Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ooops...forget to post this apparently, so the order is screwed up in the posts.


Hello, I'm still here and I'm stitching up a storm...and having a ball doing it it.  Before I went to Nashville I had plenty of stash loaded in 3 bags sitting in my living room.  I hid them in plain sight, two tables each have one shopping bag under them and then I have a huge stitching bag stuffed to the gills sitting beside the sofa and another one in front of the sofa (it's the most urgent) and then of course, I have my everyday stitching bag stuffed...1/2 full that I take with me to the shop.  My has, of course, increased since Nashville and I'm manic as I see so much unstitched and feel the need to get it all done.  Anyway, with Patriot Patty done (what a wonderful stitch that was...thanks Sherri, I loved stitching this one-as you already know I've loved stitching most of yours...had a few issues with Hare Pins, (I created the issues by not reading the directions of course)...but let's move on because in the end it was a beautiful piece.  With Patty done I can't wait for the finishing class.  Anyway, once that was done I pulled out a lot of stash and had to force myself to hone in on 3 projects for Easter.  I chose the Shepherd's, "Busy Bee Bag" shown first.  I just love these bags.  I've stitched everyone of theirs.  It's a wonderful 2 night project and who doesn't like a new little bag to hold their stitching supplies?  It did show the words Busy Bee stitched on it, but I really preferred it without the lettering so I left it off. As usual I was tempted to add my tiny bitty bees to the bag but I resisted the urge..but I did slip a couple of beads in....the center of the 2 flowers on the right.  I just had to add something.  It was killing me.  Once I got that done, Sara handed me 2 more class kits to stitch, but I still wasn't ready for these Betsy Morgan's class pieces, after all...her class is in June.  So I'm back to stash.  Last night I pulled out the Bunny Ruler from Niky's creations.  This was actually from last years stash, but how appropriate for Easter.  It's was a complete kit so I just opened the package and  started.  Since it is stitched on 36 count I wasn't really sure how much I could do in a sitting.  It is over 2 and I was speeding along and realized I could finish it in one sitting...exciting....until I hit a bump in the road.  In all the years I've been stitching on linen and it's been over 25, I've never run into this.  Linen has thin threads and fat threads....you learn to deal with it.  But after stitching the rabbit, I began to stitch the border (I don't like stitching the border first in case there is a miscount, so I stitch the border along with the design)...anyway, as I was stitching the area on the right of the rabbit I noticed the stitches didn't line up with the border.  I traced it back to the fat thread which was 2 threads in the border but one fat one in the design.  So I pulled out what I had done, divided the fat thread and restitched.  But as I started the border on the bottom noticed it didn't line up with the middle.  When I traced it back to the fat thread I realized while from the fat thread in the middle it spit into 2 threads going up but that same fat thread split into 3 threads going down from the center.  Damn, there is no way to correct this.  So I just put this down and decided to get a new piece of linen and start again. Now let me add, that this is no one's fault.  Nikys Creations isn't expected to inspect the linen for this.  I've cut plenty of linen in my shop and I've never inspected it for this.  This was just an oddity and I can always get another piece of linen.  So if you have this kid already or look to purchase one, this is not to be expected again in another kit.   But this left me with no project for the rest of the night and I had 2 good hours left to stitch.  Judy Brunclik was in the shop this weekend and she pulled out the "Serenity Harbor Sampler" by Donna, By the Bay Needleart.  I had taken fabric home after Superbowl as I did like it (in fact I loved, loved,  loved it) but at that point I was busy with Patriot Patty so I just put it in one of the bags.  But Judy got the want and need back into my head so last night I pulled it out.  I brought home a Stitchers Half from Lakeside Linen, 36 ct. Light Examplar.    I started the stitch and it was relaxing and such a beautiful stitch .   I know I've just started and there are 11 more parts to this, but in reviewing it, since there wasn't a whole lot to love at this first point, I've decided what thrilled me most was the fact that I didn't have the constant change of color so I didn't spend a whole lot of time threading my needle, and the colors are so beautiful, well it was so enjoyable...I'm going to hate to put it down.  But I've started my rotation thing again, stitching several pieces at one time.  So my rotation will contain, "Bunny Ruler "(with new linen), "Serenity Harbor Sampler", Just Nan's "Strawberry Bunny" and "Bunny Bucket" by Noteworthy Needle.  On the other side of those I've got "Spacious Skies" by Priscilla's Pocket, "Giving Thanks" by Little House Needleworks and "This One's for Betty" a class kit from Betsy Morgan.  So I've really got my work cut out for me.  I've never enjoyed work more. 
 







