|Robin's Jolly Nutcrackers|
I consider Robin King's work on dede Odgen's Jolly Nutcrackers the height of what beards can be. The beautiful confetti background is ornate but doesn't detract from the individual nutcrackers in their finery. For all the riot of pattern, each nutcracker's outfit is restrained and doesn't detract from all the other uniforms there.
|Lani's Geisha Scroll One|
I don't know if Lani Silver stitches all the stitch guides for her designs but her Carnavale masks, the shoe series and her geishas are all an inspiration. This photograph taken by Carolyn Hedge Baird at the Winter 2013 trade show is a good example of the balance and complexity Lani's stitched pieces have. They are over the top in a restrained way. Look carefully at the ecru boxes and the unusual face stitch. This piece is as complex as Robin's nutcrackers but the design itself is much simpler.
Brenda Hart's rendition of Laurel Burch's Wild Horses from Danji Designs is another masterpiece. Each of the six horses is done in a different stitch yet it all looks harmonious.
|Ruth's Cat Walks in the Garden|
Ruth Schmuff took this HP Designs cat and made it walk! I think my favorite part of this design is the background and the sprinkle of beads at the cat's feet but the dimension Ruth achieved is amazing as well. The framing is also fabulous on this.
|Ruth's Ewe and Eye Snowmen|
Ruth has taken this classic snowmen piece from Ewe and Eye and written a classic guide for it. I am not that wild about Ewe and Eye's style nor do snowmen charm me, but this is a WOW piece.
|Tony Tackles Burne-Jones|
There are many stitched canvases that I adore, many that I would love to stitch, many that have wonderful stitch guides. There are a great many teachers whose work I admire greatly. But the above stop me in my tracks every time.
How about you? What knocks you off your feet every time you see it?