Monday, December 28, 2015

I am loving my presents...............stitching ones as well as non-stitching ones.

 Had to show you another gift that arrived on my door for Christmas.  This was from Stasi Buhrman.  She always finds the most fabulous tool cases and in this case a lace and button case.  I wanted to show you what was hanging on the gift cute the little thimble tree...believe me I'm making some of these to put on next years packages.  Will look cute on a tree with my hand stitched ornaments.  As for the case, well I've needed something like this for years.  I purchase lace for a project and can never figure out what I did with it when I need it (I'm obviously lacking in the organizational area).  This case is sitting on my shelf loaded with lace and buttons so when I need lace, I don't have to look through 20 bags praying I find it because it's on my shelves staring at me.  Thanks Stasi, I love it, needed it, and already have it ready for action.  And I love the goodies you put in the pocket.  At first I thought it was buttons only, which was great,  but then I discovered there was more than buttons in there.  Gifts within a gift.  Perfect!  I declare this year's Christmas, The Best Ever!!!  Today it's Monday, 12/28 and the weather has definitely taken a turn.  I'm not complaining considering it was sunny and near 70 on Christmas day as well as the 26, and the 27th.  But to have it back down to the 40's...well I'm cold.  And yet, in a day or so it's going back up to 60 again.  Honestly before this is over we'll all have colds.  But I'm enjoying it so I'll love it while we have it.  I certainly will not complain about weather when ours has been so nice and every  morning I wake up to news of another disaster area due to weather in those areas.  You can't help but think about the folks whose homes were destroyed while you are enjoying a wonderful dinner in a warm house with family and friends.  I've done a lot of praying for those folks and will continue to keep them in my prayers.  Due to the blustery winds and cold temps there are very few people on the boardwalk, but due to the needs of the stitchers, a few have shown up to get supplies, weather will never keep us away from shops selling stitching supplies.  We're grateful to see them too.  I'm getting the itch to stitch, so I'm going to go to the fabric section and see what I can much fun to start something new (like I don't have enough old projects to finish but I need something new I think to get me back into action).  I'm hoping that, as in years past, this year I will start out the new year finishing an unfinished project between each new project.  We'll see  how long that lasts.  Have a great week

What a lovely Christmas I had.....I think

  Had to show you another gift I received this month  all the way from Luxembourg.  Paola sent me another "goodie" for the Roses for Sally box.  It is so elegant and the stitching and finishing is just impeccable. I cannot thank you enough Paola, for such a beautiful pin pillow for my box.  Periodically I sit down with my box and spread the pieces out so I can look at them and play with them a little before putting them all back so very neat and tidy until next visit.  I always loved to play with my dollhouses and needlework smalls have taken their place.  Continually pulling items out, playing with them a little and then rearranging them back in the box.  So much fun!  I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful stitching friends who shower me with such beautiful treasures.  Thank you so much Paola, this will be cherished by me and when I'm gone Sara will lovingly take it and cherish it as well.  It is such a comfort to know that my treasures will live on once I'm gone and not end up at a yard sale.  (that would be enough to make me rise from the dead)  I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as mine was.  I happen to fall ill on Monday preceding Christmas and each day ended up doing nothing but sitting on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.  I didn't even stitch (that shows how sick I was).  Each day hoping I would pull myself together and get busy getting my work done, and each day just laying there saying "tomorrow, I'll get things done tomorrow."  By the 23rd I was thinking I wasn't going to be able to pull it together and each of the girls after coming over, looked around, and said, "At least let me help you clean up the house."  There were at least 15 bags of groceries sitting on the kitchen floor (at least I did get the stuff in the refrig and freezer so that much was done).  I did manage to shampoo the living room carpet (and announced that would be the last time I ever did that-in fact, it was exhausting.)  But I woke up on the 24th, bright and early around 5:30 a.m. and said "it is now time to do or die trying."  Since I felt a little better, I started right away hoping I could get most of it done.  With each item checked as done, pickled beets, spiced peaches, cinnamon rolls, turkey prepped and ready, sauerkraut ready, candied sweet potatoes ready to go, cheesecake finished, apple pie finished, Jello Smetna mold done, mac & cheese for the kids ready, I started feeling like I might actually accomplish this.  Mary showed up and said, "at least can I help with the front porch" but no that wasn't going to happen either...I was on it.  I realized I would need to go out to the grocery store one more time and Michael decided to come over so off we went.  After returning back home Michael decided to put his feet up and take a nap on the sofa.  Unfortunately I sat down to regroup and woke up a couple of hours later.  Uh, Oh, I didn't have that kind of time.  So while I was feeling a little panic, thankfully Sara went to the church after the 5:00 service and got things ready for Christmas Day services so I could continue working at home.  I was feeling like I was going to really pull it off and thought at 1:30 a.m. that I would just sit and take a breather.  Well, that didn't help because that breather lasted until 5:30 a.m.  Oh, no Christmas day and I'm still working on getting ready.  So I got the sauerkraut into the crockpot, make the stuffing and got the bird stuffed and in the oven.  I was panicing because the kids showed up two years ago around 10:00 a.m. and that screwed me up completely.  Everyone comes to my house at dinner time and we eat and exchange gifts then.  But Solomon was hoping someone got him a computer two years ago and when he didn't get one upstairs he came down to see if he got one from me (which of course he did) but that has meant my house is next in line if something is missing from upstairs.  I had everything done but the  gravy and the 2 vegetable sides so I started finishing the pick up of the house, wrapping a few gifts I found and hadn't done yet and I heard the door open around 9:30 a.m. and just about screamed when I saw Mary and said, "OMG, are the kids here already?"  But the surprise was mine, she made a stuffed French toast (cream cheese and strawberries-yummo) with bacon and sausage and brought me a plate.  The kids were still upstairs.  Win Win.  It was so good and gave me the super charge I needed.  Mary refused to let the kids come down and I finally called upstairs around 1:30 to see what was happening.  She was shocked when she came down and everything was picked up, gifts wrapped and in place, table set, food cooking and I was still sane.  Sara kept texting since she is usually my first call when I am in the weeds. (this is why we live so close to our children isn't get help)  Anyway, each text from her was answered with "I'm fine, it's all good, and I've got this."  I've decided that on my gravestone it should be chiseled, "She thought she had it."  Around the 3:00 text I said, "Well, the kids are here, everything is done except the green beans with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette, and the asparagus has to be roasted and hollandaise sauce made, and the gravy.  Perhaps if you could come a little early it would be good.  She runs down in her P.J.'s and takes over the kitchen (thank God) and starts the vegetables and getting the gravy done.  The only thing I actually did after that was the hollandaise sauce so as usual, Sara ended up finishing up the Christmas dinner with just one thing to say, "Mom next year we're doing this at my house."  It's always the damn vegetables and gravy that I poop out on....but hopefully next year is a whole other story.  I swear I can do this with no's hoping 2016 finds me in good health and able to let Sara stay home until dinner time.  (although I think it would kill her to see me complete the dinner without her help)  Both girls went overboard with gifts, which is typical and I got lots of goodies so Santa was definitely good to me.  When the night was finally over and everyone left, it felt so good to lay down and just relax and know that I survived another Christmas.  The 26th we always redo the Christmas dinner to get rid of as much of the left overs as possible.  During the day Brian came down to hook up the Roku system he and Mary gave me and I decided I was going to make French fries with my new big fryer for the kids (and me).  I had extra potatoes and decided to cut them fresh since I didn't have any frozen and it's so easy why not.  I had everything heating and was in control, although Brian stayed to help with the French fries since he is one of the chefs at the Hilton and has worked with a fryer.  When all was said and done we were down 3 people, Vernon and Michael went to Cabela's for their after Christmas sale (really, after all you got and you still needed to get more) and Solomon spent the 26th at the skatepark and then wanted to go home with a friend.  But as I said, well more French fries for us.  After dinner was over and everyone had gone, I Roku'd myself to sleep as I watched "Vicious"  so witty and fun to watch.  And today, we're back at work.  The weather is gorgeous, oh, yes, in fact I was so hot on Christmas Day we opened the windows and I slept that night with the windows still open, in DECEMBER I slept with the windows open.  Can you believe this?  Sunny and 70's, I thought it was summer.  In fact, I've pulled some of my summer tops out to wear.  Today people are riding bikes on the boardwalk in shorts and sandals.  Mercy, we are so fortunate.  I see the news and the horrible weather situations and think I'm blessed to live here.  This sure makes up for the month of June when the Graduating class of 2015 was in town...I'd rather live at the dump than put up with that.  The only thing that went wrong for me this year is that I didn't pick up my needle for almost a week.  Not one stitch until last night. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

