Weekend Retreat

Awesome weekend! I was at the Elegant Stitch retreat in Modesto, and it was a blast! Lois, the shop owner, treated us like royalty. The instructor was Jackie Du Plessis of It’s Fine-ally Finished. Her work is exquisite, and she is a hoot as well! She greeted us with a new joke each morning. 🙂

The theme of the retreat was “Chocolat”, and the piece we worked on is in rich tones of browns, with gorgeous velvet and silk ribbons. The embroidery itself is straightforward but fun and varied, with fourteen straight-stitch “wrappers” around unique “chocolates” which will form the outside of the, uh, outside of the box (with me so far?). Here is how far I got on the wrappers:

Chocolat WIP

If you go to the Elegant Stitch retreat link, you can see more of the pieces in this project. There is an inner box covered in velvet and silk, which contains some smalls – a chocolate bar pin cushion (brown velvet), a small silk-ribbon covered “toffee”, a chocolate kiss pincushion, a silk-ribbon necessaire (scissor pocket, pin keep, needle pockets). Wrapping around the outside of the box, like the cover of a book, is another necessaire with more pockets (the photo above is the outside of that). And, the piece d’ resistance – a brown wool bunny measuring tape – you pull on his little cotton tail and the tape comes out (if you pull the tail of one of my brown bunnies something else comes out, but that is beside the point).

What is very exciting about this project is how much construction there is – the kit contains everything including mylar and other “inner workings”, and there are detailed instructions that Jackie went over in class. I hope to finish some of the pieces quickly – many of them don’t have embroidery on them – while her voice is in fresh in my mind.

But wait – there’s more! We were showered with gifts while we were there. Check it out:

ES gifts

We were greeted with a nametag which also held a pair of gold handled scissors with a beaded fob (I forgot to photograph those!) , a spoon-pincushion, Thread Heaven and waxers shaped like chocolates which were in a pretty brown box (my new ort box), a chocolate bunny, a silver necklace of a Hershey’s kiss, and a laying tool (or awl – it is pretty sharp). The red carpet was fully out for us!

Elegant Stitch is a wonderful shop – one of the best I’ve been to. It’s really just over an hour down the road, so I will be coming by more often. 🙂 Here is my stash haul:

Stash Haul

The motif book and Kevlor (?) scissors were my splurges. Otherwise, I was pretty good (because if you think about it, when you remove splurge items from the equation, suddenly everything you purchase is quite reasonable). I bought fabric and fibers for two charts I already have, some notions (emery powder, fray stop, a small funky measuring square, needle tugger) two pins (one for me and one for a Christmas exchange), some rare-earth magnets for a lap-desk I am tricking, and a small chart that was on clearance.

Whew! I’ll stop gushing now, and leave you with a bunch of carrot eating bunnies.

3 buns

That is Fiona, Nora and Hank. 🙂


And Done!

Here is Arabesques. Very pretty in person. I am envisioning shirred burgundy velvet around it, then framed. I need to get acquainted with a good online frame store so I can do it myself. I’ll just stick that on the to-do list. 😉


I’ve been going gangbusters on my Drawn Thread GCC with EGA. My goal is to finish it before my Elegant Stitch retreat in two weeks – not sure if I’ll swing that but I am making good progress. Time to update my 10 Project List as well. Not because I am completely done with it, but done enough! Jeez, that thing has been dragging on forever!

I purchased some more embroidery frames from Images Stitchery Design. I love these – very sturdy, easy to deal with and they sit up on their own. I also got the Lap Stitch Pal. Very handy…but suffering from the same issues as my footstool. Unfinished, unrefined! Why the heck am I using ugly stuff when my hobby is to make pretty stuff!? It is getting a makeover as we speak…yep, another project!