Friday, December 5, 2014

December, 2014
Hi Friends....
Happy Fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas all sort of blended together in a whirl. I wonder sometimes how the days and seasons seem to turn so quickly one into the other.  One minute it's hot and we are outside dyeing fabrics and ribbon trying to avoid the sprinklers as everything is spread out to dry in the hot summer sun.  Then I turn around and the trees have lost their leaves, the apples have quit thunking down on the garage roof, and flip flops are no longer the most comfortable protection against the nippy air. It's a little sad for me, how swiftly time goes by. My mother used to tell me when I was young--don't wish your life away, and now I wish for it to slow down and linger a bit here and there. 
 I left our hectic Thanksgiving celebrations for a bit and took Lindbergh on a walk to give him a little break from the company and commotion.  It was just creeping on to dusk, and the evening was quiet and chilly.  I noticed how many houses had their Christmas lights up and on, although the streets were empty.  It really made me realize that this year is soon coming to an end, and I wondered how that had happened.  Where did Summer go?  In Utah, we had a beautiful and lengthy Autumn, yet a part of me felt a bit cheated by the encroaching Winter.  Still there was something about a solitary walk (well...with a bouncing beagle in tow) that gave me a moment in the midst of a hectic day, a busy month, a crazy fall, and a wild year to sort through my thoughts on this singular day of thanksgiving.  I had just been through a melancholy week which reminded me of what a blessing families are.  It's odd how we all go about our days caught up in the busy-ness of our own lives until a bump in the road sends us hurtling back to the ones we love and those who love us.  Certainly a blessing to be thankful for. 
 And then there is that extended family of friends--old and new--who gathered with us at our Retreat this past October...When I listen to the news and begin to despair of humanity, I just have to think about the 200-plus soulmates who made the trek to Ogden and Park City for a few days this fall, and I know that there is much loveliness and joy in this world yet.  I am so thankful for everyone who was there with us.  For their kind and generous spirits, their patience, friendliness, and enthusiasm that made the weekend a blessing for Teri and me.  I can truly say that I mourned a little when it was over and everyone had returned home.  What joys life holds out for us.
And now here we are already hurtling through December.  I love this time of year at the shop.  Our huge tree is up and decorated, and every time we open the front door a wave of pine greets us.  Our open house is done, and we are still snacking on the leftover cookies and nuts.  I adore the rush of getting mail orders out and watching everyone in the front of the shop wrapping parcels and packages.  I love Teri's lights and stitched ornaments on the garlands, even though I haven't a clue in the world where any of the designs might be located. And I even enjoy wondering each evening as we leave if the outside lights will have tripped the breaker yet.  Ahhh...Christmas time.

Well, as always, Teri and I had high hopes and plans for fabulous new Christmas designs, but most of them are still in just the planning/drawing/stitching stage.  Sorry.  Oh well, life often has a way of doing that to us, and sometimes family just needs us more.  However, Teri has completed her Christmas Trifles and they are so so darling.  You are going to love them, and they will be the perfect little projects to work on during the holidays.  You can see in the picture below that there are three little pin cushions sweetly nestled in the branches of Christmas greens.  I think these are her best ones ever. 

Christmas Trifles
Leaflet:  $8.00
Full kit also available

Happy Christmas is worked on a very fun 32 count Olive Green linen with sweet overdyed cotton  threads. All Hearts Home is stitched on the 32 count Petit Point linen and the white polka dots around the little house look exactly like snowflakes.  So darling!  Then the little Cheer pincushion is on the hand-dyed Aztec Red checked linen with a festive and sparkly thread for accents. ( I stitched that one for her and it was so much fun to do.  And very quick.)  All three are finished with wonderful JABCO buttons and Teri's own hand-dyed ribbon.  Luckily, she spent a lazy Sunday afternoon in August dyeing all the ribbon and carefully putting it away, because now it would be a lot like frozen icicles outside drying.   We are sending patterns out to shops any day, so give your them a call.  If you want to order the leaflet from us, just let us know.  As always we also have them packaged as a complete kit all tied up for the holidays including everything you will need to complete these yummy projects--3 linens, backings, 3 different dyed ribbons, buttons, beads and patterns.  (oh...sorry, you will need to provide stuffing for the cushions.)  So if you want something fun and festive for December, just give us a jingle.  

Stocking Stuffers

Here are some very fun new things that would make perfect little surprises tucked into any waiting stocking.  Hopefully we will add a few things as December progresses.  Remember, that we do the most fantastic wrapping for Christmas.  You won't even want to open it up.  So if you need a gift for yourself or your friends, don't hesitate to give us a call and let Teri be your personal and private shopper.  (We're great helping husbands as well.)

