Torin Ailfred O’Patrick and Faces

I decided that my little leprechaun needed a name, so I looked up male Irish names and Torin Ailfryd O’Patrick was born. His name means: Chief (Torin) elf counsel (Ailfryd) of noble descent (O’Patrick) or Toppy for short.

I try and remember to take a picture of the canvas I am stitching to use for reference only; after I am done stitching Toppy I will take another picture for my stitched piece notebook. I have been trying to keep track of what I stitch and have been cataloging pieces I find that are not in my files. I wrote about this a couple years ago (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/keeping-track-of-needlepoint/). New needlepoint canvases have a stitch guide to go with them, some have stitches others have just the threads I used listed.

If a needlepoint canvas has a face I usually try to start by stitching it first. Faces give the piece personality and also can give a clue into how the rest of the piece is going to be stitched. I think needlepointing faces can be daunting especially when trying to make the face appear realistic; and I think Basketweave & Continental are best suited to either realistic or interpretational stitching of faces. I have seen a Long & Short stitched face that was lovely; it was executed in 1 strand of silk and I doubt that any stitch was more than 4 threads in length. But for the most part I feel Basketweave and Continental are the best; and very realistic complexions can be stitched using one of several thread blending techniques. Sometimes it is best to stitch the entire face and then stitch the special features over this base; other times stitching the features within the face are more desirable; each canvas should be judged on its own.

The first angel is a Gay Ann Rogers (http://www.gayannrogers.com/site_2/Home_Page.html) tree topper and her face is stitched very simply with just eyes and mouth stitched also; there is no shading, outline or detail.

The next angel’s face is a Brenda Stofft (http://www.brendastofftdesigns.com/) angel class, taught many years ago but such a classic. It is difficult to see in this picture but her shading is delicate and realistic. She was stitches with 4 colors of floss, all in Basketweave and Continental: #1 outlined her face, neck, chin and tip of her nose, #2 filled in on either side of the nose and up into the eye area and also under her chin, #3 was stitched with a needle blending technique using two colors of floss just to give the suggestion of blush cheeks, #4 was the remaining parts of her face.

This Lee  (http://www.newleesneedlearts.com/) Geisha canvas was a real challenge. I wanted her to be as realistic as possible and to have the ivory complexion of the geisha. There are 5 colors of silk floss mostly stitched in Basketweave and Continental with an overlaid and outline stitch: colors 1-2-and 4 were so close in value that I barely could tell them apart when not in their original skein.  #1 is the lightest of the silks used on her face; #4 I knew I was going to outline the face but I also wanted the chin to be defined but not by an outline stitch, so there are continental stitches along the chin area that are thread  needle blended of colors 1 & 4; color #2 is under the chin; #3 is the cheek area and is the same value as color #5 but with a pinkish tint to this color family; # 4 is the outline used around the profile of her face and one stitch into the chin area before the tent stitches were used to suggest the rest of her chin; and #5 is the darkest of the flesh colors stitches over the Basketweave to suggest her lowered eyelid.

Ready –to Go Santa (Beau Jeste canvas/class and another fun face) He just has two colors #1 for basic face and #2 outlines nose and is also used for his cheeks. If this had not been a class, I might have overlaid his nose area with #1 in a horizontal Gobelin.

Back to Toppy’s face. I am stitching his face in Basketweave; stitching over his closed eye, eyebrows and nose areas; his open eye cheeks and mouth are left unstitched. Later this week, Toppy and I will be back with a sparkle in his eye and the details of his face.

Do you name your canvases? So how do you approach stitching canvases with faces? I love hearing what other stitchers do to make stitching their canvases more personal.

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

P.S Happy Valentine’s Day too.

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Bunny and Carrots

As my Grandmother would say, “Oh Shaw”, I might use another term but since this is open to the world we will stick to Grandma’s terminology. But “Oh Shaw,” I went by the shop the other day to pick up Mr. Bunny and to get the perle cotton for the carrots. …Got the bunny but forgot the perle cotton! Went back Saturday because I didn’t it would have been Tuesday before I could go again. I hate it when I have these senior moments and the worst part about it was when I was there the first time I thought about the perle cotton. The shop had customers and they were using the DMC thread chart so I waited; …waited it right out of my mind!  

