Tuesday, October 6, 2015

We're still here.....

  Had to show you my view this morning (Monday)...the bottom picture shows the beach beside the sea wall....a little pond has developed from the sea coming up to the wall.  The top picture is the view from the sea wall to the ocean.  We have seen a tad of the sun this morning, but right not it's spitting rain again, no as I look out I think it has stopped.  Anyway, tomorrow promises sun so we just have to hang on.  But thank you to all who were thinking of us as the hurricane promised to come by and the North Easter' stopped in first to say hello.  We had 2 retreats in Ocean City this weekend, the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild was staying here in the hotel and the Tangles group who always stays on 12th St..  As the week closed in on the weekend, several of the Delaware stitchers cancelled for fear of what they would be facing here or having to weather storms driving down, but there were 7 hardy stitchers who refused to let the weather rule and came regardless of what was happening.  And there were several members of the Tangles group who would walk down here (only about 4 blocks but in a Northeaster') multiple times each day, so we thank everyone who came, we were thrilled to have company for the weekend and we appreciate your hanging in there with us.  While we saw a couple of ladies from the Tangles group,  this afternoon it's just Sara and myself and it's kind of lonely.  However, in 2 days that will change as the OCSJ will start with the arrival of the early birds.  For the first time in forever, we have received 95% of the orders we placed (we started really early) have it priced and out...whoohoo we're getting things done.   I'm also certain Sara placed a few orders yesterday...let there be a lull in Sara's day and she is working the internet, busy ordering the latest "stuff" for the shop.  Go Sara!    I've finished 2 more of Val's Halloween ornament series, the new Shepherd's Bush sheep with the Santa's hat, a couple of small little kits to go into the goodie bags, Shepherd's Bush Patriotic Box and the Pumpkin Box, and the Lizzie Kate mystery sampler is finished.   Speaking of that sampler, I have to say I couldn't handle the "tomorrow is mystery" and ended up adding the "a" which I will show you when I post it later.  I also got 3 gifts done for friends with birthdays....yes I was on a roll.  But Serenity Harbor is still waiting for me to return....which I will do as soon as Jamboree is over.  After the pre-stitch, I just had to have some fast stitches and so I couldn't go back to Serenity Harbor.  But next week I shall return to it.  I may do a lot of stitching, but I can never hope to catch up.  I took home 8 new projects this weekend...oh, my I should live long enough to do half of them.  Last night I started Lizzie Kate's limited edition, "Halloween."  This is one of her "almost a kit" kits, which has everything but the floss, ric rac, fabric for backing, linen and beads and I'm hoping to get it done in 2 days, but since we are in crunch time for OCSJ, I'm not sure it will happen.  I've got the cookies to do yet and a few other things have to get done for the weekend so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  And I'm  just itching to start another Brenda Gervais piece for Halloween.  Well, time marches on and so must I.  Got stitching to do.  Have a great day!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jackie DuPlessis was in the house!

Jackie's classes were over a couple of weeks ago now and I was thrilled to have her pre-stitch done at the time and when I saw the completed piece which she finished, I knew all the work will be well worth the time.  I also found there were other, like Debbie Liming, who received her kit about 2 weeks before the class and she had hers finished and loved every stitch.   Because of her work schedule, Debbie usually can't complete all of the pre-stitch on classes where there are multiple numbers of pieces involved or the design is really involved.  But here she waltzed in with her 95% done after only 2 weeks...she couldn't say enough about how much she loved the stitch.  But the one point we do agree on is the finished project, fabulous!  So, I don't have to love every single stitch to take the class, I just have to love the finished project.  And what we learn from classes is invaluable for future finishing.  If you have never taken a class before, treat yourself, you will enjoy the journey, and get such useful information and great techniques.  Every teacher shares endlessly and we've had wonderful teachers here, including Jackie, Sherri Jones, and Betsy Morgan just this year.  Most shops today offer  classes and events, so check out events at your local needlework shop.  You will never regret it!  For stitchers, the designers are our rock stars, unfortunately we don't have any academy awards for them.  Perhaps we should!  