OMG, it's almost here!

This was my gift from Linda Wimbrow....I couldn't show it earlier because I struggled to remember who the designer was.  But I finally came across it, the designer comes from Priscilla's Pocket and the chart is called Stoneware Pin Pillows.  As if one wasn't present enough, I couldn't believe it when I opened this gift and there were 5 plus a beautifully stained tray to sit them in.  Thank you Linda, it is fabulous.  The finishing was done beautifully and I love the pom-pom edging used.  My favorite color has always been blue so this really was perfect for me.   I feel like I've already had my Christmas, with these beautiful gifts, but then I received 2 gifts from friends which I will show before Christmas so stay tuned.  I've been incredibly busy getting ready for the big day....baking, cleaning, yes I'm going to be exhausted before Friday arrives, but hopefully I'll get it all done.  If you came into my house right now you'd say "no way" but I work best under pressure so I'm still in that place where I still think I can pull it all together.  All gifts, so far, are wrapped and ready to go, but as it turns out I'm still not done buying.  I find after everything is wrapped that a few more gifts are needed for one of the grandchildren.  So I'll be hitting the stores again, ugh!  But I did start my Christmas baking.  This is new for me  really, I always say I'm going to bake cookies, but after buying all the ingredients I never get to it.  So this year I started with a cookie a day and so I'm thrilled that I will actually have a cookie tray this year.  While I really have never needed one with the desserts I make I just always wanted to have one.  My mother use to do about 30-40 different kinds of cookies every year.  She would tin them up and give them to her friends, but we always had a tray at home.  I guess I am becoming my mother after all.  I certainly missed her neat gene though.  Honestly I don't care how many times a day I pick up and clean up it's still a red hot mess here.  But today is the day.  I've got the dining room torn apart and ready to be vacuumed, dusted and table set.  Whohoo, I'm on the way.  I'm going to be so exhausted by the time Christmas gets here I'll need a week off. But my house will be clean and it will be so worth it.  But I'm sure I can get back to a mess in no time at all.  Hope you are ready to celebrate.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

12 days and counting....oh no, I'm never going to be ready...I'm still stitching!

