Monday, March 29, 2010

Stitching Retreat Weekend

Welcome! I finally have lots to show and pictures this week. I spent the weekend stitching with my EGA Guild friends at the Marriott in Oak Brook. It is a very nice hotel and we had a great time stitching. I took Friday off from work and spent about half the day shopping. I went to Inspired Needle. It is a very nice cross stitch shop about 40 minutes outside of Chicago. I don't get out there very often and my bank account thanks me for that. I did not think to take pictures of what I bought. Oh well, that will give me something to post about later this week. I spent about an hour and a half looking over all the stitching goodness. After that was done, I went to Village Needleworks. It is a needlepoint store with lots of goodies. They have a great selection of thread, hand painted canvas, and notions. I really did not need any needlepoint stuff but I had to stop by for a look. I ran across another guild lady and we had a very nice lunch in a diner in the strip mall.

I spent the rest of the afternoon stitching on Safari. Over the weekend, I finished the stitching across the bottom, some of the zig-zag section up the middle, the diagonal zig-zag, the green sea grass on the diagonal and started the zebra stripes in the upper right hand corner. I drew in the zebra stripe and the spots. I had to work the zig zag sections so I made sure my counting was not off before I started the animal prints. The pencil markings show up better in this picture than in real life. They are very lightly drawn and hard to see. It helps to have a white cloth behind the project.

My next accomplishment for the weekend was to finish and cut out my ort box. Right now it is in five pieces and waiting for the lining. My eyes and brain could not tackle cutting fabric after a weekend of stitching so I thought it best to put the project aside for a day with more energy.

Saturday night I started the scissor fob that goes with my needle book. When I started making mistakes, I decided it was time to go to bed. French knots are not easy to pick out!! On Saturday night, we did have a fun scavenger hunt around the hotel. It made us get off our stitching butts and get moving. We had to follow the directions and we collected supplies and directions to make a small project. Plus, candy to keep us going.

Finally, I worked on my Long Dog Sampler last week and on Sunday morning. I am working on the flower motif on the right hand side of the picture. I bought a big Ink Circles pattern to work on next so maybe the idea of a new project will get me moving on this one. I did buy some more threads for Beautie Spot. This pattern calls for Gentle Arts Thread. Let me just say, there is not much thread on a card and they are selling for $2.00 a card. This project is expensive. I have no idea what it has cost but if I am going to invest this much time, I want it done right.

Sadly, I left the retreat about 11:00 am on Sunday. I had to go to Nordstrom Rack and DH had 9 people over for dinner last night. I think he was a little board being by himself this weekend so he threw a Sunday night dinner. He made a lovely stuffed pork roast with a maple syrup glaze. We had an incident on the table cloth with a glass of red wine but I took the table cloth out of the dryer this morning and it is no worse for the wear.

Tonight is a manicure and pedicure. I cannot wait!! I have not had a pedicure since we were in Naples in December. I like my nails to breath a couple of months a year and since most of the winter they are stuck in sox's and boots, it is the best time for freedom from paint. Now they can be pampered until next January.

That is about it for now. Have a great evening!! Kelly

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy almost Friday! I am so excited about this weekend. It is my Guilds Stitching weekend in Oak Brook. I have been thinking about what I am going to work on for about a month now. I think I will work on Safari and Chicago Santa for needlepoint and Beautie Spot for cross stitch. I still have to pack my bags but I took off work tomorrow so I could get an early start. I want to go to the cross stitch shop, the needlepoint shop and the mall. I need to find a dress for a garden party fundraiser in early May.

Going to the burbs should not be that big of deal. Basically, I am getting a hotel room 20 miles from my condo. I don't go out much because I have been trying to be good and work on my projects that I have. Plus, I am not particularly fond of driving. I also don't shop much in Illinois because of our crazy taxes, especially in Chicago. I usually have more time and it is much easier to shop in Florida so I usually shop there when I am at that condo. It does make my winter wardrobe a little sparse but I can get over that.

I did finish the bottom of my ort box this week. I just did not get a picture of it. I think I am going to stitch across the bottom like I should have in the beginning before I take this off the stretcher bars. Then I have to cut out the pieces and figure out how to assemble the box.

The ort box project sent me on a search for Ultra Suede. I thought I had the perfect, high end fabric store a mile from my house. What I found out is they do not carry much Ultra Suede in house. It all has to be ordered. I ended up settling for something called Angel Suede. It was only about $20 dollars a yard and since I only need 1/8th of a yard it cost me $2.50. so that was ok. The Angel Suede did come in nice colors it was just not the same as real Ultra Suede. I also wanted to see and feel the upholstery Ultra Suede for my dining room chairs. Once I got home, I found I could buy real Ultra Suede $20 to $30 dollars cheaper a yard on line. I will have to order swatches but that is quite a savings especially since it will also save the 10.5% tax in Chicago.

