Category Archives: Travel

NJNA At Woodlawn!

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Hi Everyone —

Sue and I visited the Woodlawn exhibit today and saw all of the wonderful NJNA exhibits including three by Nancy Brighton.  We have a total of 30 pieces in the exhibit!  Many of you have already seen Melita’s wonderful write-up.  We were thrilled to see so many more pieces than last year.

There were many special pieces (most of original design) that expressed the theme of “Celebrating 100 Years of Women Expressing their Rights Through Craftmaking.”  Of these, we were especially enchanted by this piece:

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and by this special youth exhibit:

I voted for this piece as best in show:

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I loved the 3-D effect of the curtains!  You should be able to get a better (and bigger) picture by clicking on it.

Sue voted for a small ribbon embroidery piece because it was so delicate.

I hadn’t planned to say much more than that we were disappointed by how high some of the pieces were hung.  I couldn’t even read the sayings on some of the samplers.

It’s always a surprise when you go on the scavenger hunt at Woodlawn to find the pieces that you recognize!  So I didn’t want to spoil that surprise for all of you.  But given that the exhibit will be closed until further notice (and perhaps for good), I’ve decided to post pictures of our group’s entries and, where possible, to give you a sense of the surroundings.

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The Woodlawn Mansion!

After a quick stop at the shop and picking up our tickets, we were greeted in the parlor by Margaret’s amazing American flag — in a place of honor above the fireplace.

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The center hall was overflowing with beautiful pieces.  Sue spotted the beautiful tiger maple box that holds Sharon B’s embroidery.

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High, high above this box was Cathryn’s Waterlilies — so high I didn’t get a picture.  Sorry, Cathryn.

Across the hall, we discovered both Cathryn’s other piece and Nancy B’s wheelbarrow of flowers!

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This year the dining room was filled with past year entries from Nelly Needlers.  While these were real beauties — I loved this tray and wanted to include the picture for Ellen S.

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As we walked into the music room, Linda’s prizewinning sampler greeted us at the top of the door!

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The music room held the completed tapestry that some of us stitched on at the ANG National Seminar in Washington DC.  It is covered with plexiglass so my photo was awful.

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I loved this original piece and thought that it was perfectly displayed!

My Rooftops of Paris was displayed right next to the window in this room — it’s a little lopsided!

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These pieces were hung to catch the rays of the sun.  The one directly above my Paris is all beaded and wow does it sparkle in the sun!

As we took the steps to the second floor, we found my “Avenue of the Giants”.

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On a shelf at the curve of the stairs, we found this duck,  I had to take the picture from afar, so it’s a little cloudy, but I wanted to include it because all of the black lines (making it look like stained glass) were cut into the mat.  I thought Rob would be impressed!

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At the top of the stairs, Linda and Noelle’s Autumn Kaleidoscopes in the original colorway were hung on either side of the first bedroom door.  It was very interesting to see how different they looked because of their frame treatment!  (Apparently I didn’t take a picture — Sorry!)

Also in the hall were Noelle’s 2019 SOTM and Janet P’s Kaleidoscope.  Sorry about the reflection Noelle.  The purse was gorgeous too.

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The hall seemed to be the location of autumn colored pieces — and, once again, we found Diane B’s Kaleidoscope in the Halloween stairway!

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I also wanted to call Cathryn’s attention to the vase of Halloween candy flowers in the center.  I know this is a finishing technique that you have also used to good effect.

We had good representation in the Christmas bedroom as well.

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Sylvia’s Beautiful Beaded Tree

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Joan’s Star — It was displayed among other snow scenes!

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And here’s Cindy’s “Santa Peeking!”

The small center upstairs room is what Sue and I call the Needlepoint Room.  We were well-represented in this room.

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Jill’s Kaleidoscope is at the top and took a First Prize ribbon.  Ellen B’s Medallion is directly below.

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Sue C’s Kaleidoscope at the top and Cindy’s beautiful Mermaid at the bottom.  I think this was the ocean row!

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So much in this picture!  Melita’s piece is at the top left.  Another entry by Nancy B in the middle at the bottom.  Sylvia’s beautiful Kaleidoscope at the bottom of the right column.

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The small wall in this room boasted Ellen B’s Mermaid!

Remember that you can always enlarge a picture by clicking on it.

Sue and I decided to call the big bedroom at the top of the stairs the Colorful Room!  My Kaleidoscope and Janet P’s Disco Ball made it to this room.  I loved the piece above the fireplace.  Janet’s was hung all by itself on the closet door!

The room next to the Halloween stairs had several themes, but mostly I would call it the “Other” Holiday room!   Janice’s Kaleidoscope seemed to be group with Valentine items — appropriate for her Cherry and Chocolate colors.  (Although I think a Christmas item snuck in there too!)

