Thursday, April 23, 2009

News from the Shop

So -- first off, let me apologize for not having written in so long. When I started this blog I swore I was never going to start an entry by saying "Sorry I haven't written." It seems to me that every blogger does that all the time so that is why I didn't want to do it -- but once again I have discovered that I am not so very different from every one else. A good lesson that I keep needing to re-learn.

So, sorry I haven't written. Last week at the store we had a giant trunk show arrive (the third one currently in residence). These trunk shows are great because they give us a chance to expand our inventory dramatically, share with our customers lots of stuff that we might not otherwise have in stock and the shows also give us a chance to photograph the material and add it to our web site. However, all of this requires work and lots of it.

Nancy is out of the store this week and I had to take a day off to go to upstate New York plus we have had the frog classes and well ... you get the point.

Speaking of the frog classes, things seem to be going well. This is week three and just about everyone has made significant progress on their chosen canvas. I've been impressed by the work that people have done and also by their willingness to move outside their comfort zone.

My frog has been slow going. I chose a background called Litchee Nut that is pretty complex. It consists of three steps -- a large cross stitch across four intersections, an upright cross placed in between the cross stitches and then a final pass to cross over the central portion of the cross stitch. I am doing the cross stitch portion in Impressions Navy Blue. The canvas is painted black but Nancy and I choose dark blue because we felt that it was more interesting plus it is going to "read" black anyway. I am doing the upright cross potion in Kreinik #8 braid (color = #060 Midnight). The combination makes for a subtle effect as the two colors are close together but it is lovely too -- lace-y and sparkle-y at the same time.

I've also begun work on another section of my frog using Prism. This is an interesting thread. It is like working with fishing line because it is thin and transparent. Because the thread is transparent it allows the painted canvas to show through, an effect that I am not totally sure I love but I am going with it anyway. I am using this special needle and four plys of the thread and it is taking a little while to get used to it. The end result is interesting-- a glistening, opalescent effect that I had hoped would look like glass. We'll see.

This week in frog class we explored dimensional stitches and altered thread. We did things a little differently. Everyone got a doodle canvas and together we explored some dimensional stitches (French Knots, Rhodes, Eyelet and Spider). Then it was on to altered threads. We made little ribbon flowers using a River Silk 4 mm ribbon and a running stitch with one ply of embroidery floss. We also did some gathering/ruching with Frosty Rays, Sparkle Rays and even Silk & Ivory. It was fun. I think for the most part the participants were unfamiliar with some of the techniques.

Next week, we will be exploring couching and padding. Nancy will be back on the job so I look forward to just being an assistant once again.

The Lee trunk show that arrived last week has drawn a lot of attention and rightfully so. We received the full line of bags, boxes, CD cases, etc. These are very affordable items with space for a finished needlepoint to be inserted. They make wonderful gifts or even a special something for yourself. What I like about them, aside from their price, is that they are small projects and can be completed relatively quickly.

If you haven't already been in to see the Lee products make a point to do so. Also, check out the new window display on Chestnut Street. These spectacular canvases (Empress/Emporer with Border) are on 13 mesh. They measure nearly two feet by four feet in size (22 x 46). The cost? $750 each -- but just imagine these two done up on your wall -- talk about spectacular!

1 comment:

  1. I'm loving my frog! I know a lot of stitches from my cross stitch/embroidery work, but had never done any thing with altered threads -- very cool! I'm definitely going to be using some of those tricks on my frog and in future projects.