Sunday, August 12, 2018

This was a fun one from start to finish

I love Blackberry Lane Designs because of the detail they give each piece.  Lots of color changes, but in the end it is always worth it.  "Relaxing at the Beach" was so cute and the stitch was really fun.  Of course, after it was done I wish I had done a couple of things differently, but I had already redone one side when I decided to replace the flags (after I had stitched them) on the banner at the top with ones I cute out instead.  At first I cute them out of ribbon but didn't  have the colors I wanted and God forbid I should go buy some....so I used scrapbook paper instead.  I also used satin stitch on the boogie board and the front flamingo and the red bucket.  I used a #8 perle coton for the bucket handle.  Marie has included 2 charts in the chart pack.  One has the sign and one doesn't.  I really wanted to use the directional sign so I could put Ocean City on it and used Beach on one, Home on one , the date and my initials on others.  For a final bit of tweaking things, I added a seagull button to the sign post, because in Ocean City there are seagulls sitting on all posts normally.  Then I handed it over to Sara and Vernon.  When Sara sent me a picture of the sign we used for inspiratiion for the final product, I knew we could never freehand the lettering, so I went to Michaels and purchased the 
air machine 2 (God forbide I order it from our supplier at a much lower cost, because it would have delayed the finish by a couple of weeks and I could be dead by then) so to do this lettering I spent a little under $300 at Michaels.  What we do and spend for our art.  I embarrassed to say I've lost the vinyl for the lettering already, during a clean up at home (this is why I should just never clean)...so now I have to get more.   But I love the machine so I'll be doing them for any of these signs people want.  Of course Vernon doesn't want to ever put the letters on another one so we are trying to figure that part out now.  

Anyway, I hope Marie doesn't mind the changes I made.   It wasn't a change in design, simply a change in the stitches used.  I did stitch it on Picture This Plus Helix in the count Marie used and used the colors she called for.  Perfect design and too much fun to stitch.  And now I'm moving on to Fall.  And of course I saw the new Brenda Gervais pieces and I've pulled all 4 as possibles.  But there are always the Halloween pieces from Blackberry Lane that I have to stitch.  Good golly, it's a good thing I've got 5 days off this week.  Yes, it's almost like I'm retired.  Whoopee!  So I'm going to work on finishing on the challenge piece which is fully stitched...and a fall piece I finished last night and start a few new pieces.  Fun, Fun, Fun....having a grand old time.  Have a great week...hope you get some stitching in. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

It's getting exciting....

Yes, Sara, Vernon and myself are working on the completion of the "relaxing at the beach" piece from Blackberry Lane Design.  I finished the stitching and Sara found a sign we are replicating and Vernon has now starting the making of the sign.  I love it when a plan comes together.  Of course, that wasn't the only thing I was working on...I finished the Festive Fobs-Seaside Edition, and also did the  finishing so it is not taken it's place of residence in the shop....

I stitched it on 32 ct. PTP Helix linen using 1 ply of suggested fibers and then just finished it into a pillow pin cushion as per Sara's request.  I then stitched the little whale in the bottle for a scissor fob and attached a pair of the micro silver scissors.  As I told you before, I used a small silver fish bead to fill in an empty space beside the alphabet.  Now as you already know, this design was for 10 smalls, needle books, fobs, etc.  But I love how this little mini sampler worked out and love the tiny fob.  However, yesterday while I was patting myself on the back, I noticed I forgot to put the water spout over the whale on the fob.  So now I have to try to do that with the fob already constructed....oh, crap!  So I stopped patting myself on the back, hit my self in the head and just said, what an idiot I am.   Because I finished both projects I was doing for the August theme, I began to look around for my next project and thought I would just finish my challenge piece, I Dream of the Sea by Hands on Design.  I purchased it originally as a special kit sold exclusively by another shop.  But then Cathy announced she was releasing the chart for sale in a week or so,  so now I can get it done and it can be a shop sample.  I only have one side of the pincushion left to do,  the rest of the pieces are done, so this will be a win win for me.  And since it is our challenge piece for October that makes this a double win....although I still have to do the finishing UGH!  While the turquoise tray is no longer being sold, Sara and I are ordering a light blue and hoping that the tray we've seen  in a reddish color is the right color so we're ordering it as well to take the other trays place.  This is such a wonderful design by Cathy so we're trying to stay true to the original idea.  Anyway, I'm having so much fun stitching these special pieces and finding different ways to finish them.  It gets my creative juices flowing.  Have a great stitchy week.  It's been hotter than hell down here, in the 90's with the humidity factored in...thank God for a/c.  So stay in, keep the water flowing and keep stitching.  Winter is coming!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

An almost finish............

For the past 3 days I stopped work on the camper and stitched Heartstring Samplery's Festive Little Fobs, Seaside Edition.  I mean really, this was a must for our theme for August, beach, ocean, etc., and I wanted to do it in a different way than shown.  I fiddled with the idea of doing them over 2 on 20 ct. linen and make it into a pillow, but just couldn't nail that down.  Then I thought....over one on 32 ct. and stitch it altogether, just as she shows it on the chart.  The result is so cute, but created another problem...how to finish it.

As I had to work in the office yesterday, I brought it with me to get Sara's opinion on finishing.  She stared at it for several minutes with each of us giving our opinions and then she said, I can't see it as anything other than a pincushion.  Since my brain is barely working these days I decided I would just go with that, but....of course I'll add more to the pincushion ....I'll stitch a fob, perhaps a spool, oh who know's what I'll come up with, but first I'll make this into a pincushion....I was thinking boxed, but Sara said, just a plain pincushion Mom (with eyes rolling) so at this point I'm not too sure which I'm going to do but it will be some kind of pin cushion for sure.  Now I'm going to look at the other Festive Fob patterns and develop more projects using the entire chart as a mini sampler.  So cute.  I used the colors recommended, except around the bottle as it blended in too much with the fabric, as you can see on the ships sail.  I changed it to WDW dolphin because it was sitting next to me (you didn't actually think I'd get up and look through a lot of greys did you?  As usual, my thing is to look at what's around me and pick something that will work out of it- the last resort I force myself to get up and go to the stitching room.  Unlike a lot of you I am obviously not as neat and tidy.  Wish I were, but I've got threads sitting on my coffee table, under the coffee table, in project bags surrounding my sofa....I don't know how it all ended up here instead of in the stitching room.  Anyway, because of that I seldom get up, just search around beside me.  I did add the fish bead because I don't like empty spaces and there was one beside the alphabet.  I did have to get up to search my bead container and couldn't believe my luck in finding the silver fish bead.    I'm so thrilled when my habit of always adding to my bead and charm collection works out.  Now it's back to the camper.  I can't believe it's almost August.   And I still have a drum, Beach Dreams, from Praiseworthy Stitches that I want to start and finish for display....I think I'm running out of time, but I'm determined.  I'm off until Friday....whoohoo....semi retirement at last (at lease for this week)...talk to you next week.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

I'm feeling snarky today....

