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This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Needlework

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Progress Has Been Slow

July 15th, 2013 · Beads on Needlework, Celeste's Stocking, Christmas Stitching, French Knot, Rebecca Wood, Stockings, The French Knot

Progress on Celeste’s stocking has been slow.  For a variety of reasons.

Celeste was born on 6/27/2013 at 12:59 a.m.

Celeste's Picture

She is, if I do say so myself, the cutest little bug!  They came and stayed with me while David and Jacob were away at Boy Scout Camp last week and she is the best baby!  I’m gonna miss having them around.

So, a day or two after she was born, I had an eye appointment.  I had to get stronger bifocals for my glasses.  I’d been, for the most part recently, been stitching things that were relatively easy with clear boundaries on color changes.  But this stocking was getting the better of me.  There are a lot of color changes and they aren’t well defined and they were hard to see.  So, off I went to my eye doctor, who increased my bifocals and told me to use more moisturizing drops generally but especially before, during and after I stitch.  He said that people tend to not blink when they are working on small hand-work which causes the eyes to dry out more which causes it to be harder to see.

I’m actually glad to say that big geeky glasses are “In” these days.  I always felt like, when glasses got tiny the last couple of years, that my vision got worse because there was less space for my bifocals.  Now, I’ve got big round, fashionably geeky glasses and they have plenty of room for my bifocals.

This is the progress I’ve made on Celeste’s stocking so far:

Celeste's Stocking

I’ve already deviated from the stitch guide a bit.  I’ve done the bells at the top in brick stitch beading.  I’ve done the up and down ones (the first, third and fifth ones left to right) but haven’t decided whether to turn the canvas on the second and fourth ones since those bells appear to be turned.  I’ve also deviated from the stitch guide on the blue background; I decided to do it in basket weave.  I’m stitching over the stars and going to add those back with sequins and beads.

The blue background is in Pepper Pot Silk.  And I’ve got to say it is scrumptious to stitch with.  It covers well, even over the gold and white of the stars, in basketweave and is as smooth as butter.  This canvas is 18 hpi.

If you’ll en-biggen the picture, you’ll see what I’ve got done on the ribbon on the left hand side.  That ribbon is going to look almost real when I get finished with it.

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Look what I got in the mail today!

June 12th, 2013 · Christmas Stitching, Finishing/Finishers, KS Designs, Ornaments, The French Knot

Today I got some finishing back from Angela Shaddon at Little Shop Around the Corner in Albany, Oregon.  If anyone wants Angela’s contact info, and doesn’t do Facebook, let me know  and I’ll e-mail you her information.  She is reasonably priced and does great work!

Doghouse Ornament

This piece is from Kathy Schenkel Designs. I’d had it for a L.O.N.G. time. The tape had the name of a store that had been closed for probably 8-10 years if not more. I’d stitched probably 96% of it and sat it down for a long time. It had all the threads in the bag with it. I finally picked it up a couple of weeks ago and finished it in one evening. I have no idea what took me so long.  Does anyone else do that?



Another Kathy Schenkel Designs piece.  I already have one of these for my first Labrador; a black Lab named Baloo who died about 8 years ago.

This Boston Terrier is for my son.  I am not crazy about his stubborn, pushy, bossy dog.  But I am crazy about my son and HE loves that dog AND he appreciates my needlepoint.

Isn’t that wire hanger GREAT?  That was Angela’s idea.


Bugsy Stocking

And finally, a Boston Terrier stocking for Bugsy the Boston.   This is an A. Bradley Needle Arts, Inc. design.  Ashley has a BUNCH of these animal stockings.  When I have time to do nothing but stitch, I’m going to get the Chocolate Lab for one of our Labs and the Yellow lab for our other Lab.  I’ll have the complete Lab set!  I bought mine at The French Knot in Forth Worth, Texas and they pulled the threads and put the name on it for me.



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The Next Big Thing

June 11th, 2013 · Celeste's Stocking, Christmas Stitching, French Knot, Rebecca Wood, Stockings, The French Knot

This piece is The Next Big Thing:

Celeste's Stocking by Rebecca Wood Designs.

Celeste’s Stocking by Rebecca Wood Designs.

Celeste is my Granddaughter who is due later this month, the first of next month.

The stocking is a Rebecca Wood Designs stocking but they changed it a little at my daughter’s request. Originally, the stocking looked like this:

Rebecca Wood Stocking

Rebecca Wood Stocking

But my daughter wanted a wolf on it instead.  I was a little worried that a wolf would appear to be too menacing but not to worry, Rebecca made me a beautiful stocking.  I didn’t remember that I changed the top of the stocking to add the bells, but that looks pretty good too.

