Saturday, September 15, 2018

To my southern friends, stitchers and shop owners,

I have been thinking of you for days, praying that you come through the devastation of Florence and emerge on the other side of it victorious, a little wet perhaps, but moving forward, getting the clean up behind you and opening the doors to a new week of sunshine.  You have a lot of friends praying for you and cheering you on as your get your homes and businesses put back in working order.  So keep you head up and know we are there in spirit if not in person wishing you the best. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Well another fabulous weekend with Jackie DuPlessis

A huge Thank You to all the stitchers and Jackie DuPlessis for the fabulous weekend we had at Salty Yarns.  It's always exciting for us when events are coming up.  There is such a flurry of activity with Mary getting the rooms and apartments ready (with a real lack of workers as most of the foreign staff have returned to their home countries), so Mary has to help housekeeping and of course Sara has been on high alert for a month getting supplies for goodie bags, making sure the shop is fully supplied and the men....well they are on stand by in case we need them.  And then there I am, home stitching like there is no tomorrow and finishing to get new models in the shop.  Friday finally arrived, with temperatures in the 90's making it hard to breath and function, but the stitchers started arriving in high spirits because they knew Jackie was going to be teaching them fabulous new projects.  While I was told to stay home, I wasn't needed (this was just a tad hurtful, since I have been at every event working we have ever done) Shiela Fitzhugh and Bud were here all week (she was not an attendee for the event) and she sent me a text asking if I  was going to be at the hotel at all as she wanted to see me and show me what she had been working on.  She always does such beautiful work and large projects...I wouldn't want to miss seeing what she had completed,  so I told Sara I would be there on Friday but not to work just to see Shiela and then I'd go home.  So Shiela and I rocked on the front porch and I wish you could have seen her projects, well as a matter of fact I'll take a picture of 2 of them because she left them for us to display in the shop.  Thank you are a gem.  But the project I'm most fascinated by is her Heaven and Earth Nativity.  Over one on 25 ct., the detail on this piece is unimaginable.    I seriously don't know how she deals with the constant color changes.  Forget parking the threads you would never be able to untangle it from the back to stitch.  This is a masterpiece if ever there was one.  I started a Santa a few years ago and gave up after about 1 day.  It's making me rethink that and I plan to tackle it again this winter.  Anyway, Shiela informed me that Sara told her she wished I would show up so that the stitchers could see me as they were asking for me. (Thanks ladies...otherwise I'd be sitting home all weekend wondering what you were doing.)  So I came up Saturday and Sunday.....stayed out of the shop so I wasn't bothering anyone and chatted with the stitchers.  I love to see what others are working on and hearing their stories.  I didn't get a bit of stitching done at all during the entire weekend.  Anyway, Thanks to one and all who came to support the shop.  we  love you all!  Now, for my show and tell....first thanks to Cathy, Hands on Design, for deciding to do a general release of Wild Salt Air (formerly an exclusive called Dream of the Sea.)  The original kit came with an aqua scalloped tray that is no longer being made but Sara researched this and found they still made the scalloped trays in other colors and there was a light blue and a white one which would go with it.  So here is my finish using the light blue is missing the spool because I have to paint it to match the tray, but the stitching is done so now it's just finishing before it joins the rest of the project.

Sorry this is so dark but you still can see it a little

Front of the piece and the stitched pin cushion.  She does give you directions for making the wool pumpkin shown on the chartpak, but I haven't made it yet.  I also did a fob with the flower you see in the center of the vase, but I haven't actually assembled it yet.  

