Major Blogging to Do

Oh my gosh do I have major blogging to do!  So much has happened.  I’ve neglected my blog because I’ve been so busy stitching exchanges and so busy at work.  I have all my exchanges behind me now at least (well I’m waiting for one to arrive but that’s all).  I was nuts.  I had 4 exchanges due about the same time.  I think I’m going to take a break from exchanges for a while though because I need to stitch on stuff for me.  So this blog entry is going to be about my exchanges, my stitching progress and goals, and my Spooky Stitcher’s Hideaway retreat that I went to!

First off…  my exchanges…

I already posted about the beautiful fob that Carol made for me.  That was for the HOE Halloween Exchange.  For that exchange I decided to stitch the Blackbird Designs piece from the JCS Halloween issue.  I turned it into a floss tag.  Erin says she really likes it!  Floss tag finishes are kind of new to me so I’m not entirely sure how to do them.  I have a set of grommet pliers which I used to do the finishing.  Here’s my finished piece.

HOE Halloween Exchange to Erin

HOE Halloween Exchange to Erin

I think it came out okay!  It was really a fun stitch.  I stitched it on a piece of Lambswool Jobelan.  Usually I can’t stand Jobelan but I think it worked well with this piece.

My Lizzie Kate exchange is still en route to a faraway land so I can’t show a picture of what I stitched yet.  But, I can show what I received!  I’m so lucky.  Mary Jo stitched By Golly Be Jolly OVER ONE.  Holy Cow.  It’s gorgeous.  It will go on my tree this year but in between it’s going in my curio because it’s too beautiful to put away.

LK Exchange from Mary Jo

LK Exchange from Mary Jo

I’m still waiting on the BeCAUSE It’s Pink exchange to arrive.  Waiting very impatiently…  I can’t wait to see what I’m getting.  But I heard from April that she received the floss pouch I made her.  I’m quite proud of the finishing on this one.  I chose a freebie design from Romy in Austria and I stitched it using Carrie’s Threads on Carnation Pink Cashel Linen.  A wonderful lady from my Sampler Makers guild group gave me some Breast Cancer awareness fabric that I used for finishing.  Wasn’t that nice of her?  The floss pouch closes with velcro.

BeCAUSE It's Pink Exchange for April

BeCAUSE It's Pink Exchange for April (front)

Here’s the back.  I attached two bows as decoration.

BeCAUSE It's Pink Exchange (back)

BeCAUSE It's Pink Exchange (back)

My fourth exchange that I stitched was for the Spooky retreat…  I stitched a little freebie design that I found and turned it into a scissor fob.  The design was stitched on light purple linen.  My friend Cherie got my fob and I really hope she likes it!

Spooky Exchange Scissor Fob

Spooky Exchange Scissor Fob

For that exchange I received a really gorgeous pin.  It was made from a Brightneedle design.  Very fitting considering Ann Petit was teaching us at the retreat!  Isn’t this gorgeous?

Spooky Retreat Exchange

Spooky Retreat Exchange

I have so many things in my curios now.  I thought I’d share a picture.  There are some baskets and boxes and such that I still need to do the stitching on.  Otherwise it’s full of mostly wonderful things that people have made for me.  There are some things that I’ve stitched in there too.  I need to stitch on some of the things that go in the boxes to make it complete.  For example I have all 3 of the Primitive Stitches chests.  I also have Abigail Colby that I need to stitch and Jeannette Douglas’s My Stitching Treasures.  I have a total of 3 curios and they are pretty jammed.  Not sure where I could fit a fourth but if I get my behind in gear and do some of my class projects I’ll need another curio.

The two tall curios are in my dining room.

Dining Room Curio #1

Dining Room Curio #1

Dining Room Curio #2

Dining Room Curio #2

The Dining Room curios have lights in the top but I need an eletrician since I don’t have outlets there.

My third curio is smaller and is in my stitching room.

Stitching Room Curio

Stitching Room Curio

Notice the empty box for My Stitching Treasures in the bottom!  Yikes…  I need to stitch my stash.

