Wednesday, December 31, 2014

More monogram ornament

The rug sale ends at midnight!  I've sold one wall hanging and one rug this afternoon.  Tomorrow I get to do editing work to eliminate the sale prices.  So can't you save me labor, and buy one?

I'm motoring along on this ornament and feel quite confident that my blog Saturday will show a completed stitch (fingers crossed).

My new computer seems to swallow letters between my typing them and posting them in messages.  I thought it was only Northeasterners or Cockneys who swallowed letters??  I also seem to magically hit some secret button which either reduces or enlarges the font.  I now know where on some screens to find a remedy, but email font changes are still a mystery.

Hurricanes Jeanne and Frances were in 2004 and Wilma 2005 (my "moving" experience)--may the old saw that it takes 10 years to recover from a major disaster prove to be true for Vero Beach and my needlepoint shop.

Hope everyone's 2015 is a healthier, wealthier, and wiser new year!!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Rug sale end and monogram ornament

This is just reminder that the Needle Nicely rug sale will end at midnight, December 31.  I will leave the photos here on the blog, but will eliminate the sale prices.  My original reason for the sale was because of the demise of Paternayan yarn.  Now that it is back, it's possible to kit rugs with it.  Hooray!

I've been chasing my stitching blahs with a monogram ornament canvas.  I'm making progress, but am not up to my usual stitching diligence.  Here's my progress up to Christmas Eve.
 This is my current progress.  That is one card of silk lame braid.  Of course, I had only brought 2 cards home.  Fortunately, I had another at the shop and brought it home Friday afternoon.  So no dye lot problem on this baby!  The purple is Kreinik Balger.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The shipping of needlepoint

There are 3 categories of needlepoint when it comes to shipping options.

The first is the unstitched canvas.  It should be rolled and placed in a tube or kept flat and placed between 2 pieces of cardboard or if small flat in a padded envelope. As a last resort, fold it. Some people are quite particular about the canvas not having been folded.  It actually doesn't affect anything and will disappear with stitching, but if it is a concern, merely press the back of the canvas with a steam iron to smooth things out.  After all, canvas is just a combination of woven cotton threads that are heavily starched with then a painted design applied.  Also, I almost forgot, put everything in a plastic bag, whether a trash bag or a ziplock bag.

The second is the stitched, unfinished canvas.  Again, place in plastic and cardboard.  Whether you ship flat or rolled or folded entirely depends on the stitches and embellishments used.  Rolling or flat are usually preferred, but always in cardboard.  Never in a padded envelope.  I've had people fold a stitched belt and mail it to me in a regular envelope.  Dangerous!  You only have to see one envelope that has been caught in conveyor belts to never try this again.

Lastly, we have the finished product.  I always ship in plastic in cardboard.  I also always insure for $300. via the US post office which necessitates that the recipient must sign for the item.  I've had one or two postal clerks tell me that $201 in insurance calls for a signature, but others contradict this.  Just to play safe, I always purchase at least $300. in insurance, though for  Christmas stockings and pillows I increase the insurance.  I stress to my customers that this is my method of shipping, but it amazes me the number of people who do not hear me say that someone must sign for the package. Otherwise the postal carrier will not just drop the package on the doorstep. They do leave a printed slip advising that the item can be picked up  the post office; or, I think, can be redelivered upon the receipt of a phone call to a stated post office phone number.

I received an email Monday evening from the owner of a Christmas stocking that just made the finishing deadline.  After a  few hours of angst on my part (since I have shipping records at the shop, not at home) and after I emailed her to try the post office, she emailed that it was waiting for her at the post office.  Sigh.  Similarly, I received a phone call at the shop today about 3 creche figures that I mailed to a stitcher's daughter the end of October.  After several phone calls, I found out that it is indeed on a back shelf (one assumes since it's since October) at her daughter's local post office.  The post office officially states that after a certain period of time they will return the item to sender, but don't specify a time period.  In my experience, it is never.  You have to take the initiative and hunt the item down!  Like the trunk show I returned to Whimsey & Grace this past year.  Somehow its zip code was entered incorrectly by the postal clerk and it arrived in Alaska.  It was then placed, literally, on a slow boat to the "mainland"--which took 3 weeks--before it arrived at its original destination.  If I hadn't already had gray hair, that would have produced some!!

