Monday, December 28, 2020

Word of the Year

 I've never been good at New Years Resolutions.  I always have great intentions and give it a good solid try for about a month but then it gets hard and hard just gets harder to do.  

For the past couple of years, I've tried picking a word for the year.  This seems to work better for me for a few reasons.  Firstly, the word typically encompasses my whole life instead of a small part.  Secondly, the idea is more flexible in that as my life evolves during the year, so can the application of the word.  And finally, I find enjoy reflecting on the changes one single word brings to my life when I focus on it over a period of time.

So I was thinking about this year's word.  I haven't totally committed to one, yet, but I have narrowed it down to a shortlist.  Here's a list that might be useful when selecting your word of the year.  Of course, you may find many lists with a quick Google search.

I started thinking about how to keep my word in front of me so that it'll be always on my mind.  What about a needlepoint piece?  Stitching it would be a mindful exercise to embody the word and the finished piece could be my reminder for the year.

  We could make a custom design for your word.  It could be a keychain, a small framed piece, an insert for a leather box, a hanging sign, a pillow, a pocket for a tote bag,  maybe an ornament to hang on the rearview mirror, or a bracelet insert.  Here are a few ideas I came up with but we'd love to do something just right for you.

I'd love to know what words you are considering and what you settle on for your word of the year.  Give us a call (816-531-4466) or stop in if we can help you create a needlepoint piece for your word. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Baseball Stitching

The Studio is one of those special places and I think you feel it when you walk in the door.  We are a sisterhood, bound by the work of our hands.  As a staff we interact as family, caring for one another, looking out for each other, checking in, covering shifts, dropping in the shop and helping out, sharing recipes and meals.  The list goes on.

Betsy and I have sons on the same baseball team this summer.  They have played together a couple of other seasons.  We have fun sitting near one another at the games and stitching together.

This past weekend they played at the Urban Youth Academy.  
It's located 1 block north of 18th & Vine.  It is an absolutely beautiful facility.  There are 3 fields there.  The main field has an announcer's booth and instead of bleachers there are stadium seats, just like at the Royals game.  All the fields are turf.  They have a concession stand and nice bathrooms which are air conditioned.  My only complaint is the lack of shade but that is pretty common at baseball complexes.
While at the game, Betsy and I were both working on stockings for our customers.  The one Betsy was working on has been a group effort at Bishop Spencer House and I think everyone was just "done". So the stocking owner brought it to us to wrap it up.

The Stocking I'm working on was brought to us by a customer who's hands are giving her a fit right now.  She got a little bit done but just couldn't do more.  I'm having a blast with different stitches and fibers.

Stitching projects come to us for a variety of reasons.  Some are from failing eyes or hands.  Some come from and need for help with an abundance of canvases.  Some get here because the grandchildren are arriving quicker than the stitching can be done.  

In any case, we love helping out whether we are stitching the whole thing or a section (like turkey work), or part of it when you poop out.  We have a simple formula for calculating the fees so if you find yourself needing a stitching fairy, bring your canvas in and we'll see what we can do.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

5 Things to help get ready for Spring Break

I can't believe that Spring Break is just around the corner.  For heaven's sake, have we had winter yet?  Don't get me wrong, it's been plenty cold, but where's the snow?  No sledding days for the kiddos this year.

March is certainly roaring like a lion these days.  And like all families with school-age children, our lives are driven by the school calendar which is screaming SPRING BREAK.  I haven't even thought about it much less started preparing for it.  Today I started to make a list of the top 5 things to do to get yourself ready for Spring Break.

1. Go to The Studio for an exciting project.  There are a couple of amazing trunk shows at The Studio right now.  Stitch-its and HSN.  Stitch-its is a local needlepoint company.  I love her designs because there is no shading.  They are straight forward and simple to stitch.  If you like to add texture, these are great for using special stitches.

HSN stands for Hingham Square Needlepoint - in Massachusetts.  They have their own line of sunglass straps, dog collars, belts, and American flags.  They also distribute for a number of designers so there is a wide variety in this show.

