Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas one and all.

Stitch 'n Bitch Christmas dinner was December 9th, and as usual we had a grand old time.  Lots of food, drink, goodie bags and presents.  Yes, I was richly rewarded and I can't thank all the ladies enough.  My Christmas officially began Monday night.  The weather didn't really cooperate, it was rainy, windy and cold but that didn't deter us, although Beth Jernigan didn't make it, we missed you Beth!  Crystal had to get her child in a parade which should have been cancelled but she still arrived in time to eat, so kudos to Crystal.  Debbie Liming blew into town on Saturday so she was already here in plenty of time.  Candy and Linda got the time wrong, but again arrived in plenty of time.  Sara was still in town ( she left the next day for Jamaica, so she attended for the first time in about 3 years so that was special, especially since she's managing the shop now and I'm really just a guest at the dinner.  It was good to have someone else in charge.  I worked hard to get some things finished for Christmas and managed to get the things pictured here finished and wrapped.  The top pictures are another of the wooden totes, which I simply love.  If you remember I did a Chessie &  Me Tote earlier in the summer and then a Halloween tote as a gift in October so I am on a somewhat wooden tote "kick".  They are so cute and useful since they hold your needle book and scissors and I keep my Chessie & Me tote on the table next to my chair and put any beads I'm using, etc. in it so I don't lose them (finally I've got a system).  Anyway, the design was from a chart Stacy Stinson pointed out, "Polka Dots & Alphabets", so much fun to stitch.  The chart pack has a design for a large sampler and another for a pin cushion.  I decided to figure out a way to utilize the design on the tote, so I had to make some changes, add a few items, etc., but in the end I was thrilled with the end result.  I loved the scissor fob so much with the cloth tape measure used as the scissor holder.  Debbie Liming had actually given me a goodie bag a couple of years ago with this tied around the top of the bag.  Since I never throw anything away for fear I'll need it, I was able to find it again (miracles do happen) in with my ribbon.  This only verifies I should not throw anything crafty away as I may be able to repurpose it.  Anyway, as I started the needlebook I really was getting tired of coming up with design elements, but as usual any blank space was like a magnet for some design,  but thankfully on the back side I was able to stop because I actually stuck 2 black pins in the pin cushion and that satisfied me.  But it was a fun project to stitch.  Then I stitched the 3 pictures, 2 on the ends are Lizzie Kates and the middle one is "Weiner Wonderland," which I stitched for a friend who has a little dachsund.   I ended up stitching that one over 1 so I could have it  framed in an easel backed frame and it was so cute over 1.  I still have 3 more gifts to finish, one is completely stitched but the finishing is daunting, so I'm not sure how this is going to come about, but the other 2 pieces should be too much of a problem (I always say that and then struggle to get the projects finished.   If I don't get it done I won't kill myself since I have a backup plan (it's for Sara and Michael), but I've been know to stitch Christmas day to get something done before she arrives, so we'll just see.  I did want to alert everyone, that a church issue has come up and we are closing the shop on Monday, tomorrow, in order to get the church ready for Christmas Eve. As many of you are aware we had a horrific fire in which our minister was killed last Thanksgiving.  We have been trying to get back to normal ever since.  And for some reason, the men of the church decided to have Christmas Eve service in the church even though it's not completely finished.  That means Sara and I (we're on altar duty in December) have to move all the altar vestments, candles, etc., back upstairs even though next Sunday we have to move it all back downstairs as we will be back in the hall the next 2 Sundays after Christmas.  UGH!!!  I know I shouldn't complain, however, what is the point of moving us upstairs for one of stairs to get it back downstairs for the next Sunday...UGH!  But it's our job and I keep reminding myself God has watched over my family and has given me a wonderful life so I feel I should not complain about serving him.  But in this instance, I feel we would all be better off staying downstairs until the building is completely done.  Mercy we are talking about 3 more weeks apparently.  It's not important to me that we get upstairs in a hurry, it's enough to know that we will be there soon.  Anyway, Sara was so put out that we have to be at the church both Monday and Tuesday we decided to close the shop on Monday in hopes that we can get the work done early enough that we will get the rest of our shopping, cleaning our own homes, and food shopping and cooking done.  Mercy, this time last week I thought I was on track...that so isn't the truth as of today.  Anyway, got to start cleaning my carpet.  Talk to you later.  Have a wonderful holiday,  and please drive carefully if you have to travel.  Hope Santa brings you each a delightful surprise.  Thanks for a great year!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

ops, forgot to post this last week....sorry!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend.  We had a quiet Thanksgiving day.  Sara and I were busy getting food prepared,  but in between cooking I would sit and stitch, so I had a good time.  No school, just fun and cooking.  Yes it was a good day and of course the Nor'easter was on Wednesday so by Thursday things had really calmed down.  Then on Friday we were back at work.  Yes, now that we are on winter schedule, I'm back at work in the shops.  Ocean City is busy during this holiday weekend, plenty of folks visiting for the holiday so business was steady which helps so you don't have time to get bored.  I also kept working on Christmas presents so I'm confident (at least for now) I'll have them completed.  A good feeling.  But when I look at all the projects, sitting in bags around my stitching chair (or sofa) I find it hard to celebrate since there are 5 or 6 bags stuffed and overflowing with projects just calling my name.  And everytime  I work I pull more projects that I think I want to do....oh, my I need stitcher's rehab.  Anyway, I did put together a couple of projects, the first is Purple Thread's,  "Back to Spool" which was a fun project, and while I ended up constructing it my own way, still a cool way to display your scissors.  The 2nd picture is the Lizzie Kate kit, "dear Rudolph".  Both projects come as complete kits, so there was no visit to a fabric shop (which only costs me a lot more than just 2 pieces of fabric).  I did use beads on the "Back to Spool" which are not included because she didn't call for them, but you know how I like to add a little something and for this piece it was beads along the center row.  But aside from the beads on that one kit, everything else is included in the kit, the threads, linen, and in the Lizzie Kate all beads, buttons, embellishments as well as the ric-rac.  It is always a great feeling to get a piece totally finished, and hanging up or sitting out to be admired.  How many stitched pieces do you have just sitting there waiting for it to be put together, or framed?  I think we all have them so don't feel too sad.  It makes the completion of a project so much sweeter knowing we can do it, even if we don't do it every time.  This weekend is also the kick-off (so to speak) of the Christmas season, so trees are going up and lights being hung.   Sara has her house all decorated, but she does leave in about 10 days for Jamaica so she really has to do it ahead of time.  Mary and I, well we're going to get our homes decorated, it's just going to take a while.  Especially with my dining room serving as my one room schoolhouse. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone...