Anyway, the weekend started out early with Ginny, Betsy Morgan  and Jackie arriving on Wednesday, Debbie and the other students arriving on Thursday and Friday morning the fun began with September Morning and Jackie's new finishing stitch.  Such a beautiful project with several beautiful scrims.  Oh, My, my wallet was hurting after the weekend, but the scrims are a must have and sooo worth it.  Several regulars were here for the classes and it's always good to reconnect with stitchers and see their works in progress.  It's inspirational to see what others are creating with linen or canvas and thread, plus we got a sneak preview of Jackie's next piece which is unbelievable.  A designer's mind works in mysterious ways.  I don't know how they keep coming up with the projects they come up with for class.  But I'm so thankful to all designers who work so hard and invest so much of their time to help us develop our skills to a higher degree.  You make the world a better place for us to live in, to say nothing of the beauty you add to a stitcher's world.  Anyway, we had a great time here at Salty Yarns that weekend.  However, I'm so out of practice working it darn near killed me physically.  (let's not discuss the weight issue and what that is doing to me, right now it's about the weekend rush)  On The Saturday night when I finally closed (because Sara told me to close and go home), I stumbled over to the lobby and joined Jackie, Stacy, Sara and Debbie in the lobby.  Sara kept looking at me and whispering "Go Home" because she knew I was exhausted, but I just smiled and sat and joined the discussions (one of which got a little heated, but I still sat even though Sara glared and said, "I need you to leave", and yet I sat on.  I finally left around 11:15 and when I got home I text Sara and said, I couldn't leave earlier because to tell you the truth I was too tired to get up and leave.  It's really a wonder I didn't just lay down on a sofa and let Mary wake me up in the morning when she came to work.  Wouldn't that be a lovely sight as tenants came down in the morning to get their coffee and English muffin.  Well, even I knew that wasn't a solid plan which is why I dragged myself home.  I was too tired to stitch when I got there and just went to sleep, but got up the next morning to stitch and ended up miscounting and having to take the stitching out.  Damn!  I hate when that happens.  We also had Dana Spernal not only taking the classes but cutting fabric so that was really a bonus for me...since that is not my favorite thing to do.  Thank you Dana.  I love you and Stasi Buhrman because you two always help out in that department, with smiles on your faces.  What a help!So if you are in the shop and I shout "Cut your own fabric" please don't be offended, it just means I too darn tired to get up and do it.  stitching I thought I was going to do, but I also haven't been working as hard as Judy and now Dana Spernal who came down for the weekend to cut fabric so I wouldn't have to  (cutting linen drives me nuts anytime, There were events during which  I've spent 6-8 hours doing nothing but cutting fabric with no breaks because at some point people were just piling the fabric with notes about the cut they needed and their name.  But for some reason, I haven't figured out, Stasi Buhrman and Dana both offer to cut for us.  Bless their hearts!  Sara and I are so blessed to have such friends, we truly know we are.  That's one of the reasons I love this industry....we have made wonderful friends through it.  Well, I shall post this now since it's been sitting here for 2 weeks waiting.  Have a great day now that the rain has stopped!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Have a wonderful Labor Day holiday!

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me...doing grandmother duty and then working for employees with family issues so I haven't had a lot of me time. (some would say I have too much me time but really is there ever too much me time?)  Anyway,  taking care of business first, I had 2 more small finishes in the last week.  Another Val's Stuff  Halloween ornament...Tricks or Treats...so much fun to stitch these small things...fast, easy and an easy finish..win win.  Also finished the Lizzie Kate latest Mystery Sampler....part 2.  Typical Lizzie Kate, bright colors and a funky style...easy to stitch and super fast.  Let me say first, I do love Lizzie Kate and stitch a lot of it.  It's a blessing to stitch after some of the projects I work on that just drain me.  But...something about this part 2 bothers me.   It's the "Tomorrow is mystery" part.  I understand that "Yesterday is gone" is fine, but wouldn't "Tomorrow is a mystery" sound better.  I asked Sara what she thought and she agreed and said, leave the bee off and just put "a" there.  Obviously I didn't do that....but not sure before I frame this that I won't go back and do it.  I'm not sure if I'm being too picky (is that possible?)  I realize that Part 3 will probably be Today "is"...I see the trend, oh well, anyway, great stitch after working on this class piece that is driving me nuts.  