Plagiarism…it is illegal!

14-09-29 ron pic

This makes my blood boil!

My friend Bill’s son, Ron, is a professional photographer; Ron works for a newspaper in Texas. Last week on his Facebook page he posted this comment:

“…Another day, another art show, and another surprise turn around a corner to find one of my pictures rendered in oil. At least she’s consistent, she only seems to like my rodeo photos.”

I cannot imagine that this person does not know she has committed plagiarism and as my father (a lawyer) and my friend Bill (another lawyer) would say, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”  You will never convince me that this person doesn’t know and probably even signed an agreement with the art show committee that these were her original works of art. The other thing that amazes me is she lives in the same area as Ron does…he actually saw the picture. As Ron said:

It wouldn’t have been so bad if she had asked first, that’s happened before and I was flattered and allowed it. But just to do it and then display the work someplace where the original photographer is certain to see it is just callous and not too bright.”

The lawyers for the newspaper are looking into this but as you can see from the picture it is plagiarism. He had given permission to another artist to adapt one of his photos but this person didn’t even ask. And the kicker is this is not the first time this artist has done this to Ron, so I would be guessing that many of her pictures are someone else’s property. If Ron would give me her name I would post it here and maybe all of you in her area would boycott her pictures…

Amazing…I’ll let you know any new developments if I hear.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Three more finishing projects..1 completed 2 in the works

14-09-16 tomatoe allI posted on Facebook last week that I had finished stitching my Debbie Stiehler Timeless Tomato and what was the consensus that I needed to block it before I finished it? Overwhelmingly was no, I did not need to block. It was stitched on a frame and it is a 3D piece…so I am not blocking it and it jumps to the top of the ready for sewing finishing.

But I have found that many of the pieces I want to finish are not just sew and go pieces and are going to require a bit of thinking and pre-work before actual finishing will take place.

14-09-25 DS tomato buttonsFor example I have the perfect buttons for my Timeless Tomato, but they are not the right color. So I colored them with my Copic marker and that means the buttons have to dry and then be sprayed with a sealer…better safe than sorry. So I have colored the buttons, waiting for them to dry and then I will spray with a sealer to set and more drying time. Okay so I haven’t begun to sew the tomato together but when I do I want everything ready to go.

I also want to make a box out of another piece of needlework, I’m going today to look for a box but I think I will have to make the box. I have this idea in my head, I can see the finished box. But this project will require some research and study, not to mention design time. My problem is I want it finished yesterday and I don’t have a lot of patience waiting…I’m thinking finishing is going to teach me to slow down. I’ll keep you posted.

Are you getting the picture? I have these ideas in my head on how most of my the needlework pieces should be finished and now rather than slapping a piece of fabric on the back and moving on to the next…I have some pre-work to complete before I can begin the finishing. Hopefully I will not get overwhelmed by all these ideas and can keep on track to finish my needlework.

But again with all these cool ideas brings up the subject of needlework finishing costs…Lets use the buttons as an example. The package of buttons cost me $3, the Copic marker was $8, and the Krylon was $3.  I had most of this from other projects, but if I were a professional  finisher I would have to add these to the cost of finishing. Remember even though I have a package of 25 buttons I may never use them for anything else. Of course if I were a finisher, I might have found plain green buttons that I didn’t need to do all this work (I’ll look today for a button that will work, but now I have this idea in my head so I am going to look for a special button that will be as cute as the ones I want to use)…but I might still have left overs and that’s how stash starts…and I have enough stash for several people.

Also the difference between a finisher and an innovative finisher is the one who thinks outside the box. She makes your needlework unique and you want to use her again and again. Like I said, my friend Patty said her favorite finishing pieces were the ones that she got to think outside the box and make her finishing complement the needlework while making that piece uniquely its own piece.

And in the meantime, I stitched and finished another piece. Last week-end was a bar-be-que contest my husband and 3 sons enter, so I needed something to occupy my time. They set up Friday afternoon, and then friends stoped by Friday evening and we artied, Saturday was the contest part and so most of the day was spent sitting around while the boys   (middle son, Hugh) cooked and youngest son (Edward) ran the entries to judging. More friends stopped by and of course we had food and libations.  My job was to socialize and keeping the boys and husband informed as to who was coming our way…I always wonder if the boys would know me if they didn’t see me regularly. So I needlepointed this little tukey. I originally thought I was going to finish it as a scissor fob but then I remembered I had this small box from Romancing the Past (; it’s walnut over black. And I just had to add the Diagonal Gobelin around to make the turkey fit. So….

