So What’s New PussyCat?

I thought that this was the purr~fect picture to use for my Japan post. It is a canvas by Brenda Stofft and it combines my love for cats and my fascination with the Japanese culture. Rumor has it that Tony Minieri has a fabulous stitch guide for this canvas and when I’m ready to start it…and who knows when that will be? I will order it from him.

So my trip! We all meet in San Francisco the day before we leave for Japan and you are probably wondering why I’m going the day before when I am so close to San Fran? Well flights quite often are cancelled because of fog, so I am not taking any chances. I am even flying early enough so if worse came to worse, I could rent a car and drive!

I am sure that there will be some sort of celebatory dinner Friday night amongst us. There are 10 of us plus Mary Alice and Midori san, the latter 2 who have planned this trip. Leaving Saturday, flying into Osaka where we will then take the train to Kyoto. Now is that the bullet train perhaps? A regular train would be nice to see more scenery, but the experience of the other would be awesome!

Staying for 4 days in Kyoto where we will experince Yuzen dyeing, sightseeing, making bamboo baskets, Shibori dyeing and more sightseeing.

The 5th day we travel to a new hotel, visit the Icchiku Kubota Museum, experience Mt. Fuji, monkey theater and shabu-shabu dinner.

Next stop is Tokyo where we will enjoy an evening of sumo watching and dinner. A few days here where we will take in the Sky Tree Aquarium, sightseeing and then a Japanese Bead Embroidery project. Next day is onto Okayama and visiting the Hiroshima Peace Park is on the agenda. Toho bead factory is up next which is a great line of beads such as Miyuki. Originally we were told both bead places, but I don’t see the latter on this new intinerary!

Return back to Kyoto for the last 3 days where we tour museums, more sightseeing such as Golden Pavillion, a textile factory and ooh so much more! and then back home where actually we leave on Saturday morning and I get back home on Saturday mornng. Go figure!

As I write this, maybe I am thinking that I need to bring a little notebook with me or a travel journey. I didn’t do this for London, but maybe for this I should. I am almost ready with all that I (think that I) will need… just need to order my yen (Monday!) and add international travel on my phone.


So you know I need to leave you with a cat something, something! I have been seeing these felted cat caves amongst my friends on Facebook lately. Thinking that I will be leaving my poor cat to fend with her nanny for a bit…why don’t I get her one? I was just starting to look for one, when Warwick’s my favorite La Jolla store (besides the Needle Nook of La Jolla of course!) happened to call me to say “we have a cat something that just came in and you will love it!” well of course curiousity got this cat and I needed a look see.


For me, it was love at first sight…but for AlleyCat not so much. She gave it a thorough catscan and proceeded to walk away and that’s it! and that’s why she is known as “the brat.” But it’s cute and I like looking at it! Maybe sooner or later she curl up inside of it, if not it will be here for the next kitty or kitties that come and live with us. Yes AlleyCat sooner or later that day is coming!

So I want to say that it will be well over a month or more before I check in again… soon after I come back it will be off to the summer trade show too. So see you later!


A Big Finish for Me!


From the Women with Attitude series by Penny MacLeod, meet who I fondly call the Umbrella Lady! Really it is called “Raindrops” and it is in the collection’s line. Yes that’s how they spell it “the collection” and sometimes referred as All About Stitching…so confusing!

It is a large canvas, but with this awesome background that my sistah Meredith Willett gave me, it went quickly…well all things considered. It was her stitch, but it was my choice of threads changing from what she originally suggested…in which she quickly called me “insubordinate!” Well it was a great stitch, but the wrong thread as it brought the background forward and was no longer a background!


So now do I want to have it put in this frame that was created for this canvas by Deux Bijoux Bijoux which is meant to hold umbrellas! Or do I want to frame it? Well its a shop model and really no hurry deciding.

I started this on a rainy day probably over a year ago and just finished it on Easter Sunday! I really don’t make that much time for stitching these days and this has gotta stop! I really did fall right into my stitching zen this last weekend and I am not sure if it was the baseball or my supurr~visor…


It’s rather a dark picture, but you should be able to see someone’s tail poking out!


and then she stretched and showed her paws on the other side. She does not bother my threads, moving or not! cam you believe that?


and here was the next night as I was working on a much smaller canvas!

Okay time I stop in to say hi, I will tell you all about my trip to Japan… and that will probably be it until I get back, when I will take you day by day. I am trying to go through all the pictures on my phone and in my cloud so I can clear up some space before departing which is now 3 weeks and 2 days. But who’s counting?


