Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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January SOTM Progress

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I am sorry I haven’t been able to get to the SOTM gatherings and I most likely won’t be there until May!! Anyway, I am trying to keep up so here is my January stitching using Deb Rowley’s colorway.

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

 

Needlepoint Yoga

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Needlepoint makes me feel creative, peaceful and … ok, I admit it … sore. After an hour or two of stitching, my back, shoulders and neck start to rebel.

So I asked my friend Laura, a brilliant writer, editor and certified yoga instructor, for advice. With her own long sessions in front of a computer, I figured that she shared some of our pain. Neck pain, that is.

I was right. Laura was happy to pass along some thoughts on yoga poses that might relax “up tight” stitchers.  Here are her recommendations:

Neck rolls. Perfect for the tightness caused by looking down at a project. (Try the other stretches listed in the article linked here, too. The chair twist is my favorite.)

https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/six-stretches-to-do-at-work

Wrist squeezes. Brace your right elbow on your right thigh. Wrap the thumb and pointer fingers of your left hand around your right wrist. Gently but firmly squeeze the area between the base of your hand and the bony protuberances of your wrist. Now comes the fun part: while squeezing with your left hand, flop your right hand back and forth and from side to side. Remember, you’re squeezing your wrist so that you can isolate the movement to your hand and fingers. Move only your hand and fingers, not your forearm.

Extended puppy pose. Laura explained that this pose is a gentle way to open the shoulders and upper back.

https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/extended-puppy-pose

Child’s pose. This pose helps with tightness in the lower back and hips, which is common when we spend a lot of time sitting.

https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/child-s-pose

Not every pose works for everyone, of course. Try out the one(s) that interest you, and, if you have your own Rx to loosen tight “stitching muscles,” share your tips in the comment section below.

In the meantime, Namaste, y’all.

 

2019 February SOTM

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Hi Everyone —

This year, NJNA SOTM Group has elected to do the ANG SOTM Mystery Project.  Thirteen of us gathered on February 9 to stitch this month’s installment.  This is quite exciting as the directions allow quite a bit of leeway even within a given colorway.  A number of us have deviated from the designers’ colorways so that’s exciting too!

Four of us are up to date after Saturday:

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A few of us are just starting and are in different states of progress:

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Dee hit a major milestone on “A Different View” by completing her last hexagon.  Now onto the small squares and beads!

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Hexagons Complete!  Beautiful!

Diane is finishing up the border on Autumn Kaleidoscope by Lorene Salt.

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Almost done!  Diane expects to be able to start the Mystery next month!

It was a bright, sunny day so we had plenty of light to stitch by.  Thanks to all who brought the wonderful assortments of dessert!

Cheers, Rosie

Resolve to do more of what you love – Take a needlepoint class

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Almost 80% of all New Year’s resolutions go by the wayside before they’re achieved. In fact, most of us give up on our resolutions by January 12.

Is anyone surprised?

All of those pesky lose-weight, get-in-shape promises are such a bore. And, really, you’re fine the way you are. As a matter of fact, you’re wonderful.

So why not do something radical this year: Resolve to do more of what you love.

Do. More. Needlepoint. Find a new canvas or stitch. Retrieve one of the few unfinished projects in your closet. (“Few” is a relative term.) Or resolve to take a class.

Our local needlepoint stores have offerings to help you stretch your imagination, play with new techniques or stitches, enhance your skills, and make new friends … all of which are more fun than eating celery or getting up at 5 AM to jog.

Here’s what you’ll find at the fabulous needlepoint stores we all frequent:

Needleworkers Delight on Route One in Metuchen maintains an up-to-date class listing and on-line payment options here: http://www.needleworkersdelight.com/DesignerClassSeries.html

The Edwardian Needle in Fairfield offers the following classes and events through March. Contact The Edwardian Needle  at (973) 743-9833 in advance for information about cost and registration.

Sunday, January 27                 Goldwork Butterfly with Kate Festo   9:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Sunday, February 3                 Super Bowl Party   Noon – 5 PM

Thursday, February 7              Stars “II” with Cathryn Curia   5 – 7:30 PM

Sunday, February 10               Canvas Embellishment Studio   Noon – 5 PM

Thursday, February 21           Stitch-In  6 – 8 PM

Sunday February 24                Bargello Class with Andrea Santiamo   10 AM – 4 PM

Friday, March 8                       Studio with Anthony Minieri  Noon – 5 PM

Sat. & Sun., March 9-10          French Ribbon 1 with Anthony Minieri   9:30 AM – 4 PM

Thursday, March 14                Stars “III” with Cathryn Curia   5 – 7:30 PM

Sat. & Sun., March 30-31        Crazy Quilting with Betty Pillsbury  10 AM – 4:30 PM

Knit One, Stitch Two in Pennington will offer The Gazebo – a red, white and blue canvas with a gazebo, topiary and flags – as a “stitch along” on February 11 (11:30 AM – 1:45 PM) and February 28th (11 AM – 2 PM). A stitch guide will be available.  Stitch Along fee $25. This is not a class. Minimal instruction is included, and attendees must be able to stitch basketweave. If you’re interested, please email me for the project photo (I couldn’t post it) or contact the shop at http://k1st2.com.

I’ll post information about additional classes upon receipt. In the meantime, happy stitching!

Data sources for those gloomy New Year’s Resolution cited above: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2980864;https://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/wellbeing/this-is-the-date-most-of-us-give-up-on-our-new-years-resolutions/news-story/ae2e1a32a5e5f5ef0783412fefe6abbf