Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Turn, Turn, Turn...

This is the first fall in over twenty years that I didn't have to concern myself with the education of my children. No books to order, no lessons to plan, no contemplating whether we should we start school before or after Labor Day.  My last student "graduated" and is on to grown up things. It's a strange feeling. But, as both Pete Seeger and Ecclesiastes say, “To everything there is a season..."

Honestly, I'm really enjoying this season. Sometimes I almost feel guilty for enjoying it so much. Almost. :) And although I no longer have to grade papers...I still have homework. 

I've fantasized heard about the Boxwood and Berries Gatherings at Country Sampler in Spring Green, Wisconsin for years. This year, I've been saving my pennies to make my fantasy become a reality. And this year, I'm going! I can hardly believe it! Five glorious days of solitude...reading, sewing, antiquing and best of all, taking classes with two of my folk art heroes...Maggie Bonanomi  and Stacy Nash. I've been working on perfecting my curtsey, because in my book, these ladies are the royalty of primitive design. I feel like Cinderella going to the ball! Can you tell how very, very excited I am?

I got my itinerary a few days ago...the projects and other events planned for us by the artists and shop owners look incredible. In order to get so many things accomplished in the time we have, Stacy assigned some homework.

Whew! I'm very nearly finished. This is the first time I've stitched on 28 count linen... it's stitched one thread over two. It took a bright light and magnifier for me to see the threads.

This section is part of a sewing basket we'll be making with Stacy. I've long been a fan of her beautiful sewing accessories and samplers, but let me tell you, this gave me new respect for what she does! I hope you'll hop on over to her blog and see her exquisite work for yourself. She also has some photos of the finished sewing basket on her blog. It's seriously TO.DIE.FOR.

I still have a wee bit of stitching to finish. I am determined to have it finished before I go. I wonder if they'd believe me if I told them, "the dog ate my homework?"

If you've been to a Boxwood and Berries Gathering before, I'd love to hear any tips you might have, either about the workshops or must see places in the area. Any information about where to shop, thrift, eat healthy, or antique in and around Spring Green would be very much appreciated. I'll be traveling from the Chicagoland area...where do YOU recommend I stop?

And...if you happen to be one of the fortunate few who are attending the second session (I know you're out there somewhere) please do send me an email. I'd love to say "Hello" before class. :)

Until next time...Rhonda


  1. Woohoo! Rhonda, I will be in the second session with you! I can't wait! But I am a little jealous, you'll get an A+, while I am failing, my homework is only halfway done :( I better hustle! I've only missed one session of B&B and will be happy to share my favorite haunts with you while there. We usually get a little group together to visit my favorite antique shop and do a bit of sightseeing. I'm coming from Chicago and usually stop in Rockford, then zip right up to Spring Green. Feel free to email me with any questions or to chat :) I feel like I am meeting a celebrity, I love your articles in Mercantile Gatherings - its the first thing I read!
    Blessings, Patti

  2. Rhonda , how very exciting , Im so happy for you sounds like fun ! and if my homework looked that good Id have to cry if the dog ate it ! have a safe journey and enjoy the royalty ! hugs lilraggedyangie

  3. That is just beautiful! I hope that you have a great time! That is amazing! Enjoy yourself! This is the one craft that has eluded me~ I am determined to learn this.
    Have a great week!

  4. Your work is absolutely beautiful. How fabulous that you have some time to yourself. My son is home schooled and this is his last year. I can't imagine what I'm supposed to do next! I hope you have a brilliant time at the group. penny

  5. Dear Cinderella - how lucky you are, and how SOOOOO very beautiful your handwork is! I look forward to hearing all about the ball! Have a wonderful Thursday - Tanya

  6. oooooh, so you can have an uneven stich, 1 over 2 or 2 over 3... lol, cause I had this fabric, and the horizontal was ok, but the vertical came out
    smaller. Sorry, but I am learning to cross stich, I can do it, but I am a newbie. I thought you always HAD to have an even stich. Well this makes sense! LOL ! Because some of these loose woven fabrics are uneven. Thanks for sharing this. I will try 2 over 3.!!

