August 23, 2021

Count your Blessings stitch by stitch! What a wonderful design Marie Driskill from Blackberry Lane invented for us. Just stop for a minute and think how lucky we are to have our favourite hobby. I personally blessed to have a chance to own my shop and share my best knowledge about all these silks and hand dyed linens, sharp embroidery scissors and cross stitch charts.

This lady has a basket full of needlework goodies and a beautiful flowers and blackberry trellis are also included. 

If you need pins, we have something to offer in put pins department by JUBCO. 

June 20, 2021

I was always wondering not only about my Designs that I offer in my Shop, but also the personality who makes that things. Who are they? Why did they choose to make that pattern, that color, that fabric? I am trying to find out more information for myself and for you to better understand the World of Needlework!

And so I decided to ask couple questions to one of the best Designers of porcelain dolls, Marie Findley, who likes to paint her dolls for you. We are thousand miles away but I always happy to get boxes from Marie!



Let's chat with us: 

1. How long are you doing your doll painting? 

I started making dolls in January 1990. They were small baby dolls and large reproduction dolls.
I did this for 10 years, then I nearly gave it away until I discovered the half dolls.

I was asked by a shop to make some half dolls for her and then 2 more shops asked me and so the business started in 2003 when I had to get a business name.
I supplied 3 craft shops who then did all the doll shows. I didn’t have time to do the shows myself as I was too busy.

2. What is the process of painting dolls and how long does it usually take to make one doll?

First I have to make the doll.
You get liquid porcelain and pour it into a mold, leave it for a few minutes, then pour out the porcelain so the doll is hollow in the centre. You leave the doll in the mold for the day and then take it out. It takes about 2 to 3 days to dry (depending on the weather).

You then clean the doll, take off all the seams and any marks and make the doll smooth.

It then goes into the kiln and fires at 1200 degrees which take about a day, then the kiln takes another 8 hours to cool so you can take the doll out.

If the doll needs to be shiny I then put the glaze on it and back into the kiln for another day.

Then I start painting.

I paint the pink flesh first and put the doll in the kiln.

I start with the face first.

I paint the eyebrows, then the cheeks, then the black dots in the eyes and then the lips and then the hair. I then put the doll into the kiln again.

I then paint the colour in the eye and paint what ever is on the head and back into the kiln.

I then paint the body, back into the kiln.

If the dolls needs another coat of paint on the body I do it, then back into the kiln.

The gold is last.

Every time the doll goes into the kiln that is a day, so sometimes the doll can go into the kiln about 7 or 8 times.

3. Do you see increase or decrease interest in porcelain dolls?
The increase for the half dolls overseas since Giulia  (Giulia Punti Antichi) started doing patterns and found my site has been good for me as the half dolls in Australia is just about finished. 

They mainly only do bead knitting out here as it has been going for so many years.

4. Do you have some special names for doll you paint?
I don’t give the dolls names I just use what ever the name is on the mold.
5. Are there any difference in interest what dolls order from US or Australia? For example I order lots of Maria Theresia and Norma June. What other favourites do you have in orders?
In America it is mainly Norma June.

In Russia it is Carol grape lady, Debra, Millie, Grace, Renoir, Gretal anything really.

Thank you very much for answering my questions!

May 29, 2021

Happy Memorial Day! Featuring design for this post The Blue Flower: Greyhound year.

Counted cross stitch chart for 12 monthy expressed dogs!

January- the doggy in sweater with warm cup of coffee.

February- President excited dog.

March- doggy in the rain.

April- Easter dog!

May- flowery doggy.

June- dog with squashes.

July- patriotic dog.

August- great swimmer dog.

September- here is your school ready dog.

October- halloween inspired dog.

November- of course Turkey-friendly dog.

December- ready to open presents dog.

Enjoy your stitchery!

March 24,2021

Wonderful Needlepoint and Counted canvas work!

This is very interesting and wonderful world of different threads! 

Why is it so magical? Because you could create different textures with just couple

threads: from Silk to Wool, from cotton to Perles. Add some sparkles or leave it in

traditional way. There will be depth in colors, true illusion and kaleidoscope of stitches, burst of everything mixing together!

