The war on B&Ms!


Okay, it’s Saturday afternoon. Time to take a breather and have a serious virtual coffee klatsch moment.  Maybe even compose an afterword to last summer’s popular What Every Prospective Needlepoint Owner Should Know series.

Here goes.

Yesterday, I had a surprise visit from a needlepoint stitcher who drove up all the way from Broward county.

needlepoint turtle bagCori (not necessarily her real name!) traveled over 70 miles to see Needlepoint Land.  She came with her husband and toddler in tow. I soon learned she had been a big fan of the Needlepoint Land “legacy” blog.

I was so surprised and delighted and in the end really touched that she would drive over an hour just to see what little old Needlepoint Land was up to and discover who the person was behind that blog.

We talked about things needlepoint for a while, and had a really nice time. Then Cori left, but not before buying a Painted Pony bird house angel and some threads. She also special ordered another canvas. Thank you, Cori, for being such a loyal follower of my original blog!

Now some of you may remember when Needlepoint Land was just an idea floating in the ethersphere. I’m pleased to report that, at times, it had a respectable readership — at least in comparison to the attention and traffic it attracted when it first started out, which was zilch!

Though it was of course a pleasure to post on my old blog, which allowed me to stay in touch with the needlepoint world — having turned down an offer to stay on at a store that I managed, after it changed ownership — I did eventually sunset that blog, but not before an ill-advised experiment with some demented sign-up process. (For those readers interested in the full story of why the legacy blog was put to bed, I have reproduced one of my last posts in the old blog here. Password: needlepoint)

During the blog years, I scoured every mall and shopping arcade in a 20 mile radius for a suitable place to situate my B&M shop (which took about two years of searching).

save the earth


And I used the blog as a platform to express my passion for needlepoint, but also to opine (usually with a satirical bent, such as I’m doing here) on various things, as well as put up off-the-wall content like MTV style video needlepoint stitch guides.

Well, that was then — although I remain extremely partial to using new Internet technologies to display my canvases online in interestingly creative ways.

Now that Needlepoint Land is a B&M store, I have to attend to a million things, like lament all the canvases I want to buy for the store but don’t quite have the budget.

Which is why today functions mostly as a “catablog” — a catalog blog, where whatever you see is in the store, and not the usual online order now and it will be here in 6 to 8 weeks thingie.

More seriously (and I am half kidding!), I really only have the time to take pics and post them with some text these days, but occasionally think I should do more — reprise the halcyon days of yore, as it were, which were only 6 months or so ago.

I thought about Cori’s lamenting the shutting down of my old blog, and also about the ladies who attend my regular Wednesday afternoon Stitchomania event, as well as the stitchers who drop by randomly during the week, sometimes bringing homemade cookies, and maybe also buying some threads or what have you, and I also thought about those who just stop in to see what new canvases have come in or to hang out for a bit and gossip chat.


Why not? I wondered.  Why not write one like I did in the olden days.

war on bms - featuredHere goes (er, talk about long-winded intros; I must be losing my touch for writing succinctly), without further asides, except for this one last digression.

I could carry on about a disturbing (to some needlepoint store owners at least) but quite real trend that has — over the nearly 15 years I have been in the business — increasingly cannibalized the sales of local needlepoint stores across the country:  some doom and gloom piece with the Internet as the Darth Vader of LNSs; but that’s old news.

Who wants yesterday’s papers?

Nor am I going to bemoan the invisible alliances (you know who you are!) or lampoon those individuals and outfits that rent El Cheapo storage spaces in the hinterlands, amidst the floating desert tumbleweed, say, or those who just use their musty garages or flea-infested closets to store often yellowing needlepoint inventory of dubious provenance, and using the money saved by not having a B&M to SEO the heck out of their wares on Google, and sell these at online flea markets like eBay, or Amazon, and Etsy, all this without nary a mention that they are simply mail order outfits or stash recyclers.

What I do want to talk about is something else entirely.

Plaid bagQuite a few stitchers, I have noticed, go to a certain place (that I shall not mention here) on FB (by the way, Facebook can and will violate your privacy 6 ways to Sunday, without you even being aware of it — you did know that, right?!!!)*, to trade stash, offer finishing services directly instead of through a shop, and what have you.  Okay, fine; it’s a free country.  I’m cool with that.

However, many B&M owners do consider this and the other developments I just mentioned as nothing less than the end of needlepoint civilization as we know it, the slow descent into chaos and the malebolgean abyss, and gnash their teeth as they mutter darkly about the parasitic underbelly of the needlepoint industry, particularly when it comes to those individuals who plagiarize the designs of legitimate needlepoint artists and tout them on eBay and elsewhere as authentic, not to mention those designers who occasionally bypass shop owners and sell direct.

That’s not really my beef.  After all, not everyone has the good fortune of having a local needlepoint store nearby.  It’s okay. Really.

My beef — actually it’s my store parrot’s beef — is that a certain influential person whom he refers to as “Jehanne,” — also not necessarily her real name — yes, that Jehanne, has not mentioned Needlepoint Land on her blog or on FB in years, I mean, months. Talk about chilly receptions! Everyone here — especially said store parrot, who is one of her most avid readers — is wondering: what have we done to anger the Empress of Needlepoint, the doyenne of the online portal to all things needlepoint, the… oh you get the picture!

Let’s wrap things up.

hourglassIf you’re thinking of starting your own LNS someday, do read the link above titled “How it is.”

And if you’re planning on stitching a needlepoint canvas, and you think you might enjoy the experience of dropping by or spending time at an actual honest-to-goodness needlepoint store, please do find out if there is one near you, wherever you may live, pay it a visit soon, and maybe even buy a canvas and some threads.

Oh, and one other thing.

Not that this is going to matter one iota in the sands of time, but if you hear anything, do let me know on the Qt why Jehanne is giving my overly sensitive and perhaps even a tad paranoid parrot the silent treatment, the virtual brush off, wait a minute, I got it: the digital snub.

He would most definitely appreciate it!



* In case you are somehow unaware of the monstrous degree of spying and identity tracking (which of course leads to all kinds of serious security issues, privacy compromises, and possible venues for identity theft) that FB forces its users to endure, check out these pics that show what happened when I tried to log into FB using Tor, which is a reasonably secure way to surf the Internet anonymously


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Still think you are safe on FB?  If you use a mobile device to access Facebook, you might want to take a look at this (any attempt by the average user to try to understand all the various claims and counterclaims made by FB and Android smartphones developers results in nothing more that total confusion, leaving you holding the bag and not really knowing what’s going on — which is not really a good situation to be in, when it comes to your mobile device).  If these pics and this link do not conjure an Orwellian scenario in your mind, nothing will! But if you do feel the same way about FB as does the house parrot, there’s always the Facebook Like Detox extension you can add to your Chrome browser to remove “Like “buttons from whatever sites you visit. You can get FB Detox here.  😉


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