Sunday, August 27, 2017

Have your Zen moment with Zecca

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

What a week! Politics aside... Mother Nature is showing us who's boss. Hang in there, Texas!!

We need a moment of Zen, and needlepoint from Zecca is just the right place to start.

Karen Hennessey creates a wonderful world of color, design and thoughtfulness. For me, it all began with "Early Bird" (ZE -107).

"Early Bird" by Zecca (ZE-107)
stitch guide by Robin King

I also stitched the "Thistle" (ZE-178) and "Lotus Squared" (ZE-134) ... small designs with lots of techniques to share. Great teachable moments! These commercial stitch guides are available thru your Local/Favorite Needlepoint stores from Zecca.

(Side note: Zecca will attend the Dallas Market on September 9th weekend. It is a Cash & Carry Market; your shop owner can bring some Zecca goodness to you. 😊)

"Early Bird" (ZE-107) by Zecca
Stitch guide by Robin King 

"Thistle" (ZE-178 ) by Zecca
Stitch guide by Robin King

"Lotus Squared" (ZE-134) by Zecca
Stitch guide by Robin King

I have also written many custom stitch guides for Zecca canvases... 19 so far. 😊
  • Birds in Paradise 1 (ZE-344A)
  • Make Stuff Be Happy (ZE-314)
  • Bird Purse (ZE 208)
  • Turquoise Paisley (ZE-330)
  • Home is Where the Heart Is (ZE-379)
  • Molting Season (ZE-280)
  • Vested Owl (ZE-318)
  • Winter (ZE-103)
  • Fall (ZE-99)
  • Summer (ZE-98)
  • The Librarian (ZE-258)
  • Koi Pond (ZE-326)
  • Housework (ZE-322)
  • Wading (ZE-341)
  • Little Family (ZE-256)
  • Anu (ZE-282)
  • Many Birds (ZE-293)
  • Peacock (ZE-262A)
  • Don't Pursue Happiness... Create It. (ZE-118)

Here's some of those stitch guides finished. Love it when stitchers send me photos!

"Many Birds" by Zecca (ZE-293)
stitched by Leslie Hanna
stitch guide by Robin King

"Molting Season" by Zecca (ZE-280)
"Wading" by Zecca (ZE-341)
stitched by Alice Gertzman
stitch guides by Robin King

"Vested Owl" by Zecca (ZE-318)
stitched by Jan Stone
stitch guide by Robin King

"Little Family" by Zecca (ZE-256)
stitched by Jane Makowka
stitch guide by Robin King

"Don't Pursue Happiness... Create It." by Zecca (ZE-118)
stitched by Luanne Samson
stitch guide by Robin King

Currently, there could not be a truer message for me than this canvas called "Housework."  πŸ˜€

"Housework" by Zecca (ZE-322)
stitch guide by Robin King

Last thing to show you is how finishing can enhance one's needlepoint. I finished my "Lotus Squared" canvas into a black lacquered box which was handy for traveling and teaching. Plus, I really like to have useful items, too.

"Lotus Squared" by Zecca (ZE-134)
stitch guide by Robin King

Several years ago, I taught at Ruth Schmuff's shop, Bedecked and Beadazzled. Ruth stitched the same "Lotus Squared" and had hers framed; she does love color.  What a talented lady!

"Lotus Squared" by Zecca (ZE-134)
stitched by Ruth Schmuff
stitch guide by Robin King

Well, that's all for now. Go discover Zecca and find your inner Zen. ☮

Until the next time... HUGS!  Robin

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Sun, The Moon and The Eclipse

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

Sunday... SUN day. Monday... MOON day. Today is Sunday; my newly designated day to blog. 😊 Tomorrow is a special Monday: it's Eclipse Day for 14 of these United States. Entering at Oregon and exiting at South Carolina, we will get to experience briefly the absence of the Sun... a total Eclipse.

Solar Eclipse 2017 pathway
from NOAA

What is a Solar Eclipse? It occurs when the Moon crosses between the Earth and the Sun. Only those experiencing daylight can witness the Solar Eclipse. (Conversely, at night, one would experience a Lunar Eclipse when the Full Moon goes behind the Earth.)

Ever ask the question how can the tiny Moon block the big Sun? Here's an interesting explanation from NASA.

Science and Math!

This isn't our first Solar Eclipse, but it has been a while (in 1776) since one traveled only in the USA. There have been other Solar Eclipses limited to only a few states. Tomorrow's is the big mama jamma! 70 miles wide!! and over 2,450 miles long. This is the Eclipse of our life!

Solar Eclipse Timeline
from NOAA

There are cool websites showing the pathway of tomorrow's Eclipse and when/where to expect it in your neighborhood.
I live in Memphis and we will have 93.3% of the Sun blocked at the peak at 1:23:08PM Central Time. A partial Eclipse, but still very cool!!

as the Eclipse passes over Tennessee

I see a Solar Eclipse in your future, too.

