Staying in Asheville for the eclipse the day following the end of the seminar seemed like a good plan, but after the banquet on the last night there were many distressing stories. Our plan–Jill and myself–was to leave our hotel after breakfast for the hotel in downtown Asheville where we would spend Monday evening. Then we would wander through the shops during the day and ending at the designated eclipse park in downtown Asheville. When we were leaving the banquet, we were told that downtown Asheville would be closed on Monday. Now what. We postponed any decision until Monday. There was nothing on the internet about shops closing so we left before nine expecting lots of traffic. There was very little. We got to the hotel, parked, sat in the lobby with a cup of coffee and layed out our walking route before setting forth. Almost all the shops were open but there was virtually no foot traffic in these stores. It seems that most people were staying away from the area. About one we walked towards the Pack Park where the downtown event was being held. As we walked we saw more and more people headed in the same direction. The park is small and had a number of families set up on blankets. There was music as well as activities going on for the youngsters. We found a place across the street with trees for shade and a low wall for sitting where we waited and watched. At that time there were some clouds in the sky but it was easy to see the moon “eating” the sun using our eclipse glasses–thanks to the library for supplying them. As the time for the maximum coverage approached, larger and larger clouds appeared and we were concerned that we would not be able to see it. Watching constantly was difficult because you needed to crane your neck. One diligent woman kept us all posted and shouted out when the sun was visible! The clouds broke open for about a five minute window with the maximum coverage right in the middle of the window! As we waited the sky got dark enough for the street lights to come on. The maximum darkness was similar to the time right after sunset in Asheville where the coverage was 99%. It was a great experience and fun enjoying it with friendly strangers appreciating the same event.
Yesterday, Sunday, was the last day at this year’s EGA seminar in Asheville, NC. I had a second day of the Lily of the Lake with Gail Sirna. I did as she asked us all and got rid of my “tails”, some I finished and some I just tied off. Tail free, we began today working on thenleft border which has several bands. After lunch it was the right border. I really like the way they look. The participants of this class were so cooperative and helpful to all–lending a battery operated light to someone who was not near an outlet, giving suggestions for how to count for placement of stitches, etc.
There was so much hubbub about the eclipse which occurred today and the traffic that was around Asheville that many were anxious to get on the road last night and not wait for the morning. Our class instruction ended before the afternoon break so several people skipped the banquet and got on the road. I did stay and felt the dinner was tastier than the opening banquet. The prize was the dessert which was a small chocolate teacup filled with berries and whipped cream. I ate every bit of that cup! The favor was wonderful! On of the committee members made one for each of us!
You can see mine and Rosie’s with one open and one with the embroidered cover. This is a favor that can be put to good use. At the banquet it was announced that the only elevator in the Looking Glass building was not working! By the time I was leaving this morning it was back in operation, but not when we returned to the room! It was a good seminar although there facility issues, the classes offered were great as was the merchandise night and teachers’ showcase and both seeing friends and making new ones!
Hi everyone —
Tonight a contingent of NJNA went to a “Global Italian” restaurant in Weaverville called The Glass Onion.
The food was fantastic — I had trout puttanesca, Sue had wild boar Bolognese, Carol had eggplant rollatini, Jill had the scallop special, and Dee had twice-cooked, smashed fingerling potatoes. Dee and I had dessert!
It was a wonderful celebration and we are all happy to see Carol after her move to South Carolina.
Hi Everyone —
Sorry to miss so many days of posting, but I had a monthly report due for work and a myriad of still on-going computer issues.
Sue has already filled you in on some of our adventures. Here is the largest home in America — the Biltmore.
Sue figured out that the formal dining room was larger than most good-sized houses at 2800 square feet.
I could have sat on the loge all day long — so cool and breezy on a hot day. So I made Sue sit for a spell too!
In the Ming dynasty, this would have been your fishbowl!
About halfway through our audio tour, Sue and I dropped off our audio set for a chit to return later. So we went to the Stable Café for lunch — we had a stall all to ourselves!
After lunch, we resumed our tour and saw the bowling alley, swimming pool, gym, changing rooms, and staff lodging and work rooms.
Alas, on Thursday, we had to get back to work on our stitching! 😉
Here’s the evolution of my Happy Hedgie from pre-work to the first day of class and then to the first day of studio time. Sue already posted what Hedgie looked like at the end of the second day.
