Saturday, March 28, 2015

A multitude of alligators, 4

I've managed to complete the diagonal mosaic on the final alligator.  It often gets pesky when trying to fit pattern stitches around other design areas.  Sometimes I think it would be simpler to just finish with basketweave--but I persevered with the diagonal mosaic.
Among the canvases I received this week is this backdrop for a modern creche set from Raymond Crawford.
We sell lots of brick covers because of Vero's balmy (?) ocean breezes.  This design is from Associated Talents.
 This is one of Associated Talents new Christmas designs.  Of course, my preference is "Be Merry".  Those strips on the bottom just scream to be stitched.  I'm trying to resist.
Thursday I had a pleasant surprise when a blog reader, Donna, brought her friend Liz into Needle Nicely.  They were spending some "girl's time" in Vero Beach which included much stitching and beach going,  but also massive quantities of retail therapy.  Thank goodness they had several days of sunshine before yesterday's rain and today's lower temperatures.  I know 55 and rain doesn't begin to compare to snow, but after weeks of 70s and 80s, this morning was a shock as I did my monthly visits to the Big Box stores.  Note:  I go at 8 am so the pain isn't quite as great as it would be at noon or thereabouts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hearts, VI

In 2013 I started stitching a heart canvas designed by The Princess and Me.  I wanted to do it for a class at Needle Nicely.  The original design was intended to be an insert in a Lee's Needle purse.  I wanted to make it a pillow, so I chose my own stitches for the large hearts and then added a border of  Rhodes heart stitches.  I completed the Rhodes heart stitch border and then handed this to Macy to be her "shop" stitching in between waiting on customers.
 And here the finished product is.  Now to decide if we should add another border or two or merely send this to a pillow finisher and make a framed, ruffled pillow.  The thinking caps are on!  And this will be a Needle Nicely class next February.
Stuart stopped by yesterday to check on the chartreuse of my bruised forehead.  He was amazed to see that my "wound" had totally skipped the chartreuse stage of healing.  I have to leave the psychedelic look for the next time--and as clumsy as I have always been, I know there will be a next time!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Memories of the late 1970s in needlepoint

 First an update:  my forehead looks like I am wearing ashes from Ash Wednesday.  I've  had to tell people that I do wash my forehead regularly--that it is just a bruise.  I'm sure more psychedelic (as Ann mentioned) colors are in my future.  Still no pain, thanks to my hard head.
Among the gems unearthed in the closing of the storage unit are these original designs by Trubey on 8 aida cloth.  In the late 1970s, counted cross stitch was becoming all the rage in the Southern US.  In an attempt to get on the band wagon, Trubey ordered white aida fabric.  She knew nothing about the various sizes it came in; and it was only when the 8 count arrived, that she realized it was much too large for the cross stitch everyone was doing.  Fabric isn't light and the cost of mailing it back made it a push--eat the cost of the fabric or eat the cost of the shipping returning it.  So Trubey designed two sizes of pillows using needlepoint stitches on cross stitch fabric.  She wrote out the instructions, ordered DMC floss, and bought moire in pink, blue and yellow.  Then she produced kits which we sold for many years.  I discovered a Hayes House (the building Needle Nicely owned) shopping bag
filled with kits of both sizes and all three colors.  So, I've been stitching a pink one and I'm almost finished.  We'll have these kits for sale shortly.
One of my first memories of working at Needle Nicely was preparing these kits.  I still resent the strips of moire for the boxing and cording!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Just call me Grace...

