Category Archives: Anaheim 2013 Seminar

A Day for a tour and Teacher Showcase


Since we did not need to be in class today by 8:30, we saw the lobby from our room at 9:00 when the sun was coming in the wall of window behind the registration desk. You can see it on yesterday's blog as we added it to the description I wrote.

Before the tour, we went down to see if either of us had won a door prize. I won my second door prize today! (The first, on Monday, I handed back in when I saw that the design called for 15 spools of Kreinik plus additional threads!). Today I found a cross stitch prize that was worth taking. It has the design as well as fabric and thread.

Lori Birmingham design

We left on our tour of the mission in San Juan Capistrano about 9:30. Rosie will be describing much of what we saw. The Native American women who worked for the padres were responsible for food preparation and one of the foods they prepared was based on acorns. After shelling the acorns–how do they do that?–they would grind it to a powder by grinding one rock over another. The friction created cups in the rocks. The women all gathered around the one rock to work, and what do women who have gathered do? They talk! Thus the name of the rock.

Gossip Rock

After a delicious lunch (see Rosie's blog), we returned to the hotel. I spent some time in the exhibit hall and this year voted for my favorite, a piece by Liz Morrow, called Leaping Stag in the professional original category.

Tonight was Teacher's Showcase. Rosie and I decided we would check it out and see if any of the east coast teachers had potential workshops for our chapter at some time in the future. We went into the room and were shocked to see the mass of women trying to see what was displayed by each teacher.

Teacher's Showcase

We picked up flyers and business cards from all of them even the woman from Tasmania, Australia! There were so many things that we thought some members would enjoy. The next step for those on the west coast or in the middle of the country is to see if we can find other chapters in a near by area who would be interested in a workshop with that teacher. So many choices!

Did I pick up a needle today? Yes, I wanted to wrap and secure the “plunged” gold threads from yesterday and I did. Now I need not worry about them moving on me before I work on this project again. Tomorrow is another project!




Last Day of Imari Collage and Tuesday at Seminar!


Hi, Everyone —

Today was the last day for my class, Imari Collage.  We have had such a good time stitching this and have also gotten quite a lot of stitching done.  I think it would be good if classes were at least one day longer than necessary so that students could get “significant” stitching done before they leave.  In my humble opinion, that would lead to more stitching finishes!

Final Day of Imari Collage

Final Day of Imari Collage

You will see that I have some stitching done in “almost” every section of this design.  I purposely did not stitch a few sections because I wanted to fill in enough that long, gold, layed stitches did not “snag” on things in my backpack or luggage.  I can’t wait to “show and tell” this piece to you in person!  In addition, I have a Japanese 5 Yen coin to attach to the red square and five bamboo beads to attach in the red rectangles.

In other interesting news today:  Susan Rossi won a door prize!  I consulted my participant list and unfortunately this was not our NJNA Sue Rossi, but someone who lives in Malibu, California!    What a coincidence!

The seminar newspaper today credited Linda Mosch for her donations to the Opportunity Baskets — Linda will have to let us know what she sent in.  Total value of ALL the Opportunity Baskets is in excess of $15,000.

Tonight, Sue and I had dinner with Anne Carol at a Chinese restaurant across the street from the hotel.  I think they cooled the dishes down for our western palates!  But I convinced them to make Salt and Pepper Shrimp for me and they had sake, my beverage of choice!

Tomorrow, Sue and I will be going on a sponsored tour to San Juan Capistrano followed by an authentic Mexican lunch!  Hopefully, the pictures will be a little more interesting!

Cheers!  Rosie

Final day of Lapis Gold and the hotel room!


Thought you might like to hear about our hotel room which is on the fifth floor and overlooks the lobby and restaurant with a huge glass wall at the back of the lobby–so we do see outside.

A Room with a View!

A Room with a View!

We can pick out our room from the lobby because Rosie’s backpack is on the ledge. That is a good thing as we could have used it to store our crackers and cookies! There was one chair which is a not very comfortable desk chair. When we heard that others had we requested a second chair, Rosie called and asked for another chair so now we have a banquet chair as well–perfect for stitching. Now if there was only enough light to stitch. There are two lamps in the room, a high intensity desk lamp and a lamp between the two beds. There is no ceiling lamp in the room, so it is good that the open stitching areas are large and the hotel did move some more lights into that area to help out. There are some good things as well, we got a refrigerator so breakfast is in the room–and with tea at $4 a cup, it is a good thing! There is adequate drawer space for all that we brought with us, the beds are comfortable and the service is good. So we are happy.

