Thursday, October 7, 2021

Cool October nights

Early Autumn Blessings

Dear Friends
How lovely for me to spend this afternoon writing to all of you.  Where I am, it is one of those days which seems a blessing to me.  The weather is both expected and serendipitous today.  It is such a nod at the season we have just had.  Brilliant sunshine and more hot than warm. It is as though my little corner of the world is hanging on to Summer and willing it to stay with us just a bit longer.  Yet I know that in a few hours when the sun lowers and disappears into the Salt Lake, it will be chilly and I will light candles and grab a sweater if I choose to linger on the patio stitching or FaceTiming the kids.  And soon even the days will let go of their welcome warmth, and Autumn's briskness will creep in.  Hopefully bringing with it some rain to quench the thirst of this parched corner of the earth.
Teri's garden has had a wonderful run this year.  Here it is--early October--and we are still enjoying tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and basil and parsley.  It will be hard to face not grabbing a quick lunch or dinner out of the backyard.  She just has such a green thumb and the patience to spend hours tenderly caring for gardens.  I was not blessed with either the talent nor the patience to garden.  My one thing I do each year is to plant zinnias in the pots by the front door at work.  Last year it was so much fun to watch them grow and see the varying colored blooms as they appeared and lasted.  I even shared seeds with Bob to plant in his pots at home and with Teri to add color to her garden to attract pollinators.  Both of them had the most beautiful Zinnias which have kept their blooms for months.  My 2 tiny pots had long and lovely green stems and leaves--and precisely 1 bloom between them.  Seriously!  Bob said that I had crowded them, which is probably true, but honestly it did work last year. Oh well, the growing season is almost over, so I just have to get over it and move on.  
Everyone at the shop is well and busy as Fall arrives.  Like you, we are all doing our best to stay out of the way of this current wave of the pandemic.  Sometimes it seems like we are living in a continuous loop, but I think that we are all learning to adjust and regroup as we try to continue our lives in some sort of normal.  Everyone still has to wear a mask to come inside the shop, and some days I make it all the way home without even noticing that it is still on.  Once winter hits, and people start wearing hats, we might begin to forget what each other looks like.  Oh well, that's what photographs are for. 
We seem to now be in an odd stage of this virus.  Each person having their own specific thoughts on how to navigate and survive.  But hopefully, in the passion and distress of finding ourselves almost 20 months into this strange circumstance, we can remind ourselves that we really are in this together--like it or not.  And my mother's constant mantra for myself and my siblings returns to me all the time:  Just be nice!
I guess that is my wish for our weary, discouraged world as we hopefully enter the last stretch of this long and bitter journey.  After all, it can't last forever......can it?

New from Shepherd's Bush 

We are excited to show you some new things that we have ready for Autumn stitching.  
A Witch's Garden Pin Cushion
kit:  $30

This sweet little pin cushion was such a lot of fun to design and stitch.  It is worked on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha with Weeks overdyed cotton threads.  It has a wonderful dusty purple backing fabric, little hand dyed buttons, and Lady Dot chenille (hand dyed for this kit).  I hope it will be fun to work on as Halloween approaches.

Halloween Needle Case
kit:  $30.00

I love this little needle case that Teri has been working on.  It is so darling and has just the right combination of spooky and autumn.  It is stitched on 32 count Shale by PTP ( a very dusty grey/purple) and includes Weeks cotton floss, buttons, grey wool, silk ribbon and Lady Dot chenille-hand dyed for this.
(Supplies for this kit are very limited because that is the world we are living in right now)

Fear Not
kit: $30.00 

This lovely little piece was part of our Pop Up series last year.  It is fun and filled with the joy of Autumn, but still with a tiny hint of Halloween.  It is stitched on 32 count French Country Mocha and includes Weeks overdyed cotton floss and buttons.  

Thoughts of Halloween

pattern:  $6

button:  $6

entire kit: $43.00

I really like this series that Teri adds to now and then.  This one is perfect for October and highlights a fabulous Halloween Moon button.  We worked ours on 32 count purple linen with a fantastic palette of overdyed cotton floss.  


Chart $8.00

Gray bag: $15.00

Perl cotton thread set $19.55

Orange scissors: $8.50

Shepherd's Bush Halloween scissor fobs 


I spent our summer outing to the lake working on these fobs.  They were fun to do and turned out quite sweet.  We have a big variety that are all great, so we will choose the perfect one for you.  My trip only lasted so long, so these are limited.

