On the way to Nashville, I drove over a bridge that spans the "Chunky River." Shortly after that, I passed a Nestle truck carrying a load of Baby Ruth's. No matter how much I honked at that guy, he wouldn't stop to sell me one.
Sue's daughter Ellen came along to help out and see the world. I gave her a package of Bump-It's as a funny gift. Ellen ended up trying them out, and everyone agreed they were very cute. Niky Farrauto from Italy tried them out, and thought they were so wonderful, she headed to Target to take a set back to Italy.
I taught a class about an hour after arriving at the hotel. I had the honor of sharing the responsibilities with Pam Reed (Old Colonial), Amy Bruecken (AB Designs), and Lori Markovic (La D Da). I presented an awesome idea for a "Sampler Muffin," and later this week, I'll post a picture and instructions on how to make it.
A new series will debut soon via Crescent Colours of "Maggie Bean's" small sampler designs. She is Jenny Bean's little sister (and so she does small samplers, as she's just learning.) I had run out of time to stitch the first one for display, so I took fabric, fibers, a needle, scissors, the frame, and finishing supplies. I started stitching it around 9 Friday night, went to bed around 10, got up and finished it, and delivered the framed piece to Sharon for her booth about 15 minutes before market started. All in a day's work.
Barb and Alma of Blackbird Designs were just down the hall from me at the hotel, so they stopped in a few times. They each bought a few things, and both of them asked me about my MD's Christmas Sampler piece. EVERY market they try to buy that chart again, and EVERY market I tell them they already have that one, which they love. They both said they should just go home and stitch the darn thing.
I was THRILLED to get my hands on some wooden Colonial dolls at Old Colonial. Pam only made two hundred of them, and they are dressed in the coolest clothes. You stitch on a pre-finished apron a little Quaker design. I told her Monday morning at breakfast that she was crazy for making all of those kits (she sewed all of the clothes, including the bonnets, which she said were a pain in the neck.) She did not disagree with me that she was crazy.
I took the original Ann Grant sampler along to market, and everyone thought the reproduction sampler was awesome. The shops loved the colors, and they were also enthusiastic about the "A Sampling by Ann," which is a smaller showcase of motifs from the sampler. I presented the idea of my going back and designing pieces the same size/shape using my other reproductions (and framing them in the same frame.) They thought that was a great idea. We don't all have time for 40,000-stitch projects.
I missed my cats. And my family.
I found a number of wonderful reproduction samplers (and original samplers) to bring back to market. I showed some designers and shops a picture of the Ann Dale sampler I am in the process of buying. Luckily, I had plenty of towels from the hotel to wipe up the drool.
Cecile and Patti recently worked out an agreement where Cecile took full ownership of Just Another Button Company (now Patti can concentrate on designing cross stitch and quilting, which she did before she helped found the button company.) Both ladies have found renewed creativity, and their new designs (pincushions and buttons for Cecile, cross stitch designs for Patti) are SOOOOO cute. A lot of shops at the show commented on how they can tell already that the change was good for both of them. And they both seem so happy!
I always buy at least a little something at market just for me. This market I bought: a piece of Walnut linen and a bag of lavender at The Heart's Content; a really cool hand-made (old-lookin') frame and a pack of walnut dye at Cardan Antiques; a stack of dyed wool quarters at Weeks Dye Works; two back issues of Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly at The Marking Sampler; a raspberry martini at Carraba's on Sunday night. I also had a number of designers come in and give me little gifties or their favorite new graphs.
Sue and Ellen were eating bananas while I was out shopping on Sunday. One of the bananas had a bruise at the top, and they were going to flush that little bit down the toilet. They left it in there for me to find. When I did, I thought, "Wow, someone isn't chewing their food." Weirdos!
Lindy from The Silver Needle came in and scooped up a bunch of my models at the end of the show to take back to Tulsa. I always joke that market is like a family reunion for me, because I never get to see all of my pieces together, except at market. (By the way, it is totally fine that she borrows them. They're in good hands!)
Giblet shredded an entire roll of toilet paper while I was gone.
I LOVE bread, and we don't have local bakers here (well, we do, but they bake cakes, cookies, bars, muffins, etc....but no bread.) Our hotel was five minutes from a brand new Panera bread, so I stopped Monday morning on my way home and bought a huge sack full of it for my freezer. When I was telling the young Panera employee about the lack of bread in my town, and that I was taking this all back to Hattiesburg for my freezer, she mistakenly thought I'd driven all the way to Nashville just for the bread. I wouldn't do that, silly girl! (There's a CLOSER Panera in Alabama.)
I have one minute until I have to get in the shower, so I'm going to close for now. Please know I'm home safe and sound, and I will be working very hard this next few weeks to update the site, get orders out, and deal with the fall out from the past few weeks. Thank you everyone for your kind support and comments. I'll talk to you soon!