Thursday, July 3, 2014

Readying for the Fourth/Ducking a Hurricane

Arthur, the first hurricane of the 2014 season, has caused a few changes in plans along the Eastern coastline.  Tonight the Boston Pops will hold its annual Fourth of July concert on the Esplanade a night early, due to heavy rains scheduled for tomorrow.  So I decided to bump my celebration, too, in case heavy winds leave me with no power to blog on The Day.

Flying our flag proudly is The Hermitage in Nashville, TN, a design from the Doorways to the Past series.  It was the home of Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States.  Friends of ours from Texas--native-born Canadians, no less--took a family vacation there several years ago over July 4 and brought me back a great photo, which I adapted to needlepoint.

 The only unclear detail in the photo was the doorway itself--was it painted or stained,  and what did the door handles look like?  I got my answers when I called The Hermitage and talked to a lovely lady at the reception desk!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Remodeling completed

Ten years after stitching a model for Holiday Home from the Doorways to the Past series, I've finished a new version to be taught to the Cape Cod Chapter of ANG in September.  So what have I changed here from the original?

The glow from the lantern and door side lights was originally provided by a pale yellow DMC cotton floss.  The new version was worked with Water 'N Ice WT-1 Transparent Ice, which gives a glassy appearance to the areas of the canvas painted yellow.

The stone porch, originally worked in a slanted Gobelin stitch with Needle Necessities overdyed floss, was replaced by Wildflowers Granite in an encroaching Gobelin stitch.

The door itself probably sports the biggest change.  At the request of ANG chapter members, I didn't paint the door its original black.  I decided to make this version with a stained and varnished look, achieved by needle-blending two golden brown shades of DMC floss.

Now I need to catch up on some painting!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Getting ready for class

The Cape Cod Chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) has once again asked me to teach a class in September featuring two designs from my Doorways to the Past series:  Cape Cod Summer and Holiday Home (pictured here).  It's hard to believe that Holiday Home was designed and stitched 10 years ago!  A lot has changed since then, not only in terms of the threads available but also in my repertoire of stitches.  Time to update this canvas, so I can write an up-to-date stitch guide for use by class members.

One of the changes requested by the chapter was that I not paint the door black--a lot of folks have difficulty stitching black on black and some members may wish to personalize the canvas by matching their thread to the color of their own front door.  While I thankfully can still work black areas without difficulty, I'll probably change the color of the door myself just for variety.

The porch steps were originally stitched in Needle Necessities overdyed floss, which is no longer available, so I'll be looking for a substitute for that area.  The lantern and side windows will also be stitched a little differently.  I honestly don't remember what thread I used for the garland, wreath, trees and bushes--Impressions, I think--so I'll need to scour my stash for a close match.  The same holds true for the thread I used to stitch the brick path.

This canvas won't be blog-stitched, since it's not fair to chapter members who've paid for the information to give it to others for free.  I'm also not anxious to see images of the project appear in Social Media.  I've been "pinned" too many times by folks, some of whom I don't even know, who "lifted" photos from my blog without asking permission.  I will show a photo of the finished piece, however, in case some of you are interested in the changes I've made.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Finally--a finish!

Give me a new canvas to stitch and I'm like a puppy with a bone!  For some time, I've been working on a canvas for an upcoming Needlepoint Now column and poor Herald Angel has been languishing on the sidelines.  Feeling sufficiently remorseful, I finally finished her.

Her hair was worked with two strands of Burmilana #3506 in long-short stitches for the crown, ending in a cascade of French knot curls tumbling down her back.

Now it's decision time:  what do I work on next?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Swirling ribbons

The ribbons encircling Herald Angel were painted in muted tones--dusty rose probably best describes the overall look.  I chose to brighten the ribbons a bit to coordinate with her turquoise dress.

Using three strands of DMC floss #600, 602 and 604, the ribbons were worked in an encroaching Gobelin stitch.  The angel's lips were added in tent stitch with DMC floss #602.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Winging it again

The only thing I wasn't crazy about in the Herald Angel design was the yellow with which the wings were painted.  The yellow paint wasn't an intense hue, so covering it up wasn't a big problem.

The individual segments of the wing were first outlined with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 in tent stitch.  Each segment was then filled in with a satin stitch using four strands of white DMC cotton floss.

The white wings show up nicely against the navy Petite Very Velvet sky and will fit in much better with our decor.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Herald Angel - Part Three

A quick trip to my LNS took care of the gap in navy Petite Very Velvet under Herald Angel's outstretched arm!

Her dress is now finished, using the three shades of aqua Impressions in basketweave.  I used the Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 from her dress to work the body of the horn, with #2122 for the ring at the bottom.

Time to move on to the wings!