Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Mermaid" themed Holiday

We spent two wonderful days stitching our hearts out at the Victoria Sampler Retreat this past weekend. The design that Thea made for us was a Mermaid Pocket, a needle case a scissor case, and scissor fob. Here are the finished projects...

This pattern is going to be released probably next year sometime, so all of us who attended the retreat will have a great year enjoying our "exclusive" design. Thea gave us some tips on the stitching itself, and Lisa from Victoria Sampler gave us a class on the finishing techniques she used for the different pieces.

As you can see in the picture, we all were very intent on our stitching! Von is on the far left in the blue shirt. On Friday afternoon a large luxury coach picked us up at the hotel and took us out to the Victoria Sampler studio for shopping and a wonderful buffet lunch hosted by Thea! It was such a wonderful afternoon. Von had brought three of Thea's trunk shows "home" with us when we traveled up to Victoria, so Cathy (of Designs by Cathy Jean) pulled out many of the pieces and displayed them for us to enjoy and marvel over. It was the first time I had seen some of Thea's newer designs done up in person. It never ceases to amaze me how much more beautiful a piece is when seen in person rather than on a picture. I picked up three designs I didn't have yet, and some accessory packs to go with them. Wish I could buy the time to stitch them in as easily!!! Here is a picture of Von admiring some of the finished designs.

After our wonderful luncheon and about an hour of visiting with Thea, Lisa, Cathy, Yvonne and Richard, we boarded our bus to go back to Victoria.
Yvonne (on the left) and Cathy Jean (on the right) chatted as we boarded the bus and waved us off.

Our bus driver took us to the needlework shop, Button and Needlework Boutique and dropped us off for another hour of more stash shopping! More about this wonderful shop tomorrow!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A stitching holiday in Victoria, BC

Von and I spent five wonderful days in Victoria, BC, Canada at the Victoria Sampler Stitching Retreat. We got home last night, and there is much to talk about and many pictures to share, so I will probably spread this report out over a few posts. Von has started a series of posts with a chronological accounting of our time together, so I thought I would make my posts more subject oriented instead of repeating Von. I thought today I would share about the city of Victoria and some of the sights we saw.

One day we took a walk past the inner harbor and out towards the needlework shop. We stopped and enjoyed the Parliment Building and took some pictures. I had never really been up close to the Building, so we went right up close and snapped some good pictures of the intricate carvings on the facade...it was so beautiful. The gardens in front of the building are wonderfully landscaped and have some very pretty tulip and daffodil plantings.

We then crossed the street and went into the Empress hotel, which is celebrating it's 100th anniversary this year. I didn't get a good picture of the outside of the hotel, but the inside was fabulous with all the beautiful wood work and stained glass. Here is a picture of the interior dining room where they serve high tea in the afternoons, and another picture of the centerpart of the stained glass ceiling in the Palm Court. Such a gorgeous building!

One afternoon we went for a walk up to Chinatown as I had never really been in that part of the city. The area was pretty small, just a few city blocks, but it has this lovely gate at the end of the street to draw your attention. It is very impressive in person. There were a couple of vegetable vendors with boxes of fruits and vegetables on the sidewalk and some interesting shops and alleys and restaurants.
And I finish off this post with a picture of the Parliment Building lit up at night. Isn't it pretty? Von and I were having lots of fun taking night pictures of the building and the city lights on different camera settings the evening before we left for home.
Hope you've enjoyed this very small tour of Victoria. Tomorrow I will try and post about the Stitching Retreat itself, and then a post about the needlework shop and some of the treasures I found.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday updates...

Well, Saturday went from snow to this glorious sunset. It actually was still spitting snow as I took this picture last night. I checked the weather records this morning and the latest snow in this area was recorded April 22, 1955! We almost broke the record set 53 years ago! Seeing as how I was 10 months old when that happened, no wonder I don't remember ever having snow this late before!

I was able to get the bodice finished last night on the smocked dress. I still need to do the little sleeves, but those shouldn't take long. This is the first time I have attempted to add ribbon, and it took a couple of tries to get it right, but once I got the hang of it it worked up very quickly.

Tuesday after work Von and leave for Victoria...time to drag the suicase out of the garage and start packing!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Winter that will never end....

This is what it did at my house this morning.....

It's hard to believe that a week ago today it was nearly 80 degrees! We spent the day at the zoo and got sunburned!!! Thankfully this snow has all melted off already..but honestly, enough already!!! The pink flowering rhody in the third picture is the same one as the Picture of the Week in my sidebar.
Daughter Amy injured her foot Wednesday night so she has been laid up and walking with crutches since then. I took Thursday and Friday off work to stay home and take care of her and the kids...boy am I exhausted! Taking care of babies at my age all day long about does me in. The xrays said no fractures, but the way her foot is, I think she may have some hairline fractures or cracks they were unable to see. I hope that it starts healing quickly!!!
I have been smocking another dress for Alana, and I like the way it is turning out. I try and get some pictures posted tomorrow of the smocking...pink and blue on a white dress this time. I just need to thread some ribbon on the yoke and then smock the sleeves and it will be finished. I am hoping to finish before I leave for Victoria on Tuesday!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Gift exchange finish

I finished up the thread pocket I stitched for the Victoria Sampler Retreat this last week and thought I would share some photos of the finished pocket. I am especially pleased with how it turned out. Von will be here on Tuesday to pick me up and we head on up to Anacortes that evening to spend the night before catcing the 7 AM ferry to Sydney BC then on to Victoria after a brief visit with everyone at The Victoria Sampler. It promises to be a great weekend!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

More Hawaii Pictures...just cause I felt like it!!!

I cannot get the captions to line up with the pictures very well. Hopefully you can make sense of this!!!

I love Palm Trees!

Beach on the South Shore of Kaua'i

Taro Fields in Hanalei Valley

Hawaiian Quilt on display at our hotel. There are three more of them.

Close up of a Hawaiian Quilt.

Good Grief.

I must have fixed it, without knowing what happened. The comments link showed up on my new post, but not my old, previously published posts. Hmm...maybe I need to republish them is all.

At my office building they have been stripping old wallpaper in the hallways and preparing the walls for new wallpaper. As the sign says that has been erected, "thank you for your patience during our construction!"

Blogger Problems

Hi there. I discovered this week that I am having problems with Blogger and the little widget that allows comments on my posts is not working. I have tried editing my html template and it still won't work. I need to do some more research to try and figure out why first, it turned itself off, and secondly, how to fix it.

If anyone has any ideas or directions, please email me at ConnieDunton at comcast dot net. I could sure use some help and I miss having comments!!! ARGGH!

A new learning experience right? Seems I am forced to learn something new when things go wrong. I'm looking at the bright side of it!

Please be patient. There has to be a solution!!! Thanks!