Obviously I should have taken a better picture, but I think you can see the beauty in this beautiful santa stitched on 40 ct. by Judy Brunclik and and given to me for Christmas at our Stitch 'n Bitch dinner.  She found the red tart pan to use in her finishing and I was shocked to find out they sell these since I thought Judy had painted it.  .  I've never seen tart pans in colors...but it's a good idea now that stitchers have found a use for the tart pans.    There are so many things to look at in this Santa, a sleigh, stars, trees, holly leaves, oh my, there is a lot packed into this design and I love it.  Incidentally, it's one of JBW's designs.  Thank you Judy for taking time out of a tough month for you to stitch something for me.  It will  always hold a special place in my heart.  When I woke up this morning I decided to pull what was had been a difficult finish for me out of my stitching bag and just get on with it.  I haven't stitched for 2 days (what????) because I just couldn't face this piece.  But this morning I knew I just couldn't ignore it any longer since it was already late.  The most amazing thing happened.  After spending 2 days this past week stitching and then taking it apart twice, I just started the finishing and before I knew it the first part was done.  Now I just have to attach the bottom and in the box and to the post office it goes.  I really don't know what was wrong before.  I was having the most difficult time with this.  And yet, this morning it just worked.  Every once in a while this happens to me.  I struggle to comprehend what I'm suppose to do, or I just can't seem to get things to work out correctly and then after a couple of days of not even looking at just seems to work out with no effort.  So today I'll be back on the stitching train, thank God.  I miss stitching so much when I don't do it.  I also tend to eat more....and we all know that's not a good thing.  Today will be a fabulous day for me as I happily stitch along.    Hope you have a great day as you enjoy  our last sunny and warm day in a while.  It's been so gorgeous down here, yesterday I had people come in wearing flip flops and shorts.  Ahhh, a little bit of Florida weather.  But we all know that this will be ending soon so I'm really enjoying it while it's here.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

13 Days and counting....if you aren't done stitching your gifts by now you may be too late!

I loved this when I saw it and didn't even know what was inside.  Jennifer Humphries stitched this little pin cushion inside the votive holder (this is actually a candle holder).  The lid is removeable and it's so dear you know I was on the internet trying to find this little tea pot the day after the dinner.  It kills me to tell you I was unable to find one this cute...and I refuse to settle for less so the hunt goes on.  But as with Candi's gift yesterday, this could not only be a pin cushion (notice the bottom if you can see it, Jen filled the votive holder with green beads and put the pin cushion on top so you don't see the bottom of the pin cushion at all) but if you just take the pin cushion out of the teapot, the teapot can be an ort collector.  Oh, my, God....this is so exciting to me.  I keep a little bowl beside me to collect my threads.  Debbie Liming changes her stitching bag, scissor fob, and anything else in her bag with the seasons and I always thought that was so wonderful as it gives you an opportunity to use a lot of the many gifts and also things you stitched for yourself. . So now I try to remember to switch totes, etc. with holidays and seasons.  My Halloween ort dish was still out though until it was put away the other night when Hedy gave me a beautiful square Polish Pottery bowl just right for an ort collector at the Stitch 'n Bitch dinner.  I'm a Polish pottery collector and Hedy always finds me the most unique pieces, things I've never seen anywhere so I'm always thrilled to see Hedy at Christmas.  I just know she's found another gem for me.  The minute I got home I got rid of Halloween and now have my Polishware out.  (a little late, I have nothing for November, although my new bowl is I'm ready for next November.)  Candi's set, which I showed yesterday,  will be perfect for snowy January and then my teapot will come into play in February.  What fun I'm going to have switching my different pieces out.  It's this kind of entertainment I love...trying to figure out what I can switch out so I can have a different view.  Yes, just a glimpse into the excitement of my life.  Oh, well, it suits me fine.  So this is it for today.  Again, while Sara is lounging on the beaches of Jamaica I'm toiling away in the shop and since it's close to 70 degrees on the boardwalk I'm kind of busy.  Sara will be thrilled until all the screw ups I've had...oops sorry about that.  Apparently I've been away from this for too long.  Have a great night and I'll have something else to show you tomorrow.

Friday, December 11, 2015

14 days and counting...................I'm so fun has already begun!

Stitch 'n Bitch Christmas Dinner was held on Monday night and while we were down one person, Debbie Liming ran into car issues, it was still a wonderful start to our holiday festivities.  And of course goodie bags flowed as did gifts.  I don't partake in the secret santa because I have so much stitching to do anyway, but these ladies always bring me Christmas presents which I love and just between you and me, I look forward to them.  But I did get to see the secret santa gifts and it's amazing the work these women do for each other.  Shows what a wonderful group we have.  So I want to share my stitched gifts because of the fabulous ideas and so you can see how others are finishing projects which is always so inspirational, and I'm going to only show one per day so you can really focus on each one.  Todays gift was from Candi,  who stitched a Shepherd's Bush scissor fob and purchased the box and other container at Hobby Lobby and turned them into a fabulous set for my sewing table.  The first picture shows the front  of a handled mini tote and the closed Ort box and the 2nd picture shows the back of the tote and the open ort container.  She painted both pieces, along with putting Ort on the circular piece.  There is a handle you can't see in the box.  But so cute, don't you think?  Now, of course it makes you think about what you could do as well.  I love the idea of attaching a stitched Shepherd's Bush fob to the handled box...I love stitching their fobs so this is a wonderful idea.  I mean you can stick pencils in there, scissors, rulers, well anything you need beside your stitching chair and then you have your Ort container for your cut threads.  How organized am I going to be.  In looking at the ort container, I noticed the lid was recessed which means you could make this into a pin cushion and still close the lid.  Oh,my goodness...the ideas are endless aren't they?  And you could stitch a band to go around it....oh my goodness my mind is just clicking along.  Thank you Candi....I love it!  I decided to use all my gifts in my Christmas decorating so I haven't put it in use as a sewing companion, but as soon as the decorations are put away they will go on the table beside my stitching seat.  Next time I'm in Hobby Lobby I'm going to scope out the wood section again.  I do it everytime I'm in there, but I don't remember ever seeing the ort container.  Perhaps I simply overlooked it.. 


Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas may be near, but we had Stitchin' Witches on our mind.

Had to show you Vera Mean's "show and tell" from this weekend.  This  was a Tangles retreat weekend which started with the first attendees arriving on Thursday.  This is not one of our sponsored retreats but the Tangles themselves schedule 2 retreats a year and this year they added a third, this one in December, which is perfect because we have time at this point to really focus on them.  Vera Means always brings in some show and tell to show me.  For those who are unfamiliar with the design, it's a Victoria Sampler design, "Stitchin' Witches!"  I've always loved Thea Dueck's designs for the detail she includes and she did a fabulous job on adding wonderful details, especially to the dividing bands.  I loved the spider webs you see under the first scene, and the lace on the bottom band is so striking.  But her scenes are also beautiful because of the detail.  Her attention to detail and the way she shows it is what makes all the difference.  Her trees are delicate, but still show that ominous feeling you want in Halloween pieces. Bats are usually done a little oversized in stitching, but Thea does a small bat which is so fitting with the design and I also love that each panel has the witches doing hand work, although the middle witch is actually trying to get her silk thread back from the crow so she can continue stitching.  But the best designs have to be stitched well and Vera rose to the occasion.  While I loved the design when it came in, this weekend it went into the stash bag and hopefully I will have it on our walls by next Halloween.  (I can't seem to stitch on Halloween at Christmas so it's got to wait until summer for me to get to it).  Right now I'm still on Christmas gifts.  Tonight is our Stitch 'n Bitch dinner so I will have the gifts bagged and tagged and tomorrow I can work on getting Renee's and Pat's together, and perhaps a little something for Sara.  Anyway, hope your stitching is coming along well and you will get what you need finished done in time.  It's often a struggle but just keep at it.  And a big "Thank You" to all the ladies in the Tangles group for coming by and shopping and a big "Thank You" to Vera for bringing the Stitchin' Witches in.  You did a gorgeous job on the stitching and the framing was perfect. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

What a glorious Thanksgiving Weekend

  What you see in the 1st picture is the view from where I sit in Sea Trader.  There are people on the beach, and surfers are now getting ready to go in and  have some fun in the ocean.  There are people riding bikes on the boardwalk...a fabulous day to be alive and in Ocean City.  And the weather, OMG it simply could not be any nicer.  It's in the 60's and the sun is so bright it hurts your eyes.  People are out in t-shirts and shorts...and I have seen a flip flop of two walking by.  It's hard to believe it's the end of November with this weather going on, and last night I went to Sara's for dinner and it was so hot in her house they had the windows up.  This is definitely the perfect weekend for all the visitors in town.   The second picture is what I've been doing for some time.  Giving thanks for all my blessings, one of which was to finish Drawn Thread's, Give Thanks which I absolutely loved stitching.  Each basket or vase on the table is a different stitch and the flowers or fruits are also a different stitch.  While most stitches were familiar to me, there were a couple I had to learn, but directions are always fabulous with Drawn Thread so I was able to follow her illustrations perfectly.  I've been in full Christmas stitching mode and having so much fun with it.  In fact a little too much fun.  I've decided to keep a couple of the pieces for the shop and eventually for me,  so now I have to restitch a couple of the pieces, but they are just too much fun not to have myself. So I will be showing those to you later.  But it is the first Christmas in years where I feel I have my stitching in control.  Now the finishing...not so easy for me.  I got out the Baby Lock that Sara and Mary gave me for my birthday in June (I haven't touched it since June) and of course struggled at first since it was so different from my Bernina, but I'm learning.  Love this machine however because even though everything is a relearn, once I get what it is they are telling me to do in the instruction manual (and how I love having one of those...almost unheard of anymore)...I'm able to do it correctly.  I just have to learn to look things up first before forging ahead, like I did when I went to retread a bobbin.  After 2 missteps I finally decided perhaps I should read up on it.  Once I did that I got it right first time.  YEAH!!!!  Stasi Buhrman offered to show me how to use the automatic needle threader but I thought I had that as I thought I had actually done it just for laughs when I first got the machine.  In fact it was the only thing I did with the machine in June.    But this time I couldn't get it right so I ended up threading it by hand.  But I shall keep trying and if I don't have it by superbowl weekend I'll get Stasi involved.   Initially I had intended to get Carolyn involved with finishing (I think I mentioned this before) but she had the nerve to go on vacation (I'm sure she would have cancelled the vacation if she had known I needed her) and I won't see her before our Christmas Stitch 'n Bitch, so I have to finish everything myself.  Yikes!  Just a is now on winter hours, which means we are open 10-4 Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  And of course, everyone but Sara and I are off so we'll be here to greet you when you arrive.  So come on down! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Joy to Ewe and everyone else and projects are getting completed!

