Return to TAST 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve done any Take A Stitch Tuesday stitching.  I’ve been designing my flag for the Prayer Flag Installation next month.  And working on a Christmas project for my youngest great-niece (a Shepherd’s Bush Stocking!)  I’ve determined it will take a minimum of 175 hours to complete this project for her.  I’ve never figured out my time in a project before, always just done an approximation at the end.    You should try to calculate your stitch per minute some time.  Your stitching will take on a whole new value for you!  You will be awed by yourself.  AND SHOULD BE!

While I have not stitched Sharon Boggon’s TAST selection for this week, the Pekinese Stitch, I have stitched it before.  And here it is:

Pekinese Stitch on CyberPointers Ruby Ribbons

The Pekinese Stitch
AKA
the Chinese Stitch, the Forbidden Stitch, the Laced Backstitch, and
the Blind Stitch

While I was a member of the cyber chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild, I participated in the project to celebrate ANG’s 40th (or Ruby) Anniversary.  The final, framed four panel piece will be auctioned off at the National Conference in Philadelphia later this month.  The project piece was called Ruby Ribbon and was based upon a ribbon patterned quilt block, something like  Celtic knotwork.

One quarter of the quilt block is represented in each of four panels to make a whole block when appropriately arranged.  (I’d show you the block but can’t due to copyright issues.)  Each of the four panels was divided into 144 squares (12×12 grid) about 1.5 inches each.  Participants were told what value of what color to use in each block.  Then it was up to each stitcher to decide what stitch to do (there were to be no duplicate stitches!) and what thread to accomplish the goal.  The colors were different values of red, white, grey, and black.  It was kind of nice because you could sign up for a block based upon what threads you had available in your stash so it would not be cost prohibitive to participate in the project. Last I heard, CyberPointers was working on compiling directions for the piece to be sold as a fund raiser for the group.  Keep an eye out on their web site store page to see the completed piece and to get the pattern if you like.

My Pekinese block was supposed to be a Dark Grey, akin to DMC 413.  So I just used DMC 413 for the backstitching.  Then I used Rainbow Gallery’s Fuzzy Stuff in #19 for the lacing.  It gave an incredible texture, fluffy and soft.  Here are a couple photos of the block in context with several other blocks I stitched near the Pekinese square to give you an idea of how textures and shades worked together.

Pekinese Stitch, French Stitch, and my own padded combination stitch

Padded Stitch Combination in Black…Watercolours Midnight and Kreinik black
French Stitch in Very Dark Grey…DMC # 3799
Pekinese Stitch already described

Fern Stitch in Grey done in DMC #414
(The smidgen of red was stitched by someone else)

I really enjoyed the effect of the stitch, but using the Fuzzy Stuff was a bit of a challenge.  I would, however, do it again.  This was a great choice for Santa’s beard or stuffed animal representations or animal fur.  I look forward to using it some more in some of the Buddhist images I’ve been sketching on muslin to embroider.

I wonder?  Is anyone else as far behind in TAST as I am?  I got hung up way back on the buttonhole wheel.  I’ll finish it, I promise!  It’s pretty bad when a stitching sample becomes a UFO!

ISO Info on working with Silk Gauze

A reader, Susie, is looking for info on working with silk gauze.  I am still looking for the specific article in my stash of the American Needlepoint Guild’s Needle Pointer for a specific article I remember seeing.  I have also found this little blurb from Shakespeare’s Peddler.  And I found a tutorial by Janet Granger on mounting silk gauze for miniature needlepoint.  And Mary Corbet can always be counted upon to have tips and tutorials, even for working with silk gauze!  You’ll find Mary’s tutorial on transferring patterns to silk gauze here.  She has several other posts about the topic as well.  Even About.com has info on working with silk gauze.

If anyone else has any tips that might help Susie, comment away!  Susie, it would be helpful if you describe the problem you’re having to help direct comments.  Unless you found some help over at Stitchin’ Fingers.

