Friday, January 15, 2010

Wednesday, January, 13, 2010

Hi Friends,
I had to put the whole date in because this is the first time this year that I have gotten it right, and it felt really fine. (Mostly because I can backspace and correct.) I am sure that I have written a hundred checks so far this year at work, and I am beginning to get a complex because I just can't get the 2010. The first day, I complained and complained at work to Lynnette and Sue, and they just stared at me and remarked that they rarely even write checks. Oh, great! I have discovered that the first thing I do when I write a check is write the 0 in 01, 02, 03....09. Everyone was laughing when every pay check had the 09 crossed out and 10 written in. This week I have been a little better at stopping at the 0 and then squishing in the 1 in front of it. Oh well, maybe by February.
2010---Can you even believe it. It seems like a year ago that we were in a huge panic over the turn of the century. Remember Y2K, computers crashing, mountains falling, the world collapsing? And here we are a whole decade later. Actually a decade and 2 weeks. Time certainly must be speeding up. Perhaps it's all those growth hormones in our food. I always used to tease my boys that I was going to have to put bricks on their heads to stop them from growing. Now I am going to have to put bricks on the year. Well, Happy New Year to all of you. For me, the holidays went by too quickly, but they usually do. By the time we lock the door of the shop on Christmas Eve, I am ready for the great day itself to arrive. Peter was home for almost the whole 2 weeks and it was so much fun. This past 9 months he has been so busy at school that we just sort of see him in passing now and then on a Sunday. Mostly for groceries and clean clothes. I think for him it was sort of nice--though he won't probably admit it--to come home for a bit. He cooked with us, he put up Christmas lights, he fixed my vacuum and several other things, played music, and even went to Christmas Village with us. One night he drove Teri, her friend Joanne, and me around looking at Christmas lights and even let us play carols on the radio when we weren't humming the song from Driving Miss Daisy. If it weren't for the fact that he could still bring Christian to tears in 30 seconds, I began to wonder if he was a Stepford child. When he packed up to go home after New Years, I cried and was reminded of a line from Pride and Prejudice about " nothing so sad as parting from one's children."
But now, we are headlong into January and a new year. We have the new engraved Gingher Scissors and 2010 Fob ready--the one thing that I accomplished for work during the holidays. I love them! The scissors--Elena-- are pretty and vibrant and remind me of an Impressionist painting. I really had to think about how to design the fob to go with them. Finally, I chose the old-fashioned flower basket because I think it worked so well with all the lovely, rich colours. I had the front part drawn and stitched by mid-December, but I was just so stuck on the words. I had been making a list all through last year in anticipation, but when it came right down to it, I just couldn't decide. I had several of you write or call in with suggestions, which was fun, and I had all the girls at work with their favorite they were pushing for. My sister even called me every day for a week with her suggestions--some quite interesting. The favorite at work was: Swearing off men in 2010, which was tempting, but then we would have to hide it from husbands and male children which is pretty much my household. I even stitched one that I quite liked: Let worries end in 2010, but then every time I worked on it, it reminded me of things to worry about. So...I pulled it out. I finally--on New Year's Eve--settled on my personal favorite: Find your Zen in 2010 because it just made me happy. Teri and I are always laughing about our Zen from our past Yoga classes, and when Kari mentioned it, it just seemed right. I hope you like them. The fob is one of the favorite things I design all year, and I just love having it and the matching scissors, so I hope you do too. If you are thinking of getting a pair of the scissors, remember that this year Gingher has manufactured only a limited number of them, and I think we won't have them throughout the whole year. So don't procrastinate. Scissors: $43.00 (with engraving), 2010 Fob: $14.00.

Find your Zen in 2010 is our new scissors fob for this year. It is a perfect match with the beautiful scissors from Gingher. Do not wait too long to get a pair of the scissors, they are already sold out around the country, but we have a small supply. The Fob will be available all year, and the scissors for as long as they last.

