Tuesday, December 28, 2010

sasha gets her act together

Thanks to Anne Stradal's comment, I realized that a photograph of the finished Sasha keeper would be helpful.  Sometimes I think I focus so much on stitching a project, that I forget that everyone else doesn't have my vision of the finished product.

This is a photograph from the designers, TS Designs.  I'm already searching for the market basket of  vegetables to hang on Sasha's arm.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sasha, the lady chef keeper

This lady chef by TS Designs was my 2nd 2010 summer stitching project.  While things are quiet  in the shop I allow myself to stitch class projects and shop models.  I haven't named her yet, but must (just named her Sasha so I'd have a title for this post).  I have used silk 'n ivory, Balger #16 and perle cotton as fibers. On her head I have used mosaic and basketweave as stitches.  I didn't want stitches that were too large or demonstrative to dominate the overall effect.  Her eyes are still a mystery.  

 The body section of the chef again utilizes the mosaic stitch and basketweave.  Since this photograph, I have started the apron pockets in the nobuko stitch in white perle cotton.  The checks are done in alternating Scotch stitches.  Her scarf is two shades of red silk 'n ivory in the basketweave. I have yet to select a stitch for the top on the apron, but it will be in white perle cotton and probably basketweave.  The hand towels will be stitched in the woven stitch.  The celery body will be slanted gobelin mixed with continental vertically with the "head" being turkey work. 


These are the arms and legs.  I stitched the arms in the Milanese stitch in perle cotton.  The shoes were encroaching gobelin in silk 'n ivory and the checkerboard alternating Scotch in silk 'n ivory.  The vegetables were done in tent stitch in perle cotton.

The last flourishes on Sasha are going to have to wait while I put finishing touches on several pieces for classes I'll be teaching in February and March.  I must have the schedule finalized by the end of this coming week.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Larger needlepoint rugs

Our larger rugs are displayed on top of a glass-topped coffee table, thus allowing the small rugs to rest on the floor under the table.  Makes one wonder about her physical condition when she has to get down on her knees to show customers the rug inventory.  And getting up is definitely not a pretty sight!

A Lee's Needle Arts design,  this is a variation on the "Tree of Life" with each diamond containing a motif from the standard design.  On 10-mesh, the overall design is 34"x58".

Another Lee's Needle Arts rug, these zinnias will brighten any
life.  There are also individual flowers available as pillow canvases.  This rug canvas measures 36"x47" on 12-mesh canvas. 

This ornithology gem is from Juli Portras of Carmel, CA.  This is a 34"x48" 10-mesh canvas.  It shows the male and female of various bird species.

Tomorrow, Christmas eve,  I will finish unpacking the rugs from the plastic bins--obviously, too many canvases since it has taken so long.  I am an abstemious purchaser for a few days at least.  Today, while I had someone working with me, I climbed and put new canvases on two parts of the walls.  I learned years ago that it wasn't safe to climb when no one else was around--the footstool I was standing on broke and I hit the corner of a cabinet with my upper thigh. It was a frightening, learning experience.

My husband, Arthur, and I will be celebrating a quiet Christmas alone.  I have already brought some stitching home so I don't forget it tomorrow.  I hope everyone has a wonderful, peaceful holiday.  Talke to you next week.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

limited edition ornaments

Each summer, Needle Nicely issues a limited edition ornament.  This year's is a Santa who looks like he's doing a jumping jack.  The kit includes the painted canvas, fibers, stitch instructions and a color copy of the stitched ornament. 

The red elements of Santa's suit in stitched in Petite Very Velvet in the mosaic stitch.  The black areas are encroaching gobelin done in Neon Rays Plus.

I love using Kit Kin (or Whisper) for fur and hair.  Here I did Santa's beard in the long/short split stitch.  His mustache is done in the chain stitch.  The pom-pom on his cap is Turkey work and one of my favorite stitches, the French knot, is used for the furry trim. 

The belt buckle is Balger #8 002HL.  The facial features and background are all stitched in DMC perle 5.

He was fun to stitch and makes me smile when I look at him.

You can see our other limited edition ornaments at http://www.needlenicely.com/ornaments.html.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More needlepoint rugs

This is a 24"x36" 10-mesh needlepoint rug canvas by Lee that is part of the group that I have been unpacking from plastic bins. 

Another is this 24"x36" 13-mesh canvas from Inge Wooley of Creative Needle.  Now that I have managed to get some photos on the blog, I'll have to work on having items straight in the image!!  I suppose imperfection has a certain charm. 