It's been a busy week, stitching wise.  I finished a few things, the Bunny Ruler, by Niky's Creations which was a two night project for me.  Would have been one night except the fabric had an issue so I had to start again (I had only finished the rabbit and was on the 2nd hill when I noticed a flaw in the fabric which I couldn't correct or stitch over)...and I also did the Nun Stitch around the whole thing, which wasn't part of the instructions, but overall an easy stitch...over 2 on 36 ct. (Since I did replace the fabric I used a piece of the fabric I was working Serentiy Harbor on.  That way I didn't have to get up (always a win win, unless you are my behind.)  And now a new treasure for one of Sara's spring etui's.  The second finish was A Little Gray Hare by Lizzie Kate.  Another easy finish, made into an egg shape which I plan to put on a box, I think.  But she has designed it for you to use it as an ornament...so cute.  Again, just a couple of nights to stitch.  She designed it with the empty basket being held by the rabbit, but I felt it needed something so I put some turkey work in there so it looks like grass.  Other than that, I stitched as per the directions.  But the final picture is Lizzie Kate's Hip Hop kit.  I did make a few changes, I wasn't crazy about the floral button that was included in the kit (all fabric, ribbon, and a floral button are included) so I decided to move the elements together, leave the button off, but of course it's never that easy.  By moving the pitcher of flowers over it made the design shorter so I had to elongate it so I added a mirror image of the flowers on the left to the right.  (in my world everything has to balance.)   But then there was an empty space above the egg so I added a bee button. Whew!  Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through this but I want what I want so...sometimes a stitcher just has to do what a stitcher has to do.  I love the end result and that's all that matters isn't it?  At first I wasn't going to put the ribbon on it, but after it was done...well it looked O.K., so I ran with that as well. The finished fabric was included so I didn't even have to go to my fabric stash.  Great little spring pillow after a dreary winter.  I feel more spring like already, even though it's in the low 40's here.    I believe I showed you in one of my previous blogs the beginning of the Serenity Harbor Sampler.  Well, nothing goes easy for me, so as I was putting the Serenity Harbor on the web sight I noted the finished size.  Now, one would think I would have noted this before I started stitching, but I had my Stitchers Half of Lakeside and I came down what I thought was an appropriate distance (but was apparently too far) to start so after noting the size on the web site I went back and measured the fabric and found that I was going to run out of room.  UGH!  So I then cut the fabric to the size I needed and started over.  Between this and Bunny Ruler I was having a really bad week as far as "starts" go.  But I started over and completed January's chart and Monday I'm allowed to start chart 2.  I hope to catch up before chart 4 is released in April.  Unfortunately for me,  I have to work on class pieces, get a couple of small things done for the shop each week and then whatever time I have left in the week I get to work on Serenity Harbor.  As you can see I'm picking really easy, small finishes each week so I can work on this dream of a stitch.  I didn't even read what Donna has on the design directions, until I was finished with part one.  She encourages you to use a variety of stitches to make this design truly your own, but I love it so much just as it, I think I'm just going to use good old cross stitch.  My obsession with this piece continues.  However, I did start Betsy Morgan's "This One's for Betty" and I have to say...it too is a beautiful easy stitch.  With luck I should have my pre-stitched piece done this weekend.  This year we got the complete kit and after begging to get the full kit prior to the class I feel a responsibility to finish all the stitching....so I have quite a bit of stitching to get done...2 different projects (we are also doing Can't See the Forest...complete kits.  I can do it (at least that is what I'm telling myself).  At least Patriot Patty (Sherri's class Piece)  is finished...one down!  Well, I better get to stitching so have a great weekend.  Stay warm...at least it didn't snow down here, but I understand some of you saw snow.  Ouch!! Spring is on the way...