Almost forgot--I hope everyone has and has had a joyful holiday season!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Bad case of stitching blaaaahs

Since just before Thanksgiving, I have had a bad case of home stitching blahs.  I haven't stitched anything.  I've tried to entice myself by resurrecting the incomplete 5" tree canvases--Ho, hum!  Then I looked closely at my Clara Wells purse canvases--Yawn!  I've put several brightly colored small canvases on stretcher bars--and there they languish.

So, on to my latest selection.  A Needle Nicely customer requested that we paint an oval monogram ornament for her to stitch in lavendar for her granddaughter.  That gave me the idea that we could do these as special requests in the shop.  To try and engage my attention, I'm using a bright slime green in silk lame braid for the background.  The monogram will be dark lacquered purple Kreinik balger.
At least I've started stitching.  Now to see if I persevere.

The photograph of my stitching start is floating around somewhere in this new computer.  Hmmm.

At the shop I am continuing with my assigned projects.  I finished attaching a Lee canvas as a pocket to a Dash and Albert bag.  There is a leather strip  3" deep all around the inside bottom of the bag (if you look closely you can see the line of machine stitching where the bottom edge of the needlepoint falls.  You can't penetrate that leather with hand stitching so the pocket has to fit above it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

500 smackeroos--that is, blog posts! Wow! Just count 'em!!

This is my 500th  blog entry.  It took a smidge over 4 years and lots of soul-searching.  I just counted on my fingers (that's an inside joke since I am known for my mental math skills) and I've been selling needlepoint since 1977 (I think--it may be 1976--shoot me if I'm wrong!!).  Now, I don't want anyone to believe that longevity in an activity connotes expertise.  We all know people who've been doing something for what seems like centuries and they are still dumb as posts and their needlepoint is incredibly bumpy.

I was fortunate to have a marvelous mentor, Trubey Walker, one of the first owners of Needle Nicely. Trubey has a marvelous sense of color that few can claim.  She also has a wonderful memory for design.  So what better person to be your tutor in such a sensory business?  Admittedly, she isn't the best at bookwork or balancing her checkbook, but her design concepts and use of color are superb. And it is always a delight to stitch one of her needlepoint canvases, because she paints for the stitcher.  Her flowers and shells painted on needlepoint canvas cannot be equaled by any  needlepoint artist.

When it comes to blogging, I've had more than one mentor.  The first was Judy Harper (go with God, Judy--we miss  you); then there was Anne Stradal of the Cape Stitcher (who is always there for me). Jane of Chilly Hollow has been a wonderful confidante and adviser.  There are many more who offer encouragement and advice such as Ann of Stitching Foolishness and Anna (a pseudonym) of Stitch Bitch.  I knew Ann 35 years ago in Blowing Rock, NC; and  Anna and I share a birth day (though not a birth year, for which Anna should be grateful since I think it is a 25 years or so difference).  In my experience, blogdom is a very sharing and generous world. Thank goodness!

 For everyone who blogs and wonders if anyone is out there reading what you are writing---the answer is a resounding YES!  Too many blog-readers are lurkers, so bloggers need to be self-motivators.  It is sad to say that the majority of commentors on blog entries are themselves bloggers. So maybe the entire world should be writing blogs so everyone will be commenting? What a concept!!  Whatever, I have definitely caught the blogging bug and now even my husband realizes that "tonight is a blogging night".  I don't want to say that he is a slow learner, but it has taken him almost 4 years to realize I was glued to the computer every Wednesday and Saturday night.  You gotta love 'em!!  So I'll be here blogging this Saturday and many more weeks to come.  I hope you'll join me, and even more earnestly I hope that you will feel a connection to what I have said and feel the urge to COMMENT.  Go on, do it!!  I'll revel in whatever you say because you did it!!  Thanks for everything.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

5" tree XI

After reading Anne Stradal's blog yesterday  where she is finishing the stitching on an Amanda  Lawford santa canvas, I resolved to resurrect the last two canvases from Susan Roberts' 5" Christmas tree.  These photographs show where I left off.  As you can see, I really don't have much to do.  I stopped because I had run out of one of the fibers.  Please think fast stitching thoughts for me tonight as I stitch on these while watching Boo Weekley play in an Australian golf tournament.  He's starting the final round one stroke behind the leaders.  One piece of trivia:  I gather Australians eat a lot of meat (mutton?) pies.  In his first two weeks "down under" Boo reportedly consumed over 20 of them.  He's now on a non-pie diet!!  Of course, this is quite a contrast to how I spent my day--I was at my local movie theater watching the HD Metropolitan Opera simulcast of Wagner's The Mastersinger of Nuremberg.  Six hours.  Doubt that I would do it again.  The voices are always magnificent, but obviously no one thought to edit Wagner.  There were definitely some draggy moments!!

