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Monday, March 31, 2008

Two Posts in a Day?! - Too Good!

A stitching exchange package was sitting in my mailbox when I got home today - yipeee! Shelley sent me a lovely pinkeep and some stash.

I was stunned! Sadly, I had to run off to doggy lessons - to teach or I would have skipped - so I couldn't dig in and start a little project.

Stitching Retreat!

This weekend was the stitching retreat that I have long awaited. It was wonderful! I felt horrid on Friday. After a tough morning at work I ran a ton of errands and ended up being about 10 minutes late for the first event. But when I walked in and everyone was so happy to see me and I found out that they had waited for me - it was wonderful!

The first night we were introduced to each other, did a little "Induction to the Stitching Sisterhood" ceremony, signed the Sisterhood book, received a goodies bag (first of many goodies), played a couple of get to know you games and stitched and chatted. That evening we received the pattern for the Sunday class and all started working like mad to get it ready for the ribbon embroidery.

On Saturday, I was up early as usual. After breakfast I headed to the boutique to check out the wares and joined a couple others for some stitching. I was able to finish the base for the Sunday project. When I went to the stitching room, each of the seats had a lovely flower candle as a gift. At 9am we had the first class - a wool pin cushion project. That one went quickly and I was able to finish applying the details to the top part. Later in the afternoon I finished the personalization and assembled the pieces and added vanilla mulch for stuffing. Ta da, first finish of the weekend...
After the first class we headed to lunch for an hour. The camaraderie was amazing. The group was a wonderful bunch. Soon, we were itching to get started on the next project. It was taught by Lori Markovich of La-D-Da. It's an adorable heart that says "Daisy daisy, give me your answer do..." on the front and has a personalization for the retreat on the back. I'm close to finishing it and should have some photos of it up soon. Lori was a pip to sit with, had great stories and helpful tips for cool finishing techniques! I'm hoping our paths will cross again.

After that class there was a shuttle over to the shop that a few people took. I opted to stay at the hotel and stitch like mad in the boutique. Then we had dinner and a post dinner gathering to play some games (a stitching relay race and garden family feud) and, oddly, stitch some more. It was a long and fantastic day. I went to bed exhausted!

Sunday morning I was up early and hung out in bed working on the La-D-Da piece before heading down to breakfast to chat with people and then onto the boutique. The morning's class was in ribbon embroidery. I was quite nervous about how I was going to do with it. I haven't really worked in special stitches until recently and I found the ribbon imposing. They gave us some "doodle cloth" to work on for the first few flowers - I was hooked.

These were my first attempts at flowers. The one of the left is the spider rose. On the right is a Lily I made with a loop stitch. Cheered by my success I decided to start working right on my piece. I was able to finish the roses and the lilies before the session was over, but ended up completing the project that night.

After that session we had lunch in the stitching room and the raffle prizes were drawn - I got the basket I put in for! Then we received some parting gifts, gathered all of our stuff together and wished everyone safe travels. It was sad to have to return to the outside world ;-). After I got home I saw that my Silkweaver award for the showcase had arrived. As Lori M would say - it was delicious! OK, so maybe the outside world isn't so bad!

And here are the photos of the gift bags, my stash enhancement and the silkweaver package I received:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Santa Progress

Progress is being made everywhere - it must be spring! I wrapped up the first of the birds (see previous post) and was able to get a bit of work done on Bill's stocking. This goes so fast because it's 9 count and one ply of the pearl cotton. I'm hoping for a quick turn around on this one because cycling season is starting.

We got out for a short, frigid ride yesterday. It felt great (to get in out of the cold). I just hope I can do a better job of cycling and stitching this year instead of cycling or stitching.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

One Bird Down :-)

I just finished the first of the Paradise Macaws! Wow. We're off to dinner soon at my in-laws house. I'll be bringing the stocking WIP with me so I can get a little work done on it in the car.

