Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Great Weekend with Betsy Morgan....

Yes we are in Betsy Morgan mode today with our annual finish class taking place right now and then the new classes start tomorrow. (obviously this posted started last week.)  My dear friend Paola arrived on Monday at 2:45 and we've been hanging out since.  So much fun and she brought me a birthday present....whoppee .  First picture is the back of this dear sweet needlebook....

  
then you see the front of the needlebook and the little doll tucked inside the box with it

The inside





then the box it all came in....a small candy box that looks like a little book...a gift within a gift

Thank you Paola for such a lovely gift....stitched on 52 ct. linen (can you imagine?)  Paola's stitching is unbelievable, especially as she stitches on 52 ct. a lot, in fact I feel safe in saying she using stitches on counts above 40 ct.  Beautiful stitching and beautiful finishing.  Just a pleasure to have her here and just so much fun to be with.  

And two new finishes for the week....
Festive Fobs-Americana Edition from Heartstring Samplery
As many of you are well aware (sometimes I do go on too much), I love this series of which there are many.  But this is one of my favorites to date (I think I've said that before as well.)  Anyway, I stitched it on 32 ct. Antique White linen...over 1.  I did use the recommended threads (shocking I know), and instead of finishing it as a pincushion and a fob, as I have done in the past,  I'm crazy right now for the hornbook finishing (so easy) so I decided to finish it that way.  And I had the decorative ribbon in my stash and hadn't been able to use it before so I threw that in.  I just think these little samplers are too cute for words, even if that isn't what Beth  designed them to be.  In case you aren't familiar, Beth designed these motifs to be used on pinkeeps, fobs, strawberries, everything but a sampler.  But she shows them all together in a square which when I saw one of the charts, for the first time trying to decide which pieces I was going to stitch,  decided they looked cute all together...hence my mini samplers.  Takes no time to stitch, just a couple of days and of course an easy finish.  

Now the second finish is also an over 1 piece...Brenda Gervais, With Thy Needle and Thread's Holiday Hoopla-4th of July

This is a picture of the metal box which I wrapped with a patriotic ribbon and then glued the American flag to the front (thrilled to be able to use that ribbon again)

This is the design on the top of this box,  which I framed with red rick rack.  Stitched over 1 on 32 ct. Vint. Blue Whisper linen,  using threads recommended,  except I stitched the 4 in Balger Blue Metallic #4 Braid and the fireworks on the top are done in Balger #4 gold braid.  An easy 2 day stitch and an easy finish.  Love it.  The beard on the original was done with Rainbow Gallery Wisper, but stitching this over 1 wasn't sure that Wisper would have worked, I don't think, so I just satin stitched the beard.  I have loved both of these Holiday Hooplas.  Easter was so cute with a little bunny I have this in my stash but didn't have time before Easter to get it done...I'll get it finished for 2020 though.  And I have become obsessed with the tin box I attached it to.  Brenda had kits made up for Nashville which I showed finished a blog post or two before.  I'm so obsessed with them I'm going to be doing these for every holiday and then some.  The designs only have to be 59 stitches or less to fit.  Anyway, not only do they make a cute ort box, but for a little gift box for a stitcher filled with packs of needles, needle threader, little pair of scissors, etc.  Or perhaps a gift card to their favorite store.  Anyway, expect to see more and more of these.  And we carry the tin boxes in the store so I can do one whenever I want.  





















It just feels great to completely finish the projects as I get them done.  I ordered a carton of Crescent mat board for backing so I never run out and I have a case of the tin boxes at home, so I'm good to go there, I've ordered a point setter so I don't have to get to the shop to use that one....now if only I could find the bolt of interfacing I purchased several years ago so I would never ran out....I should have known sooner or later I'd lose it (an entire bolt so it's not little but leave it to me to do it.)  Anyway, I'm having a good time this week.  I rested up all last week and my ankle is finally feeling better.  The sharp pains are a thing of the past and as long as I keep off it a day now I can bounce back with just an ache in the ankle.  So I'm well on the road to recovery....Thank you Jesus!  Renee on the other hand had a much tougher road than I did, and was in the hospital for several weeks but finally came home about 10 days ago and was in the shop soon after.  She looks a little weaker but other than that she looks great.  (I was home resting but Sara called me to let me know she's up and walking.)  So I was thrilled with that news.  I can't believe these are the golden years....but at least I'm on this side of the dirt.  Anyway, hope you are all well and stitching on vacation.  For those of you who have to work....I feel your pain (now that we are going to 2 shifts Sara has called me in.)  I'm much better off, of course, because I can stitch at work, but I'll be thinking about those of you who can't.
There was one more finish which I forgot to show you in the last post....With Thy Needle & Thread Thread, "Strawberries & Stripes".   While Brenda designed this to be used with a peat pot, I found this cute 2" round opening flower pot which was  than 3"tall in my laundry room, which I used (not sure why I purchased it since I don't garden, but I was thrilled to find a use for it    Stitched the design over 1 on 28 ct. linen and as the design was small, approx. 54 stitches by 54 stitches it became a fast stitch and the finish is relatively simple.  While Brenda added a handle to her pot, I think it makes a cute pin cushion without any handle.  Looks like a flower to me.  Love it!
   



