Friday, September 30, 2011

Afternoon Coffee Break

This is what I'll be snacking on with my afternoon coffee, and this is what I'll be reading. We've already had a piece of this Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf for dessert last night, and it's great! Chocolatey, a touch spicey and super moist. I'll be making this again and again! The easy recipe is below (courtesy of Carrots 'n Cake's blog):


1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 can (7.5 ounces) pumpkin

Optional: 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped nuts or both (I used walnuts)


1. Preheat oven to 325*F. Grease loaf pan.
2. Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl; blend well.
3. Once mixed, pour batter into loaf pan.
4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until top is firm and a toothpick comes out clean.
5. Allow loaf to cool for 15 minutes.

The October issue of The Wool Street Journal just came yesterday. In it, Sally Van Nuys (Folk 'n Fiber) has an article titled, For the Love of an Old Rug that I want to read first. Kris Miller (Spruce Ridge Studios) contributed a piece about Dyeing Sheep Curls that sounds very interesting. Also included is a cute needlepunch design called Pumpkin Seed Packet, a design for you to punch or hook as you desire called No Peeking!, a dye formula and recipe for a Pumpkin Crunch Cake that I might have to make next - and much more. Only a handful of issues are available as I've scaled back my buying these days, but if there is still interest when these are gone I can always get more!

We're back to a warm and sunny day today, so afternoon coffee will be taken on the front porch. Can't wait! May your afternoon coffee break be as yummy and relaxing!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Coming Attractions

We've got another new book coming soon: Rug Hooking Traditions with Magdalena Briner Eby. Magdalena Briner Eby lived in Perry County, PA during the Civil War. The rugs she hooked during her lifetime are regarded as quintessential examples of American folk art, prized in private collections and up-scale antique shops and auction houses all over the country. In the book are depictions of what life was like during this time for Magdalena and her family. The authors examine the materials she used in her rugs as well as her use of color and design. Over two dozen historic black and white photos and over eighty color photos of Magdalena's works are presented. This will be a book to savor on a cool, autumn eve, to inspire your own rug hooking projects.

Unfortunately I cannot offer a pre-order deal on this book; however, if you'd like me to reserve one for you, I have a limited supply on order. The book will retail for $24.95. I hope to have it in stock within a week or so.

Happy Hooking!

Update: Due to numerous requests, I have enabled this book for pre-order, with the stipulation that I cannot pay for shipping for this particular title. Thank you for your interest! ~Wendy

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Next Projects

This is a "Taggie" baby blanket. You may have seen, purchased or even made one yourself. That's what I'm getting started on next. I've got a granddaughter due to enter the world this February, so it's time for all things PINK! This is a photo of a taggie that is my inspiration for the one I want to make for her. I'm using "Minky" fabric, super-ultra-wicked soft, in shades of Fuchsia and Kiwi. It was fun shopping for different pink and green ribbons to use for the tags along the sides. I found an easy tutorial on how to make these taggie blankets: Click Here

I also have a hooked child's chair pad in hit-or-miss style using pastels. This will adorn a cute little green painted chair I found at an antique shop. The hooking is 99.9% complete - I'll take a picture when it's finished. After these two projects I have a quilt to make:

This pattern is called "Tickled Pink" by Cotton Way. Looks easy enough, lots of straight-sewn strips, sliced and mixed up, then reconstructed in a sixteen-patch set on point. I should have the pattern any time now and can go have more shopping fun looking for just the right pink fabrics.

Aren't new projects and new grandbabies FUN?

Enjoy your week,

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall!

Fall officially arrived early this morning, 5:05am ET to be exact. It's probably my absolute favorite time of the year, and I think that holds true for most of you, too. The leaves are really starting to turn here in Maine, pumpkins and mums are everywhere and the fall fairs are beginning all over the state. Now that the heat of summer is a fading memory, thoughts are turning from the beach and working in the garden to indoor craft projects. Enter more new arrivals - Need'l Love's Pumpkin Patch Threads is back in stock, as well as some of Need'l Love's classic autumn and holiday Threads books and two of their "Simply" booklets, Santa Moon and Scare the Crows. All but Pumpkin Patch Threads are at reduced prices.

Have a great fall weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Something Old, Something New

"Make new friends, but keep the old; One is silver, the other is gold." - traditional Girl Scouts song

I have new friends and old friends on my web site - three new needlepunch patterns from Country Stitches/With Thy Needle & Thread, and some of their returning favorites for upcoming holidays - yes, I said it, upcoming! It's almost October for goodness' sake!

New are Tending the Pumpkins, a nice punch needle pocket design, Wool Farm (for all you wool lovers, and aren't we all?), and Pumpkin Hill (for all you pumpkin lovers, and again, aren't we all?). Returning favorites include Glad Tidings, a multi-project pack, Blessed Harvest, the most wonderful white pumpkin with a turkey, Olde World St. Nick and Ho Ho Ho, two great St. Nick wool applique patterns that I rediscover every year.

Well, it was bound to happen... My first sell-out of Maggie Bonanomi's wild hit, Buttonwood Farm. But, fear not - all my pre-orders for the book shipped - see how GREAT pre-ordering is? It helps me so much! I ordered two dozen beyond all my pre-orders, and POUF! Just like that. Back to the fearing not - more are on the way, and for those who ordered after they went out of stock, I'll throw in the bonus Spooky Threads book as a little condolence prize for having to wait a few extra days.

The good news is that I've heard that Kansas City Star will also be sending my order of Victory Girls as they have them ready to ship. So, those pre-orders will be heading out just as soon as I get my hands on those boxes. The UPS guy commented on the four heavy boxes of books he delivered recently - little does he know he's going to have a repeat performance!

Tomorrow is the first day of fall, y'all. Cooler temps, lovely really cool nights and the flannel sheets are BACK! Love it! Fall fairs are coming up and I'll get to be up close and personal with all the animals again. What a great time of year! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Let 'er roll!"

Now that I've received my first shipment of the new Maggie Bonanomi and Renee Plains books, it'll be assembly line time around here for the rest of the week! Not quite like this, but I know the drill. Enjoy this timeless classic from a vintage I Love Lucy show and think of me as you await your yummy new books.

To those of you who pre-ordered these two titles, shipping has begun. Since they are now in stock, orders dated Sept. 12 and later are no longer considered pre-orders. However, pre-ordering is still available for the Minick & Simpson book, Victory Girls, as well as the James Cramer/Jill Peterson book, 'Tis the Season. Confused? Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

Gotta get to work! Thanks to those of you who pre-ordered books. Watch your mailboxes! These two are worth waiting for.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Maggie & Renee

In addition to getting new books from Maggie Bonanomi and Renee Plains, re-stock of their previous books will be back as well, including Maggie's great Comfort Zone from last summer. I'll also have Nature's Offerings and With These Hands.

Renee Plain's first book, A Bird in Hand, was my highest selling book ever, and will be coming back soon as well. If you missed this when it was first released you'll want to grab one now.

The pre-orders for the new books have been coming in fast and furious - boy, I'll be busy for at least a week shipping books out once they arrive! And that's a GOOD thing! If you haven't pre-ordered yet, there's still time - as long as you order before I have the books in stock you'll get free shipping for domestic orders, "half-free" for international orders, plus a free copy of Need'l Love's Spooky Threads, in time for fall craft projects.

Rain, rain, go away! It's making physical therapy for my recovering knee harder. But, I was able to straighten my leg a little better than last week, so I'll try to grin and bear it through the raindrops.

Happy Hump Day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

No Patience!

I finally have book covers for Maggie Bonanomi's new book, Buttonwood Farm, and Renee Plains' Stitches from the Schoolhouse. They both look GREAT and I'm having a huge attack of impatience! Can't wait to get my hands on these and settle in with my coffee to absorb every single page! These and two other upcoming books (see a couple of posts ago) are enabled for pre-ordering. Pre-orders will get free shipping and a free bonus book, Need'l Love's classic Spooky Threads, while supplies last. This time I'm even springing for splitting shipping costs for international customers, so you guys get a chance at a pre-order deal this time around.

Can't believe so many folks are still recovering from the effects of hurricane Irene! My thoughts are with you and hope you can get back to some degree of normalcy soon. I feel kind of guilty whining about our loss of power for 2-1/2 days when others are totally stranded, flooded or lost their crops due to the heavy winds and rain.

Take good care,