Thursday, April 26, 2012


April  has been a great month and it ain't over yet !  Since April is my birth month - I have been celebrating all month long it seems.  I have some stitching WIP's to show you - a couple of new purchases and a couple of birthday gifts from friends.  Next post I will try to remember to take a photo of the beautiful pendant my mom got for me but more about that later.

April has really been a blur with lots going on every single weekend.  April 7th my DF Katie and I went to Savannah and gave a program for the Fiber Guild of Savannah.  I gave a lecture on the history of rug hooking and Katie followed with an intro to the tools and techniques of rug hooking.  It was followed by a  3 hour mini workshop on how to hook.  There were 22 at the lecture and 15 participated in the class so we had our hands full.   What a great group and they have a permanent home on Oatland Island at the Wildlife Center not too far from downtown Savannah.  WHY did I not get any photos of the event - it was housed in a 1926 structure that looks like a gigantic red brick school with huge gothic columns - they have a large room upstairs where they do weaving spinning and so forth.  We were downstairs in a lovely location.  We hope to partner with this group in the fall and maybe do a Fiber/Hook In.  After the lecture - we beat feet downtown to shop and have dinner in the historic district.  Katie had not spent much time in Savannah so we had a great time driving around the squares.  It was Easter weekend so the town was packed.  We wanted to visit a specific shop so I could introduce Katie to Visible Faith and Waxing Poetic jewelry.  Yep I know - my name is BI (bad influence)  Let's just say she was properly introduced LOL.  With the yarn and needlepoint shops I love being already closed - we were forced to do all our shopping in that one little shop - Terra Cotta is a cute little nook of a shop on Barnard St if you ever get to Savannah.  Spending some degree of time in Savannah when I travel there for business - I have my fave restaurants too - Imagine my delight to discover that one of my faves Circa 1875 was just down the alley from Terra Cotta.  Of course we could not get seated on a Saturday night with no reservation  but we did snag a wonderful window seat in the bar.  Our meal was to die for - so much so we had to get a pedi cab back to the parking garage.  I was joking with Katie that some poor 20 year old beanpole college student would be there soon to pick us up and sure enough that is exactly what arrived.  Poor kid having to lug two big middle aged overweight women thru all that traffic but it was better than walking.

The following Saturday 4/14 was my actual birthday.  We had decided a long time ago to go to one of our favorite day trip destinations.  Mt Dora/Garden Gate Tearoom/A Stitchers Dream -  when we arrived at ASD - DF Carol was waiting with fresh homemade cranberry scones, strawberry jam, real butter, hot coffee, cream and hugs for everyone.  I was so shocked - not shocked at her kindness because Carol is one of my dearest and most treasured friends but just shocked at all the trouble she went to since she lives an hour away from Mt Dora.  Sad news awaited us - the shopowner informed us that she was going to have to close the shop.  Her 4th year in business was the worst yet with sales down 50% - she had no choice but to close her doors.  It really put a damper on the day since that is the closest stitching shop to us (2 hours away) oh there are several needlepoint shops as close or closer but most of them do not carry any samplers, linen or anything for sampler lovers.  We broke for lunch at the wonderful Garden Gate Tearoom - it was quite bittersweet as I lamented as to whether we might not ever make it back that way again.  quite sad a thought indeed.

Since my DM and I were too tired to stick to our original plans of picking up my dad and Jody and heading to the lake for the weekend - we just ended up meeting them for pizza half way between our house and the lake but agreed we would meet the following day for a birthday celebration meal and afternoon of relaxing on my folks porch overlooking the lake.  Blue Water Bay is one of our favorite seafood restaurants - it is not too far from my folks house and about 30 east of Gainesville.  After our great meal - I wanted to visit this unusual place Shake Rag which is soooo cool - we spent at least an hour walking around looking at all the beautiful artisan crafts.  Pottery, mosiacs, painting of all types, jewelry (yes my fave), wood turned items - this was a church which was started by a woman who wanted to be a minister and her traditional faith would not allow it so she built this church and pastored it for many years.  They also hold concerts there and while it is quite a ways from our house - we certainly hope to attend a concert there in the future.  The final touch to the birthday celebration was a fabulous chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream frosting and fresh strawberries in the layers and 3 chocolate dipped strawberries on top as a garnish.  Bakery Moderne  is a favorite lunch spot of mine - it is near the office and she has fresh homemade soup every day - great pastries and other sweets.  Natalie the owner did a superb job on my birthday cake - wish I had a photo but I just wasn't thinking "blog fodder" at the time.

This great looking group is the owners of the company I work for - the Lynch family - Mr and Mrs Hal Lynch are in their 80's and they are so much fun.  Their two sons Bob and Bill are running the company now but Mr L plays an active role in advising and keeping everyone on their toes.  They are standing in front of the Timuquana Country Club where we are blessed to be taken every year on our birthdays.  I could not be luckier to work for this awesome family.
 I had to show a couple of photos of birthday gifts.  DF Carol surprised me with the BBD book "for my Friend" and a beautiful piece of 35ct linen when we met in Mt Dora.  It has some great projects and I can't wait to start a couple I earmarked as "must do"
 This beautiful Tanta scarf was knitted for me by DF Henrietta - I've had it for a while since she wanted me to be able to use it before all the cool weather was gone.  it is a lovely Ella Rae yarn.  Henri is a beautiful knitter and I love this design.
Here is a close up that shows the color off a little more and the beautiful sawtooth border.

