Friday, August 22, 2008

A Week of Relaxation and Creation

Last week Deb and I attended the annual Needlework Guild of Minnesota retreat in Buffalo, MN. It's a week we always look forward to anxiously and bemoan when it's over. This year we went a day earlier so we could have time to settle in and make more than a quick trip to the local yarn shop. We again had the Garden Room as our independent study room. We weren't happy about that because we had a bad experience there our first year. But this year it was just fine; I can actually say I enjoyed it. The light during the day is wonderful because of all the skylights and glass wall overlooking the lake, but in the evening it's not so ideal. Still, we both had our Ott lights and that helped. We staked our claim to a table and remained there the entire week. I was busy working on knitting a pair of socks for Aimee as part of Ravelympics and Deb was working on one of the most gorgeous Quaker samplers I've ever seen.

I took 3 classes from Lauren Sauer (Forget-Me-Not In Stitches). This is one of my favorites. It's called Key to My Heart. The heart is stitched in wonderful silks. When it is opened, it contains an antique key. On the inside, the heart design is simply back stitched; on the back the heart design has some color; and the front is in full color. It's very easy and so very pretty.

One of the things the Guild did for a fundraiser this year is have a silent auction for 18 handmade aprons the Guild used in the past for something or other (I can't remember the original purpose of them). When the Guild moved about a year ago, they were going through all they had accumulated and ran across the box of aprons. They were going to simply throw them out until someone thought of auctioning them off. The aprons were displayed on a clothes line stretched over the stairs going from the entrance of the retreat center to the lower level. Some of those aprons went for BIG bucks! One woman also took all the aprons and photographed them individually and made them into an extremely beautiful calendar, which they also sold as a fundraiser. Of course, I had to get one!

During Show and Tell at the annual meeting, 9 Guild members brought the neighborhood round robin they had worked on for the past 2 years. They were SO beautiful! This was my favorite, done by the "infamous" Kathe Lyndsley...stitcher extraordinare.

One of the things that I love most about this retreat, besides the opportunity to do nothing but stitch, eat and sleep, is the peacefulness of the retreat itself. We saw some of the most spectacular sunsets this year. I'm already anxious for next August to roll around!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Big Read

Let’s see how many you have read from this list. This is what you do:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own Blog

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton **my all-time favorite book!**
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie