Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas!!! I had hoped to get a chance to write before the big day, but alas it was not to be. It seemed like it came so quickly this year, and I for one was completely unprepared. It seemed like this was a season with much trauma and drama with everyone at the shop, so Christmas came upon us. But it is always fun and welcome and I hope that it was for you as well. We got sort of snowed in here with a lot of snow leading up to Christmas and then a blizzard on that day followed by ice and then more snow. When Teri and I ventured on to work today, we found nothing plowed and the streets quite bad. We also have a furnace out at the shop, so it has been just a tad cold. But our customers were darling and warm-hearted so we have had a great day. I love the time between Christmas and New Year's with everyone choosing new projects and spending gift certificates. It's the best. Today, everyone was getting their 2008 Gingher scissors before they are gone. We still have a few left so if you haven't gotten yours, now is the time. We also have only a few more days for this year's scissor fob. On New year's Day we will have ready the new scissors and fob for 2009. It is quite darling and we will post a picture within the next week or so. For some reason--the economy or who knows--Gingher only manufactured a very limited number of the new scissors for next year. So if you are a collector, get them early as I don't know how long we will have them.
Anyway, I have to go back to work and I just wanted to say Happy Holidays. I will probably write again before New Year's, but in the meantime stay warm and safe and STITCH.
ever fondly, Tina

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In the summer Senator Hatch called us to see if we would be willing to do an ornament for the tree at the White House. We of course said YES!! Last Sunday we flew out to Washington DC to go to a reception at the White House for the tree. Here are a few photos of our time there. It was such an honor to have been asked and we had a blast. We were there only 2 days, but were on the go from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM. It was such an amazing experience.

Outside the East Gates of the White House.

Bob, Tina's husband, and I just outside the White House.

This was the reception hall; there were so many of these trees--everything was so festive. We first waited to have our photograph taken by a photographer in front of the Tree, then we just wandered around looking at everything.

We were treated to a beautiful buffet of treats and nibbles.

Laura Bush addressed the whole group, thanking us for the ornaments.

We were allowed to go into all the rooms on that floor. We could sit and relax on the furniture and look closely at all the decorations. This is the Green Room- My favorite!!!

Here is Bob in the Red Room.

At last--the tree. It is spectacular!!!! 396 balls from all over the USA. The tree is in the Blue Room.

Here is Bob showing off our ornament. 

We stitched it on 32 count linen with overdyed threads. The colors we were to use were red, white and blue. It had to include our state name and something about our state... Can you guess what I choose? Beehives of course!!! It says, " Utah" then a beehive with flowers. Then "By industry we thrive," and a beehive. Then "The Beehive State." Then a beehive. Navy blue bees swirl and fly above the words and the beehives and city names border the bottom. It was super fun to stitch. When they told us the colors they wanted, I knew I wanted to do redwork only in counted thread. We finished it like a victorian ornament with hand gathered silk ribbon, hand twisted silver cords, and the base of the ball is wool felt. Bees dangle from the ribbons on the bottom.

Here is a photo of it before we sent it in. . . . We had an absolute blast and the White House was so beautiful!!! Tina and Christian went to the air and space museum while we went to the reception. We all had a great time.

If you would like to see all the ornaments on the White House tree, click on this link and look for the ornament or tree link. You can look at your state's ornaments. Have fun!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Edited to add: Check out our great video tour of Shepherd's Bush at Christmas! We just added it at the end of this post.

I'm back.

I don't know what happened to me all through the fall, but I just couldn't ever seem to get caught up and back to normal after the retreat. I know that Teri has been sneaking in to write now and then, so I'm grateful that she has kept you up to date with the shop and you have seen pictures of the wonderful new pieces we have been stitching. It seems like we have been in a total whirlwind since the retreat ended the first of October and I am looking forward to a quieter December and enjoying the peace of the holidays. In the midst of going to the St. Charles market 2 weeks before the retreat, we also embarked on a huge renovation project on the outside of our building. Our sad and tattered awning finally came down, we had the whole outside painted completely new colours--odd green and black, and now we are in the midst of replacing all of the windows. It is very exciting and I love how everything looks, but somewhat stressful.

