Thursday, April 21, 2011

Betsy Morgan Class a wonderful experience....

We had our first class of 2011, Betsy Morgan's "Toy Chest", which began with the arrival of the first stitchers on Wednesday, one of which, Paola traveled all the way from Luxenburg. She was such a wonderful addition to our fold and we had such a wonderful time getting to know her. She not only arrived a few days early to explore Ocean City a little, but she stayed a couple of days after the class so we were able to take her to some real hot spots, Michaels and Serendipty Quilt Shop. Debbie Liming, Phyllis Yurack, Staci Buhrman, Sara and I decided to take Paola to Serendipity as it is the Moda fabric quilting shop in our area and it's fabulous. (That's Phyllis on the left, Paola, Staci, and Debbie) For the non-sewing stitcher (of which I'm one, although I do dabble) Moda is the fabric designed by Blackbird Designs and I use it all the time to finish smalls, the Black Bird stockings (which I still haven't completed) and anything else I can use it it! Anyway, we had a wonderful day with the finale at Michaels. Apparently, Luxemburg has no Michaels so Paola and I spent about one hour in there searching for bargains, beads, anything to use on our stitching. It was a wonderful day filled with shopping and friends. Tuesday we said good-bye to everyone so it was a sad day for us. That meant we also had to go back to work. But I have to tell you, everyone who attended the Betsy Morgan class had a wonderful class experience. First of all, Betsy Morgan...a great teacher(shown here) who gives you complete instructions...written down as part of the of the process as you complete each piece of the Toy Chest...and we completed one piece of the set, which becomes the Thimble holder and we learned every technique we will use putting the many parts of this project together. Everyone finished one piece, not just a few of us, including our token male, Greg McCord. We're so proud of him. It was his first experience being in a class, and aside from his tardiness in arriving, he did beautifully. Kudos to our Greg. So while the entire Toy Chest isn't finished, we are on the way. (the rest of the pictures were taken in the lobby while the class was taking place) I think everyone agreed that the weekend was a success. If you haven't had a chance to take a Betsy Morgan class....take one. The teaching is excellent. She was patient with the students, as I said her directions are complete and written down so you don't have to remember anything, and so complete we barely made any notations. She also gives you plenty of everything. You get extra fabric, extra finishing materials (beads, fibers, etc.) and brought extra of everything so while you practiced a technique you didn't even have to use the supplies in your kit. Unbelievable. I highly recommend Betsy to everyone. As with all our teachers she was also there and willing to help even when the class was over. She was so popular with the students that a couple of the students approached her after class while I was in the shop to ask if she would come back and teach two other classes on the same weekend (apparently some wanted one piece while others wanted a different piece.) So when I returned to the hotel lobby they announced that she was coming back as soon as we told her a date. So while we had planned to bring her back to teach her latest piece, the casket, in 2012...we are now bringing her back in 2011 to teach 2 more classes, as well. You can take one or both classes that weekend, which we are still trying to fit into our schedule. Our C.A. Wells Memorial Weekend has been discussed, but it isn't carved in stone, we will let you know at a later date as soon as we figure it out, which should come in the next 3 weeks as soon as we get through the Spring Retreat. Right now we are getting things ready for Spring Retreat.....the boys are painting, the rooms are ready, Sara is getting her grocery list together and I'm ordering from the companies like I have good sense. I'm battling the diabetes thing which is my own fault since I was diagnosed having type 2 a couple of years ago and while I paid attention to begin with...well, I let things slip. Then when I was having the pain shooting down my leg and went to the doctors, they had me take blood tests which showed my sugar had risen drastically since they last saw me. Apparently I was a candidate for a stroke at my levels so now I'm being watched like a hawk but not only by the doctors but Sara. I have to say my peeps have stood firmly behind me...Greg and Renee both delivered Easter Baskets on Sunday filled with sugar free candies (and you know they are really pretty good.) So I can't thank everyone