This is the back, obviously, and while there is still blank space it doesn't seem to bother me plus it would have been hard to do a design in that space for me.  I am so use to transferring her designs to 18 or 20 count over 2 to make pillows and banners it was strange at first to be working on 28 over 1, but I loved it and will now start on Summer in Baltimore. 
And the final show and tell which I had ready for Jackie DuPlessis weekend were  3 of the Stranded Jacks, a nautical set of Halloween ornaments from Plum Street Sampler (actually released in 2012 but I just got around to it).  
I found the mini fall milk can at Michael's and had an excuse to assemble the ornaments on dowels.  Such a cute way to use an ornament if you don't have a  year round tree.  I had seen a Halloween mini milk can just like this but decided I had spent enough at Michael's but when they went to 70% I decided I could afford it and went back.  By then the Halloween was gone but the fall was still there so I went for it.  The ornaments were stitched on 36 ct. Weeks Confederate Grey using the suggested fibers.  Since I've already done 8 of these types ornaments for Noah's Ark Christmas by Plum Street I can whip them up quickly, thank God!  So that's my show and tell for now.  I'm busy working on more fall for the Delaware Guild retreat.  I'll keep you posted.  Hope those of you who are in the path of the hurricane stay safe inside and have lights to stitch.  I've made sure I've got batteries in my clip on lights so I'm covered and hopefully we are all safe and this bugger just knocks itself out.  Now back to stitching for the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild.  I think I have enough time to do a few more smalls.  Fingers ctossed!  Have a great week, and for those of you anywhere near the path of Florence, keep your head down, stay inside, I'll be praying we all stay safe while she swings by.  Don't forget batteries for you clip on stitching lights.  

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wow, I almost thought I was retired...

I'm back at work after working only 3 days in the past 2 weeks.  Apparently I've become so confused on what day it was because I thought Sunday was Monday and idiot that I am I thought my phone and my computer were wrong when both informed me it was Sunday  I then send a text to Sara who confirmed it was Sunday and I had yet another day off.  OMG, it was like I'd been given a snow day, even though the last thing I needed was another day off.    So I thought I'd be ready for work when I came in on Tuesday, but I found I really wasn't ready to deal with people yet.  First of all, we are asked at least 10 times a shift about renting a bike and that requires a long answer so by the 10th person I'm personally exhausted with the subject but certainly can't say leave me the hell along please...even the please doesn't help the situation.  So I grin, smile, get through it and as soon as they are out the door text Sara with a few choice words.  And even as I type this I feel guilty because there is no way for visitors to Ocean City to know that bikes aren't allowed on the boardwalk after 11 a.m. so it's perfectly normal to ask and since I'm in front of the bikes that Greg leaves out all day and night as advertising, obviously they are going to come in here.  But God give me strength to get through the 10 bike questions today because I'm less than excited to hear the questions any more.  I've been stitching non-stop but only have one thing to show this week.     Hands on Designs latest short stack, "Live Within Your Harvest" turned from this

to this.  

These short stacks are really fun to stitch, took a couple of nights to stitch and one night to finish.  I stuff mine with lizard litter to begin with for weight and then stuff the remainder with polyfil.  I forgot to check supplies when I picked up the chart but was lucky to have  all but one of the fibers.  So I did substitute since I didn't want to go to the shop to get just one fiber- I replaced the French lilac with Gentle Arts Red Plum.  As for stitching I kept true to the designers vision....almost.  I couldn't help myself when it came to the girl's hair.  I did satin stitch on the back of the head and added a braid down her back.  I do believe I made it just a tad too long, but I couldn't help myself and didn't want to cut it because once I start trimming it could end up too short.  But just pleased to be finished.   So far there have been 3 short stacks and I've stitched them waiting for another.  I do believe I will be stitching every one of them.  While I did finish 3 of the Plum Street ornaments from "Stranded Jacks", I have yet to assemble them...hopefully Thursday if Izi doesn't visit.  And of course I've already picked my next three projects. 

 The first thing I'm working on  is "Autumn in Baltimore"by Brenda Gervais.  While I do a lot of her pieces on 16/18 ct. linen, I'm actually stitching this on the suggested linen, 28 ct. over one and I am loving this piece.  I'm a little concerned about the finishing, but I'm willing to give it a try. She has actually encased a papier mache box with fabric and stitching.  At first I thought it was the same box used on her "Here a Peep There a Peep" which is a small oval box, but Sara informed me that it's a little bit bigger than that, but still small at 5", so this is going to be so darn cute I can't wait to finish it.  

