Tuesday, December 30, 2014

That 'VAT' thing….

I'm trying to 'dress'  this announcement up to try & make it 'prettier' than it really is - because actually it's quite a bit of a mess….

I'm talking about the 'about to happen' changes in the EU VAT  (European Union  Value Added Tax) situation as it pertains to my PDF downloadable patterns. On January 1, 2015  a new EU law will go into effect regarding VAT on all electronic supplied services (in this case - PDF downloadable patterns). From January 1 - the VAT would now be determined by the purchaser's/buyer's location. So, if a seller - even in non-EU countries sell a PDF downloadable pattern to someone who lives in one of the EU countries - that seller would be expected to charge the VAT at the buyers country rate (& there are 75 different tax rates within the 28 European member countries) & then send that vat to that countries authorities. (sigh). The administrative requirements are beyond reasonable for small businesses & make the entire process honestly overwhelming.

(If you would like more info - you can find it here.)

So, what does that mean for the patterns I have made available as PDF downloads?

I have researched several options, & because I don't want to block the sales to EU countries & I want to make PDF patterns still available to everyone (& I don't want to break any 'laws' - even though many legal experts state they can't see how the EU could enforce their new VAT ruling on sellers from non-union countries), I will be making a change as to how my PDF patterns will be delivered (so that I will stay within the new VAT changes). As of January 1, 2015 - I will be manually emailing any PDF patterns that are ordered. This doesn't change the product you will receive - it's just that the PDF patterns will no longer be available as an instantly available downloadable e-service. It means there will be a bit of a delay as to how soon you will receive your order - & I will do my best to get all PDF pattern orders sent within 12 - 24 hours from the time they are ordered. (Hopefully sooner!) The plus side is that PDF patterns will still be available & you don't have to pay any shipping in order to get the pattern (what we love about them!), & they will still arrive sooner than when shipped.

Because there is no way to separate the EU customers from the rest through the shopping cart used on my website - this will apply to all PDF orders - no matter what country you live in.

Thanks so much for your understanding. If you have any questions - please fell free to email me. (You can find my email - in my profile - under 'about me' on the sidebar.)

Not the most enjoyable post to have to make - but I want to be sure that everyone can enjoy the ability to have access to PDF patterns!

I hope you have a wonderful start to the New Year!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

:: the wonder of this season. . .

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!
May you find the peace & wonder that this season invites us to find.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

:: oops. . .

… Oops for the amount of time since my last post…

… & oops for my owie that I did last week. I fell at my 'big-girl' job… & what I first thought was just a bad sprain, ended up being a broken arm/wrist. 
My left arm/wrist.
… & yes, I'm a lefty.

I did it on Wednesday, & went to Urgent Care on Friday, when the swelling got a bit worse.
(… & actually, I was just going - just in case… I really didn't think it was broken… & when the doctor came back into the room after looking at the x-rays … I didn't believe him at first!)

So for now, it is in a splint (wow are they ever fancy these days!), & I go to see an orthopedic doctor tomorrow to probably get it in a cast, & also find out how long  I will need to live without doing any handwork, cutting, sewing…. (sigh.) It's amazing how many things we take for granted getting to use both hands!… I am doing my best to get creative about how to accomplish the simplest of tasks!

I'll be back in a few days with some updates  (I still need to share about Fall Quilt Market!) to this poor neglected blog & to make an announcement or  two…

Until then - take good care!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

:: oh my . . .


. . . With my last post titled 'carrying on'. . . & two months (!) since then, & no posts from me, you might be wondering just what kind of  'carrying on' has been happening...? (... & for those of you who have sent emails & notes wondering if everything is okay... thank you. Your sweet concern touched my heart!) So, just to let you know everything is fine with Bailey, & Dad is doing fine. He has battled a cold for several weeks that has somewhat 'taken the stuffing out of him', but he is recovering, & has been pretty good about not trying to do too much - too soon. (His usual practice...)

I was planning to put together a post tomorrow, but we are being warned to not be surprised if there are power outages starting tomorrow. For the second week in a row, Southern Arizona weather is being affected by, of all things a hurricane. Last week it was Norbert, & this week it is Odile. Last week, the remnants (& only the outer bands) of Norbert dumped a lot of  rain, & did a good soaking of our ground... & starting tonight, the remnants of hurricane Odile are making a direct path towards us, & with our ground already soaked, they are worried about the flash flooding that could occure. While watching the news this evening, I saw that even Jim Cantore for The Wearher Channel is here in Tucson, & we are told that some members of the Today show are arriving tonight to cover the storm. So... needless to say, we are taking it a bit more seriously & wondering just what might happen. They have said that if you don't have to be out tomorrow... don't go out. Hmmmm.