And I can't sign off without giving you another update on my ankle injury.  I am thrilled to tell you that I am now well on the road to recovery.  I rested the foot, ankle, leg for 4 days prior to Paola's arrival hoping I'd be able to join Paola several times.  The Wednesday before she arrived I was not in the best of shape so I was a bit concerned how I would do.  However, when I got up the morning of her arrival I was thrilled to see that the pain was greatly relieved and I was able to get around O.K. this whole week.  The fact that I can get around without excruciating pain is so thrilling for me and for a while I thought I was never going to get free of it.  But, I'm slowly giving up the wheelchair at home (don't use it anywhere else) and trying to get rid of the canes...but baby steps, baby steps for now.  Renee is also out of the hospital, finally, and while she's a little weaker at the moment, she did come up to the shop a couple of weeks ago and Sara said she looked amazing.  So we are both doing really well.  Sara helped me home last night, all though I was on my scooter so I told her not to bother, but anyway, when I was preparing to park the scooter in the garage she got a little too close and I ran over her foot, so now Sara has an injury.  Unfortunately she can't take time off so when I checked this morning she informed  me it hurt but she was out and about getting things done.  Oops, sorry Sara.  Have a great week, stay hydrated, out of the direct sun as much as possible and try to get a little time working on your projects.  

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Having good days again, but in a stitching hole....


Yes, I'm feeling much better as long as I take pain meds, however my stitching is being hampered because I can't seem to finish the block on my Shore of Hawk Run Hollow (my challenge piece).  This is so tragic as I loved working on this piece when I started it years ago and I'm sure if I hadn't lost it I would have finished it in good order.  But several years later, half finished I'm not so thrilled anymore and there are so many projects piled up on my table that I want to  do now and yet I have to plow through this.  Well maybe since I'm feeling better I'll get more done.  In the meantime, I did finish several pieces, some that were sitting here for a few months.  So a big Whoppe for finally getting these off my table.

This is called Easter Sampler and comes in a kit.  I absolutely love the designer, Kelly Clark who I only knew her from her needlepoint designs, as I have a couple of canvases from her.  So I was thrilled when she came out with counted cross stitch.  This was from 2018 which is the first time she came out with a line.  This year she came out with the cutest Easter Eggs, but I felt i had to start here.  While I normally stitch on linen, I decided to stay true to the kit so no one would be confused on what's in the kit.  The kit includes 18 ct. linen, floss, chart and a needle.  When the stitching was done framing became an issue because I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted.  The model is shown finished in a country white frame so I asked West End Frames for a basic white frame which they questioned because I seldom if ever go there...but I held on to just basic white.   However, when I got it home I just couldn't deal with so much white, aida and frame.  So then I was going to embellish the frame, but couldn't come up with anything I liked with it.  I was creating the tags for the event next weekend so I was in scrap paper hell, when I took the frame and started testing different paper on it and voila....I found the perfect solution for this piece.  I decoupaged scrapbook paper on to the frame and it really is so cute.  So I'm sure I'll be doing this again with something.  Once I was done with that it was game on for the other pieces.  Next up was a Shamrock piece that was suppose to be done for St Patrick's Day.  Again, I thought I was going to finish it as a small pincushion, but couldn't make up my mind.  Then I was going to hang it on the front of a basket filled with shamrocks.  But I waited to long and gave the basket to someone filled with Easter candy.  But I came up with a perfect solution anyway.  
I like using hornbooks because it's an easy finish plus it gives you height in a display so your display will have pin cushions down low and then for height hornbooks...different levels always makes displays look more interesting, I think.  Anyway, this is "Basket o' Luck" from the Pineberry Lane's, "Little Shamrocks" chartpack.  Needless to say it was a quick stitch and a quick finish using just a green/white check fabric and Lady Dot rick rack.  Initially I was going to finish this more permanently but when I was testing the hanger length I decided to just hang it and that way the hornbook  becomes reusable for the different months or occasions.  Here I used the colors shown on the chart.  Fabric was a scrap piece of antique white colored linen.  And then since I was working with hornbooks, I decided to finish the 





"Year of Celebration" June, from Hands on Design.  At this rate I have faith I will actually finish the entire series (something I think every time I start a series and seldom ever complete).   This has been my favorite so far.  Love the blues and reds (something tells me I'm going to love July's as well) however, I did make a couple of changes in color.  I wanted more of a red, red so I used WDW Liberty, and then I thought the sandcastle was a little dark for our sand in Ocean City, so I used WDW Sand for that and I used the Terra Cotta for the starfish in place of the white.  In my bead stash I had the turq. starfish which I used on the magnet.  I had considered using a real starfish since we sell them in the Shell Stocked, but they are also delicate and sometimes my models in the shop get bumped and fall on the floor and the real starfish will break. The final finish for the week and month is another piece done for over a month, With Thy Needle & Thread's "Quaker Sewing Tray"


