Category Archives: NJNA 2013

2013 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

December Stitch of the Month

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Hi, Everyone —

The SOTM group was mostly sad that there wasn’t any additional stitching on our project in December.  (Although some of us are glad to have additional time to finish last month’s stitching!)

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2013 SOTM (Mostly) Finished Projects!  Aren’t they beautiful?

Nonetheless, we met as planned for a celebration luncheon.  What a delicious feast we had!  I can’t believe that I forgot to get a picture of the food — darn!

MENU:

  • Diane’s Baked Brie
  • Diane’s Homemade Bruschetta
  • Sue C’s Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce
  • Linda’s Maple-glazed Carrots
  • Carol’s Lemon Rice
  • Sue R’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Sue R’s Bread Sticks
  • Rosie’s One Bowl Apple Cake

Most of the recipes can be found on the NJNA Website — Members Only tab!

We all thoroughly enjoyed getting together to work on this project throughout the year.  Our thoughts on Saturday turned to ideas for next year.  Unfortunately, we won’t know what the ANG SOTM project for 2014 will be until January, but we do have plenty of other ideas.  So we will meet again in January to decide!  I hope you are tempted to join us!

Cheers, Rosie

Atlantis Rising Progress

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Hi, Everyone —

The third and final day of my Atlantis Rising class was a bit of a disappointment.  Our teacher wasn’t feeling well, so she just went through the instructions page by page and left as soon as she finished.  A few people stayed through about noon to continue working on whatever threads we had hanging out.  When I got home, I continued to work on the bargello portion of the project and so I was able to get a second pass in.

Today, I decided to try the next “fancy” section of the design — Sprat’s Heads that fill the four square boxes in the bottom of the mountain.  I ripped the first box out at least six times and after about two hours, finally, I decided to throw away the charts and just do the motif so it sorta filled and centered in the boxes.  My head hurt pretty bad after all that thinking!

Atlantis Rising Progress

Atlantis Rising Progress

I think I’ll do another row of bargello next and then move on to another section with fancy stitches.

I helped Dottie on Saturday with the double fans (below those awful squares) and as a thank you, she fixed the scissor fob that I bought in Anaheim and then she made (!) me a scissor fob and a threader fob to match my stitching supplies bag!  How cool is that?

Fobs:  Two New and One Improved

Fobs: Two New and One Improved

The threader to the right of the red beads is the one that Dottie removed to fix the fob.  It seemed like such a good idea when I saw these in Anaheim, but the threader has hooks instead of holes and the hooks got caught on everything from stitches to tablecloths to sweaters.  So now the threader is relegated to my magnetic needle box and the red fob looks awfully handsome on my hemostats!

All in all, I am glad that I came to take this class in person because I met so many wonderful people!  I’ll definitely be back to stitch another day!

Cheers!  Rosie

Atlantis Rising

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Hi, Everyone —

I’m in Southern California taking Ro Pace’s  “Atlantis Rising” with the San Bernardino Chapter of  ANG.  I shared the pre-work with you in an earlier post.  Harold and I fumbled through putting together a carrier for the project and it is working great!

Custom Carrier for Atlantis Rising

Custom Carrier for Atlantis Rising

I had searched the web for directions for the homemade carrier I saw at the Anaheim seminar, but never found them.  Today, however, Diane gave me a copy of the official “Project Safe” directions by Judy Rager!   I think this might make a good chapter program for next year!

So, I’ve now finished two days of stitching on Atlantis Rising.  This is a very complicated design with lots of Jean Hilton stitches.  I am enjoying the class camaraderie and I always enjoy the Hilton stitches because they cover a large area with only a few stitches!  Yesterday, we did Jessicas, Reverse Jessicas, Bargello, and a few Amadeus stitches!  Today we did Double Fans, a Walnetto, a Starfle, Crescents, Sprat’s Heads, and Chilly Hollows!  Who knew there were so many stitches!

Atlantis Rising Progress After Day Two!

Atlantis Rising Progress After Day Two!

In addition to the kit, I purchased two possible glass “spoons” to be mounted near the peak of the mountain (although the class has noticed that the current progress makes it look like a Furby with teeth and square ears!).  Here are my two possible choices for the “spoon” or I may decide to choose a pendant from my jewelry box at home!

