Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Clara Wells purse, 6

Imagine my surprise Tuesday morning after my long weekend to look up and discover that an industrious spider had been busy over the weekend.
 This was a first for me in all the years I've been involved with Needle Nicely.  Of course, I immediately grabbed the broom and swept away the laciness of the web.

I have about 12 square inches of stitching remaining on each of the two purse pieces.  I completed the red stripe over the weekend and now I'm working on the last of the black/white/gray.
 Last week a fellow shopowner who follows my blog called me with the name of a finisher for this purse style.  The finisher originally recommended by Clara Wells, the designer, has been having issues; so, I was really pleased to receive the new name.  Cross your fingers that I manage to finish this between now and next Wednesday.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

And the afterbite happens!

Before I forget, if anyone has a HP printer that uses #95 color ink cartridges, I have three for free, but you pay me $6.00 for the postage.  I found several cartridges behind (yes, behind) my dead printer when I pulled it out to put in the new printer.  I already had returned several ink cartridges when I purchased the new printer----Soooo, if you can use #95, be the first in the comments to say you want them and then mail me a check for $6.00.  (Needle Nicely, 1531 US #1, Vero Beach, FL 32960). That way I don't have the guilt about throwing them away.  Thank you.

The irony about the afterbite of technology is that when I installed my new printer, I plugged everything into it that I had taken out of the old printer.  What could be bad about that?  I found out the other day when my husband's goddaughter called Needle Nicely saying her cell phone contacts had disappeared and she was disappointed to find out they were not "in the cloud".  So, in an effort to find Arthur's phone number, she called me at Needle Nicely.  I told her the number, and then called home to tell Arthur about the phone call.  My home phone rang twice and then entered fax mode.  Hmm.  Arthur had mentioned that our robo calls ended after two rings.  Duh!  The fax in the computer was picking up all of our calls (though it didn't ring).   That night I got to troubleshoot the new flatbed printer/scanner/fax to find out how to turn off the fax.  I wound up pulling the telephone line from the printer.  We're not the chattiest people on earth, but it is nice to have a telephone to let the outside world communicate with us.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What a snarl!!

Needle Nicely has two customers' rugs to send to our rug finisher.  I always enclose a twisted cord to be attached to the perimeter of a rug when it is finished.  For the twisted cord, it is necessary to have an uncut hank of Paternayan.  I unwrapped the first skein (the only skein I had of that color) and prepared to cut the knot joining the ends of the yarn in the hank.  I had a "brain fart" in the process of cutting the knot and I then proceeded to start cutting through the hank.  I stopped myself after about 1 1/2 inches of the 5 inch thickness.  I did managed to salvage enough lengths for my cording, but this is what the remaining yarn looks like:
If I can't con someone else into straightening out the mess, then I have a project where I can just sit and go "oooohm" while pulling on an end!

Needlepoint designers don't seem to have gotten the message that this is my really sloooow time of year.  Here are several canvases that have arrived.  This first is one of the shorter Christmas stockings from Strictly Christmas.  I can see a real demand for less stitching.
 Jennifer of Pippin Studio has added this twelve tree stocking and has made 12 individual ornaments from the trees.
 This cute dog canvas also arrived from Pippin Studio, accompanied by a companion one for cats saying "Let me in. . . let me out".

Saturday, July 18, 2015

AT gingham bunny, IV

I love when I finish stitching something as colorful and cute as this gingham bunny from Associated Talents.  The green "splotches" on the pink ear are actually French knots using Kreinik Balger.

Now I have to decide whether to attack another WIP for my shop stitching or pick a new project entirely.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Technology bites me again!

Well, I finally managed to kill my home printer.  It had been limping along for the past year with my having to hold the top down for contact to be made and the printing process to occur.  Last week the death knell sounded!  I was printing a marathon of items when I had a paper jam.  I cleared it, but obviously something was too shocking to the printer's system and it refused to print.  Even after multiple attempts to coax it into action.  I should be grateful since I managed over a year of "new" life from it, though I won't miss my left shoulder's dip to hold the top of the printer down.

That reminds me, on another topic, I noticed this week that I am now touching the bottom right of the page of a book when I want to turn the page.  I haven't had my Paperwhite that long, but obviously I am quite teachable!  

Back to the printer--I went Monday morning to Office Depot, which is where I have purchased all of Needle Nicely's computer equipment over the years after our original IBM from hades.  Coincidentally, in Sunday's sales flyer in the local mullet wrapper, among the printers on sale was a flat bed for only 129.99.  Wonderful!  To be honest, I would have forced myself to wait until an inexpensive flat-bed printer was on sale, though I had several items (like sales tax reports and quarterly tax payments) I needed to print.  Now it isn't a problem.  

