Saturday, September 10, 2016

Stitching in Cow Town, Texas...

Hello and long time no see......
My apologies for the disappearing act but so much has been going on that I'll probably just buzz in and buzz out until I can get settled in another month or so and get back to my regular blogging schedule.  Lots of wonderful changes in my world recently.  I got a new job and started June 1st...WOOHOO!  Subsequently, in the last month I've sold my home and bought a new one...well both are underway since it takes a while....and at the end of September I will be moving to the beautiful hill country of Texas!  I've been wanting to do that for so long and finally am blessed to have the opportunity.  
If you've moved you house, you know why I haven't had time to blog.  If you've changed jobs and started a new one, you know why I haven't had time to blog.  And if you have family to care for, then you know why I haven't had time to blog.  I'm in that "sandwich" period of life where you still have kiddos to take care of (at least a little bit) and you add taking care of your lovely parents.  While both are an honor that I don't take lightly and I appreciate with my whole heart, it can be taxing and time-consuming. 
No excuses, just explanations.  I feel so extremely blessed and privileged right now that I'm constantly moved to tears.  Really, even the work of dealing with family and moving and all that is just such a gift that I'm just grateful...very grateful. 
So, I hope to get back to stitching and blogging once I get settled into my new home in October.  Stay tuned...
Meanwhile, I did get away for a little stitching retreat.  I met a friend in Ft. Worth, Texas to take a long-awaited class with Julia Snyder.  I've been lucky enough to have taken her classes before and she never disappoints!  Plus, it's just so much stinkin' fun!  If only I could just hook up some type of line between her brain and mine and dump the contents over....whew!  I can't write fast enough to catch all the brilliant tips she keeps tossing out!  Thanks, Julia!  Love you!
It's always fun to pick a canvas so far in advance that you are just super excited to actually see what canvas you ordered when you arrive at a retreat like this!  This time, I picked a Vicki Sawyer canvas of a giant (seriously, this canvas is BIG) sheep head with a crown of flowers and bird perched on her head. 
Isn't this fantastic??????   So many awesome ideas already.  Hopefully I can actually find a little time for stitch relief while I finish packing up my house to move in a couple weeks.  Otherwise, we all have to wait until October for this fancy reveal. 
I hope this post finds you all well and that summer treated you as well as it did me.  Looking forward to Fall and lots of stitching in my new home and new blog posts so don't give up on me yet!   
Happy stitching!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Mother Darling

My sweet daughter has called me Mother Darling for many years - not your ordinary term of endearment.  I love it.  I changed the colors in my bedroom this past year.  If you know me, you know that I love aqua blue tones and greens and coral.  Mix all that up and add distressed white furniture and white lacy bedding and that's my style.  

I commissioned a striped piece in dark teal and chartreuse with white lettering in cursive that says "Mother Darling" and it was so much fun to stitch!  I love having large painted areas on which to add composite stitches with several parts...and embellishments!

I stitched the middle "green" stripe first using two shades of chartreuse yellow-green, but very close in color, in Pepper Pot silk.  I chose a Cashmere Checker stitch and used the slightly darker shade for the basketweave and the lighter color for the cashmere.  I previewed the lettering technique in the previous post.  For that, I used one strand of Watercolors in bright white to basketweave the letters as a base.  Then I used white beading thread and white beads as an over-stitch using the brick beading method.  It's FABULOUS!  I hope you try it.  

For the teal stripes, I picked a composite stitch so I could use several different threads.  The first part looks like this:

Before I started, I made the decision to stitch the row that touches the middle stripe so that I could attach the sequins in full which basically means I compensated before I even started by adding a portion of the the pattern before proceeding with full runs of the pattern.   Had I just stitched those squares without essentially stitching the bottom row of what would have been the preceding square along the edge, then I would have had to compensate the would you do that?  I think that once it's all stitched, it looks fine...better with a full sequin.  

I selected two different shades of Impressions - darker for the outer border of the squares in the pattern and the lighter aqua for the centers.  I had tiny aqua shimmery sequins in my stash from a previous project so I attached those with clear beads at the openings between squares instead of stitching that part of the pattern.  

