Monday, December 31, 2012

Finishing Up the Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  Many hopes and wishes for all of us to have a great 2013!  Here are a couple of new finishes to close out 2012-- Linda from the Split the Needles blog just received her Garden Party Heart back from the finishers and it looks great, just check out that wrapped cording on the edge!

Ruth Schmuff had to show off the wonderful framing job done for Lisa's CandyLand Christmas, read more about it on her blog:

Looking forward to many more great finishes in the year ahead!  Happy Stitching to all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays, with lots and lots of stitching time!  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bells on Her Toes!

Or at her feet, that is!  Green sparkly jingle bells for feet on this stand-up, courtesy of Sue at West Coast  Finishing, stitching by Marla Muth.  Great work, both of you and thanks for sharing!

Keeping it short and sweet today, the holiday rush is on!! Hope you all are having a great holiday and finding some time to stitch!  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Still More Kits!

Ruth just recently added my Halloween Collage to the list of canvases with stitch guides, and this one is by Julia Snyder herself, no less!  Look at all those great threads and beads, you know it's going to be good!

Here are the thread kits for my Fall Tree and Winter Tree, with stitch guides published in Needlepoint Now magazine.  Thanks so much to Melinda from Living the Good Life blog for her lovely photos!

The wonderful folks at Peacock Alley Needlepoint pulled these pretty threads for my Halloween Star:

The Pockettes at Pocket Full of Stitches were intrepid enough to put together thread kits for my Prismatic Quartet design, also published in Needlepoint Now.  These are the threads for just ONE of the four sections!

Threads of Virginia designed a stitch class using one of my Halloween Topiaries and now the instructions and kit are available to all, so give them a call if you are not local and they'll be happy to send this beauty your way!

Hope this has helped you to fill out that shopping list a little further!  Until next time, Happy Holidays and Happy Stitching! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kit N' Kaboodle!

Someone shopping for stitchy Christmas gifts asked me the other day if I had any kits, looking for a ready-to-go gift for a needlepointer friend.  (I need to get on this person's gift list!)  It got me to thinking about all the designs that I know have guides/kits at the ready and I realized there are quite a few aside from the ones that were club pieces or class pieces.  Ruth Schmuff, my distributor, has been really busy lately writing stitch guides and kitting designs.  These are the EyeCandy designs she's done just recently, but really, ANY canvas you ask for can be stitch guided and kitted for you-- Ruth's Bedecked and Beadazzled is a full-service shop and then some! 

If you are looking for something in season, her most recent EyeCandy guide and kit is Holiday Star:

If you are already thinking ahead to next Fall, HalloweenVille Forest will be available soon-- Ruth is stitching away on this one now and will have a fabulous model to show off soon! 

Look at the fabulous, glittery goodies she pulled together for the Pirate Mermaid!

The Sleeping Beauty design is not just for little girls and Fairy Tale fans,  I know one stitcher who is making it up as a wedding gift-- how sweet is that!

And that's not all, folks!  Ruth and her staff will put something together for you for the canvas of your choice, (many times with matching accessories if you so desire!)  Hoping your holidays are happy, see you next time!  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Presenting... "Crazy Patch Boo-Nanza!"

My newest club series, available starting April 2013 at fine needlework retailers nationwide

Remember when I started this blog back in March?  I teased you with this pile of orts:

These were the leftovers of this pile of threads, from yet another teaser photo that I posted on Stitcherie and Facebook:

I think I even posted a teeny little close up of one of the Candy Corns-- look familiar?

Well, thank goodness the time for teasing is finally over and I can actually show off the finished work!  I have had to keep these under my hat for months now so it's great to be able to share.  I'll post more pictures over the next few weeks so you can see more of the fun details on each piece.  Until then, Happy Stitching! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Skipping Ahead a Season

My last post being Halloween-related but posted on the cusp of Thanksgiving was at least still somewhat seasonal, but now I'm moving way on ahead and showing you something very Spring-y!  This is my latest design, now appearing in the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Needlepoint Now:

