Melissa Shirley Wicked: final thought

See what happens when I get busy or distracted. I had been writing this post for the week of May 15-20 and I got distracted or sidetracked and now here it is almost Memorial week-end and I am just coming up for air. So here is the final thoughts on Wicked…

After the stitching is completed then the piece has to be finished. I know I have been showing how to finish needlepoint but last year I was not up to the task of finishing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…Seriously, I can do ornaments and some other little stuff but really haven’t had the time to try the biggies. One day I am going to try a pillow and a purse but for now I’m going to send big pieces to the finisher. I can’t even find time to sew a button on, let alone make a blouse or finish big needlepoint or for that matter any needlepoint.

 

I knew where I wanted to hang “Wicked” and how I wanted it finished. I drew a picture for the finisher and once the material was purchased I sent it to her to do her magic.  I was very pleased with the way it was finished and I love to see it hanging at Halloween.

To some people finishing a piece of needlepoint is easy; they take it to a trusted shop and have it finished. Not me, I agonize over finishing. As I am stitching I can see the finished piece, I get these pre-conceived images in my head and then I feel like I need to look for the material to finish the project. Nice for me I know the finisher and I can as her if my idea will work. If she says yes, then I’m off to look for material.

 

Now, let me give you the advice I seldom ever follow but every finisher I know will tell you is the truth.

You should buy the fabric for finishing before you ever start stitching.

I know, seems illogical to me too, but remember we are limited by out thread choices and the fabrics we choose to  finish our pieces are limited by their color choices. Now I will admit if you go to Hamilton Mo or any large quilt shop, you should be able to find a fabric. But what if you want a velvet or moiré for that Christmas stocking you are spending hours stitching? There is a world of difference between DMC 666 red and DMC 321 or 498 red. And fabrics only come in certain colors. And yes, you could use green for the backing and lining, but there are different greens too. So, if you want as perfect a match as you can get; sometimes it is important to buy that fabric first.

And while we are talking “you buy the fabric”; remember that if you want self-cording you need extra fabric. Self-cording is cut on the bias of the fabric and will require more fabric. Just as local needlepoint shop or finisher how much fabric you will need to finish your piece.

 

And some shops stock fabrics for finishing, so ask before you head all over the countryside looking for that perfect fabric. Some finishers have fabrics stockpiled and if you ask the shop you use, they probably can tell you which red would be best on that stocking or they can ask the finisher for you.

 

I’m lucky we have several very nice fabric shops in the area. Sarah’s in Lawrence (http://www.sarahsfabrics.com/), and several quilt shops in the area, plus Hamilton, Mo (https://www.missouriquiltco.com/). I’ve been to Hamilton twice now and while it is both eye candy for the imagination it can be overwhelming also. Hamilton is quilt town in northern Missouri, aka Missouri Quilt Co; Google it or read my post from last year…

 

A word about finishers… Have you ever wondered why so many shops guard their finisher’s name so closely? The real reason is that they are not trying to keep her a national secret, they are trying to protect her from the thousand calls she would get during busy times of the year asking, “Is my ornament finished yet?” And that is why finishing deadlines are so early. I think a finisher told me one time she finish over 1000 ornaments for Christmas and that didn’t count the stockings. Keep in mind blocking boards can only hold so much and sometimes pieces need to be blocked more than once and sometimes needlepoint even needs to be cleaned before blocking may begin. (This is another blog…but stitching in the hand vs stitching on a frame does have its drawbacks as well as its advantages…I will put this on my list of things to write about.)

 

Back to “Wicked”… I found the fabric and Batik at Hamilton and bought it. Brought it home and took it to the shop for my finisher to pick up (No, just because I know her doesn’t mean I don’t have to take it to the shop. My finisher will not accept pieces except through the shops she does finishing.) I took the piece about mid-May and I got it back about mid-August.

 

What took so long? Mine was not the only finishing in line. Mine had to be blocked, just like the rest and maybe twice I didn’t ask; and it’s a pretty big piece so it took up some real-estate on the blocking board. Mine also only had the green material supplied, so my finisher had to get the black for the inset, thread and even the interfacing. I could have purchased the black but I didn’t think about it at the time and she suggested this after she saw the piece…that’s another reason you use a finisher…She’s seen enough pieces to know what looks best even when you limit her by you pre-conceived finishing. And I had no idea what interfacing she would recommend. So see, Finishers do more than finish; they make your needlepoint look just like you want, and they know from experience what works best.

