Crazy Week

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are three of my favorite rabbits. Hope everyone has a blessed Passover or Easter week.

Every day this week is the same backwards…
4-12-14
4-13-14
4-14-14
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA4-15-14
4-16-14
4-17-14
4-18-14
4-19-14
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt will be a good week for me; I usually don’t know whether I’m coming or going. ;-)
I have finished stitching the tulips and promise will post a picture and blog next week. Stitching is on hold for this project but will resume next week.

I have been computer stitching a couple stitch guides for a OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAteacher….there are two great classes about to be taught.

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch every day!

ttfn…sue

Sidetracked…A present & Value of Gray study

I am still stitching on the flowers for Mom & Me. Hope to have it finished this week-end.

But this week I got a bit sidetracked.

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My DH brought this find to me this week. He found it in the basement; I think it must have been in the tools and craft drawers from my uncle.  It must have been a pin at one time but the pin-back is missing. I also have a bracelet similar to this that my uncle gave me several years ago. And I also have 2-3 thimbles with this petit OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApoint. I tried researching these but the best I could find is that they were made in the 1940-50 in West Germany or Austria. None of mine has a marking that I can see but all are backed in brass. Doesn’t matter, I like them and just wish I knew more about them. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnyone out there who knows about this jewelry I would love to hear from you. Hummmmm, do I feel another collection blooming?

And I worked more on my Values of Gray study. I have all the written work completed; I have begun to make computer pages of my samples and I have my paint samples made. I haven’t decided if I am just going to market the book with designs or whether to teach it online and share my samples too.

All my stitched samples are completed (well except for the big project I want to do) and I have had this idea in my head ever since I saw Kurdy Biggs sewing wallet (http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2013/Pangea/Pangea_BagAndWallet.html)….I loved it! And while I was stitching the samples for Shades of Gray I decided to make my own sewing book (but that isn’t the big project).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I have been mulling around my ideas…the other night at 2 AM an idea came to me.  Just as a thought…does everyone get these spurts of inspiration at odd hours or is it just me? These creative outbursts really cut into my sleep and I had to get up to draw a rough OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsketch of the ideas. Next morning I drew them on the computer and then made up this small paper mock up. Now I am measuring needlework and thinking about how to construct the book. Any suggestions for sources of books or online helps would be appreciated. I have already decided to make a muslin prototype and think I’ll start this soon.

Today is opening day for the KC Royals so I see baseball and stitching in my afternoon plan.

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch every day! ttfn…sue

Mom & Me: More Flowers

I can hardly wait for the REAL flowers to bloom. I know they bloom quicker and with more ease than this border has blossomed! Yes, you can hear I am a wee bit frustrated but I think I have the hybrid in the pot now. It took me the better part of the week-end to get these flowers to the place I want them but I think I have it now and all that’s left to do is stitch them. 14-03-26 Mom&Me Mst flower centerIf you notice in the center diagram all the stitches are over 4 threads. And most of the purple threads (purple lines) are stepped 2 threads up or down. The exception are the red parallel boxes where I made a mistake on the far outer purple stitch on the top left and only stepped up 1 thread so on the right I did the same (that makes it not a mistake but a planned stitch ;-) ) Then when I stitched the dk purple stitches (black lines) I decided that stepping up or down by one should be continued (this is called artistic planned mistakes) and so all the red parallel boxes are only stepped up or down 1 thread. I also do not straight stitches over a single thread and so the red ovals are stitches I make 1 thread longer over 5 threads (an artistic planned moment). 14-03-26 M&Mst flower all

I had thought the couter stitches should be over 2 but then decided that over four would be quicker. NOT, I tried stitching them over 4 threads and did not like …so-o-o-o I frog stitched them and went back to the over 2 threads. I liked this better and so after I stitched the left side I computed the stitches and then stitched the right side. Sould not listen to that left brain while designing! The black ovals are the compensating stitches I made to avoid the dreaded over 1 compensating stitch.

If my sample is any indication and I make no other creative stitches I think the flowers are 14-03-26 M&Mst flower 2going to work. I have started at the center and am stitching one flower and then I will work either to right or left and the far outside flowers will fall where they may…I think if my counting is correct and I have no creative moments I could be very close to having half flower units on either side…

14-03-26 M&M tulips allThank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch every day! ttfn…sue

Mom & Me: flowers

Who knew the hardest part of this redo would be the flowers… My right brain had this great vision in my head and would not allow my left brain to work. I never was a math major and every time I have to do algebra/geometry things I hear my high school math teacher telling me if I would just take the book home I could make A’s & B’s. Sorry I should have listened.