Spring Garden Biscornu

These little oddly-shaped pincushions became all the rage with cross stitchers a couple years back.  I thought they would be very adaptable to needlepoint as well, either as a needlework accessory or as a three dimensional hanging ornament, as they look good from both sides.  Here is the back side of the biscornu:

I stitched the design on one of the hand-dyed mono canvases distributed by Zweigart-- this color is called Cherry Cordial.  It's a very pretty shade that looks great on its own but plays well with the thread colors too!  The softer texture of the hand dyed canvas (since it's lacking some of the starch sizing present in regular mono) makes it especially good for self-finishing projects like this one.  This is the front side, flat, before finishing:

The back side in an all-over floral pattern using Waterlilies and Kreinik metallic:

Step one of the finishing process.  The biscornu would be an ordinary square pillow-shaped pincushion if it were not for the innovative way the two square shapes are connected together.  Instead of matching corner to corner, you whip stitch one corner to the center line of the other square.  The "hedgerow" framework on the top side makes for an easy way to see your center line.  The whip stitching goes under two rows of chain stitch that makes the outermost border around the design.

And a quick jump back in time, when the design was still in the development process, here is the original batch of threads that I started with.  Most of these did make it into the final version:

I hope you'll enjoy seeing the whole project when your copy of Needlepoint Now reaches your mailbox.  As always, if you have any questions regarding this design, just email me here at the blog or on my website,  And if you do wind up stitching this project, be sure to hold on to your leftovers, as there is a companion piece coming along in the next issue that will use all these same materials, plus a couple of new additions too!  Until then, Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Just a Little More Halloween...

Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I always have a hard time letting go of it.  I always keep my decorations out until Thanksgiving, and on that same weekend, I start with the Christmas decorating while simultaneously putting away the Halloween.  It is a little like working in a retail store where you have mountains of Christmas stuff to put out while you are still trying to deal with the Halloween and Fall stuff!  One of these days I'll make it easier on myself by starting to at least put the Halloween stuff away on the weekend before turkey day, but not this year!   

I do have a good and valid reason to still be working on a Halloween needlepoint, though.  Over on Stitcherie, we set up a Counted Canvas Challenge for the Fall season.  The idea for this project came from this fabulous design by Susan Kerndt and stitched by Carolyn Stolhand:  

I fell in love with the idea of making a collage-type design that could be built around a theme using great fabrics and embellishments from my stash, plus fun stitches and threads that I've never found a perfect place for.  So thus came the Challenge rules: pick a theme, a thread or color scheme and then hit the stash for fabrics and embellishments and put it all together with your favorite stitches.  

Since my stash has a LOT of Halloween goodies, of course that was the theme I picked.  Here is what I  came up with:

Not nearly as elaborate as I had hoped it would be, but not bad considering the amount of distractions and obstacles I have been faced with lately!  I'm just happy to have managed to participate somehow.  I  started out the design plan with the main thread, Thread Gatherer's "Halloween Confetti":

This color being one of my all-time favorites, I knew when I decided on a Halloween theme that this was going to be my thread!

The next step would have been some cute Halloween fabrics, but I will admit publicly here that my fabric stash is STILL packed and I just couldn't make the time to start trying to break into it.  But, my ribbon collection was relatively handy, so I pulled out these two spools:

Moving on to embellishments, my button and bead stash remains in a shambles as well, but I regrouped by simply going out and buying more! :)  I found a couple of fun Halloween-themed packs from Dress It Up and put them together with some more coordinating threads:

I realized if I had any chance at all of completing this challenge, it was going to have to be simple, so I did not make my collage grid very elaborate and I did not use any mind-boggling stitches.  I am relatively pleased with the final project, however.  I did employ a little fun detail in the border, which is a modified Ashley stitch that couches over four different colors of Fyre Werks.  I reversed the color placement of the Fyre Werks on each side and corner for the most varied effect.  The inner borders are Caesar with a #8 Kreinik braid underneath.  I knew that I definitely wanted to do some Bargello stitches too, so I picked a simple zig-zag pattern and stitched it in candy corn colors.  It made a really good background for the candy buttons I think:

