Saturday, July 25, 2015

Welcome to the world ....

Little Nash .....

Nash James .... 7/24/2015 .... 6 lbs, 10 ozs. ... 20 1/4 inches .....

.... This cutie is just about perfect !! Though he was a little stubborn! I think he was so comfy that he wrapped his long toes around his momma's ribs and refused to come out.  Poor Chelsea started labor on Tuesday night, made 2 trips to the hospital only to be sent back home.... Finally Wednesday evening around 5:00 they made their last trip and she was admitted.  Finally 16 1/2 hours later, he gave in and slipped quietly into this world !!!

He has a head full of dark (almost black) hair, his momma's nose & mouth, his daddy's quirky ears and those crooked little fingers that run in his dad's family ...

But he is perfect !!!

His other Grandma and & I are holding down the fort at the house and have been making frequent trips to the hospital for the mandatory rocking chair marathons!

When I got to Clarkesville on Wednesday, his other Grandma had this little gift for me ... what a sweet thing !! 

More news and pictures to come!!! 

Till next time,


Monday, July 20, 2015

More Tulsa news.....Week

.... So, after my yummy Whataburger meal Wednesday night, I ventured up to the "Executive" floor and the stitching lounge that The Silver Needle had for all us crafty ladies.  There were about 35 women packed into a nice size suite sitting room all arranged with their maglights and stitching projects, but there wasn't much stitching going on.... Margueritas and lots of wine were flowing.  I stayed for about an hour and drug my tired ass back down to my quiet room on the 6th floor.

Thursday morning we were back at the meeting room for another fun filled finishing session with Mona.

These tiny pieces  .....

... with more glue, cardboard, masking tape, quilt batting, rickrack, some pins & beads, ribbon stuffing, a magnet, half a styrofoam ball and a ramekin .... became ....

A Pin Cushion

This has half a styrofoam ball with the piece stretched over it and glued into the ramekin.

* Funny story:  Tulsa had a Cattle convention this same week and when Mona was in the hotel elevator going to her room Wednesday night to prepare for this class, she was telling one of the other ladies that she had to go cut some balls .... She said she thought one of the big burly cowboys in the elevator was going to pass out !

A Humbug (has a little magnet inside to grab those needles)

A Needle Book

the inside of the needle book 

A Scissors Fob
I never knew how easy it was to make so many cute, useful tools from a little glue & cardboard!! 
(takes me back to my grade school art classes)

I do have to go back to the projects we made yesterday and tell you a little story Mona told us when she was making a covered box from one of her cross stitched projects....

Sometimes, instead of making the box hinged like I did, they are just completely sewn closed for a decorative little cube.  When doing this, it is advised to "stuff" the box with something (fiberfill or as Mona says, "all those left over WalMart plastic bags") ... Well, one day as she was stuffing one with those WalMart bags her son, who was around 13 at the time said..."Mom, you know we are altering history.  Some day in the far off future, archaeologists in some dig are going to unearth those boxes and when they open them are going to exclaim how people used to bury the "God WalMart" in pretty little fabric covered boxes with fancy intricate stitched lids"  

The retreat "officially" began Thursday evening with wonderfully crafted Margueritas, Pina Coladas, and capacious amounts of wine, followed by a wonderful dinner of grilled marinated Chicken Kabobs, Spanish Tomato rice, Quinoa Salad, Tzatsiki Greek sauce and a Greek Salad with Orange scented Shortcake with fresh Strawberries & whipped cream for dessert! (to say we ate good all week is a BIG understatement).  The group (164 ladies) were then introduced to the two designers that were being featured, Lori Markovic from La D Da and Cynthia Zittel from The Drawn Thread.  It was very interesting hearing these two ladies relate how they became designers and started their own business....

Friday morning when we got to the retreat room the tables were set with delicious little mini bundt cakes and there were coolers with bottles of juice, soda and bottled water.  Also on the table were little "goodie" bags.

An exclusive chart by Amy Bruecken, wooden scissors tag, two packets of Limited Edition hand dyed threads by The Gentle Arts, a Vera Bradley notepad and ....
This cute little glass vial by The Purple Thread Designs with a project inside ! (it holds your needles)

At 9:00, Lori Markovic, owner & designer of La D Da passed out our projects for the day.

Tall House Needle Book

The kit included the chart with BEAUTIFUL  Needlepoint Inc. silk threads, yummy Weeks Dye Works  linen and even a needle plus the fabric, batting, cardboard, ribbon and wool felt to construct the needle book.  

We spent the morning stitching and chatting until noon when the food table opened up with huge wooden trays of cheeses, fresh gourmet fruits and berries with crustinis.  The main course had Chicken Broccoli Fussili with garlic basil cream sauce & fresh grated parmesan, Italian mixed greens salad with home made dressing and Lindy's husband, Craig smoked a pile of delish Lemon Pepper chicken legs !!! We all needed to roll out our nap mats after such a wonderful lunch !!! 

