I’ve Done it Again…

The reason you haven’t heard from me is I’ve done it again…I’m expanding my needlearts learning.  Last week I took a knitting class, kumihimo with beads class, a beading class, made another temari ball, wrapped 3-4 more to stitch in the next couple weeks, and yes I needlepointed too. I know I should concentrate on one project at a time but I love them all and can’t pick just one…so I’m just going to have to figure a way to sleep less, cook less (love these too), general household duties (don’t like these so much)  or maybe I could just clone myself.

And I am sorry but I think my blog suffers the most. I really am going to have to get in a habit of stopping here. Last week in a magazine I finally had time to read there was an article on how to have a successful blog and I guess I’m never going to have a successful blog by their standards. I am supposed to find a niche and stick to it…and we all know that isn’t going to happen. I have too many things I want to learn and do. Then I looked at the name I gave my blog nine years ago “sudukc’s needleart & other musings… A place to see what I am doing or not doing”; I must have known then that this is an eclectic place. It is mostly about needlepoint because that is my primary love but it is also about any kind of needle art because they are all fascinating to me. So, thank you for finding my musings interesting even if they are all over the place and sporadic at best.

I used to think I knew my limitations, and I do know that I love quilts but I am never going to make my 13 quilts…For those of you who don’t know; history or folk lore says that before a girl got married she had to make 12 quilts, the 13th quilt was made and quilted by friends and family when she was about to get married. And anyway, I’m already married, too late. But I know too that I am not a large quilt maker; I tried it, and even though I love them and they are beautiful but it is not me. I like smaller projects and there are plenty of them for me to try.

Last week I was beading at Florilegium with Gretchen and I said I wish I were as creative as she is. Gretchen tried to convince me I am and just need “to do”… After I got home I really thought about this and I think I am creative…just maybe spread too thin. No matter what project I pick up I can think of 4 or 5 other things I want to do in the technique I am working at the time. I have decided to write them in my Stash Idea book, or if they are in another book or magazine to mark and keep for after I catch up. It’s like stash…only I’m not buy the canvas and thread (well I still am buying needlepoint canvas and threads but that’s a paragraph or two down.) I’m going to think of this as stash ideas and when I want a project I will just look at my Stash Idea book, purchase the supplies and go for it. I probably could check around the stash already purchased for some supplies, but we all know I’m going to be short something.

So here’s what I’ve been up to these last few weeks…

These are the beading projects I have in the works…several fobs, a herringbone learning piece, several other projects to start…I also have marked my books with more stash ideas…I do believe my bead stash is growing.

 

Now I am combining my kumihimo with beading and starting that too.

 

 

And I am bound and determined to learn to knit…no Peruvian sweaters in my future but I do want to learn how to knit. I can crochet and have tried knitting several times before but I never seem to get the hang of it. I am bound and determined to learn this; it will not get the best of me. And I know practice is the best teacher so I try to do 5 minutes every day. I don’t go back to classes for another week, but I hope then we start a project and I have a goal in site.

Like I said last post, I belong to two Temari discussion groups online and they are having stitch-a-longs. And since I have been a lurker for these past few years I have decided to try and participate. I’ve done two so far and have two more in the works. I also try to keep an info sheet on every Temari I make (another to do), never know I might want to make another. I think it is difficult to write exact instructions for Temari because each ball is a unique size. I can only approximate the size of the balls I make and I like them about 30 cm, give or take and larger. I find for me the larger balls are easier to work on.

And I have been needlepointing too. I have a secret project in the works…I’ll show it to you soon. It is a gift and I want it to be a surprise. I am finished stitching and just have to get it finished and given then I’ll share. I am also working on a small take-a-long project but just haven’t taken pictures. This project I only stitch on when I go to a guild stitch-in, stitching with friends or to my weekly stitch-in at local shop.  I also am gathering stuff for another nest project. Nest projects seldom leave home; they are larger projects and require a stand and light.

You know I was just thinking, if I ever win the lottery (guess I should buy a ticket) I’m going to have a studio and call it Stash Studio or Creative Corner. I am going to have all kinds of my favorite stuff. I’d really like to live above the studio and whenever I want (day or night) just go down and play. When the lights were on, my friends or anyone could drop by to stitch too. I would never want for any stash, it would just always be there…okay so this is a dream but wouldn’t that be great.

I hope you all are staying cool this summer. To my Canadian friends, “Happy Canada Day” yesterday and to my USA friends have a safe and happy 4th of July. I’m off to redo my herringbone sampler, then I think I may tackle another beading project or two and then I’ll stitch and watch a movie this evening. And oh yes, NeedlePointers arrived today ; so I need to stop and look at this too.

