Leaping into New Projects!

Today is February 29th, a day that only happens every 4 years. I think that I like this idea as it give us, well me anyway an extra day to stitch! There are just way too many wonderful canvases out there and just not enough time to stitch them all. These are no exception.

Kelly Clark has done it again. A nativity set designed exclusively as a club for A Stitch in Time that is about ready to start! These canvases are smaller than the nativity set that is already in her line…just because the size of them is smaller,  none of Kelly’s fine attention to detail has been left out!

The king that you see on the right will be the first in the series. Now I am not sure which one he is? the King of gold, frankincense or myrrh?

The stitches and threads are wonderful! It is never too early to start stitching for the holidays and with the extra day this year, we can squeeze in a few more stitches here and a few more stitches there.

Okay these are not stitched by moi, Alison, the owner of A Stitch in Time is stitching them… and stitched so beautifully I might add! As much as I would love to stitch it all, just can’t do it.

All the canvases are stitched except for the 3 animals. My favorite is that camel! You could really make him very regal….well since he carried in one of the kings, wouldn’t the camel be very kingly too?

A manger and cradle has been selected that will be sent to you with the 12th shipment of this series. If you gotta have this, just give Alison of A Stitch in Time a call and she will take care of all the details!

I have been working away on the May/June issue of Needlepoint Now this last week during the day and spending my nights in the stitchy chair. I should now turn my stitching attention to Kelly Clark’s Spring Crazy Quilt, since I am headed to Needlepoint Now studios next week. Elizabeth and I are going to work on the stitch guide for the magazine. I haven’t worked on it since you saw it last except to take out a few sections that I need to restitch.

The weather has been way too cool and downright chilly for San Diego. If it becomes a 2 cats under the covers night…it is too cold for all of us! Let’s see we had winds, thunder, lightening, hail, sleet and sheets of rain.

I think that I disturbed her slumber and today it is Sylvester’s turn to play peek a boo. and until next time…keep on stitching

 

And the Oscar Goes To!

Wow! what an evening! did you watch the Oscars? As always Billy Crystal was mahvelous. I especially liked this comment from Billy…“Front row, you know what I’m thinking? Why don’t we chip in and buy the Dodgers?” while he was looking at Brad Pitt for one. Billy Crystal is quite the baseball fan…

I don’t think that there were many upsets or too many surprises at the Oscars. The awards seemed to be somewhat evenly spread around rather than one or two movies winning them all. I was thrilled that Octavia won for her portrayal of Hilly in “The Help” I am not sure who cried more when she won, Octavia or myself. And Christoper Plummer won his first ever Oscar! That was quite an acceptance speech.

I saw a handful of the movies that were nominated for Oscars. Still on my list to see is “The Artist” and “Iron Lady” But these days there is too much work to do and probably no time to go to the movies. I really was rooting for George Clooney to win. The wins must speak volumes for “The Artist” being an exceptional movie. I was also hoping that Viola Davis for “The Help” would have won, but Merly Streep hasn’t gotten one of those golden statues in so many years. I just loved her acceptance speech.

The dresses were amazing…Milla Jovovich, my fav! Viola Davis, Michelle Williams, Octavia Spencer…OMG I could go on and on. Remember Billy talking about being a seat filler? well there really is such a thing, so that when the stars are out of their seats you would sit where they were sitting so that the cameras sees no empty seats! I am thinking that you would really need to dress to the 9′s…no jeans and a tshirt.

When I used to live and work in that area of Southern California, it was a dream of mine to be part of the kitchen staff that worked with Wolfgang Puck or the other famous chefs for the after Oscar parties. That was then and this is now where I absolutely do not desire to do that these days.

I didn’t get as much stitching done as I was hoping. Too much stopping and watching the tv. Yes I am working on the trees and as soon as I have this mess straightened out I will show you what I am doing.

Today there is rain in the forecast, so I plan to hunker down for the next day or two. Good stitching weather. I also do have lots to do on the computer for the magazine…but I would like to watch all the talk shows today as they dish the gowns, the hair and the jewelry. Decisions, decisions! So I can stitch work and watch. Deeva is hoping that I can finish these 9 trees for the Columbus Market.