for their concern, and the goodies I've received. While the shingles were nothing in my case (which created the pain as they traveled down my nerve) and I'm so grateful they were mild. My father had shingles on his head and he felt pain if you even entered the room where he was, so believe me when they told me I had shingles I said, "No Way" there is no part of my body which I can't touch, I saw no rash, blisters or anything. I thought I had a pinched nerve somehow. But not only the hospital, but my personal physician informed me that while my case was very mild, I did indeed have them. After taking pain meds for the pain, and the anti-virals, I never had the pain again. But of course the diabetes has taken the focus off anything else. This time I'm not doing as well getting it under I feel "off" all the time. My physician is on me constantly, getting my numbers every few days at first and now weekly. Changing my medication each week...honestly it's almost too much for me. For the last week I just haven't felt well, can't put my finger on it, but there's something not just right...but I'm not concerned...too many people watching me. I am concerned enough that I am taking my tests 3 times a day, watching my carb up so much of my bread...but not all, no sugar at all that I can tell, so I said good-bye to all candy, except sugar free (and how much of that can you eat when it has a gaseous affect on you). I ate yogurt only for days because I couldn't figure out what to eat...but finally I'm back on the protein thing. Anyway, I'm determined to figure this out and get me back on track to feeling great, O.K. with my body great isn't an option, but feeling normal for me. Now Shop Talk, we've run out of room once again....the knitting side is growing by leaps and bounds. I'm afraid Pat and I have run amuck ordering yarns...O.K., Pat was hesitant so perhaps I ran amuck, but how do you decide. Of course after seeing my credit card maxed out a couple of times, and the lack of room I've made some critical decisions...we're moving the yarns. This was in discussion all winter with Pat, and this week, of course after we're open again 7 days a week, I've decided to move the yarns to a different area of the shop to give it more room to grow, a little. This will create havoc since we're open every day and the guys are going to have to tear down shelving, etc. so we can move the stuff, but I've already warned them (I just hate it when they roll their eyes at me), and Pat is ready and willing to come in on her days off to help to hopefully we can get this done before the retreat. (that's what I'm hoping anyway) This has also given me a reason to start deleting some lines. Unfortunately, I've only chosen lines in Sea Trader to delete so far, (how can I decide which companies in the needlework industry to delete when I love it so much). And of course, we are bringing in canvaswork into the needlework see, I don't seem to be helping the problem at all....although I am considering deleting crewel and stamped cross stitch...will that help? (Since those areas are so small I doubt it but it shows I'm trying). We've finally managed to get to spring weather down here or up here depending on where you live. Temperatures are in the mid 60's to 70's. We're now thinking air conditioning instead of heat, so that's a step in the right direction. I'm hoping this continues for Spring Retreat. For the Betsy Morgan class Saturday was a nightmare with not only rain, but wind driven rain. The racket from things blowing was deafening, but then Sunday it was sunny and bright so the stitchers could travel home in good weather. A wonderfully productive weekend. Our local group decided we would work on the Toy Chest at home getting the stitching done, but would then get together for finishing. It's always easier if you have others to help, and we were going to work on it first at Spring Retreat. However, since I still haven't finished my pre-stitch on Lauren Sauer's class (here in June), I've yet to work on the Toy Chest, so I'll be playing catch up. Hopefully I won't get too far behind, because I'm determined to have this piece finished in 2011. I'm tired of all my class pieces either up on the shelves languishing or stuffed in a bag waiting. No more I say...these have to be completed in the same year they were taught (at least that's my story in April...this may change by's always nice to have a goal). Well, I'll try to be more current with my blog, but it's becoming harder and harder when I'm not feeling quite right...but again, I'm determined to get my life back on track so stay tuned. Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Today's a Great Day!!!! at least for now!