Do You Know What Day it Is?

AlleyCat is stopping in to tell you that it is National Pet Day! But I look at my cats (and for right now it is just the one cat!) as part of the family and don’t consider them pets. I think that they agree!

AlleyCat absolutely loves these cardboard beverage containers from Starbucks or any of your local coffee spots. The girls at the shop take good care of her and am always leaving them for me to take to her. She loves to claw them as I am sure that you can see the marks and the stuff on the rug. She will flip them over and claw some more!

And then… see I told you she was a silly girl! She takes a cat nap in it, on it or leaning against it. She stayed like this for a few hours the other day.

But we’re not here just to talk about AlleyCat! A proper way to celebrate National Pet Day would be to share these new canvases with you from Tango & Chocolate.

I see that I didn’t shoot the pictures very straight, which bugs the heck out of me! I really do love this new line of canvases and since its time to change the window displays, these 2 will go in the window as we celebrate flowers and spring and planting gardens and so much more.

Happy Easter, Happy Pesach and I am in official countdown mode to Japan which will be 32 days… but who’s counting?


Lets See…Do I Remember How to Do This?

Or more importanly, will the computer behave? My Mac is aging…well aren’t we all? and sometimes it misbehaves and tells me to upgrade the browser. Well its too old to upgrade! and Mac’s don’t come cheap, especially when there’s needlepoint classes and trips and well we’ll save that for later!

I will take you on a whirlwind of what my last 3 months has been like. First we had the trade show in San Jose. First time for that location and really not my fav. Hopefully it will not be going back there.

This was my pick of the show called Decisions, Decisions by Sandra Gilmore. Love, love, love this canvas!

This was a close 2nd! Easter basket by Pepperberry Designs. I ordered them all to be stitched up for a shop model.

Then I started to celebrate my birthday weekend, first of all by having a class with the Divine Miss Meredith and selected this canvas. A cat of course, what were you thinking?

A few days later the girls and the stitchers that were in Brenda Hart’s class gave me a bucket full of money for my birthday! and why did they do that you ask? Cause I’m going to JAPAN the last 2 weeks of May! More details at a later date.

And then there was the Blue Bonnet Retreat where I took 2 more classes! Fire n Ice with Tony Goerdes and Feline Frenzy with Dawn Donnely… both of which I’ve had absolutely no time to add a single stitch to either one! This was our banqeut and the absolutely hilarious Debbie Steihler had us in stitches!

If you are a member of Needlepoint Nation, Debbie posed a question of what are you favorite stitching supplies? well like I said she really nailed it and she was so funny! Debbie is way, way, way back at the podium BTW.

We had some early blooming blue bonnets!

Now I’m starting to get ready for our big Needle Nook of La Jolla Getaway. These were our door prizes!

It started on St. Patrick’s Day, so we were in the spirit. I found these mugs at The Royal School of Needlework while I was in London, and a dear friend ordered them for me. They were filled with tea and crumpetts, needles and a 4-leaf clover magnet!

Some of the girls were really into the spirit of it all!

Just a small portion of our almost 60 attendees and this was part of Sherry Bray’s group.

It was a great weekend and we all had so much fun! More details later… now I need to get caught up at home and at the shop.

This was AlleyCat and I while we were down for the count the day after!

ooh and how can I forget! only 1 week till opening day! and the World Baseball Classic was some of the best baseball…unfortunately I couldn’t make any of the games as work got in the way this time.


Ever Wonder?

What your cat (or dog) does all day long when you’re not at home? I’m thinking that it’s pretty much what she does when I am home. She starts out her day looking purrty on her green tissue paper!

AlleyCat is an only child now and even though I have more than enough love in my heart for another cat or two, she has been such a delight and so very lovable and attentive to me. She really is the Queen Bee right now… well even more so than she used to be. So maybe we will stay this way, well at least till kitten season.

I was working from home this day and she sat here for a very long time pouting and acting like I am starving her. Now does she look like she’s missed a meal? No I don’t think so!

So she thought that she would come over and sit on my work, so I would have to pay attention to her. Notice that she is giving me her best side.

She gave up on me and thought that she would just help herself to my yogurt!

She came back to sit on my work later, but at least this time it was a better view for me!

Then she was a little cold, so she sat under the lamp. Poor thing, even with that fur coat of hers!

Then she was really cold and buried herself under the covers!