Can't help it, I'm on my 5th day of working and I'm not loving it at all.  Yesterday I kept telling myself I only had to make it to 4 p.m. and then I had 3 days off in a row.  But I looked at the schedule and noticed no one was scheduled for Sea Trader and I let Sara know and asked if she needed me to work and she said no, she just forgot to write who was working on the chart.  In her defense, she does schedules every Thursday,  and if you need a special day off the following week you are suppose to write that on the schedule and Sara makes sure you get it.  But as always happens, she gets calls Thursday night, Friday, etc., saying a certain day was needed so then she scrambles trying to change the schedules that are already done and put in the shops.  So I understand when something happens and we're caught with  no one on a shift.  So I went home somewhat jubilant thinking I had  3 days off, but at the same time weary and unsure.  And later on just when I was in full relax mode I got the text...no one was in the shop could I work.  And she added, "Mom if it helps you will be working with me."  Let's think about that....home sitting on the sofa, watching t.v. and stitching, or working in the shop with Sara, not sitting on my sofa, watching t.v. and maybe stitching?  I'll let you know after 4....but I'm thinking it doesn't help!  I'm too exposed in the shop to tenants in the hotel and some I don't even know.  I was sitting on the hotel porch trying to find my apartment key in my tote before starting the walk home.  I become aware of someone standing over me...I had my head down looking through my tote...so I looked up and a man I'd never seen before said, "Hi, I recognized you from T.V.  I'm checking in today where do I do that?"  As soon as he said T.V. my head almost exploded.  For heaven's sake how long do I have to deal with that episode on T.V.  But I put the Lankford Hotel smile on and directed him, thought that would do it when he came in for the hug, and if that wasn't bad enough for me, kissed me on the lips.  While I should have been thrilled, he was a nice looking gentlemen, and  certainly younger than I am, I just don't want that happening.  So I was looking at him  like a dear caught in headlights as I was so taken back and got on the phone to Mary to tell her what she had coming for her, but luckily for her Joneal was on the desk and I don't think the man would kiss Joneal.   Anyway, the gentlemen came over from  Hawaii, and brought a big box of pineapples, so in the end I got a fresh pineapple for the kiss, so now Steve and I are BFF's, and he has kissing and hugging priviledges.  Yes I can be bought with food. Anyway, my day has just begun and I'm praying it goes quickly.  Several hours have passed and it's now Tuesday after 4 p.m.  It's actually almost 8 p.m. and I am at last sitting on my sofa, T.V. on and about to start stitching.  The day went pretty quickly as I was busy....the weather here is windy and cloudy so some people are going on the beach but for others the wind .  and choppy water is not conducive to laying on the beach so they shop....Thank God.  About noon my little Izi came over and stayed with me until 4 showing me all his newest games on his I Pad.  He also informed me he was coming home with me.  I know these boys won't want to come over when they get older as much so anytime they want to come now I let them, no matter how tired I may be.  So at 4 we headed to my house.  Brian insists that the boys do 2 hrs of homework every day and Izi hadn't finished his so we decided to start with that first.  He had 1 1/4 hours left of homework so we got down to that first and then of course we had to spend the rest of the time not playing games but watching Dan from England on You Tube play games.  I don't understand the fascination of watching someone else play, but I'll watch anything.  Thankfully around 6:30 Brian came over to take Izi home for dinner so I'm home alone....I have 2 days off, thank you Jesus, and you won't hear from me again until Friday.  Hopefully I'll have a finish by them.  But first a nap.  Have a great week and a fabulous weekend.  I pray you find time to stitch. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

OMG...I'm all about the Needlepoint right now

I was discussing with Sara the possibility of making Ashley Dillon's Halloween March my shop project ( needlepoint) as I've got the stitch guide for it and fibers already gathered together, and then she gets in Ashley's Beach March and it looks like Halloween March and Thanksgiving March may have to go on the back burner since Beach is too darn cute and of course perfect for Salty Yarns.  But all of her canvases are just what I love so it really is a hard decision.
Beach March will be daunting because I won't have the stitch guide, but I'm willing to throw all caution to the wind and figure out stitches to use on my own.  And yet while I was having this argument with myself over which one of these to do, Deux Bijoux Bijoux arrived yesterday.   OMG...The trays are to dye for and so well made and painted, and the canvases they show in them are perfection.  So now I'm fighting over what to start with. Tray or March...the mind battle will go on, however I need Sara to put whatever I choose on stretcher frames and when I mentioned her eyes started to roll to the back of her head so I moved on.




Nagging always helps but in the meantime as I was looking at new stuff I realized I loved the way Beth put the Festive Little Fobs charts into a 100 x 100 chart.  So instead of stitching them individually, I'm stitching them altogether.  And because, with the wind and rain outside, very few are walking and Kathy is in Salty Yarns pricing things so I'm in Sea Trader blogging,etc but have pulled all the fibers etc. for this and will spend the rest of the shift stitching.  Obviously I find this more fun that working on the project I brought with me which I started over a month ago and only put about 10 stitches in it.  The Festive Fob design works into August's theme better, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!  Sara's eyeballs just rolled again I'm sure.




Saturday, July 21, 2018

Almost like being retired.....

Yes last week I only worked one day in the shop and one day in the office....and the rest of the time my behind was firmly settled into my sofa along with linen, needles and plenty of charts.    Had two finishes last week, the third part of The Laundry Company, "Irony" and now that series is complete.  I framed them all alike because I liked the washboards, but also love the way the original model was finished so I debated a lot about that finishing, but once I ordered the washboards it was go time.  I felt it should have been a two day stitch, however, it was more like a five day stitch since I kept working on other things at the same time.

Then it was time to move on to the finishing of Hands on Designs newest short stack, "Where Liberty Dwells."  Another easy stitch which I had finished on the 4th of July, but didn't put it in it's final form.  




I stitched in the colors shown on chart, but I did use Lakeside Linen, 32 ct. Magnolia since I had a piece of that at home, and I didn't want to wait to get into the shop, I'm all about instant gratification.    An easy stitch and love the short stacks.  Can't wait for the next one...could it be Halloween?  I sure hope so!  And finally my last finish done this week, in fact the stitching was finished 2 days ago but I didn't get around to the finishing until 5:30 a.m. today.  I'm so motivated in the morning, early because by 10 a.m. I'm working on a nap...Ah, retirement I can barely stay awake.  Anyway, part 4 of the Noah's Christmas series arrived in the shop last week and in my goal of actually finishing the entire series I'm trying to take the chart home and get them done right way....so far so good.  So here are Panda's and Parrots, Part 4 of "Noah's Christmas Ark."  These are a two day stitch at most I think so it's a good fast project for those times you just need to finish something.  And if you start now, you will have a complete set by Christmas! (I'm sure she said there would be 12, so that would suggest there are two more chart packs to come, but she also said the final chart would be delivered in February 2019, so you might not have the complete set by Christmas.)  And now I get to pick out new projects. 

  

 At first I was thinking beach, because our display for August is anything ocean, beachy, vacation.  But...then I made the mistake of checking out some of my Halloween projects and that led to Christmas and I'm once again in hot water with the amount of projects I've pulled, and I'm not even talking about anything prior to 2017.  And since Sara showed the new needlepoint canvases she got in I'm starting to think Needlepoint might be a nice change.  But I decided to stick with August's theme, Beachy, first since that's what I have at home and picked out Blackberry Lane's "Relaxing at the Beach" camper.  


