Sunday, July 29, 2018

Before and after

When Rebecca Wood's mini banner Winter was posted on Needlepoint Nation Stash Exchange some time ago, it was love at first sight for me.  Everything about it appealed:  the serenity of the scene, the warmth exuded from the lighted windows of the house, and the delicious blue-green with which it was painted.  Because of its size--half of it mounted on stretcher bars and the rest rolled up with clips--it became my traveling companion.  But I also had other canvases to stitch, so it's taken longer than normal to reach a TADA moment.

I decided to stitch all the background (except for the sky, done in basketweave) in an encroaching Gobelin stitch, with other design elements worked in a variety of decorative stitches to make them pop.  Why encroaching Gobelin?  It's a smooth stitch that's ideal for blending one shade into another and which supports the theme of serenity. 

Some folks give encroaching Gobelin a bad rap.  I had one person email me, saying she wanted to stitch a canvas I'd featured in a "Making It Simple" column in Needlepoint Now, but was looking for an alternative to encroaching Gobelin.  "It's a nasty stitch--I hate it and will never, ever do it," she added.  Wow--strong stuff!  I've found this stitch works up more easily if done on the diagonal--it makes it simpler for me, anyway, to see where the needle should nestle the thread inside the previous stitch.  Every time I do this stitch, I think back to when, as a kid, my mother served a dinner of fish.  When I complained that there were bones in the fish, my exasperated mother--a terrific cook--retorted, "That's why God gave you a tongue!"  Well, when it comes to the encroaching Gobelin stitch, that's why needle manufacturers give their product a pointed end.

The lovely blue-greens were provided by three values of Impressions and all the snow by Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 032.  The house was worked in a diagonal oblong cross stitch with #8 pearl cotton and the sled in more pearl cotton.  The red cardinals were stitched in basketweave with red Trio, with their wings added in a padded satin stitch.  The snowman's body was worked in a diagonal mosaic stitch, with a scarf created by red Trio and dark green Impressions in a slanted Gobelin stitch.

The finished canvas just makes me smile, and I hope my daughter-in-law, decorator extraordinaire, will like it, too!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Top of the Mornin!

The last two weeks have been hellish on the Cape.  Back-to-back Nor'easters socked us with snow and winds topping 80 m.p.h.  Two power outages later, we're back in business.  Today is St. Patrick's Day, the sun is shining, and all's well with the world!

Liam, that dapper Irish gent from my Savile Row series, and I wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Feeling spooky

Happy Halloween from The Dreamgirls and Me!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy Fourth of July!

Wishing everyone a Happy Fourth are, left to right, Uncle Sam, Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

These little cylindrical ornaments are from the Early Americans series, which is rounded out with Paul Revere, Johnny Appleseed and a Native American.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ready to trick-or-treat!

The three tiny trick-or-treaters who accompanied the Haunted House canvas by Painted Pony Designs are ready to be made into stand-ups!

The witch sports a hat of black Petite Very Velvet trimmed with Kreinik #12 braid 001.  The rest of her costume was stitched in DMC floss and her broom in DMC pearl cotton.

The scarecrow was also worked in DMC floss, with a hat and hair stitched in pearl cotton.

The monster was given spiky hair worked in a satin stitch with vintage Medici wool.  His striped shirt was stitched in Vineyard Silk Classic Citron and Tangerine and his boots were worked in green Petite Very Velvet.

Cute little guys, aren't they?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Haunted House - Finis!

                                                 All it took was one skein of DMC floss to finish the clapboards of the Haunted House, and the whole thing was completed!  Prior to that, I had stitched the last of the motifs at the foundation.  From right to left:  The cat, worked in black Fuzzy Stuff with green Kreinik eyes.  Next, the cauldron, with a plume of steam created by white Flair in a Satin stitch.  (I removed the silver metallic core before stitching).  The flames were worked with Kreinik braid in an encroaching Gobelin stitch, with individual tent stitches for "embers."  I divided the area below the cauldron into logs, stitched with Burmilana, and ashes stitched with Impressions.  The spindly tree was formed by Silken Straw Whiskey in stem stitches.
The bag of candy was worked with DMC #5 pearl cotton in an encroaching Gobelin stitch, with DMC floss creating the candy in individual tent stitches and the "C" in a satin stitch.
The crescent moon and star at the top of the eave were worked in an encroaching Gobelin stitch with Silk Lame Braid for 18 ct. and hung from Kreinik braid 005 HL worked in stem stitches.
With the house itself completed, all that remains to be stitched are the little trick-or-treater canvases that came with the house, which hopefully won't take too long to work up.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Haunted House - Tiny trick-or-treaters

Talk about best-laid plans!  I had all but the top of the last quarter-panel to stitch on the Haunted House when I ran out of DMC floss to work the clapboards.  I need to visit my LNS later this week to pick up threads for another project, so the floss will be at the top of my shopping list!

Not to waste time, I turned to the three canvases which had come with the Haunted House:  three little trick-or-treaters only two inches high.  To finish them as stand-ups around the Haunted House, I first needed to give them a background.

Starting with the little monster, I measured the figure, adding five canvas threads top and bottom and four on each side, and drew the outline on graph paper.  When the outline was transferred to the canvas, I "grounded" the figure with Watercolours Copper, the same thread I'd used for the bottom of the Haunted House, using a diagonal mosaic stitch.  The rest of the background was filled with DMC floss 931 in basketweave to simulate a night sky.  There's not a lot of room for decorative stitches on these little people!