Giving Thanks!

It’s been pretty crazy lately as I ready for Tony Minieri’s class at the shop! I love, love, love Tony…as he makes you laugh, he makes you think and he makes you a better stitcher. He comes up with the best ideas for your canavses…I don’t know how he does it!

I am really looking forward to first day of class tomorrow.. and then realizing it’s 2 weeks to Thanksgiving. Time to start to think about what I am thankful for, which I will let Mooch help me!



It’s Raining! It’s Raining!


Well not actually, but it’s raining on my canvas! From “The Girls with Attitude” by Penny MacLeod carried by the collection… this is called “Rain Drops” and I fell in love with this canvas the moment that I saw it. So actually right now I am stitching for moi, me, myself and I! Believe it or not.

Her dress was a dive into your stash experience to create those stripes. A few cards of Silk Lamé Braid for her hair and then onto the face. Well finding just the right colors was quite the challenge as there is a fair amount of shading.

After a few attempts and way toooooooooooo much reverse stitching I realized I had to try something different. Stitch the entire face with just 2 strands of silk, Soie d’Alger of course. Normally with this technique, you would use just a single strand, but this is 13 mesh so I used 2 and I loved the way it came out. In this picture, just the left side has been stitched.

As I was working on the face, I was studying the umbrella and becoming very overwhelmed with the size of it all. Between that and not being able to find the right color…I thought, well it’s raining, right? why not stitch the entire rest of the canvas and right over the umbrella in a “rainy type” of stitch? So this weekend hopefully will be the weekend of experiment.

my assistant AlleyCat hard at work…


Threads! Threads! Threads!

A glimpse at a thread order that came in yesterday as we ready the thread kits for classes next week with Tony Minieri…

A thread that we carry, but not in this many colors “Soie Cristale” so a large order was placed and it came in yesterday! Lined up in numerical order like little soldiers and today it will be added and checked off, along with some beads and Gloriana.

Still waiting for a few more threads and I will breathe a heavy sigh of relief when they are ready!

a picture that I took a few years ago of AlleyCat that I just love, love, love! I got a whole series of snaps as she kept checking out was on this table…never did figure out what she was after, but it was a great Kodak moment!


Dia de los Muertos…

Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated on November 1rst & 2nd. The belief is that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31rst and the spirits of all deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families. The following day on November 2nd, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that have been prepared for them. The cemeteries are decorated, a favorite meal and a bottle of tequila might be placed at the grave to ready for the return of the spirit. I think that it is a touching and moving tribute to your dearly departed loved ones.

Sugar skulls are a well known symbol for the celebration of the Day of the Dead as they are created to adorn the festivities for the departed souls. Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. Mexico, abundant in sugar cane, learned quickly how to make the sugar skulls. The skulls would represent a departed soul as they were placed on gravestones or home made altars to honor a particular spirit.

Another festive description of Dia de los Muertos and Dia de los Muertos para Ninòs…

On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children’s altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta is filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.

I could ramble on about all the nuances of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead Celebrations, as I find it totally fascinating…living in San Diego, the goings on are all about us.

The most important icons of the Day of the Dead celebrations are the calacas, which is a skeleton having fun in their afterlife,  pan de muerto (bread of the dead) which is baked to offer as an offrenda (offering) at the altar, calaveras (sugar skull) and altars decorated with strings of flor de cempazuchitl (marigolds.)

Over the years the Day of the Dead canvases have not been quite as elusive to find as their popularity grows…

If Day of the Dead canvases are on your stitching wish list, there are wonderful ones by Sundance and also many amazing pieces of artwork by Manuel Salas that are being painted onto canvas by Tapestry Fair. Oooh if I only had the time to stitch them all!

Did You?

remember to fall back an hour? of course the cats don’t know the difference! I fell aslepp way too early last night, so I woke way up too early. No problem as I have way tooooooooo much to do today!

Speaking of time…

Aren’t these wonderful? Two of Lani’s new canavses that were introduced at market! I am hoping that they arrive at the shop any day now…it’s like being a kid at Christmas every day of the week as you wait and see what’s coming in.

I have selected the latter canavs to work in a future Embellishment Squad class!

and I hope that tonight is NOT the last night of basball for the season!


Getting into the Halloween Spirit!

I thought I would share the picture of my Halloween window at the shop! I didn’t decorate my house this year, instead I used all of my energies to do up the windows, as more people get to enjoy it rather than just myself and the cats!