AlleyCat is giving me the cold shoulder as I look for the purr~fect  picture for the blog. The ream of paper is there waiting for me as I need to start printing the stitch guides for the Needle Deeva Easter Egg House. and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Stitching to the Oscars!

Or eating to the Oscars, whatever is your passion…either way there is great tv watching tonight! One of my favorite television watching nights of the year, the Oscars are on and again hosted by Billy Crystal. It doesn’t get much better than that! The red carpet, the gowns, oh the gowns, the jewels, the bling, the tuxes, the fanfare, and of course we can’t forget Uggie. You know Uggie, from “The Artist” which is one of the nominee’s for Best Picture.

They are all in pursuit of this infamous gold statue. What a thrill that must be when they call your name! and such a disappointment when they don’t. Is it true what they say that it is enough just to be nominated?

Oscar themed parties with cocktails with food themed ideas… Of course every party needs to start off with some bubbly.

A little Southern fried chicken with bacon from the “The Help” Loved that movie which I have seen it 3 times. I read the book too!

Now if you read the book or saw the movie you know why this chocolate pie is so meaningful…

From “Moneyball” a baseball movie…of course there needs to be a little ballpark food!

Inspired by the movie “Midnight in Paris” are Oysters with Champagne-Vinegar Mignonette. I’ll take that please!

My stitching day with Brenda Hart and the gang at A Stitch in Time was wonderful! Learned new stitches, inspired by what I saw being stitched, great new canvases around me and lots of laughs… No traffic on the drive up, but coming home, well that was a different story! More about the day later in the week.

I am stitching all day today! did I say all day? the heck with the housework, the heck with it all, I am stitching! and how will you spend your Oscar Sunday?

I am giving AlleyCat the Oscar for finally getting it that she is supposed to be in the bag and not on it! until next time…keep on stitching

 

I’m off to See the Wizard!

The wonderful wizard of stitches that is! That wizard would be Brenda Hart. Probably by the time most of you read this I will be on the road to San Marino. It is about 127 miles give or take a mile or two and driving early Saturday morning there should be no traffic. I should make it up there in around 2 hours, just aso long as the no traffic hopes co-operates.

Our routine is breakfast at Julienne’s and there will probably be about 10 of us dining al fresco. Everybody has their usual, French Toast, Creme Brulee French Toast, Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Blueberry something or other, Potato Pancakes with Poached Eggs and my usual could be the Breakfast Burrito…spicy of course! From breakfast we head to San Gabriel Bead Company and I do need to look for more beads for the Deeva Christmas Trees. Class starts around 12:15-12:30, so we have plenty of time for all of this frivolity.

Last class I had with Brenda, I believe that I had brought this canvas by dede. I am sure that you can see all the stitching that I have gotten done on this…don’t I wish! well I have the threads and I have the beads, I just need some refresher courses on a few details. Of course the canvas was rather lose on the stretcher bars.

Do I want to take the canvas off the bars? or do I want to use the little trick that I learned in class…maybe from Tony or Brenda or Meredith…well somebody! Just tap the stretcher bars apart a bit from the back side and the canvas stretches tight again. It is so much quicker than taking it off the bars and restapling it. It really does work. I just think of all the time that I saved from doing it this way.

I also have this canvas that I want to select some threads and beads for. Something easy and something that I can lose myself into! Canvas is by Needle Crossings. Pat, the designer of Needle Crossings has really great cats in her line!

Lets see what the kids are up to?! Not sure where Sylvester is, but you know who…

AlleyCat is playing hide and seek with me! and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Everybody Loves Raymond!

I have this canvas for Raymond that I should be stitching! Simple enough? well I haven’t done much with it yet. This is my 4th project that is part of the group that I told you that I am working on…canvases that are calling my name and saying “stitch me! no stitch me tonight! and others are saying, well you have been ignoring me, when is it going to be my turn?”

Raymond and I agreed on a little basketweave for the black…you know you really don’t see pattern in black, unless it is something larger. Raymond wants Very Velvet, but I am pulling rank and it will be silk. I know that the green leaves and holly berries will be beads or some kind of bling. Now, for the gold I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Sparkles from Sundance as I would like to try that there. But it has not yet arrived. I am sure it will be here anyday now!

