Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Great Time in Jacksonville!

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of teaching my newest class, A Lady's Worke Box, for members of the DuClay EGA in Jacksonville, Florida.  Most of the attendees live in the Jacksonville and Orlando areas. In addition, Eleanor came up from the Sarasota area where I had taught two classes two years ago for her guild.  Anna and Helen flew in from San Antonio, Texas where I taught two and a half years ago.  Anna was also in my very first class when I taught for Rae Iverson at her A Stitchers' Gathering.  It certainly was so much fun to see so many old friends again.  In addition, there were three ladies who were new to my classes--locals Becky and Cathy (who moved to Florida just a few months ago) and Susan from the Philadelphia area.  The guild members were so welcoming not only to me but also to their newest members Anna, Helen, and Susan.  Within a matter of hours, everyone seemed like old friends.

The classes were held at the Riverdale Inn, a beautiful B and B in the Riverside area of Jacksonville.  Most of the out-of-towners stayed at the Inn and said their accommodations were wonderful.

On Friday afternoon, four of us (Ellen, Melody, Susan, and I) met briefly at the Riverdale Inn before heading out to a delightful tea room Melody suggested for lunch.  Although there were lots of choices on the menu, we all chose quiche, which was wonderful. 

After lunch, Melody (who organized the workshop) asked Susan if she would like to see the historic Benzel House where she works.  Of course, Ellen and I were thrilled when Susan said yes because it meant that we too would be able to once again see this beautiful old home.  Perhaps you may remember seeing my photos of the Benzel House taken  in October 2011, the last time I taught in Jacksonville.  The house, which was built in 1912 by Wilbur Talley, is in the beautiful Riverside area and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  From the front porch, there is a beautiful view of the St. Johns River, the only major river in the US that flows north.

We then headed back to the Riverdale Inn for an afternoon of stitching.  Several others for the Saturday class had already arrived, so we had a nice afternoon of stitching and catching up on old times.

Melody, who has become a dear friend, completely surprised me with a project bag that she commissioned a local gal to make.  I love it!  Isn't the fabric wonderful?  I wasted no time moving my Anne Maria Clarke sampler from my plastic project bag to this beautiful one!  Thank you, Melody, for your kindness and generosity.  I'll certainly think of you and our friendship every time I use this wonderful bag.

More folks arrived while we were stitching.  For dinner we walked over to a great restaurant (I can't remember the name) that Melody knew about.  Melody seems to know the best places to eat and shop in Jacksonville.

The next morning was class day.  Here are some photos I thought you might enjoy.

Here we are at the very beginning of the day.  Can you believe that it was so warm that day that I had to shed my sweater?  Perhaps you can see my new project bag on top of my teaching suitcase on a chair in a corner of the room.  My class model is barely visible on the table in front of the screen.

The next photos were taken later in the day, after a delightful lunch outside on the deck.  I tried to take photos of everyone, but I missed a few --so sorry if you were one of those I missed.


The ladies brought lots of "goodies" for show and tell.  At one of their recent meetings, a guild member taught them how to make needlework cubes.  In the background of several of the next photos are the wonderful and creative "fruits of their labor".  In the foreground are some completed With My Needle projects.

In the foreground are three With My Needle designs.  On the left is Helen's Friends in Sttiches (a class project) opened up.  Helen took this class in San Antonio, Texas.  Sadly I neglected to get a photo of the sewing case closed or of Helen herself.  Also in the photo is Carol P's Long May She Wave, a class project which I believe she took in Sarasota.  And in the very front on the right side are two parts of Carol P's Remember Me Sewing Case which I think Carol told me she stitched on 40-count linen.  (I stitched my model on 32-count linen.)

In the background, you get another view of some of the cubes.  In the foreground, is Eleanor's wonderful Ackworth Friendship Book and its carrying case.
A couple of years I showed you Joyce Anne's Alphabet Samplings Book, but my photo wasn't particularly good.  I asked Joyce Anne if I could try again to show her wonderful work, and she obliged.  Some of you may remember that on my model there was no decoration at all.  Can you believe the beautiful silk ribbon embroidery Joyce Anne added to her book  cover?

Here are a few pages from the inside of Joyce Anne's book.

Besides bringing her Ackworth Friendship Book for me to see, Eleanor also brought her completed Mrs. Waddelow's Needlework Basket (and accessories) for me to see.  Can you believe she also made her basket?  What a multi-talented person!  And look at the beautiful needlework bag she is carrying!  It is almost as big as she is!  Eleanor hooked her incredible bag.  It left us all drooling.

