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A special treat!! Guest blog by Father B!!! Don't miss...

Father B and I met in one of my home studio classes and we have had an ongoing friendship ever since!  I've asked him to write a guest blog post about the beautiful work he has done with me and he graciously agreed.  I id not know he was going to be so complimentary of me, I'm a bit embarrassed, I can only assure you no money was passed between us... 😉

It is with gratitude and much admiration that I bring you Father B in his own words...

Orna Willis Blog by Father B (not the original, the second)

Almost two years ago this July I signed up for the Colorations class given by Orna Willis in her studio home in Philadelphia, Pa. Almost from the moment of our first encounter our two kindred spirits melded. With only three other classmates, Orna was able to instruct, evoke, enkindle each of her students with almost undivided care and nurture. Sparks of inspiration flew as we were drawn into her conception of color relationships. After a few moments of class instructions, and speaking about the photo inspirations each student had adopted, we were given the freedom to wander and wonder in her studio shop for corresponding threads to the pattern she had given us. With unbounded energy and enthusiasm, like children in a candy store we eagerly pulled, compared, sifted through countless combinations and shades to narrow our choices and thread types and began our quest in stitching the pattern. Over the next few hours and days we developed and enlarged and sometimes narrowed our selections to produce the final product. I was completely mesmerized, with Orna hovering over in glee at the color choices and stitch combinations, a sparkling glint of approval in her eyes urging me and the students to probe deeper into their souls for enriching both needlework and color choice.

This first personal encounter with a wonderful teacher deepened my appreciation of color, and lead me to discover my innate talent already planted in my soul. Upon completion of the project (see photo) I was already looking forward to stitching another of these projects with my thread selection and using a Klimt painting as a guide. I completed this second keyhole or opening into the soul in record time, receiving approval and blessing from Orna. (see photo)

Seeking a more complex development in color appreciation and under the guidance of Orna, I requested her to develop a Gold Klimt pattern for me based on the colors in The Kiss, using the Tesselations again pattern. She obliged me and within one week she had delivered some 46 threads and model which I began immediately. Slowly but surely, commencing in the very center of the project, I jumped into the stitching which slowly began to captivate me as I progressed and finally completed after three months of work. Behold the result! (see photo) I was caught up into color bliss, transported by a wonderful keen eyed instructor!

As I read of Orna’s latest invitation to design a project together with her, I began to reflect on the creation process. I was on a long road trip to Pittsburgh as I pondered and prayed about creation, and immediately thought of God’s first day of creation as he separated light from dark. I passed through tree filled mountains and thought how this first day of creation is imitated in nature as spring enlivens new growth from the darkness of winter. The dark shades of tree trunks sprout forth into almost forty shades of green, then pale yellow then strong orange, then crimson red. Afterwards the vibrant flower colors sprout, develop and mature; the ultramarine blues, lilacs, even the pure white lily of the valley! All these grow at the word of our Creator recreating the very first day!

--> When I returned from my road trip, I perused the Adorn by Orna website. I admired all the needlepoint kits and then encountered the kit: “Let there be light.” I had forgotten about this project of hers! Upon close inspection of the details in the design, they all matched my prior musing, color by color, design by design, word by word. It seems that Father B has some needle pointing homework to catch up on to hone more skills from this brilliant teacher. Please join me with other needle enthusiasts on line to enhance, enrich and co-design with this wonderful instructor!

Thank you Father B, we've had and will continue to have a great journey!

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We are going to make your lives easier! 
We are now including congress cloth in the kit at the same price! 

Come check out these gorgeous new goodies! 


NEW DESIGN - Beautiful newbie!

Down The Line, a new design on Congress Cloth comes in 2 colorways and captures so much excitement in a 5" x 5" space.  Charming play on colors and a fun stitch!

Colorway: Mardi Gras

Colorway: Bougainvillea

Find the new design in our Adorn store at: www.adornbyorna.com


Fashion and Needlepoint Fibers - Gorgeous Combinations!

I always look at needlepoint as part of the modern world as well as the age old tradition. I want to be able to relate to it within the confines of our artistic views today. I've combined photos of 2017 Fashion runways with thread combinations that I offer in my Etsy shop.

How about our red silk ribbon combination HERE?
Or the blue  overdyes and silk fiber combination HERE?
Or the fantastic range of purples we have? You can find these HERE as well!!
Check all the available thread packs, quite amazing!


My design process; the How and Why

I really can't say what made me design these segments. Why did I choose these threads, why did I decide to change direction on the canvas?  Why did I stitch the Jessicas below in the sizes and shapes I did and why did I fill them in with the stitches shown below? What was it about the overdye I used in the diamond on the bottom right that compelled me to use it and surround it by greens and reds?

The only way I can share why and how is if you are there with me when I make these choices,  when I experiment with them,  when I stitch them in and pull them out.

That is why I am offering a new experience, an online design experience.  You will be at my side as I work up a new design and as I bring it together step by step, you will stitch it along with me.  Read about it below...