Since I am  in the crazy rush of Christmas stitching, I hardly have time to get on the internet, but felt very remiss in not showing a treasure given me by one of my BFF's, Stasi Buhrman.  When she came to the CA Wells event in October she was wearing her "queen bee" necklace which she stitched and put in the tinest watch fob necklace.  Well, I adored it.  It was smaller than the fobs we sell or that you normally see in the craft stores which kicked up it's cuteness to the highest level.  Perhaps it's because I've oversized (or shall we call it queen sized),  everything tiny is just so cute to me.  Anyway, I just fell in love with it and jokingly said, "Thanks so much for my gift." to Stasi.  Remember last time I said this was when she showed me her prize stand up Santa last year and I tried to stuff it in my tote to take home and she ended up giving it to me for Christmas.  And that was a limited edition that isn't even sold anymore.  Anyway, when Sara got back from Jamaica she handed me a small bag and said "I believe this is yours from Stasi."  The bag was one of the Halloween bags so I couldn't imagine what she had done.  But when I opened it....well it was Christmas all over again.  Inside was the necklace and a gift card to Hobby Lobby.  Mercy my cup runneth over.  As I was getting ready for church and put the necklace on I remembered I hadn't put it up for everyone to see so I wanted to get it up before I simply forgot again.  The design was from the Prairie Schooler pack of cards from a year or so ago.  Can't get that particular pack anymore but isn't this bee just fabulous.  I feel very much like the "Queen Bee" wearing it, however, when Stasi is wearing hers while she's visiting, I won't just because she is definitely the Queen Bee when she's here.  Thanks so much Stasi....I will lovely enjoy wearing my necklace and will think of you when I do.  As for my Hobby Lobby gift card....let's just say when I took three things to the framer last week, my car automatically turned toward Hobby Lobby and what could I do.  As usual I bought, bought, and bought some more.  So thanks again didn't hurt my wallet as much and I've got more stash, (just what I needed, but honestly I never have exactly what I need when I'm working on a project that needs charms, ribbons, whatever we don't sell,  so I need this store.)  I'm telling you if I ever won a million bucks...forget new cars, big vacations, new house....I'm going to Hobby Lobby and letting myself get anything and everything I see-that I think I may need sometime in the future.  Anyway, Thanksgiving is upon us.  I am on track, I think, with gifts.  Three at the framers, one completed at home and one almost completed...hopefully by tomorrow.  That leaves me with 2 more before Christmas plus Sara, so I'm not home free yet.  Since we have a few days off for Thanksgiving, although I do start working weekends (yes, that's right....I work 5 days teaching and 2 days in the shop...where the hell did my retirement go?) after Thanksgiving so I'm planning on stitching while in the shop.  But one project that might not get done, I'm ashamed to admit, is the Welsh Cottage, which is just sitting there looking sad as I stitch everything else around it.  I had put the date on it already as I had ever intention of getting it done, and I still might.  After all I have 6 days after Christmas to work on it solely.    I have one wall and the chimney left to do....I don't know, but I'm still determined to try.  Michael goes to Jamaica for a couple of weeks in December so that means no school and time to work on stitching...oh, how I'm looking forward to that.   I'm really looking forward to days where I can sit from early to late and never get dressed or go outside.  I've got the not going outside part down now, however, with homeschooling five days a week, well it's really cut down on stitching time.  It's amusing to me that when this whole thing started the day after Labor Day, I made myself get dressed and presentable and treated this as a job.  I wanted Michael to see that I was taking this job seriously by getting dressed, etc.  That ship sailed a few weeks ago when I started showing up in my sweatpants, directly from bed.  I will say I thought about it a couple of minutes but then decided I had to get some worksheets off the internet first and didn't have time to do both.  After that it was an easy slide down and now I seldom get dressed before class.  But at least we're still going strong.  He's doing well too, which is wonderful.  Got an 82% on his history mid-term.  I couldn't be prouder of him, and of myself.  It's fun to learn some of this all over again and I'm loving the math part.  But the science...if I never hear proton or atom again, well let's just say my life will still be complete.  Anyway, while I never thought my golden years would see me teaching, it's been interesting.   Now, it's time to get back to I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you have plenty of good things to eat, and plenty of time with family,  (or perhaps your wish is for less time and I understand that too.)  If you have to be on the roads, please drive carefully.  I'll try to post some pictures of the finished gifts as we get closer to the day. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Another fun weekend......

Our annual C.A. Wells memorial weekend was another great success.  The ladies started arriving a week earlier (our Debbie Liming), then the rest trickled in, Stasi Buhrman, Stacy Stinson, Jennifer Humphries, Kay Fletcher, Kathy Renard, Jackie Janovsky, Linda Wimbrow, and Candy, as well as Judy Brunclik who joined us Saturday but then had to return to work on Sunday, of course she was right next door in the shop, but still working).  But it was 2 days of eating, laughing, stitching, oh, my the stitching that goes on.  Debbie uses her time in Ocean City to get several projects, which have been started at home, finished so she finishes many projects while here.  She and Sara also spent many nights working on the finishing of earlier class projects so they are slowly getting their unfinished pieces complete...yeah!!!!  Linda arrived with her Welsh Cottage, which is really coming along, but I didn't bring mine because I can't work on over 1 pieces in a group setting...I need my comfy chair, magnifying light and my T.V.  Actually I worked on nothing Saturday, just sat talked and moved more stash from the shop into my bag (like I need anymore).  Stasi Buhrman brought her Mummy in the coffin which is soooo darn cute that now Debbie, Sara and I are all doing the same mummy, thanks to Stasi who also brought us a "coffin" to put our mummy in.  This years project for the group (we always have a Halloween project) was a watch fob necklace which I actually stitched back in the summer and decided that would be the project for this event.  Debbie  got hers stitched on Saturday...go Debbie. The photos up top are my newest craft project.  I did want to show you a picture of my finished Sullivan's scissor box.  Ever since we received our first shipment of theses little scissors, which come in a wooden like box, I have wanted to do something with the box.  They are a composite material which is sturdy not wood but feel like wood, but last year I tried painting them and the whole thing warped so that destroyed 2 of my boxes (how depressing), however, I'm not one that gives up easily.  So when I started seeing the tissue tape in the craft stores it made me think that perhaps I had found a perfect solution.   I got a supply of Halloween tapes and while I have not perfected my technique, I have been able to cover the boxes and using magnetic sheets I covered the inside top and bottom and now we have a new decorative needle box.  So cute and with all the tissue tape out there you can really do it for any occasion.  You could also put a lining in the bottom and

