I have several interests to share through this blog including my love of needlework, quilting, cooking, and my pets, Molly and Butterscotch. Hopefully I will be able to keep up with adding to most of these areas over time. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Back Home Again in Indiana

Good evening all.  So sorry for the delay in posting.  The last  day of the retreat was a busy one, then we packed up and headed for Janie's Mom's house to spend Saturday night and Sunday.  We left Salt Lake City Monday morning and headed south for Mesa, AZ.  While traveling, I kept my lap top in my bag in the car and just took a small bag into the hotel room.  If anyone knows of a good app to use for the iPad to use with Blogger, please let me know. 

To get up to date since my last post, we had our Friday evening class with Cici from The Thread Gatherer:  http://thethreadgatherer.blogspot.com/.  We started working on a wool embroidery needlework case that will hold needles, scissors, threaders and a santa waxer.  It incorporates hand dyed fibers, wool and ribbon to create a vintage looking piece.

We had our Saturday morning class with Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Samplers:  http://www.plumstreetsamplers.typepad.com/.  Her design is a beautiful sampler designed with her mother as an inspiration.  This touched my heart so much as she spoke about it that it brought tears to my eyes.  I lost my Mom three days after Christmas this past year, so this will be the first project of the retreat that I will devote my time to.  It is stitched on 36 count Lakeside linen that is a dream to stitch on. 

She also designed and provided the chart for a sweet little needle roll.

The afternoon class was with Tina from Shepherd's Bush with a sampler based on the Christmas Carol "I saw three ships come sailing in On Christmas Day...". 

Teri from Shepherd's Bush also taught a make it and take it wool needle book piece that was completed in short order.

Sunday evening we drove up to Snowbird with Janie's sister Julie to have dinner with Janie's son Mike.  We took the tram up to the 11,000 feet level with beautiful breathtaking views below.  Dinner followed at the Steak Pit.  If you have a chance to venture that way, dinner is well worth the drive!

Monday morning we headed south toward Mesa, AZ.  We drove through the canyon areas of southern Utah and northern Arizona that was absolutely breathtaking.  We spent the night just outside of Sedona.  It was dark on our way out there, but we stopped on the say south out of town to take some shots that of what we missed on our way there. 

Tuesday morning we headed south to Mesa.  Our plan was to get to the Attic shortly after 10 AM so that we could make our way West toward home and get as far as we could.  The stop for breakfast took us a little longer than we thought it would, but we were on no tight schedule.  We noticed though when we got in the car that the arrival time on Garmin was earlier than the time that we thought it was.  Janie had a lightbulb moment and realized that Arizona does not change time, so we were living an hour ahead of what we thought we were...duh!  So we got to The Attic just a few minutes after they opened and had plenty of time for shopping.  It was well worth the trip and would love to go back sometime when they have a class or special event! 

We left there with treasures in hand and made our way to Santa Rosa, NM to spend the night.  We were up well before the crack of dawn with a goal of making it to Tulsa before 2 pm.  Travel time was on our side and even with road construction, we made it there not long after our goal.  Silver Needle is bigger than The Attic with much more on display, but lacked some of the warm old fashioned charm.  There is plenty there to see and get onto trouble with your pocket book.  If you are in the market for linen, I'm sure they have what you are looking for as they had an entire wall of shelves full of linen, etc.  Their Mill Hill collection is second to none and they had them all stitched with the models on display in front of each kit. 

We left Tulsa with the idea that we could make the remainder of the trip without stopping to stay the night.  We had been gone for 12 days and were anxious to get home...so, we drove and napped the rest of the way (not at the same time) stopping only for dinner and gas.  We arrived safely at home at 3:15 AM Thursday morning.  Yeah!!!  All in all, a very successful trip. We met new friends, saw parts of the country we had never seen before and enjoyed the adventure more than I can tell you.  I'm looking forward to the next retreat in 2 years, but will probably take the quick route back home.  :)

Best stitches,

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shepherd's Bush Retreat 2012

Janie and I drove up to Ogden to Shepherd's Bush Tuesday for the Birthday Open House and Wednesday for the Retreat Open House.  Suffice to say that we did our best to help the economy with these trips.  www.shepherdsbush.net