 After much thought I decided to turn my Shepherd's Bush "Joy to Ewe" into a pillow, and I was glad I did.  I love it.  Thank you Carolyn for turning this into such a cute pillow...fabulous.   Stitched on 18 ct. linen over 2 the pillow finished size is approx. 11" x 8" (I forgot to measure it so I'm guessing. but it's a nice size).  The design size is approx. 3.5" x 4.5" on 18 ct.    I love stitching on 18 ct. over 2 because it just goes so fast.  I don't quite understand why it seems to stitch up so much quicker...I mean it's the same amount of stitching, but anyway, a one-two day stitch at most.  If I could change anything, I would have made the "o" in "to" the same color as the rest of the lettering, but I kept telling myself to let it go it was the end I would have preferred to have it burgundy, I really have to stop listening to that inner voice.  18 ct. is also so large  you get to use pearl cottons on it.  I don't think I did on this one but normally I try to use the Weeks Dye Works and DMC.  Anyway, it's a fast stitch in case you forgot someone on your Christmas list but have a day or two to get it done.  People coming into the shop have loved it and we've sold our little embellishment kits over and over on it.  The chart is free if you purchase the linen and the fibers which come to about $15.50.   I can tell we're building up to Christmas because I don't have a minute to spare in my quest to get gifts stitched in plenty of time to then get things framed or together.  Of course I'm in my usual state of incomplete, however I've managed to get the piece that needs framing done and it's on it's way to the framer and I have another piece complete and while I muddle with thinking I should really try to finish it myself, I know Carolyn will be bringing something Sara is having done back to her so I'm racing to get a couple of pieces done in case she shows up while I'm there because I know I'll save myself a lot of stress if I let her do them.  Tick Tock people....Dec. 25th will be here before you know it.  There is just no time to spare.  In fact I've got to run because there is stitching to be done.  Have a great day!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Peep, Peep

  Renee brought this in for display and I adore it.  First of all, I'm a big Peeps fan, candy and friends, and so this is really in my wheelhouse.  Incidentally, its a needlepoint canvas, which we also sell in the store.  Renee is our needlepointer and loves to find just the right fibers to work with.  She does an amazing job of matching fibers and specialty stitches.  Anyway, I love the way she showcased this one in a display frame and added the little yellow Easter chicks under the design so there is dimension in the framing.  Fabulous stitching and finishing.  Too cute for words!

The finial finishes of Halloween..................

Too many finishes but I believe these are the final finishes before Halloween this year.  The first is the latest Shepherd's Bush bag , "Grateful Heart," which I collect.  I've done every one so far and love them. Plus the bag is already finished so when you are done stitching you are ready to use it.    Great little bags to put your scissors and needles in, or for small items in your purse.  The 2nd and 3rd pictures show the "Scaredy Pail" from Noteworthy Needle and finished around one of their Rusty Buckets.  An easy finish as they give  you a template for the wrap.  So it's simply a matter of wrapping it around the bucket and whip stitching it closed.  I also added the pom pom finishing on the top and bottom but it isn't really necessary.  The next picture is "Halloween" from Lizzie Kate.  The kit comes with the linen, fabric for backing and the front, ric rac and buttons.  Easy design to stitch and easy to finish with directions for finishing in the kit.  The last two designs were in the Jamboree goodie bags.  The shoe is actually a free design from Blackbird which we used but changed to fall colors and black shoes. Love a cute pin cushion and the final piece was another spool scissor holder, which I seem to be obsessed with.  With the fall colors and the black spool it just went really well with the shoe pin cushion.  Cute set. Hope everyone got theirs done.  Easy stitch and easy finishes.  And that, I think, is the end of my Halloween stitching.  Now back to Giving Thanks by Drawn Thread.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Just a few scenes from our C.A. Wells weekend.  And what a wonderful weekend it was.  Please note the monsters stitched in the last picture. This was Sara's project, which traveled with her for I swear 10 trips to Nashville.  Stitched on 10 ct. Tula I think.  It drove me crazy that it took so long and I swore every year that I was going to finish it for her.  But she finally got it done and Caroline did the finishing and it is so cute! We gathered on Saturday and the morning was spent stitching and then we had lunch and for the first time ever, we had a class after lunch.  Jackie Janovsky has asked if we would like her to teach everyone how to make a travel ort container out of fabric and of course Sara and I jumped at the idea.  So, after lunch every one picked out their fabric, (Jackie had precut fabric for everyone and warm and natural and she even had matching thread.  Sara had ordered the necessary 3" hoop that was used in the construction of the ort and off we went.  I am happy to say that everyone got their container stitched and a few of the stitchers purchased extra hoops to make one for a friend.  I actually finished mine, but at home Saturday night.  Still, I finished it and I love it.  When you twist the top you can collapse the container so it's flat.  Fabulous for travel.  Then everyone went back to eating and stitching.  Our goodie bag to the group contained the Jack O Lantern slider pin cushion from JABCO and after much discussion regarding the finishing of it, Debbie Liming actually sat there cutting and stitching and finished that.  2 finishes during Saturday is a first I think.  Anyway, around 5:00 the day ended and we all went home.  Sunday we repeated Saturday, except for me....I worked Sea Trader, when I wasn't sneaking over to the lobby for food.  But another excellent CA Wells weekend was had.  Thanks everyone for coming and for the food .... and Stacy Stinson's taco salad which I ate all weekend during the event and every evening for dinner at home.  Loved it.  We did make it somewhat of a soup and salad event, which would have been really healthy for me,  if I hadn't purchased bags of chocolate candy for dessert.  Ooops, I don't know why I do these things.  Hope your weekend was as much fun as ours.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

More finishes......just in time...

