Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wow...it sure is quiet today now that the holiday is over.  There's parking, no noise, less trash...but the pace in the shop is also slower, however, a couple of the New York Ladies are here...that's always a good time.  Pat Ellis and Christine Ghinazzi snuck away without the rest of the group and surprised us by coming earlier than in previous years.  So no crowds but true stitchers...it's a good day.  The first picture is my Sara on her way to walk.  God love her she's got her fit band on and she's doing her thing (she was also bringing me baked ham and deviled eggs...that's always a good thing).  The other picture is Drawn Threads "Autumn Jumble" which I loved stitching and will be taking to the framers tomorrow.  I, of course didn't use the fabric suggested, I stitched on 32ct. Lakeside Magnolia and in place of the Waterlilies fiber I used Gloriana "Topiary" which I have loved every since I saw it and have yet to use it.  The colors were perfect for this piece as it shows the changing colors of the leaves.  This is part of a series of Jumbles, the 4 seasons, Christmas, Easter Eggs, Halloween, and the Jumble of Seasons.  Fun and fast.  Easy to set a goal, one block a night or two but it's addictive.  My initial goal was one block per night, but then I stitched 3 and the next night I stitched 6 and the last was finished the next night.  There are a few specialty stitches but nothing real complicated so it is low stress.  Spring and Summer will be coming into play soon at my house.  Last night I pulled out Shepherd's Fold for the first time in a couple of weeks.  Knowing that the fob has been shipped means I am falling behind so I'm kicking it up and I'm hoping to get it done by Sunday (I pray but with Renee's gift also needed not sure if I can make it.) And of course, there's always the pull of Candy Crush (darn it!)  Well, I finally decided to bring my lunch since we've been buying lunch everyday with the kids out of school and since they are back in school I decided to make my lunch.  Mary gave me a bento box for Christmas and I've been wanting to use it so today became the day.  I put some baked ham (from Sara) in there and some cut up strawberries with a slice of pound cake.  I just opened the box when a customer came in and I stuck it under the counter only to have it slide off and onto the floor upside down...so much for bringing my lunch.  I've got to go clean up...talk to you later.

Hope you had a wonderful safe Memorial Weekend.....


It's  been a beautiful  weekend.....sunny and bright and temperatures around 71 degrees.  We're feeling very patriotic, even our summer ewe has put on her patriotic blanket with matching accessories.  As much as I had to say to Phyllis and Debbie when they stitched monthly blankets for the Homespun Elegance sheep, and believe me I said a lot, I can't believe I'm taking the time to make different blankets for Sally Ewe (she's our version of the Christmas Elf).  Anyway, that was a finish for me this week so I'm showing it. Needless to say I was in and out of the stitching "studio" in a matter of seconds doing this, but a finish is a finish.   Stacy Stinson stopped by today to give me my Catherine Theron kit, "Travel-sized Quaker Sewing Roll" which was I thrilled to get.  I've never been able to take one of her classes, but everyone else has and I do love her samplers, etc.  This is a darling Quaker piece and for some reason I'm in love with Quaker.  Since we got an order from Hoffman today I also added Threadworks Primitives "Beggers 4th," as well as Homespun Elegance's Uncle Sam Crew Needle Case".  I did the Shamrock Needle case for St. Patrick's day so I'm shooting for a finish on this of July 4th.  I may never sleep again.  Although with my new "Tablet" the game Candy Crush is sucking out all of my time.   I seem to only work in patches of 25 minutes which is what I normally have to wait for a recharge.  Mercy, I'm sorry I ever looked at this.  But there are a great many designs I really want to stitch so the pull of needlework is great and I'm hoping the thrill of Candy Crush wears off.   OMG....I was just in the shop talking with Sara and realized I sewed the buttons on Sally Ewe's patriotic blanket in the wrong place.  They should be at the ends not in the middle....duh...no wonder it went so quick...I obviously wasn't trying very hard.  Now I have to redo...damn. Good news, I was able to redo the blanket (I know everyone was very concerned about this), right away so Sally Ewe doesn't need to be embarrassed.  