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Getting ready to ship these beauties.

Am I crazy for sitting in front of these packages of fibers, just gazing at them? They are gorgeous, if I may say so myself.

If you haven't already signed up, you still have five (5) days to do so.


Oh, and BTW, I still haven't heard from you giveaway winners. I'll wait another 5 days after which, if I haven't heard from you lucky gals, I'll have to draw new numbers. I can't have these lovely gifts sitting here on my cutting table.

Hope you are enjoying your holiday time. We'll talk again before 2010!


Fabulous perk for Cirque de Fleur!


Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!


and then...

A reminder that there are 7 more days
to sign up for our Cirque de Fleur Cyberworkshop

Here is the exciting part: we are offering an instruction book with laminated charts at the end of the class for $25, however, bring a friend to the class and get the instruction book FREE! When your friend signs up for the class, have them name you as their buddy in the comment section and we will sign you up for the book. Also, have you already signed up and want to invite a friend? No problem, have your buddy mention your name in the comment section and we will take care of the rest.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Have a wonderful Holiday
(with a bit of stitching as well)

cirque flower


Outage and Winners!


Yesterday was a day of outages. All emails sent to me bounced back to sender ,(sorry if you sent me anything), I was one of many Blackberry users that didn't get emails to their phone yesterday, and getting out of our driveway was difficult due to the snowman (named Christian) and snowdog (named Willy), that Nina and Andrea built.


Today it seems that all technologies are working, so, on to the winners of our UltraSuede giveaway...

Since we had over 60 comments, there are two winners, bravo! And the winners are:
Keep Sewing said... oh boy nice nice!! I would use it as backing for a brooch or embroidered embellishment on a bag :) happy holidays.
Moon Child said... What a lovely giveaway. Thank you very much for this opportunity.

Congratulations! Please email me at orna@ornadesign.com to claim your winnings!


Talk about a White Hanukkah!

The snow is building up on our window sills. From inside our warm home it is such a silent snow. I hope you are all nice and warm. We are having our annual Hanukkah party today. Needless to say, there will be fewer guests but still quite a few coming!


Take care!


Painted Birds - our very first

I know there is so much going on, but as is usual with me, I produce in floods and dry spells. It's flooding here at Ornaments/designs by Orna!

Our very first painted canvas designs. I'll tell you more about them soon.

In the meantime, don't forget to sign up for the giveaway! and bring your friends along. The more signed up, the more prizes!


The Oriole


The Quail


The Pheasant

We'll talk some more soon.



Thank you for all your wonderful comments!

Congratulations to our winner:

"I just checked my CraftGossip email update and found your lovely site and designs as one of the featured stories. I'm like so many of the fellow posters here, amazed at your talent and so grateful to have been directed to your site. Please sign me up for an chance to win your current prize. Thank You, Nikki

Email me, Nikki, at orna@ornadesign.com to claim your loot!

and immediately on to our next gift...

I use it for everything. UltraSuede®, or man made suede, is an amazing material. It has so many advantages; you don't need to hem the edges, no fraying, the colors are deep and rich, it looks wonderful with needlepoint as a backing or as applique´. The one drawback, it's pricey! At $54 a yard I use it carefully, like gold.


I would like to share some with you, as a gift. These are 6 - 3"x4" pieces of UltraSuede®. If you'd like to enter this giveaway, let us know how you would like to use these pieces. To top it off, for every 30 comments I'll add another pack to the giveaway! Pass on the information to your friends. That means the more people sign up to win, the better your chances are, right?

I never was very good at statistics, but I know a good thing when I see it! UltraSuede®, in the words of Martha Stewart: It's a Good Thing!

Tune back in, winners will be announced on December 22nd.



It's here, it's here, I'm about to burst!


Our very first CyberWorkshop, on our very own website, is ready to go!
There are pieces I design that I love, there are those that I like, and there are those that I can live with, but I'm not too crazy about.

Then, I have
designs that make me so proud. They feel so balanced. They make me want to sneak over and snatch another look. Cirque de Fleur belongs to this group.

