  This isn't your grandmother's needlepoint anymore!

Marie just bubbles over with enthusiasm for what she does.  Here we are at the TNNA market last month.

Our tree is classical trompe l'oeil composition.  Trompe l'oeil means to fool the eye.  We are going to fool the eye with our needlepoint.  Technically we are always fooling the eye, as needlepoint generally starts as a flat 2D picture and then we add dimension.

This time we are going to try to add not only dimension but perspective and maybe even make things look like they move in and out from their surroundings. 

As is typical with the first lesson of most of my mysteries we are going to lay the ground work with the basics first.  We started with the planter and the arches which are primarily basketweave with a little magic worked in.

Look carefully at the arches.  At the bottom of the canvas, they are way in the back at the far edge of the flooring.  As we move up the canvas to the top, they suddenly come forward in front of everything else.  All this thanks to a few carefully placed French Knots!

The beautiful beaded fruit sets the stage for the leaves which will follow.

We had a great group of ladies in class today, new faces and old.  As the saying goes there is one in every crowd.  In today's case there were two.  Two creative souls who have already decided to start changing things up. They both decided that the orange at the top of the canvas was just tooooooo orange.  Jeanne started by coloring over the orange on her canvas with a purple Sharpie. 

And then stitching over it with a pink/purple Floss Overdye (#1152).  Look at how cool it looks!!!  We'll have to wait and see if she changes the beads on her fruit.  Time will tell on that detail.

Sheri also felt the orange was just too bright.  (OK, those are words you rarely hear from me.) For her canvas she colored the orange with brown marker.  You don't have to completely color the area, you just need to lightly layer your marker over top.

The brown underneath is just enough that it softens the area so that the original orange floss can still be used.  Everyone is now happy with their colors.  Remember, if you choose to change any colors on a canvas, start slow.  A light layer of marker may be just enough.  There's no turning back. Make sure your markers are permanent and as an extra measure of caution make sure your piece will not need tog get wet in the finishing process.

Until next time.....  I have fun things planned, and I promise, no Tent Stitches.

Monday, July 11, 2011

There's a New Girl in Town!

Julia Snyder, author of 187 Amazing Stitches, Backgrounds & Such, Categories for Needlepoint Stitches, Darn Fillings and Everything Blackwork is New Again spent the weekend with us at Bedecked and Beadazzled.

What fun we had!  Julia is talented beyond measure.  She has so many creative ideas.

On Saturday we all stitched Raymond Crawford's ornament tree.

It's sort of a simple design — a bunch of ornaments stacked together to make a tree shape. But just like most ornaments, no two are alike.  There are so many different techniques used in this piece to add dimension and depth.

Julia patiently demonstrated the techniques so that everyone could see exactly how to do it.

I think my favorite technique is the beaded jessica.  How cool is this?

It's  a little fussy in that you are stringing on beads at each stitch of the jessica but the effect is totally worth it.  Now where can we use this again?

The drizzle stitch is another great stitch that has lots of uses.  In this case it fills the center of a star.  On another canvas, with a different thread, it makes a great santa beard.

Julia's instructions are clear so everyone will be able to finish their ornament tree at home. 

On the second day, we had an embellishment class.  What exactly is that?  In our world it's a fun day stitching whatever you want.  You choose the canvas, come to class ready to be wowed with threads and stitches and Julia does the rest.  She picks threads and stitches for your canvas so that it showcases not only the beautiful design but your stitching abilities.

She worked with each student one at a time, reviewing different areas of the canvas.  The ideas really do flow from her.  Everyone's canvas was different. There were flowers, ladies reclining on sofas, crazy pumpkins, ladies on bikes, roosters and a Merry Christmas.

We asked Julia to sign our autograph board.  It's fun to look at the board and remember the good times we have had with all of our stitching friends.

As we invite more teachers to the shop and study with them the most important thing we learn is that much of the fun of this is that every teacher is unique.  You all have amazing talents, great ideas and beautiful souls.  We love you all, and look forward to the next adventure!

I think this photo shoes Julia at her best, laughing and enjoying the day.  Thanks for coming to visit.  We'll see you in November.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Frightfully Delicious

Now, just what happens when you get two crazy designers together?

Mischeif, Mayhem and Madness that's what.

Kelly Clark and I collaborated on a Frightfully Delicious Monthly Halloween series. Kelly designed the candies and I stitched them up double quick with the help of a little extra magic.

Each canvas is painted on 18ct and the entire stitching area is just a little more than the size of an iphone.  So, you can stitch one in just a couple of well spent evenings.  Then off to the finisher they go and with the twitch of a nose, the sweep of a wand they will be back to delight you with no calories added.

Sign up soon as the newest Bedecked and Beadazzled club starts September 10th.  You can read all the details and sign up here.
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