Yes, I am feeling fine, the meds are taking care of all pain, and I got a few hours of stitching in before going to work, so my day started out really well. And the sun was shining and the temps are moderate...oh, my spring is here folks. So I went to work with a smile on my face and a determination to get things done! Now that was a lost cause. I wanted to get some things cleared off my desk (the shop is still closed 3 days a week so I work in the office) but today Vernon and John decided to get some extra pieces of office furniture put in the office, where they did not fit so I spent the day clearing out spaces, cleaning it up for the cabinet only to find that the cabinet wouldn't work there. Back to the drawing board. We decided to stick it in Salty Yarn's storeroom so I went over there and moved all the crap that was in the space it could go in only to find that the boys decided to bring the cabinet in the back door, not through the front. Of course I had thrown all the crap in front of the back door and made a path from the front. So then I had to remove all the stuff and put it in the other room as it was easier for the boys to go through the back door now, than for them to lug it around to the front which at that point would have involved more stairs. I then went back over to the office only to find that they had disabled the internet connection when they took the original shelving out...which of course they then had to go retrieve it and put it back in since the cabinet wasn't going in there. So I didn't get a damn thing accomplished today except I cleaned the floor under the shelving which is now back in place so no one even knows it's been done. Personal satisfaction? I think Not! Since I've been out for over a week there's a lot to be done, especially with our Betsy Morgan class coming up in 10 days....oh, the excitement is mounting. I've been goodie bag shopping and hopefully will get this done in time (it's always questionable) and then I have 2 weeks before Spring Retreat...good God, no time people...I have no more time. Anyway, I found the darn camera so now I can show you some of the pictures I've taken ... The first picture is "Summer" by The Cross Eyed Cricket. I just can't wait to start on Spring, Winter and Autumn. I haven't quite figured out the frame yet, which is why I'm showing it to you unframed, but I'll be taking it to the framer soon and we will figure something out. The second picture is the Lizzie Kate "special edition" kit, "Peeps". This is the one Debbie Liming decided to stitch over one so that meant I had to do the same thing. Mine doesn't show the turkey work grass we decided to put in the basket....but I'm taking mine apart and adding it because it's so much cuter. Of course because of the size we weren't able to add the Jabco egg button which came with the kit, but I love it anyway. Since we carry the tin necklaces I was able to finish this in an hour....whoppee! You will see a trend here....I'm enjoying anything it takes one night to finish....yes and I'm not ashamed to admit it. The next picture shows my knitted bunny egg covers that take one night to knit. Aren't they cute....finally I've finished something that wasn't a scarf or a hat. These came from the Debbie Bliss, "The Knitter's Year which has fabulous projects inside. I've picked out a couple more projects from it and hopefully I'll find them as easy to knit as my "bunny heads". Fun, fun, fun, people...we're having fun. And the next picture is Debbie working on one of her projects (it took 2 weeks to get it on the website..she's back home stitching now) and Sara working on her latest pin cushion, Jabco's Snowman. She did this one start to finish in about 4 hours. We are carrying several of these pincushions as we love them all. They come with the buttons and pins you see adorning him. Cute, cute, cute. And they make wonderful gifts. I'm hoping this one will become my Christmas gift....hint, Sara, hint. That's Debbie's hand holding the Jabco Strawberry pincushion. She finished that in one sitting as well. Renee and Pat each did one while working in the shop one day. Love it!!!! The next picture shows the Fern Ridge "Spell Box" Debbie stitched. The box contains the spell book and a voodoo doll along with the pins. We all love Halloween and this is just the cutest kit. Comes with everything. I think there is one thing not finished so it's not shown, but I couldn't resist showing you Debbie's progress so far. She loves to stitch multiple projects and then sits down and finishes them all at once so everytime she comes down she's got plenty of show and tell. The last picture is a Shepherd's Bush pincushion (I think). I can't remember which kit it was, so I'm sorry but I wanted you to see it anyway. Lot's of finishes...I'm hoping she inspires me to finish some of my projects. I've had the rose cottage stitched to put on one of the Impie, Bea and Hattie pouches from the time the pouches came into the shop. It was suppose to be a sampler, however, we sold out of the pouches and so now it's just a treasure f
or me. I hope the pouch fairy shows up to put it together. And that explains a lot of what's in my finish box...what's in yours? Oh, I almost forgot to tell you what
came in the other day. You may remember my talking about the canvas work we're bringing in. Well, some has arrived and it's absolutely adorable. I really thought I'd never go back to needlepoint at all, but I've already got mine picked out and so does Sara. And I get to use the new Evertite Stretcher Bars....I've got goosebumps I tell you. Anyway, Beth Jernigan's group decided they wanted to stitch two of the Libby Sturdy canvases and when I saw them I decided we had to have the Beach Santa's, among others. They come with directions to tell you which stitches to use where. I've pulled the Summer Santa shown with the life saver and Sara is stitching the Paradise Santa. They some outlined on 18 ct. canvas and come with the stitching directions. When you are using a variety of stitches on needlepoint canvas they will stitch up quicker. Plus they are using all sorts of specialty threads, which we will also be carrying. Renee pulled one of the Nancy's Needle canvas pieces, and she hasn't seen these because I know she'll pull one of these too. Too many projects and not enough days in the week. Anyway, I've got to get back to stitching so I'll talk again tomorrow. Have a great night!