Category Archives: Travel

A Cold Day at Woodlawn

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Hi Everyone —

As Linda alluded to in her earlier e-mail, a quartet of NJNA members visited Woodlawn today.  All of us were exhibiting so our admission was free!  HA!

As usual, Woodlawn was decked out in needlework glory albeit with fewer entries than past years.  We were allowed to take pictures and I took pictures of all of the NJNA pieces.  I think I’ll hold most of those pictures until later because it is always a fun surprise to turn the corner and discover your own piece in its Woodlawn location.

Here we are with OUR pieces:

Unfortunately, our SOTM Stars pieces were not hung together.  And we saw one Stars that was not from our group!  Similarly, we were disappointed that Andrea’s beautiful butterflies were not together.  And, we found three versions of Holiday Patches — only one was holiday-themed — and the casual observer would not have realized that they were the same.  Clearly a missed opportunity for Woodlawn.

We saw a stitched version of Beachcomber’s Booty — the Ann Strite-Kurz piece that is being offered by Needleworkers in mid-May.   It was more beautiful than any of us imagined.

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Beachcomber’s Booty — the background is a lovely shade of aqua that none of the photos has quite captured.  One of our group signed up for it on the spot!

Another item that we found fascinating was this sun/moon piece that I know at least one of our members has stitched.

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Notice that the fillet is gold on the sun side and silver on the moon side!  Unusual, but apt treatment!

Of course we had lunch in the charming Nelly Needler’s cafe — Sue and I always do a turn around the exhibit, have lunch and compare notes, and then view it all again!  It was such a pleasure to have Ellen S and Janice M join us this year!

It is always a joy to meet so many other stitchers and to see some some amazing creations!  I hope you will have a chance to visit for yourself!

We stopped at Waste Knot in Arlington on the way down,  visited In Stitches in Alexandria today, and plan to stop at Hillside Needlepoint in Stevenson, MD on our way home tomorrow!   And, yes, the credit cards got a workout!

This is always one of my favorite needlepoint adventures of the year!

Cheers!

Rosie

 

 

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Nashville Needleworks

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As most of us do when we travel, we scout out local needlework shops.  I am no exception and recently found a jewel of a shop called Nashville Needleworks owned by Connie Camp.

It is a lovely, bright welcoming shop with two rooms.  One has a large table around which stitchers are always seated. There are hand painted canvases all over the shop of varying subject matter.  What struck me the most was the abundance of thread.  There were one or two threads I could not get locally, but there are walls of all the different color ways.  The picture on the bottom left is just Kreinik.  I did not end up purchasing a canvas, but did buy a kit for a frame weight that had been from a class taught at the shop in regard to beading.  I’d love to start that project soon, but the queue is rather long at the moment.  Of course, I did the obligatory magnet needle minder purchase as well.  Brenda Soffit is going to be teaching a remarkable rabbit that employs needle felting.  I’m sorry I did not get a picture of that.  It was so special that the rabbit was under a glass dome.

 

The store is known for its needlepoint retreats that are only open to out of owners.  Information on those can be found on FaceBook or call the shop.  If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit!

Needlework Friendships

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As most of you have realized by now, being a needlework enthusiast brings with it, its own brand of friendship.  The non initiated think of needlework as a solitary activity.  It certainly can be that and many of us relish that alone time doing repetitive movement and creating at the same time.  However, the uninformed are astounded when I say, that needlework for me has a huge social aspect.  I have dear friends across the country that I have made over the years at conventions, classes, from guild memberships and stitch-ins.  Perhaps the dearest friendships of this type are with three ladies from my time spent on the national board of the Smocking Arts Guild of America (SAGA).  We met in 1985 as each of us was going on to the board for the first time. (Technically, one of us came onto the board a year or two later, but we never seem to keep the facts of that story straight.)  Let me introduce you.  I (Barbara) am from NJ.  Bonnie is from Wisconsin, Cary is from Alabama and Regina is from the East End of Long Island.

