Saturday, October 17, 2009

Taking tomorrow off. Soup's On at Mike's

Not going far tomorrow but I am taking the afternoon off. Yes, it is Sunday but I do have a habit of working 7 days a week. Either that or clean the house. Give me work anyday. My brother invited me for Sunday early dinner with his family. He asked what I wanted and I told him. Home made soup and home made noodles.

When my Grandmother was alive, every Sunday we would have her home made soup and home made noodles. IMHO, there is nothing better than a good bowl of home made soup and none of that fancy soup stuff. Good old peasant not pheasant. Peasant soup.

My brother Mike makes it on Sundays from time to time.

My Grandmother would do her soups a little different than most. She never chopped anything up. Started with a big chuck roast and some soup bones. Brought them to a boil, skimmed the broth and let it simmer for a few hours. Then she tied fresh dill and parsley and whatever herbs she might want to add with a string and dropped it into the pot with the bones and beef still in the pot. It was always a huge pot, the size you boil lobsters in or bigger.

Next she put in whole peeled potatoes, whole carrots, maybe some parsnips, some celery and a whole onion. Simmered it till the veggies were cooked. She did the salt and pepper but often dumped some pickle juice in the soup to sour it up a bit and give it flavor. She would season it up and let it simmer.

Noodles were nothing but flour and eggs. No water. A bit of salt. Made the dough to rollable consistency, rolled it out thin then let it dry on newspapers in sheets. Then she would cut it in strips, layer the strips and slice the noodles, fluff them up with her hands, let them dry a bit more and boil them. When they floated, they were done.

She would take the big hunk of chuck out of the soup and the bones. She would plate that up and then plate up the veggies. You took what you wanted., You wanted carrots, you took one, sliced it in your bowl with whatever else you wanted. You then added noodles and broth. She always had a bowl of pickled cauliflower and onions and pickles you could put into your soup. Oh, and only white pepper. I got the pickles in my soup thing from her. We were the only two who sliced pickles in our soup.

But the treat, called szpik You mashed a potato, put a hunk of butter in it, never oleo (that was never allowed in the was butter or lard only), shredded up some of the soup meat and then took some marrow from the bones and mixed it all together. You ate it like that or spread it on some home made bread.

This happened every Sunday. She would have her whole family over. Gram would go to the early 7 o'clock mass, come home and start cooking. It was all done by around 1PM and everyone showed up. One of her last meals she made before she died was chicken soup. I rememember my father brought some to our house (we ended up moving out of theirs and moved across the street when I was around 4) and I could not bring myself to eat it.

My own family made Sunday soup after she died. It tasted the same but was never the same. I left home about 3 years after she died and my brother learned to make the soup from my father who was a far better cook than my mother was. She would murder her food and everything tasted like overdone cardboard.

I made a big pan of brownies to take to Mikes and plan on enjoying Grandmother's version of soup for the first time in over 40 plus years.

Soup to me is good food, very comforting and I love it. Not really the fancy soups like pureed cauliflower or cream of this and that, but good old throw the chicken or beef or even pork in the pot and some veggies and enjoy!

Hope the szpik did not gross you out. We always ate marrow. Marrow is a big thing in European cooking. Most of those traditions have been lost in our contemporary American cooking. But if you read anything about Julia Child, she used a lot of marrow.

I don't really eat it much anymore. My dogs give me the evil eye when I mess with marrow bones. That is their territory.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Cyber classes

This is something I always wanted to do and now I am doing it. Teach a cyber class.

My class will be conducted through the Shining Needle Society in a yahoo group format.

You can read about it and link over to the group for information on how to sign up. This will be fun and educational, promise you.

Announcing...The SharonG Network -- a class in canvas embellishment

New class for painted canvas lovers and fans of SharonG!

Announcing...The SharonG Network

Shining Needle Society is very pleased to announce our latest class offering

which features SharonG. Sharon is the creative force behind a number of

enterprises -- most notably, her very successful line of painted canvases.

Sharon is somewhat of a rarity in the needlepoint world, however, in that she

both designs AND stitches her canvases.