When “Wicked” returned home, it was just what I envisioned and more. I hung it and hated to see Halloween come to an end. I sometimes think I stitch long hours for a piece that only is displayed for a short time but I like it and it brings a smile to my face. And I hope it will be around for many years to come, maybe even one of my Grandchildren will want it when I am gone. Sometimes I get it out in it’s protective bag, and hand it on the door of my office just to look at it…it makes me smile.

Oh and before I forget; what do I do with the stitch guide after I complete stitching the canvas? I destroy it; it is a copyrighted piece of work.  And in my opinion, stitch guides should not be bought or sold without the purchase of the canvas! I have done two or three stitch guides for canvases and I will not sell them to individuals only to shops where I assume the canvas is purchased.

I know a stitcher who saves her stitch guides as a reference and that’s fine but I don’t want all the extra paper. I might make a note in my computer or my stitch notebooks I keep about a technique, stitch pattern or stitch but my stitch guide goes to the trash. I do not share it with my stitch friend who bought the canvas only because she liked mine. I destroy it. Enough said…my soap box stand for the week.

On another note…my family is having a garage sale…no needlepoint but I do have needlepoint books I have accumulated over the years. I will list them here next week with cost and then I will put them on Needlepoint Nation Stash after that.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today and over the holiday week-end. AND please don’t forget to honor those you know who are serving or have served in our military. Without these brave men and women we would not enjoy the freedoms we take for granted.

ttfn…sue

Kumihimo Braiding

Let’s begin to catch up…

My friends and I love a shop in Weston, MO; Florilegium (http://florilegium.com/). The owner Gretchen is wonderful and so creative. You just want to spend time with her hoping that the excess creativity will fall off onto you. And Cathy the shop manager is the sweetest person on earth; she always has a smile on her face and never seems to get rattled when we all descend on her at once.  It is the most fun, creative, relaxing place on earth! Go explore the website and you will get a feel for the place. But like I’ve said before…If you fly into Kansas City airport, make sure you have a three hour layover and make the trip to Weston (maybe 30 minutes north of the airport)…maybe you should just spend the night at a Bed & Breakfast in Weston…there is so much to do there but Florilegium will captivate your heart if you are a needlework person or just a creative soul. Also make sure you are here the later part of the week…I don’t think they are open on Monday-Tuesday and maybe Wednesday…but you can call and if someone is going to be at the shop, they will let you in.

But back to the catch up…My friend Nancy and I drove up one day for something to do and Gretchen taught us her method of Kumihimo braid. It is really an old technique, and of course many cultures have a braiding techniques also . Kumihimo braiding can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it. Like any technique the more you practice the technique, the more proficient you become. I have seen people who do these braids and never look at the pattern. They are really good and get the count down perfectly; they can start and stop anywhere while making their pattern and never mess up. There is a rhythmic method to the patterns you make and can be very relaxing once you get that rhythm in your head.  I have to really concentrate if I am doing a pattern design; I have to stop at the end of a round so when I pick it up again I don’t mess up the pattern. I think that is why I like the Gretchen methods of Kumihimo best, but I will always be a novice.

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But of course, Gretchen had made it fun and easy and we were hooked. We came home and taught it to all our friends (One person even made a cording to use to finish a piece of needlepoint.)

 

Nancy collected supplies for us, we had round and square Kumihmo boards; you use the round disk for round braids and the square disk makes flat braids, they also come in different sizes for small and large braids.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou need bobbins to roll your looooong lengths of yarn on (save bath tissue cardboards…they make good bobbins for large yearns and large amounts of yarn).  So we have bobbins

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We collected yarns of all types and have a bag of these too.

I had books (surprise, surprise, surprise) in my library and so I did a study of Kumihimo and even took yarn and stitched different braid patterns for everyone to see. Books in my library: (NOTE- all my books are without beads, but if you check Amazon.com there are lots with beading…it seems to be a big thing right now)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kumihimo Japanese Silk Braiding Technique by Catherine Martin,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACreative Kumihimo by Jacqui Carey,

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and Braids by Roderick Owens.

 

I like them all but the last two are my favorites because they have color pictures of the braids.

