Saturday, July 25, 2020

Midsummer 2020

Midsummer Blessings

Dear Friends,
I am home this afternoon on this state holiday.  It is usually a day filled with early morning parades, farmer's markets, barbecues, and fireworks.  But this year, everything has been canceled. Here it is, almost August and we are still living in this strange, surreal world of pandemic.  When Utah sheltered the end of March, it was going to be for 2 weeks, which extended into a month.  And now it has been 4 months...Like most other states, Utah has sort of re-opened, and now we are paying the consequences.  All of us struggling with what is the best and safest road to move forward on. So we continue at the shop--open, but not actually open.  And yet, this is working for us.  We talk to people from all over the world who are also dealing with this scourge, and it is inspiring to share their stories, their frustrations, their determined energy.  Teri helps people who stop by all day through the front window, through the door, from the sidewalk.  Sometimes it is a delivery of packages to the front step or the open trunk of a car.  A very odd way to run a business--but humans are resilient, masks are good, and life is still rich with blessings.  
So..I am enjoying my quiet afternoon at home today sitting in the back yard and hoping to catch a breath of a breeze.  Teri is cooking, and Bob is playing the piano, and I am listening to rustling pots, and gentle music and tender birdsong.  The past number of years, we have had crows who seem to have chased the songbirds away.  But this year, the large birds have not been in our neighborhood, so Teri and Bob have put up bird feeders during this time at home, and they have attracted a plethora of feathered creatures.  It has been a lot of fun to hear them in the mornings and evenings. We eat dinner outside where it is a bit cooler and watch the finches and hummingbirds flit back and forth between the feeders and the trees.  Maybe it is one of those collateral blessings to be home all the time and noticing the world we are in.  At least that is what I am saying to remind myself that I don't really miss movies, or plays, or restaurants, or concerts, or family, or friends, or..............
I have read a lot during this time.  I have a good friend who has been reading the 800 page book that inspired the musical, Hamilton.  She is always texting me that she is lost in the 18th century and might not be coming back.  It makes me laugh.  But I have been sort of lost in the 14th century myself these past several weeks.  (I worried a bit that I might have to face a plague, but, oh yeah, I'm already in one.)  My life has occasionally crossed paths with an anchorite who lived in the 1300s--Julian of Norwich,  At different times, I have read books about her, read her meditations and visions, listened to her music, and I love her.  During April, Teri and I often laughed that we felt like anchorites locked all day alone in the shop, and sometimes kind people would leave us treats in the basket when they came to pick up orders.  It always made us smile, and made me think of Julian.  Then the past few weeks, I have been reading a book that takes place in modern day Norwich and there she was-- a whole section about my girl.  
I was reminded of something that she wrote 700 years ago:  
"All shall be well, and all shall be well."  
Thanks, Julian. 
 Those are the new words of my heart.

I don't know about you, but stitching has brought me such joy during the past few months.  I have long lamented that there just wasn't enough time to stitch--too many things that demanded attention and distracted me from needle and thread.  I still don't think I have an abundance of time, but it is definitely enough.  I almost don't resent my "empty" evenings these days, and sort of cherish the extra time with my needlework.  And perhaps that is a little blessing of these times.  
More moments to be still and ponder and reflect.  And stitch... 

New from Shepherd's Bush 

Liberty and Justice Pin Cushion 
Kit: $20.00

A little pin cushion for this summer and these times. I loved working on this lovely 32 count overdyed grey/blue linen.  Kit comes with cotton overdyed threads, linen, patterns, buttons and hand dyed chenille by Lady Dot

Find Joy
Kit: $16.00

Teri has designed this sweet new 10 count kit to help remind us things are ok.  We will get through even this strange journey and enjoy our time in a slower quieter world.  

Thoughts off Home
Chart: $6.00
complete kit also available

This adorable chart celebrates our time at home with family and loved ones.  The button is a special hand made buttons we sell (you can get it from your local shops, too)

Home Sweet Home Button 

Be True to your Heart
Chart: $10.00
Button pack:  $ 9.00
32 count Fog linen: $9.00
Complete Kit: $58.00

This has been such a great new pattern for us this summer,  It is happy and sweet.

New Stocking for 2020

Here is a little sneak peak of the new stocking.  I am having a great time working on it and I hope you will just love her.  More anon...

