What a week we had last week....whew! always so much fun, but afterwards it takes me a week to get over it. Particularly hard since we had 3 events, one weekend after another. I didn't have time to rest before the next event was on us. I'm almost rested now and it's only Wednesday so that's a good thing. The picture on the left shows the Delaware Valley's special project from 2 weeks ago. It started with a free chart from Hands on Design which shows 1/4 of a design which you turn to stitch the 2nd, 3rd and 4th corners. We decided to pack it in a kit, providing all materials needed for completion, including the backing fabric and then provided the JABCO stick pins shown in the picture. The backing fabric we picked up from our favorite quilt shop, "Serendipity" (located in Dagsboro..well worth the trip). Such a fun stitch and an easy stitch, although I have to admit it took me a few minutes to get the "turning" of the chart. I did this before years ago with a chart, but for some reason this time I just struggled to get the turn. But the chart also had progressive charts showing the stitch as it went from one corner to four corners, so in the end I had it done in time to have the sample for the Guild. I got that done and began the design for the Spring Retreat....and that's where I ran into trouble. I don't like empty spots on designs so I kept adding things, and adding pieces until I drove myself crazy as well as Sara who's mantra became, "Mom, we need that finished, stop adding things." While I thought I could get it done (I was wrong, I got it stitched but didn't completely finish it...I got the bottom in the box, the spool was finished, the needle vial was finished and the fob was finished, but the needlebook was stitched but not put together and the 4 inside panels were stitched, but 3 were not finished...darn it! As if that wasn't aggravating enough, when we were packing the kit we found that the company from whom we ordered the vials shorted us 36 corks, and the fibers which were ordered in time....didn't make it to us in time. But in spite of all those problems, we still managed to show the project, get the kits packed up (with a plan for replacing fibers missing) and get the goodie bags to all participants. Whew! Aside from the slight issue we had, the weekend went beautifully. We had some new stitchers here...always a treat, and we saw many of our stitching friends from past retreats. Is there anything better than time spent with stitching friends. I saw a lot of "show and tell" and projects I hadn't seen before. So much fun and so inspirational. I see other stitchers work and I can't wait to get something finished. So thank you to everyone who brought in show and tell and Sheila Fitzhugh who always brings me something to keep as a model for the upcoming season. She brought in a few pieces and let us hang 2 Jeannette Douglas pieces that are stitched and framed beautifully. Now, of course, I can't wait to get to those pieces, which are in my stash. So much stash, so little time. Also a big thanks to the usual gang who helped us in the shop. With 73 stitchers retreating here, the shop is sometimes overwhelmed (in a good way) and we need help finding things for people, retreaters as well as folks just coming in from the boardwalk. We feel very lucky to have several stitchers who know the shop so well that they jump in to help when needed. And Debbie Liming wasn't here to attend the event this time, but she drove down to help us by working in the shop cutting fabric. Thanks so much Debbie...it was such a big help. And Judy Brunclik who actually does work here, but was here as a participant in the event and not scheduled to work, but not only helped other customers, but came in to put merchandise out for me when she was suppose to be with her stitching group having fun. And then there was Stacy Stinson who spent a lot of time trying to help find different charts when I was unable to get to it for a customer. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful group of supporters and friends. My house looked like a fiber bomb went off, but I took Monday off and tried to get some order here. So now I'm feeling a lot better. It was great to see all the stitchers, and a few of them decided to stay on since the weather was so nice, so there are still participants still here, but I'm back to school and life. I, of course, have had to move on since I hadn't worked on my obsession in well over a week. Sunday night, after work, that was my treat to myself. I worked on that piece all evening and I love it more today than I did a month ago. I started work on one of the lighthouses and the ship...oh, what fun this is. It's amazing how many people are working on this. It was quite the talk at the retreat with many of us pulling ours out of our bags to compare fabric and progress. However, with Betsy Morgan coming in a month, I've had to put it back in the bag and get back to the class pieces. We begged Betsy to let us have the complete kits, which she did, so while the pre-stitch has been done for some time, I feel responsible for getting the entire projects completely stitched before she arrives....oh, my I never saw so much over one in my life. Thank God, the second project is mostly over 2, unless I just wished it to be so. So I'm working 24/7 trying to get these pieces done. Serenity Harbor only gets about 1 day a week, and I'm now 1 1/2 charts behind. I've got to catch up or I'm going to go nuts trying! And I really panic when Judy shows up and has worked on hers as we are doing it together, but I want to stay ahead of her because of all the class pieces etc, I've got to get done as well, so it helps me mentally if I don't have to worry about catching up to her. And I got another club piece yesterday (I'm two behind on that series so far this year and about 4 behind from last year, to say nothing of all the stash I keep bringing home. Just imagine working in a needlework shop and taking one of everything you like...that's my problem.) Right now I have Michael doing a paper while I blog (of course he doesn't know what I'm doing). Honestly, this child is so over school that I'm having to force him to do this. I keep trying to remember, was I like this at 14....but I loved school so I don't think I was. And research papers have always been my forte, so I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't want to do one. But my Michael, oh, my...it's been a struggle for him. I finally gave up on letting the school choose the topic and asked him what he would like to write about. If the truth was known he'd prefer not to write anything, but he finally said skateboarding. Unfortunately for him, he thought he could just write his impression of it.....and of course I said, no...you have to do a research paper. There were tears and a gnashing of teeth, but he is now doing the project and I have hopes he's doing a good job. At first he just copied and pasted from the article into the paper and thought he was done....but then I lowered the hammer in regards to plagerism and showed him how to turn those words into his own words. (Good Luck with that) He finished his History final yesterday so history is now...well history. The only subjects left to finish are Science and writing. But we're both counting down the days. Since he told me yesterday he didn't want me teaching Science anymore because he wasn't even listening to me (that's really encouraging) he is now on his own with Science, but must take his master test in that with me. Today he got 100% on his master test...oops, guess he doesn't need me. Glad to hear it since it saves me a couple hours at night from having to do any work on it. So writing it is until May 29th, our last day of school....17 more days and I'm footloose and fancy free. Can't wait. In the meantime, Crystal Szymansky has just 1 more days before she retires. The longest day of her life is going to be on Friday as she waits for the day to be over. But OMG, Monday, May 11th is going to be so sweet...no alarms to set, no time to be anywhere...yes, the best is yet to come for Crystal. And then on Tuesday, May 12th, it's Sara's birthday. I couldn't be prouder of my two girls. They are the jewels in my crown and a source of delight for me. (that should bring me good mother's day gifts, don't you think?) Well, got to run, so a big thanks to all who traveled to Ocean City last weekend for the retreat. It was great to see everyone.