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

Not a good two weeks…fast becoming not a good month

… and the prospects are looking bleak.

It all started with the World Series. I sat in my chair for every inning since the wild card playoffs began and stitched. If stitching could help the Royals win I would stitch.

First let me say that the Boys in Blue are winners 14-10-06 Royalseveryone. There has never been such a group as this (and I was around 29 years ago); these young men are a class act, none finer.

I stitched three round disks (these will be finished as ornaments) and then got the brainy idea to stitch a 3-14-11-14 royal AD baseball for the World Series. I researched the pattern, drew what I thought was exactly what I researched and began stitching. Let me say that while I was stitching it looked great to me.

14-11-14 royal BThe problems began October 29th at 7:15 PM; not only for the Boys in Blue but for the stitched baseball. As I started to put it together I realized my proportions were off. But I decided to preserver and let what may be…BE. Well, we all know the outcome 14-11-14 royal Cof the 7th game and my 3-d baseball was no better. BUT if large cowpie baseballs every come into vogue…I have the first.14-11-14 royal D

Should I try this again I think I will invest in a baseball and take it apart for the exact pattern. But really I’m thinking round disk ornaments are just as good and less time consuming.

And then things went from bad to worse… Our Lucy 14-11-14 lucy dtore her ACL and is not a candidate for surgery (her age and other medical problems keep her from this. So Lucy is confined to the house, no jumping, no stairs, just lying around taking life easy. She gets her leg taped like the sports guys with KT tape (http://www.kttape.com/)…this is 14-11-14 lucy bgreat stuff, going to try on my back. We cut the tape to her size and apply it in a figure eight. She likes this and it comes in pink her favorite color.

14-11-14 lucy cShe also goes twice a week for laser treatments; doesn’t she look like something from “Back to the Future”?14-11-14 lucy e

But her favorite is the 3 times a day she gets heat on her leg.  She thinks this is the best and would lie there all day if you let her.

And then the weather is the icing on my month…record breaking low temperatures and snow… I am just not ready for this! Especially the snow, it is putting a damper on my social schedule! Our guild was supposed to get stitch-in tomorrow and there is nothing more fun than friends, food and stitching. Well, because of the snow we have canceled this and I’ll just have to sit in my stitching nest and stitch by myself…bummer.

Hope your month is going better than mine…although wherever you are I think it is cold and probably white or going to be white. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you stay warm and find time to stitch today and all week-end!

ttfn…sue

Good News: Tomato finishing and Royals win

14-10-01 1 clipsI think the size of the canvas was intimidating to me and I kept putting off the finishing but then I decided what the heck…it’s only needlepoint and it only took me six months of stitching time (the last six weeks were intense…to complete it). With my 2014-10-01 2 linetrusty canvas scissors I began to cut the tomato to within a 1/2 in of the stitching; then I turned and pined, clipping the curves and between the segments as I went. The instructions say wrong sides together but I am going to hand stitch mine using the ladder 2014-10-01 3 pin allstitch. Someone wrote me she stuffed hers as a frame weight and I thought this was a good idea so I’m going to go mine this way too.

Big Mistake: Tried to make one long cording using 3 skeins of floss, my arms are not that long, even with the help of two other people. But I got it done and have one long humongous green cord. Make smaller cords.

2014-10-01 4 weight battingStitched the bottom segments together and made a muslin bag for the aquarium gravel to make weight. Used quilt batting to place around the quilt batting and then used polyester stuffing to stuff firm and then stitched the top segments closed. I attached the cording and sewed it in place then finished leaves 2014-10-01 5 leaf liningand strawberry.  I lined the leaves with a ladybug material from my stash and used cording around them too. I also used a red cording to cover the seam and around the top of the strawberry. I attached the leaves using a doll needle 2014-10-01 6 strawberryand ribbon; I started at the bottom and pulled the ribbon through the tomato; I added one end of the strawberry cord and then stitched through the leaf canvases and used two of the buttons I painted on top of the leaves. Tied a

2014-10-01 6 finished topsquare knot then a bow, placed a dab of Fray Check to secure the knot and cut the ends.  And the frame weight tomato is completely finished and read for use.

 

Can you tell the difference in these two pictures?

2014-10-01 7 finished all2014-10-01 8 finished all

Yes, it is different sides of the tomato, but look at the strawberry. I can wind the strawberry up under the leaves and it will be shorter when I use as frame weight.

