Tuesday, February 26, 2008


It's true, I am a bit late this week, but I'm sure I've been later. Yesterday got away from me along with my good intentions. Unlike many of you in the Midwest, we have had a slight break in the weather. At least down here at the shop, the snow has melted considerably, and I am beginning to think that we may be coming out of our temporary ice age. The glacier out in front of the shop has actually receded to nothing leaving behind only its moraine of debris--or is it a morass? I think it is a moraine. Well, whatever it is, I know that we need to spend some time out there with a good broom. We live up closer to the foothills of the mountains, and we are still quite seriously buried in snow which has proved a wildlife challenge. On Sunday, Sue had a bull moose standing in her front yard. Last night Teri and Christian and I were coming home from the grocery store, and as we turned the corner our headlights shined on 3 beautiful deer grouped around the trees in a neighbor's front yard. Teri stopped the car to look and we all thought that they were sort of left-over Christmas statues. Then they just walked out into the street and started strolling along. Now, I am a little wary when Lindbergh barks at the dark. I am not sure what--besides the raccoons is out there.

As winter wanes on the outside, it has been banished on the inside by Spring Girl--Teri. She has been hustling around re-arranging pictures everywhere and having new, fun pieces stitched. The April Baubles is so adorable with its 9 little Easter eggs. Teri has put different buttons on them and they are charming. Another group of pictures that have made their way out are the 4 coloured Easter eggs of ours from a couple of years ago. These are still some of my favorite designs and each year I am inspired to stitch some for gifts. I think that Teri is putting up a couple of pictures of our spring displays so you can see how darling. You will be able to see Easter Snapper which is new from Bent Creek. It is small, do-able, and sweet. Little kids gathering eggs. Their Easter Row is also very sweet with its hippity-hoppity sentiment. One fabulous piece which isn't in the pictures--unless Teri adds it at some point--is Lizzie Kate's Love, Hope and a Cure. The way Teri has had it stitched and finished is fantastic, and the day Judy brought it in to us everyone in the shop went crazy. Now it is off being made into a pillow, so watch for it. What a perfect gift. Gosh, so much to keep us busy.

As for us, we have been busy as well--just with nothing to show for it yet. My heart is pretty much done except for frame and printing. But then, over the weekend, Teri started 2 wonderful new projects and I drew up something sweet as well. So now we are having a blast getting them stitched and ready to go. Don't despair, I will let you know as soon as they are finished. I think you will love them.

And so February marches on. By the time I next write, it will be March, and moving steadily through it at that. As this week disappears, have a Happy Leap Day. What fun! I need to think of an appropriate treat to bring to work. Bob always tells me that March comes in with fury and bluster, but I think March comes in like a dream. So--however it comes for you--enjoy it.

fondly, Tina

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy President's Day!

For some reason all week long, I have had this little song running through my mind that we sang in Kindergarten and 1st grade--oddly about the clothing that Washington and Lincoln wore. I can still see the pictures in the song book that our teacher would show us, and it takes me right back. Unfortunately I can only remember all the words to George's song and no matter how hard I try, I am still missing a few parts of Abe's. Maybe I'll ask Teri. I just love little holidays from school. I don't mind that I still have to work-- I love to stay up late and lie in bed in the morning with that delicious feeling of not having to get up before dawn and rush around. I love that Peter is downstairs playing the guitar and at instant math and debate access for Chris. And I love that Christian still comes and crawls in bed with us so happy and yet so surprised that he no longer really fits. All that makes my heart happy. We are having sunshine today which is very good for the soul--only hard on my pale winter eyes. Although it is only 27 degrees, it feels like summer and Christian has already tried to get off to the ski slopes in just a sweatshirt. Mommmmmmm! I was forced to threaten him. This sudden burst of "spring" is nothing new to Teri. She gave up winter for Lent and has spent 2 weeks very pretty in pink--and freezing her painted toenails off. I am much more suspicious of the treachery of the weather. But I am enjoying a break from the you-know-what.

