Monday, May 14, 2018

Hope all you mothers had a lovely day yesterday, the official Mother's Day...

Frankly as a mother myself I truly feel like we need a Mother's Day every week..but that's just me!  Got a call Friday asking if I could work Saturday,  so I thought I was back in action once again. I rose at 3:30 a.m., wrapped Sara's birthday gifts then checked out my two finishes, Noah's Christmas Ark part 1, crocodiles and giraffes are both done and what fun to stitch...I look forward to part 2 which is already in the shop so I can begin whenever the mood strikes.  I also finished the Hands on Design Laundry piece....So easy to finish this way and a fun I just have 2 more to finish...Hooray!!!!
I don't think I ever showed you Cherished Stitches Trinket Box, one of her limited edition pieces from Nashville.  I got it done for the Spring Retreat and you can see it here with the pin cushion beside it. 
I did make one change on the trinket box that I can remember and that was...she has you make a loop out of the black wool to attach to the top to open the box, but since I have a ton of beads  I used a large black bead to make a top for my box.  These were both fast and fun projects and projects easy enough to finish in one sitting. I always like a quick finish, I just usually don't have one.  So I'm starting a new project today, and I can't decide what to do next.  I thought I'd be stitching Freedom Tree but I haven't pulled the DMC's for it yet, so I decided to pack up threads and fabric for about 4 new projects to take with me to work.    I don't really worry about how much or how little I take with me since I can always start something from the shop while I'm there, if I'm not in the mood for what I packed.  However, like a lot of you I'm trying to use some of my endless stash before I shop Salty Yarns again.  I just pray there is nothing new since last weekend so I'm not tempted.  I always need new fibers and sometimes a special fabric but I don't need any new projects, and my collection of charts is out of control so I'm praying I see nothing new, otherwise I'm sure I'll feel like it's a must have.  God help me!  Well two days have passed since I started this blog and I did show up for work on Saturday to find Daphne in Sea Trader and Michelle in Salty Yarns, so I thought I must be in the Shell Shoppe only to find Sara had forgotten Michelle was working so I wasn't really needed!  But since it was Sara's birthday I decided to work in the office so I could be there when she was done working at 4 to give her the gifts I got for her.  (I did offer to work for her in the Shell Shoppe but she insisted she had to do it since she just got done with Darlene's our shell distributor.  So I got a whole lot done in the office and am now back to my job there which I relinquish to Mary in the off season and then take it back for summer when she's really too busy with the hotel.  Sunday I decided to go back into the office for Mother's Day with my 2 wonderful daughters....grandchildren and the men who love them.  It was a wonderful day as Izi and I played games on his I Pad, which of course he beat me every time.  And after 4 we ordered dinner and had take out since the hotel had guests so we couldn't go out.  So Mother's Day was lovely with just that but of course the girls went the extra distance and got me gifts.  Sara's family gave me two hanging planters for my little porch as I have wanted them for a couple of years but never got around to it.  I did finally purchase, in Nashville, one of the planters but I've been riding it around in my van since them.  So I'll pass this along and will be thrilled to have the two from Sara which are  already planted and will be  hung on my railings.  Mary's family gave me a lovely pendant which looks like a quilted piece only in silver.  I'm sure you will have a chance to see it as I'll be wearing it.  So lovely day was had by all, although it was a little cool outside.  I finally got rid of my winter coat so I was happy it didn't dip lower than 55, but mercy, one day it's in the high 70's and in 24 hrs we are back to 50's.  And the forecast is showing rain all week so that will doom next weekend.  Grandparents are already dying in Baltimore as people have started cancelling their reservations for next weekend.  The minute rain appears in the forecast many vacationers who have made reservations call to say their grandparent is ill, in the hospital or dead and they can't come.  They must have mass burials during the rain weekends.  But we will be here should those who do come want to visit.   We will love seeing you!  Have a great week.  

Thursday, May 10, 2018

No work in sight!!!!

