Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Needlepoint cuff class, b/w/g monochromatic

Almost finished!  In looking at this photograph, I wondered why it seemed so yellowy.  Just checked the settings on my camera and of course the dial had changed--gremlins, of course, or a poltergeist.  So I'll do over tomorrow.  I seem to be good at do-overs!!!  And professional photographers need not fear for their jobs because of my talents.  (I fixed it!  Amazing what one change in camera setting can achieve.)

Business was brisk today, praise the heavens, so I didn't quite finish this cuff.  In fact, I didn't get to eat lunch until 2:30.  I was proud of myself for being so patient with that last customer since all I wanted was FOOD.  I hope she had no idea of my starvation. 

Now to get the stitch guide written and the two model cuffs sent to the finisher.  I also took time to select 7 shades of blue for that colorway.  I was actually trying to come up with primary colors to contrast with the "bright" colors that are actually "Lilly-ish".  Perhaps I'll get a chance to do that tomorrow.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hearts and flowers cyberclass Lesson I done

It's so satisfying to look at the basketweave part of this design and see how smoothly the stitches are laid.  (I'll try not to break my arm patting myself on the back.) 

The alternating Scotch stitches in contrasting fibers show up nicely and also contrast well with the Elegance used for the dark green Smyrna crosses. I'm glad I enjoy doing Smyrna crosses since there are so many in this design (though you are given the option to substitute mosaic stitches--I prefer the bumpiness of the Smyrna crosses). 

Now I'll put this aside and work on other things until the next lesson arrives by email. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Needlepoint cuff class, Bright colors done

What an emotional roller coaster of a weekend--wondering where Hurricane Irene would decide to go.  I called my pillow finisher Monday morning to ask her to delay shipping my finished items until Irene had passed through.  Then Tuesday morning I called her again to give the all clear.  I'm reminded that just before Katrina hit New Orleans, I shipped a finished belt to a customer in the Midwest.  Little did I realize that the package went from Vero to Miami to New Orleans and was to go on to the customer.  Katrina reached New Orleans hours after the belt and it took UPS 2 months to redirect the package and deliver it undamaged.

While it's a relief that Florida has escaped Irene, there is always concern for the people whose lives will be affected by her.  May she continue to swing to the East and perhaps miss land totally.

I managed to finish the bright colors edition of my needlepoint cuff bracelet.  I apologize for the blurriness of this photograph.  I'll try to do better when I show the "finished" bracelet.  (I've changed the photo)

I followed Anne's advice and used the aqua as a filler with the lime green.  I'm pleased with the overall effect.

While still admiring the bright colors, I started a monochromatic version in black, greys, and whites.  I'll show the finished product next week.

It's always interesting to see how different color combinations produce different effects.  I'm hoping to finish the b/g/w (black/greys/whites) combination and start another color family by next week. 

EDIT:  After viewing the photos this evening, I've decided to replace them tomorrow with (one hopes) clearer images.  I apologize for the inconvenience. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hearts and flowers cyberclass II

First  to give credit to the designer of this piece:  Carol Algie Higginbotham.  Thank you, Carol, for designing such a delightful piece to stitch.

I've stitched the two frames of smyrna crosses in Elegance, which is equivalent to perle #8.  Then, just to get an idea of how the area inside the two frames is going to look, I started the alternating Scotch stitches using flair and neon rays.   I also did more outlining Smyrna crosses in Nordic gold.  It's fun to have enough of the design established so I can jump around doing a little of this design element and a little of that element.

However, it's obvious that I have many more Smyrna crosses in my future, as well as lots of basketweave.

And a thank you to Barbara Bergsten and her sister Sarah for taking the time yesterday to stop by the shop while they were in town.  It's always enjoyable to "talk shop" and exchange ideas. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Needlepoint cuff class, bright colors

This is the time of year when I start thinking about what classes I'll be teaching next season. 

This is a needlepoint cuff bracelet in pattern stitches.  First I looked at the Silk 'n ivory rack, trying to decide on the colors I thought would look good together.  Then I started flipping through stitch books, looking for stitches that are "rows" of pattern.  I also don't want stitches that are too long that they will snag, or bumpy that they will wear poorly. 

Here's the beginning.  It's 36 stitches (2 inches) wide on 18mesh.  It will eventually be 7 inches long.

I still have about 1 1/2 inches to add to each end.  Looking at this photo, I think the pale aqua is "wimpy" and needs to be replaced with a stronger value.  The lavendar looks bluer in this photo than in person.  I want to finish this before next Wednesday and start another one in shades of black, grey and white that will be translatable to other monotone color selections.  I also need to make some decisions about what to use  to fill in the blank spaces, both in terms of stitches and colors.

Now that the "heavy lifting" is done in creating this design, I'm mentally ready to move on to other class possibilities while my fingers are finishing this.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hearts and Flowers Cyberclass

There is nothing that is as much fun as starting a new project.  The anticipation of seeing a project develop is really enjoyable.  My new project is an American Needlepoint Guild Cyberclass called "Hearts and Flowers". 

I apologize for the fuzziness of the picture.  I thought I could link to the ANG information about the class.  Wrong.  They have deleted the information from their website (at least I couldn't find a whisper of a mention).   I, of course, left all my class information at the shop since that's where I'm doing my stitching and I can't be trusted to remember to bring things back.  So, I'll add an edit to this entry to give proper credit to Carol who is the designer and teacher. 