14-03-21 M&Mst fig flowerI began by counting the threads in the width of the area between the borders (105 canvas threads) and I counted the height threads from bottom border to bottom of bunnies (37canvas threads). I wanted to symmetrically place the flowers across the bottom, and I knew there probably should be an odd number of flowers since that was what had been painted in the original…don’t want to mess with the aesthetics of the design. I decided to divide the width by three and start with this…but that did not compute, my flowers would have been as wide as they were high. Then I decided on five across, this would work the flowers would be 21 threads wide. Finally I decided that if I charted the flower as my mind was seeing them then I could tweak the design to fit. Then I also thought about counting the width of the flowers that were already there, but I had painted over them and that was going to be difficult. But as luck would have it, at 2 AM I woke up with the thought that I could count these flowers from a picture I had taken before I painted the canvas white. These 2AM wake up calls are not very welcome but they usually are the easy answer to a nagging question., I have been known to get up and see if the 2 AM idea would work; lucky for me this time I could go back to sleep.

14-03-21 BGM&M original canvas flowersThe next morning  I counted the flowers and  I realized the original design had three full flowers and two partial flowers on the ends. So I figured I had 4 flowers across (3 fulls + 2 halves= 4 flowers…105 threads/4 flowers = 26threads per flower. So I am using my computer to develop a pattern for a flower about 26 threads wide by 36 threads high.  Since I know I wanted the center to be over 4 canvas threads this was a no brainer…I would have nine stitches over 4 threads, a place to start.

14-03-21 M&Mst flower centerFiguring out the flowers is not as easy as I thought it would be. I think I have figured out the center and am going to work on the outside petals. I think I want the outside petals to be over 2 threads but I need to chart the sides and begin stitching a flower to be sure it is going to work and how it looks.

I know I will need three full flowers and two half flowers. If I get the three full flowers in and have at least the better part of a half flower on each end I will be happy. I’m off to compute the rest of the flower and try stitching one to see how it looks. Hope this doesn’t turn into a brain blocker for me.

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch everyday! ttfn…sue

Day of THE Green

I would be remiss if I did not wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day…So Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Our corn beef has been smoked (thanks to #2 son) and my Irish cream is chillin and our mantle is decorated:

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(L-R)   Radco ornament (one of two)

Kathy Schenkel March Santa (http://www.kathyschenkel.com/)

Joan Lewis March Nutcracker (http://www.joansneedlepoint.com/)

My Celtic Origins Shamrock piece: search my blog for “Celtic”                                                                    (http://sudukc.wordpress.com/)

Lego Leprechaun

Wooden box Irish Hex

Dede March snowman (http://www.dedesneedleworks.com/index.html)

Leprechaun (sorry do not remember painter) but I do remember it was a monthly piece

Harp Lager beer Tap

Anne Stradal:  Leprechaun(http://www.absdesignsonline.com/)

AKA Toppy: search my blog for “toppy” (http://sudukc.wordpress.com/)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love all my needlework but I really love my Lego leprechaun. He was built by #1 son and his son, Cooper. I get to have him on the mantle in March and then he goes back to Cooper’s room for the rest of the year. Isn’t he the cutes?

And my other non-needlepoint, BUT still handcrafted is my Irish Hex box. Years ago we were traveling in Pennsylvania and I kept seeing these hex signs on buildings (mostly barns). But it didn’t register how large they must be (remember I was OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtraveling with three young sons and a husband in a car and no needlepoint…I was a bit brain impaired) and I kept telling my husband I wanted one. I think out of desperation (he was going a bit nuts with the boys in the back of the car too) he finally found a place that sold hex signs and other things. Needless to say when we pulled up I realized they are huge and soon found out that a hex sign was not coming home with us (they would not trade us one hex sign for three boys…wonder why)  But they had a couple books on hex signs and of course books jumped right into my hands. Once I returned home I decided to paint some hex signs on smaller items and I loved the folklore  attached to the Irish Hex sign: The Irish were camped with other Pennsylvania troops at Valley Forge (yes during the Revolutionary War) and the Pennsylvania Dutch would tease the Irish. So the Irish made this hex sign and would taunt the Pennsylvania Dutch with this chant:

Hurray for the Irish

We’re not very much

But a damn sight better

Than the Pennsylvania Dutch.

And so today I leave you with this Irish Blessing for friends:

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

Thank you for stopping by today and I hope you have time to stitch everyday! ttfn…sue

Mom and Me: Bunny stitching

I worked all last week on the bunnies. I knew I wanted the stitches to be related but I also knew I wanted them to stitch quickly. I also knew that I wanted a stitch that I could offset and yet by offsetting would not draw attention to the offset areas nor create compensating areas that would draw attention away from the piece.

First I stitched the outlines of both the bunnies in a gray continental stitch and I filled in the eyes; then I started on the bunnies. I started with the baby bunny. I knew I wanted to use related stitches and the baby bunny should be the smaller of the two stitch choices.