I started inventorying my DMC threads. It was getting too hard to figure out what I had on hand. I discovered that I kept buying colors I already had. Only three more rings to enter.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Next Letter Completed

Yay - I finished "L" in a marathon session after getting home from a dog doc appointment. I started "I" this morning, but am expecting that one will be set aside in favor of work on the birds. Maybe, jst maybe, I can get that one done before the stitching retreat :-).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Letters

I've made a bit more progress on the Letter L since I finished the Quaker Square. I've been traveling around the coutryside visiting docs. Lots of time to stitch in the waiting rooms. I'm hoping to finish this one up by the weekend so I can concentrate on the birds again. I want to get the first one done so I can switch the frame off to the stocking for a bit of fast gratification.

Only a week and a few days until the stitching retreat!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

March Quaker Square

I got a late start on this month's quaker square due to all of the side projects I've been working on. Last night I started around 7:30pm or so. I was able to finish the project up this morning. Unfortuantely I had just enough thread to get the square done, not one bit more. I was hoping to get"MAR" into the center area. This is one of the few in the series that doesn't have month name somewhere in the pattern. I have another shade of green that I might be able to use. I'll need to see how I feel about it after I let it sit for a while.

I've finished up most of the other projects around the house that I was planning today. I think I can safely work on the Letter L for a bit before I ride my bike. Although I might try to clean up my project area so we can wash the couch slip cover. Ooh responsibility :-(

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Busy Week

This week I've been scrambling to get things done. The time change and the concurrent return from another time zone have me all messed up (basically not wanting to get up on time). Monday was dog club Awards dinner, Tuesday was dog classes, Wednesday was speedskating...

Thursday I had a couple of minutes to get some home projects done. I stopped by Joanne's and picked up some mounting board, ribbon and other doodads to finish some of my lurking projects. When I got home I opted not to paint the basement ceiling (did that tonight) and instead started framing the last few items in the house. Tonight I need to get the finishing nails into the frames to hold the items in place and get some paper onto the back to cover all the unfinished fabric. I have little hangers I can put on them - then voila!

I also finished up another little project that I can use for the exchange and did a bit more work on the letter L. I'm going to wait to post those pictures until the exchange is done. Not that the L is going with it, but I'm not in the mood to pull it out for a piccy ;-).

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I stopped by my LNS on Tuesday while I was in the city to drop off a bunch of stitching for framing. I grabbed everything that was sitting in my office except the completed letters in that series (they'll all get framed together).

I had 4 large projects that I wanted to have them frame and a few other little ones floating around that I'll end up framing myself. After specing out the 4 frames and grabbing 3 stock frames for the others I was out $270, with somewhere on the order of $165 balance for the custom framing. My heart was a-flutter! But... It was a ton less expensive than getting them framed through one of those stores and I know who is going to be doing the framing.

Tonight I need to stop at a craft store on the way home to pick up some finishing materials so I can get the last of these framed and a couple of other projects put together. I guess I'm starting my spring cleaning early!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Another Finish

I was traveling this last week and was able to complete a little project while I was in the airport. However, since it's for my stitching exchange the pictures won't be posted until after my partner receives the project.

With all of the house projects going on, I likely won't be able to get back to stitching for another few days. It could probably use a break though - I've been going strong for months. The stitching retreat is coming up; I'll need to be sure my hands are in good shape for it ;-).

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

UPdate on Birds

HUGE progress was made this weekend. I wasn't feeling well due to either allergies or a cold. I ended up taking some antihistamines and became listless and confused - the perfect state for large amounts of stitching. This morning I worked on the tail a bit more. Not too far to go!

Since it's now March there are a few things I need to get done. It's season change over with sports. That means no more speedskating, but dog classes and cycling pick up. It also means that the next Quaker Square needs to be started and that I need to get a move on for the xs-exchange project.

And... end of the month is the stitching retreat!

Ahhh, March: let the insanity ensue :-).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Week's Progress

This week was crazy, but I was able to find time here and there to get in some stitching. I made some more progress on the Letter L in the Art Deco Alphabet series. I wasn't sure about the colors for this one, but they're coming out nicely.

I also made good progress on the birds. The top is finished, including the back stitching. I'm hoping to get more done today on the leaves and branch at the bottom left. The rest of the project is mostly large areas of green and should go quickly.