Catching up

Been a long time since I blogged and I have no excuses. All I can say is until this awful Covid shut down I was having the time of my life trying new things. I think I have mentioned I was learning to crochet again and learned to knit too. I will probably never be an expert at either of these crafts but I do enjoy them and wish I had more time to do everything I would like to accomplish.

Lily of Valley Necklace

I have discovered I really like beading. I’m not much into jewelry but have

Spinning Star

made a few necklaces and will continue to make an occasional piece BUT the 3D pieces are so interesting to me. I love the boxes that are available to make and want to be able to design my own. I like the stars, but you can only have so many stars. Although the spinning stars designed by Franklin Martin Jr (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2700808173532468)  are very  cool. I took his Zoom class and  I made one (wrong of course); mine has eight points, should have ten points. But I made it work and I love to spin it.

 

shapes

Franklin Martin Jr  is also part of the group CGB: Contemporary Geometric Beading (https://beadmobile.wordpress.com/). I have long been fascinated by this group but I’m not sure I understand it all …yet it is fascinating stuff. I bought their first two books years ago and love to look at them but am not an experienced enough beader to understand this concept yet.

 

Last week I spent a week taking or participating in International Bead Week. This is probably one of the few good things to come out of Covid shut down. The Beadworkers Guild of UK (http://www.beadworkersguild.org.uk/) holds an International Bead Week the first of August and this year they were offering it online since the world is in quarantine. What a lovely break for the beading world…several times we met online just to chat about beading; there were beading classes online and many free patterns to stitch. It was truly an international event and I met people from all over the world who love to bead.

 

I also heard about The Johnson Solid projects. Diane Fitzgerald has been heading a project where 92 beaders are making a Johnson solid in bead: See Facebook: Johnson Solid Project for more information (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2265910877041556/)  These fascinate me and now the beadworkers Guild are also doing their own project for display at their International beadwork  meeting hopefully next year.

I participated in the Black and White Together project (https://www.nationalbeadingweek.co.uk/

Black & White Together

Black-and-White-Together-Project.php). I stitched 8 warped squares that have been sent to South Carolina where they will be stitched into a yet unknown artwork.

 

 

Heart For Hospice

And of course there is my first love needlepoint. I still enjoy needlepoint but you can only have so many pillows and stand ups. And truthfully I’m not convinced my sons or their wives appreciate the love, work and $$ involved in needlepoint.

Right now I am working on the thimble figures from Melissa Shirley’s nativity. I’ve had

MS Nativity

these pieces forever and just never got around to stitching them. But during shut down I decided it was a good project. I also decided that I was going to stitch them all in silk with a little Kreinik for glitz and they are all stitched in Basketweave. No pressure to pick threads or stitches, just a relaxing time. I can finish one every two days if I keep my beading to a minimum…I have been trying to get one done every week or so. (that beading really has me hooked)

And since my beading library is growing I have been thinking that I need to reduce my needlepoint, quilting, color and design libraries and to that end have been separating the books into keep and sell shelves. I will keep the books that I love to look through and those that pertain to subjects I am still interested in stitching …i.e. goldwork, some ribbonwork stumpwork and a few others. I do not need the extensive library I acquired when I was studying to for teacher certification and when I was designing, so in the next few weeks I am going to begin to offer some of my library for sale.

Each book is like an old friend; see my blog about my book friends: ( https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/books-are-friends/ )  So this has turned out to be a more difficult project than I anticipated as I have been going through each book and it has brought back many memories. My mother purchased many of the books when I first started, I bought many at my first national needlepoint convention, and I met a very dear bookseller that invited me to his home to search for more books. I love the color pictures, you can see the changes in our color choices and pattern tastes over the years.  This is becoming a real trip down memory lane and more difficult than I imagined it would be.

I was looking in a Maggie Lane book and I love her reference to stitches to use: “…two basic flat stitches , and three bump, or lump stitches.” We’ve come a long way since the 70’s. Out charts are computerized now and I must say some old photography is pretty comical now. But the one constant is the love of stitching, color and design. Tastes change but basic color and design rules are the same.

I have come to the conclusion this is going to be a long, difficult task for me; so I have decided to do it in stages maybe 10-15 books at a time. I will write the description, take the pictures and place them online and monitor them. But I have also decided should any of  my blog readers be interested, if you send me and email at sudu@kc.rr.com I will send you my lists as they became available. I will send the list to blog participants a week ahead of posting online and I will update the lists as I go. It will be strictly a first come, first serve bases.

And so that’s what I have been up to for the last year…beading, needlepointing with an occasional try at crochet or knitting.  I still help out with a few teachers and shops that need graphs. I plan on continuing to writing my blog. I want to document some more finishing for anyone interested.

And I am now on path to simplify my footprint.

I just found this in my notes; I have no idea how old it is or where it came from but it is such good advice in this strange time.

Creative Dry Spell remedies:

  1. Spend some time with your stash
  2. Finish a UFO or several
  3. Practice a stitch/technique you haven’t mastered or would like to learn
  4. Look ahead to projects you must finish
  5. Just keep active.

Thank You for stopping by again.

I hope you have time to stitch today and every day…no matter what media you chose.

ttfn…sue

Hearts

I haven’t been ignoring my blog but I have been busy designing needlepoint hearts and making beaded butterflies. But, I have been remiss in writing about my guild’s philanthropic project, Hearts For Hospice.

Guild members (really anyone who wants to help on this project, you do not have to be a guild member) stitch hearts; Sue and her 12 year old Grandson, Jon, make the twists (DMC #3 perle) to finish the hearts, Georgia and Sara (and sometimes we have a finishing day) finish these hearts at no cost and the hearts are donated to three (3) local Hospice Houses, one is a children’s home.

Maybe you saw the article in ANG NeedlePointers, Jan/Feb 2019 and May 2017; Needlepoint Now, January/February 2019, and on Facebook.

It all began when our friend Georgia went over to “The Home” at her retirement community to volunteer. They asked her if she had received her flu shot and of course she had not (doesn’t like them or maybe they don’t like her…can’t remember), so she could not volunteer. A staff member saw hearts Georgia was stitching and inquired about them and asked if she could make more.  Knowing she could stitch a heart, she returned home and started making hearts and that’s how it began…one heart at a time.

