First up is my gift from Stasi Buhrman, which was presented in a Shepherd's Bush bag which she got when she went to one of their retreats. She knows how much I have always loved Shepherd's Bush and have been unable to get to their retreat so this was the next best thing....a little piece of the Bush. On the left is the stitched "Let them eat cake" heart. And then I opened the silver box which had my initials on it and contained a beading kit which was put out by a company many, many and I mean probably over 20 years ago. I wanted one in the worst way and actually was able to purchase one years ago, felt guilty that I was keeping it so I gifted it to Sara. So this was such a treat and Stasi had my initials engraved on it ( never thought to do that for Sara-oops)...well this is what happens when you unselfishly pass something on to someone else that you wanted to keep in the worst way. Karma baby is not always a bitch. Anyway, I was praising Stasi for idea of combining my obsession with royal weddings with my birthday celebration, and then she said, "Well, actually it has nothing to do with the wedding." I saw the crown on the heart, the tiered cake and the silver box and thought wedding. If I had looked a little closer or had my glasses on I would have seen the 70 sitting on top of the cake and the crown charm was meant for me being the queen on my birthday (I limited that title to just my birthday although I've always felt I was queen of the shop and hotel.) Anyway, it was a wonderful start to my birthday celebration and a gift that was so well thought out. Thank you Stasi for your thoughtfulness and beautiful work. It now hangs in the stitching display corner cupboard, where my most precious stitching resides.
The next gift is from Betsy Morgan who has a class here every year around my birthday (and has always given me such wonderful gifts, even though I never expect it, I'm always delighted.) This year I especially love it because she combined her stitching with a sweet grass basket which are the baskets the ladies are making when you visit Charleston. Both my mother, Sara and I collected these baskets whenever we visited Charleston. It was always fun to watch the ladies make the basket and then buy it from them. And then Betsy stitched the beautiful pin cushion you see here. So this is a double gift....I love a gift within a gift.
Thank you Betsy. It holds a place of honor in the stitching cupboard, as well. So cute!!! The basket is so adorable because the edge reminds me of the petals of a flower. Very unique.
And then at the Betsy Morgan Weekend I was given the following....
Beautifully stitched by Bernadette Mathews and then signed by attendees of the past couple of classes and retreats.. Honestly it was a bit over whelming to have this presented and it is unthinkable someone would go to the trouble and time it takes to stitch it, have it framed beautifully and then get different event attendees to sign it. A touching tribute not only to me but the stitchers who come here to take classes, etc. You all have made having a shop, classes and retreats such a rewarding experience for me, that this piece was the cherry on the sundae. I love it, will care for it as it hangs in my house and every time I look at it I will be reminded of all the people who have touched my heart. The needlework community has always been my ray of sunshine, even on the cloudy days. Thank you Bernadette for such a lovely tribute and also a thank you to all the stitchers who took the time to sign it. While it won't fit in the cupboard, it will hang beside it.
Sara usually doesn't have time to stitch, let alone finish, anything for my birthday because she's so busy with event duties, but this year she and Vernon surprised me with this gift.
This is a Jackie DuPlessis project and includes the scissor fob, needlebook and the bag Sara executed perfectly. She also included the flower waxer and Vernon added the scissors from France...OMG, you have got to love a son-in-law that knows how important good scissors are. She presented the entire collection in the box you see with the sailboat which I also loved. Wow, what a surprise this was. Thank you Sara and Vernon...I'll treasure it first and when I'm gone you get to treasure it second.
The next gift I received was not stitched by the giver, Stacy Stinson, but she always finds me the most beautiful handkerchiefs . I've always loved a handkerchief even though I would never use them to blow my nose, but I occasionally carry one just in case I tear up over something or I perspire and need to dab my forehead a little. Renee got me started on this habit because she has always carried one and has always used hers the same way. So when Stacy heard about my obsession (I seem to have a lot of those) she shopped the antique stores for really pretty ones to give me, but I think she has outdone herself this year. This has to be a bridal handkerchief....it is gorgeous. Thank you Stacy and I have added it to the cupboard as a decorative piece and I can always lie and say I made it. Love it!
Debbie surprised me as usual with not only a stitched piece, but she also finished it herself into a bag which I just love. I'm always fascinated by the finishing people do. Since I'm not a finisher, however, I do my own finishing now (struggling all the way) I so appreciate when others finish their own projects. I know how much time and effort goes into it.. And Debbie did not disappoint. I love the mermaid themed bag and while it is hanging empty at this moment, I plan on stuffing something sea related into it. I just have to find something appropriate and something that shows off the bag.
Good job with both finishing and stitching.
Thank You Debbie.
The final show and tell came from Betsy Cole, who attends our retreats and brings me lots of wonderful surprises which I dearly love. This year it was a Shepherd's Bush piece and she had it framed in a gorgeous violet/purple frame to match the purple in the piece (framed at the Strawberry Sampler) and the frame just highlights the stitched piece. Betsy did a fabulous job of stitching the friends piece and I have it proudly displayed as I do all of my stitched pieces, at home. Thank you Betsy, as with all you gifts I love it and appreciate the work and time that went into it.
I get so excited when I get to bring finished work (all gifts get to come home at once but models stay in the shop until the project is no longer available) home as that doesn't happen often...99 % of my stitching stays in the shop as models or it is gifted to others. So to bring something home is truly exciting. So thank you to all the stitchers and friends who sent me gifts, gift cards which will be used you can count on it, and birthday cards. It is overwhelming to realize how many people remember my birthday and I love it....so Thank you Thank you Thank you. Have a wonderful weekend and I'll talk to you next week as I have two models finished stitch wise, but the finishing needs to be done...UGH!