Monday, November 10, 2014

Another fun weekend......

Our annual C.A. Wells memorial weekend was another great success.  The ladies started arriving a week earlier (our Debbie Liming), then the rest trickled in, Stasi Buhrman, Stacy Stinson, Jennifer Humphries, Kay Fletcher, Kathy Renard, Jackie Janovsky, Linda Wimbrow, and Candy, as well as Judy Brunclik who joined us Saturday but then had to return to work on Sunday, of course she was right next door in the shop, but still working).  But it was 2 days of eating, laughing, stitching, oh, my the stitching that goes on.  Debbie uses her time in Ocean City to get several projects, which have been started at home, finished so she finishes many projects while here.  She and Sara also spent many nights working on the finishing of earlier class projects so they are slowly getting their unfinished pieces complete...yeah!!!!  Linda arrived with her Welsh Cottage, which is really coming along, but I didn't bring mine because I can't work on over 1 pieces in a group setting...I need my comfy chair, magnifying light and my T.V.  Actually I worked on nothing Saturday, just sat talked and moved more stash from the shop into my bag (like I need anymore).  Stasi Buhrman brought her Mummy in the coffin which is soooo darn cute that now Debbie, Sara and I are all doing the same mummy, thanks to Stasi who also brought us a "coffin" to put our mummy in.  This years project for the group (we always have a Halloween project) was a watch fob necklace which I actually stitched back in the summer and decided that would be the project for this event.  Debbie  got hers stitched on Saturday...go Debbie. The photos up top are my newest craft project.  I did want to show you a picture of my finished Sullivan's scissor box.  Ever since we received our first shipment of theses little scissors, which come in a wooden like box, I have wanted to do something with the box.  They are a composite material which is sturdy not wood but feel like wood, but last year I tried painting them and the whole thing warped so that destroyed 2 of my boxes (how depressing), however, I'm not one that gives up easily.  So when I started seeing the tissue tape in the craft stores it made me think that perhaps I had found a perfect solution.   I got a supply of Halloween tapes and while I have not perfected my technique, I have been able to cover the boxes and using magnetic sheets I covered the inside top and bottom and now we have a new decorative needle box.  So cute and with all the tissue tape out there you can really do it for any occasion.  You could also put a lining in the bottom and

use it as a portable pin cushion or to store things (small things to be sure).   Craft to love a craft project!  I have managed to finish a couple of things, like the Harvest Home Pynboxe which you see here.  The inside of  lid has the piece you see here stitched, blanket stitched and then mounted to the inside of the lid and the box has been painted by Liberty Hill.  It was a fun project and sort of kicked off my stitching for gifts for Christmas, although this was actually part of Sara's Halloween gift.  So I actually had show and tell once Sara opened her gift during the event weekend.  I'm so embarrassed as everyone usually shows off  their "show and tell" because I usually have nothing to show, since after I stitch something I put it on the blog and hang it in the shop so nothing seems new.  I especially loved Stasi Buhrman's Mummy as did Debbie and Sara and we all pulled the charts to stitch this piece and thankfully Stasi brought each of us the casket she used to house her mummy in.  If you are interest but don't know which one I'm talking about, go to Stasi's blog and scan back and you will see it, she posted it a month or so ago...Fabulous Fun!  Once Halloween is over I start stitching  for Christmas.  Mercy me, my list of stitched gifts just seems to grow and grow.  I panic each year thinking I will be unable to get them all done.  Before Stitch and Bitch dinner I need several finished,  as I don't see some of the ladies until after the holidays and then I only have 2 more weeks after that to get 3 or 4 more done.  It's hard to enjoy the holidays when you are so concerned you won't get your gifts finished, but it's a challenge I happily accept...sort of the "thrill of the chase" to finish.  Each year I worry and yet each year I get it done.  Picking projects has been tougher this year.  I either find really complicated projects which I can't get done in a few weeks or nothing at all so I'm struggling a little to come up with something appropriate for each person, something different and something I think they will like.  But again, this is an every year thing so nothing new.  Other than that, it's all about school.  I have been relieved of skatepark duty, although I did have Mary's 4 year old, Israel for 4 1/2 hours yesterday, oh my, and I thought skatepark duty was exhausting.  I was just getting ready to blog when I got the call, "what are you doing?"  Which is Mary's way of saying, "I've got a child that needs you."  So ended the peacefull stitch filled afternoon.  I was busy setting up car parades, taking car of his pets on his Ipad and once again lego's.  He is such a joy to listen to as he says the most amazing things for a 4 year old.  But then don't they all.  There is no censoring what comes out of their mouth.  Oh, I meant to mention something.  