Thursday, June 10, 2021

June 2021

June, 2021

Dear Friends,
It is so good to write to you again, and I hope you are all doing well.  It's odd that this past year seemed to drag on forever, and yet here we are already half way through 2021.  Time is strange and never more so than this past 18 months.  But I feel like we are emerging from our bubbles-all in our own moment-and beginning to adjust to a new and ever changing normal.  This has been such an era of reflection for me.  For my introvert self, that long year of isolation had its challenges, but it held its comforts as well.  But now seems to be my watershed moment. I see everyone around me rushing back out into the world, and I have reverted back to my teenage self--hovering in metaphoric doorways partly wanting to walk through them and join in, but in the end always retreating back to my solitary comfort zone. I know, I will get through it--we all will in our own way.  I'm sure that one of these hot summer days we will be going out to restaurants, movie theaters, and parties...but maybe not quite yet for me. 
I have learned many things during this time of Covid.  
I realized that we could celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays and even just Sundays with our boys all on FaceTime, and it is not too bad. 
 I found out that architects can give a pretty good hair cut in a pandemic-even if it ended up a few inches shorter during the final even-ing process. 
 I discovered that weekly choir practices outside with masks--in the heat and noise of summer and the bitter cold of almost winter--may not have produced the finest music, but it bound together good friends. 
 Now--on this end of the year--I realize that this new world is so much louder than the previous one.  Some neighbors stopped by to visit out in the yard last week, and it was very fun, and everyone was talking as fast as possible--as if to make up for a year of just waving through car or house windows.  And then quite suddenly, I thought it would be nice if we could just all be quiet and enjoy each other's company--in silence.  I know--that is pitiful.  My whole psyche has become quieter--and that is pretty hard to imagine.  
But I think the most important thing I learned is that we are all so different from one another.  Everyone faced the plague season in their own way.  Some in anger and judgement, but for some it brought out a deeper measure of kindness and compassion, which somehow balanced and made more bearable the moments of fear and grief and worry and exhaustion.  It made me really think about and understand that life is not so much just about me and my loved ones, but about a whole planet of people dealing with a new life in the best way that they can. I had a litany of mantras that I had running through my mind and heart all the time as I tried to mindfully navigate my corner of the world.  And in the end I want to hope that this strange time will have made us a better people as we now face this brave, new world together. 
 For me...I think I finally grew up, and maybe that isn't such a bad thing.

After our year of being closed to walk-in customers, the shop has been open again since mid-April, and I think we are easing our way back into our normal rhythm.  It has been challenging to try to be respectful of everyone so that each person feels welcome and safe.  We are still requiring masks, but it seems to be working for us, for now.  It is a joy to visit with people again and have them inside.  It was funny, but for a whole year--when no one but our Shepherd's Bush team came inside--Teri faithfully changed out all her displays for each month and season just like every other year.  I confess, I sometimes thought she was a bit mad, because no one ever saw them.  But I think it was her own personal mantra, her way to bring normalcy to the absolutely un-normal, to practice a familiar and comforting routine amidst the utter chaos.  On the day that we opened our doors again, the shop was so tidy and organized and perfectly ready it was amazing to me.  Our strange and frantic year of answering telephones, scrambling through mail orders, window shopping, tiny tables on the porch, running packages out to car trunks, good natured and loyal customers shivering and sweating and huddling under umbrellas on the front step, seems like an unreal sort of dream.  
Except it was our dream ...and worthy of every minute and memory. 
So...if you find yourselves in our neighborhood, grab your mask and come visit us.  We are a calm and gentle refuge from the world around us. 

New from Shepherd's Bush 

Busy Notes 
by Shepherd's Bush 
chart: $8.00
complete kit: $41.50
Frame: $32.00

Teri could not let summer slip away without a new note, and Busy Notes is just perfect.  We have the leaflets almost ready, (just waiting for photos), the fabric is cut and ready and the buttons are on their way. We also have the darling buttercup frames available.  If you are on the Notes auto, we will send it along to you.  If you would like a kit to kick off Summer, give us a call.   

Patriotic Pop up
Surprise box:  $70.00

We are very excited about our upcoming Patriotic Pop Up.  It is going to be a lot of fun and super cool for the hot summer ahead.  I kind of wanted to include a popsicle, but you know...So you might be on your own for that.  Everyone here at the shop is busy working on the various parts and pieces, and we are hoping to have it ready to go out to you soon.  If you signed up to be on the Auto, it will just come directly to you.  If you didn't, and you are intrigued, we have a few spaces left.  Just give us a call to get signed up for this one.

New Pincushion display
One of Teri's Covid projects was this new pin cushion display.  It turned out so sweet and now everything is gathered together in mostly one place instead of scattered throughout the shop or just simply missing.  