Soldered Charm Scissor Fobs
Teri just made these little scissor fobs.   Each one comes with a little hook for your scissors and a pretty beaded drop.  We have a four different themes on the charms, so just ask us to tell you what we have ready.  Each pair that you can see in the photo below is actually a picture of the front and back of the charm.  And...if you need a new pair of scissors, we will let you know what we have to go with each one.  

New Christmas Thread Keeps and Fobs
by Retromantique

Here are some of my very favorite things that we have gotten in this season.  They are brand new and Teri begged for them to be sent in time for our Christmas Open House. Everyone just went crazy over them! Honestly...they are so beautiful.  Each one is carved and hand painted in the spirit of an old fashioned Christmas and includes a clever saying mixing Christmas and stitching.  I love the red stockings so much, that I bought one and am hanging it on my tree.  I always love their things a lot, but honestly, these are just fabulous.  Don't wait...we won't have them for long.  

Puffin Needle Threaders

Here are new needle threaders from Diane at Puffin.  They come in 2 hook sizes:  regular and tiny, and feature her distinctive little motifs such as cats, dogs, hearts, butterflies.  I also love these because they don't break immediately. They are big enough not to slip away, and yet they fit perfectly in your little stitching kit. The tiny size even will work on tiny beading and quilting needles. Teri worked on a  sequined and beaded ornament last night and said that the threader was super helpful.
We are hoping she will be doing sheep soon.  I can't wait!!!

Namaste Boxes 

We love these little boxes and find tons of darling things to put in them for the perfect sewing case.  This is Teri's favorite thing to do choosing the perfect items to go in each box and making sure that everything is color coordinated.  How fun!  Last year, the company ran out of most of the colors which was sort of a drag, but this year we have darling colors and have them filled with the greatest matching implements.  The perfect gift for the perfect stitcher.  

Needle Magnets

Here are some fun new needle magnets that we have just received.  The little wooden ones are very sweet and a fabulous price at $2.50.  We have these three different designs.  The holiday Needle Minders show an old fashioned Santa and a snowflake.  These run $9.00 and are such a collector's item.  And...all of them would be great tucked into a Namaste box.  

Fantastic Christmas Projects

Pink Needle Santa
Leaflet:   $11.65 
Complete kit also available

Here is a new Santa for this year.  We have changed the colors a little and stitched it on a fabulous hand-dyed linen, and we have a hard time keeping the pattern in stock.  It is sweet and quirky and old-fashioned, and truly a joy to have up.

Lizzie Kate's Sampler Stockings 2014
Leaflet:  $11.50

I love these little stocking patterns that she does and this year's is especially darling.  In the leaflet, you get 3 little patterns and each one is very sweet.  Teri just put it together last night and it turned out perfectly.  So, if you need a fun little project to kick start your season, these would be perfect.

by the Cricket Collection 

Isn't this just super fun?  We loved this piece when it came out and have stitched it and put it by our front counter.  Everyone LOVES it!  We can't even send it off to be framed until after the holidays.  Teri chose a wonderful linen to stitch it on, swapped out the colors for over-dyed threads, and added buttons.  I mean're going to love it.  Look at the little santa button perched in the sleigh.  
Ho Ho Ho.

Joy to Ewe
by Chessie 'N Me
Kit:  $20.00

We love Linda's designs and have tons of them stitched in the shop.  This new one for us this year is so sweet with a little sheep and Christmas tree.  It works up very quickly and was a lot of fun to do.  

New Pin Cushion Kits

Note from Teri:  I can't wait to sit down and stitch up one of these darling new pincushions from our friends at  JABCO.  We also will be carrying a fabulous new line of overdyed wool from Colorado, and I can't wait for it to come.  Scrumptious colors.  It won't help me for these projects, but we hope to have it by the end  of the month.  These sweet kits come with the pattern, buttons and a set of darling pins.  Too clever. 

Lizzie Kate Mystery Sampler
Unseen Things
 Kit:  $97.00

We are having such a good time with Linda's new mystery sampler.  The first installment is already out with 2 more to come. Part 2 just arrived today o we will be sending it off Monday morning.   I love it so much, that it is on my list to start after Christmas.  As you can see in the picture, it is soft and sweet and worked on a special hand-dyed linen with a pallet of gorgeous over-dyed threads.  There are a couple of threads produced just for this little piece as well as a packet of buttons created to match.  The quotation from Helen Keller is very inspiring and of course I adore the basket of flowers.  Can't wait to see what is coming next.  If you would like to join us in this wonderful adventure...just give us a call.