Within the month she had convinced several of her friends to join her and soon it became a project and another friend, Sue Hart organized us into a philanthropic group and offered the project to our guild as an ongoing philanthropic project.

Side note: did you know that all non-for-profit organizations need a philanthropic program to qualify as a 501(3)(c)? I didn’t but it makes sense if you are a non-for-profit organization that you would do something. I know our national bylaws state that our purpose is to teach, promote and preserve the art of needlepoint but I did not know you need to have an ongoing philanthropic project.

We have encouraged members to just try a stitch and variations. These hearts make great doodle canvases. Then if you take a picture of it you will have a permanent copy and a family will receive a lovely remembrance. We have also encouraged needlepointers to take the painted canvas they thought they couldn’t live without, but have now become less likely to finish and make a heart(s) out of the painted canvas. There are two hearts from a painted canvas in this picture.

Barbara Richardson; a friend of GKCNG members and past president of ANG adapted her heart design for us to use. We use it to teach groups of needlepointers how to start and some first time needlepointers. We even have a class that shows you how to finish these hearts.

 

Several months ago Colour Complements: https://colourcomplements.com/ embroidery threads sent me samples to hand out to guild members I had several left over and so I stitched hearts with  them and sent pictures to Colour Complements. The owner contacted me and I have designed a couple hearts for her use (soon to appear on her website, I think).

 

This summer, one of the bead groups I belong to posted a beaded butterfly and I stitched those for some hearts. I asked permission of the designer, Patricia Parker to stitch them for other hearts and she gladly gave her permission. So guild members that request butterflies for their hearts will get one and I have made several for the two finishers to use at their discretion.

We (I use this term loosely, because I am but a small part of this endeavor) have been doing this for the last four years and have completed over 1400 hearts. We have received hearts from 26 states and 2 countries. There are at least three other guilds that we know about who have started their own program.

If you or your guild would like the information, contact Sue Hart at Heartsforhospicegkcng@gmail.com

If you have any #5 or #3 perle cotton or #12-16 Kreinik Braid (Ribbons work too), or any thread suitable for cording laying around, it needs to be skeins not cut. And you don’t know what to do with it , Hearts For Hospice would be happy to use it. Just contact me or Sue Hart.

I have designed another heart in two colorways for our Hearts For Hospice program and I will PDF you the instructions for free These hearts used Colour Complements Overdye, DMC #5 perle cotton, and Kreinik #12 braid but any of your stash will work. All I ask is that you please stitch one for our Hearts For Hospice program and return to them. All the information to return to Hearts For Hospice are in the instructions. Thank you.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue

Happy Birthday Friend and Thank you Friend

I can share this with you today; the gift has been delivered and you will see it  was a surprise and well liked. I’m sure everyone has a friend that is difficult to find a gift to give them, but this is not only about my gift receiving friend but also about my new beading mentor and friend.

I have been very fortunate in my life to have met a handful (maybe a dozen) of people who I consider mentors or inspirations to me. To be a mentor or inspiration to me just means that I want to listen to them lecture, teach, or just watch them create…and I always hope some of their creativeness falls off onto me AND I always learn something from them and I treaure their friendships. This is true of every teacher and mentor I have met and interacted with…all except one.

Cath Thomas is a bead designer and she lives in Switzerland. We have never met in person, but I not only consider her a mentor but also a friend. Let me tell you how we met…

Back in March I happen to be online when Cath posted a picture of her Octavio.

Cath Thomas Octavio

Cath Thomas Octavio

Immediately my friend sent her a message: “Is there a pattern for the octopus? I would like the instructions.”

Cath: “No I’m sorry, very difficult and just haven’t had time to write them. There is an article on my blog, https://samohtac.blogspot.com/2018/05/meet-octavio-or-how-to-take-design.html

My friend:  “Can I purchase the octopus?”

Well I knew the answer to this and so I immediately sent a private message to Cath, explaining who I was and how I knew my friend and that I would love to tackle this project to give to her for her birthday. Cath responded and said to give her a couple days and she would send me some pictures and notes. She also suggested I purchase her design “Tulip Tassel” from her web shop https://caththomasdesigns.indiemade.com/.

Over to the web shop I went and immediately knew this was meant to be. I was working on a beaded rope that was just getting longer and longer with no intended use. But when I saw the tulip I knew that this was going to be my focal point for the rope. I immediately purchased “Tulip Tassel” downloaded and printed a copy.

I read the instructions and knew I had just crossed over from a novice beaded into deep water; I felt like the kid who barely knows how to swim and finds herself in deep water. I knew this was going to be my first really hard challenge, but I gathered up beads and tried making a tulip. Took it apart and started over again…several times. Finally, for some reason I tried using a dowel I had in my tool box and voila it worked. I made my first tulip. I knew I needed to make another and since things usually work best in threes, three tulips was my goal. Amazingly I had the three tulips completed and the necklace completed in time for Easter, April 21,2019.

In the meantime, Cath had sent me notes and pictures. I had compiled all in a file, printed them, read them AND knew I was in way over my head.

Yet, I persevered. I decide rather than order beads online, sight unseen I would buy locally. This would prove to be my first good choice…if I ran out of beads I could just pop over to the bead shop and resupply. Andrea, my bead shop owner (https://beadboutiquekc.com/) helped me pick out beads and I was on my way.

On my way is a relative term, since I had no idea what I was undertaking. I was lucky, my friend had no idea what I was up to and was living in Florida. I was bound and determined to try to make this for her and so…about Mother’s Day, May 12th I took the plunge. Working the tulips had been a big help but they were in different colors and easier to keep track of the correct order…all these beads were pink. After a couple false starts I finally got the hang of it and was comfortable stitching the head. I even got the eyes in the correct places and she didn’t look cross-eyed .