 

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Nancy even indulged me with and authentic Kumihimo stand. It is beautiful and I use it when I am not braiding to hold my current project or it just sits in my studio to remind me of the fun times friends have together and are always pushing our creativity to learn new techniques.

And even though I am a novice and will OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAprobably never be a more than dabbler in this technique, I knew I was hooked when I had a lunch box and bag for my supplies. In my lunch box I keep a pair of working scissors, a tape measure, weights, the different disks I have and my current project. In my bag are different sized bobbins, some sample braids I have made to see patterns and the yarn for these sample braids.

I enjoy making the braids for projects, but I will tell you this method takes more yarn and time than making a twisted cord. The advantage to this is you can make a pattern braid or just a braid using many of the threads used in a project. Remember when you are planning this that you will need threads that are available in skeins; cut threads will not work. And if it is a large project you may have to make a couple braids to complete project.

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I made a braid for a Christmas present and it turned out to be too large for the project. So saved it, and I am planning on using it for cording on a pillow I just finished stitching.

 

Here are some other braids I’ve played with:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the one I finally made for gift I made last year. It is just #5 perle cotton.

 

This is my pink flat braid I started with Gretchen at Florilegium.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I am not sure what I will do with this when complete but it would be cool appliqued to a jacket or used in a crazy quilt design some way.

These are samples I have made of design patterns using suggested colors so I could follow the pattern.

I have my bag and supplies and when inspiration strikes I will be ready to begin. I think it would be interesting to make several Kumihimo braids and then braid these braids together to make an thicker Kumihimo braid to use and a garland or intertwine in a wreath…I can even see making a Kumihimo braid to use at a lanyard for a cool bead or even a beading project. I even see making a braid to couch in needlepoint…oh so many ideas so little time.

Needlepoint will always be my first and main love but I think in order to expand or creativity we need to explore other techniques. It doesn’t mean we will ever be as adapt as the person who loves their chosen technique; but at least we will be able to recognize it when we see it and we will have at least a passing knowledge of how it is done. And sometimes in just knowing the method, inspiration will strike and we will be able to adapt one technique to our chosen method of stitching and make something really creative.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today or do whatever your chosen technique is!

ttfn…sue

Temari and Hamilton, Mo

While I was not blogging and trying to get my stitch mojo back I made a couple Temari Balls.

Temari KUThe first one is a pattern I love to make, it is very simple and the beauty comes from the negative space that is created by using one thread the same color as the base of the ball to stitch the design. This one was stitched for my knee surgeon; he graduated from KU so it is the KU ball. And since I am partial to blue the ball is predominately blue.  He loved the ball and I love him (he did a great job on my knee), so we are both happy.
Temari Basket of RosesThe other Temari ball is an original. I have a new Great Grand-daughter (I am a two time great, so far…boy and girl) and her middle name is Rose. Rose was my mother’s middle name (we called her Whammer…for grandma, but that’s another story.) It was also my favorite Great Aunt’s name and I think it is a name from Catherine’s family also.)  So I decided to make Rose’s mother a basket of roses. First I stitched the top rose and then the partial side roses. Then I started on the basket. First I wove the basket from the SP to the Equator in a ribbed spider web stitch. Then around the top edge I made a detached buttonhole border for the lip of the basket. Turned out cute.

“More about Hamilton too…I hear it is a quilter’s mecca.” This is what I said last week about Missouri Star Quilt Co in Hamilton, Mo. Well, after being there, there is no way to really describe it to anyone; it is an experience that will be different to everyone who visits. Words like eye-candy, beautiful, overwhelming come to mind; but it was so much more too that I will have to re-visit several times before I feel like I have an understanding of everything this quilter’s/ fabric mecca has to offer.

It is the town! You have to go read the history of Missouri Star Quilt Co and Hamilton, Mo: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/. And if you are anywhere near Kansas City, Mo (and I mean even if you have to travel 2-3 hours out of your way and it is one of the only things you do in Kansas City) add a day to your trip for a stop here. Even if you are not a quilter (and I am not) it is something any creative person should see. If you own a textile shop, you need to just study their presentations and marketing…excellent! Oh my gosh, I would still be standing in the first shop taking it all in , if my friends had not kept me moving and by the end of the day I was in the Man Cave waiting for them. My mind was in overload, my visual senses had shut down and I am still recovering from a wonderful day in Hamilton, Mo.

