30 June 2011

Stitching and Exchanges

 This is the Easter/Spring SAL Carole from Novalee 02 les croix et moi I joined when it came out.  I first started  it on a dark rose linen, but when I got to Part 3, I didn't like how the pinks were looking, so I started over on Fairy Dreams (a light cream color) 28 count lugana.  I finished it about a week or two after Easter.   I was in Virginia and my friend like it.  I am thinking finishing as a hanging picture on the wall.  I have some pretty fabric to use in the back.
 My friend has birdhouses as her kitchen decor.  She has been collecting birdhouses.  When I realize I was going back, there was 2 weeks before I left and didn't  have time to stitch something.  I had to run into  JoAnns and spotted a bunch of plain wooden birdhouses.  Light inside of me clicked on and decided to paint a birdhouse for my friend's kitchen.  I like how it came out since it is my first time painting on wood.  I liked it a lot and might do a bigger one later.  My friend loved it and it sits on her glass table.
The picture below is the back of the birdhouse and there are flowers on the sides too. 

I joined the Lizzie Kate exchange in i-love-cross-stitch yahoo group.  It went to Azzie in England.  I picked a freebie from LK website.  It was stitched on a 14 count pink aida with DMC threads.  I added pink beads instead stitching green Xs above and below the words, and I added a pink flower. I made it into an ornament and added 3 Carrie Creations Threads to complete the exchange.

 This lovely package came  from Azzie.  She stitched "Think Spring" into a bookmark.  It is very wide, so I am going add a ribbon on the back and hang it up on my   wall.  She added 2 Dragon Floss and 3 Sweet Six  Strand threads.  I haven't received SSS in a long time.  Are they still in business?   I love it!  Thank you Azzie!

The next 2 exchanges were in the KraftersKorner group.  The first exchange was a monogrammed magnet with two items starting with the initial.  I had Jennifer as my partner.  I was stump at first for a second item.  She hinted jewelry in her information.  I have a few journals in my room, and when I was writing in one, I realize Duh! A journal!, lol.

Mary send me this wonderful package.  She stitched a V with a flower.  it almost looks like she got it from  the same magazine I got the J for my magnet, lol.  She included a V charm, a "visual" journal, and violet glitter.  Everything is so pretty.  Thank you Mary!

The next exchange  was a hand-dye material, which the member had to hand-dye, with 3 skeins of floss.  I hand-dyed a piece of aida in purple for Georgena.  The first time I dyed the material, it was so light, it looked it was white.  I redid it, making the mixture a darker purple, and this is what came out.  It is a couple shades darker than the picture shows, but not much.
 This lovely piece of fabric came from Tara.  She used arylaric paint to dye it.  I forgot how she did it, but it is very beautiful.  The picture does not do its justice.  Thank you Tara!

I finished stitching LHN 2010 Under the Tree when I was in VA.  I just added the beads a few days ago.  I wanted to finish it at the retreat, but just did not get to it.  I did change the color of the dress on the girl. I don't remember the color of the  fabric,  but it is on 28 ct lugana.  I kept the 2010 because it came from the 2010 collection, plus after a year or two, no one is going to know when I  stitched.
Same thing with LHN  2010 Joy. It was stitched in VA.  Matter of fact, I started this March, my first time in VA.  I did not pick it back up until May.  It is stitches on the recommended WDW 30 count material.  I added the beads for the snowflakes.

I am stitching LHN Liberty Belles.  It is going fast and hoping to have it done by Monday, depending if life gets in the way.  Today I spent the day looking for a color in my pile of unorganized threads. I end up organizing them and I found 2 skeins of the color I needed.  YAH!!

I did take pictures of my new treasures from the retreat, but this blog got very long.  Next time I won't wait s long.  I did finish another exchange and received my package, but I can't show anything until everyone gets their package.  It will probably be a couple more weeks, since a few of us had waited for the Canada mail strike to be over, including me.

If  I don't post my lastest finish by Monday, I hope everyone has a wonderful and happy 4th of July!

20 June 2011

Cape May Retreat

I went to Cape May, NJ for a cross stitch retreat. We didn't do much stitching but it was so much fun. This was my second retreat I went and I met two lovely ladies, Mare and Penny, plus it was nice to see Debra and Karin again too. On Thursday, I took the bus to New York City and got another bus to meet Mare in Cardstalt. It was a very hot day, reaching near 100 degrees. Mare drove and we chatted down to the Cape. We stayed at The Henry Sawyer Inn, a Victorian bed and breakfast house. It is where Mare and I met Debra, Karin and Penny around 5 pm. Mare and I stayed in a suite on the second floor,and the sitting room became the stitching room for the group. I do have to say the bathroom was tiny! The whole suite was covered with afloral and ribbon printed wallpaper. It was very hard to find light switches and sockets. We forgot to leave a light on and we returned, I was feeling the walls to find the light switch in the dark.
After we got everything upstairs, Mare, Karin and I went dolphin watching on the Spirit of Cape May boat. The Captain took us around the coast of Cape May, giving us a history lesson on the town, and a biology lesson on dolphins. It was very interesting but trying to get a picture of those dolphins was tough. I got lucky and able to get one good picture. I did get a lot of pictures of the coast, including the Cape May Lighthouse. After the boat ride, we went to Washington mall, I think that is the name of it, to try to get something to eat but everything was starting to close and we end up having frozen custard. The three of us went back to the inn, and the five of us gather in the suite and digged into the free for all stash. It is cross stitch patterns, kits, and magazines, plus more sometimes, we bring to the retreat that we no longer want or won't stitch, and take the ones we will like to stitch. I got a few Just Cross Stitch ornament series I did not have plus some other patterns. Penny gave us a pattern she designed for the retreat and copied a HUGE pile of freebies. I think I will be organizing them so I can use them for my exchanges. Mare gave us a set of beautiful rose pins. We had a choice of colors, and I picked the yellow roses, since its my favorite flower. We went to bed around 1 in the morning.
Breakfast parfait

