My name in Print

14-08-13 Thistle 1

14-08-13 Thistle 2

14-08-13 Thistle 3In the mail today I received my current ANG magazine and low and behold my diagrams are featured in The Thistle by Carole Lake and Michael Boren. Someone had written me an email to tell me they had seen it, but it is always a pleasant surprise to see one’s name in print. Thank you Carole Lake, Michael Boren (http://www.stitchplay.com/index.html) and ANG (http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php).

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

Advertisements

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

More stitching and contemplating…

While I am researching bows I am stitching on a guild project.

My guild has a couple projects they are stitching and finishing to donate to the American Needlepoint auction (http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php). These projects were donated to our guild by a member who was moving.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI like Halloween and Janet Zickler Casey (https://www.jzcdesigns.com/) canvases…so I took Bone Jangles (https://www.jzcdesigns.com/Bone%20Jangles.htm) to get started. I donated the stretcher bars, tacks, magnet, bag and placed the instructions in plastic pages.

First I completed all the dangling threads…when you take a class you usually end up with partial areas stitched and dangling threads.  Then I balloonstarted at the beginning and am stitching until the guild meeting (next Monday)and then I will pass it on to the next member. Probably won’t see again until stitching is completed.

I loved the face stitch and untilI started him had not given much thought to stitching this on the diagonal but it was so easy. Sometimes I just get brain freezes and can’t see the 13 jzc Bones w stith outlinediagonal method…now I can.

I also outlined the eyes and the teeth but the rest of the face I marked on picture with dotted line because I wouldn’t outlne the face until the jacket and bow tie are completed.

This and another project I did this month has made me think more about my stash and library. I had two other friends who downsized and moved this last year and I helped them dispose of some of their things. We had a sale online and at a guide meeting, the profits from these sales have gone to charities of their choice. I have downsized my canvas and threads with the combining of households (see: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/re-storage/) but I still have large collections of stash and a library that takes up a room.

I have a several pieces of needlework that need to be returned to the family of the person who has stitched them when something happens to me. I love these pieces but I did not stitch them and I think their families would love to have them back. I have taken pictures of these pieces and written down whom to contact.

I also have written down several stitching friends to contact should something happen to me; they will be able to help my family dispose of my collection if I am not here to help.

One of these days I am going to go through my library and downsize this also. But it will be one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I really love my books; they are like old dear friends. But there are some old friends that I do not visit often and maybe someone out there is looking for this book to add to their library. I am not looking forward to this day but books keep coming in and I have run out of space.

How about you? Does your family know how important needlework is to you? Does your family know what to do with one of your most valued (not only $$ but personal favorite) collections? Have you given any thought to what is to become of an important part of you…because our needlework is part of us,  an expression of who we are and how we want to be remembered.

Okay, now that I have depressed myself it is time to move on…I think I will go stitch.

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

Betty Chen Louis

I am breaking one of my personal rules about commenting on another teacher’s work, especially when I had a small part in its production. I am doing this for two reasons:

#1.  I want to give those of us who do not design an idea of how long it takes a concept to go from rough draft to completion. This is but a small part of the design process.

First is the “Idea phase”; this can be as crystal clear as Stuben Glass (http://steuben.com/index.cfm?&loc=GAWOS1)  or just a vague concept and may take a an hour, day week or month(s).

Next is the “Incubation stage”, this is another time variable; it can be long and arduous or short and to the point. This phase is the “what if” phase. What if I try this technique with this thread? 

Next is the “Execution phase”; this is the one that where you pick chose and try the threads and stitches you have visualized in the “Incubation stage” and hope they work without a hitch. How long does this take…until the designer/teacher is happy with her work.

Next is the “Planning Phase” and I like to tell teachers/designers this should be done in conjunction with the “Execution phase”.  Write down (“Planning Phase”) what you do in the order in which you do it (“Execution phase”.) It helps the designer teacher remember what she/he did when they go to write their instructions and it makes the graphic editor’s job easier too.  If instructions are written as we go about the same time as “execution phase”…If not add an extra week or two.

“Production phase” is when the teacher instructions, student handbook or stitch guide is written, proofed, re-written, re-proofed until it is as good as the teacher/designer feels it can be. This phase also includes photos of the project. Somewhere in this process the teacher/designer usually pilots the piece…tries teaching or allowing someone to stitch the project with the written instructions. Then usually there is more rewrite. Then it is off to the printer…This is about 2 to six months or longer depending on the size of the project.

