Saturday, December 29, 2012

rug sale links and latest on nutcracker

Well, I consulted with a friend about how to do links to pages on "the" blog and  with her instructions at my elbow I'm going to try to show the 7 links to my blog entries showing rug photographs.!html

Thanks, Anna.

And that gentleman you see tapping his foot waiting for attention is Gunther, my dashing nutcracker.  I was hoping to get to his belt  this week, but didn't manage it.  I did manage to start across country on the background below his left arm.  The good news is that I'm on the downward slope of  stitching Gunther.  The bad news is that I will be doing more and more background to provide a  stable platform for him when he is finished.  Ah, well! 
EDIT:  Back to the drawing board.  The June and July entries don't seem to be going through.  Obviously, another consultation is required.  I apologize.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

More rug canvases

Color me delighted!  Since Marcia and I started unpacking the rugs last Tuesday, Needle Nicely has sold 5 rug canvases.  That makes me think that 40% is the markdown percentage to really get people's attention. My rug inventory will remain on sale at 40% through this winter season.  Who knows? As the number thins out, I may reduce individual rugs even more.  

I do want to apologize to people who have been trying to look at the photographs I have posted of rug canvases over the last 2 years.  I have tried and haven't succeeded in figuring out how to mark the entries as links you can just click on.  But if you do go to the archives and click on the July 2012 entries or the December 2010 entries, the rug photographs are there.  

These roses were designed by Lee's Needle Arts.  It's a 2x3 foot rug on 10mesh.

 Magnolias are such a Southern flower.  These were designed by Shariane Designs.  The rug is 2x3 feet and 10mesh. 

 This wall hanging was designed by one of my favorite designers, Terry Enfield.  She's a Southwesterner whose somber tones are not a favorite of my customers.  I just love the "lines" of her designs and her subtlety.  I first saw her designs in the late 1970s when I visited my sister in Las Cruces, NM.  The local needlepoint shop had some of Terry's designs and gave me her address.  This was before she was distributed nationally.  What a find!
I love the free-flowingness of these parrot tulips by Julie Poitras of JP Designs.  The way they overflow the inner boundaries is such an appealing concept.
I apologize for the shadow of the rug design that was under this canvas.  Oops! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rug sale

Marcia and I started unpacking the rugs Tuesday morning.  While she spread them out, I took pictures of several.  Then reality reared its head--I have too many rug canvases, especially considering the precarious state of wool yarn.  I have filled in the holes left in my Paternayan selection with the supposed correlated colors in Waverly.  Paternayan's color palette is so clear in comparison to Waverly's.  Sigh!

Anyway, on the spot Tuesday I decided to sell all my rug canvases at 40% off.  No special orders.  In fact, I'm not sure many of them are still available from the designers.  Thus far I have sold four canvases.  The sale will continue until most of my inventory is gone.  In the late spring I may need to discount further.  So be it.  The blog posts where I have shown photographs are:  12/9/2010; 12/12/2010; 12/14/2010; 7/17/2011; 7/30/2011; 6/17/2012.

Here are the photographs I took Tuesday.  I'll post additional ones next Wednesday.  Needle Nicely has always prided itself on its selection of rug canvases and it pains me greatly to resort to this sale.  Still, everyone who has stitched one rug is so pleased with the result that they often stitch another, and another.  Since many of them are on 10-mesh it is a relatively speedy process.  All of these rugs below are approximately 24x36 in size.

 This is the perfect "nursery" rug with its pastel bunnies, though they'd be just as attractive in bright colors.  By Lee's Needle on 10mesh.

 This canvas was a master at one of Lee's Needle's painting studios.  It is priced at 60% off its original price because there are some minor paint dots.

A 10-mesh canvas by Lee's Needle.

This gorgeous floral had just arrived at Needle Nicely when Hurricane Wilma came to visit.  It was on a table in the back room and it got wet when the roof leaked in about 20 places.  The discoloration is only on the canvas edge, but it is priced at 60% off its original retail price.  And there is no reason these flowers have to stay lavender!

