Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

A very healthy, happy and safe New Year to all!

My New Year's Eve pot of chili is simmering on the stove. We'll work on that while watching "The Twilight Zone" marathon on the SyFy channel! Maybe we'll switch over to see what "The Three Stooges" are up to now and then, and of course if we manage to stay awake we'll watch the ball in Times Square drop on one of the major channels. Our typical mellow New Year's Eve!

May your New Year's Eve plans be just as much fun! See you in 2011,

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

My Christmas card to you - have a merry, joyous holiday!

(Click on the picture to get a better look at this wonderful vintage artwork!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sentiments for the Season

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men Pinkeeps is one of a few new patterns I just added to my web site from Pineberry Lane. A perfect sentiment for the season and something I know I need to remember through all the hustle and bustle of a busy holiday time.

How did I miss this?? One of said Pineberry Lane patterns is Have You Any Wool Primitive Sheep - not a new release, but it was new to me as I hadn't seen it before. Had to have it! Now that I think of it, a fellow vendor at an October hook-in had some of these made up to sell and I loved them. Now I know where they came from!

Christmas party at my monthly rug guild meeting tomorrow so that will be fun. Creating a big pot of chili for the event is on tap for tonight, along with a batch or two of red velvet cookies, because you can never have enough cookies, right?

Enjoy your weekends all,

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Just One!

This is Snow Fairy, a Brenda Gervais (Country Stitches/With Thy Needle & Thread) design for rug punch. Isn't she sweet? I only have this one, and she's looking for a nice, not-too-warm home (she'll melt, you see) to spend the holidays.

Don't have a rug punch? This can easily be hooked the traditional way. The design is hand-drawn on monks cloth and is 15-1/2" x 15-1/2", and if hooked traditionally, you could hook it as drawn, with the design reversed, or you could put it on a light box or hold it up to a bright window and draw the design on the back side so it's oriented the way it's shown finished. Totally doable!

Enjoy your weekend! Hope you're doing lots of fun holiday things.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Glad it's almost Friday!

It's been, as they say, "a week". Super-busy, pretty stressful, but I think I'm gonna make it! Thanks again so much for the support over my vent post the other day. That really made a difference!

I went back and read that post several times and came to the conclusion that I probably shouldn't have posted it after all, so you'll notice that it's been deleted. I don't like myself in that mode and the more I read what I wrote the more I regretted it. I suppose it served the purpose of purging from my system, and so it's out! Time to move on...

So, now to segue from sad and mad to Glad - as in Glad Tidings, Country Stitches/With Thy Needle & Thread's newest 3-design set with an awesome St. Nick and snowman doll atop a little box, "quick sew" wool applique picture and St. Nick needlepunched tree ornament. This made me smile when it arrived on Wednesday!

I've finished mailing all the Cyber Monday orders - took me 3 trips to the post office this week after work! So, if you're waiting anxiously for your goodies, they are on their way - thanks again for your orders!

This is the time that I start getting into the holiday spirit - the first weekend of December, filled with local craft fairs, nursery open houses and stands of fresh-cut Christmas trees in lots everywhere. A little - very little - snow would help, but I'm not wishing too hard for that! Trying to keep the snow away until after the weekend of the 18th, when we make our annual trek back home to have an early Christmas celebration with my family. Once we're safely back home, bring it on!

Glad Tidings to all this holiday season! Have a great weekend,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cyber Monday

Brace yourselves! Cyber Monday is about to tax computer networks across the globe, with shoppers searching out the best deals from their favorite on-line sources! I've put a few special deals on my What's New page, please make my web site one of your cyber-stops and check out my offerings!

Mouse and credit card ready? Stay safe and happy surfing & shopping!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh Tannenbaum!

Oh Tannenbaum is one of several new patterns just added to my web site from Country Stitches/With Thy Needle & Thread. This little cross-stitched ornament cost me $24.95 - that's because I finally said, "That's it! I've gotta make these awesome things!" and bought a magnifying Ott light so I can attempt this tiny stitching. My eyesight isn't as good as the younger people who have been making me cross-stitch models for the patterns I've sold over the years. I figure this is the only way I can even try it.

Pineberry Lane's recent Bringing Home the Tree had me planning to make the Ott light purchase, and this new pattern sent me completely over the edge! I hope I'll have enough patience for the counted cross-stitch - I'll let you know!

Small Business Saturday has seen some folks shopping on my web site - thank you! I'm going to have a few special deals for Cyber Monday as well, so stay tuned for another post about that tomorrow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 27th is Small Business Saturday, a day to help grow the economy by patronizing your favorite on-line and local businesses, restaurants, etc. While I'm updating my web site with special deals and new goodies for the holidays, I hope you'll drop by!

Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. It's the most challenging meal I make all year! That last half hour when all the vegetables need to be drained, mashed and seasoned, turkey swapped out of the open to pop a cookie sheet of rolls in, lighting candles and making sure everyone has what they want to drink is crazy-wonderful! Now that the flurry is over, my brother is on his way back home again, the house is quiet and it's time to relax a little. Some new patterns beckon and I might settle in and indulge in some rare sewing time.

Have a great after Thanksgiving weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gobble Gobble!

Not sure if I'll be back to post again before the holiday, so just taking a minute to wish all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I've got my brother driving down 3 hours from up around the Bar Harbor ("Bah Hahbah" to you true Downeasters!) area arriving later this afternoon. It will be nice to have family around the day before and staying for a few nights. Today is baking day - apple and pumpkin pies, cranberry bread (a traditional Thanksgiving morning breakfast treat), cranberry-pecan cookies and something called a "New England Apple Duff" - basically an apple upside-down cake. Recipe from Martha Stewart's web site.

I'm already exhausted! Again, a bountiful feast for body and soul to all!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


"Serendipity - the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident."

That's what happened the day I went to Border's to look through their huge collection of magazines, specifically for something new from Interweave Press (Quilting Arts, Cloth, Paper, Scissors). When I spied the November issue of Country Living, the cover grabbed me, as most anything with the wonderful, muted shades of autumn does. When I saw the words "The great wool revival" on that cover, it was coming home with me!

Husband returned from the DVD section and we were headed towards the check-out when I saw up in the right corner, "British Edition". Oh no, this was not the Country Living that I thought it was, and I said to my husband, "Oh, I don't want this", but as I was turning around to put the magazine back I began to flip through it - sheep!! There is a whole section titled "The Wonder of Wool" with various articles about sheep herding, milling fine British wools and yarns, and there's even a fabulous free poster with beautiful photographs of favorite British sheep breeds. I think I'll frame this and hang it in my sewing/craft/computer room.

Needless to say, I bought the magazine and have spent much time pouring over each page - oh, the English countryside! There are some absolutely gorgeous photographs in this magazine! I really loved the photographs of inside homes as well, such great inspiration and eye candy! So - if you can find this magazine where you live, I highly recommend it! I think I'll check out Borders soon for a holiday edition - it's bound to be even more wonderful!

Have a great week - almost Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh Boy!

There's a new magazine launching in April, have you heard? Primitive Quilts & Projects will be devoted entirely to primitive quilting, rug hooking, stitching and much more. The list of regular contributors is studded with names of the most popular designers today: Maggie Bonanomi, Renee Plains of Liberty Star, Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm, Lynda Hall of Primitive Pieces by Lynda, Renee Nannemann of Need'l Love, Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings and more. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it! Published 4 times a year, it will be a new obsession. Do we really have to wait until April??

I plan to carry the magazine on my web site and it will retail for $9.99 an issue. I'll keep you posted with information on the premier issue as I receive it.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Boy, it's really coming fast this year! And is it just me or are people really anxious for Christmas this year? I keep hearing people talk about getting their trees up right after Thanksgiving, putting up the lights and bracing for Black Friday, even more so than last year.

Time to really plan out my menu and grocery shopping list. Saturday we'll do the bulk of that shopping and Turkey Lurkey will come up from the freezer and begin his thaw. A turkey needs to thaw approximately 24 hours for each 4-5 lbs. There's my cooking tip for the month! Hope your holiday plans are coming together too.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Good Eats!

I love diners! And my favorite is The Maine Diner on Route 1 in Wells, Maine. One of the BEST for seafood "chowdah", super-fresh fish and awesome corn muffins that come with a meal. Great breakfasts too - the blueberry pancakes are to die for! We always sit at the counter when we go, usually close to the pie cabinet where we can oogle the sugar-free apple, blueberry and today an awesome looking cookie dough chocolate pie. It's so much fun to people watch and there's always the intricate dance of all the busy waitresses weaving in and out of each other's paths fetching meals, coffee, steaming cups of chowder or those wonderful pieces of pie. My favorite place to eat! If you're in the southern Maine area, do stop in! They've got a great gift shop too, "Remember the Maine", with lots of different styles of Maine Diner t-shirts and all sorts of other Maine souvenir stuff.

That's where we pretty much began our shopping trip today, after I did some rug hooking guild errands and delivered a few things to a friend's wool shop. The diner was right along the way and my husband knows I'll take any chance I get to go there. It's been a picture-perfect day here in Maine, temps in the mid to high 60s, not a cloud in the beautiful blue sky, and I got to see the ocean too! We managed to get a few good deals at Eddie Bauer, Stonewall Kitchen's flagship store in York, then on to The Maine Mall in Portland to check out what they had at Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn. Dinner and a gift coupon for my son at Uno's and here I am, snug in my fleece hoodie and sweatpants, pondering sewing some little stocking ornaments for a craft fair while hubby watches hockey downstairs. A satisfying day! I hope yours was just as fun! Guess I'd better get off the computer and do something with all this creative mojo I've got going tonight!

Enjoy your evenings, all,

Friday, November 12, 2010

Playin' (Rug) Hooky

Love Maggie Bonanomi? This is Cornucopia, one of two new hooked rug patterns she's done for Blackberry Primitives. Maggie's patterns are on paper, full size, no need to enlarge at the copy shop. Just transfer onto your favorite rug backing and start hooking! The other new pattern is called More than a Basketful. There are now four rug designs by Maggie to choose from, all in her signature primitive style and color palette.

Boy, oh Boy, wait 'til you see what's coming soon!! Winter holiday goodies to charm and delight you! Keep your eye on this blog, my web site or Facebook page to be sure not to miss these when they're here - well worth the wait!

My 20% off Facebook sale goes through the weekend - have you used your discount yet? Just enter FACEBOOK (upper or lower case) into the Coupon block of your online order at check-out and you'll see a 20% discount on your order. Not one of my Facebook "peeps"? Click on the Facebook link on the left and "Like" my page to be eligible. And with free shipping through the holidays, now's the time to pick up those new projects you've been thinking about.

OMG, am I starting to sound like a used car salesman?? Sigh... It's been "a week". Has the time change kicked anyone else's butt? I'm uber glad it's Friday and I can put this week in the books. Just miserable in all kinds of ways...

But, on the bright side - there are only 42 days 'til Christmas! Eek!! We're starting our shopping tomorrow! Now that's something to look forward to.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's On!

My special Facebook friends sale, that is! It worked - I've got over 200 "Likers" on my Simple Folk Facebook page now, so have enabled a special 20% coupon for Facebook friends. Just enter "FACEBOOK" (either upper or lower case, doesn't matter) in the Coupon block at check-out and your order will be discounted 20%! The only exclusion is already sale-priced items, I can't reduce them any further. Orders including Sale Bin items will be adjusted accordingly.

And shipping is FREE through the holidays to boot! Here's another sample of what you can buy with your Facebook discount - Bringing Home the Tree from Pineberry Lane. Isn't this the sweetest thing? It just speaks to me!

See more new things on my What's New page. This Facebook special runs through the end of this weekend and won't be mentioned on my web site. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Being Social

Mah goodness!! Was it really AUGUST when I last posted?? That's shocking... Hope you all had a nice summer! Now that the heat and humidity are gone, as well as a hectic month of October, I'm ready to be social again.

Speaking of which - are you on Facebook? I need ONE more "Like" on my page to get to 200! Once I hit that milestone I'm offering my Facebook "Likers" a 20% discount - tell your friends, tell your mother, tell your grandmother too!

And here's just one of the cool new things you can buy with that 20% off: from Country Stitches/With Thy Needle & Thread, Home for the Holidays, a totally awesome cross-stitched stocking. There are other new cross-stitch patterns and a couple of returning favorites for holiday-inspired stitching. All on my What's New page.

44 days 'til Christmas! Is it just me, or is time racing away this year? Speaking of racing - off to the next task of the night! I promise I'll be back soon!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Certified OMG

WOW!! My shipment of books just arrived today from Kansas City Star. I didn't have time to look at all of them but managed to sit down with Maggie Bonanomi's new Comfort Zone, and have given it my "Certified OMG" stamp of approval!! Now that I've seen and read parts of the book, it's clear that "Comfort Zone" has two meanings: the book is filled with comforting, comfortable, primitive projects for the home, but Maggie also describes leaving her "comfort zone" and working with colors and materials she wouldn't ordinarily reach for in her creative pursuits. She urges us to expand out of our own comfort zones and grow creatively as well. I'm sure you'll all agree!

More later - I've got a lot of order shipping (and more reading!) to do! Thanks again to those of you who pre-ordered your books. They will be shipped free of shipping charges.

Here's to leaving our Comfort Zones!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Home to Roost

The latest quilt book from Renee Nannemann and design team at Need'l Love is Home to Roost, with beautiful quilts showcasing Renee's new Andover Fabrics line of the same name. Lovely pieced and appliqued projects. One of the projects in the book, a table-sized runner was featured on a recent episode of Fons and Porter's TV show.

I hope everyone has gotten through this hot and humid month OK! We are experiencing some wonderful, cool Canadian air today which should last into next week. Ahhhh!! The windows were open wide last night! The heat really bothers me and makes me not want to do anything, but now my thoughts are turning to new projects. Can't wait to get the new pre-order books and have a look at them.

Have a great weekend all!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Maggie, Cherie & Lynda - Oh, My!


A crop of new books for mid-summer is due to arrive soon and I'm offering them up for pre-order:

Maggie Bonanomi will delight us with more of her primitive creations in Comfort Zone, available in mid-August. Can't wait for this one! If you're a fan of Maggie, you'll want to add this to your collection.

Under the Stars is Cherie Ralston's second star-inspired book of folk art quilts and other fiber art projects. It will be good to see her designs again.

Lynda Hall (Primitive Pieces by Lynda) debuts her first Kansas City Star book, A Little Porch Time with her unique folk art style in quilts, each with their own story.

As in the past, pre-ordered books and orders which contain a pre-order book will receive free shipping when the orders are processed. It's my way of thanking you for pre-ordering! This lets me know how much stock to purchase, and these days when money is tight it's a big help! More details and prices are available on my web site's What's New page.

Are you as hot as we are up here in Maine? Hope you stay cool where you are!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Contemporary Folk

This is Sue Spargo's newest book, Contemporary Folk. It was published by Quiltmania magazine and is translated in both English and French. Within it's 208 pages are 18 projects including 3 large wall quilts, pillows, purses, table runners, needle cases, pincushions and Sue's trademark funky little birds. Snippets from Sue's journals give a glimpse into her creative process and great tips on her signature embellishing techniques.

I special-ordered this book for a friend and had to purchase a minimum quantity so have only a few. If the stock I have on hand sells out I can certainly obtain more.

Hope you're enjoying some lovely June weather. It's been wonderful here in Maine, not too hot and just enough rain to keep the flowers and gardens happy. Welcome, summer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Yesterday was my birthday. Let's just say it was my 39th birthday, as one of my former classmates suggested as he wished me Happy Birthday on my Facebook page. Yeah, I'll take that number! Actually, I'm a tad older - just a tad - but we all know that we never ask a woman her age, so we'll leave that right there...

Last year at birthday time I almost posted a picture with my real age but I was a little depressed about it and thought better of that idea. With another year added I'm still a bit depressed about the whole age thing but have resigned myself to it, embraced it in a way. I mean, considering the alternative, I'll happily accept another notch on the belt of life as opposed to, well, no more. I had a very nice birthday and now it's time to move on! Birthdays are almost like New Year's for me, always so full of promise for "this year" and the list of goals that go along with that. I'm trying not to put that kind of pressure on myself this year. Maybe I'm getting wiser (notice I left out older) and a little kinder to myself. We'll see as time relentlessly marches on...

OK, enough about me - to the left is a great new needlepunch pattern from Country Stitches called "Trick or Tweet", the next cool dimensional bird design after the very popular "Home Tweet Home". I received a big ole box with 17 new patterns for all kinds of wonderful projects - penny rugs, needlepunch, stitchery and even a little mouse magic! You might want to scoot over to my What's New page and check out everything that's been added lately. Some sell-outs have occurred (I buy rather judiciously these days given the economy) but stock will be replaced.

Did I mention the weather was absolutely perfect on my special day yesterday? I was able to sit out on a dock on Casco Bay and have lunch, then dine deck-side at a super restaurant on the water while watching more boats. Idyllic to be sure! Check the link to this restaurant over to the left under Links You'll Like - Royal River Grillhouse - and if you're heading north to Maine this summer you might just want to add this to your list of places to visit.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

New for Spring

Boy, it's been almost a month since I posted something! April was a crazee month! We of course traveled out of state for a few days (my last post) and I came home to 2 days before the start of my 3 April shows. Cherylynn Brubaker's annual Spring Fever Hook-in in Brunswick, Maine was first, a great day as always with lots of rugs to inspire us, vendors, wool, wool, wool and lots of work done on rugs in progress.

Next up was the following weekend at the Camp Wool Spring Fling hook-ins down in Wells, Maine at The Coastal House, a great function venue. This was a 2-day event with separate hook-ins both weekend days. Oodles more wool, fun and friends.

This Saturday will be my last show for a while, the Maine Tin Pedlar 2010 Rug Show and Hook-in at Woodford's Congregational Church in Portland, Maine from 10am-3pm. Vendors, food, lots of hand-hooked rugs by Tin Pedlar members, door prizes and I'm betting MORE WOOL!! Open to the public, stop in if you're close!

I think my title for this post was "New for Spring" - well, with International Quilt Market a little over a week away in Houston, new things are starting to be released from designers. One of them is the new book from Barb Adams and Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs and by Kansas City Star titled, Country Inn. The cover quilt looks wonderful and there will of course be several other projects inside, all with that signature feminine style Blackbird Designs has become known for. I'm taking pre-orders for the book which will retail for $26.95 when it's released after Quilt Market in mid-May. Books pre-ordered will receive free shipping!

Why pre-order? A couple of reasons: You're guaranteed your book will be shipped as soon as I get them in stock, maybe before local shops get them; it helps me know how many to order to try and have enough stock to meet the demand and avoid out-of-stocks. This was tough with the recently new book, A Bird in Hand by Renee Plains. I had no idea it would be as popular as it has been! I sold more of this book than any other in 7 years in business! Phenomenal!

I know there will be new patterns from Country Stitches for one, and I'm keeping a close ear to the ground on more "new news". Not being able to attend Quilt Market I'll be a little behind some of the other sites and shops but I try to pick the cream of the crop for y'all!

Hope spring is finding you happily tending to your yards and having fun outdoors. Take time to stop and smell the lilacs!

Friday, April 9, 2010


TTFN stands for "Ta ta for now", which my dad would always say whenever we would leave to go out with our friends or in later years when we would go home after a visit. Two of my brothers have taken to using it too. As I was trying to figure out what text to superimpose on this vintage postcard the phrase popped into my head.

Anyway, just a note to say that I'll be away for a few days beginning on Sunday. My husband has an annual business conference down in Massachusetts and I always go along because it is around the time of my mother's birthday. We celebrate with as many family members as we can wrangle up. I'll get to see my mom of course, my handsome and talented son Russell and his girlfriend, two of my three brothers, one of my aunts and uncle and last but not least my nephew Colin and eight-month-old niece Jade, whom I haven't seen or held since before Christmas. We'll be back the middle of next week and order shipping will resume on Thursday.

Have a great spring weekend!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Easter!

I love these vintage postcards. I looked for one that had all the animals that we associate with spring - lamb, chick, rabbit. They've even got some 4-leaf clovers to munch.

My husband has taken to saying, "Hoppy Easter" and gets a grand kick out of saying it to everyone. So, I'm borrowing his phrase to wish all of you a "Hoppy Easter" as well! With temperatures predicted to be well up into the 70s today, we will be cooking our Easter meal on the grill - butterflied pork tenderloin - try this on the grill, it's wonderful! We'll have that with a typical spring veggie, steamed asparagus and also some roasted baby Yukon Gold potatoes. My husband is not big on ham. I think I'll make a nice chocolate chip banana bread too, and I really need to share that recipe, it's the best I've ever had. In a future blog post!

I know it's spring when the April Wool Street Journal arrives at my door! I love the cover rug hooked by editor Bonnie Smith, a Warren Kimble design called "Yankee Clipper". While this is not one of the free patterns in the magazine there are several others, as well as one for needlepunch and lots and lots of color pictures of beautiful rugs. It's like a rug show in every issue! I bought extra to bring to my spring rug shows so hopefully won't sell out anytime soon.

Breakfast is calling my name - eggs, bacon, toast and a little fruit to start the day, then some yard work. Anything to be outside on what is shaping up to be a gorgeous, sunny Easter day in Maine - raking and pruning are OK by me if I can be outdoors! Hope you enjoy your day too.

Hoppy Easter!