Friday, December 26, 2008

See you next year!

Happy New Year to You and Yours!

You are hearing from a happy gal today for 2 reasons:

1) I am on vacation and the store is CLOSED for the next few days.

2)I was gifted some truly great swag, including GORGEOUS green earrings and a matching bracelet from Oliver, whom I know went to the fabulous Darling&DeLisle Studio in Damariscotta. I know because he had strict instructions to do so (Thanks so much Chris and Bernie for helping him pick out such gorgeous stuff!). It's great to get so much fabulousness locally!

On a much more serious note, I am so grateful to everyone who came out and supported us during these past few weeks. We are so fortunate to have had a great season and a great year: especially when I know things are tough for people right now. Hopefully the months to come will bring better times with them.

While the store is closed and we are pulling the old switcheroo with our fixtures and cleaning and reorganizing and making the store as fabulous as it possibly can be for the New Year, here are some photos from around the house this Christmas.

We will be open again on January 2nd for business as usual and don't forget about the Oliver+S Trunk Show January 5th through 19th. See the complete Oliver+S Fall Line in person, direct from Liesl Gibson's NYC studio. During this time, Oliver+S patterns, along with some super-spiffy kid's fabrics (think cute prints, gorgeous solids, baby-wale corduroy and more) will be ON SALE at 20% off.

See you next year!



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Gift Giving Top Ten Countdown...#1 A Vinyl Grocery Tote

Well, what can I say?

Here it is, 7:45 on the morning of Christmas Eve so I guess I can't delay #1 on the countdown any longer.

And #1 just happens to be a vinyl grocery tote. I saved this baby for #1 for a variety of reasons and I think you will agree that it's a great gift for many different people on your list.

The tote is a FREE pattern at the store (created by yours truly... there I go again, honking my own horn: honk, honk!!!) and if I do say so myself, there are plenty of merits to this bag. Just ask Nadine, who made a bag (shown in the first photo) for her sister Kat, or Meredith, who is in the second photo holding her "Halloween-y" vinyl tote bag. All using fabrics from a certain Fabric Store, in a certain little Damariscotta Mills (where it is SNOWING again!!! Merry Christmas to me!!!)

Some of those merits:

Did I mention that the pattern is FREE?

The tote only takes about 2 hours from start to finish: a good "palette cleanser" project.

The vinyl is just plain neat. It makes the fabric look so cool.

What a great way to help the environment.

Makes grocery shopping fun-ish.

A good project to show off your favorite fabric combinations.

Even if you are still making Christmas presents (holla!!!) you have plenty of time to make a vinyl grocery tote. Make them for every man, woman and child on your list, because there is no limit to the uses for these little numbers.

One nice little addition to the story of the vinyl grocery totes is that they have been popping up all over the internet. Check out Iris' amazing blog here and here and here for wicked sweet examples of finished bags. This girl has been cranking out vinyl grocery totes like nobody's business!

I do believe that the only problem presented by the vinyl grocery totes is that there are sooo many delicious combinations of fabric out there that it's hard to make a choice.

Don't lose hope: Focus, divide and conquer (and sew!) and have a Happy Holiday.

Remember, we close at noontime today so if you've got something to buy you'd better make it snappy!

See you there!



Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Gift Giving Top Ten Countdown...#2 A Floor Pillow

Alright ladies and gentlemen,

Np time for messin' around. The clock's ticking and those handmade gifts have got to be made. By hand. Not a lot of time left. What do you get for the person who has everything that is (relatively) inexpensive AND quick AND easy?

No problemo. A Floor Pillow. Great for kids, great for pets and great for anyone with even a smidgeon of style.

All you need is a 26" pillow form (we've got puh-lenty) and 2 yards of your favorite fabric.

Cut the fabrics into (2) 26.5" squares, sew with right sides together, leaving a hole for turning right sides out.

Clip your corners and turn, insert the pillow-form and slip-stitch the opening closed.