2. Pack the Beach Bag.  Sunscreen is a must.  Don't try to get by on last year's.  Buy new so you know it is fresh and still works.  Get a fabulous wide brim hat for yourself (and everyone else)  and find one of those giant beach blankets.  Now, about the swimsuit....I can't remember the last time I put my swim suit on.  I do own one and I think I know which drawer I stuffed it into.  Better pull it out and check the fit.  If you need or want a new one, go to one of the swim suit specialty stores.  They have the best selection for all body types and have folks to help you find the right one for you.  I got mine at Swimwear Solutions in Hawthorne Plaza.

3. Download a new playlist and/or book  OR stop at Rainy Day Books to pick up something intriguing.  I found this playlist on Spotify.  I think I know every song and could sing along.

4. Get maps and travel guides.
I stumbled upon the Gallup Map & Art Co when I was doing some genealogy work.  I got some pretty cool maps of Sweden there.  Find a map of your destination and you could have a ball with the kids.  Of course, we all know we can get ordinary things at AAA.

5.  Pick up some activities so they aren't glued to their devices and don't hurt one another.  My favorite place to pick up new and unusual items for the kids is Brookside Toy & Science.  They are my go-to place for birthday and holiday gifts.  They have great puzzles there, too.

Or some great stitching projects that are very portable.  These are on #10 canvas and available at The Studio.  Give us a call and we can kit one up for you.  816-531-4466

Last October we drove to Ft. Benning, GA to see our oldest son graduate from Army Boot Camp.  While there we did some Geocaching.  We had a ball.  You can go to the App anytime and you will find geocaching opportunities all around you.  We often did the Geocaching at the rest stops so we could get, stretch our legs and go on a little treasure hunt.  It really is a lot of fun.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Winter Olympics 2018 Needlepoint Project

I can't believe that the first events of the 2018 Winter Olympics begin today.  For as long as I can remember I've been an Olympics junkie.  I am in awe of the skill the athletes have honed.  I admire the commitment to training and competing.  I appreciate the competition but most of all it is the team spirit that draws me in.  

I will be glued the the TV for the next 2+ weeks, but not without handwork in my lap.  It is challenging to plan this part: knitting, needlepoint, embroidery, spinning.  The knitting community has organized themselves around teams and projects in an online community, Ravelry.  You can join a team to work on a specific project or you can select your own project.  The spinners quantify their yardage or ounces of spun yarn, setting goals before the games begin.  I have not found anything similar for the needlepoint or embroidery communities.

Last week I started working on a needlepoint design that could be easily completed within the limited number of days that bookend the Olympics.  It needed to be fairly simple but meaningful.  My first ideas were similar to the Temperature Scarves that we've seen in the knitting and crochet world.

In the case of the Olympics, medals would be assigned a color - for instance gold might be assigned turquoise, silver=purple, and bronze=green.  A designated number of rows for each medal won would be knit in the assigned color.

For needlepoint I thought about stitching a square for every medal won.  In my research I learned that the USA  typically wins around 28 total medals in the Winter Olympics and are predicted to win 30 this year.  So, I think to myself, 30 boxes over a couple of weeks is very doable.  

I shared my idea with the Wednesday Needlepoint Niche weekly open needlepoint group.  We talked about it, massaged it, twisted it and the idea emerged transformed, elevated, and more interesting.

Materials Needed:
1 6"x6" piece of blank canvas in your preferred mesh size
appropriate tapestry needle for mesh
background fiber in color of choice
kreinik or other sparkling fiber in colors gold, silver, and bronze
a yard of red, white, and blue in fiber of choice.

Find the center of your canvas.  
Using your background color, stitch one unit of the star octagon stitch.  

Make a Smyrna Cross in the middle of the star octagon stitch. Starting with your red fiber, make the x of a Smyrna cross, next stitch one vertical stitch with the white thread and stitch one horizontal stitch with the blue.  

This unit is now complete and indicates the beginning of your medal count.

The second unit will connect to the upper right quadrant of the first unit.

I am ready to stitch the first medal color as a Smyrna Cross in the middle of the 2nd unit.  
 Here's is the 3rd unit

From this point you will continue to add units to the left edge of the previous unit.  