See me smiling and doing happy dance.

And BTW, I smiled and did a happy dance well past my bedtime yesterday. The Kansas City Royals won their playoff game last night! It was by far the best baseball game I have ever attended or watched!

Congratulations guys, if I were a wealthy woman I would buy tickets (better yet a suite…need 20 tickets) for my family and we would watch you win it all.

Go Royals!

Nice way to start the month and end the week (especially after previous post)… Good news is always best!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! I’m going to design a baseball to stitch this week-end…ttfn…sue

Copyright infringement…it is illegal!

14-09-29 ron pic

Ed Note: I mistakenly called this plagiarism. And while plagiarism is illegal too Copyright infringement is what this is. And either makes my blood boil!

My friend Bill’s son, Ron, is a professional photographer; Ron works for a newspaper in Texas. Last week on his Facebook page he posted this comment:

“…Another day, another art show, and another surprise turn around a corner to find one of my pictures rendered in oil. At least she’s consistent, she only seems to like my rodeo photos.”

I cannot imagine that this person does not know she has committed copyright infringement and as my father (a lawyer) and my friend Bill (another lawyer) would say, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”  You will never convince me that this person doesn’t know and probably even signed an agreement with the art show committee that these were her original works of art. The other thing that amazes me is she lives in the same area as Ron does…he actually saw the picture. As Ron said:

It wouldn’t have been so bad if she had asked first, that’s happened before and I was flattered and allowed it. But just to do it and then display the work someplace where the original photographer is certain to see it is just callous and not too bright.”

The lawyers for the newspaper are looking into this but as you can see from the picture it is copyright infringement. He had given permission to another artist to adapt one of his photos but this person didn’t even ask. And the kicker is this is not the first time this artist has done this to Ron, so I would be guessing that many of her pictures are someone else’s property. If Ron would give me her name I would post it here and maybe all of you in her area would boycott her pictures…

Amazing…I’ll let you know any new developments if I hear.

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

Oh my gosh…Thank you

I had a blog all ready to post about cording BUT I have to show you what arrived at my house last week. The UPS man arrived and I am still speechless when I look up and see this picture…

14-09-02 In the Workshop

I hung this immediately in my office so I see it everyday; I also have a nail in my stitching nest to hang it there too. I want this to be an inspiration to me to complete some of the designs I have in various stages of completion. This is a lithograph titled “In the Workshop” by Fritzi Brod. I have loved this artist since I was a little girl and have several of her originals in my home. I have always loved this picture too and a dear friend sent this to me. As soon as I finish the roll ups I will write all about Fritzi Brod.

14-09-01 In the workshop wall

Right now I am still speechless. Very few things leave me speechless and almost in tears, but this gift did both. All I can say is: Thank you so much.

ttfn…sue

Hiding out is such fun

Every year my niece asks me if I would like to house-sit and dog-sit, Frankie & 14-07-30 peachesJoey? And every year I say yes…Who wouldn’t, this is like a vacation in the city.
The whole house to me (and two loveable puppies) and nature right out my back door. I’m 5 minutes from good food too (don’t even have to cook.)
14-07-30 tomatoesBut I found a fruit and vegetable stand and have been eating fresh tomatoes and
peaches like there is no tomorrow…and every morning I have coffee to this…   14-07-30 view

 

 

 

 

 

 

14-07-30 DoeAnd the first day I was here a doe brought by her babies to visit. I have seen twins before but this doe has triplets; it was like she knew this was going to be my special week and she wanted to start it off right…she checked out the area while the babes stayed 14-07-30 doe and triplesback and then she brought them up for me to see. I was so excited my pictures are blurry but you can see all three. What away to start my house sitting. And so far it has been perfect I have read three books in four days, even managed to needlepoint and watch nature out the windows. And this week the weather has been cool enough to sit on the deck and do all the above…too perfect!.