There was quite a bit left to do for day three of my class,but we managed to get quite a bit accomplished. The teacher, Valerie McAleenan, is very patient, but I don’t think she is accustomed to teaching a large group so that most often she is going around to tables to explain what to do next. She would start in the front left and work,around the room, I was front right and she would often get waylaid before reaching our table. Neither my tablemate nor I was hesitant about calling her attention to us to see and learn! Today we were supposed to take the layed gold threads that met at an intersection and weave them. I tried, I really did, but eventually my gold threads were becoming pretty ratty. She had given us an alternative pattern that I did in the corners and am quite happy with it, especially compared with some of the finished knots that I saw. The last thing we did was to appliqué felt circle padding and then metallic kid with an overcast gold thread around the outside with needle weaving through the gold. That needle weaving was the hardest thing of all for me as it took forever to “see” the pattern! I did get it as you can see from the picture!

Final Day of Lapis Gold

Final Day of Lapis Gold

Tomorrow is the tour! See you then!


First Two days of Lapis Gold


I am combining two days of classes because last night when we got back from dinner, I had to wrap the Leah skein of #12 over dyed perle onto a soft roll of paper that I had made. I spent an hour working on it last night and another hour this morning when I got up. I couldn't not complete the wrapping without cutting it a couple of times because it got so tangled. When I started and held the open skein at one end and let go, it twisted right back up which explains why it was so difficult to wrap! So by the time I had put in my hour of wrapping, I was too tired (and frustrated) to write!

The class and the project are both going well, except that we have quite a bit left to do tomorrow, the last day. Day 1 was spent doing quite a bit of basting which you might think should/could have been prework, but the teacher, a first timer, felt there could be too many questions/mistakes. I think she was right. We did get a few things stitched as you can see from the picture.

End of first day

Day 2 began with plunging the gold threads to the back and wrapping them. What an experience! She gave us the option of using out $10 Japan needle or a plastic dental loop. I chose the dental loop as I was afraid the needle would fall off and I would lose it! It worked great to pull the gold to the back. The wrapping takes practice–I got pretty good and much faster with the ones I did tonight for homework! Then we needed to do 36 queen stitches so that we could be ready for the fan, or as she said “the fan” scaring us all. Then came laying the gold alongside the fan to be couched. Before we knew it four-thirty arrived and we had to be ready to do the next part tomorrow and most of us were not, hence homework.

The only thing I have left to do before class starts is to lay the three sets of gold and couch them along the top. If you are wondering why I am not doing it tonight, it is because there is no surface to work on besides the bed, so I plan to go early tomorrow and complete that before class starts.

I did look at the classes for next year and found several that I really like! Susan has two beautiful pieces on it, including a two day class. Chicago should be a great seminar city! I spent a small amount of time in the exhibits and again was impressed with someof the pieces. One was interesting with a great story behind it. It was a needlepoint piece of two sides of the brain, a healthy brain and one that had been attacked by Alzheimer's. A woman whose husband had Alzheimer's so the x-ray in a magazine and thought that designing a needlepoint piece and stitching it might help her with dealing with her husband's illness. She contacted the magazine which put her in touch with the man who had submitted the x-ray. She e-mailed him asking permission to use it for a design. In under ten minutes he not only gave her permission but also melded the two x-rays of the healthy and the diseased brain into one image with one side healthy and the other diseased. During the time that she was stitching it, her husband passed, but she did complete it. I was impressed with her way of dealing with what was happening and using it to find some comfort.

Look for more tomorrow!



Third Day of Imari Collage


Hi, NJNA —

First of all — Carol sent me the summary of the show and tell from last Wednesday’s meeting!  I can’t wait to see Diane’s pictures that go with them!

Sue and I are having a great time at seminar!  We decided to try the ANG special lunch at Tusca (hotel restaurant) today — a cup of soup and a half sandwich for just under $10.  The soup was vegetable and the sandwich was a tuna melt.  There are no choices because normally the hotel restaurant is NOT open for lunch.  The problem was that we ordered hot tea at $4 each.  So all of a sudden the affordable lunch became a bit much.  Tomorrow we will nosh in our room for lunch!

Debbie’s Imari Collage class continued to be great fun today.  The stitches are beautiful — more so in person — and we continue to enjoy Debbie’s humor and stories as the class rolls on!  It hardly seems possible that three of the four days are over!  You can see from my end of day progress that we only have a few more sections to go.  So sad to see it end — I could stitch with this group for a long time!

Imari Collage -- End of Day Three

Imari Collage — End of Day Three

You will see that I have the pesky ends of the Or Nue taped back so that they don’t interfere with the adjacent panel.  Debbie says that Ideally, these would be sunk to the back and pulled to the side on the back of the canvas.  But, since we don’t have enough time to finish the panel, we have to push them aside on the front.  All in all, I feel much further ahead than I felt at this stage on Asian Collage last year.

