Monday, September 4, 2017

Have a wonderful Labor Day, relaxing, and enjoying backyard picnics with friends and relatives


  
Today we  honor  American workers and the contributions the workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and the well-being of the country..  The day is perfect with temps going into the high 70's...not to awful hot for those of us who can't withstand the high temps, but still perfect for laying on the beach soaking up the rays.  What you see here is the view from our shop windows....So if you aren't here, just keep your eyes on this an pretend.!  Greg Maccord reminded me that I hadn't done an update on Brian's back surgery.  I'm thrilled to announce it went beautifully.  It was amazing that he was in for the surgery and after a few hours recooperating Mary drove him home to O.C. from Annapolis.  Of course drugs made that possible and the next few days he was in bed with just periodic walks to the bathroom and out to say hello to us.  But a few days ago he started walking a few blocks each day and he's standing tall, so we're thrilled.  He goes back to see the surgeon this week and then he starts rehab, but from what I can see that shouldn't take too long as he seems to  be doing just fine.  Thanks for all your prayers and messages for his safe return.  It is miraculous just what they can do today and get it done in such a short amount of time.  

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I'm weeding through the finishing pile.....


Today Brian is having his surgery and we are all stepping up to the plate, some more than others.  I had 2 days off this week (whoohoo!!!!) so I felt of all people I should be here early....well not too early.  I arrived at 8:00a.m. to find Sara smiling and keeping things filled at the continental breakfast.  I would have helped her at that point, however, I got caught by the sweetest man staying at the hotel who wanted to introduce himself and tell me his life story, for the 2nd time, so I decided to go back to Sara's desk and escape reality until it was time for me to go to work in Salty Yarns.  We are fortunate in the hotel and the shops to have such loyal customers, and it  is part of our job to maintain those relationships.....however...today is not the day.  While I kept the smile on and spoke for several minutes to the gentlemen, my mind is up in Annapolis at the hospital worrying about Brian and Mary and I just can't do it today.  C.J. arrived early to take over the care of Izi and Solomon, Vernon was here by 9:30 to help Sara at the desk, so we are covering for Mary the best we can.  Michael is MIA but that could be a good thing.  He gets distracted by shiny objects at this point and gets moody so Sara is better if he isn't on site when things are rough and today is going to be rough.  Poor Sara has a double shift, hotel and shop as too many workers had to have today off....UGH!!!  I started to offer to work a double, but everyone feels that if I can get through 1 shift it's enough, especially after my breakdown of last Wednesday where I texted Sara and informed her I  was walking out whether anyone replaced me at 4 or not.  (That was a first for me in 45 years, but I had a really tough day).  While I was off for a couple of days  I did finish another of the Blackboard Ornaments from Hands on Design....on the black perforated paper.  Fun times!  All three ornaments finished are in the first chart pack, along with the precut holly leaves and the button berry.  Fast stitch, even though you do have to stitch the background. 




I showed the next piece the other day but had not finished because I forgot to leave a hole in the strawberry top for the scissor leash.  Last night I finally decided to just go for it and made a little hole which I stuffed the leash cording through and done.  Love this piece, "Coverlet Berry Scissor Tray."


I know this picture sucks, but I don't have the hanger on the back yet so I can't hang it to get a better picture, but you get the point.  ABC Needlework from Little Houseworks.  I showed it when I finished the stitching, but hadn't gotten the frame yet from Classic Colorworks.  Then of course, it sat around my house for 3 weeks after I got the frame, so last night I finally decided to just get it done. I don't know why it took so long.  I had it laced in about 15 minutes, which is the boring part....I've got a problem doing anything but stitching apparently.



 Now I just have to finish Clementine.  The real reason she isn't finished is I've been having an internal struggle over the most riduculous thing.  Stacy Nash put a button on the front of her dress and I decided to bead a necklace instead.  After beading a neklace and putting it on her I'm not sure I like it.  Here comes the stupid part....My argument is would Clementime wear a necklace or is the button more appropriate for her?  I mean really, the cat is wearing a dress and I'm worried about a button versus a necklace.  But that is just where I am at this point.  On my next day off (please God make it soon) I'm going to settle the argument and finish Clementine so I can start the next one.  That struggle is,  do I stitch the mouse or Harrison the rabbit.  I think Harrison is winning the fight.  Last night I started stitching the 2nd piece of Lesson #2, Lessons in ABCedarian from  from Brenda Gervais.  Again I'm doing the series as a set of pillows.  So I'm working on Legacy, 20 count which is actually between 16 and; 18 ct., so this is going to work up quickly.  Good thing since Lesson 3 is on the horizon.  God, I can't stitch fast enough. Got to run.  Still haven't finished Wichelt and Sara will kill me when she comes in and it isn't finished after 6 hours, since it should have been done and put away in the first hour.  (who has time for work when you are constantly checking Facebook)  Anyway, I'll catch up later.  Have a great night of stitching.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New finishes, at least the stitching is finished!

