Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Great Minnesota Get-Together

Today we visited the Minnesota State Fair; our day started very early.  We arrived at 7am so that our daughter could participate in the "Milk Run" 5K race which started at 7:45am.

And they were off!

Our favorite runner!

Twenty-two minutes later --- approaching the finish line!

She finished 6th out of 49 in her age group, and 100th out of 788 women participating.

Of course, we also had to visit the "Mad Tatter" better known as my mother.  She demonstrates tatting at the Territorial Pioneer building nearly every day of the fair (12 days!)

Our favorite part of the fair of course is the parade.  Every day at 2pm there is a parade and marching bands come from all over the state and even our neighboring state to the east...Wisconsin.  Today's parade included five marching bands including the pride of Minnesota - the University of Minnesota Marching Band!

Gotta love the tuba players...of course there were floats, and sporting mascots, and fire trucks, and other typical parade stuff.

Fun day!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Finishing Day!

Since I worked hard last weekend cleaning the house, I felt that I was due a play day.  Don't worry, the laundry still got done and the kitchen is all cleaned up, but I spent a good portion of today working on some finishing.  It's nice to get some of these pieces finished up!

First up - two smalls which you've seen on my blog before - I offered to finish these for my friend Judy.  She went with me to the Tree of Life Samplings retreat.  Here's the pincushion and the scissor fob; I still need to do the needlebook...

And remember this stitching from awhile back?  The design is called Glory House from Chessie and Me.  It's  finished into a small pincushion!

At the NGM retreat I finished the stitching on this Shepherd's Bush design that had been languishing in my WIP pile.  It's called Stripes and I did a quilted sort of finish.  I intend to look for one of those wire hangers that I can hang it on the wall with...

My favorite finish...Blue House Needle Primer from With My Needle.  I will have to take another picture tomorrow when the light is better.  Here's the front:

And here's the back:

I have quite a few more things that need finishing.  Next week is a holiday weekend, I may have to dedicate another day to getting some additional finishing done!

I've been trying to keep up with blog reading but I'm a bit behind.  I hope to get caught up soon!  Hope you are all having a nice weekend.  Happy stitching!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Few More Loose Ends...

I'm trying to get my stitching stuff back in order but it seems to be an endless task.  I did not unpack last Sunday after returning home from the retreat; today I am going through the bags and put things back in their place.  Why do I have so much stuff?

Let's do pictures...those are always more fun than me rambling on and on...

Let's start with a few more miscellaneous things that I either received as gifts or purchased at vendor night.

The laying tool and pincushion with the wood base were purchases at vendor night.  The man that made them is married to a woman that I know through our local EGA chapter.  The laying tool is a purple-ish colored wood.  The pincushion base is made out of Buckthorn (better use of this weed that we don't particularly care for here in Minnesota!)  Top middle is a cool thimble holder; or I suppose it could hold, buttons or any other small trinkets you might have.  It opens when you squeeze it!  On the right, a tool kit/measuring tape combination for those days when you can't find that darn screwdriver.  On the bottom is a little acorn guy and a little box, perfect for the acorn theme of the retreat!

This next picture has absolutely nothing to do with the retreat - it was a purchase I made at Stitchville before the retreat.  Couldn't help myself, he was just so darn cute.

Does your needlework shop have these? It's a sock monkey measuring tape.  He makes me smile!

How about some finishes?  I brought two projects with that were very close to being finished.  I think I set them aside because they had mostly over one stitching left.  Now that I've conquered the over one stitching on Briar Rose I can stitch anything that's over one!

Finish #1 - Stripes from Shepherd's Bush (kit - using silk fibers)

I have to find the white button that goes in the top left's in my stash somewhere.

Finish #2 - Peace and Joy from The Drawn Thread (kit)

May I say that it was a pain in the tush to stitch over one using Whisper thread???

Almost finished #3 - Blue House Needle Primer from With My Needle

No you are not seeing double.  There are two stitched fronts.  Morale of the story is...follow the designer's instructions and stitch your border first.  Otherwise you might finish your piece and find that you made a mistake and then your border doesn't fit right....fortunately it was a small piece.  I still have to stitch the alphabet on the piece at the top.  This piece will go on the back of the hornbook.  The alphabet is also stitched over one.  Oh my, another over one piece!

Finally, here's piece I started at retreat.  Gosh, the verse on this one is also stitched over one.  I think I have a fever.  The design is from my favorite designer, Ruth Ann Russell and was published in the Fall 2002 issue of SANQ (thank you Wendy Jo!)  It's called Heavenly Paradise.

So, I think that's enough for today.  Thanks for stopping by and happy stitching!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Major Cleaning Day!

