Sunday, 30 October 2011

Hi everyone,

The hardware store is no longer the domain of the home handy man, move over boys the stitching girls have claimed them as stitching accessory havens.
It all started with a set of clamps for attaching stretcher bars to a table top and has grown from there. Many of the stitchers at the Guild have clamps, pliers, baby hammers, staple guns, storage boxes, trolleys with wheels and fastening nic nacs of all shapes and sizes. So now when DH says he is off to the hardware store I chime in “Okay when are we going”. This is usually followed by a very heavy sigh... his domain has been infiltrated.

 Hardware store shopping was always been for me, up until now, 5 minutes shopping and 25 minutes waiting in the car for DH but now it is a contest of who will leave the shop first. Every aisle has something interesting. Why was this not known earlier? Were the handy men of the world conspiring to keep these places a secret? We will never know. But next time you run out of stitching shops to visit and want something different try your local hardware store, you’re mind with be whirling with ideas of what the object in aisle 3 (insert any aisle number here) could be used for in the stitchy sense.
On the stitching front, not much on Looking Glass.
 I have been asked about this design and how difficult it is to stitch. I will admit this one is not a design for your first counted canvas piece. It is an Intermediate project which requires a lot of counting and checking. Having said that it is a great learning piece which by the end you will have increased your knowlege of many of Jean Hilton's stitches. My advice is not to rush this project and do practice stitching of the motifs on a scrap of spare canvas first  before stitching onto the main project and you will be pleased with the results. As with most projects if there is a stitch you do not like doing just remove it and replace it with one you do like. Hope this helps.

Here is a new start which I am stitching between working on 35count linen (new chart project).

Emerald, by Needle Delights Originals

This is the original colours, all greens and a just adore green so I didn’t change any of the colours. This stitches up quickly and I can stitch on this one at night it is a nice change from the fine linen which is best stitched in daylight.

I see that a lot of snow has already fallen in many parts of the USA. Keep safe and warm and I wish you don’t have too many power outages.

Happy stitching, bye for now, Carol

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Which way to turn?

Hi everyone,

This week has been a bit of a dilemma. Because I stitch and teach more than counted canvaswork it has been a “which way do I go” kind of week. So flitting from one technique to another has been the dilemma. Just at the moment I need to split into 2 to achieve everything. Although I am not sure the world would be ready for two of me.
There has been a little more stitching on Looking Glass, some construction of some stitching accessories, finishing of a sample class project and working on the next canvas design to be released.

Here is the latest on Looking Glass, doesn’t look like a lot more but the outline took quite some time to complete. Now it is down to the interesting stitches. Yeah......................

Hope you enjoyed the free Christmas Star project from my last post and may I add a big thank you to Janet Perry over at Nuts about Needlepoint (in my blog list) for mentioning it in her postings.
Bye for now, Carol
PS: Hope to catch up with some of you through the “From Molehill to Mountain” cyberclass at Scarlet Thread. I am off to sign up.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Free Christmas chart

Hi everyone,
 Talking about Christmas projects in my last post prompted me to design and offer you this little free Christmas Star chart. Because the design is only 1.5” x 1.5”(4x4cms) it makes a nice sized scissor fob or an insert for a Christmas card. Hope it helps with your Christmas stitching. Enjoy.

Christmas Red Star
Christmas Blue Star

The specialty stitches I have charted in the above diagrams. The outer border is gobelin stitch over 2 (remember to change direction). Followed by a single row of tent stitches. The corners are small alternating scotch stitches. The border around the star are smyrna crosses.

Colours used in the above samples.
Red: Needle Necessities Kris Kringle 1531 or T/Works 1090, N/N Green with Envy 1320 or T/Works 1047, T/Works #8 overdye braid 71089
Blue: N/N 1830 Jewels of the Nile or T/W 1138, Gumnuts Yarns Buds 589, Green, Metallic, I used a scrap of mulitcolour thread, please use any mulitcolour you would like.
Use 3 strands of overdye cotton, 1 strand Metallic and Buds.

Not much more stitching on Looking Glass I will have more to show by next post.

Bye for now, Carol

Monday, 17 October 2011

October, it can't be October....

Hi everyone,

This week there is a little more of Looking Glass completed. A lot of the minor motifs that are between the larger ones I have not added yet. I think I will wait until the beads and crystals are added in each area and decide whether it needs the extras or not. I like the large yellow canvas spaces showing through it seems to lighten the browns and oranges of the threads.
Here she is so far.

Looking at the calendar is scary; it is a little over 2 months before Christmas and as usual I haven’t started any of my hand stitched Christmas cards. Every year I promise myself I will start in January and have them finished in advance so that the mad rush at the end of the year doesn’t happen. Well ha ha as if that was ever going to happen. As usual it will take a few late nights of mad flying needles to make the 2011 cards a reality. Why do we do this to ourselves? I kid myself I work better under pressure, but if I think about it that is just an excuse that doesn’t cut the mustard. Let’s face it, it boils down to the “we will do it tomorrow” philosophy and we all know about that. Right? So if you have Christmas stitching to complete here is a friendly reminder to START NOW and maybe December 2011 won’t be as hectic (in the stitching area) as usual.

