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

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Porch Pick Up

Ewe Be Well
3 April 2020

Here is a little pattern which we just finished to give you something to smile about.  It is free for you to print and stitch.  If you go to our home page on our website, you will find the link that will take you to the pattern.  Teri decided to finish it in a 4" hoop and she even painted it a dusty purple for me.  Isn't this the wish that we hope for everyone. 

Earlier this week, I noticed that the pussy willows were --well whatever you call it when they burst open with yellow seeds.  Ok, I am not a botanist, but I love this pussy willow plant dearly.  Other people watch for croci or daffodils to mark the coming Spring, but I watch for the pussy willows to appear with their lovely, grey buds.  Bob usually cuts a few stems and brings them into the house and I can't resist touching the furry buds as I walk past,  A bit like touching a talisman, reminding me of my childhood.  When I saw they had turned yellow, I thought how very strange.  We are in this crazy  world of fear and isolation, scurrying here and there, avoiding all humans.  And yet, Nature continues on in its own trajectory, doing all the things it is supposed to do--melt, bloom, quake--with no regard for the dread and worry going on about it.  This planet just keeps on spinning and revolving, from night to day, from winter to summer, leaving us to our worries and joys.  And maybe that is good, reminding us that it will be alright.

Teri just unpacked more beautiful linens from Picture this Plus.  They are all her market colors, and they sold so quickly, so now we have more.  The colors are just yummy, 
 From top to bottom, Faun  (lighter than oaken), Tidal  (greenish teal), Vellum- just pretty,  Havisham- (purplish gray).  All are so lovely.  We have 32 count, 36 count, and 40 count.  and a couple in 28 Lugana-  Vellum and Havisham, I think.  I know Teri is sending out a new Halloween piece on the 32 Havisham.

Cross Stitch patterns from Flamingo Toes  
These are so sweet, and they match her needle minders, isn't that great?

Enjoy The Journey Chart $9.50
Needle Minder $12.50

Happy Camper chart $9.50
Needle Minder $12.50

Happy Christmas Chart $9.50
Needle Minder $12.50

Sew All The Things Chart $9.50
Needle Minder $12.50

When the Boys were sent home to work and stay there, Teri sent their darling girlfriends some cross stitch kits to do in their spare time.   Christian's sweet Anne had never stitched before, and she really liked it.  This is her 2nd project and it looks absolutely perfect.  I am so excited!  Honestly, stitching is the perfect way to spend these long, lonely hours stuck in our houses.  The perfect way to chase worries away.  Just don't turn on the news while you are stitching.  

Peace and wellness to each of you this week.  
fondly, Tina


Window Shopping 
Wednesday, March 25th

Hi Friends,
How is everyone holding up out there?  Great?  good to hear it.  I go from being positive and enthusiastic, to feeling a bit grim and desperate.  But then, Teri reminds me that it is all going to be ok.  Yes, Pollyanna, let's do play the Glad Game.  Our sister--who has been home recovering from knee surgery a few weeks ago as well as trying to self-isolate--said she was very excited about tomorrow.  She was picking up a diet coke from the kitchen and spending the afternoon in the living room.  That made me laugh.  
We have been busy answering phones and working on mail orders, and it is encouraging to hear voices from all over the world and hear that all of you are ok as well and doing your best to keep busy.  One common thought from everyone is that stitching gives such comfort and keeps your mind focussed on something other than news and worries.  So..I say Let's Stitch.  
I think Teri is going sort of nuts out in the front of the shop. She misses all our customers and is always excited when someone comes for a porch pickup.  Usually, that means talking through the windows, holding up fabrics to choose, and showing different colors of threads.  So today when I finally drifted out to the front, I could see that the windows were completely covered with something--a bit like an art show.  She decided to tape up a whole bunch of our new market patterns so that people could come by and window shop.  It was kind of fun, I have to admit, and people who came by had a great time looking and choosing new projects. Life is so interesting right now,.  
Oh well, stay safe out there in the world.  
Cook something fun for dinner, start a new book, begin a new project, and rent Emma for 48 hours.  Teri watched it 5 times and loved every minute of it.  

