Monday, October 28, 2013

Retreating Again!

I was going to take this piece to finish at our EGA Retreat at Lake Junaluska, NC (starting this Thursday), but I finished the stitching last night and I just had to put it together this morning.
Yes, I did change it a bit.  I just thought that big pot was distracting from the house and the words . . . personally, I like it better now.

Our EGA Retreat is just a "bring your own projects" kind of retreat.  Everyone works on whatever they want.  We have quilters, cross-stitchers, needlpointers, knitters, crocheters . . . whatever strikes your fancy!  I've been gathering my possibilities . . . the partially done:

Or the "I can't wait to get started" ones:
What's a girl to do?!?  I may just take them all and work on whatever I'm in the mood for . . . DANGER, DANGER . . . you know that means starting something new!  What do you think I should be stitching at the retreat?  We'll see!!!

Can't believe I forgot to show you the ending gift at the Dyeing To Stitch Retreat!  We got these darling boxes hand painted by Liberty Hill at the end of the Banquet.  Too CUTE!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Projects Completed

Last week I received my Zippity Do Dah (by La D Da) back from Jill Rensel (Rensel Studios) in Ogden, UT.  I left the piece with her at the Shepherd's Bush Retreat last year.  I told her there was no hurry . . . it will be for my "someday" grandchild.  Well . . . I couldn't just put it in a closet somewhere until that "someday".   So, I hung it in the guest room with pictures of our daughter when she was little (she's 23 now).  I love it!  Jill does such an amazing job enhancing a piece of needlework!  THANKS JILL!!!!
AND . . . I finished "Jack's Birthday Tart" by Plum Street Samplers in plenty of time for our Halloween Party last Saturday night.  I would have loved to have kept it on the dinning room table with the skeleton's hand reaching for it but, I was afraid someone might spill something on it . . . so, I put it on a shelf.
Now to decide what projects I'll be taking with me to work on at our EGA Retreat at Lake Junaluska in a week and a half.  So many to choose from!!!!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dyeing To Stitch Retreat - Final Day

The final day...NO!  Why does it go by so fast????

Saturday's class was with Paulette (Plum Street Samplers) . . . another sweet heart.  We met her last year at the Shepherd's Bush Retreat but we weren't in her track.  Her designs (two of them!) are fantastic!  LOVE the mini tart pan pin cushion (Jack's Birthday)!!!  We were disappointed that there was no fabric included with the sampler (Jack's Bash) equally cute!  By the time we found out about the fabric being sold in the shop, it was all gone.  Luckily I have some in my stash.  Although I bought it for another piece, there may be enough.  I like to buy the whole half yard to have some left over for smalls, other projects or my own designs.  You can never have too much fabric!!!!

I'm hoping to have Jack's Birthday finished for our Halloween party on the 19th.  Paulette has great step by step pictures of how to put it all together and suggested that you could easily make other inserts to change it out . . . great idea!
Classes are always fun and you meet some of the most interesting kindred spirits.  Can't we all live in the same neighborhood and stitch together every day?
 Linda and Faye from NC (Faye does beautiful finishing work as Carolina Stitcher)
 Wendy from Columbia, MD (where I lived in my early 20's . . . small world)
Anne and Lynn from WY

More new friends:
Reeta (works at Sherpherd's Bush) and her daughter Desiree from Utah
Michelle and her mother-in-law Trudy (keeps the books for Shepherd's Bush) also from Utah

After class we took a walk down the boardwalk and had a long leisurely lunch at the Hilton's outdoor cafe.  Pat (of R&R) was going to have a "Master's Class" that afternoon at 2:30 (she has so many tips and tricks she has shared over the years).  There was also going to be a question and answer session with the retreat designers.  Unfortunately after waiting for a table and relaxing over lunch, we didn't make it back until a little after 3:00.

As we approached the hotel we heard an alarm going off and were immediately told to leave the building . . . it was the fire alarm!  There were two weddings happening there that day . . . one wedding party seemed to be dressed and ready while the other was in various stages . . . a child wrapped in a towel snatched out of the bath!  Sirens, fire trucks and hunky firemen . . . oh my!  I tried to get my keys from the valet parking guy so we could at least go somewhere but he was nowhere to be found.

