Friday, April 12, 2013

Meeting a new stitching friend...

On Sunday, I got to meet up with a stitchy friend I met on Facebook from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)! So fun! Gowri and I met on a stitching site on FB last June. I had been in the UAE for work (near Abu Dhabi) in June and, prior to leaving for the trip, I had looked on FB to see if there were any stitchers in that part of the world I could contact while visiting, but didn't have any luck. After I got back, of course, up pops Gowri's photo! So we struck up an online conversation --- I told her about my visit over there, and she told me a little about herself and that she makes annual trips to NJ to visit family. We've talked about meeting up and I was going to take her to a couple of REAL stitching shops (no Michaels, ACMoore, et al, either!) But her timeline didn't lend itself to a shopping spree, but the two of us were finally able to meet up on Sunday at her relatives' home. And we had a wonderful time!

So, since the timeframe didn't allow for shopping, I brought the shopping to her. I knew she was already working on Mirabilia's "Petal Fairy" so I was pretty sure she'd like any of the other Mira Fairies, so I got her the August Peridot Fairy. And you can't have a pattern without all the other items to stitch it, so I also got her a piece of overdyed fabric (from Silkweavers), the embellishment pack (all the beads), and all the flosses. She LOVED everything! And I also got her another small project with chart, fabric, floss, and beads. She'll be busy for a while, won't she?

In return, she brought me the most delicious dates (a main export of the UAE) and some caramel waffle cookies I discovered while over there, but haven't found here. They are both soooo yummy!

Me (on left) and Gowri (with her "stash")
All total, we spent about 3 hours together just chatting and catching up. And it was wonderful to meet several members of her family, too...their hospitality was so warm and welcoming, just like Gowri!

Thankful for all the wonderful places I've been and people I've met
through my love of cross-stitching!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Stash acquisition....

STASH!! All stitchers suffer from Stash Acquisition Scourge/Syndrome (SASS) and I got it bad a couple weeks ago! Stash is what we stitchers call our entire collection of anything related to stitching, and acquiring more and more stash is part of our culture, and whoever dies with the most stash, WINS!!! Therefore, I'm working my way up to winning! ha,ha!

I was recently introduced to an amazing online store, JJ's Collectibles, (Thank You, Kevin, for the introduction!), and JJs was having a major blowout sale I couldn't resist. They carry almost anything you can think of, and if it's not on their site, they'll get it for you immediately. Since they carried a set of charts I've been lusting over for a couple of years (the eight (8) "Snowmen" kits by Shepherd's Bush [Blue Snowman, Red Snowman, Pink Snowman, etc.]) AND they were all 20% off, I broke down and ordered them all, as well as other goodies. (this also happened to coincide with the timing of my bonus and my tax refund, too! Win-Win!) And the entire order arrived on my doorstep yesterday. I was soooo happy to welcome them home!

The ladies at JJ's Collectibles (Jen and Sherry) are delightful to deal with and will go W-A-Y out of their way to make sure you get everything you're looking for. Their customer service is priceless! The word "Collectibles" in their name is rather deceiving...I immediately thought of a gift store, with assorted small tchotchkes and collectibles, and was wondering why Kevin thought this was a store I wanted to visit for cross-stitch supplies. However, when I opened it up and saw they are totally dedicated to needlearts, I was hooked.

Here's the stash I got: (click on the photos to enlarge them)

Eight "Snowman" charts and a Blackbird Designs chart

The best part about all the "Snowman" charts is they are sold as 'kits', which means they come with everything you need to stitch them: fabric, flosses, the little charms or buttons that get stitched onto the finished design, a floss minder (keeps the flosses organized while you're working on the project), and even a needle! I like the fact that I don't have to order any material; I can just start stitching! Here's a close-up shot of a couple of my faves in this series:
(...and of course, all the framing is by none other than the fabulous Jill Rensel!!)

The PINK Snowman

The GRAY Snowman

The BLACK Snowman (altho it looks navy here)

The RED Snowman

And all the other items in the order were needed for other charts: tiny scissors to become part of a project, some Caron Watercolours for a canvas piece I'm working on, two more small (6") Q-snap frames, beads for a Mirabilia chart, and several Rainbow Gallery flosses just to have on hand.

Now I just need to become a "turbo" stitcher (a very, very fast stitcher) so I can get started on all of these! However, because they're each small (~ 6" x 6") they're great to travel with and can fit into a shoulder bag easily.

~~Happy Stitching!~~

Thankful for the safe arrival of all my "Snowmen"
and hoping that's all the S-N-O-W I see until next winter!