Friday, February 7, 2020

Great Weekend again with all the retreaters....

Great weekend with the stitchers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware who stayed at the hotel for a retreat for Super Bowl Weekend.  While we were missing a few from Pennsylvania and Maryland, we still had a wonderful time and saw many beautiful projects and were absolutely inspired by what we saw.  First let me say we missed those who couldn't be here, Kay who had a fall a couple of weeks ago and just got out of the hospital, Jackie who had issues on-going from last year and Kathy who is on a cruise.  We missed you.  We also missed the regulars from Pennsylvania, Jayne, and Sherry who couldn't attend.  But this year we had a few day-trippers who joined the stitchers so a party still ensued.  The three states joined up for lunches and dinners in one of the apartments as everyone brings food, it was a constant shop, eat, stitch, repeat.   This is what is so nice about retreats.  Stitchers love to join with other stitchers to eat, share tips and stitching info and new friendships form.  Thanks to all the stitchers for coming and supporting our event, as well as entertaining me in the shop all weekend.  Thanks, to everyone who brought show and tell, which you know I love to see...I find it so inspiring and I have to say since you left I have been stitching more so my mojo is returning.  Special thanks to Debbie Shiozawa who brought her "box" of stitching finishes.  Debbie  is part of the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild who has 2 events here every year and each time Debbie brings her box of show and tell.  It is simply amazing the amount of stitching she gets done, but finishing as well.  She takes a lot of classes all over the country so the projects are incredible and the stitching and finishing are impeccable.  It is such a fun stroll to go through her box and see all the goodies.  It is also a great inspiration to us all, I think.  It just makes me want to stitch more and more.  I think it helped get me back on track this week.  I see a lot of class pieces stitched, but when it comes to finishing, that's a different story so when Debbie brings in her box I'm seeing projects finished that I've never seen finished before.  While she had the most, many of the stitchers brought in Show and Tell,  also beautifully stitched and finished.  Stasi Buhrman brought in her Year of Celebration in the Cigar box in which the entire series is stored,  which is such a lovely finish, plus her green sampler done on banding which she had shown on Facebook which I loved, so I was thrilled to see it in person as well.   Oh, I loved all the finished pieces, as I always do as it gives me wonderful ideas for fabrics to use with projects I have in mind, and also great finishing ideas.  So thank you to the retreaters, as well as thank you to those who ordered online, by e-mail, text and phone orders.  You helped us have another successful weekend and we appreciate it so much.  As I've mentioned a thousand times, my stitching mojo left me in November and I've been trying to amp up my stitching since then with little success.  I was getting a little better before the stitchers came in but with all the girls here and all the show and tell, I do feel it's come back, perhaps not as fully but I'm getting there.  I worked on the Brr...Berry for about 6 hours last night and thought to myself, "yes, I'm almost back to pre-Thanksgiving stitching."  I've missed it so I'm glad it's returning.  I did work on a couple of new projects before the weekend when Brr...Berry wasn't going to be done. 

 Plum Street Samplers, Hares' Winter which was a fun stitch and just the right small project to pick to get me back to stitching again.  I love the Hares and have done one other on large count linen which I loved a lot.  But this time I decided to go with 28 ct. Country Mocha just to make it easy on me.    I used the colors recommended and the only change I made was I used Mill Hill Petite Black Beads for buttons and eyes, and I added Turkeywork to the scarf for the fringe.  Then because February was right around the corner I had to do something for February and what better than Brenda Gervais, Holiday Hoopla-Valentine.  Stitching these small projects is helping me get my stitching mojo back.  This was only a few hours stitch, but my stitching room is torn up, well not torn up but packed with everything out of my bathroom as they are renovating it so that I couldn't find the oval pedestal frame I wanted to use, because I couldn't even get in the stitching room.  So I looked at some of my favorite hiding places in my living room where I keep some of my display pieces and came up with a red tart pan the correct size.  Voila...project finished.  I used a light pink Weeks Dye Works linen and changed the red dress to a deeper red from Weeks, (went with the pink linen better) but the rest of the colors are the ones listed on the chart.  

