Friday, January 21, 2011

We missed another storm....but it's freezing down here

When I left for work last Friday it was 41 degrees and sunny, it was beautiful. When I left work for the grocery store it had dropped to 37 degrees, but it was 5:00 p.m. so it made sense, but when I woke up at 2:00 a.m it was 41 degrees that didn't make sense, but anyway with temps in the 40's we had a rain event. I hope where ever you are you fared as well.

This is another Christmas gift, this one from Debbie Liming. It's it the cutest thing. I thought it was so funny I got the miniature cup and saucer with my initials on it (shown on an earlier blog) and then received this miniature Polishware pitcher with the quaker icon on top. Love them both. I'm not sure if either person realized I love miniatures. I was a collector of doll house miniatures...have a massive house (of course not completely finished), so these two items were perfect for me. I have such a wonderful collection of needlework smalls that have been given to me over the years. I keep them all in my stitching room so I can look at them often, but never use any of them. Do you? I've been curious to see if anyone uses their smalls. I'd be so afraid something would happen to them. I've given Sara a few items over the years and I have to say she does use hers. She gave me a little needlebook to commemorate our time at the Moss Creek retreat and asked a few times why I never used it. (she doesn't understand my just displaying these things) I was given a set of beautiful mesh bags by Beth Jernigan one year for Christmas and one of the bags in the set was small, perhaps 3x4. So I put Sara's piece in that and I carry that around in my stitching tote....I don't really like to take it out for fear it will get dirty, but at least I can show Sara I do carry it. It did come in handy last weekend when Greg needed an extra needle and I pulled that out (thought for a minute I'd just go pull a pack of needles off the rack so I didn't have to handle my gift, but was too lazy to get up so I pulled my needlebook out of the mesh bag and gingerly extracted a needle and put it immediately back in the bag and back in the tote). Good news, with it only seeing daylight for approximately 1 minutes it was unscathed and is residing back in my tote where it is safe, clean and as good as new.

We had a glorious weekend two weekends ago. It was the 2nd annual Camp Wannastitch held at the Clarion. 60 or 61 ladies were in attendance and many of them made their way down to Salty Yarns. It began Friday evening when Joanne Thweatt came in and began her shopping. Joanne has been a customer for a few years but is only able to get here once a year so it's always good to see her. She brought in show and tell, one of Mirabilia's mermaids and it was one designs mermaids better and Joanne stitched it beautifully, and then had it framed beautifully. I'm sorry I didn't have my camera with me so you could it enjoy it as well. She left to find her friends who were a little late and a few other campers made it in before I closed for the night. We arrived early on Saturday and the stitchers were there waiting for us. We spent a busy day cutting fabric, finding patterns and enjoying this group of women who were friendly, patient and and knowledgeable about stitching. No questions about string with this group. Sunday we had more of the stitchers in, plus our group, Linda, Candi, Crystal and the newest member of the Stitch 'n Bitch group, Cheyenne, Crystal's 6 month old baby. She was better behaved than some of the adults we get in the store in the summer, and she's adorable. Greg arrived along with Ruth Goglia and Stacy Stinson...oh and our Connie arrived to talk for a while. Yes, we had a full house on Sunday. Then on Monday it was back to Sara and I, and the last of the stitchers from camp stopped by on their way home. Camp Wannastitch was over for another year and we will miss the ladies. Thanks for stopping by Ladies. This weekend the bitter cold did not keep stitchers away, thank God. And of course, our regulars showed up on Sunday and Jennifer joined in as well. My panic started on Sunday as Sara and Vernon were