Saturday, December 31, 2011

Leaf medallion class, part 3

The latest information on my camera is that Canon says it isn't repairable so they're replacing it with a comparable model.  Of course, because of the holidays they're out of inventory, so I get to play a waiting/guessing game as to when it will arrive.  The positive side of the situation is that I am getting slightly more proficient with my scanner. 

I've been trying to fill in missing stitches so I can get the effect of my color selections.  To my dismay, I discovered that the top area of the Diagonal stitch with mosaic omits the mosaic stitches on the outer edge.  It actually looks good and is a variation to keep in mind, but consistency is what I'm looking for. 

I received my cucumber silk 'n ivory and used it to fill in the central medallion area with long stitches and around some of the corner hearts with basketweave.   I've also started basketweaving around the tied windmill stitches.  I also did the tied stitch in the lavendar sparkle rays.

I'm really pleased with the progress I'm making and look forward to see what next week produces.

May we all have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Edit:  Make that the inner edge of the Diagonal stitch with mosaic being incorrect.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Flamingo sandal re-purpose

Several years ago, needlepoint sandals were all the rage.  Trubey designed these canvases to fit on Dr. Scholl's wooden forms.  And then they languished on the rack.  Too many people felt the wooden shoes were too unforgiving--uncomfortable and noisy.  So what to do with the canvases?  I'm thinking they'll make inserts for a nice pair of pillows.  They could also be resized to fit some of the Lee's items (like the small purse).  I plan to offer a choice of canvas for a class I'll be offering in the next few months. The flamingo canvas I blog-stitched starting June 25, 2011, is too large for my usual class project.

I'm stitching in 4-ply splendor.  The background is tweeded, with 2 ply each of white and pale aqua.  I decided to do the background in the mosaic stitch.  The first flamingo on the left is started in the Nobuko stitch.  All of the eyes will be smyrna crosses and the beaks will be alternating slanted gobelin.  I've extended the left edge of the canvas and will stitch an extended body of that green flamingo.  I also stitched 2 extra rows of mosaic on the top border and am considering adding 2 or 3 more rows to extend the size. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Leaf medallion class, part 2

I worked alone in the shop today.  I did my good deed and called and left a message (again!) for a grandmother that her finished stocking was ready.  Thank goodness grandfather came running in to save the day.  Several other people stopped in so I was glad I was open until 2pm.  Needle Nicely is in a tourist town, so we are always open between Christmas and New Year's (closing New Year's Eve at 2pm).

I worked on my leaf medallion class.  I'm making progress.  I have decided to add a silk 'n ivory to my fibers, but it's a shade we're out of--hopefully it will be here Monday or Tuesday. 

Once again, I apologize.  I'm still using my scanner while Canon has my camera hostage.  I find out Tuesday whether they can repair it.  I finally talked with someone willing to acknowledge that a month was a little long to be fobbed off with "the part has been ordered". 

I'm up to 9 3/4" so I just have to decide on another one or two stitches.  Next week should show more progress on this, just in time to list it in the class schedule and determine what the class will cost.  And Wednesday I'll show my new home blog project (the leaf medallion is one I work on at the shop).  I confess that I have 2 projects to keep me from forgetting to bring my current project home or vice versa.  Life is simpler that way. 

I spent my afternoon baking a cake and making a cheese ball for tomorrow's festivities, just a quiet celebration with my husband and myself.

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and may we all have a profitable New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Coral Class II, finished (almost!)

I can't believe that my blog entry about starting this class canvas was November 4.  It's amazing how time flies when you're doing a blog entry a day without a working camera.  I've gotten a lot of stitching done in the last month, just very little on this canvas.  And life seems to happen.

First, confession is good for the soul they say.  Hmmm.  Last week I was trying to hustle the completion of this when I noticed that my background count was off.  So, I blithely made it right and continued stitching.  No one will notice, I said to myself, the former library cataloger. 

Well, it was waving a red flag at me, so last night I cut it out and stitched it correctly.

Now I just need to complete stitching 3 rows of basketweave around the remaining 3 sides and it will truly be finished.  I've already selected the project that will replace it in my stitching life.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Leaf medallion class

Took the last of the Christmas stockings to the post office yesterday afternoon.  It's always such a relief when all of the items that customers expect actually are finished and on their way.  I expect one pillow on Monday that I wasn't sure the finisher could get done, but she made a special effort.  With that hurdle out of the way, I can concentrate on what I'll be teaching come "the season".  Demand for my classes has been down since the hurricanes (some people still haven't returned--just tried to sell their places and move on) and because of the slow economy.  Still, I try to find things that will catch people's interest. 