 I also got West End Frames to make a patriotic frame for Shepherd's Bush Flag Box which has been sitting in my guest room for about 4 years waiting to be completed and since we carry the Jill Rensel mat I pulled that to use.  I'm trying to get projects stitched,  but not finished,  out of their drawers and get some of them to the finisher.   Looks better than sitting in the drawer in the guest room.  Love it!

 I also gave up and had West End also make a white frame for the Brenda Gervais Peppermint Pals because I'm tired of trying to come up with an idea.  Without the use of my stitching and craft room, I'm unable to look for things, so here it is for now.   I'll update should I ever get it revised.  I can always change that out anyway, but at least it's out of the house. 

 Now I'm back to Brr...Berry.  Although after the weekend I've got a couple of projects I'm thinking of starting.  That's always a good sign.  But I'm halfway through Brrr...Berry  so I'm hoping to get it done soon.    Must get back to my stitching so I'll end here.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend no matter what weather you are experiencing.  We have had rain for the past 24 hours and now it's blowing a gale....but by 5:00 p.m. that is suppose to be over.  Sara let me take a wind day today so I'm home cleaning up the mess to get ready for game night with the grandchildren.  

Monday, January 27, 2020

Fabulous Weekend with the Ladies

Camp Wannastitch is just a memory at this point but I'm still exhausted from working during Camp Wannastitch.  There were over 200 stitchers attending the event, and while we don't see all of them, the fabulous stitchers that did come in  kept us hopping.   It's so exciting to see everyone and get a peek at projects they need supplies for, and discuss ideas for future projects and I miss it when they have all gone home.  As I mentioned in previous posts, Stasi Buhrman and Debbie Liming came down to lend a hand.  Poor Stasi was stuck at the cutting table all day for 4 days and didn't get a lunch break until 3:00 and then bounced right back to the cutting table.  Debbie was put to work in one of the apartments putting the Salty Yarns exclusive kit together.  We were waiting for the waxers, (which arrived this past weekend so now Sara is in shipping hell.)   I was in Sea Trader and Sara headed up the team in Salty Yarns.  At the end of the day, on Sunday Stasi told us to hold on as she had a gift for each of us....oh, how I love a gift.  OMG,
She made the Brenda Gervais bag with a little strawberry on the zipper, 
how cute is that?   The 2 spools of ribbon you can  stitch on the ribbon itself, OMG, and the scrabble sign which she made, and the daylight case for my portable lamp.  (It's actually a knitting needle case that fits the lamp perfectly.)  So it's been a wonderful weekend with Stasi's gifts as the cherry on top of the sundae.  I want to thank Ann Wilson for such a wonderful job she does organizing the Camp Wannastitch Event and for all the stitchers who visit us, thank you so much for giving us something to do for the weekend.  We love seeing you all and of course it helps us at this time of year when business is so slow.  Also thank you to the best Salty Yarns team, Sara, Stasi, you ladies.  Good time was had by all!  Now of course, we are gearing up for Super Bowl Weekend Sale Event.  We have several of our regulars coming in for the weekend, however some of our regulars won't be with us.  Kay Fletcher had a fall, was in the hospital  for several days, and while she's back at home she will be unable to be here.  Jackie Janovsky is still recooperating as well and Kathy Renard is on a cruise.  We've also lost a couple of the Pennsylvania crew and we will certainly miss everyone, but we will muster on.  Stasi and Debbie will be back to back us up so we feel better having them here.  Remember you don't have to be here to take advantage of the sale.  You can call in, email us, or text Sara and it starts Friday and goes thru Monday.  We look forward to seeing everyone or hearing from you.  We will, of course, have Super Bowl snacks here on Sunday.   

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Fish Tales is finally ready and shipping will start tomorrow, 1/27/2020

Thank God, the waxers finally arrived and we are putting the kits together for our Hands on Design exclusive, "A Fish Tale" and we starting the shipping Monday, 1/27/2020.  For those who haven't seen it or know anything about it let me explain what this is.  The exclusive kit includes the chart, wooden box for displaying the pieces, 14 weeks dye works threads, a fat quarter of linen, trims, wool for the pincushion top and the red backing fabric.  Also included is the matboard, cardboard, foam core, ribbon and twine for finishing.  There are some extras that were made to fill to your box...a custom fish ruler by Joseph's Workshop, a set of real shells made into counting pins, a thread keep by Sampling of Memories, fish waxer by Noteworthy Needle, and an ort jar.  The only things that you will need to supply is the white paint for the box, batting, and roving/walnut shells for the pincushion.  The kit cost will be $150.00 plus shipping.  Since this is an exclusive kit, it will be excluded from any store sales or coupons.

