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denkyem

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About denkyem

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    Emily
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    Canada

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  1. Coming back to hit "reply" to you all to make sure you see this information (above) re: no Itsy Bitsy Mini papers actually being discontinued! Cheers, Emily
  2. Ok, got some clearer information on this situation from Grace at virtualdollhouse.net: "A couple more notes on Itsy Bitsy wallpaper. Itsy Bitsy wallpaper is never discontinued unless there is a conflict with someone saying they own that particular design. I know that did happen to Nhu at one time and rather than argue with the person that she had designed the papers which were very similar to this other persons design, she did discontinue those patterns. Other than for that reason, Itsy Bitsy papers are never discontinued. So if another dollhouse store says they are discontinued, they mean “at their store.” Not that you can’t get them anymore. Nhu does not stock the papers. She prints them up as they are ordered so she never discontinues them. She may not have them on her website but they are still available. Virtual Dollhouse & Miniatures and Itsy Bitsy have joined together to offer all her wallpapers. Itsy Bitsy has taken some off her site but they are still available through Virtual Dollhouse & Miniatures site. All Itsy Bitsy Wallpaper available through Virtual Dollhouse & Miniatures. http://www.virtualdollhouse.net" Hope that's helpful to some of you! Cheers, Emily
  3. Hi folks, I'm seeing this very belatedly as I've been on a bit of a dollhouse hiatus which was in fact prompted out of frustration because of an itsy bitsy minis wallpaper problem! I foolishly started wallpapering a room with just the perfect paper before realizing I didn't have enough. Tried to buy more through my local store where I'd just bought the original pieces, and they told me it was discontinued. Then searched the internet throughly until I found six sheets in stock at DBJ minis. I ordered three for delivery to the hotel my partner was working out of in the states at the time (to save on postage to Canada), only to have USPS lose them in transit. Asked for the other three, and these ones were delivered to the hotel, and then lost by the concierge! No fault of the wonderful seller but it was very frustrating, and then they didn't have any more to send me. After taking some time away from dollhouse-ing to have a fun summer, I decided to give my wallpaper one last google search before getting out the scraper and picking something new, and that's when I found the Virtual Dollhouse folks. They had a couple pieces in stock, but also said they could easily order more. When I said I thought it was discontinued, the owner told me "NO ITSY BITSY PAPER IS DISCONTINUED. They may not be in stock but nothing is discontinued because Nhu prints them as needed". So now I have no idea what's going on and if papers are getting discontinued or not, but Grace at Virtual Dollhouse does seem to think she can provide any paper Itsy Bitsy has ever produced. Emily
  4. I'm fortunate to have interesting work that feels important (managing higher education programs for students living in refugee camps), but it's only about 5% glam international travel -- the other 95% is spreadsheets and reports and endless conference calls at my desk in Toronto!
  5. An update: I started my needlework project a couple weeks before I left, and immediately found I really enjoy it. I'm following a very simple repeating geometrical pattern of my own design made with colours carefully chosen to match the room where it's going. Now I've been abroad since the 22nd and am so pleased I have this with me. I didn't work on it on my flights (turned out to be a bit impractical -- long haul with lights out for much of the trip, and I was happy just to read and watch movies) but I've been doing a little in my hotel room each evening at the end of my long days, and I find it's really relaxing me and making me happy :). I'm not tallying hours as some of you do (I think I've seen Bree post hour counts?) but I do know I'm well over 10,000 stitches now. I'm currently doing some very challenging work in a remote and somewhat difficult (and extremely hot) part of Kenya, and I think this needlework is doing a lot to help me preserve my sanity!
  6. I asked for advice on mini projects to take traveling, and got some great suggestions for needlework projects. So, off I went to Michaels to get myself set up for that. I thought I'd start the project just to see how it went... and now I'm obsessed and can't stop! So, all the electrifying and wallpapering and so on I was doing on the house have been on hold while i needlepoint what will be a living room rug. The trip I bought this stuff for doesn't even start for two weeks. Oops. I had a bit of a crisis recently where I wallpapered two of three walls in the downstairs hallway with a paper I loved but hadn't bought enough of (i knew this was a bad idea but couldn't hold myself back). Then I tried to get more from my dollhouse store, and they'd run out. They looked in to getting more and it had been discontinued! Luckily I was able to find it online at DBJ, and as my partner's currently spending several days week in the states on a consultancy I was able to have it shipped to his usual hotel, which saves me lots of $$ on shipping to Canada. So, hopefully next week that will come home with him and I'll be able to finish papering the hallway and start thinking about installing the stairs.
  7. I grabbed a needle threader in a sewing kit at the convenience store, but it broke within about ten minutes, leading me to this hack: http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Your-Own-Needle-Threader/. I cut a piece of dollhouse roundwire about 4 inches long, stripped off the insulation on a couple inches of it, and bent and twisted one of the resulting strands in to a loop (left it attached to the rest of the insulated wire as a handle). It works great and is slimmer than the storebought needle threader. If I break one, I can just bend over another filament from the bundle.
  8. I suppose I'm included in that group! I am in fact an (older) "millennial". Just one who is really enjoying needlecraft at the moment :).
  9. My grandmother started to teach me when I was that age too (mostly just chain stitch and blanket stitch and backstitch on felt -- I made quite a lot of napkin rings which are still in the drawer of my parents' sideboard!) but when she wasn't visiting there was no-one to show me how to do things or set up projects, so I guess I dropped it. Handling embroidery floss again has me thinking again about all she taught me when I was little. When she visited us before she had arthritis her fingers were always busy with knitting or mending or hemming something, and i can so vividly picture her sewing bag which was always within arms reach. She used to set us up with the best little crafts -- like making "pocket teddies". I'm sure much of my ongoing fondness for making things with my hands comes from her. Now my seven year old quasi-niece (cousin's kid I'm close to) is obsessed with knitting. All kids that age should have an opportunity to try these things!
  10. Thanks so much for continuing to answer all my questions, Holly! Really, really appreciate your expertise and helpfulness
  11. Holly, I had read that with half cross-stitch there was more likely to be distorting of the fabric -- I gather you don't find that's a problem? I just saw that that "eye of the lark" idea (what a weird term!) somewhere else today, and it's going to be so helpful. The way this pattern is designed I'll be stitching several small motifs one at a time on to the fabric and then filling in lots of background afterwards, so generally when I start a section there won't be any nearby stitches around for me to run the thread under. As I do this I've been reminded that I actually did have a past experience with needlepoint. When I was about seven, someone gave me a kids' needlepoint kit of a cartoony elephant on a very wide canvas. Nobody showed me how to do it, so i think I just tried to figure it out for myself. I now realize that I probably worked it in half cross-stitch one way and tent the other way, because I remember the back had alternating different rows. I also ran out of the wool that came with the kit when I was about half way done. I ended up giving up on the whole thing after hours and hours of work. It was fun for a while and then so discouraging! I wouldn't be surprised if it's still stuffed in a box in my parents' attic. Oh, a follow-up question on the hoop: Can I use a hoop that's smaller than the area I'm ultimately going to be embroidering? I mean, can completed embroidery be drawn through between the rings of the hoop or will that wreck it?
  12. denkyem