Here’s the picture of the canvas with all the beautiful threads:

Celeste's Stocking with threads

I thought of my friend, Anne Stradal, at the Cape Stitcher, when I was feeling overwhelmed by all this thread and stitching.  It seems to me that Anne always breaks down her pieces into small bites.  And when I talked to her about it, that’s what she encouraged me to do.  Because thinking about doing it all at once is certainly overwhelming.

The French Knot in Fort Worth, Texas ordered the stocking for me and did the stitch guide and pulled the threads.  There are a lot of my favorite threads there, but there are also some new ones I’m excited to try.  I think the stitch guide is going to be great!

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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Where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to

June 5th, 2013 · Christmas Stitching, General

Wow!  It’s been a long time since I’ve been here.  I’ve been stitching but life has interfered and kept me from writing.

I turned 50 last December.  A moment of silence, please.  But it’s all good!  Men turn 50 and have mid-life crisis’s and do stupid stuff like buy expensive sports cars and take mistresses.  I just do stupid, but really fun, stuff.

In March 2012 I ran a half-marathon at the OKC Memorial Marathon.

In October 2012 I rappelled off a 31 story building to raise money for Special Olympics.

Me hangin over the Edge of the Sandridge building 10/12/2012

Me hanging Over the Edge of the Sandridge building 10/12/2012

It was a blast.  My sister did it with me too.  I had so much fun!  This was the actual building:

Thue building I went down from the bottom looking up.

The building I went down.  This view is from the bottom looking up.

I was the second largest fund-raiser and got a basketball signed by all the players on the  Thunder as a prize.  My son is very happy with “our” basketball.  It would hold a place of honor in his room but the Lab dog in our house thinks it’s a toy, so we keep it in a cabinet so no harm comes to it.

Then?  I got Shingles.   At 49!!  Let me tell you, if you’ve not gotten your Shingles Vaccine, you need to.  It was the single most painful thing I’ve ever had.  And mine?  It went on for MONTHS.  Terrible.

I’ve been stitching. During all this time.

I’ve done these:

Designed by Squiggee.  Stitched by me using mostly Planet Earth Silks and a little Kreinik Braid.

Designed by Squiggee. Stitched by me using mostly Planet Earth Silks and a little Kreinik Braid.  Finished by Angela Shaddon at Little Shop Around the Corner in Albany, OR.

Sure they are dated 2011.  And yes they are still in my cabinet because I didn’t get them done even in time for LAST Christmas.  But they are done and will be given to the appropriate child before THIS Christmas.

I’m working on the children’s 2012 ornaments.  I’ve done this one:

Lizzies 2012 Christmas Ornament

Design by Lee. Stitched by me from my stash of threads.

for my daughter.

I did this one:


Jacob's 2012 Christmas ornament.  Designed by Lee.  Stitched by me.

Jacob’s 2012 Christmas ornament. Designed by Lee. Stitched by me.

I’m working on this one:

2012 Christmas Ornament for my niece.  Design by Lee.

2012 Christmas Ornament for my niece. Design by Lee.

For my niece. Sorry the picture is so off. I took this picture to show to my friend, Elise Cohen, the beard and moustache.  Elise gave me the Cotswold Wool I used for the beard and moustache from some she made and she wanted feedback on it.   So my focus with this picture was really the beard and moustache.  This ornament  is about 2/3 finished with just the background to do and then the Petite Very Velvet blue frame.

I have another one like Jacob’s above for my other niece.  But.  I haven’t even gotten started on it.  They really don’t take a lot of time, but sometimes it seems like I don’t have any time.

I am planning ahead and have the 2013 ornaments as well, but unfortunately, none of them have been started.   The 2013 ornaments:

Designed by ABS Designs.  Can't remember where I bought them.

Designed by ABS Designs.

Designed by ABS Designs.

Designed by ABS Designs.

Designed by ABS Designs

Designed by ABS Designs

Designed by ABS Designs

Designed by ABS Designs

My friend Anne Stradal at ABS Designs LLC painted these and I bought them from somewhere.  I think that’s my peri-menapausal brain kicking in.  Anne has a wonderful blog, The Cape Stitcher, which if you don’t read, you should.  She does beautiful needlepoint, uses simple threads and stitches but it all comes together beautifully.

In the mean time I also have another three or four at the finishers.  I think they were all ones my son requested which mainly have to do with his Boston Terrier, Bugsy.  I don’t know if I didn’t take any pictures before sending them off, or I just can’t find them, but those pictures are elusive today.

I have rambled on long enough today.  Next time (and it won’t be 2 1/2 years again) I’ll have pictures of my next big project.

Stay tuned.



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Judy Harper

March 3rd, 2011 · Uncategorized

I think Coni may have said it best.

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