Friday, February 26, 2010

Summer of 2010 has arrived!

Not the weather of summer but Renee's annual piece is now here and it is so cute. If you don't have children or grandchildren with you while you are in Ocean City you may not be familiar with the Buckaneer, but it's a pirate ship that you can ride on and it gives the children a fun time in the water pretending to be a pirate. My Grandson absolutely loved this ship. And Renee has captured it perfectly. As always the date can be changed to reflect whatever date you prefer and it comes with the chart and 14 ct. Aida. Isn't it cute? Good job Renee! Speaking of Renee, I want to thank she and Connie who did such a wonderful job holding down the "fort" while Sara and I were in Nashville. It's always nice to be able to leave and not worry about how things are going in the shop. I know the ladies have my back! And what have I been working on? Well it's finished..."Dewdrop" from Just Nan....and I loved working on it. This is the cutest rabbit and it's so spring with the daffodil and the green snow anywhere in sight. And in it's glitzy frame...well it demands attention! As always, I have left some of the design off the piece. Nan put 3 eggs which hang from the border up by the Rabbit's head and I chose to leave them off but you could add them and it would still be cute. And I left the bauble off (that is suppose to be at his neck)...I couldn't remember where I put the embellishment pack so I just left it off (oopes my age again). Plus without that bauble I was able to put it under glass which is helpful in the shop as things tend to get handled a lot and some folks just don't pay attention to what might be on their hands (we're right beside Thrasher's French Fries so we constantly have to deal with people with oil on their hands). (Please excuse the picture...I was having a slight problem) Anyway, with Dewdrop finished I was able to start Chick's Rule from Lizzie Kate. We had the perfect way to finish it using an Adam's Original piece. I should have this piece stitched tonight so hopefully I'll be able to show it to you tomorrow. Cynthia and Crystal were able to dig out from the snow in New Jersey and they traveled down last night to retreat here at the hotel and spend the weekend in the shop with Sara and I. Yes, another party weekend and with the Nashville market items just going up on the racks...well it's going to be a fun weekend. And tomorrow should be even more fun as our regulars, Greg, Linda and Candi join in the party. We're going to have a good time going through all the stuff, oohing and aahing...oops, I better make sure I take a tote with me because you know I'll be pulling more stuff to take home. We had some stitchers in yesterday who loaded up on the new Just Nan antique winders and the new Sullivan scissors. In fact they bought out a couple of styles of the scissors so we already need to reorder...which you know I don't mind doing. Anyway, I've got to get ready for work so I'll say goodbye for now. Have a great weekend and I hope you find some time to stitch.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rain ... we'll take it, just keep the snow away!

The wind is howling but we're still not seeing any snow...Thank God! I've had it with snow as most of you have, but down here we're just not use to it. Our town is not capable of removing it....we have a couple of snow plows but apparently no one intelligent enough to figure out that you put the plow down to get rid of the snow. For some reason they think just driving over it will do the trick. When we arrived home to find no snow or ice I couldn't have been more thrilled and I don't want to have to deal with it again, ever. I swear I'll never wish for another snow day. When I woke up this morning it was dark out (I seem to wake up at 4:00 a.m.) and I saw the road was wet under the street light and went on about my business. I was shocked when it got light enough to see out and I was in the kitchen and noticed the field outside was white...oh, no...not snow. I ran to the front window and there was snow was sliding off my car...since it was raining at that point. Fortunately by the time I left the wasn't raining or snowing and there was no sign of snow anywhere. I thought we skipped the storm...but on the news they moved it to Thursday night into Friday but so far we're getting wind and that's it. No snow...we're sitting high and far. I know that isn't true for everyone and for those looking at more snow I feel your pain...I just wouldn't want to be you anymore. I hope it helps that I am sympathetic to your plight. Now, stitching...I finished putting the buttons on Scatter Luck by Shepherd's Bush. This was the piece I started and finished in the car driving home from Nashville. Since it's stitched on 18 ct. linen over 2 threads it's really easy to stitch. I loved stitching it...first it's large count and second because it's Shepherd's Bush. Now I'm almost done with the Just Nan's "Dewdrop" which is from last year, but then I'm all about stitching things in my tote and UFO's. However, I've pulled a few things off the new rack and so I'm trying to decide now what to start working on after this one. I still have the Quaker Christmas I'm working on (well, not quite working on, but I have good intentions). I did stop stitching long enough tonight to watch Survivor and Housewives of Orange County. Survivor is really cut throat since it's all people who have played before, and a great many of them, in fact all the "villains" are people I loved to hate and that hasn't changed at all. I'm praying they vote each other off rapidly. And the Housewives...well let's just say they are the same hot mess they have always been, although at this point Vickie seems to be the only one living in the real world. Tonight Tamara was highly insulted that Vickie didn't come to her drinking birthday party which she held during the work week at 11:00 a.m. And who showed up at the party....Lynn. Lynn and Tamara are the ones who have lost their homes and families due to financial difficulties. I think we can see why they may be having problems making payments. HELLO Ladies...get a job! Well, I've got to run....actually get some sleep so I can get up at 4:00a.m. and start all over again. Have a great day....if you are snowed in...stitch.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finally....we've arrived back home

