Mother’s day presents

Yesterday my Mother’s day Presents arrived, but it was late and so this morning with a cup of coffee I settled in to look at them

A new pair of tweezers, Pinkett Tweezer. I found out about them in a round about way; Toni Gerdes told another friend about them. And since I love needlework tools I ordered a pair too from A Stitching Shop (www.StitchingShop.com)…they had them in stock.

Pinzette Tweeter

And since I was on their website I checked out the books too. Christine has the best variety of books I have seen. And of course I found a book I have been wanting to see.

This 200 page book is lovely; there are 12 projects to stitch complete with patterns and instruction. The first 81 pages are the history of Blackstone Creamery, where these projects were photographed. There are also descriptions and artist statements for each of the 12 projects.

Description of projects

The rest of the 200 pages are complete instructions for each of the 12 projects.

Each project starts with a picture, requirements and preparations for the prject

Then there are complete instructions for the project; including stitch diagrams, any aids to help in completing project, and finishing instructions.

And included on inside back cover is a pattern book.

Patterns

I am over the moon about this book; it is a beautiful book! I wanted it because someday I am going to feel qualified to attempt Georgina Bellamy’s (thatembroiderygirl.com) Jewel of the Sea. I saw somewhere(hope I can find it again) where she made this as a needlecase. That would be perfect for me…since I love needlework tools.

Jewel of the Sea

But after looking at this book , there are several projects I would like to try…hope I live long enough. If you would like to see a glimpse of this book and the other two available go to Inspirations web site (Inspirationsstudios.com) and look at them. Then go ask A Stitching Shop (www.StitchingShop.com) if she has it…you’ll save postage from Australia.

I need to get back to my pumpkin. He’s coming along, I am half finished stitching and am really liking it. I will take time a blog about this soon.

I hope you find time to do whatever makes you happiest and creative. And I hope you have time to do it today and every day! ttfn…sue

Another Goldwork Book & Lucky Shamrock

This post is going to be all about my goldwork class but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another goldwork book I just puchased. Goldwork and Silk Shading, Inspired by Nature by Hazel Everett. Hazel passed away in 2018 but friend and colleague , Jan Barsby and Hazel’s husband, Adrian Richards collaborated to publish this book in her memory. It is a terrific addition to her first book, Goldwork Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration. This book explains how silk work and stumpwork can go hand in hand with goldwork. I loved how the book shows many of the examples done in all gold, all silk, and a combination of the two. It is truly inspirational and will give you many ideas. Another thing I found especially interesting was that all the examples of silk work are stitched using DMC 6 strand floss.
I am going to add this book to my previous post about books too

Now about Goldwork Lucky Clover is a class taught by Clara Warschauer (clarastitchingstitching.com) and my first real adventure into goldwork. I have taken a couple other classes, I really just audited these classes and never stitched anthing.

This was a 2 session zoom class and I made up my mind to actually try and keep up. After enrolling Clara sent a kit with all the materials needed to complete this clover and looks like enough materials to complete a second. I was a little concerned that there were no written instructions but Clara assured me that everything would be covered in class and that we would have unlimited access to these videos.

As I mentioned before in my blog (sudukc.wordpress.com/2022/01/14/taking-a-goldwork-class/) Clare had a little prework . Before class we were to wrap our hoops and draw the clover design onto the ground fabric. we needed a light and stand and usual stitching tools. Clara had suggested several tools especially for goldwork and I had these already so I was ready. If you would like to learn about wrapping a embroidery hoop Clara has a video on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFzYJPPcWlc&t=26s).

The first session Clara showed us exactly what to do and explained everything very well. In class Clara showed us two methods of padding, stuffing and layering felt. Then we use Supper Pearl Purl to outline the clover. She showed us how to make a lasso needle for helping to take our gold to backside of work and secure. She also has a video for making a lasso needle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejkiKjkKioI. She also showed how to stitch the stem and how to lay Japanese threads in the first petal.

I had begun stitching with here but by the time she had stitched all the felt in place and started on the outlines, I was still stitching the green clover (step one) to the ground. Needless to say I decided to stop what I was doing and to listen and take notes. I was glad we were going to have access to the viedo too because I was sure I probably missed a hint or two.

So during the first week between classes I diligently went to my stitching nest and stitched my clover, I wanted to keep up and not let the class get ahead of me. One of the major things I learned is that goldwork is not going to be a social stitching piece. You need concentration and and attention to detail for this technique. I imagine it is much like Japanese Embroidery with much attentions to technique and application of technique to truly master this media. I spent about 8-10 hours of stitch time just to complete the first part. But I liked the solace of the stitching time. I lost all sense of time and space.

I completed the homework and was waiting for the next class which took us through the rest of the stitching and how to finishing. This class I just took notes and knew I was in for another 8-10 hours of stitching before I was going to attempt the finishing. I was also happy this class was also taped for our reference too. I think I watched this tape a couple times just for the finishing .

