Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My First Retreat as a Designer

This past weekend I had the huge honor of attending my first retreat as a designer instead of a "regular person" (as my son put it).  I was invited by Jackie and Sharon, the owners of Stitches From The Heart in San Antonio, TX to join them and a few dozen of their customers at their Spring Stitching Camp.  I have to say, it was an absolute blast!!!

And since this was my first visit to TX (I don't count stopping at a hotel late in the night just to get some sleep and then heading back out first thing in the morning during my cross country move as "visiting" Texas), I just had to have my picture taken with this sweet elderly guy at the airport information center.  

The event was held at John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels, TX.   Friday night we were treated to a good ole soaking down pour for quite awhile.  It really reminded me of being back in Ohio with a good drenching rain, green grass and green trees.  I've gotten used to little rain, desert-scaping and palm trees in Las Vegas, but still love a good rain.  The grounds were beautiful and the scenery outside our conference room was lovely.

When the attendees arrived at the event, everyone had a spacious area at their table with a name badge for them.  They were made by one of the local stitchers that frequents the shop.  I thought they were really cute.  

Since I was going as the "surprise guest designer" I wanted to do something for all the attendees and the shop owners/employees for supporting me and the Stitchnmomma brand.  Anita at Stitches From the Heart loves my silhouettes and promotes every new one on their Facebook page, so I thought it only appropriate I design a silhouette that was exclusively for the attendees at this event.

Each person that went to the stitching camp received a mini-kit that had the chart, fabric and floss to stitch this little piece.  One lady stitched it the first night and a few others were working on it over the weekend.  I can't wait to see pictures of the various ways they finish them!  :)


As I previously mentioned, there were a few dozen people...somewhere in the neighborhood of 40.  I personally think one of the best parts of any stitching retreat is being able to walk around and see what other people are working on, accessories they're using, etc.  Take this picture for example.  In a million years, I would have never thought about using a thread spool rack to hold floss bobbins.  Genius!

Not only was there tons of stitching & chatting going on, but we there were a couple of silent auctions, some basket exchanges and food...tons of great food!

I was told I'm welcome back anytime and certainly plan on going again next Spring!  I have it penciled into my calendar and am already thinking about what the next exclusive piece I can design for them will be.

With any luck, as Stitchnmomma continues to grow, I'll be asked to attend other stitching events around the country and will be able to meet even more wonderful stitchers *hint, hint all you other shop owners and retreat coordinators*.

Me and my table-mate, Pat :)

Until the next time...Happy Stitching! 

Editor's Note 4/5/2016:  I've joined the Stitching the Night Away Blog Hop.  Can't wait to read some more fun & exciting stitching posts this way.  :)

Visit all the blogs in this round of the Stitching the Night Away Stitching Blogger Blog Hop:
Find the instructions on how to participate in this round by clicking here.  

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Stitch From Stash - February 2016 Recap

February was another good month for me.  I had 4 finishes that I get "credit" for, and only one purchase!  I'm slowly but surely working my way out of the red.  :)

Opening Balance =  ($31.52)  
Finishes = $12.00 
Purchases = $2.24  
Balance Forward = ($21.76)

2 greeting cards = $2.00

EGA Name badge = $5.00  
Secret stitching retreat model = $.500

Here's some pics of my finishes.  The only one I can't share at this time is the stitching retreat model, but will be sure to share it on a future post, along with some pics from that retreat where I'll be the secret guest designer.

Both of these greeting cards were made from my stash.  The one with the pitcher of flowers was a cover kit from a magazine.  The other with the pot of flowers is part of a design from a magazine, and I used an aperture card from my stash.  I have probably a couple dozen aperture cards, so I've been going through my magazines and books trying to find smaller designs that will work with all of them.  I have no particular use for the cards in mind.  They're just being placed in my box of cards and will eventually get used when I've run out of store bought cards and need them for some occasion. Not to mention, they're fun little projects when I need a break from my larger models and thread-a-day pieces.

This is the name badge I made for my EGA group.  Most of the other ladies were making badges with flowers, etc., but I prefer to be non-traditional.  The design is one of my own that I created with my xstitch software.  I chose the colors based on what I had in my stash that not only did I have enough to stitch the design, but also enough to make the cording.

The cording was made in our cording and tassel class, and let me tell you, not that I didn't respect and appreciate her work before, but I certainly have a new found respect for my awesome finisher!!  By the time I was done tacking the cording down, I was more than ready to be finished with it.  Talk about a lot of work.  Geesh!  It may not look perfect, but I did it most of it myself (with some instruction) and learned some new things, which is the whole point of being in the guild.  It's all about education and preserving the heritage of needlecraft.  :)

As I mentioned above, I only had 1 purchase this month, woohoo!  I spent a big whopping $2.24 on a package of tapestry needles I thought I needed for our EGA cording and tassel class.  Needless to say, I did NOT need them.  Instead of returning them at the store, I just put them in my stash as I know they'll get used at a later date.

Are you on your own "stash diet"?  If so, how are you faring?  Feel free to share in the comments below.  

Until the next time...Happy Stitching! 

P.S.  If the fonts look funny, I apologize.  I'm not sure what is up with blogger, but it keeps posting using different fonts & sizes than what I'm selecting.  You've gotta love technology!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Modern Dictionary: Home Cross Stitch Pattern

The latest in my Modern Dictionary series was done with a certain friend of mine in mind.  She's constantly saying she doesn't want to go out of the house on weekends because it would mean putting on pants.  And if you work full-time outside the house like both she and I do, I'm sure you can completely relate.  I could even do a second version and change "pants" to "a bra", because that is right up there on the list.

This piece was stitched on a 28 count Purple Dot evenweave by Fabric Flair. You can't see it in this photo, but the fabric has little silver sparkles in it.  I kept with my standard black floss, because using any other color just doesn't feel right to me.  Of course the finish was done by Rita over at SnowBerry NeedleArts.

Sometimes choosing the cover photo is the hardest part of the process.  I like one where you can clearly see the piece, but also the gorgeous finish.  This time around I ended up choosing the photo you see above.  However, I just had to share this additional photo of the gorgeous way it was finished...

I just love the overall look of the piece!  I think the large metal key compliments the theme perfectly.  And the little organza bows with buttons...awesome!

This pattern along with the other pieces in this series (which can be found here) is now available for purchase at your local needlework shop or various online retailers.  If you don't want to do a Google search, just click here for a current list of those places.  If you have the opportunity, please support your local needlework shops, as they're a dying breed and we need to keep them around!

If you're a retailer and would like to stock this design, or any of my others, you can purchase them here.  
And if there's a particular word you'd like to see a fun definition given to, just let me know and I'll gladly add it to my list of designs to create & stitch.   
Until the next time...Happy Stitching! :)