Saturday, October 14, 2017

75th birthday sale

I'm kicking and dragging toward 75--but decided to celebrate my birthday, my release from my foot surgery, and the need of $4000. for a new air handler on the roof (I at least nursed it along until the end of hurricane season!)--from October 16 through October 27 everything at Needle Nicely will be 25% off. This excludes finishing and special orders.  Sale items are an additional 10% off.   Hope to see or hear from lots of you over the two weeks. 

And just a reminder, I can still finish ornaments and standard belts for Christmas up until mid-November.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Consequences of Power Outages

So many people today have cell phones, they forget that they can run out of charge when the power is off for 2 or more days.  The same is true of the landlines that many homes have with portable phones.
During Wilma, I took my blue dial phone of lo, these many years, to the shop so that the telephone company had a phone to forward phone calls to our new location.  Regrettably, I had to leave it to the mold culture, but it served its purpose.

Thank goodness, I remembered and went to KMart and bought a princess phone for future hurricanes.  We have used it in our house several times and I just pulled it out for use this weekend.  Its always nice to receive calls from concerned friends and relatives.

It cost less than $20. and was definitely worth it.

We recharged device in the house Saturday night just to give us a leg up on no electricity.  I especially did my kindle and ipad.  We now have out accordion shutters closed and are watching a football game.  It is awful when the power goes off--primarily because of the air conditioning, but also because we have no boob tube.  I have my fingers crossed that we get to see the men's US open final tomorrow at 4pm.  (this was written Saturday pm)

Friday, September 8, 2017

What could be worse than a visit from Hurricane Irma?

You might well ask, what could be worse than a visit from Hurricane Irma?  What is, is a visit while you are supposed to keep your right leg elevated because of surgery on it.

On August 11 I was looking in the back room of Needle Nicely trying to locate a string of faux pearls that are back there so I could send them to the finisher for a mermaid pillow.  I couldn't and didn't find the pearls, but in the process I knocked down a well-balanced pile of things which unbeknownst to me contained a board that had been the end of one of Needle Nicely's counters.  Very heavy, about 15x18 and 3" thick.  It hit my right knee and skidded down my leg.  It peeled a flap right below my knee that miraculously healed itself.  However, it pounded my foot.  It didn't break anything, but I had a large hematoma and a massive blood blister formed.  I, of course, with my trusty needlepoint needle punctured it several places, but it didn't drain much.  I developed an infection and called my doctor (the next week--I'm tough).  He prescribed an antibiotic and sent me to the wound clinic where the next day a doctor cut a 3x2.5 cm opening in the top of my foot to release the blood clot (thank you, eliquis).  They rewrapped it twice, but it wouldn't stop bleeding.  I went to the emergency room and spent that night under observation in the hospital.  That was 8/18/17.

This is the cross-stitch pillow where I prop my foot on the coffee table.  I do turn it over so nothing will damage the design.  By the way, it is a Creative Needle design.
This shows the Needle Nicely inventory either in plastic  bins or covered with black trash bags.  All of the stitched models are in the cabinets that are around the walls of much of the shop.  Marcia, Toni, Lois and Arthur performed yeoman duty while accomplishing this with me reluctantly sitting and directing.

Yesterday Ray came and put the shutters up, so everything that can be done, has been.

EDIT:  It occurred to me that many may wonder why I am so paranoid.  The roof went off our last location and if I hadn't  covered everything up, I would have been out of business.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


I'm going to take a few weeks vacation from the blog.  It's primarily because my stitching mojo has left me and I can only tap dance for so long.  Thanks for reading my blog.  Back soon.  Mary Agnes

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Data Pro Inventory Program

Over 25 years ago, Needle Nicely purchased an IBM computer with a dot matrix printer.  We hired a computer guru from Palm Beach to install an inventory program.  He selected one from Data Pro in Tampa.  We are still using that program today.  About 15 years ago, Data Pro started charging a yearly licensing fee.  They were shocked to find out that Needle Nicely had the first version of the accounting program.  We have long since replaced both the computer and printer for HP products.