A welcome relief and the bonus of being up to date with this sampler as opposed to my poor Serenity Harbor which I haven't worked on for weeks, thanks to my Jackie DuPlessis pre-stitch.   I've done all pre-stitching on every class (Sara then does the finishing class), and while some have multiple pieces and all over one, nothing compares to this.  I found the swirled flowers interesting to stitch, but not over 40 of them.  The leaves, the same thing.  I really just got a bit bored with the repetition which made me not want to stitch at all.  The only problem with my attitude on this is.....I love the finished piece and you can't get it without doing all the flowers and the leaves, but oh, mercy, it's killing me.  But today is going to be the end, thank God!  I'm going to stick with it until I've finished the last outline and initials and then handing it off to Sara.  Then perhaps I can get back to Serenity Harbor and some of my other projects, which are just mounting up beside my sofa.   Now on the grandmother front, on the 23rd of August I drove 2 of my grandsons to Woodward, Pa. for them to attend Woodward Camp.  Solomon, the 8 year old, had already been once before this year and loved it so much he wanted to go back for another week of skateboarding camp.  Michael, the 14 year old, was going for digital photography.  I knew Solomon would be fine, but I was concerned about Michael because he has never been away from home for any length of time.  I ended up there the entire week, instead of just 2 days.  But I had plenty of stitching with me, and I found Village Needlecraft which was a cute little needlework store and Country Cupboard which not only had a huge dining room, but a wonderful bakery, garden shop, candy shop and gift shop.  Fabulous.  They had these fabulous pottery pumpkins all sizes so I purchased 2 different ones to bring to the girls.  As the woman was wrapping the top piece on one I said, it's probably the only thing that will make it home (at the time I was joking...they couldn't wrap or box the bottom of the pumpkins because of their size).  Sidenote...on the way home Michael opened the back of the car to get something, the pumpkin fell out and smashed on the side of the road (my prediction came true), so poor Sara got a pumpkin lid, but no bottom.  Fortunately, I also purchased something else so I just substituted that for the pumpkin so she would get something.    So inspite of Michael's problems with being away and constantly texting me, calling me, etc., I still enjoyed being away. I handed off Jackie's piece this morning (thank God!) -it's now Sunday- and I'm free to stitch other things so I brought 3 things to work, from home, to start pulling fabric, etc.  Several customers take their time picking their fabric, checking several different colors after seeing what the designer called for, but when it comes to fabric for me, I just walked back to the cabinets pick a color close to the color on the picture which is what usually pulls me in and I'm back in my chair in 3 seconds.  I normally use the colors of fiber called for, although I have been know to pick a favorite red when a more country red is called for.  Anyway, I'm all ready to stitch on something I've picked and I'm so excited.  I started another of the Halloween ornaments today, trying to get the Halloween tree refilled since many of the ornaments on there have been from Blackbird Design's booklets, which are no longer in print...UGH!  Why, oh why do you discontinue great designs?  Anyway, I'm having a great day....since it's a major holiday here Vernon got us Thrashers French Fries, so now both Sara and myself are feeling slightly ill from over eating...not a good look on either of us.  Shops are so slow today I'm about to fall asleep, but then someone will walk by with something on that's totally inappropriate so I have to go speak with Sara about it.  I know she is hoping all hands are on deck tomorrow so that I will stay home and she doesn't have to get a play by play on what's going on outside.  However, if everyone would pass along a few tips from me, I wouldn't have to bother Sara so much, so please remind everyone you know that just because it comes in your size doesn't mean you should put it on.  Also, if you fit in your 10 year olds clothes, that doesn't mean it's appropriate for you to wear it when you are over the age of 21, but certainly not when you are closing in on 60.  Honestly, what was that woman thinking when she looked in the mirror?  If you constantly have to pull your daisy dukes down from your crotch, well pal, that indicates that they are not fitting you properly...try ditching the daisy dukes.  If you have on a bikini but can't see the bra strap in the back because it's buried between rolls, try a one piece for the sake of those of us who have to see you.  And please don't walk by our windows because I find it too distracting.  Have a great day

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Still stitching....but slowing down....UGH!

