Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Toting my stuff--in tote bags!! II

This is a continuation of my description of the tote bags I use toting my stuff through life, from library books to needlepoint to groceries to just "stuff".  It's amazing to me what a collection I have amassed over the years.

I just renewed my subscription to the New Yorker and, surprise, surprise, this beauty magically appeared in the mail.  Thank you


A really sturdy canvas bag is the one Needle Necessities handed out at the last TNNA market they attended.


I can't forget this TNNA (the national needlearts association).  I have to remind myself when I look at this that it is the thought that counts, because it is small and flimsy.  It does the job, just not a very big one!
This beauty is from Vera Bradley.  It looks rather flimsy but has served me well.  I'm not sure what fiber it is made from, but the design is certainly attractive.  It isn't fabric, it isn't oil cloth.  I really don't know what it is, it's sort of similar to tyvek.
But the real prize of all of these is the yellow floral tote bag from Vera Bradley that I have years for the pasts ten yearrs or so at TNNA markets.  With it I carry a matching pocketbook.  It makes life so simple--it serves as my airplane carry-on bag.  I put the pocketbook inside (or not) along with my selected stitching
projects and any snacks.  At market, it is the repository for the price lists that I make myself pick up on my first day walking the market.  (Artists aren't really strong on sending new price lists with orders, so you're on your own about managing to get them.)  Later days of the market I use the tote to carry orders, my water bottle, and other items of life's little necessities.  The minute I return home, I empty these beauties, wash them, and then hang them in the closet until I leave for another market.  Vera Bradley has discontinued this size of her purse so I want to preserve it as long as I can foresee myself going to markets.


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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Technologically challenged--c'est moi!

I finally decided for a variety of reasons to purchase a Paperwhite e-reader.  My husband is puzzled by this since I have masses of physical books, hard and soft-cover, waiting to be read.  Be that as it may, I did the deed and went ebook.  So, you need wi-fi to download the books from wherever you select, whether your local library or Amazon.  I contacted my internet provider and signed up for a wi-fi kit and service.  They sent the necessary equipment for me to do the deed myself.  Except I couldn't figure it out.  So I called my internet provider and, of course, reached Indiiiiia.  I know they speak English English, but they don't speak Southern English, and especially not slowly enough.  I confess that I finally hung up on the first man I contacted by telephone.  So I decided to go the "live chat" way.  It wasn't much better.  I think he was a native American speaker, but he didn't have any better ability to explain what I was to do to connect the wi-fi.  And he was condescending and ultimately tried to sell me something I didn't want.  The real crime was that he kept pressing the issue after I told him I wasn't committing to anything that included a monthly payment, no matter how wonderful.  Sooooo, I resorted to having my local computer doctor send a young man to my house to connect my wi-fi.  Other than a brief moment when he asked for the component that had fit a certain compartment in the kit the internet provider had sent (actually picking it up and said, what did you do with what fitted here?), we got along marvelously.  I actually passed the test searching for the lost item when I pointed to where it was plugged in, with the other end of its cord just hanging there.  So he finished the job in about 30 minutes.

Then I went to the website of my local library and logged in, assuring them that I had an Amazon account and a library card.  Next I selected a book in ebook form.  It said it was available and I clicked on it.  Nothing seemed to happen.  I futched around hitting this key and that key for about 5 minutes.  Then went away to ponder.  I came back about 20 minutes later, thought about it, and then opened my Paperwhite and clicked on contents and there it was, just waiting for me to read it.  Sigh!  I'm in the 21st century, at least temporarily and obviously only by accident!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Technology sucks! And you can quote me!