Even after it is completed at the printer it may take longer to reach you the stitcher…If this is a project that has been submitted as a teaching piece for one of the four major stitching venues; ANG (http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php), Calloway Gardens,  EGA (http://egausa.org/), NAN (http://www.needleart.org/ ; it may not be released until after it has been taught at the event and depending on the popularity of the piece may be chosen by another event and even local guilds.

So, by the time this piece reaches you as a class piece or even a retail piece, it could be a year or years. Remember this when you take a class or buy a “new piece” and one of the threads on the materials list has been discontinued. Your local needlepoint shop or the teacher will usually have a suggested substitute handy.  

So with this in mind, remember in  Jan 2009 (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/17-days-later/ ) I mentioned great things were coming….it has arrived (http://www.gayannrogers.com/site_2/Small_Cityscapes_For_Sale.html) . Betty Chen Louis is releasing a design and is going to also teach online at Shinning Needle Society (http://www.shiningneedlesociety.com/ ).

See how long it takes for a project from just the planning phase to today!

#2. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON:

In my opinion, Betty Chen is one of the greatest teachers in the needlepoint art community. What an opportunity! I so agree with Gay Ann Rogers:

(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SNS_Lounge/message/1620) “I think Betty is the mistress of line and color and if you look at her work you will see why she holds the title. Betty is all about subtlety and transition, about the flow of line and the organization and use of space in a design.”

(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SNS_Lounge/message/1622) “Here is another opportunity to see more work by the person I think is the best designer/teacher now working in my world of needlework, so don’t miss the opportunity to study her sense of line and color.”

And since I have been compensated and will receive nothing more than the satisfaction and pride of knowing that I was asked to be a small part of this endeavor I am going to extol her greatness shamelessly. I was privileged (And I do mean privileged!) to be asked by Betty Chen to assist her in this project; I was but a drop of sand in this very creative process. I have been needlepointing for well over 40 years and have been a member of the stitching organizations for better tan 20 years. I have known Betty for many years and have always been in awe of her creativity and knowledge.  I have signed up for two of Betty’s classes and got sick one time and was in the middle of a house remodeling the second and so when Betty asked me to help with this project I jumped at the idea.  I even shamelessly suggested I should stitch the project as I did the work. Betty agreed and I was very privileged to receive one on one instruction if I needed.  I would just ask a question to hear her talk.  If you have the time, do not miss the chance to take this class online at Shinning Needle Society (http://www.shiningneedlesociety.com/ )…the only thing better is to have her live in a class! Betty is truly one of the Masters of Needleart, a truly gifted artist, and just a wonderful person at heart.  

And check out Gay Ann’s website (http://www.gayannrogers.com/site_2/Home_Page.html) to see more of Betty Chen’s fabulous work.

Okay, now I broke my rule, BUT it is my rule and I can break it for greatness.

ttfn…sue

P.S. Here are my hearts…I love them! They are a cherished memory of my brief time with greatness.

            

Changing the header

Yesterday, I decided to change the header of my blog.

The train did have significance and sentiment but only to me and did not reflect this blog. My youngest son had set this blog up for me and this was his choice of a picture. His brother, my second son also works for the railroad that sponsors this train so it had significance but mostly sentiment. I always intended to change it but it was another one of those “to-its”. So I put it on my list and now I can cross it off…maybe this list thing isn’t to bad.

inchy-atc-0807-star-3a4

 

Yesterday I was taking the Christmas things hanging on my hall wall and that’s where this picture hangs. I love this needlepoint and the attachments; The attachments were a bracelet that became to fragile to wear from a special friend. I also like it because it was quick and easy to stitch; it is a combination of 6 inchies to make an ATC (Artist Trading Card).

 

 

 

hall-1  hall-21

 

 

 

My hall connects the front of the house to the back of the house. I love this wall, it has a lot of things that I love to look at…it is my eclectic wall and has so many family memories.

 

 

 

calendarThis is “Master Calendar for 112 years”. from 1844 to 1956.It was my father’s and he kept it on his desk at work even after 1956. I keep it accurate only the year is 1909.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

glovekeyszodiac-plate-tea-strainerplatetree-and-baby-beadskitchen-best

 

 

 

A glove stretcher (it was used to dry those cotton gloves we all wore in the 40-50’s)

Antique keys (don’t you wonder what secrets they hold?) and a brass stencil of a tulip, our last name means tuilip.