After lunch there was more stitching and visiting going on. Some of the ladies ventured around the corner to The Silver Needle and there was quite a bit of retail therapy going on.  I was quite good (based on the fact that I have 80+ kitted up projects at home) and only spent around $50.00 for a small qSnap frame and some threads I needed to complete one of those said 80+ projects! 

That evening we were on our own for dinner so I walked across the street from the hotel to Chipolte's  and took this back to my room!

Grilled chicken salad with cilantro rice, black beans, Pico, Corn Salsa, sour cream & Guac with fresh baked chips on the side!

As I was scarfing down this delight, I happened to flip the napkin over and this gave me a good chuckle.....

After dinner, I ventured back upstairs and spent the a couple of hours visiting and stitching with about 15 other ladies.  Everyone was quite sober on Friday night .....

Saturday morning when the retreat room opened there were more Bundt-tinnies on the tables with juices, soda and water along with another goodie bag.

This one had Vera Bradley zebra print binder clips, a Vera Bradley note cube, a little spiral note pad, a hand crafted needle case by Off The Grid Designes and a CD with a collection of little house designs from 40+ designers ! 

Cynthia Zittel, owner and designer of The Drawn Thread presented her exclusive project.

Inside the package was a chart titled "Pulling Strings" and can be made either into a pocket and scissor tag 

or a Sampler

The kit included the charts along with pages of diagrams on HOW to do all those intricate "pulled thread" motifs,  Legacy Linen, Au Ver A Soie silk threads, Mill Hill petite beads and luscious Dupioni Silk lining. 

Another morning of stitching, chatting, shopping and of course exchanging Facebook id's, emails and phone numbers was followed by a lunch of wonderful deli meats, cheeses and veggies for the fresh baked wheat,  rye, and multi grain breads and crescent rolls along with huge fresh fruit bowls and Artichoke pasta salad, mini spinach/mozzarella quiche and ice cream for dessert.  (did I tell you we ate very well ?????)

I don't remember if I mentioned earlier, but the charitable foundation the retreat was sponsoring this year was St Jude Children's Research Hospital and as a fund raising event, the ladies were encouraged to stitch or create a pin cushion and bring it to the retreat.  We turned them in along with a $5.00 donation when we registered and the shop matched all funds to go to the hospital. 

I made this little pin cushion out of fabric selvedges and stuffed it with crushed walnut shells.

All the pin cushions were displayed during the week and on Saturday afternoon they were wrapped up in pretty tissue paper. 

If your name tag had a little crystal heart on it like this one:

..... you got to pick one from the tub.  (we all wondered all week why some were "special" enough to have a crystal heart on our name tag! )

The lady that got mine is from Canada and said this was her big trip of the year and loved the patriotic prints of the fabric I chose as it will remind her of her US visit !! 

I got this darling "log cabin" pieced biscornu from Carol Crites from Texas!

How appropriate !!! It will go into my box of quilting gadgets! 

They also had a darling Halloween stitchers kit that included several stitched items that were made by one of the ladies and donated to the shop to raffle off during the event.  They sold raffle tickets for $1.00 each or 20 for $15.00.  I purchased my $15.00 worth but of course, I DIDN'T WIN !!! But between the raffle AND the pin cushion exchange, the shop raised over $5,000.00 to send back with Libby to St Jude !!! I think it was a successful fund raiser.

The retreat ended at 4:00 Saturday and after lots of good byes and see you next year we all headed in different directions .... Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee ... ladies from all over the US and even a rather large group from Canada.  

Since I had reservations through Saturday night I headed downstairs and spent some quality time in the Jacuzzi and had Egg Roll Express for dinner (wish we had one of these nifty little drive-up Chinese take-outs here in Memphis !!!)

At 9:30 I passed out from exhaustion and woke at 3:30.... got up, showered and loaded the car.  I was on the road by 4:30 heading east and home by 11:30 .... 

I had a really REALLY great time and am already scheming on how to save my nickles and dimes for next year but THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME !!!

NOW .... 

.... as Chelsea is at the 40 week mark of her pregnancy today and Granna is back in Tennessee, it's time to evict Nash!

Oh and one more cute picture .....

Wesley is 2 months old !!!!!

Time to get back to reality, go run some errands and get food so my pups can eat tonight .....

Till next time ....


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tonight is my last ....

.... night in Tulsa...

It has been a really fun, busy week and I have met some really nice (and some not so nice) ladies that have the same passion for needlecraft as I do.  I have lots of pictures to share so I will break things up into multiple posts.  I'm pretty tired and plan to get on the road real early tomorrow heading back home (unless I get that text from my son that Chelsea is in labor and it is "eviction" day for Nash !! then I will take a detour to Ft. Campbell).