This beauty is where I ran out of neon rays.

I had the fiber for the stitches fitting into those circles, but my mind rebelled at what I thought was their unnecessary complexity.  That's the difficulty with stitching shop models--they must follow the  stitch suggestions or painted colors.  Otherwise, too many customers are  confused by the changes.

I really want to knock out these two canvases because I just got an email from Don of Associated Talents that a monogram canvas is ready.  That will jump the stitching queue for my home stitching.
My shop stitching  currently is attaching a pocket to a tote bag (I'll post a photo when finished) and stitching a 1st Christmas ornament for a customer whose 17-year-old granddaughter had her ornament eaten last week.  She won't have the replacement this Christmas, but will have it for next year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fourth blogiversary

It's hard to realize that I've been blogging twice a week for 4 years--yes, count them--Four years.  As one of my customers remarked to me, "how wonderful that someone your age is blogging!".  Her body is buried behind the shop by the gigantic swale.  And I don't regret it!!

This is the progress that I've made on my "doctoring" stitching project by Pippin Studio.  I don't know how people can just stare into space in doctor and dentist waiting rooms.  One of my doctors even asked me if I was almost done with my "crochet".  I didn't bother to correct hin--at least he realized I was doing handwork!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014


A few weeks ago Wednesday morning I registered for the Phoenix TNNA show in January, 2015.  I also signed up for two classes scheduled from 7:45 to 9:45 Saturday and Sunday mornings, taught before the 10am opening of the market.  I'll be honest, in my younger days, I would never have made such an early class, or not without a lot of angst.  (When I was a college professor and taught an 8am class, I told my students they only had to wait 15 minutes for me to show.  But would one of them please call and wake me up on their way out of class!!  It never happened, fortunately.)  One class I signed up for because I've heard lots about how wonderful the teacher is.  The other is offering techniques in which I am particularly interested. Realistically, I doubt that I will complete either of the canvases.  I'll probably come home, pick out my stitches, and add them to my inventory.  But much more valuable will be the stitch and fiber information I will have garnered from the classes.  As a shopowner, one (that ubiquitous one) must always check out the things teachers are promoting and practicing.

That interest in the latest in teaching ideas is one of the reasons I encourage Dotty to stop by when she is in Vero.  Dotty is a long-time customer who loves to travel all over the US taking classes from the top teachers.  I enjoy reading the stitch guides those teachers provide because I pick up tips on how to ruche certain fibers or how to manipulate other fibers.  You get the picture.  While I'm reading in order to help Dotty, I am also assimilating the information for later use in future projects.

No photos of my stitching projects--one is a gift and the other is for a customer. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Windows 8.1--Whoopeee???

Aaaah!  While it is a relief to once again have a computer, I'm hoping the learning curve isn't too steep.

As I feared, my computer indeed died at approximately 8am on Thanksgiving Day.  Ironic, since I had checked emails and blog entries at 7am and then put the computer to sleep  while I ran a few errands.  So imagine my surprise when I returned home, clicked on the computer, and a black screen greeted me with the message "Boot device not located.  Install an operating system."  This was followed by a grinding sound.  Even I could figure out that that wasn't a good sign.  Of course, my computer gurus were closed for the long weekend.  Such pain, such agony, such withdrawal.  I did manage to post the information about the crash via my i-phone (a minor miracle!).

Early Monday I stopped in at the gurus' office to drop off the suspected dead computer along with all the program discs.  After confirmation of the death, I hied me to the store where I purchased a new laptop, which I dropped off at the gurus on my way to Needle Nicely.  Thank goodness for kind people, because they called about 4pm with the news that my new darling was ready for pick-up.  I'm sure I'm not the only person who puts off  until push comes to shove about replacing a computer.  I knew my laptop was old.  So am I.  At least I had backed up the Quick Books program, though that was the only back-up I had done.  The main thing I regret are all the lost photographs.  Ah, well, toujours gai (as Mehitabel would say).

Some new canvases that have come in recently are:
This is a gorgeous witch from Shelly Tribbey.  She is on 18mesh and I really want to stitch her.

