4 of July

My DH just pointed out and interesting fact to me…Of all my collections, this one is the only one where the needlework is the majority of the collection.

Do you think he gave me permission to go shopping?

Happy SAFE 4th of July.

Hope everyone has time to stitch this holiday week-end!



Spring is supposed to be here!

This week is getting away from me fast! And the weather is not helping out one bit…two days nice and seasonable temperatures, the next two days cold, rainy (snow) … my poor blood can’t decide whether to thicken up or thin down. I am ready for Spring! In case Mother Nature forgot to look at her calendar, it was March 20th.

rabbit-1Remember I told you in my family if three is a good collection, a hundred is better. Well in order to keep the rabbit population controlled (at least at my house), I only wanted to collect Peter Rabbits, the official Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit. My family thought this much toorabbit-2 limiting and expanded the definition to mean: any rabbit with a blue clothing (coat, overalls, pants, vest) and (sometimes or) a carrot (and carrot may be purchased separately) You get the picture…we have bunnies! This is a picture of “the collection cabinet” as we call it with Easter Rabbits.rabbit-31

 Tomorrow, I am getting a bouquet of tulips (our last name means tulip in German) in a new Peter Rabbit container (http://www.teleflora.com/flowers/bouquet/telefloras-peter-rabbit-bouquet-229184p.asp) from me. 2 Me 4 Me from Me! I deserve it since I will be having breakfast/lunch for whoever shows up at my house.

Thankfully, with the economy and the fact that I have way enough collections the rabbit population is not increasing rapidly unless I buy one or stitch one. And I have stitched a few…I’ll post them tomorrow, I am still trying to remember  the designers… I have not been the best about keeping track of this information.


I Lay, I Layed, I will Lay…threads


Oh yes, if you could wear out a laying tool I am giving it a good shot. I am stitching an Orna Willis piece I won by mistake. I thought since I won by mistake the least I should do was stitch it…I also have a good home for it when it is completed. If there is one drawback to this piece it is that it is all stitched in floss and that means…”Strip, Stoke and Lay.”

But I have given quite a bit of thought to laying threads and laying tools this past two weeks. And by no coincidence, not only do I have a scissor collection but also have a laying tool collection. Remember, if you have three you have a collection and I would have a collection just in the three I use all the time.

But first, here are the others in my collection: I have tried all of them but seldom use any but my three favorites.

laying-tools-31 I love these two, they were gifts and so I always think of the giver when I see them. I have used both of these, but I don’t take them out of the house anymore because I would hate to break them,  lose them or leave them somewhere. The top one is a Micheal Ernst Glass Laying Tool from Stitch Elegance (www.stitchelegance.com). This laying tool is so smooth but I am always afraid I will break it. It also does not have a sharp point on the end that I tend to prefer. It is beautiful! The wooden one is also a beauty and it has a sharp end but I definitely am afraid of breaking this point. At one time I know you could find this type laying tool at M’s Canvashouse (http://www.mscanvashouse.com/).  

laying-tools-6 These I think are suppose to be bone or ivory but I think they are synthetic. All of these are part of a scissor/laying tool set.




Two more wooden laying tools and their cases. These laying tools are about 4 inches long.





These are all very different: The top one has a metal tip that is rounded on the end. I have found it good for laying ribbon type threads. The next one  is wooden and the pointed end was used to lay the thread and then the larger bowl end is suppose to be used to rub over the laid threads to flatten even more. I think this tool had a name but I don’t remember it. And the lower two are Wooden Cable Needles. I find these great to use when I want Turkey Tufting loops to be uniform.



Necessity is the mother of invention…these are other examples of what may be used as a laying tool. I have used these tweezers as a laying tool. I have a friend that uses this type all the time, she grabs the threads between the prongs to keep the threads flat and lays them very nicely. I never got the hang of this but then practice does make perfect.  The next laying tool is really a “hair pin”. It is painted wood with a jeweled end. And the last one was a kit I bought…one of those impulse buys. It is a doll needle with a beaded end I made . Other things that I have used are my finger, collar stays and Large #18 Tapestry needle.


laying-tools-2These are traditional type laying tools I use. The top one is a “tekobari” inserted into holder made especially for the tekobari. One end had a gel like substance that was suppose to be used to insert the point to keep it from getting damaged. Well, I didn’t know that and since I have large hands I put mine in handle side first so I would have something extra to grab. I am very careful about putting the lid on the tekobari. Some of these holders do not work as well as mine did but you can try . The next is a laying tool that was made with the laying tool inserted into the handle. It is from Rainbow Gallery ( http://www.rainbowgallery.com/Detail.CFM?ID=942)  and was my laying tool of choice but I only use it at home now because I have left the top someplace two or three times.  The bottom one of three I carry with me. I showed it here  because it is a laying tool in a case. The top of this case not only screws on over the tip but it screws on the back to make a longer handle (shown here) so I don’t forget it this way either. The husband of a stitching friend made this for me out of a pen base and a laying tool. I have shown this in two other pictures also.