"Over the many years I've been designing, one question comes up again and again... how do you design a new piece? No matter how detailed my answer is, no matter how hard I try to explain the process, I come away feeling a bit frustrated. Words can't always shed light on how a new design comes to be.
But there is one way you are sure to understand, and in fact be there as it happens! Come design with me! An online class where you buddy up with me as I design a brand new piece!! On a private dedicated Facebook page, whatever I do, you will do, as I do it. As I come up with each step, I will send it to you, charts and explanation. Step by step, stopping along each time to bring what I do to you, we will stitch a new design together.
You will recieve 18 count mono canvas and a lovely group of fibers. This "mystery" class is different from other mystery classes. In this class I don't know what we are doing either. But it will unfold and you will be there with me to stitch each step and discuss the process. You will receive the kit and a start date, (June 12th). You will also get an invitation to a private dedicated Facebook page where we will meet to talk about the process and exchange thoughts. Don't worry if you are afraid you won't be able to keep up due to your own time constraints, stitch when you can and join us when you have the time.
See you at the drawing board!!"

Sign up for this experience HERE!

You can read more HERE, and always ask me questions!


Quick, duck, new items are dropping into our ETSY shop!!


How I proved there are no rules in color!

Some days I put on my lab coat and conduct color experiments.  These are my notes from yesterday's experiment...

Using Adobe Illustrator I pulled up a photo of one of my stitched designs.  

Using the most fabulous Eyedropper Tool I pulled 24 colors out of the my stitched design and placed them into identically sized squares.  Here are the squares:

I took the squares I had pulled and mixed them up. I placed the colors underneath the first batch in different order.  I also took the same colors and changed the number of rows and columns on the board.  I asked myself:  Did each of these groupings look different?  Did they seem to have different colors? Not clear.
Next I took the color group and set it up in a random shape, placing the colors in different sequences.
I changed the sizes of the squares as well, some becoming larger rectangles and some only slivers of color. Once I completed two different combinations I added a background to each of the combinations using a background color from my groupings.
What interesting combinations!  

Looking back at the original group of colors I wondered; should a rosey pink look good with a elephant brown? How about a lilac purple with a bright yellow? Would they seem like a good place to start for a bright upbeat elegant piece of wearable art?  I wouldn't expect them to.

I went back to my original group of colors and decided to play with them in different sizes and shapes and see if I could come up with a beautiful sophisticated design and color combination.  I came up with this, using my colors only.

My very scientific conclusion is... there are NO rules in the world of color.  Each and every rule you bring to the table can be disproven!  Each and every time you say that a group of colors don't go together, there is bound to be a way in which the colors will look fabulous together!!  

BTW, here is the piece I used to pull my colors in the first place, Capital Jewels Cuff revisited :
I never knew I like science this much!!  😉


How I make my stitch choices on painted canvas?

Before I answer that question, I would like to categorize the type of stitch choices that can be made when stitching a painted canvas.  As with anything else, you can categorize the same thing in many ways, so for instance let's take dresses as an example...  I can categorize dresses using lengths as my category scale, (mini, knee length, maxi etc.), or I can use season as the category, (summer dresses, winter dresses, transition dresses), or maybe even colors, (bright colors, white dresses etc.). Each of these categories make sense and are good indicators, it's just a matter of what I'm attempting to differentiate.  
I am going to use this following indicators for categorizing stitches to use on painted canvas:

Realistic stitching - stitches I choose to use in order to achieve a painted canvas which looks as realistic as possible.  
Technique stitching - I will use as many types of stitches as I can and in this way turn my canvas into a teaching piece of sorts.  
Simple stitching - or what I like to call TV stitching.  This would be mostly basketweave that uses the painted image as an exact guideline to produce the image as close to the painted version as possible. I can stitch this type of piece while watching TV, hence the name. Here I don't want to be distracted by complex stitching, I just want to have a stitched piece that is an exact copy of the painted piece.
Artistic stitching - This style is meant to create a finished piece that is most appealing as a piece of art when completed.  My aim is not to show how advanced I am in stitching techniques, not to replicate the painting as accurately as possible, and not to make the piece into a snapshot of a very realistic scene.  Here I am aiming to bring a total result that is my artistic interpretation of the canvas.

The various categories are not being judged here in any way!  This is a personal choice, each stitch guide produced is how this person approaches the particular canvas.  I definitely am drawn to one approach, the Artistic stitching choice, but that's me, and it is in no way better than any other choice. The category I am drawn to guides how I make my stitch choices.  

Here, in my painted canvas of the Pheasant, I want the bird to clearly look like a pheasant, but not realistically so. I am interested in the overall beauty of the textures, of the way the fibers speak, of the interesting use of materials and at the end of how pleasing the result is to the onlooker.  I didn't use complicated stitches, I used interpretive stitches which allowed me to achieve an end result that strongly implied a Pheasant, but stayed true to the overall artistic approach.  

Do you have a favorite category?  Is the category you like stitching the same as the category you like gazing at? I'd love to hear from you!



How about some colors for the beginning of a fantastic week!!


I love how on May 1st, 2012 I posted this...


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