Wednesday, May 30, 2012

If the shoe fits...session 6

The end is in sight for my shoe canvas.  Of course, it helps that I've been getting up at 5:30 am to watch the French Open tennis before going to work.  I've been happy to discover that my unopened skeins of silk 'n ivory are all the same dye lot so I won't be having even more streaks.  As I said before, the dye lot difference isn't noticeable to the naked eye. 

On another topic, someone called yesterday looking for The Humble Bag's Wonderful Stitches by Diane Schultz.  I shipped her my copies of the new edition, but still have one copy of the original edition in case anyone is interested.  Just call me (772 567 6688) is you're interested.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A repaired fiber rack and some creche figures

Thank goodness for friends with home workshops!  The "spider"sections of my fiber rack needed to be put into a vise and bent back into their proper positions.  Tom kindly did that for me this morning and his wife, Lynn, and I immediately reassembled the rack and Lynn started hanging cards of Splendor.  Of course, time spent dealing with this rack also explains my lack of stitching production this week.  Mumble, mumble, mumble.

At least everyone knows what I'll be doing next week.  It gives a whole new meaning to the term "stoop labor" (my lower back loves it).  And many thanks to John from Rainbow Gallery for his long distance counseling.

On the canvas front,  last week I received some Christmas canvases from Rebecca Wood.  She has a new creche with the following camel and wisemen designs.  Notice that they are paired with matching fabrics.

It's also a nice touch that the camels have 3 different poses.  Of course, my fav is the one looking right at us.

And this exhausted Santa reflects how many of us feel on Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

If the shoe fits...session 5

That sound you hear is the gnashing of my teeth.  I just edited the photograph of my progress on the shoe canvas, only to discover noticeable dye lot streaks.  I never let customers start backgrounds without having enough to finish, so why do I just blithely grab skeins at random?  I would pick out the bad lot, but I did another no-no.  I kept both dye lot papers, but NOT on the fiber.  They're just floating around, so how do I know which lot is the last one stitched.  Surprisingly, the color differences show up very little to the naked eye.  This has happened before, where something shows up in a photograph that isn't obvious at a glance. The only thing worse than this is if I get more dye lot streaks with the next skein.  I think that will be the time to contemplate my navel and hmmm.

The never-ending saga of the spinning fiber rack continues.  When putting on the panels after installing the new doughnut in the base, I managed to snag one in the hooks holding the panels in place.  Bent them.  Tried to put it together as it is, but not satisfactory.  After another telephone consultation with John of Rainbow Gallery, I have to take the rack apart (AGAIN), and try to bend the hooks back.  About this time a new rack is starting to look very good to me.  And heaven help me if anyone wants a card or two of Splendor in the near future.  It's in 6 boxes, in absolutely no order.  Someone came in yesterday looking for a flesh color and I miraculously plucked it from pandemonium.  All I could think of yesterday while I was wrestling with screwing panels together--"All I want to do is work in a needlepoint shop where all I have to do is sit and stitch all day".  Me too!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Swimming with the fishes...finished!

I was dreading doing the encroaching gobelin on the 4-pronged seaweed shown of the right.  Then I realized that the rows of continental in the tails made it easy to go along the row to be sure the stitches would mesh together at the bottom.  Whew!

I stitched the eyes in silver and black neon rays plus.  I wanted glossy shinyness rather than sparkling intensity.  I think it worked, though I'm not sure it shows up well in the photograph.

And so another project is finished.  And the next one is already kitted and on the stretcher bars.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Life is a continuum....

How delightful it was one morning last month to look up when a customer came into the shop--what a pleasant surprise!  It was Anne, whose parents have had a 2nd home in Vero since 1981 (and perhaps earlier) when we first opened Needle Nicely for the winter in Vero Beach.  I guess that she was about 25 years old and newly married when I first met her.  Through the years we have experienced her having 5 children and have seen their growth to adulthood.  It's really refreshing to have young adults come in who appreciate what they're looking at.  And it's always nice to see the continuum of the generations.  And now Anne is anticipating the arrival of a grandchild, for whom she will stitch a Christmas stocking.

I had a gentleman come in Saturday morning several weeks ago--and I recognized him.  Well, not really.  I recognized his resemblance to his mother, who had been a customer for years.  How marvelous a feeling, and I think he thought so also after I asked if he were related to her and how was she doing.  Sadly, she has passed on, but the memory of her personality lives on.