Wrong size

Then came the legs. Cath had said each leg had taken her about 8 hours, that meant one or two days, maybe three for me. This also took several days because I can’t look at pictures correctly. The legs are 6 beads stitched in a Herringbone round for most of the leg; one end tapers off to a point and the other will be enlarged to connect to the head and beak.   I didn’t see or read this so my first leg was too large, and never curled like it would when stitched correctly.   My second leg was beaded incorrectly and as I was about to write Cath and tell her I gave up; a light went on. I was on my leg making journey. Each leg did take me several hours and I knew there would be more to come…I had decided not to add the suckers until after I had joined the legs to the body thinking I wouldn’t be catching the thread on them.

 

I had a deadline July 25th and so I stitched on. I would look at the head and had decided the legs would be joined in two groups of four. I decided I needed to stitch the beak in its ring so I could get a better visual in my mind of how the attachments would work. My beak is not the way it should have been beaded but it was beaded.

By July 4th I was beginning to feel the deadline fast approaching and I was nowhere near ready to assemble. I put everything else aside (housework included, but that was the easy part) and morning until night worked on the octopus. All this time I am sending updates and emails to Cath. Her patience is amazing and her advice invaluable!

As I was finishing the legs I was formulating a plan for assembly and I received an email from Cath saying the beak was not connected to the head. My first reaction was “WHAT!” Not connected, whoever heard of a mouth not connected to the head! After much though and looking at my parts I knew I had to make a decision. I decided I had in my mind seen the

beak connected to the head and the legs connected to both, so I went with it. I stitched the first leg on and it seemed to act okay (flow freely), so I continued. I did realize that not attaching the suckers before assembly was a mistake so I stopped attaching legs and attach suckers to with a 1/2 inch of the ends. I remembered reading in Cath’s notes that she attached more suckers after she assembled all the legs.

I finished my Octavio late July 23rd, two days before I was going to give her away to my friend. I bought a box, sent pictures to Cath and received the nicest complement ever. It brought tears to my eyes and still does!

Takes breath away! I swear, when I saw the first picture, I was moved and really sighed of happiness! You can be really very proud! It is just perfect!

I am very much looking forward to seeing your photos, and to learn what your friend thinks about it.

A huge bravo! I’m truly proud of you, of me, of us!

I will treasure my friendship that I have built with Cath through emails forever. Cath is a remarkable woman and bead artist. She designs constantly, shares her gifts with others and moderates three beading groups on Facebook:

Cellini Peyote Freaks (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2158100991128070/?ref=group_header)

From Petal to Pod: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/PetalToPod/?ref=group_header)      International Bead Week            https://www.facebook.com/groups/internationalbeadingweek/?ref=group_header

She has a blog (https://samohtac.blogspot.com/)

And a store (https://caththomasdesigns.indiemade.com/)

Thank you Cath; I forever in your debt.

Please keep Cath in your prayers, she is having some health issues and prayers are always helpful. Thank you!

And before anyone askes, I cannot share more than I have here about Octavio. She is not my design and without Cath’s permission I have shared all I can.

And my friend, well I think she was as surprised as I have ever seen her and I know Octavio will have a great new home.  Happy Birthday,Nancy!

And that’s why we create. For the friendships we have, the friendships we make; so we can share our time, our talents and our gifts. Thank You for stopping by.  I hope you have time to stitch today and every day.

ttfn…sue

The Tale of Three Sunflower

These three little sunflower canvases have been lying on my desk for a couple years and I guess I never blogged about the original design either.

About 2 years ago my guild asked me to stitch a free Laura Perin design. I thought it was a Rainbow Gallery freebie but when I went to look for it to give credit I could not find on either Rainbow Gallery webpage (https://www.rainbowgallery.com/) nor Laura Perin (http://www.laurajperindesigns.net/index.html) webpage.  And I’m sorry but I don’t even remember the title of the design.

The guild also wanted me to offer alternative ideas in beading for the center of the sunflower using beads; one guild member called it “messy beading.” Since I didn’t know what “messy beading” was I stitch the design as diagramed and then stitched three other center designs in the beading techniques I was familiar with. I liked all three methods of beading techniques; each technique creates its own look and I can see using in on different canvases for a special effect.

I use Miyuki beads whenever possible, Toho are also excellent beads too. I use mostly Miyuki because that is what I started with and although the beads may be intermixed, there is a very slight size difference. There are many seed beads on the market and they are not all equal; I would stick with Japanese seed bead Manufactures, Mill Hill or a source I knew I could trust. Beading is a whole blog(s) unto itself so I will just say if you are starting beading, buy one manufacturer and stick with them. I will also add an addendum to this if you buy a kit, don’t throw the beads away, use them. We will assume that whoever kits the project uses the best beads available for the project; if you find this to be untrue then substitute your favorite beads for the project.

The first sunflower used round 11/0 seed beads and made loops of beads. This is the technique I would call “messy beading” you string several beads on beading thread and make loops. I like this technique, but it will catch easily and so be careful where you use it. You could secure each loop so that if one loop breaks they all won’t come unraveled.

 

The next sunflower technique is similar to “French knots on a Stick” but they stand straight up; it could be considered another messy beading technique. It is another technique that will catch easily and so you might want to secure each spike so all will not unravel. Although you can’t see in this picture, nor can you see looking straight on the sunflower I stitched this using two different beads (see diagrams). On the four corners I used a small bugle bead topped with a seed bead. The rest of the beading was stitched using all seed beads. I didn’t think of this until just now but using different lengths of bugle beads would make an interesting effect.

Note: I did not secure either of the above but I am not using where they might be snagged.

And the last sunflower was stitched in basketweave using cylinder beads. It is just basketweave adding a bead to each stitch. What makes this technique special are the beads; they are cylinder seed beads; Miyuki names theirs Delica beads, Toho’s are Aiko, and Mill Hill are Magnifica. I guess you could use regular seed beads but I’m not sure the technique would stand out like it does with the cylinder beads.

I found this Basketweave technique from Associated Talents in their stitch guide section (http://www.atneedlepoint.com/CanvasLookup.asp?Category=Guides). I wrote and asked if I might use this and the owner graciously gave me permission. Since there was not a diagram of this technique I created one. Basketweave done with Delica beads (cylinder beads) is sooooo cool; the light refraction really looks woven.

