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 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, I'm pretty sure the needle went down not up....anyway, I'm ever hopeful. Have a great week!  Keep those needles moving.

Friday, March 23, 2018

We've Been Busy....

The north easter' and the threat of snow might have slowed us down a bit, but Sara and I were busy stitching and finishing.  Amd with the Catherine Theron class this weekend, we had deadlines to meet.  First you see my version of Stacy Nash's "Whittaker", part of the Animal Cracker Series.  I love this series as I've mentioned before,  however my vision of Whittaker was a tad different than Stacy's.  I thought he would be fabulous not only as the small 3 1/2" high snowman, but as a larger model that I could display during the month of January (our snow display month) as well.  I didn't include the little pin keep the original is holding, but I still might add that.  And at the time of finishing I didn't even think about the pocket on the back for scissors and yet he could have one that would hold dressmakers shears.  But for now he's done and because it's so cold I decided to give him a knit cap (or a sock made into a cap).  I used beads for his eyes, teeth and buttons, and Weeks Dye Works for his scarf.  I purchased  orange polymer clay and made his nose,  and am thrilled with the finish.  I actually wanted to put ear muffs on him instead of the cap, but as it turns out the cap was a better look.  Thrilled to have another Animal Cracker done since she's come out with a lot more...I just can't keep the pace with this series.  Oh, I stitched him on 18 ct. linen over 2 threads and used Weeks Dye Works perle cotton for stitching.  

Then last night I finished the Short Stack Pin Cushion by Hands on Design,
Oh Say Can You Sea".  I stitched it in a couple of days after returning home from Nashville and loved the stitch.  Easy to do, fun to stitch, and quick.  I did use beads where Cathy had used white stitches for bubbles, but that was the only change I made.  Cathy also gives great finishing directions on her web site so take a look if you need to.  And then I added the new mini pin set from Jabco done for this piece.   

I adore the ornaments in Cuore e Batticuore.  There are 6 total, all of which are shown stitched on 35 ct. linen, however, as my initial intent was to stitch the girl bunny and the boy bunny in the car on the way to Nashville I decided to do them as standups on 18 ct. white linen.  The colors are DMC and I used the pearl cottons.  The girl bunny was done first, however, we had a little accident with my B-12 liquid and she had to be spot cleaned (you have to know I was not pleased).  Anyway, she will be done tonight when I get home, but he managed to stay away from the B-12 so he got finished into this stand up which is approx. 8.5" tall and about 6" wide.  On the chart the large carrot he is holding is stitched, but you know I love to embellish and I couldn't do a lot of embellishment so since I already had the orange polymer clay for Whittaker, I decided to make a carrot for this guy for him to hold.  The carrots in his basket are just cross stitched on the pattern but I then did satin stitch over that to give them puffiness.  Then I added grass in the basket by doing turkey work in green.  He was a fun stitch to do and if you have never worked on 18 ct. over 2 with pearl cotton, on my it works up fast and you don't even need magnification.  Fun times!

And now Sara's finishing....this is Glastonbury Gardens by Lauer Sauer.  We have taken it to Nashville in 2017 and 2018 to finish.  Sara has finished hers, and I'm right back where I was before Nashville.  But Sara did a fabulous job with hers.  The first picture is the front outside cover,

This is the back cover....that is a pocket for storing your stitching treasures...

And this is the inside.  The original design called for a ribbon which is artfully placed around the piece for closing, but Sara struggled to get this part done to her liking so we both decided a button closure was appropriate.  I'm so proud of Sara, she has finished about 3 of her class projects in the last 3 months.  It feels so nice to get something finished that has just been sitting in a pile for several years.  

Since I've had quite a few finishes in the last week I'm itching to start a new project...however, before I do I'm going to try to finish Jim Shore's Yellow Chick.  Too cute for words.  But then look out....I'll be racing to start something new.  I've looked at Death by Cross stitch but since I'm 70 I'm not sure I'll live long enough.  Have a great weekend and get those needles moving.  There is so much stitching to be done.  

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.....

Sara and I were in the St. Patrick's Day spirit with green as our color of the day.  Sara has her usual hat on for the occasion, while I have the shamrock headband which made me look like the bigger idiot.......

There was a parade happening around lunchtime so we had plenty of time to play, however we're still dealing with Nashville so we couldn't take advantage of the time.  It's driving me crazy that I'm not stitching 24/7.  But I did get a model done....Here a Peep is finished, well almost but enough that I can display it for the weekend and then take it home and put the finishing touches on it.  

