Magazine

Do you read magazines in different ways? I had never thought about this until the other day when I had a stack of magazines sitting together and I noticed I treat my magazines differently.

Most new magazine arriving at our house get a quick once over, I peruse each issue to see if there is something I must read immediately and then I usually set it aside for evening enjoyment. If there has been an article that I can’t wait to read, I flag it (and this is different depending on the magazine…more about this later) to read in the evening.

15-01-29 mag aBut all my magazines are not created equally. Some magazines are family magazines and they will eventually end up in the family room for everyone to see. Midwest Living, Missouri Life, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, etc…are all in this category. If there is a recipe or creative idea that I wish to keep in these magazines, I have dog-eared a corner of the page. So when a new issue arrives, I quickly look the old issue over to see if I have dog-eared a page to keep, I tear it out and out goes the old issue.

15-01-29 mag bOther magazines like Flee Market Finds, Vintage Collectibles, Ornaments, FiberArts Now do not get dog-eared and may stay around longer that some of the other monthly/ quarterly issues and they live in the family room too. But when these magazines begin to pile up the older ones get one last look for inspirational ideas that I tear out and then out they go too.

15-01-29 mag cAnd then there are what I call the inspirational issues: Needlepoint Now, Cloth Paper Scissors, NeedlePointers, Inspirations… They are treated with tender loving care and I even read these differently that the previous magazines. I don’t give them a quick once over but rather keep them for my evening reading.  The first pass through this magazine is to look at every page (wouldn’t want to miss that special canvas, new product, or technique); then I start at the front cover again and while I may not read every word I spend time on every page. I love the ads; they are colorful and give lots of color combination ideas, not to mention the stash enhancement opportunities. I always read the editors notes; she has labored over this magazine to bring the best of articles to each issue and she usually highlights why some articles have been included. Sometimes, when the editor mentions a specific article I will take a sneak peak at the article, but mostly I try to read the magazine from front to back just like a good book. I look at the stitch diagrams very closely, and if there is a numbering of a stitch or stitch sequence different from the norm then I will read to find out if this is an author preference or if there is a specific reason for the new numbering I try not to mark up these magazines (although I think older issues I was not so careful about this), if I want to mark an article I use a post-it note. Sometimes I will write on the post-it note what I have flagged (i.e.: goldwork, new product, stitch…)

And here-in lies a big problem…I have inspirational magazines from years ago. I have Cross-stitch magazines from my days of working for a cross stitch company and I subscribed to these for business references. I have needlepoint magazines stacked by year; I have a complete set of the Mary Engelbreit magazine, Home Companion (this magazine was so great…it was full of creative ideas and the color combinations were wonderful.) And I have needlepoint magazines that are no longer published. The magazines are taking over… and I have finally decided that I have to do something about this. One of my goals for the year is to look at these magazines and decide the best thing to do with them. Any ideas? I am open to any and all suggestions, it just seems a shame to send them to recycling but I need to do something.

But until I make a decision…I will keep on reading and stitching.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Mom and Me: Bunny stitching

I worked all last week on the bunnies. I knew I wanted the stitches to be related but I also knew I wanted them to stitch quickly. I also knew that I wanted a stitch that I could offset and yet by offsetting would not draw attention to the offset areas nor create compensating areas that would draw attention away from the piece.

First I stitched the outlines of both the bunnies in a gray continental stitch and I filled in the eyes; then I started on the bunnies. I started with the baby bunny. I knew I wanted to use related stitches and the baby bunny should be the smaller of the two stitch choices.

14-03-12 bunny line draw If you look at the line drawing I have divided the areas up into offsetting areas. The lightest pink of the baby bunny was stitched first to establish the stitch. I started immediately above the gray outline for the back leg & foot so I could establish a base line across the widest portion of this area. Then I stitched up to but not across the gray outlines; I compensated as I stitched but sometimes if it is difficult to see you can wait and compensate after all the full stitches are placed. I finished stitching one area before I began another.  I also left the bottom 4 to 5 rows unstitched until I establish the flowers on the bottom.

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I love the Nobuko stitch and it does work up fast so I used this for the baby bunny. And I decided that a Double Nobuko would work for Mom bunny. The diagrams of the  shows the plan for offsetting both the Nobuko and the Double Nobuko, but like I said I tried to figure out where to place the stitches so I had theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA least compensation so this may not be the exact placement I used.

When I moved to another area (let’s say the med pink of the face) I offset the stitch by one thread and stitched a full row across the area and then filled in as necessary above and below this base line I established. I continued in this manner for the nose/upper head and ear areas of the baby bunny. In the smaller areas I tried to figure out where I could place the most whole stitches so that compensation was kept to a minimum.