My new printer is a black beauty.  Aesthetically that is pleasing.  BUT, the installation instructions were one side of a page with 3 diagrams.  I saw that I was to turn the printer on, attach a big thing to the back, and attach the electrical cord.  Nowhere did it show where to put the packets of ink that came with the printer.  I finally had to admit defeat and call Office Depot.  A pleasant young man was rather clear in his instructions and I managed to locate the panel on the front and successfully inserted the cartridges of ink.  

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Clara Wells purse, 5

I knew last week when I wrote the blog entry about dye lot tags I would be punished.  Sure enough, Tuesday morning my first customer wanted yarn and I had to match two colors for her.  The first was a snap, but the 2nd was a shade of off-white.  When I questioned whether it was Paternayan, I was assured she had bought it from Needle Nicely, though I was unable to find a color anywhere close.    I also mentioned dye lot tags and she told me she had them somewhere.  (At that, I had a vision of a curio cabinet full of dye lot tags!!)  After she paid and was on her way out the door, she inquired "Where is that nice woman who usually works for you?" I told her, truthfully, that they were both up North for the summer.  Boy, now I know asking for color numbers and dye lot tags are a real no-no.

I am making progress on the Clara Wells purse pieces, but slowly.  I am usually such a fast stitcher that it is hard for me to accept my slowness this summer.  This too shall pass (I hope).
I like to show an overall photograph, but in this case I think one focusing on the area remaining is appropriate.  The end of July seems like a real possibility.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

AT gingham bunny III

It was after 4pm the other day and I was determined to finish the alternating Scotch stitch before closing at 5.  What a lesson in haste making waste.  Yes, I was stitching the yellow and it should have slanted to the left.  Instead, I stitched the last few slanting the same way as the other colored Scotch stitches.  So I picked it out and restitched the 5--only to realize I had stitched them wrong, again.  Aaargh!  They're the stitches in the left most ribbon.
I feel guilty about the carrots.  I decided they were too small to have 3 shades in them, so I did the slanted gobelin in orange splendor.  I'm on the home stretch now--the blue outline will take the most time to finish.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Why to keep your dye lot and color numbers

Several Fridays ago,  I was forceably reminded of that old adage in stitching--keep the tag with the color number and dye lot.  I've been in this industry for over 35 years, I'm good with color, but--I'm not infallible.  Usually I can match the color of a fiber when people come in without the tag....BUT, life is so much simpler and more perfect if they can produce the tag recording the color number and the dye lot number.  This is not a contest--yes, I can probably successfully match the color.  But why should I?  And what if I have a poor record at matching colors?  Do yourself a favor and keep everything that might assist you in matching the color you are stitching, on the off chance that you might run out, including keeping your "orts"--your cut ends.  As a shop owner, in a perfect world, you will stop stitching several strands before you absolutely run out. That way, you can blend strands if necessary.  And please, if you're stitching with perle cotton, try to keep the band that has the color number on it--not the "other one".  I can't tell you how often people proudly present the DMC band that contains no useful information.  Sigh!

Apropos of the previous paragraph, I had a phone call the other day.  The woman on the phone told me she had stopped by the previous Saturday (Needle Nicely hasn't been open on Saturdays for 2 1/2 years).  She wanted some more colors for a canvas she was stitching.  I asked what fiber.  Her reply was that her granddaughter would come in with a picture on her cell phone.  I asked again, what fiber?  You can't tell what the fiber is from a picture.  I'm a miracle worker, but I can't do it.  After a few probing questions, I now know the fiber is Paternayan. Maybe I'll have a fighting chance when I see the cell phone picture.

Someone else called last week.  She said she had run out of a color for the canvas she purchased this winter.  I asked what fiber.  Her response was "the white one".  So now I know the color is white, but what is the fiber?  After a few failed attempts at eliciting what white fiber she needed, I asked her to mail me a 2" piece.  I restrained myself from mentioning how many white fibers Needle Nicely sells.  As they say, the better part of valor!

EDIT:  I received the fiber sample, and it appears to be perle 5.  That's what I mailed to her.  Time will tell if I guessed correctly.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

clara wells purse, 4

Last month, my husband asked me when I expected to finish this.  I foolishly said "the end of June." It didn't happen though--sigh!  Still, I'm persevering and in hopes that I will finish both pieces by the end of July.  Cross your fingers for me.

I've had several phone calls today inquiring about my hours this weekend.  I will be open this Friday, the day before the 4th.  Then I will be open again Tuesday.  I'm really enjoying my 3-day weekends.