Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Happy

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Alewives Fabrics will be closed New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, but we will see you in 2010.



We are expecting a huge snow storm that is supposed to last the next three days, so if you are planning to visit the shop on Saturday or Sunday you may want to check to see if we are open (and check out your window, too!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Coming soon in 2010

Here's a sneak peak at what AlewivesGirl has in store for 2010 (a blogging re-vamp of sorts):

Fabric Mythbusters (I think this is a particularly brilliant idea of mine where I plan to explore the myths associated with fabrics and quilting/sewing in general and tell you if they are fact or fiction. For example: Do you really need to wash your fabrics before sewing with them? Will cutting paper with your good fabric scissors really dull them down? Can you use large scale prints in small scale projects? You get the idea! )

Back to Basics (After 11 years in a fabric store, I have seen a thing or two come up again and again and again. I thought it might be a good idea to give the once-over treatment to such subjects as rotary cutting, binding, making your own piping and bias tape, inserting a zipper: you get the idea!)

Interviews (I plan to stalk your favorite authors/designers and harass them until they concede to an interview with me. If that plan fails, I promise genuinely entertaining interviews with the Alewives staff and customers and if that plan fails, I can always interview myself! You get the idea!)

Giveaways (I KNOW you get that idea!)

A Potholder Swap ( Who doesn't love potholders? They're so cute and little and quick to make! We'll each make a set of potholders and swap them with people all over the country and perhaps even the world! More details to follow, but you get the idea!)

Book and Pattern Reviews ( I don't always have the best track record for finishing projects, but I do always have good intentions. One of my New Year's resolutions is to do some "field research" for all those new books and patterns that catch my eye... or at least hand the blogging reins over to someone who can! You get the idea!)

Wedding Watch 2010 ( Of course I will chronicle the road to domestic bliss for myself and Oliver... whether you want me to or not! )

Any other suggestions?

Lay 'em on me, I'm all ears!

That is all for now...

Have a Happy New Year and I will see you in 2010!!!



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

However you celebrate...

Whatever you celebrate...

And whomever you celebrate with...

Merry Christmas from me to you!!!

We will be open from 9:00 to Noon tomorrow and then remain closed until 10:00 on Monday.

We will also be closed Thursday New Year's Eve and Friday New Year's Day.

See ya next year!!!


Rhea at Alewives

Sunday, December 20, 2009



Thanks so much to everyone who came out (in the snow!) for our Holiday Open House...

Congratulations to Jackie Hickey who won our $50 gift certificate and to Ginny Burnham who won a $50 gift certificate to Moon Song Creations Long Arm Quilting Services.

The afternoon was unexpectedly cut short for me.

(I am fine but a good friend is going through a rough patch.)

Mom was left alone to hold down the fort and she wanted me to thank everyone for being so patient.

And also thank you to everyone who came to our house on Saturday night.

We are truly blessed with the most wonderful friends and family.

I never knew our little house could hold so many people but the evening was really cozy.

The house looked the way my heart felt: full to bursting.

This is what the Holidays are supposed to be all about.

Confession: I slept until 10:00 this morning when my phone rang and woke me up from a DEAD SLEEP.

If it hadn't rung I probably would have slept until Noon Time at which point I would have been late for work.

So, Thank You, Mom for calling me and asking me if I wanted you to pick up the donuts.

Not only did I take you up on that donut offer, you saved my butt from missing work.

I will post once more before Christmas and then I will probably take a break until the New Year.

Thanks for being here with me and reading my little rants and raves.

Happy Holidays!



Thursday, December 17, 2009

A "LOVE" letter to Amy Butler


I am so pleased to tell you that we have finally received our shipment of the "LOVE" collection from Amy Butler!

I am always amazed when a newbie comes into the shop and they are just getting into quilting and they're looking to make their very first fabric purchases in what (I know) will be a long line of fabric purchases.

These gals, they always go straight for the Amy Butlers.


It never fails.

And these women have never even heard of Amy Butler, so you can't really chalk it up to a devoted following, although Amy certainly has that, as well.

There is just something about Mrs. Butler..., and not just the fact that she shares my future married name.

She has her finger on the pulse and today's "sewist" most certainly gravitates toward her designs.

