Sunday, July 31, 2011

Busy with Stitch Guides

Not only did I finish the last custom stitch guide in the queue this morning, I also rewrote the articles about the stitch guide writers Robin King and Cynthia Thomas on the CH Stitch Guides blog.  I hope you have fun reading Cynthia's new blog and checking out all the new guides and classes available from Robin.
http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com/

I'll have more stitch guide information coming later this week.  Meanwhile, keep an eye on Melissa Shirley's website.  She is adding a section about stitch guide writers to her list of official available guides.  It isn't ready yet but it won't be long now.
http://melissashirleydesigns.com/galcol/?col=123

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

One Last Christmas in July

Here's one last Christmas in July posting to celebrate the end of the month.  
http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/07/25/my-oh-my-its-christmas-in-july/

I'm writing this on July 25 even though it will post on Blog later.  Will you excuse me?  I'm going to go scream since Christmas is just five months from now....

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Fool The Engineer With Needlepoint

I very much enjoyed the short article from Needlepoint of View (Pepita Needlepoint's blog) about engineers and needlepoint.  It got me thinking.
http://needlepointofview.com/2011/07/15/attention-engineers-try-needlepoint/

Janet Perry's found an iPhone stitch it yourself kit.  Would an engineer with a smart phone be tempted to try by this?
http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/spiff-up-your-iphone

Or would an engineer be tempted by classic trompe l'oeil as stitched in Ruth Schmuff's class?
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2011/07/needlepoint-can-fool-your-eye.html

Whichever route you take, go tempt an engineer with needlepoint, will you?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Celebrating Barbara's Journey

I've been quite curious about Barbara Russell's book, Celebrating My Journey in Needlepoint after I saw mention of it on her website in late spring.
http://barbararusselldesigns.com/

Janet Perry has obtained a copy and written a review for those of us who haven't had the chance to see it yet.  It sounds as if this is an interesting view of a personal stitching journey and that it documents needlepoint designs common in the 20th Century.  Janet says it isn't inspirational, but isn't that what Blog and the Internet in general are for?  LOL
http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/celebrating-my-journey-in-needlepoint-book-review

Seriously, we should all think about a photo album of our stitching journey.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

The Skinner Sisters Do Copyright

Any serious student of blackwork will have run across The Skinner Sisters' fine website dedicated to this art.  I haven't visited the site in a while so I was surprised to find that Linn Skinner's put her fine mind to work understanding copyright and copyright violations and the impact they are having on charted design authors.
http://www.skinnersisters.com/copyright/

There's a lot of information about copyright law (the U.S. version) and also a list of roughly 49,500 pages of free charts found online.  These come from major publishers and I doubt many of them were put online by their authors.

You can see the impact copyright theft has had on cross stitch designers just by looking at this list.  I think we are very fortunately that painted canvases are harder to steal but I am now worried about my favorite counted canvaswork designers.  Can they survive among the thieves for long?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Not Knitting, It's a Chicken

Do you have the same problem with your spouse I have with mine?  Beloved constantly refers to my needlepoint as "knitting."  I don't correct him anymore, since this is a waste of time--as anyone who's been married more than 15 minutes can tell you.  They hear what they want to hear.  (I'd like to think I'm not the same way but I wouldn't bet my stash of threads on that point!)

This is a long introduction to the funniest thing I've read in a long time, courtesy of Barbara Elmore.  She has a funny story to tell about how her rooster piece got its name. It's a lovely realistic fowl portrait and an amazing piece of needlepoint, but the thing that got me laughing is the link her sister sent her.  Read Barbara's article first and admire that amazing bird before you click on that link.
http://stitchpography.blogspot.com/2011/07/knitting-or-knot.html

Also put down your drink and get out the kleenex because reading Barbara's link made me laugh out loud until I cried.  Don't click on the link until you are someplace private, either.

The next time my husband calls needlepoint "knitting" I'm going to tell him it's not knitting, it's a chicken.  Then I will collapse in laughter and he'll shake his head in wonder.  He might even not call it knitting for a while for fear of my becoming hysterical with laughter again.  [snicker]

Marriage is a wonderful institution, isn't it?

UPDATE:  There's more to the chicken story Barbara linked to.  There are even t-shirts for sale.  Two versions, one more polite than the other. Plus a baby Beyonce complete with flying wild boar on the little one's head.
http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/i-dont-have-a-title-for-this-because-ive-run-out-of-puns-please-insert-your-own/

http://thebloggess.com/2011/07/knock-knock-motherfucker-giant-metal-chickens-revisited/

UPDATE #2:  Ann has a similar problem.
http://stitchingfoolishness.blogspot.com/2011/09/we-may-have-been-married-too-long.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Poisonous

DMC's blog just posted mention of Sinister Stitch, which is actually the needle artist Victoria Crowder Payne. She currently specializes in embroidering poisonous plants.  There are plenty of links in the article where you can see more of Victoria's work, including a documentary.  This will be a fun exploration for anyone interested in plants, poisons and the artistic temperment.
http://dmc-threads.com/stitching-art/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Ehrman Alert

Fans of Ehrman's traditional needlepoint kits will be interested to hear that their Six Days of Creation series is currently on sale.  These 12 count kits are designed by Alex Beattie.  They remind me of William Morris' designs somehow.  While you are visiting, check out the sale section for more wonderful designs meant to be stitched with wools in tent stitches.
http://www.ehrmantapestry.com/Departments/Creation-Series.aspx

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Today I'm Sulky

No, I'm not pouting here in CH (although the hot, humid weather has me grouchy).  I'm stitching with Sulky.  Sulky metallic sewing thread, that is.  I'm using a doubled strand of the variegated red/green/gold color #142-7027 on Smilin' Jack's leaves.
http://www.wardrobesupplies.com/store/thread_sulky.html

Sulky is a sewing machine thread that comes on a spool similar to the ones Accentuate is packaged on.  The two threads are similar, but a slightly different weight.  I'm using it to add a glint of metallic to my oak leaves.  You can see the effect better on the gold and green leaves than the gold one.  The red or green or gold falls at random as I stitch and the gold part doesn't show up as well on the gold colored leaf as it does the others.

It is a nice subtle touch, though.  You can see it in the header photo I posted yesterday and better today as I added a background photo on the side.

