“BLOG VACA” (vacation)

Okay, kids, I need to take a blog vacation!

I am currently writing stitch guides and trying to compile another book of stitches, and needlepoint, too, so I feel something has to change.  I promise I will start writing blogs again in the future.  In case some of the readers did not know, I do have a full-time job as well as working at home on the stitch guides  and books that I sell and  not much of a life other than that…which is okay…there’s nothing more that I like to do than working on anything that has to do with needlepoint.  I do like to spend time with my dogs and children-except the children all are grown, live far away, and are very independent.  And my dogs have not learned to talk!  I will keep updating my facebook page, Needlepointing in Your Nest.  When I started the blog, I had no idea how much time it would take me to do it. I did take a blogging class with a wonderful teacher at Leisure Learning here in Houston, but there is so much more to learn.  I want to change my “Theme” (that’s the graphics on the home page)and cannot figure out how to do that. And I have not learned to be able to take advertisements, which would have been nice as extra income.

1LT James in Afghanistan

My son, a  1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army,  is in Afghanistan and cannot help me from so far away.  When he gets home, I will get him to show me a better choices of themes for the page.  He also plans to help me buy a second computer-mine is 5 years old and needs an update!

So for this last post before the “Blog Vaca”, I want to show you the books I have written .

My books  can be purchased at your favorite needlepoint store and if your store doesn’t have them, ask them to stock them. If that does not work, call the store where I work,the Chaparral Needleworks here in Houston, and we will be happy to mail you one.

My general needlepoint books-compilations of stitches I have done and taught.  All are different. except that all have basic stitches, chain, tent, wrapped, and my favorite stitches, criss cross Hungarian, 4 way mosaic, plaited gobelin, etc. in them.

My first book is Merry Needlepoint

Merry Needlepoint, 2001.

then Merry Easter Eggs, which I named for the year of the egg we were having at the store.  A good book for small areas with lots of small stitches.  Also, chapters for borders and strap over 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. etc. canvas threads.

Merry Easter Eggs, 2005.

Next, my one inch book, with lots of stitches I call 4 way, because they are non-directional and perfect for backgrounds.  Needlepointing in Your Nest also has descriptions from friends about their personal needlepointing nest and chapters on borders and stripes.

Needlepointing in Your Nest, 2010.

Then stitch guide booklets, many for Melissa Shirley Designs.  A list of stitch guides I have done for Melissa can be found on her web site under stitch guides.  See this web address:


I have other stitch guides, too, that are not booklets.  You can see those on Needlepointing in Your Nest facebook page.


Melissa Shirley Designs stitch guides-I have others but could not find the pictures on my computer!

Noah's Ark and all 24 pieces that go with it!

Circus Dogs were fun to stitch and I have some great stitches in the guide. Unfortunately, this one was not very popular.

My first John Johanssen I stitches with my little stitching group. I loved stitching it-it was so much fun and I loved adding all the stuff to it!

This was so much fun to stitch-this and the pig are two of my very favorites!

Valentine Victorians.

I also have stitched the Halloween, 4th of July, and Thanksgiving Victorian children series and plan to do the Easter and St. Patrick’s in the near future.

A very handsome Santa on one good-looking reindeer!

What a precious rabbit-I love bees and bee skeps-a very fun and fast canvas.

Berry Basket, MSD 1599. I taught this one at the Chaparral retreat in Carmel this past April.

Yee-haw-love the Texas basket with the armadillo. I made up a stitch for the background called "Deep in the Heart of Texas" laid filling and the tablecloth is a lone star quilt pattern.

I also have done the Mary Lake Thompson’s yellow and blue boot and the Texas blue and yellow heart series and have booklets available for both.  Both are Melissa Shirley Designs.

A few other stitch guide booklets available:

Broom Parking-what a very fun...and spooky canvas! From Share One's Ideas.

And this Lani Santa collage was a series we did at the Chaparral.  Love this one, too!  Just a different kind of Christmas pillow.

Lani Santa collage.


New stitch guide booklets:

I have just finished Melissa Shirley Designs Winter stitch guide and it will be available very soon…probably within the next 2 weeks.

Winter from Melissa Shirley Designs!

And now furiously stitching this fun John Johanssen heart-it is turning out so cute and I will post a pic on facebook as soon as I finish it!

Melissa Shirley Designs Johnassen flower heart soon to have a stitch guide booklet.

I appreciate everyone who has mentioned my blog to me and have had so much really wonderful feedback!  Thank you all very much and will return soon!

New book of needlepoint stitches coming out ????? I don’t know!

xo  Carolyn














Home Tour: Little B.’s revisited

I was fortunate enough to visit Little B.’s northern California home again in a beautiful and enchanting seaside town and Little B. had some new needlepoint treasures!  Little B. is a very prolific stitcher and how she does it, I don’t know.  Little B.’s friends, including myself, cannot figure it out!  Does she have little needlepoint elves come in at night to stitch while she is dreaming?


Some new needlepoint treasures I discovered in her precious little cottage:

Above the kitchen sink, a new sign.

Above the kitchen sink, this sign was painted by & More and Little B. added the otters and shells, using a French cross stitch book of graphs. Love Little B.'s cute kitchen with shelves on either side of the sink!

Adorable sign found in the hive! Little B. did her bees, otters,seals, and shells from a graph.

Little B.’s window is so enchanting…I just want to move in!  The rabbit stand up is a new addition.  Melissa Shirley Designs for Mary Lake Thompson, I wrote the stitch guide for this canvas which is available through your favorite needlepoint store.

A new needlepoint addition, this Melissa Shirley rabbit with a bee skep, was stitched by friends for the Hive.

Nothing new on this shelf, but I just had to take another picture to show readers! Isn't it so CUTE!!!?

This piece, from Melissa Shirley Designs, with original art from Mary Lake Thompson, is truly magnificent!  Little B. did a fantastic job and choosing stitches and threads for this canvas.  And she had it framed, using some ribbons from the Ribbonry, in Chaparral Needleworks and some from a secret store.  I took lots of pictures of this beautiful needlepointed canvas.

Little B. has this glorious piece in a nook off her kitchen. Canvas from Melissa Shirley Designs for Mary Lake Thompson.

A little nest of eggs is the perfect size for this canvas and is placed over the painted one that was on the canvas. Little B. added lucite flowers with seed beads and an enameled butterfly.

A corner of the piece with enamel butterflies and silk ribbon used for flowers and grasses. Isn't that cute ribbon with inches on it? I wonder where Little B. found that?

The other top corner with a sweet little butterfly brooch on the bird house. On the far right of the photo, see the gros grain ribbon with the velvet butterflies from the Ribbonry? So perfect to go with this piece.

Bottom right corner with the yellow garden boots. Love the Victorian steps (stitch) for the boots.

Chicken in a basket with a 3D handle. I think I taught Little B. that stitch.

The bee skeps done in Watercolours and the tiny stitched bees.

Background is a laid filling. This stitch is called Bee Skep Laid Filling, page 235, in my book, Needlepointing in Your Nest. Sorry my pic is so fuzzy!

That’s it for this trip to Little B.’s Hive.  Please invite us back, Little B. and for goodness sakes, keep on stitching and adding needlepoint treasure to your hive!

A lecture and stitches and lots of flowers for a John Johanssen canvas!

This post is not my usual “Living with Needlepoint ” post but is a more of a “Me Living with Needlepoint” post.

The canvas from Melissa Shirley Designs, J169 Pink Bouquet can be ordered at your favorite store (or call Chaparral Needleworks where I work!.

One Thursday in April at the Chaparral Needleworks here in Houston where I work, the next canvas on my list to do a stitch guide for was Melissa Shirley Designs John Johanssen flower vase from my friend Lisa A. in Chicago, whom   I have gotten to know through facebook.  It was not a gigantic canvas and is on 13 mesh with a beautiful sky blue border.  I do happen to love to do stitch guides for John’s canvases as it gives me a certain freedom to collect all sorts of things other than threads to do and to put on the canvas as well as using lots of fun techniques. As I learned while visiting his heavenly studio, John very much likes layering, color, detail, and just generally overdoing every little thing-kinda like me (except my family told me I was tacky).  I think a lot of friends like for me to do stitch guides and threads for their canvases because, well, they are sorta like that, too!  They like a lot of “stuff”, including shiny and metallic, to be part of their stitching.  Anyhoo, whether it is right or wrong, I guess it depends on who you ask, and I think a lot of stitchers are too hung up on perfectionism and boring stitching.  I am not like that, and, frankly, am proud of my tackiness and overindulgence on the canvas. And the perfectionist ones should be proud of their perfect work, too.  Really, it is not a competition, like some of them think; it’s  more of an expression of one’s creative and artistic side. A artistic finisher told me once she should always tell my pieces because they had a certain freedom about them and I like that compliment!  So you perfect stitchers and basketweavers out there, embrace your work, but for heaven’s sake, don’t criticize the ones who are expressing themselves in a different way!  And truly, I admire any stitcher who has the patience to do all basketweave or all perfect-it just takes so long!!!

A big pile on my card table-desk for Lisa's canvas.

Threads and beads!

Back to Lisa in Chicago….That Thursday at the shop, I got so excited and had a renewed mind flow and creative explosion, I kinda went crazy on Lisa’s canvas. That lapped over into the next 2 days even though I had already mailed Lisa’s canvas to her on Thursday even had a hard time sleeping for about 3 nights, thinking about the final magnificent project Lisa would have. I had never much paid attention to that canvas, but NOW, I want one, too.  I just started having the very best time getting it all together and choosing stitches, threads, and knick knacks for Lisa’s canvas.  I felt a new energy about needlepoint and the old excitement of creating just came out of me!  Kinda dumb, but it gets me through the day!

Ombre flowers to sew on top of flower garland put in the border. Lisa will stitch over the painted flowers in the border and then sew these on top.

These French made blue bead flowers will go in each corner. the leaves will be used in the bouquet. (Stems will be discarded.)

For the border, I made up a laid filling using these beautiful sky blue colors.

For the vase, a stitch with 3 parts from my Nest book then wired ribbon roses to be sewed on top.

Anyway, I took pictures of  all the “gear” while I was gathering it-the threads, pressed glass flower beads, pre made flowers, beads, crystals,  ribbons, threads to show what possibilities there are for creating a truly one of a kind, a personal expression, of and on a hand painted needlepoint canvas.  And a John Johanssen  canvas from Melissa Shirley Designs purchased at your favorite store creates the base of a very fun project!!!

Threads, beads, silk ribbon will be layered on the canvas!

Pressed glass beads will be added with a seed bead on top to hold them in place.

Silk ribbons selected for the 3 big flowers with the Legacy (fuzzy thread) for French knots in the centers.

The aqua sprays will first be stitched in a decorative stitch then the sequins flowers sewed on top. A beautiful dark blue silk ribbon for the very dark blue sprays.

For the dark pink and dark red dot flowers, these 2 threads will be used.

Yes, I am the crazy, passionate needlepoint person and yes, I do have a life outside of needlepoint, but really not much of one!  Doing and thinking of needlepointing and my dogs makes me get up in the morning!  So thanks John, Melissa, customers, and stores for making it a day worth living!  And thanks, Lisa A., for letting me  go wild on your canvas!

Lots of different green silk ribbons in French knots, loops and lazy daisies will be used to fill in around the flowers.

For more

 For more information on John Johanssen, see this web site:    http://addart.com/pages/about.cgi

And this web address goes to his art work:    http://addart.com/pages/all_paintings.cgi

For Melissa Shirley Designs, see her John Johanssen gallery here


NOTE:  Unfortunately, I am unable to obtain any more of many of the pre-made flowers I have used on Lisa’s canvas.  I did send the vendor a down payment  about 2 years ago and he never sent me the flowers or returned my calls but  did cash my check.  At this time,  I still have not found a vendor.  I will not be able to duplicate exactly the flowers used on Lisa’s canvas. 


Melissa Shirley Designs John Johanssen canvases for needlepoint, Part 4

Sadly, this is the last post of John Johanssen needlepoint from Melissa Shirley Designs.  So everyone, start stitching your John Johanssen canvas and email pictures to me so we can share this wonderful art next year!  Think of inspirations for your canvas and think of John Johanssen -layering, lots of sparkly and colors, details!

This is Dr. Margot's boot. she is always so much fun to stitch with and loves all the extras on her canvas.

This is Dr. Margot's boot. she is always so much fun to stitch with and loves all the extras on her canvas. Ribbon is from the Ribbonry in Chaparral Needlework.

A boot stitched by Paula D. is such a happy piece to have in one's home. Pre made flowers and pressed glass beads are perfect to sew on John Johanssen canvases.

Sally Anne stitched this wonderful Johanssen vase of flowers for her entrance hall. Framing is from Davis Hardware and Framing, ribbon next to the needlepoint is from the Ribbonry in Chaparral Needlework.

A small canvas, Sally Anne and I did this for John as a "Thank You" for letting us come to his studio. We had it finished into a door hanger for his studio.

To see Melissa Shirley Designs collection of John Johanssen canvases, go to Melissa’s website below:


For more information on John Johanssen, see this web site:    http://addart.com/pages/about.cgi

And this web address goes to his art work:    http://addart.com/pages/all_paintings.cgi

Brand new from the Winter Needlepoint Market, this is a new canvas by Melissa Shirley Designs for John Johanssen. I am writing a stitch guide for Sally Anne so she will probably have it finished by the fall.

Melissa Shirley Designs John Johanssen canvases for needlepoint, Part 3

A close up of beautiful layers of stitches, ribbons, buttons, and beads on this French girl's dress!

French girls at the farmer’s market with brightly colored and patterned clothing, holding big baskets of flowers and produce are a favorite of John’s or maybe Melissa’s favorite as there are many canvases with this theme in Melissa’s line.  It is hard to decide which to needlepoint!

French girls from Aristeia in Santa Monica, California with a custom frame to go with it! I LOVE this! The needlepoint girls really have lots of dimension because of the lightly stitched background.

Lynn C. stitched these French girls and I only wish we had a bigger picture. This was stitched early in Lynn's needlepoint career and she did an outstanding job on it!

Framed with the mirror below, this canvas is truly an artist’s masterpiece stitched by the ever talented Betsy G.  Betsy stitches with such freedom and joy and her canvases show it.  An art major, Betsy is very artistic with her needlepoint and is very bold with trying new things on her canvases.

Johanssen canvas made into a mirror is wonderful in this California house by the sea. Yours truly taking the picture. The mirror and framing from Davis Hardware and Framing in Houston, Texas.

Betsy G., the stitcher of this marvelous mirror, selected this cute trim from the Ribbonry to add around her needlepoint. She also cleverly used the pom poms for the center of the border flowers, too! I love this layering of stitches, thread used in an unusual way, and beads. Lorikeet wool from Gloriana was not taken apart but used as a whole strand as is for the petals of the sunflowers, in lazy daisies.

Betsy used two flower trims for the flowers in her border, criss crossing them over each other. What a wonderful layering of stitches and trims for her border. Silk ribbon and picot ombre ribbon used for flowers and trim on hat. Betsy's initial in the top corner.

The other corner showing the layered border, silk ribbon flowers and the cute straw hat done in raffia.

An enameled chicken button goes so well with the painted and stitched chickens. The detail in the skirt is quite amazing with the beaded border and tiny stitch on the bottom of the dress. A laid filling is used for the grass.

The bottom of this skirt is trimmed with striped beads.

A very detailed bow with 2 kinds of ribbon sewed on the beads.

John Johanssen also enjoys painting Madonnas in all sorts of dress.

Betsy G. also stitched this very large Madonna and did an outstanding job. Sunflower Madonna.

Mary R. stitched outstandingly on the small ornament size Madonna. She used pre made sequin flowers, lots of beads, Swarovski crystals, and pressed glass flowers layered with vintage lucite flowers. I think this is lovely!

Here are two more young girls all dressed up!

The bread girl stitched by my daughter, Virginia T. She did a very wonderful stitch on this adorable girl and used pre made flowers, beads, and trim. Framing by Davis Hardware and Framing, Ribbon trim around the needlepoint is from the Ribbonry, my shop in the Chaparral.

Girl with a Dove. I had the very best time stitching this and loved the canvas the moment I saw it. I do have a stitch guide available through your favorite needlepoint store. I loved layering the ribbons and trims, adding lots of pre made flowers, pressed glass beads, Swarovski crystals and seed beads, and a beaded watermelon which can be purchased through the Ribbonry at Chaparral Needlework.

This canvas was truly a joy to stitch and is one of my favorites.

To see Melissa Shirley Designs collection of John Johanssen canvases, go to Melissa’s website below:


For more information on John Johanssen, see this web site:    http://addart.com/pages/about.cgi

And this web address goes to his art work:    http://addart.com/pages/all_paintings.cgi

Melissa Shirley Designs John Johanssen canvases for needlepoint, Part 2

RABBITS and SHEEP and a boat of animals!

Stitched by Dr. Liz and framed for her grown daughter’s room, Liz had fun stitching this canvas!  Sorry for the very fuzzy picture!

John Johanssen canvases from Melissa Shirley Designs have whimsical  animals dressed in clothes and flowers, riding in boats, or just enjoying lounging in the flowers.  Like John’s paintings, the canvases are full of color, details, and flowers. So many non traditional needlepoint techniques can be done on his canvases by adding lots of flowers, trims, buttons, beads, unusual stitches, felting, punch needle, stumpwork-anything really that can enhance the fun of the canvas. The  canvases below have all been stitched by very talented stitchers-some beginners, some very experienced.

Margaret S. stitched this for her granddaughter twin and we have requested a boy rabbit to go with her for the boy twin! This is such a sweet egg and Margaret used beautiful colors.

Betsy G. stitched this fine white rabbit and added lots of ribbons and beads!

Betsy G. stitched this fine white rabbit and added lots of ribbons and beads! Betsy enjoys stitching the Johanssen canvases and has done several.

Wendy Harwood, owner of Aristeia In Santa Monica, Ca., stitched this animals in a boat canvas and it is hanging in her store. Wendy taught this for a class and has the original painting. The squirrel and chipmunk are felted. Wendy is now stitching away in heaven and we all sure miss her down here!

Very cute Pat P. stitched this Johanssen sheep. She did a fab job but worried about it the whole time she was doing it. Look how precious it turned out, Pat! Love the ribbon flowers with the center bead.

A fabulous large Johanssen sheep is almost finished. Carol G. did this one and she selects her own threads and stitches. Carol is quite the artist and does beautiful knitting, too.

To see all of Melissa’s John Johanssen canvases, here is the link.  The canvases can be ordered from your favorite needlepoint store and are such fun to stitch.


For more information on John Johanssen, see this web site:    http://addart.com/pages/about.cgi

And this web address goes to his art work:    http://addart.com/pages/all_paintings.cgi

Melissa Shirley Designs John Johanssen canvases for needlepoint

Little pig from the Girl with a Dove canvas.

Thanks to Melissa Shirley and her introduction of John Johanssen to the needlepoint world that we have such fun, colorful, interesting, and creative canvases to stitch.  I have been working in the needlepoint business a very long time and just recently started taking pictures of customers fabulous  finished needlepointed canvases to put on my facebook page, Needlepointing in Your Nest.  So I do have a collection of pictures of Melissa’s John Johanssen completed canvases.

To see all of Melissa’s John Johanssen canvases, here is the link.  The canvases can be ordered from your favorite needlepoint store and are such fun to stitch.



4th of July pig stitched by Becky W. from my stitch guide that is available from your favorite needlepoint store.

In this first part, pigs,and birds are the theme and John’s are so much fun to stitch.  Use your imagination and just think outside the “painting” and add lots of things onto your John Johanssen canvas.  Use the posts I wrote on John’s studio to inspire you to do layers, add lots of flowers, beads, and trims!