Nothing feels as good as home. As soon as we crossed the bay bridge and arrived on the Eastern Shore my heart felt better. I'm just a small town type of gal and I don't really enjoy traveling. There's just no better place for me than my living room, sitting on my sofa and stitching with all my "stuff" around me. Anyway, we stopped by the hospital to see Mary and the new baby and things were pretty quiet there. Apparently the baby doesn't like his new environment and has chosen to just sleep all day, and pretend he's still inside the womb. Mary said he hadn't been up since they brought him in (at 9:00 a.m.) and it was around 2:00 when we got there. We left at 3:00 p.m. and he still wasn't awake, no matter how much Sara and I jiggled him. I tried everything short of throwing him on the floor (and I didn't think Mary would appreciate that so I refrained). Even Mary wanted him up...first of all he hadn't been fed at all...nothing since the middle of the we all know Mary's not going to get much sleep tonight. She and the baby are suppose to be coming home Wednesday so then the real fun begins for her. Since Brian is off work for the winter, I have chosen to leave them alone and let them deal with baby, Solomon and C.J. themselves. They know where I am and I can help at a moment's notice, but feel they need to get use to being a family of 5 now. So I'm concentrating on Salty Yarns and needlework. Oh, I almost forgot. I finished Shepherd's Bush, "Scatter Luck" on the drive home. That's the 2nd project finished in a week and Just Nan's Bunny piece is almost I'm feeling very good. It's so nice to finish things, however, we all know that means I now have to get them framed or whatever I'm doing with them. There's my problem. I'll keep you posted. Right now I want to get the Nashville stuff on the web site. Have a great day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Grandson arrived...a little early...but healthy

Mary called me Sunday night around 9:30, which I knew was not a good sign, and informed me her water broke and she was on her way to the hospital. I slept with the phone in my hand waiting to hear something and woke up wondering why I hadn't heard. Then Sara came over to my room with a picture of the baby on her phone. He's a little over 8 lbs and chubby cheeked which is a trademark for Rutka babies...and Mary is tired, exhausted (she doesn't even know the meaning of that word yet), and thrilled it's over. She is a bit nauseous, and managed to throw up her orange juice all over the baby (isn't that suppose to be the other way around?) Anyway, since Brian has things under control we are still driving home (originally I was putting Sara on a plane and driving myself home). Sara and I got an early start, and made it to Staunton, Virginia around 6:00 where we are spending the night. We're staying at a Best Western and as I walked into the hotel after checking in I found a bullet on the carpet. Yes a bullet! I looked at Sara and said, "I'm not sure how safe I feel here." Sara's answer, "Mom they probably have hunters staying here." Well, thank God...yeah, like that makes it with guns..never a good thing. If we don't make it back to Maryland, just for arguments sake, assume I was right. We are both in bad moods and I think in my case, it's because I've eaten beef basically every day. I seldom eat beef so having it several dinners and several lunches is taking a toll on my system. Sara feels that it's just that we're not use to eating 3 meals every day. Whatever the reason, we are both nauseous and have decided to skip dinner (I never thought I'd hear myself agree to that.) So here I sit in a Best Western blogging. I'm trying to think back to market and come up with more items I think you will want to see. There were many but my recall is slightly off kilter, so pardon me while I try to pull things out of my subconscience. Stasi Buhrman asked us to check with the ladies at Workbasket to get more information on putting something together, but when we got in there I was immediately distracted by their Memory Keeper. It is a combination of both the Album Amicorum and the postal art of France. It is an actual linen envelope with an address “To a Friend’s House” and a return address where you can put your own initials. She’s even put her own stamp on it, but you could customize yours to reflect some of your favorite motives. There’s a heart on the back to add your initials or you can use it to celebrate a marriage. The envelope is decorated with other sayings about friendship. The finished envelope is 12”x12” so you can store many special gifts and cards given to you by friends. I loved this piece. And since I have been so fortunate with gifts from my Peeps, I have a few things I could add to the envelope already. Now, when to stitch it....more added to the stash. Oh, and the new quaker pendants from Milady's Needle....oh, my this is an absolute. Instead of the Twisted Threads tin frames (which I do love as well) Milady's Needles pendants are 2 sided so you will see a design no matter how you wear it or if it gets twisted....several designs to choose from and 2 different pendants, square or rectangular. Then there was Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow...oh, my it's beautiful. Fall is my favorite time as you know, I love the colors of fall and this proves I have great taste. Each square is worthy on it's own so if you decide you just can't finish it, well you can stop anywhere and you would still have a great design. I've got to run now.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


