Stitching updates

15-02-24 temari aSorry about last week but the week got away from me and before I knew it this week is almost halfway over too.

15-02-24 temari bI have been trying to finish up a heart and move on to St Pat and Easter and poor Mardi Gras just blew by like a cold breeze (hummm it was cold.)  But I did make two Temari for the occasion,  just didn’t get them posted.  Used Kreinik blending filament in purple gold and green togive color to base of ball and stitched with #5 DMC Perle in Green Gold and 15-02-24 temari cPurple and a Kreinik braid. Simple 6 division but the Obi bands are different.

My creative juices are keeping me awake; I even got up one night to stitch…What can I say…didn’t have a pencil and I was awake so it seemed logical to me. I don’t think dog and DH had the same thoughts… and 15-02-24 heartsall I did was play with the Kreinik wire braid for a few minutes, okay maybe 30 but in an eight to ten hour night that’s only a few minutes. Didn’t even stitch it down during that time…and the light was only on my stitching.

15-02-24 stitches aAnd then Jane at Chilly Hollow (http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2015/02/lets-make-ribbon-flower.html)  posted this new type of knot that was taught at TNNA winter show (https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=656298941158846&set=o.108537025890131&type=2&theater ) and I had to try it, seemed perfect for this design. Colonial Knot, French Knot and Ruching. Plus the flowers are another decision I haven’t decided on yet either: Ribbon flowers, beads…decisions decisions!?!?!?!?!

15-02-24 stitches bAnd before I stitched the leaves on the heart I wanted to play with stitching picots. Needed to decide whether I wanted to use wired braid or just braid; whether I wanted two, three or four legged picots;  would one work better than another and did I want more than one style? You get the idea questions, questions and more questions.

But last week I did get this playing accomplished and this week I am really putting effort into finishing up the heart. Should get some great stitching time in as it is supposed to be cold, cold, cold and only have only a couple outings planned.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

Happy Valentine’s Day

One day inspiration struck and I stitched part of a design to see if it would work and so I had this partially completed canvas lying around. I also have a drawer(s) full of buttons, pins, and tchotchkes (trinkets) waiting to find a canvas. So combine one button from LaMode with a partially finished canvas and you have a 2 1/2 scissor fob, small ormament, whatever.

So one day I put it in the computer and today I’m giving to anyone who would like to have it.

One trinket+ one small canvas + stash threads+ 2 hours + finishing = one cute gift.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

15-02-14 I Love Squares layoutHappy Valentine’s Day. Hope it is a sweet one.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative! ttfn…sue

P.S. If you need me to email you a PDF version just let me know…happy to do it.

Almost Valentine’s Day

It’s almost Valentine’s Day (and it is Friday the 13th)  or as my sons used to call it, National Suck-up Day (This was before they were all married and have wives;  now they celebrate with candy, flowers, etc; typical husband duties.)

Years ago I told my DH I didn’t care to have flowers, I didn’t need candy and I sure didn’t want to go out to dinner BUT I did expect a card. So off he went to work and at the office shop he purchased a card and that night he came home and presented me with a card. Cute card had a couple on the front standing in front of a red heart; it said, “To my wife”…you opened it up and it said, “Couldn’t be without you. Happy Anniversary.” DH had crossed out Anniversary and written Valentine’s Day. After I stopped laughing, he said Hallmark should not be allowed to put out cards with hearts if they were not Valentines, especially at Valentine’s season. I told him he should learn to read and not just look at the pictures. Anyway to really appreciate his thoughtfulness, you had to wait eight months for out anniversary. On our anniversary, he brought me a card with roses, lace, ribbons the whole Victorian looking type; “to my wife….sentimental dripping sweet verse…and Happy Valentine’s Day.” He crossed out Valentine’s Day and wrote Anniversary and below that, ” You may not get the right card for the right occasion, but you get the right number of cards per year.” I still have both!

