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Natalie, my friend.

Natalie is a close friend, her son is Nina's close friend, we both live in the same neighborhood and we are both artists, (she is an amazing ceramic artist).  Now how lucky is that?  So, to top it off, Natalie decided to try needlepoint. I was quite flattered that she would want to stitch one of my designs.  She started with a small one ("A Year in Cards"), and then moved on to her second piece, "Midnight Garden".  

This is Natalie's piece, her second needlepoint piece, the one she did with no help from me!  I had to show you, cause I'm so proud of her!  

Natalie, my talented friend!


It hurts, but then it gets better.

I live in Philadelphia.  My family lives in Israel, five thousand seven hundred forty, (5,740), miles away. 

It's not just the distance, its all that we miss out on.  Celebrations, birthdays, cousins growing up together, grandparents there to spoil the kids, holiday meals, comfort when things happen.  It's all those things we miss out on.

This past Wednesday one of my sisters came to visit me. She flew five thousand seven hundred forty miles to spend time with me.  We had been talking about a sister thing, just the two of us, hanging out, taking Manhattan by storm, laughing, being utterly silly.  We both work hard, we both have children and obligations.  It was hard to carve the time out but we finally did.  My sister arrived this past Wednesday for five days.  Eleven thousand four hundred eighty miles round trip, so we could be together for five days.  It was unbearably, bitterly cold in Manhattan, but that didn't stop us.  We both bundled up, coats, sweaters, gloves and scarves on our heads.  We probably looked like a couple of woman from Odessa with our scarves tied beneath our chins.  It made us laugh to look at each other.  We shoved as much as we could into those five days.  The last night, Shiri, my daughter, came to our hotel to spend the night with us.  The three of us, a slumber party.  By that time the sadness had begun creeping in.  The next morning we had coffee at the Times Warner building where Columbus Circle was covered in beautiful snow and the park was in view.  It was beautiful but by then I began thinking was it all worth it?  Saying goodbye is so hard.  It's so painful and I thought that maybe it would have been better had she not come.  At least then it wouldn't hurt so much.

A few hours later we said goodbye, just like we do everytime.  We hug, squeeze, choke with tears, turn and walk away, not able to speak, either of us.  

This was yesterday and it still hurts.  I know it will get better.  We will get back to our routines, our children, our work, our obligations.  We will call each other to talk about the kids, to wish happy birthdays, happy holidays.  It will get better.  

But it will always be five thousand seven hundred forty miles away. 


Let me Point something out ......

If you are the sort of Stitcher who likes to have lots of projects in the works, and who would love to try classes on the internet, let me point the way to a bunch of Stitchers who get together at a place called Cyberpointers. This unique chapter of ANG is devoted to classes and companionship for people who don't have a local chapter or who want a class that fits into their schedule. They offer resources and opportunities that cannot be missed. I have been working very closely with Elizabeth at Cyberpointers to put together a few classes for them throughout the coming year.

Last week registration began for my first class for them, "Petit Trianon". This is an intense, extremely intricate design, inspired by the summer home belonging to Madame Pompadour, and later, the infamous Marie Antoinette! The Kit comes in two colorways, "Chateau" and "Jardin". 

I love doing classes through the internet. It gives students time to work through whatever problems they may have, ask any questions, and really digest the information they are receiving.  This is a great supplemental class to any stitchers repertoire. And the finishing parts and instructions are part of the kit. So it won't just kick around the house waiting to go to the framers!

Aside from that, I am still working my way through my stash of supplies and bead components. There are new listings on the Etsy site every week. And every week there is a tiny bit more space in my cupboards. So it seems to be benefiting everyone!

And if you are planning on getting your Valentine's project going, nows the time! Pick your color from four different "LOVELY" options, and make something beautiful for a friend!

Hope everyone is getting through these past few blizzards with lots of warmth and stitching. Today we had an ice storm in Philly! What else can Father Winter throw our way?


Esther and I need some lovin'

Yesterday our little Esther got "fixed".  I'll start by saying, I know it's for the best, I know she will be healthier and safer in the long run.  I know and would do it again in a heartbeat but... she's still crying and she looks confused and my heart is breaking.  I hate, hate, hate when my loved ones are not feeling well.  Every time someone I love is sick I can hear myself say, "give it to me instead, I'll be sick instead".  If this were to happen each time I said this, I'd basically be in bed for the next 10 years, so really it's good that whoever is in charge doesn't listen to me!  And it's not that I'm such a Saint.  It's just easier for me to cope with pain, (take a few Motrin and go to sleep), than worry.  I'm such a worrier!

