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!

It’s a New Year…

This was the three of us this morning as after I get up and feed them, I then get on the couch with my quilts, turn on the tv, snooze, read the news, snooze, watch tv and love on the babies. We’ll stay here as long as I feel like it, as long as the bladder holds up or until the cats decide to leave me. It is quite the luxury as usually I’m at work by 6am. That’s the only way I can hope to keep up at the shop.

It is a new year, but I don’t believe that we’re going to have an instant turn around. No I’m not a pessimist, just realistic. We have a long way to go before we see some sort of normalcy. I would just love to go and get a haircut, dine in a restaurant and see more people go back to work, travel, be able to attend stitching classes and no more people getting sick. Is that too much to ask?

Santa was very good to me, how about you? This was a gift from my niece who loves this diamond painting. I believe from what Google told me, that it is types of beads or diamond chips that are based on the DMC color charts. It then becomes something like a paint by number using a special pen and heat. They use lots of toys as do us Needlepointers and I wanted to surprise her with something for Christmas. Not knowing What she wanted, I just gave her $$$ so she could buy what she wanted! If anyone has a better explanation, just jump right in!

I need to have a picture hanger added and then it will hang on my Asian wall. Can’t wait!

Stay healthy and keep on stitching! and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!

It’s almost here, Christmas Day and it’s a Christmas unlike any other. But this day is a feeling and it’s in your heart. I would usually be home in New York with my sister, friends and family feasting on the Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is an Italian custom. Instead I am home with my cats and will dine on my own Seven Fishes with plenty of wine on the side.

I need the break from work, I need the down time to decompress as I have never ever worked this hard and under so much stress. I thought needlepoint was supposed to be fun? and I still haven’t been stitching. Maybe this weekend.

So I got this text at work on Wednesday which I was blown as she is a great friend of the shop, but wow it really goes to show how important our stitching is irregardless. I tried to post this in Needlepoint Nation, but the post was never approved.

Santa has been very good to me this year as two new beautiful orchids joined my garden at the shop. I needed to rearrange to make room! They’re both on the right, the yellow with fuchsia dots and the the double fuchsia one, which that one will stay at the shop for sure. I can just see Mooch take a swat at the dangling group of gorgeous blooms and it’s history.

We have lots of gifts to open tomorrow and I have a few new toys for the kids. But they will be happiest with the boxes and paper, so maybe I will save those toys for another time.

Speaking of Mooch, it looked like he was looking for Santa Paws earlier today, but I told him it was too early for Santa watch.

I hope whatever are your plans for Christmas, that it is the best in can be. I am playing it safe this year by not traveling, not going anywhere as I want to be able to be able to enjoy next year in the company of family and friends.

Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

Charley is Here!

Charley Harper Backyard Birds has arrived! and with all the dozens of stretcher bars that I have in my stash, do you think I can find just the right size that I need? Absolutely NOT! So looking has me started on a straighten up and organize my stash kick! I know that it’s not to be done in a day and once I organize my canvases, it’s onto the threads, beads, Kreinik et al.

Along with all the fabulous threads and beads, Meredith included a great kit keeper that’s made to fit to the size that it is. It’s got a red and white striped edging, sorta like a candy cane and the trim on the stocking on the canvas.

The birds, including the nut hatch (bird on the top) are feasting on the sunflower seed ornaments. Meredith wrote a beautiful stitch guide, explaining lots of extras about stitching and the birds too. This is not the entire guide and we will get additional parts as the time goes on.

I am sure she might have an extra one or two if you just gotta have. Call M’s Canvashouse and ask!

My problem is I have absolutely NO desire whatsoever to stitch. I thought it would change once this canvas got here, but not yet. I attribute it to the fact that I work way too many hours, more than I’ve ever worked before (even when I was in the restaurant biz) so with my 1 day off a week, stitching is the farthest from my mind. We are closing the shop for a few days for Thanksgiving, so maybe then.

This year will be the new year of thanksgiving traditions as lately I’ve been alternating between 2 dear friends homes, but this year I am staying home and celebrating with the kids and being thankful that I am well. I’ve seen what it can do to another dear friend’s husband. I am happy to be home for a few days!

This was a picture of the kids at this time last year.

And this is them this year! Not so little anymore.

Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

Guarding the Village!

Have you gotten your latest Needlepoint Now? Well this is the back cover and I’m thrilled that the stitch guide is in the magazine!

It is a Maggie canvas and has languished in my stash for years! I started it way back with Tony Minieri in a 2-day canvas embellishment class with him at seminar. That was in the days when he didn’t write stitch guides for seminar and just did it in class. All I remember is going to the shop at seminar with Tony and we found all this limited edition Gloriana colors that were just right.

It sat around for a few years or maybe more? And then I unstitched everything and was going to destash it, but just couldn’t part with it. A while back Ruth Schmuff had a challenge group going on. We were givena key word and you would stitch an area based on that word. I participated in it for a few rounds, then couldn’t keep up for some reason or another, so it went back into the closet. I would think about it every so often, but that was it.

Every year at our spring Getaway at the Needle Nook of La Jolla, when all is said and done, we pick a canvas that is our stitching challenge among the staff and some of the Getaway attendees. This was the canvas from 2019 and Laura Taylor supplied the notes she had from that canvas. I loved the finished piece so much that I asked Elizabeth to publish the guide, which she did!

I’ve been gathering the threads for my canvas and a few customers that had previously ordered it. I’m sorry to say that Maggie is plum out of these canvases and because of what the world is like today, have no idea when they’ll come in!

