About Vicky

Needlepoint, morning noon and evening! what could be better than this? I work on the computer in the daylight hours editing stitch guides and drawing stitches that you will see in the next Needlepoint Now for your stitching pleasure! In between this, there is time for taking pictures of my stitching adventures, Facebook and writing stitch guides for canvas that I am stitching for Needle Deeva, Maggie, Ruth Schmuff and others. Mostly needlepoint you ask? well we will talk about my cats Sylvester and AlleyCat, better known as "the brat". Of course I can't forget Felix who was the love of my life for over 14 years. He broke my heart as he departed for the Rainbow Bridge last year. Oh did I mention baseball?

Are you Stitching?

I am, but not so much. I finally finished beading the words on this canvas the other evening and now I’m trying to come up with a background. I’ve been pouring through my books and other ideas and tried something last night… but it’s not working so it’s coming out!!!

I really don’t stitch as much as everyone else has been as I’ve been working way too much. A few stops or a work errand on the way home and then I’m too beat. If you have a lot of pieces that are ready for the finisher, I wouldn’t wait much longer to turn them in. You see the finishers are already 2 months behind and now with all the stuff that is coming in, the finishers will be overwhelmed! Most of them already have moved up their deadlines.

I’ve been doing extra cleaning in the shop these days, a little rearranging and straightening up as we get ready to partially open very soon. I redid one set of the planters in front of the shop with some new succulents. I need to do the other one yet, but didn’t buy enough plants. I didn’t want to shop this weekend as I figured the plant places would all be too busy!

I have been enjoying watching lots of baseball, Korean baseball, old World Series games, All Star games, San Diego Padres and World Baseball Classic, which I believe I was there at the games in San Diego in 2017. I have been enjoying it and right now it’s Dodgers and Mets from 2019… that’s not too old is it?

I’m hoping the next time we talk, I will have this one finished too! Since this picture was taken of Bastet, a Tapestry Faire canvas, I did finish the background on the right hand side of the tail. I need to do the opposite side and the 2 middle goldy sections yet. This background stitch of Ruth Schmuff’s is rather challenging, so I need to be well relaxed which I am today.

Somebody has been attacking the toilet paper at the house lately. Wasn’t sure who.. but pretty sure it was Mooch. Well caught him in the act the other day as I heard the noise of the roll and went to the bathroom with the phone in hand. He was so enthralled with his artwork, that he didn’t even pay attention to me!

So when I asked that million dollar question “what do you think you’re doing?” this was the answer I got!

What do You miss Most?

Or don’t miss at all? It’s been almost 2 months…

Well I don’t miss the traffic at all. I’m sure you can relate if you live in an area where there’s lots of traffic. I usually go into work pretty early, so the traffic is not bad. I go into work even earlier now, with most mornings I am there by 6am, so there is no traffic at all! It was going home, but now that’s no problem at all.

What else don’t I miss? Hmmm… I have to think about that one. What about you?

Now what do I miss? Well that list is much longer. I miss working with all of my Needle Nook family. It gets kinda lonesome working by myself 2-3 days a week. I miss our customers, especially our regulars and our Monday’s stitch and bitch group. I miss our classes at the shop and will we ever be able to get back to that again? I miss my stitching group, my stitching friends, my stitching routines, my stitching trips, travel…

I miss walking into a store without having to wait in line. I miss retail therapy… I miss, I miss, I miss… what about you?

on a happier note, a few pictures of my kids as they watch kitty tv every night and early mornings too. They love this window as the birds are very active in this area.

Happy Mother’s Day to all! Wether your kids are 2-legged or 4-legged.

Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

Where has the Time Gone?

It’s been almost 3 weeks since last time I talked with you. Where has the time gone? It either feels like time stands still and the days drag on and others it seems to fly by. I’ve been working many hours, some days almost 12 hours, 6 days a week and many days only 1 or 2 are working. So that’s why you haven’t heard much lately… well enough of that,

I do want to thank everyone who has been supporting their local needlepoint shop or not so local. I’ve been shipping round the world lately and I’m committed to try as hard as I to get your orders to you as fast as I possibly can and to keep the shop going so that when we can open our doors, we can! So thank you!

