Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Amy's sale

who can resist a great sale? Obviously, not me, not I, not I splurged.

I just had to participate in the 25% off sale at Amy's Golden Strand, purchasing the Woodland House MSD 1086 D, by Melissa Shirley --and a custom stitch guide by Amy of Whoville, or was it Bungerville, or perhaps it will soon be (hallo)Weenieville. Well, certainly it's not Cruella-de-Ville--she's too nice!! <<< AMY BUNGER

Here's a link:

I was thinking it would be a beautiful centerpiece for my Christmas dinner table, but then I remembered Will caught his linen napkin on fire last year. Well, he was only 16, so maybe he will still grow up. (We didn't have candles this year.)

I am following the Pied Piper and Doc to the lake for New Year's...wishing everyone the best in 2019....who's counting??


Monday, December 28, 2009


Thank you, Santa!! You really hit the mark this year with the gifts you gave me. Well, I know I have been good, but...ummm...well, I ...ummm. We need to talk!

I worked my tail off to finish Tripp's stocking by the deadline, and it is gorgeous (if I would only attach the tassels and bells). But, I must confess...I am still on Baby Jesus in the Amy Bunger home study--which really isn't sooo bad when you consider the series is still going on. It only means I need to finish 11 and a half figures by Sept 1st. Piece of cake, right??

And, then, Santa, there is that crazy group of Bandidos, with the Doctor, and who know what all he is prescribing them. Never, ever, will I take a road trip with them again---two flat tires in a BMW (spares aren't stocked in junction , TX with a population of 2K). And, then there was the fog in Midland for two days, which meant the Bandidos and I spent the night in Dallas. I thought it was over until I discovered the hotel had charged me for two nights instead of one! I guess it was Father Frost's fault. the Bandidos probably talked him in to casting a spell. (Remember, I put them in straightjackets? guess they don't like it, but tough)

So, Santa, could I just leave you the Bandidos on your plate next year instead of cookies? I am sure they wouldn't be much trouble. don't you need a few more helpers since the economy is stretching so many budgets?

One last thing Santa---I have to confess---I signed up for a new series!! It was just too hard to resist all the creepy Hallloweenies at Bungerville!

so, you see Santa, I love the floor stand you brought me, and the last few cookbook chapters, and Jane Zimmerman's second book. and, umm, well I bought a few books for myself, and do I say this---Well, yes, I bought some new canvases too--not too many (rofl!).

so Santa, I think I will tell you early what is on my list for next year: just a tad of discipline. that shouldn't be too hard. After all, the system worked! I just need to figure out how to avoid letting it all happen in the first place, right Madam Secretary??

hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tres Bandidos! aka nutcrackers

NEVER AGAIN!! Traveling with these three was just plain crazy! From now on they are not allowed to come with me on road trips. I will get some pictures up tomorrow, but now I know why these loony nutcrackers Bandidos have been placed in cells. hint>> flat tires, not one, but two --a tow truck or two, a couple cancelled flights and a night at a hotel in Dallas...none of which were on the itinerary!!

but we found a great new Bar-B-Que place!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The LineUp

Well, all Doc's friends (except one, which will be dealt with later) are now in straight jackets! Some people call them stretcher bars, but regardless, they are confined and can't move. They really are not very happy about it because they cannot play with their birds.

Sorry folks, I had to do it. you see, they were carrying weapons...these long sticks with numbers on them. Since I couldn't take their weapons from them, I had to stitch them so that they could not be used for violence. About nine are finished.

I am traveling to San Antonio for a big First Birthday party today, and three of the "detainees" have asked for wallpaper in their cells. Can you imagine?? I guess since the gitmo detainees asked for cushions on their chairs, all our incarcerated think they need luxuries. They really wanted Schumacher, but I told them they would have to settle for the Needleworks' wallpaper.

Now, the one that has not been put in his straight jacket, what about him you ask? He's Scottish, and the Embassy stepped in. (If he were Italian, he would have no support) So, we are delaying confinement for a few days. (Actually my stretcher bars are defective and splitting when I try to assemble them)

I expect the detainees sentence to be up for parole next summer when I attend Tony's class at The Needleworks. At that point they can go to the probation officer, I hope!!

Happy stitching all,

Thursday, November 26, 2009



I've mounted most of the nutcrackers on stretcher bars, deciding that the assembly line process will work best for me. (I think I need to purchase a couple more stretcher bars)

This is the series by The Needleworks that I received monthly through this year, and promptly shoved in the drawer while working on Tripp's stocking. My goal is to finish by May 1, 2010, taking it for finishing by Pam in Houston when I go to my medical checkups. I will receive the last one at the end of December.

(You remember the Doc, Mr. White, and all their friends with the birds from the European clinics.)

Currently, I am working on the staffs of each, and plan to do the hands next--then faces, and backgrounds. All the common areas will be done first via the "assembly line" process.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Monday, November 2, 2009

Doc and Mr. White!!

Well, guess who showed up last night---?

Doc and Mr. White have apparently been having quite a raucous time! No wonder I hadn't heard from them. Mr. White has made a remarkable recovery, and he and the doc have been traveling through Europe. They came home last night, and brought ALL their friends. (I had to make up the spare bedrooms, and some even had to sleep in sleeping bags)

We have French maids...hmmm! A character they refer to as "lord" in stretch pants, and some rich guy in expensive clothes. Rumor has it he is looking for 5 wives! they all brought their pets---I don't know why they like birds so much; perhaps they were in a European sanitarium, and doc signed them out. they have hens, swans (with their young), and some noisy birds, that won't keep quiet, even at night. They keep calling out to the other birds. I think they may be doves.