 Up after that is Erica Michael's, "Scary Berry"

Thread and linen are all ready to go as well as is the final pick for stitching,  Brenda Gervais, "The Cat & the Moon".  I have everything ready to go with this but I'm thinking of using one of the Rusty Bucket instead of her peat pot and it's just a tad bigger so instead of using 40 ct., I'm thinking of 36 ct.  But I could change my mind before I actually put needle and thread to linen.  Obviously I'm getting the autumn displays ready to go up in September, which is sooo close.  


Oh, my no matter how much  I stitch my "to do" pile just gets higher and higher.  But I'm having the time of my life.  We had a surprise visit from a designer yesterday, so thrilled to be working to meet her,  which is always unexpected and exciting.  Lila Umstead was vacationing with her family at one of the beaches in Delaware and took a trip down to see us.  Designers are our rock stars so it was exciting to speak with her and have a visit.  Her "Halloween Quaker" design is one of our number one designs this year.  While I have it in my stash (no surprise) I haven't started it yet, but perhaps this will motivate me to get on it.  Her "Siena" arrived here last week, I think, and it's an underwater mermaid that is a must.  Her treasure trunk is filled with threads, etc.  She's one of us.  This is a beautiful design and of course has been added to my stash.  Well, I need to get some work done, so I'll end here.  Have a wonderful weekend, hopefully you will have a chance to work  on your projects.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

This was a fun one from start to finish

I love Blackberry Lane Designs because of the detail they give each piece.  Lots of color changes, but in the end it is always worth it.  "Relaxing at the Beach" was so cute and the stitch was really fun.  Of course, after it was done I wish I had done a couple of things differently, but I had already redone one side when I decided to replace the flags (after I had stitched them) on the banner at the top with ones I cute out instead.  At first I cute them out of ribbon but didn't  have the colors I wanted and God forbid I should go buy I used scrapbook paper instead.  I also used satin stitch on the boogie board and the front flamingo and the red bucket.  I used a #8 perle coton for the bucket handle.  Marie has included 2 charts in the chart pack.  One has the sign and one doesn't.  I really wanted to use the directional sign so I could put Ocean City on it and used Beach on one, Home on one , the date and my initials on others.  For a final bit of tweaking things, I added a seagull button to the sign post, because in Ocean City there are seagulls sitting on all posts normally.  Then I handed it over to Sara and Vernon.  When Sara sent me a picture of the sign we used for inspiratiion for the final product, I knew we could never freehand the lettering, so I went to Michaels and purchased the 
air machine 2 (God forbide I order it from our supplier at a much lower cost, because it would have delayed the finish by a couple of weeks and I could be dead by then) so to do this lettering I spent a little under $300 at Michaels.  What we do and spend for our art.  I embarrassed to say I've lost the vinyl for the lettering already, during a clean up at home (this is why I should just never clean) now I have to get more.   But I love the machine so I'll be doing them for any of these signs people want.  Of course Vernon doesn't want to ever put the letters on another one so we are trying to figure that part out now.  

Anyway, I hope Marie doesn't mind the changes I made.   It wasn't a change in design, simply a change in the stitches used.  I did stitch it on Picture This Plus Helix in the count Marie used and used the colors she called for.  Perfect design and too much fun to stitch.  And now I'm moving on to Fall.  And of course I saw the new Brenda Gervais pieces and I've pulled all 4 as possibles.  But there are always the Halloween pieces from Blackberry Lane that I have to stitch.  Good golly, it's a good thing I've got 5 days off this week.  Yes, it's almost like I'm retired.  Whoopee!  So I'm going to work on finishing on the challenge piece which is fully stitched...and a fall piece I finished last night and start a few new pieces.  Fun, Fun, Fun....having a grand old time.  Have a great week...hope you get some stitching in. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

It's getting exciting....

