Tuesday, September 25, 2012

the sprint turned into a slow jog...

i came down with a head cold sometime over the weekend, so the sprint for the background ended prematurely when i decided to take nyquil and pass out at 8:30 pm. not the idealistic birthday, but those undisturbed 9.5 hours of sleep made it worth it. 

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

this is as far as i got, but it's slowly starting to take shape!

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

very simple stitch, but it makes the coolest effect when complete, almost like shaded squares. 

thank you for all the sweet birthday messages yesterday! it warmed my heart ever so...

Monday, September 24, 2012

zipping through it!

my needle was flying this weekend with the background for my lady! tonight i start on the inner diamonds...woo hoo!

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

tried to get a closer pic of the detail. beads will be added in the red centers last.  

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

while it was very soothing and relaxing to do repeated tent stitching on the outlines, i'm ready to get to the creamy center!

i'm pressing pause on the water meter ornament since i'm on such a roll with the stocking. i don't want to upset the momentum!

Friday, September 21, 2012

lunch with palma!

i am in stitchy heaven after meeting palma for lunch today!

her company is in new orleans for a conference this weekend and she was thankfully able to grab a quick bite to eat a midst her busy schedule. i decided to take her to palace cafe on canal street, which is owned by the brennan family (of the famous brennan's, commander's palace and more).

we talked about family, work and of course stitching! we are so lucky to have this large community of one another that keeps us connected. it's like a stitch sorority. wherever life takes us, we will always have built-in friends.

i apologize for not taking any pictures, but trust me...we had a blast!

thanks palma! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

starting on the background

this week i started stitching the first step of the stocking background. while it's bo-oring work, it's exciting to see it start to come to life. 

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

i'm starting with the navy blue borders and will then go back with kreinik for the center lines. at least it's easy and doesn't require a lot of attention, so i can stitch while watching tv.

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

i do love how much impact it has on the stocking. it's really starting to come alive!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

a new start

while my stocking was being painted i decided to start a new project over the weekend. this new orleans water meter ornament posed a challenge at first. it's simple in design and doesn't need anything too decorative or ornate. but i knew i didn't want to basketweave the background. i ended up choosing a horizontal bargello wave stitch to echo the "water". i think it gives off a nice visual element and makes it look more dimensional.

Sheila NOLA Water Meter needlepoint

i'm working the bargello stitch over 3 with 4 plies of mandarin floss. once i complete the background i will go back and stitch the remaining silver elements. the moon and stars represent new orleans' other famous nickname, "the crescent city" originating from the shape of the mississippi river and how it bends around the city. 

and just in case you're curious...here's what the real meter box covers look like. 

these are coveted pieces of history in our city, and the design is seen all over from t-shirts, jewelry, tote bags, door mats to tattoos. to discourage stealing, some less attractive versions were introduced around town, but you can still find many of the originals lining the streets!

if interested in this design, you can purchase here 

Monday, September 17, 2012

new purchases

i couldn't help myself! these country cottage needleworks charts were on sale and it doesn't hurt my bank account nearly as much as needlepoint!

this is nikki's newest release for fall that i absolutely love! it's simple and chic, and i love the white pumpkins!

this christmas tree has always been on my list to do. it's so sweet and i love the size! 

love the soft colors and the verse in this one. i imagine it hanging near my vanity someday  

the temperature is getting cooler and it's starting to feel a bit more like fall! this is hands down my favorite season. watching football, making hot soup for dinner, and curling up under a blanket with my stitching...who could ask for more?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

canvas painting

i am constantly in awe of the talent behind those that hand-paint canvases. and i am so lucky to have one of them in my lns neighborhood! i had a few projects that needed that extra special touch, and as always, annie delivered perfection!

cricket's raymond crawford bone ornament

and her mini stocking by susan roberts

my stocking with my name added (i will be beading my name). this is exactly what i wanted and it makes the project seem one step closer to completion!

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

Thursday, September 13, 2012

the mackenzie childs stash

the pride and joy of my stash are hands down my mackenzie-childs ornaments by betsy b.

they are my most favorite canvases and i can't wait for them to decorate my future christmas tree every year! 

Betsy B. MacKenzie Childs Tulip Stripe
tulip stripe

Betsy B. MacKenzie Childs Gold Harlequin

gold harlequin

Betsy B. MacKenzie Childs King's Corner

king's corner

Betsy B. MacKenzie Childs Poplar Ridge

poplar ridge

Betsy B. MacKenzie Childs Dublin Hill

dublin hill

Betsy B. MacKenzie Childs Ribbon Candy

ribbon candy

in addition to the above ornaments, i also have 2 out of 3 of the mackenzie-childs mini stockings that betsy b. produced. the last one is being shipped to me soon. 

