Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First New Designs of 2013!

It's time to introduce my first new canvas designs of the year!  The first TNNA needlework market is gearing up and shop owners across the country are getting set to place their orders for new designs, so here is a preview of my new offerings.  If you see something you can't live without, contact your favorite store to have them order one for you!

My recent move really threw me for a loop, so my new line for this year is a little smaller than in years past, with twelve new designs total.  Here are my four new Christmas and Holiday designs:

I was really in a "Mod" '60's state of mind for some reason this year, so I painted "Mod Ornaments".  This is 9" x 9" on 18 count.

And then came "Mod Merry"!  This is 7"x9" on 18 count.  Lots of room to try out fun stitches on this one!

I had to call this one "It's a Mod, Mod Christmas", but several people have told me that not only is this an overall pattern design that could be appropriate for all year, but with a simple color change it would also be a great design for Hanukkah.  This is 7.5" x 9" on 18 count.

This little fellow snuck into the mix somehow, probably because I have cardinals on the the brain as I am lucky enough to have a whole flock of them at my feeders every day.  I posted this on my Facebook page and he quickly became the winner of "viewer's choice" with the most comments of any of the designs.  Guess a lot of you also love cardinals, and I think I see some more cardinal designs in my future as well!  This is a small canvas, 3.5" x 5" on 18.

I was also in the mood to paint florals too and added four new ones into the line:

This is White Peonies, 8" x 8" on 18 count.  I am really into this aqua color, it seems to be everywhere these days!

And this is Rose and Butterfly (clearly I was stumped for whimsical titles this season!) and it is 6" x 6" on 18.  Orange, pink and brown is a color scheme I continue to be obsessed with-- the dark chocolate color on the butterfly is a regular brown paint, but the other browns are actually several different shades of dark gold metallics, which give the canvas a nice sparkle that doesn't show up well in the photograph.

I'll leave off with this half of the collection for now and show you the rest later in the week.  Until then, Happy Shopping! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spring Garden Humbug, Plus a Decision Has Been Made!

The January/February 2013 issue of Needlepoint Now should be arriving in your mailboxes and at your LNS too, so I thought it was high time to share some extra photos of my latest project to be found in this issue.  Spring Garden Humbug pincushion is the companion piece to the Biscornu pincushion from the previous issue.  You will be pleased to see that the Humbug uses all the same materials as the Biscornu, plus just a couple of additional threads and buttons that I think you will like.

Here is the finished Humbug, viewed from the side:

To better orient you as to how this piece is stitched and assembled, here is the piece stitched and flat, prior to finishing:

A Humbug gets its shape from being stitched together along its shorter edge, making a tube, then having each of its ends closed in different directions:

The photo above shows the whip-stitch technique I use for assembly-- the needle is slid cleanly under each pair of chain stitches and the edges are pulled firmly together.  The edge at the bottom of the photo has already been closed, with the far corners folded inwards to meet the center.

In the photo below, the stuffing has been added, and the edge is being closed, this time in a simple fold right down the middle, with the far corners meeting each other:

Here is that same edge from the photo above, closed and finished:

Here is the finished Humbug, viewed from the backside:

And finally, the bottom side:

I hope you will enjoy stitching this piece, and as always, if you have any questions, please do email me here at the blog.  And please do share photos with me of your finished pieces, as this is a very adaptable design and I would love to see how it would look on different canvas, with different threads and buttons too!

Additionally, if you read my last post, you will recall I was trying to decide among five canvases to work on for the Stitching Games over on Stitcherie.  I did finally choose one, after much deliberation-- I'm going with the Patti Paints witch design.  Her corset seems to be the obvious starting point, since January's clue is "shape up", now I just need to get to work.  Meanwhile, we have had loads of stitchers joining in on the fun, with 22 official entries thus far and quite a few of those participants are stitching celebrities in their own right-- Kelly Clark, Sandy Arthur, Sheena James, Janet Perry, Sharon Crescent (of Crescent Colors fame) and Ruth Schmuff-- quite a distinguished group, right?  There is still plenty of room, come on and join us, or just cheer on your favorites-- it's all good!  Hope to see you there! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Decisions, Decisions...

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I want to join in the new Stitcherie "Stitching Games" fun, but now that I've finally trolled through my stash canvases, I cannot make up my mind between the five (FIVE!) I've narrowed it down to.  I found canvases that I didn't even realize I owned, and worse, I searched for canvases I was sure I had bought but apparently I didn't!  (Please tell me that you have done this too!)  

Anyway, here are the contenders-- Raymond's Pink & Green Tree, 5x7 on 18 count.  I'll bet this is Raymond's all-time best seller, I see it everywhere, and practically everyone I know has it in their stash-- do you?? 

Next up, one of Melissa's fabulous Pagodas, this is 7x7 on 18 ct.  Love these colors, plus since the January clue is "shape up" I've already thought about what I would stitch on this one-- the clouds!  Why?  They're pretty fluffy, like me, especially now after the holidays, lol! 

