First entry of 2014…playing catch-up already

Welcome to 2014…I know the month is over half gone but for the first 14 days of this year I had the flu…and last week I spent regaining some of my stamina and avoiding being out (doctor’s orders…not because I was still contagious but because my immune system is low.) So for all you who are reading this blog and have not had your flu shot…STOP reading this blog and head for the closest place to get a flu shot. I kid you not this thing is a hum dinger and I still feel sketchy and am not working with all cylinders firing.

14-01-23 sick deskThis was my office, my cat and this chair have been my best friend for three weeks and I am getting so used to this I may hate to move back to the office. But if I don’t get back in the office soon there may OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnot be room for me and the computer…I already have two desks full of work, not to mention I have not taken stitch the first two weeks of this year.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last week, I didn’t actually needlepoint stitch but I did finish (hand stitching) a take-a-long project I had stitched last year.  Remember Nick and Walter from last year (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/laissez-les-bons-temps-roule/)? I mentioned I would love to have Val and as we fellow needlepoint lovers know, there is always someone willing to share. I received a lovely email from a fellow stitcher who was willing to send me an extra Val from her stash. Val is a Kathy Meyer Design (http://kathymeyer1.tripod.com/kmdesigns/index.html), a Gaughi doll. I don’t think Kathy is designing anymore as I could not get her to respond to my email last year but I do like these dolls…I think they are just fun.  I took Val on OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAour trip to SD and did most of the stitching and finished up the eyes, lashes and eyelids when I got home.  Then I set her aside to finish in my spare time. Out of sight, out of mind…and then last week I realized Valentine’s Day was fast approaching and I better get Val ready for her big debut. I got her body out and opened up her neck to give her some backbone structure; then I finished her head and attached it to her body. Added a pair of heart earrings just for kicks and…Val is ready to make her sweet debut for her special day and I have my first finish of 2014.

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14-01-23 MajKVI am still trying to finish the stitching 14-01-23 MinKVinstructions for my Values of Gray booklet. Before the holidays I had more than 8 pieces stitched and had made extensive notes but had not written the stitching instructions. Needless to say, even with my extensive notes, these instructions are slow in coming; it feels almost like artist block. And I still have one more piece I would like to stitch for this project.

And I am trying to clear the cobwebs out of my head so I can write some instructions on how I use Canvas to write my instructions for my work and the work I do for others. Before the holidays I upgraded my version to Canvas 15 and received permission to copy screens so I can use them in my instructions. More about this later.

So this blog pretty much catches everyone up; the flu has a way of slowing production down , but least I have one blog entry made for this month.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! Stitch for me too…still have not taken a needlepoint stitch this year…just don’t feel like it nor have the desire and it is driving me nuts.

ttfn…sue

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Different Threads

Liam…another project stitched… and a disclaimer…If the designer suggests threads I would use them…she probably has spent a good deal of time choosing these threads. That said, let me show you what happens when I don’t follow my own advice.

Anne's piece

Anne’s piece

Anne Stradal (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) at ABS Designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/) stitched Liam this way, it is her design.

I stitched my Liam with these threads.

I used the same stitches but I decided to use threads in my stash rather than purchase new ones. I used

My Liam

My Liam

some threads that are out of production but thought they would work.
The only area that did not work for me was the scarf. My thread choice was not variegated enough to make the stitch show direction. The swag of the scarf should show a horizontal direction/pattern while the ends should be a vertical direction/pattern. I will just have to outline the horizontal swag of the scarf to delineate it more.

Anne's in B&W

Anne’s in B&W

mine in B&W

mine in B&W

But for the most part my threads did work; mine are darker thread choices but the values changes are the similar and they work; look at the black & white photos. The jackets are the lightest value with the lapels being slightly darker than the jacket but lighter than the rest. The pants and the next darker value, followed by the scarf and then the outlines are the darkest value. Anne’s has 6 values in her piece and mine only looks like 5 values; my pants and scarf are the closer in value, but both work…Anne’s is just more correct.

Learning to check values in a piece is a good thing to know. You can do this with your phone camera or digital camera (most have a black & white setting) or a copy machine will work too. It is a good tool to use when choosing your threads for a painted canvas. Lay the threads on the canvas close to the areas you will be stitching; take a picture of them using the black and white setting on your camera or lay them on the copy machine to do the same. If the values of the threads are close or right on to the painted canvas the threads will work.
If while you are stitching something doesn’t please you or look quite right, take a black and white picture and check the values of the colors being used. If a color is off it is most likely the value of the color and not the color…the value of the color will either blend with the other choices or stand out as too light or dark. Value choices are the biggest mistake we make when using color.
On a completely different though…I hope all United States citizens have a Happy 4th of July and for those of you across the ponds from us, have a great day. And may we all get to stitch today and all week-end …Thank you for stopping by today!

ttfn…sue