A zodiac plate from Brazil, and abacus, and my Grandmother’s tea strainer that I still grab to use.

A Mari plate that has so many cracks is looks like a mosaic, but my favorite aunt loved it and I just could not bear to see it thrown away. I hung it up close to ceiling and you would be surprised at the number of people who comment on how pretty it is. Some I show it’s faults, others I just smile to myself and say thanks.

The tree I made in the 80’s during my wood cutting days…there is a walnut angel and pineapple hanging also. We hung the ribbons from the tree during the 1st and 2nd gulf wars. Look at the beads to the left of tree, they were my baby toys. One set is wood and the other the Bakelite, but what is most interesting is both are strung on string and the pieces are small.  Boy what a hazard these are by today’s standards…not to mention that the paint could have lead… and yes they were chewed on.

And the last plate was from my Great Aunt Rose and Aunt Hazels kitchen. These two favorite aunts could make shoe leather taste good. They loved to cook and Thanksgiving at their house was a feast…and meal at their house was a feast. Whenever we have family “get-to-geters”, I look at this plate and know that traditions continue.

know-what-this-is

 

 

And this is my mystery antique. It is metal, the thing on the end is like a spring over the end. It does not bend. It is 3 inches long and 3/4 inch wide at the bow underneath the spring. 

 Anyone know what it is? I’ll tell you Friday. This is a conversation piece when people see it…

 

 

 

 

 

mardi-gras-86me-book-cards

 I love my street sign. We were in New Orleans for Carnival (Mardi Gras is only Fat Tuesday) in 1986. We saw 9 parades in three days, it was quite an experience. These signs hang all over the city, each parish had their own sign. This one is from Jefferson Parrish. I wanted one, so I asked the Commander of County Sheriff’s Department how to get one. He looked at me like I was nuts, but gave me his card and told me to write after Carnival was over. I did and he sent this to me..no charge! I can’t believe they didn’t sell them. What a great fund raiser.

I love greeting cards and some are too cool. I frame many greeting cards to hang, it is great inexpensive artwork. If I ever get tired of them I can replace them, so far that has never happened.  These are from Mary Engelbreit, she autographed one for me too. I have three sets of these: this one books, the “good to be the Queen” pair and “Grow old with me” pair.

And of course needlework.

sunflower1

mountain-star1The sunflowers are one of about 12 of these I did for a ANG certification piece I was doing. I stitched them to see which color combinations worked well, and which stitch combinations I liked best. I gave most of them away as Christmas gifts the year I made them.

The gray piece is Mountain Star. I taught this as part of my ANG certification in Denver. I only taught it in pinks or blues but my husband wanted this color for his office.

There’s a lot more hanging there: Family pictures, Pat Buckley Moss prints, Charlie Harper postcards, some original art work, stained glass pieces, my uncle’s horse and camel crop (complete with poker), brass knuckles that belonged to my husbands grandfather. My mother’s last Fuller Brush vegetable brush…she loved these things and we found boxes of them. We just used them up last year except for this one that we hung.  Like I said this is a fun hallway, full of memories and reminders of many generations who made us who we are.

This post got carried away down memory lane, but I can now mark dusting all the pictures and wall off my list. 🙂

ttfn…sue

Another TIF for March & a quick gift

Blackwork TIF  Yesterday, I went to local ANG guild meeting and the program was Blackwork. I could have used the suppilied thread but since I knew I would probably complete this at the meeting and I happen to still have the colors from the March TIF still in my stitching box…Well…It was just a given…another TIF and an ATC too!

Back & Run   This little Blackwork technique was worked in 2 methods: The flower and leaves were worked in a “Back and Run” Stitch; it is a back stitch followed by a running stitch.

 Double Running   The border on the bottom is a “Double Running Stitch”.

Then I committed a great faux-pas… I missed one of my only two Granddaughter’s birthday! It was kind of a honest mistake but it made me feel awful. I sent her an IOU ticket and today took her to lunch complete with cake and a shopping trip.

ticket   cash stash pad  cash stash b

Her gifts were Webkins http://www.webkinz.com/ and cash stash pad. I made the cash stash pad with unused $2 bills and a glue stick. Make sure all the bills are sqared up on one end and rub over a glue stick. I also put a tiny piece of ribbon over this glued end. Then I made the cover using legal sized paper. Glued the cash to the inside and folded. And a gift anybody would love to get. I think I’m out of the dog house now and I won’t make this mistake again!

ttfn…sue