The SharonG Network will allow you to tap into SharonG's extensive creative

resources and get advice for stitching your SharonG canvas directly from the

source -- SharonG herself!

Think of the SharonG Network as a club you join and then you can interact with

Sharon via email as you stitch your canvas. Sharon will offer stitch and thread

suggestions to help you make your SharonG canvas project uniquely your own! You

will also learn along the way as Sharon consults with your fellow classmates

about their canvases -- what a great opportunity to get inside the mind of the

designer!!! While we will be discussing ONLY SharonG canvases in this

classroom, you don't actually have to own one to sign up for the class.

Sharon's canvases are so appealing, however, that we bet you'll want one

sometime during your membership and Sharon will happily direct you to a shop in

your area where you can purchase your canvas. Online sources will also be

listed, so anyone anywhere can participate.

How does the new SharonG Network work? There will be quarterly signups for the

classroom and it will be ongoing. The cost will be $35 a quarter (three months),

and if you sign up for a year, we're offering a discount making it $120 total.

So, for $10 a month, you can lurk and learn all sorts of embellishment tips and

techniques with Sharon. You have the joy of working at your own pace, and

Sharon will be there to assist as needed. She may even throw in a few general

lessons or an occasional recipe. It's rumored that her baklava is to die for!


Many of you already know that Sharon has a welcoming style in her email

communications. She has been a frequent and knowledgeable participant in the

ANG email discussion list. For an example of her online work and the clarity of

her charts, a ready reference is her own Website and her contribution to ANG's

Stitch of the Month in 2005 (Dragon and Butterflies Kimono).

For Sharon's website:

For Dragon and Butterflies Kimono:

There are a few ground rules for this new class:

This classroom is for SharonG's canvases only. Sharon has a wide range of

canvases in her line, so we hope there is something that will appeal to anyone,

but please know that Sharon will provide stitch and thread advice for her

canvases ONLY. That said, you are more than welcome to join this class and

listen and learn from a true expert in the painted canvas world.

This is NOT a "get a complete stitch guide for your canvas" class. If you just

want a stitch guide, Sharon has a number of stitch guides that can be purchased

with her canvases. Your local shop can help you with that. However, if you

want a chance to work with the designer to create a unique piece of needle art,

then you're in the right place. The idea is that you may already have some goals

for your canvas and how you want to stitch it -- or maybe Sharon will start you

in an area. You complete that and then we take the next area. As each area

builds on those already completed, your piece evolves into your own unique


Shop owners -- this is great opportunity for your customers to get some

specialized help with their SharonG canvases and we welcome you and your

customers to participate.

So, if you're ready to work directly with SharonG to make your canvases amazing,

it's time to sign up for this new class!

Class: "The SharonG Network" (TSGN)

Teacher: Sharon Garmize

Type of class: canvas enhancement/embellishment; canvas is student's choice,

limited to SharonG canvas line

Length of class: Three months (10/21/09 thru 1/31/10 -- and yes, you get a

little more than three months of class time because we can't wait to start!!!)

-- or sign up for a full year (10/21/09 - 10/31/10) at a discount)

Kit contents: No kit.

Student to supply: An open mind and a willingness to learn. If actively

stitching a canvas, then student provides all stitching supplies. Canvas

discussion is limited to SharonG painted canvases.

Skill Level: All levels welcome. Some experience with painted canvas stitching

and reading charts is helpful.

Price(s): $35 per three month signup period, discounted to $120 for four

quarters, paid in advance.

Registration begins: Sept. 28, 2009

Registration for first quarter offering ends: Oct. 14, 2009 -- with late signups

allowed through Nov. 15. Late signups are not pro-rated, but will have access

to posts from beginning of class.

Class begins: Oct. 15, 2009

Class ends: Jan. 15, 2010 (end of first quarter, class will be ongoing)

Payments accepted: PayPal and checks.

To sign up, send an email to Sharon Garmize at sharon@... and include

"SharonG Network" or "Network Class" in the subject line of your email.

