I found it…

…Found what, you may ask.  Well, I found my laptop, a level surface to put it on and a path to get to aforementioned level surface.  Do you remember all those big plans I had last month about packing, continuing to stitch and moving?  I knitted a grand total of 2 hours in July and managed oh…about an hour and a half of stitching. I packed, got moved and just to add to my dismal showing, I have done no stitching at home yet this month.  Somehow, moving at 50 is simply not the same as moving at 25…more things hurt and my back seems to tolerate much, much less. All I really can say is  thank the good Lord and my good doctor for ice packs, rest and muscle relaxants. Sigh…

However, things are starting to come together…at least a bit.  My needlework studio is mostly unpacked. The new bookcases are in place and I am thrilled to report they hold my library with room to spare…which is a good thing, given I am not going to quit collecting books.  I have a working kitchen, a working TV (which is critical during football season), a bedroom and bath that are usable if not beautiful.

I also had the wonderful experience of celebrating 25 years of marriage on August 13th. DH and I went out for a nice dinner and hope to take a celebratory cruise this winter.  I have many great memories from our years together and look forward to the next 25 (God willing).  What a blessed woman I am! I want to share a very public thank you to a fine man, the knight of our small realm and a very precious and important part of my life.  I love you, Sir Daniel!

So that was the big event of last week.  And if that wasn’t enough to celebrate, my good friend Jill (also known as my college roommate in the far distant past) celebrated her 50th birthday on Friday.  To mark the day in style she and hubby David treated a fortunate few of us to a limo ride and a very tasty Italian meal at Buca.  In Rachel Ray’s parlance…YUMMO!  We had a great time.  Again…what a blessing their friendship has been lo these many years.

This past weekend…actually last Thursday through Sunday…I attended the Needlework Guild of Minnesota Retreat 2008  (please see my sidebar for the link to this terrific guild).  I stitched as a day student this year, when meant a bit of commuting, but also gave me the opportunity to spend more time at home (see preceding paragraphs for an idea of why this was important).  I cannot say enough about this annual retreat.  We have FANTASTIC teachers and classes offered every year or, if another project is not what you’re looking for, the chance to do independent work with a room full of like-minded women.  The retreat center (Christ the King, in Buffalo, MN) is right on the shore of a beautiful lake, it is comfortable and very peaceful.  The classrooms are adequately lit and the fellowship fabulous.  It is a time I look forward to every year.

This year I chose to take a class from Kay Stanis…a national teacher for both ANG and EGA as well as certified instructor in Japenese embroidery.  The class, Winter Wonders, was designed to teach skills in silk and metal thread embroidery.  I will share a picture when I get my scanner set up. (Sorry I can’t share tonight:-((

But what I do want to share is this:  If you have an interest in silk/metal or Japanese embroidery and you ever have the opportunity to take a class from Kay…run, don’t walk, to sign up!  She is a fabulous, funny and extremely organized and professional teacher.  In my years of needlework I have taken many good classes, but I have NEVER learned more in four days time than in this past weekend.  The written materials I received in class, the hands on work I did and her demonstrations made for a very complete learning experience.  I cannot overstate the quality of her presentation and the depth of her knowledge.  I will write more about this as I have time, because I plan to start the certification process in Japenese Embroidery in October (ten phases…so you’ll be hearing about it for YEARS to come :-))…and Kay will be my teacher. I am very, very excited. I just wish for more hours in the day.

I’m not too sure any of this is very coherent, but I wanted to post and let everyone know how much I’ve missed you all in my month away.  I hope to be back stitching regularly in a couple week’s time.  Thank you for the joy of community I feel when I read your blogs and your comments.  I hope this note finds everyone well, happy and energized as summer shines her bright, hot farewell and crisp, colorful Autumn prepares to take center stage.



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  • Heather  On August 21, 2008 at 11:28 am

    First of all, Happy Anniversary!!!

    Your Japanese Embroidery class sounds just wonderful. In Atlanta, we actually have a Japanese Embroidery Center. Some year, I am going to buy the class pass…it lets you take as many classes as you want, all year long, for just the cost of materials. That would have been a good thing to do the year I was unemployed…hindsight is 20/20!! Can’t wait to see your WIP!

  • Sue  On August 31, 2008 at 6:05 am

    Hi Julie…I love your Western Skies piece as well as Santa Fe Square…it’s inspiring me to explore the possibilities of taking up counted canvas work. I’m looking for new motivation and this may be it. Thanks for sharing it all.

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