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march 7, 2014
it has rained...and they say it's going to rain again on monday...not enough by any stretch of the imagination but certainly better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!! we will take whatever we can get at this point. the valley is awash in peach blossoms and all the almonds have leafed to green...so it's still very pretty here....and now that we've had some rain...there is actually some green grass in the foothills...which by now is usually dying...but it's bright and fresh and green because of the late rain....
anyway...it's busy busy around here...new kits being put together for our april event, lots of stuff being assembled for the breast cancer piece in september (it's turning out pretty cute) and a million other things and we are pleased with the results. annie is traveling this weekend - down to northridge for son tad's last college audition - he already has been accepted at 3 colleges and northridge is the last audition...i think he wants to see if he can make if four for four...and then he has to make the decision as to where, how and why and the commitment letter is to be sent back.
so...because i'm here by myself right now (annie left a little bit early to get everything under control before they hit the road at 3:00) i had better get myself together and get this done.
amy bruecken designs:
one last thing - shepherd's bush (the fold) sent us word this week that the first kits are being assembled to be shipped to us...and the last of our load of beautiful boxes is on the way to us from lone elm designs....so we are very ready and excited to see both boxes arrive.
took some new clips over to the rescue last sunday...was changing them out on some of the kennel gates that open easily - new girl in the "mean dogger kennel" and i decided she really wasn't talking to me about leaving her clip alone on her gate...she couldn't have meant me...and if she did...certainly i was quicker at changing out her clip than she was at chomping my finger...guess who was wrong on that exchange!!! hoping i don't lose the nail and of course it was my left hand....so, after losing the bandaid yesterday night because of all the water and bleach we plow thru...gloves are in order - my hands are just taking the brunt of it...pinched the outside of my left hand again last night in a gate...and of course, with all the mayhem going on - we decided the inmates were running the asylum last night - hopping 5 foot fences and escaping...we had about 10 inmates running loose in the place...always wear a leash around my neck or 2 in my pocket...a girl just never knows when a leash might come in handy ;)
dudley (my new little guy) had a very long vet visit on friday...we have all the "uglies" under control now and he's going to be getting his 2nd bathie this sunday and the other doggers go to the groomer on tuesday...he's a good good boy and a smart dog and so grateful for his new crate and plush cushion and good food...we are coming up on 4 weeks and all is good and other 3 seem to have acknowledged (grudgingly) that he is here for the duration.
daylight savings change this saturday - remember to "spring forward" and don't blame me for the loss of an hour...i need that hour too...hate this - why don't they just leave it alone...wishful thinking ;)
february 28, 2014
happy happy dancing....it rained on wednesday night, it's raining right now and it's supposed to rain all day and it also supposed to rain on sunday...and the almond blossom pollen is a little bit better but annie and i are sneezing, sore throats, running eyes...just really ugly and the peaches have blossomed so the orchards are the most beautiful combination of white (almonds) and glorious pink for the peaches.
dudley dooooowrong is meeting dr. mike his vet this afternoon...then a stop at home depot to see if i can find some kennel gate clips that are better than the tiny ones they use at the shelter now which are okay if you are a gnome with pencil thin fingers but for any type of male hands or regular female hands - obnixious. we took 12 gallons of bleach with us last night and 4 huge containers of laundry soap and big lots is having a 20% off sale tomorrow nite and sunday so we are going back for another load of both products...a girl can never have too much bleach or too much laundry soap - especially if that girl volunteers at the rescue shelter ;)
so...because we have 200 things in the fire at the moment and some of the flipping CUTEST fundraising ideas for our twinkle toes walk in Dallas in november (stay tuned) and because my brain is at warp speed of 200 mph...i have projects and stuff from one end of this shop to the other and because i have to go flying out of here earlier than usual to meet bruce because 2 doggers are going to see dr. mike (nicky needs a booster shot so he's tagging on with dudley)... and because i've been in here since 6:30 and it's actually not even 10 a.m. yet and annie is up to her armpits in order forms...here we go.....