I love stitching these Brenda Gervais pieces.  They are small enough it's an easy 2 day stitch, and the finishing is easy once I get to it.  I did make a couple of changes (shocker I know) but I started it on the recommended fabric and my dye lots on fibers must have been different than hers because I couldn't even see the vine or the bird when I first stitched it, so I switched to a lighter fabric and was able to see everything.  I could of changed to darker fibers but changing just the fabric was easier.  The other change is the pom pom trim.  I chose to use Lady Dot's Sea Glass which is a darker shade  of the color of the dress just to give it more color.  Love the these oval boxes...Here's a Peep, There's a Peep is a winner for sure.  Since we've been back I've been working on the web site so I'm looking at each pattern I put on and I've found so many I've taken home.  I asked Sara why she didn't bring her stitching bag in anymore and she said, "I know I don't have time to stitch in the shop right now so I don't bother."  I told her I brought mine not to stitch but to load up with charts, kits, and supplies.  And I've managed to take stuff home everyday I've worked.  I'm not sure that's a good thing but I'm sure having fun.  O.K., not to change the subject, but a woman just came in and said, "Are you Open?"  WTH...the lights are on, the lit OPEN sign is in the window, and the door is unlocked which is how she got in, in the first place.  Am I open?  Well if I'm not I am sure going about being closed in the wrong way.  And yet, I must smile and act like that was a normal question, but when I'm tired and weary it's hard to be nice and polite.  Just give me an hour and I'll be almost decent.  Well,now it's the end of the day and I'm doing fine.  Stacy Stinson stopped by so we chatted a while and I caught up with all her goings on...she's had a tough week so keep her in your prayers and let's hope her luck takes a turn in a positive direction.  Anyway, it's time to close so I'm signing off and will talk to  you later.  Have a great night an I pray you get some stitching in.  

Saturday, March 10, 2018

We're back and in Market Hell....

Yes, it looks like Nashville Market exploded inside Salty Yarns...but let's start back at the beginning.  We arrived back home from Nashville Market on Tuesday around 4:30p.m.  I was so exhausted I went home and took a nap.  But by 8:30 p.m. I was up and ready to stitch.  I was very disappointed that I got very little stitching in while in Nashville.  As you know I had grand ideas about all the stitching I was going to do, but in reality I got nothing done because I spent all my time shopping for the store or pricing and putting in inventory what we purchased that day.  Sara also brought her computer and her label maker so we were both entering inventory (thank God for the cloud) and printing tickets, but I was still up until 1:30a.m. and then back up around 5:00 a.m. to continue until it was time to shop again.  I withstood the pace Friday night when we shopped for the 3 full hours (so many were open Friday night unlike years past).  Then Saturday we went the whole day from 9 a.m. until around 5 p.m. (I was dragging my big behind down the aisles I can tell you by 5 p.m.) and again ticketing and entering inventory until the wee hours.  And then Sunday we started at 9 a.m., but I couldn't keep the pace so after lunch I went up to the room to continue labeling and entering inventory.  Sara pressed on until the show closed around 4 p.m.  For the first time ever, we were so busy in the room we missed dinner on Saturday night and lunch a couple of days.  I'm too old for this crap.  But it was fun seeing the new pieces and projects and it was a good show.  We found many things which excited us and of course, my Must Have projects which beckoned me nightly but I just  get to it as the pricing of merchandise was so necessary before we arrived home.  It was also great seeing the designers.  We had dinner Thursday night with Ann and Pat from R & R Reproductions and Beth from Heartstring Samplery, who will be teaching at the Jamboree in October, so that gave us a fun start to the activities.  Ann and Pat always have tips, etc. to give us so it's not only fun, but helpful.  They also always have a spot on their sofa for me to sit down during the market...thanks Ladies, much appreciated.  They even put a sign stating that it's Sally's seat but then somegne had the audacity to steal the sign.  