While I haven't done it yet, I'm going to do a fob, needle keep and perhaps a couple of other pieces to go with this by taking motifs out of the sampler.  It was an easy stitch which I did on 32 ct. Wren linen using the recommended threads.  The glitch for me on this was the painting of the tray, which is sold as a three pack of trays, this is the smallest, then the next size would need a 6 1/4  x 6 1/4 design and the largest would take a 7 1/4 x 7 1/4 swaifn.  So  While it may be daunting to find that the trays are only sold in a pack of 3, the other sizes will be easy to find designs that fit, plus you can always do a smaller design and use wool as a mat under a smaller design and it would still look great.  Anyway, I didn't have the called on Barn Red for painting but I had red and black.  I must have about 5 coats of paint on this as while I only used a few drops of blackpaint in the red it was always too dark.  In the end, the last coat I just added red and called it a day.  But I think it looks good with the mix.  After it was done and the design inserted I realized one corner was a little too red and thought I'd fix it,  only I got the red on the stitched piece so I sad the hell with it.  Looks good enough and when I get the smalls int here I'll make sure they are in the corner so it doesn't show, plus the mark on the linen in down on the side so you really don't notice it.    Since I was on such a roll, this morning I pulled out the Pastoral Sampler by Drawn Thread which was finished (stitching only) in 2016.  I attached the wool, sewed on some beads and was very impressed with myself and then I goofed when I read the directions for finishing , which makes no sense since I had blocked this out according to the directions, and when I went to cut off excess linen on the top and bottom read three times before cutting and then the sides I read 16 threads out from the last stitch, only I think it meant not from the stitch but from the  basted line so I think I've cut too short on the sides.  I have 1/2 inch on each side so I know I can finish it, but it's taken the wind out of my sails now and I'm on the computer whining about it.  I'll pull up my big girl pants eventually and finish it.  I just need time to get over my mistake.  Or course I'm also working on a few pieces  My most recent is Festive Fobs- Americana Edition.  I should have it done in a few days and I'm loving it, as I have all of these Festive Fobs.  I've also worked on the Plum Street Heritage Sampler, but it's no where near completion.  Perhaps I'll be able to show it in 2020.  As for my October challenge piece, I've gotten a reprieve.  Jan Hartman was in Ocean City about a week ago and we met at the hotel and discussed our pieces.  When I asked how she was doing, She's working on A Summer Place by Cross Eyed Cricket.  She too is struggling.  So after deliberating, after all this is suppose to be fun, challenging at times, but still enjoyable, we decided to move our finish date to 2020, however, the challenge is still on somewhat in that we know where each of us is at this point and by October 2019 we have to show progress, so I'm still working on mine as is Jan, but it's not a life or death stitch so I can somewhat enjoy working on it when I do.  I plan to stitch on it a couple of times a week and perhaps I can hopefully finish at least 8 of the blocks, out of the total of 12.    Now I had 3 all done, 1which is 3/4 done, one I have to rip out as it was half done but I don't remember what the colors were and I don't see anything that matches it in the bag of threads I found, so I have to begin this block again.  I'm working on the 2 center blocks in the middle of the 2nd row and there is one other block to do there and the 4 blocks on the bottom, one of which I'm changing, have to be done.  So there is plenty to do here.  Fingers crossed I pick up speed.  We both had the complaint of too much of white needs to be done.  I'm working on the sails of a ship and her beach cottage is all white.  So I have the better part of the white battle, but ugh, it doesn't make me feel any better.  I love monochrome designs, but just blocks of white is so uninteresting.  But if I do a little everyday I shall finish this once and for all and what a good feeling that will be.  I've been geariug up for the next event, Betsy Morgan's weekend, next weekend, so tags are ready and now I just have to do the cookies.  I haven't turned on my a/c yet so I've been holding off dealing with that, but today could be the day I give in.  I've also been resting my foot so hopefully I'll be in better shape to help out at the shop.  I've been worthless there up to this point and Sara isn't very excited about me being there getting in the way, so I've gladly stayed home and rested my ankle.  This is the first week where I've experienced several days of relatively pain free moments.  I've slowly let go of the meds and at this point since I've run out of Motrin I'm only taking Tylenol's once or twice a day.  I'm so excited to be getting better, although a big help I think is the fact that I still use the wheelchair at home.  And of course to get to the shop I have the mobility scooter which I love.  So I'm going to end here and see what the day brings.  Hope everyone has a lovely weekend and I pray you get to put a few stitches into your projects.  Talk to you soon. 


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Summer is right around the corner and our temps are rising....