Moving on....it's Monday and there were so many people still here I had trouble parking (I only drove today because I thought everyone would be moving on...what an idiot).  Anyway, we had a little excitement this weekend even though it was a relatively quiet holiday.  Saturday I came to work and Vernon said, "you missed the excitement".  Sara had her first tow.  For some reason everyone here gets a thrill out of towing people who park on the lot but are not staying here or shopping in the shops.  Since it was 7:00 a.m. Sara knew they weren't in the shop and since they blocked the parking lot by parking right in the entrance she knew they couldn't be staying here.  After checking with Mary at the front desk it was confirmed.  The tow company took forever so the police were called and they called the tow company to find out what their problem was and the car was finally  towed.  When I was told that there were realtor keys in the car I said, "No realtor would park there, that car has to have been stolen."  We finally got a call from the realtor whose car had been stolen along with her pocketbook and car keys from her house in Ocean Pines.  Glad the mystery was solved, although no one knows yet who did the deed.  But I do know the person who stole it has to be close to this property to have dumped it here.  I'm blaming the annoying kids who are in Olde Town behind us since they are always annoying.  Then yesterday as I was  walking home I saw a woman with 2 children standing by my building, and then I noticed a man walking towards the back of my building, or rather my neighbors fence where he proceeded to pee on the fence....and this is with the town bathroom 1 block away.  This was not a teenager (we expect it out of the high school seniors because they are too stupid to find the town bathroom), but a grown man with children.... who apparently was also too stupid, and in broad daylight.  Honestly, where have all the manners gone?    I must remember to ask these people where they live and then we can take a bus load of people to their homes and pee on their property.  Road Trip! The sights here haven't changed since prior years, same tacky clothes and bathing suits barely there.  Then there was a young girl who walked by with 2 friends who I swear had to weight over 250 lbs (her friends were normal size), wearing a two piece suit and strutting like she was on the runway.  Does anyone look in the mirror anymore.  A gentlemen came in and said to me before he left, I bet you see some sights here in the summer.....meanwhile he must have weighted over 400 lbs....and I don't think he meant himself.  Mercy, watching this is almost as addictive as candy crush.  And next week we start the senior weeks month...oh God, help us all.  As I have gotten older this nightmare has gotten worse.  From the actions we see here.....some of these kids have had little training.  God help them when they enter college or the work force.  Anyway, I did get a stitch done, which I will show you tomorrow.  I loved stitching this Drawn Thread piece, but tonight I will be working on Shepherds Fold.  We should be getting our kits this week and I need to get a move on.  The 2nd part is a scissor fob.  Now that I should be able to complete in a short amount of time.  The question is,  do I work over one or over two.  Doing their fobs over one results in the most adorable little fob....I'll have to give this some thought.  I have 2 older women in here (Sea Trader) who are wasting some time (they must be meeting someone), anyway, they are wasting time by reading all the card....out loud, like I haven't heard people read them endlessly already.  Shoot me, shoot me now.  The smile is permanently frozen on my face. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Stitch 'n Bitch was Tuesday (night over a week ago now) and there were just a small grouping of us huddled together in the hotel lobby.  Jennifer brought in her Sherri Jones "Tulip Tray" completely finished...kudos to Jennifer.  Wouldn't you think I'd take a picture of that?  I can't seem to get in the picture taking mode....it's all too new for me.  I'm still hacking like a smoker, can't seem to completely kick this darn cold.  It doesn't help to have temperatures that go up and down like they are now.  Once I turned off the heat I refuse to turn it back on so at night I ignore the 45 degree weather and sit with windows open and under a quilt.  Perhaps that's why I still have a cold.  You think?  Before I go any further, I feel I have to mention the fact that I do put things on the web site that I've stitched but we do not carry because I think seeing finished items inspires everyone to keep at it.  