On Saturday,  I decided to move things along faster by doing some of the buying on my own.  First room, Stacy the new elephant, Humphrey and Henrietta, the chicken...too cute.  I'm so far behind on the series it's embarrassing, but I'll get there sooner rather than later.  With me it's not about the stitching, but it's the finishing.  I have had Clementine done since last fall, just haven't put it together as well as Whittaker, the snowman who was finished right after Christmas, but the finishing is holding that model up.  But I'm ever hopeful.  We also picked up her "Handful of Posies" pin disk kit.  In fact, we have had great luck so far picking up some of the exclusives and limited editions.  We hit La D Da first since she had a limited number of her exclusive scissor block...and we were amazed she had enough for us to get 10 of them.  So that was exciting.  It's so difficult to see some of the exclusives before Nashville and then get here and it's impossible to get any.  But that has not been the case so far, but today is another day and I'm sure there will be something sold out.  Anyway, we also got several of the waxers from Stacy...oh, my they are spectacular.    Anyway, after breaking the bank in that room I joined Sara and said perhaps it was better if I wasn't left along to shop as I tend to over indulge.  Although get Sara in Picture Plus or R & R Reproductions and she over indulges in fabric every time.  But since I didn't have to ticket the fabric by the end of the weekend I didn't even care.  Anyway, after getting home I took Wednesday and Thursday as me days and just stitched.  I did get Hands on Design's, "Oh Say Can You See" finished (well the stitching not the finishing) and I finished one of the rabbit stand up's (again the stitching not the finishing,) and the knitting project, which I was able to work on in the car. was the one thing that I really worked on and managed to get 154 rows (82 stitched per row) done before getting home.  The first night in Nashville before we shopped, we worked on our class project, a Lauren Sauer project, and I got a pocket stitched on, looks a little wonky so I'm taking it back off and redoing it.  I left the 3 dimensional pockets home (by mistake) and got bored before putting the other pocket on.  Sara had to finish some stitching before she started on her pockets, and left my room with the stitched pocket sitting in the lid of her ice bucket.  I told her I didn't think that was a good idea and she said it would be fine, she didn't want to put it in her stitching bag because she had already ironed it.  She left, called me in about 5 minutes when she was back in her room and informed me I was correct in telling her it wasn't safe, because between my room, the ice machine and her room she had lost the stitched pocket.  She retraced her steps several times and it was missing.  I told her we would ask tomorrow if anyone had found it and turned it in because I couldn't imagine what anyone would do with just the pocket.  On Sunday, she stopped by Yarn Tree and asked if anyone had turned it in and unbelievably there it was.  So the lesson here is do as your mother says!  Thanks to whichever stitcher found and turned it in and to Yarn Tree for their efforts in trying to find who lost it.  We left the hotel on Monday and proceeded home, stopping overnight and Tuesday here we were.  Yesterday, Friday, I arrived with the loaded van back at the shop.  So Sara spent the day putting new stuff out while I finished pricing a couple of bags which still were not in inventory or ticketed.  Today will be a day of  trying to get the rest of the stuff out so we can start to play with it.  We also need to thank Judy and Elaine who held down the fort while we shopped.  It's always good to know the shop is being cared for when we are away.  I'll start getting things up on the internet today as well...but we all know that takes time for me as I get tired of working with the computer so I can only do so much at a time.  But I'll do my best.  But I will tell you I found several new projects at this market, so I'm excited to show them to you.  But I have to get dressed and get to the shop to do it so I'm going now and hope that your day is as much fun as mine will be...going through Nashville Market shopping.  Have a good day and hope your needle sees linen or aida and floss today.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Well I already know my must haves from Nashville,

