Saturday, July 18, 2009

Is it Tea Time?

For those of you in the Chicagoland area, here's a chance to take a class with a National teacher, Barbara Jackson. Barbara will be teaching classes for the Lake Michigan Sampler Guild on September 12th and 13th. Come create a charming tea time basket band. The motifs are reminiscent of those sea faring days when tea was quite a luxury. Barbara has arranged motifs around two tea time sayings, but you can alter to your liking. The embroidery was designed to fit inside an adaptation of a beautifully constructed Nantucket shopping basket. Just the thing ladies carried when they visited their friends for tea! The sailing ships, mermaids and delightful colonial maids are all ready to grace your work as you create your own "needle story" on 36 count Edinborough linen. The basket measures approximately 7" x 9" x 6" high. The assembly of the lining is quite easy and will be demonstrated in class.

The kit contains linen for the band and accessories, silks, complete instructions, extra graph paper, photos, needles, cardboard for base and Nantucket basket from Olde Colonial Designs.

For more details and to register for the class, visit Lake Michigan Sampler Guild Sign-up deadline is August 12, 2009!

What a beautiful piece! If you have the chance, take the class. Barbara is an excellent teacher!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Can I get a little sympathy?

I really don't expect too much, just a little "awwww, I'm so sorry." I've heard horror stories about people's air conditioning going out during the hottest days of summer but I've always been fortunate that it never happened to ME. Well, until yesterday, that is!! Yesterday afternoon I noticed it getting warmer and warmer here in the shop and sure enough, the compressor is not running outside. Poor Debbie covered my evening shift because I had to attend my EGA meeting. She even changed into shorts and a tank top but it didn't seem to help! Today the repairman has not come yet and I am sitting ever so still so as not to expend too much energy. I have a fan blowing on me, but the temp has crept up to 80 degrees. I'll say a little prayer that the repairman comes SOON. How did people ever survive without air conditioning? Oh, we are a spoiled bunch of humans, aren't we???

I also promised you a full pic of my "1776" by Carousel Charts. I couldn't type on my blog what it was for, but I did this piece for my friend that got married on July 4th. I removed the "1776" from the design and added the couple's last name and the wedding date. She loved it! I really enjoyed stitching this piece and love the R&R Americana Blend fabric I stitched it on so much more so than the Oatmeal the design called for.

Thanks for stopping by! Stay cool!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bridge Out Ahead!

Hmmmm, that would have been a helpful notice if it had been posted yesterday, or last week or even two weeks ago, but there were no signs indicating the fiasco that ensued today. I left my house at my usual time to make the short drive to the shop in downtown Lemont, IL. I was meandering along, moving over to the right lane because for the last three weeks or so there has been construction on the Lemont Avenue bridge which is over the I&M Canal and the Des Plaines River. The Northbound lanes have been closed for resurfacing and the Southbound lanes have been used to move traffic in both directions. So, as I drive closer to the bridge I see the notice that the bridge is closed and Lemont Road South detour is permitted a U-turn. I could not make heads nor tails of the Detour signs and I live here and drive over this bridge every single day! I exited to the right and followed along some quarry road but quickly decided this was going nowhere fast, so I whipped a U-ie and headed North down Lemont Road.

I was only 20 minutes late to the shop and Pam followed closely behind so it wasn't a disaster, but all this was to say, "Why weren't we notified?" Such frustration! There are very limited routes that cross over the Canal and River and if you don't have a GPS at your disposal, you'll be calling your husband like I did to find out where to go next. I decided I was going to call the Village of Lemont and voice a complaint about the lack of information regarding the bridge closing, so I went to the website to look up the phone number. Here is what I found:

The "news flash" would have been so helpful if it had been posted at the foot of the bridge yesterday! A customer of mine and her friend came from the Northwest suburbs this afternoon and tried to follow the detour signs. An hour and a half later, they were closer to the shop, about 10 minutes away, when the detour wanted them to head South on State Street. Luckily, they didn't follow the sign or they would still probably be driving around!

On another note, I'm in the process of setting up a new blog. I've been having problems interacting with Blogger and Wordpress blogs and they don't link properly to mine. I'm going to try to bring over all my posts to the new blog and when it's all ready, I'll switch the addy the website points to so you get redirected to the right place.

That's all for now, folks! Thanks for listening!

