Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Two Februarys

Way-too-early buds and blossoms (the daffodil was purchased, but the other blooms came of their own accord), growing grass that had to be mowed, sunshine as well as rain.

Then... suddenly, Winter came. After a season bereft of snow, it came and came and came. And we were glad.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Learning to Swim

I have two very cautious kids. Kids who each had varying degrees of fear/discomfort/lack of trust when it came to deep water (deep being anything above their waist). Standard group swim lessons were most certainly not for them. So, a few years ago, I enlisted a lovely friend to begin working with them in the water. Faithfully, every Friday afternoon, the three of them played, turning the lesson into fun, with their teacher gently but firmly building up their trust of the water.

We took breaks for Summer and for vacations and for illnesses, but a few years later, the payoff has been well worth the effort. I now have two kids who are super sad that the community pool is going to be closed for a few months for repairs. They absolutely can't wait to get back into the water. And... they miss their wonderful teacher. So do I.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Valentines

This guy. We've had 20 Valentine's Days together now. Things are different than they were way back then. Then it was all about fancy restaurants and one-upping the previous year. Now, we share the day with our little Valentines (love takes all shapes and sizes); we celebrate family love instead of romantic love, although there is something to be said for romantic love that grows deep and strong and steady even after the excitement and thrill diminishes.

This year there were lovely flowers and dinner at my favorite local Thai restaurant.

But then... in addition... my Farmboy gave me the most romantic gift I could possibly imagine.

He gave me the sunset.

On a section of our Western horizon, where trees used to block the sun all winter long, he carved out a path, so those elusive setting-sun's beams can reach my eyes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

2018 Market Preview

Well, here it is, Ladies and Gents! My official 2018 Nashville Needlework Market preview. Click on the photo to see it a little larger.

I am now accepting pre-orders, but only through your local needlework shop that will be attending Market. Feel free to flood their inbox and answering machine with requests!

The details: I have 5 new releases this year. Yes, you heard that right, FIVE. Some designers do more, I know, but this is the maximum that I can handle, so hopefully it's enough to keep you happy for awhile.

From left to right:

Prairie Life Sampler (Market Exclusive): $12

Festive Little Fobs Three: Stitching Edition: $10

Thou God Seest Me: $10

Queen Bee Pincushion: $10

Coffee Bean Sampler: the Magical Elixir Series #4: $10

What does "Market Exclusive" mean? It means that this design will only be available through shops that attend Market for the first month. I will not be offering it through my Etsy shop for one month after Market. You will not be able to get it from any shop that did not attend Market for one month. Even my distributors will not have it available for one month. But shops that attend Market can get as many as they want/need, even if that means placing re-orders after Market, that I send via mail. Get the idea?

This is my way of saying THANK YOU to the shop owners who go to the trouble/expense of attending Market instead of staying home and ordering from the comfort of their home or shop. If shop owners did not attend Market in person, then there would be much excitement and enthusiasm lost; networking would not happen; relationships would not blossom. I absolutely LOVE getting to meet and chat with all parts of this cross-stitching industry when I go to Market, but it is expensive and LOTS OF WORK for all involved. Those of us selling and those that go to shop! I know it might sound dreamy to you all that don't get to be there, and don't get me wrong, it is an amazing time, but it is also HARD. So, I will ALWAYS have at least one Market exclusive, and this is both my way, and potentially YOUR way of thanking your local shop owner, by ordering the exclusives through them right away, instead of waiting until it is available to everyone. Okay? Sermon over.  :)

If you are a shop owner viewing this post, there will be an email going out to Market attendees this afternoon or tomorrow, that will include all the details, such as linen, threads, stitch count, etc., to help you prepare your shopping list for Market. Please wait to contact me with pre-orders and questions until you've received that message.

And now, since you've made it this far, here's a video clip in which I give a little more info and show each of the new designs up close and personal:

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Early Winter

The new year started as usual with a late Christmas celebration with my side of the family, lovingly dubbed "Newmas". All of my state-side siblings were there with their spouses and kiddos, making for a festive and noisy celebration. We're pretty sure that we're all done with the manufacturing of babies, so it should be coasting from here on out, right?

With only a few rather frosty mornings and one skiff of snow early on, Winter has not seemed like Winter at all this go around. Mild days, not-quite-cold nights. Some days downright warm in our estimation. Rain, but not too much, buds forming early, wildlife getting fat and sassy from the feast at the feeder. A rather unremarkable and disappointingly temperate.