heading off to Jamaica and Michael is staying with me for 4 nights. As you know I've been alone now for 10 years and enjoying the freedom that comes with being alone. So Michael overnight is one thing....4 nights...well I'm not sure. As many of you know my grandchildren live right here, 3 of them right here on the property and Michael lives 2 blocks away. So I see my grandchildren every day (or close to it). I know how lucky I am. I can't imagine not seeing them all the time. When I asked my cousin, who is my age, how she entertained her grandsons for a week at a time she said "you have to remember Sally, I only see them maybe once a month so they have my full attention when they are here and I schedule activities, you see yours everyday and it's very different, plus you work." So I know those who don't see their grandchildren everyday wish they had them closer. Anyway, Sunday night went all right. After work Michael and I stopped by "Fat Daddy's" and got dinner to bring home. That took care of an hour of our time. Then we tackled reading. Michael has to read 1/2 hour every day. While I love to read and do it all the time, Michael isn't quite so thrilled. So reading is more of a chore to him, and no matter how many little talks I've had with him he still isn't thrilled. Nothing is more painful than trying to get a squirming boy to pay attention! Wow, how do teachers do it? After about 15 minutes I'm ready to pack it in and proclaim this job undo able. Fortunately he did pay attention and came home Monday with the news he had passed his test and received an 80 on the book we finished....a silent cheer folks, please! Now of course, we have to move on to a new book and while he brought several books home, I knew they were too simple and would have to go back. The one book he brought that was acceptable to me was about Kit Carson's can imagine how thrilled he was with that one. After reading a half hour and quizzing him on it we decided it would be best if he returned that book and got something he's be interested in. God, this is painful. Vernon had set up Skype so they could talk to Michael from Jamaica...another thing that didn't work, so after a Michael meltdown I let him play with my new Mac, something he was dying to do. At first I said he couldn't play with it, but after the meltdown I said whatever you want to do....just do, but for God's sake stop the hysterics. He also had a meltdown doing his school work because he asked me what a word meant and I said, "let's look it up in a dictionary". That's what my father always said, and I understand it's better to show him where to find the answers than to just give them to him. But that process lead to a meltdown and I decided it may be best if I just give him the answer and let Sara teach him about the dictionary. My days of teaching a child anything are apparently over. Michael was dying to play with my new Mac so that took up the rest of the night....after homework of course. Michael is so like his mother...once he is done with his homework, he is done. So after checking it and finding a few errors I tried to get him to focus on the corrections but he had already moved on. I thank God I don't have to do this every night. Thankfully he has homework academy after school so by the time he gets home and we go out to will be close to bed time. I took him to the Sunset Grille (my favorite) tonight and I wish you could see what this child orders. He got the soft shell crab sandwich, the crab dip, and an order of Asian wings. When they came, he ate about 2 crackers with dip and then proclaimed he was saving the rest for his school lunch. Then he ate 3 of the wings and proclaimed the rest were being saved for his school lunch and one soft shell crab (2 come on the sandwich) and you guessed it, the other was for his lunch. I'm telling you, this kid is eating better than most at school. What ever happened to peanut butter and jelly? Well, it's 3:16 a.m. and I have to get to sleep so we can get to school on time. So, thanks for stopping by, enjoy your day and I'll talk more later.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We're snowless and happy about that...

