I’m in a Finishing State of Mind!

Finished! Finis! Finito! now matter how you say it, it’s always music to my ears! I toyed around with the white in her hat off and on and all weekend. It had to be just the right thread, that was wide enough to cover what was painted on the canvas.

I tried this, I tried that, I tried ruching the Sparkle Rays…but that wasn’t it. I put it away and worked on other things. Then I thought of my mantra “kiss” which is “keep it simple silly!” and went back to the Sparkle Rays, but I looked for regular sized instead of petite. That was it and I was thrilled with the way it came out…but wait she still needed a few eyelashes and now she is ready for her class debut at Newport Needlepoint on Friday!

If you would to join in on the fun…either in person or long distance, please give Peggy a call at 949.650.8022. I think that there is 1 maybe 2 spots left in class. If they are spoken for, she will just need to get more canvases ordered for you!

The votes are in for her tassel on the hat and I am going to leave the Turkey work loops uncut! Now I am off to finish the stitch guide.

Lets see what the cats are up to…

AlleyCat was seeking a sunny spot as she ran out the door. Silly girl…until she heard a little noise and she came running for the door meowing all the way. Such a scaredy cat.

and until next time…keep on stitching

Dorothy Was Right!

Shoes

There is no place like home! Even though I love, love, love traveling, teaching and discovering new places…there is really no place like home!

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A magnet by The Elizabeth Turner Collection from my latest stash enhancements at market.

I have been busy doing nothing at times, taking care of some long over due projects around the house, stitching, working on the 2015 January/February issue of Needlepoint Now and hanging out with the cats.

I didn’t get to see Brenda Hart over the weekend as she was under the weather and rescheduled her classes at A Stitch in Time.

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Just a word or two about the beaded snowflake border… It was a great idea and as much as I love beading, it was a real labor of love. I think I counted 60 snow flakes and with the average time of 20 minutes PER snowflake…well I’ll let you do the math!

I do love my beading! No stranding threads, no laying, normally I would say no counting… but this time there was counting, and no compensating. So what’s not to love? I used around 16 grams of beads and with approximately 290 size 15 beads in a gram and again I will let you do the math. If I were to stitch this again, would I do the beaded border again? YES! YES! YES!

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and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Turn Back the Hands of Time!

Well did you? For some of us, we got an extra hour of sleep this morning….for me not so much. The cats didn’t realize that the clocks fell back an hour and that it wasn’t time for me to get up, let alone serve their breakfast. All they knew is that it was time for me to get vertical! Guess who is the boss around here? well it case you didn’t figure it out, it’s not me! Well we did all go back to bed and sleep a bit more.

For me it was an extra hour of stitching last night as I burned the midnight oil keeping my little stitching fingers very busy. So many canvases to stitch and such little time!

This is what I was working on last night. Sparkles by Pepperberry Designs…and she’s almost finished! Just the white stitch in her hat and a few missing stitches in her face and really it could have been finished last night if it wasn’t for a cat on my lap. I knew that I really didn’t want to disturb her, so instead I worked on the ornament sized Sparkles.

The background and the beaded snowflakes are finished! After all I needed to test out this new beading case and with AlleyCat on my lap it was purr~fect to see how much cat hair it would pick up.

So Sparkles will be ready for her class next Friday November 7th at Newport Needlepoint. If you would like to join us in person or would love to have this sent to you, please give Peggy a call at Newport Needlepoint 949.650.8022… as for now this is the only shop that you can find her!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

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 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!

and until next time…keep on sticthing

The Bewitching Hour is Upon Us!

It really is! Halloween is a very favorite time of the year for me. But I have been thinking that I haven’t even been home the last few years for my celebrations. For a few Halloweens I had been in the cold and snow in Denver with the Deeva taking classes at Diversions from Tony Minieri.

Last year I was with the poodles at the Needlepoint Now studios while Jay and Elizabeth were touring through China. This year I am at home and get to enjoy a little of my own decorating! Stitching in the season too as I will work on Mrs. Cat tonight!

This Melissa canvas really puts me in the Halloween spirit… well after all doesn’t that look like AlleyCat?

Meredith was in the Halloween spirit at A Stitch in Time teaching her magic on canvas.

Mr. Boo from Melissa Shirley! This picture was from Melissa’s Halloween display at market. I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to stitch this as a model few years back.

   

Mooch and Earl have been having fun getting ready for Halloween too!

My style of trick or treating!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Sleepless in Seattle!

Really! and sorry I couldn’t resist that…but it really described my visit to the Pacific Northwest. I think that I have finally caught up on my sleep by now.

See I can fall asleep with no problem at all, but when I wake up during the night either by a noise, having to go to the bathroom or missing my cats…well then I can’t get back to sleep. Toss and turn, read a little, check out the iPad, email and Facebook and hope that I will be able to get some more shuteye sooner or later. I am thinking about the class…did I forget anything? will they like the stitches? will they like the piece? will they struggle with what goes in the piece? Then after class was over, it was how much work that is waiting for me when I get home!

This picture was taken at Pikes Marketplace looking through the windows loaded with raindrops onto Puget Sound. To the left is the Seattle Great Wheel or reaaly just a ferris wheel as I would call it. It rained quite a bit while I was there, and even though I would have loved to have seen blue skies and sunshine…the pitter patter of raindrops was really music to my ears. Since it really never rains in Southern California!