I will also happily tell you where I purchased whatever I working on.  For instance, I've had several people ask about the "Strawberry House" pin cushion I showed a few blogs ago.  I mentioned at the time that it was part of the Ladies Prim Society Club, which was the wrong club, it's from the same web site but it's the other club, "2014 Colonial Gathering Club",  which you can sign up for at Dyeing to Stitch's web site.  You will get a new kit every 8-10 weeks and there is a one year commitment.  I apologize if this confused anyone and perhaps I shouldn't put pieces on the blog that we don't sell in our store since it is a shop blog, but I love to see what other's are stitching and love to show off what I'm doing.  Having said that, I feel like I've gotten nothing done in a long time.  I have finally finished both of the  pre-stitches for the Betsy Morgan weekend but other than that I'm still working on the Welsh cottage and Shepherd's Fold and the worse news for me is that the second part of the Shepherd's Fold is being shipped in the next couple of weeks...EEK...I need to get on this.  And I saw the Summer Jumble being stitched on a web site and so I've ordered that for the shop (and me) and in the meantime I've pulled the Autumn Jumble and started working on that Wednesday and thought I'd just stitch one block a day and keep working on the other unfinished pieces.  Well, as with all my plans...something went terribly wrong.  I fell in love with the stitch and can't put it down.  I have just  4 more blocks to stitch and it will be done.  Since I loved this so much I'm thinking I'll also stitch Spring Jumble while I'm waiting to get Summer Jumble....and then there's the Halloween Jumble..oh, my when will it end  (help me for God's sake I can't seem to stop myself...I'm a needlework junkie).  Perhaps I'm not a needlework junkie but a hoarder...that's it I'm a needlework hoarder.  Which is proven everyday I take more stuff home with me when I've already got so much started, not started, or half done at home.  And it's not only in my stitching room (remember I took over the largest room the master bedroom and turned it into a stitching "studio"), but in one of the guest bedroom (where I have a ironing board set up and leave finished projects there waiting for completion) and of course in the living room where there are 3 bags stuffed with projects to be worked on.  Good luck to Sara who will have to go through everything when I'm gone.  But she's going to find some wonderful treats there I will say that.  She's almost as bad a I am although this past weekend she started setting up a stitching area and to do that she went through the closet, pulled out all the bags and went through them (and found stuff she didn't even remember buying).  Unfortunately when she told me she was throwing out one thing I said, "will you please bring me that and I'll finish it for you."  She said yes, but I have a feeling she's going to hope I forget and get rid of it anyway.  (she takes it down to the church for their opportunity shop).  Even when we are cleaning out we don't throw away.  Anyway, I'm still here and still stitching, just not on the pieces I should be stitching.  Have you seen the doll pincushion by GPA on the cover of Antique Sampler and Needlework Magazine...oh, my..another item for my to do pile.  I've actually stitched 2 of these pin cushions dolls as gifts for Renee.  I love stitching them and seeing them come alive and after my initial block on instructions, when the fog lifted it really was simple to finish.  I shall start assembling the needs for finishing and stitching it now.  Talk to you soon.

Monday, May 12, 2014

This is our view.  The boardwalk, seawall and ocean.  Then I just had to show you the ridiculous signs this town spent our money on.  We all know when the high school seniors get here they are going to be writing one word all over these signs....and I don't blame them.  When I was shown the signs...and naturally one is right in front of our shop (perhaps they heard us)..I even said, "WTF".  Oh, well, our tax dollars at work.  I might have to bring the sign in here and post it over Sara's desk.  A knitter came in for help with her Walmart yarn,  Walmart pattern and Walmart needles.  Sara was less than happy, but thankfully the woman is very unaware since Sara is smiling and helping.  I, on the other hand, am no help.  I'm blogging and will be working on the shopping cart.  Anyway, I'm just playing with the IPhone, practicing taking pictures and blogging them.  Will keep you posted on my progress.

