Sunday, December 17, 2017

Holiday Hours

We have decided to close for the Holidays on the 18th of December and will reopen December 28th.  We will also be closed January 1st.  and then will reopen on the 5th of January.  So hopefully you are all set for the holidays.  I'm certainly not.  I'm done stitching for the holidays and as usual I didn't get anything major stitched for Sara.  I was  working on the special Blue Ribbon Tree Etui, but like everything else it just fell by the wayside yet again.  However, I'm keeping it right beside my stitching chair and hopefully will finish it after Christmas so I'll be early for Christmas 2018...wouldn't that be a nice surprise.  It's been a busy week this past week.  Monday I had my surgery and did very well so now it's been wound care all week.  Of course when I got out of the shower at 5:30 a.m. today, didn't feel it was appropriate to call Mary to ask her to come take care of the wound, which has been her daily regimen since Monday so I decided I would handle it myself.  The wound is in the middle of my back, from about 2" down from my neck and is about 3-4 inches.  I didn't realize until 5:35 a.m. today that there was no way on God' s green earth I could possible put gauze pads and a huge surgical bandage on my myself and part of the wound is still seeping a bit so I do need something over it.    So after trying and failing miserably, I had to come up with a solution to get to church.  If this was any other month it would be simple, I wouldn't go to church I'd wait for Mary to get up and then let her do it, and skip church.  But with altar duty in December I had no choice.  So I took a maxi pad (didn't have any smaller) and taped that sucker to my back and put on a long sleeve shirt over it and I went on to church.  I didn't take my coat off so you wouldn't be able to see it, but when I got to the shop I asked Sara to change to the surgical bandage, since it created a real hump back there.  When I lifted my shirt so she could do it she starting laughing and asked if she could take a picture, but don't start searching for it because I wouldn't let her.  I mean I had to cover it and the only thing I had was the pad.  A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.  I thought it was a great hack.    Anyway, that was this mornings little drama.  On Friday Home Depot was suppose to deliver my new dishwasher and on Tuesday the plumber was coming to hook it up.  So when the plumber arrived on Friday I thought oh, oh...but when I opened the door and said, you guys weren't suppose to be here until Tuesday, I don't even have the dishwasher yet, he said, we have it with us and we're installing it now.  YEAH!!! They did a fabulous job and even swept out the space where the old dishwasher was (apparently I was on the phone at the time).  So Sara can stop bitching about having to wash the pots and pans (she made me go to plastic everything so she wouldn't have to wash dishes or pans.  I'm even thinking about going back to my Dickens china....oh, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas to me.  Wanted to show you a couple model finishes I had this month.  I know I talked about the Jingle All The Way box by Brenda Gervais.  She used the Antique Lace mini pom pom but I wanted to go more Christmas so I used Dames of the Needle "TexArkana" to match the green garland.  Then I had a Christmas plaid scrapbooking paper to line the inside, lined the top edge with green silk ribbon which I antiqued to match the rest of the box which had trees and Happy Holidays on it.    I also used red petite beads for the berries.  Fun stitch and fun finish.  



Getting prepared for summer I stitched "Take it E-Sea" by Silver Creek Samplers.  Then I finished it in a white frame and added shells and a white starfish to the frame to carry on the beach theme.  Another fun stitch.  


I guess that's it for today....got to get some stuff done before we leave the shop for the day.  So I doubt I'll be talking to you before Christmas so let me say Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to you all.  May you find the peace, joy and love we all need over the holidays.  While I'm sure there will be drama if you are celebrating with family, just keep your head down and reach for the goal...December 26th.

Monday, December 4, 2017

I swear it's the last sled I'm doing in 2017...can't say what I'll be doing in 2018

I'm sitting in the shop looking out at the Atlantic Ocean, people walking dogs on the boardwalk, others sitting on the benches just taking in the view, the suns shining and the weather is perfect for a fabulous day outside.  It just doesn't get any better than this.  I pray that your Thanksgiving was as peaceful, calm, drama free and filled with food and family as mine was.  While on Thursday it was a small gathering, but the day after Thanksgiving my sister and niece came down and treated everyone to dinner at Ruth Chris where we had another wonderful dinner, all 11 of us including my sister and niece so it wasn't very quiet but the food was excellent).  And the next night we did "Thanksgiving do-over to get rid of all the food from Thursday.  Three nights of eating...yes a dream come true.  But now I'm back to working 4 days a week as we start the race to Christmas Day.  And as the children get older it gets harder to find the gifts that they may like, except for Michael who asked me to get him new rims for his truck.  .  Honestly it has me wishing for the years of Fisher Price toys.  But at least he had a list even though only one thing was on it.  I'm also working on Christmas Gifts every night.  I was sifting through bags of stuff trying to locate all Christmas and I can't believe some of the items I've started then abandoned.  Remember the tree shaped etui from Blue Ribbon Designs? Heck Blue Ribbon isn't even doing counted cross stitch anymore, which is a shame because her designs were fabulous.  I remember Debbie Liming and I both made plans to stitch it.  I even got the smalls done for it the same year it came out.  I had 3/4 of the  top lid done, but that's all I had done, before I stuck it back in a tote.  I found the finishing daunting and I think that's what made me stop, but after locating it again I decided to drag it out and work on it again.  Again I'm finding all the pieces daunting.  The stitching is easy so I'm going to at least get more stitching done before I again put it in a bag and abandon the whole thing.  At that point I'll just leave it for Sara to find after I'm gone.  Perhaps she will finish it for me.   And of course I had to stitch a few more sleds for a wreath for Salty Yarns.   How appropriate is this with designs from Sue Hillis' "Christmas for the Stitcher" leaflet.  I made very few changes in color....stitched on 32 ct. white Lugana, using DMC fibers.  Where there were pins shown, I did change to a silver metallic thread (Krenick #4 or #8 works well-color 01 Silver) and then used a petite bead for the head of the bead.  Then with the stacked spools of thread I used a real needle in place of a stitched one.  On the bird clamp I used red and green to make it more Christmas so it would match the other sleds more.  I think Sue had used a yellowish or gold color for the bird.  I also used a dark grey for the clamp and made that pin cushion green.  Other than that I used the called for colors.  Then purchased a $4 wreath from Michaels and the wreath you see here was born.  Oh, I did purchase some holly berry sprigs to add in.  But then that is it.   Easy peasy.  And as I've said before the directions Sue Hillis gives in the chart are spot on, can't go wrong (well, in theory at least)...but I've had no problems doing the finishing so I'm sure you will be fine.   




