Stitching by The Dock of the Bay!

Really? Seriously! last Saturday was our class with Diane Hermann for her outlandishly popular Walking the Waters Edge. We couldn’t have had a more perfect venue, literally stitching by the dock of the bay!

Here’s the piece and really it is all floss, a little pearl cotton and some beads!

and no I didn’t get this much done in class…see my wave count was off in the last few repeats and even though no one would ever know that, it was driving me absolutely craaaaaaaaaaaaaazy! So I had to figure it out, which I did and stitching this piece is sorta kinda like eating potato chips…you just want another.

This was my latest and newest magnet from my sistah Meredith! I really should’ve had a starfish or something like that, but this will do just fine. I was also practicing my bullion knots which create the starfish.

Well it’s Saturday morning and you know what that means…breakfast at The Cottage! But no wait, we are trying a new place this morning, Sugar and Scribe that opened across the street from The Cottage. Gosh I feel like a traitor….shhh, please don’t tell them.

some play time yesterday with that silly girl.

and until next time…keep on stitching


Hope Springs Eternal!

Spring has sprung! and even though I hear that it is snowing in some areas, and Southern California has been enjoying summerlike temperatures…the calendar does say Spring!

The vernal equinox is the time that the sun crosses the celestial equator (amazing what you can learn when you Google) on it’s way north. Speaking in English, this means warmer days, more hours of sunlight, baseball and so much more!

Just to help you think of flowers and spring and warmer temperatures, here are a couple of canvases that should do that! The old fashioned bicycle is finished and does need to go to the framers.

This one still waits patiently to be worked into the queue. One of these days! See sometimes it is becomes daunting to stitch on what you need to be stitching on, not what you want to.

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, just sometimes I want to stitch something for me!

Sylvester is patiently waiting for me to turn the water on in the sink. Even though there is a bowl of water right behind him, he prefers to drink from the faucet getting his face and whiskers all wet in the mean time. Silly kitty!

and until next time…keep on stitching


March Madness Begins!

Are you a basketball fan? I am not, but I do follow this madness with the bracket selections and the teams that move on. I have read where the day that the selecting all of the winning teams in your brackets is the least productive day in the workplace! I will pay attention to the travels of our home team the Aztecs and of course Kentucky who was not yet lost a game yet this year, am I right about the latter my sistah Meredith? I know that she is crazy about her home team!

and speaking of Meredith and wasn’t that was a great segue to continue telling you about The Embellishment Squad?

Today I sorta kinda wanted to share with you inside this most amazing shop, In Stitches, which is where this class was this time.

Tony and Meredith are dancing up a storm here and so much a part of this class is their comaraderie amongst them.

This is the Rainbow Room with a center table for taping canvases and pulling threads.

Now why the Rainbow Room? well it is mostly Rainbow Gallery Threads!

The shop is located in Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia…notice the bucks on the wall? Clever isnt’t that? and more about those one of these days!

Located in an older home in Buckhead and each room is filled with threads and beads and canvases…oh my!

Defintely a stitcher’s paradise!

Thank you Jeanene for creating the stitchers heaven! Sign me up for the next Embellishment Squad as I’ll be back!

AlleyCat is ready to go to work!

and until next time…keep on stitching


Be Irish for the Day!

Well of course I would have a green cat something, something for St. Patrick’s Day! Well, why wouldn’t I? He (or she as the case may be) stays out all year long!

Mooch is stopping by to celebrate St. Patrick’s with us too.


It’s her favorite color! and I need to look for something green for myself for tomorrow too.

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? however you do, hope its just a great day. With the weather being as beautiful as it has been here lately, how could it not be a wonderful day?! I am startiing my celebrating early this morning as I meet some friends at The Cottage for breakfast!

and until next time…keep on stitching


Are You Superstitious?

Didn’t we just have Friday the 13th last month? and another one, already? Seriously?

Well are you superstitious? I guess you could say that I am not, being that I have a black cat; AlleyCat, a tuxedo kitty; Sylvester and I did have another black cat a few years back named Felix the Cat.