If you are interested Sara is ready for you to call with your address and payment information.  The shop is open Friday thru Monday from  10-4....the shop number is 410-289-4667.  Or you can send her an e-mail at    For those of you who have already ordered the kit,  it will be on it's way this week.  

Hope to hear from you.  

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Where did my stitching mojo go?

Before I start the whining let me first say I hope you all have had a great beginning to our new century, year, whatever.   I had a lovely Christmas, a little stress filled, but that's normal and my New Year's eve was spent with all the grandchildren, large and small, and they all left by 9:30 and I was asleep way before the ball dropped so I was well rested to start the new year.  One would think the stitching would come out, but they would be mistaken.  I've been in a serious no stitching zone since November and prior to this weekend had really not stitched.  I always bring it to work, just in case, but nothing.  Last Friday I arrived with my tote and with resolve to at least work on Peppermint Pals even if I just did one thread and then stopped.  As it turned out I actually stitched for a couple of hours.  Before the drought I had finished 1/2 of the design and as I got more of the snowman's torso done I got excited.  Friday night when I got home from work I pulled it out and completed it.  I even added beads, turkey work on the scarf and some satin stitch.  I could feel my stitching mojo coming back.  Not completely as I couldn't figure out what to stitch after going through several bags.  I finally decided to do one of my first loves of needlework, Shepherd's Bush.  So I pulled one of their kits (thought kit would be better since everything is in there and I wouldn't have to hunt for stuff, which has become harder since Vernon and John, who are putting heated flooring in my bathroom, as well as redesigning the room, put the furniture which use to be in my bathroom into my stitching room and I can't get to anything.  Which means putting Peppermint Pals together is almost impossible...but heated flooring in my bathroom is so worth it.  Anyway at work on Saturday I stitched about 1/4 of the kit and when I got home I also worked on it, so I think it won't be long before I'm back to my usual self and I'm excited.  Last Sunday, I already grabbed 4 new charts and at home, I also started pulling fibers for a new it won't be much longer before I'm stitching 24/7.  Can't wait!  This week, 1/16/2020,  Camp Wannastitch is in town so we are gearing up for them and Stasi Buhrman is here to cut fabric, Thank God!  Debbie Liming is also here,  she thinks to lend emotional support, but Sara has a job all lined up for her so she's in for a shock.   I'm basically just a seat filler at this point and there are times I don't do very well at that.  But as I keep telling Sara, "You get what you pay for."  Since no one hands me a pay check you really can't expect much from me.  I was hoping for mild weather again for the stitchers coming into town, but today it looks like 38 is going to be our high, but tomorrow it should go into the '40s and '50s on Sunday.  Here's hoping.  In the meantime, I wanted to show you the Peppermint Pals by Brenda Gervais, that I did finish.  Even though it's taken far to long to finish it, I loved the stitch, adored the piece and can't wait to get the finishing done.  
I stitched him on 28 ct. PTP Helix (a regular go-to for me for snowmen), using the listed threads but adding dimension with beads for berries on the snowman and in his snowman bucket.  I used turkey work on the ends of the scarf and black beads for his eyes and buttons.  I also did satin stitch for the hat and the boots just because.  Not sure why, didn't add anything frankly, but I wanted to.  Anyway, this is such a fun series.  There are 3 in this series so far, Boo was the pumpkin-headed girl which I did in October, Santa for Christmas which I haven't done yet and then this one.  Cute and fun.  Well, that's what I've done in the last month and a half, how about you?  Stasi Buhrman is here with show and tell and she's finished so many pieces in the same amount of time that I did this one that I'm embarrassed.  Got to get my mojo back big time.  I started the Erica Michael's snowman strawberry on Monday on 28 ct. over one and told Sara I was going to try and have it done by this weekend....that so hasn't happened and in fact, I didn't stitch on it at all for 2 straight days.  But I did get back to it last night and put a few stitches in.  Today I've pulled another chart and will be taking it to work with me (because I'm stitching over 2 on this one I thought it might be easier to stitch at work) so I do feel this is more normal for me having multiple projects going at one time.  Let's hope it helps get the juices flowing again.  Have a great weekend and if you are down here with the Camp Wannastitch group, stop on by we'd love to see what you are working on.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Well another beautiful day in the neighborhood.  Temperature is closing in on 60 today so people are out and about and we have visitors in town for New Year's Eve so we were really busy yesterday which I didn't expect.  I'm still recooperating from Christmas lack of sleep, etc., so I was thrilled when 4 p.m. hit and I was able to go home where I had plans to take a nap before hopefully getting back to my needlework which has just been sitting in my tote for almost a month.  I'm having serious withdrawal symptoms.  Anyway, as I'm putting the scooter away (that's how nice it is I'm still riding myscooter to work), Mary stopped me and said, Izi was hoping he could come down but if I wasn't up to it she'd tell him he can't.  Now you grandmothers know that when a grandchild wants to come we try to buck up no matter how tired and say, "Oh, I'd be thrilled to see him. Absolutely tell him to come down."  Sara who arrived before Izi to finish the Death by Chocolate cake that I started 4ays ago for Christmas Day (that's a whole other story), said "why didn't tell him you were tired."  Can't wait for her to become a grandmother.  Yes I know Vernon's daughter has 2 sons which Sara regards as her grandchildren, they aren't Michaels.  That's when she will know the grandmothers creed..."no matter what obstacles you are facing when grandchildren want to come to your house, everything waits until they go back home again."   Thankfully around 6 p.m Mary called Izi home for dinner so I was able to get a nap in.  