The Embellishment Squad!

So now you’ve met The Embellishment Squad…so what’s it all about you say? Well first a little about the shop where the class was held. A Stitch in Time in San Marino, California, which is the home to fabulous needlepoint, knitting and a gift shop called Hodge Podge… and trust me I always manange to do some retail therapy in both!

There were 44 of us in class and here we were all getting settled in!

Katie and Maryellen were checking out the canvases…hmmm, which one can’t I live without?

Still getting settled in and almost ready to start class!

Tony, Meredith, Suzanne and Debbie had a little to say to us and then we all introduced ourselves.

This was my canvas, an Elizabeth Turner Designs and my first section that I selected to start stitching on was her obi, worked in Or Nué…meaning nuance of gold. But this time it is could be nuance of silver! As many teachers as were there, that was the many ways I could do Or Nué…

Here was my first row done, but I need to make myself a needle nest as I forgot that I need to have several needles working…this way I will have a place to hold the needles as I move from color to color.

Check out the great scissors fob that we were given! I can tell that Alison and Meredith took the time to co-ordinate the fob to our canvas…and of course I added the correct magent which is a fan!

It’s was a fabulous class as always…and where do I sign up for the next one?


I think that they might even be touching!

Have a great weekend and I will be working and stitching and working and stitching and… well you get the idea!


What a Weekend!

Early morning stitch discussions with The Embellishment Squad; Meredith, Tony, Debbie and Suzanne. Meredith had come up with a great stitch idea and Tony was creating it.

You can see lots of laughter going on ALL the time!

I have lots more pictures and stuff to share with you from my stitching weekend, a newly decorated shop window and so much more…but for now, it’s time for work!

I was tagged “the official class photographer” and was honored when they asked me to take some pictures of them together. I just sort of got silly with this shot and they were pretty thrilled with the way it came out…you just need to take a lot of pictures in rapid succession and you will get some good ones!

Left to right Meredith Willett, Tony Minieri, Debbie Steihler and Suzanne Howren. If you ever have a chance to take a class with these brilliant needlepoint artists, run, don’t walk to your closest needlepoint shop!


AlleyCat is a very good supurr~visor!


Where oh Where have You been?

Somebody was in the shop the other day and commented how much they miss my mostly daily musings on my blog… and I answered “all I’ve been doing lately is working at the shop!” No travel… no road trips… not much stitching… no trips with my BFF, blah, blah, blah. It would be quite boring just to share with you the goings on of everyday life in the shop. Anybody who thinks that all we do is sit around all day and stitch, well you are sadly mistaken!

But now I have a road trip ahead of me! This Thursday I to head to A Stitch in Time in San Marino, CA with 4 days of stitching bliss with The Embellishment Squad.

and this is the canvas that I will be working on by The Elizabeth Turner Collection. I need to find the proper magnet to fit with my canvas!

Embellishment Squad you say? you know Tony Minieri, Suzanne Howren, Meredith Willet and now Debbie Steihler makes the fourth. Beth Robertson could never ever be replaced, but I can’t think of a better person to join the group! Debbie, do you realize that you have very, very, very big shoes to fill?


Beth is on the right with her BFF Suzanne, cutting up and having fun. Today would be her birthday…and you are missed today as much if not more since the day that you left us way, way, way too soon. I hope that your life in that big stitching room in the heavens, where you never misplace your scissors, drop your needle, miss a stitch or have to do reverse stitching is keeping you out of mischief.

We will remember you fondly along with a tear or two during class and with a toast of your favorite 14 Hands Merlot.


AlleyCat loves empty egg containers…but not the one from a dozen and a half…it has to be this one! or Starbucks carry containers and often I find her sitting or catnapping like this. Silly girl, don’t you think?

I am taking my laptop with me, but not sure if I will have time to blog while I away…but I will have lots to share with you, trust me! Along with changing the windows at the shop, a new piece that I stitched that will be in the next Needlepoint Now and soon enough will be time for the Dallas Trade Show and ANG seminar in Myrtle Beach!


For the Love of Black Cats!

Today we celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day…but trust me, I appreciate them each and every day! Canvas by Labors of Love…and that’s my AlleyCat! I had tried to start stitching this a few months ago with my sistah in black cats, Ms. Meredith, but it wasn’t meant to be.

At one time Meredith and I both had 3 black cats and that’s when we became sistahs! Do you know that black cats are the hardest to adopt out at the shelters? Also that those same shelters will not let any black cats be adopted in the month of October?


Look at that face…how could you not love it?


Watching her favorite kitty tv channel…

AlleyCat8171 AlleyCat8172

well Sylvester is almost a black kitty?!


Another Day to Celebrate!


Actually any day filled with stitching and needlepoint is another day to celebrate!


So what exactly are we celebrating? International Left-handers day! Now even though I am not a leftie, I have been told by many a teacher that I stitch…especially basketweave as if I am a left handed. Go figure!

These are new scissors by Premax, which is a centuries-old company of artisans in the mountains of Italy. These scissors are primo cutting implements—sharp, smooth, quality, long-lasting.

I love my Premax and have since added to my stash with Carnivale, which is the scissors on the left. Then there is Purple Haze, which sometimes comes out blue and Spring Dreams.

Even those these scissors are not specifically designed for a left hander, Premax does design many for the leftie!


Is she sticking her tongue out at us?


How Will You be Celebrating?

International Cat Day? Simon the Cat says it best here!

Will you be stitching? This was a collection of new canvases that I had earlier this year… the 2 underneath have been stitched for others and for models. The one on the top is by the Elizabeth Turner Collection btw, which will be for me, myself and I, which is probably why I haven’t started stitching it yet!

