Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Shop stitching--RUSH job 17

I was hoping that my next post about the stocking would be a photograph of the completed stitching.  No such luck.  The past two weeks I've been working by myself on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Usually business is spotty during these two weeks.  That hasn't been the case this year.  A pleasant surprise!

On the cuff, I'm stitching the white area in nobuko using DMC perle #5.  I'm trying to stitch all of the white before I start stitching the name.  In the upper left you can see a loose thread.  In all the trips to and from the shop, I managed to get a smudge on the white.  In my laziness, I overstitched it.  It looked okay when I did that, but then I kept seeing a shadow of the smudge.  That's when I cut the stitches to pick out enough to end the strands.  Then I'll restitch the area.  I'm glad it wasn't basketweave because that would have been a real pain to fix and still have it look good.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Purse canvases

Remember that purse model that I got back from the finisher in October?  Last week I received a letter from Clara Wells, the designer, with the information that she is giving up selling needlepoint canvases because of the uncertainty of finding a suitable finisher.  She is also pursuing a master's degree.  I immediately inquired what purse canvases she still had in stock and received the following canvases.

These three designs are only 1-sided:

There are two-sides to the remaining designs.

Murphy's Law as applied to needlepoint shops says that once you stitch a model, the corresponding canvases will disappear from the marketplace.  My only consolation is that I had some warning.  I also have in stock about five of the original designs for this style purse.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New arrivals and a finish

This week some new canvases have been arriving.  Some of them were the last of previous orders and others were canvases included in special orders for customers that I added to defray the shipping costs.  I forgot and one artist charged me $11.00 for shipping three Christmas ornaments.  Say goodbye to that profit!

This Costa Rica round was a special order from Kathy Schenkel for a customer.  My customer was delighted with it!

 Last month when I placed an order for a customer for the small mermaid ornaments from Labors of Love, I added this stocking.  It arrived separately this week.  It isn't at all Christmas-y but I think she is gorgeous.
 And this is the last of my Dallas market order from Strictly Christmas.  It is one of their new designs.
 These are two of the set of three of nativity scenes from J. Mahaly.  Definitely crying for pattern stitches.

Before she left for the holidays, Macy finished this shop model designed by AT Designs.  I'm torn between begging my finisher to do it in a hurry in January or holding it for a more leisurely finish the end of April.  The more I think about it, the more I think I'll get ready for some begging!!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Shop stitching--RUSH job 16

Push came to shove this week and forced me to settle down and stitch Santa's mustache and eyebrows.  I did the mustache in long-short split stitch going horizontally.  The eyebrows were just long stitches.  Both were done in 3-ply kit kin (whisper).

Next I tackled the teddy bear.  I had been tossing a coin between doing him in basketweave or French knots.  The basketweave won and I am pleased with how he looks.  The fiber I used was alpaca 18.

The horn was another procrastination item.  I did it in Kreinik metallic.  I did the shading in  a brown gold metallic combination and it didn't show up enough against the ribbon on the blue package so I selected a darker version and overstitched that thin line of demarcation.  I also did the same thing on the lower hand piece of the horn.

When I grew up, I had 3 older brothers and one younger brother (and another 2 younger brothers and sisters--large family).  Anyway, I thought dolls were sissy and would only play with my brothers' toys.  On this stocking I thought the doll's face was hideous and kept avoiding it.  It was the absolute last thing I stitched.  I'm not pleased with my new version of the doll's face, but I like it better than the bug-eyed original (sorry, Rebecca!).  I changed the gold trim on the dress to hot pink metallic.  The dress was stitched in two shades of DMC perle #5 in the basketweave stitch.  The doll's hair is watercolors done in a bullion stitch.

All that remains is the top portion of the stocking that contains the name.  Time's a'wasting!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Shop Stitching--RUSH job 15

I've been stitching like crazy since Christmas is approaching so quickly.

I finished the wheels and trim on the carriage.  Next, I managed to finish the stitching on Santa's sack.