New at the shop
So much to see and be excited about

Retro Stork Scissors
$7.00 each

These sweet scissors just arrived and they are such happy colors. 

We Live in Hope  
by Blackbird Designs
Book $20.00

Teri was hanging this Blackbird book up on the front window, for window shopping and spied this sweet sampler.  It was not made to commemorate the landing of the Mayflower (400 years ago this November, 1620-2020) but she has had such a great time stitching it.  She added the date and slightly changed the words.  When she gets it framed, we will do a display of all our Mayflower patterns to inspire you.  

Halloween Magazine

There are many fun patterns in this magazine. We always love looking at all the halloween charts.

New from Plum Street Samplers

Summertide Blessings
Chart: $12.00
Fabric:  36 count Virginia Beach brew 

This brand new fabric from R & R is winging its way to us.  Hoping to have it by Wednesday,  I'll tell you more about it when it comes.  Such a quirky and darling piece.

Summer Hill
Chart: $12.00

All the girls at the shop love this sweet piece. We all loved Autumn Hill last fall, and this is a perfect companion ..  

Nightshade bird
Chart: $12.00

A fun drum to stitch for summer.

Grace On Thee
Chart: $12.00

I love the symmetry of this piece it looks majestic and fun to stitch.  

Coming soon
New from Brenda Gervais 

These are in the mail to us as we write this.  Please give us a call if you would like us to send you one or all three.  We have the linens as well as the threads.  Everything you need to get going on your Fall stitching.

Hilda Boo and Sunflowers too
chart: $12.00
36 count fabric $ 9.75

We love this darling witch.  We even have the deep gray/black linen in 36 count and hopefully will have 40 and 32 shortly 
The Witches Brew
Chart: $12.00
36 count Heron Grey linen $ ?
Little spoon charm-$2.00

We have ordered the little silver spoon.  It is coming soon as well

Autumn Gatherings
Chart: $12.00
36 count linen-$ 7.25

This is a new seasonal series called the gatherings
We have the linen cut and ready.  It is so sweet.  

Women of the Mayflower

Women of the Mayflower update
We are supposed to  receive our kits sometime the end of August. We have the fabric and thread sets bundled and ready (thanks to Teri and Lynnette), so we will send them out to you as soon as possible.
  If your credit card has changed, please give us a call and update it. So exciting!

Garden update...

After an unseasonably cold June, our little urban garden has started producing so many fun things. We loved growing broccoli this year. After harvesting 4 huge heads which we ate every night for 2 weeks, it now sends up tiny little brocclettes, and we roast them with olive oil, salt and pepper- yum! Tomatoes have just started and the cucumbers are not far behind...Ahhhh  salads for the rest of the summer.  Teri is such a faithful and patient gardener, that I am going to give her a blue ribbon in every category,  I feel a bit like the little red hen--she does all the work, and I am happy to enjoy the literal fruit of her labors,  
Harvest blessings abound. 
I hope this week that you may stumble upon little blessings during your walk through this worrisome world.  
Enjoy the gifts of the moment, stay safe, and be well in your little corner of this earth. 
And remember this:  All shall be well, and all shall be well.
Tina and Teri