Early this morning, Macy and I met at Needle Nicely where we picked up a broom, a dustpan and an empty plastic bin before driving to the storage unit that saved Needle Nicely's inventory in the fall of 2005.  Sad to say, and I gather from what people tell me, I am not unusual in the fact that I have not examined most of the items in the storage unit since the day they were placed there.  Several things have occurred recently that have prodded me to make an effort to empty the unit.  Among those are a desire to streamline Needle Nicely's "contents" with an eventual goal of selling or liquidating the business.  After all, I am 72 years old and beginning to exhibit some attributes of ageing.  Having my new broom (Macy) with her boundless energy caused me to act sooner rather than later.  That's why today's expedition was the culmination of several months' trips to gradually deplete the contents.  One of the last things transferred to Needle Nicely was, perhaps ironically, the brand-new dehumidifier that I received from Sears after our escape from the Royal Palm Pointe shop's wetness.  The "new" dehumidifier I had previously purchased from Sears was defective and ineffective in the battle against the wet carpets.  But Sears did step up and replace it--long after we no longer needed it!
It was while Macy and I were carrying the dehumidifier in the back door of Needle Nicely that I managed to hit my forehead on a metal bracket intended to hold the bar when the door is closed.
I hit smack in the middle of my forehead.  It is only slightly elevated. I spent part of the day with a cold can of coke pressed against it.  My forehead is becoming a landscape of shop mishaps--the large brown spot to the right of my bruise is the remains of a hit on one of the cafe doors that Needle Nicely had (and has) between the shop and office on Royal Palm Pointe.  That time water was pouring down the walls!  Tune in Saturday to see how the color develops.  And I have many future blogs planned featuring the contents of the storage unit, now stowed in the nooks and crannies of Needle Nicely's back room.

New canvases are still arriving.  This Yankees belt from Keep Your Pants On was a special-order for a customer.
 I neglected to discover what designer MDM indicates, but this belt containing covered bridges is distributed by CBK designs.
 And all those mystery lovers out there should love Liz's vision of Sherlock Holmes as an owl.  Distributed by Susan Roberts.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A multitude of alligators, 3

As a technically-challenged person, the past 24 hours has been irritating.  Some updates were added to my computer yesterday.  I'm sure some were reputable updates.  Others changed lots of things on my computer.  It was snail slow (not the wi-fi we all know and love) with lots of pop-up ads.  It was so bad that I decided to stop by my computer guru first thing Monday morning to have him clean it up.  Then something aggravated me so much that I caught a program's name and clicked on delete (I really do know that doesn't do it).It gave me a prompt and instructions of where to go on my computer to uninstall--I always forget where that is.  Since I go there about once a year, it definitely doesn't deserve space in my memory bank.  Boy, is it an education trying to uninstall these unsolicited programs.  They have hidden appendages that you also have to reject or the game just goes on forever.  Right now, I can't download my photograph because it is taking up-to-now 30minutes to remove one program.  It has been bombarding me with items that I need that are included in this program.  No I don't, thank you.  At least, I didn't need you before Friday the 13th and I sure don't want you now.  I just discovered that I could move that screen to one side and then I could download my photos and edit them.  So I will leave my battle with unwanted programs (my computer just informed me that I had added 3 new apps--that is my piercing scream you hear), and continue with my Saturday night blog.

This time I am spending battling my computer is time I could be needlepointing (or helping my husband with today's New York Times crossword puzzle, which he says is a real toughie).  Of course, I won't mention the time I spent today watching Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Flores at the Metropolitan Opera.  It was wonderful music--and not painful to look at those gorgeous faces.

My stitching time is also being curtailed by tax time (got to get that information about drugs added up).  The Needle Nicely tax return is done, on to the personal tabulations.  Add to that the fact it is the season (thank goodness), I am getting older and don't have the stamina I once had.  That means I don't have the energy for, or interest in, doing my hourly nighttime stitching.  However, whining aside, here's where I am on my alligators.  I'm currently stitching the diagonal mosaic while I stare at those orange and yellow areas--where on earth am I going to find stitches for those areas?  I have the fibers,  just no bright ideas.  However, as Scarlet would say, I'll worry about that tomorrow!!

The flow of new canvases is slowing to a trickle.  It is almost time for me to contact the designers of incomplete orders to let them know they need to ship in October if they expect to be paid in a timely fashion.  This is a wonderful tree-topper (it could also be a stand-up) two-sided Santa from Susan Roberts Designs.