A small new group of bee designs by Shepherd's Bush 

These designs came out during the summer, and we thought we would share them with you,  I don't think they were on our last blog... when was that???  Busy Notes was on the blog so I did not include it here. 

Bee Home
10 count kit:  $16

This is a little kit that came out at the end of the summer.  It is adorable and perfect for Bee and Home lovers alike.  It is a 10 count fabric so it will be quick and easy to finish.  

pattern:  $8
Olive Plaid Bag: $15
Perle cotton set available


Teri has had so much fun working on this bag.  You use perle cotton 5 and stitch it over 2 threads, and it takes hardly any time at all. didn't take me any time at all.  She said it was a blast to do and she loves that the bag fits a whole project--book and all,  The bags also come in grey and berry red, and I know she is working on a pattern for Halloween (grey) and Christmas (berry).

She worked the pin cushion and fob by stitching parts of the pattern on a smaller count linen.  32?
What a darling set.

Bee scissors $12.00 each 

Sweet bee scissors to add right in.

Mad for Plaid bags 


New at the shop

New wooden thread pallets 

by Under the Garden Moon

$12.00 each

We have a friend, Amy, who does lovely patterns of quilting, wool work, and embroidery. Her newest venture are these beautiful wooden threads drops and pallets with various engraved designs.  They are very pretty and smooth, and perfect for storing threads.  

New Wooden Thread Drops

by Under the Garden Moon 

each set of 6 is $25.00

Autumn Rules chart 
by Primrose Cottage
kit also available

This is a darling new company, and their charts are so much fun.  The best thing is the entire graph in in one chart.  Amy just sent back Autumn Rules--she stitched it so fast.  Thanks Amy.  We have tweaked the colors into overdyed cottons and added buttons.  It is such a fun Autumnal piece.  

Here are a few of their other designs.

Pumpkin Kisses
 chart: $6.50

 Happy Halloween
chart: $6.50

Halloween Kisses
 chart: $6.50

This is Halloween 
chart: $12.00

Witchy Way
chart: $6.50

Christmas Letters
chart: $12.00

Pilgrims pillow by Mani di Donni
partial kit $   ( threads are not included)

This sweet pattern comes with the pins, and the fabric to stitch and to finish the pincushion.  

Statehood charts $5.00 each
by Thread Milk 

Can you tell which states are which?  
It would be so fun to have a bowl of the places you have been.

Here is another new company, and her state patterns are very sweet.  So far she has 13 states available and more are on  the way.  

Milk Cap Thread Drops $15.00

These are so adorable a pack n a ring to hold your threads.  

Halloween fobs by My Big Toe

limited quantity


Garden update by Teri

My garden has been so fun this year.  We have made 2 batches of bread and butter pickles and have eaten tomatoes so many different ways.  I love just dashing outside to pick some peppers and tomatoes and cucumbers and whipping up a salad.  Last week Reeta picked a huge bowl of cherry tomatoes to take home and it did not look like she had picked any.  I am always sad when the weather turns and I have to put my garden to bed.  I am trying garlic, I think you plant it in the fall... we shall see. 

The grapes we planted a few years ago have taken over and the birds feast on the sweet clumps of grapes. I want to try grape jelly, but I'm not sure how to do that--or if I am up to the mess.  Our Mom was a huge canner, every September she canned grape juice, peaches, tomatoes many ways, pickles, and anything she could. Where is she when I need her?????

My little Zinnia patch

so many cherry tomatoes...