Monday, June 1, 2020

Beginning of Summer

June 1st, 2020

Dear Friends,
It's quiet tonight in my world.  The air is still for the first time in days, and the only sound from my window is our backyard creek, icy from the winter snowpack rushing past me and on to other windows and ears and souls.  It is that gentle time between day and night--the sun just melting into the Salt Lake and the moon trying to lift itself above Mount Ogden.  There is an unsettled calmness to the evening which eases my heart a bit as I know that we are actually in a world fraught with division and fire.  We are a nation divided, and we are a people dealing with anger, loneliness, frustration, and fear.  All of these intense emotions spiraling through our communities which are still cobwebbed in Pandemic perplexity.  And on a night like this, I do not think that this is how we are meant to be.  We are beings who want to be happy,  to be kind,  to be in community, to feel safe, to uplift others, to  live in justice.  So what do we do when it all seems out of control?  I don't know...
Perhaps we cook something to share even if we can only share it with those in our own little world.  Even if it isn't the greatest meal or treat.  Even if it is just something made with love for those around us and shared virtually with those half a world away.  Or perhaps we can stitch something that makes our hearts sing.  Something lovely, something hard and challenging, something shared with a friend, something that takes our mind off the news, out of the anger, and right back into our own, tiny center of peace and joy.  I think that is what we can do.  And just maybe, it will help for a minute our two.  And maybe that is enough for now.
These past 3 months have been a test to our human spirit for sure. Living in isolation, off our balance,  unsure of what to expect tomorrow, or next week, or next month.  Just think of the things you have done that you might never have imagined and be proud of your creativity.  I spent a Sunday afternoon not long ago on a virtual walk with one of my boys all over Washington DC.  He isn't a talker, and I had that whole time to just listen to him ramble while he rambled on his walk.  That was an unexpected gift.  Every Sunday we play a trivia game with our other child on FaceTime. He writes the questions and we try our best to accumulate enough points to wager some on the final question.  Sometimes we do.  But we always laugh a lot, get to see what they have fixed for dinner, and check out new hair styles and growing beards. Those are the best times of the week.  And then there is the Saturday cooking challenge which Teri started a while back to give us, the boys, our siblings, nieces, and friends something to look forward to each week.  We have made many pizzas,  pastas, and last week's hamburgers.  Bob is always a little disgruntled as he thinks it should involve voting and winners, but he sort of misses the point of the frenzied texts of delicious dinners, happy faces, a sense of being together and sharing a meal  Simple gifts given during a unique time in a strange world. 

So...Utah...Ogden...Shepherd's Bush.
We are still moving along in our unusual half-opened, half-closed world at the shop.  As our county slowly begins opening up again, we are facing the daunting task of beginning to return to a new kind of normal.  We have finally gotten our mail orders and porch pickups down to a workable system, and now we face the task of opening the doors again in a safe and thoughtful manner.  And in the meantime, we have lots of wonderful projects to keep you busy and content in this brave new world.  Read on ...

Be True To Your Heart
by Shepherd's Bush 

This new little leaflet will be a joy to stitch, and holds the truths that we need to face the world around us.  We can send you just the booklet or gather all the darling supplies to get you started right away.

Teri is going to be filming a new shop tour--hopefully this week, so watch on our FB site as well as on the home page of our website.  That sounds exciting, 

And in  the meantime, here is small display to make you feel a bit happier in this crazy world.  I just love how she gathered together a collection of "feel good" pieces for these times.  

 Be of Good Cheer 
by Shepherd's Bush
chart: $4.00

Here is a chart that is perfect for right now.  It is stitched on 18 count linen so the stitches are big and easy to see.  Add the buttons and you are finished.  Underneath it is our free pattern.  You can find it on our website under celebrations.  Really?

Our Americana table is set up, and the holiday tree is covered with ornaments that celebrate the season.  Where was I when she did all of this?   

Two new shop models

Bless our Land 
by Plum Street Samplers
Chart $10.00

I just love this sweet piece of Paulette's.  Jill Framed it in a great frame and it is a wonderful addition to this year's Americana display.

Star Spangled Spectacular 
by Brenda Gervais
Chart $

Another wonderful addition to our summer collection.

Our latest Sheep wall

The center of the display is Paulette's Shepherd's Song- Gorgeous isn't it.  
Left top: French Woolens by Plumstreet   Center top: Shepherd's Song byPlum Street  Right top:  Shepherd's Hill by Chessie and Me.  Center row left to right- Patchwork Sheep by Herat in Hand, Welcome by Homespun Elegance,  Sheep Heap by Plum Street,  All Is Well by Shepherd's Bush.  Bottom left Judge Not by Plum Street, Woolimina by Plum Street (we really like her sheep)
Summer Notes is on the shelf below this display 

Summer means bees in Utah, we are the Beehive state, so we just love bee designs.  

 New at the shop

North Wind Santa
2020 Prairie Schooler Santa 
card: $5.00
Kits will be available

We have sent Santa out to be stitched.  As soon as we get hime back we will figure out buttons and backing fabrics.  He is so darling!  

Haunted Hill Road 
by the Little Stitch Girl
Chart $12.00

This stitched up so sweet.  We have used a great spooky linen and added a few buttons. 
 Halloween is coming.....