That collective sigh you hear is coming from Sara and I as we are finally safely in our room (well, my room) and I am particularly thrilled because I have finished doing tickets for everything (yes, for the first time ever we have priced every single item at market...oops, I can't find the Hoffman invoice so that isn't done but it's a small one so we're not counting it). Anyway, Sara is still putting tickets on the items and this could get confusing since she just made herself a drink (which she couldn't do with my room glass as she had to have a bigger glass so she went out to the car and got the tumbler she purchased for Vernon.) Oh My God....Sara asked me if I was putting something on the web site that would embarrass her. So I read her what I just wrote and she said she couldn't believe I would put that on there. I asked which part wasn't the truth and she said, "I needed a larger glass, because with the room glass, I had to get up too much," like that made everything O.K. People this is what I'm working with here....HELP!!!! I will say however, that Sara had my back today when I had a "Bitch-off" with a vendor who I won't name, but I will no longer be carrying anything this particular jackass we will not have her little gems in the store. Sara saw me raise my finger (and I don't mean the middle one) and heard the voices rise and knew things were getting rough. But I am pleased to say, after the jackass called me a liar and I told her she was the liar Sara and I walked away, heads held high straight to the bar where I got a Bloody Mary and Sara got a double Kettleone on the rocks. Inspite of the alcohol, or because of it, the day went smoothly after that. With the exception of that incident, the show was a wonderful weekend event for us where we connected with many of our favorite designers. And I do have a food story to report. Last year, if you remember, I had the $272 lobster one night. Before we left home, Michael said to me, "Nana, please don't order a $272 lobster dinner this time." He also reminded his mother to keep an eye on me in the restaurants. So he will be particularly proud of us for last nights meal. We got back in the room after walking for 6 1/2 hours through the hotel shopping at the event and were too exhausted to leave for dinner, so we decided to order room service as the food in the hotel has been very good. So we both ordered steaks, salad and I got a dessert. As we were sitting watching T.V. and stitching the time seemed to be marching on with no food in sight. After 59 minutes I said, "Sara, don't you think it's taking a long time for the dinner to get here." While I realized the hotel is full and everyone is eating at the same time, usually a lot of the people go outside the hotel to restaurants. So Sara called down and the young woman who answered the phone reacted to Sara's question regarding the whereabouts of the food in a "oops" fashion that let us know she never put the order in. She said it would take another 30 minutes and Sara had about had it, so she turns to me and asked if I wanted her to go somewhere else and cancel the order. But, I said, let it go and we'll eat in 1/2 hour. About 25 minutes later a young man came to the door and said, "I'm so sorry about your dinner, but it will be here in about 10 minutes." He was so nice and had delivered to us a couple of times so we said that it was alright and before he could have gotten off the floor he was back with the dinner. He again apologized and as he was leaving said, "by the way, by way of an apology, your dinner is on the hotel." I'm telling you, I don't know what it is about Sara and I but we always have issues with food, or with service. Anyway, that is my food story for this year because other than that we've had good food and good service. So this year instead of spending an outrageous sum for a dinner, we got a free one. That only seems fair doesn't it? But I got ahead of myself. Let's begin with our first day of shopping, Saturday. After a somewhat grouchy beginning... I seemed to have awakened Sara before she was ready to get up (she stitched until 2:30 in the morning the night before our shopping event). I made the mistake of reading parts of this and now Sara wants me to explain that she did start and finish the peyote stitch "Salty Halloween" fob which is why she was up so late. Anyway, we hit the floors running, Sara going in one direction for those limited edition plaques from With Thy Needle for some of the ladies who asked us to get them, and I ran to Hoffman to get the latest Impie, Hattie & Bea collaborative piece with Little House Needleworks. After getting my goodies from Hoffman I then ran to Praiseworthy Stitches to get the Pumpkin Kits some of the stitchers asked for, and still no sign of Sara. Finally after about ½ hour here she came as I was standing at Just Nan's door for her limited edition piece. Just Nan was already out of one of her limited edition pieces and it was only 1 hour into the event. Since her room was slow moving…we stood in the hallway for almost 1 hour waiting….not too tense as people kept just walking in the room not realizing (I guess) that all of us in the hallway were waiting…..but we let them know they had to get to the back of the line in short order. Since the wait here was so long I told Sara to run up to the 6th floor where one of my favorite designers was….Shepherd’s Bush. We didn’t go there first because we knew that line would be a mile long. However, one of the stitchers waiting at Just Nan’s room said the line up there was moving quickly so I sent Sara up. She went up, waited to get into the room, shopped, came back down and I was still standing in the hallway when she got back waiting to get in Just Nan's room. We hadn't moved an inch. I don’t mind the wait so much if you keep my behind moving like in Disney World, but my God, I’m standing there leaning against the railing and after a while I start thinking about the possibilities of the railing becoming loose and me falling 4 floors to a tiled floor in the lobby…I think we can all agree that wouldn’t be pretty. But the wait was so worth while because Just Nan had some cute and some beautiful items to sell. We got peep worthy peep items. Cute, cute, and cuter. And the preview of things to come in March indicates more complicated items on the way, like the "Twilight Pearls Leaf Ball." But we're bringing home her "Needle Tweets" which are cute little Needlekeepers. We did get her "Tulip Bunny" which was her show special. A cute little bunny head in a special WhimZi frame. And then her "Keep a Little Secret" is a new Peacock Needle slide, but in this one you stitch a peacock to put inside to hold your needles. New Garden Pins include a Peacock and Tail Feather for the Needle Tweet. Incidentally, we really paid attention to her "Pin Keepers Garden" model and it was gorgeous, especially with all her pins stuck in it. She had a gorgeous strawberry fabric with a black background and vibrant red berries and it's larger finished that it appears to be when you look at the packaging. But you might want to take a look at it if you are collecting those pins. And Lizzie Kate, as usual, had some cute limited editions, especially "Chicks Rule" with more little peeps. Their ABC's of Aging is also a hoot but it's their next release that Sara fell in love with and seems appropriate this year..."Cleaning up after children is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing." When I asked Sara what piece is she looking forward to stitching, out of everything we saw she said, "I loved Prairie Moon's Martini Witches." Go figure...she's still stuck on Halloween. We saw new Easter items from many of the designers but what we liked about the Etui's this year is some of the designers are stepping out of the box and utilizing things like the Antique looking Paper Mache Easter Eggs as containers for your smalls. Stitching Parlor's "Happy Easter Etui" uses one of the eggs and has attached silk to the top of the bottom piece of the egg and with a drawstring at the top of the silk she's made a bag to hold the pieces. It is really a unique idea and cute. Prairie Moon has done a series of Egg Pin Cushions which nest in paper mache eggs, much like the boxes they did for Halloween. Such cute gifts for a spring gift to a stitcher. Anyway, I'm going to be busy getting everything up on the web site, although not tonight since Sara has packed everything now and taken it to the car. By the way.....after finishing our final dinner here, my phone rang around 9:00 p.m. and when I saw it was Mary on the line I knew the news wasn't going to be good. Well, it's not bad, however, the 3rd grandchild apparently wasn't willing to wait 2 more days....Mary's water broke, and she and Brian were on the way to the hospital. They left 2 year old Solomon sleeping with his 16 year old brother in charge...oh, no! Although C.J. is a responsible person, Solomon is asleep for the night...someone will have hell to pay tomorrow morning when that 2 year old wakes up to no father or mother in the house. So now I have to worry about getting back quickly. When I called Sara's room and let her know that our best laid plans were screwed up, there was silence on the other here I sit at 2:06 a.m. wondering what time I can wake her up to get us on the road. It's a 15 hour drive....ummmm is 3:00 a.m. to early to call her room? This could be another double Kettleone day...God help me! I'll get busy now trying to get something on the web site. Have a great day and I'll keep in touch.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

We're not quite off and running....