I am fending off cats by the dozens, and have decided to put all the birds in the cages my kids kept their rabbits in when they were younger!

wow, chaos around here, but I am so happy Doc and Mr. White have finally appeared, and happy to have all their friends, too!

take care all,

Thursday, October 29, 2009

GoldRush XS

I am in love with GoldRush XS for a brassy gold. It gives the same effect as beading---almost a liquid gold. It does have a very brassy tone, but the canvas was painted in those tones. I've deviated from my stitch guide and worked it in basketweave for the bands on Mary's dress. For now, the intersections painted blue are left unstitched. I am deciding what to do with them---couched matte (or shiny?) blue, perhaps shaded by wrapping the couched strand? beads are a possibility....

For the shading in the bottom band, I used a tawny gold and a lighter gold in soft sheen Fyreworks, for a subtle difference. hopefully, I won't be reworking it!

You may see the metallics Amy suggested for this area appear later on Joseph's gown, or perhaps as the trim on his cape. Those include fibers Kreinik205C and a larger cord to match. I am still deliberating on whether to use the raised leaf (Amy's Cookbook for Stitchers, ch7-17) in the band on his gown, or go with a stitched pattern such as Waffle (Norwich),Amy's cookbook ch 7-11, or Diagonal Strap, Amy's ch 16-4. I have a metallic (Kreinik 713) in my stash, and have ordered NPI silk #602.

You can also see the gorgeous plum color of Joseph's gown---thanks Amy! I just happened to have the darker plum (used in the single vertical basketweave) in my stash, a Kreinik silk. On the painted canvas, I must admit I wasn't crazy about having Joseph in dusty pink!! Now, I love the way the color plays against his cape in a khaki green!!

I really have a million things to do, but cannot stop working on this wonderful canvas! It's so much fun having a stitch guide by Amy Bunger!

take care all,

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Part of the challenge of this stocking is reconciling the 3 greens: King #1, Joseph's coat, and the bushes/trees. I started with Joseph's coat because it was the most challenging color to coordinate with the other two. I like to stitch a small amount of multiple areas, to see if I like the colors and stitches together. (ADHD, perhaps??) Then, when I travel, as we frequently do this time of year, I know my time will be well spent, and I won't end up later ripping out my efforts. You can see how I have stitched a small amount of Mary's skirt to get the color on the canvas. I think Mary's dress will be gorgeous in the overdyed blue.

Joseph may need a nose job as well, or he may have just told a lie. time will tell.

I love the fiber and stitch selection for the trees/bushes, and I love the way Joseph's coat turned out. It comes across as a neutral khaki, and looks good with the tree fibers. It is a combo of linen, burmilana, and spring II. I am still unsure how the turquoisy green of the King's cape will coordinate, but I think it will be OK with the other greens.

You can see that Mary has recovered nicely from her "spa time". Don't tell anyone, but apparently Dr. Carlos is quite famous! I know where I want to go, when the time comes!!! (She discovered him on the internet by googling "San Miguel face lift". now, I know why some of my friends frequent San Miguel de Allende so often!)

take care,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Mary still has bruises and won't allow me to take her picture. but, I decided to post the "before" picture of my stocking. After paying retail, some people might be afraid to take up a paintbrush and acrylics, but I had so much satisfaction from painting out the bear's balnket on the last stocking, that I brought a critical eye to this one.

I try to eliminate anything that is unnecessary, or confusing; anything that someone might ask, "what is that, anyway?" first to go was the black plume above the second king. I do have a black plume that is the right size. It was in my stash, but I think it originally came from fly tying materials for fishing. It was in a packet with other feathers of neon colors. so, the plume will be attached later, and the crown would even be fine without it, if it were to come off later.

I also painted out the reins, as they are often painted larger than the actual stitched reins and the gold shows on the edges underneath. I can still faintly see them. I may want to braid the reins and tack them down. the beards coming from under the chins looked creepy to me, so I painted them above, and painted joseph's hair over his ear, as advised by his salon makeover team. ALL the hands were way too big, so I painted around them to make them smaller. I painted over the designs in the robes of the Kings, as I find the decorative stitch patterns are much prettier. the only one I left was the green cape with it's folds. As far as the mantles, the diamonds were "off" the king # 3, and I left the magenta folds on King #2, as the stitch will cover them.

The tassels on the camel will be attached, so they were painted over, and the netting on the front camel was eliminated, as it will be loose also. Mary's cape showed on the right side of Baby Jesus, and I thought it distracting, so I painted over it, and made Mary's arm smaller. On the shepherd, the bottom of the ropes holding the horn were eliminated. The knob on top of the gift on the far right was painted out because it is really below the hand and was a bit close to the camel--I don't think anything is really lost, but I can attach a gold bead if I change my mind.

that is ALOT of changes! I usually don't do this!! I wish I had made a color copy beforehand, and recommend it to others. I made black and white copies on my home copier, in case I need placement for the reins, etc.

I also tend to be rather obsessive about colors, but when working from a stitch guide, I know the author put alot of time already into choosing fibers, so I hesitate to change them until I am familiar with the stitches and fibers selected. So, I pulled fibers and placed them in zip locs according to where they go. this is the first time I have purchased the fibers "kitted" to go with the guide. I love working from a guide--in this case one by Amy Bunger, of Amy's Golden Strand. I will still use my creativity to make it my own--it is just my nature!!

This stocking will be for the same son and DIL as the entourage stocking, and my son has the 3 Kings Tap Tent stocking, which was done in the 80's--I guess it is "vintage now". I am feeling very vintage these days!!!

I am really looking forward to stitching this, so much so, that the carpet cleaners are arriving at 8:30 am, and I have alot of work to do to get ready, yet here I am thinking about needlepoint and writing to you:))

take care,

Sunday, October 11, 2009

plastic surgery

Mary has spent the weekend at the medical spa. Joseph is such a sweetheart to send her after childbirth for some R and R. while there she had lipo on her neck and wrists. (The double chin from the baby fat bothered her.) She is awaiting a nose job, and eye lift. The botox was removed from her lips, correcting the previous doctor's ineptness. She decided not to sue, unlike many in our current culture. sweet Mary!