My "to be finished" pile is getting higher (ABC Needlework-Little House; Clementine by Stacy Nash, and now Lesson #2 from With Thy Needle & Thread), so I've decided to show one without having it finished.  First is "Coverlet Berry Scissor Tray" from The Scarlett House.  Back in 2015 this was a class somewhere and the tray they show it finished in was purchased from Hobby Lobby.  I figured 3 years later that tray would be unavailable so I automatically started looking for something else to use and there was the perfect tray sitting on my book shelves waiting for a design to be inserted, which I stole from the shop when Sara wasn't looking....OMG, what are the chances (obviously pretty good).  Anyway, the only small wobble was it is a tray with a witch cut out on the side of two sides (left and right on the picture).  Sara called the folks that made the tray and asked if they could just leave the witches off the sides and they said yes so we've got them coming...whoppee.  In the meantime I'm using the tray in stock.  The large berry in the first picture is attached to the needlework as a pin cushion and the 2nd berry is a scissor fob (show in the corner of the 2nd picture) but I just don't have the scissor leash on it yet (yes, I didn't read the directions and didn't attach it under the berry top so now I'm having an internal struggle on whether to take the top off and reattach it or make a leash using ribbon.)  I have to say when I read this was done on 40 ct. Strawflower linen I was questioning my ability to work on 40 ct. linen (I'm good with the gauze but linen is different.)  However, I had no trouble at all and I was working only at night so now I'm all about 40 count.  The pattern for the strawberries is in the pattern pack and they were easy to do (even though I forgot to do a leash for the scissors) and of course the tray we carry and I happen to have one at home (funny how I have so much at home just in case).   Fun project and easy to execute.  I've talked about setting goals before. I do set goals on some projects because it's easy to divide the work up and I had set a week for this one and managed to finish it 3 days early which was another win for me.





The piece you see below was actually stitched on 20 count linen which is the color of off white, I think it's Legacy Buttercream.  So I have no idea why this photographed like this, but anyway, it is going to be a pillow about 13" x 9".  It's the Lesson #2 of the Summer Schoolhouse Lessons in Abededarian and stitched with Weeks Dye Works pearl cottons.  I'm doing the other part of Lesson #2 now to have the set.  Actually I'm stitching the entire series in 20 ct.  Love stitching on it. Don't always love having to switch all the colors out, but one must do what one must do.  Since I didn't have the fabric home for the matching pillow I started another of the Blackboard ornaments from Hands on Design.  



I think I said I was going to start  on Halloween....don't know what happened to that thought....maybe after Lessons #2 I'll get to it.  And of course, I still have my needlepoint to finish before Jamboree.  God help me I just keep putting it aside.  But I have every intension of getting it done.  (I also realize the road to hell is paved with good intensions..uh, oh think I'll get to it before September, just to make sure I get it done in time).  Well I'm at work so I'll get back to it, plus I need to cut some fabric to start working on Lesson #2's other pillow.  Hope you are enjoying your stitching as much as I'm loving mine.  Have a great day!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Pre-stitch just showed up for Jamboree.....They will be coming to attendees soon...

I was thinking at this point that there wasn't any pre-stitch, so I apologize to the last stitcher to call the shop since she asked if there was and I said, I didn't think so,  since we had not seen any kits.  Oops, my bad.  The kits are from Sue Hillis Designs and contain all supplies needed to finish the stitching and button portion of the project.  Sara started sending them out last week.  Stitchers can use all or some of the buttons included and you can also use buttons that are family heirlooms, if you are lucky enough to have any.  There are at least 15 buttons in each kit, which is more than enough.  Buttons should be sewn on ahead of the class so stitchers can delve right into the easel-izing.  Finishing supplies will be provided in the class.  So get stitching on the pre-stitch when you get it and you will be taking home a finished project, and that is always a good thing.  We have also heard from Gloria (Milady's Needle) and she has decided  on a project for Jamboree and it's going to be a Halloween Spool...so we're excited about that.  As soon as pictures are available I'll post them for you.  In the meantime I have had another finish...another of the Hands on Design "Chalkboard Ornaments."  Finished by stitching black felt on backs.  Easy peasy!


