Thursday, October 29, 2009

We're Back!!!!!

Yes we returned from our Moss Creek Retreat rested and ready for our C.A. Wells Memorial Weekend Retreat. I'm telling you though, 3 retreats in one month is about to do me in. Anyway, I have to tell you about our week away. We left early Wednesday morning (Oct. 21) and got through Virginia without a cap coming off (last year I was testing the sugar free caramels and my cap came off), or Sara being pulled over (she was speeding through and of course, got caught) we thought we were sailing under a bright sky. However, after talking to Vernon to make sure he met Michael at the bus, Sara was informed that Michael was a bit upset so Vernon thought he'd take him to the new boat (Vernon purchased a new boat with more speed a few weeks ago) and let him play around. Before leaving he tossed Michael's school bookbag on the ground in front of the elevator to their apartment (it's an outside elevator)...what an idiot! Anyway, when they returned from the boat, the bookbag was missing....Gee what a surprise. So of course, Michael was hysterical since it contained his special lunch box, his homework, 3 library books, and the list goes on. Sara, of course, was cursing like a sailor and calling Vernon various names we don't need to repeat here and I was the calm in the storm..."Sara, everything can be replaced...let it go..and please don't let it ruin our week in Hilton Head." While she agreed to it, all this did was make her determined not to return home until Wednesday instead of Monday like last year. Of course, I'm all for that (forgetting I was suppose to work on Wednesday...but that was a small technicality). Anyway, we arrived at the Marriott and settled in. It's just gorgeous on Hilton Head...they really planned their communities and the spread of malls etc. well, covering everything in trees and plants. You see little of the commercial aspect of a resort town because it is behind the greenery and that makes it all the more beautiful. Anyway, arriving a day early gave us shopping opportunities...which we all know we took advantage of, saving our big money for the trunk shows at the retreat however. Now, on Thursday when Sara called to make sure Vernon met Michael he told her that Michael's bookbag had been returned to the school, along with everything that was inside. No one knows where it came from, just that it appeared in the office. So we have no idea what went on, just that we had an angel on our shoulder and he looked after our Michael for us. So no harm no foul. We stayed on anyway after the retreat just to have a day to relax from the hubbub of the retreat, which was wonderful yet again this year. We had Jackie Duplessis first and her project was a darling sailboat etui. Since the teachers asked that we not put the items on the web I won't show it but when I get it completed I'll have it in the shop...hell, if I ever get it done I'll encase it in glass and put spotlights surrounding it so you won't be able to miss it. Anyway, it was really a lecture class as she was teaching how to put this together using a sewing machine. However, this could just as easily be done by hand...I probably should not have said easily, just that this could be done by hand. In fact when she is here with us next Jamboree her project will be finished by hand. I also requested that the project not be sea related since it's been asked that not everything revolve around the sea and beach here. (I listen...I sometimes ignore, but I listen and try to bend to your will stitchers). Next we had Marcy Pumphret and the scrimshaw class. I didn't look forward to this class because I just knew I'd have to be able to draw. And while that might be correct, the piece you do is so small and it really doesn't require much drawing, so once again I was amazed to find that I was able to do it. Jackie's sailboat had a little scrim with an anchor on it hanging off the back, so of course I felt I needed that on mine and drew it. Sara did a little sailboat and used a lot more imagination that I did. But hey, it's not important who did what, just the fact that we did it. The girl sitting next to Sara did a basket of fruit and did a beautiful job, I might add, obviously an artist. It was really intimidating to Sara, I on the other hand didn't give a crap. I love my little anchor and will be trying this again, in my own house taking the time I think it requires, also where I can copy someone elses ideas (naturally we purchased the ivory keys so we could do it at home). And the third class was Rae Iverson's and it was fabulous. A fish etui...unbelievable...simply unbelievable. I can't wait to stitch it (I plan to start right after Christmas). Anyway, we had a marvelous time and Rae and Ron are wonderful hosts. And