So I think I’ve decided to take a break from exchanges.  That’s been most of my stitching this year.  I have decided instead to finish two designs I’m working on then focus on finishing up class pieces (guess in that case I’d need another curio!  but I’ll wait until I finish some stuff).  I’m so close to being done on Shepherd’s Bush Sail Away and I’m a third of the way through Mirabilia Sunflower Fairy.

Here’s Mirabilia Sunflower Fairy.  I’m using the Valdani threads as charted and stitching it on a pretty piece of Sassy’s Fabby (can’t remember the color though).  I have a little to do on the bottom and then the Fairy. 

Mirabilia Sunflower Fairy WIP

Mirabilia Sunflower Fairy WIP

I just realized I left the needle in the picture.  Oops!   Here’s a picture of my progress on Shepherd’s Bush Sail Away.  I’ve been doing this as a SAL.  The SAL is over and I’m almost done.  I have to stitch the little boat and lighthouse and then do a couple of bands on the bottom.

Shepherd's Bush Sail Away WIP

Shepherd's Bush Sail Away WIP

It’s been a wonderfully fun stitch.  I love seeing the house on the hill appearing.  I changed the colors of the large flower stems and the color of one of the fishes so that they would show up better.

Loraine from the SAL made beautiful needlebooks for us.  It was so sweet.  She is so creative!  It was sewn with a sampler fabric and she hand appliqued a little boat on the inside.  This SAL was so much fun.  I hope Terri and Loraine run another.

Here’s the beautiful needlebook that I received.

Sail Away Needlebook Inside

Sail Away Needlebook Inside

Sail Away Needlebook Outside

Sail Away Needlebook Outside

Getting ready for the retreat entailed lots of stitching of exchanges and lot of SEWING!  I made my little sister a tote bag for her birthday.  I used Marcus fabrics in a color scheme I knew she’d like.  The totes are getting easier now that I’ve done a few.

Tote Bag for Leigh

Tote Bag for Leigh

I need to try another pattern soon.  I love working with charm squares though.  I have more patterns for totes…  I just haven’t tried them out.  I also want to try some wallets since I have fusible velcro that my mother found for me.

For the Spooky Stitcher’s Hideaway retreat, my group of friends decided that we were going to make something for each of us going.  There were 8 of us!  I made something for Marcia too since she had to pull out last minute and was disappointed that she couldn’t go.  I decided to make everyone ort bags out of Halloween fabric.  I made one for myself too because out of all of the ort bags that I’ve made this year I don’t have one!  Here’s a tower of ort bags…  I think they came out cute!

Tower of Ort Bags

Tower of Ort Bags

I don’t think I want to make another one for a while…  LOL…  I got kind of orted out.  I think most of the fabrics were Moda.  I had a bunch of fat squares so I got to put them to good use.

Elizabeth and I arrived in Mystic really late on Thursday so we all decided to do gifts in the morning.  I was in an awkward position where I was sitting so I wasn’t able to get good pictures of everyone.  My pictures look like only JLee got presents!  That’s far from the truth.  LOL.

This is a picture of JLee (left) and Denise K (right).  Denise is opening a sweatshirt that Denise B made.  Denise B has an embroidery business and she gave us all sweatshirts and a great tote bag!

Opening Spooky Presents

Opening Spooky Presents - JLee and Denise K

Here’s a very excited JLee holding up presents.  She excited easily.  LOL.  Gotta love her.

JLee with some presents

JLee with some presents

Okay…  so another picture of JLee…  see I told you!  She was in front of my camera.  I had to take this one though since she’s holding the ort bag I made for her.

JLee and her ort bag

JLee and her ort bag

I swear!  The rest of us were there too!

I do have to show pictures of all of the wonderful gifts.

Here’s a picture of everything together that I received from my friends.

Spooky Gifts

Spooky Gifts

Look at that sweatshirt! It has a frog on it!  The tote bag came in hugely handy because I put my new stash in it.  It says Spooky Weekend 2009.  The basket is from my friend Maryann.  The liner is so great…  it has pockets!  I used it all weekend.  I kept my needle packages in the pockets and everything else fit so perfectly.  Here’s the inside of the basket.

