Thursday, July 2, 2015

Seashore cute

 Stacy Stinson gave me this cute Jabco pin cushion, (a pin cushion I wanted but was too cheap to buy myself), along with an exclusive Blackbird small stocking design chart with 2 seashore related designs, which I had never seen before and was thrilled to have them.  I started (and I do stress started) the year long series of the Blackbird Stocking ornaments years ago.  I was right on track for about 3 months, or perhaps 4 months since there were 3 stockings per month, and I ended up with 13 stockings before having to switch off and of course, I have yet to return to the stocking project.  But this prompts me to get these two done and then go back and finish the series which will mean 36 of the original plus the  2 for the birthday for a total of 38...oh, my wouldn't that make a beautiful Christmas tree and I could leave a lot of them for a tree each month since none of them are too Christmasy.  Anyway, thanks Stacy,  you know how much I love my summer beachy stuff.  And of course, there are seashore related pins  included with the gift, simply fabulous.  I am sorry it's taking me so long to get everything up here....honestly, I've been so busy stitching I haven't had time to blog (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it..  Jennifer Humphries also gave me a goodie bag filled with wonderful items, but there was one gift that I've been using since the day I got it and I'm loving it.  I've always used a magnet board and for some reason used Loran's, I suppose because we sell them and it was easy for me to grab.  But Jennifer brought me a magnet board from the office supply store that's so much bigger, about 14" x 11".  Now it's not just a magnet board but also a dry erase board.  But I'm using it solely because of the magnetism.  She also gave me a supply of earth magnets to use...honestly I've never seen any magnet stronger than these earth magnets.  Now the reason I love it so much, I can put not only the chart on there but also the page that lists the colors and their symbols so I'm not always having to find that among the "stuff" on my sofa where I stitch.  I can also keep a list on there of any colors or beads I need to pick up and because it's a dry erase, there was also a place to put a pen so I have a ready made station for my stitching.  I use one of the magnets to hold my scissors so I don't have to fear losing them to the sofa...and my needles are there...oh, it's wonderful. I had purchased a variety of metal easels from Hobby Lobby and one of them was just the right size to hold this board.   I use this for my bigger project, Serenity Harbor, and I use Linda Wimbrow's stitchers tray for my small projects.  I work on a variety of items at one time and it's wonderful not to have to put everything away from one project in order to work on another.  Now I just switch stations and I'm ready to go.  Speaking of which, I started the Polishware bowl project today.  Since it combines over 1 and over 2 stitching I've decided to stitch at least 1/4" of the design each day and then move on to Serenity Harbor for a couple of hours and then I can start another small design if I want to.  I will only be working on small designs with over 2 stitching when I go to work, so you can see I need multiple projects going at once.  This also gives me finishing time each week, as that is my latest resolution, to finish up some of the projects just sitting there unfinished.  (God I hope I hold to this..please give me the strength and perserverance).  Anyway, I'm stitching like crazy and with very few duties this summer (no skatepark at all) I have plenty of stitching time.  It has created a slight issue however.  On the news the other day, for the medical segment they discussed tech neck, which I believe I have, however, it's not tech related but stitching related.  From bending over at the neck to stitch, my neck is killing me and I find I have to pause more often and kind of exercise the neck (they suggested this as a repair).  I'm not sure I exercise it enough and I'm hitting the motrin bottle more, but just can't give up my stitching.  It's leading me to take more breaks to, God help me, pick up more.  Crap!  I'd rather be stitching.  Have a great more later.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Roses for Sally ....