14-07-30 ABS BoxI decided to start my needlepoint lighthouse journey with Anne’s Portland Head, ME lighthouse since I have the same box she used to finish the piece (this might be a quick finish) I know that Anne is a master at needle blending skies and I wanted to try this method, so I spent the better part of  a day last week researching her blog (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) for sky stitching and lucky for anyone interested I kept a record… Here are her hints on needleblending skies (or at least the ones I read): http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/01/needle-blending-sky.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/07/blue-skies-over-long-island.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/09/needle-blending-again.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/11/skys-my-limit.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/02/sky-above-water-below.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2011/07/taking-it-from-top.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2011/08/cloudless-sky.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2012/02/sky-and-water.html http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2013/07/two-skies-side-by-side.html

And here are other skies Anne used: Sunrise at the lighthouse: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/07/sunrise-over-fenwick-island.html

Need a gloomy Sky: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/10/needle-blending-gloomy-sky.html

Night Sky anyone: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/04/looking-at-lighthouse-in-different.html

Don’t forget the moon reflection: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/04/in-for-penny-in-for-pound.html

Want to do fog? Anne has covered that too, not once but twice: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/06/fog-rolls-in.html.. http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2011/10/another-foggy-sky.html

April 2009 has several and two of the lighthouses are mine what luck. April 15 has the Portland Head lighthouse…A limitless sky (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2009/04/limitless-sky.html)

Hummmm, I bet I could add clouds to mine too… Well,  my clouds were not easy for me! The one on the leftI did without an outline, just stitched it, but it was 14-07-30 cloudsfrustrating to me so I took the picture I had printed off and drew lines around Anne’s clouds and then with my blue Pilot sc-uf pen, I drew clouds on my canvas (isn’t there a song about this?) I stitched them all using lightest value of the blues flosses I had chosen (DMC 3756).

Time to start the sky: I used three other DMC flosses (A:3325 B:3841 C:775) and needle blended as follows:

4 ply color A

3 ply color A and 1 ply color B

2 ply color A and 2 ply color B

1 ply color A and 3 ply color

B 4 ply color

B 3 ply color B and 1 ply color C

2 ply color B and 2 ply color

C 1 ply color B and 3 ply color

C 4 ply color C

14-07-30 1st rowThat was the easy part, then I counted the rows of sky and divided by the number of color choices I had; see my marks on the side of the canvas. I started at the top with the darkest of the blends 4 ply color A. You can see in the picture I even added 14-07-30 count offsome random stitches in the next area and left some random stitches in the first are so the next color blended better. I was going along just fine until I got to the bottom.  I think I am counting challenge; either that or I am so relaxed I lost all sense of
where and what I am doing…I vote for the relaxed.  Somewhere in the last three areas I got off and needed to adapt. Anyway, the needle blending is so subtle that you can barely tell I did it until you look at the whole picture. In fact it was hard to get a picture to show you. I even took a picture of the back, I think you can see it better.

14-07-30 back

14-07-30 sky finished

 

 

 

 

I am going to enjoy the last couple days of my retreat …I hope momma doe brings her babes back for another look…triplets are so rare.

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

Finally Some Things finished

I started finishing with four huck towels that have been stitched more years than I have had grandchildren. I loved doing these with all the women in my family. I have a drawer full of them already finished and use them…because I can’t take them with me and I know none of my children or grandchildren will want them. I’m saving them from a garage sale or worse the thrift market. And if I get the right out of the dryer I can hand press on counter and they require no iron. I have more huck toweling and after get some of this finishing out of the way may try again. Wish I could find linen huck towels, they are my favorite and colored huck toweling would be wonderful too; but all I can find now is white and it soils so quickly.

14-06-30 towels a pulled threadAnyway, I am starting my finishing with huck towels. First I pulled a thread at the bottom to make sure material was even…I would like to tell you this can instantly to me but truth is after I pined the first towel I realized the fabric was not even on the bottom…then it 14-06-30 towels b cut on pulled thread spacecame back to me that I had seen my mother pull a thread (more about that later) and even the fabric up. Then I cut on the pulled thread line with my pinking shears. I used the floats (these are the parallel vertical threads on huck toweling you use to make 14-06-30 towels c creased with toolthe designs) to turn a small hem and then a hem about 1 inch. I pinned the hems and made sure I had not slipped a thread or two by matching the ends.

I always have to think about hemming…most of my needlepoint stitches are 14-06-30 towels e ends matchcompleted by stitching diagonally or from left to right and hemstitching is executed from right to left. It’s one of those out of order sequences for me. Here’s my diagrams that will go in my finishing notebook…the small stitches have been 14-06-30 hem stitchingexaggerated, you really should not see the stitches. I just catch a few threads on the backside (top) and try never to go to the front of the fabric. (This is where those floats on huck toweling are good. Slide the needle about 1/4 inch left and come out very close to the turn back(1/4 inch) in the pinned 1 inch hem.