That's right, the event is over and all we got was freezing rain, which this morning became black ice so school was cancelled. We were so worried about our stitchers on the road yesterday that we felt forced to cancel Stitch 'n Bitch, but today the sun is out so any ice on our walkways should be gone by this evening meaning we were really unscathed by the storm. I know many of you were not so lucky so we're thinking about you. I didn't really think too much of the event to begin with, as far as affecting us, until I tried to send in an order only to find that the company was closed due to snow and unsure when they would be reopen. Which means I'm going into a weekend without product I need. Crap, crap and more crap. I'll try to focus on our not having to deal with the mess......thinking happy thoughts......yeah, I'm back to my happy place. I finally found 3 more pictures of my gifts from the members of our Stitch 'n Bitch group. First is the Snowman Pocket from Debbie Liming. It's a little hard to see as she has put Christmas berries, etc, in the pocket, but it is absolutely adorable. It really looked perfect on the table by my sofa. I propped it against a picture and it stood there proudly. The second picture is the Autumn Stack of Biscournu's from Pat Weker. I had this one in my "to do" bag so I was thrilled. Not only do I love them, but it allows me to take one item out of the bag without actually having to stitch it. Helping me to get ahead (yeah, now only 1,000,000 left to do.) And the third picture is of a tiny tea cup (Polishware no less) which Jackie Janovsky made into a pin cushion. I didn't even know they made Polishware this's so cute. Notice the initials she managed to stitch...they are the Eileen Bennett initials which I love so much. And that isn't the end of my stitched gifts. But for this blog it is, as I have to get the other pictures in my camera. I was just happy this morning to find the pictures...I seem to have trouble with that. Anyway, Thanks again to all the stitchers...You made my Christmas so much brighter. We may have cancelled January's Stitch 'n Bitch, however, we did have our first official "Knit 'n Bitch" on Monday during the day (this is so helpful to me). Small crowd as many of our stitchers had already made plans before we announced we were doing this, however, Eileen and Diane were there with Sara and myself and we had a great time getting to know them and working on our knitting projects. Pat did stop by for about 1 hour, but her father needed her help so she had to leave early. Pat was my go to for questions so I panicked when she wasn't there at the beginning, however, there were just a few questions from the ladies and I was able to handle that. Then when Pat got there she did "clean up on questions" for me. Our next meeting will be February 14th so if you can be there, please plan on it. We already know several more of the knitters will be there so we're planning on having fun. I'm embarrassed to say I still haven't cleaned up from Christmas yet...but today is the day. The tree will come down and all the Christmas stuff will be put away. (I hate to see the little lights go...I just love the tree lights, but know it's looking a little ridiculous so I swear it will come down today). I got rid of all the extra chairs and the table Monday so my kitchen is back to normal and my dining room almost. Did I tell you Sara got engaged over Christmas? Vernon had asked my permission back in November, but I had no idea when it would take place. I thought perhaps Christmas Day but Sara had voiced her opinion on that numerous times so Vernon didn't bother. Sara didn't want it to be a Christmas present (where did this child come from?) We had gone on an overnight trip Christmas shopping in Annapolis. When we arrived home Sara found Vernon had cooked dinner, cleaned up the house (probably the cause for snow on that day) and was waiting for her with a drink in hand. So good for Vernon....that's the way to get to Sara's heart...clean and cook. As his daughter is scheduled to get married in the fall of 2011, they are postponing any dates until that takes place. Sara doesn't want to ruin her year by upstaging her. Plus this gives us plenty of time to decide issues. Well, not we..but Sara and Vernon. Vernon has always fit in nicely with the family so everyone on this end is thrilled for them. I've struggled getting back into the needlework frame of mind. And I've struggled getting on track with Lauren Sauer's project. I'm telling you I'm too old for this stuff. I started Lauren's probably 3 times and I've torn each of the first 2 rows out so much it's a wonder the linen held up. It was so frustrating as Sara was just zipping through it and had no problems at all. It's embarrassing that it's such an easy stitch and I had to much trouble beginning the piece. I really had it going when Sara said something about interfacing and I hadn't done that step so another tear out took place. But I'm thrilled to say I'm on my final row of circles on the front piece and after studying Sara's piece and having her answer the same questions 50 times...I'm well on my way. So I'm planning to have it done by the time we leave for Nashville. Please, Please let me be done. I can't remember a piece that I could only stitch at home in the complete peace and quiet of my own house.... Of course I've also stitched a bit on the "Red Thread" piece and of course I'm also looking at other projects (in my stash) to stitch as I want to stitch something small that I can finish quickly so I can feel that accomplishment. Anyway, that's where I am today, home...stitching...putting away Christmas and thankful I don't have to go out in the bitter cold. I'm also grateful for this wonderful sun..... I hope you don't have too much digging to do...but if you do, take care of yourselves, bundle up and we'll all pray for sun.
Have a great day.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Knit 'n Bitch begins.....