Here’s a brief tour…

Map of Hamilton, MoHamilton’s Main Street is two blocks long and there are 14, yes 13 shops all related to quilting and 1 shop for husbands to rest ( I spent time here too.) Here’s the map they give you and it is best to start at #1 the Main shop. Here you register and they give you a 20160706 Hamilton shop 1a card with your name and a bar code on it. Every time you buy something it shows up on your account and you also receive incentives to shop. This is soooo helpful if you are buying fabrics to co-ordinate or if you get home and need more of fabric “xyz” to
complete your project; it’s all there on your account. Every store can scan your card and bring up your purchases Hamilton accountand see the fabrics, trims and patterns you have purchased. Here’s a picture of my account. This is so cool and so helpful.

We strolled down the street to the reproduction 20160706 Hamilton shop 2afabrics 20160706 Hamilton shop 2cand then the floral shop ( a garden of fabrics and no weeds). Notice the lights look like flowers and the front of the store window gave you a clue to what was inside.

 

20160706 Hamilton outside a 20160706 Hamilton outside bThree shops and we had to stop for refreshments and nourishment…it is exhausting shopping!  After a brief refueling we were off again…

20160706 Hamilton shop 4a 20160706 Hamilton shop 4bWe went into Primitives and Wool, wool fabrics and yarns and Primitive fabrics…not up my alley but impressive from a marketing point of view. Next was the Batik Boutique and here I lost all sense of reality, found three of the five fabrics I was looking for here…Oh my, what a colorful place!

Next we headed upstairs for four more shops…Seasonal Shop, every occasion you would like to celebrate in one room; Modern fabrics had newest fabrics and designer fabrics; Backings & trims was a room of finishing fabrics (extra wide) for backing your quilt and all the trims you could want; and finally kids and baby area with all the fabrics any mother and grandmother could want to furnish a nursery.

Hamilton shop gadgetI was in fabric overload now and headed down to the20160706 Hamilton shop 5a mancave “Machine Shed” for all the gadgets you can imagine and isn’t their window too cute…and right next to the Machin20160706 Hamilton shop 6b gadgete Shed was theHamilton shop mancave Man’s Land. A room to relax, designed to keep the husbands happy but I checked out the leather chairs and they were comfy.

20160706 Hamilton shop 7b JCPennyI missed the girls, they came20160706 Hamilton shop 7d JCPenny down another way and so I had to visit the last shop on my own. JC Penny quilt shop is the colorful solid store. If you can’t find a solid color here it is not made.

Four hours later, we had briefly touched the surface of Hamilton, Missouri and the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  It was absolutely mind boggling; the fabrics, the colors and all the quilts hanging in every store, not to mention the projects stitched with the fabrics. At times I felt like a kid in a toy store..I want, I want, I want.

And I did buy a few things…material for finishing 3 pieces of needlepoint…sending to the finisher. I purchased two patterns; one to use for a stitching idea and the other a finishing idea. And I bought a 1/2 yard of material for several other stitching ideas.

Will, I go back, in a heartbeat! Just let me know when you are in town and I’ll drive you up there. I can take my needlepoint…the ones that still need finishing and a project I am working on. I promise not to hurry you; I can always go to the man cave and stitch while you soak up all the creativity this place offers.

In fact you better plan on spending a couple of creative days maybe more here in KC , might even want to try our bar-be-que, take in a baseball or football game (depends on when you are here. We have another shop in Weston, Mo that is also creative eye candy for anyone creative or who wants to be creative…more about that later.  And don’t ask me to pick one, because if I were younger I would be moving north to be closer to these places…I’m about 1 1/2 hours from either but it is worth the drive.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Blue Bird: Sides and wing

I made another creative decision on the bird bodies I made sure the stitches were slanted the same on both sides. I guess I should say I reversed the direction of stitches for one side. Whatever, I did it and it was a conscious decision.

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one side

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the other side

 

 

 

 

 

I think bird wings and sides are going to be the most fun, but probably the most labor intensive.

2015-08-12 MS Blue Bird flower sample aI have been watching the internet and the trend to use silk ribbon in stitching and just being so creative stitching flowers.  I collected a few pictures from the internet that I thought would inspire me and set them aside for reference. You can just google “silk 2015-08-12 MS Blue Bird flower sample bribbon flowers for needlepoint” and click on images for an unlimited supply of ideas. And since this piece had lots of cute flowers… I decided to play.