On a sad note, my SIL's mother passed this week at a much to young of age. She died of cancer so it has been expected. I am don't think we are going to the visitation or funeral. It would take us 6 hours of driving for a 2 hour visitation. I did see my SIL, brother and family two weekends ago. I am going with the thought that we comforted them while they were visiting and they really do not need me crying all over the place. (I don't deal with visitations or funerals very well. A ridicules amount of tears!!)

Hope everyone has a great weekend with lots of stitching. I will take some pictures at the retreat so you can see some of the beautiful work of the Guild ladies. Kelly

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sides of the Ort Box

This is the four sides of my ort box for the ANG SIG. I used ThreadWorx for the variegated thread which was probably not the best choice of thread for this pattern. ThreadWorx is already cut and if I would have used pearle cotton on a ball I could have cut a long enough thread to do the two rounds of black work. I am planning on starting the bottom of the box tonight. There are several choices for stitching the bottom so decisions will have to be made.

The weekend will be busy. We have a 40th birthday party and a going away party on Friday night and Sunday we are having brunch after the Shamrock Shuffle. The Shamrock Shuffle is an 8k race that my husband and friends are running in. I would be lucky to run around the block so I will be in charge of pulling the casserole out of the frig so it can be closer to room temp before he cooks it.

I should earn my paycheck. I have six hours of calls today. Fortunately, I only have to listen in on most of them. Hope everyone finds time to stitch this weekend. Kelly

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I thought I would write today even though I did not take any pictures last night. My ort box is coming along considering I had company all weekend and had several frogging moments. I have done blackwork in the past but I have never done reversible blackwork. That is a whole new experience. The first time through I really did not understand the directions. Once I got the hang of concept, I moved to a different side and left in my bad work for a pattern. The next side went OK but it was the end of the day and I frogged the bad work.

Last night I was fortunate enough to remember the tricks from the day before and finished one side. I turned the piece over and found my thread had a couple of knots in the back so that thread came out but I did complete all the blackwork last night. I also had time to start my second kissing pillow.

Last weekend my brother and his family were in town for the weekend. My condo is a fine size for two of us but it was pretty small for 7 of us. It worked out OK. Fortunately, we have an X-Box that kept the kids pretty happy all weekend. My niece swam in the State meet. She did very well. She came in 4th in her group and 36th overall. She was ranked 39th so she did better than expected.

The weekend was all about food. DH made individual pizza's and milkshakes for Friday nights dinner. Saturday was lobsters and steak with twice baked potatoes which was just delicious. My father's birthday was yesterday so this was his birthday dinner with the family. On Sunday, my nieces made us Swedish pancakes for breakfast.

Now for those who do not know me, you would think stitcher, food like this, and no pictures on the web page...she is big as a house. Not true, I work out several times a week and usually wear a size 4. The reason for no pictures of me is that I just do not have that many. We are not big camera people and no kids so I don't have that many pictures of myself.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. DH is planning making corn beef, boiled potatoes and rye bread for dinner for several of our friends. He tried the cabbage a couple of years ago but is smelled so bad that he said, this cost 49 cents and we are not eating this sh..t. He is half Irish so this used to be a big day in his family. Some of the 'pure breeds' (less the distant Italian some ancestor had the nerve to sleep with) in the family still are very big on this holiday. Bag pipes at all graduations, weddings, and funerals.

Well that is about all for today. I will post some pictures later this week. Have a fun St. Patrick's Day if you celebrate. Kelly

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Needlebook Finished

I started my Folding Ort Box for CyberPointers SIG. The colors are a little off because I took this picture over a black towel so the colors would show up and so I would not have to place my needlework on my dirty patio furniture. The colors and background are very subtle when you see this in person.

Once again my photography skills are lacking but this one is not as blurry as the last picture. This one is a little brighter than the actual colors. I have to get a new camera. I have a gift certificate that I could use on a new camera so I should buy a new one with more zoom. OK, off photography, on to stitching... The Bee is done, other than finishing which will be finished by someone with these skills once the fob and scissor case are done.

I finished the book Primitive today. This was a free book for the Kindle. It is a mystery and go green/save the planet kind of book. It did not push save the earth down your throat so I enjoyed this book. I do not like it when books start preaching especially when I am just reading the book for fun.

