Monday, May 31, 2010

Some of my proudest moments in Stitching Elizabeth 1

For a couple of weeks I have been writing about my experiences stitching a portrait of Elizabeth 1 (currently on my website's home page).

Tomorrow morning I plan to continue my series on stitching Elizabeth 1 by writing about my proudest stitching moments.

So often my proudest stitching moments happen not when I use a difficult stitch but when I manage to convey a certain effect by choosing a stitch well. Sometimes this happens with the simplest stitches I know, and such is the case with one of my favorite parts of Elizabeth 1.

I have long said, it isn't the number of stitches or the level of difficulty that sets apart a piece of needlework; it is the skill in using the stitches to achieve certain effects. I wish I could say it is all skill, but it is usually the result of a lot of experimentation and a measure of good luck. Actually more than a measure of good luck.

For my series, visit and click on Elizabeth 1.

Gay Ann

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Looking Ahead and Dreaming

The Queen is in place on my website homepage now, and the small story of my surprise is in News&Views.

I am looking forward to our class at Callaway where Carole Lake and I are teaching the Queen. I hope we have a rousing good class for it is my final 'travel and teach' job at a seminar. Yes, after Callaway in January I am retiring from 'face to face' classes and turning to the internet.

I am a great believer that fantasy is the first component of creativity, and in the last couple of years I have found in the computer all sorts of fantastic opportunities for fantasy. I want to pursue them! I look forward to staying home with DH and MacSoph (my computer); I look forward to lots more classes at the Apple store and lots more ideas for my website.

Yes, I will miss seeing people face to face, but the computer has some great advantages. Face-to-face classes last 2 or 3 or 4 days; cyber-classes last for months. The months allow time to try a technique, think about a color, ask a question, solve a problem. Maybe, on down the line, there will be a way to combine the two. Who knows.

So here's to time to dream and see what I can do, both with needle and with computer, and hopefully a combination of the two.
Here's to more PhotoShop, some Illustrator and maybe some Flash. Here's to a magic gate, a poem, a castle and an alternative world.

I can't wait!

Gay Ann

If you would like information about Callaway Needle Arts School, here are some links.

To see all of Callaway’s offerings for January, click on the link below:

Or contact Pat Callihan at

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Big Surprise indeed for me -- tomorrow morning

A short while ago I had a terrific surprise and I will post the story of my surprise on my website tomorrow morning.
It has to do with a piece I stitched last year.

More about it in a couple of days.
Gay Ann

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Taking a Class from Betty Chen Louis

Today is the last day to enroll in Betty Chen Louis’ first online class.

For some time I have been urging people to take Betty’s online class, in fact I have been strongly urging them to do so. The project is small and therefore stitch-able, and the lessons are so important.

So important for in Betty’s lessons lies a shift of emphasis, a way of reorienting how her students see needlework. While stitch and thread are important parts of a successful piece of embroidery, they are not the only parts. They aren’t an end in themselves, they are the tools. It isn’t about the stitches and threads; it’s what you do with the stitches and threads that matters. And nobody currently working in my needlework world is more aware of it nor more able to access it than Betty Chen Louis.

That’s why I have been beating the drums and urging people to take a class from her.

And once again:
I should have said in the beginning: I have no financial interest in Betty’s projects; I just think they are extraordinary.

Gay Ann
(posted also on my website today).