 

By the way, I’ve added some sayings to the “Sampler Sayings” page.

Stitchers’ UFO Challenge Update

I know it’s been more than a month.  Like every other stitcher out there, been busy.  It’s like you have a choice.  Blog or stitch.  I’ve been stitching.  Well, not true, I’ve also been updating two of my other blogs as well as this one.  (Relatively Ryan and Site Sniffing)  Sadly, my favorite blog is the one that gets the least attention.  That may be about to change though.  Thanks to the Stitchers’ UFO Challenge.

Followers know that I have been very busy with Take A Stitch Tuesday, the Pin Tangle sponsored weekly challenge.  In spite of this, I have been very actively working on two UFOs and a Pilot Project that I’m completing for the American Needlepoint Guild.  Although I’ve done all that I really need to for the Pilot evaluation, I’m enjoying the piece so much that I want to complete it.  I don’t need another UFO to add to the stash!  I’m writing the designer to see if I can post pics of the piece because it is such an incredible design, I think people would be excited to see it.

I am close to completion on my Blackwork Chess Board!  When it is complete I will get back to my Mystery Blackwork Sampler designing.  At this point all I have to do is  launder the piece and fringe it.  Jeff plans to actually use the chess board, so I’ve personalized it to his specifications.  He’s as excited to see it nearing completion as I am!

The other piece that I’ve almost completed is a Shepherd’s Bush Christmas Stocking.  I was going to make it for my new grand-niece, but decided to make it for her mother instead.  Of course I had to purchase another stocking pattern for my grand-niece!  The stocking front is complete except for adding hair.  I will do that when I add the other embellishments.  Before I add the embellishments, I want to stitch the front and back together, so it lays flat as I push it through the sewing machine.  As soon as it stops raining here I can do that as I use the picnic table for my sewing machine wherever we are camping.  Not a lot of room in this travel trailer!

Do you like the gallery type of photo display or the slide show in a previous post?

So, by next month I will be able to cross these off the list and mark another UFO as picked up again!  Look at the list.  Is there something you’d like to see in its completed form?  Tell me, help me make up my mind what to pick up next!

TAST Week 9 Meets Studio Journal

Laptop screen after a fan fell on it

Fractured Laptop Screen

A lot has happened since I last posted. We moved from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to Robertsdale, Alabama. It’s very nice here and super weather today—84 degrees with a good breeze. Beautiful trails to walk, so the pups are loving it!  Unfortunately, when we were settling into our new site my laptop was damaged.  The image to the left is what you see on the lower right screen when turned on.  I think I’m going to create a needlepoint design out of the pattern.  Needless to say, this has had an impact on my internet presence!

I’ve started a new class. Sharon Boggon’s Studio Journal: a Designer’s Workhorse.  Yesterday began Week Four.  I have been busy reading, completing the exercises, and working with my journal everyday.  Following is an easy, but fun example of an exercise from the Studio Journal course.  Hopefully in the future you will see designs that flow from the exercises I’ve been doing and from the creativity using the journal inspires!

Cut out from Studio Journal Class Week 3

Smaller cut out

Smaller cut out block duplicated for overall pattern

Smaller cut out block duplicated for overall pattern

TAST has taken a back seat during the weeks for detached chain and chain stitch, but I’m back on track with this week’s Couching Stitch.  Taking the Journal class is pulling a lot of loose ends together for me.  My sample of TAST’s Week 9 stitch led me to pull out an old UFO, Venus de la Mer.

I once did a doodle of a Venus of Willendorf incorporating Chakra points.  I liked the doodle so much I decided to turn it into an embroidery piece.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted her to be represented with elements of Earth, Air, Fire, or Water, so I decided I would do four pieces, one for each element.  I started with Water since I had some cool water fabric to use as a background.