That is as far as I got Wednesday evening when I then managed to hit something and my information was blown up gigantically.  I couldn't access the scroll.  I could reach the publish button which explains why there was a blog post with no content.  I'm weary of sliding around on the learning curve!!  After hours of clicking on this and touching that, I managed to click on something that popped up as 300%.  I put it on default and here I am back to "normal".  Cross your fingers for me.

I think these are ladies.  They are designed by Christine Klacko and distributed by Maggie Co.  They are just such fun images.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


The morning of thanksgiving day my computer crashed I'll be back after my computer whiz either fixes it or I buy a new computer

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Toting my stuff--in tote bags!! II

This is a continuation of my description of the tote bags I use toting my stuff through life, from library books to needlepoint to groceries to just "stuff".  It's amazing to me what a collection I have amassed over the years.

I just renewed my subscription to the New Yorker and, surprise, surprise, this beauty magically appeared in the mail.  Thank you

A really sturdy canvas bag is the one Needle Necessities handed out at the last TNNA market they attended.

I can't forget this TNNA (the national needlearts association).  I have to remind myself when I look at this that it is the thought that counts, because it is small and flimsy.  It does the job, just not a very big one!
This beauty is from Vera Bradley.  It looks rather flimsy but has served me well.  I'm not sure what fiber it is made from, but the design is certainly attractive.  It isn't fabric, it isn't oil cloth.  I really don't know what it is, it's sort of similar to tyvek.
But the real prize of all of these is the yellow floral tote bag from Vera Bradley that I have years for the pasts ten yearrs or so at TNNA markets.  With it I carry a matching pocketbook.  It makes life so simple--it serves as my airplane carry-on bag.  I put the pocketbook inside (or not) along with my selected stitching
projects and any snacks.  At market, it is the repository for the price lists that I make myself pick up on my first day walking the market.  (Artists aren't really strong on sending new price lists with orders, so you're on your own about managing to get them.)  Later days of the market I use the tote to carry orders, my water bottle, and other items of life's little necessities.  The minute I return home, I empty these beauties, wash them, and then hang them in the closet until I leave for another market.  Vera Bradley has discontinued this size of her purse so I want to preserve it as long as I can foresee myself going to markets.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Technologically challenged--c'est moi!

I finally decided for a variety of reasons to purchase a Paperwhite e-reader.  My husband is puzzled by this since I have masses of physical books, hard and soft-cover, waiting to be read.  Be that as it may, I did the deed and went ebook.  So, you need wi-fi to download the books from wherever you select, whether your local library or Amazon.  I contacted my internet provider and signed up for a wi-fi kit and service.  They sent the necessary equipment for me to do the deed myself.  Except I couldn't figure it out.  So I called my internet provider and, of course, reached Indiiiiia.  I know they speak English English, but they don't speak Southern English, and especially not slowly enough.  I confess that I finally hung up on the first man I contacted by telephone.  So I decided to go the "live chat" way.  It wasn't much better.  I think he was a native American speaker, but he didn't have any better ability to explain what I was to do to connect the wi-fi.  And he was condescending and ultimately tried to sell me something I didn't want.  The real crime was that he kept pressing the issue after I told him I wasn't committing to anything that included a monthly payment, no matter how wonderful.  Sooooo, I resorted to having my local computer doctor send a young man to my house to connect my wi-fi.  Other than a brief moment when he asked for the component that had fit a certain compartment in the kit the internet provider had sent (actually picking it up and said, what did you do with what fitted here?), we got along marvelously.  I actually passed the test searching for the lost item when I pointed to where it was plugged in, with the other end of its cord just hanging there.  So he finished the job in about 30 minutes.

Then I went to the website of my local library and logged in, assuring them that I had an Amazon account and a library card.  Next I selected a book in ebook form.  It said it was available and I clicked on it.  Nothing seemed to happen.  I futched around hitting this key and that key for about 5 minutes.  Then went away to ponder.  I came back about 20 minutes later, thought about it, and then opened my Paperwhite and clicked on contents and there it was, just waiting for me to read it.  Sigh!  I'm in the 21st century, at least temporarily and obviously only by accident!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Technology sucks! And you can quote me!

