Tuesday, April 12, 2016

There & Back Again!

"Came the Spring" - part of the Little House on a Pincushion Class Series

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting 30 lovely ladies that came together for The Hands On Design Weekender - organized by Barb from Country Cupboard in Orland Park, IL.

It was almost a year ago that Barb asked if I would come teach at her retreat, & even then, I knew this was going to be a special trip: My parents grew up in this part of the Midwest woods & I still have relatives in the area. I left Thursday morning & arrived at my Uncle's house in Frankfort...

...at a time when my scattered relations seem to only meet up for 2 of life's momentous occasions, it was great to visit 'just because'.

Friday I headed to the LaSalle Manor in Plano, where Barb hosts the retreat.

That's Barb standing in the center of the picture above (where is my camera crew when I need them?)
Let me tell you, Barb organizes a great retreat: food, door prizes, games (the Yankee Swap was lots of fun!), she sets up a shop with tons of goodies (I brought a trunk show as well).

This was the view coming out of the room where I stayed - I felt like I slept in a treehouse!!
I got everyone on the staircase for an "I finished it" shot after class. They were all wonderful students - many not only finished their pincushion, but a few finished their bonus scissor fob too! (see the photo above)
 I always design an exclusive piece for each retreat I am asked to attend. I offered to re-chart the word Spring to Winter as we had rain, snow & sleet during our weekend (which was OK because we also had fireplaces...very cozy!)

Barb took any extra kits back to her shop with her - she may have some left (kits include everything but the batting - chart, linen, enamel pan, floss, woolfelt leaves, ribbon, pins & round finishing disk). Call her NOW at 708-460-7779.

I came to the retreat only knowing 2 of the attendees - a little nervous to stand up in front of 'strangers' - but these gals were so welcoming & put me right at ease. I made some wonderful personal connections & enjoyed the laughter, the jokes & the stories. Many thanks to Barb for all of her hard work! Be sure to stop in her wonderful shop if you ever pass through that area!

Once retreat was over & the car loaded, I made the 20 minute journey to my cousins house!! I have fond memories of heading out to Sandwich as a little girl with family. Once I drove back into the area, instinct took over & before I landed at his house, I found my way to the long, narrow driveway that used to take me to Grandma's house...

My cousin Chris.

I spent a great evening catching up with Chris & his wife...marveling at how parallel our lives & families are - genetics? age? who knows...we even have similar dogs! (same breed but practically opposite in coloring!)
Monday morning I hit the road to home, but stopped 1st to visit with Cathy of Inspired Needle! Another terrific shop, Cathy is taking some of my models to Celebrations in Nashua, NH soon. After a visit over bagels & coffee - we got to work!
I think I'm getting better at this selfie thing!

There is much to see at this wonderful shop - I had to look fast as I needed to hit the road & head for home.
So I made it there & back again...time to work on new projects, designs & classes...but very happy to have the memories of this trip!
Enjoy the Stitch,


Monday, April 4, 2016

A Big Day at Our House

There are 2 'anniversaries' of sorts today at Haber-house!

First, my youngest (my baby), turns 21!

Bill & I spent time looking back at old photographs yesterday, so you can imagine a lot of laughs at good memories & of course Kleenex too. A new item on the 'to-do' list...scan all of those old photos into the computer! (Imagine, taking baby pictures before I-phones!!)

There has been a lot of 'where did the time go' kind of talk between Bill & I lately. Some of it is sad & bittersweet, but I choose to focus on the 'what's to come' part of it all. We are so excited as soon Chris will start his senior year of college & then lookout world! We are so very proud of him, but also hold much respect for the child that has grown up: he is smart, loyal, strong (& perhaps a little stubborn & sarcastic...but I'm not sure where he got that!)


What about Anniversary #2?

Well, on Chris' 3rd birthday (I don't remember why we did it that way...), I opened Hands On Needleshoppe & began my career in the needlework industry!

I often find it hard to tell people what I do for a living (a needlework shop..what's that?, you finish needlework?? you design cross-stitch?? my grandma does that!)...but the reality is, 18 years & I'm still here!

The brief bio:
- Hands On started in the lower level of my home - retail space was at a premium ($$$) - I stayed there for 3 years, building, learning, growing. We moved to a teeny tiny 450sq location & stayed less than a year! Moved to 2400sq ft and stayed almost 6 years. Cross-stitch, yarn, classes, retreats, gifts...we had it all, but time with family was tight & necessary.

- the year after I closed the shop, I did finishing full time for various shops & customers. While I loved the flexibility, I missed contact with stitchers & teaching! Enter: CherryWood Design Studios, where I hung my design hat for 5 years and learned a whole different side of the industry. 3+ years now on my own as Hands On Design & I still feel like I learn & grow with each design!

My husband's favorite thing to tell me during some of the early growth years: 'it's all a process'! Man, I really disliked that saying, but 18 years later, I know what he said was the truth...

Releases from this year's Nashville Needlework market.
I'll talk more about them soon...but today we have much to celebrate!
Enjoy the stitch,