Monday, December 31, 2012

… little things that make us happy. . .


I was going to look for a cute little 'New Years' graphic to post. . .
but then I realized that this was as cute as it gets (for me at least!)



This is Bailey 'in action' with his new toys (from his Christmas stocking).
I was stitching, & Bailey was on the floor gnawing on his toys,
when he took a little break & sat up & just looked at me.
(. . . with his 'fluff beard-y thing going on. . .)
I just laughed & thankfully had my phone right next to me.
He was a very good boy & did his 'stay' command very well. . .
& when I rounded to the other side of him. . .
there was Mr. Moosie. . . or what's left of him. . .
But that's okay. . .
Bailey likes his 'babies' flat.
. . . & actually this was a record-breaker!
 Mr. Moosie lasted 6 days!
(the previous record was 36 hours.)


For me, I've prepped block #2 for Beyond the Cherry Trees.
. . . so you know what I'll be doing as we celebrate the new year!

Bailey & I hope that as you reflect on this past year & look toward the new year,
you are filled with hope for the promise of what is to come!

Bren

Saturday, December 29, 2012

... windmills quilt








I thought I'd show you the quilt that I made 
for my niece, Nicole, & her groom. Eric.

It's the medium size of my 'windmills' quilt (from the 'farmhouse collection').
I had such fun making this quilt. 
I've included photos of the different 'windmill' blocks (that are coordinated),
& then also a photo of the center block - that I call 
the 'Amish block' - or the humility block,
where each of the 'blades' of the windmill are from each of the other blocks.
. . . Just to remind the young couple that even though things may not always
be perfect. . . they are still a part of the whole & have their own beauty.
It also is a reminder that no one is perfect - except God.
The pastor that oversaw at their wedding ceremony, 
gave a wonderful talk about this,
& so it had great meaning to them when I explained it to them.
(. . . I just love it when that happens!. . . Thanks God!)

The quilt is what I call 'snuggle size' 
- perfect to snuggle under for a nap -
 or to snuggle together to watch a movie on a snowy day 
(Like what they have been having!)

The last photo is of my block one for the 'Beyond the Cherry Trees' quilt.
The blocks were offered as a free download each month a couple of years ago,
& I was good about downloading them. . .
. . . just never good about starting them.
I'm thankful for that now - as I've been seeing some of the finished versions,
& I've fallen in love with one that uses mostly French General fabrics.
So, it inspired me, & that's what I'm doing (heaven know I have enough of them!).
I'll post them as I get them done. . . (this one is going to take awhile though - as there are 25 blocks & appliqué borders as well!
But I've been loving getting to sit & work on something that is wonderfully vintage 
& it's the perfect mix of being 'Baltimore-y' & 'primitive-y' at the same time.

I hope you are enjoying these wonderful days. . . between Christmas & New Year,
they feel wonderfully quiet & the perfect time to reflect & plan,
& to simply enjoy the days. I know I am!

Bren

(p.s. I'm working really hard at getting the PDF patterns ready & uploaded
to the website. . . it will be soon!!!)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

… it's the little things. . .



. . . from the availability of peppermint bark
(. . . & I love the little 'Dove' pieces of peppermint bark,
just the right amount!)


. . . to all the wonderful variety of poinsettia colors!
This one is in my bedroom.
It's the most wonderful coral-y pink tinged with red edges.
I love it, & I hope it lasts long into the new year. . .

. . . And then there is this very special ornament.

It has become my favorite.

A neighbor made it for Dad & I, five years ago.

She took the photo (my favorite) we had of Mom 
that was used in her memorial service program,

. . . & she placed it inside a glass ornament that she painted 
with delicate snowflakes.

Secretly. . . I never put it away. . . it hangs in a tree that I have in the house
. . . all year long.
. . . but for now, it is carefully placed beneath our little Christmas tree,
. . . reminding me of what a gift the time I had with her was.

It's the little things. . .
. . . that make the biggest difference to me.

I want to thank you all for visiting today,
& I pray that you have a very special celebration
of the wonderful gift that God has given us.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Bren

Sunday, December 16, 2012

… a final one. . .







I've had these photos ready for several days. . .
. . . but after the Friday's news, 
it just didn't fell right to post about new fabrics.
There were other things (way more important things)
that took over my head & my heart.

My prayers are with the families of Sandy Hook.
It feels as though words fail, but I know that there is great power in prayer,
. . . & so I will continue to lift them up in prayer
for the promised "peace that passes understanding".

It is also a reminder to shower those around us with love,
& to celebrate the blessings that we often overlook day-by-day.
I am striving to look around me & to see & celebrate the
blessings that have been laid before me.

One of those blessings, in the past few years
has been to have the opportunity to design fabrics.
It was a dream - when I first started designing quilts,
& it felt like a dream when I saw my first line come to fruition.

The photos above are of my upcoming line,
Durham Collection Anew (2102).
It should be in shops around February/March.

(also, just so you know, the colors in thee photos are more true to the actual colors 
than the scanned promotional images that I've seen on the internet. . . 
just in case it matters to you.)


I've been enjoying folding & refolding my pieces, 
& I've placed my order for bolts of some of my favorites.
(I wanted a bolt of each one - but I've no room!)

For this Durham Collection Anew, I've added a warm vintage tan colorway,
. . . & I'm thinking that I will be making a quilt entirely from this colorway.
I just love it.

