I’m a day late in writing this post, but yesterday was a bad computer day when two of my three accounts stopped working. By some miracle of cyberspace, they are all happy today!
So yesterday was my second day in “At the Beach” with Gail Stafford. Despite missing two hours of class for conference calls, I think I made pretty good progress. Gail was very understanding and walked me through what I missed. If I hadn’t had the calls, at least part of the beach towel thrown over the left chair would have been stitched!
So this post gets its name from the restaurant where Carol made reservations for our whole NJNA contingent. Cathryn had told Carol that this was one of the best restaurants in NOLA.
Carol heard that the shrimp remoulade was awesome, but it was only available on the tasting menu. So, Carol asked and the chef agreed to make an exception; so three of our group ordered that. I had a heirloom tomato salad with local ricotta and a basil sauce — it was so good that I used my bread to sop up every last drop! For dinner I had the pecan crusted local gulf fish (sheepshead) in a saffron sauce with champagne-poached crab on top!
Is your mouth watering yet?
As we were getting into our taxi, a parade of lighted bicycles went by! It was highly reminiscent of our first seminar in Philadelphia when we had the naked bicycle parade! Apparently this is an every Tuesday and Thursday night occurrence in NOLA. The picture is a bit blurry, but you get the idea!
Tomorrow is tour day — always my favorite day at seminar! Sue and I have signed up for a tour of two plantations. Stay tuned!
Jill and I did not have class on Monday so we started the day stitching on our Saturday/Sunday projects, cleaning up some “spaghetti”. Then we started our city tour by picking up the Hop on/Hop off bus outside our hotel.
After traveling through the Arts District and past the WW II Museum, our first hop off was in the Garden District. There we had a wonderful walking tour of the beautiful mansions with their extensive gardens . Some of them are owned by celebrities like John Goodman and Sandra Bullock. Others have been in the same family for generations. All exterior renovations are strictly regulated to maintain the character of the District.
We then toured a cemetery . Because of the high water table, burials are in crypts above ground. Some are very elaborate and landscaped. It felt like a city!
After getting back on the bus, we traveled past the warehouses that store the Mardi Gras floats. Some door were open so we could peek in. Wow!
Then on to the French Quarter where I had my first Hurricane in the French Market. Lunch was a shared half muffaletta – similar to a Stromboli but with an olive spread inside. We walked a few blocks to the Quarter Point, a needlepoint and knitting shop. Lovely painted canvases were offered as well as yarns like I have never seen. They said that the French Quarter location allows them to offer more unusual yarns!
After a walk through the Quarter, we came back hot and tired but happy to have gotten a taste of the city.
Below is my progress on Florida Palm. Who knows what today will bring!
Today I started a new piece called “At the Beach!” with Gail Stafford. Wouldn’t you know that I had to paint again? This time it was with acrylic paint and brushes. Luckily, I tom-sawyered the teacher into using my canvas as an example. It looked gorgeous until I took over to finish it.
You will see that tonight I have many loose threads on my canvas — also known as spaghetti. I think I’ll try to tackle some of that before morning.
Sue, Heidi, and I had a delicious lunch at Cafe Allegro — directly across the street from the hotel. Tonight, most of my peeps will be attending the Cyberpointer Chapter meeting and I’ll be on my own.
I don’t think anyone wrote about last night’s opening banquet. It definitely had a New Orleans flavor to it. During happy hour, we were serenaded by a jazz band who then led the “Parade of Stitches” into the banquet hall. Dinner was Chicken Gumbo with Louisiana Rice, Smoked Chicken, Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Squash, and King Cake Ice Cream.
I got separated from the NJNA group and ended up sitting with Tina, Melita, and Brenda. Both Brenda and Melita won awards in the judged exhibit pieces. Melita won a first prize in the Original, Non-Professional category for “Festive Fireworks”. Brenda received second place in the Independent, Non-Professional category for her “Rose Swirls”! Pamela Harding, designer of Serengeti, was also at our table — so I am convinced that I stumbled onto the Rock Star table!
Next year’s Stitch of the Month project is on display in the exhibit and I’d say that it is another winner!
Although you cannot see much progress on the canvas, there were several new techniques we covered today.