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

ttfn…sue

 

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This week I played with Temari Balls.

I belong to a couple groups online and one is doing a beginning study. While I have been doing Temari Balls for a long time, I do not consider myself anything but a beginner. I think in order to advance you should work at the art regularly and I am sporadic at best.

I can do most of the simple divisions and some of the complex divisions. I am not at all familiar with the terminology, especially the Japanese terms that true Temari artists use. I call a ball stitched with spindles and “spindle Temari”; while a true Temari artist calls this “Tsumu kagari.”

But I like to keep my beginning skills up and so every now and then I join in rather than just lurk all the time. If you would like to explore the two sites I frequent most, here they are: they just recently changed web hosts and I think you have to ask permission to join but that should not be a problem.

Temari Challenge for Everyone: https://temarichallenge.groups.io/g/Main

Temari Talk Companion group to Temari Kai (see below)  https://talktemari.groups.io/g/main

 

And here are the Temari sites I explore most:

Barbara Suess: http://www.japanesetemari.com/index.html

Temari Kai: http://www.temarikai.com/

Temari Obsession: http://www.npcdesign.com/index.html

This study (Beginning Basics) appealed to me because it was the perfect opportunity to explore some concepts that I had been tossing around in my head while also honing my beginning skills and practicing stitching  a spindle.

In my Temari Ball mind I have wanted to play with DMC #3 and #5 perle cotton to see the differences in making a ball. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore this concept.  I learned that two rounds of stitching with #5 perle is about equivalent to 1 round with #3 perle. It is kind of an eyeball adjustment and a judgement call but at least I have an idea now.

 

In the past some of my spindles seem to pop out of place and now I know why. I was not allowing enough space between the stitches. I have decided that a good rule of thumb for stitching spindles is that there should be at least the diameter of the thread between stitches. And if you lay the thread where it should be placed you can see where to take the next stitch. Following these personal observations, my Temari spindles turned out very well.

 

Another thing I gleaned from this study is that if you are using more than two threads of the same color from one source, make sure they are the same or at least compatible. I used #3 and #5 perle in three colors: the white and dark blue were the same but the light blue was two different colors (even though they were the same number). When placed next to each other under a bright light, one had a blue-green cast while the other was a true blue tint.

 

I also experimented with stitches at the pole points. This one I used a Smooth Spider Web stitch.

I also tried using a double silver thread and twisting it in the needle before stitching. Both of these experiments worked fairly well.

This was a fun experiment and I considered it a great learning experience, so  I am going to try and continue following along and practicing…never know I might consider myself an intermediate Temari Ball stitcher when I get.

I am going to get back to needlepoint and I have been stitching. I’ve been stitching on a secret project but I did take pictures and so when it is completed and given as a gift I will post all about it. And as a matter of fact going to do another one as an experiment. More later.

Would also like to get back to finishing needlepoint as it is mounting up. And I haven’t told you everything I did last summer and this summer is already about half over. I made a list of things to write about and I don’t think I’ve covered more than a couple….see how I get distracted. Okay off to finish another non needlepoint project….but next week I will share needlepoint.

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

ttfn…sue

Temari and Hamilton, Mo

While I was not blogging and trying to get my stitch mojo back I made a couple Temari Balls.

Temari KUThe first one is a pattern I love to make, it is very simple and the beauty comes from the negative space that is created by using one thread the same color as the base of the ball to stitch the design. This one was stitched for my knee surgeon; he graduated from KU so it is the KU ball. And since I am partial to blue the ball is predominately blue.  He loved the ball and I love him (he did a great job on my knee), so we are both happy.
Temari Basket of RosesThe other Temari ball is an original. I have a new Great Grand-daughter (I am a two time great, so far…boy and girl) and her middle name is Rose. Rose was my mother’s middle name (we called her Whammer…for grandma, but that’s another story.) It was also my favorite Great Aunt’s name and I think it is a name from Catherine’s family also.)  So I decided to make Rose’s mother a basket of roses. First I stitched the top rose and then the partial side roses. Then I started on the basket. First I wove the basket from the SP to the Equator in a ribbed spider web stitch. Then around the top edge I made a detached buttonhole border for the lip of the basket. Turned out cute.

“More about Hamilton too…I hear it is a quilter’s mecca.” This is what I said last week about Missouri Star Quilt Co in Hamilton, Mo. Well, after being there, there is no way to really describe it to anyone; it is an experience that will be different to everyone who visits. Words like eye-candy, beautiful, overwhelming come to mind; but it was so much more too that I will have to re-visit several times before I feel like I have an understanding of everything this quilter’s/ fabric mecca has to offer.

