Thursday, January 31, 2013

Long Beach At Last!

Things didn't start off too well.  Woke up to a thunderstorm with gushes of rain dropping. Get dropped off at the airport, go through security without a hitch.  Then the fun begins.

Our first leg (from Lexington we had to go to Charlotte - then Phoenix - then Long Beach) from Lexington ended up being delayed for an hour because our flight was delayed coming in because of the storms it had to come through.  This of course meant - you guessed it - we would have a very tight connection in Charlotte.  We also had a bumpy flight.  I fluffed up my barf bag just in case.

Get to Charlotte.  Of course we land in the most remote terminal wing in existence and our next flight has a gate in the total opposite end of the whole complex.  They do  have electric car waiting for us.  Unfortunately, our plane did not wait for us.  So off to make some changes.  They put us on standby on one flight and proceed to try to get us on another.  Now, off to another gate to try to make another flight.

Sitting waiting patiently and guess what?  Another delay.  Now we're sweating Phoenix.  Waiting for update on flight and they change our gate number.  We end up being delayed by 40 minutes into Phoenix.  Oh well, the bright side is that now we have time to sit and have a leisurely lunch.  On to Phoenix and hope for the best -

At Phoenix we are scheduled to land at terminal Asomething on the far end and leave out of B about midway.  We have 22 minutes.  We're talking about old people here folks - we can't run airports like we use to.  While sweating the connection and while we are waiting to get off the plane, the attendant announces that we have landed at a different gate than originally planned.  We have landed somewhere in the B terminal.  Really?  That's a switch for us.

Get off the plane and hustle forward.  Quickly ask the airlines assistant at departing gate to look up our flight and see if on schedule and if still at the scheduled gate.  On time, of course, always is when you are tight, and . . . wait for it. . . . we have a gate change - should I have expected otherwise?

But wait, the gate is actually the one next door.  Oh joy!  Our luck is changing.  We did not even get to sit down.  Just walked right on to our flight to Long Beach.  But - - - you knew it, right?  We sit down and a young lady comes along and says we have her seat.  They did not seat us together.  But she graciously says she'll just sit in my husband's seat, which he eagerly jumps at the idea of letting her do.  Little did he know that he was placed in First Class - LOL. Oh well.

Now, lord only knows where our luggage is right?  We've were only on our initial plane and they hopped us all over the airports but we have no idea what our poor luggage was doing.  Now, keep in mind that one of these had class kits.  Our carry ons have the first day of class kits (I'm not totally stupid).

So, not at the carousel - of course, we did not expect otherwise.  Go to claims.  No extra luggage there, but he'll call around anyway.  Finally find one of the suitcases.  The unimportant one - the one with clothes.  And, it was damaged.  Don't know if it will make it back to KY or not.

Checked computer, etc., and finally it ends back up at the carousel.  Oh well, at least it did show up!

Shuttle ride to hotel quick and efficient.  Good sign.

Hotel registration - everything in order - got the perfect room.  Another good sign.

It is now after 9 pm Pacific time (we were due in at 3 pm) which means it is midnight in KY and we still haven't had dinner.  Hotel restaurant is being remodeled.  We hit the streets before we sit down or unpack because we are afraid we will no be able to get back up!  Find a nice deli, have a wonderful salad and pasta.  Another good turn.

Back to hotel - unpack and double check kits and get everything ready for the first 2 classes tomorrow.
Okay, gotta get in that bed - been up since 4:30 am EST - my butt is dragging!

Oh well, a great ending to another cross-country adventure.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Look out Long Beach here I come!

Well, I've been away for a few days doing some touch ups and finishing touches for TNNA. 

The slides are all ready for the classes.

The kits are all ready for the class (except still waiting for one thread which will be shipped to the hotel).

The teaching plans are in place.

Business cards, address labels and brochures packed and ready.

All the gadget chargers ready to go in the suitcase.  Medicines all filled and ready to go.

 Airline tickets in hand.  Hotel reservations confirmed.

Cat sitter confirmed and reminded.
                (Yes, that's a cat.  he's helping me bead - can't you tell?  He decided to take a break.)

Dry cleaning picked up.

Hmmmmm, seems like something is missing???? Oh wait, do I have room left to pack some clothes?  (I'll stick some in my husband's suitcase - he'll never notice!)

See you there!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

TNNA Market Bonanza!

