Saturday, 24 February 2018

Blog #57 - The Merchants Mall

Saturday, 20 May 2017
To continue on with events from 'Celebration of Needlework' retreat at Nashua -
Thursday evening was the "Preview and Power Shopping" event.
Prior to the event, the weekend emcee - Susan Greening Davis -
visits every exhibitors booth in the Merchants Mall
and notes down any special items that she deems exceptional
or exclusive or unique to the vendor. 

The ladies enrolled for this event are given a show booklet,
each page containing an exhibitor's name, their business name
and their booth number and a place for the holder
to write notes for themselves
(e.g. the exceptional item/items described by Susan).
Then at 7pm the doors of the Merchants Mall
are flung open and the ladies "pour" into the ballroom
to purchase their preferred items.
It is quite a frenzied time.
For the first time ever, prior to leaving home,
I had made up kits of linen fabric, threads and pretty printed cotton fabrics
for the inside finishing of my design,
"Hem Your Blessings Poche"
- and ALL packs that I had made up sold out that evening!
Barb 1014
Hem Your Blessings Poche
I should have made up a lot more
as Merchant Mall days were
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
as well as the Thursday evening!
I didn't get around to taking pics of all the vendors,
but in addition to those shown in my previous blog,
below are a few more pics of booths set up by good friends.
As per last year, Niky & Candy shared an exhibition booth -
Niky  :  Nikyscreations  (Italy)
Candy  :  The Workbasket  (USA)
Simona  - on the left
Romina   -  on the right
Romina  :  Romys Creations  (Italy)
Simona  :  Mani di Donna  (Italy)
This was the first time Romina & Simon have attended this retreat.
To see all booths in the Merchants Mall, go to Bonny's blog  -
Bonny managed to photograph every vendor!
You will enjoy reading her blog.
Friday evening I attended one of the many lectures -
this one by Susan Greening Davis on "Darning Samplers".
Wonderful.  So informative.
I now have a greater appreciation for these pieces of needlework.
She also had a few pieces from her antique sampler collection
and everyone was envious of her edition
of a reproduced German sampler pattern book
that was originally published in 1597
and which is again now out-of-print.
Here are a few pics of the samplers Susan had on display -

Saturday is always the 'Breast Cancer Dinner' -
an evening full of fun, food, and frolicking,
and the silent auction for the purchase of baskets
overflowing with fabulous needlework goodies -
all funds being donated to breast cancer research.

I usually attend this function but this year opted to go out for dinner
with my designing friends.
Went to Martha's Exchange restaurant in Nashua.
Here is a pic of us all.
Pictured from left to right are -
Karen & Dennis  (Rosewood Manor  -  USA)
Candy  (The Workbasket  -  USA)
Bonny  (The Nebby Needle  -  USA)
Niky  (Nikyscreations  -  Italy)
Janis  (Noteworthy Needle  -  USA)
Me  (Sherelyn,  Barberry Row  -  NZ)
Sunday was the last day of the retreat.
The Merchants Mall closed at noon
and then everyone had to dismantle their booth
and once done most headed away home or elsewhere to stay with friends.
Niky had popped off to say goodbye to a friend,
and so is not in the photo below - just Candy, Bonny & Janis.
The photo of Niky below (sorry, it's a bit out-of-focus)
I took at another time when she was going out to the shops.
Can't you tell she was a professional ballerina in her younger days!
The five of us had been together having a farewell natter and drink
before these four girls left me at the hotel.
Bye, lovely friends.
I probably won't see them in 2018 but planning to in 2019.
Like myself, Karen & Dennis stayed another night at the hotel
and so they invited me to join them for dinner that evening. 
It was hilarious though, because they had forgotten that their vehicle
was all loaded up with stock and really no spare seat for me.
However, Dennis pushed a few things around
and managed to squeeze into a small gap amongst the boxes!
Here is a pic of him.
Just as well Mr. Traffic Cop wasn't around!!
They took me to a restaurant that specialises in serving lobster.
Don't you just love their "designer" plastic bibs!
The next morning (Monday), Romina, her daughter, and Simona
were leaving to return to Italy and so we got together for breakfast.
Good company.  Good friends.
I don't know if you can see it or not,
but in addition to her passion for dyeing threads,
Romina loves to dye her hair.
It is streaked - red, lime green, mustard yellow, purple and other colours.
One never knows from one day to the next what colours she will choose. 
Her personality is as colourful as her hair.  Love her.
After they left, I was definitely the only needleworker remaining at the hotel.
I spent the morning repacking my bags and in the afternoon
walked to the local shops and enjoyed looking at all the beautiful items
that Americans can purchase and so some shopping -
a pair of shoes and a few new display easels.
I think that is enough for this blog and so will bring this to a close
and continue another day.
Hopefully I have encouraged you to think about
attending a 'Celebration of Needlework' retreat.
I assure you that you would have a most enjoyable experience.