Saturday, November 5, 2016

Another Val's Stuff Halloween ornament, "Said the Spider to the Fly", so cute and really fun to stitch.  And as I've reported after stitching the last 8 or so of these, a fast finish.  Love the series.  I think I've only got 4 more of these to go but I have started on her new Christmas Series of ornaments also done on perforated paper.  Fun stitch after a somewhat messy finish or boring stitch (I can love some pieces even though they aren't that much fun to stitch).  Now while the Quaker Basket from Mani di danna was a messy finish (thanks to my shortcuts) it was a fast and easy stitch.  But that's where the easy part ended for me.  Since I had done one of these type finishes of hers before I thought I was a pro....God what makes me even think that?  Anyway, I got into trouble early on in the process and should have gone back to the way I did it before, but I simply refused to believe I could be so wrong so I carried on like an idiot.  Yes just plowed ahead like I suddenly knew what to do. And of course this led to many screw ups as I tried to make corrections to everything I did wrong.  In the end I was thrilled I pressed on and could kick my own butt for thinking I'm smarter than I really am.  Now I have two more of Mani di danna's little totes, baskets, or whatever one calls them.  I just love these pieces and am determined to do the next one better.  I strive for perfection, or at least a finish I don't have to explain.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Blast from the past

Remember this piece.  I finished the stitching in Nashville back in March but needed to actually make it into a pillow.  I finally got to Hobby Lobby and got the fringe I wanted to use (it matches the finish by the designer which was what I was striving for).  The colors on the fringe match the colors on the pillow perfectly.  It's like it was made for this.  Anyway, it's funky and interesting with all the interesting stitches used.  My first canvaswork, in a long time...I guess I should say our project since Sara started it and I picked it up after it seemed to languish for months in the shop.  One day I didn't have a project and pulled this down off the shelf where Sara put it and worked on it when I was in the shop.  While Counted Cross is my favorite, every once in a while I like to do a little needlepoint or in the case canvas work.  Of course I do incorporate canvaswork stitches into my counted work periodically.  The stitches makes a piece so interesting to look at.  This has been sitting here forever so I'm posting this as well today.  Two posts today.  I'm making up for lost time.

Two of Val's new Christmas Ornaments done on perforated paper, just like her Halloween ornaments last year.  So easy and fast and the finish is a breeze.  The kit includes the chart, googly eyes, backing and cord for hanging.  You supply the over-dyed fibers.  The 3rd picture is the Shepherd's Bush Noel Sheep ornament which you saw finished on an earlier post and put on one of the small sleds.  I did a second ornament and put it on the paper tag included in the kit.  Also cute!  And the 2nd picture is the Needlework Press stitched tape measure which I showed you earlier.  But I gave that first one away so I wanted you to see that I actually stitched it a second time.  UGH!  I hate stitching anything twice, but Sara and I both loved this ourselves so it became a must.  I just finished stitching the ABC Spool also by Needlework Press but haven't done the finish yet.  As soon as Judy gets back and I have a day off.  Actually, as it turns out, this morning I'm not in the shop as something happened to the electric in just Salty Yarns, Sea Trader and Thrashers French Fries.  Thank God the hotel is fine (even though we are in the hotel) and the apartments attached to the hotel are fine, yes it's just us...taking a day off because we have no electric.  If I didn't know better I'd think Sara performed some act that gave her a day off, however, she's stuck helping the guys in the laundry room and she's on parking lot duty.  I'm in the office filing, etc., just getting things more organized.  When the electric company said it was our problem (thanks what a help) Buddy from Thrashers was on the phone and got an electrician here immediately.  It does pay to have friends in high places.  Anyway, they now think we will be up and running by 1:00 so I'm just bidding my time until I go back to work.  Short day for me, and now I don't feel so sorry for Sara working a double.  Things will start slowing down here as children go back to school elsewhere so not as many families can come down.  It gives us time to regroup and get ready for Jackie's class coming up in September and then our big event, OC Jamboree in October.  So much work, but so much fun and a chance to see so many stitching friends and their projects.  Well I might as well stop putting it off and get the rest of the filing done.  Hope your weekend is fabulous and that you have been able to get a little stitching done.  Talk to you soon.  I actually wrote the previous part of the post last week.  My, oh my, where does the time go.  Obviously we got up and running that same day but at 4 not one.  Half a day lost...what can one do.  Judy is now back, thank God!  I've had time off and have managed to get more projects finished.  Hopefully I will get them up soon.  Anyway, I'm posting this today so it doesn't sit around another week.  Have a great week!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

We're in the dog days of summer down here....ugh!!!

I forgot to show you two models loaned to us by friends of Salty Yarns.  The first is an Ink Circles, "Wings and Things" stitched by Trudy Edwards.  Trudy always does the most interesting Halloween pieces.  Anyway, she picked Picture Plus overdyed fabric for the stitch which just hi-lights the eerie feeling you get with Halloween pieces.  Fabulous piece.  The second piece was stitched by Shiela Fitzhugh and it's a Rosewood Manor piece titled, "Spring Quaker" and stitched on Picture Plus fabric as well.  Both have been displayed this summer in the shop so if you are in Ocean City stop by and take a look.  Beautiful.  Shiela has not only Spring Quaker here but Winter Quaker which is my favorite of Rosewood's seasonal quakers.  But needless to say, I've got all 4 seasons along with the threads sitting in my totes at home (notice I said totes since I have many of them stuffed.)  Thanks Ladies for jobs well done and for letting us borrow your work.  While I try to get a lot of stitching done and models in the shop,  this summer is taking a toll on me with the web site issues and the POS, but I'm happy to report that things are beginning to calm down a tad.  Of course the heat is about to do me in, but I think I say this every year so you would think I'd get use to it. But the heat and humidity is deadly.  Last week I didn't leave my apartment for 4 days...did not go outside at all.  I was built for a/c however, I hate being closed in.  Oh, well, I keep trying to remember winter and how I hate the freezing cold....I think I need to move somewhere, but I probably couldn't find the perfect place and I'd just be trading this for something else I wouldn't like.  So I guess I'll stay put and pray Judy returns soon so I can go back to hibernating in my house.  This week Judy is off so I'm in the shop everyday until she returns from vacation...Oh, please Judy hurry back I need a day off!  The amazing part of this is I've been in the shop everyday for a shift since Sunday (when I returned from delivering Solomon to Woodward Camp....7 hrs both ways...God help me) and I've only taken 1 chart home.  I'm not sure what that says about me or about what's new, but it doesn't matter because I've got so much stash I don't need anything new.  Thank God there is no pre-stitch with Jackie's class coming up next month as this allows me to concentrate on things for the shop.  I started and finished the first 2 of Val's Christmas Ornaments on the perforated paper.  Cute and addictive...Oh, I just realized I did take 3 of her ornament kits home yesterday....oh, and I thought I was doing so well.  I guess I'm not doing as well as I thought.  Well, I've got to get on the move.  Trying to get stock put in the POS and tickets printed.  Can't tell you the frustration with the printing of tickets....we now use a DYMO labelwriter which I thought was great, however, if I'm printing tickets and someone wants to buy something I have to change the printer from the Dymo to the Star receipt printer.  Guess how many times I've forgotten to change over so the receipt is printed on dymo labels....about 20 different labels get ruined.  I'm definitely too old for this crap.  And yet the minute the POS went down in June and Sara said we were back to writing receipts I got the POS instantly so I didn't have to do that.  I'm never happy it appears.  But I couldn't imagine having an event with hand written receipts.  OH, my that would be a fiasco.  So I'm going to leave now and see what else I can screw up.  Have a great day and a greater weekend.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