   Three more of Val's Ornaments and probably the last you will see from me this year, although it is tempting to finish the series, but I think I've already moved on for now.  Anyway, these were already finished by Jamboree so it isn't that I've stitched these up in the last 2 weeks.  But the more I stitched this series the more I enjoyed it, especially the finish which I have mentioned after each finish.  So easy.  Over the weekend I worked in Sea Trader and  I also searched for new stitching, but not very hard as I've been working on a couple of pieces taken from the "already started" pile and I'm almost done with one of them.  I decided to work each one alternating them  everyday.  So today I brought, Hands on Design, "Stitch Every Day" which is my  mantra.  After starting over (I started stitching the bottom section over 2 when it was suppose to be over 4-made a big difference so I tore it out) when I picked it up again, I  find that it is moving along quite nicely.  I also found after getting 1/3" of it complete that I had left out the 2 lines of stitching about the bottom border.  I was too far along, and had already started over once before, so I decided to keep going and not worry about it.  I don't think anyone will notice especially if they have never seen it before to know that the lines were suppose to be there.  Sara agreed with me when I showed it to her this morning.  So I shall carry on. I'm really enjoying the stitch.  My other project, Drawn Thread's "Give Thanks" was finished last night, however I may be pulling some last stitches out as again, I made a noticeable mistake...darn it I hate when this happens.  But I loved this stitch as well.  It is so much easier to stitch on a project when I'm loving it, don't you find that to be so.  I do start many a stitch and find after a day or two that I'm not loving it so much.  It could be for a variety of reasons, don't like the colors, fibers, fabric, it's not turning out like I thought it would....yes any number of reasons.  If I'm stitching for the shop I try to stay as true to the pattern as possible and tend not to make too many changes (of course there have been exceptions to this rule) as it throws off not only the customers but the sales person who has to know what the changes are.  Now if I'm stitching for myself or as a gift, well I do whatever the hell I want and damn the consequences. Anyway, today will be spent getting ready for this weekends event, The C.A. Wells memorial weekend.  This started out as a bitch stitching weekend for those who signed up for the C.A. Wells class which was cancelled by C.A. a week before she was due here and her reason, "It wasn't worth her time", just mad my blood boil.  It was so insulting to me, and really disrespectful to the stitchers who had signed up to come.  When we contacted the stitchers to tell them, some of them asked if they could come anyway and just have a retreat.  We called it "the C.A. Wells Memorial Weekend" and we've had more fun at this retreat that we would have with just a class with her.  Sara and whoever is working in the shop at the time, spend a couple of days getting the lobby of the hotel ready (needless to say the hotel is now closed for the winter) and we pull decorations for Halloween from our own stash, from Sea Trader, from Michael's and Hobby Lobby and just have fun with it.  We still have the original women coming to it and all of us bring food, enough to feed an army, and for 2 days we sit, eat, bitch, eat, work on joint projects, eat, shop when we are getting sleepy, eat and just have a 2 day eat a thon.  For Sara and me,  it's an easier weekend because it's not a shop event so much anymore but an event put on by the women who signed up.  Of course, now we all bring goodie bags for everyone, so it is also a goodie bag bonanza.  So today will be dedicated to getting ready for the weekend.  While we haven't seen our Debbie Liming since Hunter arrived (her first grandchild), she is due in town tomorrow for the event.  So we have a celebration of sorts as one of us is now a first time grandmother.  Most of us have had that wonderful experience, in fact most of us boast about our multiple grandchildren, but we are always excited when someone else joins out's the best club in the world.  I'll try to get pictures up of the remaining finishes I've had,  in the next few days.  In the meantime, have a great day.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Shepherd's Fold is now complete....except...

 I'm thrilled that at least one series is completed...except I now have to finish the inside of the box, but I'll get to that later when I have time.  Just to have the stitched pieces completed is a thrill. I've done many of Shepherd's Bush needlerolls and they were fun and fast to do so this was a joy to do as well.   Remembering how to finish them was a challenge for me, even though they have excellent directions in the kit but I finally  had to look at the ones I'd already done to see that I was moving in the right direction.  I'm always so unsure of finishing so even if I know mentally what to do, I just have to keep checking myself as I'm always sure I'm doing something wrong.  Anyway,  "Fear Not Needleroll" turned out to be an easy finish, even with my hesitations.  "Reach" which is a ruler case was even easier as it is a nun stitch finish and I'm so use to that finish I don't even have to read the directions anymore...Thank God! Finally a finish I'm quite confident in.  This is such a cute piece as well with stitching on the front of the case as well as the back of the case.  As with all the pieces, I did leave the words off of this piece.  Remember I didn't understand from the beginning what the words had to do with the pieces until I was on about the 3rd or 4th piece.  But by then I had already changed the wording on the lid and so it made no sense at that point to put them on any of the pieces.  I still love each piece and love that I now have a project box from one of my favorite designers.   Now that the season is over, my work at the shop is almost non existent and will be until Thanksgiving when I once more go to work 4 days a week.  Right now I'm in retirement heaven.  Get up, stitch, read, stitch some more.  I have become so lazy I barely pick up after myself but I'm hopeful that this attitude will change and hopefully sooner rather than later.  I look around and my stitching seat (on the sofa) is surrounded by these huge oversized tote bags filled with stitching projects or stitching stuff, and under the coffee table are mesh bags filled with projects to be done or started and in the corner beside the sofa more bags stuffed, honestly it's no wonder I don't sleep well, I can't stop thinking about all the stitching I still have to do.  And this doesn't even take into account the closets I've got stuffed or my stitching room.  I need to stay awake for the next 20 years and then may still not be done.   But such joy just to be stitching.  I wonder what people who don't stitch do with their time.  I have the T.V. on whenever I stitch so I'm hearing what is happening and I do look up now and again, but I'm stitching the entire time.  So, I'm living life and loving it and hope that you can say the same.  Right now I'm trying to finish 2 pieces I had started as they were lingering under the coffee table and I'm on a mission to get these pieces finished and out of the living room.  That's my mission to clean out everything that I can see from my seat so it's not so overwhelming to me.  Well, I best get back to it.  A couple of hours on the internet and my fingers are looking for a needle.  Have a great day. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This is just one of my finishes....Shepherd's Bush Pumpkin Box Kit.  Small design, not even 2" x 2", but it has a lot of elements.   But because of it's size it was easy to stitch and easy to finish.  So a one night project.  My problem became what to do with it.  I've stitched all of the "Box" series (so fun) and I've put some in the Retromantic Box, and I've framed some using Jill Rensel's mats but I wanted to do something different.  So while in my stitching room I noticed an old, and I do mean old shadow box I had constructed for Halloween probably 20 years ago.  It was looking a little old and tired so I decided to take it apart, update the shadow box with a new glassed in model and then used a skeleton from Michaels, the blocks are from the old box, the skull was a bead from Michael's and the mouse was on a cupcake from Kay Fletcher that she brought to one of the events.  (everyone left the mice since they weren't edible and I scarfed them up because I knew sooner or later I'd use them).  I got the bottle of bones from Hobby Lobby in their scrapbooking section.  I had so much fun making this and the Spooktacular sign is a sticker.  I stretched my stitched pumpkin around a canvas that was approx. 2x2 or a little smaller and just glued it to the back of the shadow box on which I stuck the spider scrapbook paper.  I stay in the box so much of my life, I loved stepping out to make this.  Something a little different and a cute decoration for Halloween.  You can find all kinds of things to use at the hobby shops I never go in one that I don't scour the scrapbook aisle and bead aisle.  I've got all kinds of stash and I love it when I can go to it and find something I need.  Anyway, that's one of my finishes...I'll send more your way tomorrow.  Have a great day!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Two new finishes.....

