Friday, November 23, 2007


Today I thought I would share with you a photo of my Jan Houtman Sampler *Patchwork*. I omitted the personalization within it and charted out the rest of the motifs instead. I really like the way it turned out. It is stitched on white linen using Vikki Clayton's HDF's
and believe it or not--no fibers were used more than once! I used a combination of regular, premium and #12 perle silk in both solid colors and varigated/overdyed colors to make it truly one of a kind. It was so much fun to stitch.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Catching up

I thought I would take a few minutes to start catching up on all that has been going on with me over the last few months. If you remember my son was re-doing my kitchen for me. Well, it looks great! He painted the walls and ceiling, resurfaced and painted all the cabinetry, replaced all the hinges and hardware to a beautiful brushed Nichol finish, and replaced all the outlet and light switch covers to brushed Nichol. Before it was dark paneling and dingy. Now it is light bright and airy and I love it.

Jason has also spend a remarkable amount of time in the yard--trimming, removing and re-planting the foliage and prepping the pool area and keeping it nice and sparkly.

We have also painted the master bedroom and one guest room and have continued the decluttering and organizing preparing the house to sale. When we get finished I know it will look great. I just hope the market will appreciate all the hard work we have put into it.

I have made a dent in the decluttering of my Mom's things but to be honest it is more difficult to get rid of her things than it is my own. But I have made the decidion that I don't need things to make me remember so I am taking some photos and plan to make a memory book and am getting rid of most of the *stuff* here in this house. I know my son will appreciate it--it will save him a lot of heartache and hard work when the time arrives.

I will try to get some photos of my kitchen in the next few days. Until then. Take care and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Seaside Stitching Retreat

I cannot believe it has been so long since I came here but things has been absolutely CRAZY at my house. Over the next few days I will try to catch you up on all that has been happening but in the meantime I wanted to share my most recent experience.

Once again this year I gave myself a birthday present—a stitching retreat/workshop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with Meg Thompson Shinall of The Flower Thread Company. I just got back and thought I would share my experience.

For the last three weeks I have been fighting the *creeping crud* so I’ve been slow in getting things together and even had my doubts that I would be able to go. But on Sunday night I decided that since I am no longer contagious that I am going!—NO MATTER WHAT!!!

Monday AM: I arise and start a load of laundry and load up the dishwasher. Then I pull out my stitching bag. After all I do have my priorities straight. Stitching before anything else! I repack and make sure I have everything I need for the week….C-clamp for my magnifier, extension cord, tools, Ort container, etc….and then added a project to work on in the hotel until we get the class project. Once done I grab my travel medicine bag and make sure that I have enough meds for the next week. And lastly I clean out my purse to lighten the load and make sure I have all the necessities—especially tissues and cough drops.

Tuesday AM: I arise with a sense of excitement. I pull out my suitcase and begin to pack the necessities. Deciding what to take is simple and this doesn’t take very long. The problem is running the checklist and making sure I haven’t forgotten anything. I plug in my power chair to make sure it is fully charged and then head for the shower. At about 7:00PM my friend, Kiki, arrives at my house to spend the night. We talk and catch up on all the news, plan our departure, partially load the car, and then go to bed.

Wednesday AM: We arise early and get the car loaded. After checking that all the lights were off, etc., we load the power chair and get on the road. Kiki decides to drive and give me the opportunity to be passenger for a change. The drive is filled with talk, laughter, and sharing. We don’t stop until just outside of Myrtle Beach where we have lunch and stretch our legs. We get to the hotel and check in. We are staying in a three bedroom condo with four other friends and soon they all begin to arrive as well. That evening we decide to just relax and stitch so Jeanne cooks dinner for us and I finally get to work on my new grandson’s Christmas Stocking which has to be finished by Dec 9th. We stitch until late and then retire for the evening.

Thursday AM: Something woke me very early and I opened my eyes to the most beautiful sunrise-- the most gorgeous pinks, oranges, purples, and blues. I watched until the horizon had turned light blue and then drifted back off to sleep. I feel that I alone was given a gift. Later we arose and spent a leisurely day stitching. Some of the girls decided to go shopping but I chose to remain behind.