The day is not starting well. I have been up since 3:30 a.m. so we all know I'm going to crash early, and around 7:30 a.m. after straightening the room, getting the cart ready for the show, badges ready, booklet ready, glasses, cash, yes I'm ready so I went over to get Sara, well, not get her so much as to see what she was doing. Well, apparently after staying up til around 2:00 a.m. to finish her peyote stitch Salty Yarns scissors fob she was still asleep. Of course, my knocking on the door awakened her and it was not pretty. So I'm a bit concerned about how our day will go. This could get ugly! I'll let you know by the end of the day how it went.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 2 & 3 in Franklin and we're pooped!

We're busy getting settled in and figuring out what we want to do. We're torn between stitching and exploring. I stitched while Sara exercised (know that surprises you) and now I'm just waiting for her to get done with her shower. I took mine earlier after which I found I missed packing deodorant...ummm 5 days without deodorant...this could get dicey. If I just wouldn't sweat perhaps I'd make it, however, this hotel is so hot I've got the a/c on in my room. Mercy it's like a hot house in here...I can't figure out what the deal is. The worse part, when I went into the bedroom to turn down the heat I found the unit wasn't even on...hence my need for a/c. While we miss Nashville and our Cheesecake Factory, I have to say that this Embassy Suites is certainly a step up from the Nashville Embassy. And the most important issue for us....the restaurant is much better here. We finally both were dressed and decided to go out exploring the downtown Historic district in Franklin. Their main street is lined with specialty shops and we parked and walked the street. Yes, I walked. After 4 hours of this, it was time to move the car or risk getting a we were off and back to the hotel for dinner and then a stitch 'n bitch in my room. Friday was spent in the room all day having a stitch 'n bitch. Sara finished her Catherine Jordan box...yeah!!!!! I finished ...well, almost finished my 2nd Little House Homeworks ornament, Fa La La. I said almost because I made some changes since I didn't use the fabric they suggested and as it turned out my fabric was a little too light so the snow didn't show up as well as I'd hoped. Again I stitched it over one and loved doing it...but if I may make a suggestion, use the color suggested or use a 32 ct or 28 ct like sand....I used light sand and it's just too light. And tonight, after running through the rooms today to pick up the cash & carry, I get to pick a new project....3rd one on the trip...that's a big yeah for me! We picked up our badges today and the show book which shows that one of my favorite companies showed up for only the 2nd time since we've been coming to the show....Shepherd's Bush. The last time they came the line was so long to get into their room that we decided to shop the rest of the rooms and keep checking back to see what the line looked like. By the time the line was down, Shepherd's bush was out of cash and carry. We've decided that again, we would not do the line but would go directly to the vendors who have a limited amount of something and pick it up first. You know that's killing me since I love Shepherd's Bush so much, but I'll be sure to order the items anyway and since they don't do limited Nashville items, I'll be able to order all their new items, but it would have been "sweet" to walk in their room and pick it up. Oh well, life is always about choices and the difficulty in making them. Well, it's almost 7:00 a.m. and I've got to get ready to run. Have a great day and I'll talk to you after we're done for the day.

We're Here...Thank God!!!!

With a collective sigh of relief and despite snow showers and Michael's tears, Sara and I finally pulled out of the parking lot at 10:00 a.m, Tuesday morning. For a while I wasn't sure we were going to make it. As always when I am due to leave Ocean City, I had to work late to get office work completed. Because of the snow storms and not getting into the office for a couple of weeks, I ended up working in the office from 9:00 a.m. through to 12:15 a.m. So I was exhausted when I finally arrived home Monday night..oops, Tuesday morning. I sat down to kind of unwind and ended up falling asleep until 4:05 a.m. Since I still had 2 loads of laundry to do, pack, get the house straightened up (you would have thought I had done some of this while home on snow days...but what fun would that have been.) So, anyway, I started cleaning up and doing laundry and packing and by 9:00 a.m. I was ready to go. I could have been done prior to that time but schools had a 2 hour delay and I knew I had 2 extra hours (we usually leave around 7:00 a.m.) Anyway, the girls showed up to help me load the car (you wouldn't believe what I, printer, big bag of food supplies, carton of sodas, overnight bag, regular suitcase, and the most important tote, my stitching. We got loaded up, got Sara's stuff in and we were on our way...whoppee!!!! We were not on the road 10 minutes when I asked the important question, "Sara did you eat breakfast?" Which of course she hadn't so we decided to stop at Panera's in Salisbury to get something. Asiago bagel with cream cheese and we were back on the road. 2 hours later Sara asked if I was hungry (2 hours...what are you kidding?) and I realized we were close to Annapolis...and the Cheesecake Factory. Well, of course I'm willing to eat at Cheesecake Factory hungry or not (somewhat explains my weight problem) so we stopped. This was becoming an epicurian trip as opposed to a needlework destination trip, either one of which is a good thing for me. We didn't stop again until we had traveled for 6 more hours, and then we stopped for the night and Cracker Barrel (yes my day ended up at another favorite stop for me, you will never find a $272 lobster at Cracker Barrel.) We got up and out early Wednesday morning, started our day with Cracker Barrel breakfast and we were off again and this time we ran into snow again. But it wasn't sticking to the ground so we were able to make good time. Wednesday was not about food however, at least for Sara and she drove straight through until we hit the hotel in Franklin around 4:30 p.m. (she apparently forgot that I enjoy lunch). So once we got checked in I headed for the bar...forget food for a moment, I needed a drink. Which was a red flag for Sara as I essentially gave up drinking when Sara was 16 years old (I was not a pretty drinker). After 4 bloody mary's, and then drinking Sara's straight Vodka, we decided I needed food. We had a wonderful dinner and I headed for my room and went right to sleep. Yes, my day was over, or so I thought, but I managed to wake up around 8:00 and started stitching. I brought 4 kits that I thought would take about one day to stitch, plus my Quaker Christmas, and while I did stitch a little in the car, the constant bumping and swaying started making me car sick so I had to stop. I'm thrilled to say that once I slept off the booze I was able to finish one of the kits. It was the Pine Mountain's "I'm So Egg-cited". Today I'm starting Little House Needleworks, "Fa La La," the second ornament of the series for me. I already stitched their "Pear Tree", and like that one I intend to stitch this over one. They are so cute over one! And now it's 4:05 a.m. and I'm up again talking to you. So stitchers, I'll end here so I can stitch a little before Sara gets up and comes over to my room (to keep us from killing each other I get us both our own rooms). So have a great day...and I'll keep you posted whether you like it or not.

