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Showing posts from 2019

Christmas Traditions

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Each family has its own traditions linked to the festive season and even more so the many countries around the World. Australian, New Zealand and South America are enjoying high summer; in the Northern hemisphere it is winter and often dark and icy nights.
Some countries celebrate Christmas Eve with a festive dinner and the opening of presents at midnight; others go to their church at midnight and keep the presents and the big meal till Christmas Day itself.In the UK the preferred meal for a big family is Turkey with roast potatoes and sprouts followed by Christmas pudding with brandy butter or cream. Other countries enjoy oysters (France) or Carp (Germany).
Houses are decorated, children make garlands, a Tree is populHaving been on the East Coast immediately before Christmas it is fun to take a ride around the areas to see the amazing displays erected. ar in many countries and in particular Americans decorate their garden and outside of their house lavishly.
Needlepoint items are lov…

Making my first YouTube

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YouTube tutorials are wonderful, featuring a mass of things you had thought of and even lots one didn’t even think existed.The beauty of being actually able to see the process rather than trying to work out with diagrams from a printed source is particularly good with a craft such as Needlepoint/Tapestry.
My daughter in fact learnt to knit from watching a number of tutorials, they encouraged her to try something for the first time and something, and I confess, her Mother had not taught her! Having enjoyed my needlepoint for almost 50 years, first as a relaxation from full time interior decorator, then as a designer, author and in particular a teacher, I realised that showing students exactly how to stitch something was of considerable help.So much so that more than 30 years ago I started ‘Needlepoint Network’ a group of trained people who taught my designs on class in their own area.
Recently needing more help in the studio, particularly with communications with existing students I m…

Recent Italian Trip

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Just returned from yet another lovely trip to Calabria in Southern Italy.This was our 12th annual trip, many of the group have been on all occasions as trips like this are popular; weshare an interest/passion for needlepoint; enjoy the unique opportunity to stitch in attractive surroundings and as far as possible have an all-in price.All of them, besides being enthusiastic stitchers are great photographers.I have been the recipient of many, many beautiful memories of the trip and it will be difficult job to select those that I include in this blog.
Calabria is still a relatively unknown area of Italy, Pirapora the Agro tourism family run place we go is on the West coast looking out across the beautiful turquoise sea to Stromboli and the island of Sicily.This year both the weather and the visibility were perfect, the sunsets over Stromboli – were picture perfect;
Each year during the winter months when there are no guests lovely improvements are made to both the accommodation and the com…

Working in a Creative Room

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‘It is how you feel about your home rather than the way it looks’ an interesting comment read recently – when I got to think about it, it makes a great deal of sense.It is the personal things, the items you have collected on holidays or trips to the country or treasures handed down from your family - and of course things like your needlepoint either made by you or your children or friends given as special gifts.
Certain colours in rooms give me a thrill, in a previous home we inherited a deep blue bath (having always said there was only one colour for vanity wear – white) it was tempting to replace it but I decided to work with it, so pleased I did, teaming it with Moroccan tiles and this painting.
Our present bedroom is shades of soft blue, the reason for many of my needlepoint designs being shades of the same colour.Calm, peaceful but full of stitching memories that give me pleasure every time I go in.Besides two of my recent designs, the Cathedral Tiles and Tudor and the third one wi…

Introduction to Needlepoint and the equipment you need.

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First of all, what is needlepoint?It is counted thread embroidery mostly covering the ground material – even weave canvas.However my web site shows many different lacy designs and incorporating different coloured canvases into the design. Sometimes it is called tapestry erroneously but that is a different story!

There are three main types of needlepoint, Tent stitch from charts or on printed or hand-painted canvases; Florentine/Bargello traditional upright stitches worked in curves and spires and Stitchery on geometric designs and for adding interest to painted canvases.
This blog covers equipment for all types of needlepoint that I have found useful though the years.
One of the most attractive aspects of learning needlepoint right from the start is the fact that initially very little equipment is needed to get one going in the right direction.
Later on as you become more hooked, possibly see fellow stitches either at class or in ‘stitch and bitch’ groups with equipment they love you can …

Master Classes Blog

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With my confined status due to my ankle fracture I am fortunate in having my needlepoint stitching, my finished pieces and an extensive out of print book collection around me. Time to reflect on all this and my many years of stitching has introduced a new series of one day classes Master Classes, each in a particular needlepoint technique.

The idea for each day is to study the technique, Florentine, Basketweave Tent and Backgrounds, Patterned Darning etc with some historical background, making a personal stitched sampler and learning many tips and special techniques associated with that form of needlepoint.
The days so far offered are available at the end  of the blog.
Basketweave & Backgrounds.
I know everyone thinks they ‘know’ Basket weave Tent but there are many tips to help you get the best possible smooth and hard-wearing results.Also, how to avoid kits that only allow for Half Cross that won’t wear satisfactorily.
Backgrounds can be solid, covering the canvas with interesting t…

Interim Blog

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April is here and on my last blog I promise to post regular articles each month however, unfortunately I have had an accident – broken my ankle rather badly and have no weight bearing on that leg at all for 6 weeks   You can imagine my life is quite restricted but learning to hop around on a frame – not that easy at my age – and being advised to rest as much as possible I am taking their advice.
I had planned for the next Blog to be a record of the equipment that I found personally, was useful for my stitching and gave me pleasure.  In fact, I have written the copy but have to wait for a photo session illustrating the items talked about – they say that a picture is worth a thousand words and anyway it is always good to see what one is talking about! So that will follow as soon as I can get around.
I have an appointment at the hospital this Thursday when I hope my heavy caste will be replaced with a lighter one and I should know more about future plans. Needless to say, my every moment…

New Year, New Projects

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With Christmas and all the family festivities and then my being away – fortunately in the sun – I am afraid a blog hasn’t been written recently; however being away from the computer (at least some of the time and the Wi-Fi wasn’t too dependable) I was able to revisit some of the things that happened last year and to plan detail for the next few months.
Last year my excitement with coloured canvas, lacy stitches to make full use of both elements and shadow stitching showing a painted design grew.On the trip I managed to finish ‘Basket Weavers of Road Town’I have mentioned this piece before, inspired by a painting by Jill Tattersall who went out to Tortola in the BVIs in the 60s with her family;some years later she painted a series recalling the early days.
In Tuscany the group project was the house logo, a pair of pheasants under an olive tree worked with silks and metallic and in Calabria where everyone is able to choose their design I worked a flight of Butterflies.This painted canva…