Basket from Maryann

Basket from Maryann

And here are better pictures of the sweatshirt and tote bag from Denise B.

Spooky Sweatshirt from Denise B

Spooky Sweatshirt from Denise B

Spooky Tote Bag from Denise B

JLee started the gift giving idea by telling everyone that she was going to make fobs for each of us.  Yeah!  I brought my black Dovos with me for her fob specifically.  She changed up the Just Nan design from the JCS Halloween issue.  Now the spooky frog has an S on it for my name.  She is a wonderful finisher too.  I have several things that she’s made and I love them all.

Spooky Fob from JLee

Spooky Fob from JLee

Patti made us each a needlebook.  She used a pattern from Colonial Designs.  It came out so cute!  I think she is probably sick of the design by now though.  The inside has little felt pages and it ties with orange and black cording.  She stitched it on yellow linen (her favorite).

Needlebook from Patti

Needlebook from Patti

Denise K also chose to stitch something for the exchange.  She made us each a pincushion.  I used it during class so that I wouldn’t lose my needle.  She filled it with crushed walnut shells.  Apparently you can get about a 5 or 6 pound bag pretty cheaply on the reptile row at the local pet store.  LOL.  Hey, it works!  It has weight to it and feels like a beanbag.

Pin Cushion from Denise K

Pin Cushion from Denise K

Elizabeth made us each a fabric covered box.  I LOVE it.  It’s covered with purple Halloween fabric.  I don’t know how she got it to fit so perfectly either.  The top just slides so neatly on the bottom.  Elizabeth is a master finisher though.  Isn’t the box just the best?  It has a scary spider on top.

Fabric covered box from Elizabeth

Fabric covered box from Elizabeth

And here’s the ort bag that I ended up with.  It was very handy during the class!

My Ort Bag

My Ort Bag

The class that we were taking was Ghoulies and Ghosties by Brightneedle (Ann Petit).  I have been wanting to do this class for some time.  You make a little etui, all over-1 of course.  As a freebie, Ann included a matching chart for a petite biscornu and a pin cushion.  I think I might have to stuff my pin cushion with walnut shells.

Here’s the design that we were stitching.

Brightneedle Ghoulies and Ghosties

Brightneedle Ghoulies and Ghosties

For class I was all prepared with my new goodies from my friends!

My workstation in class

My workstation in class

Doesn’t the scissor fob go great with my scissors?

My new Spooky Scissor Fob

My new Spooky Scissor Fob

The other ladies in class were all so nice.  There was a group from California who were especially festive.  They all showed up in wigs with cool bags that they handmade.

Spooky California Girls & Sue

Spooky California Girls & Sue

That’s Sue on the left.  She ran the retreat and I have to say is a PRO at retreats.  Not to mention she is really fun.

I took some pictures of the bags that the California girls made.  They sewed the totes together and then used fusible applique to add spooky accents.  The best parts were the battery powered lights and when you open the door, it plays spooky music.  For the spooky music, they used cards from the Hallmark store.  How creative is that?  Here are some pictures.  Go ahead and drool…  I did!

Spooky Bag Front

Spooky Bag Front

Spooky Bag Back

Spooky Bag Back

Spooky Bag Side

Spooky Bag Side

Spooky Bag Other Side

Spooky Bag Other Side

I sat in back which was fine with me!  I had an outlet and the table was bigger.  Here’s a picture of the rest of the class.

Spooky Class

Spooky Class

The lady right in front of me with the light turquoise shirt was the one who stitched my exchange piece.

We stitched on the piece for two days.  I didn’t seem to get a whole lot done though.  I decided to work on the pin cushion.  Here’s my progress so far.

Ghoulies and Ghosties Pin Cushion

Ghoulies and Ghosties Pin Cushion

Elizabeth finished her pin cushion while we were there for the weekend but then again she has turbo needles.