Someone came in the other morning to buy several skeins of DMC perle 5 cotton.  She looked so familiar, but I couldn't come up with her name.  While she was looking around, I finally caved in and asked her why she looked so familiar.  As it turned out, she had been one of the health aides of a longtime customer who had developed Alzheimer's (but only forgot how to needlepoint for 3 months in the middle of the progression of her disease, and that was while she was recuperating from a broken arm!).  Her client/patient died several years ago and she no longer had a reason to come into Needle Nicely.  But she needed the perle 5 for a cross stitch project.  I didn't miss the opportunity to give her a needlepoint beginner's kit!

One of my strengths is my memory.  I remember many of the customers Needle Nicely has had over the years, whether it be visually or audibly.  I had a hearing test several months ago when I was having ear aches.  The doctor told me that I didn't have "good" hearing--I had perfect hearing.  My employees will tell you that I can hear what they are whispering!!  I can usually remember what customers have bought and where they're from.  And, though I've never been known for my tact (check my high school yearbook!), I do try to refrain from mentioning embarrassing details. Or asking about that project they purchased 10 years ago.   At least, I'm working on it. 

The bottom line is, whether you like it or not, if you have ever been in Needle Nicely, or called Needle Nicely on the telephone, Mary Agnes will recognize you.  So accept it (or run!), smile, and talk with her about old times.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Much more Petei

There has been so much interest in Petei canvases, I thought I would post more photographs.  
31.  spring fairy

32.  fall fairy

33.  winter fairy

34.  angel ministocking

35.  joy ministocking

36. patchwork ministocking

37.  reindeer ministocking

38.  santa ministocking

39.  poinsettia ministocking

40.  musical ministocking

I also have ornaments Petei designed for the Miami Hurricanes, the FSU seminoles, and the UF gators.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Swimming with the fishes...part VI

I've finally managed to finish the water and have gotten a start on the seaweed.  Hooray!  My progress on both of my current projects (shoes and fish) has been delayed by the reality of retail life--I've been inserting canvases into Lee items, attaching pockets to Pischke totes, and stitching the black background of the Christmas stocking we're doing for a customer.  

I'm doing the seaweed in the encroaching Gobelin.  The two fronds in the upper left of the canvas are completed.  I'm ready to kit my next project since this should be completed within the next week.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Even more Petei

 22.  nice square blue bird

 23.  calico looking hearts which would make a nice pillow insert.
 24.  strawberries combined with hearts
 25.  tiny Santa    SOLD

 27.  hearts combined with stars to produce a colorful square
 28.  rabbit with carrots circle
29.  Queen Elizabeth I

30.  Girl Scout

Friday, May 4, 2012

More Petei

11.  Flying angel just looks like so many stitch


12.  I always have an eye out for alligator canvases
       since we're in Florida. 


13.  These pumpkins just look like fun.  I always meant to stitch these for a shop

Don't ask me where that blue print came from--I'm innocent!
15.  I think he's French, but wouldn't swear to it.

16.  A wonderful British Beefeater

 18.  Miss Liberty  SOLD

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Petei retirement

Yesterday morning I received an email from Petei stating that her business was now closed.  I went to her website where there was a notice posted that all pending orders were cancelled and the business was closed as of April 30, 2012.   Several months ago she had mentioned that she was experiencing health problems and was considering retirement.  I'm sure others agree with me in hoping that she sells her designs to another company.

I decided to show some of the Petei canvases I have in stock in case anyone is interested.  Call 772 567 6688 or email me (

1. Angels of the month.  I think this one is August.  They are the same shape, but the gown colors vary with the     season.  For instance, October is black for Halloween.  The only one we do not have is December.
2.  Petei is known for her multitude of Santas.  Here's a Parisian artist Santa

3.  Naturally these two don't want to be side by side.  The white uniform is the female lacrosse player and the gold is the male (4.). 

5.  member of the hunt
6.  This Santa is a smidge larger than an ornament, but it does look good as a pillow insert or a door knob hanger.

7.  This Santa with sleigh is a perfect pillow.  What fun!

8. And this Green Santa looks like he's striding out--great look.  SOLD

9. Firefighter Santa


10. An elfish Santa.

Tomorrow I'll have more designs.