Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unofficial Start of "Summah"

The Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the unofficial start of summer, or "summah" as it's pronounced here in Maine! This picture is from Maine humorist Gary Crocker. I thought it fitting for today's post.

I decided to celebrate what for most folks is their favorite season with the biggest sale yet - 30% off your entire order when you enter the discount code "SUMMAH" at check-out. This is for new orders, back-orders do not apply. The code is not case-sensitive, I put it in all caps here to highlight the word. The code will be active through this Saturday, June 2nd. Feel free to share with family and friends, and it can be reused as well.

Hope your Memorial Day weekend was relaxing and fun. I hear planting was the most popular activity and we were no exception. Some veggies and herbs are in the ground and seeds started for more. A few perennials were added to our collection. Looking forward to an abundant summer with lots of flowers and good things to eat.

Enjoy your short work week!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's the Bzzzzz

I made this little bee skep pin some time ago and love wearing it. People comment on it all the time. It looks great worn on a spring green cotton sweater. Kits seemed like a fun idea, so I made up a bunch and they're available on my web site for $10. The kits include #6 wool strips (may vary from sample), piece of wool for pin backing, bit of dark brown wool roving to needlefelt the bee skep opening, pin back, piece of cardboard to give your pin some stability (optional), color picture, written instructions and little design on paper for you to trace on your preferred rug backing. Make your pin with the wool provided or dive into your own stash and color plan it your way. I'd love to see your finished pins!

The sun is shining after all the rain we've had the past few days. My mood is greatly improved! Let's see if I can get out there and do something in the yard. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Last Call for Book Sale!

Last call to save 25% on those books you've had your eye on!
Need to round out your Maggie Bonanomi collection, for example?

There are dozens more to choose from - browse through all the Books categories to see if there's something you "need". Sale prices will be given on orders placed through midnight Wednesday, EST.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

A quick post to wish all the Moms out there a wonderful Mother's Day! Do click on the picture to read this lovely sentiment from an 1890s book. Very sweet, and just reinforces the fact that there is no love like a mother's love.

I hope you spend the day wrapped in the warmth of your families.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another Sale!

I'm still in "sale mode", so when I took a look at the many books in my inventory I thought it would be a great time to make room for what I know will be coming my way in a few months. ALL BOOKS are on sale for 25% off - stock up on titles you've been contemplating, or stock up for upcoming holiday gifts, or just gift yourself! No exclusions - get out your reading glasses and have at 'em! And remember, shipping is free on orders of $50 or more. As with other sales, I'll apply your discount when I process your credit card order, or refund your discount to your PayPal account if you pre-pay using that method.

Special Purchase:

Haven't checked out FOLK yet? It's a great new publication about the simple life, great American artisans and exploring our great country. Here's the scoop: after selling out of last year's Christmas issue I neglected to reduce the number of issues I purchase wholesale when interest in magazines typically falls off. So, my mistake will allow you to get the first issue of 2012 at a reduced price of $4.00. You may find a new "must have" read.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

You Whoo

Owls rule! I hear them in the woods behind our house on warm nights. You see them in art everywhere. How about hooking some?

From Primitive Spirit, Owl Babies is a set of 3 paper patterns for adorable little 5-1/2" hooked, heart-shaped pals to sit in a bookshelf, as a pincushion on your sewing table, grouped in an old wooden bowl, etc., etc. Pattern set - $10.00. I made the middle guy, so cute with little tufted ears! He/she was really fun and fast to hook and finish.

Also from Primitive Spirit, the three hooked stockings, Greygown, Hortensia, and Bronwyn, are designs drawn on premium linen and sell for $39.00 each. All are 12" x 17" and come with color picture and illustrated finishing instructions. I'm trying to decide which one I want to make.

Whoo loves these as much as I do?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just the Flax, Ma'am

On rainy days I generally find myself rummaging through my favorite recipes looking for something to bake. Lately it's been loaf cakes and breads, and I've been using ground flaxseed meal quite a bit. Hodgson Mill makes ground flaxseed meal that's a great source of Omega-3, so whenever I use it I feel a little more healthy! You can find it in most big grocery stores these days, usually in the health food or organic section.

Today I made this - probably thee best banana bread I've ever had! Click here for the recipe from Cooking Light. I make one addition: half a cup of dark chocolate chips, and this time I used 3 bananas instead of the usual two, and tried to leave them a little chunkier when mashing. Always gets rave reviews from my husband!

Here's another great cake that I make often, sometimes lemon, sometimes orange: it's Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Yogurt Cake (click here for the recipe), and boy, do we love this! I've blogged about it before, but it bears repeating because it's that good!! I omit the glaze on top, it's plenty sweet enough without it. Where the banana bread recipe actually calls for the flaxseed meal, I add it to this recipe in place of one of the eggs. As a general rule of thumb, you can replace one egg with a tablespoon of flaxseed meal and three tablespoons of water, and it doesn't affect the finished product at all. This is an extremely moist and flavorful cake, and the flecks of flaxseed meal give it some visual texture too, as well as the aforementioned health benefits.

Well, those are the "flax"! I hope you'll experiment with this healthy ingredient in your baking adventures too!

