Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas is coming

4 weeks to Christmas, 2012

Dear Friends,

It's 4 weeks to Christmas and as you can see, the shop is dressed up and ready for the festive month ahead.  Everything looked so great for our annual Christmas Open House:  garlands outside across the front windows, pine boughs with fairy lights around the front door, pots re-planted with winter greens and red grosgrain bows, stockings hung, candles lit, 10-foot fresh tree aglow with lights and ornaments, yummy treats and creamy eggnog...  Ok, you get the picture.  We had a blast and loved seeing everyone who came in to visit and start off the holiday season with a measure of good cheer and laughter.  We had lots of new kits, stocking stuffers, and plenty of tempting new projects.  ( Even I picked out my annual advent project.)  Teri and Chyrl also had made adorable reindeer gloves to give each guest who visited us that day.  All in all, I think a good time was had by all.  And now that everything is decorated and ready to go, we are all just patiently waiting for the final visitor--Santa not included:  SNOW!  Actually, we have had 2 pretty good storms so far this fall, but the past 2 weeks we have returned to fall or spring or something quite pleasant and almost warm. Now don't get me wrong--I don't really want it myself.  I am not such a special fan of shoveling or sliding or sloshing about, but now that the Christmas music is playing everywhere, and the storefronts are glowing with the red/green spirit, and shoppers are bustling about with their carrier bags full of packages, it just seems like we ought to be spying those little frozen crystals of water wafting down from the heavens. This morning when I was in downtown Salt Lake City, I saw two people talking together on the sidewalk--one in flip flops and shorts and the other in huge fur topped boots and coat.  Wished I'd had a camera. 

Come on in!

Teri's famous egg not--my creamy fudge--Macy's cream cheese brownies--Nancy's crisp and buttery shortbread still warm from the oven.  Just try something.  It won't have any calories for the looking.

Reindeer Gloves and Games...

Dear Santa
kit:  $14.00
Here is a darling new 10 count kit we brought out at the Christmas open house.  You might just have enough time to get it stitched before the big day.  (Don't you just love Jill's frame?)

Shining Star
complete kit:  $43.20
leaflet:  $11.40
This new design from Sam Sarah is simply adorable and we have had a hard time keeping it in stock.  Stitched on the perfect hand-dyed fabric with gorgeous Christmas over dyed colors, it will be a joy.

Make a Joyful Noise
pattern plus:  $15.00
complete kit:  not sure
This darling piece is new from Charland designs.  It includes the chart and photo and a wonderful bell straight off Santa--Bob's--harness.  We have made it into this dear little pillow and tied the bell right on the corner.  

Kringle's Crow
leaflet:  $10.00
complete kit:  $36.85
This piece comes from a very fun new company--Threadwork Primitives.  We stitched ours on a 19-count linen making it a quick and fun project which will be easily completed well before Christmas.

Joy to the World
partial kit:  $16.00
Teri fell in love with this new piece from Lizzie Kate and had it stitched up immediately.  The pattern and fabric both come in the kit, but the tweaked threads and buttons must be purchased in addition.  This sweet and timeless piece would be perfect for a quick gift for a loved one.    

Pin Cushions--yippee
In our shop, we have a whole garland of these darling little pin cushions/ ornaments stitched.  It is so much fun that everyone stops and stares at each one.  Here are 4 new ones for this year.  
top left:  Merry Birdies--$8.00 leaflet
Fabulous on a piece of dyed red check!
top right:  Peace and Cheer Santa--$8.00 leaflet
bottom left:  Rudy Reindeer--$20.00 kit
bottom right--Poinsettia Sampler--$4.00 leaflet
This is a darling new design from From the Heart. She brought it to the Retreat and 
we fell in love with it.      

Merry Christmas
complete kit:  $39.00
leaflet:  $9.00
We just got this darling new piece of Blackbird Designs back from Jill.  I just love it and am planning to stitch it this Christmas season.  It looks so beautiful in the wonderful frame Jill chose for it.  

Holly House
leaflet:  $7.00

Don't you just love this sweet new piece from Chessie & Me.  We had it stitched and ready for the Retreat and have loved it hanging in the shop.  Perfect for the holiday season and just as great from the winter season to follow.  

Nutcracker Glow
leaflet:  $8.00
Eric from Ship's Manor brought his new nutcracker in to us a week or two ago and has kindly lent it to us for a while.  I think his nutcrackers as really quite beautiful and this one is a perfect addition to any Christmas collection.  It has beautifully shaded floss and sparkling highlights of metallics.  
You'll love it.

Embroidered Ornaments
instructions and printed fabric:  $7.00
Teri went nuts over these when a customer from back east brought them in for her to get the threads.  She has reordered them several times and is planning to stitch them herself for gifts for friends.  The best part about these little ornaments is that the fabric in each one comes already stamped with the design and background color so all you have to do is grab your floss and get stitching.  They just use regular embroidery stitches that we all learned as kids and is a perfect way to use up odds and ends of overdyed threads.  Add some buttons of your own and you are good to go.

