Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Early Spring

Early Spring, 2015

pansy baskets
 outside the front door of the shop

I truly think that Spring may finally be here--at least in Utah.  Clear skies, brilliant sunshine, and the promise of spring flowers soon to come:  plenty of pansies in pots, dozens of dazzling daffodils, and tulips trying to tease us in taking their time.  Still a bit chilly, however.  Teri invited me to stitch outside this afternoon and it felt so good--in a freezing sort of way.  Could the winter have gone by already and we, back at our outdoor stitching spot?  Unfortunately, after this past week of glorious weather, I have found myself waging a private war with nature.  And I don't just mean allergies.  I seem to have an explosion of box elder bugs somewhere outside in my yard, and their only purpose in life is to get inside my house and torment me.  I hate them!  It's not that I'm scared of them like I am of spiders.  I just find them so irritating the way they slowly walk around my windows and walls and ceilings.  Just annoyingly ambling along asking me to attack.  They appear to enjoy the ivy outside my bathroom window and outside Christian's room.  How they work their way in is not exactly clear to me, but they are quite adept at it.  I have spent 2 days stalking them and hunting them down with a vengeance, and finally I have resorted to the vacuum which I am just leaving in Christian's room at the ready.  (He was so thrilled--until he went back to school.) Do you think that they suffocate inside the vacuum?  Oh well, their previous fate was the toilet.  Bob tried spraying them with either soapy water or windex outside this afternoon, so here's hoping.  I am also wondering what their collective life span could possibly be.  And...are they the creatures that eventually turn into little green worms?  Surely not!!!
Life is busy at the Bush this week.  The hotel across the street tore half of itself down a couple of days ago and that has been both surprising and entertaining.  I just kept wishing that one of my boys was still three so I would have an excuse to site out on the front step and watch.  Plus, I promised myself--and everyone else at work--that after market I would clean up my first desk/table.  I have to say first because a few years ago I had to move across the room to my second desk/table when the first one got a bit crowded.  I imagined it was a good goal to work on straightening it up a bit--well actually excavating it--so I thought I would do it after market.  Well, here we are.  Hmm...I wonder if I could hire someone who is working on that hotel across the street. Good thought.  Seriously, I can't battle desks/tables and box elder bugs at the same time.  Actually, I think I will finish this letter and then just stitch. Isn't that the best cure for everything?  Well, read on Macduff and I shall guide you through some very fun things we have going on at the shop...

Beeswax sheep 
by Lady Dot

Aren't these little sheep the most adorable things you can imagine?  Our great friend, Lois, has been working on these for a while, and we just received a lovely little flock.  The fresh beeswax has the most glorious smell of earth and honey and the beautiful richness of something very special.  The great thing is that you not only have a lovely treasure for your sewing box, but you can also run a length of thread carefully through the wool to strengthen it for beading.  They come to you in a sweet little box and bow.

Ever since we came back from Nashville, everyone at the shop has been busy stitching on a new market project.  Nobody really planned it that way, but everyone started on something different, and we have had such a great time comparing our progress and cheering each other on.  So...I thought it would be fun to show you what we have all been working on through this letter.  Yay!  Lucky you. Anyway it might inspire you to share what you are working on with someone.  So enjoy...

A Year in Chalk 
by Hands On Designs
$5.00 each design
Chalkboard frames:  $30.00
Nancy's choice

This new series is so much fun!  Everyone at the shop is having a great time with them, and this is the one that Nancy has been working on.  Teri came up with a brilliant idea for framing, and she has had a great time getting it organized.  Jill has made an assortment of sweet--mostly white-- frames of all different moldings, and we have a basket brimming full of them here at the shop.  So...choose your frame and then stitch your monthly chalkboard designs and just swap them out with each month. Just give us a quick call and we will let you know what type of frames we have ready for you.  Each frame comes with a piece of foam core for mounting, and each month's design will look fabulous in it.  We even have the pieces of 30 count specially dyed R & R linen cut and ready to be stitched with Sampler Thread: Chalk.  

Here are two of the designs, March and April, and one of the little boards that is shown on the pattern.  We have 1 of them left if you would prefer finishing it that way.  The first 4 designs are available now, and we are looking forward to May and June soon.  This will give you a chance to stitch the first few months.   

