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


Leigh’s Russian Santa…

Boy I really need to learn how to take that picture straight! do you know how much that bugs me? oh well, lets get to the stitching!

I haven’t done anymore since we last talked…yes I know what I said about stitching for myself a little bit everyday, but I have deadlines and I just can’t enjoy that stitching for myself when I know I can’t let people down. Stuff like stitch guides for Needlepoint Now, charting, reviews and ooh so much more is just one of many things that I have to get done. And did I say lots of stitching? looking for threads?

At least I have decided that I will use the Kreinik 032 in size #8 for the darning pattern!

It will give the effect that I think that I am looking for, you know a snowy look without distorting the details of what is painted there. Remember I said that the best way to stitch this was to turn your canvas 1/4 turn. The thread just seems to lay better that way. Why? well I have no idea, it just does!

Now you ask why did I start with that part of the canvas?

I always like to start with something easier, something that will require little to no reverse stitching. Something that I know will work 99% of the time. I then study the rest of the canvas while I am stitching this to figure out what I want to do. Making headway in the begnning of your stitching journey motivates you to keep on stitching!

I have selected a few more threads too. I learned in a class, that if the face is just right, the rest falls into place. It is a small face and I looked through my evergrowing stash for a good face color. I love my silk, but in this small enough area that a little DMC floss should work just fine, that is if I have the right color. I will try and stitch the entire face with it using just 1 or 2 strands. The beard will need some long and short stitches with Burmilana. I am not very good with long and short… as that is a bad, bad, bad word called RANDOM! Oh shudder that thought…but I just finished a piece with a lot of long and short that took about 20 hours worth of stitching. And you know what? I came out really great and I am so pleased with it! When I started the area I kept telling myself, you can do it, I know you can! Just like the little engine that could. But before I start his beard, I will need white and some grays which that I have here in the house…and I will study some of the Russian Santas on line.

I have 2 more Kreinik’s picked 002HL and 002J and I don’t like either one of them! and the gold beads 465 from Sundance don’t work with either gold. Now you ask why the red top on the beads? well they are they real gold beads so that they will not tarnish and the red top distinguishes them from the other beads as they are a little more $$$. So we are back to the drawing board on that one.


The dark brown burmilana that you see will be for the Turkey work and yes I will need more than 1 skein. I really would like to find a darker brown. Since I am going to do that with a punch needle, I will save it to the end, plus I need to find that punch needle. That’s what happens when you organize yourself!

So I will be bead shopping and thread shopping and so much more…


I think Sylvester is bored with it all!

I have some out of town guests visiting…so I will take the weekend off and see you on Monday! It is rude to bury my face in the computer.

and until next time…keep on stitching


News from A Stitch in Time!

Did you miss out on these last week? Well I guess they were quite the hit and Alison sold out!…but she has a new order in just frehsly unpacked and ready to be shipped home to you

Stash Enhancement comes in many forms…don’t you think? a new canvas? some new threads? a scissors? a new toy?

or how about some new magnets? I have been wanting the Carmen Miranda one forever and it has been alluding me for just as long. My dear friend Carole actually swapped me her Carmen Miranda one for a new one that we selected from the large collection of Elizabeth Turner magnets at A Stitch in Time in San Marino, CA. What a sweetie! and yes I know that neither magnet goes with THIS canvas, but work with me here.

Okay lets go back to that new toy! I saw this sitting on one of the tables while in class at A Stitch in Time and found out that it is a magnfier.

But not just any magnifier! Tap the top of the powerful 5x magnifier for a shower of light directed right where you need it…

Shine it where those details really matter. Looking for missed stitches? ooh shudder that thought! Three bright LED’s shine downward, allowing use in darker enviroment without glare. Comes with a case so that you can carry to class, the batteries needed and a microfiber cleaning cloth.

So if you just need some stash enhancement today give A Stitch in Time a call… and their number is 626.793.5217 They were very popular in class and I think just about everybody enhanced their stash with one…so don’t delay as you would need to wait till they are reordered.

As to the snowman which is named Patches, a Pepperberry Design…he is finished!

As for the Charlie Harper canvas, don’t you think that you just needed one more canvas in your stash? While you are talking to Alison and ordering that magnifier, she has a Charlie Haper trunk show in the house…and I already picked mine out. It is “wrenovation” the little birdie building a nest in the pocket of the blue jeans. And do I have ideas for it!


AlleyCat was a little busy body as she sits and ponders…I have nothing to play with!

and until next time…keep on stitching