Monday, June 3, 2013

Dance For Me

I frequent my LNS as much as possible for canvases, but I have a little e*bay habit that I just can't kick.  As soon as I saw this adorable ballerina canvas I knew I had to have it.  My two year old niece fancies herself a dancer so I knew it would be the perfect 2013 ornament for her.  Plus I found that it's a discontinued canvas so I don't feel too bad buying it from a reseller.

Since I had so many leftover threads from the Santa canvas, I was able to stitch this entirely with stash threads. Yay!  Again, I tried to stick to the stitch guide as much as possible, not so much to maintain the integrity of the design, but more so I try out new stitches that I normally wouldn't do.

The stitch guide called for something called swirling bargello from Amy Bunger's cookbook for stitchers.  There was a small diagram in the stitch guide but it was hard for me to really get this stitch since it wasn't numbered.  I tried my best but I am sure it looks nothing at all like what it's supposed to.

For her dress, I followed the stitch guide to the letter, but I reversed the direction of the stitches to be mirror images as I figured that's how the pattern of the fabric would be.  I also had a little trouble compensating the skirt part of her dress (it was done in shifting cashmere), but as long as you don't look too closely, I think it looks fine.

The tricky part for me was the background.  Nothing was drawn on the canvas so I measured out what I thought would work.  Looking at it, it's a little big, but oh well.  I also ended up just tent stitching it instead of doing basket composite, as the guide called for.  I wanted to finish this one and wasn't in the mood to learn a new stitch. :-)

I have three more P&M ornaments I am going to stitch this summer and am excited to get started!  I really like them, though I will say, the diagrams in the stitch guide aren't that helpful for me as they aren't numbered.  When I'm learning a new stitch I find that I really rely on the numbering until I get the hang of how to do the stitch.

Friday, May 31, 2013

My First Princess and Me Canvas

I purchased my first Princess and Me canvas last winter during a trunk sale and quickly became addicted to the bright colors, whimsical design and stitch guide.  I started with Peek-A-Boo Santa and boy was he fun.  I had the shop do a kit for me, which in hindsight, I wouldn't do again sight unseen - there were a ton of threads and the threads ended up costing twice as much as the canvas. The shop also made a bunch of thread substitutions, which I can't say were good or bad, since I just stitched with what I was given. :-)

I mostly followed the stitch guide, though I did make a few exceptions.  The first was with the green package.  The stitch guide called for the diamond ray stitch with Sprinkles thread.  I had never used Sprinkles and had no idea what I was getting myself into.  It was like stitching with dental floss.  Actually, I think dental floss would have been worse.  I guess the color and effect were nice, but honestly, I can't see what the benefit of this thread is.  And I have no idea how the P&M ladies were able to do diamond ray, whcih calls for five threads to come out of the same hole, with this thread, which IMHO, was much too thick for 18 mesh.  I thought of changing the thread, but it was late at night and I didn't have anything in my stash that was a similar color.  Instead I stitched to the Parisian stitch, which I knew would work with this thick thread, since it's an upright stitch.

The second thing I changed was the stitch for the red package.  The guide called for the triple slanted Parisian, but I just couldn't get the hang of it.  I switched to byzantine #2 from the Stitches to Go book and think it looks just as good since the diagonals are in the same direction.

The third stitch I changed was in the border.  The guide called for the white to be the Rhodes stitch but again, I was having trouble doing this in such a tiny area (over four canvas threads).  I ended up doing both the red and white squares in Scotch.

I really enjoyed doing this canvas, and have since bought four more P&M ornaments!  I'll show you the next one on Monday.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Recent Stitchy Finishes

I have started to collect canvases that I've finished stitching but have not yet sent to be finished.  A few reasons for this.  One, I'm not exactly sure what I want to do with them.  Ornament, standup, pillow insert, something even more fabulous.  Two, finishing ain't cheap.  Three, I kind of like admiring my finsihed stitching. :-)

First up is this round thing (!) from Jelly Bean Stock.  I saw it on a shop blog last year when they were having a trunk show and knew I had to have it.  Devin is my buff colored long haired cat who looks exactly like the cat on the canvas.  And my sweet little black cat Angus went to the Rainbow Bridge last year.