So cute, fun to stitch and a breeze to finish.  A must do for Christmas.  I'm celebrating Christmas in July by stitching Shepherd's Bush, "Noel Sheep Sled".  I'm trying to get back to my stitching and putting aside working on the POS every minute of the day.  I'm restitching (gave the first one as a gift) the tape measure from Needlework Press and while it's no big deal, I've stitched it once already so not really thrilled to have to do it again, but Sara loves it so that's reason enough.  While it isn't a hard stitch, to get it to truly measure a yard you need to measure yourself as you go along because according to the directions they assumed they measured correctly and just counted threads from the first inch.  And it doesn't work that way apparently , so you have to measure each quarter inch, half inch and inch as you stitch.  Not a big deal, just time consuming.  But I'm on inch 27 so I'm almost done and hopefully today will be the end of it.  Since it's an easy finish I'm not dreading that part.  Then I finished Part 1 of the latest Lizzie Kate Halloween Mystery Sampler.  Not a hard stitch either, and Part 2 just arrived last week in the shop so I'm moving on to Part 2.  But last night as I was sitting on the sofa I wanted to start something new and fast.  Fortunately when I was working on getting the Shepherd's Bush kits into the new POS I ran across the Noel Sheep Sled (along with 4 other kits that came home with me) and knew I had to stitch it.  It really is a fast stitch, thank God, I needed that.  But....why is there always a but for me...they didn't fill in the sky or background (I made it a sky because you put stars on it) and just left the perforated paper showing.  I know it's alright to do that but the design calls for stars in the sky which I really  felt needed a dark background.  At first I used a dark blue, navy, to resemble night sky, but you couldn't see the sheeps legs well enough so then I tried Americana blue, but again too dark.  When I tried Week's Sky and I think that did the trick.  I really think it's cute and Shepherd's Bush put a cute tag in with the kit for you to use as a hanger so you didn't have to purchase a sled, but I intend to use it for a 2nd ornament..nothing will go to waste here.  Anyway,  cute, fast and perfect for a secret santa gift.  Update on the web site, well, it's not good.  The designer doesn't seem to be able to make the corrections I want made, which they have always done in the past after they upgrade and when she passed along the  message from the person she gave the job to, I said that's it...I'm moving on (what I asked them to do is page the What's New or Just Arrived so as each new item is added it doesn't drop off the previous items into the catalog but just adds pages so you can go back easily to look at something there you saw a month ago for instance.  The person who was asked by Julie to do that sent back a message basically saying "NO because those pieces on pages wouldn't be new."  Like that's their call?   So while I'm still using the web site, I'm also working on a new one that will replace it.  My life has not become easier and retirement is definitely off the table.  But at least I am back to stitching so there is still fun to be had.  Hope you are also finding time in this heat.  Actually the only place to be is at home, in the a/c with a cold drink (tea) and stitching.   Yes, the perfect day!  Or visiting your local needlework shop to find more stuff to work on.  Have a great day Stitchings.  Talk to you soon.

Monday, July 4, 2016

New model.....getting back on track.................

"Button Posies", a pinkeep and scissor weight by The Scarlett House was a somewhat fast stitch, considering the fact that I waited over a year to start it.  Originally part of club piece, I put it in a to-do bag and there it sat.  I was amazed that I finished it about 1 month before it's release for resale.  But also thrilled because it meant a model was done just in time.  Stitched on 36 ct. Espresso linen from R & R and stitched with Gentle Art fibers.  I used a medium sized black button for the middle of the flowers, but you can stitch the center  as shown on the chart.  The original piece showed rick rack as the scissor leash so I also used the small rick rack for that.  I did change a couple of things....the blue flowers to the left of the center flower was changed as the Gentle Arts fiber called for was soot and I wanted blue like the picture.  (with overdyed thread it's not always going to look like the picture as the threads are so multicolored).  I didn't change the center flower and wish I had since I think the white doesn't really show up and would use a shade a little darker or lighter than the Country Redwood used as the second color.  I love the bowl colors and think it's probably my favorite part of the piece.  Anyway, a cute new addition to my pin cushion and fob collection. It's been a while since I have had the energy to stitch.  Working day and night on the POS is draining my energy (which doesn't take much), so by the time I get home from the office or shops I'm really too tired to do anything but lay down and hope tomorrow's better.  But I have to say, Judy, Elaine, Sara, Pat and I have pulled this together very well and are managing to get the merchandise in the system.  When I'm not in the office or working the shop I'm home working on the system as I can access it from anywhere.  That is a mixed blessing for Sara and as I'm constantly texting her to tell her how she's doing compared to the other shops, or commenting on what has sold.  It's like Big Brother or in this case Big Momma is always watching.  I've tried to let up on this since it was driving her crazy, but I sit with my IPad so I can check it every few minutes and then the minute the stores close I'm in the system correcting anything that needs fixing.   Some of the items didn't have costs put on them so the reporting isn't quite what it should be so that is my main focus at night.  Since it doesn't shown up on anything the ladies are doing they really aren't concerned with that part.  But all in all, we've done an unbelievable job.  At the beginning of June I never thought we'd be where we are today thanks to the hard work everyone has put in.  I originally figured we would use the old system for a great part of the summer but when Judy had hers up and running in two days and was able to function, we all said, What the hell let's go live with it and we did.  And Judy, still our rock....she was taking things home and while she couldn't sleep was working on the system til the wee hours of the morning.  And still brought in homemade blueberry muffins and fruit salad for me.  Man you have got to love an employee like Judy.  But like me, she has been unable to get her stitch on.  Two night ago I told Sara I was brain dead from all this and really needed to get back to stitching when I'm at home.  So I put about 25 stitches in before I said , "Crap I'm too tired to do this."  Oh, I forgot to mention, Mary and Brian are making the boys spend about 1 1/2 hours every day working on school work.  I felt it would be more focused if I gave them worksheets, so now I'm also getting worksheets from the internet for the 5 children (Mary's 2, the step daughter and then the babysitter's 2 children) 4 different ages.  So that occupies my weekends since I hand them over on Sunday night.  But last night when I got home, and realized I had a full 2 days off (unless there is an emergency and I told them not to have one), I became determined to get my stitch on (which I did although I struggled) and today I'm working on the web site and the blog.  So the only thing I'm not working the apartment...and it looks it.  But perhaps I can get to that before I go to work on Wednesday (although I doubt it).  I did finish the pastoral sampler pocket, but haven't put it together...surprise surprise.  I also finished the Block pin cushion, of course also not finished but at least it made it to the ironing board.  And now I'm working on multiple pieces all at once as always.  I'm doing another Needlework Press stitched tape measure as I gave the last one to Renee for her birthday because she loved it so much.  Then I pulled out some large count to stitch a Shepherd's Bush santa the large count.  I've also pulled out the Shores of Hawk Run which I was stitching a few years ago, took it to a retreat to show it to the ladies and stuck it in a bag and didn't find it for a few years, and then once I found it the chart wasn't with it so then I had to find it.  So now I have to find the fibers and then I'm ready to get back on that horse.  In the meantime I'm trying not to look at anything new, however with the new Lizzie Kate Halloween Mystery Sampler part 1 in house, well I pulled that out, along with the fabric, and embellishment pack and started that.  So I'm working on a full load of projects, just not often enough.  Hoping that changes as I start to let go of my POS obsession.  The worst part of this is as we unload racks to get the inventory in the computer I'm finding charts I like and starting taking them I don't have enough.  Sara is having the same problem.  When I did the Shepherd's Bush rack I really had to contain myself.  But it was a sure sign of determination...I should have that same determination when I'm in front of the refrigerator. Anyway, just letting you know we are on track and moving forward at a great rate of speed.  So I hopefully will be able to get the web site and the blog moving again.  Thank you all for your patience and understanding.  I hope your summer is fabulous and you are able to fit your stitching in around all the outdoor activities.  Hope to talk again soon.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Computer Crash Update................f

