Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Stitching Evening of Surprises

This past Saturday evening, I got together with a group of stitchers for a festive holiday party. I had to work at the shop that day so I was the last one to arrive. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted with package after package of lovely stitchy surprises!

You will see l to r (top row), a beautiful, quilted candle mat with candle, a stitched and beaded scissor fob with my initial and l to r (bottom row), homemade crackers and holiday music, a perfectly stitched and finished floral ornament and a handmade needle minder.

But wait, that's not all! L to r (top row), the ornament I received in the exchange, a Victoria Sampler "Biscornument", a cute, little snowman plaque, l to r (bottom row) Candy Apple hand soap with decorative snow scene cover and lotion (the Santa in the picture is mine used as a prop, a lovely, golden reindeer ornament and a decorative hand towel and Very Bradley mints!

Am I lucky, or what? I won't mention what I gave because it pales in comparison to all the awesome gifts I received. These gals have really raised the bar! My mind has been reeling as to what I can do for next year. There are 10 in the group, so if it will be handmade, I need to get started NOW!

My dear friends, if you are reading this post, thank you again from the bottom of my heart for gifting me with such wonderful presents. You sure know how to make a gal feel special!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quick Trip East

While at the retreat in Shipshewana this past October, I ordered an item from Yoder's Hardware store. I was waiting and waiting for it to come in. I had hoped it would come in during November because I wanted to meet a friend of mine who would just happen to be out in Shipshe on a Quilt Retreat around Thanksgiving. Well, they called last week to tell me that my item was now in stock. It was a large item and I knew it would be cheaper to drive and pick it up then to have it shipped to me. Two weeks before Christmas was not the optimal time to make a quick trip to Shipshewana, but if I didn't go on my day off this week, it would be at least a month before I had an opportunity to get out there.

The drive was pleasant, the temperatures, mild and I was able to stop at the Blue Gate and "Christmas store" to check out what was new. Here are some pictures right before evening set in.

I picked up what I ordered at Yoder's and after quickly making a few purchases of Christmas gifts, I set out for home. I wish I had more time to stay and take in all the lovely, twinkling lights, but that will be for another day.

I was able to snap a quick shot of Rob, the UPS guy that brings all the wonderful, stitchy designs to the shop.

Jill brought in some finished Ink Circles designs a few weeks ago that she will be giving as gifts this Christmas.

Marilyn also stopped by with some finishes of her own. My many samplers, so little time!

I hope to bring you some more updates of customer framing and/or stitching projects within the next week. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Truly Thankful

I've been fighting a reaction of my body to sugars I eat, whether in sweets or carbs which covert to sugar. The condition is known as candidiasis where the "bad" bacteria feed on the sugars I intake and then overrun the good, beneficial bacteria. It is a hard one to knock out and the steps you need to take are drastic. The first recommended step to rid your body of these nasty bacteria is to do a cleanse. For seven days, you go on a liquid fast, drinking several concoctions meant to flush your system. I decided to go for it since I couldn't continue on as I was. I'm telling you, I was so hungry by the end of the afternoon that I caved! How do people do fasts, let alone for seven days?! I didn't eat much and it was certainly on the list of "allowed" foods, but still, it was food!

This was perhaps a reminder of how fortunate I am to live in this country. I am truly thankful for food. I am thankful I can look into my stocked cupboards and refrigerator and find many things that I can throw together for a meal. I am even more thankful that when the cupboards are bare, I can just drive to the store and buy more food. There are so many other countries where food is a luxury and here in the Western world, we don't even give food a second thought because it is so plentiful.

Definitely food for thought! What makes you truly thankful?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Framing and Finishing

My customers are quite prolific stitchers. I wish I could stitch half as fast as some of them. I thought I'd show you what they have been up to the last few months. I've had the privilege to frame these beauties you see here.

First up is Linda's All Hallow's Eve. This is a design by Chessie & Me and was framed in a Maryland Hornbook Frame by Pricilla's Pocket. Linda stitched the design in the recommended Belle Soie silks on Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linens.

Then we have a design from the Blackbird's Designs Loose Feathers: Summer leaflet. Terry stitched this with the recommended silks and we chose a frame from Larson Juhl.

Terry also stitched "Think Winter" by Lizzie Kate. It's adorable with the little birdie and JabCo buttons. This is also a custom frame from Larson Juhl.

Marilyn does all her own finishing. It doesn't matter if it's a bellpull, an ornament, a shaker box....she does it all wonderfully. She loves to stitch Victoria Sampler designs and here is "Biscornuments."

Linda stitched "Get Scared" by Shepherd's Bush and then I laced it and put it in the decorative round box. Linda has a collection now of little round designs that she can pop in and out of the pretty black and ivory boxes that Shepherd's Bush loves to use.

This is just a sampling of what's come through the shop in the last few weeks. Stay tuned because I have lots more to show you!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Celebration Midwest Part II

Similar to the needlework market, the vendors that attended the Celebration of Needlework show displayed banners over the railings inside the Embassy Suites hotel in St. Charles, MO. Here you can see a couple of them.

My neighbor on the one side was Kathy from Kay's Frames and on the other side of her (they had adjoining rooms) was Marj from Hinzeit. Of course, they are friends and you will see all of Hinzeit's designs in frames from Kay's Frames. Check out some of the Halloween designs and don't miss the skeleton on Last Stitch Cemetery!

Down the hall, in one of the corner rooms, was Rosewood Manor. Here is the designer, Karen (on the left) and her assistant, Lisa.

Don't you just love Barnwood Buttons?

The window cornice was the perfect place to hang her stockings!