use it as a portable pin cushion or to store things (small things to be sure).   Craft to love a craft project!  I have managed to finish a couple of things, like the Harvest Home Pynboxe which you see here.  The inside of  lid has the piece you see here stitched, blanket stitched and then mounted to the inside of the lid and the box has been painted by Liberty Hill.  It was a fun project and sort of kicked off my stitching for gifts for Christmas, although this was actually part of Sara's Halloween gift.  So I actually had show and tell once Sara opened her gift during the event weekend.  I'm so embarrassed as everyone usually shows off  their "show and tell" because I usually have nothing to show, since after I stitch something I put it on the blog and hang it in the shop so nothing seems new.  I especially loved Stasi Buhrman's Mummy as did Debbie and Sara and we all pulled the charts to stitch this piece and thankfully Stasi brought each of us the casket she used to house her mummy in.  If you are interest but don't know which one I'm talking about, go to Stasi's blog and scan back and you will see it, she posted it a month or so ago...Fabulous Fun!  Once Halloween is over I start stitching  for Christmas.  Mercy me, my list of stitched gifts just seems to grow and grow.  I panic each year thinking I will be unable to get them all done.  Before Stitch and Bitch dinner I need several finished,  as I don't see some of the ladies until after the holidays and then I only have 2 more weeks after that to get 3 or 4 more done.  It's hard to enjoy the holidays when you are so concerned you won't get your gifts finished, but it's a challenge I happily accept...sort of the "thrill of the chase" to finish.  Each year I worry and yet each year I get it done.  Picking projects has been tougher this year.  I either find really complicated projects which I can't get done in a few weeks or nothing at all so I'm struggling a little to come up with something appropriate for each person, something different and something I think they will like.  But again, this is an every year thing so nothing new.  Other than that, it's all about school.  I have been relieved of skatepark duty, although I did have Mary's 4 year old, Israel for 4 1/2 hours yesterday, oh my, and I thought skatepark duty was exhausting.  I was just getting ready to blog when I got the call, "what are you doing?"  Which is Mary's way of saying, "I've got a child that needs you."  So ended the peacefull stitch filled afternoon.  I was busy setting up car parades, taking car of his pets on his Ipad and once again lego's.  He is such a joy to listen to as he says the most amazing things for a 4 year old.  But then don't they all.  There is no censoring what comes out of their mouth.  Oh, I meant to mention something.  Jackie Janovsky and her husband Bob are helping their grandson, who's in elementary school, with his math everyday after school.  I want all the parents and grandparents who are helping to teach their children or grandchildren to know about a fabulous website for been so helpful to Michael and I.  We are not only doing Algebra, but now Core has thrown in Geometry and Trig just to make my life more difficult.  While I knew I could handle history and English, I knew Science and Math could present a problem for me.  But math, no matter what level, seems to be manageable because I have this web site.  I go in a couple of days before I have to teach Michael and get my skills up to date and I'm doing things now that I swear I never did in high school and I know for a fact that I didn't see Trig in 8th grade.  I really think I was in 12th grade, but then that was back in the dark ages.   I do think Core is making things terribly confusing for a child.  And taking classes now that should have been taught in elementary school makes everything harder.  But we're plugging through and I can not tell you the satisfaction I get when I see the smile on Michael's face when he "gets it."  He starts out crying saying he doesn't understand and after an hour I see that smile start and the next thing he's saying is, "It's O.K. Nan, I get it."    Makes the fact that I'm no longer retired from work (because that's what this is), alright.  I use to say to people who have had to take on the raising of their grandchildren, "I don't think I could do it at my age."  While none of us would want to since we all hope our children outlive us or are great parents, I now see that I would rise to the occasion if called on.  It's a good feeling, but I pray everyday I won't ever be called on to take full on parenting again.  4 1/2 hrs a day teaching Michael is enough for me.  Thankfully a child acts differently with a grandparent that with anyone else so my job here isn't that bad...just frustrating at times as I struggle to find the right method of teaching him.  So that's what new here.  Sara is in Jamaica with the girls, Mary just got back from her vacation with her girlfriends...she went to Puerto Rico I think (it's been a week and I've already forgotten where she went.....and I'm the one teaching...go figure).  I'm still looking forward to Thanksgiving and a few days off, although we've decided to cut short certain holidays for school as Michael goes to Jamaica with Sara and Vernon every year for about 14 days the early part of school.....and we need to make that up.  So Christmas we'll work a few of those days and we might take a day at Thanksgiving, but we'll still see some days off and I do get off when he's in Jamaica...whoppee!!!!! I'll really appreciate the time off this year.  I use to love the 3 days we got off  from the shop during our winters when we close Tues., Wed., and Thursday.  But this year I don't get any time off after the holidays as I will be in school 5 days a week and on weekends I'll be working the shop.  Ugh!!  Back to 7 days a week working and in the winter...double UGH!  Just got back from the grocery to have a good lunch for Michael, so I'm back to shopping once a week.  Got to get some stitching done.  Talk to you soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What a wonderful weekend we had, of course I forgot to take pictures so on the last day I asked Lynn Fitzgibbons to show off what she had done, so that's Lynn modeling her project from La D Da's class. Then it's Sharon (Purple Thread) showing Debbie Brotzman something on her IPad.  The next picture show the pins Sharon is selling the kits for.  So much fun we put the kits in the goodie bags for the stitchers.  The bottom left shows the front of the the Friendship book (at least Lynn's), the Friendship design that was part of the original kit was changed by a few into something else like Lynn did.  All of them were great and certainly personalized the book for each stitcher.  Then you see the insert given for the inside of the book.  The right picture is the "Forget Me Not" bag which is one of the newer Shepherds Bush kits which I finished during the weekend.     It was interesting the differences in the stitchers work.  Some did their own design, or added a little something personal to Lori's design but everyone took home a finished name tag holder (pockets in front and back I believe) win!  As if that wasn't enough to take home for one weekend, they also finished the mini friendship book which was the class taught by Needlework Press' Vickie and Maegan Jennett.  These two classes were both pre-stitches and the stitchers put the projects together here.  Which proved to be a winning combination.  3 classes total and 2 projects completely finished.  The third class was with Sharon of Purple Thread and it was a little box, for stitching "things"...they did finish the thimble box (pictured) which is part of the project and it is put together exactly like the bigger box  so everyone knows exactly what to do when they get home with that project.  Fun classes, fun weekend and a group of wonderful stitchers.  There was no drama, no cooperated somewhat...we did see a little rain, but it wasn't a downpour so we were good.  And many of the stitchers brought show and tell and I just love to see what everyone is doing so that is always fun for me.  I should be taking pictures, but I never remember that until afterwards.  Darn!  I spent Thursday night trying to get all 3 pieces of the Shepherds Fold done to show and while I managed to get it together, I didn't put the ribbon on the pin cushion, or the cording on the fob and the box lid was just wedged into the box, but it looked done so it was on display and I was thrilled...a finished a project..all 3 pieces and now I've caught up on that one club.  Whoppee!!!!  It really feels great to be finished with something like that....of course it was my own fault because I changed the design and couldn't figure out what the heck to do.  Brother I'll rethink that next time (you know I'll forget what a pain it was and do it all over again.)  Sunday a great many trudged on home, but several stayed until Monday before they wandered away and Wednesday Debbie turned for home so now it's just Sara, Mary and myself.  With the hotel closed, Mary has moved home, bless her heart.  She is stuck in the hotel from May 1st until after the Jamboree.  I'm back to homeschooling, but I'm telling you it was rough trying to get back on schedule because I was exhausted from the weekend.  And then on the 19th, Sara, Mary  and I took a girl's weekends during which we took a felting class in Pennsylvania and made a witch, a pumpkin and a cat.  Or should I restate that Mary and Sara did.  I got the witch done, but of course I want to redo part of her so that's an on-going project.  I did like my pumpkin, or most of it so I'm going to finish that with a little help from my fiber stash and the cat, well let's just say he needs much help, all of which I intend to get to sometime in the near future...O.K., no time soon.  But it was great spending time with the girls.  They helped me step out of the box I live in (it's where I'm most comfortable), by constantly referring to me as stuck in my ways. I'll be the first to admit I've never liked trying new things..I'm comfortable knowing what's coming.  However I took the challenge and said, "Let's eat at the Thai Restaurant.  While they were skeptics about my being able to find something to eat, I did and it went really well.  I ordered something which I liked so it was a win win.  Friday night we also ate at an unfamiliar restaurant and I enjoyed the food there.  I was a lot more comfortable than Sara, as neither restaurant served liquor...uh, oh....but I'm pleased to say Sara lived through the no alcohol dinner just fine.  We also got to eat at our favorite Cheesecake Factory on the ride up and on the ride back....winner winner!  Anyway, we had a wonderful weekend and now for Sara it's back to work, I'm back to homeschooling and Mary, well she's now laying on a beach in Puerto Rico.  I'm also back to skatepark sitting since I promised Mary I would help with the boys. This is her first time away from the children and she's having a bit of a hard time with it.   Debbie is due in again today.  We have our annual C.A. Wells weekend next weekend and Debbie is getting a head start.  We seem to live for our events and start working on the next one the minute one is finished.  Of course, this is such a fun time with the lobby decked out for Halloween, and food, food and more food all weekend together with other stitchers.  Although, I think we are going to be working in groups this weekend since Sara, and Debbie are working on the finishing of one of Betsy Morgan's pieces and I'll probably work on the Welsh Cottage with Linda Wimbrow.  I swear I'm getting that piece done before the end of the year if I have to stay up until midnight every night.  Homeschooling is like going back to work for me.  I spend so many hours preparing, then about 5 hours a day working with Michael and then a couple of hours more preparing for the next day...well, my stitching is taking the hit.  I'm so exhausted each day I no longer wake up during the night so I don't get those late night stitching hours in.  But he's on vacation for about 12 days around the 2nd week in December so I'm hoping to get the Welsh Cottage finished and put together during that time period (at least I've got a plan).  In the meantime, instead of working on it I'm still working on Something Wicked the mystery sampler from SamSarah Designs.  I'm on the bottom pumpkin so I can see the end, but I still have the outline words of Something Wicked to do.  I'm concerned about doing that lettering as it's just not that easy.  I tried to count it on the linen, but because it was not designed around the graph it can't be counted on as shown and maintain the shape.  So I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that.  Sara has offered to take a look and see if she can figure something out, and I may just let her.  Someone gave up and just did cross stitch, and while there was nothing wrong with that I'm still in love with the way it was stitched and trying to do something close to that.  I hate it when I have to work this hard to stitch something, but the reward may be a fabulous Halloween piece.  Anyway, I've got to get this done so I can move on to Christmas gifts.  My God, it's coming quickly.  Thanksgiving is also rapidly approaching.  As usual I'm too far behind to have a relaxing weekend so I'll end here so I can get to it.  I've got stitching and skatepark duty to get to. Have a wonderful, sunny, warm weekend.  It's going to be in the 70's today and it's sunny here so we're loving life right now.


Monday, October 6, 2014

So much fun!