Monday, February 15, 2010

It was like Superbowl Sunday all over again!

Due to the snow blizzard we had over the Superbowl Weekend, our local stitchers were unable to get into the shop, but they more than made up for it yesterday. Ellen Sweeney had e-mailed during the week to say that she and Connie would be joining us to stitch and updated that e-mail later in the week with news that Beth, Jennifer and Hedy would also be in. So gathered in the shop yesterday around the tables Sara put up were Beth Stephens & Beth Jernigan, Jennifer, Hedy, Ellen, Connie, Greg, Candi and Linda, who spent the day with us stitching and shopping. Of course we do nothing without food so with the "heads- up" from Ellen, Sara made a pot of Leek and Potato of our all time favorites. Greg brought in a big loaf of rustic bread and the other stitchers brought in fruit, crackers and spreads, cookies, pretzels, oh, my it was a food extravaganza once again. I just love these spreads. Anyway, we stitched, talked, ate all day, and Sara, Bless her heart, cut fabric all day. The first picture shows Beth Stephens on the left, Beth Jernigan on the right, Ellen trying to turn away so her picture wasn't taken and Linda shopping in the background. Connie should have been in the empty chair but was walking around. The second picture shows Greg and Candi (blue top) with Jennifer looking like a deer caught in the headlights. And joining us at some point was Stacy Stinson and her mother Caroline. It was another grand and glorious day at Salty Yarns. My day started off beautifully when Sara got to the shop with a Valentine's gift for me. Shown on the right is the "gift in a gift". A Orleans Carpenter shaker handled carrier which I had admired when she ordered some a couple of years ago. The size is so cute...smaller than the usual shaker piece. Anyway, in the carrier was the stitched gift which is the beautiful Harvest Needleroll from Dinky Dyes, with a few modifications by Sara (Cherish a Mother's Love...couldn't you just cry). We had both loved this piece when it came into the shop and Sara grabbed one to stitch (I thought for herself), and I took one to stitch for her (of course I haven't done it yet). She got too busy to finish it for Christmas (this happens to both of us) so said she'd get it finished later. Well, yesterday was later and I couldn't be more thrilled. She did such a wonderful job of finishing. The perfect fabric lining (thanks Debbie, Phyllis and Staci for your input). I'm telling you, all the finishing classes with Jane Timmer and Lauren Sauer are really paying off. The finishing was impeccable. She even did a strawberry fob...well done! I'm so proud of her and so excited that I get to keep this piece. Yes I had a wonderful Valentine's Day shared with friends and family. And that brings us to Nashville. Sara and I, God willing, will be pulling out tomorrow to start our journey to the Nashville Market. This is always an exciting time for us, never more so since this year we have the added excitement of Mary giving birth at any given moment. Anyway, we've had a few e-mails with requests so we have a game plan in motion. I better have my "P.F. Fliers" on to get my butt in gear quickly as we have several rooms we have to get to in a hurry to make sure we get some of the specials they are showing on the Internet. You would think that with the extra week we got this year (Nashville is a week later) and all the snow days I was stuck at home I would have done the laundry, packed the suitcase, but have I? I think we all know the answer to that one. So I'm sure tonight I will be up all night trying to get things in order. I like having the house completely straight before I leave, just in case I die on route I don't want anyone coming in and thinking I was a slob (yea, like I'd really care at that point...but for some reason I seem to). It's like wearing clean underwear in case you are in an accident. Clean the apartment in case you die. God forbide in death I be embarrassed or embarrass the family. (Good Lord, I am not only my mother but now I'm my grandmother. ) Anyway, today Sara and I will be working in overdrive trying to get everything done, and not forget anything we need. You can bet I'll have my camera and my computer with let's hope I can figure out how to get on line. Anyway, stitchers, I'll keep you posted. Have a great day and I pray you don't get too much snow in the storm heading our way today....for once I'm praying for rain.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

