Friday, October 15, 2010

October, 2010

Hi Friends,
Autumn Grace
Somewhere in the busy craziness of our last month, Autumn has crept upon us. I woke up earlier this week and noticed that the ivy which clings to my bedroom windows has turned completely and beautifully yellow. It's dark when we get up in the morning and the bite of Fall is suddenly in the pre-dawn air. Our massive crop of tomatoes has finally come into its own unaware of the first frost quietly lurking around the corner, and our Japanese lanterns--in their brilliant orange hues--are boldly peeking out from the foliage along my driveway. Sometimes in the early evenings I can smell that sweet, musky smoke of a woodburning stove somewhere in the neighborhood, and gone are the lazy strolls of summer as our walks with Lyndbergh have become brisker and more purposeful. Our conversations at work now revolve around stuffed peppers, cobblers, and meat loaves as we embrace the final vestiges of a late summer harvest. Only, this morning I left Teri happily wrangling a large, blue squash, and I happily anticipate the joys of baking up that sweet, golden meat. I love Fall in all its loveliness, and always look forward to the holidays that come right on its heels, but I must say that there is a bittersweet aftertaste in its splendour. Once it is here, there is no pausing its progression, for just as surely as the leaves change their colours, Winter snows will follow and one more year will have quickly spent itself before our very eyes.

Well, our Retreat is over, and what a great time we had. It is hard to believe how quickly the week goes by. We have prepared for a year, and spent the better part of the past 4 months doing just retreat projects, so when it is over Teri feels sad and at loose ends, and I just try to pick up my house and do the wash. Christian claims that I haven't cooked real food in a month, and he knows his food. But...what a time we had. I just wish that you all could have been with us. Perfect weather, perfect hotel, perfect teachers, and perfect participants. Wow--onto planning for 2012. Here are a few pictures that Teri put together of our time:

Tina, Charland, and Teri at the Birthday party

Mindy Brunner, Jeannette Douglas and Charland help Sue  assemble our new leaflets.
They were so great to help!!!

The welcome project at the Retreat was a stitched button to add to their bags.
Everyone finished their buttons.

Charland's Project was a beautiful stitching purse with lots of different parts and

Alma is showing the blackbird project was a wonderful stitching tray. What a great idea.

Jeannette Douglas shows her amazing piece My Story. It is fabulous!

Pat and Anne of R & R stitched a darling sampler on a bag. It is very neat!

Tina and I show our project... well Tina's project. A sampler within a sampler.

Our other teacher was Cece Stricklin of the Threadgatherer, She showed us how to make the most amazing books out of needlework. Why don't I have a picture of her books???? They are fantastic!

All the classes were so much fun!

Some of the teachers poise by the autumn displays at the Canyons Resort.

We relaxed on Sunday at the Park Silly Market. I think Charland is getting a set of stilts for herself!

It was odd not going to the St. Charles market, but no matter how much pleading and begging we did a year ago could tempt them not to schedule it on the very same weekend as our retreat. Having booked our hotel almost 2 years ago, we didn't have any way of doing both. We did do a lot of shopping the market over the telephone, and loved having so many wonderful new things for the weekend as well as into October. Gosh there were so many new patterns for Halloween that we have been totally busy getting them stitched. Our stitchers have been working like little angels to get everything done quickly. A million thanks to all of them. I am sure you have seen our new books on our main page. First of all the new stocking is Sadie's Stocking. She is sweet and ready for Christmas stitching. She uses a mixture of DMC Perle cotton and overdyed perle cotton, and I hope you love the colours as much as I do. Sharon Crescent dyed Nutmeggie specially for us to use on her dress. Then you must see Teri's 2 new nine-pane pillows: Hallow's Eve and Autumn Gives. I think that they are such quick and darling projects and Teri always chooses the greatest colours and backing fabrics. She and Cecile--at Just Another Button Co.--worked back and forth on designing the most adorable buttons for them. You will just love the little smiling moon and autumn garden buttons. And finally, we have a new shop exclusive kit Halloween is Creeping which comes with a darling hand-done mat by Jill. If I have a picture of it, I will put it up right here for you to see.

We also have some wonderful new designs out in the shop as well. Our friend Marilyn stitched Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow for us and as you can see below, it is unbelieveable. Teri went through and changed all the silk colours to overdyed floss and it is amazing. The overdyed colours give it such a dimension and joy it truly takes your breath away.

Another darling picture that we have framed and ready for this year is Shakespeare's Peddler's Jenny Bean Halloween sampler. Isn't is gorgeoous? I love this piece which is definitely on my to-do list.

New for the St. Charles market were the various patterns from the friends of Jenny Bean. A number of designers have created pieces as friends of Jenny Bean and they are very darling. Some of them include: Bell Pepper--a darling Christmas sampler done by Little House. I think my friend, Judy, just stitched it for us, so I will put up a picture when it is ready. Winnifred Gardner is a truly beautiful sampler designed by Pat and Ann at R & R. This is a sweet reproduction-like sampler that comes with a little story about the children. I would also love to stitch this piece. I know you will love it.
Here's another sweet piece by Plum Tree: Hare's Halloween. It is new for us this year and it is quite darling.

Oh, and I can't forget Candy Corn: isn't this just the cleverest little piece. We made it into a stand-up with black ric-rac along the edge. Fabulous!

And then there are so many new books that we received from market, that we might not even get stitched for this year. But I will mention them and maybe Teri will take a picture--or maybe not. Primitive needle's Halloween Garden and Hoodoo Voodoo are charming and hilarious--respectively. If you have older boys, you will love the voodoo piece. Prairie Moon's Thine is the Trick and the Treat is a fabulous little Quaker Halloween piece that I know we will stitch for next year. And there are a zillion more. Oh well, Halloween comes again every year. Finally, don't forget to take a look at Lizzie Kate's Halloween fob. The thing I love most about this little kit is the pair of scissors you get--half green and half purple. Darling!
OK, I have to go--you know I am still working on my wash and Christian will be starving.

Hopefully I will write next week, so until then be safe and well.

fondly, Tina