  7. Thank you for all the nice comments ladies...seriously, you make me blush. :)

    Patti, you are like a rock star in the prim world...I'll be the one asking for an autograph! I was THRILLED to see you'll be attending! Thanks for your note, I'll email you.

    Tanya, you always make me laugh. Guess which jewelry I'm packing for my trip? :)

    Pamela, I left a comment on your blog about the linen I used. :)

    Hugs to all!

  8. Oh you are so, so, blessed! I'd give my eye teeth (if crows had teeth) to be able to take on of Stacy's classes....I'm a HUGE fan...Your stitching is looking absolutely perfect! So wonderfully even....And, geesh - even your linen is so nice and flat. I always, always, end up with "hoop shadows" even after pressing it. I struggle so to see on linen these days that I have my fabric extra tight in the hoop (thinking like, yeah, that'll help!) Just gorgeous - can't wait to see your finished treasures and hear all about the ball!! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

  9. Robin, I feel TRULY blessed to be attending the ball this year. :)My dear, sweet, amazing (add adoring adjectives) husband is taking care of everything while I'm away. He keeps telling me to do whatever I need to do, to get the most out of my time there. He's even been cooking while I watched "Mad Men" and stitched in the evenings. He's a GEM. :)

    I think the linen is from Weeks Dye Works...I could be mistaken. I can ask Stacy when I'm there. I too struggle with SEEING those teeny stitches and used a very small hoop stretched TIGHT while stitching (You mean that DOESN'T help? LOL). I steam pressed the linen with a hot iron (linen setting) from the back side. I went over it about three times and the wrinkles fell right out.

    Thanks for your kind remarks, Robin.
    Happy stitching!

  10. I couldn't believe my eyes when I clicked on your blog this morning and there was the B&B project in all it's glory! I will be there too second session....this will be my second trip. I love coming back to the midwest (to my roots) and being with ladies who share my love of stitching, wool and primitives. I was surprised & pleased last year to meet Patti, whose blog I had been reading. Now this year you will be my blogger "find". I am about 3/4 done with the homework. I would be much further if I didn't take time to read so many blogs. It is an addiction! Your piece looks so beautiful. I had better get busy!

  11. Oh my goodness, I am so happy for you that you get to go to this AMAZING class, and so sad for me that I DON'T!! LOL
    Seriously, I really am happy for you and know you will have a FABULOUS time, meeting Maggie and Stacy, two of my Primitive idols as well!!
    Your work is just perfect and makes me want to try my hand at cross stitch again, but I know I need a good refresher course, some GOOD lighting and a good, patient, teacher!! I have not stitched on that type of linen before and the language seems new to me now so it will probably be like starting over again. One of these days I will learn rug hooking, needle punch and RE-LEARN cross stitch, but for now, I will just keep stitching and stuffing!
    Have a FANTASTIC TIME Cinderella and I am so glad you will have Prince Charming waiting for you when you get back from the Ball!!

  12. Rhonda,
    WOW!!! First, I wish I knew how to cross stitch... I see what everyone does, such envy! These class and trip ounds like heaven! Enjoy the trip, you deserve it!!!! Take lots of pictures to show us! OLM

  13. Thank you, Thank you "girls"! Cross stitch is EASY to learn (or relearn). Google is our friend ladies. :) You just have to pay attention while counting threads and keep at it. It IS time consuming. If *I* can do it...

    I wish you were all coming with me! I'll be sure to take pictures and Julie, thank YOU for the giggles.


  14. Ho wonderful for you to be going....I dream of that someday!...Your stitching looks wonderful.
    And time alone with the girlies!..
    What Fun!

  15. Wow, what fun that will be!! I would give almost anything for a whole week of reading, sewing, and antiquing with no kids pulling me every which way, husband to tend to, and house to keep clean. You are so fortunate!! Envious here, hehe. This is your reward for putting in all those countless, extra hours of being mom and wife and not getting paid for it. Enjoy it!!

    Your stitching is absolutely gorgeous girl! It is going to look so neat in the basket, can't wait to see it finished.