Sunday, May 24, 2015

I'm home!!

I got home from the stitching retreat in Italy this past Wednesday night, and I think I'm finally getting back into the proper time zone! It was an absolutely amazing trip, and I'm really happy that I made myself stray so far from my comfort zone, traveling outside of the US by myself by plane, train and automobile.

The retreat was held by Isobel Argante of The Primitive Hare, in a B&B in Citta di Castello; the 20 of us had the entire place to ourselves for the week. Niky of Nikyscreations Primitives attended and held a finishing class, and Maja Szilagyi of The Snowflower Diaries came as well; all are wonderful designers and terrifically friendly women. Here are the class pieces we stitched (Florence by The Primitive Hare, and the smaller piece by Nikyscreations):

I didn't get around to finishing either one yet, but someday I will...

Here are some pictures of Isi's display:

The quilt shown above was really pretty; I'd love to do something like that in the future.

Here are some pictures of my stitching spot while there:

Between the wind and the mosquitoes here in Wisconsin, I don't stitch outside; it's a shame, because it was heavenly! And here is a picture of Peppa, the B&B's resident pig, who shared our spot:

Her skin is so thick that scratching her with my shoe was much more effective than using my hands!

One of our day trips was to Casa Cenina, which is an online needlework shop. They don't have a store front at their warehouse, but they were kind enough to let us shop from the warehouse floor. I saw some great charts from designers I wasn't familiar with; I might have bought a few...

Their mascot was a gorgeous kitty named, appropriately enough, Aida:

One entire day was spent on a trip to Florence, which was beautiful. On the way home, however, a bit of a mishap with the battery on the bus (SOS indeed!):

Fortunately, a very handsome police officer stopped to check on us:

He might have gotten more than he bargained for, as a bus full of tired women can become quite loud! I call the picture above "When stitchers get together...", or "What happens in Italy, stays in Italy".  :)

When the retreat was over, I headed to Rome for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the Coliseum and nearby sights were closed on the morning I had booked a tour, so I didn't get to see much of them:

On my last night in Italy, I had Spaghetti alla Bolognese and tiramisu on the balcony overlooking Rome:

Finally, on the LONG flight home, I watched five movies (three cheers for free seat-back entertainment centers!!) and stitched this little Mill Hill owlet, Violet:

I made some great friends during the trip; Jane, Vicki and Jayne from the UK, who took this lone Midwesterner under their wings and made the trip so much more fun than it would have been without them!

For those in the US, Happy Memorial Day, and to everyone, have a great stitchy week!

Monday, May 4, 2015

A finish, a WIP and a trip...

...oh my!

I finished up Day Nymph last week, and just love how the entire piece turned out! From conception (3/16/15):

To completion (4/28/15):

The fabric is called Darkness Falls, on opal Belfast; Leslie at Under The Sea Fabrics created it for me just for this piece, but liked it so much that she added it to her regular line. It is a gorgeous fabric!

Here is Night Nymph:

And Day Nymph, in her sunrise-colored dress:

My wonderful husband got me a gift certificate for our 24th wedding anniversary to get some framing done, and I think I'll take Charlotte and the Nymphs (sounds like a singing group!) in when I get back from Italy.

For my next project, I pulled Mirabilia's Titania from the Bucket o'WIPs, where she has been residing for 10+ years. She had the misfortune to be started on the recommended fabric, as this was right before I discovered hand-dyed fabrics, and I just have a hard time working on such a bland color. However, she is much too pretty to never finish, so finish her I shall!

Here is where I left off many years ago:

And here she is as of yesterday:

Mostly I've just added the back stitching and beads, and worked a bit on the ribbons. She has such a beautiful face:

I've always thought that Titania, Midsummer Night's Fairy and Adia have three of the prettiest Mirabilia faces.

This will probably be my last post until the later part of May, as I leave for The Primitive Hare stitching retreat in Italy this coming Sunday. I'm due home on the 20th, and I imagine it will take a bit of time to get back in the swing of things here at home. Hopefully, I'll have lots of beautiful pictures to share in my next post.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week (and month!); arrivederci!