Pi Day

We are going to a wedding reception this afternoon and were asked to bring our favorite pie…I really didn’t think anything of it  (the host is a great pie lover) until this week and the news media started taking about Pi Day. Then it hit me…they are just waiting to see who bites (pardon the pun).

In case you don’t know, today is Pi Day.

What is Pi Day you ask?

Saturday, March 14 is a very special Pi Day that comes but once in a century. That’s right, it’s 3-14-15, the only time before 2115 that the date reflects five digits of the magical, infinite number, 3.141592653…from the Washington Post

15 used instructionsSo I had to make a pi/pie. Only kind that I knew would be successful was the kind I stitch. So I charted one and stitched it. I have included the chart and finishing instructions as a PDF in case anyone else wants to do one. Pi day is every year; this year just is special because it is 3-14-15

15-03-14 Pi ornament aBUT my little creative mind did not stop here… We had  bought the lucky couple a pie plate and were going to give them cash (not very creative but wait…last night I had this great inspiration…we are going to get $1 and 2 bills to line the pie plate (representing 3). and then fill with 14 dimes and nickels (representing.1415) and cover with cling wrap.  Our pi pie.

Well I must be more of a nerd than I though but this just appealled to me.

 

15-0314 Pi ornament bAnd my real pie…coming from the store of course!

If you have trouble downloading the Pi instructions just email me and I will send you the PDF version. I may not get to it until later today or tomorrow as I am on my way to a St. Patrick’s Parade and then I am going to the wedding reception.

 

 

BTW here are some pretty cool places to visit today …all about PI:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/14/pi-day-kids-videos/24753169/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/14/10-stunning-images-show-the-beauty-hidden-in-pi/

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

ttfn…sue

PS if you hold up 3.14 (have to have pointed 4) it is this: 🙂

15-03-14 pie reverse

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.

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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.

Stich’n & Comput’n

For the past two weeks I have been frantically using my fingers to either stitch or write stitch guides; the tips of my fingers are screaming, “What is going on?”

It all started two weeks ago when I remembered I had a 1st Communion coming up for one of my Grandsons and I better get his gift because I wasn’t the only Grandmother looking for a gift.  I get these ideas in my head and then when I can’t find what I want I get frustrated; and that’s just what happened to me while I was shopping. I had decided to get him a statue of his name saint and couldn’t find one I liked. So I am now aimlessly walking around the store looking for something I do like. Finally decided to look for a card and that’s when inspiration struck.

14-05-08Comm pictI found four cards and one I decided would make a great needlepoint design and sure I could design and stitch it in a week. (My Guardian Angle must have been taking a short nap because it didn’t jump in to say, “REALLY????”…I am such an optimist sometimes. So I purchased 4 cards and a few other little things (the trip wasn’t a complete bust) and came home. Good thing my DH was driving because all the way home I was thinking about the design. And I could tell by the look on DH’s face, he thought I had lost my mind…I think if I had thought about it I would have too; but I had seen the cross immediately…so how hard could this be? By now my Guardian Angel was awake but so taken back she couldn’t so anything but keep those negative thoughts out of my head.

Once home I got out my trusty computer and scanned a copy of the card into the computer. I knew I wanted the design to be about 4 inches square. I had already decided that if I couldn’t find a frame to suit me I would make a stand up or an ornament; so I wanted the size to be smallish. 4 inches give or take would be a good size, that was 72 threads, give or take, on 18 count canvas..

First I did the lettering: Name, Church, date, 1st Communion. I have two go to alphabet books:

1. Rose Ann Hobbs; Designed Alphabets Book 1 (I have Book 1 and 2 and would love to find 2 and others she wrote)

2. B. Borssuck; 97 Needlepoint Alphabets

14-05-08Comm Step1 borderI used two alphabets: 9 high for upper case and 5 high for lower case. I played with the placement and once I got the lettering into place I knew how much design area I had to work with and if I was going to be able to fit the design inside lettering.

I had seen the stitches for the cross the minute I 14-05-08 Comm Step2 crosslooked at the card, it was just one of those fall into place moments (trust me this doesn’t happen often). So the next step was to see if the cross would fit and still leave room for the designs. So I plotted the cross.

Once the cross was in place I placed small pictures of the motifs in the spaces and started plotting stitches I 14-05-08Comm Step3 motifsthought I would use. This all came rather quickly and I did not second guess myself. My Guardian Angel was working overtime just keeping me on track; she already knew this design was divine inspiration and her job was to keep all negativity away from my thoughts.

