Saturday, June 30, 2012

So What Else is New?

Outside of the new canvas designs I released for the Summer TNNA Market, I have a couple of other new projects to show off as well.  The first one I actually did last summer and had forgotten about it until my Facebook friend Kristen gave me a heads up (and took the photo for me too!)  This is a cross stitch adaptation of CandyLand Christmas Tree Farm that I did for the 2012 edition of the Cross Stitch Christmas Annual published by Better Homes & Gardens. (The company also publishes Cross Stitch & Needlework magazine.) Unfortunately, I don't have the name of the model stitcher, but they did a wonderful job! 

The other project is a new canvaswork design that will be published this Winter in Needlepoint Now.  I can only show you a portion of it for now, though.  I should tell you that the finished project looks a little different currently, as it was somewhat transformed during the finishing process.  Have I sparked your interest yet? This design and a companion piece will be published in two issues starting November 2012.

Finally, a note about the blog itself-- a big thank you to Vicky De Angelis for adding my blog to her wonderful blog's roll.  Glad you are out there keeping an eye on me Vicky! ;)  And speaking of blog rolls, please take note that I have added one to my own.  Danielle has been keeping her blog, Peace Love and Stitching since 2010, but she's new to needlepoint.  You'd never know that however, since she has taken off like a seasoned pro-- she already has started building a canvas stash and has several projects in the works.  It's been great fun watching her and reminiscing about the days when I made my first foray from cross stitch to counted thread and then painted canvas.  Good times!

That's all for now folks!  Try to stay cool and stitch this weekend!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Garden Party Has Started!

While the Garden Party Mystery officially got under way the Sunday before last when Ruth held the first class, the party started later for those of us in the "correspondence course" group.  I can tell you there was much anticipation all week for that brown truck to show up with our canvas, kits and Snap Trays! (Yes, this class has it's own official Snap Tray!  Read all about it on Ruth's blog.) Super-stitchers Cheryl, Jeannine, Sharon, Suzy and et. al. have kept us up to date on exactly when their UPS men finally dropped off the goods and I do believe all of them have gotten started and are well on their way to completing their first lesson.  You can keep up with all of the fun stitchy chit-chat over on the official discussion group page over on Stitcherie.  In the meantime, here's a review of Lesson One:

Ruth has chosen a background for each area that is totally perfect for each motif:

I think this one may be my favorite, I love dots!

Although this one is right up my alley with sequins!

But I also love hearts and the color orange, so how can I really choose??

This section is pretty special as well as it uses a fun overdye thread, something I don't feel I ever get enough of!

And here is the too-fabulous Snap Tray, created exclusively for this class.  I'm pretty partial to it, but I may be somewhat biased!

Those who are all caught up on the first lesson as well as the folks we have who are "sideline spectators" are already anxious to see what Ruth has lined up for next time, including me.  Yep, no sneak peeks for me, not even the Snap Tray.  Ruth is a champion stitcher as well as secret-keeper!  Until her next blog update on July 8th, Happy Stitching! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

To Market, To Market!

This weekend is the Summer needlework trade show in Columbus, otherwise known as "the Market" by your LNS owners.  It's one of two large wholesale shows each year where shop owners see the latest and greatest in needlepoint and meet the canvas designers.  If you are blog hopping and otherwise doing some online shopping this weekend you will probably see a lot of updates and pictures of "What's New" from this market.  I updated my own website with my new designs a couple of weeks back (and I did one or two sneak peeks back in April here on the blog) but I thought I would go ahead and spotlight a few more of the new canvases here today as well.

Fairy Tales are everywhere this year, both on TV and in the movies (there have been two Snow White movies just this year) so I decided to get with the trend and add them to my line. Of all of the designs, it is this Snow White one that I have had the most positive feedback on, which surprised me as I had worried that no one else would like the color scheme but me! Shows how much I know.  But I thought that the colors red, white and black were central to the storyline so I went with it.  The text that I have added to each canvas is in reference to the beautiful illustrated fairy tale books we all read growing up. 

If a larger canvas is not your thing, I took a couple of the motifs from the Cinderella collage and made them into ornament sized canvases.  This is Cindy's pumpkin coach, I also did one for her magic slipper.

I did not want to miss out on the "Keep Calm" trend either, since there are more variations on that theme in needlepoint seemingly every day.  Here is my take on the Keep Calm & Carry On poster:

I also added to my HalloweenVille collection with four new designs.  This one is Tricks or Treats:

This one is a view into a witch's own garden, her plants have gotten somewhat out of control! 

