Peacocks in Magnolia Tree

Peacocks in Magnolia Tree
24" X 60" Alkyd and Gold Leaf on Board

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Needlepoint Stitching a Beautiful Hand Painted Peacock Needlepoint Canvas

Now this Peacock hand painted canvas is not completed yet, but you should know I work on multiple canvases at once.  I'm working on about ten or more at once, have a book beside me taking notes for stitch guides, and trying out different stitches on each canvas.  Why, so I can learn, and have time to make decisions when something doesn't work out.  I'm learning to stitch, but also learning how to paint a needlepoint canvas for stitching.  You all know I understand how to design and paint a painting. However, just as a design for a stained glass window is quite different  from a design for etched glass, so too a design for Needlepoint painting is different than just painting a canvas to frame and hang on the wall.  You need to design with more space around the main subject and the edge of the painted design so the stitcher can do a background stitch easily.  I don't believe stitching a needlepoint canvas should be vexing, trying, or simply piss you off.  Trying to count around the foreground and middle ground to execute the background is very irritating IF you have no clear space to set up the stitching for the background.  I now know to provide that space in the design.
This Peacock Canvas is large and complicated, but oddly I find it easy to stitch.  Sally London at Rainbow Gallery helped me pick out the threads I'm using, but I'm also using some Kreinik Braids, and DMC floss.  I love this canvas, and love the effects I can achieve.  Here is the 20" X 20" stretched Canvas hand painted on Zweigart 13 count canvas.
Blue and Gold Peacock Needlepoint Canvas  Designed and painted by Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno
Copyright: HouseofChabrier Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno 2011

I started stitching on the head, neck, and back, but also worked on the Peacock feathers around the edge.  Here is how I stitched the head and neck in a tent stitch.
I outlined the Head , neck, crest, and eye in black DMC cotton using a tent stitch.  I then used a very dark blue DMC cotton with a Very Fine Kreinik Braid in combination to stitch the neck and head feathers.  I then switched to pure Metallic Kreinik braid to get the gleam I wanted in the Neck..
I wanted to show how I leave spaces to fill with another color of thread.  This allows me to blend colors in advance, and not create an unwanted line between two shades of thread.
 The Gold outline for the back feathers is done in a
Kreinik Metallic Mediem #16 Gold Braid.  The lower Blue back feathers are outlined in a Deep Blue Kreinik Metallic #16 Braid
I used Rainbow Gallery Neon Rays N10 Cream color for the creamy beige portion of  the Peacock Eye Feathers, and I bought 6 packets of this ribbon, and I have used just about every packet and I have 7 more peacock feathers to go. I love stitching with this ribbon it goes down so evenly and beautifully.  It's very lovely to stitch with.  I also stitched the gold center of each peacock feather differently just for the fun of it.

The eye of the peacock is critical, and since I have painted many peacocks I wanted the eye to look the same as when I paint one.  I also wanted the beak to look natural so I stitched it in brown and beige DMC cotton.  

This is how the Peacock's head, beak, neck, back, and the Peacock feathers look nearly completed.  I add the gray blue shadow stitch to emphasize the gold feather stitching.  I used different colors of Rainbow Gallery Crystal Braid  in shades of crystal blue, pale green, and pale blue to make the feathers shimmer.  This canvas photo doesn't show the way I am stitching the outer feathers, but I will share that later.
 This is a close up of the head stitching.  You can see it's a simple tent stitch, very easy to do, as it the feather tufts on the Peacock crest which is stitched similar to how the crest looks in real life.
This shows the gold barbed wires that support the Peacock crest and allows him to raise and lower it to show his pleasure or displeasure.

Well dear readers I hope you enjoy this insight into my stitching of what looks like a complex canvas that is made easy by stitching one component at a time.  I have also a Venetian Mask in progress, and will share it with you soon.  Right now I'm almost finished with my small Hanimal Zebra drinking from a pool on the Serengeti, and also almost finished with a quite different Hanimal Peacock shaped a designed based on James Shanahan's hand.  Stitching should be fun, and if you love it and persevere you can accomplish so much.  
HAPPY NEW YEAR  to all my dear friends, family, extended families, and beloved readers.  May health, wealth, and prosperity be yours in the coming year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Needlepoint Stitching Fanciful Fish Designed From a Child's Hand Print!