Someone might wonder why the unpacking process is taking so long--we have over 25 smaller rugs (2'x3') and about the same number of rugs 3'x4' or larger.  In the past several years (due to the hurricanes and the slower economy) sales of rugs have decreased while my purchases have remained constant.  I made a decision not to purchase any new rug canvases for the 2011 season.  Some of the new designs were hard to resist.  Perhaps wanting to buy them will cause me to be more aggressive in offering discounts on the current inventory.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

victory over bureaucracy!

 I finally managed to convince the government that I wasn't trying to scam anyone--I just wanted to pay my payroll taxes.  Everyone now knows I'm merely inept!  I succeeded after a mere 45 minutes to obtain an
authorization of my account and the actual transfer of funds to pay Needle Nicely's November payroll taxes.
What a relief (and yes, I will be logging in this weekend to verify my password so this pain doesn't occur next month).

And now, to demonstrate (fingers crossed) that I remember how to post photographs, I want to discuss three rugs as I continue to unpack small (2' x 3') from my hurricane-protection plastic bins.  This process allows me to refresh my memory of which rugs we have currently and also to remind me how
attractive most of them are.  Occasionally there are those which cause me to wonder "what was I thinking?  This is a 2'x3' rug on 10-mesh from Lee's Needle Arts. 

This is a gorgeous shell rug, 2'x3' on 10-mesh from Rosalie Peters of Shariane Designs now distributed
by Kate Schofield.


This is another of Shariane Designs on 10-mesh canvas and 2'x3'.  It is instantly recognizably as Rosalie's design because of her color palate--3 corals, 3 aquay-blues, 3 greens, 3 golds, and in this case 3 lavenders. Totally a design statement! 

Stitching a needlepoint rug canvas is an extremely satisfying experience; so much so, that usually anyone who stitches one rug, then stitches another--and another, etc.  So much more satisfying an experience than pillow after pillow.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Quarterly reports

Procrastination, thy name is Mary Agnes.  Beginning Wednesday, quarterly tax depositors can no longer deposit the funds through their local bank, but must do direct deposit. Of course,  I waited until Sunday to log onto the website only to discover I need a pin and a password as well as my bank account number. 

I was on hold with the department handling this for over 2 1/2 hours this morning, afraid to hang up because I'd lose my place in the queue.  I finally buckled at 2 pm and went to lunch.  When I called later in the day, the wait was only 30 minutes.  The upshot of all this is that somehow I double registered (which could be fraud) so my account is frozen until tomorrow or Wednesday.  If it is Wednesday, I have to pay for my bank to wire the deposit or pay penalty and interest.  Repeat after me,  in the future I will do bureaucratic paperwork the day I receive it.

In the continuing drama of setting up this blog, no one can register comments on my Sunday post.  Did I do something?  I pushed so many buttons, settings, etc., in an effort to insert the two photographs that who knows what else I accomplished.  Cross your fingers that comments can be registered for this post.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

needlepoint rugs

This is my first attempt at blogging--for a technically challenged needlepoint shop owner it has been quite a challenge.  For the record, I own Needle Nicely, a shop started by Peggy Rente and Trubey Walker in the early 1970s in Blowing Rock, NC.  Trubey expanded the shop to include a branch in Vero Beach, Fl., in 1981.  Eventually circumstances dictated the closure of the NC shop  and concentrating on the Vero Beach branch.  It is in its 4th location--the last occasioned by Hurricane Wilma who removed the roof.  It was truely a moving experience!!

Yesterday I started unpacking the shop's rug canvases from the plastic bins where they have been stored during hurricane season.  I plan on spreading the chore over the next week, partly because there is no pressure to unpack them (people don't seem to be clamoring to buy rugs right now--usually we sell them in March and April before people head north).

 Today I didn't unpack any rugs because I was unpacking Christmas finishing and calling the customers.  In the afternoon I went across the parking lot to the Majestic movie theater which participates in the HD live transmissions from the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the National Theatre in London.  Today was a modern production of "Hamlet" from London.  In the first act, I had to concentrate to keep from falling asleep.  As a former librarian, I thought I would rally to the cause better than I did.  I stuck with the performance solely because experiencing it is the springboard for having a discussion with someone about the play. Vero Beach is a small community where many of the play's attendees are my customers.  Attendances at the plays and operas allow for different conversational avenues. 

I was hoping to include a photograph of one of the rugs I had unpacked yesterday, but obviously the email link didn't work.  With my fingers crossed, I'm hoping that by my next post I will have figured out how to post a photograph to discuss.  Stay tuned!!  Mary Agnes