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

Advertisements

Stitching updates

15-02-24 temari aSorry about last week but the week got away from me and before I knew it this week is almost halfway over too.

15-02-24 temari bI have been trying to finish up a heart and move on to St Pat and Easter and poor Mardi Gras just blew by like a cold breeze (hummm it was cold.)  But I did make two Temari for the occasion,  just didn’t get them posted.  Used Kreinik blending filament in purple gold and green togive color to base of ball and stitched with #5 DMC Perle in Green Gold and 15-02-24 temari cPurple and a Kreinik braid. Simple 6 division but the Obi bands are different.

My creative juices are keeping me awake; I even got up one night to stitch…What can I say…didn’t have a pencil and I was awake so it seemed logical to me. I don’t think dog and DH had the same thoughts… and 15-02-24 heartsall I did was play with the Kreinik wire braid for a few minutes, okay maybe 30 but in an eight to ten hour night that’s only a few minutes. Didn’t even stitch it down during that time…and the light was only on my stitching.

15-02-24 stitches aAnd then Jane at Chilly Hollow (http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2015/02/lets-make-ribbon-flower.html)  posted this new type of knot that was taught at TNNA winter show (https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=656298941158846&set=o.108537025890131&type=2&theater ) and I had to try it, seemed perfect for this design. Colonial Knot, French Knot and Ruching. Plus the flowers are another decision I haven’t decided on yet either: Ribbon flowers, beads…decisions decisions!?!?!?!?!

15-02-24 stitches bAnd before I stitched the leaves on the heart I wanted to play with stitching picots. Needed to decide whether I wanted to use wired braid or just braid; whether I wanted two, three or four legged picots;  would one work better than another and did I want more than one style? You get the idea questions, questions and more questions.

But last week I did get this playing accomplished and this week I am really putting effort into finishing up the heart. Should get some great stitching time in as it is supposed to be cold, cold, cold and only have only a couple outings planned.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

Happy Valentine’s Day

One day inspiration struck and I stitched part of a design to see if it would work and so I had this partially completed canvas lying around. I also have a drawer(s) full of buttons, pins, and tchotchkes (trinkets) waiting to find a canvas. So combine one button from LaMode with a partially finished canvas and you have a 2 1/2 scissor fob, small ormament, whatever.

So one day I put it in the computer and today I’m giving to anyone who would like to have it.

One trinket+ one small canvas + stash threads+ 2 hours + finishing = one cute gift.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

15-02-14 I Love Squares layoutHappy Valentine’s Day. Hope it is a sweet one.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative! ttfn…sue

P.S. If you need me to email you a PDF version just let me know…happy to do it.

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

First entry of 2014…playing catch-up already

Welcome to 2014…I know the month is over half gone but for the first 14 days of this year I had the flu…and last week I spent regaining some of my stamina and avoiding being out (doctor’s orders…not because I was still contagious but because my immune system is low.) So for all you who are reading this blog and have not had your flu shot…STOP reading this blog and head for the closest place to get a flu shot. I kid you not this thing is a hum dinger and I still feel sketchy and am not working with all cylinders firing.

14-01-23 sick deskThis was my office, my cat and this chair have been my best friend for three weeks and I am getting so used to this I may hate to move back to the office. But if I don’t get back in the office soon there may OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnot be room for me and the computer…I already have two desks full of work, not to mention I have not taken stitch the first two weeks of this year.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last week, I didn’t actually needlepoint stitch but I did finish (hand stitching) a take-a-long project I had stitched last year.  Remember Nick and Walter from last year (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/laissez-les-bons-temps-roule/)? I mentioned I would love to have Val and as we fellow needlepoint lovers know, there is always someone willing to share. I received a lovely email from a fellow stitcher who was willing to send me an extra Val from her stash. Val is a Kathy Meyer Design (http://kathymeyer1.tripod.com/kmdesigns/index.html), a Gaughi doll. I don’t think Kathy is designing anymore as I could not get her to respond to my email last year but I do like these dolls…I think they are just fun.  I took Val on OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAour trip to SD and did most of the stitching and finished up the eyes, lashes and eyelids when I got home.  Then I set her aside to finish in my spare time. Out of sight, out of mind…and then last week I realized Valentine’s Day was fast approaching and I better get Val ready for her big debut. I got her body out and opened up her neck to give her some backbone structure; then I finished her head and attached it to her body. Added a pair of heart earrings just for kicks and…Val is ready to make her sweet debut for her special day and I have my first finish of 2014.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

14-01-23 MajKVI am still trying to finish the stitching 14-01-23 MinKVinstructions for my Values of Gray booklet. Before the holidays I had more than 8 pieces stitched and had made extensive notes but had not written the stitching instructions. Needless to say, even with my extensive notes, these instructions are slow in coming; it feels almost like artist block. And I still have one more piece I would like to stitch for this project.

