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!

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Some things never change now do they AlleyCat?!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Just Because!

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I sorta kinda changed my mind how the winners were selected…well that is a woman’s perogative now isn’t it? I went by comments that tugged at my heart strings, comments that were left first, last and everything else in between!

So thank you to each and every one of you for your wonderful comments. I wish that I had something, something for each and every one of you and especially more of that Entice.

The Shamrock magnet is on its way to Debra…for being the very first to comment!

The Spring colors of Entice are being added to Wendy TC’s stash…for leaving comments pretty much every single day!

The Cat in the Pumpkin is trudging through all that snow and is on its way to Wendy in Boston. I am from upstate NY and remember some snowy winters, but nothing like this. So you need some cheering up!

The Ying and Yang magnet is on its way to Gary…for being the only guy to comment!

The dog magnet is making its way to Lynis…she lives overseas and I’m sure she is almost never selected because of that!

The cat face magnet is going to Sharon for writing the cutest note to Sylvester and AlleyCat!

Ho!Ho!Ho! Santa is making his way to Linda… just because!

The owl is going to Sarah…as she wants an owl tree, so whynot?

Day of the Dead magnet is headed off to Christna and why you ask? just because!

The Christmas Tree is going to Sallie and that one was really the luck of the draw!

For commenting last but not least, the other grouping of Entice threads goes to Kathy!

So if you get an email from a strange looking email that says you’re a winner! thats from us.

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

In High Cotton!

I am back and I was definitely livin’ in the high cotton! High cotton you say? it generally means that one is to be doing very well…very, very, very well!

This is the front door of In Stitches. Of course I am being greeted by a feline resident. Food and water is out for the feral commumity and this morning the bowl was empty…so we were getting the look! and I know that look all too well.

The class aboslutely ranks up there as one of the best! best! best! did I say THE BEST? I am in the process of getting a few hundred pictures imported to my laptop and these few just barely scrape the surface. So not to worry, lots more to share with you.

A great big thank you to The Embellishment Squad, In Stitches and all the great stitchers that were in class. A big shout out to my table mates Elizabeth, Ansley, Nedra, Nancy, Patty and Linda who were the best and made the time so much fun!

Me, who NEVER, EVER wins anything, was one of the lucky ones who’s name was selected for a most amazing door prize on the last day. Wow! wow! wow! could it get any better than this? A great canvas by Amanda Lawford along with these wonderful threads which Tony Minieri personally selected…which means that they are just purr~fect!

Meredith and Tony were so happy that they were dancing!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the celebration of reading across America that goes with it! He did live here in San Diego…well actually La Jolla. Happy birthday Dr. Suess and Green Eggs and Ham is still my favorite.

Thank you to everyone who left wonderful comments as Mostly Needlepoint celebrates a birthday. I have so enjoyed reading each and everyone of them and again I thank you! I will work through all the comments and select the winners through random selection… and maybe a few might be selected based on, well you know just because!

Of course I was stitching last night and of course AlleyCat had to get comfy cozy!

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Here We Go!

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again… as I pack and ready for my trip to Hotlanta tomorrow, which I realize that it will  be no where close to hot! So I decided that I should get my favorite jacket out and make sure that it is not too wrinkled or covered with too much cat hair. Well by the time I move her royal highness I am sure that the latter will be true. I should know better by now, I should know that this is an instant cat magnet…what was I thinking?

Did you watch the Oscars last night? I did and I never did get to Downton as I was enjoying  it too much to change. Who would’ve thunk that Lady Gaga had THAT voice? WOW! and John Legend and Common singing which was so moving… and Graham Moore, winner for best adapted screenplay for The Imitation Game “stay weird and stay different.”

and for now back to packing and until next time…keep on stitching

 

and the Oscar goes to!