I plan on experiencing this Eclipse. I will be outside. I want to feel the Eclipse on my shoulders. Pat says the wind should kick up. I WILL NOT LOOK at the SUN!!! Never ever do it. You only have one pair of eyes. (There was a man on TV who had looked during a partial Eclipse in the 1960s and he still has partial blindness today.) There will be enough TV coverage to watch the replay from the comfort of your own home. Only the ISO 12312-2 safety standard Solar Eclipse glasses should be used. But be careful, there are "fake" Solar Eclipse glasses out there!!

There are websites showing how to view the Solar Eclipse using a box (creating a Camera Obscura). Hey wait... isn't this a needlepoint blog? Oops. Sorry. I get really jazzed over science events. Keeping with the Sun/Moon theme, let's talk needlepoint.

Two years ago when teaching at The Nimble Needle-Atlanta for a canvas enhancement class, Adrienne P. attended and submitted this clever canvas "Sun and Moon Phases" (CBK Needlepoint • artist, Brenda Kooler • KDS-PL 07 • 12.75" square on 13 mesh) for a stitch guide. 

"Sun and Moon Phases"
CBK Needlepoint • artist, Brenda Kooler

Look at these fun happy threads! Raises your spirit, doesn't it. 😊

Imagine the possibilities.
Stitch guide by Robin King

Adrienne recently finished the canvas and sent me a photo. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled. Awesome job, Adrienne!!!

"Sun and Moon Phases" • KDS-PL 07
stitched by Adrienne Pease
Stitch guide by Robin King

Many, many years ago I stitched this "Crescent Moon" by Shelly Tribbey (H209); stitch guide by Amy Bunger. I learned several techniques on this canvas: AppliquΓ©d Flair (cheek), Cut Turkey Work (pumpkin fringe), Ruching (hair), and Raised Stem (eyelid). Thanks, Amy for helping me build my needlepoint repertoire! 

"Crescent Moon" • Shelly Tribbey H209
Stitch guide by Amy Bunger
stitched by Robin King

Here's one of my favorite stitches for a Moon... Irregular Eyelets. 

Try Petite Silk LamΓ© Braid for just the right shimmer.

The Eyelets are different shapes with different length legs. They can also have offset "eyes." Great look for creating the Moon's craters on a Halloween canvas. You can use Petite Silk LamΓ© Braid or Kreinik size 4 on 18 mesh... or even some Glow in the Dark thread. Boo!

Oh, and one last thing... an Eclipse Cocktail. After all, we do need to "properly" celebrate this celestial occasion. Here's a recipe from the blog.

Total Solar Eclipse Cocktail Recipe
• 4 ounces Sparkling Clementine or Orange Pop
• 1.5 ounces Dark Rum
• Orange Slice for Garnish

1. Pour Sparkling Clementine or Orange Pop over Ice in a cocktail glass.
2. Gently pour Dark Rum on top.
3. Garnish with an Orange slice.

Well, that all for now. Going to get my chores done today so I can enjoy the Eclipse tomorrow.

Be safe!!! Until then... HUGS, Robin

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Beading Wrap-up

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

Thought I'd wrap up our conversation on Beading. So far we've talked about Stitch Beading and Bricked Beading. Today we will talk about some other Beading techniques you might want to use on your needlepoint.

Let's begin with Messy Beading. I first heard about this from another needlepoint teacher, Julia Snyder. I'd like to show you how I do Messy Beading. The general concept is to add multiple beads at a time per stitch. Permission given to add the Beads in a random fashion; pile them on, if you wish.

When I was stitching this flower on the "Flowers in a Vase" canvas (ND 311),  I wanted a "ring" of beads at the outer edge of the flower center. I was going for a 3D effect and decided to try Messy Beading. I used size 11 Seed Beads and added 3 Beads at a time per stitch. I really liked the look. Thank you, Julia for your endless creativity.

Messy Beading example
"Flowers in a Vase" (ND 311)

Next let's talk about Piggyback Beading. It is when you have one Bead stacked on top of another Bead. The larger Bead is on the bottom and the smaller Bead is on top... going along for the ride.

When I was stitching the "Lotus Squared" canvas by Zecca (ZE 134), I used the Piggyback Beading technique for the Red Dots. I used size 6 Bead for the bottom Bead and size 11 Bead for the top Bead. What a great way to take deal with dots; letting the Beads do all the heavy lifting.

Piggyback Beading example
"Lotus Squared" (Zecca  ZE134)

Next let's talk about String Beading. This technique can have both ends attached to the canvas or one end attached with the other end loose.

I used the "both ends" secured when I laid down a string of Beads on top of a Ribbon for some extra decoration.

String Beading - secured example
"Lotus Squared" (Zecca  ZE134)

I used the "one end" secured when I made a Tassel with Beads on my "Nutcrackers Christmas Stocking" (Shelly Tribbey CS17). Notice how you can use a combination of Beads (Bugle Beads and Seed Beads).

