Author Archives: bglmom

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

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My time at the ANG seminar, part 2

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So, I was one of the lucky ones who was able to register for the Canvas Investigations Class with the Embellishment Squad, Tony Minieri, Meredith Hahn Willet and Debbie Stiehler.  Usually they are joined by Suzanne Howren, but unfortunately, she was ill and could not attend.  Previously, I’ve had classes with Tony and Meredith, but never together.  What fun!

There were four of us at a table with about 50 stitchers in the room.  We were each given a very extensive handout with diagrams of all the stitches to be used by students in the class, added to the stitch diagrams from other classes.  That plus the required “Stitches to Go” book by Suzanne Howren were all that was needed to execute the stitch plan.  The teachers rotated among groups of tables, but switched after lunch which tables they were servicing.  Each of us had previously selected our canvases and we were given some stitches and areas on which to stitch.  As the teachers went from student to student, they helped with the execution of stitches, but also designing stitches for the other areas.  I send a huge shout out to Lori, the owner of Waste Knot for supplying us with needed thread for the next day for the areas that had newly been covered.  She did a great job!

One fun part of having so many multiple teacher perspectives, is that you can learn different ways to execute a stitch.  I learned three different ways of approaching Or n’ue. By George, I think I’ve (finally) got it!  Here are some progress photos of my canvas.

 

As many of my local fellow needle enthusiasts know, I travel a lot.  Seminar weekend proved to be no exception.  I had to leave the seminar for a short period of time to attend a wedding.  I’ve known the bride since before she was born, so I really wanted to be there.  However, since I was missing Vendor night, I was a bit bummed.  So, of course, when my hubby said he was going to take a nap before we got ready for the wedding, I took off.  Just a mere five miles away from our hotel was a shop in Merrick, NY called Needlepoint Nook.  The owner of the shop is good friends with the aunt of the bride.  So, we had a great time chatting.  I indulged and bought a Funda Scully canvas for one of the little hinged boxes.  So now I was a little less bummed about having to leave the seminar for that short period of time.

Thanks to hubby’s vacation that week and him usually being a pretty good guy, we drove back to DC in time for the afternoon class session on Sunday and both sessions on Monday.  Since the instruction is so individualized in my class, it felt like I didn’t really miss that much for my class.  The teachers were able to finish giving me ideas for the canvas and I have enough information to finish, when I get more time to stitch!

All in all, I had a great time with all that I did.  Sigh – a really happy one.

 

My time at the ANG National Seminar, part 1

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Well, I am a bit late in commenting on my experience at the ANG national seminar, but I thought late is better than never!

I started my trip on Tuesday so that I would have time to spend with my dear friend who lives right next to DC.  Since I was driving, I do what every other enthusiast does, I made stops along the way at needlework shops!

Frist, I went to Hillside Needlepoint in Stevenson MD, right outside Baltimore.  As usual (I stopped here once before), the owners were delightful and helpful.  I love accessories, so as is often the case, I bought “gadgets”  They included heavy duty plastic project bags, a tote and plastic needle cases with screw lids to replace the ones that I use in my needle case that keep opening.  Having chenille needles mixed in with the tapestry ones is not fun!  Of course, I made a quick visit to Lori K, which is in the same shopping plaza and bought a couple of tops for fall.

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Then came decision time, should I drive to Waste Knot in Arlington or go to my friends’ home which is halfway between the two shops?  They were holding Evertites for me at Waste Knot, so I decided I would drive to Arlington.  As I started out on the drive, I was hit with monsoon rains.  Then the traffic ground to a halt.  So I decided I would turn around and go to my friend’s house.  Oh boy, I “got” off the road I was on, to turn around and there was no place to exit the new road for about 5 miles.  I was not happy!  By the time my GPS got me back on the right road, the traffic had started to move, so I just went on to Waste Knot.  They had my Evertites, but of course I also bought some great magnets from the Meredith Collection as well a couple of books I just had to have.

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With some rest and visiting time in Chevy Chase with my friend, I went to DC the next day to register for the conference.

Missing all of you

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Back in May, I started to post an entry about my 2016 Stitch of the Month, which is finally finished.  Well life got in the way and the blog entry never got published.  Here is what it said:

“So I’m only five months behind, but I prevailed.  I am totally finished and framed with Stitch of the Month for 2016.  It is the ANG Stitch of the Month by Susan Hoekstra (a former NJNA member)  It is called Feuilles D’Ananas.  This is a fun way to stitch a project and I liked figuring out the variations on the turquoise color scheme.

I won’t be around much the next several months, so I won’t be able to attend our chapter’s official Stitch of the Month monthly gatherings.  However, I am hopeful to take a stitch or two of this year’s project, Tony Minieri’s “Stars for the New Millennium.”  I”ll keep you posted!  I wish a fun summer for all.”

 

Well, I am now addicted to the “Stars” piece.  I am having so much fun. Working on that design is keeping me from doing the baby knitting that I need done by September when my newest grandchild will be born.  I agree with Jill W., these colors make me happy!  I can’t wait to see how the next area showcases all of them .  My overdyed thread is Silk and Colors, 994 – Kaleidoscope.  All of it just pops!

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So now I will really wish all of you a wonderful summer.  I will miss all of you in the fall while I help out with the big sister and brother and of course the new baby.  Grandchildren are the only thing that will trump my addiction on stitching the Stitch of the Month projects!  Happy stitching to all.