Amy Butler is like the gateway drug for quilting.

A lot of you have asked me why we were so late to the party with the new Amy Butlers.

The quick answer is that if I were to have received these fabrics in the first "wave" of shipping, I would have had to order the collection sight unseen and I just don't feel comfortable ordering fabric that way.

I only feel comfortable ordering fabric with my Mom at my side so we can argue about which three colorways of a polka dot we will buy and then by the time we decide, the sales rep is rolling his or her eyes in disgust and 20 minutes have been wasted and we end up ordering all of them, anyway.

This is not an exaggeration and I can site examples and witnesses should you request them.

When the images of the LOVE collection were finally released they were on postage stamp sized icons.

And let me tell you, that gave me a lot of insight as to how you internet customers must feel when you are trying to order fabrics from our site.

So I waited to be shown the fabrics in larger scale by our rep.

And I missed out on the first wave but was very happy to order from our rep and wait a little longer.

And today, the fabrics came.

And while if I am being honest I must admit that this is not my favorite collection from Amy Butler, I do "love" it and I know these fabrics won't be here for very long before we have to order and play the waiting game all over again.

Amy can do no wrong and I am just so glad that she is out there designing fabrics.

She has certainly transformed the quilting world and made it so much easier to fall in "Love" with sewing and for that I am eternally grateful.

No joke.

I will talk to you all again soon and in the meantime, let the "Love" fest begin.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Sunday Morning and a Holiday Open House

Hello all...

Happy Sunday morning.

I wanted to let everyone know that one week from today will be our very first ever Holiday Open House.

The Open House is our way of saying "Thank You" to all our wonderful customers for a great year.

We will be giving away lots of free goodies: anything from a 15% off coupon to a full set of fat quarters from Denyse Schmidt's new line "Hope Valley" to a $50 gift certificate could be yours.

Everyone who comes will walk away with something good!

We will also be serving cookies and hot cider, and who doesn't love cookies and hot cider?

December 20th will also be the last day to donate food to our food drive, so if you have been waiting to bring in your donation of non-perishable food items, the time is nigh!!!

And while you are there, you may want to fill out one of our "A Little Birdie Told Me" wish lists.

This is a great place to let all the people who are shopping for you know EXACTLY what you would like and what you need.

Lots of people buy gift certificates and you can't go wrong with a G.C., it's true, but they're not as much fun to wrap as say, a book or a Turning Twenty kit.

If you DO fill out one of our "A Little Birdie Told Me" wish lists you will be in very good shape when your special guy comes in for Men's Shopping Day and Night.

We all know that guys are famous for the last minute shopping so this year we are going as last minute as we possibly can:

He has from 10am to 8:30pm on Tuesday, December 22nd to come in and shop for you and we will reward his thoughtfulness with a whopping 20% off...

This includes all in stock merchandise, gift certificates and class fees.

(Classes make great gifts.)

In addition, we will be gift-wrapping free of charge and of course serving everybody's favorite: hot cider and cookies!!!

(Have you ever noticed how much guys love food?)

To sum it all up, we hope to see YOU at the shop on Sunday December 20th between 12 & 5 .

And we hope to see your MAN at the shop on Tuesday December 22nd between 10 & 8:30.

Spread the word!!!



Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Hannukah

Happy Hannukah to all our friends of the Jewish faith!!!



Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Little Folks" voile has arrived and highlights of the day

Anna Maria's "Little Folks" voile arrived today.

What's a voile?

It's a very silky, soft and drape-y cotton.

Perfect for garments.

These are just spectacular and I love that Anna Maria has made a departure from the regular 45" quilting cotton routine.

It's very progressive of her.

These fabrics are 54" wide and you're going to love them.

Check 'em out in the online store here.

Other good news today:

• My girlfriends and I are going to see Ani at the Strand in Rockland in January. Got our tix. Plan to eat at In Good Company.

• Then we are going to see David Gray at the Merrill in April. Will be dropping everything at noontime on Monday to get tix. Plan to eat at Fuji's.

(Amanda, are you gonna be there, you concert-hopper, you?)

• Ollie is making din din tonight whilst I sew.

• We watched Julie and Julia last night and loved it.

• I got my hair cut at Aura today by the fabu Natasha.

