Sunday, August 11, 2019

Nifty Needlework

Greetings friends - Happy Sunday! It has been a bit of a whirlwind around here after our vacation - I have been working on an variety of creative things. I know some of you have read that I am working on new cross stitch designs and that is SO TRUE - I finished up a brand new model earlier this week and have several pieces in process - working on layouts, formats and photography...so you will see them soon. I'm still working out the details for releasing them, but when I know, you will know....there are also a magazine model and several other charting ideas in the works. As usual, I am busy with client orders for needlework finishing, custom sewing, and project bags...plus pieces for my Etsy shop...and I managed to sew up a few fun birthday gifts, as well. My studio is a happy place!

I mentioned in a previous post that I would be back soon with some fabulous needlework finishing...and these finishes will not disappoint. Just a little reminder, these are not my designs or my stitching, just my finishing work. I enjoyed each of these so much...a couple challenged me and that is always a good thing. Details under the photos, if I have them...

First Winds of Autumn by Blackbird Designs

Paisley from the Animal Cracker Series by Stacy Nash Primitive Designs

Paisley from the Animal Cracker Series by Stacy Nash Primitive Designs (Back)

Threadwork Primitives - Quaker Bird Pinwheel

Threadwork Primitives - Quaker Bird Pinwheel (Back)







Barbara Ana Designs - Spooky Tree

Barbara Ana Designs - Spooky Tree (Close-up)

SamSarah Design Studio - Katydids & Coneflowers
I'm headed back to my stitching nest this afternoon - a little happy time with my needle and thread and a good movie. I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday and make a little time to be creative this week...

Thursday, August 1, 2019

BRD Flash Sale!

Happy August readers! To celebrate the new month, I am having a FLASH SALE! Shop August 1st - August 4th and receive a 15% discount on all single Blue Ribbon Designs charts and pincushions. Visit my Etsy Shop or BRD website and click on the included items to see the savings:
Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlueRibbonDesigns
BRD Website: https://blueribbondesigns.com/

Now's the perfect time to add to your pattern collection or pick-up a one-of-a-kind treasure...


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Tropical Paradise

Hola family and friends! I have returned from the Dominican Republic feeling refreshed and relaxed...so today I am going to interrupt the creativity posts with some favorite vacation photos. First of all...yes, we heard ALL the news and had (just about) everyone we know warn us before heading out of the country. I will tell you - we drank from the mini bar, ate at the restaurants, we went swimming in the pool and the Caribbean, drank at the hotel bars and went on excursions - we did it all - and it was magnificent and we came home happy and healthy. We stayed at the Hilton La Romana - an adult all-inclusive resort located on Bayahibe Beach on the Caribbean coast. My husband has been traveling for work for almost three years (with a gazillion Hilton points), so we had planned this trip to unwind after the move to Kansas. We were treated like royalty at the resort and had a lovely premium balcony suite overlooking the preferred pool and the ocean. Our room had fresh chocolates and fruits daily...and even champagne with the gorgeous view! We spent quite a bit of time at the pool and the private beach and enjoyed fabulous meals and cocktails (and a wonderful coffee house!)...and met some delightful people. We also went on a couple daylong excursions - one to Catalina Island (my husband wanted to snorkel) and one to Saona Island (which I loved!). It was a fabulous trip - the islanders were warm and welcoming, the views were incredible and the food was delicious! We can't wait to go back... Click on any photo (especially the panoramas) for a better look!

View from our balcony...

View from our balcony...





Flamingos could be seen all around the resort...

Waiting at the "meeting point" for a couple we were going to dinner with....


Catalina Island

Catalina Island


Banana/Plantain Chips and Fresh Salsa - so good!

Boat ride to Saona Island


Saona Island

Private lunch on Saona Island - Grilled Lobster and Champagne

Private Beach on Saona Island



Private Beach on Saona Island

Private Beach on Saona Island

Unfortunately, it's back to reality and business as usual in the studio...I'm busy working on needlework finishing and project bags, along with model stitching and finishing up some new designs (hmmm - maybe I should work on one with a Caribbean theme). Now that we are back, my website and Etsy shop are both open again...and I have responded to all correspondence, so if you contacted me while we were gone, you should have a message from me.

