Friday, July 31, 2009

… quality control

The other day, I went with Dad to get him an additional mattress pad, as he has been getting achy joints that are keeping him from sound sleeps. He had slept on one of these foam additions & loved it (& slept!) - so that was our mission. . . to find one at Bed Bath & Beyond. . . (with our coupon - of course!) :o)

We found it with no problem. . . spent way too much time getting lost in looking at all sorts of things. . . (that always seems to happen at BB&B) - but made it out (with only what we came for) & then stopped at our favorite. . . 'Frost' on the way home. (There seems to be this huge magnet inside that shoppe - that gets us almost every time!) :o)

Once we got it home - the instructions said to let it "air" for an hour or so. . . (it wasn't stinky - just for the foam to expand after being squished in the bag). . . & as soon as we laid it out on the bed. . . here came the self appointed "quality control". 'er, "personnel", testing to be sure it was okay. . .

Once he was satisfied that one corner was satisfactory. . . he moved to another corner. . .

. . . you know. . . just to be sure.

Seriously, he's one terrific quality control "expert".

. . . We're so lucky!

xo, Bren

… last day!

Just a reminder. . . that today is the last day of July . . . & that means the last day of our big sale over on the website! We wanted to say a big THANK YOU! - so we have marked down all patterns & books 30-40% off! . . . but it ends today!

We've been kept pretty darn busy this month. . . (thank you!). . . & we'll be happy to stay busy today - sending you your order!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

xo, Bren

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

… getting there!

Here's one more little peek before I disappear into the world of pattern finishing & writing. . .(!)

A few days ago. . . I was 'trying' to fall asleep - but couldn't because I was trying to figure out what I was going to use for the flowers for my flower box. . . Then I remembered one of the prints in the 'Simple Abundance' fabric line that I'm using, & I actually got out of bed & went back into the studio. (. . . I mean, I might as well have. . . I wouldn't have gotten asleep anyway until I checked out my idea. . .) There I pulled out the flower print. . . & ta-da!. . . the flowers on it were perfect for my flower box! So there & then, I got out the scissors & cut around the flowers. . . & once done, I was able to go back to bed & I slept like a baby the rest of the night! (Thanks Bonnie & Camille!)

There's still a bit of embroidery to finish them off. . . but here's the peek of the window & flower box blocks. . . ready for their spot in the new design. . .

Hope you have a great week!

xo, Bren

Sunday, July 26, 2009

… a busy little bee!

That would be me . . . for the next six or seven weeks! Whew! Just thinking about it makes me a little nervous. But, that's how it goes in the weeks before Quilt Market . . . & no matter how early we start. . . these weeks of "crunch time" always happen - so I've learned to just keep my head down. . . & keep pluggin' away!

This week, I'm putting the finishing touches on an applique quilt . . . one that I've had floating around in my head in some manner - for a few years now. I'm calling it "Cottage Sweet Home", & the majority of the fabrics are from Camille & Bonnie's line for Moda, 'Sweet Abundance'. . . I love these fabrics! I knew as soon as I saw them that they were the perfect ones for this design that had been begging to me made! (Oh how I love it when that happens!)

So . . . this pile-o-fabrics, & more to come will be my constant companions for the next month or so. . .

. . . Thankfully. . . I love being surrounded by fabrics! . . & for me, having them as constant companions is a wonderful thing!

Hope you have a great week, surrounded by the things that make you happy!

xo, Bren

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

… a 'Celebration'!

I've always loved the little dots on the selvedge of fabrics . . .

I always thought they were so pretty . . .

But these. . . I'm finding I'm particularly fond of . . .

Because they are a part of this.(!!!) . . .

I am so happy to have my first fabric line, that I am designing with Lecien. . . I just can't put it into words!!! Ever since I discovered Lecien fabrics several years ago - I have been a big fan of theirs. I never, ever dreamed that I would be designing fabrics for them. (Someone. . . pinch me!)