And over the years we have stopped giving each other gifts. We’re big kids, we know what we want and usually we’re together, well except at the needlepoint store but then he never says anything either. And I have a few canvases on my want list…like I need another canvas…but then need was never an issue with needlepoint.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis year I decided to do something different (usually buy needlepoint). I had my mother’s charm bracelet gathering dust in a drawer. My grandfather had it made for her when she got engaged to my dad, all the charms have a meaning. I’m not a bracelet person, so I found a chain similar to the bracelet, had the jeweler make me a necklace, put them together and I wear it as a charm necklace. Fun!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also had all my charms and an charm bracelet with about 20 charms (gift from my family before kids) gathering dust in a drawer. Never realized how many charms I had collected over the years and not all were silver, but had meaning to me. So I had them put on a necklace too; 60 charms later I love it.  It is a real conversation piece.

I wear both (not together) all the time. I just love them. So this year for Valentine’s Day I got jewelry.

Today I’m off to have lunch with the girls…and then home to stitch and my outing this week is a yearly art show. I love this art show, it is small and all local artists. And when this art show arrives I know spring can’t be far behind…I’m ready.

Maybe I’ll buy myself some chocolate too (dark of course.)

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

Hari Kuyo: Broken Needle Celebration

I like to think of this day more as a celebration than a memorial service. I know in Japan it is a solemn occasion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hari-Kuyo).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used to have more needles to share on this occasion, I changed needles every month; but lately I have been keeping my old friends around until they are no longer useful. I am hard on needles, sometimes when my arthritis in my hands acts up OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI use a pair of needle nose pliers to help me stitch and as you can see sometimes it is hard on the eye of the needle. Other needles especially my finishing needles tend to bend with use; but I use these (in fact I kinda like these sometimes best) until they eye breaks and then I have to replace. And occasionally I will use a needle that is not the correct size and I will break the eye right off.

Disposing of these needles is my big problem, I hate to bury them in the yard since they might work their way to the surface and a little person foot could find them. And I don’t want to pollute the streams or hurt our fish and wildlife.  One year I saved them and put them in the needlebook I finally completed (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/hari-kuyo-february-82013/). And another year I put them in frozen yogurt (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/the-festival-of-broken-needles-hari-kuyo/) and sent them to a landfill…but that didn’t seem right either. This OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAyear I have wrapped them in the canvas they so often traveled and tied it with a thread that they so often carried through the canvas; but I have not decided how to dispose of this. Any ideas? I wish someone would come up with an idea to repurpose these OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAneedles. I often look at the wine cork art on Pintress (cork craft) and think needles…that can we do with these?

This year I decided to celebrate the day with some new needles…they have been on the market for OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAabout a year but I just keep putting off buying them but this week-end I remembered. Your local needlepoint shop can order these from Colonial Needle Company (http://www.colonialneedle.com/cgi-bin/quikstore.cgi?search=yes&keywords=Bullion) They carry Bullion needles in both sharp points and tapestry points. These needles come in one size, equal to a size 20 tapestry needle and three lengths 7 inch, 5 inch and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3 1/2 inch. I have not tried them yet but I have several ideas on the stitching board that have these needles in mind (I will keep you posted). And who knows, maybe we will eventually see these needles in a size 24 too.

Other people on the web have celebrated Hari Kuyo too:

Vicky DeAngelis over at Mostly Needlepoint celebrated this way…and the Love canvas is speaking to me! Thanks Vicki for helping out my stash enhancements)

http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/a-tradition/

http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/whats-new-2

Susan Elliot at Plays with Needles celebrates too:

http://plays-with-needles.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-gift-of-harikuyo.html

http://plays-with-needles.blogspot.com/2015/02/two-days-until-harikuyo-2015.html

And then Carol-Anne Conway at Threads Across the Web visited a Japanesee needle shop…lucky girl! http://threadsacrosstheweb.blogspot.com/2015/02/a-needle-in-market.html

Click on some of her links and you will wish we had shops like this in the USA:

Oh I need the egg sewing box: http://www.hakotou.co.jp/

The sewing boxes are wonderful and the pins from here would make marking Temari balls such fun:

http://justhungry.com/postcards-kyoto-misuyabari-and-hakotou-lovers-sewing-and-handcrafts

I’m going to continue to celebrate the day by stitching and enjoying the beautiful (60 degree) February day.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative! ttfn…sue

Sh-h-h-h Part II

15-02-06 library parking garageOh I forgot to mention that a visit to the main library is an experience in itself. Even the parking garage is a work of art. The front looks like books, even the steps are books and on the side is a huge mural by 15-02-06 library parking garage blocal artist Bob Holloway of the Nelson Art Gallery and local historic figures. I had never noticed before that this picture is a combination of two areas at the gallery: the main hall (large columns and the balconies are Rozzelle Court.)