Betsy B. MacKenzie Childs stocking

Betsy B. MacKenzie Childs stocking

there are so many opportunities for stitches and fun effects, but i probably won't get around to stitching these for a year or so. i would like to set aside some finishing funds for them!

what are your favorite canvases in your stash?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

stitch intervention

we have all gone through those self-deprecating moments in our stitch journey where we think "why can't i just show some self restaint?!" 

well...maybe you haven't, but i definitely have! i'm trying to be a good girl and not purchase any new canvases until i make a dent in le stash, but it's harrrrddddd (insert whiny 5-year-old tantrum)

when i break down and purchase said canvas(es), the thought that drives the purchase is "what if i come back and it's not here? what if they stop making it? what if it's the last one ever?"

that mentality drove me to buy this little cutie...

for those that are unfamiliar with what this canvas depicts, gather round for stitchy story time!

the simon hubig pie company was actually founded in fort worth, tx (my hometown y'all!) at the start of world war I. the new orleans factory was one of several southeastern plants and later was the only surviving location after the great depression. the same 2 new orleans families still run the factory and are in their 3rd generation! hubig's bake their pies daily, and only fresh, local ingredients are used (like sweet potato!) 

this july, a kitchen fire destroyed the hubig's factory and they are currently in the process of rebuilding. unfortunately we in new orleans are all too familiar with that term. 

this little canvas will serve as a reminder of how many people love this city and its history, and that nothing can destroy it!  

Monday, September 10, 2012

now i can move on to the fun stuff!

i knocked out the wood paneling yesterday while watching all the football games on tv. i am just so excited to be moving on to the background!  i feel like i turned a corner and i can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

i used 3 shades of vineyard in slanted gobelin for the wood. i tried using overdyed floss, but the coverage was less than desirable. i had a fleeting moment of "this looks so plain," but then i quickly reminded myself that once the flowers and beads are added, the leaves and wood will drop off into the background.

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking


i will be dropping this off to the painter to add my name, so it will be a good opportunity to move on to another project for a while. 

hope you had a great stitchy weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

progress continues

i'm almost there, just a few more!

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

i'm really liking how the leaves are starting to look. i think they will only be enhanced once the ribbon is added for the flowers.

my goal is to start on the wooden paneling this weekend. another not-so-fun part, but i would rather get those over-with so i can move on to the fun stuff! 

i can see the light!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


i have finally found the answer to "leafgate 2012"...and it was so simple all along! 

after studying what an actual poinsettia leaf looks like, 

it became clear that all it needed was some simple diagonal satin stitches.

Susan Roberts needlepoint nutcracker stocking

first i basketwove the entire base to give it some padding (and a strong foundation) then went over it in diagonal satin stitches. i will be covering the vein in something else, perhaps memory thread or something sparkly. i love how the gumnut thread adds subtle shading and dimension. 

the center of the flower will have stacked beads, so the green will almost be obsolete. 

so i'll be working on these leaves this week so i can move on to more exciting areas!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

the aftermath...

the mood in the city is upbeat, everyone excited to get back to their normal routines and pick up the pieces. i can't help but feel immense pride to be a new orleanian in a time like this.
we're a family.

cricket and i took a walk this weekend to explore our neighborhood...

many of the beautiful homes still have their windows boarded up. many have broken windows. mostly it's the tree branch debris that litters the sidewalks. bless our sweet garbage men in a time like this!

her highness wanted to show you how proficient she is at sniffing things. trust me, she's an expert. 

this lone magnolia blossom left on the tree reminded me how lucky we are. to always take time to remember the important things in life and revel in how lucky we are. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

an evac finish....

though it took longer than it should have due to the hurricane, i managed to squeeze out another finish, the final tote bag!

my little lobster that i have affectionately named isaac.

Linda Lahm beach totes

i got this to commemorate our trip to providence this past spring.

Linda Lahm beach totes

i love the beads and how they add so much dimension and sparkle. from now on, all crustaceans should be beaded, n'est-ce pas?

i also picked up this little gem while at the french knot. 

since i finished something from the stash, this was a small token to reward myself. there's infinite possibilities for decorative stitches and is a great size for traveling. 

we start the long drive back to new orleans today! have a great holiday weekend!