Mr. Bunny is so-o-o cute with his wired ears. He is a Brenda Stofft bunny and way back in February when I started him (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/bunny-one-bunny-two/ ). Brenda gave me permission to show the canvas and she still paints him in brown and white but will do black and white. Brenda, I hope you think my Mr. Bunny is as cute as I do; his fellow bunnies have welcomed him to the brood with twitching ears and tails. I think the small bunny to the right of him is his cousin…Brenda painted him too but he spoke to me many years ago and I’ve had him stitched for some time. They have the same turkey tuff tail, so they must be cousins!  I’ve had Mr. Bunny canvas a long time but he was worth the wait, wired ears and all.

I am still stitching carrots, hope I get done! As I have been stitching I realized that the finishing will also be a monumental undertaking, another one of those I am glad I do not do this all the time and how much I love finishers moments. As the canvases mount up, I took a mind looking inventory: 10 ornaments per set; 2 piece of illustration board cut per ornament equals 20 cut carrots; time 3 sets equals’ 60 cut cardboard pieces. Um-m-m maybe I better start marking and cutting…stitching…cutting…cutting…stitching. Have the perle cotton for the cording and the ribbon for the hangers (stash is good.) I’m going to use green ribbon for the hangers, so that you can tie them on the tree.

So needless to say, you probably will not be hearing from me the rest of this week… I’m down to the last three designs and I may have to finish two sets and leave third for later. I will be stitching, finishing, finishing, stitching, finishing, finishing, and then cooking.

Hope everyone has time to stitch today and the rest of the week, I know I will!

ttfn…sue

Bunny & Snow

I’ve decided that February and March are Pneumonia Months…sunny & 70 degrees one day; 7 degrees and snowy the next. Mother Nature is a fickle lady!

I should be computing because I am so far behind I look like I am winning again…or as my sons’ would say, “Mom, we’re getting ready to lap you.”

But this cold weather gives me time to stitch too. GayAnn Rogers http://www.gayannrogers.com/site_2/Home_Page.html  has a 12 stitches a day program going on with stitchers…I’m trying 6 stitching lengths of thread a day, but my fingers are getting calloused doing this Turkey Work. It is also getting very tight in this area. I may have to switch to stitching every other stitch for a couple rows to loosen up the space. I would like to have the bunny finished in time for Easter.

 Okay, sorry this is such a short blog but I need to do some computer work for others and than I would like to stitch today too. Maybe even a nap since it is so fridgen cold!

Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

What a week!

The old saying, “Time passes quickly when you’re having fun.” is apropos for this week.  This was the week that was…and truly it went by much too quickly…I’d like another, thank you very much. If nothing else was going on this week the weather was beautiful…and I caught a sever case of Spring Fever!

I could barely keep myself inside this week and had the doors open on several occasions…in February! Lucy sniffed every blade of grass in the yard and even wanted to play soccer. From 2 feet of snow on the ground to 70 degrees, love that Mother Nature!…but Jack Frost will be heard from again and not in the too distant future I’m sure.

It was also Valentine’s Day this week. My valentine bought us a picture I have wanted for a long time…Thomas Jefferson painted by Bob Holloway a local artist. I have several of his pictures and love them all. http://www.bobholloway.com/

I also purchased supplies to try needle felting. It looks like fun and something that could be applied to needlepoint as embellishments. I made a ladybug just to see if I could. Since I am not sure yet…was searching the internet last week and bookmarked several stops but haven’t gotten back to them yet. There will be more to come about needle felting I’m sure.

I also picked up a couple packages of rick rack to make rick-rack flowers. Kathy’s blog Shakl http://www.shawkl.com/search?updated-max=2011-02-11T09%3A21%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=10 told how to do them and I thought they looked like fun and something else that could embellish a needlepoint. When I was a the store picking up needle felting supplies I also picked up two packages of rick rack, I didn’t read the blog close before I left home to know which size to buy. I also bought a rick rack that was one sided (painted). I just had to cut my rick rack and make a couple adjustments. It would have been easier with one color but these turned out just fine for my first try.

