Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mysteries of Life

Why is it that when you finally realize that you have a sinus infection or bronchitis or some other illness--it always happens on a Thursday night or Friday morning?  And you know your doctor doesn't work on Friday or Saturday or Sunday?  That's what always happens to me.

The same thing seems to apply to appliances.  Saturday night, while pre-heating the oven for the baked potato to go with our Saturday night New York strip steak, my husband noticed that it wasn't progressing past pre-heat.  Of course, I had also put the slivered almonds in to be toasted so I could add them later to our fresh green beans (cooked in the oven with olive oil and parmesan cheese added in addition to the almonds).  After half an hour, I remarked to my husband that the almonds weren't browning and the oven was still indicating pre-heat.  Hummm!  I improvised using the microwave, but wonder what the verdict will be on Monday--new control panel (the 2nd in 15 years) or a new oven.  Tune in.

Monday--We opted for a new range, thinking that paying about $250 for a service call and repair to a 15-year-old stove was wasted money and we should pay the extra money for a new stove.  We had previously paid for a new control panel.  New stove, here we come.  Of course, we innocents didn't realize that a new stove will take over two weeks to arrive in Vero Beach.  My New Yorker husband remarked that this could never happen in the big city.  My response wasn't "Stuff it", but I wanted to say it.  Of course, now we have to examine our menus carefully to ensure they don't require a hot oven (ours seems to be lukewarn, even when set on 400 degrees).  We've been doing a lot of take-out (Vero Beach-style), so the oven only seems to be rarely utilized--for lasagna, chocolate cookies, biscotti, garlic bread, and some dishes I can not recall at this moment.  I used to "cook" every evening, but as time has progressed, our appetites and needs have decreased.  I have a toaster oven at the shop that I am bringing home for warming things up.

 And this seems to be an appropriate time to mention that Arthur and I would both kill for a reasonably decent Chinese restaurant.  Almost to the point of opening one ourselves!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Be Merry, 11

Not a lot of progress to show.  I did manage to finish several of the stripes on the bottom (the green Scotch stitch, the lavendar fern stitch and the white slanted gobelin), as well as starting the red diagonal mosaic.  On the top, M is over half done and my peppermint stick is looking great!

I bought a lot of canvases back from the Dallas market.  I've been entering them into the computer.  The next step is hemming the edges.  Next week I'll show you some of them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pincushions, II

This blog is about Needle Nicely's sterling silver pincushions.  I was thinking as I photographed them, that they needed to be polished.  While I was editing the photographs, I realized that they needed the tarnish to photograph well.  But I'll be taking a polish cloth in to buff them up!
This heart is badly tarnished and there didn't seem to be a good angle for photographing it.
This is a sling-back high heel that is so glamorous!
This bird has such graceful lines that just seem to flow.  It feels good in your hand.
You have to look closely to discern the features of this elephant.
This is the ugliest turtle I have seen!  I guess it's the thought that counts.  We have turtles nesting on our beaches in Vero, so people have a special interest in turtles.
This frog sort of looks pre-Colombian--very rudimentary.   

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Stitching Tools for Destination Dallas

I wanted everyone to see the stitching tools I take with me when I go to market.

First, I have my magnetic needle case (which will also hold my scissors).  Then the Quick-Grip that I use to hold my stretcher bars in place on a table, rather than using a frame weight.  Then, Needle Nicely's business cards, which sometimes I totally forget.  Below that  is my thimble, which I forgot to lay on its side so you could really see it.  After that, my pendant watch (I don't usually wear a watch, but one is necessary at market to be  on time for classes or luncheons, etc.).  A friend of mine bought it on Canal Street in New York and I begged her for it.  Next are my embroidery scissors.  This pair is from Gingher,  Then the brass tacks that also have a small "rare-earth (I think)"
magnet attached.  Next to last is my Dansjo light with its long cord and my centuries-old name tag from TNNA.  

I wanted to copy a previous post where I showed the Vera Bradley purse and tote that I always take to market. I found the photos but they were so blurry, so I decided to take new ones. Several years ago, I was waiting at baggage claim for my suitcase, and a fellow shopowner came up and introduced herself.  She had seen the photos on my blog and knew immediately who I was.  Marvelous!

