That's my leftover accent from Nashville market coming out. It seems I always tend to pick it up a little bit when I'm there. The nice gentleman that rode in the elevator with us pointed out that it wasn't him with the accent but us. When I asked him if our accent sounds as neat to him as his does to us he replied with a resounding no. I wasn't quite sure how to take that. Oh well...moving on. We had a wonderful time in Nashville and brought back lots of beautiful charts, kits and accessories. We managed to avoid any bad weather which is quite the feat this winter! Met up with some folks we've known from previous markets, talked to a ton of designers, took a great class on social media and generally speaking enjoyed ourselves immensely! Can't wait to do it again at St. Charles. Our market open house is scheduled for tomorrow from 5:30-8:00p.m. should any of you be in the vicinity and wish to come. We're supposed to get snow tomorrow so that could put a damper on things but I hope not!
I've been trying to figure out what to blog about for the last couple of weeks. My life has really become a bit boring as of late. I either have no money to go thrifting or the weather doesn't cooperate so I can't talk about my recent finds since there hasn't been any. My stitching has been limited to working on the retreat piece which I can't show you until after retreat in May. I haven't cleaned my house much less done any decorating to speak of so that topic is out. The other topic I wished to blog about I couldn't do because I was sworn to secrecy by my husband. But word has slowly been leaking out so he has now given permission for me to tell you all about it. Or maybe I finally told him I was done keeping the secret, either way I'm outing him. So here it is...The Dan Story! I hope you enjoy it!
Once upon a time in a basement much like any other basement there was a man cave. Due to the massive Christmas Village that sucked up 98% of this basement, the man cave was teeny tiny. Tucked away in a corner at the bottom of the stairs, it held only an old big screen TV, a recliner, a bookcase and a recent gift of an aquarium. Even those few items were more than the space could comfortably hold, but somehow once the aquarium was set up, the owner of this teeny tiny little man cave, we'll call him Dan since that's his name, started spending more and more time in his little hidey hole. At first, his wife who/whom? we'll refer to as Julie since that's her name, thought nothing of the amount of time Dan was spending in the basement. After all, he had his new aquarium to get set up and fish to settle in and make comfortable, root beer colored water to change etc...but as time went on and Dan spent every night down there from the minute supper was over until well after she went to bed, Julie started wondering what she'd done to drive her husband away. Too many Lifetime and Hallmark movies that eat away at his man card? Too much talking during T.V. shows? A general aversion to her company? Don't laugh, it could happen. Generally puzzled and confused Julie decided she needed to get to the bottom of the problem. So one night after Dan had gone downstairs to his teeny tiny man cave, she got up from her stitching chair and crept down the stairs to the basement. Ever so quietly she tip toed down each stair, not knowing what she might find when she reached the bottom. As she stepped down to the landing she got her first glimpse of the object keeping her dearest love so well occupied every night. Sucking in a breath of surprise she did a double take. Was she really seeing what she thought she was seeing? The old eyes are bad but they don't usually hallucinate. Blinking rapidly to clear her vision she looked again. Yep, she really was seeing what she thought she was. Stepping down the last few steps, Dan was so intent on what he was doing he failed to notice her until Julie said nonchalantly, head cocked to one side, "what are you doing?" At the sound of her voice Dan's head snapped up and he said "dammit, I wanted to surprise you!" To which Julie replied "trust me, I'm surprised!" There he was sitting in the recliner, her old pink pair of readers perched on the end of his nose, a pair of her good stitching scissors sitting on the arm of the chair and her backup Ott light at his side and what you ask, was he doing? The man was stitching! Cross Stitching! All on his own.
Thank God that's all it was keeping him occupied at night! Months earlier, Dan had voiced an interest in learning how to stitch. Julie, thinking it was just a passing thought in his mind that would soon fade did not jump right on that bandwagon. But she did show him a Fish kit she had picked up off the swap table at retreat and told him that it might be something he could stitch, never thinking he was serious. Apparently he was and when Julie didn't take the time to get him started he decided to surprise her and do it on his own. Taking the stitched piece out of his hands and swiping the readers off his nose she set about looking at his work. She could tell where his very first stitches were but after that he seemed to have gotten the hang of things and was doing a surprisingly good job of it! Handing his stitching back to him and praising him for a good job Julie voiced the thought that she couldn't wait to share this exciting bit of news with everyone! Dan however, quickly nixed that idea saying he wasn't ready. He wanted to finish the piece and then bring it to stitch group where he could show it off and have everyone clap to celebrate his first finish. So Julie kept his secret but eventually it slipped out in a conversation with Mary Ann and then Connie whom she works with. Still, she tried to contain the secret for as long as possible.