Friday morning, I was the last one downstairs or breakfast. Wow! Barbara, the innkeeper, really makes you right at home. The table was set with fresh strawberries, blueberries, sliced cantaloupe and homemade breads and muffins. There was coffee, tea and hot cocoa and she offered us a parfait, which was vanilla yogurt, homemade granola, and topped with fruit. It was almost too pretty to eat. After the parfait, was the entree, scrambled eggs or French toast. Cereal was offered but who wants cereal if someone is cooking for you!
After breakfast, it was shopping time! We went to the LNS, Stitch By Stitch and looked at the patterns and fabrics. Penny, Mare and I was looking through a bin of fabric when I started to feel a bit ill. I think the heat got to me. After sitting a bit, I brought my stuff. Mare, Karin and I went to an Asian restaurant, where they offered Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisines. The food was good. Penny took Debra to the boat. Debra went whale watching and i think it was her first time out in the ocean. Penny came to meet us at the restaurant. Mare and I went back to the inn and stitched while we waited for Debra to come back. While we were gone, a huge box came from Vickie H. and it consisted all the donations from the designers. The box was as big as a small table. Karin separated all of it in the bedroom and we went in one at the time and picked a pattern. Vickie also included a gift for us. It was a tote bag she made and machine embroidery our names on to the bag. It is beautiful and she did a great job. Thank you Vickie! We had to take a break. All of us went got grinders and than went to Sunset Beach to collect Cape May diamonds. They are exactly quartz stones and they were all over the beach. Karin and Debra collected a whole bunch. After the sun went down, the bugs came out, and we got bitten. We went back to the inn to eat our sandwiches and finish picking out our patterns. Karin, Penny and Debra had went back to their suite by 1 am. Mare and I stayed up for another hour. Mare showed me some of her finishes she brought with her. Mare is a fantastic stitcher and her finishes are so gorgeous.

Mare and Debra at breakfast

Believe it or not, Mare and I were up before 7am. The suite got warm because we shut off the air conditioners the night before. I went downstairs for some coffee and talked to Debra on the porch. She gets up around 5. It was raining too. However it stopped raining by 10 am, because we had my new bracelet

plans to go to a few craft fairs. First fair we went was at Cold Springs Village. A historic place on how Americans lived in the Revolutionary times. The craft fair was a dud but I did buy a green crystal bracelet. I love it so much and it sparkles. We walked around and different buildings had different aspects on their living times. We went to Emlen Physick Estate, where a Victorian fair took place. It was a big dud too. Apparently all the crafters were at the third craft fair, on the Boardwalk. It was huge and went on and on. Mare and I decided to go in the morning. We stopped by the LNS again, and I picked up 3 of the Little House Needleworks 2011 ornaments and beads for Mare. Mare and I went back to the inn and Mare showed me how to make her canvas bookmarks. They are very easy to do and very pretty. The other girls came back and stitched for awhile. Mare started her pincushion class. Penny and I are the only ones to do one. Karin was still stitching her design and Debra had the wrong type of can I think. We took a break and went to The Ugly Mug for dinner, which was a sandwich place. The food was good but very obviously you can tell they were in their summer mode, like serving potato chips instead of fries, so they could get you out to get more people. But that is my opinion. We celebrated the group's birthday by getting gelato. It was delish! Than it was back to the inn, and finish our pincushion class. I went to bed at 12 because I couldn't stitch anymore.
pincushions completed, Penny's is the fox and mine
is purple thread and needle

Debra, Mare, me, Penny and Karin
at The Ugly Mug

I was up before 7 again. Poor Mare slept on the daybed because I hogged up a king size bed. I packed all my stuff before breakfast. After breakfast, I stitched a little on the porch. The frog came to visit me and I brought home the frog from the retreat. The darn thing flips backwards. It is an adorable little frog. Mare and I said good bye to Penny, Karin and Debra. They had plans to see the Lighthouse and climb the stairs. Mare and I checked out and left the inn by 11. We went to the boardwalk for the craft fair. We went got some grinders for the trip back. I ate half of mine in the car and saved the rest for my bus ride. We were trying to get me to the bus stop for 5 so I could get the 6 pm bus back to CT. We just parked the car and the bus went by. We unpacked my stuff and Mare sat with me until the next bus came. Since I did not make it for my 6 pm bus, I had to wait for the 8 o'clock bus. I didn't get home until 10:30. I was exhausted and I slept almost 12 hours and still tired.

You can see more pictures here. My next post will be on stitching projects and the stash I got at the retreat.
Thanks for reading my adventure. I cant wait to see where the retreat will be next year! I am hoping West, like Las Vegas or California.

PS. if anyone know how I can shrink the picture on top of my blog, please tell me! It is just showing half of it. Thank you!  Editor's Note:  I fixed the problem with the picture.