Open Stitch Night

Thought I'd give you a peek at what takes place at an Open Stitch Night at the shop. Here is just one table of stitchers, engaged in some form of stitching, talking, eating or browsing. Tonight was pretty crowded. We had three tables set up - you're looking at the table with the most people. It's a lot of fun to come and hang out with other like-minded needle workers. You're away from the "everyday" at home and you share a common interest with everyone at the shop. There is only one danger, however, in such an environment......your friends will find items that you've never seen before and that you just "have to have"!

A suggestion was made to have an Open Stitch Night twice a month, perhaps on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Opinions? Would you be willing to come to both nights? How do you choose which night to attend? Any other suggestions?

Thanks to those of you that did come out tonight. I really enjoy these evenings as it's my chance to see what everyone is working on and to catch up with friends. I hope you did not mind the "coziness" and that you will come back again next month!

Bloggin' On.....

It has taken me over two months to get through this magazine since I have little free time to read but I wanted to be sure not to miss a single article. This is a wonderful magazine and thanks to Laura's drawing, I was the lucky recipient of the mag. I would love to return the favor and will hold a drawing a week from tonight, July 9th to pass along the issue. If you'd like to be included in the drawing, please leave a comment.

Good luck!

Americana update

Several weeks ago, I posted about the design by Carousel Charts, "1776" that I was stitching. I promised some updates but due to the swiftness of my stitching (very unusal for me!), I had already stitched some sections that were personalized which rendered the pictures unpostable. Well, here is my piece back from the framer and while I had to do some significant cropping, you can still get a good idea of how the design looks on the American Blend fabric by R&R. Give me another week or so and I'll be able to post the entire pic.

Happy Independence Day!


Me and my shadow

Sorry for the lack of posts lately...been busy writing newsletters, sprucing up the shop and getting my niece trained to run the shop in my absence. I am typing this while traveling along I-90 (how cool is that??!) on my way to pick up the kiddos to bring them to Chicago. We'll have them here for a few weeks and then we're taking off for Cedar Point for a few days. We'll hook up with my husband's sister and her family and do a little splashing in the water park and roller coaster-ing at the amusement park. So, just to let you know, the shop will be closed Wed/Thur/Fri June 24, 25 & 26. The shop will reopen on Saturday, June 27, thanks to Pam's willingness to run things while I'm gone! I will post a note on the front door, update my Facebook page and send out an email. I hope no one is disappointed by driving out to the shop on those days only to find it closed!

Here's what I've been doing the last week: we went for a very long walk through the Waterfall Glen forest preserve in search of the elusive waterfall. It wasn't really elusive but yours truly seriously miscalculated the distance of the waterfall from our house! After walking 4 miles, we realized it would be another mile and a half before we reached the falls. Sorry, no can do. There wasn't enough time and Stefanie's feet were starting to hurt her. So, we turned back and hobbled home. Every chance we could, we stopped to admire the wildlife. Froggy-went-a-courting can be see out on the log:

I remember that song from when I was a kid. On long car trips, my Aunt would sing, "Froggy went a courtin' and he did ride, um hum, um hum...." Now everytime I see a frog, that song runs through my head.

We also happened upon some toddlers out frolicking in the pond:

But, as in any adventure story, there has to be a villian. We saw a sneaky snake hiding in the cattails, hopefully just taking a nap. We didn't bother too much with him; just snapped the pic and went on our way. We hoped he wasn't waiting for a chance to munch on some duck for lunch!

Since arriving in Chicago, my niece, Stefanie, has been stitching her little heart out. I sent her "Mermaid Sampler" by Shepherd's Bush a few months ago but she hadn't started it yet. She was afraid because it was on linen and she had only stitched on aida. Here is her finished sampler, specialty stitches and all:

Stefanie takes to stitching like a fish to water. It's wonderful to have a young lady to teach to pass along this art. After all, someone has to inherit all my stash when I die, right? Here's a close-up of the mermaid. She is really cute. Stefcha, you did a great job!

We just stopped for breakfast so it's time to get back on the road. Have a great weekend, everyone!

A star-spangled, beaded necklace!