 These are my laying tools of choice, I carry these with me in my stitching tools. The  Trolley needle I have had for years…it is really a large tapestry needle on a finger ring. I use it when I do not have a stand or it is a small take along project. It is not my laying tool of choice when doing a large project or working on a stand.  The middle laying tool is the an aluminium tool, but I am not sure which brand or who marketed this laying tool. I like it because it is lightweight, long and fits my hand nicely. The bottom one is the same one from above, shown with the top not attached. I like this one because it is long, fits my hand nicely and has weight to it. I use the bottom two laying tools most often.


laying-tools-1b laying-tools-1c 

Laying tools need protection, not only to protect their points but to protect you and your work. All my laying tools have some protection. Some have their own cover like the tekobari and case pictured here. I use red case for my long aluminium tool. (Red case  is a bookmark needlepoint. It comes with the canvas inserted. Some canvases are painted others blank…this one was blank and I added this design. After stitching needlepoint I lined and stitched up sides and left top open.) All the other laying tools have one of the tops pictured in 2nd picture. The three caps on the left of 2nd picture (pink, blue, & yellow) are knitting needle protectors. I like these knitting protectors but I lose them with great regularity so I am now using…clear rubber tube. The two protectors on the right of 2nd picture are clear rubber tube from the hardware store. It is inexpensive and comes in about 3-4 diameters and will fit most laying tools. I love the hardware store!

 Now if you are still with me…breif lesson laying thread…

lay-1lay-2Thread coming up from back of canvas. Using laying tool keep plies separated and laying side by side. I prefer to lay threads toward myself (top to bottom). But if I am in a class where teacher prefers that the threads are laid away from you (bottom to top), I do it.


lay-3  lay-42                                   I keep a firm tension on the thread as I return the thread to the back side of the canvas and is firmly set.




lay-5 This is a thread laid using a Trolley Needle.  Laying threads with any laying tool is like anything, it takes practice (and I am getting practice), at some point becomes second nature and is easier to do. I tell people it is like learning Basketweave…at some point it becomes second nature.  I also think your preference of laying tools is personal; it is what works for you and that can be anything as long as the threads are properly laid.


Okay, I need to get back to laying threads…


P a s s i o n & Scissors

ED Note: This was suppose to post Saturday Jan 31, 2009.

Yesterday while I was glorying in the fact I was semi caught up I took time to stitch and watch Oprah. The subject was: Do what you are passionate about. As I was stitching away, I begin to think about what I was passionate about; my family, my creativity, my needlepoint. Someone said, “Success is doing what you love best. ” And as I thought about this I have done what I love best. Someone else said to follow your passion and life would have meaning and the rewards would come.

I am passionate about my family and even though I never made a million dollars raising three sons, I have mult-millions of blessings and rewards from them and now their families are just adding to that multi million. And being an only child , raised in a predominately female world, raising three boys to adult hood either had to be a passion or I would have killed them. There were days when I felt like a foreigner in another world and not understanding the language.  I love being a wife and a mother and I always said I wanted 3 boys or 2 boys and a girl…Careful what you wish for, you might get it…I did!

 I’m also passionate about my needlepoint and since this was more what Oprah was driving at I really gave this some thought. And yes, I am passionate about my needlework…and truthfully everyone’s artistic talents. I will never be a quiltmaker, but I do love to look at the quilt art of others. But needlepoint is my favorite and I love to read all the blogs to see what everyone is doing. But even more than that I am fortunate enough to be entrusted to help other teachers/designers put their thoughts and designs onto paper. I get to stitch on the computer some good designs and projects. I would never have time to stitch all the things I compute but I get the satisfaction of knowing that I have been part of helping others  produce good work for others to stitch.

