Wishful Thinking

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I received some nice cards and a good luck charm in the mail recently, right around when my store opened.

Here they are.

First the good luck charm from Barb.*

Garbaty Parrot Cigarette Wood Veneer Premium 1932

Back of Parrot Premium

Here’s its accompanying card.

cat world

 

Barb's card

And here’s what Pauline sent.

spotlight you did it

fan mail

Thank you Barb and Pauline.

It was so sweet of you both to take the time to send them!

* this is a rare circa 1932 wood veneer premium that was given out along with Garbáty cigarettes.  The history of this long defunct cigarette manufacturer is tragic but interesting and important to remember. You can read about it here.

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

Report Card

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Well, it’s one week since Needlepoint Land opened.  Here a quick and dirty summary of where things stand.

The Good

  • All stocked with an excellent variety of threads and canvases
  • Added new display areas
  • Chalk painting of sleigh bench coming along nicely
  • Store about 97% complete

The Bad

  • Still no shelving in the back of the store to display models (hopefully, this will happen on Wednesday).
  • No table yet to display trunk show canvases.
  • Need some sort of cube system to display small canvases and accessories by front left window
  • Need to order more slatwall hooks for front counter merchandise
  • Need to finish pricing for some designer lines

The Ugly

  • The back office is a disaster. I need a table and some shelving in the little alcove adjacent to the office.
  • Need another filing cabinet and to get my office chair completed.
  • Need to get a room divider to hide the unsightly air conditioning unit.
  • Need to consolidate the canvases in the office area and throw out one of the cheap clothes racks back there.
  • Most bins that held canvases are empty– consolidate all canvases into one covered bin.
  • Online catalog far from complete!

Summary

Clearly there’s plenty left to do.  Still, I like the progress I’ve made in a relatively short time, and kind of like my prospects for when the season starts.

Store schedule this week (week of 7/28):

Closed  Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SUMMER:

Summer hours:

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

11am till 2pm

Will be closed for part of September.

Of course the blog is going to continue going strong! But I am not going to be posting quite as frequently from now on, since the saga of getting the store ready is pretty much over.

Now I can get back to my Monday tennis game with David (the tennis pro) at Jonathan’s Landing. It has been 2+ months since I have hit a tennis ball. Both the French Open and Wimbledon have come and gone, and I am looking forward to resuming my regularly scheduled tennis program.

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

Rose Pillow

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Earlier today, Lynda Richardson, needlepoint designer, avid stitcher, and owner of Dream House Ventures, sent me some pics via email.

She also included the following remarks:

These pics are of a Dard Hunter Rose Pillow (DH3667) canvas I recently finished. It’s stitched with Gumnuts silk floss and embellished with A B hex beads.

I butterfly stitched it and used a T-stitch in the center so it didn’t have a line down the middle.

The finished size is 12 x 12″ on 18m. It’s getting ready to go and get framed.

Hope you like it!

By the way, Lynda’s “butterfly” stitch may have a slightly different meaning than the one you may be used to.

What Lynda is referring to is a technique that ensures that the tent stitches on each side of the canvas are mirror images of one another. To accomplish this, she stitches one side of the canvas first, say, the right half, then the other.

Depending on the design, sometimes, Lynda will even divide a canvas into quarters.

In addition to the T-stitch and butterfly technique, Lynda also used diagonal mosaic in alternating directions throughout the design and the encroaching gobelin in the leaves.

The roses are satin stitched with Gumnuts silk, which is a softly shaded thread that provides subtle gradations of one color. In fact, the entire piece is stitched with Gumnuts.

Each bead in the background of the piece is centered within elongated cross stitches. I can tell you from experience this takes a great deal of time and patience.

Thank you, Lynda, for sharing with us this gorgeous piece!

 © Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

Tropical Sleigh

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Tropical Sleigh

 

Still working on repainting with chalk paint my tropical sleigh that’s destined for the Hubster’s Shady Spot in Needlepoint Land.

I’m nearly done with that, and have started to think about cushions and a backrest to replace the sorry-looking, horse-hair stuffed original you see in the pic above.