I didn't neglect my Kitty Collection either, eventually I will have one for every holiday.  This is Paddy Paws:

Canvas inserts for pre-finished leather goods are in big demand so I have added this 5x6 version of Floating Flowers to the line:

I haven't added anything to my Stars collection for a while so this summer I have two new ones, a Holiday version of my Halloween Star and a new large (8x10) design that I'm calling Falling Stars:

Those are the highlights, but if you wish to see the entire collection, please check out my What's New page over on my website.  I'll be perusing all the other What's New pages I can find in the next couple of weeks, I can't wait to see what else we'll all be stitching on this Fall.  Until then, Happy Stitching! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Starting the Week with a Finish!

This week is off to a good start with lots of things being wrapped up in the finishing department!  The only thing better than putting that last stitch into a project is getting said project back from the finishers. That's when you really get the satisfaction of a job well done, whether you are gifting the piece or displaying it in your own home. 

Judy, who was among the first to finish her Sammy Challenge over on Stitcherie, is now the first to get him back from the finisher.  What a great job, I love the summery fabric chosen for this banner, it makes it perfect for hanging out the whole season long!  Congrats to you Judy! 

Here is yet another fabulous finish of a CandyLand Christmas Tree Farm, in yet another great fabric color option!  Am I going to be the very last one to finish stitching mine?  And will I ever be able to choose between the aqua version, the orange/pink option and now this terrific white/gold option??  I suppose I have a lot to think about while I work on getting it stitched.  Great work from West Coast Finishing once again. 

I even did a little finishing of my own this week and no one is more surprised than me that I wrapped this one up pretty quickly!  Needlepoint Now returned my stitched model of Prismatic Quartet a couple weeks back and I immediately started procrastinating about getting it finished.  Since getting a sewing machine for Christmas last year, I now feel almost obligated to do some of my own finishing, so I set about making up this pillow, which I then hand-sewed the needlepoint to.  I expected to spend most of the weekend on this, but I was done with it by Friday, yippee!  

I also finished stitching Tahiti by Needle Delights Originals last week, so I popped it into this temporary frame for display while I decide on a permanent frame.  I like to keep a few "stock-size" frames handy just for this purpose, it keeps me from storing completed stitching away and out of sight, where it tends to languish.  This way I can enjoy it and hopefully it will speed along the process of getting it out to the actual framer!

In other news this week, the Black Eyed Susans Chapter of the ANG, located in Maryland, is getting ready to work on Prismatic Quartet.  Hope they will have as much fun with it as I did!  They will be meeting June 21 at The Meeting House, 5885 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia, MD at 7:15pm.  Contact them for more information at  Hope you can join them!

Finally, I sent out a newsletter over the weekend regarding the new designs I will be releasing this month in time for the big Summer TNNA Needlework Market as well as upcoming classes.  If you would like to sign up for my newsletter please send me an email.  If you would like to see older edition newsletters, I have them archived on my Facebook page.

Wow, that's a lot of news for so early in the week!  Hope your week has gotten off to a good start as well-- until next time, Happy Stitching!  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Trunk Show Update

Where is the EyeCandy Trunk Show this month?  Way up north at Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, that's where!  Starting tomorrow and running until July 6th, Barbara's will have the full line of EyeCandy designs as well as Ruth's too of course,  plus stitched models as well.  Stop in if you can or give them a call at 605 367 9050 for mail order.  Barbara's is also one of the stores carrying our Hoot Hoot Owl club, so you can sign up for those too while you're at it! 

Did you know Barbara's does finishing?  I love this photo from their Facebook album of Barbara herself working on a gigantic stand up:

It looks like a mountain of stuffing is going into that piece! Plus, I love the peek at that long wall of threads  in the background--  looks like great shopping to be had there, hope you will get a chance to check it out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tahiti Finished-- Yippee!!

Remember this from back in March? Well, I finally put the last stitch in yesterday, woo hoo!  Feels so great to wrap this one up as I have been so anxious to get the next one in this series started.  Might hold off a little though and enjoy the sense of completion before adding another WIP to the pile! 

Tahiti by Needle Delights Originals

And this is the next one in the series, Rio.  It's stitched entirely in Vineyard Silks from Threadworx, so it's going to be a really pleasant, easy (and fast, I hope) stitch!

If you are working on this or any other counted canvas design, come for a visit over on Stitcherie, where we have a group that gets together online to work on our counted projects.  It's fun and really motivating as well!  Hope to see you there! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

More New Scissor Fobs!