Sara has given me unlimited days off as she trains new people.....and I can't say I'm sad about that but I'm like a kid in a candy store, I just can't settle down and do one thing, I'm starting something, then 15 minutes later think of something else I'd rather do, (Obviously since I'm now writing the blog, when I'm suppose to be cleaning)  But at least I have started something constructive.  So far this week I started organizing and cleaning up the house.  The worst room, where I just dump stuff, is my beautiful sewing room which isn't so beautiful at the moment.  Now instead of just picking up and putting stuff away, I've decided to really organize the room.  First I'm getting all charts, kits, etc., on a spread sheet (or dozens of spread sheets) on the computer.  I'm weeding out and getting duplicates out (I had 3 charts of the same design so I know I loved it) and so far I have one shelf completely done and one chair with everything out of it and put away.  Yea!!!!   Threads out of chart packs which I had planned to stitch years ago, but never got around to it and yet I left the overdyed threads in there for some reason.  And since events are over I can now straighten up my work table, where I do everything, but again, when I bring something stitching related I dump it on this table.  So before I can do anything I have to clean it off and at the time I'm just shoving things to other spots, not really puttng it away.  Well no more, I've started the process in cleaning up and organizing and hopefully I'll finish it.  I'm only working on the room for approx. 2 hrs per day and then I get to do anything I stitch.  And I've started a project, Plum Street Sampler's,  Noah's Christmas Ark I, which I am loving. 

The first chart is for the Crocodiles and Giraffes and each of these sees to take approx 2  or 2 1/2 days to stitch.  I'm on the giraffes and then will move on to the second set of charts.  I think she's already published 2 charts at this point so I have time to catch up.    I've also pulled together the threads etc., I need for Blackberry Lanes,  The Freedom Tree.  

As soon as I have the first set of ornaments for the Noah's Ark tree stitched, I'm starting Freedom Tree in hopes of having it done by July 4th.  I have the 32 ct. PTP Dapple linen all ready to go along with the beads for the garland, but haven't pulled the DMC yet.  Perhaps today.  I should be able to start this by tomorrow night.  Love a new start.  Well thought I'd just check in now that I'm rested up from last weekend's Spring Retreat.  Wow, it was wonderful but exhausting for me.  I'm just getting too old for this stuff...staying at work until 9 or 9:30 p.m, especially when there was no rest between the 3 retreats in a row.   Yes, I've reached the age where anything past 6 p.m does me in.  But the stitchers were fabulous and this year we had 2 men join us with their wives and they too were fun and charming.  So, any man who will pick up a needle and stitch is certain welcome to join us.  And thanks to all this years participants.  I loved seeing the regulars and loved meeting the new stitchers joining us.  And Shirley, new to the event,  decided to try stitching on the larger counts, 18 and 20 and found she enjoyed it so much she's now a convert.  She had been struggling with the 28 and 32, but her love of the stitch was elevated when she saw how easy she could see the larger count and she's hooked.  As many of you know I'm usually always working a larger count piece along with my smaller counts.  I love it as well.  Anyway, have to get back to the clean up, never know when Sara is going to call me in.  Have a great day and keep those needles moving stitchers.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Can't believe Spring Retreat time is here.....

Wow, Spring Retreat starts this week with some of the attendees arriving today, Tuesday,May 1st.  This is 3 events back to back...I'm getting too old for this much activity.  Last week I had 3 days off leading into the event, but this week I've only got 1 day off so what out people, I may be totally off my rocker by Sunday.  But tonight I'm scheduled to do cookies, and tags were started a few days ago, so hopefully I'll be ready.  I have one more model to finish stitching and I have a total of 2 to put together and then I will be truly ready for the weekend.  I did have a couple of finishes last weekend.


O.K. This isn't my work, this is the latest 2018 Annual from Greeneframe.  So cute, and while we have always had clocks on the boardwalk (in fact one right on 9th st.) they used to be given to the city by Esskay as an advertisement.  Renee has been doing these Annuals for  over 20 years and they are a wonderful souvenir of your time in Ocean City.  Now as far as my work goes, 