I have difficulty with the technicalities of dealing with a computer--so when June comes around every year, I call the company in Tampa and someone there takes control of my computer and upgrades the program for another year.  It's a strange sensation to watch the cursor move with my touching anything.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Feather purse flap, finished

This wasn't much of a stitching project--doing a long-short feather on this Sophia purse flap.  However, with my current ho-hum approach to my stitching projects, I feel thankful that I completed the feather today.  And stepping back from it, I do like the appearance of the feather.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

destination dallas 2017

Several months ago, information was sent out about the independent trade show run by Destination Dallas.  It was time to register to attend the show.  And coincidentally, to register with the show hotel.  I did not dally as I had two years ago when I had to stay a shuttle away--bummer and time waster.  I immediately booked my hotel room at the show hotel.

Then I booked my airline ticket with Dallas, which I paid for with Capital One.  About two weeks later, I checked on line to check that the ticket charge was posted.  Then, I called and the amount of the ticket was eliminated through Capital One's points for miles program.  I next upgraded the ticket with Delta frequent flyer miles, once again paying for the cash charge with Capital One Points.

I also reserved the Super Shuttle round-trip to the hotel and checked with the gentleman here in Vero who I use to drive me to and from the airport.

Last week, we selected the classes we wanted to take.  I signed up for a class on various hair techniques by Carolyn Taggart.  The other two classes I selected were a Melissa Shirley Halloween house taught by Patricia Sone; and Artist Collection's Santa on a sleigh taught by JaneAnn Sleeman.  My fingers are crossed until I hear that I got my choices.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Summer arrivals

With the temporary lull in customers that comes when snow birds have gone North; and before school lets out and the children and grandchildren of snow birds appear for summer vacations, I get bored with the shop inventory and start slipping orders in to some designers to fill our gaps.  These are some of the new canvases that have arrived in the past few weeks.

This is a new addition to Susan Roberts' "stripe" stockings.  Great for anyone interested in transportation.
 Alice Peterson has added a series of small travel trailers with various purposes.
 I chuckle to myself when I see scenes like this barn--it is supposedly a barn.  I grew up on a dairy farm and our barn was white CBS and the house was yellow clapboard.  But this is a good stereotype!
 Another of Alice Peterson's travel trailers, obviously in ski country.
 Kathy Schenkel is always adding new designs to her mini-stockings with inserts.  These are a few of the ones I just received.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Summertime in Vero Beach

Needle Nicely always starts its summer hours on Memorial Day.  That is our first Monday of the summer.  So our summer hours are from Tuesday through Friday.

Macy has already gone North and is working part-time for Threads in Charlottesville.  Marcia is
whipping her yard into shape so she can leave town for Michigan soon.  Hopefully, she will be back in August.

Someone, obviously new to the area, came into the shop Friday.  I was waiting on a customer, and while I acknowledged her, it was obvious I was occupied.  She spotted Lynn (my volunteer fiber clerk) through the swinging doors into the back room.  She commented that "can't she help me".  I had to tell her Lynn only does restocking, not customer service.  And that she does with her hearing aid off!

When I sent my rent check for June 1, I requested that my landlord have someone clean out the swale behind the row of shops where Needle Nicely is. Over the year, debris collects in the swale--like a large tree branch from a wind storm.  During a massive rain storm last year, all of the drains clogged and the swale was stopped up.  The water behind the shop came in the back door everytime a car drove by.  The water in the parking lot was about 15" deep. I had to wade through it to get to my husband, waiting on a side street.  So I warned the landlord to be sure the drains are clear (as well as the swale).

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Feather purse flap

I've been taking my time stitching the feather purse flap.  Which is a good thing since I need to stitch a bit and then contemplate the finished stitching.  This is where I was in my stitching last week.
 I've been taking my time stitching this, because I have to get used to the brightness of the colors I used for the right end of the feather.
After a lot of consideration, I decided to add a single strand of medium taupe splendor to tone down the brightness of the feather tip.
I like the effect of the 2nd feather, so now I can proceed with overstitching one ply over the orange and yellow and then stitching the remainder as I have started.

