Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Theodore is here!

Finished the stitching on Theodore on Sunday, thought I'd do the finishing on Monday and instead I stitched all day...darn it, what is wrong with me.   Excuse the wrinkled linen, I didn't even have the strength to go iron it.

 The only day off this week and I wouldn't get off the sofa.  Binge watched "Bloodline" on Netflix and stitched.  So it wasn't a total loss....I did start another project from Hands on Designs, "To the Beach" series..."Surf Life".  It's a fun stitch, nothing too strenuous, cute design, and I'm somewhat behind on getting the series done.  I have the display all ready and just sitting there waiting.  In my defense, I've had a few things I felt had to get stitched.  I started "My Teacher's Pail" which is part of Noteworthy Needle's Rusty Pail series.  It's a fast stitch, and easy finish and I think these pails look cute in a display.  I've actually finished all but a couple of the pails at this point.  Anyway, I need that for display in the shop for June so I'm on a deadline.  Still working on Little House Needleworks "Needleworks ABC" and I'm right on track with that one.  I set a goal originally of 3 letters a  night and then I switch off to something else.  So I'm up to "S" so I'll have this one finished this week and Sara has already ordered the frame that it's shown in so while that will take a while I'm sure, I'll have it in the shop unframed first.  I should also finish the "Teacher's Pail" this week and the Beach Series piece.  3 projects, one week..that's not bad.  I have Clementine, Theodore's mate already to go into rotation, but that means I get to rummage through more time ever!  Today at the shop it's a  bit slow since the weekend is over and most people are back at work.  The weather is a little gloomy, sprinkling periodically and no sun at all...ugh!  But I can always collect more stash, it's so dangerous to be left to my own devices here because Salty Yarns is too tempting to someone addicted to needlework.  I did bring my current projects with me in case I found I had nothing to maybe I should get to it.  Will keep you posted..

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Third times the charm...........

Yes, the third time was the charm, thank God because I don't think the corners would have taken another go at finishing.  So everything is done but the tassel on the fob, and I already screwed up the first one this morning so I'm waiting until I'm home again to do a second one.  But at least progress has been made.  To refresh what I told you about this yesterday, the design is a Lizzie Kate called, "Summer Smalls" and I adapted 3 of the 4 designs to create a tool tote.  All 4 designs charted originally designed as pin cushions.  I've adapted them for a needlebook, scissor fob, and needle vial as well as the decorative front on the tote (which we sell in the shop).  An easy stitch with few embellishments, which is strange for me.  I did put on a few beads in spots, but basically that was it.  I changed the needlebook lining from a cotton fabric to a felt simply because it was easier and then attached a scissor sheath with the blanket stitch and  needle pages with buttons.  Now anytime I look at this project I think of all things summer.

The last picture is a close of up the needle vial which is the only piece that is stitched over one.  This is just a small part of one of the designs in the chart pack.  I'm thinking of adding a spool which will use one of the 2 designs I haven't used fully yet.  If I actually do that I will show it to you when it's finished.  Because I was fiddling with this project, and I confess I started another new project just because I wanted to...."Needlework ABC 's" by Little House Needleworks, I got very little done on Theodore....but I'm hoping to get back to it while I'm working today.  Not sure how successful I'll be since I brought 5 projects to work with me (what was I thinking?)  I've got the "American Homestead" Sewing Set, which I haven't started yet but I know the trays are due in next month so I need to get it done.  I've got "Mermaid's Drum" by Plum Street, which came in a couple of weeks ago and is simply fabulous too, so how could I not do it.  Then there's Blackbird's "Lady Liberty" a drum which is another favorite of mine and finally there is Hands on Designs, "Good Ship Sampler".  I plan to be very busy today just stitching, while I'm at work....thank God it's my job.  Life just doesn't get any better than this!  Sara just came in and handed me a round plaque which is the size of the plaque I needed for the Uncle Sam hat which is part of the Blackbird Design pin cushion I finished.  Now all I need is a 4" round box and I can cross that project off my "to do" list.  God knows what all the guys have down in the workshop.  As they are cleaning it out we might find all kinds of useful items.  On the family side, we had a little scare with my Michael which started 2 days ago when Sara called to see if I could come in and work her shift as she had to take Michael to the hospital.  While Mary adjusted hotel schedules so Kelly could take Sara's place since she was working in Sea Trader I was able to continue my stitching at home.  But Sara ended up not only taking him over to the hospital but they admitted him in the end so she ended up staying overnight.  (She actually had the foresight to take her stitching with her.  They talked about doing surgery but in the end decided to drain the knee and if that didn't work they could do surgery next week.  So my Michael came home yesterday with a full leg mobilizer and a crutch where he has received a great deal of sympathy from us all.  We are all hoping this is the end of the drama once the knee heals/  The hope is that the abscess, now that it's been drained, will heal and no further action will have to be taken.  Fingers crossed!!!  Michael is scared to death of needles and a whole lot of that was happening at the hospital so this big 16 year old was a puddle of tears, bless his heart.  But he's out of school for a couple of days and we are on sympathy overload so that should make up for it.  While Sara was in the emergency room she ran into Renee (who worked for Salty Yarns for 40 years) who was there with her husband who they thought was having a stroke or a heart attack.  Turns out it was indigestion and while she was more than grateful by the time Renee turned up here yesterday she was ready to kill the man.  I, of course, am thanking God that two went in and two came out.  Know we are Blessed!  Apparently we are being blessed with nicer weather as well.  I see the sun is poking it's head out from the clouds that have haunted us for days.  The weather has warmed up a tad as well, which I knew it would as I broke down 2 nights ago and turned my heat back on.  And I do see 70's in the forecast for this weekend so cheers to that.  I didn't even realize it was Memorial Weekend until Elaine mentioned it this morning.  When she said she was hoping to have something by that date I asked when that was.  She just looked at me and smiled (I'm pretty sure she was feeling sorry for Sara having to deal with me every day), but you know when you don't work full time you do lose track of days, time, everything (at least that's my excuse and by God I'm sticking with it.)  Well I've got to get back to Theodore...he's longing to get his other leg stitched.  I'm n it and I'll show it when he's really finished.  In case I don't back to you...Have a safe and healthy Memorial Weekend.                                                                                                        