Joseph took the time to go to the salon for a new hairstyle. (shhhh!! don't tell--men are sensitive, you know) While the length of his hair makes him look distinguished, the stylist recommended he not put his hair behind his ears. Also, they told him not to let his beard grow from the bottom of his chin; just let it grow from beneath his lips.

I asked for photos, but Hippa doesn't allow it. So, we will have to wait til the patient arrives home. Besides, Mary is a bit self conscious!

lot's of painting going on here!!

ps no sign of doc and Mr. White

Friday, October 9, 2009

next project: NEW STOCKING

Well, as all my blogger friends were sending off their fine pieces for finishing, I was thinking to myself, hmmm...I haven't finished anything! That has all changed with the stocking I recently finished. you would think I might be burned out after stitching 5 days straight, leaning over the large stretcher bars.

Well, I have lots of small projects to do, but I cannot resist a brand new canvas. It's like a new car; it just smells good!!! So, next on my list is a wonderful Nativity procession by Tapestry Tent, now owned by Susan Roberts. you can find it in

as AXS 375. I am looking forward to using an extremely detailed stitch guide by the very talented Amy Bunger---what a treat! I really got lucky because my DIL picked out this stocking, and Amy had already done a stitch guide:

this one also has an angel across the top, but she will be handled differently, and I can't wait to see how she turns out.

so, while Doc and Mr. White are still MIA. Hopefully they didn't leave the Sanitarium! I am sure they will show up when the time is right, lol.

take care,

Sunday, October 4, 2009


HERE IS THE "ALMOST" COMPLETED STOCKING, WHICH IS NOW HEADED TO THE FINISHERS. The final stretch was 5 days of straight stitching at my lakehouse, with the last two days at The Needleworks. I redid a few things, and left the tassels to be attached later on the caribou. the bells and streamers will be added at the top of Santa's staff, and the charms that hang from his belt will be added also. the turkey work needs more trimming, and the animals need to be brushed a bit. the beads on the lantern were straightened, with the middle ones removed.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I finally got over my resistance to stitching the tree trunks of the aspen(?) trees. I've worked these in the knotted stitch, which is one of my favorites, and is easy to compensate. I've also almost completed the limbs of two front trees, worked in leaf stitch of vineyard silk with dark green balger highlights.

I've decided to do a band between the cuff and the lower stocking in the same dark green balger, probably in a large scotch, and then do Tripp's name in navy balger on a field of white vineyard silk. I still need to graph the name and transfer it to the stocking, matching his father's lettering.

I am working Santa's bag in blue suede brick stitch , skipping one because I cannot fit the suede into the same hole, and may go in with some bling, pehaps a brown floss or something to make it more intricate. The painting was faulty for the toys in the bag--I think it wasn't finished, because there were white areas, so I sharpied them in with black, and will decide what to do with it.

I hope to get some pictures up soon, but wanted you to know I am working!! I only have 6 weeks to my finishing deadline!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

background snow

I'm happy with the color of the background snow! To remind you, I thought all the silvers has too much "zip", the highlights were too glittery, unnatural for shadow areas. so, I used 7 strands of Accentuate, 4 of #389 which is a light blue, and 3 of #362, which is a khaki. Together they gave me the greenish cast from the trees that would be evident in the shadow in real life. the light picks up a shine, but no highlights like the shadows in the foreground.

take care,

Sunday, July 12, 2009


The Entourage stocking has been taken off the large stretcher bars, and is going back on the roller bars. I have found I just don't like working on the large frame, and thus haven't done much.

I'm returning to Mexico next week, and taking the stocking with me. This time I WILL sticth, as we are going to relax!!

My spring cleaning/clearance is over for now, the "den" has been created from the room with the pool table, and now the focus is on this stocking (if I can find my roller bars!). I've promised completion for THIS Christmas (not next year).

take care!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

San Miguel de Allende

Well, physically i am back, but my heart is still in Mexico! San Miguel is unfortunately almost deserted, the usual tourist scared off by national media that has always given Mexico a "bum wrap", but especially now, with the national media focusing on the gang violence. ummm--- we have gang violence in the US also, no?

Well in San Miguel, local businesses are suffering. the "high season" is July and August, and from hotel reports, things will improve. I only saw one person who even appeared to have a cold, so the swine flu is not an issue.

San Miguel is lovely, a bit hotter and drier than usual, but otherwise just as romantic and tactile as ever. We are actually trying to purchase a home down there, so my focus on decorating my home in Midland has taken a back seat to questions such as which paintings would fit where, and what furniture will go---in the event that we are able to come to terms with the seller.

Eventually, we will own a home in San Miguel--if not this one, then another. It will be a rental home, with top of the line linens, a full service staff, and amenities that make our guests feel they are in a 5 star facility. Perhaps we will even have needlepoint stands and magnifying lights? I cannot imagine a better spot for a group of friends to gather and reaquaint, and stitch.

San Miguel is a colonial town which is the spot for destination weddings, Santa Fe Photography workshops, multiple painting worshops, and while we were there hosted exemplary acoustical guitarists and opera singers! Last year, the Buddhist monks were visiting.

As well as a shopper's paradise, it has some wonderful restaurants. We ate at a restaurant in an old hacienda called Ristorante da Andrea, with delectable homemade Italian pasta and fresh entrees. Because we were house hunting, I missed the local "tuesday market" where last year I picked up some antique brands, which I discovered after I had given them to one of my sons for Christmas, were brands of his initials. Some things are meant to be. Granted, you have to watch your wallet at the tuesday market. And, I never wear jewelry in Mexico other than my wedding band.

I also found the workshop for the jewelry line: Virgins, Saints, and Angels. I discovered that the unmarked location is one I had walked past almost every day in the last 3 summers. Wholesale prices are not available, but 20 % off is nice!

