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:

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(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

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Books & Desk

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I am still walking on air about my cookbook debut. Still pull it out just to look at it…Can hardly wait until it is in the stores too.
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And then within two days of this three wonderful reviews of my couching book. I have been very pleased by favorable reviews the book has received on the following blogs:
Kreinik Thread Blog- http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2013/07/book-review-pattern-couching-and-or-nue.html
Jane at Chilly Hollow- http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2013/08/or-nue-book-at-last.html
Janet at Nuts about Needlepoint- http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/two-lovely-designs-to-learn-a-great-technique/

Then I got to thinking, someone had asked or written about on their blog or one of the needlework lists and I’m sorry I don’t remember who…how long it takes a design to become available…Well here is an example. Back in October 2011 I wrote on my blog about Celtic Origins (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/my-project-pattern-couching/) I had written this project for my guild that summer to be taught in the fall 3-4 meetings.
After several had finished or almost finished I received their feedback (the guild was my pilot class) and did some revisions. Then I had a trusted friend, and good stitcher stitch the piece from these revised instructions and then made the minor corrections. Now I felt it was as good as it gets…from experience I know there are other typos and small mistakes and with every printing I try to make these corrections if stitchers let me know the mistakes.
Now, it is the beginning of this year and the Woodlawn show was approaching. So I decided to enter these pieces in this show before releasing the book. And that is history (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/woodlawn-plantation-needlework-exhibit/).
Then I had 5 copies of the book printed to send to mail to the various material suppliers to include in the design files they keep for designers using their products. This is a courtesy I do to let them know I have used their materials in my design; and some material supplies require you send them something every few years to remain on their designer/teacher lists.
After the pieces came back from Woodlawn I had more copies printed and it was on my list of thing to do after vacation to promote the book.
So how long does it take a design to become available? This one took two years and maybe a few months longer. Some designs do not take that long but this was written as a teaching piece and so it has more information than just the two designs. If a design is stitched by a stitcher other than the designer it is going to take longer than those designs that are just stitched by the designer. Stitch guides take about the same time as a teaching piece because usually the stitcher is not the computer graphic person. And sometimes they have to communicate back and forth about what was actually stitched where and when. I would say any design I do, if it is just the design takes at minimum six months (but more like a year) to get from design to print and that is not counting the research, experimenting with stitches and thread, and all the other pre design ( I like to call incubation time) it takes when designing a piece.
But now the book is ready for sale. I would like to find a few distributers but right now the only place you can get it is from me. And NOTE: no website from DH yet ;-(  Maybe this will motivate him too. If you send me an email: sudu@kc.rr.com I will send you an order form.
And this wasn’t even the blog I planned for today…this is
13-08-06 deskOMGosh…you should see my desk top… did I really leave this mess on my desk or did the desk gremlins visit?
Twenty one days of relaxing, no computer unless I wanted to do so, only a cell phone, a good book & wonderful scenery…Yes it happened but now it is but a memory and one that seems to have happened months ago and not just days ago.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! I will be cleaning up my desk so please take more time to stitch for me too.
ttfn…sue

Woodlawn Plantation Needlework Exhibit

Washington DC is probably the #1 place on my “where I would love to be if I am not at home” list. I have always loved DC since I was a little girl; my best friend says she know I lived there in another time. There is so much history (past and present) there and it has a diverse art community (there is a museum for just about everything). I don’t know how anyone who lives there can say, “There is nothing to do.” … Buy a Washington Post Friday edition..Week-end section (http://www.washingtonpost.com/) and read it …90% of the stuff is free too. My plug for the Nation’s Capital…

I have been to Woodlawn plantation to see the Needlework exhibit a few times. I think this is one of the oldest judged needlework shows in the country and have always thought maybe someday I would enter. I have always thought of this show as one of the premier shows in the country and they always have hundreds of entries (714 this year.) It’s one of those things you always think about but never do.

