Sunday, August 30, 2015

HAED progress

I managed to get two stitching sessions in on my HAED this week.  I usually try to do 250 stitches per sitting.  I didn't quite make that with the second session, but that session was a bit over 2 hours and FULL of confetti.  So it was slow going.  But some progress is better than no progress, right?

Where I started at this week:

And after my first stitching session:

And then my last, which was almost all confetti:

Kind of irritating in that what you see there is at least a good 4 1/2 hours of work and it doesn't seem like there's a lot to show for it.  Le sigh...

But in other fun news, I got this gorgeous set of vintage pillowcases stamped for cross stitch off of Ebay.  Complete with the needed threads.  I can't wait to stitch them up.

And a friend gifted me with this chart today!  Is it still considered a RAK if you know the person in real life?  She stitched this herself many years ago and knew she would never use the pattern again, so she gave it to me.  I'm pretty tickled pink over it.  :0)

I'm almost finished with the embroidered cherry napkin set.  So hopefully I'll have a picture of that finish for you tomorrow.  :0)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A little haul and some embroidery

When I was at retreat recently, I forgot to use my coupon that the LNS had given us.  So yesterday I decided to hit the road (2 hours, 1 way) and use that coupon before it expired.  The shop owner later told me that she made the expiration date a couple of weeks after the retreat on purpose because some folks might not have wanted to shop during the retreat.  I thought that was nice planning on her part.  

So here's what I got: 

Two project bags, one striped and one pink.  The pink one is under the pattern in the upper right.  It kind of blends in with everything else, lol.  The limited edition Needleworker pattern from Little House Needleworks.  This one was debuted at one of the Nashville Markets.  I've wanted it for a long time, but knowing it was limited edition, I figured it would probably be hard to find at this point.  But the LNS had one, all kitted up with the needed threads.  I gladly took it off their hands, lol!

Next pattern was Wise Wisdom from Stoney Creek.  I had seen this during our first shopping stop to the LNS during retreat and had fallen for it at first sight.  I usually don't buy things right away, but wait and see if I still want things a week or two later.  After two weeks, I still wanted this, so I got it.

Bottom left corner is a Christmas ornie pattern set and a wooden snowflake to mount one of them on.  When you buy this set, you get all three snowflake stitching patterns, but only one of the wooden snowflakes for the finishing.  This is by Lynda Keske at  

The magnifying glass is a gift from my husband, given to me on the same day I did my shopping.  The rest is just some odds and ends; beeswax, needleminder, some more variegated thread I was running out of.  

All in all, it was a lot of fun and the biggest shopping I've done for stitching all year.  My stash is rather large so I decided to nix unnecessary stitchy spending this year and I've done a good job of that.  So it was nice to have this little treat.

About the only things I've stitched on the past few days has been one of the napkin sets I'm doing for someone's charity raffle.  Originally, I had three of the first set done.  I used a padded satin stitch, Kensington outline stitches for the stems and outer part of the leaves and regular backstitching inside the leaves.

But then I had a friend who is a much more experienced embroiderer than I am, offer me some advice on a ~ perhaps better ~ method for stitching these cherries.  She explained how on these circular type of things you can start at the outside and go around and around in a spiral and, especially with variegated floss, it will make your color changes less abrupt.  So, after talking with her, I realized I had seen that method used before in embroidery, but had never done it myself.  My intention was to finish the last napkin in the same way I had done the other three and then tuck this spiral method in my hat of tricks for the next time I came upon a shape that would be a good utilization for it.

But....the more I thought on it, the more I wanted to go ahead and use this method on the cherries.  After a bit of mental arguing with myself I just took the plunge and picked out all of the cherries I had done.  (But not the stems or leaves.)  You can see the spiral method shown below, it ends with a French knot in the middle.  On the first cherry my thread never made it to it's point of variegation, much to my chagrin.  But I ***was not*** of a mind to pick it out.  It stays.  I'm going to try and make the third cherry match up a bit to the first, so it looks like it was intentional, lol.  I really love how much texture I got.  Between the spiral method, the Kensington outline stitches, and a French knot in the middle ~ I'm quite pleased.

Right now what I need to finish are these napkins ~ they have a late September deadline, my animal towels for my charity ~ also a September deadline, and I want to get Frosty Friends finished too.  So I guess that for at least the next couple of weeks, those will be my focus projects.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Joyful Stitchers SAL fabric choice...what to do, what to do....

Several of us who went to the Nashville retreat decided to do Aury TM design Joy as a SAL together.  So now I need to decide on a fabric and I'd like something with a somewhat mottled look.  I'm leaning towards either Golden Sunflower or Chamois from Garialdi's Needle Works on Etsy.  I realize that the Golden Sunflower might be too much and compete with the needlework more than it should.  But....le sigh...I still really like it.

