Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shepherd, the Bush

I have a funny Market story to share. We woke up early Saturday morning, the first day of Market, to get showered and down to the lobby for our breakfast, so we could be ready to go at 9am when the vendor suites opened. Shepherd's Bush does not normally attend the Nashville Market, so this year was a treat. I assumed that their suite would be swarmed, and it was, as my DH and I walked toward their room. There were about 20 people in line! I quickly glanced over the balcony to see what the Just Nan suite looked like. Ah, there was a shorter line. I made a decision and asked my DH to remain in line for Shepherd's Bush while I ran down one floor to get my order in at Just Nan. I figured I could do my shopping and make it back upstairs before my husband got through the doorway. I wasn't even in line at Just Nan 10 minutes before my cell phone rang. It was my husband and here was what he said, "You need to get here quick....I'm at the Golden Gates". I told him I'd be right there and I jumped out of line and ran back upstairs to help him out. I'll tell you, Shepherd's Bush ran their suite like a well-oiled machine! You go in, ooh and aah over the new stitched designs, wonderfully displayed in true Shepherd's Bush style. I grabbed an order form, quickly wrote down the quantities I needed and handed it over to Tina sitting at the order table. She took my form, thanked me for my order and told me I could pick it up later that day. Wow. I was in and out of there in under 5 minutes! The funniest part of the Shepherd's Bush event was when I found out later that my husband, in order to amuse himself, brought out his cell phone and made a little video of the crowd milling about their room. He panned the "Shepherd's Bush" banner hanging in the window and added his own humorous commentary on the number of people piled into the room of the "SSSShhhhepherd.......,the Bush". He's a guy and one of those that doesn't quite understand what all the hoopla of stitching is about. Most of all, though, he's a good sport and would stand in the line for me, even if it took two hours!

On our way home from Nashville, we stopped off in Kentucky to visit with my cousins. I was looking forward to spending some time with my Great Aunt, whom I had not seen in many years. Unfortunately, my cousin informed me a week before I left for Market that my Aunt had passed away! Saddened and disappointed, we still went to Kentucky, and we shared some memories of my Aunt with my cousins.

To keep the van ride from becoming too monotonous, I was able to stitch on a cute, Springy design for the shop. Here's my finished piece, ready to be framed. Well, I'll need to stretch and press it first, but you get the idea. I haven't finished any stitching in such a long time. It felt great to actually get something completed! This is "Easter Stuff-Hop" by Poppy Kreations. I changed out the fabric and a floss or two, but the rest is as charted.

For my next blog I'll tell you a bit about the World's best ice cream! I am not kidding! I've never experienced a richer, creamier ice cream than what we found on our way back to Chicago.

For now, though, I must inform you that I have drawn a new name for the Blackbird Designs "Winter Wonderland". I'm sorry that the orginal winner did not contact me as I'll bet she would have been thrilled. Lucky-duck KarinZ is the new winner! Congratulations. I'm sure I'll be seeing her soon so I won't need to mail her package. Thanks again to everyone that participated. I hope you all have your own Winter Wonderland soon!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Off to Market!

We're on our way to Nashville! Yee Haw! We stopped this morning for breakfast in Seymour, Indiana, at the Waffle House. This restaurant is not part of the typical "Waffle House" chain. It is honest-to-goodness down home cookin'. The coffee hit the spot after a long night of driving.

We set out driving last night and then pulled over in a rest stop to catch a couple hours sleep. When I awoke this morning, this was the view that greeted me.

There's a lot more snow here in Indiana than back home in Chicago! I feel for you, my friends. The last few days we have been enjoying warmer temps (30-ish degrees) and the sun has been warm and melting all the snow.

I am really pumped up about Market. There has been talk of new Market items, but not as much as usual. I think there will be some wonderful surprises in store for all of us!

I do have my Customer Shopping List with me so if you are out browsing the web and happen upon a photo or description of a new release that you would love to get your hands on, just shoot me an email to cathy at inspiredneedle dot com. I will be at Market until Sunday morning and as long as the item is still in stock, I will be sure to pick one up for you.

Here's a Winter Wonderland update. The winner of the drawing has not yet contacted me. If I don't hear from her by Monday (one week from the drawing), then I will draw a new winner.

Woohoo, we just crossed over into Kentucky! Aww, I just saw the Louisville Marriott hotel where we stayed when attending the Celebration of Needlework festival that was there in the fall of 2008. Louisville is also the home town of the National Headquarters of The Embroiderer's Guild of America. So many stitching memories! I'll have to tell you all about my upcoming stitching event with Celebration of Needlework in April. I'll save that for another post.

Until then, get inspired! I know I am!

Monday, February 15, 2010

And the winner is....