That's right ladies, we are starting a new group which will meet the 2nd Monday of the month during the day. We had a lady come into the shop for help with a child's sweater before Christmas. She said she wished we had a monthly group that she could attend for fellowship and for knitting tips as she was a novice knitter. Since Pat and I had discussed doing this once the summer was over (and of course it never went anywhere since I couldn't come to a decision). But after a few inquiries and then a customer needing help coming in without Pat (one of our better knitters) being here I decided knitters may need help and someone besides myself who could help them. So it was decided that Monday, January 10th will be our first meeting. Since I'm so late (what's new) getting this information out, it just may be Sara, and myself, please mark your calenders for the rest of the winter....2nd Monday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Hopefully Pat will be there for help and suggestions...I tend to just want to take over and do it for you, so I'm not sure how much help I am. But Pat has the patience and has proven to be wonderful with instructions and figuring out the problems. FYI....the is another post coming today or tomorrow (as soon as I figure out how I posted pictures last time) so stay tuned. This is a new year and an older but more determined Sally to keep up with things, well at least the blog. Have a great day!

New Year....and I'm almost back...

Linda and Candi stitched this for me for a Stitch 'n Bitch gift this year. It was in my stitching bag to do, that bottomless pit, so imagine my delight in receiving it this year from them. Love it and it will be hanging in the shop now that Christmas is over so you can see it without the light glare. Thanks ladies...I love it. I have lots more to show you but having a problem locating it in my picture file so I'll be showing you Christmas pictures long after Christmas...perhaps one a blog.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and safely made it into 2011. I'm back, although it's been a somewhat hobbled journey. 2010 will be remembered as the year I finally realized I am no longer 30. In fact, I'm wondering if I'm a 100 and just can't remember that anymore. Everything seems to be going to pot, and most of it is heading south. So I'm entering 2011 with a body that feels and looks like I'm 100 years old. My hearing sucks....can't hear certain tones, so the girls look at each other and roll their eyes everytime something needs to be repeated (which apparently is quite often). I just look at them and repeat, "This is your future so you better be careful." Just when did I become my mother, or should I say parents? My eyes are such a mess that I wear 2 different glasses in the evenings, one to watch T.V. and the other to do needlework. I will say that towards the end of 2010 wearing my peepers and using my Daylight magnifier(and sometimes 2 peepers and the Daylight Magnifier) I could still manage to do over one stitching. I even did 1 piece of 40 count over one, wait, perhaps that was over 2, oh crap, my memory isn't quite what it use to be...just one more thing going wrong. As for my appetite, the one thing that I wish would go away, well, actually it's not that I'm ever hungry, not really, I just can't seem to stay away from the refrigerator, or pantry. I just look at some foods and know I'm in trouble. Cheese, which I love, well....just looking at it causes me to spend too many hours in the bathroom and the list is expanding every day. Yes, 2011 hasn't started out with a bang....I caught a bug over the holidays and spent several days lanquishing on the sofa with the clicker in my stitching, no e-mails, no phone...yes already I'm behind. For those who e-mailed me I apologize as I couldn't get to the computer. Every year I can't wait for Christmas to end so that I can just sit and stitch without worrying about getting gifts done. Which was another issue in 2010. I got several gifts stitched for Christmas, but never got any of them put together. What the hell is that about? But Sunday I returned to work, with a new attitude. I'm back to stitching, well I was until I ran into Lauren Sauer's class piece and well, I've torn it out 3 times and it's not even difficult. Sara is whizzing away on hers and every time I see her I have to ask to see it once again to make sure I'm on track. Monday she pulled it out to show Stacy Stinson (since I commented on how easy it was) and I realized I forgot to put the interfacing on before stitching so now I'm pulling it out again. Holy crap...but I did pull out an oldie but goodie, Bent Creek's "Red Thread" piece which was half finished and I'm now working on it once again and am determined to finish it in 2011. I did finish a couple of things for Sara....after Christmas so I gave them to her for a New Year's Eve gift. She was dying for Lizzie Kate's "Cleaning