After researching 3 different systems, I finally decided to pick one and get on with it.  I am happy to report we have a new POS system in place.  It's fairly simple, once you make your decision.  There's no waiting for something to come in the mail, you just pick a plan based on the number of registers or stores and start learning your system.  First I got a trial copy and played with it for a couple of days, however, I hate trials and just want to get on with it, so I decided to stop playing around and just get it.  First, you pay by the month and if you don't like it you can just cancel it.  And even after loading the product you can still upload it to a new system I signed on with the new system last Thursday and Judy was using the sell part of it by Saturday and Sara started on Sunday.  We have  Elaine, Sara, Judy, Pat and myself all loading inventory in it.  And may I say, how things have changed since my first and only POS previously. First, the POS I had for 20 years cost me a total of $81.00 plus cost of the equipment which came to less than $500.  Todays POS system can cost anywhere from a few Thousand a year to several Thousand a year.  I figure after 20 years of  no monthly payments I couldn't complain, and frankly with my new system I didn't buy one new piece of equipment.  Some of the systems said I'd have to purchase equipment but the POS I picked said to try my old equipment with it and see if it would work and thank God it did.  The cash drawer didn't open right away but our Judy knew just what to do.  (she solves all our technical issues now)    Because these are cloud based POS systems today, you can work on them from anywhere.  I've been working on adding inventory from home, and Saturday night I was in Pennsylvania taking Solomon to Camp Woodward, and at night in the hotel loaded inventory there.  Judy e-mailed me Saturday to say she had worked on it at her house (she wasn't even at work and still was working on the POS on her own time, God Bless our Judy) and was busy writing instructions for anyone else loading inventory, etc.  giving tips and short cuts.  At any time we can have multiple people working on the POS.  I was in the office adding inventory, Judy was in the shop, Elaine was in the Shell Stocked...all systems were on hyperdrive.  Anyway, it didn't take Judy 24 hours before she was fully using it to ring up sales.  I'm leaving the old POS up as well until we are fully loaded so the foreign students working don't have to figure out what's going on.  Trying to explain what's happening to them is just too much trouble.  But I did want to thank everyone for their prayers for our sanity.  We needed your help to get us over the initial "oh crap" moments and we now can see the light at the end of the tunnel (don't even think about an on coming train!)  We're working like beavers, have a lot of inventory to get in the system but by the end of summer we should be all set, since I don't think you ever get every single thing in.  But even at this point we have just about all the new inventory from January thru June loaded and I've been working on loading pre-2016.  There's been a lot of advancement in POS systems and it's fun to learn new ways of entering inventory that are more efficient than our last POS.  I also love working on it without having to be in the shop.  That makes me feel like I'm still helping out.  I'm also in charge of reading how to do things so Sara doesn't have to and then I just show her how it's done.  We haven't had to call the company once.  Between Judy and I we are figuring it out.   So, we're certainly back in action (not that we weren't before), not as frustrated as we were a month ago and we are functional.  Thanks to Judy who has worked on it non stop like she was being paid as a tech (and we all know she isn't paid anywhere near what a tech would get paid), so Thanks Judy for hanging in there and helping us get back on track.  Now that we are getting this straightened out I can get back to the web site which was updated the first the month so it went out of wack in places, and I couldn't even get into the site to change anything without calling Julie (the tech for that site).  But I've slowly been trying to get that worked out (God it never rains but it pours).  Just know we are working on things and will be back to normal soon.  Thanks again for hanging in there with us.

Friday, June 10, 2016

OMG....can this week get any worse?

I came to the hotel on Wednesday to find that our computers had a major attack and our tech people would have to take the main computer from the hotel and from Salty Yarns back to their offices.    OMG, both shop and hotel work off computers, our reservation system is computer generated, no computer, no way to handle rooms, reserved or in house.  And Salty Yarns means we can only do sales the old way, hand written receipts.  Needless to say with the problems we've had over the course of the winter with Salty Yarns computer (which Judy figured out a month ago the problem was there were 2 different data bases being used...crap...but she refigured things out so everything was almost O.K.) this is the last straw.  Yesterday Sara called me to say we needed a new POS system for the shop.  Apparently, while we do not have the hotel system back up and running the techs could get it back (we're hoping for today), Salty Yarns computer is fine but the POS can't be recovered.  Now I'm hunting for a new POS system.  I started the hunt before all this happened as our system is out of date, but now it's urgent and that brings on a whole other level of anxiety.  Anyway, we are scrambling down here....poor Mary is about to have a stroke with no reservation system in play, but I just keep saying the same thing, "Just thank God this didn't happen in July or August."  Somehow I don't think they are finding this very comforting.  But I hanging on to that and spending hours researching systems...(in college research was my forte, however, when it's urgent it's no fun).  Anyway, if you call or come into the shop and ask a question which requires a computer search of inventory....well we're back to paper and foot work so it won't be fast, but we will get there eventually.  But the thought of reloading all this inventory one at a time again is just exhausting to even thing about.  But with Judy, Sara and myself doing it perhaps it won't take more than a few months (OMG...just to read that sends shivers down my spine).  Wish us luck!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

New stitches

Shepherd's Bush.   "Busy bees stitching tray"-  such a fast fun stitch.  I love these trays and have done a couple of them.  I usually put a piece of Weeks Wool under the piece to add a pop of color since the stitched piece, doesn't actually fill the space, but decided to try without the wool.  I'm unsure and still may put a piece of wool under the design, but either way I think it turned out so cute.  The tray is from Doodlin' Around Designs and has a bee skep on each end.  Too cute!  The next design is "Measure Twice" from Needlework Press.  The chart comes with the spool and the linen band.  I decided since the numbers were in black the spool should also be black so in my brilliance I choose the most humid day with intermittent rain to spray paint my items...Needless to say, not the best job ever, however, with the spools it wasn't a big deal since most of the spool is covered.  Anyway, in the directions, you are told if you follow the chart only, the end result will not be an actual yard, but just under a yard.  Since I wanted it to be accurate, I decided to take the time to use a tape measure and make sure each inch marking was correct.  It does take a little longer, but worth the effort.  Other than that this is easy to stitch and easy to finish.  I did want to put a backing on the tape, but after trying to back it will ribbon I didn't like how thick it looked on the spool so I never backed it.  Still like it though and then the 3rd piece is "Stitch in Time"  also by Needlework Press.  When I saw this in Nashville I thought, at first, it was for a working clock, and was disappointed that it wasn't.  In the back of my mind I always thought I would do it as a working clock, but as soon as I saw Tracy Doverspikes I could put it off no longer.  Actually Tracy stitched the hands, but she painted the silver clock black and it changes the piece drastically to me.  (We carry the clock base in the shop) So I choose to paint this along with the spools...finish is questionable at best but still as my mother always said, "You can't see it on a trotting horse," so if you see this in the shop on display, please trot by so you don't notice the imperfect paint job.  While the chart calls for black and gray, I didn't have the correct GA grey nearby and so I just used a grey I had near me (you know I hate to get up) and stitched away.  It's a one night that.  But when I got to the flower I just couldn't stitch it in grey and black so I chose Baked Apple and Black for the flower and Moss for the stem.  Also putting this together wasn't that hard.  I got the clock works at Michaels.  They had a small set of hands which weren't fancy and the set you see here.  The problem is, of course, I likes the fancy hands but they were way too long.  I solved that by cutting down the hands so they fit.  I did have to fiddle a bit to get the hands secure but it wasn't that big a deal either.  I love my working clock!  Too cute.  And I got a new tool to do it, a circle cutter that cuts paper, fabric and mat board....winner!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cross Stitch Nation was a wonderful stitch for me.  The colors were really vibrant, at least the red was and I truly loved the stitch.  But when it was finished was the best part because I like making the drum pin cushions so it was a delight to finish.  And now it is one of my favorite pieces.  When Sara first mentioned making it into a drum I thought she had lost her mind.  I had never even considered that.  But, I love to finish the pieces in different ways than expected so I thought why not and once I stitched up the back and took a look at it I knew it was a wonderful decision.  If you have facebook, go look at Salty Yarns page and you will see it... 360 degrees...Sara took a video of it and put it there.  Anyway, I stitched it on 32 ct. Legacy from PTP and stitched it using the recommended fibers.  Fun piece and fun finish.  I also got my Betsy Morgan pre-stitch done....hooray!!!!  So today I'm moving on to new.  We have now survived another car weekend....and for a while it looked like I might spend the week in jail...I swear if that man had revved his car engine one more day it was going to be his death or mine.  He chose to park that miserable car, which apparently wasn't moveable, under my window where he spent 2 days and nights trying to get it to run correctly.  He revved that thing for hours at a time.  I had no peace at all from 7 in the morning until around 10 at night.  I mean it if you can't get it running in a it a day and leave the rest of us some peace and quiet.  But after 2 days he gave up and tarped the car.  When I came home Friday from work there it sat covered and peace was restored to me once again... ...  Thank you Jesus!  The wind picked up Saturday and the rains came which ruined the weekend for the car folks, but when I arrived home to see the tarp blown off that car and the motor exposed to the rain I knew that was punishment for the owner for disturbing our neighborhood for 2 days and I just smiled and said, "Thank you God." Justice came and I didn't lift a finger.   I'm not sure that the owner of the car felt it was a reprimand from God, but that's my thinking.  Let me assure you that I am not against the car sir, I've always appreciated the car people coming here and spending the weekend.  They rent our rooms, eat in the restaurants and also spend money in the shops, so we need them.  What we don't need is the inconsiderate car people who give no thought to the people who are in the buildings where they park.  Many of us have children and also many of us work.  We need sleep just like everyone else.  Imagine someone parking under your window revving their engine for hours starting at 7 a.m. and going until 10 p.m. and cars revving their engines in the parking space next to your room.   Just inconsiderate.  And of course the weather wasn't helping anyone.  Car people were mad Saturday as it rained all day...all day people.  Many of them still rode the streets but several of them parked their cars and sat around all day miserable.  While I understand disappointment, we are not responsible for the weather.  Don't blame us as we would rather have you out and about and  happy.  And the complaints...poor Mary...she's is the front desk person and she really took it this weekend with people complaining and then coming to her with problems.  When checking out on Sunday a tenant told her that his bag of dirty clothes was missing, and how it had been there the day before and now it was gone and he wanted something done about it.  She expressed her dismay, asked if it was sitting by the trash can (that's never a good thing as the housekeeping staff with take it for trash) but he said it was on the other side of the room so we were clueless as to what could have happened.  I mean no one steals dirty clothes,  do they?  Anyway since Beverly has been here for over 30 years we knew she didn't touch it, but we asked her if she remembered seeing the bag in the room.  She had 2 buildings to clean so she was as clueless as we were by the end of the day.  But the man continued to stand at the desk and stare at Mary until she came to me.  I asked her what he wanted us to do about a bag of dirty clothes and poor Mary just wanted the whole thing over with.  In the end she did what I would have done and said she was sorry but there was really nothing we could do.  I frankly thought his wife probably already put it in the car, but we got no where with that.  After they got out to their car Mary ran up to the room to investigate and as she looked noticed something on the bed under one of the pillows.....the bag of dirty clothes!  That man spend 20 minutes at the desk bitching and moaning and it was on the bed the entire time, exactly where one of them had laid it.  What makes me really angry is either he or his wife had to have put that bag on the bed that morning, so to waste 20 minutes of the front desk persons time, look around!  Aside from that crap, in town we had a horrific accident in which a 24 year old lost his life on Friday.  Don't think he was part of the whole car thing, but he was running from the police on a motorcycle and slammed into a truck.  So that was all anyone could talk about on Friday and then on Saturday someone took a fall off an 8th floor balcony in town and they died.  So all and all, not the best weekend we've had and I pray it is the worst we will ever have again.  So believe me when I say, we need sunshine and warmer temps to get through the next week and help us store up energy for the next hell, the high school seniors.  This is really the only time I wish I could leave Ocean City until they were gone.  Their behavior gets worse every year (or is it that I'm getting older?) All I can report is high school seniors are still not mature enough to come to Ocean City with no supervision.  Enough said!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

