So Hard to Say…

The needlepoint world lost another gentle giant that leaves a big hole in my heart. Kathryn Molineux of Shorebrids Designs departed for that special needlepoint shop in the heavens.

This is one of her designs that lives in my stash that someday I will be able to stitch for me, myself and I! A still life canvas which I have ideas, just wonderful ideas for this. It will have special meaning for me now. I have a few others of hers too amid my growing stash.

I loved talking with Katie on the phone, I especially looked forward to seeing her at market… that infectious laugh, that gleam in her eyes as she showed off her new designs for that year. Did I mention that infectios laugh… and I can still hear it now. Oh what a loss, but dear Katie… your spirit will live on in your canvases! RIP and know that you made the world a better place


On the 12th Day of Christmas!

The 12th day of Christmas is celebrated on January 6th and the holidays are already just a memory. The decorations have been packed away, the holiday stitching finished up and already it is time to start exciting new canvases with fun threads and great ideas.

January 6th is also the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Three Wise Men finally completed their trip to see baby Jesus and deliver their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Many people think of the 12 days of Christmas leading up to the holidays, but it is really the 12 days after Christmas! Growing up, we usually took down our decorations on this day, but today my house has long been undecorated!

As I decked the halls this year, I realized that I have no nativity, no creche’ set, no manger, none of that, wether it be a stitched set or something special that was purchased. I really would like to stitch a set for myself, one of these days!

In Italy, on the eve of Januray 6th or the night of January 5th, it would be the day of La Befana, a lovable good witch who brings presents for all the boys and girls.

When Christ was born, The Three kings passed the house of La Befana on the way to Bethelehem to see the Christ child. They invite her to take the journey with them to find the Christ Child. She says she is too busy. Sweeping Constantly.


She goes to sleep and the Christmas star wakes her up. She changes her mind and wishes she went with them.

She goes to find the three kings and angels come and help her fly. She brings her baked gifts to all the good children and looks for the three wise men. To the bad children she brings coal and ashes. Now every year in Italy the good and bad children wait for the Befana, their version of Santa Claus.

Now in New Orleans as they ready for Mardi Gras, it is King Cake that is plentiful during this day. A little treasure is tucked inside and if you are lucky enough to find it, it allows you certain privileges and obligations.

In Mexico it is Dia de Reyes or Day of Kings. When I worked in the restaurant the guys would bring in Rosca de Reyes or King Cake. A sweet bread braided and loaded with fruits and if you were the lucky one to get the little baby hidden in the cake…well you were lucky enough to host the party! As the host or hostess, you are the one to bring the tamales to the party traditionally held February 2nd which is Dia de la Candelaria. This is the day that candles are brought to the church to be blessed. February 2nd is also the midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox and if you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring and spring training as I am…you know that it is only a few short weeks till pitchers and catchers report! I still need to make the trip east for my first experience with Spring Training. One of these years!

Is this how you feel about New Years resolutions?

AlleyCat is still not letting me out of her sight! She is keeping her eye on me as I am taking care of my plants. Shhh don’t tell her that I will be leaving her again in a few days!
and until next time…keep on stitching


Okay I’m in Trouble Now!

I haven’t even gotten to market yet and already I have fallen in love with all of these new canvases that I would love, love, love to stitch! And like I said, I’m in trouble, BIG trouble! I know that there will be soooooooooooooo many more temptations that lay ahead of me. Canvases, books, magnets, bags and so much more.

These are some of the new designs that Unique New Zealand is showing at market, you know the artists of the Keep Calm Canvases. They have brought to life the artwork of Vicky Mount and the first one is entitled “Waiting for Dinner.” It looks like my two when they are waiting for their rotisserie chicken treat from Costco!


This is “Emily’s Dinner.” Reminds me of one of my first cats that would go fishing in my aquarium!

These 3 canvas are all 10″ x 10″ and are painted on 13 mesh. For all of you out there that say I will only stitch on 18…there is nothing wrong with stitching on 13 and you are missing out on a lot of great canvases!

Okay this one is “Feed Me” and I wondering did she use AlleyCat to model for this canvas?


Well not quite! and yes I know that AlleyCat could stand to lose a little…but when you rescue a street cat and they know what hunger is, their appetite’s are never sated. So if she gets a little hungry, she eats a bit as they are still thinking they don’t know when they will have their next meal. So if she was the only cat, I could limit the dry…but you know Sylvester lives here too!

