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

And a word from my stitching…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI joined the ANG CyberWorkshops for Michelle Roberts’ Ukrainian Eggs class. I received my instruction book a few weeks ago; the other supplies I already had, so I am ready to go. I spent one evening reading the instruction book (Michelle’s instructions are so good). I even have several of the Ukrainian Egg books in her bibliography that I have dug out. I am probably going to have to put this project out of sight…I want to start it now…looks like such fun. And lately we have been testing the web connection, so I’m really getting excited now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am also stitching on Debbie Stiehler’s Tomato but it is not a project I can take in the car…need a stand to stitch…going to have to find a small project to stitch for my to-go piece. Debbie has retired from active teaching, but if you were ever privileged to take a class from her, you know what fun she is. I love this piece and have put all the base lines in so now it’s just a matter of stitching along. I can tell some patterns are more difficult than others but that is the beauty of a Debbie Steihler piece…she keeps you on your toes (or I should say fingers).

And then I got a great surprise, the answer to my “to-go piece” prayers…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWho in their right mind is going to tell their DH that they can’t buy canvas(es) when he says I would like to have a some lighthouses to go with our ship pictures, why don’t you stitch me some. Oh a collection in the making, I love it. I sent him to ABS Designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/) and he picked out about 30 he liked! Now this is roll-reversal, but I made him look again and be reasonable to start…he picked out three he liked and I added a fourth. I kept a list of the others and let’s just say his birthday, anniversary; Christmas and Father’s Day are taken care of for the rest of his and my life. Lucky I also have a grandson that will like these someday too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd then he was looking through my current issue of Needlepoint Now (http://www.needlepointnow.com/) and I heard him chuckle…and he said this is a funny canvas, you need to order this. Since I already ordered it from Wellesley Needlepoint (http://www.wellesleyneedlepoint.com/)   (months ago); it arrive a couple days after he said something. He thinks we have a great delivery turnaround time; “That didn’t take long, did it” …when the opportunity opens you don’t have to tell me to twice to keep my mouth shut. Yep, we girls are fast.

Of course now his mantra is, “I don’t want to hear you say you have nothing to stitch.” Glad he doesn’t look at my office and closet very closely.

I’m off to choose my new stitching project threads…don’t want DH to think I am not doing my part to start his new collection…and I did say I needed a something small to stitch.

Oh more finishing, I need to get caught up so I can send this stuff to someone else…maybe I can interest my daughter –in –law into finishing…she likes to sew. She makes American Girl doll clothes and sells them on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/alldolldup). If she has the patience to do doll clothes maybe she’d like needlepoint finishing…hum-m-m.

And it will be a couple weeks before I get back to finishing, I am taking a break to house and dog sit at my niece’s house…This is my favorite week of the year, nature and stitching and no cooking if I chose not to do so. Just me, and my stitching…DH is there too, but he comes and goes…cooks too. I’ll take pictures, it is so tranquil and peaceful.

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

Asian Collage Completed and an inspirational day

Happy Dance… a very happy dance!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAsian Collage is quilted and finally finished, framed and almost hung…Oh did I luck into a deal. Took piece to a Hobby Lobby looking for black bamboo frame (I had been several other places too). I hate it when I get an idea in my head how I want something OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfinished and I can’t find it. Well anyway, here I am at Hobby Lobby, they had a wide bamboo (about 1.5 inches) black molding.  The lovely lady in the frame shop is measuring my piece for the matting and frame when all of a sudden she says, “Honey, you know if I make these mat just a bit smaller you could use a premade frame and I think there is a black one over there that would look very nice, but it’s not bamboo.” So over she goes and back she comes with this frame and lays it on the mats and needlework. Then she says, ‘Honey, this frame will save you over a hundred dollars.”…well bamboo was my choice and “Honey” is not my name or favorite term of address; but a bargain is a bargain. So I asked her how long it would take to get my mattings cut (thinking minimum one week) and when she said 15 minutes and I could take everything home.  I was sold, a quick turn around and a bargain too, who could ask for anything more and you can call me “Honey.” So this is my under $50.00 finish!