String Beading - one end secured example
"Nutcrackers Christmas Stocking"
(Shelly Tribbey CS17)

Throw on a Bicone Crystal Bead and call me happy. 😊

Next up: Lasso Beading.  I use the Lasso Beading Technique when there is a single Bead standing all by itself.

Last technique I'd like to mention is the Stacked Beads. This is what I did on the "Sunflower and Berries" (ND 309). You bring the needle up where you want the stack. Add the Beads that make up the stack. Take the needle and thread back down through all Beads (except the top Bead) and give a little tug to make the stack stand up. 

Stacked Beads example
"Sunflower and Berries" (ND 309)

But wait.. there's more. You can add a Bead whenever there is a Tent Stitch. You can use a Bead to attach a Sequin. You can use Beads when making Jessicas. The possibilities are endless.  πŸ˜Š

My last helpful hint is to secure (on the backside of the canvas) the beaded technique before you move to another area. We want to make sure the Beads don't get loose!

Well, that's all for now. Time to see what's for lunch. 

Until the next time... HUGS, Robin

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Bricked Beading (aka Beaded Brick Stitch) with Robin

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

Hello fellow Bead-niks. 😊

How was your week? I've been writing stitch guides for my upcoming Canvas Enhancement class next month at Quail Run Needlework in Scottsdale, AZ; September 23-26, 2017.

Look at these fun canvases!

upcoming new Stitch Guides by Robin King

The artists are Quail Run Designs, Susan Roberts Needlepoint (artist, Ashley Dillon), Maggie Co. (artist, Karla Gerard), Tapestry Fair (artist, Pat Scheurich), Nenah Stone, NeedleDeeva, Julia's Needleworks (artist, Peter Ashe), Winnetka Designs, and Shorebird Designs (artist, Kathryn Molineux).

I still have these 3 canvases to work on this week; artists include Trubey Designs, Quail Run Designs, and Birds of a Feather.

"Iris" by Trubey Designs
Stitch Guide by Robin King

"Bright Cactus" by Quail Run Designs
Stitch Guide by Robin King

"Bon Voyage" by Birds of a Feather
Stitch Guide by Robin King

As always, these stitch guides will be available from me after the class (September 23-26, 2017). You can email me for any information including wholesale inquiries at

Last week's topic, Stitch Beading with Robin, was a success. The Needlepoint Study Hall blog had 2300 viewers. Wow and thank you! 😊

Today, let's continue with another type of Beading called Bricked Beading or Brick Beading. You might even call it Beaded Brick. Either way is good with me.

Long time followers of this blog might remember an earlier episode (April 8, 2010) about Beaded Brick Stitch. You can step into the Way-Back Machine to read about the link I've provided.  But, we will discuss it again because it is such an interesting technique.

First, let's understand the concept: you are doing the Brick Stitch using Beads instead of Thread.

You will follow the Brick Stitch pathway adding a Bead one stitch at a time. Generally speaking, you will want to use slightly larger beads compared to the canvas mesh you are using (for example, a size 11 Seed Beads on an 18 mesh canvas) so the Bead sits over the hole. You will still use one long strand Beading Thread doubled in the needle.

Then, all you need to do is to Bead. Become one with your zen spirit and watch the pattern develop. Here are some examples of Bricked Beading from my stitch guides.

Beaded Brick stitch Red, Pink Hearts
Stitch Guide by Robin King
Jolly Nutcrackers • dede Ogden

Beaded Brick stitch Pumpkin Face
Stitch Guide by Robin King
Floating Cat Pumpkin Balloon
 Kirk & Bradley • KB115 

Beaded Brick stitch Apple
Stitch Guide by Robin King
Gone Fishin' • Annie Lane • 0151
model stitched by Dwana McKee, Dallas, TX

Wanna know something cool? You can also use Triangle Japanese Seed Beads for your Beaded Brick stitch. I used them for some of the Skull Heads on the "Head Games" stitch guide; artist Sandra Gilmore/Once in a Blue Moon/ Fleur, SG-13-032. Very effective!

Beaded Brick technique Skull
Stitch Guide by Robin King
Head Games • Sandra Gilmore • SG-13-032
model stitched by Sheilah King, Atlanta, GA

Triangle Beads very effective!
Stitch Guide by Robin King
Head Games • Sandra Gilmore • SG-13-032
model stitched by Sheilah King, Atlanta, GA

Hmmm...looking at my remaining Quail Run stitch guides... I'm thinking some of the blooms on the "Bright Cactus" might be fun in the Beaded Brick technique.

Well, that's all for now. Onward for the rest of our Sunday. Have a good week. Tell your friends about Needlepoint Study Hall. I'm back! 😊  See you next Sunday.

Until then... Hugs!  Robin

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