Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Christmas

What a merry Christmas I had....and today I'm starting to  feel better.  The day after Christmas I felt like I had a hangover and yet I didn't have anything to drink.  But prior to the big day we were on overdrive down here.  First the shopping...oh,, shopping and more shopping.  Then the wrapping....oh, God why did I buy all this stuff that now has to be wrapped....then it's the menu revisions and the food shopping and then the final insult to the house....or the attempt to clean the house.  Since I have yet to finish all of this by myself,  I was determined to get everything done in time for the family to come to my house Christmas Day for dinner.  Sara traditionally had me over for breakfast and then everyone comes to my house for dinner where I have gifts for everyone and they bring me gifts.  But for the last two years I didn't go to Sara's in my attempt to get the entire dinner done with no help before they all get to my house.  For the past several Christmas' I  have failed and have  had to call Sara to have her come over and help Christmas afternoon.  But I was determined this year.  I made lists, I had a schedule done and each was revised nightly as I changed recipes, etc...yes, I just knew this was my year.  I was ready for the count down....Monday I shopped for ingredients and started my baking.  I had everything purchased but due to rain and I was exhausted since I had spent the morning at the church hall where we had set up a little church while our church is being repaired from the fire, and with the usual final day running last minute errands, I ended up grocery shopping at dinner tine.  I ended up only bringing into the house what I knew I would have to have for Monday's baking.  I was definitely going to get Monday's jobs done, even though I was running behind.  I was feeling good and excited and I began with the Cheesecake.  By 10 p.m. that was job checked off the list.  Now the sweet potato pie...well, I left the potatoes in the car so that would have to wait.  So instead I decided to work on the food basket I give to my minister and the deacon Christmas Eve.  However, it was a bleak reminder that our minister was killed in the tragic fire in November, but we still have our Deacon so I was determined to get her gift done.  Cranberry bread, done...chocolae peanut butter cookies...done...chocolate peppermint bark...bagged and tagged...yes, I'm on schedule.   I finished making the pickled peaches and pickled beets and put them in the frig to cool.   In checking recipes on my Ipad, I saw crockpot candy and thought...yes, that's cool I'll try that. (this is why I get in trouble every year).  I add it to my todo list...oh, no another item...I need to stay off the internet.  And  because I didn't have cashews it meant another trip to the grocery store.  I had a few more gifts to wrap to I switched from baking to wrapping.  Everything got wrapped, with one exception...a couple of things for Izzie I forgot about.  But everything else was bows but  bows were on the schedule for Christmas morning early, so no problem. .Yes this was going to be my year.   Tuesday morning loomed early for me as I got up around 4:30  to 5:00 a.m.  So I was ready to go early and decided to bring in the groceries, and get something else done.  Coleslaw dressing....done and all I would have to do on the 25th was put the coleslaw together.  Yeast bread for cinnamon rolls, done and I got the sweet potatoes cooking so I could make sweet potato pie from scratch.  Yes, I was definitely on schedule....and then Michael (my 12 year  old grandson) came over.  We decided to get cashews for our crockpot chocolate so we went shopping.  When we returned we made our crockpot chocolate covered cashews (interesting, delicious and easy...but still takes a little time to set up and then when it's done  you have to put it in little cups for giving.)  It was interesting but makes a whole lot so be prepared if you try this at home.  Michael got bored with the shaping of the candy and went home....O.K., now that I'm alone this is taking longer than I expected.    Sara was taking the gift to our deacon since I refuse to attend the  children's Christmas Eve running around, screaming and talking make me nuts in church so on Sunday I always attended the 8:00 so I didn't have to contend with the kids whose parents seem to be o.k. if their little darlings never sit down in church.  Unfortunately since the fire we are only able to have one united service at 9:00, in the church hall, so I am forced to contend with the little rug rats.   Sara doesn't seem to mind as much so she attended Christmas Eve service  so she could undress the altar for me and bring me the linens to clean.  So that gave me an extra couple of hours to work as well on  Christmas Eve.  Oh, yes I just knew I was going to make it.  I went to bed Tuesday night still convinced I was on schedule.  But I got up , well I got up the first time at 2 a.m. and gathering up all the wrapping supplies and got them in a pile.  Then I went back to sleep and got up again at 4:30 and started panicing because I was afraid the 21 pound turkey I purchased frozen solid on Monday afternoon wouldn't  be thawed by Wednesday morning.  So first thing I did was google cooking frozen turkey and was assured that the turkey could be cooked regardless of frozen state.  However after I finally lifted it and took off the wrapping I saw that it was thawed so I knew it was my lucky day.  So I got the stuffing ready and stuffed the bird and shoved it in the oven at 6:30 a.m.  Then I put the sauerkraut in the crock pot, put a load of wash in, and got the sweet potatoes ready so I could put them in the candied sweet potatoes.  As I was getting things ready to go into the oven at their appointed time I was patting myself on the back thinking I was finally going to get everything done.  I peeled the regular potatoes for boiling so they would be ready for mashing,  got the cinnamon  roll bread out of the refrigerator so it could go through the 2nd rise and then I decided to get the living room ready and gifts in place.  I wrap each persons gifts with a different paper so it makes it easier to tell whose boxes are whose.  So I  got out the vacuumed the living room floor, dusted and placed the gifts in their proper place and then began to work on the dining room table.  I knew I was going to make it because I only had left, the two vegetable dishes, a sauteed brussel sprouts dish which was easy although I did have to fry the shallots, and a puff pastry w/asparagus which was also easy.  Then I had to make the merangue for the sweet potato pie and I was done...O.K., almost done.  I still had to clean up the porch and finish the dining room.  I decided to take a bathroom break and while I was reading a page of my book as I sat(my break for the day..I was multi-tasking) I heard the patter of little feet.  I just knew it couldn't be any of the kids because it was just 10:30 in the morning.  Certainly they weren't done at their house.  But then I heard "nan" and my goals just moved further out of reach.  But no problem, I just had to make sure to pull the turkey out of the oven by 11:00, get the sweet potatoes basted and then pull them out and I could do the vegetable dishes in the afternoon before reheating all the finished dishes....yes, I'm not as certain as I was earlier, but I still have confidence in myself.  Why those children who woke up around 8 were downstairs with me by 10:30 is a mystery, but it's Christmas Day,  I'm a grandmother and delighted they want to come see me no matter what the house.  So I meet them in the living room to ooh and aah the new toys they brought down for me to see.  But of course, staring at piles of gifts in my house was too much so one by one they started opening gifts swearing they didn't care if there were none left when everyone came over tonight.  Around 11:30 Mary announced that she smelled something burning...oh, crap!  Of course the Turkey was in the oven 1/2 hour too long...well I like my meat well done so I'm cool, but the sweet potatoes hadn't been basted regularly so their tops were a bit on the too done side, but after tasting one I said, "the underside is fine, it's the top that looks burnt and I'll eat that."  Mary wanted the kids to go back upstairs so I could finish my job, but they didn't want to go so I said the hell with it and called Sara.  Another Christmas without reaching my goals wasn't going to kill might kill Sara but she's getting use to my Christmas day 911 call and I think she might miss it (I'm sure she'd like to experience missing the call and I think next year will be the year).  Yes, next year I'm going to start the whole procedure a day earlier and have everything basically cooked and just have to heat it up Christmas Day.  This gives me a whole year to make plans and make lists.  Yes, 2014 is going to be my year!  Of course Sara is saying, "this is ridiculous, next year we're doing this at my house."  We'll see. 

I hope your day was as much fun as mine and you had plenty of time with your family too.  There is just nothing better for Christmas than children and grandchildren...too much fun!   

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving...Hope you had a safe and delicious day!!!!

