Wednesday, July 29, 2009

There's Shaded and then There's Varigated

I very much want to add a complete line of threads that are shaded and possibly varigated too. By shaded I mean tones within a like color/s and varigated I mean unexpected colors all within one skein. While I do have a full line of Weeks dye Works and Gentle Arts hand dyed floss as well as lots of Cresent colours these are not available in color families which I think is to their disadvantage when doing painted canvas's. So I'd love to know what all you would like to see available. I'm leaning towards a floss because of its versatility but there are so many other choices too. Please send me an email or give me a call if you have opinions! I'm thinking of: Gloriana silk floss, Gumnut Stars, Threadworx, Soy Lustre... If I had my 'drothers I'd like one with a moderate price point yet I know this may not yield the best in color. Think about it......and let me know your thoughts.
FYI Nora Corbett's alphabet is now through letter "R".
Looking for any Lee? Call me. I have some items and can always see if what your looking for is still available.

Lee Orchids

Lee leather accessories

Nora's R

Monday, July 20, 2009

Christmas cracker ornaments

In addition to the Melissa Shirley candy canes I also want to share one of Melissa Shirley's Christmas cracker ornaments. This one was great fun to stitch, the picture doesn't show all the textures. Threads used include Gloriana silk ribbon, Fyre Werks soft sheen, DMC floss, #4 Kreinik braid, Frosty Rays, Very Velvet, Silk Lame braid and the best bling of all ~ heat sensitive swavorski crystals. There are many crackers to choose from and are perfect for using up your stash or just going crazy trying new threads.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Candy Canes Back from the Finisher

Melissa Shirley has soooo many candy cane options. To me I still think of candy canes as being red and white. Ok, green is ok, and in my town where Aunt Charlottes still makes them from scratch black and red is ok too because black = anise. And I love anise. But for the more adventuresome, creative types Melissa Shirley has collections in green, chocolate and the traditional red and white and maybe even more?

Nancy Faulkner and Heaven & Earth Designs

Always looking the new and different I came across these fully stitched cross stitch charts that could also be done on 18 count canvas for those not discouraged by stitching from a chart. Particularly the Mother and Baby Bear reminds me of the illustrations by Maurice Sendak for Else Holmelund Minarik Little Bear stories. On 18 count they measure a modest 4 1/2" square +/-. Lots of detail, numerous threads and blending of floss plys.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New canvases, week of June 28th: Sandra Gilmore

For those needlepoint stitchers who enjoy doing interiors Sandra Gilmore has many nice ones. Aside from scenes, she does outstanding faces and her designs are reminiscent of gentler times gone by. See all her designs on

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Blue Suit

When I bought the Nimble Needle I found among many books The Very Stuff, of all things in a stitching shop a book of poetry. What was it doing there? Its a book of poems by Stephen Beal based on DMC colors. For the history buffs DMC was founded in 1746 by Jean-Henri Dollfuss. The M comes from his daughter-in-law Anne-Marie Mieg and the C stands for Compagnie). What was remarkable for me was I think the poems are actually quite good! and the fact that DMC is the inspiration is secondary. I enjoy poetry and I'll admit many I don't understand without having someone more knowledgible explain them to me as in back in my college days. However his poems are so visual for me that I get them. I hope you do also. For no other reason than July 4th I've selected one on #3750, a nice blue. Its not one of ones I like best but it is short. Many of my favorites are on reds. But some are long and not knowing my audience i don't want to lose readers. Though maybe around the holidays I just might have to try.

When I Was a Little Boy
I had a storybook about the making of a suit,
a blue suit for a boy who lived in the country on a farm.
His father sheared the wool for the suit from the sheep,
then his mother carded the wool, and spun it,
and dyed it in a vat of indigo.
She hung the hanks of wool on a line
   where they turned the green grass blue as they dried.
Then she wove this blue wool into worsted
   and sewed a suit from the cloth for her son.

Hello, 3750.
The last time we met I was sitting beside Mother,
looking at the pictures while she read me that story.
The first grownup suit I had was blue.
and I wore it to Miss Pocock's Dancing Class,
with white cotton gloves and a blue and red silk tie.
My ears stuck out.
My pompadour was carefully arranged.
I never thought of the contribution of sheep
   to my stylish appearance.
I was learning the foxtrot and the rumba and the Charleston.
I was on my way to being Fred Astaire.
  and I had no patience with the basics of life.

Thus sons leave the farms
for newfangled lives in the cities.
Thus aging men put their feet up
as they consider the joys of long ago.

Stephen Beal, fiber artist; poet and the ninth President of the California College of the Arts.