Monday, November 10, 2014

A Retreating We Will Go

Heigh ho, the dairy-o, a retreating we will go!

It was off to Lake Junaluska, NC last Thursday for 4 days of stitchin', eating, talking and laughing!  If I had my druthers, I'd attend a retreat at least once a month.  There is nothing more fun than sharing some time with kindred spirits and letting the creative juices flow!

This was my 3rd time retreating with my EGA group and each time I get so inspired!  We have such a diverse group of creative people who do cross-stitch, needlepoint, knitting, crochet, quilting, beading . . . if you can do it with a needle they will create something!  They are so sharing in their knowledge and friendship and it is a joy to spend time with them.

Lake Junaluska is the perfect spot just an hour and a half drive from where I live.  Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina it is so pretty with the fall colors (or any time of the year for that matter).

I bring enough projects to stay busy for probably 3 or 4 months . . . always over estimating what I can accomplish . . . and that's okay . . . no harm in starting a number of different things or just working on one to completion.  No time or reason to get bored!

I did manage to almost complete a new design . . . didn't have the right color for the birds with me . . . finished it up last night when I got home.  I think it needs a companion pincushion now . . . don't you agree?

This is a dedicated busy bee kind of group . . . always amazing how much is accomplished with all the talking, laughing, eating and visiting that goes on.  And speaking of eating . . . how can I possibly have only gained one pound!  Does stitching burn that many calories!!!
 My table mates:

Sometimes you just have to take a break . . . a little power nap may just be what's needed . . .

One of our members sadly moved away this year.  As long as she promised to come back for retreats and a few special events each year, we reluctantly let her go.  We presented her with a  couple of stitched goodies worked on by several members of the group (I stitched the pincushion). . . so she doesn't forget us!

We will miss you Mindy!

It was so much fun . . . and way too short!  I'm pushing for another one in the spring . . . who's with me?!

Ooops . . . almost forgot!  We found fabric heaven at Sister's Quilts in Maggie Valley!!!  If you love Moda Fabrics this is the place to go . . . great selection, great prices!!!  Call first to make sure she is open:
Sister's Quilts
1100 Evans Cove Road 
Maggie Valley, NC 28751
(828) 926-0296

A Stitching  We Will Go  ~*

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shepherd's Bush - Last Day

The final day is the longest day and yet seems to fly by.  I suggested to Terri that they make it a week long retreat in the future . . . she agreed it would be nice.  We could then take both tracks and have Wednesday off in between . . . more time in classes and more time to explore Park City!  Let's start a petition!!!!

Our day started off with Cecile and Rachel with Just Another Button Company.  All our supplies were included in a box and with the knowledge that a lot of the participants in their other class finished their project, we jumped right in!  Didn't seem to be too many overachievers in our class . . . at least we did get the basic pumpkin put together.  Here's what it's supposed to look like finished:

I was concerned about the 4" "Gather" pin getting through TSA Screening on my return flight . . . no problem . . . seriously?  That's kinda scary!

We had an hour and a half break for lunch and then on to Chessie and Me.  Linda's design is so cute and is stitched on two different colors of linen seamed together with a pine tree hiding part of the seam . . . too cute!
During classes each day Terri would show up with a small gift.  One time Jeannette came with her . . . their enthusiasm is contagious!  LOVE these two FUN women!!!!
Our gifts were more than trinkets!
Each day in the retreat shop there would be a different kitted goodie:
and also a freebie chart:
Classes were over at 4:30 and the Banquet stared at 6:30.  How can it have whizzed by so fast!!!

The banquet is always fun!  We had a delicious meal and played "Family Bingo" for candy and prizes.  There had been a wreath in the retreat shop with childhood pictures of each of the teachers . . . their identities revealed on the Bingo cards.  Our final retreat gifts were in a basket in the center of the table . . . a darling Shepherd's Bush chart - Over The River.

And then there are the gifts from my "Retreat Friends". . . dear kindred spirits that I don't get to spend time with often enough!
Somehow I managed to get this all in my carry-on!!!

Sadness sinks in on the way to the airport.  Waiting to cheer me up when I get home are a few of my deer buddies munching on driveway treats.