Today I worked on what I'll call my Leaf medallion class.  This is what I managed to stitch today in between waiting on customers and listening to Madame Butterfly from the Metropolitan Opera. 

This color is so off.  Canon is finally promising the return of my camera this week.  We'll see since it has already been over 3 weeks. 

Anyway, you can see where I didn't crop the bottom as closely as I usually do.  The canvas has a knot, so I need to make the stitch in that area cover it.  Something like a Scotch stitch or slanted gobelin should fit the bill.  Actually, even a tent stitch will cover it--knots can usually be forced to the back out of the way.

The fibers I'm using are splendor, silk lame braid, watercolors, and sparkle rays.  I started out with perle cotton, rather than the splendor, but it didn't cover well for the upright stitch. 

I want my finished design to be about 10x10 on 13m.  So far, I've got a 4x4, so I'll be spending some time flipping through stitch books for ideas.  More on this at a later date.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mini-mystery#2 continued

I had a lot of fun stitching this.  Now I have to decide if I'm going to add anything else to it.  Laura has several suggestions on her blog (  In my earlier blog entry, I neglected to name the watercolors I selected--it's "Meadow", one of my all-time favorites because it looks like a spring meadow to me. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

First Blogiversary!

I can't believe how much I've learned about various aspects of technology in the past year.  Also, it has been wonderful to discover how helpful and welcoming people in "blogdom" can be.  And a tip of the glass to many more years.

On November 7, 2011, Laura J. Perin blogged about a mini-mystery design (two-handed stitcher).  I stitched this on 18m canvas and blogged about it on November 25, 26, and 27.  Then I thought about how it would look on 13m canvas. 

I apologize for the colors shown here--my camera still hasn't returned from its repair visit to Canon and this is the scan I did.  I haven't mastered tweaking colors on a scan like I have on my camera.  I do promise to photograph this when life returns to normal, i.e., I get my camera back.  (And I certainly never thought I'd say something like that about a camera pre-blog!) 

On 13m canvas this is almost 5 1/2" square.  I stitched it with 2-ply watercolors and used 2 shades of DMC perle 3 and 1 of sparkle rays.  I am toying with ways to enlarge it even further and will show my progress here.  Again, thanks to Laura for offering the mini-mystery.  It has been enjoyable.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Amanda Lawford boxes

I;m always looking for different ways to display stitched needlepoint.  That's why I was thrilled to see the boxes that Amanda Lawford is selling.

These have a 4" circle, which is a nice size that can even allow you to stitch something on 13mesh, though most designs are on 18mesh.  Amanda has a variety of designs available.  She also has a series of music boxes with an interchangeable music box element (so you can change the tune if you wish).  They come in different finishes.  This one could be for Valentine's Day, but as you can see the melody is "Winter Wonderland". 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gone fishin!

Today started out inauspiciously at the shop.  I walked in the door, hit the light switches and immediately noticed a rolling black-out.  I don't understand how it works, but if the electric power isn't "full strength",  the light fixtures take turns being on.  And the air conditioner keeps trying to come on (nice way to burn one out!).  After turning everything off, I grabbed my cell phone (the shop phones don't work when the electricity is off) and called the town electric's emergency number.  Thank goodness Vero is a small town and it took less than 2 hours for the problem to be fixed.  Not quite long enough for the shop refrigerator to defrost, I'm sorry to say, since I've been procrastinating about tackling that little chore. 

But this blog is about needlepoint.  This is a fish purse canvas designed by Joanie Sherman.  It was fun to stitch.

Here you can see that I used the mosaic stitch for the teal stripes and the yellow areas of the tail.  I also did yellow smyrna crosses.  The red circles are Kreinik metallic.  The remainder of this view is done in basketweave or continental stitch in perle cotton.

The nose is done in the Victorian step stitch.  The fin which was on a separate piece of canvas was stitched in the mosaic stitch.

This is the finished purse--it was finished with a teal ultrasuede hard gusset and back.  The perle cotton shoulder strap was a mix of pink and teal.

You can see that the fin was lined and then attached to the purse.  It's enjoyable to carry since everyone notices it.  Thanks, Joanie.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mini-mystery #2

This Monday, Laura J. Perin posted the beginning of another mini-mystery (two-handed stitcher.blogspot).