Looks like Mooch and Earl are in for a great Halloween…

and AlleyCat too!

Hope yours is too…I will be home tonight stitching and watching Game 4 of The World Series.



What Was I Thinking?

I hope that the cats will forgive me! I don’t know how I did it, but I forgot that yesterday was Black Cat Day…OMG how could I have done that?

I am surprised that it was yesterday, black cat day that is… as shelters and the humane society usually don’t let you adopt black cats at this time of the year. You know too close to Halloween… do you know that black cats are the hardest to adopt? and they usually wait the longest waiting to find their furever home. My “sistah” in black cats, Meredith and I swore to each other that we will always have a black cat just for that reason…

In honor of black cats, I am sharing this brand new canvas by Tapestry Fair called “on the Nile” which make a compendium with Bastet and the others that are in their line. It is NOT available till the January market, but I was able to get one now. Pretty lucky, yes?!

It was sent to Tony Minieri for the master to work his magic and I will be starting it with him when he comes to the shop to teach in a three short weeks. I see lots of beads in my future, don’t you?

I have been living, dreaming, sleeping and breathing thread and bead orders getting ready for Tony…and I can’t wait till he’s there! So much fun, laughs and good times while learning lots of fab, fab, fabulous stitches. He enriches your stitching knowledge so much!

AlleyCat being AlleyCat…

What I’ve Been Stitching…

Lately I haven’t shown much of what I’ve been stitching… as most of my year has been spent working on OPP’s! What is that you say?

Other people’s projects…

This is a canvas by Pepperberry Designs and is in the November/December issue of Needlepoint Now.

I love working on her designs and I think that I have run out of fingers counting how many Pepperberry’s that I have stitched!

I didn’t seem to have taken quite as many pictures of my progress this time around. Well after all it is a small canvas! I used Twinkles and beads and sequins and had so much stitching this as I watched it come to life.

The stitch guide will be in the Needlepoint Now magazine for you to follow along!

and now my stitching time is now mine, mine, mine! as I started not 1, but 2 canvases last week…one with Brenda Hart and one with Laura Taylor. What was I thinking? and another new one with Tony Minieri in 3 weeks. OMG, I am outta control!

and my stitching assistants are hard at work as usual…


Just Saying…

it is 60 days and counting to you know… Just saying! My BFF can give you the exact days to the Christmas at any time of the year!

These were some of the darling new designs from Strictly Christmas…


and what about this one? Santa holding a sock monkey… too cute!

and if your grandson loves pirates, these 2 stockings are perfect!

I really like the Santa pirate…and in case you don’t recognize the artist, these are by Rebecca Woods.

and this fabulous piece is by Share’s Ones Ideas.

I do have more new Christmas that debuted in Dallas and Halloween too… but you will just need to come back another day!

Tomorrow after work, I am going to start shopping for a new lap-top, a new Mac. This baby has been good to me for 5 years now, but I need one at the shop for stitch guides and charting and one at home. I get tired of bringing it back and forth and then I worry that something might happen.


AlleyCat, most normal kitties get inside the bag… well that’s right, I forgot you’re not most kitties!


It’s Almost the Bewitching Hour!

Goeblins and Gouhls and Ghosts… oh my! Even though it is too late to have your Halloween stitching finsihed for this year, it is fun to stitch in the season and have it ready for next year.

This was a new canvas by Elizabeth Turner Collection introduced in Dallas!

We had a crazy weekend in the shop of classes with Brenda Hart and Laura Taylor… and this WAS the part of the magnet display before classes started. The girls had so much fun shopping for magnets as some of them were buying 10, 11, 12 each. Seriously! Just like potato chips, you can’t have just one…and most of these that you see here went home with a stitcher. I guess I will be doing another big magnet order before Tony Minieri gets here next month!

I am sure that many of you have seen this one by now, since Melissa Shirley previewed it on Facebook!

But have you seen these by Brenda Stofft? Love, love, love these! Did I say love?

and all of these wonderful designs by Nenah Stone! This was her first market and I think that she was quite the hit. She will be at the TNNA Winter Market in San Diego and I really want to book a trunk show with her at the shop!

I do still have more new to share with you…but time is all I need. Mostly Needlepoint is approaching 1000 blog entries. Well 984 to be exact! and when we get there, we will need to do some celebrating!


AlleyCat is missing showing off her pretty face…I think that this is a great color on her, don’t you?