Hand painted canvas needlepoint, like most other things to do with our hobbies, tend to become collections. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else.
I am a great collector of other things (china swans, milk glass, rose bowls, little boxes, etc.) but for a long time, it had never even occurred to me to apply the thrill of hunting and searching to my stash of hand painted canvas needlepoint.
Yes, my stitching and purchasing of needlepoint does have some themes. I’ve made Christmas ornaments for years (This is thanks to my husband who suggested it when he felt overwhelmed by pillows) and especially black cat and mini-sock ornaments. But mostly I buy things I like without rhyme or reason.
But having a theme to additions to your hand painted canvas needlepoint stash is a great idea. You can look at every shop you visit for designers and designs which fit your theme. Free patterns on the Internet can be another search. You can look for chart packs or line drawings with your theme.
The thrill of the hunt is a much unappreciated delight for stitchers. And if you want thrills, go onto on-line auctions looking for handpainted canvas needlepoint, stitched or unstitched, in your theme. I will never forget how totally delighted I was when, looking around eBay one Sunday, I found a teapot canvas I had not bought when I first saw it. Shortly after that it was no longer made. I thought I had lost it forever.
One great way to make your eBay searching easier is to use the saved searches. You have to be registered in eBay to do this.
Enter a search term in the area you want to collect.
Do the search.
You might need to refine it to make the results a reasonable amount. Do this by using the “advanced search” link and limit your options by excluding words, limiting price or whatever.
Ask eBay to send you email when the items are found.
That’s it. eBay will send you notices daily whenever things are found.
So how do you decide what to collect? You might consider a particular type of hand painted canvas — mini-socks, standing figures, nutcrackers. You might want to concentrate on a particular designer (I’ve done 17 canvases designed by Mika Partridge and have three more in my stash). You might want to look at a theme or particular kind of object, perhaps teapots. Finally you might want to go with a particular style, Art Deco maybe or Victorian, and buy only canvases which fit that style.
My current obsession is with the hand painted canvas mini-socks from In Good Company. I’ve stitched about 24 of them, maybe more, in the past and I’ve been buying them on eBay pretty regularly for the last couple of years. So far, I’ve added about twenty to my stash, including some I’d never seen. They will keep me happily stitching for years.
Once you’ve made up your mind on your themes, then go out and hunt. Buy hand painted canvas needlepoint which fits your theme. Look for kits or stitched needlework in the theme at thrift stores and garage sales. Best of all when you go to get something from your stash to stitch, you will always have something which matches. And, at least in my house, this is a powerful incentive to get something framed or finished.