This is Aileana designed by Cherished Stitches.  She's a limited edition pin cushion doll who stands around 2-2 1/2" tall.  I've always loved miniatures and so this was right in my wheel house.  Just 2 nights stitching at most and the finishing isn't that difficult.  However, the doll that comes in the kit is completely white which threw me off, so I decided to put a little paint on the doll to make her come alive a little.  Because of that I didn't make the hat that you see on the cover photo because I gave her hair.  But painting her or leaving her as she comes it's still so dear and a great addition to my pin cushion collection.  Aileana also has a sister in purple called Avriel for those who like purple better than green.  These are limited editions so if you think you want one, you better get it sooner rather than later.  Everything comes in the kit for $27.00.  Next up is another limited edition from Cherished Stitches, 

It's called "Sampler Pin Cushion and comes as a complete kit with the linen, fiber, wool for top and bottom, chart and complete directions for assembly.  Stitching takes about one night and assembly is relatively easy as I've done several drum pin cushions which is what this is.  And now I'm working on another limited edition piece from Cherished Stitches, actually the stitching is finished and now I have to do the assembly, hopefully before Friday. 

And Judy brought in several pieces finished from JBW Designs, Seaside  Series I, II, and III and I just loved her display.  

In the back of the display is her Winsome Whale from Artful cute.   Judy did a wonderful job on finishing each piece and added a twine cording to each piece...just perfect.   Such a cool way to display a collection for summer.   Well, that's what's happening in our shop as we scramble to get things ready for another wonderful weekend full of stitchers.  Sara's got the Lasagna's all done and in the freezer, along with a few appetizers she could make ahead of time.  Today's she's making a run to Sam's Club to get supplies for the rest of the food she presents.  Mary is getting the hotel back together after last weeks's retreat and the boys are still busy fixing and painting.  I have the least to do, which is only right..right?  I have the cookies, which I have two more  batches to do tonight and they are done, and the bag tags which will be done tonight as well.  I do these in batches and have so much fun coming up with a different tag idea than any tag I've done before.     I still have models to get assembled and a couple to stitch period but I'm also working in the shop this week so not sure how much stitching I can get done, but I'm trying.   Anyway, can't wait to see everyone.  Drive carefully and for those not coming, just keep on stitching and when you have a moment in front of the computer, watch Liz and Debbie on You Tube ...Country Stitchers.  They were here as part of the Delaware Valley Historic Sampler Guild, gave Sara and I beautiful scissor fobs and told me about their new venture.  I watched it this morning while making the cookies.  They do a wonderful job and I loved seeing what they've done and are currently working on and was amazed by Debbie's stitching room.  Huge and so organized to boot.  I'm not sure if I saw Liz's so I'll have to take another look.  But Debbie's is worth a look see.  Stitchers got to run, so take care, have a great week and keep your needles moving.             

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

We miss you already!

Whew!  Sherri's class is officially history today, Monday, April 23, 2018 and I'm officially pooped.  But I would be officially dead without the help of so many people.  Sara, Mary and the two patient  and handy men they married, Vernon and Brian who just do as they are told and don't ask questions.  Stasi Buhrman who arrived last Tuesday to help and was invaluable during the event, finding linen stitchers wanted and cutting fabric and she learned to ball yarn so even more better for us; Ginny who became our Uber driver back and forth to the airport picking up and delivering stitchers and then returning them to the airport on Sunday and Sherri on Monday, and if that wasn't enough took over duties in the shop balling yarn and any other thing we asked of her.  And then Sherri who did a fabulous job of leading the stitchers through their journey as they stitched her latest project, which was just beautiful.  Then there were the ladies who work here, Victoria and Michelle, who worked deligently helping stitchers find what they were looking for and last but certainly not least all the stitchers who attended the event and helped support the business.  It was just a wonderful weekend.  Sherri Jones and Catherine Theron so far this year and just two great retreats, with fabulous projects.  But, I'm exhausted!  And we have the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild retreat this weekend and the following weekend we have the Spring Retreat...oh my, don't know how I'm going to make it.  But if you have never done a retreat, here at Salty Yarns or The Attic or anywhere, put it on your "must do" list.  There is no better friend than a fellow stitcher and the information you glean from attending one is invaluable.  Tip and tricks you would never think of.  Friendships that last a lifetime and such a lovely group of people.  I've personally made wonderful friendships through stitching and retreats, I feel like we've been friends forever.  So if you are thinking about it, call your local shop and see what they have coming up and sign up.  Don't be afraid to go if you are alone, because stitchers welcome everyone and before you know you will have a companion or two to hang out with in the stitching rooms, to eat with etc.  As for what I've been doing other than the retreats, well I can admit one thing, I haven't stitched in days....I can also admit it's thrown off my schedule terribly but after Michael's tutoring session last night,  I sat in my favorite stitchy spot and pulled out my stitching.  Of course this didn't go smoothly because before I left the shop Sara made a comment about 3 things we picked up in Nashville which she felt we might need models of, so I started one of those, then switched over to the Hands on Design piece I was working on and then I'm going to start the other two and work on all four at once.  I think I'll be napping alot and skipping real sleep to get them done ASAP.  I'm tired just thinking about it, but I'm game to do anything at this point.   I did have a finish last week and let me tell you, while the stitching was  easy enough, the finishing was horrible...and it had nothing to do with the design or Victoria Sampler who designed it.   It was as if I had never finished anything.  But on the plus side Sara helped me do the cording and the Betsy Morgan way of doing a tassel and I was thrilled with that,  but in my head this finishing was suppose to be a lot easier and I should have done a better job.  (In my head all my projects when finished are perfect, so I constantly set my expectations way too high.)  But it's done, and now I'll move forward, but I was disappointed in myself and expect a lot better next time.  Anyway, here it is...The smalls from "Count Your Blessings" designed by Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler. 