Also made a large temari ball. I thought I might participate in Barbra Suess challenge but I may not have enough time since I played this week. You can read all about it and see Barb’s beautiful temari on her blog http://temaribarb.blogspot.com/  or her website  http://www.japanesetemari.com/ . But at least now I have one very large temari ball…unstitched

And poor bunny…well, he is still on the stretcher bars. All the black (except ears) is stitched. Started working on the turkey tuff tail but between the nice weather; trying my new projects; and oh yes I am suppose to be doing computer graphics for a teacher (sh-h-h, maybe she won’t notice it is taking me forever) I haven’t made much progress. I tried to stitch six thread lengths a day but I am about 24 threads behind this week…but who’s counting.

And that’s the week that was in the Midwest…and now I’m off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day. Lucy and I are taking a walk and then we are cooking on the grill tonight. If Mother Nature wants to tease us, we are going to enjoy every moment!

 I hope everyone has beautiful weather too and if you can squeeze it in…time to stitch!  ttfn…sue

Bunny one, bunny two

I finished the Bunny with the basket of tulips and carrots over the week end. I stitched it just like I said I was going to do last week. Started with the carrots, did the leaves second and then the tulips. I first stitched each tulip with a diagonal mosaic stitch and then placed the padding over the areas. All the tulip petals and padding were cut from the same pattern. I secured the padding and then was going to blind stitch the felt tulip petals onto the canvas. Lucky I started with the pink one…remember I said the felt was poor quality…the invisible stitching was not holding and so I reverted to an improvised decorative stitch using clear thread. If I had known I was going to use a decorative stitch on the petals I would have made sure the thread I used for the centers was available in DMC #12 or 8 perle and then used the #12 or 8 perle to stitch the petals. But this worked out and I didn’t have to frog stitch. Then I did the leaves, followed by the veins on leaves, the stems and the carot tops. Finally I stitched the basket and viola! he is completed.

Bunny with Basket will head for the finisher tomorrow. Hope they can finish him in a thick (3 inch or more) box pillow. He will need a piece of black lining behind the piece since the background stitched with an open background. I had fun stitching this piece and it turned out as I pictured it; hope the finisher will finish like I see it too.

I also make a stitch record for the pieces I stitch and if it will fit on a page front and back I also try to diagram the stitches. This way I have a record of what I do. Should I every have to claim a piece for insurances purposes (Heaven forbid) I have a list of the supplies. And should I want to replicate the piece I also have a record of the stitches and threads I used. If you want to see how I keep records here are two PDF files of this piece: Stitch guide side a  and Stitch guide side B

I usually try and contact the designer of the painted canvas I am using on my blog to get permission to use. Painted canvases are copyrighted designs; but in the case of the Bunny with the basket of tulips and carrots I understand from my local shop both these ladies no longer paint canvases. This is too bad because if I remember correctly they had some really cute canvases and most were painted on larger mesh sizes.

I finished the bunny Saturday but was gone all day to a guild stitch-in (aka to DH as Stitch & _itch.) and yesterday of course was Super Bowl. Didn’t care who won the game just cared that it was a good game and not one sided. It was a good game and the “Darth Vader” commercial was too cute. My two young grandsons are into Star Wars right now so they loved it. One said to the other… “Did you see that kid, he levitated his dad’s car.”

I did manage to start a new bunny. This one is another old one of mine but I did contact Brenda Stofft (http://www.brendastofftdesigns.com/) and she gave permission to use on my blog. Brenda also said she has this canvas in her line but the bunny is now painted brown & white but will paint as black and white if requested. My bunny has the number A 113 on it and is two pieces (bunny and ears). I have started him and will blog more this week about the stitches and threads I’m using.

I just looked out my window and the sun in shining (looks like it could be warm…) NOT because there are white flakes falling and glistening in the sunlight. Yes, it is snow flurries…tomorrow expecting 2-4 inches as of noon weather report. I have enough snow on the ground …this is getting old and cold!

