A Little Love for Autism

World Autism Awareness Day is April 2nd.  I haven’t shared this publicly but my son is Autistic.  He was diagnosed in kindergarten.  We are very lucky that he is on the extremely high functioning end of the spectrum.  He would be classified as Aspergers, but that classification was done away with a few years back and is now grouped under Autism.

 He is, and always has been, a happy child but extremely quirky and wildly intelligent.  And I’m not saying that just because I’m his mother.  He spends the summers at the store with me and will come down and chat with customers or make a ton of noise upstairs in our classroom, building something or whatever it is that he does. LOL!

Fortunately, we have received so any wonderful services through his school.  Not all children with Autism receive enough services.  Seeing as how fortunate my family is, I thought I’d paint up a little canvas where a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Autism Speaks.

Since the paint just dried, it will be about 6-8 weeks before I receive more.  But you can go ahead and order a canvas in our online store and we’ll get it out to you as soon as we can.  The heart is about 4 x 4 on 18 mesh canvas.

Click here to order!

I’m sure there isn’t a person reading this who’s life hasn’t been touched by Autism in some way.  So let’s do our part to make a difference!  What a wonderful gift for someone in your life who has been impacted by Autism.

Crazy Dreams

I have been having the craziest dreams lately.  The other night I had a stitch guide nightmare!

I had written five stitch guides earlier that day.  I guess that might explain it.  So, in the dream, there were papers and diagrams flying through the air and I was trying to catch them.  While chasing the papers, I followed a path of some sort that led me to a room where I discovered that there were professional kitters.  Meaning people who would put needlepoint kits together and would guarantee that there were no mistakes.  Now that’s a great ending to a rather horrifying dream!

I had a few other needlepoint related dreams last week.  I can’t recall any of them now.  Am I working too much? LOL!

My Second Child

Every so often my son asks me for a baby brother or sister.  I usually tell him that ship has sailed.  But one day I said I had a second child . . .my store.

And today my baby turns five years old!

I can’t say that I remember too much about the first year.  It was a whirlwind and I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.

Year two was a bit easier.  I had some great women working with me which really helped take some of the load off.

The third and fourth year had their ups and downs.  And actually proved to be the most difficult year.  Everyone says the terrible twos are the worst.  In my experience, both with my son and the store, four year olds are the worst!

But now my baby is five and heading off to kindergarten. LOL!

I want to thank all the women who work with me, who have been my rock and my cheerleaders over the years. Mary Susan, Becki, Aggie, Linda, Andrea, Nancy and Mary . . .you are the best friends anyone could ask for.  These women are always willing to help out in any way they can.  Whether it’s stitching pieces for the shop, coming into work when I can’t, or simply just being there for me when I need them. They have helped me raise my baby.  They are the best Aunties I could ever ask for!  They better stick around because I’m definitely going to need them throughout the teenage years!

And thank you to all my wonderful customers and readers of my blog.  One of my favorite things about owning The Enriched Stitch is meeting so many wonderful people every day.  Each person is unique and interesting and I feel so lucky to know you.

It has been a wonderful journey so far.  I feel like we’re just getting started.  I’ve got big plans for the future.  So watch out!  You haven’t seen anything yet!

Big News! HUGE!

The timing for this to happen around my five year anniversary couldn’t be any more perfect!  I have launched a wholesale canvas design line.

VNG, or Vallerie Needlepoint Gallery, is up and running!

Hydrangeas

Snowy Hills

Summer on the Porch

A Toast

Geranium


Jack and Hairy

Let it Snow

Pink Cottage

This is just the beginning!  I have a lot more canvases in production and I’ll be sure to share them with you as they become available.

All of these are available for preorder.  It will be about 6-8 weeks until we receive more. My needle is burning to stitch these.  Good thing I put the hydrangea piece on bars this morning!  You can call the shop to order or place your order in our online store.

Details of the dimensions for each piece are on our website.

These canvases are also available at wholesale prices to needlepoint retailers throughout the country.  So spread the word to your local shop!

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Cocka-doodle-doo!

Kelly just sent me a pic of the finished piece that she will be teaching at the shop in August.

It is just stunning!  I can’t wait to take this class.  And roosters do nothing for me.  You know I’m a bunny kinda girl.  Hint hint Kelly!

The ribbon work is magnificent.  Kelly texted me a picture of this the other day and asked me if it looked messy.  I told her she was nuts!

The class is August 9-11.  All the details are on the website.  We only have four or five more spots in the class so don’t wait to sign up.  If you can’t make it, we can always send you a kit.

The only problem with this class is going to be that I am going to have the worst craving for asparagus the entire time!

