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:

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.