Monday, February 20, 2012

Tomorrow: the official end of my needlepoint hearts sale

My actual hearts sale ended a week ago and Queendom Website came alive with Hearts Sale Annex as Kate Gaunt sold the supplies packets for all the hearts. Tomorrow is the last day for hearts supplies; tomorrow evening or early Wednesday morning Queendom Website will change -- and for me it will mark the beginning of Queendom Website's transition. Yes, a new castle is coming, a new home for Queendom Website. We hope.

It has been rocky. I know the rocky ups and downs come from using a website program in beta. Just in transition from beta 5 to beta 6, poor MacSoph was brutalized. She and I are up and running again and hopefully it won't be more than a couple of months more.

So what about Queendom Website in the next couple of months, during the period of transition?

I would like to bring back my 'For Beginners' articles and perhaps add a couple of techniques columns.

I will definitely write about more from eBay if eBay comes up with collectors' goodies worth bidding on, hopefully lots of vintage and antique scissors and thimbles and stilettos and little hemmeasures, all sorts of goodies for sewing cases. I hope to write about cameos again, and some bits of laces and linens as I have an idea what to do with them now that I am a linen devotee.

Ahh, yes, linen! The focus of my spring will be on Legacy Linen as I continue work on a spot sampler and what else but a couple of new hearts. Mostly my linen pursuits are aimed at my Elizabeth class at Shining Needle Society. I stitched my Elizabeth portrait on congress cloth but now I am curious how it would work on linen. Maybe some brave souls will try.

Why the linen fetish of late, after a lifetime on canvas and congress cloth? A while back I had an idea for a sampler that I became convinced would work best on linen. I tried a 25 count linen that was simply too wiggly but now I have found Legacy Linen 25 and it is a joy to work on! I have all sorts of plans ahead, just need chunks of time to work on them.

So as Kate begins to pack up Annex from my hearts sale, I raise a champagne glass filled with orts and toast the coming months of transition as we begin to move Queendom Website, MacSoph and I.

Drugery? I am sure. As anybody connected with them knows, computers can drive one nutsss. But not only drudgery; there will be joy too! To me months ahead with at least some time to stitch always bring joy.

So for spring this year, my favorite time of year, I need some luck -- a lot of luck -- and my needle will provide a lot of joy.

Gay Ann

Monday, February 13, 2012

Just two more days of my Needlepoint Hearts Sale

I can't believe how quickly the week of my hearts sale has flown by, and here it is, almost the middle of February. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Just two more days and my hearts sale for 2012 will finish.

Of course activity on Queendom Website doesn't stop because as soon as my hearts finish, Kate Gaunt will be here with all the supplies my hearts. Yes, the first time that Kate's Corner Annex will be on Queendom Website during my hearts sale. Two years ago Kate started suppling threads and canvas for my designs during E-Week, simply because I couldn't do it all. Hers is a separate little business and I have no financial interest in her supplies. They belong to her.

This year I am particularly excited about supplies because Kate has squares of Legacy Linen 25 count for sale as well as congress cloth squares. I am hoping that people in my Shining Needle Society general classroom and also those in my Elizabeth 1, A Portrait class will try experiments on the linen. And ultimately I am wondering if brave souls will decide to stitch the portrait on the linen. One fine way to decide is to stitch Heart of Elizabeth on the linen and see how it looks. Heart of Elizabeth is essentially a little practice piece for the portrait.

In general Hearts are such a great way to experiment, for many of them are just a few evenings' work, not a months and months long project. Why not experiment and then end up with a stitched heart.

I am so excited about the prospect that I am already eyeing my miniature portraits of Mary Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick. I am wondering: could I make Mary's and Bess's Hearts on congress cloth and then again on linen to see what happens.

I should be packing heart patterns, I should be working on my new castle, I should be doing dozens of things, but I ditched it all for a couple of hours today and drew hearts for Mary and Bess. Slightly smaller than Heart of Elizabeth, I am hoping it won't take much time to stitch them.

I'll save the stitching for when my classrooms start working on their hearts. I drew the drawings; I cut the canvas and mounted it on stretcher bars, and I had a look at the designs under the canvas to see if I thought they would work. Now I think I'll see if Kate will send me two squares of linen, then I'll set all the makings aside till we start work in Shining Needle Society.

Do I want to wait? Of course not. But I've had a little holiday, now it is back to work again.

Gay Ann

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

My Needlepoint Hearts: the Power of Imagination

Today has been a very busy day on Queendom Website for my annual Needlepoint Hearts Sale started in the very early a.m.

This year I have 8 new hearts. I had planned to have 5, but then at Christmastime I played a game with my general classroom at Shining Needle Society. I gave them a short description of each of the 5 hearts

Heart #1 The dominant color is charcoal. This heart has beads
Heart #2 The dominant color is rust.
Heart #3 The dominant color is periwinkle. This heart has beads.
Heart #4 The dominant color is periwinkle. This heart has pearls
Heart #5 The dominant color is pink. This heart is smaller than the others.

Based on these descriptions I asked the class to conjure up what they thought each heart might look like and vote for one.
Obviously there weren't enough hints for anyone to guess accurately (although a few people came close). The idea wasn't to guess what the heart did look like but to use the hints to help imagine a heart they would like.

I promised to post a photo of the heart with the most votes on my website on Christmas morning.
#4 heart was the one they chose. It is called Periwinkle Roses and Pearls Heart and it has Bullion Roses, Ribbon Roses, some typical needlepoint patterns and a sprinkling of pearl. It's a very Girlie Girl heart which seems to me appropriate for Valentine's Day.

Heart #1 was the second choice, mainly because everybody wondered how I would combine charcoal with a heart motif.
As people know now, I took the bodice of my Elizabeth 1 needlepoint portrait and made a heart so that my students could practice several of the techniques before they stitch them 'for real' on their portraits.

Heart #5 which is really the subject of this post received many votes from people who like pink; they also said they liked the idea of a small heart and imagined it must have pink roses and pearls. One person even said that she would love a series of small hearts, quick to stitch, with pink roses and pearls.

In actuality, Heart #5 is rather geometric, a little scissors case with tiny scissors on its backside, in short nothing like the hearts my classroom members conjured up, but I loved their ideas.

I immediately started three small hearts, smaller than my normal hearts, and graduated in size. The motifs were of course pink roses with a sprinkling of pearls.

And that's why I planned 5 hearts for my yearly sale but actually have 8 hearts in the sale.

It wasn't important whether my classroom guessed what my hearts looked like; much much more important the power of their imaginations, even if the end results of their conjurings were nothing like the actual heart #5.

I have to say thank you to my general classroom at SNS for the ideas. In fact, I bundled the three hearts and made them a special price for my classroom as a small thank you.

The needlepoint hearts in my annual hearts sale are now posted on Queendom Website,
They will be there through Valentine's Day.

Gay Ann