Actually. . . I'm still pinching myself. It's been a bit of a long road. . . my journey of fabric design. But I think that all the previous starts (& then stops) - were all great learning experiences, & I have enjoyed working with the wonderful Lecien team . . . so very much!!!

I received a little over half of my sample fabrics yesterday. . . & will receive the rest (fresh off the press!) in about a week - but I couldn't resist giving you a little peek of my line - called 'Celebration'. . .

'Celebration' will be available this fall (from Lecien. . . of course!), & it will be officially introduced at Fall Quilt Market, & from now until then - you know what I'll be 'playing' with!

So stay tuned! . . . As soon as I have the rest of the fabrics. . . I'll give you more peeks! . . .

. . . & we can have a big 'Celebration'! :o)

xo, Bren

Friday, July 17, 2009

… the tooth fairy's assistant

This is my view. . .

. . . at least twice a day . . .

. . . whenever I brush my teeth.

I swear Bailey must have toothpaste radar. He just loves it . . . & loves it when he get a tiny (really tiny) taste of it.

That's my boy. He loves his veggies (even lettuce!) & he loves his toothpaste. (well. . . mine!) I'm going to try & see if this love of toothpaste will expand to the doggy kind. (I'm crossing my fingers!)

On the quilty - stitchery front. . .

Do you remember these?

This is part of my little quilt, 'Fond Wishes', that I made - using Lecien's Durham Collection & it's now available on their website as a free pattern! Just click the little 'Fond Wishes' icon on the sidebar & it will take you to the page where you can find it & several other wonderful projects (from Pam, Elizabeth, Mary, & Monica) to download. . . all free! (Thank you Lecien!)

Hoping you all have a great weekend!

xo, Bren

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

… I *heart* my microwave

After a couple of years of dealing with a microwave that had become quite the 'high maintenance' little appliance. . . When it started up again with it's little 'issues'. . . I decided that it was simply time to get a new one.

I did my usual price comparisons, & I was pleasantly surprised that the prices of microwaves had dropped dramatically from the last time (about 2 years) that I priced them.

Since all my appliances are white. . . (I'm not buying into the "must be stainless steel' fad) . . . I found a perfect model that had a panel that was pretty similar to the previous one & had it delivered & installed. (I did notice those prices had not dropped!)

I love it. . .

. . . even more now that I noticed it's little quirk. . .

My new microwave has a little stutter. . .

I mean really. . . don't you think its endearing?

I do.

And, with the summer temperatures we're having (over 100 degrees). . . I *heart* this little guy. . .

. . . Even more.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

… summer storms

Last evening (a little after 7 pm), Dad, Bailey, & I went out to the back porch to watch the sunset. We are in what is called the 'monsoon' season. . . which means that when the sun heats up our morning & midday temperatures (it got up to 103 yesterday) it provides a vacuum like effect & pulls the clouds & rain up from the Gulf of California (& sometimes the Gulf of Mexico) & we get afternoon & evening rains. . . (& thunderstorms!) When I first moved here. . . I really didn't like the humidity that came with it. But, with age comes wisdom (I think!) - because now I love the monsoons!. . . In fact I get a little disappointed when one fizzles out! The plants love them, & my skin really loves them !

Last evening, the clouds had rolled in . . . but the sunset was peeking through - throwing a wonderful golden glow to everthing amidst the grey cloudy skies.

Then. . . finally. . . the clouds gifted us with their rain. . . The hot temperatures immediately drop by 10 - 15 degrees & everything breathes a sigh of relief.

The sun hung on as long as it could. . . & with the raindrops it also gifted us with this . . .

. . . & then, just before the sun set (& the thunderstorm really broke loose!) . . . we got the hint of the second rainbow. . . (I hope you can see it!)

I love the reminder of 'promise' that a rainbow brings. They also seem to take my breath away - each & every time.

xo, Bren

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

… it's time for. . .

a sale !!

. . . a big one !!!

