Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day.....we had a beautiful day to remember those who sacrified their lives for us.

The day started quietly as I seem to be the only one up at 6:00 a.m. and it's really the best time of the day for me.  It's peaceful and quiet after 2 days of yelling and screaming and partying from the visitors who flocked here for a sun filled, fun timed weekend.  I'm thrilled as they had a good weekend, weather wise, although it didn't reach the 90's as they had said  it would, we were in the 70's, so I am hoping everyone had a great time.  I know one thing..there were a lot of people here, actually still here.  Parking lots all over are full this morning, so I know it's going to be a nightmare for these folks who are leaving today.  The hotel was as full as we could allow it to be since we had only one housekeeper this weekend.  We have 2 more arriving Wednesday, hopefully, but this weekend we were worried about getting rooms done so Mary blocked some of the apartments and rooms.  Because Mary was going to have to housekeep, I was called into service, working Salty Yarns as Sara had to take Mary's place at the front desk.  It's hard for me to step back into the shop at this point.  Two years ago I did everything, ordered merchandise, priced the merchandise and often put merchandise where it was displayed.  So walking in there now, I am clueless.  Sara has moved everything, so I have no idea where anything is placed, I have no idea what's been ordered so I have no idea what we I said, I'm clueless.  I spend the first hour going over the new racks....not to familiarize myself with the merchandise, but to add to my stash, just have the best time doing it.  Yesterday was no different.  I arrived about 45 minutes early (much to Sara and Mary's dismay) but went over and had fun shopping.  I dropped many charts and some Just Nan's pins into my tote before we even opened the pay for working a shift.  Anyway, I never bring class projects to work, always work on something from the store when I'm there so I pulled down what has become my shop project.  It's the first picture here.  I explained this project before, Sara started it a couple of year's ago and that was about it.  It has been sitting on top of one of the displays since.  When I was working one day last month I rediscovered it and thought it might be fun as it's canvaswork which I love although haven't done any in a couple of years.  I thought I could do at least one section on each side each time I worked, but I guess I didn't think about the fact that it grows in size each time so it could take a lot more time each time I work a section.  Well, it occurred to me yesterday as it took me the full shift to do 2 full sides and part of the 3rd side...duh! What's wrong with my brain!  Then I get disappointed because I haven't reached my goal.  But still having fun with it.  This project is called Autumn Logs and it reminds me of a log cabin quilt.  Anyway, the colors are typical autumn colors which is always a favorite palette of mine, therefore I enjoy most of the colors on this.  And because it's canvaswork, it really can be sort of mindless.  Once you establish the stitch and pattern, it's just repeated until the end of the block.  In this particular case, the color changes happen at each block so I can zip along without working about color changes, and the one stitch is used throughout the entire block or log.  So unlike my all time love, counted cross stitch, I don't have to worry about constantly checking the chart, or worrying that I may miss a color change.  Mindless!  And I think we all need mindless projects once in a while.  It doesn't mean there are no challenges, just that you don't have to keep an eye on a chart, etc.  Just got the dreaded text from Mary.  Too many rooms rented for one person, so it looks like I'm back in the shop today.  At least I'll get more work done on Autumn Logs, and may be able to reach yesterday's goal.   I'll make that my goal for today....I'm sure I can reach that.  (Later on same day)  I got home from work around 4:30 and picked up my Betsy Morgan class piece.  Now that I know I've got 2 weeks before the class I'm sure I can complete the kit if I just get down to business.  Once I knew I had 2 weeks, I took Sunday off and worked on Serenity Harbor which is the second picture you see.  I finished the 4th section, so next Saturday, God willing, I'll the day to start section 5 and hopefully will find time to finish that so I can be up to date as the 6th section will be here around the 3rd of June.  Time marches on even when I'm not caught up.....UGH!  Today I did finish yesterday's goal, but found myself making mistake after mistake.  I'd stitch a section, tear half out and do it all over again throughout the day.  I just couldn't get focused...I guess it's not as mindless as I thought!  But I'm still loving it and enjoy seeing it grow.  And today I started looking for the next one.  Oh, my nothing I love more than finding a new project.  But tonight it's back to over one stitching and Betsy Morgan.  I hope everyone remembered what Memorial Weekend is about and said a prayer for the fallen.  Without their sacrifice, where would we all be?  Have a great week.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer has officially begun...........................

