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!