Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Hopping We Will Go....

Well, I can finally show you a picture of the Shop Hop Sampler that I worked on for so long. Actually it was a fun stitch and Anita did the words, webs and beads. It is on display at the LNS-The Sunflower Seed. We are one of 5 shops in the area that is doing a Shop Hop later this week. Starting Thursday, May 1st, 9-6, Friday same hours and Saturday 9-5. At the first shop you visit, you get a passport and then have it stamped at each shop and drop off at the last shop for a chance to win $250 in gift certificates. Each shop designed one motif on the sampler and then for the 6th motif there is to be a "wild card" from each shop. So by going to all the shops, you get all the pieces for your sampler. The only way you get all the designs is to go to stop at all the shops. The Sunflower Seed designs are the black cat one and the bottom right one. Anita also designed the border. The bats and spiders have purple and orange beads for eyes. So many people love stitching Halloween, I figure this will be a popular sampler. If you live in and around the Kansas City, Lawrence and Topeka areas, be sure and try to join us for the hop. Contact me through my blog and I can get you additional information.
For the most part, I have been working on Quaker Christmas. I still love working on this design. It is hard to work on anything else. I did not write down when I started this, but I think it has been about 4 weeks. Pretty much have page one done. The page below Page 1 is only about 1/2 a page and I am down to the bottom of it. That bottom piece by the "u" had be frogged this afternoon, but I got it back in. So I have used 13 yards of the green silk.
Still trying to get into stitching over 1. The latest thing I stitched is tiny. It is Bent Creek's Uncle Sam of "The Littles Series". Stitched on 20-ct Natural Brown linen with the recommended fiber with 2 strands over 1 thread. At first, I was going to make it into a fob, but Anita said we would just put it in a frame until after the hop and then I could decide if I really wanted to make it a fob. I could not decide whether to put it in a blue or white frame. Took a photo of each. What do you think?

BLUE ???

Got Spring Snapperland back from the framer. I think it looks great. It is on display at the shop. We now have 3 of the 4 seasonal Snapperlands done for shop models. They still are very popular. I was never going to stitch them all, but after seeing how they work up, I was hooked. Now I only have Summer and Autumn to do.
You probably won't be hearing from me for a week or so. After spending 3 full days at the shop later in the week, I will be too exhausted to even stitch. I will come home and crash to get ready to go do it another day. Plan on working also on Wednesday to help put the finishing touches on things before Thursday morning. Anita also does a small design, related to the hop theme, all kitted up for sale too. We usually sell out on the first day and have to take orders after that. It is hard to know how many to make up.

Hope everyone has a good week. Keep those needles flying.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mail Surprise

For the last week, we have had to go to the post office to get our mail. Last Tuesday when I drove out of the driveway, I found our mailbox laying on the ground. It had was a little wobbly from being hit my the snow plow a few times and I think the strong winds we had that day just did it in. The better half has been working on getting a new one up, but with great difficulty. Too many other obligations get in the way. So yesterday afternoon I headed out on some errands and the stop by the post office. To my surprise there was a manila envelope with the pile of mail. ( We did not get it picked up Saturday.) The return address indicated it was from Staci. Then I remembered I had won a gift off her one month blog anniversary. I was so excited. Hoping it was one of her famous floss tags, I tried to rip into it as soon as I got to the car. She had it sealed so good, that I had to wait until I was done with my errands and stopped at the LNS. At the LNS, I was able to rip into the package and look what I found.
Oh, Staci, I love it. A floss tag just like I was hoping for. Also a tin and some colored loose leaf rings. Last night was also our Monday night stitch therapy group. I showed everyone what I had received and I almost did not get home with my treasures. They were very impressed with the colored rings. It does not take much to get those girls excited. Now everyone wants to know where to get colored rings. We all use them to put our floss on for all of our many projects. In fact, I think I am out of rings, so these will come in handy. Everyone wants to make floss tags. Could that be a project for our next sleepover/retreat in October.

My JBW French County Dog came back from the framer. He is so cute. So far he has not made it home, He is on display at the LNS. In looking at the picture this morning as I was loading my pictures, he reminds me of Betsy, the shop dog at the LNS.

JBW French County Dog
28 ct. R&R Creek Bed Brown
GAST Sable

Also I finished the stitching of my eagle over 1. Not sure how he is going to be finished. Maybe into some type of ornament or door knob hanger.

Bent Creek - Land That I Love

20 Ct. Natural Brown Linen

Recommended Colors WDW & GAST

The shop hop is only 8 days away. The sampler that I stitched for it is back from the framer and I have taken a picture, but Anita does not have it on display at the shop yet, so I won't post a picture here yet. Maybe in a couple of days.

Have been busily stitching on Quaker Christmas. After looking at my last progress picture, I realized I should have taken another picture. That will have to wait until next time. Tried another over one project of Bent Creek - Itty Bitty Uncle Sam. He is about 1/2 done, but I had to frog on him and I have put him aside for a few days. Ripping over 1 is a PIA and I had to put him up for awhile. I will try to finish him later this week.