Of course there were 2 designs I was anxiously waiting to arrive and they both have so I've moved on to those.  Of course I just had to stitch the new Brenda Gervais papier mache box top design, "Jingle all the Way".   It's a perfect box to slip some favorite candies in for someone or a special pair of scissors, well just anything really.  If you did the one she designed for Halloween you will definitely want this one for Christmas.   The size of the box is  approx. 3" x 5".   I've stitched two of these and basically used the colors she recommends, except I did use just one of the reds, Cherry Cobbler,  for the santa as our Chili Pepper dot lot looked a little too orange to me.  Then in place of the stitched berries I used petite beads.  I don't like to ever stitch anything more than once normally, but as I said I've already stitched this one twice and I'm thinking I might do it a third time.   It is an easy 2 day stitch which is why I don't mind repeating the stitch too much.   I haven't shown it yet because I have to get the paint for the box, oyster white and knaki...hope to get it today and get these finished.



Then the 2nd Brenda Gervais I'm working on is her devided tray design,  "Oh Tannenbaum"...love it.  I feel like I haven't stitched something to be framed in forever, but I love these different ways of finishing and have been drawn to those designs.    I started with the lower left design and should finish it tonight...more of a 3 day stitch for me because I didn't stitch one night at all (don't know why, just didn't) and then last night I was helping Judy with her project so I didn't stitch then either.  But I figure no more than 3 nights on 4 of the designs and the center should take 1 night.  Keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out that way and by then perhaps we will have the trays in.  Fingers crossed.  While I may not ever stitch this more than once, each of the designs here can be used individually and I may do that.  The ideas are spinning around in my head.  Perhaps on one of the little wooden totes I love so much.  It could be used as a holiday card holder...oh, so cute.  Well, I have to finish the tray first.  So how is your Christmas stitching coming?  FYI-we are now on Winter Hours, open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10-4


Monday, November 13, 2017

Hello Thanksgiving....we're waiting for you!

I'm sorry to see Halloween over, it's such a fun time not only with events, but also with stitching.  Some of my favorite stitches have been Halloween pieces.  So when it came time to change the front display to Thanksgiving I was questioning my stitching.  Can't remember anything, with the exception of the Drawn Thread's  "Give Thanks" that I did last year, I think it was last year.  It was a marvelous stitch and so much fun with the great variety of stitches involved.  And a turkey, well I hadn't stitched a turkey in forever (when that is I don't really know).  Anyway, I went on the hunt for a cute turkey and I found one with a company I used to love....Artists Collection.  You don't hear about them anymore because they don't design for cross stitch any longer, but I found some of their designs on our racks and with "The Gleaning Season" came a turkey, which when done on 18 ct. ends up around 3" x 5".  I used their recommended colors except (and you knew I had an accept) I loved Weeks Dye Works Rust (Pearl Cotton) for the body of the turkey.  I then did all the backstitching on the feathers with Weeks regular overdyed floss (rust).  Oh, yea, I also covered the DMC black stitching on the hat with Pearl Cotton black in a satin stitch to make it stand out and give more dimension.  And then I added 2 beads for the eyes.  He is so cute and such a wonderful addition to our Thanksgiving display.  So if you need a turkey just give us a call...we have approx. 4 leaflets still in stock (and we can't get them again so this is it.)   

I was going to try to get a few new pieces done for Thanksgiving, but Christmas is starting to work on me so I decided I better get to it.  I did 5 more sleds from Sue Hillis, Christmas for the Stitcher, but I didn't take the correct number of sleds home so I was only able to get 2 sleds painted.   I'm taking the rest home tonight so hopefully I'll have something to show by the end of the week.  But they are so much fun to stitch and while I usually stay close to what she charts, I was able to put my little spin on a couple of them.  So important that I get to add a little something.  

  

And then it's on to Christmas stitching....oh, what to stitch, what to stitch.  Or perhaps I'll find something that involves no stitching.  I haven't a clue but I'll sure let you know what I'm doing sooner or later.  Have a great week.  Talk to you soon

Thursday, November 2, 2017

It took days and Judy and Mary's help, but I'm finally up and blogging again.

God, it's been such a struggle....my I-Pad wouldn't charge so I've been without my I-Pad in the bathroom so I was so behind on what's happening on facebook, but today I'm back up to speed.  I still don't have my I-Pad as it won't keep a charge, but Sara gave me Michael's 2016 Christmas gift, Amazon's Fire tablet which he apparently didn't even take out of the box, so I'm back to facebook and after Judy spent the day working on getting me back to blogging I was almost there and after I came home Mary came down and finished the job, so here I am blogging and showing finishes.  Actually there wasn't that much to show as you can see.  I did finish Lone Elm's "Sweet Fragrance" so I could use the pipe box which just arrived in the shop...which I love, love, love.  The box comes in a couple of colors and there are 2 books so far with the pattern you see and then another with a sampler as the theme.  Along with the piece for the box, you also get the needlebook design.  I will confess that I did add the needlepage to the needlebook as I'm not sure where you would put the needles otherwise, but no big deal there.     I will tell you Lone Elm does give you the foam core board for finishing cut to size so that was a plus.  All in all a great project.  I even used the colors, etc called for but I'm sure I didn't use the fabric they called for as I pulled something out of my stash....and I match what the picture looks like to the fabric and use the correct count but exact color I don't care about.  In my house close counts.  



The C.A Wells Memorial Weekend was the usual success.  There were fabulous goodie bags, I think everyone brought one to hand out and the food....oh, the food...for two days it's just eat, eat, eat, and we did get stitching done.  I was thrilled to get 46 stitches in, yes that's all because I'm talking most of the time.  But Candi finished her Milady's Needle spool project from Jamboree, and she got the Sue Hillis project done at Jamboree and she finished her gold project after Jamboree so that is three classes and 3 projects done.  Go Candi.  Judy worked the shop all weekend so that Sara and Debbie could work on their Jackie DuPlessis "The Princess and the Pea" which after 12 hours of intense labor is almost finished.  I'm so proud of them.  There were moments when I thought one or both were going to give up, but they perservered and Sunday by 4 were done with the paper work and leaves, boxes were painted and they have the easy part left, the stitching.  Kay spent the weekend knitting as she had neck issues which kept her from bending her neck.  Everyone else kept busy on their current projects and then I showed them my latest so several of them got their supplies for the same project so it's a group project, somewhat.  It's called "Abc de la Brodeuse" by Jardin Prive.   are stitching it over one on a 27/29 banding and it's really too cute for words.  I'll give you a glance as soon as I finish what I'm calling the first section A-C.  I'm loving this.  









