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.
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!
I just figured out that I left out Joan’s beautiful Autumn Kaleidoscope from the blog post in January. My sincerest apologies, Joan!!!!!
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!
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.
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
I came home on Saturday and finished stitching the January and February installments…Although I’ve been feeling some regret at using colors similar to one of the provided color ways, especially after seeing what some of the other pieces look like, now that I’ve got more stitched, I’m really happy with how mine is looking!
Mr. M and I packed up the little Mazda 3 and set off on Friday. It’s actually quite remarkable how much can get stuffed into that car – we didn’t have an inch to spare!
Yes, we did manage to fit in some luggage. And Mr. M didn’t have to travel with anything on his lap!
Our first stop was Starbucks in Mt. Laurel where we met Melita, who is also submitting a piece to Woodlawn so we added that to the inventory. Melita designs some fabulous pieces and blogs about her various projects at Melita Stitches 4 Fun. Be sure to check it out.
The rain eventually stopped as we were traveling through Maryland. We stopped for lunch at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Laurel. I do have a deal with Mr. M – whenever possible we try out a brew pub for lunch on a stitching field trip. BJ’s is a chain that we’ve been to in the past so we knew what to expect. But the food is good (I had a bowl of excellent vegetarian lentil soup that was quite filling) and Mr. M enjoyed the beer.
After lunch we headed to The Waste Knot in Arlington to see the new shop. Last year Lori moved a few blocks from her Lee Highway location to a larger and much brighter shop on Glebe Road. She carries quite a lot of threads and beads along with all the canvases. I did purchase one canvas as well as needles and a couple of small magnets. I had to buy those because I had brought two projects to work on in the evening but forgot needles and magnets. What a disaster that could have been!
We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Old Town Alexandria, right near the King Street Metro Station. We did make quite a sight as we unpacked a few pieces of luggage and then started carrying in all the needlework pieces.
On Saturday our appointment at Woodlawn was 10:00. In years past we’ve had a 9:00 appointment, in advance of the general public (well, the general stitching public) bringing their pieces in. This year was different – and was probably the most efficient one yet. We were met by Debra K. who is one of the co-chairs of the show and a member of Nelly’s Needlers. Instead of checking in at the front desk, we were led to the other wing for a separate check-in. For those who have been to the Exhibit, we were in the room that houses the Cafe.
They had several tables set up for us; Mr. M and I unpacked all of the pieces and lined them up. Only after all the pieces were unpacked (which itself took about 30 minutes) did Debra start the check-in. She processed the paperwork and examined every piece so that she could note the condition of each, including slight marks on frames, buckling of canvas, etc. Debra was very thorough in her examination and we talked quite a bit about finishing techniques. As we were entering the pieces many of the other volunteers came through and looked at our submittals. As was expected, there were a lot of comments about all the different colorways for Stars for a New Millennium; several people were trying to decide which colorway was their favorite. By the way, we have 9 versions of Stars in the Exhibit.
While we were checking in we did chat with some of the other volunteers. We learned that almost half of the pieces that had been entered were from first-time exhibitors, and there is a notable increase in the number of men who entered this year. I think that’s a great sign for the continuation of our craft!
All in all, the check-in process took 2 hours to get our 27 pieces (by 19 NJNA exhibitors) fully checked in. By that time we felt we deserved a nice lunch, so we headed back to Old Town to The Wharf on King Street where Mr. M enjoyed a shrimp po’boy and I had a lovely she-crab soup and side salad.
We had an early dinner reservation at the Mt. Vernon Inn that evening so we returned to the hotel and sat in the atrium where the lighting was perfect for me to stitch. I managed to get quite a bit of Herringbone Happening stitched.
Dinner was fabulous and I enjoyed a brie appetizer, a large salad with shrimp, and a slice of cherry pie. Mr. M had the turkey pot pie and apple pie. We also were very pleased with a Virginia wine. This was the first time we had been to this restaurant, although we had visited the estate in years past, but it won’t be our last time.
We traveled home on Sunday and made good time – at least we arrived back in NJ early enough to get settled before facing the work week.
We’ll be heading to the Exhibit in early March when Nora is home for Spring Recess. I’m looking forward to seeing all of our pieces! I hope you’ll consider heading to Woodlawn to see the exhibit. It is open the entire month of March (except Tuesdays). There are quite a few events in conjunction with the Exhibit, so be sure to check them here.