Glass Pendant Options for Atlantis Rising

Glass Pendant Options for Atlantis Rising

I’ve been getting lots of ideas for new programs, new meeting features, and gadgets!  I even met someone who regularly visits her friend in Randolph, NJ and who wants to join us for one of our stitching sessions!

Cheers!  Rosie

Adirondack Retreat

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Hi, Everyone!

What a wonderful time we had at our Adirondack Retreat!  Diane is a wonderful, casual hostess and made us all feel welcome and comfortable.

Our Casual and Welcoming Hostess!

Our Relaxed Hostess soaks up some fresh air!

Diane, Carol, Sue C, and I drove up on Friday.  It took us about four hours and we all met up for a wonderful lunch in Warrensburg.  Then we drove as a caravan to the cabin on Garnet Lake.

Beautiful Garnet Lake!

Beautiful Garnet Lake!

You can see that we picked a wonderful weekend to observe the autumn colors!

On Saturday morning, we tried out Sue C’s “Omelet in a Bag” recipe for breakfast (it’s on the NJNA website).  It was amazing and tasty.  We all had our doubts, but this recipe really works!

A kitchen designed to allow multiple cooks -- who didn't spoil anything!!

A kitchen designed to allow for multiple cooks — who didn’t spoil anything!!

We met Heidi and Pam in North Creek for lunch and shopping!

Lunch Bunch in North Creek!

Lunch Bunch in North Creek!

While we were walking along the street, a train pulled into the local station amid much noise and whistling.  A good number of folks got off and would spend a few hours in town before heading back home on the train.  Luckily, we beat them all to the deli for lunch!  After lunch, we all jumped at an opportunity to take a gondola to the top of Gore Mountain.

Gondola!

Gondola!

The ride up (and back down) provided stunning views of the fall foliage, the surrounding mountains, and even Garnet Lake!

Top of the World!

Top of the World!

Then it was back to the cabin and stitching, eating, stitching, eating, talking, stitching, and sleeping!  Most of the gang had set some sort of stitching goal and I think that most of us met them!  Pam finished this colorful poncho.

Pam models her handiwork!

Pam models her handiwork!  Beautiful!

Heidi finished her “H” and got started on “I”.  (I forgot to get a picture but you’ll see it in the next meeting summary!)  And here are the rest:

Top:  Carol's SOTM, Rosie's Journey, Diane's Stocking Middle:  Sue C's Christmas Cracker Bottom:  Carol's Lilac Time, Carol's Ram, Diane's Tea Cups!

Top: Carol’s SOTM, Rosie’s Journey, Diane’s Stocking
Middle: Sue C’s Christmas Cracker
Bottom: Carol’s Lilac Time, Carol’s Ram, Diane’s Tea Cups!

We were all amazed at how many helpful hints we shared:  from the Halloween fairy; to Rabbit, Rabbit; to cooking bacon; to some fab recipes!  I know I’m missing some, so everyone help me out in the comments!

Many, many thanks to Diane for orchestrating this wonderful get-away for us!  We hope more of NJNA will join us on future retreats!  We all wanted to stay a few more days — and we probably had the food to support that!

Sue and I leave for the EGA seminar in Louisville on Friday — so stay tuned for more updates!

Cheers!  Rosie

Inspirational!

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After returning from our fabulous NJNA Adirondack retreat at Diane’s wonderful cabin, I was inspired to go on our blog. I have just spent the last hour reading backward in time to January. What a delightful read. I promised Rosie and Sue that I would overcome my fears and try posting a blog. Pam wanted to let all the retreaters know that she figured out last night why she napped so well after saying she couldn’t nap. Her holistic pharmacist has started her on meladonin (sp?) to adjust her body clock to Japan time in 10 days. So she was drugged! Then again I felt drugged with delicious food, great company, and beautiful vistas. What a terrific weekend.

