Friday, March 31, 2017

What a busy week I've had.  But first we had our first event last weekend, Catherine Theron was here to teach two projects and the stitchers were enthusiastic and did a wonderful job with each class. Big thanks to Catherine and the stitchers for making the weekend so successful.    Sara was sick as a dog but managed to pull off her usual fabulous assortment of foods for the reception and then Saturday the dessert night.  We had stitchers staying at the Howard Johnson on 12th street since the hotel isn't open yet, and they had a wonderful stitching room so she held Saturday's reception there.  Good time was had by all.   Sara dragged herself to the doctors on Monday to find out she has bronchitis.  So she's got the proper meds and while she is still hacking, she is showing improvement.  My condition is much better but if I even so much as walk to the bathroom I'm hacking for a few minutes but as long as I'm sitting I'm fine. (could this just be my excuse to sit?  I think it might be)  Anyway, since I refused to leave the house Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I put the time to good use and finished some projects.  We brought home Erica Michaels "By the Sea" from Nashville and I just couldn't wait to start it.  So I started last Thursday a week ago and finished on Tuesday.  I decided to get it put together immediately and I'm thrilled to say it was relatively easy.  I was so concerned about the point I didn't leave enough fabric on the strawberry at the top so my sandcastle doesn't show as much as it should.  But I am proud of the finish anyway as it's only my second berry and the first, while hanging in the shop, has a few issues with the back.  But I learned from that one and made sure that with this one I paid attention to matching the back.  By the time I do a third berry I should have all the kinks worked out.  Anyway, here is my "By the Sea" Berry Pin Cushion.  The only issue I must warn you about is in the first run the chart showing the berry shows the same symbol for the pumpkin patch and DMC 950.  Both colors are needed for the hand as 950 is the color of the flesh and the pumpkin color is the color of the Starfish.  You can see the correct colors on one of the included pictures.

 Before I left for Nashville I stitched "Selfie Sampler" by Lizzie Kate.  I never take a selfie but I did like what it says, "Dear Self, today I will shine."  It's a mantra I should say everyday, unfortunately some days I just can't's just too hard.  It was a fast finish and putting it together was easy and I used Peony Chenille to finish around the edge.  The fabric is included with the chart but you have to use your own floss.

Last weekend we received "Samplar Hare" by La-D-Da and I just knew I had to stitch it.  Frankly I wanted to stitch both the front and the back, but of course then I got in a hurry and just did the front.  And easy stitch...actually can be done in one day and the finish, well I did have a few problems, but I'm sure they were of my own making so I won't even discuss them.  But I love him and he stands on his own so that much I did right.

And the last finish for the week is "Home" by Brenda Gervais, With Thy Needle and Thread.  This I stitched on 20 ct. linen over 2 so the pillow is actually about 15" x 6".  Easy stitch, in fact I stitched this on the trip home from Nashville.  Over 2 on large count just flys by.  Anyway, I made it into a pillow as I love the large pillows which really show up on a sofa or chair.  I did change colors as I wanted to use Perle Cotton.  I used Weeks Cocoa for the lettering, moss for the vine and leaves, Lancaster for the blooms, door & heart, pelican gray on the house  and Black on the Roof of the house.  Fun stitch  Because this actually says, " where our story begins" I really feel this would make a great gift for a new couple.  You could add their names and wedding date on the bottom under "where our story begins."  Different type of wedding remembrance.

Great week, fun stitching and now I move on.  This week I'm working on another Brenda Gervais on 20 ct. linen over 2 called "Easter Peep Parade"...should be fun and of course I'm moving on to the needlebook in "By the Sea"...can't wait.  I've also got my eye on Stacy Nash's Animal Cracker darn cute I know I'm going to stitch them. many stitches and too little time.  Have a great, safe weekend and try to stitch a little .... it's so relaxing most of the time!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Being sick is a bitch!