pictures because they WERE beautiful - but the rain has
totally changed all of these - no more flowers on the tulip tree ;(
tuesday's tarts - everybody is busy and running in 17
different directions but diane had a "finishing" moment...and we just
think they are too beautiful. she's working on the newest one for her
purple thread collection (the black/white combinations)...
so...that's it...keep good thoughts for our rain...at this point any drops of moisture go in the "plus" column - we are just hoping that the summer is not a scorcher - it's going to be a gruesome year and this little bit of water is a huge help but not enough to ease anything...gruesome, gruesome....
thanks for visiting - have a great weekend and we will see
you all soon.
february 12, 2014
question?? why is it that "you-know-what" always happens when you are trying to get out of town? - don't answer - i already know the answer - rhetorical question at best....
yes, the needlepress book has been ordered; praiseworthy stitches - taken care of; la d da - taken care of; new linens ordered; new threads ordered; lists made; emails already sent; suitcases packed; out the door tomorrow a.m. at 6:15 to pick up annie so hang with us - it's all coming back in priority boxes or suitcases or both and i will be doing the market update on monday but i can't do market justice (and this is the last nashville) and post from my tablet or phone - it just doesn't work for me and i owe you all more than that.
so...didnot has a bladder stone and that involved a vet visit on monday afternoon and of course by the end of the day - he's running 45 minutes behind...so...with a full Rx of amoxi and vet food which runs a minimum of $900 per pound (you know i'm kidding) we are tending to didnot...but of course the amoxi is upsetting her tummy and thus up comes the $900 p/pound food...and so the dance continues. mr. bear is assigned to administer the amoxi while we are gone and i wish i had a camera here because he and didnot butting heads over administration of that amoxi would be worth the price of admission...we shall see who prevails.
and...it is very dangerous to volunteer at the no-kill shelter...it is very dangerous...meet dudley doooooo-wrong who came home on sunday to his forever home after being adopted (out from under me because the only person who didn't know i was adopting him worked sunday the 2nd) by an idiot and then being turned back in because as a new dog she left him uncrated, un-doggie door access, un-restricted in the house for 12 hours while she went to work and got furious at him because he made a "mess" and had "bad habits" - so she returned him. well, we've had dudley since sunday afternoon - he had one accident which was my fault - he knows the doggie door, he knows the crate at night and doesn't make a peep, he loves his mama's cooking, he loves walking but doesn't quite understand yet that although mama walks very fast - he needs to slow down a little bit, is a bit of a bandit - taking the shoe out of the closet and putting it by my chair in the family room or in one of the beds but never chews, nicky is now the lead dogger and daisy is still letting him know that she is a "lady" and does not appreciate being sniffed and somewhere somebody has taught him to "sit".
in three days he is learning the ropes very quickly and is very happy and i call him curious george because everything is an adventure and bruce thinks he's a "good dogger" so i guess it's a win-win for all of us. dad brought him down for a quick visit yesterday so the tarts could meet him...and annie held him so i could get a good picture...the tail never stops wagging... we think he's "poo with a little cocker mixed in"...
we'll see you back here on monday and thanks for visiting - we look forward to "seeing you soon".
nashville - here we come.
february 7, 2014
a little stressful this week but lots of good on lots of different levels so i'm going to take the GREAT with the stress and tiredness and consider my plate is full of blessings.
we are leaving a week from yesterday for the last nashville market...we are going to bring back good stuff...there is new linen from weeks dye works in 32 and 36 counts - in 10 neutral colors...already ordered...32 on the way and 36 will come as soon as the base fabric arrives in the carolinas....new colors of thread from gentle arts and weeks dye works and now that classic colors has straightened out the mess at the former crescent colours - ronnie williams is well on the road to being totally up to snuff and we will be able to get belle soie again...he has worked very hard and i am so grateful he took this on...he's a hard worker and his mama and papa raised him right - williams - why yes, he's diane williams' son - little house needleworks and country cottage's brother...keeping it all in the family...
