Wednesday, October 28, 2015

More finishes......just in time...

   Three more of Val's Ornaments and probably the last you will see from me this year, although it is tempting to finish the series, but I think I've already moved on for now.  Anyway, these were already finished by Jamboree so it isn't that I've stitched these up in the last 2 weeks.  But the more I stitched this series the more I enjoyed it, especially the finish which I have mentioned after each finish.  So easy.  Over the weekend I worked in Sea Trader and  I also searched for new stitching, but not very hard as I've been working on a couple of pieces taken from the "already started" pile and I'm almost done with one of them.  I decided to work each one alternating them  everyday.  So today I brought, Hands on Design, "Stitch Every Day" which is my  mantra.  After starting over (I started stitching the bottom section over 2 when it was suppose to be over 4-made a big difference so I tore it out) when I picked it up again, I  find that it is moving along quite nicely.  I also found after getting 1/3" of it complete that I had left out the 2 lines of stitching about the bottom border.  I was too far along, and had already started over once before, so I decided to keep going and not worry about it.  I don't think anyone will notice especially if they have never seen it before to know that the lines were suppose to be there.  Sara agreed with me when I showed it to her this morning.  So I shall carry on. I'm really enjoying the stitch.  My other project, Drawn Thread's "Give Thanks" was finished last night, however I may be pulling some last stitches out as again, I made a noticeable mistake...darn it I hate when this happens.  But I loved this stitch as well.  It is so much easier to stitch on a project when I'm loving it, don't you find that to be so.  I do start many a stitch and find after a day or two that I'm not loving it so much.  It could be for a variety of reasons, don't like the colors, fibers, fabric, it's not turning out like I thought it would....yes any number of reasons.  If I'm stitching for the shop I try to stay as true to the pattern as possible and tend not to make too many changes (of course there have been exceptions to this rule) as it throws off not only the customers but the sales person who has to know what the changes are.  Now if I'm stitching for myself or as a gift, well I do whatever the hell I want and damn the consequences. Anyway, today will be spent getting ready for this weekends event, The C.A. Wells memorial weekend.  This started out as a bitch stitching weekend for those who signed up for the C.A. Wells class which was cancelled by C.A. a week before she was due here and her reason, "It wasn't worth her time", just mad my blood boil.  It was so insulting to me, and really disrespectful to the stitchers who had signed up to come.  When we contacted the stitchers to tell them, some of them asked if they could come anyway and just have a retreat.  We called it "the C.A. Wells Memorial Weekend" and we've had more fun at this retreat that we would have with just a class with her.  Sara and whoever is working in the shop at the time, spend a couple of days getting the lobby of the hotel ready (needless to say the hotel is now closed for the winter) and we pull decorations for Halloween from our own stash, from Sea Trader, from Michael's and Hobby Lobby and just have fun with it.  We still have the original women coming to it and all of us bring food, enough to feed an army, and for 2 days we sit, eat, bitch, eat, work on joint projects, eat, shop when we are getting sleepy, eat and just have a 2 day eat a thon.  For Sara and me,  it's an easier weekend because it's not a shop event so much anymore but an event put on by the women who signed up.  Of course, now we all bring goodie bags for everyone, so it is also a goodie bag bonanza.  So today will be dedicated to getting ready for the weekend.  While we haven't seen our Debbie Liming since Hunter arrived (her first grandchild), she is due in town tomorrow for the event.  So we have a celebration of sorts as one of us is now a first time grandmother.  Most of us have had that wonderful experience, in fact most of us boast about our multiple grandchildren, but we are always excited when someone else joins out's the best club in the world.  I'll try to get pictures up of the remaining finishes I've had,  in the next few days.  In the meantime, have a great day.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Shepherd's Fold is now complete....except...