He is beginning to look like a rat! Thanks to Tina F for providing this stitching inspiration!
I had hoped to work on Lombard Street during studio time, but we are stitching in a dark sleeping room and there really wasn’t enough space for such a big piece. However, I got some wonderful suggestions and will be anxious to resume working on it — time permitting.
I could not post last night as the room is too dark with all lights on to take a photo. You can see all the parts added during the day which give the border as well as the quills so much more character. This is a piece that I can see myself completing. Not only do I like it but the directions are clear and there is no “new” techniques to learn without guidance. There is more to add in the borders as well as the quills and each adds more character to the design.
Today was day one of Lily of the Lake by Gail Sirna. I like the picture and the threads used are beautiful. Today we completed enough of each petal to understand the stitch and how it fits in the petal–some petals are repeated. The stitches are designed to fit the shape of the leaf with minimal compensation. Thank you, Gail! You can see the reflection of several petals which is stitched with a single thread. Tomorrow we will work on the borders.
Carol K. and Marge K. and I are all taking Gail Stafford’s “A Dusting of Snow.” I am really enjoying the class — Gail is a great teacher and I’ve learned a couple of new tricks…the piece is a manageable size, the threads are all cottons, and the finished piece is spectacular. The design is based on an actual gazebo that is a couple of blocks from her house.
Here’s my progress after a day of stitching…How is it that it looks like I’ve accomplished so little after an entire day?
Notice the magnet in the upper right — a special hand-crafted one for this seminar. Carol and I both succumbed when we saw them in the boutique.
And speaking of the boutique, it is spectacular! It’s run by ABC Stitch Therapy in Spring TX and they came with a huge selection of threads, cross stitch patterns, painted canvases, tools, and oh did I mention threads? On top of the impressive inventory, the people are really nice and helpful too.
This evening Carol and I went to dinner at the Grove Park Inn, one of Asheville’s landmarks, with two other stitchers we’d met at the opening banquet. We ate on the Sunset Terrace — outdoors, overlooking the MOST incredible view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Dinner was wonderful, but the setting was equally if not even more wonderful.
This is a photo of one of the two similar stone fireplaces in the Inn’s lobby, almost as spectacular as the mountain view!
We are currently at the EGA seminar in Asheville, NC. My first class is with Ann Strite-Kurz working on another of her animals, “Hedgie”. We did have prework to get in the correct shape of the animal as well as to have a foundation for the border design.
You can see how cute he is going to be! It was a small class, fortunately because the room is small with light provided by large windows and two table lamps from the hotel, but we do have our own private bathroom! Ann had us working on several areas to help us become accustomed to the stitches in areas where we may need to learn the best way to compensate. We also began the framework for the quills and the framework for the background. As the quills are blackwork, Ann explained the whys of the stitch sequence making learning the sequence much easier. Ann also showed us a much easier way to get to the lobby by going outside instead of using the interior stairs or elevator! Thank you, Ann!!
I arrived in the beautiful city of Asheville, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on Tuesday. Yesterday, Jill and I spent the day at the Biltmore Estate. What an amazing place!
But the most ingesting was the kitchen and servants’ quarters – evoking memories of Downton Abbey!
Today was the start of my class, Dusting of Snow by Gail Stafford. Although I was in class for a full day, you can see how little was done – just a couple of trees, half a shrub, and a tiny bit of sky.
What a feast! What an amazing place – a historic hotel with a view that is beyond words!
Today Carol and I went on a tour of the Biltmore Estate, the Vanderbilt home in Asheville that has been open to the public since the 1930s. The day included a self-guided audio tour of the interior of the house (think Downton Abbey), a little stroll through some of the gardens, a buffet lunch at a restaurant in a building that used to be the cowsheds, and then a visit to the Biltmore Winery for some wine-tasting and, of course, some wine purchases.
The views from the house are spectacular, across acres of forest to the Blue Ridge. We were told how Mr. Vanderbilt had a large scaffold constructed in the precise spot where the house would be to determine if the views were going to be captured as he wanted…I think he succeeded!
My favorite part of the tour (aside from the view) was the basement–the kitchens and pantries, laundry rooms and so forth, where the work of keeping the house running was done. It was easy to imagine all the servants bustling around keeping things on an even keel, enabling the Vanderbilts and their guests to live the life of ease that they did.