Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Mystery Surprise!

As you may recall from my earlier post, Ruth Schmuff will be teaching my Garden Party Heart Collage for her Mystery Class this June.  (To read more about Mystery Classes, click here.)  She just recently announced that she has sweetened the deal even more-- she has had a special Snap Tray made just for participants of this class and no one else!  Only class participants can sign up to get this limited edition tray designed to match the canvas and once the class is finished, these trays will no longer be available.  How cool is that?  I have not seen the trays yet myself and I can hardly wait!  They are sure to be colorful, so I know I'm going to love them!  Class starts June 17th, so we won't have long to wait for the big reveal.  Whether you are  in the live class or participating remotely via the web, I look forward to "seeing" you all for this fun Summer project! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone, hope you find lots of time to relax & stitch!

Stars N' Stripes

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Needlepoint in Fashion Update

Consider this a mini-update of sorts to my previous blog entry about needlepoint as the latest trend in the high fashion industry.  The fashion shows for accessories are going on now and needlepoint is part of the trends seen there as well. Check out the Hermes beach-style tote below, done in long stitch on canvas.  

Did you know that Dr. Martens has a line of unisex needlepoint shoes?  I didn't-- as a matter of fact, I really couldn't even imagine a combination of traditional needlepoint style with a pair of Doc Martens, they are just too opposite each other.  However, after seeing them, I think I could change my mind:

Kind of cute, aren't they?  They even have boots!

So why should all this high-fashion stuff matter to us stitchers?  Most of us are not going to run out and buy that $6800 Hermes tote to carry our WIPs, after all!  It matters because now we can look forward to a great deal of needlepoint inspired ready-to-wear and accessories in the stores most of us shop in everyday.  This will not only be great for us, but I think it will help the needlepoint industry as well, by helping to return it to the level of popularity it enjoyed back in the '70's. (Or at least we can hope it will!)  Anything that helps popularize and familiarize our craft with the great public is fine by me!  I will be keeping my eyes open for more needlepoint fashion and if you see something as well please do share it with us in the comment section below.  Until then, Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prismatic Quartet Part Four

It hardly seems possible that the final installment of Prismatic Quartet is here already! The May/June 2012 issue should most likely already be in your mailboxes as I write this.  I remember that years ago, before I ever even dreamt that I would have a project published in Needlepoint Now, that issues seemed to arrive so seldom that I often worried if my copy had gotten lost in the mail.  But ever since I have been fortunate enough to contribute to its contents I swear it seems as if it is suddenly a monthly magazine!  I feel like I only finished stitching this design the other day and here we are at the end already-- it's quite a bittersweet experience for me really.  If you are stitching along on this design, I hope you have enjoyed it, and if you have yet to start then I suppose you also feel as if this series has been published at the speed of light :)  

Here is a close up photo of part four.  Hopefully it will be helpful to you if you have any questions about the exact placement for the various beads and sequins:

Here are close ups of the previous sections published over the past three issues.  Part three of four was published in the March/April 2012 issue:

Part two of four from the Jan/Feb 2012 issue:

Lastly, part one of the series from the Nov/Dec 2011 issue:

And all together now, the complete Quartet!

I hope you have or will enjoy stitching this piece as much as I did.  It was wonderful to finally use some of the threads from my stash that I had been longing to stitch with, but had never found the right canvas for.  You may have plenty of threads like this in your stash as well, and if so I encourage you to try them on this design-- it is truly a "stash-buster" project.  However, if you are like me and you prefer to stitch a design as it is shown, there are shops out there who have taken the work out of hunting down the many, many threads for you and offer complete kits.  Bedecked and Beadazzled and Pocket Full of Stitches are two of them and they both offer mail order as well if you are not local.  

Finally, I would like to thank the wonderful Needlepoint Now crew for their fantastic magazine!  It has been invaluable to me over the years, both as a stitcher and a designer.  Elizabeth Bozievich, the editor and publisher is a dream to work with and I've had the added pleasure of working with Vicky DeAngelis too.  Vicky's insight into editing my diagrams and instructions for this project was incredibly helpful.  

Hope you have enjoyed this little retrospective.  If you have any questions at all regarding this project, please do send me an email!  Happy Stitching!   

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bead Soup!

"Bead Soup" was my initial thought when I returned from a bead show last Friday and piled my purchases on my desk.  Here's what it looked like:

I spent a day or so just looking at the spectacle of it all and letting my ideas marinate for a while.  After I sat down and got to work, the wonderful hoard became quite decimated, but my ideas took shape and as a result, I cooked up a whole new batch of scissor fobs!

