How many projects do you have going? and stands.

I try to have two projects going at a time; one large and one small. The large project stays at home and usually is more involved than the smaller projects; but it is not always more involved. Sometimes it is just the size of the project that keeps it home; usually anything over 12 inches, beading or a new or difficult technique is considered a home project.

 

My small projects or take-a-long projects as I like to call them are just that, projects I can take to meetings, stitch-ins, just wherever I go. They don’t have to be ornaments but they do have to be small and not require special attention. I like to visit at stitch-ins and I don’t want to have to think about what stitch I am going to put where or how to execute a technique. I also don’t like to tote around stands, lights, etc. unless I am taking a class.

 

office stand

stitching nest

I have several floor stands (all have been given to me) and two are set up to stitch at a moment’s notice in one of my stitching nests. I also have a stand that I take to classes if the teacher requests you use a floor stand, although I prefer to take a lap frame or frame weight

 

 

travel light

I have lights at all my stitching nests too and a travel light too. (Editors Note: I have heard that stitching seminars now prefer you have a battery powered light for classes; so I have one of these too. I also hear there are rechargeable lights out there and also battery packs that may be carried to classes to use. I know nothing about either of these, you will need to check with someone who is a regular seminar attendee for which is the best.)

 

 

weight collection

My favorite stands to use on the go are either frame weights or

used most

lap frames. When I need something to hold my needlework I have frame weights of all kinds. At one time when I attended seminars regularly I always purchased the local frame weight as a remembrance of my fun times learning something new; but I have my few preferred frame weights. These frame weights hold my small take-a-long canvases and are not cumbersome to carry around. They fit in my stitching bag and aren’t that heavy to carry around.

 

small K’s lap frame

I also have lap frames, they are K’s stands (http://www.kscreations.com/); I’ve had them forever and I love them. I have a standard and a small size, they work well for me and I use the smaller one more than the larger one. I also found magnets

Magnets

I placed in the screw holes so I don’t have to have magnets on my canvas (but I do that too).  I also have scroll attachments for these too, although I can’t tell you the last time I stitched on scroll bars. And if one of my other floor frames ever

K’s Stainless Steel Floor stand

gives out I am going to buy a K’s Stainless Steel Portable Floor Stand (http://www.kscreations.com/floor_metal.htm). You can order one from your local needlepoint store or I got an email this week from Be Stitched Needlepoint shop that they have several on sale: (https://bestitchedneedlepointshop.com/products/ks-creations-ball-swivel-metal-stand?variant=30593203274) No, I don’t own stock in this company, I just love my other K’s stands and they have been around forever. And when I asked permission to capture picture from K’s website, they wrote to give me permission and added that the K’s Stainless Steel Portable Floor Stand has a lifetime warranty.

 

I try to keep my stitching needs simple and I don’t like to carry a bunch of stuff around…especially when I am stitching and socializing too. I want my Take-a-long stitching to be easy to pull out wherever I am and I have even been known to carry a piece in my purse. My grandmother used to say, “Ideal hands are tools of the devil.”… so I stitch.

uh-oh! Remember from Creative Dry Spell remedies (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2018/02/22/creative-dry-spells/) … #4 Finishing deadlines and Work under pressure. I just remembered I have a project that has to be finished by April 15th…so if you don’t hear from me next week that is the reason…Granddaughters do not understand late. Opps! But at least it gives me my next blog…

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today; I know I will be stitching …today and every day until my project is completed and framed.

ttfn…sue

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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.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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


 

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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