Of course, this won't be all I "have to have",  but right now these are the top two....Hands on Design new short stack drum, Oh Say Can You See,'s sea related..whoo hoo, count me in on this one. 

 In fact I asked Sara to contact Cathy and ask her what fabric she used and the fibers so I can take them to Nashville and start right away.  I should have the stitching finished by the time I get home and then I hope I'll finish the construction right away.  And then yesterday I saw the new Brenda Gervais and , again, OMG, count me in on this one as well.   I just knew she'd design something for the oval boxes, again, so cute.  Filled with Easter Candy or a special Easter gift, just perfect for that special someone, if only I had a grand daughter.  I can just image my grandsons if I gave them this.  Although I've taught everyone of them to stitch and two of them can knit (not that they'd admit it), so I guess grand sons might like it as well, especially loaded with candy or money.

 I've already stitched the Christmas, "Jingle All The Way,"  and the Halloween, "Spirits and Spells" boxes and now she has designed, "Here a Peep, There a Peep" so I've pulled the linen and fibers and plan to stitch that while I'm in Nashville.  One would wonder why I've packed about 15 charts w/fabric, fibers, etc., to take with me, when I'm already stitching these two things, well a gal has to have choices.  However, to be honest,  I couldn't even zipper the  project travel bag closed so I started taking some out of my bag  last night just so I could close it.  I mean how much can I possible stitch in just 7 days?  I can finish a small piece done on 18 ct. on the way down and another on the way back normally, but when I'm in Nashville I'm busy ticketing the merchandise every night, etc., but one must be prepared at all times, right.  Sara also has me taking a project we both stitch with me which I took last year as well, because once again she swears we are going to finish assembling it.  I frankly think the project will just enjoy a nice ride and arrive back home in the same state it went down there in.  And God forbid I should not have plenty of choices.  Oh No, well now I do have a problem.  Today I brought in a knitting project to discuss yarn with Sara.  This is a project I saw sometime this summer on the internet and just loved it.  I've stayed away from knitting because I do the stitching of models and that keeps me busy, but I just had to have this wrap.  It's called the Guernsey Wrap and is a fisherman inspired textured wrap.   I taught myself to knit in my 20's and the first thing I did was a fisherman inspired afghan.  I loved that afghan and eventually wore it out.  But I learned so much about knitting, cables, etc that this wrap just sang to me.  I thought I'd have trouble getting enough yarn to do it here as I wanted to use DK yarn, but Sara just went in the back and out she came with 12 skeins of DK weight yarn in that cream color, so I guess it's going to Nashville as well.  Although Sara says I have to fit everything into one bag which right now is not possible, but I figure if I put it under a seat perhaps she won't notice it until we are on our way.  This may put off the schedule of stitching though....I don't know now what I'm going to accomplish, knitting, cross stitch, well it's just a crap shoot.  But I'm sure going to have fun deciding.  This week is disappointing  because I've finished nothing.  I did pull out some projects that were started and stuffed away and I've been working on one such piece started last year, an Erica Michael's 40 ct. gauze piece....backgrounds take forever--but I'm determined to finish this strawberry, it's called Honey Berry,  as I love these gauze pieces and have several to do, plus I'm terribly fond of the strawberry ones, so this is a double winner, strawberry and gauze.  Now if I could just get it done.  I'm over 1/2 there so fingers crossed I'll have it finished by Nashville (oh, yes it's going too.)   Well, it's now Sunday so I've had 2 days of yarn balls in front of me so of course, stitching ended and knitting began.  I had a tough start, first I had to remember the long tail cast on.  I had to teach someone that cast on this past summer so it hadn't been that long and I finally remembered and off I went.  I got the first 6 rows of garter stitch done in  no time at all and thought, well I guess I can get this wrap done in no time at all, although with 82 stitches on the needles and the finished length of  77 " I knew it wouldn't get done overnight but I plunged in headfirst with a smile on my face.  That smile was erased at 10:30 p.m. night 1.  I had already started over once, ripped out the design part approx. 4 times and reknit it everytime but on row 6 of the pattern I just couldn't come out with the right amount of stitches.  I counted the stitches on the needle and it was correct each time but I was always 1 stitch short.  I have never followed a chart like this, which seemed upside down to me.  The first rip out was due to the fact I was reading the pattern from the top line and the 1st line of the pattern was at the bottom of the page.  You stitch starting from the right side of the pattern on odd row numbers and knit from left to right on even  number rows.  There are actually 3 different pattern charts being used, one after the other, and each line has 5 or 6 repeats so going into this it was a bit daunting for someone who never read a pattern before.  I can follow knitting directions, but that is not what a pattern is.  After several rip outs and the clock saying 10:30 I decided to end it and go to bed.  But at 5:30 a.m. I entered the knitting arena armed for battle.  I had my paper and a pen and I was going to write out the pattern including all the repeats to make sure I got line 6 correct.  By the time I left for work I had stitched 20 rows and the pattern was showing and I was patting myself on the back.  So day 3 has loomed and I am now over half way through Chart A, working with a second ball of yarn and I have to say I do enjoy it.  So different from the counted work.  But I started the 50th row and got distracted and now I feel another rip out is on the horizon so I've stopped until I get home where there are no distractions.  I felt so guilty last night for knitting that I made myself stitch on sometime (I chose one of the easy new pieces I had intended to stitch in the car.)  I'm halfway through it  and think it's going to make a cute stand up.  I took another look at all that's in the bag and think perhaps I've overshot the reality of time in Nashville.  I tried to edit it down, but by morning was reloading them again.  I'm thinking of taking a bigger suitcase and stuffing it with needlework and clothes, I mean really what's more important...needlework surely!  I've pulled all the fibers for everything I'm taking, and today I'm cutting the last 3 pieces of linen and then I'm done....with the planning, now to execute my stitching schedule.  I may not have the time to attend the market...uh, oh.  Well my intentions are good anyway.    As my mother always said, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" and she may have been right...I'll let you  know .  Have a great week and I'll try to post in Nashville, but I've noticed in the past that hasn't been too successful.  But again, I intend to.  (I can hear mother's laugh all the way from heaven.) 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saying Goodbye to a wonderful designer is always hard to do...............

As everyone knows by now, as of March 1st, Lizzie Kate will be sending out her final design and it is with great sadness that we say goodbye.  Her designs were fun, some were funky, they were stress free and a joy to stitch.  As a shop owner many of her designs were sampled by me and we were happy  to offer her full line for sale in our shop.  But everyone deserves to retire so we are sad but wish only the best to Linda and Allen as they start the next chapter in their story.  You will be greatly missed.  On a happy note, I spoke in the past about the Jim Shore chicks which I thought were too darn cute for spring/Easter. Well,I finally finished Aqua Chick.  I loved their faces and while there is quite a bit of beading I didn't mind that, and then there was the stuffing, which wasn't bad, but because I love to overfill everything I'm surprised Aqua Chick didn't bust out at the seams.  But he's done, hanging on our spring tree (or Easter tree right now).  I did change the ribbon as they included a black ribbon for hanging and I just felt white would go better.  It comes as a kit complete with everything, perforated paper for back and front, DMC floss, beads and ribbon.  You supply the fiber fill. 

