Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May - Year of Starts

Today is the 17th of the month, so I started a new project for Stitch Maynia on Facebook.

Basting fabric to scroll rods

The latest start is Coffee Quaker by Heartstring Samplery, that very popular design released in Nashville this spring. I have chosen to stitch it on 32 ct. Vintage Country Mocha linen with the called for fibers in the chart, plus I pulled WDW Jay Bird (blue) from my stash. I don't know where I'll be adding the blue, but I think it just needs a little bit of blue! :D

So far this morning I got this much done:

I'm really going to enjoy this one!

The roses are starting to burst with blooms. Here's a few pics taken this morning.

This is the time of year when I feel like all the work I've done is worthwhile.

The big birthday celebration for all my kids is this Saturday afternoon, so I have lots to do to get ready for everyone. The garden is looking good, now to get the menu finalized!

Happy stitching everyone!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Happy Mothers' Day!

My last post ended with a bit of a teaser as I had forgotten to take a pic of the final gift from Thea and the Victoria Sampler in honor of their 20th anniversary in business. So here is my new treasure.

All the attendees received this beautiful set of floral-handled scissors with a lovely little tape measure. I love scissors and this is a wonderful addition to my collection!

We've had some lovely days, as well as a thunderstorm of epic proportions! I think all that electricity in the air caused the iris to burst into bloom. The peonies will be open soon, and the roses are getting ready as well, and some of my clematis is blooming. I can hardly wait till the garden is full of color!

As far as stitching goes, I've done a little. On the Happy Birthday Sampler (VS Retreat project) I finished stitching the cupcakes and candles and added flowers to the vine borders.

I've stitched the number 60 in the little server for my own 60th birthday coming up next month. And it's plain crazy that I'll be 60, so I'll just not think about that, lol!

Hello Spring came out to play for a few days this week too.

It's coming right along - perhaps to be finished in time for summer.

Mother's Day is Sunday, so I'm hoping to get a couple of my boys to help me do some yardwork tomorrow. Then on Sunday some of us will be going out for brunch at Tagaris Winery, where my youngest will be working. The environment at Tagaris is really nice and it might even be nice enough to eat out on the patio which is especially lovely.

So I wish all you wonderful mothers a Happy Mothers' Day and everyone a glorious weekend!

Friday, May 05, 2017

VS Retreat - 2017

All through the cold, snowy winter and the dreary, wet spring I've been comforted by the thought that the Victoria Sampler retreat was coming up the end of April and I'd be driving and seeing friends and stitching for three days. Believe me, it was worth the wait!

The last retreat I attended was in 2011 and Thea was ready to be done with organizing retreats. But she ended up having another after a year's break and then this year is the 20th anniversary of VS so another retreat was necessary to celebrate. Thea and her crew of Lisa and Kathleen went all out for the 20th anniversary celebration. The venue was the Harbour Towers, as usual, but this year the hotel offered a different classroom in a new wing on the second floor, bigger with perfect lighting! It was the best! The only thing I missed was the amazing view from the upper floors of the hotel.

But before getting to Victoria, I stopped overnight Wednesday in Lacey to visit my dear friend Connie. No matter how long in between visits, we always pick up right where we left off and don't skip a beat. Guess that's from having been friends since 1977!

Next day I drove up to Port Angeles to catch the Coho ferry, a 90 minute ride that takes you right to the Inner Harbour of Victoria. While waiting I was watching and watching for my friend Jo-Celle who I thought would be coming at the same time. Boarding time came and no Jo-Celle. So I got on the ferry and settled for a bit, then I took a little walk. Guess who almost didn't make the ferry, having been detained by a very well-meaning priest she was visiting before catching the Coho! But Jo-Celle made it and we had a grand time gabbing while rocking and rolling over the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Probably the roughest sailing I've had yet! The sun was shining, but the wind was whipping up the water something fierce.

As soon as we entered the lobby, stitching friends began to appear and the retreat was off to a fun start.

 This was my table, I'm there on the far left. We were the "naughty table" having way too much fun to stop for instruction, lol!

Here you can see the large windows. With the great overhead lighting, I never used my Ott light the entire retreat!

Marty and Jo-Celle

Beth and Brenda

Me and Rita
Of course, there were goodies that appeared at the table. Here's my haul.

