Thursday, August 28, 2008

Last week of August, 2008

Hi Friends,

Perhaps if I say the last week of August, I can buy myself several days to work on this. First day of school--I can hardly believe it. I think of so many past first days of school and I have to smile to myself. I remember being in grade school and so very excited about new school clothes. We were NEVER allowed to wear anything new--shoes, dresses, socks, anything--until that first day. We just had to wait. So of course on the first day I would insist on wearing a new outfit, which usually included tights, wool jumpers, long sleeved shirts and then enduring the heat of the day and trying to return home cheerful because my mom had told me I would be miserable, and I could never admit it. Then I remember first days with my boys. Peter, in the first grade, could make it back home the opposite direction before I did. After a couple of months of that, he seemed to gain his independence and would barely endure his first-day-of- school-photo before flying unaccompanied up the street. Christian, on the other hand, always loved us to walk him to the elementary school. Last year was his first year at the high school and that brought with it its own fears and tears. But this year, away he flew with 2 exchange students in tow. And I am the one left with the tears. I hate it. I can't stand that he is 15--yesterday he was scared to be left at the pre-school.

It is sort of nice to have the house to myself for a couple of hours in the morning. I can even turn on the TV and watch something utterly ridiculous while I get ready for work without anyone saying--NO, not that...why do you like to watch that...but the Simpsons are on. This has been such a fun and crazy month. We just loved having Lucien with us for that time, and I loved the commotion and hubbub that a house of teen-agers bring with them. Friday night Lucien had invited a bunch of the other exchange students over for a party on the patio, and Chris had a group of his friends over trying to finish a video for the school welcome assembly--and partying with the others, Bob was barbecuing, Peter was up and wandering around with his guitar, and Teri was insanely fixing everything she could find to serve. I was just trying to view the chaos from the chairs out in the front yard, but they all kept finding me. We took Lucien to the airport on Saturday morning and spent the rest of the day half in tears. I was told that we would become attached, and that was very true. We are all missing him. Luckily we have 2 boys who have become great friends living for the rest of the year just around the corner, and now we seem to have a temporary exchange student until a permanent home is found for him for the school year. Simon--Teri calls him by his real Chinese name--is so very different from the boys we have had for the past month, but he is truly a joy. Sweet, quiet, considerate, studious. What an experience getting to know all of these cultures and personalities. If only they didn't become such a part of your heart. It has hurt to say goodbye.

Now, we are truly on a whirlwind to get things done for market, the retreat, the fall. I know we'll get there because of all our wonderful help, but it won't be a minute too soon. We have wonderful new things coming out in a couple of weeks for the new fall market, so watch the web site and you will be the first to see them. Retreat plans are coming along well. Lots of fabulous surprises. Can't wait--well, actually, I really can. I need one of those Harry Potter-like time suspensions just to stitch.

OK, I can't stay at this for too many days or you will be reading it after Labor Day. Did you see the new Quaker Christmas piece that our friend Marilyn stitched for us? It is beyond fabulous!!! Teri and I spent hours agonizing over silks and fabrics and I think we did quite well. It is a true treasure. If you haven't seen, you must take a look. We are busy into new fall and Halloween things. We have had a new Cricket piece and Prairie Schooler piece stitched, so watch for pics on next week's blog. I didn't even want one of them stitched, and I couldn't believe it when I saw it. It is SO DARLING! Teri has just finished an adorable Halloween piece--just to entice you.

Well, I have to go. Remember that we are closed for the Labor Day weekend. We will be here on Friday, but closed on Saturday and Monday. We will be back rested and revived on Tuesday. Please have a safe and lovely holiday weekend. Drive carefully, wear your seatbelts and get lots of stitching done.

fondly, Tina

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Great New Stitching

Here is the start of our Halloween display--some of the new ones, and some of our favorites!

This is a great piece from the Cricket Collection. It glows in the dark--well the eyes do. It is a blast. My older sister has made many of these because she had such a great time stitching them. "Here's Looking at You Kid"

"Hocus Pocus" is a new Lizzie Kate design. We stitched it on a great dyed 10 count and added buttons.