This friendship of ours certainly defies all odds.  We are from different parts of the country, have different religious and political beliefs, had very different professional aspirations and have led very different lives.  We have no idea what binds us together so tightly, but it is quite evident that there is an abundance of chemistry.  We may not speak for months at a time, but when we do, we pick up right where we left off.  Our largest claim to fame are our giggles.  There are lots and lots of those.

We meet usually once a year.  Formerly, we always got together at the annual SAGA convention, but as our needlework interests migrated we breached out and started meeting in other places.  For many years, the ladies came to Long Beach Island to my beach house, but when I sold it (to spend more time in CA with the “little people” ), we had to get creative again.  It can take us months to plan (just coming up with mutually convenient dates is quite the challenge) but there is not much that keeps us away from our appointed get together.  I missed once because of a death in my family and one time Cary got as far as Charlotte and then the flight was canceled due to weather.  This year it looked as if Bonnie wouldn’t make it because of a blizzard in Wisconsin, but somehow she got there at the appointed hour.

So where did we go this year?  We went to Nashville.  Now one might think we saw the Country Music Hall of Fame or that we took the tour of the Grand ‘ole Opry, but you would be wrong.  What we did mostly was scout out yarn stores and the one needlepoint shop, Nashville Needleworks (more about that in another shorter blog entry) and hang out in our suite hotel to knit, stitch and laugh. Cary’s grandmother was from Nashville so we did do some driving to see some of the mansions and horse farms off the beaten track. No honky tonk nightlife for us.

We all cherish this friendship and will be devastated when we can no longer manage these trips.  We are always up for suggestions on places to go.  However, SAGA turns forty this year.  We are hoping to make an appearance at the convention in the fall to honor the legacy of SAGA and more importantly the treasure of our friendship.

I will attempt to upload a photo of us at a yarn store in Nashville called Bliss.  That is such an appropriate adjective for how we feel about each other.  From left to right, standing is Bonnie followed by Cary.  Seated on the left is Regina and on the right, yours truly.  Now let’s hear about your needlework friendships.IMG_0246

More Lucky Winners!

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February 20. 2019

Hi Everyone —

We had four more lucky NJNA door prize winners at Stitcher’s Hideaway yesterday and today!

 

The great thing about this retreat is that it allows all of us time to stitch on special projects or long-standing WIPs!  No new projects — unless you count the ones you pick up at the stash swap, or the door prizes, or the gift bags, or the special giveaways.  Or, in my case, a very generous hand-off of an adorable design called “The Dog Park”.  Thank you Maureen!

Nonetheless, I am happy to report that I will have at least two completed projects to bring to our next NJNA meeting!

Snow started to fall tonight and we expect a modest accumulation overnight.  Sue and I plan to start our drive home a bit later than usual to allow time for the snow plows to clear the roads!

Thanks to Jen for organizing a great retreat and to the Publick House for seeing to our care and feedings!

Cheers, Rosie

Hiding Away!

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February 18, 2019

Hi Everyone —

Seven NJNA members were very appreciative of Mally’s Needlepoint Yoga post today!  We are attending the Stitcher’s Hideaway retreat at the Publick House in Sturbridge, MA.  So we stitched from 9:00 AM until about 9:00 PM today!

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NJNA Members at Stitcher’s Hideaway!

Sue C and I drove up on Saturday so that we could make a stop at the Enriched Stitch in Wilton, CT.  Sue R joined us there and we purchased threads, sale canvasses, bags, and other goodies.

The retreat started today (Monday) so the two Sues and I toured Old Sturbridge Village on Sunday afternoon.  We toured the Towne House and visited the old bank, the weaver, the tavern, the tinsmith, the general store, the shoemaker, the potter, and the candle maker.  You can see our weather was gorgeous, even if the streets were a bit muddy!

