Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tools of the Trade...

I am over-the-moon excited about two new tools I recently purchased.  I tend to tape and staple a lot of canvases at home and obviously I have to remove a lot of projects from stretcher bars when complete. I have tried about three different staple removers and they are woefully inadequate - and sometimes painful.  I especially hate it when you slip and almost scrape or tear your stitching trying to get the silly staples off!  I am constantly looking for "good" ones to no avail until now.  Recently, I've even been having trouble with my staple gun pinching my hand while compressing the trigger.  I've said some pretty ugly curse words lately and besides being an unbecoming habit, pain and cursing just shouldn't have to go hand-in-hand with lovely needlepoint, am I right?
Most folks would not associate this picture with a needlepointer's work table, but I know that you guys get it...

I am super stoked to tell you about these two new products that I purchased on I actually LOVE them! 
This new ergonomic staple gun is powerful and easy to use.  I have some arthritis in my fingers and thankfully this gun compresses easily and best of all, it does not pinch me!   It sells for about $12 which I know is higher than the bargain brands, but oh this one is much better....truly.  Here is the link on amazon if you'd like to check it out:

The only thing I've noticed is that you have to be sure to keep the stapling tip forward and flat against the surface in order for the staple to go all the way in and rest flat and deep.  It's just a retraining fine when  you get the hang of it.  But until then, the handy-dandy hammer works like a charm to set the staples so that they are nice and smoothly imbedded. 
My favorite find is this amazing staple removing tool that is marketed for removing upholstery staples.   It is so comfortable and strong and makes such quick work of clearing my stretcher bars.  It's crazy to get so excited over a tool like this, but seriously, I am SO EXCITED!

The rectangle piece behind the tip toggles as you slide it under a staple to "grab" it.  This little goodie is very ergonomic and easy on the hands...large and curved to fit in the hand so comfortably.  And it's strong...takes very little effort to pull the staple up....AMAZING! 
It sells for about $18 which seems like a lot but now that I have it, I would pay's soooooooooo worth it!  Here is the link  for this lovely little needlepoint gadget:
I'd love to find or invent a perfect tool caddy/container for needlepoint tools.  I don't like using my project bags for that and the bags marketed for "tools" are generally just an open catch-all type of bag - what a mess...I really want one that has cool compartments for these things.   Perhaps even a roll-up that you can just lay out on the counter, unroll, and have all tools handy.....hammer, stapler, staples, tape roll, pliers, etc.  Right now I tend to just throw it all in a junk drawer near my work surface and that's a hot mess, too!  Maybe I need to sew something up for this....stay tuned for that. 
Sometimes it doesn't take much to get us all worked up and tickled pink about needlepoint contraptions, but these take the cake!  Happy stitcher here...hopefully a lot less cussin' in my future...LOL. 
What's your favorite tool?   If you have a goodie for us, share it in the comments!


Catherine Stroup said...

Suzanne - I almost didn't write this....because you have such beautiful new equipment. Have you tried the regular tacks you can get at a needlepoint store? They are similar to thumb tacks, but the ones i have seen are in gold tone. They are easy to push into the wood (although I don't know if arthritis would bother that) and they come with a little plastic tool for removal. The tool works quite a little lever or a little back to a hammer. I've never tried staples, but love my tacks. And I know how you like to reuse things....the tacks sometimes get bent, but usually, they can be reused. Catherine

Suzanne said...

Thanks, Catherine! Yes, I have some tacks but honestly I don't care for them. I know so many people that love them and use them all the time successfully but they don't work well for me....I seem to get my thread all caught up in them and they come loose. I guess I'm tough on my pieces while I stitch...LOL Occassionally I will use them on small pieces or with my larger evertights, but I guess I'm just a staple girl. At least I won't be frustrated with the removal anymore...woohoo!