 I'm thrilled that at least one series is completed...except I now have to finish the inside of the box, but I'll get to that later when I have time.  Just to have the stitched pieces completed is a thrill. I've done many of Shepherd's Bush needlerolls and they were fun and fast to do so this was a joy to do as well.   Remembering how to finish them was a challenge for me, even though they have excellent directions in the kit but I finally  had to look at the ones I'd already done to see that I was moving in the right direction.  I'm always so unsure of finishing so even if I know mentally what to do, I just have to keep checking myself as I'm always sure I'm doing something wrong.  Anyway,  "Fear Not Needleroll" turned out to be an easy finish, even with my hesitations.  "Reach" which is a ruler case was even easier as it is a nun stitch finish and I'm so use to that finish I don't even have to read the directions anymore...Thank God! Finally a finish I'm quite confident in.  This is such a cute piece as well with stitching on the front of the case as well as the back of the case.  As with all the pieces, I did leave the words off of this piece.  Remember I didn't understand from the beginning what the words had to do with the pieces until I was on about the 3rd or 4th piece.  But by then I had already changed the wording on the lid and so it made no sense at that point to put them on any of the pieces.  I still love each piece and love that I now have a project box from one of my favorite designers.   Now that the season is over, my work at the shop is almost non existent and will be until Thanksgiving when I once more go to work 4 days a week.  Right now I'm in retirement heaven.  Get up, stitch, read, stitch some more.  I have become so lazy I barely pick up after myself but I'm hopeful that this attitude will change and hopefully sooner rather than later.  I look around and my stitching seat (on the sofa) is surrounded by these huge oversized tote bags filled with stitching projects or stitching stuff, and under the coffee table are mesh bags filled with projects to be done or started and in the corner beside the sofa more bags stuffed, honestly it's no wonder I don't sleep well, I can't stop thinking about all the stitching I still have to do.  And this doesn't even take into account the closets I've got stuffed or my stitching room.  I need to stay awake for the next 20 years and then may still not be done.   But such joy just to be stitching.  I wonder what people who don't stitch do with their time.  I have the T.V. on whenever I stitch so I'm hearing what is happening and I do look up now and again, but I'm stitching the entire time.  So, I'm living life and loving it and hope that you can say the same.  Right now I'm trying to finish 2 pieces I had started as they were lingering under the coffee table and I'm on a mission to get these pieces finished and out of the living room.  That's my mission to clean out everything that I can see from my seat so it's not so overwhelming to me.  Well, I best get back to it.  A couple of hours on the internet and my fingers are looking for a needle.  Have a great day. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This is just one of my finishes....Shepherd's Bush Pumpkin Box Kit.  Small design, not even 2" x 2", but it has a lot of elements.   But because of it's size it was easy to stitch and easy to finish.  So a one night project.  My problem became what to do with it.  I've stitched all of the "Box" series (so fun) and I've put some in the Retromantic Box, and I've framed some using Jill Rensel's mats but I wanted to do something different.  So while in my stitching room I noticed an old, and I do mean old shadow box I had constructed for Halloween probably 20 years ago.  It was looking a little old and tired so I decided to take it apart, update the shadow box with a new glassed in model and then used a skeleton from Michaels, the blocks are from the old box, the skull was a bead from Michael's and the mouse was on a cupcake from Kay Fletcher that she brought to one of the events.  (everyone left the mice since they weren't edible and I scarfed them up because I knew sooner or later I'd use them).  I got the bottle of bones from Hobby Lobby in their scrapbooking section.  I had so much fun making this and the Spooktacular sign is a sticker.  I stretched my stitched pumpkin around a canvas that was approx. 2x2 or a little smaller and just glued it to the back of the shadow box on which I stuck the spider scrapbook paper.  I stay in the box so much of my life, I loved stepping out to make this.  Something a little different and a cute decoration for Halloween.  You can find all kinds of things to use at the hobby shops I never go in one that I don't scour the scrapbook aisle and bead aisle.  I've got all kinds of stash and I love it when I can go to it and find something I need.  Anyway, that's one of my finishes...I'll send more your way tomorrow.  Have a great day!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Two new finishes.....

     I've been a stitching fool for the past few weeks and have managed to finish many items which I will be showing you over the next couple of days.  On the right, the Lizzie Kate Mystery sampler.  As you can see, I did add the "a" to the second part since I was among those who felt it didn't flow properly.  This  was a fast stitch, but the lack of the "a" on the second part led to much controversy. In the end I had to add it. Now it's on to the framer.   On the left, the Shepherd's Bush "Joy to Ewe" free pattern when you purchase the Santa Hat button the ewe is wearing.  Stitched on 18 ct. linen, this is a fast little stitch and now Caroline is turning it into one of her fabulous pillows which I will show when it is returned.  So much fun when projects are fast and uncomplicated.  A pleasant change after a long involved stitch.....but now I must try to turn my stitching to my bigger projects once again...oh, perhaps a few more fast stitches first.  Have a great day!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jamboree 2015-the best Jamboree yet!!!!