New fall kits from Mill Hill
large buttons and bead kits $15.50
small pumpkin ornaments $8.50

Coming from Teresa Kogut in a couple of weeks
Feel free to pre order them  

Land That I love
Book: $16.00

Snarky Cat
chart: $10.00

Groovy Gary, Frightened Fred
Chart: $10.00

Since Travel is not going to be easy this summer, how about stitching your vacation.  Center top is Paris by Satsuma Street.   She has charts for many famous cities.  Open Road Abode (left) 
These are darling camper inspired stitching for Yellowstone and The Tetons.  She has many small  camper charts. Top Left:  Cape Cod Keeps by PlumStreet Samplers.
Center row from let to right, Travel Trifles by Shepherd's Bush, La Vita Bella by Shepherd's Bush, Alphabet by JBW designs.  Bottom is Summer Snapperland by Bent Creek

Women of the Mayflower Sampler
by With Thy Needle and Thread
(the ultimate travel piece)

This commemoration sampler will be perfect to stitch this fall.  It won't be available until late August, but it has to be ordered soon, so don't delay if you are wondering if you want to sign up.  
There are many different options. 
Pattern only
Pattern and fabric- Linen- 40 count, 36 count, 32 count,  28 count and 18 count aida,
or add threads too.  
If you want to be a part of this lovely journey,  please call us to pre-order.  We have only 1 opportunity to order this piece and the deadline is approaching.  

Thankful Sheep 
by Shepherd's Bush
Kit:  $20

And here its a small commemoration  piece that we did a few years ago.  Just in time for 2020.

Our Urban Garden

Teri's urban garden at the shop is growing like crazy.  This climatis has never bloomed so beautifully, and with the hot days of June, everything is taking hold.  I am worried about our Farmer's Market, so this little garden is going to have to shine!
The garden has had to kind of tumble up this year, Teri has not had the time to tend it as usual.  She planted broccoli.... 4 plants and they have taken over--well, the leaves anyway- when does the broccoli come????

For the last 2 years Teri has planted pumpkin seeds, with no success.  A dear friend told her to put out a pumpkin in the garden at the end of fall and leave it there all winter.  WOW  pumpkins galore.  

She picked her first Pea yesterday.  It was small but she said it was yummy.  She is going to have a bumper crop. 

I hope you can find your happy spot this week.  Maybe it is in your own burgeoning garden or by a little river, or in your favorite chair with a sampler in  hand.  These are the places our hearts lead us and it will be there that we can finally feel safe and well.  Those are my wishes for you.
fondly, Tina 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Covid Captivity

Covid Captivity
End of April, 2020

Hi Friends,
How is everyone doing out there?  Well, I hope and quickly adjusting to our strange, new normal world.  Social Distance, Shelter in Place, Self Isolation, Self Quarantine...yeah I could go on and on,.  These are words we didn't even really know about 2 months ago, and now they are the most common phrases in our vocabulary.  So much in our speech and thoughts, that I sort of worry whether we will ever go back to the old normal again.  Time will tell.  And in the meantime, here are the things that have been good about sheltering in place.  I am a homebody, so there has been something sort of comforting about never saying to Bob--what do you want to do tonight? We just don't say it, because the answer is always the same: stay home.  We have cooked great things, sharing recipes with the boys and our siblings.  We (I) have cooked a few bad things that we never need to do again, and strangely, no one cared.  I have read a lot, but I am restless in this world, and mostly I have started many books, whose their plots and characters are melding into strange mutations in my head.  We have talked to the boys constantly--each of us trying to keep the other one's spirits up--but mostly there is a lot of laughter and the silent yearning to be close--until someone's phone runs out.  Christian is growing a quarantine beard!  Did I know that he could even grow a beard?  We might try an online game night soon, but Hermans are notorious poor sports so that will be interesting. 
 At our home, we have cracked out the puzzles.  Because I wanted the new Little 
Women movie to win the Academy Award, I gave Teri a puzzle of Little Women for her birthday. It looks like an old fashioned sampler, and we all had fun putting it together.  I shouldn't say we, because I really don't work on the puzzles.  Maybe a piece or two.  I worked on a tiny portion that looked like a book for many nights and then one of them secretly finished it for me.  In the end, I tried to put in the last 10 pieces, and you would have thought I was about to commit the worst crime in the world.  Such shouting and censuring! Now they are working on a very hard puzzle, so I am not even trying.  I am just happy to watch them, while I stitch.  