Next up is Carol with her completed Fruit of the Vine Sampler Huswif.  This is a class project that she took in Sarasota two years ago.  Carol is an incredible and prolific stitcher and finisher.

And here is even more of Carol's lovely work.  The following photos are of her Petit Carnet d'Ouvrages, Livre I.  Carol and her friends stitched this project as an SAL.  She asked her friends to "mark" the pages they stitched for her but to stitch their initials in a lighter thread color than they used for the rest of the page.  I think you can see what I mean in these photos with the initials "G" in the first alphabet and "D" in the second alphabet.

Next is Lauretta with her completed Call of the Sea, my very first teaching project.  Loretta took this class as a member of the Azalea Sampler Guild.  Sadly, the guild has fallen apart, but most of its members are also in the DuClay EGA. 

Loretta also brought her framed An Emblem of Love, which she stitched a few years ago to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary.  Not only is her stitching beautiful, but look at the beautiful frame!  I love her choice!

Next is Teresa B's version of An Emblem of Love, which she stitched for her parents' 50th wedding anniversary in 2011.  Since a 50th anniversary is called the "Golden Anniversary", Teresa decided to stitch all the hearts using gold thread.  She also added the wedding and anniversary dates of her parents.  The gold on the frame brings out the gold Teresa added to her sampler.

The product package includes two charts--one for the multi-color version that Loretta stitched and the other for the single-color version that Teresa stitched.

Near the end of the class, Melody presented me with an envelope.  When I opened it up, I saw this wonderful hand-made card which Henri had made.  She made the card to match the house and trees on the front of A Lady's Worke Box.  Wow!!  Then, when I opened up the card, there were lovely notes from each of the class participants.  This certainly will be a card that I'll always treasure.  I think I'll store it in my needlework casket along with other special remembrances.  And would you believe there was even more?  Yes, the class attendees gave me a gift certificate for The Scarlet Letter!  Wow!!  That was so very kind of them, and you know it will be put to good use.  Thanks everyone for your generosity and kindness.

After we had all packed up our things, many in the class headed out for a final dinner, this time at the Blue Fish.  I knew it would be wonderful because this is where we went the last time I taught for the guild.  I certainly wasn't disappointed.  Here are Teresa, my fellow Florida State alumnus and Seminole fan, and Ellen, who acted as my "chauffeur" on Friday and Saturday, mulling over the menu.  So many tantalizing choices!  This transplanted native-Floridian sure enjoys getting her share of fresh seafood when anywhere near the ocean.

Then it was back to the Riverdale Inn for good-byes and hugs until the next time.

Thanks, everyone, for a very special weekend filled with great memories for me, and I hope also for you.  Special thanks to Melody who made everything perfect for all of us.  You are such a gracious hostess!


Margaret said...

Looks like a wonderful time! I love seeing all the beautiful finished works by the ladies as well.

Jackie said...

We all had such a good time! I can't say enough good things about your classes!

Oh...did you know that Eleanor actually made the basket too? She has so many talents!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Looks like everyone had a great time. I loved seeing all those photos of everyone's gorgeous stitching.

Barb said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures! It is always fun for me to see An Emblem of Love stitched in different colors from mine.

Annette-California said...

All the ladies are so talented. I loved getting to see each piece you shared with us Ellen. Thank you. Eleanor's hand made basket (by her, according to Jackie), all the goodies and lining inside and her hooked Handbag...wow.
love Annette

Lili said...

Beautiful photos!
Gorgeous pieces!!!

Hugs x

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Oh Ellen, I feel like I was a mouse in your pocket! You are so lucky to have gotten to see all these beautiful things in person. I'm so glad you had a great trip!

Cynthia said...

Looks like everyone had a grand time. The projects that everyone has done are absolutely beautiful. Such wonderful talent all in one room.

woolwoman said...

Ellen - I don't know what happened to my first comment - I know I had made one - It was the most fabulous two days I've had in a very long time. The talent was deep in this group as evidenced by your photo journey thru our workshop. Beautiful project and beautiful venue and many beautiful ladies. Thanks again for sharing your time with us. Hugs mel

Nicola said...

Thank you for sharing Ellen. It has been very enjoyable looking at the photos.

Poussy Stitches My Love said...

félicitations à toutes !!!! vos ouvrages sont superbes !
bisous from FRANCE

Kerri said...

What a wonderful weekend. I have been to a few retreat classes and always leave inspired and energized by all the wonderful projects shared.