Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Happy Christmas

  • First of December, 2020

  • Dear Friends,

  • Well...I did it!  And I know that you did it too.  We made it through Thanksgiving in this brave, new, somewhat dystopian world in which we have found ourselves.  And how was it?  For me, it was different and quiet and a little blue, but in the end it was ok.  I have to say that the holiday has been lurking on the edge of my psyche for some time now.  Sheltered in that far corner where I could never quite let my mind wander, because I didn't really want to confront it.  So November made me a bit teary at odd and random times--for losses, for separations, for fears.  I have spent other Thanksgivings apart from our boys, but somehow this one was different. That vast space of a country just loomed so large and so unreachable... I told myself that was silly, it was just fine, everything was ok.  But I don't think my heart ever believed it.  Then I read the words of 
  • Sam Sifton on a NYT cooking blog that this was our sacrifice for this year--celebrating with empty tables so that they would be full for years to come.  It really made me think and put things into perspective.  It empowered me to buck up and get on with it.  This was such a little thing done for the good of my family, my community and my world.  
  • Here is what I learned from Thanksgiving during Covid:  that the huge and elaborate dinner is much easier with more people to share the preparation,  that FaceTime and continual texting with family and friends is a pretty good celebration by itself, that three people, a large turkey and all the rest of the dishes can be quite festive with a few candles at sunset--because it took us that long to get it ready. One boy fixed the very same meal that we prepared and called for recipes.  One boy did something totally different and called for no assistance, but both meals looked gorgeous and perfect.  and I was proud of all of us. 
  • So here is my November takeaway--9 months into this plague:  We've got this! We are on the homeward stretch, and we can stay strong and brave.  We can do hard things because it is right, and it will save lives, and it won't last forever--I hope. And for sure we have learned to take nothing for granted. We have learned to clean more, to love more, and to share more.  And maybe all of us have grown up just a little. 
  •  Now, on to Christmas.  I think I can...probably...possibly...maybe...Oh, I'm just not thinking about that right now.
  • If nothing else, this has been a year with plenty of time for stitching.  I know that a lot of you have finished many projects, and it has been fun to share them with you. As new things have come into the shop, it has been exciting to to gather them for you.  I hope that you have been inspired and busy during this time.  For me it has helped a lot of stress relief.  I think that stitching is funny that way.  It can totally captivate your mind and fingers, and the distress of news and pandemics and elections just melt away for a few moments.  So let's just keep on stitching.   
Martha's Stocking
by Shepherd's Bush
leaflet: $10
embellishment pack: $20
whole kit available 

Can you believe it?  This year's stocking is finally, almost, possibly. hopefully, imminently ready.  Yay!  Swell, she is at the printer and hopefully will not be lingering there for long.  It is amazing how long every  part of this processes taken during this pandemic year.  She is sweet and festive and well worth the wait-- all dressed up for the Christmas season.  She was a joy to design and stitch, and I hope
you love her as much as I do.  She will be ready to send as soon as we have her in our front hall.

To All a Good Night Pincushion 
by Shepherd's Bush
kit:  $30

This fun Christmas cushion is bright and happy reminding us of the joy of the season.  The kit comes complete with 32 count natural linen, overdyed threads, buttons and beads, backing and trim.  It will be ready to send next week.

Christmas Pandemic Mini Pop Up  
limited edition

Here is a fun surprise for the holidays.  If you did our Halloween Pop Up, you kind of know what it is all about.  This one is a smaller version with equally fun treasures inside to make you jolly and nice.  (Oh, I'm going to need one for sure.) It will have a new ornament kit by Shepherd's Bush and other sparkly treats.  You could always pop it into your own stocking on 
Christmas Eve--Santa won't mind.  

Early Christmas Morning 
by Blackbird Designs
book:  $12

This is so beautiful, I can't wait to see how Jill frames it.  
We have the 36 count linen, and we also have it in 32 count
This might be my holiday stitching project, if I can get my hands on one.