Now it's on to a new project and I have several in my tote, plus I have to start packing for Nashville Market.  Oh, my,  I usually do this after midnight the night before we leave, but I'm determined to be more organized....we will see how that goes.  The sun's up today, although it's in the 30's there are a lot of people walking around the boardwalk.  This is usually a big weekend because the schools are closed on Monday for President's Day and the boat show is in town.  We are seeing more people in the shop as well, unlike last weekend which was so boring in here with very few people showing their faces.  I never feel like doing anything constructive when we aren't busy.  I didn't even stitch and finally went to the office to work on taxes and left Sara alone to work the shops.  Anyway, I need to get back to the have a great weekend, hopefully the snow isn't coming your way...we're scheduled for rain.  Although if it does rain and snow it's perfect weather for stitching.  You will find me in the shop until 4 p.m. and then I'll hardly leave my sofa once I get home.  Talk to you soon

Saturday, February 10, 2018

I'm really done stitching for Valentines Day!

While I didn't complete this piece last night as planned (apparently napping and eating took the place of stitching), I was able to complete it this morning before work.  So here is "Coeur en Rouge" which I changed to Coeur en Noir to go with the frame I had picked out.  The chart is part of "Here's My Heart" from Sue Hillis Designs.  Stitched on 32 ct. (light pink from my stash) over one in DMC black.  It's lacy and a beautiful heart and the possibilites for finishing are endless.  But I found 3 of the frames in our storeroom and knew I had to find something to go in them since the design that was originally to go in the frame is no longer available.

You still have time to stitch a little something for your favorite person, but you better get to it.  As for me....I'm  moving on to the spring designs and St. Patrick's Day.  Have a great day!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Sun's Bright, It's in the 40's and we have a new model....

Since it's not the 14th yet, I'm still stitching for Valentine's Day and I have one project one day away from finishing and I do have one completed.  Sara asked me to do something that wasn't all hearts, hugs and kisses and she chose "V" is for Valentine, which is part of the Alphabet series from Heartstring Samplery. 

At first I was going to do it over one on 28 ct. because I had a round frame that if painted would be perfect.  But in searching through my private bins for 28 count I came across an afghan piece of fabric which is approximately 14 threads per inch and it fit perfectly in one of the blocks, so I used that and it made the cutest little pillow, which measures 8" x 7 3/4".  It was an easy stitch, even though it was over one because the threads are so fat...yes they are fat.   While this would have been an easy finish using the sewing machine....when I started to use it I got an error message and still haven't figured out what to do about it so I had to hand stitch the finish.  And that kept me from finishing my lace heart...oh, well tonights free so I should get it done.  For the past week I've been working with Michael on his homework after school; seems they brought back vocabulary and to be honest even I had to look up a couple of the words.  Needless to say, I use very few of the words he had to learn, but I'm a firm believer that vocabulary should be improved upon and taught through 12th grade, so I was pleased it's back in the curriculum.  And since the test was on Friday I told him he had to be at my house everynight after school, Monday thru Thursday.  I thought it was going rather well until last night when he had a breakdown and informed me he didn't remember anything.  But I had done my homework and I had worksheets, flash cards and computer tests for him to take.  By the time he left he had a smile on his face and felt better about the whole thing and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he gets through this  unscathed.  Poor kid, he just defeats himself before he even sees the test.  He is exactly like his mother except she always thought she got by with A's even if they weren't.  Crying was not her problem.  Michael panics, and needs affirmation to get through it.  At home I can say, Michael you know this...think about what we've talked about, etc., and he'll pull it out.  I'm not sure if they would let me sit beside him in school and use the same might distract the other students, damn it.  It's painful to watch. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Fun Superbowl Weekend.....

Stitchers began arriving Thursday night and by Friday we were in full swing in the shops.  Stasi Buhrman was busy cutting fabrics for stitchers, I was in charge of getting the tickets done for incoming merchandise and Sara and Debbie kept busy locating different charts stitchers were trying to locate.  The sun was shining, however, the wind and cold were blistering.  As each person blew in the door it just seemed to get colder out.  And then Friday night Sara hosted her welcoming reception at her house while I went home and finished doing whatever I do at home (usually stitch and watch TV).    Debbie Shiowaza brought in 2 large boxes of models she had finished, class pieces from the many classes she takes and the models were exquisite.  Debbie is such an incredible stitcher and finisher...(a role model for me), and Jayne Donchez brought over her over 1 piece (she only stitches over 1) Thea Gouverneur's America....unbelievable.  The color changes were dazzling on this piece.  I also got to see many of the projects the stitchers were currently working on.  It is always inspiring to see what others are working on.  I love it and always come away with a new idea for finishing or a new piece I want to stitch.  I did finish a few things for the weekend, I once again (I can't believe I stitched another tote) stitched Lizzie Kate's latest Winter Smalls and used one of the wooden totes to make a winter sewing set.  Winter Smalls actually consists of 4 designs, obviously I only used three of them as the 4th design was a Valentine design which I didn't want to use on the winter tote.  I finished the tote using Deep Sea Wool to back the design and then trimmed it with Snow white Lady Dot mini pom pom trim  Easy stitch, and an easy finish.  Then I took the Snow design and finished it as a mattress pin cushion.  On the side panels of the pin cushion I stitched snowflakes copied from the top design.   