Summer officially began yesterday morning at 9:30 a.m. when I sent Michael home with all his
school stuff, book, computer, number pad, calculator, a big hug and a fond good-bye for the school year.  Whew!  There were moments when I didn't think we would both make it.  But we did and after Sara reported to the person in charge of homeschooling, she reported back that she was told that Michael could just take an Algebra test and then proceed on to the next level which would put him ahead of his class, because we went so far past his class in public school.  Kudos for Michael, although I don't think  Sara's going to do that.  The stress on Michael could be too much.   I do have to say he doesn't want to go back to public school and left here crying over it this morning which just tugs at my heart.  I always loved school so it saddens me when someone doesn't.  But I'm hopeful he can get over that when he does go back.  But he also realizes if he starts to sink we'll pull him out in a New York second.  Fingers crossed he loves the experience.  I've had a lazy day of stitching and napping.  I knew I should start the clean up, but just couldn't force myself. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get the energy to do that.  Get my dining room back to a dining room and dust (what?) and vacuum(is it really necessary), and put all school stuff away.  I really can't wait.  But I'll miss having my Michael with me so much, although Izi seems to be taking his place.  In celebratation of my new status, free, I finished "Can't see the forest" which is one of the classes coming up with Betsy Morgan.  While I've finished a few pieces of the 2nd class, "This One's for Betty" I'm not showing it until it is done.  As an end of the school year present to myself, I've allowed myself this one night of working on my obsession, Serenity Harbor, but tomorrow I go back to class pieces. Oh, no...Sara just dropped off the latest piece in the Shepherd's Fold series.  Since that series is up to date and on display in the shop the pressure is on to get this piece finished, but when will I have time?  Good thing school is over, I really have no time for it...I've got to get my stitch on.  Have a great day and keep that needle moving.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

OH, boy, I'm am getting further and further behind.  Sara asked me to stitch a new store model as quickly as possible on Sunday and while it's a smaller model, it is pushing me further behind in getting Betsy Morgan's projects done.   I'm desperate to get them done before she arrives in June....don't know if I'm going to make it and it's driving me crazy.  It's also driving me crazier that I can't work on my obsession.  I finally decided it would be better to give myself one day per week to work on Serenity Harbor since Judy and I are suppose to be doing a stitch- a -long and  I'm get manic over the fear that Judy will surpass me.  My progress is shown in the bottom picture.  I'm half way through April's chart and then it's on to May and hopefully I'll get it done in time to welcome June's section.  I hate playing catch up on the projects which are done over a series of months.  It's so much calmer if I do each section as it arrives and then have to wait for the next section.  Stitching problems!  It's never easy,  is it?  The Noel  project pictured is actually  a gift given to me by Shiela Fitzhugh during the Stitchers Retreat weekend.  I'm so lucky to have Shiela and Trudy, her niece, in my world.  They give me great ideas, gift me beautiful stitching, loan me finished projects to use for month's on end and to top it off they gave me a wonderful gift card to my favorite restaurant, Sunset Grille.  Thanks ladies for all you do, and Shiela thanks so much for my gorgeous ornament.  I've got it hanging at home already, I always have the Christmas Spirit, and enjoy it so much it really doesn't matter to me if I have a little Christmas up year round!  I've still got 3 Christmas pieces hanging, including my latest Noel...Merry Christmas.   I simply love the stitching weekends because I do have some spare moments to reconnect with my stitching friends, catch up on what they are busy stitching, projects they've finished, etc.  But I usually need a week or two afterwards to catch up on my stamina.  Since I last posted I have to tell you about another stitcher's wonderful Mother's Day gift.  My friend Debbie Liming sent me a text which happened to be an unbelievable sonogram of her mother's day gift.  Debbie's daughter is going to make her the grandmother of a boy.  