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and made it to your destination with no problem.  Fortunately we stayed here in Ocean City, well Sara and I did, our Mary and her family drove to
Baltimore for the day to spend Thanksgiving day with Brian's family.  So it was pretty quiet here which was fine because this has been a really bad week for us.  Tuesday I was sitting at home, T.V. blaring, soda by my side and needlework in my hand when I got the call from Sara..."Mom, the church is on fire and someone died."  Of course that led to a lot of speculation and at one point during the day I was told Father David had died.  Just as I was coming to grips with the grief of that statement,  I was called and told he wasn't dead but was in critical condition at the hospital  It was someone else (as it turns out the man who set himself on fire while in  Shepherds Crook, our food pantry), and of course that let to Shepherd's Crook catching fire.    Anyway, as I was taking some relief in that and the fact that it was the offices on fire not the church, which is attached, and  seemed to be weathering the fire alright.  Anyway, by the 6:00 p.m. news Tuesday, Father David had died, the church offices were destroyed and the church suffered water damage and smoke damage.  When your parish priest dies it is similar to a family member dying.  I know he will be replaced eventually but this process can take a couple of years and in the time it takes,  people will once again be leaving to go elsewhere.  While I do serve on the Altar Guild, December is my month, I'm just not sure how I'll feel walking back in there knowing David died's a sad reminder...and we're in flux once again.  Our church has been devasted in the last 20 years due to a couple of ministers who should  never have become ministers.  We were just getting our church moving forward in a positive way with Father David and now this.  So I'm feeling down about Father David's passing on, his wife and 3 children now without him, especially difficult at holiday times and our church which will now go through another period of turmoil.  Mercy, it's almost too much to handle.  I've always been told that God doesn't give you more than you can handle....I hope this is true.  Because in the coming weeks we will have to pull together for each other and to help Brenda and the boys get through this.  Anyway, that's my week, and I did have a wonderful dinner at Sara's.  She did the turkey, candied sweet potatoes, stuffing and dressing (glad I finally learned the difference...duh)..sauerkraut, and a sweet potato pie, and I did the cinnamon rolls, sautéed brussel sprouts (Sara's Favorite), mashed potatoes (my favorite), sweet pickled peaches (tradition), pickled beets and a new pie, Sour Cream Apple, so to say we had plenty of food is an understatement...there were 4 of us, but today we had the next day turkey sandwiches which are sooo good.  To help me weather the storm I am also stitching like crazy.     Sorry for the awful photo's of my works in progress but I just couldn't take the time to iron them just to show you what I've done...obviously I have a way to go on both of them.  But I've also finished 7 Christmas gifts, and a Thanksgiving etui for Sara which I will put up on the blog later.  The first picture you see is a SamSarah Design that Sara saw from the truck show when Patti was here for Jamboree.  It's a series called...Flock....and the series consists of several charts with the different sections and a set of specialty buttons.  While it is cute when it's done, it's too contemporary for me but Sara just loved, loved, loved I'm stitching it.  It really is a nice stitch, some of the charts are fast and can be done in one night so that's always exciting.  I ran out of 4 of the colors last night so decided to start a new project until I got the colors from the shop.  So then I started doing Drawn Threads "Give Thanks" and I adore this piece.  I'm a strong advocate for Drawn Thread anyway, and have stitched several of her charts.    I pulled the wrong fabric count but decided to use it anyway so I'm stitching it  over 2 on 28 ct., in the silks suggested, except for 2 colors we didn't  have in stock when I first pulled this so I've substituted (as usual).  But this piece is fun and interesting...oh so interesting.  She uses many specialty stitches in each element so the vase that I'm currently working on is using at least 4 specialty stitches....fabulous.  I can't wait to get back to it.  Because I do have to pay attention I won't bring that to work with me.  But since Lizzie Kate's  "A Little Snow" arrived today....well you know I'll work on this right in the shop...nothing better than a new project.  Fun, Fun, Fun.  I am endlessly entertained as long as I have my stitching.  The weather is beautiful this weekend, especially since at first they were calling for rain this weekend, but the sun is out, and the temp. is around 50 during the day but down in the low 30's at night.  I hope you are enjoying the same glorious sky.  Hope you are enjoying the holiday, brief though it is for most, especially those who had to leave their Thanksgiving table to go to work...ugh!  Talk to you soon.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The party is over, but we're still here...

Yes, the Stitchers Jamboree is over and the hotel is officially closed.  It's been an exciting summer but we're pooped and glad to have a few months to regroup.  But, of course, the shop doesn't close so we're still here everyday, but that's our fun spot.  And boy howdy did  we have fun this weekend.  Stitchers Jamboree is a wonderful way to end the summer for us.  Imagine a weekend filled with classes and non-stop stitching with old friends and new.  Our stitchers actually  starting arriving on Wednesday.  These are the ladies who want to get a jump on the "pick of new merchandise" before the rest of the ladies arrive, plus they want to rest up before the run for classes begins.  The teachers, Lauren Sauer and Linda (Chessie and Me) arrived on Thursday with yet more stitchers, including Ginny who flew in on the same plane with Linda.  So we actually had time to visit with these ladies and since Lauren and Linda are returning teachers it's always good to catch on what is happening with them as well.  Then Friday our weekend begins.  Sara was busy cooking for 2 days and I was manning the shop...Sara may rethink this in the future as I was calling her every 5 minutes to figure out where new stuff was located in the shop (you'd think I never worked here before).  Adding to the excitement was a North Easter' which hit Ocean City on Wednesday and stayed here for the entire event....high winds, rain off and on all weekend and just miserable weather.  The good news...stitchers really don't give a damn because all they want to do is shop and stitch.  (We are so grateful they don't care...otherwise it would have been a really long weekend of complaints.)  Anyway, Patti (SamSarah Designs) arrived on Friday along with the rest of the stitchers, and the party commenced.  New attendees weren't strangers long as returning attendees are so welcoming to the newbies.  And it's always fun to see so many return....they became old friends to us long ago and we always look forward to seeing them again and catching up on their families as well as their stitching.  Plus...they always bring us show and tell.  I love to see what people have worked on and get ideas myself for projects.  It's inspiring to me.  And I saw a lot of great finishes.  Janice  Meixell was working on the cutest wedding sampler and not your typical sampler.  Her friends are getting married this winter and she picked a snowflake design, stitched white on navy linen and stitched the information in a wavy line through the piece.  Really different and a great idea.  I just would never have thought of that.  (a group of stitchers will always give you great ideas).  Barbara Nunez arrived with a box of her finishes...amazing!  The most unusual in my opinion was her "cigar box" etui.  It was a Jackie DuPlessis kit which she got long ago and what I loved the most was the cute little cigar box.  It was not a real one, but cute none the less and of course the smalls that went inside...well, you know I love a small.  I rushed over to the lobby of the hotel to show the ladies and one of our Jersey Girls said, "I have that in my stash and I haven't done it."  Meanwhile there was a group of us trying to figure out if we could duplicate the kit as it is no longer being produced.  Then she said the magic words..."I'll sell you mine."  Bingo baby...I was on it.  So when she gets home, she's going to send me the kit....I can't wait.  This was better than one was bidding against me and there was no time limitations.  Now it can sit in my stash for years, but at least I'll have it and can look at the little cigar box every day.  Saturday night Theresa Wood and I had our annual ornament exchange.  She stitched one of the darling little Christmas purses designed by Victoria Sampler and shown in the 2012 Ornament Magazine.  I had noticed them last year and had planned to stitch some of those I was more project off my list.  Thanks Theresa...I just love it.  As I had reported earlier I was struggling to get the little santa I stitched put together and couldn't figure out why this year I was having so many difficulties.  I figured it was my age.  After showing it to Linda and Patti who were sitting there, they along with Theresa informed me I had stitched it on 40 ct.  I don't know what I was thinking, I had just grabbed a small piece of linen and started stitching.  I knew the piece was small but had no idea it was 40 ct. over one.  I loved it, but next year I'm moving up to 32 or 28 for stitching .... the finishing is too difficult with all the angles I'm working around.  But at least I know my magnifiers are working like a charm since I didn't even realize it was 40 ct.  (I think it also might speak volumns about what an idiot I've become that as a shop owner I didn't even realize it... good thing Sara's taking over).  Anyway, the last of our stitchers left Wednesday so now we are getting things back to normal.  Or at least what we call normal.  I'm now busy getting ready for the C.A. Wells memorial weekend.  This is just a fun weekend so there is nothing really to do.  Everyone brings food and we just sit and stitch all weekend.  I am working on an annual piece for the weekend.  It's so much fun coming up with a Halloween memorial piece.  This year I didn't have to come up with the idea, I'm doing a chart by Dames of the Needle, and I'm only changing it slightly, so there is no brain power required.  Whoppee!!!!  As you may have guessed, my brain power is starting to go down hill. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The end of a perfect weekend....