We also stopped at Jill Rensel's studio on Wednesday for her open house and so I could buy a couple of mats for 2 of my Shepherd's Bush samplers.  They are absolutely gorgeous and well worth it.  Fortunately we had the address and my GPS because the only sign that it was her studio was a tiny little sign on the glass by the door.   http://renselstudio.blogspot.com/

All along the streets of Ogden are these beautifully painted horses.  This is one outside of the Red Rooster where we had lunch.  http://roostersbrewingco.com/

One of Jill Rensel's staff recommended this place along with their signature appetizer - What a Crock.  It was a combination of eight different cheeses, roasted garlic, artichoke heart, crab and spinach.  It was garlically delicious!

We said a fond farewell to Janie's Mom, then headed up the mountain to Park City to the retreat resort where we met up with our friends Tamara and Lisa.  We are staying in a really nice 2 bedroom condo with one of the bedrooms being it's own little mini suite with a kitchenette and double doors with their own locks.  Janie threatened to lock me out of the main suite if I didn't behave. 

Thursday we visited the retreat shop and did more damage to our pocket books.  There will be alot of show and tell when we return. 

We registered and received our welcome packet in the afternoon which included a very nice bag that we can individualize with a selection of motifs that were designed by each of the retreat designers. 

At the end of the afternoon, each of the designers presented the piece that they will be teaching.  This is a teaser of the Shepherd's Bush sampler that we will be taking the class on Saturday.

Thursday evening was the "Great Cookie Swap" which included various make it and take it smalls for our sewing tin. 

Friday morning was our first class with Charland.  It is a lovely Christmas themed stitcher's roll.  This is the front of the case.  I have finished the piece from the last retreat and this one will be even more of a challenge to assemble than the last one. 

This is a picture of Charland and her daughter Sidney displaying the inside of the piece.  This is Charland's last retreat and we will miss her greatly.  It has been a privilege to take classes from her.

  Well, that's all for now.  We have another ckass this evening with Cici from the Thread Gatherer, then 2 more classes tomorrow - one with Tina and Teri from Shepherd's Bush, and one with Paulette from Plum Street Samplers. 

More later - Sue and Janie

Monday, September 24, 2012

On the Way to the Shepherd's Bush Retreat 2012

September 22 to 24, 2012

Janie and I left Saturday morning at way dark thirty (5:30 AM) on our way to Salt Lake City Utah.  Our first stop was Titus Pastry Shop, a traditional stop for their most delicious doughnuts.  I'm not big on sweets, but these are the best!  Homemade icing and filled with the best cream and custard!  They do not skimp on the filling. 

While I do not have picture of the doughnuts, there was a very peculiar sign at the end of the line.  Most of the time when you see a sign like this, it is for a missing pet...but no, there is a stolen lawn ornament about that someone is missing terribly.  This was our first laugh of the day.  We wish his rightful owner the best in getting him back. 

The next big stop of the drive was the I-80 Truck Stop - HUGE truck stop just inside of Iowa with shops and fast food galore.  Janie snapped a photo from her new iPhone 5 that arrived just in time for the big trip.  (She threatened that we were not leaving until it arrived).

I introduced Janie to her first app for her iPhone - Gas Buddy.  This has been a great help in finding the cheapest gas along the route. 

Janie made reservations for our first evenings stay at the Best Western in Kearney, NE.  She did this as they have a nice breakfast to get us started on they way for day 2's drive with make your own waffles...Yum. 

Another traditional stop along the way is Taco Time in Rock Springs, WY.  There is only one East of the Mississippi (in Goshen, IN - another story perhaps someday on that one). 

We have had MANY laughs along the way as well as listening to 60's and 70's music throughout the trip out.  We've traveled a little over 1500 miles so far with Sue driving the whole way by herself - with the exception of the last little bit up the hill to Janie's Mom's house which is quite steep, windy-twisty and a tighter squeeze than I'm used to to get into the garage.  I didn't intend to drive all the way, but some reason I just kept driving and then it became a mission since Janie wouldn't let me drive at all on the way out during the trip out 2 years ago.  :)  I will happily share the driving duties for the remainder of the trip, so no worries.