Sally Anne stitched this adorable Cherub Pig and added lots of ribbon flowers. Framing from Davis Hardware; ribbon used for matting from the Ribbonry.

Several friends stitched the Cornish Pig in his corn crib. This one from Betsy G.

The big Pansy Pig is displayed proudly in Sally Anne's bedroom.

This Pansy Pig stitched by Lynn C.

Squished is the name of this pig who is lounging in watermelon. Stitched by Betsy G.

Now this post is going to the birds!

A stitched needlepoint in John Johanssen's studio was a gift , stitched by Wendy Harwood, after visiting his studio.

A close-up of the same piece stitched by another stitcher.

A very showy chicken stitched by Betsy G. has lots of flowers sewed onto the canvas. Ribbon from the Ribbonry in Chaparral Needlework; framing by Davis Hardware.

For more information on John Johanssen, see this web site:    http://addart.com/pages/about.cgi

And this web address goes to his art work:    http://addart.com/pages/all_paintings.cgi

Close up of the blue chicken. Vintage plastic flowers with colored pearls add lots of interest and detail to the canvas.


John Johanssen, Artist, Part 4: His paintings.


Colorful, as all of John's paintings are, this has a border of broken dishes, birds and fruit, including a watermelon.

Although John Johanssen does not design or paint needlepoint canvas, Melissa Shirley knew a good design when she saw one and obtained licensing from John to reproduce his canvases onto needlepoint canvas.  And oh, how we love the canvases that Melissa has added to her line, Melissa Shirley Designs.

This painting of a girl with a chicken was one of our favorites. Melissa-please add this painting to your needlepoint collection!

Sally Anne, owner of the Chaparral Needleworks in Houston, TX, and I, who work for her, were so fortunate to visit John’s studio.  Melissa is a personal friend of John’s and asked him if we could come over and he said yes!  I was so excited about meeting this artist whose works Sally Anne and many others admire because of  the introduction of his work to the needlepoint world by Melissa.  He had many painting in his crammed studio and all so wonderful.  The whole visit was like a dream and I wish I could go back!

Melissa Shirley Designs has added this canvas to her line of needlepoint.

A heart of flowers, Melissa added this as a canvas to her line at the winter 2013 TNNA wholesale needlepoint market.

A painting and of a fish are popular Johanssen themes. Melissa did this painting of fish on needlepoint canvas and added to her line in 2013. Love the tiles painted for the border on the flower basket painting.

A pink pig relaxing on a watermelon pile is so charming!

Sally Anne and I, of course, gave much advice to Melissa about which ones to add to her canvas line-in fact, I think we asked her to add all of them!

A portrait of a young lady cat, I love the color of this painting. It has a wonderful border of birds and flowers painted around it, too. Notice the oval frame and the detail painted around the cat-magnificent!

A painting of deer and chipmunks was probably done when John lived in Lake Tahoe. We found this painting hidden behind some others.

More fairy tale flowers!

John placed two Native American paintings, one on each side of the bed. These were so beautiful and I wish I had a place in my house for them.

The second of the pair of Native Americans paintings, hangs with an abstract painting between them.

The bread girl painting. Melissa did this canvas as part of her line several yeas ago. This young bread girl has a friend that makes up the pair! The wreath on the left is one of John's designs.

One of a pair of chickens and a girl holding a baguette with wheat in her hair. Notice the fabulous flowered painted chair. on the right.

Seen in the previous post, I love the colors of these, especially the blue fish, which has been reproduced as a canvas in Melissa Shirley Designs' line.

This jolly little pig with a tile border is such fun and a cross in beautiful blues were part of John's collection of paintings he has done. Above them, a large painting of irises with an enchanting iris border. What a pretty antique Chinese rug under the paintings.

 Melissa Shirley Designs canvases of John Johanssen paintings next time!!!!!


For more information on John Johanssen, see this web site:    http://addart.com/pages/about.cgi

And this web address goes to his art work:    http://addart.com/pages/all_paintings.cgi

John Johanssen, Artist, Part 3: What John likes!

I noticed several themes come forward when I was looking at the pictures I took of  artist John Johanssen’s studio.  Or maybe these were the things I liked!  Chaparral Needlework customers have enjoyed stitching Melissa Shirley  Designs’ John Johanssen  canvases.  They are just fun to do!  Thank you, Melissa, for bringing what John likes to the needlepoint world.

1.  John loves to decorate chandeliers!

A chandelier in the Johanssen studio loaded down with grapes!

This chandelier is decorated with upside down tulips.

Chandelier in the dining area is covered with blue glass Christmas balls.

 2.  John likes to paint  and collect chickens!

A pair of chicken paintings in the political section of John's studio..

A very large chicken painting in rich colors.

3.  John loves flowers of all kinds!

This observation is not hard to understand!  Notice the flower painted chair on the right in the picture above with the pair of chickens.

A painting of flowers. Flowered wall paper and silk flowers are everywhere!

I really love this painting of flowers John did. Even the rabbit in the painting on the right has on a flowered dress.

4.  John enjoys painting funny pink pigs!

We love stitching Melissa Shirley Designs John’s pigs, too!

A funny pig with a flowered painted frame and more chickens!

A stack on top of this funny pig's head includes a chicken! Love the pumpkin! Melissa Shirley has added this to her needlepoint canvas line.

A pig with tattoos!

 5.  John likes to paint watermelons!

Refer to the pictures above.

A look at John’s paintings next post!

 For more information on John Johanssen, see this web site:    http://addart.com/pages/about.cgi

And this web address goes to his art work:    http://addart.com/pages/all_paintings.cgi

John Johanssen, Artist, Part 2-a needlepoint inspiration!

The front of John's studio.

Upon entering the door at the studio, magic! starts to happen!

Who would ever know that behind this simple facade of weathered tin was living piece of art?  And artist John Johanssen has made his studio into a piece of art!  It is simply breath-taking in the studio and I felt so privileged to spend time with friend Melissa Shirley, Sally, Anne, and John for an afternoon in this magnificent place.  It would take months, maybe years to study the layers of decorating that John has done in his marvelous studio.  Thank goodness, Melissa Shirley added John’s paintings to her wonderful line of needlepoint canvases and shares them with us in the needlepoint world.  With John’s paintings on needlepoint canvas comes a whole new way to needlepoint by adding flowers, ribbons, beads to the canvas.  For me, a new way of thinking about stitches on canvas and the addition of  things other than thread emerged.  The first canvas of his I stitched was truly the best time I ever had needlepointing.  I went on a hunt for perfect trims,pressed  glass flowers, ribbon, velvet flowers. The whole process was an adventure just like John and his studio!  I learned about layering long and short stitches, about ways to attach trims and ribbons, ways to cover the canvas without stitching, and it was all FUN!

More inspiration from John Johanssen’s magical studio.



Layers of flowers, textures, colors, paintings and collectibles makes John's studio a delight!

John did backdrops for the theatre and here he has put this one as a backdrop in his studio.

A very stuffed corner in the studio, every inch covered with color!

John made this vest out of small color copies of his paintings.

A bookcase in the dining area.

We loved this painted chair!

Another mannequin dressed in a vintage opera costume.

Flowers are everywhere!

Old ties hang as a curtain.

A bowl full of doll heads and a chicken.

An old shoe full of red, white, and blue "windmill" toys hangs on the wall.

Another theatre backdrop , this one decorated with vintage cards and collectibles.

Melissa, Sally Anne, and John visit in the sitting area of John's studio.

John and me-I wanted to stay and look some more!

 What John likes next time!

For more information on John Johanssen, see this web site:    http://addart.com/pages/about.cgi

And this web address goes to his art work:    http://addart.com/pages/all_paintings.cgi

Artist Melissa Shirley, Part 5

Melissa Inspirations.

Inspirational-how I found Melissa’s home!  Her home is just like Melissa-so interesting with lots of collections of birds and leaves, and natural beauty!  I saw so many things that reminded me of Melissa’s needlepoint canvas art and took pictures of them.

A rug in Melissa's home reminds me of her trees with birds purse canvases.

A leaf dish is like a leaf canvas in Melissa's line. A pillow in Melissa's nest chair of a leaf with a bug canvas from her line.

A pillow in Melissa's nest chair of a leaf with a bug canvas from her line.

Another vintage leaf dish in one of Melissa's recurring colors of Celadon green.

A bronze leaf in the living room.

You can tell Melissa is fascinated with leaves as she paints lots of canvases with leaves, the most recent being her purse canvases with trees and birds.

Dr. Margot R. stitched this purse canvas from Melissa Shirley Designs.

 Melissa Collections.

A wasps' nest sits on a small cake stand.

In her den, Melissa has a bookshelf loaded with things she loves, including baby doll heads, shells, and birds.

Top shelf of a desk in the den has birdhouses with white doves and other birds on it, reminding the visitor of her dove house in the back yard.

In the thread room are these little baskets of gathered shells and sea glass.

Melissa’s own paintings.

Did you know Melissa is also a painter of paintings and not just needlepoint canvas?  She has a studio over the garage and that is where she paints.  She has several paintings she has done hanging in her home and I did peek in the studio above the garage and saw a painting in progress.

A Melissa painting in the living room. See the doves and the cat?

Another Melissa painting in the living room with birds.

This painting by Melissa is in her thread room.

Melissa did a self portrait with the front of her house in the background and one of her Airedale retrievers faithfully sitting next to her. She is juggling the planets.

Melissa’s John Johanssen painting.

Melissa is very good friends with artist John Johanssen and has a line of canvases in her company of his paintings on needlepoint canvas.  She has several of his paintings in her business office and this one is in her living room.

Painting by John Johanssen hangs in the living room.

Melissa’s Needlepoint

Melissa was stitching on a canvas and I love to see what other needlepointers are doing with their threads and stitches.

Close up of a flower on canvas Melissa was stitching. Melissa is so good with her stitches and threads. Here she used several kinds of threads and beads.

Melissa frequently uses this little stitch with a bead over the empty canvas hole..

One of my favorite Melissa designed and stitched canvases is this magnificent butterly. She now has a stitch guide available for the canvas which can be ordered at your favorite needlepoint store.

Thank you, Melissa, for inspiring us all to stitch, to be creative with our everyday life, and to appreciate the nature around us!

A Melissa Shirley Designs canvas stitched VERY creatively by Dr. Margot, who loves stitching and trying new techniques and threads and inspires me!

Artist Melissa Shirley, Part 4

Melissa and Sally Anne standing in front of Melissa Shirley Designs corporate headquarters. This old house had to be rebuilt after a retaining wall collapsed and caved in the back of the house about 8 years ago.

Sally  Anne and I were invited to visit Melissa Shirley’s small town and did we ever have a wonderful time.  Melissa took us to her place of business where she and Tom work with Susan, who is always so helpful to Melissa at the TNNA Needlepoint Market and at the “corporate headquarters”.  Susan does many things at the company including being ever so nice and pleasant to shops calling to place orders and answering emails and generally keeping all the orders organized and shop owners happy-a big job for this very well-respected and busy company.  Melissa runs her business like a business which is so much appreciated by shop owners and their customers alike.  Here is a little tour of the business.  It is just a fabulous as Melissa’s house!

Welcoming a visitor upon entering is a big Welsh dresser covered with samples of Melissa Shirley Designs Halloween treats!

The business has several John Johanssen paintings. Melissa reproduces many of John's paintings on needlepoint canvas and they are FUN to stitch!

Melissa told us that John Johanssen just appeared at the door with these 2 chicken paintings for her business after it was remodeled after the accident. The pair of paintings are so perfect on either side of the windows in the office! John also painted the long skinny paintings hanging on the window molding and the demilune over the window.

A large apothecary jar filled with Melissa Shirley Designs stitched candy canes, just what the needlepoint doctor ordered, sits in the business kitchen along side a small Christmas tree with an older series of Melissa's 12 days of Christmas.

Melissa Shirley Designs ornaments cover a little tree in the corporate kitchen.

The workroom has lots of shelving and bins holding the stock of canvases-I was in needlepoint heaven at last! See the little tree in the back?

The work room-see all those Melissa Shirley Designs canvases on shelves? Look at all those drawers in the island, all containing small canvases. Makes me have heart palpitations! Melissa's 3D houses on the top shelf.

Melissa's own office. What a great space for an office! Melissa designs most of her canvases here.

Seafood kitchen, several Melissa Shirley designs canvases, made into an adorable model for display at the needlepoint market. I love this kitchen and its tutu decorated lobsters! The canvases are the actual kitchen, the part over the kitchen with the sword fish, and the 3 lobsters, which, by the way, do not come with their tutus! The canvases are available to be ordered from your local needlepoint store. If I had a beach home, or was from Maine, these would most definitely be in my stash!

One more Melissa to come!

Artist Melissa Shirley, Part 3

Melissa Shirley paints and sells some of the best needlepoint canvases and stitch guides in the business and happens to be one of my favorite needlepoint artists.  She and husband live in a small California town and as long as I have known Melissa, I have always told her that I would love to come visit!  And she invited Sally Anne, the owner of the Chaparral Needleworks where I work, and me to come to her home.  And we were absolutely delighted to accept her invitation!

Melissa and Tom have several pets and chickens!  So let’s meet them!

This is Pudds who fast became one of my best friends and sat in my lap while I needlepointed every morning and every night!

Pudds is an old cat who talks all the time. especially if one answers back!

The chicken coop protects several big hens and the Shirleys always have fresh eggs!

One of the girls in the chicken coop!

The Airedale terriers are so well-behaved much unlike some other dogs I know. They are so cute! Cooper, on the left, and Juno, on the right, whose one ear is always sticking up! They mind their Mom and Dad! Melissa and Tom have had Airedales before.

Melissa Shirley Designs Circus Dog series-is this Melissa and Tom's terrier in needlepoint? The dogs are very smart and could do this!

I love animals, all kinds, and was so happy to see that Melissa and Tom had precious pets, who are as helpful as any dogs and cats can be!  I miss those guys!

More about Melissa next time!

My circus dogs stitch guide I wrote for Melissa Shirley Designs has the 4 circus dogs of the series in it!


Artist Melissa Shirley, Part 2

Visiting with artist Melissa  and her husband, Tom Shirley at their home in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains was one of the most wonderful things I have done!  They live in a small Gold Rush Era town which is even smaller than Tyler, Texas where I grew up.  I must say, there is something special about living in a small town.  I loved being in their small town and at their home.  I really would love to live there.

They live  on  a large lot, surrounded with gardens and other little structures, some original to their Gold Rush Era home.   I forgot to take a picture of the old garage at the entrance to the property which has been there a very long time.   So come on and let’s look at the other little buildings.

The garage and it's apartment in the long driveway. This is a new building.

Melissa and Tom built this garage with a garage apartment that Melissa uses as her painting studio for her personal paintings.

Tom's "Man Cave" house-he has an electric guitar and computer out there. I was dying to go in, but restrained myself from invading more of Tom's space.

The dove house started out with only two doves!

The doves were very easily startled when I would try to take their picture and I did not want to upset them!

The dove house is decorated on the outside with this beautiful metal hanging bouquet.

Greenhouse was built by Tom and he starts all his vegetables from seeds in the greenhouse.

Melissa and Tom are quite the gardeners and have a winter garden with several kinds of lettuce and lots of broccoli!

 We will meet Melissa’s pets next blog post!

Artist Melissa Shirley, Part 1

This old thresh hold in Melissa's home is original to the Gold Rush Era house.

Melissa Shirley has been one of my favorite canvas designers for many years.  I love so many of her designs and started  buying her 2 sided Santas when I was in my 20s.  I would find one every now and then in a needlepoint store and it was like finding gold for me!  Through the years of working at various shops in Houston, going to the TNNA Needlepoint Market with my bosses, and attending the fabulous Aristeia retreats in California, Melissa and I became friends, which is a great honor for me!  My  grown daughter, who enjoys stitching, calls Melissa a “Rock Star’ and she is a needlepoint rock star, no doubt about that!  So I was so excited when Melissa invited my store owner, Sally Anne, and I to visit her at her home!


Up the driveway to the house, which is adorable, just like I imagined it would be! Sally Anne and I were so excited to be here!

I have for a long time been curious about the little town Melissa and her husband  call home and wanted to visit this magical town.  I thought it must be somewhat like living in a fairy tale and IT IS!  A precious little gold mining rush town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, this little town reminded me so much of the town where my children went to college, with old streets, old building repurposed, and just a low key feeling of relaxation not found in hustle bustle of Houston, TX.  Here Melissa creates her needlepoint designs.  Melissa’s canvases are each a little treasure and of very high quality painting and design.  And Melissa’s old Gold Rush Era home was so wonderful and homey just like I thought it would be!

The house is surrounded by a garden that was just starting to come to life after winter.


The front of Melissa and Tom's adorable Gold Rush Era house. The family before and Melissa and Tom have added lots of updates!

Lilies of the valley were just peeking up in Melissa and Tom's large yard.

A chicken stands guard near the chicken coop on the property. Lots of beautiful and fun statuary decorates the garden.

In the dining room, a chest is covered with cloches on stands with birds!

A closer look at the cloches, which Melissa says she put together many using crystal and glass candlesticks and upside down crystal and glass bowls!

The living room, so cozy, with a painting from John Johanssen, one of the artists Melissa has licensing from.

Melissa's nest in the den. She is so cute in her nest! Her painting of herself hangs on the right.

A needlepoint pillow with one of Melissa's designs, sits in a comfortable chair in the den.

The needlepointed pillow with Melissa's design! Don't you love that pink pig in a wheelbarrow?

Sally Anne, owner of the Chaparral Needleworks, sits in her temporary nest at Melissa's.

I was assigned the thread room for my sleeping place-I just wanted to get up and look at all Melissa's thread.

Melissa has her thread and beads very well organized in her thread room.

I  always wonder about how my heroes live:  what their homes are like, their offices, what they like to collect, their pets.  Going to Melissa’s town and home was truly a dream come true for me and I had the very best time!  I was still in a high for about a month after Sally Anne’s and my visit there and truly,one of the favorite things I have done in my life!

An old cloche contains a bird.

More about Melissa in the next post!  I have much to tell ya’ll!

Easter at Barbara’s Needlepoint

The front of Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota...and that's Barbara!

    I was so lucky to be asked by Barbara Riley of Barbara’s Needlepoint to teach at her retreat  in the Black    Hills last September.  Barbara and I had become friends at the Chaparral Needleworks here in Houston where I work, over the years, as she would come down to  Houston to visit 2 of her children who live in Houston.  Barbara owns this precious little needlepoint shop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, an unlikely place to find needlepoint heaven.  And needlepoint heaven it is!  I was so surprised when I walked into Barbara’s store and found a treasure trove of needlepoint canvas and threads rivaling shops I have visited in other places.  And on top of all that, Barbara does her own finishing and very creatively so!  I loved Barbara’s selection of canvases and threads, some of which I had never seen nor heard of.

 And yes, I did some stash enhancement!

A wall of Easter canvases! The canvas on the right with the rabbits, is from Maggie & Co. What a cute leopard rabbit-I need that!

After looking at all my pictures again, I noticed how many great Easter canvases Barbara had at the store when I visited, many by her own  artist Ann Hanson, who is well known in the needlepoint world in South Dakota.  Ann has a limited edition of yearly Santas she does and that will be another blog post.  But I also loved her Easter things, especially her adorable Easter rabbits.  I did want to buy several of her big rabbit canvases but could not make up my mind which one to buy and I am still trying to make up my mind!  So here are the adorable Easter canvases I saw at Barbara’s Needlepoint!

What a cute Easter fellow in his red Easter suit. Canvas by Ann Hanson, exclusively for Barbara's Needlepoint.

An unstitched chocolate rabbit canvas waiting for a home.

Two stitched chocolate bunnies face off to decide who tastes the best!

This diminutive needlepointed chocolate rabbit has a little black and white needlepointed herringbone egg tied on his collar! That's the kind of special thing Barbara does with her finishing

A very dapper fellow with a top hat!