It was about this time that Julie was set to take part in the Snooty Stitcher Stitch Along. Everyone in the group was all aflutter with excitement over the bonus charts Barbara Ana had generously designed for those participating in the stitch along. Scissor Fobs were being made left, right and center with a parrot charm found at Hobby Lobby. Julie decided she needed to have a parrot fob for her scissors to go along with the chart so Dan accompanied her to their local Hobby Lobby. Picking up the charm, Julie then began the process of finding just the right beads to go along with it. Deciding that he too needed a fob for his scissors, Dan searched for an appropriate fish charm and lo and behold he found one! Granted it was a rainbow trout and not the bass that he was stitching but a fish is a fish so he handed it to Julie and asked her to pick out the appropriate beads to go with it. Beads chosen they headed to the check out. Having learned to make beaded fobs at retreat a year or two prior to this, Julie was sure she could make the fobs with no trouble. Menopause however, has robbed her of a good portion of her memory and she couldn't for the life of her remember how to do it and so she asked her stitcher friend Carole who taught the class at retreat if she would help her make the fob for Dan. This meant letting Carole in on the secret since she would know there was no way Julie would ever want a fish fob! Carole of course was more than happy to help and so Dan was able to have a special fob to commemorate his first cross stitch project.
Weeks went by, long hard weeks trying to keep the secret contained and it was starting to wear on Julie. She knew it was only a matter of time before word got a round. Almost daily she would have to bite her lip to keep from saying something that would let Dan's secret out into the world. Other days she'd have to glare at Connie to keep Connie from saying something to another stitcher at stitching Saturdays. The clock was ticking down on Dan's secret. As the days passed the Nashville Needlework Market got closer and closer. Conversations turned to what might be brought home from Market and Dan, die hard stitcher that he had become, asked Julie if she was going to bring him back a chart for his stash. Thinking back on previous markets, Julie didn't think there was going to be much that would interest him but she said she would look around and see what she could see, never thinking the perfect chart would be waiting for her to find.
Market arrived and Connie, Mary Ann and Julie set off on their adventure. Having shared Dan's request with them, all three were on the lookout for something that Dan would like, but none felt confident they would find anything. And as the day progressed it seemed as though they were right. Each room they entered was scoured for anything that might interest him but always they exited in disappointment. As they entered the room that housed Milady's Needle they expected more of the same. Choosing charts for the shop they looked around one last time to see if anything else caught their eyes. And there it was! The perfect chart. Right out there in the open for all to see...M'Lord's Necessities Box! How perfect was that!
In order for you to know how perfect it really was you need to have the back story. One of the shows that Dan and Julie like to watch is Downton Abbey. Shortly after starting to watch the series, Dan decided he wished to be addressed as Your Lordship or M'Lord. He wouldn't answer unless you addressed him in such a way. He even asked the girls in the office to call him Your Lordship. So to facilitate things everyone at one time or another (except for Judy at his work) will refer to him in that manner. Even Connie when she went to pick up some boxes from Dan's office was requested to call him M'Lord and did so without question cuz you know, she wanted her boxes. So now you can see why M'Lord's Necessities Box was the perfect chart for him. The designer, Gloria Moore after hearing the back story even autographed the chart for him! We were giddy with delight!
Arriving home from Market, one of the first things Dan asked of Julie was whether she had been successful in finding him something for his stash. To which she replied maybe but it would have to wait since it was late and she was tired. His Lordship agreed that it could wait until the morrow. The next day, knowing that she couldn't just hand the chart over willy nilly, Julie dug out a silver platter and a pair of white gloves. Laying the chart in the middle of the platter she then donned the white gloves and presented Dan's gift to him with a bow and a very respectful "for you M'Lord".
And thus ends the story of Dan. He is still to this day going down to the basement every night and stitching till the wee hours of the morning, determined to finish his fish before starting the next project...bwahahahaha! How long will that last do you think? Please leave him a comment of encouragement. I'll share them with him and I'm sure his lordship will appreciate them all.
I mentioned Snooty above so here is my progress on her/him? I'm behind due to retreat stitching, market and general winter laziness!
Finally, may I present for your viewing pleasure the Sheep Virtues all framed up and ready to hang! Thank you all for the many wonderful comments you left on my last post! I appreciated them all!
Have a wonderful evening and take care till next time!