14-09-25 turkey 1Piece of batting cut 1/4 inch smaller




14-09-25 turkey 3Mitered the corners




14-09-25 turkey 4Turned in the sides


14-09-25 turkey 6Placed in box and




Voila…finished needlepoint! 14-09-25 turkey 7

We didn’t win anything at the bar-be-que this year, but we still had a good time. How can you beat good friends stopping by and staying most of the day, good food and a finished needlepoint to boot.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Another finish- Debbie Stiehler Tomato stitched

14-09-16 tomatoe allHooray, hooray, the Tomato is stitched! I’d like to say finished but it is just stitched.

When you are stitching a project do the last stitches seem to take forever? When I got to segment 5 I didn’t think I was ever going to finish stitching the segment…and then I had forgotten the leaves and strawberry. That took me another week. I think if I’d remembered the strawberry I would have carried it as my take-a long project…although it is congress cloth and I might have needed my mag eyes for this.

I’ve read the instructions for the cording and I’m not sure I understand, so I may do my own cording….I’m also at a quandary as to whether or not to block…It is straight already and it is not being framed? Any thoughts on this; do you always block needlework?

Now I’m off to work on more finishing, my blocking board is full and I also need to pull a long term project and also a take-a-long project and threads for my new ideas…

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Fritzi Brod, my favorite artist

14-09-02 In the WorkshopI’m still in awe of my new Fritzi Brod picture, In the Workshop;  but let me tell you about Fritzi Brod and how I came to love her artwork.

Bio: Fritzi Schermer Brod was born Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1900. She studies at Lycee in Prague and Kunstgewbeschule in Vienna. Fritzi met Oswald Brod in Austria and came to the United States in 1924 to marry him.

Fritzi attended the School of Art Institute in Chicago. She made a name for herself in the textile arts as a designer of textiles. Her designs were among the first displayed by Marshall Fields. She was part of the Chicago “bohemia” artists. She was a painter (both watercolour and oil), decorative painter, textile painter, printmaker and writer. During WWII she turned her talents into map making for the US government. She wrote 3 books on design: Decorative Designs; 200 Motifs and Designs, and Flowers in Nature and Design. She also illustrated 3 books that were included in sets of pictures to color: Flowers to Color; Birds to Color, and Scenes to Color. She died in Chicago 1952.

14-09-12 Flowers to ColorAnd Flowers to Color is how I came to know Fritzi Brod… When I was about 8 years old, my parents gave me the Flowers to Color box. The box contained a small box of crayons, 32 black and white plates of all the flowers listed in the accompanying booklet Flowers to Color with illustrations by Fritzi Brod. I would never color on these black and white plates but copied them and colored on another page. Over the years the black and white plates were lost but I still have the book.

Years later, my mother and a close family friend, Mr. Reiner were closing up an apartment of his first secretary after her death and there on the wall were three of the flower pictures from the book, Flowers to Color. I recognized them immediately and requested to have them if no one else wanted them. Mr. Reiner asked why I wanted them and I told him 14-09-12 flower picturesabout the coloring box of my childhood. He then informed me that he and his wife had given these pictures to his secretary and they were the original plates from the book. He gave me these pictures, I had them reframed and they have hung in my home ever since.

Mr Reinier had been friends with Fritzi and Oswald Brod for years and he asked me one time if I still had the little Flowers to Color Book and I told him of course, it was one of my treasured positions of childhood. He asked me to bring 14-09-12 den couplesit down to his apartment and of course I did. Mr. Reiner had six original watercolours that Fritzi had given him for his birthday, but due to space could not display them. Each picture is a couple in native 14-09-12 sitting roomCzechoslovakians peasants costumes. Mr. Reiner gave these to me and the accompanying cards describing each. I had these framed and they also hang in my home. I have a couple ads from shows that Fritzi had and these pictures are listed in the show.

14-09-12 card noelMr. Reiner was so pleased that someone enjoyed Fritzi’s art as much as he did that over the years he gave me three Christmas cards Fritzi had sent to him, one is an original. He also gave me 200 Motifs and Designs; a portfolio with design plates Fritzi had sent to him. Mr. Reiner also had three other 14-09-12 200 motifs coverpictures framed in his apartment that have remained in his family and a glass vase with nude etchings that is signed by Fritzi.