House work....Ugh!

Mother's Day treat from Sara, and so true for me.  I hate housework so this was the perfect pillow for her to stitch as a gift.  She stitched it on the 20 (?) ct. linen so it's a nice size.  It's approx. 15" x 8" so it looks great on the sofa or chair.  Thanks Sara, I love it!  Right now I'm letting the shop use it so if you come in to the shop you can see it live and in person.   Since I've been home a couple of days I have tried to get some housework done, especially in my stitching room.  I've been going through the piles now for a couple of days, how did all this crap get in here anyway?  I need to let some stuff go, I honestly save everything thinking I will re-purpose it.  And while I do find uses for things most people would have chucked long ago, even I couldn't find a purpose for all this.  So purging shall commence.  Since I finished "Cross Stitch Nation" which Sara has shown on our facebook page (and you know it will be here next), I'm going through the stash to pull out something new...Love to find something new.    I had pulled fibers and fabric for Hands on Design's "Wool Block Party" earlier, but I can't just stop with one project, because last night I also finished something I started a while ago that's also been released, "Button Posies" so that means I also get to pull out something that's been started before to now I'm on the look out for both new and old projects.  Of course, there are several in each area to choose that's where the trouble begins and ends.  I'm still loving the Erica Michaels strawberries and really want to stitch one on gauze, so perhaps that will be the winner but since  I have the attention span of a child in a candy store and I've got 5 more bags to look through, well I'm still undecided on new.  As for old....well that's tougher since I've already worked on them and put them away, I put them away for a reason.  Now can I get beyond that, pull them out and do what I have to in order to finish them? Well, tonight will be the moment of truth as I have to pick something to work on or just sit all night watching T.V. feeling unproductive.  This is the weekend all the cars are in town and for 2 days I had one of the cars under my window revving up the engine constantly and apparently unable to actually get it in gear to move.  I was about to scream out the window and tell them to shut the damn thing off and give me some peace, but decided I might be better off just coming in to work early.  I was  bitching and complaining about this car so much I was afraid I'd have a stroke.  But God heard me and when I got home last night after work the car was covered with a tarp and thankfully the crew was done with it.  Even with the constant running of cars on Baltimore Ave. it was still quiet enough for me.  Heaven was restored!  I have to say our weather has not cooperated.  It was gorgeous, sunny and warm on Thursday and Friday, however, today it is raining and suppose to rain all day and into tomorrow....the cars don't run much when it rains so I'm afraid the car weekend is a disappointment for the folks here for it.  We still haven't had it warm enough to warrant air conditioning for which I'm thrilled.  I don't do well in heat, so high 60's and 70's is just fine with me.  And since we've got the college kids in town for a couple of weeks and then the high school seniors for a month of a different kind of hell, I really don't care if it rains every single night starting around 10 and lasts until 10 am the next morning.  All I really want is peace and quiet at night.  But I know summer weather will be here soon and then I'll complain about the heat.  Not sure if it's ever going to be just right for me...either too noisy, too hot or too cold.  Well, I really don't care as long as I've got a/c in the summer and heat in the winter and I can always close the winters against noise.....unless it's right under my window...then apparently it does matter whether the window is up or down I hear it.  Well, I'm off to the shop to look at the new charts one more time in my struggle to make up my mind.  Tomorrow I'll blog about one of the most fun projects I've done.....have a great weekend whatever you do!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I've been so busy getting ready for events I haven't had time to blog...well, that's not exactly true, although I have been busy, but Elaine cleaned up and changed displays in Sea Trader, including my blogging spot and now I can't blog in there anymore because she removed the shelf I used.  So now I'm home doing it where I should have been doing it all along.  But when I'm home all I can think about is see the problem?  Anyway, it finally happened, after all this stitching,  my behind is tired of my stitching seat on  the sofa so I've moved over to the blogging chair at the table.  I have a different chair for everything so I don't get bored in one spot. Anyway, the pictures on the left show what I got done for last weekend.  You know I'm loving that large count linen, although I did find a flaw with it unfortunately, after I had already started stitching.  I was working on "Land of Liberty," a Brenda Gervais piece and at some point I felt it just wasn't going to fit on the cut of linen and decided I had started in the wrong place.  Aggravated, I tore out the L and the Uncle Sam figure and started over.  After stitching the LIB and Uncle Sam again I thought it looked too long for the cut of linen.  This time I counted the threads per inch and found this friggin linen is not 20 ct as marked but is 16 in one direction and 18 in the other.  I almost ripped the damn thing up, but of course I couldn't do that, and thank goodness I had another piece of this linen for another project and the cut was really bigger than needed and so for the 3rd time I restitched the darn thing. What I love is after calling Sara to alert her to change the count on those linens, she called the supplier and they actually knew it wasn't 20 and still sent it out as such anyway.  What is that about?   Not as enthusiastic stitching a 3rd time, but loved it when  I finished it, so it was worth the aggravation.  And it's such a fabulous size approx. 15" x 6"  Makes a wonderful pillow for a chair or sofa.  The third piece shown is "Long May Ewe Wave" which is actually a free chart, (when you purchase the beehive button) from Shepherd's Bush, stitched on 18ct. Raw linen and then finished into a pin cushion.  Of course I changed one minor detail....I didn't stitch the bees but used the bitty bees instead (much to Sara's dismay I love the bitty bees).  Sara gets aggravated because I keep using the supplies and she runs out....order more I said...for God's sake stop yelling at me because I'm using supplies.  It's for the shop to begin with...a model...honestly I get no respect around here.  The second piece is from 2015 Nashville Market.  It's by Little House Needleworks,  and called, "Giving Thanks".  The frame is an East Side Moulding frame which we carry in the shop.  It was a fun easy stitch as were the other two pieces shown.  Today I finished another of the pieces done on the "20" (yeah right) ct. linen, I've redone "Jingle Jingle" by Plum Street Sampler.  I loved doing it the first time and this time I changed the color of the horse to greys and still love it.  I've also started "Cross Stitch Nation", (since I'm certainly a member,) but for this I went back to 32 ct.  Sara wants me to finish it as a barrel pin cushion, so I'm going to give that a go....and I'll post it when it's done.  But I must mention the last 3 events.  First was our Sheri Jones class and we love Sheri so we knew it was going to be fun and she didn't disappoint.  Friday she had a finishing class for any of her pieces that you might not have finished.  You were able to bring in previous class pieces and she would assist in the finishing.  It was very successful and Stacy Stinson went home with her Patriot Patty completed.  Kudos to her.  Sara worked on her Hare pocket and with Sheri's help she did get it completed.  I'm so proud of her and she really did a terrific job with the finishing.  So Thank You Sheri for all the time and attention you gave the stitchers.  That's why your classes are so popular, because you care about the stitchers, and they sure do love you.  I saw that Bernadette has finished her Garden Long Pocket and several had the band almost completed before they left for home.  