Jackie Janovsky and her husband Bob are helping their grandson, who's in elementary school, with his math everyday after school.  I want all the parents and grandparents who are helping to teach their children or grandchildren to know about a fabulous website for been so helpful to Michael and I.  We are not only doing Algebra, but now Core has thrown in Geometry and Trig just to make my life more difficult.  While I knew I could handle history and English, I knew Science and Math could present a problem for me.  But math, no matter what level, seems to be manageable because I have this web site.  I go in a couple of days before I have to teach Michael and get my skills up to date and I'm doing things now that I swear I never did in high school and I know for a fact that I didn't see Trig in 8th grade.  I really think I was in 12th grade, but then that was back in the dark ages.   I do think Core is making things terribly confusing for a child.  And taking classes now that should have been taught in elementary school makes everything harder.  But we're plugging through and I can not tell you the satisfaction I get when I see the smile on Michael's face when he "gets it."  He starts out crying saying he doesn't understand and after an hour I see that smile start and the next thing he's saying is, "It's O.K. Nan, I get it."    Makes the fact that I'm no longer retired from work (because that's what this is), alright.  I use to say to people who have had to take on the raising of their grandchildren, "I don't think I could do it at my age."  While none of us would want to since we all hope our children outlive us or are great parents, I now see that I would rise to the occasion if called on.  It's a good feeling, but I pray everyday I won't ever be called on to take full on parenting again.  4 1/2 hrs a day teaching Michael is enough for me.  Thankfully a child acts differently with a grandparent that with anyone else so my job here isn't that bad...just frustrating at times as I struggle to find the right method of teaching him.  So that's what new here.  Sara is in Jamaica with the girls, Mary just got back from her vacation with her girlfriends...she went to Puerto Rico I think (it's been a week and I've already forgotten where she went.....and I'm the one teaching...go figure).  I'm still looking forward to Thanksgiving and a few days off, although we've decided to cut short certain holidays for school as Michael goes to Jamaica with Sara and Vernon every year for about 14 days the early part of school.....and we need to make that up.  So Christmas we'll work a few of those days and we might take a day at Thanksgiving, but we'll still see some days off and I do get off when he's in Jamaica...whoppee!!!!! I'll really appreciate the time off this year.  I use to love the 3 days we got off  from the shop during our winters when we close Tues., Wed., and Thursday.  But this year I don't get any time off after the holidays as I will be in school 5 days a week and on weekends I'll be working the shop.  Ugh!!  Back to 7 days a week working and in the winter...double UGH!  Just got back from the grocery to have a good lunch for Michael, so I'm back to shopping once a week.  Got to get some stitching done.  Talk to you soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What a wonderful weekend we had, of course I forgot to take pictures so on the last day I asked Lynn Fitzgibbons to show off what she had done, so that's Lynn modeling her project from La D Da's class. Then it's Sharon (Purple Thread) showing Debbie Brotzman something on her IPad.  The next picture show the pins Sharon is selling the kits for.  So much fun we put the kits in the goodie bags for the stitchers.  The bottom left shows the front of the the Friendship book (at least Lynn's), the Friendship design that was part of the original kit was changed by a few into something else like Lynn did.  All of them were great and certainly personalized the book for each stitcher.  Then you see the insert given for the inside of the book.  The right picture is the "Forget Me Not" bag which is one of the newer Shepherds Bush kits which I finished during the weekend.     It was interesting the differences in the stitchers work.  Some did their own design, or added a little something personal to Lori's design but everyone took home a finished name tag holder (pockets in front and back I believe) win!  As if that wasn't enough to take home for one weekend, they also finished the mini friendship book which was the class taught by Needlework Press' Vickie and Maegan Jennett.  These two classes were both pre-stitches and the stitchers put the projects together here.  Which proved to be a winning combination.  3 classes total and 2 projects completely finished.  The third class was with Sharon of Purple Thread and it was a little box, for stitching "things"...they did finish the thimble box (pictured) which is part of the project and it is put together exactly like the bigger box  so everyone knows exactly what to do when they get home with that project.  Fun classes, fun weekend and a group of wonderful stitchers.  There was no drama, no cooperated somewhat...we did see a little rain, but it wasn't a downpour so we were good.  And many of the stitchers brought show and tell and I just love to see what everyone is doing so that is always fun for me.  