Merry Winter chart $19.50
by Marjorie Massey

 This was a new designer we found at market.  It is just adorable

Christmas Cards 
chart $ 12.00
by the Drawn Thread
36 count country mocha linen $4.25

There are 4 great house patterns on this chart.  We had 2 of these stitched but Teri can't seem to find the other one... maybe next year.  

Into the Woods 
 by Barbara Ana
chart:  $

Who wouldn't love this Santa on his trusty reindeer.  This is a favorite one of mine.  

These sweet new ornament charts by Teresa Kogut will be a quick stitch and perfect to tie onto a special gift or treat.  I think we will be tying them onto our ornament tree soon.  They were just released and will be arriving  at the shop soon  

December 25 Star Ornament 
by Teresa Kogut
chart $10


Jesus is the Reason Ornament 
by Teresa Kogut
                                                                              chart $10


Santa Star Ornament 
by Teresa Kogut 
chart $10


Needlework Press:  Book of Days

 The 2021 Book of Days is out.  It is so fun--a small square for each day to record your starts and finishes of stitching.  Our friend Leslie, put us on to these and she keeps them religiously.  

Teri usually hangs our collection of Christmas cards across the front window, but this year that is a bit challenging, since our front windows are filled with new patterns, and people are coming to window shop.  So I was a bit surprised when I came out from the back to go home and found the Christmas card garland swagging across the inside door...  Teri loves to get Christmas cards and hangs up every one. 
Do I see a Thanksgiving card???

Teri has been gathering and harvesting greens to fill our front pots and make swags for the windowsills.
She will add another picture when she gets it all put together.  Charland showed us how to decorate our front step pots with greens.  They do this up in Canada, and when she came to visit one year at Christmas, she was kind enough to share her ideas, We have filled our pots ever since.  I started out to help Teri with the outdoor decorations, but then I forgot to actually do it.  Poor Teri...

Be strong, be safe, and be well out there in the world. I will write again before Christmas.
hugs, Tina and Teri

Sunday, October 11, 2020

October Joy 2020

Dear Friends,
How are you all out there in the world?  Well--I hope and surviving this season with dignity and grace.  I know that is hard to do when most of the time I feel like I am in 4th grade again and playing a wicked game of dodgeball--only this time with a horror movie virus.  I just remember what my brothers told me back in elementary school: keep your eyes open, your head down, and move fast.   I wish I had been able to wear a mask when I was ten.  I wasn't really the best at dodging a ball, so I am trying to be better at dodging a virus.  
The weather is definitely changing, and Teri is lamenting the gradual letting go of her beloved garden.  But is almost mid-October and we are still getting tomatoes, the odd cucumber, and even a pepper now and then.  That is a pretty good run for a tiny urban garden.  Teri has worked very hard nurturing her garden and we have eaten from it all summer long.  I only had one thing to do during  the growing season and that was to plant my zinnias in the 2 pots on the front step of the shop--(and Teri helped me plant them. ) But growing zinnias is truly a test in patience.  They take a surprising amount of water to flourish in small pots on a step in the downtown of a hot Utah summer, and it is amazing how long it takes those lovely green stalks which grow taller and taller every day to actually produce a bloom.  At least 2 months.  I kept thinking that next year I was going to plant something from the nursery that already had a mass of flowers.  But I just kept lugging out my buckets of water twice a day and waiting and hoping.  And then one day as we were leaving, I saw a little bud--tight and green--and others all over the tall mass of green.  In the next few days, they slowly opened randomly with each blossom a new and serendipitous color unfolding and stretching its baby spikes into a full flower. Honestly, as more and more opened up, I couldn't stop looking at them.  It is startling to me that each brave, single bloom is a totally different color from its neighbor, and that is what I love about that plant.  It is the wild variety of colors--each as varied within its own hue as though every little leaf is overdyed a thousand times again--that makes them so heartbreakingly lovely.  For me, during this odd season of my world, my nation, my family, and myself, it has taught me of the blessings of patience and love and tenacity. 
 A tiny flower that holds the truths of the universe.
It is definitely going to be Zinnias again next year.  

