About Me

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I design needlepoint AKA canvaswork or counted needlepoint - it's all done from charts and diagrams!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Back to blogging...

I've been "away" from blogging a long time and actually feel like I'm just getting back to being part of the human race again. I've had a busy summer and fall with lots of activies, traveling, teaching, nursing a friend through several surgeries, etc. I've also been dealing with chronic jaw pain since July. I've grinded my teeth when I sleep since I was a child so it was no surprise to me when the dentist said that's what was causing my pain. After getting a dental guard and chipping, cracking, and putting a hole in it (yes, I'm a grinder!), I still had pain which came and went but was never completely gone.  To make a long story short (yes it's already long!), I actually had a tooth that was fractured but never hurt until Thanksgiving when it got infected. By this time, it was completely broken in half. After a very long painful weekend,  I got into the dentist and then after a round of antibiotics (3 days) and painkillers (thank goodness!) got the said tooth pulled - it's the very last tooth and I don't miss it. Miraculously my jaw pain is completely gone and I feel like a new woman. I didn't realize how much pain I'd been in - just soldiered on as is my way.

I'm enjoying the holiday season during this month of December. I'm looking forward to my parents coming to my home for Christmas this year! I will get to cook in my new kitchen! I'm not a lover of cooking but it's much more pleasurable now. I have to admit though, my new countertop often looks like this... it's the perfect place to bag charts and I can see the TV from here!

I put up my Christmas tree last week - I skipped last year so it was extra fun to see all of my ornaments again. After all of the years in the shop and being part of several stitching guilds, I have a lot of ornaments that have come through swaps. Some are especially sentimental as the makers have passed.  I thought I'd share a couple with you...
Our first stitching group at our shop was run by a woman called Debbie - she passed away from cancer several years ago. She designed and stitched this ornament from various Shepherd's Bush patterns. She also finished it herself. I remember this ornament being from our group's very first ornament swap. It's a treasure to me.

Our group named itself "Friends who Count" and this ornament was another Debbie's (we had lots of Debbies just like my high school classes!!). She added the words to this hardanger and included her initials and the year. Since I haven't done much hardanger, I appreciate having it and remembering her when I add it to my tree. She moved away a long time ago.

I'll share more later...

As part of my holiday, I've been spending time in my sewing room. I went to my annual quilting retreat last month. I always return from it wanting to sew, sew, and sew some more. Boots and Samantha are not allowed in the sewing room unless I'm in there. Boots found a couple of new places to hang out - I just never know where he'll decide to plant himself!

Until next time,


Monday, August 31, 2015


Tidbits is done and at the printer! This was really fun to stitch and a bit of a design challenge for me to create so many different patterns to fit such small squares! I like it long and narrow but it would also be fun short and wide, especially for a pillow. Tidbits is on the website and available to pre-order. I anticipate shipping September 15th. Pre-orders will be shipped in the order they are received.

Here's what my weekend consisted of...
I'm organizing my garage to move more of my business stuff out there after adding an air conditioner. These wonderful Longaberger baskets need to find good homes so I've listed them on my website for sale. Check them out here! I've got more to add but will do that in a week or so.

I'm looking forward to going to the ANG Seminar in Myrtle Beach at the end of the month. It'll be a nice break for me as I'm taking a class this year. I'll be teaching at next year's seminar in New Orleans! I can't show you the piece until after seminar...

Until next time, happy stitching!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


I've finished stitching two more of the Elements series for Tomorrow's Heirlooms Counted Canvas Club. Registration is ending soon - see their Facebook post for all the details. 
Here's a sneak peek at Water...  and Fire.... Next to stitch is Wind/Air - 

Looking forward to stitching soon - I'm in Instruction Writing Mode right now. It's not my favorite part of the design process but so necessary!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

My Kitchen is Done!

Finally, my kitchen remodel is done! Everything is new except the actual cabinets - they were painted and a few slight changes made, mostly to the inside of the pantry. The cabinet doors (all 29 of them!) were replaced and hardware added. Floor tile, marble countertops, glass tile backsplash, sink and faucet, and new appliances are all brand new! My eighties kitchen has come into the 21st century and I love it! I liked my old kitchen but hated the floor tile and was tired of everything else - my dishwasher had stopped working and my frig was on its last leg, and the original wallpaper was painted over in a previous facelift. Once I decided to rip up the floor and get the other things I wanted, the project took on a life of its own and it jut seemed more efficient to do it all at once! Here's what it looked like before:

we lowered this hightop counter and Boots lost his barstools...but I have a lot more counter space.