this year, you could hear a pin drop in our classrooms. I spoke about a group last year who talked during many of the classes so I wanted everyone to know that isn't the norm. And of course we had a ball at the trunk shows. Money just flew out of our wallets...and we didn't even care. This year we had a couple of our stitchers at this retreat...Bernadette Mathews and Beverly Ludy attended and I believe I saw Bernadette carrying the goodie bag from Jamboree into the Halloween banquette. Glad it got some use. Bernadette is use to stitching pictures so I'm sure a weekend of "smalls" was an interesting turn of events for her. Sara noticed her Jane Timmer piece during the Sunday brunch on display with the other items people brought in for show and tell. Good for you Bernadette. I hope they loved the weekend as much as Sara and I did. I had a couple of stitchers remind me to ask questions first regarding lobster for dinner, but I have to tell you...I ordered the lobster dinner from a restaurant with the "market price" where price usually is and after ordering it the waiter bent down and sort of whispered in my ear, "the price of the lobster will be $62.00 tonight" and stitchers, that's the way the waiter in Nashville should have informed me of the $272 price last year. While I will pay $62.00 I swear I will never pay $272 again. I might be over the Nashville fiasco by now except Peggy and Pat from Fern Ridge brought me a precious lobster pin at Jamboree with a little price sticker hanging from it that said, $272, so I can now never forget what I paid for that dinner. Anyway, lovely time was had by all and we almost got home without incident. As we were driving home, Sara used my credit card for gas and handed the card back to me. Of course by the time we hit Ocean City, and Sara was filling up for the final time, I couldn't find the credit card. I really was certain that she had returned it, but I just couldn't come up with the card so thought perhaps it had dropped outside. I was in quite a state and swearing I was canceling the card the minute I got in the house. So, when I arrived home I first went to the bathroom and while in there moved in a way that allowed me to feel something hard in my bra and low and behold there was the missing credit card. Of course, then I remembered I put it in there because bending over to get my wallet while in the car was just too difficult and I needed to know it was safe....once in my bra vault believe me it's safe. Anyway, credit card mystery solved...trip completed...time to get back on track.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm rested and ready....

That's right folks, I've rested up after back to back retreats, and boy did we need a rest. But what fun we had. I've already talked about the Delaware Valley retreat so today it's about the Jamboree, where 55 stitchers converged for a weekend of classes, fellowship, food and laughs. The stitchers began arriving on Wednesday prior to the event with teachers arriving on Thursday to give us time to get the trunk shows in place. Roger and Ann barely got through the door when I sprang into action. I called the stitchers and told them Roger was about to unveil his hand carved pinkeeps, rulers, etc., and we needed to grab what we wanted. I was thrilled to have grabbed his mermaid ruler, mermaid pinkeep, the cutest little squirrel pinkeep, oh, my it just goes on. The stitchers, Sara and I managed to put a dent in his inventory before he had time to get a display of them up, and he had plenty. And Catherine Jordan's trunk show was extraordinary. She had her hand dyed fabrics, her mini cards, journals, paints, it was fabulous I tell you. And then we also had the Olde Colonial trunk show. It was a wonderful display of new and old. And then there was Fern Ridge. I was so use to seeing their peyote stitch needle fobs, I forgot they also did needlebooks which were done in cross stitch. I'm going to stitch the needlebooks and Sara's doing the fobs. Here again the stitchers went nuts for Fern Ridge. Pat and Peggy were so much fun you were carried away with their enthusiam. They also refused to leave anyone behind so during class they were very hands on to each and every stitcher. The same was true of Cathern Jordan who make sure each stitcher was given help. Several of the stitchers completed their peyote fob while here and Phyllis Y. finished her fob and the Catherine Jordan painting on linen project before she left (she was here until Wednesday after the retreat). This was a first for most of the stitchers. Usually stitching is done but nothing complete to take home. Perhaps that is why I was told by several stitchers that this was the best Jamboree ever! New techniques are always enjoyed whether you intend to use them