In the late 90’s I spent a great deal of time researching Fritzi Brod and even was in contact with Rose Brod (Rose was the second wife of Oswald Brod). She gave me permission to reproduce any of Fritzi’s designs in any media I so chose. I never had the opportunity to meet Rose Brod but we corresponded for many years. I have a 3 inch notebook on Fritzi Brod and her art work; it contains all the press releases I have found over the years and pictures of all the works I have ever found on the internet and elsewhere. I also have copies of all the books Fritzi wrote or illustrated. Fritzi Brod is a true inspiration to me, I love her work, even the ones that are baroque and yes, even her nudes. I would love to find more of the flower watercolours, especially the tulips. And of course I would love to find pictures like the ones Mr. Reiner had.

So, you can see why a few weeks ago I was speechless when a Fritzi Brod arrived at my house. What a gift …

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

All Rolled up…the Roll-ups are finished…Thank goodness

Finishing: Roll-ups

(each type of finishing has its own specific ins and outs. )

Bottom of roll-up will only have a beginning and ending open area, no hanger.

14-09-06 cord apply 01 begin bury end1. Pin the cording to needlework burying the beginning and ending knots.

On roll-ups, if I have a loop end I start with this end, otherwise I bury the knot. Sometimes if long cord 14-09-06 cord apply 02  pinhas been made you will only have the loop for one of your finishes. Just bury the knotted in a twist or two deeper and loop through the twist; this takes some practice but it can be just as effective.

14-09-06 cord apply 03 other half2. Pin around top. I pin cording from left to right but sew right to left (see #4 below)

3. If making the hanger; run cording through the loop or cording twist. (see #1 above).

Leave a hanger length on the top. Then go through the cording again and bury the knot.

NOTE — Top hanger: if hanger has been inserted in top (see blog: just go through loop, knot twice( if extra cording is available), cut and bury the knot.

4. Using a waxed thread (sewing thread or a length of floss to match cording.) I sew with right side of needlework facing me; and I sew from right to left. I try to start right at the end where the two cords are buried and I catch the left end only and just tack it. When I come back around I secure the cording beginning and ending well (this is also where top loop hanger comes in.) This allows me some “fudge” room in case the cording is too loose or pulled to tight.

Remember to sew the opening(s) closed where the cording knots were inserted at the beginning and end. At these openings, I do not try to do a ladder stitch, but rather just slip stitch well. Ornaments do not take a lot of wear and tear so the cording just h14-09-06 cord apply 04 stitch through cordingas to be attached securely. I sometimes slip my needle back and re-stitch areas where the canvas has been left open and where the cording passes through itself and the knots are hidden.

14-09-06 cord apply 05 stitch through cordingGo through the cording, NOT over the cording. Going over the cording will make dimples in the cording (not pretty).

5. Tie off thread by running back and forth several times in the needlework. Cut close to finished needlework.


14-09-06 lewis roll upsAnd this brings an end to finishing the roll ups. I have six roll-ups waiting to be given as a gift and two for me.  The six are from a local needlework artist, Joan Lewis. She is no longer painting but I think she has some of her designs still left, if you are 14-09-06 betsy & TJinterested I will ask her. Thomas Jefferson and Betsy Ross are Ann Stradal ABS Designs and are available on her website (  I’ve stitched  Thomas Jefferson twice but this is the first one I finished. I am a TJ fan from way back, I think Monticello is the prettiest Presidential House of them all and if I had owned it I would have had a hard time letting go of it.  I always 14-09-06 TJ tricornsaw him was a triangular shape, even though it is backwards of the true Tricornes  ( And Betsy I did put a hanger on but for no14-09-06 Betsy hangerw it a ribbon down her back and I just love her basket and the bullions on her hat and shawl…not that I loved doing the bullions…I just like the way they look.


General thoughts on finishing:

I will tell you this from experience, the more you finish the easier it gets and when you do several pieces of the same type (i.e. Roll-ups, ornaments, pillows, etc.) you get into an assembly line rhythm.

You may not like finishing; finishing is not for everyone but I think you should try one time just so you appreciate the work that goes into this art.  The finishers I know are really good at what they do and are fast considering that they do many pieces every week and then think of the season rush…Christmas, Halloween and Easter. It is pretty mind blowing to me; I would never make it as a finisher. If I make a boo-boo on my own needlework, it is one thing BUT if I made a boo-boo on someone else’s needlework I would be devastated. And I think you have a tendency to be much more particular when you are paying someone to finish than you are when you do it yourself. Finishing is a completion of your needlework. Whether you consciously think about it or not, you have a finished product in mind while you are stitching the needlework. And after you are done stitching you take or send your needlework to a shop to have it finished. Scary. Most shops do not let you talk to the finisher, so you better be able to convey your thoughts to the needlepoint shop person. Do you want simple or elaborate. Remember, unless you convey to the shop (who conveys this to the finisher) what you want…you may not get back what your mind sees as the finished product.