Green and Purple Fanciful Fish Designed, Painted, and Copyrighted by: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno
House of Chabrier 2013
This fish was fun to stitch, and I enjoyed the Crayola Crayon colors.  Because it's a child's hand I didn't even try to make it resemble a real fish.
I first stitched the background.  I took June McKnight's advice from her background books.  Sometimes it's just easier to stitch over some of the design and count the threads when the main subject of the canvas is not stitched.  For the water I used Rainbow Gallery Silk Lame Braid SL49.  I love this thread for it is easy to stitch with, doesn't unravel, and adds a little sparkle to the silk color.  It's lovely and I use it frequently.  I usually stitch water horizontally, but I wanted to give the feeling of the fish swimming in water that is moving.
The sand and distant mountains are done in Anchor cotton.  The sand is stitched in a brick stitch, and the distant wavy hills in a horizontal brick stitch.
I outlined the fish with Kreinik Metallic Mediem Braid in a Deep Blue Color 033.  I used a cross stitch to outline the fish, and make the blue lines in the fins.  This Blue is repeated in the border where I stitched and X in every four holes, and allowed the lighter blue of the border to shine through.

 The inside of the fish is done in tent stitch, but I did the outline of the scales first in a Turquoise Blue.  I used Kreinik Metallics 006 Medium braid.  The Eye is outlined in Black Rainbow Gallery, and also the pupil which is done in a a satin stitch, and built up to be padded and rounded.
The Deep Purple scales of the fish are again stitched in a tent stitch using Kreinik Metallic Medium #16 Braid.  The Medium color of purple is Kreinik Metallic Medium #16 Braid 012.  The fins between the fingers are stitched in that wonderful Rainbow Gallery Gold Rush XS Crystal Clear.  I made up the stitch and it varies with each fin to fit the direction of the spread fingers.  The little star fish is just done in a tent stitch with 2 colors of Kreinik Red braid.
This is the finished canvas of my Purple and Green Mardi Gras fish swimming happily in the ocean with  little pearl bubbles emanating from his little mouth.  Happiness is stitching, and I'm going to return to my Green Lazy Boy Leather chair and resume stitching my Thirsty Little Zebra getting a little drink from a waterhole on the Serengeti.  It's almost done, and I can't wait to share it with you.                                                            

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Needlepoint Stitching a Cavorting Camel Dancing in the Desert

I loved stitching this silly and fun canvas.  
Cavorting Camel Dancing in the Desert Designed, Painted and Stitched by Annie
Copyright: HouseofChabrier Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno 2013

This is how I started the Camel Canvas.  I stitched the Purple Kreinik Metallic XXX Border every 4 holes in the canvas.  I chose Rainbow Gallery Tweedie for the Camels rough coat, and I stitched in a simple Brick Stitch.  I wanted the Camel to look like the ones in the Zoo or walking around the desert that have shaggy bits on the neck and legs, and short woolly look to the main coat.  I also wanted to emphasize the hand print so I only did the brick stitch for the hand and changed to tent stitch for the face.  The sand of the desert I chose a pattern from the Pamphlet Rhapsody Geometric Satin Stitches (III) Designed by Sandra Murray.  The Pattern 4 is a sweet, very textural open pattern that looks like grains of wheat, or textured foot prints in the sand.  I stitched the sand in DMC Cotton Pearle 901 combined with a very Fine Kreinik Metallic #4 Braid 202HL for the first 3 rows up (I started at the bottom of the sand.).  I then switched to Anchor 089 Cotton combined with the Kreinik Metallic 202HL fine Braid for the next 3 rows, and then proceeded all the way to the mountains with Anchor 942 Beige Cotton mixed with the 202HL Fine Gold Braid.  In painting there is usually more texture and detail in the foreground as things go further away from us they become flatter, less detailed and more hazy.  That is why the threads grow less textured and lighter as they fade back from the camel.  The Camel is the center of interest as is the Child's hand, and should be the most dark and detailed to accomplish this effect.  Whatever you do...DON'T stitch all that mane, hair, and tail before you do the complete background.  Otherwise you will be fighting that hair, and having a terrible time counting threads when doing all the background stitching.