So what do you think?  Should Chamois win out?

I also really (read: really) like this one.  Ok, I like almost everything at Barbaral Creations. But I hesitate because it's located in Hungary and I'm just not sure about shipping and worried things may get lost in transit.  But I do swoon over her offerings on a regular basis.

So....Chamois?  What do you think?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Frosty Friends update

So I've made good progress on this one.  It's currently Sunday night and I started it on Friday.  But...I had a major frog issue tonight.  I had the word, "Friend," stitched on the bottom when I realized I had started it way too far to the right.  So much so that I couldn't add the letter, "s," onto the end of it and have it be center.  So then I contemplated just having it say, "Frosty Friend," instead of, "Frosty Friends."  But then I was worried that would mess up the symmetry of the remaining two snowflakes on the bottom.  So I just cut my losses and frogged it out...and then put it away for the night.  I generally find that if I have a major error I have to frog out, it's best to then put it away for a while to clear my head and come back to it later.  So perhaps tomorrow, cooler heads will prevail, lol.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Victorian Motto Sampler threads give away!

Go to her post to enter to win!  Such gorgeous colors!

Because I'm itching for a new start....

I'm usually pretty good about sticking to my stitching plans.  I plan my stitching out at the end of the year for the following year.  Small things and charity stitching get added into the plan wherever they are needed, but especially for my bigger projects, I generally stick to my plan.  I like my stitching plans and the way I stitch.  To me, it all feels very planned out.  To my friends...well, I'm sure it doesn't look that way and they nearly get whiplash trying to keep up with what I'm stitching on at any given time.  But that's because I have so many charity items and smalls for myself (like hand towels or pillowcases) that it seems like every time they look I'm working on something different.  But in reality, it's all a part of my bigger plan and my "first here, then there, and next hop over here," method actually results in finishes for me.  Which, to me, that is very, very important.  I'm not a serial starter.  I like to finish my projects.

Which is why I'm generally unfamiliar with that feeling that some stitchers seem to get quite often to start a new project....for no apparent reason.  Right now I have finished one of my big pieces and met my goal of finishing in June, only missing it by a couple of weeks.  I have finished Honeybee Happenings, which was my focus piece last year and then I picked it back up in April of this year.

(Excuse the wrinkles...I haven't ironed it yet.)

So that happened.  And I still have my other focus pieces for the year a well as stitching going on for no less then three charity projects.  (Two are mine and the third is someone else's that I just volunteered for.)  But with Honeybee Happenings out of my rotation, I started to feel a bit of openness in my stitching schedule.

And I started to get the itch.
You know the one.
The itch for a new stitch.

So I decided to give in and pick something out of my stash to start on.  I chose Frosty Friends, the Eskimo pattern by Cindy Smelcer.  (It's a Foxwood Crossings design)  I bought this pattern last year at Dixie Darlin's in Pigeon Forge.  They had this little Eskimo on their wall as a model stitch but stitched on a different fabric than what was shown in the picture with the pattern.  I immediately fell in love with the pattern and that fabric.  I told the shop owner, "I want that pattern with that fabric."  So she helped me find what the model stitcher had used.  I love it.  It's a 28ct Cashel called, "Crystal Dwarf."  It has the sparkle running all through it.  It's lovely and perfect for this little Eskimo.

I'm playing around with the colors on this one and taking the called for list of threads as a loose suggestion.  That green that I've started with is much more vibrant in person.  It seems the camera washed it out.  

As some of you know, my online handle is The Eskimo's Wife.  And I am that in the most literal sense.  :0)  My husband is an Eskimo from Alaska.  So I'm always on the lookout for Eskimo patterns.  I'm hoping I can get this one finished quickly.  It's not too big, so maybe I'll have another finish to share soon.  :0)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Nashville Get Together 2015 Retreat

This past weekend I attended the 2015 Nashville Get Together retreat.  This was the first time this particular retreat had been held, so I didn't know quite what to expect.  But I have to say, it far exceeded any expectations I may have had going in.  It was **amazing**.

Hostesses and Vendors

The hostess for this retreat was Barbara Deets who owns TrulyN2Stitching Designs on Etsy.  It was co-hosted by Amanda Adams who owns a needleminder store online.  (Her link to come soon.  She is just now getting her website up and running, so I can't share it until it's ready.  I'll post it here as soon as I can.)

In attendance as both a vendor and stitcher was Katrina Boyd who owns Crossedthreads Needlework in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area.  She sells a whole array of stitching supplies and if she doesn't have on hand what you need, she can order it for you.  Also there as a vendor and stitcher was Leslie LaFleur of Under the Sea Fabrics.   She brought a lot of fabric with her and it was all gorgeous.