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Sue C’s Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue was also displayed in this room, along with several armed service themed canvases.  Note the flag — the same design as Margaret’s, but not as nicely framed.

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I’m generally not too fond of Bargello, but I liked this piece in this room.

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Finally we came to the last bedroom, filled with lace — and Barbara L’s perfume line-up!

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I thought this next piece made an interesting birth sampler — very different.

 

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So, I know I missed more than a few and offer my apologies to all.  Rather than individual pictures, I wanted you to get a feel for the flow of the house and the more overall arrangement.  I hope you enjoy.

Before I go, Woodlawn was encouraging us to read “A Single Thread” by Tracy Chevalier.  Sue and I listened to it on the way down, while there, and on the way home.  We are enjoying it tremendously.  It is about a woman who learns needlepoint just so that she can stitch a kneeler for the cathedral.  Woodlawn featured these kneelers as a special exhibit that tied to the book.

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We will keep everyone informed about the return of our pieces.  It appears that Woodlawn may try to extend the exhibit into April — but I wouldn’t hold my breath right now.

Cheers, Rosie

 

 

 

A Livelier Iris

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This two day class was the first national seminar for my teacher, Wendy Moore, and she was ready for us! Her directions were a stitcher’s dream–great diagrams with lots of little extras to help you along the way, as well as a heading on each page with the thread used, the number of strands, the stitch and where it is on the canvas. The iris is stitched with straw silk which was fun to use once it was ironed flat. There are enough shades of the silk to make the soft shade changes. On day one we worked on the iris and day two on the stalk and frame that will go around it.

Look at the top portion of the frame (only part stitched yet). The corner motif idea came from the design on a ceiling tile Wendy sees when she is at the hair dressers and having her hair washed! (Rosie often takes architectural photos for stitching ideas!). Then the frame is two parts with one being a longer scotch stitch and the other laid threads tied down with spaced Gobelin stitches. When you see the completed piece, it really looks like a wood frame! This piece is quite large and is currently going home with Dee as she kindly agreed to carry it in her car back to NJ! If you see a design that you like at a class or seminar with Wendy as a teacher, sign up. I think you will enjoy being in her class.

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A few notes about this place as a seminar location. I loved it! The rooms are more spacious than ones we have had at other seminars with adequate drawer space and floor space for all the things needlepointers need to have on hand. The staff has been very friendly and accommodating and always with a smile. The lazy river has been a perfect way to loosen up tired muscles after a day of stitching. There were several days when we “walked the perimeter of Texas” a few times against the current for a bit more exercise! The surrounding area had open space which a suburb gal needs, places to eat within walking distance, and a great specialty grocery store. The seminar committee did a great job in their selection of location in my opinion.

Lady with Mandala II — Day 2!

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Hi Everyone —

I don’t really have much to report today.  I quite enjoyed the remainder of my class and I am awed that we discussed every single stitched area, bead, and thread on this piece.  Cynthia was an energetic and supportive teacher, but we all would have liked more time to stitch.  I have a free morning tomorrow, so I may try to put a few more stitches in.

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My progress at the end of day 2.

Tonight was the closing banquet.  We had a table of 7 NJNA members and Donna F from San Francisco area who happens to be a California stitching buddy of Barbara L!  Small world!  Hello’s all around!

Tomorrow afternoon I have to pack up all of the correspondence pieces for shipment back to the teachers.   Surprisingly, Houston was a great choice for seminar and this is one of the best hotels we have ever had in terms of lighting, distances, and amenities.

Next year in Tucson!

Cheers, Rosie

 

Lady with Mandala II

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August 17, 2019

Hi Everyone!

Today I started a new class — a painted canvas by Brenda Stofft Designs — with Cynthia Thomas who designed the stitch guide and is teaching the class.  It is called Lady with Mandala II.

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The painted canvas!

I started the class by asking what a mandala was — I had thought that they were the crystals hanging behind the lady — but no — they are the disks in the upper right quadrant of the design.  So — here’s what Webster’s had to say:

Mandala, (Sanskrit: “circle”) in Hindu and Buddhist Tantrism, a symbolic diagram used in the performance of sacred rites and as an instrument of meditation.

We have four students in the class.  I am the only one who does not usually do painted canvas, but I explained that I needed to get back to stitching on my Lombard Street and I hoped that the course would provide some inspiration.  I also asked Cynthia to explain how and why she picked the various stitches and it’s been great!

The kit has hundreds of threads, beads, and crystals and was beautifully kitted by Chandail Needlepoint.  We mostly worked on the lady’s hair today — I think this class could easily have been a three or four day class, so we have to hurry to get through everything in two days!

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My Progress at the End of Day One!

