Wednesday, December 29, 2010

… only 2 more days. . .

Just a little reminder that the sale over at the website will be ending on Dec. 31. . .
All patterns & books are 25% - 75% off!  (even the new ones!) . . . & there are still a few fabric goodies left on the 'Tag Sale' page!

I also wanted to say thank you to all of you who have been ordering from the website. . . you have been keeping me a very (happily) busy girl!

Bren

Monday, December 27, 2010

daybook ::35::


. . . my little puddle of curls & fluff!

for today :: December 27, 2010

outside my window. . .   cloudy & cool.

I am thinking. . . of all the things that happened this year that have changed my life.

from the kitchen. . .  breakfast is done. . . coffee still coming (& will be all day!). . . the last batch of cookies were baked yesterday (. . . & I'm thinking that the oven will be getting a rest for awhile!)

I am wearing. . .  t-shirt & comfy J.Jill pants, pink sweater & socks. 
(I know. . . like I was still in Minnesota!)

I am creating. . .  two new embroidery projects. The stitching is done & now it's time for some patchwork.

I am remembering. . .  how much I appreciate my printer. . . I just found out he was transferred (promoted - I'm sure) & now I will need to start with someone new. (sigh.) A good lesson on appreciating what I have & not taking anything for granted. . .

I am reading. . .   'The Scarlet Thread' - by Francine Rivers. (. . . told ya I love this author!)

I am hoping . . .  to update my Quickbooks without too much trauma. . . I have a new company to add to it (more on that a little later!), & to be honest, Quickbooks is wonderful - but it intimidates the bajeebers out of me!

I am hearing. . .  reports of snow & more snow on the easy coast.

around the house. . .  it's quiet & so peaceful. . .

I am going. . .  to run a couple of errands & then it's back to the studio & office! I've kind of just passed by & waved to them over the last few holi-days. . . & now it's back to business!

one of my favorite things. . .  that we look so forward to cloudy & rainy days here.

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . as it's the end of the year & a new year, & that feeling of a new start is in the air. . . I'm thinking that I will be doing a bit of organizing & list making. 
. . . Oh yes, I'm certain there will be a lot of list making!

from my picture journal . . .
 . . . Bailey. . . the perfect picture of this sleepy, cozy morning. . .


Wishing you a sweet ending to 2010. . . as we remember those we love as well as the memories to come!
Bren

Friday, December 24, 2010

… silent night



Wishing you a wonderful celebration of this most precious . . . holy night.

Merry Christmas!

Bren . . . (& Bailey too!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

… a little sigh … a lot of snow!




Well, I finally made it.


After  cancellations, & reservations on three different flights trying to get from point 'A' to point 'B' (Tucson, AZ to Minneapolis, MN). . . I'm finally here. Whew(!)


I got the dreaded call on Saturday afternoon - telling me they had cancelled the flight I had reservations for (since it had to connect through Chicago - & the big storm was headed towards the area). . . & then I was told that everything was sold out & the soonest they could get me here to Minneapolis was late Monday evening. Problem was that I needed to be there no later than Sunday evening so I could be there on Monday to be there for my brother - now that he is at home. (. . . a 2 story home. . .)  I took the reservation . . . but I knew that I needed to get there earlier. So after scouring the Southwest website - I found that there was one more flight on Sunday - leaving from Phoenix - that wasn't sold out - but only had 2 seats left. So, I called Southwest (again) & after being on hold for what felt like forever - I got the very last seat. . . on the very last flight leaving Phoenix. The Phoenix airport is quite a bit farther than flying out of Tucson - but it sure is nice to have the option once in awhile!


I got to the airport in Phoenix several hours before my flight. . . (just in case!), & while I was waiting, I sat & stitched & ended up getting interviewed by a local news station! A lady started up a conversation with me about the delays & when she heard that I had come up from Tucson because my flights had been cancelled - & that I needed to get out that day (Sunday) - suddenly there was a cameraman, a microphone & lights! Then after she asked all her questions & got all my info, the cameraman asked if he could take a couple more takes of me sitting there doing stitchery. Let's just say, I could never e-v-e-r be an actress. I never was so nervous doing stitchery in my life!   (. . . & usually stitchery is so relaxing!)


I woke up to the view above from my window. . . the rising sun on a lot of snow!. . . That's a lot of effort you see there in the 2 - 4 ft. piles of snow that was shoveled, blown with a snow blower, & then repeated about every 2 hours as the snow was falling that fast. (Then. . . after most folks had their driveways all cleared - it seems that's when the snow clearing trucks come to plow the streets. . . & then there's a huge pile of snow at the end of everyone's driveway. . .! Again!)