Such a gorgeous piece and well worth my struggle (of course trouble made by myself not by the piece.)  The hardest part of the weekend is always what to pick for the next year.  And I can't recall if they chose something and what it is going to be.  That's always up to Sara and Sheri, I'm out of the loop (as usual).  The next weekend we had the Delaware Valley Sampler Guild and many of these ladies shop with us so we are familiar with them and they are always fun.  But this time I got a really good hint from the Jersey ladies who attend.  Three of the ladies stitch a project a year together.  Last year they picked The Flying Santa from Artist Collection.  They brought it into the shop to ask a question as they were putting the pieces together and then mounting them on one of the "Stix" we sell.  But it's how they put them together to use with the stick that is so interesting to me.  I have done pieces which I have mounted on pointed things like the mini oil cans, etc. and this never ever occurred to me.  They fastened a straw(regular drinking straw) inside the piece so instead of fighting with the sharpened point of metal against the stuffing, polyfil whatever, you simply put the metal stick inside the straw already sewn in.  No muss, no fuss.  They secured the straw so it wouldn't come back out of the piece so you can remove the piece from the display if you wanted and easily reinsert the stand.  Fabulous idea.  And that is the point of stitchers getting together.  It's the sharing of ideas that is so wonderful so I thank Carol Wentzel, Robin Thompson and Pat Lerch for sharing.  I will be using this technique in the future I can assure you.  And then last week I got a really nice gift in the mail....Vera Means who was in the shop when her group, The Tangles, were in town and she found a kit that went missing and was later found while she was packing.  Since she already had repurchased the same kit, she sent me her lost one, so I got a Boo Moon witch pin cushion kit from JABCO, which you will see as I am going to be finishing it next week.  Thanks Vera...I love it.  During Sheri's weekend, Stasi Buhrman gave me the most beautiful bone china tea cup and saucer and the pattern was I believe called petit point.  It looks like cross fabulous is that.  As if that wasn't gift enough, Stasi then charted a floral pattern that matches the tea cup design so I will be stitching that up as well.  She also brought me a bag of the old mason jar lids which I use for pin cushions. Thanks Stasi, I really appreciate the gifts.   And Cynthia McCann brought me 4 of the 4" red tart pans which are going to be fabulous with some Christmas Designs I have.  Oh, my I have been blessed. Thank you Cynthia....I love the colored tart pans.  I'm even thinking a patriotic design would look good in it and Plum Street just released another one so perhaps that's the one I'll use.   It's a stitching bonanza down supplies, etc.  And then this past weekend we had 66 stitchers for our May retreat.  The weather did not cooperate at all, and it was in the 50's and rainy and cloudy every day except Sunday when it was high 60's and sunny.  But as stitchers we don't really care because it's about the stitching and friendships we treasure, although it would have been nice to be able to sit on the front porch to watch the ocean.  But we still had a wonderful weekend.  Sara made some fabulous appetizers and the lasagna dinner was wonderful, and Vernon spent the weekend behind the bar making the ladies orange crushes.  Yes, food, drinks and stitching for the just doesn't get any better than that.  So thanks to all the stitchers who came to the first events of the year.  We appreciate your patronage and can't wait to do it again.  Of course we have Betsy Morgan here in June so I guess we will be doing it all again.  I need to get the prestitch I go again! Have a great week and I'll try to post more often so you won't think I've died.  And for the stitchers who couldn't attend this past event due to a fall down the stairs and back problems, and the flu we missed you all and hope you are well on the road to recovery.  We'll see you hopefully at another retreat.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sherri jones will be here soon..excitement mounts!!!!

Pre-stitch pressed and ready to go.  I had handed this off to Sara on Friday to finish the butterflies since I was experiencing difficulty (or so I thought) getting it right.  I had partially stitched the bottom piece on the left and had not stitched any of the butterflies on that piece, thinking she would take pity and do it while she was finishing the other butterflies.  So she brings it down, happily announcing she had finished the butterflies, but then hands it to me and says, "You haven't finished one piece."  UGH!  I was back in pre-stitch hell.  But I just went home Sunday night, sat in my stitchy chair and got down to business and was finished in an hour.  And I finished the butterflies on that piece because I always knew how to do it, I just wasn't secure in the knowledge.  But now that it's finished, the "Garden Long Pocket" is finished and I've got it blocking now so it will be ready to go by Friday....I can finish the rest of the projects that are sitting on my dining room table waiting for me to get to them.  Nothing more exciting then finishing projects and getting them into the shop on display.  A real sense of accomplishment.  Especially now....winter is over for us with our first class starting Friday and stitchers arriving Wednesday.  Then it's the Delaware Guild retreat, the May retreat and then it's summer.  Yes we are definitely feeling the tension as we all get our particular jobs finished in time.  Mary's working everyday getting the guys fixing and helping move furniture, etc., housekeepers have been working on the rooms and apartments for over a month already, and Sara's busy still getting merchandise out and getting orders placed.  Whew!  All I have to do is get the peanut butter cookies done and the models (and really no one knows what models I'm doing so if I don't get them done it's no big deal.)  I certainly won't have the pieces that were suppose to go to the framers here because they are still sitting on the table at home.    One was for St. Patrick's Day so at this point....what's the point?  The ladies return for another summer this week.  Judy and Pat will both be here this week, Sara will be taking the class so I'll be in the shop (God help us) and the Tangles will also be in town.  So the shop should be very busy this weekend.  That's always exhausting, but really exciting to see what everyone is working on, getting to speak with Sherri Jones....I better start catching up on sleep so I'm ready.  But it's so hard to sleep with my Roku....darn that Debbie Liming.  She told me she had one so of course I had to get one.  Now, I'm addicted and can barely go to sleep for watching my British shows and Netflix...OMG, commercial free T.V. is the best.  I didn't know how addictive it was until I went back to watch a show on regular T.V. and at the first commercial break I counted 13 commercials before I said, the hell with this and went back to Acorn T.V.  I'm seriously thinking of canceling my cable.  Each week since I became a Roku devotee I've watched less and less of regular T.V. although I could watch it on NBC apps on my T.V., I think there are commercials there was well, and while I miss a couple of my shows on regular T.V., so many commercials every break just wears my patience thin.  It's as if  they give you 10 minutes of a show and 10 minutes of commercials.  Can't deal with that.  I'm a bit concerned about the weather for the weekend now.  I always think it's going to be warm when we open and boy, after last weekend I really don't know what it's going to be like.  Today the sun is shining and supposedly the temperature is in the low 50's but feels like it's in the 40's with the ocean breeze...breeze well more like a nor'easter wind.    We have portable heaters at the ready just in case but I've got my fingers, toes and eyes crossed hoping for the warmer temps.  For those coming...we can't wait.  We'll see Ginny, Beverly and Bernadette on Wednesday, Sherri, Debbie and Stasi on Thursday and God knows who else before the bulk of the stitchers arrive.  Nothing better than a group of stitchers on site. 