But when I woke up I still didn't even pull my stitching out of the tote.  Oh well, today might just be the day.  I feel so guilty anyway because I didn't get a Christmas gift done for Sara.  Mary doesn't stitch and really doesn't seem to care if she gets no stitching,, although she loved the Shepherd's Bush stockings, but I have a few things that I think she might like, but Sara likes everything and I have about 5 projects already stitched just not finished.  That's my resolution for the new year, Sara gets a stitched and finished needlework gift for every occasion.  Now let's just see if I'm able to keep that up.  Let's see, first occasion Valentine's Day.  I have just the perfect piece and I've already finished one piece os it and I don't even think it will be that difficult.  But starting January 1st, I also have to start working on the challenge piece again because this year is the show up with it completed or be prepared to pay $25.00, and you know I can't have that.  But I've seen such wonderful projects I want to stitch from a variety of designers but I have to get my mojo back.  I've seen pictures from several people regarding Christmas so I think most of you had a festive time and we were no different.  We always gather as a family at my apartment simply because I don't want to leave on Christmas Day.  This year we had all grown kids return for the day (Michael, Liz (Michaels girlfriend), Jake (the young man who moved in with Sara and Vernon in high school who has since moved in October closer to his work)and Christopher, Brian's son, come to celebrate with us so that's always a good thing.  In all there were 12 of us.  For me there is a lot of memo's about food, etc., menues, shopping, etc.  I also made a schedule when food  needed to be started, which day prior to the day as well as oven temps, and time.  Yes I was organized to a T, which is why I was so shocked when it all went to hell in a handbasket.  I started Monday making the Cheesecake and Hershey Chocolate Pie as well as the vegetable cheesecake appetizer (which I had last year and Jake loved it so much he requested it again this year.)  I had the candied sweet potatoes, sweet pickled peaches and pickled beets readyon Monday...Yes, I was going to make it (which should have been my clue that it wasn't going to happen.)  My surprise for dessert was going to be a dessert called "Death by Chocolate."  Many of you probably ate at the Trellis in Williamsburg and it was a headlining dessert there and lucily they did a cookbnook which I purchased.  I've done the cake before and it was a hit, but a whole lot of work, but with 42 oz. of chocolate in it how could you not have it.  So can be made in one day if you want to start at about 1 a.m., but even they suggest you do the layers over a 3 day period.  Knowing meringue has to be made early on and during dry weather I made my chocolate meringue on Monday and it was beautiful when it came out of the over.  The rest, chocolate mousse, Mocha chocolate mousse, brownie and ganuche I figured were the easy parts.  The appetisers I was leaving until the last minute, after all the vegetable cheesecake was already done.  The others were a Brie in puff pastry, baked onion dip, and little pizza's for the kids.  Tuesday turned out to be my waterloo.  I just couldn't get my S*#$ together, so while I got the house picked up that was about it.  So Christmas morning my hit the floor and they never stopped moving and I was getting things done, but by the time Sara arrived in the afternoon to help I was a wreck, so she took the wheel and she decided the Death by Chocolate wasn't going to happen, nor were any of the other appetizers.  So she decided we would stick with the Turkey, stuffing, gravy,  candied sweet potatoes, Green bean casserole, roasted asparagus (I had planned on Hollandaise sauce- she said screw that), my cinnamon dinner rolls (which Solomon loves) so I made those, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and then the items I had already finished.   I got over what didn't get done, like the Death by Chocolate, but decided that would become part of our do-over dinner on the 26th.  (Family tradition is that we gather on the 26th and eat as much of the left overs as possible.)  I always think it would be nice if I make some new stuff for that dinner, so I just satisfied myself that I would bake the brie, make the baked onion dip and the cake for it.  Sara again arrived at my house in the afternoon to find me in the kitchen covered in chocolate, and furiously making mousse.  I had the turkey done (I ordered a turkey and a turkey brest for Christmas and got 2 turkeys instead) the rest of the things hadn't left the refrigerator yet and I was working on the cake.  So Sara put an apron on and she said what's left.  So she worked on the mocha mousse and the gaunauche and then I read the sentance that just put a dagger through my heart, why the hell didn't I remember this from 30 years ago.....cake has to be refrigerated for at least 4 hours but preferably 12.  I was discusted and said the hell with it, let's just work on the appetizers and forget this.  But she said no we're going to finish the next layers and then we will assemble it and we'll have it on Saturday.  I said, I hade no intention of doing a do-over on the do-over but she said she'd come over after work on Friday help finish assembling and then each family could take some.  And she said the hell with the appetizers.  The only thing I insisted on finishing was the Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets which I was in the process of finishing.  It had been marinating all day.  My Izi doesn't eat very much but he loves the nuggets and chick fil a.   I had the dry mix already together so it was a matter of draining the nuggets, covering them with the dry mix and frying them.  Vernon arrived and Sara put him in charge of that.  So even though we had caos in the kitchen, and Jake and Christopher didn't show up the rest were here and dinner was wonderful.  Izi said the nuggets didn't taste exactly like chick fil a but he thought they were very good.  Apparently others were curious because Sara, Vernon, Michael and Mary said they tried them and thought they were good.  So Izi at what the others didn't so I considered it a success but am going to try another receipe next time.    After work on Friday Sara shows up to finish the Death by Chocolate which at this point I was truly over and didn't give a damn if it ever got done.  I'm thrilled to say it got done and today I brought turkey sandwiches, chips and Death by Chocolate to work for everyone.