 

 

 

 

 

Okay so that’s why and how I stitched the three little sunflowers….BUT since then these three beaded canvases have been on there little wooden stitching frames were just lying on my desk area gathering dust. The large one is put away waiting for the black box I haven’t found yet; and if all else fails I have a black frame in my stash that will work.  One day I did find a black shadow box frame that I thought would be great for them but I didn’t have a mat cut just bought the frame.

And then this January Kimberly Smith posted this fabulous finishing technique for pictures using beads and I knew that my sunflowers had just been waiting for this method. I am so excited about a new way of finishing I learned from Kimberly Smith; you can find the complete instructions here: http://akimberlydesign.blogspot.com/2019/01/sharing-techniques.html

I followed her instructions and the only things I would suggest are:

 

Start away from a corner; it seemed to make the corner beads lie smoother when you turn the canvas.

 

 

Watch for loops of unruly thread when beading…fix immediately! You don’t want unruly threads coming loose and have a hanging bead later.

 

 

I wanted no grin through or as little as possible…I didn’t think about this until I had already finished one canvas so I was very careful about marking that canvas. But with my trusty Copic black marker I darkened the canvas to minimize the white grin through. I also bought a piece of black core foam board since I didn’t want any white to be seen.

 

 

I thought the hardest part was getting the three little sunflowers in the frame evenly…But unless you have more than one canvas in a frame this should be no problem.

 

There are two questions I forgot to ask: (If you are reading this please comment or I’ll add an addendum later when I find answers.)

  1. Is there a limit to the size canvas you can use this method?
  2. My canvas was even count and so the corners came out even. How do you compensate for odd count canvas?

NOW I have another finished needlepoint…Yeah! One down many to go….

Hope you all had a Bang up 4th of July.

Thank You for stopping by.  I hope you have time to stitch today and every day.

ttfn…sue

Sorting out and other stuff

My Computer is back from the computer hospital…Over 1000 viruses but none that spread, they were all mine, tracking my every move. My doc said if it was any consolation, his mother had over 2000 and some of hers were spreadable. Well now Facebook, Amazon and Google are going to have to start over on what they send me and I’ve noticed I see more of my friends posts than I was before my computer got treated. My computer doc also said probably should not wait 8 years to do this again, at least every two years. Maybe I can find a grandchild interested in this field of work…there is always a call for computer engineers’ and seems like there will be in my lifetime. Anyway my computer is home and I’m back in business.

This last two weeks I have spent trying to organizing my stash (translation: moving one pile of stash from one place to another.) I thought I was pretty organized but am finding that not so much. I have found needlepoint stuff with other stuff and vice versa. Not really that bad, just like cross stitch and needlepoint, but occasionally have found needlepoint with knitting… I think that is a Freudian hint…knitting will NEVER replace my needlepoint. I have a lot more sorting and getting rid of to do…I really am trying to downsize.

All this organizing got me to thinking and I’m only throwing this out there not as an excuse for not blog often but as a matter of fact…There are only so many hours in a day. I’ve said all along, I need to have cloneSSSSS, yes multiple me’s (no comments friends). I like to needlepoint, bead, and crochet; sewing, finishing my needlepoint, felting, making Temari balls and attempting knitting. Now if you’re counting that’s eight things I like to do; if I give a couple hours to each (you all know you cannot get much done in 1 hour. And I’d like to sleep six or seven hours, so if I give two hours to each project and sleep six hours I have used up the day. And we all know two hours turns into one day or more for each project…so you get the picture…I need more me-s.

But this last week I did come across a few cross stitch charts lingering in my needlepoint stash; I had these visions of converting them to needlepoint. I have finally decided this probably is not going to happen with all the other projects I have in mind and so I am going to list them online for sale in a couple weeks. If anyone would like a preview, drop me a comment and I’ll send you a goodies list with pictures. You can have first dibs.

 

I have so many projects in various stages of completion that I meet myself coming and going.

Felting: no project in the works but supplies and ideas abound

 

Beading: Take you pick I have projects in various stages of completion

 

Crochet: one of a couple projects

 

 

 

 

Knitting: still at the dishrag stage….but have yarn stored for other projects

 

Temari Balls: Always have one of these going for left over threads. I make lots of sampler balls…left over threads; not enough for another project but too much to just throw away. What can I say I’m Scotch.  The surprising thing is when I offer to give one to someone; they pick the sampler balls over one with a design more often; so I have very few sampler balls in my collection. The picture shows two on right in progress and two on left are only two sampler balls I have completed right now.

Sewing: need to repair a few things too.

 

 

And my Needlepoint…have two projects in the works right now. I need to concentrate on getting some of them completed so I can move on to others I can’t wait to start. There are so many things I want to stitch and every time I go to the needlepoint shops to stitch I see more. This is just half the closet and doesn’t show the ones stored flat. I am by no means going to die with the most but I won’t die with the least either. I have to keep enough on hand since my family (all male) say when I die, they are just going to find a refrigerator box and line it inside and out with my projects before they put me in.

…And then there is the finishing on and off the blocking boards. I need to lock myself in the sewing room and not come out for a month.

And add to all this, I do like to blog, I think it is so important that we share our knowledge. So if any of the above interests you just let me know and I will blog more about that craft. And if you want to see my list of cross stitch leaflets about 25) before I put them online next week, drop me a note; I’ll send you a PDF file… don’t forget your email address or you can message me through Facebook too. .

Until my next post…Thank You for stopping by.  I hope you have time to stitch today and every day.

ttfn…sue

Mr & Mrs canvas designed by Raymond Crawford

Today is March 30 National Stitching-In Day so what a better way than to talk about my last big needlepoint project. I started this project last spring March 2017 but could not share because it was a present for my grandson and his bride on their first anniversary. I had seen this Raymond Crawford (http://www.raymondcrawford.com/) canvas before they were married and with my new love of beading I knew I would have to bead this project. I would guess it took me six months to completely finish this canvas. Beading needlepoint is a long process and why I chose 18 count when 13 count was available I’ll never know.