New models

Is this not the cutest thing?  We all loved the SamSarah Designs, "Fish Stix" which was published last year and none of us more so than Renee.  She stitched one of the fish on needlepoint canvas and got an old fish reel from Greenie (her husband) and used some grasses, etc. to set the scene and added the fish by putting it on a stick...so cute and such a unique finish.  It's sitting in the front showcase so when you stop by take a look...cuter in person.  The second piece is the  "Bee Keeper" by Plum Street.  I am not a big lover of primitive but I loved this piece.  The bee skep is a little lacey in appearance and was a joy to stitch.  I had a few issues with the colors used for the beekeeper herself because they all were the same tone of gray....of course I could have changed a color but I was invested in them and so used them.  But I loved the piece overall and loved the frame so it is a win win for me.    I'm almost in a stall pattern in my stitching.  I am working on too many pieces at once so I don't feel like I'm getting anything done.  I've got the 2 small pre-stitches for the Betsy Morgan class....not done with either one of them which is unusual because normally I finish those in a few hours...don't know what my problem is but apparently I've got one.  Then the Shepherd's Fold is still in the infant stages of stitching as I haven't worked on it all week.  The Welsh Cottage I was finished until I realized the corner stones were off 2 threads so I've had to rework it for the 3rd time so I just put it away until tonight and then I should be done with the back wall.  Horray!!!!   Then I've got something I started last year after Nashville and never put together.  Since it's Sara's birthday Monday I thought that it might motivate me if I made it one of her gifts.  Well, it's motivated me alright.  The finish has not gone well but again I'm perservering and I've finished 2 pieces and almost finished a 3rd one this morning but I still have 1 more piece left after that and the box it goes in.  It will be a tight finish but I think I can do it.  At this point I just need to finish something.  It's been a week since I finished my last project....too long.  Tuesday after dropping off my stitching at the Gallery for framing, I went birthday shopping for Sara and while on the North side of Salisbury stopped by the Verizon store.  I still had a flip phone and while I didn't mind being out of date, I did mind having to ask Sara to keep taking pictures with her phone (the 2 you see here) and then posting them to the blog....so I did the unthinkable.  I went in and purchased an IPhone.  Good Golly, I waited 45 minutes to get waited on and then of course they go into the differences in the phone.  I finally told the guy I didn't know what the hell he was talking about a 5C or a 5S...what the hell?  So then of course I had to hear what the difference was on those and then the Mother's  Day specials,  honestly....for a moment I wanted to just leave with my flip phone and call the whole day off.  My ears were bleeding....I kept thinking, "this is an hour I'll never get back."  But again, it's a new day and a new me and I stayed and walked out with a new phone among several other items (this salesman saw me coming..though I did bulk at the speakers for the Iphone since I wasn't using it for music I did think that was taking the "new me" in the wrong direction.   So, in the past 2 months I've gotten a 2014 Grand Caravan (my 13 year old car just couldn't make it another mile apparently..plus Vernon was too embarrassed to take it back over to the man who serviced it) and a new phone.  This could account for the weather patterns we seeing, I do believe hell is now going to freeze over.  I am still an idiot with the phone.   I hung up on Sara so much Friday night she came to the house to see what was the problem...(a 65 year old idiot was the problem).  She explained a little about using the phone but at some point my eyes just glazed over and she knew it was pointless to go on.  Next I think it's time for an eye exam (my last one was 2 years ago and I haven't gone for new glasses in about 4 years).   But that is going to end upgrades for the year.  I've had it.  Have a great day. 

Finally a finish...for Sara's birthday......