So, here I am putting together this little post to say "Hi!", & to let you know I'm still here, & to give you a few peeks of my new fabric line with Moda called Ambleside. (& yes, I'm still pinching myself!) My sample fabrics have arrived & I've been crazy busy making the final decisions on new designs & getting projects planned & started. Even though it's exhausting, what fun it's all been!  Bailey isn't quite sure about his mommy being so busy with it all! but I've made sure he gets his share of snuggles & cuddles. In the photo above, he just got his face (eyes) washed & he was waiting to get the curlies brushed out... (He thought he looked too girly...)

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of this autumn season (spring for the So. Hemisphere!)... This is my favorite time of the year... & I can't wait for the cooler temps, & the pretty colors of fall!

Take good care! 
xo, Bren

Saturday, July 5, 2014

:: carrying on

Here in Arizona, there are some years when it feels like summer starts somewhere mid-spring. 
(The temperatures can hit in the 90's as early as March some years!)
But, this year we had a wonderfully mild spring, & now that it's July... summer has definitely arrived. 
In the 23 years I've lived here, I now feel like summer is officially here when we get the start of the summer rains... or what is called the 'monsoon' season. When I first moved here, I didn't care for it too much ("but I thought it was supposed to be a 'dry' heat!"), but now I love it when they arrive. 

And just the other day... they arrived!

In the top photo, I had opened the front door to check to see if any storms might be building (they often come up from the south during the summer), & although it was still very sunny (& hot!) over us, you can see what was coming! Bailey was just finishing 'watering' one of the bushes...(he's such a helper in with the gardening!)... when a big low rumble came from the direction of the mountains (& the big dark clouds), & within a split-second he was making a bee-line for the front door! So we went inside & put on his storm gear... his Thundershirt. He actually likes having it on & it does really help with the thunder-boomers. He was a happy camper throughout the 1.5 inches of rain we got that afternoon.  

The photo at the bottom was actually taken only about 15 minutes after the top photo! Within a few minutes we had a nice little lake build up on the side of the house... which my Dad loves (& actually created a dam so that  the rainwater wouldn't run out the side yard to fast) as it then soaks down & deep waters the trees we have on the side yard. You can see by the patchy grass, that we were in such need of rain. Hopefully with one or two more good rains, the grass will become more lush & green & less patchy. (... & all the bunnies that visit our backyard will be so happy!)

I hope you all (in the States) had a great Independance Day celebration. I watched some fireworks on TV (with the sound turned down as my little pupper doesn't like the booms at all...) & thankfully none of our neighbors set off any fireworks in the neighborhood. I love fireworks... ever since I was little... but having a pup that gets really traumatized by the noise has tempered my appreciation of them being allowed to be set off  within a neighborhood. I know I must sound like a firework 'Scrooge' , but honestly I do love them... in their proper place. 

I've had my nose to the grindstone with some new projects, & I'll try to snap some photos for you for another post. I'm putting this post together on my iPad, to see if this makes it easier for me to 'find' the time to post a little easier... So we will see if it looks the same. As I'm looking at this post as I'm putting it together, the photos look huge... so we'll see!
 Until then, I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

xo, Bren

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

:: doing a little happy dance here. . .!

Yep. . . it's true. (!!!!)
… but feel free to pinch me, 'cause there are times I can hardly believe it.

I am so happy to announce that my next fabric line will be making it's appearance at Fall Market with Moda.
(… insert girl doing happy dance for the umpteenth time…)

It's called Ambleside.

…& I couldn't be more pleased.

(… & it's been so very hard to keep it secret until now! Whew.)

Here's a little peek of one of the colorways.

:-)  ! ! ! 
(a trillion times squared)

… um… If you need me… I'll be in the studio.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

:: officially summer

A month. . . really? 
It's been that long since I posted here on the blog?
Oh my. 
Sorry blog. . . I didn't mean to neglect you. . . & I'm so sorry to my sweet blog visitors. 
I really didn't mean for so much time to pass between postings. Honest.

Life has (obviously) been keeping me hopping, & although I have gotten much better about setting more of a schedule for myself (one of the downsides to working completely from home) - there have been quite a few days this past month that have complete taken me to places that were not on my 'to-do' list! But that's okay. . . it's called 'life'.