It is the town! You have to go read the history of Missouri Star Quilt Co and Hamilton, Mo: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/. And if you are anywhere near Kansas City, Mo (and I mean even if you have to travel 2-3 hours out of your way and it is one of the only things you do in Kansas City) add a day to your trip for a stop here. Even if you are not a quilter (and I am not) it is something any creative person should see. If you own a textile shop, you need to just study their presentations and marketing…excellent! Oh my gosh, I would still be standing in the first shop taking it all in , if my friends had not kept me moving and by the end of the day I was in the Man Cave waiting for them. My mind was in overload, my visual senses had shut down and I am still recovering from a wonderful day in Hamilton, Mo.

Here’s a brief tour…

Map of Hamilton, MoHamilton’s Main Street is two blocks long and there are 14, yes 13 shops all related to quilting and 1 shop for husbands to rest ( I spent time here too.) Here’s the map they give you and it is best to start at #1 the Main shop. Here you register and they give you a 20160706 Hamilton shop 1a card with your name and a bar code on it. Every time you buy something it shows up on your account and you also receive incentives to shop. This is soooo helpful if you are buying fabrics to co-ordinate or if you get home and need more of fabric “xyz” to
complete your project; it’s all there on your account. Every store can scan your card and bring up your purchases Hamilton accountand see the fabrics, trims and patterns you have purchased. Here’s a picture of my account. This is so cool and so helpful.

We strolled down the street to the reproduction 20160706 Hamilton shop 2afabrics 20160706 Hamilton shop 2cand then the floral shop ( a garden of fabrics and no weeds). Notice the lights look like flowers and the front of the store window gave you a clue to what was inside.

 

20160706 Hamilton outside a 20160706 Hamilton outside bThree shops and we had to stop for refreshments and nourishment…it is exhausting shopping!  After a brief refueling we were off again…

20160706 Hamilton shop 4a 20160706 Hamilton shop 4bWe went into Primitives and Wool, wool fabrics and yarns and Primitive fabrics…not up my alley but impressive from a marketing point of view. Next was the Batik Boutique and here I lost all sense of reality, found three of the five fabrics I was looking for here…Oh my, what a colorful place!

Next we headed upstairs for four more shops…Seasonal Shop, every occasion you would like to celebrate in one room; Modern fabrics had newest fabrics and designer fabrics; Backings & trims was a room of finishing fabrics (extra wide) for backing your quilt and all the trims you could want; and finally kids and baby area with all the fabrics any mother and grandmother could want to furnish a nursery.

Hamilton shop gadgetI was in fabric overload now and headed down to the20160706 Hamilton shop 5a mancave “Machine Shed” for all the gadgets you can imagine and isn’t their window too cute…and right next to the Machin20160706 Hamilton shop 6b gadgete Shed was theHamilton shop mancave Man’s Land. A room to relax, designed to keep the husbands happy but I checked out the leather chairs and they were comfy.

20160706 Hamilton shop 7b JCPennyI missed the girls, they came20160706 Hamilton shop 7d JCPenny down another way and so I had to visit the last shop on my own. JC Penny quilt shop is the colorful solid store. If you can’t find a solid color here it is not made.

Four hours later, we had briefly touched the surface of Hamilton, Missouri and the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It was absolutely mind boggling; the fabrics, the colors and all the quilts hanging in every store, not to mention the projects stitched with the fabrics. At times I felt like a kid in a toy store..I want, I want, I want.

And I did buy a few things…material for finishing 3 pieces of needlepoint…sending to the finisher. I purchased two patterns; one to use for a stitching idea and the other a finishing idea. And I bought a 1/2 yard of material for several other stitching ideas.

Will, I go back, in a heartbeat! Just let me know when you are in town and I’ll drive you up there. I can take my needlepoint…the ones that still need finishing and a project I am working on. I promise not to hurry you; I can always go to the man cave and stitch while you soak up all the creativity this place offers.

In fact you better plan on spending a couple of creative days maybe more here in KC , might even want to try our bar-be-que, take in a baseball or football game (depends on when you are here. We have another shop in Weston, Mo that is also creative eye candy for anyone creative or who wants to be creative…more about that later.  And don’t ask me to pick one, because if I were younger I would be moving north to be closer to these places…I’m about 1 1/2 hours from either but it is worth the drive.

