Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dear friends,
I think that July is that quintessential patriotic month for all of us in the U.S. We all look forward to July 4th and get out our flag shirts--for Teri it is an entire closet of red, white, and blue wear--and prepare our barbeques. This year in Ogden there were so many fireworks that we ended up going up to the foothills behind us and watching the display spread out all over the entire valley. It was pretty neat. Then we came home and Christian did street fireworks with neighbors out in front--lots of fountains and screamers--but also plenty of applause. In Utah, however, the fun does not end there. We also celebrate July 24th as sort of our state's founders' day marking the entrance of the early Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley. There is still this continuation of patriotism oddly mixed--at least in Ogden--with Pioneer Days which seems to encompass everything from week long rodeos, western shoot-outs--which can come upon you downtown at any unexpected moment--parades, and of course more fireworks. Our 24th of July parade has always been the high point of Teri's year. She and Nancy go to her favorite spot 2 days ahead of time and block off our area, and then she drives past it hundreds of times in the next few days to make sure no one has moved it. No one ever has yet, and by the 23rd, all of downtown Ogden is covered with tape, and blankets, and chairs. On the morning of the parade, we congregate early and Teri brings tons of treats and cold drinks. Then everyone comes and brings their friends and their friends bring friends--and it is so much fun. Beyond the 100 degree plus heat, the parade is somewhat frightening, but that is part of the true joy: everything from fire trucks, school marching bands, elderly Pioneer Queens, Shriners on motorized magic carpets and always a plethora of horses. Everyone shouts and claps and the kids scramble for candy. And then we all go home for a nap. Baby Reed was the star this year arriving in his cowboy get up.

And Anna and Ellie share the shade from an umbrella.

Teri thinks I am a spoil sport, but I confess, I am not so sad to see July waning. I don't mind--after 30 days of mind-numbing fun--bidding goodbye to the horses, the cowboys, and the heat.
On the other hand, it is nice and cool here at Shepherd's Bush and we have loved welcoming many a traveler into our tiny sanctuary. We have been busy getting our new market stuff put together and sent off, and we have been busy re-decorating the front of the shop. Teri has had a great time making her various collections for the main displays and we have gone through a wonderful patriotic display, a darling bee/beehive display, and a sweet summer collection. Now we are on the brink of starting on Halloween. Yippee!!!
A wonderful new piece from La D Dah is Live, Love, Laugh. We used 3 beautiful colours of overdyed silk to stitch this with, and I think it is a treasure. It actually works up quite quickly, making it a perfect summer project.

Speaking of quick and simple projects, Nancy's Lord's Prayer by My Big Toe would not be one of those. However it is simply spectacular. She brought it in to show us after she picked it up from Jill, and we have been lucky enough to keep it for a few days. Don't you think that it is such a beautiful piece. I love the colours she chose to use, and I think that whoever gets it is going to be thrilled.

I think that super stitcher Nancy has also finished her Lizzie Kate Boo Club as I saw her and Teri picking out buttons. So be watching for us to show it to you when it is finished. I have to say that it is fabulous. But speaking of that, I have to mention L.K's newest Double Flip Series--Merry Christmas--which our friend Judy is working on for us. I know that the original cheerful colours are darling, but when you see the more quiet, old-fashioned colours that Teri has chosen, you will faint--so be sure you are near a couch. I just can't believe how lovely it is turning out and I know that she is choosing a different set of buttons for it as well. She has also picked out a perfect hand-dyed linen to stitch it on. I actually have no idea what the fabric or the colours are, but if you order any of it, I know she will change it for you as well.

Our friend, Diane, has some new things to go along with her popular thread spinners. Everyone here at the shop has loved them, so I need to share them with you. Her newest collection includes: Needle Nannies, Thread Winders, and Scissor Minders. Each one is exquisitely hand-crafted and lovely and serves such a delightful purpose in your sewing box. I am sure you will enjoy them.

I know that there is more I haven't told you, but I am just sending this off to you and I will write again next week. I hope that you can find a way to stay cool this week and that your evenings are pleasant. Be safe and stitchful.
fondly, Tina

