Monday, May 24, 2010


Right now the landscape in Chilly Hollow is lush and green after a record-breaking year of rain- and snowfall.  If you are tempted to stitch something like the above (which is the edge of the my woods with wild raspberries and self-seeded foxgloves), you need to visit the Julie Mar trunk show at Nimble Needle.  Julie works in Asheville, NC which is at the other end of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Chilly Hollow.  Many of her landscapes are of similar scenes.  Of course she does beaches, too!

Julie's website is at this second link, just in case you can't get enough of her signature Appalachian mountain landscapes (although she does terrific small florals and great little bracelet cuffs).

By the way, the same shop blog is showcasing a great many wooden boxes with needlework inserts.  It's a good place to view the large variety of sizes, woods, and prices for such items.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Bell, Bird and Fringe

So far I've stitched the bell, the toy bird and the fringe and buttons along the edge of Santa's jacket and scarf.  I've also done two of the three greens on the leaves and jacket and scarf.  It seems to make sense to pick groups of colors (I'll do the yellows next) and finish all the bits of that color in each stitching session.

Because I'm varying the thread texture, not the stitches, I'm trying to draw attention to certain areas by the threads used there.  For instance, the bell is stitched with Silk Lame Braid, which is a twisted silk that has a thread of metallic mixed in.

I used bright yellow for the bell, then used orange and lime for the bell decoration across the middle.   The lime doesn't scream LIME on the design because it is similar in intensity to the yellow.  Both are medium shades, which means they are difficult for the eye to pick out and separate.  The dark orange stands out nicely against the other two colors, however.  The same orange Silk Lame Braid is used on the two packages at the snowman's feet on the left.  But the yellow is different.  I used a wool-silk blend there (I think it is Felicity's Garden but there is no label so I can't be sure).  This means the packages aren't as shiny as the bell since only one thread there has metallic in it.

For the bird, the buttons along the edge of the jacket, and the long fringe at the bottom of the scarf, I switched to Kreinik's new holographic threads.  These threads scream Look At Me! so they are perfect for areas I want to draw the eye to, like the toy bird and the long fringe and the buttons.  Actually, I planned where I wanted to use this thread carefully, distributing areas of holographic metallic around the canvas.  The largest concentration is at the bird, but I also plan to stitch the red bow on the package the snowman carries in this thread.  My only problem is that Kreinik holographic only comes in one shade of red (And there is no holographic pink--What were you guys thinking?!!?) so I'll have to do the dark red in another red metallic or use the purple holographic thread.  If you look at the buttons along the hem of the jacket, a few are purple, not red.  This is how the canvas is painted and I do like the effect.  I just have to decide whether this looks like a shadow or whether I have to use dark red instead.  Decisions, decisions!

The greens in the leaves are all J. L. Walsh's silk/wool blend.  This is a luxurious thread that divides into five plies.  It is no longer being made, sadly, but it is gorgeous.  Some of my skeins are solid colors, some are subtle overdyes.  I used three shades of green for the leaves.  The dark green blocks of color on the jacket and scarf are all JL Walsh, too.  But the lime green is Impressions. I happened to have the perfect shades of lime in that thread.  Impressions is also half silk and half wool but it is a bit thicker in dimension than one ply of the JL Walsh silk/wool.  I love Impressions and use it often.  The thread looks more like wool than silk but a wool that has the sheen of silk. I plan to do as much of the snowman's jacket and scarf as I can in Impressions with some help from JL Walsh's silk/wool blend to fill in with colors.  I may use some Felicity's Garden also.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at