Tuesday, October 24, 2017

OMG...something went terribly wrong with my blogger update...

I've been trying to figure this out for almost a week.  I went to post pictures through my Iphone and it tells me I need to update, however, there is no app for the Apple update yet.  For God's sake now I have to wait for that?  It's killing me.  I've grown attached to the sleigh ornaments and have now done 4 for Halloween and I can't show the latest ones yet.  God knows how long this will take.  First of all I'm not savvy enough to understand what the hell the message is even telling me to do, so I brought it down to the kids to interpret and Brian says I have to wait for the app to update.  Crap!  I'll keep trying and I'll get back to you the minute we have victory!  OK it's a small victory, I called Sara and asked her to post it to the blog using her phone which doesn't solve the problem, but at least I can finish the blog.  These are the final two models for the shop and I have to say, the finishing, if using the Sue Hillis method, is so simple I wonder why I didn't try it the first time.  Anyway it does give you a smooth finish.  Got to use my specialty ribbon again, always a plus, but of course now I'm worried I'll run out.  These are just two of the designs out of her Monster Mash leaflet.,   And now stitchers I'm done stitching Halloween for the shop. 



 As for Jamboree, we had a great group here and the teachers all got A's from the stitchers The newest thing for most of the stitchers was the class on stitching with gold threads Deborah-Merrick-Wilson was the teacher and she was so instructive with handling gold thread the students learned a lot and loved the class.  And the sample I saw was magnificent.  If you think gold work is done with just strands of gold thread, you are mistaken.  It might be instructive for everyone to take a class from her I think you will be amazed.  Then Sue Hillis taught the stitchers to finish an easel piece which they had pre-stitched, so everyone went home with a finished easel.  Wonderful class and many of the stitchers found this so easy to do they are going to repeat it with their Christmas gifts.  I think this is what I love about learning to finish a variety of items,  we are able to reproduce what we've been taught and able to use the same method over and over again.   This is the importance of classes.  The final class was taught by Gloria Moore from Milady's Needle.  She taught the students to finish one of her beautiful wooden spools.  The design she created was a Halloween scene and was so adorable and stitched on 40 ct. over 2 which was a challenge for some, but with peepers and magnifiers everyone struggled through it and Candi was at Stitch 'n Bitch on Tuesday and had it completed.  So once you get going it becomes a fast stitch.As I said, the teachers were wonderful, the stitchers were great and we feel we had another successful Jamboree.  Big thanks to both students and teachers.  We are so thankful for you all, bor without you we would not exist. Debbie Liming, Stasi Buhrman and I had made a decision to work on the finishing of Stitcher's Heart together and since Stasi isn't going to be here for C.A. Wells weekend, we decided to do it on Sunday of Jamboree after the stitchers left so I would be available.  So at 3 p.m we gathered in one of the hotel apartments and of course I noted immediately that while I had to papers for the inside of the box, I left the finishing kit for the small pieces at home.  But since I feel I can finish the smalls, I was concerned about the box as decoupage was involved, I didn't stress over what I left at home (especially since I didn't meet the goal of having everything stitched).  .  Now my mother was the queen of decoupage, if anything stood still for more than 5 minutes, she decoupaged it onto something.  So I should be fully versed in it, but of course I felt I remembered but wasn't sure enough on my own.  Debbie had painted her box already so Stasi and I were already behind.  So we painted our boxes and while we let them dry Debbie was sanding hers and we were all looking at the paper to put inside.  Now that was the struggle deciding how to cut those to match and get the most design saved out of it.  I have to say I don't have a whole lot of patience for this kind of thing.  I just want to get it done.  Debbie on the other hand studied it and moved it for about 45 minutes.  Stacy was more, get it done to the best of your ability and move on.  Oh, I forgot Stasi waxed her box and started to hand me the wax, etc., and saw my look which said, "Oh please do mine for me," so she did.  Then when it was time to buff it she felt I hadn't buff quite enough so she took over that job as well.  Then when it came time to cut the paper, Stasi looked at me and saw the writing on the wall so she cut mine for me.  Then she decoupaged it into the box for me.  So if I say I did the box, I'm lying through my teeth.  I brought my box in and let Stasi do all the work.  So Stasi that you so much and I promise if we ever do another project together I'll step up my game,  I was really so tired from jamboree I really was afraid to even try it.  So while my box is lined, painted and ready to go, I still haven't finished the box.  I did stitch the bag which goes in the box, only I stitched it the wrong way on the fabric, so now I have to alter the way it's finished....damn...I hate when I do that.  But now that things are quieting down I should be able to get back to the box.  As I said, the teachers were wonderful, the stitchers were great and we feel we had another successful Jamboree.  We are now gearing up for our final event of the year....our C.A.Wells Memorial weekend which is a stress free get together with the stitchers and then some that signed up for the class CA Wells cancelled (because we weren't worth her time.)  Sara decorates the hotel lobby for Halloween and all the stitchers bring food and goodie bags and we eat, talk and laugh our way through the weekend.  Sometimes we even stitch and finish smalls. But we relive the C.A. Wells story and it's become such a fun weekend we're actually glad she cancelled so we could start this memorial.  Well, I've got to get a couple of things finished before the weekend, so I'm signing off.  Have a great week and hope you get a little stitching in.   

Sunday, October 8, 2017

OMG-I'm exhausted....but it's been fun...

