A Little Cat~itude!

Do you remember this canvas?

and you might have seen this? This was my cat needle threader that was a birthday gift from the Needlepoint Now Studios… One can never have too many cat related items.

and I shared this picture on Facebook as AlleyCat was snoozing on my lap while stitching. Was she just wanting to be with me? or did she have her eye on that little rat?

You can see that the border and background is stitched and I was working on the cat, stitching with a single strand of Burmilana.

Well here is the finished Mr. Cat with all of his cat~itude. A Pepperberry Design that was ooh so much fun to stitch! The border is a potpourri of ideas from Stitches to Go with a favorite background stitch from one of Brenda Hart’s books, beading, basketweave… well every canvas needs a little of that! laid filling stitches for his vest, packed outline, long and short, wrapped stitches, ribbon work, twisted cording, sorbello knots, cast on bullions and thanks to Meredith for refreshing my memory how to stitch them! And to Brenda Hart for her trick of using huck needles…OMG, what a difference!

And last by not least, Mr. Cat who is a real scamp and a chimney sweep kinda cat, holds his sweep broom which is done in repoussé. It is a technique brought to the Fab Four classes by Mr. Anthony Minieri and Meredith refreshed my memory on how to stitch it. I had seen it done many times, but never had a hands on learning experience.

So if you are attending the summer trade show at TNNA…you are in luck as I will be teaching Mr. Cat at market. Sign up for the class, I would love to see you there! Or ask your favorite needlepoint shop for a class with Mr. Cat…next best thing to taking a class is teaching one! There is a Mrs. Cat and rumor has it that she is coming home with me.

we’ve been pretty busy around here…so I am taking Monday off!

and until next time…keep on stitching


While we’re in Class!


While we…well while I am… talking about learning in class, there’s still lots more to share from the Blue Bonnet Retreat and 4 days of stitching bliss with my sistah Meredith. Last I left you, I was bemoaning this picture since none other than the Brenda Hart was looking at her phone rather than at the camera! And I still haven’t even loaded all the pictures from my phone to my computer yet.

In case you forgot, the Blue Bonnet Retreat is held at the Lost Pines Resort, located on the outskirts of Austin, Texas. Great food, great location, great stitching and great teachers. Get the idea that I like it? and you know what? one can never take too many classes.


This was the sendoff that the students in Debbie Steihler’s class gave her, since she is retiring. Gosh I finally take a class from her last year and now she is retiring…is it something I said?


Meredith worked with Jody to create a great knitted dress in buttonhole stitch and then she stuffed her you know what to give her shape. Too cute!


A Lani canvas that Linda was working on. Such great attention to detail!

BlueBonnet10 BlueBonnet9

You never know who or what you are going to run into in the hallways of the hotel!


Alpacas! and they were very friendly and ooh so soft. Don’t they make great wool?


This was the magic that Brenda Hart was creating in her classroom with one of her students.


Colleen, owner of that fabulous shop The Needleworks in Austin was able to join us in class for a few days!

BlueBonnet14 BlueBonnet13 BlueBonnet12

Mary Alice was giving the students in Brenda’s class, a little demonstration on Japanese beading. I just happened to be walking by and being the nosy person that I am, I had to find out what was going on! I am looking forward to taking a class with Mary Alice with her fabulous Japnese beading later this summer when she comes to San Diego.


Sylvester was watching a little tv with me and someone was under the covers. I guess that she’s cold now that more fur has been shaved!

and until next time…keep on stitching


What I Learned in Class!

I was enjoying some stash enhancement a few weeks ago…while chatting with one of my favorite stitching friends how I was looking forward to my class coming up.

She asked “why do you take classes? you are such a good stitcher” of course I thanked her and added “you know, I know that I am going to learn something new!” To me it is really not the destination of actually ever finishing that canvas that you are going to start, it is the journey of being in class with all of your stitching friends, having fun and putting that needle in the canvas all while learning something new that makes it all so special. Of course I do love it when I can say it’s FINISHED!

This is a John Johannsen design for Melissa Shirley that was being stitched on in class. Look at what Meredith did with the corn. Now how did she just come up with this brilliant idea?

