Friday, April 24, 2015

Sherri Jones Weekend....Wow!!! Great Projects, Great Teacher, Great Retreat

Stacy Stinson and the Patriot Patty group getting their ribbon Patty done.  It was so much fun.  First class I've taken as I usually do all the pre-stitch and Sara take the classes, but this year she felt she needed to be in the shop for the Tangles (another retreat in town) as they need a lot of fabric cut and she can do it better than I can (my back and feet start to hurt after a while-at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)  So I joined the Patriot Patty group and was so thrilled to do it.  First Sherri Jones is just a fabulous teacher  Her kits are complete, with plenty of fibers and fabric, her directions are complete, so if you take the kit home you understand what you are suppose to do.  You learn tips and how to's and she is constantly monitoring your work and helping you throughout the class.  I really can't say enough about how much I enjoyed the class.  Ours was a small class, unlike the Button Book class which had around 23 students, there were only around 8 of us so we got a lot of Sherri's  time. She provided great support and always encouraging words.   I got Patty done, but haven't had time this week to work on the box yet, but I know I will get this done and I see that Bernadette has already finished her Patty and the box and posted it on Facebook.  Kudo's Bernadette.  Nice job.  While you are seeing scenes from my class I forgot to take out my phone and didn't get one picture of the other class...oops, sorry.  But I've already seen posts from some of those ladies and the feeling is that they had a great time as well.  A weekend of fellowship with like minded people, and a great teacher with a fabulous project...well it just doesn't get any better than that, does it?  Thanks a bunch to Sherri, (shown in the last picture.)  It was wonderful.  We so appreciate your making your way down here.  We also thank all the stitchers who flew in and drove in to join us.  We couldn't do it without your support so thanks.  Also a big thanks to Staci Buhrman who came and cut fabric for us...thank you, and Ginny who flew in to assist as well.  She is always willing to jump in to get a job done, like winding a bag full of yarn for us.  Thanks was a big help.   The weekend actually started on Wednesday as stitchers began to arrive.  I got Debbie off on Tuesday and she was the last to leave, and then Sara and I moved on to prepping for our next event, which takes place this weekend...the Delaware Valley Sampler's Guild.  For the first time, and perhaps the last, we decided to put together a piece we picked up at the Nashvillemarket,  for them.  Which meant I had to get it stitched and put together, then get all the supplies together and kit it for them. 

This afternoon as some of the ladies were arriving, Michael and I were in a side apartment putting the kits together.  Whew...why are we always getting it done just under the wire.  I left the hotel after that to come home and work on the piece for Stitcher's Retreat.  Another brilliant idea we had in a weak moment.  I'm tired of giving the same old thing in the goodie bags and while the bag itself changes, we tend to put many of the same things in the bag.  I know we can all use needles, etc., but I want something new and different.  Well, I think we can say we have something different....or at least I hope we will.  Thank God I work well under pressure but it would be really helpful if I'd stop thinking of "one more thing."  So with the weekend looming in 7 days I'm working 24/7 in hopes of getting this done.  Keep your fingers crossed.  Things are really coming together.  Michael has taken his finals in all but 3 classes, and one of those will be done next week.  Then we are down to Science and Writing.  I can't say I'll be sorry for the break and I know Michael will be thrilled.  He thought we would be done this month and was very disappointed when I informed him we would be going to school until May 31.  He was not thrilled, but he's done well and has an average right now of 89.41% as his grade.  I don't see any reason why we won't end up with that or hopefully 90% after taking the last of the finals....I'm hopeful and a little sorry I won't be doing it again next year.  I'm relearning all the "stuff" I should have remembered from my days in school...thanks to a lot of web sites.  I can only imagine what brilliance I would display if I had access to the information children today have.  I'm telling you we'd all be Rhodes Scholars.  Anyway, his mother always said it was for only one year and apparently she's holding to that as she has informed me he's going back to public school now that he's caught up.  I guess next winter I'll finally have to clean the house as I will have no other excuse why I don't have enough time.  I might just take an online class just for the hell of it.  Well, I've got to get back to stitching....time is ticking away and I'm not ready for next weekend.  Talk to you later.  Hope you are getting your stitching done.  Thanks to everyone who participated. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring has finally sprung! Temps are balmy and paradise is welcoming a new season!