My Charley Harper piece with Meredith’s class is on the way, so soon I will have 2 canvases to start. I need a push, some motivation as even though I’ve bought a few canvases, just not stitching at all…and today I’m working on my stash accumulation!

Mooch and Miss Meow this morning! Stay healthy and keep on stitching.

Did you Miss me?

I wonder if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been? I didn’t realize how long it’s been since my last post. I haven’t been stitching, not at all, not a single stitch, nothing, nada…so not much to talk about. I hit these slumps every so often with my stitching where nothing thrills me enough to want to stitch. Trust me it’s not that I don’t have plenty of choices! And part of it is that I am working way too much, so stitching is the last thing that I want to do. And last but not least, I’ve been saving myself for Meredith Willett’s Charley Harper online class. I will share my progress with you when I start it as my bestie and I are stitching this together, so it will keep me on task.

Have you been stitching lots? Have you’ve been zooming with Laura Taylor? I know lots who are and they absolutely love, love, love it! Did I say love? So many of the stitchers have been calling for threads for their canvases and I thank you!

This is the last canvas that I finished and picked up from the framers a few weeks ago. Canvas by Patti Mann and framing by New Creations Picture Framing. I have never had trouble with my beads moving and this is one time I should’ve run a line of beading thread up through the lines of beads. Someday I will need to take it apart and fix it, but for now it’s figuring out where it will hang.

The kids were absolutely entrenched in their kitty tv this morning. They stayed here quite a while and I should’ve videoed them as they were quite entertaining!

Miss Meow insists on laying on the IPad when she joins me on the couch. I wonder if it’s the warmth of the iPad or a way to get my attention?

Mooch loves his ripple rug which was a gift from a dear friend. It brings them many hours of enjoyment, well actually all of us! who am I kidding?

I’ve been watching many hours of playoff baseball. I will admit that I am disappointed that the Padres were eliminated so quickly, but really enjoying watching other teams play at PetCo Park, listening to their announcers speak highly of the city, our team and the ballpark. I will be rooting for the Rays since they’ve never won a World Series.

Stay healthy and keep on stitching!

I Should be Stitching!

Is it art imitating life? Or the other way around? Well Mooch sorry this is not you, as Bastet was an Egyptian goddess of cats. Even though you are a god, you are not a she!

I picked my piece up from New Creations Picture Framing yesterday and I needed to play hooky from work to do so. I am sure that I will pay dearly for it tomorrow and maybe the next few days too. But you know what? It was so worth it!

I know exactly where I am going to hang this! On the cat wall in my bedroom and there is a spot for it, but not sure if I will hang it right in the middle of that spot, or off center so I have room for others. So for now I will enjoy looking it at from the couch. I have finished 2 other black cat canvases since this one, so now I am #4in2020. I have 2 more black cat canvases to stitch, but I think that I need a break from stitching black cats.

Mooch in all his glory,,.

And Miss Meow, even though Mooch’s paw is under her!

Stay healthy and keep on stitching! Which is what I should be doing instead of goofing off.

And What to Title This?

I have no idea! I have been making time to stitch lately and I finished this, so I am at #3in2020, which I am sure pales in comparison to yours.

Meredith Willett of course, told me in a class once upon a time that if you make time to stitch at about an hour a day, you’ll be surprised how much you can finish. You know what, she’s right!

This is what I’m working on now, canvas by Pepita. Sometimes you just need some basketweave and not to think too much. That’s what this one is. I will do another darning pattern stitch for the background with a light silver Kreinik. Mooch was posing or was he asking “is life imitating art? Or is it art imitating life?”

And this is my next canvas! Yes you might say I have a black cat thing going on. This is a custom canvas of Mooch painted by JP Sligh of Labors of Love. I think he really captured his eyes, which everyone comments about!

I was working on threads the other day. I will work the background first and then the cat. I am not very good with long and short, so it will be a challenge for me. I see more and more long and short done very lightly, so I will try that.

What are your plans for the 4th of July? I’m pretty much staying in, stitching and browsing through my stash closet as I need to look for a few things. And of course spend some time with Mooch and Miss Meow!

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy! stay healthy and keep on stitching!

She’s Finished!

Yes Bastet is a she and goddess of cats and one of the most well-known figures of the Egyptian pantheon… and that I googled!

and yes she is finished as I told you that you wouldn’t hear from me until she was. Almost did finish last Sunday, but I have found if you push those last 2 hours to “finish” that it usually has to come out…so I didn’t!

I did start this along time ago at one of the ANG seminars (American Needlepoint Guild) with the original Fab Four. Suzanne Howren, Tony Minieri, Beth Robertson (gosh we miss you!) and Meredith Willett. Then Ruth Schmuff did a mystery class with this one, which I signed up for some more inspiration. As I moved along, some of the ideas and stitches were mine and then the final touch was Meredith Willett teaching the peyote beaded circles on top of the lotus flowers. I am not sure I like the starkness of the straight gold line in the top section of background and I may tweak that.

She is ready for the framers as we picked it out just before the world changed. Since shops were closed, I was thinking they weren’t framing, so what was the rush? And it was too that I was working way too much…well still am, but making time for stitching. So I will UPS it tomorrow!

I have this companion piece “On the Nile” that I am now motivated to move into my stitching queue. This is a rather large canvas, stitch guide by Tony Minieri and both canvases are by Tapestry Fair. I need to read the guide and organize my threads.

My kids never fail to entertain me! I really don’t know how he squeezed himself under this cabinet, but he did. I laid on the floor to take a picture and play with him and very soon I had someone on my back!