Spring Greetings Bouquet 
by Brenda Gervais
leaflet:  $9.00
Teri's choice

This darling little piece was the one that Teri chose to stitch on first.  She is always so speedy that it took her almost no time at all to get it finished up and isn't it just perfect for Easter week?  I think she was going to finish it as a pin cushion, but she couldn't resist one of Jill's new little frames.  

Lady Rachel Ruth 
by Scattered Seeds
leaflet:  $13.00
Reeta's choice

You can just see how happy she is to have it all framed and ready to hang up in her home.  It has been a joy to watch her progress on this piece and didn't it turn out so beautiful.  

His Eye is on the Sparrow
by Heartstring Samplery
leaflet:  $15.00
Reeta's other (ongoing) choice

This sampler that Reeta is working on is very inspiring for me.  It is just beautiful since her stitching is perfect and it seems that each week she has 1 or 2 new motifs finished up  I love each one and I love seeing the border gradually come to life.  I have no idea how long it will take, but we are all enjoying sharing Reeta's progress.

The Potting Shed 
by Brenda Gervais (With Thy Needle)
leaflet:  $12.00
Lynnette's choice

in progress...

Lynnette has stitched this new piece so quickly!  Isn't it just darling?  The colors are sweet, and each little area comes to life as she works on it.  

Fracture Girls 
by Shakespeare's Peddler
leaflet:  $15.00
Tina's choice

I just loved these odd girls when I saw them at Market.  I have stitched quite constantly since then, and they have been so much fun to do.  I didn't want to stitch on gauze like the original picture--too small for me--so I chose a dark 36 count linen, and I like it a lot.  They are a lot of stitching, but they are coming along quite well.  Now, however, I have had to put them down for a bit while I finish up the next Fold piece and work on a couple of other things for work.  But  I will return to them as soon as I can.  I love doing the dresses most of all.  I'll share my progress as I go along.  

Garden Blooms 
by Chessie and Me
leaflet:  $12.00  
Nancy's next choice

I'm not sure if this was Nancy's choice or Teri's choice for her.  Either way, it is quite darling.  Nancy has been on a stitching marathon.  She just finished this sweet piece for us.  Flowers, a beehive, a house and a kitty... what else could you want? (well maybe sheep...a button perhaps)

Things Unseen
by Lizzie Kate
 $ 27.00- set of 3 leaflets

Nancy finished this great sampler a couple of weeks ago.  It was a 3-part mystery sampler by Lizzie Kate.  The colors are very soft and beautiful, and there are even handmade buttons designed to match. The quote by Helen Keller is certainly heartfelt.  I think it would be just beautiful in a bedroom--perhaps because it is very restful.  You can purchase this as just the patterns, or as a complete kit.  I think the kit is $97.00.  I will post another photo when we get it back from Jill, our wonderful framer.

Rabbit Hill
by Little House Needleworks
pattern and threads:  $15.00

This is a brand new pattern from Little House Needleworks.  It is such a sweet spring pattern.  This pattern is comes with the  5 threads Classic Colorworks threads.  I have cut up some soft gray fabric in 28 count ..... we haven't coerced Nancy into stitching it yet.  Geez...she is so slow.  Maybe for next year.  

Bird's Eye View 
by Kathy Barrick
Leaflet:  $9.00

Our darling friend, Debbie has been avidly stitching on this fun market piece. We have all been excited to see it come to life.  We changed it into cotton overdyed threads, and isn't it fabulous. 

Needle Bottles
by The Purple Needle/ Sharon Verbos
kit: $5.00 

Sue has taken a break from stitching stockings for her family, to stitch one of these sweet needle bottles.  She said it was fun and easy.  I think it is darling. 

Photo courtesy of Sharon Verbos- thanks Sharon

We just received a new shipment of these adorable needle bottles, and they are so dear.  We sold out of the group we brought back from Nashville, and our friend, Sharon, was kind enough to make us another emergency group.  Everything comes packed in the tiny bottles to stitch the band, but you will have to choose which of the 3 patterns to stitch for your bottle.  

Well I have to get back to my stitching, and Teri is making us watch a marathon of the Gilmore Girls. Somehow we both missed this series, and at market Alma mentioned she was watching and enjoying it.  We are up to season 2, and we are both getting lots of stitching done.  So... have a perfect spring week.  fondly, Tina

PS  follow us on instagram as shepherdsbush  We will be posting fun photos of the things we see at the shop, and other crazy things.