Friday AM: About 6:00 AM I awoke to what sounded like dripping water and I thought that someone had failed to turn the bathroom faucet completely off. I got up to turn it off but as I went by the kitchen I realized it was the coffeemaker! I went to the bathroom and then returned to the sofa (which is my bed) and drifted back off to sleep. A few minutes later I was startled by a loud crashing noise as Helen dropped a dish in the sink. We all began to stir and get ready for the day. We were so eager for the class to begin. We stitched for a while and after a wonderful lunch, it was time to go. We reached the classroom and *staked* out our seats. We then began to renew our friendships with other Seasiders and catch up with what they had been doing. It was then Meg arrived with our class info and our welcome package. After introductions and a preview of what we had in store we broke for dinner and waited for the official class to begin. Kiki, Jeanne, Tracy and I went out for my *mandatory* seafood dinner and we returned to the classroom satiated and eager for the class to start. The theme for Seaside each year is the *Full Moon Series* and this year is the Wheat Moon. The first practice project is a wonderful notepad cover using a scarecrow and field demonstrating several of the specialty stitches used in the main sampler. When we adjourn we are all tired but very excited about class the following morning. It seems like we laughed and talked for hours and got to bed quite late.

Saturday AM: It was very difficult to get up this morning but we managed to get to class on time. We worked on the specialty stitches in our Scarecrow design and I even managed to finish mine by the end of the allotted time. We had a wonderful lunch and took a group photo before we returned to the classroom. The next practice piece incorporated the rest of the specialty stitches. It was a drawn thread design which would be finished into an ornament. I also finished this one—just have to *finish* each of the projects into the ornie and the notepad cover. We broke for dinner but I decided to go back to the suite and rest before reconvening for the fun part of the day—the Reindeer Games. There was going to be an ornament exchange, a tote search, and other fun things. Kiki dropped me off at the elevator and I told her I would be okay to walk up to the room alone. When I got back to the room I realized just how tired and painful I was feeling. I also realized that I had forgotten my room key. It was quite a walk over to the office and I knew I would never make it. I called Kiki but she had not yet turned on her cell phone. (We turned them off for class.) I tried another roommate and got her voice mail. While I was trying to decide what to do a maid came by. She wasn't allowed to open the door for me but she did call security for me. A few minutes later the security person arrived and let me in the room. I really needed to go to the bathroom but he chose this moment to talk with me a while. Finally he left and I made it to the toilet--just barely! Teach me not to check for my key sooner!! When I got back to the room I realized just how tired and painful I was feeling. Instead of eating I chose to just rest and relax a while. By the time the rest of the group got back to the suite I realized that I wouldn’t be able to go back to the class but Kiki said she would do the ornie exchange for me. So I went to sleep. When they returned they told me about the fun they had and I wish I had been able to join in. But the ornament I received was the one Helen had made and it was beautiful. We packed up everything before going to bed as we had to check out in the morning before class. It was sad to be leaving.

Sunday AM: We all arose early and finished up the packing and loading of the cars. We arrive at the classroom and receive a bonus design from Meg and our Seaside Charm to attach to our nametags. This year’s charm was a scarecrow. We then went over questions about the project and discussed our next Seaside which would be the Harvest Moon. We decided to give it a Thanksgiving theme but also to again have the ornament exchange. Saying goodbye to everyone is always difficult, since we are from so many different places—as far away as Oman (in the Middle East), Nevada, Florida, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Georgia, as well as North and South Carolina. Most of us only get to see each other once a year. This trip is always such a boost for me. I realize just how many people I have praying for me and being supportive. It always reiterates just how wonderful needle workers are.

Kiki and I get back on the road and once more the car is filled with laughter and reviewing all the things we just experienced. We stop for a late lunch just outside of Columbia and then head on home. We arrive at my house about 4:30 PM and get the car unloaded and we collapse. We don’t realize how tired we are until we sit down. Kiki decides to spend the night and leave for Monroe in the morning. We have a very early night and fall into bed exhausted.

Monday AM: Kiki gets an early start back home and I collapse once more! I love these weekends and they brings so much joy to my life but they do take a tole on my body. All I can say now is…IS IT SEASIDE YET?