I enjoyed stitching the doll house.  Especially fun was the woven stitch I did in impressions for the basement facade of the house.  The doors are metallic Kreinik in basketweave.  The wreaths are French knots in a combination of green impressions and gold Kreinik.  The windows on the top story are black perle cotton in cashmere stitch.  The first floor windows are diagonal mosaic.

Only today did I realize that I stitched the clapboard siding going the wrong way--it is vertical and it should have been horizontal.  My next thought was:  "too late for herpicide".  That means no way will I pick it out and restitch.  For those who wonder, herpicide was a quack medicine in the early 1900's that supposedly cured baldness.  By the time people thought to use it, it was too late.  Especially considering that it was worthless.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Shop stitching--RUSH job 14

The flooring of the stocking was painted in varying widths of board, some as wide as 6 stitches.  I felt that would put too many long stitches at the bottom of the stocking where they would be vulnerable to snagging.  So in an executive decision, I decided to do slanted gobelin over 3 threads using impressions.  Now the boards look a tad skinny, but I feel they are safer for the life of the stocking.  This photograph shows the original painting.
Here you can see how the stitching turned out.
I stitched the candy canes in a gobelin over 2 threads using Kreinik metallic.  I took a second shot at the dots on the sparkly green package, this time selected DMC perle #5 for the French knots.  Much more in proportion to the package.  I've also been pecking away at Santa's sack.  It seems to go on forever!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Shop stitching, RUSH job 13 (& 5th blogaversary!)

After stitching on this stocking for months, I'm beginning to regret labeling this project as a RUSH job.

I stitched the white on the baby carriage in the Byzantine mosaic using white DMC perle #5.  I also started Santa's bag using red DMC perle #5 in the diagonal mosaic stitch.  The lapis (what other stone is blue?) beads were stitched in basketweave using Kreinik braid #12.  The gold beads are Smyrna crosses, again in Kreinik braid #12.  Time is getting short, so I'm going to have to bring out my turbo needles to get this finished in time.

I had published this entry when I had an odd feeling about when I started blogging.  In going back through the posts, I discovered that my first entry was December 9, 2010.  So this is my 5th blogaversary.  I don't know which impresses me more--600 posts or 5 years of persistence.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Needlepoint pockets on tote bags

This past week has been spent sewing canvases on two Dash and Albert tote bags to make pockets.  The totes are wonderful for carrying a variety of things.  The bottom is leather-lined for durability.  My hands, and especially my finger tips, are full of needle holes.  Even using a thimble, the totes are so unwieldy that it is difficult to get a grip while having the pocket (needlepoint) pinned in place.  Bless needlepoint for only utilizing blunt needles!

There are two lucky people who are going to receive one of these as a present.

This is Needle Nicely's 600th blog entry.  Whew!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tiny scissors and some old friends restocked

This week Needle Nicely received two shipments of scissors.  One was some old friends that we restocked.  These are produced by Solingen in Germany and have wonderfully sharp points.  Another brand name shown is Wasa.

In actuality, these are all the same size.  I had to make the top photograph larger because the scissor image blurred if it were smaller.

Price-wise, these Super-Snips are at the other end of the spectrum.  They come in the 3 colors shown  with an attached cap for the blades.  I meant to measure these, but forgot.  They are about 2 1/2 inches long.They would make great stocking stuffers.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Shop stitching, RUSH job 12

I don't know why needlepoint canvas designers insist on giving Santa a red/pink nose.  I understand the ruddy cheeks, but a red nose?  Makes him look like a rummy.  I stitched my Santa face au natural and I think it looks great.  I also completed the nobuko on his Santa's suit and my double French knots on the trim on his suit.  I also tossed in the black metallic gold rush 18 on the doll's shoes.  No way am I tackling black patent!

I have to chuckle because I have been ducking stitching Santa's moustache.  I don't know why.  Maybe next week?  Who knows?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Old friends with a few new ones sprinkled in

At the September Dallas show, I ordered some Christmas stockings from Alexa Designs.  These were just reorders of oldies but goodies stockings.  I got a phone call last week from Jeanine--she had just located my order under something and wondered if I still wanted them.  Since I'm famous for the archeology of locating papers on my table, I understood her predicament immediately and told her to send them on.