First I had to find the right beads and I first purchased 11/0 beads for the project but they were too big so back to square one and size 15/0.

 

I stitched every bead twice in Basketweave style. Why Basketweave? I did not want to stitch Continental and have the canvas warp; I knew blocking would have been impossible. So I took the extra time to stitch Basketweave beading. I used a double strand of beading thread that I had stretched and waxed. If you don’t stretch your beading thread over time it can become loose and your beads will droop; also strech thread before waxing. I stitched every bead twice to secure each bead in place (see diagram). I also started every letter on the right side so my basketweave was always being stitched into a previously work hole. I did this for two reasons: I wanted all the beads to slant same direction and  I was very careful not to pierce thread from previous row. Here are two or more days of stitching on the &, some days I only got in 10 to 15 beads. Beading is a long arduous process for me;  it was tiring on the eyes and also just a slow, labor intensive process.

 

 

 

 

When I went to stitch the border I noticed on the left there was one empty thread between the M in Mrs and the start of the border, but on the right the & was right next to the border (no empty thread.) This bothered me so I just decided to I stitched the border one thread further out. It wouldn’t show because I planned on stitching all the background with silk. I also changed the direction of the border stitches at the center of the design area; this allowed me to stitch around the corner without compensation. As I recall, it was not an even count divide , so I always try and make the

odd count to the right of center and/or lower of center. I don’t remember if both counts were off or just the left –right borders (top & bottom)   I used Kreinik #12 braid in 3 colors: 221, 202HL and 102 and the stitch was a Diagonal Gobelin over 2 threads.

I stitched the background last in basketweave with 4 ply Rainbow Gallery Splendor S800.

It seemed like it took me forever to stitch, but I love they way it looks finished. I had a mat made and   framed it myself and it now is safely residing in Michigan.

When I gather up another project I did for my guild I will share the different methods of beading needlepoint with you.

After I finished this project, I thought I would swear off beading forever…but forever is a long long time. 😉

Have a blessed Passover or Happy Easter.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue

 

 

Beading and Kumihimo

After our herringbone bead sampler class at Florilegium, my friend Nancy and I set out to discover what KC had to offer in bead shops and like any specialized needleart stores in our area there are few. We ended up finding a home at Bead Boutique KC (http://beadboutiquekc.com/) or (https://www.facebook.com/BeadBoutiqueKC/). Andrea is the owner; expert beader and enabler…just look at my stash.

 

We came away from our first visit with an easy leather stringing project; we could make a bracelet and scissor fob. And of course we ordered more to teach all our friends and grandchildren. It is a fun easy project; I have even done this with my Granddaughters. I made all my Grandsons a fact similar key-fob of a Boy Scout totem they wear when joining the tribe of Mic-o-say (https://www.hoac-bsa.org/tribe-of-mic-o-say) at H. Row Bartle Scout Reservation (https://www.hoac-bsa.org/bartle).

 

We set up a private class and learned Peyote: even-count. We signed up for a Basics of Beading meetings on the first Saturday of the month to learn different techniques from a basic beading book, Mastering Beadwork by Carol Cypher. We all bought it and a few others and more beads. We made a square of even-count peyote but I have to have an end result, so I looked through the two new books I decided to make beads.

 

There are two types of peyote beads: zipper and in-the round. I mastered the zipper method. And what do you do with 30 peyote beads; you make a bracelet. I also learned the ladder stitch for joining the beads, how to make a beaded clasp and a Pequot edging; not bad for a first project.

 

Our next class was an odd-count Peyote class. We made an American flag and I used size 8/0 beads because I was still trying to limit my stash accumulation. And I was also unsure of my ability and 8/0 beads are easier to do than 11/0 beads and definitely better than 15/0 beads, especially when learning. I hang this on a stand with all my other flags.

 

I have been very neglectful in attending the Basics of Beading 

meetings and need to get back into them; but before I became so lazy and weather became cold I did attend Double-sided peyote diamonds project at the Basics of Beading meeting. My color choices were too close and it is hard to see the changes. I have these diamonds but haven’t decided how to use them yet.

 

In the meantime I had finished my herringbone sampler we had learned at Florilegium and Andrea suggested rather than buying more different beads I buy just buy size 11/0 in a matte black and finish this necklace. Well, it took me a couple months but I finally had two bead projects under my belt. Someday, I am going to buy or have enough beads to make a companion piece like the one in Bead Talk.

 

Then we found Kumihimo with beads. We had learned basic Kumihimo from Gretchen at Florilegium,  but this added beads. Several books later and a stash of beads and we were off and Kumihimo beading.  I started off with a red beaded necklace that I was going to use some of the leftover beads from my even-count peyote RWB bracelet but haven’t done anything with the R-W& B beads yet. Maybe I’ll get back to doing something with the R-W&B beads since it’s almost that time of year again; but I finished the red necklace before to Christmas.

 

But before I finished the red necklace I made a Kumihimo with Magatoma beads scissor fob. After I had strung most of the beads I noticed these beads have an up and down to them….but at this point I didn’t care. I thought I had been careful to sting them all going the same way.  Let me preface this, depending on the look you are going for; if you string all the beads in the same direction, one way the beads will lie down like hair or scales of a fish, the other direction they will stand out and if you do a random stinging you will have a completely different look.  Mine all laid toward the bottom of the scissor fob like fish scales…but trust me, it was pure luck.

Last fall the group had planned another beading class; it originally was designed to be a necklace but Andrea thought it was to not pliable enough to be a necklace and so she had made them into two inch beads and put them on a chain. I have finished my twisted peyote beads and have to pick a chain but in the meantime decided to make a bobble for my red necklace to wear at Christmas. I chose green beads and in a couple days had a twisted peyote bobble to wear on my red necklace. It is easy to get on and off so I can make others (remember the R-W&B beads

 

 

 

 

I also have bought Kumihimo books by Karen DeSousa and she has a twisted bobble with a twist. I was making it for St. Patrick’s Day but after I got it finished I noticed it is so similar in color to the one I made at Christmas; and I think it will be difficult to slide this one on and off a necklace; so I see more beading in in my future.