Had to show you my birthday gift from my good friend, Paola.  But I also want to show you what this years gifts go with so the first picture shows the "Roses for Sally" box which was a birthday gift a couple of years ago, and the scissor fob which was a gift the next year.  This year I got three more smalls for my box which are shown in the rest of the pictures.  This project is absolutely so gorgeous, stitched on 40 ct. I believe, over one and as usual impeccably stitched and finished.  Thank you Paola for such a wonderful gift which will be cherished forever.  It gives me great joy every time I walk in the room, smell the rose scent (Paola always makes sure they smell like roses) and then get to "play" with my treasures.  Wonderful birthday, as usual, but even better this year because not only were my local "peeps" here but also Paola, Debbie and Stasi.  Great weekend!  Thanks again to everyone.    I've been really busy stitching myself.  Had a birthday gift to stitch, whew!  Got it done at 2:00 a.m. the morning I was giving it....thought I might not make it, but was able to present it on time!   So with all pre-stitches out of the way, birthday gift done.....I was able to get back to Serenity Harbor.  Naturally, I'm behind...July showed up Monday, and I'm still on May.  But I'm working on it daily now so I should be able to catch up, hopefully sooner rather than later.  Although, Jackie DuPlessis prestitch arrived on Monday as well, but I couldn't take one (thank God) as others had signed up and Sara always gives mine away in the beginning and this year I'm definitely alright with that.  I need some Serenity Harbor time.  At the same time I'm already looking for a smaller project to stitch along with Serenity Harbor.  I have 3 or 4 small Shepherd's Bush projects, including the needle roll that is part of the Shepherd's Fold series.  I also pulled out "Giving Thanks" from Drawn Thread.  I love the piece and plan to get this done for this year's Thanksgiving holiday.  Of course, I thought the same thing last year....but this year I'm determined.  However it is a little large to lug to the shop, so I need something like a pin cushion, or a small pillow so the search is on going.  I came across the Polishware bowl from Olde Colonial, so I might just start with that.  I collect Polishware so I was thrilled when Pam showed us this in Nashville.  Apparently there were pieces offered before that I missed...darn it all!  But at least I got the bowl and it's cute so I'm a happy camper for the moment.  While I was searching through multiple totes I also ran across several projects I had started and for one reason or another just stopped, "Shores of Hawk Run" (which I loved stitching at the time), and was thrilled to find "And they Sinned" which I thought I had completed the first section of and yet I didn't (funny how my mind always thinks I'm doing better than I am), and then there was a Lorri Birmingham design that was suppose to be on a tin, and while I had put it on a tin I didn't like the finish at the time and stuffed it back in the bag.  Well, I've made a decision, each week I'm going to pick one finished, but not assembled project and work to get it assembled (as I did today with the Lorri Birminham tin) and at the same time start finishing some of the partially started pieces.  Stasi Buhrman so inspired me (as she frequently does with all her finishing) when she completed her "And they sinned" and I swore then to find it and finish it.  I also saw my Welsh Cottage in there, but that got pushed back to get some of these others finished.....hopefully.  I'm thrilled to say I pulled the Lorri Birmingham piece apart and redid it using supplies I have now, which I didn't have back when I put this together in the first place, and I really love it.  I do need to finish the inside of the tin, but it looks so cute with the scrapbook paper used on the tin on the outside and I used an old plastic room key (like the credit card type) as the base instead of the old cardboard and it was the perfect size and I padded with Warm and Natural and perfection, at least to me.  One piece out of the "unfinished bag" and out on display.   I never return those credit card type keys, don't like the fact that my info is on there, but more importantly, I know I can use them in finishing and they are wonderful as the base on Altoid tin finishing among other things.  Try cutting has to be done, they fit right on there. Got to get back to stitching.  Have a wonderful day and try to put needle to linen or aida tonight

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Promised you pictures of the goodies stitched for me for my birthday.   There will be more on the next blog, but today's gifts are first, from Stasi Buhrman, the Pink Keeper and my "peep" pin cushion.  I love these pieces, not only because they were stitched but because it's a tribute to my "peeps" by one of the peeps.  If you look closely you will see that the pin cushion in the bottom right corner is actually placed in a "Peep" egg cup.  I've never even see one of these "Peep"cups before so I was especially thrilled. I have a couple of  regular egg cups to make  into pin cushions, but I couldn't figure out how to put it in the egg cup so that it wasn't a red hot mess in the bottom of the cup.  Stasi solved my problem because she filled her egg cup with red beads....such a great idea.  The effect from the beads in the bottom is fabulous.  The designs for both pieces are from Blackberry Lane Designs, "Tools of the Trade."  Thanks Stasi, I have the pieces displayed on my hutch in the dining room so I can look at it while I'm working, and love them.   The right picture shows Linda Wimbrow's gift to me,  a needlework tray and 3 accessory pieces for my scissors, orts and needles.  I loved the idea of this when I saw the chart, "Tray Necessaire" from Noteworthy Needle.  I have it in my stash, of course, and am thrilled that Linda did the work so it gives me one less project.    I normally don't use my stitched items, they are on display for me to admire, but I can't help myself  with this gift because this has all the elements I normally use in stitching, a scissor keeper, ort container and a pin cushion and the tray just keeps everything organized, so yes, I'm using this gift (in fact I've been using it since I received it.  The original showed different colors being used, but Linda knew I like Navy Blue and so she made this more to my taste,  color wise.  Thanks Linda, it is perfect for me!  So ladies you both did a fabulous job of stitching, but also in picking out what to gift me.  You made me feel very special on my birthday and everyday I look at my gifts I know what special friends I have.  Thanks for all you do for me.  I hope your birthdays are as great as mine.  Tomorrow there will be more gifts shown.  I am a lucky lady

Monday, June 22, 2015

Stitching up a storm....