Back to reality.  In 3 weeks I will be heading to Lake Junaluska, NC for my EGA Retreat . . . bring your own projects . . . fun, but can't compare to Shepherd's Bush!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shepherd's Bush - Day 2

Oops!  Forgot to tell you about the evening event of the first day.  We had dinner on our own and then gathered for dessert and "Thankful Stitches".  Cute project!  Yummy chocolate dessert!

 All the pincushions everyone made were on display . . . beautiful work!  If you participated in the Heifer project, you would randomly get one of the pincushions!
This is the beautiful pincushion I was lucky enough to receive!  Thanks so much Diana for your lovely work!

Friday was our first class.  In our track we had Shepherd's Bush first.  It's been a long time since we've had a class with them.  We knew we liked all the designers in both tracks and chose this track because we were curious to see what Cecile & Rachel with Just Another Button Company had to offer.

There are no two sweeter people on the planet than Tina and Terri!  Their designs never disappoint and with Jill Rensel's mats/frames you can't help but drool!  We sorted threads and began with a companion piece pincushion to review the specialty stitches that will be in the larger piece.  Terri had a little wool pumpkin pin-keep project for us to do as well.
 And, if this track wasn't already good enough . . . our friends (equally as sweet as Tina & Terri) Nancy, Lancy & Tammy were in our track as well!  So much fun reconnecting with our retreat friends!!!

We had the afternoon free and headed to Park City for lunch and shopping!
Cafe Terigo was delicious!!!!  Perused the shops along main and bought a pair of boots . . . had them shipped . . . can't wait 'til they get here!

Friday evening we gathered for "Bountiful Buttons" with Cecile and Rachel.  We made buttons (and other goodies) from polymer clay.  Cecile and Terri and others stayed up late "cooking" them in toaster ovens to harden the clay.  They were delivered to us, along with some "professionally" made buttons in a cute jar!
While we were shopping in town, we stopped by a liquor store to pick-up some libations in preparation for having some friends come to our suite for a visit.  (We spent time with Diane and Rabbit the night before at The Farm for drinks and put a major dent in our drink budget!)  Myriam picked up a Moscato that appeared to be in a screw-top bottle.  Short of The Hulk, I don't know who could have gotten the top off!  Myriam had to literally cut and peel the top off!  It was a sparkling wine and rather exploded when she peeled the last bit!  Where there's a will, there's a way!!!  Go Myriam!!!!
That evening Lisa and Tamara came down the hallway in their jammies  to our suite and we enjoyed catching up with them!  LOVE our retreat family!!!

Look for the last day of retreat and the banquet tomorrow . . . trying to drag this out to make it last!!!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our 5th Shepherd's Bush Retreat

Can't believe we have now been to 5 Shepherd's Bush Retreats!  How blessed are we!

The anticipation for these Retreats is so intense and then you get there and have so much fun and suddenly . . . it's over!  Let me relive it here . . .

We arrived in Salt Lake City from various points around the country on Wednesday . . . 3 of us scheduled to arrive within a half hour of each other.  Barbie was delayed (seems someone is every year) so Myriam and I picked up the rental car and headed for Ogden to the Shepherd's Bush Open House.  We perused the shop and greeted friends we've made over the years, had a little snack and headed back to SLC airport to pick-up Barbie.  We made it back in time for Barbie to shop and visit with friends.  We also stopped by Jill Rensel's Studio for a chat and more snacks . . . none of us had eaten lunch.  Checked into the hotel and headed to an early dinner at Roosters (one of our favorites).

Our 4th member of the retreating "Fun Girls" was already in Salt Lake City with her family preparing to actually move there!  Jenny missed the events in Ogden (she'll have plenty of time to visit their shop after they move) but made it to Park City in time to meet with the Facebook members of the Prim Stitchers Society.   Michelle did a great job organizing this meet-up and we were sorry it was over before we arrived.  We've decided for future Shepherd's Bush Retreats that we'll come at least a day or two earlier and maybe stay a day of two after . . . just not enough time to do everything we want to do!

The Retreat shop opened at 11 a.m. and was PACKED with cross-stitch hungry shoppers.  Waiting in the long line was made pleasant by greeting retreat friends as they arrived!

