Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Celebrate the Red White and Blue!


Are you ready to stitch a celebration of all things Red, White, Blue and American?  Perfect for summertime fun, this ornament series can be finished and hung individually, grouped as a long banner or finished like ours as a centerpiece.  If you want to finish yours as a centerpiece like ours, the ornaments store inside the base.


The canvases are my designs.  Our very own Megan wrote the stitchguides, Tess did the stitching and the magic elves did the finishing.  Thank you all.

The ornaments are 4 x 4 and the banner is 4 x 8.  All are painted on 18ct.


You know there has to be beads and sequins and sparkle where I'm involved.









There are 7 ornaments in the club with the first one shipping in June.  Sign up now to be part of the fun.  Each month you will receive a canvas and stitchguide.  There is an optional thread/bead kit. 

You can sign up for the club here, or be calling us at 410.296.0405.

Happy 4th of July.  Happy summer 2017!

xo
ruth

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Did someone say beads?

The final lesson of lulu mypinkturtles's angel queen is all about the beads!  What can I say?  I love beads.


I added crystal jewelry and the hearts in her hands are beaded and sparkling.


The motifs in the corners were some of my favorite parts of the canvas.  Ok, there's two of each, and I don't like doing anything twice but aside from that these little gems were fun to create.


The flowers have pearls and O beads in addition to fun threads.


The sparrows are super fun.  Row beading and bead embroidery join forces with needlepoint stitches, YAY!  This is what I love.  All my favorite techniques coming together.


Thanks for following my stitching adventures.  New things are just around the corner.

xo
ruth

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Desert Light

I am totally in love with this canvas.  Linda Corirosi wrote the stitchguide for this Purple Palm canvas and we are delighted to offer it with the canvas. 


Lots of fun techniques but not too much of any one thing.  You know I love that :-) The big blooming flower in the center is just too cool.  Stitch a cactus a night and you are done!

Pretty colors and not too Southwest that it can't live in an East Coast home.

If you would like your very own slice of Desert Light you can order here, or give us a call at 410.296.0405.

xo
ruth




Monday, February 20, 2017

T Stitch

What is it about this little tiny stitch that I love so much? 

1.  It is easy to compensate.  No thinking required.

2.  It allows all the pretty colors of the painted canvas to show through. Here it is on a big leaf on Zecca's Why Fit In.  Four colors of Kreinik Fine (#8) Braid were used and it seamlessly fills the area, yet all of the colors painted show through.


3.  It allows the area to recede into the background so other areas can become the star of the show. Since this is a tiny stitch, over just one canvas intersection any other stitches and threads are certain to come forward in front of the T Stitch.

4.  It doesn't have any direction.  This is super important to me.  I like neutral stitches.  Stitches that don't draw your eye in one direction or the other.  When selecting stitches we want to guide the eye not run the risk that the stitch will direct the eye off the canvas.


So, now that I have told you why I love it, there are a few tricks to working it.  I stitch it as diagrammed above.  It is just like continental stitch but only covering every other canvas thread.


You will get long sweeping covering stitches on the back of your canvas.  This is good, it creates a subtle shadow when viewed from the front.

As long as you work the stitch as shown, and don't change the stitch order you will always have nice coverage on the back.  If you change your stitch order you will have light and dark patches throughout your stitching that will show on the front of the canvas. YUK!

Don't work an area in patches because you get bored.  Lord knows I have the attention span of a gnat but don't give in!  Don't decide to cover only part of an area and then go back and stitch another part of the area.  You will see the seams!  Again, YUK!

Now, here's the magical part.  Look at your canvas.  Canvas is woven.  When you look at the weave either the vertical or the horizontal thread is on top.  When you make your very first stitch look at what canvas thread you are covering.  Is it vertical or horizontal?  Whatever you choose, all subsequent stitches will cover the same canvas thread.  It doesn't matter what row you are on or what direction your stitches slant.  Ok, that's nice, but trust me, this is a game changer.  If you pay attention to this and it's late at night and you don't know where your next stitch will go this gives you a marker so that you can find your place.  It also means that you can work those 4 colors in the giant leaf individually and yet if you paid attention to your first stitch each row and color will connect seamlessly.  Pretty cool!


More than you ever wanted to know about a tiny stitch but now you know.

xo


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What a Beauty

Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.

Coco Chanel said it. 

Zecca painted it.

We wrote a super fun stitch guide for it. 

One of our super talented elves stitched it, and Voilá!

How fabulous is this?

 The frame is exactly Halloween Green from Gloriana. You know I love that!


Yummy, yummy threads and just a few beads.


New stitches to make her feathers look just right.


Can't wait to hang this at the Beehive!

If you would like to stitch beauty, give us a call at 410.296.0405 or order online!  Canvases are in stock and ready to ship.  xo



Sunday, February 12, 2017

The More Bling the Better

She's a Queen afterall, and an angel queen at that!

Today was the second lesson of lulu mypinkturtle's Angel Queen!  She's a doll!  Just look at that face!


She now has big luscious curly hair thanks to slightly ruched Petite Frosty Rays in black.  Magic and a snap to stitch.


Her crown is beaded and embellished with wonderful swarovski crystals and a pavé heart.  I like sparkle!
 


Her dress and the big heart behind her are two fun composite stitches.  Of course one so far has beads.  There's more to come.  One last class in two weeks!  You know I have more surprises up my sleeve.  Hmmmm, what will they be?