A little late, but here's Sara in her Easter cute!  And she kept those ears on all day, God love her.  I, of course, forgot mine at home (didn't remember I even had them...let's blame it on age.)  The second picture is sections 1,2,3 of my latest obsession...Serenity Harbor.  I can't wait as this week I start the inside design...what fun will that be?  Again, the clouds and now the birds flying don't show up well here, but in person they do show up.  But that peek of the tree shows some of what is to come...exciting!  And if I'm able to do section 4 this week I will have caught up.  I love catching up because I don't do it often, especially when I'm in pre-stitching hell, which is where I am right now.  I worked several days on my Betsy Morgan piece and it is a slow go because for some reason I keep making counting errors and have to rip...ugh!  I have the pre-stitch done and 3 extra pieces are now complete, but oh, my I've never had such a struggle...oh, unless you count my Welsh Cottage...perhaps this is normal for me, now that I think about it.  Anyway, I've allowed myself a month for each Betsy Morgan class kit....I'm now working on this one during the week at times as well to meet that goal, which means I didn't get 2 shop pieces done this week.  I had to finish a piece for the Delaware Sampler Guild retreat, but I can't show that until the retreat takes place.  So I'm afraid this is it for the week.  Came to work this morning in such moderate temperatures I swear I could have come in short sleeves.  But since I'm not sure it will stay this way all day, I came in my turtleneck just in case.  But the boardwalk is humming with activity.  Elaine is here getting inventory ready to open the downstairs stores and by this time next week we are open 7 days a week.  Summer can't be far away.    Renee and Pat will both be back on the schedule and I will see a day off again.  Whoppee!!! Of course next weekend is our first class for the year with Sherri Jones coming.  My Patriot Patty will finally be completed (at least I pray it is so), and one more beautiful object for my stitching room.  I love playing with my beautiful gifts and finishes.  I used to love to play with my dolls and doll houses filled with furniture when I was a little girl (before tech came to be), and this is a grown up's version.  I open the boxes, and rearrange the smalls inside.  I marvel at the splendor created with just some fabric, needle and thread.  Treasures, is what they are.  Many of them are gifts given  to me by stitchers which I treasure most of all, but there are some done with my own hands which makes me feel I've accomplished something wonderful.  I know that when my time has come,  I am leaving behind something that will be treasured by others for I have a daughter who is a stitcher as well. The thought of my stash just brings a smile to her face because she knows what is there and she can't wait to get her hands on it.  I'm O.K. knowing this because I would be the same way and at least I know someone will love my stash as much as I've loved it.  And with that I'll say good day.  Have a wonderful weekend and I'll talk to you soon.  And I'll see some of you this week as everyone works their way here for Sherri Jones' classes. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Have a wonderful Easter...!!!!

I'm going to say it now since I don't think I'll be blogging tomorrow, so I hope you all have a wonderful Easter.  I know I am going to .  Sara has invited everyone to her house for dinner so we will all be together.  While it's sunny here, the wind is really blowing, so it's bringing the cooler air off the ocean, so it's not as warm as yesterday, but warmer than it was 2 weeks ago so that's a good thing.  I wanted to show you my 2 models for the week.  Just Nan's "Strawberry Bunny" which I think is so cute.  It's really a one night stitch and the finishing wasn't too bad either, although I still have to put her whiskers on, I forgot them in my haste for a finish.  The second finish is the Noteworthy Needle "Bunny Bucket," which was also an easy one night stitch.  The finishing was a little harder because you are dealing with a curved piece and because I was looking for finishing supplies I never found....but at least I know what we need to order.  I also, for some reason, did not leave enough fabric on the ends to make a good finish, but managed to find a way around it.  I thought I followed their finishing directions but apparently I missed something.  I did use the pom pom trim we carry which I've been dying to use.  It was easy to attach and gives it a fine looking finish...mission accomplished...2 finishes for the week.  I love it when a plan comes together.  So far it's been an easy day.  People are breezing in and out, no rush or hurry, so I think I'll now pull out my stitching and get busy on my class kits.  I left Serenity Harbor home so I wouldn't be tempted.  .

