Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Family Portrait

Here's my son, Russell, his girlfriend, Tracey, and newest family member, Sophie! It's hard to look at her all wired up, but that's standard for a premie. The medical folks say she's healthy though, so all is good. I wonder if they got some sleep last night - Nana didn't get much! I'm chomping at the bit to get down to visit them, hopefully over the weekend.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's a Girl!

Well, almost! My first grandchild, a little girl my son and girlfriend have decided to name Sophie, is making an unscheduled debut into the world today! She's about five weeks early and everything has been happening very fast today. My son just called a short while ago to tell me that his girlfriend is being taken in for a C-section. I'm not able to be there for another couple of days but I'll see her very soon.

My son, Sophie's dad, is a wonderful graphic artist. These are some tiles he painted with the baby's name that will be hung on the wall in her nursery.
More wonderful artwork by Sophie's dad! These animals will also be hung in Sophie's new nursery and are waiting to welcome her when she comes home in early February. She'll be in the hospital's NICU until her original due date, at least that's today's news.

I'll be "Nana" soon! Can't wait to meet this little girl who wanted to arrive on the scene before 2011 ends!

Update: Sophie Amber Thomas was born on Dec. 28th at exactly 2:30pm weighing a dainty 4 lbs. 13 oz.! Everyone is doing just fine, although Sophie has some typical preemie issues. Nothing out of the ordinary for an early birth, so say the doctors.

Friday, December 23, 2011

After Christmas Sale

After Christmas, save 30% on all cross-stitch patterns. No codes to enter, I'll calculate your discount manually and issue a PayPal refund for PayPal orders, or apply your discount when I process your credit card order. This sale will run from Dec. 26th through New Year's Day.

Another vintage Christmas postcard. I love these, don't you? I especially liked the simplicity of this Father Christmas, dressed in plain garb and holding an undecorated evergreen.

Tomorrow will be for baking and prepping the holiday feast. The gifts are wrapped, the cards have been sent. Family celebrations were enjoyed weeks ago so it's just me and my hubby for a mellow Christmas day. Enjoy your family festivities and may your holidays be merry and bright and filled with all the warmth and love your heart can hold!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Last Call for Mail!

Need a few last-minute things for Christmas giving? There's still time - but not much! Here's the US Postal Service's domestic mailing deadlines:

First Class - Tues., Dec. 20th
Priority Mail - Wed., Dec. 21st
Express Mail - Thurs., Dec. 22nd

Of course, the USPS doesn't guarantee that anything mailed by these deadlines will absolutely be delivered by Christmas. It's always a little bit of a gamble, but any orders I have in-house will be shipped accordingly. Then it's up to the mailman!

I love old antique glass ornaments like this Santa delivering mail. Sadly, I have no idea where our family's collection ended up after my dad passed away several years ago and the house was sold. My mother has since moved twice, so maybe they're in storage. I hope we see them again. We had some great old classic ornaments. At one time they hung on one of those aluminum Christmas trees, you know, the ones that had the color wheel and the whole tree would change colors every few seconds? Back in the sixties I guess! My brothers and I would sit and marvel at the wonderful tree. These days I love my real evergreen tree, this year a 4' one on a table in the living room. It'll hold my collection of primitive and folk art ornaments and some glass ones I've come across over my adult years. It's an eclectic assortment, but somehow everything works together. Sitting on top is the most wonderful primitive Santa tree topper, an old Netty LaCroix pattern.

I have the new Wool Street Journal January 2012 issue. Only five right now, I may get more if these sell quickly.

Just a note to say Thank You for your continued patronage this year! It's a tough economy and many of us don't have the money to indulge our creative passions the way we used to. I sincerely appreciate that you come back time after time to buy what tugs at your primitive heart strings!

Have a blessed holiday season!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cookie Dough Truffles

Lovely. I needed to find out about this Cookie Dough Truffles recipe when I can't manage to eat any of these even if I did make them. Oh well, there's always next Christmas, and I assure you, I will be making these! If you do, please let me know how yummy they came out! I'll enjoy them vicariously this time. The recipe came from Food Network.

Cookie Dough Truffles

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate morsels
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 pounds chocolate bark candy coating, melted

In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and add milk. Add chocolate morsels and pecans, mixing well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on waxed paper; chill 2 hours.

*Cook's Note: Since the dough is sticky, roll your fingers into flour. This will make it easier to roll.

Melt chocolate bark candy coating in a double boiler, or glass bowl over simmering pan of water. Using 2 forks, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Place on waxed paper and chill to set. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Happy truffling!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Based on my pain level after having some teeth extracted on Monday, I could probably go for one of these right about now! Amazing that they existed, huh? And Coca-Cola used to be made with cocaine too back in the day. Hope things calm down soon and I can get some much-needed sleep! As a result, orders recently received have been leaving more slowly than in previous weeks. I need my helpful hubby to play delivery man, but this is after I do the processing, picking and paperwork, which I'm not always feeling up to with a screaming jaw! That said, I appreciate your patience and thank you for your orders. My delivery man will hopefully get some packages off to the post office this afternoon, as I know Christmas shipping deadlines are only days away.

Enjoy your weekend,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Passing it Forward

Brenda, who writes the Past Blessings blog has kindly bestowed upon me the Liebster Blog award! This award is given by a fellow blogger to five blogs of their choosing who have 200 followers or less. This award is meant to be passed forward, so here are my Liebster Blog award picks:

Fish Eye Rugs - Jen Manuell's blog is an inspiration for the rug hooker and I love to see what hooking adventure she's up to next!

From Sherry's Heart - Sherry does fabulous primitive folk art in all kinds of mediums and I love checking out her latest and greatest.

Tom Miner Folk Art - I've known Nancy for many years through my business and she stitches wonderful folk art quilts. She lives in Montana and occasionally posts pictures of the big horn sheep that visit her backyard!

Fully Wooly Primitives - This is Joni Black of Fully Wooly Primitives blog. Joni is a wonderful rug hooker and lover of primitives and wool.

Spruce Ridge Studios - Kris Miller is a very talented, self-taught rug hooker and teacher. She vends at many rug hook-ins throughout the year and offers tons of great rug hooking designs on her web site. Love to see what project she's working up next.

Congratulations to these Liebster Blog award winners, you're all very deserving! There are hundreds of other great blogs out there, take some time every now and then to do a blog crawl and check out all the inspiration out there!

I've tweaked my More Fun Reads and Links You'll Like lists to reflect what I like these days, so check those out too.

Happy reading,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On My Frame

This is an Edyth O'Neill design called Cricket Ship. I just started it today. At 7" x 11" it's definitely doable for me. I really like small hooked projects because I can start new things quicker. Gives me some diversion as I had some oral surgery on Monday and need to take it easy for a few days. It was fun color-planning this little rug that will cover a small footstool as this one does. I had a neat heathery purple plaid for the sky and will put a few dark pinks in there to look like sunset. Will post a picture when it's finished. Edyth O'Neill rug hooking designs can be purchased from Woolley Fox. What's on your frame these days?

Happy hooking,

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

This is Old Fashioned Santa from Pineberry Lane. A humble fellow, simply dressed. Great stick legs! Quite primitive, very cool. Another neat Santa pattern from Pineberry Lane is Santa and Elmer, with the bonus of Elmer the reindeer, shown below.

I need to get busy baking a couple of Chocolate Pumpkin Loaves (recipe in my Sept. 30th post) to take with me to our annual early Christmas family get-together tomorrow where I get to play Santa. The other gifts are wrapped, but I promised my mother a loaf of this bread after I told her how wonderful it was. My aunt will get one too, along with a big bag of Maine Roasters Holiday Blend coffee. Doesn't that sound like a great breakfast on a snowy morning? Maine Roasters coffee is similar to Starbucks, strength-wise. To be honest, I'm really not a Dunkin' fan!

Are you doing any holiday baking? One of my Facebook friends posted about all the make-ahead cooking and baking she's been doing, freezing things to be reheated later in the month for parties and just to make things easier once the holidays are in full swing. It's something to consider. I've never done much "big" make-ahead cooking like that but just might try a little.

This would normally be the weekend we get the real tree and decorate, but since we'll be out of town it'll be a week later this year. Hope you're having fun with your holiday planning. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Crazy for Christmas

Isn't this great? It's a wool applique design called Christmas Candle Mat by A Piece of Work, a new designer I've just added to my web site offerings. Done in a crazy quilt style with lots of lively seasonal motifs and embellished with embroidery stitches, these are fun and really cool. There are several more "crazy" designs, all on my What's New page or see everything on A Piece of Work's own page under my Patterns, Wool Applique category.

Stay crazy with Jo Ann Mulally's wonderful Wool Crazy and Crazy at Home books. Jo Ann's illustrations and instructions are very detailed, with lots of tips and inspiration to make her "crazy" projects your own.

And this neat pattern called Krispy Snow Days is from another new design house, Crane Design. I love the neutral colors used, but it would look equally cute in traditional Christmas colors with a blue background. The pattern has instructions for the wool runner and hanging bag. Several other patterns are available as well as some great needlepunch designs. I hope you check them out.

While you may not have time to make some of these before Christmas, there's still time to get them shipped to you before the holiday for gift-giving - but only if you order soon! Hope your holiday plans are coming along nicely.

Stay warm!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Be Merry: Quilts and Projects for Your Holiday Home is one of a short list of "only one" books from Kansas City Star that I have available. From time to time I get preview books that I check out to see if I want to add them to my web site. This particular list I opted not to purchase, but have the single copies available on my web site. Please check out the complete list on my What's New page and if you're interested in a title, act quickly because there's only one of each book.

Thanks to everyone who placed orders during from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Lots of great deals went out the door! I hope you enjoy making all your wonderful creations.

Hope everyone enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving. On to Christmas!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shop Small Today!

Don't forget to SHOP SMALL today, Small Business Saturday! According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.7% of all employers. About 52% are home-based (like mine). In 2009 there were 27.5 million businesses in the US, so you've got lots to choose from! Help support our US economy and make another dent in your holiday shopping list.

While you're shopping small, you may want to check out some of the cool new goodies that have been arriving lately, like this awesome New England Primer Snowman doll from Walnut Ridge Primitives. Love the old book page with snowflakes stitched to his front, and he carries a paper snowflake made from an old lesson plan. Both these things are included in the pattern. He makes a big impression at 17", so would look great on your door, centered on a big evergreen wreath or propped in a chair - but not too close to the fireplace, please!

Wool Crazy by Jo Ann Mullaly has patterns and very good, detailed instructions to create a 60" x 60" wool crazy quilt. The folk art designs are great, and Jo Ann guides us through the construction with great tips on ways to really make this project your own. The next book she produced is Crazy at Home with 15 wonderful, primitive projects with wool.

So much that's new! I hope you'll take a little time to peruse my What's New page to see and read about everything that's arrived lately. More to be posted over the next couple of days now that the holiday is over. You can also take advantage of my Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sale - 25% off all cross-stitch and needlepunch items (excluding those on my What's New page), plus free shipping through Monday.

Have fun shop-hopping on this Small Business Saturday!

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's on to Christmas!

Black Friday - really?? Was this you in the early hours of this morning? I was dreaming of sugarplums dancing in my head. Never been a Black Friday person, don't see that ever changing! I hate crowds! And now we're hearing of a woman in a Walmart (forget where) who pepper sprayed other shoppers in order to keep them away from some XBox deal. Is that what we've come to? The local police called it "competitive shopping" - I call it assault, and if it was me who got hit with pepper spray, she'd be hurting worse than me! But, I digress...

Just looking at the cover of this gorgeous new book by Tina Woltman, An Early Christmas, you can just imagine what's in store for you inside! This is a beautifully produced hardcover book filled with about 300 gorgeous photographs over 160 pages of early American homes decorated in Christmas finery. Antique collections of Santas and so much more to delight the eye. As for me, I'm always looking for great decorating ideas, and I'll be curled up in front of the fireplace later absorbing every picture in this book. This is one you'll take out for the holiday season year after year. Available in limited supply for $36.00. There's a link to a Picturetrail previewing several dozen pages from the book on my web site, so do check that out.

Hoping everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving day! As usual, the meal is always a challenge to get on the table reasonably warm, and everything has to come together at the very last minute, but we did it! It's been nice to have an extended visit with my son, his girlfriend and baby-to-be. Lots of sleeping in this morning after eating quite well yesterday!

Don't forget I'm having a Black Friday, Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday sales event - 25% off on all cross-stitch and needlepunch patterns not on my What's New page, now through Monday, Nov. 29th. Don't hassle with pepper spray-wielding crowds! Free shipping too!

Happy (& Safe) Shopping!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your stuffing be tasty,
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes 'n gravy,
Have nary a lump,
May your yams be delicious,
May your pies take the prize,
May your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off of your thighs.

~ Owen K. Lorion

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday

Three big sales days are coming, right on Thanksgiving's heels. Black Friday, of course, then it's Small Business Saturday, followed quickly by Cyber Monday, the busiest on-line sales day of the holiday season. To take part, I'm offering a 25% discount on cross-stitch and needlepunch items ordered from Friday through Cyber Monday, Nov. 28th. Any order that includes cross-stitch or needlepunch items will receive 25% on those items. Only the brand new patterns on my What's New page will be excluded. And, shipping will be FREE for these four days, through Monday, Nov. 28th. It's a good chance to stock up on patterns you've had your eye on, and there's plenty of time to create some wonderful holiday gifts and decorations for your tree and home.

There won't be a coupon code to enter as my shopping cart isn't smart enough to just apply the 25% to certain things, so I'll manually apply your discount when I process your credit card order, or, if you use PayPal, I'll be processing refunds to your PayPal account. No shipping charge will show on orders, however.

This was last night's snow total forecast for my area. When the sun came up I checked, and we've already got at least six inches on the ground if not more. Hoping we don't lose power! I've still got vacuuming to finish and pies to bake! Better get to it... Stay safe, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's the Weekend

Well, it's actually Tuesday, but I just got my box of Blackbird Designs' new book, Weekend. We've become accustomed to Barb Adams' and Alma Allen's gorgeous and feminine quilt designs, and this book does not disappoint. While mostly quilts featuring their fabric line from Moda, Blueberry Crumb Cake, there is also a hooked rug, sampler, treasure box, pinkeep and even instructions for hand-poured candles, all with their signature style. I'm ready for a little Weekend, how about you?

Coats & Clark Summer Brown all-purpose sewing thread is listed in Maggie Bonanomi's books as her thread of choice for her hand work projects. It's a great neutral for Maggie's color palette. We've got 225 yard spools for your convenience.

Tomorrow is "Pie Day", if we don't lose power during the very ill-timed Nor'easter churning our way! Timing is everything, Mother Nature! Couldn't wait until after Thanksgiving? Busiest travel day of the year? Really?? Oh well, I just hope my son and pregnant girlfriend make it up to Maine OK. Mom will be a nervous wreck until I see those headlights come up the driveway.

Stay safe, all!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don't Fear the Finish!

So - your rug is all hooked. Now for the part we all dread - the finishing! Well, dread no more! Kris Miller of Spruce Ridge Studios has put together a booklet called The Grand Finale: Finish What You Start with her 5 favorite rug finishing techniques. Each one is incredibly detailed, with step-by-step photographs that will really help you understand each process, something this visual girl needs. I now feel as though I can tackle any of these rug finishes with confidence! A "must-have" for your rug hooking library. At $18.95, it's a good price for a great reference.

Holiday Fair Season

Don't you love all the holiday craft fairs this time of year? Pretty much any weekend you can find one at a school or local church, and there are great finds and great food, with something for everyone. This Saturday, Nov. 19th from 9-2 I'll be participating in the Durham Community School's Craft/Business Fair. It's sponsored by the Durham PTA, who will be having a bake sale as well as selling coffee and lunch items. Proceeds will benefit the students' enrichment programs and field trips. I'll be one of over 40 vendors so it should be fun.

The Durham Community School is located on 654 Hallowell Rd. in Durham and the fair takes place in the cafeteria. Free admission! Hope to see a few familiar faces from local folks!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We Have a Winner!

Blog follower Patti will be getting a half yard of wool for giving me her suggestion for a wool kit - Maggie Bonanomi's Tropicals Under Glass from her book, Nature's Offerings. Great suggestion, Patti! I hope to offer this kit perhaps sometime in early December.


Monday, November 14, 2011

New & Noteworthy

FOLK magazine is a new publication devoted to the simple things in life, handmade goods, country living and all things primitive. This is their second issue, the Christmas issue, and it's chock-full of holiday memories, recipes, how-tos for crafts and needleart, gift wrapping and ornament ideas, and tons of ads sprinkled throughout for folk art and primitive artists you'll want to check out. Just over 150 pages, beautifully photographed. A "must have" publication! Just got my shipment in, they're ready to go at a retail price of $6.95 plus about $3.00 for shipping.

Arriving soon - the newest book from Blackbird Designs, Weekend. As we can always count on with Blackbird Designs' books, it will be filled with beautiful quilts and delicate stitchery and other projects that we love.

Looking at my Preview before publishing this post I see we've got a pretty blue and white theme going here. I love that color combination. A charming way to start the week! Enjoy...

P.S. After weighing this magazine, it looks like it will have to be shipped via USPS Priority Mail. First Class is not an option, nor is Media Mail, which is restricted to educational material without advertising. My cost for USPS Priority Mail is $4.75. If you pay via PayPal and your total order shipping charge is less than this I will send you a PayPal invoice for the additional shipping cost. Credit card orders will be charged actual shipping costs. Of course, orders over $50 receive free shipping, as they always have!