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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What a good girl am I!!

I've mentioned before that I have a tendency toward procrastination.  Finally, this Monday I couldn't think of another thing I had to stitch for Christmas deadlines; canvases to be entered into the inventory; fibers to be stocked; or items to be shipped to finishers.  So, I had to knuckle down and attach canvases to two Dash & Albert tote bags for customers.  The first was a Pischke Pocket; the second a Mindy canvas my customer selected to go on a tote bag she bought from me.

I finish these myself rather than mailing them to one of my finishers mainly because the totes are so heavy, the postage would raise the finishing price unreasonably.  In case you're interested, the steps involved are 1) blocking the needlepoint; 2) stay stitching around the needlepoint and trimming the excess canvas; 3)stitching the backing fabric to the front of the needlepoint, leaving at least a 5"opening at the bottom which you use to turn the item rightside out; 4)attaching two sides and the bottom to the tote; 5) making a twisted cord of a coordinating color; 6)sewing the cord to the outer edge of the canvas to produce an attractive product.

I finished these two totes over 3 days in between waiting on customers.  As I look at the finished products, I keep saying, "what a good girl I am"!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Petitpoint creche figures

I mailed the stitched Melissa Shirley petitpoint creche figures to my finisher yesterday.  I threw myself on her mercy, begging to have them back by November 15 in time for the 2014 Festival of Trees.  I'll post a photograph of the finished display.  Here are the individual stitched canvases, varying in clarity for which I apologize.  I'm sure my Canon camera has features that would take better close-ups, but I'm not willing to experiment and possibly mess up my current settings which work just fine for my usual pictures.  Please remember that I'm the one person who know who has had an i-phone for 2 years and has yet to add an app or take a picture.

Many thanks to Macy for stitching the figures for me.  I was in charge of the navy background, stars, and missed stitches.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Melissa Shirley's stable, finished

I finished stitching this stable canvas in plenty of time to have a local framer put it on a board, edge it with ribbon, and stand it on a semicircle of mat board.  I did follow Anne Stradal's suggestion of encroaching gobelin for the timbers.  I used the same watercolors as I had used for the roof.  The donkey I did in alpaca 18 with the mane in DMC perle 5.  The stars were stitched in Balger #8 silver and gold.

I am now in the process of putting the finishing stitches into the individual creche figures on congress  cloth. That includes checking the figures for missed stitches.  I'll take photographs before I send them to my finisher, which I should do by Friday.  Time is slipping away and I need these for the Festival of Trees the weekend before Thanksgiving.

My beautiful mermaid is even more gorgeous now that she has been made into a framed pillow with pearls and cording.  My pillow finisher wasn't sure about the pearls because if you look very closely you can see the white thread tacking the pearls down.  I think the finished product is wonderful.  I don't know about other people, but I just love to sit and look at my newly finished pieces.  I still take delight looking at Gustav, my 30" nutcracker, among other finished projects.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Clara Wells bag, 7

I've been working on getting all the black stitched.  Even with my new light, the black stitches faster in the daylight.  Then I can fill in the white and grey in the evenings.  Hope that strategy really works!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Melissa Shirley stable VI

I love the way my French knotted lamb turned out.  I used two-ply kit kin (or whisper) so there is some fuzziness.  I tried to take a close-up of the lamb alone, but it was a blurry blob of white.