So no, she didn’t model for this canvas…but rumor has it that she has been immortalized on one of the new cat canvases by Labors of Love!

Today is a serious work day, stitch guides for market, magazine work, doodle stitching with some new threads that are being introduced at market and so much more.

and then… and then… and then…


I will retwatch Season 4 as I ready for tonight.

and until next time…keep on stitching


Finishing up!


Ending the year brought a final finish or two, not only for the year, but in my stitching!

This canvas is “My Hat Collection” by Point of It All Designs. 3 Halloween Hats that are just painted in the middle of it all.

What a purr~fect canvas to use some of the new colors of Planet Earth Silk Ribbon! Evening Shade, Yellow Brick Road and Creepy are 3 new ones that were introduced around Halloween.


I really do love, love, love this ribbon! Great to work with, beautiful colors and comes in widths of 4mm, 7mm and 10mm. I am especially enamored with the way the edges of the ribbon are painted darker.


It is Saturday morning, so you know what that means! Time for breakfast at The Cottage and especially now that Santa brought me a gift card for me to use for my visits there. I need a pair of stretcher bars for one of my new projects…I need a 20″ and do you think that I had 1 unused pair in that length? Of course not!

It is still way tooooooooooooooooooo cold here! I hope and pray that the farming industry doesn’t suffer too much damage from the morning frosts as it is read about 28 when I got up…brrr. But I hear that in a few days it will be beach weather again. Go figure!


See it’s even cold for the kitties!

and until next time…keep on stitching

It Really is a New Year!

I’m home! I really am and it’s 2015 already! How did this sneak up on me so quickly? It seems that just yesterday it was 2014 and now its over already.

And what happened to the purr~fect San Diego temperatures while I was gone? Who is this imposter that snuck in? When I left to head east it was in the 70′s and this morning it was a brisk 29 degrees when I got up  and OMG…there was frost on the lawn! I heard that there was snow, just a dusting, but snow anyway while I was gone.

It was so cold last night that both of the cats got under the covers when we turned in for the night!

and it looks like AlleyCat is still sleeping under the covers. Now how does she get under there without messing up the bed? In case you haven’t figured it out, that lump in the bed is that silly girl of mine.

Happy New Year and until next time…keep on stitching


Happy New Years!

I have been asking myself lately… is it “Happy New Year?” or “Happy New Years?” and with or without the apostrophe? however, whatever, I wish us all a healthy and happy new year filled with wonderful stitching adventures, more time to stitch, great canvases, threads, books and must have needlepoint related stitching accessories!

It had been unseasonably warm while I have been here with no snow…and that’s really okay. Until yesterday when it got down to a brisk 23 out. Brrrr! that’s too cold for me, but I am heading home soon where it will definitely warm up!

But while we are on the subject of weather, for all of you that are TNNA bound to Phoenix, the temperatures will be picture perfect and may cool down slightly to the high 60′s…just saying.

And speaking of TNNA, I will be busy in my last minute duties of a final proof and assembly of my stitch guides, magazine work, stitching and packing.

No, this is not AlleyCat, even though it could have easily been! she would love this, especially with the tissue paper that she could crinkle and make a little noise as she setlles in for her nap.

and until next time…keep on stitching


Is 2014 Just a Memory…already?

In just a few days it will be a new year…which you know, so why am I telling you THAT? Wow where has this year gone to already? and we all say the same thing. But really where does the time go to? It slips by all too fast. I normally keep very busy and never let myself waste much time… there is just way too much to be accomplished, too many places to visit, new needlepoint shops to discover, new books, new threads and stitches to fall in love with and new canvases to find. Another stitching venture to relish and ooh just so much more!

I am having a wonderful time in NY with family and friends and for the first time in many, many years I will be bringing in the new years in New not in Times Square, which that for sure could be on my bucket list.

I will be stitching the New Year in…how about you?


