Friday, July 30, 2010

… a finish & a start




I'm having a bit of a celebration today, as I finished a quilt top for one of my new designs yesterday. Can you see the peek of it there draped over my wing chair? I'd love to show you the whole thing - but I'm going to make another version of  it with other fabrics - so the complete reveal will have to wait a little bit. Sorry. . .  but I wanted to celebrate just a little bit with you with this little finish. Hope you don't mind!

Today - I'll be taking a bunch of these. . .


. . . & make a bunch of these. . . 


Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

 Bren

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

daybook ::26::

for today :: July 28, 2010

outside my window. . .  cloudy skies

I am thinking. . . & praying for my niece, who is taking the Minnesota state bar exam today. . .

from the kitchen. . . wool! I got up early & dyed some wool for an order. (Coffee was made too!)

I am wearing. . .  My wool dying clothes. . .(read: grubby t-shirt & shorts. . . but very comfortable grubbies!)

I am creating. . .  the free pattern for my 'Georgia Lou' fabric line.

I am remembering. . .  Mom. . .  working with the fabrics that are named after her - she is constantly on my heart & mind.

I am reading. . .  'A Mother's Hope'  by Francine Rivers.  . . almost done!

I am hoping . . .  to finish the first of the new quilts for fall Market. . . maybe today!

I am hearing. . .  the TV . . . NCIS. . . there must be a NCIS marathon on today. . . (Yea! Perfect for working in the studio!)

around the house. . . new projects here & there, as well as getting items ready for the website.

I am going. . . to allow myself to finally read/look through the magazines that have arrived over the last couple of weeks & are now feeling neglected!

one of my favorite things. . .  having more ideas for projects than time. . .! I used to worry & wonder  before I really started designing whether I could keep coming up with ideas for new projects. . . Thankfully that hasn't been an issue!

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . jumping into the studio with both feet!. . . more wool dying & some cookie baking. . . (fun week!)

from my picture journal . . .

Hope you have a wonderful day!
 Bren

Monday, July 26, 2010

… a bit of lunch




This past weekend & got to have lunch with some of my favorite folks. . . my cousins! Two of my cousins had driven out from Oklahoma & Texas & so all (almost) of the 'local' cousins (& a couple of  'spouse cousins') from Arizona met up at a Cracker Barrel (where I hadn't been in years!!) & honestly could have stayed & visited all afternoon.


One of the sweet waitresses took a group photo for one aunt that couldn't be there. She's my aunt Trudy. . . the last of  the ten kids in my Mom's family. . . & I snapped my own photo for my memory book.  I feel so blessed to be a part of this family. One of the things that has hit all of us  (especially when we see photos like this!) is when in the world did we become the adults (some with grandkids!) instead of the little ones running around at family reunions. . .? Whew! We have said good-bye to most of our aunts & uncles & parents & so the remaining of their generation have become very special to us. We were blessed to have my Aunt Winnie & my Dad (seated  on the left side of the bench) & we remember one of my aunts (who is now in heaven) words to us that it is now up to us to get everyone together. . . how true. In the spirit of that - we do take every opportunity we can to get together, & we girls are planning to have a retreat every year or so. . . just to be sure. I can hardly wait!


Well, I'm off. . . busy day today. New things coming this week! Say 'tuned'!


Hope you have a great Monday!


Bren

Friday, July 23, 2010

. . . errands can be fun!



. . . Well, they can be when your first stop (after Starbucks, of course) is a quilt shop!


One of the local quilt shops here in Tucson, The Quilt Basket, has been around since I started quilting - but I don't get there as often as I would like, because they are located on the east side of Tucson & I live in a town that northwest of Tucson. It means a forty (or so) minute drive - but yesterday, I decided that I am definitely going to make the trek more often.


Look what greeted me when I entered the shop!




It's my 'Celebration' fabrics made into Cyndi's (Stitch Studio) adorable cherry quilt from her book 'Spotlight On Scraps'! I do believe  I'm going to have make that quilt for my kitchen/breakfast area. . . Yep. I do think so!


They also had a wonderful little display/vignette featuring my 'Celebration' fabrics & some of my quilts. . . (don't you love the pink lunchbox & colander?!)



As if that weren't enough, they also had a wonderful, fun version of my 'Remember 'Who0o' Loves You' pattern made up. . .


