Some of us arrived already on Thursday evening (Purple-Girl even came in on Wednesday). The retreat was held out at beautiful Hueston Woods State Park, just north from Cincinnati. Everything was snow-covered and we could see the huge lake from the hotel. Geese, mallards, and ducks were all hanging out at the small openings in the ice far out there in the white landscape.
Once I had gotten in and stashed all the luggage away, I finally got to hit the stitch room and see all my peeps! We were all pretty tired after the work week and many of us had traveled for a few hours to get to Hueston Woods. Needless to say, we stitched our little hearts out anyway! I stitched on a kit from Tomorrow's Antiques called An Acorn for Andrew. I have stitched both the Pansy and the Strawberry kits in the past and it is pretty amazing how quickly they stitch up. The neat thing is that only half crosses are used, so the stitched area gets covered in no time. One of the ladies at the retread fell in love with the design, so I gave her the chart and the leftover beads to play with. She is apparently as stubborn as I am, because she offered to give me money. When I refused to accept, she promptly went to the stitchery store and bought me the sweetest, heart shaped magnetic needle-minder from Puffin Company! Wow - stitchers are simply the most generous people in the world!
Speaking of the store - it was too much fun! We could cut our own linen, admire models in the trunk shows, including Heartstring Samplery, Periwinkle Promises, Heart in Hand, and quite a few Jeanette Douglas. The show that got the most attention was Erica Michael's silk gauze models. They are absolutely gorgeous! I have a feeling that most of us left the store with at least one EM chart each. I chose to get Mending, which was pretty good, since I originally put 7 of them in the basket... I also found a few charts in the "half price" bin and that was it! I felt great - I finally have my stash collecting under control!
Until I accidentally stumbled into the store not one time more, but twice. The first time I got some general accessories; stitcher's creme, a tape measure in form of a hen laying an egg, and a Puffin scissors minder to match my lovely gift. The last time I just had to get the Remember Me sampler by Heartstring Samplery complete with a beautiful piece of linen. I am so excited about this one!
We did no enhance our stash through shopping only. A bunch of stitchers brought in used charts and freebies to give away. I found a whole set of Homespun Elegance snowman freebies! But best of all were the four kits that we got as surprises throughout the retreat weekend. On Friday night we were treated to pizza, drinks and a really neat Valentines kit. Such a cool idea; a very cute flower-pot that will hold a Valentines sign. That will be so much fun to work on and I already have some thoughts about how to make this project my own! On Saturday around dinner time we got a kit based on another neat idea - a medical test tube holder that will be converted into a floss holder. I have some thoughts here too - I just can't help myself! :-) After out show-and-tell, we got yet another kit: a small saying that is to be inserted in an absolutely breath-taking box! I am very, very excited about this one. Finally on Sunday morning, right before we left, all of us were invited to stitch a tiny sign to be glued to the top of a glass jar. I think that this will be a real cutie as well!
Well, did we get anything stitched? You bet we did! Thanks to the constant stitching (interrupted by a lot of laughter and socializing), I finished my Sailor's Huswif. It pretty much took all of Friday - those apples took some real patience! I also got the acorns done together with the flower basket that will end out being the inside of the huswife. I am still undecided about stitching the pouch that the rolled up huswif is supposed to be stored in - there are a few elements that I am just not crazy about at all. Oh, and the best about Friday was that I kept thinking that it was Saturday - it's like getting a bonus day over and over that way! ;-)
On Saturday, I just had to concentrate on the Anne Maria Clarke sampler. I am really enjoying stitching on this one right now. I do find the chart a tad hard to read, but I will power through! It is all worth it. I finished the tree, the flower pot, and got started on the vine on the left hand of the (non-existing) house.
The show-and-tell was good. A lot of emotions for many stitchers. I especially loved the lady who shared the sampler she stitched while going through her divorce. She told us that she deliberately left every single mistake in the piece to show that it is all right to do mistakes. I was very touched by this lesson. Another stitcher caused quite a gasp when she showed us her completed Dutch Beauty. It should probably be renamed to Dutch Big-A$$ Beauty - that piece looks like the better part of a bed sheet! (I am kicking myself for not getting a pic of that!!!)
So what was greatest about the weekend? Hanging out with "ma' peeps" - hands down! Here they are in all their glory:
Big-Dog and L-bug!
Look what B^Hop finished! The top to the Acorn Box Kit from Miladys Needle!
Pickle showing that she knows that she has a problem... (or two ;-))
Sweetie & Snow-Angel
Froggie with Shepherd's Bush Retreat 2010 box sampler
Sweetie with almost finished Fruit Samplings from Hillside Samplings
L-Bug with new project from Heart's Content
Santa with white-work sampler
Steeler and Big Dog - talking football!
Froggie and Miss De-String
L-Bug, Bzz*Bzz*Bee, Big Dog, Computer Whiz, and Bounty Hunter
Arrrgh - I hate when that happens!
We don't give up!!!
Stitching is hard work...
Tea time (I am at the right)
Ok peeps - I'm outta here! Back to good ol' KY!!! (Yet, I am aware that I look smug... can't help it!)
If you want to read more about this wonderful January break, please go and visit Bzz*Bzz*Bee's blog Everybody Loved Clark!
Once I got home, I was actually stitched out... I got myself in gear and got the acorn stitched together tonight (posing here below with the other Tomorrow's Antiques fobs) and the plan for tomorrow is to get the final nail in the Townhouse coffin... After that, I will really try to stick with my AMC sampler!
Take Care and Happy Stitching to all peeps out there!