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!