surprise kits, lots of good stuff but until i get it home with me - i won't post pictures because those just don't "do it" for me...so we are coming home sunday night 02/16 and i will be writing the market report and posting it on monday the 17th and annie will be answering the phone for me... done it this way since 1997 and i'm way too old and crabby to change now - besides - i've almost got this down to a science by this point in time ;)
but, this week - we have some pretty cute stuff that came in...and so, because it's late friday afternoon and because i've got a ton of stuff to do before i leave and then i have an errand on the way home...here it is...
with thy needle and thread:
so...the day (at least here) comes to an end...it's raining here and should be for at least 3 days - the storm (on the radar) covers almost the entire state and it's dropping snow up in the sierras (the radar map is a bright pink up there)...anything is a help at this point - except if it lulls people into thinking we are in anything but a horrible drought - so i gladly relish being a duck this weekend...will come and work tomorrow and probably until at least 6 tomorrow night, do some serious scampering tomorrow night and sunday and then hit it hard for 3 days before we leave early thursday morning....
so...a couple more hours here, then errands (desperately need serger thread) and then home to sink into a stupor and listen to the rain on the skylights and be very glad that bear and i got 5 cubic yards of arbor mulch spread last weekend because that rain is going to seep thru all that mulch and stay in the ground a lot longer and help my poor suffering sequoia trees...and then i'll start it all over again in the morning...life is good and i am renewed and inspired and will share some very fun news with you next time we visit...
enjoy your weekend...and it's a 3 day weekend for most everybody...be safe, be smart and stay warm... YAHOO...IT'S RAINING and it's the olympics...all good.
annie, the spoiled cats and me.
january 30, 2014
this is going to be very quick because i'm heading out to do rescue volunteer work in a few minutes...but, OF COURSE we are going to market and of course we are going to bring back some wonderful market only kits - in fact - we have already preordered this one:
the beekeeper by plum street sampler $44.00
i'm scampering...have spent a great deal of time on the computer today and my eyes are just as square as can be...and my head hurts...but there are doggers that need clean kennels and massive piles of laundry that need to be done and happy dogs are good dogs and it makes for good feelings doing for others...last week at the end of our 3 hours - we were asked if we could trek over to the vet in the next town south and pick up a litter of 4 australian shepherd/terrier mix pups that had been neutered...well, all tails and paws...3 fit in the carrier and the 4th had to ride on my lap while bruce drove...they came back to the rescue place and are up for adoption...way too cute... it just makes it all worth while.
i'll try and get more up tomorrow...we are so very excited about nashville this year and we leave on thursday, february 13th...sad and happy all at the same time...but it's going to be a grand market.
back soon and thanks!!!!!
january 23, 2014
no rain yet, no rain in sight, newspaper making noises about drought (seriously), fires in southern california, newspaper suggesting a good alternative to drought is to 1) purchase new toilets and 2) buy a new washing machine...(again, seriously??) and those two "tips" and 5 other equally helpful suggestions and here we go. on the other hand the midwest is getting slammed and battered and snowed upon and we would so love to have some of that weather...i would even start quacking like a duck if we got some rain...it just keeps getting more scary every day that goes by with no moisture.
we have new things, we are 3 weeks off leaving for the last nashville market, we are excited and sad at the same time, the weather is quite up and down there too and annie and i discussed packing the basics early and then, depending on climate, making coat/shoe choices as we get closer in. we shall have to see how all this works out.
i did some more housekeeping this week and found a few more "kits" that need to find homes...and the "poof theory" but they are cute and everybody loved them...
threadwork primitives a bee's gathering kit $30.00 (just the chart
alone retails for $10.00) SOLD OUT
now...on to the few new things that have arrived this last
samsarah design studio:
so there is the day...we are heading over this evening to do our rescue volunteer work...and then home and i'll get some stitching done tonight...or something in the many piles and baskets that i have piled around my chair.
we are busy working on the 2014 BC piece...assembling stuff and figuring out what we will be doing...but...here's the news - it will consist of a fabric pre-made tray (moda fabric), a spool pincushion (tiny) with matching pins and wrapped with wool felt, a steel ruler in a matching wool felt sleeve, a treasure bag, a needle book with stitching on the front and back and lined with the matching fabric that constructs the tray, a "ruler fob" to hang from the hole in the ruler and finally a beaded wooden laying tool. we are quite excited about it and i will have some pictures of the fabric next week...time just got away from me this week.
