Powered by Blogger.

New design, next phase.

It's morning in Philly and we are fine.  We never lost electricity and the 100 year old brick factory building in which we live did not give us much clue as to what was happening outside.  Things are calmer and later in the day we will venture out.

Since electricity did not fail, I completed the charting of The House I Built. When I say completed, I mean first draft.  Now the threads, beads, canvas and instructions head off to my wonderful proof stitchers.  They stitch the piece and send me all their comments, suggestions and corrections.  Only then, after I've made all the necessary adjustments, do I offer the new design to you, my friends.

I always have various projects in various states of completion.  So while The House I Built may be going out to my stitchers, there are projects that are now moving up in the process.  I'm just finishing my new silk gauze design: The Village I Built.  While finishing the stitching, I've also been charting,  so I'm hoping it will be ready to go off to some trusty stitching fingers soon.  Here is a glimpse of this new design, but just a glimpse...

How have you fared the storm? Have you been able to stitch?
I hope you are all safe and I send you many good thoughts!



The anatomy of a new design.

I've been designing and charting needlepoint for many years now.  Experience is on my side.  Usually.  
I sat down at my computer to begin charting The House I Built weeks ago.  Looking at the design I thought: this will be easy, a breeze.  There is some repetition in the building blocks of the house, it's a medium size design, and there is a significant area of background, so no biggie, I should be able to get it done in 8-10 hours at most.  
Wrong!  I've put in well over 20 hours of intensive work at the computer.  
I always begin by figuring out "the systems"; what is the best way to stitch the design and what is the best way to explain the design.  These two are not necessarily the same.  I study the design and find the logic of it.  Since I always design directly on the canvas, I never know the logic of the design and it's structure until I'm done.  I design with artist eyes, I chart with an architect's eye. 
Not being symmetrical, The House I Built needed to be broken up into the building blocks of the house.  Once the blocks are individually explained, add a bit of mortar and the blocks are stacked into the shape of the house.  I went to work, illustrated the structure and moved on to each individual block.  I began noticing that the repetitions in the blocks were not identical.  I found many little variations that I had chosen to stitch; using different thread colors, adding small accents,  or flipping the blocks, turning them on their sides.  It was complicated, finding the structure and each time I thought I had it all laid out and explained, I found details I had left out.  This was getting overwhelming and the hours were going by.

The story has no ending yet. I am still charting.  But as I work on the instructions I have time to think and I can't help but wonder if there is a lesson here.  Building a house that is a home is a complex undertaking.  It takes so many elements, there are so many variations, and diversity only makes things more interesting.  It all makes for a richer life.  I hope it does the same for my design. 

Talk some more later...



Where in the world is Orna?

It's been way too long!  I've been thinking about you guys, at least once a day, but I haven't been able to find the time and peace of mind to sit and write.  So much has been going on that mostly has to do with being the mother of an eleven year old.  Want to hear our schedule? 
Monday-Friday, Saxophone lessons everyday, either at home or at school, including shuttling to school for very early morning practice...
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Tennis lessons, which include picking up from bus stop with food and tennis clothes in car, rushing over to the courts while poor Nina gobbles down her food, quick change and on to practice.
School projects galore, which really mean parent projects...
and homework, practicing, starting Bat Mitzvah prep, and more.

I also had a visit from my sister and brother-in-law who came from Israel.  Then we all went for a fun visit to see Nomi, (cute, cuter, cutest). 

I've vowed to get back to my needlepoint and to you, starting today.  So here I am.

On another note, I will be releasing some new and pretty designs very soon.  One such design is "Eastern Door", (see above in the house shaped locket one on the right).  This little locket is fitted with a needlepoint design stitched on 40 count silk gauze.  The design has my regular instructions with color illustrations and laminated charts.  It has a locket such as the one shown above, and the silk gauze which is mounted on stiff cardboard so that you can easily stitch. 

Here is where I need your help...  the question is: THREADS or NO THREADS??  

When stitching a piece this small, on 40 count gauze, you need just a teeny tiny bitsy amount of thread.  In this particular piece I used 9 (NINE!) different threads.  Adding the 9 skeins and spools would bring this little cutie to over $90!!!  However, cutting up skeins, marking them and then packaging the individual pieces of thread is very labor intensive, meaning I must pay to have this done, which again brings the price up.  Not including threads, is that an OK option?  Or will stitchers spend time and money looking for the threads that were used in this piece? (I will add a list of threads in the instruction pack, of course).

Please send your thoughts.  I would love to hear from you about this and any other suggestions you may have on how you would like to have designs offered.  Can't wait to hear from you!

Great talking with you again.


Kit - Gift, an all in one!

I wanted to show you the "Baby Steps" kit and how nifty it is!

Here is the kit in a cool metal box with a window top.  In the box you have all the parts of the kit as well as jewelry box protective stuffing, a large piece of tissue paper for added protection and a jolt of color, a pretty bow and a greeting card.

Once you've completed your bracelet, just place it in the box, on the protective padding, cover it with the colorful tissue paper, put the ribbon on the box and write a dedication of love to the lucky receiver.

A kit, a gift, all in one!


Scissors by design, how sweet it is!

Have you seen the Gingher designer scissor series?  I'm not huge on "cute" but these melt my heart.  For years now Gingher has come out with scissors that have decorated tops.  Every few months a new design comes out and they all have names!  They are collectables, these delightful ladies.  Gingher comes out with a certain amount of each design and when they are gone, they are gone.

Look at SARAH

TESSA just sold out :-(
BIANCA sounds like she's come from Eastern Europe
These are SONIA
ELENA is quite avant-garde
We have been carrying them for the past few months and I've just come back from picking up the new lady in town... Emily.  Welcome sweetie!

You will find Emily on our website.  
If you'd like to sign up to get a pair as they come out, send me a note and I'll add you to our list of Gingher collectors.  Signing up for the series will give you a 15% discount on each pair!  Cool? Cool!

BTW, they come in 4" embroidery, 5" sewing, 8" dress making. 

Check them out...HERE!


Heirloom design, new and precious.

"Baby Steps" is here.  A design that came from a very personal place, my desire to gift my new granddaughter with something she would keep with her, something from my hands and heart -- to hers.

This bracelet is stitched on 40 count silk gauze.  It is stitched with silk threads and mounted on a beautiful woven ribbon.  It is then embellished with Japanese Miyuki beads and finished off with all Sterling Silver findings.  A treasure for someone you love, a bride, a newborn,  a dear friend, or maybe just for you. 

"Baby Steps" is delicate, exquisite and rich.  It is a delightful piece to stitch, with detailing that you can only achieve on 40 count silk gauze. This kit includes all the lovely parts of this wrist adornment, everything you need!  The Sterling Silver ribbon crimps are easily applied to the woven ribbon. 

ALL Sterling Silver findings.

Tiny Miyuki beads embellish the edges.

I am very partial to this new piece, and I think you will be as well.



Work? What's that?

It's been a long time since I sat down to work.  Not even stitching for the past week.  First sick, then some quality time with Nina ;-) and this weekend Nomi is here!  So excuse more family photos for now and see you back at work next week!



Tips are red!

Yesterday was the day we went to see Jay. It was time to get the red tips! Nina had a fun time, she got a glimpse into the underbelly of getting hair done, and she met some lovely people. All in all, we both love the results!

Hey, this is fun!

ahhh, are we done yet?

The red tips are showing!

I can't see anything...

Cool, I like it!

Thank you, Jay

Cutie pie, I love you!!


Au ver a soie waiting to happen.

For my next silk design, standing in line waiting patiently.


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