Do I have Stash?

Someone asked me if I had much stash and how I stored it… Well yes, but not as much as some others I know… but I do have my fair share…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince I do several needlecrafts I have a large overlapping stash…(my DH calls it my mini Hobby Store…This is from a man whose workbench and area looks like a hardware store after an earthquake..don’t tell him I posted this picture!)… mine is very well organized even though it does take up a large portion of our home. I dabble in any needle art, but my favorites are needlepoint, temari, needle felting (new), knitting (learning), crochet and sewing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a library…it has all needle related books.  I have a stitching area in here but seldom use it.

 

In our office I have a stitching chair too, but use it mostly for selecting threads. I have closet with threads and beads; these are stored on wire shelves in plastic boxes and drawers. Most are stored by type (i.e DMC #5 Perle, DMC Floss, Kreinik #8 Braid, Rainbow Gallery silk, Silk and Ivory etc….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWithin the box or drawer, it may vary as how I store each thread: DMC and Rainbow Gallery Silk are stored by number, some Rainbow Gallery, Silk & Ivory and all Kreinik and beads are stored by color.  All threads and beads are clearly marked by number as well as who produced it and name (if applicable.) It is whatever I find works best for me and the particular thread or bead.

My general supplies are stored in clear plastic containers or bags and marked in my master bedroom closet: I have painted needlepoint canvases, cut plain needlepoint canvas
yarn (for knitting a & crocheting), leftover yarn from crochet projects is wound into bases as I go to desired sizes) I use this bases not only for temari balls but also for needle felting balls. When I’m making a temari, I chose the ball and wind with sewing thread.


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My sewing threads are kept in the sewing area with finishing supplies for finishing needlework.

 

I also keep  a box and/or bag for each type of needle art tools/supplies:
I have a bag and small tin for knitting and crochet OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
tools…haven’t been in to this long enough to mass great supplies.

 

 

 

I have a lunch OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
box with Kumihimo disks, and weights.

Bobbins are in a plastic bag.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATemari has it’s own lunch box of tools.

 

 

 

I have plastic boxes with stitching tools for beading. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

Since I started needlefelting I purchased a set of rolling drawers. I store some supplies and  needle felting roving in here. I also have a plastic box for tools and a couple containers with tools I use.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut needlepoint takes up the most areas.  I have a couple stitching nests; each has a floor stand, light and comfy chair for stitching. One area has a set of drawers to keep extra supplies and dodads.

 

I have three bags of stitching tools; one large with seldom used tools, one small that I take to classes and seminars and one I use all the time. Not to mention my collection of needlework tools that I have blogged about before.

So yes, I guess I do have stash! I’m lucky I have a pretty good idea what stash I have and where to look. I can go right to it without much trouble.

I would love to take over the living room (we live in our family room) as an art area but DH has drawn a line in the sand, says he can’t turn around now without fearing for his life of being stabbed by a needle or pair of scissors…men!)

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

ttfn…sue


 

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No April Fool

This is not an April Fool’s joke…I’m going to try and get back to blogging.

It was last July that I posted my last blog and I have no reason why I stopped blogging. I can tell you that this is not as easy for me as it seems for others, I struggle with every post. I mentioned this at a stitch-in last week and said I was having difficulty getting back to blogging and that it was not easy for me to write. Someone said they enjoyed the blog and I needed to do it again. So here I am. I do have lots to share with you.

After I had my knee done last March 2016, my friend came home from Hong Kong and we ran around all summer learning new things (it was great exercise for my knee) …I’ll share some as we go along. I made a beaded tassel, a beaded necklace, kumihimo brading, a wool needlepunch flower, learned to needlefelt and crochet. Went antiquing, ate well and also tried to stitch with friends at least once a week.  Soooo busy running around, learning new things or having fun that something had to give and it was finishing and blogging.  My friend went back to Hong Kong in the fall and then I had to get ready for the holidays and then I had my second knee replaced…

So since I last blogged I have had both my knees replaced and so I can go-go-go. One knee was a year ago, March 2016 and the other just last January 2017. Good thing they were replaced in the order they were…first knee was much easier than second… But I am on the road to recovery and am getting around.