One thing I have discovered this week is that when you get a bunch of females together you will suddenly be transported back to high school and the "clicks" ... You remember those ... The ones that if spoken to look at you like you have turned green or have a third eye ... There were those ... then there were groups that invited you into conversations with a welcoming smile ...

I did meet several very nice ladies, Brenda, Camille & Gayle from Texas and Debbie who lives here in the Tulsa area.  The ladies from the shop The Silver Needle were lovely and even Lindy's husband was great and such a trooper when it came to the food ... (he did some pretty amazing smoked chicken legs on Friday !!!)

On Wednesday, Mona held finishing classes to teach how to make all those little stitched items into useful "tools" and decorations.  When I received my registration packet there were 7 little charts included that were to be stitched in preparation of finishing.

This little piece titled "Four Fat Friends"  .... designed by Cynthia Zittel of The Drawn Thread

Became a wedge....with a little glue, cardboard, masking tape, fabric scraps, quilt batting, cording and a pretty bow made of wired ribbon.....

Then this "Tiny Sampler" designed by Lori Markovic of La D Da ......

.... A little more glue, cardboard, masking tape, fabric scraps, quilt batting, cording and a pretty bow made of wired ribbon along with a square of brown felt became this cute little box.....

I still have to glue the cording around the top .... 
Wednesday's last finishing project was a little fall banner using this design titled "The Pumpkin Keeper" also by Cynthia from The Drawn Thread

Using the same crafting supplies and substituting a raffia ribbon bow and orange silk leaf and some beads this cute little banner was made.

The day ended around 4 and I headed to The Doubletree to check in and grab some dinner.  I decided that since I was really BAD and had Arby's for lunch I would be good and find a Wendy's and get a salad ... so I opened up my handy dandy YELP app on my phone and struck out to get said salad .... After a 5 mile drive I turned the corner to the street said Wendy's was on, there stood an EMPTY building.  Although YELP said they were "open now" the only thing there was the building.... so what is a girl to do ?????

..... and it was truly much tastier than a salad anyway !!! 

As I said up front, its been a busy week & I'm tired so I'm gonna stop for now and catch you all when I get home....

Till next time, 

7.18 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Good Morning from Tulsa !!!

I believe I have mentioned a few times that I had a trip planned this month to a Cross Stitching Retreat in Tulsa, OK.  Two designers will be attending to share their designs, knowledge of needle arts and will be holding workshops for exclusive projects we will work on during the week and in my last post I shared the "homework" that was sent out in February for fun little finishing projects that will be taught.

Well, I'm there !!!

According to Google, the shop, The Silver Needle that is hosting the retreat is 6 hours & 43 minutes from my door to theirs which of course does not include gas, food & potty breaks, which I judge to add another hour to the drive).  Not really wanting to start out at 3 a.m. I decided to drive half way on Tuesday.  I left Memphis at 6:15 when Jere got home from work and drove to North Little Rock, AR which is about half way.  Nothing eventful to report from that leg of the journey EXCEPT the awful 18 wheeler races on I-40.  I swear, I'll get to clicking along at my usual "on the dot" speed limit (not) and DAMN another big ass truck pulls into the left lane going 36 mph passing a line of big ass trucks going 22 !

Wednesday morning I left Little Rock and headed west ...

After crossing the Arkansas/Oklahoma line, I noticed that the big ass trucks (aka 18 wheelers) had thinned out, and this may be due to the fact that it was morning and the trucks leaving all the Memphis hubs heading west were already through the area).  But what I did notice was LOTS of big ass PICK UPS ... with COWBOYS in them (well they had on cowboy hats).  The drive while rather boring did provide a little entertainment.  I went through a toll ... something we don't have around Tennessee ... 

This was on the Muskogee Turnpike which runs from I-40 up north west to Tulsa.  $1.50 later and I was again on my way.  Sassy, (my car) was clicking along nicely to a mile or two above the posted speed limit of 75 mph ....

...when I looked down at my navigation screen and noticed this .....

... there at the bottom of the screen, Sassy says the speed limit is 74 .....SEVENTY FOUR ??? ...guess she is tired .... and confused ....

...another of these to go through .... AND another $1.50 to get off the turnpike and I was spit into Tulsa TRAFFIC !!! OMG I thought traffic was bad on Goodman Road .... it ain't nothin compared to Tulsa (and it was 11:30 a.m. not what I would consider rush hour !) 

So I made it to The Silver Needle and got registered for the week.  It's going to be fun with pictures to follow ...

Gotta go for now ... first finishing class begins in 30 ! 

Till next time ...