Wednesday, September 26, 2012

All That Fun Stuff!

I was surprised to see that my last blog post was dated July 12th!  Well, I have been extremely busy!  My 4 sisters and I put together a big birthday bash for our Mother's 90th Birthday!  We had 120 people in attendance at a wonderful lunch in her honor on Labor Day.  This was quite an accomplishment to achieve considering that we all live in 3 different states, and almost all of the planning was by email communication!

Just because I want to brag, here is a photo of our beautiful Mother, 90 yrs. young on her special day!  She is such an inspiration for us all, with her upbeat attitude and cute sense of humor.  Even though she is legally blind with macular degeneration, she still manages to live alone in her little home, which she navigates comfortably inside and out.  She is always positive and has lots of stories to tell, which we all love to hear.  So Happy Birthday Mom!  And may each day be full and bright and interesting for you!

Speaking of full and interesting, that is what I want to focus on in this blog entry about my stitching.
I ADORE my life and work in the needlework industry.  Being creative is what makes me happy and it gives me such joy to share my ideas and designs with others.

When I first started to design painted canvases in 1985, and finally to stitch some of my own designs a few years later, needlepoint was still very conservative with not a lot of embellishment or fancy threads being used, nor many different stitches either.  Then, in the late 80's..early 90's, enter silk ribbon embroidery.   I'm not sure of the date, but I do remember when I first saw a little Bucilla kit featuring silk ribbon work.  It was a little fabric heart with some flowers on it.  I saw it at Sundance  Needleworks (back in the day when they owned a retail shop).  The kit had been sitting on display for quite a while, I was told, and no one seemed interested in it.  Of course, it needed to be stitched as a model, but no one at Sundance wanted to do it or learn how to do it.  With some twisting of my arm, the owners thrust that kit upon me, and told me to 'work on it.'  (It was pretty much like that!  LOL!)  And I did.  And I fell in love!  And I began to incorporate silk ribbon work into my canvas designs.   And the rest is history!

                                                       From that


Fast forward to today!  I can't get enough of all That Fun Stuff, which now means not only silk ribbons, but for me, often adding paint to stitched work, putting on the glitz with gobs of beads, sequins, and all kinds of embellishments!  Think tiny doll dishes, neon lighting, buttons,  and felting techniques!  Oh, and the fibers and threads!  OMGOSH!  Talk about heart palpitations!  The metallics, the fuzzys, the neons, the very velvets, the thick and thin braids, the fiber covered wires that bend, the SPARKLES!!!  The array of fabulous materials to stitch with is endless!

I have not even mentioned all the decorative stitches and the teachers, and the book authors who compile all these stitches together in a format that we can all access, even on our phones!  It is all just too wonderful!  And to think, that not so long ago, in the 1970's, (ok, some of you weren't even born yet!) when needlepoint was at it commercial height, all anyone knew to do was use wool threads!

Which brings me to my point:  Today, anything goes!  And today is a good day to tell you about something I am very excited about!  Beginning the new year, 2013, I will be teaching a 12 month  class at BeStitched Needleworks in Scottsdale, AZ.   This will be just like the classes conducted by quilt shops, where one gets a 'block of the month' to create, and at the end of the year, you have a completed quilt!  In this case, I am going to be stitching right along with my students each month, to have a completed Princess Chandelier!  I can't tell you how excited I am to do this.  I will have to agree that my chandelier pieces  are very large (Approximately 23"X24"), and that can seem overwhelming.  But think about it:  If you stitch just a small portion each month (and I have it all broken down for you!), it is easily doable in 12 months time.

OH, you have NO IDEA of the Fun Stuff that will be incorporated on this canvas!  Here is a peek of just one of the monthly portions that I'll be teaching.

HINT:  Silk Ribbons, Fabric applique, Memory Thread, Sundance beads, Neon Rays, Stump work, Overdyed Threads, Decorative stitches...And when we get to those silver scrolls, we will be using Silver Sparkles to create the most elegant swirls you have ever laid eyes on!

Look for further details in an upcoming issue of Needlepoint Now. 
I can't wait!  In the mean time, I'm stitching up more Fun Stuff all the time.