Wednesday, August 19, 2015

After the Holidays...Recap 2

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 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
Speaking of pups, we had to say goodbye to Gracie after the Holidays.  Her liver and kidneys were shutting down and she was in pain.  We joke that she was living on borrowed time once she hit the ripe old age of 12 as none of our dogs have lived beyond that age so she did really well making it to 14.  I was happy that Adam was able to see her at Christmas since she was really his dog.  It's always nice to have closure.  We still miss her everyday but I know she is up there with her sister Missy and all the others that have gone before her.  RIP Gracie Lou Freebush until we meet again.


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.




Sunday, August 2, 2015

Today...recap number one

Happy August!

Today is the 35th anniversary of my wedding to Dan.  And they said it wouldn't last!  I don't know about him but I am looking forward to another 35 years at least.

Today is also the day our daughter Abby starts her move into our basement.  We'll talk about that later.

And last but not begins the first installment of a recap of the last 8 months because that is apparently what most of the 9 of you that commented on my last post would like to see.

So sit back, grab an ice cold something and let's see what sort of things come to mind.

My last regular post was Halloween!  Shortly after that Dan and I found out that we were going to be grandparents!  Adam and Marcia were expecting their first baby in May.

Thanksgiving arrived with a visit from Amy who if you remember is away at grad school in Ohio.  It was wonderful to have her home but we didn't see much of her.  Short amount of time and lots of people to see.

Christmas came next and we were thrilled that Adam and Marcia were spending it here in 2014.  Amy was also home so we had a wonderful family Christmas.   The "kids" decorated cookies...

and ornaments...

and we had a Christmas Eve game taken from Minute to Win It.  All ping pong balls had to be removed from the kleenex box or they couldn't open  their Christmas Eve present until the next day.

Now we know how Marcia got pregnant so easily! LOL!!
I finished Tuscan Rose by years end as planned but just by the skin of my teeth!

And I framed ABC-XYZ from Poppy Kreations

Think that will do it for this post.  I need to run some errands before making supper so I best get my get along going or I won't have time to browse and we all know I like to browse!

Take care till next time!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Jumping back in

This post is dedicated to Vonna and others that have been asking me when I am going to blog again.  Apparently, some folks have noticed that I haven't blogged since November, well except for the picture I posted on the 4th of July.  This surprises me somewhat since I feel that most of the time I really don't have much of value to write about.  But in an effort to make those few folks happy I will try to blog a bit more often than once or twice a year.  No promises though!  In my defense I have thought about blogging off and on but after you are away from it for a while you start to think in terms of where do I start?  Do I go back to November and fill you in on the highlights of what has taken place in the last 8 months or just start from today and move forward.  It's an argument I have had with myself and myself has yet to decide what to do so I'm tossing it out to you all and I will let you make the decision.  Do you want to know the highlights of what's happened in the last 8 months or would you prefer I not go back in time and just go from here?

In response to Magee's comment on my last short post, yes Dan is still stitching although in recent months he's slacked off a bit due to a remodel of the basement that came up unexpectedly.  But I will share a picture of what he's mostly been working on (he's slipped in some model stitching for me here and there).  I think I posted a picture of it when he first started and as you can see, he is so close to being done.  He just has that nasty backstitching to finish but the basement comes first.

And with that I will finish this post and head down to the basement to see what I can get done.  I hope you are all enjoying summer and getting plenty of stitching time in too!

Take care till next time!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July!

My only patriotic finishes.  I need to work on that!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Three New Starts, it's a sickness

No time for a full post today but I wanted everyone to know the following asap.

 I am a failure.  I promised myself  no more starts until I finished Tuscan Rose and what do I do????  I start 3 new pieces and am hankering to start more!  Please. Send. Help.

Take care till next time!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Hello and Happy Halloween!

It's going to be a chilly one in my neck of the woods but I hear other parts of the country will be colder and wetter so I guess I best not complain too much.  I wouldn't complain at all if I was planning to stay inside where it's nice and warm but I've been told that is not the plan for the evening. Our neighbors have invited us over to sit in their driveway around the fire pit, cook dinner over the open flame and hand out candy.  Maybe it's just me  but that sounds an awful lot like camping.  I realize it doesn't include sleeping on the hard ground and having bugs crawl all over me but it's still in the realm of camping and in case you didn't know it...I AM NOT A CAMPER!  Dan however told me to suck it up and enjoy it so I guess I'll bundle myself up, grab the marshmallows and some kind of alcoholic beverage, get tipsy and scare all the little trick or treaters!  Gotta be some reward for roughing it...right?  I hope you all have a safe and fun Halloween!

