Finishing up the Kids and Butterfly

I did finish the couching and am posting from afar…I am still watching nature go 2015-07-28 deerby, but I spoke too soon about our wonderful temperatures. Summer is here with a vengeance; hot temperatures and humidity. Even this doe doesn’t want to move much.  I hope after this week I will be able to finish up some of those half-done projects I have been creatively avoiding.  I like Anne’s term “Creative Avoidance’; if it were a disease (and it may be), I have a terminal case of it!

Couching is fun and it hides a multitude of creative stitches (if procrastination= Creative avoidance then it stands to reason we can also have creative stitching…another thing I am very good at doing)

2015-08- MS JapButterfly  top of head & stringAfter I finished the clouds and sky I added the antenna to the butterfly I decided a Wrapped backstitch was better than couching.

2015-07-28 cording on canvasAnd then on the lower part of the butterfly (red outline) I made a small cording or twist on the canvas and couched it in place. I make my cording or twist on the canvas and DO NOT turn it back on itself, but rather twist until I get the twist I like, I also use a few extra ply or a larger thread since I am not turning the cording/twist back on itself. . I find this much easier that trying to turn it back on itself and getting the proper length I need.  I start couching at the ends brought up through the canvas and stitch toward the open ends of the twist. This way if I need to twist more I can. When I get to within an inch of the ending I plunge the open ends of the cording/twist threads to the back and hold in place under where my couching will continue so I can catch and secure these ends. When I am through couching I plunge couching thread and secure cording/twist even more.

When I laid the cording twist out for the initial placement I realized that I was not going to be able to coil this at the end of the tail so I did a Cross Stitch over 1 thread and then placed a tiny Jessica around this. Then I plunged the cording/twist under this stitch area.

2015-07-28 MS JapButterfly couching aLest you think I was trying to cop-out of couching…all the gold is couched using 0023 Kreinik Japan #1 for the couched thread and Accentuate Gold to couch in place. I like to couch from the outside toward the 2015-07-28 MS JapButterfly couching bstitching. I think it makes for a soother line and I can control those little opps areas that I always seem to have.

2015-08- MS JapButterfly couching orderNotice that when you are couching either the red twist or gold some planning has to go into the placement of these threads. I did the upper red cording /twist before I did the lower red twist. See the picture for the order of placement for the red and gold. And the shorter kite string was couched before the longer one. I even thought of bring the gold back out under the child’s hand and letting it hang free; but decided against this for wear reasons. I did not want it to maybe accidentally get pulled and mess up other couching or just begin to wear poorly and then I would not have rest of couching secured well if I cut it off.

I have decided to frame this piece after all and am not going to stitch the black bands but have it matted in a black mat with a gold bamboo frame. I can see this, just hope I can find the gold bamboo for the framing.

2015-08- MS JapButterfly complered

The Children with a kite was a former guild members canvas and threads and I hope that as Jessie is looking down from her golden cloud in heaven, she likes the way I stitched it.

I have already picked my next piece to stitch another Melissa Shirley Canvas(s) from another former guild member. More about this after I get back…

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today…I am!

ttfn…sue

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Books & Desk

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I am still walking on air about my cookbook debut. Still pull it out just to look at it…Can hardly wait until it is in the stores too.
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And then within two days of this three wonderful reviews of my couching book. I have been very pleased by favorable reviews the book has received on the following blogs:
Kreinik Thread Blog- http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2013/07/book-review-pattern-couching-and-or-nue.html
Jane at Chilly Hollow- http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2013/08/or-nue-book-at-last.html
Janet at Nuts about Needlepoint- http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/two-lovely-designs-to-learn-a-great-technique/

Then I got to thinking, someone had asked or written about on their blog or one of the needlework lists and I’m sorry I don’t remember who…how long it takes a design to become available…Well here is an example. Back in October 2011 I wrote on my blog about Celtic Origins (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/my-project-pattern-couching/) I had written this project for my guild that summer to be taught in the fall 3-4 meetings.
After several had finished or almost finished I received their feedback (the guild was my pilot class) and did some revisions. Then I had a trusted friend, and good stitcher stitch the piece from these revised instructions and then made the minor corrections. Now I felt it was as good as it gets…from experience I know there are other typos and small mistakes and with every printing I try to make these corrections if stitchers let me know the mistakes.
Now, it is the beginning of this year and the Woodlawn show was approaching. So I decided to enter these pieces in this show before releasing the book. And that is history (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/woodlawn-plantation-needlework-exhibit/).
Then I had 5 copies of the book printed to send to mail to the various material suppliers to include in the design files they keep for designers using their products. This is a courtesy I do to let them know I have used their materials in my design; and some material supplies require you send them something every few years to remain on their designer/teacher lists.
After the pieces came back from Woodlawn I had more copies printed and it was on my list of thing to do after vacation to promote the book.
So how long does it take a design to become available? This one took two years and maybe a few months longer. Some designs do not take that long but this was written as a teaching piece and so it has more information than just the two designs. If a design is stitched by a stitcher other than the designer it is going to take longer than those designs that are just stitched by the designer. Stitch guides take about the same time as a teaching piece because usually the stitcher is not the computer graphic person. And sometimes they have to communicate back and forth about what was actually stitched where and when. I would say any design I do, if it is just the design takes at minimum six months (but more like a year) to get from design to print and that is not counting the research, experimenting with stitches and thread, and all the other pre design ( I like to call incubation time) it takes when designing a piece.
But now the book is ready for sale. I would like to find a few distributers but right now the only place you can get it is from me. And NOTE: no website from DH yet ;-(  Maybe this will motivate him too. If you send me an email: sudu@kc.rr.com I will send you an order form.
And this wasn’t even the blog I planned for today…this is
13-08-06 deskOMGosh…you should see my desk top… did I really leave this mess on my desk or did the desk gremlins visit?
Twenty one days of relaxing, no computer unless I wanted to do so, only a cell phone, a good book & wonderful scenery…Yes it happened but now it is but a memory and one that seems to have happened months ago and not just days ago.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today! I will be cleaning up my desk so please take more time to stitch for me too.
ttfn…sue

