Do as I say, not as I do....

In teaching my pilot class for the Old Fashioned Christmas tree and writing the stitch guide, I inadvertently created a better stitch for one of the ornaments.

I stitched this gold band topped with messy beading.

I stitched this gold band topped with messy beading.

I drew this for the stitch guide.

I drew this for the stitch guide.

My students followed the diagram and the band looks great. So, I ripped out sections of the bargello and this is what it looks like now. A happy mistake!

My students followed the diagram and the band looks great. So, I ripped out sections of the bargello and this is what it looks like now. A happy mistake!

Sticking to the 3-2-1 Rule

Here are my most recent 3 finishes--now I get to pick one new one to start.

Next--finish two WIPs.

Don't know the 3-2-1 rule? Pick 3 unfinished canvases and finish them Your reward is getting to pick one new canvas to start. Then pick 2 unfinished canvases and finish them. Reward: pick one new canvas to start. Pick 1 unfinished project and pick a new one to start. Repeat. We'll see if I stick to this!

Karyn's Peep

I found the perfect stitch and thread for Karyn's Peep. I used the brick stitch and Straw Silk in Bubble Gum. I will use 7mm ribbon for the flower petals, messy beads in the center, Boucle' for the grass. I'm in an Easter frame of mind.


Taming Your WIPs and Stash

Julia Snyder was here last week teaching Embellishment classes, which is always wonderful.

One of Julia's students, Gail, explained that she has a 3-2-1 rule for starting and finishing canvases. Here is the Rule:  finish 3 canvases, start 1--finish 2 canvases, start 1--finish 1 canvas, start 1. And repeat. Gail's rule inspired me to pick up an Easter bunny to finish stitching. I do think I am going to have to start with finish 6, start 1, however....

Ready, set, finish!



Outlining a canvas shape

If the canvas you are stitching has a shape drawn on it--say a rectangle, square or round, you can just go with the artist's shape. For the Christmas tree canvas I am working on I need to "draw" my own shape. I don't want all that blank space at the top of the tree. I started with drawing straight vertical lines on either side of the tree, about halfway up. This shape is made more challenging because the star at the top is not centered. 

I couldn't find my new favorite for drawing on canvas--a ceramic pencil that will not rub off on thread but can be erased! So I drew the straight lines with my second favorite canvas marker, the micron pen. It is acid free and is suitable for archival pieces. Unfortunately, mistakes must be painted out.

To shape the edges above the straight lines, I took random scraps of Vineyard Silk Classic and tacked them in places. The resulting shape can be manipulated as you go. And of course, I am counting on my finisher to make the final shape choice.  

Beading Tips

Beading--you love it or you hate it. And to make things confusing, there are a number of ideas about techniques, needles and beading thread. For beading thread I may use clear beading thread, silk treated with beeswax, Nymo or C-lon beading thread. For this project I used mostly clear beading thread.

Needles are also a matter of personal preference. When I first started adding beads to my needlepoint I only knew of the long needles. These tend to bend into a curved shape and can result in bad language, but they do have a job to do when you are beading straight lines.

My favorite needles are the Bohin size 10, but many stitchers prefer a size 28 Tapestry needle.

So, here in photos, are how long needles can give a much better result for straight bead lines.







New canvases arriving daily!

I loved so many things at the Winter Market in San Jose CA that I picked many, many new canvases.

Here on the island the azaleas and camellias are blooming and spring is definitely underway.

Here are 5 new Easter egg canvases from Kelly Clark. Aren't they adorable?

5 eggs by kc.JPG

You can see them on our New page and our Easter page.

We will be posting new canvases as they arrive-stay tuned!

First few stitches...

I am having so much fun with this Raymond Crawford tree.

I have pretty much decided on stitches for each ornament and I have pulled several different threads in each color to play with.

I tend to look at/think about a project before I pick up a needle. For a bit I was stalled as I thought about which ornament should have sequins, beads, crystals or all of the above. I had a Eureka! moment when I decided to stitch the foundation stitches and then decide what embellishments to add where.

Favorite things so far--basket stitched with Straw Silk and the center of the blue ornament stitched with Kreinik Braid size 8 in 9032.

My post-inventory reward--two days to finalize my stitches.

The Meredith Collection

We are so excited about April happenings in the shop--not only do we have The Meredith Collection trunk show all month, but Meredith will be teaching embellishment classes here for 3 days.

This is a custom variation on Meredith's Thanksgiving doors.  My version will say "Welcome".  We want to be able to show off the finished canvas all fall, y'all.  Let us customize a fall door canvas for you!

New Canvas from Melissa Prince

This seaside wreath by Melissa Prince just arrived at the shop.  I will be writing a stitch guide for this beautiful canvas.  The piping plover in the center of the wreath doesn't have 4 legs--the momma shelters her chicks. 

I'm looking forward to beading, stumpwork, textured stitches, raised stitches and more as I have fun with this stitch guide.

Mesh 18 count    Size 14 x 14

Mesh 18 count    Size 14 x 14