 

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I also had purchased Bullion needles from local shop earlier this year.(https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/hari-kuyo-broken-needle-celebration/) and wanted to play with them too. These are from Colonial needle and come in two types (of course I have them both): Tapestry or Sharp Point Bullion needles.  There are three needles packaged in a plastic tube for storage; there are a 3 1/2 inch, 5 inch and 7 inch needle in each package and they are equivalent to a #20 Tapestry needle in size. While I would like to see smaller sized needles available, we will play with these.

And of course there were more thread changes to be made. I have spent the last few days gathering up threads, silk ribbons and beads I think may work. I have a stash of silk ribbons for that future day of fun…so today has become that future days /weeks of fun.

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Silk Ribbons

A word about silk ribbons: Most silk ribbons we are using to stitch with come in the following sizes: 2mm-4mm-7mm-13mm; 2mm is the narrowest silk ribbon.  Most common seems to be 4mm (but remember I am flying by the seat of my pants and have not done much research into this technique yet.) and it is what I have the most supply in my stash at the moment. Several companies are producing silk ribbon:

Dinky Dyes: 4-7mm (http://dinkydyes.com/index.html)

Gloriana Threads: 4-7-13mm (http://www.glorianathreads.com/)

Planet Earth Fibers: 4-7-10-13mm (http://www.planetearthfiber.com/)

Rainbow Gallery Splendor Silk Ribbon: 4mm (http://www.rainbowgallery.com/index.html);

River Silks: 4-7-13mm (http://www.riversilks.com/index.html);

Thread Gatherers: 4-7mm (http://www.threadgatherer.com/);

Treenway Silks: 2-3.5-7-13mm (http://www.treenwaysilks.com/index.php);

YLI: 4-7mm (http://www.ylicorp.com/index.aspx)

2015-08-12 MS Blue Bird silk ribbon on spoolI am sure there are others, but these are in my stash; I’ve seen one on a spool and would love to find it someplace…I just think the little spools are too cute. Anyone know where these can be purchased?

And I would be remiss if I did not tell you about Florilegium…If you are in the Midwest or plan on being here; plan a trip to Weston, Mo (http://westonmo.com/?page=home). It is a quaint little town about 35 miles (45 minutes) north of Kansas City or 30 minutes from KCI airport. Great shops and food.  Make sure it is a week-end, that’s when most all shops are open. But DO NOT MISS seeing Florilegium (http://florilegium.com/), even if you have to call ahead and make an appointment for early in the week visit; this is eye candy overload for the creative soul. Gretchen is the owner and Kathy, her friend, are the two sweetest ladies around. But the reason I mention them here is that if you need a silk ribbon Gretchen dyes them and has beads, embellishments and ribbons forever.  It really is eye candy overload! Every time I go in there I feel like a kid in a candy store and when I leave I am exhausted and know I missed half of what was right in front of me.

But I digress…I have a few books that I need to look through too. I’ll post again in a day or two with a list of books I have. Even though I prefer a book in front of me, the internet is always a good source and sometimes you can find videos that allow you to see the stitch being created.

But first I am going to Basketweave the backgrounds of these pieces. Yes I am going to use Silk and Ivory in medium color blue. Remember I use #20 or #22 tapestry needle…it works. I will Basketweave right up to the flower edges and if I have to go back and fill in I’m sure it will not be noticeable for all the flowers.

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

No stitching today,,,just making new friends

I am stitching, just have nothing to share yet…but I will.

2015-06-16 KC Needlepoint outsideToday I went visiting. We have a new needlepoint shop in town. I remember when we had five or six shops, maybe more, but sadly were down to two shops, but now we have three. This new shop KC Needlepoint; 105 East Gregory; Kansas City, Mo.; 2015-06-16 KCN Carol & Pollyhttp://www.kcneedlepoint.com  is owned by two young excited young women…Polly and Carol. They are starting out small with the basics and will slowly add to their inventory. In this day and age I think this is a 2015-06-16 KCN threadssmart idea…it would be nice to think that someone could open a shop with every thread and lots of canvases from many different designers, but the reality of today’s market is that is not economically 2015-06-16 KCN place to stitchfeasible nor would it be a smart business move.  Their shop is bright and refreshing with great areas for stitching and lots of areas to expand.