I also thought about my collections because I have been passionate about collecting. My friend Carole Lake http://www.carolelake.com/index.html says that if you have three of something you have a collection. I hope that does not mean I have a collection of soup ladles(we are having soup for dinner) …I have four, but I do have a bunch of collections! Some of my collections are holiday related and some are just things I like especially needle related collections. 

 Gay Ann Rogers http://www.gayannrogers.com/site_2/Home_Page.html on Shinning Needle Society was discussing scissors and so the day my computer was at the hospital I decided to photograph mine…and I have scissors! I used to think stitchers who said they had to have a pair of scissors for every project were silly. Well,  I owe all stitchers out there who have said this a big sorry.  “Sorry!” I have scissors for every project I own and then some.

But I do not have a pair of these in case anyone would like to donate to my collection. Of course if I had a pair of these I would have to have a Brinks guard to go with them. But if anyone wants to send me a pair I will make a fine needlepoint case for them 😉


I do not own a $500 pair of scissors but here are some of the ones I do own…

scissor-3These are two old pair. The blue needlepoint case I made for my mother in 1970. The brown case was mine and those are my first two pair of needlepoint scissors.



scissor-10c  scissor-10a scissor-10b

These were given to me by a friend of my mother. They were his wife’s embroidery scissors and I am honored to have them. They say Pfeilring Solingen. I have used them and they have a wonderful feel.


scissor-9My uncle gave me these. I don’t know where he got them but they are well used (wish they could talk) and well worn but I like them. I love the clasp on the case and if it wouldn’t ruin the value I might make a new case and use this. I could have the scissors refurbished but them to me they would lose all their history.

scissor-12My husband gave me these for Christmas one year. I just showed them a picture of them and he bought them for me. These are WASA Solingen scissors. I love the feel of these too but seldom use them.


scissor-11And this is my last set of scissors. The canvas is a Lee canvas and I found this set of scissors at a shop. It was fate. Needed to be put together. I stitched the canvas and my finisher Patty worked her magic. The scissors are WASA Solingen. I haven’t used these yet.


scissor-2ascissor-4 These fob and cases were made for me by dear friends. 1st picture: Hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil was beaded for me by Debby Bayer, my friend who does beautiful Japanese embroidery, needlepoint and knitting.

2nd picture L-R: Charlotte Lance was a member of my local guild and had a case like this at a local seminar. I loved the case and about a month later this was sent to me. I keep a pair of scissor used to clip out stitches in this case.

The next case, the sunflower is a gift from my good friend Carole Lake.  We have this thing about sunflowers. I love the case and bought a pair of WASA Solingen scissors for this case. I use this in the summer, but only at home.

And the peach Hardangercase was made for me by my friend, Karen Eichorst. Karen does beautiful Hardanger, needlepoint , beading and also knits. And the scissors  I have in this case are Tres Claveles because Karen said they were the best for Hardanger. I am prepared if I ever need them.


scissor-5These scissor fobs were made by me. Flag I made forever ago, so when Ginger but out the RWB special scissors I had the fob for it. The candy corn I made last fall and the witch scissors are my newest scissors from Unique scissors. I can hardly wait for Halloween this year. The Thimble is a Sharon G canvas and I use it with my Glostershire Mouse stitching bags (I’ll take a picture of these one of these days and post it) I use this for guild classes.


scissor-6These I made to illustrate plaids, a class I taught for my local guild. And scissor cases need scissors…I found these at Walmart as a set, and they cut fine.



scissor-15These are three (another collection) of strawberry fobs I have stitched. The top pink one is older than dirt and was a painted canvas, but I don’t think I ever knew who painted this canvas. The red strawberries were kits but I did not record the names.


scissor-7I collect rabbits with carrots… so I had to have this case and the scissors are rabbit scissors. I don’t remember the name of this designer.



scissor-8ascissor-8b This set is another one of my favorites. I believe this is a Melissa Shirley canvas and the scissors are DOVO Solingen. My DH bought these for me at Needlewoman East http://www.theneedlewomaneast.com/Welcome.html in Washington DC for Christmas one year. This case has many memories stitched in it and the scissors are beautiful! Such a thoughtful DH!


scissor1AndI would be very remiss if I did not mention this set of scissor fobs. I keep them all together with the notes that came with them. I received these in the mail one day from an anonymous giver, the only thing I know about the giver is they are from the south (postmark on the envelope) and that the giver is a very loving generous person.  I received them because I had been part of a scissor fob swap and never received a fob from my giver. It is only fitting that they all have scissors and are a proud part of my collection! Each was wrapped with it’s own special note  and to be opened in order. It was such fun to receive and they still make me smile when I see them. (R-L) 1st & 2nd package:  “First attempt and I learned a lot. Mainly I need to take a beading class! :-)”  and scissors ” Aren’t these scissors bringht and cheerful?”  3rd package: My second attempt – using thread instead of wire.” 4th package: “My third attempt for SD Designs!” this set has my name on them too! 5th package: “This is a phone charm but I thought it was lovely enough for a scissor fob.” 6th package: “Well every lady needs pearls! This is actually a purse charm but wouldn’t it look wonderful as a scissor fob?”