So we come to the time of the year when I need to go on haitus for the blog for 2-3 months.  Let’s see there’s market, where I am taking 3 classes…what am I thinking? Brenda Hart is coming to teach at the shop, followed by Laura Taylor and I am off to Blue Bonnet for 2 more classes. Am I out of my mind? Then we have our big retreat at the shop around St. Patricks Day.

Follow the shop Needle Nook of La Jolla on Facebook as I will be trying to post new canvases there. I also reinstalled my Twitter account which is @AngelisVicky and I am sure I will need a little refresher course. I see that we are supposed to use #TNNAWinter17 But it is tough to shop, visit and tweet all the same time!


On the 12th Day of Christmas!


The 12th day of Christmas is celebrated on January 6th and the holidays are already just a memory. The decorations have been packed away, the holiday stitching finished up and already it is time to start exciting new canvases with fun threads and great ideas.

January 6th is also the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Three Wise Men finally completed their trip to see baby Jesus and deliver their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Many people think of the 12 days of Christmas leading up to the holidays, but it is really the 12 days after Christmas! Growing up, we usually took down our decorations on this day, but today my house has long been undecorated!

As I decked the halls this year, I realized that I have no nativity, no creche’ set, no manger, none of that, wether it be a stitched set or something special that was purchased. I really would like to stitch one for myself.

What do you think about this fabulous new nativity by Strictly Christmas? Isn’t it fabulous? okay I digres…

In Italy, on the eve of Januray 6th or the night of January 5th, it would be the day of La Befana, a lovable good witch who brings presents for all the boys and girls.

When Christ was born, The Three kings passed the house of La Befana on the way to Bethelehem to see the Christ child. They invite her to take the journey with them to find the Christ Child. She says she is too busy. Sweeping Constantly.

She goes to sleep and the Christmas star wakes her up. She changes her mind and wishes she went with them.

She goes to find the three kings and angels come and help her fly. She brings her baked gifts to all the good children and looks for the three wise men. To the bad children she brings coal and ashes. Now every year in Italy the good children wait for La Befana, their version of Santa Claus.

Now in New Orleans as they ready for Mardi Gras, it is King Cake that is plentiful during this day. A little treasure is tucked inside and if you are lucky enough to find it, it allows you certain privileges and obligations.

In Mexico it is Dia de Reyes or Day of Kings. When I worked in the restaurant the guys would bring in Rosca de Reyes or King Cake. A sweet bread braided and loaded with fruits and if you were the lucky one to get the little baby hidden in the cake…well you were lucky enough to host the party! As the host or hostess, you are the one to bring the tamales to the party traditionally held February 2nd which is Dia de la Candelaria. This is the day that candles are brought to the church to be blessed. February 2nd is also the midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox and if you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring and spring training as I am…you know that it is only a few short weeks till pitchers and catchers report! I still need to make the trip east for my first experience with Spring Training. One of these years! and again I digress…

Triptych triptych

This beautiful nativity I really want to stitch this. I think about it, I dream about it. I can see lots of beads and creating the stain glass windows at the top of the canvas to really be a show stopper. We had one in the shop and it sold as soon as I placed it on Facebook, so we wait for another canvas.

The rich golden frame is made by Deux Bijoux Bijoux and really sets the piece off. Strictly Christmas is working on different triptych canvases, more contemporary and all that stuff. I suggested something for Hanukkah, with a silver frame. Well lets see what they come up with. There really is a very sweet story attached with this canvas…I want to see if Kathy and Karen of Strictly will have any problem if I share it with you. And that I will save for another day!


Happy New Year!

In just a few days it will be a new year…which you know, so why am I telling you THAT? Wow where has this year gone to already? and we all say the same thing. But really where does the time go to? It slips by all too fast. I normally keep very busy and never let myself waste much time… there is just way too much to be accomplished, too many places to visit, new needlepoint shops to discover, new books, new threads and stitches to fall in love with and new canvases to find. Another stitching venture to relish and ooh just so much more!

I had a wonderful holiday, how about you? I am home now with AlleyCat and she has been meowing her displeasure to me that I left her! Off to the shop tomorrow and then we will be closed for the New Year weekend.

My plans for this weekend are ready, which will be stitching the New Year in…how about you? I do need to do a little grocery shopping too, since there is nothing here, seriously!

I have my eyes set on new canvases already for 2017, which are not on bars, nor have I studied it for stitches and thread selections. I also would love to finish up a few things that are crying to be finished. Here I thought I had all this time before Christmas to stitch for myself…well it didn’t happen, so what was I thinking? Now market is just a few weeks away and I am sure that there will be more canvases coming home.
Happy New Years!

