Sunday, February 25, 2018

Well I already know my must haves from Nashville,

Of course, this won't be all I "have to have",  but right now these are the top two....Hands on Design new short stack drum, Oh Say Can You See,'s sea related..whoo hoo, count me in on this one. 

 In fact I asked Sara to contact Cathy and ask her what fabric she used and the fibers so I can take them to Nashville and start right away.  I should have the stitching finished by the time I get home and then I hope I'll finish the construction right away.  And then yesterday I saw the new Brenda Gervais and , again, OMG, count me in on this one as well.   I just knew she'd design something for the oval boxes, again, so cute.  Filled with Easter Candy or a special Easter gift, just perfect for that special someone, if only I had a grand daughter.  I can just image my grandsons if I gave them this.  Although I've taught everyone of them to stitch and two of them can knit (not that they'd admit it), so I guess grand sons might like it as well, especially loaded with candy or money.

 I've already stitched the Christmas, "Jingle All The Way,"  and the Halloween, "Spirits and Spells" boxes and now she has designed, "Here a Peep, There a Peep" so I've pulled the linen and fibers and plan to stitch that while I'm in Nashville.  One would wonder why I've packed about 15 charts w/fabric, fibers, etc., to take with me, when I'm already stitching these two things, well a gal has to have choices.  However, to be honest,  I couldn't even zipper the  project travel bag closed so I started taking some out of my bag  last night just so I could close it.  I mean how much can I possible stitch in just 7 days?  I can finish a small piece done on 18 ct. on the way down and another on the way back normally, but when I'm in Nashville I'm busy ticketing the merchandise every night, etc., but one must be prepared at all times, right.  Sara also has me taking a project we both stitch with me which I took last year as well, because once again she swears we are going to finish assembling it.  I frankly think the project will just enjoy a nice ride and arrive back home in the same state it went down there in.  And God forbid I should not have plenty of choices.  Oh No, well now I do have a problem.  Today I brought in a knitting project to discuss yarn with Sara.  This is a project I saw sometime this summer on the internet and just loved it.  I've stayed away from knitting because I do the stitching of models and that keeps me busy, but I just had to have this wrap.  It's called the Guernsey Wrap and is a fisherman inspired textured wrap.   I taught myself to knit in my 20's and the first thing I did was a fisherman inspired afghan.  I loved that afghan and eventually wore it out.  But I learned so much about knitting, cables, etc that this wrap just sang to me.  I thought I'd have trouble getting enough yarn to do it here as I wanted to use DK yarn, but Sara just went in the back and out she came with 12 skeins of DK weight yarn in that cream color, so I guess it's going to Nashville as well.  Although Sara says I have to fit everything into one bag which right now is not possible, but I figure if I put it under a seat perhaps she won't notice it until we are on our way.  This may put off the schedule of stitching though....I don't know now what I'm going to accomplish, knitting, cross stitch, well it's just a crap shoot.  But I'm sure going to have fun deciding.  This week is disappointing  because I've finished nothing.  I did pull out some projects that were started and stuffed away and I've been working on one such piece started last year, an Erica Michael's 40 ct. gauze piece....backgrounds take forever--but I'm determined to finish this strawberry, it's called Honey Berry,  as I love these gauze pieces and have several to do, plus I'm terribly fond of the strawberry ones, so this is a double winner, strawberry and gauze.  Now if I could just get it done.  I'm over 1/2 there so fingers crossed I'll have it finished by Nashville (oh, yes it's going too.)   Well, it's now Sunday so I've had 2 days of yarn balls in front of me so of course, stitching ended and knitting began.  I had a tough start, first I had to remember the long tail cast on.  I had to teach someone that cast on this past summer so it hadn't been that long and I finally remembered and off I went.  I got the first 6 rows of garter stitch done in  no time at all and thought, well I guess I can get this wrap done in no time at all, although with 82 stitches on the needles and the finished length of  77 " I knew it wouldn't get done overnight but I plunged in headfirst with a smile on my face.  That smile was erased at 10:30 p.m. night 1.  I had already started over once, ripped out the design part approx. 4 times and reknit it everytime but on row 6 of the pattern I just couldn't come out with the right amount of stitches.  I counted the stitches on the needle and it was correct each time but I was always 1 stitch short.  I have never followed a chart like this, which seemed upside down to me.  The first rip out was due to the fact I was reading the pattern from the top line and the 1st line of the pattern was at the bottom of the page.  You stitch starting from the right side of the pattern on odd row numbers and knit from left to right on even  number rows.  There are actually 3 different pattern charts being used, one after the other, and each line has 5 or 6 repeats so going into this it was a bit daunting for someone who never read a pattern before.  I can follow knitting directions, but that is not what a pattern is.  After several rip outs and the clock saying 10:30 I decided to end it and go to bed.  But at 5:30 a.m. I entered the knitting arena armed for battle.  I had my paper and a pen and I was going to write out the pattern including all the repeats to make sure I got line 6 correct.  By the time I left for work I had stitched 20 rows and the pattern was showing and I was patting myself on the back.  So day 3 has loomed and I am now over half way through Chart A, working with a second ball of yarn and I have to say I do enjoy it.  So different from the counted work.  But I started the 50th row and got distracted and now I feel another rip out is on the horizon so I've stopped until I get home where there are no distractions.  I felt so guilty last night for knitting that I made myself stitch on sometime (I chose one of the easy new pieces I had intended to stitch in the car.)  I'm halfway through it  and think it's going to make a cute stand up.  I took another look at all that's in the bag and think perhaps I've overshot the reality of time in Nashville.  I tried to edit it down, but by morning was reloading them again.  I'm thinking of taking a bigger suitcase and stuffing it with needlework and clothes, I mean really what's more important...needlework surely!  I've pulled all the fibers for everything I'm taking, and today I'm cutting the last 3 pieces of linen and then I'm done....with the planning, now to execute my stitching schedule.  I may not have the time to attend the market...uh, oh.  Well my intentions are good anyway.    As my mother always said, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" and she may have been right...I'll let you  know .  Have a great week and I'll try to post in Nashville, but I've noticed in the past that hasn't been too successful.  But again, I intend to.  (I can hear mother's laugh all the way from heaven.) 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saying Goodbye to a wonderful designer is always hard to do...............

