Saturday, March 29, 2014

Some more angel and purse canvases

I've been having trouble with my computer's internet connection this weekend.  Why do problems always wait until Friday night?  I managed to finally connect with this blog, but haven't been able to read most other blogs that I try to follow.  Really infuriating and since I spent 45 minutes speaking to India--was it last Friday or the Friday before?  Events blur during "the season"--I don't want to have a repeat conversation.  

We finished last stitching of two Christmas stockings for a customer and I mailed them to the finisher this morning.  Speaking of the mail, the Whimsy and Grace trunk show that I mailed back two weeks ago went to Anchorage, Alaska, instead of back home to Oregon.  And they're still looking for it.  That's the scariest thing about trunk shows.  I always insure things I mail, in this case for $500 as suggested by Toni.  I assume that is to cover her business insurance deductible.  But money can't replace the 3 purse models that were also in the box. 

Canvases are still trickling into Needle Nicely.  We received a few more of the Painted Pony angels I ordered in San Diego in January.

JP Needlepoint.  The finished purse is about the size of a brick.  Wish I'd thought of that idea!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Two Stitching Finishes

Whew!  Finally I have finished the stitching on the scallop shell canvas by Trish.  I like the look of the finished product and can't wait to see it in pillow form.  Patience, patience.
Another stitching finish was a combined effort between the Needle Nicely studio, Macy and myself.  The studio designed this for a customer, then Macy and I joined forces to complete the stitching.  This is to be a graduation present so tomorrow it will be rushed to the pillow finisher.  Nothing like a close deadline to get the old juices flowing!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Some everyday chores

I was out early this morning, trying to time my arrival at Calico Corners right at 10.  Ironically, I was in; looked at their selection of cording and trims; and out again before anyone in the store saw me in the trim corner.  Good that I didn't want to walk off with a holder (what is that thing called?) of bobble fringe.  I was looking for hot pink and all they had was a fringe.  Never mind.  On to Jo-ann's.  Where I found  not exactly what I was looking for, but it will definitely work for the trim on a customer's alligator pillow.

 I also found this pearl-like trim that I think will work for an accent on my little mermaid with the flowing tresses. 

I had a call earlier this week from New York City, asking about 6x6 designs on 13-mesh.  The wonderful thing about today's technology is that I can take photographs of a selection of canvases and email them to interested customers.  This thread-counted mermaid canvas is one of the 10 that I photographed for emailing.  Off the top of my head, I can't remember who the designer is.  Sorry.

This is another 13-mesh thread-counted canvas.  It is distributed by Susan Treglown Designs (known for thread-counting canvases).

Again, I'm mentally searching for the designer.  I think this canvas is By Trish, but I won't swear to it.  What a marvelous tropical look.

I have tried not to buy small canvases in recent years.  They seem to fall into a vast wasteland at Needle Nicely.  I have a large basket full of 5x5, 6x6, and other small sizes in bull clips.  Rarely do people look at them.  I keep saying I'm going to cover the walls with them, but it is so much easier to cover a wall with 12x12 canvases!!  Maybe this summer that's what I'll do. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A stitched Christmas parade

I had a pleasant surprise this morning when Janis, a "young" customer from St Louis, stopped by the shop.  I was shocked to realize that it had been about 14 years since I had seen her.  Her oldest child is 15 and was a toddler the last time I saw them.  Janis used to come in when our shop was in The Village Shops and she was a college student.  It was so good to catch up on what had been happening over the years.  It's nice to know she's still stitching and that she's happy in her life.  Also, she's a regular reader of the world's most fabulous blog!!!

I still haven't finished my scallop shell, but I have something even better to show you.  This is the Christmas parade designed by Ashley Dillon and distributed by Susan Roberts Needlepoint.  Ashley has done five of these parades (4th of July, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter and Christmas).  Debbie, a customer of mine, saw this canvas when another customer, Dottie from DC, was visiting the shop last year and asking for assistance with some of the stitches in the stitch guide she had purchased. 

Debbie hasn't done many pattern stitches during her stitching life and didn't want to commit to such a complicated stitch guide so I came up with some less intimidating stitches for her to do.  Yesterday she brought in the finished canvas and I only wish we had had some champagne in house to celebrate such a momentous occasion! 

First, a panoramic view of the finished canvas:

In this photograph, you get a closer view of the Fluffy Fleece that Debbie couched to form a mouton-like trim on Santa's hat and suit.  She did Very Velvet for the suit using the mosaic stitch.  She did the beard in long/short split stitch using kit kin (whisper).  And you can see the pom-pom that my friend Rose shamed me into stitching for Debbie.  I rarely stitch anything on a student/customer's canvas, so this was really a red-letter occurrence. 

 The polar bear has been stitched using kit kin in the long/short split stitch.  The cap is done in the Kalem stitch, stitched using DMC perle 5.

Just as an editing aside, I have no idea how I managed to get that photograph up semi-beside the previous photograph, but I like it.  Now if I can repeat it on another occasion! 

This snowman is done in gold rush 18 in what I call the Byzantine mosaic stitch.  The hat is done in the woven stitch so it looks like a real raffia hat.   The tree is primarily stitched in the diagonal mosaic.
Some of the ornaments are the smyrna cross and the star on top is just a 5-pointed star. 

The moon is a bargello pattern stitched in silk lame braid.  In person it has such a wonderful luminescence. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

curling at the paralympics 2014

What a delightful surprise!  My husband had discovered that there was television coverage of the curling finals of the 2014 paralympics this evening.  He and I had never seen any previous matches and it was interesting to observe the team cooperation and support.  Such as the necessity to have at least an additional wheelchair behind the "shooter" to provide stability during the shooting action.  The overall strategy is the same, but out of necessity the physical machinations are different.  There are no sweepers, so there must be more force in the initial "shoot".  So there is much more dependence on the quality of the ice to produce any curling motion of the stone.  And there wasn't the attendant shouting that occurs in regular curling since that shouting seems to be directed at the sweepers to advise them as to whether they should be working harder or laying off. 

