Thursday, May 23, 2019

Some Tips....

 ~ Greetings Dear Stitching Friends ~
Warm Welcome to you all!

On the latest Wednesday Chat on Fiber Talk, Gary and I discussed light and how important pounding light on your project is in order to see the fabric/pattern properly - especially for aging eyes.
LINKS to our May 23, 2019 Wednesday Chat:
We Talk Fiber Website: HERE also available on YouTube: HERE

Gary and I both (prior to our recording) talked about Mary Corbet's take on lighting. If you go to her website and search "lighting" she has had many entries on what her take is on the subject: the products she uses, ideas, gizmos, gadgets...  One fairly recent entry on Mary's website was last year and it is rather comprehensive and gives links to previous entries and product reviews she has done. HERE is the link.

During our on air talk Gary had me tell a story about how my "stitching nest" was enhanced by my husband this past 2019 Mother's Day.

First, I need to set up how my "nest" is situated in our bedroom (where I do the bulk of my stitching). I like to sit upright when I stitch. I have an over-sized chair and an ottoman for putting my feet up (the ottoman also has a hinged top and the bottom is storage -this is where I hide other patterns/designs/kits that I'm working on so that my husband doesn't know!). I sit in the corner and because of that fact, it is sort of dark back there. I have mounted on the wall beside my chair a framed piece of tin (purchased several years ago at Hobby Lobby) where I put lots of magnets. On my board are: my pattern(s) I'm currently working on, my pre-threaded needles for the project I'm working on, my Snag Nab-It  (it is held on board by magnet still inside the plastic sleeve it comes in), my BLT (I have it held on side of board with tape - you can't see it- inside the plastic tube it comes in), my Puffin and Co magnetic Ruler (very useful for using as a place keeper on a pattern!), my Puffin and Co micro needle threader (amazing!) and usually some needle minders that I put 26 and 28 size needles on that are in waiting for reloading. On top of the framed tin is a Puffin and Co wooden case where lots of needles are patiently waiting for when I lose/wear out a needle. Here is a photo of my chair/tin board set up:

So you likely are thinking what is the white goose neck light doing hanging down? Well...that's where this story is going...I have been struggling, as my eyes age (I'll be 49 in July) especially the last year.  I have to have cheaters on to read the symbols from the chart on the tin board and then flip them up to look through my magnifying LED lamp (more on that later). I seem to be constantly squinting and struggling. On Mother's Day I asked my husband if he could rig something up so that I could have light on my board. He went down to his basement area where he keeps all sorts of things that: A.) Vonna bought and it didn't work for her or B.) We bought for the kids and it didn't work for them. He came back up with this clip on light that I had bought for travel stitching and found it to be too heavy to clamp on my frame and it kept flipping off, etc. So I gave it to Keith and he put it in his cast off area. He drilled a hole in the base, and mounted it on the wall as you see above. I didn't mess with it while I was taking this picture, but I recall he also used a Command Strip  to hold it in place so that it doesn't wiggle or move. Once he had it mounted and plugged in I tapped the turn on button (it's touch activated) and when the light came on!
as you can see below:

I gave him a big 'ol kiss because: He just changed my life with one of my cast off purchases! Now this light was originally purchased on Amazon. HERE Amazon told me I purchased this March 28, 2016 - see it waited a long time in Keith's Vonna cast off products area. Now it is getting used nightly because it is PERFECT for this application!! 
The stitching nirvana has been achieved!

Next thing I'd like to talk about is my LED magnifier floor lamp. About 4 years ago I was having problems seeing linen - in any count. Looking back with experience now, I understand it was because of poor lighting...but at the time I purchased a cheap magnifying LED lamp just to see if it helped before I sunk big money into one. It worked and I could see so much better. So I began the hunt for a floor model for my stitching nest. I tried a very expensive Ott lamp and just wasn't satisfied with the size of the magnifying piece (which was not lit just on a goose neck arm extending from the main pole of the light). I searched for several months to find something better and finally settled on this LED Floor Lamp with lit magnifying glass from Bright Tech. I have used this lamp for 2 years and it is in a word FABULOUS! The glass is large, the LED lights surround the magnifying glass, it is easily adjustable to get the perfect set up for each individual. The base is wide and heavy so the lamp does NOT tip, and the whole pole easily rotates to swing it away from you when you have to get up. HERE is the link to the very one I purchased. NOTE: you have the option of purchasing the 3 diopter which is magnification at 1.75 OR the 5 diopter which is magnification at 2.25. I purchased the 3 diopter...but next time I'm moving up because you know OLD eyes. You can see how my little corner is now being pounded with light so that I can see all the counts on all the colors and all the particulars of my charts with nary a struggle. 