Here’s a picture of the little biscornu that Ann gave us (hers is finished of course!)

Ghoulies and Ghosties Biscornu

Ghoulies and Ghosties Biscornu

Throughout the two days, Sue handed out door prizes left and right.  I ended up with 4 door prizes.  What really impressed me is that Sue includes an addressed and stamped thank you card with each door prize so that you can send a thank you to the donor.  How great is that?

I ended up getting Victoria Sampler Fall Seasonal Bitty Buttons with thread pack, Blue Ribbon Designs Six Bats and a Witches Hat (signed by Belinda) and two Stitchy Kitty designs… Meowy Halloween and Halloween Kitty Moon.  I won one of them because out of everyone in the room I have the most cats.  LOL.  Yes, there are 9.  Yes, that’s a lot of litter boxes.  But a retreat means a vacation from litter box scooping so the weekend was extra special!

My Door Prizes

My Door Prizes

Ann also gave us freebies.  This picture doesn’t do it justice but she gave us a little kit called Good for the Gander.  You stitch the design and tuck it into the prefinished tuck pillow.  Ann also passed out charts.  I got House on Booberry Lane.  yeah!

Kit from Ann Petit

Kit from Ann Petit

I did take advantage of Ann being there since she was selling some class kits.  I was able to buy Long Leggitie Beasties (companion to Ghoulies and Ghosties) and London Cool Cats.  I’m really excited!

Brightneedle Long Leggitie Beasties

Brightneedle Long Leggitie Beasties

Brightneedle London Cool Cats

Brightneedle London Cool Cats

Brightneedle Kit Contents

Brightneedle Kit Contents

I also did some stash shopping although I was pretty good in the shop.  I didn’t go overboard.  I got Shepherd’s Bush Scaredy Sheep Fob kit, Milady’s Needle Halloween Rules, Blackbird Designs Midnight Watch, Blackbird Designs Joyeaux Noel and Barbara Ann Designs Bootcornu (comes with fabric and is SO cute).

My New Stash from the Spooky Weekend

My New Stash from the Spooky Weekend

The evening of the first night we went to a mystery spooky enactment at the Mystic Seaport.  I was worried it might be too scary but instead it was more role play and a lot of fun.

The second night we did our exchange.  I already showed what I received but I wanted to show pictures of all of the beautiful things that all the stitchers made.

Spooky Exchange Gifts

Spooky Exchange Gifts

More Spooky Exchange Gifts

More Spooky Exchange Gifts

In all there were 20 stitchers who participated in the exchange.

In all it was such a wonderful retreat.  I love being with my friends and we had the best time.

Here’s a picture of us all with Sue and Ann Petit.

Group Photo!

Group Photo!

The top row from the left is Ann, me, JLee, Elizabeth and Denise B.  In the front from the left is Maryann, Denise K, Cherie and Patti.  That’s Sue in the front.

I can’t wait for another retreat!

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6 Responses

  1. Oh my gosh – this post made my head spin and I went through the pictures over and over. You may not have been blogging, but you look like you’ve been having a great time. And you definitely have been busy! Your finishes look great, and all your stash looks wonderful. And the retreat looks like it was so much fun!!!

  2. Wow what a post! I’ll just leave it at “wish I was you”! lol

  3. Yhank you for sharing so much – your enthusiasm just shines through.

    Your productivity puts me to shame, though!

  4. Oh boy, there’s SO MUCH! What a great time that seems to have been–lucky girl to attend such a gathering! Glad you had a ball. Oh and I LOOOOVEEE those ort bags!

  5. Stacy,

    I love reading your blog. I love my fob that you made me. The pumpkin is so cute and the fabric is purple my favorite color. I also just love my Ort Bag. Thanks so much. Looking forward to another retreat together with the “Jersey Girls”

    Cherie

  6. I love all the pictures. What great friends you have collected.
    Would you tell me where the ort bag pattern is from? I’ve seen several of them made up, but no luck finding a pattern.
    An avid quilter/cross stitcher

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