Yes, I took the Nativity pieces, and no, I did not place even a single stitch!! I am just way too excited and focused on these other things. But, I did purchase a panel with adorable Italian angels on ebay. eventually they will end up in Mexico!
the link:

I like an ecletic decor, and discovered a US design team's book in a small bookstore in San Miguel that I highly recommend. It's Briger + Briger, who have a wonderful design philosophy, and gorgeous interiors as shown in the book. ISBN is 978-0-8478-2999-6 The lake house shown in the book is in Valle de Bravo, 2 hours from Mexico city, playground for wealthy Mexicans.

Stitching? yes, eventually....

Thursday, June 11, 2009



I am off to San Miguel BEFORE dawn for a week. I decided to take my Bunger Nativity series with me, which reminds me i need to find the stitch guides(!)Since I am only half way through baby Jesus, I bet I win the prize for the one furthest behind. I guess it really isn't my fault. It has to do with the way I was raised. It's all my mother's fault!!! right?

Just kidding!! My spring cleaning turned into a spring clearance (you know, just like at the mall---just get it all outta here). And then I discovered the Cote de Texas blog, and that was it. I have been on a designing binge for the last 3 weeks, browsing all these beautiful blogs with gorgeous French decor and lots of burlap. they have tablescape Fridays, and even had a burlap party, where each blogger used burlap in some creative way. I didn't enter in, but it did give me the idea to add ivory burlap curtains in the rooom I am redoing. We already had shutters, but at $1.50 a yard from Hobby Lobby, and no hems, I can't wait til the fabric arrives! I just wanted something to soften the bay window a bit.

I've never been any good at decorating, but maybe I just have never paid attention. I highly recommend the design blogs!! try Mrs. Blandings also.

Back to needlepoint---the Entourage stocking is staying home. the snow would melt if I took it to Mexico in the summer. Grizzle would complain the whole time, and funny bunny would step on cactus thorns. Or, the housekeeper might pick it up with oily hands, or the drug cartel might steal it. I would pay lots to get it back:))

Anyway, Doc is still trying to help Mr. White in rehab. Therapy takes a long time, you know! that's why I quit--my life isn't long enough!

Anyway, I figured baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph were appropriate to take to San Miguel. their pictures are everywhere (unlike our public buildings and schools); they are famous! now, if I could just find an antique Santo for sale....

robin, amy, AM I the furthest behind? or is there anyone who hasn't started yet?

take care all!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

snow shadows

I love what I have discovered for the receding background shadows on the snow covered hill. It is a mix of accentuates that turned out to be a color I had no idea would evolve!! I will post tomorrow the colors and the result. I think it results from pointillism~~ tricking the eye!!


Monday, May 25, 2009

well....ALMOST back to stitching

Hi!!! I have missing you ALL sooo much!!!

Our textbook grandson was christened yesterday, I have finished two sets of invitations which tapped my creativity, the painters are REPAINTING the walk-in closets in my soon to be DEN, I finished my biannual checkup at MDAnderson, and if I can get my son off to Mexico in a week with international phone service, traveler's checks, and Tamiflu---well, then I might be able to actually make some progress in my stitching!!

"Doc" went with me to Houston for my checkup. (It was appropriate to take him--he was getting restless from no human contact. I think that is called "neglect") He was a bit intimidated among the finest oncologists in the country and hid during my exam, in his plastic tote. At least, he thought he was hiding, but the world could see him--ha!!! Anyway, I stitched some of his background.

I have started putting in the back snow area on my Entourage stocking. All the metallic silvers were too shiny for a shaded area, so I am trying Accentuate #362, which gives the dulled silver that should recede. I will see how it works and post the picture if I like it. It has a bit of a metallic khaki tinge which should work well with my other fiber colors.

Friday, May 15, 2009

XXL Zip Loc Bags

It doesn't rain in Midland, Texas---ever. so, I was caught quite by surprise in austin one day with my stocking stretched on 28in bars and a drizzle coming from the sky! (Grizzle didn't much like the drizzle!!)

Here's a trick many of you might want to know about, because next time I will be better prepared. Ziploc makes an XXL bag with handles at the top which comes in a box of 3. Each is 2 ft x 2.7 ft. don't confuse it with their XL tote. this one fold up flat. I plan to keep one in my stitching bag JUST IN CASE!! It takes up NO room at all!

here's the link, and scroll down to find the product:

Next week I will be back!!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Whomever invented Ebay should have also invented a 30 hour day!!! how can I possibly decrease my stash when I am seeing such nice canvases going for next to nothing?? how can I possibly stitch everything I want to when I keep adding new canvases?

I added two medieval canvases:

I imagine these are printed on interlock, but will see when they arrive.

I am selling two gorgeous Peter Ashe canvases, the Mallard and the Quail, ending later today.

(you can search on ebay and find them)

In my effort to "clear the clutter" from my home, I am also considering how to do the same for my time. We all need to consider how to spend more time on our priorities(actual stitching, for example), and less on extraneous time robbers(browsing ebay(!))...Something I know I need to do anyway!!!

PS Today is my BDay!!! 21 again!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Hi all!~

I've had a bit if a lapse in my posts because I have been moving. Sixteen years ago, when we moved into our current home, I had a 4 month old fourth son, and could barely see straight. Not much thought was given on how to use the space in our home, so now, after sixteen years of accumulation, I am pretending I am moving in for the first time. has been a wonderful resource, providing me with access to five certified professional organizers, and a searchable base of articles and tutorials, as well as a discussion forum full of wonderful people who provide ideas and support. So, my spring cleaning turned into a full time project!

Back to needlepoint: I am going to try something a bit different for the distant snow-covered hill in the Entourage stocking. The metallic silvers seemed too shiny, so I decided to try Accentuate #362. It may not work at all, but it is a nuetral which seemed to be in line with my shadows in the foreground.

