All we need is the baby!

The nursery is all ready…all we need is for this little guy to arrive! (Please let it be soon–I’m so ready not to be pregnant any longer!)

I’ve stitched a bunch of canvases for his room…here’s a peak:

Nursery
Nursery
Kathy Schenkel jungle animals
Kathy Schenkel jungle animals

Kathy designs adorable canvases! Check out her website by clicking here. She painted the leopard & monkey and the elephants specifically for me–I am a lucky lady–but she may be adding them to her line.

Kathy Schenkel giraffe
Kathy Schenkel giraffe

I stitched all of the animals in Silk & Ivory with Balger accents. Each piece uses the same two shades of blue with an interesting background stitch. Here is Byzantine. I also did Hesitation, Diagonal Mosaic, and Nobuko. (There are a couple of other ones too but frankly I cannot walk upstairs to check the names as I am supposed to limit the number of stairs I do!)

All About Stitching parrot
All About Stitching parrot

Two parrots from All About Stitching/The Collection. Click here for their website.

Birds of a Feather lion
Birds of a Feather lion

I love this lion from Birds of a Feather! I used Fuzzy Stuff on the mane and tail–great effect! The finishing is absolutely darling.

The nursery is ready…come on baby!

Happy stitching,
Susan

Designing your own canvas

Designing my own canvas
Designing my own canvas
Designing my own canvas

Caution! Don’t try this at home…or if you do, be forewarned! It’s really hard to design and paint your own needlepoint canvas. Last week I decided I wanted a canvas with Pop Art/Andy Warhol-esque rubber duckies. (Duckies make me smile so I collect them; see the photo of my bathroom below.)

Rubber duckies in my bathroom
Rubber duckies in my bathroom

To get started on the project, I found a cookie cutter. I used a fine-tipped Sharpie marker and set to work tracing the form. I then carefully marked off the border. Then I hit a bit of a snag as I tried to figure out how to get the other 3 ducks centered. So I put the project aside. I think my best bet is to stitch the outline of the initial ducky and then simply count the spaces and the outline stitches to get the other ducks in place.

While I was pausing on the technical side of things, I moved onto colors. Much more fun to lay out those! I’m using Splendor. Each ducky will be in Basketweave though I’ll stitch the background in a decorative stitch. All stitch ideas welcome; please give me your input!

I’m going to keep moving on this project but if I hit too many snags on the layout, I will have to turn it over to a real painter. Some things are best left to professionals. If you are feeling adventurous and artistic, get out your Sharpie markers and acrylic paint and give it a shot!

Happy designing…happy stitching,
Susan

An Explosion of Lilly!

Barbara Bergsten's Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Shift Dresses

Barbara Bergsten's Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Canvases

Needlepoint artist Barbara Bergsten has created a line of Lilly Pulitzer inspired canvases…aren’t they adorable?! You could make little ornaments out of the shift dresses–I imagine finishing each one so it hangs on a tiny hanger. Or an eyeglass case out of the 3 little dresses canvas. Check out Barbara’s website to see all of her adorable designs!

I really like how the Lilly Pulitzer line combines patterns. I used to be scared to mix prints and patterns; I thought it looked cluttered and chaotic. But done right (and not overdone), you CAN mix. I think the same is true of decorative stitches. Experiment with creating patterns. I urge you to try a new stitch! Maybe start with adding one to just the background. Then on your next project, do the background plus one other area. Just keep evaluating and making sure you aren’t falling victim to adding too much pattern.

You’ll find what’s right for your taste.

I would love to write more but frankly I’m ready to pack my bags for Palm Beach and visit the Lilly HQ!

Happy stitching,
Susan

Another year, another purse

Welcome 2012! Welcome two more purses to Susan’s needlepoint purse wardrobe!

Two new purses from the Elizabeth Turner Collection: one in my tried-and-true satchel style and one in the new opera bag style. You can see the finished version here It’s soft-sided with a shoulder strap..a petite thing for an evening on the town. I think I will change the dark red to black and possibly some of the metallic silver to metallic gold so the purse goes with more outfits. You can change the colors, you know! Don’t be limited to what’s painted on the canvas…be imaginative and creative!

As for the fun summer colors on the satchel bag, what color shall I do the background? On Point readers and Facebook followers, please vote! Things to keep in mind: this will be my everyday bag in the summer so I don’t want it to get dirty (so probably not white). I don’t mind stitching it black because black over white canvas will not be the nightmare that black on black is. I tried a bit of yellow and I think it looks snappy. I am using Silk & Ivory for the bright colors and Appleton for the background. Please also give ideas for a background stitch. I AM OPEN TO YOUR IDEAS!

Happy stitching!
Susan

Decorative Stitch Conundrum

So I am designing a purse with bees on it (I collect bee items). It’s a big purse so I wanted to cover the background quickly and add interest in the form of a decorative stitch. At first I tried doing the stitch right up against the bee but I thought things got a little crowded. It was hard to see the bee. Then I decided to add a basketweave border around the bee…I think it is MUCH more successful. Now the bee stands out and doesn’t get lost in the decorative stitch.

I used Byzantine in the final version (of course I didn’t take a picture of the final version…sorry, blonde moment)…but here’s a diagram:

Essentially you go over 3 intersections at a time…do that 4 times and then drop down a line and repeat. It’s fun!

I will keep you posted on the purse’s progress.

Happy stitching,
Susan