I really need to start this blog by spreading the news!  This fall the CreativFestival is celebrating 25 years of creativity.  They will be presenting a Designer Style Challenge and Award searching for the best in Canada.  If you have ever considered designing this is your opportunity to let your creativity flow.  There are 8 categories to choose from with a prize of $1,000.00 per categories as well as a crystal trophies created by Swarovski.  The categories are: beadwork and jewellery design, fashion sewing and design, fibre art/surface design, knitting/crochet, needle art, paper art, quilting and upcycling.  July 31st is the deadline for your application to this challenge so check the rules and regulations in their advertisement in Embroidery Canada magazine and join the fun.

On Saturday February 25th the Toronto Guild of Stitchery had our annual Stitch Day.   Our stitch day is special for a multiple of reasons.  The Toronto guild has both a day and evening group.  However due to the different times that the meetings are held rarely do the members ever meet.  The stitch day brings both groups together to meet, socialize and enjoy stitching and fellowship.
We started our day with a wonderful stitching stuff sale.  One of our brave organizers collected all the donated items in her house.  I felt good about my shopping excursion as I had brought books for donation to the sale.   Raffle tickets were sold and as numbers were called out there was lots of excitement and great applause.  We managed to finally get started stitching when it was time for lunch.  For this special event we had a catered lunch which was delicious. 
After lunch we were all given a bingo card with words related to stitching.  Our new guild member Victoria Moorshead volunteered to be our caller.  Victoria has a beautiful British accent and she had us howling as she rolled out the stitching words.  And believe it or not, there was a tie.  To break the tie, Victoria had the members do a “Rock, Paper, Scissors” game but changed the game slightly to rock equals magnet, paper equals fabric and scissors as usual.  A great time was had by all.  Money raised by our event will go to hosting the EAC ACRAM meeting in Toronto in October 2012.

Lisa Carlin





You may have noticed that throughout my blogs I talked about birth samplers.  My husband, Rod and I have no children, but between the 2 of us we have 9 siblings (Rod and I are both the 5th child with 4 older sisters each), 19 nieces and nephews, 21 great nieces and nephews and 5 great great nieces and nephews.  I am currently stitching for the 5 great great nieces and nephews and now for 3 new great nieces and nephews who are on the way.  Do I have you completely confused yet?  Think how confusing it must be for me.  I have stitched for most of the great nieces and nephews, but when the gg ones started coming along I decided it was getting to be too much.  That is of course until my sister (their great grandmother) asked me if I would stitch something for them.  I certainly don’t mind doing it, but can’t promise how old they will be by the time I am finished since many of the nieces and nephews continue to get married and have little ones.  I have chosen to cross stitch Precious Moments pictures for the 5 of them and will add their names and particulars on the bottom.  They work up fairly quickly as there are not a lot of colour changes.  I hope that before the end of the year I will be able to share them with you...unframed of course.  That I will leave up to Great Gramma.  J 

I am currently about half way through Theresa Wentzler’s Noah’s Ark sampler for one of the new babies who is due within the next couple weeks.  It didn’t look like too big a project until I started stitching all the animals around the outside and realized they are 1 over 1.  I only stitch in the evening and find I can get about 2 squares done a week.  There are 22 squares plus the 4 corner ones.  I have gotten 6 of them done, that leaves 20 to do at 2 a week…10 weeks. Plus stitching the alphabet and putting in the babies particulars.  Arghhh!!  How do I get myself into these messes.  The next baby, due in August will be here before I get the picture finished for the one due in April.  Oh well this will come as no surprise to our niece.  I am sure it was the same for her last baby.  I think next Seminar we need to offer a course on time appreciation…measuring how much time it will really take you to finish a project.  That is definitely not one of my strong points, in fact, quite frankly, I suck at it. 

…I just read this blog over before sending it in and thought how silly I am to be freaking out about stitching something for a baby who will not even know that someone has made something for them for years, so I am going to go now and stitch on something for fun…a needle case for an upcoming needle case exchange.  J

Kathy Taylor


Isn't it amazing how you seem to get more done when you have less leisure time? It sure seems to work that way with me.