  Now to assemble my pharmacy for the trip!  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

PinCushions, I

Years ago I purchased some shoe pincushions from Designing Women.  Of course, in my infinite wisdom, I managed to hide them in a display case where no one noticed them.  The other day I realized how ignored they were and took photographs for the blog.  This is their time in the limelight!

This is a molded resin seashell from England.

The remaining pincushions are unknown in composition, but it is probably also resin.  This one looks like a cowboy boot's detail, but it's more a cut-off boot.  And of course, I haven't figured out how to make them play nice together.  They should be side-by-side.  Obviously, that ain't going to happen! But I wanted to show 2 views so you could see the pincushion on all sides.  I've been successful in lining some of them up, but I have no idea how I did it.  And they down-loaded so closely together that they won't let me comment between the images.  Ah, well!  I'll comment here.  The next shoe is a Carnaby Street-style (or also a turn-of-the 20th century model).  I owned a pair of shoes with a slightly lower heel "during the day" and quite striking I was with my textured stockings!

The next pair (red/black/yellow) looks like a mod dream.  After that comes a pair I think of as Edwardian or Victorian.  Then comes the giraffe.  The last three pair strike me as mid-20th century America culture.  I like looking at all of these, but realize that I should share them with others since I own a retail store!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Noel, XVI

I want to start this entry with a reminder to tighten your canvas on the stretcher bars periodically.  It tends to loosen over time and exposure to humidity.  That eventual loosening defeats the purpose of having it on a frame--so when in doubt, tighten it!  Which I just did.

I've been watching the US Open Tennis, and occasionally stitching, trying to get to the ribbons at the bottom of the canvas--and I succeeded!  Hooray!

Today I realized that I don't usually stitch one element to a certain point so compulsively, then another element, etc.  I'm usually more even-handed with one or two strands of this color, one or two strands of that color, and so on.  But the devil seems to grip me with this canvas; and I want to see that white background stitched, or that green ornament stitched.  At least today I managed a good stopping point on the white background!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tapestry needles, really?

Trubey Walker, the original owner of Needle Nicely, always insisted that we give each customer 2 needles in each canvas; or at least 2 needles if the customer purchased multiple canvases.  That was our gift to the stitcher.  It all derived from when Trubey was  a teenager, and while visiting New York City, went to Mazeltov's.  Trubey said that when you entered the store, you encountered a table (or tables) with 4 large punch bowls, each filled with a different size of tapestry needles.  You were to just help yourself.  That message stayed with her over the years, and when she opened Needle Nicely, she realized we couldn't offer punch bowls of tapestry needles; but we could offer 2 per canvas.

Over 50 years later, Needle Nicely still doesn't charge for needles.  That is, if you are a customer.  If you are a tourist who has just wandered in and aren't buying a canvas, then we have a charge per needle.  I have a good visual memory and can usually identify Needle Nicely's customers.  We try not to offend anybody, but usually newcomers on vacation expect to pay for the needles.

Until the last year or so, we swore by John James needles from England.  And we bought them by the thousand (in bulk, as they say).  However, as with many other products in America, they started having them produced off-shore.  The quality wasn't the same anymore.  So Needle Nicely started buying Bohin needles.  I personally can't tell the difference in stitching, but from a retailer's point-of-view,  I have to acknowledge that bulk Bohins are now cheaper for me to buy than bulk John James.  Guess which brand won that contest?

I understand that some shops preach that you must start each project with new needles. For the most part, I think this is just rank commercialism.   As a person whose skin does not react to needles, I could use the same needles forever without noticing any drag or tarnishing or pitting, even in salt air Vero Beach.  However, some people should discard their needles because they experience all of those things.  Needles are inexpensive and you should always err on the side of presenting the best execution of your stitching.  As my husband always says about the age of food, "when in doubt, throw it out".  A great adage that works more often than not with lots of things we do.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Noel XV

Boy!  That is one big green ornament!  I had to stop stitching the green because I ran out, so worked some on the white background.  I did bring more green from the shop, but whew!!

EDIT;  I just went to edit this and the photograph disappeared.  Thank you , Facebook.  But I'm grateful that I didn't have to compose a new entry.  Why I wanted to edit was because this afternoon while I was stitching background on this, I realized I should mention that I am stitching the ornament upside down.  It is closer to that side of the canvas and thus is easier to stitch.