Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Retreat Report

Good Evening.  I'm Marnie Graley and THIS is the RETREAT REPORT.... (I might be watching too much investigation reporting on teevee..)

October 2016 has been as beautiful as ever here in Wild & Wonderful WV.  I do my level best to embrace it in it's entirety because it is so fleeting.  Making the annual drive into the heart of WV to enjoy three days of nearly uninterrupted stitching is part of my fall ritual of embracing nature in all her glory.  Since the leaves turn first in Northern WV, a simple 90 minute drive can totally change the landscape.  It was not the case this year, but the warm breezes, cool nights, brilliant blue skies and migrating geese sure did my soul a world of good.  Not to mention spending three whole days with the gaggle of stitchers that are my tribe.  While it was a smaller group than usual, that translated into more stitching less chatting, hence more progress by Sunday noon than normal.

This year I took only two Christmas projects to work on; one small ornament and one medium needlepoint.  Giving credit where credit is due, some genius stitcher on Needlepoint Nation (Facebook group) posted her version of a geometric needlepoint piece which ran in the Nov/Dec 2014 Needlepoint Now magazine.  She took a solid blue circle and altered only the colors to make it a holiday wreath.  Luckily for me I had the magazine and plenty of green fibers to pull from stash.

"Winter Scenery" by Martina Dey of
Stickideen Von Der Wiehenburg
Needlepoint Now Nov/Dec 2014 (pgs. 18-20)

Ultimately, it will morph into a green wreath surrounded by a white background.  The original design calls for six shades of blue in #8 perle cotton, one metallic and one variegated thread.  I'm not sure I'll stick to that formula exactly but I'll have perle cottons, metallics and variegated threads in mine.  The above represents about two days worth of stitching.  It moves along quickly and I'm eager to see it completed!

For the Annual Ornament Exchange at the guild Christmas party, I chose this cutie from My Big Toe Designs from the 2016 JCS Christmas magazine (pg. 80).  Aren't her designs lovely?

So until next time friends, STITCH HAPPY!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beading Happy Dances!

Ten years seems like a long time, right?  Unless you are a stitcher, then it is generally understood that ten years is not really that long.  True story - in 2006 I attended my first EGA National seminar in Richmond Virginia and fell in love with the whole experience.  The beaded name tag below was designed specifically for the event.  Knowing the limit of my abilities with beads, it was something I mentally back-burnered... for ten years...

2006 EGA Gentle Pursuits name tag
design by Elizabeth Graff

Fast forward to 2016 (exactly one decade later), and I participated in a beaded bracelet class that offered me the skill and experience needed to tackle the name tag.

EGA exclusive Designers Across America project
Beaded links bracelet by Karla Gee

So, after baby sister stole this bracelet (directly off my wrist I might add), I made version 2.0 to keep for my own self.  It was only after I completed the second bracelet that I mustered the courage to tackle the name tag (above). 

Not stopping there, I fell head over heels in love with this 'Prissy Peacock' fob and actually finished it in one day and an hour.  Considering none of them have fallen to pieces (yet), I am a bit more than pleased with myself and feeling way more confident when confronted with a pile of loose beads and a beading needle. The moral of this story is Never Say Never.

Prissy Peacock fob by
Fern Ridge Collections

And, that sums up Beading palooza 2016.

Stitch Happy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


If I'm totally honest, I did not intend to take a 9 month sabbatical from blogging... It just happened.  Then, I wondered, if I really want to call it a sabbatical, shouldn't I just go and take off a full year?  After two seconds of consideration, I came to the conclusion that if I felt like blogging, I should blog.
Sooooooo...... Hellllooooooooo!  Life has been very full in 2016.  Having a baby in the family has given all of us great joy even though she lives a full nine hour drive away.  K1 (as I'll call her here) will be 14 months old tomorrow.

 Luckily, hubby and I have gotten to visit her five time since she was born and are always planning our next visit.  She's the sweetest thing. Ever.

On the stitching front, I have actually logged many stitching and beading (!) hours since my last post.  I won't try to catch up with this single post, but here is peek at my current WIP (a piano bench cover):

Ultimately, the bargello pattern will have five shades of red and four shades of grey, giving it a very OSU look.  It's all Paternayan yarn (two strands) on 13/14 ct. monocanvas.  This is the largest thing I've ever tried to stitch but it is very relaxing since the pattern is repetitious.

Next time, I'll share some of the beading I have finished this year.  Beading is NOT my 'thang' so to have three (actually four, but you'd have to ask my thieving sister about that) whole pieces completed within one year has me very chuffed.

Stitch Happy!