I found my Sulky at Joann's Fabrics.  Like knitting shops, chains that sell sewing and quilting supplies are good places to rummage for items that can be adapted to needlepoint.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Reviewing Nature's Palette

No, I'm not critiquing Mother Nature.  Nature's Palette is a company that produces special colors of needlepoint canvas.  Janet Perry just reviewed their products on her blog.
http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/natures-palette-canvas-product-review

Remember Luna from the Ladies of the Night series (from Leigh Designs)?  She's one of my projects listed on the right side of the page.  Luna is painted on one of Nature's Palette's canvases, the one called Storm Cloud (in the Custom section in the link to their website below).  It's a gray canvas with charcoal speckles and flecks.  Perfect for this moody and atmospheric design!
http://www.naturespalettecanvases.com/Home_Page.html

Counted canvaswork folks should check out the Laura Perin section of their website as they sell a kit for some of her geometric charts done on their canvases.  Anyone looking for a special background color needs to consider Nature's Palette.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Gardening with Ribbon and Threads and Buttons

It's astounding what flowers you can "grow" with a little ribbon and thread.
http://pocketfullofstitches.blogspot.com/2011/07/rheas-flowers.html

This is going to be a class at Pocket Full of Stitches.  Be sure to check with them if you want to be part of this needlepoint gardening experience!

By the way, Ruth Schmuff's last mystery class model has returned from the finisher.  This is a Zecca canvas and Ruth convinced the designer to make extra fancy clay buttons for this piece which are attached to the frame.  Clever idea!  Actually, any button you like that coordinates with your stitching could decorate the frame or the trim with just a little thread or glue applied.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2011/07/our-bird-has-flown-home.html

Kelly Clark's stumpwork sampler is full of garden images--from ponds to flowers and more.  This is going to be a class eventually but for now she's just playing with the techniques.
http://kellyclarkneedlepointhandbook.blogspot.com/2011/07/kellys-stump-work-sampler.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sidewalk Sales July 28, 29, 30

There's a sidewalk sale this weekend in the tiny hamlet of Hingham, Massachusetts.  Every shop in town (all perhaps three blocks of them) is having a sale.  That includes Hingham Square Needlepoint, which promises 75% off some items.  If you are in the Boston area and are up for a ride down 3A, or if you are just exploring the coast of Massachusetts, you won't go wrong if you visit Hingham and hit the sale, then travel to nearby Cohasset for the shops and Hull for the beautiful tiny beaches and the food.
http://hinghamsquareneedlepoint.com/

After all, who can resist a shop whose website says, "Today’s needlepoint is not just about what we see on the canvas but what we can create that goes well beyond the boundaries of what’s painted."

Wish they'd be there when I lived in Hingham!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Document Spontaneous Acts, Win

Peacock Alley Needlepoint in Michigan just announced spontaneous acts of needlepointing are breaking out all over their area--in doctor offices, during traffic jams, at the lake and swimming pool, in the stands of baseball games, anywhere!  Take a photo of such guerilla stitching and email it to the shop by August 15, and if your snapshot is the cleverest of them all, you'll win a $25 gift certificate.

Which you will promptly spend at the shop since during the month of August they are having a Sidewalk Sale with lots of bargains in all sorts of categories, from canvases to leather goods to books and CDs and threads.
http://www.peacockalleyneedlepoint.com/Peacock_Alley_Needlepoint/Home.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Fooling with Stitches and Colors

Ruth Schmuff has started her next mystery class.  This time she is working magic with what at first glance appears to be a traditional canvas by Marie Barber of Colors of Praise.  Ruth is fooling the eye with stitches while her students are fooling around with color.  A good time is being had by all, including us onlookers!
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2011/07/needlepoint-can-fool-your-eye.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Look What Kelly Did

Kelly Clark has updated her website with the new items from Columbus.  There's lots to see and enjoy!
http://www.kellyclarkneedlepoint.com/summer_tnna

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Halloween Haberdashery

Michele at Bristly Thistle has added a slide show of Kelly Clark's new Halloween witch hats to her blog.  If you are a fan of Halloween, you'll enjoy checking this out.  The stitch guide that you can get for these canvases covers all of the set but they really don't look all that hard to stitch (or to finish) to me.
http://bristlythistle.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/new-needlepoint-designs-from-kelly-clark/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

The Irresistable Impulse

Robin was out driving toward Santa Monica, when her car turned into Aristeia's parking lot. Read what happens next here.  Stitch that background faster, Robin.  We want you to get something new and fabulous for yourself from the shop.
http://robinchapmannews.blogspot.com/2011/07/robin-recommends-aristeia-needlepoint.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Monday, July 25, 2011

Achieving More Halloween Elegance

I've added a second photo of part of the Lee tote bag insert I'm working for Leigh Designs to the background of Blog this morning.  I'm sure you have heard over and over again that simple is elegant.  Don't over-accessorize.  Keep it simple.  Etc.

Some painted canvases call for over-the-top elements.  Some need a cleaner and more streamlined approach.  Smilin' Jack is one of the latter designs since it's a small canvas and is supposed to have a short stitch guide.  So how do I do this?  How do you "style" a small pumpkin canvas in an elegant manner that will look sophisticated because it is simple?

I decided that I would use the same stitch for all the leaves.  Only the color and the orientation of the stitch changes.  Simple but elegant.

Of course this is just step one of the leaves....

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Buy an Orphan Stocking or Bride

Nimble Needle is helping out a customer by selling two finished (or almost finished) pieces that a customer stitched but doesn't love through the shop's eBay store.  The first is a Victorian bride and the second a Christmas stocking without a name.  The two pieces are on their blog under July 19, 2011.
http://thenimbleneedle.blogspot.com/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

I'd Heard About These

I had heard that Sundance had some fabulous new purses but until Vicky posted a photo, I'd never seen what they look like--or even had a good description.  Aren't they lovely?
http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/07/16/sundance-design-presents/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Speaking of Elegance

Since we were speaking of how to create an elegant design yesterday, I thought you'd enjoy seeing this very elegant finishing from Ridgewood Needlepoint.
http://ridgewoodneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2011/07/janes-pillow.html

http://ridgewoodneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2011/07/janes-exciting-week.html

It's outstanding finishing that enhances the calm beauty of the original design.

