Thursday, April 30, 2009

HP Trunk Show

We are delighted to be hosting the HP Needlepoint Designs trunk show. This is a wonderful line with enormous variety. I always go to HP when I am looking for Asian inspired designs. They also have beautiful geometrics plus wonderful animals, florals etc. The canvas above is part of their Asian line although it certainly has a very strong geometric influence.

I also love their small canvases which really seem to belong in their beautiful lacquered boxes. Some of the smaller designs work well for men. For example, there is a great canvas of watches.

HP is able to do most of their larger designs on either #13 or #18 mesh. For those of you who prefer the large mesh, this is a way of getting the detail you want on the mesh you need.

Of course, all HP canvases are 10% off our regular price. We prefer not to let them go before the show is over so that everyone gets to see the full scope of the show. But if there is one you have your heart set on for Mother's Day, we can make an exception. If you can't come to the store, look online (go to our website, select canvases and then select HP). We'll be delighted to get you the canvas and of course, you get the discount, as well.

I know that Mother's Day is only a little over a week away. Gretchen has put together an adorable gift certificate gift bag. So don't forget to let your husband or children know that we are more than able to help them with their Mother's Day shopping!
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What I Do When I'm Home

My daughter was sick this week. I don't usually go to the store on Mondays and had planned to work on stitch guides. I am doing a custom stitch guide for the Lombard Street canvas by Peter Ashe in addition to the stitch guides for the Christmas and Chanukah doors.

Unfortunately, I spent Monday in the ER with Emma (She is fine and probably just had a virus but she was in pain.) I figured out ahead that we might be going to the ER, so I did have my stitching with me but I just couldn't settle in with my laying tool etc. The next ER visit I need to bring a belt to stitch! Once we got home, we were both exhausted.

Because she still wasn't feeling well yesterday or today, I spent most of both days at the computer working on the blog and the stitch guides. Of course, at night, I did stitch. After all, I needed a break from the computer time.

Are You Stitching for Halloween?

If it's Spring, can fall be far away? If you love Halloween, I want to remind you that the fall will be here before you know it. In order to enjoy Halloween pieces during the whole month of October, we will need them by August 1.

Although Halloween is not as popular as Christmas, there are still a number of stitchers out there who bombard the finishers with pieces that need to back for Trick or Treat.

There are wonderful Halloween canvases with witches, and candy corns and spiders. If we don't have it, we'll be glad to get it for you.
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Spring Door

I have been working on the Spring Door every night. The siding is almost done and the terra cotta pots are finished. I'm planning to have some of the leaves droop over the pots. I also have several different ideas for the door knocker. It will be interesting to see what works. I keep promising myself that I can do the Patriotic Door when this is done!
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Finished Doors

I am currently stitching the Spring Door but I wanted to share with you the three finished Doors. Most Club members will choose the Christmas Door or the Chanukah Door but some may decide to do both Christmas and Chanukah. Of course, what would they then leave out.

I'm really not a pink fan but I loved doing the Valentine's Day door. And just looking at the canvases that I need to stitch, I'm dying to start the Patriotic Door and the Autumn Door. I've had to force myself to do them in order.

For those of you who have been on the fence, there is still time to do either Christmas or Chanukah for this year. The Christmas and Chanukah doors should be going out before the middle of May.

As you can see, I'm still learning how to upload the pictures. So I am not able to load three pictures at the same time but I'm not able yet to display them together. Of well, I'm sure that will come with time too.
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Not Enough Thread

Our customer came in after almost 5 years looking for Anchor Pearl Cotton #3. Unfortunately, she hadn't been reading our blog so she didn't know that Anchor Pearl Cotton #3 has been discontinued! We did try to get the color but the company stopped making it in December so there was none left. Ultimately, she had to use the Pearl Cotton #5 which looked pretty good.

We try to be accurate when we estimate the thread needed. But in order to make sure you have enough thread, the customer needs to go home and stitch a square inch with pre-measured thread. Then by calculating how much was used for the square inch, we can determine how much thread is needed. Of course, the customer would need to do this for each type of thead used on the canvas. I know I like to display what I stitch so I wouldn't want to spend my time doing swatches.

Threads get discontinued; dyelots are changing all the time. Unfortunately, it's an estimate. I'd rather have too much than too little.
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Men In a Needlepoint Store

Some weeks the only men we see in the store are the UPS and Federal Express guys -- recently our mailman has been a woman. This week we were very fortunate. We had David, a customer's husband, a man who was looking for a friend and a man who bought Kreinik. He explained that he was a fly fisherman. He used the Kreinik 1/8 inch ribbon to make flies!

Of course, we are always welcoming to a male customers. If you know what you want for Mother's Day, we will be delighted to put it aside to make it easeir for your husband and children including sons!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Melissa Shirley

The Columbus Needlepoint market is still 7 weeks away but the designers are working at developing new designs as we speak. Some will display their new designs at another show in Dallas.

