Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Cool Design for Spring!

Spring is in full bloom these days, and nothing smells as delicious as frothy lilac bushes.

Which prompted me to pull out a favorite design that I've only offered as a cyber class -- until NOW,  so everyone can enjoy the stitching process of creating your own sweet-smelling lilac piece!

This is a small piece (7.5" x 7.5") done on Santa Fe Sage Green 18 ct. mono canvas to give it a cool feel that makes all those luscious lavender blossoms POP.   Watercolours 064 "Pale Lilac" is used for the variegated "lattice" that forms the background grid and you can see what a soft, lovely watercolory wash it gives to the piece...

What's really fun about stitching this project is making lots of small, medium, and large lilac blossoms - all done with simple stitches, but using different types of threads (floss and pearl cotton with a dash of metallic ribbon).  Here's what the piece looks like up close... and see if you can pick out all the different size flowers:

Sweet, huh?  So if you love lilacs and want to have them hanging on your wall (or on a pillow) year round, please mosey on over to my website to see all the ordering information for this sweet-smelling LILAC TIME design...  And don't forget to stop and smell ALL the beautiful flowers growing around you, wherever you are these days!!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Time for Easter Treats!

When you were a child, did you ever receive one of those magical sugar eggs, with a small Easter panorama inside?  I did... and it was always the highlight of my Easter basket!

For years I've wanted to stitch up one of those old-fashioned eggs, but could never think up a good border treatment that would work with the egg, so I never continued on the egg design.  Then this year, it occurred to me that a sugar egg would make a perfect centerpiece for another four-way bargello piece.  Eureka!  That was all I needed to get stitching.....  and here's what I came up with -- my new SUGAR EGG BARGELLO design:

This design is on the large size, 10.5" x 10.5", so it's hard to see all the fun details in the full photo above.  The rows of four-way bargello is truly fun to stitch; nothing difficult about that except counting correctly and changing between lots of bright pastel threads mixed with one variegated thread and two soft metallic Ribbon Floss colors.

Here's an up-close look at some of the springy motifs, starting with the flower bouquets in the corner.  Those sweet flowers remind me of the special candy eggs we kids received (from See's Candy) with pastel sugar flowers on top - Yum!  For my model, I stitched each corner bouquet in a different pastel color, but you could also stitch them all in your same favorite color.....

And here's a peek at the sugar egg itself, stitched with Wrapped Spider Webs for the egg icing, and filled in with regular Tent Stitch, using 1 strand of a sparkly white/opal Ribbon Floss thread:

And yes, of course, there's an Easter Bunny surrounded by tiny eggs as the inside scene!

I've stitched the model on rose blush pink canvas, just for something different...but you can certainly stitch yours on eggshell or sage green or any other springy color you fancy!  As you can see, I worked the outside background in a four-way stitch using a soft variegated green floss from ThreadworX, then on the inside, around the egg, I chose a sweet Dotted Swiss pattern that wouldn't distract from the egg itself.

So if you're in the mood to stitch up an Easter treat that brings a smile to your face, please hop on over to my website and see all the pattern information for my new SUGAR EGG BARGELLO!
Stay safe and keep on stitching, Everyone!!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Something Sunny for These Gloomy Days

Spring is in full bloom here in Northern California....
Lots of blossoming trees and flowering bushes are busting out all over, as well as handfuls of daffodils planted here and there in the neighborhood.

And nothing can lift your spirits as much as starting a new stitching project, don't you agree?? -- especially if it's a happy piece with daffodils!   So here's the latest pattern on my website, DAFFODIL TIME:

It's a prior cyber class project that is now available to all you stitchers who enjoy stitching
springtime flowers.  I love it because it's a small piece, 8.5" x 8.5"on my favorite Santa Fe Sage Green canvas (you could also do it on eggshell canvas if you wanted a brighter look), bursting with lively yellow and green patterns that are fun and easy to stitch.  Here's a peek at some of the patterns close up:

 It uses Watercolours 297 - "Goldenrod" as the foundation thread, with a handful of bright #5 pearl cottons and soft ribbon metallics, as well as a variegated ThreadworX floss for the background stitching. There's a handful of beads in a few of the stitched blocks, and if you wanted, you could add more beads in the center of the daffodil (I used french knots).