Extensive Prework

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Hi, Everyone —

It has been very exciting for me to see the increasing number of posts and posters on this NJNA blog!  It is rewarding to know that this blog is being used to share our member’s needlework and needlepoint adventures with the rest of the group!  Do you know that we have 300 followers??  WOW!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had picked up pre-work for Ro Pace’s “Atlantis Rising” which is a workshop that I am taking through the San Bernardino ANG group.  The pre-work is extensive and I have been in a slight panic to get it done before the NJNA retreat and the EGA Seminar in Louisville.   (More new projects — Nooooooo!)   So after stitching on the pre-work like crazy, I am happy to say that I have finally have it done!

Pre-work for Atlantis Rising

Pre-work for Atlantis Rising

The two borders alone consist of 700 Smyrna Crosses — so at 4 stitches per Smyrna, hmmm.

The next big challenge is figuring how to get it out to California for the workshop.  I changed my mind about doing this on 18-count canvas when I realized that it would be too big to carry on an airplane!  So, I think I’ve enlisted Harold to help construct a carrier out of foam board.  I described what one of the other students in my seminar class had, but he was redesigning it before I got done with my description!  My back-up plan is to take it off the stretcher bars and reattach when I get to California.  I’ll report on any further developments!

Keep on blogging!

Cheers, Rosie

Ukrainian Embroidery Class

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Every Monday morning I get an email from Nordic Needle and there is usually a story about one of their customers. In May of this year the featured stitcher hailed from Astoria, Queens, and talked about the classes she takes at the Ukrainian Museum in NYC. I was very intrigued – my father grew up right down the block from the museum. Although he attended the Polish Church with his father, his mother and sisters attended the Ukrainian Church.  And they all spoke Ukrainian at home.

I actually got started in counted cross stitch while in college because I had found a piece of cross stitch that my grandmother had done and I tried to replicate the pattern. So I signed up for the embroidery class that started last Saturday.

It is an interesting class, running from 1:00 to 3:30.  There are about 15 women in the class but it is more of a gathering than a formal class. There were about eight beginners at the class and the teacher sat with us one-on-one. We are working on a band sampler. The more advanced students are working on a number of different projects using other techniques, including cutwork.

We beginners are using DMC floss (four strands) on 25-count Lugana. I have to admit I am having a very hard time with it. Not because it’s difficult to learn – the first class was all running stitches (essentially darning patterns). But we are working “in hand” without a hoop or frame, the threads are not separated and then recombined, and we are not using a laying tool. This is not how I’m used to stitching!

I will have to look closely at the teacher’s sample to see what the threads look like because I can’t decide whether I should just shrug and accept that the stitching is not going to look like I’m used to seeing; determine that the final product when done expertly looks like something that I should strive to achieve; or secretly work a second piece at home on a frame with a laying tool (or maybe just #8 pearl cotton). I will bring in my class piece to the next monthly meeting and ask your advice.

In the meantime, here is my progress from the first class. We are using DMC 310 (black) and 321 (red) which are traditional colors in Ukrainian embroidery.  I did finish the motif on the fifth band last night but didn’t take a picture before packing everything up for class today.

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Linda’s Sampler – Class 1

The first band (at the top) is a simple over/under three threads and the second band is over/under two threads. The third band is a “vee” with the red thread woven through it on the surface.

I’m not really sure how many bands we complete during this eight-week session. I think it depends on how fast one stitches. Many of my fellow beginners are not needleworkers so we all had a different number of bands completed by the end of the class. My homework was to complete the fifth band although we didn’t start it in class. The teacher told me to go ahead and take a picture of the band so that I could figure it out at home. While I had the camera out I took pictures of the rest of the teacher’s sampler.

Lubow's Sampler Area 1

Lubow’s Sampler Area 1

Lubow's Sampler Area 2

Lubow’s Sampler Area 2

Lubow's Sampler Area 3

Lubow’s Sampler Area 3
Lubow's Sampler - Closer View

Lubow’s Sampler – Closer View

I have been doing some internet research on Ukrainian embroidery and I hope to learn more in the weeks ahead. Now I’m off to my second class! I hope to post about Slava Russki later this weekend, as well as my progress with this class. I hope I don’t start boring everyone!

Enjoy your Saturday. I hope you all get lots of stitching done.