Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

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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

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

A Fabulous Way to Spend a Saturday

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As many of you know, I spend a lot of time in the Bay area of CA visiting and helping out with my “little people.”  One would think that I am hopping in and out of San Francisco to explore and enjoy the culture and fun.  However, in truth, I have only been to the city a handful of times.  It’s busy, busy in my daughter’s household, so I often don’t go to the city and visit.  However, there is one thing that could lure me in and of course that one thing is needlework.

San Francisco is host to the three year old San Francisco School of Needlework and Design.  (aka SNAD) (https://www.sfneedleworkanddesign.org)  I have been curious about the school, but since right now the main focus seems to be on embroidery, and not much canvas work, I had not made the trek into San Fran to take a look.  Until now.

When I am away from NJ, I usually spend one day a week stitching at Luv2Stitch in San Mateo.  Recently they had a brochure for an exhibit by the artist Katie Strachan at SNAD. It is called “This Lovely Green”.  It features a lot of gold work, so I really wanted to go and have a look.  I figured out Caltrain from the burbs to the city and twisted the arm of a cousin who lives north of the city to come and join me.  She picked me up at the train station and we were off for our adventure.

We picked a good day because there were no classes going on and it was a quiet day of catch-up (until I got there!) for the program director and co-founder, Lucy Barter.  What a charming and energetic woman Lucy is. She is quite a bit younger than me and my peer group, which in itself is fabulous.  We all worry about how the needle arts are going to be passed down to another generation and it seems that Lucy and SNAD are providing the answers.

Lucy is from the UK and is certificate trained by the Royal School of Needlework from across the pond.  She had been teaching day classes all over the area, but wanted more of a center where people would come from all over to learn.  She has created that in SNAD.  So far, they have had participants from 40 states in the US as well as several countries.  When one first walks in, there is no much eye candy, it’s hard to know where to look.

The first thing Lucy did when she learned that I was from NJ was to show me all the sampler bands that have been submitted by our local EGA members for the school’s on going project. They hope to create the longest band sampler in the world.   My cousin couldn’t believe that I knew most of the needle artists whose work was in the folder.  Lucy made me promise that I would tell all of you who donated, that the bands were going up on display that very day.

The exhibit was in the main room where there is also a small store and a library of many, many donated books.  Katie Strachan’s work is not to be believed. It is so intricate, delicate and outstanding that it doesn’t begin to look as if it was created by human hands.  I’m going to try and insert as many photos as I can.  Not only was there exquisite gold work, but  the tiny, gorgeously created stump work, made these works of art delicate and realistic.  I have worked some intricate patterns, but my work looks like a crow bar next to these confections of Katie’s.

When we ran out of oohs and aahs, we moved on to the two classrooms where the student work is displayed.  There was a lot of gold work, but some other “one stitch” wonders from the sample classes that the school offers.  I may attempt another trip into the city in the fall to take a needle painting class. There are so many wonderful classes, that one doesn’t know where to begin.   They even have a certificate program if one wants to go to that level.  I asked about canvas work and Lucy reported that she is starting to teach beginning canvas work.  In fact, the last canvas work class that she taught was comprised of all men.  In general, Lucy reports that there are as many millennials in the classes as the silver haired ladies.  Her many evening and weekend offerings allows the working folks to also participate.

I already informed Stuart that if we ever really do move to this area, that I will be taking classes galore and volunteering at the school.  Of course, I would have to have time for both needlepoint and embroidery.  Oh, then where would the “little people” fit in?!  Such a wonderful dilemma.  If you are visiting the Bay area, I highly recommend a stop at the school.  Lucy was more than gracious, especially with my constant peppering of questions.  I do thank her and am so happy at her success.  Hopefully this success will continue for many, many years to come.

After SNAD, my cousin and I had a real “ladies” lunch to celebrate our respective birthdays, which are in August.  From there, my cousin really indulged me and we took a ride share trek to the Needlepoint Inc. store.  I had been to the store’s original location which had been in Union Square, within blocks of SNAD.  However, a few years ago, they moved to Jackson Street, near the financial section.  On a weekend, this part of town was quiet.  We were greeted quite friendly.  The store has many, many canvases, but most are on 13 mesh, so (luckily) I was not tempted.  Needless to say, there is a whole wall of Needlepoint Inc. stranded silk.  They also have some Rainbow Gallery threads.  I was able to pick up some of the silk that I needed for a new project that I am trying to get off the ground.