Patty Morrison was a local finisher and God called her home much too quickly for her family and friends. Patty always had a smile on her face and was one of those uplifting people you wanted to spend time with every day. I asked her one time how she did so many types of finishing. She told me she tried when possible to lump several together, ornaments, pillows, stockings etc. (the assembly line production) while keeping them in close date order to the way they arrived. She looked at every piece of needlework as if she had stitched it and was giving it to a special friend. She loved it when a needle worker would say on finishing instructions, “Do your magic, I would like a blue fabric” Or “do your magic.” She also said she thought of finishing as having her art shine through other people’s needlework; she was helping people complete their idea.

I have lots more to finish but it will be a few weeks before I have any more finishing but I promise to post when I do. I also have a desk full of work, many new ideas floating around in my head for the blog and needlework designs and of course enough stitching to keep me busy for a long time.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

All twisted up…making cording

This post got long and so I am dividing it into two postings. First we will make the cording and then I will finish up. in a day or two.


I spent the day making cording and applying to roll-ups. I used 4 strands of floss for all the cordings; black and white cordings are full skeins the others are measured cordings.

14-09-04 supplies allThese are the supplies I use to make my cordings: hand crank, electric crank (Dremel with a cup hook chuck), clamp and board with second hook and a fishing weight. I listed two cranks because I did make one cording with the hand crank, it took me about 1 minute to twist a 12 inch cord with hand crank; making the same length cord with my Dremel took about 5 seconds;  it was on/off almost. The Dremel makes life easier and my husband happy…he bought this at my insistence two years ago (I had finishing in mind back then too, just didn’t tell him.) and I just used it. I wish it had a reverse but oh well can use had drill for that.

14-09-04 cording sup hand crankHand cranks can be purchased from your local needlework shop or from Kreinik (


14-09-04 cording sup electric crankDremel products can be found at your hardware store and craft shops. You can also use an electric hand drill and some electric drills have a reverse that will be helpful when making specialty cords.

14-09-04 hook & clampThe cup hooks are 1 inch size, one is for the drill and the other I attached to a small wood piece. I also have a third permanent hook in the sewing area so when I am there I can make long cords. The portable one is just handy but not as stable as the one in my sewing room. The clamp is also from the hardware store. I have a couple different types of clamps, but this one I like best for holding the wood piece. I have had to make it clear that my hardware items stay in the sewing area and DO NOT migrate to the workbench area…the Dremel may be moving soon from workbench to sewing area.

14-09-04 cording sup weightsI have no idea what size the fishing weight is but it is about 1 inch long. I add the smaller one when making thicker cords.

Note: want to have some fun? Next time husband is going to the hardware or sporting goods store, tag along. You’ll both be surprised at the things you will find that you can use in needlework at these stores. I have some scissors with a hook blade, great for frog stitching, I have scissors that squeeze, great for arthritic hands, weights, clamps, and yes I have even found threads in the fishing department…fly fishers use great threads and feathers.

Back to cording…I used floss to make all my cording. Floss comes in a wide range of colors and is inexpensive and it has a nice sheen when twisted. You can use any uncut thread you chose, just remember every thread has a yardage. If you are going to make cording with threads that have dye lot issues, buy the thread for cording at the same time you buy the threads for stitching. This will mean you need to have an idea how you plan on finishing the project (ornament, stand up, pillow, etc…) The needlework shop should be able to help you with how many skeins/cards/reels you will need, every thread had a yardage.

Okay let’s make floss cording… One person can make a skein of floss into cording; just take it slow and as you practice it will get easier.

BTW: If you do not want to invest in either hand or electric crank tool; find a friend and two (un-sharpened pencils, chop sticks, dowel, etc) to insert in the strands to make twisting easier. Follow the directions below with each of you twisting clockwise.

Skein of Floss = about 30-32 inches of twisted cording

1. Pull skein of floss completely out.

2. Fold in half and then fold in half again; you should now have four equal strands of floss.

14-09-04 cording 4 strands and knot3. Knot the end with cut ends.

4. Place folded ends on stationary cup hook and knotted end on crank hook. I prefer to have the knotted end where I can see it, although this is not always possible; just make sure knot is not going to pull out as you twist.

5. Stand away from stationary hook so threads are snug but not tight between the stationary hook and the crank hook.

6. Twist…some say to count the twists. I have never found this very successful (I must be counting challenged.) I find that experimentation works best. And you will notice as you are twisting, the threads will start to pull toward the stationary hook. Keep twisting and keep threads taut but not pulled tight.