I felt I must show a couple of WIP's lest you think I don't stitch any more but just write long boring blog posts.  Here is a photo of Part I of Elizabeth Milner - the sampler that Theresa at Shakespeares Peddler is doing as a gift with purchase every month in 6 parts.  Yes I am behind as usual but I am so far really enjoying this sampler.  The colors of overdyed silk Theresa chose are awesome.  Mine is being stitched on 36ct Lakeside Vintage Porcelain.

 Next up is Peter and Peep by With Thy Needle and Thread - however all you see here one big flower and a wheel  - no Peter and no Peep (sigh) at this late date - I am doubting P&P will be making an appearance until next spring when I haul them out to play again.  Besides SADD (Stitchers ADD) I really like to stitch in the season and sadly the seasons come and go before I am able to get a finish in most cases.  Oh well - it's the journey that counts with me.  this is being stitched with the called for GAST and on 36ct R&R French Vanilla.
Another favorite shop of mine is Attic Needlework  -  I have visited the Attic in person so it is always a pleasure to work with Jean.  She puts out a great weekly newsletter that keeps everyone drooling and not to mention what is new and exciting in the world of samplers.  Jean always tempts me terribly with her beautiful sampler of the month offerings.  The April SOM was just too wonderful to pass up.  I did not recall seeing the Hands to Work design "I Wait for the Lord" by Tracy Rifle.  Jean gave all sorts of tempting linen and silk choices in the newsletter and I finally settled on a selection Jean and I collaborated on - 36ct Colorscapes Earthen with Gloriana Florimell new color Hazelnut.  OOH LA LA - I hope you have all tried Florimell - I have to give a plug here - I adore Soie d' Alger - it is my favorite solid colored silk - I love the plumpness so imagine my sqeee of delight when Anne started dyeing this beautiful base.

 A girl has gotta give herself a Happy Birthday present right - Well - I could NOT resist Jeans doodlings with GiGi Ree's Virginie Grimeoux french sampler.  OMGOSH - another great Colorscapes linen - I think it is called Dill if I remember correctly.  I was waiting for the silks but they arrived today YIPPEE - I did not want to hold up my post to get a photo but suffice to say that Jean's conversion using all kinds of yummy silks including the awesome Florimell just made my day.
The month is not yet over.  In the morning my Mom and I and DF Kerrie are leaving for St Simons Island GA.  We will be "retreating" with our rug guild and a few friends who are not members of our rug guild - heck a couple of them are not even hookers LOL - So there will hopefully be another post soon on the final chapter of April Adventures of 2012. 


Margaret said...

Sounds like a happy birthday month indeed! Such a bummer about the LNS though. :( I worry about my LNS too -- I know last year was tough on them as well. Love your new stash and your WIPs. And the lovely knitted gift from your friend. So cool about giving rug hooking talks and demos as well. I've found that there's a rug hooking group not that far away from me. They're winding down for the summer, but I'm hoping come September perhaps I will take some classes and finally learn to hook! :D Happy belated birthday!

Keeper of the Crowes said...

Whew, I'm tried just reading this post!!! LOL! I'm so happy that you had such a wonderful birthday, filled with family, friends, and stash!!! Love your wips!!!!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Oh my gosh! What a great newsy post although I'm still thinking about that chocolate cake topped with strawberries. drool....

Sounds like you had so much fun and your post just sounds happy!

You got some wonderful gifts (love the scarf) and I know spending time with friends and family was a great thing.

I'm going to have to investigate the jewelry you mentioned - the name is new to me so I'll have to check it out.

Happy belated birthday, Mel!!!!

Laurie in Iowa said...

You've had a wonderful birthday month and I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself. It's so sad to hear of another LNS closing. I'm envious of all your lovely new stash and your current WIPs are all ones I'd like to be stitching too!

Cari said...

Oh my gosh Mel...what a wonderful birthday post indeed!! Happy Birthday !!! You have had one fan-tabulous birthday month so far.... Whoo Hoo. Henri's scarf is lovely...just like Henri !! She is such a sweet gal. I love your Attic samplers too. I think jean could drive me right to the poor house...ok ...I do a pretty good job of driving myself there with her lovely, tempting samplers. Love, love, love your selections!! Can't wait to hear all about your next adventures. Hugs dear friend and have a simply fabulous week!!

Rugs and Pugs said...

Mel ~
What a post! Happy belated birthday to you.
Great wip's! I don't know that I could stitch on 36 count linen. Everything is beautiful!
Have fun hooking!
Pug hugs :)

Katrina said...

Sounds like a fun, fun birthday month to me!!!! Love your present from Carol and all your WIPS and knitted pieces. Have fun with your mom and your friend at your rug retreat!!!! I have a small group of friends that I do stitching days and weekends with, it's such a good time :-).

Penelope's Beehive said...

Happy BEE-lated birthday to you Mel! I am pleased to know that you have enjoyed a fab-U-lous birthday month! Good heavens, you ARE the globe-trotter!
Thank you for sharing your fun, and taking me along on your adventures from the comfort of my is always such a delight to visit your bloggy corner fo the world.
Enjoy working on all of your lovelies!
Hugs from my beehive,

geeky Heather said...

Happy belated birthday, Mel! Sounds like you had a fabulous time. =) What a cute tea room that is!! Do they lend you the hats to wear???

Poussy Stitches My Love said...

Bon 1 er Mai

bisous de FRANCE

Loraine said...

Happy very Birthday Mel! Sounds like a wonderful month for sure, and I love all of your goodies that you got! Gotta love the Attic, and her wonderful samplers. I can sure relate. :)

Karoline said...

Wow, you have been busy! Your birthday trip sounds wonderful although its a shame about your LNS

You got some lovely gifts and stash and your wips look great