Last weekend was one of the car weekends in Ocean City, so we had a lot of car people in town and the sun was out so there were people everywhere,  however what I find so amazing about these car weekends is.....the number of people that take their beach chairs and head for the main streets, Baltimore Ave., and Philadelphia or Beach Highway, where they sit for hours watching the cars go by.  As I witness, this each time they are in town,  I think how extraordinary it is when 100 feet away, in the case of Baltimore Ave.,  is the Atlantic Ocean, which is one of nature's amazing spectacles, yet here are so many within walking distance of the ocean watching cars drive by on the highway.   But of course, we are always thrilled to have the car enthusiasts in town and the business they bring and they are certainly welcome to sit and watch anything they want, but it always makes me ponder.   Summer can't be far away as the temperature is climbing every week,  and we're ready to welcome it with open arms.  I'm busy getting models done for the shop...and I'm thrilled to say I found the challenge piece and I wasn't as far as I'd hoped I was (isn't that always the way) plus I can't figure out what some of the threads I used are, and since I stopped in the middle of a block, I'm going to have to rip it out and redo it....UGH!  Instead of tackling that I decided to start a new block and try to get into it again.  Progress is slow and I fear I'm going to have to pay the $25.00 if I can't pick up the pace. I've now been working on it for a couple of weeks and can't figure out why I am not getting much done.  There are plenty of areas where it is one color and yet I've found that boring which is slowing things up.  I refuse to give up but this might have to be my challenge piece again in 2020.  Now I'm on a mission to finish it regardless of how many years it takes (UGH).     I did finish my Just Nan project this week and a Brenda Gervais project but of course I haven't done the finishing...hopefully this weekend if I'm not on the schedule (fingers crossed).  I've already picked out the next few projects....4th of July and Liberty projects which are some of my favorites.  Spent the morning picking new colors as I wanted brighter colors I thought.  I'm still struggling with my foot issues.  I had my yearly physical and was thrilled when I found out my scale wasn't broken as I thought it was when it showed a 15 lb. weight loss since November.  So that was good news for me, but unfortunately my ankle is still giving me a fit.  I don't like taking any more meds than I have to so I stop taking the pain meds.  However, on Monday after a trip to the hospital for more tests, barely able to walk even with the cane because the ankle hurt so much Sara told me to start taking the pain meds again and low and behold since doing so my ankle is feeling much better.  I managed to finish another piece of Brenda Gervais, "Ode to the Ort", and I also did the finishing..whoppee, which was pretty simple, however I made it even easier by not doing the strawberry to dangle from it.  I just didn't see any reason to do it for this project.  Perhaps for another project I'll come back to it but for now I'm done. 


This is the top of the metal box that came with the chart....linen and fibers from my stash.  The design is approx. 1 7/8" square when stitched over one on 28 ct.. linen.  The tin box is approx 3" tall and 2" wide and it's so cute when finished.  I didn't have the recommended 1/8" rick rack so I used Lady Dot's 1/4" rick rack and it worked out O.K., but I would have liked the 1/8" better.  Brenda cut her rick rack into 4 pieces so there would be no excess to deal with on the corners and I found out it is was easier to glue it this way so I'm glad I followed her directions.  It was fun, easy and 28 ct is easy to do over one so a nice break from my challenge piece.  With this a limited edition kit, I almost didn't model it, but Sara said there were more in the shop and I wanted to do a fun stitch and so glad I picked it.  The only thing you get in the box is the tin box and the chart.  You have to supply the 28 ct. linen, they recommend lugana 28 ct., but I used 28 ct. ant. white.  Oh yes, of course I ran into color problems with the white flowers at the top as well as inside the design, which I changed to Wood Rose because the Magnolia Blossom didn't show up and then I switched out the centers for oilcloth as it went better with Woodrose than the Ye Old Gold.  Other than that I stayed true to what Brenda recommended.  And let me stress that I only changed the colors because I didn't have mushroom lugana at the house.  I love her patterns which is why I do so many, however, I'm not able to use her colors because I've used different counts fabric or difference colors of linen.  Well I'm off to finish my Just Nan piece and hopefully the Quaker Sewing Tray by Brenda.  Wish me Luck!  Have a great stitching weekend. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Boot and Renee Update....

