The Merc

Good morning, and happy Tuesday!

I've been preparing to head to Virginia Beach this weekend to teach at the Dyeing to Stitch fall retreat, and I am so excited about it! The threads, charts, and models have all been sent and are awaiting the attendees!

Before I leave, however, I'd like to finally get on here and share those Pioneer Woman pictures I was talking about almost two months ago. 🙁 I apologize for taking so long – the summer has been a very busy one, with lots of house projects and work and more house projects and work. It's been hot and sunny all summer long, and while I do confess to indulging in my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season yesterday, I'm not quite ready to give summer up just yet. (But I suppose that's not up to me, is it?)

Sabrina drove up to Tulsa from Dallas to meet me for a girls' day, and we had so much fun, I want to go back and do it all over again. (I miss my girl terribly.. she's been in Borneo for the past two weeks, and will finally be back in the States tomorrow!) 

Pawhuska is just about an hour north of Tulsa, and the drive is an extremely pleasant one, in my opinion. Cows, trees, open fields – it was all there, and while you would think that living in Nebraska would afford me the same views, it does not; I have to drive a ways out for that from where I live. 

When we were almost there, we drove through a little town that started with a "B," and I rolled the windows down. I'm not sure why I did, but I'm so happy that I did, because I believe it's one of my favorite memories ever… there was not a soul to be found in this town, as it was pre-8:00 am, and everyone was still most likely sleeping or getting ready for the day. The speed limit was only 25 or so, and even with my wheels crunching the gravelly road underneath, I could hear the beautiful sound of quiet. No sirens, no trains, no traffic, no loudly-humming air conditioners… just lovely, never-before-experienced, peace and quiet.

I was very sad when we were past the town and back onto open road.

But the open road didn't last long at all, and suddenly we were there: Pawhuska!

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We got there right at around 8:15 or so, and it's a good thing we did, because the line was already at a 45 minute wait. I was warned to get there early, as the line can lead right out into the street – and it does! By the time Sabrina and I were seated, the line was three rows deep. But the Merc workers do a highly efficient job of getting people in and seated, so at least for us, the wait didn't seem overlong.

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Once seated, we were overwhelmed with the menu options. But I went straight for the Cowboy Coffee, and holy moley, that was the very best cup of coffee I've ever had in my life, bar none.

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I snapped a picture of it on my phone and sent it to Mom at home, but the first thing she honed in on was the cup. 

"I NEED THAT CUP AND SAUCER," she texted.

"IF YOU LEAVE THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA WITHOUT ONE OF THOSE CUPS AND SAUCERS FOR ME, DON'T BOTHER COMING HOME," she texted. 

I'm just kidding. But I could tell she probably texted that and then deleted it because she was afraid I'd report her again.

(I realize I may have some recent readers who don't realize that I do love to tease my mom, so please know I've never actually reported her. I usually just let her slide.)

Anyway, I did end up getting both my mom and I a pink and blue set of the cups and saucers. They're beautiful in person, and a really great diner weight.

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I had been just dying to go shopping in the retail part of the Mercantile, which was attached to the restuarant. So when I had to get up from our breakfast to find the restroom, knowing I had to go through the store to get to it, Sabrina said, "Mom, do not look at anything without me! No peeking at all!" 

I did my best not to look, but oh it was hard. There was stuff everywhere! So I hurried back, we finished our breakfast (I'll post my cell phone photos at the end of the post), and then scurried over to shop!

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The Coffee Bar was upstairs, so we headed up the grand staircase and stood in line. While we were waiting for our order, I took a few pictures. (And by the way, I ordered the Spicy Cowgirl, which is hands-down the most interesting cold coffee beverage I've ever had! Ree actually has the recipe posted online, so if you like a little fire with your coffee, Google it and make it pronto! I've made at least 147 of them since returning home, which suprises Sophie, because I will scream "SOMEBODY CALL NINE-ONE-ONE"  if I accidentaly ingest a fraction of a jalapeno; so it makes zero sense that I like this beverage.)

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After we picked up our pastries and beverages, it was time to hit the road: Sabrina back to Dallas, and I back to Omaha. So back down the grand staircase we went, and we discovered that in the short time we were upstairs, the Mercantile had practically filled to capacity!

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We made our purchases and bustled through the crowds to the exit…

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And then out into the street to make our way back to our cars. This photo pretty much sums up the entire town of Pawhuska, believe it or not…

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The Pioneer Woman crew is currently working in the construction area to add something on to the Mercantile, but I've not yet read what it is they're creating. I'm excited to find out! 

