Sunday, 26 May 2013

Let the Games Begin...

Let the Season Begin …

It is 9:40 am and I am sitting in a tent at the Rideau Acres Campground in Kingston, Ontario at the Kingston Scottish Festival … the first of the season.  Where is the sunshine the weather network promised?  I am comforted by the blue sky which hopefully means NO RAIN!  But the wind is fierce, my tent is a sail that promises to fly away sometime today … and I am freezing!!!

All the sights and sounds of the games are here … there have been pipers practicing the same songs since before 7 am this morning, a drummer has been drumming on the corner of my table for the past 20 minutes, and the dancers’ families have pitched their tents as the dancers stretch in preparation for their solos and group numbers.  I love to see everyone in kilts … and wonder if it is true what they say is worn underneath … and the kids who live in both worlds with Aeropostale shirts, sandals and kilts.  Being the first of the games, there are the squeals and hugs of seeing someone you have not seen since last September and the chatting to catch up.  And, dare we forget the latrines that we have also missed all winter … or the bugs.

The games have a life of their own … a community within a city.   I had to borrow nails from someone to hold down the tent and lent someone else a crate because she needed a “wee stool”.  Everyone is eager to lend a hand to help put something up or watch over things while you run to get lunch.  And, age has no significance.  Children of 5 and 7 are encouraged to “do their best” as are the adult competitors, some who have been competing for over 50 years. 

Many people have begun to wander by and I know they are just waiting until their child, spouse, friend, parent competes or performs.  Some are stitchers and will pick something up to do while they wait.  For them I have a full line of Textile Heritage kits that come complete with everything from the tassle to the ribbon.  Some are my regular customers … now my friends.  I will show them all of the new kits and patterns, especially the Anne of Green Gables and Military kits.  And others are appreciators and soon to be stitchers.  I will show them the L’il Stitchies, designed for beginning stitchers of all ages.

If you will be at one of the games coming up, send me your wish list and I will put your order away so you are not disappointed.  I rarely bring more than 1 of anything.  If going to a Scottish Festival is not something you have considered, why not check out the list of where I will be this summer … where else will you see someone throw a telephone pole … in a kilt?

Let the Games begin …

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Introducing our Canadian Designers Pt 1

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be highlighting the Canadian designers whose designs I carry.  I hope that you will love their work as much as I do.

Our first is Karen Dudzinski, who designs under the name of Textured Treasures.
Karen started stitching as a Brownie but really picked it up after attending her first trip to the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival where she bought Susan Portra's "Spirit of the Southwest"; an amazing canvas work that sparked her imagination and desire to design. Karen’s Textured Treasures designs were born in 1997 with the Days series, fusing canvas work ideas with fabrics typically reserved for cross-stitching and hardanger.  Karen has designed numerous patterns that have been sold world-wide.  Karen’s designs are unique in that she continuously breaks most stitching rules combining cross-stitch, canvas work, hardanger, stump work and needle weaving within a single design.  After a brief hiatus while raising 3 kids, Karen continues to keep busy designing small projects for family, church and friends, while working full-time in regulatory affairs.

Ruach Crafts carries all of Karen’s designs.  Most are posted on our website. If you are looking for a project that will be both challenging and fun to stitch, and will look lovely in your home, or someone else’s, look under Canadian designers on our website and look at Karen’s designs. 

Or, watch for Karen’s class at the fall Creativ Festival, where she will be Stitching a Scrapbook Page.  Although the predominant techniques for the class are cross-stitch and bargello, participants will also incorporate counted thread and canvas work stitches using DMC perle cotton, floss, metallics, Rainbow Gallery fibres and more. See how a photo can be converted to cross stitch and receive a converted photo chart from Karen after the show.

Help us help you keep the spirit in your stitching.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Happy Mother's Day One and All!

Happy Mother’s Day …

I have just finished sending out my personal Mother’s Day wishes and it seemed an appropriate time to write this.  To me, Mother’s Day is a time to think of community and the support that we give each other.  I can’t help but think of the familiar picture of the quilting bee of days gone by or, for the males in the group, the barn raiser. 
It’s not that our ancestors were lazy and could not do the jobs themselves, it was that they recognized the joy in working together, learning from the previous generation, and teaching the next, and building a community, one word and one stitch, or nail, at a time . 

I have had some requests for an old fashioned Stitch and Bitch and, if you can put up with the chaos, I would love to begin one once a month.  I am not a retail outlet, so this would be in my home in central North York.  I make a terrible cup of coffee but perhaps we can encourage someone to take over that task.  I can provide a comfortable place to sit, fairly good lighting, and a place where you can sit, relax, stitch, or not, and meet other like-minded people.

If you are interested, drop me a line and let me know what day(s) work for you … and watch this blog for your personal invitation. 

Happy Mother’s Day, to you, to your mother, and to your daughters.  May it be a day filled with the joy of having those you love around you.

 Help us help you keep the spirit in your stitching!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Dancing and Teaching...

Cead Mile Failte  - 100,000 Welcomes!

Spent Saturday at the Forest City Feis, an Irish dance competition in London, Ontario.  It took me back to the days when my daughters danced.  “Do you have a needle – my daughters seam split and she goes on stage in 3 minutes!” The high pony tails and curls … “Do you have safety pins – how am I supposed to put on my daughter’s number?” The make-up … “Where is stage B?”  Everywhere there were dancers practising, parents taking pictures and teachers directing children of all ages to point their toes, jump higher, and my favourite … smile!  The costumes were spectacular, the excitement contagious, and the disappointment heart breaking.  I felt right at home.  Bless them all … they were wonderful.

Several “little people” expressed an interest in what I was stitching and I began some of them off on their first project, one of my favourite parts of these shows.  Most parents/grandparents are concerned that their children will be unable to stitch because they are not able to help them.  A dear friend taught my children at 4 and 6 years of age.  Another dear friend always says … “you put the thread in the needle, the needle in the material, you know what an X looks like, make lots of them”.  Stitching will help your children to develop their focus, their fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, it is fun, and it is time with you.  What more could you ask for ….

I am always ready to teach counted cross stitch to children of all ages and I provide all of the supplies free of charge.   Just ask me when you see me at an Irish Feis or Highland Game, or sign up for a free make and take at my booth at the Creativ Festival.  Everyone leaves with my email address and messages with HELP in the subject line get answered first.

Help us help you keep the spirit in your stitching!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Creativ Festival

My living room is filled to bursting with tables and bins, my dining room has become a haven for fabric of every colour and count, and my feet hurt.  Must be the end of the Creativ Festival!!! 

Seriously, I love the Spring Show because it is my first big show of the year and a time to reunite with many old, (sic) friends.  I love hearing what you have been stitching, who is married, engaged, or pregnant, (more good excuses for stitching), and the plans for the summer, (the best time to stitch).  ­­

This year was fabulous!  Check out the picture of our booth.  There were several who commented that our booth was their first stop at the show or that ours was their favourite spot in the whole show.  My response is usually, “don’t tell me … tell the show office”.  They need to hear from the stitchers or there will be no stitching left.

And, our winner is … Beth Goldsworthy.  Congratulations Beth!!!  Let me know if you, and your daughter, prefer aida, evenweave, or linen and I will put together a package of goodies for you.  Remember to send us a picture of your completed projects so that we can post it for all to see.

Thanks to everyone else who came by our booth, to those who came to our classes, and to those who have kept in touch since.  Start your engines folks … the season has begun.  Watch for us all over Ontario and Quebec this summer.

Help us help you keep the spirit in your stitching.