I haven't blogged in a month,sorry about that, but I've been busy getting ready for events and then we had our 1st of the fall events with Jackie DuPlessis' class.  Wonderful group of stitchers and a good time was had by all.  Jackie has such interesting finishes....you learn so much from the designers that if you haven't had the pleasure of attending one of these classes you should put it on your bucket list. Now we'd love you to attend one of our weekends, but if you can't, check your local needlework shop or the closest one to you and see what they have to offer.  You will learn so much, it is so worth it.  Anyway last weekend the Tangles stitchers were in town and of course, thank God, they make their way to Salty Yarns from 12th street, where they stay.  They use to come with Michele who owned a store and when she decided to be a rep and get out of retail but the stitchers decided to keep on coming as a group.  Vera Means is part of this group and it's always fun to catch up on what's she's doing.  But there are many fun stitchers in this group so it's always a busy weekend as well as a fun weekend.  Then this weekend the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild held their Fall Getaway here and I personally have so much fun with this group because they "get" me and they don't care when I cuss (sometimes it's hard to be a lady) and while they forgot to get me an eclair this time, (they have been know to get me a giant eclair from the Jewish Deli) I forgive them.  Yummo (you might know what I love relates to food).  But you should see their show and tell.  Tangles doesn't always have show and tell because they aren't  staying here, but DVSG is in the lobby just stitching away and they bring their pieces over sometimes for my opinion, and as they know if they ask me I'm giving them my true opinion, not the feel good version. But these stitchers are doing some huge pieces as well as etui's, boxes, you  name it someone is doing it.  Great stitching going on.  So for the last month I've been preparing for the events by getting models done and in the store...and except for 2 pillows and Clementine everything made it.  Hopefully the pillows and Clementine will be here for next weekends, Jamboree.  First when we got the Hand's on Design Blackboard Ornaments, I found them to be attractive but wasn't prompted to stitch them.  And then someone showed them on Facebook done on perforated paper which gives them a little dimension as you cut the around the leaves,etc etc.  I no longer go to the trouble of putting up a tree, but I do put wreaths on every inside door with my hand stitched ornaments on them.  While at home I use fresh if possible, I figured that wouldn't work here in the shop, so I got an artificial wreath and attached the ornaments to it and added a beautiful red bow and voila, it's now hanging on the inside of the front door.

Last year I saw Sue Hillis ornaments which someone had finished on a candelabra which I absolutely adored.  That stitcher stitched all six designs in "Dark Shadow" by Sue Hillis, and I did look half heartedly for a 6  candle candelabra and when I mentioned it to Sara she said, "I think I have a candelabra in the back room of Sea Trader", and out came the raven candelabra you see here."  which is perfect because I only needed to do 2 ornaments.  Needless to say I couldn't find a picture of last year's finish so I decided to figure it out myself.  Fortunately my mother was a saver of anything she felt she could find a use for.  So when Sara asked how I was going to finish it, I said I thought I could use a cork in each candle holder and somehow attach them to the cork.  Sara then said, "Oh, Nana saved corks in a bag which I never tossed so they are up in the house somewhere, I'll look for them."  And the next day down came a gallon size bag filled to the brim with corks.  So by finishing the ornaments with popsicle sticks (which we had a few boxes of hundreds/box for some thing I was going to do and never did),   I left a space to insert a popsicle stick in each ornament which I then inserted into the cork.  Voila, added some black boa around each one to cover the cork and I was done.  Easy peasy (thank God). 


Then I wanted to do one of the big stitch pieces on 16 count Taffeta (which I've been calling Buttercream) by Legacy and went to my Halloween stash and found a Brenda Gervais I've been dying to do called Scary Mouse.  I called it Boo since the mouse is only a small part of the design, and sits in one of the O's.  While I like the entire design and my intiial intent was to stitch the whole thing, I knew I could get the mouse done in one day so I went for that.  She turned out so cute I just love her and I had just purchased the Jack-o-lantern buttons so win win.  Actually I had already stitched the pumpkin but when I wanted to add something for a dimensional look I remembered the button and took out the stitching to just tack this on instead.  Then I was too lazy to put cording around the piece and it would have been too normal for this so I had black boa left over from the candelabra so I just used it as trim.  I still plan to do the entire pillow but this will suffice until I do.  





I then decided I had to stitch one of the Sue Hillis sleds as she paints the sleds white in one of her new books, Christmas in Red, and stitches on linen instead of perforated paper.  Now you could stitch these on perforated paper but I wanted try on linen so I could use the ribbon edging.  (I always buy specialty ribbons and then cannot find something to use them on so this was perfect.  These were perfect to stitch.  It is one color so that makes it easier, small design, point 2...easier, and the finish was easy as well.  Would I tweak this a bit...yes, but that's my own fault not the excellent directions in the book.  I really enjoyed using the linen on the sled and wouldn't mind making more.  And as for painting the sleds, white spray paint and you are done.  Sue Hillis has 4 or 5 books dedicated to sled ornaments, so check them out.  One that just came out is for stitchers  I apologize for the blurry pictures here....operator error.  



Then just about the time I think I'm done, we got in the skull and bones frames for Shepherd's Bush Spooky Notes.  I loved the Liberty Notes and knew this was going to be as much fun as that was, so I was off and stitching again.  Loved stitching it and the frame is so appropriate for this.  Thank you West End Frames for hooking me up.  So of course, we are now carrying these frames.  And we were late to the party getting the JABCO buttons for this and some people purchased what we thought the buttons were from open stock.  Unfortunately, after getting the button pack in they are teeny tiny buttons...just too cute for words, and the in stock buttons were too big.  They are so small I lost one of the flower buttons in the office and it is now living in the carpet since I've yet to find it.  Really fun stitch and perfect frame.  West End showed me another skull and bones frame a little different from the Spooky Notes frame so I just had to stitch something for it.  I loved Tangled Boo by Drawn Thread so I stitched it over 2 instead of one, as shown on the chart, and used a PTP purple fabric in 32 ct. and then the threads listed and another quick stitch was history.  And a perfect frame again.  


And the final stitch for Halloween was actually a fun stitch as well.  Sara called me a couple of weeks ago to see if I had any thoughts about what to put in the goodie bags for DVSG.  We are struggling to find new items.  I had seen the new Brenda Gervais  Spirits and
Spells and naturally I was dying to stitch it and finish it.  So I thought that would be perfect kitted up and given in the goodie bags.  And that way I could get one too.  Sometimes new stuff ordered from the distributors seems to get backordered a lot, so I told Sara to call Brenda direct and she had them to us within the week.  I ordered the oval boxes since I couldn't find them in Michael's or Hobby Lobby in that size and we had given ourselves enough time that we got everything except 2 of the Gentle Arts threads which were put on backorder.  So on Tuesday I told Sara to drop off the stuff to me and I'd get it stitched and finished in time for the weekend and low and behold I did.  Elegant Stitch also got us their pom pom finishing to go with it.  All the stitchers have to do is paint their box and while it's drying start stitching.  They can have it done in time for Halloween.   So here is my Spirits and Spells lid finished,
And another use of my specialty ribbon....