If you are ever in the Tulsa area, do try to make the drive up to Pawhuska! It is such a fun time, and the restaurant food is outstanding.  Sometimes Ree or members of her family will pop in unannounced, which is fun.. some of the ladies at The Silver Needle retreat had told me that Ree had visited while they were there, and told them she's always wanted to try cross stitch.. when Sabrina and I were having our breakfast, Ladd walked in, which was a huge surprise to me! He just casually visited with some of the tables, chatting, which I thought was so nice of him. I was bummed he didn't make his way over to our side of the restaurant, but I snapped a distant photo anyway. 🙂

As promised, here are the cell phone pics I took…

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Thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope to see some of you this weekend in Virginia Beach! Travel safe! 

The Silver Needle Summer Stitching Event

Hello again! The calendar says it's August 3, but it feels like I just got back from Tulsa! Linda from Chessie & Me fame and I were invited by Lindy of The Silver Needle to be the teachers at the annual Summer Stitching Event, and it was absolutely fun-filled and energized and fabulous! And spending time with Linda was wonderful; she's a talented, lovely teacher, and I'm privileged to call her my friend. 

And I didn't get one lousy picture of her project. But don't tell her.

Some friend I am.

Actually, I didn't get a picture of mine either, but that's because I knew what it looked like. But I did take a picture of it for the cover of the chart before I left, thank goodness.

In the last few blog posts, I included a tour of Lindy's shop, and today I'd like to share just a few pictures from the actual class with you. The class was held in an open space in the building around the corner from The Silver Needle shop. The temperature outdoors was at least 426 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was during high noon on Day One that Linda-from-Chessie and I decided to head over to the classroom.

It took us about a half hour to get there.

Not because were were enjoying each other's company so much that we had to shoot the breeze (there was no breeze) in the parking lot, but because we went in the opposite direction of where the classroom was, and ended up walking around the entire plaza before we got our bearings. Thankfully we were not eaten by coyotes, but I guess at high noon in an open parking lot in a super bustling part of town, that's not likely to happen. But you never know.

Anyway, we made it to class and as soon as our pulses returned, the retreat went splendidly.

If you ever get the chance to attend the retreat in Tulsa, come hungry.

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The Silver Needle hosted a pincushion exchange to raise money for St. Jude's Hospital, and all of the pincushions were so beautiful…

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This is stitched over one on 40, y'all…

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Here are some of the attendees (hey girls!) discussing the finishing of the little acorn project I brought…

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One of the ladies there was working on this breathtaking Scarlet Letter sampler… I was completely gobsmacked.

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Here is Shannon, quite a prolific stitcher, working away…

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The classroom had a mini shop set up with a trunk show of lots of Chessie & Me and Plum Street models…

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Here is one of the attendees, working away on Linda's project, which was a gorgeous painted patriotic house box with a stitched flag mounted to the roof…

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On Saturday afternoon, the attendees started packing up and heading back to their homes, and we all said goodbye. Lots of new friendships were formed, and it was so much fun getting to put faces with Instagram names, meeting FlossTubers, and watching Facebook groups reunite. If you ever get the chance to go to the Summer Stitching Event in the future, don't pass it up! I had so much fun, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have met all of you who attended.

After the classroom was broken down – trash out, tables folded, chairs stowed, charts and models boxed, tablecloths shaken out, and cars loaded, the staff and Linda and I headed to Lindy and Craig's house for a huge barbeque and lots of laughter. I did take one parting shot before I got in the car, of Lindy and Craig's fabulous front door. I begged them to let me take it home with me, but they politely refused me. Isn't it great? They certainly knew how to build houses and doors back in 1928.

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Thank you for stopping in for the last leg of the tour. Hopefully you'll come back by soon to see the pictures from the Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

All I can say is swoon!

Oh, and before I forget, here is the picture of the class piece I did for the retreat:

Betsy's Autumn Cover

And here is the little acorn project and pincushion for the welcome night… you can hardly see the little acorn, but it's there!

Betsy's Bird FULL small

See you soon!

 

The Silver Needle Tour – Part 2

My goodness, where have I been?? I'm so sorry to leave you hanging like that! If you haven't given up on me just yet, let's continue our tour!

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If you are ever able to visit The Silver Needle. you'll be greeted by a very sweet staff and hopefully the Head Proprietress Herself, Lindy…

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The shop is huge! It's full of pretty much anything you'd need to fill your stitching hours with…

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(In the usual paparazzi fashion, I stalked Linda from Chessie and Me while she shopped for flax outerwear…)

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(One of my guest rooms – formerly Sabrina's room – has been slowly evolving into a Farm Suite. I'm not sure I meant to do that, but evidence of my love for cows and sheep have made their way into that room, so perhaps I should add a bit of pork to the decor with Stacy Nash's design below…)

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I hope you enjoyed this brief second half of the Silver Needle Tour! I'll be back soon – I promise this time! – with more photos from my five-day-weekend in Tulsa, which includes a visit to the Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska. 

