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?


Do you remember where you were? Many of us of our generation know exactly where we were.

I had just come back from the ANG seminar which was held in Washington D.C. that year. Yes you read that correctly. I left on 9.10 and got home very late that night. Tuesday morning was a very early morning for us to be at work as that was my restaurant days and we would do inventory every Tuesday morning.

I wanted a quiet morning, no,TVs, no radio and drove to work, so I could soak in all my memories from seminar. So I didn’t have a clue what happened until I got to work and walked into the office. Being from NY and just leaving Washington D.C. kind of hit me hard.

Many of our seminar goers were going to vacation a bit in Washington D.C., but that didn’t happen. Many were stranded there, but at least they were safe.

As through the pandemic we’ve been stitching a lot, I knew that I stitched a lot then too. I’ve been watching and listening to all the tributes and remembrances today. And tonight is the Mets Yankees game.

never forget…

Are you Traveling yet?

Mooch was keeping me company while I was stitching the other day. He does love a good belly scratching more often than not and he rolled over so that I could oblige!

Are you traveling yet? Well you can do some wishful travel! Have you seen these travel Retro Tags by Hedgehog Needlepoint? They’re rather new and she is an up and coming needlepoint designer. They’ve really taken over the market by storm lately. I will admit that they’re addictive and then you start thinking about where you’ve been and where you’ve traveled! And maybe where you want to?

I started working on the one on the left first…and then a customer came in with the one on the right and I wondered just why are they different? I took this picture and sent them off to the designer to ask her the same question. Two different painters. Well I really liked the one on the right better, so I was on a quest to find it (as she was out!) which I did at Labors of Love in Atlanta and quickly ordered!

So what makes up a Retro Travel Tag? Research and a lot of thought! The brown and the brown spots signify a giraffe from the San Diego Zoo and the green grass that you would find at the zoo. The pink? well it’s just some color and could signify the stripes that are painted on the runways.

The letters and numbers on the bottom are not necessarily in the same order or in the order that they are. WD as is 40 is WD40 that was invented in 1953, so that’s why the 53. DRS is for Dr. Seuss and Theodore Geisel who are/were from San Diego.

I am almost finished with this one and will finish up the other San Diego one. I will have them finished with Island House Needlepoint, who does a center grommet and with a ribbon and then you can hang on your holiday tree!

I didn’t stitch these, just an idea of what they look like. Next in the queue is Tokyo and Edinburgh!

Time to stitch with my supurrvisors!

p.s. I’ve heard/seen where people are changing the numbers to a significant flight number to them. great idea!

Really Finished!

Well I really did finish! Absolutely thrilled too! I followed Susan’s stitch guide to the letter, except… I had to adjust the bottle top of #2 from the left as the way it was painted, I had no choice! Also on the background, she gave us an option of stitching the chevrons all the way down, or adding some hearts. My choice was the chevrons all the way down.

This was Mooch who was absolutely not moving from that position so I could take a picture. Well why not make him part of the picture?

Well now it’s really finished! I needed to add the “atomizer” which was a tiny twisted cord with a little tassel. I quickly shipped it to New Creations saying my prayers all night long. I could’ve driven it up there today, but it would mean 5-6 hours in the car and $50 in gas, so I decided to ship. I am thrilled to say that it got there very safe and sound!

Mooch in his own little way told me that no iPad, pay attention to me! Which I obliged. Trust me these guys get lots of attention!

This is next up in my queue. Have you seen these travel tags from Hedgehog Needlepoint? Very addictive and I ordered a whole bunch more for the shop the other day. They all have meanings… the browns ( which I thought was military camouflage) is actually the browns of the giraffe along with the green grass of the San Diego Zoo.

WD is for WD-40 which was invented here in San Diego is 1953. DRS is a salute to Dr. Seuss and Theodore Geisel. The pink stripes are the lines that were painted on the runways…pink, why pink? Well why not? I have the smaller letters and numbers beaded and I think to bead SAN will be an overdue with the beads, so I will work that in Kreinik or Silk Lame Braid. Luckily I have lots of black Kreinik in my stash!