And my scrapbook paper lining the inside.  I had a metal spider web that came with something and I cut the spike off and glued it to the lid.  I was suppose to glue a little rubber mouse I had on  the inside bottom, but of course haven't found the mice (I had 3) yet so it's just got the scrapbook paper right now and around the top of the bottom I glued a lace and mini pom pom edging in black on the inside edge.  Just completes the project.  




And then to top off my Halloween extravaganza, I found skeleten pins that are perfect for my Halloween pin cushions.  I love the fancy pins, and they come 2 in a package for $16.00 so that's perfect for me.  

Well, we are gearing up now for the Jamboree next weekend and while I've taken a few things home to stitch, I'm not sure any of them will get done.  I'm about Halloweened out.  I started making the tags this morning at 6 a.m. and hope to have them here before you early birds start arriving on Wednesday.  Then it is on to cookies and then Thursday I am in court on a case that is 10 friggin years old and even though I couldn't identify the man in a lineup of 1, I still have to show up.  Damn it...who has time for this.  Anyway, I'll see many of you on Friday if not before and for those who just left....thanks for the fun, although I got no eclair it's O.K.   I think I'll survive.  Have a great week. 



Monday, September 4, 2017

Have a wonderful Labor Day, relaxing, and enjoying backyard picnics with friends and relatives


  
Today we  honor  American workers and the contributions the workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and the well-being of the country..  The day is perfect with temps going into the high 70's...not to awful hot for those of us who can't withstand the high temps, but still perfect for laying on the beach soaking up the rays.  What you see here is the view from our shop windows....So if you aren't here, just keep your eyes on this an pretend.!  Greg Maccord reminded me that I hadn't done an update on Brian's back surgery.  I'm thrilled to announce it went beautifully.  It was amazing that he was in for the surgery and after a few hours recooperating Mary drove him home to O.C. from Annapolis.  Of course drugs made that possible and the next few days he was in bed with just periodic walks to the bathroom and out to say hello to us.  But a few days ago he started walking a few blocks each day and he's standing tall, so we're thrilled.  He goes back to see the surgeon this week and then he starts rehab, but from what I can see that shouldn't take too long as he seems to  be doing just fine.  Thanks for all your prayers and messages for his safe return.  It is miraculous just what they can do today and get it done in such a short amount of time.  

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I'm weeding through the finishing pile.....


Today Brian is having his surgery and we are all stepping up to the plate, some more than others.  I had 2 days off this week (whoohoo!!!!) so I felt of all people I should be here early....well not too early.  I arrived at 8:00a.m. to find Sara smiling and keeping things filled at the continental breakfast.  I would have helped her at that point, however, I got caught by the sweetest man staying at the hotel who wanted to introduce himself and tell me his life story, for the 2nd time, so I decided to go back to Sara's desk and escape reality until it was time for me to go to work in Salty Yarns.  We are fortunate in the hotel and the shops to have such loyal customers, and it  is part of our job to maintain those relationships.....however...today is not the day.  While I kept the smile on and spoke for several minutes to the gentlemen, my mind is up in Annapolis at the hospital worrying about Brian and Mary and I just can't do it today.  C.J. arrived early to take over the care of Izi and Solomon, Vernon was here by 9:30 to help Sara at the desk, so we are covering for Mary the best we can.  Michael is MIA but that could be a good thing.  He gets distracted by shiny objects at this point and gets moody so Sara is better if he isn't on site when things are rough and today is going to be rough.  Poor Sara has a double shift, hotel and shop as too many workers had to have today off....UGH!!!  I started to offer to work a double, but everyone feels that if I can get through 1 shift it's enough, especially after my breakdown of last Wednesday where I texted Sara and informed her I  was walking out whether anyone replaced me at 4 or not.  (That was a first for me in 45 years, but I had a really tough day).  While I was off for a couple of days  I did finish another of the Blackboard Ornaments from Hands on Design....on the black perforated paper.  Fun times!  All three ornaments finished are in the first chart pack, along with the precut holly leaves and the button berry.  Fast stitch, even though you do have to stitch the background. 




I showed the next piece the other day but had not finished because I forgot to leave a hole in the strawberry top for the scissor leash.  Last night I finally decided to just go for it and made a little hole which I stuffed the leash cording through and done.  Love this piece, "Coverlet Berry Scissor Tray."


I know this picture sucks, but I don't have the hanger on the back yet so I can't hang it to get a better picture, but you get the point.  ABC Needlework from Little Houseworks.  I showed it when I finished the stitching, but hadn't gotten the frame yet from Classic Colorworks.  Then of course, it sat around my house for 3 weeks after I got the frame, so last night I finally decided to just get it done. I don't know why it took so long.  I had it laced in about 15 minutes, which is the boring part....I've got a problem doing anything but stitching apparently.



 Now I just have to finish Clementine.  The real reason she isn't finished is I've been having an internal struggle over the most riduculous thing.  Stacy Nash put a button on the front of her dress and I decided to bead a necklace instead.  After beading a neklace and putting it on her I'm not sure I like it.  Here comes the stupid part....My argument is would Clementime wear a necklace or is the button more appropriate for her?  I mean really, the cat is wearing a dress and I'm worried about a button versus a necklace.  But that is just where I am at this point.  On my next day off (please God make it soon) I'm going to settle the argument and finish Clementine so I can start the next one.  That struggle is,  do I stitch the mouse or Harrison the rabbit.  I think Harrison is winning the fight.  Last night I started stitching the 2nd piece of Lesson #2, Lessons in ABCedarian from  from Brenda Gervais.  Again I'm doing the series as a set of pillows.  So I'm working on Legacy, 20 count which is actually between 16 and; 18 ct., so this is going to work up quickly.  Good thing since Lesson 3 is on the horizon.  God, I can't stitch fast enough. Got to run.  Still haven't finished Wichelt and Sara will kill me when she comes in and it isn't finished after 6 hours, since it should have been done and put away in the first hour.  (who has time for work when you are constantly checking Facebook)  Anyway, I'll catch up later.  Have a great night of stitching.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New finishes, at least the stitching is finished!

