Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oh, My God.....did it snow!

I'm not sure how many inches we got, but folks...we had an event. It started snowing around 8:30 a.m Saturday and stopped around 2:30 a.m. Sunday....and we have piles to show for it. Back in the 80's or late 70's we had a snow event which dropped 12 inches in one time and a day later added 6 more in comparison this was not that big a deal. But in 20 years we've had so little snow it really isn't worth mentioning until now. We ended up with perhaps 8 inches give or take and for us that is monumental. Plus with drifts...well in some places we could bury a dead body which wouldn't be found for some time....well a couple of days before this melts. Usually the 1 inch we get is melted in a day, but this should be hanging around for a couple of days with the temps in the 20's. Well, actually while the temperature was in the 20's this morning, by afternoon it was in the 30's - 40's, so the melting has begun. This morning I wanted to get pictures of the beach with snow on it for those who have asked if snow sticks to the beach and so regardless of the fact that alleys have not been plowed, and the plow only does a once down on our side streets, Michael and I got in the car to try to get to the hotel to get a shovel. Not a snow shovel since no one here bothers to own one of those, but we do use shovels periodically at the hotel after a northeaster' or a hurricane to rearrange sand. So we did well, we got through the mound put in front of my car by the snow plow, rode down to about 20th street on Philadelphia Ave., and came back to 8th to the hotel. But the alley snow was just too deep and I was afraid to get stuck so I backed back down 8th and went down 9th street so I could get pictures as the snow was none existent in places there. But when I started backing up to get back to the alley there, I got stuck and my wheels just spun. Let me preface what I'm about to say by stating I never use my emergency brake since we are in flat land country....there's no need for an emergency break. Anyway, Michael and I tried to dislodge the wheels but to no avail, so eventually I had to bite the bullet and call for Sara and Vernon to come get me out. Sara arrived first with shovels in hand and she started digging. You could smell the burning rubber (I think it was rubber) in the car so I knew I was doing nothing but balding my tires. Anyway, we struggled for a couple of minutes before Vernon arrived and he fiddled with the snow and tires and then told Sara to get in and drive, which she tried doing and then Vernon asked her if the emergency brake was off and low and behold...well, Houston, I think we found our problem and the source of our rubber smell. Once it was off we had no problem. I swear I didn't put it on....but anyway, the important thing here is I made the children laugh at me once more so who cares how I got going but I managed to get back home, park the car and swear to everyone I wouldn't go out again until the roads were cleared...whenever that is going to be. And while they were here at my house they shoved the walkway, stairs and the now who's stupid? Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pictures I risked my life (well, I suppose I could have frozen to was in the 20's at that point) for. The first and last picture is taken in front of the comfort station on 9th street looking at the Alaska Stand. The second picture is the view of the ocean and the snow covered beach. The third picture is the boardwalk at 9th looking north. You can see how it drifts here with snow mounding in places and non-existent in others. Yesterday I started my day flitting from the living room sofa stitching to my stitching room where I am still unpacking totes and organizing supplies...this appears to be a never ending job. Anyway, I'd do that for about 1 hour and then go back to stitching...that is until around 2:30 when I heard a knock on my door. And there stood Michael and C.J. with my 3rd grandchild on his way along with his parents. My stitching came to an abrupt end and caos ensued. But it was fun caos as always when the grandchildren are here. And a couple of hours later I sent them on their way with come of the Leak and Potato soup I made Saturday morning anticipating a cold day. Michael wanted to spend the night so after short negotiations with his mother we went out in the storm to pick up his clothes and some games. The short drive told me that no one and I do mean no one should have been out in the storm. The roads were at that point unplowed and becoming inpassable. Anyway we came right home and hunkered down for the duration. Sunday, after summoning Sara and Vernon they made Michael go home to give me a day off again, and I spent most of the day stitching. I've almost finished my Stitcher's Treasure Box...Yippee!!!! I've started some finishing work as well and I've also been back to the organizing. Yes, I've managed to make the time off meaningful. I've stayed busy...but best of all I've stayed in my P.J.'s. I hope you are having as much fun as I to you later.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Whoppee!!!!! Snowing, it's Snowing....

Yes folks, it finally arrived. Honestly I've been looking for this big Winter storm since late last night, finally gave up and went to bed. I was like a kid who didn't want to go to school...and woke up this morning at 5:05 a.m., checked outside and still no snow. By 7:30 I was thinking, crap I have to go to work. Now since I work in a needlework shop this isn't that much of a fact I love being in Salty Yarns, but it's disappointing to never get snow days, especially when they keep promising. So I fell asleep for a moment on the sofa, woke up and thought, well, I might as get ready to go in but when I turned around and looked out...oh, my's started and snow is finally falling. know what that means...Salty Yarns is closed for the day and my behind can be found still in my P.J's and sitting on my sofa....stitching. Oh, my Gosh, think how much I'm going to get done...all to get started...check on you later.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Won't be much longer....