 Another beautiful Sampler and finish provided to us by Carolyn Newman...don't you just love it.  I always did like this piece.  It's a Shakespeare Peddler, "Weeds Make Haste".  It is just full of design elements and is perfect for a gardener,  or for your summer stitching.  Love it.  I also appreciate the fact that this is a nice size pillow,  so it will show up nicely if used on a sofa, etc.  Anyway, you can't see it but Carolyn won a blue ribbon with this piece as well.  She usually enters many, many pieces and darn near wins ribbons on everything.  Good Job Carolyn.  Thanks for loaning it to us.  When you come in the shop look for it.   (This was actually written after the Delaware Sampler Guild was here).  Yesterday the stitchers left after a weekend of  sunshine, a lot of  heat ( was summer here and in the 80's), a lot of talking and a lot of laughing.  A good time was had by all, I think.  So thank you to all the stitchers from the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild.  We loved seeing you all again.  I'm sorry I didn't get much time with you, although I spoke with most of you during the weekend, but I've been taken out of the stitching shop whenever possible and put in other shops (I'm not sure but I think I've been demoted).  And then I took the grandchildren home with me Friday and Saturday so that their mother's could get the food out, etc.  Needless to say it was a busy weekend for us all.  We also want to thank Vera and her stitching group who were having a retreat in Ocean City and spent a lot of time in the shop as well.  That's right...two stitching retreats here and many, many stitchers.  While that makes for a very busy weekend, it's the most fun of all because no one is asking for string, fabrics for sewing, cigarettes, etc., no,  everyone that was here this weekend knew exactly what kind of shop Salty Yarns is and there were no dumb questions.  Alleluia!  Also thanks to Sheila Fitzhugh and Trudy Edwards who were vacationing here (they are also stitchers who come to Spring Retreat) and always bring me wonderful stitching treats.  This year was no different.  What they brought was so fabulous we're going to use them in goodie bags next year.  But first we have to make them....that could be the hitch, although I've already ordered the supplies and I really think I'm capable.  Shiela also brought her beautiful Quaker Christmas II, which is fabulous and allowed us to hang it so everyone could see it....and then left it for the winter so we could display it until she returns next May.  Wow...I have such wonderful stitchers who come generous with their time and talents.  Thanks ladies for the treat and for the models you allow us to use.  We appreciate it.  Theresa Baird brought in her new samplers...oh my, absolutely gorgeous.  She is so talented, and these samplers are unbelievable, as they are full of details and done on 40 ct....fabulous.  Thanks Theresa...your talent for designing is amazing.  This is actually the final day for the hotel for the season, as far as outside renters.  Next weekend is the Stitchers Jamboree and then the hotel is shut down for the winter.  So poor Mary just can't wait.  She and her family has been living at the hotel in a very small space for the last 6 months, so moving back to her home is long overdue.  It gives us all time to rest and start preparing for next summer.  But the shop, Salty Yarns and Sea Trader will still be open  7 days through Thanksgiving and then 4 day weekends after that.  Exiting things happening here as we start working on the changes at the hotel.  Mary is on top of that while Sara is on top of things that deal with the shop.  Both girls did a fabulous job this summer and because of that I've been able to take days off, like today.  Normally, before a big event I'm in the shop or office everyday fighting to get orders placed and bills paid.  But this summer I only went  into the office for a couple of hours one day a week and I've had days off.  I'm really enjoying my fact a bit too much.  My mother wouldn't retire....her answer to me when I told her she was no longer working in the shop so she could relax was..."You are to put me back on the schedule...I don't know what you think I'm suppose to do all day but I refuse to sit upstairs and watch your father sleep in the chair."  She worked until the day she died.  However, I am not my mother, I said to Sara, "If you expect me to tell you to put me on a schedule like my mother told me, you are going to be seriously disappointed.  I'm taking the days and you won't even hear from me."  Which she hasn't, although she usually calls me to make sure I'm not dead on the floor.  So far so good!  Anyway, for those traveling to Ocean City for the event this weekend....please drive carefully.  Don't forget your scissors, needles, and any magnification and lighting you need and we'll see you ...starting some arrive on that date and the rest follow on Thursday and Friday.  Safe travels.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The fat lady sings in 2 weeks...

Yes, it's all over but the shouting down here.  But what  gorgeous weekends we've had.  The sun was shining all weekend during Sunfest, biker's weekend which was beautiful during the day, rained one night and so the weekend was a success, and then last weekend for Winefest it couldn't have been more I'd say the fall has started off beautifully.    The temperatures were comfortable in the 70's...not too hot, so you could go on the beach if you wanted and at night you might want a sweatshirt, although many of us don't need one.   Starting tomorrow however, it's suppose to go back up into the 80's...whew I don't do well in heat...I'd like to refer to myself as a delicate flower....however, if you have seen me you would know I was anything but delicate.  Anyway, I'm thrilled that the Delaware Sampler Guild coming down next weekend and having their retreat at the hotel will be able to sit in the rockers on the porch and view the ocean as they stitch.  Our retreaters have been coming down and we have Judy's crew here for Pat Podziomek's birthday...Happy Birthday girl, a  week or so ago and Syd Serson was here from  Pa. for a few days.  It's always so strange to see these ladies here when we're not having an event, as they are always here for's like an early event but Sara doesn't have to do the cooking and I don't have to have a goodie bag ready.  But it's fun to hear about their stitching, and connect with people that know what DMC floss is.    The picture above is the Winter Box from Victoria's Sampler, and beautifully stitched and finished by Carolyn Newman who entered it in the Delaware Fair and of course won with it.  We also have a few other pieces that Carolyn is letting us display so I'll get the others up soon, hopefully.  I'm having my usual issues with getting pictures up.  But I won't give up.  I love this box and also have it in my stash to stitch along with the 2 other boxes from Victoria Sampler.  At the rate I'm going, Sara will inherit all 3 charts (not the finished boxes), but I always have hope I'll get to everything stitched before I go (well if I live to be 300 that might happen, but since I'm 65 and circling the drain...not holding out much hope.    Anyway, Carolyn was gracious enough to let us have this to display in the shop so you can see it up close when you are here.  With the events right around the corner,   Sara has been like a demon ordering supplies and of course I've found some neat things for the goodie bags.  These goodie bags drive me nuts because I'm trying to find new things we haven't  used before and since we've been doing this for a while it's become a lot harder, but I'm ever vigilant and always on the lookout.  Thankfully Ruth at Nordic Needle knows I'll be calling her at the last minute and she can usually help us with the quantities we need or she has excellent suggestions for us...and this year was no different...although it wasn't quite the last minute since we ordered over a week ago.  Now let's keep our fingers crossed that the weather cooperates.    The Sherri Jones kits are in so you know what that means...more pre-stitch for me.  Barbara Nunez and I were trying to get the mermaid purse done by Jamboree as we had taken this class in Hilton Head, several years ago,  so we will be way ahead of others who don't have their kits, but I'm struggling with this.  I can't believe it, but I am.  I'm not sure I'll have it done for Jamboree, but I'm plugging along and hopefully I'll get there.  I'm one of those stitchers who will tear out if I've miscounted, but....I don't have time and for some reason no matter how  careful I've been this piece it has several miss counted placement issues, but I've plugged along anyway.  It still is a beautiful piece and I love it.  I've actually managed to stitch the back in a couple of days so I'm almost more piece to do before Jamboree.  However, I had a tragedy with my ornament exchange.  I stitched an over one was so cute....and I did back and front and I was thrilled to have it done so early.  Only one was too small to put together properly, it was star shaped,  so I've had to chunk it and now I've got to start over...damn, I thought I did so well and was ahead of the game.  I can't seem to catch a break sometimes.  Debbie Liming was down for a week and got here last Monday in time to watch Hotel Impossible where The Lankford was featured.  While Sara, Mary and I were a red hot mess (thank you Anthony for showing that!) everyone felt we did just fine.  Sara, Debbie, Mary, Brian, and Vernon held the viewing in the lobby with some of the hotel staff.  I chose to sit at home by myself but called Sara every commercial to bitch and whine about parts of it (O.K. all of it)...because while they mis-represented things a little (like going into Sara's shops and saying while the town was filled (with high school seniors) her shops were empty.  The truth was, she took him into the shops before the shops opened in the morning so no one was in there because it wasn't open yet.  When they filmed in my shop their production person asked people to stay outside until they were done filming.  I'm telling you I was having screaming fits at the T.V. and on the phone with Sara.  But since she and everyone else in the lobby  were partying at the hotel while watching, and booze was flowing freely she just kept saying, "Mom, they have to show somethings wrong so they have a story to tell for t.v.  Calm down and don't worry about it."  I never did calm down and was glad I wasn't in the lobby with them since I seldom drink.  But in the end we all lived through it and we've had a steady stream of people coming in because they saw the show and wanted to see what was  happening here.  I didn't realize how many people saw this until people started coming in and introducing themselves to me and asking all kinds of questions.   It makes it hard to have a discussion with anyone (in this case Debbie) when people are pointing, waving and then just coming up to you and introducing themselves and then chatting us up.  Vernon says he's had  many, many people come in on his shift (he thinks around 300).  I had no idea since I'm never in the lobby unless a stitcher is here.  Who knew.  I was still fielding questions while working in the Shell Shoppe last weekend and also having to go down memory lane with old tenants. wears me out.  But it's been a lot of positive feed back from the folks who caught the show so it's all good (as Sara would say), but I need to get out of here.....I'm not taking it as well as the girls.  Plus Sara is giving me some serious time off....last week I only worked 2 days....whoppee!!!! It's like snow days in the summer...I don't bath, get out of my P.J's,  although I did brush my teeth....that makes me a better person even if no one else is around.  I also started the annual clean up of my stitching room which after a summer of dumping bags in here resembled a room on hoarders.  I'm even throwing stuff away...oh it's hard sometimes, but I envision the kids having to clean this up when I'm dead and can see the eyeballs rolling and the "what the hell was she going to do with all this stuff".....I just can't let that happen, so I'm going to really start going through this stuff and unload some of it.  I tend to pick up the same charts that have been here forever, think "I'm never going to stitch this now" but then I think, well I'm never going to read all the books on the shelves either but I'm not throwing them out, so I put the chart back in the pile and leave it for another day.  I'm a work in progress.  Anyway, I wanted to thank everyone  for their comments sent to our e-mail, regarding the show...we appreciate your kind comments and I look forward to seeing  several of you over the next couple of weekends.   I will be somewhere on the property, although this weekend I'll be relegated to the Shell Shoppe...I can't figure out if I've been demoted or not, but the events tend to wear me out so being downstairs for me isn't as tiring.  Wait until you see the finish that Debbie and Sara did Sunday.  They had made plans earlier to put their  Sherri Jones Blue Ribbon boxes together during the week  Debbie was here (she's actually here for the nursing convention....but it's only 1 day so she has plenty of stitching time).  Anyway, Debbie got here and discovered she had forgotten to finish it so Sara and I both thought that was the end of the "put together of the box piece".  But Debbie worked all week to get the pieces done that were involved and Sunday during work she and Sara put the boxes together.  They are gorgeous and I've asked Sara to leave it in the shop so stitchers can see it.  Gorgeous!    I did the pre-stitch and decided to put my initials on it in hopes I'd get to keep it at my house for a while.  Since Mary doesn't stitch, all of my stitching will end up with Sara anyway, unless Mary shows an interest later on, so she will get it back and the initials are her's as well....before she got married so we can both take ownership.  When I stitched Hare Pyns for her (the 2nd Sherri Jones class) I put here initals on it so we would each have one.  But Hare Pyns hasn't been finished yet....but at least my piece is done...another whoppee!!!!  Well I've got to go.  I stitched Shepherd's Bush "Fright Night" for Sara to wear and of course, I decided that just putting it in the tin frame and using a black cord wasn't good after a visit to Michaels for beads, etc., I'm trying to jazz it up, but it's cute as it is so the black cord may end up as the necklace but I'll drive myself crazy tonight trying to make a silk purse out of this .  Wish me luck!