Do you agree with my choice?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lost and Found Departments in Needlepoint Shops

Ten days ago, I had a long-time customer leave her i-phone when she left a pillow canvas for finishing.  The irony is that in this day and age, all of my customers seem to have i-phones, rather than land lines.  And while I have an i phone, I have no clue how to do any detecting work.
The funniest thing that happened was that Marcia looked at the phone # on the finishing order--she dialed the number and of course, it was busy!

Then, last week, a customer came by to get pointers about stitching long/short split-stitch on an animal canvas.  She was working with whites and we just threw the tans and greens on the counter.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered these threads (that is the CURRENT TERM).  I put that in caps because I still believe in fibers!

For years, I have had customers who leave various and sundry items essential to their stitching.
Betsy  Crawford  has been a prime example.  She and her husband moved back to Philadelphia and I miss her.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Long Island, Bahamas

Several months ago, 60 minutes on CBS had a segment devoted to the deep free-diving being done in the Blue Hole on Long Island in the Bahamas.  What really aggravated me (other than they seemed to be promoting the senseless sport of free-diving) about the piece was that they neglected to mention the name of the main (for over 40 years) resort on Long Island, Stella Maris. And I feel they were doing a disservice to Stella Maris.

I first went to Stella Maris in the mid-1980s when I was vacationing on Great Exuma Island and the gentleman I was dating flew me and another couple there in his twin-engine airplane for lunch,    which in those days included a leafy green salad (believe me, unusual that far down in the Bahamas at that time).  The owners were Germans and insisted on fresh salad greens for their guests so they had them flown in at least twice weekly from Nassau. The entire experience was wonderful.

I have to chuckle to myself at the memory because the next time I was on Long Island, staying at Stella Maris, was about June of 1988.  I was working in the Blowing Rock, NC, location for Needle Nicely when I received a phone call on Thursday from my gentleman friend inquiring if I could come to the Long Island Regatta that weekend. (Silly man--he thought I was in Miami or Nassau-- the mountains of North Carolina don't even begin to qualify for a quick airport for travelling to the Bahamas).    I dropped everything and drove 2 hours to Charlotte where I took a plane to Ft Lauderdale.  The plane I was to take from Ft Lauderdale was cancelled, so the airline taxiied the few of us 1 1/2 hours south to Miami where we took off for Georgetown, Great Exuma.  There my gentleman friend met me with his plane and we flew to Long Island where we spent Regatta weekend in a cottage at Stella Maris.  The regatta was a truly memorable Out-Island regatta made perhaps more memorable to me because on Friday morning,  while walking on the coral rock roads observing the sunrise and being offered a fresh passion flower blossom (so romantic), I  looked at the blossom and stubbed my toe.  Thus doing a 3-point  landing, one of the points being my right collar bone.  At that time there were no doctors on Long Island, Bahamas, on a regular basis--and this wasn't their rotation week on the island.   I spent the rest of the weekend in immense pain (I really have a high pain threshold), with Scotch as my anesthesia.  When I returned to "the States", I checked with my gp and he remarked that collar bone fractures were too mundane to be strapped or xrayed or anything.  That's why even today when a front passes through, my right shoulder just ACHES. And at certain times, I can hear a clicking as the bones hit each other.    But it also reminds me of a weekend in Paradise!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Pronunciation of names

Last Friday evening in southern Florida, there was some weather turbulence.  The weather computers interrupt programming to tell you that there a tornado alert or watch in Pom-pain-o Beach.  In human speak that is Pomp-a-no Beach.  The weather name for Oka-cho-bee is O-kee-cho-bee.  It reminds me of a friend who was driving from a dog show in Baltimore, MD, to Blowing Rock, NC.  When she arrived, she informed me she had seen a new river--the Pot-o-mac, which to everyone else is Po-tome-ac.

I must admit that I love to repeat O-kee-cho-bee.  It has such a nice cadence!

I have two degrees from App-a-lach-ian State University.  Even when Appalachian beat Michigan, the sportscasters mispronounced it App-a-lay-chin.  Irritating.

And, while I'm on the topic of pronunciation, my name is Mare-y, not Murr-ay!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Some Tardy Canvases

This week I received some tardy canvases.  One, I think was ordered last September.  However, it is so gorgeous, who can complain?
Melissa Shirley and Trubey are the two artists who I believe do the most gorgeous shells.  These are by Melissa.