    new fireplace 2.jpg

    I really like this! Great solution using what you have on hand. Is the fire an LCD screen or something?
  13. It's snowing here! For the third time since the weekend! Big fat flakes falling steadily with about an inch accumulated so far this morning. It looks like it's January out there. I am not impressed.
  14. Thanks everyone for all the great advice. After some further thought, I've decided to wait on doing a Persian-style rug for the dining room, and will start with a simple contemporary geometric rug for the living room. I think what I have in mind will be a bit more forgiving of the lumps and uneven stitches that are bound to happen in a first project. I had an aesthetic and a color palette in mind, but couldn't find what I wanted, so I made my own chart after all! It's a very simple repeating geometric pattern inspired by a RL rug I found online, but adapted enough that it's definitely original. I went to Michaels last night and grabbed some thread, needles, 28 count Monaco and a hoop. I was in a rush as the store was closing and I wish I hadn't forgotten to get a needle threader, but at least it was enough to get started. I got myself set up last night and did a couple hours of stitching. I'm using continental stitch with 2 threads (is that the same as tent?) and although I'm definitely making lots of beginner errors and having to unpick things due to pattern mistakes and snarled threads, I do think my pattetn's going to look pretty good, and I can see this is going to be quite easy and very addictive! I'm going to try to grasp basket weave stitch for background fill-ins, but will wait on that for a while. i got a fairly big hoop (maybe 12 inches across?) but think it may be a bit awkward for travel. My finished piece should be around 8x10. Should I get a smaller hoop for travel and only stretch one part of the pattern at a time? Or maybe try working without a hoop on the road? Thanks all!
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