Esther on a better day with her very best friend, Nina

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Now, for some fun news, LOVELY, the new heart design will be used in a photo shoot for a kids bedroom.  All four of them!  Exciting!

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 So, wish us quick recovery, little worry and just a good peaceful weekend.  

and a very peaceful weekend to you too, my friends!


Lovely Lovlies: New, (practically free), design

February is fast approaching, and it's one month till that wonderful Holiday of Love, Valentine's Day. In honor of that and of all of you, my friends,  who have been so supportive and enthusiastic towards all my creative endeavors, I have designed this Bargello Heart called "Lovely". The design is, well, almost free! The PDF is available for $1, (just to cover our expenses) over on my Etsy site  or on my Ornaments website. Also available are the kits for four colorways. Each kit comes complete with the hoop that is pictured, as well as the felt, canvas, and threads. Kits come with a hard copy of the instructions, so if you have bought the kit, you don't need to purchase the PDF!

"Lovely" in Grey

"Lovely" in Blue

"Lovely" in Orange

and "Lovely" in Pink!

AND... If you have the notion that you would like to buy all four, 
they are available as a set at a discounted price.  


The hardest word to pronounce: ARTIST

I have been engaged in art since I was a very young child.  In elementary school, I was one of the kids who "could draw".  Through high school my work was chosen for competitions, for school exhibits, and along with a few others, I was one of those "artsy" kids.  It was never considered something I would do when I grow up.  As a struggling single parent in Israel, I taught English in exchange for painting lessons from some wonderful artists.  I upholstered chairs with fabric I brought from South Africa, painted old tables in glorious colors, held soirees at home for local galleries in exchange for a painting.  Art was always there.

When I was able to devote all my time to art, years later, I would always consider myself a mother who liked art, a teacher who enjoyed drawing, a wife who experimented with a needle and fiber. Never an artist.  As a result, I did not want to hang my work on the walls of our homes, and if I did, they were always hung on walls that were almost hidden from view.  I could not, no way, say I was an artist.  

Only a few years ago, no more than 3 years ago, I was filling out a form that asked for occupation.  I wrote ARTIST.  Then, with great discomfort, when asked what I did, I managed to get the words out: I'm an ARTIST.  Can you believe it? It's still hard.  It is the hardest word to pronounce: ARTIST.

I wanted to show you what I did this week.  I hung my work on a wall in our home  in plain view!  When you walk into our home, you see the wall loud and clear.  There is my work, standing proud.  I am an artist.  I am an artist.


Goodies and Treats

Hey Everyone, it's Genevieve---Just a Shout out to everyone who wrote asking for more Beads---- I just listed new Bead Components and Thread Bundles in new Colorways over at Orna's Etsy Shop!! A number of people wrote asking about them after our first bunch sold, so we finally got pictures of the new stuff and posted them. I'm so glad all these fantastic bead combinations are getting out there into the world and going into great projects. Don't hesitate to send pics of your completed work our way---it's really nice to see what people do with all this great stuff!!!

Also, Orna put together a second Colorway for the Bestowed, so that is available at the 
Ornathologie Etsy Shop---it's going to be all kits all the time there. We have a new found love of Etsy, it makes transactions so easy for us--it's like all the paperwork is Poof! Evaporated! More time to come up with designs and CREATE!
Hope all you guys have had a lovely Holidays and that getting back to real time wasn't too painful!


New Year, New Ideas, New Directions!


As the new year moves in, it is time to tell you how exciting things have become here at the studio. 

A new year means new directions.  We are not abandoning the old, we are blossoming with many new!   In the spirit of these earth friendly, Cyber conscious times we live in, I have begun offering  instructions as downloadable PDF's! These will offer you designs at a fraction of the cost while every tree between us will thank you!

The first PDF is available on my new Etsy site, Ornathologie

"BESTOWED" is a new needle-art Pendant.  It's small enough to work on just about  anywhere. The  pdf file for this piece is just $8 and you have the option to purchase all of the materials to complete the project for $25!

For years I have dreamt of a line of kits that give people the tools necessary to create high end items with their own hands. Over the course of 2011,  I will be coming out with kits that will push you in directions you had not thought possible, using wonderful and surprising materials that will tantalize and mesmerize.

There will be cyber-classes that will feed your soul, broaden your horizons and give you a chance to shine.  Keep an eye out for the announcement of my innovative new Cyber-class series. Designed to be more than a needle-art class, offering extras and opportunities that no class has offered before!

With the best of wishes for a wonderful new year,




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©Orna Willis
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