2015-06-16 KCN canvases & stitchingWherever we live, we need to support these young people in their ventures. They are the future of our art. If we are to survive as a needlework art, we need to support these new fledgling shops and help them to survive. Because without them we all lose! We not only lose that place to go and meet others who like us have a love of handmade needlework. We lose the place to learn new stitches, new techniques, new ideas and exchange ideas. We lose a place to SEE and buy our canvases and threads. But most of all we lose the place to connect one generation of stitchers to the next, we lose those young people we so desperately need to keep this art alive.

Remember the old Girl Scout song…”Make new friends and keep the old…one is silver and the other gold.”  We all need each other, we need to learn and teach each other. So I urge you to support your local shop or shops no matter how long it has been in business. And especially support that new shop, she (they) may be the new designer or teacher of the future.

So after you visit that shop, I hope you find time to stitch today!  And Thank you for stopping by…

ttfn…sue

Sh-h-h-h Part II

15-02-06 library parking garageOh I forgot to mention that a visit to the main library is an experience in itself. Even the parking garage is a work of art. The front looks like books, even the steps are books and on the side is a huge mural by 15-02-06 library parking garage blocal artist Bob Holloway of the Nelson Art Gallery and local historic figures. I had never noticed before that this picture is a combination of two areas at the gallery: the main hall (large columns and the balconies are Rozzelle Court.)

 

15-02-06 library entranceThe library is the old First 15-02-06 library main hallNational Bank Building. Just the front doors are impressive, but all the architecture is just beautiful and the antiques are great too. I remind myself that these antiques are like Christmas trees; on the lot that 15-02-06 library 3&4beautiful tree looks wonderful, when you get it home you have to cut 6 inches off the bottom just to get 15-02-06 library antiqueit to stand up in the room. These antiques look great in the library but I don’t own a home big enough to house them.

15-02-06 library clockEvery floor of the library has an antique clock, my favorites are the one in the main lobby and then there is a Arts and Craft clock in a meeting room (the room was locked and dark…no picture)

I just love old buildings; someday I am going to just drive around town and take pictures of the architecture in Kansas 15-02-06 building 1bCity. There is so much Art Deco and 15-02-06 building 1Arts and Craftsmen style. Notice some of the buildings of downtown…I thought of the song from Oklahoma when looking at them…”They went and built a skyscraper seven stories high“….and then looks like they add floors to some of these.

15-02-06 building 2aI’ve noticed that since I have been on this quest to be more inspired I have begun to see more. I am grateful my DH likes to go with me and drive.  I think my head is on a swivel (and I would be a hazard on 15-02-06 building 3athe road if I were driving) and I can’t see everything as we drive by and DH is so patient he will even go around the block so I can see again.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative! ttfn…sue

P.S. My creative block seems to have subsided for now…next week I’ll have a little stitching to share.

South Dakota part 2

More travels but I promise this is all…and this has needlepoint at the end. So if just interested in needlepoint, fast forward to last part.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 4 brought a day trip to the North Blackhills. We did a big loop again. Through the tunnel and off to Rapid City. We arrived in Rapid City, SD early in the morning and so most shops were closed, (I think OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMike planned this although I really did not see any shops that I couldn’t find at home…still no beading or needlepoint. But art alley was cool…Graffiti art in this alley as far as youOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA could see…on the dumpsters, walls, posts, everything for about three blocks…even some knitting around the poles…
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd on all the corners in downtown Rapid City are bronze statues of all the presidents…Truman touch of home and my favorite Thomas Jefferson.
Also found the Chapel in the Hills (http://www.chapel-in-the-hills.org/index.php), a unique “Stavkirke” (a medieval wooden Christian church building), OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAan exact replica of 850 yr old Borgund Church in Norway. Very lovely place and the only handwork I’ve seen so far…Hardanger.