Having nothing else to stitch (snort, chuckle, teehee), I gathered the fibers and produced this:
This scan is so washed out, the computer said "do not print from this image".  Can't wait for the camera to return home.  Enough whining.  My colors are:  watercolors 003 Meadow; DMC perle 5 3814 and 993; silk lame braid  SL26; and petite sparkle rays PS58. 

Now to wait patiently for next Monday when Laura will post the next set of instructions.

On another topic, I managed to blog every day in November as part of NaBloPoMo 2011.  Whew!  Made more difficult by not having a camera at my beck and call.  It was a challenge that I'll try again next year, but twice a week is enough for me as a regular thing. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stitching for hire

Needle Nicely often has customers who either don't want to needlepoint but like the look or overestimated their commitment to needlepointing a project.  That's when we step in and, for a price, will finish the stitching.

This is a baby's first Christmas bootie ornament designed by Kathy Schenkel.  Each September one of our customers decides she wants us to stitch half of this for a selected child.  She buys the entire canvas and fibers and we stitch the stocking on the right.  First we add the name and then complete the stitching.  She has found someone who does the final finishing of the ornament.

We ask no questions about the derivation of names (well, we wonder...). 

We'll also finish belt canvases.  This belt, an Elizabeth Turner design,  was purchased approximately 8 years ago and the customer managed to do one square inch.  She change all of the original colors.  We finished the stitching and it is now at the finisher and will be back for her to give as a Christmas present.
Another item we've been working on all summer is a 4'x6' 10mesh rug for a woman who purchased it from us 20 years ago.  She has decided that she wants to see the finished product and fears none of her children would bother to stitch it if she died.  It should be finished about February.  I'll post a photograph before we send it to the finisher.  That is, if my precious camera ever returns home from the repair shop. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ordering canvases for the season

I spent today with Rondo, one of my needlepoint sales reps. I first met Ron Needle Nicely's first winter in Vero Beach.  It was also his first year as a needlework rep so we have lots to chat about.  Spent from 9am to 3pm looking at photos of needlepoint canvases, deciding which ones to order.  I time-date the delivery so the canvases arrive the end of Jan-beginning of February when "they're here"--the snowbirds, that is.  I usually meet with Ron in September, but this year I waited because the pain of what a terrible season last winter was lingered.  And lingered.  However, with painted canvases, you can't order them today and expect them to arrive tomorrow.  The designers need time to do the painting or have the painting done.  In these tough economic times, designers can no longer afford to stock much inventory so you have to allow for that when placing an order. 

I met with Priscilla, my other sales rep, the week before Thanksgiving for an afternoon.  This time allows us to catch up on information about mutual friends and in general what's going on in the industry.  Like, what do we think is going on at JCA (Ron was their rep for 30 years, until last year), what shops have closed, where are there new shops, etc. 

One might ask, if there are markets, why are there sales reps?  Markets contain so many designers and companies that it is impossible to spend quality time at each booth.  When I go to market, my first day is spent collecting price lists, looking at displayed canvases and saying hello to people. I've been in this industry for over 35 years, so I know a lot of people and I'm chatty!!  I cover the entire show, but only take price lists from companies I want to order from, either at the market or in the future.  My philosophy is that I don't want to carry paper I never intend to look at.  And, why take someone's paper they paid good money for if you're just going to toss it?

The second day I start placing orders.  And taking the time to chat with the designers who have reps.  They have new designs that the rep didn't have, so now is the time to order them, knowing they will need to be painted and will arrive later than previous orders. 

Markets are wonderful in that they allow you to get the mood of an industry.  But they are expensive.  I doubt that I will be going to the Phoenix market in January because of its cost.  My plane ticket is free because of frequent flier miles, but my food and lodging aren't.  It's the season in Phoenix so the hotel rooms are $150 to $250 a night.  Yeow! Sometimes I take the redeye home so I don't have to pay for that last night's room.  I look on the meals as a treat since Vero is such a small town.  At market I look for Chinese and other cuisines I can't find in Vero. And I refuse to go cheap because I can do that at home (and too often do).  I want to experience the market, whether it's lunch at Coronado or dinner on the Queen Mary in Long Beach.  And usually a group of us will get together for some quality time with some good catching up along with the food. 

But you can never forget that you're committing money.  One year I took a class with Shay Pendray that used Splendor.  At 10am after the class, I went directly to Rainbow Gallery and ordered the entire line of Splendor, I was so taken with it.  That night I didn't sleep a wink.  I had committed to over $2200 for the Splendor.  Would I be able to pay for it?  Scary thought. 

