Monday, November 9, 2009

November 4th, 2009
Box Paintin' Blues
Hi friends,
I'm back. I know it is hard to believe, but I really am back. I think I wrote you last just as I was leaving for market the middle of September since then we have been to St. Charles and back, celebrated our shop's 25th birthday--complete with homemade ice cream, cake, and new t-shirts--been to Virginia Beach and back, battled a semi-losing battle with a leaky roof and painted hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of black boxes. All in all this has been a funny fall. Market was wonderful. We took a Mrs. Backers cake on the plane with us and were laughing our heads off the whole time. Teri had a framed model for Holy Night which was too big for our completely giant suitcase that she was trying to juggle on board and stash, and I had my lovely cake box which actually worked out pretty well. And the best part was that we had lots of cake for lots of people. We were crazy busy during the market and loved chit-chatting with tons of friends. However, because of the chit-chat we didn't really get a lot of sleep.

We returned home Monday and on Tuesday we had a birthday open house all day for our 25th birthday. If I had not been on some kind of life roller coaster, I might have waxed nostalgic. It is hard for me to believe that we have had the shop for 25 years. Teri and I were just kids then--not that we thought we were. She had just finished college and I was just back from grad school when we embarked on this singular adventure which included renovating a hundred-year-old building. We opened our doors with almost nothing in the shop and had a big party to celebrate. It was fun and scary. I nearly gave myself an ulcer with the worry of the venture and Teri never even looked back. What amazing times we've had here, and truly how quickly the years have gone by. And through it all, what wonderful customers we have met and befriended during this time. what wonderful friends we have been lucky enough to work with throughout the years. Blessings.

From there, we packed our things for Pat and Ann's retreat in Virginia Beach and flew out on Thursday. We had a great time there with Charland and Sydney, Jeanette Douglas. Barb and Alma. All of the women at the retreat were darling and great stitchers and it was such a pleasure meeting old friends and new. I know that I am a mountain girl at heart, but there is something about the ocean that just stirs the soul. We walked the beach hundreds of times and laughed until I thought I had cracked my ribs. The weather was perfect with plenty of sand and sunshine. We designed a little sampler called The Journey as well as a sweet pin cushion to match, and Teri showed everyone how to make a very clever acorn pin keep. I hope that everyone in our class liked it. We had a great time getting it all together, and plan to release it next summer. Watch for it.

October has been totally swamped at work. Everyone has been excited to be stitching for Halloween. Between dealing with the roof--which my boys and the girls here at the shop heroically fended off rivers of water while we were gone-- and shipping market orders, the month has flown by. When we designed our little Halloween box, Here We Go a Haunting, we painted like insane people to get plenty of them painted. Well, they were gone within the first few minutes of the market and we took many more orders. That's where the Box Paintin' Blues comes in. That is pretty much all we have done at night for weeks. My family thinks we are insane, but I have to say that it became rather therapeutic the more that we painted. You sort of enter a zen-like mode and it restores your soul as you paint. One Sunday evening while we were painting, my boys wandered through with guitar and harmonica and jammed for us. It was really quite beautiful, and I am always amazed that they can just improvise together on 2 different instruments and make it sound so perfect. Unfortunately the rest of the nights, we have had to revisit hundreds of hours of Jane Austen.
OK, I know that this is way more than you really wanted to hear. I promise to return next week and show you all the things Teri has done in the shop. Sadly, Halloween is down and Thanksgiving and Christmas are going up. We have some fabulous things to show you and I will hurry along. Just one little teaser of what is in store comes from Ruth Merrill. Her Thomas is so fabulous. And this is just the beginning.

One more thing before I go. Our website has experienced a tragic crash which has caused its demise. So---eventually we will be completely re-doing it. In the meantime it is still there with lots and lots to look at. But if you are wondering why we haven't updated it since summer, it is because we can't. So just be patient and enjoy it as it is and click on our Blog to keep updated on everything. I promise, I won't let you down.

Until next week--ever fondly, Tina