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.