My "to be finished" pile is getting higher (ABC Needlework-Little House; Clementine by Stacy Nash, and now Lesson #2 from With Thy Needle & Thread), so I've decided to show one without having it finished.  First is "Coverlet Berry Scissor Tray" from The Scarlett House.  Back in 2015 this was a class somewhere and the tray they show it finished in was purchased from Hobby Lobby.  I figured 3 years later that tray would be unavailable so I automatically started looking for something else to use and there was the perfect tray sitting on my book shelves waiting for a design to be inserted, which I stole from the shop when Sara wasn't looking....OMG, what are the chances (obviously pretty good).  Anyway, the only small wobble was it is a tray with a witch cut out on the side of two sides (left and right on the picture).  Sara called the folks that made the tray and asked if they could just leave the witches off the sides and they said yes so we've got them coming...whoppee.  In the meantime I'm using the tray in stock.  The large berry in the first picture is attached to the needlework as a pin cushion and the 2nd berry is a scissor fob (show in the corner of the 2nd picture) but I just don't have the scissor leash on it yet (yes, I didn't read the directions and didn't attach it under the berry top so now I'm having an internal struggle on whether to take the top off and reattach it or make a leash using ribbon.)  I have to say when I read this was done on 40 ct. Strawflower linen I was questioning my ability to work on 40 ct. linen (I'm good with the gauze but linen is different.)  However, I had no trouble at all and I was working only at night so now I'm all about 40 count.  The pattern for the strawberries is in the pattern pack and they were easy to do (even though I forgot to do a leash for the scissors) and of course the tray we carry and I happen to have one at home (funny how I have so much at home just in case).   Fun project and easy to execute.  I've talked about setting goals before. I do set goals on some projects because it's easy to divide the work up and I had set a week for this one and managed to finish it 3 days early which was another win for me.





The piece you see below was actually stitched on 20 count linen which is the color of off white, I think it's Legacy Buttercream.  So I have no idea why this photographed like this, but anyway, it is going to be a pillow about 13" x 9".  It's the Lesson #2 of the Summer Schoolhouse Lessons in Abededarian and stitched with Weeks Dye Works pearl cottons.  I'm doing the other part of Lesson #2 now to have the set.  Actually I'm stitching the entire series in 20 ct.  Love stitching on it. Don't always love having to switch all the colors out, but one must do what one must do.  Since I didn't have the fabric home for the matching pillow I started another of the Blackboard ornaments from Hands on Design.  



I think I said I was going to start  on Halloween....don't know what happened to that thought....maybe after Lessons #2 I'll get to it.  And of course, I still have my needlepoint to finish before Jamboree.  God help me I just keep putting it aside.  But I have every intension of getting it done.  (I also realize the road to hell is paved with good intensions..uh, oh think I'll get to it before September, just to make sure I get it done in time).  Well I'm at work so I'll get back to it, plus I need to cut some fabric to start working on Lesson #2's other pillow.  Hope you are enjoying your stitching as much as I'm loving mine.  Have a great day!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Pre-stitch just showed up for Jamboree.....They will be coming to attendees soon...

I was thinking at this point that there wasn't any pre-stitch, so I apologize to the last stitcher to call the shop since she asked if there was and I said, I didn't think so,  since we had not seen any kits.  Oops, my bad.  The kits are from Sue Hillis Designs and contain all supplies needed to finish the stitching and button portion of the project.  Sara started sending them out last week.  Stitchers can use all or some of the buttons included and you can also use buttons that are family heirlooms, if you are lucky enough to have any.  There are at least 15 buttons in each kit, which is more than enough.  Buttons should be sewn on ahead of the class so stitchers can delve right into the easel-izing.  Finishing supplies will be provided in the class.  So get stitching on the pre-stitch when you get it and you will be taking home a finished project, and that is always a good thing.  We have also heard from Gloria (Milady's Needle) and she has decided  on a project for Jamboree and it's going to be a Halloween Spool...so we're excited about that.  As soon as pictures are available I'll post them for you.  In the meantime I have had another finish...another of the Hands on Design "Chalkboard Ornaments."  Finished by stitching black felt on backs.  Easy peasy!


Two down-7 to go!



Since I finished the ornament I got to pick a new project and while I find it daunting to work on 40 ct. linen, I decided to jump right in and started Scarlet House's,  "Coverlet Scissor Tray"....and I was amazed how far I got last night.  Seems it's not as daunting as I thought.  So now I've sectioned it into 5 sections and according to last night I should have this done in less than a week.  Of course I should know better since nothing goes according to my schedule, once I state I have a schedule.   But I like to set little goals for myself, although if I don't reach the goal I don't beat myself up, I just revise the schedule.  I decided not to bring it to work since conditions must be right for me to work on 40 ct. (My stitchy chair, my Daylight with a magnifier, T.V., glass of ice water)   So today I brought Summer Schoolhouse, Lesson #2 to work on and I'm stitching it on the large 20 ct, (I call it 16-18).  I thought this series would look cute as pillows as well as pin cushions....so here I go again.  Can't wait to start.  Hardest part is matching colors since I'm using Pearl Cotton, using Weeks and DMC.  In this case close counts.  I struggled with this decision as I loved them as the pin cushions they are suppose to be as well, but large count won out.  Brenda Gervais and Plum Street are my favorite designers for  designs which work on the large count linen but  I also love stitching their designs on 28 or 32 as well.  But not everyone's designs work on large count for me so I always look at their new designs as possibilities for the 20 ct. linens.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Keep your needles moving stitchers....too many designs and not enough time in the day!

