Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm so far behind....

I'm so far behind not only with the web site but the blogging as well, I'm embarrassed, however, I've decided to discuss our stitching retreat first and then go back to Jamboree. We pulled out of Ocean City around 8:15 a.m. on Thursday to make the drive to South Carolina and Hilton Head where our retreat was taking place. The sun was shining, Sara and I were in good spirits and Sara was driving so I spent the better part of the trip sleeping off and on, and occasionally stitching. But we were both so excited that we could hardly contain ourselves...that is until Sara was pulled over in Virginia for doing 72 in a who the hell knows what speed it was suppose to be zone. Of course as she is dealing the state policeman, I'm on the phone calling Vernon and Mary to tell them what was happening. But even that did not deter us from having a good laugh. Of course when we find out what the ticket is going to cost us perhaps it won't be as funny, but on Thursday we chose to see this as part of the great adventure. We stopped for our first meal at the Cracker Barrel in Emporia and we were less than thrilled with the service and the food, and decided that we wouldn't be eating there ever Emporia, not in a Cracker Barrel which we have always viewed as acceptable fast food. But...we purchased some crap out of their store and moved on. We hit Hilton Head around 12 hours after we began our journey and finally got settled into the Marriott, which I have to say is a lovely property. The grounds are huge and the rooms spacious and accommodating. Sara and I had two rooms next to each other and we made my room headquarters for the weekend...which means we stitched together in my room, ate in my room when we did room service...then parted company so everyone had some privacy. Friday morning we got up, went down to eat and then sped to the Moss Creek shop...oh, boy did we ever. We use to carry the Moss Creek kits in Salty Yarns back when Rae and Ron were into wholesale, (they have since sold their own kits only on line through their web site.) However, when we carried them I did several of them and they are without a doubt the best teaching kits I have every stitched. I always enjoyed them because Rae did such a wonderful job of illustrating the stitches she used and using stitches you just don't see anywhere else. Anyway, they had all of their kits there and some of the charts from Sherri Jones (Patrick Woods). We were just oohing and aahing all over the place, and of course grabbing whatever we could. We were early enough that we really were able to get everything we wanted and like our events, they had shopping bags waiting for us to load up. You weren't allowed to take anything away however, as Ron hadn't set up for that as yet...that about drove me crazy since I wanted to take it back to the room and ooh, and ahh, over it all night. Anyway, Friday afternoon we had our first class. Now, before I say another word about the classes I have to tell you Sara and I both enjoyed ourselves and have every intention of going back again in 2009 so please understand that what I'm about to say is not a criticism of the class, just an observation. The Friday class we were taking was a paint on linen class taught by Catherine Jordan. What we noticed first about the class was the noise level. At our events we strive to have quiet rooms while the teachers are teaching(don't always achieve it, however it is our goal), however in this event at one point a group was singing a show tune while the class was taking place. They spoke over the teacher, under the teacher and around the teacher, which Sara and I found rude on their part and really distracting at first...we learned to ignore it and move forward. I have to say none of it made me fall behind...I just found it rude. The problem stems from a group of friends taking the class together I think...but anyway, that was really our only problem with the classes or the entire retreat actually, and like I said, we learned to ignore the noise. The paint on linen class was fascinating. I really didn't think I'd ever want to do this again, however, as soon as the class was over I ran over to the Moss Creek shop and purchased the paints and the brushes so I could do it at home. We painted the background on linen to put on a small box, and then we stitched a design over the background. Many were worried they wouldn't be able to paint, but it's nothing precise and no matter what you do or how you do it, the design works out. I'm a I looked at Catherine's box and tried to replicate it, but the woman sitting next to me...let's just say her's will be a one of a kind. When we finished the box and got back to the room I worked all night on the ship (two of the classes centered around nautical designs...whoppee!)..which was one over one. The stitching was straight forward, cross stitch, padded satin stitch and long very do-able. And by morning I had the clipper ship stitched and was ready to do my grass and tree work. Saturday morning brought us to Sherri's class which was a gorgeous mermaid design done in two colors of silk on a gorgeous color of linen. When completed it becomes a holder of needles, scissors, etc. When closed the project looks somewhat like a scallop shell. Anyway, it was a glorious kit to behold and I was really excited to stitch this one as well. We worked on a scissor fob in class, just outlining the fob and then trying to work a scroll stitch, which I tore out so many times I swear I had to set a record. To tell the truth, I never got it the way I wanted it and at night ended up tearing it out one last time. I still haven't put it back in, but wanted to practice on a spare piece of linen with a thread that came out of my stash so I didn't waste the kit thread. While we kept practicing the stitch Sherri had done her homework on mermaids and gave us the history. Very interesting, but then it was time for lunch and the next class. The afternoon was spent in Rae's class which was a Celtic piece which becomes a holder of needles, fob, etc. Here again we started working on the fob using a few interesting stitches while Rae gave us a history lesson. I am thrilled to announce that I was able to finish my fob Saturday night as Sara and I were drained and so excited that we rushed back to the room, skipped the dinner (O.K., we skipped the banquet but ordered room service), and stitched into the night. What fun that is. And after pestering Ron (who I know got sick of us going to him every couple of hours for our bags) way too much, when we went down again to the shop around 8:00 he gave in, added up our stash and we were able to rest easy knowing that it was paid for. The kits we purchased are gorgeous...and so well put together. Rae has such a knack for not only designing but assembling. Saturday brought a storm to the island so it was great to just sit and stitch. An observation regarding this hotel...the staff is unbelievable upbeat and you can't pass them without their acknowledging your presence with a good morning, or good afternoon. And if you approach the desk they fall all over themselves trying to help you out. Sara is planning on taking a class from them as she see's that her attitude in the summer is less than Marriott worthy, in fact it's down right rude at times. Having said that, I doubt if any of the employees we encountered work 18 hours straight...7 days a week for 6 months. So I think we can excuse Sara if she gets a bit testy...until she gets testy with me then that's a whole other story. Anyway, even the staff who delivered more than one room service meal to us always asked how we were enjoying our stay, where we were from...etc., etc., etc. Very pleasant. It was amusing to us to see the stitchers flock to the beach once the weather straightened that was something we didn't even look at. While all beaches are not alike, the view is the same...beach and ocean...when you've seen one you have seen them all, and since we see our beach and ocean everyday, we didn't even look for it. Sunday was so gorgeous if we were staying we might have gone out there, however, we went to the brunch, and got out of there early to start our trek home. Sara drove and I slept as sense in disturbing the balance we had achieved. I never slept so much...I'd doze off, start snoring and wake myself up and five minutes later did it all over again. We made it back without Sara getting another ticket so we're calling it successful. By the way, we ran into Carol B. when we were at the front desk registering and then periodically over the weekend, but she was the only one there that we knew. But what a wonderful weekend, great teachers, great shopping, a huge success. Ron and Rae Iverson do a great job. I highly recommend this event. Oh, yea, while the class times are approximately 3-3 1/2 hrs in length, they give you plenty of breaks (during which you can get your choice of soda, tea, coffee or whatever to drink and cookies, lemon bars, etc. to eat). Also once the lecture or the demonstration is over and you know what you are doing you can also leave. They do have the classrooms open at night for anyone who wants to sit and stitch there. We took 2 days to drive home and that really worked out better. So we arrived home on Monday and I took Monday and Tuesday off to unwind and stitch. And now I'm back. And you's great to be home.

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