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Then we were off to Sturgis, yes Sturgis…I wanted to see where thousands of people would gather in a few weeks for a motorcycle rally. Sturgis is Sturgis and it certainly caters to the motorcycle crowds. Another stop to cross off to my bucket list…But NO Needlepoint…and you would think if you could afford a motorcycle you could afford needlepoint.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Deadwood was a complete disappointment to me. Sorry Kevin (Kevin Costner and his family own most of the town), I thought the historic markers were poor and the famous saloon where Wild Bill Hickok was shot is closed. I really expected Deadwood to be less of a commercial town and more of a historical OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtown. In fairness to DeadwoodOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I thought all the towns (Lead, Cheyenne Crossing, Spearfish, etc… up this way catered more to the motorcycle and gambling tourists than to the beauty of the area. Bridal Veil waterfalls and the lakes were beautiful. I guess I’m too in needlepoint and nature…still no needlepoint.

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Day 5. We’ve seen all we came t see and decided to head home via the Badlands…talk about a change of terrain. It is really desolate land, beautiful but desolate. Sometimes OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAreminded me of what I think the moon surface would look like, other times,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA a gray Grand Canyon but not quite as deep, but deep; it was beautiful in its own unique way. The gift shop at the Cedar Pass Lodge was the nicest seen so far…many local Indian art and beadwork and theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArestaurant was wonderful. I had an Indian taco and Indian sweetbread; both were very good (probably not good for me, but usually what is good to eat is usually not healthy for you.)

13-07-26 11 D5 Wall DrugWe did the whole loop with a side trip to Wall Drug (www.walldrug.com) inOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Wall SD. Wall Drug has grown over the years and no one serves you ice water anymore but the story of Wall Drug is inspiring…”No matter where you live, you can succeed…”
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext stop was the Corn Palace (http://cornpalace.com/index.php) in Mitchell, SD. I had heard about this place all my life since my family had been in some type of grain OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbusiness all my life. It is so much more than a building with corn and wheat on the outside. We saw the 2012 artwork as the 2013 has not been finished yet and will be unveiled in August (August 20). Many of the drawings displayed on the corn palace are from Oscar Howe, a renowned South Dakota artist. He designed many of the panels for the Corn Palace I am going to do more research on Oscar Howe, I loved his pictures.

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Day 6: Sioux Falls to home…Sioux Falls has a beautiful area, Falls Park, don’t miss it. We met, by chance, the local CBS KELO Channel 11 news photo journalist. He was on the observation tower with us OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdoing a file shot. He pointed out all the points of interest: the meat packing plant that had made this town (Kansas City too in the day); where their stockyards had been (theirs has been torn down too…another bit of history gone); the state prison (looked more like a hospital than a prison); the old courthouse and St Joseph’s Cathedral. We tried to visit St Joseph’s Cathedral (http://www.stjosephcathedral.net/) but it was closed to change the light bulbs…but I did a virtual tour online and if I ever get back to Sioux Falls this will be on my must-see list. We would not have known about all these wonderful places had it not been for this great cameraman…thank you! I even called the TV station and told them how helpful OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhe had been…I hope he at least gets “an Atta-boy” for this. Their Butterfly House was having a special exhibit and so we made a stop here before heading south and homeward bound.

13-07-26 22 D6 Omaha Village Needleworks
But one more stop…a must see of Omaha, Nebraska, and no it’s not the Zoo although I hear that is great too. Village Needleworks in Omaha, a must see…I know it was an oversight by AAA that it wasn’t listed as “GEM“.  I have to have a needlepoint 13-07-26 24 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksshop and here it is one that is going to be one of the closest to my house about 3 hours away…I see a stitching trip in the future…Maybe a small bus load of stitchers on a day trip or overnighter (then we could get two days of needlepoint shopping & 13-07-26 25 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksstitching). Mary de Souza is the owner and a delightful lady. Her shop was so light and colorful I could have stayed all afternoon. Before we arrive I had told Mike that I did not want to hear, “Let’s go” and to his credit he 13-07-26 23 D6 Omaha Village Needleworksshowed great restraint (see him sitting outside the window picture)…I think he knew I was suffering from needlepoint shop depravation. And I showed great restraint in not going hog wild although it would have been very easy to do so…okay I did have Mary order one canvas for me and I ‘m going to call her and have her order another before she ships…
Oh I felt so much better after this shop stop…the trip was wonderful but this was the best shopping of the week.

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And now I am home, getting ready to leave again for a week…but only to house sit at my niece’s home bout 15 miles from my house…but there are wild turkeys and deer in her back yard so I will feel like I’m still on vacation…
It’s good to be home and I see a lot of computer work and stitching in my future!
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!
ttfn…sue