Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stitching Retreat

What a fantastic weekend! Ann (of Knowledge & Needles fame) organized a stitching retreat at Timber House in Brighton, just off the shore of Lake Ontario. And this place is gorgeous, huge windows 3 stories high, with tons of stitching room with beautiful natural light. Of course we all still came armed with assorted Ott lights and magnifiers as you can see from the pictures, that is all 18 of us! The bedrooms were lovely with big comfy beds when we needed to rest up for the next day of stitching. And food - well there was lots of it and it was all delicious. I neglected to take my camera to Ann's house where hubby Dan cooked up a scrumptious feast for us on Saturday afternoon. And of course a quick trip into the shop for some must-haves followed that.

I have lots of pictures of the stitching retreat to share....so here goes!
This is a shot of the great room, that I took from the upstairs dining area~

A shot of the dining area upstairs~One of the lovely bedrooms~

Awesome windows~And in case you are wondering what I did during this fabulous weekend~
This is Flock of Birds by Blackbird Designs. I started it on Friday shortly after we arrived at Timber House and finished it up last night. A quick, very sweet little design :-D

What a great weekend! Thanks Ann for organizing such a fantastic weekend for us all, its no wonder your next 2 retreats are already booked solid!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I have some finishes to show ... finally!

My latest beauty, hot off the needle, and beautiful she is, even if I do say so myself. This is Sweetheart Sampler, a Loose Feather pattern from Blackbird Designs. Its an oldie but a goodie. I stitched this on the recommended fabric, 30 ct Kansas City Blend by R&R Reproductions, but once I started with the large alphabet, it looked far too chunky for me. So I switched to stitching over-1 thread and I was much much happier with it.
Uh, if you note at the bottom, it says Valentine's Day and I'm only just over a month late for this lovely occasion, or even better really, 11 months early for next year!

Next its pincushion-y time!
This is Buttons & Pins, also by Blackbird, finished on 40 ct remnant and finished into a pincushion. I found the crushed walnut shells recommended for filling these (bird cage litter in real life) and I love the weight and substance this filler gives these.

Small Tokens, one of the Nashville releases for Blackbird Designs. This is finished on 32 ct antique white linen with some very sweet crocheted trim. This one made a wee gift.

This Friday I'm going to a Stitching Retreat with ladies from Knowledge & Needles! This is my first weekend retreat and I am so excited. I just have to figure out what to pack. I think its time for a new start or two! My excuse is that I'm not taking my Dazor magnifier, so I will need some larger-for-my-old-eyes fabrics, and since most of what I have on the go lately is 32-and-up, well that's just as good an excuse for a new start as any I can think of.

I'm still offering up my contest (see last post) for a new phrase for finished-finished. The winner will get a lovely little something that has been finished-finished.

Meanwhile I better get back to working on my PhD (Project-half-Done) - a new phrase I learned last night!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's the word for.....?

'Eggs' by Shepherds Bush, stitched on 32 ct antique white linen, with GAST and DMC

I finished up a quick little Shepherd's Bush piece last night ~ Eggs for Easter. Sometimes its just easy to pick up something and finish is in 2-3 days, I needed that quick finish. And shockingly for me, its actually done well in time for Easter. I am notorious for being on the back end of holidays. I start something before a holiday comes but never get it finished in time. I'll do a fabric dive later and see what I have to finish-finish this.

Speaking of...is there a word for finishing that I can't think of? I call something finished when I'm finished stitching it. But then there's the actual 'finishing' of it, that is making in into a finished piece, that I think I need a proper word for.

May be I could start a contest - whoever can come up with the best word for the actual 'finishing' of a stitched piece into something - needlebook, scissor fob, ornament, whatever. I'll gift a 'finished' object to whoever comes up with the best word.

Marj and I drove to Ann's Knowledge and Needles Open House on Sunday to see all the latest goodies she brought back from Nashville. It was so nice to see her and Dani and Christin and a few other ladies there. I was very very good and kept well within my budget.
Quakers & Quilts by Rosewood Manor, which calls for Valdani threads, which Ann also had but I didn't indulge in. And Celtic Cross by M Designs which I have coveted for a long time now.

And check out this lovely piece of Graziano gingham linen Ann had in stock - its perfect for this new Blackbird Designs piece called A Flock of Birds which is in the newest My Heart is True book. Ann is carrying several different colours of this and I was so happy to get it. Now I can't wait to start this lovely design - its my favourite in the new book.

And speaking of Blackbird Designs, Sue started a new blog for Blackbird lovers. Be sure to visit to see everyone's gorgeous stitching!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Warning - very picture heavy!

What can I say about Cuba other than we had a perfect time! Beautiful country, beautiful weather, beautiful people = wonderful vacation. Although we seemed to spend most of our time at the poolside, we did get for a wonderful hour-long walk each morning along the ocean, spent a lot of time in the various restaurants, bars and buffet, and we did get in to Havana for a day trip. I wish I could go back tomorrow!

I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking...The main building
View of the first pool
The hottub...come of my favourite spots!
Ahhh, the ocean!

The next hotel had a lighthouse!
...with such cool cars from the 50's.
On a side street - looking into a courtyard.