The Quintessential English Tour…Day 2!

HamptonPalace

The skies were blue, the sun was out and the billowing clouds just added to the picture perfect day ahead of us at Hampton Court/Hampton Palace.

It was just a short walk across the street and soon we were on the grounds of this palacial spread. We were headed for our class at The Royal School of Needlework, something that’s been on my bucket list for a very long time. Taking a class on this hollowed ground where kings and queens have walked before me, where they embroider wedding dresses for royalty and so much more.

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Some of us took the elevator and some of took the stairs to the classroom, which they failed to mention just how flights upstairs it was!

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Hmmmm, what was this basket for?

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One of the previous tenants had a little dog and yes she did agree with me that it was way too many stairs! So she would lower the dog in the basket to the ground floor and the dog would do what a dog needs to do… and then get back in the basket and be brought upstairs!

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Our classroom was all ready for us! Our project was a goldwork pomegranate to coincide with the display of Pomegranates and Peacocks in the RSN.

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This was our teacher sitting on the stool!

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and here was our project, and as you can see mine is still a WIP!HamptonPalace2

Look at these grounds! How can you pay attention to class when all you really want to look out the window?

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After class I had my first scone with clotted cream, some retail therapy and then we had a private tour of the rest of the school, where no pictures were allowed.

Too soon the day was over and back to our hotel to rest up abit before our night out…

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Which found us a Lebanese restaurant where the wine flowed, the food was fantastic…but the company was even better!

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This was dessert and yes they were small baklavas with pistachio’s sprinkled on them!

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The view of our hotel as we were walking back.

This will be it for at least a week or so since I am leaving for the summer TNNA trade show… see you later!

 

The Quintessential English Tour…Day 1!

front-entrance

Last I left you…I had landed in London, where Jeremy would be there to pick me up. Never travelling internationally before, I had no idea how long it would take to get through it all. And talk about a huge airport! wow! wow! wow! It was so great to see a familiar face there for me. It’s been too long since we’ve seen each other, so we had much to catch up.

Mitre

A fabulous quaint hotel, the Carlton Mitre located on the river Thames was to be our first home away from home. Lots of little shops and restaurants located close by, plus we were right across the street from Hampton Palace, where we would spend 2 days of our tour… so this was the perfect place to be.

Many were here a day early, so we had Sunday morning to play. A group of us decided that we would go to Buckingham Palace, which was just a train ride away!

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I was fascinated with all of these bikes located outside the train station!

The beautiful grounds about Buckingham Palace.

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We wanted to tour inside, but because the Queen is in residence at the moment, the commoners weren’t allowed! So what to do? well we went to The House of Mews…which by the way has nothing to do with cats!

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We learned that the Queen would be opening Parliament in just a few days!

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This is where all the fancy cars are housed…and before we knew it was time to head back to the hotel. But this time we walked a little more to see and hear some of the sights and sounds!

BigBen

Such as Big Ben and…

Eye

The Eye, which we would call a Ferris Wheel. I heard that it travels veeeerrrrrryyyyy slowly. And trust me, I will never complain about Southern California traffic again!

I will try and get one more day of the tour posted before leaving for the east coast for the summer TNNA trade show…

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And if this was the treatment I got from AlleyCat after coming home… wonder what she will think when I tell her that I am leaving again?!

 

The Quintessential English Tour…leaving on a Jet Plane!

Well the day was finally here…it seemed like it was years ago when this was first being planned. And the last few weeks, well the time seemed to inch along as if it would never get here. You know like a kid waiting for Christmas? well in a way that was me.

Friday the 13th was the day I was leaving and of course I had a late night flight, so I had all day to kill. Tried to stitch, well that wasn’t working and then tried to work on some stitch guides and that wasn’t happening either. So I just chilled and kept thinking “what did I forget?” “did I pack enough clothes? too many clothes?”

Finally it was time to head to the airport, albeit a little too early. TSA had ONE agent working, so the lines did inch along and finally I was through, so I was glad that I gave myself that extra time. I always like to look for my gate first, discover my surroundings and then I will settle in.

While I was discovering my surroundings, I saw this display…

and just why am I sharing this with you?

Bhavna, the artist is a regular shopper for threads at The Needle Nook of La Jolla! I was quite honored that I would see her work displayed here and I could say that I know her.

A few “big girl drinks” and before I knew it is was time!

wow is that I big plane… and finally! Before I knew it I was landing in Heathrow where Jeremy was waiting to pick me up.