It took me about ten days to complete this project, not because it took me longer to stitch but because I had a couple other commitments and I wanted to have blocks of time to stitch. Once my clover was completed I knew there were quite a few faults but it is my first piece and I will keep practicing. I am going to make another and I know that I overstuffed the first clover and my stem left much to be desired. And I really need practice cutting purl, I had lots of little tags on my chipping that I needed to clip off. And a couple chippings were unusable but I’m going to save them, never know when you might need a pulled purl. But as my friend says; “If you are close enough to my stitching to see my mistakes , you are too close.”

And that’s about it for today. I am working on a new sewing project that I’ll share later, I have loads of finishing needlepoint to do and I’m going to make another clover soon before I start another project. I also need to start a solcial needlepoint I can take to sitch-ins and other places. I did get out a guild project I thought I could do but as I read the instructions I realized this was not a project that I wanted to do, so I will keep the golds and make another clover before I attempt one of the other kits I have in waiting.

Thank You for stopping by again.
Hope you find time to do whatever makes you happiest and creative AND I hope you have time to do it today and every day…

ttfn…sue

Goldwork Books

Well! My goldwork class does not begin until Today. At first I was bummed out but then I decided to take Monday and write up my goldwork books. And yes I have read all these listed. I take notes and put them in the book for reference. Then on Tuesday tried to upload to my computer but WordPress has changed so much since I last used that there is a whole new learning curve. But I hope to have up before class begins on Wednesday. After several hours, this is as good as it is going to get until I have more time to become user friedly with WordPress…

I have more than 20 goldwork books but some I never use or even look through, so I am only going to list the ones I keep handy and together on the bookshelf. Some books that are less used are designated to top hard to reach shelves. It also pleases me that books are still being written about this technique, not only teaching the basics but in some cases “pushing the envelope.” If art is to succeed and grow it must not only adhere to the basics but also reach to the future.

Goldwork is not always a technique unto itself. Sometimes other embroidery techniques complement goldwork like silk embroidery, blackwork, stumpwork and even canvaswork (my first love). Some of the techniques and threads used in goldwork may be used in these other stitching disciplines also.

At first I was going to list the books in the order I like them best but then I realized I like all of these for different reasons, some I just like the eye-candy ideas/designs, some I lust over and hope maybe someday will live long enough to accomplish.

Also some books I prefer the layout to others and that’s not so say that the information in one book isn’t just as good as an other’s information. How I use these books is if for example: I am looking up how to use card in a project. I will look at all these books and mark with a post-it note all those that have information on how to use card. I will review each and decide which is best for my application and proceed. It’s like choosing which stitch to use where in canvaswork, there is no one perfect answer, only the one you chose…It’s a personal preference, like I like blue more than orange. This is true of the projects given in each book, some I like better than other and my choices may different from yours. So with this in mind and not to show personal preferences, I have decided to list my go-to goldwork books in alphabetical order by author.

I also tried to contact several of the authors with more recent publication dates to get their permission to use pictures of the covers and a page layout inside. I am a firm believer in copyright laws and anyway it is just common courtesy to ask permission. Some of the books are older and I did not try to contact these authors as there is a educational exemption in the copyright law. The authors I sent and received permission to use are noted with an asterisk (*), and Thank you again. (I will update if I receive others.)

Chamberlin

Chamberline, Ruth; Beginners Guide to Goldwork; Search Press; 2007. A study of the sampler featured on the cover of the book. The book covers materials, equipment, designing, getting started, stitches and techniques used in sampler. There is also an acorn project at the end of book with instructions.

*Cole, Alison; All That Glitters; Search Press; 2006. This book is written in two parts; the first are the stitches and techniques used to complete the stumpwork and goldwork projects in the second part of the book. The second part of the book are ten (10) projects, each with a color picture, a list of requirements (materials and tools), line drawings to include master drawing and templates for felt and leather as required. There are also complete instructions with cross references to part 1 for techniques and methods. A lovely book and truly eye-candy for any goldwork enthusiast.

*Cole, Alison; The Midas Touch; Allison Cole Embroidery; 2008. Second project book published for stumpwork and goldword. This book is a similar format to the first. It has two parts; the first includes the threads and techniques used to complete the projects in second half of book. In the second half of the book eleven (11) projects are featured; each with a list of requirements (materials and tools), line drawings to include master drawing and templates and complete instructions with cross references to part 1 for techniques and methods. Another lovely book and more eye-candy for any stitcher.

*Cole, Alison; The Goldwork Masterclass; 2019 This book was written as Allison Cole’s Masterclass for the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria (Australia). It is reference book with glorious pictures. Each chapter has a stitched sampler plate at the beginning (sudu note: I think these are worthy of framing) and that same plate at the end with a key reference to the sampler. And in between these two plates is an overview of the methods and techniques used in the chapter each showing the technique. A beautiful book, truly inspirational.