Well, maybe "star-spangled" is pushing it a bit, but I did manage to finish all the beading for Rosewood Manor's "Gathering Flowers" beaded linen necklace over the Memorial Day Weekend. This is the class piece that will be taught June 5th at 6pm. The class will be taught in two parts. The first part will be general stitching instructions and assembly of the beaded neckchain. Homework will be to stitch the front and back sides and be ready to attach the beaded swags and neckchains in the next class session. After we attach those, we will attach the two sides together and go home wearing our new necklaces! How do you like the model so far? It sure was fun to make the chain, even though I did it twice. The first time I found I didn't make the chain long enough so I cut off the beading and started over!

Lately I've been having a problem with being on my feet all day at the shop. I was blog hopping on Monday morning and came across a blog that had a link to the Crocs website. My DH has a pair of Scutes slip-ons and those are the ultimate in comfort ~ like walking on pillows. I think all Crocs are rather unattractive (putting it nicely) and had never considered a pair due to that reason. Browsing the website, I saw a pair called Malindi that would look really cute with crop pants. I have been wearing my Nike's to the shop to save my feet but even those fall short on comfort some days. At only $30, I thought I'd give them a try. So, DH and I headed on out to Dick's Sporting Goods to look at the Croc's they had in stock. Right away, I didn't care for the Malindi style, but I did find Olivia which were ok looking and comfortable, too.

I purchased a pair of Olivia in brown and put them on in the car. I wore them the rest of the day and my feet did not feel tired at all! I think I would have worn them to bed if not for that "no shoes on the bed" rule that I have! They were warm and cozy and there is definitely no "break in" period as with all other new shoes. The only thing that is a bit bothersome is that my feet feel sweaty after just a few minutes. Seeing that I've had them on all day today and my feet and legs are not sore from walking around the shop says quite a bit. I am sold on Crocs. Ok, I won't wear them for our next night on the town, but for a general purpose, I-need-comfortable-shoes kind of day, the Crocs fit the bill!

I hope you all had a pleasant long weekend and got lots of stitchy things done!

Treasure Hunting part II

I have finished the backside of my linen necklace and just sent out a shop email informing my readers of the class that is scheduled. This hand-stitched wearable was fun to stitch and it will look great around my neck! The first part of the class is scheduled for June 5th, a Friday evening. We will get started on our stitching, talk about placement on the fabric and I'll expound a bit on the embellishing. We'll also put together as much of the beaded neckchain as possible. When we come back together on July 10th, another Friday evening, we will assemble the entire thing so that you will leave class with a fabulous piece of wearable art! Check back soon for more pics with the beads/Treasures.

More to write as I want to update you on my relaxing weekend with the kids! be edited.... Ok, I'm back! We had such a glorious day in PA on Friday while folks back home were dragging out the canoes and dinghies. The weather was perfect; 74 and sunny. By the time we reached Erie, it had cooled off somewhat but still nice enough to head out to Presque Isle State Park. This peninsula is a fun place to go to walk, bike, hike, swim, skate or drive. There were several groups of people having picnics on the beach and our little group was skipping stones!

We searched for shells and feathers and came away with a pretty good haul.

We marveled at the vegetation and drank in the beauty of this natural, national landmark.

The kids had fun; we had fun. All in all, it was a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Americana on my mind

Ever since Ranae was in the shop last weekend and purchased some R&R linen, "Americana Blend" for a chart she wanted to work on, I've been mulling it over in my mind about what I could stitch on that fabric. When we pulled the 32 count fabric, we ooh-ed and aah-ed over the very cool blue/green color. It was not quite what she was expecting but we both really liked it and she left very pleased with her selection. She will have to refresh my memory what chart the fabric was for, but I think it was a La-D-Da.

This week I've been in a very patriotic mood. I changed out the display in the front window and now there are lots of Red, White and Blue themed charts in view. One new chart that has come in the shop is "1776" by Carousel Charts.

Getting ready for my long weekend, I wanted to cut linen and pull fibers to stitch this design. The chart calls for 16 count Fiddler's Oatmeal Light Aida. Now I like linen. All kinds. I didn't want Oatmeal, Antique White or Cream fabric and was thinking that the design would lend itself to a blueish fabric. So I turned to my fabric cabinet and started looking and my fingers fell upon, yep, you guessed it, Americana Blend! I pulled the 30 count I have in this color and it is certainly blu-er than the piece that Ranae got, but I like it equally. I always marvel that I can look at something day in and day out and not really see it, but let someone "discover" it and suddenly, I see it in a whole new light! That's what I love about stitch nights. I like to see what others are working on. They always lend inspiration and while I may not choose to stitch what someone is working on, I may get new ideas just from seeing their current work-in-process. Here's my "before" pic. I'll post progress pics as I can.

