Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It ain't knitting, people!

I've been wondering what to write about for my next blog stitching entry.  Today, I came up with the answer.   One of my sisters sent me a link to a very funny blog....

   This one:

I laughed my head off, and then posted it to my Facebook page.  Got several comments from my friends who also found it to be hilarious!  One friend even said I should design a needlepoint chicken.  Well, I have designed a fact, several of them. 

Another Facebook entry today, posted by my famous friend, Sharon G, also gave me pause and ideas to expound upon.  She reported taking her needlepoint stitching along when she took her husband to his physical therapy appointments, which are quite lengthy in time frames spent away from home.  Unfortunately, she was not able to get much stitching done because of the high interest her work was generating amongst other people in the room.  "Is that knitting?" they would ask.   "Why aren't you using a hoop?"  or my favorite:  "Do  you sell those at flea markets?"

Gotta love it!  Plus, gotta educate people as to what needlepoint is all about in this fine day and age!  Certainly, as my other famous friend, Ruth Schmuff says, "It's Not Your Grandmother's Needlepoint!"  And indeed it is not!

But back to the chickens....
Here is my stitched chicken design which was released a number of years ago.  Whoops!  I guess I should clarify..this is a rooster chicken, not a hen chicken, just in case you didn't know.  He's titled:

                                                                 The Happy Rooster

As you can see, he has some pretty fine feathers.  I used some non traditional fibers in stitching him, amongst them, three kinds of knitting yarns, some silk ribbons, and a needlepointer's favorite: Flair, which for those in the know, is really panty hose.  Yes..the same stuff that panty hose (does anyone actually wear those anymore?  I haven't for YEARS!  and hope I don't anytime soon, either!, but I digress...) the same stuff that panty hose is made from.  Flair, however, comes in a huge range of beautiful colors, and is so versatile for creating many beautiful effects in a stitched piece.  It has been around for years, and IS a traditional needlepoint fiber, at least, in my opinion.  

Another tidbit of information to be inserted right about now, is the fact that all needlepoint yarns and specialty fibers being used today ARE actually knitting yarns.  For instance, the tail feathers on Mr. Happy Rooster are a fine, whispy eyelash knitting yarn, repackaged (at the time) as a needlepoint fiber.  Sadly, that company is no longer doing business.  But, I'm certain there are similar ones to be found in a specialty knitting shop.  So many many projects...never enough time!

"Knitting", it turns out, is a term that most human people who do not stitch ascribe to any kind of needlework.  Even educated ones, such as the surgeon who operated on Sharon G's husband not long ago.  Again, she had her stitching with her, and when he asked what she was 'knitting', she "tried to explain but ended up telling him, 'Look, Dr. Bob, it is like this:  We are both in the sewing business.  You sew people.  I sew needlepoint." 

Which leads me to my funny story and how my rooster got his name.  I may have written about this before, come to think of it.  But never mind, it bears repeating!

I would often take my stitched pieces to a wonderful photo copy store where they were proficient in scanning art work and capturing all the fine detail.  As I was waiting in line that day, my piece also generated lots of interest from other customers.  As I explained it was needlepoint, one elderly sweet man said he knew right where I could sell it!  "Oh? I replied.  "Where would that be?"  

"Right down the road a few miles to The Happy Rooster breakfast diner", he said. "I was just there and I know they would love it!"  

It struck my fancy that day and my piece had a title!  He is indeed a happy rooster!   I'm still laughing when I think on the innocence of the non stitching humans we encounter, whether they be surgeons or that cute little man who just came from having his coffee and most delicious eggs!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Everything Old is ....

You know that old saying...."Everything Old is New Again?"  Well, it just isn't true!  I'm sorry, Old is Old.  I'm old so where are my old, new knees?  Where are my old, new youthful cheeks?  My old, new slim waistline?  Gone.  All gone, and they aren't coming back! 

Sigh.  I suppose whomever said that, wasn't thinking of me.  I think they might have been thinking about fashion, or literature, or furniture, or maybe even....needlepoint designs?  You see, I'm currently painting an 'old' design for a customer.  This is a design that I created in 1993, and I have not painted it for at least 13 years..maybe longer.  But, here I am, painting what I hope is a timeless design that appeals to those who love nostalgia and the softer side of life.

Oh oh!  There I go again!  I'm definitely enjoying the softer side of life right now, and it ain't so pretty.  But this young lady is pretty, and I love painting her again. 

The canvas is quite large, as canvases go.  28"X36".  I'm painting it on 14mesh canvas.  You might say, why not #13?  Well, in my humble opinion, you just cannot get the fine detail when you produce a design like this on #13.  The original is on #18, but #14 is working out just fine. 

Do you remember when you were a child (particularly if you were a girl), of dressing your cat in doll clothes?  (The poor little things!)  What little girl didn't do that?  Oh yes...those were the good 'ol days.  In the good 'ol days, I never had hair like this little girl, but I can sure paint it.  That's the beauty of being an artist.  You can create anything you like!

I hope the stitcher will love bringing this nostalgic scene to life with wonderful threads, ribbons, and interesting stitches.  And I hope the stitcher will get busy on it right away, before I'm too old to remember that I designed and painted it!