I sent a Constant Contact newsletter out to people alerting them to a Small Business Saturday sale that I was having at Needle Nicely November 29, 2014.  Coupled with that I mentioned that I would have an additional 20% off all in-stock merchandise and incidentally my 60% off rug sale would end December 31, 2014.  Except I referred everyone to a link on my blog that had mysteriously turned dead without my realizing it.  After several people contacted me, I investigated and couldn't figure out what was wrong.  It was Sunday, so I started re-entering the information.  Two hours later, I checked and my new entries weren't showing up.  Much gnashing of teeth while I tried to contact Blogger.  Of course, they were nowhere to be found.  After punching every button I could find, I finally located a place where if I hit 2 spots and then hit accept, miraculously my sale rug entries appeared.  Naturally these were my original entries, and not what I had labored  2 hours over.  Nevermind, the end result is that the sale rugs are once again available.

But remember, because of the new availability of Paternayan, my 60% off sale only lasts until December 31, 2014.  Then the rugs go back to their original prices.  Get them while you can!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blog comments

In a rare "odd" moment, I was re-reading my blog entries over the the past few years, including the comments.  I especially love reading the comments.  And one by Anna brought me up short.  It was her comment on my blog entry about the ombre purse that I had stitched.  The whole idea of the purse was to promote sales of ombre.  The finished product was gorgeous.  Anna really caught my attention by asking: "But did it sell ombre?"  And the million dollar answer is that it didn't.  Fell flat as a pancake.  Sigh.  Too often we forget to answer that really important question:  Did you achieve your objective?  (and do you know what your objective was?)

I was re-reading my blogs trying to find things that would trigger wonderful ideas for future blogs.  Sometimes this method works, sometimes it doesn't. It's definitely food for thought on my part.   Such as, I'm thinking of doing "my 10 best blog entries (that I selected, as opposed to those my readers favored)".  Of course, it would be interesting to compare the two categories. 

I refuse to use this as an opportunity to go into my usual rant about why people lurk and don't comment.  I've been reading a blog "Orangette" and I'm constantly amazed at how many people comment on her entries.  Of course, many of the comments are requests for help in changing items in her recipes; but still, 33 comments on a blog entry? You definitely won't find that on a needlepoint blog.  Cross stitchers are more apt to comment.  Just check out any cross stitch blog and you will be amazed at the number of comments. And I don't even want to consider the differential in the number of followers.  Ah, well!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sick computer--and terrible withdrawal pains

Monday morning I turned on my laptop, clicked on the internet icon--and nothing happened.  My server couldn't connect to the proxy server.  Not that I was aware of whether I did or didn't have a proxy server.  Hrrrmph, hrrmph.  No emails, no blog reading, and most importantly no poker on the Double Down Casino.  So I dropped my beauty off at the computer doctor Needle Nicely has used as long as we have had computers (about 20 or so years).  There were several sick computers ahead of mine and so it didn't get looked at until Tuesday afternoon.  I kept calling to check on its status and was told it had many corrupted files that were taking time to clean up.  Finally, today I received the call that my beauty was once again healthy and ready to be picked up.  Hooray!  I'm showing restraint.  First I read my emails and then I read blogs.  Now I'm blogging.  My reward will be several sessions of Video Poker.  Hooray!

This is one of 2 ribbon stockings I recently received from Creative Needle.

I absolutely love this witch canvas from Shelly Tribbey designs.  So many details that just call out for pattern stitches.
Kate Dickerson designed this delightful backgammon board.  What a wonderful variety of patterns in the points.

Treglown Designs supplied this marvelous alligator canvas.  Those of us in Florida can never have enough "gators".

ANNOUNCEMENT  (I can't get a colon, so will skip punctuation!!) Needle Nicely will be participating in American Express's Small Business Saturday, November 29.  That's a day where if you register your Amex card and then use it for in-person purchases on the 29th you will receive up to 3 statement credits of $10.
To sweeten the pot, so to speak, Needle Nicely will also give 20% off any regularly priced merchandise.  This is the only Saturday during the year that Needle Nicely is open.  Please help me make giving up an extra day off worthwhile!!  I personally will be stopping at Vero's local bookstore on my way to work.