Sometimes Needlepoint is called "Fiber Art" as it is really the way of creation.

Let's take a look at materials: 

1. All kind of threads

Very often in the key of every counted needlepoint chart you could see thick threads, woolen, non divided silk threads or metallics. Designers use different companies such as Caron, Threadworx, DMC Perle, even ribbons to archive interesting 3D effect and color. If you compare plain cross stitch to needlepoint and other counted canvas designs, you could see how your work is beginning to thrive. Literally. 

Sometimes you want to make a conversion from one color to another. Especially of that particular thread has been discontinued and you need to finish your work. Go ahead, it is Needlepoint! Possibilities are endless. Threads could be found here.

2. Canvas and congress cloth

These two options are used for counted canvas work. Canvas is more strong woven option for your work, it comes in 14, 13, 18 counts. It is similar to Aida cloth but is using especially for purposes of needlepoint. 

If you prefer smaller count and more delicate look, use Congress cloth. Please note, not every thread, especially thick one will go thru it. 

3. Special accessories

Oh yes, there are special things around counted canvas work! First of all you will need a nice pair of stretcher bars. Not qsnaps, not hoops, BARS. They made from soft pine wood, allow to reuse it couple times after you finish stitchery. They are perfect for all needlepoint, cost a very fair price and a must have for you!

When you buy design, they usually put all sizes and materials needed for the project. If the size is not listed, I will help you to figure out. It should be little bit more than your stitchery area. Besides stretcher bars you will need tacks. Very useful with special unpinning tool, so you could use them again and again. 

4. Charts

In counted canvas there are no that much Designers like in cross stitch but they all are very special and have their own style! 

-Needle Delights Originals and it's owner Kathy Rees. She is a burst of colors! I was very pleased to meet Kathy at Nashville Needlework Market in 2020 and took a closer look at her creations. I am still in search of the the design that I have to stitch first as there are so may of them! My "problem" is that I also love colors! I do love my job because of colors. 

-Brenda E.Kocher and her wonderful designs. She enjoys blending different colors and textures and she uses very easy to offer threads in her designs. I am especially glad to make a note of this. I just love her nostalgic designs, my favourite is Pine Trees. 

-Kurdy Biggs and Threedles Needleart Design. Fantastic classics with lots of silk threads, bicones, textured threads and even hand painted canvases. 

- Deb Bee's Designs: a power of geometry! Her "Royal Garden" in Greens and Purples is my absolute best seller!


March 17,2021

Tulip is the springiest flower. There are so many forms and colors, from exquisite 
and proud, joyfully variegated to delicate, small buds.
According to an old and beautiful legend, Fairies made their small beds inside
Designers around the world often bring their attention to tulip motifs in
embroidery, giving us a variety of patterns and inspiration for creativity!

- " Pink Tulip Collage" from Laura J. Perin: very tender flower in different
needlepoint stitches.
We could see so many shades of pink in it. You will need special canvas,
wooden stretcher bars and beautiful threads with different textures.
You could add everything you need to start this project HERE.

- Jeannette Douglas Designs "Tulip Shaker Box" is a scattering of tiny tulips
on linen, arranged in a shaker box. You can order the box, which is made by hand to order.
Very cool piece, find it here.
- Glendon Place's "Dance of the Tulips" is a real spring color therapy piece! 
The design uses hand-dyed linen, silk floss and beads.
You can order any fabric for this design, but beautiful transitions
and textures are archieved only by varigiated floss, so you will not have
a single repeating petal and you will get a real masterpiece!
Dance of the Tulips is hiding right here.
- Jan Houtman's design "Tulip sampler" is a traditional sampler with
an abundance of different types of tulips, sampler alphabet and patterns.
Very easy and useful key in DMC threads.
This big design could be found here.
- Tellin Emblem's "Potted Posies Sampler - Tulips" is a treasure 
for primitive fans, bright and sunny bouquet of flowers.
There are DMC threads in the chart which is especially wonderful
and easy to find. You could check this graphic design here.
- Rosewood Manor's "Art Nouveau tulip" is a stylized design that looks 
very impressive and original, but, as a rule, the cover of this chart
does not show you the result of the embroidered work.
These and other designs are available to order on our website!


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