I've committed Needle Nicely to stitching four Christmas stockings for customers for this Christmas. With that in mind, I took one home for Memorial Day weekend and got started stitching on it. It is being stitched in a combination of Paternayan wool and DMC perle cotton. The 2nd photograph shows how much 1/4 oz of Paternayan covers. Quite a bit to go.
Of course, blogger is getting contrary and is refusing to download the photograph of the entire stocking. It is a design by Strictly Christmas.
I'll come back later and see if it will cooperate. And it did--voila!
It was fun to have this to work on while I was rooting on Boo Weekley as he won the Colonial tournament in Ft Worth, TX. And the Milton, FL, golfers strike again!
Needle Nicely designed this pillow canvas to show the elements comprising the experience of living in, and loving, Vero Beach, Florida. The Dodgers did their baseball spring training from 1948 through 2008 when they moved to Glendale, Az. Trubey and I used to have season tickets to the spring training games and I have many memories of hours spent in the sunshine at Holman Stadium. Everyone in town knew when the pitchers arrived and also when the team plane departed for the end of the season (shooters at Bobby's to say goodbye).
We designed a new canvas, but I've been a little tardy in getting a new model stitched. I'll be donating this "old" pillow to our Christmas Festival of Trees, so decided now was the time to do the new model.
There really are dolphins who live in the intercoastal ("the river") that will follow your boat as you go north to Sebastian or south to Fort Pierce. Seeing them is quite an experience.
EDIT: I was blithely stitching away when I realized that I hadn't said what stitch I was doing for the background. It's the nobuko done in silk 'n ivory. Thanks, Anne, for the nudge.
I love the patio cashmere stitch, usually. However, I thought it would never end while stitching this starfish. And it used twice as much metallic as the stitches I used for the other 3 starfish. My plan for this garland was to do pattern stitches quickly--in that case, select something other than the cashmere or patio cashmere!
Whine, whine. It does look good finished (in more ways than one, she sighs).
This starfish was stitched in the Hungarian Ground. It's a fast stitch and looks good.
Here are the four beauties ready to go to the ornament finisher along with their perle cotton that she'll use to make cording. While I'm waiting for their return, I have to decide what fiber and what color/s I will use for the cording that will be the basis for the garland. I'm putting on my thinking cap.
I think everyone who stitches has partially finished projects tucked away. I know I do--in fact, I can look back through my blog entries and identify several culprits that I have yet to finish. Who knows if I will. The projects are often out of sight, out of mind. I was pointedly reminded of this last week when a customer was looking for a purse canvas to stitch for her granddaughter. She was considering what style purse she would do when I showed her canvases for purses designed by Joanie Sherman from The Studio Midwest. While I have a small version in 18mesh as a finished model which I showed the customer, I remembered that I had also started a 13mesh version which finishes larger. After scrambling around in the backroom for a few minutes, I managed to unearth this beauty.
I started stitching this canvas about 10 years ago and even had Joanie paint canvases in this colorway, though not painting all that black. I sold about three of the canvases to customers who finished and are carrying their purses--and one of whom often asks me about my shop model!
Will she ever be surprised this winter when I can show her this actually finished.
I'm going to stitch it as my shop project to follow the two-sided Santa because I want people to see me stitching "in hand". The background is the diagonal mosaic and you can see that the canvas isn't distorted very much. The ribbon and dots are being stitched in basketweave using Kreinik metallic.
I'm using three shades of gold and 3 shades of silver with the dots and white areas being 102, vatican.
I changed the colors for two reasons--I wanted customers to see for themselves that colors can be changed on a canvas. I also wanted a shop model that was elegant and timeless. I love preppy colors, but my personal wardrobe tends more towards black and silver. And shop models sometimes serve double duty!
Today I did the final French knot on the 2-sided Santa ornament
from Susan Roberts Needlepoint Designs. Then I spent several minutes rubbing the petite very velvet that I used to stitch his robe. It feels yummy!