My kids Mooch and Miss Meow are the highlights of my life right now! I look forward to coming home to them. Miss Meow always greets me at the door, but Mooch well he’s a different story and makes an appearance only when he’s good and ready.

This is one of the prime kitty tv watching areas. It looks like they were talking to each other.

They have lots of kitty tv watching positions! Here’s another…

and yet another!

I really haven’t been stitching much as many nights I’m just too tired! This was a few weeks ago and like the other cats before them, enjoying sleeping on me or next to me while I’m stitching. Miss Meow all of a sudden poked her head up as if to say “let me see what you’re doing?”

Stay healthy and keep stitching!

Let’s Set the Record Straight!

Please! About 2 weeks a popular shop blog photographed boxes of their thread deliveries that had just come in and speculated and I will repeat speculated that she was concerned about running low, running out and what were we to do?! Well I was too and in case you didn’t know, I am the manager at the Needle Nook of La Jolla which is a very busy shop.

Another very popular blog picked up on that speculation over the weekend and commented that shops weren’t getting threads delivered and what were we to do? It was suggested to rummage around eBay and Etsy for threads. Let me tell you that at this time it is MOST IMPORTANT that you support the shops that are open and mailing out orders!

I want to set the record straight that Silk & Ivory, Planet Earth, Vineyard, Gloriana, Amy’s Burmilana, Fleur de Paris (which ships Kreinik and DMC) Rainbow Gallery et al are up and running and shipping. Some are shipping at the speed of light while a few others are not at normal speed, but what is normal now anyway?

This was just part of my 49 packages that I packed and shipped last Monday, I can hear you saying well why not 50? Well I ran out of steam and I worked almost 12 hours on Monday.

I work most days by myself as do most shop owners, or there might be another person there sometimes, but we stay far apart…it’s like we’re mad at each other?! One day a week my thread lady comes in and pulls threads for those challenging canvases and that’s the day I take off.

I am doing this as I feel a responsibility to get stitching stuff in your hands as what else are you to do? I also want to keep the shop viable so that when we can open the doors we are still here for you and I want my staff to have their jobs waiting for them. So please support your shops.

I have gotten thread deliveries in from Vineyard, Silk & Ivory, Planet Earth, Amy’s Burmilana and Fleur de Paris in the last week, so my walls are 90% full! And first thing tomorrow it’s Rainbow Gallery and Gloriana orders. I am working so much that I don’t even stitch much myself!

Mooch is not wearing a mask! He loves those little balls will bells in them and carries them all over the house. I’ve tried to get him to play fetch with me, but he’s got his own agenda!

Miss Meow was ready for her closeup!

Please support the shops! Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

Are You Stitching?

Yes I really did take this picture upside down! As that is the way I was working on it. This is a Tapestry Faire canvas “Bastet” that I started a long time ago. It’s one of those that goes in the closet to be forgotten for a few years and then comes back out. I am pretty close.

What I was working on this canvas last was adding these beaded peyote circles that my “sistah” Meredith Willett showed me when I was at the Blue Bonnet Stitching Retreat. It is the purrfect addition for these circles, don’t you think?

Do you think that I should get hazard pay for this? Funny thing is that I didn’t even feel it!

Here’s the top with both sides done!

And here’s the whole canvas. I’m close, very close! Just the rest of the background.

So here’s Mooch and Miss Meow helping me stitch! Mooch could really care less, while Miss Meow…well she’s a different story! But sooner or later I can get her to leave my threads alone.

They’re both there! And I love it when they’re there!

This is a spot that I would prefer that they’re not there! But you know cats, they have their own agenda. She looked too cute and had to take a picture before I ask “what do you think you’re doing up there?” which they know means to get down!

And Mooch needed to do as her sister did!

So are you getting a lot of stitching done? So for me not as much as I am working 10-12 hours a day. Lots and lots of orders, thank goodness! But with 1 person working, it’s not quite as fast. Many stitchers say no problem, I have lots to do and others really need a new project, so we’re working as hard as we can to get those orders out! I do feel a huge responsibility to get stitching in your hands!

Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

Does it Seem…

That time is standing still? Where a single day feels like it’s a week long? Or is it me?

I was looking through our 100’s of canvases the other day, trying to find one for an order. Yes we are in the shop as there has been so many orders, dozens and dozens. I feel that we need our stitching even more now. But we are working solo and we are locked into our home away from home trying to help everyone’s sanity by shipping their needs and wants. I have had a few 12 hour days, but I digress!

So I came across this canvas and have always wanted to stitch it, so I pulled it down and started looking at threads. I feel that I need a “comfort food type canvas” where I will do the cat in basketweave, bead the letters and then pick a background using Silk Lame Braid. I took my beads out today ay home and under very close supurr~vision picked out my beads. If you follow Needle Nook of La Jolla on Facebook, or even if you don’t, check out the picture! I didn’t download it for this blog post, but maybe next time.

As much as I want to finish this, I really want something without such a challenging background. I stitched all day Sunday, but between trying to get Miss Meow to leave me alone while stitching and an error in the challenging background I didn’t get as much done as I would like. I have to say Mooch could’ve cared less about my stitching and hope it stays that way!

Of course the million dollar question is “will Mooch ever grow into his ears?” I think he’s rather handsome like this, what say you?

Miss Meow is under the canvas and on my lap…AlleyCat would sleep like that forever, but never bothered my threads. I wonder if she will ever get that way?

Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

The World as…

We knew it, is no more. This past week was leading up to the Spring Needlework Show in Orlando, something that we all look forward to was postponed. Wow that seems like a century ago, but it was just last week. I will be able to have more time to blog, but I promise not to dwell on the news that we all already know, you’ve come here for some light heartedness… is that a word? You may see a lot of pictures of the cats though!

Last weekend I made my drive up to New Creations Picture Framing to select framing for Bastet the Cat. It’s not quite finished, but when it is I can just mail it to them. But now that California is on lock down, there’s no rush! The cats and I had our maiden stitching voyage last Sunday which was somewhat uneventful, but we have a long way to go yet!

You can see that we had several choices out on the table. And Nancy and I work together with our thoughts. I really listen to their recommendations, but when I don’t like something, they can tell by the look on my face!

I didn’t like the frame on the top, too big and too matte. I especially was enamored with the black frame on the bottom as I thought it looked like hieroglyphics! We settled on the bottom grouping.

I headed straight home after all was said and done and it was a nice day off for me, even though it was the first one in quite awhile!

I was trying to write out a few thank you notes, cards and bills…but Miss Meow had other ideas!

Mooch has been extremely lovable the last few days and is very vocal about being pet. Don’t stop too soon as he will meow his displeasure. They have me well trained, don’t you think?

Stay healthy out there and keep on stitching!

Where to Begin?

The world and life as we know it has been changing so quickly… monthly, weekly, daily and now almost hourly. It is very unsettling and I am always hoping that tomorrow will dawn brighter. But enough of that as I am not telling you anything that you don’t know already. Just wish I could buy some toilet paper for the shop! I don’t need it now, but what happens if this madness does not ease up within a few weeks? All I know is at the house I need to keep it away from Mooch as he loves shredding it!

Well you haven’t seen Mooch and Miss Meow in awhile and they sure are much bigger. They’re now 8 months old and sometimes I forget that they are still kittens as they’ve grown so much!

It’s been a busy year for me from redoing window/shop displays, regular day to day business and then getting ready for our annual Getaway in the beginning of March. It is 5 teachers and around 60 students that is held in the shop and also in a spot around the corner. So it’s getting that many canvases ordered and on bars, threads pulled from the suggestions of the teachers, shopping for door prizes, dreaming up special daily gifts and so much more. Picking out lunches, desserts, snacks et al. Before that we had a class with Sherry Bray And the Fleur de Paris open house In January. I was able to add some great new canvases for the shop!