Isn’t that great!


scissor-14scissor-131And these are the two pair of scissors I use most every day. They are surgery scissors and sharp. I love the scissor fobs. One I stitched to remind me of my friend who has Colon cancer. I stitched it while he was in the hospital and I would visit him. He saved his scissors for me. The other scissor fob is my Jiminy Cricket (another collection) scissor fob. I have two of these, one I use for a fan pull in my den where I compute and my needlework books are kept and my Jiminy Cricket collection is most always out. She also made a Jiminy Cricket charm necklace for me too. These were all made for me by: http://www.urbanuniquities.com/

I have more scissors. Most have either a scissor fob or case that I have purchased at a guild seminar or on a trip, were a favor at a guild seminar or meeting, or given to me as a gift. There were even a couple pair without a scissor fob or case…I’ll have to stitch something for these too. 

As time goes on I’ll show you more of my sewing collection. I am trying to inventory our house so my sons will know what is what and decide whether they want to keep or garage sale someday.

And so I decided I am passionate about what I do. I have many rewards for the things have done, I am doing and I still have yet to do.  ttfn…

Snowmen are out and temperature is plunging


Word count: 567  Last edited by sudukc on January 11, 2009 at 2:35 pm

snowmen-12 Yestday I put the snowmen collection out and today the temperature is plunging, by mid-week only suppose to be in 20’s and I didn’t listen to the wind chill. Wonder if I collected bathing suits and displayed them would the weather warm up? 😉





  I have more snowmen than I remembered and most are not too Christmasie and that will be good for January but I do think they are reproducing in the storage box during off season. I don’t remember this many miniature ornaments on this tree.








These are my from my Grandmother Gordon’s Christmas village. The tallest is about 2 inches. I find these little goodies in my mother’s things and cannot part with them I do not remember seeing the village up more than a couple times in my life and I don’t know what happened to the houses but I have the trees, many of the miniatures and a church. She used mirrors for ponds and Ivory Snow Flakes laundry detergent for snow. Do they still make Ivory Snow laundry soap and is it still flakes? Talk about a comfort smell…just writing about it here I could smell the snow. My dad’s family was from Mauch Chunk Pennsylvania (now Jim Thorpe)  and they lived in the Poconos area much of their lives. I remember My Grandmother Nell talking about “Putz”. They were very large miniature villages that generations collected and passed on.  I saw one at our church a couple years ago and it was only a portion of the diplay. These “”Putz” can be very large and are very elaborate and people used to Carole from one home to another to see them. We should bring back some of these old traditions.




And I thought I had more needlepoint snowmen than this but I guess I don’t…Oh a reason to add to the stash. and to finish the two on the blocking board.  Two of these are designs from my friend Joan Lewis (http://www.joansneedlepoint.com/). She can paint about anything for anyone. I do other computer stitch guides for her. She designs and stitches almost every piece in her line and I just take her notes and I make the stitch guide. Of course when I stitch them I add my own touches:  rabbit button on one, squirrel button on other.  The other one is not a snowman but Frost nutcracker and for the life of me I cannot remember who paints this line of canvases(if someone tells me, I’ll edit it in here..JP or some initials?) but the company has three sizes: small medium and large. I have seen all three sizes and I do want to get a couple medium sized (justified stash) to stitch for my granddaughter who collects nutcrackers. I like the medium sized best, they are about the size of average wooden nutcrackers.




And this is my newest snowman,I love him. He was made for us Christmas 2008 by out oldest son, Scott and his family. He is a patio paver and I think he is suppose to be a door stop but he is just too cute sitting here on the shelf.


That’s all I have for today, I think I am going to make hot chocolate complete with whipping cream, sit by the fire and either work on finishing snowmen or stitching Lucy…sounds like a plan to me.