Yes, Sara, Vernon and myself are working on the completion of the "relaxing at the beach" piece from Blackberry Lane Design.  I finished the stitching and Sara found a sign we are replicating and Vernon has now starting the making of the sign.  I love it when a plan comes together.  Of course, that wasn't the only thing I was working on...I finished the Festive Fobs-Seaside Edition, and also did the  finishing so it is not taken it's place of residence in the shop....

I stitched it on 32 ct. PTP Helix linen using 1 ply of suggested fibers and then just finished it into a pillow pin cushion as per Sara's request.  I then stitched the little whale in the bottle for a scissor fob and attached a pair of the micro silver scissors.  As I told you before, I used a small silver fish bead to fill in an empty space beside the alphabet.  Now as you already know, this design was for 10 smalls, needle books, fobs, etc.  But I love how this little mini sampler worked out and love the tiny fob.  However, yesterday while I was patting myself on the back, I noticed I forgot to put the water spout over the whale on the fob.  So now I have to try to do that with the fob already constructed....oh, crap!  So I stopped patting myself on the back, hit my self in the head and just said, what an idiot I am.   Because I finished both projects I was doing for the August theme, I began to look around for my next project and thought I would just finish my challenge piece, I Dream of the Sea by Hands on Design.  I purchased it originally as a special kit sold exclusively by another shop.  But then Cathy announced she was releasing the chart for sale in a week or so,  so now I can get it done and it can be a shop sample.  I only have one side of the pincushion left to do,  the rest of the pieces are done, so this will be a win win for me.  And since it is our challenge piece for October that makes this a double win....although I still have to do the finishing UGH!  While the turquoise tray is no longer being sold, Sara and I are ordering a light blue and hoping that the tray we've seen  in a reddish color is the right color so we're ordering it as well to take the other trays place.  This is such a wonderful design by Cathy so we're trying to stay true to the original idea.  Anyway, I'm having so much fun stitching these special pieces and finding different ways to finish them.  It gets my creative juices flowing.  Have a great stitchy week.  It's been hotter than hell down here, in the 90's with the humidity factored in...thank God for a/c.  So stay in, keep the water flowing and keep stitching.  Winter is coming!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

An almost finish............

For the past 3 days I stopped work on the camper and stitched Heartstring Samplery's Festive Little Fobs, Seaside Edition.  I mean really, this was a must for our theme for August, beach, ocean, etc., and I wanted to do it in a different way than shown.  I fiddled with the idea of doing them over 2 on 20 ct. linen and make it into a pillow, but just couldn't nail that down.  Then I thought....over one on 32 ct. and stitch it altogether, just as she shows it on the chart.  The result is so cute, but created another to finish it.

As I had to work in the office yesterday, I brought it with me to get Sara's opinion on finishing.  She stared at it for several minutes with each of us giving our opinions and then she said, I can't see it as anything other than a pincushion.  Since my brain is barely working these days I decided I would just go with that, but....of course I'll add more to the pincushion ....I'll stitch a fob, perhaps a spool, oh who know's what I'll come up with, but first I'll make this into a pincushion....I was thinking boxed, but Sara said, just a plain pincushion Mom (with eyes rolling) so at this point I'm not too sure which I'm going to do but it will be some kind of pin cushion for sure.  Now I'm going to look at the other Festive Fob patterns and develop more projects using the entire chart as a mini sampler.  So cute.  I used the colors recommended, except around the bottle as it blended in too much with the fabric, as you can see on the ships sail.  I changed it to WDW dolphin because it was sitting next to me (you didn't actually think I'd get up and look through a lot of greys did you?  As usual, my thing is to look at what's around me and pick something that will work out of it- the last resort I force myself to get up and go to the stitching room.  Unlike a lot of you I am obviously not as neat and tidy.  Wish I were, but I've got threads sitting on my coffee table, under the coffee table, in project bags surrounding my sofa....I don't know how it all ended up here instead of in the stitching room.  Anyway, because of that I seldom get up, just search around beside me.  I did add the fish bead because I don't like empty spaces and there was one beside the alphabet.  I did have to get up to search my bead container and couldn't believe my luck in finding the silver fish bead.    I'm so thrilled when my habit of always adding to my bead and charm collection works out.  Now it's back to the camper.  I can't believe it's almost August.   And I still have a drum, Beach Dreams, from Praiseworthy Stitches that I want to start and finish for display....I think I'm running out of time, but I'm determined.  I'm off until Friday....whoohoo....semi retirement at last (at lease for this week) to you next week.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

I'm feeling snarky today....