I have accumulated so many to do projects not to mention the beads and books with so many ideas I like that I am now a bead addict too. I have accumulated I had to get another bookcase for my overflowing library.

I believe this sort of fills you in on the last year and half of my creative life; now I just need to find the time to do all these creative projects and the ones running through my head. I do have a few others to share but I think my next post is going to be needlepoint. It is my main love and I do have several needlepoint projects to share with you.

 

Don’t forget March 30 National Stitching-In Day.

 

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

 

ttfn…sue

Florilegium

I think I will keep taking the trip down memory lane by shop or type of technique (sorta off), so I will try and not forget anything. Second stop Florilegium…

If there is one place to go to get your creativity going this is it; the most wonderfully creative place in the Midwest! So if you are anywhere near Kansas City and St Joseph, make Weston, MO a sure stop on your itinerary. I would allow minimum half a day because after you step into the creative world of Florilegium (http://florilegium.com/)  you may only come up for air when your stomach growls for food (great places to eat in Weston, Mo. too.)

Gretchen (pictured on left) is the artist and owner and she is another person I would just like to follow around and watch the creativeness dripping off of her. If only I could carry a basket and put some of her creativity into a basket and bring it home.

Cathy (pictured on right) is the store manager and is soooooo sweet, just talking to her can lift you up. She claims she’s not that creative but I’ve seen pictures of her house and yard. I think she is creative. And her munchies are very creative….I’ve eaten my fair share.

I never go in here that I don’t feel so inspired, it is eye candy for the creative. And I always want more.

AND this is one of the places I have been learning new things; I like to think of it as expanding my creativity, that sounds so much better than increasing my stash.

But in order to catch up quickly I am just going to list what we (there is always a group of us headed that way) learned in no particular order. We make a day of it; leave KC after rush hour, arrive about 10AM, stop for lunch (great bar-be que place (Tin Cup) in Weston) or Gretchen has a lite lunch if we are having afternoon class. If we don’t have afternoon class we shop and head home before evening rush hour starts. I love my days spent in Florilegium; whether you learn a new needleart or you just go for the eye candy, you are never disappointed.

Our first class was a beaded tassel. I forgot to take a picture but imagine place mats with everything laid out like we were having a meal. I was awe struck, I was also a bit dismayed because there were these two very fine knitting needles laying there and I knew that most of us did not know how to knit…

Sure enough Gretchen wanted us all to knit an “I” cord so long…we all looked like deer in head lights…knit? No, we are needlepointers. Gretchen never missed a beat…she told us to pick up our wooden bead, and thread our tapestry needle with our silk ribbon. She explained how to start covering the wooden ball with the ribbon. And while we were all engrossed in doing this, Gretchen slipped out of the teaching area, grabbed a different tassel and was back before our wooden ball was barely covered. I’m not sure anyone else noticed she had left the area, but since I was a needlework teacher, I was watching her to see how she adjusted to our bump in the road. Trust me, it did not faze her and I was in more awe of her. Not only is she soooooo very creative, she is calm as a cucumber.

We spent the morning making a tassel. Just before class was over Gretchen slipped out again and came back with a basket of yarn and needles. She placed it in the middle of the table and told us all we were going to have our first knitting lesson. And we did. Everyone tried to cast on several stitches and then she had us all knit. We knitted both directions. She suggested we go home get some size 8-10 knitting needles and a skein of sports yarn and knit the skein. When we were finished with that skein to get another and just purl the skein.  And when we were ready to start a project , just come back and she would help us.

We all left that day with more than our tassels, but then that’s a given when we go to Florilegium. You can order the tassel on her webpage or just drop by and sit a spell and Gretchen will be happy to start you on your creative adventure with her.  We also had picked out our next adventure…beading.

ED Note: A group of us get together a couple times and either finished our tassel or made another. And I have a bookmark that we need to do sometime this year. We usually get together again for most of our projects or just to stitch on our favorite things.

Beading was our next adventures…there were two adventures…

We made a beautiful Rose necklace; the technique is bead-weaving. The highest rose was supposed to hold the gold ring in place around your neck, but mine kept slipping. So I improvised and added another leaf to wrap around the gold ring; this worked sometimes but not always. So I decided to take the top rose off and to reattach above the brass ring. The third time is working; the necklace still goes over my head but the rose above the ring keeps the ring from sliding up. This was my first attempt at beading and so I may someday re-bead because I think with wear the beading thread will stretch…I’m not sure I stretched my beading thread before I used it.

 

 

 

 

 

Our next venture was Herringbone stitch. It was adapted from the book

Bead Play by Beth Stone. This was a fun little venture into a new stitch and also different beads. I really got into this and you will see my little piece again down the road. The hardest part was the diamond, but the instructions are in the book and by the time I got to it I had taken a Peyote class and was familiar with that technique too.

 

 

And yet more adventures were awaiting us at Florilegium: two types of needle-felt we learned.

Victoria Hart Ingalls (http://www.victoriahartingalls.com/) taught us Proddy Flower needle-felt and later some took Victorian Heart Fine needlefelt (http://florilegium.com/florilegium-events/). Victoria has been doing this a long time I have a bunny I purchased from her when I thought I might want to take up needlefelt. I went to a yearly gathering they have in town, but it was overwhelming to me at the time and I decided needlepoint was best for me at the time. I loved the Proddy Flower and finished mine and used some of the techniques later to make Christmas ornaments.

Our next needle-felt endeavor was needle-felting; we made a needle-felted 3D sculptures taught by Kate Barsotti, a really creative person. You can Google her and also see some of her things on Pintress or at Florilegium (http://florilegium.com/whats/kate-barsotti-needle-felted-creatures/).

My first meeting with Kate was at a Fiber Guild meeting where she presented an introduction to needle-felting and a mini needle-felting class. I though at this class she was so cleaver in the way she presented things. She had a huge box (10 inches  long—industrial size) of Band-Aids and told us the needles are sharp and to be careful but if we needed any her Band-Aids were handy.  The other thing about her classes is that she does not have a specific 3D project for you to make. She just starts you off making a core of needle-felt and when you ask what you are making; her answer is, “The felt will speak to you.” Mine was a baby Eagle.