Dear Santa…


Dear Santa,

I’ve been a very, very good girl this year…seriously! The shopping is finished, the packages are wrapped and shipped, the cards have been mailed, the stockings hung by the chimney with care, the cookies baked, the menus planned, so now it is time for me to ask Santa what I would love, love, love to have you leave for me under the tree?


A class with The Embellishment Squad at A Stitch in Time in San Marino, California! A fabulous class with Suzanne Howren, Debbie Steihler, Tony Minieri and Meredith Willett.

If you’ve never taken this class, you really don’t know what you are missing! Four fun filled days packed with the most amazing stitch ideas, laughs, stash enhancement and so much more. I have taken this class more often than I can add up, and I always look forward to the next one…whether it be at a shop or at the annual ANG seminar.





This is my background stitch which I am absolutely in love with!


Really you should ask Santa very nicely for this… remember he only comes once a year!

Give Alison a call 626.793.5217 or sign up on line with this handy-dandy link…

Merry Christmas … Happy Hanukkah and a great stitchy New Year to you!



Celebrate the Poinsettia!


I am sure that you have bought one or two already for your home… a gorgeous blossoming plant with colorful foliage. They used to be just red…but now we have white, pink, coral, mixed variations and even

curled leaves!

Although the plant is native to Mexico, a majority of all the plants are exported from the US. The Aztecs considered them a symbol of purity because of their gorgeous red color. Joel Poinsett, the fiirst US ambassador to Mexico introduced them to the states after discovering them growing on the hillsides while visiting Taxco in the early 1880′s.

But actually the poinsettia can be traced back even further than that. The flower produced a red dye and the sap was known to control fevers, so Montezuma had poinsettias delivered to his home to what is now known as Mexico City.

In Mexico, they are are known as “La Flor de la Nochebuena”-flower of the Holy Night or Christmas Eve. Use of the plant to celebrate Christmas in Mexico dates back to the 17th century. As the legend is told, a young girl had nothing to honor baby Jesus in a procession and an angel tells her that any gift given with love will suffice. She gathers weeds by the roadside to place around the manger, which miraculously transform into the beautiful red starflower we know as the poinsettia.

Of course poinsettias are part of our holiday stitching! This was a canvas designed by Terry Enfield and then became part of the Jane Juell line, but not sure if it still being painted…it is one of my favorite ornaments to hang on my tree!

December 12th has been designated as National Poinsettia day as it marked the passing of Joel Poinsett, an American botantist, physician, minister and ambassador to Mexico who in 1828 sent cuttings of the plant that he discovered in Southern Mexico to his home in Charleston, South Carolina.

This day also honors Paul Ecke, a southern California native who is considered the father of the poinsettia industry. It was his discovery of a technique to propigate these plants that has turned it into a multi million-dollar business!

Are poinsettias poisonous to your kitties? Not really, unless they eat the entire plant! But I usually don’t tempt fate since certian people in this house and not mentioning any names, do chew on a plant or 2 of mine from time to time…
I came across this picture of Sylvester when he was just a little bitty one. It would have just been 19 years that he did come here to live with me and Felix. I remember cause I was in the midst of wrapping and decorating and they were so instantly enamored with each other, that they could have cared less what I was doing!
and this was AlleyCat yesterday. I told her that Santa was not going to leave her any good catnip!
Happy shopping, wrapping, card writing, baking and party going!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to you! My countdown to the big day gives thanks for the fact that I don’t have to work on Thanksgiving! After 30 something years in the restaurant business and cooking 100′s of pounds of turkey, peeling and mashing bags and bags of potatoes, making gallons of gravy, baking dozens of pies…well you get the idea. I get to enjoy a wonderful and I know what will be delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!

I am thankful for that I have so much to be thankful for. I truly am very lucky.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday…the kids and I, Mutts included will be back with you after, after Thanksgiving.

p.s. I couldn’t resist adding this!

Thank you to everyone for the notes, cards, texts, phone calls, orchids, plants and so on in Sylvester’s memory. It really means so much to me, more than I can ever put into words.

AlleyCat is an only child now. And you know what? she’s never been on her own. She was a little withdrawn the first few days, but now she barely lets me out of her sight. Sleeps on me, sleeps under the covers and so on!


Here she is being quite the comedian! yes we will get another cat, preferably a pair of bonded kittens as I have way too much love in my heart for just one cat. Kitten season has been declared officially over, so it will be a while.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Let the Christmas shopping begin!