I used a variety of fibers on this.  Silk Lame Braid, Pepper Pot Silk (first time for this and now I'm hooked!), Vineyard Silk, Silk and Ivory, Whisper, Impressions and Mandarin Bamboo Floss.  I stitched it all in tent, except for Devin, who I did in random short and long stitches for the first time.  I used Whisper mixed with Impressions, which I really like for fur.  I don't love how my stitching turned out, but I think he looks okay, for my first time. :-)  I'm thinking of having this finished like the sign I posted yesterday and doing as a standup with an easel back.

The next finished, but not totally finished canvas I want to show you is by Susan Roberts.  Again, it has sentimental value.  Angus' favorite time of year was Christmas.  He loved, loved, loved to sit by the Christmas tree and look at the ornaments and lights.  When I hang this on the tree this year, I know a little piece of Angus will be there with me.

It's a Susan Roberts's canvas that I'll have finished an ornament.  I used a variety of fibers, including Mandarin Bamboo Floss, Splendor, Silk Lame Braid, Impressions, Silk and Ivory, River Silks ribbon, perle cotton, and Precious Metals for the garland.  I also was able to do some stitches I've never done, such as French knots and the bows by the window greenery.  I also tried short and long stitches again and think they look a little better than they do on Devin, above.  Don't worry- I'll trim the bow to make it a little smaller when I get it back from the finisher.

Lastly, is a simple little ornament for Mother.  My initals are WWD so obviously my maiden name begins with W.  I saw this little canvas when I was in Atlanta in January.  It was less than the two skeins of thread I bought to use for it so it was a no-brainer kind of purchase. ;)  I thought about keeping it for myself but I knew my husband would ask where the D was for him so I decided to give it to Mother.

I have no idea who the designer is. I stitched the W in Silk Lame Braid (I kinda love this stuff!) and the background in a diagonal mosaic in Pepper Pot.  Thought I'd ask for red and white cording and a big red and white bow on the top to make it look extra special.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Back From the Finisher

After stitching many belts in 2012, I decided to stitch smaller things in 2013.  Three reasons for this- I get to do more decorative stitches, work with more fibers, and get quicker finishes.

On the needlepoint Facebook group I had read a lot about a gal who had been finishing for over 10 years but was starting to expand her business. Ever the bargainista, I thought I'd giver her a try after several of the ladies in the group posted pictures of their finished items.

I sent Angela two things, a Julia canvas I stitched as an ornament for my husband and a Point of It All Designs sign for my sister.

Angela and I chatted via email so that I could let her know what I was looking for, i.e., nothing too frilly, frou-frou or old ladyish and boy did she deliver.  The finishing is clean and simple and perfectly done.  And it was done lightning fast, too- less than three weeks!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What's In A Name?

I have an old blog that I kept for many years, The Preppy Pink and Green Puppy. I still post from time to time but thought I'd start a new, needlepoint only blog to keep up with all my stitching sisters.

You may be asking yourself, what exactly is a stitching GRITS.  Well, most people know grits as the corn-based breakfast cereal.  Southerns really know what grits are- Girls Raised In The South.  But there is a third meaning.  Girls Really In To Shooting.  And that's me!  The GRITS are a group  my shooting instructor started a few years ago to get women interested in the shooting sports, particularly shotguns.  My GRITS friends love that I stitch and when we're away shooting together I always have a canvas that I'm working on.

This is me, stitching a belt while trapping at a tournament last fall.  I had broken my wrist (was in car accident) so I couldn't shoot which is why I was trapping. It was a slow day so I was able to get some stitching time in between shooters.

I promise to post more about stitching than shooting.