• Have decided to get up and out of bed at 6:00 am everyday regardless of schedule to see if I can be more "awake" if I put myself on a schedule and if I get more work done during the early-ish hours instead of frittering them away. Will let you know how that goes.

• (As a small business owner with no health insurance who would love to have kids but would reeeaaalllyyy like to have health insurance before she does so) Am very excited at the progress being made with the Health Care Reform bill.

• Am also very pleased that our own Susan Collins is a big part of that progress AND she's a Republican, which I think is very progressive of her.

(Got that off my chest).

Alright, AlewivesGirl over and out.

Will see you again soon.



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A letter to Tiger

Dear Tiger Woods,

Please give it a rest.

You are breaking my Grandma's heart.


Rhea at Alewives Fabrics

Sunday, December 6, 2009



(a VERY happy girl)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hope Valley

My gal has done it again...

Hope Valley is here and I am so in love.

Denyse's new collection comes in three different colorways:

Piney Woods:

The Fiesta Colorway:

And finally New Day:

And I know it is the most cliche thing in the world to say, but I can't decide which colorway I like the best.

I know I want to make something out of the "wallflower" print... probably the new Amy Butler Liverpool Shirtdress.

Which one of these three would you choose???

If I was a customer in my own shop and I asked myself which of the these three fabrics I would choose my answer (to myself) would be:

"Oh, gosh, it depends on what kind of a mood you are in!"

They are all three so pretty: bandana chic!

What I like about Hope Valley is that the whole collection is so usable.

Any of these prints would be great on their own as a garment (hence my Liverpool Dress dilemma), but they are sooo strong as a collection.

Just piling up the bolts to take these photos the colors were twinkling at me.

These are so pleasingly different from anything else out there right now.

That Denyse Schmidt, she knows of what she sews.

She's really going to be somebody someday ; )

Here is a little description of the "Hope Valley" collection from Denyse herself:

Inspired by the can-do community attitude and homesteading economics of the depression era, Hope Valley is the latest quilting-weight fabric collection by Denyse Schmidt. Eight beautiful new prints in a range of scales take their cue from a vintage-tinged country landscape that embodies a sense of new beginnings and possibilities. Three fresh and inviting color families evoke a feeling of hope and down-home hospitality. Hope Valley is perfect for all your quilt, apparel, home, or accessory projects.

There's even a free quilt pattern available:

I will admit that sometimes I do not get too jazzed by the free quilt patterns that are offered with collections but I love, love, LURV this one.

(download the quilt pattern by following this link.)

Don't look for me to make that shirt dress too soon, though.

I sadly have very little time for sewing.

If you like sewing I don't recommend owning a fabric store.

Or any store.

I am alone at the shop again today - don't worry: everyone is fine! - but I have spent the time racing between customers and the computer to update all of these luscious lovelies aaand the UPS guy just dropped off three more boxes that are (funnily enough) shaped like bolts of fabrics.

In my free time I must confess that I am doing some top-secret holiday sewing.

And I still want to make that Favorite Things Uptown Coat.

Plus I have an Oliver+S School Days Coat to finish.

I am up to my eyeballs in unfinished sewing projects and I am not the kind of gal who likes that.

But anyways, Hope Valley is up in the online store.

I will let it all percolate and drink it all in and maybe by the new year I will be ready to pounce...

I just hope there are some of these fabrics left by then!


Rhea at Alewives

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Around the House

Hello Friends...

Some pictures from around my house today:

Here is the 2009 TREE (yay!!!)

Ollie said we couldn't get a tree until December so Tuesday night I duh-ragged him all over the Midcoast looking for just the right tree.

I hate those fatty trees that are so fat you can't even hang an ornament on them.

I was very happy to finally find this tree at one of the local homes that becomes a tree lot at this time of year with the big round lights strung up at night and everything.

We threw it in the back of Ollie's truck and chugged our way home.

Then we decked the halls and made pizza and were quite pleased with ourselves.

I think this gal is my very favorite ornament...

But I think this might be Ollie's favorite:

I'm all about the wrapping this year:

Ollie brought out some presents last night and I am the WORST. SNOOP. EVER.

Worse than a kid.

Worse than I was when I was a kid.


I have a big ol' pile of Christmas cards to do...