We have finally gotten back on track, well as far as opening the shop is concerned. We opened back up on Friday and the day was just gorgeous. It's a little cold down here for me, but the sun is shining everyday so that's a good thing. We are still dealing with piles of snow, plus the Town of Ocean City does a lousy job of snow fact I've only seen a plow moving on my street 2 times and they didn't really get the snow or ice off the side streets and the alleys are a danger to drive down...I'm certainly glad my taxes, of which there are a lot, are being used to make my life easier. The ramp in front of our shop (which isn't the city's problem) has approximately 8 inches of snow still sitting on it, over a layer of ice, so Friday Sara picked up a shovel and began to deal with it. She carved a path to the boardwalk (this is the city's problem and they've done a lousy job...I'm not even sure I'd say they've done anything) you still have to climb over the mound the city hasn't bothered to deal with. Our sidewalks still have 10 inches of snow sitting on them, I'm telling you it's not a good thing down here. And while there is a lot of melting going's not the mounds or the sidewalks, or the ice that is being melted. You may still see the remnants of the snow when you come in the summer. Anyway, I found some more pictures of the stitcher's in their pj's in the shop during the blizzard so I'm posting you see Sara and Michael who joined the stitchers. Notice I never get in the pictures...that's a good thing. I also forgot to show the gift I received from Staci Buhrman...she always makes Sara and I the most remarkable gifts, both inside and out done beautifully. In the red tin, don't you just love the tin..a gift in itself...Staci put her wildly popular pretzel/caramel/chocolate candy/cookies? Yummo!!! Needless to say my tin is now empty. And the other picture showing the pad and the huge beeswax thread keeper which were the "goodie bag contents given by Debbie, Phyllis and Staci to all the stitchers who were at the retreat. We have such warm memories of last weekend even though we were sitting through a blizzard. So thanks Stitchers...we appreciated your presence and the warm fuzzies you provided. Also thanks to Debbie, Phyllis and Staci for the gifts you gave, I'm enjoying them all! With all the time inside I have managed to finish the Jeannette Douglas "My Stitcher's Treasure" Box and will get up a picture eventually (I still have to add the charms and the name so I'm technically not finished). I finished the "Pear Tree" which is also shown here. I stitched it over one on 28 count and it's adorable. I find I love everything done over 1, however, I don't stitch everything over 1. But ornaments are so cute done that way. Anyway, I hope to do the finishing once I get back from Nashville. In the spirit of finishing UFO's I pulled the piece down that was suppose to be Sara's 2007 Christmas gift but since I never finished it I never could give it to her. So I finally pulled it off the shelf and finished it. Not as good as I would have liked to, but finished none the less. The little chest of drawers came with the little shaker like pin cushion, and then I decided each drawer needed to hold a treasure so I made a scissor sheath for the Sajou Tortoise Shell scissors for a drawer and then a couple of pieces of shrimshaw for the final drawer. I plan to present it to Sara today as part of her Valentine's gift. As any stitcher's a thrill to finish a UFO. Sara's gift was stitched back in 2007...and then just sat here. I kiss it good-bye today thrilled to see it go out the door. Right now I'm still working on the Quaker Christmas and I will see it finished in a few weeks, I hope. But with Nashville looming, it's being put on the back burner. I take Pine Mountain pieces and Bent Creek's 18 ct. kits with me to stitch in the car. Although the piece I finished on the trip to the October Retreat in Hilton Head I've yet to find. I remember I stuck the finished piece in with a chart or kit I took with me and can't find it. If I didn't have the frame that came with it sitting on my shelf I would be questioning whether or not I really did it. So this time I've got to be really vigilant once I've finished something. I will probably take the Quaker Christmas to stitch in the room, but once we get some of the Nashville stash back in the rooms, Sara and I start picking out projects so who knows what I'll actually work on. We hope to leave on Tuesday, however, with the next snow storm looming over us...due to hit on Monday night...well who knows when we'll get out of here. Plus we have the baby looming...and while Mary scheduled the C Section for the day after we return from know how the best made plans turn out! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes according to my plan.... Anyway, I needed to blog to let everyone know we're here, we're working, we finished getting mail orders out yesterday so if you haven't received yours yet, keep an eye out as it should be there this week. We had a great turnout for the Superbowl sale with so many e-mails and web site orders so Sara and I want to thank all the stitchers for their participation. We love you stitchers, and we hope that all those you love let you know it today with gifts, a phone call, dinner out, dinner cooked by someone else...anything special and jewelry wouldn't hurt. Have a great day and I pray that there is no snow in any of our future for the remainder of the winter. Betsy Cole asked that I never pray for snow again, so I am following her request. I am now praying I win the Powerball...I hope I have as much luck with that as I had with my snow request. Have a Super Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow...what snow?

Sara and I worked in the shop yesterday trying to get as much work as possible done when Mary called and asked Sara if she could pick up Solomon from daycare. When I asked why, Sara reported that Mary had her weekly GYN appointment. Then Mary called me to say she wouldn't be in because she wasn't feeling well. Since she is 9 months pregnant I was a bit concerned (knowing her husband was in New Jersey at a funeral) so I told her I would pick her up and take her to her appointment, after all they were calling for sleet, snow, whatever to start in the afternoon. I picked her up at 1:30 and off we went to Salisbury. We arrive at her doctor's office to find that the doctor apparently forgot how many patients she had since she didn't bother to clear out the parking lot and had mounds of snow sitting in the way. I got a spot, however the 4 people behind me couldn't get to the rest of the parking so the was a rumble in the parking lot. Just what you need...pregnant women screaming at each other. Anyway, after we had been there about an hour, Mary comes out and announces that her doctor wants her to go over to the hospital to be checked as she was having contractions. This began a very long afternoon. They decided she was dehydrated and that was creating the contractions so they hooked her up to IV's and for the next 5 hours I sat in the room staring at her and periodically the T.V. which only worked periodically. I'm telling you by 8:00 p.m. I was ready to scream, except that I knew Mary was as miserable as I was. By 8:00 it had started to sleet so I was also getting concerned about the drive back. Her doctor asked if she wanted to go home since she was feeling better and the contractions had stopped so we bolted. I forgot my glasses, of course plus with my macular degeneration...well let's just say I'm not suppose to drive at night. But drive I did all the way to Panera's and then home. By then it was snowing huge flakes and if I weren't so sick of snow it would have been a beautiful sight. They closed down all the schools last night in anticipation of the next snow event (much to Sara's dismay) Tuesday night and Wednesday and it looked like we might get a few more inches of snow. However, I woke up around 2:00 a.m. to find that it was raining and the rain had taken out more of the old snow...thank God! Now at 9:00 a.m. with the rain still coming down I'm sure every parent is wondering why the kids are home today. Washington is getting slammed now so I'm not sure what we are looking for. This is a mystery. I hope whatever you are looking at it's not too much snow....where to put it at this point is the question. Anyway, I wish you all luck with the latest storm...hope it treats you well. Me, well, I'm going to stitch until my butt hurts! I've now posted the last pictures taken on Sunday by Sara (remember my butt was on my sofa at home)..of some of the brave stitchers who came to the Superbowl Retreat...and also Greg who comes by most Sundays to stitch with us. The 2 finishes you see are...a Blackbird design started and finished in a day by Syd...this was her 3rd finish for the weekend (although the other 2 finishes were ufo's). The last picture was Phyllis' La De Da's rabbit. It's so exciting to get something finished isn't it? Have a great snow day stitchers....stay warm and cozy if possible with a needle in your hand.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stitch 'n Bitch Cancelled tonight!

