Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Summer is right around the corner and our temps are rising....

Last weekend was one of the car weekends in Ocean City, so we had a lot of car people in town and the sun was out so there were people everywhere,  however what I find so amazing about these car weekends is.....the number of people that take their beach chairs and head for the main streets, Baltimore Ave., and Philadelphia or Beach Highway, where they sit for hours watching the cars go by.  As I witness, this each time they are in town,  I think how extraordinary it is when 100 feet away, in the case of Baltimore Ave.,  is the Atlantic Ocean, which is one of nature's amazing spectacles, yet here are so many within walking distance of the ocean watching cars drive by on the highway.   But of course, we are always thrilled to have the car enthusiasts in town and the business they bring and they are certainly welcome to sit and watch anything they want, but it always makes me ponder.   Summer can't be far away as the temperature is climbing every week,  and we're ready to welcome it with open arms.  I'm busy getting models done for the shop...and I'm thrilled to say I found the challenge piece and I wasn't as far as I'd hoped I was (isn't that always the way) plus I can't figure out what some of the threads I used are, and since I stopped in the middle of a block, I'm going to have to rip it out and redo it....UGH!  Instead of tackling that I decided to start a new block and try to get into it again.  Progress is slow and I fear I'm going to have to pay the $25.00 if I can't pick up the pace. I've now been working on it for a couple of weeks and can't figure out why I am not getting much done.  There are plenty of areas where it is one color and yet I've found that boring which is slowing things up.  I refuse to give up but this might have to be my challenge piece again in 2020.  Now I'm on a mission to finish it regardless of how many years it takes (UGH).     I did finish my Just Nan project this week and a Brenda Gervais project but of course I haven't done the finishing...hopefully this weekend if I'm not on the schedule (fingers crossed).  I've already picked out the next few projects....4th of July and Liberty projects which are some of my favorites.  Spent the morning picking new colors as I wanted brighter colors I thought.  I'm still struggling with my foot issues.  I had my yearly physical and was thrilled when I found out my scale wasn't broken as I thought it was when it showed a 15 lb. weight loss since November.  So that was good news for me, but unfortunately my ankle is still giving me a fit.  I don't like taking any more meds than I have to so I stop taking the pain meds.  However, on Monday after a trip to the hospital for more tests, barely able to walk even with the cane because the ankle hurt so much Sara told me to start taking the pain meds again and low and behold since doing so my ankle is feeling much better.  I managed to finish another piece of Brenda Gervais, "Ode to the Ort", and I also did the finishing..whoppee, which was pretty simple, however I made it even easier by not doing the strawberry to dangle from it.  I just didn't see any reason to do it for this project.  Perhaps for another project I'll come back to it but for now I'm done. 

This is the top of the metal box that came with the chart....linen and fibers from my stash.  The design is approx. 1 7/8" square when stitched over one on 28 ct.. linen.  The tin box is approx 3" tall and 2" wide and it's so cute when finished.  I didn't have the recommended 1/8" rick rack so I used Lady Dot's 1/4" rick rack and it worked out O.K., but I would have liked the 1/8" better.  Brenda cut her rick rack into 4 pieces so there would be no excess to deal with on the corners and I found out it is was easier to glue it this way so I'm glad I followed her directions.  It was fun, easy and 28 ct is easy to do over one so a nice break from my challenge piece.  With this a limited edition kit, I almost didn't model it, but Sara said there were more in the shop and I wanted to do a fun stitch and so glad I picked it.  The only thing you get in the box is the tin box and the chart.  You have to supply the 28 ct. linen, they recommend lugana 28 ct., but I used 28 ct. ant. white.  Oh yes, of course I ran into color problems with the white flowers at the top as well as inside the design, which I changed to Wood Rose because the Magnolia Blossom didn't show up and then I switched out the centers for oilcloth as it went better with Woodrose than the Ye Old Gold.  Other than that I stayed true to what Brenda recommended.  And let me stress that I only changed the colors because I didn't have mushroom lugana at the house.  I love her patterns which is why I do so many, however, I'm not able to use her colors because I've used different counts fabric or difference colors of linen.  Well I'm off to finish my Just Nan piece and hopefully the Quaker Sewing Tray by Brenda.  Wish me Luck!  Have a great stitching weekend. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Boot and Renee Update....