There's a lot of basketweave stitching that forms the backdrop for surface embellishments.  And a gazillion Smyrna crosses that add additional texture. 

The shinyness of the Fyrewerks Soft Sheen prevents the details of the Sprat's stitches from showing  in this photograph.  The stitches look gorgeous in person, if I may not so humbly comment. Nordic Gold is the fiber used in the smyrna crosses forming the hearts.  Elegance is the fiber used in the dark green smyrna crosses.  It is equivalent to perle 8.

I have been pleasantly surprised at the coverage of 3-ply of DMC floss in the basketweave, even in the darker green used in some places.  Striping and laying the fibers contributed to this good coverage.

I can see that I must concentrate better when doing the darker basketweave as some canvas threads are peeking through. 

Now to see how far I can progress this week. 

Edit:  Anne asked about the background color.  I copied the project photograph from the cyberclass's Yahoo site and the greens appear very minty.  They are actually the 367, 368, 320, 319, 890 family.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Anniversary seashell tote, VI

I definitely have slowed down on stitching this.  I've managed to do the sand dollars, the bi-valve (for want of a better name), the little whelks, and the coral.  The coral, in particular, was pesky to stitch.  Four stitches of this color, 3 of that, and a spattering of dots for accent.  Yuck!  I do like the look, but wish I were further along. 

While I'm only showing one side, the stitching progress is the same on both sides.  I find it easier to stitch matching shells at the same time.  It also helps keep my fibers organized--and, my mind. 

Now for the final push.  My new deadline is to have this sent to the finisher before Labor Day so it isn't traveling on the holiday and perhaps they can get the blocking started before they go on vacation.  Think fast stitching wishes for me!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Flamingos finishing touches

My progress was stymied by a compensating error in the background stitch to the left of the blue flamingo's beak and neck.  Mumble, mumble.  There are just some days when counting doesn't come easily!  I worked on something else for several days before going back and correcting my mistake. 

I used the Interlocking Gobelin on the wing and the cheek of the small pink flamingo.  It provided a nice contrast to the Diagonal Mosaic I used for the rest of the body. 

It was a surprise how much time it took to finish stitching this.  I had conveniently forgotten that I hadn't finished stitching the Milanese stitch on the head and neck of the large pink flamingo.  But now it's satisfying to sit and admire the finished product. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

They said it wouldn't last!

Today was the 20th wedding anniversary for Arthur and me.  I had to doublecheck the date in the commemorative album that my Aunt Maggie assembled for me.  Perhaps I should explain why--I spent the summers from 1982 through 1999 running Needle Nicely, not in Vero Beach, but back in Blowing Rock, NC.  With the exception of the summer of 1991.  That was the year Trubey went to Blowing Rock alone and I stayed in Vero Beach so I could plan my August wedding to Arthur. 

That makes it sound quite elaborate.  Not really.  The main components were making sure Fleming Church was presentable in Speedwell, VA (no electricity, no music, itinerant Methodist minister), arranging for the minister, and obtaining a license.  My mother's family have attended the church for I don't know how many years--there are generations buried in the churchyard and more several miles away at the site of the old homeplace.  Bless my cousins for making sure everything was spic-and-span.  Introducing myself to the Reverend Carrico over the telephone was an experience.  He mentioned that he preferred to do pre-marital counseling.  That struck fear in my heart.  No way my 54-year-old groom was going to go for that!  I explained the situation, and after a chuckle, the minister said we might have some advice to offer him. 

We drove from Vero to Blowing Rock the week before the wedding.  Poor omen--a speeding ticket just south of Jacksonville, Fl.  Arthur (from Manhattan, on more of an adventure than he suspected) refused to tell him we were on our way to be married.  He was irritated because we were pulled out of a line of speeders.  I thought it was karma for all those years I had pulled (and was to pull) a trailer while speeding by.

On Wednesday before "the day", we drove from Blowing Rock into Virginia to get our wedding license.  There are no interstates in northwestern North Carolina leading to southwestern Virginia.  And the fog rolled in.  When we were ready to make "the turn" in Independence toward Wytheville, the fog was heavy.  I made an instant decision and since the courthouse is on the right as you make the turn, in we went.  The lady taking our application told us how much it was.  We both  reached for our money.  She grabbed Arthur's hand and said, "let her pay, honey".  We laughed all the way back to Blowing Rock.
Today we celebrated with lunch 45 minutes north in Palm Bay at the Yellow Dog Cafe, which is currently our favorite restaurant.  At our ages we do lunch with a designated driver.  We are older and wiser!

Anne Stradal (of advised me this morning to "get those rugs done".  Tropical Storm Emily is approaching.  I had time not only to water the rosemary in front of the shop; but also to pack the small rugs before sneaking off for my anniversary lunch.  And here is a sampling of the rug canvases:

This marvelous free-flowing tulip canvas was designed by Julie Poitras of JP Designs.  It's approximately 2'x3' on 10mesh.

A marvelous study in color-tones, this 2'x3' rug on 10 mesh was designed by Lee's Needle Arts.  What a wonderful composition of color!

Doesn't this make you think you're on a tropical island?  I love to look at it.  I regret that my brain forgets the designer but I will add it tomorrow night (after I dig through plastic bin #4, where it's at the top).  It is 10 mesh. It cries to be a wall hanging with many pattern stitches.  And my fingers twitch to do those stitches. N.B.:  I checked and this is a JP canvas.

Is it Great Inagua Island?