 This is an 8x8" swallow-tailed hummingbird canvas.  It is the central design from a larger canvas that Melissa does with about a 3 inch border.  It's for those stitchers who don't want to commit to an 18x18 canvas (or 20x20). Melissa has a series of about 20 designs with the original being the large version, followed by the 8x8 on 13mesh and then the 3rd size of 5x5" on 18mesh.
 I saw this "bird" canvas by Charley Harper last week on Facebook.  I decided that I just had to have it--called, and about 5 days later it appeared at Needle Nicely.  Now if I were stitching (which I am not at the moment), I would drop everything to start stitching this.  I just love it!
 This is one of Stitch-Its newer sweater designs.  I love the construction of those tennis/running shoes.
I bought this pretty doll canvas, designer unknown, from Pat Miller's Stashing/Destashing Blog last week.  I think she is gorgeous and I would love to stitch her, but I have no little girls in my life.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

New Line of Tote Bags

I received an email 10 days ago concerning a new line of mesh tote bags.  The seller is a needlepoint designer who had designed a line of canvses to fit the pocket on the front of the bag.  However, that size canvas is the one (or ones) that I love to buy, but cannot sell.  Anyway, I purchased the bags without canvases and had Marcia go through our stock to supply the canvas for each bag.  I took the photos after we had hung the bags for display in the shop.

Of course, I neglected to measure these.  The opening for needlepoint is about 6x6" and the overall size of the bag is about 20x18".  I love the mesh and the bright colors.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Credit card processing equipment

Last October, Needle Nicely switched our credit card processor to one handled by PNC, which has our checking account as well as my personal checking and saving accounts.  The bank sent a representative to set up the Compass equipment.  It took several months for my customers to notice that their American Express statement showed the charge as one for "The Big Needle" rather than for Needle Nicely.  After several people asked if I had sold the business, I realized I needed to contact the bank.  The representative changed my machine's entry to Needle Nicely; but American Express did not change their entry so the problem persisted.  They have been contacted and I assume they have changed things.

The problem arose because Trubey owned Needle Nicely, Inc., doing business as (dba) Needle Nicely.  When I bought the business from her,  I had the choice to incorporate as Needle Nicely II or some such, or have an entirely different corporate name.  One of my employees always referred to me as "The Big Needle", so that is the name I chose for the corporation.  Again, we are doing business as (dba) Needle Nicely.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Make Way for Ducklings

Yesterday afternoon, Marcia and I saw this parade booking it in front of the shop.  It was a mother duck and five ducklings.  They were being escorted (directed) by 2 employees of Goodwill.  They didn't know from whence (I had to say that!) the ducks came , but they were huddling at the Goodwill dropoff area 5 shops east of Needle Nicely.  They traveled down the front of our shops and then rounded the end of the building and were guided to the swale behind the shop.  It is so full of debris that it is difficult to pick out the ducks.  Of course, I didn't think of my camera until they were ready to slip through the fence to the trickle of water residing in the swale.  You have to look really closely to see them (it was about 4:45 facing into the sun, not the ideal perspective for a photo op).
You can barely discern the mother just in front of the 2nd from the right fence upright.  The 5 ducklings are in tight formation behind her.  The lady Goodwill escort has a pair of rhinestone-studded flip-flops in her right hand that she used to guide their journey.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Canvases from Copy Painting Services

Many needlepointers are unaware of the presence of professional copy painters of needlepoint canvases.  It was a phenomenon that developed about 15-20 years ago.  Canvases are now painted in the Philippines, mainland China, and the United States, by companies whose sole purpose is to produce copies of the canvases sent to them by needlepoint designers.  In the past there have also been (and may still be) companies in Haiti and Mexico (Petei notably used Mexico, Trubey taught painters in Haiti and sent designs there for years).  

Needle Nicely, as a by-product of having Trubey as its owner, developed in-house designs.  Trubey brought two people with us from Blowing Rock, NC, to assist her in helping her paint her wholesale line.  They also produced copies of the Needle Nicely designs; which, when I purchased Needle Nicely, were considered part of the business since I had participated so much in their development. Trubey was preoccupied with her developing wholesale business, so I located a company doing copy painting (Susan Treglown Designs).