again or not. Of course, Sara spent days cooking for the event, and I got my Lasagna here on time and Mary made the potato salad and pasta salad so we were right on track. As always, the stitchers surprised us with their own homemade goodies as well as wonderful items they purchased. Nelsa K. brought 5 bottles of wine which was so wonderful as we have wine at the event each night as the stitchers work on their projects (could explain why some of the stitchers spend the next morning tearing out stitches put in the night before). Pat E. brought her rice crispy cake and pumpkin bread, which was enjoyed by the other stitchers as well as by me (I am the official taster here at the hotel...explains so much doesn't it.) Cynthia Radley brought her cranberry & pumpkin breads. I just love these breads in the morning with butter on them (of course I'd want butter on them...couldn't eat them plain...oh, no, I never met a stick of butter I didn't love). Barbara C. left us a bottle of wine as she was leaving and Jodi K. brought her honeybun cake and sour cream walnut coffee cake (yummo). Kay O. brought us 3 loaves of sourdough bread. There again, I haven't met a bread I didn't enjoy and this bread was enjoyed by the family. So I thank all the stitchers who attended the event...we couldn't do it without you...thank you, thank you, thank you. I also thank those who brought the food and wine for others to enjoy, Nelsa, Pat, Cynthia, Jodi, Barbara, and Kay. Also a thank you to Cynthia R. And Crystal S. for my gift certificate to Sunset Grille, one of my favorite places to eat in Ocean City...delicious...and Ellen S. for the Jon Vodoo Doll she made me. I'm going to get a picture up as soon as Sara loans me her camera. It was too funny. She'll be taking orders I'm sure. It was gratefully accepted by us and enjoyed by all. You help make this event so successful. I did fail to hand out the evaluation sheets...sorry about that. I realize now that was a mistake as I got an e-mail from Catherine Jordan who ran into some of the stitchers at Jubilee and was told by someone that some of the stitchers didn't like her class. She was understandibly disturbed by this news and wrote me to apologize. I was floored that anyone said such a thing to her and astounded since Sara and I were told by many of the stitchers that this was the best one ever, because of the new techniques they learned. So for those who didn't enjoy the classes, we are sorry you didn't like them and I'm sorry I didn't give you evaluation forms to express yourself. I'll do better next time. I was thrilled to get the shop closed by 9:30 each night so I thought things were going smoothly. That and the weather that cooperated. While storms, rain and snow, were pounding the surrounding states, we sat dry and the sun was out for the weekend for us. We were surprised and thrilled that we missed that, although last week we made up for it with back to back Northeasters'. I'm telling you I've never seen Ocean City so bleak for so many days in a row (I'm sure that is an exaggeration, but I'm making a point). But this morning the sun came out again, the streets are dried up...I swear to God yesterday traffic was backed up so badly that Pat W. ran home to get me something and it took her 20 minutes to go to 6th street (2 blocks people) and back. And I know she didn't go anywhere else because when I went out it was still backed up from the bridge to 24th street. Apparently the bay backed up to Philadelphia Ave. in many spots and it was so bad around the bridge they had only one lane open...and the Route 90 bridge is closed so there was only one bridge open for everyone in town, and it was downtown. I felt like I was on the beltway going to D.C. But today the water has receded and the streets are dry and we are once again in control...although it is a chilly 44 least when I left home. But the weather man promises we are going back to 70 soon. About the time I leave for the Moss Creek Retreat, Wednesday or Thursday, depending on Sara. I've spent the last week getting ready to leave...paying bills, getting things straight in the office and the shops, and cleaning my house. All I can say about that is after back to back storms my front windows don't look like they've been touched by water...crap...I didn't like doing them the first time and now I have to do them again? Double Crap! But my dining room is completely done, from ceiling to floor, cleaned, dusted, mopped and every piece of polish pottery washed. I even had the fruit bowl filled, except Solomon grabs a piece each night before he goes home so now I'm down to 3 apples...but that's O.K. This morning before leaving for work I started tackling the living room. Oh, My, I'm embarrassed to say it was dusty and messy. I have put many