Here are our front windows filled with market designs.  

Here are a variety of one of a kind needle minders. 
Needleminders by Shakespeare's Peddler

Metal needle minders by Michele Ink

Quilted needle minders 
$22.00 each.  

 These gorgeous minders are the creations of Julie Levtin, they are actually made with tiny folded pieces of fabric and made into needle minders.  They are so amazing

Needle minders by Flamingo Toes

Wonderful necklaces

These wonderful necklaces are mostly made out of scraps of old needlework they are so beautiful. 

Thistles charts
Spring: $7.20
Star Village: $11.60
Hilltop Village in Spring: $11.60
Little Dumpling Travel Bag: $11.60

These are so sweet.  I think we are having a couple of them stitched.  

Here is a display of some of our 10 count kits, you can see more of them on our website.  They are the perfect project for bored teenagers, stir crazy stitchers, or beginners.  They range in price from $12.00-16.00 and are complete kits.

Kids Kits 
$12.00 - 18.00

If you have beginner stitchers, or young kids that want to start stitching, these are the perfect kits.  The patterns are marked onto the fabric, and they are stitched with perl cotton.  Check out our website for all of the designs.  

Spring display
For those of you that are longing for spring, it is snowing here as I write this.
These projects will bring joy to your soul.  Give us a call and we will kit any of these up for you and send them off.  Or come for a porch pick up.  

Bless Our Land 
by Plum Street Samplers 
chart $10.00

Jill just delivered this and we love it.  

Teri's Lemon Tree

 Teri has this little lemon tree, and she loving cares for it, bringing it in each autumn and outside in the spring.  It has so many blossoms on it right now, and she is hoping for many lemons.  Last year she grew 3 huge lemons... it took an entire year, but they were delish. 


Wednesday, March 18

Hi Friends,
The world seems off kilter, and every day takes an adjustment and acceptance of our "new normal."  Who would have guessed a month ago that phrases like self quarantine, social distance, or shelter-in-place would be so common in our vocabulary today.  Here in Utah, we were woken up early this morning by an earthquake, which increased our unease in this uneasy world.  Our block at work was eerily deserted.  Of course we were closed, as were our neighbors, and even the familiar sounds of construction on a building on the corner had stopped.  Debbie, a friend of ours in Salt Lake, texted Teri:  It's a good thing it's too cold for locusts.  That made me laugh.  As our work day at the shop progressed, friends from here and from all over texted--with hearts-- and called to make sure we were ok.  It definitely brightened a grey, rainy day, and made me think that it will take all of us uplifting each other to get through this.  I know that we can.  Somewhere in our hearts, there are funny things to be shared, encouragement to be fostered, and love to be given in abundance.  We can do this!
Here are 3 books that we have read recently which were wonderful--funny, a few serious parts, but delightful and hard to put down. I think all of these I listened to on Audible while driving or stitching. 
Dear, Mrs. Bird--by A. J. Pierce (Teri's pick)
Secrets of a Charmed Life--by Susan Meissner (Lynnette's pick)
Orphan Train--Christina Baker Kline
There is nothing like immersing yourself in another time, to escape the worries of our own time.
Teri has put up some pictures to look at below.  If you want to see market things, go back to our last blog and scroll down.  Lots of inspiring things to peruse.  
Just remember--stitching is the best way to keep a happy heart.    Tina

Here is our center display with so many fun projects.. We are lucky enough to borrow Paulette's gorgeous piece Shepherd's Song. We are thrilled!

Shepherd's Song 
by Plum Street Samplers
Chart $ 

Top- zipper sampler bags- $14.00
Sampler Tea Towel -$
Sampler notebooks- $4.00

Here are some wonderful new things from Needlework Press

New Company- August Lane

These were so cool.  Teri just loved all of them.  We can't decide which one to have stitched

New scissors from Dinky Dyes

Top to bottom Sun,  snowman, Candy corn, Tie Dye

Be Calm and Stitch