It is time for me to ramp up the Mac and start getting my act together for the May/June issue of Needlepoint Now. The emails have been flying fast and furious between Elizabeth and I over the last few days. Okay now check this out as remember I do take my cats to work with me each and everyday.

Notice the position of the tail…notice what AlleyCat is sitting on…well to you it just looks like some papers…to me it is part 4 of The Prismatic Quartet.

She is good though as she will move as soon as I ask her too. She is not happy about and will voice her displeasure, but she does move.

Okay I want this on canvas. NOW! Not like I have time to stitch it, not like I need it, but what I need and want are not the one and the same!

Okay, okay, I know enough with the cats today! and until next time…keep on stitching

Thank You, Gracias, Mahalo, Merci…

Danke, Grazie, Arigato, Xie Xie, Obrigado…well in any language it still means thank you!

Thank you to each and everyone of you who left all of these wonderful comments for us, well of course I have to include Sylvester & AlleyCat, don’t I? You know that flattery will get you everywhere! A few stated their praises on Facebook, a few at times were challenged with that secret password that you need to type in. Trust me, that is there to eliminate the spam messages which were starting to overwhelm me!

I wish that I had a little special something to send to each and every one of you that left a message, the glowing words of praise really are music to my ears and food for the soul. I am thinking that this next year of my blogging life, that I won’t wait forever again to give away little tokens of my appreciation for being there with us each and everyday.

From the keepers of the swag…AlleyCat, Sylvester & I have selected and in no special order…

To the writer of the prose, Lisa…you were selected as the winner of the cupcake. Not only did she wow me with her poetry, I believe that she deserves a little special something for taking on some rather tough dietary limitations. And…and she has recently opened her heart and home to a very pregnant, but stray cat. She is counting down the days to the arrival of the kittens! I am too Lisa, but please don’t let Sylvester & AlleyCat know!

To the writer of the very first message, MaryRuth… the winner of the thread separator! The first is always the most special and meaningful.

To the writer that is the newest stitcher, Jennifer…the winner of the cat magnet. She has just been stitching a year and I believe that our newer stitchers need more encouragement to keep our passion for stitching alive.

The swag has been packed up and sent to their new homes. I sure hope that I added enough postage…I used 4 stamps and I think that I should have used 5 instead. I apologize if I didn’t figure that out correctly.

This is my latest project that I am working on, the Needle Deeva trees. Now we need to come up with a catchy name for this series of canvases. The Deeva and I are working on that. I brought these canvases to Aristea along with the one that I am working on and they got rave reviews! Wendy encouraged me to try a few things that are out of the box as she was telling stitch the unexpected. She also shared some specialty threads with me for me to use along with some larger Swarovski crystals in the color named Light Siam which fits in perfectly with this coraly red color palette that I am using.

Stitching, working on stitch guides, working on a new issue of Needlepoint Now…ho hum, just another day in paradise. and until next time…keep on stitching

 

 

Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!

Let the Good Times Roll! Today is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras is a season of Parades, Masquerade Balls and King Cake Parties. Today is the final day of Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday which will then start the 6 weeks of Lent, leading into the Easter holiday. It is has been celebrated in Louisiana since the 17th century. In the Catholic religion, Lent begins the season of fasting or sacrificing by giving up one of your favorite foods. Say such as chocolate…ooh shudder that thought! or your favorite glass of wine.

“The King Cake is a New Orleans tradition that involves a pastry, a small plastic baby, and a party. The King Cake is baked with a baby hidden inside, the person who gets the slice with baby in it has to host the next party!”

The weeks leading up to Mardi Gras in New Orleans is quite the place to be. I have been to New Orleans a few times, but never during Mardi Gras. This is definitely on my bucket list! San Diego celebrates Mardi Gras tonight, but nothing like this!

This is “Bouef Gras” which I believe translates to Fat Beef. This is a float in the Rex Parade. Yes I would love to be there! More parades and crowds of revelers.

Well you just knew that there would be a cat in this somewhere, somehow!

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. (not quite right on this cat, but work with me here) These colors are said to have been chosen by Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff of Russia during a visit to New Orleans This was reaffirmed in 1892, when the Rex Parade theme “Symbolism of Colors” gave the colors their meanings of justice, power and faith.