Today is a day we celebrate..it's  my Sara's birthday.  One of the gifts she asked for
was a gift certificate to Air Tran (she and her family go to Jamaica every
year).  As with all things we do....this became a problem.  I googled Air Tran and found that they had been purchased by Southwest....didn't see a problem yet.  Then I read that Air Tran was not issuing gift certificates anymore...makes sense since Southwest bought them.  Then it said, "Southwest gift certificates were not interchangeable with Air Tran flights.  Uh, O.K., so Mary called Southwest for me and they are not issuing certificates for their flights to Jamaica.  What the hell???  So I had to go to plan B.  Since they go with another family, all together, I decided to make a gift certificate and when they book I'll just pay for her flight on whatever plan they get on.  So...problem solved.  Then I thought about how to present the gift certicate to make it unique and what you see is what I used.  This is a Jeannette Douglas piece, "Isle of Hope" Accessories.  There is also a beautiful sampler which can be personalized with your families name and it's about the immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island as they began their new life in America.  Anyway....I loved the smalls, mainly because Jeannette used a Hobby Lobby suitcase box.  I actually had the stitching done over a year ago, right after 2013 Nashville Market.   But finishing everything, including the box was daunting and I just kept putting it off.  But I decided last week to paint the box and get moving on it and then I could give it to Sara for her birthday.  I had multiple issued getting the smalls finished (let's not even go into it), and the box....well I finally painted it (not that big a deal except the hinge pin was missing so the lid was wobbling and of course I couldn't leave it like that so around 4:00 a.m. this morning (think I waited too long?) I decided it was go time.  I finished painting the box, sanded it and then Bri waxed it.  As I was putting the brown ribbon on it (the straps) I looked at the hinge and since I had my pins sitting there I took one of them, stuck it through the holes where the missing pin used to be...yeah it fit..., got my wire cutters and cut the pin down to size and voila....the hinge was back in action.  Once I got the ribbon on, the suitcase started to look good.  So I got out the stickers I was using as decoration on the box.  If I had known when I purchased the stickers that it was going to end up the gift box for her ticket to Jamaica I'd have found stickers for Jamaica...but anyway, as I was coming into work today thinking I had to get a card to put the gift card in I had a light bulb moment and thought I should use the suitcase box for the airline gift card.  My brain cells are clicking ...well they were in that moment because for the rest of the  morning I've called all the men working here by the wrong name.   Fortunately they just look at me, smile and I know eyes roll when I turn around.  Anyway, I lined the box with scrapbook paper (I'm sorry I didn't use newspaper) and then just put the smalls in.  I found a little 3" wooden ruler at Hobby Lobby and I stuck that in there and I love the finished product.  So stinking cute.  Tonight I go back to Welsh cottage and Shepherd's Fold...oh and I've started Renee's birthday gift.  Anyway, that's all the news I've got.  Hope all the mothers had a wonderful relaxing day.  I got wonderful gifts including a Roomba so I can sit longer now and let it vacuum my carpet....more stitching time. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What a weekend .... Spring Retreat was great!

What a weekend we had....71 stitchers in attendance and plenty of sunshine.  The stitchers started arriving on Wednesday with many more arriving on Thursday and the final stitchers on Friday.  We were concerned about parking all the cars, etc., but things went really smoothly.  But before I go on, I want to explain the pictures.  Debbie Liming gave me this beautiful tulip pin cushion, you may have seen a version on the Just Cross Stitch Magazine in the spring.  Anyway, this was just one of my Christmas gifts...but it wasn't ready in December so she brought it with her this time.  Isn't it gorgeous.  The first picture shows it closed and then the second picture shows it open.  Ribbons on the top allow you to open it and wind the ribbon around a bead on the side to keep it open.  The pin cushion in the center is velvet and beautifully made.  Thanks you so much Debbie....I love it!  But I will never tie the sides down again because I don't want "wonky" ribbon.  So my gift made the weekend even sweeter.  Anyway, we had several new stitchers attend this year.  It was so nice to see new people and even nicer to see how the experienced retreaters welcomed the newbies into their groups.  One of the stitchers wanted to stitch a Lavender &  Lace angel and I encouraged  her to try stitching on linen.  I started her on a piece of 18 ct. to get the rhythm down and she was suppose to be coming back in on Saturday for lesson two.  I saw her again in the hallway Saturday afternoon after some of the stitchers got her going on a fob done on 28 ct linen and she had completed the front by then, and then later on that same night brought over the completed fob, back and front stitched, and put together thanks to the help of stitchers attending, whom she had not met before.  