     I've been a stitching fool for the past few weeks and have managed to finish many items which I will be showing you over the next couple of days.  On the right, the Lizzie Kate Mystery sampler.  As you can see, I did add the "a" to the second part since I was among those who felt it didn't flow properly.  This  was a fast stitch, but the lack of the "a" on the second part led to much controversy. In the end I had to add it. Now it's on to the framer.   On the left, the Shepherd's Bush "Joy to Ewe" free pattern when you purchase the Santa Hat button the ewe is wearing.  Stitched on 18 ct. linen, this is a fast little stitch and now Caroline is turning it into one of her fabulous pillows which I will show when it is returned.  So much fun when projects are fast and uncomplicated.  A pleasant change after a long involved stitch.....but now I must try to turn my stitching to my bigger projects once again...oh, perhaps a few more fast stitches first.  Have a great day!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jamboree 2015-the best Jamboree yet!!!!

At least that is what a lot of the stitchers are saying, however, that might be because they took home each of their projects complete, the pear, the needle book and the buttons...done, finished, not sitting in a bag waiting to be done.  The apple pincushion was not done in class, but several stitchers got it done before going home as well.  While the finished pear you see was given to us by Cecile, from Just Another Button Company, I saw many of the finished pears walk through the shop and everyone did an excellent job.  If I lined them up on the counter you wouldn't be able to tell which one Cecile did or which ones were done by the students.  Thank you Cecile, not only for our pear but also for a great class. (I personally had wanted this pear so much I was going to buy the kit, so imagine my happiness at being given one.)  The next class was the pear needlebook and the apple pincushion  taught by Cathy from Hands on Design.  Most stitchers completed the pear needlebook in class and some completed the apple pin cushion before the end of the weekend.  So, that means that 3 projects were completed and then the 3rd class, button making with Rachel from Just Another Button Company.  Below you see the pears made by Kathy Renard, who was carrying on the theme of the weekend, pears, and then you see Candy's buttons which were a little more intricate.  You could do any buttons that you wanted.  While I thought it would give everyone an appreciation for the time and energy that goes into the JABCO buttons, several of the ladies stated they were going to make more.  But that was 4 projects for the weekend and many got all of them done.  Opps, I almost forgot the scissor fob, to say nothing of the perforated paper project.  Well, the projects just go on and on.   So that made the weekend that much better for everyone and was highly successful.  So thanks to all the teachers who made their way to Ocean City, and big thanks to all the students who traveled from far and wide.  It's the stitchers who make the events possible so thank you so very much.  And while they are exhausting for us all, they really are fun.  Hope to see you all again at the 2016 events.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

We're still here.....

  Had to show you my view this morning (Monday)...the bottom picture shows the beach beside the sea wall....a little pond has developed from the sea coming up to the wall.  The top picture is the view from the sea wall to the ocean.  We have seen a tad of the sun this morning, but right not it's spitting rain again, no as I look out I think it has stopped.  Anyway, tomorrow promises sun so we just have to hang on.  But thank you to all who were thinking of us as the hurricane promised to come by and the North Easter' stopped in first to say hello.  We had 2 retreats in Ocean City this weekend, the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild was staying here in the hotel and the Tangles group who always stays on 12th St..  As the week closed in on the weekend, several of the Delaware stitchers cancelled for fear of what they would be facing here or having to weather storms driving down, but there were 7 hardy stitchers who refused to let the weather rule and came regardless of what was happening.  And there were several members of the Tangles group who would walk down here (only about 4 blocks but in a Northeaster') multiple times each day, so we thank everyone who came, we were thrilled to have company for the weekend and we appreciate your hanging in there with us.  While we saw a couple of ladies from the Tangles group,  this afternoon it's just Sara and myself and it's kind of lonely.  However, in 2 days that will change as the OCSJ will start with the arrival of the early birds.  For the first time in forever, we have received 95% of the orders we placed (we started really early) have it priced and out...whoohoo we're getting things done.   I'm also certain Sara placed a few orders yesterday...let there be a lull in Sara's day and she is working the internet, busy ordering the latest "stuff" for the shop.  Go Sara!    I've finished 2 more of Val's Halloween ornament series, the new Shepherd's Bush sheep with the Santa's hat, a couple of small little kits to go into the goodie bags, Shepherd's Bush Patriotic Box and the Pumpkin Box, and the Lizzie Kate mystery sampler is finished.   Speaking of that sampler, I have to say I couldn't handle the "tomorrow is mystery" and ended up adding the "a" which I will show you when I post it later.  I also got 3 gifts done for friends with birthdays....yes I was on a roll.  But Serenity Harbor is still waiting for me to return....which I will do as soon as Jamboree is over.  After the pre-stitch, I just had to have some fast stitches and so I couldn't go back to Serenity Harbor.  But next week I shall return to it.  I may do a lot of stitching, but I can never hope to catch up.  I took home 8 new projects this weekend...oh, my I should live long enough to do half of them.  Last night I started Lizzie Kate's limited edition, "Halloween."  This is one of her "almost a kit" kits, which has everything but the floss, ric rac, fabric for backing, linen and beads and I'm hoping to get it done in 2 days, but since we are in crunch time for OCSJ, I'm not sure it will happen.  I've got the cookies to do yet and a few other things have to get done for the weekend so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  And I'm  just itching to start another Brenda Gervais piece for Halloween.  Well, time marches on and so must I.  Got stitching to do.  Have a great day!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jackie DuPlessis was in the house!