So as a shopowner you always are looking for a Splendor moment.  Maybe that happened today with Ron.
We'll see in February when the canvases start arriving.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mini mystery from Laura Perin, III

Ta da!
What fun!  I finished stitching this today while I was watching Roger Federer win the year-end tennis tournament in London.  That makes for double delight. 

Laura mentioned that this variation of her design used a lot of metallic.  Well, I started having heart palpitations from more than exciting tennis when I realized that I was close to the end of my silk lame braid.  I finished with a mere 9" of that fiber left.  Whew! I know I have more of that color at the shop, but I wanted to finish this today. 

In the past few days I also discovered that other bloggers were stitching this mini-mystery.  Go see their color selections at:;; and  It's great to be able to see how different designs look with different color combinations.

And tomorrow Laura says she's going to begin another mini-mystery. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mini mystery from Laura Perin, II

Today I moved on to the 2nd Monday's assignment in Laura Perin's mini-mystery.

The colors in the scan aren't as bright as in the original, but at least you can see the different fibers and colors used. 

I plan for my stitching tonight and tomorrow to be completing Monday #3's instructions, which provides the outer border for this square.  I can't wait! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mini mystery from Laura Perin

On Monday, November 7, 2011, Laura J. Perin on her blog
started a mini-mystery charted design.  She asked that the stitcher select one color of watercolors, one metallic and two perle 5 in colors that picked up shades in the watercolors.  I selected Watercolors 144 Pomegranate, silk lame braid SL52, and perle 5 352 and 3801. 

You'lll have to pardon how askew this image is.  My camera is in for repairs and I had to scan the canvas.  Whoopee!  I suppose I will improve with attempts, but time is short (and it's almost time to start preparing dinner!).  This is the stitching as Laura suggested for Monday #1.  I don't like all the canvas showing around the central motif so I added another stitch.

I like this better, my apologies to Laura.  In the next day or so, I'll show the stitches from Monday #2.  I'm glad I finally remembered my flatbed scanner, since I had put off stitching this because of my camera problems.  As everyone will understand, these were "burning a hole in my pocket".  I wanted to stitch them NOW!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tassel canvas III finish

The tassel on the far left is stitched in a yellow Balger in alternating slanted gobelin with a row of continental down the middle.  The top of the tassel is done in Smyrna crosses in a bright silver metallic.
French knots form the top bead on the next tassel.  The top of the main part of the tassel is turkey work stitched in candlelight.  The bottom of the tassel is the fern stitch in a hot pink metallic.  Mosaic stitches and smyrna crosses are also used in the top areas of the tassel.

It's satisfying to admire the finished product.  The combination of stitches with metallic and matte lends this purse flap a certain exotic flavor.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sweater ornaments

Barbara of Stitch-Its has a series of sweater ornaments using 13mesh canvas.  They stitch up really quickly.
Some are cardigans that come with decorative buttons; others are pullovers, some with large thematic buttons (gardening, sports, etc.).

And then Barbara will paint custom canvases in the colors of your favorite college. 

A special order for a customer.

I have 2 degrees from Appalachian but I can't manage to get blogger to let me type to the left of this photograph.  Grrr! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More about service

Kitting is another service provided by needlepoint shops.  Needle Nicely sells the majority of its canvases "canvas only" (though I do remember pricing canvases to include Paternayan yarn--long before the advent of specialty fibers).  I try to emphasize to customers that they should try to use the fibers they already own, rather than always buying everything new.  And I don't mind going through the bags of left-overs, organized or not (though organized is definitely preferable!), to help kit the new canvas.  Usually people tend toward the same colors so their leftovers will be relevant to additional canvases.  I must confess, though, to having had a customer scold me by saying "stop trying to save me money!"  Believe me, I haven't made that mistake with her again!!

Hand-in-hand with kitting is stitch selection.  Sometimes a thicker (or thinner) version of a fiber is needed for a certain area done in that special stitch.  Stitch guides are all the rage today.  I resist buying them to accompany canvases in my inventory because I feel any shop owner should be able to suggest appropriate stitches and fibers.  Not to mention that it adds to the final cost of the canvas.  Not good when someone is hesitating about the purchase.  Sometimes I feel that the stitch guide becomes the be-all and end-all and the design disappears.  Ditto for some of the exotic fibers called for.  End of minor rant!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tassel canvas II

Continuing with the tassel canvas, the tassel on the left is done simply in the chain stitch in a dark champagne-colored candlelight. 