I'm heading out of town for a long weekend. The shop will be in capable hands. I'm very torn when I have to leave town as I really want to go, but I know I'll miss out on what is happening around the shop. I hope the gals take notes and let me know what I will miss! Take care and have a great weekend!

Going Treasure Hunting

for Mill Hill Treasures, that is! I finished one side of the "Gathering Flowers" necklace by Rosewood Manor. All I have left is to sew on 4 Mill Hill Treasures. I'm already stitching on the 2nd side with my initial. There is hope yet for a May class!

Had a good Mother's Day. Did some grocery shopping after church today then out for a quick Chinese lunch. My favorite for Sunday afternoons! Cleaned up the house a bit, did a load of laundry and started packing for our trip this weekend. DH grilled me a steak for dinner and we had cucumbers and fresh mozzarella again - not that I minded one bit! I hope you all had enjoyable family time this weekend and were treated royally!

Catching up is hard to do...

(sung to the tune of "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do") .. It seems like I've been failing to update the blog as frequently ever since I created a page for Inspired Needle on Facebook. Wish I could clone myself. Then I'd be able to keep up with the website, Facebook, the blog and stitch! I'd be supremely happy!

Not much stitching done this week. I did lace up Spots III by Lilybet. As soon as I get it from the framer, I'll snap a pic. My friend Carol stitched it up as a shop model and she did a fantastic job. She also is a speedy stitcher and her work always looks exceptional!

The day at the shop was busy again. I had two new-to-me customers, one of whom found me through blogging! I was so thrilled to find out that tidbit of news. Apparently, Ranae read about my shop on Laura's blog so today she and her DH took a drive from up north to check it out. Thank you so much for making the trek! I hope you find it was worth the drive and your time.

Speaking of Laura, I was the lucky winner of her giveaway last week. Her blog was written up in Artful Blogging magazine and to celebrate, was giving away a previous issue. When Laura came to the Open Stitch night last Tuesday, she handed me the magazine (and some extra stitchy magazine treats!) and said I won. Now, I had even checked her blog earlier in the day to see who had won and even remember reading the name, but it did not register that *I* was the "Cathy" that won! Woohoo! Thanks a bunch, Laura. I am a new blogger and I need all the pointers I can get!

After work, I came home and DH and I went for a walk outside. It was quite lovely; a little cool-ish, but since we were walking, we didn't need jackets. When we got back home, we both worked on dinner. He grilled some bacon-wrapped sirloin (got it at Costco....DH loved them...I thought they were just ok) while I made some cucumbers with sour cream and a plate of fresh mozzarella with tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Scrumptious!

Dishes were cleaned up and then I settled in to stitch on my next class piece, Rosewood Manor's "Gathering Flowers" linen necklace. It seems I should have gotten farther than I did; after all, I was stitching for more than 3 hours! How could I have so little to show for it? Anyway, here is my start. Class should be late this month, but it might be early next month. Watch your email box for more details. If you'd like to be added to my shop email newsletter list, please leave me a comment.

Shortly after I sat down this evening, I looked out the front window and this was the sight I beheld:

Such a view! It was the last of the sun for the day and within moments, the marvelous red was gone.

Good night. May you enjoy the remainder of your weekend!

Another weekend gone....

Saturday was a busy day at the shop and before I could finish my lunch, it was 4 o' clock. The DH decided to meet me at the shop and take me out to dinner. Well, actually, he drove his motorcycle and followed me to the restaurant. There is a new restaurant in downtown Lemont that opened that looked promising, but I chickened out from trying it. I hesitate when spending $$ for a nice steak if I'm unfamiliar with a place. What if the food is bad or not what I expected? I really dislike spending good money for dinner and then not being satisfied. So, we opted for one of my favorite restaurants, Longhorn. I have never had a bad meal there and Saturday night was no exception! My usual fare is the prime rib ~ mmmmm, yummy, however, I had a hankering for ribs. That in itself is unusual because if you know me, you know that I almost never order ribs. I was just in the mood, you know? So, I fretted and worried that I would be sorry I veered from the tried and true prime rib...well that is until my dinner came and I took one little bite of the ribs! Never had to fear! They were outstanding!! The DH had the prime rib and he was equally pleased with his meal. Two thumbs up, Longhorn!