After class today, I went out to the pool.  I exercised for about fifteen minutes, but the pool was 3.5 feet at its deepest and besides was full of kids.  Crouching down to do the routine was tough on the knees — as was skinning my knee on the bottom when I tried to do a lap.  So — I’ll try the pool in the North tower tomorrow.  I expected the better one to be this one which is part of the fitness center — bad assumption!

Sue and I had a nice dinner at an Italian Family Style restaurant which is about a block from our hotel.  We had linguini with shrimp, fresh tomatoes, spinach, and garlic.  It was one of our better meals since we came to seminar!  Both Sue and I were appalled by the treatment our waitress was receiving from a businessman sitting at the bar.  So obnoxious!  She handled it wonderfully and she told us that it used to bother her but she has gotten better at dealing with it.  God bless her!

That’s about all for today!  I hope that we have a few readers out there!



Second Day of Imari Collage


Hi, Everyone —

Greetings from another fun-filled day at seminar!  My class continued to make progress on Imari Collage.  Today I regretted that I didn’t stitch the fourth section from yesterday, because it would have helped to provide an area to tie off the gold underlay in the green area.

Imari Collage -- End of Day Two!

Imari Collage — End of Day Two!

The area that looks like a tied up sheath of wheat is Or Nue, done differently than I have read about.  All of the gold ends will eventually be sunk to the underside of the canvas — but not until the rest of the canvas and the rest of the Or Nue section is stitched.

For the Stitch of the Month group — I am proud to tell you that Debbie brought in the finished SOTM to show our class and it is gorgeous!  You won’t believe the beautiful stitches that are coming up in the last few months of the year!  Before Sue and I met Anne Carol for lunch, I took Sue into my classroom to show her — how exciting!

In our classroom today, we discussed such topical subjects as whether we thought Wilma Flintstone and Jane Jetson settled when they married Fred and George.  When I told Marisa this on the phone, I was greeted with dead air — apparently she didn’t know who any of these characters were!  However — we also discussed the song that the most people in the US know the words to and I know that Marisa could support this theory.  The song is:  The Theme Song to Gilligan’s Island!

I forgot to mention yesterday that Debbie Stiehler is retiring.  So I feel doubly lucky to be in her Imari Collage Class and to be doing her SOTM piece both this year.

Tonight we had our opening banquet which was pretty good for a banquet meal serving about 400.  The speaker was a woman from UC Riverside, Dr. Margaret Nash.  She spoke about misconceptions about women’s education in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s.  Quite informative.

So, it’s all good!

Cheers!  Rosie

First Day of Imari Collage


Hi, Everyone —

It feels like we never left Philadelphia!  I am starting my week with another one of Debbie Stiehler’s beautiful creations:  Imari Collage.  The maximum class size is supposed to be 24, but this class had so many sign-ups that Debbie agreed to take 30!  With so many in the room, it is quite warm — but I am sitting in the same relative spot as I did for Asian Collage in Philadelphia, so it feels like home!

The kit for this piece is very different from Asian Collage.  The threads are either hand-dyed threads on little plastic bobbins or Kreinik metals.  The hand-dyed threads are silk and have an amazing richness of color!  Debbie had all of the silk thread bobbins arranged into small plastic bags with a small bit of corner cut off of each one.  We used our needle to fish the top end of the thread through the cut off corner and then the bobbin rolls around in the bag as we spool off thread through the cut corner!  So cool!  (Debbie said she could only imagine all the many bobbins falling onto the floor and rolling all over the classroom!  Well, she sure solved that issue!)

So we worked two sections in the morning and two in the afternoon.  Here’s my progress so far.  I elected to forego the fourth section in order to clean up some of my threads from the other three.  Here is my end of day progress.  By the way, the red square is the same stitch that I used for Lombard Street!


Tomorrow, we will spend the entire morning doing a section of Or Nue — and Debbie has a different technique than anything I’ve seen before.  She says it is a traditional technique — so I am glad to be learning it before I teach the NJNA chapter about Or Nue!

Sue ran into our friend, Anne Carol, whom we met at the Philadelphia seminar — we plan to have lunch with her tomorrow!

Sue and I planned to take the shuttle to Garden Walk tonight for dinner, but as we were waiting the bellman came to tell us that it had just been taken out of service, so we will eat somewhere nearby instead.

We haven’t had any midnight fire alarms yet, but thankfully we have a refrigerator in our room and have it well-stocked for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.

That’s about all for today!

Cheers!  Rosie