My first UFO leaping toward completion in 2010, is more than 1/2 done and I couldn't be more thrilled. I was blog hopping last night and was so inspired by all the stitching going on. The finished pieces I saw were inspiring, of course my problem is I already have too many UFO's to begin a new piece at home and it's killing me. But with "The Stitcher's Treasure Box" more than 1/2 done, I can at least start looking forward to another project. There are so many things I want to stitch and they are all waiting for me in my stitching room....taunting me every time I walk through the sewing room door. I've been working to get the "piles" put away in the room and keep running across more projects that are calling my name. I simply cannot wait to get another project underway. I might just have to tackle a small project just to have that instant gratification when a project gets finished quickly. Anyway, I'm stitching up a storm, and my goal is to have my Treasure Box done in 1 week. Since Sara abandoned me for a couple of days, I decided Mary and I deserved a break from work and we went to lunch. This is the view we had...which many of you will recognize since it is from our "go-to" restaurant (Sunset Grille) and one we recommend to everyone. Had a great lunch and then it was back to work. Since at 61 I've got the attention span of a gnat (not true of all 61 year old people...just me) and kept distracting myself by constantly checking to see if Hoffman had put up their new weekly list. I did this for about 1/2 hour, checking every few minutes and cursing up a storm until I realized it was Thursday, not Friday which is when they put the list out. To pacify myself, I started looking at stitching blogs. After 1/2 hour of that I decided to get home and start stitching, but I made a run to the post office and passed this garden and just had to show it to you. I don't know who rents this unit, but I have to ask, "Do they really believe it looks like spring?" To each their own, but oh, my. I wish I had taken the picture of the little garden at Christmas as they had poinsettias out. I'm not sure you can really see it, but their porch is loaded with baskets loaded with more flowers. Well, I should be embarrassed to mention any of this as I kill every plant who ever had the misfortune to end up in my house. I refuse to take them anymore. Since Sara is no better, we take all the greens from the hotel and put them in an apartment and one of the men working here waters and tends them until Spring when we move them back outdoors. Perhaps I should just go to Michaels and forget the live plants. As you can see from the photos, our weather was gorgeous today, in the low 50's and sunny and bright. Could spring be far away? Oh, My God, I've got Paula Dean on the T.V. while I'm typing and she's eating a banana crepe...oh, my God...I think I have to eat something. Before I forget, got a letter from Weeks Dye Works and they have gone Green and now they are going Colorfast. That's right, they have recently implements a new dyeing process so that their fibers will be colorfast based on industry standards. But there will be a transitional period so check the tags on the fibers first because the new tags will say Colorfast. If you don't see Colorfast on the tag, that means the new fibers aren't in that store yet. We are busy counting down the days now...first there is our Superbowl Sale weekend which brings 2 groups down for retreats and we are really looking forward to seeing some of our old friends again. Makes such a wonderful weekend for us. Then around February 16th we're off to Nashville market which is such a good time. Exhausting, but exciting...we get to see all our designer friends and all the new goodies. Then when we arrive back home our Mary checks into the hospital to have her second child by C-Section. So February is going to be a busy time for us. I'm a wreck at this point because I've been appointed to arrive at Mary's at 4:30 a.m. so she can get to the hospital by 5:30a.m. which is when her doctor informed her she had to be there. Now does that make sense to you, because it sure doesn't to me. But who the hell am I to question the doctor...well actually I'm the one waking up and goint up a floor to Mary's apartment and then I'm the one that will have to deal with Solomon who is definitely going to be a screaming manic when he realizes neither his father nor his mother is home. I so don't look forward to that. Sara was going to keep him overnight because he loves Michael so much, but Mary doesn't think that will work so it was back to me. I'd rather go in and give birth (at least I think it may be less painful than dealing with a screaming 2 1/2 year old, not sure I'll let you know.) Got to run...have a great night.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sometime life just sucks!!!!

