Why I need a new Needlepoint Finisher…

I really hate to be negative and I have been trying to remove myself from negative influences; be they family, friends, or co-workers.  I used to hang out a local needlework shop.  When the owner first opened the store I would hang out there every Saturday and I even stitched a lot of her shop models.  I helped her catch a few employees who were stealing from her.  I stopped going there as much around 2006 when I went back to school and I took in an ornament to be finished and it got lost.  She told me the finisher had misplaced it.  Then she changed locations and I was unaware of the move.  I thought she had gone out of business.   I found out in 2008 that she had moved about 1 mile east of her previous location.

As preparation for the Stars for a New Millennium SAL, I went there in July for help picking fibers and canvas.  The owner has always been talented at picking fibers and knowing what stitches will look good where.  I was shocked at how little inventory she had in the store.  She had tons of canvases but the fiber selection was limited.  We still managed to find everything except enough Rainbow Gallery Splendor 808 for what I needed.  I paid for everything, including the Splendor knowing that she would call me when it came in.

So fast forward to this weekend. I wanted a new stitch for the spines and wings of my Dragon Dreams Dragon Doorstop so I went to the shop Saturday during a time I expected her to be open (she has variable hours despite what’s posted to the side of the door).  There was a note on the door that the shop would be closed Friday and Saturday but would be open on Labor Day.  So I arrive today with my project and for the first 15 minutes I get lambasted with how horrible the candidate she assumes I’m supporting for president is at running his campaign, what a bitch his wife is, and then she launches in on my religion.  As her Monday morning stitching class arrives she starts in on how horrible it is to make people prove they are who they say they are when it comes to voting because you know those poor saps on the East Coast are too dumb to know how to get picture ID from their states.  They don’t drive like those of us out West so why should they have driver’s licenses or any form of government issued ID? One of the class members then brings up then how do East coast people cash checks or go through airports?  That gives enough of a pause that someone asks a stitching question and I get a chance to ask if my 808 has come in.  “No it hasn’t,” she’ll check on the order.  I’m suddenly very grateful that I’ve ordered the Splendor from a 2nd source who told me that she loves ordering from Rainbow Galleries since they ship quickly.  Yes, they have a minimum order but it’s such an easy level for her to meet that she should have my Splendor no later than next Friday, even with the Labor Day weekend.

So with the class there, the shop owner then attacks my position on a social issue I used to be fanatical about not realizing that over the years I’ve reached the point that I don’t care strongly about it any more and in fact I would be leaning more toward the other side if it weren’t for the behaviour of the nutcases I see supporting it strongly.  I don’t want to be lumped into their group.  I just let it slide and the room lapses into silence.  I then mention that I built my blocking board and got IVY blocked and it’s looking gorgeous.  I just need to figure out how to make it into a pillow.  She then offers to send it to her finisher.  I look up and say, “I’m not bringing anything back here for finishing until my purple ornament comes back.”

She bounces up from her chair and says, “That reminds me, I found it.”  She pulls my finished ornament canvas out of a basket behind the cash register.  It’s in exactly the same shape as when I dropped it off, it hasn’t been blocked at all.  That means all these years that she’s been blaming the finisher, it never left her shop.  The finisher only gets items which have been blocked.  She had me write up a new finishing ticket and she’s doing it free.  Which is nice considering she charged me $80 for the last ornament of similar size and she’s had my canvas for 6 years.  She didn’t give me a deadline for when it would be competed though.  I’m hoping I’ll see it before 2015.

Now, my husband has showed me how to set the timer on my phone to have the alarm sound like a phone call.  I knew from the time we pulled the fibers for Stars for a New Millennium that I really do not like being around this woman for more than an hour anymore.  Before I went into the shop I had set my timer for 1 hour and right after I finished the finishing ticket, it went off.  I have never been happier.  I pretended it was from my husband wanting to have a family holiday together.  As I was gathering my stitching supplies up, I was subjected to her standard lecture of how husbands are only useful if they are funding your lifestyle.