Here's what I lived with for three weeks as my brother did the job and lives three hours from me...he's a contractor so I'm fortunate to have a pro in the family. The wait was caused not so much by him as by waiting for the countertops to be installed. I managed without a stove and sink for three long weeks!

I then had appliances and counter tops but no cabinet doors for a couple of weeks which was fine because I finally had my new sink and appliances.
And, just when I was getting used to not opening doors to get out or put away dishes, it was complete! I haven't "decorated" with anything on the walls and I don't think I'll be putting my baskets back on top of the cabinets - watch for a big basket sale soon!

So what's next? My master bathroom - I'm not ready to have it ripped up anytime soon though. Maybe next summer when the inconvenience of remodeling has been forgotten. I missed two weeks of this remodeling by being out of town on two week long trips - I'll definitely repeat that part of the experience!


Monday, August 3, 2015

the latest...

It will be no surprise to anyone who has done major remodeling that my kitchen isn't done yet! It's close - I just need cabinet doors and drawer fronts with hardware - maybe in another week. I am thrilled to have a sink and all new appliances though.

On the design front, here is "Earth", the first of four in my "Elements" series. The others will be Air (Wind), Fire, and Water. Pam & Kim from Tomorrow's Heirlooms approached me earlier this year about designing a series of designs for them to offer as a Counted Canvas Club. I taught in their shop last summer and a lasting friendship was born so of course, I said Yes, how FUN!!

 I came up with the Elements for a theme and designed and stitched Earth first - here it is...it also looks great on point. I'm using the same layout for all four of the designs so they will coordinate with each other in a grouping. I was so fired up (no pun intended) about these designs that I immediately did the Fire and Water designs. I only have Air left but needed a breather in between to work on something else new!
Click Elements Club for all the details on the club and how to sign up - you sign up with Tomorrow's Heirlooms, not me!

I played around with the design and also came up with another layout for a larger design to be more symmetrical - Pam & Kim liked it enough to come up with a second alternative to their Club so you can elect to get the "Large" and receive a bigger piece of canvas and extra threads to make it look like this...

Registration continues for Oasis, my latest class with Shining Needle Society for just a few more days. I've listed the colorways below the design. If you're not familiar with Shining Needle, you can read all about it here. Here's my stitched Oasis, which I have to say, provided an Oasis for me while my kitchen was torn up!

The first photo is of my original thread selection - I used a Gloriana overdyed silk to select the rest of the threads. I then pulled a Watercolour to complement it and went from there. The Gloriana is called Rainforest and the Watercolour is Oasis.

For similar colors but a brighter version, there's Bermuda Reef - this is one of my all time favorite Watercolours!

 Cherry Tart is a soft pinks and golds and just yummy...

Copper is one of the most popular colorways so far - there's copper and bronze and a dark brown.

The other most popular colorway (tied with Copper) so far is Fiesta -feels like a party to me! 

Graphite is a beautiful palette of grays and teals - I'm thinking of using it for a new design that will be smoldering and smoking.

For everyone who loves Fall colors, here's another colorway for you! This one has more "red" in it, hence the Old Brick watercolour. The Gloriana is Autumn Arbor - it was the main overdye for one of my colorways of Serenity and I loved the way it stitched up.

Periwinkle is a soft palette of purplish blues.

Purples & Greens was so named because neither names of the Watercolour (Iris) or the Gloriana (Arnhem Heath) described this palette very well. A classic combination, I'm 100% positive this will turn out beautiful! Arnhem Heath was another thread I used for a Serenity colorway.
So there you have them - all nine colorways. It's more than my typical five or six but selecting them was like eating chips - I just couldn't stop!

If you don't want a Club or a Class, I'll be "exhibiting" in an online show next week. My two new designs are Starstruck and Color Delights - Seafoam. The show is a wholesale show but anyone can view the show. The shopowners will be ordering from the show and you'll see the new stuff arriving in the shops soon! I'm also taking pre-orders now.
Happy Stitching! I started something new last night and the needle is calling....

Monday, July 20, 2015

Another Starstruck and info on Oasis, my next class.

This is the last of the colorways completed - it's called Glowing Embers and consists of Purples, Rusts, and Grays. Amy K. from Phoenix stitched it and brought it to the class I've taught the last few days in California at Needle in a Haystack. I was thrilled to see it in person! The pattern will be available soon and it can now be pre-ordered. I've posted the pre-order info
Amy is amazing - she also brought a large number of my pieces that she'd stitched - I took photos to share here...This is Amy with her Color Delights and Double Delights - she has stitched every single one of them and is thinking of putting them in a soft wallhanging someday!
And here are some of her other pieces - it was quite a great Show & Tell for everyone there!