We had a good day though - Scott my brother, made it down stairs. . . (a huge thing when you've just had your hip replaced 5 days ago!) & when the nurse came - he got a good report. (. . . even after he almost fainted from having to stand so long when he had his surgery dressing changed.) So, we are taking it a little bit each day. Tomorrow I get to venture out a bit & drive over to Starbucks to get him his new favorite - the Caramel Apple Spice drink. He said it's like drinking a caramel covered granny smith apple. Umm. . . yum. I may just have to break my little (ha!) Mocha habit & try one myself! . . . & with all the cold & snow . . . I'm sure it will even taste better than ever!


I will try to get some more photos up in a day or two. I didn't get any outside because I could only be out for about a minute or two. . . & then it felt like my nose was about to fall off! Sigh!. . . at time I really do miss Minnesota. . . but I don't miss the brutal cold!  Thankfully around mid-week it might even get all the way up to the low 20's!. . . Woo-hoo! Then we can spend all sorts of time outside!  ;o) 


Take care everyone!


Bren

Saturday, December 11, 2010

. . . a little trip


In September, I visited my brother & his family in the Minneapolis, MN area. . . & after enjoying the cooler temperatures & the beautiful colors, I decided that I needed to make it an annual event. I used to live in the Minneapolis area - & it was nice to wander around a bit & visit old haunts & discover new ones as well. Little did I know that I would be taking another little trip to Minneapolis before the year is done, but it turns out that I will be spending the next 10 days in the wonderful land-o'-lakes!


After dealing with a lot of pain for way too long, my brother had to have hip replacement surgery this past week, & it appears that he has had a few complications with the anesthesia recovery & it has slowed his progress on after surgery recovery down a bit. He will get to come home from the hospital (hopefully tomorrow - Sunday) - but since they live in a two story house, & since my sister-in-law (who is a teacher) must return back to work on Monday, I'm going to help out with taking Scott (my brother) to his follow-up appointments, labs & re-hab. This will make this a record breaking year for me visiting Minneapolis. . . my third time! (. . . & no complaining from me!) . . . & I'm just happy that I can be of some help.



The thing is. . . as of today, Minneapolis is getting hit by a great big blizzard! (10 - 16 inches of snow is expected.)  In fact, as I write this post, I have the weather channel on & Minneapolis has been their subject all morning! They also just had a reporter reporting from a few blocks from where my brother lives. . . & it was all white with very little visibility. (yikes) They also announced that over half of the flights going into & from the MSP airport are cancelled for today. . . Hmmm. 



I'm leaving tomorrow morning. . . & I have to change planes in Chicago (where the storm is headed. . . but they don't expect nearly the amount of snow). . . so I'm taking a bunch of handwork, a couple of magazines & a book with me on the plane. . . (just in case!)


So. . . . I also want to make the announcement that because of my impromptu little trip - the studio will closed for a bit over a week. We are still having our 'So Thankful For You' Sale on the website. . . & since there will be no shipping for the next week I am extending the sale until December 31.  As of noon (PST) on December 11 - you can still place your orders (to secure some of the limited items!) - but they will not be shipped until about December 21. (Any orders placed before this morning will be shipped out on Monday.) Sorry for any inconvenience!


Dad & Bailey will be 'holding-down-the-fort' here in the warm (around the 80's) southwest. I have to admit. . . I'm a little excited to see & be in snow again. . . but I have an idea that I will be ready to come home & thaw out after my visit!


So, for today, I'm hunting for every sweater & I'm digging out my tights, mittens, scarf & socks that I own (which is not very much these days!) ! Hope you have a great weekend & that you can stay warm!!


Bren

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

daybook ::34::


 . . . my little Bailey. . . who - after 'helping' his Grandpa outside in the yard - 'came a courtin' at the backdoor with this little posy. . .!


for today :: November 7, 2010

outside my window. . .   clear & sunny. (. . . or as the couple from Minnesota reminded me the other day. . . "The reason why we live here in the winter!")

I am thinking. . . about my brother (Scott). He is having to have a hip replacement surgery tomorrow.

from the kitchen. . .  egg white omelette with some sharp cheddar (yum!), toast & coffee. (& there will be more coffee today. . . lots more coffee!)

I am wearing. . .  t-shirt & comfy J.Jill pants.