It's Friday and there is no school so it's back to work for me and while it's not perfect outside, with temperatures in the 50's and just a brief few drops of rain earlier, it's close.  O.K. there's a bit of wind, but the top picture is my view of the world, gorgeous.  You can tell summer is right around the corner, bikes on the boardwalk and the Alaska Stand opened today.  Hot dogs and French fries for everyone!   I finally got Luck in a frame so you can see that finish (can't count it for this week as it was finished before St. Patrick's Day) and while I usually go for a "cutesy" frame for this kind of stitch, I felt gold was appropriate with the pot of gold shown on the piece.  Fun, fast and cute from Lizzie Kate.  And the third wrinkled picture is my progress on Serenity Harbor.  I cheated and finished part 2 before completely finishing my 2 shop models for the week, but I have until tomorrow to get them done, and the stitching is finished so keeping fingers crossed that I get the finishing work done here in the shop today or at home tonight.  But guess what showed up today....Oh, My, Gosh....part 4 of Serenity Harbor and the fun will begin with this piece because the inside design is starting, there's a sailboat, a lighthouse and a house to say nothing of trees, water, I'm so excited I don't know how I'll work on anything else....but I must so I'm trying to keep it out of my mind at this point.  I can't wait!  I have encountered a slight problem with using the fabric I chose.  I chose a color close to the color in the picture initially shown which is somewhat like a light sand color.  When stitching the clouds they really get somewhat lost, however, I pulled them out and decided to stitch with two threads (the rest I've used one thread on) and it made a difference.  In person they do stand out now, even though they are still hard to see on the internet.  But in person they look fat and fluffy so I'm happy with it.  Oh, know, UPS just showed up with 19 cartons of stuff.  Going to be a tough afternoon, hell weekend with 19 cartons, for us all....well most of this is for Sea Trader and at least 6 cartons are the goodie bags for different events, so not everything has to be priced and put out, but that leaves 13 cartons...UGH!  I'm hiding over here, keeping my head down and mouth shut!  Have to tell you I had a ranting moment yesterday in Michaels, which as anyone who knows me knows I hate, at least the Ocean City store.  I only went in there to get a container to put Lizzie Kate's "Little Grey Hare" on. became a nightmare.  I finally settled on a shadow box...I'll show you later...I'm in line behind a woman who said, "I have a 40% coupon but forgot it at home."  I'm not sure what anyone expects a cashier to do when they leave their coupons  home, but apparently this idiot thought the cashier gave a damn, which none of them do in Michael's.  But in the cashier's have to be presented.  The woman was then trying to get the Michael's website up on her phone.  So while she attempted this numerous times, while a longer line was gathering, she kept mentioning her friggin coupon.  She finally, after several attempts, got the web site up and spies  a 30% off entire purchase coupon so she then thinks about which one to use and the cashier thankfully ends that delay by telling her the 30% is for the next day and the 40% is for now.   This  idiot actually considered leaving what had been rung up to come back and annoy us all over again get the 30% off.  She kept looking at the idiot husband and said over and over, "I should come back tomorrow and get 30% off shouldn't I?"  She never gave a thought to those who were ready, with or without coupons, to get the hell out of this store.  She never even looked at the line and said, "I'm so sorry that I'm being such a dumbass," because apparently her world revolved around her.  I also, of course,  put blame on the cashier who should have said, "I'll have to ask you to step aside until you are ready and then will take you, but people are waiting."  I always come out of our Michael's saying, "I am never setting foot inside this store ever again." or at least until I am desperate for something.  As if that wasn't enough, I was watching the news when they had the story about people saying their pets are service dogs so they can stay with them on planes for free, instead of riding in the cargo hold.  Really, what is it about people that no thought is given to those who truly have disabilities which they need a service dog for. Should all passengers on an airplane bring their pets on with them?  Do these people think their needs should be above everyone elses?  If they keep this up and the airlines says no more to any pets, what happens to the folks who truly need service dogs.  What happens to the passengers who are allergic to pet hair.  My Sara has an allergy to pet hair, pollen and wool.  She gets around dogs or cats and it's sneezing, eye watering, and just plain misery.  Does anyone think of these people.  None of us mind making exceptions for those who are truly in need of a service pet.  But I do mind those who think they are above everyone else and the needs of everyone else.   We do not live in our own world, we live in a world with other people.  It would be nice if  some people took  others into consideration.  Instead of  being shocked when someone is rude, I'm now shocked when someone considers someone else first.  What does that say about people today? 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ooops...forget to post this apparently, so the order is screwed up in the posts.