I've stitched a few designs from Thea Dueck and I have truly loved the stitch each time.  Her directions are excellent and you get stitch diagrams as you do have a few different stitches to do, but it is so enjoyable and the finished product is fabulous, in the end.  So I do encourage you to take a look at her designs.  Not yet finished is my Guernsey Wrap knitting project.  If we don't count the sock incident (a group of Ladies retreating at the hotel sat in the lobby and at one point most of them were  knitting socks which fascinated me so of course, I made a comment how I was intimidated by sock knitting.)  The next year they had put together a sock knitting bag with all the supplies and then they showed me how to knit socks.  While they were here I got quite a bit done, and did finish one sock...notice I said one.  I still intend to finish another but for me I should learn to do 2 socks at once I think.  But the point here is that I did indeed learn...whoopee!!!  But I'm so busy stitching models that it wasn't until I saw the Guernsey Wrap that I picked up the needles again.  It has been a joy.  I did make a mistake on the border early on and didn't realize what I did until much I left it and while it bothers me, it's not going to be noticed so much when it's completed.  Anyway, I love the wrap I thought the pattern would be more complicated with cables, etc., but the patterns are nice but the best part for me is it's really wide,  so proportionally it's more my size, but mercy I've been working on it since a week before Nashville.  It's called "Guernsey Wrap and its 16 1/2" wide by 77 1/2" long...or I should state that those are the measurements when using DK yarn on the pattern, however, since I never do a swatch I'm going to say those are the measurements of my wrap but I really have no blooming idea.  Let's just say it will be around that.  Three different pattern charts are used, I'm already on the last chart which has to be repeated 3 and 1/2 times and I'm on the second repeat so I really am on the downhill side of this.  And because of that I've already decided my next knitting project will include Scandinavian knitting.  I haven't done any before but think it will challenge me so it's going to be next, however it will definitely be smaller than this wrap.  This does not mean counted work is over for me...oh, no you know it is my first love so that goes on.  I actually only knit when I can't really focus on the stitching because I'm tired (perhaps not the best time to knit patterns but it's worked for the most part for me, although I have had to unknit a few times).  Anyway, we are alive and well in Ocean City, Sara's busy cooking for the stitchers this weekend as we welcome approx 30 stitchers  from the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild.  I always love to see what they are working on and they usually bring show and tell so that's fun and exciting.  The finishes that stitchers brought in after Catherine and Sherri classes was unbelievable.  It's always inspirational for me.  Love to see what everyone's doing.  I do see fabulous and fun finishes on Facebook so keep it up stitchers.  Got to run, I'm suppose to be cleaning and making cookies for the next retreat.  Keep those needles moving.  Talk to you soon.  And Thanks again for all the support!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

As we celebrate Easter and Passover, we can finally add Spring to that celebration....