 

On Sunday night, we needed a table of ten for all of our NJ contingent which includes several EGA members.

Overnight, it snowed — at least three inches by the time we ventured out.  The snow continued all morning.

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Monday morning view from our room!

And, of course, what retreat would be complete without prizes!

 

Today’s lucky NJNA winners!

I think I’ll go practice my child’s pose!

Cheers, Rosie

 

Christmas in SC

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I arrived to spend Christmas with Carol on Thursday, and by Saturday we were ready to shop. We set out early, met up with another of Carol’s stitching buddies, and drove to Atlanta.

The first shop we visited was the new Labors of Love. Carol and I have decided to stitch “Patchwork of Peace,” the American-flag-in-little-boxes piece that I think Margaret and Sylvia have already stitched, so we had a LOT of threads to search out! We decided to focus on the blue threads to start. Mark and Charlesy helped us pull the threads, and especially in my case, to find substitutions…because of course I decided to be different and stitch on Congress Cloth and not 18-count canvas. Imagine, we found ALMOST all the threads in one shop! And they special-ordered several that they didn’t have.

For anyone visiting Atlanta, we highly recommend that you visit Labors of Love! The shop is spacious and airy and the walls are lined with full ranges of many threads not always found in smaller shops. You want Dinky Dyes? How about those Threadworx overdyed Kreinik braids we had trouble finding for Autumn Kaleidoscope? They had them both…Burmilana? Bella Lusso? Yes and yes again. And Mark and Charlesy were knowledgeable about all the threads and very helpful. They even recommended someplace for lunch…but when we got there we couldn’t find parking so we headed over to the second shop on our list…

Nimble Needle is a smaller shop, but also carries a large thread inventory and walls full of painted canvases. We found a couple of the thread colors we hadn’t found at the first shop and I succumbed to an ornament canvas from the trunk show currently on offer. But frankly I was a little shopped out and didn’t spend as much time absorbing the surroundings as I might have otherwise. But this would also be a great destination for you if you visit Atlanta!

We ended up having lunch at an unassuming-looking barbecue place just a few shops down from Nimble Needle, and it was wonderful.

Both shops have off-street parking, always nice in urban settings.

Sandy Jenkins Needlepoint in Fredericksburg, TX

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I am on a bike trip through the Texas hill country west of Austin. I didn’t quite look at the weather forecast before we left (or perhaps I looked but decided to not believe the forecast!) so was not prepared for the extreme cold snap here. Sunday’s biking was a bit rainy but doable; Monday morning was not too bad it by afternoon, the winds had picked up and the temperatures fell so the biking was cut short quite a bit. The tour leaders decided this morning was way too cold and windy to be safe for biking so we headed into Fredericksbug. I quickly checked out if there were any Needlepoint shops in town. There is a fabulous museum to the War of the Pacific and a cute downtown. And of course, I found the Needlepoint shop!

Designer Sandy Jenkins (www.sandyjenkins.com) has a wonderful shop with all her own designs. I had to admit I was not familiar with her work. Since she gave up teaching and traveling to market, she does her own painting as well as designing. She welcomed me immediately even though she was working with a client pulling threads. When I responded that I was a stitcher, she encouraged me to look around at the designs and finished samples and reminded me not to touch samples (standard practice as we all know) and not to take pictures due to copyright issues since these are all her own designs.

Since I decided to limit myself to just one canvas, I had a tough time deciding! There was a lot of variety of style and themes. I chose a fun Thanksgiving Sampler, which she offered to kit for me. Since I was limited on time, I decided to not kit it for now. I did listen in as she was helping the other client pick threads and was impressed with how she worked with the client. While her thread selection is not vast, it was varied and I would have had no problem finding any threads I wanted or needed.

Sandy Jenkins’ shop in Fredericksburg, TX

While I couldn’t take photos inside, she did allow me to take an outside shot. She does host stitching retreats, so we may need to think about a road trip!