Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thanks for a great retreat!

I started this blog last Friday so excuse the tardiness in posting. Beautiful day at the beach...thank God.  The town's full with Springfest in full go mode and of course the hotel is full since we have our Spring Retreat stitchers here and a few rooms were rented to Springfest attendees, so it's been go time here all week.  Stitchers started arriving on Wednesday, just to have a few days before the crowd arrived, and a few more trickled in on Thursday and then Friday everyone was on board.  It was a rainy blowy day for the most part, but spirits here weren't dampened because everyone was here to relax and stitch so they didn't care what it was doing.  Using the secret door to the shop they didn't even have to go outside.  Trudy Edwards even came over in her P.J bottoms and cut fabric for a while for me and no one cared, hell I'm not sure anyone noticed.  I didn't...Shirley threw her under the bus and told on her,  but I don't care if you come in nude as long as you are coming in to cut fabric for me.  Anyway, met several newbies and one brought in some of her treasures....OMG, she brought along a couple of Sherri Jones projects, the Button Book for one...I love that piece and especially love to see it finished and get a glance at the buttons each person finds to put in it.  It is a gorgeous project and I'm thrilled that one day Sara will complete hers and I will be able to sit and stare at hers.  Last post I had talked about finishing the Mani di Donna little basket or tote or however you want to refer to it.  It went swimmingly to begin with...I've got the sides down easily using the quilters template material, unfortunately the middle divider proved to be my nemesis..damn it...I swear I'm going to get this right sooner or later.  I'm almost there.  I originally had it the correct size but the last hole on the handle had no divider to connect to so I cut the divider a little longer and then it pushed the sides out...crap!!!  I might just say mine is an oval tote and then it would be correct, except I had to hide a mistake I made on the inside and to do that I had to put the top piece in the back.  So you really can't see it that well, although you get the drift, but anyway, I'm thrilled and next one I've got ideas for easier finishing and I know I can do it with no problem (I think I've said those words before, but perfection will come if I just don't give up.)  Anyway, I still love this and still think it's a beautiful Christmas gift for someone...although I wouldn't give this one since it's not perfected so it will stay in the shop, with it's 2 sisters...I'm building a family of Mani di Donna small totes.  So cute!!  So this week I worked on the beach series  from Hands on Design, which I had hoped to have several finished, but I got distracted so I only have 3....oh well, there's always next week.


I've got a plan in my head regarding how I'm finishing them, but I'm starting to lose confidence in it so I'm not willing to tell you what I'm thinking of doing with it.  I'll leave you wondering.   Well, a week has passed, since I started this blog, and the weather had taken a definite wrong turn.  It's overcast and a bit rainy today, but Sara and I are plugging along, getting stocked priced, etc.  Of course, if I'm blogging I don't have to work so you can see I'm blogging.  The retreat was wonderful, fun, busy, a lot of laughing, and a lot of people, but no drama.  The Fun Girls were here (well Diane missed it but the rest were here) and had their annual contest.  They pick an item which they use as the center in a stitching contest.  Last year they found a wire bench and each person designed something around it.  Everyone did cushions but the variety was amazing and what they stitched was fabulous.  It's really interesting to see the different pieces but I hate judging these things.  In the fall they did cupcakes using the silicone holders.  Again, really cute cupcakes were stitched.  This years spring contest used small plastic flower pots.  Our Judy, who is one of the Fun Girls, I'm excusing from this years contest because of so many distractions that she's had this spring, but the other three ladies who brought in their pieces did such a fabulous job.  First to show up was the multi-petal Black Eyed Susan.  When they put that down (Diane sent it in with one of the other ladies) I said, oh, my this is surely going to be the winner.  She stitched each petal and attached them separately...really impressive.  Then Tracy's was put on the table (this are judged without knowing who did which one)..and Tracy won the last 2 contests, and while I liked her and the amount of work was incredible...stump work...loved it, but the black eyed Susan was still my pick at that point and then Evelyn's flower pot was put down and she did something the other two stitchers didn't do...she added Spanish moss to the pot, multiple green leaves and this little pot of violets looked almost real.  The little yellow centers you see are actually the yellow balls on the top of a pin, which is  used to hold the flower in the pot.  After watching this Sherri Kohlerman has asked if she can compete in the next one.  I see this as a growing competition among many stitchers, and while it's fascinating to see what they come up with, judging these competitions is stressful for me.


This week I detoured yet again from stitching on  "The Beach Series" and worked on the Lizzie Kate "Summer Smalls."  I decided I wanted to do a wooden tote again for a summer display, and thought these designs would be perfect.  But at the same time my "Animal Cracker Series- Theodore" was asking, what about me, so I had to pull him out and start working on him again.  His head is almost done and he keeps looking at me with those big eyes, so I'm pretty sure I'll be putting in a lot of work on him this weekend and hopefully get him done.  Anyway, Thanks to all who were here for our events so far this spring.  It's been fun, exciting and exhausting all at the same time.  We're now resting up for Betsy Morgan weekend and the summer.  Have a great weekend.