Had another great weekend with the stitchers from the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild and the weather was wonderful.  At times a little too hot and humid, after the promise of cooler temps, but we all made it through.  So thanks ladies for a great fun weekend.  And I finished something.  I have so many things, at this point, that are near finished or finished and just not put together.  So I made a plan to get some of the pieces finished and I am on a roll.  If you remember the Chessie and Me Club tote I put together earlier, this is a take off of that piece using Shepherds Bush, Halloween Trifles leaflet.  All three pieces used here are on the one chart...(have you ever used every chart on a leaflet?)  Anyway, this was a lot of fun and really easy to stitch since they were stitched over two (except the scissor fob, which I stitched over one, but you could stitch it as shown over 2).  If I were to do it again, I would add some pumpkins or something on each side of the piece attached to the front of the tote just to make it a little longer,  but I still think it looks good without adding the pumpkins.  I've had a few suggestions from the ladies at DVSG....if you don't attached the design permanently to the tote you can change designs for the seasons....fabulous suggestion....that way you can use it all year without anyone questioning your having Halloween out at Christmas time.  I'm already looking at designs for a Christmas set!  I then turned my attention to Shepherds Bush and The Fold.  I actually finished the fob a few weeks ago, but was still dragging my feet on the main design for the top of the box.  I did do a bit of redesign, but was still looking for a verse to put in the place of "My Full Heart."  As everyone knows, Shepherds Bush is one of my all time favorite them.  So to redesign anything they present is not in my wheel house, but I had no choice.  My brain just couldn't get beyond the flower basket so I made a decision earlier in the summer to drop the basket of flowers off the top and that allowed me to start the stitch.    So I removed that one element (however I'm still adding it to the project  by stitching it on a piece of linen and using it on the inside lid).  So I was able to stitch the design except I had another brain freeze on the words on the original, "My Full Heart".  Since this box is to hold our Shepherds Bush smalls that are designed for the box, I couldn't figure out what the words had to do with it.    So I was looking for a verse or something which would explain that this was a box for my stitching tools.  While I was pondering this, I was also stitching a case designed by Merry Cox that I think was probably one of her first charts.  As I'm stitching thinking "What the heck am I going to put on the Shepherds Bush box...I've got to get it done," I'm stitching a verse from Merry's chart and realized if I changed one word I could use her verse...thank you Merry on my Shepherds Bush piece.  Anyway, I'm done with the top now, it was easy once I found the words I needed, and I'll post that picture in a day or two as soon as I get it put together with the box.  But it's so exciting because now I've finished 2 of the 3 pieces for that project so I'm almost up to date on it.  I started the pin cushion last night so I'm planning to have the entire set on display in the shop for Jamboree. (feels great to finally be catching up on some of these projects, although I'm now 4 designs down on the R & R pieces..drat!)   These events get me stitching like a crazy person.  It has been a great week for me personally, getting projects finished and assembled and thank God, I got my new Speed Queen washer and dryer only took 4 weeks from start to finish (ridiculous) and almost 2 weeks to get here from New York.  I'm not sure why it took that long since I could have driven to N.Y. in 7 or 8 hours myself, however, the point is the laundry room is back in business and I'm in wash heaven.  They are wonderful machines, in fact I swear the tub in the washer feels likes it's bigger than the old machine, but it is fabulous to have clothes washed and cleaned once again, and I've finally been able to put away the clothes drying rack.    School is also going well, although Thursday I started experiencing a glitch in the software for the school and was unable to access my parts but Michael could still get in his program so we were still good to go.  He seems to be doing well (me...I'm spending hours each day trying to practice portions to make sure I stay ahead of him) but we seem to be making it through.  I have to admit, I've forgotten more than I remembered, but it's even exciting for me as the light comes on as I remember each portion of math I see.  I'm sure glad I always loved school, or I'm not sure I could get through this.  I guess I'm also lucky he's only in 8th grade, plus the wealth of information on the internet is amazing.  I've always been amazed at the fabulousness (new word) of the internet but never more so than now.  I was struggling with something, went to google and typed in the question and the answer popped up.  I swear if I had these capabilities when I was in school I would have had straight A's.  And the different web sites out there for is fascinating and wonderful.  It's like they are tutors for us.  I'm really impressed with the help that's on the net.  While I'm sure we will run into problems we will struggle with, so far we've been able to get help with anything we had a question about.  Anyway, we're still   on track and I'm feeling really good about what we're learning, especially when I spoke to his best friend and when asked where they were in History, was told they were on the American Revolution.  Since Michael and I have just finished with the French Exploration, we have finished European, Portugal, Spanish and French explorers and will be starting with early colonization in the United States this week I thought we were behind them, but Max informed me that they didn't do European History as it wasn't important and they wouldn't have time.  WHAT?  Not important to know where we come from?  What the H.....!  Sara reminded me that Max is 13 and probably wasn't giving me the correct information.  But he does know what he's studying and if he hasn't been taught about the Middle Ages and the explorers who got us here then they are certainly aren't teaching it.  Plus I know what pace we've got and they couldn't get ahead of us at the rate we are moving.  So I think we've pulled Michael at the right time.  Our middle schools seem to be a waste land.  I know the Elementary School is wonderful here and I'm told the High School is still good, but the middle schools are definitely the problem.  You can't just drop this type of information.  Just another example of poor decision making by the people who are running our school system.  So I feel even better about Sara's decision to homeschool.  But I'm really looking forward to some days more month until our first break, Thanksgiving.   Someone asked if I was going to take any of the teacher's service days off, but I always made so much fun of those I wouldn't dare.  But I will be taking snow days which means we probably won't have a snow day all winter.  You can thank me in the spring!  Anyway, it's time for me to prepare for the day ahead.  Michael will be here in about 2 hours so I've got to get studying.  Have a great day!

Monday, September 22, 2014

OMG, I've never been busier....

Mercy stitchers, I barely have time to change my underwear...which is going to be impossible if my washer doesn't get here soon.  As you may remember my dryer had a complete failure in the summer, probably early July.  But I'm old school (I'm so old I use to help my mother do hotel towels in a wringer washer back in the 60's, now who remembers those), anyway, when presented with the loss of a dryer I just said, "no problem, I'll go old school."  I just didn't want to deal with delivery, etc., in the summer.  So I'd do a load and because my next door neighbor has taken over my small backyard with his crap, I have no where to hang anything except in the house.  So I put a wooden drying rack on my enclosed front porch and I'd hang slacks and shirts on the shower rod to dry and everything else went on the wooden rack.  This worked fine, except I had to iron everything, but still it was just going to be temporary so I said, what the heck.  I can handle anything.  But around the first of September my washing machine died.  Oh, no, I'm not so old school I'm beating my clothes on a rock in the ocean so I started the search.  Since I'm 66 I figure any large appliance, car, whatever is going to be the last I ever have to buy before checking out.  So I started the process of reading reviews of name brand machines.  And if you have done that lately you know that everything is absolute crap.  Lasts barely long enough to get the new smell off of it.  I just can't see spending $1000 on a washing machine that will break within 5 years.  I don't want low flow (sorry I need water to wash), don't want computer chips which keep failing, I want a machine that fills with water and then agitates to clean what I put in it.  So I kept searching and came across reviews for Speed Queen.  Just about everyone said the same thing...great machines, no bells or whistles, but does the job and lasts.  So I search and order from who knows where.  And the wait began.  They were suppose to delivery today, but here I sit at 4:01 p.m. and still no sign, meanwhile I haven't done a wash since the first of September...yes, that was over 2 weeks ago.  I'm pulling on clothes I haven't worn in years, at this point I don't give a damn if anything matches.  Thank God I'm an underwear hoarder because I still have a weeks supply, but I can't go out in my underwear.  I swear if I have to haul my over 2 weeks of laundry to the hotel someone will pay.  The girls even offered to come get it, but that isn't the point is it?  Then starting the day after Labor Day, we started homeschooling Michael, the 13 year old grandson.  He lost focus last year and while his grades were still alright, we felt he needed a little more focus and hands on teaching.  Since I am not allowed to do it alone, Sara and I are doing it together.  Another ridiculous rule by the schoolboard.  Honestly, what sense does that make.  While Sara also went through college, what if she was a high school drop out, would she be the best person to be his teacher or would a person who went through college.  Common sense people, the people who are in charge need to get some.  Anyway, I'm allowed to help, so that's how we are handling it.  But I'm all in this and I'm doing lesson plans, homework (I have to make sure I can do what I'm telling him he has to do), so I'm working 4-5 hrs a day in prep work and then we work with Michael from 9:00 to 1:30.  So it's concentrated learning, but we can move quicker because it's just one student.  So far it's working well, but it is really kicking me in the ass.  And the lack of stitching is driving me crazy.  I'm so far behind I almost feel like giving up.  Thankfully my skate park duties are slowing down.  So last week I was home 2 nights and Saturday....whoppee!  With it getting darker on the nights I take Solomon and Michael now (its part of his phys.ed) we also get home around 7:30 instead of 9:00.  Anyway, that's why I haven't blogged in a while or worked on the web site or done anything else except homework and skateboard sitting.  Now as you can see I've finished stitching the pieces for the wooden tote.  You see thread dangling because I still have to add a pumpkin button to the Boo piece which is going to be a needlebook.  The tiny pumpkin piece is the front of the fob and of course the long piece  goes on the tote.  These designs are all on one Shepherd's Bush chart, "Halloween Trifles"....fabulous.  I'll show you this finished as soon as we get the black Weeks wool which is going to back it.  Can't wait.  Then many of you have probably started part 2 in the "Something Wicked" by SamSarah Designs, or perhaps have finished it.  I did start one of the sunflowers and I have just begun the banner, but I just haven't had the time because I needed a gift so of course, that takes precedent.  In the meantime, new kits are arriving in the mail...can't wait to start them, and the charts coming into the shop are fabulous...oh, my when will I find the time.  There must be a school holiday coming soon....Anyway, I wanted to touch base so you know I'm fine, just having trouble organizing my time.  I hope to get this straightened out soon.  And we're getting ready for the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild Retreat and then Stitcher's Jamboree.  Oh, boy....I'm exhausted just thinking about it, but looking forward to seeing you all again.  Have a great week.  Hope you are finding time to stitch