Also, I will stitch the near tree and the decorated tree with an irregular continental in dark green vineyard silk with the lighter leaves in Kreinik #16, color 009HL. The highlighted branches will not be as light as painted, but I like the way the dark green contrasts with the distant trees and give the stocking some "punch". I MAY end up doing the name in the Kreinik 009HL on a white cuff. The irregular continental on the front tree, and perhaps a long and short on the back tree will cover the area rapidly, and any detailed stitch would be lost anyway in the dark color.

I miss my stitching and will be back soon. (I hope!!)

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I am takiing out the dark silver snow in the background and am going to try the same color as my other snow shadow areas. Perhaps with the smaller space I will like it now!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


The original edge of the snow area bothered me because it sloped upward and, when stitched in the shadow color, was brought to far forward. It also seemed to need to be continued on the other side of the wolf, and I didn't like that it went into the face of the wolf. So I ripped it out, and changed the line, lowering it and making it slope down just a bit. I replaced the fiber with Kreinik 025 #16, which is probably not the best, but was in my stash. I think it makes it fade out, but would be interested in your comments. I may still change it. I had to paint the area green so that the canvas did not show.

You can see how it was previously in the post titled:

"Off the Roller Bars"


In the top right picture, the slide stitch variation was removed^^^^^^I replaced it with this straight stitch. A strong pattern works here, and I like the suggestion of boughs on the trees. I would have left the one exposed stitch between the straight stitches, but my son doesn't like exposed canvas. As it turns out, the I prefer it WITH the darker stitch over one, as the pattern is more defined. this is one of the stitches in my notebook from the SNS class I mentioned earlier.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Fireworks went off when I picked up a package off the front doorstep that was shaped as if a stocking canvas could fit inside!!

Yes!! It was a stocking that I ordered from Amy's Golden Strand, complete with threads. (see link to the right for Amy's website) I had previously ordered her stitch guide for it. I am so excited!!!

If you click on the title to this post, you can go straight to the Tapestry Tent image of AXS 375. Talk about a motivation to finish the Entourage stocking!! I can't wait!!

does anyone know the name of this stocking?

PS I toook the picture above with an instant Canon camera, on the fourth of July 2008. I had no idea I could capture fireworks on that tiny camera in the dark!!

Monday, April 6, 2009


I am also taking out Santa's sleeve, opting for a better color metallic and a smoother fiber for the matte.

Wondering about the picture above? that building was being demolished!

the purple?? who knows??

have fun!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I am taking out the sliding variation stitch from the distant trees on the Entourage stocking. Although I had tried several leaf-type stitches, I was unhappy with them in wool. So, I tried the sliding variation, in Watercolors, but thought the diagonals were too prominent. That is what I am ripping out.

I've realized that I was really wanting was a stitch that didn't show the individual branches. Rather, I would like for the stitch to just create the impression of branches in the viewer's mind. I love the color of the wool, but had not been able to "make it work".

Since I am taking a notebook class through the Shining Needle Society on stitches that would be good for Christmas: "Christmas Stitches I" taught by Beth Robertson and Suzanne Howren, I decided to use a bargello stitch featured in that class. I have LOTS going on in this stocking already!! The bargello should fade into the backgound, which is what I want. I may add a darker stitch over one in between the rows.

Pictures tomorrow....I hope!


Tuesday, March 31, 2009


this post on Janet Perry's blog sure rang true for me.

Why does a mother of four VERY active sons needlepoint? Because, unlike my home, it stays where you put it, it has a basic organization, it's beautiful, and it relaxes me!

I remember when my son George decided to cut something on my desk when he was young. He used a Swiss Army knife and just HAPPENED not to move the beautiful angel needlepoint canvas that was on my desk, resulting in a six inch slice through it. I've kept that canvas for some reason! Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately!) children grow up. I've also kept the egg he painted on canvas. It's mainly blobs of paint.

so, thanks Janet! I can stitch this canvas after all. But, I wonder if I would prefer just framing it and giving it to George.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I am starting something new, and will post my favorite accessory, thread, or other "Item of the Week"

This week my favorite is the mega plastic tote bag (30in x 20in!!). This is perfect for travel if you have something large on stretcher bars, or are carrying multiple projects, lights, etc. I love the fact that it is waterproof and zips on top. I feel very secure that my needlework is protected. I purchased two of them!

Now, when you are not using it for needlepoint, it makes a great dog carrier for your Great Dane. Heck, you could even put your grandchild in there if he is throwing you for a loop, but I don't think you should zip him in!! darn!

You can find these at Amy's Golden Strand and The Needleworks.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


What will happen to your completed needlepoint items when you pass on? I am not trying to be MOROSE, but those DYEING threads (Threads to DYE For) with names like cadaver, casket, and autopsy spark the question.

Will your kids or grandkids fight over them, or worse, will one of them just take them? Will they put your Christmas ornaments in a box in the garage with the rest of the decorations, feeding those poor hungry moths?

Well, something I did about 2 years ago may be of interest to some of you (is anyone reading this?) My tree was full of decorations! I could hardly identify my needlepoint treasures--had to really look for them. I decided that since two of my children were now married and had relatively sparsely decorated trees, it might be nice for them to have some of my needlepoint ornaments, RIGHT NOW. I had over 20 ornaments, and four sons, so I took a picture of each ornament, and created a Picasa web album. We drew straws for the order, and then we emailed each other as to whose turn it was and each son selected their favorites. Once completed, I took the chosen ornaments to the two older sons, and am keeping the ones for the unmarried sons here.

The nice part of this was how much FUN it was for them AND FOR ME!! I could see how much they appreciated my many hours of stitching. THEY know which ones are theirs, and I have the opportunity to make sure they take good care of them, storing them appropriately. The two older ones will have them on their own tree for my grandchildren to enjoy from the time they can remember, and so my needlepoint will be even more special to the grandchildren.