The trip was wonderful, my fellow tour attendees were great and I loved pretty much every second if it. Jeremy and Elizabeth really did it up right and they will continue to do these tours… and actually they have one set up already “Jeremy & Elizabeth’s Wild West Tour of the United Kingdom” which you can check out. I would sign up for it in a heart beat, but work will get in the way. Now why didn’t they ask me if the dates were good for moi?

I have lots more to share with you… so check back every few days. I have so many pictures that I just need to sort through.

 

Quintessential English Tour!

pounds

Do I have enough pounds purchased? I hope so! passport…check! credit cards…check! clothes packed? well almost…we’ll say check! needlepoint related stuff such as glasses, scissors, needles, canvas and threads…check! cell phone charger and adapters…check! What am I missing?

jeremy

This is Jeremy Hamilton, formerly of Kirk & Hamilton and he is our tour director for the Quintessential English Tour along with…

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Elizabeth of Needlepoint Now…

So hopefully I will have lots to share with you when I get back… but that won’t be till the end of the month at the earliest! Not travelling with my Mac, and to not use up all my data at once, I won’t be answering any comments once I leave.

 

Do I Even Remember?

BOF

Well of course I needed to start off with a cat canvas. Seriously, what were you thinking? This is called Garden Cat and is by Birds of a Feather. It is on my bucket list along with about 50something other canvases that I want to stitch!

But if I don’t have time to blog, I have even less time to stitch! I do thank everyone who has missed me…it really does the heart and soul good! Now let’s see if I remember how to do this? and so far so good.

meredithsmile

So what have I been up to? let’s see I attended the Blue Bonnet Stitching Retreat in mid February and took from my “sistah” Meredith! It was strictly studio time for me and this is what we worked on.

UmbrellaLady

The Girls with Attitude Collection by the collection. This one is called Raindrops and I wanted a background stitch. This is never what I would have thought of, never in a million years, but isn’t that why we take classes? I do love it and I need to get busy finishing it up!

Then it was back to the shop to get ready for the Needle Nook of La Jolla’s Getaway. It was a pretty fabulous 5-day event and we all had a great time! I really didn’t have any pictures in my laptop of the weekend right now, so I will save those pictures for another day.

I had a life altering/threatening event happen to me 2 days (or was it 3?) before the Getaway started. And it made me realize more and more that friends are the single most important part of your life. When it comes to friends, I am very, very rich.

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Just 3 weeks later, Meredith came to our shop to teach! It was fabulous and we hope that we can get her back next year…she is a very busy lady you know!

Cleocatra

This is what I was working on with Meredith. Cleocatra by Charlie Harper and we were loom-beading her necklace!

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In between this all… it was a window change and I came up with a gardening theme. I need to come up with a new idea in the next few weeks or so. and and then it was opening day baseball!

Brenda

Brenda was here twice and it is always something we look forward to!

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and of course AlleyCat helping write stitch guides. Mathematically she could park her butt in a million and one spots… why here?

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and this is the kids sleeping on top of me on the couch… chillin’ and hanging out with them is always a highlight of my day.

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Can you guess where I am going? In 16 days…but who’s counting? I am headed to London with Needlepoint Now for a needlepoint trip. Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!

 

Just Keep on Stitching!

AlleyCatSylvester123

Things are a changing around here at mostlyneedlepoint… first of all there is a new server where the blog lives and we are going through a renewal thing. I keep getting emails saying that I need to renew and then they say it’s been taken care of. I am so confused! I do have a different cc# and who hasn’t had a least one of theirs change the last few years? So how could it have been renewed since they didn’t contact me for the new number?

Secondly as much as I want to share so much with you, I find that I just dont have the time to continue to blog right now. I am preparing for a reallllllllllllllly big event at the shop in a few months and all my energies need to go to this. I toyed with the ideas of not renewing, but my webmaster told me I was crazy to do that and she talked me off the ledge…so for now we are just going on hiatus for a few months at the least!

Thank you to everyone who have been faithfully reading my blog…but seriously can you just give me about 12 more hours in my day?

and in the meantime… just keep on stitching!

 

I’m Late! I’m Late!

for a very importante date! and what that might be you ask?

well updating the blog of course…with all the new and fabulous things that we saw at market. But no time!