The dapper rabbit's friend with a walking stick.


I had a hard time not buying this adorable Easter egg!

Love this sweet egg and yes, I succumbed and added this to the stash!


I enhanced sheep lover and good friend Karen Lea's stash with this precious egg of a mama sheep with her baby.

Ann paints the most delightful collection of animals with angel wings like this rabbit. What a cute Christmas ornament, too!

French animals canvases are small and fast to stitch. these would be cute at Easter to celebrate spring and also would look precious on an Easter basket.

A big bowl of eggs-want to dive in?


This is a huge bowl of eggs, all tiny, in Barbara's store. I was taken aback when I saw this merry collection.

I found this egg carton of tiny eggs and ornaments back in Barbara's finishing area-aren't they so cute!

Melissa Shirley Designs for Carter Holman, this canvas was perfect for a footstool, not only at Easter but throughout the year.

Needless to say, I love Barbara’s Needlepoint and Barbara and Sioux Falls and all the wonderful new friends and stitchers I met when in South Dakota.  In fact, I really would not mind living there now that I know a wonderful needlepoint store exists in South Dakota!

Precious tiny silhouetted rabbit by Ann!

Barbara’s Needlepoint

401 E. 8th Street, Suite 105, Sioux Falls, SD  605-367-9050

See Barbara’s facebook page at Barbara’s Needlepoint


Tell her Carolyn sent you!

Easter Needlepoint-a short but sweet post

A short post this fine Easter morning because I know everyone is busy hunting for eggs, getting dressed, going to church, and/or cooking.

Here are some other fun Easter things, mostly pillows, to celebrate spring!  Be sure to look at the last picture-it is a very special piece of Easter needlepoint!

Once in a Blue Moon precious Easter pillow stitched by Linda P. I wrote the stitch guide for this and we used stitches from the Bead Book by Sundance Designs for all the eggs. Look at the next picture.

Linda P. did some wonderful long and short stitches for her rabbit. She also added silk ribbon flowers and a French wired ribbon bow on the basket handle.

Stitched by enthusiastic stitcher Karen P., this rabbit pillow should be left out all year round. Love the blue and yellow striped background and the sunflower ribbon from the Ribbonry. What a cute puffy tail!

And last, Heidi H. bought this canvas in the sale room and made it look like a million dollars!  We love her purse and it’s bright colors. How much fun for Easter!

A Denise DeRusha canvas with a chocolate bunny made into a lovely leather purse with lots of bright colors, Heid H. always has a vision for her canvases! Notice the carrot border which is out of my Merry Easter Eggs book. Heidi added the colorful ribbon around her canvas. Ribbon is from the Ribbonry.

Have a very glorious Easter Day!

Easter Needlepoint: Easter Trees and Easter Ornaments


Needlepoint egg ornaments from Melissa Shirley Designs stitched by Dr. Margot.

I am fascinated by trees covered with needlepoint and always am amazed at how much love and stitching has gone into decorating a tree with all needlepoint ornaments.  Here are some trees and ornaments for Easter.

Mary RB's tree with her needlepoint ornaments from various artists. Mary is a very prolific needlepointer! She said she purchased her tree at Pier One for needlepoint ornaments.


Associated Talents egg tree at the Winter 2013 TNNA market.

A member of the Swan stitching group in Austin, Ruth K.'s tree has lots of MCM double-sided rabbit ornaments on it! So cute! That's cute Stephanie A., the photographer, in the mirror!

A close up of 2 of Ruth's adorable front and back rabbit ornaments. Sadly, these canvases are no longer available.

Don L., an owner of Associated Talents, a wholesale needlepoint canvas distributor, sent pictures of his Easter tree.  Don emailed that the tree is 4 feet tall and he purchased it a few years ago from the Martha Stewart e-commerce site.  Not only does he have loads of Associated Talents designed carrots and eggs, but he also has some needlepointed ornaments from other needlepoint companies and lots of Christopher Radko glass bunny ornaments on it.  Don said he really liked Melissa Shirley Designs woodland animals eggs and most viewers comment on the skunk egg-which I think is precious!

Don, an owner of Associated Talents, loves to do Easter ornaments! In fact, Don really loves needlepointing anything! Under the tree, a couple of Easter house needlepointed stand ups and a little rabbit with a hat can be seen in the front. Love that galvanized container!


Detail of Don's marvelous tree!


Another photo of Don's tree from a different side. Those CUTE carrots-did they make you smile?!


A favorite egg, this little Melissa Shirley Designs egg with a skunk gets noticed a lot! I may need to add this to my stash!

Now for some individual treeless ornaments!

I did this egg as an experiment with a stitch and added this big domed button from Susan Clarke Originals.

Dr. Margot did these Melissa Shirley Designs eggs for her daughter's Easter tree.

I wrote stitch guides for Dr. Margot. We added buttons and silk ribbon to this egg.

For the backing of Dr. Margot's eggs, we selected a very wide rose ribbon and had the finisher use it for the backing.

Close up of Dr. Margot's Melissa Shirley Designs rabbit egg. We used wide ribbon for the backing of her eggs from the Ribbonry in Chaparral Needleworks.

Another photo of the front and back of Dr. Margot's Easter egg ornaments.


Rebecca Wood Easter egg canvases are so cute with flower trim added.

My Melissa Shirley Designs for Mary Lake Thompson Easter rabbit with an egg on his back hangs in my kitchen.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to send pictures of your tree!

See you Easter morning!  Why not needlepoint on an egg while the kids are hunting Easter eggs!


Easter Needlepoint: Easter Stand Ups Eggs and some Carrots!

Three Lee eggs are reminiscent of Faberge eggs.

Eggs are very Easter!  A sampling of stand up Easter eggs and cute carrots!

A plethora of Easter stand ups at Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sorry about the fuzziness of the picture-it's the thought that counts!

An adorable needlepoint carrot stitched by Dodie J. is from Associated Talents and will be put in a bowl.


An adorable Ann Wheat Pace egg with a big bow of ribbon from the Ribbonry tops d off with a beaded Easter basket. All available through Chaparral Needleworks in Houston.


Ann Wheat Pace sugar egg with a cut-out holds a tiny little Easter basket. The colors are changed from the original canvas. Love the ribbons selected for the bow topper!

Adorable Easter egg with two rabbits and a carrot charm. This one stitched by the ever talented Jan DBS.!

A rabbit with a flower collar adds festivity to this Melissa Shirley Designs egg.

Dr. Margot's Melissa Shirley Designs pig egg is so cute with the addition of pre-made flowers for a collar from the Ribbonry.

A Melissa Shirley Designs butterfly egg stitched for a granddaughter by Kay F. and finished with ribbon from the Ribbonry at Chaparral Needleworks.

Egg from Lee is truly elegant.

Beautifully stitched egg from Lee.

Another egg from Lee in one of my favorite colors of orange.

Everyone laughs when seeing these adorable Associated Talents needlepointed carrots!

Get busy  stitching your eggs and carrots for Easter next year!


Easter Needlepoint: Easter Stand Up Rabbits

Love this Easter guy from Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Rabbits have always been a part of Easter and what a perfect symbol of the beginning of spring.  Many Easter rabbit canvases on the market exist and here are just a few of my favorites!

These canvases from Barbara's Needlepoint are painted by an artist exclusive to Barbara's store.

a small chocolate rabbit from Barbara's Needlepoint. Barbara always adds little goodies to her finishing; here a little black and white needlepoint egg.

An Ewe and Eye chocolate rabbit made into a pillow would make a precious stand up This one stitched by Heidi H., her very first needlepoint piece!. Ribbons are from the Ribbonry in Chaparral Needleworks.

Another special rabbit from Barbara's Needlepoint exclusive artist, Anne H.

Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has some of the cutest Easter rabbits ever!

Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has some of the cutest Easter rabbits ever!

The most festive award goes to this beautifully stitched Melissa Shirley Designs rabbit ready for Easter.

Even this rabbit's back is fabulous!

What wonderful goodies this Easter boy is holding! Look at those perfect French knots!

On the back, near the bottom of the rabbit, is this adorable basket.

These two perky rabbits are from Labors of Love and were stitched by Darlene F. and are one of her first needlepoint pieces. They are personalized with the first initial of her girls' names.


Even though not very Easter-y, this Melissa Shirley Designs for Mary Lake Thompson rabbit would be cute for an Easter decoration. I stitched this for a friend and there is a stitch guide available.

Even though not very Easter-y, this Melissa Shirley Designs for Mary Lake Thompson rabbit would be cute for an Easter decoration. I stitched this for a friend and there is a stitch guide available.


Jody white rabbit made into a stand up on styrofoam.

On the back of the Jody rabbit, the finisher added a little tail!

Once in a Blue Moon by Sandra Gilmore Easter rabbit gentleman ready for the finisher. A very cute fellow!

Another exclusive design for Barbara's Needlepoint, this a very large stand up-pillow painted by her artist, Anne H. Beautiful! I would keep this out all year round!

Mary RB needlepoints a lot and sent me this picture of her chest of drawers loaded with stand up rabbits! The standing ones are from Ruth Chow for Sundance Designs.

And a bigger picture of Mary’s gathering of rabbits

The smaller rabbits are from Canvas Connection. They are so cute, Mary!

 More Easter to come!  Don’t you want to eat some jelly beans?

Easter Needlepoint: Easter Baskets

Nothing says Easter more than a basket full of eggs!  And there are some lovely ones!

Adorable Easter basket from Point of It All. This is a little basket. Lots of beads and velvet flowers added to the needlepoint make this basket very special!

Another look at the basket.

Beautifully stitched by Jan DBS, this is another of Point of It All canvas designs. They have several little basket canvases available.

The basket is done in the lazy Roman stitch, which is in my Merry Easter Eggs book and the little beaded basket is from my store in Chaparral Needleworks, the Ribbonry.  The lazy Roman is a great stitch for baskets.  Another good stitchis the Wicker stitch found in Needlepointing in Your Nest.

The wicker stitch was done by Ann S. on her basket of daffodils.

Dodie J. did this Little Shoppe Canvas Co.'s adorable lettuce leaf Easter basket and had it finished with a ribbon handle. She also sewed on vintage velvet flowers.

And here is the mother of all baskets, sent to me by adorable Kristine Kingston of Baltimore Needleworks, a jack of all needlepoint trades-painter, designer, and finisher.  This is truly a fabulous basket!

Thanks for sharing, Kristine!

Kristine Kingston of Baltimore Needleworks finished this fabulous basket of eggs!

Mary BR fabulous Easter basket. The basket is a canvas from Jean Smith and is loaded with eggs from many different artists and carrots from Associated Talents.

Here’s a bigger picture of Mary’s basket.

What a cute idea to use a colorful rabbit canvas for an Easter basket! (Mary BR fabulous Easter basket. The basket is a canvas from Jean Smith and is loaded with eggs from many different artists.)

Think about doing your Easter basket for next year!

AFTERTHOUGHTS: More of Patti C.’s needlepoint

Patti working on her Victorian Santa. Canvas is from Sundance Designs and was taught as a class.

After I wrote the After I wrote the blog posts for Patti C.’s West University home in Houston, TX, I found other pictures of pieces she has stitched that are wonderful.  I want to share these with readers and stitchers because they are so fun-just like Patti.

Patti's patchwork Victorian Santa from Sundance Designs.

More of the patchwork Victorian Santa. Patti added lots of sequins.

And one thing I wanted to share that Patti wrote is,  “Needlepoint can get me through anything-long delays in airports while traveling, waits in hospital rooms, watching sports on t.v. with my husband.”  You know, I feel like that, too and it is so nice to have something that makes one feel good about oneself to do in a time a crisis or leisure!

Two Painted Pony angels selected by their grandmother, Patti stitched and had made into a pillow for her mother-in-law. The pillow and Patti's stitching came out beautifully!


Each angel represents one of the daughters.

Painted Pony bee angel.

Close up of the wonderful ribbons Patti selected from the Ribbonry for her pillow.

A sorority pillow stitched for her Kappa daughter, this canvas is from Betsy B., now sold by Painted Pony.

Both of the daughters are Kappas and Patti has needlepointed several Kappa ornaments and pillows for them.

Patti truly did an outstanding stitch on this Bettie Ray needlepointed pillow of a boot filled with Texas wildflowers. She did this for one of her daughters.

A corner of the Texas boot pillow with ribbons Patti picked out from my store, the Ribbonry, in Chaparral.

Melissa Shirley designs hearts Patti made for her friends.


Canvas from Patti Mann stitched by Patti. She added many Christmas buttons to her tree and car to look as if they are spilling out! Made into an adorable stand up by the Big Finish.


And now Patti’s most recent finish, this Melissa Shirley Designs mini Halloween tree skirt.

Patti's latest finish is this Melissa Shirley Designs Halloween tree skirt. Patti did an incredible job on this little skirt which she will use on her kitchen tree this Halloween!

For close-ups of  Patti’s Melissa Shirley Designs tree skirt, see Needlepointing in Your Nest facebook page, album called Halloween tree skirt, Patti C.

Here’s the link:


Thanks, Patti, and keep on stitching!  See you in class!

HOME TOUR: Patti C.’s adorable needlepoint filled home, Part 6

The magnificent back stairs sampler wall.

My favorite room in Patti and Mark’s house is their kitchen.  It is so cozy and fun and has a beautiful back stair case leading up to the sitting room.  This avid reader, traveler, movie goer, bridge player, exercise lover, and great Weight Watchers chef  has a desk in there and the cutest powder room with all black and white toile wallpaper and silhouettes , both of her children, and vintage silhouettes.   Under her stairs, an adorable room for her dog was planned and Patti has even decorated that. On her back stairs she has a large collection of needlepointed samplers she has done over the past 10 years.


From Treglown Designs, this wall hanging is near the back door. Beautiful vintage ribbon from the Ribbonry in Chaparral Needleworks.

A dog house under the stairs was the perfect place for Shelly, the family's Sheltie, to nap. I still miss that dog!

What a smart idea to have the dog's house under the stair landing! Patti needlepointed dog ornaments and put them on a wreath and collected little dog saying and has hung them around the opening of the dog's room. I LOVE this part of Patti's house!

Ornaments designed by Our Faithful Friends and stitched by Faith and Carolyn, were sold as an exclusive series at Chaparral Needleworks several years ago. And unlike many four-footed friends I know, Shelly never chewed or played with the needlepointed ornaments on her wreath. What a good dog!

Patti and Mark's back stair case wall is covered with needlepointed samplers she has done.

From Dream House Ventures, this big Shepherd's Bush sampler was a lot of fun to stitch and is somewhat a sweet Halloween piece!


Close up of the top of the sampler on which Patti added lots of fun buttons and pre-made flowers from the Ribbonry.

Cute bottom of the Dream House Ventures Halloween sampler Patti stitched in my class. She had this sampler made into a wall hanging.

Patti and Mark's sampler wall.

A sampler from Birds of a Feather, I have an album on Needlepointing in Your Nest facebook page devoted to this sampler with lots of close-ups of Patti's marvelous stitching.

Link to my Needlepointing in Your Nest facebook and this album page is


Sampler from Birds of a Feather is Patti's newest needlepoint addition to her collection! Love the ribbons Patti selected!

THANK YOU SO MUCH, PATTI AND MARK FOR SHARING YOUR SPECIAL HOME WITH US!  Hope I am invited over soon for a delicious Weight Watcher’s dinner!




HOME TOUR: Patti C.’s adorable needlepoint filled home, Part 5

Patti and Mark have 2 daughters, both in college, nice, cute, and smart like their mom and dad.  Their mom has made many needlepoint things for them over the years and here are just a few.


Needlepoint pillows on the bed in Carrie's room.

A little white rabbit graces this sweet pillow. This may be from a now out of business Wee Needle. What precious trim Patti selected for finishing from my store, the Ribbonry, in Chaparral Needleworks.

Needlepointed ornament on the mirror. Patti stitches an ornament each for the girls every Christmas.


Cute smiling angel ornament hangs on Carrie's mirror. I do not know the artist on this one.

In Carrie's room, a girl dressed in a ladybug costume guards the book shelf. She stands on the left wearing a little tutu! Canvas from Design Gallery.

Close up of ladybug girl with her ribbon tutu.

A Mile High Princess canvas started by Carrie, awaits her arrival home.

Carrie started this canvas before she went to college. Good job, so far, Carrie!

Both girls have a bulletin board next to their desks and a needlepoint ornament hangs on this one.


A Painted Pony angel with the lower school initials on it.


Drew was home from college the week I took the pictures so I do not have any of the pillows on her bed. (Her bed was not exactly made when I was over!)

Drew's dresser mirror also has a cute angel ornament on it.


Drew's needlepoint angel ornament with a big smile.

A sweet chair in Drew's room with a pillow redone recently of a canvas that Patti's mother stitched.

A vintage sampler updated with new ribbon and fabric is so cute and special in Drew's room.

A vintage sampler updated with new ribbon and fabric is so cute and special in Drew's room.

Drew's bulletin board is covered with memorabelia and needlepoint ornaments her mom made for her.

Painted Pony angel with the lower school's colors and initials.

Denis DeRusha cowgirl angel Patti's precious mom did for her granddaughter. What a cute barbed wire background and real rope added onto this canvas!


Adorable Sandy Jenkins basket of hydrangea was stitched with lots of silk ribbon and raffia for a Christmas surprise.

My favorite part of Patti and Mark’s house to follow!

HOME TOUR: Patti C.’s adorable needlepoint filled home, Part 4

Another large cozy chair holds a needlepoint pillow in the master bedroom.


This canvas from JP Needlepoint and made into a lovely pillow, sits in the chair.

From Maggie and Co., these 2 needlepointed pieces are from the poem "Monday's Child" etc. and are of the days the girls were born. Patti needlepointed their names on them.

Friday's child is loving and giving from Maggie and Co. Carrie, the oldest of the 2 daughters, was born on a Friday. Patti needlepointed the dog like the family's Sheltie!

Thursday's child will go far from Maggie and Co. Drew was born on Thursday and is very good athlete!


Another Maggie and Co. needlepointed piece hangs above the door and depicts the girls jumping rope.

A closer view of the Maggie and Co. the girls jumping rope.

Next post-the girls’ bedrooms.

HOME TOUR: Patti C.’s adorable needlepoint filled home, Part 3

Canvas from Patty Paints stitched by Patti C.

Patti, although a fun loving mom of two and wife of a wonderful guy, needlepointer and traveler, who loves to be with friends, has a serious side and is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College with a degree in Spanish and English and worked as a stockbroker before retiring.   She spent a year abroad in college in Spain and used to travel to Mexico for a month or so every summer. She travels anytime she can and loves to go to Montana. She speaks fluent Spanish and is very knowledgeable about world events and is a voracious reader.

She and Mark have the most wonderful upstairs sitting room with truly fabulous vintage drawing decorating the walls.  I am so sorry I did not take a picture of the whole room because it is truly a little piece of heaven. Anyhoo-here is her needlepoint in the upstairs sitting room.


On Patti’s landing, a little vignette of vintage cross stitch and embroidery sayings greet the visitor.

Patti made this adorable flower bouquet into a very cute door stop for the sitting room!

Patti used 3D stitches for the flowers which gives it much dimension. Patty Paints at one time had a lot of cute canvases like this for door stops.

A little ornament from Designing Women decorates a door knob in the cozy sitting room. I think Patti must iron her clothes in there, too!   Sorry about the iron photo, Patti!


A Christian ornament hangs on a knob.


More Patti’s house next post!

HOME TOUR: Patti C.’s adorable needlepoint filled home, Part 2

Patti C. only started needlepointing in 1998-1999, and  although she says it was 2000, I remember her coming to my classes before then.  She had needlepointed, as she describes, “poorly” as a child, before really taking off on her needlepoint in the 90s.  She likes to take classes and is always willing to try new ideas and techniques with her needlepoint (and is usually the entertainer for the class!). Her late Mom, Mrs. R., stitched a lot and her daughter stitches a little.  Patti enjoys taking my classes and shops at the Chaparral Needleworks where I work.