My brain hurts from trying to figure out everything being thrown at me lately, but I just have to say....The Post Office never ceases to amaze me....and not in a good way. I mail all our orders through the postal service because it is cheaper to mail that way and it saves my customers money. I am able to figure out postage by going to their web site...very easy, so I am able to package and stamp and then just take it to the post office and put it in their box outside. Once Sara took a package down and came back and told me I didn't put enough postage on the envelope and she had to make up the difference. I asked if she put the bag in the box outside or took it in. She said she took it in and I told her never to do that. As long as we put it in the outside box it went with the postage I put on it. I knew if people had to pay postage on their end they would have let me know. I could never figure out why it cost more to hand it to the postal employee than to just drop it in the box outside. And today....I got the answer to this mystery. I took in a mailing bag being shipped to Australia. According to the website the postage for this bag started out at $63 for Global 3 day (are you kidding me?) to $13.00 for express box, but they had no mailing bag amount so I took it in. I am told it would cost $4.90. I asked how that was possible since according to the web site it was a lot more. We had quite the discussion and so I brought up the mystery of my putting on postage and sticking it in the box for a lot less than what they say it would be if I brought it into the post office. The gentlemen behind the counter then says, "You probably sent it first class. We're not allowed to tell you first class shipping. We're only allowed to tell you Priority." You can imagine my expression as I tried to understand what the hell he was talking about. Then the woman who was handling my transaction whispered, "If he (the postmaster) isn't standing behind me I always tell the customer about first class shipping." And they wonder why people aren't using the post office as much. First class and priority usually get there in the same amount of time, I have found, so why pay the higher amount? Honestly, what the hell is wrong with this world. Always out to screw someone. Then I'm in a fight with my neighbor who I cannot tolerate. This guy would lie, cheat or steal and not lose a minutes sleep. Not my neighbor where I live but the neighboring property to the hotel. Since this guy purchased the property he just does whatever he feels like doing until we catch him and then he acts like he doesn't understand a word you are saying. When he first built he was told by the city that he didn't have enough parking spaces and they wouldn't give him his permit to open. He comes to me and wants me to say I sold him part of my property so he can get the permit. He was willing to pay me to lie so he could get his permit..a total disregard for rules. He's broken through our fence between the buildings twice, and each time said he didn't know who owned it. Well if it's on my property a damn good chance I own it. Then Vernon walks out on Friday last week and they have scaffolding up on our property. They built the hotel 1 inch from their property line, so anytime they want to do something they have to come onto our property. From the beginning, when we use to let them come on to repair, they have had a total disregard for our property. They painted and got paint on the cars of our tenants, to say nothing of splattering paint all over our decks, etc., they bent the awning poles on one of our apartments (I have no idea what they were doing), the gate's been broken twice when they wanted to get inbetween the property (of course with only 1 inch left on their property line they had to come over onto ours. They park in our lot instead of theirs, regardless of the fact that we have a chain across the parking area (they just unhook it and pull in and park) and the list just goes on and on and on. Let's face it, I didn't like them from the get go. They don't donate to anything including the school systems. Every business in town is hit up by the school kids for donations...and they were asked to donate t-shirts for a school raffle (they have upteen t-shirt shops in town) and they refused. While everyone has a right to donate to whomever they wish, the community is important to all of us. Our schools, our children, we need to help them all. Even though my children are no longer in school, I still donate. It doesn't matter whether or not my children or grandchildren are in a particular school, when asked I donate. This is my community, I want to keep it strong. Anyway, these people do not feel they owe the community anything. And then they rip off the tourist which I really can't tolerate. And I don't mean by upping their prices...they have some very questionable practices. But it is really their total disregard for others and their property that makes me want to scream. Anyway, Vernon went over to one of the workers and said they had to stop what they were doing as they were on our property. Now, when they first put up their property, they pissed me off by building up to 1 inch from their property line. This gave them no room to put the treatment on the cement wall so they could paint it. But as usual they just tried to put the treatment on the wall, however, the stuff they use was wider than 1 inch. So when they started putting it on I noticed they came over the property line and told them they had to take off what they had put on and stop the work, and then they had to finish this side without the final layer because that brought them over the property line. They had to finally just paint the cement and not finish the process. Well, living near the ocean is really tough on wood, metal and even cement. What they have found is that 8 years later the salt in the air has eaten through the cement and now when it rains it is leaking through into the rooms. So now they have got to repair this wall and get the coating on the outside wall. So according to him, he found a 1 inch sheet of whatever the hell it is he has to put on the wall and then paint to prevent any further leaking. So he just starts the process, breaking through the fence and putting up scaffolding, regardless of the fact that he never came to me (once again) to ask permission. So Vernon went out and stopped the entire process. So they call in the big guns (who I dislike the most) and he starts talking his gibberish to Vernon telling him he has to do this and we have to be good neighbors...uh, good neighbors don't break their neighbors fences....etc., etc., etc. He can't understand why I have such a bug up my butt when it comes to him....and let me say this...I get along with all the other neighbors, foreign or not, so it has nothing to do with his nationality. Anyway, Vernon comes to me and says, why don't you just tell him it will cost him some money, charge him and make a buck off of it. Well, first I don't want anything to do with him, but the graffiti on his wall is a bit disturbing to me since it faces our building, so to get rid of him I throw out $10,000 (almost the amount to get a new roof on one of our smaller buildings which does need to get replaced and I don't have the money to do it now). Vernon looks at me and says, $10,000 you have got to be kidding...I was thinking of $5,000. He's never going to pay that. To which I responded, "I don't give a darn if he pays or not...that's the price." Well, unbelievably, he agreed to the price (damn it) and then he goes to his attorney who then draws up a contract. So yesterday Vernon brings me the contract, which of course I wouldn't sign as this contract says he can come on my property any damn time he feels like it to repair his wall. Apparently he felt that the amount should give him lifetime rights. Whoa....not so fast...jackass. It gives you a one time walk on, and 1 1/2 months to do the repairs. As of March 15th your ass better be off my property. Also no work starts until the check is cashed. Well, I have the attorney's check in hand (he's one of the better attorney's in town so I know it won't bounce), so now this jackass is on my property until March 15. When he saw all the changes on the contract he freaked, but knew he had no choice. I just know this isn't going to end well, however, his attorney kept explaining to him what the changes were and how this was a one time allowance, and he has to be off by March 15th. He was nodding that he understood, but come March 15th I'm sure he'll be saying he didn't understand that. I may get that new roof paid off yet! But I won't have a good day again until he's off, I say off the property. I hope your day is going better than mine. I did get more work done on my Stitcher's Treasure Box. I'll take a picture tonight and show you my's exciting...the end is near. Have a great day!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


That scream you just heard was me celebrating the fact that I think I finished changing over the shipping calculator...yes, I think I'm done!!! Of course we still ship using actual costs so the calculator doesn't mean anything to least as long as the shipping it calculates is over the actual. If it's under the actual we eat the difference so in that case that's what you'd pay. Anyway, it's a great relief to have it done and now I can move on. I've been updating the web site, you may have noticed, so you are going to see some of the items that came out before Christmas...but I've got to get them up so please be patient with me. Today is actually a "snow" day for reality it's a rain 9:30 a.m. it was raining sideways and the wind would blow you across the street so I made an executive decision and decided to close for the day. Sara could be heard 2 streets away screaming and dancing for joy when I called her to say, "Stay in your jammies...we're not opening." I immediately sat down to work on a project that is a gift so I can't show it here yet, and I did Queen Stitches (240) until I thought I'd loose my mind. I really don't mind doing them....but 240...well even I have my limit. Anyway, the project is completed which means I now have to do the finishing (crap...not my strong suit). I was so concentrated on the project and getting it done, when I finally thought it was time for lunch I found it was 1:50 p.m. How the hell did I miss lunch. And then the question, do I eat lunch this late or do I just wait for dinner. Normally you would think I'd go for the lunch, but if I kept stitching I would be able to get this project done so I continued to stitch. Now I have a headache and I'm nauseous, but I'll live through it. Then I looked around the house and thought perhaps I should do a little housework...just so they don't condemn things here...although after watching Hoarders on T.V., I feel like I'm a neat freak! Honestly, I know I've talked about this show before, but I really seriously don't know how these folks live in the mess. We all have our little quirks, but whoa, mind would completely shut down with all that clutter around me. It's about to shut down when I'm in the stitching room/computer lab I have here at the house. Now that the rest of the house has been cleaned up and everything put away, all furniture in place and excess moved stitching room remains the last room to be straightened up. During Christmas it became my gift wrapping station (it's a great multipurpose room) I've got tissue paper, boxes of all sizes, shopping bags I refuse to throw away, and 7 bags of ribbon and bows all that need to go somewhere. I did clean out one closet and load all the Christmas gift wrapping supplies in there, even though I couldn't bring myself to throw very much steps, baby steps. I did manage to take several things out of Michael's oops, the boys room, and bag it for the church opportunity I'm slowly getting rid of things, but my to deal with the totes loaded with kits, fabric, floss, books, leaflets, and God only knows what else. I need an intervention. Monday Sara was returning charts, fabric, etc., back to stock that have been sitting in totes in the office (I plead the 5th as to how they ended up there) and just as fast as she was returning the items into stock, I was sitting in front of the "New" rack pulling off charts, kits, etc., and putting them in a new tote (I got in the mail,) and while I'm not certain I have to have these items...I just have to take them home and look at them a little bit more before I make any final decisions. Just what I need, more stuff at home. Well, it's now Tuesday and the sun is shining brightly so it looks like I'm bound for work. So I must say so long for to you later.....have a great day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The sun is out's a glorious day!!!

