Monday, December 23

Warm Holiday Wishes

'Tis the season for a new blog post
Fa la la la laa, la la la la

We both hope this finds you all filled with holiday cheer as the day draws nearer and nearer.  I'm not so sure that everyone in family has found the holiday cheer as it seems each year it "feels" less like Christmas.  This year could be due to an early celebration and poor planning on that holiday list!

But at any rate, it's been a while since we've sat down and shared life with everyone.
So I'll crank up my new found song favorite "Unconditionally" by Katy Perry and get this post started!!

Lacey celebrated a successful end to her first semester back in school this week.  We are all glad to have her home for the rest of this year and hope to cram in all sorts of fun things before she heads back in January.  We have had many laughs about her new "job" as a student and how much of a change it was going from calculating quilting yardage, blocks, kitting and typing patterns to measuring proper fits for wheelchairs, canes, crutches and walkers.  That and the proper body mechanics to carry out tasks.  Lucky for all of us, especially at the shop, this was unknown knowledge.  Imagine the disapproving looks we would have gotten (herself included) by hauling around fabric bolts stacked to our eyeballs and hunched over positions cutting kits or fabric!!

Darci is continuing to design.  She is excited to start working on some requested holiday patterns.  There are lots of irons in her fire with trying to get all of the ideas floating in her head into the cloth, but slowly but surely they will come.  We are still waiting on our market samples to come home, but will get some great photos from Patti when they arrive.  So hold tight. . .they will come!!  She has also bonded with her long arm machine as 'tis the season for custom quilting.  Lots of customer quilting has been accomplished this month as well as some custom quilt tops.  For anyone who was turned away from quilting in the past, but wants one done, drop us a line.  There will more than likely be more time in 2014 for extra quilting!!


Sweet Vanilla Taffy

Literally hot off the press!!  This was finished moments before the post was started.  We decided it was time to think about Valentines Day and wound up with something that is beautiful and non-seasonal.  This has been one of our most popular patterns in the shop this year as it's quick, easy, uses up one of those fun candy packs and features one of quilter's favorite blocks.

"Mid-Winter Reds" by Minnick and Simpson is absolutely gorgeous fabric.  The tones and designs are truly wonderful.  It gives any project a sweetly aged feel with the classic red and brown tones.

If you like the project you can check out our Etsy page here to find pattern, kit or just pre-cut ordering information.  This is the perfect pick me up project after the holiday season to get you ready to sew-sew-sew into 2014.
Pointy edge table topper--perfect for the kitchen island

Remember the Mini-Twister?  Well he found a new home on a floor cabinet that we got on our Florida trip!
 A tiny project for a tiny cabinet piece. 

How many remember Prairie Women's Sewing Circle??
Well. . .one project found a home on the dining room table.

See that wool project in the corner? 
That was one of the first projects we did out of wool felt in our shop from a Whimsicals book!
Isn't it fun to see how far we evolved.  Also. . .to a dear friend we went antiquing with. . .notice the shelf is hung with various kitchen items hanging from it!!  (Darci showed the car full and got it up and used.)

One of our very first charm pack projects.  Back when we wondered if charm packs would really take off.
It's been fun to see just how far charm patterns have come over the years.

Now. . .we did a little Do It Yourself project at home.  Pinterest can be a problem if you are looking to not waste time and it can be your best friend when you want to do a little sprucing up without re-doing the whole darn thing.  For our bathroom the dreaded piece was our vanity.  I unfortunately didn't get what it really looked like, but imagine a 30 year old brown bottom that had character marks from use.  It needed help but didn't need to be totally replaced. . .  So this is what paint and a weekend can do:
Start by collecting paint chips from Menards and Home Depot.  Check them out against the counter top of the vanity and against the paint in the room.  Once decided, over a long careful, scientific process (Lacey & Darci both agree)  we buy paint and put the first coat on.

Then go shopping and let the first coat dry.  Come home, question if what you chose was wise or not and decide the light of the next day will prove we were correct.

Light of day didn't prove we were correct but we carry on anyway.  Decide to continue on with the distress look we hoped for.  Dig out the tube of black pain and squeeze some on there.  Brush it, smear it and question it. Question it some more.  Laugh about the start of failure with Lacey. Continue on and pray it will look better in the daylight.

Failure. Niether like it.  Can you relate to us at this point in time??  Become thankful we bought a bigger can than we needed of the base paint and start again.  Spill a bunch on the floor and quickly get it cleaned up before the men notice.

This time, go with the advice of the other pastthyme gal and paint brown over the top of the base.  Smear it and let it dry and pray we like it in the morning's light.

