Thank you, Linda! Actually you have been “pinned” four times now. I like to let people know when I pin their site so they can say if it’s okay or not. After all, your blog is your creative property and you have a right to determine how it is used! Further, your blog stats may not reflect the true power of your site when images may be being viewed by 30 pinterest viewers who have not clicked through to your site, but now know who you are!
- RE: PINTEREST
Here’s the link to the four of your images that have been pinned so far: http://pinterest.com/source/linda-hubbard.blogspot.com/ When someone clicks through the images, the clicking person is sent to your blog or website. Pinterest is a relatively new phenom that combines searching with social networking. The Pinterest subscriber (it’s free!) creates bulletin “boards” of his or her interests and then “pins” images that are related to that interest. Like-minded people can see what has been found and share what they have found, too. You can search for your favorite topic in Pinterest and get an image of every pin anyone else has made associated with your search term. I use it as a kind of “rolodex” to save “scraps of paper” for addresses I want to see again. More manageable than my browser favorites and with a pictoral reminder, too! Your Cretan Stitch sample is on my Board titled “Beautiful Embroidery, Incredible Stitchers.”
- RE: STUMBLE UPON
A similar service out there that is not image dependant is Stumble Upon. I belong to both services. And when I find a blog I like I hit the “I like it!” button and if no one has ever donet that before the blog gets added to the Stumble Upon search list according to the category I assign the blog to.
- FOR THE NOVICE BLOGGER
For novice bloggers out there, this is another reason why tagging your photos and giving them good descriptions and captions is SO important. A Pinterest tag cannot occur if you do not have photos. And your photos might not be found if they do not have keywords associated with them. Give your photo title one ripe with key words and give the alt title other good key words to ensure you get noticed by search engines! (An aside: Another pet peeve of mine is when bloggers or web site writers create a link that opens on the page you’re on. To ensure your readers don’t stray from your page, have your links open in a blank page. That way when they close the link window, they are still on the wonderful, incredible resourceful site that is YOURS!) For more tips on blogging (especially for wordpress sites) check out Time Thief at her blog One Cool Site. She is the absolute best. Her tutorials on using HTML tables to present your photos in a neat fashion are excellant and you can copy her code to create your own template even if you know nothing about HTML or any other computerese.
As far as my header, thank you so much. This image snippet was from the first needlepoint project I completed as an adult, the second of my life. Actually my first project was petit point and I never wanted to do it again. My EGA friends pointed out most needlepoint is not quite as challenging and is easier on the eyes. The petit point I did as a teenager. The header pattern can be found (free of charge) under the American Needlepoint Guild’s Education section. It is called “Honey, I Shrunk the Heart.” Check out this pattern and the other wonderful info to be found in the Stitch of the Month resource!
- A NOTE TO ALL WHO COMMENT
In my reply to your comment, I will link back to your blog or website. Some people don’t know that by clicking on your name they can contact you or your site. If I put a link in my reply it makes it easier for others to find you. I don’t have room on my blog to list all the wonderful sites I visit. Where I can, I will add your site to Stumble Upon or Pinterest (and let you know that I have done so.) If this is not acceptable, please use the contact form found under the TSS Mission Button at the page top to contact me privately, or tell me not to link back in your comment! I appreciate all the kindness I have found in this community!
Please be kind to my commentors and check out the links in my replies to their comments!
That’s French for let the good times roll, if you didn’t know. And that was my theme for this week’s stitch challenge.
The stitch for TAST 2012 Week Four was the Cretan stitch–open or closed. Or even knotted, if you like! I like the Cretan stitch. It layers well. And it can be embellished in so many ways. Two of my favorite books show some possibilities. I bought Judith Baker Montano’s Elegant Stitches and Linda Causee’s An Encyclopedia of Crazy Quilt Stitches and Motifs some 15 years ago when I started dabbling in crazy quilting. Other sources of inspiration and education include, to mention just a few:
- Victorian Embroidery and Crafts
- Needle ‘N Thread (video)
- Crazy Quilt Lessons
- SMockery SmArt (check out her “TASTy bits” link, too)
But back to my Cretan stitch sample. As I said in an earlier post, I’m letting the passing year’s events dictate color and how I will use the stitches in the challenge. Right now I am in Mississippi, about 30 minutes from New Orleans. Carnival has began on Twelfth Night or the Feast of the Epiphany. It will end at the close of the Tuesday before Lent, called Fat Tuesday or “Mardi Gras.” It is important to know this is not a New Orleans thing, but a cultural thing tied into the Catholic and other Christian calendars, linked back to when the French ruled this part of the US. Truth be told it goes back way beyond that, too!
