Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall arrived and so have I..............

Yes, I apologize for the length of time between now and my last excuse except that I'm old, yes, I'm really feeling my age this year. I don't know what's different except that I am aging, only now it feels like I'm doing it at warp speed. Plus the amazing things going wrong with me, starting with the shingles which appeared in the spring, and the visit to the doctor's for that which meant going for blood tests which revealed the sugar spike and while I was dealing with that came the bronchitis and then the coupe de gras...plantar fascitis. Of course, over the course of the spring and summer I got the sugar under control, in fact I'm doing amazingly we
ll with that and the shingles, well that for me was just a couple of weeks of pain, and the bronchitis, well that lasted a tad longer than I would have liked, the hacking went on for a couple of months as did the exhaustion that came from it...but just as I was bouncing back from that the plantar fascitis hit and that lasted all summer. But I went to the doctors in September and now I have that under control so now I'm a ticking time bomb waiting for the next thing to go wrong. But in the meantime....all events are over so it's time for a recap, as well as resting up for the holidays which are right around the corner. At the end of September the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild had a retreat here and those stitchers are always a fun group. About 22 of the stitchers arrived on different days, a few always arrive early to get a jump start on the fun, and to get first pick at new stuff in the shop. These ladies do some amazing projects. Theresa Baird who you will hear more about as she has designed a sampler specifically for Salty Yarns, brought her collection of amazing projects designed and executed by her. She stitches on 40 count only (at least that's all I've seen) which is amazing enough to me, but the detail she gets. Mercy, it has to be seen to be believed. But all the ladies were working on amazing projects. There is no more fun that seeing what others are working on and getting new ideas through their inspiration. We had a week in between the Delaware Guild and the Stitchers Jamboree. While the attendance was down a little this year, we still had around 44 stitchers in attendance and three wonderful teachers. Amy Bruecken from Amy Bruecken designed a fall piece with a black crow sitting on a pumpkin and used the new copper wrapped thread from DMC to make tendrils around the stem. Many of the stitchers hadn't seen these fibers used so it was an education as well as a wonderful example of what to do with that fiber. I'd used it once before on the Sarah Elliott box of Greg's. We used it as fencing in a field, but I was unsure how to start and stop it. So this was invaluable to me. I like the dimension of the tendrils and the way Amy showed to incorporate the leaves on it. Needless to say, several people loved it as we sold out of the fiber during the weekend. Elizabeth Talledo illustrated the blanket stitch on a wool case stitchers had to assemble and included a couple of smalls for her piece which had the theme, "Day of the Dead". And Barbara Jackson showed the stitchers how to make a strawberry with her sampler strawberry. Several of the stitchers finished their wool case during the weekend, and I saw many of the strawberries being worked on. Phyllis Yurack was here for C.A. Well
s Memorial Weekend and she was well on her way to finishing Amy Bruecken's piece. So I would say the weekend was a success, thanks to the stitchers who came and enjoyed themselves, especially those who flew such a long distance, like Paola Botti who flew in from Luxembourg and the stitchers from California, Lara Skaggs, Pam Thompson and Kim Bowman. Jenny Berens who flew in from Kentucky and who realized she knew us from having attended the Moss Creek Retreat with her a few years ago...isn't it a small world? And then Barbara Nunez who informed me she was at the same retreat...and I didn't even realize that last year when Barbara was here. And 2011 we had our first male stitcher join us. I think he started off just wanting to be here with his significant other (I told him he could only come if he took classes), but joined in with the various stitching groups in the lobby and fit right in. He took home supplies to make a name tag for his next event. Go Ken! He was a delight to all the women here. Not only was he good looking but he had a wonderful spirit, and a desire to soak in all the knowledge regarding stitching that he could. He initially was taught years ago by his mother so he had done needlework years ago. We hope he joins us again, as well as Susan, his main reason to be here. And thanks also to Sara for all her cooking and goodies, and the designers who flew in and mingled with the stitchers. Thanks to everyone for another great Jamboree, and to all the gifts everyone brought. Cynthia Radley always brings treats and this year she brought a trio of delicious cookies which were gobbled up over the course of the weekend. And then she and Crystal Symansky gifts Sara and I both gift cards to our favorite spots...Sunset Grille save me a seat! Thanks Girls. Paola Botti flew over with her husband at the end of September, toured a few days and then stopped here for us to meet Lorenzo. Unfortunately we had the coldest weather we had since last winter while Lorenzo was with us. But he