of the stitching totes away this summer, but once again I find numerous tote bags stuffed to the gills with projects...when the hell am I ever going to have the time to finish this stuff? So tonight I move them all back to my stitching room. Although I've been working diligently on the Christmas Quaker piece, I did something I never thought I'd do. Yes, folks, I finally knit a stocking. I started a stocking to wear 2 summers's not finished and I believe I finally undid what I had stitched and wound it back into the ball again. We've been getting more and more yarns in and I saw a pattern for a Christmas stocking (sample for the store since every member in the family has a Shepherd's Bush stocking)..done in Magnum yarn which is a bulky bulky yarn. It's big and done in Green and Maroon it is perfect for Christmas. I stitched the main part with no problem sitting in the shop one day last week, however, I couldn't find Size 15 double point needles and that created a whole other boondoggle for me. But last night I knit my last stitch ( no easy chore since I didn't have #15 double points and had to use single needles and keep transferring stitches) and today it's hanging in the shop. I'm proud to have finally done a stocking and now I must rest. Of course now I feel ready to tackle even the most difficult project (isn't this where I went wrong before?) So it's hunt, hunt, hunt for a pattern I'm sure I'll regret picking. Tonight I shall start my Christmas stitching. I'd love to stitch everyone on my list a gift, but we know that is not going to happen, but I figure if I get started now perhaps I can get a few done in time. Well, I've got work to get done...bills to pay....banks to avoid...taxes to be other words I've got about 6 more hours before I can go home so I'll sign off for now and will talk to you later. Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oh, My God....the crack whore saga continues...

O.K., before I start with that let me say that last weekend we had the best time with the Ladies from the Delaware Sampler Guild. So Sara, Mary, Vernon, Brian and I want to thank all the Ladies who were here and gave us such a wonderful feeling for the weekend. There was no drama, just a whole lot of stitching and quite a bit of laughing. I won't mention names, but Theresa B. has certainly changed my view of her. She was so funny in the shop she just had me in stitches. I use to be intimidated by her because she always looked so coiffed, makeup, everything, just exquisite that I, in my tee shirt, and croc sandals was a little awed by the trouble she took everyday to look so elegant, and her work is unbelievable. She designs for herself and her guild...and her mind is a wonderous thing because her pieces are museum quality. She took the Whitman tin and designed pieces for it that you can't believe. So that too intimidated me...she's brilliant. But when she entertained me in the shop...well, she was just one of us and I had to fight hard not to pee on myself. (not sure I was successful in that but that's a whole other story). Jean M. was able to attend again this year and I spent the weekend trying to pull stuff out of her bag and out of her hands so she wouldn't be spending so much money, but she did an end run around me so I wasn't really successful with that. I was a bit under the weather and we decided the place for me to sit during the day was in the shell shop which wouldn't be as busy. But at night I was in Salty Yarns so I still got to mingle. They inspired me as they always do and I worked all weekend on the Quaker Christmas piece...Love It. Again thanks to all the ladies who made our weekend so perfect. As you know we are getting ready for our next big event, the Jamboree, which takes place this weekend. So I've been on the phones, etc., contacting vendors to get their new items here before the weekend...but we had to take a break today because it was our court date for the crack whores claim that Vernon threw her down a flight of stairs at the hotel and then threw her to the ground. First, surprisingly that bitch actually showed up for what I believe she felt would be her payday. But what disturbs me is our attorney had to get another attorney in the office to represent Vernon because she had a conflict on cases today. Fortunately, Jim is an attorney that we felt comfortable with so that wasn't a problem. But of course, we know how ridiculous this whole thing is and it really rankles me that others don't see it the same way. He said we had options..