. . . isn't it fun?! I just love to see what others do with my designs . . . ! It never fails to give me a little thrill. Which reminds me. . . if you have made one of my designs - I would love to see it!  You can email your photo to me at acornquiltandgiftcompany@comcast.net

Around here, I am waiting for the fabric bolts of my new fabric line, 'Georgia Lou' to arrive. Until then, I'm making a couple of new designs (& I'm having so much fun with them!) & getting myself back into the designing swing. (Finding out that my new line will be shown as soon as next month certainly has helped!) Also, the website got a bit of a new layout & so I'll be working on updating it from my side, as well.

Today, I get to have lunch with several cousins (that I wish all lived closer!) - so that will make for a great day for me!  Hope you have a wonderful day too!

Bren

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

… daybook ::25::

for today :: July 21, 2010

outside my window. . .  the birdies are busy. . . before it gets too warm hot!

I am thinking. . . of what project to pack in my sewing bag for tonight's 'Staff Stitch' 

from the kitchen. . .  coffee so far. . . but I will be having my scrambled egg whites with 2% sharp cheddar cheese  in a little bit. (yum!)

I am wearing. . .  I'm still in my jammies. . . but a summer dress is awaiting in the closet for the day out.

I am creating. . .  a fun new quilt - using some 30's repro's. . . one of my favorite types of fabric!

I am remembering. . .  that it's good to use what I have.

I am reading. . .  'A Mother's Hope'  by Francine Rivers. (Thank you to Melissa for her recommendation of another Francine Rivers book. She has truly become one of my favorite authors!)

I am hoping . . .  to get my bolts of my new fabric line this week.

I am hearing. . .  the weather report in the background. . . another day of hopes for afternoon/evening  monsoon rains. . . (we love them!). . . I also just heard some thunder!. . . in the morning!!! (yippee!)

around the house. . . getting ready to change out the quilts on display & on the couches & chairs. (I still have the red-white-& blue quilts out. . .)

I am going. . . to work (play?!) at the quilt shop today. . . then it's our monthly dinner out & 'Staff Stitch' at the quilt shop after. It'll be a long but good day, & Dad & Bailey will have a boy's day here at home!

one of my favorite things. . .  quilt blocks that go together so easily!

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . more stash 'editing' & working on a website update.  . . new patterns arriving - so that means lots of shipping . . . & lunch with some cousins (whom I love!!!)  who are visiting AZ.

from my picture journal . . .

 Bren

Sunday, July 18, 2010

. . . back into the studio!



After what felt like way too long of not being in the studio. . . well. . . creating things . . . I have been in there cleaning(!). . . I spent most of today  happily cutting & sewing away. I made dozens & dozens & dozens of half-square triangles & never had so much fun making those little buggers!


I'm crediting that to the fact that I have broken down & am trying a paper piecing product to make them. I have heard about many over the years - but never really got to excited about them . (Even though I'm certain that they are probably wonderful products. . . I can just be a little late to the party!) . Then I read a review about a product for making not only half square triangles - but also quarter square triangles & the best part is that it includes pretty much all the sizes you could possible want, because they are all on a CD, & you simply print out the sizes & the amounts that you need. (. . . & after I just went through all my sorting & purging. . . something so simple & compact - but so useful is a dream!)


Best of all - it made making the dozens of half-square triangles so much fun & so easy - as well as each one being the perfect size! I'm thinking I will never ever go back to making my half-square triangles any other way. The CD I used is called 'Triangulations 2.0' by Brenda Henning for Bear Paw Productions, & if your local quilt shop doesn't have it - ask them about it!. . .  & /or I do believe that you can find it at the Fat Quarter Shop. So worth it. My latest project uses quite a few  half-square triangles & this little treat is making them so easy & fun. I just love it when that happens!


I also wanted to thank all of you for your sweet words about my new fabric line - 'Georgia Lou'. I also started cutting into my sample half yards a few evenings ago & I'm very excited to get the rest of my yardage & jump into the new designs. I did get some great news & that is that Lecien is planning to begin to show 'Georgia Lou' to quilt shops next month! So that means things will be a-buzzin' here in the studio. . . & I will be giving lots of peeks along the way!


Hope you have a wonderful week!


Bren

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

. . . it's a sale!