The picture here is the model, not my stitching.  I started it a couple of nights ago, worked on the bottom of the trailer and it was going quickly and thought I'd be done in no time, but as with all Marie's pieces, there is a lot of detail and shading that has really slowed me down, but I'm loving the stitch and think this camper is so cute, I don't mind the constant  switch from color to color, because the end result is fabulous.  At first I looked at this as an 18 ct. linen piece over two, which would have made it nice for a pillow,  but in the end decided to stitch it as shown on the chart, 28 or 32 ct. and am pleased so far.  Have a great weekend and keep that needle going. 


Thursday, July 5, 2018

A few finishes done before 4th of July....Happy Dance!


So bere you see Part 1 (whch I finished last month) joined by Part 2 of The Laundry Company.....one more to go and this series is finished...so cute for the laundry room.  Of course this finish took about 10 minutes and I spent the rest of the day on Liberty Tree which was a complete fail.  I took it apart twice and refused a third time so I'm rethinking the finish altogether and will start agan on Monday.  I've had to work for the past 2 days in this heat and although the shops are air conditioned just walking here is making me ill.  I was definitely not built for this heat.  UGH!  Yesterday after wlking home all I could do was sleep, in between waking up to change channels and going right back to sleep.  About 12:30 I tried to stay up long enough to stitch, but after 6 sttches turned out the light, turned off the t.v. and went right back to sleep.   Today, Sunday, July 1st, I had a special visitor come to say hello, Jace, the newest member of the Salty Yarns family. Just 12 days old and such a good baby.  He never cried once while he was here and let me hold him 99% of the time.  Of course it was great seeing his mother, Candi and his grandmother Linda, but let's face it Jace was the main attraction.  After that the rest of the day was so uneventful.  Business is slow as it's too darn hot to move outside.  I could get a lot of stitching done inside if I would just take it out of the tote, but I'm not feeling quite right...heat I think even though I'm in a/c, so there it sits.  I don't even feel like shopping.  UGH!!! I need cooler temps to live.  I did start the latest short stack from Hands on Design... Where Liberty Dwells...I love these short drums.  While I had seen this in Nashville I didn't remember the colors apparently because it's not red, white and blue which is always how I see Patriotic pieces.  But there is a red, Holly Berry, white-flowers and fence, but the Navy blue is missing.  I started to do the lettering in Navy, and change the flowers to black eyed Susans, but in the end I'm leaving it like it is because Sara tires of me always changing things and it's a great design and the colors are fine, I just wanted it a little more like my idea of Patriotic.  I really should have had it done by now but alas, I am stalled.  It is not July 5th and I have been busy at home.  I instantly felt  better on Monday since I had been out of the heat for several hours (was it out of the heat or out of work...a combo perhaps making me feel better)  so I stitched all day Monday because I thought I was off until Wednesday.  Tuesday I decided I had to get the finishing done on Brenda Gervais, Basket of Summertime which I finished stitching a couple of weeks ago.   I always have things I want to do to finish it and sometimes it just doesn't work out.  But I was happy with it and it's a cute pillow, large enough for a chair since I worked it over two on 20 ct. linen.  As always on large count I used WDW perle cotton, (Teal Frost, Whitewash, Pelican Grey, Oscar, Lancaster Red, Deep Sea, Pecan, Navy))and DMC Black.    Finished size is approx. 10" x 8 1/5".  

Once that was finished I thought I might as well tackle the finishing on Lady Liberty from Little House Needleworks. This was also rather an easy finish, just a stand up, only I needed her to be holding the flag.  Since the linen was large count it was easy to insert the flag pole in her hand, but then it dropped at the top so I looped the thread over the pole into her bodice and that solved that problem.    She stands 12" by 5 1/2" wide.  I thought about stitching a flag to go on the pole (the pattern has the flag stitched) but decided that it was easier to just insert a flag I already had.  She is stitched on the 20 ct. linen using Weeks Dye Works (Garnet, Navy Whitewash, Molasses and DMC Black, 950, and 758.  I made her necklace and bracelet using petite red, white and blue Mill Hill beads, but perhaps I should have used the regular beads for a little larger necklace and bracelet.  
But since I was already using the petite beads for the Liberty Tree, and they were sitting on the table beside me...well, you know I'm not going to get up off my butt to change beads.  


Once those two were done I had no choice but to go back to Liberty Tree by Blackberry  Lane Designs.  I really love Blackberry Lane.  Marie's designs are chock full of elements, which I love, love, love and some of it is over one, also a love of mine.  But I have to tell you this piece did challenge me a bit.  While the tree is over two, all of the ornaments are over one.  Most of them were easy enough to do on 32 ct. Dapple linen, but the faces and the doll on the top branch as well as the eagle were challenging because of the constant color changes.  While she included two charts, one with the garland charted and another with no garland so you could garland with beads, I chose to make the red, white and blue garland with petite Mill Hill beads.  You could also use a Mill Hill Long Bead for the firecrackers on the tree, but I chose to stitch those and I used gold thread to make the lines coming from the lit firecracker.  I thought my challenges were over once I had completed the stitching, however my problems were just starting.  I had an oil can just like Marie had, or so I thought,  After sewing the tree together I inserted the straw and proceeded to insert the oil can, which as it turns out had a spout which wasn't up for the task.  It was way too short.  I fooled around with options using the can until I was ready to throw everything in the trash, instead I put it away and started a new stitch.  On Tuesday night when I told Sara I would see her Wednesday, she asked what I was coming to the hotel for.  I said to work, she rolled her eyes (yes even on the phone I can tell she's rolling them) and said, Mom you aren't on the schedule until Thursday.  OMG, extra day at home, well Liberty Tree and I were going to do combat and I refused to lose the war.  I looked around my stitching room, saw a wooden spool and decided I'd make it into a drum and put the tree in it.  Sounded perfect and easy.  It was not!   So I painted the spool and when it was dry put the tree in to see how that was going to work and the spool fell over because the tree is so heavy.  (I stuffed it with lizard litter and polyfil.)  So then I'm looking around to see what could I glue the spool on so it wouldn't topple and I came up empty so I sat down and started stitching again.  It also looked too plain to me because unlike Marie, I didn't make the beaded garland for the edges of the tree.  But this morning I woke up around 4:30 a.m. and thought, I go to work today and that darn Liberty Tree is going with me.  So I make navy cording which I attached to the tree, then made the red/white/blue beaded garland which I sewed around the cording, put a bottom on the spool so I could fill the center hole with lizard litter around the tree trunk and then glued it in by covering around the trunk with cording.  When all of that was done and I sat the tree down while I looked for something to glue the whole thing to so it would stand alone, it was standing alone without anything else.  Thank God, Liberty Tree was finished!