A lamp sits next to Patti's nest-a big comfy chair in the den!


In the den is where Patti has her Needlepoint nest.  In a big chair with lots of light, Patti keeps her threads and canvases in a cabinet next to her chair.  A very cozy and flowered filled room, I love to go over there and watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel with Patti and her husband during the summer.

Patti's lamp has a needlepoint portrait ornament of her Sheltie, Shelly, hanging on it. Canvas is from Our Faithful Friends sold Maggie and Co. Shelly has since gone to dog heaven-I still miss her when I am over there.

Patti said of her seasonal tree, that she had been doing one for a long time, long before she had any needlepoint to put on it-maybe 15-20 years ago.  When she started needlepointing, she did ornaments for it right away!  She enjoys stitching fun ornaments for her tree as well as samplers and seasonal things-especially Halloween pieces!

Always decorated for the season, Patti keeps this skinny tree in her den throughout the year. See her stretcher bars stored in the bin? She keeps thread in the wicker drawers.

Another view of the seasonal tree.

Needlepointed ornaments of swimming suits and flip flops decorate the tree. Swim suit is from the Studio. How cute is that beach ball attached to the bikini?

Flip flop needlepoint ornament is perfect for a summer tree.

Needlepointed watermelon ornament from Jody Designs is so cute on the summer tree.

Another needlepointed flip flop with a cheery yellow flower button.

Patti just most recently needlepointed this fabulous Autumn Bouquet canvas from Melissa Shirley Designs with stitch guide from Wendy Harwood of Aristeia.  We had a Monday night class for this canvas and had the best time!  Framed at Davis Hardware here in Houston, Patti placed her fabulous piece in her den.

From Melissa Shirley Designs, this incredible piece hangs in Patti's den.

Close up of the Autumn bouquet with ribbons from the Ribbonry, my store in the Chaparral Needleworks. Good job on your needle felted squirrel, Patti

 More Patti next post!

HOME TOUR: Patti C.’s adorable needlepoint filled home, Part 1

I love to visit my friend Patti and her darling husband Mark and their very cozy and beautiful home.  It is one of my favorite homes as it is filled with little meaningful treasures and family heirlooms and is decorated so beautifully with lots of chintz and lots of endearing details.  Every little thing she has in it is so interesting and nothing is too insignificant to have some charm and with a splash of fun!  It is just a little gem box of happiness and love!  Again, I will do a multi part post on Patti’s very special home with all her needlepoint.


Patti and Mark have a spacious living room that is very cheerful and Patti usually decorates the mantle with a seasonal needlepoint garland.  (Her Melissa Shirley Designs Valentine garland was on my last post.)

The window seat in the living room holds many needlepoint pillows, some stitched by her sweet Mom.

Patti's mother needlepointed some of the pillows.

Patti needlepointed these 2 window seat pillows, The left is an old Mindy canvas and the right one, depicting the family's Sheltie, from a Dragon's Tale.


A comfy living room chair with a big pillow of a cozy scene-much like Patti's home.

Once in a Blue Moon canvas beautifully stitched by Patti, reminds me of the feeling I get when in her home. We personalized this by adding a button with a Sheltie on it to look like a picture on the shelf.

Patti took this wreath canvas from Happy Hearts and had a footstool made with her initials in the center. (See my yellow shoes on the right!)

Usually decorated with a garland of small needlepoint ornaments, these are from Melissa Shirley Designs are for the 4th of July. (See a peek of the footstool is on the left bottom.)

The mantle decorated for the 4th of July.

From Melissa Shirley Design's 4th of July children, I wrote a stitch guide booklet for this series.

Patti needlepointed 2 Melissa Shirley Design's patriotic stars to go on the ends of the garland. Above, sitting on the mantle is a stand up from Designing Women which I taught as a class about 10 years ago at Chaparral Needlework.


Piano with needlepointed frames.

Patti needlepoints a Christmas frame every year and puts her most recent Christmas card in it.

Frame canvases are from many artists including Associated Talents and Needle Crossings.

Associated Talents frames hold special Christmas pictures of the daughters.

More PATTI on the next post!

Patti’s Valentines

My friend  Patti C., decorates her house for all holidays and here are pictures of her Valentines house.

Patti always has a garland on her fireplace mantle.  She uses her Melissa Shirley Valentine children ornaments tied together for the garland in February.

Living room garland on the fire place.

Garland on the mantle.


And Patti always has a tree decorated for the season in her kitchen surrounded with interesting seasonal decorations like special dishes and favors.  The kitchen tree has needlepointed ornaments as well as glass hearts and beaded garlands.

Valentines tree.

Tree from another side.

A sweet heart from the Point of it All.

A tour of Patti’s house coming up!


Decorator Lisa Farmer’s Valentine

My mother gave me many gifts in her lifetime, but one I treasure the most is the time and effort she took to teach me to do needlepoint. She taught me when I was a teen and at the time I had no idea how later in life   I would grow to love making beautiful needlepoint pieces for my home. I have always loved historic homes and have renovated two, filling them with antiques and of course beautiful needlework. I think it is such a shame mothers today aren’t teaching their daughters the art of needlework. I have a 17 year old son so won’t be passing my mothers gift on…..unless he gives me a granddaughter someday!! For Valentine’s Day I thought a post about beautiful, romantic, antique and new needlepoint projects might be in order. I hope they will inspire you to create some heirlooms of your own.
Sir Joshua Reynolds captured three ladies moderately absorbed in their needlework. Being handy with a needle was a basic task all 18th Century women were expected to master.
Such a pretty heart picture made from petitpoint (smaller stitches than needlepoint). What a wonderful little frame.
Lovely old perfume bottle.
Tiny little stitches create this vintage brooch.


Needlepoint has always been very popular in  France.


This is a beautiful antique bench with needlepoint top.
A Louis XVI footstool covered in needlepoint.
Cute Valentines
I came across this fabulous bell pull. I love needlepoint with black backgrounds. It’s harder to do but worth the effort.
Some of the needlepoint pillows I have done are displayed in my bedroom.

Needlepoint was used to completely upholster chairs and settees. I have recovered chair bottoms but can’t imagine a whole chair. They are stunning.



I think this box of chocolates is so clever and such a good idea for Valentine’s Day.
Continental Glass. During the Biedermeier period (about 1825-1850)
This is a large oval antique petitpoint  picture I found. It is amazing up close.  Also to the right is a needlepoint bell pull I did.


With the popularity of Downton Abby, interest in English decorating is increasing. You will notice lots of needlepoint pillows like the one in this chair.

Here are a few new needlepoint pillows that will give you the same English look. You can buy them completed or purchase the kit and do it yourself.


These new designs have an old fashioned appeal. I love them for Valentine’s Day.


Here is a great example of needlepoint and petitpoint. To me the most elegant pieces are when the two are mixed.
Fabulous needlepoint rug.
These are from the 1800’s Can you imagine wearing shoes like this?
These antique needlepoint purses are exquisite. I collect petitpoint compacts and would love to add some purses to my collection.
So much work in this fabulous skirt!
Some more of my pillows. These are in the hall.
This pattern demonstrates many different needlepoint stitches. Much of the newer pieces use several stitches.
Happy Stitching!!

More Valentine’s Needlepoint!

Needlepoint a remembrance for your favorite Valentine!

More love letters from the Chaparral series, stitched and stitch guide by Carolyn Baird.  These all from Joan E. from fiori.

Fiori love letter.

Stack of love letters from Fiori.

Fiori love letter with a stamp.

These love letters were all attached to a chair-which cannot be sat in!  Karen Lea and I used fabric glue and trims, antique buttons, and flowers to decorate this chair from Restoration Hardware.  A tin mailbox sits on the arm of the chair. but in this picture, it is listing a bit.

Love Letter chair.

On the back of the chair, the letter on the bottom was left open for a pocket to put special love letters in.

Back of Love Letter chair.

A very cute way to display needlepoint ornaments is to decorate the chandelier with ornaments tied on with beautiful ribbon.  This chandelier is in Chaparral Needleworks and is covered with ornaments from fiori Designs from Joan E., who stitched all of them.

Chandelier of "LOVE" at the Chaparral Needleworks.

Close ups of the ornaments on the chandelier.

Another view of the chandelier.

Every stripe on this fiori heart is a different stitch.

Striped fiori heart.

A sweet cupid being stitched by Gayle A. and made into a heart shape makes a lovely Valentine decoration.

Once in a Blue Moon valentine cupid.

A Once in a Blue Moon Valentine window canvas stitched by Jan D.B.S. was a favorite in the Chaparral Needleworks.  Jan is so very talented and did a plethora of stitches and techniques on this canvas.

Once in a Blue Moon Valentine window.

Close ups of the canvas show the many additions added to the canvas, in the form of buttons, charms, ribbons, and beads.  Only  one pane left to stitch!

Close up of the finished needlepoint.

Bottom right of canvas.

Bottom left of canvas.

Canvas from Ann Wheat Pace can be used for house decoration throughout the year,

Ann Wheat Pace heart canvas.

Heart from Designs by Heidi, stitched by moi!   For the ruffle, brown and pink gingham and ribbon with “Chocolat” was used and brown and pink ribbon flower trim for cording.

Designs by Heidi.

Stitch guide for Melissa Shirley Valentine Victorian children.  (Meant to put it in the last post!)

Stitch guide for Melissa Shirley Designs series.

The most special post yet on February 13th from my friend and decorator, Lisa Farmer, who has an incredible blog.  Be sure to see this beautiful and wonderful post!

Valentine’s needlepoint: For your special love.

A collection of romantic needlepoint anyone would love!

This Queen of Hearts pillow, stitched by Debbi K., is stitched beautifully, but the Queen does not look like a nice person!  Artist unknown.

Queen of Hearts

From the Artists’ Collection, these Mile HIgh Princess monthly heart shaped ornaments were put on pillows.  Series from the Chaparral Needleworks and these stitched by Jeannie H.N.

April, May, June hearts.

July, August, September hearts.

A series from Melissa Shirley Designs with the stitch guide by Carolyn Hedge  Baird, these Valentine children were put on a very romantic pillow with romantic trim from the Ribbonry in Chaparral Needleworks.

Melissa Shirley Designs.

On the middle ornament, a flower trim was used with seed beads and silk ribbon leaves.  Pre made flowers are sewed on the bottom of each ornament.

A beautifully stitched large mesh canvas, stitched by the ever talented Jan D.B.S., is a special Valentines treasure.  A sequined bow was added onto the canvas along with beaded and button hearts.  A different stitch was used on each heart.

Sweet hearts pillow.

An adorable box of needlepoint chocolates, sides covered with rose ribbon, is so perfect for Valentines!

Box of chocolates.

Lots of stitches and techniques were used by stitcher Mary R. to complete this yummy looking needlepoint treat.

Top of chocolate box.

Chosen as part of Chaparral Needleworks Love Letter series, this Once in a Blue Moon canvas has a stitch guides by Carolyn Baird.  A vintage looking velvet pansy was added on the corner of the needlepoint.  The background stitch is Karen’s Lea’s ticking , which can be found in Needlepointing in Your Nest.

Love letter.

These hearts were stitched by Gayle A.  Notice the heart background on the mailman heart!

Melissa Shirley Designs love letter.

This Melissa Shirley Designs was part of the Chaparral Needleworks Love Letter series and was stitched by Carolyn Baird and has a stitch guide available.  Silk ribbon embroidery and beading with crystals and pearls make it very romantic.

More Valentines to come!

Just one sampler: The FAITH, HONOR, and HOPE SAMPLER

Ewe and Eye canvas stitched by Sally Anne.

Today, a special look at a sampler stitched by Sally Anne, hanging in her hallway nest to her bedroom door.  I love this sampler and Sally Anne did an incredible job stitching it.  The canvas is from Ewe and Eye.  It can be found on the Ewe and Eye web site:  http://www.eweandeyeandfriends.com/html/thumbnails.php?currentPage=11&category=Everything%20Else

Traditional to antique samplers, butterflies and birds decorate this sampler and big tufts of leaves from trees dot the background.

Pressed glass flower and leaf beads and seed beads decorate the wreath on the head.  The butterfly bodies are faux bullion knots.

 The sampler background is a combination of a laid filling and black work.  See Ann Strite Kurz’s book, The Heart of Blackwork , for more interesting laid fillings and blackwork combinations.  Ann is one of my favorite stitchers and has wonderful stitches in all her books.  I usually just look at the colored pictures and stitch graphs she has is her very detailed and text filled books.  Order her books from your favorite needlepoint store.  Here is the web site with Ann’s books:


Right side of the sampler.

The lion.

The lion was felted with wool roving and the face is tent stitch.  He looks like a nice lion!

Bottom of the sampler.

Under the ribbon border, between the main part of the sampler and the area on the bottom, is the traditional sampler alphabet and two urns of flowers.  I love the needlepoint border with the ribbon selected for the matting around the needlepoint.  Date the sampler was finished is in the right corner.  it is fun to look at needlepoint and see when it was completed.  Think about adding initials and the year date to your needlepoint.

The left side of the bottom.

The ribbons around the needlepoint selected by Sally Anne, are from the Ribbonry in the Chaparral Needleworks.  They are perfect for the sampler and mirror the needlepointed ribbon border between the two sections of the sampler.  The needlepoint was framed at Davis Hardware here in Houston and they do a wonderful job!  Web site for Davis Hardware is:   http://www.davishardware.com/

Do a sampler for your house this year!


















HOME TOUR: Sally Anne’s fabulous home in Houston, Texas, part 7

Charlie, the family's dog, used to come to the Chaparral with Sally Anne until we fell over him a couple of times!

All good things come to an end and this is the last post on Sally Anne’s house…however, I have never snooped around upstairs so perhaps in the future I can sneak up the stairs, taking my camera, and snap pictures!

the inner sanctum-Sally Anne’s BEDROOM!

Sally Anne has a lovely bedroom  and it, too, is loaded with needlepoint.  To go into the bedroom, one goes through a little entrance area and here, Sally Anne has another beautiful sampler.  I will have another post on this sampler only, with lots of close-ups and details on it.

A sampler in the entrance to Sally Anne's bedroom.

This Faith, Honor, Hope sampler is from Ewe and Eye.

Here is the link for Ewe and Eye and more of their samplers:


The bedroom isn’t huge but it is very cozy and I would love to take a nap in there!  Sally Anne has several special needlepoint pieces ti gaze upon while falling asleep.

This Nova baby quilt sampler is from a stitch graph by Ginny Morrow and is still available. Sally Anne and I both stitched it and it was fun! It is all done in cotton floss.

Needlepoint garden pillows on the bed.

The spring garden. These canvases originally came with a gate that was supposed to be put onto the canvas. Since they were made into pillows, Sally Anne decided not to use the gates.

Autumn garden.

Wouldn't it be nice to lounge on this lounge chair and needlepoint and perhaps take a nap?

Bee pillow canvas is from JP Needlepoint. Sally Anne did detached buttonhole on wire for the bee's wings.

Rocking chair has a needlepoint pillow. Above it, some of Sally Anne's antique samplers.

Bed of roses from Sundance Designs. I taught this for a class about 12+ years ago. Another one of my favorite pieces!

This needlepoint pillow sits on a bench at the end of the bed. This wonderful Illuminations canvas unfortunately cannot be purchased anymore. I LOVED Illuminations and wish she would start painting again!

Wall o' pigs in Sally Anne's boudoir, these both from Melissa Shirley Designs with original art by John Johanssen.

Adorable Cherub Pig from Melissa Shirley Designs.

Pansy pig is very large and very adorable!

Detail of the Pansy Pig.

More of the Pansy Pig.

Bottoms up-last close-up of the Pansy Pig and....

… the END of our tour of Sally Anne’s house.


Thank you so much, Sally Anne and Gary for letting us barge into your lovely home and explore.  You have such a treasure and what a treat for us!


HOME TOUR: Sally Anne’s fabulous home in Houston, Texas, part 6

Sally Anne's house-she took the picture at Christmas.

Let’s go see Sally Anne’s kitchen and breakfast room!  It is quite magnificent to walk into the kitchen/breakfast area as her wall is covered with needlepointed samplers!  Makes one want to buckle down and stitch until one is blue in the face.  The sampler collection is beautiful and the framing is beautiful, all framed by the ever so talented Karry at Davis Hardware here in Houston.  Sally Anne picks out ribbon from my store, the Ribbonry, in Chaparral Needleworks, and it is uses instead of matte board, and the whole framed piece makes a quite remarkable statement!

Here is the web site for Davis Hardware:  http://www.davishardware.com/


Here is Sally Anne's sampler wall in her kitchen/breakfast room. Oops, we left the quilt over the African gray parrot's cage!

Close up of a few of Sally Anne's needlepointed samplers from Ewe and Eye and Bids of a Feather.

Pigs in the kitchen!

Cooper Oaks pig. Sally Anne has three of them needlepointed and on her little table in the breakfast area.

Chocolate lab heart from Our Faithful Friends and Maggie & Co. decorates a closet door in the mud room.

Window over the sink has little goodies on it, among them a Cooper Oaks French girl finished as a stand up.

Needlepointed cake from Lani on the kitchen cabinet near the sink.

Adorable Lani flower cake needlepointed by Sally Anne, has silk ribbon embroidery, stump work and lots of beads!

Two colorful framed needlepoint pieces next to the refrigerator in the kitchen.

Maggie& Co. canvas needlepointed by Sally Anne, who used beads for the lettering.

A large framed canvas from Maggie& Co. contains table manners rules. This canvas is no longer available.

The table manners rules list hangs next to the breakfast room table-a perfect place for it!

Next post-the last on Sally Anne’s house!

HOME TOUR: Sally Anne’s fabulous home in Houston, Texas, part 5

Fanny, the newest 4 legged member of the family, when she was a baby. Fanny is a mini long-haired dachshund.

Some repeats in this post on Sally Anne’s house because I could not get quite organized enough!  But still enjoyable to see Sally Anne’s beautiful collection of needlepoint she has done for her home.  This post is more of her den with close-ups of some pieces in the previous post.


The red and white stripes are gingham and then strawberries which have been padded and stitched, beads added on top.

Sally Anne's collection of antique majolica butter pats and needlepointed butter pats in a hanging shelf.

Close up of the needlepointed butter pats made into ornaments.

These ornaments are from an exclusive series we designed and sold at the Chaparral Needleworks.

Table in the den is full of needlepoint! Notice the Quimper needlepointed plates from Cooper Oaks on either side of the painting. The painting depicts Sally Anne's pets.

Sally Anne's needlepoint kimono sits on her back table among her needlepointed picture frames and a collection of antique cow shaped cream pitchers.

Corner of the den hung with children's chairs containing needlepoint pillows.

Patty Paints folk art American flag pillow is displayed in an antique children's chair hung on the wall.

Other children's chairs are decorated with a special needlepoint pillow. From left to right: Our Faithful Friends from Maggie & Co., Designing Women, and Once in a Blue Moon.


Comfy chairs in the den!

Ewe and Eye pillow I taught as a class-one of my all time favorites!

Cornish pig from original art by John Johanssen from Melissa Shirley Designs.

Sally Anne's back door even has needlepoint on it-this an ornament from Chaparral Needleworks' 2001 exclusive Americana series.

Close up of the flag shield from the Americana series.


HOME TOUR: Sally Anne’s fabulous home in Houston, Texas, part 4

Sally Anne’s den is large but very cozy, thus 2 posts on her den! Her sofas are soft and one sinks down into them.  It is a great


Sally Anne needlepointed Daisy's name on the tag!

place to needlepoint!  This is Sally Anne’s nest:  on the corner of the sofa, usually with one of her 3 dogs curled up beside her.

