Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Double Up Progress Report #3

Lately I haven't worked on much except the final project for the ANG Master Needle Artist program, which I can't show you. But this week I decided I needed a little diversion from that each day so I decided to work on something else for an hour or so every day. This week I worked on Double Up. I know some of you are going to take this class at Seminar - you will enjoy it! I was in the Pilot Class, but I am doing a very different color way from what will be taught at Seminar. But you can at least see the stitches! I almost have one quarter finished, which I need to do for Ro within the next couple of weeks, in case I find any errors in the directions. This is a gorgeous piece, with lots of fun & challenging stitches.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hong Kong Junks

This piece was also entered in the Tucson ANG Seminar Exhibit, 2006, and took 2nd Place in the Professional Adaptation category. I adapted this from a painting called "Aube a Hong Kong" by L. Toffoli. I had a lot of fun with this, using a variety of textured stitches. I used Needle Necessities overdyed floss, Watercolors, Anchor & DMC floss. There is quite a variety of stitches, both straight & slanted. The water & reflection are alternating rows of Continental and Slanted Gobelin. The dark blue background is unstitched, it is the Leventine Blue canvas. The light background is T-Stitch, worked partly in pale blue & partly in a sparkly white (I don't remember what the thread is).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunset Sampler

Oops! Forgot to post yesterday. Well, this is Sunset Sampler which is a design I adapted from a fractal by Kerry Mitchell. I charted out all of the basic shapes, squares & rectangles, and then picked out colors and stitches as I stitched the piece. I used a lot of different stitches and threads. This piece won 3rd place at the ANG Seminar in Tucson, 2006, in the Professional Adaptation category. I had contacted Mr. Mitchell to get his permission to photograph the piece (it looks a lot like the original fractal) and not only did he give his permission, but he lives in Phoenix and drove to Tucson to see the exhibit! I had a drink with him and his girl friend. How cool is that!!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Travels in Needlepoint & Cross Stitch

My husband and I have done a fair amount of traveling and I thought it would be fun to commemorate some of our trips in needlework. The one on the left is Alaska, in needlepoint. This was a painted canvas I purchased in Alaska and modified slightly. It is framed with a photo of us and a pin and a little vial of gold. Top right is Hong Kong. This is a cross stitch pattern that I searched for and finally found long after we were there. I didn't make any changes in the pattern and used the thread that came in the kit. It is framed with a photo of us in Hong Kong. Bottom right is Australia. I purchased the cross stitch kit in Sydney and made no changes. It is framed with 2 pictures of us and the Coat Hanger (the bridge). Such a fun way to remember great trips!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Exploded Diamonds, Progress #1

I know, I've been bad, I've been working on this piece and haven't told you!

This is a piece I designed several months ago and have worked on off & on. I've been working on it the last few days again in an effort to avoid working on what I should be!

This design grew out of playing around with some Art Deco designs I found. Once I got all the diamonds in, I decided it needed a little something, so I had some of the "spots" in the solid diamonds wander off into the background.

Although the canvas is the "right" aqua color, I decided to Basketweave the background anyway in order to have a place to anchor all the other threads. The background is DMC floss. The "solid" diamonds are Mandarin floss, DMC floss and Neon Rays, in Smyrna Crosses and Mosaics. The Smyrna's & Neon Rays help these areas to "pop". The "spots" around the outside are DMC floss and are Cross Stitches.

I probably won't be working on this much for awhile, but I'll surely let you know when I make further progress!

Monday, July 20, 2009

NeedleArts Mystery Retreat 2009 Pictures

I didn't get pictures posted yesterday, so here they are. They aren't very good, but they're the best we're going to get right now. Above are the top and bottom details, and to the left is the whole piece. As you can see, I didn't get all that much done! The canvas is Eggshell, the colors in the piece are ecru, sage greens, a soft rose, and metallics. The stitches are wonderful, many are new to me and some are quite a challenge. These teachers are "known" for making up new stitches! I won't be able to stitch on this again for several months. I actually left the piece down in Vegas (I flew back to Reno this morning). I have other projects that demand my immediate attention, so I figured I'd just save it to work on when I go back down there in the Fall.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

NeedleArts Mystery Retreat 2009

The Mystery Retreat is over and now I have a huge project to finish! I highly recommend this retreat! It is relatively inexpensive as these things go. You get a mystery project that has distinct sections, each designed by a different teacher/designer and then each section is taught by it's designer. It is a super concept and the retreat was a lot of fun. The photo shows the prework finished; sorry about the photo but it is ecru thread on eggshell canvas & just doesn't show up very well!