While I tried adding gold and then white to make it look like a drum...that was a final fail and I just decided I might add a gold star to the spool, but at this point it's done.  While I did stitch while trying to figure out what to do about the Liberty Tree, I am thrilled to say I also finished stitching the latest Hands on Design short stack, "Where Liberty Dwells" and as firecrackers were exploding in the sky around 9:30 p.m. in Ocean City, I was stitching the firecrackers exploding on this piece.  However, while the stitching is finished, I haven't assembled it yet.  Hopefully next day off I will accomplish that.  And that will end my tribute to 4th of July.  Now I move on to other things.  Since I've already got the 3rd part of The Laundry Company, Irony,  I thought I would just work on that, but then Sara told me the minute I got here, that Plum Street  came in...and Part 4 of the Noah's Christmas Ark is here along with  Hen Peck and Cow Pile which are two more of the stacking animal series.  Oh my, I've got my work cut out for me now.  These new charts plus all the charts sitting on my sofa this morning and many started projects to finish.  Well, looks like I have no more time to blog, so I'll have to check in with you later.  Have a great weekend and try to get some stitching in.  I know I'll be stitching up a storm.  


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It's hotter than hell down here, at least to me,

but then again, I've never been to hell so I'm not sure how hot it is, but if it's like this I'm not going!  Thank God for a/c.  Best news yet, there is a new member of our Stitch 'n Bitch group...Candi had the baby Tuesday morning, her mother sent Sara the text at 5:30 so we're assuming is was around that time, not sure just know that Jace is in the house. Whoppee!!! Congratulations Candi, he's perfect.  Have fun this summer, enjoy you time with Jace, it goes by so quickly.  A belated Father's Day gift for Jon.  And on the store front....we are now working our summer hours...10-9:45.  So if you are in O.C. come in and say hi.  I'm working feverishly on Patriotic pieces and so loving ever minute of it.  Then Hands on Design announced the release of the next short stack drum and I can't wait.  If we get this this week (she ships this week) I can get it done in time for 4th of July., mercy I keep saying that about everything I see patriotic.  Not sure there are enough days or hours in the days. 


Too Cute!  When working on Sunday I tried to stay away from the new charts, but found the Stars and Stripes Forever From Heartstring Samplery and had to have it.   And of course I feel I should be able to get it done by July 4th....We haven't received the other Heartstring Samplery I was hoping to get done by the 4th, but there's still time if it gets here soon...Festive Fobs - Americana Edition.  Can't wait to get it.  



And then I see the next Festive Little Fobs-Seaside Edition, this has to be some sort of conspiracy against my getting any sleep.  There is no way I'll get everything done if I even take a little nap. This is a must have for me....love it! 
"

It is so exciting for me as the shipments start rolling in  and to come to work and know there are new things just waiting for me to explore....Yes, this is a great place to spend time.  Although I didn't even put a stitch in at work yesterday I was so busy.  I did get it out of my tote thinking I would get some stitching done, but then it just sat there and mocked me all day.  But last night I finished the 2nd piece of  "The Laundry Co."  Loads of Fun and Dry (the free pattern with Loads of Fun).  Since I purchased 3 of the mini washboards I'm already to get it assembled today.   Boy you know I love to  stitch them, but mercy I had to assemble them.  But it's a must so today will be finishing day for me.  I hope you are all doing well in the heat we are experiencing on the East Coast, stay cool and keep hydrating...it's key I think.  Now to get on with my day.  Hope you get to have some stitching time today. 




Thursday, June 14, 2018

Experiment not going well...

My experiment with starting multiple projects at the same time is not going as well as I had hoped, and yet after Christmas each year when I start my rotation of stitching ( One brand new project, one started project from the past, one class project, one project just for my pleasure)  I can usually keep all the balls (projects) in play, but this time it's been a miserable failure.  The first couple of days went well and I worked on all 4 each day, but the last couple of days I've only worked on the Liberty Tree and the Brenda Gervais Basket of Summertime.  I'm really enjoying those two, and it probably has more to do with wanting a finish, rather than anything else.    I am use to having a finish or two, if  the project is small,  per week, needless to say that isn't going to happen and even though I tell myself I'd have 4 finishes all at once, it doesn't help.  So I shall just work on two at a time to keep my sanity.  This past week has been all about my birthday, with cards and gifts arriving from some wonderful stitchers and gifts not related to stitching which are also gratefully received.  70 is starting off wonderfully and I even have 7 days off work this week to enjoy it all.  Thank you Sara!  So I want to thank everyone again for the lovely stitching, the gift cards to my favorite spots, and the gifts so carefully selected for me, and all the birthday cards and birthday wishes on Facebook.   I love everything and appreciate the thoughtfulness of each and every one of them and you.  I also thought I'd share my stitched gifts with you so you too can enjoy seeing the beautiful stitching and perhaps get some inspiration.

First up is my gift from Stasi Buhrman,  which was presented in a Shepherd's Bush bag which she got when she went to one of their retreats.  She knows how much I have always loved Shepherd's Bush and have been unable to get to their retreat so this was the next best thing....a little piece of the Bush.  On the left is the stitched "Let them eat cake" heart. And then I opened the silver box which had my initials on it and contained a beading kit which was put out by a company many, many and I mean probably over 20 years ago.  I wanted one in the worst way and actually was able to purchase one years ago, felt guilty that I was keeping it so I gifted it to Sara.  So this was such a treat and Stasi had my initials engraved on it ( never thought to do that for Sara-oops)...well this is what happens when you unselfishly pass something on to someone else that  you wanted to keep in the worst way.  Karma baby is not always a bitch.  Anyway, I was praising Stasi for idea of  combining my obsession with royal weddings with my birthday celebration, and then she said, "Well, actually it has nothing to do with the wedding."  I saw the crown on the heart, the tiered cake and the silver box and thought wedding.  If I had looked a little closer or had my glasses on I would have seen the 70 sitting on top of the cake and the crown charm was meant for me being the queen on my birthday (I limited that title to just my birthday although I've always felt I was queen of the shop and hotel.)  Anyway, it was a wonderful start to my birthday celebration and a gift that was so well thought out.  Thank you Stasi for your thoughtfulness and beautiful work.  It now hangs in the stitching display corner cupboard, where my most precious stitching resides.  

The next gift is from Betsy Morgan who  has a class here every year around my birthday (and has always given me such wonderful gifts, even though I never expect it, I'm always delighted.)  This year I especially love it because she combined her stitching with a sweet grass basket which are the baskets the ladies are making when you visit Charleston.  Both my mother,  Sara and I collected these baskets whenever we visited Charleston.  It was always fun to watch the ladies make the basket and then buy it from them.  And then Betsy stitched the beautiful pin cushion you see here.  So this is a double gift....I love a gift within a gift. 

Thank you Betsy.  It holds a place of honor in the stitching cupboard, as well.  So cute!!!  The basket is so adorable because the edge reminds me of the petals of a flower.  Very unique.  

And then at the Betsy Morgan Weekend I was given the following....