Friday, September 12, 2014

Wonderful Stitching Weekend....

Our stitchers started to arrive on Thursday last week for the Jackie DuPlessis weekend but the airlines kept Amy Wilson wondering if she was ever going to arrive.  She was due in on Thursday, but due to glitches with the airlines she didn't get here until Friday.  Thankfully she arrived with a smile on her face and a shopping bag filled to the brim with some of her finished stitching.  Debbie Liming was the last to arrive, due to her daughter's wedding which took place on Saturday.  Determined not to miss a class she arrived on Sunday around noon.  So Sunday, the last day of classes everyone was here and in place.  We also had our glitches, like a reception that never took place.  When Mary sent out the confirmations she said there would be a reception on Friday night, but due to my homeschooling Michael I'm not working in the shop at all anymore and by this time of year we are down to a skeleton crew with workers going ba to school, etc.  Therefore, Sara was working the shop until closing so there was no way for us to do the reception.  Thankfully, everyone understood and didn't mind us having a small reception in the shop on Saturday night.  So all in all, everything went well.  The weather cooperated by not storming, however, we had the hottest Saturday of the summer...91 degrees at the skatepark (let's face it, I live there at this point).  But Sunday it dropped to 71 and a breeze kicked up so it wckas really pleasant.  Of course after that the the storm was suppose to roll in and we were definitely suppose to get wet.  But that's O.K. because that would take me off park duty after school....whoppee!!!  Back to stitching.  With park duty and homeschooling, my stitching time is really down.  By the time I'm out of the park after homeschooling it's around 7:30-8:00 p.m. and to tell you the truth all I want to do is sleep, so I try to pick up my stitching I only get a few stitches in.  But I did manage to finish one of the designs of the new Shepherd's Bush, "Halloween Trifles" chart.  There are actually three charts, Halloween, Boo & Eek.  Since I intend to make another carrier (Like the Gathering of sheep, by Chessie & Me that was attached to the wooden carrier tote) I will be stitching all 3 designs on this chart (when does that ever happen?).  So I've started Eek which will be the scissor fob and Boo will be a needlebook.  So cute.   Fun stitch.  But nothing compared to the stitching brought for show and tell by Amy Wilson.  OMG...unbelievable.  She brought the "Mermaids Needlework Treasures" by Amy Mitten...I've loved this piece since I saw it so for me to get to see it in person and finished...unbelievable.  That for me was the crowning glory, although it was almost a tie with Hampton Court which everyone here had watched being built stitch by stitch by Amy over the course of several weeks.  Stunning, simply Stunning.  She also brought the Jackie DuPlessis piano, which is unbelievable.  Really, every piece she pulled out of that bag was gorgeous.  Project after project we were able to pick up and really look at it closely.  Both the stitching and the finishing were flawless.  It just makes you want to stitch faster and better.  And since it rained 2 nights this week, no skatepark,  I was able to get in some stitch time after I was actually able to get all three designs done on the chart.  But I'll show you the complete finished set another day, but the picture here is of the one design that I'll be putting on the front of the carrier.  This is bike week here in Ocean City so the town in full to overflowing with the bikers.  This year is going to be a challenge for them as we've had the most rain we've had all summer this week and it's raining right now and it's suppose to rain tomorrow so I'm not sure what that means for their riding...not much fun in the rain, but I'm hoping they get some ride time in since that's what they are in town for.  Anyway, I'll try to check in with you tomorrow...after all it's the weekend, although that means I'm usually babysitting or park sitting, but I'll try.  Have a great weekend.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A finish at last....I finally finished "The Gathering Sheep" which is the kit from the Chessie & Me Club.  I had already shown you the tote and fob, but I decided to add to the needlebook and hadn't finished that until 3:00 a.m. this morning.  I got home around 8:30 p.m. from my skatepark duties last night and I don't understand why, but I was too exhausted to stitch.  I mean it's not as if I was doing the skating, but apparently sitting in the car, and walking out to the bleachers to watch once, is just too exhausting for me and I wanted to finish the book I was reading so I didn't even stitch while sitting in the car.  Hence the 3:00 a.m. finish.  I love the inside though and it turned out perfect for me.  The way it  was suppose to be done was with nothing inside, just the black weeks wool stitched to the front.  But it was just too plain for me so I came up with the needle pages and a pocket, all nun stitched and then attached to the wool (2nd picture).   I made a flap on the pocket and stitched a lamb over one taken from the cover and the year finished and my initials.  The first picture is the front of the needlebook and the right picture is the back of the book.  Love it!  One project done, unfortunately for me though, Shepherds Bush new pieces came in yesterday so this morning since  I had to work for Sara an hour while she did battle with PNC, I added 4 more kits to my ever growing stash.  I had to add the Autumn Box since the Winter Box and Summer Box are already at the framers.  When I pick those up I want to drop off Autumn and Spring so the collection will be complete.  Thankfully those pieces only take one night and school starts soon so hopefully my skatepark duties are coming to an end.  The skaters  are great fun to watch, especially Solomon who works hard to accomplish each trick he sees the older guys do.  And you see this skinny little 7 year old flying around the park, dropping in from an 8 ft. ledge, well it's pretty amazing and the older kids encourage him and cheer him on.  You hear so much about mean kids, but let me tell you that is not the case at a skatepark.  No one makes fun of the kids just learning, or the fat kid standing there....they are welcoming and encouraging to one and all. Color me shocked!    Anyway, as the season slowly ebbs down, we're gearing up for our Jackie Duplessis class next weekend and then it's on to the Delaware Sampler Guild retreat and our Jamboree in October...where did the summer go?  Fall is always such a nice time to stitch though, either inside by the fire or outside in the sun with cooler temps.  Yes, it's always the season for stitching.  Have a wonderful day and I'll be checking back with you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New finish.....means another start....oh my!