Scissor Fobs have been a hot little accessory item lately!  They have been flying out the door over at Ruth's Bedecked and Beadazzled, so she had me send a new batch this week.  Here's what I sent this time:

I took a picture of these "lollipop" fobs hanging from a dowel to better show how the silver chain tassels drape asymmetrically.  The center bead that looks so much like candy is actually made from felt!  All five "flavors" are accented with crystal beads.

These "Goofy Ghouls" fobs are a lot of fun-- I even kept one for myself!  The center beads have zany "eyes" that always seem to be looking at you and they are framed with big pumpkin-orange crystals and lampwork spacers.  The tassels at the ends are metal scrapbook tags mixed with square lampwork glass pendants.   

Here are two views of a Pirate-themed fob, the first one is hanging up so you can see how the pewter Jolly Roger charm dangles above the tassel trim and the second is laying flat so that you can see all three of the silk tassels and the rest of the crystal beads.

I always have to include some pink and green!  Both of these designs feature rhinestone covered Pave' beads. 

I also like more subdued color schemes, provided they are also very sparkly!  This fob features very large Indicolite blue and Crystal AB color stones accented with a big rhinestone ball. 

You may have noticed that every batch of fobs I show here is different.  That's because I make each style in a very small quantity, often limited by the number of beads I have.  I'm often able to make more or substitute a similar bead, but very often each style is a limited edition if I am not able to restock the featured beads.  So please don't be disappointed if a style you like is sold out already, I may be able to make more but if not, I may come up with something new that you might like even better!  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

More Fab Finishing!

I wanted to share today yet another fabulous finish of a CandyLand Christmas Tree Farm canvas.  You can take a look at the other finishes in my previous post here, as well as see photos of the design in progress in my Facebook album here.  This design was the Christmas Mystery Class by Ruth Schmuff and you can review all the lessons on Ruth's Mystery blog.

This one was stitched by Pat Thompson. She sent it to Marlene's Custom Pillows in San Francisco for finishing.  I love the previous ones finished in aqua blue, but this one done in orange and pink is just amazing I think!

Here is another EyeCandy design finished by Marlene's-- it is my Floating Hearts design that was published in Needlepoint Now:

Love the choice of colors on this one too.  Be sure to drop by Marlene's website to check out the photos of other finishing as well!  And please do send me pictures of your own EyeCandy projects, I would love to share them here on my blog.  Happy Stitching!  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Royal School of Needlework

I am a huge fan of classic hand embroidery in all its forms-- crewel, stumpwork, goldwork, you name it.  It is well beyond my skill level, yet I buy every book I come across on the subject, especially those from the Royal School.  Isn't it wonderful that embroidery is still such a revered and even necessary art form in England, Europe and Australia?  When I first learned about the Royal School of Needlework I was amazed that a degree college for needlework existed-- it would be like finding a real Hogwarts if you are a Harry Potter fan! It certainly made me wish that I lived in the UK, and not just for the RSN, but also for the City & Guilds School (sort of a Junior College RSN equivalent that also offers needlework courses.)
What got me thinking about RSN today was that they were featured on CBS News Sunday Morning yesterday.  If you would like to watch the video, go to the CBS site here.

The location of the Royal School is inside Hampton Court Palace (could it get any better??!)

Here is a photo of their lovely course catalog:

This is a picture of the first book (to my knowledge) from RSN that was widely distributed worldwide. It is not currently in print but can still be found from resellers.  It is fabulous, I can't recommend it enough! 

I also have to highly recommend any of the new series of books that RSN has been producing recently.  All are technique books focused on a single subject-- blackwork, crewel, stumpwork and silk shading are the ones released so far.  The silk shading one is my favorite, but I think the stumpwork guide is the most useful for needlepointers.

Hope you get a chance to check out the video and the books, I think whatever type of needlework you enjoy, there's a good chance you will find something here that will interest you.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Challenge Wrap Up

How could it be June already??  It seems like just yesterday that we started the Sammy Challenge-- time really does fly when you are having fun!  You can read all about how this Challenge got started here from my original post way back in March.  In the meantime, take a look below at our first two finishes:

Sammy by Judy G.

 Sammy by Palma S.

We'll have to wait a little bit to see the rest of in-progress Sammys-- Karen and Sheena both have quite a bit done on theirs (you can take a look at Sheena's over on her blog and Karen's over on Stitcherie.) We will also look forward to seeing these two again once they return from the finishers! Until then, Happy Stitching!