I did a lot of drawing for next year over Christmas, but not really very much stitching. There just never seemed to be time. But I am making up for it now. It is like I missed it so much during December, that I just can't get enough of it now. I am working on the new Snowman, and it is very, very fun. I love it. Then our local needlework guild is starting a Quaker Sampler project that Teri and I are spearheading--a word?--and I have suddenly taken off and I am having a hard time putting it down. So I have just been alternating between my 2 projects and watching movies: Glee, Julie and Julia, Cranford and Larkrise. OK, I thought last night--I have found my Zen for this week.
Even though I have been a bit of a slacker, others have not. Our friend, Nancy, from Nevada dropped by with her fantastic Quaker Virtues picture finished and framed. It was so beautiful, it has inspired me to really stick to my quaker project.

Our dear friend Nancy Stokes brought in this amazing picture. "Quaker Virtues" is so gorgeous! Thanks Nancy!

Teri has been crazy, busy in the shop changing it over from Christmas to not-Christmas. You have to come by and see. It all looks very clean and simple and inspiring. I love having our Christmas decorations up at the shop and hate taking them down. But now it all looks so fresh and lovely, that she deserves a pat on the back. She has darling Valentine things, spring things, and just quiet, sweet pieces on display. On Saturday I just kept finding things that I wanted to stitch.

This is our Valentine display, full of hearts, flowers and sweet things. Isn't the "Hearts For Thee" sampler by Midsummer on the top left great? "The Token" next to it is one of our favorites!

This wall is full of samplers that make me happy. Please notice our newest addition on the far right The A & E sampler. It is a darling version of an Adam and Eve sampler. The beautiful "S" on the bottom left, is available in all 26 letters, Nancy has stitched them for everyone in her family. (lucky family).

I am starting Easter and spring early.... I love these darling pieces. More spring will be coming later. Top left to right: "Easter Peep," "Ah tis Spring," and "Whimsical Heart" Bottom left to right: Spring egg kits $ 14.00 each, "Hide and Seek" chart and egg button, "Spring is Blooming" kit, $12.00, " Eggs" chart. "The Beehive Wooden Puzzle" is available in a very limited quantity $36.00.

OK, I forgot to mention the new Jenny Bean Christmas Sampler which we just received back from Marilyn, who stitched it for us. Isn't it fantastic? We have had it on our front counter in Q-Snaps waiting to go out to Jill, and everyone has flipped over it.

Finally, I need to mention some housekeeping information. Because it is cold, and snowy, and icy, we are continuing to close at 5:00 during January. We all like it, but it kind of drives Teri crazy, so I'm sure we will be back to 6:00 by February. Of course she is having to put up with me begging to take every day off so I can just sit home and stitch. Also, everyone has been calling about the Retreat. No it isn't up yet. Honestly it won't be up until later in March, hopefully. But we are busily making wonderful plans for the very best one ever. I will keep you updated every couple of weeks, so you don't have to worry about missing out. The dates are definitely: September 23-25, 2010 with our shop openhouse on the 22nd.

And finally here is the chex mix recipe I promised before Christmas:
1 1/2 cups Lt. Karo
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 1/2 sticks Butter
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
Mix above ingredients and bring to boil stirring. Boil for 2 minutes. Pour hot mixture over a 16 ounce box of Chex cereal. I use either Rice or Corn and sometimes mix them together. I am sure Wheat would be healthier, but no one in my family likes them. Oh, well. Add 1/2 package of coconut and 1 cup of slivered almonds. (Sometimes I toast both of these items before adding.) Let cool and then store in airtight containers or Ziplock bags. This is the basic recipe that we use all the time. You could experiment and add anything you like or think sounds good such as dried cranberries or M & Ms. Enjoy.

Sorry, I have to go and pick up Christian from the swimming pool before his hair flash freezes. May 2010 be the best year ever for each of us. May it be filled with great love and joy, simple pleasures and peace, quiet moments and laughter.
fondly, Tina