I am creating. . .  a Secret Santa little project, a new stitchery, & a new fabric line! (. . . that should keep me out of trouble today!)

I am remembering. . .  Pearl Harbor. . . & how far we've come with the relations with Japan. It is wonderful to see how two nations can heal & become great supporters & allies! ( . . . we need to remember that for the future. . .)

I am reading. . .   'Decision Points' - by George W. Bush . . . (an amazing book.)

I am hoping . . .  to whittle-down my designs choices for the next Durham-Anew line. . . so many pretty choices!

I am hearing. . .  Michael W. Smith's 'Christmastime'  cd. . . (love it!)

around the house. . .  bit's of Christmas twinkle here & there!

I am going. . .  to give Bailey his much needed bath today! (. . . been putting it off for days!)

one of my favorite things. . .  singing to Christmas music out-loud in the car & not caring if anyone sees!

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . getting the first round of design ideas for the next Durham-Anew line on their way to Lecien; finish my Secret Santa project; get a couple more things listed up on the website; stitch & stitch some more (!)

from my picture journal . . .
 . . . you know who. . . Mr. Special Delivery himself (!)

Bren

Sunday, December 5, 2010

… a little bit of woolie-ness



Remember photos of these?


I had always been busy dying my wool colors to ship off to shops (which I still do. . .) & for Market, & often I would get emails asking 'where could folks find these colors?'. . . Well, I decided that for the last bunch of wool that I had around the studio - that I would finally put together some of these bundles for the website. 
(. . . I know!  . . .  f i n a l l y!)

There are bundles of all 24 colors in a couple of sizes. . .


. . . & then I also made some pastel bundles with the 6 pastel colors in a couple of sizes. . .


So. . . if it's wool in these softer, vintage-y colors that you are interested in, you can find them here!  (Please know that the number of these bundles is limited!)

Elsewhere around the studio, you all have been keeping me very busy shipping with the sale at the website. . . (& I thank you very much!)  I've also been working on a new stitchery project that I'm quite excited about & then I've also been working on a Secret Santa project that I will take photos of but can't share. . . just yet. . . just in case! ;o)  I can say that I'm using a pattern that I got from my sweet friend Rosalie Quinlan at Market this past fall. (Rosalie, Denise, (& Lecien!), & I shared a secret space behind our booths at Market!. . . a secret space that quickly became impossible to move around in!)

This week is full of lots of deadlines. . . so hopefully I will get back to the blog at least once before the week is out!  I'm be working on the next Durham-Anew line for next fall. . . (& those of you that made some color requests. . .  I haven't forgotten & I'm putting in the options for their consideration. . .! (. . . you know who you are! ♥)) I'm very excited about getting to design the Durham line again. . . & all the possibilities are making the start of this next line a bit mind boggle-ing!

For all you getting snow. . . stay warm & have fun! (. . . & please make a snow angel for me!)

Bren

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

… little bits of this & that. . .




Hi folks! We have been enjoying some wonderful colder weather here in Arizona. . . down into the 20's - 30's at night & in the 50's for the last few days, & it's been so great getting to break out the sweaters! The top of Mt. Lemmon was covered in snow the other morning! (We actually celebrate rain & colder temps here!) But, because I live in the southern part of Arizona - the temperatures won't stay that could for very long. . . & they are forecasting that our temps will be back in the 70's by tomorrow. . . That's okay though. I've loved the tease of winter (without having to shovel snow & deal with icy walks & roads.. . .) & hopefully we will have a little warm-up to warm our bones & then some cold again in time for Christmas. . .?!? Wouldn't that be great!!


I met a lady at the quilt shop yesterday & she & her husband are from Minnesota & live here for six months of the year (sounds ideal to me!). . . & they thought our "cold" temperatures were great. . . not cold at all to them! Guess that's why our local population grows so much during the winter months with so many "winter visitors" (we lovingly refer to them as "snowbirds") coming to enjoy our winter weather!


In the studio, I've been working on some new designs. . . (!) & I've also been going through some of my 'quilt show' containers that have been stored - awaiting the annual quilt show that I do here each January. . . except that I have decided not to do any retail shows any longer.  So. . . I've decided that for now, I'll turn my website into the online version of my quilt show booth! I'm organizing the fabrics & am slowly but surely taking photos of the cut yardage pieces that I have. They will go up onto the website sometime next week. . . but for now, I've loaded up some fun gifts & treasures. . .