I'm thinking of making quilts for my 'farmhouse collection'  series
from this line that would be the kind of quilts that
would be at home on any porch swing.

This line will also be my last fabric line for awhile.
I've decided to not continue in designing fabrics for a bit,
so that I can focus more on creating designs for quilts & needlework, 
as well as some other things that are currently on the back burner.
Lecien is doing some re-organizing & although I have talked with 
a couple of other fabric manufactures, I just feel it's time to take a break.
(I definitely will though - continue to work on new designs for my portfolio. . .
. . . designs that can be used for fabrics & other things.)

I've really enjoyed having the opportunity to design & work with fabrics that 
are a part of who I am. . .
I hope that you have enjoyed it as well.

I have a very limited amount of sample fabrics,
 & I've taken part of them & made a very limited number of bundles.
There are a couple of fat-quarter bundles, & also some fat-eighth bundles 
if you would like a little head start on a project using these fabrics.

I also want to thank so many of you, who have been so supportive of my
fabric designing. To know that some of you have actually 'collected' them is
beyond my comprehension, & it has given me such joy.
Thank you.

So, as I enter this week, I do so with a humble heart,
& one that will continue to look for the blessings that
I have been given.

Please know, that you are one of them.

Bren


Thursday, December 13, 2012

… homey little touches of Christmas














This year, I wanted to make the house feel really home-y with the
decorations that I pulled out of the boxes this year.

(I took these photos in the evening - with no lights on, 
except the twinkle lights. . . so you could get the 'feel' of what we see.)

So, I picked the 'natural' themed trimmings for our little tree.
. . . little bird nests, fruits, & acorns. (. . . of course!)

There are lots of white lights - that are left on all day too. . .
. . . just because twinkly white lights make me happy!

Then there is a special little milk glass vase that I have 
that holds it's bouquet of peppermint lollipops.
 It has become a 'must-have' part of the Christmas decor 
in the past few years, as we love these seasonal lollies!
(In fact. . . I've been known to hoard some bags of them 
before they disappear from the shelves at the market. . . 
just to be sure we can still have some after the start of new year!

Now, it's time for me to go & make a mocha & sit with my little guy
& enjoy the white lights & my memories of this blessed season.

Bren


Sunday, December 9, 2012

… a little blessing & a lot of love.





On December 1, 2012,
In St.Paul. Minnesota,
my sweet niece Nicole married her sweetheart, Eric.

The wedding was incredibly beautiful.
Every detail thought out.

I only had my iPhone with me - but I did get a couple of photos.
(. . . kinda blurry - like our memory of the day!)

(The lantern (top photo) was one of two that greeted everyone 
at the big wooden doors of the chapel, & was in honor & memory
of the great grandparents & grandparent (my Mom).)
Tears. . . even before the ceremony.

The chapel - is set on a lake & is made of stone 
& was an lovely setting for a wedding.

The second photo is of Nicole & Eric as the vows ceremony started.
She looked like a princess & you could see how much Eric treasures her.

The last photo I have is a rare one.
It is of my handsome brother, Scott,  & his beautiful wife, Jodi.
I say that it is rare - because it was one of the rare moments
 that they were both sitting down at the reception!
They made sure to greet everyone (about 300!) who came!

The bride & groom are coming home this week from their honeymoon 
in the warm, sunny Florida Keys. . .
. . . to a lot of snow that has fallen  while they've been gone!

The weekend was a fast trip for me & blur!
. . . & I'm looking forward to my next visit
. . . hopefully in March!

Hope you have a wonderful start to your week!

Bren


Thursday, December 6, 2012

… there always a little time. . .




This last weekend I have been in Minneapolis 
for my niece's wedding.

It was a beautiful wedding.
Stunning.
I will post a couple of photos this weekend.
I planned to take a bunch of photos - but I was too involved with other things 
& I only pulled out my iPhone a couple of times. 
(bad blogger...)

The trip was too fast. 
Usually when I go to visit, I stay for at least a week,
 & there is time to putter around.
Not so - when there is all the wedding dinners, rehearsals, 
& running around that a necessity when you are on the brides side.
(Also, I was traveling with Dad this time - & I was the 'driver'.)

But. . .
There is one place that I must go to when I go to the Twin Cities - 
& this time I made sure to make the time to go to one of my favorite quilt shops,

Eagle Creek Quilt Shop is in a little town southwest of Minneapolis,
& it is worth the trip!
It is in an old train station & has incredible atmosphere. 
In fact, this time my sister-in-law (the mother-of-the-bride) came with me 
(she needed an 'escape' after the wedding weekend!)
& for the first time - a train came through. . .
. . . & it whizzes right next to the station/quilt shop!

I pulled out my iPhone & tried to get a decent photo.


Can you see it?. . . right outside the window!
(Trust me - we could also 'feel' it!)

I picked up some plaid wool (I always do!),
 & some green prints for a project I'm working on.
(I never leave there without something!)

The photos at the top of the post are of a couple of the hydrangea plants that are along the path from the parking area to the front door of the shop.
I just loved the way they have 'dried' & are preserved right on the bush.

It was so fun to get to be where there is already some real winter weather happening.
(. . . which means that, yes, I did need my mittens a couple of mornings, & I even had to scrape the car windshield & windows one morning!)
But - I must admit, it was nice coming home to some milder temps.
(Sometimes, I do feel spoiled living here in Arizona.)

Hope you are enjoying the beginnings of this incredible season 
of celebrations!

Bren

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