Two down-7 to go!



Since I finished the ornament I got to pick a new project and while I find it daunting to work on 40 ct. linen, I decided to jump right in and started Scarlet House's,  "Coverlet Scissor Tray"....and I was amazed how far I got last night.  Seems it's not as daunting as I thought.  So now I've sectioned it into 5 sections and according to last night I should have this done in less than a week.  Of course I should know better since nothing goes according to my schedule, once I state I have a schedule.   But I like to set little goals for myself, although if I don't reach the goal I don't beat myself up, I just revise the schedule.  I decided not to bring it to work since conditions must be right for me to work on 40 ct. (My stitchy chair, my Daylight with a magnifier, T.V., glass of ice water)   So today I brought Summer Schoolhouse, Lesson #2 to work on and I'm stitching it on the large 20 ct, (I call it 16-18).  I thought this series would look cute as pillows as well as pin cushions....so here I go again.  Can't wait to start.  Hardest part is matching colors since I'm using Pearl Cotton, using Weeks and DMC.  In this case close counts.  I struggled with this decision as I loved them as the pin cushions they are suppose to be as well, but large count won out.  Brenda Gervais and Plum Street are my favorite designers for  designs which work on the large count linen but  I also love stitching their designs on 28 or 32 as well.  But not everyone's designs work on large count for me so I always look at their new designs as possibilities for the 20 ct. linens.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Keep your needles moving stitchers....too many designs and not enough time in the day!

Friday, August 11, 2017

The end is near....summer's end that is

I'm in working hell right now as Judy is off for a week and I'm in the shop everyday.  Mixed with this nightmare is Friday's epic work problem.  Brian has an appointment with a surgeon which is good news, however, the appointment is in Annapolis so Mary has to leave the hotel by 7 a.m.  Since Mary is the person at the front desk as well as the morning person in charge of the continental breakfast, that means that I now have to be at the hotel by 7 on Friday morning and have to take charge of the continental breakfast which is way more work than I want to do.  UGH!!!  But I'm always telling the girls we can do anything as a family, so as leader of this motley crew I have to step it up and do it, but in the future I might have to explain I'm not the one that wants to step it up, so when I say "we can do anything, I mean they can do anything."  Fortunately Mary has help coming at 8:30 so I'm only running for 1 1/2 hrs.  I feel sorry for tenants who get up early on Friday, they are in for a world of disappointment.  But at 10:00 I do go to work in the shop so that nightmare will be over, but then another one might begin with me in a shop where I know next to nothing anymore about yarns.  And of course 70 % of the people are asking me questions about just that.  I can talk circles around anyone when it involves counted cross stitch, but frankly when it comes to yarn I'm just not that interested.  But I'm going to have to get interested since it's embarrassing when someone asks me a question and I can't answer it without calling Sara.  She doesn't help because Pat knits a model,  Sara puts in on display and doesn't label it so I'm constantly complaining about that, since while I may be able to figure out which yarn was used, there's no way to figure out what pattern was used.  She finally started labeling some of them since I had a real bitchfest yesterday since the morning was filled with knitters.  When she realized rolling her eyes at me wasn't working she decided to label the models.  Mission accomplished!    With all the work I am not stitching as much as I usually do, but I did get Clementine done, (but not the finishing)  so I got to start something new.  I'm sure many of you have seen the facebook post of the ornament below done on perforated paper.  I saw it and instantly knew I wanted to stitch them.


