Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Finally--a finish!


My Amanda Lawford Santa is finally finished, after working on it for more than a year.  It's by no means my first finish of 2015, but the other completed projects were for my Needlepoint Now column.  This Santa is my very own, so he had to take a back seat from time to time  so I could make a magazine deadline working someone else's canvas!

One small detail needs to be attended to before I can send him to a finisher:  he needs a real bell dangling from the end of his cap.  It's probably easier to find a jingle bell in November than it is in March, but I'll do a little hunting and hopefully find one soon.  Then I need to decide on a finisher, one who knows the meaning of the word "simple" and resists the temptation to slap a bunch of bows on him and hide all my stitching.

I'm waiting for a canvas that I've ordered to arrive--another project that will take some time but one I'm really looking forward to.  So stay tuned!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Getting ready for St. Patrick's Day

It's hard to believe I actually stitched this piece more than four years ago.  Designer Judy Harper had created an Irish Angel for me, since I'm 100% Irish, and then repainted it without wings to produce "Maureen."  I stitched her for Judy's last Possibilities column in the March/April 2011 issue of Needlepoint Now.

Some of my favorite threads were incorporated in this piece:  Petite Very Velvet for her green dress, Sheep's Silk by The Thread Gatherer in a diagonal oblong cross stitch for her shawl, and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V for the Celtic cross.

Just remember:  everyone's a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day, so have a happy one!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Decorating Santa's tree



It's been way too long since blog readers have seen this jolly fellow:  an Amanda Lawford Santa.  I started stitching him well over a year ago and had made great progress until I came to a screeching halt.  Not for lack of enthusiasm about the project, mind you, but overwhelmed by the size of it.  I had previously finished two very large projects, the Peaceable Kingdom angel and the Toyland Rocking Horse, when I picked up Santa.

All but the tree and the bow on a present was completed when Santa got sidelined in my office/studio.  I just plain ran out of steam!  Feeling incredibly guilty, I picked him up again recently in hopes of finishing him this year.

The bottom photo shows the tree as it was painted.  It's now been worked with four shades of Impressions in a combination of satin and long/short stitches.  Two strands of Impressions were used throughout to let the tree hold its own against Santa's substantial beard.

French knots of Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 032 form the garland.  Hot pink, purple, and royal blue Kreinik braid were worked in Smyrna crosses and a Leviathan variation for the ornaments.  And yes, Virginia, those little sparkles of gold really are beads!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A zooey finale!


It's done!  The last paw prints were added and the lettering worked in DMC floss 321.

The final step was to add a border of slanted Gobelin stitches with DMC #5 perle cotton to make finishing a little easier.  I visualize a red velveteen backing and cording for this piece to accentuate the lettering.

As the owner of my LNS pointed out to me some time ago, I'm a big fan of black and white--there's something really crisp and clean about the combination!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dogs and Cats -- More progress


Guesstimating that about two-thirds of this canvas is now done.

With more of the inside basketweave background completed, you can see more clearly the distinction between it and the T-stitch outer border.  The weight of the threads in each area also comes into play:  I'm using three strands of floss for the basketweave but #5 perle cotton for the outside.  It's a simple yet effective way to create a border.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Dogs and Cats - Part 2


Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday--I know I did!  And this morning looks more like White Friday on the Cape, with big, fat snowflakes twirling around.  Any holiday shopping I might do today will be from the comfort of my own home!

Just to give you an idea of where I'm going on the "Zoo" canvas, I've started the outside border background with a T-stitch using DMC #5 perle cotton.  The inside border background is being worked in basketweave with three strands of DMC cotton floss.

The paw prints are being stitched in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch with Felicity's Garden:  Cast-Iron Black for the dog prints and Baby Squirrel for the cat prints.  So far, so good!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Going to the dogs....and cats


What do you stitch for some young friends, who are fast assembling their own menagerie?  This is what I came up with--a design for a little door hanger.

I needed something to stitch "right this very minute." so didn't bother to do a full paint of the dog and cat prints surrounding the "welcome."  It will be a good project to work on in between cooking and cleaning to get ready for Thanksgiving company!