Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quirks Anyone?

Does anyone out there have any quirks that are cross stitch related? Me, it's orts. Meet Floss Ball. Floss Ball has been around since 1992. Let's see, that's almost 17 years old. Has it really been that long? He began life in a little sandwich bag back in Central Pennsylvania and now lives in a grocery bag here in the Phoenix area. Yes, I moved him with the family when we came out here. I couldn't leave him behind. He had become part of the family. The kids would never let me live it down. Seriously! I just wanted to see how big he could get. Now I know people leave their orts out for the birds. I read somewhere that that wasn't such a good idea. Something about alerting the pedator birds to the location of the nest. I don't know how much truth there is in that tale, but I didn't want to take a chance on being the cause of the demise of little birdies. I also have seen pretty Christmas ornaments made out of clear glass balls filled with orts. They're lovely but you only get to see them one time a year. That's the reason I won't stitch a fancy Christmas stocking. I'd want to leave it out all year long. This way I can go visit Floss Ball any time I want. I can see specialty threads in him and remember the project that they belonged to. I know how silly this all sounds but you know, this is supposed to be fun. We should all be able to laugh at ourselves. Life's too short to be serious all the time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Little More Progress

All right, whose bright idea was it to stitch the China design over one? I was sure there were only a few quarter stitches in this sucker. Ha, the joke's on me. There's a ton (ok, not quite a ton but alot) of them in that center portion. I saw the designer at Nashville and told her what I was doing and she looked at me like I had 2 heads. Told me what a brave soul I was. I still think it will be spectacular when it's finished. Obviously I didn't finish it for Chris' birthday. Now I'm shooting for the beginning of June which is their anniversary. I should be able to make that date. That is, if I can keep from spending all my time on Cirque des Carreaux. I'm really liking how it looks. And it's moving along very nicely. I also want to start on a few new things from Nashville so my incentive is not to start anything new till I get one of these done. So many designs, so little time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nashville Market

Just some quick thoughts on the market in Nashville this year. The classes were wonderful for the most part. I took Theresa Layman's Why Knot class. She designs some wonderful miniatures that are stitched using only colonial or french knots. I knew how to do french knots but never could get the hang of colonial knots until that class. I can't wait to unpack the project and continue with it. The other class I liked was taught by Mrs. Mosey & Me. Now I know that's not her name but it escapes me at this moment. It was needle felting on a woolen bag. We did a flower on a black bag. I quickly got the hang of it but my lack of artistic talents soon came into view. Instead of a flower, it looked more like a mitten. But the teacher thought it was fine and frankly I really wanted to learn the technique more than display my lack of talent. The only class I was disappointed in was the photography class. And I don't think I was the only one. Turns out it was for advanced students and it was WAY over my head. Supposedly the beginners part had been given last year but I sure don't remember it. I think he gave it at last year's TNNA show and Nashville was an ING show last year. I felt like I was listening to my DH when he tries to explain something to me. I don't always understand him either (he's an engineer). I could have taken a nap and been as happy with my afternoon.

I was really surprised at how uncrowded it was this year. Usually all 5 floors are packed. This year there were only 6 vendors on the entire 3rd floor. The rest of the floors were filled. Serendipity wasn't there. Neither was Heart in Hand. There were also more yarn companies and needlepoint designers than in years past. There were less buyers than in years past. We really didn't have to wait for too long in any of the vendors we visited. In years past, the more popular designers had lines out their door into the hallway.

The Quaker designs are still big. Lizzie Kate is still very popular. I also really like the designs from European XS (Papillion Designs, Long Dog, et al). My favorite design there had to be Quaker Tropic from Stitching Pretty. It was a Quaker design but it had motifs that you would find in a tropical scene - octopuss, mermaid, palm tree - you get the picture. I just had to have that one.

We also ordered some hand-dyed fabric from a company new to us, Stitches & Spice from Australia. Their fabric is gorgeous! The colors are beautiful and the texture is so nice. Lots of hand-dyed fabric seems to have pills on it or is rough. This is nice and smooth. I ordered some for a mandala I'm going to do and then we ordered quite a bit for the shop.

Although it didn't look like we brought much back (or sent it back by UPS), we still have lots that will be coming in from the designers themselves. I'm going to be very busy in the next few weeks receiving things.

All in all, it was lots of fun. We got to see people we had met last year. Got to try new techniques. And saw lots of new stuff. It was well worth the time and effort to go.