Friday, August 11, 2017

The end is near....summer's end that is

I'm in working hell right now as Judy is off for a week and I'm in the shop everyday.  Mixed with this nightmare is Friday's epic work problem.  Brian has an appointment with a surgeon which is good news, however, the appointment is in Annapolis so Mary has to leave the hotel by 7 a.m.  Since Mary is the person at the front desk as well as the morning person in charge of the continental breakfast, that means that I now have to be at the hotel by 7 on Friday morning and have to take charge of the continental breakfast which is way more work than I want to do.  UGH!!!  But I'm always telling the girls we can do anything as a family, so as leader of this motley crew I have to step it up and do it, but in the future I might have to explain I'm not the one that wants to step it up, so when I say "we can do anything, I mean they can do anything."  Fortunately Mary has help coming at 8:30 so I'm only running for 1 1/2 hrs.  I feel sorry for tenants who get up early on Friday, they are in for a world of disappointment.  But at 10:00 I do go to work in the shop so that nightmare will be over, but then another one might begin with me in a shop where I know next to nothing anymore about yarns.  And of course 70 % of the people are asking me questions about just that.  I can talk circles around anyone when it involves counted cross stitch, but frankly when it comes to yarn I'm just not that interested.  But I'm going to have to get interested since it's embarrassing when someone asks me a question and I can't answer it without calling Sara.  She doesn't help because Pat knits a model,  Sara puts in on display and doesn't label it so I'm constantly complaining about that, since while I may be able to figure out which yarn was used, there's no way to figure out what pattern was used.  She finally started labeling some of them since I had a real bitchfest yesterday since the morning was filled with knitters.  When she realized rolling her eyes at me wasn't working she decided to label the models.  Mission accomplished!    With all the work I am not stitching as much as I usually do, but I did get Clementine done, (but not the finishing)  so I got to start something new.  I'm sure many of you have seen the facebook post of the ornament below done on perforated paper.  I saw it and instantly knew I wanted to stitch them.


 There is a series of these Christmas Ornaments by Hands on Design, "Chalkboard Ornaments", and since they are shown on black linen I just knew I would not do them because the darker the fabric the more I struggle to see it.  But when I saw a stitcher had done the entire collection on black perforated paper I was on board.  They really pop on black and  I love the fact that you can cut out around the leaves and the banner so you get some dimension to it.  And it's so easy to finish, just black felt sewn on the back.  Yes right up my alley.  Of course, unlike linen, you have to stitch every hole even though it's on black you have to stitch the black.  But small sacrifice to make for easier finishing.  The linen ornaments are stitched on 32 ct. and the paper is 14 count, so perforated is a tad bit larger, but I love them anyway.  I embellished with red Mill Hill beads instead of stitching holly berries and I switched out the Gentle Arts Geranium floss for Gentle Arts Buckeye Scarlet as I wanted a more Christmas Red.  My Geranium has more of a pink hue to it, but since it's overdyed that could have been just the batch here. I'm already more than 1/2 way through my 2nd ornament.  Fun, fun, fun! and I plan to keep going.  I had the cording in my stash from one of my purchases at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.  Love it when I find something in my stash which I purchased before I knew what I was going to do with it.  I justifies all my hobby purchases even when I haven't a clue.    Well that's all the news that's fit to print so I'll end here and get ready for whatever comes next.  Have a  great day!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Heat is gone for a day or two and we are enjoying.sunshine!!!

Well after a hefty rain on Friday and then slight rain on Saturday, Sunday is here with sun out and everything shining brightly.  The ocean is a bit upset, but at least you can sit out there and get sun and there is a delightful breeze.  I've had a few finishes since last we spoke.  One of my favorites is the Brenda Gervais, "Patriotic Poppies" which I did on the a 20 ct Legacy linen over 2 using Weeks Perle Cottons.  Fun stitch and then I gave it dimension by stitching the patriotic swag on the sheep on a separate piece and then attaching it so it stands off.  When I stitched it originally as shown, things just looked so one dimensional so I added that, and then 5 of the flowers are the weeks wool cut and stitched in place (that's done on the original chart as well with directions included) and then I added beads for the sheep's eyes (which you can't see and the 2 patriotic quilted star buttons I used on the bottom,which are also hidden in the picture.)




 The entire pillow is around 16"x 16" so it's perfect for a chair or sofa.  While I was searching thru the racks I found the sheep pulling a pumpkin wagon for fall....I'm certain it's coming to the store this fall.  Another finish, Val's Stuff 3 dimensional bat has been in my tote since Nashville.  So it finally got it out of the tote and it was an easy stitch and an easy finish so he's now flying around the shop.


The chart comes with everything but floss, so your felted balls are in there along with the buttons for the eyes and fangs, perforated paper for the bat wings and the weeks wool for the backing of the bat wings and the cord for hanging.  You can pick either purple or green for the bats and both sayings are in each pack, "Bite Me" or "I'm going Batty",so you can pick the one you like.  Sara is always saying "Bite me" to me, so I felt it was the most appropriate for her.  


The final piece to show this week is Liberty Notes from Shepherd's Bush.  I have always loved Shepherd's Bush and this was a beautiful stitch.  I hate borders normally because they are boring, but the two small borders here were delicate and a delight to stitch.  From beginning to end it was a joy.  And I framed it in the same frame  that I used for Land of Liberty.  I should have had West End Framing cut a new frame just a slight bit taller so I had equal space on the top and bottom, but I just couldn't wait.  Love it!

So of course the best part of finishing is picking new projects.  Well, I decided to go back and finish Clementine by Stacy Nash....after all, Theodore is lonely in the cabinet all by himself.  I should be able to finish her in a couple of days.  When I was stitching Theodore I wished for more color on him because quite frankly I was a little bored using just a few colors....but I couldn't wait for Clementine because her dress is quite colorful.  Well, be careful what you wish for.  Two nights ago I had to redo so many parts I finally gave up for the night.  Then last night realized I was about 9 rows short on the dress so I had to pull out the bottom and redo so while there is more color, one color would have been easier.  But I love her and can't wait to finish her.  And then it's on to Harrison.  I realize I'm skipping Monroe for now, but I'll get back to him.  Harrison is just talking to me at this point.  Stacy has done such a wonder job with this series I intend to stitch them all.  Fun, Fun, Fun.  When I'm done with Clementine, I haven't a clue what I'm going to start next.....probably Halloween since I have the Halloween tote stuffed with projects sitting on the sofa for me to go through.  There are so many possibilities I've got too many to choose from.  I also have unfinished designs sitting here that I would also like to finish.  Decisions, decisions.  Got to get back to Clementine...talk to you again soon.  Have a great stitching week.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Day 2 of Heat Wave....OMG...how are people sitting out on the beach in this?