So, on January 15th we will begin. Registration has started and will go on until December 31st. There are different package options to allow for every pocket. Take a look. Enjoy!

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. It's a night when we talk about miracles. Did you know why we celebrate Hanukkah for 8 nights? Yes, yes, the tiny drop of oil lasted way more than it should have, but why 8 nights?

Back in those times traveling from Jerusalem, where the Temple was, down to the coastline, took 4 days on foot or donkey. When the Temple was destroyed, and no oil was to be found anywhere in Jerusalem, they needed to travel down the mountains to the coastline of Israel to get oil, and then turn around and climb back to Jerusalem. Yes, you got it, 4 + 4 = 8.

May you have many miracles tonight and for many nights to come.


Holiday Giveaway - finally!

YES! a giveaway in time for the Holidays.


A complete kit from Dimensions of my design CLASSIC from their Gold Collection. The kit contains the threads, ribbon, canvas, beads, needle and instructions.

Now I know how busy you all are. Who has time for yet another task? So all you have to do to enter this giveaway is post a comment about how you came upon this blog. You know, "best friend sent me a link", "took a class from you", "by mistake, I'm really into cars".

I will post the winners here, on the blog, so tune back on December 15th to find out if you are the one!

More to come very soon!




Abba in Hebrew means father. The word is a combination of the two first letters in the Hebrew alphabet; aleph and beit. Transliteration to English, (coincidence?), it's a combination of the first two letters of the English language. It's very subjective, but when I hear the word Abba, I think of wisdom, unconditional love, kindness, safety. This was my father. This past Saturday it was 2 years since he passed away, since I lost him. I miss him. I miss him very much.

I remember sitting in the bathroom in the early morning hours watching him shave. We probably chatted but I don't remember those conversations. I just remember sitting on the bathtub rim, looking up at him as he meticulously shaved his face. It was always calm, I always felt safe.

Many mornings I step out of our bedroom and at the other end of our big loft I see Nina and her Abba sitting at breakfast and chatting. I don't know what they talk about but I see her looking at him as he makes her bowl of cereal. I see her swinging her legs under the table to a playful rhythm in her head and while I can't hear the words, I hear the love in the air. I stay away to give them this private time together. She, too, will remember her mornings with Abba.

Nina and daddy


Key Matters and other matters...

They are here. The days leading up to the holidays with all the buying, preparing, partying. While Hanukkah is not really a holiday, (in Judaism it's considered a festival, a level below holiday), we still get caught up in all the craziness. But then, of all the things we could be going crazy over, holidays are not a bad thing!

So whether it's a stocking stuffer or a gift for the third night of Hanukkah or Kwanzaa... we wanted to offer a few goodies for you or a friend.

* Our key-chain project called Key Matters. It's a very pretty design, comes with instructions, chart, frame and key-chain. Best of all, you don't need more than 24" of any single
color fiber, so this is definitely a stash project!


It comes gift wrapped as shown below, all ready to receive or give.


* New Ultrasuede packs are in the house! These are packs of five coordinating colors, each piece 5" x 5". These luscious color combinations can come gift wrapped as well.


* From now until December 24th, you will be able to purchase A Year in Cards kit at a 20% discount. (Just enter HOLIDAY as your coupon code at the check out.)

I find it so relaxing to sit in front of the TV at night with a small project in hand, peeking up every now and again to see the screen. A couple of nights hearing TV and I have a card that's a gift in itself.


* Last, (and certainly not least!), we are conducting a trial run for our cyberworkshop system. I know there will still be glitches, there always are, but you will be understanding, won't you? We will send out a formal announcement for our first class, Cirque du Fleur, early next week.


Most beautiful veggie I've ever met!

Thanksgiving in Cleveland. Wonderful food, family and relaxation. For the first time in years I didn't get out of bed till 10 AM, how decadent! We got some shopping in, walks with Pooki (Nina's new buddy), saw a few movies and even visited the local farmer's market.

This is what we found there...


Romanesco Cauliflower

and this is Nina with Pooki. We hear she misses Nina quite a bit!