On my last post you read about the fun I had last week at the Needlework Guild of MN retreat. There's always a price to pay for that fun and today I'm paying it! Spending the day catching up on things at home - laundry, dusting, vacuuming, washing windows, scrubbing bathrooms, etc. It just has to be done. Since I've finished one room and started another I decided to reward myself with a little blogging! I have quite a lot of things to share with you...I'll get around to posting all of them sooner or later.

I have a few more retreat things to share...the theme of the retreat was acorns. When we arrived at the retreat we each had a goodie bag waiting for us in our room.

I won't list everything here, but can you pick out the acorn theme? I know that a number of NGM members volunteered their time putting together many of the items in these bags. They were nicely done. The three ladies that were responsible for these goodie bags stitch with me at Stitchville once a month. I think they did a great job!

This second photo is my box finish that I entered in the show and tell part of the retreat. The design is Autumn Song from Blackbird Designs and I stitched the top last year and the banding this year. When I finished it in July, I posted pictures on my blog (see July 15 post). Anyway, I hadn't spaced my banding exactly right and had extra space left, so I just stitched the word "Acorns" and included it! There are acorns in the design so this fit the theme perfectly! There were many other lovely items entered for show and tell...wish I had taken photos...

A few more miscellaneous items...a scissor keep/needlebook combination made from wool in the shape of an acorn from my friend LaRue, my acorn themed nametag (pattern from Workbasket), some felted wool acorns from Vicki, a real acorn from Sue (she's one of my nutty friends - ha!), and some acorn cookies. I think I've seen the recipe on Pinterest - they were so cute and yummy!

Well, that's it for now. Next post I'll share with you some of my purchases and the stitching that I started and finished while at the retreat! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Good Times...

I just returned from four + days of stitching bliss. The Needlework Guild of Minnesota held its annual retreat last week at a retreat center in Buffalo, MN. I've heard about this retreat for years from various people but never have attended. When I learned that Jackie du Plessis would be one of the teachers this year, I knew that I needed to check it out! I'm so glad I did. Buffalo, MN is about 1.25 hours NW of where I live. I headed out on Tuesday afternoon and after making a stop at Stitchville (couldn't help it, it was on the way!) arrived at the retreat center on Tuesday night around 5pm. The sleeping accommodations were very comfortable; my roommate, Suzanne, also a first time retreat attendee, was very nice - we got along great!
I settled into my assigned stitching spot -- in the Reconciliation Room!
Pretty funny! This is a religious facility and is generally used for spiritual retreats...I think maybe someone got wind of my devilish nature and decided that I needed to spend some time repenting during the week...we all had a good laugh about it! I'm all set up and ready to stitch!
The view from my chair:
On Wednesday, I had an all-day class with Jackie. I took her Briar Rose class. While the project was a bugger to pre-stitch (all over one stitching) I am so glad that I had my pre-work done. The class focused on the finishing of the etui. Jackie is a wonderful lady with many interesting stories; she's a fantastic teacher. I am so glad that I made the decision to come and take her class. My only regret is that I didn't sign up for at least one or two other classes! She makes finishing easy!
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were open stitching days for me, or as the needlework guild calls them "independent study" days. I had brought several projects with to work on. Having repented enough for all of my sins (!) I moved to a different stitching spot on Friday and joined this wild and crazy group of stitchers -- they take their stitching very seriously!
On Thursday night we had Show and Tell, sadly I didn't remember to take pictures but there were many beautiful pieces of needlework to "ooh" and "aah" over. On Friday night we played ACORN (aka BINGO) in pursuit of many needlework prizes. Saturday night was vendor night and I'll share my purchases with you in another post. Here are some additional photos of the retreat and the retreat center grounds:
Before I go, here is my finished Briar Rose Etui! There are some scrimshaw pieces that will be added along with a scissors (which is packed away in my stitching bag somewhere!)
It was a great week of learning, stitching, meeting new and old friends and general all-around fun. Looking forward to next year already!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

On Retreat...

I'll be away for a few days with no internet connection. Attending the Needlework Guild of Minnesota Retreat. Will be back next week with a full report!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Ready for Class

Finished my pre-work for the Jackie du Plessis class just under the wire - class is on Wednesday. A few years ago I would have never even attempted something like this (it's all stitched over one) but I managed through it! Hopefully by this time next week I will be able to share with you a finished Briar Rose Etui!
Off to Needlework Guild of MN retreat tomorrow! Looking forward to seeing old friends and to meeting new ones!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Celebrating... daughter's 20th birthday today. My how time flies. Seems like yesterday she was just a little toddler doing silly things that made us laugh. Wait a minute...she still does silly little things that make us laugh! She'll always be my little girl. Love ya Toots!