Registration began at 1:00 where you picked up your schedule and welcome project and dropped off your handmade pincushion for the exchange and paid your $5 for the Heifer Project.  Shepherd's Bush matches the donations and buys sheep.  Check out the website:
Look out . . . "The Fun Girls" have arrived!

We settled in working on our welcome project and waited for the reveal of all the class projects.
The welcome project was all the things you needed to put together a little cross-stitch necklace.  There is enough fabric to do all 6 designs but, only one chain and bezel . . . you could put one design on one side and another on the other side.  I'll just buy more bezels and then either wear them all on one chain or interchange them.

Then it was time for "The Reveal"!  There is no way you can go wrong with your choice of track.  ALL the projects are fabulous!
Track 1 -  R & R

 Track 1 - Plum Street

 Track 1 - Jeannette Douglas

Track 2 - Chessie & Me

 Track 2 - Just Another Button Company

Track 2 - Shepherd's Bush

That's enough for today.  Stay tuned for more "Adventures of The Fun Girls" tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Dream Come True

I have had craft spaces before.  Cramped craft spaces.  Spread out over several room spaces.  A sewing space here . . . a beading place there . . . set-up . . . take down . . . spread out on the dining room table . . . always in the way!

When we first moved here I claimed what was once the nursery for the previous owners for my crafting space.  It's a small L-shaped bedroom.  (You may remember reading about me putting the quilting table together.)  I never shared many pictures of that room because it never really came together in a very functional way . . . always cluttered and never enough space to properly put things away that made them accessible when the time came to use them.

Also upstairs, is the master bedroom and a full bath.  This bedroom was the hubs' when he was living here.  My bedroom is one of the two on the main level.  (We have separate bedrooms because he has a c-pap machine and tends to growl when he moves around . . . a lot . . . all night . . . not conducive to sleep for me.)  Now that he's living in his own condo and working out of town (except for weekends) the master bedroom was empty . . . he sleeps in the guest room on weekends.

Empty no more!!!!

Welcome to my new and improved STUDIO:
 The quilting table sits in the middle of the room . . . accessible from all sides.

My cross-stitch threads for my personal use are to the right of the windows next to the shelves that house all my favorite charts waiting to be stitched.

My "professional" cross-stitch threads (Gentle Art & Weeks Dye Works) hang on the closet doors arranged by color along with the samples of Weeks Dye Works fabrics.  Great light from the double windows to pick just the right colors for my designs!  All my Nebby Needle market stuff is stored in that walk-in closet along with my linen stash.

Then we have the collection of fat quarters for quilting and pincushion backing.  That cute yellow bug sitting on top of those shelves is my radio/cd player . . . gotta have music while I work.  The drawer cabinet is filled with small pieces of linen (just right for pincushions).  On top are my wool and silk threads . . . and above that is part of my vintage postcard collection . . . I love old postcards!

The hubs gave me a magnetic knife holder for Christmas that makes the perfect place for my scissors above my sewing machine.  My daddy made the sewing machine cabinet.

The other walk-in closet houses all my scapbooking supplies and boxes of pictures to go through.

In addition to all my creative space, I have a workout area.  In the armoire is a tiny combo tv/vhs player.  I can watch (or at least listen to) tv or play one of my workout tapes.  I have my exercise ball, my step my daddy made for me, free weights and exercise mat.

 Overflowing storage with yarns and felted wools . . . and yes, I like to collect frames for small projects.

The color bins hold my chart collections, trims, ribbons and more yarn.

I still have some things to put away, but this is going to be so great!!!

There is an unfinished room (part of an addition) that is on the other side of the wall where the sewing machine is.  This will eventually become my bedroom when the hubs retires and moves back home permanently.  He will take my existing bedroom downstairs.  How perfect to have the entire upstairs as my own!!!!

No need to feel sorry for the hubs . . . he has an entire building (25 x 51 feet) out back that he fondly calls "Train World".  And . . . he's living in a 4 bedroom condo where he has one bedroom as his "Train World" there as well.  We are both feeling very spoiled and loving it!

Life is good!