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

ttfn…sue

I’m finally Back to full speed

It has been 3 months and 1 week since I had my knee replaced and I am truly sorry it has taken me this long to get back to this blog. Truthfully, it had little to do with my new knee, other than the fact that I feel so well I just go-go-go. In a nutshell; I had zero pain after the surgery and rehabbed like it was nothing…I could hardly wait to be able to go all the places I had been putting off because of my bad knee. I overdid sometimes but the aggravation of being slowed up was worse than the pain, so I just kept pushing through it and still do sometimes.

20160628 Temari Basket of FlowersI did have a brief period where I didn’t want to stitch or do anything but I think that was related to the pain meds and I got rid of them the first week, but it still took a couple weeks for the fingers to want to pick up a needle. I fought this at first and then someone (retired Psychiatrists) told me that I should not fight it but find some other hand thing to do and it would bring back the stitching quicker.  So I practiced my knitting (Just learned this 20160628 Temari KUart last winter… would love to get good at it but do not see any Peruvian sweaters in my future and I do not need another stash!) and made a couple Temari Balls. Sure enough the urge return and I finished a couple painted canvases I had put aside to stitch while recovering…

 

And that my friends is what I have been doing the last three months; rehabbing, going and stitching, the trifecta of my dreams. Maybe this winter will have other knee replaced and then lookout world I will be completely bionic and able to go twice as fast as I do now.

Three months off has afforded me a lot to blog about and more finishing too…so without more health news lets get started. I’ll be back tomorrow with finishing for lighthouse.

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

ttfn…sue

Stitching updates

15-02-24 temari aSorry about last week but the week got away from me and before I knew it this week is almost halfway over too.

15-02-24 temari bI have been trying to finish up a heart and move on to St Pat and Easter and poor Mardi Gras just blew by like a cold breeze (hummm it was cold.)  But I did make two Temari for the occasion,  just didn’t get them posted.  Used Kreinik blending filament in purple gold and green togive color to base of ball and stitched with #5 DMC Perle in Green Gold and 15-02-24 temari cPurple and a Kreinik braid. Simple 6 division but the Obi bands are different.

My creative juices are keeping me awake; I even got up one night to stitch…What can I say…didn’t have a pencil and I was awake so it seemed logical to me. I don’t think dog and DH had the same thoughts… and 15-02-24 heartsall I did was play with the Kreinik wire braid for a few minutes, okay maybe 30 but in an eight to ten hour night that’s only a few minutes. Didn’t even stitch it down during that time…and the light was only on my stitching.

15-02-24 stitches aAnd then Jane at Chilly Hollow (http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2015/02/lets-make-ribbon-flower.html)  posted this new type of knot that was taught at TNNA winter show (https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=656298941158846&set=o.108537025890131&type=2&theater ) and I had to try it, seemed perfect for this design. Colonial Knot, French Knot and Ruching. Plus the flowers are another decision I haven’t decided on yet either: Ribbon flowers, beads…decisions decisions!?!?!?!?!

15-02-24 stitches bAnd before I stitched the leaves on the heart I wanted to play with stitching picots. Needed to decide whether I wanted to use wired braid or just braid; whether I wanted two, three or four legged picots;  would one work better than another and did I want more than one style? You get the idea questions, questions and more questions.

But last week I did get this playing accomplished and this week I am really putting effort into finishing up the heart. Should get some great stitching time in as it is supposed to be cold, cold, cold and only have only a couple outings planned.

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

ttfn…sue

Christmas notes and ornament too

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and that you were so good Santa left gifts in abundance. I was a good girl, received my usual Christmas books, but it would not be Christmas without books. Added a couple Jiminy Crickets, and of course a needlepoint…more about these later.

Every year our family does an ornament exchange; only rule is the ornament has to be homemade. This year I decided to do needle felting. I had seen instructions for a snowman on another website (http://craftsncoffee.com/2013/12/05/how-to-make-adorable-needle-felted-snowman-ornaments/) and thought he was cute. I have all the needle felting needles and stuff so I decided this was for me.

After downloading and reading the instructions I began to gather stuff together…and wouldn’t you know it that’s when I found out I didn’t have a styrofoam ball. Not to be deterred by a small basic necessity I decided to make a ball (temari OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAball making has come in handy). So I started with a basic ball made by wrapping yarn to desired size and adding a layer of cotton crochet thread over the top…presto magic a ball. Nice part about this was I didn’t have to make sure it was as round as possible; it wasn’t going to be a temari ball. As I was rolling this ball I decided that this might be a better choice

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for me since I was not sure what I was doing  and I probably would make a mess of a styrofoam ball…There was also the fact that I had waited until the day before I needed the ornament to begin.

