Do I have Stash?

Someone asked me if I had much stash and how I stored it… Well yes, but not as much as some others I know… but I do have my fair share…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince I do several needlecrafts I have a large overlapping stash…(my DH calls it my mini Hobby Store…This is from a man whose workbench and area looks like a hardware store after an earthquake..don’t tell him I posted this picture!)… mine is very well organized even though it does take up a large portion of our home. I dabble in any needle art, but my favorites are needlepoint, temari, needle felting (new), knitting (learning), crochet and sewing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a library…it has all needle related books.  I have a stitching area in here but seldom use it.

 

In our office I have a stitching chair too, but use it mostly for selecting threads. I have closet with threads and beads; these are stored on wire shelves in plastic boxes and drawers. Most are stored by type (i.e DMC #5 Perle, DMC Floss, Kreinik #8 Braid, Rainbow Gallery silk, Silk and Ivory etc….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWithin the box or drawer, it may vary as how I store each thread: DMC and Rainbow Gallery Silk are stored by number, some Rainbow Gallery, Silk & Ivory and all Kreinik and beads are stored by color.  All threads and beads are clearly marked by number as well as who produced it and name (if applicable.) It is whatever I find works best for me and the particular thread or bead.

My general supplies are stored in clear plastic containers or bags and marked in my master bedroom closet: I have painted needlepoint canvases, cut plain needlepoint canvas
yarn (for knitting a & crocheting), leftover yarn from crochet projects is wound into bases as I go to desired sizes) I use this bases not only for temari balls but also for needle felting balls. When I’m making a temari, I chose the ball and wind with sewing thread.


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My sewing threads are kept in the sewing area with finishing supplies for finishing needlework.

 

I also keep  a box and/or bag for each type of needle art tools/supplies:
I have a bag and small tin for knitting and crochet OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
tools…haven’t been in to this long enough to mass great supplies.

 

 

 

I have a lunch OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
box with Kumihimo disks, and weights.

Bobbins are in a plastic bag.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATemari has it’s own lunch box of tools.

 

 

 

I have plastic boxes with stitching tools for beading. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

Since I started needlefelting I purchased a set of rolling drawers. I store some supplies and  needle felting roving in here. I also have a plastic box for tools and a couple containers with tools I use.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut needlepoint takes up the most areas.  I have a couple stitching nests; each has a floor stand, light and comfy chair for stitching. One area has a set of drawers to keep extra supplies and dodads.

 

I have three bags of stitching tools; one large with seldom used tools, one small that I take to classes and seminars and one I use all the time. Not to mention my collection of needlework tools that I have blogged about before.

So yes, I guess I do have stash! I’m lucky I have a pretty good idea what stash I have and where to look. I can go right to it without much trouble.

I would love to take over the living room (we live in our family room) as an art area but DH has drawn a line in the sand, says he can’t turn around now without fearing for his life of being stabbed by a needle or pair of scissors…men!)

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

ttfn…sue


 

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1st Valentine’s Day Present

SDNote: Feb 25 Spoke With Michael Helmke and he is going to fill outstanding orders, but has suspended production of his products for personal reasons until the first of the year. He said he would let me know when he starts up again and I will let you all know too.

Last week I received a package I forgot I ordered, so I ‘m thinking it is my early Valentine present. This is good because by Valentine’s Day I will have forgotten and I can have another gift or two. ;=)

20160204 bAnyway I was using my original aficot when I stitched Anie Lane’s Welcome and then one of the books I was reading mentioned having one to lay and burnish silk.  My original was a gift from Kathy Holman at an ANG national seminar; all she 20160204 asaid was it was a laying tool and so for years that is all I knew about it. In the few books I have seen it mentioned, it was used as a laying tool and until last year I didn’t know the history. Mary Corbet told all about them last year (http://www.needlenthread.com/2015/03/whats-an-aficot-embroidery-tool.html )

I visited Michael Helmke’s site and fell in love with the different aficots and laying tools (http://www.mandhhandcrafts.com/Home_Page.html ) One of these days I am going to order the Pink Ivory and then I’ll let Michael tell me the differences in the Ebony or the Macasar Ebony;  which is more elegant and I’ll have to have one of these too and probably a laying tool to match.

My aficot came beautifully packaged and well protected. I have it sitting here on my desk to remind me to blog about it and then it will go up to my stitching collection area by my stitching nest and I will use it often. I’m really happy to have the box it came in because I have seldom taken my original aficot out because I do not have a way to protect it in my stitching tool case. I’ll have to remember to ask Michael for an extra box next time I order another aficot. And when I get my next aficot I will have another collection…remember when you have two you have a few but three makes a collection.

Like Mary Corbett said, if nothing else it is a great conversation starter because we have seen so few of them. But really they do a beautiful job when laying silk, floss or any multi plied thread. Burnishing or polishing the laid threads almost makes them look like material….Now before you all write me…let me state that: An aficot WILL NOT make a poorly laid thread look smooth! If you have a ply that has crossed over the others; an aficot nor any tool will make that little misplaced thread fall back in place.  Only frog stitching and relaying that thread will help this problem. I hate to frog stitch and I know that it is a pain; but if bothers you today, it will bother you ten years from now.

I’ll be back soon. I have been giving a great deal of thinking to my plans for 2016. Now that my threads are organized and I am working on reducing the pile of paperwork I have accumulated, I also have found another pile of things that really need my attention. More about this next time..