After that, I added the lighter aqua scotch squares inside each square to complete the pattern.  I considered adding some outlines between the sequins to give even one more layer of dimension.  Right now, I'm just watching and waiting...waiting on my decision.  LOL 

Here is the completed piece (unless I decide to do the over-stitching):

My current plan is to have it made into a pillow for my bed.  I found a striped fabric that is the exact same colors to use for backing and/or maybe a ruffle or trim depending on what style I choose.  It's a large piece so I might just put white cording around it on the front so that there is no fabric or ribbon to take away from the stitching/design.  

Here's to all the darling mothers out there!  Happy stitching!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Exciting new stitch for lettering

Well, at least I think it's "new"...I feel like I just invented it because I've never seen it before.  I am super excited because it really is turning out to be the most beautiful lettering I've ever done. It's soooooo much prettier in person because you can see how substantial it is.  It really lifts off the canvas and looks amazing!

Here is a sneak peek....

It's a Basketweave base with Brick Beading on top!  I love it!  This is a very large custom piece with letters that are about three inches tall so it works well.  Not sure it would work so well on small letters because you just wouldn't have enough area to do the brick beading.  

Here is another view of some completed letters.  

Struggling with what I'm going to do with these big stripes.....but hopefully something FANTASTIC so stay tuned....


Saturday, April 30, 2016


This was a very popular refrain in our house while my daughter was growing up.  I'm not really sure where I got it, but I used it a lot.  Not just because I wanted her to be tough and not whiny....but seriously, I'd rather her just literally rub some dirt on it and keep on playing.  And she did.   We laughed recently as she reported that she was probably 10 years old before she realized/learned that perhaps you weren't really supposed to rub dirt on wounds and keep truckin'.   But as often as not, I threw that line at her when the going got tough and I wanted her to keep "Rub some dirt on it" became our tag line of encouragement to never give up.  And it makes me smile.  I have one tough daughter...sensitive, but tough.  

So I had my favorite custom painter make this small canvas for me to surprise my daughter with for Christmas.      (

Having recently discovered Thread Worx overdyed metallic braid when I stitched the Silly Goose piece, I was itching to use it again.  I love it so much!  I bought this blue-green mix just because I loved the color and was so excited to try it on these letters.  Because the letters were only one thread wide, I knew I was limited to something I could tent or cross-stitch.  This metallic softened up the overall look and was heavy enough to make the letters pop off the background a little bit.  I like it.  

Backstitched Herringbone creates the cute border and was the first thing I stitched.  I used Crystal Braid for the herringbone and then came back over it with Kreinik 9032 Easter Grass for the backstitches. I think it toned it down just enough and gives it a little sparkle.  

I had this cute fabric in my stash that matched her favorite aqua/teal tones for the backingI think I might have the finisher put magnets in the back so she can stick it to the front of the fridge or file cabinet, etc.   Or I might just finish as a hanging ornament so it could be used anywhere or hung on the ornament tree year-round.  

 So when the going gets tough, just say....

 And keep going!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Santa's Tractor

I made this cute little piece over the weekend.  It's on 13-count mesh so it was a little trickier to find the right threads but I was still able to complete this entire piece from my stash!  I made this little ornament for my sweet neighbor who not only helps me take care of my lot but who bundled up and cleared driveways and streets for us during the 18-inch snow pile-up this last winter in Lubbock.   I think he will love this Christmas gift.  

I wanted the tractor to look shiny so I used Neon Rays.  Because I was just using what was in my stash and because I decided that this tractor could be festive for the holiday, I used Fyre Werks for the dark green outlines.  I thought that little bit of sparkle was okay.  I tortured some Flair for the smoke.  I used an old card of Santa's Beard and Suit for his beard....I really miss that discontinued thread - wishing someone would make a new version of it.  Oddly enough, I had never used Boucle French Knots for trim but it worked out for this little bit.  Snow for the snowy road and Crystal Braid 02 for the winter sky.  A fun and funky little finish.  