weekend work - walking and doing acute yard clean-up and putting down weed cloth because i'm having 5 yards of arborist chips delivered sometime next week - anything that will help keep the moisture in the ground over the summer months...but at this point - i'll do anything - i actually have some green shoots and green growth on my poor stressed redwoods so i think i have won that battle but the jury is still out. fingers are crossed...
have a good one and thanks for visiting this week - we so appreciate it and thank you very much.
lgm, annie, didnot and scruff la la
january 16, 2014
and because my brain sometimes misfires...here are the two items that were left sitting on my desk at the end of the update a few hours ago:
these two items will be prefaced by the fact that these are "free patterns". we are not selling the free patterns - we are selling the "kits" which will totally complete the items as shown and the kits include the free pattern. these are left over from the last retreat and i have a limited number of each because we are cleaning house and once they are gone...you know the drill...POOF!!!
january 16, 2014
unfortunately the weather here is beautiful in the afternoons - 68-70 degrees for the next million days it seems - i wish it would rain (hard) from now until at least april and i wish all the snow that fell in the midwest 2 weeks ago would fall up in our sierras...california is right on the edge of year 4 with no rain...i'm considering this drought - my 5 redwood trees in the back yard have been on soaker hose medication for 4 days for each stand of trees and i'm moving over to the stand of birch trees this weekend. because of the drought, farmers have been sinking deeper and deeper wells for irrigation on the east side where there are no irrigation canals - they planted acres and acres of almond trees because almonds are a huge $$ maker but they didn't make arrangements to water them...so while the wells are getting sunk and re-dug deeper and deeper and lowering the water table...all the trees are being stressed out to the max because they can't reach water and the simple process of turning on sprinklers to water the lawns isn't enough to sustain them. i am on a personal campaign to save my 5 redwood trees and 3 birch trees... we'll see how i do. having come from marin county and losing front and back yards twice during the course of 2 droughts - i guess it makes me very sensitive to it...and to this day i still turn off the water when i brush my teeth - it's habit - hose doesn't run when i wash my car - have a nozzle on the hose...just silly things like that because we lived thru it... i fear it is going to get scary here but the state government isn't calling a drought yet because it will just set off a huge crisis mode.
there are already water districts to the north of us that feed off of folsom lake east of sacramento that are ready to propose no yard watering at all because at this point they will barely have enough water to deal with "inside the house". folsom lake is very very low, don pedro is very very low as is the san luis reservoir and all of those as well as the snow pack and the rivers provide this valley their water...and there is NO SNOW in the sierras right now - zip, zero, nada...and honestly i think this is the worst it's been in the last 4 years. scary, scary, scary... annie and i are going to do rain dances and barring that - if we both wash cars and get bear to wash his car - maybe it will rain...maybe.
getting ready for nashville...we leave in 4 weeks - we are excited and the piles are being made...stickers, notebooks, bags, pricing gun, tape - annie is the wizard of the "market bag" and she steers me where i need to go...we've been doing this now together for a long time...
carolyn manning designs (CM)
our tuesday tarts have been quite busy too - both shann and
diane are finishing fools and we will have more in a couple of days...and i
might have a few of my own...
these are diane's things...pretty swell too!!!
our tarts are very clever and very innovative...and i think honestly they are leaving their "teacher" in the dust at this point - and it is always soooooo much fun to see what is coming out of whatever bag on tuesday mornings...a very talented and free-thinking bunch of stitchers.
we are excited about the new things coming from nashville, we have more housecleaning to do and there are 3 sets of racks in the "back" of this store (along with a pile of finishing) that will garner my attention tomorrow and most of next week. it just never seems to stop and as soon as we get one "mess" cleaned up - there is another pile to take care of.
the "tray" pieces for the 2014 breast cancer piece are all bonded and cut out and we are at the point where we need to bond one more piece to one side of the fabric and then we can start sewing the trays together...we are excited.