The person who hosted our website informed us she was no longer going to be able to do it after May 1st, and so we moved it to another site, unfortunately there was more involved than we had anticipated so our site was down for several days.  But thankfully Sara has it back up and so we can now update.  I'm thrilled to report personally, the boot is now history, but I have to say the pain is still happening most days.  I'm trying hard to ignore it, but at times it just gets the better of me.  I worked Spring Retreat on Friday and Saturday and spent all day Sunday sitting on the sofa, icing and whining.  I hate that I do that and try to remember all those who have more serious issues like Renee, but that doesn't always work.  But anyway, I think I'm on the road to recovery and at least I'm mobile.  Renee, however, has spent the last month in the hospital or in rehab.  She will be home any day now though so that's great news.  When we returned from Nashville Market in March, we were told Renee had a fall,  after which they found she fractured (broke) her hip and since she had an illness which make it difficult for her to have surgery she was just going to suck it up and let the hip repair on it's own. (ouch)  Since she had bone spurs which made it more difficult to move, she decided to have foot surgery,  during which they do not have to put her under.  She was in rehab for that when after a week  she was taken to the hospital for pain where they found she had a ruptured bowel and again, she had surgery.  Gretchen, her daughter, text Sara to say she wasn't doing well and it seemed to be touch and go and they were afraid the end wouldn't be far away.  But, our Renee is such a fighter, and she rallied again and was moved out of ICU and into a regular room.  At the beginning of Easter Week, we have been informed that she had a problem after being moved to rehab, her stitches let go and she was bleeding so she's back in PRMC after going through surgery once again.   She is a warrior and has been fighting her own on-going health problems for over 40 years.  I'm embarrassed for my own failure to put my problems in perspective when I have Renee here as a role  model for how you deal with what life hands you.  She never complains or whines.  But it will be wonderful to see her home, visiting the shop and up and about again.   So much has taken place in the shop since I last blogged.  We had the fabulous weekend with Sherri, and her projects are always so fabulous so that it's a fun weekend.  Lots of stitchers and lots of fabulous show and tell.  OMG, show and tell leads to wonderful new ideas and inspiration.   Thank you to all Sherri's regulars as well as new Sherri devotees for making it such a fabulous weekend for Salty Yarns and a huge Thank you to Sherri for making it a fabulous weekend for the stitchers.  Anyway, let me take the time to say Thank You to Sherri Jones who always provides our stitchers with such beautiful projects.  She also gifted me the cutest gift bag on which she had transfered my initial and a standing rabbit (so cute) for Easter.  It's already in my display cabinet waiting for me to get a Sherri Jone's Hare project done (Sara gave it to me for Christmas).  I will display them together and it will be the start of my Sherri Jones tribute display. Two weeks after Sherri, The Delaware Valley Sampler Guild had a retreat in the Lankford and of course we saw them many times in Salty Yarns (located in the Lankford)  We actually consider these stitchers locals we see them so often, so when they are here it is like "old home week."  Their group has grown so in the last year,  there were around 40 of the stitchers here for the retreat.  And again, show and tell was fantastic.  While they love samplers, they stitch a variety of fabulous projects which are not sampler related.  Anyway, it was a fun weekend with so many of our friends and stitchers here.   And then this past weekend was the Spring Retreat with 70 in attendance.  Whew!  busy weekend but such fun and show and tell pieces that were fabulous, yet again.  I so enjoy seeing the finished pieces stitchers do.  It is  inspirational.  I always go home with new ideas for projects or with finishing.  I'm always looking for new ways to finish.  I had specific projects I wanted finished for Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day as well as Easter.  While I had the stitching done in time I didn't get the finishing done so I made sure I had it done for Spring retreat, since I was feeling better.   First up, "Spring Fling"  from With Thy Needle and Thread.   I wasn't even going to stitch this one, even though I liked it, because back in January I stitched her Snowman piece which became oversized when I stitched it on 20 ct. Weeks Dye Works Blue Jeans over 2.  I got sick of stitching so much white, so while I finished the snowman and loved him, I didn't think I wanted to do a huge piece again with so much white.  But Kathy was pulling her fabric and threads and said I should also do it, and then Sara jumped on the wagon and pulled the 20 ct. Red Pear linen so of course I started thinking fibers and the next thing I knew I was taking it home.  It was, of course, a fun stitch done on 20 ct. over 2 using #5 Pearl Cotton from DMC and Weeks Dye Works, no trouble seeing that!  I did have to make color changes, used DMC purple, outline 208, inside 210 and then the center is done in Turkey Work using DMC 310, for the flowers in place of the pinks as that did not show up on the Red Pear linen.  I also redesigned the bird because I couldn't get the wings on the original bird to stand out.  So I looked at the cardinal on the Snowman which I loved, and just made this one a little smaller but in somewhat the same shape.  The wings were still small, but I used bargello to stitch the wings to make them stand out a little more.  I do have a chart for these two birds in the shop so while you are in Salty Yarns you can ask  for a copy.  I used WDW moss for the leaves and DMC 3051 for the vines.  I stitched the inside of the ears, the checks and the nose with WDW Sweetheart Rose and then I satin stitched over the nose to give it more dimension.  Of course I used 2 small black beads (jewelry beads) for the eyes.  For the robins however, I stitched the eyes using white DMC and then placing a Mill Hill black bead in the corner so they look like they are looking at the rabbit.   For the birds I used WDW Chestnut for the head and the wing, WDW Terra Cotta for the body and WDW Whiskey for the beak and the legs.  For the miscellaneous motifs throughout the design I used DMC 818.  Kathy is stitching on Blush linen, using the suggested count, and it too is just beautiful.  So stitching this the way Brenda shows it or stepping out of the box and using the 20 ct. Red Pear, it's fun, goes quickly and in the end is fabulous.  My version on 20 ct. measures 16 1/2" x 9 1/2" when stitched while Brenda's original on 32 ct. finishes approx 10 1/4" x 6".
 

I initially stitched Heart in Hand's Redbird Sampler for Valentine's Day.  I'm not a gushing sweet person, so I wanted red projects that didn't talk about love, etc.  This was perfect and can stay out all year.    Done in one color and I used DMC pearl cotton # 304 on  18 ct. Lambswool linen.  A really.   easy stitch and small enough it only takes a couple of days.  Finished size on 18 ct. over 2 is 10" x 4".  I did use a pillow form that was too bulky which is why it looks like the sides are somewhat drawn in.  I was too lazy to make my own and haven't been to the store to get the correct size.  But I'll get there in the end.  Cecelia's model was worked on 26 ct. Natural Brown over 2 threads using WDW Lancaster Red.  It's finished size is approx. 8" x 3"


 
 I was disappointed I didn't get my Mill Hill Rabbit egg finished, or the adorable Brenda Gervais bunny in the round.  But I need to move on to summer stitching, so these will start up my Easter finishes in 2020.  Right now I'm working on Brenda Gervais Quaker Sewing Tray and believe it or not I'm stitching on the size she recommends since I want to finish it in scalloped wooden tray like she shows it.  I'll have the stitching done today, but the finishing is still up in the air.  I have the tray, but I need to paint it and wax it and well that is the part I don't like working on.  But I'll get to it this week hopefully.  And of course that means I get to move on to a new project....several are lined up ready to go so I have no idea which it will be.  Glad to be back stitching and walking again....hope you too are stitching and showing us what you are doing.  You inspire others so be sure to post your projects.  Talk to you soon, as I have to update the website which is finally back up and running.  Thank you all for your patience with us on this....we are a work in progress when it comes to technology.   