I really love this next canvas, it's part of a set of four from Patti Paints, size 5x10 on 18.  It's the little black kitty swatting at the strings from her magic wand that made it a "must have" for me.  I'm feeling partial to this one but I'm not sure if it's enough to keep stitching on for 10 months.

Now for something totally different, an abstract design from Amanda Lawford.  This one is a biggie, 8x10 on 13 count.  This would be a good finish for me, as it would make an excellent pillow in my living room which I'm decorating in this color scheme. (Or at least trying to-- already some pink and orange have found their way in there!) 

Last but certainly not least is another abstract-style biggie, a fantasy forest scene from Birds of a Feather, 10x10 on 13 count.  I love, love, love BOF designs-- I think I have more of their canvases in my stash than almost anybody else, but they are all unstitched.  They are so pretty that I have been happy just displaying them on the cork boards lining one wall of my hobby room.  They are artwork, after all, and deserve to be out on the display at least even if not stitched.  

So here they all are-- what do you folks think?  I think that have to make a decision and fast!  The month is halfway over and I need to get something on bars and get some stitches on it-- February's clue will be here all too soon!  Decisions decisions... I promise I'll let you know which one it will be by the end of this week!  In the meantime, Happy Stitching!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Stitching Games 2013 Update

We are off to a great start so far, with 12 participants posting photos of their "game" canvas as of today. (And I am still trying to pick one out of my stash-- too many choices!) No surprise that we have some clever stitchers who have really taken off running with January's "shape up" clue.  Here is Kelly's Rebbecca Woods Easter-themed canvas, and her really adorable interpretation of this month's clue: "The bunnies have all gotten dressed and are concentrating on their stretches, Zumba moves and jumping jacks.  This is part of their training and "shape up" for the big 5K Egg Run later in the year.

Palma chose a Mary Lake Thompson garden scene for her game canvas, and her take on the clue could become the beginning of a short story: "Humphrey the bird had too much to eat and drink during the holidays. Worried about her husband's waistline Helga, a.k.a. Mrs Bird, hired a personal trainer, Mr Bunny to get her husband back in shape. He was told to fly 10 times around the neighborhood as part of his daily exercise. Helga was on watch duty to make sure Humphrey would not make a beeline to the house and make it to the couch. Junior was very proud of papa."

There are eight more canvases posted so far that we are all looking forward to seeing stitched, including  a Mindy, a Beau Geste, Brenda Stofft, a couple of Maggies and even a couple of "mysteries" (Debra would love it if someone could help ID her Nutcracker canvas!)  So come stop by when you can and check it out, the more the merrier! Click here for the direct link to the discussion page. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Let the (Stitching) Games Begin!

There is a fun new stitching game starting this month over on Stitcherie and I am so excited to both participate in and spread the word about it.  "Stitching Games 2013" kicks off this month and it couldn't be easier to join in, as you have the option of using a canvas already in your stash.  Of course, you could buy a new one or even paint your own if you wanted, as it's a pretty flexible game you will be playing, with lots of room for using your imagination.  Our wonderful K.B. (she of the Challenge fame from last year) has cooked up this idea and will be playing moderator along with Ruth Schmuff.  I'll give you the gist of the idea here, but be sure to read the rest of the details here over on Stitcherie.  

You should choose a canvas that can accommodate 10 different "treatments", as you will be stitching a bit of the canvas each month for 10 months, so it doesn't need to be so much a large canvas as it should be something that has enough detail to give you something to work out your "clues" on each month.  At the beginning of each month Karen will post a new clue and you will interpret what the clue means to you and stitch that portion of your canvas.  To get started, you should post a photo of your unstitched canvas on Stitcherie, then thereafter post a photo a month after you have stitched each clue, along with a description of how you interpreted the clue on your canvas.  And yes, there will be prizes involved-- one prize awarded for each month of the Games! Participants will have all of November to finish stitching their canvas, and in December the voting begins to pick the Viewer's Choice prize for the overall favorite canvas.

I myself have yet to even pick out a canvas, but I plan to do that this weekend.  Meanwhile, the game has officially started, so I'll share with you here what has happened so far.  K.B. has chosen Melissa Shirley's "Circus Dogs" for her Games canvas and posted the picture on the group's page:

Melissa chose Raymond Crawford's Christmas Model A:

The clue for January is "Shape Up" (pretty appropriate for this time of year, no?) and Melissa interpreted the clue as the "spare tire" many of us are carrying around after the holidays (or year round in my case, lol) as the tires on the Model A.  See what I mean about using your imagination?  She did a fantastic job on those rims! 

See how fun this will be?  Everyone will be posting their photos which is sure to stir up some pretty fun chatter too.  I'll keep you updated here, but I do hope you'll pick out a canvas and come join us-- the more the merrier!  And even if you don't stitch along, we love the folks who cheer from the bleachers too-- hope to see you there!