Saturday, June 25, 2016

Teaching needlepoint to the masses

Needle Nicely has a policy of encouraging non-needlepointers by handing out a beginner's kit that consists of about a 6" square of 10mesh canvas, an 18 needle, and several strands of Paternayan yarn along with stitch instructions for basketweave and continental stitches.  As Anna of once commented:  "the first hit is free".

Once when Trubey and I were in Georgetown, Great Exuma, there were men doing some sort of charting of the world's surface.  I didn' t really understand what they were doing, but it was certainly fun to socialize with the helicopter crew.  Here I am stitching in the shade (not happily, because I remember that I was stitching with an early leather strips fiber from Dede.  It kept snapping.  Yuck!)

But I did con someone else into trying it.  He was darling, but sad to say, after lo these many years, I can't remember his name!!  He was gorgeous, but sadly not a needlepointer, though he tried valiantly!!

And Trubey and I had a marvelous vacation bonefishing during the early morning and drinking and dancing with the helicopter crew in the evening.  A perfect vacation when you're young and foolish!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Shop model philosophy

When I originally mentioned on this blog that I intended to stitch JP's 15" Santa, rather than the smaller 7" one, Anne Stradal was cautionary.  And Jane of Chilly Hollow encouraged me to consider one of Amanda Lawford's much taller Santas.

Years ago, Trubey believed in always having a model of something no one would consider stitching for themselves.  After all, a needlepoint shop should show what, in an ideal world, can be accomplished in needlepoint.  And that has been Needle Nicely's philosophy for over 40 years.  We don't often articulate it, but that's what we believe.  That's why over 30 years ago, I traveled to the Atlanta market in the airport Hilton and ordered 3 Gerry satchel canvases from Elizabeth Turner Designs.  One was for Trubey, one for her mother Zoe, and one for me.  I stitched mine for use as a shop model.  The only time it has been out of the shop was when Trubey's daddy took us to England on the QEII on about 1988.  I know I eventually stitched Zoe's bag, but can't remember if Trubey ever stitched her own.

Though  the original Mary bag was only stitched for a conversation (and wow!) piece, it is surprising how many other satchels of various sizes and designs we have sold over the years because we had this model.

The same philosophy applies to the 30" Susan Roberts nutcracker that I stitched two years ago.  Susan does the nutcrackers in 30", 18" , and 9" sizes.  I opted for the largest one because he makes such a statement.  Also, seeing the finished product was personally satisfying.  Here again, I have not sold another 30" canvas, but I have sold several of the smaller sizes.  So, the model achieved its purpose in being a sales tool.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Be Merry, 6

I originally had intended to stitch these diamonds in the Diamond Rhodes stitch.  Then, after looking at all those partial stitches, I shuddered--and reconsidered.  I like the way the slanted gobelin looks, so don't feel disappointed in my final stitch selection.

I have  stitched some more background and another few stripes.  I'm also creeping along with the stitches on the peppermint stick.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Noel, XII

I've been working diligently on the white background.  It's amazing how long it takes to make one traverse of that central portion.  Big sigh!  I can see some progress.  Having 3-day weekends should help me make more progress.
 I also stitched all of the dark brown outline on the big, gold ornament.  My mind is still flipping a coin over what, if any, pattern stitch I should be using for the gold.  I suspect that basketweave will win again.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Straggler new canvases

In the past few weeks, I have received some remnants from my canvas orders placed before the season.  I had notified most of the designers with outstanding orders to delay delivery after April until October.  I was looking forward to getting one from Juli Poitras.  The other included a special order from Cooper Oaks.

I ordered this belt of woody cars for a customer.  It is by Susan Barnes and produced by Cooper Oaks.

While checking out the belt canvas on-line, I couldn't resist this canvas of lavendar harvesters.
 Vero Beach has lots of sea turtles laying eggs on our beaches in (I think) February and March.  We have laws restricting the location of outdoor lights on properties facing the beach because new-born turtles head for light (the moon over the Atlantic) and if homes have lights, the turtles will head inland and die.  This belt canvas is a JP design.
 I can't remember if this is a long pillow or a Kate Spade-style pocket book (Imagine the middle chevron as the bottom of the tote bag-style purse).  Either way, it will be fun to stitch.  It is also a JP design.
 And, lastly from Juli Poitras, is this heart-encircled picture frame.  I also think it would be delightful with a monogram or short saying in the opening.
 This classic Santa canvas is a 7" canvas by JP designs and is a reincarnation of a canvas that they originally presented 25 or 30 years ago.  Julie also does this in a 15" version, which I hope to stitch as a shop model later this summer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Be merry, 5

I completed stitching the "Y" in the woven stitch.  I also continued with the background in basketweave, though it is difficult to detect my progress since the blue silk 'n ivory matches the painted background so closely.

On the bottom border, the repeat pattern of stitches continues with the pink satin stitch, the red fern stitch, the alternating Scotch stitch in greens, the lavendar fern stitch, and lastly the white slanted gobelin.

The peppermint stick has been started.  I've seen where peppermint sticks are padded.  I decided that I didn't want that raised effect, so I am doing a double strand of silk lame 18 in slanted gobelin, following the red and white stripes.  I am pleased with how it is turning out.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Noel, XI

A wonderful thing happened Wednesday, June 1, when I was stitching on this.  I had finally reached a point on the inner woven stitch where I could count across the green ornament to see about stitching that little outpost to the right.  I managed to get the count right and started stitching that area.  Then, I thought about the outer border stitching; I counted over and discovered that miraculously I had managed to have it mesh up with the inner stitching.  Hallelujah!  Now on to wage more battles!

After considering stitch possibilities for the right-hand teal ornament, I broke down and stitched it in basketweave.  I think this is a perfect example of perhaps trying too hard to stitch everything in pattern stitches.  Sometimes it just isn't possible!
I now have miles of background to stitch and two very large ornaments.  I estimate that it will take me another month.  I can't wait to see if I'm right in that estimate!