It is Fall and here at the shop we are busy with Halloween, 
Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Teri changes the patterns on the front window almost daily now with so many people window shopping.  It is fun and busy and different.  If you haven't tried our new incarnation of "sidewalk sales" you should  grab your mask and stop on by.  It might just be the highlight of your day.
We have a few very exciting new things for Halloween.  If you would like to order any of these things, check with your local needlework store, or email us, or give us a call.  
Read on and be inspired...

New from Shepherd's Bush

Scare Ewe
by Shepherd's Bush
Kit: $30.00
Button and chart only: $8.00

Teri's ewe button kits are always so much fun. She and 
Dinah work for months coming up with the perfect button to go with Teri's great pattern. 
 This one is adorable.  

The kit comes with everything you will need to make a little ornament/pin cushion. 
18 count linen, threads, button, ribbon, beads and backing fabric.  And it will work up very quickly.  Perhaps it will be the only trick-or-treating we will get to do this year. 

A Witching  Season
 by Shepherd's Bush
Kit:  $30.00

This piece was so much fun for me to design and stitch.  It is a little spooky and a little joyous just like  Halloween.  It is stitched on 32 count linen with Weeks overdyed threads and comes with tiny buttons,  a darling backing fabric and Lady Dot's hand dyed chenille,  I hope you love it.  

Witching Season  Mini Pin Set: $12

Just Another Button Company let us design the perfect set for this little cushion.  Such fun!

Thanks for the response,  we are excited  for this project  

Pandemic Pop-Up
Halloween Box

Have you ever heard of Pop-Up restaurants?  They are little restaurants that open for 2-3 nights and then they are gone.  You never know when they will pop up, and they are never around for very long.  Doesn't that seem quite intriguing?  Well...Teri and I have been thinking about this idea with needlework, and here it is.  We will have a very limited number of this little surprise box that you may order to have sent right to your doorstep.  But when they are gone, they are gone.  
We are hoping to mail them by the end of this coming week and your little box will have fun surprises just for you.  
The theme for this, our first Pandemic Pop-up,
 will be Halloween.  Besides a variety of very fun and special small surprises, you will receive a new Shepherd's Bush Halloween sampler.  This piece will be exclusive to this pop-up for a year.
Give us a call and join in Pandemic Pop-Up fun!

New at the Shop

Hilda Boo and Sunflowers Too
by Brenda Gervais 
chart: $12.00

We fell in love with this sweet piece.  The fabric looks so purple, but it is really a deep gray.  
We have it in 32, 36, and 40 count--18 Century Blackbird by R & R

All Hallow's Eve 
by Joan Elliott
Chart: $16.00
 32 count Linen--Halloween Night $28.50

This stunning Halloween sampler is amazing.  Amy stitched it for us in about a month (thanks to covid)
Thank you Amy..  We have stitched it on a gorgeous gray purple, that is an exclusive Zweigart linen dyed for Shepherd's Bush 
We have used overdyed threads and have added a spooky green.  Teri just picked it up from Jill, our framer, and it is perfect.  

We Live in Hope
chart by Blackbird Designs $20.00

Teri stitched this sweet piece because it reminded her of the Mayflower.  

New patterns from Autumn Lane 
Lunar Witch 
chart: $12.00

Potions and spells
Chart: $12.00

Everyone that has come "window shopping", has been delighted with this new company-Autumn Lane.  Their Halloween patterns are so spooky and cool.  Here are their latest charts.  

Haunted Hill Road
 by Little Stitch Girl 
chart: $12.00

Look how fun this great piece turned out.  We stitched it on a soft gray purple and Jill framed it in a fantastic frame.

Find your way to Halloween 
 by Bent Creek 
chart:  $

I think Teri is in a purple sort of mood... 
That might be scary.

Christmas Blessings
by Chessie and Me  
chart:  $12.00

Our minds are starting to turn to Christmas.  This is a quiet piece--perfect for Christmas stitching

His Eye On The Sparrow
by Heartstrings Samplery
chart:  $15.00

This beautiful piece is another Covid finish. 
 Our dear friend Tammy's daughter, Autumn, finished this gorgeous sampler.