Voila! Nothing could be finer... ANNND when the pillow gets schmutz-y you toss the WHOLE shebang into the washing machine and let it tumble around and it comes out looking like a brand new pillow. Newly fluffed et al.

Guh-reat way to use your favorite fabrics.

Great present.

As we say around the shop: it's a NO-BRAINER!

See you again soon!



PS These are some Floor-Pillows that I found on Etsy because I am too lazy/busy to take pictures of some of my own Floor Pillows. Should you find yourself in a similar situation why not buy from one of the Etsy gals this year? Just type "Floor Pillows" into the search-engine and start perusing!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Gift Giving Top Ten Countdown...#3 Braided Rag Rug

Good evening,

We are HUNKERED down tonight. It's a fine art. I like to think we Mainers have perfected it.
The snow is whipping around out there to beat the band. You'd never know except for when a plow truck goes by and you can see JUST how HARD it's snowing in their headlights. Yowzah. The kind of night when you want to crank the heat and put on a good movie and work on something handmade. A little something like...

#3 on our countdown: A Braided Rag Rug.

This is a picture of my Yoga instructor Joan with her rug. How gorgeous is this? Joan chose all of her colors (as opposed to using up scraps) and I love, Love, LOVE that periwinkle stripe running through the middle. I also love, Love, LOVE when students come back in with their finished projects and the Braided Rag Rug has an excellent rate of return. Students leave with about 1/10th of their weaving done but most finish their rug within a week. It's a beautiful thang...

The Braided Rag Rug is really fun to work on. It takes about 5 minutes to pick up the knack for it and if you are at all into things like knitting or hand-sewing (in other words, brainless, picky-uppy, putty-downy things) then you would really dig this project. It's all about the process.

And who wouldn't love one of these beauties in their house? And don't give me that "What if it gets dirty?" business. You should be so lucky as to get one of these things dirty! They look BETTER after you wash them and are more sturdy than... a really sturdy thing.

Anyways, the plow truck just went by again... time to go and stare out the window!!!

See you soon with #2 and then numero uno!



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

La Pause Petite

I had to post this as soon as I read about it.

Thanks to Liza for pointing this out to me and please if you are reading this you are most definitely the kind of person who should be acting upon it.

Don't be one of those people who doesn't care: I can't STAND that.

So...visit this site or face my wrath

**shakes fist in the air**

Okay, now back to your regularly scheduled Blogging!


Holiday Gift Giving Top Ten Countdown...#4 Patchwork Stockings

Hello everyone,

Since the last time I posted there has been an Ice-Storm and now there is a Snow-Storm (trust me, the latter is MUCH more fun!). We lost power for about a half a day and the internet connection was out for several days, but I really cannot complain as some people STILL don't even have their power back on. I heard on the news this morning that there are about 2,000 people in Maine who are sans power right now and I don't know if you're aware of this but it gets VERY cold in Maine. In December. Not the time to be without power. So my thoughts are certainly with anyone out there who is going through this and God Bless those electricians who are out there working hard to get it back for you.

Moving right along, #4 on the Countdown are our very own Patchwork Stockings. These little cutie-pies were born from my desire for a new stocking. I happen to have the same stocking that I've used since I was born (and I love that stocking: My Aunt Patty knit it for me and as a recent knitting student I definitely appreciate all the effort that went into it), but said stocking is staying at my Mom's house (with all the other stockings our Aunt Patty knit for us), where it belongs. Oliver, Reuben and I are celebrating our very first Christmas together in the new house and since I happen to be handy with the needle and thread (and poor Messrs. Oliver and Reuben have no "Since-they-were-a-little-kid Stockings themselves) I thought I just might make some myself. And that's the story of the Patchwork Stockings, boys and girls!

The pattern and instructions are available FREE at the store and they are not the smallest, nor the least labor-intensive stockings that were ever made (I like the potential for getting all kinds of goodies, and having a bigg-ish stocking helps in these endeavors), but darned if they aren't the cutest things ever. I guess I shouldn't toot my own horn here, but toot toot! I can't help it!