Please include the following information:

Your name

Your address

Your email address so we can enroll you in the online classroom

Your method of payment -- check or PayPal.

Your desired length of membership at this time: 3 months for $35, or 12 months

for $120.

Any questions, just email us!

We hope you are as excited as we are about this innovative new concept in

painted canvas embellishment.

Kate Gaunt and Marie-Therese Baker

SNS Founders

Thursday, September 17, 2009


This evening I painted my last horses behind and am now caught up on all of the emergency orders for those. Now onto a few new designs that I will post when I get them done. Not much more to say. I am tired but am fiddling with a floral redesign. I need to enlarge the flowers and jazz up the colors.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Horses Behinds

A little birdie sent me an email telling me Chilly Hollow Jane posted a photo of my Graphic Girls horses behinds on her blog as the canvas of the day.

It is really a Graphic Girls day since I am nailed to my paint table painting half a dozen of them for shops who want them before the end of the month, which is faster than my painters can do them. So, there will be a half dozen painted by Sharon G BH02 graphic girls out there.

I am planning to do a series of stand up single horses behinds possibly themed around a monthly dozen. Stay tuned. Right now they are in my head and did not make it out of my hands yet and onto the canvas.

Here is a link to Chilly Hollow Jane's Blog.

Have a great day everyone. Hope you can get some needlepoint done. I am itching to do some myself but have other business stuff to tend to. Maybe on the plane and in the hotel room next week.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Exciting News! Cyber Class!

I very recently returned from teaching at Designer's Desk in Geneva IL. I came home exhausted and that is good. Means I worked hard. I taught two days of embellishment and a two day class on the Vases Canvas shown earlier in the blog.

Get your calendar out. I am returning December 2nd thru the 5th for more embellishment classes. I will also be back next year sometime. Dates to be announced.

You can contact the shop by phone at 1-800-377-8087 or through the website.

Every time I ventured to the main floor of the shop, (Designer's Desk is in an old Victorian House with an elevator and has 3 floors jammed with goodies) I saw some needlepointers who ventured down from Seminar either during or after. It was great fun to reconnect.

Pat Delp, the owner, asked me to do a cyber class sponsored by her shop. We are working out the details and will have more information very soon. It will be set up in a Yahoo Group. I have a feeling this will be the start of my cyber class gigs.

I do love teaching. And I do know it is sometimes impossible to travel to the shops where I teach. Thus a well run cyberclass will fit he needs of so many. You can even wear your Jammies, although I doubt Pat would mind if you showed up to her shop wearing Jammies.

The shop hosted a trunk show while I was there. It will be packed up on 9/20/09. Lots of canvases found new homes and will be lovingly needlepointed by their new owners. The horses behinds seen earlier in my blog trotted out the door. They may have one or two left.

I can see these done up a lively finished pillows.

I have several things I need to finish up and a few more stitch guides to write before I get my hands on one to stitch.

Another peek into the future of the Sharon G line...I do have plans to have single horses behinds that can be stand-ups. They will be kinda a horse behind of the month, often designed around holiday themes and maybe a few designed just because they happened.

They are trendy and a bit edgy. I think they will appeal to the younger needlepointer but keep in mind, most were purchased by women in their 50-60's age bracket that needed something fun to do.

And, they were designed by me who will be 60 in Feb 10!

Missy, Pat's very fast electric needle needlepointing daughter did an embellishment class on the Christmas Horses. I had no trouble talking Missy into using beads.