So if you're looking for a springy new project to lift your spirits and bring a smile to your face, please tip toe through the tulips on your way over to my website and check out my new DAFFODIL TIME ordering information.   Stay safe and cozy, Stitchers.... and keep those needles flying!!

Friday, January 17, 2020

A New Cyber Class for the New Year

I've wanted to do a project with soft winter pastels for a long time now, and finally got the time to pull some wintry threads together and start stitching!  Here's the piece I came up with for my next cyber class, and it's called "WINTER CARNIVAL." 

The stitches aren't hard at all, so it's a very serene geometric design to stitch up.  Honestly, the hardest part of this piece is counting out all the borders (but then, that's usually the most challenging part of ANY counted canvaswork design!) I've incorporated small snowflake motifs throughout the design, with lots of shimmery metallics, gold beads, and two snowflake charms for extra fun! If you look closely to the whole design shown above, you can see that while the four center blocks are similar and symmetrical in design, their details are different, which makes them more fun to stitch.  Here's a close-up of one of the blocks:

Since pink and green is my favorite color combination, I wanted to do the model in the softest pinks and greens I could find.  But I know pink is not everyone's favorite color, so I also offer the stitcher a choice of either AQUA or BLUE, shown below...Both are truly yummy and have that soft wintery feel I was hoping to create with this design.

All of the color palettes have a variegated Watercolours: PINK uses 031 - "rose quartz", AQUA uses 241 - "shenandoah" and BLUE uses 303 - "ticking", along with a handful of soft pastel #5 pearl cottons and two shimmery Ribbon Flosses.  And the whole 9.5" x 9.5" design is stitched on 18 ct. canvas that is eggshell with flecks of gold, giving it a magical wintry feel to the unstitched background.

So if you'd like to start the New Year with a relaxing geometric piece that will transition you from winter into spring, please mosey on over to my website and check out all the cyber class details.
Happy Friday, Everyone!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

WOO HOO...A New Holiday Wreath!

I was soooo in the mood to stitch a new Christmas design this season, so I came up with something that is very fun, festive and (relatively) fast to stitch.  I'm calling it my GINGERBREAD WREATH  (for obvious reasons) and I gotta tell you, it's a very happy stitching project with lots of fun ornaments to stitch:

I chose a limited color palette of red, white and green, but sprinkled in a few shimmery metallic threads to mix with the flat matte DMC #5 pearl cottons... and there's a handful of beads placed on the ornaments wherever I could fit them.. This would also look great with a few Christmasy charms or buttons placed where some of the candies are positioned - for added fun and dimension - so please embellish to your heart's content on this wreath!  Here's a closer look at this new design:

I deliberately used easy stitches for this design, so honestly, there's nothing hard or elaborate about this piece.  Just the counting to get the ornaments placed right (which is true about ANY counted canvaswork piece).... Then filling in the evergreen wreath is a bit tedious, but actually it's perfect to stitch while watching TV in the evenings  - preferably Hallmark holiday movies - grin!

And I had to create a gingerbread tree for this the traditional gingerbread house:

You'll notice I added a bit more clothing to the gingerbread boy and girl, just to add some colorful patterns to the wreath, although I thoroughly enjoyed stitching up the snowflake cookies, the bell and the white dove, too:

Anyway, if you love baking gingerbread cookies this time of year, maybe this is the wreath for YOU!!  Please ski on over to my website and see all the ordering information for this new GINGERBREAD WREATH........  HAPPY HOLIDAY STITCHING, EVERYONE!!

Friday, November 22, 2019

My Next Cyber Class

The start of the holiday season is fast approaching... all that shopping, baking, decorating, socializing...  Not to mention last-minute stitching projects to finish!  I don't know about you, but I also look forward to the quieter times AFTER the holiday season has wound down and I can get back to focusing on new stitching projects.