I taught Serenity the last two days and took a photo of class during the break! These are the "diehards" who won't stop stitching long for a break! They were a delightful group of ladies - I usually take a group photo at the end of class but it is unseasonally warm for northern California right now so everyone was feeling a little wilted by the end of the day.
I'm flying home tomorrow and can't wait to start stitching with the new threads I picked out on Friday! As soon as I get caught up and put everything away in my kitchen, I will have needle in hand! 
I left home last week with a fairly gutted kitchen and should come home to a brand new everything! Countertops were to be installed Friday so the backsplash could be done and new appliances delivered. My brother is a contractor and came down to finish the job he started a few weeks ago when I was away in North Carolina for a week. When I came home from that trip, I had new tile floors and painted cabinets but have had no sink or stove for  cabinet doors for a couple of weeks. It will be wonderful to move the coffeepot out of the bathroom! I can't wait to cook something - words that rarely come out of my mouth! Mostly, I'm eager to see how everything I chose comes together and have it done. I've not seen any photos so I can experience the "reveal" in person when I walk through the door! No plane delays tomorrow, please!
Registration for Oasis, my new class with Shining Needle Society, is open now. If you're not familiar with Shining Needle Society, it's free to join and you can get more info here. You can see the colorways and registration info here. I did 9 different options! There is a lot of sparkle in the piece that doesn't show up well in the photos - it's a fun quick piece with different stitches and you get
to decide whether it should be a square or a diamond shaped design! While I designed and stitched it as a diamond, I took the appearance of it as square into consideration when I was choosing what to stitch where. I'd not done this before so it was a fun exercise - it's good to stretch and try something new. It's always amazing how turning or rotating a design gives it a different look.

Until next time....

Monday, July 6, 2015

More Starstruck Colorways Finished!

Some of my students spent the weekend stitching! Here are more of the colorways finished! First up is the Confetti colorway, stitched by Lois S.
Next is the Earthtones colorway, stitched by Carla H. 

 This is the Greens/Blues colorway, stitched by Valerie H.
and Barbi's "Beachy Starstruck" - she chose her own colors, which she'll happily share!

Thank you again for a great class! Here's a sneak peek of Oasis - it'll be offered soon through Shining Needle - I have threads laid out and am in the middle of choosing colorways. A trip to the Needle Bug may be on the agenda tomorrow!

Here's the sneak peek in black and white - sometimes I take a photo in black and white just to see the design and not be influenced by the color. It's easier to see the light, medium, and dark tones this way. 
Happy Stitching!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Starstruck Revealed

My Mystery class is finished - I sent the last lesson on July 1st. It was a six month class and the end was kind of bittersweet for me as I hit "send" to end the class. The best part is I can finally show my finished Starstruck!
Below is the Greens/Blues version - Valerie sent me a photo this morning of her finished piece!
...and here is Cranberry from DeAnn.

This was such a fun piece and it was a wonderful class. I especially loved seeing the other five colorways come to life. There has been such interest and demand, I will be releasing the pattern next month. Shops can pre-order now.

Happy Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Color Delights...Americana

You may be asking yourself when "Americana" became a COLOR?! I say now! I like to throw some different "colors" into my series of Color Delights to make you go hmmmm.... Occasionally somebody will tell me (or ask nicely!) what they'd like me to design for them. Americana came from one such "brainstorming session" (AKA lunch with friends!) when I laughingly said I could do something small with red white and blue stars and thought out loud, "I know, I'll throw it in the Color Delights series and call it "Americana". The joke was on me as I pondered it briefly and then said, "that's actually a great idea"! So here it is...just a few weeks later! I love it when something just flows so easily!
I'm almost done writing instructions and ordering threads and have just posted the pattern and kits on the website. Shops and customers may pre-order now.
I've started a new series and finished the first of four designs yesterday. That's all I can share at this point - stay tuned for more details...
Until next time, keep the needles flying!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

More Serenity and something new...

I'm so pleased to show you photos of some of my students' work! They've had such fun stitching Serenity and several have completed it. It's such fun to see the different colorways come to life! First up is Pam B's - it's called "Flowers of Italy". She was clever and added her initials to the piece - can you find them?!
Next is Highland Garden - it was one of the most popular colorways!
And here's Arnhem Heath, the ever popular purple and green! 

I'll be teaching this project at Needle in a Haystack in Alameda, CA next month - if you're wanting some Serenity, come join us. You can see all the info here.