There are many Oscars that I would love to award today! and in no specific order… How about the designers that come up with these amazing canvases that we get to stitch? the thread companies that have countless choices of threads in all sizes, shapes, thicknesses and colors? and then the names that they come up with for these threads? how do they think of so many names? the teachers that come up with these unbelievable ideas, stitches, techniques, pick out the prefect thread to go along with that prefect stitch? the shops and their crew that wait on us hand and foot, are always so nice to us? putting threads away, putting our canvases on stretcher bars, picking up after us… especially the floor with all those orts and needles!? and the shop owners who make sure that we have teachers there to lead us on in our stitching adventures? keeping the shops full of new canvases, threads, bags and all sorts of toys to add to our retail therapy experience? in my eyes they all get the Oscar!

so the million dollar question is…will you be watching The Oscars? or Downton Abbey? yes I know there is such a thing as watching it on demand, but I’m pretty busy and if I don’t watch it live, I usually don’t have the chance to go back and watch what I missed! Are you having an Oscar party? or will you party with your needle and thread? mine will be of the latter, especially now that I have tweaked a few threads inorder to continue stitching my first deadline piece that will be seen in Needlepoint Now in the July/August issue.
Thanks to everyone that has been leaving such great comments! I love each and everyone of them. And again continue to leave comments so you can be entered in the give aways..

Oscar viewing is a great night for parties as many amazing dishes take front and center in a supporting or leading roll during the Oscars. All the pictures are compliments of food52blog along with their recipes.

Best Roasted Chicken for the movie Birdman…

Homemade Crumpets representing Imitation Game…

Texas Breakfast Beer Bread for the American Sniper…
Perfect Popcorn representing Whiplash…
State Fair Cream Puffs for Grand Budapest Hotel…
and until next time (and if you can stay awake Sylvester!) keep on stitching

We’re Having a Party!

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AlleyCat was busy today checking Facebook to see if she could see a picture of herself, so being a good cat mom, I obliged her of course. Some of her fans thought that maybe she was checking her email? or maybe she was looking over the party list to make sure that you are all invited?

Invited where you ask? well to the party of course! and we are having a birthday party to celebrate the end of the fourth year that Mostly Needlepoint has been around. Actually today, February 19, 2011 is the first day that Sylvester, AlleyCat and I came into your homes and your lives! I thank you each and every day for reading the blog, I thank you for your comments and I love it when I hear when I am out and about “well I read your blog!” The cats thank you too for putting up with their antics and their silliness. It started as just as occassional picture of them, but too many times I was asked, “where are the cats?” as they usually give us many purr~fect Kodak moments!

So this is a party where you get the gifts… leave us a comment and if you really, really want one thing or another, I will put your name on that list. I will use a random number generator to pick the lucky winner!

If you won last year, coming from a person who usually never has that lucky number, lets say that I would like to spread the wealth around! I do have the emails that notified the winners from last year, but not any before that…

Six cards of Entice in spring colors!

Six cards of Entice in assorted colors!

Ying and Yang magnet…

Owl magnet…

Santa Claus magnet…

Day of the Dead skull magnet…

Cat in a pumpkin magnet…

A doggy magnet…

A Christmas Tree magnet…

Luck of the Irish magnet…

and one can never have too many cat magnets!

I was undecided between starting the party now or telling you all about the Blue Bonnet Stitching Studio Needlearts Retreat…but I will save the latter for another time or two. I will just say that it was awesome as usual! Now I have a peyote beading class tomorrow and then…and then I head for Hotlanta on Tuesday morning for my class with The Embellishment Squad of Suzanne Howren, Tony Minieri and Meredith Willett at In Stitches.

I haven’t made up my mind if I will take my laptop or not with me, so if you don’t see an answer to your comment right away (after Tuesday,) you will know that I didn’t take it with me… as only my laptop remembers my password…okay don’t ask!

So again, just leave us a comment, a note or something, something. You can address it to the cats too and I will make sure that they answer inbetween their cat naps. I will pick the winners probably on March 2nd or 3rd, and I will leave this blog till then.

