The first thing I had to remember was that I wasn’t in Eugene for the needlework. I was there to get rid of stuff, not collect more!
You see, I moved to North Carolina 15 years ago. Subconsciously I never really expected to stay, despite boyfriend and shiny new job! that said, the boyfriend became my husband, the job lasted almost 10 years, we bought a house and land, and I’ve been in North Carolina for 15 years and 4 cats now. The storage unit has sat there with money poured at it every month for 19– there were some fits and starts before I moved entirely!
But, I expected to be back. Oregon is in my heart. While I learned to stitch in Seattle, Eugene is where I became serious about it. Itls where I taught myself to knit, met Mindy of Mindy’s Needlepoint Factory (she’s the one who encouraged me to go into designing!), and was first introduced to weaving, crochet and historical reenacting.
So my storage unit was full of fabric. Fabric I passed on to a dear friend who is starting to make small bags for sale. And a couple embroidery projects that had suffered from their long stay. Those went, too.
There were a couple of treasures – an embroidered gown I created for my time in the SCA. That will never fit again – I brought it home anyway. I will repair the small tears and donate it to the now-local re-enactors as a loaner gown for winter events. It’s wool, and got me through many a cold winter. Also there was my first real embroidery design – designed and stitched by me in third grade when I was a whopping 8 years old. I’ll share this piece next week!
Mindy’s Needlepoint Factory & Shop
And there was Mindy’s. I intended a trip because I’m planning a Briton (Glazig) embroidery project by PetiteCoeurAMoi on Etsy (her tutorials are all in French, but thorough), and needed number 12 pearl cotton. But I wanted to see the Valdani thread before I bought it. So I bought four balls of that, drooled over Mindy’s newest designs, and wished I could win the lottery and spend my days stitching with all the wonderful supplies on display!
Mindy’s is still in the renovated 5th Street Market, now upstairs in a space a bit larger than I remember. She has expanded her offerings since I last visited, as well.
A full half of the shop is now devoted to wonderful clothing. There are oversized, hand embroidered shirts, leggings made from bamboo (sadly, one size fits “all”), and other cool stuff in multiple sizes.
The wall above the cash register is filled with her designs. I fell instantly in love with at least 3 canvasses, which cost about $120 each (all handpainted). She is now carrying freestyle embroidery kits, and we had a nice chat about how the younger generation is stitching more freestyle surface embroidery than cross stitch o needlepoint. This actually makes me happy – I’m glad to see the new creativity exploding. And it was nice to hear a shop owner express something I’ve thought I was seeing.
I would have been happy to go home with one of everything – thread, scissors, patterns, and clothing items! But I restrained myself and stuck to just the four balls of pearl cotton I intended to get! Be proud of me.
In the end, I kept myself from visiting Harlequin Beads and Soft Horizons Yarn, mostly because I KNEW I’d want to buy everything in the stores! I brought home 9 boxes of books, photographs, my grandmother’s crystal, and miscellaneous treasures that included the bobbins and flywheels for my spinning wheel, as well as one pair of old pointe shoes from my ballerina days… One old drawn thread project that isn’t finished (I decided I really like it and want to finish it) a couple yards of miscellaneous fabric, and my cherished 4 balls of Valdani pearl cotton!
Also, if anyone wants/needs a good piano, my grandmother’s 48 inch Mahogany Ivers & Pond upright is for sale. It IS still in Eugene, Oregon, but if you leave a comment or email me I’ll be happy to tell you about it and put you in touch with people who can get you in to see it and arrange for you to pick it up!
Have you ever had to make hard choices about heirlooms to keep? What did you ultimately decide?