Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What is it about Halloween?

Changed the blog background yet again. I just love this time of year. Fall, Halloween, my birthday, and Thanksgiving. I am still working on the Quaker Halloween, on page four (halfway done.) Woo hoo!!!

The retreat. Was wonderful. I ended up not going on Wednesday, due to a migraine headache. So Don picked me up on Thursday morning. I had sooo many bags (I didn't want to get bored, so I put many projects in said bags.) We arrived at the Canyons in Park City at noonish, after a beautiful drive up Provo Canyon. Even though the leaves were fading, it was still beautiful.

We checked in to the beautiful suite. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, an entry way with the cutest bench and hooks on the other side of the foyer. A kitchen fully stocked, a table in a small dining room, a living room with a fireplace, a love seat, a couch (with a pull out bed), and 2 window seats. And a television. Each bedroom had a tv and a fireplace. Registration was until 4 pm, the reveal of the projects was at 3:30 pm. We went to Panda Express for lunch then headed back to the hotel.

My oxygen level was lacking, shall we say. It was 79, so on went the canula. Don is so funny, it was irritating my nose and he said that all my nose callouses were gone. Ha ha ha. After a couple of hours, the level was back at 94. I took off the oxygen, then just had to wear it at odd moments when the level dipped below 89. I did adjust however, which was quite pleasing.

Back to registration. We registered, picked up our name tags, and a gift. It is a project bag. Very cute. Don had a special project bag: a man bag that was plaid instead of roses. He was pleased. The afternoon project was to stitch a button with our initial or motif, then sew it onto the project bag. Both Don and I looked at it and put it in the project bag. I was more interested in talking. (BTW, I did finish the button and sewed it to my bag. I changed the lettering to a more formal K.

Name tags were a must. We got to wear them to all classes and functions. Apparently, some people had decided in years past to bring a friend who would sit in the class and NOT pay. I'm used to wearing a name tag/badge at work, so it wasn't bad. Of course, Don had a man tag (plaid again) and I pinned it to his shirt (he really didn't want to wear it around his neck with the ribbon.) LOL.

We rested, then it was another project at 7 pm in the Kokepelli ballroom. So cute. It was a shared stitching project. All six designers made contributions to the project. Teri (Shepherds Bush) designed the piece. The lovely silk threads came from CeCe at Thread Gatherer (love her threads.) The fabric was from R&R Reproductions, the silver charm "Joy" was from Charland Designs. A blackbird was a motif in the design (Blackbird Designs), and a gold needle and thread is in the design for Jeannette Douglas Designs. There were motifs, sheep (for Shepherds Bush), a blackbird, a little skein of floss, a crown (R&R Reproductions), a heart for Charland designs. And in the pattern bag, there was the cutest needle threader by My Big Toe and a bumblebee thread holder (magnetic) from Kelmscot Designs. Way cool. I almost forgot that there was a decadent dessert too. Chocolate mousse with fruit and whipped cream on top. Since I hadn't eaten dinner yet, I didn't eat it. My blood sugar would have been horrendous and too much sugar makes me sluggish. Don said it was really good.

Then Don and I went out to dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. Yum, soup and salad bar for me. Then I read to him (politics and the news of the day). He stitched on Witches Wheel by Glendon Place. About midnight I couldn't keep my eyes open, so off to bed I went. Don usually stitches later than that, so I'm not quite sure what time he went to bed. However, at 9 am Friday morning was the first class, so he stopped stitching and went to bed.

We had bought a box of cereal and some milk for breakfast. So after that yummy breakfast, we went to the first class, which was Tina's class (Shepherds Bush.) She had told us the piece was big. It is and beautiful. It is 3 samplers in 1. I love it. We learned the specialty stitches for the piece. We started in the right hand corner, which confused me. I am going to do the border over to the upper left hand corner and work from there. I am a slow stitcher, so didn't get much done, which is OK. The gift/project for that class was a cute little flower, made from felted sweaters and a button to hold it all. Um, I still need to put it together. LOL. We also received the cutest handmade pincushion that matched our fabric and project bags from the first night. Of course, Don had a plaid pincushion.

On to lunch at Kneaders (we're so adventurous.) We were free until 7 pm. So after lunch, Don stitched and I took a nap. I only slept 4 hours Thursday night, so I was exhausted. At 7 pm, we lined up to get into the ballroom for the evening activity. Wow!!! There were six stations where we made little projects. It was a great meet and mingle that was safe (because we could be with our friends) and we made some great needlework accessories. Since everyone works at their own speed (slow for me) we met new people at each station.