To manage the project you could  stitch the background units as the medals or won or you could stitch background when you have a chance and fill in medals as we get them.

Will keep you posted on my progress.

The first medals will be presented on Saturday, Feb. 10. 

Friday, August 18, 2017


 WHEN: Monday, August 21, 2017 11 am-2:30 pm Maximum Partiality (approximately 98%) at 1:06 pm 

WHERE: The Studio, 9555 Nall, Overland Park, KS We will mark off parking space and sidewalk in front of the Studio for seating. First come, first served. 

SERVING: Sun and moon themed treats. 

SELLING: Safe Solar Eclipse Glasses- $2 each.* Solar Eclipse Commemorative Knitted Hat Pattern. Solar Eclipse Commemorative Hand Painted Needlepoint Ornament canvas. 

WHAT TO BRING: Your own chair, sun screen and, of course, your projects. *There has been a lot in the media about the safety of solar glasses. Please know that these glasses are sourced from the Astronomical League, a non-profit organization who supports over 270 local astronomy clubs across America and meets the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products. Even if you can’t join us on Monday, August 21, you are welcome to buy your viewing glasses from us. 


  • Solar eclipses happen nearly every 18 months or so around the world, often over oceans as Earth is covered by 71% water. But on a human time scale, total solar eclipses seem rare and random. Any particular spot on earth will see one, on average, every 375 years. 

  • This eclipse starts out in the Pacific Ocean and crosses into the contiguous United States at Oregon at 9:05 am, PDT. The line of totality (meaning that the sun is totally eclipsed by the moon) sweeps across the United States in a southeasterly direction, moving out into the Atlantic near Charleston, SC at 4:09 pm, EDT. Totality lasts only about 1-3 minutes depending on your viewing site; as the sun, moon and earth all keep on moving. Depending on distance people are from that line of totality will determine how much of a partial eclipse they will see. Here, the southern-most edge of the totality line runs through downtown Kansas City. Here at the Studio in Overland Park, we will be observing a partial eclipse with the sun ALMOST blocked by the moon. 

  • The good news is that everyone in the United States will see the sun from 50-100% eclipsed! 

  • It’s a BIG DEAL that the line of this eclipse crosses only the United States. Astronomers have calculated that the last time an eclipse followed such a path was in the year 436. The next time a total solar eclipse follows this same path will be in 2319. 

  • Figuring out the exact path a solar eclipse is not as exact a science as you would think. Scientists have measured the size of the moon, as well as the distances from Earth to the moon and the sun and from the moon to the sun. But the sun itself is a big, roiling ball of burning gases—making it more difficult to measure. Total eclipses provide opportunities to learn more about the sun. 

  • Just like knitting, it is all about the math. The perfect sun-moon-Earth alignment that results in a total solar eclipse is an extraordinary cosmic coincidence! The sun is 400 times larger than the moon and the moon is only able to “cover” the sun because the moon is 400 times closer to the Earth. In all of the hundreds of billions star systems in our Milky Way galaxy, few, if any, are likely to produce total solar eclipses like here on Earth. It is a coincidence not only of spatial relations but also time and motion. 

Go to this website to see a short video of what you will be able to see from the Studio parking lot: You can also use this site to look at locations all across the United States, if you have other viewing plans for that day. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Busy has robbed me

How is it possible that it is Thanksgiving already?  Anyone else feeling that way?  I was talking to Andrew (freshman at Wichita State) yesterday and realized that he's almost finished with the first half of his freshman year.  How does this happen?  I went to bed early last night  reflecting on that question as I fell asleep.  I woke up this morning with an answer - BUSY.  Could the answer be that simple?  Have I been too busy to notice the trees show their glory?  Have I been too busy to notice that Matthew's school pants need the hem let out about 2"?  Have I been too busy to get the oil changed in the van even though the light has been blinking at me for a couple weeks?  Have I been too busy to greet you in the shop? Have I been too busy to give you the attention you deserve?

Busy has been robbing me of joy and friendship.  Busy is the cause of my anxious gut.  Enough! 

Since I'm pretty sure Busy is also robbing you of "me" time, I invite you to claim some "me" time this weekend.