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Jackie's Classes...Hope you can join us!

Jackie DuPlessis will be with us again  September 11-13, 2015.  This is a 3 day weekend as each
class is 1 1/2 days....September Morning  will start Friday morning at 9 through lunch on Saturday. 
 The Gift  will start Saturday afternoon and run through Sunday till 4.



The Gift class is $470 and includes 2 nights
lodging, breakfast, lunch and the class.

September Morning is $435 and
includes 2 nights lodging, breakfast, lunch and the class.

Both classes will be $800-includes 3 nights lodging, breakfast, lunch and the
classes.......September Morning”

September Morning finds you walking down a fashionable avenue in Paris looking for a very special object to take home with you. Tucked away in a display window’s corner, your eyes are drawn to a delicate carton. The carton is decorated with soft watercolor-style flowers, leaves and vines.
You step inside the shop for a closer look. Excitement fills the air as you recognize the carton to be a needlework box. The shop attendant sees your interest and takes the needlework box to a viewing area. The shop becomes silent. Your eyes follow the shape of the box—rectangular, about 6" wide x 3" deep x 1 3/4" high. The slanted sides are decorated with tiny silk stitches that resemble watercolor paints and are worked on a warm antique-colored linen background. The four box sides are attached to one another and meet with panels at the top creating a functional box top that ties with a wonderful vintage-looking silk ribbon. You notice that each of the four box sides are attached to these linen panels to create the top of the box. When the ribbon is untied and the box top panels fold back, you view the silk-lined interior and see that it is filled with tiny trinkets and tools. A thimble hides in one corner, buttons and bows adorn a tufted mattress pincushion, and you see a tiny needle book with scissors minder. The box’s interior has silk pockets; each is filled with tiny treasures, paper, mementos and needle necessities.  Holding your purchase, you walk to your hotel room, thinking of the needlework person who owned this treasure before you and about the treasures you will add to this beautiful September Morning memory.  September Morning is worked on 32-count linen with hand-dyed and solid silk fibers. The interior silk fabric provided in the class kit is luxurious taffeta linen. The vintage-looking silk ribbon will be specially dyed for this project. Color graphs and diagrams with colored instructions for completing the class project will be provided in class along with detailed instruction and color pictures for working a special new stitch Jackie created for joining the panels together. A tiny preface piece of linen will be supplied to practice this “Jackie's Scallop Join” to add to your finishing repertoire. Scrims are available for this as well.

A Gift”
     
Bonbonni√®re(French) is also known as “Favors”, gifts that are given out on special occasions.  
Stitches used on the Bonbonni√®re box are:                  
Back Stitch, Chain Stitch - Hungarian Braided, Spiral Trellis Stitch, Herringbone, Cross Stitch worked over one linen thread and attachment of Spangles.   
 
The Presentation Tray - Optional kit which can be purchased to go with "A Gift"
The Presentation Tray project was created with the purpose of using it as a display tray for the
“ A Gift” Project.  Not only is this stitched tray decorative it can be used as a storage and traveling companion.  The stitched alphabet can be used for monogram reference and pins and tools are stored for travel in the silk pocket and silk ribbon bindings.  Once the superb hand-dyed silk satin ribbon is untied the tray’s third purpose is revealed, a storage area for working linen bits.  Four carved mother of pearl buttons are wrapped with ribbon after folding the silk taffeta folds over your working linen piece to that it is safely tucked away for traveling.  
If you are interested in either of these classes, please call Sara...410-289-4667
 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Honestly, sometimes I know it's time for me to quit!