I should be taking pictures, but I never remember that until afterwards.  Darn!  I spent Thursday night trying to get all 3 pieces of the Shepherds Fold done to show and while I managed to get it together, I didn't put the ribbon on the pin cushion, or the cording on the fob and the box lid was just wedged into the box, but it looked done so it was on display and I was thrilled...a finished a project..all 3 pieces and now I've caught up on that one club.  Whoppee!!!!  It really feels great to be finished with something like that....of course it was my own fault because I changed the design and couldn't figure out what the heck to do.  Brother I'll rethink that next time (you know I'll forget what a pain it was and do it all over again.)  Sunday a great many trudged on home, but several stayed until Monday before they wandered away and Wednesday Debbie turned for home so now it's just Sara, Mary and myself.  With the hotel closed, Mary has moved home, bless her heart.  She is stuck in the hotel from May 1st until after the Jamboree.  I'm back to homeschooling, but I'm telling you it was rough trying to get back on schedule because I was exhausted from the weekend.  And then on the 19th, Sara, Mary  and I took a girl's weekends during which we took a felting class in Pennsylvania and made a witch, a pumpkin and a cat.  Or should I restate that Mary and Sara did.  I got the witch done, but of course I want to redo part of her so that's an on-going project.  I did like my pumpkin, or most of it so I'm going to finish that with a little help from my fiber stash and the cat, well let's just say he needs much help, all of which I intend to get to sometime in the near future...O.K., no time soon.  But it was great spending time with the girls.  They helped me step out of the box I live in (it's where I'm most comfortable), by constantly referring to me as stuck in my ways. I'll be the first to admit I've never liked trying new things..I'm comfortable knowing what's coming.  However I took the challenge and said, "Let's eat at the Thai Restaurant.  While they were skeptics about my being able to find something to eat, I did and it went really well.  I ordered something which I liked so it was a win win.  Friday night we also ate at an unfamiliar restaurant and I enjoyed the food there.  I was a lot more comfortable than Sara, as neither restaurant served liquor...uh, oh....but I'm pleased to say Sara lived through the no alcohol dinner just fine.  We also got to eat at our favorite Cheesecake Factory on the ride up and on the ride back....winner winner!  Anyway, we had a wonderful weekend and now for Sara it's back to work, I'm back to homeschooling and Mary, well she's now laying on a beach in Puerto Rico.  I'm also back to skatepark sitting since I promised Mary I would help with the boys. This is her first time away from the children and she's having a bit of a hard time with it.   Debbie is due in again today.  We have our annual C.A. Wells weekend next weekend and Debbie is getting a head start.  We seem to live for our events and start working on the next one the minute one is finished.  Of course, this is such a fun time with the lobby decked out for Halloween, and food, food and more food all weekend together with other stitchers.  Although, I think we are going to be working in groups this weekend since Sara, and Debbie are working on the finishing of one of Betsy Morgan's pieces and I'll probably work on the Welsh Cottage with Linda Wimbrow.  I swear I'm getting that piece done before the end of the year if I have to stay up until midnight every night.  Homeschooling is like going back to work for me.  I spend so many hours preparing, then about 5 hours a day working with Michael and then a couple of hours more preparing for the next day...well, my stitching is taking the hit.  I'm so exhausted each day I no longer wake up during the night so I don't get those late night stitching hours in.  But he's on vacation for about 12 days around the 2nd week in December so I'm hoping to get the Welsh Cottage finished and put together during that time period (at least I've got a plan).  In the meantime, instead of working on it I'm still working on Something Wicked the mystery sampler from SamSarah Designs.  I'm on the bottom pumpkin so I can see the end, but I still have the outline words of Something Wicked to do.  I'm concerned about doing that lettering as it's just not that easy.  I tried to count it on the linen, but because it was not designed around the graph it can't be counted on as shown and maintain the shape.  So I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that.  Sara has offered to take a look and see if she can figure something out, and I may just let her.  Someone gave up and just did cross stitch, and while there was nothing wrong with that I'm still in love with the way it was stitched and trying to do something close to that.  I hate it when I have to work this hard to stitch something, but the reward may be a fabulous Halloween piece.  Anyway, I've got to get this done so I can move on to Christmas gifts.  My God, it's coming quickly.  Thanksgiving is also rapidly approaching.  As usual I'm too far behind to have a relaxing weekend so I'll end here so I can get to it.  I've got stitching and skatepark duty to get to. Have a wonderful, sunny, warm weekend.  It's going to be in the 70's today and it's sunny here so we're loving life right now.


