Thursday, April 27, 2017

Embroidery Stitch Identification Guide

Thanks to Hands Across the Sea Samplers I have a link to a stitch identification guide developed by the Henry Art Gallery to help them in their analysis of early embroidered pieces.

I am not certain how useful this will be to needlepointers,  but it sure would be nice if it was expanded to include needlepoint stitches which have multiple names for the same stitch.  I think if we want a common database to help identify stitches to use a common name, we'll have to build it ourselves.

This link has been added to the "Stitch Diagrams and Resources" area waaaaaaay down at the bottom of Blog.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright April 3, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Introducing the Needle Dames

Unique Needle Minders from Needle Dames
Ginny Stapleton has taken her love of stitching to Etsy where she is selling unique needle minders made from vintage Adagio jewelry, specifically the beautiful porcelain faces set with rhinestones for eyes and occasionally used as other embellishments.  You can see the current offerings here.

Ginny asked me if I would review these for her and sent me "Phoenix" who is painted as a Native American Indian from Arizona.  You can see the package Phoenix arrived in on the left.  There is a cute little drawstring bag with the magnet on a card and a round metal magnet on the other side so she can adorn your canvas (or your collar).  Ginny also included her business card.  These were wrapped in tissue paper and shipped in a padded envelope so there was no danger that Phoenix would be chipped or marred in transit.

Phoenix at Work
Phoenix's face is really beautifully painted.  You can see her eyelashes, the pigtails and her headband which is adorned with another rhinestone in this closeup shot.  I put her to work on my current canvas.  The magnet is strong but not strong enough to hold scissors or laying tools.  I don't use my needle magnets that way but if you do, Phoenix and her kin aren't going to hold really heavy items unless you substitute a strong earth magnet for the backing magnet she comes with.  However her magnet holds needles very well, even those placed on top of her face.  I put the needle to the side under her porcelain face so that you could see her lovely features, but needles on top of her face never wavered.  They were held tight by her magnet.

Phoenix is around an inch high and a bit over half an inch wide.  If you like small needle minders like the tiny square silver ones, she is going to seem big to you, but she's two-thirds of the size of most of the Big Buddy magnets from The Meredith Collection, so she is not among the largest magnets available.  Big enough to have personality but not so large she gets in the way, in other words.  I found the size pretty comparable to the magnets I use the most.

Phoenix kept me company for nearly a week, manfully holding 1-3 needles at a time as I worked, never dropping a needle or becoming dinged by my careless handling.  I found her good company, actually, and started talking to her as I stitched, asking her opinion of this thread or that stitch.  I have to say she never talked back, either.  LOL

The variety of Needle Dames is large and I was impressed that they are not all white female visages.  Currently there is a male baseball player among Ginny's stock and there are also black and Hispanic and Native American females among the lovely faces, all awaiting a new home.  These are rather expensive as needle minders go, but these are vintage pieces.  You probably aren't going to see another magnet just like yours if you purchase one, which will appeal to those who like distinctive accessories for their stitching.

Ginny has allowed me to give Phoenix away to a Blog reader.  To enter yourself into the drawing for this unique fashion magnet, please either leave a comment here or email me at chilly hollow at hot mail dot com if the Comment Section doesn't work for you.  I will draw a name at random next Wednesday, May 3rd, and post the result here.  Then Phoenix will come to live on the winner's canvas to silently keep him or her company.

Thanks, Ginny!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright April 15, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Bit (And A Lot) About Compensation

Ruth Schmuff just put an interesting little explanation of compensation on her website.  She makes it easy to understand and shows a trick to figure out what you need to do when your stitch is bigger than the area you need to put it inside.

If you want a Masters degree in compensation, visit the four part series on compensation that Tony Minieri wrote that is on the American Needlepoint Guild's website.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright March 31, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Profile of Jessica Chaney (Lycette Designs)

This fashion blog has a profile of the owner of Lycette Designs Needlepoint.  It's an interesting interview, touching on other aspects of Jessica's life, the dangers of copyright violations to a new designer, and more.  Many thanks to Paige of The Pink Clutch for helping us get to know one of the newest designers of painted needlepoint canvases.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright March 31, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Breaking News: Sally Skeleton is Gone

Jan Grioux just announced on Facebook that the designer Sally Skeleton has died.  Use the right side arrow to see some of Sally's wonderful Southwestern-themed and saint canvases.

Jan wrote a memorial to Sally that you'll want to read.  I've reprinted it below.

"SallyJim Skelton – End of an era

A small photo hangs on the wall showing a young girl standing on the backs of two white, galloping horses dressed in a white fringed skirt and jacket and a white hat. This young rodeo cowgirl, from the panhandle of Texas became one the finest needlepoint masters, not just in Texas and New Mexico, but in the United States. Every time I visited this western cowgirl in Deming, New Mexico, I took a moment to gaze at the young girl that became my best friend and mentor.

With the death of Sally on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017 this image of the romantic west came to an end and all that remains is that photo of the galloping horses and her legacy as a needlepoint artist.

I met Sally in the late 1970’s – she was walking through the El Paso Airport and saw some of my clay pieces in a small gallery. She called and my life has been better ever since. She wanted my whimsical clay Santos, flowers, and birds in her shop, Sally’s Stitchin’ Post, in Deming, New Mexico. Her promise: every house in Deming will have your pieces as well as any travelers that find her shop. Amazingly, she came close to succeeding and keeping her promise. She was not an easy mentor – didn’t like this or that, too big-too small-the critiques kept coming. But she was right and my work is still being improved upon through Sally’s voice in my head.

In Sally’s shop, besides gifts and artists, Sally sold needlepoint canvases, threads, and accessories. Sally convinced me to not only develop my clay, but also, to develop a talent for needlework. She assigned lessons, always with new stitches. I became her ghost stitcher for projects she designed.

My mentor – My friend

Needlepointing early in life, Sally learned from Bob Black, “Sister.” She would pick up a canvas between diapers, at gun shows with her husband, between horse shows, at her shop. She also studied, completed and received her American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) Senior Master Teacher Certification. Sally was a charter member and past president of the New Mexico Chapter ANG Guild as well as the Red Hot Stitchers Needlepoint Group, supported by needlepointers in the El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico area. Not only could Sally stitch up a storm and choose the right stitch for the area, she also designed and painted canvases, and sold saints with her New Mexican flair throughout the country.

Who would have thought that this short in stature, big hearted needlepointer had the back bone of a gun trader. With her husband, Skeeter Skelton, the youngest sheriff in Texas, at one time, Sally learned the gun business. Skeeter, her 'lawman' wrote articles in Shooting Times and became an expert in handguns. After his death, Sally continued selling guns and became an expert along with her son Bart. She continued dealing guns until her death.

Sally stayed in the home that she and Skeeter had on the outskirts of Deming, her choice to be surrounded by her horses, peacocks, dogs, cats, and thick wooden block that Skeeter used to practice and test his handguns. As her son Bart stated, 'My Mom lived her entire life on her terms-even at the end. She wanted to stay as long as she could in her home with the memories of my Dad. After so many years without him, she kept pistols, badges, cowboy hats, and shooting gates near and dear.'

If you are fortunate to have stitched any of Sally’s hand-painted canvases – or have one in waiting – you are familiar with her unique signature 'Sally Did It.' And yes she did – Sally did it! Sally did it all and did it her way!

Click on this site about Sally from article from The Oklahoman."

Thank you, Jan.
Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright April 23, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.