OMG...they are saying it should get up to 50 today and the sun is shining so bright you need sunglasses...a glorious day to behold. And now back to business. While it is hard to imagine what this project will look like, you can see a picture of it completed by the company on our web site..."Just add Tinsel". Here is my work in progress. The top picture is the outside cover of the box in the works....the other three pictures are of the smalls which I decided to stitch first to give myself the encouragement to finish the box. I love working on this piece and save working on it for when I'm in the shop. At home I work on something completely different....A Stitchers Treasure I'm loving my stitching right now in the shop and at home. If you have looked at the completed design shown here you may wonder why my needlebook is done in 2 pieces instead of one piece and I could kick myself but
that is my fault and I've decided to make it work and finish the two pieces separately and then join them together as I don't want to have to restitch it. I was so interested in making the best use of the piece of fabric I didn't notice that the needlebook was suppose to be in one piece (as most of them are). The Star shape will be a reindeer pinkeep, the red birds are a scissor fob. Each piece is stitched back and front. The tree box is stitched on the top, and inside bottom and all outside pieces. It's guaranteed to be an interesting finish...just hope I'm up for the challenge. I'm scared but it's not going to keep me from finishing it. We got the latest Just Nan in yesterday... White Heart Humbug. It's really pretty, delicate in appearance and very wintery, especially with the snow pin stitching in it. The snowflake pin is only available with this piece, not sold separately so you might want to take a look at it and order if you, like I, are a collector of the Just Nan Garden Pins. We also got in the Snowy Owl pin which is very pretty. It appears as if it has been snowed upon, a glossiness to it. Anyway, a fine addition to the set. We actually had a few stitchers in yesterday....and some who weren't stitchers. And we also had, "I need a spring scene, where would I find that." Sara just looked at me, I shot her the look that says, "Please help me from killing myself," and then tried to narrow down the choices by asking for more specifics, which the person was unable to give me so I finally just had to say, "To tell you the truth, every rack probably has spring on it since each designer does spring and
we rack by designer." I'll be honest here, I feel as a true stitcher that I would never ask that question until after I had searched a little bit. I would also have a few more specifics and not that I needed a spring piece or I needed something to fit a 5" x 7" frame (you know that also annoys me). But going into a shop our size and asking for something so generic means someone is going to have to search every rack and point out every spring item...wouldn't it be less trouble just to search yourself? And if you are a true stitcher wouldn't you want to search yourself. Now after looking through a couple of racks I can understand if you need to move faster and then come up with specifics like a spring garden, a farm in the springtime, a bouquet of spring flowers, anything...but not a spring piece and that's it. I don't think that's asking to much. That would be the same as going into the book store and asking if they have any books about little girls. Just too wide a topic...narrow it down if you are going to ask in any store. Thank you! We do try though, we do a search on Hoffman's site to find the topics and which books they are and then check our computer to see if we have them in stock. I don't mind working, it's just I need some specifics. We're also getting excited about our Superbowl event coming up. We have our usual group from Pennsylvania here for the event as a retreat...and their numbers seem to grow each year and we love these girls because they are a hoot. And Kay Fletcher and her stitchers will be here, and hopefully Kay will be able to make it (which would mean her husband is doing well)...we're keeping our fingers crossed. It's a non-stop party weekend. Jody King called yesterday to question the date of our Spring Retreat. Every few years, (3 years ago it also happened) this event falls on Mother's Day weekend, and this throws some of the stitchers off a little. I personally feel that a retreat is the best gift any mother could receive, but apparently my thinking is not yours. But for all you can still come to the retreat and be home Sunday in time to go to dinner with your mother, or your family. We do so much as mothers for our families, we also need time for us. This is it. A weekend without having to do for others, it's all about stitching, getting together with friends and having fun. Ask your husband to pay for it as a gift for you...I think that makes sense! But if you can't attend, we'll miss you and hope you join us again next year. But before that takes place we have our Jane Timmer weekend the weekend after Easter this year. Most have already either started their stitching or have already finished their stitching. If you have not started, just make sure you have it done by April (plenty of time left right now) as this is a pre-stitch class. Also make sure you have your box preference in to Jane asap. In any event...I'm late for work....I'll talk to you later. Have a great day!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Martin Luther Kings Day!