(1) we could settle it here today and move forward (2) we could ask for a jury trial (3) we could postpone. We really wanted it over with but when he indicated that if the judge believed this idiot Vernon could actually do jail time...he didn't think he'd get the 10 years possible (are you kidding me?), but he might do a week or so. I said, "Absolutely not...Vernon is not going to do time for something he didn't do." That didn't leave us with much though..postpone or jury trial, or both apparently. I don't understand how someone can make something up with no proof of anything and their word is given any credance. She told our attorney she would go away for what amounted to approximately $500. Not only is she a crack whore...she's a cheap crack whore. Anyway, I refused to pay anything especially considering the bitch bounced the check we were given in payment of her room. When our attorney brought that up to her, she said she certainly didn't bounce a check...her check was cashed and Sara ran back to the hotel to get the bounced check, which miraculously I had put in the incident file so she knew where to look. When he showed her the bounced check and mentioned that we could go after her over that her response was..."Well let them." I really believe her brain is completely fried and at that point Vernon said, "postpone and let's go to a jury trial." So folks we got nowhere today and will still be reliving this nightmare guest another month. It is no wonder the things take so long with our court have crack whores prolonging things. Anyway, our saga continues. But on a brighter note, have you seen the new Just Nan "Noella's Christmas Berry"...oh my God...this is gorgeous. This is the best enameled box she's done. Without even stitching the berry it's a gorgeous box. A must have I'm telling you. I also loved the "Christmas Cheer" ornament which is also a bird. Beautiful! And the new Quaker Diamonds from Rosewood Manor...gorgeous and the Valdani thread packs are here as well for that piece. The fall colors are magnificent. Oops..UPS has arrived with 5-70pound cartons of new knitting I have to work. Good news is more charts also arrived. Talk to you later

Friday, October 2, 2009

I know it's been a while....but...

I'm old and tired...end of story. But today I had a 1st, and I do mean a 1st. I was in the office ordering more stuff than we know what to do with and decided to take a break and come into the shop. I wish I had stayed in the office. Poor Connie comes to me with a green bag that had seen better days and said, "Sally, this woman is in the shop and wants to return all this..." Now, all this was every one of the 9 Berlin Woolworks charts, fabric cut and she'd sewn on it, and the Kay's Creations frame she purchased to stitch it on. She presented the letter I had sent her when she ordered it..with the date...MAY 2006...on it. I looked at Connie and of course said, "What are you kidding me...she purchased this in 2006...3 years ago..3 years, 4 months ago to be more precise." Connie said, "I know that, but I don't know what to say to her." Renee was at the cutting table mumbling, "I know what to say...say no!" You know, we have the policy, (as does most any other shop that carry charts, fibers, cut fabrics, and open kits) that those items can't be returned and yet, people invariably try to return these things. They don't see that there are people who xerox the charts, people who cut what they need from a skein of floss,cut a piece of the fabric off and then return it..all of those are the reason we don't take things back. Then of course, I start feeling guilty, even though I don't even think we carry this particular series I said, I wouldn't take back the fabric, nor would I take back the Kay's Creation stand, because both had threads still on them that she put there. But I did take back the I happy, hell I think this was even bigger hell no, but I did say no cash would be changing hands...she could have a store credit. And what do we see her looking at...Ink Circles...Honestly she'll probably bring that back in 3 years. Anyway, she's got to do a whole lot of shopping since the return was $100. Now you can see why I'm not a happy camper. On the plus side....The Delaware Sampler Guild is here and I like this group of stitchers, so it's going to be a fun weekend. Right now they are chowing down at the reception so it's pretty quiet in here. But I wanted you to know I'm still alive and kicking and I've been ranting up a storm about that jackass Jon Gosselin and the Roman Polanski rape issue..I'll try to keep it off the blog, but it might just have to be said. And then there's Survivor and Russell..another jackass who needs to keep his big mouth shut, but we all know that those who think they are in charge will be going home on that show and I won't be sorry to see him go. Let's see what have I missed...oh my God, the Housewives of Atlanta...well they are just one hot mess those girls. Anyway...I've got to run...catch you tomorrow...thanks for stopping by.