Two fast projects down.

Another fast project "Alphabet Art" from Just Another Button Company and when you are done the stitching, you just slide it into the 4 sided box made for this series. OMG.  No finishing since the perforated paper just slides right in the box. And all you are stitching is the floral display on the initial and the black border. Of course as I'm stitching it I'm thinking of the possibilities with the box. It's 4 sided which means you could do the 4 seasons, insert each season into the space on a side and just turn the box to the season you are in. The box is open at the top so you could fill it with a vase of flowers, or anything you like. Each letter comes with the chart and buttons.  You supply the fibers. 
Little House Needleworks "Land of the Free" framed and on display. Yippee!!!! Fun little stitch, just took a few days and love, love the frame. The stars on the frame are perfect for patriotic pieces. The over dyed fibers come with the chart, but you supply your own linen or aida. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

I'm out of Pre-Stitch hell.............YEAH!

I'm finally out of pre-stitch hell and am blocking the piece you see here, but that's no big deal (at least I'm saying that today), or at this moment I don't think I'll have any trouble with the blocking.  Below the picture of the pre-stitch  is Red White & Blue by Lizzie Kate.  A fun little stitch and I'm all about patriotic so that was a win win for me to stitch.  I did change a couple of things....I turned the pillow sideways (the kit shows the blue wool at the bottom not to the side).  I also left off the twine roping that was suppose to go on the spot where the linen meets the wool, however, you cut your wool with pinking sheers so I felt it just didn't need the twine there.  But that's a matter of personal preference and you might prefer it.  I also left off the ribbon and button because that too just didn't seem necessary. I meant to add a bead to the door for a knob, but forgot it in my pre-stitch haze so it sits unadorned and will never open.  It was nice to have a Lizzie Kate stitch that's so much fun after the over one pre-stitch which I so struggled with this time.  I've got several more things stitched and just need to buckle down to finish them...ugh!  But I won't get better at it unless I force myself to do some of it so I shall soldier on....eventually.  Today is bright and shiny and cool, but we are in the shop as we will be everyday until Thanksgiving....that's right we are back to opening 7 days a week.  Right now that's 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it will not be until the middle of June when we go from 10 to 10p.m. UGH!  I love the shop, but 7 days a gets tough, although I don't have to work it by myself 7 week I'm only on 5 days and then the Tangles group along with Sheri Jones will be here so that is truly exciting for us.  Sheri's classes are so wonderful with full instructions so you never go away wondering what in the hell do I do now.  And her designs are to die for.  If you have never taken one of her classes, please put it on your "must do" list.  You gain so much knowledge with her and you will learn how to do your own finishing.  The more finishing you do the better you will get.  Many of you go to retreats, another good learning experience.  If you have never tried a retreat, please do.  You will meet so many wonderful stitchers and if you go alone, you won't be alone long.  Stitchers welcome everyone into their groups,  so once you arrive at a retreat you just blend right in.  Stitchers are always willing to share tips and suggestions so you get a lot of information while you are there.  And if there are classes, it really is a win win because then you have the benefit of designers giving you information as well as kits from them.  In any event, if you are in our area, please stop by to say hi.  Talk to you again soon.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!!!!

Finally finished, border and all...yea!!!!!  I just had to take a day off from the pre-stitch as it is a test to my endurance at this point.  As I said before, the colors on Autumn Log are not colors I normally work with, but I will say I loved most of the stitch.  I come from a crewel background and I do miss, on occasion, the lack of dimension I got working with crewel fibers, etc.   I had used many of the stitches before, although I swear they've changed some of the names, so it was like going home again.  I'm not used to working on stretcher bars so that was a little awkward for me, but all things considered, I'm getting ready for my next canvas work piece, only this time I'm picking the project.  Sara just got in a book with so many different stitches which shows them made into blocks and forming the American flag.  Of course done in reds whites and blues, doesn't that sound perfect?  I feel like we all have to join together this year to stop the embarrassment of the pre election smack downs, so I will be doing patriotic pieces to show I still believe in us even when grown men are acting worse than kindergarten bullies in a school yard and then wanting to become president.  Really, I'm an independent because I refuse to vote for a party, I vote for the person who has the same vision, morals and ethics as I have.  That is certainly missing from this build up to elections and certainly shows us the true ethics and morals of the people running.  I know I don't want a bully in White House calling other heads of states names, but I shall not go there today.  This election tends to depress me.  So let's move on.  As for my prestitch, well let's just say I could have done better.  From the beginning I started incorrectly and stitched going down the length of the linen instead of the width....Wrong #1...then there are 2 pieces to stitch which come together in the back and I stitched the right side on the left ....Wrong #2...which means now I have to stitch the left side on the right ...Wrong #3 (Sara said it was alright she doesn't care so I left it.)  That meant that the dates and initials that are worked into those 2 sections now have to be moved and new spots found...oh, my it might have been easier to just start over.  I have to say though, I love this piece, wrong or not, it is simply beautiful.  I was doing well with the specialty stitches until....Peruvian loop has thrown me for a loop.  I finally said, "I'm handing this off to Sara"...I mean how many times can you rip something out before you admit defeat?  And of course, I'm looking at bags full of Nashville stitching that I can't wait to get into.    So for the weekend it's in Sara's hands and after she gets that part done I'll do the accessory pieces and then I'm done all pre-stitch, until we get Betsy Morgan's. on to Nashville stitching.  And finally, I pray you all have the Best Day Ever, as we celebrate Easter.  Happy Easter Everyone!!!!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Finally, I'm back from the Nashville Market!