I’m thinking the upholstery fabric has to have bright red in the pattern, to match the motif of the Needlepoint Land store logo.

parrrot fabricThis kitschy one (hey, it’s Fla!) caught my eye, but I’m not sure if the fabric is heavy enough. It’s not in their upholstery section, so I doubt it.

The description says it’s suitable for pillows, so more likely than not it’s unsuitable for sitting on.  Also it’s probably printed, not woven, and then of course there is that the crucial issue of the double rub count.

There’s actually such a thing!

I will just have to call the store to find out if it has a thread count per square inch that’s anywhere near 400.

Maybe not, though.

There are some other genuine upholstery fabrics that I am also interested in, so will ponder this matter and let you know what I decide on.

I can’t wait to finish refurbishing my Tropical Sleigh and hauling it to the store!

:-)

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

Alison’s Bag

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needlepoint bag

My friend Alison came in the store yesterday, bringing her beautiful needlepoint bag along.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

She suggested that my store needed a little spot where hubbies or anyone else for that matter can sit down and relax while their wives or friends or whatever are looking around the store.

I think it’s a charming idea.

So I’m turning this little area into exactly that, and calling it the Hubster’s Shady Spot. It’s by the front of the store, to the left when you come in.

hubbys shady spot

I’m going to replace the rather austere chair you see in the pic with a nice sleigh bench that I’m repainting as we speak. The sleigh belonged to my grandparents who found it on their property in Greenwich. It is a real farm bench that sat atop a horse-drawn wagon. So this is its second restoration. My grandmother slathered it with some black oil-based paint and it’s really surprising that the chalk paint completely covered it. You cannot see it in this pic, but the backrest cushion has horsehair stuffing.

Sleigh Bench

I’m using that Annie Sloan chalk paint I bought in Vero last week.  The effect I’m going for is a color palette based on the Needlepoint Land mascot parrot. I am looking for a nice red upholstery fabric, that picks up and complements some of these colors, maybe with a Provençal motif.

Meanwhile the Jade plant is settling in nicely by the right front window at Needlepoint Land and is already pointing its little leaves east toward the sun.

Jade East

 

Fung shooey!

 

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

Nice surprise

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LIsa B

Lisa B with her Pepperberry Orn

I had a nice surprise visitor to the store today.

Lisa B. dropped by unexpectedly from Palm Beach.

Lisa happens to be the sister-in-law of Diane, the owner of Pepperberry Designs. I recently discovered Pepperberry through a good friend. Lisa is an avid reader of the blog, and she decided to come by the store when I didn’t post anything over this past weekend. I guess she just wanted to make sure I survived opening soft launch day on Friday!

Isn’t that nice of her?

Anyway, Lisa and I had a lot fun talking needlepoint, stitching and other stuff.

Lisa’s a great stitcher and has done some really nifty stitching on the very addictive Vintage Flair series of ornaments from Pepperberry.

Thanks Lisa, for dropping by and being instrumental in the development of my fantastic new marketing plan to drive traffic to my store during the summer lull months.

I guess when it comes to blogging, less is more!

;-)

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016

Bedouin Carpet

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Guest Post from Lynda Richardson

 

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Ed Note: I’ve always admired the canvases by Dreamhouse Ventures.  Recently, I came across Bedouin Carpet, and I just had to get it for my store. This design is closely related to Carpet Panel, which is also quite beautiful. I thought you might enjoy reading here a brief guest post from Lynda, the designer of these beautiful pieces.

*  *  *

My relationship with needlepoint has taken up the majority of my life. I have always been drawn to tribal designs. In fact, the first needlepoint I ever stitched was a Persian carpet design, and the first canvas I ever designed was a Native American piece.

Throughout the 40-some-odd-years that I’ve been doing this, I have constantly been drawn to tribal motifs, geometrics, and the symmetry of the Arts and Crafts movement. With respect to Bedouin Carpet, the part that took me the longest was choosing the right colors.  (I had it done in half a dozen colorways before I settled on this one.)

As for Carpet Panel, I actually found it in my stash of designs — but the colors were way off. However I found that using a similar color palette to the one I used in Bedouin Carpet made the piece sing.

© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016