Even if you do not distribute them now, I recommend this procedure so that the "choosing" part doesn't come in a time of stress.

I think this is a much better way to divvy up precious needlework, than to risk hard feelings after I am gone. I would love to hear your thoughts!


Monday, March 23, 2009


It's awesome to see it all stretched out! I feel like my "baby" has moved from a crib to a big bed! I can't seem to get a good picture of the whole stocking, but it is on stretcher bars.


I am selling this GORGEOUS canvas!!! starting bid is 99 cents with no reserve----am I crazy or what? I just hate reserves on ebay. Click the title of this post to go to the listing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


"....she awoke from the dream and found her toys just where she had left them. A minute ago she had been dreaming that they had come to life, and were moving about her room, each with a personality and life of its own."

I remember as a child that I had nightmares for days about my toys coming to life. I believe I had been read a story about this, but cannot remember the name of it.

Well, Grizzle, Doc, and Mr. White are only in our imagination. I don't know if you are tired of hearing about them. (Some have suggested I write children's books) Time for a change for awhile...

It's amazing what the mind can dwell on while stitching. If you are not familiar with audio books, you can click on the "POOF" title above to go there directly. I have found that digital audio books are a wonderful way to "read SA Jane's books" while stitching. My stitching setup is in my kitchen, and my computer is right here with me. I bought a new Apple Macbookpro (laptop) for Christmas and was concerned with the buzzing when I turned the volume high enough to hear the audiobook. Hooking up an external speaker solved the problem. From, for the first 3 months, you can purchase a book a month for $7.50. The digital books can be copied to three different computers, and can also be added to an iphone or ipod as many times as you want. They will be in your library forever. I am on my second book: _The Story of Edgar Sawtelle_

You may be curious about my new photo in the header. (I will try to get a better image.) Perhaps I should have been a mystery writer, because I want to keep you in suspense! In my next post I will talk about the "Back" in my theme of "Back to the Future".

"back" in Midland, for a few days (!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Mr. White and Doc were caught in a snow storm when Doc's GPS system sent them over a mountain pass on a dirt road which is only open in the summer, and then only to four wheel drive vehicles. Grizzle found shelter from the storm, but he has appealed to "Papa Bear in the Sky" (shown left) to help find Doc and Mr. White. Snow has been blanketing the mountains for the last few days.

(This is all fictional...we are all fine and having a great time. All we have seen is sunshine and spring skiing! The only stitching I have done is on the background snow on the stocking)

Back home by Friday!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I thought I had already posted this, but apparently not. so sorry!

Click on the title above to go to the Tapestry Tent image of the Entourage stocking.

Friday, March 13, 2009


FOXY doesn't have any idea why Grizzle looks so harried. Foxy has his wrapped chenille (a knitting yarn) booties on so he is ready to put his best foot forward for the guests. He loves to hit the clubs at night. His red fox coat of whisper and wool will keep him warm. Grizzle, on the other hand, has no overdyed silk in town for his pears. He will have to make do with oranges for now. Fresh fruit is always hard to obtain in remote mountain locations. Entertaining is kinda like that; you just roll with the punches.

Mr. White and Doc have both decided that they had better get their longjohns on before they arrive in Telluride! Shortalls just don't cut it in the snow.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Grizzle has extended an invitation to Mr. White to come visit him at his home in the mountains of Colorado for a week. Doc thinks the change of scenery, and interaction with nature will do wonders for Mr. White's state of mind!! Doc has arranged his busy schedule to go with Mr. White, as Mr. White is in no condition to travel alone!!!

Since Doc doesn't have access to a corporate jet like Warren Buffet, or a G7 like Nancy Pelosi, they will be traveling by car, and plan to get some therapy sessions squeezed in while on the road.

What excitement is in the air!!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Gold diamonds are often painted on canvases that are irregular and look awful. Nothing irritates me more. So, I painted out the diamonds on the bear's saddlebag, and because I am no expert painter, I am doing reverse continental stitch with 2 ply Spendor 826 to get an even and rich background color. I realize this is darker than the straps I did with a greek variation in Trebizond #410, but I plan to bring in the brighter red in a composite pattern.

The basket should probably be done in a linen, or natural fiber, but I will probably break the rules and use gold. I already have plenty of glitz, but this opportunity is too nice to pass up. It's a focal point.

bye! :))


Have you ever been online, and wanted to see something enlarged, but when you click on the photo, nothing happens? well, here's a trick for windows users....

Look in the lower right corner of your browser (for nontechies, that is the window you have open), where you will find a magnifying glass and 100%, and an arrow to the right. If you click on that, a pop up box will appear where you can specify up to 999%. the more you enlarge, the fuzzier the image gets, so you really shouldn't go that high. but, I have often used the 150, 200, and a custom 300% to enlarge images. Just this morning I was looking at the funnest (is that a word?) fibers, but the picture was so small I couldn't see the variations in the color well enough. voila!!the magic magnifier to my rescue!! And, I felt a RESCUE was most necessary because I was viewing fibers named cadaver, corpse, casket, deadly...well, you get the idea! These are Amy Mitten's (Calgary, Canada) new "Fibers to Dye For"---what a hoot!!! (click on "Help!" above to view directly, but do so at your own risk.

hopefully, I will see you tomorrow, if not, ...must have been "Col. Mustard"!!! (with the "Poison Berry" at the "Stroke of Midnight")

Sunday, March 8, 2009


That adorable baby above is our first grandchild, "Tripp". (the picture ABOVE the bear!!) Aren't all grandchildren adorable?? He is the "future" that my blog name refers to.

I have been working on his Tapestry Tent "Entourage" stocking today that his parents picked out before he was born. I have no idea what fiber I am using for the bear, but I may have bought it from Two Grey Hills in Houston in the eighties! They had the most gorgeous wools! This one has varying shades of rich browns. I stitched Nobuko (turned to the vertical) with 2 strands. For the legs, I will add in a darker brown for one of the strands and turn it a quarter turn ( I think). I may change the fruit that is currently partially stitched with rachel to all silks.