Stay warm and safe… AND I hope everyone will have time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

Bunnies

Monday, I went to see my finisher. She finished my new Easter pillow and two eggs. The pillow is so-o-o cute (so are the eggs…but bunnies first)!

 easter-bunny-9-pme1            easter-bunny-9b-pme1easter-egg-9a1

 

 

 My pillow is a Princess and Me canvas Peter Rabbit (E107). It has been discontinued but Princess and Me (http://www.princessandme.com/ ) offered to fill orders if anyone would like one. I used Peluche for his ears, overdyed Rachel/Flair for carrot, and Cast-on Bullions in an overdye for carrot tops. I have a mini stitch guide I sent to Princess and Me but I will share with anyone who has the canvas also. I guess trust is an important word here.

easter-bunny-8a-brenda-s2  I also spent the last few days trying to track down and/or request permission from the designers for my other needlepoint canvases, but no luck except for one. Brenda Stofft (http://www.brendastofftdesigns.com/ ) gave me permission to show her cute bunny. He is an old canvas but Brenda has some great new canvases too. I like my two sided bunny, so easter-bunny-8b-brenda-s2every time I walk past my collection cabinet I turn him…gotta see both sides! He also has Cast-on Bullions for carrot tops and an uncut Turkey Tufting tail.

You will notice most of these bunnies have the same blue for their clothing and if the carrot is stitched, it will usually be an overdye. Before Elaine Warner of Needle Necessities passed away I bought oodles of overdyed orange for my carrots and Madras blues (#809) for the coat. I contacted ThreadworX (http://threadworx.com/index.php) to see if maybe they were planning to re-issue but have not heard back from them. I guess I can use floss but will have to look for other threads for carrots.

 

easter-bunny-7The first little guy is about 5-6 inches tall and I thought he was a Rosalie Peters but they tell me he is not. I finished him myself because if you look at the base you can see the denim…I finish the bunnies in blue jeans with old blue jean fabric. I have been recycling before it was fashionable.

 

easter-bunny-2The next guy is one of my favorites; he is about 8-10 inches tall. I like my Random stitching of his face; it almost made him too realistic. I also like the sweater, it is a Vandyke Stitch worked horizontally and back and forth from left to right with overdyed perle cotton. This is another canvas I do not know the designer.

 

easter-bunny-6And the last of the canvases I have finished myself is the little guy with sunglasses. I must have stitched him for one of my grandsons because he has AJ on his jeans pocket and that is what I call my third grandson. AJ must have had influence in the choosing of threads. This canvas was from Susan Treglown and I believe the artist was Susan Hayes. I think this was a monthly design and this little guy was March.

 

easter-bunny-1The Tall Hare (Ewe and Eye and friends) I bought from a needlepoint shop, Two the Point (http://www.twothepointneedlearts.com/). I think originally you were to stitch the outlines and then fill in the rest, but the shop chose to just do the outlines. I think he is too cute and I like the finishing. The finisher added the basket with stitching supplies…one of the few rabbits I have without a carrot, just stitching stuff!

 

easter-bunny-10This is a Heart in Hand (http://www.heartinhand.com/ ) design, Wool Whimsy: Harriet. It came as a complete kit except for the box . The box is a Treasure box with the 3 ½ inch opening from Romancing the Past (http://www.romancingthepast-lowery.com/index.htm) . I don’t know if you can still get the all walnut box or not.

easter-bunny-4

This rabbit was a gift, I think he is maybe a Mosey and Me cross stitch but am not sure. If anyone knows the origin of these bunnies, please let me know and I will give them credit here too.

 

 

easter-bunny-5 The lop eared bunny egg is my design. I stitched it in mostly perle cotton and floss to make sure it worked. At first I didn’t like it much but now I think he is cute. I really like his Bargello cheeks.

 

 

easter-bunny-3-nddl-treas1And last but not least, my favorite is Peter Rabbit from Needle Treasures. When I worked at Two the Point every Grandmother I knew bought and stitched this kit. I never liked the threads in the kit but one day I thought about using Epic threads and my own stitches and viola Peter came to life. He is one of the two pieces I feel like I did an excellent job on the Random Stitching (aka: Long & Short). I taught him one time at the shop and have a stitch guide for him. This kit is sometimes available on ebay.

Tomorrow the eggs…I don’t have as many eggs stitched but there is always next year.

ttfn…sue

P.S. My Dulle(s)/tulips just arrived from Teleflora (http://www.teleflora.com/flowers/bouquet/telefloras-peter-rabbit-bouquet-229184p.asp) …in their Peter Rabbit jar. The card said: 2Me 4Me from Me.

easter-flowers