Now it is time to stitch. Again, Staci, thanks so much for the gift. I love it all. My stitching friends have been very envious of me. Almost forgot, I got an e-mail from a stitching friend I met through a stitch camp, that she had seen where I won on Staci's blog and she was jealous also. She said she would be so jealous if it was one of those wonderful floss tags. Sorry Pam.

Later stitching friends.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stitching Retreat/Sleepover

WARNING: This is going to be a rather long post. I have uploaded 14 pictures. May take more than one time to get it all read.

As mentioned in a previous post my Monday Night Stitch Therapy group were planning an overnight stitch retreat. The long awaited event happened this past weekend. It was an overwhelming success and reservations have been made for the same group to do it again in October. However, we are going to stay for 2 nights instead of one. One night was definitely not long enough.

After much effort, we selected a B&B in a small unincorporated community of Dover, just a few miles outside Topeka, the 1878 Sage Inn. It is built of Kansas native limestone and is on the National Register of Historic Places and is situated on what originally was the Southwest Trail. The highway that runs through Dover was the first paved road in Kansas.

Some of our gang arrived as early as we were allowed and had already moved in by the time the last of us arrived after 4PM. "Moved in" is a good term for what we did. If anyone had seen us taking our things in would have thought we were staying for a least a month. Between the stitching lights, stitching bags and our treats, there was an occasional overnight bag. It took each of us more than one trip to get unloaded. Before we got to involved in our stitching we asked Joan, the owner to take a picture of the entire group. Here we are on the front porch. A couple of people are hiding on the back row. There were to be 10 of us, but one person got sick on Friday and was not able to recover in time to join us. Linda, we missed you.
Here is a snap of Joan taking pictures for us. Note all the cameras that she is holding. We are definitely in rural Kansas. You can see the farm implement dealer equipment in the background.
Here we find Jan, Marcia and Tammy in the living room that we converted to our stitching room. Converting meant we moved the couch around, took out 2 small side tables and a chair. In came 5 Ott-lites and 3 Ott-lite-like floor lamps. One with magnifier. It did not look much like a living room when we got done.
A stitcher does not live by stitching alone, so we had Papa Murphy Take and Bake Pizza for our evening meal. Although, we all brought treats and other things to eat, we thought we also needed pizza. We soon found out that we had toooooooo much food. There will be a revision in this policy for our next retreat. No Pizza, just junk food. Here is Pizza cook Marcia overseeing the cooking of the pizza. Note cooked pizza in the background.

Janet is assisting Reina with one of the projects she provided for us to do. More about the projects later. They are working in the dining room of the B&B.
Now here are a couple of views of the bedroom I stayed in for about 4 1/2 hours. I was the last one to hit the hay of the group. It was about 2:20AM. Most made it to about 1. The entire house was exquisitely furnished with antique furniture, dishes, glassware and other knick knacks. At the head of the stairs was a beautiful antique needlework sampler. Several of us were fighting over who was going to take it home with us.

The original builders of the house were stone masons. However, as they got older one of them could not carry the heavy stone anymore. So he began to work in concrete. The ceiling decorations in the stitching room and the bedroom I used had the original concrete work done around the light fixtures. Little to no work has been done to this work in over 100 years. The only work has been the painting done to them. Stitching room ceiling.

Bedroom ceiling

Anita,(The Sunflower Seed owner/designer) and Janet put together goodie bags for us complete with chocolate, notepads, Kleenexes (for drying our eyes from laughter) and glasses cleaner (for all the smudges after all the laughter). Yes, we did have to use the kleenexes several times. We are a crazy bunch and can really get going at times. It seems that one of us get started in one direction and we just play off each other until we are laughing so hard we almost wet ourselves. Janet was in charge of bringing the "depends". I think she forgot them, but luckily we did not need them. Janet provided us with a wool pin cushion and needle book project (more on this later) and Anita designed a project just for our retreat. Details later.
I borrowed from another camp I attended Stitcher's Bingo. The categories were designers, fabric, fiber, accessories and stitches instead of the BINGO. I made up lists of 15 items under each category and then everyone was given the list to make up their own cards. We played several wild rounds of bingo with everyone winning. No thanks to Jan for not knowing how the "S" was to be configured on her card. She could not figure out why we would play "S". After i explained that it stood for 'stitch', 'Sunflower Seed' (our LNS), or 'stupid'. We all forget that Jan is a blond. Then there was Janet that thought we were play "Liar Poker/Bingo". She would yell "bingo" after I would call only 2-3 items for the card. Oh, I almost forgot, Jan kept getting Waterlilies and Watercolours mixed up and every time I called those items we had to make sure she knew which item had been called. It must be tough being a blonde.

