Thursday, March 27, 2014

Canvas of the Week: Easter's on the Way!

I'm probably rushing things a bit here, but Easter (if not Spring) is definitely coming up pretty quick! I just bought my Easter basket and candy last weekend, along with an egg dye kit that makes "sparkly" eggs!  I have resolved to stay out of the candy at least until it is time to start coloring the eggs, we'll see if I'll actually be able to hold out!  In the meantime, I wanted to feature "Bunny-kins", one of a set of four holiday-themed cat designs I have painted.  Her basket is already filled and she is decked out in her Easter bonnet, wishing you and yours a very happy holiday and a happy and warm Spring too! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New EyeCandy on Your Newsstand-- "Flower Power" in the May issue of Cross-Stitch and Needlework!

When I was contacted by the editors of Cross-Stitch and Needlework to be their featured designer for May 2014,  I was surprised and honored.  I have been a contributor to their hardcover Christmas Annual in the past, but to be featured in the magazine was a dream come true.  I suppose that it's realizing that I've come full-circle in the needlework world, as I have been a subscriber to this magazine ever since the first issue, way back in the '90's, back when I first discovered cross stitch and my obsession with needlework began.  And I still have every single back issue, hoarded away in my stash, far too sentimental to ever consider parting with them! 

What a thrill when this arrived in my mail, to see my design had been chosen for the cover!

You may be wondering what a needlepoint canvas painter is doing in a cross stitch publication, but they often feature both painted and counted canvas designers in their magazine.  I was able to submit my design for the feature as a painted canvas and they converted it to cross stitch, entrusting it to one of their superb professional model stitchers to make the lovely cross stitch version seen on the cover.  

Here is a photo of the original painted canvas:

Not to worry if you prefer to stitch it as a needlepoint, as the magazine provides instructions for a needlepoint version as well, with a conversion chart for Perle cotton and additional instructions in a download from their website.  

I hope you will enjoy this design and the feature article.  Remember, if you stitch this in any version whatsoever, please share a photo with me, I'd love to see what you did! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

In the Classroom with Tony Minieri

Thanks to my friend and stitch guide designer extraordinaire Cynthia Thomas, I had the opportunity last weekend to take a canvas enhancement class with Tony Minieri.  It was fabulous to finally meet and learn from Tony, I think I may be one of the last serious stitchers in the US that still somehow had never attended one of his workshops!

I had a  terrific experience and Tony is a genius when it comes to picking threads and stitches for a canvas.  Plus, he is a stitching master-- every stitch, every technique, he knows them inside out and he of course is an amazing stitcher himself. He knows his needlework history too-- it was great to chat with him about one of my stitching heroes, Mary Rhodes.

The canvas I brought to class was my Cinderella's Magical Night canvas:

As usual for me, I got very little actual stitching done in class.  I like to jump around the canvas and work all the areas from the stitch guide that I had questions about.  Tony demonstrated for me how to do Repousse', which is how the little mouse tail on the left is stitched.  I also learned Raised Stem Band, which is demonstrated on the little pumpkin in the middle on the upper right.  I also stitched as much of the carriage as I could-- it is a 3-layer confection of metallic, silk and beads done in a Trellis Stitch Variation. 

The last day of class had me working the sky area in the lower right and part of the border:

Cynthia was working on a companion piece to this canvas, the Carriage.  She was able to practically finish this in class, having gotten all the way to the border!  The best parts are still to come, as there are jewels to add to the crown, golden wheels to be couched on over the grass and best of all, the door gets applied in a dimensional appliqué technique.  I just cannot wait to see this when Cindy gets it done, be sure to check back here for pictures!  Good thing Cindy is a very fast stitcher. 

If you have a chance to take a class with Tony, don't pass it up!  He is definitely as good as he sounds.  Be sure to check into his classes for his counted-work pieces as well-- he brought one of the various colors of his Patchouli design to class and it was amazing, can't wait for my next opportunity to take that class!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Canvas of the Week: Pirate Mermaid

This week is Spring Break for many, so why not something wild and whimsical for the canvas of the week?  This is my Pirate Mermaid, sized 6.5" wide by 10" tall on 18 count canvas.  She was a lot of fun to create, and I plan on painting a companion piece one day soon! 

Here she is as stitched up by Andrea K. of Stitch by Stitch in Larchmont, NY:

There is also a Ruth Schmuff stitch guide and kit available, just look at all these goodies in the kit:

Thanks for looking, have a great week!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Winter Cheer

The concept of "Winter Cheer" is probably a lost cause at this point in this particularly long winter.  I find myself house bound today even though I am in Houston, Texas!  We are in the middle of an ice storm as I write this and I don't dare to try to take my daily walk as I have had enough of slipping and falling on ice (having lived the past few years in New England) to last the rest of my life! 

Looking out my windows, though, the icicles on the bird feeder aren't stopping my resident cardinals from getting their breakfast and that reminded me of a recent finishing photo that was shared with me:

This is the first one of my "Joy Cardinal" canvas that I have ever seen stitched and I can tell you right now it is already one of my favorites of all time!  This is a perfect example of what a really gifted and creative stitcher can do with a really small canvas.  The stitcher, Carolyn B., stitched it for her daughter as a gift after having "stolen" it from the daughter's stash, lol!  Wish someone would steal some of my stash like that!  Great work, Carolyn, and thanks so much to daughter Jennifer for sharing her photo.  

Hope this has brought some "Joy" to your winter as it has mine, see you next time!