The  Sky is Stitched in Rainbow Gallery Crystal Braid Yellow CR07.  I love crystal braid, for it blends with the paint color, and it allows the background paint color to shine through.  I used another stitch from June McKnight's book Decorative Backgrounds for Needlepoint.  You can find the Alicia Lace stitch on page 20 of her book, and it's a wonderful easy stitch to do.  The effect against the pale misty blue mountains is the desert at dawn.  The Pale Blue mountains are stitched in tent stitch using a Rainbow Gallery Silk Lame Braid, but I (Oh tragic mistake!) didn't write the number down...woe is me, and I'm usually so good about it.  Having fun, and wanting to complete a canvas can interfere with the practical, well thought out parts of your life. One can get very involved when designing, redesigning, and stitching a Needlepoint Canvas.  Dishes don't get done, floors don't get swept, but I love my Husband so Dinner does get made.  Needle point is fun to do, relaxing, and is easy to pick up for a few minutes and then leave off to do another more pressing task.  The Horizon line is stitched in Kreinik Metallics Medium #16 Braid 9294.   The inside border is 3 stitched wide and done in Kreinik Metallics Balger Medium #16 Braid No. 015.  It is a bright Yellow Green, and the Outside border is 6 stitches wide done in Kreinik Metallics Medium #16 Braid No.012 Bright Lavender.  The Mane and Tail are stitched with Rainbow Gallery Fuzzy Stuff-FZ21 combined with Arctic Rays AR10  stitched closest to the body of the came.  I combined Rainbow Gallery Faux Fur Black FF2 and Arctic Rays Wispy Fringe AR10 in the same needle stitched in an uneven random way leaving space in between to stitch the long hair and beard.  This was what I finished with and I stitched the smiley face, out line, and eye in Kreinik Metallic Black #16 Braid 005.  I love stitching my Cavorting Camel, and I'm already planning what I'm going to turn these canvases into.  
If you wish to purchase this canvas or any other canvas please Email me at:  
Here is a closeup of all the stitching that went into the Cavorting Camel Dancing in the Desert!
.Copyright: Houseof Chabrier Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno 2013  All Rights Reserved

Keep stitching, drawing, painting, acting, singing, dancing, cooking, and enjoying Life.  Life is a lot shorter than we think!  Even as we get older we still have our dreams from childhood, and it's always good to keep doing, achieving, and enjoying the life God has given us.  Thank you for reading my blog, and if you have any questions or comments just ask!  I'm always here, and working away.  Have a very good, easy, and productive day!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Floating Giraffe Handpainted Canvas Needlepoint Stitching Fun!

Every one should stitch a children's hand whimsically decorated with spots, turned into a Giraffe floating above a river with a menacing Crocodile.  I loved stitching this canvas from the Crocodile to the startled Oxpecker bird to the floating clouds.  I believe stitching should be stress free and a great deal of fun.  This one was easy and made me smile as I was stitching.  Here is my stitched canvas...

Floating Giraffe Hanimal Designed Painted and Copyrighted by: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier
Close up of the stitching on the Floating Giraffe trying to get a drink of water.
Perhaps you noticed I just left the paint on the Giraffe, and that was deliberate.  To me it's like a floating stuffed animal in a make believe world where you can escape Crocodiles just by magical wishing.  The background stitch is stitched in Sky Panels page 98 in the June McKnight book.  I adapted this stitch by eliminating the blank horizontal line between stitches.   The Sand is stitched in Brick stitch, page 48 in June McKnights Decorative Backgrounds for Needlepoint..  The crocodile is done in a satin stitch and tent stitch using Kreink Braid.  The Sky was stitched with 2 colors of Kreinik blue threads, and the clouds were stitched with Rainbow Gallery Gold Rush XS Crystal Clear.  I love the Rainbow Gallery Crystal Clear thread.  This thread is fantastic because it lets the blue color of the canvas glow through.  I can use this thread as I did on this canvas to paint with the thread like watercolor.  In a watercolor painting you allow some of the sky to remain the white of the paper where the clouds are.  At the top will be the heavier pigment, then you add water to lighten the pigment as you paint down to the horizon.  This RG Crystal Clear allows you to stitch over the cloud, over the blue to create a 3rd blue color and blend into the two Kreinik blue threads. No other Kreinik braid would work, and I tried when I misplaced my clear RG Crystal Clear, and had to clean up all the stitching area to find it.  The other crystal colors are too white, and obscure the paint.  Why didn't I use all Rainbow Gallery thread ...well I ran out of the Crystal blue braid and a couple of other Crystal colors on the Large Peacock canvas.  The sand is done in Dmc or Anchor cotton, and the little green dots on the hills is done in Kreinik Silk Perle.  The borders are done in Kreinik Braid. The Giraffe's mane and tail are done in Rainbow Gallery Wispy Fringe AR10 and Rainbow Gallery Fuzzy Stuff F207 dark brown. 
If you are interested in purchasing any of these canvases please write me at:
Remember the canvas will be slightly different from this canvas.  By stitching this design I know I want more space around the giraffe and the border.  That way the hoof isn't almost touching the left border, and the head of the Giraffe isn't crowding the right border.  The little Oxpecker bird has a little more space to fly away, and a little more space for the Crocodile.  I hope you enjoy seeing this little canvas stitched, and that it brings a smile to your lips and a little whimsy into your day.  Have a very good day, and a Happy New Year.
Thank you, for stopping by.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Annie's Needlepoint Stitching!