Doodle of Chakra Points done over 10 years ago

A doodle of Chakra Points I did over 10 years ago, then decided to stitch

Crown of Venus de la Mer

Crown of Venus de la Mer, couched eyelash thread and pearl seed beads

I’ve now put the original doodle in my journal where it will be safe and I can easily find it again.  And, I couched the eyelash thread hair in place, using some seed beads for embellishment.  When Jeff looked at it and asked what I was doing and what was I using, I asked him what he thought.  He said, “It looks like weeds.”  Mission Accomplished!!

Freeform Surface Embroidery

Venus de la Mer: Freeform Surface Embroidery

Close up of surface embroidery

Surface embroidery: Venus de la Mer

Snow White Peony

Snow White Peony: An ANG class project due 3.15.12

I’ve also been working like crazy to finish an ANG class, Snow White Peony.  It is due on March 15.  I think I can finish it.  But even if I don’t, I’m going to send it in to the instructor for feedback.  A certificate of completion would be nice, though, especially since I’m interested in pursuing Master Stitcher qualifications.  What do you think?  Is it doable?

Herringbone Stitch—Four Way in Week Five of TAST 2012

You would think that since I’m pulling this sample from a previously worked canvas, the post would have been done immediately!  Procrastination is thy (middle) name!  The Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012 fifth week challenge was the Herringbone Stitch.  This is another stitch I like.  I find it interesting that a number of others taking this challenge report not liking this stitch, nor any of the others we’ve been working on.  This is not surprising, the first five challenge stitches are related.  Like one, like ’em all; and vice versa.

Herringbone is versatile in that it’s easily used on fabric as well as canvas.   My sample is done on canvas.  Take a look at the header.  Can you find it?  It looks like this: 

Honey I Shrunk the Heart Block 1

Honey I Shrunk the Heart Block 1

 

It’s the fourth block on the bottom row of the header.  Of course, if you thought it should have been the first block on the first row, that would be correct, too.  The close-up of that one looks like this:

Honey I Shrunk the Heart Block 20

Honey I Shrunk the Heart Block 20

This is called Four Way Herringbone because it is worked in four journeys.  I’ve used four shades of DMC Pearl Cotton and Krienik Braid provides the shine. You can find the directions for this presentation of Herringbone in the plans for Pat Timpanero’s Honey, I Shrunk the Heart.  This was the American Needlepoint Guild’s Stitch of the Month for December of 2000.

The overall design has three squares done with the Four Way Herringbone.  See if you can find them in this picture.  I’ll give you a hint—one is vertical and two are horizontal.  I’ve already shown you two of them!  Look closely!

Design by Pat Timpanaro, Stitched by Julie Castle

Honey I Shrunk the Heart stitched by Julie Castle

 The third square looks like this:

Honey I Shrunk the Heart Block 14

Honey I Shrunk the Heart Block 14

 
Give it a try!  And let me know what you think!

Pinterest, Creative Property Rights, and Miscellany

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.

  • MISCELLANY

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! 

  • READERS 

Please be kind to my commentors and check out the links in my replies to their comments!

Golden Thread Needlearts, East Rochester, NY

East Rochester Needlearts Store

Behind those doors are hours of needleworker Nirvana!

When I first joined the Rochester Chapter of the Embroiders’ Guild of America, I learned about this shop. It is staple for EGA and American Needlepoint Guild members of the area, as well as the solitary stitcher. I can honestly say all stitching needs are met here!

There is an abundant sampling of countless thread types suitable for needlepoint, crewel, any form of embroidery or surface arts. There are a number of walls loaded with instruction books for all these art forms as well as a special rack for the newest and/or most popular texts. Tools and buttons and frames and trunk shows and samples of completed works fill all remaining space including the glass showcase counter in the center of the store. There is a separate fabric cutting area and a corner in the very back devoted to framing needs for your treasures. And that’s just the “stuff”.