There will be more artistic things to share with you in the near future, so stop back soon!💙

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Life in Kansas...

Greetings friends - happy Tuesday! I needed a little break from the studio this afternoon and thought I would stop by for a visit. I am starting to feel a little more settled in Kansas and I thought I would share just a bit of what I have been up to the last few weeks.

Creatively - I have been sewing daily - working on customer orders and items for my Etsy shop (all of the bags you see have been listed and some are still available), client finishing (photos will be in a future post) and model stitching new cross stitch designs in the evenings. The creativity is keeping me in my happy place while I adjust to the move.

The sewing room is unpacked and mostly organized - still a work in progress - I have a sewing studio upstairs and a warehouse, cutting room, supply storage and shipping area in the basement. My new sewing room has a nice walk-in closet, of which I am taking full advantage - the shelving is great for supplies and bolts of fabrics/fusibles/stabilizers/batting (I also have additional shelving for these in the basement)...and I found a great new way to store my abundance of zippers by utilizing the clothing bars, loose leaf rings and binder clips - it works wonderfully! Plus, we now live near an IKEA (bonus!) and I finally have my first RÅSKOG Utility Cart, which I adore - I only *need* a few dozen more (a girl can dream).

I also made a trip to the local quilt shop in our new small town of Spring Hill called The Quilted Sunflower - and what a wonderful trip it was! The LQS is located on historic Main Street, which has a nice assortment of quaint shops (reminds me of a smaller Valley Junction). The owner is incredibly friendly and upbeat and made me feel at home immediately...and the shop has a lovely assortment of current fabrics, projects and ideas - it is definitely a positive and inspiring environment. I can't wait until things are a bit more settled here, so I can spend more time there - right now, I am still trying to find a balance.








Quite a few things have happened on the new house front...

We FINALLY have Internet service - who knew how much we would miss it...and it will make my job so much easier!

The new shades (upstairs) and shutter blinds (main floor) have at long last arrived and been installed - wow...having window treatments sure makes a difference - I am so happy with our choices - the shutter blinds are fabulous. I wanted classic window treatments without cords or cables that would be easy to operate and let in tons of light...and they are PERFECT.

I just *had to* to spruce up the front of the house, so I built a couple black rockers and added a couple of my quilted pillows...got a small matching table...and potted a bunch of geraniums (my favorite potted flower). I also planted quite a few perennials in the front flower beds - including: Lavender (my favorite perennial), Sedum, Bee Balm, Astilbe, and Carex - these are a great addition to what was already there - sorry - I don't have a photo to share in this post (look for one in the future).

Our backyard fence has been installed - and although a water leak in the new construction next door currently has our backyard a swamp (complete with frogs!) 😒, the dogs did get to enjoy it for a few weeks (the leak was fixed a couple days ago and hopefully it will start to dry out soon - fingers crossed)...the dogs can't run back there for a few more days, but the baby birds are sure enjoying the fence while they learn to fly...

Shutter blinds in the dining room....

House before porch decoration...





Happy kids after running in the backyard...

Stepping out of my comfort zone, I also decided to take an adult cooking class put on by the Spring Hill Recreation Commission. I enjoy cooking and really didn't need to take a class, but I thought it might help me meet a few people in the area. It was a Cajun cooking class - perfect for me - and we made Shrimp Étouffée. It was a full class of fifteen students, but only six work stations, so it wasn't everything I wanted it to be...but the dish turned out wonderful, I enjoyed a good dinner, and I got out of the house - so, I consider it a win. I may or may not take another class in the future (they teach one a month)...we'll see...


That's just a glimpse of what has been going on here...I'm starting to adjust to Kansas and find my way around. We did make a trip back to Iowa last weekend for a good friend's 50th birthday party - and that helped with my homesickness - I miss "my people" so much...but I know in time I will build some relationships here.

After months of craziness, we are finally taking a long overdue beach vacation next week...and I need it desperately! I am hoping a week out of the country in the sun and sand without an itinerary or cell phone service will refresh and replenish my spirit...