Back to the carrots & Additions

This is the tree I bought from Pier 1. I have three of these to inspire me to finish the carrots for my Grandchildren. I’d like to believe my stitching means more to them than candy and money…but even I remember being a kid and chocolate and shinny coins outweighed my Grandmother’s hard work. Not that I don’t appreciate all the lovely things she made for me…I still have one of the tea towels (with holes) that I can’t bring myself to throw away. It was the last thing she embroidered for me when I got married and I think I may just have to frame the stitching part. I also have pillow cases she stitched I use on the guest bed and Lord, help the head that ever touches one of these. I even have one or two that I use to keep my larger needlepoint projects safe.  

But I digress; this is turning into another blog for another day…back to the carrots and the tree.

I am trying to complete 3 carrots a day…so far I get one completed and start a second. On a good day I can get almost two stitched. I have 10 completed and 11 almost. I made a copy of the chart, enlarged to 125% and then with my trusty colored pencils I coded the stitches.

Yesterday, I had a discussion with a stitching friend about cross stitch designs. There are some that do not think one should every cross over from one media to another (i.e. using cross stitch designs for needlepoint). I am of the opinion that if you like it, want to try it, go for it. Life would be pretty dull if we all colored in the lines. Anyway, after we decided that we could use any media we chose; my friend pointed out a very interesting observation to me. She said that by doing cross stitch designs she had learned to look at the total design and make decisions on what part of the design to stitch first so she had places to anchor other threads and points of reference. And of course she is right…I just never thought about this.

When I came home I took a moment to look at the design I am stitching and realized I had done this too; kind of an un-thought of knee jerk reaction. Using the design above as an example…Obviously the lower part of this carrot was a no brainer, lots of stitching, place to anchor next thread, etc. But the flowers at the top I did think about and plan but not consciously as my friend does. Well, I guess it was consciously unconscious. I did the long green stem first, followed by the pink flower. Then I did the white flower; petals first then the center.  If I’m off count the center can be adjusted to work…less stitches or add a few…never frog stitch. I did the outside of the blue stitches, more of them and again if I’m off center can be adjusted; and then I added the backstitches.   

I think we can all continue to learn something from each other and I am grateful to this person who helped me to think about what I am doing and why.  From this conversation, we moved on to other things that we all take for granted or learned a long time ago and just do from habit. I’ll write again about these another day…because I need to get back to my carrots. I’m also taking a lunch break to the quilt shop to purchase material for finishing and of course eat lunch.

Hope everyone has time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Additions: 

One morning and early afternoon later: (I need to find a personal shopper who will only purchase what I originally head out to buy!)

Heading for the quilt shop I should drive past the Half Price Book Store, but my car turns into the parking lot and two books later I am back on track. Jill Carter’s book: New Canvaswork has been on my want list for some time and the Complete Color Index just jumped into my hands. I love the box and the two books; and who can pass up a $45 find for $10 bucks?

Back on track, I spent an hour at the quilt shop. As luck would have it the canvas is not an orange, but it’s not a yellow-orange nor peach either. Whatever material I put it with just didn’t speak to me. I finally decided the two in the picture spoke to me best and even if I did go by JoAnn’s on my way (just 10 blocks out of my way, but I am in the area)…I would probably like these best. So my experience is buy them and if nothing else I am collecting a great stash for the garage sale my family will have when I go.

 I decided lunch was in order and my favorite Greek restaurant happens to be directly in my path. They always have a lunch special: Gyro sandwich and salad with a glass of fresh tea…Spoke to me and anyway if I eat lunch I may not buy so-o o much. Oh wait too late and that’s at the grocery store anyway.

 Okay full stomach, off to JoAnn’s. Found 1 fabric that would be okay, but decided I did not like it any better than the ones I had. Okay, going to make it out of JoAnn’s without a purchase…do you feel the earth shaking? Wait, this nice lady is putting out new books. Oh no, I’m not looking for anything in particular, I just have this want list of books in my phone that I carry so whenever I o to a bookstore (new or used) I am prepared!  And low and behold, what does this nice sales lady do? She enables me to the back to look at all the books that have just arrived! One book later off my list as one I really do not need; thinking I am going to escape and feel the earth move; out pops Jacqui McDonald Crewelwork from the Royal School of Needlework. MINE!!! With a 50% off coupon to boot!

Now I’m back home haven’t taken a stitch and am thinking about a nap. Between shopping and lunch I’m pooped!

Hope  I  have time to stitch today! ttfn again…sue

No more stitching

I’m not stitching anymore!

 

 

April Fool

 

I’m really working on stitching carrots for an Easter tree. These are charts from Vicki Hastings , The Cricket Collection( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog21.html ):

No 241 Rabbits’ Big Day( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog_pics7/241big.jpg ),

No 242Rabbit Garden ( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog_pics7/242big.jpg ),

No 243 Rabbit’s Delight ( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog_pics7/243big.jpg),

No 244 Leaping Rabbit ( http://www.cecricket.com/catalog_pics7/244big.jpg ).

They were designed for linen but have no half or quarter stitches so I am stitching them on 18 count orange canvas. Since I’m on a short time schedual I’m just using the suggested DMC floss and stitching them in basketweave. Well, that’s not exactly true…I did change the coat from green to blue and I am using Threadworx overdyed oranges for the carrots…but other than that staying pretty true to the charts.

I found a tree at Pier 1 that will work. It is very similar to the one in the picture.

So, No Foolin….I’m going to stitch the day and night away…

Hope no one fools you today and you have time to stitch today!  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

Eggs…the stitched variety

These are the Easter eggs I’ve stitched.

 

easter-egg-1My design and I also finished can you tell? I did this about 3 years ago and did not keep track of threads, although I think they are Rainbow Gallery (http://rainbowgallery.com/index.html): Purple Cresta d’Ore C27 and Overture Tequila Sunrise and red perle cotton.

 

 

 

easter-egg-2easter-egg-3These are two others I did several years ago and just got back from Patty. I stitched them but never finished. I didn’t like my finishing, so I put them in the finish another year pile. But now they look really spiffy thanks to Patty. The blue one is Silk and Ivory (http://www.brownpaperpackages.com/), Silk, an overdyed rayon tube, and Cresta d’Ore Opal multi C61. The pink is an overdyed silk and silk floss and metallic in pinks. I’ll stitch more for next year and keep better track of threads I use.

 

easter-egg-5a-leeeaster-egg-4-leeThe next eggs are a Lee Needlearts Canvases Hyacinth (na) and Lilly of Valley(XM408). Pocket Full of Stitches has a page of these eggs (http://pfos.com/Needlepoint/Lee/Page11.HTM ) but your local needlepoint store can order for you.  I sure would love to have the Tulips too, but I think it has been discontinued. They are all stitched with Kreinik braids to give that ‘Faberge’ egg look and the background is Rainbow Gallery Splendor blue #856.

 

easter-egg-5b 

I love they way Patty finished all the eggs because I can lay them all in a basket or stand them up individually.

 

 

 

If you ever have trouble viewing pictures here, most pictures are also on my Flicker page. I think you can access it from the right column or here is the http: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudukc/ 

 

Okay, even though my week started off poorly and it is cool and rainy for Easter; I hope everyone has a Happy Bunny and Egg Day and eats lots of chocolate. I’m off to the kitchen to fix food for tomorrow.

 

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

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.

ttfn…sue