Powered by Blogger.

Compulsive Doodler, intervention anyone?

Before Needlework came into my life, you could find little scraps of paper with doodles everywhere.  The telephone area was particularly bad, (remember when you couldn't go anywhere with your phone, you just sat in one spot close to the phone outlet?). 

Curlicues, triangles, eyes, (I loved to doodle eyes, I think there is some sort of psychological interpretation here), perspective,  imaginary houses, windows, you get it... 
 Then Needlework came into my life.  The doodling didn't stop, it just moved onto canvas.  I have 2 drawers FULL of doodles. I hang onto them because many of them eventually find their way into one of my designs.  I was cleaning up this morning so here are the doodles of this past month or so, making their way into the doodle drawer.

 Do you doodle?  On paper? On canvas?


Philip "Wild Hat" Treacy - a genius for the head

You don't have to like them, you may even think they are crazy and wouldn't be caught dead wearing one, but Philip Treacy's hats are incredible. He is a genius for the head.  An Irish born designer who recently got much attention for his hats worn at the Royal wedding, Treacy has the ability to turn one's head into a fairyland, a space station, a fireworks display. 

Not much to say, just take a look yourself!

I think if you dare wear one, you will think you are pretty special on that particular day.


WINNER! and other stuff

I'm delighted to announce that the winner of our first Free Design Thread Set is:  Follower Teresa!

Congratulations Teresa S!  

You will be receiving the fibers to stitch my design "My Grandparents" just as soon as you contact us.  (Please email:ornawillis@gmail.com

If you are not Teresa, don't despair!  We will have more fiber set give aways with each new design!

I spent this past weekend with the ladies from the New Jersey Needle Artists ANG Chapter and what a delightful time I had! It's just perfect when you go off to work but really you are having fun, fun, fun!  (Shhhhh...  don't tell them or my DH)
Busy working on the Kreinik Cuff
We worked on Grace the first day.  Rosie hosted the day at her home, (thank you, Rosie).  We stitched, ate and drank (plenty of cold soft drinks in the fridge) and not a drop on our canvases!  Time went by so fast, and it was 4:30 in no time.  I was about 60 miles away from Brooklyn, so what did I do? Got in the car and drove to see little Nomi.  Had I decided to swim to their place it would have been faster! If you are the Mayor of New York and you happen to be reading this post, kindly find a way to broaden the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, PLEASE!  Two hours later I arrived to see Nomi and her wonderful parents.  Some squeezes, some kisses, some talking to a baby who couldn't really care less and some Thai food, and back I went.  The way back was very smooth and fast!
This historic Brick Academy was the site of our second day class

Day two with the ladies was held in a wonderful historic building, The Brick Academy.  Speaking of historic, the group chose to stitch my Kreinik Cuff which is from way back in my stitching history.  This piece was kitted by Kreinik in a neat purple snap box with sumptuous silks and metallics.  Kreinik had stopped manufacturing the kits but dear Doug Kreinik agreed to put together some new kits for me and for the class. My new friends from class we all decided to rendezvous wearing our cuffs to the opening banquet at ANG Seminar Philadelphia!  YES!

Kreinik Cuff in Gold

Well, back to work for me.  Congratulations again Teresa, and check back for more free designs.

(Oh, almost forgot, I asked Doug Kreinik to assemble a few extra Kreinik Cuff kits in Gold, (as shown above).  If you'd like to order one for yourself, send us an email and we will get one to you.  They are $54, including the edging embellishments in the photo).



You gotta see this...

I was browsing through photos and videos on my computer and I came upon this.  I never knew this existed.  Somehow Nina figured out how to put one of my pieces in the background, compose and perform this rap all the while taping and recording her performance.
Nothing makes me smile more than this child! Nothing!



COOL, really cool!

My very talented friend, Eleanore Macnish, just introduced me to an amazing lady - Iris Apfel, a designer, a style icon, a jewel.  A few weeks ago I told you about Roberto Capucci, a genius designer and a king of color. 

Here comes the queen... 
(photos of her home are from Architectural Digest)

Iris Apfel's apartment is in this month's Architectural Digest
Books are beautiful anywhere

Love the pillows!

Something so beautiful about the color mix
The book cases are divine!
Look at that watermelon red!

 The Divine Iris Apfel.

(and you know what else?  Every time I think I'm all that,  
I need to look at these great designers and remember 
that I didn't invent the wheel!
Keeps one humble!)




Gifts for all... a free Design and GIVEAWAY!

As promised, my first free design from the series I wrote for Needlepoint Now 10 years ago!
This first design honors my grandparents.  You can read about them below.  I have just become a grandparent so the timing is perfect. The free design is available for download on the right sidebar under: My Family - Download the Series of free designs.

My Grandparents
and for the GIVEAWAY...  sign up to follow my blog and you will be automatically entered to win the fibers for the design!  Look for the Follow button on the right sidebar and put yourself on the list.  This way you will also find out about all that's new around here.
From Needlepoint Now:

My grandparents, Abraham, Rita (paternal)  , Moshe and Rivka (maternal), began their lives in Europe. Both sets of grandparents lived a very different existence. Moshe and Rivka lived in a small community and were dreamers.  They believed in the Zionist ideology: the belief in the need to have a Jewish State for the Jewish people. In 1933, my maternal grandparents left their village and their families and made the journey to Israel.  In those times leaving one’s family usually meant never seeing them again.  I cannot imagine the courage it took to make this move, or the anguished parting they had to endure.  Travel in those days was long and difficult and their hearts must have pounded with the fear of uncertainty.  It was, however, their strong beliefs and willingness to sacrifice that led them on that journey towards fulfilling their dreams. 