By the way, Orna Willis's newest design (a glimpse of which is on her blog) looks to be very elegant also.  I bet Hanging Gardens would be beyond elegant done in golds and ecru with touches of black or deepest navy....
http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2011/07/leaving-very-soon.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

A Different Sort of Christmas in July

I've posted a lot of shop Christmas in July sales this month but this time I have something totally different--a Christmas in July design.  Laura Perin has a new design out--a Christmas tree!  I think it is darling and very cleverly done, too.  Looking at this new counted thread pattern, I do feel like I just opened a gift from Laura.  Thanks!
http://two-handedstitcher.blogspot.com/2011/07/oh-my-its-christmas-in-july.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Blasting Off Into Space

Thanks to Tisha I know there is embroidery in space.  
http://thistle-threads.com.mytempweb.com/blog/index.php/2011/07/embroidery-in-space/

http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=49005

I have to say I am sad to see the space shuttle program go.  Our current leadership doesn't have the vision (or the money) to keep it going, which is a real shame.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Elegant Halloween

Smilin' Jack Started Out All Beads
When I introduced Smilin' Jack a few days back, I explained that this small piece (8 1/2 x 4 inches) is going to be a model for Leigh Designs and also will have a short stitch guide. So how do you create a flashy enough design for a model that can't have an elaborate stitch guide?  The answer is, well, beads.

Smilin' Jack himself has beads scattered throughout his stitches.  When it comes to high impact, only Swarkovski crystals and sequins give you more bang for the stitch than beads.  If you don't overdo it, you get an elegant effect.  Since Jacques (the beads have gone to his head and The Squash thinks he's French royalty) needs to be elegant --that's a hallmark of Leigh Designs-- I was relatively restrained with the beads.  Not that Smilin' Jack started out this way.  At first I started to totally bead him using Don Lynch's (Associated Talents) woven bead stitch.  That's what you see in the photo above.  But it was Too Much, so out all the beads came.  Instead I used the technique that Sundance Designs describes in their little Sundance Beads for Needlepoint pamphlet.  I substituted beads for some of the elements of my chosen stitch.

Beads can be substituted in any stitch that is made up in part by tent stitches.  Look at this stitch from the ANG Stitch of the Month pages--
http://www.needlepoint.org/StitchOfTheMonth/1999/99-01.php

You can substitute beads for the two tent stitches that flank the longer middle stitch.  You could put a bead in the middle where four Mosaic Stitches meet.  You could even substitute a bead at random for a tent stitch here and there. Or substitute a string of beads for the longer stitch that the tent stitches flank.  There are a LOT of beading possibilities with just this one stitch.  Sundance's little book diagrams twenty-five stitches they mix beads into in the back of their book.  That's what got me thinking about substituting beads for the tiny basic tent stitch.

If you want more information about Sundance's booklet, here's the review I wrote in 2009 when it first came out and I got my hands on a copy.
http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2009/03/book-review-sundance-beads-for.html

A quick Google search this morning brought up two websites with Sundance's booklet in stock.  There are probably many more but I simply used the first two links that appeared in my search if you want a copy of the little book.
http://www.needlepointtooltime.com/product/SB

http://www.amybunger.com/catalog/item/6268582/6868467.htm

Happy beading!  Now I need to finish the first step of a leaf before working a bit more background.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Needles and Old Stitching

Kreinik's newest blog entry is all about needles:  specifically, which needle do you use for the various size of Kreinik metallics.  A lot depends on the ground fabric you are using.  The article has a chart for quilters and links to articles on the Kreinik website for cross stitch and needlepoint stitchers.  Good information!
http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2011/07/which-needle-should-i-use.html

Needlework Retailer just mentioned this article about how to update inherited cross stitch pieces.  The ideas in the Comments at the bottom of the page are great and will work for many needlepoint pieces as well.  Perhaps you'll take that old pillow you stitched in 1987 out of the closet and rework it....
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/boston/good-questions/how-to-update-inherited-cross-stitch-artwork-good-question-141461

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Linda Calls This Madness

I call it genius.  What do you think?
http://lkreinmiller.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-newest-madness.html

Linda K. Reinmiller will be teaching this later in the year.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yet Another Shop is Closing

Margaret wrote me last night that yet another shop is closing.  This time it is Exclamation Point! in Saratoga, CA.  The owner Dee wants to retire--and at her age!  (80)
http://www.exclamationpoint.org/home

Dee is going to celebrate her 81st birthday next September 17 with a wild closing celebration and sale from 1-5 p.m. that day.  The final day the shop will be open is September 30th.  But Dee promises a great new adventure at her website (under construction as we speak) as a Needlepoint Consultant.  She's going to figure out what that is later in the year.  So bookmark the shop and check occasionally to see what adventures she is up to.  And don't forget to check in with the shop before the end of September if you can to thank Dee for her years of service as a shop owner catering to our every stitching need.
http://www.whyknotstitch.com/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Donna Goes on a Road Trip, Jane Scores Master Enabler Points

Donna heard about the big sale this month at Canvases Be Gone and scored a few delights.  (Five enabling points to me!).  She's also been on a road trip to visit Bedecked and Beaddazzled, which is Ruth Schmuff's shop in the northern Baltimore suburbs.
http://majtravaux.blogspot.com/2011/07/road-trip-tuesday.html

Wait a minute?  The shop has a leopard print rug?!

Then Donna and friends headed to Threads and Needles of Ruxton and then they continued on to the Stitching Post.  It sounds like a fabulous day.
http://majtravaux.blogspot.com/2011/07/road-trip-part-ii.html

Someday I may do a road trip of my own....

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Christmas in October?

Today it is Christmas in October!  Waste Knot (Arlington, VA, which is a D.C. suburb) is having a special Christmas class in October taught by the Stitches for Effect ladies, Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson.  They are going to teach an all day class October 9 (10-5 p.m.) about twelve stitches for Christmas needlepoint designs.  You'll stitch swatches of various stitches and see all the possibilities to enhance that Christmas stocking/ornament/picture you have hidden away in a closet.
http://www.wasteknotneedlepoint.com/

To read more, click on Classes and Events, then use the blue directional arrows at the top of the calendar to change the month to October.  Then click on 10/9 and read all about it.

By the way, currently there's a Rebecca Wood trunk show going on at the shop with 15% off a huge selection of her wonderful designs!  The trunk show is over next Saturday so act fast if you are interested.  That happens to be the same day as the Xmas in July 25% off sale at Needlewoman East, which is about a 12-15 minute drive from Waste Knot, so you can make a day of it.
http://www.theneedlewomaneast.com/Welcome.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Cat Topiary Garden Colors

Fans of the blues and greens in my cat topiary garden will be interested to see the Birds of a Feather piece one of the Pocket Full of Stitches folks is currently stitching.  This piece has the same cool blue-green mix of colors and the same large blocks of space to fill with various stitches.  Click and enjoy!
http://pocketfullofstitches.blogspot.com/2011/07/devons-project.html

(By the way, I've seen this same piece in a pink and orange version with navy blue birds.)