Melissa Shirley always has wonderful designs. I just received an email from them previewing some of the new designs for Columbus.

Just click on the link and dream. Of course, I'll be delighted to order any design for you.

King Neptune

One of the things I love about classes is the opportunity to see what other people are working on and also to see what they have finished. We often get to see a customer's finished work when we send it off for finishing -- and then we are just as thrilled as they are when it comes back. We don't always see the framed pieces.

Teresa was kind enough to bring in her framed King Neptune. It is one in a series of three sea themed canvases by Deborah Wilson. Teresa finished all three. Although she had finished them over a period of time, the framer suggested that she buy enough of the frame material so all three could be framed as a set. This is a great idea if you are going to display framed pieces together. And the advantage is that the finished pieces get the protection of the frame a lot earlier.
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David McCaskill and preview of Carole Lake

I just wanted to share another picture from David's visit last weekend. As you can see, the group is obviously enthralled with something.

What David does is truly amazing. The customer brings the canvas to the shop that day. David doesn't know what is coming. Canvases range from the serious (the Sharon G landscape based on Denise's house in Italy) to a the whimsical (a pink cow with udders). He creates switches and pulls threads -- in a store he visits once a year. It's also exhausting. I know that I am exhausted and I'm not doing the creating.

Next year, we plan to have a gathering the night before the classes start so that customers can bring their finished works. David and I will be looking at potential dates for next year.

Of course, next April we will also have Carole Lake teaching her "How to Write a Stitch Guide" class. That is also a fabulous class. In addition to learning from Carole, you will also get a fabulous stitch book.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reaching for the Stars Limited Edition

If you fell in love with this canvas and meant to call to get it, you need to call quickly. We've sold the two we had but we might be able to get one for you if we know quickly. It is simply charming.
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Gretchen's Cat

Gail (who works with us when she's not in Florida) told Gretchen to bring in her cat for us to admire. Above is the the phot of the finished cat. Gretchen beaded the bird seed; doesn't it look fantastic. This has always been one of my favorite cavnases. It's just so whimsical. It also comes in a small mini stocking for the cat lover who wants to do a smaller piece. You could still bead the seeds!
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Admiring Last Year's Canvas

As a store owner, I often get to see David's suggestions implemented. Unfortunately for David, he rarely gets to see the finished product.

Last year, David and Judy worked on her Vogue Lady. By October, Judy had done a magnificant job stitching this lovely piece. She was kind enough to bring it in for David to see. It was rewarding to see how much David enjoyed seeing the finished piece. In fact, when he comes back next year, we will have one evening where people bring in their finished projects!
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David McCaskill's Classes

We have just finished three days of classes with David McCaskill. Above is a photo of David suggesting ideas for Teresa's canvas; on the right is Gail taking notes so that Teresa can follow-through on his suggestions. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't really a student this time but I managed to learn a lot. I loved the doubleand back knot that looks great on roses . (I will really have to practice this stitch with ribbon!)

One of the best things about David's classes is seeing his suggestions for so many different canvases. Sometimes it's for a canvas I love like the Vogue Lady and other times, it's for a canvas I might not pick -- but I love the suggestions.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Heartstrings Limited Edition

I just lived this delightful Santa when I was at the show. I loved the Swedish influence. I can see it as a large stand up welcoming people into a house decorated for Christmas. It even comes with a stitch guide! Obviously Pat Throde has her own style which is just charming.

It was a limited edition so I ordered two. I'm not sure if I can get more so if you love it, you need to let me know quickly.
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Yankees Opening Day

Today was the first Yankee game in their New Stadium. I understand that fans came from near and far to see this historic game -- and many wouldn't reveal what they paid for the tickets! If you have a Yankees fan in your house, you could get them this fun Yankee license plate canvas. Of course, the designer would put in whatever state you wanted.

And the designer is Team neutral. She will also do the Mets, the Red Sox etc. So let us know if you want to be stitching this delightful canvas while the baseball season unfolds.

For those of you who want to recognize the historic occasion of new stadiums, we also have on order the new Citifields and the new Yankee Stadium. I'll get pictures up as soon as possible.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Talent Can Remain Hidden for Years

In the store, some customers have been stitching for many years. They learned to stitch at an aunt's, a grandmother's or a mother's knee. Others learned from friends in college or later.

But we have had many customers who took needlepoint up much later. And often, they turn out to be very talented.

A friend send me a clip from youtube for me to watch. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just a Few more Stitches

I know when I am almost finished of a canvas, I can't wait to get it off for finishing. Unfortunately, I thought I was finished but I was wrong. Suzanne used her trusty bug eye to locate several missed stitches. So I had to bring the San Franciso mini stocking back home with me. I plan to finish it tonight and then get it off to the finisher.