She demonstrated to the stitcher to take 3 or 4 colors of beads and make a little bead soup. Then she insert the beads into Flair and viola! the best looking corn on the cob that I have ever seen on a needlepoint canvas.

Now if you are going to ask me how to get those beads into the Flair…well you will just need to take a class with Meredith and ask her!

Another Melissa Shirley canvas…

and check out those pomegranate seeds which again were beads inserted into Flair!

And yet another Melissa Shirley canvas… and look at those little flowers.

If you ever get a chance to take a class with my sistah Meredith, don’t let it pass you by. Her classes fill up ooh so quickly!


Somebody was being quite a busy body and I won’t mention her name!

and until next time…keep on stitching


Stitching with the San Diego ANG!

This little fella is so cute, you will just want to eat him up! Canvas by Danji Designs which will be accompanied by the stitch guide, silks, metallis, novel cotton threads, sequins, beads, crystal hearts and taught by Jill Rigoli. And just think there are no calories in this cupcake!

Join us for a day of stitching and fun with the San Diego ANG. You could join our chapter and take this class, which would be less than just taking the class if you are not a member of the San Diego Guild of ANG. What a deal!

Don’t delay as the deadline for registering is just right around the corner!

It is 4 days to the actual and real opening day of baseball. This is the 2nd year in a row that I will miss going to opening day in the last 18-20 years…I’ve sorta lost count to be honest. BTW I really do believe that it should be a national holiday!

I have been doing lots of stitching… I have new things to share with you, techniques that I have learned in class and still more from the Blue Bonnet retreat. Coming soon!


AlleyCat is being a brat…she also hardly ever lest me out of her sight for very long. And she is sleeping under the covers all night long. Go figure!

and until next time…keep on stitching


A Day in the Life of that AlleyCat!

She is being very shy at the moment…

and only showing that pretty face of hers…

We went to the vets on Friday for a little looksee, a refill for her steroids and to have a cyst between her shoulder blades removed.

They love her there as she is soooooooooooo good, sooooooooooo sweet and is not difficult…all while purring up a storm. Boy does she have them fooled! we didnot, well I didn’t expect them to shave quite as much fur from her back as they did. She now looks like a silly girl, well sillier than she normally does.

So we have a new pill to take and will soon have a new diet as she put on almost a pound with taking those steroids! We wait to hear from the vets if that cyst is anything to worry about.

and since cat fur takes about 6 months to grow back in, I am sure that you will see her silliness from time to time. But for now, she is hiding it!

and until next time…keep on stitching


A Little Dream Weaving!

Are you going to the EGA seminar this year? The Embroiders Guild of America that is, that will be held in Phoenix. Originally I had heard that they were trying to schedule it in La Jolla…and that would have been great, but you know what? Phoenix at that time of the year is just wonderful!

I was one of the almost 500 early registrants. WOW! and I made my hotel reservations right away too as they suggested. I think that this will be a very well attended seminar. Just a quick 2 day class and a tour. EGA has the best tours… yes sorry ANG, their tours are much better. I selected the Grand Canyon one, since I have never been there.

Okay so you are saying, okay get to the good part…what class are you taking? Kim Sanders is the teacher and I really searched for new techniques for me to learn, to challenge me, to be able to apply what I have mastered…well I can hope, cant’t I? to needlepoint canvases.

“Inspired by a child minding her family’s stall, Farmers’ Market captures the bounty of late summer flowers and vegetables. Students learn a variety of stumpwork techniques. Long and short shading, burden stitch, and satin stitch embroidered over padding add depth. Wrapped wire and beads further increase the dimensionality of the piece. Cast-on stitch and bullions combine for lifelike full-blown roses. Seed beads spark the piece with shimmer and shine. Detached needle lace elements are stitched on a custom-made needle lace pad.”

