Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Easter Egg Season!

It's been a while since I offered a new Freebie design, so I have cooked up this Easter egg pattern for you!

You can download the chart over on my website by clicking HERE.

You'll find several other charts available to download free there too!

This design is worked on 18 count canvas and the center motif is a needle minder magnet.  I think you could add a pretty button or brooch pin here as well.  I'd love to see what you come up with so please do share your photos!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

New for Spring!

Presenting the new EyeCandy Needleart designs for Spring 2022!

Spring may seem an odd time for Halloween, but not this collection!  "Pretty Spooky" is a fresh new take on the season with pretty pastels and flowers, perfect for Springtime Stitching!

A more traditional offering for Spring is "The Flower Market", a set of four seasonally themed vintage style flower carts: 

Lastly, "Let's Stitch!", the newest in my line of Mod Words, is now available on 13 count!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Thread Stash!

How do you store and organize your stash threads?  I've tried a couple of different systems for mine over the years.

Way back in the day, a few plastic boxes could hold all of my stash threads, which consisted entirely of the full range of DMC (wound onto bobbins of course) and a box or two Kreinik metallics (which fit into those same plastic floss bobbin boxes very nicely!)

Flash forward a few years after I expanded my interest to counted canvas and needlepoint and I kept my threads in this big set of dresser drawers. As you can see, the "go-back" pile collected on top of the cabinet and often got way out of hand!  (Putting threads away is still near the top of my list of most-hated chores,  just a couple notches below vacuuming!) 

It's a big cabinet, almost 7 feet long and nearly 3 feet deep, but it eventually was crammed full. At that time, I organized threads by type-- the top two drawers were silks, solids on the right and overdyes to the left.  Below were the metallics and sparklies, smaller sizes to the left and the larger on the right.  Similarly, Perle cottons, cotton flosses, wools, blends and silk ribbons all had a drawer.  

While this system worked very well,  I always wanted to have them sorted by color first, then by type. When this cabinet finally got too jammed with threads, I decided it was an opportunity to finally change over!

So now I have these "thread towers", sorted by color, with each type of thread organized onto binder rings.  Re-sorting everything was a massive task that I was only able to do with some extra pairs of hands for the job.  Weeks and weeks of work-- I honestly wondered if it would ever get done! 

I noticed first what my favorite colors are-- obviously pinks far out-rank reds or yellow.  Orange is a close second, and below those, the over-dyed threads are obviously the dilemma you'd expect them to be, so they have their own two bins, sorted by type, not color.  The bottom bins are lesser-used threads:  metal/goldwork and other specialty threads on the left and on the right a few threads I keep as color samples. 

Tower two showed me that green is my overall favorite color, since it required two bins to hold them all.  Browns and greys share space with gold and silver metallics, and black and white get their own bin too. On the bottom is my collection of color cards, and a very small bin to hold the "go-backs".  I made it small so that the returns wouldn't mushroom into a huge job like they always did before. 

Finally, on the top of each tower are embellishments, mainly beads, rhinestones and sequins but also just about every other kind of doo-dad you could conceivably attach to needlework. These are all sorted by type.

Granted, it probably looks pretty messy to you, but it is working great for me so far.  I am obviously a very visual type person, so having everything out where I can see it is wonderful.  Seeing all the color possibilities all at once is tremendously helpful and I'm finding I'm picking threads I would have never thought of otherwise.  And to be surrounded by color, with my thread collection becoming a decorative element in my studio is, well,  FABULOUS!!  Yes, the threads are stacked in the bins rather than laying flat as they were in the drawers, but when choosing threads, I just take the whole bin out and lay them all out on a table.  Since I'm only searching for the right color, for me this has greatly simplified my process.  

So far, so good with this system, and I am already considering adding another tower (or two) so I can have two bins for each of the main colors.  That will also give me more room for more embellishments along the top as well!  You'd think I'd have everything I need by now, but I am finding that while I may have the right color, but not in the right size, so I still end up buying thread for most every project still!  Oh well, I'm always happy to add to the stash!


Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Blogs I Love!

This week has been so good for blog reading I decided I have to talk about a few blogs you should be reading since you are reading mine.  Granted, these blogs are already in my blog roll list on the right hand side of the page and hopefully you are following them, but just in case, here are the top 4 that I look forward to reading the most each week:

NJNA Blog:  The blog of the New Jersey Needle Artists (a chapter of the ANG) is loaded with everything you want in a needlepoint blog-- great pictures of canvases both stitched and new, the latest news and trends in needlepoint, needlework shop happenings, fun trivia, and of course the always exciting activities of their members.  Plus, a lot of things you might miss otherwise.  Case in point, they recently pointed out a needlepoint backsplash featured in a popular home improvement show! (Yes, a BACKSPLASH!) 

Click HERE to visit their blog now! 

There used to be lots of blogs like Stitchlady's, but sadly not many exist these days.  I think this one was always my favorite of that type of blog-- the individual stitcher posting about what she's working on, so I am happy that it's still a very active blog.  Stitchlady is a great follow for me because I love organized, methodical stitchers who pick a project and work on it until completion, updating their progress as they go along.  I love it because that's not my own stitching style, but definitely something I aspire to! 

Click HERE to visit their blog now! 

Chilly Hollow:  Of course you know about The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure already, in fact I'd bet big money that you follow my blog because you read about it first on Jane's Chilly Hollow Blog! Chilly Hollow is both too obvious to mention, but too big not to mention, LOL!  It is hands-down the definitive, go-to source for all needlepoint information and resources, meticulously updated and organized.  If needlepoint had a daily newspaper, Chilly Hollow would be it! 

Click HERE to visit Chilly Hollow, where Jane is waving from! 

It's Not Your Grandmother's Needlepoint: This blog is one of the longest running on the web today, but it still looks fresh and new and very high tech, because it's author is needlepoint designer Ruth Schmuff, who has always been absolutely cutting edge!  This blog is unchallenged in posting the most gorgeous photos of stitched canvases with some truly amazing techniques you won't see anywhere else.  Another blog that I am sure you already follow, but how could I not mention it? LOL! 

Click HERE to visit them now!