Saturday, April 28, 2012

Threads on Parade!

The first owl in my Hoot Hoot series, the Spring Fever Owl, shipped out to participating retailers this month, and my distributor, Ruth Schmuff, was pulling the thread kits for the series.  She remarked on the variety of colors and thread types used throughout the series and I kind of wished that I was there to see all of the threads together in one big kit.  I stitched them owl by owl so I never had all the threads out at once. As I referred back to my photocopies I made of the threads I used to refresh my memory (when I am done stitching, I take all the thread and materials I used and put them on my photocopier to make a reference picture for the future, just in case there are ever any questions regarding the stitch guide) and I thought that I should have taken a regular photograph of each thread kit as well.  So I went to the thread stash and pulled the threads again and took these photos.  I think I will do this in the future for other things I stitch.  It will be a nice way to show what you will look forward to working with for each owl and it's a nice little scrapbook project for me! 

Here is the kit for the Spring Fever Owl, those shiny black dots are the big Holographic sequins for her eyes:


Here is the Summer Patriot Owl kit, complete with the sequins for his star-spangled wings:

The Fall Harvest Owl features Swarovski crystal sequins and some wonderful silks and velvets:

The Winter Snowy Owl kit is very pastel so I photographed it against a darker background.  The beads in the tray are the black Delica beads I used for his eyes:

The Spooky Owl Kit has all your traditional Halloween colors, plus some rick rack for fun embellishing:

The Happy Holidays Owl is all vivid greens and pinks plus more Holographic sequins:


If you are a thread-a-holic like I am, I know you enjoyed looking through all these gorgeous threads too.  Just walking into a needlework store that is well stocked with threads makes my mouth start to water and then my pocketbook start to hurt!  But I have never regretted any purchase, even when I have ended up buying duplicates of threads I already have as there is nothing like having plenty of stash at home and finding just the thread you happen to "need" for your project in the convenience of your own house!  Hopefully, those of you in the Owl Club will enjoy these new additions to your thread collection.  Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Couple of Characters!

Here is the latest incarnation of Sammy, this one belongs to  Palma the Super Stitcher (as we all think of her over on Stitcherie!)  I like her sky very much, it's very dynamic.  She explained that she used a technique she learned from Ruth Schmuff where you concentrate a stitch in one area and make it more sparse in others.  This definitely makes for an interesting background that has a little movement as well.  Her addition of the kite button got all the other Challengers on the phone ordering kite buttons for themselves, myself included!  Such a nice touch!

That's one character, now let me introduce you to the other.  Last week you met my Pirate Mermaid, this week I give you my Lone Star Witch!  Hailing from Texas, my cowgirl sorceress has a holster for her magic wand, a tall black hat (yes, Stetson makes witch hats) and of course her big silver state of Texas belt buckle!  Big red boots, a bat bolo tie and her cute little pet armadillo complete her look.  I hope you like her, she will make her public debut in time for this June's TNNA needlepoint market.  Until then, happy stitching!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring and Summer Preview

I shipped the last of three boxes of new canvas designs to my distributor, Ruth Schmuff, this week, just in the nick of time for the upcoming TNNA trade show this June. These shows are only twice a year, but do they ever seem to come up fast when painting deadlines are looming. It feels like only yesterday that I was rushing to be ready for the show this past January in Phoenix!

I've broadened the scope of my line this season; in fact, I will need to add a whole new category to my EyeCandy web page to accommodate my new designs! I will probably call the new category "Fantasy" as so far it will contain both Fairy Tales as well as fantastical beings like my Pirate Mermaid:

Hope you like her! I plan on painting her a sister or two for the next trade show. In the meantime, I have to figure out rules for my new canvas category, since I have a Pirate Owl too. He resides in the "Nature" category with the other owls, but perhaps he should move to Fantasy as well. On the other hand, since nothing in needlepoint really has to make sense, I have a lot of canvases that perhaps qualify as Fantasy-- cats in hats anyone?? Such a dilemma!

Well, at least scissor fobs are easier to categorize-- they are tools, and fun ones at that! Back in November 2011, I sent Ruth's shop, Bedecked and Beadazzled, a big batch of fobs in time for Christmas shopping season. I sent the kitty ones below and the mixed batch below it:

In the box I sent this week, I included about a dozen new fobs, a couple each of the styles seen below. Hopefully, they will fit the bill for Mother's Day presents which is coming up fast next month. The photos here really don't do them justice as I don't seem to be able to photograph jewelry very well. Suffice it to say, they are in the EyeCandy style, very bright colors and extremely sparkly-- I add crystals and rhinestones to every one! With all the blingy needle magnets out there, I figure the scissor fob needs to match!

Hope you have enjoyed this peek at new arrivals and soon-to-be-released designs. I'll post the rest of my new canvases here in June, which will arrive before you know it! In the meantime, Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chandail Needlework To Remain Open With a New Owner!

Great news, another needlework shop is NOT closing!! I have been particularly anxious these past few months worrying whether Chandail Needlework in Houston would be able to either find a buyer or somehow remain open despite current owner Emily Pannier's upcoming relocation to Colorado. According the the newsletter I received from them today, the new owner is Sairah Himelfarb, a long time Chandail customer and stitcher. Sounds like a great fit! Here is more information direct from the newsletter:

"Saira Himelfarb will be taking over the helm of Chandail over the next week. We plan to have a party as well as a “Meet and Greet” event in the near future so you can get to know Saira personally.