Welcome to the boy's club Debbie.  And while you will see more star wars, mine craft, and skateboarding that you ever wanted to know about, you will also have the most amazing conversations and adventures than you would ever believe you could have.  And if they are around you enough they will want to know how to stitch, so all is not lost on passing along the stitch gene.  Michael, and Solomon, while they no longer stitch, were taught to do counted cross stitch and knitting and both have finished a couple of projects.  However, the call of the skatepark has taken both of them in the opposite direction, but I could still get them back later....when pigs fly, but one never knows what the future holds.  Anyway, Debbie, couldn't be happier for you. Had our monthly Stitch 'n Bitch last night.  Small crew but always fun to get together.  I personally never pick up a needle, in fact don't even know why I bother to take my tote, but some of the ladies picked up needles.  Connie picked hers up and lost it 5 seconds later along with a ball of floss, but at least she picked up the needle.  Judy and I converted Linda Winbrow over to our latest obsession, so her Serenity Harbor adventure is about to begin.  Always great to bring in new recruits to a project, so now I guess I'll be racing her as well.  However, summer is always everyone's slowest time to stitch with outdoor activities so wonderful, and since I stitch as much in the summer as in winter, this is when I will shine.  (Of course the Welsh Cottage is still in a bag waiting..oh, my!)  Anyway, I'll keep you posted on our progress.  This morning I decided to start on the 2nd Betsy Morgan class I didn't get the first one done yet, but wanted a change of pace from  "This One's for Betty,"  so out came  "Can't See the Forest" which is a tad bit easier to begin with (don't know what's coming yet...) as it appears to be over 2 ,threads with just the animals over 1.  I think (that's always been dangerous in the past) I can get the first panel done in 1 day if I can stay awake.  (that's a big if at this point).  But so far this has been a fun stitch (started this morning and was moving right along until Michael got here for school...ugh)  I'm so ready to be done with school for the year.  Of course, with Michael already finished his finals he feels school should be over anyway, so it's been tough go since then.    We did a review on Algebra last month after that final exam,  which went pretty well.  Unfortunately I can't say the same for English.  He is so finished with school he's playing stupid (I pray he's playing).  Acts like he doesn't remember ever seeing some of this.  And yet, a few months ago he was able to do all of it. Last night at Stitch 'n Bitch one of the stitchers asked Michael if he was learning anything and he said, "yes."  I hope he has, thought he had, his tests showed he knew it but I find myself threatening him with summer school if he doesn't buck up.  I think  he knows I'm bluffing since I'm as ready as the next person to be done.  7 more school days to go and we're out.  I'll be singing the Alleluia Chorus and I'm sure Michael will be joining in.  Have a great stitching evening.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Wow!  It sure was for me.  What you see is my new Baby Lock machine....a gift from my 2 girls....I couldn't be more thrilled.   I also have Stasi Buhrman to thank as she was instrumental in my getting it.  I was talking about taking a trip to Pa. in the fall to see about getting a new machine, since you can't get these over the internet, and Pa. is our closest dealer I think.  Stasi had purchased one earlier this year and we had talked about it.  She sent me a brochure on it and after looking at that and info on the internet, I decided that was the one for me.  But there was no way, at this time of year,  I could just take the time off to go to the Pa.  to get one.   Sara spoke to Stasi who offered to go to Pa. (she lives in West Virginia) to pick one up for the girls to give me.  And that's my Baby Lock story. .  My girls are the best!  And so are my friends!  Thanks Stasi for all you do, it seems no wish is too much.  I so appreciate it and couldn't love it more.  Best Mothers Day ever!!!  I know it's not about the gift, but a great gift makes the day even greater.  And then Vernon ordered a bushel of crabs, so while that wasn't our typical Mother's Day dinner, I still enjoyed it.  And even had a beer....(I seldom drink anymore so that was not normal).  Great day all over.  