Thursday, November 21, 2013

Trip to The Attic

Where to begin? I had hoped to get this written much earlier, but came home to our business e-mail being hacked and a pile of work to catch up on. I also came home with laryngitis and a slight upper respiratory issue--darn those closed airplanes and people coughing next to you!!! So, it's been trying hard not to talk...not easy to do...and mega doses of vitamin C!!! So, welcome along for the ride---a word of's a long one!!! 

Day 1
I left early on the morning of the 7th--4:30 AM early and drove the 2 hours to BWI--it was worth it for a direct flight. All went smoothly (except for the "hacker" next to me) and I arrived in Phoenix around 11:45 AM, their time. I quickly caught a shuttle to the hotel, checked in and found this waiting for me:
Do I have a wonderful husband...or what?
I then  took the hotel shuttle to The Attic, where I met up with my friend, Paola, and we immediately walked to lunch at Pasta Annie's ( I was starving since it was around 3:30PM my time and I only had "snackies' on the plane. After lunch, we browsed The Attic for a couple hours. What a wonderful shop!!! Very open with lots of nooks and crannies to find lovely items! I ran into some friends from Salty Yarns (shout out to Cynthia, Crystal, Dana and Carol) and met a new friend (shout out to Cathy), in person, that I've been corresponding with the last few months via our blogs. 

 Here's a sampling of my purchases; I can't show some as they are future gifts:

I'd been looking for this.....
Lakeside 50 count linen plus special needles and a hornbook with a built in magnet

I did try to "hold the line" with my stash enhancement because I knew Jackie was going to have items for sale. Here's what I picked up from Jackie:

This didn't have a picture but has a tiny, little band sampler that is stitched and placed inside

That night we had dinner at Toby Keith's restaurant. I didn't know it was a country version of Hooters!!! We walked in to an all male line-up at the bar and girls with cut off jeans so short...well you can imagine! A funny story--Paola ordered a beer and the waiter brought it to her in..what else.. a red solo cup! She, of course, did not know about the song, was quite puzzled at the presentation and opted for a glass instead!
Bedtime was early that night as I had had a very looooong day!

Day 2
We had a free day today and visited some quilt and fabric shops in the area. I got this pattern a one shop and thought it would be great to make to take to future classes/retreats!

We hit the Attic again in the afternoon and opted for lunch at Cornish Pasties. I had envisioned a "tea room" type atmosphere, but instead it was a cross between goth/punk/rock.We did get to eat outside which was such a treat in November and the pasties were delish!

Paola and I exchanged birthday/Christmas presents since we wouldn't see each other in December. My main gift to her was a bell pull I made from an old freebie chart that was a collaboration by Shepherds Bush, Charland and Just Nan. I thought it was perfect for our long distance friendship! I also gave her some Betsy Morgan charts, which Betsy has available now, and a Kelmscott needle minder.
Verse reads: Though far apart, still close at heart, friends we'll ever be.

Paola gave me some wonderful gifts starting with  tins of Coronation tea and biscuits (I'm eating one right now). The biscuit tin is actually a music box and plays Pomp and Circumstance. She also gave me a lovely stitched tin with lots of queen stitches on it and a very unique awl with stitched case made from half a pair of scissors--is that cool or what?

I love the shamrock band on the crown!

I truly was following the early to bed..early to rise adage as I was in bed by 9:00 PM.


My first class began at 9:00 and was The Unplayed Piano. Jackie had been asked by a past president of the EGA to reproduce a leather piano etui from their permanent collection and this was the result. I am going to tweak mine a bit as I heard some great ideas for additional stitching on the piece while there. I've been wanting this piece since I first saw it to stitch for my daughter, Jess, who plays the piano. I would love to get into Jackie's "head" at some point to follow her thought processes while coming up with these ideas. She is truly unique and clever!!! I ordered a companion piece to the piano which is called Music to My Fingers. I love this title---aren't we really creating symphonies of color when we stitch!!! I think this will be my new mantra!!!
Antique leather piano etui
etui opened

Here is Jackie's version:

Note the sheet of music off to the side. That's a piece of scrimshaw that will sit on the front

Dinner that night was hosted by The Attic at a caterer's next to their shop. On the way there, after realizing there was a much quicker route, we stopped at an adorable quilt shop where I got this fun fabric with large cross stitch letters. 

Day 4
I opted for no class today so I could spend the day with my niece and her husband who live in Mesa. They picked me up in the morning and we first climbed up to see "Hole in a Rock". Hers'a pic of me and Heather with the hole behind us.
We then spent a few hours at the Phoenix zoo. It was a beautiful day--not too hot--and we saw lots of animals. It was great doing this with Justin as he's studying to be a fish and wildlife ranger and knew lots about the critters. I had an early dinner with them and then returned to the hotel for a quick rest. I accompanied some ladies (you do meet the nicest people at stitching retreats) to dinner opting for dessert only at the restaurant at Bass Pro shop. The place was very nice and quiet and we had a fantastic waitress.

Day 5
My second class, The Secret Garden awaited me. Oh the luscious colors in this one!! I'll let the fibers speak for themselves!

This class proved to be a bit overwhelming; there is a LOT of stitching but...oh the finished product is fanatastic!

(Notice I'm writing less and less--probably should have broken this up--but I'm trying to get it out while it's still semi-fresh in my brain!)

After class we made a trip to Joanns. Dinner was at Dave's Famous Bar-B-Q  with a very nice group pf ladies--shout out to  Paola, Kathy, Amy and Stephny!!! The restaurant was extremely busy and was giving all vets a free dinner for Veterans Day. They all wore tags stating what branch of the military they had served. What a generous thing to do!

Good-byes were said at the hotel and I was off to bed for an early wake up call at 4:00AM. I know I'm nuts but I so prefer direct flights!

Day 6
Up early to wait for the Super Shuttle to take me to the airport. They were late!!! Luckily, I ran into Jackie in the lobby, who was being picked up by Jean and driven to the airport. They rescued me and took me with them. It was a good thing because when I called the shuttle service to get a refund, they told me the driver had been 45 minutes late. Thanks to Jackie and Jean--much appreciated!!!! Not sure I could have handled running through the airport at that time of the morning. Who am I kidding??? I couldn't have handled that any time! No further drama and I made it home safe and sound.

It's always hard coming back to reality after these wonderful events. I get so motivated and just want to stitch..stitch... stitch! 

If you've made it to the end of this post, I'm appreciative you took the time.  Thanks for stopping by and your "twisted threads" of friendship!



  1. Loved meeting you Stasi and hope our paths cross at a retreat again soon!

  2. Oh what a fun time you had! Thank you so much for sharing. I really enjoyed your post.

  3. Oh drool! What a wonderful trip! I love Jackie's projects since they contain the very best materials and the instructions are great. Glad you had such a wonderful time and I could enjoy it through your post.

    You mentioned some Betsy Morgan projects are available. Can you tell me where? I have been dying to take a class from her for years.