Friday, June 12, 2015

The Mysterious Retreat UPDATED

If you like going places to stitch--particularly if you are a fan of counted canvaswork--and you also like mystery pieces where you don't know how things will turn out, then you need to check out Liz's progress on the 2012 Mystery Retreat design she is working.   Click on the small thumbnail to see how beautiful this is.

Sorry, this design isn't available anywhere unless you went on the retreat or talk someone who did into parting with their instructions--or unless it is offered in a cyberclass, which does happen occasionally.   These retreats are held by Linda K. Reinmiller, Debbie Rowley, Pat Hartman and Mary Knapp.  (The latter two ladies make up Creative Reflections.)  They create the design together and then put on the retreat.  Stitchers who go pick from several available color ways but otherwise, everything is Top Secret until you arrive and start stitching.  This year's retreat is July 16-18 in Phoenix and registration is closed (although you might still get in if someone cancels).

You can keep up with the latest on the 2015 Mystery Retreat on Facebook, too.

It's a fun way to get together with fellow enthusiasts and stitch something amazing.

By the way, if you aren't familiar with these designers, check out the Counted Canvaswork Designers tab here on Blog to find their websites.

UPDATE:  Here is the 2015 retreat design.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
and at
© Copyright June 5,  2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

No Flying Monkeys: Building a Martini

Now that the footstool on No Flying Monkeys is done, I can work the martini glass. Why did I work the footstool before the martini glass? Generally speaking, I like to work from the background forward. I think it helps me keep things that should be in the background less prominent.  (Of course for some canvases you need to work certain things before certain other things, so there's no set rule that works for everyone all the time.  Sorry.)  I also needed to see how the footstool looked before I decided how to handle the glass.  I often use how things look in real life to choose stitches.  If this were a real living room or den with a real footstool and drinks glass, one would see the blue of the footstool through the clear glass.  I wondered if having too much blue would blend the glass into the footstool, though, so I needed to have the footstool done to decide.

I was right--having a blue glass against a blue background would mean that it would become the stealth martini and totally disappear!  Since the glass is one of the focal points of this design, I can't let that happen.  So the martini has to show up very well against the footstool background.  It's going to need to be white (or clear).  There are several ways to create a glass look on canvas.  You can use beads or transparent threads like Water N Ice or Prisms, or you can use light coverage stitching to create texture without much color.  (Skip tent with Kreinik's #4 very fine braid in silver, say.)  Normally I'd use beads but beads on 13 count are harder for me since I have less experience on that size canvas.  So I played it safe with Water N Ice.  But first, I had to deal with the olives on the swizzle stick.

The stick itself was easy--a few tent stitches with my black High Cotton topped with three black Swarovski bicone beads (size 3mm) in a cluster.  If you haven't seen bicones, you can view all the sizes and colors available here.

I used clear beading thread from The Collection to attach the beads.  It's strong and hard to see so it's a good choice for a piece that will be a model and get some handling after spending time traveling here and there in a box.

Then I tent stitched the olives in green Krenik and red Entice.  They sparkle! So far, so good.  The next step was brick stitch over two in Water N Ice.  I used the iridescent version, not the original clear, to get a bit more sparkle as this is a focal point of the canvas.  It also contrasts nicely with the silk behind the glass.  I covered the olives up with the Water N Ice in the brick stitches, too.  (By the way, I discovered that it is easier to track the stitching when covering already stitched areas to do the brick stitches in vertical rows.)

A "Dirty" Martini?
Once the Water N Ice was stitched, I outlined the silver of the glass with back stitches in #16 Kreinik braid across the sides, and couched the top rim horizontal lines using #4 Kreinik in a matching silver. The final touch was adding three "bubbles" above the glass with my clear beading thread and three 3mm Swarovski bicone beads.

The martini glass was an easy stitch but it looks good. I'm just sorry that cameras are blind to sparkle and bling, which the witch's martini has in spades!

Remember, I am collecting the links as I blog stitch this Point of It All Designs piece and posting them in a tab on the CH Stitch Guides blog. You can catch up on what you missed by going there--just click on the flying carpet photo to magically be transported to my other blog and then back again.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
and at
© Copyright May 6, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.