Creatures of a third kind

This is the cover of the Winter 2010 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry.
Back here they had my needlepoint jewelry.


and here you will find these creatures...


These rings are a bit wacky but really fun and there are endless varieties you can make.


We will be adding a How-To on our website for this project as well as the needlepoint cuffs (from here).

and in other news... almost done with the second version of Cirque du Fleur. I decided to go ahead with the new canvas colors. If you join us for the cyberworkshop, you will be able to make your own decision knowing that the new color canvases may be a bit more challenging.

I'll be back with more soon!


A different life.


A week ago, on Thursday, we left for a long weekend to Lancaster county and Gettysburg.

The weather was magnificent. We rented a big, lovely farmhouse and had so much fun. Mostly we relaxed and moved at a different pace.

Nina was introduced to the Amish, for the first time. The first morning she peeked out her bedroom window and saw a horse and buggy trotting at quite a clip, so much faster and lighter than the horses we have right near our house, the ones that pull the carriages in the city for the tourists. Those horses always seem a bit tired and sad. The ones in Lancaster seemed young and proud.

We explained a bit about the Amish, (I'm embarrassed to say that most of our knowledge came from the movie "Witness"). Nina fell in love with the life we described.

"But Nina, there is no electricity in the homes, no computer, no television"
"That's OK, I love to read"
"Great, but you would have go to sleep very early, at sunset"
"Because, you need to get up with the sun and tend to the animals on the farm"
"But you don't like getting up early."
"But I LOVE animals"
"You won't be able to travel to far away beautiful places"
"That's OK, it's beautiful here!"

WOW, I thought, we have raised our little girl to have really good values! She has her priorities straight.

"Well Nina, why don't we arrange for a visit to an Amish farm so you can see what they do?"
"OK, but can we first drive to the doll outlet to buy some American Girl doll clothes?"

My child is normal.



She is still on the stretcher bars, but I couldn't keep her to myself.


cirque du fleur_2

The first stitched version of a new design is always a mess. This one in particular because I didn't compromise on design and kept ripping and ripping, until I got it just the way I wanted. I am so very happy with Madame.

I hope to get this Cyberworkshop to you within the month. Clear off your needlepoint calendars because this one is sure to be a real treat!

I am now working on a second colorway. I am using one of the new Zweigart overdye 18 count canvases. The colors are magnificent. I'm not a big colored canvas designer. I mostly use brown, however, who could resist?


The unfortunate news is that I may have to resist. After speaking with the manufacturers, it turns out that the first step in the process of hand dying canvas is to take out the sizing so that the color will adhere. There is no way to bring the stiffness back to the canvas once it's been dyed. The result is that the canvas pulls, it's very flimsy and most of all, the holes expand with every stitch that's a bit more intricate.

What's a girl to do? Let me know what you think. Should I continue using the canvas for this and other designs, (says she, after ordering yards of various colors...)?




Stuff is good!

Being materialistic is not a nice way to be, I agree. But having stuff is getting a bad rap. I love stuff, not only for the beauty of the stuff but mostly for the memories. I have stuff I've collected over the years, through all the different times of my life, from all the fascinating places I've visited. Some of the stuff is really insignificant in terms of the value or aesthetics. Usually that's the stuff that means the most to me, otherwise why would I keep it?

I love stuff and I'm proud of it!


This little Pinocchio was purchased on our first trip to Italy with Nina. He's only a two inches tall but is quite charming.

Nina has four small shelves of stuff, most of which we collected before she came home to us. It made the months of waiting for her easier to cope with. I hope they become meaningful to her as she matures.


These Kosta Boda glass animals are part of her "stuff" shelves. We bought them for her the week we found out that she was waiting for us to bring her home.


Kosta Boda glassware has always been a favorite of mine.


These masks captured my heart years ago.


When Shiri went off to college at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor became a fun place for us to visit. This piece is from one of the many lovely galleries in this university town.


This enamel work was done by a lovely lady on a Kibbutz in Israel. For years we would go back to her studio to buy gifts for our friends.