There are three colors associated with Mardi Gras: Gold (or yellow), Purple, and Green. The gold stands for wealth, purple stands for justice, and green stands for health. The fleur de lis is a popular symbol which basically represents a lily.
So, I used these colors to create a Mardi Gras or Carnival band on my TAST sampler. I used an layered and stacked cretan stitch in DMC cotton #552 and #561 for the cretan stitches. I filled the center area with a row of double knot stitches (aka Palestrina stitch) in The Gentle Art overdyed cotton # 0580 (Orange Marmalade, my favorite orange/yellow).
I used the purple DMC to make mini fleurs des lis on the top of the banner with a lazy daisy stitch (aka detached chain) and straight stitches. Then I used amethyst, green, and gold 11° seed beads on the bottom of the banner to give the effect of swag.
So, what do you think? Do you want this graphed out for you? You have but to ask!
Whew! Didn’t think I was going to catch up on the Challenge. This week the challenge was the feather stitch, another member of the buttonhole stitch family. I think it is one of my favorites. It’s great to use to make seaweed, or branches and twigs, or vines of all sorts. (Please, please check out these links–the artistry is incredible! The first is a Sharon Boggins project and the other two are Week 3 participants The Smallest Forest and CrazyQstitcher.) It would also make cool ripples in the water or in clouds. I used it to make–of all things–feathers! I also decided that since this is a sampler, there’s no reason I can’t put some “verse” in it. Instead of the traditional Proverbs or Psalms that little girls of old would be trying to learn, I decided to add some reminders of Buddhist ideas that I want to keep front and center in my brain. Truth be told, stitching is a kind of moving meditation for me.
For some reason unknown to me, I immediately thought of angel wings when I thought of feather stitch. (Maybe it’s because my thoughts fly all over the place when I meditate!) So I googled “images of wings” and got lots of ideas for how to proceed. At first I thought I would put a pair of wings on either edge of the bottom of my year banner. After I got started, I decided that–like most things I plan–I had bitten off a bit more than I could chew.
I also was finding that the wing wasn’t showing up as nicely as I would like. When Jeff couldn’t identify what it was without me telling him was a real big clue! So I kind of put a heart under the wing, sort of like a tattoo. Here’s what I ended up with. (As always, click image for larger photo.)
I used two threads for the wing: YLI Ribbon Floss Shimmer Blend #101 Icicle Super and Weeks Dye Works Overdyed Cotton #1086 Icicle. I was going to use Weeks Snowflake, my favorite white thread of all time, but the bluish cast of the Icicle worked better with the YLI. (Another color way I thought about using was using the Snowflake with Rainbow Gallery’s Treasure Ribbon PR10–those two have a more pinkish cast to them.) I used Anchor cotton floss #13 for the heart and filled it in with a stem stitch.
The text was something I threw in to help me remember something I’ve read three times and keep forgetting. I thought if I stitched it, it would stick in my head a little better. In Zen Buddhism, students may use Koan’s to help understand their lessons and enhance their Path. In Tibetan Buddhism, slogans are sometimes used in Lojong practice, phrases to help one train the mind and open the heart (see the embroidery connection!) and thus live Buddhist ideals on a daily basis. The first slogan is “First, learn train in the preliminaries.” I kept forgeting what the distinction between the four preliminaries were. Now I know!
(Having a human body that does not live in extreme poverty, disease, etc, thus is free to pursue enlightenment makes a human body a “precious human body.” Impermanence speaks for itself. The futility of Samsara, is about the futility of chasing pleasure, perfection, or other “Earthly Illusions” as it never leads to happiness, only a desire for more or dissatisfaction of some sort. Actively considering the cause and effect nature of Karma helps one to make choices that are healthier for self and others.)
I mentioned before that I’m participating in Sharon Boggon’s Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012 challenge. For those unfamiliar with what this is about, every Tuesday Sharon shares an embroidery stitch with the group. She gives detailed instructions on how to complete the stitch for those unfamiliar with whatever the stitch of the week is.
For those who have some experience with the stitch, she provides inspiration and a challenge to play with the stitch and see if you can use it in a different or creative way. She gives photo examples of how she has used the stitch, often in one of her crazy quilt blocks or from one of er own stitch samplers.
We are now at the end of week two. I struggled to get started as I needed to decide how I wanted to proceed with the stitches. You could just work up a doodle on your collar. Or you could stitch/paint a landscape. Or you could do a crazy quilt block. Or you could do a traditional sampler. Or you could do a sampler like Sharon’s Sampler of all Samplers!