Monday, September 16, 2013

The end is officially in sight....

Yes the end of summer is almost officially over.  At least 6 more days, Sunfest will become a memory and Ocean City declares summer is over and our second season begins.  Here we declared summer is over but we have two very busy weekends ahead, Delaware Guild's retreat on the first weekend of October and Jamboree on the 2nd weekend. Here's Sara with her second completed knitting project....done in about 4 hours on 35 knitting needles. The yarn is called Faux Fur and comes in a variety of colors.   I'll tell you at first when she first walked in I said, "Good God, it looks like you're wearing a shag carpet, but after looking at it for a few minutes, it works.  By the next hour I was telling her how cute I thought she looked it in.  Anyway, that girl is really on a knitting jag.  She has also finished one of Noni's "Lipstick Purses" which is now being dried in the shop after felting.  These little purses are sooo darn cute.  Anyway, she's a knitting a rug now again on the 35 needles.  Me, well I'm still doing the old counted cross stitch and loving it.  I've got several projects in the works but getting things done for Jamboree is taking all my time.  But that's O.K....I'm only working days now...whoppee...we've started our off-season hours so we're open 10 - 4 now and I've got my nights to stitch so when I'm not dozing I'm stitching.  And this week I've got 2 days off again...another big whoppee...of course I said I needed 2 days in a row to get my house cleaned up...we'll see what excuse I come up with this time....too busy stitching to pick up the mop!  UPDATE:  O.K., no one called us but Brian looked up the schedule for Hotel Impossible and evidently our show will be aired next Monday (September 23) at 10:00 p.m.  He said Anthony's promo is that we are dilapidated and feuding..and of course I take offense at that since we are outdated but not dilapidated and we are a normal family that doesn't always see things the same way.  But the kids reminded me that he had to say something and he'd already said how well we maintained the building and we were cleaner than any other hotels he'd been to...but don't we think he could have said outdated instead of dilapidated and still make a point?  Anyway, I think all who have visited us for retreats will agree that we need updating to bring us to 2013, but hardly dilapidated.  But I still love Anthony and his crew and they were wonderful to us while they were here, regardless of the amount of crying that went on.  Well, it should make for interesting conversation if nothing else.  We just had Bike Week down here....oh, the noise of it all, however, I hope all the bikers had a good time.  They do bring a lot of money into the resort, not necessarily into Salty Yarns, but they help fill the hotels and I am grateful for that....but I am also grateful that the noise is gone.  Mercy, can you just get on a bike and start the darn thing without revving it up for 15 minutes?   NEW EMPLOYEE....we feel very fortunate to have a new employee with us, and we love that she was one of our retreaters so she knows the store.  Judy Brunclik,  is our new asset,  and she and her husband decided to retire down they are picking out a home in Delaware near Fenwick and Rehoboth so she's a short drive away.  Judy was the main instigator of the stitching project so many of you were involved in earlier this year as a surprise to me.  Which by the way, is still hanging in the lobby of the hotel and has provided us with wonderful compliments all summer.  (how could Anthony call us dilapidated with all the beautiful needlework hanging in the lobby?...apparently I'm not over it).  Anyway, we're still here, busy working away on events and we hope to see you all soon.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oh, My God...are you kidding me?

O.K., it's nearing the end of the season, I'm in an extremely vulnerable place, I'm tired even though I've had more time off than ever before in the summer and today.  I've got the beginning of a summer cold...ugh!  I woke up this morning feeling crappy, but the weather had taken a decided turn toward fall so I was a happy camper.  Forget that this weather would affect visitors to town, at this point in the season I'll throw anyone under the bus to get things going my way.  Yesterday being the big party for Solomon, I worked the shop so Sara could help her sister.  The shift started with a customer who hadn't been in before, and apparently hadn't done needlework for quite some time.....a few years to say the least.  She was in the shop for about an hour going through racks to pick just the right charts and finally came forward with 3.  She asked to get the "stuff" necessary to stitch 2 of them.  Since she was my first customer I popped up (O.K. that should have read I slowly got out of the chair and centered myself) then went to find fabric.  It called for Pearled Barley by Lakeside.  So I put the fabric on the cutting table and she says, "Oh, you are out of the fabric."  I said, "No, this is the fabric."  She said, well the picture shows white fabric.  Which forced me to have to explain about the distortion in color that you see with photos.  Then she said, she felt Pearled Barley was the color of the thread as fabric wasn't mentioned anywhere on the chart.    This is about the time I had to start reminding myself "customer service, customer service, you can get through this, just smile and cut her some white linen and get over it."  But you know when you are confronted and you just have to prove the other person wrong....well, apparently that is where I was at that I took a deep breath, put my finger on the chart where it said, 32 count Pearled Barley Linen from Lakeside Linen and said, "If you look at this spot where you saw the Pearled Barley after which it states Linen by Lakeside Linen.  The fiber used is Threadgatherer."  So I cut her a piece of white and called it a day.  Then I pull the 2nd chart,  which used  Confederate Gray by Weeks and when I saw that the chart on this one also looked like it used white fabric I started the conversation differently.  This time I said, "As you can see by the label this is the Weeks Confederate Gray as shown on the which she said, "So you don't have the fabric they used."  It's about that time that my mind started to walk away with my body slowly following.  But again, I said, "We do have the fabric, that is what this is if again you will look at the label and read it.  Again you cannot tell by the photographs the true color of the fabric.  But if you want white, I have that and would be only to happy to cut some white for you.  But she decided she'd take the Confederate Grey.  Honestly, she wore me out and I couldn't wait for my shift to end.  Finally 7:30 came and Sara was finished helping Mary and I was able to run home and forget the shop.  The kids had asked if I saw Hotel Impossible which began it's new season on Monday.  Since we are all waiting for the "episode" we are keeping an eye on this show.  This was the show I wanted to see as they were at a B&B in Baltimore and Anthony had told me it was so bad that the entire crew got sick after filming there.  So I decided to "On Demand" it and it didn't disappoint, or should I say Anthony didn't disappoint me.  He is passionate about what he does.  While he literately torn things off the wall on this episode, I can honestly say he did none of that here.  But it makes me nervous thinking about how they put together our episode using the most dramatic moments....fortunately my falling face first into the shop wasn't caught on least I don't think it was.  Initially we were told our episode would probably be in October, however, since they have done the Baltimore segment, Greece is next and they were in Greece prior to coming here, I'm thinking we might be in the next few weeks.  I'm watching it closely though,  so I'll keep you posted.  I'm nervous, but I have to say we're feeling more upbeat this summer, and a lot of that has to do with Anthony and his crew being here for 5 days.  He changes your direction and here they changed what he called our outdated systems.  Unlike the people on Baltimore's episode we were aware our systems were outdated, we just couldn't afford or didn't know how to go about changing the systems.  Anyway, I await nervously for our episode.  I might get the kids to watch it and let me know if I should watch it....oh, hell you know that isn't going to happen...but I will watch it alone.  I'm sure there is going to be a little backtracking going on from all of us.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cottage by the sea