A customer asked me to order several travel rounds from Silver Needle, so I added these to the order.

While I'm on my Christmas stocking marathon, I'm not allowing myself to think about what I will blog-stitch next.  However, these are quite appealing.

And another reminder that Needle Nicely will be open this Saturday for Small Business Saturday.  As an enticement, NN is offering 20% off all regularly priced, in-stock merchandise.  Come see me!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Shop stitching, RUSH job 11

The band on Santa's cap is  2-ply kit kin/whisper in a double wrapped French knot.  His hair and beard are 3-ply kit kin/whisper in the long/short split stitch.  The pompom on his cap is done in 2-ply kit kin/whisper in turkey work.  I usually wait until an item is back from the finisher before I do any trimming of turkey work.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

More small canvases

Last week a customer came in and ordered a belt canvas designed by Elizabeth Turner.  To spread the shipping costs over several canvases, I looked through the other offerings of Elizabeth Turner.  I came across several pages of college canvases like this Florida one that I ordered.  They are beauties and only about 5"x5".
Another customer came in and asked me to order some of Labors of Love's mermaid canvases so she could select one for her granddaughter.  I ordered 4 so I could have some in the shop.  She surprised me and bought all four canvases.  So I did a reorder for shop inventory that also included several gator canvases.  This first is Imelda Gator.
And this is a selection of the mermaid canvases I reordered.

What fun these will be to stitch!

EDIT:  I forgot to mention that Needle Nicely, which is usually not open on Saturdays, will be open for American Express's Small Business Saturday, November 28.  I will be offering 20% off all in store merchandise not already on sale.  Come see me!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Shop stitching, RUSH job 10

As usually happens while working on a large project, I developed that dreaded stitching enemy:  boredom.  To reawaken my interest, I did something I seldom do.  I moved around, and cherry-picked areas to stitch.  That's why Santa's mittens are so gorgeously purple.  I stitched them in the giant diagonal mosaic.  There were to be gold dots, but when I stitched them, they looked awful.  So I did some same color purple French knots out of the #5 DMC perle cotton I had used for the mittens.  They look nice and puffy like real mittens.  Then I did the pink and gold checkerboard package in the foreground in a combination of Scotch stitch and continental.  Next was that shiny green package stitched in high luster Balger.  I also started the white of the house in a row of continental and slanted gobelin.

Feeling excited again, I completed the last of the snowflakes on the tree.  Then I started the fire in the fireplace using silk lame braid in a combination of diagonal mosaic and continental stitch.  I also stitched Santa's cap, using petite very velvet in the nobuko stitch.  As usual when stitching velvet, I have to give myself time to rub the velvet fiber.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New colors of Walker bags

This week Needle Nicely received  new inventory in Walker bags.  They have added new color combinations.  I'm still trying to pick my favorite.  These are the 18x18 triple zipper with handle.

Then the smaller triple zipper, again with handles:

And one last addition to "the" wall is these canvases designed by Melissa Shirley.  They are 5x5.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Climbing walls, again Part II

The last section of wall has our pet area:  first dog canvases, and then cat designs.

That covers the right-hand wall as you walk into the shop (that is the side that business consultants say is the preferred side for buyers when they come into a shop.  Let's hope so!).  
The other wall starts just inside the front door on its left.  We put four large 
Melissa Shirley canvases because they fit the area so nicely.  Ironically (or perhaps fortuituously), a customer came in after we got the canvases up and bought, of course, the top canvas.  She apologized, but I thanked her and told her that selling them was the purpose for putting canvases on the walls.  After she left the shop, we filled the empty space with another Melissa Shirley canvas--YES!

Above the bookcase we put the Joy Juarez rhino canvas and Melissa Shirley's macaw canvas.
Geometric canvases are what we selected for the next area which is quite large
The next area is close to the Christmas ornament area.  First, we placed three Florida canvases.  After them, we put the clock canvases that came with buttons.  The other clock canvases we put on a hanger and hung them with miscellaneous canvases.
It's a satisfying feeling of accomplishment to stand back and admire the walls.  Now, I hope people will come buy canvases from them and leave us with holes to be filled with other canvases--that's the name of the game!