I had stitched these two pieces for my guild to teach couching. Both these pieces have identical border patterns; each uses different threads, one is on congress cloth and the other is on 18 count canvas and the center couching is different design I wrote a 45+ page booklet on couching  that I will publish later this year, but I had not framed the pieces. The Celtic knot piece was done with Jean Taggart’s Gaelic Gold in mind…I’m hanging them together in my study.  (http://www.needleart.org/Exemplary02/GaelicGold.php And the shamrock was just a natural companion since I had decided to call the project Celtic Origins.

[ED Note: you might recognize the Celtic Knot centers from a couple back posts…I had stitched these twice before stitching the big piece. ]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut this year I decided to take the leap and cross another one of the “tuit”s off my list. It was the 50th Needlework Exhibit at Woodlawn and just seemed like the right time.  So I had the pieces framed, packaged them up and sent them off. I am so glad I did, I won two ribbons (third and honorable mention) but that was just icing on the cake. What was the biggest honor was winning with other needle artists like Catherine Jordon OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(http://www.catherinesdesigns.net/), Kurdy Biggs (http://www.threedles.com/06012011/default.htm), and Susan Elliot (http://plays-with-needles.blogspot.com/)…I have their websites and blogs bookmarked and visit often just to be inspired and drool. I would love to be as free and creative as these ladies.

I would love to have gone and seen the exhibit but time did not allow for it. I am going to have rely on others to post pictures and links to those that are able to put their works online to share with us. Melita posted on her blog about her visit (http://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/woodlawn-roadtrip-2013/) to Woodlawn…I hope she’ll post her pictures soon too. If you have a blog or website and have posted pictures please let me know I will link to you too.

And for those of you in the Washington D.C. area, get out and do something wonderful this week-end…a trip to the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, and museum on the Mall, the cherry trees at Jefferson Monument must be beautiful right now, or just a trip to the zoo…It’s twitter-pated season, so if you go by the zoo, say hello to the Pandas for me. They are my favorites…and don’t forget to be nice to the camels as you pass by…they a jealous of the Panda attention and let you know.

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

Finishing, fininishing and more finishing

I had a productive week-end…changed all the seasonal decorations and finished needlepoint. Life is good!

But I did have a scare last Friday or maybe just leprechaun being a leprechaun. I was getting out the St Patrick Day decorations when I remembered my leprechaun, Torin Ailfred O’Patrick, AKA Toppy.  Toppy had not become a well-rounded leprechaun last year (you can see & read about him under Categories>Projects> Leprechaun, right side of blog); so I went looking for the little guy.  I thought I knew right where he was resting, but could not find him. I thought of a few other places Toppy might be and so set out to locate the little fellow. After checking all the spots I thought Toppy might be hanging out, I began to wonder if this little leprechaun was playing games with me because I did not get him finished last year; leprechauns can be mettlesome little fellows. So after about an hour of checking everyplace I could think I might have put him for safe keeping I decided to get a bunny out to finish…yes I have a box of UFO’s.  And I guess Toppy decided that it was more important to make the mantle than to play mind games with me because there he was right there on top of the pile, flat but smiling up at me. Now before you think, senile old woman, let me assure you that leprechaun WAS NOT on the top of the heap when I first looked. I may be senile but not blind too. Anyway Toppy became well rounded and proudly took his place on the mantleToppy

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI remembered some buttons I had stitched. And I had found a craft box of beads and old jewelry I remembered my mother wearing but had either been broken or were so out-of-date. So I repurposed the crystals, beads of other jewelry and beads into a new St. Pat necklace. Had to go to craft store to get 2 inch eye pins to make the dangles and jump rings to attach buttons.

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And since I was going to the craft store, decided to see if I could find 2 ready-made frames and have mats cut to fit two Celtic knots I stitched for another project. These were couching experiments for a larger piece and I decided tOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAo just frame them too. Found frames and my Hobby Lobby cuts mats on the spot if they have the matboard, so I had two more projects to finished.

So this past week-end I spent finishing needlepoint. I now have this great feeling of accomplishment plus it was easy on my pocketbook.

I don’t mind finishing but it is not my favorite thing to do. It makes me appreciate those who do finish most of my needlepoint.  I would never tackle a pillow; I would have dog ears for sure. I can manage a simple stand up, an ornament and sometimes simple stuff. But it never ceases to impress me at how creative finishers can be.

And framing I seldom try, I think framing is harder to do yourself…I have made frames (at a frame store designed to help you make your own frames)  but my corners were really not very good. And cutting mats is an art unto its self, especially if you hand cut them. . My Hobby Lobby had a computer cutter, it is pretty awesome. I can do the simple stuff but bigger pieces will always go to the framer.  And my needlepoint framer, Richard is a special guy; he has an eye for the best look.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAED Note 3-8-13: ops something happen to the picture and I just noticed it. This was my first attempt at making jewelry but I think I could get into it. I ordered a catalog from Fire Mountain Gems ( http://www.firemountaingems.com/) and watched a couple tutorials.  I would really like to make a few more pieces, but I don’t want to start a new media full scale.

I have bought a bunch of roving and tools to try and make felted figures. I made a ladybug last year but haven’t tried anything since then. I also would like to make more Ukrainians eggs (Pysanka) but I think that needs to be a class project, this is an art that has been passed down from mother to daughter for centuries. I’m guessing this is not something you learn on the internet, although if you Google Ukrainians eggs (Pysanka): (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pysanka) pages of info will be at your fingertips. But I still don’t think you buy the supplies and start.

BUT my favorite thing to do is stitching needlepoint and temari balls. And I need to get back to it.

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

January Wrap up

Hopefully this month is about over and the rest of the year will be smoother.

I went for another check-up on my eye and after a lengthy check-up was pronounced “Okay for another year, unless something unforeseen happens.” I had a strange thing happen last week; felt like my left eye re-set in the socket…is the best way to describe it. I think I was more aware of it because of recent eye concerns. Anyway yesterday the sight in my left eye had gone from 20/35 to 20/20 and after a lengthy (only 1 ½ hours this trip) was pronounced ready to go. Only thing doctor could tell me was the vitreous (clear gel-like fluid that fills the eye) had detached from the back wall of the eye and there was no damage. Also thought what I felt was maybe the detachment although she could neither prove nor disprove this theory and had neer had anyone else tell her of that sensation.  Glad this is behind me and my biggest problem was I couldn’t see and had a head ache most of the day and evening. Sigh!

Since thing seem to happen in threes…two other of my friends have had more serious health problems than I; Kidney stones and a broken femur (and no she didn’t slip on the ice…we’ve had no ice yet this year) and I wish them both speed recoveries. Hopefully this I all the bad news for a while and by spring we are all able to get out and play again.

Celtic Knot magnet

BUT there is good news this month too. I taught the last part of my couching class Monday and several people are coming right along with it. Virginia, one of our oldest members stitched this magnet for me, it is the center design. Love it. I have three or four very small pieces Virginia has stitched and given to me over the years, I treasure each one. One of my favorites is this Ann Speiss Mills Angel she stitched. It was to be a ribbon center for ANG National

ASMills Angel

convention but I don’t remember which category, but there was something wrong with this one and so she stitched a second and was going to throw this one away.  I cabbaged on to it, finished is on a large button form and it hangs in my angel room (aka: dining room) most of the time. Virginia is one of those exceptional stitchers…she has tried most every technique (some she likes better than others), she stitches on 40 count silk gauze like it were Congress cloth and stitches well into the night. I consider her an honored woman among stitchers…she has forgot more than some of us will ever learn. She knows the basics of stitching and executes them very well, but she can break the rules too. Than you Virginia you are a treasure.

And last night, even though I could not see well and had a head ache, my friend Patty B drove me to the EGA meeting…and I am so glad we went!  Remember me telling you about this fabulous quilter, Janet Stone… (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/the-art-of-machine-quilted-quilts/)? Last night at the local EGA meeting Janet was the program and she showed all 10 of her beautiful quilts. Her first quilt she stitched individual blocks and the joined them together by hand. The second quilt was inspired by the first…she decided to make a quilt with a block for each letter of the alphabet…and oh yes, then she machine quilted (free hand all the names of these quilts in the border. Each quilt had a story and a reason to make whether it was figuring out a new technique, using a new and different thread, or using embellishments she found and wanted to incorporate into a design.   She gets these ideas draws them out, makes her own patterns and just puts them together; she made it sound so simple. She has added touches to a quilt to make it large enough to enter in a category; removed borders from a quilt two and three times to get it just right, but her favorite thing is the embellishments she adds to her quilts. Each of these quilts had similarities but are also so very unique in their design. Her sense of color and design is incredible, her embellishments are part of the design and not just added do dads, and her quilting is so unique and yet precise. Janet talked about each of her quilts and you could hear the love of the art she creates in her voice. She was delightful and so unassuming about her talent. What a treat! She can create about two quilts a year…and wants to write a book someday about her 26 quilts (her goal)…where do I sign up?

Oh yes and this is my tempory desk set up while we are remolding a space for our computers to have a new home. My family thinks I have become too engrossed in my tablet, but I have found Netflicks and the PBS programs I can now watch hours of PBS and stitch too…oh life is good.

Hope everyone had a more eventful and productive month than I and am looking forward to February!     Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

My project: Pattern Couching

This is one of the projects I have been working on this summer.

BUT, this is my project, 51 pages about Pattern Couching. Choice of two projects with instructions

I agreed to do this for my guild and so I am going to let them be my pilot class too. After they are finished going over it and I get their feedback, I will revise the instructions and then it will be available for the general public…Hopefully my DH will have figured out a webpage/site for me by then.

This was not only a study of Pattern Couching for me, I had to enhance my stashes: books and threads 😉 Enhance I did…all for learning. I love it when I can say to DH, “but I had to get it for this project.” never mind that some of those threads I didn’t use this time…there is always another day (lol)…But we know that these threads just become part of the bigger picture…stash. And of course when that next project starts these leftover threads won’t be exactly right…Life is good.

There are more greens (Shamrock piece) than golds and other colors because I had  decided from the “get-go” that the Celtic Knot project needed to use
the same colors as my finished Jean Taggert Gaelic Gold class. Not a Sept 11th
and an October comes by, not a mammogram goes by, that I don’t think about Gaelic Gold and Jean and the victims of 9-11. I was privileged to take this class  in 2001 at the Washington DC ANG Seminar; it was the last national class that Jean taught. I loved every minute of this class.  I came home amid 9-11 and decided to finish this piece right away. I entered it in the NAN Exemplary (http://www.needleart.org/Exemplary02/Exemplary02.php ) in 2002 and on the entry form (just reread it…it is attached to back of picture) I read:

“I either said prayers for Jean and the victims of 9-11 or said
prayers of forgiveness for the bad words I was thinking stitching some areas of
this piece.\

There are more good prayers (stitches) than bad ones.”

Gaelic Gold also became known as “The Hail Mary piece” at my house. To this day it is one of my all time favorite pieces. It is fitting that I show this here…It is breast cancer awareness month and Jean succumbed to breast Cancer soon after this.

I also got a new computer, upgraded programs and even learned a few new tricks while writing these instructions. Amazing the things I am learning…so I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks. Stayed tuned…

The rest of the week-end, I am getting the instructions printed, AND then taking the week-end off! On Monday will begin teaching project for guild, go to lunch, and then next week it is back to the grindstone… starting another teacher project. I really like writing and graphing projects for other designer/teachers; I love to see the creative process of others and their style of teaching. Writing instructions is like being able to stitch without ripping…one little key stroke and I have “frogged” the error.

I’m off to fix my lunch and then I see a nap in my afternoon…

Thank you for stopping by and spending a few moments with me…hope you have time to stitch today! ttfn…sue