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?

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!

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.