Wednesday, 2 August 2017

July WIPocalypse

Wow, two posts in one day!!

Although I was on vacation for a good part of July I managed to finish two special pieces. The first is a house warming gift for my sister Laurie. It's a little overdue since she's been in her condo for almost two years, lol! It's a Blackbird Design and is called Summer Jubilee. 

It's off to be framed very soon and I can't wait until she sees the finished product!

The second finish was picked by my son and future daughter-in-law as a wedding gift. I had several wedding charts in my stash but this is the one they chose.

It will also be off to the framer very shortly. I breathed a sigh of relief when the last stitch was in on this one. I wanted it finished in plenty of time for framing and since the wedding is in October I have lots of time.

I continue to stitch on a piece by Heartstring Samplery called With My Needle 1807 and I've started a new stitch as well by Stacy Nash called Tribute to Summer Sampler. I should have pics of both next month. The camera wasn't charged when I tried to take pics today.

Our vacation was a little different this year. Traditionally we head to Muskoka, boat in tow, to spend a week or two on Bala Park Island. This year we decided to take the money we would normally spend on our holiday and give it to my son for his upcoming wedding. 
So instead we left for Sault Ste. Marie for the wedding of a former youth choir member of my husband's. After the wedding we crossed into the US and travelled to the Boyne/Charlevoix area of Michigan for an overnight and then on to my sister's home. After spending a couple of days catching up with her we then departed back across the border to Windsor, Ontario where my mother lives as well as Bob's brother.

We had a great visit with everyone and enjoyed the scenery in northern Michigan which is an area I haven't really visited. 
Here are some pics of our adventure.

Heading to the wedding in Sault Ste. Marie

Flowers line the streets in Charlevoix

The waterfront in Charlevoix

Lights sparkle at dusk in Charlevoix

 A view of the lake in Charlevoix

Tempting treats!

 Charlevoix Bay in Boyne City

Enjoying the view in Boyne City

Sharing laughs with my sister

A visit with my nephews Alex(lt) and Patrick(rt)

A busy, wonderful vacation but I'm happy to be home once more, needle in hand.

July Smalls

I just returned from a vacation spent visiting friends and family. Although no stitching took place, a good time was had by all! I managed to complete one small this month.

I'm hanging on to this one for now. It will eventually be made into a small pillow. I try and keep a few pieces aside that are already stitched to use as gifts for family and friends as the need arises. So into the drawer it goes!

I also wanted to show you the needlework that I spotted on the altar of a church I was at recently. Our choir went to a small church in Quebec which is only open during the summer months to sing an evensong. I had seen this altar before but never had my camera or phone with me to take a picture. 

It was quite beautiful and almost looked like a tapestry of some sort.

Earlier in the month I headed out on a road trip to Syracuse, NY to meet up with some of my US stitching friends as well as some from Sudbury, Ontario. We choose Syracuse for our meetup because it is the most central spot for all of us to get to. We spend the weekend catching up, visiting the local cross stitch store and stitching of course. Here's a pic of the entire group who met.

One of the things we enjoy doing during our weekend is stopping by a tag sale that takes place in Rome, NY where our friend Misi has several booths. Misi is known for her amazing candles, potpourri, and scented decor. In addition there are some lovely antique items for sale. Misi also made all of the bee skeps and stepping stones you see in the photos.

Cathy found this sweet watering can and although you can't see it she also found a tobacco basket.

I love this stepping stone!

Here is sweet Misi packaging up my order.

As you can see from my bag, I managed to come home with several goodies!

Following the tag sale we stop in Fayetteville at A Stitcher's Garden cross stitch shop.

This year one of the ladies from the shop invited us to her home for a BBQ. There was a pool for the kids and we all had a blast!

Thank you so much Gail and Pat for your hospitality!

I also have to show you the wonderful belated birthday gift I received from my friend Tee. She made me the most amazing strawberry emory. It has the year and my initials on it.

She also made a gift for each of us to remember our weekend by. It's a needlebook but unlike one I've ever seen before! It has our initials, the year and some Sweet Annie tucked in a pocket.

All in all it was an awesome weekend and we can't wait for the next one. 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

June's stitching - WIPocalypse and Smalls


Although the calendar tells us that summer is here, it sure doesn't feel like it. Our days have been rainy and cool. Perfect stitching weather but unfortunately I've been busy with other matters which has prevented much of that. I've only picked my needle up again during the past week. 
I didn't have the time to start any new smalls but I did do the final finishing on two from last year to add to my Canada Day display.

The first is a freebie by Jan Alexander of Tree of Life Samplings which I made my own by adding the Canadian flag. I found the sweet backing fabric at my local quilting shop.

The second is designed by Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives and is also a Canadian version of her patriotic chart Land That I Love. Nan designed this version for me and I am thrilled with how it has turned out. It is backed with some lovely wool.

There is room at the bottom of the stitching for the addition of a charm or pin. I have a Canada 150 pin which I am considering adding to this.

I have put very few stitches into BBD Summer Jubilee since my last WIPocalypse. Here is an updated pic.

I have put this aside to start the stitching for a wedding piece that my son Chris and his fiance Violet have picked out for their nuptials this October. It is designed by Silver Creek Samplers and is called Forever Love. It is based on the verse from I Corinthians. It's not a very big piece but it will look lovely when it's completed and framed. 