I've been out of commission for over 10 days, in fact, I was sick on my return from Nashville, which is why you've heard nothing and seen nothing from me.  Being in a confined space on the ride to and from Nashville with sick Sara, ended with me getting the worst she had to give.  I hit to sofa upon our return and didn't arise fully until yesterday and that was reluctantly.  We arrived home from the market on Tuesday, March 7th.  I was without any medication as it was in the suitcase behind all the Nashville cash and carry.  So for 3 days I just lay there feeling sorry for myself, but too sick to care.  Friday I arose from the ashes to deliver the van to the store for the guys to unload.  I tried to work but the hacking, nose blowing etc., bothered Sara so much she sent me home.  Before I got to work I asked Sara to bring me her cold medicine as I didn't have the strength to get my suitcase out of the car.  So I began my medication at that point.  My other daily meds however, I just let go and couldn't be worried about as I was barely hanging on.  I really should have gone to my doctor, but wouldn't give him the satisfaction of bitching at me over my never getting the flu shot so I wouldn't go, even though what I had was a nasty cold and not the flu I knew he would pile on the crap anyway.    Sara left for vacation on March 12th and I told her to leave a note on the door saying the shop was closed on the 13th due to my illness.  I felt guilty Monday morning because I felt a little better but by noon I was down again and feeling I may never recover.  Meanwhile, all this time on the sofa should have meant a great deal of stitching was taking place, but I never put needle to linen until Thursday and only then because I couldn't take not stitching any longer.  I stayed down all week, finally got my meds from the suitcase Thursday so while I was off all cold medicine I started my other meds again.  Friday I showed up for work with Pat and while I'm still hacking and bringing up all kinds of nasty, I'm back to being productive somewhat again.  I actually was able to sleep a few hours in a row on Friday for the first time since Nashville.   Before that it was an hour down, coughing, hacking and dry heaving for an hour and then a nap for a few minutes and the cycle just repeated itself.  I was never so tired in my life.  But last night I really think I sleep for about 4 hours straight.  I'm no longer sore, and while I'm still hacking more than I want, it's not as long or as violent so I'm back!  Today started with me picking more projects.  Sara, bless her heart also had a bag with things I had to have from Nashville so that was exciting.    I started Blackberry Lane's "All Dressed Up for Winter" Thursday night and since  it's over 2 it's a fun stitch, although she does change floss colors a lot with the scarf,  but he is too darn cute for words, and I love him already.  But of course I'm itching to start more of the new stuff.  Erica Michael's "By the Sea" is a must for me.  Today I cut the fabric, I'll pull threads to night and hopefully it will become my shop project tomorrow.  Ohh, the excitement mounts.

At the show we saw Blackberry Lane's new "Jingle."  She shows it on the packaging as an ornament over 1, but at the show she had it done over 2 as well and in a Lone Elm Round box....stunning does not say enough.  I like it both ways but I'm planning on over 2 and Sara wants it in a specific tray we sell that have a round opening in it.  So who knows what I'll finish it in, but I know it's going to be spectacular.  

Have a great night....hope you will join me in stitching.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday Night and we're exhausted..............

I meant to give you updates, but we're too exhausted to move....almost.  Well, we were too tired to go get know I'm exhausted if I was too tired to get food!  But we had a very productive day today.  Actually we started last night when some of the designers opened for 3 hours.  It gave us a great head start.  Unfortunately this morning Sara was in line for With Thy Needle and Thread's special limited edition piece for approx. 3 hours.  The show doesn't open until 9:00 but Sara got in the line that started forming at 7:30 a.m.   Since we didn't have to both stand there,  I decided to be productive and go off on my own...hated it.  I just like hauling the stuff once Sara buys it and to have to buy it and haul it was also too much for me.  But I soldiered on and  I picked a couple of rooms on the same floor.   Because of my love of her gauze petite's,  I stopped by Erica Michael's...oh I love, love, love her strawberries, (some of her previous strawberries shown here).  Such fun pieces to stitch and don't worry about the count of the gauze pieces, because here you can see the small gauze strawberries and the larger ones which are stitched on linen and you can pick your favorite count.  Either way you stitch them, you are going to love them!  

