An Absolutely Purr~fect Weekend!

Tony’s class at the Needle Nook of La Jolla was absolutely fab! fab! fabulous. He was on his game, entertaining, funny and full of life as always. The stitchers were all great students and we learned so much! Appliques, creating chignon’s, adding organza, creating tassels, beading and so much more… he pushes the envelope and wants to push you too into learning more.

This was my canvas and I really only had 1 day to stitch and after all by then I was pretty beat! Of course I was able to find just the right magnet, a scarab that was created back when and was also able to color co-ordinate my frame weight.

I started on a few of the lotuses, the stems and OMG is that an awesome stitch! Can’t wait to do more of the lotus stems. I worked on my background and all too soon it was time to say goodbye.

BTW this canvas is a new one coming to market in January called “On the Nile” by Tapestry Fair.

Tony had Lisa create the cat’s face on another canvas which will be later appliqued onto the canvas. Again another canvas by Tapestry Fair. Cindy is photo – bombing it all!

I enjoyed a rare day off yesterday and the kids kinda took over the couch!


Giving Thanks!

It’s been pretty crazy lately as I ready for Tony Minieri’s class at the shop! I love, love, love Tony…as he makes you laugh, he makes you think and he makes you a better stitcher. He comes up with the best ideas for your canavses…I don’t know how he does it!

I am really looking forward to first day of class tomorrow.. and then realizing it’s 2 weeks to Thanksgiving. Time to start to think about what I am thankful for, which I will let Mooch help me!



It’s Raining! It’s Raining!


Well not actually, but it’s raining on my canvas! From “The Girls with Attitude” by Penny MacLeod carried by the collection… this is called “Rain Drops” and I fell in love with this canvas the moment that I saw it. So actually right now I am stitching for moi, me, myself and I! Believe it or not.

Her dress was a dive into your stash experience to create those stripes. A few cards of Silk Lamé Braid for her hair and then onto the face. Well finding just the right colors was quite the challenge as there is a fair amount of shading.

After a few attempts and way toooooooooooo much reverse stitching I realized I had to try something different. Stitch the entire face with just 2 strands of silk, Soie d’Alger of course. Normally with this technique, you would use just a single strand, but this is 13 mesh so I used 2 and I loved the way it came out. In this picture, just the left side has been stitched.

As I was working on the face, I was studying the umbrella and becoming very overwhelmed with the size of it all. Between that and not being able to find the right color…I thought, well it’s raining, right? why not stitch the entire rest of the canvas and right over the umbrella in a “rainy type” of stitch? So this weekend hopefully will be the weekend of experiment.

my assistant AlleyCat hard at work…


Threads! Threads! Threads!

A glimpse at a thread order that came in yesterday as we ready the thread kits for classes next week with Tony Minieri…

A thread that we carry, but not in this many colors “Soie Cristale” so a large order was placed and it came in yesterday! Lined up in numerical order like little soldiers and today it will be added and checked off, along with some beads and Gloriana.

Still waiting for a few more threads and I will breathe a heavy sigh of relief when they are ready!

a picture that I took a few years ago of AlleyCat that I just love, love, love! I got a whole series of snaps as she kept checking out was on this table…never did figure out what she was after, but it was a great Kodak moment!


Dia de los Muertos…

Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated on November 1rst & 2nd. The belief is that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31rst and the spirits of all deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families. The following day on November 2nd, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that have been prepared for them. The cemeteries are decorated, a favorite meal and a bottle of tequila might be placed at the grave to ready for the return of the spirit. I think that it is a touching and moving tribute to your dearly departed loved ones.

Sugar skulls are a well known symbol for the celebration of the Day of the Dead as they are created to adorn the festivities for the departed souls. Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. Mexico, abundant in sugar cane, learned quickly how to make the sugar skulls. The skulls would represent a departed soul as they were placed on gravestones or home made altars to honor a particular spirit.

Another festive description of Dia de los Muertos and Dia de los Muertos para Ninòs…

On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children’s altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta is filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.

I could ramble on about all the nuances of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead Celebrations, as I find it totally fascinating…living in San Diego, the goings on are all about us.

The most important icons of the Day of the Dead celebrations are the calacas, which is a skeleton having fun in their afterlife,  pan de muerto (bread of the dead) which is baked to offer as an offrenda (offering) at the altar, calaveras (sugar skull) and altars decorated with strings of flor de cempazuchitl (marigolds.)

Over the years the Day of the Dead canvases have not been quite as elusive to find as their popularity grows…

If Day of the Dead canvases are on your stitching wish list, there are wonderful ones by Sundance and also many amazing pieces of artwork by Manuel Salas that are being painted onto canvas by Tapestry Fair. Oooh if I only had the time to stitch them all!

Did You?

remember to fall back an hour? of course the cats don’t know the difference! I fell aslepp way too early last night, so I woke way up too early. No problem as I have way tooooooooo much to do today!

Speaking of time…

Aren’t these wonderful? Two of Lani’s new canavses that were introduced at market! I am hoping that they arrive at the shop any day now…it’s like being a kid at Christmas every day of the week as you wait and see what’s coming in.

I have selected the latter canavs to work in a future Embellishment Squad class!

and I hope that tonight is NOT the last night of basball for the season!


Getting into the Halloween Spirit!

I thought I would share the picture of my Halloween window at the shop! I didn’t decorate my house this year, instead I used all of my energies to do up the windows, as more people get to enjoy it rather than just myself and the cats!

Looks like Mooch and Earl are in for a great Halloween…

and AlleyCat too!

Hope yours is too…I will be home tonight stitching and watching Game 4 of The World Series.



What Was I Thinking?

I hope that the cats will forgive me! I don’t know how I did it, but I forgot that yesterday was Black Cat Day…OMG how could I have done that?

I am surprised that it was yesterday, black cat day that is… as shelters and the humane society usually don’t let you adopt black cats at this time of the year. You know too close to Halloween… do you know that black cats are the hardest to adopt? and they usually wait the longest waiting to find their furever home. My “sistah” in black cats, Meredith and I swore to each other that we will always have a black cat just for that reason…

In honor of black cats, I am sharing this brand new canvas by Tapestry Fair called “on the Nile” which make a compendium with Bastet and the others that are in their line. It is NOT available till the January market, but I was able to get one now. Pretty lucky, yes?!

It was sent to Tony Minieri for the master to work his magic and I will be starting it with him when he comes to the shop to teach in a three short weeks. I see lots of beads in my future, don’t you?

I have been living, dreaming, sleeping and breathing thread and bead orders getting ready for Tony…and I can’t wait till he’s there! So much fun, laughs and good times while learning lots of fab, fab, fabulous stitches. He enriches your stitching knowledge so much!

AlleyCat being AlleyCat…