Sally Anne started needlepointing when she was only 6 years old and was taught by her sweet mom, who is an avid stitcher as well and a very dear person.  (We call Sally Anne’s mom the Shop Mom because she works at the store ordering our threads.)  Her first pieces were 2 pin cushions which, Sally Anne recalls, her mom finished for her!  Sally Anne comes from a needlepoint family:  Her mother and cousin, Betzy, stitch many beautiful pieces  and her late grandmother and aunt on her father’s side stitched constantly, too!  She has taught her daughter, but the recent graduate from college finds it a little boring!  Hopefully that will soon change as her daughter joins the work force.


the DEN

One of the two very cozy den sofas with a needlepoint pillow.

A beautiful sofa needlepoint pillow with a metallic wreath was once chewed by the dogs-but we fixed it! It was an accident!

Harry Winston, one of the 3 family dogs. He is very cute!

A needlepointed portrait of Harry Winston, the Yorkie, with canvas from Our Faithful Friends carried by Maggie and Co. sits in a club chair.

Needlepoint frames from Mary Engelbreit from Needlework Inc. and an Elizabeth Turner frame hold family pictures in the den.

On the back wall, a set of needlepoint Quimper plates flank either side of a painting.

The 2nd Quimper needlepoint plate.

The Americana series, designed by Carolyn Baird and Carol Cain, exclusively for the Chaparral Needlework, decorate a grapevine tree in the den.

Another view of the tree decorated with Chaparral's exclusive American series. (The entrance hall in the background.)

From Designing Women, this was a class I taught when I first started working at the Chaparral. Sally anne picked out vintage ribbon from the Ribbonry to finish it. This pillow sits in one of Sally Anne's children's chairs.

Finished on an HP Designs enamel box, this Melissa Shirley Designs bird was mounted on corrugated cardboard and covered with glass.

Maggie and Co. chocolate lab needlepointed canvas framed is adorable! The family had a chocolate lab named Daisy.

I have always loved this canvas and I never ever had a lab for a pet!

What beautiful stitching,thread choices, and stitch choices on this fun canvas!

Antique hanging cabinet with Sally Anne's collection of antique Majolica butter pats and needlepointed ones that were an exclusive series at the Chaparral Needlework.

A fabulous American flag from Melissa Shirley Designs hangs in the den by the back door. Sally Anne did an excellent job stitching this canvas. ribbons from the Ribbonry in Chaparral. This is a fantastic piece!

Sally Anne stitched this Once in a blue moon canvas using different stitches for all the quilt patches. Pre-made flowers and trims from the Ribbonry. This, too, sits in an antique children's chair.

A Mary Engelbreit design for Needlework Inc. hangs on the back door. This canvas is no longer available.

See you soon, Sally Anne’s house!

HOME TOUR: Sally Anne’s fabulous home in Houston, Texas, part 3

These Mackenzie Childs needlepointed hearts, from Betsy B., are sadly no longer available. The ornaments decorate the dining room chandelier at Christmas.

Sally Anne’s dining room is gorgeous and spacious.  She does have a few needlepoint pieces in it and included in this post is a photo of the dining room at Christmas.  She decorates her table with needlepointed Santas and festoons the chandelier with MacKenzie Childs ornaments, both glass and needlepoint at Christmas.  All of her antique dining chairs are covered in needlepoint that her grandmother did and were salvaged from her attic when the family was cleaning out the house.  What a treasure to find and what a beautiful color Sally Anne’s grandmother selected for the backgrounds of the chair seats.


Sally Anne's dining room, decorated for Christmas, with antique chairs that have needlepointed cushions.

Chair seat is needlepoint done by Sally Anne's grandmother. The background color is beautiful but brighter than this photo shows.

On the chairs, every bouquet of needlepointed flowers is different than the next.

Renaissance Designs birthday cake and candles on a bamboo shelf in the corner of the dining room.

Displayed in an antique silver candy basket on the dining room side board, these Melissa Shirley chocolates look good enough to eat!

Another antique silver basket with the chocolates with each one in real chocolate papers.

More of the home tour next post!

If you would like your home of needlepoint treasure on Living with Needlepoint, I would love to have your pictures.  Email me at NeedlepointingInYourNest@gmail.com.

HOME TOUR: Sally Anne’s fabulous home in Houston, Texas, part 2

As many of you know, Sally Anne is owner Of the Chaparral Needlework in Houston, Texas.  She has owned it for about 4 years and is a wonderful boss.  I know because I work for her.  She purchased the store from the former owner who had gotten it from the estate of her mother-in-law.  Sally  Anne has exquisite taste and buys the most wonderful and varied collection of canvases for our customers.  The store turned 50 in 2012 and Sally Anne had a birthday party for the store.  It has been in continuous business since 1972.  We had a very fun day and celebration for the store and a huge celebration cake!  Very tasty the cake was, too!

A note:  Sally Anne got married in November and is now Sally Anne Skarke!

The most beautiful and delicious 50th birthday cake for Chaparral's 50th year in business anniversary!


In the music room, a very cozy room off of the entrance hall, there is a grand piano and a wonderful collection of blue and white antique plates.

In the music room, a needlepoint pillow and needlepoint angel from MCM make this chair very cozy!

From Illuminations, this vintage looking bird pillow is no longer available as Illuminations is no longer in business!

A wall full of antique blue plates and platters collection has a needlepoint platter.

A canvas from Creative Needle made into a wall hanging fits perfectly with an antique collection

Nestled in the book shelf, a Melissa Shirley Designs needlepoint vase is 4 sided.

A Melissa Shirley Deigns needlepoint vase sits in the book shelf in the music room.

Needlepointed back of the vase.

Needlepointed back of the vase.

More of Sally Anne’s house next time!

HOME TOUR: Sally Anne’s fabulous home in Houston, Texas, part 1

From a floral pillow in a hall off the entrance, this is a close up of a Once in a Blue Moon pillow.

Sally Anne's house!

I have known Sally Anne for quite some time and think her a lovely, smart, and intelligent woman.  She has exquisite taste in everything and is very kind.  Her house is an absolute treasure trove of magnificent antiques and unbelievable needlepoint.  A treat for anyone who visits, I love to go over to her home and look around to see all her beautiful things, especially each piece of needlepoint that has its perfect place and has been beautifully stitched.  I have written several posts on her home so enjoy them!


On the back of the front door, in the large entrance hall.

On the back of the front door is this welcoming sign of the pineapple from the Artist Collection for Heart Strings.

Close up of pineapple sign. Sally Anne changed a few stitches from the stitch guide that comes with all of Heart Strings' canvases. Vintage ribbon from the Ribbonry in Chaparral Needlework.

Middle of sign. Love the enameled sunflower button hanging off the leaves of the pineapple.

Bottom of Heart Strings sign from the Artists Collection.

Chairs flank a bamboo side table in the entrance hall.

A Santa of Everything from Patti Mann makes his year around home here and two Melissa Shirley Designs decorate the entrance hall.

For a close up of the Santa of Everything, see Sally Anne’s Christmas house blog post.

Melissa Shirley Designs dress pillow in it's perfect setting!

Close up of pillow with trim from the Ribbonry in Chaparral. Sally anne did different background stitches in the squares in the background of the canvas.

Second of the pair, these dress pillows from Melissa Shirley Designs are perfect in the large entrance hall.

A John Johanssen from Melissa Shirley Designs in the entrance next to the powder room door.

A large piece, this vase of beautifully stitched flowers fits perfectly in the entrance. Framed by Davis Hardware in Houston with ribbon from the Ribbonry.

Hall leading to the master bedroom off the entrance hall.

On an antique bench sits a little collection of pillows.

Happy Everything pillow, canvas from Needle Graphics.

My favorite, Once in a Blue Moon canvas, with American flags, and a beautiful aqua background that Sally Anne selected.

Close up of floral pillow with American flags with a background stitch of a trellised laid filling.

A close up of the pillows flowers, stitched perfectly by Sally Anne.

Sally Anne has a collection of little chairs, this one being doll size and displaying a cute stand up. From Shorebirds, this little dachshund stand up commemorates Jack, one the past t family pets, who was such a wonderful little guy!

And Sally Anne even has a little ornament on her grandfather clock!

Princess and Me decorates the key of an antique grandfather clock in the entrance hall.

More posts to come on Sally Anne’s house and needlepoint collection.


Pat's collection of needlepoint ornaments!

A facebook friend from the Needlepoint group, I saw Pat Wingate’s huge collection of Santas on-line and just knew readers would enjoy seeing this outstanding collection of Christmas St. Nicks.  Pat is from Dallas and shops at several needlepoint stores including Creative Stitches (Dallas), Fancy Stitches (Cleburne), and The French Knot (Ft. Worth) where she has found helpful and nice employees at each shop.  She gets inspirational ideas from each shop and occasionally takes classes at the Dallas and Cleburne shops.

Pat's FABULOUS collection of needlepoint Santas!

Pat, a person who loves to learn new things, and her husband have had their own business for 36  years and have one son, 3 cats and 3 grand dogs. The family sells pre-owned luxury watches and vintage american pocket watches on the internet.  Pat wrote,” We first started with a paper mail order catalog back in 1977 with pocket watches only. Our son does all of our photography, so I guess it’s all in the family.”  Pat graduated from UT Dallas with a BS in Special Education and then went on to get a Masters in Special Education, Emotionally Disturbed at Texas Women’s University. After teaching 6 years, Pat retired after having her son.

Pat's Christmas boxes: Nativity and tree boxes are from Birds of a Feather.

LOTS of Santas!

Pat loves stitching Christmas stockings and is on her 23rd one!  She did her first stocking in 1981  and has just kept on going.  Pat has LOTS of favorite artist including Melissa Shirley, Rebecca Woods, Bird s of a Feather, Mile High Princess, and Maggie and Co. At home, her needlepoint nest is in her recliner next to her Dazor lamp, and she enjoys stitching with friends at Creative Stitches.  Pat also reads, always having a good book in her car, on her phone, and next to her bed.  She beads, making necklaces, scissors fobs, and other fun things for her friends.

Big Amanda Lawford Santas stitched by Pat. MAGNIFICENT, Pat!

Santa in shorts from Kelly Clark.

Santa in shorts from Kelly Clark and I think the house may be a Melissa Shirley Design.

Thank you so much, Pat, for very generously sharing your wonderful needlepoint Santas!

Amanda Lawford Santa beautifully stitched by Pat.

more Favorite Needlepoint Stockings!

Hi Everyone!  I found more needlepoint stocking I want to share with you!  Very inspirational, I think, to see everyone’s beautiful stocking!

To read about the origins of the christmas stocking tradition read here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_stocking

and from this blogger, read this:  http://www.toysperiod.com/blog/toy-history/history-of-the-christmas-stocking-legend-and-tradition/


Melissa Shirley Designs stitched by Lauri Z.

Melissa Shirley Designs stitched by Lynn C.

Melissa Shirley Designs stitched by Sarah P.

Melissa Shirley Designs stitched by Kathy D.

Melissa Shirley Designs

Melissa Shirley Designs stitched by Ann McD.

Melissa Shirley Designs.

Melissa Shirley Designs stitched by Mary T.

Melissa Shirley Designs stitched by Sally Anne W. now Sally Anne S.


Melissa Shirley Designs for Mary Lake Thompson stitched by Dr. Margot R.

Melissa Shirley Designs for Mary Lake Thompson stitched by Dr. Margot R.

Alexa Designs stitched by Margaret S.

Alexa Designs stitched by Margaret S.

Alexa Designs stitched by Ann S.

Strictly Christmas stitched by Marcia M.

Cats need stockings, too! Susan Roberts stitched by Julia D.

Susan Roberts stitched by Joanne L.

Designing Women stitched by Heidi H. Heidi loves to do French knots!

Birds of a Feather stitched by Esther G.

Shelly Tribbey stitched by Dinah W.

THANKS TO YOU ALL for showing us your fabulous and special needlepoint stocking.  They are all truly fantastic!  Good job everyone!

Now let’s all hang our stockings by the chimney with care next Christmas!!

And to all, a good night!


OMFS’ Christmas house before de-decoration


Remember One of My Favorite Students, better know as OMFS, whose house I showed earlier this year?  (Posts are dated September 26 and 30 and October 3,  2012.)  Well, last year, I went over to her house after Christmas and snapped some pics of her house right before Christmas decor was deconstructed.  She had already packed up a few Christmas items, but I did get some pics of her Christmas needlepoint!

A tiny nativity from Bettie Smith, now owned by CanvasWorks, lives in this bowl in OMFS' music room.

Santas stand up with each santa suit in a different stitch and each beard in a different stitch, OMFS used her left over threads so that each santa is dressed differently.

Adorable reindeer pillow from Maggie & Co.

Mile High Princess nativity OMFS stitched about 8 years ago. She selected three shades of green and used one on each background.

A wreath made into a pillow decorates a chair. I do not know who the artist is!

Hopefully this year, I can go by OMFS’ house before she gets her tree down!  Thanks for sharing your Christmas needlepoint with us, OMFS!

Sweater pillow was partially stitched by OMFS’ daughter when she was young. I taught it as a children’s class.

Favorite Needlepoint Stockings

Stockings hung by the chimney with care.

Oh, so many beautiful stockings have been done this year for Christmas at the Chaparral Needleworks in Houston.  I have had many stitchers in my classes that have done the most extraordinary stockings and this is the perfect time to inspire you, the blog post reader, your friends, and family to needlepoint a stocking for next year.  Of course, you need to do one for yourself and probably, it is a good idea to stitch one for your family-husband, children, furry friends.  You may want to stitch one for your sister, brother, your parents, grand children, nieces, nephews….and the list goes on and on!  When you stitch a stocking for a loved one, please be sure they will appreciate it before you do it!  I had one customer tell the story of her friend who happily went over to her son and his wife’s house one Christmas morning to see her grand children….and they came to the door wearing the precious needlepoint stockings on their feet!  Another friend did a stocking for her baby nephew and the father thought it was worth about $50.00!  Another did 3 very expensive stockings for a friend who accidentally threw them away and never blinked an eye when recounting her mishap to her friend.  We all  know the price of painted canvas and threads, but gratefully I may add, we do not know how much time we have spent needlepointing the heirlooms and how much that may be worth!  Needlepointing  a stocking is really a labor of love, one which has not monetary value, but it mainly done for the love of that person and for the love of needlepointing.  Please give your stocking to someone who will treasure it and take very good care of it.  If you think they will not take care of it, you may want to rethink needlepointing for them and buy a needlepointed stocking from a store and have the name monogrammed on it at a monogram store, and then buy them a really nice gift certificate to Best Buy, Starbucks, or Amazon!

Tapestry Tent-Mary Daire DeL.

Tapestry Tent-Mary Daire DeL.

Tapestry Tent-Mary Daire DeL.

Tapestry Tent-Mary Daire DeL.

Tapestry Tent-Mary Daire DeL.

My sister, Hollee C. , did this stocking for her new son-in-law! Tapestry Tent.

Tapestry Tent-Donna B.

Tapestry Tent-Jan DBS.

Tapestry Tent-Marilyn J.

Tapestry Tent- Susan K.

Tapestry Tent-Linda P.

Tapestry Tent-Morgan E.

Tapestry Tent-Marilyn J.

Tapestry Tent-DeeDee H.

Tapestry Tent-Deborah McA.

Good night, Christmas kitten!

More favorite stockings to come!!!


Needlepoint Christmas at Don’s Beach House!

Don, one of three  partners that owns and runs Associated Talents, and his wife, Alison, own a beach house in Edisto Island, South Carolina and prefers to be there as much as he can.  Now that his teenage daughter can drive, he really loves stitching in the car on the way to the beach.  Don was so kind to send pictures of his beach Christmas tree when I asked him and I feel so privileged to see his fabulous tree!  Don, originally from Lexington, Kentucky and graduate of the University of Kentucky now lives in Charlotte, North  Carolina with his wife of 20 years, his 2 daughters, and several cats.

Don needlepoints lots of ornaments for all holidays and has a huge collection of Christmas ornaments as seen in the blog post on December 16.  but, he does like to  “travel, whether it is to our beach house or really almost anyplace new.  I’m always reading a book, even if the only time I get to read is on the stationary bike at the Y in the morning.  When the weather is good, I do enjoy a nice long run, but I’m a running wimp…the mere hint of rain or a hiding sun, and I scrap it!”.

The beach Christmas tree at the family's get away on Edito Island, South Carolina.

The “skinny” tree  in the beach house is decorated with starfish pink, turquoise, and green balls and lots of needlepointed beach themed ornaments.  Don apologized for his “sparse” tree as this is the first year they have done their beach tree and 9 ornaments are still at the finisher being made into needlepoint treats!  We look forward to seeing those when they come back from the finisher!

The family has also needlepointed ornaments for the beach tree! Here flamingos decked in wreaths!

Adorable beach themed needlepoint mini sock surrounded by other needlepoint ornaments.

Another precious beach themed mini sock with star fish and sand dollars and a tree shaped needlepoint ornament with wreathed flamingos.

Don has a “friend” named Timothy, a needlepoint spider who has his own facebook page!  Named at the TNNA needlepoint market, Timothy was a sort of roving reporter during the market and is now a well know celebrity among the needlepoint world.  Here is a picture of Timothy.  Look at his adventures on facebook at the Columbus market here


Timothy, the spider, is available as a canvas and a spider body from Associated Talents through your favorite needlepoint store.

Here is Associated Talents web site  http://www.atneedlepoint.com/

Again, Don,

thank you for this very special treat of seeing your beach house ready for Christmas!!!

What about a needlepoint retreat at the beach house?  YAY!!

A Needlepoint Christmas at Don’s House!

The family's Santa tree.


Don, a co-owner of Associated Talents needlepoint, a wholesale needlepoint company that designs and produces hand painted canvases, lives in Charlotte, North Carolina but loves to spend as much time as possible at his beach  home on Edisto Island, South Carolina.  Don is originally from Lexington Kentucky.  His local needlepoint store is Po’s Point in Charlotte, but he also drives to Two’s Company in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  Don loved to watch his mother stitch and around the age of 10 years old, he decided he wanted to needlepoint, too.  His first project was a belt which, when he was almost finished, his mom told him he had stitched it backwards.  Oh well, I say, at least he was enjoying his needlepoint!  I feel so honored that Don agreed to send pictures of his Christmas trees for my blog.  He and his family have a tremendous collection of needlepoint for us all to enjoy!


Don graduated from the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!) with a Business Administration Degree.  He had a career in retail management until he decided to change careers and open his own needlepoint store, the Charlotte Needlepoint Co. from 1998-2008.  After that he became a partner at Associated Talents which is his full time endeavor.

What an extravaganza of fabulous needlepoint ornaments!

Don has been married for 20 years and has two daughters, a teenager and almost a teenager, and 3 cats.  His wife, Alison, enjoys needlepointing, too,  stitching baby gifts and belts for friends and relatives.  His daughters stitch a little when they are in the mood and the three cats enjoy playing with the thread while Don stitches! (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it!)  He mainly stitches “a lot of belts and smaller items, such as ornaments, Easter ornaments, Halloween ornaments.  This might be because my wife has declared that we have plenty of pillows.”  His favorite needlepoint nest at his home in Charlotte is the corner of the den couch, and now that one of the girls can drive, he loves to stitch in the car on the way to the beach!

Associated Talents pillow stitched by Brenda L. S., our facebook friend.

Don has three Christmas trees in his house, each with a Christmas theme, and all loaded with ornaments!  The last time they counted, Don wrote that they had over 200 Christmas ornaments!

Don and Alisons' gingerbread themed tree.