Can't help it, I'm on my 5th day of working and I'm not loving it at all.  Yesterday I kept telling myself I only had to make it to 4 p.m. and then I had 3 days off in a row.  But I looked at the schedule and noticed no one was scheduled for Sea Trader and I let Sara know and asked if she needed me to work and she said no, she just forgot to write who was working on the chart.  In her defense, she does schedules every Thursday,  and if you need a special day off the following week you are suppose to write that on the schedule and Sara makes sure you get it.  But as always happens, she gets calls Thursday night, Friday, etc., saying a certain day was needed so then she scrambles trying to change the schedules that are already done and put in the shops.  So I understand when something happens and we're caught with  no one on a shift.  So I went home somewhat jubilant thinking I had  3 days off, but at the same time weary and unsure.  And later on just when I was in full relax mode I got the one was in the shop could I work.  And she added, "Mom if it helps you will be working with me."  Let's think about that....home sitting on the sofa, watching t.v. and stitching, or working in the shop with Sara, not sitting on my sofa, watching t.v. and maybe stitching?  I'll let you know after 4....but I'm thinking it doesn't help!  I'm too exposed in the shop to tenants in the hotel and some I don't even know.  I was sitting on the hotel porch trying to find my apartment key in my tote before starting the walk home.  I become aware of someone standing over me...I had my head down looking through my I looked up and a man I'd never seen before said, "Hi, I recognized you from T.V.  I'm checking in today where do I do that?"  As soon as he said T.V. my head almost exploded.  For heaven's sake how long do I have to deal with that episode on T.V.  But I put the Lankford Hotel smile on and directed him, thought that would do it when he came in for the hug, and if that wasn't bad enough for me, kissed me on the lips.  While I should have been thrilled, he was a nice looking gentlemen, and  certainly younger than I am, I just don't want that happening.  So I was looking at him  like a dear caught in headlights as I was so taken back and got on the phone to Mary to tell her what she had coming for her, but luckily for her Joneal was on the desk and I don't think the man would kiss Joneal.   Anyway, the gentlemen came over from  Hawaii, and brought a big box of pineapples, so in the end I got a fresh pineapple for the kiss, so now Steve and I are BFF's, and he has kissing and hugging priviledges.  Yes I can be bought with food. Anyway, my day has just begun and I'm praying it goes quickly.  Several hours have passed and it's now Tuesday after 4 p.m.  It's actually almost 8 p.m. and I am at last sitting on my sofa, T.V. on and about to start stitching.  The day went pretty quickly as I was busy....the weather here is windy and cloudy so some people are going on the beach but for others the wind .  and choppy water is not conducive to laying on the beach so they shop....Thank God.  About noon my little Izi came over and stayed with me until 4 showing me all his newest games on his I Pad.  He also informed me he was coming home with me.  I know these boys won't want to come over when they get older as much so anytime they want to come now I let them, no matter how tired I may be.  So at 4 we headed to my house.  Brian insists that the boys do 2 hrs of homework every day and Izi hadn't finished his so we decided to start with that first.  He had 1 1/4 hours left of homework so we got down to that first and then of course we had to spend the rest of the time not playing games but watching Dan from England on You Tube play games.  I don't understand the fascination of watching someone else play, but I'll watch anything.  Thankfully around 6:30 Brian came over to take Izi home for dinner so I'm home alone....I have 2 days off, thank you Jesus, and you won't hear from me again until Friday.  Hopefully I'll have a finish by them.  But first a nap.  Have a great week and a fabulous weekend.  I pray you find time to stitch.