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Lee's eBook Cover Review

Janet Perry reviews the new Lee eBook reader cover.  She uses a Kindle so I am not sure if this works well for other brands or not.
http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/self-finishing-ebook-reader-cover-from-lee-product-review

Here's what Colonial Needle (the owner of Lee Needle Arts) says about their eBook reader covers.
http://needlemenow.blogspot.com/2011/02/black-and-white-and-red-everywhere.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Smilin' Jack (or Stitch Guide Considerations)

Leigh Designs' Smilin' Jack
I am sure some of you who visited Blog this morning while I was changing the header photo and color scheme were somewhat confused by all the changes.  I have to make them one at a time, check each one to see how it looks, and then move to the next step.    I'm sure it looks odd when you walk in during the middle of a change.  Sorry! Hope you like the cool sage green colors, though.  In this heat anything that looks cool is good.

The switch was to show off my latest project for Leigh Designs, one of the Fash Insert series.  These canvases are all 8 1/2 inches long by 4 inches wide and are on 18 count canvas.  They are designed to fit into the front space of the Lee nylon tote bags.  You can see the Fash Inserts available from Leigh Designs at the link below.  There are other Fash Insert designs from Leigh that can only be ordered from Colonial Needle, the owner of the Lee leather goods line, so they aren't on the Leigh website.  I don't see them on the Lee/Colonial site yet so I can't provide a link to there.
http://www.leighdesigns.com/Grp761x.html

Here are good photos of the Lee nylon tote the Fash Inserts were intended for.  (Of course you can frame yours if you like.)
http://theneedleworks.com/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=72&products_id=6112

I got an email from Leigh herself late last spring asking me to stitch one of the Fash Inserts for her to use as a model.  Sometimes when I stitch for a designer I send them a selection of canvases I know I can stitch well and they pick what they would like emphasized in their line.  Sometimes I don't even see the design until it arrives at my door because they are still being created.  Smilin' Jack was a complete surprise.  I am not much of a Halloween canvas fan so this is going to be a challenge!  He arrived with a request for a simple but elegant take on him. These canvases aren't wildly expensive or large so the stitch guide has to be reasonably priced and not too elaborate.  I also have a deadline--this has to be ready for the August trade show.

So there you have it.  I have to stitch something pretty and quick that will stand up to being on the front of a tote bag.   I guess I'd better get started!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Another Christmas in July (Ventura)

A Thread Garden in Ventura, CA is having a Christmas in July sale.  Anything Christmas related is 20% off, from threads in Christmas colors to Christmas-themed canvases to things that might be Christmas gifts.  When you visit the newsletter announcement, explore a little.  This website is fun to explore!
http://thethreadgarden.com/Needlepointers_News.html

AWritten by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

The Bling Factor

If you get up in the morning, put on your diamonds and rubies and emeralds and sapphires, but it just isn't enough, here is the canvas magnet for you.
http://bestitchedneedlepoint.com/news-and-updates/warning…bling-it-on/

If you are not that flashy but more a cameo sort of person when it comes to jewelry, Kelmscott's magnets are your kind of decoration.  Tisha also shows off a pair of cat scissors that match one of the magnets here on her blog.
http://stitchplaywithneedlepointtooltime.blogspot.com/2011/07/more-new-inventory.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Announcing House of Koi

I've just updated the Chilly Hollow Stitch Guides blog with an announcement--a stitch guide for Leigh Design's House of Koi is now available from me.  Read all about it here--
http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com/2011/07/announcing-house-of-koi-stitch-guide.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Dr. McCoy, Is That You?

Halloween fans have probably already heard about the Creepy Characters monthly club a lot of shops are offering this year.  This is a set of nine little candy corn-shaped Halloween monsters from Needle Deeva with stitch guides by Robin King.  A lot of folks like the little owl, but my favorites are the smug suave devil and the little Dracula who closely resembles a young Harry Potter.  Which ones do you like?
http://www.bedeckedandbeadazzled.com/clubs.php

If you are signed up for the set, you'll want to know that there is a tenth monster available as a class taught by Robin King herself on August 14th (mail order students welcome) at Ruth Schmuff's shop.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-isafdOR5BAo/TbshgL46KRI/AAAAAAAAAiY/i3PZdF8SRb8/s1600/Creepy+Characters+sell+sheet.jpg

Here are the details about Bones.  "I'm a doctor, not a needlepoint ornament!"
http://www.bedeckedandbeadazzled.com/visitingTeachers.php

LOL

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Class and Class Prep

Julia Snyder has been visiting Bedecked and Beadazzled, which shows off the class project and some very happy stitchers who were in her class.  This is the end result of a lot of work which you'll see in the next link.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2011/07/theres-new-girl-in-town.html

Kelly Clark is getting ready to teach a Thanksgiving club at Needle Works, which means the shop has to figure out what threads will be used in the kits and come up with ways to make the kits affordable.  They also have to pick threads that will be used in several of the pieces.  Not an easy thing to do!
http://www.stitchinginthetexashillcountry.com/the_needle_works/2011/07/a-little-help-choosing-threads.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cat Topiary Garden: Miles to Stitch



Remember last time I used skip tent (or basketweave twill since I'm doing this on the diagonal like Ruth Schmuff does) to stitch the two small bushes lurking behind the gate?  And I told you I was going to use a variation of that stitch on the topiaries?  That's exactly what I have been doing, except instead of doing tent stitches on the diagonal as in the diagram here,
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2010/06/one-of-my-favorite-stitches.html

I am doing tiny cross stitches with my darkest green DMC cotton and the medium green DMC cotton I used on the hedges out front. You can just see what I've done in the photo I posted last time which I've reposted here.  The little yellow-green bush behind the gate is in skip tent, the tiny bit of topiary behind the cat topiary is in skip cross stitch.  The profile is higher in skipped cross stitch which makes it a tad more prominent.

I've turned the canvas upside down and am working the big bird topiary in the middle rear first.  The base of the bird topiary is dark green but a bit towards the top of the base is lighter green.  I am switching colors as I near the edge.  I plan to fill the entire bird topiary except for the very edges with this skipped cross stitch.  The edges will have French knots.  At least that is the plan.

Base of Bird Topiary Underway
This photo shows my progress to date.  It's going to take quite a while so I'm going to switch to a new project with a deadline and work on that most of the time, just doing skipped cross stitches when I am too tired to do anything fancy.  But not to fear, I'll be working on this.  I'm just not going to post again until the first topiary bush is done.