Don wrote about his gingerbread tree,  “This tree grew out of my obsession with candy and gingerbread needlepoint.  Oddly, I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but I love anything in needlepoint that is “sweet.”  Over the years, this tree has grown from a little 3 foot counter top to its current 6 foot version.  I think I might have to buy the 7 foot “slim” tree I saw the other day.  You’d be amazed at how much you can get onto that one extra foot!  (In at least one of the photos, please note the little resin elves.  These guys were done by Melissa Shirley several years ago, and when the girls were younger it was fun to see the different conversations they could be found in…seemed to move by themselves overnight!)”.

Close up of gingerbread tree loaded with needlepoint ornaments from Associated Talents, Melissa Shirley, Susan Roberts, and Elizabeth Turner, among others!

More of Don's ornaments on the gingerbread tree!

Letter D in candy stripe is from Associated Talents.


Tree number 2 at Alison’s and Don’s house is the Snowman tree.  Don wrote of the nook the Snowman tree is in:   “A brief note about our house.  We have done 4 semi-major renovations on our typical 1950’s ranch.  One was an addition where we added an expanded master bedroom and master bath, in addition to a few other changes.  When we bought the house, the view straight from the front door was into a tiny interior hall and on into a bathroom.  When we did the master bedroom renovation, I shifted doorways, and we ended up with this niche, in place of looking into the bathroom. This is where we put the seasonal trees, Valentines, Halloween (Easter tree is too big, so it sits on the piano in the living room.)  And this year, it is the home to the snowman tree.  Some years it’s the Santa tree, and at least once it has been the silver snowflake tree.

THE SNOWMAN TREE!! with adorable stand up needlepointed snowman gazing at the tree!


Lots of snowmen needlepointed on tis enchanting tree with canvases from Associated Talents, Melissa Shirley and others.

Don wrote, “I’ve also included a picture of the bow front chest in the living room which has some of my snowman stand-ups, snowman snow globes, and part of my collection of silver snowflakes (I have all of the Gorham.)  As you can see, I also have an extensive collection of snow globes.”  We are so glad you included the pictures of chest, Don!!

The front chest decorated with fabulous Gorham silver snowflakes, snow globes, and needlepointed snowmen.

Close up of the bow fronted chest with Don's collection of snow globes. Snowmen canvases from Associated Talents, Melissa Shirley, and Renaissance Designs.

Don stitches a snowman ornament for each of  his girls and one for his god son for Christmas every year and puts his initials on them.  He adds the year date to his god son’s ornaments but decided not to personalize the ornaments for his daughters so “that way when they divide them up, they can choose”  which ones they want.


The Santa tree is in the den this year.

The family's Santa tree with don's favorite needlepoint cushion on the right in the chair.

Don wrote, “In the picture of the Santa tree you can also see what is probably my favorite piece of needlepoint, the Caspian pillow in the chair.  It’s pretty simple, just basket weave in Silk and Ivory, but I still love it!  I brought it to Dallas for market before it was finished and found the trim at Rutherfords, where I paid some un-Godly amount.  Good news was I only needed a little more than a yard, as I just put the tassel trim on the ends.”  (We all love Rutherford’s in Dallas!)

Covered with needlepointed Santa ornament, this tree wants us to say "Ho, ho, Ho!"

More Santa ornaments!

In the dining room, Don’s needlepoint stand up Santas stand guard on the side board and  are ready for the festivities to begin!

Dining room side board has a large gathering of needlepointed stand up Santas! (I see Timothy, the needlepointed Halloween spider in this picture!)

What a FABULOUS and INSPIRATIONAL collection of needlepoint at a home for Christmas!  A home filled with love and memory making…and lots of needlepoint!  Thank you for making us want to go needlepoint some more ornaments, Don!!!


One of the family cats enjoys camping under the Santa tree!

Laura C.’s Christmas Needlepoint!

Lovely view of the Colson Family's stockings hung by the chimney with care!

Laura Colson is a needlepointer from College Station, Texas which happens to be  a needlepoint desert.  College Station is the home of Texas A&M Univiersity and very near Bryan, Texas. Laura says she is glad she is near Houston so she can make excursions to Houston and is thankful for the internet so she can see what is available in hand painted needlepointed canvases.  I have known Laura for probably 15 years and this wife and  busy mother of 4 boys, who range in ages from high school twins to a 20 year old,  has done handwork  and cross stitch since she was a child.  She also loves to sew, taught by her mom when she was young. Her friend, Karen W. taught her to needlepoint when they both had young children.  She struggled to learn basketweave and mastered it after remembering “vertical threads work down and horizontal threads work up”.   Her friend, Karen really inspired her after showing Laura all her needlepointed Easter eggs.  Laura prefers needlepoint because she feels it is more”elegant, fun, and so much more versatile with the finished product”.

Laura's "half tree" and her sideboard decorated for Christmas!

Laura and her husband both graduated from Baylor in Waco, Laura with a degree in Management and Marketing.  She worked for 10 years before taking on the full-time role as wife and mom.  Laura also loves decorating her home for holidays, working out, reading, and shopping.

Beautiful Christmas tree in the colon's living room decorated with needlepoint ornaments as well as other ornaments collected over many years.

I asked Laura where her “needlepoint nest” is and she told me she used to love her nest on car trips when she was younger, but now, due to “aging eyesight” she now really enjoys stitching in her living room, always with her tiny clip-on light attached to her stretcher bars.  Asked what her favorite things to needlepoint are, here is what Laura answered,  “I love to stitch Christmas ornaments because they are fun and relatively quick to finish.  But I also love pillows and if I had the time, I’d love to stitch more belts.  I’ve done one belt and loved it.  I also would love to stitch a pair of shoes.  I do have a file of magazine clippings, gift bags, etc., of images I think would be great in needlepoint.  For example, with Baylor being a private university, they are very protective of their logo.  One of their new logos is an outline of Judge Baylor looking at Pat Neff Hall – this logo is currently printed on bookstore bags.  I think that would look great as a needlepoint ornament and would love to paint it myself and stitch it.  Another example is artwork on a past Talbot’s shopping bag from Christmas that I think would look terrific on a pillow.  When something catches my “needlepoint eye”, I put it in my file. ”  Food for thought, stitchers, an idea file!!!

Baylor Santa, canvas from Carol DuPree, is front and center on the Baylor alums' tree! Other Baylor ornaments decorate the tree, including a football helmet and a glass bear, Baylor's mascot.

And asked about how many needlepoint ornaments are on her Christmas tree, Laura said,”I have about 25 needlepointed Christmas ornaments with a bunch more in my stash to do!  I’ve collected Christmas ornaments, other than needlepointed ones, since I was in college.  I’ve lost count on how may there are; too many, I’m certain.  But as a child, I always loved making ornaments with my friends and sister, and my parents always promoted creativity.  I can’t think of any needlepoint Christmas traditions, but unwrapping my needlepoint ornaments each year and placing them on the tree is a highlight and just makes me feel very happy!”

Laura's collection of needlepointed Louisiana ornaments-her home state.

Laura wrote that she took a class with me when I worked at a store in River Oaks.  We were dong a needlepoint candy box and she felt like she was on a vacation.  She still thinks of me when using Flair (and I am hoping that thought is “fondly”), which she recalls, I described as a pantyhose.  I still do call it a pantyhose, Laura!

Needlepointed Christmas cookie advent "ornaments" were a monthly series from Chandail Needlework here in Houston. It came with a cookie sheet calendar and the ornaments were finished with magnets on the back.

Thank you, lovely Laura, for sending your special and beautiful Christmas pictures to share with other enthusiastic stitchers!  Merry Christmas, Colson Family!

Laura's needlepoint Christmas pillows, including a Mary Engelbreit snowman tea pot pillow, nestle with other Christmas themed pillows on this cozy chair. All that is needed is a hot cup of cocoa, maybe with some marshmallows!


Christmas Home Tour-Sally Anne’s, Part 3

Sally Anne's Santa of Everything celebrates all holidays.

More of Sally Anne’s Christmas house!

Very gigantic Santa from Melissa Shirley Sally Anne stitched at least 20 years ago. This guy is about 3 feet tall!

Merry Christmas garland, a series long ago from Chandail Needlework, decorates a green garland over Sally Anne's door way between her entrance hall and den.

Santa of Everything, a canvas from Patti Mann, celebrates all holidays. Melissa Shirley dress pillows on either side of the antique side table.

Patti Mann Santa of Everything celebrates all holidays and seasons.

Needlepoint nutcrackers stand guard. Chocolates in the dish are needlepointed, too!

Nutcrackers stitched by Sally Anne. Canvases from Susan Roberts.

Antique silver candy dish with needlepointed chocolates from Melissa Shirley Designs.


Gingerbread houses from A Collection of Designs stitched by the home owner decorate an antique chest of drawers.

Close up of one house, canvas from A Collection of Designs) and an adorable gingerbread man from Dream House Ventures.

Gingerbread house is finished into a house shape.

MCM angel sits in a chair with Sally Anne's beautiful needlepointed bird pillow. Sadly, these 2 artists do not paint canvases anymore.

An angel and snowman commemorating the 4th of July sit on a table in the music room. Both canvases from Renaissance Designs.

Renaissance Designs canvases stitched; the angel by Sally Anne's mom.

Sally Anne always has a huge Christmas tree-not so tall but very fat!  She gets a real tree and the one she picks is always beautiful.  She decorates it with her needlepointed ornaments and lights.

Sally Anne's big tree is full of needlepointed ornaments!

A close up of the tree.

Angel ornament from Kelly Clarke Designs.

An angel with an embroidery hoop and basket of thread.

Another picture of the tree. I don't know if it was crooked or if I had too much ice tea to drink!

Thank you, Sally Anne for the Christmas tour and for inspiring us to needlepoint our Christmas canvases!

Last year, after Christmas, Sally Anne's tree timbered! Be sure to have a big enough stand for your tree. She had asked the tree guys to use a bigger stand but they did not use it!

 A MERRY Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Christmas Home Tour-Sally Anne’s, Part 2

Sally Anne has been needlepointing since she was a little girl and has an incredible body of work-beautiful pillows, samplers, framed pieces. Each time I visit, I am astonished at the fabulous needlepoint she has done even though I have helped her with quite a bit of it, her needlepoint is fantastic.  Next year I will post a tour of her house without her Christmas decor.

Sally Anne's family stockings hung by the chimney with care. Another will be hung this year-Sally Anne got married!

This post:  Her stockings!  Sally Anne stitched her stockings long ago, when her now young adult children were babies.  At that time, there was not a huge selection of threads like there are now and using stitches was not much the thing to do.  Notice how her pets’ stocking is covered with different stitches and threads and was much more fun to stitch!

Sally Anne's sock is from Alexa, Joshua's stocking is Alexa, and Holly's is from Edie and Ginger. I love that coral background on Holly's stocking.

Sally Anne's angel sock is from Alexa.

Josh's stocking is all Christmas toys and fir branches.

Close up of Holly's stocking, mostly done in basketweave, it is truly beautiful!

Gary's stocking, stitched by Sally Anne for her new husband is from Melissa Shirley Designs. Sally Anne added lot of goodies-miniature wine bottle, mini corkscrew, travel book, in Santa's bag that are some of Gary's favorite things!

Melissa Shirley sock is oversized and was made to honor the family's pets. Sally Anne changed one border and stitched dog feet prints on it!

Little needlepoint bones with the pets' name are sewed along the top of the stocking.

Footprints border. The sunflower orange flowers are buttons.

The toe of the stocking. I wonder if Santa fill that stocking with dog treats?

More of Sally Anne’s Christmas needlepoint next post!

Here is Charlie-one of Sally Anne's dogs. Santa, he has been a very good boy this year.


Christmas Home Tour-Sally Anne’s, Part 1

Needlepoint Santas decorate the dining room table.

What an exciting month December is and it is very fun to visit our friends houses to see all their needlepoint.  The owner of the Chaparral Needlework has the most incredible collection of needlepoint she has done.  Next year, we will take a tour of her home not decorated for Christmas so you can see all her fabulous needlepoint she has done over the years.  Sally Anne is a very elegant, refined lady and has beautiful taste.  I love the colors she has in her home and all her beautiful antiques.  But, I really consider it a treat to go over to her house at Christmas to see all her treasures.


Needlepointed MacKenzie Childs cake on a stand on the chandelier.

Sally Anne’s mom(the Shop Mom) has needlepointed  angels for all of her granddaughters and Santas for each of her grandsons every year since they were born.  They   young adults now and she still needlepoints a special gift for them every year. Sally Anne displays her daughter’s angels in her music room and her son’s Santas are used for decorating the dining room table.

Sally Anne's mom has stitched all of these angels for her granddaughter, Sally Anne's daughter.

Close up of the angel collection.

Sally Anne's dining room chandelier decorated for the Christmas season with needlepoint ornaments and glass ornaments.

Needlepoint Santas are posed around the table for their Christmas dinner!

Melissa Shirley Santa was stitched by Sally Anne.

This is a Santa Sally Anne stitched. Canvas is by Ewe and Eye.

Sally Anne's dachshund Santa was made by artist Gloria Becker of Many Monkeys Later. Although not needlepointed, I had to add it to the post because it is so wonderful!

These Santas were stitched by Sally Anne's mom for her grandson.

Big Santa from Napier is the center of attention on the dining room table. I do not know if the company is still in business.

A Melissa Shirley Santa.

In the den , a collection of Mile High Princess nativity characters are displayed.   The navy background is so dramatic and make the figures more prominent.

Mile High Princess nativity stitched by Sally Anne and displayed on her bookshelves.

The camel has a real tassel on his saddle. The baby is to the right.

Mile High Princess nativity.

I adore this angel in an orange dress, a part of the Mile High Princess nativity that Sally Anne stitched.

Sally Anne has also decorated her den with Christmas pillows.

Everyone loves this Santa, a Once in a Blue Moon Santa made into a beautiful pillow!

A pillow on the den sofa is decorated with a Dragon's Tale Santa. I taught this as a class several years ago.

More of Sally Anne’s Merry Christmas house next post!



Thanksgiving Leftovers-Needlepoint!

Several Thanksgiving pieces came back from finishing  before Halloween  so here is the last post of Thanksgiving needlepoint!  We all love leftovers(except for my brother-in-law!).

Can you believe Christmas is almost here?

What a stunning Autumn piece! Melissa Shirley Autumn bouquet stitched by Wendy Harwood and stitch guide available from her store, Aristeia. Notice the pear shape with pumpkins to the left of the framed canvas.

Once in a Blue Moon Thanksgiving people stitched by Holly M.


Pilgrim man stitched by Holly M.; Once in a blue Moon canvas.


Native American woman stitched by Holly M.; Once in a Blue Moon canvas.


Canvas from Ewe and Eye, stitched by Susan B. with stitch guide by moi. I taught this as a class and a stitch guide is available.

Another version of the Ewe and Eye pillow. I stitched this one.

Pam L.'s Tapestry Tent Pilgrims are truly fantastic!

Pam L.'s Tapestry Tent Pilgrim guy.

Pam L.'s Thanksgiving gal with 3D basket.

Pam L.'s Once in a Blue Moon turkey with fruit baskets. Pam had this made into a pillow.

Close up of Pam L.'s turkey pouch contents-fruit done in all beads.

Melissa Shirley fall acorn will be made into a pillow.

Canvas is from Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I love the vintage looking pumpkin/gourd.

Melissa Shirley Thanksgiving children series. A stitch guide is available for this series.

This is a fun series. I selected a different leaf stitch for each piece.

A very dapper Pilgrim-ette!

Our wonderful finisher put these small pieces on a pumpkin made of crushed velvet.

A real feather decorates this Native American's hair. All trims are from the Ribbonry in Chaparral Needlework.

My favorite, this little girl is holding a wreath made of raffia, decorated with tiny pumpkin buttons.

Thank you to all friends who sent their pictures.  Aren’t we all thankful for our friends, family, pets, and needlepoint?

Stitched by cute Karen McK. this door sign is from Amanda Lawford. Notice how we added a little garland of leaves in the bow.


More Thanksgiving-we LOVE leftovers!

Kathy Schenkel Thanksgiving group stitched by a prolific Mary R.B.

When I asked my Needlepoint facebook group for Thanksgiving needlepoint pictures, I gratefully received many pictures.  Mary R.B., whom I posted about on October 28 with her big Halloween tree, sent me 15 pictures of her Thanksgiving needlepoint!  That Mary is a very busy girl and very inspirational, too!  Following are Mary’s Thanksgiving pieces and I look forward to receiving her Christmas pictures–okay, Mary?

Kathy Schenkel Native Americans in Mary R.B. group.

Wheat sheafs stitched by Mary, who asked Kathy Schenkel to paint a smaller one to add to her 2 big ones!

Mary had this Kathy Schenkel turkey made into a festive pillow.

Close up of Mary's turkey.

Another Thanksgiving pillow!

Mary has done all sizes of turkeys and had them made into pillows.


A Petei turkey. The canvas is no longer available.

Close up of Petei turkey.

Cute turkey can be found on....

.....a long skinny pillow with three turkeys is adorable!! Good job, Mary!

"Gobble, gobble-I am glad Thanksgiving is over", says this little turkey!

Thanks so much, Mary, for sharing your pictures!  Have a nice, safe weekend Mary and family and all friends!!!!





















GIVE THANKS for Needlepoint!

This Tom Turkey canvas is from Stitch Its.  The customer selected the  feather trim around the ornament for that fall feel.

Dr. Mia used real turquoise and silver on her outstanding Native American man. She made a real leather belt for him with tiny silver conchos.

Thanksgiving is not a big needlepoint holiday, although we are seeing a lot more canvases than

Close up of Dr. Mia's Native American girl. She used real turquoise and coral beads on this beautiful piece for the necklace and head dress.

there were in the past.  Thanksgiving happens to be my favorite holiday because I love being with friends and family without the pressure of gift giving and decorating.  And Thanksgiving canvases are becoming so wonderful!  Melissa Shirley’s fabulous Pilgrims and Native Americans as well as Kelly Clark’s Thanksgiving people are so festive. Associated Talents, Raymond Crawford, and Kathy Schenkel also have Thanksgiving needlepoint canvases and to see any of the Thanksgiving canvases, go to the artists’ web sites.  One of my favorite sets I saw on my trip to South Dakota, at Barbara Riley’s store in Sioux Falls, called Barbara’s Needlepoint, and is by her artist Anne H.  Barbara only had 2 pieces of the set, but I was totally entranced by them!

Pilgrim couple from Kathy Schenkel stitched by our ever realistic stitcher, Dr. Mia A. Mia found the cutest additions for the Pilgrims to hold!

Dr. Mia stitched this Native American couple and did a fantastic job! She selected the turquoise background and found all the little embellishments for the couple. Canvases from Kathy Schenkel.

Pilgrim girl is from Melissa Shirley Designs and was stitched by one of the cuties at Aristeia.

Once in a blue Moon Native American stitched by Holly M.

Betsy G.'s Thanksgiving gathering. Canvases all from Associated Talents.

Betsy G. stitched the set of Associated Talents Thanksgiving people and di an outstanding job. She changed a few things from the original canvases and di very inventive backgrounds. The beaded sunflowers and Indian corn are from the Ribbonry in Chaparral.

This Native American brave is also from Anne H. and is exclusive to Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Exclusive to Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, this handsome fellow is from painter Anne H.'s Thanksgiving set.

Brenda Stofft Autumn rabbit with stitch guide from Chandail Needlework although I did add some things and changes stitches.

Close up, top of rabbit. I added the glass leaves in the tree.


Close up of bottom of the Autumn rabbit. I used the silk ribbon to make the yellow flowers look more like chrysanthemums. I also added all the little acorn charms, from Susan Clarke, along the bottom of the basket.

3 of Melissa Shirley acorns stitched by moi.