The third and final piece is the Snuggle design which I made into a needle and pin book.  I used the Deep Sea Wool as the lining, forgot to put the white ribbon ties between the wool and linen so the ends weren't seen,  so had to hid the ribbon ends.  On the left side the needle page hides the ribbon end and I used a Just Nan snowflake charm to hid the other end.   I'm  actually going to add a couple more pieces to this set but this was all I could do before Super Bowl.  Obviously I love stitching for these totes.  Debbie Liming changes all her stitching totes and fobs and everything else she carries to match the seasons.  It is really a good way to clean out your stitching totes and saves on wear and tear as you rotate them out.  That's almost too organized for me.  I do seem to manage to do that every fall, but once I go back to a winter tote I don't seem to change until the next halloween.  However, in my house I have seasonal things beside my stitching chair and I do swap them out for the different seasons.  So once I take this home, it will be beside my stitching chair to hold my scissors, needles, pins, threads, etc., all the stuff I need for the project at hand.   These are the only stitched pieces I will actually use.  Everything else is just for display in the display cupboard or in my stitching room.

Then Sara wanted me to stitch "Valentine  you are cute as a button." by Needle Bling.  So I stitched that on a random piece of linen I had at home.  Since it was just the lettering it worked up really quickly and then it was on to finishing.  At first I was going to make a small pillow, but I saw long pin cushions in dough bowls on the internet and thought I'd like one of those.  So  that's what I did.  Easy to finish and I filled it with lizard litter and Valentine pin cushion complete.  Of course then I had to made 3 valentine red pins to put in the pin cushion.   Stasi Buhrman arrives with the exact same design  for show and tell and she finished hers as a small cute, so I took a picture of hers as well to show different ways to finish the same design.  Stasi went the extra mile and stitched hers over 1 which makes it extra special and so cute.  Love the over ones.  It's fun to see the differences between my vision and Stasi's.  We both used colored buttons as opposed to the white ones shown on the model.  

  While I finished stitching the oversize Whittaker (Stacy Nash-Animal Cracker snowman) I didn't get it finished.  So we will have to wait to show that.    

But I did finish Brenda Gervais Snowbirds.  Brenda shows this as a cute little pin cushion done on 36 ct linen.  But I love to show hers on 36 as well as 18 ct. linen over 2 which makes it a 9 count so I can get a big pillow for my sofa or chairs.  Finish size is approx 13 1/2" 9.5" when stitched on 18 ct. linen over 2.  I stitch them using pearl cotton, both Weeks and DMC, and this time when I was mixed on  which trim to use I asked Sara to pick.  Sara said she liked the large pom pom trim, which worried me as I could see a problem for me and my sewing machine.  So I put it off as long as possible and then just sat down and sewed it and it really wasn't that hard.  Next time I'll do even better but for a first time job done and I'm pleased.  Not too much embellishment, I used faceted black beads for the coal buttons and eyes and I did turkey work on the scarf ends to represent fringe and on the vine I used beads to represent berries.  I always supply my stitching room with purchased pillow forms so I knew I'd find something to put inside.  And of course I had one that fit so I popped it in and zipped the pillow up and it is now in the shop.  And I've moved on to a couple of new projects.  I'm obsessed with the Jim Shore Chicks for Easter  which just came in and started one of those the minute the arrived in the shop and then Sara asked me to do another Valentines piece, "V is for Valentine", by Heartstring Samplery, so I'm starting that tonight.  Can't wait!    

