2 more days!

September 30, 2009

Cyber class start on 10/1. That’s Thursday. I can’t wait!!!

(that’s all I wanted to say. goodnight world)

Let’s get ready to…

September 27, 2009


It was brought to my attention that I never posted a picture of my canvas with the pattern drawn. So, here you go!

canvas drawn

I drew it with a simple mechanical pencil. I also invested in a white eraser in case I need to erase my lines later.

For comparison’s sake, here are both of my hearts canvases – the right one and the one on the wrong size canvas (still feeling a bit bothered that I asked for 18-count canvas the first time around and was sold the wrong one…but I’m sure I’ll find a fun project to use the extra canvas)

canvas comparison

Long and Short and Practice!

September 26, 2009

Dragon1 was the first needlepoint I ever completed. Dragon3 was my most recent accomplishement. Whatever happened to Dragon2?

dragondragon3 all finished 92609dragon-4-6-09-v22

Dragon2 was a project I started in 2/07. It’s also the project that taught me not to stitch serially and rather to work on several pieces in parallel. Basically, I’ve been intimated by this piece since I bought it and figured out a fun stitch guide for it. And by fun, I mean awesome and requiring more skill/experience than I currently have.

Mostly, I’m intimidated by the scales, which the woman at my old LNS and I decided should be in a Long and Short stitch. Because they take up a large portion of the dragon itself, I’ve come to a standstill on this project. Enter Mary Corbet of NeedlenThread.com to the rescue! She has been publishing a tutorial on the Long and Short stitch, and boy is it helpful!

I started this piece last week, and though I’m still on Lesson 2 (of 9), I think that by the time I finish I’ll be able to tackle my Dragon once and for all!

Lesson 1 was collecting the necessary materials, transferring the design onto the canvas, and mounting the canvas. Check, check, and check!


In Lesson 2, we start with the upper left hand box, and straight long and short stitches. I believe Mary stitched this with 1 strand of floss, but I needed to use 2 to cover the area. I think this might be because I’m using a lower count canvas? Not sure, but it was definitely necessary in the vertical area.


The diagonal was a bit more difficult, harder to tell if my stitches were going slightly off from perfectly diagonal, but I think it won’t be noticeable with so many stitches and the varying stitch lengths. I am also not sure if it would have been better with only one strand stitched at a time. But, we’ll have to wait and see!

I’m excited to continue working on this project and learn how to do the long and short stitch, especially if it means I can finish my dragon!!!!

I slayed the dragon!

September 26, 2009

Finally, I finished stitching the body of my Dragon3! I finished up the middle section a few days ago.

dragon3 middle finished 92609

So putting it all together…

dragon3 all finished 92609

Now, you may remember that I have plans to frame this piece with the 3 parts in one large blue matte with arch-shaped cutouts. My framer will also make a mountain out of mattes to explain why the dragon is in 3 parts. So, layed out with the mattes that she cut for me to use to visualize the piece…

dragon3 all finished with matte 92609

But now, I need a BACKGROUND! I’ve been struggling to come up with a stitch idea for this for a while. At my LNS, I picked up 2 new Krienik threads to try, #4 Braid (very thin) and a blending filament (very very very thin) in 032 (sparkly white). The woman there thought that the dragon was an ice dragon, so suggested that I stitch the background with this icy-thread. I’ve tried stitching random long diagonal (top L to bottom R) stitches, alternating between the 2 threads. It looks pretty good, but I’m not completely sold on that idea. I’m going to try it again and photograph it this time, but until then, if anyone else had stitch ideas, let me know!


September 20, 2009

Yesterday, I invited some coworkers over to have lunch and play video games, but they were much more interested in decorating my apartment. Far be it from me to object finally having my needlepoints hung!

In the living room, we put the one non-needlepoint up on the large wall. This piece is a Crystal Kinetics Heart by Jeff Johnson that I received from a cousin for my undergrad graduation. As  you can see, from different points in the room, this piece looks different. I like that as you enter the apartment, you can see the piece changing.

apt centerapt leftapt right

Next we hung my Pipes and the City in the kitchen area. My coworkers placed them on the opposite hooks (the City above the bookcase), but I changed it after they left because the City just seemed too small for that large wall. I can always switch it back…any suggestions?

apt kitchen

We placed the Butterfly on the wall next to the front door. The colors in that piece work very nicely with the light blue blanket I have on my couch.

apt entrance

The fish are in the hallway on the way to the bathroom, and they nicely hide my eyesore of a breaker box.

apt door1

Finally, we placed the small hearts on either side above the doorframe. I like how this looks, but from a needlepointers standpoint, it bothers me that my fancy stitches are too high up to be admired. They might stay here, and they might move. I’ll have to think about it some more

My clock is hanging up in the kitchen. After my long search for a clock I don’t hate, I’m so happy I found this one!

apt clock

I still have my dragon, sunset, and Thai cross stitch to hang up. My coworkers are trying to convince me to rearrange my bedroom, so they didn’t want to hang anything up yet. I don’t think they’ll win that battle, so hopefully I’ll get those pictures up soon.

For those of you who are interested, for lunch we made fantastic paninis. I had a choices of turkey, ham, brie, chipotle cheddar, apple, lettuce, tomato, vinegar, mustard, and mayo for people to create their own sandwiches. I made 2 half sandwiches — one with turkey and cheddar, and one with brie, apple, and fig vinegar. Nothing beats a brie, apple, and vinegar sandwich. YUM

And for dessert – vegan chocolate chip cookies. Oh so good, and oh so glad I gave the leftovers away at game night last night. Those are so dangerously delicious.

Note: the picture quality here is not looking so great. Do I need a better camera or better lighting?

Needlepoint and Cooking

September 14, 2009

They may be two of my favorite stress releivers, but needlepoint and cooking don’t usually play well together. There is too much of a risk of spilling on the canvas, and threads just don’t taste that good!

However, as I was walking around Needle in a Haystack, this caught my eye.


This mosaic tile trivet is just gorgeous, and I could not pass it up! Although it is meant to be a trivet, it can also be hung as a all decoration, or used on a coffee table while stitching. Yes, that metallic circle is a magnet, perfect for collecting needles!

I currently have it as the centerpiece of my kitchen table, and (in my humble opinion) it looks fantastic. What do you think?

set table

Threads of the Cabin

September 13, 2009

Today, I took a trip into Alameda (East Bay) to visit Needle in a Haystack. I had read about the wonders of this shop, and was excited to discover that I now live relatively nearby. This morning I called up a friend who stitches and we decided to go out for lunch and then to the shop.

We stopped for lunch in the Oakland Chinatown to visit and restaurant I had been craving ever since my brother took me there 3 years ago. Shan Dong is AMAZING. We got string beans, hand cut noodle soup, and dumpling. YUM!

It took less than 10 minutes to get to Needle in a Haystack from lunch. We arrive a little after 2, and spent the next 2+ hours choosing threads (me) and choosing projects and threads (Cathy).

Actually, before choosing threads I took my canvas over to their AMAZING canvas selection to confirm my sinking suspicion that the canvas I bought in NJ was not the 18-count mono that the store owner told me it was. My project was supposed to chart out to 16″x16″ but was actually 18X18, so I was pretty sure the count was off. Luckily, NIAH has every canvas you could ever possibly want for any stitch project in any color. Their canvas area was bigger than any other needlepoint shop I have been to.

thread - all on table

(my haul)

They also seemed to carry every thread ever made. Boy was it fun to pick threads!!!! I ended up picking up only the thread for the ANG project because it took so long. I pulled all of the blue threads in the thread list, but decided to switch the pinks to purples. It wasn’t always easy to match exact shades, so I hope the threads I chose will work to create the dark/light pattern work in the piece!

thread - cotton

(cotton threads)

I went in thinking that I would change out a lot of the interesting (read: expensive) threads for more affordable solutions, but I was so excited by using new types of threads that I ended up not substituting very much. I did make a few cotton for silk substitutions, and stayed far far away from wool due to my allergies. The total, however, ended up being actually less than I expected (though still expensive!) which made me very happy!

thread - kreinek


thread - rainbow

(Rainbow Gallery)

thread - silk

(Threadworx, etc)

The women at the store were wonderful, and though I finished picking my threads at closing time, they let us stay another 30 minutes or so while I paid for my purchases and Cathy finished kitting her 2 new projects. Congratulations Cathy, for graduating from prepacked kids to choosing your own thread. I know it can be more expensive, but it’s so much more fun!!!

BOTTOM LINE:  I’m excited to stitch my new project (lessons start Oct 1), happy to find a new needlepoint store, and very very full!

SNACK (Special Needs Activity Center for Kids)

September 11, 2009

Please follow the link below and endorse SNACK. It’s a fantastic after-school program started by the mother of a former student of mine. It’s a great cause and they deserve every single vote.

SNACK (Special Needs Activity Center for Kids)

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I’m still here…

September 7, 2009

…just very busy with work.

I haven’t had a chance to do much stitching, but I did finish the outline for the ANG cyberworkshop, and completed one diamond on the dragon middle (read: 5 min of stitching to demonstrate using a laying tool to some friends)

Speaking of friends, it’s been fun to discover out here that there are people who are under 50 and stitch! I’ve reconnected with a friend from college, and 2 of her friends stitch, too. How exciting! We have vague plans to explore the LNSs together. Time to get Cathy to stop using Michael’s kits (which are fine for beginners, but take away my favorite part – picking threads!)

I have had some time to bake. I made Nana’s brownies (secret family recipe from my great-grandma), and today I made Tollhouse cookies. Nothing fancy, but should satisfy the parents @ Back to School Night tomorrow night.

Lastly, if you want to check out some of the fun I have been up to, check out my friend Pri’s blog about her month-long roadtrip. I was one of her first stops, and we had a blast! (Part 1 and Part 2)

And now…back to work…