Dawson, Barbara; The Techniques of Metal Thread Embroidery; B.T.Batsford Ltd.; 1985 A refence book with extensive history and discussion of metal thread technique. The book has all blank and white pictures, buy is a handy reference book.

Everett, Hazel; Goldwork Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration; Search Press; 2011. The title says it all; thus book covers a brief history,equipment, translating images to designs, order of working, metal threads, techniques and methods. It has projects with color pictures, line drawings, materials list techniques listed and order of working design.

Everett, Hazel; Goldwork and Silk Shading, Inspired by Nature; Search Press; 2022. Hazel Everett passed away in 2018 but friend and colleague, Jan Barsby and Hazel’s husband, Adrian Richards collaborated to publish this book in her memory. It is a terrific addition to her first book, Goldwork Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration. This book explains how silk work and stumpwork can go hand in hand with goldwork. I loved how the book shows many of the examples done in all gold, all silk, and a combination of the two. It is truly inspirational and will give you many ideas. Another thing I found especially interesting was that all the examples of silk work are stitched using DMC 6 strand floss.

*Franklyn, Tracy; New Ideas in Goldwork; B.T.Batsford Ltd.; 2002. This book not only explores traditional goldwork techniques and methods but also explores some “Out of the box” methods and techniques. It is nice to see the exploration of this technique being pushed to new levels after first understanding the basics of the goldwork techniques. It also has other artists designs with their artist statements. A true eye candy book for any goldwork enthusiast.

Kreinik, Jacqueline Freidman; Metallic Thread Embroidery; David & Charles; 2000 A look at Kreinik metallic threads with color chart at the time of publication (sudu note: some threads have been discontinued and others added). It has over a dozen designs incorporating Kreinik threads to stitch. It is a useful reference for using Kreinik threads.

Lemon, Jane; Metal Thread Embroidery; B.T.Batsford Ltd; 2004. A Reference book in Alphabetical order of tools , materials, techniques and places to visit around the world. A great reference tool for anyone specializing in metal embroidery.

Lomny, Anthony; The Art and Craft of Goldwork; Simon & Schuster; 2004 There are fifteen (15) goldwork projects in this book. Each project has a color picture, materials list, line drawings and description of the methods used.

McCook, Helen; Goldwork Royal School of Needlework Stitch Guides; Search Press; 2012 This is the smaller edition of the RSN books. Small compact study of goldwork with clear and concise pictures and text. There are no projects in this book.

Nimura,Emi; RSN Book Goldwork, Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration;; 2021 This is the larger edition of the RSN books. There are two parts to this book: the first covers materials, tools, method of stitching, framing up, order of working, methods and techniques of goldwork. The second part of the book are projects and a gallery of inspiration. Projects are complete with materials list, templates, color pictures as well as the+ order and method of stitching the project.

*Pye, Lizzy; Goldwork Embroidery Techniques and Projects; Crowood Press; 2020. A complete study of goldwork from materials to techniques and even finishing suggestions. The pictures and instructions are great. There are six (6) projects complete with materials list, equipment needed, line drawings for project, felt and leather templates’ and step by step instructions. Another truly beautiful book.

Pyman, Kit-editor; The Maderia Book of Gold and Silver; Search Press; 1988 This book covers Goldwork, Machine /embroidery, Lettering, Church Embroidery, Beadwork, and Tambour Beading by many different well known embroidery artists This book uses ,mainly Maderia threads but is full of design ideas and inspiration.

Goldwork Revised and Expanded; Search Press; 1995 This is a condensed book of Goldwork portion of The Maderia Book of Gold and Silver edited by Kit Pyman (see above)

*Rakestraw, Sarah and Susan Hinde; Glorious Goldwork; Golden Hinde; 2018. Complete book of Goldwork studies with pictures from tools & Materials to techniques and methods. Each technique or method is explained step by step with pictures. Nine (9) projects are included in this book with requirements, line tracing (drawings, leather, felt & card tracings, and the method of stitching. I liked the corners of the pages that give you an idea of the method or technique on that page.

Saunders, Sally-text by; Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques; 1998. This book is an introduction to silk shading, crewel work, Blackwork and goldwork. It is published by the Royal School of Needlework and all these techniques can be used with goldwork. Designs in this book are well thought out and inspiring.

Scott, Anna; A-Z of Goldwork with Silk Embroidery; Country Bumpkin Publications; 2008. This book has 2 parts: The first being the technical part including materials, methods and techniques and the second part is seven (7) projects complete with materials and techniques used.This is an A-Z book and they are always good.

These books are good too but not strictly goldwork…

Ashby, Daphne and Jackie Woolsey; Creative Embroidery Techniques Using Colour Through Gold; 1998. This is not a goldwork book but does use gold threads stitched on needlepoint canvas. I included this book because I am at heart an Needlepoint person who loves geometries. This book is eye candy for my passion.