As everyone knows by now, as of March 1st, Lizzie Kate will be sending out her final design and it is with great sadness that we say goodbye.  Her designs were fun, some were funky, they were stress free and a joy to stitch.  As a shop owner many of her designs were sampled by me and we were happy  to offer her full line for sale in our shop.  But everyone deserves to retire so we are sad but wish only the best to Linda and Allen as they start the next chapter in their story.  You will be greatly missed.  On a happy note, I spoke in the past about the Jim Shore chicks which I thought were too darn cute for spring/Easter. Well,I finally finished Aqua Chick.  I loved their faces and while there is quite a bit of beading I didn't mind that, and then there was the stuffing, which wasn't bad, but because I love to overfill everything I'm surprised Aqua Chick didn't bust out at the seams.  But he's done, hanging on our spring tree (or Easter tree right now).  I did change the ribbon as they included a black ribbon for hanging and I just felt white would go better.  It comes as a kit complete with everything, perforated paper for back and front, DMC floss, beads and ribbon.  You supply the fiber fill. 

Now it's on to a new project and I have several in my tote, plus I have to start packing for Nashville Market.  Oh, my,  I usually do this after midnight the night before we leave, but I'm determined to be more organized....we will see how that goes.  The sun's up today, although it's in the 30's there are a lot of people walking around the boardwalk.  This is usually a big weekend because the schools are closed on Monday for President's Day and the boat show is in town.  We are seeing more people in the shop as well, unlike last weekend which was so boring in here with very few people showing their faces.  I never feel like doing anything constructive when we aren't busy.  I didn't even stitch and finally went to the office to work on taxes and left Sara alone to work the shops.  Anyway, I need to get back to the have a great weekend, hopefully the snow isn't coming your way...we're scheduled for rain.  Although if it does rain and snow it's perfect weather for stitching.  You will find me in the shop until 4 p.m. and then I'll hardly leave my sofa once I get home.  Talk to you soon

Saturday, February 10, 2018

I'm really done stitching for Valentines Day!