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Too many projects and too little sleep isn't a good thing!

Back at work again, so of course that means I'm blogging.  The weather is lousy and I do mean lousy.  It's been cold, in the high 50's or low 60's, overcast and rainy...ugh!!!  If I'm inside I really don't care, except I feel for the people vacationing here who would probably appreciate a little sunshine.  But alas, that's not happening today, or yesterday, or the day before...well you get my drift.  So that means we're stitching.  Of course for me weather doesn't matter-sunshine or rain I'm stitching.  My problem is...I can't stitch fast enough.  I've been working on Theodore, one of the Animal Cracker series pieces and I get a little bored at times since it's really basically 3 colors.  I love him, don't get me wrong...I'm still going to do the entire series, but I needed a change so along with three other starts this week I made sure I had one of my over 2 on 18 ct. pieces going and that one I was able to finish.  Of course after I got started this was basically only 2 colors....but it was faster since it was larger and I was able to do the Turkey Work flower centers so that was a change, but anyway, I present "Bloom" which is a Brenda Gervais (of course) design.  I swear I'm going to do one of hers on the called for linen, but they really do call out for large count.  I used the #5 perle cottons from Weeks Dye Works (Lancaster Red, Moss Green primarily).  Anyway, it finishes  16" x 5" so it makes a good size pillow for a chair or the sofa.  Fun, fast stitch.  

As for my Theodore, well I'm finishing up on pants today, legs tomorrow and then it's time to do finishing which we all know will bring me a whole new set of problems...whoppee!!!!    I did finish stitching Blackbird Design's "Hat's Off to Uncle Sam" last week, but...there's always a but...I rushed over to Salisbury to Hobby Lobby only to find they had neither the plaque nor the 4" round box so I'm internet bound for those items in order to make the hat so having stitched the piece does me no good.  I've got to do the hat especially since I saw it done...oh, so fabulous.  Hopefully I'll get the supplies and have it done by the 4th.  Because the 4th is on my patriotic designs, I picked Blackbird's "Lady Liberty" drum to start.  I'm actually stitching it on the correct fabric, 32 ct....and the design is jam packed so there's a lot to stitch which is actually what I like alot.  I love the detail oriented designs and this certainly is....very little empty space, so naturally this is going to take some time...therefore I pulled out a piece I had started, Blackberry Lane's "All Dressed Up for Winter" snowman and now see why I put it down....but I'm determined to keep plugging along in hopes of getting it done sooner rather than later because I adore Blackberry Lane projects.  Usually they are over one, but this one is over two with a sweet little over one cardinal sitting on the snowman's shoulder....too cute. I did partially finish Lizzie Kate's "Summer Smalls" or at least a  version of her Summer Smalls.  These are shown as  pin cushions, however, I decided I wanted one of the wooden totes for summer so I stitched the long pincushion and attached it to the tote, stitched the Bee's pin cushion as a needlebook and added "Needles" in place of Bees and did a band over one on a glass vial using the strawberry vine of the Berry pin cushion.  Then I used the big bee off the Bees pin cushion to make a scissor fob.  Well, I've torn apart the needlebook twice already, but this third time is it...I'm going to make this time work no matter what.  I've done many needlebooks and never run into trouble...why this time...I don't know but it's aggravating.  Anyway, I'll get it done or die!  Then I'll show you the set.  I can't believe I'm back to doing these totes but I love them so.  Oops, no one's in the store so I'm going to end here and go look at what's new in Salty Yarns.  My motto is "you can never have too much needlework."  Have a great day

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thanks for a great retreat!