"In a Moon" is a debut kit from Sharon at Crescent Colors. It comes with the chart, thread (of course) , and the buttons. We have fabric pieces cut and ready. We even sell the darling frame to match, all from Crescent Colors. Spooky to be so organized!!!

"Autumn Band" sampler is a fun design that uses a few different stitches to make the fall motifs. We have changed the colors and stitched it on a great fall colored linen and added buttons.

September Baubles is ready and is soooo great! We have finished it with a wonderful sampler fabric from Blackbird and it is sweet. We are just waiting to get the October Baubles back from the finisher, It is so darling- witches hats--and we have a perfect Halloween fabric to finish it. Maybe next week I will have a photo.

Now a few Christmas things to tease you. . . .

Lizzie Kate has started a new double flip series, but we have the funnest Christmas fabrics, that we decided to make some of them into pillows. So here are "Santa" and " Holly." We added buttons and had some fun!

Now I just could not resist this most FABULOUSLY AMAZING piece. It wass titched for us by our dear friend Marilyn and It is gorgeous! "Quaker Christmas" is so stunning! She used overdyed silks and a hand-dyed linen. Thank you! Thank you Marilyn!!!!!!!!

I will have some more to show you next week.
'Til then, Happy Stitching

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hi friends,

I know that I am not supposed to begin a letter with an apology, but here it is. I am sorry I have been so sporadic about writing this summer. I am assuming you are having the same problem yourselves. Everything is just so busy and chaotic and the days seem to fly by all on their own accord. I have sort of a love/hate relationship with summer. Mostly I love it. I love the long warm days, the lack of homework, that feeling of having all the time in the world. I love to stitch outside until the dark and the mosquitoes drive us indoors. I love sitting outside until 2 in the morning wrapped in blankets watching for a mysterious meteor shower. And I love weekend trips to Bear Lake. It's funny, I watch with a certain dread the last week of school. Christian is positively dancing and counting the minutes, yet a significant part of me thinks--YIKES--three months--what are we going to do. And then each year, we get to this time in August with registration, and meetings with counselors, and the First Day looming in the near future, and I feel sort of sad. Like how did it go by so quickly? There were at least a hundred things we wanted to do, and for some reason only a few of them actually happened. Teri, of course, in her mean streak, will spend the next 2 weeks humming It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,
and Christian will protest loudly.

We have had a very fun experience this August. We have hosted a foreign exchange student for a month who is part of a group of 22 youth from all over the world spending 4 weeks in Ogden honing--or maybe acquiring-- their English skills before moving to a host family for the school year. I have to say that we have had a blast! My first instinct was to say no, because I am just not very spontaneous, but Bob and Chris and even Teri kept saying--it might be a lot of fun. So we have had the joy of having a 15 year old French boy--Lucien with us. What a great experience. He is so sweet and darling and came to us with very little English. We are half way through, and I look at him now and cannot believe how much better his language skills are in such a short time. We have made hundreds of pieces of French Toast, experienced the trauma--on my part--of a major haircut, been on the go pretty much 24/7, and shared the Olympics through his eyes as well. For some reason, this week he and Chris have given up sleep and seem to have endless things to do until we chase them off in the wee hours of the morning. I know that he is going on to a lucky family in the Midwest, but I can't even think about it. Ah--the joys and surprises of summer.

Summer is always busy at the shop. We love welcoming people from all over the world, and in spite of the price of gas, that hasn't changed this year even though I heard on the news that our prices in the West are the highest in the country. Great! We have been busy filling market orders and preparing for the upcoming retreat. We have also had many, many darling things stitched, so just watch for the pictures to come up. I know that Teri has been photographing and preparing to put some of the pics on the blog, but she will have to write explanations since I am not sure what she is putting on.

Well. I have to go on. The deliberation and purchase of new athletic shoes for 2 15-year-olds seems to be in my immediate future. As is the movie--The Dark Knight which I have put off as long as I can. See you next week--I almost promise.


Christian, Lucien our foreign exchange student from France, Chin- Wei- From Taiwan, and Raphael also from France, on an excursion to the mountains.

Tina's Bob, Raphael, Lucien, and Christian on the gondola to the top of the mountain behind our city.

On a trip to the lake last week end, we took Lucien up to visit Paris Idaho, Population 576. He said it is very different from his Paris. He has the greatest accent!!!