Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Melissa Shirley stable for small creche

Macy came in Tuesday and picked up the congress cloth creche pieces with unstitched figures.  I have stitched all the navy backgrounds with the exception of about 1/3 of the camel background.  I think we will have the figures completed in plenty of time before the annual Festival of Trees where these will be a featured item.

Today I started stitching on the 18mesh stable. 


I started stitching the top front facade of the stable using DMC perle 5 in the slanted gobelin stitch with outlines of continental stitches.  I also started the starlit sky background in basketweave, again using DMC perle 5.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Clara Wells purse, 3

Life is always exciting when you are stitching a pattern-stitch around an opening or design area.  Will the pattern line up?  The suspense builds the closer you get to closing the gap.  Since there are two sides to this purse, I had the scary feeling twice.  But success was mine!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

PTSD in a needlepoint shop???

PTSD is post traumatic stress disorder and we usually use it to refer to battle-related injuries.  But there are many other occurrences in life that can also produce PTSD--like enduring a hurricane that is a direct hit.  After re-reading my entry about "hurricane season 2014",  I was reminded that I am a sufferer of PTSD. That's why I automatically jump out of bed from a dead sleep when I hear a thunderstorm because my subconscious thinks I have to get to the shop to stop the leaks.  I wonder how many years that reaction will last.  And I hope that there are no more hurricanes in Vero Beach to reinforce that behavior.

In Vero Beach, the authorities systematically go door-to-door on the barrier island and those locations on canals and on the westside of the intercoastal waterway prone to flooding when a hurricane is imminent.  They have a set speech which they offer to whomever opens the door:  Evacuation is required.  If you refuse to evacuate, we request the names of your next of kin for notification.  At a certain point (when the wind reaches a certain speed), emergency vehicles are prohibited from crossing the two bridges in Vero Beach that access the barrier island.  At a predetermined point in the storm, water and electricity is cut off (so the water supply will not be breached and polluted and so fallen electrical wires will not cause fires).  So if you live on the barrier island in Vero Beach and choose to stay through a hurricane, you will have no water and no electricity before the main force of the storm arrives.  And for days after it has passed.  

I live on the mainland and just before the last two hurricanes (Wilma, 2005, and Jeanne, 2004)made landfall,  my home electricity  was cut off on the hour. Not just before landfall, but approximately 6 hours ahead.   Could this be a coincidence?  I don't think so.  The authorities have somehow predetermined  the shut-off moment.  Why can't they tell the public?  The day before landfall the authorities remove all stop lights.  Note:  Vero Beach lost so many traffic lights during Jeanne and Frances that they now remove them in advance of a storm.  I'm grateful that my home seems to be on the same grid as some entity important to the community, like the police station or the hospital, so we are one of the first to get our power back.  We're not really close to either of those places--the closest is the high school.  Maybe it is essential because perhaps it is an emergency shelter.  Have to pursue that possibility.

Because of Needle Nicely, my husband and I don't evacuate.  When you own a business, you want to be able to have access to it as soon as you can after a catastrophe so you can assess the damage and quickly start repairs.   

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Clara Wells purse, 2

There are two identical sides to this purse so I'm going to try to stitch a little on each side.  That way I won't finish one side and then drag my feet stitching the other because it's boring.  Ah, what tricks one must play on oneself!




This is my progress on the first side. 







I wanted to show how I started the Byzantine mosaic on the 2nd side.  I copied the position of the pattern on the first side.  These are beautifully stitch-painted canvases.  I liked the flow of the stitch on the first side and wanted to be sure I replicated it on the other side.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

An ebay canvas--excuuuuse me!

A while ago,  Jane of Chilly Hollow blogdom mentioned that people shouldn't expect local needlework shopowners to be overly enthusiastic about kitting canvases purchased on ebay or elsewhere.  Someone rebutted in a comment that a sale was a sale was a sale--i.e., markup for fibers is the same as for canvases and a shop shouldn't care whether it were a canvas or a fiber that was sold.