50% off Select Canvases

As part of our anniversary sale, these canvases are 50% off through Saturday.  When you call to place an order, please let us know if you are looking at the 25% off or 50% off page so we can locate the canvas easier.

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Let us know if there’s something you’d like for us to send your way!

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Anniversary Sale – All in stock canvases 25%

Stop by the shop to celebrate our 5 year anniversary on March 17th and 18th!  To celebrate, all in stock canvases are 25% off today through Saturday.  To sweeten that St. Paddy’s pot of gold, select canvases are 50% off!  Those canvases will be featured on a separate blog.

Give us a buzz if there’s something you have to treat yourself to!  203-210-5107

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Kelly Clark is Coming to Town!!!!

I’ going to start our by saying that I think that Kelly Clark is the best stitcher out there.  Her ribbon work and stump work are out of this world!  I took her class last year at the summer trade show.  And I’ll tell you that Kelly runs such a relaxed and easy going class.  What a wonderful way to spend the day.

Kelly will be coming to The Enriched Stitch August 9, 10, 11 and teaching her Kitchen Rooster Collage.

 It is 5 1/4 x 7 1/4 on 18 mesh.  A perfect size!

Class will be held over three days.  The third day will be a more relaxed day where you can go over whatever you need more help on.  OR . . .you can bring another Kelly Clark piece and she will give you stitch ideas for that piece.

Look at those asparagus!  They look so real you could eat them!

If you want to join us for three fun days of stitching, give us a call at the shop! But don’t wait too long.  Kelly mentioned the class on Facebook this morning and the phone started ringing. If you can’t make the class, we can always send you a kit.

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So Much Fun

No.  I’m not talking about the trunk show that is currently in the shop.  But if you haven’t stopped by to see the myriad of adorable stitched models, you definitely should.

Yesterday we had a ball at the shop.  Linda (you all know the famous Linda from the Gingie and Mrs. Gingie blog) wanted my help with some ribbon work on a few pieces she’s stitching.

 So, she’s got me creating these ribbon flowers, Mary Susan is stitching another piece of hers because she says she can’t figure out the stitch, and Becki is stitching some other piece of hers.  Linda’s greatest dream came true that day.  She had her minions doing her stitching for her.  She was ecstatic!  I swear she had tears of joys brewing in her eyes.  But I agree, it would be awesome to have an army of stitchers.  But,  I think she’s playing all of us. I think she claims to not know how to do something to get us all working for her. LOL!

The girls and I haven’t gotten together in a long time and stitched.  And boy do I miss it!  There is nothing better than hanging out with your friends doing something that you love.  I can feel the energy that is bouncing around us with all of the creativity.  There’s an excitement and rush that comes with that. And I just LOVE it!

What I did with my weekend

It was a big milestone in our home this weekend.  My husband turned the big 4 0!

I threw him a party this weekend.  So needless to say not a lot of stitching went on last week.  But, I did spend the day “recovering” on Sunday.  I enjoyed a wonderful day of stitching and watching movies.  Even though I feel like I spent most of the day searching through Netflix, Hulu and Amazon trying to find something watch. LOL!

I’ve been working on one of the new canvases from Leigh’s “Gateways to Paradise” series that debuted at the January show.

I don’t often show my works in progress.  But I think this is an interesting one to show you my process.

When I first looked at the piece I was so attracted to the colors.  And before you ask about how I can stitch on the black canvas  . . .I don’t plan on it.  That’s right . . .NO BACKGROUND!  The horrors! But even so, I still have young eyes (close up anyway), so black and dark colors don’t bother me.

I usually find Leigh pieces really challenging.  But I just looked at this piece and knew exactly what I wanted to do.  Or what needed to be done in the case of the Or Nue situation  that’s going on in the center of the lantern. Hence . . .the many threads hanging off the canvas.

The flowers are coming along very nicely with continuous Buttonhole stitch.  The tassels however aren’t working out like I planned.  But now that I did it wrong, I know how to fix it.  Well . . .hopefully. LOL.

I haven’t done anything on the pink flowers yet, but I know exactly what I’m going to do.  And I know it’s going to work because I’ve done it before.  It’s a really cool ribbon technique with a bead.

I’m going to bead the gold on the medallion, but not in the traditional way.  This is a technique I learned in the bead embroidery class we had last summer at the shop.  I have to tell you, that every class I take I learn something.  I may never finish the piece, but I will always use the technique I learned on a piece at some point in the future.

 I hope this gives you a little insight into how pieces come together for me.  Not everything works out the first try.  So, if at first you don’t succeed, try try again!