In light of the latest weather report, and because we still don't have a clear path to the front of the shop, we are cancelling tonights meeting. The boardwalk and shop ramps still have a lot of ice and snow on them so it's really too dangerous to walk on. With Debbie and Phyllis leaving town today, it is the official end of our Superbowl Event. Sara and I want to thank all the stitchers for coming down and spending the weekend with us...we had a ball and can't think of a better way to spend a a the shop...stitching with friends. We could have done without the snow, but we had fun none the less. Yesterday Debbie, Phyllis, Sara and I spent the day pulling the mail orders and getting them ready to go out, so keep an eye out for them. I hope they get to you before the next snow does...but considering it's due today well, I doubt it. Yes more snow's really getting tiring at this will be a long time ( f!r at least a year) before I will ever wish for snow!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Another superbowl event over!!!!

It's 4:11 a.m. and here I sit like it's 10:00 a.m. Yesterday was a wash for me. After Vernon and the boys dug out my sidewalk and my steps, retrieved my car from the hotel next door's parking lot, I decided to do as Sara suggested and stay home. It wasn't the snow that created a problem for me, it was the damn ice under the snow. I am so afraid of falling, because at my weight...well let's just say if I go down it's not pretty watching me get back up, if I'm able to get up. That's the biggest concern for me. I never get on the least not on purpose. Although this past summer I took Solomon down to the beach and he insisted I sit in the sand to play with him. So like an idiot I did. As soon as I did, of course, I worried about how I was going to get up. I mean there were tenants out there who would see that and believe me my big behind isn't that much of a show piece. I just knew I'd embarrass myself and the family. Of course as soon as the girls saw what I had done, my Sara came running down with a beach chair thinking perhaps I could use it to haul my fat ass up off the beach. I was thinking of sitting there until dark so no one would see it...but by then, because I'm so pale, the sunburn I would have gotten would have made the other problem pale in comparison. But at times of stress you get superpowers and that's what I had getting up off the beach. I managed to get up without too much embarrassment and swore I'd never get down on the ground again. Anyway, back to now....Vernon and the boys were able to get steps cleared and salted, and get the cars of the stitchers who needed to get home free of snow and able to get out and then Sara opened the shop and the superbowl party began. The rest of the stitchers spent the day in the shop eating, shopping and stitching along with Greg who ventured down from Delaware. A few hearty shoppers showed up to shop, Thank you Stacy Brown, but most of the stitchers just called in their orders. So even though we had a major weather event, we still managed to stay open and work (well, at least Sara did). I worked on my Jeannette Douglas piece and managed to finish with the exception of the border which I'm working on now. It's so exciting to see it so close to completion. It's been in a bag since 2004....I really wasn't sure I'd ever finish it. And now I get to start something I get to finish another UFO....this is the year, I can feel it. I'm going to complete a few UFO's. I also finished the project seen here. It's a lipstick case sewing kit...unique shape that you just don't see. I was a bit concerned about the finishing but it actually wasn't that difficult. I was extremely proud that I was able to stitch it and finish it without any outside help. The design comes from an older Merry Cox pattern, in fact I think it has to be one of her first, since it was dated 1988. Anyway, this I believe is my first finish in 2010. And soon to be my 2nd finish is the Jeannette Douglas box. Whoppee!!! I found my Quaker Christmas piece after cleaning up and organizing so I pulled it out as I swear this is going to be my 3rd finish of 2010, or at least it will be in the count down. Sara and I are now going to be focusing on Nashville, as we leave for that show in about 10 days. This is so exciting for us as it is the only show we are able to attend. Renee and Connie will be holding down the shop so it will be open. I'll be taking my computer and my camera so I'll be posting pictures each day (that's assuming I remember how to do it once I get to Nashville. Going through time zones does something to my memory bank...well going through time zones, waking up, talking, just about anything affects my memory bank, but after all I'm 61 so I'm allowed a few excentricities...aren't I? At least that's the theory I'm going with today. Oh, yea, I was on the Legacy Board the other day and noticed the posting about someone copying the latest ornament from a picture on the Little House web site before it was even distributed. Little House had put a picture up showing what they were putting out next. I cannot tell you how disturbed I am by this. Stitchers, not only is it illegal (copyright law) but this is what has the designers so upset, rightfully so. If stitchers just take pictures off the internet and scan them into a graphing program, the designers are going to stop designing. Why should they do all that work, and it is work, just to have people steal it and not pay for the design. Little House consistently puts out marvelous designs, and several every few months and the cost for their designs is really low...$6.00 - $8.00 for a charted design. If you can afford a computer and designing software, then by God you can afford the $6.00-$8.00. I'm appalled people...simply appalled and I hope that you are too. We need to support these designers just as they support our habit. I certainly don't want to go "cold turkey" and not be able to find new charts. Oh, My God....please never let that happen. Well, I'm going to go in a stitch a few stitches on the border of "My Stitcher's Treasure Box"....hopefully I'll be posting the finished picture tonight or tomorrow. Have a great stitching day! Enjoy the snow day if you got one! And with more in the forecast....well, let's just say this is a record winter. Hopefully it will be the last!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Crap, and more crap