Anyone working this with me, use 1-2 plies of your thread to make the skip cross stitches.  When you get to the top where there is a lot of light yellow, stop.  That's where the French knots will go but I plan to do all the bottoms of all the topiaries in skipped cross stitch before I tackle the tops.  So leave those areas alone for now, ok?

I have a deadline for this piece also (mid-September) so I will be back to it, promise!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Victoria C. Frank Needle Art Tours

Since we have been reading about all the fabulous trips fellow stitchers are taking this summer, I thought you might like to hear about Victoria Frank's needle art tours.  Here is her website.  Right now she has two upcoming tours--one to Portugal and one to Phoenix.
http://vcfinc.com/

These are five star, luxury trips.  They are centered on the needle arts with an emphasis on learning.  If you would like to hear more, check out the Blog Talk Radio interview with Victoria herself that Gone Stitching did for their podcast.  Scroll down to find Show 62 on this list or download the podcast.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gone-stitching

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Needlepoint Etc. Sale

I've gotten word of another sale, this time at Needlepoint Etc., which has everything in stock on sale at 15% off until the end of July.  There's also free shipping for orders over $250, a pretty nice deal if you are mail ordering since Needlepoint Etc. is located in Honolulu, Hawaii.   Happy browsing!
http://www.needlepointhi.com/catalog/specials.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Odds and Ends and Stitch Guides

I have noticed that 30-40 folks a day visit my other blog--Chilly Hollow Stitch Guides.  I even occasionally get an email (sgfromchnp@gmail.com) asking me for help finding a guide for a specific canvas.  As a stitch guide writer and a friend of many other stitch guide writers, this makes me happy. Thank you all for your support!  I'll continue to announce updates and new articles when they are posted to CH Stitch Guides.  Remember to use the search function or scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on a keyword that interests you to find information that is beyond the first page.
http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com/

I've heard that Ridgewood Needlepoint is closing.  This is not good news--I have greatly enjoyed Elaine's blog and the shop is always doing something interesting.  I don't have the details but apparently the shop sent out emailed notices to their customers recently.  I can't say I am really surprised to see a shop close --a shop owner I know slightly confided she pays $6000 a month in rent for a location that's not particularly prime or in a large town!-- but it is not great to hear that such a good shop is closing.  The life of a shop owner is not easy and I can see folks would get tired of the grind or want to retire.
http://www.ridgewoodneedlepoint.com/

In better news, Needlepoint.com's Kathy Schenkel trunk show has arrived.  To get 20% off if you are ordering online, use the coupon code Kathy at checkout.  The site seems to be down right now but it's early Saturday morning.  Hopefully by the time this article publishes on Sunday the broken link will be working.
http://www.needlepoint.com/all-canvases/kathy-schenkel-trunk-show.html

If you have a shop you love, why not buy something this week?  Even a skein of DMC cotton helps pay that rent, you know!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Australian Stitching Shop Tour

Corliss has been traveling in Australia and of course, squeezing in as many visits to needlework shops as possible.  Since she works at Needle Works in Austin, she is using the shop blog to report back to us stay-at-home types.  It's lots of fun to see what she bought and hear about the shops where she bought her treats.
http://www.stitchinginthetexashillcountry.com/the_needle_works/2011/07/stitching-downunder.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Goldwork

Since I've already mentioned crewel this morning, how about I send you to Christa's blog to read about her goldwork class with Michele Roberts?  Michele does gorgeous goldwork but you have to see it in person to appreciate how 3-D traditional English style goldwork is and how lovely it looks.  There is nothing more beautiful than gold metal threads arranged in a pleasing design!
http://lilystitch.blogspot.com/2011/07/michele-roberts-class.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Kathy at the Royal School

Kathy is taking a crewel course at the Royal School in Hampton Court Palace.  And she's blogging about it!  Scroll down until you find Day One (July 6) and start to read all about how crewel embroidery is done the traditional way.
http://www.theunbrokenthread.com/blog/

You can check out other courses on the Royal School's website.
http://www.royal-needlework.org.uk/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Friday, July 15, 2011

Busy Needle's Brick and Mortar Shop Closing

Patt alerted folks on Facebook to the fact that the Busy Needle in Tucson, Arizona is closing its shop the end of this month (July).  I knew the shop had been for sale but apparently none of the potential buyers worked out.  The shop is starting a 30% off sale tomorrow (July 16) that will run until the end of the month.  Only in stock items are on sale, so check the website for that canvas, book or tool you've been wanting.
http://www.busyneedle.com/Newsletter/index.htm

This breaks my heart but at least the shop will live on in cyberspace as an online only shop.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Visiting Maggie

Recently Old World Designs did another of their field trips, this time to visit Maggie Designs.  Here's a full report by one of the lucky folks who went on the tour.  There are links to both the Maggie website and to Old World Designs' online shop at the end of the article in case you want to explore further.
http://robinchapmannews.blogspot.com/2011/07/san-franciscos-glorious-telegraph-hill.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Amy Speaks Sales

Amy Bunger just posted this on Facebook:
"Hi all. Another 3-day sale weekend begins tomorrow and we have a special this time. All of Amy's chapters are on sale (see books), as well as stockings, christmas, halloween, animals, and oriental canvases. A couple of accessories too. Next month we'll have another surprise sale item. Have fun!!!"


I thought since many of us don't have Facebook accounts, I should repost here, especially given how popular Amy's chapters are.  Here's the website. Show up tomorrow (July 15) for the first day of the sale.
http://www.amybunger.com/online_3day_special.html
Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow

Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Fibers to Dye For

Very occasionally I need a very thin silk perle in dusty or faded shades.  What that happens, I rummage in my stash for my small selection of Fibers to Dye For.  When Amy Mitten (she's a counted thread repo sampler designer known for her mystery pieces) couldn't find the muted shades of thread needed for her sampler designs, she got into the hand dyed thread business.  Her silks have names, not numbers, and what names they are!
http://www.amymitten.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=14_15_16

Blue Murder, Inspector, Mrs. Peacock, Deadly, Sleuth, Scream Green, Forensic, Miss Marple Maple, Casket, Gravestone, Poison Berry, Miss Scarlet, Dirty Rat....