Decorating with acorns,Indian corn,  pumpkins, and gourds is good for the entire fall season.  Many artists do pumpkins and acorns.  Ann Wheat Pace has a whole collection of different pumpkins, gourds and several cobs of Indian corn.  Melissa Shirley and Associated Talents have baskets full of acorns with different harvest designs and colors on them.  Kathy Schenkel does some wonderful 3D Indian corn in 3 different sizes and Associated Talents has adorable corn cob shaped small ornaments with fall themes.


On this Melissa Shirley acorn canvas , I added a large pumpkin button.

Melissa Shirley acorn canvas. On this canvas, which I did on the plane to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, I added the big Susan Clarke squirrel button from my shop, the Ribbonry.

Melissa Shirley acorn canvas. I used leftover threads and added an owl button.

Anne W. did this Denise DeRusha canvas to use on an easel at her home. Vintage ribbon was used as a border around the needlepoint and is from the Ribbonry.

Part of Chaparral's exclusive Give Thanks series from Patty Paints. I stitched all of them and had them made into a garland. We had ribbon sewed in each corner and tied them together. The garland is made of 12 pieces that say "Give Thanks" and has a turkey at one end and a bouquet of acorns Stitch guide is available. Each has a different background using the same threads.

Stitch Its very small turkey canvas looks cute made into an ornament. I gave this to my sister last Thanksgiving. She hosts our family at their farm every year for the big feast. Stitch Its canvases are VERY FAST to stitch!

What about using needlepoint vegetable to decorate your table?  Add some garlands of leaves from the craft store and have a very fall-ish table!  At Barbara’s Needlepoint, In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, her fabulous artist Anne H., does wonderful canvases of pumpkins, swiss chard, leeks-all kinds of vegetable appropriate for the season.

At Barbara's Needlepoint, these wonderful vintage looking vegetable canvases can be ordered from Barbara.

A wonderful vintage looking pumpkin canvas exclusively at Barbara's Needlepoint, Sioux Falls, South Dakota is painted by resident artist Anne H.

I gathered my Thanksgiving pictures of needlepoint for you to see and to become inspired to do your own Thanksgiving needlepoint for next year.  What about setting a goal to do one Thanksgiving needlepoint piece a year?  Just one a year and in a few years, have a collection of Thanksgiving treasures to display on your table for your feast!

 Have a safe and very happy Thanksgiving day!

Very handsome wild turkey in South Dakota.

GIVE THANKS for Needlepoint Pillows!!!

FALL pillow stitched by cute Darlene F., using lots of different stitches and threads.

Fall is such a lovely time of year and most of us feel very happy in the fall,and anticipating cooler weather here in Houston always makes us happy!  I love fall and the colors and especially fall colored and themed needlepoint pillows.  And they are fun to do, using lots of rich colored threads and leaf stitches for backgrounds!

This canvas is from Raymond Crawford and to give the pillow a fall feel, we used a ribbon with fall leaves and attached a vintage looking brooch of a fall leaf on the corner. ribbon and brooch from the Ribbonry in Chaparral. Pillow stitched by Darlene F. in my class.

Fall sampler stitched by Dolores C. in Gayle A.'s class. Canvas from Birds of a Feather.

This Ewe and Eye canvas was so much fun to stitch. I taught this for a class and a stitch guide is available.

Ewe and Eye pillow stitched by the owner of Quail Run using my stitch guide. The orange pre-made roses look really fantastic!

This Amanda Lawford turkey stays out throughout the year at my friend Olivia's house.

Canvas from Amanda Lawford and beautifully stitched by Olivia F.

Pail of Pumpkins canvas from Melissa Shirley for Mary Lake Thompson with stitch guide by Laura Taylor of Aristeia. I have seen this with a pale golden background and it was gorgeous! The stitches used on this piece are wonderful!

Gayle A., an extraordinary stitcher, did this Wee Needle canvas many years ago. It is reminiscent of an old post card. Sadly, Wee Needle is no longer in business.

Thanksgiving is Thursday, but on Wednesday, Living with Needlepoint will have really fabulous Thanksgiving needlepoint stand ups and ornaments to inspire you to start stitching for your next year’s Thanksgiving celebration!

Green pumpkin canvas exclusive to Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.



Karen B. adapted this design for needlepoint from a Curtis Boehringer cross stitch book. Love the berries and cauliflower.

Dr. Margot's cornucopia vegetables were all stitched using stitches with beads from Sundance Designs bead book.


On the way to grandmother’s house is a great time to needlepoint your most recent Thanksgiving canvas.  I don’t know about you, but I love to stitch something holiday around the holiday, even though I know it cannot be finished in time!  It just gets me in the spirit of that holiday and Thanksgiving is my favorite!  I asked my wonderful and fun Needlepoint facebook group to send pictures of their Thanksgiving needlepoint and I received a cornucopia’s worth of pictures!  One thing I am thankful for this year is all the wonderful and generous friends at work and on facebook!


                                       Here are the many pictures I received!

From Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Mrs. Pilgrim, an exclusive from their artist, Anne H. Love this! More of this set on next Wednesday's blog post.

Cooper Oaks turkey sent by Barbara at Barbara's Needlepoint in South Dakota. Barbara does wonderful finishing!

From Barbara's Needlepoint, a Kathy Schenkel Native American couple, made into stand ups with rope cording.

Gretchen V.'s adorable Brenda Stofft turkey pulling a cart!

Isn't this view of a fine Thanksgiving bird interesting? Again, no artist identified but stitched beautifully by Gretchen V.

Amanda Lion stitched this Princess and Me set beautifully and had them made into stand ups.

Amanda's turkey is so cute with his pilgrim hat on top of his head and attractive purple shoes. Great stitches, Amanda!

Debby McX2 did this charming fall pumpkin and made it into a door sign. I do not know who the artist is.

This Amanda Lawford canvas made into a door hanger was stitched beautifully by Debby McX2. Can we come over for Thanksgiving, Debby?

Gerri P. did this adorable Renaissance Designs turkey. She did a great job with her stitches and the black and white checked border really frames this guy!

Give Thanks canvas from Denise DeRusha stitched by Dr. Margot R.

Dr. Margot loves to needlepoint and did this Once in a Blue Moon cornucopia in my class. She selected ribbons from my shop, the Ribbonry, and acorn medallions on the corners for her pillow.

Close up of Dr. Margot's pillow. We used stitches from Sundance Designs Beading book for all the vegetables.

Dr. Margot's cornucopia. she used raffia to wrap the chain stitches of her cornucopia.

Tis fabulously framed turkey, framed by Davis Hardware here in Houston, was stitched by Dr. Margot. The canvas was distributed through Rishfield Designs but may be no longer available. Dr. M. did an outstanding job on her stitching.

Cute Ritta S. did this Once in a Blue Moon turkey with wonderful stitches and a dramatic blue background! The fall harvest is all in beads.

 More Thanksgiving to come!

HOME TOUR: Helen L.’s home in Houston, Part 7, the last

A bunch of pillows in Helen's breakfast room!

Last tour of Helen L.’s needlepoint extravaganza home in Houston, TX.!  Helen is a working woman and has two beautiful grown up girls.  She started needlepointing after graduate school and has done a huge body of needlepoint work!  Not only a beautiful and elegant, smart and multi-talented woman, Helen is a fantastic cook!  She loves to cook Greek food and as one who has been to a dinner party she gave, it is DELICIOUS!

And of course, we all love your little Shih Tzu, Lucy!

Adorable Lucy in her "begging" position! She is just the cutest!

Every room of Helen’s house is decorated with some sort of needlepoint-even her kitchen and big breakfast room!

Helen's chicken collection make me feel very happy!

Table next to a window decorated with Helen's chicken collection and her needlepoint.

Cooper Oaks chicken on an ADORABLE stand with an egg!

Cooper Oaks canvas Helen stitched for her chicken collection.

Older Halloween pillow decorated with a trick or treat pumpkin pail. Very cute, Helen!

One of Helen's chickens wears a needlepoint heart around her neck!

So cozy and homey-wouldn't you just love to read the morning paper and drink coffee on this window seat?

Lots of pillows...oh, how I love lots of needlepoint pillows!

The rabbit couple is from Beau Geste.

Love this pea pod pillow with canvas from the Silver Needle!

From Helen's chicken collection, this merry hen roosts on the window seat.

Silver Needle peas in a pod is perfect for the breakfast room!

Pillows in Helen's breakfast room chairs! This, a Wee Needle canvas.

Old Wee Needle pillow. Sadly, Wee Needle is no longer available.

Lots of pillows on Helen's window seat in her kitchen/breakfast area.

THANK YOU, HELEN,  for the tour of your wonderful home and for letting us see all your spectacular needlepoint!  xoxo chb

Cute flower heart ornament.



HOME TOUR: Helen L.’s home in Houston, Part 6

Helen's needlepoint nest.

More of Helen L.’s full of needlepoint den!

Helen's den coffee table.

Helen has an old sewing machine base between her chairs.

Another heart pillow; artist unknown.

Chair has a pillow of a heart, canvas from Ewe and Eye, and a Imari type needlepoint rabbit.

Close up of Imari rabbit. Artist unknown.

Close up of adorably stitched Ewe and Eye pillow. Don't you just love Ewe and Eye canvases?

Bowl of needlepoint fruits on Helen's coffee table. Canvases come with stitch guides and are from Sundance Designs.

Close up of needlepoint fruits.

Very cozy yellow chair! See what I found behind it in the last picture!


Is this a Raymond Crawford canvas?

Bookshelf with an antique bowl containing 2 small needlepoint pillows.

Alice Peterson French cat pillow tucked in a bowl with a needlepoint heart.

Old box containing needlepoint fruits sits on the bookshelf. The cantaloupe slice is from Barbara Eyre now available through Susan Roberts.

ADORABLE Cooper Oaks French lady with a Provence type background and fabric. I wrote the stitch guide for Helen. I love the background!

What a perfect pillow for Helen's yellow and red den! Love the Provence looking fabric and the ribbon trim from my store, the Ribbonry in Chaparral. (Trim is no longer available.)

Very comfortable indeed, Helen's nest looks very appealing to a stitcher! Dede sunflower canvas is in progress.

Helen's nest includes a side table for her books and good light from the windows across the back of the room.

Snooping around Helen's nest, I found this partially stitched canvas behind the second chair.

Hope all of you enjoyed Helen’s den and her needlepoint nest.  One more post is coming about Helen’s house, very FULL of needlepoint!








































































HOME TOUR: Helen L.’s home in Houston, Part 5


Helen's den is a wonderland of needlepoint!

Helen’s fabulous home has a beautiful large den in the back of the house.  I love Helen’s den and she keeps with her colors of yellow and red.  Whenever I see a canvas with yellow and red, I think of Helen.  In the den she really has needlepoint everywhere. She has decorated her coffee table with pumpkins and I love her big pine dresser filled with photos of her and her family and lots of needlepointed frames and stand ups.

Old wine press decorated with a needlepoint watermelon pillow.

Cute watermelon pillow.

Helen's cute den!

A Welcome pillow perches on an iron lamp. Canvas from Associated Talents.

Old wooden tool box, filled with special pillows, is a cute way to display them.

Close up of pillows in the tool box: hearts is an old one from Mindy, bear from Alexa, and Sweet Dreams, which I have, too, is from a forgotten artist.

Very old Alexa bear may not be available anymore.

Two Mindy canvases made into pillows.

Helen's big pine dresser is filled with favorite photos and needlepoint that she keeps out throughout the year.

Old MCM angel and Dupree angel next to pictures of Helen's real angels.

Helen has done many needlepoint frames.

Close up of frames and another MCM angel. (MCM is no longer available.)

More needlepoint on Helen's big pine dresser in the den.

On Helen's coffee table in the den, is this festive group of pumpkins.

Adorable Ann Wheat Pace green pumpkin is tied on a candlestick.

This patchwork pumpkin is from Whimsy and Grace. (It is not in my stash...yet!)

We have a couple of more posts to go on Helen’s house!  I told you she had lots of needlepoint!

Helen finally got Lucy to pose! Doesn't she look like a stuffed animal? I love that fat tummy!

























HALLOWEEN-a needlepoint treat!

….there are trick or treat buckets full of Halloween canvases available in your favorite needlepoint stores!  When my oldest daughter, Virginia, was born on Halloween day, it was a huge TREAT for me but also a TRICK as she came about 10 days early!  I was so excited to have her on Halloween and immediately started planning birthday parties.  BUT—I could not find ANY Halloween needlepoint canvases at all so I asked Petei of Petei Designs if she would do some for me like her small people canvases we were buying for the needlepoint store where I worked.  She did paint a little series of canvases which I immediately stitched and which lots of our customers wanted.  To this day, I credit the Halloween canvas phenomenon to Virginia’s birthday on Halloween!

Halloween display Sally Anne and Karen Lea did for the shop.

I  do not know which of our customers stitched any of these so forgive me if they are yours and I did not remember!  All of you did an outstanding job on stitching them!  Thank you for letting me share them with the other witches and ghosts.

So, on this Halloween blog post, I am showing you goblins(not gobelins, which is a stitch), photos I have taken at the store of finished Halloween pieces.  TRICK or TREAT and hope you enjoy these “SCARY” needlepoint  pieces!

Needlepoint bottles-all from Kirk and Hamilton. On the two bottles below, our finisher made them so the tops come off!

Large beaded button from my store, the Ribbonry, in Chaparral Needlework. The top of this one does not come off.

Halloween pillows are fun to decorate with in October!  Some can be used all through the fall season.

Leigh Designs canvas. Trim from the Ribbonry.

Leigh Designs.

I ADORE this canvas from Maggie & Co. The original design is from artist Sharon Bloom.

Shelly Tribbey canvas stitched by Nancy T. with ribbon selected for finishing from the Ribbonry in Chaparral Needlework.

Nancy T. did an outstanding job stitching this pumpkin from Mindy. It is one of my favorite pieces!

I think I got this picture off the internet. Isn't it adorable!? Canvas from Brenda Stofft.

Close up of spooky stitched mouse on the Brenda Stofft canvas. Love that yucky tail.

A really scary canvas from Dede taken at the January 2012 market.

Love this black cat bolster!

A fabulous kissing ball and some ornaments!

Adorable round canvas made into a big kissing ball! How cute...I mean,SCARY!!

Canvas from Heidi, stitched by Karen McKemie. (I remembered!) This is ornament size.

Melissa Shirley candy corns stitched by Gigi P. to be tied together and hung as a garland across a doorway.

Needle Deeva sugar skulls are very spooky! Stitched by Sandy W. all in tent stitch, these are so much fun!

A wonderful Halloween tree!

Mary R. B. Halloween tree naked!

Fabulous needlepoint ornament covered tree at Mary R. B.'s house! All she needs is a pet crow or pet owl to sit on top!

Now some fun pumpkins which can be definitely displayed throughout the Autumnal  season!

All from Ann Wheat Pace, these make a very fall-ish display.

Melissa Shirley for Mary Lake Thompson pail of pumpkins stitched by Laura Taylor of Aristeia in California. Stitch guide is available from your favorite store.

Very cute Kelly Clark pumpkin. (That's Stephanie, a co-worker, in the background!)

Fabulous green pumpkin is only available from Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls South Dakota.

Such cute finishing on this Ewe and Eye Jack o'lantern from Barbara's Needlepoint in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Witches galore!!!  We do have a coven!

Patty Paints witches stitched by Karen P. Stitch guides are available from me through your favorite needlepoint store.!

Shelly Tribbey witches had a meeting last year at the store. One stitched by Mark S., left. and the other by Alison M., right

Love this witch from Danji seen at the January needlepoint market.

Melissa Shirley Fairy Tale witch; picture from the Internet. Maybe stitched by Stephanie A.

My fairy tale witch with stitch guide from Jan Ayerkoff of Aristeia with modifications by me.

Third Melissa Fairy Tale witch in progress by Jan A. at Aristeia in California. Stitch guide is available.

Not a witch! Petei canvas made into a stand up on a styrofoam box.(Canvas is no longer available.)

Animals in Halloween costumes!!

Danji candy corn mouse!

Danji mouse dressed as Dracula.

Danji mouse in her witch costume!

Danji cat in costume stitched by Karen P. Great job, Karen!

A very beautiful Halloween type sampler that Patti C. and Olivia F. did in my class.  They will keep their samplers up with their collections of other samplers.

Sampler from Dream House Ventures is so cute and kind of sweet!


Melissa Shirley tiny house stitched by Faith C. Beaded witch from the Ribbonry in Chaparral

Another Melissa Shirley house stitched by Faith C.

Close up of house with beaded bat decoration from the Ribbonry.

I adore this darling house from Susan Roberts. It is stitched so wonderfully by a really FAB stitcher I believe from Atlanta. It has several little figures that go with it, like the skeletons on the right.

Susan Roberts haunted house was displayed at the January market. It is multi-sided.

Another side of the haunting Susan Roberts house. The stitcher really added lots of spooky details.

Now remember witches and goblins…

Broom parking from Share One's Ideas taught as a class with stitch guide by me!

….don’t park your brooms in the wrong place!!!!


Have a fun and safe Halloween and don’t eat too much candy (like my brother does every Halloween!)!
















































































































HALLOWEEN TREE TREAT! Mary Roddy’s big tree!

Mary's big tree before decorating. I wonder where she keeps it during the year?

A real treat for today is my facebook friend Mary Roddy’s big Halloween tree.  I saw Mary’s tree on the Needlepoint group facebook page and was very astounded the huge number of needlepoint ornaments on it.  I contacted Mary and she sent me pictures-I was so excited to see all of her needlepoint Halloween treasures!

Mary is the mother of five, ages 14-22, three girls and two boys, and two senior Bichon Frise dogs.  She is a stay at home mom, or as she likes to put it, she is the “Family Manager”!  We can relate to that, can’t we, girls?!

Mary wrote in her email, “This year I bought a new 40″ pre-lit tree at Pier 1 for some of the overflow ornaments.”  And I do think she needed a second tree!

Mary's new pre-lit tree with Melissa Shirley candy/cracker and square ornaments and Kathy Schenkel cubes on it. I wrote the stitch guides for the M.S.cracker/candy ornaments!

I asked her questions about her fabulous tree and here is what she wrote:

chb:  Are the ornaments on your tree all needlepointed and about how many years have you been working on them?

Mary:  Yes, all of the ornaments on this 5 foot plus tree are needlepointed!!  I add to the collection every year.  Some years I stitch more Halloween than other years.  Right now there are 108 ornaments.  I have already stitched a few new ornaments for next year, they are just not finished yet.  (Chapparal finished the Halloween Crackers several years ago…I think you even did the stitch guides for them!!)

chb:  Wow, Mary, you have been a very busy girl!!!  108 ornaments!!!

Below are a few of her fabulous collection!

Mary's tree covered with ornaments; I think she needs to add a real owl or real bat for the tree topper!

chb:   Are you adding more?

Oh yes!!  I just ordered the 6 Barbara Bergsten pink and green ornaments.  I have high hopes to stitch those for next year.  I am also slowly working on some canvases I got from a monthly club of Halloween ornaments last year.  Some of these are probably a little too large to be on the tree though.

(See Barbara’s new pink and green ornaments here:  http://www.barbarabergstendesigns.com/halloween.htm)


Melissa Shirley witch hat.

Kathy Schenkel mini scarecrow.

Kathy Schenkel Dracula and Melissa Shirley candy/cracker(stitch guide by me!).

Kathy Schenkel mummy?!

chb:   When do you needlepoint and where do you stitch?  Do you have a special place?

Well, I try to stitch every day!!  Right after dinner the girls go back upstairs to their rooms to do their homework.  It has been a habit since the children were young that I would go upstairs after dinner, as well.  Prior to cell phones it was my way of finding out if the children were using the home phone, fooling around or doing homework!!  I am right in the middle of the action.  I watch tv (old Dateline, 48 Hours, Law and Order, etc) while sitting in my happy chair and stitch until my bedtime!! I really enjoy stitching in the Master Bedroom.  If I get a chance to stitch during the day the natural lighting is great with one wall full of large windows.  At night, I have a great light I bought from my LNS (local needlepoint store).