Middle of February brings the Blue Bonnett Stitching Studio. I have been going for 8 years now and usually have been taking studio time with Meredith Willet, where you just work on anything you want. For me it is a little respite before the Getaway. I only take 2 days and then I head back to work and do so straight through the Getaway.

Usually what I bring to Blue Bonnet, I finish! Started out with this ornament of my trip to Scotland. Canvas by Kirk & Bradley. No I didn’t stitch the entire canvas there, just finished it! And off to Marlene it has gone.

The other piece I brought was Bastet, canvas by Tapestry Faire. I started this more more than a few years ago and lots of brilliant minds have collaborated on this! First of all, of course is the design which I love!

I first began stitching on this with the Fab Four/Embellishment Squad. Based on the tape that was used on the canvas it was…well what does that matter? A great start was made on it and then along came a mystery class with Ruth Schmuff at Bedecked and Beadazzled, so added that to the growing list of possibilities! Main things from Ruth was the brick beading of the cat, the two flowers at the top left and right along with my adjustments. If the stitches don’t lay absolutely purr~fectly, then I need to come up with something else.

In case you don’t know the Fab Four, it was Suzanne Howren, Tony Minieri, Meredith Willet and Beth Robertson, who the latter is now in the stitching studio in the sky. The Embellishment Squad was the continuation of the 3, until Debbie Steihler joined them.

The background is mostly Ruth’s ideas and thread choices with some changes by me. Haven’t quite finished that yet, so who knows?

I wanted Meredith to help me with creating some Jessica’s for the circles. I am a little challenged with the ending stitches of exactly where to place them. So towards the end of class, all of a sudden the light went on and Meredith designed this circular peyote for the canvas. I am going to try and work that background straight through the orange and the place the beads on top, as that will be way less compensating!

The kids with their Cat Lady box the other night looking for their toys!

Wish me luck as I am going to try and stitch in their presence for the first time!

Twenty in Twenty!

Have you taken the challenge? Twenty in twenty? Well there can be more than one way to interpret that.

This is my latest canvas that I’ve been working on. I still have not been stitching in front of the kids. They just demand too much attention. Mooch is on my chest right now purring away, so how can I say no? And he is making it very challenging to do this blog!

Okay so 20 in 20, what does that mean to you? For me that would be finishing 20 canvases in 20. Small or large, only needing a few stitches to finish up, a brand new canvas or anything in between. I will shoot for 10 as I know I can’t finish 20. It’s a more reasonable number as I did meet my 9.5 in 19!

How about stitching 20 minutes a day? Taking 20 stitches? And the best thing I saw on Facebook, buying 20 new canvases! I know that we would keep the shops very busy if we did that!

Well it’s just a few short months to our shops Getaway, so I will be quiet around here as I will be working many extra hours! But I will leave you with 2 of the latest pictures of my kids. They are 5 1/2 months old and I love them so much. Does it show?

I used to keep the snap tray with extra scissors, pack of needles, pen, pencil, laying tool, etc., but certain people were taking off with those items.

So we’ve since emptied it out and it now holds a little cat bum.

Happy New Year!

I’ve been reading a lot on social media the last few days about emptying your ort jar. First of all, do you know what an ort jar is? Do you keep one? The best would be a clear glass type where you would put your “scraps” of threads or orts in it. Kind of keeps your stitching area neat and also it looks pretty as you see all those thread layers of color in it. So second of all, what do you do with them? Throw them out? Throwing them out to the birds can be a real no-no as certain types of threads are not good for them to ingest. So what do you do with them? I made ort ornaments!

I placed a crystal jar on the stitching table at the beginning of the year to collect threads from our stitchers. It was fun to watch them fill up and even needed to empty it a time or two. I presented the regular stitchers with their own ort ornament, which they were thrilled with! They realized that their stitching was part of it.

My kids are growing like weeds. They are almost 5 1/2 months old now. They’re just as playful and lovable as ever! Somebody absconded with the laser pointer that I kept on the coffee table for quick play time. Now where oh where could it be? If it went under something it may be there a long time! Luckily I do have another one.

Happy stitching into the new year!