Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rearranging the Furniture Again

I'm sure some of you were very surprised to see Blog this morning as I moved the furniture around again.  I've discovered that the new look I created a couple of weeks back plays havoc on older computers.  Since Blog isn't ALL about me, I decided it would be better to return to the old look as much as possible, even if that means I have to discard some new features.  After all, I want folks to be able to visit without the images and text jumping around all over the screen!

So this morning I recreated the old blog look as closely as possible (it is no longer one of the regular templates one can choose from), then changed things all around as much as possible to put them back to where they were before since all the sections were scrambled when I went back to the old template.

The next step is to tinker with the colors of the titles and links before and after you click, etc.

So if you are here during the renovation, sorry!  I'll get it all done as quickly as possible.  By the way, there are six fish in the koi pond now.  There's an extra purple one, just for you guys.

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

Trim and Other New Things

I updated the Stitch Guides blog with a brief article on Orna Willis, who is just starting to design painted canvases with a stitch guide, and with a description of Pegge Hopper's Hawaiian women series, some of which come with stitch guides.  (One of Pegge's pieces for Needlepoint Etc. in Honolulu is the Canvas of the Day today.)  You can visit Stitch Guides by clicking on the tab above, by clicking on the Magic Carpet photo near the blog list on this page, or by going here.

Mary Corbet's blog mentioned a brand new product yesterday, a corded metallic trim called Soft Metallic Twist.  She has great close up photos of the colors available.

Because Mary doesn't say how much trim is in a package and I can't see the manufacturer name in her photo, I did a little Googling and found that Alex Parras Needle Arts sells this stuff.  It comes in two diameters and there is a meter in each package, i.e., roughly a yard.

You can buy it in larger quantities here from this Canadian site.  At least I think this is the same thing.  I know nothing about the Canadian shop,  but Alex Parras Needle Arts is the Internet presence of Thistle Needleworks in Connecticut.  I highly recommend their shop's selection of goods and their customer service.

Finally, let's go visit Nimble Needle's blog and see how a customer, faced with a gift canvas with elements she didn't particularly care for, customized it to suit her own tastes.  I think it turned out great! If you are in the same boat, why not try similar techniques yourself?

Jane, standing on the edge of the swimming pool and screaming, "Jump, jump, jump!" to the stitchers standing on the edge wondering if there are sharks.  No NP police, no sharks, I promise.

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

The Peach and the Plum

The Peach and The Plum

Once Cha's fruit stems were finished, I started work on the peach and plum.  These are beautifully painted and I wanted light coverage stitches to show off the shading.  I also wanted to use more round or oval stitches.  After all, both fruit are rounded and using similar stitches to the ones on the leaves and flower petals will help unify the various areas of this design.

I decided on Small Balloon Stitch, which I found in Brenda Hart's Favorite Stitches (page 11).  Here is what it looks like.

Brenda Hart's Small Balloon Stitch
This stitch is small in scale, perfect for the peach and plum which are much smaller than the parrot.  I started with the left side of the peach and worked it to the right, switching colors from hot pink to pink to peach and goldenrod.  There is a white highlight painted on the peach which I stitched with a thin pink metallic.  I only used one ply of my threads, so that most of the shading shows.

Then I switched to the plum and worked it left to right in the same way, except I used one ply of three shades of purple.  In this case the highlight is a light purple color.  Did you notice the one blue stitch at the bottom of one Small Balloon Stitch in the stitched sample above?  Brenda Hart recommends putting a metallic stitch at the top and bottom of the long pairs of stitches in the center of one complete Small Balloon Stitch.  I added these two horizontal stitches using purple Accentuate just in the highlight area.  The rest of the plum doesn't have metallic accents.

I doubt you can see the metallic pinks and purples in the peach and plum but in person they add a lot to this piece.

Next time I'll talk about the cluster of wild grapes.  By the way, I finished another leaf and a half last night, which means I have five leaves to go.  I also stitched a leaf vein, to see if the thread and stitch I'd chosen work.  But more about that once I finish explaining the fruit cluster.

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