Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I have been trying to eek out a blog post for a couple of weeks now. I take a bunch of photos of nothing important and then time slips away and I don't get the post done (sigh) - Now Thanksgiving is upon us and I am still struggling to do a post. I am still in the office and there is NOTHING going on so I thought I could maybe whip out a post and wish all my friends in the US a happy turkey day !

My folks will be coming up tonight and will spend a couple of nights with us. It will just be the 4 of us but we'll enjoy preparing and eating our meal just as if we had 12 at our table. We've always had a very small group for holidays since I am an only child and have no children. Anyway - I am working from home Friday so I almost have a 4 day to look forward to . Saturday is sampler guild and that is a fun afternoon to visit with friends and get some serious stitching done in between eating snacks, drinking coffee and chatting about eating too much over the holiday LOL.

OK - I just have to say I HATE whatever change blogger made to posting photos - it is SOOO much harder now to manipulate the photos - makes me dread having to do it which means I seem to be posting less and we all know that these posts are all about the photos. SO ........... without further ado - I am going to show you some great photos from my trip last weekend to Sweet Savannah - that was almost my blog post title but since I ran right into turkey time - that won out for a title.

Last weekend Jody and I went to Savannah - I had some business to take care of so it was a mix of work and pleasure but pleasures abound in Sweet Savannah.

We had a marvelous dinner on Friday night in the historic area at Local 11 Ten which is housed in an old 50's bank building. It was a very posh expensive restaurant but the food was excellent and we actually had a friendly accomodating server. I find that many times in this type of trendy restaurant - the server somehow didn't get the message that "he was serving" - it's like they are doing a favor by visiting your table and dropping off some food. there is no semblance of "service" to be had by this type of "server" I just get tired of this type of attitude and I'm sure you can all relate. Anyway this was a very pleasant experience.
Saturday - we putzed around and enjoyed our room at the Residence Inn - I actually slept fairly well and we already knew we were heading straight to Soho Cafe down town.  I've featured them before so I won't bore you again but here is Jody perusing their artwork.

 Can't you just see this portrait in one of those huge victorian mansions.
  We had a lovely lunch - I think we both had the crabcake sandwich which is really done right here at Soho.  I am picky about crabcakes and not everyone does them or Shrimp and Grits well but this place does for sure.

In the next block down from Soho is one of my fave yarn shops in the whole world - Wild Fibre
I had already prepped Jody for a visit to a new needlepoint shop and did not elude to a visit to any more local haunts.  He knows how I can spend hours and mucho bucks in any yarn shop but I did manage a quick perusal and got a chance to say hi to the gals that own the shop.  I knew they were a participating shop for Yarns on Stage - these are a collection of limited edition sock yarns from wonderful companies both mainstream and indie dyers.  I was under pressure to grab something quick and  hit  the local needlepoint shop before Jody ran out of patience.  He was running a bit thin since our lunch required over a 30 min wait.  His personal limit is 15 but I got an extension because "hey it's sweet savannah" !  Anyway here is the beautiful skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in Sweet Pea - have no idea what I will do with it - there is enough yardage for a small shawlette - so we'll see what I can find to do with it.
So now - the real treat of this post - There is a marvelous new needlepoint shop in the historic district - The French Knot -

 What a fantastic shop !!!!!!!  Everything about this shop exudes elegance and taste.  It was rather difficult to find on Whitaker Street which is one way with no street parking.  I got good advice from the owner of Wild Fibre to park on Jones and walk the 1/2 block to the shop which is actually facing an alley off Whitaker.  Anyway - it was definitely worth taking the time to find.

You can read about Audrey the owner on her website so I won't belabor those who are not interested in needlepoint.

Threads anyone?
Oh my goodness - her walls of threads were just awesome - she had several brands of silk such as Planet Earth that I had been wanting to see.  I like the fact they were arranged in color families - and the canvas selection was no less stunning.

She had all these gorgeous built in cabinets all around the perimeter of the shop.  All filled with awesome finished items and artfully displayed accessories and canvases.

Such a beautiful place.  I can't wait to go back and am already schedule to take her ornament finishing class next month.  I only have to get the ornament completed LOL

Here are some gorgeous threads I pulled for my Autumn House canvas.  Audrey had some great suggestions for fibers to finish up my stitching adventure on that canvas.

Well friends - that concludes my pre-turkey day visit with you - hope you enjoyed your tour of the French Knot.  Wishing you the best of holidays with you and yours.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


This post is all about our adventure to A Stitchers Dream in Mt Dora.  I arranged for our sampler guild to attend a class Karen the shop owner was teaching on simple ornament finishing.  We had great participation from our group - 8 members from the NE FL group attended.  We got up at the butt crack of dawn and headed down thru the Ocala National forest for a day of fun food and friends.  We met at Starbucks - got all "fueled" up on caffeine and headed off.  It was a beautiful cool day -   
I think there were 11 people in the class.  Karen did a great job of helping and providing suggestions for each person's ornament. 

We broke for lunch and headed to downtown Mt Dora for a lovely leisurely lunch at the Garden Gate Tearoom.  Everyone throughly enjoyed their selection and we decided on the next trip down (there will definitely be a next trip) that we will do the high tea instead of lunch.

 My DM Jane was the only one who finished her ornament in class - doesn't she look proud !
Here is a close up of the Prairie Schooler ornament from the JCS Halloween issue several years ago.  She used Watercolors for the twisted cord edging and stitched with the recommended DMC colors on aida.
Humble beginnings on my BBD ornament - this one is from the Joyeux Noel book from last year. There are so many things in that book I want to stitch.