14-06-30 huck design cIt was fun to stitch these towels and remember the wonderful women who stitched these and gave me my love of needlework . I never appreciated how detailed my mother was in her craft work. She was an office manager and very left brained in her life, so it should have been no 14-06-30 huck design c2surprise to me she would be this way in her crafts too. Notice this towel with the overdyed thread all the threads have been pre-cut to keep the color in the proper areas. But on the small band on the other end she either forgot or accidentally stitched with the wrong end of the thread in the needle.

And this pink to red overdye probably drove her nuts because there was no pre-cutting, it was a random pull. Would not be surprised if my grandmother didn’t stitch this one, she was the 14-06-30 huck design acreative one in the family. The green one I may have done but I’m not sure, looks pretty complicated for a kid…but as many of these as we made I got pretty good. The yellow towel I know i stitched…I have a yellow ducky collection in my bathroom (surprise surprise 14-06-30 huck design bsurprise…another collection; but then my friend says you have three of a kind it is a collection…I have too many collections!)

When I went to hang three of the towels (pink ones) in the office bathroom I found one my mother had finished 14-06-30 huck design dand she open hem stitched it. Remember I told you I remember her pulling a thread or two? Well, maybe she was pulling threads to do an open hem stitch; but I think she pulled a thread to even the fabric too.  I was lucky to get mine hemmed, open hem stitching will have 14-06-30 huck with pulled hemto wait another day.  But now they are stitched hanging in my office bathroom, I can see them from my desk. They will get little or no use (I keep Viva towels in there for everyday use.) The towel wall is mostly decorative and I figure I will enjoy them the most. The bath towel in the center hanging on the men’s suit hanger my great Aunt Rose made and it hangs on a wooden hanger from a men’s clothing store my mother managed for years. Aunt Rose crocheted around the hand towel and then crocheted the basket right onto the towel…needless to say it has never been used. It is a treasure. Isn’t it fun to look at things that were made when life was slower and simpler; it brings back such fond memories of those that shaped who I am today.

14-06-30 huck hanging

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

Day of THE Green

I would be remiss if I did not wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day…So Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Our corn beef has been smoked (thanks to #2 son) and my Irish cream is chillin and our mantle is decorated:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(L-R)   Radco ornament (one of two)

Kathy Schenkel March Santa (http://www.kathyschenkel.com/)

Joan Lewis March Nutcracker (http://www.joansneedlepoint.com/)

My Celtic Origins Shamrock piece: search my blog for “Celtic”                                                                    (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/)

Lego Leprechaun

Wooden box Irish Hex

Dede March snowman (http://www.dedesneedleworks.com/index.html)

Leprechaun (sorry do not remember painter) but I do remember it was a monthly piece

Harp Lager beer Tap

Anne Stradal:  Leprechaun(http://www.absdesignsonline.com/)

AKA Toppy: search my blog for “toppy” (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love all my needlework but I really love my Lego leprechaun. He was built by #1 son and his son, Cooper. I get to have him on the mantle in March and then he goes back to Cooper’s room for the rest of the year. Isn’t he the cutes?

And my other non-needlepoint, BUT still handcrafted is my Irish Hex box. Years ago we were traveling in Pennsylvania and I kept seeing these hex signs on buildings (mostly barns). But it didn’t register how large they must be (remember I was OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtraveling with three young sons and a husband in a car and no needlepoint…I was a bit brain impaired) and I kept telling my husband I wanted one. I think out of desperation (he was going a bit nuts with the boys in the back of the car too) he finally found a place that sold hex signs and other things. Needless to say when we pulled up I realized they are huge and soon found out that a hex sign was not coming home with us (they would not trade us one hex sign for three boys…wonder why)  But they had a couple books on hex signs and of course books jumped right into my hands. Once I returned home I decided to paint some hex signs on smaller items and I loved the folklore  attached to the Irish Hex sign: The Irish were camped with other Pennsylvania troops at Valley Forge (yes during the Revolutionary War) and the Pennsylvania Dutch would tease the Irish. So the Irish made this hex sign and would taunt the Pennsylvania Dutch with this chant:

Hurray for the Irish

We’re not very much

But a damn sight better

Than the Pennsylvania Dutch.

And so today I leave you with this Irish Blessing for friends:

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

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