 5.+ 2.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Finally, the end of the series....12/02/2019

Year of Celebration-December is done.  While the stitching was completed last night, I did the finishing this morning.  So today I celebrate as I have finished the 12 part series, a first for me, and the final sample for the shop for 2019, or is it?   Well, at least in my mind I can concentrate on Christmas.  December was stitched on 38 ct. PTP Doubloon.   I did substitute on this one.  I used the Liberty as charted and Envy as charted but I changed the lettering to Onyx and the gold to Whiskey both by Weeks Dye Works.  The bells I attached in place of the stitched bells (you know I have to have dimension of some kind on almost every project.  Then the package was also changed to one color and the ribbon is a 1/16" white ribbon as is the bow.  I think the rest was done as charted.  Then I finished it using Christmas plaid scrapbook paper with a red ribbon hanger, and #321 DMC pearl cotton cording.  Thank you Cathy for such a fun series.  While finishing always challenges me, when I work on a series it gets easier and easier as I progress through another attempt at finishing a stitched piece, so by the time the 12th month was done the finishing was a breeze...or almost a breeze.  But as with the Apothecary Series-9th one, the 12th one on Year of Celebration became a challenge to stitch.  I made several mistakes on each, or I didn't like a color after stitching it so decided to take it out and replace it, so they both took longer than they should.  But I was determined in both cases to get them done and I'm so glad I did.

