Monday, November 23, 2009


Every year in November I attend a stitching retreat and workshop at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is sponsored by Meg Thompson Shinall of the Flower Thread Company and The Stitch & Frame Shop. The workshop is held from Friday evening through Sunday morning. But my friends Kiki and Jeannie and I decided to stay the following week to relax and stitch and enjoy the salt air and ocean sounds. So on Thursday evening Nov 12 Kiki arrived at my house. She spent the night here and we got up early Friday morning, packed up the car and headed out. The journey was uneventful. The weather was overcast but not raining and the temperature was comfortable. The drive takes about 4 and a half hours from my house to the condo where we were staying. We stopped a couple of times but waited until we hit the Grand Strand before we had lunch. We then checked into the condo and started getting our *nest* ready to go. As you know the most important thing was to get our stitching paraphernalia all set up and ready to stitch. Jeannie and Bob then arrived and we had a short while to talk with them before it was time to leave. This year the theme was The Hunter's Moon--the eleventh in the twelve Moon series. And so, of course, there must be dragons! In keeping with this year's theme, some of our group elected to go to the Medieval Times Dinner Theater that evening and one of our group has an inside man there--her husband! Diane and Randy made our evening even more special than it already was. They took care to make sure that I (and my chair) would be able to maneuver everywhere. And our group had front row seats! If you have never heard of or seen this performance you really should. There are Castles located in several cities across the US and the show if absolutely marvelous. Check it out here: Medieval Times First we had dinner and our meal was served by our serving wench. Our menu consisted of Dragon Blood ( Tomato Bisque), Dragon Wings and Dragon Tongue (potato wedges and garlic bread), and a main course of Baby Dragon which tasted just like chicken! Dragon Claws (apple turnovers) for dessert and Mead (Pepsi for me) to wash it all down with made a wonderful meal! And as you know in the eleventh century there were no such things as spoons and forks so everything was eaten with the hands! After our meal the games began. There was jousting among other games and then a fight to the death to rescue the prince from the evil Green Knight. We had so much fun and I was treated like a princess.

After the theater we returned to the hotel for our introductions and show and tell. There are so many talented stitchers in this group and it was truly wonderful to see all the projects that had been done. We adjourned and went back to the condo and stitched until 2 am! I took my Fairy Garden Mandela from Chatelaine with me to work on. The next morning we returned to the hotel where we had our first class. The sampler is a beautiful knight and dragon at the Hunters Moon. I will try to post a pic of it soon. It is using several specialty stitches so our morning progress piece was learning the hemstitch. This is a drawn thread stitch that I have been wanting to try for a long time so I was especially glad to have it taught here. At lunchtime we had our group photos taken and then a marvelous lunch served by the hotel. We had lots of time to talk, laugh, and better get to know each other. That afternoon we learned the H stitch which is another drawn thread technique. I was able to complete my bookmark using this stitch during the class. Then we had a bit of free time for dinner and shopping or stitching. Kiki and I met up with Jeannie and Angel at McAllisters for a delicious baked potato and soup and then stitched until class resumed. Saturday night was our Christmas ornament exchange and our fun time together. Nancy is a wonderful playwrite and she produced a play for us to perform. It was St George and the Dragon and we each had a part. This was hilarious and Diane was perfect as St George and Angel made a superb Dragon. I was the Princess, of course, who won St George's heart. This was the most fun I have had in quite a while! Saturday night Kiki and I stayed up late stitching again. Then on Sunday morning returned to the hotel for our last time together. We received a special project from Meg and our class *pins* then sadly we said goodbye to the rest of the group. After a quick lunch and a Walmart run, Kiki, Jeannie and I settled into the condo and began stitching to our hearts content. I made so much progress on my Fairy Garden--even though I am still working around some back-ordered fibers.

The rest of the week was so restful. We got lots of stitching done, ate lots of seafood, and enjoyed the wonderful salt and and sea breeze. On Friday we made a trip to Build-a-Bear where Kiki got a bear for her newest grand-daughter and Frosty for herself! And then to the Fudgery where I got some fudge and salt water taffy. I just isn't a trip to the beach without the taffy! then we headed home. The trip was uneventful but a bit tiring. We got to my house about 7 pm and unloaded everything and reloaded Kiki's car. She spent the night with me then headed home on Saturday morning. I must say that this was one of my best retreats ever. We are planning to spend some extra time at the beach again next year.