I sent a Constant Contact newsletter out to people alerting them to a Small Business Saturday sale that I was having at Needle Nicely November 29, 2014.  Coupled with that I mentioned that I would have an additional 20% off all in-stock merchandise and incidentally my 60% off rug sale would end December 31, 2014.  Except I referred everyone to a link on my blog that had mysteriously turned dead without my realizing it.  After several people contacted me, I investigated and couldn't figure out what was wrong.  It was Sunday, so I started re-entering the information.  Two hours later, I checked and my new entries weren't showing up.  Much gnashing of teeth while I tried to contact Blogger.  Of course, they were nowhere to be found.  After punching every button I could find, I finally located a place where if I hit 2 spots and then hit accept, miraculously my sale rug entries appeared.  Naturally these were my original entries, and not what I had labored  2 hours over.  Nevermind, the end result is that the sale rugs are once again available.

But remember, because of the new availability of Paternayan, my 60% off sale only lasts until December 31, 2014.  Then the rugs go back to their original prices.  Get them while you can!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blog comments

In a rare "odd" moment, I was re-reading my blog entries over the the past few years, including the comments.  I especially love reading the comments.  And one by Anna brought me up short.  It was her comment on my blog entry about the ombre purse that I had stitched.  The whole idea of the purse was to promote sales of ombre.  The finished product was gorgeous.  Anna really caught my attention by asking: "But did it sell ombre?"  And the million dollar answer is that it didn't.  Fell flat as a pancake.  Sigh.  Too often we forget to answer that really important question:  Did you achieve your objective?  (and do you know what your objective was?)

I was re-reading my blogs trying to find things that would trigger wonderful ideas for future blogs.  Sometimes this method works, sometimes it doesn't. It's definitely food for thought on my part.   Such as, I'm thinking of doing "my 10 best blog entries (that I selected, as opposed to those my readers favored)".  Of course, it would be interesting to compare the two categories. 

I refuse to use this as an opportunity to go into my usual rant about why people lurk and don't comment.  I've been reading a blog "Orangette" and I'm constantly amazed at how many people comment on her entries.  Of course, many of the comments are requests for help in changing items in her recipes; but still, 33 comments on a blog entry? You definitely won't find that on a needlepoint blog.  Cross stitchers are more apt to comment.  Just check out any cross stitch blog and you will be amazed at the number of comments. And I don't even want to consider the differential in the number of followers.  Ah, well!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sick computer--and terrible withdrawal pains

Monday morning I turned on my laptop, clicked on the internet icon--and nothing happened.  My server couldn't connect to the proxy server.  Not that I was aware of whether I did or didn't have a proxy server.  Hrrrmph, hrrmph.  No emails, no blog reading, and most importantly no poker on the Double Down Casino.  So I dropped my beauty off at the computer doctor Needle Nicely has used as long as we have had computers (about 20 or so years).  There were several sick computers ahead of mine and so it didn't get looked at until Tuesday afternoon.  I kept calling to check on its status and was told it had many corrupted files that were taking time to clean up.  Finally, today I received the call that my beauty was once again healthy and ready to be picked up.  Hooray!  I'm showing restraint.  First I read my emails and then I read blogs.  Now I'm blogging.  My reward will be several sessions of Video Poker.  Hooray!

This is one of 2 ribbon stockings I recently received from Creative Needle.

I absolutely love this witch canvas from Shelly Tribbey designs.  So many details that just call out for pattern stitches.
Kate Dickerson designed this delightful backgammon board.  What a wonderful variety of patterns in the points.

Treglown Designs supplied this marvelous alligator canvas.  Those of us in Florida can never have enough "gators".

ANNOUNCEMENT  (I can't get a colon, so will skip punctuation!!) Needle Nicely will be participating in American Express's Small Business Saturday, November 29.  That's a day where if you register your Amex card and then use it for in-person purchases on the 29th you will receive up to 3 statement credits of $10.
To sweeten the pot, so to speak, Needle Nicely will also give 20% off any regularly priced merchandise.  This is the only Saturday during the year that Needle Nicely is open.  Please help me make giving up an extra day off worthwhile!!  I personally will be stopping at Vero's local bookstore on my way to work.

EDIT:  I just clicked on the Double Down Casino site and was greeted with this notice--Thank you for your patience while we perform routine maintenance on this site.  Are you kidding me????  My husband thinks this is absolutely hilarious.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Toting my stuff--in tote bags!

I first started using tote bags in the fall of 1970 when I arrived in Madison, WI, to attend the University of Wisconsin Library School.  Madison was a wonderful training ground on the virtues of preserving the earth's resources by making things reusable, not disposable.  As a seamstress, I made three tote bags that doubled as carriers for my many books and also as carriers for my groceries.  I wish I still had them, but they wore out years ago.  When I returned to the mountains of North Carolina in the fall of 1973, I was a real oddity when I appeared at grocery stores with my own bags.  Even as recently as last year in Vero Beach, I had a cashier looking for the bar code on one of my tote bags.  Although the super markets in Vero Beach threatened several years ago to start charging for plastic bags or even discontinue their use, the population didn't take to the idea so we still have lots of plastic bags being handed out with purchases.  For about a nano second I had my husband converted--I gave him his own 3 tote bags (he regularly does our grocery shopping--I do the big box stores).  Publix then relented their edict and he returned the tote bags to me.  He's a proud plastic user, though he does take them to our local used paperback store so the owner can recycle them for customers' purchases.  Such a citizen!  Update:  A new butcher in town puts your purchases in a brown paper tote with their logo.  I have convinced my husband to keep one in the car to reuse.  The owners of the butcher shop were quite impressed!

My current entourage of tote bags include 3 of the four bags I ordered years ago from the Boston Museum of Art.  The 4th was stolen out of my shopping cart at Target about 7 years ago.  I couldn't believe it.  One of the 4 bags (as a sign, I assume, of sophistication) has slots inside to permit the carrying of wine or liquor bottles without their clanking together.  The patterned fabric still runs when I wash them after lo these many years, so I can only wash them by themselves. What a bummer, but at least they are washable!  However, their handles are disintegrating and the end of their utility is near.  I have even added "carpet" tape to the handles of one of them.  (And I just retired one of them when a 4" slit occurred in the bottom, so I'm now down to two, which is regrettable since they are so voluminous.  Alas!)

On my first visit to Paris, while in Fauchon's I purchased an oil cloth tote bag advertising that emporium.  I am always amazed that no one in Vero Beach comments on it since many of my customers are travelers to Europe, but no one has.

The next tote bag is one I purchased at Liberty's of London during one of my visits there.  The lemon motif is a salute to Indian River citrus--a wonderful product of Indian River County (home of Vero Beach).  I just noticed a label inside it that said it was a product of Italy.  I never thought to look for oil cloth tote bags during my visits in Italy--I think of leather when I think of Italy.   I also purchased meters of oil cloth fabric in Liberty's so I could make more tote bags to give to friends.  Regrettably, it still resides where I placed it when I returned from London.  The best-laid plans!!!

I purchased this gorgeous bag from the Ashmolean Museum Gift Shop in Oxford years ago during a day-trip that Trubey and I made from London. I love looking at it--it is so serene and what I think of as a typically British chintz design.

Another from my European travels is this red mesh bag that I purchased from the Peggy Guggenheim Museum Gift Shop in Venice.  I used it for the remainder of my trip as a catch-all bag that took the place of a pocketbook for one week in Italy and two weeks in London.  It didn't look like a pocketbook --I had a guidebook in it and a small collapsible umbrella, so no one thought it had any money in it and paid no attention to it.   What a brilliant way to disguise my valuables!!  I now use it to hold Needle Nicely's unpaid invoices. 
This faded tote bag is one I purchased from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden after I took the tour of the Opera House one early summer.  It definitely hasn't aged well--but I suppose that could be said for many of us!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Maggie co walls and finished creche

This is the finished creche before I handed it over to the Festival of Trees organizers.  I hope that there are lots of bidders.

Today Macy put these Maggie Co canvases on the wall.  They're so bright and cheery to look at.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Heart ministocking II

This stocking is a heat-transfer from Pippin Studio.  The heart is stitched using Kreinik metallic in the nobuko stitch.  The cuff is also Kreinik stitched in the diagonal mosaic with a skipped stitch for the dots.  Those shown in white had no rhyme or reason so I made an executive decision and spaced them evenly using gold metallic.  They seem to be receding too much, so I may go back and do French knots over the gold stitches without frogging them. The world will never know.

The past 3 years I have participated in Nablopomo in November whereby one does a blog entry everyday in the month.  I won't be doing that this year because other things in life have taken control.  I will continue my twice a week entries (I started to write bi-weekly, but I saw an opera this afternoon and my brain is in overload and I doubted myself.  Ah, well!).  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wildlife canvases (and 1 floral!)