After class I walked the perimeter of Texas a few more times and then attended the Seminar Expo! after dinner.

I discovered my picture on Facebook today — ANG had taken a picture of me hawking the correspondence courses last night!

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Time is flying by.  I spent some time this afternoon looking at the classes that will be offered next year in Tucson.  I think I found some interesting options!

I’m looking forward to getting some uninterrupted stitching time!

Cheers, Rosie

Beaded Bermuda Reef

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This three day class was taught be Kathy Rees and I am so happy that I signed up for this class! Her directions are so clear. The colors do make you think of exotic seas.

The first two days we spent stitching various sections in a variety of textures, Splendor, Silk Lamé, Neon Rays, Petite Very Velvet. After break this morning we began the beaded fringe which will be added after the stitching has been completed. This technique was all new to me, but I did manage to complete my fringe before class ended. To add a new thread you had to make a slip knot, capture the old thread in the knot and tighten the slip knot. Good thing forming the slip knot can be found on YouTube!

This shows three days of stitching and the completed fringe. Below is the placement of the fringe when all the stitching is completed.

Because of the various NJNA workshops and the pieces that we have done through the years with the Stitch of the Month, it was easy to stitch the Spratt’s heads and tied crosses! I can see this being finished at one of my stitching retreats coming up!

Winter Lights — Second and Last Day :-(

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Hi Everyone —

First of all I have to thank all eight of my NJNA peeps for their help in moving the Distance Learning pieces to Teacher’s Showcase and back again!  I couldn’t have done it without you guys!

Today was a busy day starting with my picking up my canvas for tomorrow so that I can have it ready to go as soon as class starts!  (Still on my docket for tonight!).

My second day of class with Jennifer Riefenberg was every bit as enjoyable as the first.  We finished all of the candles and I even was able to light one of them!  The one candle that is not stitched on my canvas uses a reinforced sparkly tube — I chose not to stitch it onto the canvas until some of the surrounding areas are done — otherwise it would be too hard to lay those stitches around the raised tubing.

Here is my progress at the end of the day:

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I am very glad that I have three retreats scheduled in the near future!  I expect that Winter Lights will be one of my finishes!

Cheers, Rosie

Houston Seminar

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August 15, 2019

Hi Everyone —

Greetings from Texas — we have eight NJNA members here this week so expect some great blog posts.

I’ll start by posting my SOTM piece finished through August!

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I have to agree with someone’s thought that it looks like a bunch of shape blots on a canvas!  Hard to imagine what will come next!

Sue and I flew to Houston on Tuesday because I have to help set up the Correspondence Course section of the exhibit.  Little did I expect that no one else was there to help (except the marvelous Sue C) with any of the distance learning exhibits and we ended up having to do all of them.  My gimpy leg was not much help!  We spent over four hours with unpacking and set-up.

Even with my bad leg, we managed to walk the perimeter of Texas multiple times!

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How’s this for a Texas-sized lazy river pool?  Plus our room has a view of Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros.  Sue thinks she will take in Monday night’s game!

Classes started today.  I am enrolled in a fabulous class with Jennifer Riefenberg called “Winter Lights”.   It is a collection of candles — not a menorah, but the same number of candles.  Here’s my progress at the end of Day 1.

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Five of the nine candles are complete!  No spaghetti!

Tonight we had our opening Fiesta banquet dinner buffet with a live band and Texas brisket in multiple forms.  It gave me a chance to show off my special earrings!

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These scissor earrings were my souvenir from Woodlawn this year!

Cheers to all!

Rosie

Needlepoint Shops in Delaware

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I was in Delaware last week with two of my children, two grandchildren, and my son-in-law’s sister and hr family.  We stayed 2 blocks from the beach just north of Dewey Beach and a little south of Rehoboth.  Needless to say, i got very little stitching done but lots of babysitting and playtime with the grandkids.

On Friday, i finally got a chance to take a long bike ride and explore south to Bethany Beach, which has a lovely shopping area and boardwalk.  While looking on Google Maps for the needlepoint shop in Rehoboth, I had noticed a needlework shop in Bethany kept coming up as well.  Sea Needles is about a mile in from the beach in a small strip mall on the main east/west road out of Bethany Beach.  The GPS, which I was following blindly, took me right by the shop and around the back of the building!  The shop was a wonderful surprise.  They’ve been there 30 years and have lots of knitting, cross stitch, and needlepoint as well as framing.  For needlepoint, they had lots of great painted canvases, blank canvas, tons of Paternayan, some Rainbow Gallery threads, DMC pearl cotton in at least size 3 and 5, DMC floss, Silk and Ivory, and Stardust. The threads seemed more geared towards 13-mesh canvases than 18-mesh, which was fine for me as I needed some threads specifically for a 13-mesh canvas.  Their prices seemed very reasonable. I couldn’t get a good picture inside that would do it justice.  The store is very full but I didn’t feel like it was cluttered – I could easily browse and find what I wanted.   The ladies in the shop were very nice even though they were very busy so I only got to talk to them at checkout.  They took a lot of time with each customer so don’t expect to dash in and out!  Here’s a picture of the outside of the shop with a big sign that you can’t miss if you are paying attention!