I’ve heard that some stitchers have changed that bottom lettering to something special to them…what a great idea!

I’ve seen them finished with leather and also done with a grommet and a ribbon though it. You could add them to your travel tree.

Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

Really stitching!

Mooch has made himself right at home. He really does hang out with me most of the time. I love him being on my lap, but it makes it challenging to complete the stitch with him there. Not because he attacks the thread, which he does sometime, but because there’s no room for my hand!

So this is what I am working on and I am really on the home stretch! Canvas by Lani, stitch guide by Susan Portra which she is calling Scents of a Woman. Susan had quite a hand in this beautiful rendition of this great design, with lots of beads and Swarovski crystals. I took this picture a few days ago,

This is my shot that I took last night after my marathon few days of stitching. I am working on the 2nd bottle from the left right now. I needed to stray from the original instructions on the bottle top because of the way it was painted. Please forgive me Susan! I just need to finish the center of the top with the addition of some Swarovski.

The background is finished and then all I have left is to embellish the 2 bottles on the right with their appropriate beads and crystals! Then I’m finished! I’ve already selected the mat with New Creations Picture Framing and we picked more than 1 frame. They need to check what’s available as the needlepoint industry is not the only one that has been turned upside down because of covid.

The kids took turns being the Prince/Princess and the Pea. I took my quilts that my sister makes for me to the laundromat to wash them. My washer in the house is too small to accommodate them. It’s not that they were warm, they were just there!

A sea of poppies from the South of France from my trip a few years ago in remembrance of the service men and women who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

The Stitching Mojo is Back!

And I am being well suppurvised by Mooch as he eyes the threads! He did behave himself, but I am sure that the temptation was driving him crazy!

Now he decided to role over and look cute! Gotta love these kids.

This is what I am working on. Canvas by Lani with stitch guide by Susan Portra. I normally don’t work in the well, but being that I took this in one of her classes, I deferred to the teacher’s likes. Plus when I am doing lots of beading, I do like it that way as I can rest my bead container in the well.

I am on the home stretch on this one and I have to thank Susan for her hand in creating this fabulous piece! Finish up the background and the beading on some of the bottles is all that’s left.

Just so you don’t think that Miss Meow doesn’t do her fair share of supurrvision, here she is as I working on something for customer. I thought that stitching this would get me in rhythm with a bit of basketweave.

And then Mooch took right over. I do enjoy stitching with them! I am not sure what finally brought the mojo back? Is it the baseball? Or was it just time? I guess that I shouldn’t question it!

I did get my 2nd shot Thursday and I felt great afterwards, well for awhile I should say. Did some grocery shopping and came home and stitched…then all of a sudden it hit me. Achy and I mean achy and chilly. Put on my sweat pants and got vertical under 2 quilts and 2 cats and just couldn’t get warm for about 12 hours. I actually didn’t go to work on Friday, which was the first day of work that I missed in about 5 years.

Well it’s time to finish up a few things so that I can settle in for a day of stitching!

Stay healthy and keep on stitching.

One Down and One to Go!

Well it was a nice drive to the OC or Orange County a few weeks ago. A beautiful day to enjoy a drive along the coast. I was in and out in no time flat! And my next one will be in 2 weeks and then 2 more weeks and I’m good to go. We’ve been experiencing some challenging customers at the shop lately that question us why we’re not fully opened?!? When we are all fully vaccinated in the shop. We’ve come this far safely and I want to get to the finish line the same way.

So along with that my stitching mojo is coming back slowly but surely or is it the baseball? This black cat ornament was fully stitched except for the bow for well over a year. I had ribbon for it, but then questioning if I really wanted to do ribbon…then during the last year it was I didn’t want to take finishing time away from our shop customers. I saw this same ornament stitched and with a beaded bow. So that’s the way I went.