Thursday, June 10, 2021

June 2021

June, 2021

Dear Friends,
It is so good to write to you again, and I hope you are all doing well.  It's odd that this past year seemed to drag on forever, and yet here we are already half way through 2021.  Time is strange and never more so than this past 18 months.  But I feel like we are emerging from our bubbles-all in our own moment-and beginning to adjust to a new and ever changing normal.  This has been such an era of reflection for me.  For my introvert self, that long year of isolation had its challenges, but it held its comforts as well.  But now seems to be my watershed moment. I see everyone around me rushing back out into the world, and I have reverted back to my teenage self--hovering in metaphoric doorways partly wanting to walk through them and join in, but in the end always retreating back to my solitary comfort zone. I know, I will get through it--we all will in our own way.  I'm sure that one of these hot summer days we will be going out to restaurants, movie theaters, and parties...but maybe not quite yet for me. 
I have learned many things during this time of Covid.  
I realized that we could celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays and even just Sundays with our boys all on FaceTime, and it is not too bad. 
 I found out that architects can give a pretty good hair cut in a pandemic-even if it ended up a few inches shorter during the final even-ing process. 
 I discovered that weekly choir practices outside with masks--in the heat and noise of summer and the bitter cold of almost winter--may not have produced the finest music, but it bound together good friends. 
 Now--on this end of the year--I realize that this new world is so much louder than the previous one.  Some neighbors stopped by to visit out in the yard last week, and it was very fun, and everyone was talking as fast as possible--as if to make up for a year of just waving through car or house windows.  And then quite suddenly, I thought it would be nice if we could just all be quiet and enjoy each other's company--in silence.  I know--that is pitiful.  My whole psyche has become quieter--and that is pretty hard to imagine.  
But I think the most important thing I learned is that we are all so different from one another.  Everyone faced the plague season in their own way.  Some in anger and judgement, but for some it brought out a deeper measure of kindness and compassion, which somehow balanced and made more bearable the moments of fear and grief and worry and exhaustion.  It made me really think about and understand that life is not so much just about me and my loved ones, but about a whole planet of people dealing with a new life in the best way that they can. I had a litany of mantras that I had running through my mind and heart all the time as I tried to mindfully navigate my corner of the world.  And in the end I want to hope that this strange time will have made us a better people as we now face this brave, new world together. 
 For me...I think I finally grew up, and maybe that isn't such a bad thing.

After our year of being closed to walk-in customers, the shop has been open again since mid-April, and I think we are easing our way back into our normal rhythm.  It has been challenging to try to be respectful of everyone so that each person feels welcome and safe.  We are still requiring masks, but it seems to be working for us, for now.  It is a joy to visit with people again and have them inside.  It was funny, but for a whole year--when no one but our Shepherd's Bush team came inside--Teri faithfully changed out all her displays for each month and season just like every other year.  I confess, I sometimes thought she was a bit mad, because no one ever saw them.  But I think it was her own personal mantra, her way to bring normalcy to the absolutely un-normal, to practice a familiar and comforting routine amidst the utter chaos.  On the day that we opened our doors again, the shop was so tidy and organized and perfectly ready it was amazing to me.  Our strange and frantic year of answering telephones, scrambling through mail orders, window shopping, tiny tables on the porch, running packages out to car trunks, good natured and loyal customers shivering and sweating and huddling under umbrellas on the front step, seems like an unreal sort of dream.  
Except it was our dream ...and worthy of every minute and memory. 
So...if you find yourselves in our neighborhood, grab your mask and come visit us.  We are a calm and gentle refuge from the world around us. 

New from Shepherd's Bush 

Busy Notes 
by Shepherd's Bush 
chart: $8.00
complete kit: $41.50
Frame: $32.00

Teri could not let summer slip away without a new note, and Busy Notes is just perfect.  We have the leaflets almost ready, (just waiting for photos), the fabric is cut and ready and the buttons are on their way. We also have the darling buttercup frames available.  If you are on the Notes auto, we will send it along to you.  If you would like a kit to kick off Summer, give us a call.   

Patriotic Pop up
Surprise box:  $70.00

We are very excited about our upcoming Patriotic Pop Up.  It is going to be a lot of fun and super cool for the hot summer ahead.  I kind of wanted to include a popsicle, but you know...So you might be on your own for that.  Everyone here at the shop is busy working on the various parts and pieces, and we are hoping to have it ready to go out to you soon.  If you signed up to be on the Auto, it will just come directly to you.  If you didn't, and you are intrigued, we have a few spaces left.  Just give us a call to get signed up for this one.

New Pincushion display
One of Teri's Covid projects was this new pin cushion display.  It turned out so sweet and now everything is gathered together in mostly one place instead of scattered throughout the shop or just simply missing.  

New shadow box display
Our friend, Maryanne, told us about this beautiful shadow box from Pottery Barn a few years ago.  It has been sitting in our front hall for quite some time, until Teri tackled it earlier this year.  It is quite large and heavy, so that was a challenge, but with genius help, she has it up by the front counter and filled it with our little box kits.  Everyone loves it and it is fun to switch it out now and then to match the season--or not.

New at the shop

There's no Place Like Home
 by Scarrlett House 
Chart: $12.00

Wonderful new designs from Plum Street Samplings 

Flag Flock 
by Plum Street Samplers
chart: $14.00

Always Remember 
by Plum Street Samplers
Chart: $14.00

Equality Samper 
by Plum Street Samplers
Chart: $18.00

Hedge Row 
by Plum Street Samplers
Chart: $10.00

by Plum Street Samplers
Chart: $10.00

These have been so much fun, which one to start first.....  