We stayed at a Drury Inn and got a special room rate for our group.  We had exclusive use of the conference room all weekend long.  The staff was wonderful and accommodating in every way.  The Inn itself provides a full hot breakfast, an afternoon happy hour with drinks and snacks, a full hot supper, as well as sodas, coffee, water, and tea available all day until 10pm ~ all included in the price of your room.  Each room also had a mini fridge and microwave.  We also all brought snacks for the conference room.  So if you wanted to attend this retreat without ever providing for a food budget, it's entirely 100% possible.

Community Service

One very special aspect of this retreat, is that our hostess arranged for us to be able to donate to one of the local women's shelters.  She told us months in advance that she would set up a freebie table for us to donate our patterns and stitching supplies that we no longer wanted.  Everyone there was free to take what they wanted off of the freebie table and the things that were left at the end of the weekend would be given to the shelter.  Also, if we chose to, we could bring toiletries to donate as well.  By the end of the weekend, I think everyone had snagged some goodies for themselves off of the table and there was still a very good amount left over to donate.  We also brought in lots and lots of toiletries and one stitcher even brought a big basket full of vegetables from her garden to donate.  So by the time all was said and done, we were able to send a very nice collection of items to the shelter.  I really liked that and I heard several other stitchers mention that they liked it as well.


Myself, along with a few others, arrived early on Thursday night.  We were the "Early Birds."  After we arrived and got settled in, we each got our swag bags for the weekend.  They went ahead and let us have them at the beginning because they knew there was something in there that the Early Birds could use the plans for that night ~ a coupon for the local needlework shop.

So let me take a moment and show you what came in our swag bags.  These bags truly blew everyone away.  We go to retreats to meet stitchers and make new friends, but to leave with gifts on top of it, is a ton of icing on top of the cake!

The Swag Bag Goodies

These threads are Carrie's Creation Hand-dyed floss Limited Edition.  We each got one dozen skeins!  The colors are so vibrant and gorgeous.  It doesn't really show up well in the picture, but these are all variegated colors.  I can't wait to use these but I'm not sure what I'll use them on yet.  Any ideas on that would be appreciated ~ please share!

Ok ~ next let's talk patterns.  See that folder up there at the top of the picture?  That folder was given by the local needlework shop and it not only included our coupon for shopping with them, but it was chock full of freebie patterns as well.  Lots and lots of patterns in there.  Very nice.  Next under that and to the left, the purple paper is a coupon given to us from Needleworker's Delight & Silkweaver Fabrics.  It has a special coupon code just for the Nashville retreat attendees.  Under that you'll see a White Willow Stitching pattern.  Each of these patterns in each bag was different.  Stitchers were free to trade these among themselves if they wanted to.  But I loved mine and kept it.  For many years I kept a flock of chickens, so this pattern with swinging chickens on it was perfect for me.  Lastly on the right, we got two patterns from Sue Hillis Designs.

Everyone also got one of these hand crocheted wash cloths.  Each bag had one in a different color.  I never did find out who made these, but I think it was probably our hostess or co-hostess.

Each bag had a 13x18 piece of fabric, given by Needleworker's Delight & Silkweaver Fabrics.  They were different colors in different bags.

Next were some fun and fancy threads from Rainbow Gallery.  I especially love the Whisper and Angora ones as I've been wanting some like that to stitch some fuzzy sheep.

Next we had a special little package put together for us by Wichelt Imports, Inc.  Eight gorgeous Mirabilia Memos postcards along with a container full of colorful beads.

Last but definitely not least, was a special bag put together by the hostess.  Each of these bags were a bit different but each contained one of her tuck pillows (varying colors,) and two other items.  In my bag I got a doggie picture frame and a highlighter.  Both perfect for me since I'm a dog mom and honestly needed another highlighter.

Thursday Night Early Birds

The retreat hostess and co-hostess had made special arrangements for us to go out to eat together that evening, if we chose.  Then after that, it was off to the local needlework shop.  So ~ the supper plans were perfect and adorable.  It just so happens that directly across the street from the needlework shop was The Loving Pie Company.  Since we were waiting for a couple of Early Birds to arrive via plane at the Nashville airport, we needed to be able to plan supper for 6pm. But The Loving Pie Company closes at 4pm.  However, when our hostesses talked to them, they agree to re-open on Thursday night exclusively for our group!  So we had the whole place to ourselves.  That was super fun.  It had cute 1950s decor and music.  And the food....the PIES...were out of this world.  It was truly a lovely evening and the staff were so nice and attentive.