I have been busy for the last 8 months Needlepointing my own canvases, and a few of Barbra Trotters canvases.  I have learned a great deal in the past months, and learned how to design a better canvas because of having stitched.  I want to thank and show my appreciation for the books of June McKnight, Ruth Dilts, Sandra Murray, and Donna Kooler.  I like the book The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Chistensen, and the book Rhapsody Geometric Satin Stitches III by Sandra Murray.  My favorite books are those written by June McKnight,and I always have them close to my chair within reach of my avid mind and hands.  These books are simple, spiral bound, easy to use with simple instructions.  The illustration lays flat because of the spiral binding, and is on one small easy to follow page.  I love these books and reccomend them to anyone interested in stitching Needlepoint.
I also want to thank Sally London at Rainbow Gallery.  She provided me with advise about thread, advise about stitching, recommended threads I was not familiar with and was very helpful in many ways even she can't immagine. It's good to know someone is there to answer a question or two or three.  Thank YOU Sally!  I also want to thank Barbra from Jelly Bean Stock for just sharing ideas, commenting on the stitched canvases and being a good friend.  Somebody to share the joy and the frustrations is always a blessing.  
Here are some of the Canvases without any stitching I've been working on.  That will give you an idea of what you will see stitched.

 Blue and Cream Peacock Copyright: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno Houseof Chabrier

Dancing Dinos Pink and Yellow on Zweigart Canvas
Feelin' Luck Punk? Canvas designed by Barbra Trotter at Jelly Bean Stock
Copyright Jelly Bean Stock

 Green and Gold Venetian Mask Designed and Copyrighted by HouseofChabrier Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno
 Hand Animal Designed Painted, and Copyrighted by: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier
 Hand Animal Giraffe Designed by Copyrighted: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier
 Hand Animal Green Fish Designed and Copyrighted: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier
 Hand Animal Leopard Designed and Copyrighted: Anne E. shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier
 Hand Animal Tiger Designed and Copyrighted: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier
 Hand Animal Zebra Designed and Copyrighted: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier
 Hand Animal Camel Designed and Copyrighted: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier
 Hand Animal Lion Designed and Copyrighted: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier
 Hand Animal Peacock Designed and Copyrighted: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier
Hand Animal Sun Fish Designed and Copyrighted: Anne E. Shoemaker-Magdaleno HouseofChabrier

Sun Fish Stitched and Embellished with Ribbons and Pearls...

I have stitched most of these to completion or near completion.  The last one up is part of my Hand Animal Collection.  These were printed using James Shanahan's hand when he was in Kindergarden.  Each is Jame's hand painted with Acrylic Paint and printed on Zweigart Canvas. I then turned his hand into a fun Animal, and there are more handprints and designs to come.  If you remember a long time ago we painted the hands of all the children in Kindergarten ( that was done by Ale` Shanahan), and then their hands were printed on squareds of cloth, and I turned each childs hand into a different animal. This was then turned into a fabulous Quilt that was raffled off to earn money for the school.   I thought that would be so cute and fun for moms to do in Needlepoint so I did this series.  
Here is a finished canvas done of the SunFish Hanimal, all stitched.  I wrote a stitch guide for each canvas, and what you see on the original canvas is not what I ended up doing on the finished canvas as you will soon see.

I made up some of the stitches in this one, and created a random Diagonal stitch for the background.  As you can see I painted over the background plants with another coat of blue paint, and then stitched ribbon on top to create the effect of the green plants I painted over.  I will redesign this with more area for ocean around the fish, but at this stage of my stitching I'm happy with this little 10" X 10" canvas with the 7" design within.
I hope you like my experiments in stitching, and I will share another canvas with you tomorrow. I used Kreink Braids in the Fish, and Rainbow Gallery Neon Rays N01 in the background and in the Border.  The background stitch was Done in Rainbow Gallery Silk Lame Braid for 18ct, and the colors I used are SL49, SL76, and SL39.   Thank you for any feed back you care to give, and if you have any questions I will be happy to answer your questions.  I am also very open to suggestion, new stitches (to me), helpful hints, new threads, floss, and braids.  I love stitching because I did a great deal of hand embroidery and sewing as a young teenager and young mother.  I enjoy coming back to stitching in my old age.  Write when I get work!  I don't know if I really need any work as I'm devoting all my time to stitching my canvases and Barbs.  But new work is always welcome.  Enjoy your day, have a Happy New Year, and do what you LOVE!