the house while the children are growing is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing." It was quite appropriate since we got 12-14 inches of snow on Christmas. Last year I wished for snow...this year I've kept my mouth shut...well perhaps that isn't true but I haven't wished for snow. But if it must snow I'm hoping it gets it out of it's system before our Superbowl Sale. No one wants that mess again while we're having that event. Although everyone made a snow party out of it....but we need clear sailing for that event. Anyway, Santa, as usual, was very good to me. We had our Stitch 'n Bitch Christmas dinner at Fager's as usual and spirits were high. Kay Fletcher brought me a cute little Christmas hat and I wore it in good spirits, much to Sara's embarrassment. And since I realized how much it embarrassed her I wore it through much of the dinner and then when we made our pilgrimmage to Annapolis managed to start out the trip wearing the hat again. But that was short lived as she snatched it off my head and threw it in the back of the car where I couldn't reach it. (sometimes she's just no fun at all) The ladies were, as usual, very generous. In fact I think just about everyone brought a little bag of cookies, candy, someone brought Christmas Socks for everyone, oh many Christmas items for each person at the dinner. Linda and Candi brought me Shepherd's Bush Holy Night for Stitch 'n Bitch, and still gave me a wonderful Christmas Gift. Before the dinner was even served the table was filled with little bags and boxes and the secret santa exchange hadn't even started. Spirits were high and apparently so was Sara since she got to the dinner and forgot the only thing she had to remember, her secret Santa gift for Beth. So she started out the night having to go back home for Beth's gift. Debbie Liming and Phyllis Yurack came down from Pennsylvania for the event and our Kay Fletcher came in from up Baltimore way (everything on the north side of the Bay Bridge becomes Baltimore to me although Kay doesn't live in Baltimore), and the only 2 people that were missing were Jackie Janovsky who chose to have her knee blow out before Christmas, and Connie Heppding who chose Christmas to have some sort of bug. We missed you Jackie, but she had Kay bring us each a little something from her and she also sent me a gift....whoppee! And Connie sent her secret Santa (I was the recipient only I thought it was my Christmas gift which she brought in to the shop after Christmas...anyway at the dinner I got a hand knit scarf which was gorgeous and so warm) through Pat so no one was left out of the gift exchange. I think our group entertained everyone that was at Fager's that night laughing and regaling each other with stories. And after dinner the real reason we love this dinner....Secret Santa gifts. It is fascinating to me to see what everyone comes up with. When we first began this annual event, I think Judy was the only one who stitched something and the rest of us gave each other things we purchased. Well, when we saw what she made, a J.B. Design Christmas piece, well, we were all determined to stitch for each other. That really didn't happen for a year or two after that first year, but each year someone else would join that wonderful group and stitch their gift, but it took some of us (yeah, I'm part of that group) much longer to get in line. Now just about all of us are doing it on a regular basis, and the ideas are so creative. I'm always amazed at the work being done....and the finishing is often quite inventive and done in ways I hadn't thought of. (I've decided I'm the least creative person in the group.) Anyway, it was a wonderful evening filled with stitching, good friends, laughter and wonderful food. So ladies thanks for a great dinner and for all the wonderful gifts....I loved them and hopefully will do a better job of getting the Thank You notes out as I'm still carrying around the Thank You note to Jennifer for my birthday gift in June. (yes, I'm embarrassed about that as well). I do want to show you my gifts as they were stitched with love and were so beautifully done. So bear with me please while I go through this. I'll do as many each day (I swear I will blog more frequently in 2011) as I can, but I'm having difficulty locating the pictures on my computer. I can't figure out why they aren't all with Linda and Candi's, but apparently something has gone wrong and I'm too stupid at this point to figure it out. But I'm on it and will continue to fight the good fight. They will all end up at the shop as models so you will get to see them up close and personal. In the meantime I want to thank each and every one of you, and also promise to do a better job this year with e-mails, shipping, customer service, etc., if I can remember what I'm suppose to be doing which is also questionable at this point. Anyway, thanks for sticking with me and I'll talk to you later.