I also found this stitch I had put aside in the early spring and forgot about it. I'm not sure if I ever shared a picture of it before now. This is called With My Needle by Heartstring Samplery.
I'm hoping to get back to it and Summer Jubilee as soon as the wedding piece is completed.

June has brought some feathered visitors back to our neighbourhood once more. This is the only time of year that we see the Cedar Waxwings around. Once they have cleaned off all of the berries from the neighbour's tree they fly off until the following June.

Today was a wet, dreary day, certainly not what we had in mind for our Canada Day celebrations! However there was a bright spot of colour who arrived at our feeder to greet us and his colour was perfect for the holiday.

I'm off to Syracuse, NY later this month to meet with some of my close stitching friends. I can't wait to see them all again! One of the girls is bringing some more framed finishes that Patti Nicolosi has finished for me. I'll have lots of pics to share on my next post. 

I want to take this time to wish all of my family and friends a very Happy Canada Day today! We are 150 yrs young and so very proud! There isn't anywhere else on earth I would rather live.

As well I want to take the time to wish all of my US friends a very Happy 4th of July. I hope you all have the most enjoyable celebrations!!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

PSS Retreat


So the first weekend in May marked the start of the Prim Stitchers Society Retreat. This year the retreat took place in Columbus, Ohio and ran from the Thursday evening through Saturday night with everyone departing on the Sunday morning. Several of us arrived a day early to spend some time catching up and stitching. 

The retreat began with a meet and greet on the Thursday evening. Patti Nicolosi of By My Hand Needl'werk brought several framed pieces of our needlework which we had sent to her months before the retreat. Here's a sampling of her handwork.

 Faye with one of her fabulous finishes!

Patti and I showing off the 3 finishes which she did for me.
She does beautiful work! 

As you can see below, we had a lot of fun catching up!

After everyone was reacquainted we spent the rest of the evening in the stitcher's lounge. The lounge was open 24 hrs and well stocked with treats and beverages. I spent part of the evening volunteering in the setup of the merchant mall.

Elizabeth kept finding more bins for us to set up!
The following two days there were classes scheduled in the mornings. I didn't participate in the classes as this was my first retreat and I wasn't sure about them. I work at a very slow pace and thought it might be difficult to keep up but most completed their projects in class so I probably could have managed. Instead I had a leisurely breakfast and spent the morning stitching in the lounge.

Friday at noon the Merchant Mall opened to retreat participants and then to the public at 1:00pm. I volunteered to help out on the floor of the mall for a 2 hr stint. Here are some pics of the mall following our setup. Warning: There is a lot of eye candy!!

Stitches n Things from Fenton, MI brought their shop
Notforgotten Farm's Booth
This is Truffle Pigs Antiques and Handmades

More Truffle Pigs
The next group of pics is of the booth by Primitive Handmade Mercantile. PHM is made up of a group of artists who make handmade items to sell online. Some of the artists included Nan Lewis of Threadwork Primitives, Theresa Meloon of Dulaney Woods, Michelle Blanco of Yankee Girl, Teresa Miller Primitives, Carol Woodard and Linda Hanneman.

Jan Alexander's Tree of Life Samplings

Summer House StitcheWorks

 Other booths not pictured included By My Hand Needl'werks, Dixie Samplers Hand Dyed Fabrics, Robert Lehay Shaker Boxes, Dames of the Needle, Carolina Stitcher and LucyBeam. There was plenty of eye candy for everyone and I came home with lots of goodies.

 Lots of trims from Dames of the Needle 

 A punchneedle cushion by Linda Hanneman of PHM

 A gorgeous drum finished by my friend Theresa Meloon of Dulaney Woods

Another drum finish by my friend Nan Lewis
 One of Rob LeHay's shaker boxes (left), charts and finishing fabrics

 One of Faye Riggsbee's project bags, lots of Dixie's linen, 
and some velvets by Dames of the Needle

 A sweet ditty bag with velvet strawberry by Nan
of Threadwork Primitives

As you can see, I went overboard a bit...... well maybe a lot! I also purchased a 4 drawer thread cabinet from Teresa Miller which I will be picking up from friends in Syracuse this July. 

On Saturday evening at the retreat's end there was a banquet and exchange. Participation in the exchange was optional and your gift had to consist of a stitched item no larger than 10" x 10". As you saw on my last post, I stitched a Blackbird Design and finished it in a tin hanger. In return I received a lovely finish which can also be seen on my last post.

Here are pics from the banquet and our final evening stitching in the lounge.

 Jenn is one of my fellow Canadian participants

From lt: Nan, Cathy- Jenn's mom and another Canadian, Jenn and Elizabeth
 Our co-organizer Ridgely and Pam, another Canadian friend

Our retreat organizer Terri, also known as Dixie along with Nan

 Michelle Blanco, Theresa Meloon, Cathy Tonelli and Pam Derks

Lots of stitching going on!

 Cindy Ruckford Cabrey, Beth Seale, me and Cathy 

 Me and my roomie Michelle

 From left: Myself, Jenn Natti, Nan Lewis, Michelle, Theresa, Cathy and Pam

 Jan Alexander, Elizabeth Talledo, and Cindy
I had the most amazing time! I reconnected with good friends and made many more! I want to thank Terri and Ridgely for the incredible work they did to put on such a fabulous retreat. It was my first PSS retreat but it certainly won't be my last!