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was just after 9pm.  My roommate and I want ahead and excused ourselves to go up to our room.  It had been a long day and we were tired.  We wanted to get our rest because we knew things would get started around 8:30am the next morning.  We also wanted plenty of time before that to go downstairs for a good breakfast.


Friday morning we got our early start as planned.  We went ahead and gathered up all of our stitching supplies and took them down to the conference room, scoping out a good spot at the table to leave them at.  Then we went back out to the lobby/dining area for breakfast.  Many of the other stitchers were coming down at the same time and we ate together.

Once we all got back into the conference room we set up our lamps, cords, projects, and also filled up the food counter with the snacks we brought.  I brought along my traveling project, which is The Beekeeper by Plum Street Samplers.  I feel good about the progress I made over the weekend.  The lady is (thisclose) to being finished and then all I'll have to do is the border.

After lunch on Friday when we got back to the conference room, we each had a gift from Leslie LeFleur waiting for us.  A little pattern from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery (mine is a cute little cupcake) as well as a needleminder and a special coupon code for the retreat stitchers on the back of the card.

I also did a little bit of shopping.  :0)  I'm a bit of a project roll junkie and when I saw how well made Barbara's were, I knew I had to have one.  Not only did she have many gorgeous fabric patterns to choose from, but her project rolls are reversible.  I love pink, so I just had to choose this one.  I love, love, love it.

I also purchased a pattern from Katrina of a bee needle roll.  Actually, my roommate found the pattern and plopped it my spot at the table, lol, saying she found it when she was shopping and she knew I would love it.  She was right.  :0)

I also purchased a beautiful piece of mottled teal fabric from Katrina.  I believe it's 28ct from Wichelt and 11x18 inches.

Several of us in attendance decided to purchase the Aury TM design JOY (available for purchase at CrossedThreads Needlework) and stitch it together as a SAL.  It will be fun to see everyone's progress at next year's retreat.

Freebie Table Finds

As I shared earlier, we all took items from the freebie table we knew we could use.  Everyone was generous with bringing nice things, so we all got new to us items and the things that were left for the shelter were also equally as nice.  These are the items I chose:

You all know how I love embroidery.  This is a book of transfers to embroider.  I've already used a few of them ~ details to come in another post.

Some older cross stitch magazines and also some plastic canvas magazines.  Whenever I find these plastic canvas magazines, I try to snatch them up because they simply aren't sold anymore here in the US.

I kept coming back to this kit over and over again during the weekend.  It's the kind of picture I like to stitch and it continued to call to me.  When I finally flipped it over to see that black fabric with the printed design and the vibrant threads, I was hooked.  I'm really going to enjoy this one.

More bee items!  Again, my roommate found the banner on the right for me.  :0)  I love both of these and they will make for some fun stitching time.

I have been looking recently for some chocolate patterns.  So when I found this, it was perfect.

This is a country sampler that I wanted more for the alphabet than for the picture.  There are a lot of things I can do with this alphabet pattern.

And lastly, I fell in love with these carousel holiday horses.

There is one each for Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.

Door Prizes

Everyone in attendance won two door prizes plus a gift from the hostess.  There was also four "gold" gifts and one grand prize, and these were all large ticket items.  I didn't win any of those, but other stitchers did and they were all very pleased.  :0)  

First off, our hostess gave everyone one of her 8in Qsnap grime guards rolled up in a cute little canning jar.  Attached was a little wooden canning jar with the name of the retreat written on it.  I plan on turning mine into a needleminder as a cute little memento of the retreat.

Again, I love pink, so I had to choose this one.

The other door prizes I won were:

A copy of Cross Stitch Gold magazine.  I've gone through this issue and there are at least four patterns I want to stitch, so I'm definitely happy about this prize.

And also ~ this lovely pouch for stitching supplies.  It's sooooo very pretty.

Saturday Make It and Take It Class

Our co-hostess Amanda Adams held a "Make It and Take It" class on Saturday.  We made cute little paper boxes (that are surprisingly sturdy) to use as ORT containers.  It was a fun little class and I made my box and also was given an extra set of printed papers to make another at home.  These are really cute little boxes that would be good to put small gifts in for others at birthdays and Christmas.

We all had so much fun.  I had no idea there would be four vendors there and we would leave with so many thoughtful gifts.  We all also left with new stitchy friends which was wonderful.  My roommate and I - who I had never actually met before the retreat - have already decided to room together again next year.  There was lots of friending on FB and exchanging of contact info between everyone.

So in conclusion, this retreat was a lot of fun, we all left feeling like the hostess had done an excellent job in putting together a wonderful experience for us, and the hotel staff also took very good care of us.  I am definitely looking forward to next year!!!  :0)