Jane Nicholas; Stumpwork & Goldwork inspired by Turkish, Syrian & Persian Tiles. Stumpwork, Goldwork and surface Embroidery Beetle Collection Any Jane Nicholas book is eye candy for a needlework person. These two just happen to have goldwork in their titles and use goldwork in their designs.

I have other books that include goldwork but are mainly other needlework techniques but are still eye candy for the soul. I am cursed or gifted with a memory of most of my books and by just looking through my library can spot books that might have eye candy for the technique I am researching. I did not include them here as I felt this list should include mostly books that were methods and techniques of goldwork.

Thank You for stopping by again.

Hope you find time to do whatever makes you happiest and creative AND I hope you have time to do it today and every day…

ttfn…sue

How I sell needlework online

I have had a few people ask me how to do this, so I so I am sharing how I do it.

First I researched what I was selling; I Googled, I looked on other selling sites (including EBay and Amazon). I made notes of prices if exact match or close. I made notes of descriptions. In short I did my research.

Then I went to Facebook, and checked needlepoint selling sites; when I first started there were only 2-3, now there are 8-10 and that doesn’t include Ebay and Amazon. I noted how many members they had, how often posts were listed, and if there seemed to be some active traffic and selling. I read their rules (but if you miss something the administrators will usually let you know.) Let me add a note here: the rules have changed over the years and some sites have more rules than others.

I also noted who was selling on these sites and if there were people whose names I recognized I watched their posts to get an idea of how they were listing their items, if they were selling, and noted their pricing.

You need to spend some time checking out the sites and decide which site(s) are best for you.

I keep two files: A spreadsheet with columns and a formula: my columns are (underline column heading)

Control Number ### (PayPal will give you an invoice number and a transaction number: I use the last three digits of the invoice number and the last 4-5 numbers/letters or the transaction number- Example 001…1234A),

Name of the Items (I use designer or author name if known too, Example: MShirley Thimble Angle or Author-Book title),

Selling Price (this may change if you mark down),

Fees (PayPal and Ebay have them),

Mailing Cost

Net this is my formula column (=sum(sell-fee-mail)

Buyer Last name

Tracking Number: I do not send anything I cannot track.

The other file I keep is a word document that has my pre-listing info. I came up with a format for me and I pretty much stick with it (unless administrators want sometime more or less and then I adjust this format OR pull the item and find another site to use.   Before I list an item I have the following information written down in a master word file.

 

Description of Item:    Needlepoint canvas- be very descriptive

Example: MShirley Thimble Angel canvas

Asking Price and date:

Example: $00.00-month-day-year

(I do this so if I reduce I can show new date too)

Example: reduced$00.00 date ($00.00 date) this is original price

Note: I do not reduce second time. I pull the item if it does not sell and may at a later date re –list at original price OR just donate or sell to used book store.

Designer/Author: if known

Original cost: if known

Size of canvas/book: measurements

Size of Design area: ONLY area to be stitched (needlepoint canvas only)

Condition: (new-used-partially stitched- old- fair- poor) I usually add whether it is smoke free home and whether a pet lives with you. I have a note here too…I have sold things for a third party and unless the third party lets me know the smoke and pet status, I leave it out.

Postage & handling: type and who pays—

Note: I use either first class or book rate;  I round the postage to nearest .50  Note about book rate…if you purchase postage through PayPal there is a tracking # for book rate; if you go to post office there is no tracking number available. I also add the cost of the envelope.

US shipping only: some people don’t mind shipping out of the US but even Canada has additional paper work and cost

Comment “Me Please”

 

This is what a book listing might look like: (would also have pictures)

Item: Basics and Beyond

Selling Price $10/ 9-1-20 (only price shows on listing )

Author: Janice Love

Original cost: $15

Publishing date – 1990

Number of Pages: 50 pages

Book dimensions -8.5 inches x 12 inches x 1/4 inch

Soft cover. A beginner’s guide to Hardanger. 12 stitches are featured and diagrams and photos are excellent. 8 designs are available. An excellent reference book.

Condition: Excellent There is a small tear on a page (see picture) Smoke free, pet free home. Postage will be Media Mail $5.50 (my standard price)

Payment method: PayPal

USA shipping only

Comment “me please” below if you would like to purchase.

 

Hope this helps and good luck selling…

Thank You for stopping by again.

I hope you have time to stitch today and every day…

ttfn…sue

Catching up

Been a long time since I blogged and I have no excuses. All I can say is until this awful Covid shut down I was having the time of my life trying new things. I think I have mentioned I was learning to crochet again and learned to knit too. I will probably never be an expert at either of these crafts but I do enjoy them and wish I had more time to do everything I would like to accomplish.

Lily of Valley Necklace

I have discovered I really like beading. I’m not much into jewelry but have

Spinning Star

made a few necklaces and will continue to make an occasional piece BUT the 3D pieces are so interesting to me. I love the boxes that are available to make and want to be able to design my own. I like the stars, but you can only have so many stars. Although the spinning stars designed by Franklin Martin Jr (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2700808173532468)  are very  cool. I took his Zoom class and  I made one (wrong of course); mine has eight points, should have ten points. But I made it work and I love to spin it.