                                       Year of Celebration-December-Hands on Design

Sunday, December 1, 2019

It's back to work for me...........

Hopefully, everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with family, friends and great things to eat.  I know I did.  I had 2 Thanksgiving dinners, first with Sara's family on Thursday (Mary and her family were in Baltimore with Brian's family), and then we repeated the dinner on Saturday with Mary and her family.  So needless to say, I've been stuffed all weekend.  And of course, Friday marked my return to the working world.  It was beautiful weather here in O.C., sunny skies and temperatures in the high to mid-'40s.  So plenty of visitors in town and we got a share of those in the shop.  Saturday we got a visit from our Stacy Stinson who stopped by to pick up a couple of models she lets us use every year and then picks them up to display at her house for Christmas and then brings them back after Christmas.  Thanks, Stacy, we appreciate it.  She was also picking up supplies for some new pieces, and I got a sneak peek.  So that was exciting as I love to see what people have done, are doing, or thinking about doing.  She picked up a sled at Hobby Lobby last year that is going to be so cute with a Heart in Hand Santa on it.  Got me thinking I've got to get a sled as well.  A great display piece.  She came at a good time as I needed a bit of inspiration.  Because I spent 2 days cooking for Thanksgiving and then the exhaustion from 2 days of cooking, I barely touched my stitching.  But now I think it's the piece I'm working on that is causing the delay.  It's my final Year of Celebration piece-December, which should have been an easy 2-day stitch and it's still not done 5 days after first starting it.  I didn't have one of the colors so I substituted, which I do a lot with no problem, but when I got in the shop on Friday I pulled the missing color, liked it better than the color I used, so of course, I ripped out the old color and put in the new.  That's sort of how this piece is going.  It's really frustrating because it should be in the shop today, but it's not done.  However, because it's raining Sara told me to stay home so today is the day I'm going to finish the stitching and finishing so I can take it with me tomorrow when I go to work.  Then I can move forward with something new.  The one problem I've dealt with all weekend was my cell phone died, and I do mean died Friday morning.  I've had issues with the battery for some months, but as long as it was plugged in it was fine, so I just made sure it was always plugged in.  I was due for an upgrade 2 years ago and didn't do it, so I knew it was on borrowed time so I figured I'd get one the next time I was in Salisbury.  I didn't make it to Salisbury in time.  This had me panicking starting Friday over my lack of phone since I don't have a landline. And to be honest, while I hate phones generally, I use mine to keep notes, to let me know the time, weather, etc., to say nothing of communication with family and friends, so losing the use of it was distracting.  Plus it disconnected me from the girls...which I panic over.  In fact, Mary came down and checked to see if the phone was backed up in the cloud and I ordered a new phone while she was here and it will be delivered on one more day and I'm back to being connected...Thank God!  I'll be thankful for that.  Anyway, aside from my phone issue, we had a great weekend in the shop.  I did my usual work on the website between customers and in adding product to the web site I was able to snatch a couple of charts without Sara realizing I was doing it...yea!!!  Always fun to add stash to an already exploding at home stash.  I know no bounds when it comes to that.  So I feel good about my working, as I didn't just sit there like a lump.  I would take my stitching out each day and it would just sit there until I put it back in the tote to take it home each day.  It was also good to get back in the stores, even though they have moved everything around so I can't find a thing which makes me feel and look uninformed but I'm starting to get use to that feeling already.  Thankfully I'm usually in Sea Trader so that makes it easier on me.  My opening line after Hello, is "I normally don't work in this shop so you'll have to excuse me if I have to go find an answer to your question."  Fair warning is always a good thing.  Well, I'm going to get back to my stitching and hopefully have a finish to show you tomorrow.  Have a great night and I hope you have managed to put your needle into action.  Talk to you tomorrow with a finished project...fingers crossed.