Next up is Jeannette Douglas. Here she is standing in front of her designs. The nine small, framed designs on the wall are what I call her One, Two Three series. The official name of the series is Garden Secrets. In the display you will find One Key, Two Tulips, Three Bees, One Bird, etc. They look great framed as shown, or you could choose 4 of your favorites and stitch them over 1 to fit into a special little frame we have available.

Next is a not-so-great photo of My Story. Trust me, the design is exquisite!

And lastly, My Storybook. Jeannette stitched little motifs that represented her life on this design to add special meaning. It truly is a storybook of life. These designs continue to be popular sellers. They each have threadpacks which contain all the silks needed to stitch the design and My Storybook also has a separate charm pack. If you'd like to order either one, just send me an email!

I wish I had more photos to show you. There was an entire floor of vendors at this festival. It was stitcher's heaven! Please plan on attending next year at the same hotel. The dates are September 19-22, 2012. Call the hotel and make your reservation 636-946-5544. Mention that you're attending the Celebration of Needlework festival to get the special rate. Then, watch the Celebration website for registration details for 2012. Pass the word onto your friends!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Celebration Midwest

I am seriously overdue for a post about the St. Charles, MO Celebration of Needlework Show. This was a 3-day needlework festival which was held back in September. There were approximately 28 vendors and we filled one entire floor of the Embassy Suites hotel in St. Charles, MO. It was such fun walking the floor each day to look in the windows of the different rooms and see how each room was set up. Here is my room....sorry about the yellow cast to the photos. The lighting was terrible and I forgot to bring my camera (!) and had to borrow someone's to get some pictures.

This is a shot of the Sam Sarah (on the left), Cherrywood Designs (middle) and Dames of the Needle (right) trunk shows. If you need to know the name of a design, just shoot me an email.

Heartstring Samplery on this wall with 2 Cherrywood (far right) and a Prairie Schooler July.

The windows you see on the right of the photo are the windows in front of each suite. If the occupants open the draperies, people walking the halls outside the rooms can look in and see what is on display. Most vendors decorated their windows or featured some special items in the window.

This is a view in the room from the front door. Spinner rack filled with gadgets on the left, chart rack in the center of the room. We tried to utilize every piece of furniture and maximize every inch of space.

This is a shot from the back of the suite looking out toward the front of the room (and that front window).

The little kitchenette made a great display area for the Sweetheart Tree models.

Another shot looking toward the front of the suite. This time you can see the door to the room on your right (which is propped open).

Celebration of Needlework Midwest will be back at the same hotel next September. I'll post show details as soon as I know them. Make plans to attend! I can't tell you how many emails I've received from people that were at the show telling me what a great time they had and asking me to come back next year. Every booth was amazing! With the exception of the 4 corner suites, each room was identical. What I found so thrilling was to see each room set up entirely differently! Of course, the excitement for all stitchers was to see so much needlework stuff all in one location!

My next post will be of some of the other vendor's rooms and their models!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We Have Winners!

Using a random number generator, the following names have won the Penny America charts.


AveryClaire, please contact me since I don't have an email address for you. Congratulations! Thanks to everyone that commented and took a chance!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Prominent, Pleasing Penny

Penny America, that is. This is one of my very favorite charts to come out of the most recent needlework Market. Designed by Tree of Life Samplings, I loved it the minute I saw it.

I am a patriot and this design combined a love of country with the down-homey life of yesteryear. As a matter of fact, I pre-ordered this chart for the shop and when I saw it hit the distributor list, I ordered it AGAIN. That's how much I love this design! I know many of you are already stitching this design, but we also have some awesome fabric I'd like to show you if you haven't already settled on a linen or evenweave.

To celebrate the upcoming holiday, I am going to give away three of the plentiful Penny America charts. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post. The deadline is midnight Monday night.

Tuesday morning when I get to the shop, I'll take three random comments and post the names of the winners. Please leave an email address so I know how to contact you. I will ship anywhere, so you all have a chance to win.

Have a grand weekend! Happy Labor Day! May your needle be inspired and filled with many restful hours of stitching!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Market Mania

Hi all, today was the last day of the TNNA Needlework Market and it was a FABULOUS day! We finished up the shopping and got all our goodies safely tucked away in our room. Then....I went back to a few designers rooms to snap some photos to show you all. These are definitely some favorites. **Warning: Very picture intense!

Breath of Autumn by Chessie & Me

All Hallow's Eve by Chessie & Me

Emma Rose Freedom by Tree of Life Samplings

You may remember this piece released last Market.
Emma Rose Friendship by Tree of Life Samplings.

Penny America by Tree of Life Samplings

Harriet Redfearn 1830 by Queenstown Sampler Designs

Harvest Sampler by Heartstring Samplery

A Spooky Spot of Halloween by Midnight Stitching

Stitch An Inch by By The Bay Needleart

Then, due to some customer emails looking to know what Blackbird Designs were released, I went up to their room. Here are the photos of the models. Some are from the new charts and some models are from the Spencer Museum book.

And then, the best thing of all......I went into Summer House Stitche Workes booth yesterday to see what new things Beth had. She was running a promotion for her new design, "Autumn Garden". With your purchase, your name went into a drawing to win her stitched model. I filled out the slip and added my phone number, email address and even my hotel room number so that Beth would be sure to contact me when I won the drawing. I popped into her room periodically during the weekend to check on my model and to make sure it was doing well and we would just laugh over my silliness. Well, imagine my surprise when my cohort Debbie came to find me to let me know that I had won the drawing!!!! I was flabbergasted and thrilled at the same time. Woohoo! Thanks, Beth, I love, love, love the design and know it will be a fantastic seller in the shop!!!

This is Beth and I with the framed model. Beth is just the sweetest gal. I hope she sells a million copies of this pattern!

Thanks, everyone, for bearing with the LONG post. Hope you saw some things you liked.