Whenever I have a question the very busy staff answer it completely and in turn. (I think this is important, some shops tend to give all their attention to the frequent and familiar shopper or let familiar people interupt. Those sorts of shops will not find their names on this blog!) When I have seen a finished piece somewhere all I have to do is describe it and the owner (Andrea Kelly) walks right to where that obscure little packet is filed. Case in point. I saw a set of blackwork “Alice Through the Looking Glass” pieces framed in another shop. That shop did not have the patterns available. (Why showcase a piece you can’t sell the pattern for?!) When I described the piece, the Andrea put a couple different patterns from the line in my hand. I walked out with what you see on the right.The needlepoint in the heading area was my first attempt at needlepoint. The Andrea helped me pick out the materials every step of the way. And did not make me feel stupid, either. You see she’s a stitcher, too. Once I walked in and she was repairing a sampler that was dated in the 1800s! She let me touch it! I get shivers just thinking about it. But that’s how good Andrea Kelly is.

Nostalgic Needle Pattern

“Off with her head!” by Nostalgic Needle

Golden Thread Needleart Choices

Tough choices must be made!

On my last visit before we hit the road, after she had helped me with my purchase, I asked Andrea my questions. What color, what fiber, what stitch? No one so far has had as much trouble as she did! I felt like I was asking her to name her favorite child. Sacrilegious! In fact, she really balked at doing this. Finally, though, Andrea revealed that that she liked vibrant earthy colors that spoke of life. She named a couple fibers that had the quality that she liked. I picked out several possibilities with these descriptions in mind. This is the selection. No, Andrea absolutely could not choose just one! And there are special directions for the working!Caron’s Watercolours in #144 Pomegranate should be stitched (on 18 count mono canvas) as the flat stitch in Criss-cross Hungarian stitch and Rainbow Gallery’s Fyre Werks #FT26 for the crossed part of the Criss-cross Hungarian. Actually Neon Rays Plus was the first choice for the metallic fiber, but the colors on hand just didn’t work as well with the overdyed floss.

It’s very clear why stitchers return again and again to this stitcher friendly shop. You should put it on your “To Visit” list, too!

Orts

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!

Expressions in Needleart: Canandaigua, NY

This past weekend, I “needed” to get some fibers for the ANG National nametag design I want to submit.  We happened to be visiting my partner’s kids–the first time we’ve seen all the grandkids together!  It was lots of fun to see the lifetime relationships begin to develop.  But I digress!

Biz Card and Lori's Choice

Click on pic for close up!

I’ve always wanted to check out Expressions in Needleart as members of the Rochester EGA Chapter frequently spoke of “going to Lori’s.”  It sounded like lots of fun as they would include going to lunch and visiting Suzanne’s shop, too.  (She is an EGA member and has a shop devoted to rug making.)  Canandaigua itself is a wonderful little community with fine dining and access to local vintners.  If you love Victorian type villages, you must try to visit here.  The buildings and main street make you feel like you’ve entered a different time and should be wearing billowy skirts and charming hats while looking for a trolley to take you back to the Spa.  I wished I had a sketch pad with me so I could draw some of the building adornments that would look lovely in a piece of blackwork.

It was exciting walking into the shop as the display in the windows got the drooling going.  But even before that, the white adirondack chair outside the door grabbed your eye.  It had a blue lake scene type painting on the lower part and was a prize in a community fundraising raffle.   While there, a couple came in specifically to get tickets for the chair.  They, surprisingly, needed to be reminded to put their on the tickets!  Maybe their minds were boggled by all the goodies to look at, too!

What especially caught my eye was the Kathy Rees pieces hanging on the wall.  It was great to see Galaxy up close and personal. I so enjoyed watching Jan Sprague complete hers in a personal color scheme.  Funny, but I thought the piece would be larger.  Maybe it’s the name.  Another favorite Kathy Rees piece that I got to oogle was “Oh, My Stars.”  That’s on my  “wish list,” too.  Lori had a wide variety of Needle Delight Patterns on hand.