I will keep yesterday in mind when I'm dealing with the attitude I now face with Michael who feels school should have ended a month ago.  Yes, Baby Lock, Baby Lock, Baby Lock will be my mantra as I try to get Michael back on school track.  It's hard for him to think about school when he arrives each morning in bare feet, riding his skateboard in board shorts.  Yes, he's over school.  To be honest, I too am now counting down the days.  Won't be long!  Anyway, shout out to Crystal as she starts her retirement today, Friday was her last day at work.   I pray you slept in today and were able to start stitching the minute you did get up.  Have a great ride!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What a week we had last week....whew!  always so much fun, but afterwards it takes me a week to get over it.  Particularly hard since we had 3 events, one weekend after another.  I didn't have time to rest before the next event was on us.   I'm almost rested now and it's only Wednesday so that's a good thing.  The picture on the left shows the Delaware Valley's special project from 2 weeks ago.  It started with a free chart from Hands on Design  which shows 1/4 of a design which you turn to stitch the 2nd, 3rd and 4th corners.   We decided to pack it in a kit, providing all materials needed for completion, including the backing fabric and then provided the JABCO stick pins shown in the picture.  The backing fabric we picked up from our favorite quilt shop, "Serendipity" (located in Dagsboro..well worth the trip).    Such a fun stitch and an easy stitch, although I have to admit it took me a few minutes to get the "turning" of the chart.  I did this before years ago with a chart, but for some reason this time I just struggled to get the turn.  But the chart also had progressive charts showing the stitch as it went from one corner to four corners, so in the end I had it done in time to have the sample for the Guild.   I got that done and began the design for the Spring Retreat....and that's where I ran into trouble.  I don't like empty spots on designs so I kept adding things, and adding pieces until I drove myself crazy as well as Sara who's mantra became, "Mom, we need that finished, stop adding things."  While I thought I could get it done (I was wrong, I got it stitched but didn't completely finish it...I got the bottom in the box, the spool was finished, the needle vial was finished and the fob was finished, but the needlebook was stitched but not put together and the 4 inside panels were stitched, but 3 were not finished...darn it!  As if that wasn't aggravating enough, when we were packing the kit we found that the company from whom we ordered the vials shorted us 36 corks, and the fibers which were ordered in time....didn't make it to us in time.   But in spite of all those problems, we still managed to show the project, get the kits packed up (with a plan for replacing fibers missing) and get the goodie bags to all participants.  Whew!  Aside from the slight issue we had, the weekend went beautifully.  We had some new stitchers here...always a treat, and we saw many of our stitching friends from past retreats.  Is there anything better than time spent with stitching friends.  I saw a lot of "show and tell" and projects I hadn't seen before.  So much fun and so inspirational.  I see other stitchers work and I can't wait to get something finished.  So thank you to everyone who brought in show and tell and Sheila Fitzhugh who always brings me something to keep as a model for the upcoming season.  She brought in a few pieces and let us hang 2 Jeannette Douglas pieces that are stitched and framed beautifully.  Now, of course, I can't wait to get to those pieces, which are in my stash.  So much stash, so little time.  Also a big thanks to the usual gang who helped us in the shop.  With 73 stitchers retreating here, the shop is sometimes overwhelmed (in a good way) and we need help finding things for people, retreaters as well as folks just coming in from the boardwalk.  We feel very lucky to have several stitchers who know the shop so well that they jump in to help when needed.   And Debbie Liming wasn't here to attend the event this time, but she drove down to help us by working in the shop cutting fabric.  Thanks so much was such a big help.  And Judy Brunclik who actually does work here, but was here as a participant in the event and not scheduled to work, but not only helped other customers, but came in to put merchandise out for me when she was suppose to be with her stitching group having fun.  