 There is a series of these Christmas Ornaments by Hands on Design, "Chalkboard Ornaments", and since they are shown on black linen I just knew I would not do them because the darker the fabric the more I struggle to see it.  But when I saw a stitcher had done the entire collection on black perforated paper I was on board.  They really pop on black and  I love the fact that you can cut out around the leaves and the banner so you get some dimension to it.  And it's so easy to finish, just black felt sewn on the back.  Yes right up my alley.  Of course, unlike linen, you have to stitch every hole even though it's on black you have to stitch the black.  But small sacrifice to make for easier finishing.  The linen ornaments are stitched on 32 ct. and the paper is 14 count, so perforated is a tad bit larger, but I love them anyway.  I embellished with red Mill Hill beads instead of stitching holly berries and I switched out the Gentle Arts Geranium floss for Gentle Arts Buckeye Scarlet as I wanted a more Christmas Red.  My Geranium has more of a pink hue to it, but since it's overdyed that could have been just the batch here. I'm already more than 1/2 way through my 2nd ornament.  Fun, fun, fun! and I plan to keep going.  I had the cording in my stash from one of my purchases at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.  Love it when I find something in my stash which I purchased before I knew what I was going to do with it.  I justifies all my hobby purchases even when I haven't a clue.    Well that's all the news that's fit to print so I'll end here and get ready for whatever comes next.  Have a  great day!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Heat is gone for a day or two and we are enjoying.sunshine!!!

Well after a hefty rain on Friday and then slight rain on Saturday, Sunday is here with sun out and everything shining brightly.  The ocean is a bit upset, but at least you can sit out there and get sun and there is a delightful breeze.  I've had a few finishes since last we spoke.  One of my favorites is the Brenda Gervais, "Patriotic Poppies" which I did on the a 20 ct Legacy linen over 2 using Weeks Perle Cottons.  Fun stitch and then I gave it dimension by stitching the patriotic swag on the sheep on a separate piece and then attaching it so it stands off.  When I stitched it originally as shown, things just looked so one dimensional so I added that, and then 5 of the flowers are the weeks wool cut and stitched in place (that's done on the original chart as well with directions included) and then I added beads for the sheep's eyes (which you can't see and the 2 patriotic quilted star buttons I used on the bottom,which are also hidden in the picture.)




 The entire pillow is around 16"x 16" so it's perfect for a chair or sofa.  While I was searching thru the racks I found the sheep pulling a pumpkin wagon for fall....I'm certain it's coming to the store this fall.  Another finish, Val's Stuff 3 dimensional bat has been in my tote since Nashville.  So it finally got it out of the tote and it was an easy stitch and an easy finish so he's now flying around the shop.


The chart comes with everything but floss, so your felted balls are in there along with the buttons for the eyes and fangs, perforated paper for the bat wings and the weeks wool for the backing of the bat wings and the cord for hanging.  You can pick either purple or green for the bats and both sayings are in each pack, "Bite Me" or "I'm going Batty",so you can pick the one you like.  Sara is always saying "Bite me" to me, so I felt it was the most appropriate for her.  


The final piece to show this week is Liberty Notes from Shepherd's Bush.  I have always loved Shepherd's Bush and this was a beautiful stitch.  I hate borders normally because they are boring, but the two small borders here were delicate and a delight to stitch.  From beginning to end it was a joy.  And I framed it in the same frame  that I used for Land of Liberty.  I should have had West End Framing cut a new frame just a slight bit taller so I had equal space on the top and bottom, but I just couldn't wait.  Love it!

So of course the best part of finishing is picking new projects.  Well, I decided to go back and finish Clementine by Stacy Nash....after all, Theodore is lonely in the cabinet all by himself.  I should be able to finish her in a couple of days.  When I was stitching Theodore I wished for more color on him because quite frankly I was a little bored using just a few colors....but I couldn't wait for Clementine because her dress is quite colorful.  Well, be careful what you wish for.  Two nights ago I had to redo so many parts I finally gave up for the night.  Then last night realized I was about 9 rows short on the dress so I had to pull out the bottom and redo so while there is more color, one color would have been easier.  But I love her and can't wait to finish her.  And then it's on to Harrison.  I realize I'm skipping Monroe for now, but I'll get back to him.  Harrison is just talking to me at this point.  Stacy has done such a wonder job with this series I intend to stitch them all.  Fun, Fun, Fun.  When I'm done with Clementine, I haven't a clue what I'm going to start next.....probably Halloween since I have the Halloween tote stuffed with projects sitting on the sofa for me to go through.  There are so many possibilities I've got too many to choose from.  I also have unfinished designs sitting here that I would also like to finish.  Decisions, decisions.  Got to get back to Clementine...talk to you again soon.  Have a great stitching week.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Day 2 of Heat Wave....OMG...how are people sitting out on the beach in this?