Ocean City was busy this past weekend as it usually is on a 3 day weekend, but this was also the weekend of Camp Wannastitch and there was a scrapbook convention in town at the same hotel, The Clarion. We were grateful that many of the stitchers and a few of the scrapbookers managed to find their way to our shop. They kept Sara very busy cutting fabric and finding charts, and as for me, well, I managed to sit through most of it....stitching on my "just add tinsel" project. I am so excited about this project and know that the finishing is going to test my patience, but I am not letting it deter me from the project. I'll try to get a picture of it up tonight. Here you see Linda Wimbrow who came in to stitch Friday, Saturday and Sunday...she was missing her husband who has been in Costa Rico for the past 2 weeks surfing. Then there's Greg who stops by on Sundays to stitch and eat (this week he brought a delicious lemon cake...loved it!), and if you look closely you will notice there is no needle or thread in his hand but he wanted you to think he's stitching. He actually is usually stitching but he momentarily lost his needle when I decided to take pictures. Then there's Stacy Stinson checking out the racks while Sara helps a Camp Wannstitch stitcher with fibers. We had a fun day inspite of the rain...all day...rain! And last night there was not only a torrential rainfall (the water was running down the streets as there was no where else for it to go there was so much of it), but we also had thunder and lightning. It was a gulley washer as my grandmother use to say. But this morning, a little overcase but no rain. So with schools out, banks closed and the post office closed, we shall be in the shop once again...stitching, watching moves and chatting. Hopefully a customer or two will come by to give us something to do otherwise this is going to be one of those long days. Well, the day was long, in fact we had only a couple of customers until 3:00 p.m. and then we held out breath hoping they didn't stay past 4:00 p.m. Fortunately for us all they shopped, purchased and managed to get out by 4:00...thank God, I'm not sure I could have stopped Sara from ushering them out the door. On the plus side, today was gorgeous...40's, sunny and little or no wind. So I have to say our 3 days weekend was a success. We stitched the entire day...when I wasn't grabbing charts to put in my stash. My "Just Add Tinsel" is coming right along...I'll have pictures for you tomorrow. Have a great night and keep on stitching.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another Weekend!

Jen's Stitch 'n Bitch ornament, each person's initials and the back dated...done 14 times so each person at our December 2009 dinner would get one.....can you believe that? I couldn't possibly even attempt that...I'd never get more than 2 done.
With all the stitched ornaments, I may just have to get a bigger tree next year. Today it's suppose to get up to 50 degrees...after weeks of 25 or less, this is going to be such a treat...I can't wait. I'm particularly thrilled for the Camp Wanastitch stitchers who arrive in town today for a weekend of stitching. While this is not our event, anytime a group gets together to stitch is a good thing so I hope they have a wonderful, relaxing, and fun weekend. Sara and I ran up to Annapolis to return Christmas gifts this week and I'm excited to tell you that I found the proper bathrooms so I didn't embarrass Sara this time by using the men's room. Of course, this time all the doors were closed so I could determine which was which. I didn't have to return anything, but I felt it was important that Sara not make the drive alone (and of course there's always a chance to eat at one of our favorite spots, Cheesecake Factory. While I forgot to take pictures at Stitch 'n Bitch, I did get pictures at the restaurant....There's my Sara enjoying her salad, and the second picture, I wanted it documented that I don't eat everything put in front of me... I ordered the sliders this time and actually left 1 slider and french fries. I mean I do think this action should be awarded, perhaps by a piece of cheesecake. But that I even managed to do without. Could this mean something? Could it be possible that I'm actually watching what I eat (hardly with fries and hamburgers) or could it just mean that I had an eclair on the way to Annapolis. Crap, that was it...I had an eclair and not just one little one, but a nice size eclair and was it good. Anyway, that helped fill me up early. But let's focus on the main thing here...I left food on my plate and that's a good thing...please try not to mention that I didn't eat the green stuff and obviously ate the fries....I'm a work in progress.
But in the end we had a pleasant day and that's always a good thing. To round out our afternoon away, I mentioned to Sara that Cottonseed Glory was in the area somewhere so we got out the GPS and found we were very close to it so off we went. Oh, My what a fabulous quilt shop that is. The problem, naturally, was that we didn't plan this out ahead of time so neither of us had our projects which needed fabric with us so we were shopping blind. And you know that is never a good thing. But I found some Moda fabric, which of course I buy whether I need it or not and found several fat quarters for use on Americana projects and then some Halloween fabric I didn't have.
Sara found a few she liked and then we were off. But I suggest if any of you are in Annapolis, near Annapolis, bypassing Annapolis, veer off and go to this quilt shop. Fabulous!!!! And the final picture is my progress on "My Stitching Treasurers". I know I should be further along, well the truth is I should be finished by now, but anyway I'm getting there and it's exciting. If you have done this piece you will see a color mistake that was made at the top, but frankly I refuse to rip out anymore over one so that mistake will live on forever. I've learned to get over it. Or as others have said, "Mine will be unique." (that's what we all say when we make color changes). We had Stitch 'n Bitch on Tuesday night, where I forgot to take pictures, and we were minus a few people but still managed to have 10 of us there. And Kay Fletcher made it down from Silver Spring with Jackie, even though Kay's husband has been battling cancer and she's been so focused on that she hasn't been down for a while. We're all keeping our fingers crossed for them and pray for his quick recovery. Joyce Carter was missing in action due to a leg problem and then we found out she has been in the hospital at Christmas time...can there be a worse time? Anyway, we're also keeping our fingers crossed that Joyce is back in the fold for the next meeting. Stitch 'n bitch is always interesting because someone usually brings in show and tell. And Tuesday was no different. Sara had her Noelle there and Jennifer brought hers in to visit. Hedy brought a couple of pieces in, one of which was a Heart in Hand santa...cute, cute, cute. And several of the girls were working on their Jane Timmer projects for the upcoming class. I am certain this is one class where everyone will have each piece stitched prior to class. Sara supplied the snacks....good eats . And that brings us to Friday....which is undoubtedly the best day of the week. Last day of work and the beginning of of our fabulous weekend.....yes, it just doesn't get any better unless it is the last day you ever work and then begin retirement...yea, that would be the best day ever. So I guess this is the 2nd best day ever, unless you are having a baby tomorrow...well, that really isn't the best's the best gift you give yourself, but not the best day for the person giving birth....oh crap....Friday is just a good day. Talk to you on Saturday which is the best day of the weekend.

