Sunday, April 6, 2014

Labors of Love Young Victoria and how to make corn


Yesterday was one of those days that felt like Christmas at the shop with the arrival of Labors of Love Limited Edition Young (Queen) Victoria.  At the winter market I felt fortunate enough to attain the 10th and final edition of the canvas that includes the hand sculpted and painted features along with the hand made straw hat from an antique hat and, the very very special purse crafted from an antique petite point purse.  It so rich in texture with the natural surroundings, lush day dress, Dash's fur and the iron arbor.  I can just see the wisteria stitched with a variety of different white beads.
this is just a picture of a picture, colors are much lovelier in person


 
The canvas measures 9" x 13" hand painted on 18 count canvas.  (Yes I noticed too that muzzle was spelled in correctly!)


I enjoyed reading up a bit on just who Victoria was, as I'm not an anglophile.  Queen Elizabeth II is her great-great grand daughter. The Victoria and Albert Museum is named after Victoria and her husband Albert.  I also googled Worth dress since i wasn't familiar with the term, OMG google this under images and the gowns are simply spectacular. Stitching in the correct scale Young Victoria's gown could be an exploration of texture and embellishment in and of itself.

See Victoria in our web store.



While on the subject of royalty new in is this kit from Finger Step Designs "Imperial Fan".  Design is stitched on 18 count canvas using Gumnut Silk Perle.  The shading in their threads is like none other.  Though it calls for white canvas I'm happy to kit in sage green or pale blue mono canvas.
 Imperial Fan Kit, counted canvas work
Imperial Fan SOLD

Example of the stitch guide for Imperial Fan

Now for a more humble topic like corn on the cob.  Miriam began her Bountiful Pig by Melissa Shirley.  She saw the technique of inserting into Flair a drinking straw loaded with beads.  After our "consult" we decided to forego the straw.  Beads are by Sundance and Mill Hill.  Yes its stupendous but pretty much everything Miriam stitches just is.  The husks are silk ribbon, I'm just waiting for Miriam to declare she's really in sync with silk ribbon and its not her nemesis any longer.  I love silk ribbon and its always rewarding to see another stitcher add it to one of their top ten fibers of choice.




 Just in from the finisher, lovely egg stitched by Colette.  Colors are pretty true except the silk, its a lovely pale turquoise that leans towards the greens.  The white ribbon is edged in a pretty yellow picot (?) not sure if that's the proper term for the edging, but its an all around pretty egg.
Mary Lake Thompson Egg stitched by Colette R



Sunday, March 30, 2014

There's always something new

Thrilled to receive in Melissa Shirley's Winter Table canvas and Guide.  Guide is written by Melissa Shirley and if you haven't taken a class with Melissa or seen one of her guides they are fun, different and easy to read.  Melissa has wonderful techniques that are playful and give interesting results without be overly complicated and requiring additional counting or compensating.

Melissa Shirley's Winter Table canvas and guide

Melissa Shirley's Winter table and stitch guide, 13 count
Cute seasonal birdhouses, can be framed or finished dimensional and hung on your wall.  Lovely colors and just the right amount of opportunity to try out some new stitches or techniques.  Both on 18 count.
Bird House, Canary
Bird House, blue bird
For the cat lover one of several cat shaped stand ups by Melissa and the Cat in a Cat piece with stitch guide by Patt and Lee.  Guide is filled with all kinds of stitching and useful if you want to use up some of your stash.

Melissa Shirley Cat with Birds

Cat within Cat silhouette by Patt & Lee with Stitch Guide

 Cat within Cat Silhouette by Patt and Lee Designs
Cat with Cat Silhouette Patt and Lee Designs
For the traditional, Susan Robets recently introduced her 3D tree collection.  While the stitch guide picture shows red tree's the ones available are green (red can be ordered).  They're available in 5, 7 and 9" heights with the one featured being 9".  Amazing guide, terrific diagrams and I think will appeal more to those who enjoy counted work.  Guide is extensive and includes instructions for stitching each 8 sides differently.  Not up on the website yet please call or email if interested.

