Saturday, October 22, 2011

E-Week Annex is on my website!

We have a special treat again this year: E-week Annex, with all sorts of Supplies Packets and goodies to go with my designs from E-Week.

Kate's Corner has put this all together and it is an impressive array of offerings. Kate really did her homework and she has even found some of the threads no longer in production, for example the Medici wool for Golden Acorns and the Marlitt for Tuxedo Heart. The supplies aren't unlimited but indeed there are many Supplies packets available.

This is the second year that Kate has constructed E-Week Annex for me and I am grateful. I don't think I could have done the work, yet people have always asked about the convenience of one-stop shopping for my designs.

So thank you, Kate, for coming back again and helping me!

Gay Ann

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stitching Elizabeth: a video about my needlepoint Elizabeth 1

Yesterday E-Week, my annual sale of patterns from my archives, ended. Whew! Finished for another year! I made it through!

I like to end E-Week each year with a small treat and this year I made a small video of slides of my needlepoint design of Elizabeth 1. I used photos of my Elizabeth and the Elizabeths of my students from Callaway Gardens School of Needle Arts last January, along with photos of Carole Lake, Michael Boren and me and portraits of Carole and me masquerading in portraits of Elizabeth.

A fitting way to end E-Week this year., to see it.

My portrait of Elizabeth 1 made a mystery appearance at E-Week this year. When she was unveiled, it turned out that she will become a class at Shining Needle Society next summer. Kate, director of Shining Needle Society, our online school, will open a room very soon and we will hang out in that room until the class starts.

Why so long? To acclimatize and ready ourselves for the class. We can chat and stitch and enjoy all things Elizabeth and stitching in there. I am looking forward to it. A place to relax.

Meanwhile, I face Mail Jail, that is, mailing the orders from E-Week.

I sent off the first batches of patterns to the print shop on Wednesday afternoon. I expected to have them back yesterday, but the print shop hasn't called me yet to say they've finished printing them. Soon as they finish and I pick them up, I will start mailing them. I imagine it will take me close to 6 weeks, maybe even 2 months, to mail them all.

So farewell to E-Week for another year.

Gay Ann

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

E-Week, my annual needlepoint sale, is almost over

Only a few hours till E-Week, the annual sale of needlepoint designs from my archives ends.

This is my 5th E-Week Sale. It doesn't seem possible that five years has passed since I first thought up the idea and sold patterns on my blog. It was before the birth of Queendom Website.

This year's sale had its very smooth moments (my Early Morning Sales went off like clockwork) and its rocky moments.
The rockiest was when MacSoph, my trusty little MacBookPro crashed. I think she'd had enough of it all and just decided not to boot up.

After about an hour she'd had enough rest and she was back, but she didn't want to connect with our online network.

About a year ago one of my Apple tutors had told me that he thought I needed a second computer to back up my whole system, and he was so right! Little MacSoph, my other laptop came into service. It's a bit disjointed but I'm surviving.

A man arrives this afternoon to see to MacSoph and try to convince her she needs to go back online.
If he succeeds, then I will end E-Week with a treat. I hope people will stop by and see it tomorrow morning. It is just a small treat, complete with music and all. A fitting end and a bit of calm to a sometimes frantic week.

Is it really all over?

No, for Annex will start in a couple of days, but this time the hassle is Kate's as she begins to live in Kit Hell and Mail Jail. She has been such a huge help to me and I hope to lend a bit of help and support back. Kate is gathering together supplies packets for many of the projects I've sold at E-Week.

And after Annex?

Time to stitch all the stuff! I plan a rigorous year of stitching in my general classroom at Shining Needle Society. If you would like to join us, membership is free, just write to

Be prepared to wield your needle in the next year, till it is time again for E-Week. Yikes! I have to tell you that I have already received a number of requests for next year's sale! Happily I am not thinking about it yet. I have a whole year till then!

Gay Ann

Friday, October 14, 2011

E-Week's Early Morning Sales

Tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday mornings, at 8:00 a.m. California time, Early Morning Sales begin on my website, in connection with my annual sale of designs from my archives.

It is exciting! On my website are 8 windows for each morning. If you click on them now, nothing happens.
If you click on the first one at 8:00, it will open and a special offering will be behind it.

A different window will open every 15 minutes till all 8 windows are open.
Some of the offerings are for limited numbers, some for everybody. Some are returning designs, some are new designs, and new this year: a small twist on a very popular sewing case.

It is lively and quick paced and it stirs up life on E-Week's Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Only once a year; I hope you will come and join us.

Gay Ann
Remember, 8:00 a.m. prompt, tomorrow morning!

Friday, October 07, 2011

My Needlepoint Mysteries, their variations and colors, and E-Week

So many of you have asked for me to bring my geometric mysteries back in my E-Week Sale.

This morning a person ( I don't know her name, she didn't sign her email) wrote to me and asked if the patterns contained all of the colorways I show in my galleries on my website,

The answer is no.

Those examples were from stitchers who stitched the mystery when it was first new.
Sadly I have lost the stitchers' names. If I don't have their names, I certainly don't have their threads and colors.

When these mysteries were new, they arrived on stitchers' doorsteps without any color or line guides.
The pattern includes instructions like this:

Choose a Watercolours or other overdyed thread suitable for 18-mesh canvas.
Choose a canvas to coordinate with the Watercolours.
Choose a pearl cotton approximately the same color as the canvas.
Choose a light value that harmonizes with the Watercolours.
Choose a dark value that harmonizes with the Watercolours.
Choose a Kreinik braid that contrasts.

I just made these up to give an example of how I write mysteries.