Did they say snow again?

Well, they may be saying snow late tonight (never in a million years will be see it twice) but this was my view on Sunday. The sun was out, the beach was beautiful as was the ocean. And the only people you can see for miles is a parent and their child walking the beach. It's still a little cold for people to be out and walking the boards. But this is the view from the shop.
Then you see Greg MacCord who comes to stitch with us almost every Sunday. This week he bought a delicious apple crumb cake to share with us. Needless to say between the cake and the piano fart app he was the most popular person in the shop...the next picture was his audience who couldn't get enough of his humor. Meanwhile, once we got down to stitching you can't believe all Greg has in his bag. He's developed his own system, called Sassy for storing all his "stuff"...the only problem is we can't remember what the initials stand for....but he's more organized than most women. He's currently working on the Sarah Elliott Box and has finished the top and is now working on the scissor sheath I think. He's doing a fabulous job on this and it will be a masterpiece once he's finished. Meanwhile I'm still working on the Blue Ribbon Tree Box with smalls...still love it. I'll get a picture up soon on that. Sara is still trying to get her Jane Timmer piece done for the April class...she's going to make it I just know it. We have Stitch 'n Bitch tomorrow night...I'll e-mail you to let you know how it went...and more importantly what everyone is working on.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Countdown begins.....

February 6 & 7, 2010...official dates for our Superbowl Sale. So get your items ready, call it in, come on in, send up a smoke signal (and then call us because I won't be able to read the smoke)...anything..just contact us and get your discount during that weekend. I'm sure the shopping cart shipping will be done by then so you can use it as well. I'll be catching up with items going on the web site as well in the next month so keep checking back. Today Linda Wimbrow got bored at home...her husband is surfing in Costa Rico and Candi is away with her fiance on vacation on the hot beaches of Cancun so she decided she'd spend the day with Sara and me. She's working on the Big Round piece from Bent Creek and as you can see she doesn't have a whole lot left to stitch. Sara is showing off her new Trollbeads Bracelet and necklace. She has more fun just playing with the beads and charms. And the Bird with the strawberry was Sara's Christmas gift from me. I just love these Just Nan enamel boxes. I've got her entire collection starting with the Ladybug, then the Bee and finally Noelle, the Christmas bird. Love them! The enamel boxes are heavy and really well made. Nan designs just the right "thing" to tuck inside them. Nice Collection. While you can no longer get the ladybug, the bumblebee is still available as well as Noelle. I've actually seen the ladybug enamel boxes in a catalog, so if you wanted that one you would have to find someone with the chart or design a little something yourself. Anyway, fun pieces. Got to run...have a great to you soon.

Cold but beautiful......

Today is sunny and beautiful, but the temperature is
really really cold....which I'm sure most of you can relate to since I do think we are all suffering alike. Above you see some of the ornaments I was given this year. The first and third were from my Secret Santa, Joyce Carter, who I have to say has stitched some truly beautiful ornaments over the years for me and is largely responsible for my being able to put up a tree with nothing but stitched it! The middle ornament on the top row was stitched by Beth Jernigan and I also love it. Bargello has always been one of my favorite stitches. While I don't use it alot in Cross Stitch, I used it a lot when I did needlepoint. While I was able to stitch it quickly, back in the day, I notice I have a harder time when using the stitch in Counted Cross Stitch. Below the first row of ornaments, you see my progress on "My Stitching Treasures"....I couldn't be more thrilled with the progress, however I have had to rip out quite a bit (in my opinion). The bargello section in this I had to restart I can't tell you how many times....what happened to my brain for God's sake? I can't remember having this much trouble with bargello. That's why Beth's ornament means so much more to me....I envy her being able to stitch it and then getting it finished. Finishing onto a ball couldn't have been that easy either. Back to "My Stitching Treasures", I'm sorry I didn't stitch this along with everyone else from my group. So far I have had to rip out the leaves on the border of the first part because I did them in the wrong color. Then after stitching the line which is the border around the block, it didn't match up to the top border which I did a while ago. However, as it turned out I made a mistake in spacing between the first row and the rest of the block therefore by ripping out that top border and redoing it I was able to correct things. Then I stitched the words, "My Stitching" using 2 threads which after looking at Joyce's model in the shop realized that should have been done with 1 thread, so that I ripped out. At this point I felt perhaps I should read the directions with each block. Just like a man I felt I could just wing it, but really ... it just saves time to read first and then stitch. While I did the grapes in 2 threads as well...I'm leaving that alone...kind of like the dimension. The block done in golds under the grapes I had to rip out because again, I screwed up the spacing. But after that I counted each space numerous times before stitching so I wouldn't have to rip as much. I love the over one on this piece and find that with my magnifiers I've had no trouble with it at all. I just can't wait to come home and stitch more. This is my at home project, I have a different project at the shop which I'll get a picture of as I plan on taking my camera with me at all times just in case. Well, I've got to get ready for work...oh, yea, updating the web site shipping...I'm through the C' I tackle the D's and E's. I'll be done in no time. Have a great to you soon

Friday, January 8, 2010

An Official Snow Day...Whoppee!!!!!

