Powered by Blogger.

My students are the BEST!!

Since the Pilot Class I had here at my home/studio, I have received some photos of completed pieces and I am so darn proud!!

Do you know the Yiddish word Naches?  Here is the definition...
noun: nachas
1. pride or gratification, esp. at the achievements of one's children.

Debi Shiozawa completed her Samburu piece and even jazzed it up with her own little tweak, (see beading on tassels).

Karen West completed her Samburu in a different colorway, and added some beading along the edges.

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

Today we added another new lacquer box/needlepoint insert to the ETSY shop!
Hamsa in brushed bronze lacquer box.
Back later!


La la la Lacquer

New lacquer boxes, new designs DAILY  here!


I'm furious and I'm gonna say it!

Every now and again, when I have 15-20 minutes of time to pass, I will pull out an old needlepoint magazine and read some of the articles I passed over when the magazine first arrived in my mailbox.  I like reading the humorous articles or ones that have some interesting stitching information. This morning I had a few such moments.

I read an article by a very well known, well respected designer/teacher, who will remain nameless. The point of the article was to explain that needlepoint "rules" are important, they have reasons and that they should be followed.  In attempting to explain this, the designer slammed a few people along the way, generalizing segments of the stitching population and on the whole being quite smug.  For instance, there was a generalization about stitchers under the age of thirty, how most of them did not learn needlepoint at their mother's knee, and being that they learned as adults, they had a tendency to skip certain lessons as well as be impatient when working on a piece.  They also, as the article explains, look down on advice from those that came before them.  I am not exaggerating, I am almost quoting word for word.  
Next came the example of a stitcher, a customer, no less, who brought in an "atrocious" piece of needlepoint with patches of Continental going every which way.  Great detail went into describing just how bad this piece was.  The customer apparently was silly enough not to know the name of the stitches she used and stubborn enough to be proud of her work.  

I found this article to be infuriating.  What is it about needlepoint that brings this type of attitude about?  My immediate reaction to any negative generalization about the young is to disregard. I think to myself, "Really? What are you attempting to accomplish by these remarks?  What good are you trying to bring about?"  You know, that attitude of lamenting how the younger generation is not up to our standards, it's the oldest trick in the book.  It's been going on since forever.  We heard it from our parents, they heard it from theirs, etc, etc.  Again, it's a generalization and it really doesn't do anybody any good.  
When I started to needlepoint and design I was in my early 40s.  I was one of the youngest stitchers in any setting that I stepped into.  I had never felt so young, a spring chicken, as I did in any needlepoint gathering.  Can you imagine the same situation had I decided to start learning how to paint, or how to sew, or how to make pottery?  In all of these situations people would have asked, "what made you decide to start doing this at your (late) age?"  I would have been among the older crowd.  But not in needlepoint!  No, no!  So what do we do to encourage a younger stitcher to join in? We generalize, we put them down for being less serious, less knowledgable, less patient, just less!  When I began my journey in needlepoint, I was definitely looked down upon by the old guard!  I had not "paid my dues", ( I swear I heard this comment), I was, (OMG), self taught, and I was designing? Who did I think I was? (I heard that one as well).  

Let's go a step further.  Embroidery is having a golden era of popularity in the past few years.  A young crowd, teens to people in their 30's and 40's, are into embroidery.  The new designers of embroidery have become rock stars, (Sublime Stitching is a good example).  I challenge you to find one article about how things "must" be done when doing "good" embroidery.  I challenge you to find the "holier than thou" attitude in that world.  What is going on?  Embroidery is as much an art form, as intricate and detailed a fine craft as needlepoint.  So why?  WHY?  

SO listen to me, you needlepoint geniuses, you dogmatic elders, you "putters downers", you need to lay off.  We need young people, we won't be here forever, not you, not me.  We need to appeal to a younger crowd, and I don't care if they know which path to take when doing basketweave!  I don't care if they lick the ends of their threads when they thread their needles!  I don't care what they call the stitches they are stitching!  I want them to try this wonderful art and I want them to get hooked.  I want them to love it and to keep it alive.  You guys are keeping them away, and I won't take it! Lay off!!  