The first station was to make a little pin and needle booklet. Glue them together and put the pins into the pin book and the needles into the needle booklet. The next station was to cover a pencil with the rose paper (plaid for Don.) There was a little post it note stack for us also. We made a booklet with graph paper and cute paper for the cover. Then we went and picked up our needlework boxes. Very cute. Tina's son stained 200 boxes and one of the Shepherds Bush employees decoupaged the picture on top of the box. The project from Thursday night fits exactly in the top of the box. Cool how that all works out. I have started that project, about a fourth of the way through. I think it will be a quick stitch. Then we made a thread minder, which consisted of cording with 3 needles and beads. Way cool. The last project was a tag. It has "This box was made at the Shepherds Bush retreat in 2010 by ________" I just need to sign it. Just a very fun evening. Bowls of candy at each table, which I managed to not eat, since we hadn't had dinner yet.

We took off for dinner after that. I looked up restaurants and found a Cafe Trang. Sigh. Closed. So we went to Squatter's Pub. Yum. Got back, read to Don while he stitched, and went to bed at about midnight. (See a pattern here.? LOL.)

Got up, had breakfast and went to the R&R Reproduction class. They had a big project too, a bag for those unfinished projects. The pattern was on 20 count linen, over 2 threads, so it is a 10 count piece. After the piece is stitched, then you make it into a bag with cool buttons. Very neat. Also, Pat gave us many hints about stitching. We asked for the next retreat that they teach this class on stitching hints. Pat is a great stitcher and had so much useful information. Ann, her business partner, came over and sold us on going to their retreat in Oct 2011. It is in Virginia Beach on the ocean. So fun. The teachers will be Tina and Teri, Jeannette Douglas, Theresa Vanetta from Shakespeare's Peddler and Raise the Roof designs, Pat and Ann, and a mystery teacher. I am there.

We had lunch at Squatter's again, and were late to the last class. It was quite funny. Don and I were walking in and Teri came running up. "Are you two OK?" Yes, we're just late. That is what Don gets for being the only man there. LOL. So we walked into class and I got to sing because we were late. Pffft. "Oh ye mountains high" is the song I chose. The class was fun, even though it is not my thing. CeCe from Thread Gatherer makes these funky fabric scrapbooks. So we received materials to make our own. Poor Don, I saw him nodding off. He was bored to death. I was the happy recipient of his kit. I think I am going to make a book honoring my grandma Reva who taught me to tat and whom I learned my love of needlework (inherited it from her.) We also received a cool pair of scissors with the cutest little fobs.

The gifts were great. At dinner, the banquet, was truly wonderful. There was a spinach salad, cream of tomato soup to die for, filet mignon with asparagus, potatoes and a fried something with artichoke. Yummy. Lemonade and water for the beverages, and a decadent dark chocolate cake/cheesecake. One bite and I was done.

Tradition has it that a skit of some sort happens. We learned how the Chinese New Year came about. It was a hoot. Don was in the 'orchestra' and played the horn. He received a gift for participating. The last gift was a necklace with 2 charms. Don received a pair of red plaid embroidery scissors, Gingher no less.

To bed to bed. I was awakened at 8 am by jackhammers, pounding, and vacuuming. I was so tired I rolled over and went back to sleep (I can sleep anywhere and through anything.) Don was awakened also, but couldn't get back to sleep. So he got up, had breakfast, packed, etc. He peeked at me at about 9 am and I was dead to the world. He went downstairs and picked up the pieces that had been on display in the store. Jeannette had signed them, way cool.

I was up at about 9:45 am, packed to ready, and we checked out at 11 am, right on time. Drove down the mountain and had brunch at Fiddler's Elbow (yummy.) I guess it is a hangout for the U of U students on Sunday mornings, the place was packed. We ate on the patio. Don took me home, and of course, I took a nap to recover. LOL.

I didn't spend much money up there. I did buy the new Shepherds Bush Christmas stocking (Sadie.) I also bought a thread holder in the shape of a heart with a magnetic needleminder on it. I also purchased the accessory pack to go with the R&R project bag. I wrote Jeannette Douglas to see if Don and I could get the kit for her class. There were 2 tracks and we were not on her track. Jeannette graciously brought us the kits down. It is seriously beautiful, I can't wait to start stitching on it. Jeannette is a great lady, funny and talented. I think she wants Don to be one of her model stitchers. He is an excellent stitcher and a good tester of patterns. He hopes she calls him for this job (I hope she does too.)

So that is our vacation. Don had such a good time. He told me in 2 years, we are going to go up a few days earlier just to hang out. Cool. We are going to the R&R retreat in 2011, and of course, the Shepherds Bush retreat in 2012.

Still coming....photos of all the projects, the rooms, etc.

I have a lovely sinus infection, so I will be sleeping in the chair tonight. Yuk. Oh well.

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