Saturdays are the only days that I work out in the shop. (Teri thinks that is the only day I work!) Everyone else--except sometimes Sue--abandons us. So, anyway, Saturday even Sue left us and poor Teri was just stuck with me. I am not sure what happened, but we had hundreds of customers in. OK--perhaps a small exaggeration. It was very fun, though. I think that everyone was so happy to have a good day, that they were all out and about after 6 weeks of being sort of stuck at home. It was such a great day. Teri has a wonderful, big heart display and that just seemed to be what everyone was doing. I mean it is hard to choose anything more lovely that a good heart, and she has such darling ones stitched and framed on the center hutch. But all day long, she was pulling the models off of it as we sold the last book or kit. By the end of the day, it was virtually empty and there were stacks behind the counter. We were laughing our heads off. It doesn't seem to matter that Valentine's Day is over--I think that hearts are the perfect change from winter to spring.

Saturday's Best Sellers: in no particular order--I have to stay politically and family correct
Scatter Hearts--of course
February Baubles--so darling, with Teri's new button picks
Whimsey Heart--by Ewe and Eye--always such a darling piece
Wedding and Valentine Rows--what can I say
Love pillow from Lizzie Kate--I love how Teri stitched this on the 10-count and I really love the backing fabric.
Be Mine Valentine--OK this is a doll baby worked totally different than the pattern--perhaps a bit past its expiration date for this year--but always good for next.
Green Snowman--I know--not hearts--but everyone on Saturday was so thrilled to see it and Teri has it hanging next to the Red Snowman, and I have to admit it is pretty darling.

Well, have fun thinking about these happy thoughts. I have to go home soon and make sure that 1 child is back safe from the mountains and the other is ready to go back to school. (complete with clean laundry and a few groceries. You know the drill.) Next week I am talking about Easter projects, so get ready. For this week, be safe and cheerful.

fondly, Tina

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hi friends,

Here in Utah, we do not need the groundhog to give us any weather predictions. We always have Teri. Yesterday, as I was leaving work, She started singing that song from the Wizard of Oz where they have just woken up from the poppies--"Step out of the woods, step out of the dark, step out of the night..." The sun was shining, the ice was dripping and it was a truly tropical 30 degrees. She made me laugh, because she was right--it almost seemed like spring. Or at least that spring might still be in the future plans. I know--the girls tell me that we are getting a storm tomorrow, but for today, I am enjoying the sun. Over the weekend, I had a glimmer of hope as I looked out my bedroom window and saw a squirrel racing back and forth. I don't know if squirrels hibernate or not, but I haven't seen them since last fall. He seemed so happy racing through the trees, I was quite caught up in the watching. Then 2 huge, beautiful navy blue birds landed on the branches, and I thought to myself, the world is starting to wake up again. Later in the day, Christian called me at work to tell me that he and Bob had looked out the window to the back yard and had seen 4 deer circling the swing set. OK, maybe I am living in a nature preserve this week. It's all good.

We don't usually go to the Nashville market, but we have spent much of the weekend on the phone with all of our friends who have been there. Now they are all trying to get through their own snow/ice storms on their ways home. I will be glad when they all get there. We are looking forward to wonderful new things coming in--many of which we ordered last week so that they would get here fast. Lynnette just unpacked some new kits from Pine Mountain--It's a Girl Thing--and it is so darling. Patti from SamSarah has the most adorable Advent calendar. Sweet, sweet!! I can't wait to have it stitched. It is worked on this large black plaid linen and all of the little things that go on it are very darling. I know you will love it when you see it. I actually think that the individual patterns would make wonderful ornaments. Lots to choose from. I also got a sneak peek at the May Baubles--I love it. Wait till you see what Teri does with it. If you haven't gotten into the Baubles, you need to. I'll keep you up on the new things as they come. Get your stitching fingers ready.

Sorry this is a short one today. We are slammed and I just keep getting distracted. I think that everyone is taking advantage of the break in the weather to come looking for new projects. What fun. Then we have had a very special surprise--Chris from the Nimble Thimble in England and her friend, Janet, stopped by the shop on their way back to England from Nashville. That is quite a detour. They are so darling and gracious that you can't help loving them. It was fun to visit and see pictures of her shop. We have spoken on the phone many, many times and it was great to come together in person. I wish them safe travels home and would secretly love to be tagging along with.