spend my 17th year diagnosis date tomorrow morning having a celebratory mammogram...can't think of a better way to celebrate those 17 years - early appointment and then back here for more shoveling and computer work...so...so...thanks for visiting...and we'll be back very soon.
january 9, 2014
spit, polished, cleaned, scrubbed, deleted, arranged, re-arranged, dumped, scrubbed some more, removed, added, built, destroyed, re-built: all accomplished within the last 36 hours - now that the "web house" is cleaned, i have added some stuff about the workshops in april and september, started gathering things for market in nashville in 5 weeks, annie has been ironing fabric for the 2014 BC piece and tomorrow i am going to now work on the new web site because i really didn't want to "pack the dirt and the dust bunnies" and move them to a new house - so this house had to be cleaned first...and clean it i did.
now, because my eyes turn square after about 4 hours on the computer, i will spend the day tomorrow working on the new site and then the rest of the time cutting fabric into pieces - because as part of the 2014 BC piece - we are making wonderful little trays to put your things in - and i have another pile of goodies at home that get worked on during football games - felt balls, ribbons, pins, spools, etc. that will be part of this kit too. i am also getting some help from a very, very dear friend and i will put up some moda fabric swatches in the next couple of weeks...totally different from last years and far more "graphic" than sweet but i think it's going to be quite fun and wonderful.
we are also working on a cute little fundraiser for the 3day walk - as soon as the 3 day gets all the glitches straightened out - apparently their new program that has been installed does not like IE (internet explorer) and they are having a devil of a time getting that straightened...my personal URL is one that happened to fall into the crack (at this point that crack is as deep as the grand canyon) and we are struggling to get me up the canyon walls and back on high ground again - unfortunately all i can do is wait until that happens...but it kind of slows down communication, etc. with the 3day team...i will be patient.
the tuesday tarts have been challenged while i was away...and they are now furiously stitching "old" stuff - nothing new can be purchased OR started until the first of february because the entire month of january is being spent finishing things that were previously started. after seeing everybody on tuesday - the giggle was how many things got started the week between christmas and new years so they would qualify for the "old" category...made me giggle...those women are pretty cagey.
shepherd's bush's the fold is perking along quite well, our lists are made and numbers turned in (all of which can and have been adjusted) and we are very anxiously awaiting for this program to start in february...it will be so much fun.
while bruce and i were away - the doggers stayed with their auntie annie and spent 15 days at "camp stone" and absolutely had the time of their lives. they played so hard and had such a good time that both boys got plopped in the sink and given bathies on saturday when they came home - they were so bad they needed a "pre" bath before going to in for their real bathies at the groomers on tuesday - i'm telling you - that was a mighty stinky crew.
anyway...we are waiting for new things to arrive, i am making great headway on the giant list of things that needs doing around here - another year has launched, we are desperately in need of rain (i truly believe that california is about 4 years into an ugly drought and it will not be pretty around here this summer if we don't get some of that rainy stuff) and we have another football game to get thru this sunday in carolina...it's been a nerve wrecking end of season for us and playoffs make me just a little bit insane.
we are looking forward to a new hoffman listing tomorrow, have some more pictures to take tomorrow as well and some other things that i'm whacking around with on the computer...but right now i'm out of here - have to head home so i can go fill up a bag at office depot. mid west and east - stay safe and warm and out of harm's way - it's just been ugly for you all and i can't even imagine - i would have been dead from the cold weeks ago...
thanks for visiting...we appreciate you and thank you for coming.
january 8, 2014
don't be horrified...we're still here - i'm doing major housekeeping on the website, dust bunnies, filing, moving, putting away, dusting, throwing out and working on the new website all at the same time...everything from last year is at the links above...and i'll have more tomorrow. are all your holiday decorations down and put away??? be back in a little bit!!!
we are also getting ready for the very last nashville market the middle of february. The powers that be are shutting down the 2 remaining hotel shows (nashville in february and the wholesale mid-west market in the fall) thus there will be only "big box convention" and on-line type shows available to business owners. we are very sad about the loss of the nashville market - we have attended every single one of them...but the world is a changing place and thus...i guess these changes are necessary (albeit distasteful to us).
800.790.0810 (orders only please)
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