Can you guess which one is mine and which one is Ollie's?

And because I know that there are Reuben fans out there, Reub's stocking is mostly red. I have to cover his ears or spell words out when I talk about his Christmas loot because I don't want to ruin the surprise. If you think I'm kidding you don't know me very well, because I am perfectly serious.

So, make someone you love (as long as they've been NICE this year!) a Patchwork Stocking. While you're at it you could fill it with fun sewing stuff (think flat-flower-head pins, pincushions, snip-snips, large spools of neutral thread, sewing patterns, bobbins, fat quarters, I could go on but I shan't) for that sewing-enthusiast on your list.

Men's Shopping Night is tonight! Good luck, ladies! I have my Mental Rolodex all lubed-up, and I am ready to let it rip when your man comes in tonight! You KNOW who you are!

Until next time,



PS By the by, the background fabric in the stocking photos is one of our new Marimekkos!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Gift Giving Top Ten Countdown...#5 A Turning Twenty Kit


You'll have to excuse my temporary lack of posting: we had our first snowfall here and that prompted a chain reaction of putting up the tree, decorating the house, wrapping gifts... you know how these things go. And it should be noted that I am a total snow FIEND. I love it, love it, love it, so when the snow flies all my priorities get "buried."

So, back to the Top Ten, then, and at #5 is a Turning Twenty Kit. I like to think that Turning Twenty Kits are one of the things that we do really well at the store. They have been such a good seller for us and the Turning Twenty class has been so popular and that's how I meet all my friends. For anybody out there who doesn't know what a Turning Twenty Quilt is, it's a quilt pattern that takes twenty fat quarters and turns them into a quilt. As the pictures show, the blocks are large and simple, making this a quilt that goes together quickly, easily and all the while showing off the fabric in bold chunks. Great for today's contemporary, graphic prints. The third picture down is of Julie Geyer's (almost) finished Turning Twenty (Hi, Julie! You made the blog again!). I think you'd have to agree that it would be a shame to hack those big, beautiful florals into teeny, tiny little pieces. They've gotta be in big pieces, n'est-ce pas?

The Turning Twenty Kits themselves are made up of 20 different fat quarters, all in a lovely compact, stack and tied together with a raffia bow. The kits are total eye-candy and they are like catnip to quilters. The kits don't have to be used for Turning Twenty Quilts, either : they can also be used for patterns like the Bento Box, Yellow Brick Road, or as the basis for hundreds of other patterns.

I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves here, but if you know someone who is a quilter or someone who desperately wants to get into quilting, the Turning Twenty Kit is a no-brainer and we have many, many options available at the shop. See you soon with #4.



Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Gift Giving Top Ten Countdown...#6 Marimekko Fabric Panels

Hello, hello.

Now that we are back from Thanksgiving and back in the swing of things let us pick up where we left off at #6, which just happens to be Marimekko Fabric Panels.

Marimekkos are new to our store and I don't know what took us so long. They are very much up our alley and our customers looove these Finnish goodies and you know what? I love them, too.

Now, Marimekkos are not your typical fabrics. They are bigger (Approximately 57" wide) and more expensive ((between $23 and $35 a yard: yowzah!!!), and not to be used the same way you use other fabrics. Their larger-than-life screen printed graphics (that's a yard stick in the red photo, people, NOT a ruler!!!) would be great in shower curtains, curtain-curtains, duvet covers, tablecloths, etc. but I believe that they are best used stretched onto a canvas and hung on the wall as art. Sooo modern and pretty.

Don't you know someone in your life who could use a little color? Or a lot? And we have many more prints to choose from at the store: including those quintissential Marimekko "poppies."

A great present for someone who is truly impossible to shop for. Or for a really bad fabric snob (I consider myself a card-carrying member, so I'm allowed to say that!)

See you again soon!