At least that is what a lot of the stitchers are saying, however, that might be because they took home each of their projects complete, the pear, the needle book and the buttons...done, finished, not sitting in a bag waiting to be done.  The apple pincushion was not done in class, but several stitchers got it done before going home as well.  While the finished pear you see was given to us by Cecile, from Just Another Button Company, I saw many of the finished pears walk through the shop and everyone did an excellent job.  If I lined them up on the counter you wouldn't be able to tell which one Cecile did or which ones were done by the students.  Thank you Cecile, not only for our pear but also for a great class. (I personally had wanted this pear so much I was going to buy the kit, so imagine my happiness at being given one.)  The next class was the pear needlebook and the apple pincushion  taught by Cathy from Hands on Design.  Most stitchers completed the pear needlebook in class and some completed the apple pin cushion before the end of the weekend.  So, that means that 3 projects were completed and then the 3rd class, button making with Rachel from Just Another Button Company.  Below you see the pears made by Kathy Renard, who was carrying on the theme of the weekend, pears, and then you see Candy's buttons which were a little more intricate.  You could do any buttons that you wanted.  While I thought it would give everyone an appreciation for the time and energy that goes into the JABCO buttons, several of the ladies stated they were going to make more.  But that was 4 projects for the weekend and many got all of them done.  Opps, I almost forgot the scissor fob, to say nothing of the perforated paper project.  Well, the projects just go on and on.   So that made the weekend that much better for everyone and was highly successful.  So thanks to all the teachers who made their way to Ocean City, and big thanks to all the students who traveled from far and wide.  It's the stitchers who make the events possible so thank you so very much.  And while they are exhausting for us all, they really are fun.  Hope to see you all again at the 2016 events.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

We're still here.....

  Had to show you my view this morning (Monday)...the bottom picture shows the beach beside the sea wall....a little pond has developed from the sea coming up to the wall.  The top picture is the view from the sea wall to the ocean.  We have seen a tad of the sun this morning, but right not it's spitting rain again, no as I look out I think it has stopped.  Anyway, tomorrow promises sun so we just have to hang on.  But thank you to all who were thinking of us as the hurricane promised to come by and the North Easter' stopped in first to say hello.  We had 2 retreats in Ocean City this weekend, the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild was staying here in the hotel and the Tangles group who always stays on 12th St..  As the week closed in on the weekend, several of the Delaware stitchers cancelled for fear of what they would be facing here or having to weather storms driving down, but there were 7 hardy stitchers who refused to let the weather rule and came regardless of what was happening.  And there were several members of the Tangles group who would walk down here (only about 4 blocks but in a Northeaster') multiple times each day, so we thank everyone who came, we were thrilled to have company for the weekend and we appreciate your hanging in there with us.  While we saw a couple of ladies from the Tangles group,  this afternoon it's just Sara and myself and it's kind of lonely.  However, in 2 days that will change as the OCSJ will start with the arrival of the early birds.  For the first time in forever, we have received 95% of the orders we placed (we started really early) have it priced and out...whoohoo we're getting things done.   I'm also certain Sara placed a few orders yesterday...let there be a lull in Sara's day and she is working the internet, busy ordering the latest "stuff" for the shop.  Go Sara!    I've finished 2 more of Val's Halloween ornament series, the new Shepherd's Bush sheep with the Santa's hat, a couple of small little kits to go into the goodie bags, Shepherd's Bush Patriotic Box and the Pumpkin Box, and the Lizzie Kate mystery sampler is finished.   Speaking of that sampler, I have to say I couldn't handle the "tomorrow is mystery" and ended up adding the "a" which I will show you when I post it later.  I also got 3 gifts done for friends with birthdays....yes I was on a roll.  But Serenity Harbor is still waiting for me to return....which I will do as soon as Jamboree is over.  After the pre-stitch, I just had to have some fast stitches and so I couldn't go back to Serenity Harbor.  But next week I shall return to it.  I may do a lot of stitching, but I can never hope to catch up.  I took home 8 new projects this weekend...oh, my I should live long enough to do half of them.  Last night I started Lizzie Kate's limited edition, "Halloween."  This is one of her "almost a kit" kits, which has everything but the floss, ric rac, fabric for backing, linen and beads and I'm hoping to get it done in 2 days, but since we are in crunch time for OCSJ, I'm not sure it will happen.  I've got the cookies to do yet and a few other things have to get done for the weekend so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  And I'm  just itching to start another Brenda Gervais piece for Halloween.  Well, time marches on and so must I.  Got stitching to do.  Have a great day!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jackie DuPlessis was in the house!