EDIT:  FYI to see older posts, look to the right of the blog and you'll see "archives".  That's where you can click on the month, year and then date of the blog entry.  Much easier to find the rug photos that way than trying to search key words.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Palm frond slides, redesigned VI

The stitching on the second one of these canvases has been interminable.  I finally finished the sky and starting filling in the diagonal mosaic on the palm fronds themselves.  I feel much more optimistic about life now that I can see the end of this project.  Of course my mind is already trying to decide what will be my next project (I have at least 6 candidates).  I feel like a child in a candy store!

I have to remember to take these canvases to the shop tomorrow because I just realized that I don't have any fibers for the sun/moon or the palm trees.  It's hard to stitch without any fibers. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

customers, the wonderful and the ugly...

Got a phone call late Monday afternoon from a youngish-sounding voice from Texas.  She had seen someone stitching a gorgeous Christmas stocking.  She asked and they had purchased it from Needle Nicely.  She went on our website and then called me.  She has never needlepointed.  I told her to please not start stitching with a stocking (not even mentioning things like price), but to start with something small like an ornament.  I asked her location (near Dallas) and so I mentioned several shops close-by where I feel she can go for assistance.  But as a last resort, I told her that if no one were helpful, she should call me and I would mail her our "beginner's kit" that we hand out free of charge.  I figure needlepoint is addictive and I'll get paid eventually.  What a wonderful conversation and positive experience for both of us.

And then there's the letter I received in the mail several weeks ago in an envelope with a law firm's name and address.  Wow!  The big guns already.  I opened it and out popped a skein of silk 'n ivory I mailed to someone the week before.  There was a foolscrap note telling me that not only was it not a full skein, but it didn't even have the official tag.  Say what!  For all the years Needle Nicely has sold silk 'n ivory, we have always bought the large hanks and made our own small skeins (20 skeins per hank as per instructions) with labels indicating name, number, and dye lot.  We do this with many fibers because we are a seasonal shop and have lots of downtime in the summer to do mindless things like twisting skeins.  It increases our bottom line without cheating our customers.  For things like gold dust and fuzzy stuff, I have a board with 2 nails a yard apart.  You sit there running strands around the two nails.  When you hit 5  or 7.5 (tougher--you have to think), you cut the strand and start twisting.  For the last 5 or so years we've been doing 5 long strands into small skeins for Paternayan yarn, and now we're doing it for the colors of Waverly that we carry.  No more single strands of wool.  It makes kitting a delight for wool.  

Anyway, I was the person who took the order for the silk 'n ivory.  She told me it was the lightest color in a certain family.  I corrected her--it was too clear for that family.  I asked if she were certain that that was the color she wanted.  She allowed as how that was it.  I reminded her that I would be happy to mail it to her, but we don't accept returns.  No problem, she said.  So now she returns it saying in essence I'm a sleeze and selling short skeins.  Trust me, I'm preserving that note.  I'm not a lawyer, but I'm also not a doofus.  I wrote her a check for the total cost of her charge even though I believe she was only due the cost of the fiber and tax, if that.  Never mind.  It's worth it to me to have the satisfaction that I am a better person for refunding the entire amount.  And boy am I grateful that she isn't a regular customer of mine!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Standing nutcracker, XI

My nutcracker, Gunther, is showing very slow progress.  This week I've been picking out some stitching on a canvas Needle Nicely is going to finish stitching for a customer.  The tension was irregular and I decided that the overall project would look better if there wasn't that contrast with our stitching.  My pointer finger is sore from picking out Paternayan.  That combined with the finish of the rearrangement of the models on the shelf around the shop meant less time for nutcracker stitching.  And yes, the dust flew yesterday and today. Here's my progress:

If you enlarge the photo you can see that I managed to widen the left-hand border by overstitching rather than picking out and restitching.  Silk 'n ivory is such a forgiving fiber that it was a simple process.  I've also finished the beard and moved down on all areas of the uniform with the encroaching gobelin.  