Then, for the really good news of the evening, I worked on my little blackbird and he is finished. I added my initials and year at the bottom but first stitched them in Cinnamon to match the alphabet up top. I didn't like how it clashed with the greenery, so today I ripped it out and re-stitched with the same silk as the leaves and stems. Everything blends together well and you hardly notice the initials. Sorry for the wrinkled linen, but I was in a hurry to snap the picture as we were heading back out the door to the Sunday evening service.

Then when we got back home, I laced up "Hot Cider" by Little By Little. Pam did a great job on this design. She whipped it up in no time at all and I've been lax in ordering a frame for it. Well tonight it is ready for a new frame and a new place on the wall. You'll have to wait until I get it back before I can post a picture.

That's all for now! Happy Monday, everyone.

Harvest sightings.....

As promised (but alas, I'm a bit behind schedule), here is "All In A Moon". This is second in a series by Miss Crescent's Crowne. Thanks to the quick stitching by Jean, this design is now hanging in the shop. Great work, Jean! The colors are fabulous. The fabric used was changed to Weeks Guacamole, which we felt gave the Crescent Colour fibers a bit more pop. Stay tuned for "All In A Heart" which will be posted as soon as Jean brings it to the shop!

Top 4 reasons how you know spring is here....

4. Hyacinth, Daffodils, Tulips
3. Freshly mown grass (and the smell)!
2. Rain. Lots of it.
1. And the number one reason how you know spring is here.....DANDELIONS!

Ok, this can be edited to add more reasons. I could only come up with 4 - at least the top 4 that have been on my mind the last week or so! Here's a beautiful sight that greets me every morning when I leave my house. This was taken yesterday when there was a bit of sunlight shining down. Today it was overcast and gloomy (again...) and those pretty tulips were closed up tight.

A different, pretty little sight is "Friendship Samplers" by Country Stitches~With Thy Needle & Thread. These are miniature samplers and are shown stitched and mounted into little tin frames. They are so sweet. The designer has threaded the tin loop through with twine and affixed these precious samplers to rusty cans, a tattered old novel, a much-loved can even put it on a chain and wear it around your neck! Look at the lovely colors! Recommended fabric is Platinum Belfast and the DMC threads. I can just picture the ornament tree in my front shop window filled with these. Maybe my dear shop associate, Pam, can be coerced into stiching one (or two or three) for the shop??? :)

Look what Santa brought!

Yes, it would be nice to think that Santa actually could fly here in April, but the reindeer haven't recovered yet from December. I've always been taught that they sleep for several months when the Christmas rush is over and then they start up training in July for the big event. So, let's just say that if Santa could, he would have brought this:

Instead, my friend Jean, who is Stitchy Royalty too, whipped this Christmas beauty up in the time it takes to say, "Dash away, all!" This is Miss Crescent's Crowne, "All In A Sleigh". There will be four designs in this series. Watch this space in the next couple of days for "All In A Moon". It will be a fav of all you Halloween fans. The third design released is "All In A Heart" and last I heard, Jean was almost finished stitching that one, too! As soon as I have them framed, they will be posted here. Thanks for a great stitch, Jean!

Happy Birthday, Debbie!

What a beautiful day it is here in Chicagoland! The temp climbed to a high of 81 degrees today.....the windows and back door to the shop were open. There was a soft breeze drifting into the shop. It remained comfortable inside; I just couldn't bring myself to turn on the air after being cooped up all winter long!

I must send out birthday wishes to Her Royal Stitchiness, Debbie! She is my good friend and a supersonic stitcher. What did she do just prior to her big day? She stitched another model for the shop!! What a fab friend! She is enjoying time with her family that are visiting after a long stint overseas. I know they had a busy few weeks planned. Yesterday was spent at Brookfield Zoo and today they were going downtown to the Sears Tower Skydeck. Debbie, enjoy the wonderful day you were born! You are a gem of a friend.

Here is the sweet little scissor case Debbie whipped up. It is a Limited Edition design by The Cat's Whiskers called "For My Friend" stitched with those luscious Dinky-Dye silk threads.

A croaking finish!