Winter travels, addendum

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Oops, I totally forgot to comment on a stop I made on the way home from DC.  As per Linda M’s suggestion, I stopped at Hillside Stitchery in Stevenson, MD.  As I was driving, I could not understand where the shop might be since at the exit, one drives for a few miles in quite the bucolic setting.  Then all of a sudden there is this sweet little shopping plaza, in which the needlepoint shop resides.  The staff and owner couldn’t have been nicer.  They currently have a NeedleDeeva trunk show.  One of the staff members had stitched and displayed quite a few samples of the Needledeeva canvases.  I was quite taken with one of the faces she had done.  I did decide to purchase the canvas (again without the aid of an enabler).  So, the staff member allowed me to take a photo of her work and she also made a color copy of the canvas and wrote down the stitches that she used.  I could not believe how accommodating she was.  The shop also featured some totes in which you could put inserts or sew the canvas onto the front of the bag.  Great choices!  If you are going to see the Woodlawn exhibit, I highly recommend that you stop and take a look.  I wish the shop well and hope they have staying power.  They deserve it.

Winter travels

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So, I have had some fun travel adventures this winter.  I apologize for no photos, but when I get any where near new fiber/stitching sources, I lose my head and forget to do what I want to do to blog.

So in February, we spent a little bit of time on both coasts of Florida visiting with friends.  First we ventured to Siesta Key which is a barrier reef island right next to Sarasota.  My host is not a needlework enthusiast, but she indulged me.  Boy, am I glad she did!  First stop was the Needlepoint Studio of Sarasota.  What a nice, welcoming, bright shop.  There were stitching stations all over the store, with lights and magnification.  I wanted to spend the rest of my vacation there stitching, but alas, I remained polite to my hosts.  There were beautiful canvases everywhere, lots of threads and a great assortment of books.  I added to my library with a purchase of The Handbook of Ribbon Embroidery by Ann Cox.  I’m very excited to have this well illustrated reference book as I am taking some lessons from Pam at Edwardian Needle in Silk Ribbon Embroidery.  I know this book will be helpful in the hours that I am away from Pam.

Down the road by no more than a 1/4 mile was A Good Yarn.  What a great yarn shop. This shop too was very bright, with lots of knitted samples and lots of sales help.  I also did damage in there.  My friend was not much help, as she was enabling me.  I was told that the two shops used be to be located right next door to each other.  If I lived there full time, I would just bring a cot and never leave.

Next we moved on to the east coast of Florida to Palm Beach Gardens.  This host is a fiber enthusiast (along with her daily golf obsession), so there was no twisting of arms to go take a look.  The needlework shop near where she is located was not such a good one, so I will not mention it by name.  However, while we were there, we unfortunately needed to make a condolence visit with another friend.  So we took a drive further south of where we were staying.  Of course, I was furiously googling needlepoint shops near “current location”.  I found a gem in Delray Beach, called Stitches by the Sea.  The shop is small but full of life and stitchers who crowd around working on their canvases.  Lots of bright cheery motifs with lots of Kreinik in them.  This shop had a Penny McCloud trunk show.  Without any enablers around, I managed to order a canvas of a funky looking face that I can’t wait to start on, once it gets here, of course.  The sample in the shop was so much fun, but stitch guides are not written down.  However, I was allowed to take photos of what was there.  I will not publish it here because I did not get permission for that.

March brought me to what will probably turn into an annual trek to see the Woodlawn exhibit.  I stayed with my dear friends in Chevy Chase and I spent the day that I went to Woodlawn with the “other” Barbara L.  We started out at the shop in Arlington called In Stitches.  I’m pleased to report that there are many more canvases available for purchase than last year.  There is also lots of cross stitch.  I did not notice if any of the charts were for canvaswork.  Again, everyone was cheery and helpful.  I was able to reign myself in at this shop.  We had lunch at Mt. Vernon and then headed over to Woodlawn.  Of course, Barbara and I had some fun with the registration lady when she asked for our names.  She did do a double take when we both used the same name!  We got there a few minutes late for the docent led tour of the winning pieces in the exhibit, but since the “other” Barbara L is friends with the retired ANG judge, Kathy Meyers, who gives the tour, we were allowed to join in.  Although this year’s exhibit is smaller than last year’s, the work is just breathtaking.  I am always so awe struck.  Kathy’s talk was so informative.  She pointed out that not all of the winning pieces looked complicated, but that the stitching was so superb, they were awarded ribbons based on their excellence.  The judging that takes place here is based on a system called consensus judging.  (Kathy, please forgive me if I get some of this wrong.)  The three judges have their sheets on which they tally marks in many areas and then award one ribbon for first place, and many ribbons for second, third and honorable mention.  The three judges then confer and and they must agree on how to award the ribbons.  At the ANG national seminar exhibit, the three judges write down their marks, they are added together and the highest number gets the blue ribbon, etc.  Little things like a wobbly stitch, shadows of threads in the back and even how the piece is finished can affect the marks.  Like things are judged together.  In other words, the cross stitch is not mixed in with the canvas pieces.  They do separate out soft finishes (like pillows) from hard finishes (frames).  Hopefully, I got this right.  But with the little I did glean from the talk, I have added respect for our chapter winners.  Kudos to you!

March will bring me another travel adventure since I am heading out to CA to babysit my “little people” while their Mommy and Daddy take a much needed break.  However, I start my trip with a class by Susan Portra at Luv2Stitch in San Mateo.  More about that next time!