First report back from Nashville Market....wonderful time, but exhausted even a week later. I picked Sara up last Tuesday around 9:00 a.m. for our annual trek to Nashville Market, and we had beautiful weather and I had plenty of things to do on route.   I had planned well, a week out made a list of what I needed to bring, etc., pulled luggage out so I could start putting things in, oh, yes I was going to be ready, packed, and luggage in the car, early.  I even brought the list in to show Sara how organized I was this year.  I did laundry 2 days early so I wouldn't be up all night on Monday.  Well, things fell apart quickly.  I felt sick on Wednesday so started my doses of Nyquil, but this time they weren't working as before.  But I kept it up and just knew I would get over it before we left.  I left work on Monday without having completed a few things, but I had my list and I was going right home to get stuff done and get packed so I would be ready in the morning.  I was still dreaming that I'd have the bags packed and I could get some sleep.  Well, I get home and couldn't find the damn list I had spent a week to compile (I found it while in Nashville...not really much help there), but I just started methodically loading the suitcase.  I decided to go with all black pants and tops and just add colorful shirts, etc., and when I pulled out the 2 pairs of summer slacks (I knew it was going to be hot inside the hotel so I was prepared), I found that they had white streaks over them and so at 1:40 a.m. I was back doing laundry (best laid plans sometimes go awry).  As I was cursing about my luck and lack of sleep, I just kept moving, loading snacks in bags (that was as important as clothes to me), also loading the largest stitching bag know to man with projects.  I had a few already started projects, my 2 pre-stitch pieces and the supplies for some of what we were buying so I could also stitch on them once the show started.  I had the computer, printer and all the office supplies ready to go , and 5 books for the trip packed and sat down at 5:00 a.m. to catch a nap.  Sara came by around 8:30 to help me load the car and then we got her stuff loaded and we were off. We arrived at our first stop, Annapolis Cheesecake Factory and had lunch, delicious pot stickers and Sara's usual salad, and then it was Nashville or bust!  We make it a 2 day trip with poor Sara driving the entire way, because I was too busy reading (one book down).  I didn't so much as put the needle through the canvas work piece I had for the car.  But as you can see from the picture, I did get some stitching in finally in Nashville.  We arrived at our destination on Wednesday afternoon, unloaded, and stitched.  I looked at all I brought but I just wanted to finish Sara's canvas work project, which became my project.    So that became the only thing I worked on the entire time.  I couldn't believe it was taking so darn long, but now that I'm done the major part (now I'm working on the border and should have it done this week) I'm glad I stuck with it.  Of course after seeing all the stuff at the show....well my stitching tote is overwhelmed with new projects.  I'm still working on pre-stitch for Sheri Jones classes so at this point I can't work on anything else.  To make matters worse, I got done one half of the back panel on the Garden Variety Long Pocket and realized I had stitched the panel on the wrong side.  It was supposed to be on the left side and I stitched it on the right.  So I brought it into the shop on Thursday and told Sara to cute me a new piece of linen because there was just too much to tear out.  She looked at it and said, don't tear it out, just keep going because she didn't care if the panels were reversed.  While in the beginning I was opposed to leaving it, by Sunday I was on board.  We had problems with the computer and printer in Nashville so I didn't do any tickets or tag the charts, etc., while we were there.  So Thursday I got the boys to unload the car and Sara and I started working.  I got the tickets done and inventory loaded into the computers while Sara got the tickets on the  merchandise and was busy getting it on the racks.  Sunday I realized something was wrong and as it turns out, there was a glitch in the system here and none of the  merchandise I had put in the computer for the past 3 days was showing up.  I'm telling you I was so aggravated.  Vernon came in this morning to see what he could do, and the end result we called our "tech" guy and told him to put us on our own server since he couldn't figure out what went wrong.  Now I've got to go back and reenter everything....UGH!!!  Not a great start to my day.   But this time around I'll get to really look through what came back with us.  As I was doing some of the tickets I made sure some went into my bag, but I didn't get to go through everything.  After going into Erica Michaels show room I became obsessed with the strawberry's.  While I haven't stitched a lot of them, I have done a couple, but the strawberries done on silk gauze are just too cute and then she stitched one of the gauze strawberry's on 32 ct. linen over 2 and it became a giant strawberry and she had me sold.  Sold I tell I'm doing that too.  Too darn cute!!!!  I went through a few showrooms saying, "Sara I can do one of those for a sample."  Finally Sara said, "Mom you have said that in too many of the rooms, you can't possibly get all of them done."  Just you wait, as soon as this pre stitch is done I'm going to be stitching 24/7.  Can't wait!  Got to start loading our website so I'll talk later.  Have a great day

Monday, February 22, 2016

What a beautiful day we're having in Ocean City.  The past weekend gave us just a hint of spring with temperatures going up to 60 degrees and while it is colder today, in the 40's, the sun is shining, the water is a little choppy but glistening and when you go outside you don't really need a coat...lovely.  Inside, we are getting ready for our annual trip to Nashville.  Usually my Nashville prep starts at 10 p.m. the night before we leave.  Then I start doing laundry, etc. and work until about 4 a.m, and exhausted before we even get in the car.  But this year I've decided to act like an adult and do the prep work early.  Of course the first thing I think about is what am I going to take stitch wise.  Sara came over to me this morning and asked if I wanted to take the supplies for the Quaker Box (I called it a mini tote) from Mani di Donna as it is being released in Nashville and I usually find something Friday from one of the designers that I work on and finish before we leave Nashville.  Last year it was a Shepherd's Bush project.  Of course I said yes, so it is now safely in my Nashville bag along with the perpetually worked on in bits and pieces, "Autumn Logs" from Needle Delights Originals.  It's a canvas work piece which Sara started a couple of years ago.  She never took it upstairs so it sat here with the smallest block worked and 95% unfinished, since she hasn't touched it since she did the center block.  I love many of the canvas work pieces, however, I always tend to pick blues or greens and Sara picks everything but.  So while the colors aren't what I would have chosen, one day while sitting in the shop I got bored because whatever I was stitching was completed and I didn't want to start a whole new project just then.  And then I spied the canvas work piece and decided Sara was never going to finish it so I took it on.  It's like doing decorative stitches on a log cabin quilt block, only instead of fabric it's a canvas.  Certainly takes me back to my crewel and needlepoint days.  I've always loved the variety of stitches available, and each leg of this is a different needlepoint stitch, so interesting.  When I first started working on it I was able to complete rows on all four sides quickly...however, as the block is being worked each side takes longer to complete as it grows in size,  so now I don't get 4 sides done each day at work so I've now put it down and just work on my counted work.  But I've decided it would make a great car now it's my mission to work on this while in the car (Sara doesn't think I'll get it done because I fall asleep too much).  I usually do a large count project on the way down and another on the way back, so I'm hoping I stay awake long enough coming and going to get this done.  Fingers crossed!!!!  But I don't let that stop me from taking a few other projects, just in case.  I'm going to limit myself on how much I take because we are busy a lot of the time in Nashville, and I do have to work on my pre-stitching as well.  Sara always takes about 15 projects with her and she has less time to work on them than I do, but I usually take approx. 6 projects if that many.  Because reading is important to me and I try to read a few books while I'm gone.  One on the ride down and one on the ride back, in fact I don't know how I fit sleeping into this schedule.  But somehow I do.  When I told Sara I was starting to pack so I didn't have to do anything the night before the only thing she mentioned was the Cheesecake Factory gift cards.  Food is a major issue for us when on trips.  In fact the market is just something to do between breakfast and dinner I think.  Oh, I'm so excited...Cheesecake and needlework... this is my happy place.  I've picked a Brenda Gervais patriotic piece to stitch on 20 ct. over 2 and spent the greater part of today pulling threads and trying to match them with Weeks perle cottons.  Sometimes it is just easier to do the pattern as shown, but what's the challenge in that I ask?  Judy stopped by yesterday and brought us a bucket of Fisher's caramel corn, still hot from the kettle.  She thought we left for Nashville tomorrow and wanted us to have a snack....the caramel corn is calling my name but I'm refusing to open this bucket....I'm actually going to leave it in the shop this week so I'm not tempted to open it....although I could open it, eat it and then pick up a new bucket and just tell Sara it's the same one Judy left with us.  God the choices I have to make. I must remain strong!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Having a great time stitching old and new.....

