Saturday, June 27, 2015

AT gingham bunny II

I'm having fun alternating the direction of the Scotch stitches in the ribbon.  The orange is splendor and the yellow and white are silk lame braid.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Maggie Lane chessboard takeoff, IV

The final section of this sampler pillow starts with F5, mosaic; C3, Hungarian ground; D1, Horizontal satin stitch with continental stitch reversed; and, last G8, a single variation of the old Florentine.  The border is two rows of 4x4 cross stitches with fillers of straight stitches in between.

The pillow is finished with Turkish corners.  Trubey and I brought the cording and tassels back from Florence, Italy, to complete the pillow.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

AT gingham bunny, I

I put this little gem on stretcher bars the day it and its companions arrived at Needle Nicely.  It has been lurking on my "table" at the shop--along with lots of detritus from my seemingly disorganized life.  
 I decided to ignore the shading (sorry painters!) to  make pattern stitch selection and stitching easier.
The green ear and tail are stitched in the slanted gobelin using splendor.  The continental stripes are silk lame braid.  The pink ear is silk lame braid in  diagonal mosaic.  I've barely started stitching the background in the basketweave using DMC 6-ply floss.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Technology gives me a headache!

Needle Nicely has a computer inventory program from Data Pro.  Every May/June, I have to pay a yearly fee to renew the program.  If I don't pay, I'm locked out.  I don't have the computer hooked up to the internet so it's a real pain to update the program.  Data Pro sends me a disc and then a technician walks me through the update over the telephone.  Even though I do this every year, it's like a new adventure every time.  I really sympathize with the technician who gets stuck with dealing with me.  Today, the process seemed to take forever, but it was really only about 25 minutes.  (I might add that if you know what you are doing, the whole process takes about two minutes---I'm not saying I'm slow, but....I'm slow.)

My shop stitching has disappeared into my ipad.  I seem to be playing games when there are no customers, rather than working on several projects I have.  That's really why the inventory computer isn't hooked up to the internet--so me or my employees can't goof off and also so a virus couldn't infect the inventory.  I bought the shop an ipad and put in wifi so I could access needlepoint designers' websites to show designs to customers.  It has already paid for itself in that respect, but I've got no one working with me in the summer to shame me into not goofing off.

New canvases are trickling in from some special orders I made for customers or new designs at the Columbus market.  This is about 8x8 or so and is the smallest of two Florida designs by Alice Peterson.  I've put the larger version on stretcher bars while I wait for my stitching mojo to come back.

 Associated Talents introduced these small rabbits at the winter Phoenix market.  Then at Columbus market they introduced similar mice canvases. I'll probably pick up some of them in Dallas. And yes, I have put one of the rabbits on stretcher bars in anticipation.

 This should be a best seller among the beach and boating community.  It's by Associated Talents.

Stay tuned for the continuing soap opera of Mary Agnes and her stitching ennui.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Maggie Lane Chessboard Take-off, III

The third  stitch in the 3rd row is D5, fern stitch; followed by B4, mosaic stitch halved and turned with an upright cross stitch in the middle; the row ends with G8, Old Florentine turned on its side.
The third stitch in the bottom row is F1, Milanese; E4, cashmere stitch done diagonally; and ending with A2, the checker stitch.

The past few weeks have been very quiet in the shop, though you wouldn't have suspected it yesterday at lunch time.  The grandfather who stitched a Christmas stocking for his first grandchild last year, has discovered that twins are coming, so we are consulting about the stitches on another stocking.  I am walking him through, area by area, and stitch by stitch.  While we were talking, in walked a customer who has returned to Vero after growing up here.  The two of them indulged in old home week as another customer arrived to consult me about the finished product of a stitch we had discussed yesterday.  Then another customer joined us to inquire about whether she had enough fiber to complete her project.  Of course, after they left, I didn't see another person all afternoon.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

And they're off!!!!

This is the time of year when I remember so fondly a customer of mine, Roberta, who had much adversity in her life (a kidney transplant for one).  The first time I met her was just after her transplant when she wasn't allowed to drive.  She arrived at Needle Nicely in a taxi cab (in those days a real rarity in Vero Beach!) that she had wait for over an hour while she shopped.  Over the years we got to know each other better and she was one of the people who showed up to help Needle Nicely settle into our new location after Hurricane Wanda relocated us so abruptly.  I can still remember Roberta sorting through the hundreds of skeins of silk 'n ivory (that we had thrown in black trash bags to get them out of the water-soaked Royal Palm location).  She managed it with a smile and a wise-crack.

 We encouraged each other to gamble on the Triple Crown races.  It was easy to do in the years when the jai alai facility south of Vero in Ft Pierce offered off-the-track betting.  Though we were never comfortable entering or leaving the facility.  In entering, we felt that everyone knew we had money to bet; when we came after the race, everyone knew we were winners, so we felt vulnerable when we walked quickly to our car.  But the real fun was talking among ourselves about the horses and the betting combinations available.

One year the jai alai facility was closed, so we had to go north to the dog tracks in Melbourne.  It was about a month after a bad forest fire in this area of Florida and as we drove up US#1 we could see burned trees on both sides of the highway.  It gave you a creepy feeling about what might have happened if they hadn't succeeded in putting the fire out.

She would have had a field day betting on last week's Belmont, boxing the favorite with other horses to try to make a payday.  Everybody knows you can't make money on betting the favorite straight up!
Really miss you, Roberta, but hope you watched the race from where you are.

I'm slowly making progress on my Clara Wells purse.  Chug, chug!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Maggie Lane chessboard take-off, II

The fourth stitch from the left on the top row is B6, damask darning stitch; then A8, Scotch stitch with double Leviathan.  Below them is A7, tied oblong cross stitch with tied upright satin stitch; then B8, background filler satin stitch.  The third row is H2, diamond eyelet; C2 Byzantine Scotch stitch.

EDIT;  After I hit publish, I noticed that I had just written about a cheeseboard that I stitch.  Maybe next time!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A take-off of Maggie Lane's chessboard

I have always loved Maggie Lane's needlepoint books and the designs inside them.  Years ago, when trying to arrive at a geometric design to offer as a class, I rediscovered MORE NEEDLEPOINT BY DESIGN by Maggie Lane.  In it she presents a chessboard done in pattern stitches.  It is gorgeous.  However, 64 stitches are too many to teach in 3 months of the Florida winter season, so I edited them.  I selected 25 stitches so the class would be 5 stitches per week with an additional border stitch added each week.  I selected impressions from the Caron Collection as the fiber--utilizing one overdyed and two solid colors.  Since I stitched this years ago, I will show an overall photograph, then I will divide the finished sampler in fourths.
There were 25 squares of 24x24 canvas threads.
This quadrant includes the stitches from the left:  G7, bargello; H5, leaf stitch; A4, satin stitch; 2nd row:  G4, knitting stitch; D6, Jacquard stitch;  C8, two-sided Italian; 3rd row: H7, double cross stitch; B1, Montenegrin cross stitch; D8, Moorish stitch variation.

In future blog entries, I will show close-ups of the remaining quadrants of the canvas and the finished pillow.

Yesterday I received the finished pillow that Trubey designed in the late 70s and that I stitched several months ago.  Needle Nicely has kits for sale of this design, in the shown pink.  There are additional kits in yellow and blue.
EDIT;  I noticed that I incorrectly identified the Montenegrin cross stitch as the Greek cross stitch.  Oops!