Thanks everyone, for entering the drawing. It was a lot of fun reading all the comments and I wished everyone could win. As it was, I put all the names in my snowman bowl and drew out one. The big winner is T. Whitesell. I don't have an email address for you, so please contact me so I can get your snail mail address. Congratulations! I hope you enjoy stitching this beautiful design.

And holy Toledo, did you see the awesome giveaway that Alma is doing on the Blackbird Designs blog?


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Wintry Giveaway!

Since it seems that everyone is getting pummeled with snow this past week, I decided a little wintry fun is in order. What would be more appropriate than a giveaweay of Blackbird Designs new release "Winter Wonderland"? Inspired Needle will send a lucky someone a new "Winter Wonderland" chart along with a cut of the R&R Dark Chino 30 count fabric on which to stitch the design.

For a chance to win the chart and fabric, leave a comment on this post. The offer is good through Sunday night, 2/14/10. I'll draw a name Monday morning and post the winner Monday afternoon. If you'd like a second entry, mention the giveaway on your blog with a link to this post and send me the link to your post. No restrictions, I'll mail anywhere USPS delivers.

Stay warm and keep stitching! May your needle be inspired!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

An Anniversary and some Exercise

Last week was our wedding anniversary. Look what my husband had waiting at home for me. He also cooked dinner!

The DH also decided to buy us the Wii Sports Active. It offers a 30-day workout challenge. It combines aerobic activities with stretching and toning exercises. There is a leg band that you wear on your upper thigh that registers leg movements and you hold the Wii remote in your hand. For some of the arm workouts, you hold both the Wii remote and the nunchuck in your hands. The first day that I worked out did not register for some reason. I must have backed out of the program before it saved properly. I'm hanging in there because thankfully, it gives you a day of rest after two workouts. Today, though, it kicked my butt! There were so many leg lunges and leg kicks. I feel like my legs are going to snap at the knees!

I'm going to go pass out now! Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Prognostication

Don't you just love that word? Such a big word about such a little rodent. LOL That's what my DH calls the groundhog. The rodent or the rat. This past weekend was quite the eye-opener. The town of Punxsutawney, PA, pulls out all the stops to celebrate this little animal that lives in the Groundhog Zoo with two other groundhog pals, Barney and Stinky. Our family decided to join the festivities this year. We started out Saturday morning at "Breakfast With Phil". The event was hosted by the Chamber. The guy holding Phil is Ben Hughes, one of Phil's handlers. He was also the guy that got Phil out of his stump this past Tuesday morning to check for his shadow. After breakfast, the kids had swimming lessons so we did that, then returned to the community center for "Phil" crafts. They made snowflakes from coffee filters, "prediction" posters and black top hats. The posters were cute. The kids got to decorate with stickers of Phil seeing his shadow or not, there was a sun or clouds and sticker phrases like, "Six more weeks of winter" and "Spring comes early". The top hats were cute too. They looked like those worn by the guys in the Inner Circle.

The following day we spent at Jack's wrestling tournament. This was another unbelievable event. There had to be close to a hundred kids from 5 or 6 different schools, all competing against one another. It was amazing, walking into the gym and looking at all the kids sitting in the bleachers, heads tilted down, eyes intent on their Nintendo DS's.

Monday morning, we headed over to Barclay Square for Groundhog Day festivities to see a magic show, followed by a puppet show. Here you'll see a pic of the magician working his magic with a cloth bag and some handkerchiefs. Aren't the groundhog hats on the kids adorable? The magician's wife did the puppet show and she had some of the coolest marionette puppets. She made each one from items around the house; things she was going to throw out, such as the styrofoam packing from a t.v. box. There was an Italian opera singer puppet made from olive oil, diced tomatoes and sardine cans. Afterward, the magician made each child balloon animals. Jack, a new groundhog balloon hat and snake and Angie, a balloon puppy.

A few more walks through the park and we caught up with a full-size groundhog. Not the real Phil, but a cute imposter. The kids played some carnival-type games, like balloon dart pop and choose the duck and they won some prizes. They had all kinds of food; pizza, funnel cakes, kettle corn; there was live music, souvenir huts, Groundhog Banquets, craft fairs and warming huts. Yes, the strangest thing about this event is the fact that it's the middle of winter! There were more activities to do, like Groundhog painting class, a hayride town tour, ice carving demonstrations but we didn't stick around for those. The kids were anxious to go see their cousins, but more importantly, the cousin's new puppy! So, we walked back to the car with our treasured prizes, happy for spending some time celebrating Groundhog Day in the Weather Capitol of the world. It was a fun weekend and something we might repeat again, maybe when the kids are older and can handle the trek out to Gobbler's Knob for the official prognostication with Phil. Until then, the fun around town suits us just fine.