My framer dropped off Ink Circles "Croakworth" that my friend Deb stitched as a shop model. It is stunning!! I don't want to hang it on the shop walls; I want to take it home with me!! Deb, you did an excellent job stitching. This little beauty has a slight glare in the glass in the photo but I'm sure you'll drool just the same. :)

A downtown visit

Although the reason we were downtown was not a good one, I did manage to snap a few pics of our beautiful city. The day was drizzly and overcast as evidenced by the low clouds obscuring the Sears Tower. If you look at the 2nd car on the left in the photo and then scan straight up with your eyes, the dark thin building is the Sears Tower. You can't see the top of the building nor the antennas due to the clouds.

Then, while waiting at a light, I looked up and there was the John Hancock building! It's the one with the antenna showing. Directly behind it, kind of whitish with a row of dark windows on the top floor, is the Chase Building, or as I remember growing up calling it the First National Bank building. That was an aquisition, but does it seem like every building gets renamed at some point? Even our beloved Marshall Fields is now Macy's. It will always be Marshall Fields to me!

Since I had lots of waiting time available to me, I was working on Summer Flower Sampler by Knotted Tree. Granted I did a lot of this during the last few days, but I did get a chunk done today. I made some progress, huh?

The picture does not do it justice. The silks are just so vibrant! I truly love this design and will enjoy looking at it hanging on the wall. I'm not sure about the specialty stitches, though. The design calls for some Rhodes stitches and a few other stitches (I can't remember off the top of my head) done in black and scattered about the design. I'll do a couple and see how it looks. I may decide to just leave them out.

Feel free to leave comments if you have something you'd like to say. I do enjoy keeping up with the blog and sharing with you all a little part of my day. :)

Glorious Day

I've been wanting to take pictures of the signs of Spring but up until yesterday, it has been gloomy and dark. Here are some lovely sights I get to behold on my way into the shop every day!

If you remember, a few posts back, I had finished stitching "Patriotic Landscape" by Homespun Elegance. It is finally laced and in its frame. I think it turned out well. I love the simplicity of the design and the fact that if it hangs on my wall for the next 30 years, I will never grow tired of looking at it!

That is two pieces laced and framed today! The other is by Sam Sarah, called Pearls Egg Delivery! Pam stitched that piece for the shop and it is now hanging on the wall! I'll try to snap a pic of it tomorrow.

Have you checked out the Online Needlework Show yet? I need to have your order sometime Monday evening. The show closes at midnight, 4/20, and I'll need to finalize my orders with the vendors and still get to sleep at a reasonable time! There are lots of designers that are new to me and I've seen many wonderful new designs. Browsing is free so hop on over to the Needlework Show and drool a little! :)

Didn't make the finish

My local chapter of EGA will be assembling a biscornu for the "Program" portion of our meeting. The story began back in February where our Program Chairman cajoled the members to stitch a tuffet. Now, most of our membership is a little intimidated by the assembly process of the pincushion, but Joyce, our Chairman, patiently and gently explained how it was done. She instructed us in the up-front basting and backstitching that needs to take place before ever putting in those first stitches. We all left that meeting confident that we'd return for our April meeting finished with the stitching and ready to tackle the assembly.

Well, here it is....tomorrow is our chapter meeting and I haven't finished stitching my biscornu. I guess I will have to sit attentively and take lots of notes!! I am so close with the more motif to stitch and then the border. However, there is a 2nd side to this tuffet so I'm not really all that close. The progress continues. Now that I see how lovely this is turning out, I can't wait to finish! (Rindy, what do you think??)

Designer: Maureen Appleton ~ The Heart's Content
Design name: Garden Tuffet and Fob (haven't even thought about the fob yet!)
Stitched on "Muffin" Glenshee Linen with DMC floss

Little Gems have arrived!

What a story to tell, but the precious Little Gems scissors from Kelmscott Designs have found their way to the shop! These six vibrant colors were lost on a shipment in France somewhere, promised to be redirected, but alas, they are still touring the French countryside. Paula, the designer, manufactured another batch of these tiny darlings to replace the lost shipment. Here they are and aren't they just so sweet? These new colors (green, white, red, blue, orange and yellow) now join their siblings (purple, silver, pink, gold and black) that have been in the shop since February.

