Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Katie Molyneaux small canvases

Helen, my employee of longest tenure (sounds so much better than oldest employee), loves Katie Molyneaux--as do we all.  She stitched these 3, what I term "smalls" that Katie has designed.

These are part of a series of, I think, 5"x7" canvases that Katie designed several years ago.  Helen did the Victorian step stitch for the vines and Mosaic for parts of the branches.  I photographed these after they had been framed and had to be careful because of the glare off of the glass.  This photograph of the finished framed piece is slanted so that there is no glare.  A beautiful framing job done by my favorite framer, Royal Palm Frame Shop, here in Vero Beach.

Thank you, Helen, for letting me show off your wonderful stitching!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Stylish ladies VII

This is how far I had stitched last week.  However, I noticed that Giselle's shoulder (on the right as you look at her) was stitched incorrectly.  I could have let it slide as it was close, but years ago I was a university library cataloger--old habits die hard concerning accuracy.  So the first thing I did on Tuesday was to pick out the pink stitches and then restitch the area, I hope correctly this time.  (I'm almost afraid to look at this week's photograph!)

Then on to try to finish the background, my primary goal for this week.  I also finished Giselle's face and stitched her lipstick.  Then on to do Claudette's earrings in slanted gobelin using Balger #12.  I also did Mimi's earrings in continental stitch in the same Balger.  Then I balanced Fifi by doing her other earring.

There are 3 partially stitched areas  on Claudette and Fifi to be finished, as well as the buttons on Mimi's dress and some polka dots on Gigi's hat.  There is also lots of basketweave to do.  I'm glad that today I managed to package some items to be mailed Tuesday--after all, Needle Nicely is a retail operation!!  But with that shipping done, I won't feel so guilty about spending so much time stitching. Think speedy thoughts for me!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memorial Day equals Summer

Living in Florida year-round, it's difficult to remember that elsewhere in the world Memorial Day symbolizes the beginning of summer.  Time for sandals and beaches.  Needle Nicely starts closing on Mondays for the summer.

 Here's a pair of flip-flops to wear while enjoying the warmer weather. 

Just needlepoint a belt canvas or monogrammed strips for assembly into a pair of customized flip-flops, slip them on, and give your toes a breath of fresh air!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stylish Ladies VI

Giselle has been impatiently waiting her turn to be stitched.  For the longest time I couldn't decide how to stitch her hair, but I finally decided to do it in the upright gobelin over 4 threads with a step of 2. I used black Silk 'n ivory.  I'm pleased with the look.

Her beret I did in the Patio cashmere stitch.  The trim is the Satin stitch and the "button" is a Scotch stitch.  I'm still debating what to do with the tassel so I haven't done any stitching on it.  I can't decide whether to have a real tassel attached and stitch over the painted tassel or perhaps do turkey work or an encroaching stitch.  Any suggestions?

I had stitched Claudette's cheeks in diagonal mosaic, but they were too similar to other stitches and stood out too much so out came that stitching  After stitching Giselle's face around her cheeks, I have decided that the pink is too strong so I have some more tearing out (frogging?) to do next week.

Her sun glasses are stitched in crystal braid for the lenses and Balger #12 braid for the frames.  Her earrings are done in white Goldrush 18 in a long, slanted stitch. 

Giselle's shell is done in slanted gobelin done horizontally over 2 threads.  Her jacket is Original Helen's lace which gives a nice overall effect.  It looks different on the right--I think there may be a mistake lurking there but I'm not sure how worried I am about perfection! 

It's amazing how things show up in a photograph that aren't apparent to the naked eye.  Another surprise is how I managed to type this in italic typeface--now I have to figure out how to get the regular typeface back.  Ahh, the continuing joys of blogdom!

I estimate that I have another 2 weeks worth of stitching to do between finishing the background and stitching all the faces and necks and the jewelry and buttons.  I'm on the home-stretch and am anxious to move on to my next "summer" project.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Anniversary seashell tote II

I'm pleased with the progress I have made on the seashell tote.  I try to stitch one hour every evening before preparing dinner.  I have completed the 2nd side of water and have started on the sand in the middle of the canvas.  I estimate that the sand will take me a month to complete (mid-June).
There are some areas of the sand background that do not touch the center part of the canvas.  That is, the areas surrounding the tops of the shells on each side.  I'm going to wait to stitch those areas until after I have completed the main body of sand, just to ensure I have enough Paternayan in the same dyelot.  Dyelot won't matter in those small areas since they don't touch the main body of the sand.