While going through threads today looking for just that purr~fect color, look what I found!

AlleyCat is settling in for her nap! and until next time…keep on stitching

I will announce the winners of the give aways tomorrow. There are so many wonderful notes left by so many people, that I want to take the time to reread them all. I sure wish that I had something for everybody that left a comment over the weekend…but maybe we won’t wait another entire year for a party! Thank you so much for your comments and compliments. It really means allot.

 

 

Happy Blogoversary!

Okay, do we celebrate a birthday? or is it an anniversary? Well anyway, every party needs cake! Even if it is a cupcake…but it has sprinkles and bling and a cherry on top! It is time to celebrate and time to thank everyone who reads this blog every day and looks for the antics of Sylvester & AlleyCat.

I have to thank a very special friend and she knows who she is…for encouraging me to blog. Even though I kept saying no I don’t think so, no I don’t think that I would be that good at it, no who the heck is going to read it? If it wasn’t for her encouragement, I wouldn’t be doing this.

The blog was designed by Celardore Designs based on my love of cats. I love it, don’t you? Thank you to my web designer for the awesome look of the blog. I came up with the name based on a business card that I had created. So the blog sat ready and waiting for me a few weeks until I was brave enough to just try it. Just a little rambling in the beginning. I was just going to add a picture of the cats every so often, but then you the faithful readers would ask, “well where are the cats today?”

I have enjoyed every single day of blogging, even though I do take a few days off in the week. Not that I need a day off, but sometimes I just don’t have enough stitched of anything to show you. Thank you for your support, your kind words and your faithful following. I love it when I hear, “I read your blog everyday…I can’t start my day without first reading your blog or because of my hectic schedule, I read your blog every night before going to bed!” I have been told that AlleyCat and Sylvester have become very famous these days.

Every party needs presents too! I have a few that I would like to give you. Mag Friends & Fob Friends was generous enough to send some magnets for a write up in Needlepoint Now and I was to keep one for a giveaway. Well I forgot to keep one and the magnets are still on their magazine shoot, so I bought another one just for this occassion. Thank you Lisa!

This Thread & Yarn Separator made by Puffin & Co was donated by Canvases Be Gone. Thank you Dale! Notice the feline theme going on here…

The cupcake magnet from Elizabeth Turner Collection was donated by Meredith. Thank you Meredith!

Susan from S & J Designs sent some beads, but they are in the color scheme for the trees that I am working on…and I haven’t decided which ones I need yet. So who says we can’t have another giveaway in a few months or so? Thank you Susan.

So if you would like to leave me or the cats for that matter a comment, we would be thrilled! By dropping us a note sometime over the weekend, this will enter you in the giveaway. If you prefer the cupcake magnet, the big cat magnet or the thread separator, work that into your comment. I will leave this blogoversary post as is all weekend. Yes I am going to goof off for a few days, well not from working…just from the blog. I will select the winners late Monday night and announce it Tuesday morning. I am not sure if it will be by the random number generator or by you wowing me with your cleverness. Good Luck!

This morning I am headed to The Cottage for an early morning breakfast and then a little retail therapy. I need to have my butt back home and in my sticthy chair early where I will stitch the day away. I have too many choices of threads and beads for the tree that I am working on and I can’t make up my mind! OMG, I am really struggling with this tree and I don’t like this feeling. I wake up and think well I can try this, or I can do this…no maybe I will try this stitch. I think I need help?

Sunday will find me on the road very early as I head up to Aristea. A dear friend from the east coast has flown into take a class, so the least I can do is drive up there to see her! ooh and Wendy too! No I am not taking the class, even though I absolutely love what Beverly has done with the Melissa Shirley Vintage Melons, but when will I ever have time to work on it? No, I will just visit with everybody, but being very quiet and respectful of the class going on.

So if you would like to be entered in the giveaway over the weekend, please leave me or the cats a comment. I will leave this open till 9pm West Coast time on Monday Night. I feel like Sylvester is sticking his tongue out at me over his displeasure of being moved!

AlleyCat…okay what more can I say about her? and until next time…keep on stitching

It Seems Like I Can’t Keep my Holidays Straight!