I could go on and on.  The colors are actually lovely in their own faded antique way, and repo sampler designs (called Forgeries, LOL!) and mystery design fans will enjoy taking a peek at her designs.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Carolyn Hedge Baird on the CH Stitch Guides Blog

I've updated the article on Carolyn Hedge Baird's stitch guides on the CH Stitch Guide blog.   Here's the direct link.
http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com/2010/02/carolyn-hedge-baird.html

Carolyn writes books as well as stitch guides.  You can buy them from Chaparral if your local shop doesn't have them in stock since this is Carolyn's local shop and she often teaches here.  The guides usually mention a designer in their title while the books generally don't.
http://www.ndlpt.com/html/access.html

As far as I can see, her books are (in order of publication, most recent first):
Needlepointing in Your Nest
Merry Needlepoint

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Maggie's Cat Mini Sock Available

Maggie's Cat in Hat (and Coat)
Long time readers of Blog will remember the Maggie cat with hat mini sock I stitched in 2008 (photo is after stitching but before finishing).  For those who were looking for this canvas and couldn't find it then, I found it in stock on the Nimble Needle's website this week.
http://www.thenimbleneedle.com/servlet/the-352/Needlepoint-Canvas--%22Hat/Detail

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Everything Blackwork is New Again UPDATED

I have used blackwork patterns on top of skirts belonging to Joan Thommason angels, so I have been interested to hear that Julia Snyder's latest book is about blackwork patterns on needlepoint canvas.  I haven't seen the book personally, though.  Pocket Full of Stitches has a brief review and photos of the inside pages.
http://pocketfullofstitches.blogspot.com/2011/03/julia-snyders-blackwork-book.html

Janet Perry has a copy of the book and gives us a review on her site.
http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/great-new-book-on-blackwork-in-needlepoint-book-review

Janet also just reviewed the Royal School's book on blackwork, and...
http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/blackwokr-royal-school-of-needlework-essential-stitch-guides-book-review

...she has reviewed Laura Perin's blackwork book, too.  Since Laura is a counted canvaswork designer, this one is of particular interest to us needlepointers.
http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/blackwork-patterns-by-laura-perin-book-review

UPDATE:  I belatedly realized I should have provided links to examples of Joan Thomasson angels showing the use of blackwork patterns on their skirts.  The last two examples of angels on this page show the blackwork patterns fairly well.  Click on the thumbnails for a glimpse.
http://www.stitchers-paradise.com/Painted_Canvases/JoanThomasson.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Monday, July 11, 2011

The July Sales Continue

Gone Stitching is doing a Christmas in July sale--all Christmas canvases are 25% off for the rest of July.
http://www.gonestitching.net/


Madonna Needleworks is also having a July sale (until July 25) with 25% off any special order.  Their dwindling stock of Medici wool is also half off.
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=131165b3ce3e5bc8&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D8e8a836fbe%26view%3Datt%26th%3D131165b3ce3e5bc8%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26zw&sig=AHIEtbS015gIam1wP14RDL42DUhmdc1ZNQ&pli=1

Know of any other good July sales?  Post about them in the Comments, please!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Cat Topiary Garden: Two Missing Bushes

dede Odgen's Cat Topiary Garden
Last week I planned to basketweave the egg shaped topiary while I pondered how to stitch the large bush to its right.  As I worked on Egg, I realized just how much of the large bush is behind the trellis arch, which means it needs to recede.  I don't want any bush hogging the limelight when the arch and gate are more important!  So I decided that I would basketweave the big bush, too. Above you see how they turned out.  I like the contrast of the smooth basketweave on the egg shaped bush and how the bigger bush looks compared to the ones behind it.  Now I need a rough-textured stitch for the big fish, bird, cat and mouse topiary bushes.

Remember, I used just two plies of my flosses in the basketweaved bushes.  I tried three plies but the stitches looked uneven and a bit twisted, which is always a sign you have too much thread in the needle.  I suppose that the tulle layered on top of the canvas means I need to use a little less thread since normally three plies of floss look good when I basketweave on 18 count.  But your own stitch tension also comes into play, making it hard to know exactly how many plies each of us needs to use.

I also "needle blended" colors, which is a fancy way of saying that I used two plies of my teal green thread in the teal green areas and two plies of the dark teal in the shadowed areas, then used one ply of each color in the areas between the very light and dark spaces to mix the colors.  You can get very elaborate with needle blending, working from four plies of AAAA to three plies of AAA plus one of B to two plies of AA plus two of BB, etc. but I didn't really need to be that subtle here.

Two Yellow-Olive Bushes Behind Gate
After I finished the two bushes I took a good look at my canvas.  I discovered I'd completely overlooked two small yellow-olive bushes that lurk behind the lattice gate.  I left my magnet and needle on the canvas on top of one of them in the first big photo so you won't overlook them also.  I found a yellow-olive size #5 silk perle (Rainbow Gallery's Grandeur G848) in my stash, and after some thought, decided skip tent stitch might be just the thing to use. In the photos above and below you see how they turned out.

By the way, here is how Ruth Schmuff does Skip Tent.  She calls it Basketweave Twill since it is done on the diagonal like basketweave is.  If you do it in horizontal rows, it's called skipped tent.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2010/06/one-of-my-favorite-stitches.html

If you are stitching along with me, any #5 perle in approximately the right shade looks good here.  If your canvas is 13 count, you may want to use #3 perle but try it first to see if the little stitch bumps are going to be too prominent with the larger #3 size.

In the photos you can just see that I've started the big central topiary bush.  I'll talk about the stitch I choose for it next time.  Hint: I am using a variation of a stitch I used in this blog post.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Who Are Your Stitching Ancestors?

Ruth (who does ecclesiastical embroidery) asks a question that we don't think much about.  Who are your stitching ancestors?
http://rutholearytextileart.blogspot.com/2011/07/our-embroidery-ancestry.html


My earliest stitching ancestors are the women of both my father's and mother's families, all of whom do some sort of needlework.  Now that I concentrate on needlepoint exclusively, my "ancestors" are Brenda Hart, SharonG and Susan Portra, all of whom do the style of stitching I aspire to.

I hope that I'm the stitching ancestor of at least a few Blog readers....

