Bling in the Holidays – Day 1

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Today finds me at the Publick House Historic Inn in Sturbridge, MA. I am attending the Stitcher’s Hideaway fall retreat – Bling in the Holidays with Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler.  I am a big fan of Thea’s pieces and she is a fabulous teacher, so I try not to miss any opportunity to take her classes.

We received our pre-work package in early September. Somehow I actually managed to finish the pre-work well ahead of schedule. Here’s the project when I arrived. This is stitched on 28-count Clay Cashel Linen.

Project Prework

Today we concentrated on all the specialty stitches – Partial Rhodes, Smyrnas, and Mosaics, to name a few. Thea provides videos of the stitch demonstrations in the class, which she then posts as YouTube videos for future reference.  It really helps a lot when there is a large group as everyone can see the demonstration.

So here is the project after today (and I am, thankfully, all caught up).

Project Day 1

Tomorrow we decorate the tree with all the bling!

Tonight we also had a gift exchange – those who wish to participate bring in a handmade gift. However, there is no stealing!  These are all the lovely gifts that were part of the exchange.

Ornament Exchange

This is the gift I received. I love these little ornaments and aren’t the scissors just adorable?

Christmas Tree Ornament

And here is the pillow I made. The recipient was appreciative of my effort. I am pretty pleased with it, considering that I could be categorized as a pre-beginner seamstress.

Merry Christmas Pillow

Tomorrow night we will have Show-and-Tell, which is always exciting. Stay tuned for more progress!

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Bling in the Holidays – Day 2

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Today was a beautiful clear New England autumn day. It was delightful walking about (even if it was just from my room to the stitching room) in the crisp dry air. For those who have not been to Sturbridge, I’ve included a few pictures of the Publick House grounds.

Today’s class was all about the bling! Thea handed out accessory packets with beads, sequins, gingerbread cookies, and other embellishment goodies. Her videos this morning provided tips on attaching the various pieces to the tree. We were then left to our own creativity to attach the bling.

We started with Gold Rush couched with Kreinik for the garland. We then laid out our own bling scheme, taking pictures as needed so that we had a reference for attaching later on. Here is what mine will look like (more or less). I may still move a few pieces around before finally attaching.

Project Proposed Layout

Here’s my progress at the end of the day today. I did get my garland attached as well as all the beads in the snowflakes surrounding the trees. And I attached my lights, which are a little big so we’re considering them ornaments.

Project Day 2

I’ll attach the rest of the bling when I am at home where I can see the beads and have a large space to work on.

After dinner many of the attendees brought in pieces for Show-and-Tell. As always I was blown away by the fantastic projects and gorgeous stitching. Here’s just a sample of the pieces that were shown.

These retreats really are a great deal of fun and I look forward to attending more in the future.

Tomorrow I am heading to Bush Mountain Stitchery in Palmer, MA (just down the road), which had its Grand Opening last weekend. After that I’ll be heading to New Jersey for a night at home (after the NJNA October Meeting, of course). I’ll be blogging about Bush Mountain but it will likely wait until Thursday.

October SOTM

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Fall has finally arrived – it was a cool day with the sun finally breaking through the clouds as ten of us gathered to work on our Stitch-of-the-Month projects. Barbara and Ellen got away without having their projects photographed. Next time, you two!

Progress on Autumn Kaleidoscope designed by Lorene Salt has been steady and we are coming to the end of this fabulous project. The colors on every piece are spectacular and we have had a lot of good conversation about color choices – even those of us who opted for the original colorway notice differences because of the overdyes and how we each stitch.

So, without further ado, here are the progress photos (drum roll please).

October - Diane

Diane

 

October - Janice

Janice

October - Jill

Jill

October - Linda

Linda

October - Noelle

Noelle

October - Rosie

Rosie

October - Sue C

Sue C

October - Sue R

Sue R

Don’t they all look fantastic!!!

Noelle is a recent addition to our group, having joined in mid-August. How great is that! She told us that she has been stitching as an antidote for some stressful days at the office.

Happy Stitching!

First Day in Paris!

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Hi Everyone —

Harold and I flew to Paris yesterday.  Our hotel room was not ready when we arrived, so we decided to do a walkabout with our traveling friends.  With no definite plans in mind, I suggested that we hunt up the needlepoint shops that I had garnered from various Facebook postings.

The first and most famous of these is only about 100 steps from our hotel!

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This photo was actually taken of our reunion cocktail hour — but can you see what is lurking across the street?

Tapisseries de la Bucherie is a small, brightly lit shop.  One woman was painting canvases by hand while we were there!

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It was a large canvas in beautiful colors!

I did purchase a few items — and was given permission to take a photo of the shop.

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Aren’t the wool colors gorgeous?

The non-stitchers in our group were fascinated by this spiral staircase inside the shop:

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I asked if the woman had painted the stairs, but she said they were original!