Land That I Love
by Country Cottage Needleworks
Chart: $8.00

Such a sweet piece

Thread Manners 
by Lady Dot

These are a great way to keep your threads for one project managed.  There are all sorts of patterns and designs, and we have different ones in all the time.  So pretty and thoughtful.  You will love them.

When I think of Spring 
by Punti Puntini
chart with buttons: $15.00

We have had these darling pieces stitched from Punti  Puntini

When I think of Autumn
by Punti Puntini
chart with buttons: $15.00

These great charts have been a hit on our "window shopping." Everyone started with one and then came back for the others.  She is a darling designer out of Italy who makes such sweet buttons that we have carried for years.  On these, we have hand-chosen the linens and tweaked the colors and honestly, they are just adorable.  

Prairie Schooler Santa 2021
Card: $6.00
Complete kit: $62.25
(doesn't include backing fabric)

Can you believe it the new Santa is here and so early.  He is stitched and ready, Teri is just looking for the perfect backing fabric.  All of us just love the friendly animals in this year's design, but Teri has been a bit less enthusiastic since she seems to be having nightly fights with the raccoons in the neighborhood.  They seem to be driving her nuts.  Not quite sure who is going to win that battle.

by Madame Chantilly
Chart: $15.00

This beautiful piece that we just picked it up from Jill will be a wonderful piece for 
Fall.  We stitched it on 32 count linen with 1 strand of overdyed thread, and it is amazing. 

Merry Christmas 
by Cottage Garden
Chart: $10.00
Twinkle linen - 32 count $12.00

My niece stitched this while recovering from surgery.  It is so delightful.  We had her stitch it on a gray blue 32 count linen with sparkly stars printed onto the fabric.  We changed a few colors and it turned out very fun.  We did a virtual shop tour with some guilds in North Carolina, and they just wanted us to keep returning to look at this piece.  

New fabric from Fox and Rabbit
36 count 
$118.00 per yard

Ocean Air (light blue)
Waratah ( watermelon red)
Watermelon Ice (pink)
Ballet Slippers ( Peachy cream)
we also have Hogsbristle, Eureka, Baked Clay, and Lyrebird Dell (  Med Blue)

Patriotic Display

This is one of the areas that Teri set up during Covid.  It is sweet and there are so many fantastic designs.  Enough summer stitches to keep a person busy through many hot and sticky months.  

Babies Don't Keep 
 by Shannon Christine
Chart: $14.00

This is a darling update on a favorite baby saying.  

Sea box 
by Rovaris
kit $100

This is such a fun thing, but we only have one left.  It comes with the box, pattern, fabrics and buttons-- threads are separate.   

Needle Minders 
by Flamingo Toes 
$12.50 each 

We just unpacked new minders from Beverly at Flamingo Toes.  We have a hard time keeping these in as they are so clever and ne

w and colorful.  It is hard to choose my favorite one, and then we get a batch of new ones.  

First Frost 
by Hands On
chart: $10 

This special piece looks completely different from the pattern on the chart.  We stitched it in one long line and we just love it!  Everything that Teri did with this piece is just fantastic!  You will just love it as much as we do.  

The ultimate Sampler Motif Book  
by Brenda Keys

This is an amazing book of sampler motifs.  It has been reprinted and updated and is a total gem of a book. If you need any small design, look no farther.  I have a copy from her first printing many years ago and I just love it and have to be very careful to keep track of where I keep it.  Now she has reprinted and greatly expanded it and it is truly a treasure.  Now I have 2 of them to keep track of. They are all taken from old samplers, or they have the sampler vibe.  This is a must have for any sampler stitcher.  

Oh yes, the garden is growing.  It was going fine until we had 2 epic hail storms, and now the broccoli and the peppers are a bit the worse for wear.  But they do seem to be coming out of it.  The clematis is always a sight to see.  It has climbed up one of our poles and is just beautiful.  I have a feeling that this sudden and intense heat we are having will bring the tomatoes on quickly--I hope.  Getting so excited.  The garden is definitely our happy place--within our happy place.  
We finally bought new pots for our front porch after a passerby chose to toss our old ones into the middle of the street where they exploded--tulip bulbs and all.  Yay!  Teri carefully harvested seeds from last year's zinnias, and our friend, Linda, so kindly brought us seeds from her own harvest, so they are all planted and up about 2".  Right now they are safely in the back yard, because I am half scared to put them out on the front step.  But I think the time is nigh, so maybe next time you will see a pic.  
Hugs to all

Garden pics...

Oregano, broccoli, and tomatoes all are growing great.  

Our herb garden, we made chive and bacon pasta (delish) because we have so many chives...