And here you can see both sides completed. I'm rushing to finish my 4th starfish ornament so I can send the 5 of them together to the finisher. I'm going to keep Gunther at home until the middle of summer before sending him to the finisher.
My post Saturday, March 13,2013, was an adaptation of a starfish design by Associated Talents. I saw it and thought that it was possible to totally change it by just using the shape, slightly enlarged (150%), and filling it with a pattern stitch. I selected the diagonal triple Parisian with the long stitch in silk 'n ivory and the shorter stitch in 1/16 Balger ribbon. I envisioned a holiday garland with these starfish in various colors and stitches interspersed with shells and other sea-shorey items. And utilizing non-holiday colors since I wanted it to be beach-ey.
As a local needlepoint shopowner, I feel that I must constantly be thinking outside the box and trying to adapt things I see around me to perform a positive commercial benefit to my business. There are no original ideas, I think, merely permutations and adaptations. I try to give credit where I know it is due, but sometimes the original developer of the idea has disappeared into the ether.
To develop designs, you must turn something around, look at it from all angles and say, try it this way. No, try it that way. What about adding this; that. Hmmm. If you have a good design for a pillow, try it as an ornament or as a belt or as a doorstop. Twist it and turn it and try it in a multitude of permutations. That is design. And in needlepoint you can often get 6 or 8 designs from the same basic concept. Then examine the possibility of changing the colors or the color values.
Here is my finished teal starfish. I am almost finished with the next in this series--in orange.
This is stitched in the patio cashmere stitch using silk 'n ivory and petite sparkle rays. I have one more hot pink starfish yet to stitch before I send them to my ornament finisher. When I receive them back from her, I'll work on the cording and assembly.
Last week I went to "the beach" to the Gifted Cook, a wonderful cookware shop, where I purchased some cookie cutters in various shapes, including turtles, cats and dogs. This is the seahorse one. I'll be using some of these cutters to make templates for more garlands.
Yesterday I received an email inventory of the current stock of Saco River's Paternayan yarn. After going through it, I called in an order. Donna who I dealt with when she worked for Paternayan and who now works for Saco River, remarked that I must have bare walls. Well, it has been a while since most of the colors have been available. Though many of my customers have gone North for the summer, I still have demand for Paternayan. It will be nice when all of the colors are reliably available.
The front side of Santa is finished. He really looks good with all those French knots on the trim of his robe and hat.
And this to show the progress I have made on the back of Santa. I have to chuckle when I look at it because if you look closely at his hat, you'll see that the front is different from the back. That's what I get for ignoring what was painted and doing my own thing. Still, I think it isn't a big issue, so I'm leaving both of them. I suppose I could pretend that I'm trying to demonstrate two different ways to do the pattern!!
The past two weeks have been a constant parade of people coming by to pick up a canvas or fibers to stitch on or with this summer "up North". It's sad to see them go, but now town is so quiet maybe I can get my husband to take me out to dinner!!
I rarely show projects that my customers have stitched. Not that I don't have many who produce wonderful finished products. I think it's more that I think they are personal property while the blog is Needle Nicely. I probably should loosen up about this attitude. Anyway, here are two items that came in from my pillow finisher yesterday.
The first is a tartan monograph pillow that Needle Nicely set up for the customer. First my shop artist did the monogram. Then, consulting a book about tartans provided by the customer, I set up the plaid pattern for her so it would replicate the tartan for her family. She enjoyed watching the tartan pattern develop while she was stitching it. I think her brother will really appreciate her effort when he receives the pillow.
Once again tonight I'm having difficulty with Blogger. It doesn't want to download my photographs. The same thing happened Saturday night. I just kept coming back again and again--I guess hardheaded persistence pays!
The other pillow is what we have termed "the dread lock lady" because when Toni, her stitcher, did the hair she added elongated versions of French knots that rather resemble dread locks. It produces a great look and adds interest to a delightful design from Maggie Co. I've provided a closer photograph featuring the hair. It seems rather out of focus, but the dread locks do show up.