As I said, I am in love with the concept behind this design, because the possibilities are endless and it allows the stitcher the opportunity to be able to use the embellishments and stitches that have been waiting for that perfect project that never seems to arrive.  If you have a thread/stitch/button that you have been wanting to use but never found the right canvas for, then just create your own opportunity to showcase said goodies.  I am hoping to do at least one more of these collages, the next one in a Mermaid theme as I have the most gorgeous fabric I want to use, plus I have an idea for a Bargello border that will look like waves.  But first, I do have to finish up my canvas painting as the next TNNA show is coming up fast, then I still have more "excavating" to do in my sewing room to get to that cool mermaid fabric.  So maybe next year, if all goes well!  Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November's Trunk Shows

Starting tomorrow and ending November 26th, the EyeCandy Needleart trunk shows will be hosted at two great Texas needlework stores, Creative Stitches and Gifts in Dallas and the newly re-opened Yarn Barn of San Antonio.  

If you are in the Dallas area, be sure to come by to see the canvases and stitched models in person, and whether you are shopping in person or over the phone, be sure to take advantage of the 20% off trunk show sale, which includes special-order items!

The Yarn Barn of San Antonio has the distinction of being a needlework destination for over 40 years, although they did have a close call earlier this year before being reopened under new ownership.  Be sure to stop by or give them a call to help keep them around for another 40!

This will be it for trunk shows this year, so if you have some Christmas shopping to do, now is the time.  Check back in January for next year's schedule and until then, Happy Stitching! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Ornaments

A while back, I painted a set of four Halloween teardrop-shaped ornaments inspired by the Christmas themed ones I had done for my first club series, Tickled Pink.  They feature motifs that had first appeared on my Halloween Sampler series and each has it's own color scheme.  I stitched the Black Cat ornament to serve as a model for the set:

More recently, Judith Furie stitched the other three designs in the set, choosing amazing stitches and threads for each.  Here is the Jack-O-Lantern ornament:

Isn't this great?  She did Basketweave Beading for the pumpkin, plus found a way to add both color and sparkle to even the teeniest rows!

The Witch Hat ornament-- again, just fabulous thread color selection and beads for the center motif:

 The threads Judy selected for the Bat ornament are just mouth-watering aren't they??

She also added a bit of dimension to this one with ruched RibbonFloss for the black and white borders.

Did you notice also that she hardly repeated any thread or stitch?  Judy is always so creative, plus you can count on great color, sparkle and bling!  Remember my Summer Stitching post from last July?  That was Judy again with my Stars 'N' Stripes canvas.  Keep 'em coming Judy, we love what you do!

Can you believe Halloween is tomorrow night?  I can't, mostly because I still have two full bags of candy that have not yet even been opened!  Usually by this time I've had to purchase a replacement bag (or two.)  Guess I really have been busy!  Next time I hope to have a new Halloween piece to share with you.  In the meantime, I hope you have a very Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trick Or Treat!

I have a whole bag full of Halloween goodies for you today!  First of all is this super cute Bride of Frankenstein treat bag, stitched by Robin Smith and finished by Aristeia.  

Look at all the loot they managed to fit in there! The canvas is only 2.5 inches square so I'm pretty impressed with their "piling it on" skills.  Robin did a great job with the stitching, I especially like the little side swoop hairdo she gave to Mrs. F!  Great job Robin, thanks for sharing your photo!

Suzy Lee shared her stitched Monster Mash cone with me too and here it is!

Suzy is a great stitcher who is always working on amazing projects, so I was pretty flattered when this one made its way into her stitching rotation.  I love her thread choices on this one, especially for the stripes and for the werewolf.  Wonderful work Suzy, thanks for sharing your photo and please do send me another when it comes back from the finisher. 

You may have seen this one on Ruth's blog last week.  This is my Pumpkin Patch canvas being worked on by Judy from a stitch guide by Brenda Hart.  Sure hope Judy will finish it and send me more pictures! 

Finally, I'd like to reintroduce this project.  This is my Witch Hat Topiary that Threads offered as a class last March.  It is now available as a complete kit and they would be happy to send you one!  The stitch guide is amazing for this canvas-- a different stitch and thread for each stripe plus beaded fringe too! 