flew out 2 days after arriving and Stasi Buhrman picked Paola up at the airport and Paola spent several days with her and returned to us the Sunday before Jamboree weekend. We had our usual good times. Paola is an expert at finishing her smalls and we were amazed by the projects she brought to show us. She inspired all of us with her beautiful pieces. And both Sara and I were blessed to received 2 of her smalls, along with several other gifts. I'm putting my gift on the web site and you just have to see it. I will treasure it always. I should of taken a photo of Sara's but forgot. But it's a 15 sides biscornu that is amazing. Then Kim Bowman, Pam Thompson, and Lara Skaggs brought us things from their region. They brought a bag of Jelly Bellies (Sara's personal favorite), Ghirardelli Chocolates (well do you even have to wonder who's going to eat these) and the freshest garlic swag ever. I swear I've never seen such fresh garlic before in my life, big fat bulbs with their paper skins tight around them. I swear the garlic I usually find looks like it's shrunk inside the skin which is loose and falling off. You just know it's been sitting in the store a while. But this was fresh. Sara and I fought a little over it...I got some but Sara who is the garlic queen, got the most of it. That girl does love her garlic. And Ellen Sweeney who struggles every year to find me a new piece of my Polish ware went in a different direction this year and brought me oodles of lottery scratch offs from New York. We were both hoping I'd scratch off a winner, but alas, I had no luck but sure had fun trying. Thanks everyone for making our weekend so much fun. Sara and I have almost as much fun as the stitchers do. The weather was cooler this Jamboree but still beautiful and sunny which allowed stitchers to sit outside on the rockers and stitch while enjoying the sun and surf. We love the sun shining for this event just so we can sit outside. We had a week to
regroup and then the final event of the year...C.A. Wells Memorial Weekend event. As you may remember, this event came about when C.A. Wells cancelled at the last minute as we weren't her time. While the ladies still wanted to get together anyway, and we did, this has become such a fun annual event this year we decided we should thank C.A. Wells. We wouldn't have had this much fun if she had come so be insulting us she has provided us with a great event that we all look forward to every year. Sara decorated the hotel lobby for Halloween, and just about everyone brings a goodie bag so there are goodie bags galore for each person. Not only do the bags contain candy, but Stasi Buhrman made miniature cupcakes which were yummo, Stacy Stinson's contained a ceramic Halloween Cupcake with a candle inside (so cute), and Jennifer Humphries' contained a ceramic pumpkin votive. But every ones contained candy and some had notepads, tissues, nail files, hand sanitizer, etc. Fun, fun, fun. And as with all our events food plays a huge part. Stacy Stinson brought the cutest bread shaped like a spider which she hollowed out and put in some of her yummy dip (which she lovingly made). She also brought a delicious salad which Sara tried to gobble up by herself, and a dessert bar which was excellent. Jennifer Humphries brought cupcakes which I personally enjoyed (my sugar is still good) and I brought my usual Leek and Potato soup, strawberry pretzel salad, cheesecake and my famous chocolate dipped cookies. Jackie Janovsky brought her caramel pop corn, which I love, love love but apparently so did others ..darn it I was hoping to take that home. Sara made her pumpkin curry soup and her Chicken Caesar salad sandwiches which everyone loved. And this year, Sara made Bloody Marys which were enjoy especially by myself, Debbie Liming and Kay Fletcher and also made a green grog which was also enjoyed by ...well the same people. It's so decadent to drink around noon isn't it. I like to think of it as healthy since the Bloody Mary's usually have olives or celery in it and it is tomato based....yes that was the healthy part of my weekend. After that it went to hell in a hand basket. I ate enough chocolate candy to bury a normal person, and yet my sugar was still in the normal range. Unfortunately my weight has slowly risen now I must get back on track...and with the holidays approaching. What the hell was I thinking. The weather didn't exactly cooperate....we had a north easter' on Saturday, but since we're stitchers we didn't really care and we were staying in anyway. We were amazed at the snow totals we were hearing from others as we got nothing but rain, and on Sunday it was gorgeous and back to sunny. But I know many were without electricity (that may have bummed us out but ours didn't go out so hurray!) Anyway, I'm getting back to a normal routine...working in the shop and the office, hiding from salesmen and watching enough reality shows to make a normal person go mad. But I'm also stitching like crazy. I'm determined to get some stitching done for Christmas and so far I've finished 2 pieces to take to the framer (whoppee...I'm done my part). I've also finished 2 pieces which I need to put together (ooops..this could be a train wreck)...but it's exciting to think I could actually stitch most of my gifts this year. A first for me...which makes it really exciting. I'm a stitching fool at night as I have no one who needs my attention...yes, I'm still living alone and loving it.

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