Hello, I'm still here and I'm stitching up a storm...and having a ball doing it it.  Before I went to Nashville I had plenty of stash loaded in 3 bags sitting in my living room.  I hid them in plain sight, two tables each have one shopping bag under them and then I have a huge stitching bag stuffed to the gills sitting beside the sofa and another one in front of the sofa (it's the most urgent) and then of course, I have my everyday stitching bag stuffed...1/2 full that I take with me to the shop.  My has, of course, increased since Nashville and I'm manic as I see so much unstitched and feel the need to get it all done.  Anyway, with Patriot Patty done (what a wonderful stitch that was...thanks Sherri, I loved stitching this one-as you already know I've loved stitching most of yours...had a few issues with Hare Pins, (I created the issues by not reading the directions of course)...but let's move on because in the end it was a beautiful piece.  With Patty done I can't wait for the finishing class.  Anyway, once that was done I pulled out a lot of stash and had to force myself to hone in on 3 projects for Easter.  I chose the Shepherd's, "Busy Bee Bag" shown first.  I just love these bags.  I've stitched everyone of theirs.  It's a wonderful 2 night project and who doesn't like a new little bag to hold their stitching supplies?  It did show the words Busy Bee stitched on it, but I really preferred it without the lettering so I left it off. As usual I was tempted to add my tiny bitty bees to the bag but I resisted the urge..but I did slip a couple of beads in....the center of the 2 flowers on the right.  I just had to add something.  It was killing me.  Once I got that done, Sara handed me 2 more class kits to stitch, but I still wasn't ready for these Betsy Morgan's class pieces, after all...her class is in June.  So I'm back to stash.  Last night I pulled out the Bunny Ruler from Niky's creations.  This was actually from last years stash, but how appropriate for Easter.  It's was a complete kit so I just opened the package and  started.  Since it is stitched on 36 count I wasn't really sure how much I could do in a sitting.  It is over 2 and I was speeding along and realized I could finish it in one sitting...exciting....until I hit a bump in the road.  In all the years I've been stitching on linen and it's been over 25, I've never run into this.  Linen has thin threads and fat learn to deal with it.  But after stitching the rabbit, I began to stitch the border (I don't like stitching the border first in case there is a miscount, so I stitch the border along with the design)...anyway, as I was stitching the area on the right of the rabbit I noticed the stitches didn't line up with the border.  I traced it back to the fat thread which was 2 threads in the border but one fat one in the design.  So I pulled out what I had done, divided the fat thread and restitched.  But as I started the border on the bottom noticed it didn't line up with the middle.  When I traced it back to the fat thread I realized while from the fat thread in the middle it spit into 2 threads going up but that same fat thread split into 3 threads going down from the center.  Damn, there is no way to correct this.  So I just put this down and decided to get a new piece of linen and start again. Now let me add, that this is no one's fault.  Nikys Creations isn't expected to inspect the linen for this.  I've cut plenty of linen in my shop and I've never inspected it for this.  This was just an oddity and I can always get another piece of linen.  So if you have this kid already or look to purchase one, this is not to be expected again in another kit.   But this left me with no project for the rest of the night and I had 2 good hours left to stitch.  Judy Brunclik was in the shop this weekend and she pulled out the "Serenity Harbor Sampler" by Donna, By the Bay Needleart.  I had taken fabric home after Superbowl as I did like it (in fact I loved, loved,  loved it) but at that point I was busy with Patriot Patty so I just put it in one of the bags.  But Judy got the want and need back into my head so last night I pulled it out.  I brought home a Stitchers Half from Lakeside Linen, 36 ct. Light Examplar.    I started the stitch and it was relaxing and such a beautiful stitch .   I know I've just started and there are 11 more parts to this, but in reviewing it, since there wasn't a whole lot to love at this first point, I've decided what thrilled me most was the fact that I didn't have the constant change of color so I didn't spend a whole lot of time threading my needle, and the colors are so beautiful, well it was so enjoyable...I'm going to hate to put it down.  But I've started my rotation thing again, stitching several pieces at one time.  So my rotation will contain, "Bunny Ruler "(with new linen), "Serenity Harbor Sampler", Just Nan's "Strawberry Bunny" and "Bunny Bucket" by Noteworthy Needle.  On the other side of those I've got "Spacious Skies" by Priscilla's Pocket, "Giving Thanks" by Little House Needleworks and "This One's for Betty" a class kit from Betsy Morgan.  So I've really got my work cut out for me.  I've never enjoyed work more. 

