Saturday, September 5, 2015

Early September

End of Summer, 2015

Today's harvest...

  Dear Friends,
Our garden is loving this hot weather.  The tomatoes are finally ripening, and the cucumbers are quickly growing in secret--hidden within the overgrown vines.  One day, if I really search, I see tiny, baby ones hanging off their stems and the next day, they have grown 6".  The cherry and pear tomatoes have been spectacular and have provided lunch for much of the summer, and this week our bigger tomatoes are rapidly ripening.  The beautiful and mysterious purple cherry tomatoes are slowly becoming darker--yet no riper.  Teri thinks that they will eventually turn orange, but I am not so sure about that.  I just hope, that for all their exotic beauty, they will eventually acquire a luscious flavor.  The beans are still prolific, and Bob has taken to steaming them and making a wonderful salad with impossibly thin slices of sweet onion and a French vinaigrette.  Now I wait impatiently for a new crop to grow.  The basil plants are as tall as I am, and the peppers are small but tender and delicious.  The zucchini and winter squashes have been the most beautiful plants in the garden, and yet have failed to produce a single vegetable.  Oh sorry, we did get 1 zucchini.  Really???  Most people grow hundreds of zucchini, and we can accomplish only 1 very small one. But on the other hand, maybe that was just right for us.  And the baseball...not so tasty. 
This is certainly an extraordinary time of year.  There is just nothing like that quiet transition from summer to autumn, warm to cool, light to dark.  And how I love it.  But the first of September always brings me the slightest feeling of panic.  School is starting, and where did the summer go?  Why does the time have to go by so quickly?  This year, Peter taught summer school and didn't make it home at all, and Christian was only really home for about 2 two weeks.  How do we cram a summer into such a short time?  Movies, favorite restaurants, special dinners, walks with Lindbergh, sitting outside late at the dinner table talking and swatting mosquitoes, homemade ice cream, washing bedding to go back to university, jumping car batteries and driving up to the mountain to rescue the car and child when the battery dies again.
August was such a busy month at the shop.  Teri, Nancy, and Reeta were busy turning the shop around--putting patriotic pictures at the back and bringing out Halloween.  The days are busy with lots of customers, chatting, and gathering projects.  In the back of the shop, Sue and Lynnette and I have been having a great time  getting the Fold assembled, packed and shipped.  And now we are working flat out getting things ready for the Harvest Market Hop which will be here next week.  We have such lovely things to present for the market, that Teri and I can hardly wait.  Be sure to watch our blog Thursday morning.      

Shepherd's Fold:  Part 6

We were so focussed getting this little kit ready to go that we sent it off without even a letter to explain.  So sorry about that.  This little kit completes the Shepherd's Fold series.  I hope that some of you are busily working on it even as I write.  It will work up very quickly and was a lot of fun to finish.  I have to say that I am a bit sad to see it come to a close.  It has been like my little child for almost 2 years and now I have just sent it off into the world.  Ah....But I think I shall appease my soul and add a few things to it every now and then, so get stitching and don't be surprised if you see something fun and new down the road.  I have a few ideas turning around in my mind.    

 Harvest Market Hop

Our pop-up needlework market--Harvest Market Hop--is going to be here next Thursday, Sept 10th. Shops all over the world will be able to go online and see new fall designs and treasures from over 30 vendors.  We have spent the summer with some of our friends--Cecile from Just Another Button Company, Diane from Puffin and Company, and Paula from Kelmscott Designs-- bringing this idea to fruition, and I think it is going to be a fun time for everyone.  We will post our new things on our blog  at 11:00 am EST and then we will update the blog that evening with some of the things that Teri has ordered throughout the day.  This will continue all through the weekend, so get ready to have a blast browsing.  If you see anything out there that you would like us to order for you, just give us a call.  How fun!  Can't wait! 

Market week at Shepherd's Bush
Our Market Week celebration will begin with our Birthday Party on Wednesday, September 23 Noon to 5 and continue all week through Saturday.  We will have all the new market things out and ready for you to see as well as cupcakes to enjoy.  On Wednesday, we will have homemade ice cream as well.  So plan to come throughout that week and enjoy the Harvest Market Hop with us.
In the meantime, you can have a great time looking at everyone's sneak peeks on Facebook by going to the link below and just scrolling through.  Our customers and friends have had a great time seeing what is coming.  

Market Sneak Peeks from Shepherd's Bush
Joy to Ewe
Complete Kit:  $30.00
Chart:  Free with Purchase of Button $8.00

We love to do these fun designs on 18 count linen.  We will show the whole piece on Thursday morning, just watch the blog or our Web Site to see all of our fun new things for Fall.