In some nationalities such as Italian, 13 is actually a lucky number. Go figure!

okay AlleyCat, don’t get any ideas!

and soon I will be stitching this black kitty. A Labors of Love canvas in which AlleyCat was the model. I am anxiously awaiting its delivery. See you are not the only one that waits for a canvas!

As if I REALLY need to create yet another WIP (work in progress) Dianne Herman is coming to San Diego to teach her wildly successful Walking the Waters Edge for our ANG Guild. The weather is beautiful, we will be stitching close to the shore, Elizabeth of Needlepoint Now fame is winging her way down here for the class and to the spend the weekend in America’s Finest City…breakfast at The Cottage, retail therapy, dinner out with great friends, so what more could I ask for?

and speaking of black cats! AlleyCat says we will be pretty busy this weekend entertaining, so we will see you in a few days.

and until next time…keep on stitching


So Exactly…What Is or Who Is?

So what exactly is or who is The Embellishment Squad?

a large group of crazy and wild stitchers gather together in a shop or in a hotel… with Suzanne Howren, Tony Minieri and Meredith Willett as they team teach. We miss Beth Robertson as she was taken from us and the group way toooooooo soon. You are gone Beth, but never far from our thoughts…

These three collaborate to create some of the best looking canvases you will ever see! Each day your table works with one of the teachers perfecting the ideas that they worked up a few months prior from a color copy of your canvas, adding ideas, changing threads and so much more!

here we see Elizabeth working on her canvas by Tapestry Fair getting great tips from Suzanne! Ansley is busy photobombing!

A group of great friends from Alabama and well Carol from Texas too!

and we stitch and we stitch and we stitch some more, learning from the best! Tony was demonstrating a wrapped picot stitch…did I get that name right? well I do remember how to do it!

I have taken this class more times that I can count! and if the cats would allow me to, I would travel and take this class each and every time that they teach it.

Jeanene, the owner of this most amazing shop In Stitches is watching Meredith create some magic here!

a few shots of In Stitches…see I told you it was a most amazing shop!

I always have a box or two on the floor for the kids…but it seems that Sylvester would rather be on the bag!

and until next time…keep on stitching


It’s In the Mail!

I had to reconstruct this post as the pictures decided to disappear…so not sure I have them in the same original order. But they’re there!

Believe it or not, I really do finish many a project! This was one of several from last year and also was a class at the Dallas Market last year.

A smaller version of the wildly popular Tibetian Prince by Amanda Lawford. This one is 5″ x 5″ and a very doable size. Wow this is making me think that I would love to do the larger sized canvas, one of these days! well I can dream, can’t I?

I totally forgot that when I got this canvas at The January Market, that it was destined to go into the magazine! What magazine you ask? well Needlepoint Now of course…is there any other needlepoint magazine?

It was a very enjoyable stitch with absolutely very little reverse stitching on a stitch painted canvas with silks and beads. Okay, what’s not to love?

well here it is! and the current March/April issue should be arriving in your mailboxes now…

Let me go back to getting this ready for the magazine and take you on my framing adventure!

Tibetian Tibetian1 Tibetian3 TibetianA

Off to the framers I went. I found this frame and mat right away that I thought was just absolutely perfect! So being that it was going in the magazine, why not text Elizabeth and see if she would give it the thumbs up?!

Oh no, no she says “the mat needs to be more taupey”…not sure if that’s a word?

Thank you to On The Wall Gallery in Santa Ana, CA who showed the upmost patience as the texts flew back and forth between Elizabeth and I …as we tried this or that and that or this.

On the Wall Gallery uses a computer program that extends the mat and the frame totally around your piece so you can really see what your finished piece looks like. These were the 3 combinations that we liked and were placed side by side. When I saw them together like this, I realized that Elizabeth was right and the taupe was the way to go!

So the magazine is in the mail and I have my framed piece back. Yes I get to keep this one! The only thing left to do is find just the purr~fect spot to hang it.

AmandaLawford4 AmandaLawford5

Wow that was easy! as I found a little spot for it right away.

 Sylvester is chillin’ in one of his favorite spots.
and until next time…keep on stitching

I’m Late! I’m Late! I’m Late for a Very Important Date!

Did you remember to move your clocks one hour foreward? So really if you thought it was 6am it is really NOW 7am! If you forgot all about the time change, you are now LATE!