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I tried the roving for a background but soon realized that this was not going well and was going to take forever. Another ah-ha moment…cut a piece of felt to fit ball and try adhering it to the base. What was the worst that could happen? (I had a needlepoint

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ornament in the wings, if needed) So I cut a piece of felt, trimmed the ends, roughed up the felt and began to adhere the felt to the ball. I think dumb luck sometimes guides me…I decided to begin in the middle and work toward the ends…that way I could cut and adjust the felt as I went. I needle punched

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAaround the center portion, ruffed up the felt at the cut lines and then did the same to the ends. As you can see from the pictures there was no pattern just a rough cut …next time will be more precise.

13-12-27 I patternsAfter I got the background on the ball I cut a white oval from felt, roughed up the backside and adhered it to the base. At this point I decided hit and miss was not going to do it…I needed a plan so off to my trusty computer to make some patterns. Made a pattern divided it up, printed it off and cut it up and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmade adjustments to computer pattern…had been to large first try. Second try was better and so I used these patterns to finish the parts of the snowman. First I used roving to make the cheeks, then I rolled roving to make a cone nose and the rest was cut felt (all were roughed up on their backsides to adhere better. After all the felt was in place, I used #8 perle OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcotton to make Colonial Knot eyes and French Knot mouth with a chenille needle.

Then I decided ornament needed something on the back side…back to the computer and one holly pattern later was ready to finish the ornament. I OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtried to write my initials and the date on red felt berries but pen and felt don’t mix well so I used red roving to cover my mistakes. .One hanger later and my ornament was completed.

There are several things I would have done differently and I plan to make more, keep better OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnotes and write the instructions clearly.

But for now I am off to read, sip tea, stitch NEEDLEPOINT and watch the New Year arrive in a few days.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today and everyday the rest of this year! ttfn…sue

Time to stitch

I was reading one of my bookmarked blogs, time to SewDaily (http://www.sewdaily.com/blogs/sewdaily/archive/2013/03/20/how-do-you-find-time-to-sew.aspx) and time seems to be a universal subject. When do I find time to… (fill in with your passion)? Do you getaway (retreat, trip to the lake, etc); take classes (offline…online doesn’t count here); Invite a friend over; get up early; or stay up late? Do you make a set time; take it with you, or just squeeze it in whenever?

This was one of my favorite replies from Luv2cre84u (http://www.etsy.com/people/Luv2cre84u)

She wrote:  You know what they say “A Clean House is a LIfe Un-lived”. I always remember that the house and chores will always be there so I just take time out for ME and sew when I need to. I put some laundry in and get lost in my “Therapy Room” as I call it. It makes me a happier person and I feel like I am creating something instead of feeling like I have not accomplished a thing. Life is too short not to create 🙂

This brought back such memories…I have a friend (mother of 5) and I was always telling her as our children were growing up to stop and smell the roses. I remember one spring day, after a horrible winter  that I thought we all should go to the zoo;  my friend had laundry to do (it must have been Monday…remember the nursery song: This is the way we wash our clothes…all on a Monday morning.) I remember asking her if she would have more laundry the next day and she looked at me like I was nuts…she had 5 kids. I reminded her she would always have laundry BUT today was the only today with her children, she would never have this time/day again…we went to the zoo.

My friend gave me two little signs I still have to this day:

Don’t fret about the mess…It’s my mess and I Love it

And

A messy house is a sign of character—wait tell you see the one who lives here.

And I had an embroidery (my youngest son with 4 kids has this now) that hung by our front door

All though you’ll find our house a mess…

Come in sit down, converse….

It doesn’t always look like this

Sometimes it’ even worse.

Liam I live by those sentiments…this moment in time will never happen again! I know that makes me a procrastinator but you know when I’m gone no one is ever going to remember me for my clean house. They are going to remember me for my friendship, time 13-03-20 easter canvasspent with them and my creativity.

And I agree with the others that were said …”I have more ideas than time to create” and “I do it one step at a time”… (although I may have several projects at different stages of steps.) I have more irons in the fire than time, at any given minute I could find something stitch related to do. Just look Temari Ballsat the pictures I posted…and these are the ones I have at my fingertips. I could go to my closet or the sewing room and find a few hundred more projects. Remember I consider these un-started and unfinished projects as life insurance…I’m going to live long threadsenough to put a dent in all these. 😉 Or I’m going to have the best estate stitch sale someday.

I also thought these sentiments were true and good:

It’s not about finding time…but rather making time…

computer deskIt is important to stitch, it saves your sanity.

And as Lu2cre84u said, “… Life is too short not to create.”

What do you do and how do you find time to stitch?

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