So now it is back to the real world....Till next time, Happy Stitching!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another Adventure

The day after the seatbelt battle, Bunny and I decided to go to Rock Hill for stitch night at our favorite needlework shop--The Stitch & Frame Shop. It is about an hour and a half drive so I can't get there often but with Bunny visiting I knew it would be fun.. Again Bunny wanted to drive so I carefully *pretended* to fasten my seatbelt but there was no way I was giving that car another chance to attack--or so I thought! When we got to Rock Hill we decided to have a bite to eat first and then go to the shop. So when we got to the restaurant, the battle was on again. The car decided that it would not let me out of the car this time! I could not for the life of me get my leg out. Now remember that I am usually driving and exit with my left leg first but as a passenger I had to get out with my right leg first and I couldn't manage it. Finally after twisting and turning and generally performing a contortionist act I manged to get the right leg out and with Bunny's help pull the rest of me out also. I swear that car is a demon in disguise! We finally got to the shop and I managed to get out a bit more gracefully this time. There were about 10 of us there and it was so much fun to see everyone and meet a couple of new people. We got back home about 10:00 pm and I was finally back in my house safe and sound--Kathy 2, Car 0!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Barely Escaped!

Wow, it has been super busy around here. After my birthday get-together my friend Bunny visited with me for a couple of weeks longer and we got lots of stitching and catching up done. I miss her now that she has moved to Virginia. But we had lots of fun and she kept me out of trouble for the most part! However, her car tried to kill me! On the Monday of my birthday (Nov 2nd) we went out running a few errands. She wanted to take her car so we did. Like a good girl I had my seatbelt fastened and everything was okay until we stopped at Michaels. She ran in but I decided to wait in the car as I didn't think I could do that much walking. So while I was waiting every time I moved or even breathed my seatbelt kept getting tighter and tighter. I tried to unfasten it but couldn't find the release button. I thought maybe it was an automatic release if I opened the car door but that just set off the security alarm. So there I sat in a screaming car unable to breathe. I kept trying to loosen it and even tried to get to my purse to get my scissors--yes I carry scissors in my purse--but I couldn't reach it. I would have screamed by this point but I didn't have the breath. I think I must have been turning blue. Just then Bunny showed up and grabbed the release button. Needless to say, I did not re-fasten that seatbelt! I know that it sounds really funny now and I can even laugh about it but at the time is was very frightening! So for now--Kathy 1, Car 0! More adventures to follow so be sure to come back.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Christmas Tin Exchange

I am participating in a Christmas Tin Exchange this year and the only rule was that it had to be a Tin of some sort. So....

I received a wonderful surprise yesterday. I spent the day with a friend and when I got home I had a package waiting for me. When I saw who it was from I knew that it was my tin. I was planning to wait till closer to Christmas to open it but since it arrived on my birthday I decided it was an omen and I opened it! I cannot tell you how surprised and pleased I am. My partner was David from France and he did an absolutely marvelous job with his choices. You would think he knew me personally and frankly if he weren't already taken I might have to make a play for him. After all a man who stitches AND buys wonderful gifts!

I am so happy! (and I think I am the first to receive my tin!)

David sent me the most wonderful selection of things. In the lovely tin you will find a wonderful sampler (rolled up and presented beautifully), a bag of Earl Gray Tea and a lovely bar of Dark Chocolate! Two kits which I love, three wonderful books--Bleu, Blanc, and Rouge which have wonderful charts and information in them, a lovely piece of chocolate colored linen with a matching ric rac trim and two skeins of silk. (Sorry, the pic cut off one of the skeins) And last but certainly not least--The most beautiful pair of Sajou Scissors!!! I have lusted after some of these scissors and didn't think I would ever have any but here I am with an antique bronze looking pair. David wanted me to experience France and I certainly have! Again David, thank you so very much!

And a close up of the scissors!