. . . like some adorable sewing cases that I found at the Needlework Market last September . . . (they also come in lt. green, aqua, red, & black. . .)

. . . & these precious pin keeps (for your needles & pins while you're sewing). These were designed by Alma & Barb of Blackbird Designs for Moda. (I love these!)

. . . I also put some bundles (fat quarter & fat eighth) of Georgia Lou in the 'Fabrics' category. . .

. . . & there are (finally) some bundles (fat quarter & half-yard) of Durham Anew in the 'Fabrics' category as well. . . (by the way. . . I got some great news!. . . Lecien is going into it's third printing of Durham Anew!. . . yippee!)


For the items that I had for the quilt show. . . I've made a new category on the website called, 'Tag Sale'. I'm pricing things "very nicely". . . so that I can know they easily go to good homes
There's a bit of fat quarters & yardage from one of my favorites, Blackbird Designs, that I have. . .

. . . some red & pink yardage of Heart & Soul from Sandy Gervais (& Moda). . .

. . . & some green & pink yardage of Heart & Soul from Sandy Gervais (& Moda). . .

. . . some classic - Whispers In The Wind  - from Sandy Gervais (& Moda). . .

. . . & finally (for this week at least). . . I have some charm packs of Kashmir IV - perfect for any spring projects you are dreaming of!. . .

Okay. . . that's it for today. (If you are interested in any of the above items - just click on the photo or the name & it should link you to it.)

Oh. . . & don't forget that on the website I'm having an "I'm So Thankful For You!" sale - where all patterns & books are 20% - 75% off!

I'm off to get myself into the studio. I've got some shipping to get to & I'm working on a 'Secret Santa' project that I'm having so much fun with! . . . & then . . . there's cookies to bake! (You gotta love a season when baking cookies is expected & the thing to do!. . . no second guessing about whether to bake or not. . . no guilt!)

Hope you have a wonderful beginning to this very special season!

Bren


Sunday, November 28, 2010

… twinkle lights



Last evening, as I was making myself a mocha in the kitchen, I paused as I turned out the kitchen light. . .



Oh. . . how I love the lights of Christmas.


These are the boughs with little twinkle lights, berries, & pine cones that that I put out to trim the upper kitchen counter & the armoire on the way into my studio. They give off the most wonderful light. . . I just love the glow they bring to the rooms they grace.

I put up three lit boughs throughout the house & a few other small decorations, & then decided that was enough. . . I'm feeling the need to keep it all simpler this year. I welcome the season with all my heart (& was already listening to Christmas music a few weeks ago!) - but simpler is feeling better for me this year.

I also decided that these would be the quilts hung around the house & placed on the couch (for naps & reading!). . .

Winter Memories . . . over the couch in the living room. . .

Bittersweet. . . on the wall in the dining room. . .

Stitching Winter Memories. . . in the kitchen. . .

. . . & on various couches & chairs. . .

Coventry. . .

. . . & Bliss (because it always reminds me of snowflakes!)

. . . So, in these often busy holiday weeks. . . I hope you have make some time to snuggle under a warm quilt & simply enjoy the lights of this very special season!

Bren

Thursday, November 25, 2010

. . . a thanksgiving wish



I just love this holiday. . .


I love that America, stops on this day to give thanks for our many blessings. . . both as a nation, & as individuals.


. . . & I just wanted to be sure to let you know how blessed I feel that you stop by from time to time. I love that you come to visit! I also want to express my very special thanks to those of you who have taken the time to let me know how much you like to come & visit. A few of you stopped by at my booth at Quilt Market, just to say "Hi!" - & to let me know how much you love the blog. I'll be honest. . . inside my head, my first thought was, "really?". . . (lol!), but then so many of you have let me know how much you also love hearing about my little Bailey. . . & what he & Dad are up to. . . & that warms my heart. (By-the-way, as I write this, they both are in the kitchen. . . getting the turkey started!. . . & yes, Bailey is being the ever helpful assistant!)



. . . So, I just wanted to wish everyone in the U.S. a very happy Thanksgiving, & to all - everywhere - please know how thankful I am for you all. . . I count you all as blessings!


Counting by blessings with you,
Bren

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

… so thankful. . . for you!



I have so many blessings that I can count. . . I love what I get to do, & I'm so thankful for you - that allow me to get to do it! So, I'm having a great big sale to say, "Thank You!". . .



. . . Also, I've added some new items (& pages!) to the website. . . fabric bundles, gifts & treasures, & the beginnings of a fun 'tag sale'! . . . Hope to see you there soon!