Susan Roberts 9" 3D Tree $122. included stitch guide and line drawn canvases




Don't be fooled!  tree is 9" high.



For proud alumnae:
Princeton 5" square

OSU 5" square
For those with a dry sense of humor gotta love this one.  Its the opitome of opposites from the motivational posters hung in office common spaces.
Gail Hendrix, 13 count $64.
And more ways to mind your needles.
Green Big Buddie Fleur de Lis

Bead Buddie, magnetic case with lid and tacky insert!

Big Needle Buddie Bat
View all Needle Buddies here: http://www.thenimbleneedle.com/servlet/the-Needle-Minders/searchpath/65705/start/9/total/34/Categories



Friday, March 28, 2014

Threads, stitches, texture and light


Needlewoman by Diego Velazquez 1600's
I just returned home from two days in D.C. spent at the  National Gallery, Portrait Gallery and American Gallery.  I feel so fortunate to be able to take in so much incredible beauty and that my family, like me, is happy to spend an entire day in a museum, minus a break for food. 

I found the way the Dutch masters rendered light is truly remarkable. The sheen on her skirt (below) looks of the highest quality satin available. Which made me think about how we stitchers look for threads to help render a painted canvas to appear more like fabric, fur, petals and glass yet for hundreds of years painters are able to achieve every imaginable life like surface using just one medium, oil paint, and often the texture is relatively flat.

Clearly (well not so clearly in these pictures but in real life) there's no doubt that this woman's dress is fabric, she has a fur scarf or stole around her neck, a gemstone in her gold ring and you feel as though if you reached out you could touch her skin and feel her hair.  Is light really more the answer to achieving the right texture?  Or is paint just too different than threads?


These two close ups below are details from a stump work piece in the 1500's from England.  The beaded leopard is my favorite.  It looks like it was done on another piece of fabric and appliqu├ęd onto the silk. For the most part the beads are perfectly aligned similar to a brick stitch.

and the lion is an example of messy beading! All happily coexisting along side the leopard.  I like how by choosing the correct light, medium and dark beads you can achieve a very uneven ground texture like the grass beneath the lion.  The flower looked to be of gathered silk ribbon with lovely stump work leaves. 
Basically I tried to immerse myself in the beauty and be inspired by the diligence of these artists from long ago.  Here we are 500 years later still enjoying the very same past time, struggling often to achieve what they did and naively thinking our needles and threads are going into uncharted territory!  So much creativity has been explored for centuries and I do hope it will continue to be for centuries to come.



Sunday, March 16, 2014

Whats the latest…



Customers will ask what's come in that's new?  Here's a peak, there's always something and if you don't see it please ask!  There's quite the inventory of canvases at the shop.  Until I get a chance to get them up online for sale please contact me if your interested. shop # 856 354 8100.  Big Buddy needle minders are $20, New book by Carole Lake and Michael Boren $36.  What's been replenished?  Silk complexion kits by Access Commodities, books by June McKnight, Nimble Needle thread cards and System 4 standard floor stands.  And expecting a new assortment of bags, caddy's and totes by Atenti!



Birds of a Feather Savannah Lion $143.
Birds of a Feather Applique

Birds of a Feather Bohemian Paisley


Alice Peterson striped Dinosaur
Peter Ashe Sheep

Stitch-Its UK sweater ornament on 13

Stitch its Soccer sweater ornament on 13


Alice Peterson Girl Monkey

5" x 5" Princeton College $42.00
5" x 5" OSU college $42.00
Peter Ashe Victorian House

Stitch n Zip cosmetic cases with floss are $21., eyeglass and coin purses $16.  Also have blank cosmetic and eyeglass cases for those who want to have some fun and do their own thing.  Very popular these are!  All with black velvet backs, a few dollars less than the kitted ones.  Stitch n Zips are perfect take along projects and make affordable gifts. See them all in our Web Store.








New Big Buddies, $20. each.  Sorry for the blurry images.  For others by Elizabeth Turner view our Web Store.