Designed by Kathy Rees

Galaxy

Also designed by Kathy Rees

Oh, My Stars!

Lori also has all the threads you could possibly need to complete these and anything else you might have in your UFO pile.  On top of that there are cool tools to choose from, too.

If you’re like most, you have more than one craft love.  If your other love is knitting, you’re in luck because Lori has a nice supply of knitting supplies and yarn to choose from as well.  In fact, I am trying to learn Domino Knitting and must go back to Expressions in Needleart to pick out a nice heavy cotton to doodle up some Domino Potholders.

So, the bottom line?  Lori was no different than other shop keepers.  When asked her favorite thread and color, she wandered around a bit.  Then narrowed it down to silks, her favorite to work with.  It was a toss up, but Gloriana won her over–for today!  And the color?  One of my favorite fruits–Granny Smith Green.  That would be number 053 Gloriana.  And the stitch?  Well, lately Lori has been doing a lot of T Stitch.  That’s cool, I like T Stitch.  But that’s not going to be the stitch for 053 Gloriana.  This thread is going to be dressed in style in the lovely Nobuko Stitch.  I can hardly wait to stitch it.  But this  sampler is no where near ready to go.  Until it is, I think I’ll work up a sample for my Stitch Guide Notebook that I started with the Stitches For Effect Class I’m taking through Shining Needle Society.  (Although, I’m thinking I’d like to try Sharon B’s Stitch Worksheets model.)When I get back to Expressions in Needleart, I’ll try to get photos of the shop if okay with Lori and post them when I post my sample of Gloriana 053 in Nobuko Stitch–unless you send a pic of yours first!

Works in Progress

I’m all over the place these days.  I’ve got my three blogs I am trying to get beyond infancy.  Only one is ready to walk, Blackwork Lessons.  I’ve finally figured out just about everything I need for right now, except the tag and category stuff along with promoting.  My site for the dogs, Sight Sniffing, is really still waiting to be born.  I’ve gone through about four themes for that one, but I think the one I’ve settled on will work nicely.  Now just to get into content which will be mostly photographic.

I think the next step that is necessary for success is to develop a schedule of when I will sit down and update each blog so they each stay current.  It’s hard to do because I am so focused on blackwork and design right now.  That is not to say that I’m not doing other stitching.  I am.  But, I am committed to writing a book that will be called Blackwork Lessons.  And my head is wrapped all around what the book will look like and include as well as getting permissions from other artists to be able to include some of their work because no one can do it better.  Like the Skinner Sisters.

Nonetheless, I’ve started these three blogs and I must care for all of them.  I will start this one with an update on Works in Progress.  I am working on Carol Leather’s Blackwork Chessboard which is a sampler of fill patterns shaped into a chess board.  I am also working on Kathy Rees’ Amazing Color sampler.  Amazing is an understatement.  Just got the third set of instructions from the Shining Needle Society class being run by Robertson and Howren called Stitches For Effect:  Climb Every Mountain.  I have two name tags to complete for two ladies who will be instructors at ANG’s 2012 Seminar in Philadelphia.  Then there’s that piece I want to give to Mom for Christmas.  (It’s okay, still a secret–she only uses a computer for playing games!)

I’ve just downloaded a new (to me) software (open source) that will allow me to use the same system Kim Brody Salazar uses and describes in her blog, String or Nothing.  A little stuck right now, but tomorrow’s another day.  Today I started a database on my Blackwork Lessons Yahoo group to list symbols found in stitching as I came across a couple Mayan references while reading the HandEye newsletter.  Also wrote a note to self to start a database to include cool sayings I’ve found that would be great on samplers so I can finally throw all those little slips of paper away!  And I need to start a poll to see if the yahoo group wants to have an online meeting in October.  That’s when I had originally planned to unveil my own blackwork sampler creation.

So, I haven’t been avoiding you, dear Shop Sampler!  Just too disorganized to give you the time you deserve.  I’ll be better.  Promise!