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 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'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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.