I've been having a great time thinking up different stitches for Santa.  What fun to stitch!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Preppy gator

In quiet moments this past week, Macy stitched this "preppy gator" from The Princess and Me.  She did alternating Scotch stitch for the white and pink squares; Rhodes heart for the hearts; and Byzantine for the alligator's body.  The fiber was silk lame braid.  The finished piece would look great appliqued to a tote bag.  Needle Nicely is going to have it inserted into a pillow.
 I just love this Florida canvas designed by Raymond Crawford.  There are so many stitch possibilities--and there is space to put Vero Beach under the NASA symbol and on top of the sailboat.
 Zecca designed this beauty.  When I look at canvases like this and the Florida above, I see pattern-stitch possibilities, but the designs would be equally gorgeous done in the tent stitch.
 Live well, laugh often, love much--a great motto illustrated by 5 hearts designed by Jennifer Tan of Pippin Studio.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bargello chair set-up complete

I've completed the set-up for Dottie's bargello desk chair canvas.  Whew!  Incidentally, the photo editing section of my new desktop computer includes a "picture straightening" feature.  Really a good asset for those of us who can't manage to hold a camera level.

The following are some of the new canvases that recently arrived.  This doorstop is from Danae Designs.

 Raymond Crawford designed this Christmas march.
 This fresh-looking floral is one of Susan Roberts' designs.
 And this shell pillow canvas is an Alice Peterson design.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Travels of Mary Agnes, 201?

I was reminded the other day of a visit I made to Paris several years ago.  I went alone to Paris and London.  In one of life's ironies, my husband traveled with me to London and Edinburgh the year after our marriage; but since then he declines to leave our home in Vero Beach, Fl.  He doesn't mind if I travel without him.  Sigh!  To me, one of the enjoyments of travel is to share with your companion/s.  But if my choice is to stay at home or travel alone, I will travel alone.  For years I traveled with my business compatriot, Trubey.  This time I traveled alone.

The instance I was reminded of was one year when I was staying on the Left Bank  at the Hotel Henri IV on the Rue de Bernardines in Paris which is about 3/4 of a block long.  Trust me, cabbies have difficulty finding it!  (NOTE:  there are 2 Henri IV in Paris--this hotel has about 10 rooms but the distinction is that the "other" Henri IV has shared bathrooms.)  I speak no French (well--escargot, si vous plais; you get the drift).

I was alone and checked with the clock in the room, but it didn't have a time I recognized, even what I think of as the military clock of 1800 hours for 6 pm. (This was before I had a smart phone.Also, I never wear a watch.)  So as I went about my daily routine, I didn't notice that I was actually doing everything one hour later than everyone else.  That didn't seem to matter while I was walking around to the Notre Dame or the Louvre.  But my last day in Paris I went to the Cluny Museum and then walked through Paris to the Gobelin Tapestry Factory.  I started early enough to have lunch first and then proceed to the Gobelin Museum where I signed up for the "tour".  I thought I was over an hour early and started to exit the building to wait for the tour when the guide stopped me.  As I have said, I speak no French, but even  I understood that I shouldn't leave the building.  Actually, the situation was quite amusing, I thought.  They offer tours to all nationalities, but refuse to speak any language but French.  I pointedly discovered this when during the tour I asked how much the weavers earned.  The guide was noticeably irritated with me and did not answer (He obviously understood English).  Another person in our tour group repeated my question in French and the tour guide replied in French that it was a commune.  Nothing further.  Duh!  That is the derivation of communism, but I still want to know how they determine the price of the tapestries.  Obviously they ain't going to tell anyone!  It was worthwhile taking the tour, but I still have LOTS of questions to ask.  Maybe the next time I go to Paris. And then I'll either take a translator or have a device that will translate my questions--no way I'll let them get me twice!  And I'd really love to work those treadles (I think that's what they are called) and do some weaving.