This is a canvas that I wanted to finish a year ago and just now I am having a chance to work on it! All was left was to stitch Buddha and I only changed my mind and my thread selection only around 27 times. I finally settled on stitching him in basketweave using a #4 Kreinik in 088C, a perfect color, but yet a DISCONTINUED color. I had 6 spools, all the same dyelot and all the same size, but they were not! Most of it was a #8 instead, so the basketweave wasn’t working as it was too heavy and covered up the shading. I didn’t even think about tracking down more of this color as then it would never ever get stitched! I changed the stitch to a darning pattern, and after meeting with my needlepoint conference board, we all agreed that this was a go! I like it and that’s all that matters…”do you like it?” which is a question that I ask often when I am teaching.
I have my eyes set on new canvases already for 2015, which are not on bars, nor have I studied it for stitches and thread selections. I also would love to finish up a few things that are crying to be finished. Here I thought I had all this time before Christmas to stitch for myself…well it didn’t happen, so what was I thinking? Now next week is market and I am sure that there will be more canvases coming home, either for me or to work on for stitch guides.
Happy New Years!

Merry Christmas!

I don’t get pictures of these two like this very often, and even though these are from last year, they are such special pictures to me that I wanted to use them again. My cats are not BFF’s, they get along great, usually sleep in the same area together, play together and hang out together…but curl up and sleep together? oh almost never! See when AlleyCat first came to live with us, it made Sylvester the middle child and he was a big bully to her, so she has never forgiven him for that!

I remember that I was packing with this just washed this sweater and had placed it on the bed for but a moment. Then just as quickly, the cats took it over and I never did pack it and left it behind for them to sleep on.

I leave Tuesday, so today I will be in full packing mode. Hopefully weather will not be an issue! My stop is in Las Vegas and then onto New York. All my clothes are ready, I just need to make final decisions and get them in my suitcase. I have my stitching ready of course, one of which is Gobbles by Little Bird Designs.

I have already changed the Kreinik to 021HL from what you see here.

and I am taking this with me too. Canvas by Sandra Gilmore. I am working on the face only after changing my mind at least 27 times. I would love, love, love to get this finished.

I am wishing everybody a very Merry Christmas…and Mooch says it best here!

Even though I will have my laptop with me,  I will probably not see you till next year…  Happy New Years!


WInter Solstice

According to an article posted by Huffington Post:

“In 2014, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Dec. 21 at 6:03 p.m. EST. 

Officially the first day of winter, the winter solstice occurs when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. This is the longest night of the year, meaning that despite the cold winter, the days get progressively longer after the winter solstice until the summer solstice in 2015.

The winter solstice is celebrated by many people around the world as the beginning of the return of the sun, and darkness turning into light”

To read more about Winter Solstice, click here! Me winter makes me think of more stitching weather, Downton Abbey will start soon, and all the good tv shows that are on hiatus will be back soon…and most important of all, baseball!

It seems like Mooch is getting ready for snow. ooh you are such a silly kitty, but he makes me laugh every morning!

Even though you might be expecting snow and it is bitter cold where you live…

Here is my Christmas Tree! and I don’t have to worry about the cats knocking it over.

or this one either!

My Christimas Cactus is right on schedule and is full of blooms!
This is how I get AlleyCat to act like a silly kitty that she is…throw her the empty tube from the wrapping paper!
and until next time…keep on stitching

Dear Santa…

All I want for Christmas is to learn how to take a straight picture! Well actually my list IS a little longer than that…but for now, we will start with this!

After I redid the Flair for the smoke coming out of the chimney by reconstructing the deconstructed Flair I originally started with… Deconstructing the Flair is actually pulling it apart and unravelling it, you know, taking it apart.

This sat on my coffee table for a week and I didn’t see it till I saw my picture on the blog. I didn’t like the smoke as you see it here, it looked like a big blob. I was aiming for billowy smoke coming out of the chimney, but I believe the size of it all limited what I was able to achieve. So now I am much happier with it!

So dear Santa, I would love some stitching time for me, for moi…is that too much to ask? I haven’t added any new stitched ornaments to my trees the last few years. The purple and the green canvases are by Susan Roberts and the backgrounds are stitched and all I need to do is bead the snowflakes. Noel by Patti Mann, yes I would love to totally bead the word…but I either need to find lots of bead colors or I will use a very transparent bead and just keep changing the thread.

More from the Kitty Kat Tree!

One of my favorite ornaments that I bought years ago in Warwick’s, my favorite La Jolla shop!

Speaking of La Jolla, it’s Saturday…so it’s time for breakfast at The Cottage! or there’s a new place that my breakfast buddy and I have been going to called “Snooze”… and we have been enjoying Spiced Pear Pancakes. So maybe there?!

AlleyCat being a busy girl! and doing what she does best.

and until next time…keep on stitching