 

shapes

Franklin Martin Jr  is also part of the group CGB: Contemporary Geometric Beading (https://beadmobile.wordpress.com/). I have long been fascinated by this group but I’m not sure I understand it all …yet it is fascinating stuff. I bought their first two books years ago and love to look at them but am not an experienced enough beader to understand this concept yet.

 

Last week I spent a week taking or participating in International Bead Week. This is probably one of the few good things to come out of Covid shut down. The Beadworkers Guild of UK (http://www.beadworkersguild.org.uk/) holds an International Bead Week the first of August and this year they were offering it online since the world is in quarantine. What a lovely break for the beading world…several times we met online just to chat about beading; there were beading classes online and many free patterns to stitch. It was truly an international event and I met people from all over the world who love to bead.

 

I also heard about The Johnson Solid projects. Diane Fitzgerald has been heading a project where 92 beaders are making a Johnson solid in bead: See Facebook: Johnson Solid Project for more information (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2265910877041556/)  These fascinate me and now the beadworkers Guild are also doing their own project for display at their International beadwork  meeting hopefully next year.

I participated in the Black and White Together project (https://www.nationalbeadingweek.co.uk/

Black & White Together

Black-and-White-Together-Project.php). I stitched 8 warped squares that have been sent to South Carolina where they will be stitched into a yet unknown artwork.

 

 

Heart For Hospice

And of course there is my first love needlepoint. I still enjoy needlepoint but you can only have so many pillows and stand ups. And truthfully I’m not convinced my sons or their wives appreciate the love, work and $$ involved in needlepoint.

Right now I am working on the thimble figures from Melissa Shirley’s nativity. I’ve had

MS Nativity

these pieces forever and just never got around to stitching them. But during shut down I decided it was a good project. I also decided that I was going to stitch them all in silk with a little Kreinik for glitz and they are all stitched in Basketweave. No pressure to pick threads or stitches, just a relaxing time. I can finish one every two days if I keep my beading to a minimum…I have been trying to get one done every week or so. (that beading really has me hooked)

And since my beading library is growing I have been thinking that I need to reduce my needlepoint, quilting, color and design libraries and to that end have been separating the books into keep and sell shelves. I will keep the books that I love to look through and those that pertain to subjects I am still interested in stitching …i.e. goldwork, some ribbonwork stumpwork and a few others. I do not need the extensive library I acquired when I was studying to for teacher certification and when I was designing, so in the next few weeks I am going to begin to offer some of my library for sale.

Each book is like an old friend; see my blog about my book friends: ( https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/books-are-friends/ )  So this has turned out to be a more difficult project than I anticipated as I have been going through each book and it has brought back many memories. My mother purchased many of the books when I first started, I bought many at my first national needlepoint convention, and I met a very dear bookseller that invited me to his home to search for more books. I love the color pictures, you can see the changes in our color choices and pattern tastes over the years.  This is becoming a real trip down memory lane and more difficult than I imagined it would be.

I was looking in a Maggie Lane book and I love her reference to stitches to use: “…two basic flat stitches , and three bump, or lump stitches.” We’ve come a long way since the 70’s. Out charts are computerized now and I must say some old photography is pretty comical now. But the one constant is the love of stitching, color and design. Tastes change but basic color and design rules are the same.

I have come to the conclusion this is going to be a long, difficult task for me; so I have decided to do it in stages maybe 10-15 books at a time. I will write the description, take the pictures and place them online and monitor them. But I have also decided should any of  my blog readers be interested, if you send me and email at sudu@kc.rr.com I will send you my lists as they became available. I will send the list to blog participants a week ahead of posting online and I will update the lists as I go. It will be strictly a first come, first serve bases.

And so that’s what I have been up to for the last year…beading, needlepointing with an occasional try at crochet or knitting.  I still help out with a few teachers and shops that need graphs. I plan on continuing to writing my blog. I want to document some more finishing for anyone interested.

And I am now on path to simplify my footprint.

I just found this in my notes; I have no idea how old it is or where it came from but it is such good advice in this strange time.

Creative Dry Spell remedies:

  1. Spend some time with your stash
  2. Finish a UFO or several
  3. Practice a stitch/technique you haven’t mastered or would like to learn
  4. Look ahead to projects you must finish
  5. Just keep active.

Thank You for stopping by again.

I hope you have time to stitch today and every day…no matter what media you chose.

ttfn…sue

Burrrrrrrrr: Ann Strite-Kurz More catching up…

ED Note: I was out of my blogging phase when I stitched this and so pictures are incomplete…I am trying to be better now that I am back to blogging about taking pictures as I stitch. But sometimes I get carried away and forget…

After I finished Mr & Mrs I took a couple weeks off and just did knitting or Kumihimo…anything without beads. But one day I was looking through my stash and came across this piece. I have always loved it, it is an adaptation of a Charlie Harper print and I love Charlie Harper prints.