Those of you lucky enough to be signed up for my Night Cap class on Thursday are sure in for a treat stash wise.  Look at all you will be getting through the generosity of various vendors.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you!  In addition to the wonderfully hand-painted canvas and fantastic stitch guide provided by Leigh Designs, you will get John James needles provided by Colonial Needles, Bijoux and Accentuate from Access Commodities, Burmilana from Amy's Keeping Me in Stitches, Watercolours from Caron, Memory Thread from DMC, Braid from Kreinik, Silks, Flair and others from Rainbow Gallery, Silk Ribbon from River Silks, beautiful pearls from Sundance Designs and lovely overdyed floss and pearl from ThreadworX.

I opened this class to 24 students for market although the norm appears to be about 15.  I understand that there are only 3 or 4 seats left  So, if you want to get in this class you better make a B-line to registration and sign up.

I'll look for you there!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

FAST FRIENDS - Scarecrow

Look what is ready for the framer.  This is the last of the trilogy of the Old Crows Workshop that is being scheduled through different shops.  Check with your shop to see if they will bring it in for you. They can contact me through my website or email for details.

This trilogy consists of Night Cap, Squashed and Fast Friends.  Variations are available from the original of some of the canvases as well if you prefer more of an autumn look as opposed to the Halloween look (don't tell Leigh - lol).

Like the others in the series, this design has lots of dimension and texture - straw scarecrow, ribbon leaves, detached stitches, etc., etc.  If you are at Long Beach, stop by Leigh Designs' booth 1359, 1361, 1460, and see all three up close and personal!  If you are taking the Night Cap class on Friday they will be on display there as well.

Okay, I'm off to finishing the stitch guide and preparing for market.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sweetest Tree

All dressed up and ready to got to Long Beach for her debut class.  Isn't she beautiful!  She is scheduled to be taught on Thursday afternoon 12 noon until 2 p.m.  TT208.  Come by and join the fun.

Sweetest Tree has beading, stumpwork, drizzle, twisted lazy daisy, and more.  Lots of fun stitches to add dimension and texture.  You customers will love her and you for showing them all these new stitches.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

We all can use a diversion every (or is it ever?) now and then and I found a fun one at where they are hosting a fun event known as Stitching Games 2013.  

The 'game' involves choosing a canvas (unstitched) that has about 10 identifiable areas in which to stitch.  Once a month we are given a clue.  With this clue we make a decision as to how we will interpret that clue and express it in a stitch, thread, coloring, whatever.  Total freedom.  The January clue is 'shape up.'  Ugh.  That can give some real negative connotations after the holidays huh? Anyway, go read the details and join the fun.

My canvas of choice is a Beau Geste canvas of a santa - what else!  For those of you who do not know, I have a weakness for santas.

My chosen area to represent 'shape up' is the chimney.  I look at this canvas and am trying to see how my santa can possibly get his big butt down this chimney when he obviously hasn't missed a meal and the chimney is a stationary structure that isn't going to expand.  This is how I am currently feeling about several pair of my pants so I can relate totally.

So I must get busy and stitch the chimney and post my results at month's end for all gamers to share.

Come on over and join the fun and I'll meet you there!  Oh, did I mention that there is a prize at the end?

Until later -
Stitch with a Smile!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Good evening everyone.  I just added the capability for you to follow my blog.  Try it out!

I have been very busy the past few days getting kits packed for Market next week.  Gotta get them shipped out soon.  Also working on getting my class material put together.

As soon as I leave Long Beach, I will be taking a short detour over to Quail Run in Scottsdale, AZ.  We will be teaching the Old Crow Series beginning February 5th.  I look forward to returning to Quail Run.  My last teaching experience there was wonderful and I know this trip will have the same result.  Susan's customers will be able to choose from the following designs.  We are going to have fun under the sun!

I'm off to bed now and I'll check back soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Just a quickie - some asked about how to get to the Apple Apps on the iTunes store.  I, too, have difficulty finding what I am looking for sometimes.  So, my webmaster kindly created a QR code for us to use if we have a smart phone.

Try these - one is for Shapes of Needlepoint Series I and the other is for Shapes of Needlepoint Series II.

Just scan it and you will open right up in the Apple App store ready to purchase.

 Isn't that scarily (word?) easy?  Technology is great - if I ever learn how to use it that is.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Precious Shop in a really neat shopping center

The wonderful University Club where classes were held and lunches served.

Partial view of the hard working class - look at all those windows!

Pride wants to make sure it is just right

Alice surprised us with beautiful handmade scissors fobs indicative of the class

Becky is really into making those curls!

Donna's concentration is rewarded with beautiful stitching

Another view of such hard workers - must be a strict teacher

Linda came in from California - I was flattered

Some students stayed after class and ran across the street to grab those last minute things they just had to have!  Ellen is on the left (shop owner extraordinaire!) Let's see - Ellen, BJ, Donna, Linda, Susan, Becky, Jane and Alice - did I get it right?