If you would like to join us either in person or long distance, we are happy to send you a complete kit.  You can sign up online or simply give us a call at 410.296.0405.

xo
ruth


Friday, February 10, 2017

Fabulous Frames

Remember House Hunt?  This was our first mystery class from 2016. 

It's a great canvas by Tapestry Fair, featuring the art of Pat Seurich.  Absolutely gorgeous and so fun to stitch.

It's back from the framer and time to share!


Talk about two entirely different interpretations of the same piece.  Only the frame has changed.  

If you haven't stitched this one or if yours isn't finished, now is the time to get busy.  It may just prompt Spring to come early.  :-)  There are lots of fun stitches and techniques to play with on this canvas.





If you would like to order your own House Hunt canvas, give us a call at 410.296.0405 or order online here.

xo
Ruth

P.S.  Lesson two of Angel Queen by lulu mypinkturtle is this Sunday.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Snowbirds

Blue Jay. 

What a glorious canvas by eleanor grosch.


Thank you Kathy for stitching this and sharing it with us. What a fun stitch.

If you are a snowbird and would like this happy bluejay to fly to you give us a call at 410.296.0405 or order online.

xo
ruth

Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Boing Method

Boing, boing, boing.  It's the sound beads make bouncing across the floor.  It's the sound of Teresa Sullivan counting pony beads as she demonstrates the techniques necessary to recreate her contemporary beadwork.

Teresa is an amazing artist and we were very lucky to host her this weekend. 

It's good to challenge yourself with something outside your comfort zone.  Sports, public speaking, sky diving all of those would be well outside my comfort zone and I'm still not doing them.  Beadwork is kind of outside my comfort zone.  I love it and I can do the basics but I am far from proficient.  It is a humbling experience.  

Saturday's class involved learning to make zig zag beads.


These are glorious beads that pinch and fold and stack into one another. Teresa demonstrated on pony beads so that we could actually see what she was doing.



I'm honestly fascinated by beadwork at this scale.  I love the sculptural quality of it. 


Some of us finished beads.  They are a little wonky but its a start.

 
Today was a little easier.  Our first project was Klimt meets Kente


Another great demo so we knew what we were doing.  This project is totally freeform!  Yes, random!  You know I loved that.  Everything is legal in Treezeccastan so lots of fun beads could be used.  All sizes and shapes make for a very lively bracelet.
 

 My version is more Klimt meets Lilly (Pulitzer) :-)  Super fun and fast.


We also started bangles with dangles.  We used superduo beads and drops.  Different shapes of larger beads make for a quicker finish.  Let's not discuss that this quicker finish is taking me three starts.  Again, this one is very fun and mine is pink!  Are you surprised?



There you have it.  Two days at the beehive with friends and an incredible teacher and artist.

Hope you will join us next time.

xo
ruth

P.S.  We're already talking about have Teresa back to teach again. 

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Starts and Stops

Let's talk about starting and stopping threads..... Compelling topic, no?

There are as many different ways of starting and ending your threads in needlepoint as there are stitchers.  Well almost as many.  These are just a few of the options I use.


In most instances a Waste Knot is your friend.  Tie a knot at the end of your thread, place it on the front of the canvas in the direction your stitching will take you, an inch or so from where you are starting.  Yes, the knot goes on the front of the canvas.  You want to see it.  When you place your knot think about two things:
  1. Where are you starting your stitch and what direction are you stitching in?  This is where you want your knot to be placed.  As you stitch you will cover your thread on the back of the canvas securing it.
  2. Will the canvas between your knot and your starting point be covered enough that the traveling thread won't be seen.  You know my love of open stitches so plan carefully.
When you have covered about an inch of the traveling thread on the back of the canvas, you can pull on the knot and snip it.  




What to do if you are planning on using an open stitch?   In this case, move your tail several inches away from your starting point.  Place it in a area where you are not headed.  Stitch until you have enough of the area complete that you are starting to see coverage on the back of your stitching.  Clip your knot, rethread your needle and weave it under your stitches.  Again pay close attention to what might be seen from the front of the canvas. 

Note:  When weaving under open stitches it is always best to change directions.  Threads have a mind of their own and can wiggle out.  They don't have a brain so they can't do it if you change direction.

An L Securing Stitch is another useful way of starting a thread.  I use this when I want to start a thread in the outside border of my needlepoint  and drag my thread into the design area.  Again, make sure your traveling thread won't be seen.  When placing your L Securing Stitch, keep it close to your design area in the border.  The framer or finisher may need to trim your canvas.  You don't want them to trim and cut off all your securing stitches.


Finally, the Pinhead Stitch, this is a stitch from Japanese Embroidery.  It is magically secure.  With this stitch you place it in the area you are stitching and simply stitch over it. 

You can employ the same stitch options in the reverse for ending your threads.  You can simply drag your thread off in the direction your stitching is heading and stitch over it, securing the thread.  You can move a few stitches out of the way and execute a Pinhead Stitch or you can simply weave under previous stitches.  The choice is yours.  Each method has it's place and has it's own pros and cons. 

What do I do?  Generally, I am a drag and go kind of girl.  As much as possible, I will start and end with a tail on the front of my canvas.  I stitch over it wiggling it as necessary to hide it on the reverse. (You know I love, love, love open canvas)  This means I rarely have to flip my canvas.  Keep in mind if you use a Waste Tail and not a Waste Knot that you need to be certain that your first stitches are tight so that your stitching is pretty and uniform.  I use L Securing Stitches in my borders to start backgrounds.  I also weave under previous stitches.  It depends upon what I am stitches, what threads I am using and what stitch I am doing.

Hope this helps you start and stop and in between.

xo
ruth





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