Monday, October 6, 2014

So much fun!

Had another great weekend with the stitchers from the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild and the weather was wonderful.  At times a little too hot and humid, after the promise of cooler temps, but we all made it through.  So thanks ladies for a great fun weekend.  And I finished something.  I have so many things, at this point, that are near finished or finished and just not put together.  So I made a plan to get some of the pieces finished and I am on a roll.  If you remember the Chessie and Me Club tote I put together earlier, this is a take off of that piece using Shepherds Bush, Halloween Trifles leaflet.  All three pieces used here are on the one chart...(have you ever used every chart on a leaflet?)  Anyway, this was a lot of fun and really easy to stitch since they were stitched over two (except the scissor fob, which I stitched over one, but you could stitch it as shown over 2).  If I were to do it again, I would add some pumpkins or something on each side of the piece attached to the front of the tote just to make it a little longer,  but I still think it looks good without adding the pumpkins.  I've had a few suggestions from the ladies at DVSG....if you don't attached the design permanently to the tote you can change designs for the seasons....fabulous suggestion....that way you can use it all year without anyone questioning your having Halloween out at Christmas time.  I'm already looking at designs for a Christmas set!  I then turned my attention to Shepherds Bush and The Fold.  I actually finished the fob a few weeks ago, but was still dragging my feet on the main design for the top of the box.  I did do a bit of redesign, but was still looking for a verse to put in the place of "My Full Heart."  As everyone knows, Shepherds Bush is one of my all time favorite them.  So to redesign anything they present is not in my wheel house, but I had no choice.  My brain just couldn't get beyond the flower basket so I made a decision earlier in the summer to drop the basket of flowers off the top and that allowed me to start the stitch.    So I removed that one element (however I'm still adding it to the project  by stitching it on a piece of linen and using it on the inside lid).  So I was able to stitch the design except I had another brain freeze on the words on the original, "My Full Heart".  Since this box is to hold our Shepherds Bush smalls that are designed for the box, I couldn't figure out what the words had to do with it.    So I was looking for a verse or something which would explain that this was a box for my stitching tools.  While I was pondering this, I was also stitching a case designed by Merry Cox that I think was probably one of her first charts.  As I'm stitching thinking "What the heck am I going to put on the Shepherds Bush box...I've got to get it done," I'm stitching a verse from Merry's chart and realized if I changed one word I could use her verse...thank you Merry on my Shepherds Bush piece.  Anyway, I'm done with the top now, it was easy once I found the words I needed, and I'll post that picture in a day or two as soon as I get it put together with the box.  But it's so exciting because now I've finished 2 of the 3 pieces for that project so I'm almost up to date on it.  I started the pin cushion last night so I'm planning to have the entire set on display in the shop for Jamboree. (feels great to finally be catching up on some of these projects, although I'm now 4 designs down on the R & R pieces..drat!)   These events get me stitching like a crazy person.  It has been a great week for me personally, getting projects finished and assembled and thank God, I got my new Speed Queen washer and dryer only took 4 weeks from start to finish (ridiculous) and almost 2 weeks to get here from New York.  I'm not sure why it took that long since I could have driven to N.Y. in 7 or 8 hours myself, however, the point is the laundry room is back in business and I'm in wash heaven.  They are wonderful machines, in fact I swear the tub in the washer feels likes it's bigger than the old machine, but it is fabulous to have clothes washed and cleaned once again, and I've finally been able to put away the clothes drying rack.    