 Beautifully stitched by Bernadette Mathews and then signed by attendees of the past couple of classes and retreats..  Honestly it was a bit over whelming to have this presented and it is unthinkable someone would go to the trouble and time it takes to stitch it, have it framed beautifully and then get different event attendees to sign it.    A touching tribute not only to me but the stitchers who come here to take classes, etc.  You all have made having a shop, classes and retreats such a rewarding experience for me, that this piece was the cherry on the sundae.  I love it, will care for it as it hangs in my house and every time I look at it I will be reminded of all the people who have touched my heart.  The needlework community has always been my ray of sunshine, even on the cloudy days.  Thank you Bernadette for such a lovely tribute and also a thank you to all the stitchers who took the time to sign it.  While it won't fit in the cupboard, it will hang beside it.  

Sara usually doesn't have time to stitch, let alone finish, anything for my birthday because she's so busy with event duties, but this year she and Vernon surprised me with this gift.  

This is a Jackie DuPlessis project and includes the scissor fob, needlebook and the bag Sara executed perfectly.  She also included the flower waxer and Vernon added the scissors from France...OMG, you have got to love a son-in-law that knows how important good scissors are.  She presented the entire collection in the box you see with the sailboat which I also loved.  Wow, what a surprise this was.  Thank you Sara and Vernon...I'll treasure it first and when I'm gone you get to treasure it second.  

The next gift I received was not stitched by the giver, Stacy Stinson, but she always finds me the most beautiful handkerchiefs .  I've always loved a handkerchief even though I would never use them to blow my nose, but I occasionally carry one just in case I tear up over something or I perspire and need to dab my forehead a little.  Renee got me started on this habit because she has always carried one and has always used hers the same way.  So when Stacy heard about my obsession (I seem to have a lot of those) she shopped the antique stores for really pretty ones to give me, but I think she has outdone herself this year.  This has to be a bridal handkerchief....it is gorgeous.  Thank you Stacy and I have added it to the cupboard as a decorative piece and I can always lie and say I made it.  Love it!



Debbie surprised me as usual with not only a stitched piece, but she also finished it herself into a bag which I just love.  I'm always fascinated by the finishing people do.  Since I'm not a finisher, however, I do my own finishing now (struggling all the way) I so appreciate when others finish their own projects.  I know how much time and effort goes into it..  And Debbie did not disappoint.  I love the mermaid themed bag and while it is hanging empty at this moment, I plan on stuffing something sea related into it.  I just have to find something appropriate and something that shows off the bag.  
Good job with both finishing and stitching.  
  Thank You Debbie.    



The final show and tell came from Betsy Cole, who attends our retreats and brings me lots of wonderful surprises which I dearly love.  This year it was a Shepherd's Bush piece and she had it framed in a gorgeous violet/purple frame to match the purple in the piece (framed at the Strawberry Sampler) and the frame just highlights the stitched piece.  Betsy did a fabulous job of stitching the friends piece and I have it proudly displayed  as I do all of my stitched pieces, at home. Thank you Betsy, as with all you gifts I love it and appreciate the work and time that went into it.


  I get so excited when I get to bring finished work (all gifts get to come home at once but models stay in the shop until the project is no longer available) home as that doesn't happen often...99 % of my stitching stays in the shop as models or it is gifted to others.  So to bring something home is truly exciting.  So thank you to all the stitchers and friends who sent me gifts, gift cards which will be used you can count on it, and birthday cards.  It is overwhelming to realize how many people remember my birthday and I love it....so Thank you Thank you Thank you.   Have a wonderful weekend and I'll talk to you next week as I have two models finished stitch wise, but the finishing needs to be done...UGH!





Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Summer should be here at any moment.

Memorial Weekend is not only the weekend where our hearts reflect on the many who died fighting so that we can be free, but in summer resorts all over the United States it also signals the beginning of summer, our busiest time of the year.  And Memorial  weekend was all we could hope for.  The temps were in the high 70's to begin, we did have a period of torrential rain and then back to 70's.  Lifeguards are back on duty and the beaches are busy so we are all geared up with Sara placing orders daily.  UGH!  I usually love to see the UPS truck, but at this time of year he unloads too many boxes and they aren't all for Salty Yarns so it's not as much fun for me.  Anyway, I was not on duty that weekend so I was home stitching all day, except on Saturday when Jan and Donna stopped by to say hi.  I was so afraid they had finished their challenge pieces and since I had barely started mine I knew it would drive me crazy, but that is not why they stopped by so that made the visit even sweeter.  (Hate getting behind in stitching challenges).  Anyway, knowing they were coming made me work on one of my challenge pieces and got another piece done so I'm down to only 2 more pieces to do on the one project and of course my ornament is still to be done. I also  kept busy all weekend working on Plum Street's Noah's Christmas Ark ornaments.  It takes about 2 days for each ornament with the exception of the whales and I had a few issues with that so it took a little longer.  But at this point there are three charts packs out and I've finish the first three chart packs and proof is shown below.   I cannot tell you how pleased I was with this series.


 I needed an ornnament tree display that I could hang for the summer and not be too Christmas-y.  This is perfect since I do not think it looks like Christmas at all, with the exception of the snow falling...although I'm not certain that it is snow falling.  One of the giraffe's does have a candy cane in it's mouth and the tree with the doves does appear to be a Christmas tree, but other than that it's not Christmas-y at all.  .  I really do love this series, so much so I've changed very little.  I have used a few  beads for eyes, and satin stitched the red balls on the giraffe piece, but I think that's it. .  I didn't even use the beads on the flowers although I did try but it didn't look right to me.  I took a short cut finishing the pieces into ornaments so I was able to finish 5 one night and the 6th before work.  I used mylar quilting template material for the finishing and double sided tape so I was able to breeze right through it.  It took all the bulk out of the finished product so it was unnecessary to add any type of cording etc.  Finally a fast finish!  Then it was on to new stitching.   I still have the 2nd Laundry Day piece to do as we did get that chart pack from Hands on Designs, but I'm already thinking 4th of July and patriotic pieces. I also got the knitting project done, Guernsey Wrap...whoppee!  I love it.  It's a long piece, 77" long and approx.15" wide but it's beautiful even with the couple of mistakes.  Plus I learned a new technique for taking it off the needles, a long tail and tapestry needle which was confusing me to begin with, but after a few stitches it was simple.  Very elastic so I am thrilled at 70 to learn something new and useful.  Then it was time to move on to new projects.  One of the stitchers at the Betsy Morgan weekend was telling me about a challenge she's involved in where you start a new project every day.  Yes, new project every single day for a year.    I was fascinated with the idea so I went right home and started 4 that I had in my latest to do bag..  One  is the Heritage Sampler from Plum Street, 2nd is Basketful of Summer Time by ,Brenda Gervais, this one I'm doing on 18 ct. linen over 2..fun stitch and the third is the  Little House Needleworks, Keeper of the Pins, and fourth, Liberty Tree from Blackberry Lane.   I also got the challenge piece in the rotation hoping to get this done before October instead of waiting the week before.  Since challenge pieces this year not only have to be stitched, they also have to be finished....yikes!  Anyway, I also pulled out an Erica Michaels piece that I started last year and keep losing.  I figured it I just finished it I wouldn't have to worry about losing it.  I think there is one more started but I can't remember what it is.  Anyway, that's what I'm doing.  We just had our Betsy Morgan weekend and it went really well.  I think everyone took home their thread keeper finished or darn near finished so that was a positive thing.  The weather was alright on Friday and foggy Saturday and rainy on Sunday, but the stitchers were in class all day so they didn't mind.  It was a wonderful group of stitchers so we want to say Thank You to them all for their continued support and a bit Thank You to Betsy Morgan for coming to teach.  But a special Thank You goes to all the stitchers from the retreats who signed the mat on my birthday gift and a huge Thank You to Bernadette who actually stitched it for me. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Hope all you mothers had a lovely day yesterday, the official Mother's Day...

