Parties, Etc.: Nov. 25, 2018
Walk in the front door of Candy and Bob Reece's home this holiday season, and you will see Christmas trees everywhere. And each one is decorated with Candy Reece's neatly stitched, colorful, original needlepoint ornaments.
The collection: There are needlepoint stockings hanging by two chimneys with care. There are also needlepoint boxes, wreaths, pictures, sayings, chairs and pillows. You might say that there is exquisite needlepoint all over the whole house, on 10 huge trees.
Taking the stage: Their Oklahoma tree is new this year. It is filled with ornaments of all things Oklahoma, including Oklahoma flags and some Oklahoma pine cones. The tree topper is an Indian headdress. Ornaments, all well thought out and lovingly handmade, include several Thunder themes and others with C.R. Anthony, Loves, Crowe Dunlevy, the Capitol dome, buffalo, Oklahoma state bird and flower, fish, Kerr McGee, Devon, B.C. Clark, Pops and 12 guitars representing Candy's favorite Oklahoma country singers. There's a shopping cart ornament — in honor of inventor Sylvan Goldman, the Mount Scott cross, tornado, Will Rogers quote, Globe Life, Arts Festival, Chihuly, six oil derricks and a “thank you Aubrey” one — a nod to former philanthropist and businessman Aubrey McClendon. All the ornaments represent Oklahoma and the Reeces' involvement in Oklahoma City through the years.
“The tree ornaments took me three years to make,” she said. There are 110 ornaments. Beneath the tree sits a needlepoint tepee and some buffalo.
“We made ornaments for an Oklahoma tree for the Assistance League in Norman in 1997 for an auction, and I kept the patterns and added to them because I felt like I wanted to make an Oklahoma tree for myself, “Candy Reece said.
All things Christmas: There's a tree filled with dog ornaments. There's a family tree filled with ornaments through the years. A golfer's tree. A patriotic tree (all American flags and patriotic Santas.) There's a Harbor Springs, Michigan, tree and a Naples, Florida, tree, both special places to the Reeces; a tree filled with angel ornaments with a needlepoint Nativity scene next to it. A tree is filled with Christmas carol ornaments and an extraordinary tree filled with candy bar ornaments. It has Reese's Pieces, Milky Ways, Hershey's, M&M's, Bit O' Honey and most candy you can think of dangling on the tree branches — each as a specific ornament.
Deck the halls: A beautifully lighted wreath is on the wall by the front door. The ornaments are all small stockings depicting "The Night Before Christmas" story.
Scene setter: Candy Reece has spent a lifetime stitching (60 years). “I've been stitching since I was 8,” she said. “When I travel, talk on the phone, listen to audio books, watch TV and am at the doctor's office, I stitch. If I sit down, I stitch.”
Touched with sparkle: Candy Reece uses her artistic talents to highlight different stitches in mostly silk and silk blend threads. She stitches in beads, metallics, ribbons and feathers on her creations. She fills in her trees with pine cones, cotton bolls, flags or bows. She is precise in arranging the ornaments to display each where it has maximum viewing. All colors are coordinated and effective.
Preserving a legacy: Her house has a couple of closets for storing the holiday decorations, but there are always needlepoint pillows and other beautiful stitchery for viewing after Christmas is over. She even needlepoints belts, purses (many purses) and shoes.
Family fun: Candy Reece's creativity is an example of a lifetime of very busy hands. “Bob golfs, I stitch,” she said with a happy smile. She truly enjoys her creative artwork. She is very patient since her projects are years in the making. She's a member of two needlepoint groups who stitch together.