Monday, October 31, 2011

Dyeing to Tell You...

...about the Dyeing to Stitch Retreat last week!

Not only was this my first time attending this retreat but it was also my first trip to Virginia Beach! I've visited many places on the east coast but I have never been this "up close and personal" with the Atlantic Ocean. Each and every day I was in awe of the view from my hotel balcony. Here are a couple of snaps from that very first day (last Wednesday) and make note of the sky and the waves so you can compare with later pictures!

I took an early morning flight from MN last Wednesday so that I would arrive by noon. My friend Judy and her husband left a few days earlier and drove to Virginia Beach. We wanted to be there early enough on Wednesday to attend the Open House at the shop. Here's a shot of Judy in front of the shop, package in hand!

I was overwhelmed by all the samplers, many of which had been stitched by either Ann or Pat (better known as R&R). Lots of Blackbird Designs samplers done over one - wow! The shop was lovely. Pat and Ann are two of the nicest people you will ever meet; they were so welcoming and took time to greet every guest that was attending the retreat.

Eye candy in the window (sorry about the reflections)-

I was pretty tired on Wednesday night and turned in early to rest up for the start of the retreat on Thursday.

The view still looked pretty good on Thursday, yes? These homes were located right next to our hotel. We stayed at the Cavalier Hotel located right on the beach!

Registration was from 3pm until 5pm on Thursday. During this time we worked on a "welcome" project, met the teachers, and found out what our projects were going to be. There were two tracks of teachers; each participant could take classes from one of the tracks. Track A was Shepherd's Bush and Shakespeare's Peddler and Track B was Jeanette Douglas and R&R. I would have been happy with either track but I was most interested in Track A and fortunately, that's what I was assigned to!

Here's photo of the welcome project - we were given the black mesh bag and all the supplies to stitch this sampler. The theme of this retreat was "Four Seasons at the Beach."

Our hostesses, Pat Ryan and Ann Robbins from R&R:

We broke for dinner, but returned to the ballroom at 7pm for "An Evening with Friends." Each teacher had designed a special "small" project for us and received all the materials to complete these smalls.

From R&R, a pincushion design with each season represented:

From Shepherd's Bush, one of their wonderful scissor fob designs representing Spring:

From Jeanette Douglas, a needlebook design. Jeanette's designated season at the retreat was Autumn:

And last but not least, Theresa Venette/Shakespeare's Peddler designed a pinkeep:

There were approximately 90 stitchers at the retreat coming from all over. Representing the great state of Minnesota, LuAnne, Judy, and yours truly!

Using some motifs that my mother had tatted, I made some little pincushions in tart tins and took several of them for special friends and the teachers. Here are Theresa, Teri, Jeannette, and Tina posing for a picture holding their pincushions.

Well, I'm just getting started, but I think this post is long enough! Check back later for part two of the Dyeing to Stitch retreat...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Crazy Challenge Finish #12

I can hardly believe it, but I've managed to finish twelve pieces from my Crazy Challenge list! While I was in Virginia Beach this week, I finished Jenny Bean's Halloween Sampler. I kept with it on Thursday night until it was done; the last stitches were put in at about 12:30am! I love it!

Jenny Bean's Halloween Sampler
Shakespeare's Peddler
36ct LL Pearled Barley
GAST Limited Edition Threadpack

Full retreat report coming soon!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gone to the Beach!

Was up at the crack of dawn this morning (4am) so that I would make my 6:30am flight to Norfolk, VA (via Detroit). Both flights operated as scheduled and about 45 minutes after landing in Norfolk I was shopping at Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia Beach! They had an open house at the shop this afternoon. Jeanette Douglas and the R&R gals, Pat & Ann, were there. We had a good time looking at the many shop models (lots of samplers). I picked up a couple of patterns and some delectable R&R linens.

After shopping we headed to the hotel and checked in. I have a room with a great view of the Atlantic Ocean. The weather tomorrow is going to be beautiful. The retreat starts at 3pm, but there are a number of stitchers in the hotel already and we're going to try to organize a "stitch-in" earlier in the day.

Looking forward to the next three days!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Progress Made, But No Dancing Yet...

Jenny Bean's Halloween Sampler - Shakespeare's Peddler

I'm getting close to another finish here; Jenny Bean just needs the top, bottom and right borders added and then she will be done! I'm not sure that it will happen this week, but we'll see.

I can barely contain my excitement -- on Wednesday, I am flying to Virginia Beach for the Dyeing to Stitch Retreat!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ready for Part Two!

I'm always bringing up the caboose so I'm kind of glad that Barb and Alma haven't released part two of the current Loose Feathers. I finished part one tonight and in my humble opinion it looks pretty good! Alma posted a picture of part two on her blog this week - can't wait to get it in my hot little hands!

I'm stitching mine on 35 ct R&R Irish Creme, otherwise everything else is as charted.

One of my stitching buds convinced me that I could finish another Crazy Challenge piece - it's getting close -- I'll share a picture with you this weekend.

Right now this crazy stitching lady needs to go to bed!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Plum Dumplings and Some Stitching

One of my most favorite treats in the fall are plum dumplings! My mom will make them a couple of times while the italian plums are in season. I've purchased plums at the grocery store for her twice now. Do you think if I pick up some more she will make one more batch?

They are a lot of work. The dough is made using potatoes; the plums have to be pitted; and after the dumpling has been cooked it is rolled in fried bread crumbs made with lots of butter and sugar. Yum!

Not too much on the stitching front to share. I wish I had taken time to iron this before I took my photo; I'm kind of being lazy this morning. I am glad that Barb and Alma are late in getting part two out - gives me time to get part one stitched!

Happy Stitching!