I realize for the North East states, you may just get another dose of snow, but here in Ocean City we are done with it I'm sure, if today is any indication.  The sun is shining and temps are in the high 50's with a hint that it will get into the 60s this afternoon.  The ocean is just sparkling as if diamonds are floating on it.  There are a lot of people in town and many of them are riding bikes on the boardwalk.   Sara's busy cutting fabric and winding yarn, and I'm hiding in Sea Trader.  I just finished pricing the extensive final order from Lizzie Kate, which I've been working on for 2 weeks...but thankfully today I finished so that's why I'd hiding so I can take a break.  I had my final Easter finish...the Yellow Chick by Jim Shore, pictured  below:

As I did before, I stuffed the 2 sided ornament to give it some dimension and it's hanging in the shop, next to the first chick I finished.  When these are done no one guesses that they are stitched on perforated looks like it's done on linen or aida because you just don't think of stuffing perforated paper, plus you can't see any of the perforated paper.   While I can say this is not a one, two or even 3 day project for me, I love them when they are done.  They come as complete kits  which includes, perforated paper, beads, DMC and a hanger, although I changed this out to a white ribbon in place of the black.  The eyes are what is so adorable about these chicks.  Just too cute.  And now, I get to pick out new projects.  Whoppee!!!  I've already decided on Shepherd's Bush Spring Notes since I have done a few of these "Notes"  prior to now and they are a fun stitch, all the same size so you can buy one frame and swap them out to display them.  I really wanted to do La D Da's rabbit but not sure I'll get to that so that might have to wait until next Easter.  I'm having a bit of a difficult time picking out just one project at this point, just too many I want to do, not only from Nashville, but I have  loads of charts I want to stitch from prior years.  I may be a fast stitcher, but I'm pretty sure I won't live long enough  to get everything done...but I'm sure going to have fun trying.  

Monday, March 26, 2018

Look who finally joined the party!

Yes, while she is certainly not perfect, I'm distressed to say, but she was finally finished in time to celebrate Palm Sunday and Easter so I'm grateful for the small blessings.  Just like her boyfriend, she was stitched on 18 ct. white linen over 2 threads so she became a 9 count project, so certainly easy to see.  Her finished size is a tad bit smaller than her boyfriend, she's around 7 1/2 " tall and she's also a little wider, takes after me I think.   I used the DMC colors listed,  only I used  pearl cotton.  Her basket was suppose to have stitched flowers in it, but of course, I wanted Easter eggs in it so I just put them in there along with a bit of the grass as you would see in any Easter basket.  Then in her hand, I wanted something dimensional so I purchased many different silk flowers and these are the ones that made the cut.  (A bouquet of flowers tied with a ribbon is charted on the original chart.)  So I fashioned a bouquet, added a few green leaves, wrapped it all in silk ribbon and voila....she's done.  I also used small Mill Hill seed beads for eyes, and some pearl beads as the center of the flowers on her dress.  She was so much fun to work on, until she ran into  the drop of B-12 liquid and then it's been a red hot mess since.  There are several things that are wrong with her....but I simply finished as best I could and put her in the shop anyway.  She's just too cute.  Now we are almost ready for next weekend...I just have the Yellow Chick to complete and Easter will be done...and then I'll need a couple of Spring pieces and I'll be done, done, done and can start some summer stitching, and my favorite.....patriotic themed pieces.  We had a wonderful weekend with all the stitchers here for the Catherine Theron classes which were, of course, fabulous.  Thank you Catherine for the fun classes and beautiful projects.  Smyrna stitches are being made as I type.  And another thanks to all the stitchers who came to take the classes.  It's your support of our shop that keeps us going, so thank you so much.  And Judy who returned from her baby sitting duties to work Salty Yarns so Sara could take the class as well....thanks so much Judy.  This was a fun group of stitchers and it was so nice to see old friends and new friends and I had a fun weekend which was full of laughs and some new challenges ahead.  I went into the weekend with just one challenge and by the end of the weekend I was given another challenge, or did I issue the challenge....however it went down I've now got 2 projects that have to be completed by Jamboree.  But no worries, I've already started researching what I'm doing.  You other ladies better be getting prepared because I'm bringing my A game.  Have a great week, hopefully snow is over until next winter and the temperatures will rise.  I left home this morning thinking I just needed a shirt on and almost froze.  I thought they said it was going to warm, I'm pretty sure the needle went down not up....anyway, I'm ever hopeful. Have a great week!  Keep those needles moving.