I took a crochet class last year.  I knew how to crochet but was self-taught and figured I’d taught myself some bad habits.  I found out other than the fact that I hate to ripe out and would rather adapt, I was doing it correctly. I learned when I was young (21 years old) and must have followed the written instructions pretty well. I  should have! I wrote all the instructions for that baby blanket out in long hand before stitching. I remember because my best friend was expecting her daughter and I wanted to make her a special baby blanket.  I knew I wanted it to be granny squares (only because I knew what the finished product should look like) and so I bought all this baby yarn (more than I needed)  and thought I would have my grandmother teach me how to crochet. Grandma lived with us but she didn’t know how to crochet…my aunt did but she had just left for a month in Europe, so I decided to teach myself. I was so intimidated by the instructions, they were written in code…5 sc , join with ss to make ring. Clusters:  3 sc, 4 dc in ring, 2 sc, * 3 dc in ring, repeat 3 times , ss to 3rd ss of 1st cluster. Tie off.. Oh my gosh, I wrote every instruction out in long hand for the whole blanket! Then I would stitch, take it out  and re-stitch until it looked like the granny square afghan in our family room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve come a long way, now I can read a pattern (not always correctly) and I can sometimes even crochet correctly, but I can make a finished product in a reasonable amount of time. This is the poncho I finished last fall…and yes I creatively adapted the instructions. And BTW, it looks better on me than on this hanger.

This year I am going to try and learn to knit, I’ve tried before but not very successfully, so when my friend moves home this time for good from HongKong we are going to learn to knit among other things yet unknown. Life will be a bit calmer since my friend is not going back to Hong Kong and we can go at a slower pace.

So, as we go along and I gather my thoughts and take a few pictures I will share with you some of the things I did last year as well as some of the things I am stitching now. And I know, one of these days I need to get back to finishing again, I still have bunches of stuff to finish and keep stitching more.

But today I want to also thank you for stopping by to read my blog again. AND… I hope you have time to stitch today! And that’s no April Fool’s joke

ttfn…sue

No vacation only pitfalls

I have not been on vacation, but maybe I should have taken a break. This month has been full of pitfalls…mostly self imposed pitfals but pitfalls none the less.

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Mr. Bunny

On a bright note, I have finished stitching Mr. Bunny. He will not make a the Easter Parade this year but next year will be decked out in his finest for the day.

Stitching the background for this is brought up a thought to me. When you are choosing that painted canvas do you know exactly what you want to do with the completed canvas or do you just buy it because you like it. I have been giving a LOT of thought to this since stitching Mr. Bunny.

As I was stitching I decided I want the bunny to be a stand-up, but what kind of stand up: A form shape, a dome shape? At first I thing I would like a form shape but then I was afraid he was so tall his head might look like it was falling off the back of his shoulders So I decided to do a form shape. But after I drew a dome shape around Mr. Bunny and stitched the back ground, I thought the same thing would happen unless I decided to finish the piece as a boxed form. So a box form he will be.

The other thing I noticed is no matter how I finish this canvas there is not much canvas left (especially at the top for blocking.) I only stitched out one inch from Mr. Bunny’s ears and hips, I would have liked to do more but I needed to leave something for blocking. I know this is a cost issue for designers and painters and also for us as stitchers. Designers would have to charge more for extra canvas and we would have to buy larger stretcher bars but in some cases I wouldn’t mind the extra cost. I will block this piece myself and I am even going to try box finishing (never done before…any hints or suggestions will be appreciated.) But I think other finishers might have liked to have another inch or so to block.

And this brings me back to my original question: When you are choosing that painted canvas do you know exactly what you want to do with the completed canvas or do you just buy it because you like it? I think that this is one of the reasons we have canvases we never stitch…It was so-ooooo cute in the shop; we just had to have it. So we buy it take it home and later we are looking for something to stich and we don’t chose the canvas that we are unsure how to finish. So I challenge all of you consciously think about that next canvas; how do you see it finished? If you cannot answer that question look for one you can see as an ornament, a picture, a pillow, a stand up, or a purse. Because not only does the canvas you choose depend on how it will be finished, the threads, stitches and embellishments you choose also depend on how you finish the canvas.

And with that said I should have taken my own advice and never picked up the next project! I found an UFO in my closet that on hindsight was there for a reason but I had a two week moment of bad judgement. I let myself talk myself into finishing a doomed project. Let me preface this with the fact that I envy anyone who can knit…I want one of those beautiful sweaters I see my friends knitting. A friend told me to go take knitting classes and I almost tried this ill-fated project, but instead I found this unfinished crocheted jersey in my stuff. So I figured Iwould finish it and then think about knitting classes. I have spent two weeks stitching sleeves and putting this jersey together…Oh what an ugly thing it is! 2015-05-21 chief jerseyWay too big and falls off my shoulders….not to mention the weight (and its all cotton)…and then there is the cost…I venture to say I could have almost purchased a NFL team member’s actual jersey! Well, not quite, but I could have purchased a NFL jersey they sell at the local sports shop…and a nice one too.

And the other setback I had this week was I upgraded my graphics program and now I can’t open the old one. The new one is enough different that I am going to have to spend a few days looking it over before I need to do work for teachers and designers. It’s getting to be that time of year when teachers are getting their new classes together to pilot to some of you lucky stitchers.