O.K., so I thought we were so lucky....and I realize snow wise we were, however, with 24 hours of rain and sleet...well the few inches we did got are layered over sheets of ice. So I go out this morning to get to work to take the mini sandwiches and my favorite chocolate covered peanut butter cookies and got stuck in the alley (again) only this time not by snow but the wheels just were spinning (again and this time I checked and the emergency break was not on). Well, I didn't take my phone (another smart move) so I sat for a few minutes, gave it some thought and then started going back and forth until I guess the spinning melted the ice a little which sprung me forward and I slid into the parking lot of the hotel next door and I just stopped the car, got out, and walked back to my place...carefully as the ice scares me to death. So I called Sara and told her I couldn't possibly get into the shop, and I didn't want any of the stitchers to go out and have the possiblity of fall on the steps so now we're all apartment bound. Sara and Vernon are there shoveling the snow off the ice and then throwing down the salt, but God only knows when we will all get going today. The good news is the sun is shining bright...the bad news it's only 19 degrees. Anyway, I've received a lot of your e-mails and orders so don't worry we're going to be getting on that later today and in the morning. I'm telling you I feel like I'm living in Alaska at this point. I really do feel badly bitching about our ice when many of you are dealing with 24 inches of wet heavy snow...I really do, but I just can't help myself. So I guess instead of having fun with the stitchers, I'll be having a stitch 'n bitch all by myself. Good thing I like my own company! I'll try to give you the fascinating updates as the day wears on. Plus I have a lovely picture of the scooter club Renee brought over for me to share with you. I'll post it later.
Take care of yourselves and don't try to shovel too much at one time.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Whew!!!! We dodged the bullet....

I've heard the snow totals that some of you are dealing with and after our 10 inches of last week I'm thrilled to tell you....we got rain! What started out yesterday as a light snow, and then periodically would be heavy snow mixed with rain, has turned into a rain event. We're having our typical northeaster' so it's not pretty, but at least it isn't 10 more inches of snow. And I'm thankful. I couldn't take anymore snow...I really couldn't, plus with the stitchers here...well it would have made it difficult for them, so while we wish the sun was out...we can still go back and forth between rooms and the shop so we're good to go. The snow mix we had last also didn't stop us from partying either. We gathered at Sara's place at 7:00 p.m. where Greg MacCord joined us and we eat, drank and laughed until the tears ran down our legs. Honestly my sides ached from laughing at Greg...boy once you wind him up....well he can do his own stand up. We did miss the stitchers who didn't make it to our annual event, Kay, Kathie, Jackie, and Stacy. And Linda and Candi called and were thinking about driving up from Chincoteague, but I was concerned about the unknown and driving in whatever was coming and suggested they not try to come, so we missed them too. But Greg and I did our best to keep the troops entertained and I think you could say we did our job...I'm sure the booze and wine didn't hurt either. Today, since I'm pretty sure no one is going to come out in this northeaster' I invited all the ladies to come on down and we'd have a stitch 'n bitch in the shop in our P.J.' if you do come in....don't be surprised at what you will be seeing. Comfort is the key word here....stitch and be comfortable. So the party moves on. I also want to say "Thank You" to all the stitchers who have e-mailed their orders or called in their orders and those that ordered through the web site. We will be packaging up the items and getting them out first thing Monday morning, and I don't think anyone got less than 30% discount... so good for everyone. You were here in spirit! So now I must go find a decent pair of pajamas to put on to go to work....unbelievably I forgot my camera last night, but Sara and Debbie took pictures so I'll get them up so you can see that neither rain, nor snow kept these stitchers away from their appointed rounds. Have a great snow day, rain day or sun day....and I'll talk to you later.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I've had more snow!

Just a reminder....This Friday starts our Weekend Superbowl Sale. Your discount depends on the amount of the you can get 10% off any order under $25.00. From $26 - $49 you take 20% discount and from $50.00 up you get 30% discount on the whole order. So call the order in, e-mail it, or shop on the web site....and your discount will be taken before your card is charged. The sale starts Friday at 10:00 a.m. and ends on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. If you are in the area we will be having our usual Superbowl party with Sara's goodies, sandwiches, etc. on Sunday so stop on by and join us. You don't have to go out in the rain or snow, you can shop from your living room. The forecast is daunting, but we're trying to be optimistic...and always be careful what you wish for. Two weeks ago I was begging for the damn snow day....even a week ago, but now, 10 inches more snow....I've had it for the year! We haven't gotten rid of what we got last Saturday, although thankfully the sun has removed quite a bit of it...and now they are calling for more. Here are the final pictures of the boardwalk with leftover snow so I say ... No, thank you...give it to someone else...I'd rather go to work (never thought I'd hear myself say that.) Plus this is an event weekend which means our peeps are going to have to trudge through whatever comes to get back and forth. But I have to say, while I thought the weather report would mean cancellations, our first two stitchers showed up Tuesday afternoon to begin their Superbowl Weekend. Debbie and Phyllis showed up Tuesday afternoon and have been "chillin" and stitching ever since....although today they spent the day in the shop with me checking out new stuff and helping me get it on the racks. As we were working, sitting, talking, whatever, the second wave showed up. Syd, Ellen and Sherry spent the afternoon with us in the shop and Jayne showed up with her friend, Diana, who just started doing counted cross stitch and my shop was the first shop she had been in. And the last person to get here today was Stasi Buhrman. All of them had one thing to say...they don't care what comes, snow, rain, doesn't matter. And if it snows so deep they can't get out on Sunday, well they all plan on staying until they can get out. That's stitchers for you...we're travel through any weather to get to an event, and we don't mind getting stuck at the event longer than initially planned. Anyway, it was great to have so many stitchers in the house. And some of them brought show and tell, unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of Stasi's and she brought class pieces, like the Merry Cox Bon Bon Box, that really have to be seen and held to be believed. But I did take pictures of Syd's tote bag with Glory Bee's piece done over one and attached to the pocket of the tote. And the first picture is an album she did with a Blackbird Design on the cover. Syd's work is so well executed....such of course, I want to start an album, and now that I've finished cleaning up my stitching room I can. Whoppee!!! Well, another project to get in line behind the 2 million I already have lined up. Anyway stitchers, I hope your weekend is stress free, and the snow doesn't mean another day of shoveling for you. Hopefully after the storm the sun will shine and take any snow away. In any event, hunker down...get out your stitching and have a great weekend. And if you get bored check out the web and find something you can't live without and we'll see that you get it. Because while the web site might not show it, we probably have it and if we don't we'll get it for you. Thanks for shopping with us.