The magnet was a Christmas gift from my niece…it’s purrfect don’t you think so? She is really into this diamond painting which is a cross between cross stitch and paint by numbers. Uses an applicator to apply hundreds of sparkling colorful rhinestones that I believe are based on DMC color palette. You think we have lots of toys and tools? Trust me these diamond painters have us beat!

So here is Miss Meow, my stitching supurrvisor!

Since I’m in the beading mode, I took out my Tokyo ornament. I have stitched a few of these Kirk and Bradley and I always bead the letters, work the top in gold and the background will be t-stitch with Petite Silk Lame Braid. There are lots of colors in this piece as I study all the buildings and decide what stitches to use. I am working up to finishing a larger piece, Scents of a Woman, canvas by Lani with a Susan Portra stitch guide.

Mooch settled in with Miss Meow so they could both supurrvise! They were very good with my threads here, but at other times I am not so lucky!

It’s been a good baseball week as finally after 53 years, the San Diego Padres finally twirled their first no hitter! and by a local San Diego kid that was recently traded to the Padres, Joe Musgrove. Sunday’s are all baseball all day for me!

Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

I Can See the Light!

At the end of the tunnel? How about you? I haven’t been vaccinated yet, even though I’m in the 65+ group and struggling to get that perfect appointment time. Putting the shop ahead of me and worrying about not being there. Well as I continue to be frustrated even finding an appointment and with more age groups being eligible for their shot, I made up my mind that I was going to find a time and soon. Well I scored! It’s at CVS and an 80+ mile drive, but you know what? You gotta do what you gotta do! I asked the crew at the shop if someone could work that day, and if not, we would just close! Someone has stepped up to the plate.

This has been my project lately, straightening up the stash and organizing beads, Kreinik and the threads will come later. I have 3 of these boxes full and am working on filling up a 4th one. Each one holds over 200 spools, so I’ll let you do the math!

I scored as I found many spools of 032 in size #8. I will admit if someone is desperately seeking one, I do part with a spool or two.

Mooch decided he wanted to suppurvise me. He was a good boy and just pawed at a few spools and didn’t take off with any. I think working on my stash is getting me closer to stitching. I have 2 things that are at the top of my queue, an ornament that just needs a little time to finish and Scents of a Woman, which was a class with Susan Portra that is about 75% there.

Mooch and Miss Meow say stay healthy and keep on stitching!

Has it Really Been a Year?

Has it really been a year already? A year since our lives totally changed and the world will never be the same?

My cats Mooch and Miss Meow really keep me grounded and somewhat sane. I really do work more hours than I have ever, ever worked, between being short handed and with so many on line orders, it keeps me hopping. So I love coming home to these love bugs.

This is a new favorite canvas of mine by Cooper Oaks. I am not sure if it’s my Italian heritage or just that it’s so! I remember when it first came in that I texted a picture to Tony Minieri and said that I had to order it!

Can I talk about delivery times? If we have it the canvas in the shop it will be shipped to you right away, well unless you would like threads selected and/or a stitch guide. Then it goes into the “queue” which means it needs more time. We really do the best that we can do as I believe most shops are operating the same way. Hopefully we have the best threads in stock that we need for your canvas. Some threads from Rainbow Gallery have been out since August, some not quite as long, but there is really nothing I can do about it. Kreinik, forget about it! They’ve been shutdown more than once, between their Governor’s mandate and then a covid outbreak in the factory. We hope that everyone is okay and I know that they are running their machines almost round the clock.

Now when it comes to canvases, if you see one you like in a shop, don’t think twice or hesitate about it, as when it sells and if the artist doesn’t have it in stock anymore, it could really take up to 6 months. There really is nothing that any of us can do. Trust me if I could paint it for you MYSELF, I would absolutely do that! But I can’t as #1 I don’t know how #2 I don’t have the room to do it and #3 I don’t have the time. So if I could get it to you sooner, I would!

But you know what? Delivery times don’t only affect the needlepoint world! One of my favorite shops in La Jolla, Warwick’s didn’t get 30% of the Christmas items that they ordered and they’re still experiencing delays. Another favorite, Bowers (where I get my Easter eggs) is also seeing huge shipping delays! The way I look at it, is we are healthy enough to be out and about and shopping…it is what it is.

Auntie Meredith gave the kids these battery powered fish that swim! Last week we tried them out, but I didn’t use enough water. These week I filled the container up more and the fish really swam around! I was waiting for Mooch to grab it!

Maybe some stitching for me on the horizon as after all it is baseball season.

Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

Do You Zoom?

It’s been quite the way to take classes these days and Laura Taylor has built quite the Zooming empire!

I’ve been hearing so much about her Zoom classes and how everyone just loves it! I am not sure if it’s all about the stitching and what new stitches and concepts you learn or if it’s all about the socialization? Or just a combination of both. I’ve been sending many, so many thread orders out from the Needle Nook of La Jolla to her Zoom students, which I thank you for that! Some orders have been overnighted and some have just been sent regular mail.

So when this Zoom class of QR Codes by Victoria Whitson came up for a Saturday class, I figured why not? So you say, what is a QR code? It is a Quick Response which are quickly read by a cell phone by hovering over it with the camera on your phone. Many of our restaurants use these fastened to the table for their menus.

I picked this one, even though I swore I wasn’t going to stitch anything to remind me of this year or two, but thought this saying was quite clever.

Oops forgot my needle minder! Of course it needs to be cat, what were you thinking? The key to the threads is that they need to be of a good contrast so that it can read. Laura was brilliant and entertaining and we saw “Georgie” her new basset hound puppy, who is quite the character! Laura developed some great stitches for these little areas and it actually got me to stitch for a bit. I was thinking that this could be a great shop model sooner or later? It is 13mesh and the bars are 9 x 9, so not a big piece.

It was great seeing Pat, Elizabeth and Kristen, some dear friends that we used to get together quite often for stitching, classes, seminars and more. It’s been about a year since I last saw them. Also got to meet some of the Zoom stitchers who’ve been ordering threads from us. All in all a great experience! Check out Laura Taylor’s website if you too want to Zoom! I understand there’s quite the waiting list. I can’t wait to do my next Zoom class!

And no I didn’t stitch today as by the time I took care of what I wanted to do around the house, it was time for a nap!

This was the kids last month as I was getting them used to their new carriers before our checkup visit with the vets. These opened carriers were so much better than the cardboard one I used to use. Previously my kids weren’t the exact same age, so they didn’t have to go at the same time. All around, they did great!

The carriers are now in the closet and I catch them quite often chilling in them!

Do you realize it’s been 10 years this month that I started this blog? Wish us Happy Anniversary or would it be Birthday? Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

Still no Stitching Mojo!

But that’s okay, it doesn’t bother me. I’ve hit dry spells like this before which probably lasted much longer! So when I’m ready, I’m ready. Instead I spend lots of time with the cats when I am home and this is their cuddlepile next to me. Maybe Miss Meow is telling me to talk to the paw, as notice her paw is on top of Mooch!

Instead of stitching I’ve been working on projects around the house. Last I left you, I shared the diamond painting of the Kokeshi doll that I got for Christmas. I needed to have a hanger added to the back and this spot was just the purr~fect size on my Asian wall! Just added a heavier picture hook before it took its place of honor. I did take down all of my ribbons, which I believe will stay that way and then dusted everything. I am still moving a few little accent pieces around.

So what else is keeping me busy? I have been working on organizing my stash for about a month of Sunday’s…. seriously! I realized that I was never going to finish this in a day or two, so just puttered a few hours with it every Sunday.

I realized that I had to accept the clutter that was about and just took my time. I am very happy with the way it came out and the open area on top of the Elfa shelf is for my current working bag. I need to keep it out of the cat’s reach as they think it’s a great place to sink their claws! Next up is some of my threads need to be separated and organized. Trust me, I have another area where there’s lots of threads, which is more my working stash. I destashed some things, but there is still a lifetime of stitching there!

My kids!

Stay healthy and keep on stitching!