School is also going well, although Thursday I started experiencing a glitch in the software for the school and was unable to access my parts but Michael could still get in his program so we were still good to go.  He seems to be doing well (me...I'm spending hours each day trying to practice portions to make sure I stay ahead of him) but we seem to be making it through.  I have to admit, I've forgotten more than I remembered, but it's even exciting for me as the light comes on as I remember each portion of math I see.  I'm sure glad I always loved school, or I'm not sure I could get through this.  I guess I'm also lucky he's only in 8th grade, plus the wealth of information on the internet is amazing.  I've always been amazed at the fabulousness (new word) of the internet but never more so than now.  I was struggling with something, went to google and typed in the question and the answer popped up.  I swear if I had these capabilities when I was in school I would have had straight A's.  And the different web sites out there for is fascinating and wonderful.  It's like they are tutors for us.  I'm really impressed with the help that's on the net.  While I'm sure we will run into problems we will struggle with, so far we've been able to get help with anything we had a question about.  Anyway, we're still   on track and I'm feeling really good about what we're learning, especially when I spoke to his best friend and when asked where they were in History, was told they were on the American Revolution.  Since Michael and I have just finished with the French Exploration, we have finished European, Portugal, Spanish and French explorers and will be starting with early colonization in the United States this week I thought we were behind them, but Max informed me that they didn't do European History as it wasn't important and they wouldn't have time.  WHAT?  Not important to know where we come from?  What the H.....!  Sara reminded me that Max is 13 and probably wasn't giving me the correct information.  But he does know what he's studying and if he hasn't been taught about the Middle Ages and the explorers who got us here then they are certainly aren't teaching it.  Plus I know what pace we've got and they couldn't get ahead of us at the rate we are moving.  So I think we've pulled Michael at the right time.  Our middle schools seem to be a waste land.  I know the Elementary School is wonderful here and I'm told the High School is still good, but the middle schools are definitely the problem.  You can't just drop this type of information.  Just another example of poor decision making by the people who are running our school system.  So I feel even better about Sara's decision to homeschool.  But I'm really looking forward to some days more month until our first break, Thanksgiving.   Someone asked if I was going to take any of the teacher's service days off, but I always made so much fun of those I wouldn't dare.  But I will be taking snow days which means we probably won't have a snow day all winter.  You can thank me in the spring!  Anyway, it's time for me to prepare for the day ahead.  Michael will be here in about 2 hours so I've got to get studying.  Have a great day!

Monday, September 22, 2014

OMG, I've never been busier....

Mercy stitchers, I barely have time to change my underwear...which is going to be impossible if my washer doesn't get here soon.  As you may remember my dryer had a complete failure in the summer, probably early July.  But I'm old school (I'm so old I use to help my mother do hotel towels in a wringer washer back in the 60's, now who remembers those), anyway, when presented with the loss of a dryer I just said, "no problem, I'll go old school."  I just didn't want to deal with delivery, etc., in the summer.  So I'd do a load and because my next door neighbor has taken over my small backyard with his crap, I have no where to hang anything except in the house.  So I put a wooden drying rack on my enclosed front porch and I'd hang slacks and shirts on the shower rod to dry and everything else went on the wooden rack.  This worked fine, except I had to iron everything, but still it was just going to be temporary so I said, what the heck.  I can handle anything.  But around the first of September my washing machine died.  Oh, no, I'm not so old school I'm beating my clothes on a rock in the ocean so I started the search.  