I have been quite busy finishing up several quilts (two of which sold for 'Quilted Comfort' - thank you!), some miniature sized just-for-fun blocks, & finishing several patterns. I'm holding onto some of the patterns because they are either in need of being quilted &/or I know that quilt shops are a bit inundated with 'new' patterns - so soon after Spring Market - so my plan is to release the patterns around mid to late July.

(… & for all of you who sent me emails letting me know you wanted to be a part of 'Quilted Comfort', I thank you sooo much, & didn't forget about you! I sent the letter I will send to you to the organization we will be working through - as I wanted their 'OK" & I got approval & some additional good news(!). So, I will get the update made to the letter & send it out this week.) If you aren't aware of what 'Quilted Comfort' is all about, you can click on the 'Quilted Comfort Project' page link at the top of the page.

We've (w/Bailey assisting) also been spending some fun time outside. We now having to time it as to when we go outside to work in the yard - as the temps are hitting 100° (F) or close to it on a regular basis now. Even though today is the first day of summer - it always feels like summer arrives here several weeks before the official start. . . & we feel like, 'yah - been there - done that' way before the calendar start for summer.

For Father's Day - I wanted to do something special for Dad. . . but he wasn't a big help whenever I would ask him what he wanted to do. . . (stinker!) - so I made him his favorite cookies - molasses cookies, & I made him one of his favorite things (& they are few in number). . . Hot Dogs (we're so fancy!). I got some really good all beef, bun length franks & then all the fixens he likes. I also went to our favorite cafe - where they make their own potato chips & got some 'to-go' & we had those as well. (He must have liked that because two days later - he came home from the cafe with another 'to-go' order of them!

While having some fun in the studio, I was making some assembly samples for a club that I've been teaching locally. . . (called 'little acorns club'), & after the class - I came home & finished making the little star blocks (they are addicting to make!!)  & thought how fun it would be to kit the little quilt - called 'little shining stars'. So. . . I did! I only have a limited number of kits (I'm actually on my second batch of kits already) - & they are already on the website. . . (here!)  I love the golden-y colorway & how it can work year-round. . . for summer (like sunflowers(!), & it would be great with a blue table-runner underneath for a July 4th table setting), autumn, winter holidays, & spring too!

Speaking of kits. . . I did make up another batch of Betsy's Closet - In Stitches kits - using the last Durham Anew Collection fabrics I designed. These too are limited as I'm getting to the end of my fabrics. You can find them (here).

I've got some other news that I'll do my best to post this week... (including one piece of news that I'm practically bursting to tell you. . . but that I must get permission to do so (!!!)).

Until then, I wish for you a wonderful start to your summer days (or winter for my southern hemisphere  friends!) & hope that you get time to create & stitch!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

:: small beginnings

While many quilt designers have been putting the finishing touches on quilts for Spring Quilt Market, which is happening this weekend in Pittsburgh, PA, I've been working on finishing some quilts too… but for a little different reason.

. . . & I've been having such fun!

I've been making two of my 'Meadow' quilts for a very special reason. . . a little project I'm calling 'Quilted Comfort'. It has been something on my heart for quite a little while now, & if you would like to read more about it. . . & maybe how you can become involved (!). . . you can read how this has all come to be by clicking on the 'Quilted Comfort' project tab - at the top of the page (right under the header). I've made a separate page for it - as I want to keep it always available & easy for folks to find
(…Also, it would make for a very long blog post!)

But - to get things started, I've made a couple of the 'Meadow' quilts & they are for sale on the website. The quilt will go to the purchaser & the proceeds of the sale of these quilts will go for funding the purchasing of materials & shipping costs, etc. - so that we can make as many quilts as possible & touch as many hearts as possible. (A win - win!)

While working on these quilts. . . from the cutting out of the appliqué pieces, to piecing the patchwork center, to quilting, & then to the hand sewing down the binding. . . I couldn't help but think of the person that will end up with the quilt & how it will eventually lead to making quilts for some folks we don't even know yet. . . but whom I know that God is already planning to receive a quilt of their own. I found myself praying for all involved & - through this amazing opportunity we have & the joy that quilting brings. . . in so many ways - that God would bless the process (there's that word!) & the people involved.

I hope you can take a little time to check in on the 'Quilted Comfort' project. I would appreciate your prayers as we take these first little steps. . . & begin our small beginnings. . .


Thursday, May 1, 2014

:: happy May Day!