Her newest berry is Eden Berry so it's all about the Garden of Eden and is really cute, whether done on linen($9.00) or gauze ($16.00)

We are also bringing home the Parts 1-3 of  The 12 Berries of Christmas...Days 1-9.  There are 3 days in each pack ($15.00/pack)  These have been out for a few months but we kept running out of one part before we had the next part and we couldn't get our act together so thrilled we will have the first 9 days at one time.  Linda modeled hers on 35 ct. Cocoa, but since linen isn't included in the chart pack, you can choose your favorite fabric.  Along with the newest strawberries we are in love with Linda's "By the Sea" ($20.00)  We were even able to get a few of the scalloped soap boxes pictured, which are used to store and display the piece.  So cute and perfect for us since we are right on the beach, and our view is of the Atlantic Ocean.  There are three parts to this project,  the mermaid pendant stitched on 40ct. gauze (included with chart), with the rest of the project needlebook and strawberry" stitched on 32 ct. raw linen.  Wonderful project!

Getting back to Sara's 3 hr in line mission, this is the piece she stood in line for....Brenda Gervais', "Ode to the Ort Basket" ($22.00) which includes handwoven basket w/lid, cross stitch chart & finishing directions.  You supply the fibers and linen.   So I'm thrilled to tell you we were able to get 12,  thanks to Sara's due diligence.  Well worth the wait, especially since 4 stitchers had already put in a request for it, but just standing in a line for 3 hours is exhausting, especially when Sara is not feeling well, and alerted me that she had to go use the bathroom so I went to hold her place in line, before going on my own again.  But we love and appreciate our customers so much Sara is willing to go the extra mile.   While coming to this show is fun, it's a lot of hard work and exhausting but I can't imagine skipping this. (although the 3 hrs in line bit did make me wonder if I'm too old to even come)  I can't be that much help since I spent the better part of the day hiding in R & R's room because they had empty seats for me to use.  In my defense I only did that after Sara was free again and would only do it when I was on their floor...once we moved off their floor I was back to working again.  Fortunately each designer keeps food in their room for us, candy mostly,  so I kept treating myself as we went through.  Anything to help me get to the finish line.  I might have to result to alcohol to keep Sara motivated.  Although when we went to lunch she didn't eat lunch and wouldn't order a drink.  She really isn't well, although she does feel like she's getting better, but with the amount of sneezing wheezing and nose blowing it doesn't sound it.  

Well, these are just a couple of the projects coming home with us....I'll list more tomorrow...but I have to get some sleep so we can do this all over again tomorrow....only there will be no standing in line tomorrow....Thank God!  
Have a great night....

Friday, March 3, 2017

We're in Nashville!!!!