Since I'm 66 I figure any large appliance, car, whatever is going to be the last I ever have to buy before checking out.  So I started the process of reading reviews of name brand machines.  And if you have done that lately you know that everything is absolute crap.  Lasts barely long enough to get the new smell off of it.  I just can't see spending $1000 on a washing machine that will break within 5 years.  I don't want low flow (sorry I need water to wash), don't want computer chips which keep failing, I want a machine that fills with water and then agitates to clean what I put in it.  So I kept searching and came across reviews for Speed Queen.  Just about everyone said the same thing...great machines, no bells or whistles, but does the job and lasts.  So I search and order from who knows where.  And the wait began.  They were suppose to delivery today, but here I sit at 4:01 p.m. and still no sign, meanwhile I haven't done a wash since the first of September...yes, that was over 2 weeks ago.  I'm pulling on clothes I haven't worn in years, at this point I don't give a damn if anything matches.  Thank God I'm an underwear hoarder because I still have a weeks supply, but I can't go out in my underwear.  I swear if I have to haul my over 2 weeks of laundry to the hotel someone will pay.  The girls even offered to come get it, but that isn't the point is it?  Then starting the day after Labor Day, we started homeschooling Michael, the 13 year old grandson.  He lost focus last year and while his grades were still alright, we felt he needed a little more focus and hands on teaching.  Since I am not allowed to do it alone, Sara and I are doing it together.  Another ridiculous rule by the schoolboard.  Honestly, what sense does that make.  While Sara also went through college, what if she was a high school drop out, would she be the best person to be his teacher or would a person who went through college.  Common sense people, the people who are in charge need to get some.  Anyway, I'm allowed to help, so that's how we are handling it.  But I'm all in this and I'm doing lesson plans, homework (I have to make sure I can do what I'm telling him he has to do), so I'm working 4-5 hrs a day in prep work and then we work with Michael from 9:00 to 1:30.  So it's concentrated learning, but we can move quicker because it's just one student.  So far it's working well, but it is really kicking me in the ass.  And the lack of stitching is driving me crazy.  I'm so far behind I almost feel like giving up.  Thankfully my skate park duties are slowing down.  So last week I was home 2 nights and Saturday....whoppee!  With it getting darker on the nights I take Solomon and Michael now (its part of his phys.ed) we also get home around 7:30 instead of 9:00.  Anyway, that's why I haven't blogged in a while or worked on the web site or done anything else except homework and skateboard sitting.  Now as you can see I've finished stitching the pieces for the wooden tote.  You see thread dangling because I still have to add a pumpkin button to the Boo piece which is going to be a needlebook.  The tiny pumpkin piece is the front of the fob and of course the long piece  goes on the tote.  These designs are all on one Shepherd's Bush chart, "Halloween Trifles"....fabulous.  I'll show you this finished as soon as we get the black Weeks wool which is going to back it.  Can't wait.  Then many of you have probably started part 2 in the "Something Wicked" by SamSarah Designs, or perhaps have finished it.  I did start one of the sunflowers and I have just begun the banner, but I just haven't had the time because I needed a gift so of course, that takes precedent.  In the meantime, new kits are arriving in the mail...can't wait to start them, and the charts coming into the shop are fabulous...oh, my when will I find the time.  There must be a school holiday coming soon....Anyway, I wanted to touch base so you know I'm fine, just having trouble organizing my time.  I hope to get this straightened out soon.  And we're getting ready for the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild Retreat and then Stitcher's Jamboree.  Oh, boy....I'm exhausted just thinking about it, but looking forward to seeing you all again.  Have a great week.  Hope you are finding time to stitch

Friday, September 12, 2014

Wonderful Stitching Weekend....