I feel very remiss in not getting this on the blog sooner....especially since it took Theresa Baird, the designer for Heart's Ease Examplar Workes,  a year to get me the charts...God love her!  But it's finally here, I mean the charts, and the model is gorgeous.  This is an original design and so appropriate for us since we live right on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean.  The verse..."But Oh, to live in a rose covered cottage on a hill overlooking the sea.  Where I'd patiently watch the tall ships sailing by 'til my love returns safely to me" set off by a rose covered cottage and you can see the tall ship coming into the harbor. Theresa always stitches on 40 ct.  and used Magnolia by Lakeside on this piece,   but as you know it can be done on any count, however, she does not recommend you stitch it on Aida.  The finished design when stitched is approx. 11 5/8" x 11 5/8" .  She used Belle Soie but has also given you the numbers for NPI.  As I've reported already, Belle Soie are so back ordered and we have been unable to get some of the more popular colors  for so long I'm not sure if they are still dying silk, so my suggestion is to use NPI.  This is a gorgeous  piece which will be a real show stopper in your house.  Thank you Theresa for entrusting us with your beautiful charts.   I did finish the 2nd part of the Little House Mystery Sampler last night,  so tonight I move on to the 3rd and final part.  Everytime I work I pull more charts and kits to stitch so I'm in a total melt down on getting things completed.  And I can't wait to see my Hometown Holiday pieces finished and sitting on the display in front for the's going to be so cute done on 18 ct.  Big, that's for sure, but it will make a nice statement...I just wish I had a mantle to put it on during the holidays.  I've been reading blogs again, and as many of you know, I do not ever enter my stitched pieces in competitions.  First I think it would be unfair as I have access to just about any fiber, fabric, embellishment, etc., as a shop owner and competing with my customers just isn't what I want to do.  Several of my customers compete in fairs and juried shows and I love to see the blue ribbons as they proudly show off their work.  In fact we have a few of Carolyn Newman's pieces along with their ribbons on display...gorgeous.  I promise to get them up on the blog in the next few days.  Anyway, I was reading about one stitcher's entries and the ribbons she won, but I also read the comments she posted from the judges...and while I stitch for my own enjoyment I couldn't help but compare what the judges had to say about her work to my work and it doesn't take a genius to know they'd be making comments about my stitching as well.  I found that I was losing some of the joy of stitching worrying about all the little things I know judges look for.  After reading the blog, and realizing I had a few issues (according to what the judges wrote) with my stitching  I kept tearing out and restitching until I finally called it a night.  I'm hoping that tonight I can leave all that behind since I don't give a tinkers damn....I love stitching for my own enjoyment and hopefully for anyone I stitch for.  If it's not perfection...well I don't care.  Neither am I.  Well here's hoping I can get over the comments.  I thought the stitchers pieces looked wonderful and didn't notice the little things that the judges noticed.  So who are you stitching for?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I'm all about these boxes for the moment...another one finished...again Shepherd's Bush..."Say Thanks" with a Thanksgiving theme I believe.  Anyway, I love these designs and boxes but don't put any of the words on them because it isn't necessary for me.  I also finished the Lizzie Kate Halloween Mystery Sampler from 2012 which I will show tomorrow as soon as I put the new charms, etc. on it.  You see, I didn't have one of these cute little boxes sitting next to my chair,  to store my embellishments for my works in progress,  so of course I mislaid the embellishment pack for the first chart and I didn't want to use the charms given in the second chart because...well I wanted more of a Halloween theme going (there's a key charm and a star included) so I ordered a skeleton charm, a coffin charm and a witches head charm to choose from and so that decision still has to be made as the charms just got here last night and I'm stilling making a decision.  Meanwhile I've moved ahead and have almost finished the second part of the Little House Needleworks Mystery Sampler....and as usual I have had a few issues with it.  I love, love, love Little House Needleworks...but as with everything there are things I would change and so I do.  That doesn't mean there was anything wrong with the original design, I just have to make the design my own.  That's allowed!  Since part 3 is now out, although it hasn't shown up here yet, I want to have this finished by Sunday and I think I can do it.  I better since I've got so much in my todo bag as it is..I need to stay up nights to get it all done.  Wednesday I had the day off (whoppee!!!) and did nothing but stitch all day.  I only read when I was in the bathroom and wouldn't allow myself out on the porch to read as I need to get these pieces stitched.  I didn't do one load of wash, nor did I run the mop or sweeper or anything else...I sat and stitched from morning until I went to bed.  I had the best time ever.  Boy if this is what retirement is like...sign me up!  But I'm back to reality and working tonight.  Molly Linkz stopped by tonight...she and Sandy  were both here the other day and it's always nice to talk to a stitcher and find out what they are working on.  Judy Brunclik also stopped by the other day...she has finally made the move to our area, she's up in Delaware but close enough and thinks she will be joining our stitching group so that's exciting.  Welcome Judy, glad to have you near.   I get so inspired by God I check out blogs constantly and I can't wait to get back to my needle.  If you are feeling like you are in a funk....and can't seem to get motivated....check out the needlework blogs....and I'm always checking out the "Largest collection of smalls."  I am so aggravated with myself as the other night at work (where I seem to do my most blog reading) I came across someone's blog who worked on the most fabulous projects, a lot of class pieces, mostly class pieces really, I saw Betsy Morgan's class piece, Amy Mitten's pieces (including the mermaid treasure piece) and now I can't find it again or remember who it was.  I was trying to show Sara...and I've spent half the week going to various blogs trying to locate this one.  It was truly inspirational.  But alas, I haven't discovered it again, but I've seen some wonderful blogs, so if you are blogging and showing your work, keep it is motivational.   

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Good Golly, Heaven Help me..

I'm telling you I'm lucky not to be in jail for assault right now.  My God, I have no patience left at all...a woman came in and her first mistake was doing the "YouHoo".  I was putting our shipment of Shepherds Bush away, which was daunting because I couldn't stop pulling stuff for myself and the racks are now stuffed with their stuff....Love our Shepherds Bush.  Anyway, I said, "are you looking for something specific" and then I realized she was like a cow with cud...chomping away and smacking her lips at a loud level which I find so distracting I can't function around it.  She was chomping so loudly that I heard her when she walked over to the other is that possible and she also managed to chomp the entire time she spoke with me.  Honestly ladies, this is not a good look...chomping on gum out in public.  It really about drove me crazy, however, it did make me move faster to get her out.  I was determined to find anything she asked for quickly to just get rid of her.  I moved at warp speed believe me.  And she went out as soon as she was done, but left her friend here who is also a doozie but in a whole other way.  I may survive her, not sure, but my need to strangle her isn't as great so I'll stay out of jail for the moment.  I may change my opinion on that since she had me running to show her stuff and then turned around, said, "I can't make up my mind" and walked out.  My little Solomon (age 6) has quizzed me a few times about coming over to my house.  Since I work most nights I was able to delay the visit, however, last night he wanted to know exactly which nights I didn't work.  Not being able to lie to my grandsons I told him I was off Wednesday night so it looks like dinner with the grandsons tomorrow night, I invited 3 year old Izzy and 12 year old Michael to join us...I'm hoping they entertain each other and I can just sit....I'm sure board games will be coming out though and Michael doesn't have a lot of patience with those.  Needless to say my day off isn't going to be as relaxing as it usually is, however, Sara has told me to take Friday as well, so I'll recoup then.  News on the phone issue....the tech finally said, "I think you need a new system"...ours is over 5 years old so it's out of date (really by the time I get done paying for something it's obsolete and I need new) before the new equipment arrives they ran a line separately for Salty Yarns so we're back to our old fashioned one line system.  So until the new phone system is in place the girl in the Bikini Shoppe won't be able to communicate with me at all.....whoppee!!!!  Every night about 3 times I had to tell her to hang up and I'd have Sara call her back and then I had to call Sara.  Wouldn't it have been easier if she just called Sara herself and leave me out of the loop?  Nothing is ever simple here.  Anyway, we're back to getting your calls directly so if you need us just call.  We'll be here.  Lizzie Kate Update:  well, I'm still working on it.  I'm at the bottom....and of course felt compelled to make a change.  She satin stitched the grass, which doesn't bother me normally, but I decided to change it to the brick stitch and loved it.  I also only did the specialty stitch using the Bullfrog color not the cadet which I just cross stitched.  Anyway, I was going to plow through the finish tomorrow while lounging at home, but since my grandsons are coming over...I guess I'll clean instead....oh, not the day I thought I'd have, but that's O.K., my grandsons are more important anyway.   And on that note I'm going back to work.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Oh, My God.....some mothers drive me nuts!