This is a long roundabout way of saying, the many examples on my website are for inspiration but the stitcher will have to decide on her own colors.

One of the good parts of my classroom at Shining Needle Society is that stitchers may have help from their fellow stitchers in the classroom . For example, if several of you are working on the same mystery, you might help one another. Or you might ask advice of the other members of the classroom. If you would like to join Shining Needle Society and my classroom there, membership is free.

Just write to Kate is the director.

OK, why would I do this to you? Why do I want you to grapple with colors instead of my giving them to you and letting you zone out and stitch.

I'll answer the question in my next post.
Gay Ann

Notes on My Needlepoint Colorizations

I am beginning to receive quite a few queries about my colorizations and whether all Colorways are included in my patterns.

When I include the colorways, I specify in the description of the pattern, for example I included with Summer Solstice Geometric the original colors and the blue-green colors and the light blue and silver.

I do not include the ones for the examples I posted on my website this morning.

I have two comments to say about them:
first, I think you could email the colorization to your favorite shop and ask them to pull the colors.
Once you have the pattern, you could send them the threads and numbers in the pattern so that they would have a guide to go by.
I am sure that Pat Duggan, for example, would be happy to help you with the task.

Second, I am rather hoping that you will use the colorizations as inspiration and grapple with pulling them yourself.
It is a bit of learning and a bit of a stretch and a bit of growth well worth your while.

All summer and fall long (as long as fall has been, ie not long) I have been trotting down to our local needlework shop and pulling the colors to match my colorizations. Sometimes I can't find exactly what I did, but I find something close enough. If I can't find anything in a particular line of threads, say in Vineyard silk, I try pearl cotton or silk (figuring I will use multiple ply) or floss, or some other thread that catches my fancy.

Rarely is a design such that ONLY one thread in ONLY one color will work.

One of the reasons for studying color this way is to gain the confidence to find alternatives.

After all, needlepoint is our way of slipping into a imaginative world and playing with visually satisfying colors and textures.
Part of the joy is finding the exact way you see it in your mind. To do that you have to be a bit flexible and flexibility comes with confidence.

That's one of my purposes in leading my Shining Needle Society classroom. I want people to gain the confidence to try.
If you would like to join Shining Needle Society in general and my classroom specifically, membership is free.
Just write to Kate is the director of Shining Needle Society.

If you have any opinions about my colorizations, good or bad, I would welcome them, either posted publicly here or directed to me personally in an email.

This post is long enough.

I have a couple of other issues about colorizations and my mysteries. I'll be back in a while and write another post.
Otherwise these will become so long nobody will ever read all the way through them.

Gay Ann

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

MacSoph is in Mourning

One day many years ago DH said to me that we had been invited to hear a presentation about a new computer system called Next.

At the time we were two of probably 15 people who watched and listened for a couple of hours as Steve Jobs told us about his new ideas and system called 'Next'.

Little did I ever dream that day of the impact that Next would have on my life. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, Apple incorporated the ideas of Next and today MacSoph, my little MacBook pro, is really a Next MacBook.

Today MacSoph is in mourning because her father has died.

The impact that Steve Jobs has had on my own life is incredible. I have gone, in the last year, from traveling and teaching needlework, at my height on the road a week or two out of every month, to life creating a website and teaching online.

Instead of time on an airplane, I now spend so many of my hours learning to use MacSoph and working on Queendom Website. What a change it has been, none of it possible for someone like me, had Apple not made a computer so easy to learn to use, and had it not made a program like One to One lessons to teach me how MacSoph works.

Thank you, Steve Jobs, and thank you, Apple. I will do my best to study harder, learn more and carry on loving Apple.

Gay Ann

Monday, October 03, 2011

Monday, 9 Days Till E-Week

This morning on my website I posted the third of three galleries of my work.

My first gallery is of all the mysteries I've designed and stitched over the years.
They aren't mysteries any longer because people can see what they look like, but originally people bought them with little idea what the pattern would be and took me on faith as the pattern unfolded.

I discovered early on that a mystery was a great chance to offer small options to encourage a bit of creativity, and that's what happened. If you look at various examples of my geometric mysteries, they vary greatly, particularly 'Glittering Diamonds'. Over the years I have seen examples I don't recognize because of the way the color interacts with the pattern. It delights me and I am hoping to do more of them.

The second of my galleries features all 10 of the designs I have made incorporating cameos, from a very large sampler to small ornaments and hearts. I think cameos are so pretty and romantic that for a long time I was very caught up in making needlework to display them. Before now I have never gathered together all of them in one place. It was fun to see.

The third of my galleries displays six of the large samplers I have made over time and sold at previous E-Weeks. All of them were projects I taught at National Seminars for EGA and ANG and of course for a favorite job at Callaway School of Needle Arts.
These samplers include some of my most industrious work.

Aside from these three galleries, I have a large gallery displaying my Elizabeth 1 Portrait and the portraits of Elizabeth from my students at Callaway last January. I am amazed at how much each Elizabeth has her own personality, reflecting of course each student who stitched her.

I plan to keep these up for a couple more days as I prepare for E-Week, my annual sale of patterns from my archives.
E-Week begins bright and early this year on October 12.

This year's E-Week is a trifle different. In the past the patterns have always been from my guild days, projects I had taught at past seminars. This year I have stitched 11 new designs just for E-Week, a first for me, but a harbinger of E-Weeks to come, I hope.

I see more samplers in my future, both large and small, lots more sewing cases, some new figures (I still have Bess and Mary to write) and who knows what else. As the spirit moves me. It is the genuinely best part of life right now, that I can stitch as I wish.

Hope you will stop by Queendom Website to see all these galleries:
For quick reference:

Gay Ann