Monthly Archives: December 2014

off to the framer

I’m excited to share that I finished up my Purple Palm piece!

I took it off to the framer just the other day. Initially, I was pretty positive that I wanted to have it matted and framed white on white. I thought that that would provide a really clean look on which to have the stitching displayed.

But then I got there and started playing around with different mattes and frames, and (to my disappointment) I found that it looked much to stark. The colors were already so bright that when they were surrounded with white, they almost looked neon. (NOT a look I was going for!)

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I ended up deciding on this pale purple matte and a white frame. I thought it really brought out the colors in the sky and warmed up the entire piece.

I guess the lesson to be learned here is that you never know until you try!

I can hardly wait to see it all finished up in the New Year!

Birds in hats

I can’t think of a more exciting day we had in the store, than when my boss Suzie came back from Cash and Carry Market this past fall. We got to work bright and early and opened up her enormous suitcase full of nothing but brand new canvases. Talk about a needlepointer’s dream!

There’s nothing more fun than when a new artist comes on the scene… there’s something fresh and fun to play with, that you don’t feel like you’ve already seen stitched a million times.

When Melissa Shirley released her newest artist, Vicki Sawyer, I fell in love! There is something so whimsical and childlike but yet still sophisticated about her work, which really appeals to me.

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I finally caved and bought myself her Baby Mockingbirds. They are so darling. Between their feathers and their little hats, there was plenty to work on and many fibers to chose from! I always love a challenge…

Fish or cut bait

As much as I love stitching in the season, with all this cold weather, I’m starting to wish I was somewhere sunny and warm!

I wanted to share this piece I’ve been working on by Purple Palm Designs. The image on the canvas was originally a watercolor pained by artist Ellen Negley. More of her original work can be found here.

I had the pleasure of working on this canvas with Meredith Willett , who provided me with lots of inspiration from which to work! If you ever have the opportunity to work with her… take it! I don’t think I could come up with a needlepoint question she wouldn’t have an answer to!

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Needlepoint Worthy

Between the cost of canvases, fibers, embellishments, finishing, and not to mention the time it takes to lovingly stitch a project, it becomes very difficult, VERY quickly to part with the canvases we complete. I have to have someone very special… very “needlepoint worthy” to give away my work.

Last June, James (my boyfriend) graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He earned his commission as a Second Lieutenant and joined the Engineer Branch of the U.S. Army. As soon as he finishes his training this spring, he will be posted to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, as part of the 20th Engineer Brigade.

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In August of 2013 he was very excited to get his class ring! (The tradition of wearing class rings originated at West Point and dates back to 1835). It’s a long road and a huge commitment to make it to Firstie (Senior) year there, and their rings serve not only as a reminder of not only the commitment they made to the Academy, but the duty they still have to the Army.

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Of course I felt that I needed to do something special to commemorate the event!

Each graduating class at West Point designs their own class crest. They must each include an eagle, two sabers, the year of graduation and the American flag. The class of 2014’s can be seen below:

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So, I needlepointed the design and had it framed. I gave it to James as a surprise gift after the banquet that weekend, and he was so touched. After all, there is nothing more special than a handmade gift!

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Back from the finisher…

Back from the finisher… And just in time for Christmas!

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the piece I got back the other day! There really is nothing more exciting than seeing your work completed in entirety. We always joke that there should be fanfare music and fireworks that explode when you finish stitching a piece… but I (not so secretly) really wish it would happen when we open boxes from finishers.

Living on the East Coast, I remember visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center as a little girl. The department store windows, sparkly lights and the figure skating are an iconic holiday image for many.

I’ve always wanted to stitch this piece by DJ Designs, and I was so excited when I found the canvas. It can be finished in a variety of ways; hanging as ornaments, standing with easel backs and standing on feet. With the entire tree beaded, I think the feet and bows really set the piece off to stand alone!

Back from the finisher

Now it’s home, standing on the fireplace mantel… right where it belongs!

How about you? What did you finish this year for the holidays?

New here? Me too!

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while, but just recently got up the courage to begin! As some of you may know, my name is Virginia and I’m an avid stitcher! (Although some may think that’s a bit of an understatement for the level my needlepoint addiction has reached…)

Growing up, my mother always had a needlepoint project in her hands. She would stitch in the car while she waited to pick my siblings and me up from school, and at home in the evenings while she helped us with homework. (Of course, I always loved to help her with her projects too!) During the holidays, no matter where we lived, our house was always decorated with little needlepoint treasures that made it feel all the more like home!

My junior and senior year of high school I went to boarding school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan to study opera. As I geared up to apply and audition for college, I needed to find a way to distract myself from the stress of the application/audition process and decompress in the evenings after rehearsal. My mom mailed me a project… And the rest is history!

New Here? Me too!

Ever since then I’m never caught without a canvas. And have often been found sitting in my dressing room before a show or an audition needlepointing and going over my music. For me it’s a wonderful way focusing inwards and calming my nerves.

New Here? Me too!
Since graduating from Boston University, my passion for needlepoint has lead me to begin teaching and blogging. I love my job! I’m lucky enough that, on most days, it hardly feels like work!