We started the day working on the cone for the ice cream cone beginning at the bottom of the cone to get a straight run up those diagonal cashmere stitches. There will be three Hershey kisses in the band to the right in red, silver and the completed one, pink stitched in shiny Kreinik (HL). Below that is a continuum of chocolate working in from the outside with dark chocolate, through milk chocolate to almost white chocolate in the middle. The empty blocks include a chocolate coated strawberry and a box of four See’s truffles–can you guess that Nancy is from California where See’s chocolate is king? I began the heart chocolate to the right which will have dark chocolate and a decoration of white on it all in beads. It is another box worked best from the bottom up.
Directly below the heart is an empty box which will eventually have my name or initials–same number in both–and the year of completion. This is accomplished by the dimple effect–starting and stopping diagonal stitches so that dimples form showing the letters. As all the stitches go from top to bottom and there is no backstitching, some planning must be involved–I am still at the planning stage and may be there for awhile!
This class was fun and enjoyable, and this is a project I am excited to finish hopefully before the end of the year as I have diagrammed 2016 and not 2017! Two days away from stitching and then on to another Nancy Cucci class.
I arrived in New Orleans on Friday, excited at the prospect of three classes as well as the opportunity to get a feel for a city. After a superb dinner in the Arts District, I went to sleep anticipating my first class, Florida Palm with Gail Sirna.
I Ioved the tropical theme of this piece, done in wonderful silks . Gail is a very patient and well organized teacher. We made great progress in our two days of class, working on every area of the design.
Tomorrow, Jill and I head out on a sightseeing tour of the city, going to the Garden District, French Quarter and who knows where else. More tomorrow!
I have just completed Day 2 of Nancy Cucci’s “For the Love of Chocolate” with one more day to go. Looking at the canvas and what I have done, it is hard to see what each section is designed to represent (with the possible exception of the M & M’s). I will identify them for you in the paragraph below.
First row: Brownie Fudge Cake, Rocky Road ice cream, Cupcake, and coming soon Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
Second row: Chocolate Chip Cookie, coming soon Choclate Wipe Out Cake–5 layers, a See’s Chocolate Heart, M & M’s, Marble Fudge
Third Row: Ice Cream Cone with Chocolate, Mint with chocolate chips, and Chocolate Ribbon, and an almost completed Hershey bar.
I have picked up numerous tips from Nancy as to stitching order–made the Criss-Cross Hungarian in the cupcake frosting much easier for me to stitch–with her reasoning behind it. We have also heard several ideas of other projects we might like to do on our own or as chapter projects. I am glad that this class really appealed to me when I first saw it and that I was one of the lucky ones to get a spot in this class.
Hi Everyone —
Here’s my progress at the end of class. As Jill wrote in her earlier blog, we used a lot of new and interesting threads for this project. This afternoon we did a stitch called the Cretan stitch with a random pattern. You can see it on top of the blue area on my canvas. I can’t wait to add the Tagua Nut slices that form bird’s nests overtop!
I think it can also be said that I am unable to summon the patience to color inside the lines — so you will see all of the bits of color on my trees in the tree panel. In fact, I obliterated the branches and have to stitch some before I can add the rest of my leaves. Also the green stems on the leaves were not supposed to be painted — but I lost it with the stencil and the paint dabber!
I signed up for this piece because it was so interesting. I wasn’t disappointed!
Opening Banquet tonight!
I’m in the same class as Rosie, and am really enjoying it. The one Terry Dryden piece I had done previously had a great assortment of threads that were new to me, and Terry did not disappoint this time! A YLI Ribbon Floss imported from Germany called “Shimmer” and something called “Straw Silk” from Silk Road Fibers. Along with Valdani perle cotton, apparently slightly heavier than DMC and providing just a little more coverage.
Here is one of the feathers I stitched using two of these new-to-me fibers.
Seminar is in full swing in New Orleans. I arrived yesterday after a long night and three flights — from Anchorage!
I managed a power nap yesterday and joined three other members of NJNA for a fabulous dinner at Compere Lapin.
See our beautiful meals? I had an heirloom tomato salad and steak tartare — what could be better than that?
Today was the first day of classes. I am enrolled in “African Images” by Terry Dryden. We have a fabulous kit with many interesting threads. We started today by coloring and painting our canvasses. After lunch, we started stitching!
Tonight, Sue helped me recuperate from my travels with a simple dinner at the hotel. I hope that others will also post about their experiences. Meanwhile, to quote my daughter Meg — it’s been an awfully long day! Good night!