New day-more stitching, and also more skatepark duty so I'm not getting as much stitching done as I thought I should....but still I'm stitching so it's all good here.  I was done with the stitching on the Chessie &  Me Club piece, and as you can see I got the carrier finished and the scissor fob, but couldn't get the needlebook done because I just felt it was missing something.  So I've been making up extra pieces to stitch to the inside of the needlebook and while they are completely done, as of last night, I still have to put it together.  Hopefully that will take place today.    But I love the carrier and fob.  We carry the carrier's in the shop and I'm going to try using some of the Blue Ribbon Design charts, like "Autumn Sampler to make another set.  This is one of the designs which can be stitched whole as a sampler or you can take the design apart to be used for needlebooks, fobs, etc.  I'm excited once I latch onto an idea and I've used her designs before for things similar to this so I know I can do it.  YEAH!!!!  The other picture shows a present that showed up on my door last week.  It was a complete surprise and I feel remiss that I haven't  shown it before, but between 7 hours a day at the skate park and Izi-sitting...well, I'm usually home and ready to do something around 8:45pm  and by then I'm done, a couple of stitches and then napping.   But Solomon and Izi are in school next week so I won't have to do as much park sitting or Izi sitting, but I have taken on another job which will require quite a bit of my time, but I'll probably talk about it later.  Back to my new strawberry.  It was sent to me by Greg McCord as a birthday gift  I just love it and have added it to my collection of strawberries (so far I have 2..that's still a collection isn't it?)  It was beautifully made, stuffed well, and I love the little lace topper.  Thanks so much Greg....I love it.  And Greg, we miss you down here.  I ask for you whenever I see the girls so they sometimes give me info and other times haven't seen you so perhaps you can give us updates through e-mail or facebook.  Anyway, the summer is coming to an end which always brings mixed emotions down here.  While we're excited to have cooler temperatures (not snow, but fall temps in the low 70's and 60's), and no more night hours, we do miss the excitement of summer.  Fall and winter are so laid back down here.   I told you in the last blog that I started the over one by Blackberry Designs...haven't worked on it since.  And had the nerve to start a new series...."Frosty Forest" by Country Cottage....there are 12 designs total and the entire series can be stitched as one piece which Sara liked a lot, so of course I had her cut the fabric and then I hunted for the fibers in my bins and I started it last night in between the final nun stitches on the Gathering Sheep piece.  Since that stitching is done, I needed another over 2 start.  It's easier to stitch at the skateboard park.   Anyway, as you all know the industry just had a market in St. Charles (I think).  We can't leave the businesses in the summer so we didn't get to go....darn it!  But of course the new charts and needlework accessories are arriving in the shop daily....this is the most fun of all...opening boxes and discovering the treasures.  And, of course, there is always something in those boxes I have to have.  I'm trying to choose wisely, but you know how that goes.  It's a good thing I only work a couple of days a week or I'd bring home everything, but as it is I tend to forget to check all the nooks and crannies and don't see everything when I'm there.  Jenn Ryan has been in a couple of times and she showed me a picture of the new Lone Elm Halloween piece which has the skeleton walking the dog which is also just a know I'll have to have that.  Sara is gearing up for the Jackie DuPlessis class happening in about a week...or a little more than a week.  Thank God there was no pre-stitch or I'd be further behind on my stitching than I am now.  And many have reported in on the Jamboree pre-stitch.  Things are going well for many of the stitchers and their pre-stitch is finished in plenty of time.  For those of you who haven't finished....just keep plugging along you still have a little over a month to keep stitching.  I've got to end here to finish my Gathering Sheep needlebook.  Hope I have it to show tomorrow.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Loving the new mystery stitch!

Love the new SamSarah Designs "Something Wicked" mystery sampler.  At first I wasn't sure I would be stitching this one, but when I saw the line drawing, I was hooked.  It was the harvest moon that did it for me, and I simply couldn't wait to start this piece so while I should have been putting the finishing stitches on my many projects in the works I threw all caution to the wind and just thought I'd put a few stitches in but in the end, I couldn't stop stitching it, so   last week I finished the first chart and am now waiting to receive the next section.  I have never been so thrilled with an overdye as I was with the Honeysuckle used in the moon.  The varigation is perfect and the coloring is what you see in pictures of the moon with gas clouds and what not.  And the way the branches are stitched and then wrapped....perfection.  The branches, when stitched that way, sit on top of the fabric and are rounded as opposed to flat backstitch and are more realistic.  Because of this wrapping I'm now stitching a lot of my backstitches this way.  I'm going to the framers today and because I like to take multiple projects to be framed I quickly stitched Shepherds Bush's "Summer Box" and "Winter Box."  Summer Box has a flag pole on it and I wrapped it as it's perfect.  I never realized how much better things that are round would look with this wrapped backstitch until now.  Give it a try and see what you think.  Anyway, I'm driving myself nuts with all the projects I've got in the works.  I think I told you "Gathering of Sheep" is finished and now on to the construction, which shouldn't be that hard, but oh, this is so not in my wheel house.  I love to stitch but finishing....well it's making me a nervous wreck, but I shall proceed with caution and pray for the best.  To make matters worse, I actually had the nerve to start a new project this morning.  It's Blackberry Lane's "Witches Night Out" and I've taken on the challenge of the large banner.  The good thing uses only black...the bad's another over one.  And I have to do it over one because I love the banner holder it uses.  The top piece is a witches hat and the bottom part of the holder are the witches cute.  I really don't even think I'll have this done before Halloween this year, I've decided to just work on it a little bit, hopefully each day, and not stress about getting it done in my usual timeline.  In fact my time line has been shot in the foot this year.  In the past I put a 5 week deadline on any project.  No matter how large, 5 weeks was all I had.  On larger projects that was stressful at times, but I always made it.  Now I've been working or not working,  in some cases just opening the zippered pouch and closing it daily, but some have been sitting here for months.  Of course in the last month I've been on skakepark duty and this past week on Izi detail.  The good news....I finally tried out the DVD player that came in the dashboard of my new car and it works beautifully, unfortunately I kept forgetting the DVD's so I haven't actually used it because... since I figured it out I've been on Izi duty at my house.  Last night was spent putting nerf bullets in 4 guns and letting Izi fire them at the T.V.  When he thankfully got tired of that....I then had to pick most of the bullets up as Izi pointed them out to me.  I figure I can call that my exercise for the day.  Then it was time to settle down and watch Lego movies on his I Pad....and finally at about 8:30 Mary showed up to collect him.  I put in about 20 stitches on one of my projects and was too exhausted to do anything else but watch T.V.  I was disappointed in myself...missed a golden opportunity to stitch except everything is over one...I've got to start an over 2 project for these tired nights.    Love being a grandmother, but it's exhausting.  Talk to you soon

Monday, August 11, 2014

A's so exciting when I finish something not only because I've finished, but it means I get to pick something else for the rotation.  But first I did make a couple of changes (surprise, surprise) to "Seaside Summer Alphabet" from Little House Needleworks.  I changed one line ...Ocean City, Md. obviously wasn't part of the original design..."Seaside Summer" were the original words on the chart.  I just wanted to personalize it for our area.  And Ocean City fit right in so why not.  Remember, while the design was can always add or subtract something and make it your own.  And that's exactly what I did.  Love it  Then I looked in my unfinished box and pulled out Drawn Thread's "Give Thanks" and will get it done in time for Thanksgiving.  Not much out there for that particular event, so I'm trying to boost my Thanksgiving pieces.  I like a statement for each holiday which means multiple pieces to represent the holiday.  I love this Drawn Thread piece because the stitches she uses make the finished piece look lacey in places and using different stitches.  There are 18 different stitches used, in addition to cross stitch and she suggests NPI and Dinky Dye silks.  I loved working on this and only put it away earlier when I needed something else stitched first.  Then we got the Sam Sarah Mystery Sampler for Halloween in and I think it's going to be a winner.  Love, love, love the first part of the design.  While I can't post a picture as we don't have one, and I won't post a chart, I have posted the line drawing for the button placement, because I think it gives you a great idea of what we're going to see.  Love the big moon, and it's actually what sold me on this.   I've done a few of these mystery samplers and while I love them, I'm always leary of mystery stitching.  But I'm taking the plunge again and I'll be starting "Something Wicked" soon.  Well, it will enter the rotation soon because Shepherds Bush "The Fold" is on it's final lettering  and the Traveling Quaker Roll is down to my name stitched on so that's 2 more that will be done this week.  Yes, it's a good week for finishing.  I love it when a plan comes together.  We didn't get a lot of new designs in last week, although 2014 Prairie Schooler Santa finally arrived, thankfully since it's been on everyone's list for the last 2 months.  But with the needlework show next week I think the designers are waiting for that to put their new charts in the marketplace.  I've seen a lot of new being shown, just not delivered yet.  So we have great things just a couple of weeks away. 