Next step was to pull threads and I pulled way too many overdyes but I stepped OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAback and pulled some go to DMC cotton solids too. I needed a Kreinik gold metallic that I had in various sizes. There was not time for a trip to needlepoint shop…and anyway we
only have one with a large variety of threads and it is OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAby appointment. I could have called the owner and if she had what I needed she would have opened for me but I was already pushing the envelope and tried to find threads in my stash.  My thinking on the threads was I wanted to use threads that would wear well with young children…remember at this stage this design still had possibilities of becoming an ornament.

With threads pulled, canvas on stretcher bars, I sequestered myself in my stitching nest and started. Found in my haste I had made a couple spacing errors in the lettering but nothing that was going to throw the design out of line.  After the border was stitched I found the center of the remaining area and began the cross. The cross is my favorite part, I saw it from the minute I picked up the card and now it was stitching up just like I saw it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce I got to the motifs…I had more inspiration. Why not try needleweaving for the challis…if it worked then I would needleweave the basket for the hosts too. My Guardian Angel by now was wide awake and pulling her hair out, how much could she do to keep this design on track? The challis worked out just fine and so I started the wheat. The wheat was stitched like the designed had planned but just wasn’t looking good but it would have to do for the moment. The hosts and basket were next and they too stitched up just as I hoped. The grapes I had seen as beads but at the last minute decided French Knots would be a better choice. Okay all the motifs are completed but the wheat has to be redone. It just looked awful and needed help. So I cut it out and went with a heavier thread and straight stitches instead of Lazy Daisy stitches. It looks much better and it is done..

All I can tell you is that it was divine inspiration and my guardian Angel was working overtime to keep me from second guessing myself…and to keep my fingers moving with needle and thread. I wish all my designing came this easy…

I found a frame and I have put the piece together and last Sunday one of my Grandsons received his own personal 1st Communion gift, a true gift from God. I blurred his name because I have a thing about kids names on the internet…especially little kids. Thank you God for this special project!

2014-05-08 GradThen in a misguided state of “You can do anything”, I decided to make a graduation needlepoint for his sister who is graduating from 8th grade this year. Border of course was easy…trusty alphabets. But that shamrock gave me a run for my needle. I had plotted it on the computer but for some reason was having more trouble with this design than the other; probably because I was second guessing myself. Then of course I did not have the right green ribbon for the cross, and none was to be found in town (I called) so I had to make an executive decision and I think I chose right. I had a multi green but I think it had too much blue; I like the gold better for the cross. But I persevered and this is her gift she will receive for graduation next week.

2014-05-08  Stitch guideAnd in-be-tween all this stitching I was writing stitch guides for pilot classes and the stitch guide for the 1st communion piece. And since I know this 1st Communion design was a gift from God (I on my own do not work this fast)…I want to share the design with everyone. If you email me: sudu@kc.rr.com, send me your email and I will happily send you a PDF of the design. I just ask that if you stitch the design you send me a picture.

All I can say is if the rest of my body worked out as much as my fingers have these past two weeks, I’d be in great shape. This week’s pace is a bit slower I have another pilot class to compute and always have something to stitch, but my fingers are not moving so fast.

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch every day in May! ttfn…sue

Sidetracked…A present & Value of Gray study

I am still stitching on the flowers for Mom & Me. Hope to have it finished this week-end.

But this week I got a bit sidetracked.

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My DH brought this find to me this week. He found it in the basement; I think it must have been in the tools and craft drawers from my uncle.  It must have been a pin at one time but the pin-back is missing. I also have a bracelet similar to this that my uncle gave me several years ago. And I also have 2-3 thimbles with this petit OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApoint. I tried researching these but the best I could find is that they were made in the 1940-50 in West Germany or Austria. None of mine has a marking that I can see but all are backed in brass. Doesn’t matter, I like them and just wish I knew more about them. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnyone out there who knows about this jewelry I would love to hear from you. Hummmmm, do I feel another collection blooming?

And I worked more on my Values of Gray study. I have all the written work completed; I have begun to make computer pages of my samples and I have my paint samples made. I haven’t decided if I am just going to market the book with designs or whether to teach it online and share my samples too.