And I am trying to clear the cobwebs out of my head so I can write some instructions on how I use Canvas to write my instructions for my work and the work I do for others. Before the holidays I upgraded my version to Canvas 15 and received permission to copy screens so I can use them in my instructions. More about this later.

So this blog pretty much catches everyone up; the flu has a way of slowing production down , but least I have one blog entry made for this month.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! Stitch for me too…still have not taken a needlepoint stitch this year…just don’t feel like it nor have the desire and it is driving me nuts.

ttfn…sue

Flower, Candy and needlepoint…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhat more could you ask for?

My sweetie is a sweetie…tulips my favorite flower, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Russell Stover chocolate covered strawberries and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcinnamon jelly beans. Oh yes life is good!

My needlepoint this year is my heart purse.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The heart is stitched only in Mosaic stitch and variations; the threads and variations are what make this heart unique. And I love the inside of this purse…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAit has more pockets than a pool table. 😉

My goal is to have a needlepoint purse for every holiday and season; you can only frame, hang, set and pillow so much needlepoint.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! But watch out for the chocolate.

Happy Valentine’s Day

ttfn…sue

What a week!

The old saying, “Time passes quickly when you’re having fun.” is apropos for this week.  This was the week that was…and truly it went by much too quickly…I’d like another, thank you very much. If nothing else was going on this week the weather was beautiful…and I caught a sever case of Spring Fever!

I could barely keep myself inside this week and had the doors open on several occasions…in February! Lucy sniffed every blade of grass in the yard and even wanted to play soccer. From 2 feet of snow on the ground to 70 degrees, love that Mother Nature!…but Jack Frost will be heard from again and not in the too distant future I’m sure.

It was also Valentine’s Day this week. My valentine bought us a picture I have wanted for a long time…Thomas Jefferson painted by Bob Holloway a local artist. I have several of his pictures and love them all. http://www.bobholloway.com/

I also purchased supplies to try needle felting. It looks like fun and something that could be applied to needlepoint as embellishments. I made a ladybug just to see if I could. Since I am not sure yet…was searching the internet last week and bookmarked several stops but haven’t gotten back to them yet. There will be more to come about needle felting I’m sure.

I also picked up a couple packages of rick rack to make rick-rack flowers. Kathy’s blog Shakl http://www.shawkl.com/search?updated-max=2011-02-11T09%3A21%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=10 told how to do them and I thought they looked like fun and something else that could embellish a needlepoint. When I was a the store picking up needle felting supplies I also picked up two packages of rick rack, I didn’t read the blog close before I left home to know which size to buy. I also bought a rick rack that was one sided (painted). I just had to cut my rick rack and make a couple adjustments. It would have been easier with one color but these turned out just fine for my first try.

Also made a large temari ball. I thought I might participate in Barbra Suess challenge but I may not have enough time since I played this week. You can read all about it and see Barb’s beautiful temari on her blog http://temaribarb.blogspot.com/  or her website  http://www.japanesetemari.com/ . But at least now I have one very large temari ball…unstitched

And poor bunny…well, he is still on the stretcher bars. All the black (except ears) is stitched. Started working on the turkey tuff tail but between the nice weather; trying my new projects; and oh yes I am suppose to be doing computer graphics for a teacher (sh-h-h, maybe she won’t notice it is taking me forever) I haven’t made much progress. I tried to stitch six thread lengths a day but I am about 24 threads behind this week…but who’s counting.

And that’s the week that was in the Midwest…and now I’m off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day. Lucy and I are taking a walk and then we are cooking on the grill tonight. If Mother Nature wants to tease us, we are going to enjoy every moment!

 I hope everyone has beautiful weather too and if you can squeeze it in…time to stitch!  ttfn…sue