This last week, I spent four days doing a major clean. . . a purge really. I went through every shelf, closet, drawer, & cubby in the guest/extra room (or what I was lovingly calling the 'dumping' room), my office & my studio. I looked through 2 years worth of magazines to pull only the pages that had something on them that really inspired me & I wanted to keep. An almost 3 foot pile of magazines reduced to little less than 1" of pages - which will now go into one of my new fabric covered notebooks. I even went through every file in my office (4 file drawers full!) & I ended up with 3 full kitchen size trash-bags full of papers I didn't need. Then I got busy with my shredder & filled another bag with the shreds of another pile of 'papers' that I had (for some reason) saved for shredding later. . . (Seriously - if it needs shredding. . . why wait?)


I found three bags of wool strips/scraps that I gave to my quilter - who will make beautiful hooked rugs from them. I have filled 2 boxes with fabric that will be donated . . . most pieces were ones that I have held onto for years, & although I love them still,  I know that even if I did nothing but make quilts for the rest of my life. . . I would probably never get through them all. Not that I had a warehouse of fabric or anything - it's just that now that I am designing fabrics & have bunches of new pieces coming every 6 months or so. . . there is not room for all of it. . . & it's a shame for the older fabrics to just be sitting in a closet! (Oh, but I must confess. . . there are still some 3 Sisters, Fig Tree, & Blackbird Designs fabrics  (moda!) from years ago that I'm not about to part with. . .!)


Needless to say - I was pretty tuckered out last night when I finished dusting off the desktops in my office (that I could once again see now that all the piles of paper are gone!) - but it was that wonderful kind of tuckered out. The kind where you  feel like you just can't do another thing - but you know you just accomplished something big. . . real big . . . & you feel a bit lighter. . . (but too tired to fly!).


Now that my studio, office, & spare room are spic-n-span & clutter free. . . I'm ready to start on a fresh batch of new designs & so I'm celebrating &  in the mood to do a little 'cleaning out'  of the pattern & book inventory to make room for the new! 


So. . .  I'm celebrating & having a summer sale on the website. . . where all patterns & books are 30% off!  (July 14 - 21!)



As for me. . . I'll be in the studio. . . trying to whittle down my current 'stock' of fabric into new designs for you!


Bren

Sunday, July 11, 2010

… little visitors

We had a really wonderful spring. Wonderful temperatures. . . days filled with leaving the windows wide open. . . & fresh air & sunny days & lots of flowers. And now, it seems as if summer is doing it's thing right on schedule . . . with summer rains in the afternoon to cool things off. . . (at least they're trying!)


. . . Oh sure - our days are sometimes downright hot  - & the windows are only open in the early morning, but I'm really not minding as there are ways that summer seems to provide for some relief. . . like this little one that is a regular in the backyard has found . . . he digs a little hole to get to some cool soil - just under the surface. Ahhh!



 This spring, we had two little bunnies as regulars in the side yards. . . & making their way to the grass in the back this summer. Sometimes they are quite brave . . . especially with people. . . they hardly move unless they really 'have' to. With Bailey  - on the other hand - they would run as soon as they saw him. But. . . I''ve been working hard on "Leave it" with Bailey & now he's really good about not bustin' out the back door when he sees them. Now he waits for permission to go out (usually after I've gone & scooted the bunnies along to another part of the yard). He tries. . . he really tries.

Otherwise - with us keeping the doors closed because we want to keep the house as cool as possible. . .  our little bunnies pretty much have the run of the backyard. . . doing their best to keep the lawn under control. . . 




. . . always though, with their ears listening for the big, curly, fluffy, exuberant 'critter that for some reason considers the yard "his". Little do they know that Bailey is thinking what a big sacrifice he's making to let those little critters with the funny big ears & little white puffy tails stay in "his" yard at all!



. . . But he's learning. . . & he's doing a really good job as 'sharing' "his" yard. (. . . actually, he really knows how good a boy he is when he does a good job at 'Leave it' . . . & has the treats to prove it!) Here's where he spends part of the day - just inside the sliding glass door to the backyard. What's funny is I still can tell when he sees the bunnies - as, although he doesn't bark at them anymore. . . he does let out a small, little, rumbly-sort-of-growl that he thinks only he can hear. . . Oh how he's trying!!