All my stitched samples are completed (well except for the big project I want to do) and I have had this idea in my head ever since I saw Kurdy Biggs sewing wallet (http://www.threedles.com/06012011/2013/Pangea/Pangea_BagAndWallet.html)….I loved it! And while I was stitching the samples for Shades of Gray I decided to make my own sewing book (but that isn’t the big project).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I have been mulling around my ideas…the other night at 2 AM an idea came to me.  Just as a thought…does everyone get these spurts of inspiration at odd hours or is it just me? These creative outbursts really cut into my sleep and I had to get up to draw a rough OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsketch of the ideas. Next morning I drew them on the computer and then made up this small paper mock up. Now I am measuring needlework and thinking about how to construct the book. Any suggestions for sources of books or online helps would be appreciated. I have already decided to make a muslin prototype and think I’ll start this soon.

Today is opening day for the KC Royals so I see baseball and stitching in my afternoon plan.

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch every day! ttfn…sue

Mom and Me border

Oh Mother Nature is toying with us…the weather is getting to feel more like spring than the depths of winter. Must try and get outside in the next few days as I know this is just a tease. Saw a cartoon this week that showed two lions, one coming, one going and roaring all the way and this little lamb between them; and the caption was: lamb saying, “Can I say something?” Hope this isn’t true since March roared in…I’m hoping it lambs out.  Garfiels said it all this morning: “It’s been a LONG winter.”

14-03-07 M&Me border chartBut stitching time is great. Worked on Mom and Me border for the past week and am almost finished. Here’s the chart I developed for the corners. And the border is set; all I have left is a bit more purple and most of the green. It takes longer since I am laying the RG Petite Sparkle Rays thread on both the front side and back side of the canvas. This takes more time but I think with the ribbon type threads it makes for a smoother appearance. Sometimes when I work with these ribbon threads I think when they turn on the backside you get a bit of a different light play on the thread and I sometime can see the edges curl. It may be just me, but when this happens and I go back and look I can usually see on the back where the ribbon thread has twisted.

And wouldn’t you know it the Kreinik braids I choose to use are two of the ones being retired. In case you have not heard, Kreinik (http://www.kreinik.com/PDF/special_order_colors_release_2014.pdf) has designated 43 colors as “Special Order” colors. Oh well I am sure there are other colors that will work just as well and maybe if you are planning on stitching this piece, you have these in your stash. But this is often the story about many threads used in designing…by the time we get the designs/stitch guides to production a thread can be discontinued.

I’ve always said if you do not like a thread or color that is chosen or used in a stitch guide, change it; same goes for a stitch. There are other threads that will work just as well and some are from the same manufacturer. Threads and stitches can be changed…IT IS YOUR PIECE!

14-03-07 M&Me borderBack to Mom and Me…as soon as I finish the border am going to stitch Mom and me bunnies. And I am playing on the computer to figure out the flower pattern I want to use below the bunnies. I know the width and am guess-ta-mating the height.

But for today I need to get outside and enjoy the day…Long spells of freezing cold temperatures have affected me more than Cabin fever…need to feel that warm sun on my rosy cheeks and the warm breezes beneath my feet.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! And if the weather is nice where you are, get out and enjoy it…winter has been awful everywhere! ttfn…sue

Sharing 1st finish of 2014

Life is hectic and cold in the Midwest right now. We have been 12 days in subzero temperatures…Alaska has sometimes been warmer. BUT today we are supposed to reach a whopping 32 degrees…a heat wave is coming!

Yesterday I received my first finish of 2014…my Raymond Crawford Acorns pillow. I can hardly wait for this year to pass so I can put it out on display. (Oh I just didn’t write that did I? …time flies by for me and I’m wishing it to pass quickly…I must be nuts.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI sent the canvas last fall to Chaparral Needlepoint (http://www.ndlpt.com/) to have them finish into a pillow using ribbons…I just love the way they incorporate ribbons into their finishing…And it was worth the wait. The finishing is absolutely OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstunning…and it makes my stitching look even better.

I incorporated padded acorns with 7 or 8 different stitches and using Vineyard silk, Rainbow Gallery Splendor, Elegance and Neon Ray, Kreinik braid, and floss and pearl cotton threads. I have a four page stitch guide to go with this if anyone is interested; email me for the details. (Email address is located on upper right column of this blog) I know I am sounding like a broken record but I hope know that I have three things to put on the web site and husband is retired this is my year for a website otherwise may just have to add a page to WordPress and go for it myself.