At Florilegium Kate taught (http://florilegium.com/inspiration/beginning-needle-felting-kate-barsotti-nov-2016/) and we got to spend more time and learned about the different needles and felts and to see some of Kates work. This time my felt spoke up and said “I wanted to be a penguin”.  And so a penguin was born.

 

Since my first steps into needle-felting I have acquired a stash and have made a few ornaments and animals but this is another posting…

 

 

We have never taken knitting classes at Florilegium but we have added to our stash and I really want to experiment with freeform crochet and knitting:

http://florilegium.com/one-small-thing-among-many/

http://florilegium.com/one-small-thing-returns/)

As the weather is getting more spring like I see a trip in my future…a day in Creative land.

Next time a trip to the bead shop…but for now I have not given up needlepoint, so I am off to stitch although I should practice knitting too…no I am going to needlepoint today.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue

I’ve Done it Again…

The reason you haven’t heard from me is I’ve done it again…I’m expanding my needlearts learning.  Last week I took a knitting class, kumihimo with beads class, a beading class, made another temari ball, wrapped 3-4 more to stitch in the next couple weeks, and yes I needlepointed too. I know I should concentrate on one project at a time but I love them all and can’t pick just one…so I’m just going to have to figure a way to sleep less, cook less (love these too), general household duties (don’t like these so much)  or maybe I could just clone myself.

And I am sorry but I think my blog suffers the most. I really am going to have to get in a habit of stopping here. Last week in a magazine I finally had time to read there was an article on how to have a successful blog and I guess I’m never going to have a successful blog by their standards. I am supposed to find a niche and stick to it…and we all know that isn’t going to happen. I have too many things I want to learn and do. Then I looked at the name I gave my blog nine years ago “sudukc’s needleart & other musings… A place to see what I am doing or not doing”; I must have known then that this is an eclectic place. It is mostly about needlepoint because that is my primary love but it is also about any kind of needle art because they are all fascinating to me. So, thank you for finding my musings interesting even if they are all over the place and sporadic at best.

I used to think I knew my limitations, and I do know that I love quilts but I am never going to make my 13 quilts…For those of you who don’t know; history or folk lore says that before a girl got married she had to make 12 quilts, the 13th quilt was made and quilted by friends and family when she was about to get married. And anyway, I’m already married, too late. But I know too that I am not a large quilt maker; I tried it, and even though I love them and they are beautiful but it is not me. I like smaller projects and there are plenty of them for me to try.

Last week I was beading at Florilegium with Gretchen and I said I wish I were as creative as she is. Gretchen tried to convince me I am and just need “to do”… After I got home I really thought about this and I think I am creative…just maybe spread too thin. No matter what project I pick up I can think of 4 or 5 other things I want to do in the technique I am working at the time. I have decided to write them in my Stash Idea book, or if they are in another book or magazine to mark and keep for after I catch up. It’s like stash…only I’m not buy the canvas and thread (well I still am buying needlepoint canvas and threads but that’s a paragraph or two down.) I’m going to think of this as stash ideas and when I want a project I will just look at my Stash Idea book, purchase the supplies and go for it. I probably could check around the stash already purchased for some supplies, but we all know I’m going to be short something.

So here’s what I’ve been up to these last few weeks…

These are the beading projects I have in the works…several fobs, a herringbone learning piece, several other projects to start…I also have marked my books with more stash ideas…I do believe my bead stash is growing.

 

Now I am combining my kumihimo with beading and starting that too.

 

 

And I am bound and determined to learn to knit…no Peruvian sweaters in my future but I do want to learn how to knit. I can crochet and have tried knitting several times before but I never seem to get the hang of it. I am bound and determined to learn this; it will not get the best of me. And I know practice is the best teacher so I try to do 5 minutes every day. I don’t go back to classes for another week, but I hope then we start a project and I have a goal in site.

Like I said last post, I belong to two Temari discussion groups online and they are having stitch-a-longs. And since I have been a lurker for these past few years I have decided to try and participate. I’ve done two so far and have two more in the works. I also try to keep an info sheet on every Temari I make (another to do), never know I might want to make another. I think it is difficult to write exact instructions for Temari because each ball is a unique size. I can only approximate the size of the balls I make and I like them about 30 cm, give or take and larger. I find for me the larger balls are easier to work on.

And I have been needlepointing too. I have a secret project in the works…I’ll show it to you soon. It is a gift and I want it to be a surprise. I am finished stitching and just have to get it finished and given then I’ll share. I am also working on a small take-a-long project but just haven’t taken pictures. This project I only stitch on when I go to a guild stitch-in, stitching with friends or to my weekly stitch-in at local shop.  I also am gathering stuff for another nest project. Nest projects seldom leave home; they are larger projects and require a stand and light.

You know I was just thinking, if I ever win the lottery (guess I should buy a ticket) I’m going to have a studio and call it Stash Studio or Creative Corner. I am going to have all kinds of my favorite stuff. I’d really like to live above the studio and whenever I want (day or night) just go down and play. When the lights were on, my friends or anyone could drop by to stitch too. I would never want for any stash, it would just always be there…okay so this is a dream but wouldn’t that be great.

I hope you all are staying cool this summer. To my Canadian friends, “Happy Canada Day” yesterday and to my USA friends have a safe and happy 4th of July. I’m off to redo my herringbone sampler, then I think I may tackle another beading project or two and then I’ll stitch and watch a movie this evening. And oh yes, NeedlePointers arrived today ; so I need to stop and look at this too.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue

 

Melissa Shirley Wicked: Embellishing

Over the week-end went to a bead show, bought some beads for projects (like I need more projects), but like I say want has nothing to do with need., so I indulged myself. Funny thing is when I got home I remembered I had purchased a bead project last year. But do you think I have found where I put that project? A blog all of its own! I’ve looked a few places but still haven’t found it, but it will turn up…maybe much later. Anyway had a good time at the Bead-Blast.; look forward to next year.