But ever the optimist, I am playing with the new program and I am checking on Pintrest for remade clothes. AND I have learned a few valuable lessons:

  1. I am not taking knitting classes, I will just continue to envy all those of you who can multi task.
  2. I will only crochet afghans for myself, family and new babies
  3. I am a graphic designer; I can make nice diagrams for myself, teachers and designers. I have so many ideas that I will never get them all tried.
  4. I can sew; I can make some simple clothes for myself. And I can finish some needlepoint.
  5. But Most of all I am a Needlepointer! I do it fairly well and I am sticking with it! But I am going to look at each canvas I get with a critical eye and decide how I see it finally finished.

2015-05--21 red cherryAnd things are looking up…We planted two Bing cherry trees last year and this year one tree had ONE cherry, it ripened, I ate it and it was candy sweet, oh so yummy. And the other tree has a bumper crop but not quite ready for harvesting. I sure hope next year we have more cherries on both trees or I may have to replace the one that is producing stingily.

2015-05-21 more cherriesBut for now this needlepointer is off to stitch. I have picked a new project and threads; I know how it will be finished. I am going to pick stitches and just have fun!

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

Books to start the new year

My DH is getting good at using my Amazon Wish List and I am grateful. This year I was getting ready to order my usual Christmas book for myself when two packages arrive from Amazon. Since I hadn’t ordered anything I asked DH and low and behold they were for me…lucky me getting the perfect gift something from my want list and a Christmas read too. 😉
My 2012 Christmas books are:

Granny Square Book

Granny Square Book

The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert. I can’t knit one stitch but crochet is up my alley and Granny squares are a three generation favorite in my family. And January is yarn sale month at Joann’s and local knit shop so I think I see a Granny Square something in my future. As I looked through this book all I could think about was Carrie Hall who had wanted to make a quilt of each pattern available, but soon decided that was an impossible task and so settled on trying to making one of every quilt block she knew. This quilt block collection is part of Spencer Gallery of Art at KU (http://www.spencerart.ku.edu/ ) Lawrence Kansas and the subject of the book, The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall and Rose Kretsinger. The different granny squares remind me of those quilt blocks. Maybe I’ll make a quilt with different crocheted blocks.

The Pattern Book

The Pattern Book

The next book is The Pattern Library Needlepoint, edited by Amy Carrol. I have a friend who has this book; I have always liked it and have had it on my want list even when it wasn’t always available. This 96 page book has many of the typical stitches with stitch diagrams and uses (i.e. Gobelin, knitting stitch, diagonal mosaic…) but each of these stitches is shown stitched using different color threads to make a pattern within the stitch. There are 15 pages of bargello patterns, and a section on borders, stripes and corners. It’s a great little reference book for any needlepoint library. Note: I think I noticed in Amy Bunger’s January newsletter (http://www.amybunger.com/home.html), she has one for sale too.

Embroidered Portraits

Embroidered Portraits

My final gift book is: Embroidered Portraits by Jan Messent. Jan writes great how to books that are full of good advice and inspiration. She shows faces in full, profile and three-quarter, some are stitched and some are painted. She layers the areas and gives hints on stitching. I had forgotten from my art class days that woman’s necks appear longer than men’s necks…it’s one of those things you know but the reminder is refreshing. I really liked this book and I am even contemplating making a portrait of my grandmother in needlepoint.

Three heads

Three heads

When you have three good books to start the new year, the year is off to a good start! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue

Ort Box Memories

I went to clean out my ort box today and had to stop and look at all the orts. I have stitched… just not blogged about the stitching. Looking at these orts brought back a flood of memories I’ll share some with you as the year comes to an end.

This has been a year of us and downs; but something good always comes from something unpleasant… I lost a very dear friend, Bill E. (aka: WEE) this summer to Colon Cancer. He put up a valiant fight and dealt with his disease in his own dignified style. I will miss WEE forever, he is a good man. We have been friends since my second son brought him home to eat chip chocolate cookies (and yes Bill, it is chip chocolate…not chocolate chip). I will never eat another chip chocolate cookie that I don’t think of you, Bill.

Quick version of the story: Please note the following story took place in the 70’s when life was a bit safer than it is today…