Jackie's classes were over a couple of weeks ago now and I was thrilled to have her pre-stitch done at the time and when I saw the completed piece which she finished, I knew all the work will be well worth the time.  I also found there were other, like Debbie Liming, who received her kit about 2 weeks before the class and she had hers finished and loved every stitch.   Because of her work schedule, Debbie usually can't complete all of the pre-stitch on classes where there are multiple numbers of pieces involved or the design is really involved.  But here she waltzed in with her 95% done after only 2 weeks...she couldn't say enough about how much she loved the stitch.  But the one point we do agree on is the finished project, fabulous!  So, I don't have to love every single stitch to take the class, I just have to love the finished project.  And what we learn from classes is invaluable for future finishing.  If you have never taken a class before, treat yourself, you will enjoy the journey, and get such useful information and great techniques.  Every teacher shares endlessly and we've had wonderful teachers here, including Jackie, Sherri Jones, and Betsy Morgan just this year.  Most shops today offer  classes and events, so check out events at your local needlework shop.  You will never regret it!  For stitchers, the designers are our rock stars, unfortunately we don't have any academy awards for them.  Perhaps we should!  Anyway, the weekend started out early with Ginny, Betsy Morgan  and Jackie arriving on Wednesday, Debbie and the other students arriving on Thursday and Friday morning the fun began with September Morning and Jackie's new finishing stitch.  Such a beautiful project with several beautiful scrims.  Oh, My, my wallet was hurting after the weekend, but the scrims are a must have and sooo worth it.  Several regulars were here for the classes and it's always good to reconnect with stitchers and see their works in progress.  It's inspirational to see what others are creating with linen or canvas and thread, plus we got a sneak preview of Jackie's next piece which is unbelievable.  A designer's mind works in mysterious ways.  I don't know how they keep coming up with the projects they come up with for class.  But I'm so thankful to all designers who work so hard and invest so much of their time to help us develop our skills to a higher degree.  You make the world a better place for us to live in, to say nothing of the beauty you add to a stitcher's world.  Anyway, we had a great time here at Salty Yarns that weekend.  However, I'm so out of practice working it darn near killed me physically.  (let's not discuss the weight issue and what that is doing to me, right now it's about the weekend rush)  On The Saturday night when I finally closed (because Sara told me to close and go home), I stumbled over to the lobby and joined Jackie, Stacy, Sara and Debbie in the lobby.  Sara kept looking at me and whispering "Go Home" because she knew I was exhausted, but I just smiled and sat and joined the discussions (one of which got a little heated, but I still sat even though Sara glared and said, "I need you to leave", and yet I sat on.  I finally left around 11:15 and when I got home I text Sara and said, I couldn't leave earlier because to tell you the truth I was too tired to get up and leave.  It's really a wonder I didn't just lay down on a sofa and let Mary wake me up in the morning when she came to work.  Wouldn't that be a lovely sight as tenants came down in the morning to get their coffee and English muffin.  Well, even I knew that wasn't a solid plan which is why I dragged myself home.  I was too tired to stitch when I got there and just went to sleep, but got up the next morning to stitch and ended up miscounting and having to take the stitching out.  Damn!  I hate when that happens.  We also had Dana Spernal not only taking the classes but cutting fabric so that was really a bonus for me...since that is not my favorite thing to do.  Thank you Dana.  I love you and Stasi Buhrman because you two always help out in that department, with smiles on your faces.  What a help!So if you are in the shop and I shout "Cut your own fabric" please don't be offended, it just means I too darn tired to get up and do it.  stitching I thought I was going to do, but I also haven't been working as hard as Judy and now Dana Spernal who came down for the weekend to cut fabric so I wouldn't have to  (cutting linen drives me nuts anytime, There were events during which  I've spent 6-8 hours doing nothing but cutting fabric with no breaks because at some point people were just piling the fabric with notes about the cut they needed and their name.  But for some reason, I haven't figured out, Stasi Buhrman and Dana both offer to cut for us.  Bless their hearts!  Sara and I are so blessed to have such friends, we truly know we are.  That's one of the reasons I love this industry....we have made wonderful friends through it.  Well, I shall post this now since it's been sitting here for 2 weeks waiting.  Have a great day now that the rain has stopped!