Monday, May 7, 2012

What I'm Working on Now

After the mad scramble to get samples hooked for the April hook-ins where I vended I decided to start a project I've been wanting to do for a long time - it's Karen Kahle's "Go To Sheep" proddy-fringed pillow ($15.00 for a 3-paper pattern set; find this and other Primitive Spirit hooked patterns on my web site). I'll be doing it in predominantly pinks and it will be a gift for my granddaughter, Sophie. At my most recent hook-in I picked up an armload of different pink hand-dyed and textured wools. I called it a "pink party"! No picture of my work-in-progress yet, but when I think of it I'll take a picture, and definitely a picture of the finished product. I ordered the spring-loaded proddy tool that Karen illustrates and uses in the finishing from Alice at Folk Art Primitives and can't wait for it to arrive in the mail so I can play with it!

Thank you for your Cinco de Mayo sales! Probably no hooking today - I'll be packing and shipping as many of the weekend's orders as I can, but might be able to sneak in a few loops later this afternoon after I'm back from the post office. Enjoy your new projects!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

May 5th is known as Cinco de Mayo, a day of "celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War", according to Wikipedia.

I say it's a great excuse for a sale! Let's see - May is the 5th month, multiplied by the 5th day of the month = 25. How about 25% off all needlepunch AND cross-stitch patterns all weekend? I'll even throw in an extra - one skein of over-dyed floss in a color that will complement the pattern you purchase. One per pattern, for each pattern purchased. I have a supply of Weeks Dye Works and The Gentle Art flosses that I'm working on liquidating. If I can't find a color that works well with your pattern I'll send along one to enhance your floss stash.

This sale will work the same way as others in the past - no coupon code to enter, I'll manually apply the 25% discount to the eligible items in your order, namely cross-stitch and needlepunch patterns. No exclusions! All patterns of these two types are on sale. Time to stock up on fall and winter holiday patterns so you'll be ready to make your decorations, things to sell at fall craft shows and of course gift-giving.

The sale is in effect right now and runs through the weekend. While you're visiting, check out some new items added to my web site:

Joining Karen Kahle's Vintage Colors dye book are two more back in stock - The Dusty Little Dye Book and Marbelized Wool. The Dusty Little Dye Book is also available with the 3 Cushing Perfection Acid dyes used (1 available). Marbelized Wool will teach you how to achieve beautiful and unique effects with wool using no dyes whatsoever. There is also one wool swatch set for Vintage Colors available for $25.00.

My own little dye book, Dyeing to Try is back in stock as well. Twenty-four of my own formulas for beautiful hand-dyed wool using Cushing Perfection Acid dyes. All these little dye books are $10.00 each.

There's more from Primitive Spirit too - check out the Hooked Rugs Patterns section for new additions. Think owls, birdhouses and flowers!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What's New

Haven't had a chance to put up the new Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine on my web site until this week - it's their First Anniversary Issue, with fifteen new projects for quilts, wool applique, rug hooking, and bear and more. Always a treat to see the UPS man come carrying a box of these!

More new goods tomorrow - enjoy your Hump Day evening!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fun Finishes!

It got finished! This is the pattern cover picture I created for my new hooked paper pattern set, Warm Hearts, that I debuted at this past weekend's hook-in. There are two hooked projects: Warm Hearts, the 3-heart rectangular rug, shown attached to the old wooden box that inspired my color plan, and Hearts All Around, an 8" round hooked mat. Included are the two full-sized line renditions of the hooked projects - no hooking how-tos, knowledge of transferring patterns onto rug backing and hooking skills are assumed. The samples pictured were hooked in a #8 cut and I went for a neutral color plan with an assortment of browns and creams, both as-is and hand-dyed wools from my stash. The pattern set retails for $12.00. I was really excited to sell some at the hook-in, and one woman who bought the pattern actually wanted to buy the round mat!

What's the buzz?? Another finish of mine before the hook-in was Lori Brechlin's Honey Bee Hooked Chair Pad. Everybody's hooking this one, it's great! It got a lot of attention. This was my first time using those quilly eyes, which I love, and I gave the bee's body a scrappy sort of look with all my autumn-colored worms. What a fun hooked piece! I have the pattern for sale on my web site, a paper pattern, retailing for $12.00.

More buzz - this is a little hooked bee skep pin that I made some time ago. I made a bunch of kits for this that are available on my web site for $10. The kits include #6 wool strips in various colors, a bit of dark brown wool roving (I needlefelted the bee skep's opening), a pin back, piece of wool backing for the pin, piece of cardboard (optional to give the pin some stability), full instructions to make the pin and of course the line drawing for you to transfer onto your favorite rug backing. Feel free to make several to sell at shows, but please don't copy and share patterns!

Whew! Seems I've been hooking up a storm lately! I plan to continue! Practice makes perfect, right? I saw lots of perfect this weekend, and I'm determined to refine my technique and bring some designs to life that I've got on paper. But, I think my next project will be something for my granddaughter, Sophie. It just so happens quite a bit of different pink wools made their way home with me last weekend...

Happy Hooking!