Hope you've enjoyed these little treats and until next time, Happy Stitching! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Summer Into Fall

This blog post title refers to the two new finishes I have to show off today.  We'll take them in seasonal order, firstly, here is my Summer Flower Fields canvas stitched by Beth Briggs:

Beth did a fabulous job stitching this!  I think she managed to make the Tiger Lilies even blingy-er than I did.  I love the finishing too, especially those cute striped feet.  Great job Beth, and thanks for sharing!

Lynda Clark stitched my Hoot Owl and made him part of her gorgeous display for Fall and Halloween on her mantel at home. 

This one has some pretty fancy feet too, they are painted to match the canvas!  Love the little pumpkins on the edges as well.  Lovely work, Lynda, I wish my silk ribbon leaves looked as good as yours!  Thanks so much for showing him off.

And on a Fall note, it is such a great season for stitching.  I hope you all are enjoying yours and finding some time to stitch as well!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Trunk Show Tardiness

I'm still not quite up and running with EyeCandy yet, so please do excuse my tardiness in announcing this month's trunk show host.  But don't worry, it's not too late, this month's show at Needlepoints Ltd. in Garden Grove, CA did start back on October 12th, but it will continue until October 29th.  But wait, there's even better news!  There's a sale on the canvases as well, 20% of all in-store purchases and a great big 30% off of on-line orders.  Check out the sale page here for a sampling of some of the great deals. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Spirit!

It has been a fun week for me to follow along on other folk's stitching, they always come up with such great ideas.  I love it when someone makes a change to a stitch guide, it makes me look at a piece in a whole different way.  Check out my Black Cat candy pail (part of my Vintage Halloween series) stitched with RibbonFloss rather than Arctic Rays:
Stitched by Elizabeth Hurd

If you look closely you can see the color she chose is a red/black blend called "Night Ember".  It is a really clever use of the thread and only enhances the "Vintage" look-- great choice Elizabeth!

I have also been following along as two Facebook buddies, Karen and Shelly, challenge each other to come up with stitches for each stripe on two of my Halloween Topiary designs.  Karen is stitching along on the Black Cat tree:

Her pal Shelly has the Bat tree and this is her progress so far:

It's been a blast for me as I wait to see each new photo of the next stripe.  I certainly do like what they have done so far and look forward to see what they will do for the black and white stripes and for the little characters on the bases. 

All this is certainly motivating me to pry myself away from the tail-end of unpacking and get back to stitching.  I have a Challenge myself that I need to start-- over on Stitcherie we have a design-your-own Counted Canvas Challenge going on and I really need to get started on it, especially since it was my idea to do it!  (How's that for pressure, like not showing up for your own party!) I have some cute new Halloween buttons that I picked up at my Hobby Lobby (love that store and this is the first time I've ever lived near one!) to try out on a canvas.  Hope to post some pictures of my own soon!  In the meantime, Happy Stitching!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Stitch or Treat!

I am ready to do some Halloween stitching!  I am still not set up to paint yet, so I have been looking through my older designs for something to stitch on until I can finish setting up my studio.  I have quite a few older designs that I'd like to make some new companions for, plus ideas for new series as well.  The design at the top is a long, skinny banner that I'd love to stitch up to add to a black feather wreath that I have in my collection.

The three scary fellows below are Heckle, Jekyll, and Boo.  They are part of a series I started a while back called "Little Terrors" and I have always wanted to stitch them.  They should be pretty quick projects as they are only 3x3 (hence the name "Little" Terrors!)

I'm not the only one working on stitching my older designs, as Ruth Schmuff wrote on her blog earlier this week, she too caught the bug to stitch my Halloween Forest canvas.  Take a look at those yummy threads and beads-- this one will be great, hope she will have pictures to show us soon!

I've been working on my Halloween decorating and that has really gotten me in the mood for the season.  I am still only about half done-- here's a somewhat crummy iPhone picture of my mantle, it still needs some work but I do have some of my favorite pieces up there. (Or at least some of my favorite pieces that I've unpacked so far, there are several more boxes to unload so I'm bound to find more!)

Hope you are enjoying the beginning of the Fall season as well-- Happy Stitching!