I am not very good at long and short, but I am finishing up a piece right now with deadlines that just called for long and short and you know what? I told myself to put my big girl panties on and deal with it! I am very, very, very happy with my long and short! and not bad for an amateur.
Thanks to everyone who is thrilled with my Russian Santa…give me abit for next lesson. I need the shop for just the right gold beads and either 002J or 321J Kreinik. I need to compare them to decide which gold I really want to use. I need a face color and decide what thread I want to use for the snow, chart the stitch for you for his inner cloak and ooh so much more!
AlleyCat is hamming it up for the camera!
and until next time…keep on stitching

Tonight’s the Night!


it really is! Tonight or should I say this morning at 1AM on the West Coast is the first pitch…opening day. The crack of the bat, the sound of the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt. The smell of peanuts, popcorn, crackerjacks, hot dogs, beer and hearing you’re out! Seventh inning stretch and take me out to the ballgame, which BTW is the ringtone on my phone.


But wait a minute! can I stay awake all night long to watch the game? or maybe if I took a nap and then set my alarm to get up. Would I get up or sleep right through it? It is going to be a history making first pitch in the land down under. They are playing the game in Sydney, Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which I have heard is very sacred ground…after all the field is over 150 years old. Older than Fenway, older than Wrigley.


oh well…play ball!

and until next time…keep on stitching


Is it Spring Yet?

Believe it or not today…well yesterday was the Vernal Equinox or the First Day of Spring! Well that’s what the calendar is telling me. The equinox means equal parts daylight and darkness and the vernal equinox welcomes warmer temperatures, longer days and saying goodbye to winter.

The cherry blossoms will be blooming soon and in just a few short weeks Passover, Easter and baseball will be here. But what is all this white stuff that I am seeing on the news? What’s going on? I think Mother Nature is confused!

Even Mooch is thinking of it as he celebrates the first day of Spring!

A canvas by Maggie with frame by Lisa & Jim Krause which brings thoughts of spring, warmer days and getting back out into the garden!

or this great canvas by Maggie “Poppies & Lavender…

I hope soon that the winter that never quits, will go away and you too can have a party as Mooch and Earl are doing…

Even Sylvester is thinking spring!

and until next time…keep on stitching


The Swallows Come Back to Capistrano!

The miracle of the “Swallows” of Capistrano takes place each year at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day. This is something that has always fascinated me, ever since I was a little kid.

As the little birds wing their way back to the most famous Mission in California, the village of San Juan Capistrano takes on a fiesta air and the visitors from all parts of the world, and all walks of life, gather in great numbers to witness the “miracle” of the return of the swallows.

Each year the “Scout Swallows” precede the main flock by a few days and it seems to be their chief duty to clear the way for the main flock to arrive at the “Old Mission” of Capistrano.

With the arrival of early dawn on St. Joseph’s Day, the little birds begin to arrive and begin rebuilding their mud nests, which are clinging to the ruins of the old stone church of San Juan Capistrano. The arches of the two story, high vaulted Chapel were left bare and exposed, as the roof collapsed during the earthquake of 1812.

This Chapel, said to be the largest and most ornate in any of the missions, now has a more humble destiny–that of housing the birds that St. Francis loved so well.

After the summer spent within the sheltered walls of the Old Mission in San Juan Capistrano, the swallows take flight again, and on the Day of San Juan, October 23, they leave after circling the Mission bidding farewell to the “JEWEL OF ALL MISSIONS” San Juan Capistrano, California.

I was really going to share some stitching with you today as it has been awhile hasn’t it? But I remembered that it is March 19th, the Feast of St Joseph. This is the day that the swallows are supposed to return to Capistrano, the Mission at San Juan Capistrano that is. How they know it is time, I have no idea whatsoever. I just figure that they are smarter than I.

I have been to the Mission at San Juan Capistrano on March 19th more than once. And really you might see a few birds, which I believe are the harbingers of spring. The festivities are wonderful, very colorful in both the traditional clothing and the mariachi music. The food is a delight and so many people come to San Juan Capistrano on this special day.

Not this year for me…too much work to do!

AlleyCat is watching and hoping that she will see her own little swallow fly by the window so she can talk with them.
and until next time…keep on stitching

Putting on the Green!

Everybody’s a little Irish today! yes even Mooch…

yes even AlleyCat…

look at this beautiful selection of crystals and bi-cones and beads…oh my!

A Food & Wine recipe I saw this week, Guinness ice cream served with salty milk covered pretzels! Make mine a double, please.

Of course I am going to have an Irish cat! Would you expcect anything less? a piece of Kerry glass that I bought years ago.

and until next time…keep on stitching