I really wouldn't comment on this if it just happened occasionally, however, it just happens too many times for me to let it go anymore.   As some of you know in our shops we have music playing, usually "spa type" music as I like a calmness surrounding me while I stitch.  Anyway, today I'm working the Shell Shop as Deepali who usually works it is acting as Mary's babysitter this summer on weekends as the kids just love her, and she is wonderful with them.  Anyway, I have my music on at a calming level, just like in the needlework shop.  I'm sitting here chillin'...haven't pulled out my stitching yet because I've been playing hearts when customers haven't been in the shop, but I'm finally bored with that and ready to get out my stitching.  And in walks this young mother (probably in  her late 20's early 30's) with a child who was probably around 5, so of course this child is picking everything up and saying, "Look Mommy" and each time the mother reprimanded the child in a loud voice, and I mean loud...just below a shout, "I told you not to touch stop picking things up."  First of all, the child was picking up a shell, not a breakable item.  While I think kids hands should stay in their pockets while in a shop, in this shop it's perfectly acceptable for them to touch the shells because.....they are shells for god's sake.  My problem with this mother is she was wasting time...not shopping...she had to purse, no bag, no pockets in her swimsuit...she was wasting time.  You don't take a child in a store if you are wasting time and then tell them to stop touching.  They don't know about looking...I've never had a child come into any shop I've been in where they don't touch everything in sight.  So the solution might be....if you aren't looking for anything, gift or otherwise, perhaps when you have children with you just stay outside the stores.  Upstairs on Thursday I had a kid carrying around a Halloween item while the mother went in the opposite direction saying, "Now don't touch anything"...I guess carrying something around wasn't the same as touching...anyway, as the kid started to leave she just threw it on the floor right in front of me and headed for the door, however when she saw me glaring at her in disbelief, she actually went back, picked it up and then proceeded to put it back where she got it as her mother once again said, "Now don't touch anything"...honestly you don't tell a child not to touch and then head in a different direction.  When I had to take my children into a store, there was one rule...hands had to be behind their backs.  I also never went into a store without the knowledge that I might have to purchase something for them.  I had Sara so trained that when I went into Baileys Drug Store one day the clerk said, "We love it when Sara comes in with the Ayres (my cousins) children because she always tells them to stop touching and keep their hands behind their back."  It use to be embarrassing when Sara was little as she would report on any children touching things in the shop.  She would call them out.  It's too bad that parents are no longer parents...could be why this society is kind of screwed up.  Anyway, yesterday was another day off....whoppee....I just can't have enough.  I stitched all day....from morning until I went to bed.  I'm now on part 3 of the Lizzie Kate Halloween Mystery sampler from last fall.  I've had a lot of fun with it and yet somehow managed to screw up the second section and I'm a row off...but I'm working around it.  I decided not to take any of the stitching out but to just proceed and try to work out the border so it will be even. I didn't reach my goal for finishing it though, as I wanted it done by Sunday.  Yet when I got home Sunday from work I nevr picked up my needle.  (oh, my God, I can't believe I didn't).   I've already cut the fabric for the Winter Quaker by Rosewood.  I think I'll finally get around to stitching one of those...I've pulled Quaker Diamond, Spring Quaker but still haven't started either one.  And she's told Sara Summer Quaker is on the way as well as Fall Quaker, so I've got to get a move on here.  Oh, my so many stitches need to be done....I need to cut down on sleeping to get it all done.  IMPORTANT NEWS:  Along with all the fabulous upgrades, thanks to Hotel Impossible, we finally got everything connected (software and hardware) in the hotel...however....there seems to be a glitch now in the phone system.  After getting everything working we noticed the phones would go into a sync pattern periodically and sometimes it lasted several hours.  We've had the tech guys over here for about 3 days on and off and again today we are "waiting for sync" know sometimes technology is a pain in the ass.  Anyway, should you try to call the shop and get "no answer" we are still here with phones syncing...keep trying and eventually they will hopefully stop...if you have an emergency e-mail us at's still working.  We are so aggravated by all this, but at the same time not having to run for the phone while I'm cutting fabric is somewhat liberating.   I usually get 4-6 calls every night from the girl in the Bikini Shoppe looking for Sara so not to have to deal with her is a relief, but I'm worried about others who are trying to get us.  Jenn Ryan called last night wondering why we hadn't been answering our phones....sorry Jenn.   Anyway, keep on stitching and I'll keep you updated on what we're up to.  Oh, yeah, Sara wanted me to remind you that Jamboree is coming up in October so if you want to come we'd appreciate hearing from you asap so we can start getting our numbers finalized.  Hope to see you there

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Stitching like a maniac...............

We got an order of the ivory boxes in but instead of the 6,  I ordered,  we got 18 (they shipped ivory instead  of black) but I decided I love these boxes so much it wouldn't make a difference as I'm stitching them like crazy.  I did 3 in three nights.  These are Shepherd's Bush designs....they are so cute and would make such wonderful gifts.  They could be fancy little sewing boxes...a small pair of scissors and a pack of needles plus anything else a project may need would keep everything you need contained beside your stitching chair.  I always take charms or buttons out of  kits and think I'm protecting them by putting them in a safe place, but then can't find that safe place when I need the items.  But this is the perfect container and sitting beside my stitching chair...well I certainly can't go wrong....can I?  Anyway they were such fun to stitch I've got 3 more in my bag to do.  And what wonderful gifts they will make...duh, that's an idea.   I'm finished "Gratitude" by Shepherd's Bush, and took it to the framers yesterday, along with "Needleworker" by Little House.  I initially wanted to use the Crescent Colour frame however, there seems to be a problem with Crescent Colour...they can't seem to get anything off backorder status.  While I love their frames and their Belle Soie, we are slowly substituting other fibers and frames since it is nearly impossible to get their stuff.  While we've been able to get some of their silks, we've had several colours that have been backordered for approximately 6 months, which is just unacceptable to us.  So if you have a project using their may want to rethink using the threads unless they are in stock at the time of purchase.  I've already taken out the Lizzie Kate Mystery Sampler from last fall, which I started last year and I'm back to working on it while at work.  I'm already on the 2nd part so I'm thinking with stead work I should have this done by the end of the least that is my goal.  I've also finished the first section of Little House Mystery's still a mystery to me, but we do have the 2nd section so hopefully that will be done before the 3rd section appears and I'll figure the mystery out.  And on the horizon the Lizzie Kate Christmas Mystery Sampler which is due in the shop either in August or September I think.  I can't sleep for the amount of stitching that needs to get done.  We've gotten some really cute needlepoint pieces in and I'm dying to get my hands on some of that....but won't allow myself  to take another one until I finish my Nautical Santa which I started last year.  I was going strong on that and was pulled away to do something so it got stuck in a bag and now resides in my stitching room.  While it isn't a mystery sampler, it's a mystery as to when I'll get it done.  Oh my, too much stitching and so little time left (after all I'm 65) theory is that you can't die until you finish stitching your stash....I think I'm putting that to the real test and I'm not sure I want to live to be a thousand.  Sara  is wearing her Noro sweater...this is Sara who just learned to knit a little over a  year ago and have completed a sweater which she is proud to wear.  Congratulations Sara...job well done.  We'll have to get a picture of her in it up on facebook or the blog soon.  Today is really dreary here as it's been threatening rain all day.  It's not as hot though so that's a plus...yesterday it was in the 90's real rash weather for me.  I hate it.  But not complaining...I said I wouldn't complain if it ever got warm this spring,  when it was so cold, so I'm just reporting not complaining.  But what I will complain about is the rudeness of shoppers.  Honestly, whatever happened to manners.  Is "Thank you", "Please" just not in style anymore?  Well it should be.    We are open almost 12 hours a day here...10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.  Many of us are working more than one shift (O.K., perhaps not I, but the others are working 2 shifts most days) anyway,  at 9:45 p.m. I lock the doors and if you are in the shop you can shop or walk around as late as you want, but we don't allow anyone else in, in an effort to get the shops closed and for us to get out around 10:00 p.m.  This comes after years of closing at exactly 10 p.m. and ending up in the shop until 11:00 p.m.  I just can't work all those hours anymore and it isn't fair to the young girls who work here and also start work at 9:00 a.m. as housekeepers at the hotel and then work the shops at night.  Would you go to Macy's after they close and knock on the door and say you came specifically for Macy's and expect them to open their doors?  Well for some reason it seems to be acceptable to some here.  I was letting customers out as they finished shopping and 2 young women knocked on the door.  I said, (and by now it was 10:00) "I'm sorry we're closed but we will be open tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 9:45 p.m."  To which one of them said, "We just walked here to come to this shop."  To which I replied, "I'm sorry, but we're closed and we have to get to another job...(which use to be true as I use to go over to the hotel and let the desk clerk off and I would wait for Vernon to get there (he was known to be late and I don't think it's fair to make the kids work overtime when they all work 2 shifts to begin with.)  But that still didn't stop this person.  The fact that she walked (probably from next door) she felt she should get in, regardless of anyone else's schedule.  While she may be on vacation and have all the time in the world, we don't.  We have to get some sleep so we can get up and do it all over again the next day.  I only wish I could go where she works, when she was ready to go home and tell her the same thing.  I've been in shops when they ask that you bring your purchases to the register as it is closing time.  Now in the big box stores that wouldn't surprise me, but when small retailer announces that it does surprise me.    We've never told anyone they have to leave...although there are times when we'd like to, but never have.   That means if they are just walking around the store for 1 hour until 11:00 p.m. we just smile and find something to do,  (and we've had that happen)  but we never tell anyone they have to leave.  Anyway enough said!!!!  Fortunately we don't get many of those types...we get more of the "What time do you close?" types.  I've had many ask me that at 5:30 and when I said, "9:45" they are shocked because they all think I close at 6:00.    Boy wouldn't that be nice...going home at 6:00 p.m.  But I'm not complaining since in the off season we go home at 4:00...more stitching time in front of the T.V.  Love it!  But I'm starting to worry Sara and she told Mary after that incident that they needed to get me out of the shops.  (you don't have to ask me twice...I'm ready to go.)  I will say I'll miss it when I'm no longer needed here.  I'll miss the stitchers, but not the non-stitchers.  I'll miss seeing the stitching everyone does.  We had a lady from West Virginia who brought in her mermaids to get beads.  She started stitching last year when she began with the Mirabilia mermaids.  She was doing an excellent job...first stitching she's done.   It was amazing.  I usually start people small and inexpensive.  Just the beads alone for the 3 pieces is going to run around $125.00 if not more.  But she was so excited and that's exciting for us.  I love to see  how stitchers interpret a pattern...the changes they make in them, the additions to the patterns, the finishing the use.  I have copied what many have shown me....and love the changes they made.  So that I would miss...but I wouldn't miss "how much is your string?"   I worked the Shell Shop on Saturday for Sara and it is located right beside the Bikini Shoppe.  To get to the Shell Shop you have to walk right by the Bikini Shoppe...(One way in you enter through a foyer in front of the Bikini Shoppe which is how this couple came in)...anyway, I heard her say, "I don't see any."  So I said, "Excuse me were you looking for something specific."  And she said....(hold on to you hats)..."I was looking for bikinis'".  I waited a moment thinking she had to be kidding...for God's sake they are hanging in the window she just walked by and the door to the Bikini Shoppe is propped open...mine isn't....but I could tell after a few seconds she wasn't joking so I said, "The Bikini Shoppe is where they would sell them and you walked by's through the open door in the foyer."  She responded..."Oh"  and wasn't even embarrassed.  People....some I won't miss.  I have to tell you Sherry Prutzman came in this morning.  She's down for a couple of days....has never been here in season before...she's one of our stitchers from Pennsylvania who comes for events...which are always out of season.  Anyway, she was commenting on the amount of people in town...whew...never saw it so crowded.  Then she said, "You are so right when you talk about how people don't look at themselves before leaving their rooms."  She sat out on the porch last night and marveled at the sights.  She just came in and said she was going to the Cottage Café for their crab soup.  I said, Sherry, you don't want to get out of the roads today...overcast...not beach weather...everyone gets in their car and gets on the will take you forever to get to Bethany.  She said, "Oh, probably 20 minutes"....and I said least an hour...but she is disbelieving so she's on the road.  I just pray we see her again before midnight.  Instead of lunch this may become her dinner.  Live and Learn.  Out of season and in season are two entirely different things here in a resort.  I think she has patience though so she will be alright.  Well, guess what just arrived....the day after I take my pieces to the framer...Crescent Colours Frame...damn.  However, no Belle Soie's in sight.  But at least we got the frame now.  Only my piece won't be in it....