It turned out not to be a fire but a broken water pipe.  When we were told we could go back in we stopped in the bar for a drink . . . or two . . . with friends.  Afterwards, I went to the retreat shop to fetch my models and remaining charts.  I carried it all to the elevators only to find that they were not working.  The boxes weren't so much heavy but awkward.  Jenny came down and helped me carry it all up 4 flights of stairs.  That night's banquet on the 11th floor was delayed until 6:30 in hopes that the elevators would be working by then.  We must have tried the elevators about 15 minutes before they were operational . . . we walked up . . . it wasn't so bad . . . we needed the exercise!

View from the top: 

The wedding did go on!

For the banquet we were told to dress in the style of the decade in which we were born.  I LOVE to dress up!  I tried to find a shirtwaist dress to wear with my mother's pearls . . . June Cleaver was my goal.  Much easier to get a poodle skirt.  There were some very creative costumes!!!

  Elvis has not left the building . . . thank you, thank you very much.

 Jenny and Paulette . . . staying alive!

 Wendy . . . Aaaaeeeyyy!

 Maxine . . . barefoot and pregnant and tied to the kitchen stove . . . so creative!

 Alice, Wendy & Pat . . . peace out!

And the image forever burned into my brain . . . Ann & Pat!!!  Thanks for the memories!!!!!

Can't wait until next year at the Shepherd's Bush Retreat in Park City, UT.  Can't wait to reconnect with my new and old retreat friends!  Until we meet again . . . 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dyeing To Stitch Retreat - More Fun!

Let's back up a little bit . . . Wednesday evening we had dinner at Captain George's Seafood Restaurant (tons of food choices on the buffet . . . I thought pricey though for a buffet) with retreat friends Rabbit and Diane who we reconnect with each year.  Barbie and I got the drink special that had a flashing multi-color plastic ice cube in it to take home . . .  the ice cube will show up at our Halloween party probably in the Sangria pitcher!

Thursday we also had "Evening with Friends".  There was a cute little stitched book project presented.  Each of the participating designers designed a page.  Sharon (from The Purple Thread) walked us through the finishing process.  Depending on your understanding, note taking and finishing experience, you may be able to put it together when your stitching is complete . . . all the materials were provided, but no written instructions were included.  I can't even show you the finished project because there's no picture of it in the packet.  Good luck with this one!

Friday, the classes began.  We had Jeannette Douglas first.  She's so cute, animated and I love listening to that Canadian accent . . . eh? LOVE her!  We've had classes with her before and we always learn a few specialty stitches.  Her patterns are very thorough and she demonstrates them on a large perforated card . . . thanks Jeannette!

The Fun Girls are having FUN in Jeannette's class!

The retreat shop opened after class and the shopping frenzy began!!!  Wall-to-wall people!!!!  They checked name tags to be sure that you were a retreat participant before allowing you in the shop.  There have been people in the past that would show up just to shop and snatch up retreat exclusives.  There are still those who will buy for friends at home which denies the retreat participants the opportunity to purchase some things.  It's frustrating!

We headed out to lunch and found a Thai restaurant in a shopping center with a Michaels . . . more eating and shopping!

So . . . I couldn't be at the beach and not put my feet in the water!  The Fun Girls decided to stay in the room and stitch while I headed out to the beach.  I had a long enjoyable talk with Reeta (from Utah) as she stitched on her first floor balcony and then met LuAnne and Karen (from Minnesota) stitching on the beach . . . as the tide seemed to be coming in . . . more kindred spirits to reconnect with each year!

Friday night was an evening with Stacy Nash with a dessert buffet immediately following the class.  Stacy's project is adorable!

 More retreat friends (The Teacher's Pets) Wendy, Pat & Alice.

 Rabbit & Diane

The desserts were delish I might add!!!!