You can see the unstitched sand above the sea urchin and scallop shells.  More on this in 3 or so weeks.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stylish Ladies V

This past week I've been working on Claudette, so-named because she reminds me of movie star Claudette Colbert.

The body of her hat I did in the Giant Diagonal Scotch stitch
with the feather in the Long/short Split stitch and the trim in Satin stitch.

To give the illusion of hair pulled back into a bun, I did the Slanted Gobelin with the slant changing direction on each side to simulate the direction of the hair.  I did her cheeks in Diagonal Mosaic stitch.  They look raised now, but I think they'll blend in to the skin once I get it done in Basketweave.

Her collar is the Nobuko and looks rather like cotton pique. 
The trim on her shell is Scotch stitch and her shell is done in the Victorian step-stitch.

The stitch for her jacket produces the best textural effect of any I've used on this canvas.  It's the Serendipity stitch and really looks like nubby knit.  On the Blogger photograph it just looks like Diagonal Mosaic, so I hope its real texture shows up in an enlargement.  (I have to wait to post this blog entry before I can check on that feature.)

Now to show my progress on the overall canvas:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Christmas stocking for Lucia

Lucia is the granddaughter of Helen, who has worked for Needle Nicely for over 20 years.  The canvas is a design by Alice Peterson and was a challenge to stitch because of all of its white elements. 

The turkey work hasn't been shaped yet--it's better to wait until the item is in its final form before trimming. 

It's really like a treasure hunt to click on each creature and see what fiber and stitch Helen used.   It's even more wonderful that there's plenty of time to have it backed before Christmas. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

stylish ladies addendum

I realized this morning that I should include a photograph of my progress of the "entire" canvas of ladies, not just the lady on whichI am currently stitching.  Voila:

I also must confess that I am torn about how this canvas will ultimately be displayed.  Its original design was for a large pocketbook from Lee's (Colonial Needle).  I, in my all-knowing wisdom of marketing (chortle, chortle), decided it would look good in the square red Sudberry tray.  I'm having second thoughts since I enjoy looking at it so much.  I really do love the way the stitches are blending and forming a textural entity where I just want to admire and stroke the finished surface. 

I don't want to do Giselle's hair until I know what the ultimate end-product will be.  So, I'm skipping Giselle this next week and will be stitching Claudette in the lower left-hand corner. Any suggestions about what I should do with this canvas?  Please, I implore you for suggestions.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

stylish ladies IV

This week I've been stitching madly on Fifi, the bombshell in the middle of the canvas.  I originally thought she didn't have much area to stitch and I would have a chance to catch up on the blank spots in the first 2 ladies.  Not a chance.  Of course, some stitches take longer to do than others.  Or longer to figure out how to do their compensating stitches.

I finally got to do the Kalem stitch on Fifi's cloche. It's a slow-moving stitch, though.  You have to be careful not to pierce the fiber of the previous stitch.  For the white of the flower I did the Woven or T-stitch, after much flipping through stitch books looking for ideas.  French knots wrapped once form the pink center of the flower. 

I can't wait to finish Fifi's hair--I got started just so I could see how it would look.  I did 6 strands of splendor in French knots wrapped twice.  This produces a larger, splattier knot that is perfect for the look I wanted.  Her "ear-bobs" (a Southernism) are Satin Stitch in Petite Sparkle Rays.

Her collar is done in the mosaic stitch and her jacket is the Milanese.  Talk about a tough stitch to figure out how it fits in odd corners.  Whoopee!   I think I got it right, but I'm not looking too hard to find a mistake.

I got the idea for her blouse stitch from Anne Stradal's blog
http://www.thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/.  She used the Cashmere stitch horizontally to simulate water.  I decided to use it vertically for a silk camisole-look. 

Next week--Giselle and all that hair!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Anniversary seashell tote

In October, 2011, Needle Nicely will have been in Vero Beach, Fl, for 30 years.  To commemorate that occasion, I have asked  Trubey to design some special canvases.  One of these special canvases is a seashell canvas that will be made into a two-sided tote 13" long x 11" high x 4" wide.  This is one side (the other side is a mirror image).

 I started stitching this 3 weeks ago and am trying to spend at least an hour a day working on it at home.  The water and sand will be stitched in Paternayan wool in the basketweave stitch.  Here you can see that I have finished the water on one side. 

I'll post up-dated photographs every 3 weeks or so as I begin to make progress.  I want to finish stitching in time to send this to the finisher in August so it will be assembled by October 1.  Wish me success!