Things are hectic down here as we gear up for the end of summer.  Kids will be going back to school soon so everyone is trying to get in their final days at the beach so the town is busy, busy, busy.  Betsy Cole and her niece, Sarah, have rented a couple of units at the hotel so they will be here for the week.  Always fun to have regulars here so we can discuss stitching.  I love to see what everyone is working on.  And since we get the "string buyers" in daily, to speak with stitchers who know it's DMC or Threadgathers, or whichever brand is refreshing.  Needless to say we're grateful for every buyer, but it's really nice not to have to explain everything.  The other week I had a visitor in the shop and she and her husband picked up a hand painted canvas, brought it up and started asking questions about what you used to stitch it, etc.  She finally mentioned that she had never stitched anything before which made me say, "while I realize you like the scene on the canvas, it is hand painted and is not what I would suggest for a beginner."  She misunderstood and thought I was telling her she wasn't capable.  But when I corrected her and said she could do it, I just felt that spending $150.00 for a canvas for needlepoint, which in the end she may not enjoy, was not the way to go.  Of course then I had to explain why it costs $150.00 and in the end they walked out without buying anything.  I explained that there was needlepoint that wasn't hand painted at a much lower price point, and then there's counted cross stitch which is really reasonable, but once they saw that canvas that was all they focused of.  That's why I love stitchers.  While they may be horrified at the cost of a tool, canvas, or a kit, they move on and I don't have to explain anything.  And a stitcher can usually find something they need (O.K. perhaps not need but want).  Anyway, if you need me I'll be in the shop this I'll be talking to you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Excitement mounts as I close in on the finish.  I finally decided to just get it done and so I worked on the redesign on the Shepherds Fold and moved the skeps and added the fence to match the other side and I'm thrilled with it.  Of course I still have to come up with something that will fill the void on the right side over the fence, but that's a minor point at this point.  Now I have to do my lettering and the final elements and this could be done today....yeah!!!!!  Finally !  Now all I have to do is the fob and I've caught up on this one project.  I worked on the final pieces of the Traveling Quaker Roll and for some reason as I was Nun Stitching the needlebook I never held it up to look at it and when I got done on one side I realized I was off, so....another rip out.  Honestly, it's almost laughable, if it wasn't over 1 on 40 ct.  But I spent a couple of hours putting it in and then 1/2 hr tearing it out and then of course, the time it took to restitch it correctly.  Brother, it's exhausting.  Sara called me last night to ask questions about the spring clamp clothes pins I showed the other day on the blog.  Apparently we had a few people contact the shop about these.  We do not carry them, they were a gift to me from Carol Wentzel, however, I have researched the clamps (of course I threw the packaging away or this would have been a lot easier) and found them on Amazon.  If you google "Spring Clamp Clothes pin " it will bring up several items.. you are looking for Amico's 8 pcs. plastic Assorted Colors Clothespins Clothes Pegs Clips.  But I also saw the ones right under it, Angle Simple Stainless Steel Clothes pins that also look promising.   Before I purchased either one I would check anyone who sells clothes pins though because they might be in a store right in your own home town.  But if, like me, it's about instant gratification....just order one of these.  Last night I had the absolute worst  catastrophe (at least for me).  I turned on my magnifier lamp and it flickered, which I ignored, stitched for a couple of minutes when it flickered again, oh, no....and then it went off.  Crap!  Luckily I had a Dazor table lamp in the stitching room so I set it up next to my stitching chair (also known as my sofa) in the living room and I was back in business.    Now I have to remember to bring another floor lamp home from the shop.  I love a floor lamp.  The one I had was on borrowed time and I knew it.  The switch broke last year and I've been turning it on and off  by the power cord...what a pain since my phone plugs in there as well and I never remembered that when the cord was turned off my phone was not charging.  You would think after one time I'd remember that....but no....this was a lesson I had to learn repeatedly.  I'm blaming it on age.  Anyway, I'm back to stitching.  Having a great time and I hope it never ends.  I do have a question though, if people don't stitch what do they do with all that free time?  Talk to you soon.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I see the end of the line for a few projects...exciting

Oh I'm getting, on several projects, to the finish line and I'm really excited since I haven't had a finish in a month.  But...this month I should see a couple at least.  Anyway, thought I'd show you what's happening on the Welsh Cottage.  I finished the front wall, back wall, both sections of the roof and I've got one partial side wall and I'm working on the 2nd side wall.  As you may recall, this is my joint project with Linda Wimbrow, and we have a deadline of December 31st on it as I've already put the date on my roof.  We've had the project for several years, kept promising we'd start it and of course never did, so this year it was a "now or never" thing.  I'm determined and so is Linda so I know it will be done!  Pardon the wrinkled look the pictures have.  Of course I just ripped it out of the bag and photographed ironing here folks.  Anyway, I'm enjoying this stitch once again.  Had a tough time with the first side wall, which is why it still isn't finished, but the second side is breezing right along.  I may not get as much time in now as I was getting.  Tuesday I picked up Solomon at 10:00 a.m. for the skatepark and he was there all day.  Brian relieved me at 7:30 p.m. so I was able to get home, go to the bathroom and relax for a while.  Honestly I don't know how this little 6 year old was able to do this...all breaks...Mary brought him lunch and dinner and I never saw him take a bathroom break.  Meanwhile, if Mary hadn't given me a break at 1:30 so I could run home and use the bathroom I'd have a flooding in the van, where I sit the entire time as Solomon wants no parents in the park with him.  6 years old....he can't understand why we have to be there because none of the other boys have parents there....he is the only 6 year old in the park...duh!!! So I chose to go in periodically to see him (and hopefully he can't see me from where I'm standing), but basically I stay in the car with my a/c the entire time.  I came prepared, I had a book, 2 stitching projects and although I brought iced tea I was afraid to drink it because I'd been warned about the bathroom at the skatepark and told I would not go in there.  So I don't even want to take a chance.   Long day and not very productive for me, but these are memories for Solomon so I want to be a part of that.  I want him to remember while I may not be able to get down on the floor and play with him at the age of 3 (well I did but it was a 15 minute process to get up off the floor), but when he was ready for skateboarding I was there and willing to put in the time...well at least on Tuesday.  Now that we've lost one of the desk receptionist (she goes to her permanent job now that she graduated) I'm sure baby sitting and skateboard park sitting are in my immediate future...Mary is now our day desk receptionist at the hotel.  I seem to be the only free person in the family (sometimes semi-retired can bit you in the ass).   But school will be starting soon so then it will be an after school thing so  I'll only have to be there for a few hours.  What grandparents do for their grandchildren.  Back to stitching however, my traveling Quaker roll is about 2 days from completion.  Over one on 40 ct....ugh...but I'm gritting my way through.  The little needle book and fob are so precious to look at.  There is nothing more beautiful than over one stitching on smaller counts.  I still don't know how Paola stitches on 52 ct, but I'm taking her word for how "easy" it is I have no intention of going there.  The "Gathering of Sheep" which is a special kit from Chessie  & Me and only available from Tomorrow's Heirloom, is progressing very nicelynd I've almost finished the needlebook.  It's a fun project with a cute wooden carrier, and will have a stitched fob, needlebook and a piece that goes on the front of the wooden carrier.  It's a joy to stitch even though it's on dark fabric, but it's over 2 so I'm loving it.  I'll get a picture up in the next few days so you can see it.  Then the Cotton Bird is progressing very slowly.  It was suppose to be over 2 on 36 count, but I decided, idiot that I am, that over 1 would give me a small and I could figure out how to finish it better than if I framed it.  I force myself to stitch one part of this per day and that is how I'm getting through this one.  I haven't started on the tray mat which is the other club with Ladies Prim.  These clubs are getting me into a lot of trouble.  And I'm back on the Shepherds Fold.  Everyone knows what a fanatic I am about Shepherds them!  Have just about all of them in my stash, have stitched many of their pieces which are now hanging in the shop (with only a few at home), so when I first heard about the Fold I was so excited and knew I would be stitching it.  When it got to the shop  though, there was something throwing me off.  I didn't even take one home at that point, but of course when everyone was getting one and starting them, I decided to get on that train.  I made a couple of changes instantly, made the chimneys shorter...just small changes that no one would notice, then I had the problem (strickly my fault) with the fiber difference in color and I just put it in the bag and said I'll rip later.  I took it out of the bag a couple of weeks ago and got the first fibers pulled out so the grass on the one side would look the same, but that caused a change in colors being necessary for the grass on the other side as well as the leaf color on the flowers as the color called for blended in with the grass so you couldn't even see it.  You know, with each change that must take place you get a little more bogged down and I found myself working on other things rather than working on it.  But the other day I said, "I've got to work on this and get it finished, since I'm already behind."  So I pulled it out of the bag, figured out what was bothering me so much and made the decision to change it a little more.  The urn of flowers sitting beside the house was throwing me off  because it seemed out of place to me.  Reminds me of the samplers where the people are as large as the houses they stand beside...which is what I don't like about samplers.  Shepherds Bush has done such lovely pastoral sampler the last couple of years so I decided to make this like that.  I decided if that was all that was keeping me from loving this piece and finishing this piece then I needed to change it.  I'm taking the urn out, moving the bee skeps up toward the house and adding a fence on the right side to match the fence on the left side.    I'm not going to discard the urn completely though, because I love the urn of flowers, so I'm going to use it inside the box, either on the lid or on the inside bottom.  I'm thrilled now with my decisions, and it's going to be perfect and I'll have my Shepherds Bush box, my way.  Can't wait.  And I 'm close to getting it done as well.  Summer Alphabet from Little House is done except....while I've charted Ocean City, Md., I haven't stitched it in yet so I'm hoping to get that done this week and then another finish.  But all this talking about it isn't getting the job done, so I'm going to end here and go finish something (hopefully).  Talk to you soon