This is my first day this year that I don’t HAVE to be anywhere and would love to stitch the day away, but I need to get all the holiday decorations put away, laundry and so much more.

and this is what I hope to be doing later tonight…stitching with the cats about me!

 

To Market, To Market I Go!

This weekend starts the TNNA Winter Trade Show…San Diego is always one of the favorite destinations for the show! Its the weather, its the locale, its the restaurants downtown…

but it has been literally raining cats and dogs this week! But that won’t deter the shopping. We really need the rain to keep this America’s Finest City.

I am headed down to the convention center in a bit as I am taking a class with Kelly Clark and, and, and I have a project for TNNA that I am working on. Will start it before class, work on during our break and finish it up tomorrow as #1 I ran out of room in my car for “stuff” and #2 many of the vendors are bringing me “stuff” tomorrow for display.

okay…gotta go finish packing now

 

On the 12th Day of Christmas!

The 12th day of Christmas is celebrated on January 6th and the holidays are already just a memory. The decorations have been packed away, the holiday stitching finished up and already it is time to start exciting new canvases with fun threads and great ideas.

January 6th is also the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Three Wise Men finally completed their trip to see baby Jesus and deliver their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Many people think of the 12 days of Christmas leading up to the holidays, but it is really the 12 days after Christmas! Growing up, we usually took down our decorations on this day, but today my house has long been undecorated!

As I decked the halls this year, I realized that I have no nativity, no creche’ set, no manger, none of that, wether it be a stitched set or something special that was purchased. I really would like to stitch a set for myself, one of these days!

In Italy, on the eve of Januray 6th or the night of January 5th, it would be the day of La Befana, a lovable good witch who brings presents for all the boys and girls.

When Christ was born, The Three kings passed the house of La Befana on the way to Bethelehem to see the Christ child. They invite her to take the journey with them to find the Christ Child. She says she is too busy. Sweeping Constantly.

She goes to sleep and the Christmas star wakes her up. She changes her mind and wishes she went with them.

She goes to find the three kings and angels come and help her fly. She brings her baked gifts to all the good children and looks for the three wise men. To the bad children she brings coal and ashes. Now every year in Italy the good children wait for La Befana, their version of Santa Claus.

Now in New Orleans as they ready for Mardi Gras, it is King Cake that is plentiful during this day. A little treasure is tucked inside and if you are lucky enough to find it, it allows you certain privileges and obligations.

In Mexico it is Dia de Reyes or Day of Kings. When I worked in the restaurant the guys would bring in Rosca de Reyes or King Cake. A sweet bread braided and loaded with fruits and if you were the lucky one to get the little baby hidden in the cake…well you were lucky enough to host the party! As the host or hostess, you are the one to bring the tamales to the party traditionally held February 2nd which is Dia de la Candelaria. This is the day that candles are brought to the church to be blessed. February 2nd is also the midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox and if you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring and spring training as I am…you know that it is only a few short weeks till pitchers and catchers report! I still need to make the trip east for my first experience with Spring Training. One of these years!

Is this how you feel about New Years resolutions?

AlleyCat is still not letting me out of her sight! She is keeping her eye on me as I am taking care of my plants. Shhh don’t tell her that I will be leaving her again in a few days! Market is just around the corner…and too close to the holidays.

 

Happy New Year!

I have been asking myself lately… is it “Happy New Year?” or “Happy New Years?” and with or without the apostrophe? however, whatever, I wish us all a healthy and happy new year filled with wonderful stitching adventures, more time to stitch, great canvases, threads, books and must have needlepoint related stitching accessories!

Now that the holidays are over with, it is time to pack up all the festive holiday decoartions, both here at the house and at the shop.

And then…and then…it is time to get ready for TNNA Winter Market that is here in San Diego. I am not teaching this year, so you ask we what do I need to do to get ready? Well Needlepoint Now ships all the magazines et al here to me and that needs to get loaded up in my car…  I am taking an all day class with Kelly Clark on Thursday, so I need to gather my stretcher bars and stitching supplies. And last but not least, TNNA has started doing a “shop display window” and I need to design and set that up. They don’t give you much to work with, so I need to get rather creative with boxes that are wrapped, etc. I am going with a Christmas theme and as I take down the stuff in the shop, some of it will get used there! I have been asking for new Christmas canvases from the designers. Wish me luck that it will look fabulous when I am done!

This is a kitty cat selfie as we went back to sleep on the couch yesterday and enjoyed a very lazy morning…