Kimberly Smith, of The Needleworks, Austin, helped me with fibers and stitch selection. She really does a great job! I have alot of animal fibers in my stash, so today I deviated and did my own thing.

I wouldn't do the snow in basketweave if I had it to do again (my deviation), but I like the Sparkle Braid by Rainbow Gallery that Kim suggested. I chose Kreinik size 8 #3231 for the shadows. I LOVE it!! Even though it appears gray on the spool, and the shadows on the canvas are painted light bluish gray, the value is perfect and the highlights are EXACTLY the same as the Treasure Braid, so once stitched the highlights in the shadow areas are what stand out. They are that same pretty aqua as those in Treasure Braid, so the fiber color appears fairly close to what the canvas calls for.

I have more pictures somewhere, but perhaps on another computer. If you would like to see the whole stocking please go to the Tapestry Tent site (link is on the right)and look for #AXS277.

thanks for all the cards for Mr. White! now, where is the food?? He LOVES COOKIES, particularly homemade, or mint girl scout.

see ya!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


May I introduce Mr. White's doctor: "Doc". We are catching him on his way to Mr. White's therapy session. (Remember, Mr. White likes the birds the best) Doc is quite rich, as most doctors are, so he is wearing brocade longjohns. Well, actually they look more like the shortalls that my grandson wears. Fibers include medici, marlitt, and Krenik #3433, size 4. The picture doesn't show it well, but the marlitt is a reddish purple, tying in with the reddish purple ribbon, while the medici is more like the bluish purple ribbon. Once again I have deviated from the stitch guide and pulled from my stash, in this case to bring in the ribbon colors. I covered the white painted buttons with a cross stitch. Eventually he will have gold buttons on his shortalls, but in the meantime....well...he will just have to "hold it".

All joking aside, this is the second nutcracker in the series from The Needleworks, Austin, TX. (click on the title of this post to go to their website)

see ya!

Friday, March 6, 2009

a Visit to Mr. White

Mr. White, as some of you may know, has been out of the mainstream while he is dealing with his "issues". I paid him a visit today, because I wanted to see how he was faring. As you can see, his eyes are still rather droopy; perhaps due to overmedication. He is going to be under the Doctor's care for quite some time. Pets are often used for therapy, and he enjoys the birds the best. But, secretly he told me the boucle tree is the REAL attraction. He LOVES pears!

poor Mr. White- we may not see him for awhile. Recovery takes time.

I will keep you updated. -- Cards and letters, and especially FOOD, may be addressed to me and I will make sure he receives them.


Thursday, March 5, 2009


Since we have a new grandson, I thought I had better practice dying eggs! hmmm.... funny looking eggs, aren't they? maybe I need more practice!!

Well, the funky chicken (see him above^^^^), could be playing tricks on us!

tune in tomorrow, ...for the rest of the story....


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Well, the trees are budding and pollen is in the air. My new photo is of a chick with allergies. no, it's not me!

I have almost finished organizing all my threads, and have nearly finished going through my new stitch guide for a Tapestry Tent stocking I ordered from Amy Bunger. WOW!! She did an awesome job! With the help of the internet, I have been able to pull up the fibers and visualize the stitches, even before the canvas arrives. I spent all day yesterday on this and am not finished--almost, but not quite!

Amy's Golden Strand actually has two wonderful stitch guides for this stocking design! I may stitch them both eventually. Click the title of this post to go to the link of a picture of the stocking completed with Robin King's guidance. Isn't it gorgeous!!? Truly a work of art!

Mr. White is temporarily unavailable. Poor Mr. White- even without the burden stitch he just couldn't cope!

have a great day (really!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Well, at least it was thread, and not my stitched canvas. amazing how dogs can act like children sometimes. He was upset because I wasn't able to take him for his walk, and I failed to share my steak with him!


Entourage Stocking

Well, since I gave it first priority in my 2009 goals, perhaps I should post some pictures. I have mainly been doing the boring stuff: the snow, the sky...all the flat stitches. The "bling" (is that a common term, or just a Jane thing?) will come after I put it on stretcher bars, as I don't want the textural stitches smushed. so, right now there's not too much that is exciting on it!

take care,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


...the University of Texas mascot. See the "evil eye" he is giving me? maybe it is the camera, but he really did not like me much! I stayed very close to the gate!!

Parlez vous francais?:

I wish I did! Sharon B's stitch explorer challenge ( January was "chicken scratch". (longhorns, chickens, and the pioneer woman...and my ancestors were ranchers in Midland in the 1880s!) Click on the title above to go to a blog in French, but even if you are not conversant, scroll about half way down and look at the daisy, using Trellis for the center, and cut fibers for the petals!!

Bears, Hats, and Teacups

all from the trellis stitch! (click on the title above for the link)

I love this chenille bear from the trellis sitch, and think what we can do with hair!!

yes, I am up at 3:34 am...ugh!!

Gells , Mediums, and Pastes

Monday, February 23, 2009

Copyright Law and the Stitcher

It's important to know what you can and cannot do with a pattern, stitch guide, or magazine.
Copyright Law and the Stitcher

take care,


A stitch on Sharon B's site, Wheatear seems to be easily adaptable to needlepoint.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


No, you haven't accidentally jumped to the pioneer woman cooks !!

A RECIPE from Amy Bunger, and a painted canvas from Kelly Clark makes for quite a stitcher's treat!! I can't wait to see this 3D manger when it comes back from the finisher.

I love this BIG tied stitch for the manger; perhaps I can stay caught up with this series after all! Amy, how did you know I needed that?!

You can view this Home Study on Amy Bunger's website:
Click on "Nativity", then scroll to the bottom of the page for the images.