More later...I need to get some painting done and pack up for my trip to St Louis area next week. There is a TNNA hotel room show in St Charles MO and I need to be there.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I finally put in the final stitches in the border of Vases. Only have a tiny bit of background to finish. The background is t-stitch with Gloriana Floss in Robin Egg giving it a gentle blue background.
It is very elegant in person. Metallic threads have a habit of not showing up well in photos. The Dragonfly is done with Kreinik Japan Threads. The Vases are all needlepointed with Gloriana silk floss and enhanced with Kreinik metallic and of course, beads. The flowers and bamboo shoots are stitched with Rainbow Gallery Silk Lame. I love working with that thread.
I am teaching Vases at Designer's Desk in Geneva IL on September 6th and 7th, immediately following the ANG Seminar in Milwaukee. Designer's Desk is in the Chicago area and an easy stop over on the way back from Seminar. They will be hosting a Sharon G trunk show during that time. Pat arranged a hotel rate of $75 at a nearby hotel in St Charles IL. In addition, on the4th and 5th of September I will be at the shop doing Embellishment. These will be one day sessions. This shop is amazing. Three floors, an elevator, a wonderful class room with each student having their own table. Lights and stands are provided in the class room if you do not bring your own. The windows surround three sides of the class room so you most likely will not need lights.
The web site for Designer's Desk is
Be sure to browse through the photos to get a tour of the shop.
Gazebo Plus is planning a class early fall. Gazebo Plus is in New Hope PA. It will be in two sessions about a month apart. That is one of my local shops. Local for me means about a two hour drive. I drive through some of the most beautiful areas of PA to get there several times a year to teach. BTW, if you are a knitter, the shop has tons of yarn. I know, it has me hooked and I normally end up with some yarn to go home with. This is a very friendly shop and located next to one of my favorite restaurants, Duck Soup. We always head there for lunch. It frequented by locals and everything is home made and delicious.
Now I get to head back to the paint table to finish up some special orders.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friends were discussing the left/right brain issues. Back in 02 I painted a picture of a needlepointer's brain. I think that is all I need to know for now as I am madly needlepointing a canvas for a class at Designer's Desk in September, following ANG Seminar for those of you who are driving home through IL and want to see the largest needlework shop I have ever encountered.

Hope I got the link right...using the proper side of my brain to recall it. If not, do a google search.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I got back from TNNA market on Wednesday night late after driving through some serious storms.

The show was great and I sold my fair share of new designs so look out for them soon.

I will finally have a few new stitch guides. Several of the students and clients at Gazebo Plus in New Hope PA did some amazing needlepoint and are offering me their notes to develop stitch guides.

I will have some photos up in the next few days.

As another designer/blogger noted, it takes a good week for our brains to arrive back home.

Today is a lazy Sunday. I am working between needlepointing three canvases, a little knitting and some computer work. Nothing like a nice Sunday nap. But not this week. Too much to do.

Tomorrow is another day and I will be back with more news.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

CT35 is a newer canvas that now has a Sharon G Stitch guide. Love the bamboo borders.
D31 is Maria's Door. Maria is owner of Fireside Stitchery in PA. On a trip to Positano Italy, her husband took the photo of this wonderful old deteriorated gate and wall. I am mid way done stitching it now and should have the guide done within a month. The gate is done in Japan Threads from Kreinik. I have the gate half done but it is not shown as stitched in this slightly older photo.

This is 6x6 04, the left side of a triptych. Don't you love the Japan Thread in the Dragonfly.

6x6-04 DONE!

CT46, Toucan Tutu is an 8x10 fun canvas. I loved painting it and can't wait to stitch him, or is it her. Look for a mate, Toucan Can Can coming in a few months.

BH03 Ho! Ho! Ho! BH stands for behinds. I always loved those painted donkeys, horses, pig and whatever you see in all the towns. I will expand the series but for a start, I did 3. I might so Behinds of the month or whatever inspires me. I always said if you can't be different, don't bother. The BH series is 8x10. Good pillow size or a nice framed size

BH 02 Graphic Girls an 8x10 canvas on 18M.

BH01 Flower Girls is also 8x10 on 18M

10x10 01 is the cousin to the pastel flowers below. What an elegant pillow this will be. You can have it in pastels or black.

6x6-07 is a companion in pastels to a great canvas I did in metallic colors on black. It is a 6x6 but also comes in a 4x6, a 10x10 in pastels or in black. I do have a guide on the way for the 4x6 in black which can be adapted to any of the other colors and sizes. Love the background.

Here are some of my new items. Corners is a classic I did back in 1991 and thought it was time to show it again. It is 8x10.