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And then this week end my local guild held their Christmas Party and it was wonderful! The program was Victoria Crowder Payne. She is one of those talented, inspirational, creative people who, if you are luck, will pass through your life more than once. She shared the store of her creative and personal life with us and shared her work as well as her project and sketch books. If you have a few hours, grab a cuppa tea and visit: http://freedomofstitch.com/ AND http://www.fearlessstudio.com/. I am off to grab my cuppa(s) and visit these again to see if I missed anything on my first visit.

Only 15 days left until Christmas, I think I should start my shopping. I just hope it warms up, single digit temperatures just make me want to snuggle in and stitch.

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

ttfn…sue

Soap Box & Stitching

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving; we did, lots of food and family, just what Thanksgiving is all about. I think it is very sad that this was the 150 year since President Abe Lincoln proclaimed this a national federal holiday and we have consecutively celebrated it as such. But no mention of this fact just that our greedy big box stores and media needed to put the almighty dollar ahead of family values.

And thank goodness for Tony Rohr, my 2013 man of the year who stood up and said enough. I think it is ironic that Pizza Hut announced on Thanksgiving that they were hiring him back when the day before they said he was not fired but quit. Pizza Hut missed the out by not saying, You’re absolutely right and all Pizza Huts will be closed on Thanksgiving and we will reopen on Black Friday with a Black Friday special of $x.xx pizzas…no limit….People would have flocked to their doors.

And then on Saturday to add to the media frenzie the reports were out: Thanksgiving day shopping was up 20%…no duh…1st time for this…but Friday sales were down 20% …hum could this be the Thursday sales? But then these retailers never figured in the expense of paying these employees and the overhead of lights, water and heat to operate these stores. And the gravy on the turkey was when it was reported that Penny’s, Target, K mart and Macy’s were caught selling things at higher prices than the tags were originally marked or the items had previously offered in their stores at lower prices. Their answer; it was a price point adjustment…it was an adjustment all right…greed.

We used to have “Blue Laws” nothing was open on Sundays and holidays that was not essential. Some groceries, drug stores had limited hours but other than that it was police, fire and emergency personal. And you know what I survived!

And that’s my soap box stance for this year…don’t start me on Christmas…but just so you know I am thinking of creative ways to buy gifts this year that do not support those big box stores that were open on Thanksgiving. I would rather pay a little more for that toy at a local, home owned toy store or shop that supports my local economy than line some corporate exec or shareholders pockets.

But there was one good thing that came from this shopping/media frenzy…I stayed home all week-end! And so last week-end I had time to finish my stitching…I did not shop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd SundayI thought I was ready to do a happy dance and send this needlepoint off to the framer…But, oh no, I forgot I had one more step…

Removed canvas from stretcher bars:

13-12-02 asain collage drawingPlaced a piece of nice muslin… and yes there are varying degrees of muslin just visit any JoAnn’s fabric just to see how many types of muslin there are not to mention natural or bleached…I used natural. Okay press flat so there are no folds or wrinkles, place over top of stretcher bars and wrap to back of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbars and secure with tacks or staples, pulling taut, not tight but taut without much give but not tight enough to bounce a quarter off the surface. Over the muslin place a piece of natural batting… secure to sides of stretcher bars with tacks or staples. I did not pull the batting other than to make it lie flat on top of the muslin. Then on top of this I put the needlepoint back on the stretcher bars pulling snuggly.

Then I took a nap 😉

Now it is time to stich around each of the motif/patterns with beading floss over two threads…I’m going to do the foreground first and then mid ground and finally background…

Be back one of these days…

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving; you had time to spend with family and  stitch too.

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

Asian Collage…just keeping current

I know these posts are not very long nor real informative but it tis that time of year. I just don’t want to get behind and forget to keep projects updated.

The guide stitch-in was more of a visit-in, I think I took three stitches, BUT I had a great time. Maybe I can remember to take pictures at the next one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI keep stitching on Asian Collage, I hope to have it completed by the first of the year…I would like to have said Thanksgiving but that is not going to happen; and so I am giving myself the benefit of the doubt and hoping for the new year. But I am making progress and I do think from now on it will go pretty quickly…I think all the really difficult patterns are stitched.

I am almost done stitching my Value of Gray pieces and just have the big one left and I think that will have to wait until after the first of the year to begin.

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

Asian Collage Update

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast week I showed you my Asian  Collage Class and I have been working on it. Since no one decided to give me their input I decided that I would work what I thought were the more difficult patterns first and let me tell you there is a whole bunch of couching in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthis piece…I happen to like couching but it is time consuming….As you can see I am making progress…

s   l   o   w   l   y .

