Thursday, June 30, 2011

Only One Ewe - Retreat Wrap Up!

Thanks to everyone for the sweet comments. I hope you have enjoyed sharing this wonderful get away with me. Today I want to "wrap up" the retreat post with just a few little tidbits and such. In no particular order:

I have never visited a White Castle until my weekend trip to Indiana. It reminds me of Krystals that we have here in the south. A little hamburger joint with small, roll type hamburgers. The best part - they are open 24 hours and you never know when a late night or early morning munchie attack will hit ya!

I mentioned that our retreat project came kitted in a fabric portfolio. These portfolios were really nice. Perfect size, weight, etc. Loved the fabric choice I got.

Lots of projects were shared during show and tell. Here is just a sampling of what we saw - all beautiful.

And, it doesn't take long before me and my buddies start getting silly with the camera!

We had several games going on during the day. Guessing how many buttons and fibers were in jars. By the end of the day though, those numbers started running together and we had to speak slowly so Jan could crown the correct winner!

It was a fun weekend but of course, all good things must come to an end. Sunday morning came very early and the 3 of us (Karen, Diane and myself) were up and out of the hotel by 8:00 a.m. so I could catch my flight home, Unfortunately, bad weather caused the airplane to be late which causes a rippling effect the rest of the day. After missing my connecting flight by 5 minutes - I happily got the LAST standby seat for the next flight home. I do like to stitch but sitting in an airport for 5 1/2 hours for the next available flight would not have been fun for me!

Thanks again for everyone who has left comments and I do hope you have enjoyed my story. I leave you with one tidbit of advice......."What you got ain't no knick knack!!!!"

Hugs and if I don't check in before Monday, Happy July 4th to all my US friends. Even if you're not from the US, celebrate. Enjoy what you have!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Only One Ewe Retreat - Day 3 (Saturday)

Hey gang! If you are still around, I am continuing my recap of the retreat I attended in Indiana. We are on Day 3 (insert TA DAAAAA)! I woke up Saturday morning excited! Because, this was the day my new bestest friend, Vonna - The Twisted Stitcher, was teaching us a finishing class. I couldn't stand it! LOL!

A couple of months before the retreat, Jan sent us an exclusive pattern she designed, a piece of her hand dyed linen and a skein of thread that was picked based on a color family we wanted to use. It was so neat to see all of the finished pieces ready to be made into a treasure.

Vonna got right to it. Giving us clear, precise directions. Hints and tips that have worked for her. The class was so eager to get started and make our treasure box.

We ironed, cut, glued and got right to work. Vonna's directions and "assembly line" style made the class project steps flow without a hitch. You would think Vonna had taught classes all her life!

And before you knew it, you had a great finished box! Everyone LOVED their finished creation and was so excited to have learned all of the tricks of the trade, first hand, from Vonna.

One of the biggest "lessons" repeated over the weekend was personalizing your stitching. Creating memories and documenting events. This was something I really related to since I am very big into scrapbooking. I had never thought about changing patterns to add information, dates, events, etc., to create a sampler that was unique to me or my family. Vonna suggested that we all sign each other's boxes and maybe put the retreat name and date. I decided to do mine a little different. I am going to take a favorite photo from the retreat and have my framer mat it to the size of the inside lid. I will then add the retreat information to the mat and mount it inside the box. I guess it's my way of merging my two crafting loves together!

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the class and was so honored to have met a new friend!

Even though this was the last day of the retreat, I have one more retreat update that I will share with you tomorrow. Just a little fun wrap-up of the weekend. Hope you'll stay tuned.......

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Only One Ewe Retreat - Day 2 (Friday)

Friday morning I woke totally refreshed. After getting up very early on Thursday and traveling along, it was nice to have a comfortable bed to curl up in. Which brings me to the hotel....the hotel (Springhill Marriott) was really nice. All of the rooms are suites and include a seperate seating area and a "bar" area with sink, microwave and refrigerator. The rooms were spacious and well lit. All of the comforts of home. And, each morning the hotel serves a hot complimentary breakfast buffet, complete with a waffle iron! So, of course, I had to have a nice hot fluffy waffle with apple juice and milk. The perfect way to start MY morning. After breakfast, I headed down to the conference room to join the group and to start the day.....