Our stitchers started to arrive on Thursday last week for the Jackie DuPlessis weekend but the airlines kept Amy Wilson wondering if she was ever going to arrive.  She was due in on Thursday, but due to glitches with the airlines she didn't get here until Friday.  Thankfully she arrived with a smile on her face and a shopping bag filled to the brim with some of her finished stitching.  Debbie Liming was the last to arrive, due to her daughter's wedding which took place on Saturday.  Determined not to miss a class she arrived on Sunday around noon.  So Sunday, the last day of classes everyone was here and in place.  We also had our glitches, like a reception that never took place.  When Mary sent out the confirmations she said there would be a reception on Friday night, but due to my homeschooling Michael I'm not working in the shop at all anymore and by this time of year we are down to a skeleton crew with workers going ba to school, etc.  Therefore, Sara was working the shop until closing so there was no way for us to do the reception.  Thankfully, everyone understood and didn't mind us having a small reception in the shop on Saturday night.  So all in all, everything went well.  The weather cooperated by not storming, however, we had the hottest Saturday of the summer...91 degrees at the skatepark (let's face it, I live there at this point).  But Sunday it dropped to 71 and a breeze kicked up so it wckas really pleasant.  Of course after that the the storm was suppose to roll in and we were definitely suppose to get wet.  But that's O.K. because that would take me off park duty after school....whoppee!!!  Back to stitching.  With park duty and homeschooling, my stitching time is really down.  By the time I'm out of the park after homeschooling it's around 7:30-8:00 p.m. and to tell you the truth all I want to do is sleep, so I try to pick up my stitching I only get a few stitches in.  But I did manage to finish one of the designs of the new Shepherd's Bush, "Halloween Trifles" chart.  There are actually three charts, Halloween, Boo & Eek.  Since I intend to make another carrier (Like the Gathering of sheep, by Chessie & Me that was attached to the wooden carrier tote) I will be stitching all 3 designs on this chart (when does that ever happen?).  So I've started Eek which will be the scissor fob and Boo will be a needlebook.  So cute.   Fun stitch.  But nothing compared to the stitching brought for show and tell by Amy Wilson.  OMG...unbelievable.  She brought the "Mermaids Needlework Treasures" by Amy Mitten...I've loved this piece since I saw it so for me to get to see it in person and finished...unbelievable.  That for me was the crowning glory, although it was almost a tie with Hampton Court which everyone here had watched being built stitch by stitch by Amy over the course of several weeks.  Stunning, simply Stunning.  She also brought the Jackie DuPlessis piano, which is unbelievable.  Really, every piece she pulled out of that bag was gorgeous.  Project after project we were able to pick up and really look at it closely.  Both the stitching and the finishing were flawless.  It just makes you want to stitch faster and better.  And since it rained 2 nights this week, no skatepark,  I was able to get in some stitch time after I was actually able to get all three designs done on the chart.  But I'll show you the complete finished set another day, but the picture here is of the one design that I'll be putting on the front of the carrier.  This is bike week here in Ocean City so the town in full to overflowing with the bikers.  This year is going to be a challenge for them as we've had the most rain we've had all summer this week and it's raining right now and it's suppose to rain tomorrow so I'm not sure what that means for their riding...not much fun in the rain, but I'm hoping they get some ride time in since that's what they are in town for.  Anyway, I'll try to check in with you tomorrow...after all it's the weekend, although that means I'm usually babysitting or park sitting, but I'll try.  Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A finish at last....I finally finished "The Gathering Sheep" which is the kit from the Chessie & Me Club.  I had already shown you the tote and fob, but I decided to add to the needlebook and hadn't finished that until 3:00 a.m. this morning.  I got home around 8:30 p.m. from my skatepark duties last night and I don't understand why, but I was too exhausted to stitch.  I mean it's not as if I was doing the skating, but apparently sitting in the car, and walking out to the bleachers to watch once, is just too exhausting for me and I wanted to finish the book I was reading so I didn't even stitch while sitting in the car.  Hence the 3:00 a.m. finish.  I love the inside though and it turned out perfect for me.  The way it  was suppose to be done was with nothing inside, just the black weeks wool stitched to the front.  But it was just too plain for me so I came up with the needle pages and a pocket, all nun stitched and then attached to the wool (2nd picture).   I made a flap on the pocket and stitched a lamb over one taken from the cover and the year finished and my initials.  The first picture is the front of the needlebook and the right picture is the back of the book.  Love it!  One project done, unfortunately for me though, Shepherds Bush new pieces came in yesterday so this morning since  I had to work for Sara an hour while she did battle with PNC, I added 4 more kits to my ever growing stash.  I had to add the Autumn Box since the Winter Box and Summer Box are already at the framers.  When I pick those up I want to drop off Autumn and Spring so the collection will be complete.  Thankfully those pieces only take one night and school starts soon so hopefully my skatepark duties are coming to an end.  The skaters  are great fun to watch, especially Solomon who works hard to accomplish each trick he sees the older guys do.  And you see this skinny little 7 year old flying around the park, dropping in from an 8 ft. ledge, well it's pretty amazing and the older kids encourage him and cheer him on.  You hear so much about mean kids, but let me tell you that is not the case at a skatepark.  No one makes fun of the kids just learning, or the fat kid standing there....they are welcoming and encouraging to one and all. Color me shocked!    Anyway, as the season slowly ebbs down, we're gearing up for our Jackie Duplessis class next weekend and then it's on to the Delaware Sampler Guild retreat and our Jamboree in October...where did the summer go?  Fall is always such a nice time to stitch though, either inside by the fire or outside in the sun with cooler temps.  Yes, it's always the season for stitching.  Have a wonderful day and I'll be checking back with you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New finish.....means another start....oh my!