And as for that customer who came into the shop with "the most atrocious conglomeration of stitches you have ever seen",  she came in feeling pride, you wanted to have her leave feeling ashamed.  To that I say, shame on you.

Whew.  I feel better now.  


PS - the designer I mention in the above rant is not to be singled out.  I've never met her and she may be a wonderful person. But her article the part of our needlepoint world that is unhealthy and unappealing. 


Lacquer and Fiber, what a delicious combo!

The shiny lacquer with the very tactile fibers is a gorgeous combination.  The textures are so different and yet together they are so elegant!  I've stocked my studio and my Etsy Shop with these beautiful boxes, I could not resist!  

Rose colored box with Contemporary Tartan insert

Contemporary Tartan up close
There is a SPECIAL DEAL available as well.  If you'd like to purchase the boxes with the designs shown in them, you will receive a 20% discount on the full kit!

Silver leaf box with Colorations inserted and Purple Tulipwood box with Midnight Garden
While the boxes are not inexpensive, they are much more affordable than framing and as you sit in your comfy chair stitching away, look over at the table next to you and there they will be,  lacquer and fiber all in a box.

and there is Legacy, of course!

They are extremely delicious!


More about my co-pilots:

Sorry I had to run off yesterday.  Nina is feeling much better but still stayed home today to get more Mommy pampering.  

On the second day of classes here at the "Factory" I was so surprised and excited to see a show-and-tell of my designs stitched by some of my co-pilots.  I'd like to share one in particular with you.  Carol stitched Windmills of Color, combining the colors on her own and coming up with a beautiful, sophisticated color scheme.  She told me she was very nervous and almost reluctant to try her own thing, but I, for one, am very happy she did.  

Windmills of Color - stitched and color selection by Carol Toman

These are my samples
On Sunday we worked on Samburu, the needlepoint and beading necklace.  I warned the ladies in advance that the piece is more difficult than it seems because it is stitched on the diagonal.  I went on and on, only to find out that they were not at all confused.  I guess it's just me, how embarrassing!

Diane cutting her Ultrasuede tassels

Joyce moving along with the design

Tara attaching the cord to the tassel

Ladies practicing folding back excess canvas

Karen working hard despite an injured hand

Putting together a beading sequence


To my dear co-pilots, THANK YOU!

What a weekend we had here at the Cigar Factory, Philadelphia! Three days, thirteen ladies, two classes and tons, I tell you, TONS of fun!  
The first class was piloting The Village I Built. While there was trepidation about stitching on 40 count silk gauze, each of the ladies at the end of the day agreed, it's not at all hard.  If you have the right lighting and good magnification, it's very doable.  What a great group of stitchers graced my home. Very accomplished and attentive, helpful with comments and insights, a teacher's dream team!

Everyone loved Esther.  They loved her so much that when they walked over to La Maude to pick up lunch, Esther went with them! We all agreed she was jealous of the attention I gave the ladies and was a bit of a pain.  This is Esther looking for the next victim to play ball with her...

Just got a phone call from the School Nurse...  off to pick Nina up, probably a stomach flu!  :(

More tomorrow...


New Goodies on Etsy!

New Thread Bundles...
New UltraSuede Bundles...

Some examples:


This is my LEGACY!

It's small but full of intricate stitching, beading and even appliqué. It comes in three colorways:
In Red
In Teal
In Chartreuse
Stitch them individually or as a triptych, they are lovely and striking.  The kits are all inclusive. You will receive the canvas matched to your colorway,  the 9 different threads; silks, metallics, ribbons and the Ultrasuede for the appliqué.  You will receive the beads and a very detailed instruction book with color charts and a laminated Master Chart. 
Would you like to stitch all 3 colorways? 
The 3 color kit is a discounted opportunity to stitch a triptych!

The complete kit is: $64.   

Would you like to stitch all 3 colorways?  The kit for 3 colorways is $120.  
You can find the kits HERE.

  (* Write to me if you are interested in the Enamel Boxes HERE) 


Looking for common denominator.

Do you see it?


About This Blog

©Orna Willis
All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Orna Willis and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Orna Willis. Any other inquiries please email me at orna@ornadesign.com

Blog Archive