The person who hosted our website informed us she was no longer going to be able to do it after May 1st, and so we moved it to another site, unfortunately there was more involved than we had anticipated so our site was down for several days.  But thankfully Sara has it back up and so we can now update.  I'm thrilled to report personally, the boot is now history, but I have to say the pain is still happening most days.  I'm trying hard to ignore it, but at times it just gets the better of me.  I worked Spring Retreat on Friday and Saturday and spent all day Sunday sitting on the sofa, icing and whining.  I hate that I do that and try to remember all those who have more serious issues like Renee, but that doesn't always work.  But anyway, I think I'm on the road to recovery and at least I'm mobile.  Renee, however, has spent the last month in the hospital or in rehab.  She will be home any day now though so that's great news.  When we returned from Nashville Market in March, we were told Renee had a fall,  after which they found she fractured (broke) her hip and since she had an illness which make it difficult for her to have surgery she was just going to suck it up and let the hip repair on it's own. (ouch)  Since she had bone spurs which made it more difficult to move, she decided to have foot surgery,  during which they do not have to put her under.  She was in rehab for that when after a week  she was taken to the hospital for pain where they found she had a ruptured bowel and again, she had surgery.  Gretchen, her daughter, text Sara to say she wasn't doing well and it seemed to be touch and go and they were afraid the end wouldn't be far away.  But, our Renee is such a fighter, and she rallied again and was moved out of ICU and into a regular room.  At the beginning of Easter Week, we have been informed that she had a problem after being moved to rehab, her stitches let go and she was bleeding so she's back in PRMC after going through surgery once again.   She is a warrior and has been fighting her own on-going health problems for over 40 years.  I'm embarrassed for my own failure to put my problems in perspective when I have Renee here as a role  model for how you deal with what life hands you.  She never complains or whines.  But it will be wonderful to see her home, visiting the shop and up and about again.   So much has taken place in the shop since I last blogged.  We had the fabulous weekend with Sherri, and her projects are always so fabulous so that it's a fun weekend.  Lots of stitchers and lots of fabulous show and tell.  OMG, show and tell leads to wonderful new ideas and inspiration.   Thank you to all Sherri's regulars as well as new Sherri devotees for making it such a fabulous weekend for Salty Yarns and a huge Thank you to Sherri for making it a fabulous weekend for the stitchers.  Anyway, let me take the time to say Thank You to Sherri Jones who always provides our stitchers with such beautiful projects.  She also gifted me the cutest gift bag on which she had transfered my initial and a standing rabbit (so cute) for Easter.  It's already in my display cabinet waiting for me to get a Sherri Jone's Hare project done (Sara gave it to me for Christmas).  I will display them together and it will be the start of my Sherri Jones tribute display. Two weeks after Sherri, The Delaware Valley Sampler Guild had a retreat in the Lankford and of course we saw them many times in Salty Yarns (located in the Lankford)  We actually consider these stitchers locals we see them so often, so when they are here it is like "old home week."  Their group has grown so in the last year,  there were around 40 of the stitchers here for the retreat.  And again, show and tell was fantastic.  While they love samplers, they stitch a variety of fabulous projects which are not sampler related.  Anyway, it was a fun weekend with so many of our friends and stitchers here.   And then this past weekend was the Spring Retreat with 70 in attendance.  Whew!  busy weekend but such fun and show and tell pieces that were fabulous, yet again.  I so enjoy seeing the finished pieces stitchers do.  It is  inspirational.  I always go home with new ideas for projects or with finishing.  I'm always looking for new ways to finish.  I had specific projects I wanted finished for Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day as well as Easter.  While I had the stitching done in time I didn't get the finishing done so I made sure I had it done for Spring retreat, since I was feeling better.   First up, "Spring Fling"  from With Thy Needle and Thread.   I wasn't even going to stitch this one, even though I liked it, because back in January I stitched her Snowman piece which became oversized when I stitched it on 20 ct. Weeks Dye Works Blue Jeans over 2.  I got sick of stitching so much white, so while I finished the snowman and loved him, I didn't think I wanted to do a huge piece again with so much white.  But Kathy was pulling her fabric and threads and said I should also do it, and then Sara jumped on the wagon and pulled the 20 ct. Red Pear linen so of course I started thinking fibers and the next thing I knew I was taking it home.  It was, of course, a fun stitch done on 20 ct. over 2 using #5 Pearl Cotton from DMC and Weeks Dye Works, no trouble seeing that!  I did have to make color changes, used DMC purple, outline 208, inside 210 and then the center is done in Turkey Work using DMC 310, for the flowers in place of the pinks as that did not show up on the Red Pear linen.  I also redesigned the bird because I couldn't get the wings on the original bird to stand out.  So I looked at the cardinal on the Snowman which I loved, and just made this one a little smaller but in somewhat the same shape.  The wings were still small, but I used bargello to stitch the wings to make them stand out a little more.  I do have a chart for these two birds in the shop so while you are in Salty Yarns you can ask  for a copy.  I used WDW moss for the leaves and DMC 3051 for the vines.  I stitched the inside of the ears, the checks and the nose with WDW Sweetheart Rose and then I satin stitched over the nose to give it more dimension.  Of course I used 2 small black beads (jewelry beads) for the eyes.  For the robins however, I stitched the eyes using white DMC and then placing a Mill Hill black bead in the corner so they look like they are looking at the rabbit.   For the birds I used WDW Chestnut for the head and the wing, WDW Terra Cotta for the body and WDW Whiskey for the beak and the legs.  For the miscellaneous motifs throughout the design I used DMC 818.  Kathy is stitching on Blush linen, using the suggested count, and it too is just beautiful.  So stitching this the way Brenda shows it or stepping out of the box and using the 20 ct. Red Pear, it's fun, goes quickly and in the end is fabulous.  My version on 20 ct. measures 16 1/2" x 9 1/2" when stitched while Brenda's original on 32 ct. finishes approx 10 1/4" x 6".