14-03-12 small & lg stitchesI could have used any number of stitches and I have shown you a few in the diagrams here. Not only can you expand a stitch but you can also create similar pattern stitches to use in your needlepoint. Ann Strite-Kurz has written some excellent books (any of her books are good)  on this subject: Potpourri of Pattern; The Science of Canvas Embroidery; and Stitch Variations and Mutations; Diaper Patterns. You can see her books and kits here (http://www.needleartworks.com/dsgnr/ask/askimages.htm), but I think you order directly from her. She also writes a column in Needlepoint Now (http://www.needlepointnow.com/), Using Common Stitches in Uncommon Ways.” You will get more ideas for stitch patterns to use here too.

But back to Mom & Me… I finished stitching Mom and baby bunny but left the bottom several rows unstitched until I figure out the flower design which I am working out on the computer first. I know the width I have to work with and I also have an approximate height so I am hoping this won’t be a big deal. I have an idea in my head and I hope it works out. I am stitching the pink of the bunnies ears in padded Gobelin…baby is Straight Gobelin Mom will be Diagonal Gobelin. Noses for both are Basketweave.

Again, this week the weather is spring like but by Wednesday the killjoy weather people are predicting white stuff…I’m hoping they are off their rockers. But whatever the day brings I know that spring is coming and I can hardly wait!

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

Needlepoint Housekeeping

It does not matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

Read that on someone’s blog and thought it was great (sorry I forgot to reference the original blog  source).

January (even though it is mostly over) is usually the month we all get real impulsive and  decide to organize our lives (eating habits, exercise habits, and yes even our stash and needle nests).

My impulsiveness was happily contained by my bout with the flu; no diet for me and it’s much too cold to even think about a walk to the front door let alone around the block. But while I was recouping  my January/ February issue of 14-01-28 magazineNeedlepoint Now (www. Needlepointnow.com)  arrived…and just in time too, I was about to suffer from complete needlepoint withdrawal since I had not stitched in two weeks. I read EVERYTHING even the page numbers on every page 🙂 . And there within these pages were others talking about organizing their stash and needlenests.  I like the rest of us who have more than a dozen different threads have contemplated for years: store by color or thread type, that is the question.

ED NOTE: if you know needlepointer  that only has only a  dozen threads , you need to have an intervention quickly…that needlepointer is having a needlepoint  breakdown  So, quickly have several friends send her a few extra threads so she too may contemplate the age old question: color or type?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is not a single answer to this question; everyone has to find the system that works for them. Last year I semi- reorganized my thread stash and came up with a system that works for

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me. I used all the thread rings I have a decorator elements and hung them in my office; I have my OLD re-purposed toy barrel I use to hold most color cards; I have a notebook to store Rainbow Gallery color cards and the rest of the

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stash is sorted by thread type in boxes in my thread closet that when we remolded the office I had them leave the doors off. So from my desk I can see all the threads, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Most of the drawers are Rainbow Gallery and these threads are stored by type: Splendor, color: yellow, number 1,2,3.. The larger boxes are also by supplier: Caron: Impressions, Brown Paper Packages: Silk n Ivory; DMC flouche…and these are sorted on rings by color and then numerically. All the overdyes are in boxes by name or number which even the thread manufacturer suggests. I have two boxes from the hardware store; one holds Kreinik by size and color and the other has Needlepoint  Inc silk by color and Trebizond by color. Most of the floss and perle coton are being converted to large plastic floss cars and stored in divide craft boxes.  And this works for me.

14-01-28 nestAnd I have a new addition to enhance my stash collecting and needle nest. Last year when a local needlework shop closed I purchased at the auction four empty DMC floss cabinets. I drew up a base that I wanted to have made and asked my husband to make it for me. Life happens and the stand got put on the back burner but not forgotten. Last week-end the base was finished and now sits next to one of my needlenests waiting for me to fill it up. Oh what is better than a stash area waiting to be filled!

And yes I have more than one needlenest…I have to have a place to stitch in all my favorite places…There is a place in the library with all my needlepoint books, a place in my office, one in the sitting area of our master bedroom and of course the family room too. My sons are constantly reminding me that when they were young and left their toys all over I would tell them to pick them up and take them to their rooms or the toy room. And I am just as quick to remind them that what I said was a case of “do as I say not as I do” ; or they can just blame it on getting old…I forget where my nest is and just make a new one…and if that doesn’t work for them: it is MY house I can do what I want.

Okay I am off to fill my DMC drawers and have a good day, after all I only have three more days left in January to be impulsively organized (this compulsion usually abates itself by Valentine’s day.) And remember it does not matter how slow I go as long as long as I don’t stop until the drawers are full of stash…sorry Confucius for the play on your words.

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

ttfn…sue