Last January, I set a goal for myself which at the time I thought was pretty reasonable but with the whole neck thing happening I have to admit to feeling this summer that perhaps I would not be able to meet that goal.  What goal was that you ask?  It was a finishing goal.  Not a finished finish goal, just a finish the stitching goal.  I have a few, okay a lot of unfinished objects (UFO's) wandering aimlessly around the house in various stages of being finished which I am sure everyone out there in blogland can relate to.  So waaay back at the first of the year I quietly, yes I said quietly, (cuz the last thing I wanted to do was announce it to all of blogdom only to have to fess up that I was unable to follow through), set a goal of finishing 2 of my languishing UFO's before the end of the year.  I chose Tuscan Rose by Sampler Cove and Midnight Watch by Blackbird Designs to be the two pieces that I would attempt to finish.  As you have probably guessed, I am thrilled to report that I was able to finish up Midnight Watch just before retreat!  I can't wait to get it framed and hung, probably at the shop so I can see it everyday.

stitched on 40 ct Silkweaver's Moondust

I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this piece except for one thing.  There was not enough space left for my initials which happen to be some of the largest in the alphabet, so I had to finagle quite a bit to make them fit.  I guess you say this is a pet peeve of mine.  Write this down designers...please please leave enough room in the design for the widest 3 letters of the alphabet if you are putting initials into it.  Not everyone is able to figure out how to move things or crunch them together to make the initials fit and having only two initials on a sampler looks funny to me.  Thank you.

Tuscan Rose is coming along nicely also.  I have only the last 2 bands to complete and I am partially done with both of them so I believe I will meet my goal on this piece also.

Since this experiment went so well I think I will set a similar goal for 2015.  Haven't decided which UFO's will be the lucky winners and I probably won't announce it either just in case I am totally unable to achieve the goal I set for myself!  LOL!!  I hope some of you out there will join me in my quiet goal and choose a couple of your UFO's to finish next year too.

Dan has chosen his next piece to work on and it is a beauty!  I love this piece but somehow I just don't think I would ever stitch it so when he said he would do it I jumped at the chance to have it someone other than myself!  Yes!!  There is a cross stitching God!.  It's called Scenic Farm and it's a Dimensions kit that is now discontinued.  I have seen it stitched and it is gorgeous!

As you can see he is not very far yet but he'll get there.

And finally I will leave you with a picture I took last week of my lone re-blooming Iris.  You just have to love an Iris that will bloom in October!

Take care till next time!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Retreat Recap

Happy Last Week of October!

My this month has flown by!  The weather has been so beautiful here in Nebraska that it is hard to believe November is just a few short days away.  Before I know it Amy will be home for Thanksgiving and then Christmas!  YIKES!!

Retreat was last weekend.   I was asked in the comments of my last blog post what retreat was so bear with me if this is old news to you.  The shop I work at has two retreats a year.  A spring "frills" retreat and a fall "no frills" retreat.  Spring retreat includes an exclusive design, swag bags, door prizes, massages, sometimes a trunk show, a make it and take it, swap table, brag table and shop night plus the most important thing...4 days of stitching.   I blogged about our last spring retreat a couple of posts back.  Fall Retreat is no frills.  It's 4 days of stitching, an ornament exchange and brag table. Period.  We may re-think the massages though and add those in for next year.  Our ornament exchange this year was Christmas themed.  Last year it was Halloween themed.  I didn't take too many pictures this year but did manage to snap a few of the finishes that happened and of course the brag table and ornaments.  This fall we had a total of 28 retreaters that were able to attend.  I believe, judging from all the laughter, everyone had a good time, I know I did!

I believe Linda was the first to finish something at retreat this year.  But I have to call her out on it. Having only 3 stitches to put in, while technically a finish, is IMHO Cheating!!!  But we clapped for her anyway and I took the dirty little cheaters picture too!

See that maniacal look in her eye?  She knows she cheated and she doesn't care!  Mwah!  Linda you know I love you.

Doreen had a finish from the Hometown Holiday series.

Stacy had a finish in the monthly Cottage series.  She might have had more but you actually have to bring your stitching with you to retreat if you intend to stitch.  Sadly, Stacy remembered her homework but forgot her stitching!!  We had quite a few chuckles at her expense.  Luckily, another gal that was coming on Friday was able to bring it with her and so Stacy just worked on her homework for the first 24 hours of retreat.

Carole had a finish, although unless you know her and recognize the hair you wouldn't know it was Carole.

Deb had a finish too.  When I went over to take the picture she had already balled it up and stuffed it in her bag.  I say that's abuse of a finished cross stitch and she should have to forfeit the piece.  Do you agree?

Mary Ann had a finish while at retreat too.  But she hid behind it when I took the picture.  Possibly another reason for forfeiture?

The following were displayed on the brag table.  Kudos to all for the gorgeous pieces we got to see!  Pictures just don't do them justice.  Especially mine this year as I thought I should behave and not climb up and down on chairs to get a better shot.  I apologize for the quality.

 The ornament exchange was fun and everyone did a wonderful job again this year.

Finally, I will close with a couple of WIP's that I thought you might enjoy seeing.

It's not often I see anyone working on a Hawk Run Hallow piece and this one is stunning! Elaine said she hasn't stitched on it since last retreat so I challenged her to have it finished by next fall's retreat.

The last piece I will share is a Prairie Schooler masterpiece being stitched by Patty.  I believe it measures somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 x 55 on 40 count.  This one got several people's attention. So much so that a couple of them went on ebay and bought the charts!

And there you have it, retreat in a nutshell.  I hope you enjoyed seeing all the wonderful projects stitched by the awesome needleartists that attended, and keep in mind this is just a small sampling of the beautiful pieces the ladies were working on.   A big thanks to all of you for supporting our retreats, without you we couldn't have them!

Take care till next time!