I started this blog last Friday so excuse the tardiness in posting. Beautiful day at the beach...thank God.  The town's full with Springfest in full go mode and of course the hotel is full since we have our Spring Retreat stitchers here and a few rooms were rented to Springfest attendees, so it's been go time here all week.  Stitchers started arriving on Wednesday, just to have a few days before the crowd arrived, and a few more trickled in on Thursday and then Friday everyone was on board.  It was a rainy blowy day for the most part, but spirits here weren't dampened because everyone was here to relax and stitch so they didn't care what it was doing.  Using the secret door to the shop they didn't even have to go outside.  Trudy Edwards even came over in her P.J bottoms and cut fabric for a while for me and no one cared, hell I'm not sure anyone noticed.  I didn't...Shirley threw her under the bus and told on her,  but I don't care if you come in nude as long as you are coming in to cut fabric for me.  Anyway, met several newbies and one brought in some of her treasures....OMG, she brought along a couple of Sherri Jones projects, the Button Book for one...I love that piece and especially love to see it finished and get a glance at the buttons each person finds to put in it.  It is a gorgeous project and I'm thrilled that one day Sara will complete hers and I will be able to sit and stare at hers.  Last post I had talked about finishing the Mani di Donna little basket or tote or however you want to refer to it.  It went swimmingly to begin with...I've got the sides down easily using the quilters template material, unfortunately the middle divider proved to be my nemesis..damn it...I swear I'm going to get this right sooner or later.  I'm almost there.  I originally had it the correct size but the last hole on the handle had no divider to connect to so I cut the divider a little longer and then it pushed the sides out...crap!!!  I might just say mine is an oval tote and then it would be correct, except I had to hide a mistake I made on the inside and to do that I had to put the top piece in the back.  So you really can't see it that well, although you get the drift, but anyway, I'm thrilled and next one I've got ideas for easier finishing and I know I can do it with no problem (I think I've said those words before, but perfection will come if I just don't give up.)  Anyway, I still love this and still think it's a beautiful Christmas gift for someone...although I wouldn't give this one since it's not perfected so it will stay in the shop, with it's 2 sisters...I'm building a family of Mani di Donna small totes.  So cute!!  So this week I worked on the beach series  from Hands on Design, which I had hoped to have several finished, but I got distracted so I only have 3....oh well, there's always next week.

I've got a plan in my head regarding how I'm finishing them, but I'm starting to lose confidence in it so I'm not willing to tell you what I'm thinking of doing with it.  I'll leave you wondering.   Well, a week has passed, since I started this blog, and the weather had taken a definite wrong turn.  It's overcast and a bit rainy today, but Sara and I are plugging along, getting stocked priced, etc.  Of course, if I'm blogging I don't have to work so you can see I'm blogging.  The retreat was wonderful, fun, busy, a lot of laughing, and a lot of people, but no drama.  The Fun Girls were here (well Diane missed it but the rest were here) and had their annual contest.  They pick an item which they use as the center in a stitching contest.  Last year they found a wire bench and each person designed something around it.  Everyone did cushions but the variety was amazing and what they stitched was fabulous.  It's really interesting to see the different pieces but I hate judging these things.  In the fall they did cupcakes using the silicone holders.  Again, really cute cupcakes were stitched.  This years spring contest used small plastic flower pots.  Our Judy, who is one of the Fun Girls, I'm excusing from this years contest because of so many distractions that she's had this spring, but the other three ladies who brought in their pieces did such a fabulous job.  First to show up was the multi-petal Black Eyed Susan.  When they put that down (Diane sent it in with one of the other ladies) I said, oh, my this is surely going to be the winner.  She stitched each petal and attached them separately...really impressive.  Then Tracy's was put on the table (this are judged without knowing who did which one)..and Tracy won the last 2 contests, and while I liked her and the amount of work was incredible...stump work...loved it, but the black eyed Susan was still my pick at that point and then Evelyn's flower pot was put down and she did something the other two stitchers didn't do...she added Spanish moss to the pot, multiple green leaves and this little pot of violets looked almost real.  The little yellow centers you see are actually the yellow balls on the top of a pin, which is  used to hold the flower in the pot.  After watching this Sherri Kohlerman has asked if she can compete in the next one.  I see this as a growing competition among many stitchers, and while it's fascinating to see what they come up with, judging these competitions is stressful for me.

This week I detoured yet again from stitching on  "The Beach Series" and worked on the Lizzie Kate "Summer Smalls."  I decided I wanted to do a wooden tote again for a summer display, and thought these designs would be perfect.  But at the same time my "Animal Cracker Series- Theodore" was asking, what about me, so I had to pull him out and start working on him again.  His head is almost done and he keeps looking at me with those big eyes, so I'm pretty sure I'll be putting in a lot of work on him this weekend and hopefully get him done.  Anyway, Thanks to all who were here for our events so far this spring.  It's been fun, exciting and exhausting all at the same time.  We're now resting up for Betsy Morgan weekend and the summer.  Have a great weekend.