Thank you so much for stopping by! 

 

The Silver Needle Tour – Part 1

Last week I was in Tulsa, teaching with my sweet friend Linda from Chessie and Me at the Silver Needle Summer Stitching Event, and what a fabulous time we had! Lindy and her team did a wonderful job, and I was really overwhelmed with how welcoming every single person was. What a huge group of attendees! And we all had fun chatting, stitching, eating, laughing – all the good stuff!

Just around the corner from where we were gathered was the Silver Needle shop itself, and I thought I'd give you a little look-see, in case you've never been! (And if you're ever passing through the Tulsa area, you have just got to stop in and visit!) I took a lot of photographs last week, so I'll need to break up the blogging into a few different posts. 

If you see something you like, give Lindy a call, and she'll be happy to help you out!

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I'll stop here for now, but I hope you enjoyed the first part of your mini tour! I'll try to get back here soon with the rest of the shop pictures and a few from the actual retreat itself. And by the way, Sabrina drove up from Dallas and arrived during the last half hour of the fun – just in time to help tear down and clean up! But afterwards, she and I spent the next couple of days doing a few things around Tulsa, and then driving up to the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile. And let me tell you.. I was in caffeine heaven!

Until next time!

My First Drum!

I've never designed a "drum" before, so at the urging of a couple of sweet friends, I've come up with one as a sort of spin-off of Cape Cod Keeps. This was such a fun little pattern to design, and I hope you like it! Joy of Finely Finished did a gorgeous job of transforming three pieces of stitched linen into the actual drum, and I've included her brief finishing instructions at the bottom of this post.

Here we go!

Mariner's Drum COVER

The drum was stitched on R&R Reproductions' 36 ct. Patriot's Brew by my good friend Pat Ryan.

The colors used are all by Weeks Dye Works, but the chart does include a conversion to DMC in the key. Here are the Weeks colors you'll need, if you choose to stitch it:

Onyx, Adobe, Dirt Road, Sandcastle, Gunmetal, Pelican Gray, Light Khaki, Deep Sea, Dove, Garrison Green, Confederate Gray, Tatanka, Teal Frost, Cinnabar, Cayenne, and Cocoa.

You'll need three pieces of linen in the following stitch counts:
For the side: 217w x 57h
For the top: 72w x 67h
For the bottom: 60w x 60h

There is a tiny bit of long-stitching on the comb, and a small area of over-one stitching in the mermaid's mirror. 

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The top of the drum features a pirate who has dropped his anchor in place to search for sunken treasure. If you look carefully at the photo above, you'll notice the seam joining the top of the drum to the side of the drum meets so that the chain links connect the anchor to the ship!

The verse I used for Mariner's Drum comes from an old sea shanty, that goes like this:

Cape Cod Girls ain't got no combs;
They brush their hair with codfish bones. 

There are actually more verses (and other variations) to this shanty, but I liked this one the best.

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The bottom of the drum has a little mariner's compass stitched on it. But of course, you could choose to use a piece of wool in place of the compass if you'd like to be finished with it faster. 🙂 (By the way, it wasn't until after I uploaded the photo below that I noticed a little green leaf in the center of the compass. I tend to make sure there are no stray fibers anywhere, but I'm not accustomed to looking for stray greenery!)

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And speaking of finishing, the lovely Joy Hayward has provided brief finishing instructions for the drum. If you are not an experienced finisher, be sure you read all of the instructions before you attempt any cutting. This is not a difficult piece to finish, but you want to be in control of each step! I always "walk things through" in my mind all the way to the end before attempting any of it with my hands!

Download BRIEF FINISHING INSTRUCTIONS FOR MARINER'S DRUM

I truly thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you're having a wonderful week!

New for May

Happy New Week to You!

I've been working on four new releases for this month, and I'll be shipping them out soon to your local or online shop. I'm so excited that summer stitching is almost here!

Here is a little sneak peek of the first release, which is a follow up to Hello Spring that was released in March.

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Stitch Count: 150w x 83h

Linen used: 36 ct. Patriot's Brew (a brand NEW color!) by R&R Reproductions.

Threads used:
Weeks Dye Works in Sanguine, Parchment, Grits, Oscar, Bark, and Grapevine;
Classic Colorworks in Milady's Teal, Used Brick, and Ye Olde Gold.

Trims used: Lady Dot Creates in Vintage Mini Poms and Vintage Silk Ribbon (hanger).

My dear friend Pat Ryan stitched the model beautifully (thank you, Pat!), and Joy Hayward from Finely Finished did a stunning job on the finishing! (Thank you so much, Joy!)

I hope you all have a lovely day, and I'll be back soon with more releases! Please let your shop owner know if you'd like she or he to reserve a chart for you. 🙂