Happy stitching with no reverse stitching (we just haven’t got the time),

Bye for now, Carol

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Butterfly, butterfly fly away home

Hi everyone,

Not much progress on the stitching front. I have been a bit of a social butterfly. My aunt is visiting from Western Australia, so much lunching and wine sampling, then sushi-ing and tea drinking with my stitching friend and last but not least visiting the oh ohhh Chiropractor, but the postman has visited in between times so..................

The colour of the month threads have arrived. This month is copper/browns, so shiny and luscious.  This is the first time I have handled Baroque silk, oooooo this is yummy.

Here is a photo

I have also stumbled across an inexpensive Australian silk thread by Cascade House based in Victoria, Australia. They produce 6 strand silk, perle silk, mohair, ribbon and other goodies. The Stranded silk is packed on 7.5mtr cards (8.4yds) in 70 different colours, some of which are overdyes.

Here is a photo of the samples I bought.

It is another stunning day today, I just love spring. As I face the window while sitting at this computer the view of the Bottlebrush(Callistemon) trees in flower and the hundreds of buzzing bees visiting these flowers make me smile.

Isn’t it lovely?

Hope you are making stitching time, bye for now, Carol

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Spoilt for choice

Hi everyone,

I have been zipping around the internet today, reading blogs and checking out class offerings for 2012. The class pictures for the 2012 ANG seminar are great with lots of choice for the dedicated counted canvas stitchers of the world. There are at least 5 which caught my eye, well I stopped at 5, by then I had brain overload. Thanks to all involved in putting these classes together, can’t wait till the catalogue comes in the post. Take a look on the ANG Yahoo group but be warned, start saving now because it will be hard to make only 1 choice.
On the stitching front.

Tahiti, Needle Delights Originals, is finished and here is the final photo. Thank you very much to Kathy Rees another delightful design which was a joy to stitch.

A little more to Looking Glass, Threedles has been added. I wish the yellow canvas would photograph a little better I have tweaked and fiddled with the camera and image settings but to no available, so just think butter yellow when you look at the photo and I will try to stop stressing about it. This piece requires lots of concentration and lots and lots of counting to get motifs into the right place. But it is so pretty and each stitch is an adventure.

Here she is so far.

Well the postman has just arrived with my copy of Needlepoint Now so I am off to digest every page.

Bye for now, Carol

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Lady luck smiles on me

Hi everyone,
Tuesday this week was my time to meet with Nicki my friend’s daughter who is a chiropractor or as I call her “the miracle worker with magic hands”. She does her magic and 24 hours later the world is straight again and sore and stiff muscles decide to work properly. Now because this is in the afternoon what do stitching girls do with time on their hands? That’s a no-brainer for stitchy things right?  And of course throw in some “Yum cha” for sustenance.

So off we went to another shop that has moved recently called Country Bumpkin, this is the company that publishes “Inspirations” magazine. We spent about an hour wandering, picking up threads, hand lotions and flicking through books then suddenly the lady behind the counter says “everything is 30% off this week” Woo hoo, how was that for being in the right place at the right time.

While we were chatting at the counter I noticed a box with the word Lowery on the side. Now I have been asking on the ANG board and with friends about stands and trying to decide what to buy and this just dropped into my lap. It was a Lowery floor stand at a price which was really amazing and with 30% off made it very attractive indeed. My friend agreed this was meant to happen so I am now the owner of a Lowery stand which is portable enough to take to Guild nights and other stitching groups to stitch. Thank you to all of you who passed on information about stands and what you use at Seminar’s. I will be looking at the add on table clamp for this purpose.

On the stitching front, I am still working on Tahiti by Needle Delights very nearly finished and here it is so far.

Also here is a little more of Looking Glass by Threedles, these 2 designs are so different  it is fun to move from one to the other and also gives your hands a break by stitching at  different  angles.

Bye for now, Carol

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Tahiti sounds nice............

Hi everyone,

Firstly I would like to thank you for all your very kind comments on my work and the launch of my new design. I always enjoy reading and following along with other stitchers through their blogs  as they create their own special pieces and I get very excited for them when a design is finally finished and hanging on a wall in their home for everyone to enjoy.
The postman arrived a couple of days ago with a parcel from Needle Delights, sadly Kathy has decided to close her shop but will still design more beautiful charts. Currently she is having a sale and I couldn’t resist 2 designs she has on offer. One is “Tahiti” and the other “Emerald”, Tahiti is one of the brightest thread choices I have seen for a while and Emerald is several shades of green (love green). When I opened the package I just had to start Tahiti and because this design is on stretcher bars of 10” x 14” this one will not take too long to complete. Really loving the bright clear colours it seems to compliment the Australian sunshine and bright blue skies. (SSShhh not talking about the w-e-a-t-h-e-r, remember what happened last time).

Here is a photo of Tahiti so far.

There has been a little more progress on Looking Glass but I will save a photo for when there is more to show in the next circle. The current stitches use 2 strands of Sparkly Braid by Rainbow Gallery, a thread I haven’t used before and I like the way it sits against the canvas giving a nice sparkle and a very fine twist, especially when creating a Jessica.

Today is Monday in Australia which is a Labour Day holiday so today is catch up  housework day a home and then a little more stitching.

Happy holiday to the Aussies and bye for now to everyone, Carol