This cat clock canvas is by Mindy and if I ever have time to stitch for myself, this is one that is high up on my list.


With the advent of so much digital technology, there is only 1 clock that I need to manually change and the rest seem to be magically on the correct time. Can you imagine trying to change all of these clocks?

I am looking forward to a great day of stitching today and watching spring training baseball! What’s on your schedule?


A few weeks back there was a video on Facebook with all of these cats acting scared and silly around bananas. This is what AlleyCat does with a banana! It is one of her favorite toys and she just selected this to play with from the “toy box.”

and until next time…keep on stitching


The Embellishment Squad!

Since curiousity got the best of you, many have asked what the initial piece is on my canvas…well all of us in class were given one, even The Embellishment Squad! Tony with his signature mustache, Meredith with her bumble bee and Suzanne has a little meow on hers for her kitty!

They are indeed needle minders! We were asked sometime after we signed up what our 2 favorite colors were and they reviewed with us our monogram. And lookie what the stitching elves came up with!

Janet explained to me that it was quite the adventure when it came to finishing and much experiemtation was needed. Just the correct weight of cardstock, not too heavy nor not too thin and the purr~fect weight of magent was also important. A great big thank you to Janet and Jeanene for stitching all of these to create this very special remembrance of such a special time at In Stitches.

My threads and stitch suggestions, along with stitches from Stitches to Go and new stitches that were created just for our specific canvas would be used to create new masterpieces!

That’s a whole bunch of canavses!

Introductions are being made along with the lay of the land and what we could look forward to over the next few days!

It was an amazing 4 days of stitching! and you are wondering if I have been stitching on this piece since I’ve been home? As much as I would love, love, love to be I must admit that no I haven’t been since I have stitching deadlines and even more stitching deadlines for the magazine and other projects that need my attention.

We were able to work out every area on my canvas and my hopes will be to eventually finish this! But if that never happens, so be it… as many of my class pieces that I start, stay that way as to me it is the zen of being in class, being with all the stitchers and teachers, making new friends, creating stronger friendships and learning that is my ultimate goal.

This is what has all my attention! I often take pictures of my stitching to see if I like it and if the stitch is working. I wasn’t sure if I liked this small swirl stitch originally for the sky, until I took it down to a single strand of Soie d’Alger and then it worked. Actually I am almost finished with this piece which will be in a summer issue of Needlepoint Now. Once the issue is in the mail I will tell you all about it!

Today is Saturday…well of course you know that, so soon I will be headed to The Cottage for breakfast and a little retail therapy. Then home to work!

and until next time…AlleyCat says to keep on stitching!


This is It!

The very moment I saw this canvas, I knew that this was it! This was the one that I wanted to work on with The Embellishment Squad, a.k.a. Suzanne, Tony and Meredith at In Stitches in Atlanta.

I have taken many a class with them and I knew that this canvas would make them think a moment… Vicky selected this?

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love, love, love Zecca canvases! but I usually go for the Asian feel, big canvases that will take me a life time to finish.

So why did I select this? to make me step out of my box, to make me leave my comfort zone and learn as much as I can!

Well they most certainly obliged as Meredith started me out right away with Elizabethian Trellis Stitch for my bird wing. It will give a very dimensional wing, while the rest of the bird will be worked in diagonal ray stitches using a beautiful overdyed Gloriana thread.

Next up was Hungarian Beaded Chain Stitch and here I was practicing my technique. Of all times that I didn’t have my doodle cloth with me!

A woven stitch using Watercolours is creating the snail shell! It needs at least more than a few new rows to complete it. The dark blue base will be padded satin, while the body will be beaded. Speaking of beading, I started beading the letters and quickly realized that I will need to string the beads and couch into place to achieve the curves as it is painted.

So much more to tell you about the class and of course to show you some shots inside In Stitches!

On another note, I was so thrilled to be able to read the wonderful notes that everyone wrote back that was selected as a winner. I never win anything is what most of them wrote! along with a note of thanks to the cats and I. Most of them have been mailed already and the last few will go out today! Enjoy and again I thank you for being there each and every day!


Some things never change now do they AlleyCat?!

and until next time…keep on stitching