Also went to out 1st art fair of the year. Brookside annual art Fair was this week-end (http://www.brooksidekc.org/art-annual) 32 years and I bet I have been to most. It is just a fun way to spend the afternoon or evening. There is always something to see and I usually come home with something too. This year I did not get anything but the art was very inspiring and my two favorites were Gwen Bennett’s Feather Art (http://gwenfeathers.com/)…these were beautiful. And after I got home and read about her art was even more impressed. And my other favorite was Julie Powell Beading (https://www.juliepowelldesigns.com/)…I will never be this good. Two reasons: My first love is needlepoint and I just don’t have the time or patience.

But it was a beutiful week-end (no rain) and we had fun.

I left most of the attachments, bullion knots and all the beading to the very end, I didn’t want to take the chance I would catch other threads on them and either snag the thread or worse still pull the embellishment or bead out of whack.

I have several Bullion knot needles I got from needlework shop. Colonial Needle distributes them and I blogged about them a couple times (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/hari-kuyo-broken-needle-celebration/ ) or (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/category/needlework-tools/needles-needlework-tools/bullion-needle/). These needles are a size 20 and so they make a pretty good sized Bullion Knot.

I started with the Letter “K”. I decided the Bullion Needles were too large for the curly-q on top of the pumpkin and the bird’s feet, I used a #24 Tapestry needle. I stitched the curly-q before I stitched the birds feet; it is a very long bullion and I gave it a twist or loop.  After curly-q I added the bird’s feet, more Bullion Knots that I stitched over and around the green curly-q, still using the #24 needle. I left the curly-q above the bird’s wing and the wing to apply later.

I stitched the red veins for the eyeball in Bullion knots using the long Bullion needles I stitched these into a center whole that I had enlarged with and awl (or larger Tapestry needle) to accommodate the eyeball I would attach later. Notice these veins go over the outline of the letter

Next Letter “C” and the legs of the spider. I used a #24 needle here too as I wanted the legs to be small.

And finally the Letter “I”, this had almost the whole top half of the letter unstitched. Using a Bullion needle I made a short Bullion for the top of the pumpkin at the bottom of the “I”. Then I made Bullions using the Bullion needles and made them looser than normal so they looked like curls. I made some at the top of her head too and these I made tighter so the brim of the hat could lay over them.

Then it came time to tackle the hat and flower on the Letter “I”. The hat was a padded ultra-suede applique with beading. I decided to applique the hat and only to tack the brim at the left side outside the letter and the right side on the tip also. The right side is also held in place by the flower. Next I did the ruched petals of the flowers using a flat braid thread and pulling one of the plies.  I left the hat beading and center of flower until I was finished with all the letters.

Two of the areas had a memory wire thread applied to the canvas; the pumpkin in the “W” and above the bird in the “K”.  Memory wire thread is a thread with a fine wire hidden within it; some wires the wire is like one of the plies and other wire threads are wrapped wire with thread. I don’t know that one is any better than another, this was the first time I had used them. My only experience with wire before had been to use in finishing to make an ornament bend, so it looked like ribbon candy.  First I cut two 3-4″ pieces of the memory wire, then I wrapped them tightly around a small knitting needle. I could have used the Bullion needle, a #18 or 20 Tapestry needle, or even the end of a laying tool; just anything that would coil the wire. On one end, I pulled enough back out straight to tie an Overhand Knot close to the coiled thread at one end; I also placed a small drop of Fray Check on the end to keep it from coming loose. I threaded a #26 needle with 1 ply of matching floss (you could use matching sewing thread) to secure the wire in place on the front of the canvas as well as to secure the tail to the back of the canvas.

To place the wire on the pumpkin on the “W” and above the bird on the “K” I used an #18-20 needle or laying tool.  I opened a space in the canvas to plunge the open end of one of the wired threads to the back of the canvas. I pulled the wire to the desired length and secured with at least one couching stitch on the front; then I turned the canvas over, left about an inch and half, cut excess and tacked the remainder securely to back of canvas.

Beading: There were two types of beads on this canvas; regular size 11 or 15 seed beads and then glass eyes on long pins. Go to Etsy and search for glass eye beads on a long pin, they come in all sizes and colors. Here’s one place: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWoolenWagon?ref=l2-shopheader-name. I’m sure you could find even the one used for the eyeball in letter “K”; I had smaller green one for the cat’s eye in letter “W”, larger green pair for the witch in letter “I” and amber ones for a bat in letter “D” and a solid black one for the bird in letter “K”.  These all came in the thread kit, so I don’t know the sizes. You were to place these in the proper place through the front of the canvas, with needle nose pliers bend the wire down into place and the secure with thread on the back. Since I had never done this before I was a bit apprehensive…I didn’t want to get into the wrong place on the front, break a pin bending it on the back, or after I secured to back finding the bead looked wrongly placed on the canvas. You guessed it, I left these until I could do nothing else.

I first did all the stars on the letters, then the bat eyes on letter “D”, and the skull on the witch’s dress on letter “I”. For the stars, bat eyes and skull I used the double thread, lasso method. I referred to the unstitched pictures of the canvas for placement of the stars; I did move a star to the nearest over one stitch of the Nobuko so I did not disturb the over 3 stitches. The other beading was on the letter “I” were the center of the flower, and it was just piling beads up to make a center. Then there were the beads on the hat, they were supposed to be Peyote stitched but at that time I did not know how to Peyote stitch (I just learned last week); so I just strung five beads by row and stitched them on the hat.

 

And then I attached the wing of the bird. I attached it at the top, poked the wires through the canvas ,  bent the wired down and secure with thread to stitching on the back. Then on the front I bent just a bit to give the curve of the wing.

 

 

When there was nothing left but the glass eye beads I tackled them I started with the cat in letter “W” because I figured if I broke this bead I could use a metallic braid and make a French knot. Then I did the bat in letter “D” and the black eye in the bird of letter “K”, same thinking here. By know I was pretty sure I could do this and so I did the witch’s eyes letter I and then the big eyeball in letter “K”. They all turned out well, the big eyeball has a tendency to flop but I’m the only one it seems to bother.

 

 

And “Wicked” was stitched!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue