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

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Suggestions welcome and a stitched project

Spent the week end trying to put some order back into my computer; I am just not an organized computer user. Any advice on how you store pictures and stitching files would be greatly appreciated. I have stuff (pictures & files) everywhere and sometimes in more than one place; I have pictures of needlepoint in a blog photo folder that I think I might want to share; I have pictures of needlepoint in a sue’s stitched file and I have pictures of needlepoint in the unstitched file. I have a program that is supposed to organize pictures but I have never really read the book on suggested use; I did go to their tutorial site to read suggestions and got more confused than before.
This spring we lost a good local store front needlepoint store in our area; this is a tragedy for everyone too. It is a tragedy to the community that another small shop owner is no longer supporting the community, a tragedy to the store owner; and a tragedy that all of us who stitch… we have limited our resources yet again. Yes, we still have a needlepoint shop by appointment, one that is mostly knitting, and of course hobby and fabric stores (box stores)…but gone is the daily store front. Needlepoint is a visual and tactile art form and even though the internet is fine and great; there is nothing like picking your threads by touching them and seeing them together on the canvas. That is gone and I for one will miss it!
I started a new media…drawing, zentangles, doodles…whatever you choose to call this art; I’m trying to do this a couple times a week. I thought it would be a good catalyst for inspiration and creativity as well as relaxing and a good meditation. Since I know I learn best by reading and doing, I am well stocked in reading materials both books and internet and I have a large supply of art supplies as well as my computers.
I also need post about my stitching…I have four projects stitched but not finished. We’ve had a few innovative finishers in the last few years but unfortunately one God wanted to help in heaven and the other moved to England (I envy her so much…Royal School and all) for several years. So I need to find a new person or do it myself. I can do simple finishing but the cutesy, innovative stuff I leave to the pros. I really would like to find a great finisher that I can talk to directly; I wish she were close enough for me to visit.
This is my best creative offering for the week…

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I saw this online at Adorn (http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-tree-is-growing-in-studio-new-design.html) and Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/listing/151161249/needlepoint-cuff-bracelet-kit-nightshade?ref=shop_home_active). So I bought it, have always wanted to make a bracelet/cuff and thought this would be a good way of learning a finishing technique. Orna kits her own threads with her own label which is different and I’m not sure how I feel about this. I had more than enough thread to complete the project but should I decided to frog stitch my mistake, I’m not sure I could have match the threads if I had run out. My braclet/cuff is a bit different (creative license) because I messed up following the chart and so rather than frog stitch I did the Marine thing and adapted, improvised and overcame. Then while 13-06-28 bead a finishing I forgot I had this great beading tool (Thank you NC) and while sitting on my patio dropped beads…opps…so my bracelet/cuff is sans beads on the edges. But at least it is a finished project.
And that’s pretty much what is happening here in the heart of the USA in the hot summer.
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