Ann-Strite Kurz (https://www.annstritekurz.com/ ) has always been one of my favorite teachers. If you read Ann’s resume it is very impressive…she is one of those teachers who has forgotten more than some of us will ever learn.

I own many of her books and I follow her article every month, Using Common Stitches in Uncommon Ways, in Needlepoint Now (https://www.needlepointnow.com/). Our guild had her teach an applique class one time and I loved it; I still use the techniques I learned in this class.

I love her work but was never able to get into one of her classes at ANG national seminars…My luck of the draw never seemed to work and most of her classes seemed to go to lottery.

Somewhere along my stitching path I had acquired one of Ann’s teaching pieces, Br-r-r-r-rdbath, (probably a stash sale or someone gave this to me). It has been one of my favorite pieces for a long time and had been waiting it’s turn in my stash, so I pulled it out…time to do an Ann piece.

Ann’s books are so well written that I knew her instructions would be no less and they were everything I expected them to be…excellent. Ann’s instructions and diagrams are some of the best. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into…I was looking for a fun easy stitch but this was going to be a learning piece. But you know what I have always loved this piece so it became my at home project.

First you basted guide lines on the canvas and then I started the design…

First you stitch the Smyrna outlines (dotted lines in picture)…then you started the border designs. The borders (A & B in picture) are truly a lesson in “Using Common Stitches in Uncommon Ways”! If I remember correctly, there were at least four steps to each border and then BEADING. Remember I said I was trying to avoid another beading project? Well at least you waited until the design was completed to add beading maybe I would recover from the Mr & Mrs beading.

 

Then I started the design part of the piece and every area was a review of a previously learned skill or an adaptation Ann has created to enhance this design (area C the birdbath.)  I loved stitching this piece…okay maybe love is a strong word but I liked the challenge it presented. The leaves (D in picture) became a challenge for me and then I decided, this was my piece and I was stitching it for me and so if the leaves were giving me a fit I needed to adapt and overcome. The leaves became my change to the piece; I had stitched the first two (D in picture) as instructed and was having a devil of a time, so the rest of the leaves are my adaptation of the instructions. This was my fun relaxing piece and I was keeping it that way. I’m the only one (and now you too) that notices that the leaves are a bit different …but then aren’t all leaves in nature different?!

 

The body of the bird was a relaxing stitch, nothing I didn’t know how to do. But the wings were my next challenge. I love the look of Blackwork but it is really a technique you have to study to be really good at it. Ann’s instructions were wonderful and easy to follow. I made a couple mistakes but Blackwork is a technique some spend a lifetime perfecting. If you would like to pursue this technique, there are several books written about this technique. Here are the ones I have in my library:

Ilse Altherr; Reversible Blackwork, Book 1 and Blackwork & Holbein, Book 2

Becky Hogg; Blackwork RSN Essential Sitch Guide.

Marion Scoular; Why Call It Blackwork?, Folio of Blackwork Patterns

Ann Strite-Kurz; The Heart of Blackwork

Leslie Wilkens; Blackwork Made Easy;

Jane Zimmerman; Blackwork Embriodery Patterns, The Art of English Blackwork

By the time this piece was completed and I was ready to start the beading, I had decided that I would add the sequins (you use a bead here to attach the sequins) but the border was going to be sans beading. I liked the look and I was not into that much beading again.

So here is another project under my belt and it is also in a ready-made frame. I really do like framing  pieces when I can do it myself, and then they don’t end up in my to finish later pile. So another project is completed but I still have more to catch up and then maybe by summer I will be back to finishing projects or sewing.

BTW, if you really love Charlie Harper designs, the Meredith Collection (http://themeredithcollection.com/) has them in needlepoint;  you can see them at The Meredith Collection: http://themeredithcollection.com/collection/charley-harper/needlepoint.

When I get caught up on some of my stash, I will add to my collection here.

 

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

 

ttfn…sue

Catching up- Knitting

Okay I have looked over previous blogs so I think I have a handle on this things I may have missed posting over the last year…I’ve been taking pictures and I’m going to start with knitting.

Two years ago, some friends and I took crochet classes. I knew how to crochet but had never officially be taught. (See blog https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/5015/) I learned that I knew how to crochet, but now I can read a pattern better AND that I was not counting my chain stitches correctly… I always was a stitch or two short.

 

But knitting is a whole different story! I am a complete novice at this and I think I may even be knitting challenged. This is not my first trip down this learning curve…in fact I think it is about the millionth time I have been down this road. But last year, some friends and I took knitting lessons. We bought a book, had instructions and ended by stitching a dish cloth for out final. While I understood and could follow along I have never been completely comfortable knitting. I have friends that can watch TV, carry on a conversation and knit…THAT IS NOT ME! Knitting requires my undivided attention and then some.

I have progressed past the knitting dishcloth stage. Not because I think I am much beyond this stage, but really how may dishcloths can you have? And my justification is that if I don’t push myself no one else will either.