Oh, My God, when I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and looked out the window it was snowing, the car was under a cover of snow and while the main road was clear the side street was covered. Oh my, I thought...could it be we are going to get the snow day I so desire? I kept checking the snow snow about 1/2 hour until 5:30 a.m., at which time the news said schools were closed. Ah, yes, the words we long to hear. (of course I want to hear it since I have no children at home) Now it was time to get more sleep so I felt safe to return to bed. I then woke at 8:30 a.m. and I'm sure the School Board was sorry they couldn't wait longer since the snow was already going away and I looked out at 10:00 a.m. and frankly, there's little snow left. But for my purpose just that little bit, we got about an inch, did the job....snow closed. But obviously we will be there tomorrow. So today I'll spend doing more clean up in my stitching studio (I've elevated it to a studio instead of a room), do more computer work...I am moving along on the web site and have gotten through the "B"s changing the shipping information. So I'll continue with that and get some new items on the site. I hope you have a fun day as well, and perhaps you got your snow day as well...although many of you have had more than your share wouldn't you say? Have a great day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow day....

Well, technically there isn't a flake in the sky, however, I did hear the word "snow" on T.V., as a possibility tomorrow so what the heck, I'm just taking the day today, staying home, and getting my stitching room straightened out (this could take a few days). The picture on the right is the clutch purse Renee gave me for Christmas. She stitched the needlepoint insert and then had it put into a leather purse. Isn't it fabulous? How lucky am I to have friends who stitch such wonderful items for me? I feel genuinely blessed. Now I need somewhere to go in which I can carry it. Needless to say, it's much too nice for everyday use. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about a phone call I got. Two days ago I was sitting in the office juggling paperwork when I got a call from the hospital. The woman hesitatingly asked if anyone had called me regarding the upcoming stress test I was scheduled to take. I answered no and then she started stuttering and finally said what she called to say in the first damn place, "she called my insurance company for pre-approval and payment on the upcoming test and was told that my insurance didn't cover the test" to which I said, "Yes, I know they don't cover the test." This threw her off just a bit so there was nothing but silence and then she said, "well do you have any idea what this test costs." Mary (who was working in the office at the time and could hear the woman as I had my cell on speaker phone...embarrassingly enough...haven't figured out how to take it off speaker phone) turned and looked at me and I looked at her with a shocked expression on my face which read...oh, my much is this stinking test and how can I cancel it. So I told her no one had explained the cost to which she said, "well, the test cost $93 but you would be given a deduction of $1.80 for paying out of pocket." Thank God, I said because if I didn't get that $1.80 off I'd have had to take out a loan. I mean would you not have thought she was talking about a huge amount of money? Well I was thinking a $1000 for the test so the $93 with out the discount sounded cheap to me. So I went in yesterday at 7:30 in the morning for my stress test. I had never had one before so I was a little stressed out thinking about how long I would have to be on the tread mill. I use to walk on one every morning in my old apartment for about 20 minutes to 1/2 hour. Hard to believe but true. But those were my "I'm getting into shape days." I'm more in the "just let me lie here until I die" phase right now. So as I'm sitting there hocked up (and might I add that created a bit of stress with the man's cold hands hooking up wires around my boobage area), I could see that my heart rate was up a tad. If I had know they were looking for increased heart rate under exertion I could have just gotten in and out of the chair a few times. Anyway, they got me on the tread mill, explained what they are looking for, explained that if I felt I can't go any longer just tell them I had to get off and off I walk. As the tread mill is inclining and moving faster my breathing becomes heavier and I am thinking "I can do this...don't call it won't take long." And with that it was over as my heart rate had reached the projected target. I was on and off in less than 5 minutes....and that folks is not a good sign apparently. The doctor looked at me, smiled and said, "well, you did that 4 times quicker than you should have, and while everything looks fine, perhaps Curves would be a good thing for you." Wow, what a sweet talker he was. Yes I said, perhaps that is the answer, although I was thinking a better answer would be not to ask me to show up in the cold of the morning, before breakfast, to have cold electrodes put all over my chest and walk on the tread mill. Just because I'm fat doesn't mean I'm about to fall over dead, and really perhaps I'm alright with that. That's another good reason for taking today off. Yesterday was just too stressful, I need a day off. Although looking around this stitching room getting it in shape isn't exactly a day off. I'll mix this up with working on my UFO...Jeannette Douglas's "My Stitching Treasures". I've actually managed to screw up a couple of times and have to rip out, but I think I'm on track now and pretty darn excited about it. I'll try to bring you updates which has gotten easier as Sara gave me a new camera for Christmas (I think she was tired of me always borrowing hers). Anyway, I should be progressing a little quicker since I'm doing the "over two" work right now. I just have always loved this piece. So many of you have already finished yours so I feel very much left out of the loop. But what really prompted me finishing it is that I know Bob from Olde Colonial is trying to retire so I know the box won't be available that much longer....which means I had to get this done quickly. Well I could have just acquired the box and let it live in this room, but the point of straightening up is getting things out...not bringing new in. Anyway, I've cleaned a little, ate, stitched a bit and also had my nap. Yes it's been a full day of excitement for me...and instead of snow the temperature went up to 41 degrees. So I'll end here for today...tomorrow will bring new adventures, new stitching to be done and I'm up for that. Have a great night and I'll be talking to you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 5 of new Decade and I'm still here.....