 

15-02-06 library entranceThe library is the old First 15-02-06 library main hallNational Bank Building. Just the front doors are impressive, but all the architecture is just beautiful and the antiques are great too. I remind myself that these antiques are like Christmas trees; on the lot that 15-02-06 library 3&4beautiful tree looks wonderful, when you get it home you have to cut 6 inches off the bottom just to get 15-02-06 library antiqueit to stand up in the room. These antiques look great in the library but I don’t own a home big enough to house them.

15-02-06 library clockEvery floor of the library has an antique clock, my favorites are the one in the main lobby and then there is a Arts and Craft clock in a meeting room (the room was locked and dark…no picture)

I just love old buildings; someday I am going to just drive around town and take pictures of the architecture in Kansas 15-02-06 building 1bCity. There is so much Art Deco and 15-02-06 building 1Arts and Craftsmen style. Notice some of the buildings of downtown…I thought of the song from Oklahoma when looking at them…”They went and built a skyscraper seven stories high“….and then looks like they add floors to some of these.

15-02-06 building 2aI’ve noticed that since I have been on this quest to be more inspired I have begun to see more. I am grateful my DH likes to go with me and drive.  I think my head is on a swivel (and I would be a hazard on 15-02-06 building 3athe road if I were driving) and I can’t see everything as we drive by and DH is so patient he will even go around the block so I can see again.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative! ttfn…sue

P.S. My creative block seems to have subsided for now…next week I’ll have a little stitching to share.

Sh-h-h-h Part 1

I’m actually going to try and post several times this week; otherwise this post will be too long. I have been inspiring myself weekly and I will share with you to catch you up. Some (today’s post is no longer available to see but of the others are still open and what’s best is they are free)

Have you ever noticed how quiet an art gallery or library is? And it is a different quiet than when you are home alone without the distraction of TV or computers. It’s like the quiet of a mountain retreat or a quiet day sitting at the lake, a special quiet that is so peaceful and relaxing even when looking at art that does not appeal to you or reading a thrilling book can disturb.

My visits to the art gallery and libraries started last fall when a friend told me about an art show at the Kansas City Public Library Main Branch. (see https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/creative-week-but-no-photos/) The Jason Pollen exhibit, Unfurled was a two part show and lecture. Unfurled, Part 1, spoke to me and I became an instant fan (I knew at this first show I needed to know more about this artist.) I made my husband miss the start of the first game of the World Series (Royals vs Giants) so I could attend Jason Pollen talk at the library and it was worth every minute. I could hardly wait for Unfurled Part 2 to begin and when it did I went the second week (would have gone to the opening but was feeling like I was one sneeze away from the flu and did not want to expose people to 15-02-03 Flag-Peace sdmy germs.) Jason Pollen also had an art show in his home/gallery and I did not miss this either. In fact I am the proud owner of a Jason Pollen flag ( I call it “Peace” ). It hangs in my stitching nest with my Fritzi Brod (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/fritzi-brod-my-favorite-artist/)  and I look at them every day.

I r15-02-03 Shiftealized, given a the chance I could be a Jason Pollen groupie.  I would love to take a class from him and regret that I did not when he was teaching at The Kansas City Art Institute; I think he would have been a very nurturing and inspiring teacher.  I liked many of the works, but I really loved the pieces he created using silk with fussed fabrics (Tierra Luminosa, Tierra Verde and Shift 15-02-03  Flicker I{pictured}).  The reflective aspect that he created by fussing fabrics together and hanging so the light played 15-02-03  Flicker IIoff of the art work and created an ever changing piece were spectacular. I could see myself sitting in front of one of these and being completely relaxed and inspired.  I like his mobiles too (Flicker and Flicker II); 15-02-03 Notebooksthey were free moving, ever changing and fun! (I found myself wondered how I could adapt this idea to needlepoint.)  In Unfurled Part 2 he displayed his sketch books; I think these would be very interesting to look through… I think you would be inspired beyond belief. Another piece that spoke to me was Thirty Days. Jason Pollen “hit an artistic wall, unable to identify what to create next or even 15-02-03 Thirty dayshow to create it.” He made himself come to the art, studying line, color tint and shade by making a linear foot a day for 30 days. It reminded me of the doodle cloths we so often speak about making in the needlepoint world but seldom start let alone complete.