From my childhood, (just a fews years ago… *cough-cough*!!)… I remember at school learning to do the dance around the Maypole. . . I think my very favorite part was all the pretty ribbons & how they would weave themselves into a beautiful design as the dance progressed. I remember looking up (because I wanted to watch the ribbons) & bumping into my friend over & over, & we got a case of the giggles that refused to leave!
 . . . Sweet memories.
. . . I wonder if kids are still taught that dance. . . I haven't seen a Maypole in years. . .

I love May. It's that sweet spot between summer & spring (here in the northern hemisphere) where it isn't too hot yet & for us - it means windows open in the mornings & evenings - & the fresh air allows the house to 'breathe' again. The back yard is exploding with color. . . & although we only have two small bougainvillea plants now (we had to cut back the 'wall' of them that we used to have as they can be very aggressive & its a challenge to be sure they don't take over everything.) - I took a photo of the blooms on one. . . & it was so bright I had to tone down the color before posting it!

I've had my nose into my laptop for days (& nights!) to finish-up a project that I'll tell you about in a couple of days. . . & as I went to bed last evening, all I could think of is that I wanted needed to sew! So today, I'm spending some quality time with a bundle of 30's repro fabrics, & plant myself into my stitching chair. I can hardly wait! but, before I shut down the laptop for the day, I wanted to let you know that loaded a bunch of those wonderful little Moda mini-charm packs onto the website. . . I just love them & I've put them on a fun little promo - with 'buy-three-get-the-fourth-free'! You can mix & match the mini charm packs & just let us know which collection you would like as your free one!

I also added this sweet quilt - that I made for display of the first Durham Anew line that I designed - to the 'sample quilts for sale' page. There is no pattern for it - but it would be ideal in a little girls room or as an accent in any 'shabby-chic' space!

Happy May Day!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

:: That's my King!

I've posted this before. . .
the words (& recording) of Dr. S.M. Lockridge. He was the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego, California (where I grew up). When I was in high school. I attended a city-wide youth retreat & I had the privilege of hearing him speak & hearing this for the first time. I remember so well how this aging man had hundreds of teen-agers attention like no one had all weekend. :-)

It struck & chord then… & beauty of the message of this video is that it strikes the deepest chord in me still.

… & given the celebration of this Resurrection Day (!), I just wanted to post it again.

He is Risen! ✞


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

:: a little get-away

(my handsome brother, Scott & his beautiful wife, Jodi.)

(Dad & Scott - the two handsome men in my life. . .)

(… & the other handsome little man in my life!)

Last week, Dad & I were able to go on a little get-away. My brother (Scott) & his wife (Jodi) came to Arizona for a little vacation & we all met up in Sedona. Scott & Jodi live just outside Minneapolis & they had been looking so forward to coming out to Arizona. As I had talked & texted with them over the past few months - you could just hear the weariness of the winter & the extreme cold temperatures (I’ve been informed the term ‘polar-vortex’ is now considered a bad word/term. . !). So wouldn’t you know that the week they came . . . Sedona’s weather took a turn for the colder side. One evening - as we had been waiting for a little rain to start, we were watching television & Scott stepped out to go over to their unit for something, & immediately after he stepped outside, i heard a knock on the door & I could hear him outside saying that we didn’t have to worry about it raining. . . As I opened the door - bless his heart - there he stood & there were snowflakes falling all around! I will never forget the pitiful look on his face! Thankfully, it didn’t stick & they were good sports about it all - stating they must be to blame & had brought the cold with them!

We had a wonderful time though, getting to visit & catch up. One day we took a little trip to Jerome, AZ - an old mining town that was built - literally on the side if a small mountain. (There are lots of steps to get from one street to the next!) We had lunch at a restaurant that my Dad remembered from many years ago & that pleased him so.) Plus, the views were beautiful!

The overall scenery in & around Sedona are incredibly stunning. . . Scott & Jodi had found a favorite trail to see the sunset & they took us there. Even driving into town about a few miles after getting off the highway - you take a turn around a bend in the road & the red rocks suddenly appear & it literally takes your breath away! I will certainly be taking more trips up to Sedona.

Right after arriving back home, we celebrated Bailey’s birthday. He is eight years old! He’s now officially my ‘big boy’. . . & I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. (sigh)

Although I haven’t made my way out to the garage to begin my spring cleaning out there, I did dip into my wool & I made up some wonderfully spring-y wool bundles. So for those of you who have asked me about the wool colors I used for the wool pennies on my ‘Spring Tulips’ design. . . these are a perfect set of hand-dyed wool colors for this design & any design that you want to use fresh, spring colors in 100% wool.

So, that catches me up with the blog-o-sphere. Here’s hoping I make it out to actually start my work re-arranging in the garage before my next post. (!)