Harvest Home Fob

Other Sneak Peeks from the Harvest Hop
just to whet your appetite... 

Plumstreet Samplers presents 
4 new designs...


N. O. Bodies Home
by Fern Ridge

A sewing case with surprises inside

Harvest Block Sampler 
by Nikyscreations

This looks so fantastic...can't wait

New Fall Themed Sampler and pin cushion 
By Jeannette Douglas


Limited Edition Thread packs
by the Thread Gatherer

The Threadgatherer will have not one, but four limited edition thread packs. Two are Halloween Themed and include a free Bat Bees Waxer. A beautiful new color in Silk 'n Colors with matching ribbon in 4mm and 7mm also. This sounds so delicious.  

Back to the shop

Center  Halloween Display

Teri can't wait to rearrange the shop so almost all our Halloween pictures are out in the front of the shop.  We have the patterns, and we are happy to kit up any of these fabulous designs. Just let us know what kind of fabric you prefer stitching on, and we will pull everything together for you.  

Here is the start of our Christmas displays...

Spiral by Jardin Prive
Chart $8.00

This is another great design from Nathalie Cichon from France.  Nancy stitched this one for us on a fabulous grayish purple 30 count linen with a favorite purple overdyed floss.  Isn't it fantastic.  We have to order from her almost every week.

Hand Dyed Bulky Chenille
by Lady Dot
$6.00 for 3 yards 

Aren't these just so beautiful.  Our friend, Lois from Elegant Stitch is doing hand-dyed ric rac and chunky chenille and they are fabulous.  Perfect for finishing little pin cushions.  Just hard to decide which color.  The names are so charming... Chickie, Bear, Ballerina, Jack, Witchie, very fun.  

Limited Edition Gentle Art Threads
 $2.40 each

We just received some limited edition Gentle Art Threads (Sampler threads.)
They are limited in quantity, but such fun colors and perfect for that one of a kind project.  And fabulous names such as: Hot Tamale, Goldenrod, Kansas, Illinois, and Pretty Purple Green.   

Here are some projects our customers have shared with us...Pretty awesome! 
Thanks so much for sharing...

French country Witch: by JBW 
card $6.00

Des is a stitching diva, she has finished JBW's Witch (above) and Primitive Hare's Spooky Countdown (below).  Teri wants to start this every January... maybe this next year,  I love it, but I want Teri to stitch it for me.   

Spooky Countdown: by Primitive Hare

Jack's Bash: by Plum Street Samplers
Chart $14.00

Jenny Stewart just picked up Jack's Bash from Jill, our Framer. Both the stitching and the framing are unbelievable.  

Witch's Night Out: by Brenda Grevais
Chart $10.00

Christine Bird is stitching this great Halloween design on 10 count hand-dyed Tula.  She is making it into a pillow, and you can see her fabrics at right.  It's going to be so spooky.  

And finally--Peach Pavlova our favorite summer dessert.  

When Peter was in the 6th grade, he chose Australia as his country to research all year long.  One of the months he had to do a report on the food of his country and Pavlova was one of the recipes that he found.  We tried it and have made it ever since.  This lovely meringue is fabulous with fresh berries as well, but hard to beat Utah peaches when they are in season.  
So if you are in for a simple and delicious summer dessert, give this one a try.

Fresh Fruit Pavlova

4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pint heavy whipping creme
about 2 cups fresh fruit--your choice

Beat egg whites until stiff.  Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time beating well after each addition.  When all the sugar is added, continue to beat until the mixture is thick and shiny.  Gently fold in by hand:  vanilla, lemon juice and cornstarch.
Place parchment paper on a sheet pan.  Scoop the mixture onto the parchment and carefully spread into about a 9" circle.  It will be an inch or more thick, but roughly about 9" in diameter.  Bake for 1 hour at 300 degrees.   It really shouldn't be very brown, maybe just starting to color a bit--not like a meringue pie.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.  When ready to serve, whip your creme and add a tablespoon or two of sugar.  I don't really like the creme especially sweet, but you might.   Pile the whipped cream on top of the meringue and then pile the berries or peach slices on top of that.    Serve heaping spoonfuls in bowls and put the remaining Pavlova in the center of the table so that everyone can just reach for more.  It doesn't really keep, so just keep on eating.  

Well it is late, and I am off to bed  Enjoy your weekend and Be Safe!!!  Find a quiet moment to stitch and eat fresh tomatoes and Pavlova.  Then get ready for the Harvest Market Hop on Thursday.  See you then.  hugs, Tina