Now what about when I travel to retreats, etc. Well I usually drag this one with me (no kidding that's how much I love it) But Gary tells me that he just bought one called the Daylight Company Halo Lamp and he got it at The Attic so maybe give Jean a call and pick one up: HERE be sure to tell them that Gary and Vonna sent you :)

On the latest installment of Fiber Talk...Gary also announced that we (yes, he and I) will be stitching together (and featuring in our installments on our Fiber Talk shows and on Floss Tube stitch with us videos - I think...) The Queen's Sampler. Have you seen this beauty? If need to go RIGHT NOW to see Gary's video of it with Linda Vinson: on We Talk Fiber Website: HERE and on YouTube: HERE

Now I'm a little worried about this...and Gary is sort of dragging me kicking and screaming into this endeavor... Gary knows that if he challenges me that the competitive Vonna comes out (think: Sarah Brazier 1829) so....the order has been placed for the sourcing of all the materials, charts, threads, fabric at Sassy Jack's Stitchery and Kim is taking extraordinarily good care of us, as she always does! AND she is a sponsor of Fiber Talk!!! Thank you KIM!!! 
HERE is the link to SASSY JACK's  give Kim and her team a call and tell them to fix you up with all you need to stitch the Queen's Sampler! And don't forget to tell her Gary and Vonna sent you!

So Kim is gathering and sourcing all the items needed for The Queen's Sampler but, what I don't know is if there has been any sourcing for Vonna's sanity. Gary has gotten me into so much trouble (but it is good trouble, right?!) 
 Anyway...after ya'll watch the Linda Vinson Fiber Talk Video with Gary...(I've watched it around 8 times now...likely to watch it 5000 times more once this project gets underway) go listen to yesterday's Wednesday Chat with Gary and I (links above) if you decide that THIS is too good to pass up...because my understanding is we will work on it as a group sort of supporting and helping each other along the way (The good Lord knows I'm gonna need all the help I can get!) 
If ya'll decide you want to jump right in along with us (in the hot water..ha ha ha!) the links have all been provided above to call Sassy Jack's Stitchery.

Well I'm thinking that's enough right now to get ya'll started to tricking out your Stitching Nest... I mean we've covered lighting, chart holding, accoutrements, gadgets, gizmos, magnification and craziness....

I am SO enjoying my stitching life....thanks to my good friends I have made within the stitching community!
Thank YOU for being my friends and nurturing my crazy :)
Until next time...
hugs and love in stitches,
Vonna xxxx


  1. Vonna, you will like the Halo Light if you get one. It takes up minimal space. Most of the ladies at the retreat I attend in Williamsburg have them; Mom and I ended up getting them after trying it out at one of the retreats. Thanks for sharing all the tidbits that make your stitching easier!

  2. What a great stitching corner you have created, Vonna. The framed tin is a feature that I haven't seen before. Very creative and functional! Do you watch tv, movies, YouTube, or anything while you stitch?

  3. Vonna,thank you so much for all of your recommendations. I will be asking for that magnifying light as a gift soon. I really can't see any stitching at night at all. My 59 year old eyes are having trouble. It is amazing how they change as we age. I didn't have a problem till about a year ago. I love your stitching area by the way. I have yet to really trick out a specific area, but I am eyeing my daughter's old room.

  4. Thanks to your recommendation, I now have a Bright Tech light also - stitching is more enjoyable for me than it has ever been. I LOVE IT. :)

  5. I love your NEST! You always give me new ideas and keep me excited about my stitching! Thank you‼️♥️

  6. You let me know if you source some sanity! Haha! I need it with all the online shopping I've done this week! :)

  7. Oh my ~ I had started gathering all that was needed to do The Queen's Sampler almost a year ago but then got scared as parts some will be quite challenging. I even purchased a used copy of Darleen O'Steen's The Proper Stitch to help me along. An recently, I was able to purchase Linda's stitch guide for it so now I have no excuses to not start.

    Thank you for all the info on lighting and I look forward to seeing you work on the The Queen's Sampler!

  8. Vonna, I love how Gary has enriched your life. I agree with you about watching the Queen’s Sampler. No doubt this will be extraordinarily helpful to you.

    I’ve listened to every FiberTalk interview/show on Sarah at least twice and have watched the Attic video with Gary, Jean Lea and Jaquie’s model of Sarah three times. It has made a huge difference—especially when the centerfold wasn’t big enough.

    Now, for the dancing turkeys . . . I’ve decided they both had near escapes with jet engines. Both are down to a single leg. And, sheesh, those wings 😳. Nearing the end as you soon will be (Step awaaaaay from the date). Judy

  9. Thanks for sharing this. I like to see the working areas of others. There is always something to learn!

  10. good luck with the Queen and you seem to be moving along with Sarah Brazier. I have it but haven't done much. A few of my friends have bought that Daylight light you referred to. I think it's the one Nicola uses too. Enjoy your Fiber Talks when I have time to listen - Mel


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