Saturday, April 13, 2019

A Nashville Finish at last....

It's been a long journey for me getting back my independence, with the boot on my foot, but I'm a work in progress and I'm getting back into the spirit of stitching again. One would think that this current issue I have would give me plenty of time to stitch, however, for some reason when I'm sick or have a problem like this I sit and do nothing.  That's really how I know I'm getting out of the funk and on the road to recovery....I'm stitching everyday again.  Before I had the accident I did finish a couple of pieces but didn't post because I was in a deep funk and feeling very sorry for myself.  Nashville market didn't help because I was not feeling well so while I was able to work and get tickets done for the items we were bringing home, it was all I did.  As much as Stasi Buhrman,  who so nicely came with us to help Sara, and Sara tried to get me out of the funk, it just didn't work.  I never picked up a needle in Nashville.  I did pick out some stuff I wanted to stitch...a bright light at a dark time.  Anyway,  finally a  Nashville finish.  "You Had Me At Flamingo"...so much fun to stitch and I love the tray which we've had in the shop since last year with me trying to find just the right project for it.  Couldn't be more thrilled.  I still have to do what Cathy refers to as the "charms" for it, and I'll be doing them a little larger so that I can use them as smalls, scissor sheath, needle book and pin wheel, so they are a work in progress but I just couldn't wait to show you the tray finish.  I could have used 40 ct. linen over 2 for the tray insert, I chose to use 22 ct. hardanger so that I would have space around the design for the turquoise wool which I attached the design to in order to get a color in there to compliment the flamingo design, otherwise it was a little too much white on white.  If you wanted to stitch it on a color linen then I don't think  you'd need the turquoise wool...but the design just pops on white or antique white.  I also used mini black beads for the flamingo's eyes.  Other than that I used the fibers Cathy recommended.  This is going to make a wonderful stitching set once I get the smalls done.  I'll keep you posted.
A must have for this is the flamingo pin shown next to the "E" above.  Made by JABCO it is so cute and just adds such a cute note to this pin cushion tray.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