New shadow box display
Our friend, Maryanne, told us about this beautiful shadow box from Pottery Barn a few years ago.  It has been sitting in our front hall for quite some time, until Teri tackled it earlier this year.  It is quite large and heavy, so that was a challenge, but with genius help, she has it up by the front counter and filled it with our little box kits.  Everyone loves it and it is fun to switch it out now and then to match the season--or not.

New at the shop

There's no Place Like Home
 by Scarrlett House 
Chart: $12.00

Wonderful new designs from Plum Street Samplings 

Flag Flock 
by Plum Street Samplers
chart: $14.00

Always Remember 
by Plum Street Samplers
Chart: $14.00

Equality Samper 
by Plum Street Samplers
Chart: $18.00

Hedge Row 
by Plum Street Samplers
Chart: $10.00

by Plum Street Samplers
Chart: $10.00

These have been so much fun, which one to start first.....  

Land That I Love
by Country Cottage Needleworks
Chart: $8.00

Such a sweet piece

Thread Manners 
by Lady Dot

These are a great way to keep your threads for one project managed.  There are all sorts of patterns and designs, and we have different ones in all the time.  So pretty and thoughtful.  You will love them.

When I think of Spring 
by Punti Puntini
chart with buttons: $15.00

We have had these darling pieces stitched from Punti  Puntini

When I think of Autumn
by Punti Puntini
chart with buttons: $15.00

These great charts have been a hit on our "window shopping." Everyone started with one and then came back for the others.  She is a darling designer out of Italy who makes such sweet buttons that we have carried for years.  On these, we have hand-chosen the linens and tweaked the colors and honestly, they are just adorable.  

Prairie Schooler Santa 2021
Card: $6.00
Complete kit: $62.25
(doesn't include backing fabric)

Can you believe it the new Santa is here and so early.  He is stitched and ready, Teri is just looking for the perfect backing fabric.  All of us just love the friendly animals in this year's design, but Teri has been a bit less enthusiastic since she seems to be having nightly fights with the raccoons in the neighborhood.  They seem to be driving her nuts.  Not quite sure who is going to win that battle.

by Madame Chantilly
Chart: $15.00

This beautiful piece that we just picked it up from Jill will be a wonderful piece for 
Fall.  We stitched it on 32 count linen with 1 strand of overdyed thread, and it is amazing. 

Merry Christmas 
by Cottage Garden
Chart: $10.00
Twinkle linen - 32 count $12.00

My niece stitched this while recovering from surgery.  It is so delightful.  We had her stitch it on a gray blue 32 count linen with sparkly stars printed onto the fabric.  We changed a few colors and it turned out very fun.  We did a virtual shop tour with some guilds in North Carolina, and they just wanted us to keep returning to look at this piece.  

New fabric from Fox and Rabbit
36 count 
$118.00 per yard

Ocean Air (light blue)
Waratah ( watermelon red)
Watermelon Ice (pink)
Ballet Slippers ( Peachy cream)
we also have Hogsbristle, Eureka, Baked Clay, and Lyrebird Dell (  Med Blue)

Patriotic Display

This is one of the areas that Teri set up during Covid.  It is sweet and there are so many fantastic designs.  Enough summer stitches to keep a person busy through many hot and sticky months.  

Babies Don't Keep 
 by Shannon Christine
Chart: $14.00

This is a darling update on a favorite baby saying.  

Sea box 
by Rovaris
kit $100

This is such a fun thing, but we only have one left.  It comes with the box, pattern, fabrics and buttons-- threads are separate.   

Needle Minders 
by Flamingo Toes 
$12.50 each 

We just unpacked new minders from Beverly at Flamingo Toes.  We have a hard time keeping these in as they are so clever and ne

w and colorful.  It is hard to choose my favorite one, and then we get a batch of new ones.  

First Frost 
by Hands On
chart: $10 

This special piece looks completely different from the pattern on the chart.  We stitched it in one long line and we just love it!  Everything that Teri did with this piece is just fantastic!  You will just love it as much as we do.  

The ultimate Sampler Motif Book  
by Brenda Keys

This is an amazing book of sampler motifs.  It has been reprinted and updated and is a total gem of a book. If you need any small design, look no farther.  I have a copy from her first printing many years ago and I just love it and have to be very careful to keep track of where I keep it.  Now she has reprinted and greatly expanded it and it is truly a treasure.  Now I have 2 of them to keep track of. They are all taken from old samplers, or they have the sampler vibe.  This is a must have for any sampler stitcher.  

Oh yes, the garden is growing.  It was going fine until we had 2 epic hail storms, and now the broccoli and the peppers are a bit the worse for wear.  But they do seem to be coming out of it.  The clematis is always a sight to see.  It has climbed up one of our poles and is just beautiful.  I have a feeling that this sudden and intense heat we are having will bring the tomatoes on quickly--I hope.  Getting so excited.  The garden is definitely our happy place--within our happy place.  
We finally bought new pots for our front porch after a passerby chose to toss our old ones into the middle of the street where they exploded--tulip bulbs and all.  Yay!  Teri carefully harvested seeds from last year's zinnias, and our friend, Linda, so kindly brought us seeds from her own harvest, so they are all planted and up about 2".  Right now they are safely in the back yard, because I am half scared to put them out on the front step.  But I think the time is nigh, so maybe next time you will see a pic.  
Hugs to all

Garden pics...