Another thing not widely known is that some designers and copy painters specialize in stitch counted designs.  These range from sayings to more elegant designs.  Many of Needle Nicely's designs are stitch counted, so Susan Treglown as a copy painter was a perfect choice for us.  Examples of non-stitch painted (free-form painting) designs are those by Edie & Ginger, Strictly Christmas, and Barbara Eyre.  NOTE:  Stitch painted canvases have the intersection of the threads painted.  It isn't a graceful swoop of the brush, but a stitch-by-stitch progression on the canvas.

Years ago, designers did their own copy painting or had in-house painters.  Sometimes after wholesale markets, there would be a wait of 6 to 12 months.  I vividly remember the first market where Painted Pony, A Collection of Design; and a third designer who was a friend of theirs shared one booth.  If my memory is correct, each designer had one wall (the 4th being the aisle and entrance to the booth). They had such fresh-looking designs, they were the hit of the market.  It was almost impossible to place an order.  I heard later that one of the designers shipped the last orders when she left home for the next year's market!  She was so new, but she was determined to paint everything people had ordered before she went to market to take more orders.

I was reminded of this change in production today when I received a shipment from The Meredith Collection with some new designs for Needle Nicely.  More about them Saturday.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Few New Canvases

A few new canvases trickled into Needle Nicely this week.  These would be so delightful to stitch.

This tree stocking is on 13mesh.  There are so many possibilities for doing pattern stitches.  Melissa Shirley designed this beauty.  It arrived so late in the season because Melissa's stockings usually point to the left.  The ones pointing to the right have to be specially painted.  At market I have to remind myself to specify right pointing, though some designers won't change the direction of the toe.
Ashley Dillon has done a series of "march" canvases.  Her latest is the barnyard march, led by a bull.
I love every one of these and wish I could take the time to stitch each one.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Wrap and Ship Department at Needle Nicely

You'll have to excuse my tardy posting.  Yesterday was filled with goodies like hearing about my polyps from my colonoscopy; being assured that the bump removed from my thigh by my dermatologist was not going to start growing again; and finding out that my high calcium level was not yet worrisome.  In between doctor visits, Arthur and I stopped at Target for tp, Office Depot for printer ink; and Sam's for 2 wedges of Locatelli Parmesan cheese.  We also stopped for lunch at "Robert's by the Sea" (better known as Bobby's).  By the time I got back home, I was too frazzled to think about posting my blog entry for the day.

As I have mentioned before, I have been selling some discontinued fibers and elderly canvases on a website called The Needlepoint Nation Stash Exchange.  Buyers prefer that their canvases are rolled, rather than folded.  Previously, I have used corregated paper left over from the rugs shipped from various rug finishers over the years.  I've depleted that supply, so I had to break down and buy some on line.  The rolls come in a myriad of sizes from which to choose.  After much consideration, I settled on a roll of 24" wide x 250" long paper with single corregations.  That results in a roll of 24" wide by 23" tall.  The box it was shipped in was a foot wider in one direction.  The easiest way to deal with getting to  the roll was to cut the box away, side by side.
NOTE:  That yellow you see to the right back side of the photograph is the foam I sprayed to keep water from pouring in the back door as it did last summer.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Condominium Stockings Designed by Barbara Eyre

In the ANG on-line auction I mentioned several weeks ago, there were about 9 of Barbara Eyre's  condominium stockings.  I managed to win the bidding on 4 of them.  It is hard to believe that these designs are from the late 1950s through the 1960s.  Here are the photographs that I was successful in buying.

 I also bought this canvas designed by Patti Mann.  It's a little large to be an ornament, but could be made into a standing stuff so it could be played with like a truck.
 I couldn't think of how to display the croakie--and then I spied Gunther.  They're a little large for him, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

One Family's Use of Basket Purses

Lori and her sister want to remember their father, who was a tremendous Florida fan.  Rather than wearing these belts, they thought it was a great idea to put them on purses so they could look at them as they carried the purses.  Other memories involve their grandmother Rose who stitched the belts for her son-in-law before she entered her Christmas red and green needlepoint period.