Finishing, fininishing and more finishing

I had a productive week-end…changed all the seasonal decorations and finished needlepoint. Life is good!

But I did have a scare last Friday or maybe just leprechaun being a leprechaun. I was getting out the St Patrick Day decorations when I remembered my leprechaun, Torin Ailfred O’Patrick, AKA Toppy.  Toppy had not become a well-rounded leprechaun last year (you can see & read about him under Categories>Projects> Leprechaun, right side of blog); so I went looking for the little guy.  I thought I knew right where he was resting, but could not find him. I thought of a few other places Toppy might be and so set out to locate the little fellow. After checking all the spots I thought Toppy might be hanging out, I began to wonder if this little leprechaun was playing games with me because I did not get him finished last year; leprechauns can be mettlesome little fellows. So after about an hour of checking everyplace I could think I might have put him for safe keeping I decided to get a bunny out to finish…yes I have a box of UFO’s.  And I guess Toppy decided that it was more important to make the mantle than to play mind games with me because there he was right there on top of the pile, flat but smiling up at me. Now before you think, senile old woman, let me assure you that leprechaun WAS NOT on the top of the heap when I first looked. I may be senile but not blind too. Anyway Toppy became well rounded and proudly took his place on the mantleToppy

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI remembered some buttons I had stitched. And I had found a craft box of beads and old jewelry I remembered my mother wearing but had either been broken or were so out-of-date. So I repurposed the crystals, beads of other jewelry and beads into a new St. Pat necklace. Had to go to craft store to get 2 inch eye pins to make the dangles and jump rings to attach buttons.

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And since I was going to the craft store, decided to see if I could find 2 ready-made frames and have mats cut to fit two Celtic knots I stitched for another project. These were couching experiments for a larger piece and I decided tOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAo just frame them too. Found frames and my Hobby Lobby cuts mats on the spot if they have the matboard, so I had two more projects to finished.

So this past week-end I spent finishing needlepoint. I now have this great feeling of accomplishment plus it was easy on my pocketbook.

I don’t mind finishing but it is not my favorite thing to do. It makes me appreciate those who do finish most of my needlepoint.  I would never tackle a pillow; I would have dog ears for sure. I can manage a simple stand up, an ornament and sometimes simple stuff. But it never ceases to impress me at how creative finishers can be.

And framing I seldom try, I think framing is harder to do yourself…I have made frames (at a frame store designed to help you make your own frames)  but my corners were really not very good. And cutting mats is an art unto its self, especially if you hand cut them. . My Hobby Lobby had a computer cutter, it is pretty awesome. I can do the simple stuff but bigger pieces will always go to the framer.  And my needlepoint framer, Richard is a special guy; he has an eye for the best look.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAED Note 3-8-13: ops something happen to the picture and I just noticed it. This was my first attempt at making jewelry but I think I could get into it. I ordered a catalog from Fire Mountain Gems ( http://www.firemountaingems.com/) and watched a couple tutorials.  I would really like to make a few more pieces, but I don’t want to start a new media full scale.

I have bought a bunch of roving and tools to try and make felted figures. I made a ladybug last year but haven’t tried anything since then. I also would like to make more Ukrainians eggs (Pysanka) but I think that needs to be a class project, this is an art that has been passed down from mother to daughter for centuries. I’m guessing this is not something you learn on the internet, although if you Google Ukrainians eggs (Pysanka): (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pysanka) pages of info will be at your fingertips. But I still don’t think you buy the supplies and start.

BUT my favorite thing to do is stitching needlepoint and temari balls. And I need to get back to it.

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

January Wrap up

Hopefully this month is about over and the rest of the year will be smoother.

I went for another check-up on my eye and after a lengthy check-up was pronounced “Okay for another year, unless something unforeseen happens.” I had a strange thing happen last week; felt like my left eye re-set in the socket…is the best way to describe it. I think I was more aware of it because of recent eye concerns. Anyway yesterday the sight in my left eye had gone from 20/35 to 20/20 and after a lengthy (only 1 ½ hours this trip) was pronounced ready to go. Only thing doctor could tell me was the vitreous (clear gel-like fluid that fills the eye) had detached from the back wall of the eye and there was no damage. Also thought what I felt was maybe the detachment although she could neither prove nor disprove this theory and had neer had anyone else tell her of that sensation.  Glad this is behind me and my biggest problem was I couldn’t see and had a head ache most of the day and evening. Sigh!