Sara's just kicking back with a drink after we finally arrived at our destination Wednesday.  We left Ocean City at 8:30 am and headed for the Cheesecake Factory in Annapolis and a short stop at Nordstrom.   2 1/2 hrs in Nordstrom and another hour at Cheesecake Factory we were on our way. The weather was perfect for driving,  although it wasn't important to me since I spent the drive time sleeping.  I knew since April 2016 that I would be leaving for Nashville on the 28th of February, so I vowed to have everything done before Monday the 27th, so I  could just stitch and go to sleep without my usual all nighter getting packed and cleaning the house up.  And as usual, that just didn't happen, so I was cleaning the bathroom, doing 2 loads of wash, cleaning out the refrigerator, etc. all night.  I even cut up veggies to take on the trip so we would have healthy snacks. ( Even I couldn't believe I was doing that.)  Thank God at 8:00 am on Tuesday,  Sara showed up to help load the car and then we were off.   We usually drive until dark the first night on the road and this time was no different.  Poor Sara who was also up late Monday night plus she got a cold and wasn't feeling so hot, drove the whole time because I was sleeping 90 percent of the time. In fact, I only really woke up when the car hit the gravel as Sara started to nod off and veered off the road a tiny bit.  That woke me up for the rest of the drive.  I'm a terrible passenger if you are tired, because I'm so busy nodding off myself, but once I realized Sara was having difficulty herself,  I snapped to attention and then my mission became keeping her awake and on the road.  The rain began to come down in torrents so we pulled over for the night.  I took my overnite bag and one project with me to the room.  Sara offered to get my needlework bag but I didn't want her to go back out in the rain to get it and after all I brought my one project in so I was certain I was all set.  About an hour later I realized I hadn't put needles in my project bag which aggravated me, but I thought I'd just get on my IPad and check out news and websites, but then noticed I didn't have a lot of life left on it and....I didn't have my power cords.  CRAP!!!  Worst night ever.  I spent the night trying figure out what to do to occupy myself because I also left my book in the car.  I did manage to get a couple of hours of sleep but wow glad to get back on the road.  The weather on Wednesday started out O.K.,, but boy did it take a turn.  We rode right into tornado weather.  The torrential rain was so bad you couldn't see ahead of you.  I thought at first we were coming into a really bad fog bank......but we quickly learned that wasn't the case.  The ride remained dangerous until we got about 1 hour outside of Nashville.  The sun came back out and we were able to ease into Franklin and our destination hotel.  It was good to be home.  While checking in we were given keys to rooms on the 4th floor.  Sara commented that it was the vendor's floor and I exclaimed that we'd never been on the same floor as vendors, but the desk personnel just smiled so we were off to the 4th floor.   For the first time ever...I got busy getting food put away, getting my things hung up and things put away.  Usually I just leave it in the bags we brought it in for a couple of days or just leave it in bags the whole time.  But I wanted to get situated ....  Thursday morning we get up and we noticed the floor was lined with the tables they put in the vendor's room.  I tried to get the iron out of the holder and when I was unable to get it out I called for Sara to come help me.  She managed to pull the iron and the holder right out of the wall.   Apparently my room's iron was too big for the holder and it was impossible to get out.  However, Sara's room had a smaller iron so I was able to use hers.  But we called the desk and reported what happened so maintenance could fix it.  I was astonished when the front desk said this wasn't the first time that had happened.  You would think that if they had irons too big for the holders they would change the irons instead of waiting for us to pull them out of the wall.  Before we left the hotel, a woman who is in charge of events stopped by the rooms and was astounded to find Sara in the room as she wasn't aware anyone was there.  Sara and I just looked at each other and we both felt something was strange, but eventually we left the hotel to hit up a breakfast place called The Egg and I.  Before we left the hotel Sara questioned me about not putting on makeup since our stop at Nordstroms was for me to get a make over.  I've been using the same makeup for over 20 years and since I'm looking at 70 in a
year I felt I should be upgrading the makeup. (not that anyone sees me in makeup since I only use it infrequently), so I decided to go ahead and figure out what all this stuff was.  Sara uses Bobbie Brown makeup so we went to them.  I had never seen so make layers but I do like the fact that you can't really tell I've got makeup on.  Things have certainly changed in 20 years.  Anyway, I open the first jar and it was almost empty.  You could tell it did at one time hold product, but it was empty now.  So I said to Sara, "Is this suppose to look like this because I know it cost around $50 and this isn't worth it." Of course she said, no you can use mine and we'll call them.  The rest of the make-up session went smoothly and then we were ready to go after a call to Nordstrom who couldn't have been nicer.(excellent customer service...could give lessons to the Embassy Suites).   Each year we find restaurants we like and some we don't like, but apparently Franklin has the same problem as Ocean City.  The restaurants come and go quickly.  Last year we found our favorite dinner restaurant was gone and this year the Egg and I was gone.  Thankfully a new restaurant had arrived.  While it wasn't the same,  it was a farm to table place so we decided to give it a try.  Sara always eats fresh and healthy while I eat whatever comes across and I obviously don't care about healthy.  So imagine my shock when the menu was all about healthy eating.