And gifts from attendees:

And I couldn't leave the VS Studio without purchasing one new design!

I even made some progress on the retreat project!

The top of the project

The bottom

I was the only brave soul to stitch the project on a different linen than the sand Cashel that came in the kit. While it looks great on the sand, I'm really happy with my change to smokey pearl. The white stitches really pop off the linen!

On Saturday evening we had a special anniversary dinner all together at the hotel and Thea gave us all a very special gift, which I've not taken a photo of yet. Stay tuned for my next post when I'll share.

Happy stitching!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Quick Catch-Up

Blogging and reading blogs has definitely fallen to the bottom of my to-do list recently, as happens in the spring when there are so many other things to do. The roses have been pruned and now I'm in the middle of clearing the ground to prep for fertilizing and mulching. Being a fair weather gardener, the going is slow, but I did get a chance for a couple of quick sessions outside this week. It's gorgeous outside today, but I'm stuck here at work. At least with longer days now, I should have plenty of time to work this evening.

Some of my roses aren't doing too well after the long, cold winter, but there are signs of renewal on even the worst of them.

Stitching progress has been slow too. For my April Stitch Maynia start, I got my VS Retreat project loaded, put in a few grid lines and make a start on it.

The lighting is bad on this pic, but I've chosen to stitch it on 28ct Smokey Pearl linen. So far I've only done some backstitching, but the florals will go on next with a birthday cake in the center of this section.

And here's my progress on Hello Spring.

I am really loving this little sweetie!

This week I joined a Facebook group stitch along for the Coffee Quaker design that was released earlier this year by Heartstring Samplery. It's been really helpful to look at what other stitchers are doing, the choices they've made, etc. to help me make my decision before getting started. I was originally planning to get a length of 40 ct platinum linen, which I would have to buy somewhere. Now I think I'll just go ahead and use 32 ct Vintage Country Mocha that I recently ordered. Several other stitchers have used that and it's looking really good. There's really no need to spend more money when I have something perfectly lovely at home already!

We had a really nice Easter weekend. Saturday the grandchildren came over to color eggs and then have an egg hunt. This year Uncle Brendan and Uncle Kyle did a fabulous job hiding the eggs for the older boys (ages 13 and 11) and it took them over an hour to find all their eggs! Then on Sunday we had Easter dinner with most of our adult kids who didn't have to host dinner for their other sides of the family. I try to keep Easter low-key since Christmas is such a big day. And we have our big birthday bash coming up next month on the 20th where we celebrate everyone's birthday all at once! Love that!

Well, I think my break is over and I'd better get back to work! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend my friends!

Friday, April 07, 2017

Hello Spring

The forsythia bushes have been blooming and my tulips are showing out too, so it must truly be spring! We've had some decent enough weather this week and I've been out in the garden pruning all of my roses, very hard this year. Now the yard is full of rose canes to be chopped into the garbage. Wednesday I brought my oldest grandsons over to help begin the cleanup - they love to earn some extra money and I love the help! But we're a long way from being done so I hope the weather cooperates with me tomorrow (Saturday) and next week.

In this year's Nashville design releases, I found a couple that somehow found their way to my mailbox. First is Hello Spring by Plum Street Samplers. There is just something about the whimsical design and muted colors that appealed to me.

I pulled out a piece of 28ct Platinum Cashel I have in my stash and it seems to set off the floss colors really well. I made a run over to my local lns Saturday to pick up the called-for threads, but had to make one substitution as she didn't have Classic Colorworks Secret Garden. WDW Kudzu seemed to have the same colors so I went with that.

The other design I bought was the oh-so-popular Coffee Quaker by Heartstring Samplery. I tried to resist this one, but this caffeine addled brain just had to have it. While at the lns, I got the threads for that too, but I think I want to stitch it on 40ct linen so will have to order some, or see if the shop in Victoria has what I want when I get up there.

And I should have yet another new start this weekend as today's mail should bring the linen I ordered to stitch the Victoria Sampler design on for the upcoming retreat. Oh my, the wip bag is getting full!

Wishing you all a very happy, productive weekend! Tomorrow Gary and I get to do a little wine tasting when we pick up our latest wine club release from Kitzke Cellars!