After having spent much time deliberating on potential prospects I feel that Saira will do an amazing job with the business, and she has so many great new ideas to take Chandail to the next level! The shop is going to a truly wonderful person.

That said, we have much to do to in the meantime. Chandail will be closed beginning this Friday, April 20th and will reopen on Monday, April 30th. We will be having a Pre-Inventory SALE this Thursday."

Again, SO relieved to get this news today, especially after hearing about the recent closure of the Needlework Boutique in Dallas (a great shop that sold needlepoint and cross stitch, I liked it very much) as well as learning of the French Knot of Savannah closing their retail store front (but they will remain online.) And that is really a crying shame as the store was amazing with a wall of threads arranged by color-- see the photo here in one of my recent posts.

So that's why it makes me especially glad to share the good news here with you today. Here is a photo of Chandail, located in the wonderful River Oaks shopping center. Do check out their website for more information on the upcoming sale (it sounds like a good one) as well as sign up for the newsletter.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stitcherie Challenge Update

After a fast and furious start, stitching for the current Stitcherie Challenge slowed down a bit in the latter half of March, so there has not been much to report. It's going to pick up again though as Judy posted the picture of her finished Sammy on the group's page last night. What a great job she did! I ticked through the list of Challenge rules and yep, she got them all in! She has said she really enjoyed the experience as working within the parameters of the rules really gets you thinking and you discover just how creative you can be. Having participated in the previous Challenge myself, I could not agree with you more, Judy! I cannot wait to see him again when he comes back from the finisher. A few of the Stitcherie gang are getting together in person later this month in Hilton Head, SC. This will be the first, but certainly not the last, Stitcherie meet up. Among the piles (literally!) of canvases the stitchers are planning to bring along is, of course, Sammy. We will have to wait and see how much they will get done in amongst the visiting, shopping, eating, admiring each other's projects and general hi-jinks! I'm hoping they will take tons of pictures and of course, I will share them here. In the meantime, Happy Stitching!

Monday, April 9, 2012

April's Trunk Shows

I have two trunk shows out this month and hopefully you may be near enough to one or the other to stop in and see the canvases and stitched models in person. If not, there is always the fun of internet and phone shopping as well. Shops are happy to do mail order, plus you get the special trunk show pricing too. I don't live very near any shops myself so this is how I do most of my own stash enhancing!

The French Knot in beautiful Savannah, Georgia is one of this month's shops. How I wish I could have hand delivered this show! I've been to Savannah only once and I fell in love it. The shop is fantastic, look how they have displayed their threads by color! If you are not lucky enough to live there, check the website and be sure to peruse the lovely shop blog as well.

Next up is wonderful Ridgewood Needlepoint in New Jersey. This is a colorful and very well stocked shop that offers both classes and casual stitch groups. They have an impressive selection of books and canvases as well as a great wall of threads. Be sure to follow their blog for the day to day goings on.

Just a couple of photos of the models and canvases you will be likely to see in the shows:

Both shows will end on April 30th. Hope you will get a chance to stop by one of these shops, either in person or online. Please check my website for dates and locations of future trunk shows and of course check back here on the blog as well. Happy shopping and happy stitching!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Let's Go to CandyLand!

Let's go visit the Christmas Tree Farm in CandyLand, shall we? Back in December and January, Ruth Schmuff's Mystery Class featured one of my canvases and what an amazing, wonderful and over-the-top stitching job she did! A little about Mystery Classes: Ruth picks a canvas and stitches it section by section, only revealing what she has done on the day of each class. You literally get to see your canvas come alive a bit at a time, with plenty of surprises along the way. The class is taught live at her shop but many more of us stitch along at home and online via Ruth's blog as well as on Stitcherie. I signed up for this one myself, as I had seen what Ruth had done in previous classes and since she seems to somehow keep topping herself with every class, I knew this one would be exceptional! I got off to a pretty good start, but by the third of the five classes I had fallen behind. So I am quite jealous of those finished or nearly finished with theirs as I still try to find time to make progress on my own. However, at least I do get the benefit of getting some finishing ideas for when mine is done! Ruth's came back from the finishers recently as this gorgeous bolster pillow. I love it, it looks like a big Christmas cracker!Unfortunately, I don't have the name of this very speedy mystery "Mystery" stitcher, but whomever they are, they must be happy with their decadent, crystal fringe trimmed pillow. Look at that fabric, what a perfect match! Great job, West Coast Finishing and congrats to the stitcher, I am officially envious!
Here is Ruth's stitched canvas pre-finishing. Yes, those are sequins covering the whole background! Can you say sparkle-tastic?
Some more details of the stitching-- note all the dimensional details of the textured threads paired with beads, crystals and even more sequins!
Look at the raised edges of this candy cane! Ruth came up with a new way of adding a dimensional effect to your stitching that doesn't involve Turkeywork or Stumpwork. Hint-- it involves DMC's Memory Thread:
There are even more photos of this canvas in an album on my Facebook page if you would like to see more. If you would like to stitch this design, you haven't missed out, Ruth makes her classes available as stitch guides after the class is over so you can contact her store, Bedecked & Beadazzled if you are interested. And, if you are one of the class members who has this one out at the finisher or will have soon, please treat me to a picture when it comes back. I love to see what individual spin you might have given the design, plus I am interested in some finishing ideas for my own when I finally get it done! Thanks in advance, I will be happy to give you credit and add your photo to my website's Finishing Gallery. In the meantime, happy stitching!