Saturday, February 25, 2017

Croakie, III

I've managed to stitch 9 1/2" of the 15" I am aiming for.  Tax season is eating into my evening stitching time. Now Needle Nicely's information is turned in and I am starting on the expenses for our personal taxes.  The medical mileage is a delight to reconstruct!  I always feel a great feeling of accomplishment when I have completed the w-2s for Needle Nicely's employees--all 3 of them!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Is there a needlepoint shop--wherever?

Every week I see people on the Needlepoint Nation asking if there is a shop in Knoxville, TN; or Blowing Rock, NC; or Wilmington, DE.  Is this lack of shops due to the age of possible shopowners or the lack of customers?

When Needle Nicely was in Blowing Rock, NC, we drew people from all over the country as word spread about us. This was definitely before the internet.  Several summers I put a large US map on the wall of the front porch and asked people to mark where they were from.  It was amazing to see how quickly every state was represented.  It also served as a way to keep those restless husbands occupied while their wives shopped!

Today I am shocked when there isn't a shop in Asheville, NC, but there is one in Lancaster, PA.  Mentally, I go through the states in my mind--I can only think of 4 shops in South Carolina:  Rock Hill, Greeneville, Lexington, Charleston.

I had someone in the shop today who told me there were no longer any shops in Chicago.  Yes, there are some in the "burbs", but not in the city.

Different areas of the country have different concepts about how far away is too far.  Last week, a customer of mine on the barrier island (10 minutes away), asked me if I would do a trunk show in her gated community.  The next person in the shop that day routinely drives 1 hour and 45 minutes from south of Vero to shop at Needle Nicely.  I know many Californians think nothing of commuting for 45 miles each way daily.  Three years ago Needle Nicely had an employee who drove that far three times a week to work here.

The TNNA (shopowner's professional organization) publishes a membership list annually.  It is possible to check in the list whether what type, if any, needlework shops are in Iowa or New Jersey.  I often consult it so I can recommend a shop to customers who plan on traveling in a new area or to see if there are new shops in their home area.  Several times I have encountered a certain shop owner from New Jersey.  After I say hello, she always asks me why I am sending people to her shop.  In my mind, we are in this together, not competitors.  I'm sure her inventory is different from mine, if only because of the geographical locations.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Some alphabets and two destination canvases

If I had my druthers, I'd stitch this canvas by Rebecca Wood.  There is so much going on that it certainly wouldn't be boring.  I can't decide which would be the most fun area to stitch.

Whenever I look at this travel poster montage, I envision it as the side of a tote bag.  It's available from CBK, but I can't remember the name of the specific artist.

 These are two more styles of alphabets available from Associated Talents.  If memory serves me, this is the McIntosh plaid. Or, is it the MacKenzie?  Time out while I go check.  Boy, I was really wrong--it is Royal Stewart.   It's bright and colorful.

I have a customer who each year stitches 19 ornaments--one for each of her grandchildren.  It's becoming increasingly tough to come up with ideas, but maybe one of these will interest her for next year.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Croakie, II

A friend of mine commented the other day that I should be finished stitching my croakie by now.  I guess she thought because it was just "plain old" nobuko, it should be super fast.  Wrong!  18mesh is 18mesh is 18mesh.  I am making progress and am pleased with how it looks.  So much so that I'm thinking a belt would look great done in this pattern.  The possibilities are endless!

Here is my progress:
That is tiny--yuck!  I wonder if it gets much larger when you click on it?  Time out while I investigate.

Well, I got it larger--I hope you can see the pattern.  Sometimes blogging is a real pain!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

How to layout a saying for yourself

There has been a lot of discussion on the Needlepoint Nation this past week about people wanting a saying charted for needlepoint.  I won't go there since it is political; and I try not to talk politics, either in the shop or on this blog.  In this blog entry, I'm interested in the mechanics of doing your own chart of a saying for stitching in needlepoint.  I went through some steps on NN, as follows:

1.  Decide how big you want the finished canvas to be
2.  What font do you like (upper case, lower case, sans serif, whatever)
3.  What mesh do you want to stitch on.  Regrettably for some people, long sayings need to be on
4.  Get a piece of graph paper (you can download some from the internet) and start charting the
     wording.  Now you are down to a mathematical problem where you try to fit your letters into the
     space you have allotted for the saying.  At this point, changes may need to be made to the font, the
     mesh, or the overall size.  Good luck.
5.  To finish off your saying, you might look on line for a border to add to your piece.

As you see, this is an involved process that many people cannot master.  That is why there are designers who specialize in sayings, or shops that do custom designs.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Few New Canvases

I'm trying to restrain myself this season in my ordering of new canvases.  Shops must constantly add new inventory, but it can be more like a sprinkling of diamonds than a deluge of gold dust.  With the increase in designer websites, many of my customers call me to order canvases for them.  That eliminates my trying to guess what designs speak to them.  Several of the following canvases are ones I have just received for customer special orders.

This is a small Susan Roberts ornament.  It looks like so much fun to stitch.
 We have  a lot of sailboats (and stink pots--i.e., motor yachts) in Vero.  This would make a perfect gift for someone's Christmas tree.  It is also a Susan Roberts design.

Susan Roberts designed this as a frame.  I envision it as either a birth sampler, a monogram pillow, or a frame for a photograph of a new-born.
 Diamonds are a girl's best friend.  This is a wonderful stash buster and looks like fun to stitch.  Thanks, Susan Roberts.
 We all need to spend some time relaxing after a stressful day.  This canvas by Labors of Love is a fine example of what we should do--though we could change the champagne for vodka (hint, hint!)
This ornament is from a 12 days of Christmas series by Shelly Tribbey.  It comes in either 18 or 13 mesh.
Stitch-Its has a series of 10mesh canvases for beginners.  I selected this one to show you from the shipment I just received.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

How about stitching a croakie?

I've been procrastinating for the last two years about designing and stitching a shop model croakie.
I didn't care for some of the designs that were available commercially.  Finally,  I decided to select a stitch and do it in various colors.  Here are the beginnings of the Needle Nicely croakie.  It is the nobuko stitch done in 3 shades from fuchsia to lavendar to pale lavendar.
I'm going to stitch it one inch wide by 15 inches long.  It takes surprisingly more time to stitch than you expect!

This is a photograph of a non-needlepoint croakie.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Santa Stocking Being Shop Stitched

A customer brought in a cowboy Christmas stocking shaped like a chili pepper for us to stitch for a friend of hers.  The friend started the stitching and then slowly developed macular degeneration, making stitching almost impossible.  This is what she had stitched.

I love the look of the ultrasuede that she used for the hat.  And the tones she used for the face are perfect.

This is the stocking to be stitched.   The name will be added above the stem of the pepper eventually.
I'm looking forward to thinking up stitches for this.  Stay tuned!