The beads at the top of the next tassel are done in combinations of French knots and cashmere stitches.  Then the fun--area of turkey work produce a wonderful fluffy effect.  Then the bottom of the tassel is done in alternating slanted gobelin rows interspersed with continental.  The "dangles" are French knots again.  Quite a pleasing effect.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Star fish and Sand dollar

I have talked often about coral designs, and in fact I am finishing my 2nd coral class canvas which I'll blog about again as soon as my camera returns from the doctor.  And I have stitched several seashell items, most notably the seashell tote (or someone said it was a pocketbook--whatever).  Associated Talents has done two pillow designs that are striking in their simplicity. 

I love them and wish there were enough hours in the day for me to stitch them.  They'll look just as good on a rattan settee as on a coral loveseat or a bone leather sectional.  A decorator's dream!

And miraculously I'm still alive in posting everyday in November.  I'm amazed! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Peppermint stripes mini-stocking

Rainbow Gallery has a continuous free charted design program that assists in promoting the Rainbow Gallery fibers.  These charts are reprintable by shop owners to encourage customers, so your local shop should have access to them.  They're usually free if you buy the fibers and sometimes even if you don't.  I like to stitch charted designs, but many of my customers prefer painted canvases.  Anyway, this is a design by Joan Lohr from 2006.

The cuff is a stitch called Woven Ribbons stitched in opal fyrewerks.  It's a nice stitch that goes quickly--yes!!  The edging is the long-armed cross stitched in silver goldrush 18. 

The body of the stocking is done in stripes.  The first is the interlocking gobelin in silver goldrush 18.  The next stitch is the fern done in 4-ply christmas green splendor.  Another row of the interlocking gobelin, followed by the slanted gobelin in red goldrush 18; repeat until finished. 

We made a twisted cord from red perle 5; backed the stocking in red velvet and lined it with a plaid taffeta to make an inexpensive Christmas present for someone.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lee's Needle Arts tassel canvas

Using impressions, I started stitching the background in black impressions in the mosaic stitch.  I like to start with the background so I can spread its stitching out (when I get bored, I can do something "fun"). 

I stitched the bamboo from which the tassels are hanging in a cashmere stitch the length of the width of the bamboo in a medium brown impressions. 

The first tassel's body was stitched in the chain stitch in a melon-y candlelight.  The yellow part of the top of the tassel was done in alternating slanted gobelin.  The hanger was done in a metallic gold rush 18 in the mosaic stitch.

The next tassel's body has panels of the fern stitch separated by rows of continental stitch.  The largest two-color bead is stitched in French knots using gold rush 18 and candlelight.  The contrast in "shine" adds to the texture of the knots.  The other beads are done in various cross stitches, Scotch stitches and mosaic stitches.

This design was fun to stitch because so much is going on with each tassel.  Great fun to play with.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

In for repairs!

At the shop yesterday I pulled out the trusty Canon camera to take some more photographs for "the" blog when the camera started beeping at me and displaying E18 on its screen.  Being a mechanical genius (NOT), I immediately dropped it in my tote bag like it was a hot potato.  Las night I spent some time flipping through the manual before I broke down and emailed Canon.  The upshot is that today I mailed the camera in for evaluation and repairs.  Cross your fingers that it doesn't take long or cost much.  I must say Canon customer service is prompt and helpful.

In the interim, I do have some photographs and topics that I have tucked away for a rainy day or extended trip.  I have to maintain my NaBloPoMo 2011 writing streak!

This time of year in a needlepoint shop is one of constant arrival of finished customer projects from the finishers.  That also means calling customers or, as happens alot at Needle Nicely, shipping many items.  Last Thursday I was a whirling dervish of activity.  Cutting up long canvas boxes to make smaller boxes for shipping Christmas ornaments.  Putting Christmas stockings between pieces of cardboard and using a roll of tape to make sure the edges are closed securely.  Finding the right size box for that gorgeous pillow.  Marcia waited on customers while I managed to close up 17 items of various sizes for mailing.  Then, at 4 pm I sat down and stitched for an hour as my reward for being so industrious.  The next morning my DH pointed out to me that no, I didn't need to leave early because the post office was closed! (Needle Nicely was open--when tourists are in town, we're open.  With the exception of New Year's, Christmas, Fourth of July and Memorial Day.)  Boy, did I rue that hour of stitching.  But Saturday a.m I was standing in line at 9 o'clock to make sure everything got mailed.  While I know I could use online postage programs, I'm a small-town girl and prefer the banter with the post office counter staff.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vero Beach ribbon pillow