And this photo is so you can see how I'm dealing wtih the stitched top portion of Gunther--I folded the canvas and basted it so the flopping section is minimized.  

I discovered today during my photography session that I tacked the canvas on crooked when I moved it.  So I need to untack and retack.  I doubt that it would matter since the canvas is taut, but that 3 thread difference from the top of the frame to the bottom is the sort of thing that bugs me (I'm one of those who is always straightening crooked pictures!).  Guess that's why I was a cataloger in a college library.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Second blog anniversary

It's hard to believe that I've been blogging two years.  And I have 41 followers!  Another amazing thing is how many items I have managed to stitch during the two years.  Of course, my conscience also reminds me of several I sort of left in the lurch.  No, I'm not giving myself up!  Everyone knows that some projects just wear out their welcome.  One that I'm ready to tackle again is the palm frond slides canvas.  I picked it up this week after I finished stitching the Greek key belt.

I completed the water and have added to the sky.  I'm still pondering what stitch to do for the stylized palm trees.  I know I'm doing the trunks in chain stitch, but still haven't fallen in love for anything for the fronds.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Greek key belt, finished

I finished the Greek key belt canvas and have it poised on the teaching table at the shop in preparation for shipping to the finisher.  I've been busy the past two days with unpacking finishing and calling customers.  Received two rugs from the finisher this morning and already the owners have picked them up.  And received 10 belts from my main belt finisher yesterday.  A nice day for the balance sheet.

I'll show the finished product sometime in late January when I receive it from that finisher.  

Yesterday I had Marcia start taking down the sample pillows displayed on the shelf around the shop, just below the ceiling.  Most of the pillows hadn't been moved since I put them up there in 2005 when we moved into the shop after Hurricane Wanda.  Whew!  She took them 2 by 2 outside and beat them on the planter to remove the worst of the dust.  I retreated to the back room where I put new canvases into the computer, but even then the dust cloud was evident.  My node was veddy stopped up.  Actually, the dust was so bad that she stopped about 2/3 of the way through.  We'll (notice that royal we!) do the rest next Tuesday.  Today my 5'11" teenager came in to put them back up and she'll finish next Wednesday.  She got them done faster than expected because she has such a sense of design that I don't have to constantly say, it's upside down, it needs to be straighter, etc.  She gets it on the first try.  But once again, we were  both sneezing from the dust.  Ah, well!  Won't have to do it again for another 7 years! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Elderly is relative, I think

What is elderly?  I've been looking on the internet and quizzing my customers about this.  I referred to the gentleman who mistakenly got in my car last week thinking it was his as elderly.  That is as differentiated from me who is 70.  Hmmm.
One of the youngsters calling me from the Metropolitan Opera (why do causes you donate to then constantly harass you for more money?), upon discovering I was in Florida and that I attended the Met in HD at my local movie theater couldn't resist asking me about the average age of attending viewers.  I responded that they averaged about 78-82, I thought (though this is definitely not scientific).  He didn't inquire about ethnicity, but that is easy--there is a black couple (she is an opera singer).  That's it for ethnicity.  Anyway, about age.  The young man was disappointed.  He wanted to hear that there was a great resurgence among young opera lovers.  I responded that he shouldn't be disappointed, since the viewers here reflected a large segment of our community.  You must understand that we do have young people and public schools, but their parents too often are the service personnel dealing with this affluent community.  They are the landscapers, lawyers, bankers, hairdressers, retail shop owners (like me), etc. etc. etc.

Today was a Mozart opera and I spotted several 40-year-olds and some 50s, so word is spreading among the younger generation.   And it had wonderful melodies, almost making up for the Tempest. 

But I digress--what is elderly?  I know Florence who at 93 runs 5k races.  She may not whip a 40 year old, but she'll beat me!  Is she elderly?  Middle-aged used to presume 45 or 50.  I think now it has edged older and middle-aged is 65 or 70.  What do you think?