What is it they say, "each one teach one"?  Time for us to all teach someone new to needlepoint so that we have descendants.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Trish Burr on Needle Painting

If you want to learn how to create naturalistic plants and animals with needle painting, Trish Burr is the teacher to learn from.  Unfortunately for us, Trish lives in South Africa, but fortunately she has a DVD available to show us how needle painting is done.  And now there is a little snippet of the DVD available to see online.  Just a taste but it'll make you want more, guaranteed!
http://trishburr.com/dvd-review/

By the way, do explore Trish's website. You are going to be astounded at the beautiful stitching you see there.
http://trishburr.co.za/

Jane, writing another thing on the Wish List for Santa here in Chilly Hollow

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Chinese Adoption Stocking

This stocking has an unusual inspiration, doesn't it?
http://hinghamsquareneedlepoint.com/products/featured/santa-canvas

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

July Sidewalk Sales

Needle in a Haystack in Alameda, CA is having their annual sidewalk sale TODAY.  Sorry for the short notice.  I just got their blog update this morning.
http://needlestack.typepad.com/whats_new/2011/07/summer-sidewalk-sale-is-saturday.html

The Classic Stitch in Winnetka, Illinois is going to have a sidewalk sale, too. Theirs is July 15-16.  Happy shopping, everyone!
http://theclassicstitch.com/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

New Classes from Shining Needle Society

I haven't mentioned any of the fabulous classes the Shining Needle Society offers recently, not because they haven't been great, but because I thought most folks had heard about the SNS classes by now.  But since Blog gets new readers occasionally and faithful readers have busy times when they skip reading because a) the kids are off school for the summer, b) the mother-in-law has decided to move in, c) the boss demands overtime for weeks on end and of course d) the house is on fire--probably because of a), it's time for me to talk about the newest class offerings and remind you how to sign up for them.

Judy Soulitis is a master of what is called silk and metal embroidery.  She's going to be teaching Samurai Warrior next September-November.  Registration for this class ends the end of July.  Want to see a photo of the finished piece?  Click here.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SNS_Home_Room/photos/album/1849311110/pic/987870146/view?picmode=&mode=tn&order=ordinal&start=1&count=20&dir=asc

Want to read a full description of Judy's class?  Click here.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SNS_Home_Room/message/784

If you clicked on either link and got the message that you have to sign in to Yahoo, that's because you don't have a Yahoo Group account yet.  Shining Needle Society uses Yahoo Groups to run the classes and to send announcements to anyone who belongs to the Shining Needle SocietyYahoo Group.  If you want to see any of these links or get class announcements about every month or so to keep up with the classes offered, you have to get yourself a Yahoo Group account with SNS.  Fortunately, this is easy.  Go here.
http://groups.yahoo.com/

See the big Find a Group search box?  Type Shining Needle Society in that box and click on the yellow Search button.  A whole slew of SNS groups will show up because there is one group for each class they offer or have offered.  The one you want is SNS Home Room.  It should be the first on the list.  Click on that and you'll be taken to the SNS Home Room sign up page.  Look for the Join This Group button on the right side of the page, click, and follow instructions.  Once you belong, you can see the links above and below and you will also be on the SNS mailing list to receive news of upcoming classes.  You will already have a Yahoo Group account with SNS so joining the class you are taking will be easy.  Got any questions?  Email Kate Gaunt, who runs SNS along with Marie-Therese Baker.  Kate's at kategaunt@aol.com.

There is a second SNS class open for registration through the end of July.  It's Jackie duPlessis' counted thread project on linen titled Thistlewood.  This is actually a class on how to make a Necessarie, which is an elaborately stitched sewing tool container. Here is the class description.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SNS_Home_Room/message/786

Want to see photographs of Thistlewood?  This link takes you to photos of the various pieces you will stitch and assemble.  The end result is an amazing piece of work.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SNS_Home_Room/photos/album/71975786/pic/list?prop=eupdate

Whether you are interested in either class, you should belong to the Shining Needle Society.  It will open the door to amazing cyberclasses for you.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

What is Japan Thread?

Recently a friend asked me what Japan Thread was. I did my best to answer, sending her links to Kreinik's website page on Japan Thread.  I suspect Doug Kreinik of reading our minds since his blog has a posting today all about Japan Thread--what it is, what it is good for, the new colors available, etc.
http://kreinikthread.blogspot.com/2011/07/what-is-japan-thread.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kelly Clark News UPDATED

Kelly Clark has been busy.  In fact, you might wonder when she has time to sleep when you look at her accomplishments this month besides her TNNA show in Columbus which she has to pack up, set up, break down, mail home and of course then fill all the orders for. First of all, she just finished the crazy quilt design she is going to teach at The Needle House in Houston.
http://kellyclarkneedlepointhandbook.blogspot.com/2011/06/crazy-quilt-is-done.html 

http://www.theneedlehouse.com/jm/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67&Itemid=82

If you haven't seen the latest Kelly Clark Halloweenies characters, you will want to read all about them (including Robin's and Kelly's own contributions to the set) here.  Between Kelly's full figured gal and Robin's jeune fille witch plus all the original characters, there is a Halloween character for anyone's taste.
http://needlepointstudyhall.blogspot.com/2011/06/halloweenies-update.html

The very latest creation from She Who Never Sleeps is the Halloween candy monthly club, a joint venture between Kelly Clark and Ruth Schmuff.  Who can resist a bowl full of no calorie Halloween candy?!
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2011/07/frightfully-delicious.html

UPDATE:  And she is working on a series of Thanksgiving canvases that will be a monthly club through Needle Works in Austin, TX.
http://kellyclarkneedlepointhandbook.blogspot.com/2011/07/invitation-to-stitch-along.html

Do you think she ever sleeps?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Exotics

If you are tired of using the same thread types or brands over and over again, Carol's showing off some of the exotic threads available to us now on her blog.  Remember, Carol designs and teaches counted canvaswork in Australia so you will see some threads from the United States listed as exotics.
http://carolscountedcanvasworkneedleworks.blogspot.com/2011/07/little-taste-of-exotic-threads-and.html

Consider this a threadaholic's alert!  LOL

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

News for the Counted Crowd UPDATED AGAIN

Due to the simple fact that counting from 1 to 10 is pretty much impossible for me when I'm tired, I'm not much of a counted canvaswork person.   I have a lot of friends who do nothing else, though, and occasionally I throw them a bone in the shape of counted thread and canvas news.  Today's one of those days. For those working Stars, Coni has progress photos and some great advice.  Advice first, eye candy next.  Pay close attention to the advice, even though it is coming from a little dog in a smoking jacket pretending he's Hugh Hefner.
http://spinsterstitcher.blogspot.com/2011/07/why-im-in-need-of-vacation-by-master.html

http://spinsterstitcher.blogspot.com/2011/06/futzus-continuous.html

NEW UPDATE BY THE SPINSTER WHO IS STITCHING LIKE THE WIND!
http://spinsterstitcher.blogspot.com/2011/07/and-then-dog-woke-up-and-snotted-all.html