Jackie's classes were over a couple of weeks ago now and I was thrilled to have her pre-stitch done at the time and when I saw the completed piece which she finished, I knew all the work will be well worth the time.  I also found there were other, like Debbie Liming, who received her kit about 2 weeks before the class and she had hers finished and loved every stitch.   Because of her work schedule, Debbie usually can't complete all of the pre-stitch on classes where there are multiple numbers of pieces involved or the design is really involved.  But here she waltzed in with her 95% done after only 2 weeks...she couldn't say enough about how much she loved the stitch.  But the one point we do agree on is the finished project, fabulous!  So, I don't have to love every single stitch to take the class, I just have to love the finished project.  And what we learn from classes is invaluable for future finishing.  If you have never taken a class before, treat yourself, you will enjoy the journey, and get such useful information and great techniques.  Every teacher shares endlessly and we've had wonderful teachers here, including Jackie, Sherri Jones, and Betsy Morgan just this year.  Most shops today offer  classes and events, so check out events at your local needlework shop.  You will never regret it!  For stitchers, the designers are our rock stars, unfortunately we don't have any academy awards for them.  Perhaps we should!  Anyway, the weekend started out early with Ginny, Betsy Morgan  and Jackie arriving on Wednesday, Debbie and the other students arriving on Thursday and Friday morning the fun began with September Morning and Jackie's new finishing stitch.  Such a beautiful project with several beautiful scrims.  Oh, My, my wallet was hurting after the weekend, but the scrims are a must have and sooo worth it.  Several regulars were here for the classes and it's always good to reconnect with stitchers and see their works in progress.  It's inspirational to see what others are creating with linen or canvas and thread, plus we got a sneak preview of Jackie's next piece which is unbelievable.  A designer's mind works in mysterious ways.  I don't know how they keep coming up with the projects they come up with for class.  But I'm so thankful to all designers who work so hard and invest so much of their time to help us develop our skills to a higher degree.  You make the world a better place for us to live in, to say nothing of the beauty you add to a stitcher's world.  Anyway, we had a great time here at Salty Yarns that weekend.  However, I'm so out of practice working it darn near killed me physically.  (let's not discuss the weight issue and what that is doing to me, right now it's about the weekend rush)  On The Saturday night when I finally closed (because Sara told me to close and go home), I stumbled over to the lobby and joined Jackie, Stacy, Sara and Debbie in the lobby.  Sara kept looking at me and whispering "Go Home" because she knew I was exhausted, but I just smiled and sat and joined the discussions (one of which got a little heated, but I still sat even though Sara glared and said, "I need you to leave", and yet I sat on.  I finally left around 11:15 and when I got home I text Sara and said, I couldn't leave earlier because to tell you the truth I was too tired to get up and leave.  It's really a wonder I didn't just lay down on a sofa and let Mary wake me up in the morning when she came to work.  Wouldn't that be a lovely sight as tenants came down in the morning to get their coffee and English muffin.  Well, even I knew that wasn't a solid plan which is why I dragged myself home.  I was too tired to stitch when I got there and just went to sleep, but got up the next morning to stitch and ended up miscounting and having to take the stitching out.  Damn!  I hate when that happens.  We also had Dana Spernal not only taking the classes but cutting fabric so that was really a bonus for me...since that is not my favorite thing to do.  Thank you Dana.  I love you and Stasi Buhrman because you two always help out in that department, with smiles on your faces.  What a help!So if you are in the shop and I shout "Cut your own fabric" please don't be offended, it just means I too darn tired to get up and do it.  stitching I thought I was going to do, but I also haven't been working as hard as Judy and now Dana Spernal who came down for the weekend to cut fabric so I wouldn't have to  (cutting linen drives me nuts anytime, There were events during which  I've spent 6-8 hours doing nothing but cutting fabric with no breaks because at some point people were just piling the fabric with notes about the cut they needed and their name.  But for some reason, I haven't figured out, Stasi Buhrman and Dana both offer to cut for us.  Bless their hearts!  Sara and I are so blessed to have such friends, we truly know we are.  That's one of the reasons I love this industry....we have made wonderful friends through it.  Well, I shall post this now since it's been sitting here for 2 weeks waiting.  Have a great day now that the rain has stopped!