Reid collects boxes, small treasure boxes. He puts coins in the boxes, each box with the coins of the country the particular box has come from.


For Hannukah I bring out my Menorah collection as well as my small ceramic dreidels.


These "finjans" are used to make strong Turkish coffee, the kind that you cook over a fire. After you pour the coffee into small cups, you wait until all the coffee grains sink to the bottom of the cup. It's usually a very sweet cup of coffee, black and syrupy. If you dare, when you're done drinking, turn the cup upside down onto a saucer and let the coffee grains slide down the sides of the cup. Turn your cup over again and find your future in the pattern of the coffee grains...


and when I want tea, these little kettles have been collecting on my shelves since I first came to the United States.



Here we are again, October 31st.


This year I took things much easier. Not as easy as I thought initially, but still much easier.

It started with a skirt and hat that Nina saw a month ago. She begged to be a witch. I said yes, sure, and immediately bought the two items paying much more than I should have.

All was well until yesterday. I woke up and panicked. My child in a store-bought costume? What kind of mother am I? I dropped Nina off at school and was at Jo-Ann fabrics by 9 am. An hour later I was on my way, leaving the store with fabric and trims.


The hat has lots of embellishments that aren't showing in the photos.


Unless she is wearing her good shoes, I love this stance!




I'm feeling soooo much better.
Thank you for all your wonderful wishes.

(I'm off to embellish Nina's Halloween outfit. So much for this year I'm buying. More later with photos.)



sad eyes

I've been away from my computer and from you, my friends, due to an eye ailment. I woke up one morning and felt something in my eye, so I went to the mirror and started my search. I looked right, left, turned my eyelid inside out, all sorts of scary stuff, but nothing. As the day progressed, it got worse. Now it was both eyes and it felt as if someone was sitting on my upper lids and pressing down, sort of like when you sit on a suitcase to make it close. It was Friday and too late to see a doctor. The weekend was really bad and the whole time I'm thinking, not my eyes, please not my eyes. My eyes are everything to me. I know this must be true for everybody, but you know how when we were kids we used to ask, "if you had to loose either your eyesight or your hearing, which would it be?". For me there was never any doubt, I would keep my eyes.

To make a long story a little shorter, I finally got to see the most wonderful doctor on Monday afternoon and he diagnosed the problem as Meibomian gland dysfunction. While it's not life threatening, it can be very difficult to live with. Imagine sand being dumped in your eyes while the guy from the suitcase (see above), is trying to get your eyes to close. There is no magic cure, just lots of tear drops and bathing your eyes in Johnson's Baby Shampoo. It is hard to beat since it can become chronic but I am determined to be among those that beat it!

Oh, and did you know that when you are at the computer you blink much less therefore your eyes dry out more and therefore, if you have this condition, you should try to limit your computer exposure. I'm not going away, I just may have to make my visits shorter.


me and my eyes.



Now that it's getting cooler out, isn't it nice to have plenty of projects to keep busy while you stay cozy indoors. Since I know you all don't have enough needlepoint projects (ha ha ha), I thought I'd tempt you with more...

For every Mini Wishes or Taltul Kit you purchas, we will include a FREE instruction book for one of the other Wishes designs. Each Mini Wishes kit includes the instruction book, fibers, and beads you will need to stitch one colorway.

is a special design that can be worn as a pendant or brooch. Each kit also includes the instruction book, fibers, and beads needed for one colorway.

These projects are sure to keep you indoors and happy at that!

Check it out!




a new feature on Ornaments/designs by Orna...Cyberworkshops.

Back in 2000 I taught one of ANG's first cyberworkshop for my piece Jerusalem 2000. It was a daunting piece and cyber studying was quite new. I loved the contact with people from all over the world (!) and I look forward to teaching another cyberworkshop for ANG in 2011.

In the very near future we will be offering a cyberworkshop on our very own website! You will be able to participate in a class and have access to detailed lessons, videos, a chatboard dedicated to the class, (and as the King of Siam would say), etc. etc. etc.

I'm loving this design, brand new for our very first class.

These are teasers.



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