These scissors are perfect homes for all those fobs we love to stitch. Or, tuck a pair in your travel bag for they are very airplane friendly. At the great price of $9 each, you can slip a pair into each of your project bags and never be without a way to cut your threads!

Need some inspiration?

This treasure-trove of gems was hauled into the shop today by the UPS guy! Can you believe these colors? Mmmmm, mind is reeling with all the possibilities this little windfall can create! We are in Picture-This-Plus heaven here with yummy shades of Belfast, Cashel, Lugana and Aida in the following colors: Monet, Crystal Monet, Fizzle, Heritage, Willow, Mirage, Legacy, Crystal Legacy, Whirlpool (makes you want to dive right in), Jade, Jazz, Crystal Mercedes, Stellar, Crystal Meditation, Sorbet. Some of these are earmarked for my clients but most will join the basket of PTP fabrics out on the shop floor. These jewel colors make me think of the Easter Eggs I'll be dying later tonight with the twins!

My day off

Sunday and Monday is my "weekend" but on those days, I tend to be more busy than when I'm at the shop! I had so much running around to do. The shop needed a good vacuuming so that was first on my list. I moved everything and vacuumed behind it all. There were so many dust bunnies, you'd think that I hadn't vacuumed since I opened the shop! I'm pretty regular when it comes to cleaning but the floor was really dusty. Next I mopped the floor. I also did a little rearranging, so let this be your warning for your next visit to the shop! LOL

Next, it was off to the bookstore, drop off "Croakworth" at the framers (I already laced it and it just needs to be popped into the frame) and then headed on over to Kohl's. My step-kids (twins!) are coming for the Easter break and I wanted to pick up some new Easter outfits for them both. I found Jack a "big man" outfit - those matching pants-shirt-tie-vest ensembles and a new pair of shoes. Angie is getting a pretty pink and orange dress with a matching pink bolero jacket and a new pair of white sandals. The twins will look so Spring-y this coming Sunday. I remember as a kid all the excitement of getting dressed for church so we could show off our new Easter clothes.

After several more errands, I finally arrived home were I cooked dinner, cleaned the dishes and finally sat down to stitch. This is a rare occasion and I'm grateful I had the time to relax. I am working on Summer Floral Sampler by Knotted Tree. I love the vibrant silks.....they are awesome to stitch with and really pop against the drab fabric. It almost reminds me of dried soil, hardened by the sun in the dead heat of summer. Could it be what the designer was trying to portray in this design? This piece is being stitched on R&R Creek Bed Brown, 30 count with Silk N Colors and Belle Soie silks, 2 strands over 2. I'm not happy with one row of the blackbird. The silk got thin and actually broke. Now that I look at a picture of the piece from a bit of a distance, I can see that row jump out at me. It's toward the back of the bird, by his tail. Too much ground fabric shows through so I think I will frog that row and restitch with fresh silk. Take a look. What do you think?

That's it for tonight. Tomorrow is Tuesday and it will be a long day for me.....Open Stitching at the shop from 6-9pm. I really think this is my favorite day of the month! I just love to see all the projects that everyone is working on. Good night!

Oooohhh, Spoooooookkkkkkyyyyyyy!

This pic is from my friend, Tara, who is working on her own version of Lizzie*Kate's Boo! Flip-its. She has lined up her Flip-its in two vertical rows, giving her a window pane effect. Looks ghoulish! Great job, Tara! Thanks for sending the scan!

Another finish

I did finish Homespun Elegance's Patriotic Landscape a few months ago but didn't have the little sheepies done. I was waiting on some Wisper which I finally picked up but then other things became more important and I never finished. The sheepies were stitched on my last trip to PA and tonight ~ since I'm in a finishing mood ~ I sewed on the Olde Brass Buttons. I love this piece! I love the colors, I love the American flag landscape and I love the soft, curly sheep. Can't wait to get it framed and hung in the shop.

Stitched on Ivory Cashel with Weeks Dye Works, DMC and Wisper by Rainbow Gallery. Olde Brass Buttons by Homespun Elegance.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bargello Easter Eggs

What a wonderful Sunday! Today was a nice relaxing day. I actually got to stitch a little bit and I finished off the Sekas Bargello Easter Egg I was working on. I'm not a big fan of working on perforated paper but I saw these eggs stitched up and on display in the Sekas booth at Nashville Market. They were so cute. I have a wire "tree" in the front window of my shop and here I will hang my little Easter Egg. Of course, it will be lonely, so I'll get busy and stitch another to keep it company. I don't think there's enough contrast with the Caron Watercolours I choose, so I'll use Williamsburg for the predominant stitch and Rosebud for the accent color.

