Friday, October 21, 2011

Helpful Hints

Everyone loves to give a helpful hint.  Remember all those hints and "suggestions" your mother gave you as a kid?  I'll bet they are burned in your memory.  When I was little, one of my mother's favorites was..."Don't you think you should brush your hair?" which has now segued into "Did you put on makeup?".

My helicopter instructor is CONSTANTLY giving me helpful tips which he has to repeat every week because quite frankly I am still too terrified to allow them to sink in to where I can recall them at will.  Last week my tip for crossing over a line of telephone poles was to "cross at the pole".  Of course my first inclination was to stay AWAY from the pole!

And why do we cross at the pole?  Because the telephone wires will never be higher than the pole.  DUH...

As we stitch our way through life we also pick up helpful hints from our stitch guides.  Amy Bunger is probably famous for her TIPS! in her stitch guides.  If you are new to her stitch guides I HIGHLY recommend reading and re-reading these before proceeding.  A few favorites... always make a color copy of the canvas before stitching on it and if you want to use leftover thread be sure that it is from the same dye lot!

I just got the Spyglasss Seahorse by Dede Ogden and Dede has helpful hints too.  The background is skip tent and she recommends stitching on the vertical intersecting thread to keep the stitch "high" so it will show up better.  My addendum to that would will always know where to put the stitch even if you move to another section of the canvas if you follow that rule.

It has stopped raining finally and winter is almost here!

Off to Tennessee


Monday, October 17, 2011

9 weeks to Christmas

Can you believe that!  What happened to 2011?  We are still in tropical summer here in Florida so the only way to check on the seasons is to go shopping and see what the store decorations are.  Halloween has been up since Back to School was put away and you can bet that Christmas decorations are around the corner.

With those 9 weeks to go I know I won't get quality stitching time so I have picked out 2 projects that I hope to complete before New Years.

Sew Much Fun Christmas Trees

A lot of shops have been doing this canvas and we are too at Absolutely Needlepoint.  This has been finished as a beautiful tray and I have told my husband that we will have champagne for Christmas Eve!  My friend Mary and I worked on this on Saturday because we are having such Beautiful weather here...NOT...well at least no mosquitos.  It is still raining - day 3 and counting.  It's one of those projects that you need to count carefully and we did so much counting ( to 4 ) out loud on Saturday that we were both exhausted.

And then there's Joseph.  Mary and Jesus have been waiting....

And I remember when I thought the background was challenging!  Why did I never finish this?

Time to start the Christmas list!

Keep stitching!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Hermina goes out a winner!


Last night Hermina won the Spooky Halloween contest by a squeaker (one vote) but who's counting!  A win is a win.  She is grabbing her winnings and retiring to the Florida Keys...

Ghost magnet by Mag Friends

Her winning magnet however will not retire but will work with me on the Halloween candies.

Have a great weekend!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Feet

Hi Everyone,

Ok maybe I stole that tag line but it totally applies to my Roo Bear.  I have been working on his feet and ears and I have come up with a formula for gathered Sparkle Rays...
Original unstitched canvas
Covered design
Gathered Sparkle Rays

The gathered Sparkle Rays makes great lettering on the blank canvas.   However, I always had a question as to how much to use for each letter.  So I did a test....

20 inches of Sparkle Rays laid flat
3 inches gathered Sparkle Rays

So my formula is approximately 7 to 1.  You need 7 inches of Sparkle Rays for each inch of lettering.  That  should make it easier each time you use this technique.

And Congratulations to Lisa of Accoutrement Designs on her web radio debut!  LOVE YOU!

Keep stitching,


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Magnet Craze!

My magnet collection
It seems that the needlepoint world has gone CRAZY for magnets!  Well, since we are part of the original "friends" of Mag Friends our stitching group has been magnet crazy for quite a while.  I recently decided to  gather all my magnets together just to see how many different kinds I had.  I found this white magnetized board at the Container Store that sets up like an easel so I can display them in my stitching room. FUN FUN FUN!!

I have Elizabeth Turner magnets, Zecca magnets,  Kelmscott Designs magnets,  Puffin magnets, handpainted magnets, handmade felt magnets and of course Mag Friends magnets. That's a lot of magnets.  I think I used that word 15 times in this post!

 I may have to get another board!

I'm off to gather Sparkle Rays for Roo Bear's feet...

Keep stitching,


Monday, October 3, 2011

The Meaning of Split the Needles

As I await the arrival of Hermina I thought I would take today to explain the real meaning of Split the Needles.  It really does have something to do with needles!

Checking that your engine and rotor needles will "split" is an important part of the pre-flight in a helicopter.
If they do not split you are not going anywhere and are calling the mechanic.  The engine of the helicopter powers the rotor system which turns the rotors providing lift allowing the helicopter to take off.  The rotor tachometer (top right of instrument panel)  has 2 needles... one for engine RPM (E) and one for rotor RPM (R).  These 2 needles are supposed to be "married" in flight as an increase in the engine RPM results in a speeding up of the rotor RPM.

Startup - E and R needles at 0

In pre-flight the pilot runs up the engine to check that the needles stay "married" and then "chops the power" quickly to see that they "split".  This simulates a sudden loss of engine power.  If the needles split this is an indication that the clutch has disengaged and the rotors are spinning freely allowing the pilot to land safely in an "autorotation".

Needles "married"

Needles are "split"

And as Martha Stewart would say ..."That's a good thing".  And so, I complete my first 25 hours of helicopter lessons.  According to my husband 40 more to go before I am comfortable! (Or he is!!)

Keep stitching,