Just basketweave with Pepper Pot silks…nothing fancy, no beads, just beautiful basketweave!

or maybe this one… I am so excited to be starting this amazing canvas with Tony Minieri in November when he comes to teach at the Needle Nook of La Jolla!

It is a new design by Tapestry Fair that will be introduced at the January 2016 Winter Market here in San Diego. It is entitled “On the Nile” and will compliment Bastet and all the other Egyptian cats and dogs that is part of their line.

Thank you so much Peggi for painting this canvas and for your generousity!

This is my reason to celebrate! AlleyCat and Sylvester as we were chillin’ the other day!


Quintessential Needlepoint Tour of England!


The Quintessential Needlepoint Tour of England… have you heard about it? Are you going?
well I am! I do need to get a passport first or I’m not going anywhere.
Read all about it here and you can even register on line. Just think you can meet the delightful Elizabeth, the mastermind behind Needlepoint Now and then there’s Jeremy! and what a delightful and ooh so charming gentleman. There’s only a few spots left, so don’t hesitate.
I know that I am looking forward to it. We would love to see you join us.
Think about it!

Today’s Reason to Celebrate!

Well yesterday actually, but I figure better late than never! Mooch never fails to just make my day and even though this strip was from 10 years ago, he reminded us that yesterday was National Watermelon Day. Now how could I have missed that?

I absolutely love, love, love…did I say love watermelon and have ever since I was a kid. I can easily eat a large, did I say really large? piece for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are only about 300 different kinds of watermelon in the US & Mexico. Me, I will just take mine red and sweet!

You can find red, pink, white and yellow in various shapes and sizes. I have enjoyed watermelon grilled, in savory salads and with lime and cayenne pepper splashed on it. Did you enjoy some watermelon yesterday?

This got me thinking of all the wonderful needlepoint canvases of watermelon that are out there. Here is just one…

Artwork by John Johannsen and this is a Melissa Shirley Designs canvas. I have been watching a stitcher on Facebook that has been posting her process on this canvas. Wonderful! just wonderful!
and until next time… keep on stitching

Once in A Blue Moon!

The second full moon of the months will rise tomorrow-so celebrate this rare lunar event! Even though this moon is not blue in this canvas, there is quite a large moon in this new Pumpkin March by Melissa Shirley Designs.

What is a Blue Moon?

The modern day definition of a Blue Moon is when there are 2 full moons in one Month. A full moon occurs roughly every 29.5 days and on the rare occasions when the full moon falls at the very beginning of a month there is a good chance a Blue Moon will occur at the end of the month. According to this definition the next blue moon will occur on July 31, 2015, which is tomorrow!

Depending on the exact time of the Blue Moon it is possible that some places in the world don’t technicly have a Blue Moon. As an example the Blue Moon on August 31, 2012 occured exactly at 13:58 UT. The Blue Moon will occur on August 31 for South America, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, India, and Austrialia but New Zealand will just miss out. For New Zealand the Full Moon occurs just past mid-night on September 1st. For exact times of the Full and Blue Moons see the Full Moon Calendar.

Original Blue Moon Definition

The modern definition of a Blue Moon was derived from an earlier idea of what a Blue Moon was. This earlier definition says a Blue Moon is when there are 4 Full Moons in a season rather than the usual 3. The Blue moon is the 3rd full moon out of the 4. This definition gets a bit complicated and it’s origins are murky. One school of thought has to do with the naming of the full moons. Many cultures named the Full Moons each month to reflected the times for planting, harvesting or seasonal conditions. When an extra full moon was thrown in it was referred to as a Blue Moon to keep the Full Moon names constant throughout the year.

Another origin could be from the Christian ecclesiastical calendar. This one gets even more tricky but basically has to do with the idea that there are usually 12 full moons in a year. The full moons on this calendar were important markers for determining curtain dates such as Easter. When a 13th Full moon was thrown into the year it made things messy so giving it a name allowed the calendar to stay on track.

The idea of a Blue Moon being the extra full moon in a season (or when there were 13 in a year) was widely used in 19th and early 20th center Farmers Almanacs and the more modern version seems to have come from an article written in the 1930′s that misinterpreted the Farmers Almanac definition. The article was names “Once in a Blue Moon” and from that point on the term became part of popular culture.


and until next time…keep on stitching


Cowboy Up!

According to the urban dictionary, Cowboy Up means…when things are getting tough you have to get back up, dust yourself off and keep on trying! I remember Cowboy Up was the Boston Red Sox’s mantra that year that they made the improbable comeback against the Yankees to win the World Series that year…when was it? 2004?

Sometimes that is so appropriate in our stitching. When the stitching gets tough, we try and try again, it is necessary to get back up and keep trying till you get it just right.


This is a canvas by What’s the Point? and makes into these darling little bags for the holidays or anytime for that matter. I have made several of these over the years with many more to work on one of these days…and glad I have them as they are no longer being painted.

So you are thinking…and yes I can hear you. You are saying to yourself, what has she lost her mind or what? What’s the deal about Cowboy Up and cowboy boots? Yes she has really gone off the deep end now.

Well don’t you know? today is National Day of the Cowboy! A way to preserve the rich heritage and culture of the American cowboy. So of course I think about cowboy boots, John Wayne, cowboy coffee and all things cowboy.


So join in the spirit of the National Day of the American Cowboy… a Melissa Shirley Design

Or if your like me, you just Cowboy Up! So that’s me these days as I stitch away and I am almost there and I can taste it… but nothing that breakfast at The Cottage and a little retail therapy won’t cure!

and so if you don’y hear from me daily, you know that I am buried in threads and stitching. AlleyCat found what she was looking for as Sylvester was in that bag!