Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

This is the "Google Doodle" for today, Leap Day, Feb. 29th, 2012. Google does a very clever job changing up their "doodles" for notable dates and occasions. This one depicts Leap Day, of course, with the iconic frogs, but it also remembers Gioachino Rossini's 220th birthday. Don't worry, I didn't know who he was either, but after a little research, found out that he was an Italian composer, nicknamed "the Italian Mozart", and wrote the opera The Barber of Seville. The frogs are most likely performing one of Rossini's operas here.

Other fun Leap Day facts:

* As you probably know, we have a Leap Day in years that are evenly divisible by 100, but did you know that the year must also be divisible by 400? That's why 1900 did not have a Leap Day, but the year 2000 did.

* In some countries it's a tradition that a woman can propose to a man on Leap Day. If he refuses, he's obligated to give the woman money or buy her a dress! In European high society, if the man refuses the woman's proposal, he is supposed to buy the woman 12 pairs of gloves, in order for her to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring.

* Greeks consider it unlucky to marry on Leap Day, or even anytime during the leap year.

Check out Wikipedia for more information.

Have a great Leap Day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beary Cute

This munchkin and her parents spent the weekend at Nana's house - that's me! What a special time I had bonding with her. So many hugs and kisses! I loved feeding her, burping her, letting her nap for hours in my arms. Just the best! And how great is this newfangled thing called the "Boppy" pillow?? Wish I'd invented that! It would have made my life so much easier 30 years ago.

I'm just so impressed at how great my son, Russ is with his baby - both of them, really, but a lot of guys his age wouldn't want to be bothered, or they'd be totally flummoxed at the thought of dealing with a squirmy, fussy little creature. Russ is very hands-on and can take on any baby-related task as if he's been doing it all his life. I'm so proud of him! Mom Tracey is great with her too, very confident, not a bit nervous for a new mom. They're already great parents. I think I must have been a basket case when my son was born. I didn't have a clue how to handle a baby. We all learned together!

The little angel has gone back home now, and the house is sadly quiet again. I hope it won't be long before they come back for another visit! I keep reliving different moments over and over again in my head. Guess I'll be on a "Nana high" for a few days!

Hope you had great weekend too!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Warm & Wooly

Love wool applique? Perfect for penny rugs are these cute Wooly Charms packs from In the Patch Designs. Each packet has five 5" squares of hand-dyed wool, over-dyed onto various textured base wools. Collect several colors for your wool applique stash! I love the way they're put together too, each pack with two buttons attaching the label. These will sell for $8.50 and several color packs as well as a "Fabulous Five" pack will be available.

Warm and wooly wishes to you!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ghosts of Holidays Past

Remember this rug? It's Polly Minick's July 4th Parade. It was one of the rugs I posted before last 4th of July. As a result, I had many people email me to ask where they could get the pattern. Well, there's good news - this is one of the projects in Polly's new American Summer book.

Your pre-ordered 'Tis the Season books will be shipping out today, and I even have a couple unspoken for on my web site.

Happy 4th of Christmas!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hearts a-Flutter

Valentine's Day has come and gone, but this new pattern for four little sewing projects called Be My Valentine from Country Stitches/With Thy Needle & Thread can keep that Valentine's Day feeling going a while longer. If you were the lucky recipient of a little Whitman's Sampler box of chocolates for the holiday, you can repurpose it to make a heartfelt sewing box for your sewing space. Tuck a spring-inspired pincushion, needlekeep and needle threader inside and embellish the box any way you like. How sweet!

As for my chocolate treat, my husband bought me a bag of these - Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares with raspberry filling. Is there any better combination than chocolate and raspberry? I'm trying to pace myself, only one or two a day, so they'll last a while. It's not easy!

Hope you had a sweet Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Heart Day!

This was the prettiest picture of Valentine's Day cookies I could find. Wish I had the patience to decorate like this! They look much too pretty to eat.

Hope your Valentine's Day is just as sweet!

Monday, February 13, 2012

It's Summertime!

The UPS guy arrived right before dinner with my shipment of American Summer by Polly Minick. So many nautical-inspired hooked rugs, and a few quilts and a "cool" tote bag as well, perfect for a day at the beach. If you're a fan of red, white & blue, the rugs in this book are for you! To those of you who pre-ordered this book, I'll begin shipping them tomorrow, Valentine's Day, and your shipping will be free as promised. Thank you for pre-ordering!

Thinking sweet thoughts of summer on a chilly Maine night. Stay warm!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Working With Wool

If you bought Maggie Bonanomi's newest book, Buttonwood Farm, you'll recognize this project, Wool Bird Applique Pillow. Digging around in my wool stash I was able to pull very similar wools in order to offer a kit to make this, just in time for spring. Included in the kit is a spool of Maggie's "go to" thread for all her applique, Coats & Clarks Summer Brown, just back in stock. I've priced the kits at $20.00. Buttonwood Farm is sold separately and retails for $24.95.

Another kit I pulled together is one for Maggie's Old Heart Pin Keep. I've offered mine done all in wool and switched the blue heart for a red wool one. Also included is a wonderful repurposed silk ribbon with an aged look. It has flecks of pink here and there and will look wonderful on the finished heart. I hope to have a picture of a finished heart soon. The wool and silk ribbon kit is priced at $12.00, and of course Buttonwood Farm is sold separately.

Finally, I've added more kits for the Lynda Hall Penny Pouch project from the Winter issue of Primitive Quilts & Projects. Wools and flosses will be similar, but not exactly as pictured on my web site. Definitely a "make do" kit pulled from my wool stash! Contact me if you have any questions on kits.

It's so nice to work with wool during winter! There's something very soothing about it, don't you think?

Have a warm and wooly day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Amazing Artwork & Shameless Plug

This cool poster was created by my son, Russ Thomas, who produces custom artwork under the business name of Creative Nation Design. His specialty is logo and brand design and he has a great knack for capturing the graphic essence of an idea.

These are some wonderful, whimsical animal tiles Russ painted for his new daughter, Sophie's nursery. If you'd like more information on custom artwork, please contact me.

Have a creative day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

No Joy in Mudville...

Well, Tom Brady and the Pats played a helluva game, but a win was not in the cards for New England. What makes it sting even more is that this was sort of a rematch of the 2007 Super Bowl with the same two teams. We were so hoping to beat the Giants this time! Patriots fans are a little stunned and sad this morning. Guess we'll have to look forward to next season!

On a brighter note, the new issue of FOLK arrived, right before I left for a family visit out of state. The stack of magazines is here and ready to be packed up and shipped off.

My family visit was great! I got to have lots of "baby time" with my new granddaughter, Sophie, who's getting bigger by the day. She's close to eight pounds now, just about double her premie birth weight from a little over a month ago. Can't believe I forgot to bring my camera, so I'm waiting for pictures Mom & Dad took. Also got to see my Mom, who was positively beaming when she got to hold her great-granddaughter, two of my brothers, my 2-year old niece, Jade, and my aunt. A great time was had by all, but these get-togethers go by way too fast. Hoping to see everyone again much sooner.

Happy Monday!