14-09-04 cording  test twistYou can also check the twist by grabbing the cord about four inched from the crank hook; keeping rest of cording taut, let the crank hook turn back on itself to see about how the twisted cord will look. This experiment can easily be pulled out and continue to twist until desire results are reached. Practice will make easier, and like riding a bike you will not forget from one finishing project to another.

14-09-04 cording ends together weight onOnce the desired twist has been reached place a weight near the center of the twisted cord and bring the drill toward stationary hook, keeping strands taut and separated. Once the ends are close together, secure so the ends will not move, pull the weight to center and begin “to walk” 14-09-04 cording weight walking athe cording. “To walk” cording; grab both twisted strands about six inches from weight, keeping remaining strands taut and separated, release the weight and allow strands to twist. Repeat this six inch release method up the strand toward the hooks. Once the hook ends are reached, carefully remove threads from hooks keeping a firm hold on these ends and place an overhand knot in this end and allow strands to continue spinning if 14-09-04 cording walking bnecessary. If cording had little bumps you can usually rub these out between your fingers by rubbing the cording toward the folded end.

Cording is completed.


To make a specific length of cording:

1. Measure around the finished needlework to find desire length of cording ( If making ornaments to not forget to add 3-6 inches for 1 1/2 – 3 hangers)

Ornament Example: 12 inches around + 6 inches for 3 inch hanger = 15 inches

I add 2-4 inches depending on project for safety factor ( I have made cording that comes up short) So 15 inches + 3 inches = 18 inches

18 inches x 3 (This is the standard not sure why used but I use it) = 54 inches

You will need 54 inch lengths of thread to make 18 inches of cording.

2. If you are using floss make two 54 inch lengths of floss, fold in half (you should have 4 strands of floss. Follow directions above from #3. When completed you should have a length of cording about 18-20 inches long. Enough to complete your ornament and if you have leftovers save for your notebook with notes.

After you have mastered simple cording with floss…

Try using two different threads (any uncut thread can be tried) in the cording I would experiment (good place to use hand crank…you will be able to observe the elasticity of the chosen threads, how they twist, if adjustments will need to be made when making cording for project) with the same type of threads leftover from another project to test how many strands you will need and how the two threads will twist together.  These threads do not have to be color coordinated, this is a practice piece. Keep the sample and notes on Number of strands, length of thread before twisting and length of cord made.

Example: Two strands 12 inch Very Velvet and two strands 12 inch Flair threads.  How do they twist? Does one twist faster than the other? Will you need to make one thread longer than another to compensate for the twisting? Only these questions can be answered by experimenting.

Making cording is an individual thing. Some like their cording very tight other not so tight. Practice and take notes.

A word about knots in cording:

Knots are never good in needlework; knots can show up and be unsightly and finishing is no exception. Sometimes you can bury them with no problem but if finishing a flat item you may want to consider binding the ends of the cording with a Hangman’s knot. Hangman’s knots are 14-09-04 cording end loopconstructed by making a loop of thread and laying it on the strands of cording. Begin to wrap back around the threads of the cording and the loop (leaving the open cut end open.)

14-09-04 cording end wrap

Wrap about 1/4-1/2 inch (depends on size of cording); slipping thread through the loop.


14-09-04 cording end pullThen pulling the end of the loop to draw all threads under the wrap.


14-09-04 cording end 2 ends cuttingYou will also need to do two of these and cut between when you have made cording for more than one project.


These knots are smaller than overhand knots and work better especially on flat ornaments. I have also been known to drop a drop of Fray check or glue on this area for extra security….just depends on how much of a purist you are.

In the next couple days I will post the finished needlework…

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Oh my gosh…Thank you

I had a blog all ready to post about cording BUT I have to show you what arrived at my house last week. The UPS man arrived and I am still speechless when I look up and see this picture…

14-09-02 In the Workshop

I hung this immediately in my office so I see it everyday; I also have a nail in my stitching nest to hang it there too. I want this to be an inspiration to me to complete some of the designs I have in various stages of completion. This is a lithograph titled “In the Workshop” by Fritzi Brod. I have loved this artist since I was a little girl and have several of her originals in my home. I have always loved this picture too and a dear friend sent this to me. As soon as I finish the roll ups I will write all about Fritzi Brod.

14-09-01 In the workshop wall

Right now I am still speechless. Very few things leave me speechless and almost in tears, but this gift did both. All I can say is: Thank you so much.