This group of stitches has become very close to each other and we have a great time together. It is difficult to put into words how much fun we had together for the less than 18 hours we were together. That is why we decided we had to do this again. The words that I have composed do not begin to relay the joy and friendship we shared during this time. I compiled a list of quotes from the time we were together, much to the horror of everyone. I will provide little to no explanation of the quotes and you can let you imagination run wild with what you think was going on at the time. Enjoy.
-- Oh, chocolate, I better eat this before it spoils.
-- Do me first!!!!
-- Oh look, I already christened mine with chocolate
-- Jammie Time, This bra has got to go. Heard from across the room "I left mine on because I didn't trust you guys." This is in reference to the fact there was some talk of putting all bras in the freezer.
--Where did this little hairy thing come from........Oh, it's lime green........I think I will cut it off........ If I can see it.
--If I am going to do it on a Futon, it better be a new one.
--SOB, I put it in the same wrong hole again.
--That was more than I needed.
--I have a needle and I know how to use it.
--3 snowflakes--Oh, we are snowed in. (We had snow flurries both Saturday and Sunday morning here in this part of Kansas)
--Holy, Holy, Holy--now we have been to church.
--Janet, which mistake (there are so many) are you leaving in. (Amish Tradition to have a mistake in a piece.)

As I stated before Janet made up projects for pin cushions and needlebooks out of some WDW wool. They are sooo cute. Here is the pincushion.
and here is the needlebook. Anita donated the WDW wool and the navy wool used in needlebook.

Anita, The Sunflower Seed, designed for us a project exclusively for our little retreat/sleepover. It is so wonderful. I cannot wait to stitch it. She was so creative in packaging the kit for it. She used old DMC floss boxes that I had unpacked one day when I was working. Such a neat way to recycle.
As of last night, Reina had completed all the projects from the weekend, Anita had done both wool projects and completed a stitching project that she started at the retreat. I spent all my stitching time working on QC.

Betsy, the shop dog did not get to go with us to the B&B, however, we were not without a dog. The owners have a rescue dog that was around to keep us company. He was starving when they rescued him, but not any more. Here is Jack, the big dog. Apparently does not miss a meal now.
Now, last but not least is a progress update on QC. This is between 7 and 8 yards of green silk used so far. I still love stitching on this. It is hard for me to put it down.

Well, it has taken me way too long to compose this, but I wanted to share with everyone a little of the fun that we had on our retreat/sleepover. Many of the gals were worried about what I would put in here. I have tried not to embarrass anyone and to keep it as clean as possible. Many of the things that happened do not translate well to a blank piece of paper. It goes back to the saying "you had to be there". The man owner came in and told us that "what happens in Dover, stays in Dover". So I tried to leave some of what happened just between us girls.

Everyone left before noon, already anticipating and planning our October retreat. I was worried that I had a home football game that weekend. Luck was on my side. They are out of town that weekend. Dover and the Sage Inn may never be the same. Thanks girls for a great overnight and we are getting geared up to do it all over again, but for 2 nights.

To all my readers, if you have made it this far, thanks for sticking through this all the way to the end. Your stopping by is always appreciated. Now I am off to stitch and run a few errands since I am hostess for my church ladies group tomorrow.

Happy Stitching.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

QC Progress

The last week I have been working on stuff for myself. It seems a little odd, since I almost always have something going for The Sunflower Seed. Have had a lot of time to spend on my "A Quaker Christmas". I still love the piece and have trouble putting it down. Am working with the final yard of the first of 11 5-yd skeins of the green.
Spent a couple of hours or so working on another Quaker design that I started a while back. No picture. Maybe next time. Almost forgot, I did spend probably parts of 2 different days working on my VoHRH. Block 4 is getting closer to being done. I have become a silk thread addict. Both QC and VoHRH are being done with silk. CC Belle Soie for QC and Vikki Clayton for the village. Like using both, but my favorite is the Belle Soie.

Friday when I was at the LNS, aka-The Sunflower Seed, Anita and I were discussing things for the Shop Hop that is coming up in a month. So decided I would try to do a little something to have done in time for the hop. Working on the eagle from one of Bent Creek's newest designs "Land That I Love" I am not much into over one stuff, but am trying this over 1 with 2 threads on 20-ct. Natural linen. Here is my progress. It will be less than 3 inches square. Anita has an idea of how she wants to finish it..

My photo is a little blurry. I have not figured out how to keep that from happening when I try to take a close-up. My digital camera is over 4 years old, so I think that I might need to get a different one. It seems they are outdated as soon as you buy them. The brown of the body is GAST maple syrup and is all out of a new skein, but it sure looks different from one part to the other.

Finally, did my income taxes online last night. We always say we are going to do them earlier each year, but so far that has not happened. Have a couple of meetings at the church this week and need to make 2 batches of brownies and another bar cookie for an training session being held at the church on Saturday. I will be doing my little stitching sleepover on Saturday, so will not be able to help serve. My contribution will be the brownies.

Seems as though I have recovered from the tick bite. I tried all kinds of things to stop the itching, but by Thursday it had subsided. Ended up with quite a red rash around it. Now it is all scaly, but does not itch. The actual bite is healing up fine. Hope I don't ever have to go through that again.

This morning I finally got caught up with my blog reading through Google Reader. I have been behind for some reason for close to 2 weeks. Most days I was reading between 20-30, but could not get caught up. You are some busy stitching bloggers. Always try to keep caught up. Have not ready any blogs outside of Google Reader for 2-3 weeks, maybe I can get to them now. Thanks for all who stop by and comment on mine. Hope you all have a good week and happy stitching.