I started this blog the week we got back from Nashville and have had to revise it 3 times because I don't post it.  So, some of this is old, some is newer and it's posting whether it makes sense or not!  We are almost finished getting Nashville Market items out on display, whew...it's almost over whelming.  And the snow that happened last Thursday didn't help.  But Friday was a new day and the sun came out, temperatures went up and Sara was in the shop.  Meanwhile, Crystal and Cynthia were suppose to start their retreat on Thursday but since New Jersey had several inches of snow as well, they ventured down on Friday instead.  But we had a wonderful time with them over the weekend, lots of laughs, major decisions regarding fabric, and threads were made and we were sorry to wave good bye to them on Sunday.  But Stacy stopped by as well as Candi and Linda and a few of our regular retreaters stopped by so we were not alone.  It's always so great seeing everyone.  Makes our day go faster and we never get tired of talking stitching.  Crystal is about to retire and begin a new business based on her collection of antique samplers she's been collecting.  She has over 300 I think she told me last year, and she's been busy getting the history of each one and is now going to reproduce them and offer them to everyone.  I'll keep you posted on her progress, but we're so excited for her.  Samplers are so popular we know she'll do well.  As we progress through the stock we brought home there are a few things I wanted to show you.  One of them was the Erica Michael's chart, "Good Every Day."  Some will remember this as part of the Petite Series done on 40ct. gauze which some found too intimidating.  Good news stitchers....Linda is now "redoing" the designs and showing them for 28 or 32 ct. linen to make it a little easier for those who love the design but can't face 40 ct.  What I love is she's also finishing them differently than the 40 ct. pieces which are all framed.  "Good Every Day" she's made into a tool case...which you can see opened in the 2nd photo.  So if you like this take a look at the rest of her "redo" pieces and see if one of them isn't for you.  It's been hard for me to get everything in the computer because as I'm putting it in I'm also stopping to look at each piece carefully to see if I want to take one home.  Needless to say my stash has grown by leaps and bounds over the last week.  I did get a couple of finishes under my belt.  I think I told you before Nashville I finished Lizzie Kate's "A Little Luck" which I will show you as soon as it's framed.  But yesterday I finished the Maryland Flag pillow to match my Maryland Crab Pillow which I did for Michael for Christmas.  Again I stitched it on 18 ct. linen so I got a nice size pillow.  Have to finish it though so I'm not going to show it until it's made into a pillow.  But just wanted to let you know I'm working.  Yesterday the girls and I were asked to go to the Hotel Motel Restaurant Association to introduce their guest speaker, Anthony from Hotel Impossible.  It was great seeing him again and a lot less stressful than it was when he was at the hotel 2 years ago.  It's so funny that people are still commenting on our episode of the show.  Even in Nashville this year I still had people ask about it.  And naturally when I'm in the shop I hear about it constantly.  But that's O.K., because it shows the concern that many people had for us and who doesn't like to know people care?  We are slowly getting back into our routines....homeschooling, etc.  It's so hard to get back into it after having several days off for not only me, but Michael.  Thankfully he worked on his own while I was at market and so we've moved ahead regardless of my absence.  Now it's a race to get everything in before June 1st...which is when I'm hoping we're done.  Actually I'm shooting for Memorial weekend, but who knows.  With just one child it's easy to go faster.  And finally....spring is right around the corner.  I feel safe saying that since we've had temps in the 50 degree range or high 40's for the last 4 days and as far as I can tell for the next 10 days.  I know we are all thrilled to think the snow and winter are over.....thank God!!!  While it hasn't been as brutal for us in Ocean City as it's been for New England, to get snow week after week here is exhausting for us.  They called off school last Thursday (now  that was 2 weeks ago)  and it didn't even start to snow until 3:00 p.m.  In fact for 3 weeks in a row the kids had off from school at least 2 if not 3 days per week because of the snow.  All except Michael of course, he is only 2 blocks away which he can walk, or in one case ride his ATV down.  That got a little iffy as the street camera caught him which ended his time riding the boardwalk and the street.  But he had a great time until that happened, so it was all good.  And today it's in the 60's, and while my car says in the 50's, well it feels like 60 with the warm temp and the sun beating down on me...mercy it's been a long time.  I feel spring, I swear I do.  Unfortunately, Saturday was not so spring like since it was pouring down cats and dogs.  They cancelled the St. Patrick's day parade, oh what a shame...it just made the partiers go to the bars early...I'm not pointing fingers are you Stacy Stinson, but you did show up on facebook.  Hope you had fun, you sure looked like you were.  Anyway, I've got to get some school work done before tomorrow and I wanted to post this blog before Memorial Weekend (which is where it was headed if I didn't.)  Have a great week..enjoy the sun,  or at least the warmer temperature.