14-03-12 bunny line draw If you look at the line drawing I have divided the areas up into offsetting areas. The lightest pink of the baby bunny was stitched first to establish the stitch. I started immediately above the gray outline for the back leg & foot so I could establish a base line across the widest portion of this area. Then I stitched up to but not across the gray outlines; I compensated as I stitched but sometimes if it is difficult to see you can wait and compensate after all the full stitches are placed. I finished stitching one area before I began another.  I also left the bottom 4 to 5 rows unstitched until I establish the flowers on the bottom.

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I love the Nobuko stitch and it does work up fast so I used this for the baby bunny. And I decided that a Double Nobuko would work for Mom bunny. The diagrams of the  shows the plan for offsetting both the Nobuko and the Double Nobuko, but like I said I tried to figure out where to place the stitches so I had theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA least compensation so this may not be the exact placement I used.

When I moved to another area (let’s say the med pink of the face) I offset the stitch by one thread and stitched a full row across the area and then filled in as necessary above and below this base line I established. I continued in this manner for the nose/upper head and ear areas of the baby bunny. In the smaller areas I tried to figure out where I could place the most whole stitches so that compensation was kept to a minimum.

14-03-12 small & lg stitchesI could have used any number of stitches and I have shown you a few in the diagrams here. Not only can you expand a stitch but you can also create similar pattern stitches to use in your needlepoint. Ann Strite-Kurz has written some excellent books (any of her books are good)  on this subject: Potpourri of Pattern; The Science of Canvas Embroidery; and Stitch Variations and Mutations; Diaper Patterns. You can see her books and kits here (http://www.needleartworks.com/dsgnr/ask/askimages.htm), but I think you order directly from her. She also writes a column in Needlepoint Now (http://www.needlepointnow.com/), Using Common Stitches in Uncommon Ways.” You will get more ideas for stitch patterns to use here too.

But back to Mom & Me… I finished stitching Mom and baby bunny but left the bottom several rows unstitched until I figure out the flower design which I am working out on the computer first. I know the width I have to work with and I also have an approximate height so I am hoping this won’t be a big deal. I have an idea in my head and I hope it works out. I am stitching the pink of the bunnies ears in padded Gobelin…baby is Straight Gobelin Mom will be Diagonal Gobelin. Noses for both are Basketweave.

Again, this week the weather is spring like but by Wednesday the killjoy weather people are predicting white stuff…I’m hoping they are off their rockers. But whatever the day brings I know that spring is coming and I can hardly wait!

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch everyday! ttfn…sue

Mom and Me border

Oh Mother Nature is toying with us…the weather is getting to feel more like spring than the depths of winter. Must try and get outside in the next few days as I know this is just a tease. Saw a cartoon this week that showed two lions, one coming, one going and roaring all the way and this little lamb between them; and the caption was: lamb saying, “Can I say something?” Hope this isn’t true since March roared in…I’m hoping it lambs out.  Garfiels said it all this morning: “It’s been a LONG winter.”

14-03-07 M&Me border chartBut stitching time is great. Worked on Mom and Me border for the past week and am almost finished. Here’s the chart I developed for the corners. And the border is set; all I have left is a bit more purple and most of the green. It takes longer since I am laying the RG Petite Sparkle Rays thread on both the front side and back side of the canvas. This takes more time but I think with the ribbon type threads it makes for a smoother appearance. Sometimes when I work with these ribbon threads I think when they turn on the backside you get a bit of a different light play on the thread and I sometime can see the edges curl. It may be just me, but when this happens and I go back and look I can usually see on the back where the ribbon thread has twisted.

And wouldn’t you know it the Kreinik braids I choose to use are two of the ones being retired. In case you have not heard, Kreinik (http://www.kreinik.com/PDF/special_order_colors_release_2014.pdf) has designated 43 colors as “Special Order” colors. Oh well I am sure there are other colors that will work just as well and maybe if you are planning on stitching this piece, you have these in your stash. But this is often the story about many threads used in designing…by the time we get the designs/stitch guides to production a thread can be discontinued.

I’ve always said if you do not like a thread or color that is chosen or used in a stitch guide, change it; same goes for a stitch. There are other threads that will work just as well and some are from the same manufacturer. Threads and stitches can be changed…IT IS YOUR PIECE!

14-03-07 M&Me borderBack to Mom and Me…as soon as I finish the border am going to stitch Mom and me bunnies. And I am playing on the computer to figure out the flower pattern I want to use below the bunnies. I know the width and am guess-ta-mating the height.

But for today I need to get outside and enjoy the day…Long spells of freezing cold temperatures have affected me more than Cabin fever…need to feel that warm sun on my rosy cheeks and the warm breezes beneath my feet.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! And if the weather is nice where you are, get out and enjoy it…winter has been awful everywhere! ttfn…sue