Due to lots of babysitting duty, i did not get a chance to check out Stitch-Stash in Rehoboth until we were leaving on Saturday.  It took me an extra 20 minutes to find it as the GPS directions when you put in the store name do nt take you to the store address.  It is clearly stated on their website to put in the street address but I hadn’t paid attention to that detail. The nice part is they have free 30 minute parking right in front of the store.  The store has been open just a year and the owner is very nice – she let me browse but also let me know she was available if i needed anything.  The store is very bright with lots of nooks and crannies so it is fun to explore.  She has lots of threads mostly for 18-count canvases.  There were 2 trunk shows when i was there.  I did find a cute Christmas sled canvas and some threads I wanted, although i could have bought a whole lot more as there were some wonderful canvases.

Definitely check out both stores if you are in the Rehoboth/Dewey/Bethany area.

Gone Stitching Grand Re-Opening

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This week I was able to attend the grand re-opening of Gone Stitching in Bergenfield. Renee and Michele have relocated the shop a few blocks south of their previous location on South Washington Avenue.

The new store is in a stand-alone building with lots of windows and high ceilings, providing a really bright space to shop, or just sit and stitch. The walls are covered in lots of threads and canvases. I’m looking forward to visiting the shop again!

Gone Stitching is at 311 South Washington Avenue, Bergenfield, NJ 07621 (201.385.2100).

EGA Regional Seminar

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Hi Everyone —

This past weekend I attended my third EGA Metropolitan Region Seminar in Madison, NJ.   Usually, I just take a class, but this year I was responsible for coordinating the Opportunity Basket Auction.  I was nervous about handling the large amount of cash, but in the end everything balanced to the penny and the money was distributed without incident.

I had initially signed up to take studio time because Opportunity Baskets and, DUH, UFO’s!   But, when I was in Scotland last summer, I bought a Mackintosh Rose tote bag on deep discount and convinced myself that I had signed up to take Toni Gerdes’ Mackintosh Rose Kimono.  So imagine my surprise/disappointment when my registration came and said “Studio Time”.

 

The Mackintosh Rose tote bag and Toni’s Kimono!

Luckily, I knew the registrar and was able to change into Toni’s class!  Charles Rennie Mackintosh was known for his Mackintosh Rose stained glass windows, but the motif appears throughout his designs.

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A set of tiles in the Mackintosh Rose design.  Can you see the source of Toni’s inspiration?

(As an aside, Toni is doing a series of artist-inspired kimonos:  The Wright Kimono taught at ANG in Chicago, The Mackintosh Rose Kimono, The Klimt Kimono to be first taught at ANG in Houston, and The O’Keeffe Kimono in design for ANG Tucson.)  Are you tempted yet?

As usual, Toni’s class was awesome and I came away with some new techniques and ideas for use on other projects.  One of these was Wonder Ribbon and the other was the best ever use for Flair!  Here is my progress at the end of two days:

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The Wonder Ribbon appears in the bottom right corner of the design.  This ribbon started as about a 3/8-inch wide tube.  It stretches when you pull on the sides and goes back to its original shape when you pull on it lengthwise.  So you can pull it into any number of shapes; the website says it is good for waves.  It comes in five widths.  (Carol, do you remember those necklaces we bought in Mexico?  Same idea.)  Toni had us use two balloon sticks to widen the ribbon to the approximate width that we needed and then tack it down with Accentuate.  The ribbon will be stitched over when the design is nearly done.

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A close-up of the Wonder Ribbon.  Note that you can see the canvas through it!

For any of you who have stitched with Flair, you know what a mess it can be.  I promised you the best use ever, so let’s look at rosebud on the Kimono,  Here’s a close-up:

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The center of the rosebud is Flair that is stretched open and tacked down in exactly the same fashion as the Wonder Ribbon.  An oblong Jessica is stitched over it.  The Flair fills in the center of the Jessica.  It creates a translucent effect and IMO is the best idea ever!  When I said that to Toni, she suggested that Wonder Ribbon or Flair, depending upon width, would be great for windows — covering the area, but receding as well.  I plan to try it out on Lombard Street and The Neighborhood!

I HOPE to finish this piece since it is my remembrance of Scotland.   However, the kit came with two spools of the same color of Accentuate…….

Cheers, Rosie