Little Shoppe Canvas Company orange fortune cookie. (Comes with a fortune that will be sticking out that says Happy Halloween!)

Kathy Schenkel Jack o'Lantern heart.

Melissa Shirley witch with red hair . I think the little spider is from Renaissance Designs.

Melissa Shirley scary guy with a top hat and unknown spider cube.

Melissa Shirley candy/cracker.

chb:  How long have you been stitching and when did you start?

Mary:  I learned to stitch from my grandmother when I was a little girl.  I stitched off and on through college and beyond.  When our children were young I did not have anytime to needlepoint!!  I picked it right up as soon as our youngest child went to preschool and haven’t stopped!!  I guess I am making up for lost time!!

Melissa Shirley candy/cracker.

Both from Melissa Shirley Designs. The pumpkin girl is on congress cloth!

Melissa Shirley witch.

Melissa Shirley tiny mummy is on congress cloth.

Melissa Shirley witch.

Cute witch smock from the Studio.

Really cute tiny witch hat.

chb:  What are your favorite things to stitch?

Mary:  I am not a big project kinda girl!  But I have stitched two dining room chair type canvases for school auctions (which raised thousands of dollars, by the way), numerous footstools, The Pageant of Peace Flag canvas, pillows and three stockings (I still have two more to stitch for the children and one for Bob and I…I have one ready to go…just need motivation) and four Nativity sets.  (Wait until you see my Christmas tree that goes in the foyer.  It is 7′ tall and full of needlepoint only ornaments.  This year I did almost 5 dozen new ones!!)  I love stitching with a stitch guide.  I am not good at choosing fibers or stitches.

chb:  First of all Mary, you are a big project kind of girl…after all you have stitched 108 Halloween ornaments!   Second of all,  you will have to send pictures of your Christmas tree extravaganza!

Mary also sent along pictures of pillows and a tiny trick or treat bag she has done for Halloween and the fall season!  That Mary has really been stitching!

Ruth Chow Jack O'Lantern can be ordered with a stitch guide from your favorite store and is from Sundance Designs.

Ornament made into trick or treat bag with beaded handle. Canvas is from Associated Talents.

LOVE this Maggie and Co. Lisa Krause chair with its tiny needlepoint cushion! (My daughter really needs this since her birthday is on Halloween!)

Pumpkin pillow is a canvas from Mindy. Love the tasselled fringe on the edges!

So CUTE! Three Halloween canvases from Kathy Schenkel made into a spooky Halloween pillow!

Okay, readers, this should motivate you to fill your home with needlepoint  ornaments.  Even though she is very busy, Mary finds time to relax, get centered and stitch.  Reserve a time in your busy day to sit down and needlepoint!  It is so helpful to end your day being calm and serene with your needlepoint!

Mary's witch pillow! Adore the finishing!

And Ms. Mary Roddy, how delightful was it for you to share your wonderful collection of Halloween needlepoint with us!  We all thoroughly enjoyed seeing all your beautiful  terrifying Halloween treasures!

HOME TOUR: Helen L.’s home in Houston, Part 4

Helen's dining room table is very festive.

Continuing through Helen L’s West University home in Houston, we will see her Autumn centerpiece on her table.  Helen has an assortment of decorations and some of them are needlepointed.

Dining room table with an Autumn and Halloween theme!


A very old needlepoint witch!

Adorable tubular shaped witch nutcracker!

Side of witch tubular nutcracker with a little broom.

Other side of nutcracker witch has a cute pumpkin basket filled with apples.

Helen's Autumn grouping in her dining room.

Helen also has a piece of needlepoint in her bar area and I love that she displayed it on a bracket like a plate.

The bar area even has needlepoint!

Adorable needlepoint plate on the bracket in the bar. I remember this piece from long ago but do not know who the artist is.

And last but not least, little Lucy, Helen’s friend!  Lucy will get in the begging position-I have actually seen her do it, but on the day I visited, she would not position herself for a picture no matter what Helen would offer her to eat.  Anyhoo, she is a VERY cute dog!

Lucy, the Shih Tzu, has the best personality!

More touring of Helen’s home to come!





























More Trick or Needlepoint TREATS!

Even more treats in this post!

Cute to display needlepointed Halloween treats this two tiered dish was a find.

Look for seasonal candy dishes at craft stores and discount stores on which to display your needlepoint treats!

Little Shoppe Canvas Co. has delightful treats. This is their plate of cookies!

Here is the Little Shoppe web site:   http://www.littleshoppecanvascompany.com/cookies.html

Canvases from Little Shoppe Canvas Co. can be ordered from your local needlepoint store.

NeedleDeeva does the delicious looking group of Halloween cupcakes. Stitch guides by Cynthia Thomas are available from your local needlepoint store.

Witch cupcake from NeedleDeeva.

Here is NeedleDeeva’s web site.:


Their canvases, too, will need to be ordered from your favorite needlepoint store and ask for the stitch guides, too, from Cynthia Thomas.  There are 13 needlepoint cupcakes available from NeedleDeeva.

Even the sides of the cupcakes are needlepointed!

Frog cupcake from NeedleDeeva.

Eyeball cupcake-eyeballs are very scary for Halloween! From NeedleDeeva.

These cupcakes would be so cute displayed on this two tiered stand!

Two tiered treat holder is from Marshall's and would be perfect for displaying needlepoint cupcakes!

This two tiered scary dish would be perfect holding a bunch of Halloween needlepoint cupcakes!

Another way to display your needlepointed treats is in a candy or cake container.  Here, Sally Anne uses antique silver pieces for her  chocolates.

In Sally Anne's dining room, this is one of 3 antique silver containers that contain needlepoint candy.

An antique silver cake basket is an ideal way to display needlepointed chocolates or candies.

Sally Anne used actual chocolate paper holders for her needlepointed candies in this silver cake basket.

Fruits from Little Shoppe Canvas Co. look good enough to eat, displayed in a glass bowl.

Beautifully stitched pear from Little Shoppe Canvas Co. Canvases can be ordered from your favorite needlepoint store.

A white chocolate strawberry from Little Shoppe Canvas Co. Other different strawberries are available, too!


Here is a page of Melissa Shirley treats:  http://melissashirleydesigns.com/galsearch/?searchstring=candy&searchlist=&Search=Search&dosearch=        Scroll down her page to view chocolates for Halloween and Christmas.


I hope you get lots of candy-needlepoint candy-at Halloween.  It has no calories-really!

























Now a commercial break from Helen L.’s house in Houston.

From Renaissance Designs, I taught these for a class. We had a music box that played Happy Birthday

Look closely! Cauliflower is made of fabric!

A perfect time of the year to talk about “faux” treats:  needlepoint treats and there are a lot out there! If you do not have one that is young enough to go trick or treating, so that you can have some candy, just go to your needlepoint store and buy treats, needlepoint treats, instead!  I promise you will not gain any weight this Halloween, unless you stop at Jack-in-the-Box for their delicious malted crunch shake! A very clever way to display your skill in needlepoint is by stitching needlepoint candy, cupcakes, cookies-even pizza and cherry pie!  And for those on an eating plan(diet), even veggies and fruits!


Bowl of needlepoint fruit and veggies at Olivia's for the needlepoint dieter. Sundance Designs canvases.

Several artists do treats;  Melissa Shirley, Kathy Schenkel, NeedleDeeva, Little Shoppe Canvas Company, Raymond Crawford, Canvas Candy, the Studio.   Look on the web for needlepoint treats canvases!

Lisa H. K's chocolate bunny! Canvas from Ewe and Eye.

Many fun and inventive ways to display your treats are to put them on a cake stand, a silver cake basket, under a dome or cloche, on a tiered dessert server, or pile them up in an apothecary jar!  Following are pictures of treat and displays.

Sally Anne stitched this adorable cake and keeps it in her kitchen. Canvas from Lani.

Sally Anne's flower cake. I am getting a little hungry!

Nashville Needleworks apple and cupcake. Apple is from Little Shoppe Canvas Co.

Betsy G. keeps her Raymond Crawford cupcakes in her kitchen on an antique bread board...

...under a glass dome! Love this!!!

A candy box from the Studio was taught by moi as a class many moons ago.

Side of my candy box. The finisher did this fabulous beaded bow for me!

The side of my box. I keep my box in my dining room on a cake plate all year.

My candies on an antique porcelain cake stand. Melissa Shirley and Little Shoppe canvas Co.

More of my treats, these from Raymond Crawford, and sold as a series at Chandail Needleworks with stitch guides by Emily Pannier.

Close up of Raymond Crawford's adorable cakes!

Two more cakes from the Chandail Needleworks series, canvases by Raymond Crawford.

Fun cakes and candies live in my dining room!

More treats next blog post!

HOME TOUR: Helen L.’s home in Houston, Part 3

An antique headboard hung as a backdrop in the hall way, near the powder room. Festive needlepoint Halloween pieces decorate the table.

Here we go, another post on Helen L.’s house in Houston.  Helen is quite the prolific stitcher.  She is quite good in lots of activities, among them being good at styling her beautiful home and picking out stitches and threads for her needlepoint.  Today, a continuing tour of her huge center  hall way and big powder/bathroom in her house.

Cute at the bottom of the stairs, this enamel wash basin is perfect for displaying Halloween needlepoint and fall pumpkins!

Close up of scarecrow pillow Helen stitched about 25 years ago!

Another "older" Halloween pillow in Helen's collection!

Ghost pillow is tucked into enamel wash stand at the bottom of the stairs!

Princess and Me witch nestled with her bigger sister decorates the bottom of the bannister.

Helen has an enormous powder room downstairs, which the builders of the house planned for the future when an owner maybe could not go upstairs!  She even has it decorated for Halloween!

Adorable shelf in the large powder room is decorated for fall.

Close up of shelf decked out for the Autumn season, holds needlepoint, pumpkin, and leaves.

Witch is from Canvas Connection.

Pumpkin decor nestles in the shelf!

Flying angel dressed for Halloween is from Denise DeRusha.

Near the sink, a framed Shelly Tribbey piece decorates the wall. Helen plans on making the permanent theme of the powder room ladies in hats!

Helen used lots of different stitches and threads on this very sophisticated Shelly Tribbey canvas.

Below the framed needlepoint, is this little cross box.

These 2 ladies are for the powder room. I cannot wait to see them after Helen stitches them! Both from Maggie and Co.

More of Helen’s home tour  later!









































HOME TOUR: Helen L.’s home in Houston, Part 2


Helen's love of pears is evident throughout her home.

More of the needlepoint extravaganza at my friend Helen’s house in Houston decorated for the Autumnal season.  You are in for more treats today where we will look at Helen’s living room.  Helen has a red and yellow theme in her home which I love!  She, like me,  also needlepoint canvases she likes as well as canvases that go in her house.  She has been needlepointing for about 30 years.  Over the years, Helen has acquired many antiques and has quite a few from family.



Today a tour of her living room.

Red living room chair has a needlepoint pillow.


Ewe and Eye pillow with lots of different stitches and threads in Helen's living room chair.


Big pears have Melissa Shirley pear ornaments tied on their stems.

Helen's sofa and the festively decorated coffee table.

Helen's red living room sofa with a folk art pillow.

Melissa Shirley canvas with fabulous stitches and threads Helen selected her self.

Heart pillow is boxed and tasselled fringe inserted on both sides of the gusset.

Heart Strings Santa made to look like a Greek Orthodox Bishop by Helen.

Close up of Helen's Santa with a bishop's hat she did. This pillow stays on the sofa all year.

"Tassel" treatment on the corner of her pillow was done by the finisher.


A needlepoint tree, in its permanent home, sits next to the red sofa.

Raymond Crawford monthly cupcakes decorate the needlepoint tree in the living room.

Antique settee holds several of Helen's long ago stitched pillows.

Jody running rabbit was stitched with lots of texture and leftover threads.

Plum pillow with a very pretty border.

DeElda heart appliqued with a beaded border onto black and white checked silk.

I love the way Helen did this big pumpkin in a container. It would be so interesting to use a needlepoint pumpkin like this!

Melissa Shirley pear is displayed on a big natural wood decorative pear.

Another pear with a Melissa Shirley needlepointed pear tied on the stem.

Antique desk in the living room holds a collection of crosses.

Needlepointed cross among the others in a cross collection.

More of Helen’s beautiful home to come!!!





















HOME TOUR: Helen L.’s home in Houston, Part 1


Helen L. and her two Shih Tzu live in this lovely home in Houston.


What a treat to be invited to my friend, Helen L.’s house to see her needlepoint extravaganza in her lovely home in Houston.   Helen, a beautiful, elegant,and smart lady is the Chief Human Resources Officer at a law firm here in Houston.  She has two grown daughters, one just married, one still in college, and is the “mom” of 2 adorable Shih Tzu dogs.  After Helen got her Master’s Degree when she was in her 20s, she decided she needed to learn how to needlepoint and, she went after it very enthusiastically!  She has a tremendous body of work which I have divided up into 7 blog posts.  She offered to show me all her Christmas needlepoint and we decided to wait until she gets it all out and decorates for Christmas.  You bet I’ll be heading over to her house with my camera after work as soon as she calls me!

Helen has needlepointed a LOT of canvases!  I have been to her house before and remember being amazed then at all her finished pieces.

Look forward to seeing this large pumpkin in another part of this series of blog posts.

She has many Fall Halloween pieces which she had all out at my visit.  She does an extraordinary job decorating and in her placement of her needlepoint among her other fall goodies, including all kinds of pumpkins made of velvet, grapevine, glass.  Helen has a very unique ways of displaying her needlepoint-ways I have never even thought of.  So sit down and enjoy for the next few weeks, lovely Helen L.’s fantastic collection of needlepoint.

First, we will tour the front of Helen’s home:  the entrance .





The house has a very wide central hall that has plenty of room for displaying furniture and treasures.  She  has several vignettes set up in her open hall way on benches, stools, a settee, even on a shiny vintage enamelled wash stand.

Tiny table in the entrance decorated for the Autumnal season. Lucy ,the Shih Tzu, helps conduct the tour.

An antique lamp on the table looks like a mushroom when surrounded with pumpkins!

An Oriental chest decked out with Halloween and fall decorations.

Happy Halloween pillow is old-I stitched it when I was in my late 20s-about 30 years ago. So did Helen!

Back when we were young stitchers, not much variety of thread was available.

On the living room side of the hallway, pillows and above, a beautifully framed kimono.

Kimono was taken in a class given by John Waddell, a teacher at the Chaparral. Helen's choice of color was dramatic red!

Pillows on the bench are protected by a large pumpkin doll.

Pumpkin seed packet is from Treglown Designs. Availability: unknown.

This little happy Jack o'lantern is finished as a 3D pumpkin with a rounded back using a tree branch used as a stem!

More of Helen’s home next blog post!

HOME TOUR: One of my favorite student’s house! Part 3


A nativity from Mile High Princess, no longer available, sits in a cubby in OMFS's den.

A final look at my friend’s, OMFS (One of My Favorite Students), house in Houston take us to her beautiful den and up her stairs onto the landing where she has a cozy little sitting area.

OMFS leaves her nativity out year round. The background color of the nativity looks perfect with OMFS wall color.

OMFS’s den is beautiful and a place where she spends a lot of time.  In the room are many built in  book shelves loaded with books she has read (OMFS is a prolific reader), a television and at one end of the den, a fire place with a mantle containing art work.  It would be a great place to take a nap!  Here she has put a lot of her finished needlepoint in the shelves with her books.

Denise DeRusha designed American flag pillow taught as a class by moi!

An adorable display of needlepoint stand ups of places the family has visited, stands in front of OMFS's travel books. Canvases from the Princess and Me.

OMFS really loves to read and the owners also had bookshelves built in their stairwell.  Not only books decorate the shelves, but mementoes from trips and of course, special needlepoint pieces, nestle in among the treasures.  Oh… remember how much OMFS loves to “serial” stitch!  She really loves doing needlepoint series!

Needlepoint stand up have a home in the book shelves on the staircase.

A tiny canvas of flowers, many done with silk ribbon, tucked into the stairway book shelf. Canvas from Julie Mar. Pumpkins and Uncle Sam are from series exclusive to the Chaparral, where I work.

Another piece from the Vintage Halloween series is dancing on the book shelf.

More needlepoint on the stair case book shelf.

A witch house, from the Chaparral's Vintage Halloween series, on the book shelf.

An MCM angel, no longer available, and Halloween stand ups on the very large book shelf in the staircase.

Noah's Ark and animals, from Melissa Shirley, were done as a series by me through the Chaparral. A stitch guide booklet is available.

At the top of the stairs is a snug little sitting area with a chair of needlepoint pillows.

Three pillows nestle in a chair at the top of the stairs. The Oct. 31 and the cherries with the ax are both part of a series we designed at the Chaparral.


The pillow behind the front two is a Christmas wreath that lives in the chair all year!

Beautiful wreath pillow. I love the lilies on this wreath!

Thank you OMFS, for letting us roam around your house and showing us how you live with needlepoint!

HOME TOUR: One of my favorite student’s house! Part 1

 One of my favorite student’s, who will be referred to as OMFS, house is on a corner in a cute neighborhood in Houston.  OMFS has been needlepointing for a long time and really enjoys, what she calls, “serial” stitching-she loves to stitch series of things and has done several, including fruits and vegetables (from Sundance Designs), a small nativity with lots of pieces, and the Halloween and Americana series that Carol C. and I designed for the Chaparral Needlework here in Houston, among others.  She doesn’t really have a theme of needlepoint , and like me, selects canvases she thinks would be fun to stitch. She likes to have an eclectic collection of antiques and needlepoint and I love to go to her house and see her needlepoint and precious treasures. She also enjoys needlepoint classes and so generously gives many of her ornaments as gifts and stitches frequently for charity auctions, even stitching for a friend’s auction for a school her children did not go to!  She has always done lots of volunteering and community service and keeps busy with her volunteering, playing bridge and Mah jong, and she loves to travel.  A mom with 2 grown children, she and her husband live in a beautiful home that is so comfortable, casual, and welcoming.


OMFS  has needlepoint all over her house and keeps her holiday things out all year.  So here is a tour of her lovely home and her beautiful and fun needlepoint!

In the music room, OMFS has lots of needlepoint, mainly a sofa crowded with needlepoint pillows. (You know how much I love sofas crammed with needlepoint pillows!)  She has an assortment of pillows from all different artists on her sofa.

Leigh canvas is stunning and OMFS used lovely stitches!

To see more of the tall ship canvases in this series, see http://www.leighdesigns.com/Grp712x.html.

This pillow was fun and a different stitch was used on each lizard. An M.C. Escher style canvas that is no longer available.

To read about the artist M.C. Escher, see this web site:  http://www.mcescher.com/

Fruit canvas from Lee Designs is no longer available.

Beautiful palm pillow from J.P. Designs has soothing colors. The finishing is gorgeous!

And on a chest in the music room,  a bowl of nativity figures and a collection of the Nutcracker ballet characters, which decorate the music room throughout the year.

Nutcracker series decorates the top of the chest all year long. From A Collection of Designs.

Close up of the Nutcracker series stitched by the owner.

A small needlepoint nativity set collection is kept in an antique blue and white bowl in the music room.

In the wide hallway of the house, near the front door, is an antique chest and chair decorated with a turkey pillow.

Adorable turkey pillow in the front hallway. Canvas is from Amanda Lawford.

Close up of turkey pillow. Wonderful sheer leaf ribbon used around the needlepoint.

The dining room is very large and in two side chairs, she has put pillows she has done.

Antique chair is covered with a classic check taffeta and is decorated with a shore bird pillow.


Canvas is from Dream House Ventures.