Frankly as a mother myself I truly feel like we need a Mother's Day every week..but that's just me!  Got a call Friday asking if I could work Saturday,  so I thought I was back in action once again. I rose at 3:30 a.m., wrapped Sara's birthday gifts then checked out my two finishes, Noah's Christmas Ark part 1, crocodiles and giraffes are both done and what fun to stitch...I look forward to part 2 which is already in the shop so I can begin whenever the mood strikes.  I also finished the Hands on Design Laundry piece....So easy to finish this way and a fun stitch....now I just have 2 more to finish...Hooray!!!!
I don't think I ever showed you Cherished Stitches Trinket Box, one of her limited edition pieces from Nashville.  I got it done for the Spring Retreat and you can see it here with the pin cushion beside it. 
  
I did make one change on the trinket box that I can remember and that was...she has you make a loop out of the black wool to attach to the top to open the box, but since I have a ton of beads  I used a large black bead to make a top for my box.  These were both fast and fun projects and projects easy enough to finish in one sitting. I always like a quick finish, I just usually don't have one.  So I'm starting a new project today, and I can't decide what to do next.  I thought I'd be stitching Freedom Tree but I haven't pulled the DMC's for it yet, so I decided to pack up threads and fabric for about 4 new projects to take with me to work.    I don't really worry about how much or how little I take with me since I can always start something from the shop while I'm there, if I'm not in the mood for what I packed.  However, like a lot of you I'm trying to use some of my endless stash before I shop Salty Yarns again.  I just pray there is nothing new since last weekend so I'm not tempted.  I always need new fibers and sometimes a special fabric but I don't need any new projects, and my collection of charts is out of control so I'm praying I see nothing new, otherwise I'm sure I'll feel like it's a must have.  God help me!  Well two days have passed since I started this blog and I did show up for work on Saturday to find Daphne in Sea Trader and Michelle in Salty Yarns, so I thought I must be in the Shell Shoppe only to find Sara had forgotten Michelle was working so I wasn't really needed!  But since it was Sara's birthday I decided to work in the office so I could be there when she was done working at 4 to give her the gifts I got for her.  (I did offer to work for her in the Shell Shoppe but she insisted she had to do it since she just got done with Darlene's our shell distributor.  So I got a whole lot done in the office and am now back to my job there which I relinquish to Mary in the off season and then take it back for summer when she's really too busy with the hotel.  Sunday I decided to go back into the office for Mother's Day with my 2 wonderful daughters....grandchildren and the men who love them.  It was a wonderful day as Izi and I played games on his I Pad, which of course he beat me every time.  And after 4 we ordered dinner and had take out since the hotel had guests so we couldn't go out.  So Mother's Day was lovely with just that but of course the girls went the extra distance and got me gifts.  Sara's family gave me two hanging planters for my little porch as I have wanted them for a couple of years but never got around to it.  I did finally purchase, in Nashville, one of the planters but I've been riding it around in my van since them.  So I'll pass this along and will be thrilled to have the two from Sara which are  already planted and will be  hung on my railings.  Mary's family gave me a lovely pendant which looks like a quilted piece only in silver.  I'm sure you will have a chance to see it as I'll be wearing it.  So lovely day was had by all, although it was a little cool outside.  I finally got rid of my winter coat so I was happy it didn't dip lower than 55, but mercy, one day it's in the high 70's and in 24 hrs we are back to 50's.  And the forecast is showing rain all week so that will doom next weekend.  Grandparents are already dying in Baltimore as people have started cancelling their reservations for next weekend.  The minute rain appears in the forecast many vacationers who have made reservations call to say their grandparent is ill, in the hospital or dead and they can't come.  They must have mass burials during the rain weekends.  But we will be here should those who do come want to visit.   We will love seeing you!  Have a great week.  

Thursday, May 10, 2018

No work in sight!!!!

Sara has given me unlimited days off as she trains new people.....and I can't say I'm sad about that but I'm like a kid in a candy store, I just can't settle down and do one thing, I'm starting something, then 15 minutes later think of something else I'd rather do, (Obviously since I'm now writing the blog, when I'm suppose to be cleaning)  But at least I have started something constructive.  So far this week I started organizing and cleaning up the house.  The worst room, where I just dump stuff, is my beautiful sewing room which isn't so beautiful at the moment.  Now instead of just picking up and putting stuff away, I've decided to really organize the room.  First I'm getting all charts, kits, etc., on a spread sheet (or dozens of spread sheets) on the computer.  I'm weeding out and getting duplicates out (I had 3 charts of the same design so I know I loved it) and so far I have one shelf completely done and one chair with everything out of it and put away.  Yea!!!!   Threads out of chart packs which I had planned to stitch years ago, but never got around to it and yet I left the overdyed threads in there for some reason.  And since events are over I can now straighten up my work table, where I do everything, but again, when I bring something stitching related I dump it on this table.  So before I can do anything I have to clean it off and at the time I'm just shoving things to other spots, not really puttng it away.  Well no more, I've started the process in cleaning up and organizing and hopefully I'll finish it.  I'm only working on the room for approx. 2 hrs per day and then I get to do anything I want....like stitch.  And I've started a project, Plum Street Sampler's,  Noah's Christmas Ark I, which I am loving. 

The first chart is for the Crocodiles and Giraffes and each of these sees to take approx 2  or 2 1/2 days to stitch.  I'm on the giraffes and then will move on to the second set of charts.  I think she's already published 2 charts at this point so I have time to catch up.    I've also pulled together the threads etc., I need for Blackberry Lanes,  The Freedom Tree.  

As soon as I have the first set of ornaments for the Noah's Ark tree stitched, I'm starting Freedom Tree in hopes of having it done by July 4th.  I have the 32 ct. PTP Dapple linen all ready to go along with the beads for the garland, but haven't pulled the DMC yet.  Perhaps today.  I should be able to start this by tomorrow night.  Love a new start.  Well thought I'd just check in now that I'm rested up from last weekend's Spring Retreat.  Wow, it was wonderful but exhausting for me.  I'm just getting too old for this stuff...staying at work until 9 or 9:30 p.m, especially when there was no rest between the 3 retreats in a row.   Yes, I've reached the age where anything past 6 p.m does me in.  But the stitchers were fabulous and this year we had 2 men join us with their wives and they too were fun and charming.  So, any man who will pick up a needle and stitch is certain welcome to join us.  And thanks to all this years participants.  I loved seeing the regulars and loved meeting the new stitchers joining us.  And Shirley, new to the event,  decided to try stitching on the larger counts, 18 and 20 and found she enjoyed it so much she's now a convert.  She had been struggling with the 28 and 32, but her love of the stitch was elevated when she saw how easy she could see the larger count and she's hooked.  As many of you know I'm usually always working a larger count piece along with my smaller counts.  I love it as well.  Anyway, have to get back to the clean up, never know when Sara is going to call me in.  Have a great day and keep those needles moving stitchers.

