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.
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.
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.
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.