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oh, My Gosh.....have you seen one of these?

The projects people take's amazing to me.  This is the afghan Jenn Ryan is working on...well over halfway completed.  It's a map of the United States.  Have you ever seen this?  I found  it amazing that anyone would even attempt this, let alone finish it.  But Jenn is a "doer", and a "doer" of many talents...she hooks rugs, does counted cross stitch, knits, crochets, and God only knows what else, but I was definitely fascinated with her States Afghan.  Free chart on line somewhere!  Go Jenn!!!!  Things are back to normal...or what we call normal here since the 4th has come and gone....more people in town which means more business, however, the heat index is also up.  While it might be hotter in the city, it's still hot down here and most of the time no breeze..although some say down by the water it is O.K.   But we're here and we're busy ordering and checking new things into inventory.  There's really nothing we love more than ordering new stuff...but with some of the folks walking through the doors I don't know why.  Honestly they are just walking through it doesn't even matter to them that they haven't a clue what we sell.  Jenn Ryan was only in the shop for 1/2 hour the other day and couldn't get over the strange request we got in a needlework we have batteries, cigarettes, fishing wire?  But that isn't even the strangest thing we've been asked for but tonight alone I've had requests for: (1) can you sew the strap on my dress...uh, no we're not a fabric store nor do we do alterations.  (2).."I forgot my chart but it's probably around 8x10 and it's got flowers on it and I need fabric for it."  Duh....what was the count?  What was the color it called for?  Where is the brain that was suppose to be inside your head?  If you don't bring me the chart I can't figure out anything for you.  Well I could but you would have to know what chart you purchased so I could look it up. 
My mother always said I would know when it's time to get out.....well I think the time is now.  I have no patience left even though I'm working less than ever.  Most of the days I only work 1 shift...that's right 1 shift.  Although on Sunday I did come in to do payroll and pay bills, so I got here around 11:00 a.m. and left at 10:00 p.m.  But normalling  I stroll in around 3:15 for my 4:00 shift.  Yes I'm living large.  I am so thrilled to have time home....but have a cleaned sir, I've been stitching and reading.  It's a good thing I still have to work because if I didn't no one would ever see me again.  I love laying around in my P.J's and reading and stitching and I don't get dressed until I'm forced to for work.  I've given up my desk to Sara, even though they keep calling it my desk (and I keep correcting them and saying, "it's not mine, it's Sara's).  Last week Sara said, "Mom you don't have to work on Wednesday and I'm going to be at the desk so don't come in early."  I said, "Oh, I won't be coming in early you can bet on that."  I already knew I wasn't showing up at all.  She finally called at some point in the evening to say, "I can't believe you didn't come in...are you all right?"  They think I can't do the retirement thing, but they are soooo wrong.  Now, the truth is, I can't be retired fully because I would never get dressed, never take a shower, I'd never leave the house except to get food.  I have to have somewhere to go periodically just so I keep up with hygiene...can't understand why, but that's me.  I love, love, love to lounge.  And I do feel bad for the girls as each of them has had to take on more work and both are working long hours.  But really, I did it for years so I know they can both do it....and it's only in the summer and really then only in the months of June, July, August and part of September and then we're back to winter rules.  So if you come in and I'm not here....just envision me in my underwear of my sofa kicking back...ugh, maybe just envision me home in my p.j.'s would be a better image.  Anyway. we're alive, well and looking for you to stop by

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The end to another beautiful week.....and now we're heading to the 4th....

Happy July 4th's hot, sunny and crowded down here so if you are enjoying a lazy day in the peace and quiet of your own may be better off.  The water is invisible to me because of the haze hanging over it, but I suppose with it so darn hot down here it must be refreshing to one and all.  I'll have to take their word for that since I haven't been in the ocean in about 49 years...  I'm thrilled to be inside in a/c today and yesterday I actually got a day off, yes right here in the summer I got a full day off.  I had every intention of going to Salisbury to get some framed stuff that's been lingering at the framers, however, I never actually got out of my nightgown so decided if I didn't want to get dressed it was best if I stayed home.  I sat on my porch in my nightgown (felt decadent) and read the rest of my latest book...yes another one down...and just enjoyed the peace and quiet.  When I came in I did needlework.  I'm enjoying the latest Shepherd's Bush "Gratitude Sampler" and am almost done with the second scene.  There sure is a whole lot of stitching on this sampler, but I love, love, love it.  I actually leave this home each day.  The other night, while at work, I started stitching Little House Needleworks Mystery Sampler at work.  You know at first glance this didn't really inspire me too much as I just couldn't see what it could be.  But I love Little House and have faith that anything they do is going to be fabulous, so I decided to try it.  I'm using the recommended 30 ct. Straw, even though at first glance I thought this was too close to the color of a couple of the threads they used, but still I decided to go for it.  As usual, getting the initial elements on the fabric was a little boring...border and the enormous sun, but then I started putting in the branches and then the musical notes.  That's when inspiration hit.  I changed the musical notes to black and used beads as the actual notes.  Then I changed the single brick stitches to single beads to resemble berries and I can't tell you what a difference this made to me.  It makes those elements pop and puts pops of  brighter color on the darker fabric, which is making it come alive.   This is going to be so cute...and I can't wait to see what comes next.  It hadn't occurred to me...duh....but when Greg was in and asked what I was working on he said it will probably be the 4 seasons....and I think he might be right.  Many can't believe I would work on something when I have no idea what it will look like...but I have great faith in the companies that do these samplers, loved Brenda Gervais Mystery Sampler a couple of years ago and the Lizzie Kate piece....loved them both.  Would I do one from a company I'm unfamiliar with...probably not!  In the next week I'll send a picture of my work in progress so you can see for yourself.  In the meantime, I'm posting pictures of one of Renee's birthday gifts.  It's the Olde  Colonial Lollipop....cute, cute, cute.  Stitching was relatively easy, and the finishing...well it was O.K. too, although I ended up changing a couple of make the finishing easier...but it went together quickly.  I learn each time I put something new together...I think I'm getting better, but have so much more to learn.  The other piece I did for her was a reproduction of the pin cushion that Jean gave me.  It was a bear to put together for some reason.....I never got it together as nicely as Jean did and that made me mad....I've got to learn how she did it.  Anyway, I'll try to get it up on the blog also later.  In the meantime...have a great holiday...stay safe.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Oh my .... I feel like a fish out of water