WhoHoo....we're at the Nashville Market...Let the games begin

It's been a hard month leading into the Nashville trip, and for a while it was questionable that I would even be able to go, but Sara kept saying I was going so I got in the van Tuesday morning and I'm glad I decided to suck it up and come.  But let me fill you in a little on what happened prior to the trip.  We had such a wonderful Super bowl weekend, and had stitchers from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland staying on the property for the weekend so it was like partying with old friends all weekend.  Sara and I were so thrilled to see so many stitchers who stopped by to talk and to shop, and we had plenty of mail orders, etc., so the weekend was a success for Salty Yarns.   But for Sara and me it was about connecting with our friends, stitching, show and tell, etc., as well as working.  Debbie Shiowaza  brought in a large box filled with finished class projects from Jackie Du Plessis, Betsy Morgan, Sherri Jones, Catherine Theron as well as projects from other designers.  Fabulous, and amazing, inspiring the rest of us to pull out unfinished class projects and get them done.    We also have to thank everyone who came to the shop, text orders or e-mail orders we are so grateful and appreciative.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I spent Tuesday, after the sale, recuperating (I really think I'm too old to continue participating as it takes me all week to rest up), but Tuesday afternoon Mary called and asked if Izi, my youngest grandson, could spent time with me as she and Brian has school duties with Solomon.  I love spending time with Izi, especially since he's over his "Mine craft" phase, which I never understood.  I thought it would be fun to let him pick a restaurant and we'd go out to dinner.  He picked Panera's so off we went and on leaving the restaurant, I fell on the grass.  Since people were sitting outside, my slip and fall did not go unnoticed and poor Izi was absolutely dumb founded.  After assuring him I was alright,  as I fell on the soft grassy section, and letting him know that his pulling on my arm was appreciated but wasn't going to get me off the ground, I rolled over, got on my knees, and managed to get up.  Once home we ate and I was fine, since the ground was damp and soft the only thing damaged was my pride, my mud soaked sweater, and my pants. So I changed my clothes and we continued our little dinner party.  Brian called to let me know he was on his way to pick up Izi, so I got him ready to go and proceeded out the door to the front porch to wait.  As I stepped on the threshold, wearing my new slippers with rubber soles, my feet apparently slid causing my knees to buckle and I went down on my knees (2nd fall in 2 hours), and I knew I was hurt as I moaned and groaned.  Brian was waiting at the door and heard me  and finally got Izi who was frozen in place, to open the door.  Brian was wonderful in keeping me calm, and comforting me.  All I could think of was how the hell was I going to get off the ground with two injured knees.  But with Brian's help I was able to get up and get on the sofa where I lived for 2 days, barely moving.  After 2 days, with the help of 2 canes and a walker I was able to start moving around the apartment.  After a week I was able to stand in the shower and finally get out of the house, February 14th.  Mary and her family were leaving later on the 14th for Florida so they came down around 5:30 to say goodbye.  As I was walking them out to the porch, in the same slippers, my knees buckled again as I hit the threshold and down I went once again, but this time as I realized what was happening I twisted a little and went down on my side as opposed to my knees.  I was so distraught that I was just feeling better after the fall a week ago,  that I just lay there and cried.  But Mary rallied the troops and Brian, Vernon and Jake showed up to get me off the floor once again.  Once I settled down I assured Mary I was fine and she should continue with her vacation plans, let Sara know I'd be find and sent she and her troop home, however, in another hour I was trying to adjust my sweat pants which were slidding down my butt and managed to fall off the sofa (4th fall-or roll in this case- in 2 weeks) and I got wedged in between the sofa and a table and couldn't get unwedged so I had to call Sara for help getting off the floor.  She and Vernon arrived, got me unwedged and up again (I have to tell you my life was really becoming an embarrassment) and Sara informed me she was moving in.  I felt terrible for Sara feeling she couldn't stay home and would miss having a free weekend, as her boys and Vernon were going to the Daytona Races that weekend. She had talked endlessly how much she was going to enjoy the weekend, not cooking, and just lounging around stitching....and then she gets stuck with me.  I felt so guilty and the thought about Nashville had been on my mind since my first fall.  But in this last fall my foot got stuck under the front porch door and Mary tried closing the door without realizing it, and between that and the fall my ankle hurt.  I knew this wasn't going to be fixed by Nashville so I suggested Sara call Stasi Buhrman and see if she was available to take my place.  Sara kept saying I would be going as well, but felt we did need Stasi and we were thrilled when she said she could do it. So that was a major problem solved.   Each time I walked on the foot my ankle really hurt so I felt it was sprained and would get better, but after a week the ankle was hurting more not less so  I told Sara we needed to call my doctor who has trouble getting me into his office so when I called he told us to come right in.    He then sent us for x-rays which revealed a fracture.  Then we went to get a boot.  He also booked an appointment with an orthopedic doctor to look at the foot on Monday.  We were to leave on Tuesday for Nashville.  Both doctors felt going to Nashville wasn't a good move and both said it was urgent that I stay off that one foot.  But Tuesday morning Sara came and picked me up and we headed to Stasi's house in Virginia to get her on board.  We did stop, before picking up Stasi for lunch and found that a wheel had jammed on the walker I was using and while trying to fix it, the wheel fell off the walker.  This didn't bode well for the rest of the week, but we had no choice by continue.  We got to Stasi's where her husband checked out the walker and decided the best choice was to use Stasi's mother's walker which they keep for her when she comes to visit so we switched out the walkers and we were once again on our way.  We arrived in Nashville Wednesday and the hotel had a wheel chair I could use so things were looking up.  I was thrilled and I felt better after using it for a while.  Exhausted I chose to stay in the room while I sent Sara and Stasi out to eat, etc.  After an exhausting day we all turned in.  I had trouble getting comfortable around the pain of the ankle but finally found a way to prop it and get comfortable when what I thought was the smoke alarm started beeping. As I was trying to figure out whether to call and bother Sara or just the front desk,  I heard "We have an emergency, please evacuate to the first floor, go to the stairways, do not use the elevators".  Meanwhile I'm wondering why Sara hadn't come over as she has spent the last two weeks making sure I was alright at all times.  But I got out of bed, picked up the boot, which I take off to sleep, and headed for the door in the wheelchair.  As soon as I opened the door Sara was standing there in a panic because she couldn't get my room key to work and couldn't get to me.  Next thing Stasi was at the door. We were all looking around and I just said, Look there is no way I can get down 7 floors of stairs..  I'm just going down with the building but you two go down, but as we looked over the railing we see Peggy and Pat from Fern Ridge designs standing at the railing on their floor just looking down to the lobby as well along with many others.  No one seemed to be headed to the lobby so Sara said, no we will all just stay here.  Sara did call the front desk to see tell them I was in a wheel chair and couldn't go down the stairs.  They said to just stay where we were as the fire company was on the way, plus no one  knew why the alarm went off as they couldn't find a problem. After less than 5 minutes the alarm stopped and everything returned to normal.  When Sara and Stasi ran into the ladies from Fern Ridge and Sharon from Purple Thread,  who also knew I was wheel chair bound,  these sweet ladies said they were all ready to come up to us and get me down the stairs.  Even though I knew that would be impossible it was so sweet of these ladies thinking of us.  Thanks ladies.   Anyway we went back to bed.  Thursday Sara and Stasi did a 2 mile walk around the neighborhood while I stayed in the room.  Because I actually wasn't walking at all, my foot was feeling better but I still didn't want to leave the room.  So Sara and Stasi went out for lunch and some retail therapy and brought me a present and some desserts from Puffy Muffin...yummo.  The room door was propped open and as stitchers went by they were waving to us and greeting us and one group even stopped in and invited us to their room for adult refreshments.  Stitchers are such welcoming people and fun people.  The Nashville market begins today, Friday and we are ready.  Stasi and Sara will start the run tonight after dinner and I will be in the room to do tickets and price everything.  Having Stasi join us  makes Nashville easier for both of us and I think will become our new tradition.  Let the games begin!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Superbowl Sale now in progress

