Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mile High Kitty

I'm working on 3 large projects and I needed a quick, fun piece to fit in my "scheduled" stitching. This pretty witch and cat kept me entertained.

The sky is one strand of Impressions in the Irish stitch with Swarovski hot fix crystals for the stars. (That's not a red crystal, its a clear one caught in the sunlight.)

I used the Neon Rays + white glow in the dark thread for the ghosts and Kreinik glow in the dark for the green in the cat's eyes.

The witch's hair is Petite Fluffy Fleece, couched down with one strand of Splendor.

I love the witch's necklace. I used a product that is new to me--the clear beading thread from The Collection. I have always used Prisms and Sundance beading thread, but I'm open to anything that makes beading easier. The Collection thread was easy to thread through the needle eye and easy to knot. It behaved very well and I will definitely use it again (and again).

I ran the thread (doubled through the needle, knotted and anchored) through Sundance size 11 real metal beads. Once I had the right number of beads for the necklace I sank the needle at the other end of the necklace. I then came back up and tied down/anchored the necklace every few beads. Finally, I came up a third time and ran the needle and thread through the center of the entire string of beads. Voila! Bling!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Noah's snow leopards

These leopards are the first pair I have chosen to stitch from the series of 12 Noah's animals by Kelly Clark

These are large animals painted in a small design area on 18 mesh canvas.  The spots reminded me of a pointillist painting.  To keep the two animals separate from each other, I tweaked the colors of the leopard on the left, trying to use a slightly different palette.  Another trick I used was to choose the most distinctive colors on each coat, stitching one color at a time until the most difficult to see color was the only one left.

Since stitching these, I have completed the peacocks and I am now stitching the giraffes.  I have found it very helpful to Google photos of the animals I stitch to look for distinctive details.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Haunted House by DC Designs

I had to stitch something just for me, something with a stitch guide, something on 13 mesh--I have been stranding and laying too much silk on 18 mesh canvas.  I went to my June market class stash and pulled out "Haunted House", canvas by DC designs, stitch guide by Cynthia Thomas.  Perfect!

Derek of DC Designs (he is Amanda Lawford's son) started his needlepoint canvas career with the mission of bringing fun, affordable canvases to market.  He has truly succeeded.

Cynthia Thomas is an expert at creating stitch guides and a wonderful teacher.  It was a delight to just let her guide my needle.

Since a stitch guide is a guide, I wanted to try some "new" threads and to substitute anything else for stranded silk.

I used the new glow-in-the-dark Neon Rays + for the skulls and bones.  I found it to be very flat on 13 mesh and in retrospect, would have used it for the moon with a basketweave stitch. I love that the thread is very white and sparkly and does glow in the dark.

I stitched the moon with Brown Paper Packages' Stardust in white.  Skeined, it looked very thin to me, but it was very fat on 13 mesh.  I would use it for the skulls and bones, if I were stitching this piece again.  This is another thread whose brightness and sparkle I appreciate.

In my attempt to take a vacation from stranded silk, I substituted Planet Earth Silk and Neon Rays for a couple of the silks.  I'm not a fan of Lorikeet, so I went with Gloriana silk floss for the grass, still staying in the Gloriana family.

For the icing on the cake, I added Swarovski hot fix crystals for the skulls' eyes.  JAB makes wonderful skull buttons in XL that look great if you stitch over the painted skulls.  Just be aware that the buttons are somewhat fragile--be careful sewing them on and don't use them on an item that will receive abuse (think pillow fights).

I'm not sure what I will be stitching next, but I feel as though I have had a very relaxing and fun break.