Friday, March 23, 2018

We've Been Busy....

The north easter' and the threat of snow might have slowed us down a bit, but Sara and I were busy stitching and finishing.  Amd with the Catherine Theron class this weekend, we had deadlines to meet.  First you see my version of Stacy Nash's "Whittaker", part of the Animal Cracker Series.  I love this series as I've mentioned before,  however my vision of Whittaker was a tad different than Stacy's.  I thought he would be fabulous not only as the small 3 1/2" high snowman, but as a larger model that I could display during the month of January (our snow display month) as well.  I didn't include the little pin keep the original is holding, but I still might add that.  And at the time of finishing I didn't even think about the pocket on the back for scissors and yet he could have one that would hold dressmakers shears.  But for now he's done and because it's so cold I decided to give him a knit cap (or a sock made into a cap).  I used beads for his eyes, teeth and buttons, and Weeks Dye Works for his scarf.  I purchased  orange polymer clay and made his nose,  and am thrilled with the finish.  I actually wanted to put ear muffs on him instead of the cap, but as it turns out the cap was a better look.  Thrilled to have another Animal Cracker done since she's come out with a lot more...I just can't keep the pace with this series.  Oh, I stitched him on 18 ct. linen over 2 threads and used Weeks Dye Works perle cotton for stitching.  

Then last night I finished the Short Stack Pin Cushion by Hands on Design,
Oh Say Can You Sea".  I stitched it in a couple of days after returning home from Nashville and loved the stitch.  Easy to do, fun to stitch, and quick.  I did use beads where Cathy had used white stitches for bubbles, but that was the only change I made.  Cathy also gives great finishing directions on her web site so take a look if you need to.  And then I added the new mini pin set from Jabco done for this piece.   

I adore the ornaments in Cuore e Batticuore.  There are 6 total, all of which are shown stitched on 35 ct. linen, however, as my initial intent was to stitch the girl bunny and the boy bunny in the car on the way to Nashville I decided to do them as standups on 18 ct. white linen.  The colors are DMC and I used the pearl cottons.  The girl bunny was done first, however, we had a little accident with my B-12 liquid and she had to be spot cleaned (you have to know I was not pleased).  Anyway, she will be done tonight when I get home, but he managed to stay away from the B-12 so he got finished into this stand up which is approx. 8.5" tall and about 6" wide.  On the chart the large carrot he is holding is stitched, but you know I love to embellish and I couldn't do a lot of embellishment so since I already had the orange polymer clay for Whittaker, I decided to make a carrot for this guy for him to hold.  The carrots in his basket are just cross stitched on the pattern but I then did satin stitch over that to give them puffiness.  Then I added grass in the basket by doing turkey work in green.  He was a fun stitch to do and if you have never worked on 18 ct. over 2 with pearl cotton, on my it works up fast and you don't even need magnification.  Fun times!

And now Sara's finishing....this is Glastonbury Gardens by Lauer Sauer.  We have taken it to Nashville in 2017 and 2018 to finish.  Sara has finished hers, and I'm right back where I was before Nashville.  But Sara did a fabulous job with hers.  The first picture is the front outside cover,

This is the back cover....that is a pocket for storing your stitching treasures...

And this is the inside.  The original design called for a ribbon which is artfully placed around the piece for closing, but Sara struggled to get this part done to her liking so we both decided a button closure was appropriate.  I'm so proud of Sara, she has finished about 3 of her class projects in the last 3 months.  It feels so nice to get something finished that has just been sitting in a pile for several years.  

Since I've had quite a few finishes in the last week I'm itching to start a new project...however, before I do I'm going to try to finish Jim Shore's Yellow Chick.  Too cute for words.  But then look out....I'll be racing to start something new.  I've looked at Death by Cross stitch but since I'm 70 I'm not sure I'll live long enough.  Have a great weekend and get those needles moving.  There is so much stitching to be done.