The owl beads (seen in the lower right corner) have been combined with some of the sparkly crystals and some matching pewter charms:

Speaking of pewter charms, I found a lot of marine life themed charms-- dolphins, fish and a seahorse and combined them together with a gorgeous iridescent blue foil bead for a fob with a ocean theme.  I added all the charms to different lengths of chain in order to make a tassel that looks like a school of fish:

I was on a mission to acquire some of the new Swarovski color, Crystal Astral Pink.  Since it is very new there was not much to be found, but I did get it in 4 & 6mm bicones and rondelle shapes, plus some in a very pretty heart shape pendant.  I combined those with some fuchsia color crystals and a Czech glass ladybug to make this very summery-feeling fob.  The ladybug is dangling from a chain set in between the larger crystals:

There were so many cute pewter charms available I really went overboard with them.  Here are a very pretty fairy and butterfly combined with very sparky rhinestone pave' beads:

Currently, these little goodies are in a box headed via USPS to Ruth's shop, Bedecked and Beadazzled, just in time for the Orna Willis class this weekend.   Hope you will be there, but if not you can always shop online!  Ruth always posts pictures of her class weekends and the photos are almost as much fun as being there, so be sure to check out her blog next week to see all the fun!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Hugs & kisses to all you wonderful moms out there, whether you have kids or pets or both, I hope you have a wonderful day!  And an extra special Happy Mother's Day to my own dear 'Mom',  Marianne!  Love you, hope your day is a great as you are! 

Hugs & Kisses Heart

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May's Trunk Shows!

This month the Ruth Schmuff/EyeCandy trunk show moves on to Nashville Needleworks!  This great shop is located in Brentwood, Tennessee  just outside of Nashville proper.   The show starts May 11th and lasts until June 4th.  Be sure to check their website for all the details.  Hopefully, you live near enough to stop in and see all the stitched models, but if not they are happy to mail order and will pass the great trunk show discounts on to you as well!

Here's a look at just some of the available canvases and models:

Just look at the fabulous "thread walls" at Nashville Needleworks!

Makes my mouth water just looking at it!  Hope you will get to see for yourself, but if not, just do as I do and pick up the phone-- it's the next best thing to being there!  Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

More Upcoming EyeCandy Classes

Ridgewood Needlepoint is offering two of my Puzzle series designs as classes this summer.  The stitches for these were both developed by Ruth Schmuff. This one is Harvest Colors Puzzle:

And this is the Holiday Colors Puzzle.  Ruth changed the colors of the Harvest Puzzle into a Holiday version:

You can read more about it on their blog!

This is my Witch Hat Topiary Tree.  It was taught as a class back in March at Threads in Virginia:

Gretchen did such a fabulous job designing this stitch guide.  She will be offering it along with a kit, look for the ad for it in an upcoming issue of Needlepoint Now.  Meanwhile, you can read more about it on her shop's class page.

Hope I've helped you fill your summer stitching schedule, we all need more projects, right?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Mystery Class at Bedecked & Beadazzled

So happy that Ruth Schmuff has picked another EyeCandy canvas to be the Summer Mystery class at her store, Bedecked & Beadazzled.  To read more about Mystery Classes see my previous blog entry or learn all about them on Ruth's Mystery blog site.

The design for this summer is Garden Party Mod Collage, pictured below.  As you can see it is quite summery in theme and color. 

I designed this canvas to be a companion piece to an earlier Collage design called Heart Blooms Mod Collage: 

It also is a companion design to one of my geometric "Puzzle" canvases, Garden Party Puzzle:

As you can see, I don't lack for inspiration when it comes to this particular color scheme!  I am very excited about this class and hope to be able to attend one of the sessions in person if I can.  If not, I will be taking it from home, as I did with the Christmas Mystery class of my CandyLand Christmas Tree Farm canvas:

 Of course, I don't have this one finished yet, but maybe I'll have it done before the Summer one starts.  That's a long shot though, and it certainly won't keep me from starting a new one!  After all, what stitcher doesn't have more than a few WIPs, right? 

Speaking of WIPs, I will confess that the Tree Farm is not my only unfinished Ruth Mystery class-- here is Harvest Colors Puzzle, which was the Summer Mystery project back in 2010 (yikes, am I admitting that publicly??)  This is Ruth's finished design, mine has a few more stitches to go:

I think you can tell by the pictures above why I am excited to see what Ruth will do with my Collage canvas, she is very inventive and always has a new trick or two up her sleeve.  Be sure to check out the earlier "solved" Mysteries on her page to see what I mean.  And yes, even though the classes are over, you can still sign up to get the full kit and stitch guide so it's never too late to join in the fun. Speaking of,  I better get back to my WIPs now, Happy Stitching!