It's been a busy week, stitching wise.  I finished a few things, the Bunny Ruler, by Niky's Creations which was a two night project for me.  Would have been one night except the fabric had an issue so I had to start again (I had only finished the rabbit and was on the 2nd hill when I noticed a flaw in the fabric which I couldn't correct or stitch over)...and I also did the Nun Stitch around the whole thing, which wasn't part of the instructions, but overall an easy stitch...over 2 on 36 ct. (Since I did replace the fabric I used a piece of the fabric I was working Serentiy Harbor on.  That way I didn't have to get up (always a win win, unless you are my behind.)  And now a new treasure for one of Sara's spring etui's.  The second finish was A Little Gray Hare by Lizzie Kate.  Another easy finish, made into an egg shape which I plan to put on a box, I think.  But she has designed it for you to use it as an cute.  Again, just a couple of nights to stitch.  She designed it with the empty basket being held by the rabbit, but I felt it needed something so I put some turkey work in there so it looks like grass.  Other than that, I stitched as per the directions.  But the final picture is Lizzie Kate's Hip Hop kit.  I did make a few changes, I wasn't crazy about the floral button that was included in the kit (all fabric, ribbon, and a floral button are included) so I decided to move the elements together, leave the button off, but of course it's never that easy.  By moving the pitcher of flowers over it made the design shorter so I had to elongate it so I added a mirror image of the flowers on the left to the right.  (in my world everything has to balance.)   But then there was an empty space above the egg so I added a bee button. Whew!  Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through this but I want what I want so...sometimes a stitcher just has to do what a stitcher has to do.  I love the end result and that's all that matters isn't it?  At first I wasn't going to put the ribbon on it, but after it was done...well it looked O.K., so I ran with that as well. The finished fabric was included so I didn't even have to go to my fabric stash.  Great little spring pillow after a dreary winter.  I feel more spring like already, even though it's in the low 40's here.    I believe I showed you in one of my previous blogs the beginning of the Serenity Harbor Sampler.  Well, nothing goes easy for me, so as I was putting the Serenity Harbor on the web sight I noted the finished size.  Now, one would think I would have noted this before I started stitching, but I had my Stitchers Half of Lakeside and I came down what I thought was an appropriate distance (but was apparently too far) to start so after noting the size on the web site I went back and measured the fabric and found that I was going to run out of room.  UGH!  So I then cut the fabric to the size I needed and started over.  Between this and Bunny Ruler I was having a really bad week as far as "starts" go.  But I started over and completed January's chart and Monday I'm allowed to start chart 2.  I hope to catch up before chart 4 is released in April.  Unfortunately for me,  I have to work on class pieces, get a couple of small things done for the shop each week and then whatever time I have left in the week I get to work on Serenity Harbor.  As you can see I'm picking really easy, small finishes each week so I can work on this dream of a stitch.  I didn't even read what Donna has on the design directions, until I was finished with part one.  She encourages you to use a variety of stitches to make this design truly your own, but I love it so much just as it, I think I'm just going to use good old cross stitch.  My obsession with this piece continues.  However, I did start Betsy Morgan's "This One's for Betty" and I have to too is a beautiful easy stitch.  With luck I should have my pre-stitched piece done this weekend.  This year we got the complete kit and after begging to get the full kit prior to the class I feel a responsibility to finish all the I have quite a bit of stitching to get done...2 different projects (we are also doing Can't See the Forest...complete kits.  I can do it (at least that is what I'm telling myself).  At least Patriot Patty (Sherri's class Piece)  is down!  Well, I better get to stitching so have a great weekend.  Stay least it didn't snow down here, but I understand some of you saw snow.  Ouch!! Spring is on the way...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Jackie's Classes...Hope you can join us!