Today is a good day to do them because it looks like this outside:

Wouldn't it be cool if all that rain were SNOW???

(Aww, come on... you KNOW you want a White Christmas!!!)

Here are some leftover Thanksgiving flowers to brighten the place...

Here are my mix-y match-y dishes on the wall...

Here is my new old hutch that I am waaay more in love with than should be allowed between a person and an inanimate object...

Here is that quilt I made and had promised to share with you...

Doesn't it look perfect behind Ollie's table?

He made it from an old barn door.

Here's a close-up:

Love that old, weathered wood.

And here's my breakfast which is calling to me like a siren:

I'm doing Weight Watchers.

Did you know you can have two pieces of a certain type of toast, PLUS 2 teaspoons of jelly, PLUS 2 teaspoons of butter PLUS 1 mug of hot tea for just 6 points?

It can be done, so I am a happy camper.

In other news, I have taken a personal day off from the store.

I just needed a day to pull it all together.

It's probably the second time in five years that I've taken a personal day and it feels sooo good.

Jessie is over at the store by herself today so if you visit be nice and go easy on her, although I'm pretty sure she can handle whatever you throw at her.

That's all for now.

Mom is feeling much better but she is still at home resting.

Thanks for all your well-wishes!

I will see you again soon...

Have a good weekend!



Monday, November 30, 2009

Nicey Jane has arrived!!!


May I introduce you to Heather Bailey's new collection, Nicey Jane?

In Heather's own words:

“Small-town girl, Nicey Jane, heads to the city on Friday nights to swing dance with her beau — but not before hanging the laundry to dry and enjoying an afternoon picnic on the farm. Every weekend should be so sweet.”

Isn't that nice(y)?

Some of these fabrics will also be available soon as laminates (those soft, lush, drapey oilcloths from Free Spirit), but for now they are available at the shop and online.

I put together a coupla bundles and after my days off I have plans to put some more together.

One great thing about this line is that as far as I can tell, it coordinates reeeally, reeeally nicely with Heather's earlier collections, too.

Always a smart move on a designer's part, I think.

Makes my job as fabric consultant-ish type person that much easier.

Anyhoo, that is about all I got for now.

I will see you again soon.

Be Nicey Jane to each other!!!



Friday, November 27, 2009

200th post and a giveaway!!!

How was your Turkey Day?

Ours went quite well and I shall never again be afraid of baking a turkey as it was really not that bad at all.

But, I do have some bad news.

I am sad to report that after our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday (which saw everyone leaving our place at around 4 o'clock) that my poor little Mama came down with the swine flu at around 9 o'clock yesterday evening.

Have you ever been that sick when you could pinpoint the exact second you started feeling poorly?

I have.

And now my Mom has, too.

So I am sending lots and lots of get-well vibes her way, and perhaps you all will be so kind as to do the same.

Johanna's flu came and went so quickly that I can't help but hope for the same thing for my Mom this time.

In other news, our Anna Maria Horner flannels arrived the other day.

I only ordered three bolts, but I think they look sooo delicious together.

What do you think?

A lot of the time here in the shop people will see a print and exclaim how much they love it and then upon closer inspection when they discover the print is on flannel they seem kind of disappointed.

I get it.

So, that is why I went easy on these flannels.

(I really do adore them, though).

Aaand, perhaps another reason why I went easy on the flannels was because I purchased a lot of the Anna Maria Horner voile prints.

Those should be coming in very soon and I will of course let you know when they do (I'll shout it from the hilltops!), but the voiles are going to be a little bit on the "dear" side.

They will retail for about $15 a yard, I believe, but I don't have my paperwork in front of me right now so don't quote me on it.

Also don't have sticker shock, because I warned you!

"Why are they going to be so expensive?", I hear you ask.

Because voile is a much finer fabric than a standard quilting weight cotton.

It is definitely geared towards garment-sewing, and is very drape-y and lovely, but it is also more expensive to produce.

"Can you use it for quilting?", I hear you ask.

The answer is "Yes."

Just like a lot of us are using quilting weight fabrics for garments, so too can you use garment weight fabric for quilting.

I'm a big fan of mixing fabric weights and textures in quilts, but you do need to be aware that they may stretch in different ways, so you will want to pin, pin, pin and perhaps bust out your walking foot to do your piecing.