Day 1: The morning session was with Linda Reinmiller. Linda designed and taught the bottom section of the piece, which she calls Starry Night. Many of the stitches she used are star variations, layered stars, spider stars, multi-colored stars, large & small. Linda's instructions are comb-bound and her diagrams and directions are the best!! I've taken a class from Linda before and she is always very well prepared. Can't get much done in 3 hours, but we tried!
The afternoon class was with Pat Hartman. Pat designed and taught the top section of the piece, which she calls Desert Ribbons. The stitches are Bargello patterns, wrapped stitches, herringbones, leaf stitches, rhodes variations. Again, 3 hours just isn't very long! In class, I only completed 4 trips of the 6 trip Herringbone! We wrapped up before 4PM as most of the ladies were anxious to get to Stitcher's Paradise for a shopping spree!

Day 2: The morning class was with Debbie Rowley (DebBee's Designs). Debbie designed & taught one of the side sections, which she calls Child's Play. Stitches are layered, padded, Crescents and Jessicas, Rhodes and fillers. Debbie's instructions are spiral bound and her diagrams and directions are excellent. Debbie had us work on a doodle cloth as some of her stitches need to be learned before putting them on the "real" canvas, especially the Double Fan Doubled!!
The afternoon session was team taught by Pat Hartman and Mary Knapp. This section was designed by Linda, with input from Pat & Mary, and it is called "emergenZ". This is the center section of the piece and is kind of a "Z" shape. It uses stitches such as Crescents, Amadeus, Rhodes, Jessica variations, couching and woven stitches. Again, Linda came through with comb-binding and superb written instructions and diagrams.

Day 3: Just a morning class today, and it was with Mary Knapp. Mary designed and taught the other side section. Mary's stitches are fans and eyelet variations and an unusual Star in the center. We got more done in this morning session, but ended early as some of the ladies had planes to catch. Some of us kept stitching till noon though.

We had a lunch buffet both days that was very nice, salads & sandwiches. The facility was lovely and well air conditioned! A must for Las Vegas in the summer! Again, I highly recommend this retreat. All of the teachers are excellent and the projects are beautiful. It is an annual affair, so keep tuned to their website for next year's location. There should be a picture of this year's Mystery on the website soon.

I will stitch on the piece today and add some pictures later.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mystery Retreat

Today I am flying to Las Vegas (I must be nuts, it is 107 degrees there!) to attend the Mystery Canvas Retreat, go to for details. This years Mystery is a 2-1/2 day retreat, featuring classes with Pat Hartman, Mary Knapp, Linda Reinmiller and Debbie Rowley (DebBee's Designs) who have created a Mystery design for us. I have completed my prework and am on my way. Since we have a house there, and my husband is there, I will not be staying at the hotel, but will drive back & forth (only about 10 min.) each day. The piece is large - I had to get 15x28 stretcher bars! I have been wanting to do this retreat ever since I heard about it several years ago at the ANG Seminar in Tucson. So it is finally here. I don't know how often I'll be able to post the rest of this week, but I'll try! I think I will be able to post pictures after the retreat. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SOTM Section 6

