two ladies found me and, along with another friend, we started meeting on Wednesdays. I refer to them as my "Cqers in training." Through the winter we met every Wednesday and they are making amazing progress.. I have been nudging them along, offering advice and encouraging them to try new techniques and materials... and they have had access to my stash... Through the summer we will meet less frequently but I want to share two of their projects. Our third stitcher was not there yesterday so I will catch her work later.
All of them bought Carole Sample's templates and are putting them to good use.
They have been so eager and enthusiastic that it's been great fun watching their work progress.
They are already planning their next project...
And as a footnote I noticed last evening that Morris has green paint all over his nose and part of his face. It looks suspiciously like the acrylic paint I use on my buttons so he probably chewed the top off a bottle I accidently dropped... I've searched the house in all his favorite hiding places and have not found any evidence... but he does indeed have a green nose...
Now the importance of being 4th in a DYB round robin... Being fourth is not the time to introduce a lot of new elements and toot you own horn... It is time to take a look at what's been done and start pulling things together... I put all the blocks on the table and made some observations...
All stitchers framed the image with gold braid of some sort.
Both Kerry and Flora had couched some cording.
Janet and Kerry had squared off their frames.
Janet and Flora had used small spots of color
Kerry and Janet had used lots of fancy seamwork
Flora did a lot of couched scroll work
Janet introduced buttons.
So it will be these observations that guide me and I will want to include all or most of them in my design... I'll show all four blocks when I'm done and you can judge if I'm successful.
Gillenia (Gill-i-nee-a) trifoliate is definitely in my top five favorite perennials... Sometimes known as Porteranthus or Bowman's root. It's at the back of the garden and I wanted to move it up by the house. But when I read you chance losing it by disturbing it, I opted not to lose it.. At least I get to see it in bloom as I pass on the way to the forest...
Since it is difficult to get the seeds to germinate I started seeking out starts on line several years ago and this proved difficult also.. Not many nurseries carry it and those who do often list them as not available or crop failure... I ordered it at 3 nurseries this winter and only one came through.. The plants are tiny but I am a very happy gardener ... I ordered three just in case..
It has survived drought conditions, deer and rabbits in my garden... I am zone 4. A compact rounded plant (about 24" at maturity) is festooned in late spring with clouds of delicate white flowers with red petioles and mahogany stems. It's foliage often turns deep bronzy red in fall Great for cut flowers!
It is a native in the northeast and hopefully easier to find there...
This time it's not fine china though... I've decided to use my Vernon Rose pottery which I have collected a piece at a time for years. It was only produced from 1965 to 1979. The soup will be in cut-glass bowls and the salad on a pink swirl glass plates which match the water goblets.... I bought these plates at a flea market in Paris. There are no roses blooming yet. In fact there very little pink blooming but I just wanted to use these dishes as I know no one will love them as I do when I'm gone.
This tablecloth is HUGE and the last time I used it someone spilled red wine on it and it was a job to hand launder and iron... This time it is definitely a white wine dinner...
Italian Antipasto (made by my gnocchi expert)
Marinated Manchego cheese
Cream of Asparagus Soup
Brussel Sprouts Salad (my favorite Jose Andres recipe)
Creamy Shrimp and Scallop Risotto
Roasted Yams and Carmelized Onions
Rhubarb Charlotte with Brandy Custard Sauce
The final step was adding tendrils to the flower... You can see on the left that the flower is hanging out by itself and adding the tendrils connected it all together. I could have probably added more tendrils but ran out of time.The golden color is from a different lamp.. The background is actually pure white..
I was away from the computer for several days and I was so delighted and surprised to receive this photo from a lady who bought one of my buttons to create a pendant for her mother... This is so gorgeous!!!! She does lovely artisan jewelry and does sell online http://www.etsy.com/shop/acottagehearth
She makes the most clever pendants with beads and old keys...
And it was so timely to receive this photo... The show I did was not exactly my crowd... it was a spring garden event but I did very well... So well that I will try a couple more this summer... But since I make these buttons mostly for crazy quilters I was asked over and over how to make them into a pendant or a pin... When I started to explain how to mount them so you could bead around them.... I could immediately see their eyes glaze over...
So now it is catch up time for stitching and painting.. The most critical spring chores are about done in the garden which is so beautiful right now... Need to charge the tractor battery this morning so I can move posts and fencing and then tote my mother to the doctor and THEN I get to stitch and watch the hummingbirds feed.
Saturday I have been offered to share a booth so my space is very limited... I ALWAYS set things up in advance.. Once you're there you can't just run home or make changes easily. Setting it all up in advance lets you view your area as a customer will and allows you to make profitable use of every inch... My table it 18"x 48"...not very big at all.
Think levels and elevate to make your display more interesting. When you can't spread out spread UP!!! Clearly sign every thing with easy-to-read type.. This is a ONE-day show so I want all details covered.
This time I am hanging a CQ block to get attention and hopefully some new stitchers for our Wednesday workshops.... I used this also because it has my painted buttons on it also....LOOK busy and interesting even if you're not.
I will expand this post later when I have more time but just a few final thoughts...
1. I want people to remember me and what I sell and associate the two... so my logo and my picture are on everything...
2. Keep your business cards out in plain sight and keep a small tablet and pencil handy for people to leave their phone number etc. for you.
3. Have bags for people to use....
4. Change: For years and years I have always started the day with one $20, ten $5s, thirty $1s and a roll of quarters. I price everything evenly or by the 1/4 dollar.
5. I will talk more about tools etc later but I do have a funky little hammer that the handle unscrews and little screwdriver are in it.. It has saved me more time than I can even remember... Also take tape...all kinds...
6. Finally you must think security... My small buttons are on LARGE cards just for that reason... Losing a thing or two is a fact of life but don't make it to easy for a thief to slip your wares into a pocket or bag.
We made the trip this weekend to see the grandchildren and had a great visit. so the ritual cookie stop on the way home was mandatory.
I'm REALLY missing my sheep and spring lambs... It's not only that I loved them....they loved me... It was so delightful to walk out and be welcomed with nuzzles and nudges of affection... But I'm having to settle for new baby chicks... They were out of the breed I wanted (Australorps) so I got these black sex links which are noted as great layers... I think they're a very handsome chicken as well..
Morris keeps licking his chops when he looks at them... I think he views them as wiggly chocolate bonbons... so we keep the laundry room door shut tight.
I'll close on a bit about another feathered friend... I kept seeing a red-shafted flicker woodpecker flying to and from the far side of the pump house and found this 4" hole. They must be nesting inside on the pressure tank as they keep flying in and out.. I haven't gone in for fear of disturbing them as they are one of my garden favorites... hopefully there will be no problem with the pressure tank nor the well until they have fledged... never a dull day on the farm.... I didn't even mention the golden eagles which flew over or the 5 ticks I found on my body after pruning overgrowth all morning.
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