While I didn't complete this piece last night as planned (apparently napping and eating took the place of stitching), I was able to complete it this morning before work.  So here is "Coeur en Rouge" which I changed to Coeur en Noir to go with the frame I had picked out.  The chart is part of "Here's My Heart" from Sue Hillis Designs.  Stitched on 32 ct. (light pink from my stash) over one in DMC black.  It's lacy and a beautiful heart and the possibilites for finishing are endless.  But I found 3 of the frames in our storeroom and knew I had to find something to go in them since the design that was originally to go in the frame is no longer available.

You still have time to stitch a little something for your favorite person, but you better get to it.  As for me....I'm  moving on to the spring designs and St. Patrick's Day.  Have a great day!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Sun's Bright, It's in the 40's and we have a new model....

Since it's not the 14th yet, I'm still stitching for Valentine's Day and I have one project one day away from finishing and I do have one completed.  Sara asked me to do something that wasn't all hearts, hugs and kisses and she chose "V" is for Valentine, which is part of the Alphabet series from Heartstring Samplery. 

At first I was going to do it over one on 28 ct. because I had a round frame that if painted would be perfect.  But in searching through my private bins for 28 count I came across an afghan piece of fabric which is approximately 14 threads per inch and it fit perfectly in one of the blocks, so I used that and it made the cutest little pillow, which measures 8" x 7 3/4".  It was an easy stitch, even though it was over one because the threads are so fat...yes they are fat.   While this would have been an easy finish using the sewing machine....when I started to use it I got an error message and still haven't figured out what to do about it so I had to hand stitch the finish.  And that kept me from finishing my lace heart...oh, well tonights free so I should get it done.  For the past week I've been working with Michael on his homework after school; seems they brought back vocabulary and to be honest even I had to look up a couple of the words.  Needless to say, I use very few of the words he had to learn, but I'm a firm believer that vocabulary should be improved upon and taught through 12th grade, so I was pleased it's back in the curriculum.  And since the test was on Friday I told him he had to be at my house everynight after school, Monday thru Thursday.  I thought it was going rather well until last night when he had a breakdown and informed me he didn't remember anything.  But I had done my homework and I had worksheets, flash cards and computer tests for him to take.  By the time he left he had a smile on his face and felt better about the whole thing and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he gets through this  unscathed.  Poor kid, he just defeats himself before he even sees the test.  He is exactly like his mother except she always thought she got by with A's even if they weren't.  Crying was not her problem.  Michael panics, and needs affirmation to get through it.  At home I can say, Michael you know this...think about what we've talked about, etc., and he'll pull it out.  I'm not sure if they would let me sit beside him in school and use the same might distract the other students, damn it.  It's painful to watch. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Fun Superbowl Weekend.....

Stitchers began arriving Thursday night and by Friday we were in full swing in the shops.  Stasi Buhrman was busy cutting fabrics for stitchers, I was in charge of getting the tickets done for incoming merchandise and Sara and Debbie kept busy locating different charts stitchers were trying to locate.  The sun was shining, however, the wind and cold were blistering.  As each person blew in the door it just seemed to get colder out.  And then Friday night Sara hosted her welcoming reception at her house while I went home and finished doing whatever I do at home (usually stitch and watch TV).    Debbie Shiowaza brought in 2 large boxes of models she had finished, class pieces from the many classes she takes and the models were exquisite.  Debbie is such an incredible stitcher and finisher...(a role model for me), and Jayne Donchez brought over her over 1 piece (she only stitches over 1) Thea Gouverneur's America....unbelievable.  The color changes were dazzling on this piece.  I also got to see many of the projects the stitchers were currently working on.  It is always inspiring to see what others are working on.  I love it and always come away with a new idea for finishing or a new piece I want to stitch.  I did finish a few things for the weekend, I once again (I can't believe I stitched another tote) stitched Lizzie Kate's latest Winter Smalls and used one of the wooden totes to make a winter sewing set.  Winter Smalls actually consists of 4 designs, obviously I only used three of them as the 4th design was a Valentine design which I didn't want to use on the winter tote.  I finished the tote using Deep Sea Wool to back the design and then trimmed it with Snow white Lady Dot mini pom pom trim  Easy stitch, and an easy finish.  Then I took the Snow design and finished it as a mattress pin cushion.  On the side panels of the pin cushion I stitched snowflakes copied from the top design.   