For now, I am off to the salt mines and will write again next week. I wish for all of you a tiny awakening and glimpse of spring and Happy Hearts Day on Thursday.

fondly, Tina

P.S. Teri and I have spent a lot of time working on the Retreat this past week. I have to tell you that it is going to be so much fun. I am getting excited.

Scatter Eggs

Scatter Hearts

Green Snowman

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Hearts and Winter Snowmen

Hi Everyone,
So sorry that this is late. This had been such a busy week so far, and although I have had the best of intentions, I have had no time to sit down at the computer and write this letter. Although we do not go to Nashville, we do have several new items ready this week--hence being too busy to get this blog written. Teri is on a whirl working on a new and very darling series of leaflets. Her first 2 are out and already winging their way to the market, and will hopefully be on the website shortly. Scatter Hearts is the perfect February pillow in soft pinks and lavenders with plenty of hearts. It has a wonderful set of clay buttons from JABCO to go with it. Like Scatter Christmas, it is stitched on the bigger count fabric so it is easy to finish up. Scatter Eggs is her second book, and it is even more darling. Stitched in soft, spring colours, it makes you just want to dig right in. I don't know why, it just touches something in my soul--perhaps a yearning for spring. The buttons on it are sweet and the backing fabrics for both pillows are simply fantastic. I'm trying to talk her into St. Patrick's Day, but I believe I have failed. Maybe next year.

Then the Green Snowman is ready. This one is a kit and goes with last year's Red Snowman. I wasn't going to get it done this year, but with all our cold weather, I was simply in the mood and got it done over a weekend and ready to go. It is stitched on Weeks Dye Works hand-dyed linen--Guacamole--and depicts a definite February snowman--just a hint of spring along with the winter. Keep your eye on our web site and I think all three things will be up shortly. I am having a great time working on my new heart for this year. I was hoping to have it done with the snowman, but alas shoveling has cut into my stitching time this week. I have to say that it is very fun, and I am having such a great time working on it. In some ways, I don't want to finish it up, because I love to stitch hearts and this one is truly bringing me much joy.

OK--here's something fun that we are quite excited about at the shop. You know how our friends Barb and Alma of Blackbird designs do the Loose Feather series each year. Well this year they are doing a mystery sampler at the end of the year to go along with it. So this is the way it works. You need to have all 5 or 6 Loose Feather leaflets from this coming year and then at the end you can get the new sampler which incorporates something from each of the existing charts. The first one is called--Where My Heart Blooms--and it is very charming. We have had fun trying to figure out which part of it will pop up in the mystery sampler. Anyway, if you want to be a part of this, you can let us know and we will send you each of the leaflets as it arrives--with or without fabric--and then of course we will be sure you receive the additional sampler at the end.

Good luck with your weather wherever you may be. Be safe in your travels. I am taking hope that spring might be just around the corner.

fondly, Tina

PS--I forgot to mention that we received another 18-20 inches of snow at home on Sunday. Churches were canceled, and Christian was praying that school would be,too. Of course not! We really have nowhere to put the snow we are shoveling. Sue tells us that the places where they have put the snow from clearing the parking lots at the University 2 blocks from our homes are over 40 feet high. We have become experts on which type of snow shovel to buy and which are worthless. Hint--always go for the tiny, straight plastic kind. We have 2 that we fight over. The large, mega shovel can only go to Bob--impossible to even lift with or without snow. Which leaves the ergonomically designed kind with the bent handles--I think they were made for a different species--definitely not human. OK, I need a life beyond this.

Our covered patio might be collapsing, and I can't say that I am trusting my garage.

Christian has dug himself a snow cave and spends most of his time in it. I, of course, am terrified that it will collapse on him, so I have to keep running out to check on him. He says he is making ice furniture so that he can do his homework outside. NOT!
Happy Winter!