Stay warm, winter is not over yet. And…

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today

ttfn…sue

Thanksgiving and Blue Bird finished

This is Thanksgiving week and I am so thankful for my friends and family. I am thankful for all of you who visit my blog too, it makes it fun to write when you know someone is taking the time to read what you have to say. Anytime you would like…chime in, just leave me a comment. If it’s a question I will try and answer you quickly and if I don’t know will ask around and see what I can find out for you.

2015-11-24 BB a need stitchesAnd this week I am so-o-o-o thankful that I am finished with the Melissa Shirley Blue Bird. The last thing I needed to do was fill in around all the flowers that have empty canvas threads showing with the Silk ‘n Ivory. I need to block and finish finish. I 2015-11-24 BB b stitchesdon’t think that will happen until after the first of next year.

I looked at all the pieces and decided that even though there are a few ribbon stitches I really
reverted back to the tried and true French Knots, Satin Stitch 2015-11-24 BB alland Woven Stitch. Stitches I was familiar with and could do without much though. Ribbon work with Silk Flowers I can see is going to take more study.

This is the time of the year I begin to reflect on what I have and have not done this year. And so far my incomplete pile is growing larger than my completion list. I have gotten many needlepoints pieces stitched, just haven’t finished them up. Maybe this will be my goal for 2016… I’ll have to give this some thought.

For now I will leave you with pictures of a few of my completed birds fitting for this week. May you and yours have a great Thanksgiving. I hope your holiday will be joyful and merry and safe.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANeed

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today and all through this holiday week-end.

ttfn…sue

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

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

Inspiration all around

The world is full of inspiration; just take the time to look. Nature offers an endless supply of inspiration but so do your local art museums. My goal this year to be inspired at least once a month with a visit to at least one of our local art museums: Nelson Art Gallery(http://www.nelson-atkins.org/), the Kemper Museum of Modern Art (http://www.kemperart.org/home.asp) or  National Museum of  Toys and Miniatures (http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org/). Then there is always 1st Fridays in the Art district, but the weather has to be nice for this…I am a fair-weather art lover. Then in May, our outdoor art shows begin and they are always fun to attend…just to people watch.

But this winter I have been doing the museums…

The Nelson Art Gallery had a special exhibit of the Plains Indians from Sept 2014-Jan 2015; if it comes to a gallery close to you be sure and go see it. What struck me most about this exhibit was the detail of design…and then it dawned on me…How did these people store all those beads and porcupine quilts they were using to make whatever bag, robe, dress, fan, envelope, cradle board, ceremonial pipe, etc.?

I have a room full of stuff that I can’t live without to use for my needlepoint and I don’t have to move it as the weather changes. Plains Indians followed the buffalo; it was their source of living. I can’t imagine being pregnant, making a cradleboard and having Mike say to me, ” Today we are moving. Pack up the beads, your stitching, take down the tepee, move and I’ll see you in a couple weeks down south.” I would have not survived as a Plains Indian! Pack up the needlework and move to where…I can barely change rooms with my needlework. Those Indian women were more organized than I’ll ever be and they had the patience of Job to do all that beadwork. I was impressed.

15-01-19 NAG mini 3This week-end Mike and I ventured out to the Nelson Art Gallery again; another exhibit at the gallery are pieces from the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (http://toyandminiaturemuseum.org/) on loan from our National Museum of  Toys and Miniatures that is being rehabbed.   The new OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmuseum is supposed to open early this year, cannot wait to see the changes and improvements. Many of the miniatures are replicas of works in the permanent collection of The Nelson Art Gallery. My favorite piece was the sewing casket; 1 1/8 inch tall. My picture does not do it justice but I was trying to show the size in relationship to my index finger. The picture from the brochure is better but larger than actual size, but you OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcan see all the details included.

I always thought I  would like to make a sewing casket , but if I ever get around to it, it will not be a miniature nor will it have the details of the sewing caskets I have seen in other places.  Don’t hold your breath; it is not on my “to-do” list, just my “If I run out of things to stitch…I might consider doing this” list.  And the comment you can see on the picture from the brochure says it all: “One work can take months, even years, to complete.” Mine would take the rest of my life and that’s if I started today. So this is one thing on my bucket list that probably won’t get completed in any size.

15-01-19 NAG mini 1My other favorite piece was the teapot. The miniature is a 7/16 inch replica of a 1765 Earthenware teapot 5 1/2 inches from England (part of the Nelson Art Gallery permanent collection). My picture with my little finger for size does nothing but I am OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAshowing you the picture from the brochure too; you can see the comparison better than the picture I took.

For all of you who do not know, our own Sharon Garmize (http://www.sharong.com/) stitched many of the miniature rugs that will hopefully be on display when the National Museum of  Toys and Miniatures re-opens. I’m not sure if she stitched other pieces or not.

15-01-19 El Amatsui 1The art Gallery also had this piece on display. Dusasa I by El Anatsui is a large piece that is made of found aluminum and copper. Many of the pieces looked like labels and bottle tops that were flattened and then stitched together with copper wire to make a 15-01-19 El Amatsui 2cloth like sculpture. It was hung high on the wall so it draped and protruded in different areas. It was quite striking, and as you walked past it the shadows and light changes made for interesting textural changes.

15-01-19 NAG 1But my favorite sculpture at the Nelson Art Gallery is Fall of the Rebel Angels. It is a 10 3/4 v 6 inch Italian ivory. When I was a young girl this piece was shown in a display where it was at the back (about 24 inches back from the glass) and you could not see the detail. Today it is shown up close and you can see it from all sides.

15-01-19 NAG 2Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find something to inspire you this week. And of course,  I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Fritzi Brod, my favorite artist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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