But enough about the voile, this post is all about the flannel.

And more importantly, about the giving away of the flannel!

If you are still with me, I would like to offer 1/2 yard each of these three golden delicious flannels ( a total of 1.5 yards) to one lucky reader.

All you have to do is leave me a nice little comment and at the end of the day on Monday I will ask Ollie to pick a number at random.

Maybe you could tell me some of your tips and tricks for sewing: with or without different textures.

Or maybe you could just send a get-well wish to my Mom.

She will get a kick out of reading those.

Also, I am going to spend some time this morning putting up a "flannels" page on the website, as we have some other very, very nice flannels in stock already and more coming in.

"What nice flannels?," I hear you ask.

Well, we have Amy Butler flannels coming in very soon and some new Valori Wells to accompany the lovely Valori Wells we already have in stock.

So, if you don't win, perhaps you could check out the flannels page for a little consolation prize.

This is Maine, after all, and we do love our flannels in Maine.

See you again on Monday and good luck with the giveaway.

(And get well, soon, Mom!)


Rhea at Alewives


Now that the Season is upon us, am I the only one looking forward to hearing the Bing Crosby/David Bowie "Little Drummer Boy" mash-up on the radio?

Love that song!!!

Comments closed: The winner (chosen by my personal random number generator Ollie) is lucky #36:

Anonymous May said...

Hope your mom feels better soon!

November 30, 2009 7:41 AM

Congratulations, May!

I don't know who you are (unless you are Maylene Mitchell, in which case I know exactly who you are) so I will need a little more info...

Please send me an e-mail ( with your address and I will arrange to send you the flannels.

Thanks to everyone for entering and thanks so very much for all your well-wishes to my Mom.

She is feeling better but resting a LOT.

She has read all of the comments and was very, very touched by the global concern!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

Hi all...

I wanted to take a moment to share with you a few of the things I am thankful for this year:

• I am thankful for my favorite fiancĂ© I have ever had and his wonderful dog (who is now OUR wonderful dog).

• I am thankful for my family who are all very close (both literally and figuratively).

• I am thankful for my friends (both my "real life" friends and my "online" friends).

• I am thankful for my house (after years of nomad-ing and apartment dwelling).

And lastly...

• I am thankful for my job at Alewives Fabrics and all of our wonderful customers.

I truly do not know what my life would be like if I weren't there and a big part of ME being there is YOU being there.

Does that make sense?

I guess what I am trying to say is...

I am thankful for YOU!!!

(That and we will be CLOSED tomorrow but open as usual on Friday... Sewing Lounge and all).

What are YOU thankful for???

See you after the big day and thanks for all the turkey advice!




There is a rumor underfoot that there will be an ALL DAY Sewing Lounge on Friday to kick-off your Holiday sewing. Feel free to partake!!! (I know I will!!!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pre-Thanksgiving Shakedown


Yes, it has been a week.

I won't bore you with the usual (Blah, blah, blah... I was sooo busy...blah, blah, blah)

But here is a quick recap of what I have been up to:

• Did the ol' 9:00-7:00 shift at the store yesterday. A shift of my own shifting. One of my Dad's friends owns a local business. When he found out Mom and I were buying Alewives he said (and I quote) "Working for yourself is great. You get to choose your own hours. You can work the first half of the day or the second half of the day." Truer words were never spoken.

• Stayed up until the wee hours during my time off to finish a quilt/wallhanging for my kitchen. I put the movie "Sense and Sensiblity" on the computer and went to town, if I do say so myself. I had the "Sex and the City" movie with me as a back-up, which would have made for an oddly appropriate double-feature, I think, but this was sadly unnecessary. (By the by, I made the quilt completely out of the fabrics from this post and I will take pictures soon.)

• Had a girl's night out that began literally Saturday at 5:00 (when I got out of work) and lasted until 12:00 noon the next day (when I had to go to work again).

During these 19 hours we:

A) Drove to Portland (with many bottles of wine in tow).

B) Stayed at a borrowed condo on the waterfront in Portland (which everyone should have, if they possibly can).

C) Ate at the Hibachi Grill (where they toss food into your mouth and I discovered I was pretty good at this game as I was able to provide a very large target).

