Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Back from EGA

Hi,  I am back from the EGA seminar and caught up enough with life to post.   You may want to grab a cup of tea because this could be a long post.  My first day, I got settled into the condo and took a run down to the hotel to see how long it would take and to go to dinner and shopping with some friends.  They wanted to buy food for their hotel rooms. 

Day two was Winning Ways.  This is a lecture by four designers on how you would judge different techniques.  This year one person spoke about beading, another about smocking, one about lace, and the final speaker talked about multi media.  The real goal is to get people to go through the judging program with EGA but most of the people in the class were national teachers and others that just wanted to improve on their own skills.  This was a very interesting class, reasonably price, and an enjoyable day even if you have no intention of judging or even doing a technique.  (Smocking for example, I cannot for the life of me figure this sport out.  It is fine on baby clothes but once a kid is old enough to pick out their own clothes, there will not be any more smocking and someone suggested nightgowns.  If I live to be 100, I still don't think I would be old enough to wear a smocked night gown.)

Monday and Tuesday was the Tropical Beading Box.  Marsha Papay-Gomola is a wonderful teacher and if you enjoy stump work you should take one of her classes.  Even if you can't get to a National Conference, she will be teaching with the Shining Needle Society in the upcoming year but in person would be the best.  This class is a stretch of my abilities.  I had never done the long and short stitch.  I am improving.  I may redo part of the wing below because the blue looks a lot better than the red section.  Marsha brought tons of models to class and they were spectacular.  She is a very talented lady. 

Wednesday was spent at the Outlet Mall and the pool.  It was great to have a break.  In the past, I have taken five days of classes and that is a lot.  I don't think I will ever take five days of classes in a row again. BTW... It is also nicer to stay at the hotel with everyone but free beat out the convenience of the hotel this year. 

Thursday and Friday was Ivory by Carolyn Standing Webb.  Carolyn was another wonderful teacher.  I took a pulled work class because I did not pull tight enough on my first piece and the second piece is just going to get pitched.  My first two pieces were not designed well and they did not use the right linen for pulled work.  This class was a whole new experience.  The linen is lovely, I can get good, uniform holes but the photograph is crap. 

Friday night my husband came back to Naples from the Key's where scuba dived all week.  That evening we did Happy Hour at the Club and meet some of the neighbors.  Saturday was a little more shopping at the Outlet mall and Coconut Point Mall.  In the afternoon, I worked a bit on Ivory.  That evening we went to the beach with our neighbors and I was devoured by sand fleas.  Those are nasty little bugs.  We agreed that was our last sunset at the beach.  Sunday was brunch and cleaning up so we could go back to Chicago. 

Below is the bit of stash enhancement I picked up.  I love silk gauze and French knots so I could not pass up these little projects.  They will make good little travel projects and cute ornaments for the tree in Florida. 

Finally, I have a couple of financial issues to discuss.  First, I went to the library to day and got a library card.  Wow, that place is a treasure trove of free.  I know, it has been this way for years and I should have caught on.  The library is not in a convenient location for me so returning books is a pain and I don't deal with things that are just a pain in my ass.  Now they have Kindle and you can order books on line.  They also have audio books that can be downloaded to I Pod.  Now they are a little short on number of copies but in time I bet they work this out. 

My second financial issue, is not so happy.  What is up with Needlepoint Now?  The new issue has a really nice piece that is a memorial piece to 9/11.  This is not necessarily a piece that I would do but it was mentioned on a blog today so I looked it up.  This canvas is $300 dollars discounted!!  I also know the Leigh piece will be expensive.  If I loved a piece, $300 would not be out of the question mind you, but this is a magazine and they should have mass appeal.  One would think they would do something that many people would want to do and could afford to do no matter what canvas they choose to highlight.  Sure a few people will get a nice stitch guide for the price of the magazine.  Maybe this is just my issue and people could choose to do one of the pieces they can draw on the canvas at a much lower cost.  I should just look at the stitch guide, see the threads and stitches that were used and glean knowledge for future pieces. 

That is about all for today.  I am working on dinner reservations for Saturday which is pretty short notice.  Tonight is the Patricia Locke jewelry sale and book club so I better play in the makeup so I look alive. 

Have a great week. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hello!  Finally I  have some stitching to show.  My "Full Moon" witch has a face and the glowy orange in the picture were added over Labor Day weekend.  The orange is truly not as neon as it appears in the picture.  It is a very nice Halloween orange in Flair.  I also worked a bit on the vest so I could get rid of some spaghetti strings that were hanging around. 

The reason I got some stitching done was that we had a four day weekend for Labor Day and I had Stanley Steamer come in and clean.  I sat on the front balcony and stitched while they cleaned.  They are huge on up selling but I am so pleased with what they did.  Now some pieces really cannot be saved like some of the furniture that needs to be recovered and the carpet is going to be replaced but even if they are kind of trashed, they are clean. The most impressive thing they did was deep clean the hardwood floors.  I was going to have them stripped and redone when I replace the bedroom carpet but this deep cleaning made them look like new.  They shine!  They had 10 years of soap buildup that I did not realize was there.  We did have a big party on Saturday but things stayed relatively clean.  Fortunately, the kids were happy with Apple products, XBox and the park.

I leave tomorrow for EGA National Seminar in Naples.  I have been packed since Wednesday.  The condo is open and the car services are arranged.  I cannot wait for the fun to begin.  I hope to learn a lot, stitch often, shop, and relax.  I will try to remember to take pictures and I will post if I can.  I am not sure if there is a laptop or if I can post from the IPad. 

Have a nice weekend. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

 Since my stitching is pretty much non-existent, I thought I would show my flowers this year.  The ones above are on the back terrace.  Can you see the air in my pictures?  It is in the 90's and humid today.  The 311 building (high rise between the buildings) is about 8 blocks away and looks like it is living in a cloud today.  My flowers in the back did not turn out as well as I would have liked.  The potato vine and the pink bushes I planted about took over this year.  Every year is different so I will try something different next year. 
 The front balcony is a whole different story.  The two planters up front are absolutely beautiful.  I have the perfect spot for Inpatients.  There are three flats of flowers in my two 40 inch planters so that is 72 Inpatients and 10 ivy plants in the two boxes.  My only issue is these were supposed to be red, orange and purple but the red and orange grew up to be almost identical in color.  Next year I will replace the red with another color.  To highlight my pretty flowers I bought a little bistro table for the balcony.  This is one of the few bistro tables that I found that is actually comfortable to sit in. 
Well the weekend is about upon us.  I have one more work call and then we are off for a four day weekend.  The weekend is being kicked off with Happy Hour(s) with friends.  Tomorrow the boy's from Stanley Steamer are coming in and cleaning the carpets and the furniture.  Saturday, DH invited his work team and their family's over for a party and the rest of the weekend is ours.  I am pretty sure Sunday and Monday will fill up with more food and fun. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.  Cheers!