New day-more stitching, and also more skatepark duty so I'm not getting as much stitching done as I thought I should....but still I'm stitching so it's all good here.  I was done with the stitching on the Chessie &  Me Club piece, and as you can see I got the carrier finished and the scissor fob, but couldn't get the needlebook done because I just felt it was missing something.  So I've been making up extra pieces to stitch to the inside of the needlebook and while they are completely done, as of last night, I still have to put it together.  Hopefully that will take place today.    But I love the carrier and fob.  We carry the carrier's in the shop and I'm going to try using some of the Blue Ribbon Design charts, like "Autumn Sampler to make another set.  This is one of the designs which can be stitched whole as a sampler or you can take the design apart to be used for needlebooks, fobs, etc.  I'm excited once I latch onto an idea and I've used her designs before for things similar to this so I know I can do it.  YEAH!!!!  The other picture shows a present that showed up on my door last week.  It was a complete surprise and I feel remiss that I haven't  shown it before, but between 7 hours a day at the skate park and Izi-sitting...well, I'm usually home and ready to do something around 8:45pm  and by then I'm done, a couple of stitches and then napping.   But Solomon and Izi are in school next week so I won't have to do as much park sitting or Izi sitting, but I have taken on another job which will require quite a bit of my time, but I'll probably talk about it later.  Back to my new strawberry.  It was sent to me by Greg McCord as a birthday gift  I just love it and have added it to my collection of strawberries (so far I have 2..that's still a collection isn't it?)  It was beautifully made, stuffed well, and I love the little lace topper.  Thanks so much Greg....I love it.  And Greg, we miss you down here.  I ask for you whenever I see the girls so they sometimes give me info and other times haven't seen you so perhaps you can give us updates through e-mail or facebook.  Anyway, the summer is coming to an end which always brings mixed emotions down here.  While we're excited to have cooler temperatures (not snow, but fall temps in the low 70's and 60's), and no more night hours, we do miss the excitement of summer.  Fall and winter are so laid back down here.   I told you in the last blog that I started the over one by Blackberry Designs...haven't worked on it since.  And had the nerve to start a new series...."Frosty Forest" by Country Cottage....there are 12 designs total and the entire series can be stitched as one piece which Sara liked a lot, so of course I had her cut the fabric and then I hunted for the fibers in my bins and I started it last night in between the final nun stitches on the Gathering Sheep piece.  Since that stitching is done, I needed another over 2 start.  It's easier to stitch at the skateboard park.   Anyway, as you all know the industry just had a market in St. Charles (I think).  We can't leave the businesses in the summer so we didn't get to go....darn it!  But of course the new charts and needlework accessories are arriving in the shop daily....this is the most fun of all...opening boxes and discovering the treasures.  And, of course, there is always something in those boxes I have to have.  I'm trying to choose wisely, but you know how that goes.  It's a good thing I only work a couple of days a week or I'd bring home everything, but as it is I tend to forget to check all the nooks and crannies and don't see everything when I'm there.  Jenn Ryan has been in a couple of times and she showed me a picture of the new Lone Elm Halloween piece which has the skeleton walking the dog which is also just a know I'll have to have that.  Sara is gearing up for the Jackie DuPlessis class happening in about a week...or a little more than a week.  Thank God there was no pre-stitch or I'd be further behind on my stitching than I am now.  And many have reported in on the Jamboree pre-stitch.  Things are going well for many of the stitchers and their pre-stitch is finished in plenty of time.  For those of you who haven't finished....just keep plugging along you still have a little over a month to keep stitching.  I've got to end here to finish my Gathering Sheep needlebook.  Hope I have it to show tomorrow.  Have a great day.