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Nashville Update #2

Hands Across the Sea will be presenting 5 new gorgeous charts in Nashville:

Sarah Daws circa 1840

Sarah's sampler was stitched on 40 ct. Lakeside Linen Vintage Meadow Rue.  She stitched her sampler with cross stitch mainly over 2 threads.  The lowercase letters of the verse are stitched with cross stitch over 1 thread.  Backstitch has been used to outline the two ladies' eyebrows and lips.  It is suitable for all levels of ability.  The design is approx. 15" x 26" and the chart retails for $32.00

Hannah Gaskell  1823

Hannah's sampler was stitched on 40 ct. Lakeside Linen Examplar with Au Ver a Soie silks.  There are a variety of stitches used including cross stitch over 1 and 2 threads, satin stitch, back stitch and French knots.  While this is a large project, it is suitable for all levels.  Within the booklet are detailed stitching notes and stitch diagrams.  The booklet is printed in full color throughout.   The design area ia approx  24" (w) x 26" (h).  The cost is $32.00

Eliza Bell Cox 1832

Eliza Bell Cox was stitched on 46 Lakeside Linen Vintage Buttercream.  The sampler is stitched in cross stitch over 2 threads with the verse, the bird's eye and butterfly's legs stitched over 1 thread.  There are some straight stitches that form the stamens on the pansies.  This sampler is rated as suitable for a confident  beginner.  The design size is approx. 13 1/2" x 19".  The chart retails for $32.00

Sarah Mary Larkworthy 1727

Sarah's sampler  was stitched on 40 ct. Lakeside Linen Examplar.  Sarah stitched her sampler with cross stitch over 2 threads, Algerian eyelets, stem stitch and satin stitch, using Au Ver a Soie Silk. The design has been counted out for you within the graph, no tracing is required.  Please refer to the graph not the model as the undulating berried border was drawn onto the fabric for the model and will vary slightly to the counted version within the graph.  The sampler has been rated as suitable for intermediate and advanced stitchers.   The design is approx. 12 "(w) x 17"(h).  Cost is $32.00 

Amy Cann  1831

  Amy Cann was stitched on 40 ct. Lakeside Linen Vintage Meadow Rue using Needlepoint, Inc. silks.  The sampler is stitched in cross stitch over 1 and 2 threads, satin stitch, four sided stitch, double running stitch, and Algerian eyelets.   Amy's sampler has been rated as suitable for all levels.  Within the booklet is a comprehensive stitching guide which includes stitch diagrams.  The design is approx. 18.5" x 14".  The chart retails for $30.00

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Super Bowl Weekend coming will be on!

The weather here is gorgeous, sunny, hovering near 50 degrees, seas are calm and people and dogs are out walking the boardwalk.  However, Sara and I are busy getting ready for next weekend's Super Bowl sale activities.  I've been stitching away getting new models done for the event....and while the stitching is completed, I've yet to do the finishing.  UGH!  But the next few days will be dedicated to getting everything finished....YEAH!!! So stitchers get your lists together and call us (410)289-4667, e-mail the shop ( or stop in anytime next Friday through Monday.  Hope to hear from you.  Class schedules are on the web site except for Jackie's (we don't have her info yet) so check that out.  We are also gearing up for our annual Nashville trip....can't wait...have seen a few of the charts coming out in Nashville so that's exciting.  There is so much to look forward to....

Monday, January 15, 2018

And now it begins...............Nashville Market #1

Yes, we are now turning our sights to Nashville Market coming up in March.  And this week we began getting e-mails about some of the projects we will be we're going to keep a running list of them for you on the blog... From Glendon Place

Stand for Freedom-a limited edition kit-- it will never be published after market and we will be unable to get more once market is over.  We are taking orders now and must have final order numbers by 1/31/2018.  So if you think this is something you'd like to have, please send us an e-mail ( or call the shop (410) 289-4667 before that date.  Kit includes the chart, 13"x18" cut of either 28 ct. Bramble Linen or 14 ct. Bramble aida by Picture This Plus, 6 colors (full 20 yard spools) of Sulky 12 Weight Cotton Petites, 2 colors (1 yd. cuts) of Sullivan floss for attaching buttons and 3 colors/sizes of JABCO star buttons (total of 16).   Ciost for the 28 ct. Linen is $40.00 and the 14 ct. Aida kit is $37.00


Spook Town Square will be a 4-part Halloween series with Part 1 (the center gazebo) released at the Nashville Market (March).  Each part will retail for $12.00.  Part #2  (4 designs to the left and right of the gazebo) will be released May 1st., the 4 designs above the gazebo will be released July 9th, and the final release of the 4 designs below the gazebo will be released September 1st.   The model is stitched on a 1/2 yard cut of 28 ct. Tarnish (Picture This Plus). You will need 26" x 26" for the design.  A specialty thread pack will also be available that contains 3 skeins (2 different colors) of the DMC Color Variations (4080-Daffodil Fields (1) and 4122 Fall Harvest (2).  The remainder of the design is stitched with a total of 81 colors of DMC/Anchor floss.  We do not have a price yet on the specialty thread packs.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Whew....made it through Christmas, but I'm exhausted.from sitting on the sofa stitching...