Now it is very important to place the needle just so (or was I asking what's for lunch?) You can almost see Alice (there were 2), Becky, Linda and Susan.

It always looks so easy when the teacher does it.  Pride, BJ, Alesa, Alice - someone's arm - LOL.  From the looks of the hair I bet it is Becky!

My southern introduction to teaching in Alabama in January!  Snow the size of quarters!  


I had the most wonderful group of students and look forwarding to seeing you all again in September to do the fantastic Old Crow Workshop.

Thank you all for your wonderful support.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wow!  What a wonderful 4 days I have just had.  I just returned from teaching To The Beach hosted by Serendipity Needleworks, Tuscaloosa, AL.  When Ellen asked me to come teach in January, I asked her were her shop was located.  When she said AL I did not hesitate.  South - right?  We had our classes in the magnificent University Club, I believe former Governor's Mansion when Tuscaloosa was capitol, and it was absolutely breathtaking.  Our lunches were served in their dining room and the meals were great.

Well, I don't know where the southern weather went but it wasn't to Tuscaloosa!

That is not a blurry picture - it is huge snowflakes!

Well, fortunately, it was gone in a few hours.  Ice, however, followed.  Not what I was expecting at all!  But all went well anyway.  We had a great class and I will be providing pics real soon (as soon as those who took them will forward some to me).  After all, I was teaching, not taking pictures.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

As I am getting ready to go to the airport to head south, I wanted to make a quick post and share my scarecrow with you.  Although I am heading 'south', Ellen of Serendipity tells me that it is in the low 40s there.  So much for southern weather!  Well, at least I won't have to worry about getting snowed in (maybe).  Maybe working on To The Beach will bring us some warmth.  If not, we'll warm it up with laughter, friendship and a good time sharing a common passion - stitching!

I also forgot to mention in my post yesterday that it was my husband and my 51st wedding anniversary.  I can't believe that time has flown that quickly.  If I am as lucky in the next 50 years (optimistic?) I will indeed be the luckiest person on this earth.  God has been good to me and mine.

Anyway, here is the scarecrow for Leigh Designs Old Crow Series Fast Friends.  Isn't he wonderful?  I had so much fun stitching him and will have just as much fun teaching him.

Be sure to go to my website and see the shops that are hosting this wonderful Old Crow Workshop.  We will be focused on three of the 8 designs in this series:  Night Cap, Squashed and Fast Friends.  Check with your local shop about the possibility of hosting a workshop in your area.  I would love to visit.

Well, I best be getting my coat, tickets and bag and head out the door.

More later.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Starting to gather and pack today for my 3-day class at Serendipity in Tuscaloosa, AL.  I have never been to Tuscaloosa and I am looking forward to it very much.  If the class is anything like their host Ellen, we will have a wonderful time!  To The Beach is alive and well! These gals are well loved by shop owners and their customers all over the country!  It is a very happy class to teach and to attend.  I never tire of it.

Also stitching on my scarecrow for Fast Friends in the Old Crow Series by Leigh Designs.  I love it!  Maybe I'll have a pic I can share later this evening or in the morning before I leave.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Still trying to figure this out guys.  I thought I posted something yesterday but it just kept going around, and around, and around.  Finally gave up and decided to start over this morning.  Anyway . . .

I finished another of the Old Crow series by Leigh Designs and have the stitch guide ready.  Squashed has lots of texture, dimension and fun stitches to keep you from being bored.  The front pumpkin is one that demands attention - can't watch those favorite tv shows and stitch this area.  Or maybe I should say I would not have been able too.

 Squashed is one of the three designs from the series that makes up the Old Crow Workshop that some of the shops are hosting. (Check out the more recent ones at  under Classes f2f.)  Be sure to stop by Leigh Designs booth at Market and see this Series up close and personal.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

 Now that Squashed is on its way to be framed, I get to begin stitching on my favorite one, Fast Friends.  My daughter is coming in this weekend and we always have fun doing a stitching marathon.  Sometimes we are fortunate enough to hook up with some good friends.  Although I say fortunate, I'm not sure the stitching is all that productive.  Eating, conversation and laughter, however, abound!

Off to a day of creating my wonderful, fun scarecrow!

Stitch with a Smile!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

We made it through session 2 of our temari class last night.  It was a little more intense - more so for some than for others - but I think we finally got through where everyone will have a beautifully marked ball ready for the top stitching at our session 3.  They ladies have done a fabulous job on their base and I am very proud of them each and every one.

Although not a very good picture, one of my students (whom I will dub Miss Smarty Pants) decided to bring me a sample of her knowledge - NOT!

(Sorry for the blur but we couldn't be good long enough for the pic to be snapped.)

