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...
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.
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...