Oregano, broccoli, and tomatoes all are growing great.  

Our herb garden, we made chive and bacon pasta (delish) because we have so many chives...


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day

February, 2012

Dear Friends
Happy 2021.  I know it is a month in, but what can I say.  January was just one of those months for me.  I know that I can't keep saying that about every month, but it sort of seems like that.  I can chalk it up to Covid for sure, but then what will I say when the pandemic is over.  (O, how great those words sound.)  On a good note, I think 2021 is going to be a year of light and renewal.  I don't know about you, but I hit the end of 2020 feeling weary and a bit battered.  The Virus had taken its toll on me emotionally, my boys couldn't come home for Christmas, and everything seemed exhausting from weather to politics to undecorating.  What funny creatures we are.  Maybe it is the coming vaccine that is encouraging--or Spring on the horizon, or just the pussy willows beginning to bud outside my window.  I feel hopeful and blessed and ready to embrace this brave, new year.  2020 was hard, but we made it through and realized that we could do hard things with humility, and grace, and courage.  I am proud of us!
Everyone at work--except really me--has been working hard to get the shop cleaned up and straight and organized.  We were asked to do a virtual tour for our Rocky Mountain Region EGA, so Teri headed up a cleaning crusade to get ready.  It looks really good, and the tour was a lot of fun--in a weird sort of way. But like everything else, it has been a year of doing odd and strange things, totally out of our comfort 
zones, and then finding out that it was surprisingly enjoyable.  For me, I am totally inspired by the tidiness of the front of the shop, and I am going to buckle down and clean up my space in the back.  O, probably not...but I can certainly think positively about doing just that. We have a few fun new things to greet 2021, so read on and see what is coming up at the Bush as we wander through February.  
New Year's Notes 
by Shepherd's Bush
chart: 8.00
complete kit: $40.50
Frame: $32.00

This is a sweet sampler to start out the new year.  We have stitched it on 32 count white opalescent linen, and we have the wonderful green frames to match.  Come on, every year needs a little sparkle.

2021 Fob and engraved scissors 
2021 Fob kit: $16.00
Gingher engraved scissors: $ 50.00

Yes, it is finally here and ready for you to stitch and enjoy. The scissors are engraved with our name and the year.  Buy them separately or both together, they make a great set.  Lois from Lady Dot has matched the scissors perfectly with her baby ric rac, and the bead mix makes the fob sparkle.  These fobs are only available for this year, and we have a limited supply of the scissors.  

Heart Pop up

Sold out 

Heart Pop Up!! I know it won't make it for Valentine's Day, but we the think entire month of February is heart month.  We have collected a fun group of things to go inside your box and we know you will love them all. Teri has been so excited for this box, she can hardly wait.  There will be a new stitching kit, of course, and a few surprises.......  If you would like to receive this pop up, give us a call, or email.  If you would like to be on an auto for any future pop ups, tell us that too.  Then you will automatically receive the next one - when we do another one--no need to call. 

Since you can't come into see our fun displays, I thought I'd post some here 

Valentine display 

 Tina's pincushion kits

I think Tin's pincushions look so sweet all together for February,  the perfect Heart display
Top left- Sophie's Pincushion  kit: $20
Middle left- Happy Life Pincushion kit: $30, 
Middle right-Heart Play Pincushion kit: $20,
Bottom- Our Hearts Pincushion kit:  $20

2021 Heart by Heart in Hand 
pattern and fabric $29.00

We fell in love with Cecilia's latest heart.  It comes with fabric, beads and a gold heart charm ( no threads)  It is perfect for our time right now.    

St, Patrick's Day display

 Teri's  shamrock plant is still going strong. She loves this green holiday, 
I think partly because it is her excuse to make Irish soda bread- yum   

Spring display  

So many sweet spring designs.  we are anxiously awaiting Brenda's new easter book.  It is filled with somany sweet happy easter pieces   Let us know if you want to be our list to hold a copy and call. 

It has arrived  Brenda's new book  Yippee filled with wonderful things 

Jelly Bean Jubilee by Brenda Gervais
small book - 7 designs $20.00

Window Shopping, 
As you know Teri keeps our front windows covered with the latest new patterns and some wonderful standbys.  Here are a few of the latest offerings, so you can go window shopping too.  But remember things go quickly on the windows, so don't delay

Next  blog Teri says she will have a garden update, I think she was outside planting garlic today.  She has been waiting for the ground to thaw enough to dig, and I think she was successful.  Does garlic grow in  the winter  she has it on the best authority that it does,  but we will see. until next time...hugs, Tina