That's true to a point.  I think most of the resentment of shop owners stems from the fact that they are sitting there looking at all these canvases that no one seems to want because they have bought something else on ebay.  It used to be that ebay was a synonym for cheap.  That is no longer the case.  So, excuse my lack of enthusiasm when you ask me to kit a canvas that you probably paid too much for from....ebay and possibly an amateur artist, rather than my shop or another brick-and-mortar shop and our selection of canvases from professional needlepoint artists.

Needle Nicely has had two geographical locations--the northwestern mountains of North Carolina in Blowing Rock (the original location) and the mid-Atlantic coast of Florida in Vero Beach.  Both are tourist areas that are extremely seasonal.   Trubey and I realized early on in Blowing Rock  that we were so seasonal and out-of-the-way that we couldn't expect all of our customers to have purchased their canvases from us.  We made a conscious effort to be non-judgmental about  canvas origins.  I like to think that attitude is still practiced by myself and my employees at Needle Nicely in Vero Beach.  In fact, I try to apply that attitude to everything about stitching.  You want to learn to needlepoint?  Come sit at this table and I'll teach you the 2 basic stitches.  Don't want to sit here?  Here, take this learner's kit of 10mesh canvas, a needle, and stitch instructions for continental and basketweave.  No charge.   Come in if you have a problem.  If you need help with another stitch, sit down and I'll show you.

Several weeks ago one of my regular customers came in with some bargello that she had started and with which she was having problems.  What was she doing wrong?  She  wanted to pay me for my help.  I was happy to look at her stitching and take out her errors and mention why she went wrong.  No charge, just glad to see you and come back again.

One of my talents is seeing missed stitches in "finished" items.  This carries over to an ability to see where the pattern is interrupted in bargello or pattern-stitches.  I often wonder if I should have headed to New York when I was young to become a copy editor.  Nitpicking seems to be my major talent!!! Just for the record, I'm a small town girl who has always lived in small towns and while I can handle large cities now, at 20 I definitely wasn't ready. But I'm gang-busters at finding your missed stitches.  Don't take it personally when you see all the needles I will insert into your missed stitches.  It's  a non-judgmental service that Needle Nicely provides.  Just bring back the needles!!

I also want to add that when someone brings in a canvas they have purchased from their travels, I ask questions about:  where did you buy it?, what was the shop like?, were the people nice?,  would you go back?  I'm collecting information.  I need to know all of this because I try to recommend shops in other places when my customers say where they are traveling.  I tell my customers that the needlepoint world is quite small.  So if you're going to Boise or Jackson Hole or Dorset--ask your local showowner for some possible shops to visit.  It can't hurt--and there are a very few shops that I never recommend.  Nuff said!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Creche for the Festival of Trees

Last weekend one of those lightning bolts went through my brain (you know how that happens, don't you?).  I remembered that I hadn't stitched recently on the petitpoint creche that was to be Needle Nicely's donation to this year's Festival of Trees.  Actually, the stitching and finishing are to be the shop's gift--the canvases were donated by a customer who had decided that congress cloth was too small for her eyes.  Anyway, in March Macy and I started stitching.  She is in charge of the figures and I am doing the navy background.  However, somehow the project was forgotten and the canvases tucked into a safe place.  Until my lightning bolt struck.

A word about the photographs--I take them at the shop and then edit them at home.  I discovered that my usual technique doesn't work with such small images so some of these are quite blurry.  I'll replace them next week with clearer images.






I have 5 more figures to stitch as well as the 18mesh stable backdrop.  This is my shop stitching until I complete them.  Think fast stitching thoughts for me!!

EDIT:  I've changed several of the photographs, there still isn't the clarity I usually get with my photographs.  Sorry!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Clara Wells purse

I am almost finished with the 5" Susan Roberts tree, but just couldn't resist starting a Clara Wells purse.




This is such an elegant design.  There are 2 identical canvas pieces.  I must admit that I had a difficult time choosing which design I would stitch since each one was more attractive than the last one.

I've decided to stitch this using Paternayan yarn.
The top grey border I'm doing in a row of slanted gobelin, then a row of mosaic, and then another row of slanted gobelin.  The red is what I call a Byzantine mosaic stitch.