Til tomorrow . . .  ~*

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dyeing To Stitch Retreat - Open House & Day 1

We're like kids waiting for Christmas with these retreats we attend each year.  The year drags by and then suddenly it's here!!!  And just as suddenly it's over.

I drove the 7 hours to Norfolk last Tuesday and stayed with our former babysitter and her family overnight.  She has a precious almost 3 year old who I hadn't seen since she was an infant.  She has dubbed me "Nonni B".  After a yummy dinner out (at HK on the Bay . . . yummy She Crab Soup!), a great visit and a comfortable overnight stay, I headed for the Norfolk airport to pick up Myriam (our newest addition to The Fun Girls).

Myriam and I grabbed a hot dog and got to the Dyeing To Stitch shop shortly after the Open House began.  (We could have had better food for lunch with the snacks they had in the shop!)  We scoured the shop, greeted Ann, Pat and Wendy and picked out some "goodies" to purchase . . . let the shopping begin!!!  The other two Fun Girls arrived and we had to make another round through the shop greeting and finding more goodies to purchase.

There is also a great quilt shop (What's Your Stitch 'n Stuff) in that same shopping center and we had to stop there as well . . . more fat quarters to add to my fabric stash!

We checked into the Cavalier Hotel, had dinner in their restaurant and got caught up on each others' lives . . . none of us live in the same town . . . not even the same state anymore.  Here's the "new" part of the Cavalier Hotel (soon to be torn down we hear) and the view from our 4th floor room:

We had been invited to breakfast by Terri (from Shepherd's Bush) and met the group of about 20 in the lobby Thursday morning.  Entering the Pocahontas restaurant  from the parking lot in the rear, you enter through a teepee . . . really cute!  Breakfast was delish!  Met some wonderful women from Utah at our table!

The Fun Girls:
Front:  Barbie & Jenny  (sisters)
Back:  Myriam & Me

After breakfast The Fun Girls helped me set up my models and charts in the retreat shop.  Ann had told me last year at the Shepherd's Bush Retreat that they would have room for me at their retreat shop as well . . . HOW SWEET!!!  I set up my display on half a table between Sherpherd's Bush and Stacy Nash . . . WOW! What an honor to be between them!!!!

I previewed my newest design "Hope" at the retreat shop.  "Hope" came about from a suggestion from Meg Ripple (a retreat friend that we met at our first Shepherd's Bush retreat in 2006).  Meg asked several of the designers at the last Shepherd's Bush Retreat and me if we would design a pattern with words of encouragement and inspiration for her fellow cancer patients.  It just so happened that of the 6 other people at our table that evening 4 of us are cancer survivors . . . me included.  Although Meg lost her battle with cancer this past January I've decided to carry on her vision with this pattern.  I'm calling these patterns (I intend to do more) "Ripple Effect Patterns" and will donate my profits to the American Cancer Society in Meg's memory.  I hope to get more designers involved in the "Ripple Effect Project".

Registration was Thursday afternoon where we received our bright yellow tote bags with lots of trinkets inside, the schedule and a welcome piece to work on until the project "reveal".

The Reveal!  Drum roll please . . .

Sweet, sweet Jeannette (Jeannette Douglas Designs) with "A Banner Occasion" and "Joy" . . . we get TWO pieces (we're in her class)!!!!!

Then came precious Paulette (Plum Street Samplers) with "Jack's Birthday" and "Jack's Bash" . . . we get two designs from her as well (we're also in her class)!!!!

Next up . . . Pam from Olde Colonial Designs with her cute piece that includes a wooden pen (her husband . . .  who was also there . . . makes the most amazing boxes and frames . . . a 4th generation wood worker):
Last, but not least . . . Tina and Terri from Shepherd's Bush . . . what can I say . . . two of the dearest people ever:

Their piece is adorable . . . sorry these last project pictures are not very clear . . . I need a new camera!

All the pieces are super cute and it's so hard to pick which track you want to be in before seeing what's in store.  Of course, it would have been just as hard to pick after seeing the pieces too . . . why can't I be in two places at once . . . I want to do them all!!!!!

There's so much more to tell . . . tune in tomorrow . . . gotta go stitch!!!!