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.