Today I finally finished Section 6 of Minieri's Stitch of the Month, the stitch for July. It was kinda slow going. First I just couldn't figure out the diagrams, and then I discovered I could click on them (on ANGs website) and they enlarge and were much better. Then I had a hard time with the compensation. I NEVER have trouble with compensation! I tried charting it and that didn't work, so I finally gave up and actually drew the outlines on the canvas, which is something I very rarely do (I am a chart person afterall!). Then I found the FyreWerks to be so reflective, even though I used one of the Soft Sheens, that it was hard to work on under a bright light. Jeez, I must be getting old! Anyway, I ended up stitching only in the daytime at the dining room table where the light is not so direct. Now it is done. I wonder what Tony will have for us next month!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Versailles is another design from Rainbow Gallery. I was trying to go more monochromatic here, while still using my "Las Vegas Colors". I used Watercolors, Kreinik, Fyre Werks and floss & pearl cotton. It turned out pretty and I decided to put it on a box top and give it to friends for a wedding gift. I put a piece of copper sheeting behind the piece and it sparkles through really nice. I don't know what the copper stuff is! I got it in a craft store. It is not paper, it is like a very thin piece of metal, cut with scissors and flexible. The bride & groom loved it!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blue Bargello for Deco Spirits

Blue Bargello is the 2nd piece I did to companion Deco Spirits. I had this huge blue pin and thought it would make an interesting center for a bargello. I used the shape of the pin to design the bargello patterns. It is NOT 4-way symmetrical. The colors complement Deco Spirits and the other bargello.

Here is what the finished "wall" looks like.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bargello Landscape for Deco Spirits

After I finished Deco Spirits, I wanted to have some things to hang with it. I had this Rainbow Galleries kit which was given to me by my friend Diana. So I stitched it up. The colors kind of go with Deco Spirits and it worked up quickly. It is stitched all in Frosty Rays, which isn't my favorite thread but it turned out pretty. I need to get a better picture of this. Sorry about that!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Deco Spirits

This piece is Deco Spirits, a cross stitch design by Nora Corbett of Mirabilia Designs. I stitched this design in needlepoint and added a border of my own design. I changed out most of the floss to Spendor silk, except for the white and the grays, and used the Kreinik as specified but heavier weight for the needlepoint canvas. The border is worked entirely in white Neon Rays. This piece won 2nd Place in the Independent Project, Professional, category at the Indian Wells ANG Seminar last year. It now lives in the guest room of our Las Vegas house, accompanied by 2 bargello pieces which I will share with you next!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Jim's Clock

This next piece is a clock I made for my husband's office in Las Vegas. I used the pattern on his desk lamp, which has kind of a stained glass shade, as inspiration. First I did his initial, then a series of borders from the shade. I did quite a bit of backstitching to get the detail. It turned out nice and he was happy with his birthday gift!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fractal Diamonds

Fractal Diamonds is a piece I designed to go on a jewelry box. I have had this Sudberry House box for at least 20 years and never got around to stitching a top for it. I needed a jewelry box in the Vegas house. The design is based on a fractal I found on the internet called "Warped Tiles" by Dennis Magar.
I used a variety of Watercolors and Kreinik, all leftovers from other projects, except the offwhite for the background and border which I had to buy more of. The diamond shapes are Diamond Rhodes Stitches and small Diamond Leviathans, with a few Scotch variations in the center (I know there is a name for this, but I can't find it!). Then I used small Waffles for the border. It was fun to stitch as I kind of made it up as I went along, just looking at Magar's fractal from time to time. It makes a nice addition to our Master Bedroom.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Amy's Garden

I'm going to be busy in the morning, so I will do this post now while I'm waiting for DH to be done working & ready to go to dinner.
Amy's Garden is a small design from Rainbow Gallery (it might be one of their freebies, I'm not sure). I used Watercolors, Kreinik, Floss and Pearl Cotton. It was a quick stitch and fit a white lacquered box. It is a very pretty addition to my guest room where it sits on the dresser. (Inside are a few little treats for guests, should they open it up!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pieces of Africa: Tunis

This is the last piece in this grouping. Pieces of Africa: Tunis is from Kick Back & Stitch and is one of several designs in a series. Someday maybe I'll do the others :-)
This pieces was lots of fun to stitch and went very quickly, as I recall I finished it in less than a week! I used Waterlilies, several sizes of Kreinik, Pearl Cotton and some beads. Watching the layered crescents take shape in the Kreinik was a blast!

And here is the whole grouping, on my family room wall in Las Vegas.