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 9th, 2009

Hi friends,
My good friend, John, was in the shop yesterday and gave me a good dressing down about the blog. I did feel sad because I haven't written for a while, but it made me happy that he watched it all the time. OK, John, I'm going to be better. I had planned to write from market in Columbus, but the week just flew by and every evening I was busy chasing down stuff I had inadvertently left at various restaurants and credit cards I left in machines at Kinkos. It was all very exhausting. Actually market was a blast, and we did fulfill one goal of eating so many times at Jeni's Ice Cream that even Christian was done in. Unfortunately after we returned home, half of us here at the shop were taken with a grave and cranky pestilence. Three of us were just down and out leaving the others walking on eggs for fear of catching it. Happily, no one else has succumbed--knock on wood--and the rest of us are almost well except for the lingering cough. It is surprising how that can set you back. I haven't even had a cold for several years, so I was determined not to really be sick. But unfortunately, I spent a week moving from bed to lawn chair strewing blankets wherever I went and feeling like I was in a tuberculosis sanitarian. I believe I have had an inkling of what lepers of ancient times felt like--you know--wild eyes and crossed fingers whenever I approached anyone in my family. My one consolation was that I read a lot. After having read the Julia Child book earlier in the year and LOVING IT, I found the book Julia and Julie that Bob had given me last year and I had forgotten about. It was funny and darling and totally brought me through my personal plague. I can't wait for the movie, I think I will go on opening night. But now I am back and the shop is going to be well for the rest of the year.

We are starting to ship our market orders this week, so be watching for fun new things at your local shop. I hope everyone is as excited as we are. Teri--who has not been ill happily--has been moving and nesting here at the shop. It started 2 days ago with finding a new spot of all of our wonderful Americana things, and the next thing I knew everything was off several walls and there was enthusiastic talk of re-painting. You have to realize that we could never re-paint the whole shop at one time unless we closed for a few weeks, so we just paint a wall or two at a time. As you can see below Teri chose a cool colour--rambling rose--and away they went. It looks so different, that it startles me every time I walk past. Today she has been hanging our Americana display up and you wouldn't believe how fantastic it looks. Fun--smart, Ter.

Teri: "I started to put the 4th of July display away, and decided to give it it's own section. So I started rearranging all the pictures, which is always a bit of a puzzle deciding where to put everything, when I discovered the wall I wanted to use, had more nail holes than wall. Kari and I decided to spackle and paint. Two tubs of spackle later, we are ready to roll."
Teri: "Christian came down to help, and between the three of us, and a busy afternoon in the shop we were finished. The color seems a bit brighter in the photos. It is really a wild berries sort of color."
Teri: "I am sorry to say this was the last wall with stenciling.
When we first opened the shop, we sold stenciling supplies, and
taught classes. We stenciled all the walls, and the shop looked
great. Over the years, we have repainted and covered all the
stenciling. A part of me still hankers to pull out the flat topped
brushes, and stencil swirling leaves and flowers. but I know
what Tina will say..... I'll just leave it at the lovely
rose-colored wall."

Here are some fun new things that we have in the shop this summer. Our sweet customer, Joanne, wins the prize for being the first of all of us to finish her Boo Club. And of course it is utter perfection. I am not sure how Sue and Nancy are doing, but I know that they are not too far behind. Now that the new Christmas one has started, we have to sit down and decide how we are going to do it. I'm sure Teri will have a wonderful idea. She always does. So keep watching.

Something very fun that we got at market were the new pins from Just Another Button Company. What a clever idea. We have them on our counter and they are quite irresistible. They come in a pack of 5 pins for $14.50 or we also sell them separately for $3.00 per pin. I think Teri has a cute picture below so you can see them. I love them just poking out of our little pin cushions.

Something else that Teri found at market were scissors. I don;t know what it is about scissors, but we all just love them. She stumbled upon the most darling Americana Gingher scissors and bought everything that they had--which wasn't many. These are similar, but a little different, than the Glory scissors from a couple of years ago, and they look darling with our Glory Fob. I know that we don't have very many, but while they last we will be pleased. $36.00 Then she also found these sweet little plastic scissors in fun jelly colours. They come with a nifty protector and are only $7.00. You can't beat that. Plus they are sharp enough for Hardanger. I think she was a pretty good shopper.

Thanks to Lori who has taken over sewing bags from Loni for us, we finally have Envelope Bags back in stock. We have not really had these for a long time, and I had forgotten how darling they are. There is a pinkish red set that it so sweet--I have my eye on it.
Finally, we have something fun from Access. They are starting a series of stitching implements based on French hand workers. The first one is here and is very darling. It is worked on beautiful dower linen with elegant black silk. It is a little needle case with a picture of a Victorian bird and a letter with a space for a wreath and monogram. It comes with wonderful, antique lining fabric. All you have to provide is your initial or monogram. I am excited to see what else they come up with.

Next week watch for new pictures. It is now late Friday afternoon and I have got to send this off or I am toast for the weekend. I have been doing Sue's job while she is gone on a family reunion, and I think it is hard. I have loved talking to people on the phone, but I am not doing so well keeping everything straight and no one here seems to feel my pain. Come home, Sue. I hope that wherever you are your nights are cool and you are enjoying a perfect summer weekend.
I'll write next week--promise.
fondly, Tina

Bee Sampler is a new Little House pattern. We stitched if on a great fabric from Lakeside linen and added a button. I am working on an entire bee display , I will post a photo next week.

Here is our From Sea to Shining Sea. This comes in 6 individual kits with the silk floss.

Here is one of our summer displays.