To say thanks to all our wonderful customers & followers - we wanted to really have a bang-up sale. This 30 - 40% off applies to all books & patterns in our inventory . . . (so if you've been looking to get a pattern or book, don't delay. . . it's limited to stock on hand.)

(Click here. . . & it will take you to the website!)

The sale will run through the end of July. . . (we love you that much!!!)

xo, Bren

Monday, July 6, 2009

… my first quilt

As I was doing a little blog surfing this morning, I saw on Camille's & Carrie's blog that they are encouraging us to post the very first quilt we made . . . & then also post the latest quilt we have completed, & I thought how fun that would be to see!

So, instead of just being a lookie-loo. . . I decided to post mine too!

The first quilts I made were from a book that my Mom bought - 'Little Quilts' - & then I kind-of confiscated it & made almost every quilt in it. Mom never made a thing from it & now I wonder if she bought it . . . knowing how much I would like it. . . (she was right!)

The first quilt I made (18 years ago) was the log cabin. This one hangs in my office. . .

. . . & because I was so fascinated by how the design would change by simply rotating blocks. . . I made this one too. It hangs in my bathroom.

When I first started quilting. . . I fell in love with 30's prints. I still love them. They remind me so much of some of my Grandmas' quilts & the reasons that I fell in love with quilting. Whenever I 'sort through' or 'weed out' my fabric stash. . . I never get rid of any of my 30's prints. I love them still.

I have a few quilt tops finished. . . but they're not quilted yet. . . (so not 'real' quilts yet!) - so I guess this is the last quilt I made. It's called 'Apple Blossoms' & will be available on the website this week. I used fabrics from the 'Aviary' line by Moda. (I love that line!) It was originally designed for a retreat I taught at last spring in Chelan, Washington - for Woven Threads Quilt Shop . . (Hi Rosie!). It has a little applique & pieced borders - & it's one of those quilts that can be made in just a couple of days! (Love those!)

So there they are. . . my first . . . & latest quilts. There a also few more. . . in process (stay tuned!) . . .

. . . but the best part?!. . .

. . . There are many more to come! (yea!!! for quilts, quilting & quilters!)

(If you want to play too. . . be sure to check out Camille's & Carrie's blogs!)

xo, Bren

Friday, July 3, 2009

… frost

(warning. . . this post might cause cravings. . . )

'Frost' . . . the place I most want to visit in the summer. . . (even more that Starbucks! - now that says a lot!)

What is 'Frost'?

'Frost' is a local gelato shop. (Gelato is an Italian ice cream.) I was introduced to it by one of my students a few years ago when I was teaching & advising a yearbook class. We would go out to celebrate meeting print deadlines & usually they wanted to go to 'Cold Stone Creamery'. . . that is until one of them went to 'Frost'.

Oh my. Seriously wonderful. It is all made on the premises, & the flavors are intense & rich - so a little really fills you up. And, the presentation of the flavors is stunning. . . lookie. . . !

Each of the flavors has what it is made of on the top & as they scoop your portion out - the goodies get scooped out too, & you get little bites of freshness all through your cup.

Me. . . I'm hooked on the chocolate (big surprise!). It is so rich that a small cup is as filling as a pint of regular ice cream. (Not that I know what it's like to eat a whole pint of ice cream . . . !)
And the bonus on top of all this wonderfulness - is that it's only 132 calories (& only 3-8% butterfat).

Today Dad & I went out to have lunch & then to 'Frost'. . . when we got to the place where we usually stop (Paradise Bakery) - we both decided that neither of us was hungry enough to have both a salad or sandwich & a gelato. . .

So, yep . . . you guessed it . . .

We headed for 'Frost' . . .

. . . with no regrets!

(Seems like my mind was obviously focused on something else (like diving into my gelato!) . . . & I didn't get a photo of my yummy "lunch" for a 'before' shot. . . but in all reality - it rarely doesn't have a few bites already taken - even before we sit down!)

So - I'm thinking this was a perfect way to start off the 4th of July weekend celebration . . . ! Hope your weekend is filled with all kinds of wonderfulness too!

xo, Bren