Saturday I am taking it to a stitch-in with guild friends, we will see how much stitching I get completed there…

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

Classes

Before I forget I want to thank everyone and especially Tapestry Fair (http://www.tapestryfair.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9&Itemid=28) for taking the time to look and respond to the pictures I posted here and on Facebook. The elephant has been identified and does he look cute. If you want to see him just click on the elephant on the home page and all these cute 3-D animals will tempt you.

Do you still take classes? If so what kind: mail order, correspondence, online, local shops, national teachers brought in to shops…to guilds; local, regional or national seminar? I still take classes. I sometimes take them because they are educational, a technique I do not know, and sometime just because the design is fun,  but I also take a class just for the experience of having the teacher. Why do you take a class?

13-11-08 Asian_Collage class picRecently I had the chance to take a Debbie Stiehler (http://debbiestiehler.com/home) class, Asian Collage. Debbie and I have known each other a long time and I have always wanted to take a class from her. Two of my all-time favorite pieces are her Lily (Lily and the Ladybug) and her tomato (Timeless Tomato). Debbie has this upbeat, magnetic personality that makes every student feel like she is Debbie’s new best friend.  Her classes are fun and she has a way of making the most difficult or mundane pattern fun.

I sometimes get what I like to refer to as “brain block”, where no matter what I do it is not the right thing or I just don’t see the pattern, stitch sequence whatever,,, And it has taken me a long time but I know now when these “brain blocks” happen just stop…go back to a previous area and work quietly until the next area is taught. Don’t fight the “brain block”, it will only get worse. Hopefully your brain block does not happen in an area that will keep you from moving on.

If it is more than a one day class, do you go back to your room, home wherever you are and finish the areas that have “spaghetti” hanging; or do you just leave it until after class is over and deal with it then? I have to get as much of the “spaghetti” taken care of as possible and I even try to catch up on the areas I just left blank because of “brain block”. Sometimes if it is not an area that will be affected by other areas I just leave it for a quieter time. At the end of each class removing “spaghetti” is my mission, catching up my goal. Usually make the mission, the goal is sometimes too much for my brain tired fingers and head.

And once class is over, if you are not one of those turbo stitchers who walks out of class with the piece almost finished how do you finish the piece? Do you finish the piece? I must confess that when I first started on this needlepoint journey I though everyone finished every class they took…even those notebook classes. I remember one time showing a teacher the design notebook class I finished (Yes, I even stitched a piece to go with the class) and she very politely looked at it and then told me she didn’t think she’d ever seen a completed notebook of this class before. (I know she taught this class at least a half dozen times). Well no one ever told me that notebook classes usually don’t have a final goal/piece. And I am proud to say that there are only two classes that I have ever taken that I just knew I was never going to finish stitching and broke the kit up and put the supplies in my stash; and I only have three class pieces (including this one) in my “to be finished stash.”

And what about those project or technique class pieces, do you finish them? When I first started taking classes I took the class because of the piece and the teacher, I’m not which was more important, I usually liked both. And then one day the piece was not as important to me as experiencing the teacher…it is sometimes the little nuggets of information that these wonderful needlepoint teachers share, their life experiences and just their wealth of knowledge that are better than which class piece they are teaching. Why do you take classes?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd if you plan on finishing the piece,  how do you finish stitching the class piece once you are in your own stitching nest? I usually start at the beginning of the instructions and follow thru to the last page. I am working on this piece but I am thinking about skipping around and doing what I consider most difficult first. I know the closer I get to finishing a piece the more anxious I get to have the piece completed. So I figure if I’m down to the no brain areas I can whiz right through to the finish.  I’ll keep you posted.

And of course I had to order one of my two other favorite pieces and so I want to start the other Debbie piece that arrived in my mail box last week…like I didn’t have enough to do so I ordered one of my two favorites. I’ll just keep you in suspense until I decide to start it.

One last thing…Debbie is going to retire from circuit teaching ;-(; it will be a great loss to the needlepoint community. She wants to spend more time with her family…and I understand this completely. But if you are one of those lucky ones who will be on her final teaching schedule enjoy and if you want a great piece to stitch visit her website and order a great piece.

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