OMG...I'm so busy stitching I have no time to do anything work.  I was written off the schedule which gave me more time for stitching...loving life.  With 4th of July coming up my thoughts turned to shop models featuring Patriotic designs and of course I couldn't resist Noteworthy Needle's "Liberty Pail" part of their Rusty Pail series.  These pails are so much fun to stitch, easy to finish and fast, only take about one night to stitch.  Fun, Fun, Fun.  We're filling it with sand and sticking the flags in it as we get our patriotic spirit in full bloom.  The 3rd picture will be familiar to those who attended Spring Retreat as it was part of their goodie bag.  It's the Mermaid's Treasure spool scissor keeper, and crab fob.  Loved stitching this...the bagello is so much fun to stitch and so easy, once you get the first line in you just follow it so there is no more checking charts, etc.  I love it so much I used it again in the patriotic tote I stitched next (will be in next blog).  Anyway, both projects are available in the shop now, along with the pail and the spool.  The heat is here, as is the humidity, which has kept me inside stitching and having movie marathons.  I have never had this much fun...eating when I want, going to sleep when I want, cleaning or not cleaning (and I lean toward the not cleaning today), getting up when I feel like it (although my kidney does have it's own time table now and usually gets me up around 6 a.m., but that's ok because I also nap off and on all day.  OMG, such wickedly wonderful days.  I haven't made a meal in weeks.  In fact Sara sent over 2 thick slices of ham, 4 deviled eggs and 3 ears of corn and I managed to make this into meals for 3 days.  When I would quiz my dad late in his life about what he was eating each day he'd say he hadn't eaten because he wasn't hungry and kept insisting since he didn't do anything he didn't have to refuel.  I now almost understand that.  I go without lunch because I don't want to take a break, and sometimes dinner after having 2 slices of cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast.  However, unlike my dad I do supplement the day with frozen fruit bars, I'm obsessed with them and have had to place limitations on them and a new treat for me, Dove ice cream bars...again I have had to place limits on those as well.  I usually allow myself 1 of each item a day.  Each day I think, today is the day I'm making dinner and then dinner time arrives and I'm in the middle of a project and I think, oh, hell I'll make it tomorrow.  The good news is, I weighed myself on the doctor's scales we have at the hotel last Friday.  I thought they must be broken so I called Sara and asked if she had used them.  She said she had and they were correct, so I seem to have lost 10-12 lbs, since I was last on the scales in the spring.  Can't say I'm sorry, but I'm sure the pounds will find me before the end of summer, but the day I saw the loss I stopped at the Alaska Stand for a hamburger and a small fry...delicious!  Haven't been out of the house since.  The Junebugs are almost all gone and we managed to get through the month almost unscathed.  We don't rent to the buggers, but they are all over the place so we have them cutting through the parking lots, cutting through the hotel or looking for bathrooms (when they decide to use them) and throwing their trash all over our property.  This year we had a first ever event, however, a couple of weeks ago I was watching the 6:00 a.m. news and it came across there was a shooting in Ocean City.  My mind started scanning through some of the possibilities but was more than shocked when the reporter was standing under our sign on Baltimore Ave.  I couldn't figure out why she was showing our sign when I knew we couldn't have any of those "kind of people" staying at our hotel.  Apparently I was right, they weren't staying with us but in a drug deal gone bad, one kid running away through our side parking lot was shot in the butt, sometime the night before (and yet I got no text or anything else from the kids).  At least it wasn't a tenant involved, although Paola was still here after taking Betsy Morgan's class and she was in the apartment one flight above where the shooting took place.  She was on her IPad at the time and said she heard the noise but thought no more of it.  I mean does anyone think about a gun firing?  Sara went over to check on her and got in a little bit of a battle with one of the police officiers as he told her to go back inside as this was now a crime scene and Sara insisted she was going over to check on Paola since she was on the porch overlooking the crime scene but not actually in the crime scene.  Thankfully she wasn't arrested.  Anyway, the only harm to our property was a bullet hole in one of the cars.  Yes, it's lovely here in Ocean City during the month of June.  Always interesting, seldom boring but terribly frustrating.  Now for the kicker, the kid involved that got shot was not a Junebug, He was in his 20's so he could be part of the college crew that was in town and the shooter was never caught as the kid shot was uncooperative....what a shocker when a drug deal was involved.  Honestly, I really am too old for this kind of foolishness.  No wonder I stay inside and stitch.  Well, back to my patriotic tote...I'll try to post tomorrow so you can see what's going on here.  Have a great day

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tarts Galore!