Wishing for you a wonderful Thanksgiving. . . counting your blessings!

  Bren

Monday, November 22, 2010

daybook ::33::




 . . . my holiday seasons obsession. . . the candy cane tootsie pops!. . . yum!

for today :: Nevember 22, 2010

outside my window. . .   a cool, cloudy, crisp autumn morning. (We're actually going to have fall weather for Thanksgiving!. . . I even need to wear a sweater!. . . I love it when this happens!)

I am thinking. . . about dying the last of my wool. . . to make available on the website. . .

from the kitchen. . . coffee. . . so far. May even go so far as to make pancakes this morning. . . need to check for the ingredients. . .

I am wearing. . . (. . .I'm still in my jammies!).

I am creating. . .  fabric bundles for the website. 

I am remembering. . .  all the ideas I had for new designs before Market. . . now it's time to get started on a couple of them. (!)

I am reading. . .    'Decision Points' - by George W. Bush. . . (When it comes to the security of America, I  will never second guess those with so much information to make the big decisions. . .)

I am hoping . . .  to get the website updated in the next two days.

I am hearing. . .  Steven Curtis Chapman. . . (a holiday cd. . . I admit it! . . . I've already started listening to holiday tunes. . . I just can't help myself.)

around the house. . .  I'm finishing up the clean sweep that happens when I get back from Market..

I am going. . .  to run a couple of errands. Then it's home to the studio & stitch.

one of my favorite things. . .  the way we focus on 'home' & family' during this holiday season. . .

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . updating the website. . . walks (after not going out for a good walk for the past week - due to a crummy cold!), & counting my blessings. . .

from my picture journal . . .
 . . . another sign from the Pizza & Cookie Cabin up at Summerhaven,  on the top of Mt. Lemmon (where I love to go!. . . 9000 ft only 45 minutes away!. . . like being in Colorado. . .)

Hope you have a wonderful week, & don't forget to count your blessings!
Bren

Saturday, November 20, 2010

… Mistletoe Make & Bake 2010 - day 6





This is it!. . .  This is the final day of the Mistletoe Make & Bake 2010! I hope that you have had fun blog hopping & collecting recipes & project ideas! I know that I have sure loved your comments. . . & wish that I could have responded to them all. Please know that I loved them all! (. . . & if you emailed me directly & haven't heard back from me. . . it's because your email address that I had was not valid when I tried to respond. . . I had a couple of those - so please try again & be sure I have your correct email address. - thanks!)


Okay. . . so for this last day - the topic is very appropriate!. . . The topic is: cookie exchange tips.  So. . . my tip is that if/when you do a cookie exchange - also do a cookie recipe card exchange as well! Have everyone attending print out the recipe for the cookies that they bring to the exchange so that everyone will be able to not only add the new cookies to their cookie tray for this year - but they have the recipe just in case your cookie becomes their new favorite!


My cookie recipe for today is all about chocolate. I thought, "why not?!?" So, it's not just a great chocolate cookie. . . but  Double Chocolate Cookies! 

(click on recipe card for a pdf version you can download.)


Be sure to visit all of the Mistletoe  Make & Bake designers blogs for more fun recipes (you can find them all listed here . . . & especially todays featured designers for their very special holiday projects as well!

Today's featured designers are:

Vickie Eapen of Spun Sugar Quilts
Melisa Morrison of Sweet Home Quilt Co.

I sure have had fun being a part of the Mistletoe Make & Bake 2010 blog hop, & I just want to thank Sherri, of  'Little Bits of This & That' for organizing it all! Be sure to check out her blog as well as she will be having an announcement soon about the winner of the grand prize for the entire blog hop. . . (Lots-o-goodies in that prize!) 


. . . & last. . . but not least is the winner of the drawing from yesterday's post. . . & because it's such a wonderful season. . . I decided to draw 2 winners. . . & they are:

Donna - at Brynwood Needleworks
Renee  - at - Sewn With Grace

If you lovely ladies will send me an email with your choices of six patterns/books from the website & your address - I'll get your prizes sent to you right away! Congratulations!

. . . Also - a little announcement  - next week there will be a bunch of new goodies loaded onto the website  & we will be having a 'So Thankful for You!' sale as well with all books & patterns 25% - 40% off! Keep watching the blog for updates!

I hope you have had a lot of fun - I sure have! . . . & I wish you all a wonderful beginning to this most precious holiday season!
 ♥ Bren

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