 
 
 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Can't believe Spring Retreat time is here.....

Wow, Spring Retreat starts this week with some of the attendees arriving today, Tuesday,May 1st.  This is 3 events back to back...I'm getting too old for this much activity.  Last week I had 3 days off leading into the event, but this week I've only got 1 day off so what out people, I may be totally off my rocker by Sunday.  But tonight I'm scheduled to do cookies, and tags were started a few days ago, so hopefully I'll be ready.  I have one more model to finish stitching and I have a total of 2 to put together and then I will be truly ready for the weekend.  I did have a couple of finishes last weekend.

                              

O.K. This isn't my work, this is the latest 2018 Annual from Greeneframe.  So cute, and while we have always had clocks on the boardwalk (in fact one right on 9th st.) they used to be given to the city by Esskay as an advertisement.  Renee has been doing these Annuals for  over 20 years and they are a wonderful souvenir of your time in Ocean City.  Now as far as my work goes, 


This is Aileana designed by Cherished Stitches.  She's a limited edition pin cushion doll who stands around 2-2 1/2" tall.  I've always loved miniatures and so this was right in my wheel house.  Just 2 nights stitching at most and the finishing isn't that difficult.  However, the doll that comes in the kit is completely white which threw me off, so I decided to put a little paint on the doll to make her come alive a little.  Because of that I didn't make the hat that you see on the cover photo because I gave her hair.  But painting her or leaving her as she comes it's still so dear and a great addition to my pin cushion collection.  Aileana also has a sister in purple called Avriel for those who like purple better than green.  These are limited editions so if you think you want one, you better get it sooner rather than later.  Everything comes in the kit for $27.00.  Next up is another limited edition from Cherished Stitches, 

It's called "Sampler Pin Cushion and comes as a complete kit with the linen, fiber, wool for top and bottom, chart and complete directions for assembly.  Stitching takes about one night and assembly is relatively easy as I've done several drum pin cushions which is what this is.  And now I'm working on another limited edition piece from Cherished Stitches, actually the stitching is finished and now I have to do the assembly, hopefully before Friday. 

And Judy brought in several pieces finished from JBW Designs, Seaside  Series I, II, and III and I just loved her display.  


In the back of the display is her Winsome Whale from Artful Offerings....so cute.   Judy did a wonderful job on finishing each piece and added a twine cording to each piece...just perfect.   Such a cool way to display a collection for summer.   Well, that's what's happening in our shop as we scramble to get things ready for another wonderful weekend full of stitchers.  Sara's got the Lasagna's all done and in the freezer, along with a few appetizers she could make ahead of time.  Today's she's making a run to Sam's Club to get supplies for the rest of the food she presents.  Mary is getting the hotel back together after last weeks's retreat and the boys are still busy fixing and painting.  I have the least to do, which is only right..right?  I have the cookies, which I have two more  batches to do tonight and they are done, and the bag tags which will be done tonight as well.  I do these in batches and have so much fun coming up with a different tag idea than any tag I've done before.     I still have models to get assembled and a couple to stitch period but I'm also working in the shop this week so not sure how much stitching I can get done, but I'm trying.   Anyway, can't wait to see everyone.  Drive carefully and for those not coming, just keep on stitching and when you have a moment in front of the computer, watch Liz and Debbie on You Tube ...Country Stitchers.  They were here as part of the Delaware Valley Historic Sampler Guild, gave Sara and I beautiful scissor fobs and told me about their new venture.  I watched it this morning while making the cookies.  They do a wonderful job and I loved seeing what they've done and are currently working on and was amazed by Debbie's stitching room.  Huge and so organized to boot.  I'm not sure if I saw Liz's so I'll have to take another look.  But Debbie's is worth a look see.  Stitchers got to run, so take care, have a great week and keep your needles moving.             



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

We miss you already!

Whew!  Sherri's class is officially history today, Monday, April 23, 2018 and I'm officially pooped.  But I would be officially dead without the help of so many people.  Sara, Mary and the two patient  and handy men they married, Vernon and Brian who just do as they are told and don't ask questions.  Stasi Buhrman who arrived last Tuesday to help and was invaluable during the event, finding linen stitchers wanted and cutting fabric and she learned to ball yarn so even more better for us; Ginny who became our Uber driver back and forth to the airport picking up and delivering stitchers and then returning them to the airport on Sunday and Sherri on Monday, and if that wasn't enough took over duties in the shop balling yarn and any other thing we asked of her.  And then Sherri who did a fabulous job of leading the stitchers through their journey as they stitched her latest project, which was just beautiful.  Then there were the ladies who work here, Victoria and Michelle, who worked deligently helping stitchers find what they were looking for and last but certainly not least all the stitchers who attended the event and helped support the business.  It was just a wonderful weekend.  Sherri Jones and Catherine Theron so far this year and just two great retreats, with fabulous projects.  But, I'm exhausted!  And we have the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild retreat this weekend and the following weekend we have the Spring Retreat...oh my, don't know how I'm going to make it.  But if you have never done a retreat, here at Salty Yarns or The Attic or anywhere, put it on your "must do" list.  There is no better friend than a fellow stitcher and the information you glean from attending one is invaluable.  Tip and tricks you would never think of.  Friendships that last a lifetime and such a lovely group of people.  I've personally made wonderful friendships through stitching and retreats, I feel like we've been friends forever.  So if you are thinking about it, call your local shop and see what they have coming up and sign up.  Don't be afraid to go if you are alone, because stitchers welcome everyone and before you know you will have a companion or two to hang out with in the stitching rooms, to eat with etc.  As for what I've been doing other than the retreats, well I can admit one thing, I haven't stitched in days....I can also admit it's thrown off my schedule terribly but after Michael's tutoring session last night,  I sat in my favorite stitchy spot and pulled out my stitching.  Of course this didn't go smoothly because before I left the shop Sara made a comment about 3 things we picked up in Nashville which she felt we might need models of, so I started one of those, then switched over to the Hands on Design piece I was working on and then I'm going to start the other two and work on all four at once.  I think I'll be napping alot and skipping real sleep to get them done ASAP.  I'm tired just thinking about it, but I'm game to do anything at this point.   I did have a finish last week and let me tell you, while the stitching was  easy enough, the finishing was horrible...and it had nothing to do with the design or Victoria Sampler who designed it.   It was as if I had never finished anything.  But on the plus side Sara helped me do the cording and the Betsy Morgan way of doing a tassel and I was thrilled with that,  but in my head this finishing was suppose to be a lot easier and I should have done a better job.  (In my head all my projects when finished are perfect, so I constantly set my expectations way too high.)  But it's done, and now I'll move forward, but I was disappointed in myself and expect a lot better next time.  Anyway, here it is...The smalls from "Count Your Blessings" designed by Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler. 