I left the place feeling sick to my stomach and stopped at Burger King for “therapy.”  Yes, I know food should not be a comfort but I just needed a sugar/carb boost to counter the energy drain the hour in the shop created.

Just doing this brain dump, reasons I can see for not going back once I get my ornament back:

1. Anything she has in stock I can get elsewhere for less money and less emotional stress.

2. I have resources for stitch guides on my canvases.  Not to mention I have access to some of the greatest stitching minds on the internet.

3. I do not need that kind of negativity.  I have been out of her shop for over 3 hours and I’m still reeling from her personal attacks on me and my family.

4. Would I have ever walked back into any other shop where the proprietor attacked my family, my religion or my political beliefs?

The only con I can see is finding a finisher for my needlepoint canvases.  Over the past 6 months, I’ve surfed around a little and dropped emails to people who don’t respond.  Maybe it’s time for me to learn how to do this myself.  But then again, I always loved the finishing work at Stitcher’s Paradise in Las Vegas and it gives me an excuse for a road trip.

Oh and I have a credit for $32 at the local shop unless the Splendor 808 ever comes in – maybe I can find something in the limited stock when I pick up my ornament.

Blue Moon WIPocalypse post

It’s been a busy month with Olympic stitching and some framing and finishing – so we start with the Olympics this gave me much stitching time as we fast forwarded through the TIVO recording of the NBC coverage.  I don’t pay for television so there wasn’t much we got to watch.  Anyway, the first thing I worked on was a chatelaine for an exchange –

Chatelaine based on a picture I saw of an antique chatelaine on the internet.

Here is the back of the Chatelaine for the exchange

Part of the Chatelaine is the Assisi Scissor Case we got in our July EGA meeting.   This is designed by Alice Rathofer.

She used her favorite calligraphy alphabet to create the alphabet for stitching the names on the piece.  There are instructions for two types of scissor case with this pattern.  The slip case which I used here and a scissor pocket.

You can reach Alice at our EGA chapter page – http://egasegolilychapter.org/

But wait that’s not all during the 2012 Olympics, I worked on my final ornament from the 2002 Winter Olympics.  I had originally stitched 4 ornament because that is all the charms I had but when I went to frame them I realized that if I had 5 ornaments I could frame them in circles the color of the Olympic rings and hang them so they look like the rings.

So after finishing that for my Olympic stitching I figured I should go back to my WIPocalypse list and work on my Spring TW Carousel Horse.  I put about two hours in on it when I looked on my list and realized I was supposed to be working on my Dragon Dreams Dragon Doorstop.

I think working on Winter ran over and I managed to get my months mixed up – however since I did get some time on both, I can start my Summer TW Carousel Horse.

But that is not all that happened this month.  I got my TW Winter Carousel Horse back from Edgeline Framing along with the Fairy Tale Sampler which my older son claimed as his.

TW Winter Carousel Horse

Corner detail of the TW Carousel Horse frame – it’s designed so I can use the same frame for all 4 horses

C’s Fairy Tale Sampler

But after getting those back so I could take them to the State Fair it hit me that I didn’t have a Needlepoint piece to put in the Fair so I started looking for something I could stitch together quickly.  And I found an ornament in the Sept/October issue of JustCross Stitch by Plum Pudding Needlearts.  However when I pulled a piece of canvas and the fibers I didn’t really like the design so much so I started putting together a piece of my own based on the ornament I had seen in the magazine.  This is what it ended up looking like – 

I learned that I cannot call this an original design, and it’s not an adaptation since it was inspired by a stitched piece and not a different style of art.  That makes it a derivative work.  So this is my derivative of Plum Pudding Needleart’s Witch’s Pantry.

I didn’t get a picture of the frame I put it in before dropping it off at the fair.  But I did take pictures of the other pieces I framed this week.

I’m not too happy with the framing of Black Swan’s Fire and Ice since it doesn’t look like I got it quite even. And I also got two ornaments finished as well.