By the way, Donna's making great progress on her version of Stars.
http://majtravaux.blogspot.com/2011/07/photos-as-promised.html

UPDATE:  Donna's finished Ava Gardner!
http://majtravaux.blogspot.com/2011/07/stars-updated-again-this-week.html

No matter what you stitch, you need good ground fabric to work on.  Needle in a Haystack has some important news for those who like working on linen and those who need waste canvas.
http://needlestack.typepad.com/whats_new/2011/06/change-in-fabric-availability.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Butterflies, Moths and a Dragonfly

Butterflies, Moths and a Dragonfly -- All of the above are featured in SharonG's newest insect designs that were introduced at the TNNA show in Columbus in June.  SharonG has updated her website with images of the new canvases plus her first book and the canvases are very beautiful.  Each has a wonderful border that compliments the winged creature featured as the central motif.
http://sharong.com/catalog/new.html

By the way, SharonG just taught at Nimble Needle so they have a few autographed copies of her first book available if you are a collector.
http://thenimbleneedle.blogspot.com/2011/07/and-always-more-sharon-g.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Father's Day (Belated)

I wish I'd seen this in time to post it for Father's Day!  Mix old silk ties and bargello together and what do you get...?
http://tapestryfair.blogspot.com/2011/06/some-fun-bargello.html

If you want to celebrate Mother's Day in needlepoint, how about one of these purses?
http://needlenicely.blogspot.com/2011/06/variations-for-laura-purse-from-etc.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July Sales Updated

Thanks to tips from folks in the Comments section, I've updated the July sale article from yesterday with more information.  Everything is still in alphabetical order, but the new updates start with the word UPDATE.  (Clever, huh?)

Continue to feed me July sales information and I'll update the article again.  You can always find it by searching on the word sales.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Now that school's out and folks are able to take their vacations with their families, I am starting to see reports on visits to our favorite shops.  Sheena has taken lots of wonderful photographs of the inside of Ruth Schmuff's shop which is called Bedecked and Beaddazzled and lies in the Baltimore suburbs.
http://www.sheenassweetstitches.com/2011/06/chautauqua-in-travel-section-of-plain.html

Ruth herself reports on the Brenda Hart class that just happened in this very spot.  I wish like everything I'd been there!
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2011/06/renewed-recharged-refocused.html

Here is Ruth's shop website.
http://www.bedeckedandbeadazzled.com/

Tisha has been over to visit with Quail Run in Scottsdale. She has taken lots of photos and also describes the shop for those of us who are as likely to get to Arizona sometime soon as we are to visit the moon. Don't forget to double click the photos.  I don't want you to miss the wall of Southwestern themed canvases!
http://stitchplaywithneedlepointtooltime.blogspot.com/2011/06/quail-run-scottsdale-az.html 

Here is Quail Run's shop website which has been revamped recently.
http://www.quailrun-inc.com/

Tisha then continued on and visited BeStitched, which is a brand new Scottsdale shop.  How lucky folks are to have two shops in one place!
http://stitchplaywithneedlepointtooltime.blogspot.com/2011/06/be-stitched-needlepoint.html

Here is BeStitched's website as well as a link to their blog, which is great fun to read.
http://bestitchedneedlepoint.com/

Cheryl has been visiting The Playful Needle in Portland, Oregon.  There's a link to the shop's website in the short article, so I won't repeat it here.
http://needlepoint.about.com/b/2011/06/30/shop-visit-the-playful-needle.htm

So where did you go on summer vacation?  If you went to the grocery store/drug store/post office like me, I am going to burst into tears!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

Monday, July 4, 2011

July Means Sales UPDATED

July is the traditional month for needlepoint shop sales.  I've heard about some good ones in 2011, so I thought I'd post the details here for your enjoyment.  In alphabetical order,

Alex Paras Needle Arts is having a one day Mid-Summer Madness sale on July 10.  For that day only, save at least 20% off on everything currently in stock at the store.  You must use the coupon code MADNESS when you check out.  If the item you wanted is sold out, they will let you know.
http://store.apneedlearts.com/

UPDATE:  Amy Bunger's three day on-line sale for the month is July 15-17.  During that time random items on her website are on sale.  Sale items are limited, so you have to move quickly if you see something you want.
http://www.amybunger.com/online_3day_special.html

UPDATE:  BeStitched is having a Christmas in July sale.  All Christmas themed canvases are 20% off this month.
http://bestitchedneedlepoint.com/news-and-updates/christmas-in-july…20-off-christmas-needlepoint-canvases-the-entire-month-of-july/

UPDATE:  Busy Needle has all in stock canvases for sale at 20% off.  I'm not sure how long this sale lasts, so move quickly if you are interested.
http://www.busyneedle.com/index.htm

Canvases Be Gone has put everything on their website on sale at 20% off for the entire month of July.  They only offer older canvases from folks' stash but it's worth keeping an eye on the site for the excellent values they offer, especially if you stumble across that canvas you wish you'd bought when you could.
http://www.canvasesbegone.com

Homestead Needle Arts is preparing for their garage sale.  Starting July 5 until July 9, you can drop off unwanted but in excellent shape needlepoint items.  Everything must be labelled with your initials, item number and the price and you also provide a list of your items to the shop so they can keep up with everything.  The sale itself is July 14-16.  Anything that is sold gives the buyer a great deal and the seller gets store credit in that amount.  If you have questions, talk to Theresa at Homestead for more information.
http://homesteadneedlearts.com/index.html

UPDATE: Madonna Needle Works is having an Alice Peterson trunk show with designs 20% off.
http://madonnaneedleworks.com/Default.asp

The Needle Bug is having a more than 20% off sale called Margarita Madness on its regularly priced items tomorrow (July 5) only.  When you are ready to pay, you draw for your exact discount.
http://theneedlebug.com/index.html

Needlewoman East's Xmas in July sale is July 23 this year.  I don't know any other details yet....

UPDATE:  Pocket Full of Stitches has all in stock and special order canvases on sale at 20% off for all of July.
http://www.pfos.com/

UPDATE:  The Point of it All is also having a 20% off Christmas in July sale. All in stock cavnases are 20% off.  Thanks, Whitney!
http://thepointofitallonline.com/blog/2011/06/21/sale-sale/

If you know about any great sales happening in July I didn't mention above, please add details in the Comments.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com