   Another Halloween ornament.  I'm really getting in the hang of stitching on perforated paper and not pulling so hard I tear it.  It took a little getting use to with the stitching of all the background....definitely don't have to do that on linen, but these are fast enough and small enough it's not proving to be too much of a problem.  This is Val's Stuff Spook of the Month, for June..."Kiss Me."  The chart comes with the specialty buttons, perforated paper, the backing, and the cording.  You just supply the Weeks Dye Works or DMC and you are ready to go.  They take on a personality once you put their eyes on.  I'm kind of lovin' the stitch.  Three down and 5 more to catch up on.  Speaking of catching up, Serenity Harbor has now had to take a back seat to Jackie's class project.  She will be here next month and I'm struggling with this one.  I thought the spiral flowers would hang me up, but they are quite easy just tedious.  The leaves threw me for a loop but I took it into work and asked Sara just to show me.  She got on You Tube and 3 seconds later I was stitching them with no problem.  The problem for me is there is no relief, no easy part since the entire project are the flowers and the leaves.  So I really have to concentrate on this for a couple of weeks to make sure it's done in time.  I've also been working more in the shop this past week due to a health crisis for one of the ladies.  Actually it isn't her health crisis as it is her husbands,  as he is the one who got the diagnosis.  So please keep Judy Brunclik and her family in your prayers as they go on the warpath with the big C.  Needless to say she will be out of the shop as she helps him get to his appointments and gives him much needed support as they travel down this road.  You would think with added time in the shop I would get a lot of stitching done.  Wrong, I barely pick up a needle when I'm there.  Don't know why that is, but I believe it's the constant interruption that makes me feel it's not worth it to get everything out, start to stitch and after 2 stitches have to stop to do my job. (jobs so often get in the way of pleasure, don't they?)  We have a few stitchers staying at the hotel this week.  Betsy Cole and her niece Sara decided to have a stitch in and since Julia Whitesel was in town they invited her over to stitch in the lobby.  Glad to know someone is stitching here.  We are expecting a load of new designs and "things" in next week from the on-line show....can't wait!  It's so exciting....a lot of designs, some specialty kits...oh, I know I'll be going through the racks  for more stash.  At this point I start searching for Christmas gifts to make.  I've already got one in the bag to start as soon as Jamboree is over.  I've already got 2 to stitch for that....oh,my God, my work is never done.   I need to get busy.  Have a great week...hope your needles are moving. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Halloween, let the party begin....

   Thank you Diane Austin for the stitching, and for starting my thinking and stitching for Halloween.  This has always been a fun event to stitch for, at lease for me.  I love a lot of the Halloween designs and the stitching is always fun and funky.  But in this case, it was simply a finish as Diane did all the hard word, the stitching.  Diane didn't like the fabric she chose which is a Picture This Plus overdyed fabric, and a really popular fabric choice for Halloween projects.  But after stitching she asked Sara is she would want it for a sampler as she was going to restitch it on a different fabric and Sara and I have the same philosophy, "My Names Jimmy, I'll take all you give me."  So then Sara handed it over to me and asked if I would make it into the mini pillow pin cushion.  While this whole process has taken months, I finally sat down and got it done.   I used Dames of the Needle Pom Pom trim in black to showcase it  and this is a cute little pin cushion.  Looks a little wonky in the photo but isn't wonky in person, although wonky makes it even better for Halloween, now that I think about it.  Anyway, 2 finishes (I'm taking credit for Diane's even though I didn't stitch it)  and you know what that means.  I get to pick another new project, although today I have to start Jackie Duplessis "The Gift" for class next month.  I did pull out another of Val's Halloween ornaments to take to work.  I have to have small projects while at work since I have the attention span of a gnat at this point and too much activity and I can't function enough to stay on track with stitching.  Small Projects while working is better.  Of course, normally all my projects get when I'm working is a pleasant trip to the shop and a fast trip home at the end of the shift..  I hate even going outside at this point.  The heat and humidity are deadly to "fat" people and old people and since I fit into the 2 categories I figure I'm in twice the trouble out.  Thank God I have a/c at the shop and home.   Well, I've got to get ready to go, so I'll end here.  Have a great day and perhaps I'll have something to talk about tomorrow.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Finally, Mermaid's Treasures is finally finished.....plus a little bucket...yeah!!!!!