   I feel like the Tart Queen after stitching 4 in a row, but I do love to stitch them....2 days tops per tart and the finish is so easy, less than an hour.....yes I'm into the tarts.  All four designs come from Plum Street Sampler.  The two on the bottom, are from the chart, "Party Tarts" and the one on the top right is "The Birthday Gift" while the one with the cat is from "Autumn Tart".   It feels great to be done with class kits for a while and having a finish so quickly just picks up my spirits.  I've even been able to work on my obsession, Serenity Harbor,  but I'll get a picture of that up later.  It may be my latest obsession but we all knew looking at the amount of water and land that has to be stitched that this would take a while and it sure is.  But my opinion does not change, it's fabulous, and will be a real show stopped once it's finished.  But I can't just stitch on my obsession, I still have shop models to do.  There hasn't been a day that I've worked in the shop that I haven't taken home more charts....good thing I only work a couple of days a week otherwise I'd be able to open a Salty Yarns annex at my house.  Anyway, today I started the "Patriotic Pail" by Noteworthy Needle.  I plan on having it finished tonight so I can start on a Patriotic Tote featuring the wooden totes I love to stitch something for.  I'm trying to get patriotic pieces done for our 4th of July display.  Well, I've got to get stitching so I'll sign off for now.  Hope your summer is starting off well.  I know some of you have had torrential rain and are suffering because of it and you remain in our prayers.  We've been lucky here in Ocean City.  Have a great day. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Victory is mine!

 I am almost out of the woods and it feels really good!  The 1st photo shows I've finished 13 pieces and the 14th piece just involves completing one motif.... and this doesn't include the 3 pieces of pre-stitch I did so in total I had 17 pieces to stitch for this project.  Thank God I'm this close with the class on Saturday or Sunday.  So tonight I will finish this piece...and move on to other things, including Serenity Harbor...but first I have to stitch a gift and then it's on to Serenity Harbor.  Something is always coming up to drive me away from my a matter of fact, the other day I was stitching and watching Downton Abby (I did a marathon and watched 4 seasons over the course of 3 days..whew!) when Sara called to ask what the fire trucks were doing down here.  Since I was so engrossed in my stitching, I didn't realize fire trucks were on the scene, so I said, "Gosh, I smell a strong smell of gas, perhaps that is why they are there and went out to look and when I opened my front door there were 2 policemen getting ready to knock.  Then I knew between the city ripping up the street in front of my neighbor's house and the smell of gas, well an incident occurred.  I was told I had to evacuate.  Meanwhile I'm in my p.j.'s so I said, "I'll have to get dressed then I'll get out."  One of the policemen I was familiar with as he is the father of Michael's best friend , he was explaining how they would lift the barricades so I could get my car out when I informed him I wasn't about to move and lose my parking space.  But I will tell you I did have a major stash!  Oh, My God, if I had lost my stash I'm telling you heads would roll.  I spent about 5 minutes stewing over it and trying to figure out how many bags I could drag out, when I suddenly put it in God's hands and simply took out my current project for Betsy's class and just prayed the rest would be here when I got back.  And of course, in a couple of hours the lines had been repaired, I was back on the sofa, Downton Abby back on and my stitching in hand.  But now I'm thinking I need an exit strategy.  Fortunately for me, 99% of my stitching is in the shop so I wouldn't lose it, however, every gift (there are a couple of exceptions of things in the shop) but for the most part most of what other's have given me would have been lost.  That is so frightening to me.  My gifts have become such a joy to me.  I pulled out my dough bowl and a couple of other wooden bowls and have vignettes sitting on different tables in my dining room and living room.  To be surrounded by such beautiful gifts is how I want to spend my days and I do, so to think these could be destroyed is stressful to me, but if I locked them up in a safe, well what fun is that.  I guess it's just a chance all of us take with our stitching.  I'll just pray all my "pretties" are spared.    But I must move on...the 2nd picture is the Salty Yarns annual by Renee Greene.  Mercy these have been going on since the late 80's I think.  I don't know how she keeps coming up with a new design, but they are one of the most popular mini kits we sell, so I'm thrilled she keeps them coming.  So good to have 2015 in the house.  I've also realized something else in retirement (semi-retirement)...I haven't become my parents, I've become my grandmother.  My grandmother would sit on the front porch of the hotel in the heat of the day, 80's or 90's with her cable knit Irish sweater buttoned up and complain about the cold weather.  She was not a little woman, but for some reason was always cold no matter how hot it was.  The other day as I was sitting in my living room stitching wondering why they kept talking about rising temperatures yet I didn't need my a/c on.  It was in the 80's last week, sunny, hot, and yet I didn't need my a/c.  Last year it was on from May through August all day and night...never turned off.  So to now be in June and still no a/c....I've finally become my grandmother.  While I'm not wearing a cable knit sweater, I'm not hot.  That's a good thing...I hate a/c.  I'm just wondering how far into the summer I can would be so sweet not to have to turn the blasted things on. I can't stand the feeling of being cooped up.  So this year will could be a first for a/c at home.  Take That Delmarva Power! Although the last time we all conserved so well they raised the rates because they weren't making enough apparently.  So not using the a/c could be a double edged sword.  Well, got to get back to shoulders and back may be killing me at this point and my rear end could use a break from sitting, but my fingers are still willing to do the work.