Friday-Sara and I are in retreat mode for the stitchers  arriving from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania as well as Superbowl Sale mode which starts today.  Yesterday, Sara was in her usual spot, the grocery store while I chose to elude the cold weather by stitching and finishing models for February.  First up was the "Year of Celebration"-February from Hands on Design.  Such a fun fast stitch and an easy finish, although I seem to struggle to cut the Weeks Wool straight, but I do the best I can and let it fly.  In this case I used Merlot Wool and love it.  I had the heart button covers from who knows where for so long and why I ever bought them is another mystery, but finally found a use for one, only 4 more to find a home for, so count me thrilled to use something out of my older stash.  Anyway, the metal on the back of the heart, which is a casing for the button on a shirt it is suppose to cover, actually wouldn't stick to the magnet, but since the heart has the little casing that opens for the button,  I stuck a small magnet in the cover and now it sticks beautifully.  I'm having as much fun finding these charms, buttons, etc to use to decorate the hanger as everything else.  I've talked about my issue with things being balanced or odd colors together and at first when I started January's piece I was having a problem with Cathy's use of the orange to outline but I used it and once done it didn't bother me at all.  On February she also used a turquoise color which seemed so out of place on this piece, but again, I decided to go with the flow (Sara hates it when I change things) and again, it doesn't bother me once it's stitched.  Sometimes you just have to step out of your box.  At 70 years of age it's getting easier for me apparently to try new things....10 years ago I doubt I'd go with the flow.  Or maybe I'm getting too old to make decisions, who knows....I like going with the flow because it's mindless...I have no decisions to make except what to use to hang it.

On to the next finish.  I finally got Brenda Gervais', "All Bundled Up" finished and it was no easy task.  Everything that could go wrong, well, not everything but I did have constant issues including breaking the sewing machine needle because I got excited that I was finally getting it done and I didn't pay attention when I changed to a zipper foot and didn't move the needle over.  Lesson learned again!  Anyway, the important thing here is that the piece is done.  It is the largest pillow I've stitched and finished and I wasn't really aiming for that so even though I measured it to begin with and knew it was going to be approx 18",  I guess I just didn't think about it then.  As I was working it at some point I told Sara I thought I made a mistake for stitching this on the 20 count over 2 because I could see that it was going to be bigger than I imagined, but once you are at the halfway point you don't want to give up and start again so I just plowed on.   The size however, created a problem for me with the pillow insert, however I ended up taking a pillow off the bed, took out some of the stuffing (I didn't realize it would be that difficult to do until I started the process and while I struggled with getting rid of approx. 5" of stuffing, I finally won the battle and that is what I stuffed it with.   You can get the idea of it's size as it's sitting on one of my dining room chairs.  (you can see the needlepoint seat it sits on which is one of the 6 chairs with needlepoint seats my grandmother stitched around 1940, and which I still use the set in my dining room.  

ju

Brenda Gervais is always a  really fun stitch and allowed me to use several creative stitches.  Stitched on 20 ct. Weeks Dye Works Blue Jeans linen using WDW and DMC pearl cotton fibers.  And my final finish this week was one of Heartstring Samplery Festive Fobs-Valentine Edition.  Stitched on 32 ct. Antique White linen over 1 thread using the called for threads, these are fun to stitch and it's an easy finish although because the scissor fob is so small I do have a problem finishing those, but muddle through anyway, but I definitely need to improve that finish. 

Because this is a Valentine pin cushion I decided to use my 3 grandson's initials as they are my Valentines (although Sara and Mary could also think it's for them since two of the initials match them.  In any event I decided to put the 3 names on the back so years from now people won't be wondering who the "I" stands for.  The most exciting thing this morning is I get to pick out new projects (although I might just work on the 4, which I started along with the 3 shown here.  But then again, Hands on Design latest short stack is calling to me and it is for Valentine's day so I think it should be the next to stitch.  Right now I'm off to get ready for a fun weekend with some great stitchers who will keep me entertained all weekend.  Well, regardless of my prediction that if everyone else sees snow we will see rain.....here is what we saw starting around 10:30 a.m.  This continued until 5.00 p.m.  So we weren't left out of the actual snow storm...while it wasn't exactly a snow store we did get some, perhaps around an inch, at most.   Don't you hate it when it snows and you don't get a snow day from it.  UGH...but with our stitchers in town and staying here on the property we just couldn't do it.  But it sure stopped me from going to the grocery store to get the food I'm making for our shop Superbowl party, so tomorrow better be clear and hopefully sunny so I can get there.  Now I'm one day away from prep work.  UGH!  We've had a great first day and oh the finishing I've seen today.  Unbelievable...damn I should have taken pictures.  Maybe someone will bring them back in so I can do just that.  Crap! I never remember to do that.  Have a great stitching weekend whatever the weekend.  Talk to you soon.