Friday, May 9, 2014

Another Return to Celebration of Needlework (and to blogging)

Long time no blog! It's been just over a year since my last post. I never intended to stay away for such an extended period of time, but I got sick early last summer, and didn't fully recover until around Christmas. It wasn't anything dire, but I spent months pretty much lying on my couch. While I did manage to do some stitching throughout those difficult days, I had to conserve my energy for absolute essentials, and blogging fell off my radar screen. Now spring is in full swing, I'm feeling good, and am finally ready to rejoin this wonderful stitching community.

When last I wrote, I had just come back from Celebration of Needlework 2013, so it seems fitting that I start off with a recap of Celebration 2014. In past years, my husband and son have accompanied me, but this time I went by myself, which, although it was lovely to have a hotel room to myself, was rather lonely, as I didn't know anyone and tend to be shy. Still, wearing my "Free Bates" t-shirt became a great conversation-starter (there certainly are lots of Downton Abbey fans who are stitchers) and I enjoyed meeting some of the designers in the vendor area, especially Beth Seal (and her sister) of Summer House Stitche Workes, and Tracy Horner of Ink Circles. And in the class I took (Bird Box, taught by Jeannette Douglas) I sat next to another attendee who had also come alone, and we've already made plans to meet up at Celebration 2015. All in all, I had a wonderful time!

The Bird Box class was great - Jeannette is an enthusiastic and effective teacher, and the project is beautiful. It is made up of four designs and uses a combination of traditional cross stitch and specialty stitches, which will be a challenge for me but one that is well worth tackling.
I wanted to take a few other classes: Colorplay and Beginning Hardanger, but they were both offered on Thursday and I couldn't attend on that day. But whatever I saved in class expenses was fully made up for in the vendor area, where I certainly stocked up! I justify my profligacy because my LNS closed last summer when the owner retired, so now I am completely dependent on online stores and the little I can use from the big craft stores. What a treat to get to see and touch linen rather than trying to figure out how closely the color of a digital image will compare to reality. Here's what I came home with:
PTP linens Valor and Doubloon, 27 count green banding for Ink Circles'
Turtles All the Way Down, and some finishing fabrics

Ink Circles charts: Square Dance, Croakworth, 
Alto Gether Now and First Bass (I already have Here Comes Treble)

Summer House Stitche Workes charts and supplies:
A Bee in Your Bonnet and Fragments in Time

Thank You by Jeannette Douglass Designs

White Rabbit Necklace by The Primitive Jewel

I also came home with a nice selection of free charts from the giveaway box in the hotel lobby, and a kit that contained quite a bit of floss by Dinky Dyes and Needle Necessities. I think I am all set until next year, and then some!

Well, that's enough from me for now; next time I'll post pictures of what I managed to stitch during my couch lounging sojourn. It's nice to be back!