Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Beginnings

The title of my blog entry has been applied to many situations.  For my purpose of using it here, it implies exciting stitching and other artistic endeavors to engage in this year.

I just returned from The National Needle Arts 2011 tradeshow in Long Beach, CA. where one always gets pumped up and inspired by the glorious array of new designs, colors, threads, stitching, and finishing techniques...all the very best work of designers in the industry.  It is nothing less than a treasure trove of all the things I love and can't get enough of!

I'm fortunate to be associated with Sundance Designs, my friends and colleagues of the past 20 years.  They have been supportive and helpful to me in every way, and I hope the feeling is mutual.  I travel with them, exhibit with them, and share adventures with them....some wild and crazy.   Dare I mention Cassie and I went chasing a robber down some alley ways?  No..I think I'll skip that one!

Instead, I'll just post some of my new designs which were introduced at the show.

Here is my latest fantasy chandelier.  This one is entitled:  The Mad Hatter's Chandelier.  It is a large piece:  24"X26" on 18 mesh.  Every time I design one of these, I DO want to start stitching on it.  This one is no exception.  Just imagine the possibilities for stitching fun!  And when I do stitch it...maybe not even completely stitched...I'm going to hang it over my turquoise side board in my informal dining room.  Maybe I'll arrange some special little tea pots and cups on a tray underneath.  Is that not a dear idea? 

Let me just insert here a word about stitching a painted canvas.  Part of the appeal and beauty of a painted canvas is that one does not have to cover the entire thing with stitches.  In fact, if you do, you might be covering up some of the best parts.  I suggest that one could just stitch a few items spectacularly with great materials and a few decorative stitches.  Then, rather than agonize over all the spaces to stitch, you have instead, just highlighted some of the more important and interesting features of the design.  Open stitches are particularly perfect for painted canvas work.  Take a class at your local shop with a teacher who can guide you, if you are hesitant to try it on your own.  Or, get a great new book like Sharon G's Needlepoint SENSE.  Really, truly, as Ruth Schmuff says, "This is NOT your grandmother's needlepoint!"

As further proof of that, here are my 6 inch Miniature Collectible Shoes, all needlepointed.  They have been residing for the past year or so in Cinderella's Closet, exclusively at The Needle Nook of La Jolla as part of a canvas of the month club series.  (Thank You Needle Nook of LJ for hosting my shoes and sharing them with your internet and local customers!)  Now they will be distributed by Sundance Designs, and I've renamed them as a 'new beginning' for them. 

                                                                    Winter Slippers

                                                           Valentine Dancing Shoes

                                                              St. Patrick's Day Shoes
                                                              Spring Flowers Shoes
                                                              The Early Bird Shoes

   I have to show you the heel of this is a brass wire tree!

                                                                Beautiful Bees Shoe
 (ok..we don't like bee stings, but we love the bee motif, don't we?
There's just something endearing about the busy little bee!)
 A closeup view of a 'flying bee' hovering on DMC memory wire!

I have a couple other new designs which were introduced, but in my haste to get them finished for market, I didn't photograph them.  I'll save those for my next entry.  In the mean time, I hope you are all inspired to begin anew with fresh ideas and projects in your stitching life.  And don't can never have too many!


  1. Your tea chandelier is phenomenal! I'm a tea fanatic...absolutely love the elephant pot. A little bird told me you are coming our way to teach this year, can't wait to see you, hugs, k [PS...hope we have time to take you to a couple of our tea haunts]

  2. I already order this magnificent canvas, It's opened for all fantasies. Excuse my english,I'm french living in Los Angeles. I can't wait to begin. Maybe we will find in your letters some advices about stitches. Congratulations.

  3. oh WOW! I love the chandelier. That's going on my wish list. How fabulous!

  4. How many chandeliers do you have in your line - I went onto Sundance website but I only see the faerie and the mermaid....and I know there is a Halloween one...any others?

  5. Dear MNStitcher,

    I have 5: Mermaid's, Faerie's, Witche's, Princess's, and The Mad Hatter's. You can see them on my website, www.barbaraelmoredesigns in the Just for Fun section under Needlepoint. I'll have to make sure Sundance updates their site soon. I know they have been dealing with computer woes.