With that in mind, I've just posted my next cyber class on my website.  It's an encore offering of the very popular "PETITE ARABESQUE" I debuted in January 2018.  I thought it was definitely time to offer it as a class again -- for all of you who missed it last time!

It's a very elegant geometric design, that is small in size (8.25" x 8.25") but packs a lot of interesting stitches and threads within its borders.  It's definitely a challenging piece -- I rate it for intermediate-to-advanced stitchers.  Here's a look at it up close:

If you notice, the actual canvas color is Santa Fe Sage green, but you'll be stitching a colored background within the piece (the purple background shown above).  Also, you'll get to choose your color palette from several options - all of them luscious and rather exotic combinations:

Kinda hard to decide, huh?

Anyway, if you'd like to give yourself a unique present to enjoy in the coming New Year, please
waltz on over to my website and see all the class particulars!

Happy Weekend Stitching, Everyone.... 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Fiery New Design for Autumn

It's been a while since I've been in the mood to create a geometric design, but recently I pulled out a handful of threads in vibrant fall colors and began to play with various layouts and stitches.  Little by little, stitch by stitch, I got more and more enthused about this new creation and couldn't wait to see what the final result would look like.  And here it is, my new "AUTUMN TRAILS":

If any of you stitchers have worked on my "JEWEL BOX" or "NORTHERN LIGHTS" you'll see the similarity to this new piece, except this time around I've used rich autumnal colors.  It's a 10" x 10" design stitched on sandstone mono canvas, using a handful of #5 pearl cotton colors, a few shimmery metallic Ribbon Flosses, and of course a variegated Watercolours thread (120 - "Forest Fire") that ties all the colors together... A few gold beads, and a large diamond-shaped jewel add extra sparkle and shine!

As complex as this design looks at first glance, I must tell you that only the simplest of stitches are actually used -- which I confess makes this a very fun piece to stitch!  Below are two up-close photos to show you some of the details.  The first one shows those fun variegated "flying geese" triangles that I just LOVE to stitch....

And the second photo shows you some of the details around the central diamond block:

And I must tell you, as I was in the final stages of getting this pattern graphed, written and printed,
I went outside last Wednesday evening around 11:30pm and saw this heart-stopping sight to the east of where I live in Cloverdale, CA, at the northern edge of Sonoma County:

This is a shot of the beginning of the horrific Kincade Fire in Sonoma and Lake Counties.  I stood mesmerized, the only person on the street at midnight, watching this fiery cloud show light up the eastern horizon.  I called my sister, who lives on the other side of this fire in Healdsburg, and we talked about what to do if fire approached.  Ultimately, she and her daughter, two dogs and a cat evacuated south (since Hwy 101 to the north was closed), waiting for the fire to be contained.  I stayed in my home, like most of my neighbors, waiting to see if the winds would shift and move the fire in our direction.  We were incredibly lucky, as the winds never moved towards us.... and the next morning, this was the same fiery view:

For the next five days we lived without power, heat or internet service.  No stores, gas, restaurants available, but plenty of smoky air!  Here's what last Friday looked like, when all that smoke was blowing to the south and east, so that the San Francisco Bay Area got it's share of the fire smoke:

During the daytime I was able to sit and stitch in the afternoon sunshine.  In the evenings, I sat in my kitchen nook with lots of candlelight and crocheted while listening to audiobooks.  You can see Mellie in her bed under the table, my constant companion..... Cozy but slightly creepy at the same time, as it was totally pitch black outside!  Needless to say, we went to bed early each night, and woke up to check the skies and wind direction each morning...

As I write this, the power is restored in most of northern California, the fire is still being battled by thousands of very brave firefighters from all over the West, and MOST OF ALL, we are all truly grateful that the high winds have died down, this fire is starting to be contained, and Sonoma County residents are being allowed to return to their homes.

As for my new "AUTUMN TRAILS" in fiery reds and golds and teals, if you're interested in starting a fun fall design, please leap on over to my website and see the ordering information for this vibrant new geometric pattern!