Ink Circles "Croakworth" is laced onto foamcore and ready for the frame to arrive. As soon as it's ready, I'll post a picture for you to see.

How do you like the blog skin? I wasn't happy with the original, default skin so my DH and I worked this afternoon to change things around a bit. I've also added some new links on the sidebar. As I find interesting blogs and websites, I'll include links to them as well.

Is it Christmas yet?

No way, we haven't even had spring yet, but thanks to my friend, Pam, we have Gingerbread in the house! Pam whipped up Poppy Kreation's "Gingerbread Stuff" and brought it into the shop to hang on display. It is so adorable - those little chubby cheeks look fresh from the oven. The chart is available now; however, there is a waiting list for the frame. They are made one at a time by Poppy Kreations and should be arriving sometime in May. If you'd like to reserve one for yourself, give me a call!

For the love of fractions

Had a visit with my framer today. I brought over a new shop model to be framed, Croakworth by Ink Circles. Such a lovely piece. We had fun playing with the different mats and frame corners. I won't tell you what we selected; you'll have to wait and see it in person. I was working on lacing the piece this evening. I snapped a pic while preparing the fabric for the lacing.

Debbie did a wonderful job stitching this design for the shop. In about a week or two, the finished piece will be hanging in the shop, so if you're local, stop and by and see it for yourself.

Lots more to get framed. I know I have at least 4 other pieces that I have to select frames for and then get busy lacing. Here is a question for you all..... How many of you lace your finished design onto foamcore (archival, of course) or do you let your framer do that step for you? Lacing is not hard at all and you can save significant $$ by lacing yourself. I might put together a tutorial on lacing in the near future, complete with pictures to guide you in the process. There are various schools of thought on this subject and it's interesting to read what individuals do when it comes to their own stitching. If you have thoughts on this subject, please post a comment. I'm interested in hearing your opinion!

I apologize for not getting the new items loaded onto the website yet. It seems there is always something more pressing at the moment and I feel I'll get to it, but always one more thing to do pops up. I will do my best to get the new stuff loaded by the end of Tuesday.

And speaking of Tuesday, Erin Dekker of Myrtle Grace Designs will be in to drop of the trunk show models. Yes, we are having a punch needle trunk show! It should be lots of fun. If you havn't had a chance to take a peek for yourself, please do so. Erin's designs are so unique and beautifully done. I will try to set up a punchneedle class with Erin for after her wedding. Watch for it this summer (or sooner if I can manage it).

I hope it's springtime where you are located! I awoke yesterday morning to this lovely sight:
Luckily, by the time evening rolled around, most of it was gone. Whew! I felt bad because a lot of people had already put away shovels, heavy winter coats and some even drained their snowblowers. I've seen some weird weater in March and April in years past so I'm glad this snowfall is behind us.

Feeling Patriotic!

Well, lot's of new stuff came in the shop today but I've been busy with so many things today that I won't get a chance to update the website. Check tomorrow in the New Products listings. I did want, however, to show you all a piece stitched by my super-sonic speedy stitcher friend, Debbie. That girl must stitch in her sleep! She must have been feeling pretty bad for my shop walls because she offered to stitch Little House Needleworks "Sea to Shining Sea". Now, those of you familiar with this design know that this is NO SMALL FEAT. The design was released a chartpack at a time; first the border chart with the silks, then a separate chart pack with silks for each of the 5 houses. Now Debbie didn't decide to stitch this for the shop when the border chart was released. No. She started stitching it when the 4th house had been out for several weeks! She kept me up to date with her progress and would bring the piece in to the shop from time to time. She even decided to keep track of how many hours it was taking her (I think she intends to call due the favor at some date in the future)! I lost track of the hours when she was up to 89! I will have to ask how many hours total that she has in this piece and report back to you all. Anyway, in honor of her stitching prowess, I present to you her completed "Sea to Shining Sea". It is stitched as charted with those luscious Belle Soie silks on Zweigart Natural Belfast. Enjoy.

Here's an up-close view of the last two houses of the design.

Thanks, Deb! You did a wonderful job!!