Good boy, Bailey!

p.s. I have received a few emails about when the new patterns will be out. . . (& a couple of email addresses that were incorrect & I couldn't reply!). . . so I wanted to let you know that the patterns are at the printer & I will hopefully have them back & ready to ship by the beginning of next week. (Finally!!) Thanks to everyone for your patience & your enthusiasm too!   Bren

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

daybook ::24::

for today :: July 7, 2010

outside my window. . .  it's still cool. . . (but not for long!)

I am thinking. . . of getting into the 'guest' room (. . . you know, the one where things tend to get dumped stored for a bit?)  & doing some cleaning out!

from the kitchen. . .  6 yards of pastel wools! (with color names like peeps (yellow), sprout (lt. green), peony (pink), cremecicle (lt. orange), hydrangea (lavender), & soft aqua. . .) Yummy!

I am wearing. . .  the 'grubby' stained t-shirt & shorts - that I don't mind getting dye on. Need to get changed for the day. . .

I am creating. . . new little somethings. . . .! (sorry. . . too early for peeks)

I am remembering. . .  how excited we all get when the clouds roll in. . . & how much I love the summer monsoon rains. 

I am reading. . .  'A Lineage of Grace'  by Francine Rivers  - I'm at the chapter about Ruth & Boaz. . . love this story so much. . .

I am hoping . . .  to get some new stitcheries prepped.

I am hearing. . .  quail parents sounding their 'chirping' alarms. . . we must have at least 2-3 nests in the backyard. . .! (Can't wait to see those cute little babies! - they so remind me of little cartoons!)

around the house. . . stayin' cool. . . we're getting pretty good at it!

I am going. . . to enjoy a day without anywhere I 'have' to be!

one of my favorite things. . .  a fresh new haircut. . . (so easy!)

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . more stash 'editing' & working on a website update.

from my picture journal . . .
. . . in celebration of the fact that today is 'Chocolate Day'. . . (isn't that  every day?). . . this little plaque hangs in my kitchen. . .

Wishing you a wonderful day. . . (& lots of chocolate!)
 
Bren

Sunday, July 4, 2010

… 'She Stands'

This is one of my very favorite videos. . . 
& seems perfect as we celebrate this great day.






Happy Forth of July!

Bren


update: For those of you who are unable to view the video (I've heard from some of you in other countries - who can't view it from Vemo. . .  you can see another version here.)



Friday, July 2, 2010

… celebrating the 4th!



Isn't it funny how,  in America, we can give our holidays nicknames. . . but we know exactly what we're talking about. . .?! (. . . the "4th" what?)


So. . . to all my friends here in the United States of America I want to wish you a very happy Independence Day (or "4th of July". . . or "4th"!). What an amazing celebration we get to have. What an amazing (& so very young - in the scope of world history) history & legacy we have.


Happy Birthday America!


. . . & to all, I wish you a safe & wonderful weekend!


Bren

Thursday, July 1, 2010

daybook ::23::

for today :: July 1, 2010

outside my window. . .  sun is thinking about rising. (I'm certain it will. . . one of those wonderful consistencies that we can count on. . . whether we can see it or not!)

I am thinking. . . of new things to make with my new fabrics. . . oh. . . the possibilities!

from the kitchen. . .  very quiet so far. . . I'm up before the auto timer (set at 6) comes on. . . think I need to go in there & push the button myself. (Can't believe  haven't done that already!)

I am wearing. . .  my favorite grey t-shirt & shorts. . . sneakers soon. . . for the morning walk.

I am creating. . . a new 'Durham Anew' quilt. . . finishing the binding today!

I am remembering. . . how much I love our summer monsoons (afternoon rains). . . we've been getting hints of them!

I am reading. . .  'A Lineage of Grace'  by Francine Rivers (sorry. . . I really need to update my book list on the sidebar.)

I am hoping . . .  to get all new patterns to the printer by Monday.

I am hearing. . .  Bailey. . . he want's me to hurry up & get to our walk already(!)

around the house. . . a little red. . . a little white. . . & a little blue in the quilts on the couch & tables to decorate a bit for our holiday week coming up! 

I am going. . . to be a 'shopgirl' today! . . . with my friend Susan! (fun!)

one of my favorite things. . .  how early the sun rises in the summer. (love it!)

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . pattern writing (finishing!). . . painting. . . & stash 'editing'.

from my picture journal . . .

. . . Here's a screen shot with all the pages of the pattern I've been working on (24 pages!) . . .  The best part is - notice that only the last page is left to fill?!?  . . . Yippee!!!

Bren

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