One day I was baking cookies, kids were outside playing; Hugh, second son, was about four or five and had wandered down to the new neighbor’s front porch. They had a fish tank and Hugh was fascinated (a fascination that has lasted his whole life) and went in to look. I guess (I never asked) in the course of the conversation, it came up that I was home baking cookies. Anyway, Hugh came home and asked for a couple cookies for himself and his new friend, I gave them to him and off he went. He came back again and asked for more, I suggested that it might not be a good idea since it was almost dinner time and anyway, what did his new friend’s mother think about him having more cookies? Hugh left, only to return and tell me, “My friend doesn’t have a mother.” Opps, well what does his father think about him eating all these cookies? Off to new friend only to return with, “My friend doesn’t have a Dad either.” Now, Hugh has my full attention, he is playing with someone who has no adult supervision (not that Hugh was getting much adult supervision at the same time); maybe you should bring this new friend home to meet Mom. Off Hugh goes, and I, now ice tea in hand, go to front porch to watch. After a few minutes here comes Hugh holding the finger of this adult’s hand; I was sure Dad had come home and Hugh and his new friend were in serious trouble for being in the house with no adult supervision. But before I could apologize for my son’s behavior, Hugh introduced me to his new friend, Bill E. After I stopped being total embarrassed for my son bothering the new neighbor, I found out Bill was a hungry law student with a fish tank. I made a deal with Bill; I would feed him if he would to my legal work for life. Bill nicknamed Hugh, “Huge,” (another lifelong attachment) that proved to be prophetic…Hugh is 6 feet 4 inches, weighs a lot and is the largest of my children.  And that day over ice tea and chip chocolate cookies a family friendship was born which has lasted a lifetime.

But as the song says, “ For every time there is a season” and now the new season begins; Bill has a namesake, born this fall (fitting that it was the first day of fall too), Willow Emma (another WEE but more beautiful). I could hear him telling me how beautiful she is and that no other girl can compare, the new love of his life. She is his first grandchild, born to his oldest son Ron and his wife Nellie.

And that leads me to one of my finished project(s); I crocheted a baby blanket for the new baby this summer and fall. I tired early this summer to teach Bill to crochet, but to no avail…he said I went too fast. But I did show him the yarn and pattern and told him I would complete it for the new baby. Then Bill’s wife, Jessica, asked me to help complete the blanket she knitted for baby Willow; so I crocheted the edging and lined her blanket…It’s that the coolest knitting pattern, I can’t knit but I love this blanket.

If you would like to read more about Bill, Ron has written three wonderful articles about his dad. The last one was this Christmas Eve 2010.

1st story, Dec 12, 2008: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2008/dec/12/kin-and-cancer/

2nd story, November 20, 2009:  http://www.reporternews.com/news/2009/nov/20/farewell-to-family/

Dec 24, 2010: http://www.reporternews.com/news/2010/dec/24/a-year-for-family/

Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

My enabling friend Karen

Karen and I go back a few years, we worked in the same needlepoint store. Karen is one of those people you love to know, You can mull around ideas, you can bounce ideas off her, you can give her a problem and she comes up with two or three ideas/solutions and I have never known Karen not to succeed at a new venture. She’s good for my creative flow.

And now I am going to break my rule about not posting other peoples designs without permission, since this piece was in my house for two years before I gave it back and I saved it from the round file one day at work. I had every intention of returning to Karen, but, it made it’s way to my china cabinet and looked so good with my crystal vase that I forgot to return until yesterday.

hardanger-1

hardanger2 hardanger3        hardanger4 hardanger5             

 

 

 

 Karen does beautiful hardanger, some of the nicest I have ever seen. I thought everyone should see her great work. She also made one of my scissor cases I showed before but will be happy to do so again. It is one of my favorites and I do not take it out of my house.

 hardanger6

 

Karen also has a blog but it is mostly about knitting, but I read it anyway… http://vermiciousknits.wordpress.com/

Yesterday Karen and I met for lunch, I gave her the hardanger and then she enabled me and maybe even enticed me. We went by a knit shop and I don’t knit but Karen does and very well I might add. I, on the other hand, have tried several times with several people trying to teach me and I never got the hang of it.  But oh my, the beautiful yarns… makes you want to try again. Anyway, I do crochet and I found an interesting book about crochet (enabled). I also learned that crochet is older than knitting , but knitting takes half the amount of yarn crochet requires, and more people prefer the look of knitting. Well, other than the book I purchased I was able to escape without buying large quantities of yarn and not signing up for a class. We also went to Half Price Books and I managed to escape without being enabled there either.

Now the kicker of this tale is…all night last night I dreamed about knitting and even awoke this morning thinking I probably should sign up for classes and give it one more try. I immediately got up and ate breakfast, because my mother always told me if you tell a dream before eating it will come true. Now, it’s not that I don’t want to try to learn to knit one more time, I’ll may give it the ole college try….it’s all the yarn I see collecting in my sewing room (and after I have been trying so hard to purge the sewing room of threads I know I will never use for needlepoint). If the dream weren’t enough, my first email this morning was from Karen with three websites to visit:

http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/

http://www.ravelry.com/

Hummmmmm, so guess what I have been doing off and on (more on than off) today? Enabling, enabling, enabling! I have downloaded 8 to 12 free patterns, all crochet…but I did look at the knitting and there were several there, but I fought the urge. I am reading one blog and on waiting list for the third site to admit me… I think it is teasing me into submission. So if in the next few months you hear load mutterings from the midwest it will probably be the poor knitting teacher wishing I’d take up another hobby or it could be me trying to figure out where to store my new stash. I’ll keep you posted.
ttfn…sue