By this time, it was time to take the train home, which had its own adventure.  One of the passengers waiting for the train went into a seizure and fell down hitting her head.  There were many that stepped forward to help out until the paramedics arrived.  It was nice to see so many good samaritans.  Other than witnessing the distress of that poor lady, the day was a complete success.  I hope you will go and visit SNAD.

Drats!  My computer illiteracy is showing again.  I am having so much trouble inserting more of the  (many) photos, so please take my word for it that this work is exquisite.  If you see me in person, please be sure to ask me to show you the photos.  So sorry readers!

Needlepoint Geography

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As many of you local folks know, I spend a lot of time in CA with my “little people”.  My last trip there coincided with the celebration of the spring major religious holidays.  In my case this meant celebrating at a Passover seder.  Now in Jewish culture (not religion) we have a “thing” called Jewish geography.  It is similar to Kevin Bacon’s six degrees of separation.  In it, when we meet someone new, we begin by finding out their geographical history, immediately followed by, do you know “ so and so”?  Inevitably we find some distant way in which we are connected. Now bear with me, this blog entry is not about Jewish geography, but really is about needlepoint geography and friendship.

It just so happened that on the second day of the Passover holiday, I had two invitations for the seder.  My daughter’s sister-in-law and brother-in-law were hosting a kids’ seder.  My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were hosting an adults only seder.  So I figured out a way to attend both.  

Since I was arriving late to my sister-in-law’s and brother-in-law’s seder I knew the religious part would already be underway. So, I tried very hard to enter the room as inconspicuously as possible.  Rather than climb over people to my assigned seat, I just plopped myself down in an available seat at the end of one of the tables.  I knew the woman to my right, but the woman to the left of me had her head down and so I paid her no attention.

After a bit I got up to use the rest room.  As I was returning to the table, the woman who had been to my left got up and whispered to me, “Barbara, I know you.”  It took me a moment to place her since she was out of context.  I soon realized that this woman was Deb R.  I knew her from the shop in San Mateo, Luv2Stitch, where I hang out to stitch while visiting the west coast.  She has also been present at the few ANG chapter meetings out there that I have managed to attend.

As I was thinking to myself, but trying to not say, “what is she doing here?”, Deb asked me that very question.  I paused and said, uh, my husband is Marcia’s (our hostess’) brother.  At that point, Deb said, “get out.  I’ve been in this family for 32 years.”  To that I replied that I had been in the family for 44 years.  Now my curiosity was really piqued.

For many years I had heard my brother-in-law speak of his Long Island, NY childhood friend, “Rocky”, who lived on the west coast and helped to ease the family’s transition when they moved to the the Bay area back in the ‘70s.  I believe I even met Rocky’s mother at another long ago seder.  So I was a bit more than surprised when Deb asked if I had ever heard of Rocky.  I said, “of course!”  It turns out that Deb is Rocky’s (aka Joe’s) wife.  We were both thunderstruck.

By now the religious part of the meal was over and visiting time really began in earnest.  

During the year or so in which I became acquainted with Deb, we had happily been sharing wedding planning notes since her son got married the same weekend that our daughter did, last fall.  At some point, my brother-in-law Elliot came over and Deb suddenly said to him, “that’s why you didn’t come to our son’s wedding!”  The connections went on from there.  Deb was sharing how her daughter was a speech therapist.  I started to laugh and told her that so was mine.  At that point, Rocky chimed in that their daughter had consulted my daughter several times before deciding to enter the field.  Deb and I were further amused!  

Needlepoint shops, ANG chapters, shared wedding weekend and daughters in the same field made this out of context encounter so much fun!  I think in that short hour and a half I went from having a very nice needlepoint acquaintance to having a lovely, fun needlepoint friend.

Now that is how needlepoint geography works!