My family is in Chicago this weekend. One of my nieces won the opportunity to swim in the State meet. Fortunately for me, they swim about a mile from my condo. DH will make them homemade pizza and milk shakes for dinner. The 21+ crowd will replace milk shakes with booze. I cannot imagine the lactose intolerance mess that would be created by all the cheese on the pizza and the milk shakes:)

That is all that is going on this week. I hope everyone has a great stitching weekend.


Friday, March 5, 2010

My box of Goodies

My supplies for my ort box finally arrived last night!! I picked the DMC colors this morning and pulled out the colors from the variegated ThreadworX pearl cotton. They are not the colors I wanted at first but since I did everything by mail order, I worked with what I was sent. Once again my picture is not great. The pink looks much brighter in the picture than it is in real life. In person, it is a very soft baby pink. I love the canvas! It has silver throughout. I hope I like making these boxes because now I have enough canvas and thread to make at least four boxes. DH put together my Evertite stretcher bars last night so this afternoon I will cut the canvas to size and tack it on the bars.

I am almost done with my needle book. I have three rows of colonial knot around the boarder to finish. Those should not really take all that long. Then I can move on to the fob after a little break.

The weekend is finally upon us. I only have dinners with friends planned for Friday and Saturday nights. Hopefully, I will get a good start on stitching my ort box. I feel I am behind on this SIG because it took so long to get my orders. I guess I should have gotten off my stitching chair and ventured to the suburbs for the supplies. I will go out to the burbs at the end of March for my guild stitching retreat. That is always such a good time!

My book for the week was The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson. I really enjoyed this book. It is a real shame this author passed away so young. He is fun to read. His last book will be released in May. It is already high on the best seller list as a pre-sale.

That is all for today. I hope you have lots of time to stitch this weekend. Enjoy!! Kelly

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

French Knots and Colonial Knots Galore

I was a knotting fool over the weekend but I did not finish my needle book. After putting in thousands of knots, I still have a bit of the diamond pattern and I have another row of colonial knots around the whole case to finish. I wanted to work on this last night but a friend came over and I did not get to stitch. We are expecting another friend this evening so I am not sure what I will get done tonight.

We are finally seeing some sun today and may have some until Saturday. It has been so dreary!! We were working on vacation plans last night and decided to go to the Royal Hideaway in Riviera Maya in May. When DH asked about it at his consulting job they thought it would be best if he went later in the year so there went our plans. I am grateful that he has a job so we will just do something this summer. Maybe we will go to the mountains. Since we cannot have a week, we will go to my family's home in Florida for a long weekend. We have to go there anyway to pick up golf clubs we left at Chrismas. I am just so ready for sun and heat!!

I managed to stay out of the needlework stores last weekend. I think I can make it until our guild retreat at the end of March. Fortunately, that is in a suburb that has a needlepoint store around the corner and a cross stitch store not far away.

Are any of you going to ANG in Columbus this year? I have been pouring over the magazine trying to decide what I want to take. I want to make sure I am there on Wednesday for the market this year and there are three classes I like for Thursday/Friday. I am pretty sure I will sign up for at least five days of classes. Most of my guild friends are going to EGA in San Francisco but I am just not a huge fan of the EGA projects. ANG is so much more my taste!!

That is about all for today. Thanks for stopping by and your kind comments. Kelly

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kissing Pillows

Good morning!! A note from a mother with a son in the Service went out yesterday asking for Kissing Pillows. I have done a few of these in the past. They are a good way to use up some of that old, white Ada cloth you might have laying around. They work up fairly quickly and they are nice purse projects. I am planning on making a couple!! Here is Becky's note:

I've just received a request from my son's Family Readiness Group Leader for 900 Kissing pillows. He's with the 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (aka Tiger Squadron) currently stationed at Ft Hood, TX; they will be deploying to Iraq late this summer. My son saw me making pillows for the Ft. Lewis battalion last year and asked that when his unit deployed would I organize a similar project for his unit. How can a mom say no to a request like that? :)

I've gotten my local friends and family working on this and have about 100 made with another 100 in the pipeline. Now I need the help of my national network. The due dates are 1 June if you send me just the stitched pillow top and 1 July for a finished pillow. My mailing address is Becky Hamilton, 116 Belle Ridge Dr, Madison, AL 35758.

As a final note, I have a stitching friend who was a Navy spouse in the 60s. When she tells others about this project, she always mentions how much she and her children would have appreciated a gift like this when her husband was in Vietnam. It accomplishes 2 things: 1) It gives the child a daily reminder that the deployed soldier hasn't forgotten him/her; and 2) it tells the "whole" family that > people they don't know support and appreciate the sacrifice they're making.

If you need a copy of the chart or have other questions or comments, please contact me offline.

TABIA (Thanks a bunch, in advance!)