They said it was going to be hot today and they weren't kidding.  My power struggle with the electric company is over....I threw in the towel today and turned on the air conditioner..whew I'm perspiring like a whore in church (sounds better than sweating like a pig doesn't it?).   Last night upon returning home from work I experienced trouble with my remote control....oh, no!!!!!  I simply cannot function without the T.V. on.  So...I put in a movie and just watched that and started stitching....I was having a lovely time until the movie was over and still no working remote. I tried to figure out a way to change channels the old fashioned way, but couldn't figure it out so today I'm stealing one from the it considered stealing if you own the hotel?   Don't care I'm taking one anyway!  Renee's birthday is this week so I'm busy getting her gifts done.  One would think that since I know when her birthday is I'd do these things way in advance, but my brain just doesn't work that way, consequently I'm stitching like a mad woman trying frantically to get things stitched and put together (which is the problem), but I'm certain with just a couple of days to go I can make it.  Not having T.V. is not helping my mood though.  On the plus side the ladies from New York are down and Cindy made me a beautiful shawl in a beautiful green....I intend to tell everyone I made it so everyone will think I have many talents.  I've been forced to take a break from Shepherd's Bush Gratitude Sampler to work on gifts, but I'm on the second scene and loving it.  I did change a couple of greens as they didn't show up enough against the grass, sometimes with over dyed thread you can run into similar tones but switching out helped let the leaves stand out so no problem.  I don't have a problem switching colors around, and as I've already mentioned many times I switch all lettering on my Shepherd's Bush Samplers to their old lettering which I loved and could read...I have a terrible time (not all the time though) reading the words with the funky alphabet they now use...but I adore Shepherd Bush designs so a little problem like lettering is easy to solve, so I still stitch one any chance I get.  I've also had to put a halt to my Sherry Jones project, but will get it back in the rotation as soon as Renee's gifts are a done deal.  I'm also working on a Pine Mountain pillow "I can do anything, just not everything" for a display in the shop and I can't believe how long this is taking me.  I only work on it while in the shops, but I must be playing too many Hearts games because this should have been done in 2 days and I'm now on week 2.  It's hard to fit stitching in when I'm spending so much time talking to the girls from New York, and playing hearts, oh, yeah and don't forget my surfing on the's a wonder it's not taking longer now that I think about it.   The girls leave today to travel back to N.Y., so perhaps I'll get some stitching done while in the store.  I'm going to put a ban on playing hearts while least for the weekend.  O.K., it's been a few days since I wrote the aforementioned, so now I really have to finish this.  I worked in the Shell Shop today and finished the Pine Mountain pillow...Gloria alleluia and of course I'm now working Salty Yarns and have picked out a new project.  I've decided to begin the Little House Needleworks Mystery Sampler...I'll let you know how it's going tomorrow....of course when I get home tonight I'll want to work on my Shepherd's Bush....oh, my's much to hard for me.  But I'll start the mystery sampler while here at work and switch when I get home.  What a job...stitch all day and stitch all's quite the life down here and it has nothing to do with being located on a beach (although that is a perk.)  Anyway, I'll talk tomorrow, but will end now so the news isn't too old.  Have a great weekend.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another glorious day in the neighborhood....

Today is much like yesterday...sunny warm but not hot, plenty of people on the beaches and I'm working in a/c.  I am getting with the program and managed to upload the pictures all by myself...of course by tomorrow I'll forget how I did it, but that's m life..each day presents a new struggle.  Anyway, the first picture shows the fabulous, gorgeous scissors Paola gave me as a birthday gift a couple of weeks ago.  I just had to show you since I know that many of you are scissor fanatics, much like myself.  These scissors are hand made in France and presented in their own wooden case made just for them.  I have seen these scissors before, but never as fancy as the one Paola gave me.  I absolutely love them, but never intend to use them and will rarely take them out of their little case....they are just too valuable.  But lovely to look at and a real treasure for my stitching room.  (I'm sure Sara is eyeballing them knowing they will be hers one day).  The Second picture is a scissors case Renee did in needlepoint for me.  Needlepoint is her first love so I am thrilled I have something done by her.  She also gave me a beautiful pair of scissors for Christmas that will fit perfectly in this case (she actually made the case just for those scissors).  And the final picture is a pyramid needle case that Staci Buhrman stitched for me .  This isn't a good picture, but I'm doing the best I can....anyway, stitched on the sides is "Stitching by the Sea"....and I love it.  I should have shown it open...but try to imagine and the bonus is it's a C.A. Wells know I've had an issue with C.A. Wells, but I've always appreciated her designs, which is why we wanted her to teach here.  So inspite of her attitude,  I'm thrilled to add one of her designs to my stitching showcase.    Beautifully stitched and presented.    I had one more stitched gift to show you but it was too blurry so I'll have to redo and show it tomorrow.  On to other things, the firemen are slowly leaving town and are  being replaced  by skateboarders here to see the Dew Tour...which is really interesting.  The skate bowl is huge and placed down by the pier on the beach.  It attracts old and young alike and lots of families bringing their skateboarding children down for the weekend.  And so far today....nice ladies coming into both shops.  Oh, yeah, I just saw 2 young ladies walking down the boardwalk in bikini's and guess what...their rear ends were not hanging out of the bottom of the they do make them to fit.  Fabulous, now if I could just get everyone to start buying suits that fit my mission here would be complete.  Other than that my life remains the, work and then a little more work....but that's O.K., cause I'm still breathing so that's a good thing.
Had our first "Hotel Impossible" reservation.  They came down for the night requesting that unit and loved it.  We were so excited to show them the's been our passion since it was  finished.  It's ignited a fire under the entire crew.  Mary and Brian began a remake of  the  Lodge in the spring and they've managed to get the 2nd floor of the lodge completely painted and are now fine tuning the rest of the rooms with new bedding, etc.  It really brings new energy into our lives.  And what have I accomplished.  After 12 hours crunched over the Kreinik boxes I have finally, after 2 years of talking about it, finished getting them tagged and in order.  If my feet and my back didn't hurt so much I would have danced a jig.  As it was I sat and ate another chocolate....I felt much better.
So that's it for now....Have a great to you later.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

I almost have it figured out...but not quite....

I tried putting the pictures up by myself and just couldn't quite get there, but I'm convinced that tomorrow I'll be able to do it.  Sara, I know, is praying I figure this out because I don't care if she's on the phone or just sitting this becomes my all consuming thought and she has to stop everything to help me.  The first picture is the view outside the shop window.  I get to see everyone frolicking on the beach, but I'm inside in the a/c, clean, sand free and most of the time I'm happy....and while it's not in the 90's yet, it is promising that 90's are on the way with humidity...ugh!!!  I wish I had gotten the picture of a young lady in her bikini...she did have the decency to put a pair of shorts over it, however she failed miserably in getting her fatness contained.  Now I'm fat myself, so I'm not picking on the fat one fat girl to another...."girl you need to take a long look in the mirror and rethink your wardrobe.  I've never seen so much fat jiggling and hanging over the waste band....oh, not a good look.  But I have to say, even the young women who have near perfect figures...I still see the bottom of their rears hanging out and the boobs are also hanging out.  When did it become fashion to let it all hang out?  I love Rehoboth or Bethany is trying to get an ordinance passed that the men have to pull up their pants.  When in God's name did it become alright or even comfortable to walk around like that?  And now we have to pass laws against it.  People this is embarrassing...there are more important issues to be brought up...parents have to stress the pants up rule at home.  I insist!!!  I've threatened my grandson .... and forget the sideways cap...that is also something I won't allow.  For God's sake can't people look in a mirror and see what looks right?  Fashion?  I don't think so.  Oh, well, I need to move on.  The second picture is my work in progress (or should I say one of the works in progress) the Shepherd's Bush gratitude sampler.  You can see the pattern darning amongst the wrinkles...(you'd think I could iron it before putting it up, but then you'd be wrong.)  Anyway, I had so much fun doing the pattern darning I'm wondering if I could do an entire piece that way.  But then it would probably get a little boring, so I think I'll just enjoy a few snippets.  I'm working a 10am -10pm shift today, and wouldn't you know that darn UPS driver brought in 2 loads today...4 huge cartons (are there any other kind) of yarns and about 5 more for Sea Trader and then our Alice Peterson has arrived along with scarf kits from Great Adirondack I'm definitely in the weeds here.  I was busy all morning trying to get the 5 cartons of signs priced and put away from yesterday....I fell short and when the slew of cartons arrived I kind of gave up.  But I'm getting my second wind now and will be working at it again in a little while.  What happen to my retirement?  If you find it let me know please!  I have to say though, Sara did let me take a break and I got to go into one of the apartments and lay down for a couple of it's not all work, work, work.  But I've got to dinner just arrived.  Have a great night and I'll be talking to you.