Little House Sampler Ornaments 

This year Diane from Little House will be doing a series of sampler inspired ornaments--one each month.  We are super excited and will be stitching them to use on our tree next year--or maybe on a garland....Any way, we will be happy to send you each pattern as it arrives. We will be tweeking some of the colors, but will be using Classic Colorworks threads.  We do have some of the Winter Brew 32 that is used on the first 4 patterns, but Nancy wants to stitch her set on 36, and we have a perfect alternative color in 35/36 count if you prefer.  So here is how it will work: if you sign up with us, let us know your fabric count preference.  Then every month we will send you a fun package with the pattern, a button, and the threads- (unless you already have them from a previous month.)  As always--we will send you a little surprise during the series for signing up with us.  Give us a call.  The first pattern will be out soon and is darling.  You can see it on Little House's web site and I will post a photo as soon as we get ours in the shop.

Shepherd's Fold
coming soon--Yay

I think I have forgotten you. But I haven't!  Luckily Lynnette has been working very hard on the kit preparations at work, and I have truly been working on the actual piece at home, and Reeta has been cracking the whip on both of us.  She can be quite tenacious.  So believe it or not, you will be seeing it before Christmas.  I know, I know...Christmas is coming.  It's going to be very fun and I think it will be worth the wait.  So, get caught up and be ready for the next little piece.  

Well, I guess it is time to send this letter off before Teri finds ten more things to add to it.  That is the problem with not writing for so long, there is just so much to share with you.  Hopefully, I will write again before Christmas.  But for now I am going to leave you with a few of my own holiday wishes.  Well...really things I want to do amidst all the other things I have to do this month.  I want to make sugar cookies with Peter when he comes, and I want to add peanut butter to my fudge recipe and see how it tastes.  I want to try making peppermint ice cream and try making sushi with Christian--if I can figure out how to avoid raw fish, octopus and nori.  (Maybe we will just go out for this one.)  I want to sit by the tree and listen to Christmas music and take a walk in a snowstorm--though preferably not because my car is stuck.  And...I want to stitch and stitch on something very big and fascinating.  But most of all, I hope all my wishes can be simple and filled with the joy of the season.  And I wish that for you as well.  fondly, Tina

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shepherd's Retreat

Dear Friends,
Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself whisked away from the stresses and demands of your everyday life.  Picture yourself waking up under clear blue mountain skies, in a resort so comfy and welcoming that you just want to settle into the nearest chair and look out over the muted golds, oranges and purples of the autumn mountains around you.  Then imagine that you are surrounded by kind and fabulous teachers ready to share beautiful projects and delightful stories with you as well as a group of the sweetest, friendliest, and most wonderful women--and men--that you could ever dream of.  Well...if you can even begin to conjure up such an idyllic scene, then you will know what it is like to spend a long weekend at the Shepherd's Retreat.  I know that I might be a bit biased, but we did have the best time imaginable.  The night before our open house started in Ogden, Teri said to me, "Well, here it begins."  And I thought to myself, yes, and how quickly it will slip by.  Just indulge me for a few minutes, and share a few memories of the great time we had in Ogden and Park City this past week.  Come on...

Shepherd's Bush Open House
Tuesday and Wednesday

We all gathered at the shop during the first two days to share sweet treats, friendships and lots of stitching treasures.  
Jeannette was kind and helped me at the counter.

Ann, Paulette, and Pat...just arriving.  

 Linda, Jeannette and Teri pose for a quick pic.

The Retreat Shop in Park City

We set up a little store up at the Canyons for the retreat.  We have tables for each of the teachers where women can browse around and see all of their new and favorite pieces.  Plus a table heaping with R & R's hand dyed linens.  It was very fun.  
Teri's street market turkey greets you at the door.

Here we are getting ready for the opening day on Thursday.  How exciting!

We are very lucky to have talented women who bring some of their designs to sell in our boutique  Sharon Verbos of The Purple Thread set up a darling display of her beautiful work.  

Sharon and Mary were first in line the next morning to come shopping in the store. ( I think they might have slept there...)

Everyone is excited to see what we have waiting for them in the Park City shop.

The shop is always a busy and exited gathering place for everyone.  It is filled with lots of fun things that we have gathered from all over for this weekend as well as tables brimming with wares from each of the teachers.  Hand dyed linens, new patterns, wonderful accessories, Yay...what fun.

Our brand new stocking--Lula
linen and threads also available

We were able to debut our new stocking for this year at the retreat.  The printer delivered it on Wednesday and we were very happy to finally have it ready to go. 
We are also very lucky to be able to debut new designs from some of the teachers.  Paulette brought with her several brand new pieces and everyone had a great time perusing and gathering them up.   
They are so darling, and Teri is already busy at work on some of them.  We kept a few of each of these designs if you are interested.  Just give the shop a call.

