Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I worked just a bit on the Drawn Thread Spring Fling pocket.

The flap is done and I'm working my way across the back side of the pocket.  There are many different stitches.  I wanted the center shape to more resemble a heart so I cut off the corners by a stitch or two.  If I put in a couple of threads a day, I can make progress on this.

The goal today is to get the vintage metal thread all couched down for the carnation Casket Keepsake.

The mermaid is all stitched and I just have to finish the border and put in a few fish to call this done.  I hope to make good progress on this today.  I think this is cute.

I was dismayed to see snow this morning.  Snow is a four letter word. The sun has come out and the snow is mostly melted now.  I can see that the grass has turned from brown to green.  I was able to go walking outside for the last three days.  I haven't been able to do that because of the weather since last December or so.
I am looking forward to the end of next week.  BFF and I are going to two Lauren Sauer classes in Indiana.  It will be so fun.  I made it my goal this year to stitch Mistress L's Band Sampler after seeing Paola's.  It is quite a large project and will take a long time to stitch.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Quick Post

I'm off to see Dylan in just a few minutes.  So this will be short.
I got back to working on the Spring Casket Keepsakes.  The bases are all done and I am starting the couching of the vintage metal thread that will hold detached buttonhole stitches and eventually become the petals of the flowers.  It will take a while to get that done.
I decided to stitch the mermaid in spite of her boobs.  How wild and crazy is that?  Not very, it's just floss.
I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be able to find a frame when I'm done.
We'll see.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Where am I?

I want to get back to working on Hampton Court and the Spring Casket Keepsakes.  I have been totally distracted by Spring Fling and commissions.  I have two finishes to show you:
I finished Sophia into a pillow and she is on her way to her new home.
I put Windswept in the frame I got at Stitchville.  I like how it turned out and I can't believe I found a ready made frame to fit it.  I put it in my bathroom near my impressionist stitch:
I think these two kind of go together.
I have made good progress on the grandnephew birth announcement:
I have to decide where to cut it off.  Do I add the mermaid with boobs at the bottom or leave it off?  It would be fun to stitch.  I'll have to think about it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Three Years

Three years ago I signed up for Cabinet of Curiosities online class.  I have always wanted to make one of those boxes (caskets) covered with embroidery.  This class offered the opportunity to eventually get one of those caskets.  A little over a year ago I paid the money to buy a double casket.  It finally was made and arrived at my house yesterday.  Please may I not die before I get it done.
I knew it was coming and had been waiting for it all day.  About 6 p.m. the UPS man finally showed up.

It was packaged very well:

 A box within a box.

The hinges aren't attached yet so the box is held together with drafting tape which is less sticky than masking tape.  This is the very top which has a tray in it.

 The feet for the casket are in the bag:
 The really fun part was the hunt for the secret drawers.
 There is a tassel kit for the key.  I'm not sure how to do it.  Maybe we will get instructions
 This is the bottom drawer:
 One of the hidden drawers:
 Another hidden drawer:

Just wait until this is all covered with stitching.

 There is a lot of hardware to be put on the box.
My head is swirling with ideas of what to stitch for this box.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Last Day of the Retreat

Now it is Sunday.  The last day.  It is only half a day really.  I decide to go walking before breakfast.  The snow has melted significantly.

That is the dawn reflected in the windows of the convention center:  I walk the driveway and explore some paths and end up down by the lake.  It is melted enough to walk for a while.  But Danger!  There is a dog!  (I'm afraid of dogs)  Luckily I stand still and he is not interested in me.  He's not on a leash but his owner is nearby.  Whew, I walk the other way from the dog.  My goal was to walk by the lake and I did it.  There is still a lot of ice on the lake.

Now my dilemma:  Do I eat breakfast or wait until 11 for brunch?   Son#1 and his fiancee are coming to eat brunch with me.  You know the answer, I'll eat both!  I try the oatmeal.  It says it is Vegan Oatmeal.  Isn't all oatmeal vegan?  There are four toppings for the oatmeal.  Cinnamon and sugar, brown sugar, ground flax seed and mixed dried fruit.  I can't decide so I put on all four.  Next time, I'd leave out the cinnamon and sugar.
People are preparing to leave.  Suitcases are being rolled down the hallway.  Some have even checked out already.  Oh, I don't want this to be over.

We go to the meeting room for one last day.  Cynthia is there and volunteers to sign charts for whoever wants her to.

 Lots of pictures are taken.
 This is Cynthia with three people BFF talked into coming to Spring Fling.  I know they had a good time.