My first project after the dishcloth was Rally flags for Christmas for my husband and son. If the rally flag looks like dish cloths on steroids; that’s because it is a large dishcloth with a handle ( It was in my begging book). Okay this was a joke for my two baseball watchers, they kept putting holes in my blue tea towels so they could swing them arounfd their fingers to rally the baseball team (Like the team or anyone but me could see them.)  And I figure if they don’t use them I will just  have two more dish cloths.

Then I decided to try a scarf from that same beginning book. I enlarged it by a couple repeats and made it longer. I wanted to use up the yarn I had from an old crochet project. It was not a good choice because the year was multi colored (two colors) and nubby. It was hard to see the pattern and hard to see my mistakes AND there are several!

But still I am persevering. My knitting friends have suggested this knitting site: Knit Purl Hunter (http://knitpurlhunter.com/blog/) and to start with the book: Building Block instructions.  Again I made the mistake of buying yarn that is either heathery or multi-color and it is difficult to see the pattern of the block used in this book. I am only on block 4 but have decided to  preserver and when my friend Nancy comes back to KC for the summer I will get plain yarn and we will do this together with our other knitting friends that would like to join us…maybe just to laugh at me because I am sooooooo challenged at knitting. And since I am only on block 4, I may be playing catch up with all my knitting friends by the time summer is over.

Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

 

 

 

 

 

So that’s it for the knitting…in a year: 4+ dishcloths, 2 rally flags, a scarf and 3 completed  blocks toward a throw. I will not stitching a Peruvian sweater or any sweater anytime soon… But I am committed to getting better; I better be committed, I already have a stash of yarns and Santa even left me knitting needles. So, I will keep practicing but there are other things I would rather be doing. It is just a challenge, and I will conquer it…

someday!

I am off to needlepoint or bead ….and practice knitting too.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

 

ttfn…sue

A new book: Raised Embroidery by Kelley Aldridge

So last week I spent sorting books and the same week received a new book.

I love books. They are like friends to me; some are close friends and I wouldn’t part with them and some are acquaintances. And like friends they have different interests; some friends like goldwork, some like stumpwork, some ribbonwork, others like beading and color or design. But even with their differences, they all have creativity in common.

And my newest friend is from the Royal School of Needlework (http://www.royal-needlework.org.uk/) libraries, Raised Embroidery by Kelley Aldridge.  Kelley’s first statement in this new book is: “There are already a number if excellent books available on this subject, written by some very talented embroidery artists, but this book is about exploring new possibilities.”  I like that!

While the material in this book is basic, the inspiration just jumps off the pages. The photographs are clear and concise and the information is presented in a clear and orderly fashion.  I learned how to wrap an embroidery hoop which I have never seen in any other book and I love the little blue boxes with hints…hints always make a task so much easier. And I have always referred to this technique as stumpwork but Raised Embroidery is more accurate as it incorporates more techniques to give a three dimensional look to your needlework.

But my favorite thing about the book is the new needle artists she introduces with pictures of their work, and in one area she mentioned a ceramic artist that inspired her.  I spent some time google-ing these artists and was introduced to more artists that will inspire me to continue my study of Raised Embroidery.

 

I have toyed with Raised Embroidery over the years; my first attempt was my stitching doll. She has all sorts of techniques on her: her hair is couched doll hair that I added after I put her together. Her apron is needlelace and her hands are stumpwork and I added sewing embellishments for her to hold.

 

 

 

Many years later I did leaves for the cherries on my heart (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/a-heart-for-all/), the feathers on my shuttlecock on my Nelson Art Gallery piece (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/nelson-atkins-museum-of-art-needlepoint/) and most recently several different areas on the Wicked piece (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/melissa-shirley-wicked-fun-stuff/) were raised work.

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So with my new book and new ideas fermenting in my brain (Thanks Kelley for the idea of small projects in a large glass bowl) I will pursue one of the techniques on my thimble (instead of bucket) list.

And if you would also like to add a book to your library for inspiration I recommend Kelley Aldridge’s Raised Embroidery. It has techniques and projects but the pure inspiration is the best! The title says so and it’s true. And be sure and Google the people mentioned in the book too; they have more inspiration to share.

 

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue

Books, not worth the effort

Don’t you hate to waste time? I do. I spent the morning sorting books, taking pictures, cataloging them, and researching them; only to find that 1/3 of them are worth my time to list online and that is no guarantee they will sell. I’m thinking about just putting them in a neighborhood garage sale this weekend and then what’s left taking to Half Priced Books for credit…I can always spend money here.