This is how retreats should work.  We have always welcomed new stitchers and I have told several singles not to worry about coming alone because the groups would welcome them in and they always do.  Julia was one last year...a newbie and she was back this year and told us she had the best time ever, because this year she got to revisit the old friends she made last year.  And the stitching that was going on....mercy..there was needlepoint, counted cross stitch, knitting...especially after a couple of sessions with Sara showing how to arm knit.  We want to thank all the attendees for their graciousness and their patience...we did have lines in the shop and at the food tables, although everyone agreed having seating times for the dinner worked out well.  Each year we get a little smarter, but 71 people pushed us further than we thought we could go and made us get creative.  All in all, we had a great weekend and thankfully the weather was gorgeous.  The sun was shining all weekend and while the temps were a little cooler at times, it was still warm enough for shorts and t-shirts during the day and a sweatshirt in the evenings.   While I didn't mingle too much since I caught a cold and was hacking all night, but I did get to see all the stitchers and had a good time as well.  I didn't do my usual visit at night in the lobby because I just felt a little under the weather.  But I'm sure I'll do that at Jamboree.  In the meantime....thanks to everyone who helped make it a success, the attendees, Linda Wimbrow who spent all day Friday helping Sara prepare food and also did some grocery shopping for us, and Debbie Liming who helped me put the goodie bags together and to Sara and Mary, Brian and Vernon thanks for all your hard work!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Now it's crunch time for Spring Retreat....

I wanted to show you a couple of finished pieces....first is the Strawberry House pin cushion and scissor fob.  This is part 4 of the Ladies Prim Society and so now I'm 4 for 4 in finishing.  I did get the 5th kit last week and have started it, but it's a slow go because I'm working on 3 big pieces at the same time.  The second picture is the box that was given to me from Jean Toy from the Delaware Sampler Guild.  They were having a retreat at the hotel last weekend and she always brings me such wonderful stitched gifts. I loved "Take Time to Stitch," even if Jean was horrified to see my post of the piece done on the Tote bag a couple of weeks ago.  What she didn't know then is that bag was for Sara and I had ever intention of stitching this piece again....it was such a wonderful stitch.  So now that's a piece that I  can take out of my "todo" bag.  Thanks Jean!  Inside the box she had stitched the cute little biscornu and the needle book you see at the bottom of this blog.  What a lovely gift.  Don't you wish you were me?  I got a miserable cold from the grandchildren and woke up Monday morning feeling just miserable....and had a dentist appointment (oh my  could it get any worse?)  So, $1,000 later I was  back at home and laying on the sofa blowing my nose, and nursing my gums.  But today I'm back in fighting form.  I am at the office trying to get my work done for the retreat this weekend (I don't have much to do but I am responsible for a couple of things).  Sara is out getting groceries and then she's home cooking and Mary is trying to finish getting rooms set up.  Oh, my God....this is opening weekend for the hotel and we are up to our butts in alligators.  Things always have a way of turning out, but I'm concerned about the number of people signed up.  But stitchers are usually good natured and work with us, so I shouldn't be too concerned, but we have no idea what the weather is going to be like, and if everyone is stuck inside....well, let's just say we're going to be very close friends when it's all over.  Fortunately several of our regulars will just go to their apartments in groups and stitch which will help the overcrowding in the lobby, etc.  Well anyway, we'll just see.  In the meantime I'm stitching like a mad woman....started Shepherd's Fold...love it.  Also working on the Ladies Prim Society piece by Blackbird and Moss Creeks Welsh Cottage (don't think I'll ever see this done.)  No small pieces this week....trying to plow through some of the big ones.  I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing.  Saw other's progress on the Shepherd's Fold and like them I don't like Shepherd Bush funky alphabet.  They use to have the prettiest alphabet but for the last 10 or so years have used this funky one and each time I rechart it so this time will be no different.  I also made a slight mistake and have left it and carried on.  I don't think it's too noticeable, but I just was too lazy to rip.  On the Blackbird piece I've decided to stitch just one part per night so that take a while and the Welsh Cottage I intend to get the back wall done this week....I'm pretty close so I know I can do it, and then I'll start the front wall.  I've put the date on it so this has to be finished in 2014.  Got to go....take care and I'll keep you posted.