I've stitched a few designs from Thea Dueck and I have truly loved the stitch each time.  Her directions are excellent and you get stitch diagrams as you do have a few different stitches to do, but it is so enjoyable and the finished product is fabulous, in the end.  So I do encourage you to take a look at her designs.  Not yet finished is my Guernsey Wrap knitting project.  If we don't count the sock incident (a group of Ladies retreating at the hotel sat in the lobby and at one point most of them were  knitting socks which fascinated me so of course, I made a comment how I was intimidated by sock knitting.)  The next year they had put together a sock knitting bag with all the supplies and then they showed me how to knit socks.  While they were here I got quite a bit done, and did finish one sock...notice I said one.  I still intend to finish another but for me I should learn to do 2 socks at once I think.  But the point here is that I did indeed learn...whoopee!!!  But I'm so busy stitching models that it wasn't until I saw the Guernsey Wrap that I picked up the needles again.  It has been a joy.  I did make a mistake on the border early on and didn't realize what I did until much later...so I left it and while it bothers me, it's not going to be noticed so much when it's completed.  Anyway, I love the wrap I thought the pattern would be more complicated with cables, etc., but the patterns are nice but the best part for me is it's really wide,  so proportionally it's more my size, but mercy I've been working on it since a week before Nashville.  It's called "Guernsey Wrap and its 16 1/2" wide by 77 1/2" long...or I should state that those are the measurements when using DK yarn on the pattern, however, since I never do a swatch I'm going to say those are the measurements of my wrap but I really have no blooming idea.  Let's just say it will be around that.  Three different pattern charts are used, I'm already on the last chart which has to be repeated 3 and 1/2 times and I'm on the second repeat so I really am on the downhill side of this.  And because of that I've already decided my next knitting project will include Scandinavian knitting.  I haven't done any before but think it will challenge me so it's going to be next, however it will definitely be smaller than this wrap.  This does not mean counted work is over for me...oh, no you know it is my first love so that goes on.  I actually only knit when I can't really focus on the stitching because I'm tired (perhaps not the best time to knit patterns but it's worked for the most part for me, although I have had to unknit a few times).  Anyway, we are alive and well in Ocean City, Sara's busy cooking for the stitchers this weekend as we welcome approx 30 stitchers  from the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild.  I always love to see what they are working on and they usually bring show and tell so that's fun and exciting.  The finishes that stitchers brought in after Catherine and Sherri classes was unbelievable.  It's always inspirational for me.  Love to see what everyone's doing.  I do see fabulous and fun finishes on Facebook so keep it up stitchers.  Got to run, I'm suppose to be cleaning and making cookies for the next retreat.  Keep those needles moving.  Talk to you soon.  And Thanks again for all the support!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

As we celebrate Easter and Passover, we can finally add Spring to that celebration....

I realize for the North East states, you may just get another dose of snow, but here in Ocean City we are done with it I'm sure, if today is any indication.  The sun is shining and temps are in the high 50's with a hint that it will get into the 60s this afternoon.  The ocean is just sparkling as if diamonds are floating on it.  There are a lot of people in town and many of them are riding bikes on the boardwalk.   Sara's busy cutting fabric and winding yarn, and I'm hiding in Sea Trader.  I just finished pricing the extensive final order from Lizzie Kate, which I've been working on for 2 weeks...but thankfully today I finished so that's why I'd hiding so I can take a break.  I had my final Easter finish...the Yellow Chick by Jim Shore, pictured  below:


As I did before, I stuffed the 2 sided ornament to give it some dimension and it's hanging in the shop, next to the first chick I finished.  When these are done no one guesses that they are stitched on perforated paper...it looks like it's done on linen or aida because you just don't think of stuffing perforated paper, plus you can't see any of the perforated paper.   While I can say this is not a one, two or even 3 day project for me, I love them when they are done.  They come as complete kits  which includes, perforated paper, beads, DMC and a hanger, although I changed this out to a white ribbon in place of the black.  The eyes are what is so adorable about these chicks.  Just too cute.  And now, I get to pick out new projects.  Whoppee!!!  I've already decided on Shepherd's Bush Spring Notes since I have done a few of these "Notes"  prior to now and they are a fun stitch, all the same size so you can buy one frame and swap them out to display them.  I really wanted to do La D Da's rabbit but not sure I'll get to that so that might have to wait until next Easter.  I'm having a bit of a difficult time picking out just one project at this point, just too many I want to do, not only from Nashville, but I have  loads of charts I want to stitch from prior years.  I may be a fast stitcher, but I'm pretty sure I won't live long enough  to get everything done...but I'm sure going to have fun trying.  

Monday, March 26, 2018

Look who finally joined the party!

Yes, while she is certainly not perfect, I'm distressed to say, but she was finally finished in time to celebrate Palm Sunday and Easter so I'm grateful for the small blessings.  Just like her boyfriend, she was stitched on 18 ct. white linen over 2 threads so she became a 9 count project, so certainly easy to see.  Her finished size is a tad bit smaller than her boyfriend, she's around 7 1/2 " tall and she's also a little wider, takes after me I think.   I used the DMC colors listed,  only I used  pearl cotton.  Her basket was suppose to have stitched flowers in it, but of course, I wanted Easter eggs in it so I just put them in there along with a bit of the grass as you would see in any Easter basket.  Then in her hand, I wanted something dimensional so I purchased many different silk flowers and these are the ones that made the cut.  (A bouquet of flowers tied with a ribbon is charted on the original chart.)  So I fashioned a bouquet, added a few green leaves, wrapped it all in silk ribbon and voila....she's done.  I also used small Mill Hill seed beads for eyes, and some pearl beads as the center of the flowers on her dress.  She was so much fun to work on, until she ran into  the drop of B-12 liquid and then it's been a red hot mess since.  There are several things that are wrong with her....but I simply finished as best I could and put her in the shop anyway.  She's just too cute.  Now we are almost ready for next weekend...I just have the Yellow Chick to complete and Easter will be done...and then I'll need a couple of Spring pieces and I'll be done, done, done and can start some summer stitching, and my favorite.....patriotic themed pieces.  We had a wonderful weekend with all the stitchers here for the Catherine Theron classes which were, of course, fabulous.  Thank you Catherine for the fun classes and beautiful projects.  Smyrna stitches are being made as I type.  And another thanks to all the stitchers who came to take the classes.  It's your support of our shop that keeps us going, so thank you so much.  And Judy who returned from her baby sitting duties to work Salty Yarns so Sara could take the class as well....thanks so much Judy.  This was a fun group of stitchers and it was so nice to see old friends and new friends and I had a fun weekend which was full of laughs and some new challenges ahead.  I went into the weekend with just one challenge and by the end of the weekend I was given another challenge, or did I issue the challenge....however it went down I've now got 2 projects that have to be completed by Jamboree.  But no worries, I've already started researching what I'm doing.  You other ladies better be getting prepared because I'm bringing my A game.  Have a great week, hopefully snow is over until next winter and the temperatures will rise.  I left home this morning thinking I just needed a shirt on and almost froze.  I thought they said it was going to warm up....brother, I'm pretty sure the needle went down not up....anyway, I'm ever hopeful. Have a great week!  Keep those needles moving.