Jackie DuPlessis will be with us again  September 11-13, 2015.  This is a 3 day weekend as each
class is 1 1/2 days....September Morning  will start Friday morning at 9 through lunch on Saturday. 
 The Gift  will start Saturday afternoon and run through Sunday till 4.

The Gift class is $470 and includes 2 nights
lodging, breakfast, lunch and the class.

September Morning is $435 and
includes 2 nights lodging, breakfast, lunch and the class.

Both classes will be $800-includes 3 nights lodging, breakfast, lunch and the
classes.......September Morning”

September Morning finds you walking down a fashionable avenue in Paris looking for a very special object to take home with you. Tucked away in a display window’s corner, your eyes are drawn to a delicate carton. The carton is decorated with soft watercolor-style flowers, leaves and vines.
You step inside the shop for a closer look. Excitement fills the air as you recognize the carton to be a needlework box. The shop attendant sees your interest and takes the needlework box to a viewing area. The shop becomes silent. Your eyes follow the shape of the box—rectangular, about 6" wide x 3" deep x 1 3/4" high. The slanted sides are decorated with tiny silk stitches that resemble watercolor paints and are worked on a warm antique-colored linen background. The four box sides are attached to one another and meet with panels at the top creating a functional box top that ties with a wonderful vintage-looking silk ribbon. You notice that each of the four box sides are attached to these linen panels to create the top of the box. When the ribbon is untied and the box top panels fold back, you view the silk-lined interior and see that it is filled with tiny trinkets and tools. A thimble hides in one corner, buttons and bows adorn a tufted mattress pincushion, and you see a tiny needle book with scissors minder. The box’s interior has silk pockets; each is filled with tiny treasures, paper, mementos and needle necessities.  Holding your purchase, you walk to your hotel room, thinking of the needlework person who owned this treasure before you and about the treasures you will add to this beautiful September Morning memory.  September Morning is worked on 32-count linen with hand-dyed and solid silk fibers. The interior silk fabric provided in the class kit is luxurious taffeta linen. The vintage-looking silk ribbon will be specially dyed for this project. Color graphs and diagrams with colored instructions for completing the class project will be provided in class along with detailed instruction and color pictures for working a special new stitch Jackie created for joining the panels together. A tiny preface piece of linen will be supplied to practice this “Jackie's Scallop Join” to add to your finishing repertoire. Scrims are available for this as well.

A Gift”
Bonbonni√®re(French) is also known as “Favors”, gifts that are given out on special occasions.  
Stitches used on the Bonbonni√®re box are:                  
Back Stitch, Chain Stitch - Hungarian Braided, Spiral Trellis Stitch, Herringbone, Cross Stitch worked over one linen thread and attachment of Spangles.   
The Presentation Tray - Optional kit which can be purchased to go with "A Gift"
The Presentation Tray project was created with the purpose of using it as a display tray for the
“ A Gift” Project.  Not only is this stitched tray decorative it can be used as a storage and traveling companion.  The stitched alphabet can be used for monogram reference and pins and tools are stored for travel in the silk pocket and silk ribbon bindings.  Once the superb hand-dyed silk satin ribbon is untied the tray’s third purpose is revealed, a storage area for working linen bits.  Four carved mother of pearl buttons are wrapped with ribbon after folding the silk taffeta folds over your working linen piece to that it is safely tucked away for traveling.  
If you are interested in either of these classes, please call Sara...410-289-4667