Monday, May 2, 2011

St. Michael's Weekend...

Hi there! The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity...with so much going on and so much to tell you, I hope you have a little time to spend reminiscing with me! I just had the best weekend in quite a long time!! I just have to say (especially for the women who are my friends that I just spent time with) I'm so thankful you are in my life! You have been there every step of the way through the ups and downs of the past few years that has been the most difficult time in my life. How can I thank you for all the encouragement, listening ears, special treats, laughter and hugs? You have kept me going and I'll be eternally grateful! Thank you guys!!

Our St. Michael's weekend is one we look forward to from the day we leave from the most recent weekend. St. Michael's is a unique place on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The place we gather is on the water (near the home of a beautiful wild swan). It is quiet and peaceful and like stepping into an alternate universe where your cares fall away and you leave the world behind. The ladies who attend this retreat are the kindest, most caring, truest friends I've ever had. We all lend a helping hand with meals, cleaning up, supplying threads where needed, give advice on life and stitching. But the absolute best part, is that we laugh until our sides hurt!! It's truly magical!!

We started the weekend with Alice showing up at the door to pick Sonya and I up wearing a hat she had made for the Royal Wedding. Alice is the most creative person I've ever met. She is a finisher for the LNS and has more talent in her little finger than I do in my entire body!! Most of us had turned on the TV to watch a bit to see the pomp and circumstance of the Royals today, to take a peek at the hats, dresses, carriages, and of course Kate's dress! Alice had a brainstorm that morning, and created this adorable hat (inspired by some of the hats seen that looked like paper plates to us!)

Here are two of the projects she was working on and finished over the weekend.

Alice made this little humbug for us too...isn't it cute? It has two counting pins sticking out of's just lovely, Alice! Told you she was talented!

Sonya, of course, was there for the weekend. There are so many talented women who attend the weekend, and each have different tastes, but I love the projects that Sonya and Pat pick. They are like walking encyclopedias with their knowledge of antique samplers and needlework, and are constantly studying and learning more. Sonya LOVES reproducing antique samplers and here are the two that she was working on over the weekend. I honestly don't know how these ladies do such exquisite work in hand. Mine doesn't look that good and I use q-snaps! Amazing, Sonya...really!!

Now Pat is an amazing woman. I don't know how she finds the time to take care of her aging mother, her husband, work, and still stitch these amazing pieces, along with stitching other pieces that she does for exchanges! I'm convinced she doesn't sleep! Pat's projects range from huge samplers stitched on HIGHER than 40 count most times, to small needlebooks and things. Her stitching is flawless!! She can do these amazing stitches that just take your breath away, I wish I lived closer because I would LOVE to learn what she knows! I don't see her often enough....would you care to move, Pat? Or can I just come and live with you? LOL Here was one of the things she was working on. Will you look at that detail? WOW!!

Debbie is our fearless leader. She is the one who coordinates the cabins, suggests who brings what, plans the little exchanges we have during the weekend, and is the one who is quickest to laugh! She's usually the last one to bed and the first one up!! Truly a caring and loving person. I admire Debbie, she adopted several children, some with special needs, and has the biggest heart! Here is what she was working on...

Emma is Debbie's daughter. She's the youngest of our group, and has a character I admire greatly. I can't explain what it is that attracts me to her, it's this gentle spirit that is so accepting of people no matter what their flaws or hangups. She is a wonderful Mom, and is great with children. And out of the blue, she will come out with these pearls of wisdom that blow me away. I love what she was working on, the colors seemed to draw me in. A scissors by any other name was the name of the piece I think, and all the names were scissors in different languages. Lovely, isn't it?

Kathy, Val, and Peggy are ladies who I don't know very well. I only see them on our St. Micheal's weekend, but they are a hoot! Kathy usually leads the charge in the humor department and is the one that keeps us in stitches!! She is a quilter and was working on the most amazing quilt all hand done!!

She and Val are buddies and the two of them have adventures you can only dream about! Val was working on something for her daughter's graduation from Pharmacy school this month.

And Peggy is also a quilter. I only overheard bits and pieces of what she is working on, but I think each small colored block is a different flower from each state...I'm not sure if she is doing all 50 states, I'm sorry I missed out on that conversation. Her quilting is also hand done. This picture doesn't do it justice,'s a beauty!

And then, there's me! I only took two projects, I didn't finish either one, but I was able to finish my lighthouse sampler this here is my progress as of this moment. Someone ring the bell!! (Alice brings a bell with her, and when someone finishes a project, the bell is rung!) The first is the Lighthouse Sampler from By the Bay Needleart stitched on 28 count star sapphire over one linen thread. This is my tenth finish from the Crazy January Challenge. I think, since the rest of the projects are either SALs or BAPs, it will be a while before I finish another one. So...since I'm almost a third of the way through the year, and two thirds of the way through the challenge, perhaps I will be able to finish this year? I'll be crossing my fingers and toes from this point on (which may make it hard to stitch! LOL)

The second is Cirque des Carreaux from Ink Circles using 32 count Maritime White over one and Carries Creation silk thread Epiphany.

We usually have an "exchange" during our stay over the weekend, we all bring a little something to stick in a little bag. We also have a session of yankee trader, and here is my haul from all the things we exchanged over the weekend. The little basket is an annual tradition. Debbie's husband makes each of us a basket. He's so talented, and I'm getting quite a collection!

Thank you ladies for such a great weekend! Only 362 days left until we meet again! I can't wait!!

Last I'm going to leave you with a couple of pictures I've taken. The first is a lovely that has been visiting my flowers on my deck. I'm fortunate to have gotten this picture, it was a busy little butterfly that day!

And they say you are what you eat...if that's so...then... son is a Crabby House Nut! LOL


Mouse said...

ohhhh I wanna go there next time :) location FAB stitching even FABOULOSER ... drooling lady like into my lace edged handkerchief... * sigh off to go and practice some more love mouse xxxx

Kate said...

Thanks for sharing about your weekend. Congratulations on the lighthouse finish it looks fantastic. Ink Circles is coming along.

sonya said...

It was a fabulous weekend, Deb. I am blessed to have shared it with you. The lighthouse sampler is just beautiful!

And This Little Pig said...

Oh DJ, I am so jealous, you know maybe when I win the lottery, I can come over next year, or the year after that :-)

Nancy said...

Glad you had such a great weekend! You are so lucky to be part of such a talented group of women! Thanks for sharing!

Babs in Alabama said...

what a wonderful weekend, DJ. And your lighthouse is so beautiful. It is actually one of my favorites too, but would never stitch it over one on 28 ct. Friends really are God's gift to us.

Astrid's dragon said...

I'm so glad you had a good weekend, it sounded fabulous! Your lighthouse sampler looks amazing, and I know what I'm talking about since I've seen it myself!
Looking forward to our get together next week, maybe I'll get some baking in before then....

Usefularts said...

A lovely post about our weekend, but you neglected to mention that your stitching is what we always drool over the most! We were all so happy you felt well enough to come and add to our fun weekend. If only we could do this more often! I hope your busy week has allowed you some stitching time, Pat