Here are two views of a basket purse with one of Lori's belts she can no longer wear.  I think it looks gorgeous!

These were all examples of finished belts that no longer were useable by their owners.  Do remember that you can stitch a strip and just fold back the edges, hiding the back of your stitching with the ribbon that comes with each bag.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Colonoscopy and another example of a small town

I've been dodging and diving to avoid another colonoscopy for over 12 years.  My gp has guilted me into it. After he saved my "bacon" this winter, I felt I owed him one last colonoscopy  So, tomorrow I will consume only clear liquids, orange jello, and the dreaded product that will provide the "cleansing" that isn't quite as chi-chi as some would have you believe.

This is definitely my last one.  Colon cancer is an ugly death; but I hope if I ever get it,  I will be able to find a Hemlock Society to help me deal with it.

Last week Needle Nicely had a sale with Easter eggs containing discounts from 20% to 1 60% (no one got that one, though someone did get a 50%).  It was a successful sale, but quite exhausting. I don't know why everytime I have a sale, people start lamenting that I'm going out of business.  I have 400 belts in stock and about 150 Christmas stockings and a multitude of Christmas ornaments.  It doesn't look like I'm going out of business any time soon,

This morning my husband and I went bookstore shopping.  Vero has one of the best independent bookstores, The Vero Beach Book Center.  My husband dropped me off to park our car and I proceeded to the front door.  There, I encountered David Walker, one of Trubey's nephews.  He married a Vero Beach girl, so it wasn't a surprise I encountered him with his daughter while they were exiting the bookstore.

It was great to see David--when he was about 12 or so, he was going to marry me because he didn't want me to be alone.  He and his brother spent summers in Blowing Rock along with their parents and Trubey's son and daughter.  They would spend all day roaming the streets of Blowing Rock, and especially the town park.  They knew they could always come to Needle Nicely for candy or cookies, a telephone, and more importantly, Mary Agnes to take care of bullies.  The fact that in those days I weighed about 120 lbs at 5'6", I don't think that would have struck fear in the heart of any bully.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Croakie finished, a feather purse flap, and Easter Eggs for a sale

The finished needlepoint croakie arrived on Monday.  Though I stitched several inches longer than suggested, I still think it is a little short.  But individuals can determine length for themselves.

Currently, I am stitching a feather that we painted on a purse flap.  The customer stitched the background and then asked me to stitch the feather.  This is the flap for a Sophia purse.

Lastly, this week Needle Nicely is having an "egg" sale, where we have plastic eggs with different amounts of discounts from 20% through 1 60%.  It has been fun to watch people's reactions to what percentage they get off.  Much more fun than a set percentage announced ahead of time.

So many eggs left, so many discounts remaining.  "Come on down!"

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Can You Guess Ages? Obviously Nothing to Do with Needlepoint

Jennifer Tan of Pippin Designs blogged this week about watching her children playing sports when they were young.  I smiled to myself.  To me, Jennifer is young and I was mildly surprised that her children were mostly out of the house forming new lives.

 Of course, this blindness to age in others, also includes blindness to my own age.  I am always amazed when people defer to me because of my grey hair.  Of course, you must realize how long it has taken me to realize that is the reason.  I finally gave up  carrying on a bag when I was flying to markets.  People insisted on helping me.  NOTE TO THOUGHTFUL PEOPLE--wait until you are asked for help.  I practiced and practiced beforehand to be sure I could handle the suitcase over my head and was insulted that no one considered I might be capable of putting it into the bin under my own steam.  Now I check my bags (Thanks Gold Amex!).  That is a lesson for all of us!

I'm getting ready for the week-long sale at Needle Nicely starting Monday (through Friday).  You are welcome to call about fibers or canvases and we will draw your egg while you are on the phone.  Discounts vary from 20% off to 4 50% and 1 60% off.  Go for it!

And if you haven't checked it out, go to the ANG frogs auction which ends tomorrow.  Some great canvases available.  I have bid on some Barbara Eyre Christmas Stockings.  WooHoo!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sale Celebrating Needle Nicely's 40th Year Selling Needlepoint, April 9th through April 14th

Needle Nicely is having a store-wide sale of our entire inventory April 9th through April 14th.  We will be filling plastic eggs with slips indicating what the discount it, one per customer.  The discounts vary from 40 20% off slips to 4 50% and 1 60% slip.

