Friday, December 28, 2012

Last Post of The Year

We hope you are having a wonderful holiday that's been filled with friends, family, and feasts.  Are you planning one more party?  Maybe drinking a little of the bubbly?

Bill and I have been drinking quite a bit here, but it's not champagne.  No.  We bought each other a coffee maker for Christmas.  "Coffee-maker" just doesn't seem to do it justice.  Coffee system?  Caffeine delivery mechanism?  After many coffee makers that have all seen their demise, we bought the new shiny toy that is on the market right now - the Keurig Platinum Plus.    I can vouch for it's spiffiness. We get super hot, fresh coffee in under a minute.  It's brewed to your desired strength and temperature.  What a fun toy.  We've been drinking more coffee this past week than these people.

Yes, we know that brewing one hot, perfect cup at a time is more expensive than brewing a pot - but we usually just want one cup at a time.  No more pouring out cold, stale, half pots of coffee.  What makes it even better..... I got this

Breville Frother

A Breville Frother to steam and froth milk to make cappuccinos.  I'm in heaven.  I have a big cappuccino in the morning and in the evening I have a hot cup of herbal tea (which we have the pods for) or a hot chocolate.  Just froth the milk, add the cocoa and it's the best hot chocolate ever.   Why do you ask, am I telling you all this boring stuff about our caffeine consumption?  Well, Bill has taken to the frother too.  He used to be a regular Joe type of guy - coffee, maybe some cream and that was it.  Not now.  He is frothing up milk from morning till night.  Yesterday he told me gleefully that he just invented a new drink!!  Coffee, frothed milk, and cocoa - all together.  Should I tell him that somebody has already thought of that?

Starbucks Cafe Mocha


Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Stress

Have you been stretched too thin, both economically and emotionally?  Too many things to do and not enough time?  Somebody knows how you feel.
What's that in front of Gibby, you say?  Why it's my new spool of 28 weight Aurifil thread I got for hand quilting.  I had just started using it last night. It looks a bit different now than when I unwrapped it yesterday.

It must taste delicious, imported from Italy and all.........


I had just started to quilt the Hawaiian quilt.  Good thing I ordered 2 spools.

Gibby says not to let the stress get to you.  Take out your anxiety on some helpless, inanimate object.  Preferably one that must be special ordered and takes a week to arrive.

Merry Christmas


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Virtual Decorating

Christmas Tree place card courtesy of

Most of the decorating this year will be virtual decorating.  Sigh.  It has something to do with a house full of fabric, unexpected dog-sitting,  and my dining room table looking like this....

Kits, and lots of them.  This is the first stage of cutting, kitting and shipping to France.  I could almost feel sorry for myself, but it does mean that we get to go to France in a few months.  Pinch me.

In the process of cutting these kits I found I have a little bit left over.  Two kits here, three kits there...... not quite enough to put up on the website, but enough to let some of you know they are available.  
So, these very limited runs and unpredictable items will go up in our new Etsy shop!!!  I'll be adding more items as they become available.

I'll have our trusty website person put up a button on the blog.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Decorations

Anthropologie window at Rockefeller Center
Holiday Decorations in New York City
The exquisite windows at Ralph Lauren, Madison Avenue - NYC
While Polly and I got a little bit of business done in New York this past week, everywhere we looked the holiday decorations were out.  They were wonderful.  The theme at the Anthropologie this season is white paper.  All the stores will be decorated in some way using this.  We could go on and on about Anthropologies' decorating, but know this - all stores have the same theme and they are given free rein in how they accomplish it.  Just know that the high profile store at Rockefeller Center out does everyone in this feat.  This store is a must see in New York every holiday season.

If you have followed Polly's home in many publications over the years - you know her holiday decorating is pretty good too.

I try, but I'm not up to Polly's level (but who is?).  This was my tree from a couple years ago....

What about this year, you ask?  Nada.  Nothing.  Between travel and other stuff..... it hasn't happened yet.  Actually what is filling my house at the moment is this.

I'm trying to cut kits for a workshop in France that happens in a few months (more about that later!).  I need to cut kits, because I sort of need how to figure out how to ship them there.  Anyhow..... in the process of stepping over piles of fabric bolts I now know I can cut a couple kits and offer them here - just in time for Santa to put one under your tree.

I have a very limited supply of Ellen's Sewing Basket quilt kits (2 to be precise).  The kit features over 17 yards of Independence Trail fabric and makes this.....

Our website person in on vacation, so I won't put it up on the website - if you are interested in this kit - just email me HERE and I'll get it off to you.  The kit is $200.00 and includes shipping if you are in the contiguous 48 states.  An additional shipping charge will be added if you want it shipped international.

Hope your decorating is going as planned.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Shoes

How has your week been?  It's been very good here.  I've gotten a little work done on some projects while waiting for 2 different ones to be mailed to me.  It seems the secret to being productive is to have something to work on at all times.  I finished the 2nd block of the Spirit of Sacagawea Block of The Month class.

While stitching on this and other projects I listened to an audio book - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  Whoo-whee.  One third of the way through I thought the characters were annoying and insipid.  Halfway through things got VERY interesting.  All I will say is that if you are looking for a feel-good holiday read - don't go near this, but if you want a devious thriller - jump right in.

Bill and I are packing for a short trip for a hockey tournament.  We are looking forward to it as we had another little hockey event planned that is now been cancelled.  The Winter Classic was to be played right here in Ann Arbor on New Years Day, but a little disagreement between millionaires and bigger millionaires put a kibosh on that.  Boo.

I added another border or two to Mrs. Billings Coverlet.  The next border involves hexagons.  While I was at Happiness is Quilting in McKinney Texas last month, Wendy showed me her paper piecing project.  And she showed me this........

The Sewline glue pen.  Yep, Wendy just marked the glue pen on all 6 edges of her hexies - and folded back the fabric.  DONE!  This will be my "car project" on the way to the hockey tournament: glue basting hexagons instead of stitch basting.  I expect I can get all the needed hexagons basted in one 4 hour car ride.  

Once back from the tournament - I unpack, do a load of laundry, repack and head to the airport.  Polly and I have a little trip planned to do some business, have meals with friends, and maybe take in a few holiday sights.
Bergdorf's Christmas Windows 2012
Christmas window displays can be the best entertainment in town.

Oh, and I found these on my doorstep this week.  I'm in love.


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