The third and final piece is the Snuggle design which I made into a needle and pin book.  I used the Deep Sea Wool as the lining, forgot to put the white ribbon ties between the wool and linen so the ends weren't seen,  so had to hid the ribbon ends.  On the left side the needle page hides the ribbon end and I used a Just Nan snowflake charm to hid the other end.   I'm  actually going to add a couple more pieces to this set but this was all I could do before Super Bowl.  Obviously I love stitching for these totes.  Debbie Liming changes all her stitching totes and fobs and everything else she carries to match the seasons.  It is really a good way to clean out your stitching totes and saves on wear and tear as you rotate them out.  That's almost too organized for me.  I do seem to manage to do that every fall, but once I go back to a winter tote I don't seem to change until the next halloween.  However, in my house I have seasonal things beside my stitching chair and I do swap them out for the different seasons.  So once I take this home, it will be beside my stitching chair to hold my scissors, needles, pins, threads, etc., all the stuff I need for the project at hand.   These are the only stitched pieces I will actually use.  Everything else is just for display in the display cupboard or in my stitching room.

Then Sara wanted me to stitch "Valentine  you are cute as a button." by Needle Bling.  So I stitched that on a random piece of linen I had at home.  Since it was just the lettering it worked up really quickly and then it was on to finishing.  At first I was going to make a small pillow, but I saw long pin cushions in dough bowls on the internet and thought I'd like one of those.  So  that's what I did.  Easy to finish and I filled it with lizard litter and Valentine pin cushion complete.  Of course then I had to made 3 valentine red pins to put in the pin cushion.   Stasi Buhrman arrives with the exact same design  for show and tell and she finished hers as a small cute, so I took a picture of hers as well to show different ways to finish the same design.  Stasi went the extra mile and stitched hers over 1 which makes it extra special and so cute.  Love the over ones.  It's fun to see the differences between my vision and Stasi's.  We both used colored buttons as opposed to the white ones shown on the model.  

  While I finished stitching the oversize Whittaker (Stacy Nash-Animal Cracker snowman) I didn't get it finished.  So we will have to wait to show that.    

But I did finish Brenda Gervais Snowbirds.  Brenda shows this as a cute little pin cushion done on 36 ct linen.  But I love to show hers on 36 as well as 18 ct. linen over 2 which makes it a 9 count so I can get a big pillow for my sofa or chairs.  Finish size is approx 13 1/2" 9.5" when stitched on 18 ct. linen over 2.  I stitch them using pearl cotton, both Weeks and DMC, and this time when I was mixed on  which trim to use I asked Sara to pick.  Sara said she liked the large pom pom trim, which worried me as I could see a problem for me and my sewing machine.  So I put it off as long as possible and then just sat down and sewed it and it really wasn't that hard.  Next time I'll do even better but for a first time job done and I'm pleased.  Not too much embellishment, I used faceted black beads for the coal buttons and eyes and I did turkey work on the scarf ends to represent fringe and on the vine I used beads to represent berries.  I always supply my stitching room with purchased pillow forms so I knew I'd find something to put inside.  And of course I had one that fit so I popped it in and zipped the pillow up and it is now in the shop.  And I've moved on to a couple of new projects.  I'm obsessed with the Jim Shore Chicks for Easter  which just came in and started one of those the minute the arrived in the shop and then Sara asked me to do another Valentines piece, "V is for Valentine", by Heartstring Samplery, so I'm starting that tonight.  Can't wait!