Yesterday I received about a dozen canvases from Melissa Shirley.  The first is about 18x18 square and is of  swallowtail hummingbirds.
When Melissa does these large canvases, she also does variations of the designs as 5x5 (18mesh) and 8x8 (13mesh).  Several of the 8x8 canvases I received were the blue heron and African grey parrots.

Another bird canvas I received was this one designed by Mary Lake Thompson and distributed by Melissa Shirley showing some yellow birds (chickadees? goldfinches?) on lemons.  I try to buy canvases featuring citrus products since Indian River County, the home of Vero Beach and Needle Nicely, is known for Indian River fruit.  If you have never tasted Indian River red grapefruit or freshly squeezed orange juice, you are missing a wonderful experience.
My customers need to be reminded of needlepoint cuff bracelets so I added this cattleyea orchid canvas.
I also received two 5x5 canvases featuring hydrangeas--this is one of them.  I have a lot of customers from New England where hydrangeas abound.  I also have fondness for them.  I have great memories of huge blue bushes on the side of Highway  321 from Blowing Rock to Lenoir, NC.  I wonder if they managed to survive the recent widening of the highway?  (Sad to say, I've been gone so long I had to check whether it was 321 or 221 or 421, all meeting in Boone and quite confusing!!)
I've been busy trying to get finishing to finishers in time for the Christmas cut-offs.  I feel especially fortunate that my ornament finisher is doing yeoman duty to get some finished in time for one of my customers to decorate a tree for the Festival of Trees the weekend before Thanksgiving.  She has already finished my petit-point creche and my local framer is working on the stable.  I'll show photos of the completed tableau before I give it to the festival organizers.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Clara Wells bag, 8

There's just a little bit of white left to do on the right sides of this purse.  I'm really looking forward to that red center section since it will be just straight stitching, with no design to have to compensate around.

Additional canvases have arrived for the mini-season.  This is "Cattle Drive" by Annie Lane.

 Santa is part of a series of 5x5 designs from Lee's Needle.
This phoenix and the lady above are from Lee's Needle and are sized to fit in their new snap trays, luggage tags or selected purses.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Maggie trunk show & Rondo's in town

Yesterday Rondo, one of my needlepoint sales reps, stopped by and I got to spend some quality time with the photographs of the newest canvases from the companies he represents.  The orders will be shipped February 1, 2015.  He also showed me the latest fibers from Rainbow Gallery.  Then we had lunch from Five Guys.  When Rondo came into the shop with our lunch, the customer I was waiting on asked where we had gotten such a wonderful smelling lunch.  The aroma of those French Fries is a killer!!!

Today I unpacked and priced a Maggie trunk show.  I received it early because Maggie was going on vacation.  It will be at Needle Nicely until I ship it back Nov. 24.  I didn't have time to take photographs of any of the canvases, but did manage to photograph these models that were included in the show.

This photograph doesn't do justice to the fringe on this pillow.  It is really gorgeous!

When you look at this unstitched canvas you wouldn't think of a purse, but it works wonderfully.   Of course I love it because the colors are so Florida.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

They're baaaack!!

The mini-season has started in Florida as people are flocking back from "up North".  They started appearing earlier than usual this year for some reason.  I always schedule the arrival of some new canvases for this time of year, just to add interest to my inventory. (The majority of new canvases will always be scheduled for arrival the end of January at the beginning of the "real" season.)  Here are a few of the newest beauties.
Blogger is being contrary--it refuses to post comments alongside the photographs.  Sigh.  This Christmas stocking is from Tapestry Fair.  What a wonderful canvas for pattern stitches.

This canvas is from Creative Needle.  The colors look so fresh and clear.  A different look for Inge. Well, I got this caption on, but the others aren't looking  good.  The next canvas is a Christmas ribbon canvas from Creative Needle.  It looks like it would be such fun to stitch.

The lady is a wall hanging designed by Tapestry Fair.  I love looking at her and can see gobs of stitches and fibers to use in stitching this.

This wedding sampler was designed by the Needle Nicely studio for several customers.  They liked it so well, we added it to our shop designs.

This is a paisley insert canvas from Associated Talents.  They have this paisley as many things, including a belt canvas.  All are striking.

This darling ostrich ornament is from Kirk & Bradley.  It's part of a series of funky ornaments.