I guess I deviated a bit from the guide by pulling from both ends of my Lorikeet. I may like Amy's better, but mine is stitched and will stay. Mine has a much more subtle color variation.

take care,


While we are on the subject of closets, we might as well talk about the garage. In my very first needlepoint class our teacher taught us how to make a "garage" to "park" our needles. I usually use random thread, like the cut off piece when I finish an area, but I have found this Rhodes stitch wonderful for storing my needles! I stitch it in the upper left hand corner of my canvas, outside the painted design area. (Left-handers would place it in the upper right area.)

I have also found that I can temporarily store my laying tool in the garage, but isn't that where tools belong??


He's smiling; you just can't tell. I'm glad I am not a nutcracker. Can you imagine not having lips? You see, he did get a few gold beads after all. He found them in his STASH . Amazing what all we can find in closets!)

The red dots are french knots out of floss, and the epaulets are a WIP, eventually to be tacked down, perhaps with black. Instead of a burden stitch on his hat, I am doing basketweave because he just can't take on any more burdens. He is having a hard enough time! The gold will be couched and the flourish will be the focus anyway.

life is great!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Keep your chin up, Mr. White!
Tuna isn't all that bad! Mix it with pico and champagne lite dressing and it's delicious! So, keep your chin up through this economic crisis, even if you can't have designer duds. Oh, you don't have a chin? .....sorry, I forgot!!

I have almost finished his jacket, and have done most of his face. He may not have a chin, but he has a cute nose!



Sunday, February 15, 2009


This is temporarily turned upside down so I can work from top to bottom on the piece. I mounted the frame on a table clamp I found in my "stash" of things I have never used, but it sure works well for this project! I have the clamp facing the ceiling so the clamped width is more narrow, so it is actually clamped from underneath rather than attached from the side.

these holes are tiny!!--I am not used to working on such small scale. I love these colors and the stitch design!! I am behind the rest of the class though, as lesson #2 was distributed yesterday.

happy stitching to all, and to all a good night! (I love Christmas!)...Kathy

Manual labor for Mr. White

Adjusting to rice and beans, a bit of manual labor out back is called for (the background!).
You can see how I am putting in the gold first (on the right side of the background). It gives me a "roadmap" so I know to fill every other vertical area with the perle cotton and I start each segment in the bottom right of the second gold stitch.
I DID rip out until the mistake was eliminated! I think I had two errors that were offsetting each other, so it was hard to find how to fix it. But, Mr. White insisted I keep things tidy.
All for now,

Mr. White falls victim to Economic Crisis

Well, so much for designer clothes!! Mr.White decided he had better save his money, and thus, no beads on his fancy jacket. Well, actually if he eats tuna for 2 weeks he may be able to afford a FEW beads! But, for now, it's rice and beans. I put in a rice (!!) stitch with Kr#8 202HL and had to run it under the white , and noticed a few spots I will have to go back and fill in. It is a more yellow gold than what's in the background, but I like it. I wanted the jacket mostly white, and the beads were putting the white in shadow, so I took them out. They stood up too much, too!



Projects for 2009

Hi all!

First priority is the Entourage stocking by Tapestry Tent, which I am making for our grandson born in Dec 2008. I have also taken on two series: The 12 Days of Christmas Nutcrackers from The NeedleWorks, and the Nativity homestudy from Amy's Golden Strand. I recently joined the Shining Needle Society (it's free), and signed up for the "Floral Rondel" online class taught by Judy Souliotis.

I would not have taken so much on , but we have collected nutcrackers since my eldest son was a baby, and I love this series. I couldn't pass up Amy Bunger's nativity homestudy either. The canvases are painted by Kelly Clark! And, Judy's class interested me because I have a Tapestry Tent angel stocking with all golds and white on ecru that I plan to stitch at some point (maybe next year), so I am interested in the real metals and the silks.

I will try to post on a regular basis, so I would love for you to subscribe, or follow this blog.

(I think my 6th grade English teacher would tell me not to start every sentence with "I"!)


Friday, February 13, 2009

Mounting the Sha

SHA is an interlock silk that Judy Souliotis imports.

I mounted mine on evertites. The same technique can be applied to canvas. I actually mounted mine twice. The first time, I thought I knew how to do it, but I realized my Sha threads were crooked. I had tacked the center bottom and had not pulled the Sha horizontally while tacking the top. The whole top should be tacked before moving to the bottom. So, I watched the videos again, and then remounted it correctly. The video is posted on Gay Ann Rogers' website. Click on "Judy S" on upper right side of the navigation bar at

take care,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Needleworks' 12 Days of Christmas Nutcrackers


This is the first nutcracker in the series from The NeedleWorks. (That is why he has a #1 on his shield...!) All the nutcrackers in this series will have ribbons flowing from the staff. All have the same backgrounds. If you would like to see other stitched pieces, go to

I changed the front of the suit from what the stitch guide calls for, using Sprinkles from my stash which gives the same greenish highlights that the Kreinik in the background has. The guide called for petite very velvet white over a trellis of gold. It also has a different pattern for the sleeves and bottom of the jacket than I will stitch. It's always hard to do a white nutcracker against an ecru background, but I plan to do a brick with the Sprinkles, stitching over the gray outline. The thread in the beard is just my beading thread which I "stored" while working more of the background.

I LOVE this background, but initially labored over it, counting stitches to place the diagonal cotton. The vertical base is vineyard silk, which gives a nice sheen. The Kreinik has a greenish tint. Now, I've figured out if I put the gold in first, then stitch the long diagonals skipping every other area vertically, it is MUCH faster because the gold serves as a roadmap. I am off one stitch on the right side, but cannot find the error, so I am going to try to compensate for it and leave it. hopefully, the tree will help make it not so noticeable.

The jacket will have the petite gold beads and probably red beads, or, if not, then metallic french knots. so, this guy will have a designer jacket!

I have a tendency to "skip around"...sorta the way I live my life!


take care,
Kathy :))