After the Holidays were over it was time to knuckle down and finish up retreat plans. Four months might sound like a lot of time but in reality...not so much. The stitching of the retreat piece needed to be finished so any tweaking needed could happen in a timely manner. Lots of other projects needed to be done for retreat too so pretty much most of my free time was spent on that. Also at this time I was slowly working on getting caught up at work with the framing. I have since come to the conclusion that being caught up with the framing is a dream that I will never achieve! Seems like I see the light at the end of the tunnel and then whammo, more framing comes in. This is not a complaint just a statement of fact. I don't work as fast as I used to and I need to rest my neck now too or I regret it but I still feel bad that I make my customers wait longer than what I feel is good. Luckily, I do happen to have the world's best customers and they are all very patient with me. So you can understand how frustrated I was when after a long day of painting frames for retreat I woke up a few days later with extreme pain in my wrist. According to the Doctor, I had a repetitive motion injury...in other words I strained something on the side of my wrist and it required weeks of wearing a wrist brace and directions to not use it at all. Insert many expletives here cuz I pretty much said them all!! I'm still babying the dang thing, I wear the brace every night, ice it regularly and try to avoid over using it. I refuse to get a shot of cortisone in it. Nope! Not gonna do it. No way, no how! My name is Julie and I am a chicken shit.
During this busy time Abby broke up with her boyfriend (YIPPEE!!) and moved into a friends basement. We told her we'd pack up the village in the basement here and fix it up for her but she wasn't interested in doing that cuz we live so far away from everything. While I don't believe that's true, she's 27 and can make her own decisions so we let it drop. At that point I was just praying she stayed broke up so we dropped everything and helped her decorate her friends basement so she'd be comfy and not miss the jerk she left behind.
Went to the Nashville Market in February. Mary Ann (the boss) stayed home this year so just Connie and myself went from the shop but I knew we needed a third person if we were going to get to all the designers so we took our good friend Doreen with us. She was a ton of help and she can't wait to go again in 2016. It was different going without the boss. A lot more pressure on me since I was now in charge of the money and staying on budget. I did okay I think. At least I hope I did because it will all be on me again come market time. More on that later. We had a great time seeing all the designers and the new designs, catching up with people we only see once a year and just getting away from home but it was nice to come home too. Don't tell Dan (wouldn't want him getting a big head) but I miss him when I'm away from home, not to mention missing the pups.
|Doreen at her very first Market|
Some stitching was done during this time but not a whole lot between getting ready for retreat, going to market and the bad wrist. Mostly I finished projects or small pin keeps.
I started stitching A Sisters Garden from La D Da at our Fall 2014 retreat and managed to get it finished and framed right before Spring Retreat. I actually had the stitching done for a while but couldn't find a frame I liked. That is until one day, HE walked through the door of the shop. Not through it through it, you can really get hurt doing that, I mean like opened the door and walked through it. HE was a frame rep. Now I've been with the shop for over 12 years and this was the first time a rep from this company had graced us with his presence. When something like this happens, a person (me) just wants to say... Hey, you've ignored us for this long, take yourself right back out that door. BUT...being the moulding whore that I am I couldn't do it. I let him sweet talk me into looking at his samples and I have to say I was instantly taken with what I saw. I couldn't wait to hold and fondle his goodies. And then I saw it, the moulding I had been holding out for. Not too blue, not too green, rustic looking and with a profile I could live with. Soooo...I made nice with the rep and we're now in a relationship and I'm happy cuz I could finally frame my piece!
This next piece was one I fell in love with at Market. Stacy Nash had the most adorable animal series she was showing at market and I fell in love with them. I bought 'em all! The pig is my favorite so far and I've named him Arnold. My dad's name is Arnold and since I was a child we have teased him about Arnold the pig from Green Acres, the TV show from the 60's so it seems appropriate that my stitched pig share the name.
And finally I finished and framed a piece I designed. The saying came from an antique sampler from the 1800's. My mom didn't teach me to stitch or sew but Connie's mom did so I designed it for her. I'm not a designer, I only play one on TV so be nice please.
And with that I will end today's recap. Connie and I are taking Doreen out to dinner in an hour and I need to get ready. Doreen's daughter and grandson who have lived with her for I'm guessing 5 years moved to Florida this week and she's feeling a wee bit down. We're gonna get her drunk and see if we can cheer her up! At the very least if we get her drunk enough she'll forget for a little while!
Take care till next time, I think retreat will be on the menu then.