Friday's agenda, besides stitching, included an ornament and smalls stitching exchange. I stitched the "Merry" ornament from an older JCS Ornament Magazine. I am pretty sure the designer is Glory Bee. I did change the colors from what was charted and I loved the way it turned out. Hope to stitch another for myself. Diane received it and I hope she enjoys displaying it on her tree.
This is Karen and she got this cutie stitched by Diane. Karen is such a great friend. We text each other almost every day. Karen not only stitches but does lovely finishing work.
This is a perfect opportunity to introduce you to some of my new stitching buddies showing off the ornaments/stitching smalls they received in the exchange. First up is Brenda from Utah. Brenda is such a sweet lady who has a sweet smile and can laugh up a storm BUT you would never know it! She makes no sound. Her husband is a master chocolate maker and we were able to try out his creations. Very yummy to say the least!
This is Carole from Nebraska. Carole is a hoot and is known as the Ort Snatcher - LOL! (she collects orts and gives them to a friend who uses them to stuff into homemade dolls).
Next is Mary from Illinois. Mary is so fun and loves to stitch. She is also a cat lover so what's not to like about Mary. Pictured on the right is Mary's Mom, Sally. Sally is multi-talented and not only does she stitch but knits, sews, crochets, you name it!. And pictured on the left is Kathy from Ohio. Kathy is very quiet but stitches strong!

We also had a show and tell. LOVELY stitching pieces framed, unframed and even finished into a quilt were shown off. Which brings me to introducing you to Judith. Judith is from Louisiana and is a southern belle. I am so happy to have met this gentle lady. And her true love is the color of Brick Red. If you have stock in this color, she will surely help you out! Here she is showing off one of her many pieces.
And of course, I have to introduce you to this girl. You all know her as the Twisted Stitcher and she is my new bestest friend! This is Vonna Pfeiffer and what can I say - I love her!!! Even though she is from Indiana, she understands me! LOL! We just "clicked". I was so excited that she brought in her Prairie Schooler Halloween piece that I had seen on her blog. It was even better in person!
And I can't forget about my other buddy Diane. I met Diane last October in Myrtle Beach and she never meets a stranger! Here she is showing off her newest project, Rose Quaker on 40 COUNT LINEN!!

After "drooling" over all of the lovely stitched work, this gave us the little "push" that we needed to get our needles flying. We stitched, had a lovely lunch brought in from Bob Evans (roast beef and gravy with salad, rolls, strawberry and chocolate pies) and a nice dinner out at Cracker Barrel. Some of the ladies took a little trip to Jan's house to see all of her stitching items for sale. The day was busy but casual. Before you knew it, it was bed time and Day 2 was over with.

I hope you are enjoying these little updates. Stay tuned for details on Day 3 - our finishing class with Vonna!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Only One Ewe Retreat - Day 1 (Thursday)

I just got back yesterday from a wonderful weekend trip in Indiana with two of my bestest friends, Diane and Karen, and attending the Only One Ewe retreat. It was 3 busy days (4 if you count a traveling day and YES, it must be counted - details coming soon) where there was plenty of stitching, laughing and more laughing!

Since it was really busy and there is so much I want to share (I took LOTS of photos), I thought I had best break down the update by each day. So, lets start with Thursday - Day 1:

Day 1 started with the alarm clock going off at 3:30 a.m. That is quite early for me and as anyone that knows me will tell you "I'm not a morning person" but if you don't actually fall asleep the night before, it really isn't that bad. I mean, I was excited to be traveling to Indiana, seeing Diane and Karen, meeting new friends, and stitching non-stop. I got up, hit the shower and did my "before I leave" routine so I could be ready to hit the road for the airport at 5:00 a.m. sharp. I checked the computer about 4:30 a.m. and discovered that my flight had been delayed a little over an hour - NOTE TO SELF: Check the flight schedule BEFORE you shower the next time so you can get a little extra sleep, if needed! Got to the airport and took off for my connection in Atlanta.
Arrived in Atlanta and raced to my gate (which involved taking a train, running to the end of the terminal, etc) and then discovered all that hustling wasn't necessary because my flight to Indianapolis was also delayed because of bad weather and my gate had changed to the OTHER end of the terminal.
So, what does a girl do when she has to wait? She stitches!
Now, I was a littled disappointed because my delay in Atlanta meant I wouldn't be able to join Diane and Karen for a LNS excursion when I arrived in Indianapolis. But, bad weather turned into gorgeous weather (temps in the 70's - Whoo Hoo) and I arrived in Indianapolis a little after 2:00 and was excited to see my two buddies waiting on me at baggage claim.
We got me loaded up in the car and headed to Terre Haute, about an hour away. Arrived at the Springhill Marriott and got settled into our rooms and then headed straight down to the conference room to see where the action would be for the weekend. We walked into the room and there was a table set up for three. Now, I don't know if that was the "special guest" table or had word travled all the way to Indiana that the three of us were INDEED SPECIAL!! LOL.
Thursday was mainly a day to get settled into your room and get your stitching area set up and to meet your new retreat friends. But, we did find a moment - almost immediately after arriving! - to visit Jan's room (our retreat host from Tree of Life Samplings) and to DRRROOOOOLLLL all over her wonderful collection of exclusive hand dyed linens (and her designs and other shop items that a cross stitcher NEEDS!). These linens are wonderful! They have such names as Caramel Frappe, Hazel Nut, Pistachio Nut, Sugared Almond.......and they smell so good too. I like these linens (available in 28, 32 and 40 count) because the color is "saturated". They have almost no "splotching" but they still carry that hand-dyed look. Jan also designed an exclusive retreat piece for us that was kitted up with her great linen, threads and was packaged in a beautiful hand sewn fabric portfolio pouch.
Jan also brought in her design models for us to see up close. As always, seeing models vs. a pattern picture is always so much better! We even got to see a "soon to be released" and "gotta have" model which I believe is called "Penny Freedom"??? (pictured here on the left):
It was a LONG day so we headed to bed a little after 10:00 p.m. so we would be well rested and ready for Day 2 but not before I gave Diane and Karen their two little gifties.....If you remember from reading my blog, I had posted that I was working on a "design" where I would take motifs from patterns and come up with a new design. Well, I took some motifs from Drawn Thread, Shepherds Bush and Rosewood Manor and made these Altoid pin keeps. I have made several of these in the past and I have to say, these are my favorite to date! I've got to get busy and get mine made!

Stay tuned for details on Day 2!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

She lives.....

Sorry I have been "missing in action" but unfortunately, I came home from vacation to a nasty sinus infection and the start to bronchitis. Luckily, I already had a routine doctor's appointment so I was able to get started on some good antibiotics. But.....that good was soon shattered when I had one too many coughing attacks and threw my back out! Fortunately, I didn't mess up any discs but I had some pretty bad muscle spasms. I am well on the road to recovery and just in time for a fun stitching retreat. I'll be back soon with an update on that. Have a great week gang and stay cool!

Monday, June 13, 2011

R&R'ing and Stitching

My son and I just returned home from 4 days of R&R'ing in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN. It has been quite some time (maybe 7 years??) since I have visited this area and we had a great time. We visited the Titanic Museum, swam in the pool, relaxed in our hot tub, ate great food - including a trip to Bubba Gumps. Just a great time all around. I did get a little stitching done while I was away and was able to finish up this piece......
This is Bent Creek's Frank 'n Boo Photobooth. It was a fun stitch and my good friend Karen is going to teach me a finishing technique while we are in Indianapolis. Can't wait!!

Well, it's back to work for me so this post is short and sweet. I will try to report back with some photos from our time in Tennessee. Until then......

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mail Surprise

I came home yesterday and saw that I had a small envelope in my mailbox. I couldn't remember ordering anything. Hmmmm?? What could it be? So, I tore it open and this lovely flower greeted me.....
Of course, I had to open that little bag and see what was inside and was I ever so pleasantly surprised! Just look at this cutie! A beautiful pin cushion (and pins!!) hand made by my good friend Karen. I was so surprised and yes, Karen, it made me smile!! This is my first RAK and my first stitched item from Karen. It was so sweet of her to think of me and I will treasure it! Thank you Karen for making my day!

Hugs and Stitches!