I am SOOO proud of my finish - I am "finishing" challenged for sure and this was the first ornament I have ever finished.  However I screwed up big time and therefore had to get creative with the trim.  I cut the linen too short to properly fold over and anchor down - therefore I eneded up having to lace my linen to the plastic canvas which Karen recommends for simple finishing like this.  It worked out OK except a narrow edging would not cover up my huge pulled stitches.  Anyway - true confessions on my blog - You can see those big stitches I had to use to " lace" the linen to the plastic canvas in the photo above.

A close up shot  - I send out big hugs and good karma to DF Teresa who dug into her magic box and found this lovely gauzey wide ribbon that worked perfectly for this little piece.  I converted the colors in this ornament to Belle Soie. I used PTP Dill linen called for in the book - not sure of the count.  I am SOOO pleased with my first ornament finish and I definitely gained the confidence to try this method again.
Here is DF Ellen hard at work on her ornament.

DF Kerrie holding up her ornament from the newest JCS Christmas issue - the ornament is by Milady's Needle. I was hoping to show the finished ornaments from our whole group.  Maybe some of them will send me photos so I can post them and share them with you all.
I did take a few other photos but for some reason - if you make any wrong moves at all with importing these photos - you can't do anything but start all over - AAACKKKK - I find this so annoying so I just had to leave off a couple of shots of the whole table full of class participants.

While I had the Joyeux Noel book out - I decided to start the little Merry Christmas pin pillow - I think I was just itchy to start something new since I finished something .

Until we meet again - I hope ornaments abound around your place too !

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Happy November !  I fully intended to get a post out for Happy Halloween but that did not happen.  Before Halloween 2010 becomes a distant memory - I wanted to show you my Salem House from Liberty Hill.  I was SOOOO excited to get this about a week before Halloween so I could display and enjoy it.  I have it sitting on my antique sewing table.  It is one of my favorite LH pieces so far.  My number one fave is my personalized primitive Angel work box - I should show that one some time.  The top comes off this house and stores your goodies - I'm sure it would also store a small project if you wanted to use it as a work box of sorts.  The tiny house scissor adornment is just darling and the church thread minder is so pretty.  The pumpkin thread winder is from another LH set but it looked good there with the Salem House items.  All sides of the house are painted - It is a great piece.
The next "house" is an updated shot of my Autumn House.  I am still loving working on this although coming up with the stitches for different areas is a challenge.  I think I already said but I am using a mix of fibers - wool/wool blends/silk/cotton and even silk chenille in this piece. 

This is a closer shot of the right side of the canvas - this house and surrounding fields are finished except for the two fields to the left of the house - they are repeats of fields already stitched so I guess the challenge was not there to come up with something different for them.
Here is a close up of the left side of the canvas.  I was so excited to get in my one lone sheepy.  He is stitched with Thread Gatherer silk chenille - boy was that a bear to work with. It was shredding like crazy but produced a fuzzy looking sheep. That odd thing by the house is a windmill and the field behind it was a pain to plow and plant. I used a Valdani perle and that was my first experience with it - it is a nice fiber but that diagonal romanian almost put me "under the dirt"  Doesn't look too bad in the photo but it was a bit messy trying to compensate.  The apple trees look a bit funky but hey - it's folky right?? I'm still stuck on what to do with those wheat sheaths or hay stacks. My plan is to finish planting the fields and complete the hedgerow all the while I am pondering those stacks and how to stitch them.  I need a few more threads but am so thrilled I have pulled 90% of the threads used so far from stash.
This odd looking thing is my Boneyards shawlette - for my knitting friends - it is a Steven West design and available for free on Ravelry.  He used a Rowanspun Tweed in a DK weight and I knew I had Rowan tweed in my stash - I was just surprised I had BLUE -  the photo is washed out - too much light on the subject I guess because it is a pretty blue - navy and should be great with jeans - it is a rustic tweed yarn from my vast stash - something from the Rowan vault. 

This yummy creature is the beginning of a ruffled scarf.  Pattern by Fiesta and the yarn is Fiesta Boomerang which was also in my stash!  Do we see a trend here LOL. This pattern uses the dreaded short row shaping but actually it is going pretty well.
I'm going to wish I had one of these new knits ready to wear this weekend.  We are expecting our first temps in the upper 30's - we'll see if they hit or miss the mark with that.  I'm SO READY! I'm sick to death of wearing summer clothes in NOVEMBER for heaven sake.  I am still wearing sandals too.  I'm ready for hand knit socks and cozy scarves.  Winter in Florida is short but sweet for any knitter.

I have an exciting event this weekend - I have arranged for our sampler guild to attend a class down in Mt Dora.  It is a class on ornament finishing so we'll come home with 1 or 2 finished ornaments.  I am finishing challenged for sure so this will be fun to do a simple finishing technique and maybe it will give me and some of the other members a boost in confidence or motivation to continue and do some simple finishing of our own.  We have a big group of about 8 going and will meet a couple of our central florida members for class and lunch at the wonderful Garden Gate tearoom.  You may remember seeing the Mt Dora report from a class 3 of us took there this summer.  We're packing up 2 car loads of friends - we'll brave our first cold snap of the season with Starbucks in hand. 

One other thing I'd like to mention - when you have time - pop over to my DF Kris' new blog - She is a great knitter and stitcher and I have been encouraging her for months to make her entry into blogland.  She is a lurker and reader of lots of blogs - so please stop by and become a follower and welcome her to blogland. 

So friends - I'll be back real soon with some photos of that excursion and until then - thanks for stopping by my blog and I love hearing your comments.