Bob showed me an article about why people are doing puzzles, and I thought that the same reasons people like puzzles--distraction, concentration, fun, accomplishment--during this crisis is why we like to stitch.  I have talked to people from all over the world who are dealing with quarantine, isolation, captivity, worry, boredom, fear, loneliness...and everyone says the same thing. It is stitching that is seeing them calmly through this time. Don't you just feel sorry for those who don't have a great stitching project to work on?  So grab your needle, a comfy chair, and a great book on tape and let's just power through this together.  I know we can, and I'll be with you all the way.

Running a shop that is starting it's 6th week of being closed to the public, has been most interesting.  Some days are a bit rough and crazy, and some days are exhilarating and almost funny--but luckily I have my sis too do this with.  Thanks to all of you wonderful stitchers out there--in Utah and across the world--who have stuck with us--calling in mail orders to be sent,  shopping over the phone to come by for a porch pick-up, or just checking in with stories and laughs and friendship.  It reminds me that this is truly something we are all experiencing together on this small planet, and together is how we will see it through.  
 I spend most of the day in the back and Teri is mostly in the front, and there are times when we wonder if the other one is still there.  I honestly haven't been out to the front window for a while, and when I wandered out to look for a book, I was quite surprised to find a little greenhouse filled with tomato, cucumber, and broccoli plants just merrily growing away on tables.  And even more startling was a large, yellow bowl with bread rising.  I am wondering about Teri... 

In spite of the craziness, we have some very fun new things to perk you up now and look forward to later.  
Read on and see what fun is in store...

Stay Home and Stitch 
by With Thy Needle and Thread
Chart: $8.00
Complete Kit:  $

I love this little chart.  It certainly records an extraordinary time in our lives.  I think it would be fun to stitch and date as a marking point.  In any case it is sweet and darling.  A great cheer-up!

Where there is Life
 by Little House and Country Cottage
Chart: $5.00

Another great pattern designed by Little House and Country Cottage--a collaboration between mother and daughter--to help shops weathering shut downs.  

Available the very end of August, this piece is a strictly limited edition that will not be available again.
It must be pre-ordered by June 1st

Coming to America, 
Women of the Mayflower 
Chart + extras:  $35.00
 Fabric and threads: give us a call

How exciting!  Here is the First Look at this coming sampler.  Isn't it fantastic?  There a few options that we are offering, so if you are confused or need some guidance, just call the shop and talk to Teri. This wonderful pattern will come from With Thy Needle and will include:
The complete chart for Coming to America
A self adhesive sampler label to date and sign the finished project
A pilgrim lady needle anchor--a cute little magnet to keep one's need safe
A free harvest=themed pin cushion  chart
A piece of cotton backing fabric for the bonus chart.  This is a reproduction William 
Bradford's handwritten journal and was designed for this project
A custom printed box to hold all of these items.  It will double as a project box to keep all your supplies safe and secure.
This cost will be $35.00

We haven't figured out the costs for the fabric and threads, but we will be offering the specified fabric in 40, 36, 32 counts.  Other counts may be available.  
Just give us a call and we can prepare an order just for you.  

New From Plum Street Samplers
such fun new patterns for 
Spring.  We should have linens and any needed threads to get you going on them.,

A New Constellation 
Chart: $18.00

This was the sampler that Paulette taught at our Retreat in 2018, and we have been anxiously waiting for it to come out  It is a truly fantastic piece commemorating the life of Betsy Ross. 
 I promise--you will just love it.  

Liberty Lodge
 Chart: $12.00

My Peaceful Home
Chart: $12.00

Sweet Heart Hill
Chart: $12.00

Spring, Summer, Winter 
 reprinted by Blackbird Designs
each chart: $12.00  
set of 3: $36.00

Nancy stitched this and let us borrow it as a model, I am so happy Teri stashed it away to give back to her, but now we can hang it up and enjoy all over again. I hope she doesn't care if we keep it a bit longer  - thanks Nancy.    Yay!!! such a wonderful piece.  

Sorry, for a short blog--I have gone on and on.  Maybe I am lonely--maybe I am avoiding this really hard puzzle.  Stay safe and be well.  Until next time...Tina