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!

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!