Close-up of Star and Tree

Close-up of Heart and Santa

Close-up of Stocking, Candy Cane, and Snowman
Kitty--not pictured since we are out for a minute.

Ornament #1
pattern:  free in an order or with a SASE
stitching kit:  $10.00
I told you that we were going to feature ornaments for the weeks leading up to Christmas, so here we go.  This first one is a darling piece by an Italian designer:  Primitive Hare.  We love her beautiful designs and this tiny ornament will be a cinch to stitch up.  Our kit comes with the pattern, a wonderful dark, hand-dyed fabric, overdyed threads, button, hand-dyed ric rac, and backing fabric.  What a deal. 

OK, Teri had a lot more pictures than I realized when I first started out.  She, of course, left me writing and went flying off to Old Navy shopping.  Thanks.  But I have to admit that we have so many fun new things for the holidays that she knew you would want to see them.  Luckily we have as many for next week as well.  So stay connected.  She didn't even have a picture of the piece that I have started to stitch.  Hint:  it isn't my own design.  If it is on her pics for next week, then I will tell you.  Otherwise, maybe I will take a picture of my progress and let you guess.  Until then, have fun getting ready for the Big Day!  I am a last minute person--who longs to be an early bird--so I haven't even begun.  Oh well.  I would rather stay home and work on my project and watch  Christmas movies--some sappy and some sweet. Still watching for snow--fondly, Tina    

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 2012

Mid-November, 2012
Dear Friends,
Here we are on the very brink of the holiday season and ready to face the winter ahead.  How did this year go by so quickly?  Where did October go?  It is hard to believe that our retreat is over and we are on to other adventures.  I confess that my new adventures seem to be a lot of catching up on things like sleep, reading, stitching and stupid television series.  Where I seem to zombie-out to recharge my soul, Teri seems to whirl around in a cyclone of pent-up energy.  In the past 2 weeks she has completely reorganized the shop from front to back including painting various walls.  Really?  She is a bit scary.  Most of the days she has spent on the top of extremely large ladders--some of which have been perched on rather tippity tables.  In the back I can hear many large thumps and crashes followed by "I'm OK" or "Not to worry."  Really?  Mostly, she just makes me tired.  Luckily she has had Sue and Lynnette to follow her around watching her back---and legs and arms and head.  But I have to admit that the results of her frenzy have been great.  She has created a whole new room--painted a wonderful green--for all of the Halloween pieces, brought out Christmas, decorated for Christmas and replaced every other empty wall with wonderful displays.  When my Saturday to work out in the front of the shop comes, I'm going to need a Google map.  

The new Halloween area with freshly painted walls

The continuation of the new Halloween area with weathered brick walls.

As Thanksgiving approaches, it reminds us that our fabulous Christmas Open House is coming shortly thereafter.  So here is your invitation to come and join us.

Christmas Open House
Saturday, November 24th--11:00-4:00
New Designs
Tasty Treats
Christmas Surprises
Holiday Cheer
Come in and share the beginning of the holiday season with us.  There will be plenty of laughter and joy to truly get you into the holiday spirit.  This will be the perfect place to start your holiday shopping. 

New Designs from Shepherd's Bush
Say Thanks--kit $16.00
This sweet little kit comes complete with 32 count linen and cotton and overdyed threads.  It fits in the little round box shown above and works up very quickly.  A perfect holiday thank you. 

Grateful Heart Pin Cushion--kit $20.00
This perfect autumn pin cushion is worked on 32 count hand-dyed linen with a variety of overydyed silks and cottons in luscious fall colors.  This kit comes complete with a little heart button as well as beads and ribbon which Teri has hand-dyed to match the stitching.  I had a great time stitching it.

Jolly Stocking--kit $20.00
Aren't these little stockings just adorable?  Each kit comes with a ready-made stocking, pattern, threads, and button.  Each one is about 8" long and ready to stitch and fill with a few fun little trinkets.  Hang them on your tree or give them as a little gift.

Wish Stocking--kit $20.00

Merry Christmas--kit $20.00
This sweet little kit is stitched on 32 count Summer Khaki linen and comes complete with a beautiful selection of overdyed threads and a group of sweet Christmas charms.  It will stitch up quickly and be something to enjoy for many years to come.  And Jill's mat and frame are simply the perfect complement to the design.

The center Christmas Display
We have so many gorgeous Christmas pieces that it is a pleasure to get them out and try to choose something fun to work on for the holiday season.  I am going to start the new Blackbird Merry Christmas and hopefully I will have it done by the day itself. 

Another wonderful Christmas Display
If we can help you with any good ideas for your holiday stitching be sure to give us a call.  We just love to pull together your perfect project and bundle it up to send off to you.  
We are going to try to put up a new blog every week from now to Christmas and if all goes as planned we will be offering a different little ornament kit each week.  So check us out every now and then to keep up with all the fun for the season.  In the meantime have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving, come to our Christmas Open House, and I will hope to hear from you soon.  
Until then,
 fondly, Tina