I can't stitch.  I'm too excited.
Son#1 and fiancee arrive.  We eat a great brunch.  The waffles are the best I've ever had and they are small so I don't even feel guilty.  The Amaretto Turtle Trifle dessert is absolutely fantastic.
It's time to leave.  Son#1 is taking me to the airport.  I had a fantastic time.  Usually, Deb announces the designer for next year's Spring Fling on Sunday but it is not inked yet so we have to wait to hear who it is going to be.
I am so lucky to have gone to Spring Fling.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Saturday, the main day of Spring Fling, is here.  I'm feeling a bit guilty as I have been indulging in all the great food and snacks.  I have a particular weakness for cashews.  There is a large snack table filled with good stuff just outside of the meeting room. I ate breakfast with some early risers.  We had such fun discussing the hot men of HGTV.  (Mary Ann, you are so funny!)  So I decide to go walking.  One of my goals this trip is to walk around the lake.  But the lake steps are roped off and there is snow and ice on the path.  So where to walk?  I decide to walk the long driveway and parking lots.

 It is rather cold but I am determined.  I get in about half my steps before going to get ready for class.
Again, that special moment when the kits are passed out.

It is packaged wonderfully in a cardboard envelope.  Be still my heart.  We have a choice between stitching a sampler or a pocket.  I pick the pocket.

We have whole skeins of silk to put on a thread holder.  There is some basting to be done and then we can start stitching.  Oh I love a day full of stitching and no other responsibilities except eating.  There are five of us at the table:  me, BFF, Janet, Joy and Sarah.  It is fun to talk as we stitch.
At lunch we can look out the big windows in the restaurant area to see that a wedding party is having their pictures taken out on the patio.  That poor bride is freezing in a strapless gown.  The bride and groom look too young to be getting married.  Are they still in high school?  All the groomsmen and bridesmaids have on high top tennis shoes.  The groomsmen have on electric blue vests (not my favorite).
Anyway back to stitching after lunch.  A name is picked out of a basket for a door prize.  Guess what!?!?  I win!  Look what I got:

A very nice zipper bag and scissors with a beautiful fob.  Wow.
I'm not getting very far in my stitching but it is not a race.
We have a dinner in a different room because of the wedding taking place.  Again the food is great.  I considered not eating dinner as I had so much for lunch.  Hah!  Too many good things to eat.  I especially liked the mini pineapple upside down cakes.  I think I had three of them.
After dinner a lot of the people left to go to Stitchville and shop.  There is a 20% discount on what we buy tonight.  But BFF and I have already been to Stitchville and spent too much.  We like to shop when it is not crowded.  So we stay and stitch.  It is interesting to see what stuff other people bought.
I'm a little sad knowing that this fun all ends tomorrow and we go back to our real lives.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Retreat Begins

So finally, it is Friday afternoon, 4 p.m.  Deb (who owns Stitchville) introduces Cynthia Zittel of The Drawn Thread.  We are all so excited.  Cynthia hasn't taught in a while and we are so lucky that she decided to teach at Spring Fling.
Deb is wearing red on the far left.  Cynthia is up front showing the project.
Then the Friday evening project is handed out.  This is a special moment for me.  I love when the project is revealed, given out and I am handed a complete kit.

Cynthia's packaging if fabulous.  Inside are two pockets and there are holes that will hold thread.  How clever!

The project is a scissors fob done in Swedish weaving.  Cynthia is a true artist.  It has texture, color, design.  We get right to work.  I'm so excited.  I have to calm down to stitch.
We see the project and are delighted.  It is gorgeous.  We are working on lavender linen.
I make lots of mistakes and have to go back and correct them.  But I don't care, this is fun.  The time flies.
We stop for dinner.  The hotel has the best food ever.  It is served buffet style.  The desserts are so good and are tiny.  So I take about six.  The diet went out the window.
We go back after dinner and work on the fob.  Many people have brought their Drawn Thread projects to display on table in the back of the room and it is fun to see them up close and done.  It is great to talk to friends from last year.  I meet Marilyn who has brought her Mermaid Treasures.  Oh my is it beautiful.  It was Marilyn who found mistakes in the chart and suggested a different way of weaving the edges.  I knew of her so it was nice to meet her in person.  There are some fabulous stitchers here.  One of the fabulous ones is Chris who brought some projects also.

Her stitching is amazing.  Instead of putting twisted cording on the edge of the scissors fob, she put beads.  So I wanted to do that too.  My beads weren't looking as even as hers.  But she told me how she did it, so I fixed mine and I love it.  Here is mine all finished.

I am totally exhausted by the time the evening is over.  What a fun day!  
Tomorrow is the big project!