My husband had been retired for two years and I was still working full time. We decided we didn't need the money, so decided to slow things down a bit. I quit my full-time position and looked for a part-time job. I was looking forward to having a few extra hours each day to work on designing and stitching. I couldn't find anything right away, so I hired on at an Employment Agency. Within a week, I had a part-time position as receptionist from 12:00 to 4:30. Even with long bus commutes each way, I still had a couple of extra hours each day, so it seemed like I had a lot of extra time to stitch and work on my designs. That position ended and I got another part-time position working at a courier company. Again, it was for afternoons, only this time, I didn't have long bus commutes and had even more extra time for stitching and designing. With my mornings free, I seemed to get a lot done.

My current position is mostly part-time, 5 hours a day in the mornings, but sometimes I work more hours when there is extra work or someone is on vacation. For some reason, I don't seem to get as much done having the afternoons free as I did having the mornings free. I seem to spend my afternoons playing Mahjong and card games rather than working on my design instructions and diagrams.

For the past month, I've been working full days and only have the weekends for my designs and I seem to be getting more done than I did when I had the afternoons free! Having a smaller amount of time to work on my own creations seems to make me buckle down and work, rather than playing games.

In a couple of years when I retire, I hope don't spend all day playing Mahjong and card games on my computer, but we'll see.

Linda Brenner

I recently purchased a wonderful new book, "Colour Confidence in Embroidery" by Trish Burr. It's one of those must-have books that we run into from time to time. I love playing with colour and have a decent knowledge of colour theory. But the techniques I use for choosing colours, whether it be for designs, or home decor or a flower garden do not start with colour theory. They may refer to it if something doesn't seem to be working, or something is missing. There is a quote by Henri Matisse  in "Colour Confidence" that sums it up nicely :
"My choice of colours does not rest on any scientific theory; it is based on observation, on feeling, on the experience of my sensibility"
I've only begun to use the book but I can see that it will be one that I'll refer to often. Working with basic DMC floss, Trish Burr uses actual stitched samples to take us through over 175 colour combinations, as well as over 120 samples of the use of colour compliments. There are over 20 pages of creative colour schemes with such imaginative names as "Under the Tuscan Sun" or "The Devil Wears Prada".
She gives us lots of wonderfully useful hints, such as :
"Highlight colours are not pure white but rather a very pale shade of the main colour plus a hint of the reflected colour. Sunlight reflected onto an object would give the colour a hint of yellow whereas a bluish light on a cloudy day would result in a grey tint."
Then there are twelve step-by-step projects illustrating different colour usage, ranging from florals such as the "Iris Spartan" to bird portraits such as the "Sacred Kingfisher". The illustrations from cover to cover almost turn this into a coffee-table book. Even non-stitchers will be thrilled to browse through it.
Usually I like to see a book first-hand before I buy it but this one was sight-unseen and I couldn't be happier!

Joyce


I love a challenge or a competition.  Not because I want to win - although that is great - but because it challenges me to design and complete a piece.  It gives me personal satisfaction to set a goal for myself, and to reach that goal.  It also makes me overcome the fear that my work isn't good enough.

Last seminar, I entered the Leonida Leatherdale Award because I made that commitment to myself, but even when I saw my piece displayed I wondered what had possessed me to enter!  Imagine, then, my surprise when I discovered I had won.  I was thrilled with the bone broach/pendant, but I was equally thrilled that my peers had judged my work and found it good.

I am sure that many of us have this feeling of inadequacy when displaying our needlework.  When I was seven years old, we were taught needlework at school (certainly shows my age!). At the end of the school year, our teacher held a display of our stitching.  I had made a pink handkerchief case which I wanted on display, but my teacher told me the stitching wasn't good enough for display.  I can still remember  the feelings of hurt, even though I was allowed to display an alternate piece.



I think the need to challenge myself and to compete probably started with this incident, so I guess the teacher did me a favour.  I still have the handkerchief case, and one day I will get it framed, with the story on the back on the frame.

My challenge to you is to enter a competition or challenge so that you, too, can experience and enjoy the satisfaction of achieving a goal.  Check out EAC's challenges or is there one in your local chapter?

Sue
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About EAC

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The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.

Our aim is to preserve traditional techniques and promote new challenges in the Art of Embroidery through education and networking.
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