When I mentioned the sale to a customer this afternoon, she thought it meant Needle Nicely was going out of business (AGAIN!).  The truth is that January was a disappointing month, business-wise.  Most people don't realize that businesses in Vero Beach must make enough money during the "season" to carry them through the "off-season".  Thus, while this sale is celebrating NNs 40th year in business in North Carolina and Florida, it is also an effort to build a war chest for the summer.

Our remaining rug inventory is now on sale for 70% off.  There are still some beauties remaining.  And if you purchase the yarn for anything during our sale, it will be whatever percent you find in your chosen egg.

Hope to see you next week!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Season's Coming to an End

Today was Needle Nicely's annual employee luncheon.  We snagged a window table at the Ocean Grill on Vero's beach.  The view was like a documentary of beach life.  There was  a group of 8 people wearing identical t-shirts collecting trash of various types.  Then there was the older woman sitting at the water's edge letting the water pour over her, but also getting lots of sand in her bathing suit.  One man obviously thought it was a naturist beach since his bathing suit was almost non-existent.  An added touch were the vees of pelicans swooping through the scene.

The snow birds start leaving beginning March 31st.  That's when the 3-month leases end and I-95 North is bumper to bumper.  The next departure is before April 15 and tax day.  Then Easter, whether before or after tax time.  In latter years, many people have realized how beautiful April and May can be; so they stay longer.  It is also nice to be to eat out without long waits since the crowds have thinned out.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Remnants of past inventory

There is a box of "stuff" near my chair at "the" table where I have been balancing items like magazines to be read during lunch and items I need to rewrite or in general do something with.  That latter does not mean ignore, but that seems to be what has been happening.  I just discovered a Facebook page for selling cross stitch materials (Cross Stitch Buy and Sell).  So I decided this afternoon to empty the box and sort its contents into categories.  

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, approximately 33% of Needle Nicely's sales in Blowing Rock were cross-stitch related.  When we eliminated cross-stitch because it didn't justify its space in our Vero Beach shop (too labor-intensive, space-taking to pay for its floor space), I kept a copy of some cross stitch books, primarily those dealing with alphabets or borders or classical designs.  These include booklets designed by Gloria & Pat; Graphique Needle Arts; Rose Ann Hobbs; and others.

In the boxes, I also discovered charts of several figures representative  (nearby in Boone) of
Appalachian State University.  

This is "Yosef", symbolizing "yourself", and is the mascot of the Appalachian Mountaineers.  He usually appears with a  flint-lock (I think) rifle at all sporting events.  

And a doorstop utilizing a logo of the university circa 1980.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Floral Gift

Thursday, a customer came in with a gift for Needle Nicely.
It was to thank us for locating a replacement Trubey Christmas stocking canvas.  She had stitched the stocking about 20 years ago and given it finished to one of her daughters.  Recently her daughter's house burned down and the stocking was lost.  Since it was a Trubey design, it was reasonably easy for us to locate a photograph and have a similar, but not identical, canvas painted.

But what a pleasant surprise to receive such a thoughtful gift.  Thank you!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Shop Customer Stitching

I will differentiate this project from my home customer stitching (the Jalapeno Santa stocking) by referring to it as my "Customer Stitching", while this will become my "Shop Customer Stitching".

This canvas is a doorstop designed by Village Needlecraft on 18mesh canvas.

  I am stitching the bottom basket area in the woven stitch using DMC perle #5.
Because this is 18mesh, even doing a pattern stitch, I'm going to be doing woven stitch for a looong time.  I'll try to vary it by throwing in a flower or leaf, but the basket is my life!

I don't usually show canvases that our in-house painter does for customers, but I must show this one.  It is so unusual and magnificent.  This will be made into  man's wallet.  It will be a gift from our customer to her father-in-law.  We had to paint it on congress cloth to be able to reproduce the signature of the Secretary of the Treasury so that it would be readable.
Can't wait to see it stitched!