So why was I in Seattle? To teach Welcome by Annie Lane at My Sisters Place! Thank you to all the stitchers that took the class, to Dorothy and Tom for wining and dining me in style and especially to Donnelle and Rick for granting my wish of taking in some sights, sharing lots of laughs and a glass of wine or two.

This completes my whirlwind schedule as I traveled to the 4 corners of the US and more…lets see Chicago to Dallas to Boston to Wilton to Atlanta to Phoenix to Seattle. And the cats are still speaking to me!

The World Series is over, tomorrow is Halloween and boy do I have lots of stitching to do! Breakfast at The Cottage, a trip to see Brenda Hart at A Stitch in Time on Saturday…

AlleyCat sends her best meows! and until next time…keep on stitching

 

National Cat Day!

Now you didn’t think that the cats would let me forget that today is their day… now would you? well really in the scheme of things, everyday is their day!

Tonight I will be stitching on Mrs. Cat as I need to finish her fur and the hat. This picture was taken at In Stitches in Atlanta during our class for Mr. Cat. They really do need to be together and soon, soon she will be finished…

I got back last night just in time for the 3 of us to settle in and watch the baseball game.

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Seriously?! Seriously!!

I am home for just a few hours as I unpack and repack for my trip to Seattle Thursday morning. Seriously?! Seriously!! Sylvester is front and center as I change around my suitcases. I had all my clothes ready, so it is just moving everything. Should I bring an umbrella?

Teaching Welcome by Annie Lane at My Sister’s Place. Looking forward to seeing the beautiful Pacific Northwest and the girls are spoiling me by making time so that I will be able to get a little sight-seeing in too!

I am not taking my laptop with me this time…and even though this past week while in Phoenix I was able to blog everyday, without the laptop I will not be able to, so I will save it all for when I get back!

I will leave you with a little food for thought. There is always a new stitch out there waiting to be discovered…you just need to look your surroundings such as walls, floors in a different way. Something I learned from Brenda Hart.

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This was a wallpaper that was in one of the bathrooms at the hotel…

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The ceiling in the dining room at the Indian Trading Post on the way to the Grand Canyon. It is made of tin and I should’ve done a better job of getting the corners!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Until We Meet Again!

This is the wonderful stitching area in the foyer of the Hohokam Ballroom that was used for Studio Time. The registration for this seminar so far surpassed the expectations that every  place was utilized! Sorta kinda reminds me of the ANG Seminar at the Hotel del Coronado when classrooms were set up in tents on the tennis courts…and yes then there were the seals. Anyone who attended this seminar, knows exactly what I am talking about!

Another wonderful day of class! it was lots of stitching on our doodle cloths and needle lace pads as we worked on her sweater and her hat. Trying to perfect braiding her hair, creating cabbages and so much more. Unfortunately for me, I will not be able to work on it anytime soon. But I learned lots, enjoyed myself and had lots of fun…isn’t that what its all about?

Lunch time found me grabbing a quick bite so I would have time to visit Susan at Quail Run. A beautiful shop and wish that I had more time to spend there, but I did make just enough for a little stash enhancement!

What a great place to stitch!

Peggi of Tapestry Fair had highly recommended Barrio Cafe and I had heard a few other ladies that had gone there and they loved it…so off I was again. Thanks to the navigation tools available on our phones, it was smooth sailing.

The food was absolutely amazing! did I say fabulous? OMG I loved every morsel. I was pretty hungry when my entree arrived and the aromas were so intoxicating, that I started eating right away before I thought of taking a picture! But you can see my dessert of churros which I just finished eating the leftovers for breakfast!

This is the outside of the building and it is painted like this all the way around. Very cool…

Time to get back to the hotel as tonight is Merchandise Night!

MaryAlice who teaches Japanese beading, Japanese Embroidery and of Blue Bonnet Retreat fame!

Barbara Elmore selling her beautiful handmade bracelets! She was very busy and I am sure that all of her amazing pieces were sold out by the end of the evening.

Alison Cole, you know of those amazing goldwork books. One of these days, I am taking a class with her!

a beautiful sunset…

Thank you Pat and Phoenix for hosting a most wonderful seminar!

and until next time…keep stitching

 

This is the Way!

This is the way I walk to class! A quick elevator or walk down the stairs and I am there. Now how convenient is that?

This is my class piece; Farmer’s Market by Kim Sanders. A study in stumpwork and all that  randomness that most needlepointers think it’s a bad, bad, bad word. I have been working conquering my challenges with this kind of stitching and this is just another way for me to better my stitching and my repertoire.

Note in the background of the picture is a collection of cut-outs in assorted shapes and sizes from many colors of felt.

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I really don’t have much to show for a full day of work! part of my table, her blue jeans and most of her sweater has been attached to the linen in a series of basting, couching, split backstitch and backstitch.

We worked on outline stitch, lazy daisy, bullions with that slippery Brazilian embroidery thread, cast-on bullions and all on a doodle cloth. I want to perfect my technques with these stitches before I go right to the beautiful light blue fabric.

Today we will create her sweater and I can’t wait. Never have I been in a class where the time just flew by! did I say flew by?

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Pictures of the boutique that is set up in the hotel for a little retail therapy and any necessary last minute purchases needed for class!

Shop is ABC Stitch Therapy from Spring, Texas and what an awesome shop! Great service and just purr~fect! They are going to do the shop next year too when seminar moves to San Antonio.

One more day of class today and I will probably go early so that I can work on getting a few things finished up.

Tonight is merchandise night where hopefully I won’t see too much that I can’t live without!

and until next time…keep on stitching