Teri's Garden update 

I am always happy when the garden lasts until October.  We had a freezing couple of days over Labor Day that the cucumbers and pumpkins did not like at all, but the tomatoes have lasted and we have a salad almost every day. I guess that is the way of life.  Teri has grown lunch and dinner for 4 months and I have grown 2 small pots of flowers on the front porch.  Oh well, we each have our gifts. 
She is holding the sweetest seeds.  A friend (Stacy) gave her some a few years ago, and they grow in to a sweet climbing vine with little puffs.  Inside the puffs are these seeds, they have hearts on the seeds.  So cool.  Teri collects them every year and replants them.  I love that--gifts that keep on giving.

Here are our pumpkin vines before the freeze,  after the freeze we were left with 3 tiny pumpkins, you can see them on our front table

We are determined to blog at least once a month, so hopefully I will write again soon.  Be safe and well out there.  Don't forget to dodge the balls and...All shall be well.  
hugs, 'Tina


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Midsummer 2020

Midsummer Blessings

Dear Friends,
I am home this afternoon on this state holiday.  It is usually a day filled with early morning parades, farmer's markets, barbecues, and fireworks.  But this year, everything has been canceled. Here it is, almost August and we are still living in this strange, surreal world of pandemic.  When Utah sheltered the end of March, it was going to be for 2 weeks, which extended into a month.  And now it has been 4 months...Like most other states, Utah has sort of re-opened, and now we are paying the consequences.  All of us struggling with what is the best and safest road to move forward on. So we continue at the shop--open, but not actually open.  And yet, this is working for us.  We talk to people from all over the world who are also dealing with this scourge, and it is inspiring to share their stories, their frustrations, their determined energy.  Teri helps people who stop by all day through the front window, through the door, from the sidewalk.  Sometimes it is a delivery of packages to the front step or the open trunk of a car.  A very odd way to run a business--but humans are resilient, masks are good, and life is still rich with blessings.  
So..I am enjoying my quiet afternoon at home today sitting in the back yard and hoping to catch a breath of a breeze.  Teri is cooking, and Bob is playing the piano, and I am listening to rustling pots, and gentle music and tender birdsong.  The past number of years, we have had crows who seem to have chased the songbirds away.  But this year, the large birds have not been in our neighborhood, so Teri and Bob have put up bird feeders during this time at home, and they have attracted a plethora of feathered creatures.  It has been a lot of fun to hear them in the mornings and evenings. We eat dinner outside where it is a bit cooler and watch the finches and hummingbirds flit back and forth between the feeders and the trees.  Maybe it is one of those collateral blessings to be home all the time and noticing the world we are in.  At least that is what I am saying to remind myself that I don't really miss movies, or plays, or restaurants, or concerts, or family, or friends, or..............
I have read a lot during this time.  I have a good friend who has been reading the 800 page book that inspired the musical, Hamilton.  She is always texting me that she is lost in the 18th century and might not be coming back.  It makes me laugh.  But I have been sort of lost in the 14th century myself these past several weeks.  (I worried a bit that I might have to face a plague, but, oh yeah, I'm already in one.)  My life has occasionally crossed paths with an anchorite who lived in the 1300s--Julian of Norwich,  At different times, I have read books about her, read her meditations and visions, listened to her music, and I love her.  During April, Teri and I often laughed that we felt like anchorites locked all day alone in the shop, and sometimes kind people would leave us treats in the basket when they came to pick up orders.  It always made us smile, and made me think of Julian.  Then the past few weeks, I have been reading a book that takes place in modern day Norwich and there she was-- a whole section about my girl.  
I was reminded of something that she wrote 700 years ago:  
"All shall be well, and all shall be well."  
Thanks, Julian. 
 Those are the new words of my heart.

I don't know about you, but stitching has brought me such joy during the past few months.  I have long lamented that there just wasn't enough time to stitch--too many things that demanded attention and distracted me from needle and thread.  I still don't think I have an abundance of time, but it is definitely enough.  I almost don't resent my "empty" evenings these days, and sort of cherish the extra time with my needlework.  And perhaps that is a little blessing of these times.  
More moments to be still and ponder and reflect.  And stitch... 