I think I might make the Santa on a motorcycle for my Step-Dad next. 


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Winter Wonderland Window

I love stitching glass.  Sometimes I use Prisms but it is so hard to work with.  The result is usually worth the effort though.  Lately, I've been experimenting with Kreinik #4 braid in Easter Grass color.  I've also been experimenting with stitches.  I previously stitched a snow globe for myself, then ordered another to stitch as a gift for a friend whose family has an inside joke about snow globes.  On the first, I did Basketweave.  The second time, I did Brick stitch over 2 vertically.  Since the items were identical (something I rarely do), I could compare the two in both stitching ease and final appearance.  The Brick was definitely faster to stitch and looked good, but probably not quite as good as the Basketweave only because you can see the stitches because it's not fully covered - straight stitches with thin thread, you know?.  However, if you have an intricate painted design and need it to show through a little more clearly, the Brick stitch or another open type stitch is probably better.
Fellow blogger, Mary Legallet of Whimsical Stitch Wednesdays, also did a series on glass stitches which was timely for me because I had three pieces with glass in process at the time.  She is amazing by the way!  I've made note of her suggestions and look forward to trying them out, particularly on a bigger piece - I've had my eye on a Melissa Shirley mason jar.  Visit Mary's wonderful stitching blog here or use the link on the right under My Favorite Stitching Blogs:

The other thing I love about stitching glass as glass is that it allows for the beautiful painted canvas to show through.  I know it's painted for us to essentially stitch over, but being a work of art on it's own, it's nice to sometimes just enjoy what's painted.  I also have a personal pet peeve about items behind glass being stitched with dimension or texture - for me, it just doesn't seem "right."  So, learning some new ways to stitch glass and allow the painted work to show through is great for me.  

Here is the most recent piece of glass I stitched:

This piece was super awesome because it depicted a viewpoint from inside a house looking out the window.  There were items inside the house in front of the window - wrapped packages, a corner of the Christmas tree, and candles and evergreen bough on the window (inside).  The interior items can be fully stitched with fun threads that add texture and dimension for sure.  Here I used beads and bows and fun stitches.  Outside the window you see a snowman, a dark sky, a creek, snow and icicles.  The exterior items should not be "stitched" since they are beyond (behind) the glass.  That would be where you use a "glass" stitch.

The window framing was stitched, both around the window and between the panes of glass.  For the glass panes on this piece, I stitched Brick horizontally using the Kreinik #4 Easter Grass.  I think it worked well to allow the exterior scene to show through.  This was a super-fun little piece that stitched up over a weekend. 

I love stitching glass but I will say that it can be similar to stitching black on black...hard to see and possibly a little stressful. You have to be in the mood to handle it...LOL.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A silly goose is a happy goose!

My Silly Goose is complete!  And I LOVE how he turned out!

This is a NEW DESIGN by Scott Church Creative for CBK Needlepoint.  

I decided that I just couldn't dig the velvet ears from the last post.  I tried to like it, I really did.  So, after a few other failed attempts, i finally just picked up some Pepper Pot Silk (dreamy, I know) and stitched something simple.  Much.  Better.

I literally tried 8 different stitches for the body of this cute goose.   Lots of ripping and lots of sighing....lots of coming back to look at it later.  I finally realized that I was trying to make him too realistic.  A goose with bunny ears on his head?  Really?   So I changed tactics and just picked a thread that I loved and a stitch that I loved and decided that this crazy Bargello was just the ticket!  I love how it turned out.  It's a little "off"...just like this goose!  

The background is my favorite!  It looks much better in person. With that much painted shading and an overdyed thread and a busy little stitch, it is just impossible to get a good photo.   These little pinwheel flowers were fun to diagram and fun to stitch.  I added tiny little pink beads to each center and it was the perfect finishing detail. 

Stitch guide is available for purchase for $35 PDF via email or $42 color printed and spiral bound through USPS First Class Mail.  Use the Contact section on the right to let me know you'd like to purchase.  I will send PayPal invoice or you may request to send personal check - delivery upon receipt of payment.

Happy stitching, you Silly Goose!