Success!!  How much fun it is to take something old in the house and spruce it up.
The cost was minimal, especially if you don't need to redo your first attempt or add new hardware.  The memories were priceless.  Now if only the rest of the room's painting was done we'd be set!

But we know old man winter will roar and it will be a wonderful blizzard day's work.

Anyways. . .we have been out in full force since Thanksgiving having fun gearing up for the holidays and spending time with dear friends of ours. . .
So here come the Grizwalds. . .
We couldn't resist. We met so many cars like this the weekend we went out to the local Vineyard for some eats and good company.  Not every day, however, you see a double-stacker of trees.

Fortunately this wasn't us.  We got our mushed into the back of the vehicle.  I'm quite positive that with the rate the needles are dropping on the tree that was just put into the house it would have been bald by the time it made it home with a ride like this!  Fortunately Christmas is soon and we'll have needles left on it to enjoy.  (Believe it or not, we have had years where they have fallen off so fast that we had to take it out and put up the fake one!!)


If anybody in our area has an open night during the holidays (or New Years) I strongly encourage you to try a night at the Grandview Vineyard in Belview, Minnesota.  It is wonderful.  They have amazing pizza, great wine. . .and the friends you spend the time with make the night pricless.

The ambience of the place is fantastic.  Lacey took pictures to put in her "someday my house will have a look like this" album.  The colors are so warm and inviting, the woodwork around the doors is perfect and the lighting is just neat and cozy. 
They also have wonderful assortment of wine (or pop or beer) to enjoy with the wood fire pizza.
We enjoyed Squirley. . .what a great name for a bottle of wine ;) haha

We smile at the popularity of the vineyards that have popped up in our area over time.  We are lucky to have one just a couple miles up the road from the shop.  In small towns like Clara City and Belview it is wonderful to have a hot spot like these to enjoy an evening out at.  If enjoy wine and pizza (or beer and pizza) think about hitting one of these places up!


We made a trip into the cities to visit a sick friend from the community.  She is a true fighter and her courage and strength and faith is astounding.  A true inspiration for anybody who is facing trouble, especially in the words of cancer.  (words we hear of way to often now days. . .)  Anyways we delivered a quilt for her to a hospital in the cities.  We didn't do the picture thing, I think we both wanted to get those hands of love from back at home down to cover her while she is away. . .

Anyways, we laugh about it taking all kinds of kinds.  This photo is not the best, but it was the only way to get it done without him knowing.  The sign on the brick wall reads "NO SMOKING ON THESE HOSPITAL GROUNDS" and the man is holding onto what?  You guessed it.  A cigarette. We laughed.  He was not the only one, there were others.  Takes all kinds. . .

The visit to the hospital, however always makes us think back to our story a couple years ago.  As I type this I get goosebumps thinking back to three years ago today when our family rushed down to the cities to be with a family member (brother/uncle) who had a brain aneurysm.  Praying his kids would make it before the blizzard reached the cities.  Praying that he would be okay.  We talk every year about the angels who work in places like the ICU around the holidays.  We think of them so often and the people they are seeing.  Their joy and spirit at such an uncertain time is something that we all appreciated so much.  One never knows what the power of a warm smile can have on someone.  While we are anxious to celebrate the holidays with our family we always remember those who don't have family close by, who have lost family this year and who are spending nights away from home with uncertain times.  It's important to take a moment and pause in the holiday rush and just count your blessings. . .the things you can't buy in any store and be glad.

On a lighter note. . .we stopped by the Bonnie Mohr studio near Glencoe.  She had her annual open house which is always a fun time.  Bonnie is one of the best artists who depicts cattle and farm life so well.  I think her most popular print, however, is the "Living Life" print that is found all over stores.  I believe if you are interested in her stuff you can visit it by clicking here.
If you enjoy art she is truly worth the trip to see.  The farm site itself is gorgeous. We suggest you make a day of it.  Start with her and travel on to the Pines 'N Tiques antique barn in Plato!! 


We have also been busy working on getting our project ready to share.  We are hoping that this project will be on the bakeshop soon.  We'll post more information when it is.  But this little candy pack friendly project will be a featured post on the Bakeshop soon.  So gather up those candy packs (or scraps) and get ready to sew, sew, sew!
We hope you can all find a few moments to sit down, snuggle up with a quilt and take time to recall all of the wonderful things that Christ has done for us this Christmas.

We will have more goodies to share before the new year arrives.  We are hitting the machines up hard while Lacey is home to create with the fabric at her fingertips!!

Peace and Blessings to you all this holiday season and safe travels to you all.
Love,
Darci & Lacey

"There's more, much more to Christmas than candlelight and cheer;
It's the spirit of sweet friendship that brightens all year.
It's thoughtfulness and kindness.  It's hope reborn again.
For peace, for understanding and for goodwill to men!"

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