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Sylvester says “leave me a note!” and until next time…keep on stitching

 

Did You?

Celebrate Mardi Gras yesterday? I wore my beads and purples as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras came to an end…

and too my time at Blue Bonnet Stitching Studio Retreat comes to an end all too soon. It seems like I just got here and it is time to go home already! But I miss the kitties and can’t wait to hear their meows and snuggle with them.

I hope everyone can get home safe and sound and without too many delays as Mother Nature continues to wreak havoc!

and until next time (or next year Blue Bonnet) keep on stitching

 

Just Saying…

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What a great way to say Happy Valentine’s Day!

I am headed to The Blue Bonnet Studio Retreat tomorrow at 0dark30…seriously! Where I will meet Sally from Rainbow Gallery as we head to The Needleworks in Austin, Texas before we are off to our final destination. Stitching, stitching, and more stitching, great food, great friends, fun and lots of laughs are waiting for me! So see you when I get back next week. I will only be home for a few days until I head to Atlanta. Ooh the cats will never forgive me!

Oh but wait, looks like they are coming along for the ride…

and until next time…keep on stitching

 

A Sailor’s Valentine!

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Valentine’s Day is coming up very shortly and it is a wonderful day! Lots of flowers, roses, chocolates…mmmm chocolate! love and friendship and so much more. I will be out of town and teaching then and I actually looked for something red to wear that day, and you know what? I don’t have anything red, well except for some t-shirts, which that won’t do for teaching! So I am wishing everybody a Happy Valentine’s Day a little early since the cats are meowing bye to me in a day or two!

I came across this stitched Sailor’s Valentine a few weeks ago which brought up some old memories of taking classes with Deborah Wilson and wishing wow “wouldn’t I love to find a real Sailor’s Valentine?” but I am sure that it could buy a whole lot of needlepoint instead! What is a Sailor’s Valentine? well read on…

According to Wikipedia: “A sailor’s valentine is a form of shellcraft, a type of mostly antique souvenir, or sentimental gift made using large numbers of small seashells. These were originally made between 1830 and 1890, and they were designed to be brought home from a sailor’s voyage at sea and given to the sailor’s loved one or loved ones. Sailor valentines are typically octagonal, glass fronted, hinged wooden boxes ranging from 8″ to 15″ in width, displaying intricate symmetrical designs composed entirely of small sea shells of various colors glued onto a backing. Patterns often feature a centerpiece such as a compass rose or a heart design, hence the name, and in some cases the small shells are used to spell out a sentimental message.

Although the name seems to suggest that the sailors themselves made these objects, a large number of them originated in the island of Barbados, which was an important seaport during this period. Historians believe that the women on Barbados made the valentines using local shells, or in some cases using shells imported from Indonesia, and then the finished products were sold to the sailors.

In his book Sailors’ Valentines, John Fondas concludes that the primary source for sailors’ valentines was the New Curiosity Shop, located in McGregor Street, Bridgetown, Barbados, a popular shop where sailors would purchase souvenirs. The shop was owned by the English brothers B.H. and George Belgrave. Fonda recounts that while an antique sailors’ valentine was being repaired and reconstructed, pieces of a Barbados newspaper were found inside the backing material.

Today, antique sailors’ valentines are collectibles, valued for their beauty and unusual qualities. Collector interest has sparked a resurgence in sailors’ valentines as an art form, and because of this, shell kits and patterns are now sold at craft shops. Many sailors’ valentines, both new and old, can be found on Nantucket, Massachusetts.”

At one time Deborah Wilson taught a Sailor’s Valentine that was brought to life on canvas. This piece was lovingly stitched by Pat Edminston and I thank her for letting me share it with you. I had to shoot it at the angle that I did so that you could see the piece and not my reflection in the glass!

AlleyCat acts just like Mooch as there is no smooching with her! But Sylvester does…
and until next time…keep on stitching

Valentines