We moved along quite well, but honestly some people were much too intense on this project.

Now those of you who have taken classes from me before don't you think this is waaaayyyy to serious for my group?

You can tell that several are outside their comfort zone.  Which is what learning is all about - Right?

I had a great time and I can promise you that after session 3 and at the show-and-tell for the meeting after that there will be some absolutely beautiful finished temari for all to be proud of.  Stay tuned for that.

Thanks Debbie for taking some pictures for us to share.

Back to reality.  My thread did not arrive yesterday to finish Squashed which means that I get to have a head start of Fast Friends.  I am so excited.  I'll keep you posted on that as we go along.

Supplies for Serendipity in Tuscaloosa, AL for the upcoming To The Beach class were shipped out last night and now to review the slide show, go over class notes, teaching plan, somewhere in there I am supposed to be thinking of personal packing (I think - but we all know that is secondary).

Starting to gather/pack items for the kits for TNNA Long Beach the end of the month.  They need to arrive in Long Beach before the 28th, so I will hit that hard after I return from Serendipity.

That's it for today.

Stitch with a Smile!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Boy am I bad on the computer with this kind of technical stuff!  I have tried to adjust the pic in the heading some but I obviously need to keep working.  So I will say that this is a work in progress and it is hard to tell what you will be greeted with each time you visit.

Today I hope to finish Squashed of the Old Crow Series from Leigh Designs.  I am almost sitting on the doorstep hoping the thread I need will arrive.  If not, then I will need to wait until tomorrow to finish this one.

Never fear, however!  I have the wonderful Fast Friends to keep me occupied.  I know this is going to be a fun, fun piece to stitch.  Do you somehow get the feeling that I love my work?

I have to change gears here in a few hours.  I will be teaching the second session of a three-session lesson in Temari to the local ANG Chapter.  This is really a one-day class but since we only have a couple of hours after the meeting we needed to break it up.  It works out well this way for us.  We had so much fun with the first session I'm afraid to see what we'll end up doing tonight.  It is an introductory class to temari.  I am teaching 2 designs.  One is mine and one I have purchased permission from Barbara Suess to teach her Morning Glory design.  Here are the pics.  One is an S6 and the other is an S8.  The black one is Golden Royale and is an S6 marked ball.

The blue one is by Barbara Suess entitled Morning Glory and is an S8 marked ball. 

Aren't they pretty?

Well I'll be off to waiting for my thread until time to hit the shower for our fun adventure tonight.  Have a great evening all and be sure to Stitch with a Smile! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Okay, those of you who have actually found this place, could you please tell me how I can make the Ladybug photo less tall?  I've pushed every design button I can find and still can't manage.

Everybody's doing it - right?  Well, I have a blog on my website but I can't make myself go through the steps to post my thoughts immediately.  So, I thought I might try this.  No promises.

Anyway, I look at blogs as tremendous devourers of time.  I enjoy reading them tremendously but when I do so the next thing I notice is that I have a lost a big chunk of valuable time from my morning (mostly).  Believe me, like most of us, I cannot afford to have a big chunk of non-productive time on my plate.

I'm approaching this blog as a way to sorta document some of my thoughts and/or intentions and then maybe be able to share along the way how various projects are born, expanded, trashed, etc.

Right now, for instance, I am currently working on stitch guides for the Old Crow Series by Leigh Designs.  Currently alive, published and well is the Night Cap.  Night Cap will be taught at TNNA Long Beach in a few weeks and for a max. class of 24, there are only 5 slots left last time I checked.

This guide is available through your LNS or me (but I haven't gotten it posted in my Online Shop yet.  Another thing on my to-do list.

I am finishing up today/tonight the Squashed version of this series.  Here's a sneak peak of the final steps.  I ran out of thread so waiting for its arrival which is scheduled for tomorrow.

Fast Friends is mounted on the stretcher bars and patiently waiting their turn.  Threads are pulled and my mind is going crazy wanting to get my ideas finalized on the canvas.  I really wanted to stitch them first, but have saved them as a reward for finishing the other two first.

Good news is that  there are Old Crow weekend workshops being scheduled all over the country.  The most current ones are - Quail Run, Scottsdale, AZ - February, The Needle Works, Austin, TX - June, and Bedecked and Beadazzled, Baltimore, MD - August.  Check them out and come join us for the fun.

Proposals are flying out the door this week.  Deadlines have piled up all of a sudden.

And lastly for today, I am making final preparations for my class at Serendipity Needleworks in Tuscaloosa, AL, which is next week.  We are teaching a favorite To The Beach.

Okay, enough for today.  Have a great day and Stitch with a Smile!