This is a fun canvas designed by Rosalie Peters and sold by Kate Schofield.  It's on 13mesh canvas and provides a nice variety of things to stitch including signal flags that spell Vero.  The Needle Nicely shop model is stitched with perle 3.  The blank squares were filled with pale yellow mosaic stitches.  The outside border was stitched in the same yellow in the woven trellis variation.  This model was stitched by several Needle Nicely employees and some of them are now less than fond of the woven trellis variation.  They say it is easy to get "off count", but also agree that the finished product is worth the pain. 

We could have added other stitches, but I wanted the design elements to be the real center of attention.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ombre purse

This purse is a perfect example of "necessity is the mother of invention".  Years ago the pundits at Needle Nicely had fallen in love with ombre, a multicolored metallic fiber from Kreinik.  They/we ordered bunches.  That didn't sell.  Time passed and it was noticed that no one was buying ombre.  What to do? 

I traced the shape of a shop model purse on 18-mesh canvas.  Then I started stitching 18x18 stitch squares in basketweave with each color combination.  To divide the squares I did 3 rows of pewter LaLame metallic, again in basketweave.  Then for the finishing, the finisher made a shoulder-length cord from the LaLame.

Looking at this purse today I can see so many design possibilities, from varying the metallics in the squares to making the size of the square smaller to doing different stitches to. . . really, there are many more possibilities.  Perhaps I'll explore some of them in the future on this blog.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Brenda Stofft designed this camel that is festively bedecked. 

We stitched the camel's fur in the long/short split stitch using 3 different shades of Medici yarn.  The ground was done in the interlocking gobelin in a solid tone of Medici.  The sky was basketweave in a navy fiber.  The stars were stitched using white gold rush 18. 

The blanket and neck collar were stitched in perle cotton with a multitude of various metallics to emphasize the impression of gems and  precious metals.

The overall finishing was done as a standing stuff with cording made of a combination of gold and silver metallic.  The camel could have also been finished as a hanging ornament.  Finished it stands about 8" tall.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

cuff class, finished models

This has been such a satisfying weekend.  In addition to receiving the seashell tote back from one finisher, I received another package containing my two cuff bracelets for a 2-session class that I will teach, once in February and once in March.  This photo shows the black/white/gray combination.  And the next photo shows the lining.

It was fun Saturday to wait on customers while wearing this beauty!

And the bright color combination: 

You can see from the photos that more of the stitches show on the black/white/gray cuff than on the bright color one, though the two cuffs were stitched identically.  Good finishing is hard to find and I try not to quibble about small things so long as the finished product is attractive. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Anniversary seashell tote, finished product

Oh, the absolute delight of having something turn out even better than you have envisioned it.  That's how I have felt all day after receiving the finished seashell tote from the finisher by US Mail.  I was so excited to see the box that I almost hugged "Cupcake", Needle Nicely's nickname for our letter carrier, Marc. 

I blogged about stitching this canvas beginning the first week in May and it took me through July, averaging one hour of stitching a night before cooking dinner.  It was a fun project to stitch.  Happy 30th anniversary!!

This is a side view.

And this to show the bottom with its little gold feet.

And a view of the inside with leather trimmed pockets that include one zippered pocket.  I left the lining color up to the finisher and I'm thrilled with how elegant it looks.  Everyone who came in the shop today had to admire it (and I'm sure I'll be just as proud all winter). 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Iris luggage rack straps

Blogging daily for NaBloPoMo 2011 doesn't allow me much time for stitching.  That's something I didn't consider when I got the bright idea to participate!!  Anyway, I'll use the opportunity to show some of the projects stitched by my customers.

These are iris luggage rack straps designed by Village Needlecraft.  Susie stitched them in silk 'n ivory.  They look elegant.

It's almost a shame to cover them up with a suitcase!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A finished coral pillow

In January I  talked about stitching this canvas:

I recently received the finished pillow from my finisher and was so pleased with the finished product:

NOTE:  Just so the world doesn't think Needle Nicely uses the absolute slowest pillow finisher--I kept this stitched canvas to show customers throughout  "the season" and only sent it to be finished in August (if you send it in May, you get it in July.  In Florida you have no business in July so you can't pay the bill).  I waited until August so it would arrive in October when I would be flush with money (tee, hee, hee) from the Florida mini-season.