You’ve Got A Friend!

Every once in awhile you come across that very special canvas that just speaks to you! and it can speak to you in several different ways…

Do you love the canvas?

Think about the stitching possibilities!

Sandra Gilmore does some of the best faces, look at the detail, look at her blue eyes… and the red hair!

The hearts on that darling green dress!

All of these attributes together make this a very, very special canvas, don’t you think?

But then the canvas has a very special meaning… which you can read all about it on Fleur de Paris’ website

So we have ordered 4 for the shop, as most of the girls want to stitch one! and wait…wait… drum roll pleae… Tony Minieri is working on a stitch guide for it as we speak! So as soon as it’s available and on his website, you will be the first to know! Of course I cannot and would not ever share the stitch guide, you will just have to get your own.

Debbie (as you read about her on Fleur de Paris’s website) is a very special lady and so very, very, very special to all of us in the industry. So ordering a canvas from your favorite needlepoint shop would be a very good thing…. run, don’t walk to you LNS and get one now. Just think; its the holidays and it will make you feel good helping a dear person!

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Here’s proof that Christmas miracles do happen… as they are touching!

BTW this was Mostly Needlepoint’s 1001 posts… I wanted to celebrate with a little giveaway…but no time right now.

Cocoa Anyone?

“It’s National Cocoa Day! Nothing is better on a cold winter day than a delicious cup of hot cocoa! Cocoa is made from the dried, fully fermented seeds of the cacao tree. It’s used to make cocoa powder, which a main ingredient in the hot cocoa we all know and love. Fun fact: Monkeys were actually the first creatures to discover that the cacao plant was edible – and tasty! Over 1500 years ago, monkeys began to eat the pulp of the plant and spit out the beans. Humans soon caught on, and the rest is history.

Cacao trees are grown worldwide, but it is thought that the first ones grew in South America. Cocoa is similar to wine, in that its flavor profile differs based on where it’s grown. Lucky for us, cacao trees are very plentiful – it takes 300-600 cocoa beans to make two pounds of chocolate!

To celebrate National Cocoa Day, make your favorite type of cocoa to enjoy. For a holiday twist on a traditional cup of cocoa, try adding a candy cane!”

Thanks to punchbowl.com for the great info! and to Melissa Shirley Designs for the canvas.

 Sylvester looks like he is ready to go with me!

National Poinsettia Day!

Well it’s really Saturday, but why not start early? I am sure that you have bought one or two already for your home… a gorgeous blossoming plant with colorful foliage. They used to be just red…but now we have white, pink, coral, mixed variations and even

curled leaves!

Although the plant is native to Mexico, a majority of all the plants are exported from the US. The Aztecs considered them a symbol of purity because of their gorgeous red color. Joel Poinsett, the fiirst US ambassador to Mexico introduced them to the states after discovering them growing on the hillsides while visiting Taxco in the early 1880′s.

But actually the poinsettia can be traced back even further than that. The flower produced a red dye and the sap was known to control fevers, so Montezuma had poinsettias delivered to his home to what is now known as Mexico City.

In Mexico, they are are known as “La Flor de la Nochebuena”-flower of the Holy Night or Christmas Eve. Use of the plant to celebrate Christmas in Mexico dates back to the 17th century. As the legend is told, a young girl had nothing to honor baby Jesus in a procession and an angel tells her that any gift given with love will suffice. She gathers weeds by the roadside to place around the manger, which miraculously transform into the beautiful red starflower we know as the poinsettia.

Of course poinsettias are part of our holiday stitching! This was a canvas designed by Terry Enfield and then became part of the Jane Juell line, but not sure if it still being painted…it is one of my favorite ornaments to hang on my tree!

Are poinsettias poisonous to your kitties? Not really, unless they eat the entire plant! But I usually don’t tempt fate since certian people in this house and not mentioning any names, do chew on a plant or 2 of mine from time to time…so this will live outside my front door.

This was from the January market earlier this year. The so very talented Liz…you know and love her stockings…usually paints a new piece on the show floor during the duration of the show.

you can watch it come to life over the weekend…

and this beautiful poinsettia sure did!

December 12th has been designated as National Poinsettia day as it marked the passing of Joel Poinsett, an American botantist, physician, minister and ambassador to Mexico who in 1828 sent cuttings of the plant that he discovered in Southern Mexico to his home in Charleston, South Carolina.

This day also honors Paul Ecke, a southern California native who is considered the father of the poinsettia industry. It was his discovery of a technique to propigate these plants that has turned it into a multi million-dollar business!

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One of my favorite pictures of Sylvester!

 

First Night of Hanukkah…

Whether you spell it Chanukah, Hanukah, or Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish “festival of lights” starts Tuesday at sundown as the first night is celebrated.
It signifies the re-dedication of the second temple while witnessing what they believed to have been an miracle. An introduction of oil to the Menorah to light it was only supposed
to last one day…but the oil kept burning for 8 nights, hence the festival of lights that last 8 days. Today’s celebration adds a new candle to the menorah each day and then lit at night after sundown.
A canvas by pepita with the lit candles, the gelt, a dreidel, the pitcher of oil and the traditional fried jelly donuts “Sufganiyot.” (and these I found more than one spelling of!) I remember growing up with jelly donuts that were delish from our local Jewish bakery, but I didn’t realize the significance of them then.
Many holidays revolve around eating specific traditional foods and being that Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil, the menus feature fried foods and who doesn’t love that?
Gifts are exchanged every night and gelt is given to the children. Wait…8 nights of gifts! As a young child it would probably be chocolate coins, but I am sure that eventually they will hope that it turns to green.
Canvas by Sandra Gilmore of gelt and a dreidel which is a 4 sided top to play a popular children’s spinning game. So I am wondering why blue for Hanukkah? I read where it is the colors taken from the flag of Israel, but that is only about a 40 year old tradition.
AlleyCat waiting for the elevator!

Just Saying…

Did you have a great Thanksgiving? I sure did and realize I have so much to be thankful for… my family, my friends, my BFF, my love of needlepoint, my cats and according to Mooch…cat naps!

I went to work yesterday to start decorating for the holidays. I start off by putting everything away from the last display, dust and clean up. I look at like I have just started with a new canvas as I watch it develop and meld into what I want it to hopefully look like.

In case you are new to reading the blog, I am speaking of the NeedleNook of La Jolla.

I am doing Christmas at the beach…well La Jolla is at the beach! I had a beach display over the summer and had always done this window display at Christmas, so I had lots of these ornaments collected along the way… so it was time to get them out of storage!

Window2

My finished window! and I am thrilled with the way it came out. Gosh I sure wish that I could stitch a canvas this quickly. I only have 1 canvas in the window right now as I anxiously await the arrival of…

new Seashore Santas by Leigh Designs and I thank Leigh for designing these beauties just for my window! If you click on the link, you can see the rest of the Santa’s. This one happens to be my fav!

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A stack of kitty cats on the corner of my couch! AlleyCat was a lazy girl yesterday and stayed hunkered under the covers hours after Sylvester and I had gotten up. He joined her shortly there after.

Can you believe that there is only 25 days left before the man in the red suit arrives? just saying…

 

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!

Thanks

 

It’s Raining! It’s Raining!

RainDrops

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…