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

   Front of the traveling Quaker Sewing completed....and I've also got the inside piece nun stitched and last night I even started the scissor fob.  However...oh, yes, there is a however....I stitched the fob over 2 in my excitement over getting this done and this morning read that it should have been over one.   The worst part of this is.....I had the discussion about over one or over two with myself before I started it.  Perhaps reading all pages of the directions would have clarified this for me.  I'm debating today whether or not to rip it out (why not...I've ripped out something on everything I'm working on.)  Anyway, I decided to let it sit and went back to the Welsh Cottage and I'm thrilled with the progress I've made.  Today I will be finishing the tree and then the front wall, back wall, and both parts of the roof will be completed.  One wall is 1/2 done and then I just have to do the chimney and the other wall...and boom...Welsh Cottage will be done.  However....yes, once again....the one wall has proven to be a problem so hopefully I will have gained some inspiration, wisdom or just the guts to get it done.  I can't wait.  So now I've got one project with a days work left, one project with a week's work left.  Of course I have  many projects in the works but seeing some of them getting close to the's exciting.  Today I'm taking a break from stitching...well, a detour of stitching spots actually.  Solomon, our 6 year old blackbelt, has now gone back to skateboarding with the same kind of enthusiasm as he  had for karate.  He wants to live at the skate park which is difficult as it's summer and everyone is working long hours, except for me.  So I'm picking him up at 10 and we're heading to the skatepark until 8:30 tonight.   I know he won't leave until then as I've taken him before and he was the last man standing and we didn't leave until the skate park was closing even though he was alone.   So that's what I'm doing today.  My biggest problem here is not that I'll have to be there all day as much as bladder control.  Honestly, Mary says I don't want to even think of using the bathroom there so now I really have a problem.  But somehow I'm going to overcome this hurdle, I've got my stitching with me, a book with  me and I'm leaving my sanity at home.  I'll be praying a lot I'm sure but I'm determined to make this work for my Solomon. I have to say that I think for a 6 year old he's amazing out there.  He watches the older boys and when they are watching him he trying to copy them and manages to do quite well.  He is getting bolder and bolder and his skills are improving each time we go.  He's the youngest one there, but before long he will certainly eclipse some of the other younger boys I'm sure.  If I had his determination, well I have no idea what I'd be, but I doubt I'd be sitting on the sofa stitching (ooh, that's not a good thing!)  We had what is becoming a "thing" on Sunday.  Mary's babysitter called in sick, so I got the call for help.  Sara informed me when the new schedule was ready that I had only one day of work, Monday, so I came into the watch the kids.  While sitting there the front desk receptionist came in and said, "Pat said she's alright right now, but she's alone in the shop."  Fortunately Sara and Mary were with me at the time so I looked at Sara and she said, tell her I'm coming right now.  I said, "who is suppose to be working...since it's either Judy, Sara or myself."  Sara said, "Oh, I forgot, I guess you were on the schedule, but don't worry I'll take the shift."  I reminded her that she told me I only worked on Monday.....and I couldn't now as I had the boys.  Sara apparently forgot she changed the schedule. (I think they are trying to gaslight me).  So then I look at the schedule and I'm not on Monday at all.  Renee needed Wednesday off and Sara had asked if I could work her Wednesday so I knew I was on for that.  So I asked Sara what happened to my Monday and she informed me that Judy couldn't work on one of her days but could take the confusing for me, and apparently Sara.  Anyway,  I watched the boys til 3:30 and then worked the shop until 8:30 so Sara could have a few hours off.  But at 8:30  Sara came down and took over.  Long day....for me...I came home and fell asleep.  God only knows what I'll do today after 10 hours at a skate park.  Of course I can always sleep in the car while I'm waiting....with my luck I'll get arrested if I do that for sleeping in a car which is illegal here.  Anyway, hope your day is filled with fun activities and stitching.  Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Gadget the gadgets and Carol Wentzel knew it and found me my latest favorite tool.  Thanks Carol...Love them!!!  These are clothes pins that work like vise grips, just not as hard.  You  can see I've got a white one attached to my Q-Snap on the right.   I love a 6" Q-Snap and seldom work with anything else.  I don't care if I'm using a yard of  fabric, for some reason the 6" just fits so nicely in my hands and isn't flopping around like bigger sizes do for me.  Usually I fighting fabric hanging down, and while I've become accustomed to it, I don't like it.  So these gadgets are perfect.  Thanks Carol...I appreciate your thinking of me and sending me a new tool.  As for my stitching....I'm pleased to say things are progressing.  I pulled out the mismatched fibers on my Shepherds Bush "Fold" and now it's moving forward.  I've almost completed the Quaker Needleroll by C. Theron and will have the majority of the stitching done on that by end of today.  I've also almost completed the front wall on the Welsh Cottage....thank God, since Linda was getting ahead of me and that drives me crazy.  So I'm in a good spot right now with my stitching and can see the end of the tunnel on several  of my projects...always a good thing since I seem to be bringing home more and more projects to do.  We got in more of the murex shell with the needlepoint inserts and they are going like hot cakes.  Sara put them on the facebook page and we got around 6 orders within the first few hours.  We did get more designs so now we have the shell, seahorse, dolphin, mermaid, crab,  oh, no I can't remember what the other one was.  Anyway, these are fabulous and so easy to do.  Very little stitching involved and everyone who has put one together seemed to have no problem.  Judy has hers already displayed in the shop, Pat finished hers in record time so this is a winner!  Beautiful and fast!  "Just Bee" from Hands on Design has literally flown out of the shop.  We started with  6 charts which also contains the fabric for finishing, Sara put it on facebook and we were out of them by the end of the day.  So we ordered 12 more and now they are out and we're working on 12 more.  So that's added a bit of excitement as we take bets on how many we can sell in a day.  Sara is on a first name basis with everyone at the post office since we send everything thru them.  And yarn arrives every day.  Sara is on a yarn jag and can't seem to get enough of it.  It really is wonderful to have her so involved in yarn since my "forte" is counted work.  Renee's is needlepoint so she is thrilled with each canvas we get in.  She is also the master of pulling fibers for them and coming up with suggestions.  Judy does some of each, much like myself so I'm not sure yet which one is her favorite.  So we all have our areas of expertise here.  Anyway, just wanted to touch base and let you know I'm still stitching as fast as I can.  Keep your needles moving stitchers whether you are knitting, crocheting, needlepointing or cross stitching.  It makes the day go by in a much nicer way.