Monday, May 27, 2019

Home remodeling and Faith Hope and Charity

We have lived in our home for 40 years this month. I don't like to move because we once figured out that I had moved 21 times by the time I was 16 years old. So I am now making the most of  putting down roots and living in one place. Over the years we have slowly redone almost everything in the house and finally it was time to do the bathrooms. Ugh... lots of work but I am pleased with the results so far. We still have bit left to do but the major parts are already done.
I have managed to get a bit of embroidery done but now there will be more time. That is if all of the stars align.....
Over the years I have collected bits and pieces like sinks, light fixtures, and ideas.

We did the upstairs hall first. We found an antique cabinet with mirror and used it with a hammered pewter sink and crystal light fixtures. I rather like the way that the room turned out.

Second we worked on the master bath. The room started with a glass sink that I bought about 15 years ago, it has gold fish in the bowl.We placed it into a vintage cabinet with a granite top and added oriental touches.

Finally we got to the half bath in the hall. I had some special plans for that room. I bought a dish while on holiday and wanted to use the pale teal and cream colors for the room. Then I found a fabulous idea on Pintrest for a penny floor. We used it on the floor, up the wall  and decided to work in other copper accents and an antique round mirror.

Here is the latest progress on Faith, Hope and Charity. Another full row is finished - only two more to go.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Snow Day, Cabinet of Curiosities Top Frieze, While Rosy Cheeks Sampler

Today is a snow day at our house. Not that is doesn't snow in Utah, it does. We have more than 5 major ski resorts less than an hour from my house. But today it decided to snow and snow and snow - starting early in the morning and filling all of the roads with about 10 inches of the white stuff and it is still snowing about 8 hours later. We decided that selling embroidery supplies as fun as it is, was not as important as staying safe. So I am warm and dry and stitching... Life is good.
Here is photo of the front yard just a few minutes ago.

I was able to spend some extra time working on my casket pieces. The top frieze of the casket is finished. I love all of the leaves and spangles in the bands. I did learn a few bits along the way, like making sure to put plenty of basting lines on the silk to be sure that the embroidery didn't wander into the areas where it is going to be covered later.  Oh well...The leaves are surface embroidery so they are quite flat but the rest of the casket is going to have much more dimensional embroidery Now to start the designs on the rest of the casket. The floral frieze is next. The designs are in my head so we shall see just how hard it is going to be to get them out of there.

Because I am going to be starting on the next sections of the embroidery and there are going to be many colors in each section, I needed a better way of storing my threads so I could get to them easily. This set of metal basket from JoAnn's is going to be perfect and it was on sale too. I have sorted the threads so each of the color families is in one basket and I can see all of the wonderful threads together. That will make it easier when I want a specific color but don't know which of the textures that will work best.

 While Rosy Cheeks Sampler is finished. I am in the process of editing the instructions right now and then I can send the pattern out. It has taken so much longer than I thought it ever would but since I decided to use so many specialty stitches the pattern is about 30 pages long. It can be done in just cross stitch or as many or as few of the wonderful unique stitches as you want.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Gawthorpe Needlecase

Jenny Adin-Christie designs and creates the most fabulous needlework eye candy. One of her latest designs is the Gawthorpe Needlecase. As of this post, it is still available on her web site at:

To quote Jenny:
 Gawthorpe Hall is a beautiful Elizabethan house, sitting beside the tranquil River Calder on the outskirts of the Lancashire town of Padiham. 
Gawthorpe is also the home for the The Gawthorpe Textile Collection. This is a 30,000+ collection of textiles and embroidery of every type, and from around the world, which was amassed by the late Rachel Kay Shuttleworth (1886 – 1967)
It was on reading Miss Rachel’s biography that I became I was inspired to produce a design which would bring together inspiration from the embroidery treasures, combined with a celebration of Miss Rachel’s life and achievements."  

