Saturday, June 28, 2014

5" tree, VIII

This past week I've been stitching a little here, a little there, on different pieces of the Susan Roberts 5" tree.  My progress is stymied on this one because I have run out of the Neon Rays necessary to complete the section.  I own a needlepoint shop; I always order fibers for MY projects; how could this happen?  Obviously I kitted trees for other people.  Now that I think about it, that's what I'm in business for so I guess I should stop whining and wait for my new fiber order to arrive.  Of course, I also make sure my customers buy enough for a project when they start out.  I can't seem to grasp that concept on my own stitching!!

I've been "edging" my way toward the massive compensation nightmare on this section.  This will be my project of choice tomorrow afternoon while I watch golf.  I really discovered today that I can't watch Rafa play tennis and stitch--at least not in the correct holes!!

I've started the "first pass" of the Woven Hungarian on this section.  I did have to remind myself on that 3rd row from the top to not just jump across the open area to the bottom right--that will be cut out by the finisher and I don't want my thread to be severed and come undone on the front.  You can see the shadow of my thread where I jumped down to the next row to catch my thread and then go back up to the edge to complete that row. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

5" tree, VII

I'm continuing with my stitching of the diamond star.  The instructions call for using 3 different reds and one golden yellow Flair.  You can also see in this photograph that I have started the right-hand row, trying to edge my way toward the compensating rows. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

5" tree, VI

The 2nd half of the fourth Christmas tree canvas calls for four shades of Flair.  Needle Nicely stocks all the available colors of Rachel (the same fiber just a different trademark name), but I had to order the called for colors of Flair.  There are many fibers which Needle Nicely orders on cones and then skeins in the shop during quiet times.  Flair and Rachel are both treated that way.

This is the full 4th canvas:

My first row of the diamond star stitch utilizing two of the called-for 4 shades of Flair.  I'll be honest--I'm not looking forward to the compensation stitches that are going to be required to fit this stitch around the tree outline on the right side. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tassels, beautiful tassels

The past week has seen a slowdown in my stitching.  At the shop, since it is summer, I'm working alone.  The good news is that the past few weeks have been pleasantly busy.  The bad news is that customers are eating into my shop stitching time!!  Trust me, there are many worse problems to have in this business.  I have also committed to stitching 3 extra rows around an 18-mesh Christmas stocking.  I'm over two-thirds finished but I don't like to photograph customer's canvases without their permission, so no photo to show for my efforts.  Also, Dotty is back in town.  For those who don't know or who have forgotten, Dotty is a customer who loves to travel the US taking needlepoint class.  In the past year she has retreated to Vero several times for some one-on-one consultations with me.  If she doesn't like a stitch from the relevant stitch guide, I try to come up with something that will look good but has a lower level of difficulty.  We also use this time to catch up on happenings in our lives since we have known each other since 1981. 

As far as my home stitching is concerned, the US golf open interfered this weekend while I was rooting for Martin Kaymer.  I have also bowed to the obvious and ordered a clip-on light to go on my stretcher bars to aid in stitching the Susan Roberts red-on-red Christmas tree.  I'll let you know more about that when I receive it and test it out.

Trubey (of Trubey Designs) is the former owner of Needle Nicely.  She did many designs that are exclusive to Needle Nicely.  Among those designs are the following featuring tassels.

This mirror frame is approximately 18"x27" on 13mesh.  It was stitched in DMC perle cotton for the design and medici for the background.  The background of that little swag in the inner left-hand corner was stitched in clear prism.  This is mounted on a board and has a wire on the back for hanging.  It is too heavy for our usual method of attaching an easel to the back.

This vest demonstrates another way to utilize the tassel design.  It was stitched on 13mesh using DMC perle for the design and medici for the background. 

This is a photograph of a soft-finish purse that we stitched using a medallion top with tassels cascading down.  It has a twisted cord shoulder strap.  It also was stitched in DMC perle cotton for the design and medici for the background.  The backing is black moire.

Tassels are really versatile.  This is a Christmas stocking which is quite sophisticated in look.  It was painted on 18mesh.

Trubey has also done variations of these tassels on a doorstop, a smaller frame; and several pillow canvases.  These are examples of how a talented artist can adapt a good design to various utilizations.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sasha, the lady chef almost finish-finished

 I received Sasha back from the finisher yesterday.  She is gorgeous--well, almost.  She's bald!!
I guess I just assumed the finisher would magically produce some hair for her.  Not his fault, mine for not asking.  So now to do some investigation and decide which of  several options  I'll do.  All suggestions will be gratefully considered.

Many of you probably don't remember Sasha.  I was shocked to find out that I stitched most of her starting in December 2010.  I bogged down on the white apron with the vegetables and utensils in the pockets--in a word, boooorrring.  In an act of extreme kindness, Macy finished her for  me this past winter. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

5"tree V

The color on this photograph is awful.  I've tried to tinker with it and it looks better than it did, but not true to life.  The gold-looking fiber on the right is actually a red-orange neon rays plus similar to 606 DMC.  It definitely looks better in person than in this photograph.

I took this to the shop and added the 3 different sizes of star and some smyrna crosses on the left-hand side using treasure braid.  Susan (the designer) had painted dark spots on the canvas for the stitcher to skip so it was easy to determine where the various elements went.  It worked like a charm in the light at the shop where I could see the spots I had skipped.  

On the right-hand side there are three stitches.  One is the gold-looking diagonal long-arm cross stitch.  I have yet to do the chain stitch between the two rows of long-arm cross.  The last stitch is the diagonal brick trame in neon rays.  In the top two sections I have completed the stitch.  In the bottom two sections I have done only the alternate rows of continental.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

5" tree IV

This is #3 of the canvases for Susan Roberts' 5" tree.  On the left I have almost completed stitching the basketweave.  There are spaces pre-marked on the canvas which are left blank and are the locators of an embellishment-type stitch.  On the right I have started the first of several stripes of the diagonal long-armed cross stitch. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Trubey's bow doorstop--long-time shop model

Both of my current stitching projects involve the basketweave--the JP brick purse and one of the "leaves" of the Susan Roberts' Christmas tree.  Progress on both is slow, so today I looked for something else I could talk about tonight.  I spied the bow doorstop that Trubey designed over 35 years ago.  Actually she was designing bow luggage rack straps for a special order and rejected this design.  I pulled the piece out of the waste basket in her studio and argued it's case with Trubey.  Not only did that customer get the bow design, but we added the straps in various colors to our Needle Nicely design portfolio and even adapted it to the doorstop (and a pillow).  I want to discuss the brick cover because of the thread-blending technique we used in stitching the background.  The design was stitched using DMC perle cotton 3.  The background utilizes two-ply of Paternayan Persian yarn.  For a different look, we blended one strand of a very pale blue with a strand of a slightly darker shade of blue.  Up close, the look is mottled, but at a distance (i.e., while the brick is on the floor), it looks nicely blended and tweedy.

Ironically, writing this blog entry made me reflect and realize that Needle Nicely sold many more luggage rack straps 25 years ago than we do today.  The number of doorstops we sell seems to have remained constant.  I wonder about why the drop in luggage rack straps?