So — that was quick!  We next decided to walk to the other shop which we were told was about a 30 minute walk.  So we crossed the river and walked past Notre Dame cathedral and crossed a second river.  It was difficult to follow the map that the hotel had given us because of lack of detail, and after several map consultations and man-on-the-street interviews, we ultimately got our google maps to direct us.

After a nice lunch (I was starving) which had us straying from our direct route, we made our way to Sajou, known for its scissors.

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Of course I bought a(nother) pair of scissors!

I also asked if I could take photos of this shop — it was also brightly lit and beautiful.  When I went to take a photo of the scissors, I had to wait while they fixed the display that I had disturbed while making my selection!

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Interior of Sajou!  Scissor case is front, right hand side of the picture!

You can see that it is a beautiful shop.

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In fact, you can arrange your own Sajou shop by purchasing miniature storage furniture.  The drawers even open and are filled with Sajou signature style boxes!

It was a long walk back and although the men weren’t too interested in the shops, it did give some structure to our “wandering about”.

Cheers, Rosie

 

 

A new tool for me

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Before the ANG Seminar began in Washington, DC, last month, I was working on a piece called Two Haunted Houses. Just before it was time to get ready for seminar, I realized that I had made a major counting error and a big section needed to be taken out. I put it aside. Today I knew it was time to take out that section so I could work on it again.

When I had removed the completed house and fence posts, there were some fuzzies that stayed behind.

Note the orange and dark blue fuzzies.

And after I had used a sewing tool often used by quilters called Seam Fix, you can see the canvas is clean.

Now I am back on track with a clean canvas. I bought my Seam Fix in the quilting section at JoAnns. I believe that it could be found in any quilt shop.

Sue

September SOTM

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Fourteen of us gathered this weekend for our monthly session of stitching, chatting, and eating! It’s hard to believe that we are three-quarters of the way through the year, and our projects.

Take a look at the progress on Autumn Kaleidoscope and Stars for the New Millennium.

Barbara is continuing on her Stars piece in between travels to California to visit the grandchildren and getting ready for her daughter’s wedding here on the East Coast.

September - Barbara

Margaret is also working on Stars but she packed everything away before it could be photographed.  Next time, Margaret!

And here is our progress on Autumn Kaleidoscope. It is amazing how different this piece looks in the various colorways. Even those of us who are stitching the original colorway have variations because of the overdyed and variegated threads used.

From left to right – top row: Ellen S., Janice, Jill; second row: Joan, Linda, Mally; third row: Marge, Nancy, Robin; bottom row: Rosie, Sue C., Sylvia

October and November we’ll be working on those last boxes; December we’ll be putting in the border and the beads!

We will be discussing the 2019 SOTM project in the next couple of sessions and once again we will have a hard choice of which project to choose. We have some fabulous suggestions, so stay tuned! I think everyone in the group agrees that SOTM is a great way to spend a Saturday – we have a lot of fun, get a project completed, and learn from each other!

Happy Stitching!

 

My Home away from Home

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Every other month, I go to the Bay area in CA for an a couple of weeks to spend time with my daughter, son-in-law and my “little people”  There are three of the latter, ages 7, 5, and 1.  As you can imagine, it’s a very busy household, so that is why I go so frequently.

Sometimes it is a little difficult (notice the little – after all I’m with the “little people”) being away from my normal routine, which includes hanging out with my stitching friends at Edwardian Needle.  However, I am really a lucky stitching soul.  I have found a home away from home.

Located about a half an hour’s drive north from where my daughter lives in san Mateo, is a gem of a shop called, Luv2Stitch.  It is owned by Dale Lenci, who is also the owner and creative designer behind DJ Designs.  His canvases are really beautiful.  At any rate, the retail shop has been quite warm and welcoming, as are the “regulars”.  I have been made to feel at home.  So every Wednesday when I am in the Bay area, I declare it my day off and I go and stitch.  Luv2Stitch is open late on Wednesday evening, so if you have the stamina, one could stitch from 10 AM to 8 PM if they like.  I’ve gotten close a couple of times, but I usually can’t last that long!

The shop has such a nice aesthetic.  It is filled with beautiful antique furniture as well as practical  furniture.  There is a stitching room with bright light and large tables.  In the next room there is a bead bar and some cushy sofas as well as a break front featuring finished samples of stitched boxes and picture frames.  The third room is the thread room.  There is a lot of eye candy on the walls and always so many canvases from which to choose.  There are many classes that are offered with national teachers.  I’ve arranged my west coast visits around some of those.  I’ve had classes with Meredith Hahn Willet and Susan Portra.  They were wonderful and I learned so much.

The staff of Rhonda, Irene and Sarah are always so helpful. Dale is extremely knowledgable and of  course if you need a bit of redesigning done on your canvas, he is your man!

I encourage you to visit Luv2Stitch when you find yourself in the San Fransisco area.  Here is their info:

715 Bermuda Dr
San Mateo CA 94403

‭(650) 571-9999‬

https://luv2stitch.com