If you're a curling fan and can access a replay of the gold medal match, I highly recommend it.  As a spoiler, I must say that Canada beat Russia and, of course, I was rooting for Canada.  If the US isn't playing, then Canada is the next best thing!!

Absolutely more new canvases!

I want to whine about the little bit of stitching I'm currently accomplishing, but there are good reasons for the lack of progress.  The main one being it's the season and I'm busy helping customers select canvases or figure out stitches or reordering fibers.  I'm greedy, so I like being able to make a living!  The stitching I do get done at the shop is to complete customer projects, like two Christmas stockings I'm finishing the French knot trim on Santa's suit on and a saying pillow for a granddaughter's graduation the end of May.  At home, I'm trying to finish the scallop shell pillow but its progress took a hit last week during the US national curling championships outside Philadelphia.  No television coverage so I had to watch parts of matches on my computer.  The computer room isn't lighted sufficiently for stitching so I watched curling.  Of course, the placement of shots can be so exact that I have trouble stitching even when the matches are on television.  So, more photographs of new canvases.

When I think of Julie Mar's designs, I think flowers.  The next three canvases are her designs.  And you can see that I'm always adding more doorstop canvases!

This is a canvas from The Point of it All.  It has such movement, and nice use of color.

Think of me tonight and tomorrow watching basketball tournaments and golf while I finish stitching the scallop canvas.  I'm determined that it will be finished this weekend (or at least before Wednesday's blog).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A doorstop or two...

It's almost time to send the Whimsy & Grace purse trunk show back so we took the canvases off the wall and replaced them.

One section that Macy put up was of some of the new doorstop canvases we have received in the past month or so.  Vero Beach is on the Atlantic Coast of Florida and we get many breezes that can shock you when an open door slams. 

 This is a new Melissa Shirley creche set.  It was designed by Debby Mumm.

I think I have previously mentioned that I resurrected the lady chef because the company had changed hands so she is still available. ( I had stopped stitching when I thought TSDesigns was going out of business because of retirement--but another company purchased their designs.)  However, I had gotten bored with stitching all that white on the apron and cap.  To the rescue came Macy to finish stitching what I had balked at.  Now she's ready to go to the finisher and become a "real" person.  Sasha (my name for her) was designed by TS designs.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Susan Roberts trio of trees

I've been trying to accumulate the variety of fibers used in the stitching of Susan Roberts' 5" tree from her trio of trees.  I'm doing it on the red canvas, though it is also available on green canvas.

This is a photograph provided.  Each tree comes with the instructions for that size and the drawn canvases to produce that one tree.  

There are four canvases with drawn outlines and some of the overstitched design drawn on.

I'm still waiting for some of the necessary fibers to arrive from suppliers.  Now to put the first canvas on stretcher bars and start stitching.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

new top of a wall and more new canvases

Macy put these canvases up on the wall to replace the 4 Melissa Shirley previously there.  The first on the left is a sand hill crane by The Point of It All. The next is a snowy egret by Susan Roberts
Needlepoint.  The center canvas is a rhinoceros montage by Joy Juarez.  Then a pair of canvases from Treglown Designs.  You have to look closely to see that one canvas has two birds, the other only one.

This is one of a pair (I think--there may be more in the series) of seashore-related designs from Associated Talents.

In real life, I enjoy watching geckos in action and I am discovering that I also like buying canvases depicting them.  The one to the left is from Associated Talents.

I ordered several different designs from this purse style from Clara Wells.  I intend to stitch one this summer for a shop model.  I think her designs are quite elegant.

 While a realistic view of a shrimp, it definitely doesn't show its most attractive side.  Well, maybe it does and there is no attractive view!!  Alice Van Trease designed this.

Joanie Sherman of The Studio designed this purse canvas.  It's sort of reminiscent of some of the elements Klimt utilized.  I really want to stitch this but I already have a partially-stitched shop model of this size and a completed model of the smaller version.  Sigh!  I suppose I should be a virtuous person and finish stitching the one I've already started.  But that's no fun. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rugs and wall hangings now 60% off!

It's time to increase the discount on the rug and wall hanging canvases Needle Nicely has in stock.  The majority have been reduced to 60% off.  The exceptions are some old painting masters that are shop worn but will stitch beautifully; and one canvas with a slight flaw--those are 70% off.  All prices are indicated.  Please go to the two lists on the right-hand side of this blog to see the pictures, dimensions, mesh, and price.

Thursday I went to see the National Theatre's high definition transmission of the play "War Horse".  What a wonderful production.  The horses are puppets and are handled so masterfully, each by 3 puppeteers, that you soon forget they aren't real horses.  I know a movie was made using real horses, but I highly recommend your seeing a stage production of this.

I just returned half an hour ago from the high definition transmission of the Metropolitan Opera's production of "Prince Igor".  The music was gorgeous (it contains "Stranger in Paradise" among other music), but it was just too typically Russian for my taste (dark, battle losses, debauchery...).  Most of the roles were sung by Russians who were interviewed during the two intermissions.  One of them said that the ending would bring tears to our eyes,  it was so happy and uplifting.  Excuse me?  Sure Prince Igor escaped captivity and returned home to help rebuild his country, but he seemed half-witted (from his head injury?) and his country was destitute.  Still, I remind myself that I'm still learning about opera and I need to see a broad selection of them to enable me to know what I do enjoy.  I already have a short list of which ones I don't need to see again!  Sadly, most of those are the modern operas that the Met has been trying to promote.   They do one a year in high definition and so far they have consistently been turkeys.