My paternal grandparents lived in the terror of World War II and the Holocaust. Abraham and Rita were well to do business people and important members of society. When the war broke out, they were split apart. They and their three sons were sent to different places, and ultimately, to different fates.  My grandfather was killed in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.  His son, my uncle Severin, was murdered as well.  At the end of the war, my grandmother and her two sons left Europe for the journey to Israel.   There, years later, their children, my parents, met and made a bond that was to bring their two families together.

The piece I designed in their memory is an attempt to express the different worlds that came together, the mid-life change that came into their lives, whether by choice or not.  The courage with which they built their new lives in a foreign land, all the while still dreaming and sacrificing, is what I placed in front of my mind’s eye when I sat down to design this segment. 

*******UPDATE: Hi all--Genevieve Here--just a note--if you are having difficulty accessing the download, open a google window and use the address bar to go directly to Orna's Blog (ornadesign.blogspot.com). A few people had difficulty but it seems to be the way in which they have been accessing the page. Hope that helps!


Back home and on my way out the door.

I'm back from a delightful week with Shiri, Orin and Nomi.  Nomi and I bonded at night, just the two of us, (except when I reluctantly had to pass her on to mommy for feedings).  I'm told she misses me very much. 

Shiri and I took Nomi on long walks, on car rides to Fairway Market for grocery shopping, (the best grocery store ever!), on sprees to Babies R Us and to her one month doctor visit.  In between excursions and during her short naps, we decorated her room.

The Quilt is by Orin's grandmother.  She also knit the beautiful yellow blanket on Nomi's bed

I love the print on the wall
The flowers we painted and the needlepoint hearts I stitched for her room.    
Nomi's collection of vintage toys, the robot I crocheted on one of the shelves and the closet doors with flower outlines that  Shiri and I are painting. 
We aren't done but we are very happy with the progress and I'm looking forward to going back.

I've completed the Petit Trianon class, (great class, lots of fun), and the design is now available for you to purchase and stitch.  On Friday I leave for 2 classes with the New Jersey Needle Artist ANG Chapter.  If you are in the Morristown New Jersey area and want to drop by for a trunk show, send me a note and I'll give you the scoop.

I'm working on getting the first installment of My Family to you.  I'm re-charting it so that you have clear well drawn diagrams.  I should be ready very soon so if you still haven't signed up to follow my blog, make a stop on the right side of the blog and sign up.  There will be a free thread kit raffled off with each installment, all you need to do is be a follower.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I'll be back very soon!


Where I come from and where I'm going

I've always thought that there is nothing more important than knowing where I come from and where I'm going.  It gives me a sense of grounding, purpose, responsibility and hope.  Where I come from is my family.  Where I'm going is my family.  

My Family
In 2001 I wrote an ongoing column called My Family for Needlepoint Now magazine. Each column entry had a story about people in my family as well as a needlepoint design to go along with the story.  The designs eventually came together to form a large composition which is pictured here.  I would like to bring this series to you, along with the free designs, one column every two weeks.  

Why now?  Nomi,  our first grandchild, was born on April 14th, 2011.  She continues the story, she is where we are going.  

And here is some fun news for you!  Every installment of this series along with the free design will also include a GIVEAWAY.  We will be giving one lucky follower a gift of the fibers used in the installment's free design!!  I say follower because in order to be included in the drawing you must be a follower of this blog.  To follow please look on the right-side column, under the About Me, where it says: Hi, and thanks for following!  Sign up and you're automatically included in each of the drawings!

I will be posting the articles just as they were printed in the magazine at the time.  Where I feel it important to comment, I will add an explanation on what was happening at the time. Today I will leave you with the introduction to the series.  My next installment will include the first free design.  I hope you enjoy these stories and perhaps you will be inspired to start a series of your own.

Auntie Nina and little Nomi


It is the greatest honor to be able to address you on a regular basis from the pages of this most wonderful magazine.  I sit here in front of a blank page much like I sat 5 years ago in front of a blank canvas. In front of that first canvas, I did not know what a daunting task I was taking on.  Many times in my life I have taken bold steps, made radical changes, and I wish I could tell you that they were done after deep thought and with much bravery—often, they were not. Had I thought each of the steps through, I may have backed down and stayed where I was.  Luckily I was anxious enough for a change, curious enough to experiment.  This time I know what I’m getting myself into.  This time I am terrified! 

English is not my first language.  I sometimes mix up my idioms, translate expressions that make no sense to the English speaker and use words that I have read but never heard, pronouncing them totally wrong.  I am being a bit manipulative now: I say all this to ask for your understanding when my writing is perhaps not as good as it should be to grace the pages of this publication.  I hope that now I have you on my side…

On this blank canvas, I would like to bring you a “chain of creation”.  I want it to start with an idea, develop into a complete concept and with the help of words and stitching, progress into a creation.  

My idea began with the realization that the most important part of my life is my family. They are important not only because of the love we share with each other, but also because of the lessons of human nature that I learn from each and every one of them.  They are all so different, and yet they all come together into one grouping: My family.  Some I never met, some joined through marriage, and others are a part of my daily life, the background and foreground of my every moment, much like needlepoint—Creating needlepoint designs has become what I do, and defines much of who I am.  I want to use needlepoint to create a design that will express the importance of my family, and I would like to create it along with you.  I have no monopoly on the treasure of family.  We are all embraced by it. 

Over the next few months, I will share with you a design comprised of elements each representing members of my family.  I will tell you about the people that inspired each of these components. They all have such wonderful stories.  You can stitch along with me and when we are done, I will show you how they all come together to form my new design: Family.


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