I made these because they reminded me of the ornaments I’ve seen on my aunt’s Finnish style tree.
But that’s not all I did this month…
My son is moving to the Philippines in October and he wanted to have a quilt to take with him so here is the start of the Safari quilt that he kitted up when he was in junior high.

This is what the blocks look like and here are the pieces I’m still working on –

It’s been a busy month. My completed projects list for this year is now at 24 items and my Rotation list is down to 64 items. If I finish up the ornaments I started earlier this week, then I could be under 60 items on the full list by the end of the long weekend. And we’re back on track with my original WIPocalypse list so I’ll be putting TW’s Summer Carousel Horse up on the stand.

The WIPocalypse list is complete…for the moment

And this is the plan for the start of the year, I’ll be taking pictures tomorrow… (following the final Carousel Horse update).

So I will be keeping a focus piece which will be whatever is closest to being finished in my WIP list that means the beginning focus piece is  Winter Carousel Horse.

 I wanted to start the year with a quick finish and a new start, so between the 1st and the 8th I’ll be working on these two projects with some time on Winter Carousel horse inbetween.  There is a good chance that I’ll finish IVY tomorrow.
 1/9/12 – – IVY  – Needlepoint (original design) started in 1998, Segment from Main Street: Crafter’s Paradise in Just Cross Stitch
After I post on the 9th, I will be starting on the next project and the pattern will continue from that point. The date you see will be the date progress on that piece will be posted.
        • 2/7/12 Fire Dance – Enchanted Lair, started Sept 2004, 57% completed
        • 3/8/12 Fairy Tale Sampler –  Dragon Dreams (2nd time through), started 11/2003, 12% complete
        • 4/6/12 Autumn Queen – Mirabilia started 7/2004, not sure on the % because I only have the head complete, corresponds with Mirabilia March
        • 5/5/12 Varigated warp weaving project – I will be happy if the loom gets warped for this one.
        • 6/4/12 Autumn Carousel Horse –  Teresa Wentzler started 2/10,  27% complete
        • 7/3/12 Fire and Ice – Black Swan (and if I finish it then the Kustom Kraft one), Black Swan started 12/10, 14% complete, Kustom Krafts started 1/2003, 14% complete
        • 8/1/12 Spring Carousel Horse – Teresa Wentzler, started 1/2011, 23% complete
        • 8/31/12 Dragon Doorstop – Dragon Dreams, painted canvas, started 2006, 15% complete
        • 9/29/12 Summer Carousel Horse – Teresa Wentzer, started 7/2011, 24% complete
        • 10/29/12  Purple Ornament –  Jody painted Canvas, started 11/2006, 36% complete
        • 11/28/12 Christmas Quilts (star and pinwheel) started 4/2005, 31 of 56 blocks complete
        • 12/28/12 Needlepoint Stocking, Purple/Teal – started 11/2008, 15% complete

So, Stasha, I hear you say, what happens if you actually finish a project during the time you are working on it?  (and those who really know me are saying: “Stasha, you actually finish projects? Since when? accompanied by hysterical laughter)

Well it turns out that even during the Year of Carousel Horses I managed to finish 8 things, mostly small (okay, 4 small, 2 medium and 2 framing or finishing).   This year I’m looking to actually wrap up a few large projects which have aged nicely.  So if I do finish something, first there will be more time spent on the focus piece until it’s finished.  Then for every 2 projects completed there is a new start waiting – fully kitted and good to go but if the WIP list is still looking scary, there are other WIP’s ready to sacrifice themselves to fill a slot in the WIPocalypse calendar.  Items like the final applique block for the hand appliqued monster quilt – Mr. Big Mouth, the TW Fruit Bell Pest, Dragon Ride or the oldest WIP on my list Dimensions Embroidered Pegasus kit. So until the WIPocalypse starts tomorrow, there are still a few hours left on the Year of Carousel Horses and the 3rd section of netting on Winter is starting to call really loudly…