New from Shepherd's Bush 

Liberty and Justice Pin Cushion 
Kit: $20.00

A little pin cushion for this summer and these times. I loved working on this lovely 32 count overdyed grey/blue linen.  Kit comes with cotton overdyed threads, linen, patterns, buttons and hand dyed chenille by Lady Dot

Find Joy
Kit: $16.00

Teri has designed this sweet new 10 count kit to help remind us things are ok.  We will get through even this strange journey and enjoy our time in a slower quieter world.  

Thoughts off Home
Chart: $6.00
complete kit also available

This adorable chart celebrates our time at home with family and loved ones.  The button is a special hand made buttons we sell (you can get it from your local shops, too)

Home Sweet Home Button 

Be True to your Heart
Chart: $10.00
Button pack:  $ 9.00
32 count Fog linen: $9.00
Complete Kit: $58.00

This has been such a great new pattern for us this summer,  It is happy and sweet.

New Stocking for 2020

Here is a little sneak peak of the new stocking.  I am having a great time working on it and I hope you will just love her.  More anon...

New at the shop
So much to see and be excited about

Retro Stork Scissors
$7.00 each

These sweet scissors just arrived and they are such happy colors. 

We Live in Hope  
by Blackbird Designs
Book $20.00

Teri was hanging this Blackbird book up on the front window, for window shopping and spied this sweet sampler.  It was not made to commemorate the landing of the Mayflower (400 years ago this November, 1620-2020) but she has had such a great time stitching it.  She added the date and slightly changed the words.  When she gets it framed, we will do a display of all our Mayflower patterns to inspire you.  

Halloween Magazine

There are many fun patterns in this magazine. We always love looking at all the halloween charts.

New from Plum Street Samplers

Summertide Blessings
Chart: $12.00
Fabric:  36 count Virginia Beach brew 

This brand new fabric from R & R is winging its way to us.  Hoping to have it by Wednesday,  I'll tell you more about it when it comes.  Such a quirky and darling piece.

Summer Hill
Chart: $12.00

All the girls at the shop love this sweet piece. We all loved Autumn Hill last fall, and this is a perfect companion ..  

Nightshade bird
Chart: $12.00

A fun drum to stitch for summer.

Grace On Thee
Chart: $12.00

I love the symmetry of this piece it looks majestic and fun to stitch.  

Coming soon
New from Brenda Gervais 

These are in the mail to us as we write this.  Please give us a call if you would like us to send you one or all three.  We have the linens as well as the threads.  Everything you need to get going on your Fall stitching.

Hilda Boo and Sunflowers too
chart: $12.00
36 count fabric $ 9.75

We love this darling witch.  We even have the deep gray/black linen in 36 count and hopefully will have 40 and 32 shortly 
The Witches Brew
Chart: $12.00
36 count Heron Grey linen $ ?
Little spoon charm-$2.00

We have ordered the little silver spoon.  It is coming soon as well

Autumn Gatherings
Chart: $12.00
36 count linen-$ 7.25

This is a new seasonal series called the gatherings
We have the linen cut and ready.  It is so sweet.  

Women of the Mayflower

Women of the Mayflower update
We are supposed to  receive our kits sometime the end of August. We have the fabric and thread sets bundled and ready (thanks to Teri and Lynnette), so we will send them out to you as soon as possible.
  If your credit card has changed, please give us a call and update it. So exciting!

Garden update...

After an unseasonably cold June, our little urban garden has started producing so many fun things. We loved growing broccoli this year. After harvesting 4 huge heads which we ate every night for 2 weeks, it now sends up tiny little brocclettes, and we roast them with olive oil, salt and pepper- yum! Tomatoes have just started and the cucumbers are not far behind...Ahhhh  salads for the rest of the summer.  Teri is such a faithful and patient gardener, that I am going to give her a blue ribbon in every category,  I feel a bit like the little red hen--she does all the work, and I am happy to enjoy the literal fruit of her labors,  
Harvest blessings abound. 
I hope this week that you may stumble upon little blessings during your walk through this worrisome world.  
Enjoy the gifts of the moment, stay safe, and be well in your little corner of this earth. 
And remember this:  All shall be well, and all shall be well.
Tina and Teri