And I didn't stitch for about a week, (before Christmas and a couple of days after) I mean not once, not one cross, I didn't even pick up a needle and I think of all the wasted hours where I could have been creating something fabulous and I'm mad at myself, but honestly, my house hasn't been this straightened up since last December and I'm loving it.  I didn't think I'd care about a new dishwasher, not having used one for the last 11 years, but I've been getting clean up done a lot faster so my kitchen is cleaned up most of the time win, with no dishes in the sink.   And this year I was really organized and had a schedule which I kept for 3 days of prep for the  Christmas dinner.  I was on it and it showed.  But we opened the shop Friday after Christmas and tried to get back to our normal routine, however,  with wind chill factor of 8 it was hard to even sit in the shop.  My feet were frozen even though Sara had little heaters put in for our feet and I put heat packs in my shoes on Friday but on Saturday I just wore my Ugg slippers and frankly I was fine.  By Monday I was bored stiff and due to the extreme cold there weren't many walking on the boardwalk so at 3 p.m. Monday we said the hell with it and closed.  Then the following Thursday was the big snow so we were closed all last weekend and it was still cold so I stay bundled up in p.j.'s and quilts and ran the heat like it was free.  I'm not proud of this but I actually never got out of P.J.'s for 9 days I never left the house.  But no  one was coming in so I just enjoyed myself sitting on the sofa, stitching, watching t.v. and living life.  Michael came over Wednesday night and asked how I was doing and I had to admit even I had enough of sitting on the sofa and staying home.  I needed out....which of course would require a shower and a change of clothes.  But it took me 2 more days  before I took the corrective steps and Friday got up at 5:00 a.m., showered and got dressed.  The good thing was I had done all the laundry while I was at home so I have no problem finding something to wear.  And that brings you up to date on me.  I did finish the ABC de la Brodeuse, which I love, love, love.  It was such a fabulous stitch and the amazing finish to this is...I had my banding cut extra long just in case and when I was done I really wanted to back it so the backside of the stitching wouldn't be visible.  I had started and stopped threads carefully so I could leave it and it would be fine, but I just wanted the back to be finished as well.  While I was going through piles of fabric for that perfect piece, I unrolled the banding and discovered we had cut it long enough that I could just use it to cover the back just doubling the banding over and backstitching it to the front can't even see where it is backstitched together.  Perfect.  Then I was searching through my boxes for little hangers which I thought I had run across and found a bag of 4 and one of them fit this bellpull, but it was just a small gold hanger..  While I was walking up the hall to the living room I happened to see the Just Nan Lady Scarlet bellpull I did years ago and it's hanger was designed for that bellpull, however, it was perfect for my ABC bellpull.  Just the right colors in the flowers used as a header on the metal piece.  So I undid the banding, took that bellpull finding off my Lady Scarlet and put it on my ABC...perfection I tell you.  OMG, I loved it before but now I want to do another one. 

 But since I think of January as my snowman month I thought I should do at least one new snowman piece and of course I picked out Brenda Gervais Snow Birds.  I picked 18 count linen and used Weeks Dye Works Pearl Cottons and a DMC.  It was a race to get it done by Friday since Camp Wannastitch is here this weekend.  By Wednesday I informed Sara that I was out of the Whitewash, so she sent Michael over with 4 skeins and I moved on.  By Thursday I had everything done except I ran out of Oscar before finishing 3 leaves.  So I brought it in today minus the 3 leaves...darn it.  (It's now Sunday and the leaves are done, but I had already taken the picture.  I hope to have the finishing done by next weekend so I'll post another picture at that time. 

 It was a fun stitch, except I was in a race against time and that's never that much fun for me.  I'm also a little stuck on finishing.  I am thinking pillow but if we have a table banner hanger that goes with it I might use it.  And with that done, and a Hoffman order here with Whittaker, well the new project just showed up.  Of course then it's fabric selection which has taken me all weekend as I went back and forth.  And..add to the confusion I've decided to stitch it not only on 36 ct, but to do an oversized larger Whittaker on 18 ct. using pearl cottom.  I am leary with only 2 colors that I have the  patience to do this twice, but here's hoping.  I've driven Stasi Buhrman nuts pulling fabrics which she then takes pity on me and puts them away for me.  Thank God for Stasi...she offered to come down to cut fabric for the Camp Wannastitch weekend and needless to say Sara and I both screamed with joy.  OMG, she has spent 3 days on her feet helping stitchers pick their fabrics and cutting the fabrics for them.  Thank you Stasi so much.  We couldn't have done this without you, and I really mean that.  This is an exhausting weekend, in a good, way,  and it's a wonderful weekend.  This year the Camp had 175 stitchers attend.  You can just imagine what it was like at times in the shop.  But we see several of the stitchers other times of the year so some have become friends and it's always good to see returning stitchers, see what everyone is working on, hear their stories about their pieces, etc.  But I sure am ready for a nap by the end of the day.  Anyway, we are about to wrap it up