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!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Haunted House - Week 4

More whittling away at details has been going on here!  The second roof section is almost done and the foundation has all of the Watercolour rocks embedded in it.

The house now has a front door and porch worked in DMC #5 pearl cotton in slanted Gobelin stitches and all of the windows are done.  From left to right:  a ghost of Kreinik #8 fine braid 5760, cobwebs of Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 001 in tent stitches, and a smiling Jack 'O Lantern.  All of the pumpkins feature Vineyard Silk Classic Simply Simmered and Pomegranate, stems of dark green Petite Very Velvet and eyes and mouths of Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 005HL.

Under the window with the pumpkin is what I call "The Thing in the Basement," two eyes of Smyrna crosses worked in blue Kreinik metallic braid.  To the right of the basement window stands a broom, worked in both slanted and straight Gobelin stitches  The cauldron has been stitched in Kreinik metallic and the logs under it begun, but the verdict is out on that section.  I'll be rethinking the way I stitch that before adding the flames.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Haunted House - Week 3

A little bit here, a little bit there.  Slowly but surely, a project comes together!

The roof section on the right is now nailed down with cross stitches of Kreinik #12 braid 001.  The window below it sports a bowl of candy and a padded satin-stitched candy apple, both done in DMC cotton floss.

The tombstone was worked in DMC #5 pearl cotton in an encroaching Gobelin stitch with tent stitches for the RIP and lines.  Next to it is a slightly droopy calla lily of Vineyard Silk Classic Bright White in a satin stitch with a stem and leaves in dark green Petite Very Velvet.  The next window over now has its little witch with French knot curls of vintage DMC Medici. 

Work has started on the second roof section, and the window below it has shutters and the beginnings of a basement window.  There's a Petite Very Velvet spider danging from stem stitches of Kreinik #12 braid 001 next to the door.  And the clapboards now extend into the fourth section of the house.

The idea of the different Halloween motifs "floating" along the foundation of the house bothered me, so after finishing the tent stitching on the foundation itself with Watercolours Belgian Stone, I added  some "soil" with a row of slanted Gobelin stitches two canvas threads high using Watercolours Copper.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Haunted House - Week 2

Work on this little house has been progressing nicely from right to left.  Almost all of the clapboards have been completed on three-quarters of the house.

Under the clapboards, I've started adding a foundation of Watercolours Belgian Stone in basketweave, and a couple of rocks within the foundation have been worked in a satin stitch using Watercolours Flagstone.  This thread has a fair amount of pink and rose in it, which I'm cutting out so I can use the remaining shades of gray.

Half of the roof of slanted Gobelin stitches is now done, minus its nails.  At the peak of the second section in from the right, I've added a bat of black Petite Very Velvet, dangling from a row of stem stitches in Kreinik #12 braid 001.  A second set of shutters is now complete, and the little witch peering out the window to check on her cauldron has a hat of black PVV.

Just about time to start adding some of the cool little details!  Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Haunted House - Week 1

When you're stitching a little house such as this one, the siding is basically the equivalent of background on another canvas.  I've chosen to treat the siding as clapboards, so my "go-to" stitch is a slanted Gobelin over two canvas threads, worked with three strands of DMC cotton floss 415.

The roof has been started with more slanted Gobelin stitches of DMC #5 perle cotton 414 and shaded with 413.  I'll wait until the whole section is finished before setting the "nails."

The first window has been given shutters of DMC #5 perle cotton 414, shaded with black perle cotton and illuminated with tent stitches of Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 091.  I'll keep working on the clapboards, treating myself from time to time by working one of the many details.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Out-of-season stitching--again

Needlepoint Nation Stash Exchange is a group on Facebook that helps folks find new homes for canvases.  In my first foray into canvas "adoption," I scored a real winner:  a 3-D Halloween house by Painted Pony Designs.  The canvas shown here came with three tiny canvases of Halloween characters, but I decided to tackle the house first.

For quite some time, 3-D canvases have intrigued me, and I've actually designed and stitched two birdhouses.  I also have never stitched a Painted Pony canvas before, but I can tell from the quality of the painting that this canvas won't be my last!  I'll be working this project into my schedule around stitching I'm doing for my Needlepoint Now column, but I'll try to post my progress once a week or so.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A perfect day for stitching!

We're celebrating the first snow of 2017 this morning in our little corner of the Cape!

This is the scene that greeted us when we looked out on our backyard upon awakening--the silence is deafening!

With nowhere to go, I'm just going to hunker down and stitch myself into oblivion!