I am still working on Shades of Gray. I have given it to a friend to look over and give me some feedback. And I still have a few things I like to do in this area but the study of color and design is an ongoing thing and so you may hear about it for some time. I’m also thinking about an online course where we could share out ideas…any suggestions?

I also promised to re-write my instructions on how to use my graphics and layout program, Canvas from ADSee (http://www.acdsee.com/). I wrote the first one in 1991 using Canvas version 3. So much has changed over the years and even though I do not use all the capabilities of the program I am comfortable in the program and get the job done.  I have obtained permission to capture screen images and so I am researching Canvas 15 to write again. I know there will be a limited market for these instructions but I feel like it is important to share my limited knowledge with others who want to do this.

Sharing our knowledge and love of something is so important…our legacy; if we don’t share what we know, our knowledge will die. There are several examples of this…look at the art of Temari…up until 5 years ago few people had ever heard of this old oriental art form. Barbara Suess (http://www.japanesetemari.com/index.html) and Ginny Thompson (http://www.temarikai.com/) have been very instrumental in spreading the word and knowledge of this old art form and it is gaining importance again in the needlearts.

A couple weeks ago in  Plays with Needles Blog, (http://plays-with-needles.blogspot.com/2014/01/bead-chains-of-1830s.html), Susan wrote about another almost lost needleart…bead weaving. These are beautiful works of art and we should preserve and pass on the art form.

The American Needlepoint Guild (http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php) in its purpose states: ANG is an educational, non-profit organization whose purpose is educational and cultural development through participation in and encouragement of interest in the art of needlepoint. We can only do this if we share.

When I started this entry for my blog I was just going to share my first finish of the year but as I started to write this entry a theme started to develop and I realized that this is my goal for the year…sharing. Sharing through writing this blog… sharing my limited knowledge with my friends at guild meetings and stitch-ins… and yes, maybe even teaching someone younger about needlepoint or at least some form of needleart.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today and share something with someone else! ttfn…sue

A 2fer: Raymond Crawford Acorn piece and local guide needs help

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI just finished Raymond Crawford’s Acorn piece it was fun to stitch. I had a slow start with it but then all of a sudden the stitches and threads just spoke to me and I was off and stitching,  I felt padded the lower part of the acorns and stitch padded the tops. I really like the curly things and I thought it was fun to experiment doing Shaped Crescent stitches. I got my inspiration for these stitches from Jean Hilton’s book, Stimulating Stitches. I think you can still get it from Stitcher’s Paradise (http://www.stitchers-paradise.com/index.htm). I think the hardest things on the piece were the green border areas and that was because I used Rainbow Gallery Neon Rays and laid both front and back…pain in the backside but oh so beautiful. Now it off to the finisher and then I’ll post a picture even though it is next years fall decoration.

I sent a copy of the stitch guide to Raymond and was thrilled that he posted a picture on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Raymond-Crawford-Designs/190891389362) .

But now it is back to reality…my desk is a mess and I did something I don’t ever think I’ve done before….I sent a designer back her finished instructions and they were not completed. She had given me another design to do and I went for it; just completely blocked out the fact that the other was not finished. I hope to finish this new one today and send it to her and get the other to complete.

And yes I am still working on My Value of Gray book. Since it is technically a color/design book there is more than just stitching to this, but I wanted some stitching to be included because I think stitchers like stitching…I know I do. I’ve been trying to keep the projects small so anyone wanting to try these could have ornaments or small projects to just take along.

13-10-30 elephant parts 1And before I forget this too…a lovely lady, Norma Gamble from my local guild downsized her stash and trust me it was a substantial down-size and I’m sure she still has plenty to keep her fingers busy. Anyway in this stash reduction were about 5 to 6 good sized canvases for a 3 dimensional piece. Our local finisher, Pat concluded that she thought this was a 3D circus elephant but we are not sure who painted it; it’s only 13-10-30 elephant parts 2identifying mark is the 309 on one of the canvases. The GKCNG has decided to use it as one of our philanthropic projects. We will stitch it, finish it, have a case made to donate as an art display piece to either to a local Ronald McDonald home or one of the two children’s hospitals here. The guild would like to know the designer and maybe there is a picture available for finishing…Does anyone recognize any of these 13-10-30 elephant parts 3pieces and if so who do you think was the designer. The GKCNG thanks you for your assistance.

And now I need to straighten up my desk before it swallows me up computer and all.

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