Teri and I had a very fun excursion to Jean Lea's Sampler weekend in Mesa the middle of November. We had such a great time--and it was warm!! What a treat! Everyone there was delightful and Jean's shop was beautiful. I have decided that the Arizonians have much better eyesight than Utahns as everything seemed to be stitched on 40 count linen. Truly beautiful. We spent the weekend with Barb and Alma from Blackbird Designs who were also teaching and Sharon Crescent from Crescent Colours. I think Teri has a couple of pictures down below. That weekend was a little warm oasis for us.

Then last weekend was our Christmas Open House at the shop. Teri was determined and cranky about getting some new things put together, so we had to hop to it in the back and produce some lovely offerings. There are times that we have to prove to the fronts girls that we are working. I think we did pretty well, even though Teri had to design one of them herself. In the end it was a perfect day. Teri had everything decorated so sweetly, and the green swags and red bows look fabulous on the new black front of the shop. The weather was great, the food was beautiful and yummy, and all the new things were very fun. A perfect end to the Thanksgiving festivities.

This past Sunday we left for Washington DC. This was the culmination of a stressful but exciting project which started in August. Our Senator Hatch called Teri in the late summer to invite us to design an ornament for the White House Christmas Tree. Wow--what an honor. Of course Teri was flying around thrilled to death in her inimitable way and I, of course, was fraught with anxiety. This is really how most of our lives work out. Well, at the time, we were overwhelmed with getting a market ready as well as the Retreat, so we just filed it in the back of our brains--the very, very back. Then towards the end of September as the deadline approached, Teri sort of went into super-overdrive and worked like a maniac night and day on the ornament. She really did it herself--although I did give her another idea on how to lay it out. It turned out fantastic and she mailed it in. Then she received an official invitation from the White House to go to the reception for all the artists for the unveiling of the tree with Laura Bush. So Bob, Chris, Teri and I flew out on Sunday. We had a blast--thanks to many tips from our D.C. friends, Susan and Trish. I think Teri may be giving a photo tour down below so keep scrolling. What a great honor and a great experience.

Now we are back and ready for my favorite time of year at the shop. I love it in December when everyone is happy and excited and it gets dark early and all the lights are lovely. It is the best. I have a million things I need to be doing: new scissor fob, new snowman, new hearts...BUT all I have done today is find new projects that I want to stitch for myself. I have even gone so far as to pull fabric and threads. OK, I probably won't actually start any of them, but I have had a great time getting them ready. Due to popular demand, we are going on holiday hours starting Monday which means we will close at 5 each day instead of 6--so keep that in mind. But we will be here at 10 in the mornings and I will be making Christmas cookies and candy to serve on the front table, so wander by for a treat. I am planning to write on Wednesday and hopefully we can put up a picture of another extraordinary piece---one of the ones in my new pile--Christmas Cheer. Watch for it. Until then--enjoy the time of year, the lights, the bustle, the music and the joy.

fondly, Tina

Monday, December 1, 2008

Merry Christmas
from all of us at Shepherd's Bush!!
(Left to Right/Back to Front)
Reed, Kristin, Tina, Sue, Chryl, Lynnette
Kari, Teri, Elisabeth, Nancy
Jillian and Sophie

(and. . . coming soon. . .a video tour of Christmas at Shepherd's Bush)

Christmas at Shepherd's Bush

Happy December!!!
We had our annual Christmas party on Saturday, and it was so much fun! We were showing some new fun designs that I will share with you.

Remember Sadie's Pocket? Well our cute sewer made a few (very few) Sadie's Pincushions that match the pockets. I designed a new stitching that matches as well, the complete kits run $ 20.00 each and will not be available very long.

I wanted to do a Christmas patterns with a button, so Santa's Coming came about. The pattern is free with the button, which runs $6.00. We do have complete kits available. We also have a great frame to finish it. It is a fairly quick stitch and perfect for anyone on your list.

Jingle, Sparkle Joy, is a free pattern that we have kitted up with fabulous rustic colors. The kit comes with a star button for the tree, fabric , thread, and pattern. $10.00.

Merry Motifs, is a new pattern by Mosey N' Me. We have stitched it on a great hand-dyed fabric and changed a few of the colors. and I think we added buttons. It is soooooo darling.

Santa's got the Goods is the new Lizzie Kate Santa. We stitched it on Lime overdyed Tula (10 count) and added buttons. We have the perfect finishing fabric, but it is so fun I can't send it out to be made into a pillow. Of course we added buttons. It would be a happy project to stitch on during December.

Have a happy safe December, Teri