In fact the Jason Pollen Exhibits is what made me realize that I had probably been missing a world of wonder that was mine just for the looking. So one of my goals is to keep my eyes and ears open to the exhibits that are going on around me. I listen to the morning news and read the paper and local magazines for exhibits at the art galleries and libraries I have overlooked in past years few years. I try to do something every week and then I also get a lunch in the bargain.

More later this week, I have some interesting things I’ve seen.

And I do find time to stitch just nothing very interesting right now. I think I’m in a dry spell and have had a couple inspirational failures…it happens to all of us.

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

Magazine

Do you read magazines in different ways? I had never thought about this until the other day when I had a stack of magazines sitting together and I noticed I treat my magazines differently.

Most new magazine arriving at our house get a quick once over, I peruse each issue to see if there is something I must read immediately and then I usually set it aside for evening enjoyment. If there has been an article that I can’t wait to read, I flag it (and this is different depending on the magazine…more about this later) to read in the evening.

15-01-29 mag aBut all my magazines are not created equally. Some magazines are family magazines and they will eventually end up in the family room for everyone to see. Midwest Living, Missouri Life, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, etc…are all in this category. If there is a recipe or creative idea that I wish to keep in these magazines, I have dog-eared a corner of the page. So when a new issue arrives, I quickly look the old issue over to see if I have dog-eared a page to keep, I tear it out and out goes the old issue.

15-01-29 mag bOther magazines like Flee Market Finds, Vintage Collectibles, Ornaments, FiberArts Now do not get dog-eared and may stay around longer that some of the other monthly/ quarterly issues and they live in the family room too. But when these magazines begin to pile up the older ones get one last look for inspirational ideas that I tear out and then out they go too.

15-01-29 mag cAnd then there are what I call the inspirational issues: Needlepoint Now, Cloth Paper Scissors, NeedlePointers, Inspirations… They are treated with tender loving care and I even read these differently that the previous magazines. I don’t give them a quick once over but rather keep them for my evening reading.  The first pass through this magazine is to look at every page (wouldn’t want to miss that special canvas, new product, or technique); then I start at the front cover again and while I may not read every word I spend time on every page. I love the ads; they are colorful and give lots of color combination ideas, not to mention the stash enhancement opportunities. I always read the editors notes; she has labored over this magazine to bring the best of articles to each issue and she usually highlights why some articles have been included. Sometimes, when the editor mentions a specific article I will take a sneak peak at the article, but mostly I try to read the magazine from front to back just like a good book. I look at the stitch diagrams very closely, and if there is a numbering of a stitch or stitch sequence different from the norm then I will read to find out if this is an author preference or if there is a specific reason for the new numbering I try not to mark up these magazines (although I think older issues I was not so careful about this), if I want to mark an article I use a post-it note. Sometimes I will write on the post-it note what I have flagged (i.e.: goldwork, new product, stitch…)

And here-in lies a big problem…I have inspirational magazines from years ago. I have Cross-stitch magazines from my days of working for a cross stitch company and I subscribed to these for business references. I have needlepoint magazines stacked by year; I have a complete set of the Mary Engelbreit magazine, Home Companion (this magazine was so great…it was full of creative ideas and the color combinations were wonderful.) And I have needlepoint magazines that are no longer published. The magazines are taking over… and I have finally decided that I have to do something about this. One of my goals for the year is to look at these magazines and decide the best thing to do with them. Any ideas? I am open to any and all suggestions, it just seems a shame to send them to recycling but I need to do something.

But until I make a decision…I will keep on reading and stitching.

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