Since thing seem to happen in threes…two other of my friends have had more serious health problems than I; Kidney stones and a broken femur (and no she didn’t slip on the ice…we’ve had no ice yet this year) and I wish them both speed recoveries. Hopefully this I all the bad news for a while and by spring we are all able to get out and play again.

Celtic Knot magnet

BUT there is good news this month too. I taught the last part of my couching class Monday and several people are coming right along with it. Virginia, one of our oldest members stitched this magnet for me, it is the center design. Love it. I have three or four very small pieces Virginia has stitched and given to me over the years, I treasure each one. One of my favorites is this Ann Speiss Mills Angel she stitched. It was to be a ribbon center for ANG National

ASMills Angel

convention but I don’t remember which category, but there was something wrong with this one and so she stitched a second and was going to throw this one away.  I cabbaged on to it, finished is on a large button form and it hangs in my angel room (aka: dining room) most of the time. Virginia is one of those exceptional stitchers…she has tried most every technique (some she likes better than others), she stitches on 40 count silk gauze like it were Congress cloth and stitches well into the night. I consider her an honored woman among stitchers…she has forgot more than some of us will ever learn. She knows the basics of stitching and executes them very well, but she can break the rules too. Than you Virginia you are a treasure.

And last night, even though I could not see well and had a head ache, my friend Patty B drove me to the EGA meeting…and I am so glad we went!  Remember me telling you about this fabulous quilter, Janet Stone… (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/the-art-of-machine-quilted-quilts/)? Last night at the local EGA meeting Janet was the program and she showed all 10 of her beautiful quilts. Her first quilt she stitched individual blocks and the joined them together by hand. The second quilt was inspired by the first…she decided to make a quilt with a block for each letter of the alphabet…and oh yes, then she machine quilted (free hand all the names of these quilts in the border. Each quilt had a story and a reason to make whether it was figuring out a new technique, using a new and different thread, or using embellishments she found and wanted to incorporate into a design.   She gets these ideas draws them out, makes her own patterns and just puts them together; she made it sound so simple. She has added touches to a quilt to make it large enough to enter in a category; removed borders from a quilt two and three times to get it just right, but her favorite thing is the embellishments she adds to her quilts. Each of these quilts had similarities but are also so very unique in their design. Her sense of color and design is incredible, her embellishments are part of the design and not just added do dads, and her quilting is so unique and yet precise. Janet talked about each of her quilts and you could hear the love of the art she creates in her voice. She was delightful and so unassuming about her talent. What a treat! She can create about two quilts a year…and wants to write a book someday about her 26 quilts (her goal)…where do I sign up?

Oh yes and this is my tempory desk set up while we are remolding a space for our computers to have a new home. My family thinks I have become too engrossed in my tablet, but I have found Netflicks and the PBS programs I can now watch hours of PBS and stitch too…oh life is good.

Hope everyone had a more eventful and productive month than I and am looking forward to February!     Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

Royal Wedding and Needlework

I set my recorders last night for the Royal Weddings, BBC, ABC and NBC; but I still got up this morning at 4:00AM to watch. I woke up, knew if I didn’t get up I would kick myself so I got up. I really enjoyed every moment and wish the BBC would have kept the entire day “live.”  The Royal Wedding has its own webpage (http://www.officialroyalwedding2011.org/tag/homepage/page/1 ).

And in case you have not heard, the Royal School of Needlework (http://www.royal-needlework.org.uk/ assisted Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen in making the Catherine’s wedding dress design become a dream come true. (http://www.officialroyalwedding2011.org/blog/2011/April/29/The-Wedding-Dress–Bridesmaids–Dresses-and-Pages–Uniforms ) .

I did a bit of stitching today…the first I’ve done since the carrots.  I basted the areas for a design I am going to teach for my guild next year. Each square is individually basted so I can remove the basting before stitching the area. I have not set in stone what I am doing in each square nor the center yet but I have several ideas I am working through. I want very little if any compensation; I think it is much easier to understand a new technique if compensation is kept to a minimum.  I have never been fond of the word teach, it always makes me think of someone who has more knowledge than someone else; AND trust me there are many stitchers who have forgotten more than I am ever going to learn. But I am going to share what I have learned by reading, studying, and practicing a brief study of pattern couching.  I am using the following books for this study, but would appreciate any other suggestions anyone might have:

Jean Taggert; Laid Fillings for evenweave fabrics

Jane Zimmerman; Traditional Silk and Metal Thread Techniques on Canvas

Jane Lemon; Metal Thread Embroidery

I don’t stitch Christmas stockings, but I have a friend who has stitched about 20 or so stockings for her family over the past 15 years. I’m just putting this one on a scroll frame for her. I think this will be a good project for this afternoon as I see a nap in my future.