Sara loves the healthy drinks for breakfast and even makes them herself.  I've purchased the ingredients a few times but never actually made one.  So Sara ordered the Kale drink and I decided on the carrot based drink.  Sara loved hers and I complained constantly about mine until Sara drank it for me.  Live and learn.  The rest of the breakfast was fine and I enjoyed it....apparently I'm  just not into the veggie/fruit drinks.  After breakfast we decided we didn't feel like shopping and just wanted to hang out and stitch.  So we returned to the rooms.  When Sara went into her room she came back to mine and informed me that there were tables in her room. These are the tables that the vendors use to set up displays in their rooms.  So she called the front desk (they should have given us the direct line to the maintenance departments) and informed them that they needed to get them out of her room as she wasn't a vendor. We proceeded to  get our stitch on and around 2:30 my room phone rang and Sara answered it and I heard her say, "no I wasn't aware of that" and I knew there was trouble coming.  She gets off the phone and announces that the front desk called to say we had to move rooms.  They were sending bell hops up to move us.  Meanwhile I had unpacked my stuff and Sara had brought up to our rooms the trunk shows we were returning to 2 vendors as well as Pat Yergey's  Nashville show cash and carry yesterday.  So now to have to move all of this...too much.  And the bell hops arrived about a minute after the call.  I looked at them and said, for God's sake I haven't got my things packed up yet.  So then we're just throwing stuff in bags and we were bitching and complaining the entire time.  There was no apology from the management team, and I really think they thought they could just pass this off as our fault somehow.  But as a hotel owner, I also know there are times when things happen where you have to get a tenant to move rooms.  This has happened at our place. And when we make a mistake, we apologize profusely, also help to make the move less stressful for the tenant and then we compensate them in some way...usually free nights.  Now I don't care about the free nights, but I do think an apology was in order.  God knows we mentioned this wasn't our normal floor when we arrived, and called about the tables, and the event manager knew we were there and yet it wasn't on her list.  How many clues do you need?  Anyway, we were moved to the 8th floor which we like better (that's not the point at this time.  Something tells me I won't be happy until I discuss this with the management team.  We weren't the only ones with issues as Fern Ridge's Peggy and Pat went out to get groceries and wine and when they got back they couldn't get back in their room.  The new key system which was put in place last year during our stay wasn't working for them.  Maintenance came up and this new system uses batteries which you apparently can't replace unless you are inside the room.  So he was using a wire coat hanger to try and gain entrance.  Really?  What kind of dumb ass system is that?  Anyway, I'm assuming eventually they got in the room.  At this point it's everyone for themselves.  Sara is still fighting this damn cold and was about to drive me crazy with her sneezing,coughing and nose blowing, so she ran out to the pharmacy while I stayed in the room.  She also ran to Puffy Muffin and brought back 3 delicious desserts as a special treat.  Oh, yes, there is something positive happening as well.   I'm pleased to say I didn't eat all three, in fact just took one bite of 2 of them and called it a day.  We had a wonderful dinner at Sperry's and then came back to the rooms to stitch.  I did manage to finish one Shepherd's Bush piece,  which was a free chart from Nashville a few years ago.  I found the chart along with the buttons in my stash at home and realized the buttons were suppose to be put in the shop when we got home from Nashville that year but they never made it and I never stitched the now that's done.  Then I decided to do my Betsy Morgan pre-stitch from the class with the Delware now that's done.  Yes, I'm stitching as much as I can because tonight we start the show...can't wait.   We're hopeful that today will be without any problems, but no matter what at 6:00 pm we get to do early shopping so whoohoo tonight the fun begins.  I've had a good nights sleep so I'm ready.   Let the games begin!  Have a great day.