I just love that the insert is a seal! When I first went to San Franciso, you could always see seals basking in the sun (or sometimes in the fog) on Seal Rock. It was so thrilling to see seals in the wild. On my more recent trips, the seals have moved closer to the pier but can still be found.
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Josephine's Eggs

Josephine had all three eggs finished in time for Easter. She waited to have them all finished together so they would have a coordinated look. I think these are just charming and I understand that her children will be fighting over them. I would fight over them, too.

Josephine enjoys doing basketweave. Her eggs show that the tent stitch is often the perfect choice.

These eggs also come with a light green background -- just like the colors of Jelly Beans!
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Sally's Nutcracker

Sally finished her first nutcracker recently and had it made into a stand-up. It is one of a series of whimsical Santas that she has beenworking on. This one was really delightful!
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Judy's Easter Eggs

Judy stitched her eggs after the beginning of the year. Aren't they beautiful? She were able to get them done just in time for Easter. They arrived a few days before Easter and she was able to take them home and enjoy them for the holiday. course, it's not too late to start for next year.

Judy did do a great job on them.

If you are going to display your eggs together, it's best to finish them at the same time so they will have a coordinated look! We still have eggs left and it's really not too early to start for next year.
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Thursday, April 09, 2009

More about Prairie Chiickens

I've talked to a couple of customers about my birding trip to Nebraska. For those of you who are interested, I wanted to share two blogs with you that will give you more information. One is Rick Wright's blog: Rick also refers you to a new blog by Mitch who operates the tour to the Prairie Chicken. On his blog, he has a great picture of a Prairie Chicken = much more accurate than the impression I give at the store! His new blog is:

I continue to work on my San Francisco mini-stocking. I just have the water and a little bit of the bridge to finish. Then it's on to the Spring Door!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Christmas Door

My finished Christmas door arrived today with all the Easter eggs. I promise to post pictures of those tomorrow.

I really enjoyed stitching this door. I had it finished so it can stand up along or be put on an easel.

The Christmas door is part of our Door club. They have all been fun to stitch and the first canvases should be going out soon. We are just waiting for them to arrive.

You can still join. I'm thinking of letting people purchase 3 doors with the option of adding other ones. Of course, if you get all six doors you can have your own door done!!
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Kathy Schenkel's San Franciso Mini Stocking

I'm almost finished with this delightful mini-stocking. As some of you know, this mini stocking is Kathy's newest mini stocking design. But since my husband is from San Francisco, I just had to stitch it immediately. I'm very pleased that I managed to keep the bridge dominant. The gull is being turned into a Hermann's gull because it is a dark gull and will look great against the foggy sky. I plan on stitching the sails in a very white thread for contrast. The green area will be knots.

I have really enjoyed stitching this and can't wait to get it off to the finisher. I love it when the things come back.
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Monday, April 06, 2009

Portuguese Tile

I know that most of you are familiar with The Caron Collection, the manufacturer of some of our favorite threads - impressions, snow, watercolours and waterlilies to name a few.

But how many of you realized that they also have a wonderful line of canvases. Their designs are beautifully stitch-painted and definitely have their own unque style. Most are sophisticated geometrics. In addition, you can choose to have the design painted on #13 or #18 canvas.

We just received two canvases. The one above is called Portuguese Tile. I loved the blues and greens and the combination of flowers and geometrics. It is truly a beautful canvas.
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My trip to Nebraska

I know that some of you were surprised that I was going to Nebraska. So I thought you might enjoy seeing the picture of one of the birds I went to see. The picture above is of a Greater Praire Chicken doing it's territorial/ mating dance. The male chickens defend a spot on a piece of prairie against other males -- and try to seduce the very particular females. There were up to 70 males in various stages of the dance - each female seems to come alone so that the males can fuss over her! We had some wonderful views of other birds too but didn't get to see the same level of performance with the Sharp-tailed grouse. I'm hoping that I can go again with Rick Wright to see the Sharp Tailed Grouse perform, too.

I did manage to get some stitching done but not as much as I had hoped. It's amazing how plane delays can eat into planned layover time.

I'm still working on the San Francisco mini stocking.

The big news is that Gretchen had done a stitch guide for the NYC mini stocking. Let us know if you want us to pull the threads for you and make a copy for you.
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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

JP Needlepoint Purse

Helen suggested that I stitch a purse for the store. Of course, I love color and this seemed like a great store sample. It's one of the JP bags that come with a decorative ribbon and are finsihed as a pouch.

Although I can do decorative stitches while watching TV, I must say that I have found it very soothing to stitch this canvas using basketweave and Silk & Ivory. It reminds me that we really should vary our stitching projects. We need different things from our stitching at different times.

I do love the colors of this purse and look forward to seeing it finished. I'm about half way done.

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Nebraska to see the cranes at Platt River. I have lots of airport layover time so I should get lots of stitching done.
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