I walked to work this morning and by the time I arrived I needed another bath...honestly you would think this would be a weight reduction plan for me, but so is not.  Thrilled to be in Salty Yarns in the a/c.  We have all heard the power of social media, but we actually saw it first hand yesterday.  Sara and I had a  miscommunication when I spoke with her regarding a knitted shawl in the shop and what yarns were used.  (I'm not as familiar with the knitting section so I always ask Sara).  The customer purchased the yarns along with a great many other things and when Sara came to work I was still so uncertain about the yarn I asked her again.  We realized we(O.K.me, but I'm making Sara take the hit since she hasn't labeled a damn thing)  had sold the wrong yarn to the customer.  Thankfully the customer has been in the store every year when she's here on vacation, however we didn't have a phone number or e-mail so Sara posted a plea on Facebook asked anyone who knew her to please reach out and ask her to get in touch with us.  The customer was in this morning...she got a call from a co-worker from about 8 years ago.  Needless to say I was greatly relieved to get her the correct yarn and amazed it turned out so well.  Still not a fan of all the crap on social media...too much info on people that no one should have..Facebook certainly serves a purpose.  Last night when I finally got home from my shift, sat on the sofa, laid my head back for a little nap when the damn phone buzzed to let me know I had a message.  I checked and it was Michael, at work. asking me to bring him his shoes (he got new shoes while I was at work so he immediately changed into his new shoes leaving his other work shoes in the shop).  So I headed back to the shop to get the shoes and get them to him, got back home, found a parking space again (which is incredibly hard in the summer which is why I normally walk to work) and got back into the apartment and a/c, sat back on the sofa and started to nod off and about 15 min. later the phone rang and it was Michael asking me to pick him up.  While I'd love to have that shift...about 30 min since he got to work..this meant leaving my parking spot again.  But it's Michael so there's no question....I went and got him.  When I got home after that my parking spot was gone but I did find the last one on the street by my house so I parked,  went back in to the apartment and then took a nap...no stitching.  I woke up around 1 and tried to stitch a little but after finishing one motif I went back to sleep because today is my 10 hour day...shop and then hotel so I knew I'd need more rest.  It's killing me I'm losing stitching time, but family first!  Brian got an MRI and he needs surgery so we are in crisis mode for the summer.  What could go wrong?  God help us!  Anyway, I wanted to show you a finish I had which I never posted because I changed several things including the verse because I was stitching this for a gift.  This design came mostly from Plum Street "Mariner's Drum" which I feel in love with.  I experienced a few difficulties (of my own making) so had to change the top from a stitched piece to wool, but that was alright with me.  Let me point out a couple of things that really impressed me with this design.  The  band around the drum was fully designed, no blank areas, it had the sand on the bottom of the scene as you would have in the water and the anchor you see on the first picture...that chain extended onto the top which had a ship on it....little details mean so much.  And the mermaid's mirror...the mirrors usually appear on stitching with just grey or silver as the mirror, but this one has the mermaid's image on it (done over 1)...and while you may not realize it at first I find thats the kind of detail I appreciate.  This also allowed me to add some little embellishments.  At first I was looking for tiny shells to add, but then Sara brought up the smallest starfish I'd ever seen and in perfect condition (while I added 3, you can see one on the 4th picture at the bottom)  and the tiny seahorse....OMG, needless to say I attached starfish and the seahorse to the piece.  Then I beaded pearl beads I had and made a necklace which you can see in picture 5 coming out of the treasure chest.  I have to confess I did change the face of the mermaid so it was more rounded.  Then the verse I changed to "Remember me when this you see, forever friends we will be."   When I could see I was having some difficulty with the top I changed it to the wool, went down to the shell shop and found the perfect real sanddollar that was the perfect size  and attached it to the top.  Please know there was nothing wrong with the verse originally on this piece, but I was trying to customize it for my friend.  This is a fabulous design and a wonderful stitch.  I plan to stitch it again as charted.






Well, I suppose I should be getting back to work.  I'm trying to get all our yarns on the web site....UGH!  This is a necessity but more like work so of course I'm not having any fun at all.  Perhaps while Sara's not around I'll sneak in some stitching.  I have the July 31st deadline quickly approching...got a project that must be done.  Talk to you later.  Have a great weekend.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

OMG ...What a great time to sit in the a/c and stitch..............


OMG...the heat is turning up and we've had multiple events that have put me back to work full time...UGH...  Brian's out and can barely move due to a sciatic nerve problem.  Thankfully his main management job in the laundry room is being handled by staff that have worked for us for a few years so they know exactly what to do, but he backs Mary up at the front desk and so I worked there yesterday, but I'm a red hot mess there since it's nothing like the years I ran the desk.  The verdict is still out on whether I'm helping or in the way.  Brian's son, C.J., the marine who came home from Japan last September afer serving our country for 4 years, was at a party on Saturday night and was blindsided by a hit to the jaw which put him in PRNC where they decided he needed to go to Washington for surgery.  So on top of everything else we've had that drama.  He is home now recuperating but the family is unnerved at this point.  But I will be helping out in the hotel whenever I'm not in shop.  Judy has family coming down for the weekend so I'm in the shop....and that's an area I'm a lot more familiar with.  Although, I still struggle there since Sara and her crew have moved everything so I have no clue where to look for stuff.  This will cut into my stitching, however, I have 2 finishes...obviously quick ones, to show.   First is "To The Beach" which is a freebie when you purchase any of the "To the Beach" Series from Hands  on Design.  I actually framed this the way I now want all of them framed with a small border in our new Boardwalk Frames.  I did this on 18 ct. linen over 2 because I initially wanted this hanging on the front of the tin bin I was putting all the designs in for display and wanted it bigger than the pieces inside the bin, however when the display idea changed so did the finishing on this.


Land of Liberty is a Shepherd's Bush kit done on 10 ct. and so it is fast and easy, really a one day job.  All supplies were in the kit and the patriotic frame is from West End Frames.  My favorite frame for anything patriotic.   

  

Both pieces were fun to do and fast...two of my favorite things.  In the meantime I brought in Liberty Notes to get framed...and that was also quick and easy but so delicate.  I hate the repetition of borders but the border they used on 2 sides of this were so beautiful I didn't mind at all.  So while this was done on 32 Count I couldn't put it down so it became a 2 day project.  I'll post it as soon as it's framed.  Aside from stitching and annoying the girls my days all seem the same.  Eat, sleep, and stitch.  Thank God for Netflix and Acorn- my companions while I stitch.  Life is good as long as I've got my stitching, ice water with lemon (yes I barely drink diet sodas anymore), and the T.V.  I can ignore anything happening outside which is at times a good thing.  Have a nice weekend and I'll be blogging soon