Since I have the list assembled, if you are interested in seeing just drop me an email (sudu@kc.rr.com) and I’ll shoot a PDF list back to you. I am not going to put a lot of effort into this but if there is something you can’t live without, let me know. BTW, this is first come, first serve and after Thursday they are garage sale bound.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

 

Catagories: Books, etc,  life in general, needlepoint

Tags: books, needlepoint,

Kumihimo Braiding

Let’s begin to catch up…

My friends and I love a shop in Weston, MO; Florilegium (http://florilegium.com/). The owner Gretchen is wonderful and so creative. You just want to spend time with her hoping that the excess creativity will fall off onto you. And Cathy the shop manager is the sweetest person on earth; she always has a smile on her face and never seems to get rattled when we all descend on her at once.  It is the most fun, creative, relaxing place on earth! Go explore the website and you will get a feel for the place. But like I’ve said before…If you fly into Kansas City airport, make sure you have a three hour layover and make the trip to Weston (maybe 30 minutes north of the airport)…maybe you should just spend the night at a Bed & Breakfast in Weston…there is so much to do there but Florilegium will captivate your heart if you are a needlework person or just a creative soul. Also make sure you are here the later part of the week…I don’t think they are open on Monday-Tuesday and maybe Wednesday…but you can call and if someone is going to be at the shop, they will let you in.

But back to the catch up…My friend Nancy and I drove up one day for something to do and Gretchen taught us her method of Kumihimo braid. It is really an old technique, and of course many cultures have a braiding techniques also . Kumihimo braiding can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it. Like any technique the more you practice the technique, the more proficient you become. I have seen people who do these braids and never look at the pattern. They are really good and get the count down perfectly; they can start and stop anywhere while making their pattern and never mess up. There is a rhythmic method to the patterns you make and can be very relaxing once you get that rhythm in your head.  I have to really concentrate if I am doing a pattern design; I have to stop at the end of a round so when I pick it up again I don’t mess up the pattern. I think that is why I like the Gretchen methods of Kumihimo best, but I will always be a novice.

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But of course, Gretchen had made it fun and easy and we were hooked. We came home and taught it to all our friends (One person even made a cording to use to finish a piece of needlepoint.)

 

Nancy collected supplies for us, we had round and square Kumihmo boards; you use the round disk for round braids and the square disk makes flat braids, they also come in different sizes for small and large braids.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou need bobbins to roll your looooong lengths of yarn on (save bath tissue cardboards…they make good bobbins for large yearns and large amounts of yarn).  So we have bobbins

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We collected yarns of all types and have a bag of these too.

I had books (surprise, surprise, surprise) in my library and so I did a study of Kumihimo and even took yarn and stitched different braid patterns for everyone to see. Books in my library: (NOTE- all my books are without beads, but if you check Amazon.com there are lots with beading…it seems to be a big thing right now)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kumihimo Japanese Silk Braiding Technique by Catherine Martin,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACreative Kumihimo by Jacqui Carey,

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and Braids by Roderick Owens.

 

I like them all but the last two are my favorites because they have color pictures of the braids.

 

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Nancy even indulged me with and authentic Kumihimo stand. It is beautiful and I use it when I am not braiding to hold my current project or it just sits in my studio to remind me of the fun times friends have together and are always pushing our creativity to learn new techniques.

And even though I am a novice and will OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAprobably never be a more than dabbler in this technique, I knew I was hooked when I had a lunch box and bag for my supplies. In my lunch box I keep a pair of working scissors, a tape measure, weights, the different disks I have and my current project. In my bag are different sized bobbins, some sample braids I have made to see patterns and the yarn for these sample braids.

I enjoy making the braids for projects, but I will tell you this method takes more yarn and time than making a twisted cord. The advantage to this is you can make a pattern braid or just a braid using many of the threads used in a project. Remember when you are planning this that you will need threads that are available in skeins; cut threads will not work. And if it is a large project you may have to make a couple braids to complete project.

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I made a braid for a Christmas present and it turned out to be too large for the project. So saved it, and I am planning on using it for cording on a pillow I just finished stitching.

 

Here are some other braids I’ve played with:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the one I finally made for gift I made last year. It is just #5 perle cotton.

 

This is my pink flat braid I started with Gretchen at Florilegium.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I am not sure what I will do with this when complete but it would be cool appliqued to a jacket or used in a crazy quilt design some way.

These are samples I have made of design patterns using suggested colors so I could follow the pattern.

I have my bag and supplies and when inspiration strikes I will be ready to begin. I think it would be interesting to make several Kumihimo braids and then braid these braids together to make an thicker Kumihimo braid to use and a garland or intertwine in a wreath…I can even see making a Kumihimo braid to use at a lanyard for a cool bead or even a beading project. I even see making a braid to couch in needlepoint…oh so many ideas so little time.

Needlepoint will always be my first and main love but I think in order to expand or creativity we need to explore other techniques. It doesn’t mean we will ever be as adapt as the person who loves their chosen technique; but at least we will be able to recognize it when we see it and we will have at least a passing knowledge of how it is done. And sometimes in just knowing the method, inspiration will strike and we will be able to adapt one technique to our chosen method of stitching and make something really creative.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today or do whatever your chosen technique is!

ttfn…sue