OMG! I think I have it all wrong. First I am stitching Easter during Christmas and now…now look at me! I am stitching Thanksgiving right before Easter. I think that I need help. No, I know that I need help and puleeease no comments regarding the fact that you might agree with me.

Let me introduce you to the gang! This a Thanksgiving set designed by NeedleDeeva. They are so new that they haven’t even been properly named yet. Here you see the Pilgrims, the Pilgrim children and the Native American Indians and their children. They are a nice size standing at a little over 5.25″ tall. I have lost myself in the threads that I have to stitch this with, even though I am adding in a few colors here and there.

Of course this is the Mayflower, along with a little view of Plymouth Rock in front of it. I have wonderful stitches picked out in my mind and ideas to try and make poofy little sails with ribbon or maybe even fabric. The idea is there, now the challenge is to make it look as good on the canvas as it does in my mind.

Of course the Pilgrims need their home and this is the first canvas that I have on bars. Now why did I pick this one first? well for the cat, what else? Brenda Hart loves the roof stitch that I selected and her approval just motivates me to keep on stitching!

The Native Americans need their home too. Now I have been meaning to ask the Deeva, just why is there purple painted on the fire wood? Now go figure…

Now Thanksgiving wouldn’t be so without the Thanksgiving Feast! This one is making me so hungry for turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and all the fixings.

This Thanksgiving set is a club for a very special shop and I am just thrilled and honored that they asked me to stitch it. A few of the pieces will grace the back cover of the November/December Needlepoint Now. Okay no pressure…no pressure at all. Who am I kidding?

So now when I say that I am stitching my little fingers to the bone, you now see why since I have introduced you to my 3rd of 4 projects that I am working on. This Thanksgiving set has 11 pieces, the trees have 9 in the group, the Kelly Clark Crazy Quilt and there is just one more little bitty project that I haven’t shared with you yet. Are you counting?

The NeedleDeeva Tree that I shared with you a few blogs ago is front and center on my stitchy list. I shopped for a few more threads and beads yesterday. I need to get myself in gear as the Dallas market is only about 6 weeks away. I like to have many thread choices and possibilities at hand. I have started it, but it needs to be finished NOW, the threads need to be ordered and the stitch guide written. I need to get my flying fingers moving!

I am keeping on theme here…now this was Felix when he first came home with me. Now he thought that the ficus tree that I had was just for him.

and until next time…keep on stitching. Cause you know that I will be!

I Need Some Comfort Stitching!

You know comfort stitching, sort of like comfort food! Comfort food, stuff like Momma used to make, food that makes you fell all tingly inside and full of happiness. For me comfort stitching is sort of the same thing…you know basketweave, beading and having a stitch guide. Some one else has selected the stitches and the threads and has figured out all the ins and outs for you. I don’t have to think, I don’t have to be creative, I don’t have to…well you get the idea. I can just lose myself in my threads and canvases and be in 7th heaven! Especially when AlleyCat sleeps on my lap while I am stitching, I enjoy what I am working on even more.

I am stitching away on Kelly Clark’s Spring Crazy Quilt and really am enjoying every single stitch of it! There are 21 sections that have some type of wonderful stitch combination selected specifically for that area. Amazing ideas and great mixtures of texture, glitz, beads and…well you get the idea. You just don’t get bored with one area beacuase all too soon you are finished and move on to the next one.

All the sections have been started and most all have been completed. I just have 4 areas to complete. All the background stitching needs to be finished before I can start the fun areas of the seam treatments, growing the gardens and bringing that little bunny to life!

It is cold, well here for San Diego that is and rainy, so this is purr~fect for comfort stitching. I started a pot of chicken soup, which for me is about the extent of my cooking. Yes I can cook, yes I am an excellent cook, but I prefer not to. I would rather spend my time stitching, writing stitch guides, chilling with the feline children, tending to my plants & orchids…

I thought that since I shared a picture of Sylvester as a little bitty kitty, that I would look for one of AlleyCat. See even then she had a thing for computers!

That cute little kitten now looks like this at times? I still wonder where she learned this? But I guess it is her way of telling me that position is everything in life! and until next time…keep on stitching