Hands To Work Journal

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Location: Stephens City, Virginia, United States

Monday, October 25, 2004


I spent the most fabulously fun few days with friends last week. I went to a "little cottage" in the mountains of Virginia with Carol Sims, Kathy Barrick and Cathy Campbell. While there we met up with Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm and spent two days shopping and visiting at her house. Having spent time with kindred spirits certainly revs me up to continue creating. I have my sights set on Nashville and want to get some serious designing done in the next few weeks. If you ever need a little kick to get you in the mood to create, take some time to spend with like minded friends. It really does do something to the creative spirit!
I'm hoping to get my crazy bird design on the website this week. Sorry it's taken so long! The gang (see above paragraph) helped me name him. So now he is called Mr. Harry Terry Tom. While he holds a banner that says Merry Christmas, I also am including the chart for another banner that says Good Morning if you want to display him all year. I'm stalking the mailman as he has the frame from Cathy Campbell. I hope it arrives today so I can take a picture and get him ready.
The stocking ornament charts are going out on the automatic delivery today. I hope you enjoy them....they make a great quick stitched gift!
Have a great week, enjoy the world series and have a safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Retreat Information

I spoke with Barbara at Hotel Strasburg today and she is holding all the rooms until December. Actually I can hold them longer but that is the first time we will be discussing how many rooms I will actually need for attendees. So depending on the response I get between now and December will depend on whether or not I hold every room in the hotel.
I've seen a picture of Kathy's make do project and it is awesome! I will be making one with her next week and will add a picture to the website. Cathy Campbell and Lisa Duffin are hard at work on their classes too. Just so you know, the theme of the weekend is strawberries...for stitching as well as food!
We also are going to have an exhibit for all guests to bring a stitched and framed or finished cross stitch project. Everyone will get to vote for their favorite and the winner will get a great prize! So get busy on your stitching...or dust off something spectacular that you're so very proud of! And start making plans now to spend a few glorius spring days in Virginia!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The leaves are starting to turn in the Shenandoah Valley. It has been a beautiful fall. The weather is fantastic! And now that the nights are getting cooler, I sleep so good. I love fall!
My newest design in on the website. The sampler is called I Wait For The Lord and is stitched on wonderful Lakeside Linen using one color of Needlepoint Silk and is framed in a Primitive Traditions frame. You can see the picture on the first page of the website. I'm waiting on the finishing of the Christmas stocking ornaments and I got an email from Charity, a friend and stitcher who always bails me out when I need her, that she is sending my Christmas Bird back to me. So I will get him in a frame and get the chart out asap.
My little WV sampler is still waiting to be stitched. I finished one and donated it to the West Virginia Folk Life Center Auction at Fairmont State University. Now I have to get my needle busy on stitching the second one for the model. I have a hard time carving out stitching time as I have too many irons in the fire (so my mother tells me!). I am currently participating in an online dollmaking class given by Gail Wilson...www.gailwilsondesigns.com...and hope to actually start on the doll today. I am trying to learn some sewing and finishing skills that I have never taken the time to do. I think this class will be fun and I will have a reproduction doll that I can save for a someday grand daughter as a result!
I'm off to the UPS store to send my trunk show to Something Extra in Toledo, Ohio. If you are in the area, stop by to see my newest designs.
Have a great week and keep those needles stitching!

Monday, October 04, 2004

A Hectic Fall!

It's been a while since I last updated my journal. It has been quite busy at the Riffle household the last few weeks. But it is slowing down a bit here which is a good thing as I have gotten quite behind in my designing and stitching!
My newest design is pictured on the first page of the site and is called I Wait For The Lord. I have to say it is one of my favorites. I love samplers stitched with one color. I hope to have the stocking ornaments back from the finisher soon so I can get that chart out. And I have two designs that are being stitched by friends. One tenatively called Merry Christmas Bird (not too original I know but that is the best I can come up with) is in MO and the other which is also a bird theme but has no name and is in Ft Myers FL. Those should be finished before too long and I'll get the pictures up asap.
I'm starting on a new venture. I enrolled in a dollmaking class online. The class is through Gail Wilson and you can view her fabulous designs at www.gailwilsondesigns.com. I have to paint the body parts this week and will start this afternoon. Hope it goes well! I am also going to be doing some very tiny stitching and finishing, even will learn how to make needle lace. This exercise will help with my stitching and finishing I am sure. I have made many things on my sewing machine over the years but have much to learn. I know this class will be a help!
My youngest daughter Elisabeth turned eighteen yesterday and I'm so amazed that she could possibly be that old! Wow!
Have a great week and keep those needles moving!