EDIT:  I just clicked on the Double Down Casino site and was greeted with this notice--Thank you for your patience while we perform routine maintenance on this site.  Are you kidding me????  My husband thinks this is absolutely hilarious.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Toting my stuff--in tote bags!

I first started using tote bags in the fall of 1970 when I arrived in Madison, WI, to attend the University of Wisconsin Library School.  Madison was a wonderful training ground on the virtues of preserving the earth's resources by making things reusable, not disposable.  As a seamstress, I made three tote bags that doubled as carriers for my many books and also as carriers for my groceries.  I wish I still had them, but they wore out years ago.  When I returned to the mountains of North Carolina in the fall of 1973, I was a real oddity when I appeared at grocery stores with my own bags.  Even as recently as last year in Vero Beach, I had a cashier looking for the bar code on one of my tote bags.  Although the super markets in Vero Beach threatened several years ago to start charging for plastic bags or even discontinue their use, the population didn't take to the idea so we still have lots of plastic bags being handed out with purchases.  For about a nano second I had my husband converted--I gave him his own 3 tote bags (he regularly does our grocery shopping--I do the big box stores).  Publix then relented their edict and he returned the tote bags to me.  He's a proud plastic user, though he does take them to our local used paperback store so the owner can recycle them for customers' purchases.  Such a citizen!  Update:  A new butcher in town puts your purchases in a brown paper tote with their logo.  I have convinced my husband to keep one in the car to reuse.  The owners of the butcher shop were quite impressed!

My current entourage of tote bags include 3 of the four bags I ordered years ago from the Boston Museum of Art.  The 4th was stolen out of my shopping cart at Target about 7 years ago.  I couldn't believe it.  One of the 4 bags (as a sign, I assume, of sophistication) has slots inside to permit the carrying of wine or liquor bottles without their clanking together.  The patterned fabric still runs when I wash them after lo these many years, so I can only wash them by themselves. What a bummer, but at least they are washable!  However, their handles are disintegrating and the end of their utility is near.  I have even added "carpet" tape to the handles of one of them.  (And I just retired one of them when a 4" slit occurred in the bottom, so I'm now down to two, which is regrettable since they are so voluminous.  Alas!)

On my first visit to Paris, while in Fauchon's I purchased an oil cloth tote bag advertising that emporium.  I am always amazed that no one in Vero Beach comments on it since many of my customers are travelers to Europe, but no one has.

The next tote bag is one I purchased at Liberty's of London during one of my visits there.  The lemon motif is a salute to Indian River citrus--a wonderful product of Indian River County (home of Vero Beach).  I just noticed a label inside it that said it was a product of Italy.  I never thought to look for oil cloth tote bags during my visits in Italy--I think of leather when I think of Italy.   I also purchased meters of oil cloth fabric in Liberty's so I could make more tote bags to give to friends.  Regrettably, it still resides where I placed it when I returned from London.  The best-laid plans!!!

I purchased this gorgeous bag from the Ashmolean Museum Gift Shop in Oxford years ago during a day-trip that Trubey and I made from London. I love looking at it--it is so serene and what I think of as a typically British chintz design.

Another from my European travels is this red mesh bag that I purchased from the Peggy Guggenheim Museum Gift Shop in Venice.  I used it for the remainder of my trip as a catch-all bag that took the place of a pocketbook for one week in Italy and two weeks in London.  It didn't look like a pocketbook --I had a guidebook in it and a small collapsible umbrella, so no one thought it had any money in it and paid no attention to it.   What a brilliant way to disguise my valuables!!  I now use it to hold Needle Nicely's unpaid invoices. 
This faded tote bag is one I purchased from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden after I took the tour of the Opera House one early summer.  It definitely hasn't aged well--but I suppose that could be said for many of us!!








Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Maggie co walls and finished creche

This is the finished creche before I handed it over to the Festival of Trees organizers.  I hope that there are lots of bidders.


Today Macy put these Maggie Co canvases on the wall.  They're so bright and cheery to look at.