I decided to do a more traditional sampler. We’ll see what happens over time. I used the buttonhole stitch from the Week 2 challenge to couch some pearl trim into a square to place my start date. I used the Week 1 challenge fly stitch to write out “2012.” I’m using a 28 count linen for the ground. The buttonhole was worked with Weeks Dye Works #1278, Holly. The fly stitch was also Weeks overdyed cotton, but # 2266, Turkish Red. I thought since I’m starting this in the winter, I’d use wintery colors and let the colors in future stitches reflect the passing of the year.
The results so far:
What do you think? I kind of like it!
New Year–fresh committment. I will be rotating posts daily across my four blogs so things will hopefully be more fresh. For The Shop Sampler I will be adding posts about Sharon B’s Take a Stitch Tuesday that starts tomorrow, January 3rd. I will also be sharing how Pin Tangle’s Studio Journal class goes. I see both of these learning experiences as tools for ultimately designing my “Shop Sampler.”
So far the majority of the colors chosen by shops are in the green range, so the resulting piece may be more abstract than representative of events and images from my travels. But that’s okay. And I happen to love green, too! The trick then will be to really work with texture and shading. Both of the Pin Tangle experiences will let me focus on these techniques to the extreme.
Just a note, while the Studio Journal class (beginning in February) does cost $60 and is limited in class size–for all I know the class may already be filled–TAST or Take a Stitch Tuesday is open to the public and free of charge. Click on the links for either of these events for additional info!
See you on Saturday. If you’re going to do either of Sharon‘s lessons, leave a comment so I can link to your photos!
Just got an email regarding Sharon B’s (Pin Tangle) latest stitching index sheets. The newest module contains 17 stitches including some cool bead embroidery that would be great for crazy quilting and some other stitches that would be good for edgings. Here’s the list:
Stitches in Module 6
- Alternating barred chain
- Alternating buttonhole
- Alternating Cretan
- Alternating feather version 1
- Beaded Alternating feather
- Beaded Cretan
- Beaded double threaded stacked back stitch
- Beaded double Pekinese
- Buttonhole wheel
- Chained Pekinese
- Diminishing Pekinese
- Double Pekinese
- Double threaded back stitch
- Double threaded stacked back stitch
- Pekinese stitch
The special price of $5.00 is only for one week.
If you’re not familiar with Sharon’s Worksheets, her first four modules are available for free download so you can try out Sharon’s system. I think you’ll like what you see. Here is a link to the first four modules: http://www.pintangle.com/stitch-worksheets/ This page will describe the sheets and towards the bottom are the links to each of the four modules.
In my effort to make this blog a resource as well as a kind of stitching travelogue, I have added two new pages that will be updated when I have new info to add. I may add more of such stand alone pages. When I make changes in this aspect of the blog I’ll send out an “Ort Alert.”
The first ort is simply a page of quotes that I would like to work into a sampler one day. Until then, I’ll just try to fit them into conversations! These won’t be your run of the mill sayings. I find inspiring or thought-provoking words in the books I read. I jot them down on paper to remember. I need some place to put them. Now I have a place. I had tried to put them in a file. I can’t remember where I put the file. I always remember where my computer is, though. So, when I find that file, I’ll add it to this page of orts and I’ll always know where it is. I’ll even share it with you!
Same thing with stitch diagrams. When I was working on the CyberPointers’ ANG 40th Anniversary project, I searched high and low in as many cyber nooks and crannies as I could find to come up with appropriate stitches. [You see, when you live on the road carry books is not a great idea. I tried. I put all the books I thought I would have to have in my section of the book storage place over the couch. I packed very neatly and used the space incredibly well. The first time we went for a little drive towing the trailer to have our signage painted on, the shelf collapsed. Luckily, Jeff is an engineer and fixed the shelf so it could carry more than a half a dozen tee shirts. Nonetheless, books are heavy and we need to travel light. Let’s face it, we could all stand to travel a little lighter!]
Anywhooo…I carry less than a quarter of the books we started out with and only a couple stitch guides, so I depend on the digital world a lot more. I love that there are more craft type books that are jumping on the electronic bandwagon, but mostly they are publishing for Apple devices. I don’t use Apple devices. Which brings us back to the topic. [I drive Jeff nuts with all my asides in conversation.] I bookmarked every website that had a good section for stitch instructions with clear, coherent images. Of course, I now have all that info mixed in with my bookmarks for cool shops and patterns on my wish list and who know how many other really super important reasons for bookmarking a site. As usual, I finally got smart and created a category for patterns I want, which has become a wish list for anything I want! My file for stitch guides is woefully small although I know I bookmarked at least 20 sites!
So, I’m sorting orts. As find the orts appropriate for the pages, I’ll add them. As I find a collection of orts that need to be grouped and organized as a whole, I’ll add them, too. Maybe I can save you some grief from your ort sorting! Let me know if it helps!