Today's highlighted gift is Pat Weker's. Pat stitched a piece and then did an equally beautiful job of mounting it on a Salem box. I loved the verse, "With my two hands I stitch each day unto the Lord I softly pray, guide my needle fast and strong that I may stitch the whole day long. May every X be wrought with love with peace and patience from above." Isn't that what we all want with our stitching? And she choose my two favorite colors,
green and blue to stitch it in. I can't decide what I want to put in it, although for now I've managed to stick some beads and floss from a project in there. But I'm really thinking I would like to put smalls in there, perhaps make it my scissor box and have it hold all of my scissors with fobs in it. I just love to put these gorgeous pieces on my book shelves in the living room so that I'm able to see them every day when I come into the house. They are pieces of art to me and I like to display them for others to see as well.
Left work early yesterday so that I could get to my eye appointment. As it was, I could have closed at 4:00 and still made it in to his office and he wouldn't have had to wait. I don't understand it....the appointment was for 2:20. So I'm there waiting and I get called at 2:20 to fill out paperwork. Then I sit for another 20 minutes and then I'm called into another room where they do busy work for 5 minutes, throw some drops in my eyes (even though the only thing they were suppose to be doing was removing this thing from my eye lid), and then they move me to a new bank of chairs where I spent another 15 minutes and then I get called again to go into a different room where a new person puts more drops in my eyes and then tells me to sit in a new area with chairs where I sat for perhaps 5 minutes at which time I was called to go into yet another room. O.K., I feel like I'm at Disney World....don't keep moving me to distract me from realizing I'm been basically in the same place for 1 hour and I've yet to see the doctor. I see him walking back and forth picking up his phone, talking to the different "walkers" leading people to rooms and chairs and then finally he graces me with his appearance. It takes him a couple of minutes to look at the eyelid and proclaim he can indeed take it off, only not today of course, but an appointment will be scheduled, and he's off. And then we try to schedule something...of course he's way too busy in January, so we head to February where she picks, of course, Nashville time. So I tell her no, I won't be in town and so now I've moved into March, where I grab the appointment like a starving person. I have to his time so much more important than mine? I think not. I have a suggestion for you doc...don't try to schedule so many appointments in a day that you stay 1 hour behind. Or better yet, stop the chit chat in the hallways and get us out of here. I saw Greenie, Renee's husband, in the waiting room and he was so bored he slept for the first 1/2 hour I was there which meant I had no one to talk to since I didn't know any of the other 20 people sitting there...(I knew that wasn't a good sign when I arrived). Anyway, my usual sit time is 15 either have me in the chair and you are working on me or I'm out. But this was their first time with me so I thought I'd give him a break...but in March...well, let's just say...oh crap...I want to get this off my eyelid. Looks like I'm sitting and waiting no matter what. I guess his time is more valuable than mine...crap, crap, crap. Anyway, I've got to get ready to brave the temperatures one more time...and it's not as cold as the 20's but the wind isn't as I'll have to end here with a have a nice day. Tomorrow I'll be previewing Renee's gift to come on back. It's a beauty.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Could it get any colder?

Oh, My God....I'm telling you it's freezing, no it's below freezing down here with a wind chill of 10 degrees today. I spent the entire day trying to get warm and for me that's really unusual. Usually it's Sara who has trouble getting warm, but not anymore. The only warm spot was the bathroom where I put the heat on 70 degrees and it actually was. It was like going on vacation, only I don't have my library at the shop bathroom so I got a little bored. Since it's too darn cold to function we were really slow today, just saw a few people coming in for supplies before heading out of town. Linda and Candi called in but we told them to stay home due to the cold and Greg McCord didn't care what the weather was like he came in anyway so we had a great deal of fun talking to him, making fun of him working on his Sarah Elliott Box...he's already finished the top, and did a great job I might add. But then he and Sara started showing each other the applications they purchased for their ITouch and we went down hill from there. Sara found the "fart" (yes, I did mean to type fart) application and Greg had downloaded it already so that was the sound I listened to today, not the spa music or the 60's rock and roll we are use to, but an afternoon of fart sounds. I feel we have taken a big step backwards. Stacy Stinson also stopped by to give us our "goodie" bags from Christmas. Ummm Good, I have to say. She always bakes cookies and makes candies and so we have a fun time eating what she brings. Greg also brought a goodie bag which contained a gift certificate to Carrabas'...a box of chocolates...oh, my I can feel my weight rising as I type. Anyway, I'm home where it's warm at last...thank God, and thought I'd post my thoughts and the next picture of my gifts. This was from Linda Wimbrow...Quaker Pynkeep and fob...done in my favorite color blue and the workmanship...beautifully executed. I had this to do in one of my totes, so I'm thrilled Linda stitched it for me...just one less thing on my todo list. Right now I have it displayed on my bookshelves in my living room. I hate to use my treasures for fear I'll get them dirty and then I would have a fit. I really just love to look at them daily, touch them, play with them and then put them back on display. Tomorrow I'll post the pictures of my Salem Box with the stitching done by Pat Weker. With my 2 guest rooms finally cleaned out for the last time, I'm now tackling my stitching room where I have thrown everything into one of the walk in closets. As each layer comes out I find more and more of my stuff and today I unearthed something that has been missing for years. My ABC Drawn Thread Sampler with just 2 more sections to complete, and my beloved "Shores of Hawk Run Hollow" which I will now complete (as soon as I find the threads which mysteriously were not put with the sampler.) In my defense, they were in a tote...however since I probably have approximately 30 different totes..all holding needlework...that isn't helpful. But I'm emptying all totes, baskets, boxes, everything in order to get this room cleaned up of all "stuff" and then organized. I'm having so much fun finding things I haven't seen for a few years...yes, it's like Christmas all over again and who wouldn't like that? Well, I must get ready for work, however, I hate to go outside with temperatures so cold. Again this morning we are experiencing the frigid cold with wind chills in the teens...mercy, I'm way too old for this crap! Have a great day and talk to you tomorrow.