And then there was Stacy Stinson who spent a lot of time trying to help find different charts when I was unable to get to it for a customer.  We are very lucky to have such a wonderful group of supporters and friends.  My house looked like a fiber bomb went off, but I took Monday off and tried to get some order here.  So now I'm feeling a lot better.  It was great to see all the stitchers, and a few of them decided to stay on since the weather was so nice, so there are still participants still here, but I'm back to school and life.  I, of course, have had to move on since I hadn't worked on my obsession in well over a week.  Sunday night, after work, that was my treat to myself.  I worked on that piece all evening and I love it more today than I did a month ago.  I started work on one of the lighthouses and the ship...oh, what fun this is.  It's amazing how many people are working on this.  It was quite the talk at the retreat with many of us pulling ours out of our bags to compare fabric and progress.  However, with Betsy Morgan coming in a month, I've had to put it back in the bag and get back to the class pieces.  We begged Betsy to let us have the complete kits, which she did,  so while the pre-stitch has been done for some time, I feel responsible for getting the entire projects completely stitched before she arrives....oh, my I never saw so much over one in my life.  Thank God, the second project is mostly over 2, unless I just wished it to be so.  So I'm working 24/7 trying to get these pieces done.  Serenity Harbor only gets about 1 day a week, and I'm now 1 1/2 charts behind.  I've got to catch up or I'm going to go nuts trying!  And I really panic when Judy shows up and has worked on hers as we are doing it together, but I want to stay ahead of her because of all the class pieces etc, I've got to get done as well, so it helps me mentally if I don't have to worry about catching up to her.  And I got another club piece yesterday (I'm two behind on that series so far this year and about 4 behind from last year, to say nothing of all the stash I keep bringing home.  Just imagine working in a needlework shop and taking one of everything you like...that's my problem.)  Right now I have Michael doing a paper while I blog (of course he doesn't know what I'm doing).  Honestly, this child is so over school that I'm having to force him to do this.  I keep trying to remember,  was I like this at 14....but I loved school so I don't think I was.  And research papers have always been my forte, so I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't want to do one.  But my Michael, oh,'s been a struggle for him.  I finally gave up on letting the school choose the topic and asked him what he would like to write about.  If the truth was known he'd prefer not to write anything, but he finally said skateboarding.  Unfortunately for him, he thought he could just write his impression of it.....and of course I said, have to do a research paper.  There were tears and a gnashing of teeth, but he is now doing the project and I have hopes he's doing a good job.  At first he just copied and pasted from the article into the paper and thought he was done....but then I lowered the hammer in regards to plagerism and showed him how to turn those words into his own words.  (Good Luck with that)  He finished his History final yesterday so history is now...well history.  The only subjects left to finish are Science and writing.  But we're both counting down the days.  Since he told me yesterday he didn't want me teaching Science anymore because he wasn't even listening to me (that's really encouraging) he is now on his own with Science, but must take his master test in that with me.  Today he got 100% on his master test...oops, guess he doesn't need me.  Glad to hear it since it saves me a couple hours at night from having to do any work on it.  So writing it is until May 29th, our last day of school....17 more days and I'm footloose and fancy free.  Can't wait.  In the meantime, Crystal Szymansky has just 1 more days before she retires.  The longest day of  her life is going to be on Friday as she waits for the day to be over.  But OMG, Monday, May 11th is going to be so alarms to set, no time to be anywhere...yes, the best is yet to come for Crystal.  And then on Tuesday, May 12th, it's Sara's birthday.  I couldn't be prouder of my two girls.  They are the jewels in my crown and a source of delight for me.  (that should bring me good mother's day gifts, don't you think?)  Well, got to run, so a big thanks to all who traveled to Ocean City last weekend for the retreat.  It was great to see everyone.