This is the beautiful view out of the living room - it's going to be a rainy day, but gives you a taste if what we have to enjoy during the first leg of our journey.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Merry Cox and Oval Shaker Box

You Never Know What You Might Find in Your Stash

The other day I was doing a little research on eBay for antique samplers.  Their search engine pulled up old copies of Sampler and Antique Needlework Magazines.  One in particular caught my eye.   It was Volume 14 and included a beautiful piece from Merry Cox called "Abide Thy Heart".  Well, I fell in love.  It incorporates one of my favorite stitches - Queen Stitches, and is set into an oval shaler box - another one of my favorite pieces.  So, I checked my back isues and low and behold, I had Volume 14, plus Volume 15 which has the second part of the pattern. 

I then did some online research to find a maple oval Shaker box as pictured in the photo.  I found an excellent source at Orleans Carpenters (www.shakerboxes.com).  They have specialized in Oval Shaker Boxes since the 1970's.  I placed an order immediately for a #3 Birds Eye Maple box that perfectly fit the dimensions that Merry specifies. 

I emailed the Dixons and requested a box with a lot of birds eye detailing.  A few days later, this is what I received.  

The box has a beautiful sheen and a soft sily feel from the wax finish that they apply to the box. 

The great thing is that after I received it, I realized that this was the same source that Jackie DuPlesis used for the carrier that was used for Lady Jane's Garden (pictured in a previous post).  The bad news is, I learned from my correspondence with Beth Dixon, that they will be retiring from box making in August to pursue making parlor guitars.  They are hoping to be able to pass the box making business along to a colleague.  I need to make sure that I order anything that I might want from them before they retire. 

That's all for now.  Happy stitching!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It has been awhile since I have posted on my blog.  This has been a busy year mostly since last December and now I feel I can breathe and get caught up on life.  My Mom went into the hospital in early December with pneumonia and late stage lung cancer.  She had a lung tumor identified 2 years prior, however with her severe lung disease, it would have been too dangerous to proceed with an invasive lung biopsy and it would have been too hard on her to undergo chemo or radiation.  So we let her live her life in relative comfort.  She was able to live on her own for 2 years with ongoing help of my sister and I, with very little pain or suffering.  She passed away December 28th and is now at peace. 

My sister and I spent the next 3 months going through the house, cleaning, sorting and organizing for Goodwill and auction.  It was an 1 1/2 hour drive each way with every weekend spent with my sister going through everything we needed to.  My parents bought the house in 1953 and my father passed away in 1984.  You can imagine what all there was to go through.  We put the house on the market in March and it sold 2 months later.  Being busy has helped with the greiving process, but it is still hard and I miss her a great deal. 

Needlework has been my sanctuary over the last few months as well.  I have been busy stitching on multiple projects, having Lady Jane's Garden fnished by a lovely lady in VA, and having several pieces framed - some onld and some new. 

I completed the Mystery Sampler from With Thy Needle and Thread - she is now at the framer.  I have been working on a Betsy Morgan (Willing Hands) class that I took last November, but needed to take a break as there are multiple pieces to the Elizabethan Casket Etui and I needed to feel a sense of accomplsihment.

Below are pictures of this WIP

Casket Etui Lid Top
    Casket Etui Lid Sides

Casket Etui Front and Back

Casket Etui Sides

Pin Cube Sides

Pin Cube Top and Bottom

Scissor Fob Back Panel

Some projects I finished while I paused on the Casket Etui Project:

Shepherd's Bush Needle Roll, Scissor Fobs and Pin Cushion

I also finished some Blackbird Designs pieces over the last few month and had them framed.  The first one is Clara Ellen that I showed previously, but had it framed and was able to show to my Mom before she passed away.  It was done in honor of her mother, Lilah Hood:

Other pieces included "Their Songs":

Loose Feathers 2011 - Summer, Autumn, Winter:

I framed a couple of Shepherd's Bush Round Robins that I completed in the mid 1990's with some friends from around the country:


I got "Lady Jane's Garden" back from the finisher:

...and I fnished a sweet pin cushion for my BFF Kate

I think I'm caught up now.  Now off to stitching another project.  I plan to get back to work on the Casket Etui as I have another class with Betsy Morgan next weekend. 

Happy Stitchinhg, Sue