At the moment I'm in pre-stitch hell, but I've managed to knock out a few new pieces for the shop.  I've designated Mon-Thurs as pre-stitch nights, but Friday-Sunday it's a free for all, as I can pick anything I like to stitch.  So this week I pulled "Black Flowers Sewing Box" by Mani di Donna out of my UFO tote, to finish the stitching and then put it together.  I had stitched the front of the design  already but wasn't really happy as it seemed crowded.  So I pulled it all out and started over.  It's stitched on 30 ct. Straw by Weeks and I stitched it using 1 strand of NPI 933,  instead of the 2 strands which I used in the beginning.  The look is now perfect.  In one of the pictures the fabric looks white but it's actually the color of the box in the second picture that's true.  The fact that they call it a box is a bit misleading, as it's more of a mini-tote for stitching supplies.  So cute it finishes to approx. 3-3.5" round.  While I find finishing projects to be daunting, once I sat down and started this I found it went together easier than expected.  I learned a lot and found areas I needed to improve on, but since it was a first for me I think it's alright for a first time.  Can't believe I've never actually made a box before.  When I first started stitching this in the summer I really thought I'd try to find a papier mache box to just wrap the design around and call it a day.  The handle was a bit perplexing because I would need to find something close to the original size so that the handle, which is included with the chart, would fit well.  But last week as I silently moaned about it I decided to buck up and just do it.  And I'm so glad I did.  Of course, as I'm preparing the skirtex and it's creasing in spots I was wishing I had mylar as a replacement for it so it would be rounded, but after all was said and done, it looks close enough to round, however, Sara had just ordered mylar for a project she has so she gave me a piece and so next mini tote (and there will be a next) I'll be replacing the skirtex with mylar.  I also should have trimmed my center piece because after getting everything in place glued, it did make it appear a little bit oval towards the center...but again, live and learn.  I was so concentrated on the attachment of the handle I couldn't see anything else.  I had read earlier how someone felt the handle was attached and too floppy so to handle that problem I used mat board to make the center piece, using the handle as a guide, used an awl to make holes in the fabric covered mat board to match the holes in the handle and stitched the handle going through the holes I made.  It really holds tight so the handle is held tight to the center divider and doesn't flop at all.  Anyway, it was fun to do and I can't wait to do another.  She has designed a Quaker mini tote which is coming out in Nashville, so I'm really excited to get one of those going.  Maybe I'll even start it in Nashville....oh, the excitement mounts.  The second finish was my Debbie Liming challenge piece from Superbowl weekend.  I jokingly said (always gets me into trouble), "I'm telling you this is a one night project, start to finish."  I think perhaps Debbie is sick of me saying how some of these projects are one night finishes so she said, "Well then I can expect to see that finished tomorrow."  Sometimes I should just shut up!  But needless to say I wasn't about to return to the shop Sunday without this project done start to finish.  Thank God I'd just finished "Merry Santa" and "Madam Cottontail" both of which are pockets as well so I knew there was no learning curve to conquer.  I have also been using my machine a lot more so that is getting easier as well.  So as soon as I got home from work I started.  Stitching was easy to finish, a few hours and then the work began for me.  First I couldn't use the fabric included with the chart because of my problem with everything having to be even.  Lizzie Kate has designed these pockets to have an edging of fabric on the front but it doesn't continue to the back (since the back is the same fabric as the edging on the front).  That makes it uneven for me so I have to have the same edging of fabric on both front and back, even though the back is the fabric.  (just be glad you don't have the same issue I have because it drives you crazier).  Anyway, I felt I had the perfect fabric , thanks to my never ending fabric hoarding, and I did.  The colors were perfect so I got to cutting and sewing.  I just closed my eyes for a minute and next thing I knew it was 5:30 the race was on.  I managed to get it done so I could show Debbie it truly was a one night project, but next time I'm going to say 2 days project just to save myself.  But honestly, if you started the stitching in the morning, you would get it done by bedtime, including the finishing. (Apparently I just can't help myself).  Anyway, after bringing it,  in I then obsessed over finding a little rabbit to put it in as an  Easter present.  You could use candy, a little gift, whatever, and give it to a grandchild, or your child.  Then I said, "Sara, if you were having Easter dinner and invited family over you could put the place settings in the little pocket and sit one at each place.  Yes, she just looked at me, rolled her eyes, and walked over to the other shop.  Sometimes I just need to know when to stop!

Friday, February 12, 2016

With the Superbowl behind us we are marching on toward Nashville Market...

  Wanted to show you a couple of finishes using some of the wooden products we carry.  Stitchers are always trying to figure out what to put on them.  I've taken a couple of designs, broken them apart and used sections of them on the little trays and the wooden box with the drawer.  The one shown is taken from Drawn Thread's "Pastoral Sampler."  The chart comes 2 ways, one as a sampler and the second way is a pocket.  Stitching these two pieces inspired me to go back and stitch the pocket as well.  But I digress, getting back to the tray and the drawer...these two pieces make wonderful additions to your favorite stitching spot as you can keep extra needles and a small pair of scissors in the drawer and you can keep your fibers, etc., on the tray.  With the box piece I made a mattress pincushion for the top.  I adhered felt on the top of the box and then used double stick tape to attach the stitching to the felt.  Around the sides of the pin cushion I stitched a name, the date, etc.  I also used the felt in the bottom of the tray and let it run up the side a tad so it looks like rick rack.  I also used part of a bee design from Prairie Schooler and did a set for a friend.  It is such fun to make designs work for something other than what is shown on the leaflet.  Last weekend was our annual Superbowl Sale and we had a lot of fun with the stitchers who spent the weekend with us.  The Pennsylvania group arrived on Thursday, the Delaware group on Friday and our local stitchers on Friday...and the games commenced.  So many brought show and tell...and that just gets me craving to stitch up a storm.  Debbie Liming challenged me to finish the new Lizzie Kate pocket over night and you just know I had to do it.  So I'll show you that tomorrow...I forgot to bring it back in.  (I needed to re-iron it so I took it back home where it sat all week and I never touched it.  In my defense I had Michael while Sara and Vernon went to Baltimore for Vernon's surgery)   We do want to thank everyone who mparticipated in the event....and now we're moving on to Nashville Market.  The previews look good and I look forward to seeing a great deal of new and interesting designs.  Got to to you later.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Three more finishes....well the stitching is done. now for the finishing...UGH!  Little House, "Giving Thanks...." was a treat to stitch.  Done over 2 on 32 ct. I really enjoyed this for 2 days and then it was done.  This was a gift I gave myself to stitch as I had finished stitching a total of 4 WIP.  Thought I deserved to start something new.  The Santa Purse shown in the first picture was an easy stitch and while I usually refuse to work on Christmas after the holiday, we wanted this for the shop as a model...something different.  Unfortunately while the stitching was a breeze, 1 day and done,   I lost the entire Santa finishing kit which is sold with the chart and backing,  so I'm working from my own fabric stash and it's close so the model you see in the shop will closely resemble what the original is suppose to look like when it's finished.  The third piece was from a Silver Needle club and it's a Blackbird Design piece, a Patchwork Pinkeep.  You stitch on two different linens and then join them.  My self diagnosed "OCD" made this piece difficult for me as everything in my world must be even,  and the use of two different colored linens put into one piece is just not going to work for me normally,  but I also force myself to go out of my box at times just to combat this feeling I have so I decided to finish it their way.  All three were easy stitches...YEAH!!!  Of course, with the exception of the first one which will go to the framers, the other two still have to be finished.  That will be the job this week.  Stop stitching (which I love) and get finishing....which I don't love so much, or at all.  This morning before coming to work I almost finished the "Santa in the Plaid Hat" pillow that was started 1or 2 years ago and during work I managed to completely finish it.  Now I need to add some embellishments to jazz it up and then I'll show it to you as well.  And that will be the end of Christmas stitching for me until mid summer or the fall.  So much to do and so little time....I've got to get back to stitching so that's it for today.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I've had plenty of stitch time and I'm really moving forward......

I've been busy, busy, busy getting pieces stitched before the pre-stitch for classes arrives.  (unfortunately for me, they arrived this week so my stitching may slow down a bit)  But anyway, on the plus side I've gotten several pieces completed so I thought I'd show you some that aren't framed, but have been stitched and will now make their way to the framer.  The 3 are all from Shepherd's Bush, and the two on the left were already started so these were pulled out of a tote and finished (yeah, my goal is being met here).  The Wave, which is the first one you see was in all honesty 3/4 of the way finished.  I just had the top and the two side borders to stitch so I'll pat my self on the back for finishing, but really...not giving myself a lot of credit on that one.  Birdsong Sampler, the second picture was also partially started, however I hadn't even finished the middle section so there was a lot to do with that one.  Of course since I started it a couple of years ago I no longer had the buttons with it, but I'm going to put a little Shepherd's Bush bee on it near the flowers and call it a day.  (In going through bags I found some left over buttons from Shepherd's Bush fob kits which is where I came across the button.  Since I do the fobs over 1 instead  of 2 threads the buttons never fit on the fobs so I use them for other projects.)  The 3rd picture, Good Luck Box,  was new to the tote, well from spring of 2015 and it hadn't been started.  But I wanted a new sample for St. Patrick's Day and since this was small it was my pick.  Unfortunately for me, one of the small buttons representing the gold in the pot had only one hole for attaching so I'm still trying to figure this out, which is why you see the needle and thread hanging out of it.  I'm afraid if I try to open up the other hole it might break the button all together.  Before the end of the weekend I'll figure something out.  Sara said to use a dremel, but since it is one of the only things I don't have...well a trip to the store might be in order.  Anyway, I am having fun pulling stuff out of bags and putting them in rotation.  I've almost finished the quickpoint pillow I started 2 years ago and it's a Santa and I don't care I'm going to finish it this week or die trying.  Have a great day..and keep those needles working.