Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Silver Stars

A while ago I shared with you the information about NATURE'S PALETTE, a home-based business out of Houston, Texas that hand-paints canvases for stitchers. (FYI: You can email them at for canvas info.) Well, they send me some yummy canvases to play with and this is the first thing I've stitched up:

I've quickly stitched up one of my new HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS on a 10" x 10" piece of 18 ct. "Silver Flash" canvas.

The canvas is medium blue with splashes of silver, so it has the loveliest of shimmers throughout the design. It was really fun to stitch up my little Shining Star in blues and silvers, and not have to worry about the background. Then, just to show off more of the canvas, I added a simple star border (in silver Ribbon Floss) around the edge, and VOILA! Project completed!

And while we're talking about stars, here's another small Shining Star canvas I stitched up many years ago (before the HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS pattern was born) using pastel blues and pinks and silvers:

So, if you're a star fan like me, get out some of those shiny, shimmery star designs and get stitching -- it will definitely put you in the holiday spirit!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Need a Little Christmas

It's time to bring out the unfinished projects from Christmases past.... And here are the ones I pulled out this year:

This is my EASY PEASY piece -- a big ol' holiday stocking that I'm gonna stitch as a banner instead. It's painted on 13 ct. canvas, and BOY, is that fun to stitch on after working on 18 ct and 24 ct all year long!! (I'm gonna look for more designs on 13 ct to add to my stash - that's an upcoming New Year's resolution.) I've stitched the reindeer in Very Velvet, just for fun... and I might just do the santas in Very Velvet, too.

And here's another oldie but goodie project:

(The blogsite insists on turning this photo on its side - I don't know why...sorry.)
This project is from an old, old cross-stitch pattern called "Winter 1890" which my Mom brought me from one of their trips back East many, many years ago. I've always loved this design, but decided to stitch it on 18 ct canvas instead of evenweave fabric. I chose the white with opal sparkles type of canvas, so the exposed canvas would look like snow. And it does. Here's a close-up (turned sideways!):

I'm enjoying stitching this is simple Tent Stitch - no fuss, no muss on this old project. It would really be nice to get it done this year, but I'm not going to worry about it.... just enjoy the process...

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Holiday Pattern Update: In my rush to get the HOLIDAY ORNAMENT pattern out, I missed a rather large typo on the Materials page. A lovely stitcher, Karen from Wisconsin (who I was totally amazed to learn has every single one of my patterns in her stash - GASP!) called to order the new pattern and tell me I had mistakenly listed the wrong red color. Oh, reindeer poop. Sorry about that, you all....

So, Merry Stitchers, if you're planning on getting the new HOLIDAY ORNAMENT pattern and are already pulling the threads for it, get DMC #5 pearl cotton red color 304 - not 302, which doesn't exist, by the way.....

And now we will return to our previously scheduled stitching project, or two, or three as that big jolly seasonal deadline looms closer and closer....

Fast AND Festive!

Last year around this time, I confessed that I had been working on some small quilty-looking holiday ornaments. I even had a few stitchers email me this year about when they were going to be available. Well, TA DA! I've finished the pattern that has four smaller quilt designs that are perfect for a fast and festive project. It's called HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS, Series 1.... Here they are:

As usual, the photos just don't do justice to all the shimmer and glitter of these guys (and wow, how that Ribbon Floss pops in these ornaments! Ya just gotta stitch these up to see what I mean - 'cuz they use both red and gold metallics...)

I've stitched the models in the more traditional holiday colors (using Watercolours 025 - Holiday), but I also include thread colors for a more muted Victorian Christmas version (using Watercolours 047 - Camouflage) as well as threads for a blue and gold Chanukah version (using Watercolours 160 - Night Sky). But, hey, they'd also be fun to stitch in ANY other color combo you've got a hankering to try!

Originally, I thought these quilt blocks would be fun to stitch up as individual ornaments, but now that I've been looking at them in my office, I can also see them inset into small pillows; all four stitched close together (with 4-6 threads between) as one large square holiday design - like the first photo demonstrates; or even stitched in a long row to create a small banner or bell pull.

The ornaments all measure 4.5" x 4.5" on 18 ct. mono canvas. I used eggshell canvas, but any other color would work, too. Sooooo, if these cute little projects ring your bells, just visit my website for more information on these HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS. Ho, Ho, Ho!!

And P.S.: If you're wondering whether my naming this pattern "Series 1" means they'll be more -- you're right. I'm thinking that another four ornament designs are a definite possibility for NEXT year.... Stay tuned, Stitchers!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Luscious Canvases

Recently, I had the nicest talk with Marti from NATURE'S PALETTE in Houston, TX. Marti called me to tell me about her canvas painting business. After years of being a needlepoint canvas painter, Marti and her partner Nancy decided to create a line of colored canvases that provide the most unbelievably luscious backgrounds for all sorts of counted canvaswork.

They graciously sent me a ring of her colored canvas samples and I've been oogling them ever since. They are all so lovely I'm having a hard time deciding which ones I like the very best (all of them are terrific, by the way). The colors are grouped in the following categories: SOLIDS, with colors like "Grape Juice" and "Lemonade"; PREMIUM, which are vibrant solid colors with opalescent glitter (great for holiday ornaments) and some are mottled like "Silver Flash" and "Gold Flash"; and CUSTOM colors, which are softly variegated like "Flamingo Bay" or "Caribbean Waters" and others are speckled like "Pumpkin Patch" or "Latte" (both perfect for Halloween ormaments).

Here's another peek at some of the samples that I had to smush onto my scanner bed so I could show you these great canvas colors:

Frankly, all I can say is: "Yum, Yum, Yum..."

Marti and her partner Nancy hand-paint all the canvas pieces themselves, which they cut in standard sizes of 10"x10" or 20"x20" before painting. Marti says the canvas colors are totally permanent and perfect for showcasing a spectacular counted canvas design. They are also available to paint your own custom color requests, in whatever size you need.

If these gorgeous hand-painted canvases intrigue you and get you excited/drooling about all the infinite possibilities of working on painted backgrounds... or if you have a special project that needs a really unique canvas, you can email Marti and Nancy directly for more information on their exciting canvas line of NATURE'S PALETTE. their email address is: