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!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hi-Tech Hijinx

My web site has been down all day due to web host server upgrade issues, but it looks like we're back online now. Glad it wasn't as bad as one time years ago with a previous web host who brought all their client sites down for about two weeks!! That's what made me change to my current web host, whose record of web site up-time is excellent - problems such as today's are rare. I am with Create a Shoppe, a DIY web site and store builder. Very intuitive, easy to maintain and low cost. If you're in the market for a service such as this, do check them out!

Saturday night... What shall I do? Some rug hooking? Watch a movie? Surf the 'net? Not sure. Hubby is downstairs watching hockey so I'm on my own. Should call my Mom - yeah, that's what I'll do. She's debating making the trip up to Maine for Thanksgiving this year. Think I'll make a "sales call" and try to seal the deal.

Enjoy your Saturday night!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wonderful Wool!

Yum Yum! I just received a big box of wonderful hand-dyed wool bundles from Blackberry Primitives. Shown is a collection called "Holiday Surprise". Reds, greens, golds - great for holiday projects. There are six different bundles to choose from, each one has ten different hand-dyed wools, both solids and textureds, in 7" x 8" pieces. I'm selling these for $28.00 a bundle, and they're already going fast! The chillier temperatures and less daylight has really rekindled everyone's desire for projects working with WOOL!

Speaking of which, I've put together another little wool and floss kit to make the adorable Penny Pouch, a Lynda Hall design from the Winter issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects. This little wool "crazy quilt" bag is on my "must make" list and I've already got my wools color-planned for it. This little "helper" kit will give you seven 6" squares of hand-dyed and textured wools, plus a hand-dyed black for one of the patches plus enough for your initials, should you choose to put them on the bag front as Lynda did. There are also five primary colored DMC flosses to use for the embroidery embellishments. These little kits are priced at $10.00 and are available under my Kits section. Here's Lynda's sweet little wool bag:

Don't forget to comment on my Nov. 9th post, "It's All About the Fun" with your suggestion for a great project for me to offer as a future kit. I'll pick the suggestion I like the most next Wednesday and will send that person a half yard of wool as a Thank You!

Have a warm and wooly weekend!

Thank a Veteran

If you live in a free country, thank a veteran today! Let's celebrate their service and support those still serving.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's All About the Fun

I made up the rest of the White-on-White Wool Applique Bag kits today. The base wool and reproduction print I used for the lining (a Jo Morton print, by the way) are used up and my ivory buttons are pretty much gone. But what fun it was putting them together! I love it all - color-planning, cutting the pieces, selecting the buttons, ironing the fabrics before they're packaged, even choosing the right font to print on the paper label I staple to the bag. It's all FUN! I'd forgotten how much fun making kits is, and I need to do more of it. But there are so many patterns - so many and so little time! Is there a particular wool or wool & fabric pattern you'd like to see kitted? Leave a comment on this post or shoot me an email - next Wednesday I'll pick the suggestion that I can best create a great kit for and send the suggester (is that a word??) a nice piece of wool. So, get those books, mags and patterns out, and let me know what you want!

And as far as more White-on-White kits - I'm working on pulling some similar wool and fabric combinations together and might have a source for more old ivory buttons. Watch this space for updates...

In stitches,

P.S. I forgot to say, the design needs to be from a book or pattern that I sell. Patti's suggestion of a Maggie Bonanomi design from one of her book's, Nature's Offerings, definitely fits the bill and is a great suggestion - Thanks, Patti! Keep 'em coming! ~Wendy

Monday, November 7, 2011


This is Maggie Bonanomi's White-on-White Wool Applique Bag design from the latest issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine. It knocked me out, and I know lots of others love it too! So, taking inventory of my supplies, I saw that I could make up kits for this great bag. I substituted a lovely, oatmeal wool for the sometimes hard-to-find (and pricey) silk matka Maggie used, and combined it with a slightly lighter, natural wool for the appliques, five antique ivory buttons from my personal button stash, and a skein of ivory linen floss for hand sewing. For the lining, I chose a nice, tan and brown reproduction shirting fabric.

I've priced this kit at $20. Only two are available while I search for more oatmeal wool for the outer bag!

In stitches,

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oh Boy!

Just arrived today! The Primitive Quilts and Projects Winter issue! Sixteen new projects from folks like Maggie Bonanomi, Renee Plains, Lori Brechlin, Jan Patek, Lynda Hall and more. I think this is the best issue yet! Click here for a short video peek inside the issue. I've got a good supply, so get 'em while they're hot! (Will require $3.24 in USPS First Class postage.)

Have a creative weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How About Ewe?

This is Sheep - a set of three full-sized paper patterns for rug hooking from Primitive Spirit. Baa is a 7-1/2" x 10" rug that could embellish a bag or mount on an old suitcase. My friend, designer Kim Dubay did just that, and it looks awesome. Go to Sheep is a 10" circle that could be a chair pad or made into a pillow with prodded wool fringe as shown here. Finally, Wooly is a 8" x 9" heart-shaped design that can be hooked as-is or centered, as Karen Kahle has done, in a 10" x 11" rectangle with a hit-or-miss background, which I just love. This pattern set is $15.00.
This sweet little paper pattern set, also from Primitive Spirit is Owl Babies. Three little owls to hook that can be combined any way you like, or made individually into little heart-shaped mini pillows as shown. I made the one in the middle, named Knap. Shilo and Wari are his buddies. This set of three designs is only $5.00.

Happy Hooking!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eat, Punch, Browse

I'm always looking for great, unusual recipes. With the impending October Nor'easter on our doorstep last Saturday, I had to run out to the herb garden and salvage all my flat leaf Italian parsley before it got buried under heavy snow. Figuring I'd make a batch of traditional tabbouleh, I went to Google for the classic recipe. I read through a few to find something a little different and found this - Cranberry Walnut Tabbouleh from the myrecipes.com web site, and originally from Cooking Light back in 2004. It's awesome! I love the combination of the bulgur wheat and reconstituted dried cranberries, walnuts, red onion and lemon. Lunch today was a whole wheat pita pocket filled with this wonderful concoction, and I've got plenty of parsley left to make a few more batches. Here's the easy recipe:

Cranberry Walnut Tabbouleh

1 cup bulgur wheat
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine bulgur and cranberries in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water, and let stand 30 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff bulgur mixture with a fork. Stir in chopped parsley and the remaining ingredients, and toss gently to combine.

Changes I made were to omit the mint as I didn't have any on hand or left in the garden, and I used my regular, good quality EVOO in place of walnut oil - if you watch Rachel Ray you'll know that means Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I'll definitely try it with walnut oil at some point though.

From Eat to Punch - I've got some new needlepunch designs from Buttermilk Basin. This one is called Punched Sheep, a great dimensional piece that mimics a hooked rug design, also available. Punched Pineapple matches a hooked version as well. Check out lots more new patterns on my What's New page. There's the Browse part!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Time to Warm Up

It's coming! We finally broke down and turned the heat on over the weekend. Actually, we'd been using a little space heater in the bedroom at night until we turned in, and our gas fireplace downstairs while holding off using the main heating system until it got it's annual cleaning last Saturday. Even though daytime temps have been in the 50s, we know it's here - wool blanket weather.

This is a penny rug (or wool applique, if you prefer) pattern from Lake View Primitives called Snow Berries. This plump ewe would be warm enough with her thick coat, but she's sporting a spiffy wool blanket adorned with seasonal holly leaves just because. Raid your stash of hand-dyed wool and whip up this quick-stitch wallhanging or table covering that you can leave out all winter long.

Watching the first snow of the season melting away, but it's only a matter of time until it's around until April or May. Ugh!! Not really ready for it!

Have a great day,