The needlecase is in the form of a pocket once a necessary part of every woman's dress. It is decorated with a "silver fish" from an award that Miss Rachel received and many other bits that remind us of her life.
The needlecase is full of many fun types of embroidery that work so well together. The kit was full of wonderful threads of wool, silk and metal with beads and spangles.
Inside of the needlecase are two compartments. In one is book of pages to hold needles and pins. Jenny sent us a small wax flower to use to wax our threads as we stitch but it was so cute that I could not bear to use it. I put it on some gathered silk ribbon and fastened it down with a pearl so that it could stay in the other compartment of the case.
I had a fun time stitching this with all the wonderful threads and unusual techniques. It worked up quite quickly because I couldn't wait to see what was coming next.

The angel of Faith finally has her hands. I had to alter the colors a bit because the originals were a bit bright and too pink but I think that they turned out really well.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Petite Project - hearts

I received a very nice post from one of the students that participated in one of my Petite Project designs. She sent me a lovey photo of her framed embroidery so that I could share it with you.
Her name is Margaret Azpietia-Taylor from norther Arizona. She added a bit of color and some beads to personalize hers.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Student award and Faith, Hope and Charity

One of the magazines that I love is Inspirations. It is published out of Australia and is full of fabulous projects. I rarely stitch any of the projects but they are so much fun to look at and be inspired. They put out a newsletter that has featured several of my finished pieces. In fact, one is coming out the next issue. It has been fun to see them published and share with the needlework community.  In issue #160, I was looking at the award winning pieces from the "seminar" that they hold called Beating Around the Bush. I found much to my surprise and delight that one my my students, Elma Haley won a first place for the Jewel Box Bag. I taught it at the Embroiderers' Guild National Seminar in Asheville, North Carolina in 2017.  It is great to see finished pieces from my students. She did a fabulous job with the stitching and the finishing.  Great big congratulations to her.

Some progress has been made on Faith, Hope and Charity. It is fun to see the slow but steady progress that I am making. Emphasis on slow... as far as I can tell I am about half way finished. Yea!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Celtic Harp take two...

After being inspired by Jenny Adin-Christie's harp, I finished my version of the original harp and posted it to a page to share it with fellow embroiderers.  I received some feedback about violating her copyright since I had looked at her kit. I don't agree but rather than anyone think that I would do that and since I was not happy with the proportions of mine anyway. I took it apart so that version of the harp no longer exists. 
I was aiming for a Celtic version of a harp so back to the drawing board with the research photos. I decided to go for a truly Celtic shape with the strings ( needles) on the slant.
 A few more mock-ups and the Celtic harp took shape. I really liked the proportions of the new harp. I kept the sound box with the embroidery since that was exactly the shape of the one that I liked the best. The new shape was great but a bit plain.

A friend of mine said that one of her teachers told her that you need to stitch something three times to get it right.   So...number one try was my reproduction harp. Enter the dragon, not Welch since she is not red but a very Celtic dragon anyway. She perches along the neck and winds her tail around the column. Number two try, I stitched part of the dragon, cut it out to apply it to the harp and it fell apart. Well the third try finally worked out like I wanted it to. The dragon is perfect and so is the harp.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Frog Purse

For a number of years I have been working on and sharing with you the bits and pieces of my Casket - better known and as the Cabinet of Curiosities. Not content to stitch just the class pieces I have been adding other fun pieces by my imaginary Scottish stitcher  - Katherin Boswell.
One of the fun things that were created during the 17th century were small purses in the shape of a three dimensional frog with a bag inside of the body. A number of them still exist in museum collections.  They are totally useless except to make you smile; they might hold a coin or two but not  much else.
A group of us are studying and sharing all kinds of embroidery techniques. We decided that we would make a frog purse. Mine is a common English frog with an interesting difference. A Scottish variety of the frog can be a peachy tan instead of the more common tan/green. It is made of needlelace with covered wire legs and a rust silk bag. I used a lucet to create the drawstring.
One member is doing a bright pink frog and another is doing brightly colored Caribbean tree frog.

Here is an example of one of the antique ones.

This is the front of mine...

And here is the back