It's been a busy couple of weeks as I've been trying to catch up on a couple of things started back in May.  Those of you who attended the May retreat will remember part of your goodie bag was the Mermaid's
Treasure box, and while I had some of it finished, well, I fell short on the sides of the box and the needlebook.  But it's all finished now and ready to show.  Sara ordered more boxes so we could actually sell the kits in the shop.  Anyway, thrilled to have this finished.  Of course things went too smoothly so I just couldn't help myself and decided I didn't want the inside lid blank, but space was restricted as you had to make sure the magnetic closure didn't get covered.  We were looking at it in the shop and I was struggling with what to do when it occurred to me that everything should be attached to the box.  So I added earth magnets inside the needlebook and on the back of the needle vial and voila, with the magnetic sheet applied to the inside lid the needlebook and vial are now able to rest on the lid and because I made sure they fit inside the opening of the box when the lid is closed, everything worked out perfectly.  In the end the magnetic sheet was not quite strong enough so I also glued earth magnets on the sheet to hold the book and the vial.  But the sheet holds individual needles or a needle nanny so I'm still glad I put it on.  But so busy trying to figure this out it never occurred to me that the magnet on the back of the vial band would also attract the needles.  When I went to put them in the vial the magnet pulled them out of the hand and into the vial, but to get them out I actually have to take the vial out of the band.  Hummm design flaw to say the least, but I can get the vial out of it's band easily so I'm still good to go.  Then yesterday I decided to stitch the last of our Rusty Bucket Series designs (the other 2, Patriotic Pail and Bunny Pail are already done).  These are fast projects so I got it stitched yesterday and waited until today to put it together with the pail.  I then finished it with Dames of the Needle chenille trim.  Fun project and when I get to the shop tomorrow I'll be filling it with shells for display.   Since I was finishing I decided to finish Lizzie Kate's Halloween pillow from 2014.  I can't take credit for the stitching (although I originally had it in my stash) but I can say Thank You to Diane Austin who stitched it, decided she didn't like the fabric and gave it to us to use.  Sorry she had to restitch but thrilled to have a model I didn't have to stitch.   Win Win!!!  Hopefully I will be able to show this tomorrow.  Good day at home.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Not a big finish, but a finish none the less.  Lizzie Kate's latest mystery sampler, "A Little Mystery" part 1.  As you can see it's an easy stitch so it was fun and fast (just what I needed).  It was suppose to be stitched on 30 ct. tea dyed sand linen, but of course I changed it to Lakeside Linens, 28 ct. Mourning Dove, which is such a gorgeous color.  Before choosing my fabric, I put the overdyed flosses on a few colors but Mourning Dove definitely won out for me.  I didn't even realize we had the tea dyed sand but after seeing it I would have still picked the Lakeside Mourning Dove.  But that's just me, you pick out your favorite linen or aida.  That's the fun of working with charts instead of kits.  You get to change everything, floss and linen, so it's really geared toward your taste.  Anyway, I also chose to use the embellishment pack and put the beads on it.  I love a few beads on a piece to give  it a little dimension.  Can't wait for part 2.  Oh, the scissor fob designs, front and back, included with this design is so cute.  While I may like the bonus patterns, I seldom stitch them as I always feel the need to move on to the next shop sample.  But I'm actually going to stitch the fob...so cute. In fact, I'm looking at the design differently and wondering if I could finish it as a type of  huswife to hold the bonus pieces instead of a sampler....hummmm..my mind is twirling.  It would mean a lot more work invested thought wise and I'm not sure I'm up to it, but I've got a couple of weeks to go before Part 2 is here so I have a little time to decide.  Good job Linda, as usual, Lizzie Kate has done it again.  Of course, as I've been working on smaller finishes, my obsession is still in the pile but isn't getting the time it should.  I try to work on it a couple of times each week and I was certainly hoping to get part 6 done before I got part 8, but I'm not sure that's going to happen.  But I still love the stitch and know I will at least finish this one and not stuff it in a bag for eternity.  Sara handed me the Jackie DuPlessis class kit so I've got to start on that next week.  I pray it's an easy stitch, although I know it's not going to be that easy, and I'm certainly distracted with so many other things I want to stitch.  By now you are all aware that Prairie Schooler is closing down as of the first of 2016.  Sad day for us all.  They gave us so many wonderful designs and their yearly Santa was a must have.  This is a company that will be missed by us all.  Thanks for the many years of exceptional designs loved by so many.