I walked to work this morning and by the time I arrived I needed another bath...honestly you would think this would be a weight reduction plan for me, but so is not.  Thrilled to be in Salty Yarns in the a/c.  We have all heard the power of social media, but we actually saw it first hand yesterday.  Sara and I had a  miscommunication when I spoke with her regarding a knitted shawl in the shop and what yarns were used.  (I'm not as familiar with the knitting section so I always ask Sara).  The customer purchased the yarns along with a great many other things and when Sara came to work I was still so uncertain about the yarn I asked her again.  We realized we(O.K.me, but I'm making Sara take the hit since she hasn't labeled a damn thing)  had sold the wrong yarn to the customer.  Thankfully the customer has been in the store every year when she's here on vacation, however we didn't have a phone number or e-mail so Sara posted a plea on Facebook asked anyone who knew her to please reach out and ask her to get in touch with us.  The customer was in this morning...she got a call from a co-worker from about 8 years ago.  Needless to say I was greatly relieved to get her the correct yarn and amazed it turned out so well.  Still not a fan of all the crap on social media...too much info on people that no one should have..Facebook certainly serves a purpose.  Last night when I finally got home from my shift, sat on the sofa, laid my head back for a little nap when the damn phone buzzed to let me know I had a message.  I checked and it was Michael, at work. asking me to bring him his shoes (he got new shoes while I was at work so he immediately changed into his new shoes leaving his other work shoes in the shop).  So I headed back to the shop to get the shoes and get them to him, got back home, found a parking space again (which is incredibly hard in the summer which is why I normally walk to work) and got back into the apartment and a/c, sat back on the sofa and started to nod off and about 15 min. later the phone rang and it was Michael asking me to pick him up.  While I'd love to have that shift...about 30 min since he got to work..this meant leaving my parking spot again.  But it's Michael so there's no question....I went and got him.  When I got home after that my parking spot was gone but I did find the last one on the street by my house so I parked,  went back in to the apartment and then took a nap...no stitching.  I woke up around 1 and tried to stitch a little but after finishing one motif I went back to sleep because today is my 10 hour day...shop and then hotel so I knew I'd need more rest.  It's killing me I'm losing stitching time, but family first!  Brian got an MRI and he needs surgery so we are in crisis mode for the summer.  What could go wrong?  God help us!  Anyway, I wanted to show you a finish I had which I never posted because I changed several things including the verse because I was stitching this for a gift.  This design came mostly from Plum Street "Mariner's Drum" which I feel in love with.  I experienced a few difficulties (of my own making) so had to change the top from a stitched piece to wool, but that was alright with me.  Let me point out a couple of things that really impressed me with this design.  The  band around the drum was fully designed, no blank areas, it had the sand on the bottom of the scene as you would have in the water and the anchor you see on the first picture...that chain extended onto the top which had a ship on it....little details mean so much.  And the mermaid's mirror...the mirrors usually appear on stitching with just grey or silver as the mirror, but this one has the mermaid's image on it (done over 1)...and while you may not realize it at first I find thats the kind of detail I appreciate.  This also allowed me to add some little embellishments.  At first I was looking for tiny shells to add, but then Sara brought up the smallest starfish I'd ever seen and in perfect condition (while I added 3, you can see one on the 4th picture at the bottom)  and the tiny seahorse....OMG, needless to say I attached starfish and the seahorse to the piece.  Then I beaded pearl beads I had and made a necklace which you can see in picture 5 coming out of the treasure chest.  I have to confess I did change the face of the mermaid so it was more rounded.  Then the verse I changed to "Remember me when this you see, forever friends we will be."   When I could see I was having some difficulty with the top I changed it to the wool, went down to the shell shop and found the perfect real sanddollar that was the perfect size  and attached it to the top.  Please know there was nothing wrong with the verse originally on this piece, but I was trying to customize it for my friend.  This is a fabulous design and a wonderful stitch.  I plan to stitch it again as charted.






Well, I suppose I should be getting back to work.  I'm trying to get all our yarns on the web site....UGH!  This is a necessity but more like work so of course I'm not having any fun at all.  Perhaps while Sara's not around I'll sneak in some stitching.  I have the July 31st deadline quickly approching...got a project that must be done.  Talk to you later.  Have a great weekend.