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March 10, 2017

      Owner of the Knotted Needle In Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, Becky Booth, recently contacted me to order a second Nuthatch canvas for her store.  As you can see in the picture, she did a beautiful job of stitching the one she purchased last September at the Dallas show.  And what a thrill to see one of my pieces finished!  Much to her consternation, she told me that she has the piece displayed in her store and every morning she finds the cleaning staff has turned the piece sideways, so the Nuthatch is facing to the right, rather than down.  As Becky and I know, one of the most distinctive features of the Nuthatch is their habit of facing down the truck of a tree.

     The White-breasted Nuthatch, as depicted on my canvas, is common to most of North America and prefers mixed hardwood forests.  They are common visitors to birdfeeders, especially if you offer them sunflowers, nuts or peanuts.  They also will partake of suet.  For more information of bird...

January 9, 2017

     I have dabbled in most of the needle arts.  I’ve knit a few blankets and scarves, crocheted stuffed animals and baby clothes and embellished a few hand towels and aprons with embroidery, but needlepoint has always been my favorite.  The reason is quite simple—I don’t like to count. Needlework is what I like to do with my hands when I am doing something else.  I’m a fidgety sort, you might say.  I’ve never been able to just watch TV, for example.  I have to be stitching or perusing a magazine or at the very least, doing a crossword at the same time. 

     Perhaps I am a victim of the new math taught to me in elementary school.  To this day, I am confused as to why they taught us base 12 numbering and I thank the heavens above that calculators were invented.  And I don’t mean those fancy graphing calculators my kids now need in school.  I’m talking the simple four functions that make simple arithmetic easy. 

     When the kid...

September 26, 2016

According to a July 2016 Interior Design trend report, Needlepoint is cool again.  For some of us, needlepoint never stopped being cool.  Let’s face it, the really cool have always bucked the trends and followed their passion.  If like me, you have been stitching since the 70’s, let me now remind you that unbeknownst to the general population over the years, you are indeed cool.  In fact, you now have genuine trend-setter credentials. 

All kidding aside, the good news about needlepoint being “cool again,” is that it gives designers and stitchers the chance to really create some interesting needlepoint.  And I don’t just mean the trendy designs that, like that fabulous new outfit from Target which ends up in the Goodwill pile within a month. No, what I am talking about is the Coco Channel of needlepoint canvas; those lasting pieces that reflect our contemporary views of art and society.  We now have the opportunity to once again create wonderful pieces that your grand...

March 31, 2016

There is an unspoken divide between arts and crafts.  "Art" with a capital "A" stands separate from the mundane.  It has an esoteric divinity of sorts.  Crafts, however, are a wee bit less than--utilitarian, pretty stuff created by children, women and outsiders.  I would like to suggest that crafts are so much more than that. Crafts are the accessible art; the very lifeblood of creativity in our culture.  Even better, needlepoint is an art form that transcends the individual and becomes a shared art.

I have been stitching since about the time I learned to walk. It has been a way to keep my hands busy as much as about making something beautiful.  I stand in awe of those who stitch canvases with a multitude of textures and well thought out variations in stitches.  I've always been a Continental Stitch kind of gal, who throws in a little umph with a French knot here and there.  

Now that I have taken up design, however, I have begun to think about needlepo...

December 24, 2015

Christmas, every needle pointer’s dream—or is that nightmare?  I haven’t yet decided.  For most of my married life (over 20 years), I have spent my needlepointing time working on Christmas:  stockings, angels for the tops of trees, ornaments.  I also have embroidered banners and designed personalized felted ornaments for family members.  Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.  Many of the best designs out there are Christmas designs. 

But then there is that Bah Humbug part of me.  Look in my leftover wool box and you will find reds (three shades), greens (four shades), and more gold and silver than I could ever use in a lifetime.  Over the years I have longed to use some other colors besides red and green!  Up until recently, I did not design anything for Christmas.  There are a couple of reasons for that.  First and foremost, I started this designing thing last winter and find I am inspired by the seasons, not the marketplace.  Now that Christmas is upon us, I h...

November 10, 2015

My introduction to the love of needlearts all started with my grandmother, who we all called "Mow." Needlepoint, crochet and quilting were her favorite ways to keep her hands busy.  She was the product of another century, born in 1899, but always kept up with the times.  In the 70's she crocheted granny square blankets for each of her grandchildren.  She also hooked and stitched a wardrobe for my vast collection of Troll dolls.  As I grew older and she grew old, we spent hours on the sofa watching The A-Team, stitching canvases and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with an iced-cold Coke.  Her last Christmas, she gave me an embroidered baby quilt, that wrapped her future great-grandchildren in love long after she passed. 

Needlepoint became the way that we shared our time.  Every summer I would fly down to Louisville, KY to visit for a week or two--just me, one-on-one with my grandparents without my sisters or brother.  It was tradition for us to go...

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December 24, 2015

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