I initially stitched Heart in Hand's Redbird Sampler for Valentine's Day.  I'm not a gushing sweet person, so I wanted red projects that didn't talk about love, etc.  This was perfect and can stay out all year.    Done in one color and I used DMC pearl cotton # 304 on  18 ct. Lambswool linen.  A really.   easy stitch and small enough it only takes a couple of days.  Finished size on 18 ct. over 2 is 10" x 4".  I did use a pillow form that was too bulky which is why it looks like the sides are somewhat drawn in.  I was too lazy to make my own and haven't been to the store to get the correct size.  But I'll get there in the end.  Cecelia's model was worked on 26 ct. Natural Brown over 2 threads using WDW Lancaster Red.  It's finished size is approx. 8" x 3"

 I was disappointed I didn't get my Mill Hill Rabbit egg finished, or the adorable Brenda Gervais bunny in the round.  But I need to move on to summer stitching, so these will start up my Easter finishes in 2020.  Right now I'm working on Brenda Gervais Quaker Sewing Tray and believe it or not I'm stitching on the size she recommends since I want to finish it in scalloped wooden tray like she shows it.  I'll have the stitching done today, but the finishing is still up in the air.  I have the tray, but I need to paint it and wax it and well that is the part I don't like working on.  But I'll get to it this week hopefully.  And of course that means I get to move on to a new project....several are lined up ready to go so I have no idea which it will be.  Glad to be back stitching and walking again....hope you too are stitching and showing us what you are doing.  You inspire others so be sure to post your projects.  Talk to you soon, as I have to update the website which is finally back up and running.  Thank you all for your patience with us on this....we are a work in progress when it comes to technology.