Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Squirrely Trip..............

First off, I'm going to say I'm a little upset with myself. I'm just not fully thinking "blog mode" yet and didn't take any photos of the trip. So, sorry for that omission but hopefully my "words' will suffice!

Squirrels Nest Getaway 2012  ( A Stitchers Escape with Merry Cox)

Phyllis and Debbie arrived Wednesday afternoon and we just settled in for a quiet night of stitching and relaxing after a dinner of my oven baked chicken salad (YUMMMY). Thursday we were off at 8:00 AM after working out the "puzzle" of fitting everything into my car. We have so much stuff, it's a wonder it all fits---the usual clothes and things, but then the stitching necessities: lights, magnifyers, projects, show and tell, class supplies and on and on and on!!! Drove on to our first stop in Wheeling where we got Eat N Park cookies for Phyllis, Cabellas fudge for me, Whitman tins at the Russell Stover outlet, and lunch at Cheddars. Do you notice a food theme going on here???? 

Then as we were ready to get back on I-70... an unwelcome surprise...the entrance to the highway was blocked by police and we couldn't get on!!! Not being familiar with Wheeling, except for passing through, we had no idea what to do (and of course I couldn't figure out how to get an alternate route on my GPS).Luckily, we returned to the Russell Stover outlet and the kind ladies there directed us to a back route and we were able to resume our drive. All went well for about an hour before we got in a huge back up on I-70 in Ohio!!! I have a standard transmission, so this was a killer for my knees--downhill okay--uphill--torture! Needless to say we were about 1 1/2 hours behind schedule for picking up the key to our apartment, but they were kind enough to leave it under a mat for us. (Side note---Rich and I rented a townhouse in a lovely community before we moved from Cincinnati and since I'm a former resident, I can rent their guest apartment when in town. It's works out splendidly as we have a 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite with kitchen, living and dining rooms and even a laundry room. It works perfectly for us to stitch at night and all be together).

As soon as we unpacked it was off to Skyline for Cincinnati chili (it's never as good as it is in person with the mounds of cheddar cheese piled on), then Krogers for some food stuffs. I think we bought out their Cincy chili mix packets to take home. Mary joined us at the apartment that night.. and then there was four!!!

We started out early the next day and went to the retreat (Squirrels Nest Getaway) to see what we could find at Merry's boutique. There we met up with Paola, who we had just seen the beginning of June at Salty Yarns. We weren't taking classes Friday  so we drove on over to Keepsakes for a cross stitch fix. We ran in to many of the retreat attendees there, so it was like old home week and the place was hopping!! Thanks Barb for your hospitality! Then it was on to Waynesville for lunch and a visit to The Fabric Shack. We finally got to squeeze in the Home Decorating Fabric  Shack store and were very happy to find some beautiful patterned silks--one even had bees on it!!! Lunch was very tasty and we were all treated to a complimentary cup of Chai tea after our meal--it was deliciouso (not sure that's a real word...Paola help me with my Italian :) )!

Friday evening, I met up with an old friend, her sister and Carol from The Polka Dot Chicken. Had a great time catching up at dinner ('til the band started) and then at Donna's where we could hear each other talk.

We had an all day class on Saturday, a lovely piece that fits in a special wooden box called Le Nouveau Palais Royale.  I am stitching this for my granddaughter, Cora.

Sunday was another class, So Dear to thy Heart, again with a very special shaker box.

I'll post more about the class projects as I work on getting them stitched and finished. A BIG thank you to Carol, and her staff, for hosting this wonderful event. Can't wait until  SNG 2014!!!

Sunday evening I was able to meet up with my Twisted Sisters. These are the ladies I worked with at Twisted Threads and it was great to be able to catch up on their families, new grandchildren and just life in general! I did a show'n' tell of my latest projects, but sadly, none of them are stitching much. It seems their lives are busy with other things and stitching isn't their only entertainment in the evenings! :)

Monday we were on our way home and it was smooth sailing--no back-ups, road closings or bad weather. We made good time and could relax and rehash the weekend that night. Tuesday morning, Phyllis and Debbie were on their way home , with a stop at the Longaberger Outlet in Hagerstown, and I was back to REALITY with our business. It was a wonderful trip, lots accomplished and lots to get stitching on here at the hive.

Until next time..............

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Skyline Chili...Here I Come!!!!

Well, I'm off to Cincinnati on Thursday For Squirrels Nest Getaway, a three day stitching retreat with Merry Cox. My travelling buddies, Phyllis and Debbie, are coming to my house tomorrow to ride out with me. It's about an 8 hour drive but we make many pit stops/visits along the way. One we're excited about is the Russell Stover outlet in Wheeling, as we're always on the "hunt" for Whitman tins. And, of course, the candy inside is wonderful "snacking" for the trip!

This year we are taking classes on Saturday and Sunday, so Friday is a "play Day". First we'll hit Merry's boutique, then on to the local needlework shop, Keepsakes and finally Waynesville for some retail therapy at The Fabric Shack. Weather is sounding like it's going to be HOT--HOT--HOT so walking around Waynesville may be at a minimum. Will be playing that by ear...or should I say heat!

I'll be meeting up with some friends for dinner Friday night and my Twisted Sisters Sunday evening. It's always a jam packed trip because I want to see as many people and visit as many favorite haunts as I can.  Of course I'll also see a bunch of ladies, who were customers at Twisted Threads, at the retreat and that is always very enjoyable. Skyline chili is a MUST!!!! But that won't be a problem because Phyllis and Debbie usually like to eat it every day! :)

 I have been stitching in the evenings. It's been so pleasant so far this summer,  no A/C needed, just have the ceiling fan on, and it blows right on to my stitching chair.We can hear the sounds of nature out our windows and this past week, it brought us the mating call of two screech owls! We were able to see them on a branch together and tried to get pictures but it was dusk and they came out very dark.

Here are some photos of what I've been working on.

Chessie & Me's Botanical Sewing Pocket
Scissor Fob

Inside Pocket

I did change some colors, using ones from my stash, but kept with her overall color theme. I loved the  Weeks Cadet Blue around the border and kept that. I love the overdyed gingham fabric and it's more golden than what the photos show. Can't wait to put this one together!

I've also been working on another Betsy Morgan class piece that I took last summer, This Ones's For Betty, An Elizabethan Spot Motif Etui.  Here are pics of what I've stitched so far:

Waxer Box

Scissor Fob

Needle Book

Sweet Bag Thimble Keep

Button Pocket

It's a truly lovely piece dedicated to Betty Fleming, who was a founder of the Loudoun Sampler Guild, of which I am a member.

Now I have to go perform the daunting task of packing. This is always problematic because you need to take so much for the stitching classes--lights, magnification, scissors (paper and fabric), cutting boards,etc...... and then all the "what-ifs"!! You know...what if I need this...or...what if I need that!!! Of course I also have to pack clothes, toiletries, snacks and "show n tell". I also NEED my own pillow!!!! Getting the three of us and all our stuff into my little Subaru is a true challenge; it's like a three dimensional puzzle---you have to fit the right pieces into just the right places!!!

See you on the flip side!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Field Trip to Woodlawn

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going on a field trip with my new EGA Chapter to see the needlework exhibit at Woodlawn. What an inspirational trip--649 wonderful entries to drool over (figuratively of course)! Most needlework methods were represented from counted work to ribbon embroidery, needlepoint, smocking, stump work--pretty much the whole gamut! Lovely, lovely work!!! I even recognized some familiar names among the pieces, so that was fun!

Then it was on to lunch at Mount Vernon followed by a visit to In Stitches for some shopping. I got a Celtic needle minder, pair of scissors,  bee pincushion from JABCO and a great deal on some R&R fabric--fat quarters for just $6.00!!! I need that like a hole in the head but couldn't resist--you know how it is. :)  In fact, I had totally missed the sale basket and was told about it by another lady in our group. I just had time to run back in and get some before they loaded our bus.

 In Stitches is a fabulous shop--loaded to the gills with everything a stitcher could want or hope for. I'll look forward to another visit sometime in the future.

All in all, quite an enjoyable day and......I'm thinking about entering a piece next year. It will be Woodlawns 50th anniversary!

Off to the shower--I've been sitting here cooling down after mowing the lawn. 

Take care,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Down By the Sea............

I just spent the most wonderful weekend in Ocean City, MD at a stitching retreat hosted by Salty Yarns. 
My trip started out with lunch with an old neighbor in Annapolis. Now when I say old neighbor, it is a wonderful 29 year old who is like a son to me. I'm amazed he's interested in meeting up with me, but we've done this a few times and talk non-stop the whole lunch. His parents are some of our closest friends and he and his brothers shared their early years together in Bethlehem, PA.
Then, it was on to OC  where I arrived a little shaken after witnessing a bad accident (the car in front of me drove off the rode and hit a metal lamppost and telephone pole) and having to negotiate--quickly I might add-- under falling wires across the highway. It was either sit and have them fall on my car or hit the gas and hopefully make it under them. I'm happy my reflexes kicked in and I chose the latter, pulled over and called 911 on the other side. Not sure what the outcome was because I didn't feel it was safe to go back over the wires and the cars behind me had pulled over to help.

All that aside, the event was a class, from Betsy Morgan (Of Willing Hands) called the Elizabethan Casket Etui. What a fabulous piece!!! It showcases diffferent styles of stitching from around the world.

We spent two days in class learning all the techniques and receiving instructions. I have taken classes from Besty before, but always manage to walk away with something new. We completed the thimble bag in class.

Note the sweet little hedebo butonhole bars to run the cording through (that is when I've made it)

I learned a really neat "new to me" stitch, the Aztec stitch, which is featured in Mexican embroidery. This involved some drawn work and wrapping, but is a really fun and beautiful stitch.

I  love Betsy's designs and am always thrilled when I can make it to one of her classes. I hate to say I'm a "groupie" because that brings up images of teenage girls following rock stars all around, but I guess I'm a "devotee". I just find her pieces well thought out, challenging and just plain beautiful. If you can ever manage to take a class with her, by all means do!!! I can't wait for the next one!

I managed to but a few items while there I thought I'd share. First, Betsy had some mother of pearl "game Pieces" that can be used as thread winders. I got two:

 The one on the left looks like it has a shamrock on it, though I'm sure it's a club. The one on the right has a flower. I know they're hard to see, but the surface reflected any light.
Then I got a lovely wooden beeskep for my Regal Bee box and a bee scissor keep from Puffin and Company.

As for the weekend in general, what can better than spending it at the beach with fellow stitchers with similar interests. Sally and Sara treat us superbly and it's great to catch up with the ladies. There is always some "show and tell" and my friends, Debbie and Paola, had some lovely finished pieces to share. I always come home feeling renewed and anxious to start and/or finish projects.

Next up, in 2 weeks is a trip to Cincinnati for two classes with Merry Cox at Squirrels Nest Getaway. Skyline Chili here I come!!!!!