Mood Pin Keep
pattern available
complete kit available

This piece is fabulous!  It is a pillow with a blessing on one side in a light linen and a pox on the other side stitched on a dark linen.  We had a great time pairing 2 beautiful linens together to make this very fun piece.  

Birthday Wishes
pattern available
complete kit available

This is a sweet pincushions that Paulette has put in a tart tin.  So fun for autumn, but beautiful sitting out all year long.  

Autumn Fraktur

This lovely framed piece was truly a joyful piece.  The colors are muted and Fall-ish, and I know you will just love it.  

Love One Another
pattern available
complete kit available

I really love this piece.  It is clever and whimsical and just makes me smile.  And...what reminder does our world need more than this.

Jack's Bash
pattern available
complete kit available

Now, how can you resist this totally delightful piece.  Part sampler--part Halloween piece and completely charming! 

New Halloween Kit
by Chessie & Me

This is a new kit that Linda brought with her to the retreat.  How fun is that?  Her pieces are always so charming and whimsical that it just makes me want to grab my scissors and needles.  Happy stitching.

Pincushion Exchange/ Heifer Project

Anyone who wanted could participate in a pincushion exchange with the proceeds going towards the Heifer Project.  Here are the tables with many of the fantastic pincushions on display.  Shepherd's Bush matched all the money that was donated, and in the end, we raised $2000 dollars--enough to buy 16 sheep for needy families around the world.  
Thanks so much everyone!

The Welcome project

Everyone got to make a darling stitched necklace, finish it and wear it all weekend.  

Shannon and Timsey are wearing their finished necklaces after an afternoon of stitching and visiting with old friends and new.  

Project Reveal

Late in the afternoon of the first day, the teachers gather to reveal their beautiful class projects to everyone.  Then we really know that the fun is just beginning.  Teri and I are standing behind my autumn sampler--Thankful Be.

Three generations of button makers--Cecile, Rachel and baby Amelia--show off the darling pumpkin pin cushions that they taught in their class.  Most people finished this during the class and took home another completed project. 

Ann holds up the lovely sampler that she and Pat taught in their class which celebrated family and generations of women.  It was so sweet.  

Linda holds up her sampler which is fantastic.  It is Over the River and Through the Woods and is worked on two different pieces of linen which are sewn together.  So darling.

Paulette shows off her wonderful class piece which celebrates the blessings of Thanksgiving time.  Everyone happily anticipated their time in this fabulous class.

Jeannette holds up two versions of her lovely sampler which embraced rivers and woods and a house and grandma.  It is just charming and filled with Jeannette's gentle heart and spirit.  A treasure of the season.

Thankful Stitches

Everyone gathered Thursday night to meet the teachers and hear a little something about each one of them.  Then we stitched on the retreat bag creating a tiny sampler for it with borders by each of the teachers.  

Classes begin on Friday morning.

Here is a picture of one of the classes already busy with the stitching of their first project.  

Just as each class began, we would hand out a small surprise.  The gift for the first class was the pair of scissors.  In the second class, everyone was given the floral scissor sheath, an acorn fob was our final class gift.   It made such a fun Fall set.  

Bountiful Buttons

On Friday night we all gathered to learn about making buttons from the Rachel and Cecile at Just Another Button Company.  

Everyone got an assortment of clay, a booklet of instructions and the tools to try their hands at creating their very own buttons.  After a few minutes of not knowing exactly where to start, everyone was soon busy and excited at working with the clay and creating their own tiny masterpieces.  People lingered for a long time cutting and shaping their darling buttons.

And we lingered through most of the night baking the buttons, cooling them and labeling them for each person to receive her own creations.  

We didn't even burn one batch.  

Getting ready for the banquet!

No matter how much preparation we did leading up to the retreat, Saturday afternoon is a bit of a frantic rush to get everything ready for the banquet that night.  It took many hands to assemble the turkey nut cups that Teri and Sue had worked on for days as well as assembling the button jars that we had worked on all summer.

But in the end, the tables were set and ready for our guests.  How sweet they all looked!

A delicious Thanksgiving dinner was served and shared by all.  Yum.

And then we embarked on a rousing game of Thanksgiving Bingo.  

And then, as quickly as this letter has gone by, the retreat that we have dreamed of, planned about and prepared for is over, and it is time to say goodbye and bid safe travels.  That is the worst part of the weekend...knowing that it will be another two years before we gather again here under the Autumn skies to visit and share a small piece of our lives with each other.  Be safe everyone, and I shall hope to see you all again in 2 years.  hugs, Tina...and Teri