D) Went to see "New Moon" (which was deliciously cheezy and filled with shirtless men and other moments of cinematic brilliance... in other words the perfect "Girl's Night" movie).

E) Decided we were going to start a blog called "HowToDefineOneselfOutsideOfParenting." (That would probably get a lot of hate-comments, but is a brilliant idea, none-the-less).

***Disclaimer: that is a huge joke: we LOVE parenting blogs!***

and finally

F) Had breakfast at a French Cafe (Tea and Chocolate Croissants!).

• Now with my first day off in a series of 3 (!) I am waiting to watch NieNie on the today show and getting ready for my very first Thanksgiving with the Fam at my place. Wish me luck with the turkey. The man at the Post Office (who is always full of good advice) says I should brine the turkey but my hip new neighbor says brining is "sooo last year."

Any advice???

Besides Chinese Food???

There... now that you know what I have been up to, what have YOU been up to???

See you again soon (I hope!).



Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Monday Monday

Knew it was going to be a long week when I

A) Told the man at the post office to "Have a nice weekend!"

B) Tried all day (unsuccessfully, I might add) to check my voice-mail. Consequently my phone is STILL beeping at me at a quarter past nine.

C) Completely forgot to cash in my paycheck. This is most unlike me, I assure you.

So I have compensated by

A) Taking a hot, hot bath.

B) Reading a fashion mag while in said bath.

C) Having a BIG glass of wine while Ollie did the cooking, STILL while in said bath. I only got out when water began to get cold and hands were prune-y and magazine was soaked and dinner was ready and Ollie knocked on the door and asked in a quiet voice if I was asleep.

Now I am

A) Ready for bed.

B) Ready for my days off.

C) Wondering what "17-year-old-Rhea" would have thought of this scenario.

See you again soon when I am a bit more "conscious."



Friday, November 13, 2009

Mind your Manors...

"Aster Manors," that is.

The collection just arrived this week and all I can say is "Hubba Hubba."

These are up in the shop, of course.

In other news, I have a new netflix obsession: True Blood, based on the Sookie Stackhouse books.

Just please don't watch it with your five year old.

It's pretty spicy.

In other other news I know the holidays are fast approaching because all the commercials on TV are making me cry.

And every weekend is filling up fast.

It's like some crazy Christmas Rubiks cube to fit everything in.

I know one thing, I am jonesin' to put up my tree, much to Ollie's horror.

Oh well!

See you again soon!



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy News

This just in...

Miss Jessica's engaged!!!

It couldn't happen to a nicer gal.

Congratulations, Jessica and Jon!!!



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book Review: The Gentle Art of Domesticity

Happy Tuesday and a great big Thank You to everyone who came out for our Late Risers Sale over the weekend.

It was really fun.

I'm such a nerd but I really look forward to Sale days.

And another Thank You to anyone who donated food to our Food Drive.

I have a lot of goods to deliver to the local food pantry and for that I am very grateful.

Please keep in mind that we are continuing our food drive through Christmas and anyone who donates a non-perishable food item will receive a free gift from us.

So if you did not make it to the sale or you forgot your donation then you are not too late!

Alright, on to the book review.

Today I wanted to talk about the book The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art and the Comforts of Home by Jane Brocket. We have been carrying this book at the shop for about a year now, so I am a bit late to the party for a book review.

But, better late than never, right?

I have been reading Jane Brocket's blog for a long time and browsed the pages of her book many times. Both book and blog host beautiful photography. Eye candy, really. Porn for crafters. But up until recently I never really sat down and cozied up to the book.

Rewind to a couple of weeks ago when Ollie and I were on vacation to Bar Harbor. We stopped at an antiques store called "The Love Barn" (which, by the by, I had been trying unsuccessfully to visit for about five years now, but this time was triumphant). Upon stepping foot inside the building what should I see but the cheery pink spine of Jane's book peeping out. Never one to pass up a bargain but perennially one to forget a good book when I go on vacation, I bought the book, along with some really pretty vintage rose fabric that I think would make Jane Brocket very proud.

The grand total?

$7.00, thank you very much.

Now, let's by-pass the obvious question (which is "What the heck was this book doing in a second hand shop?"), and let's talk about the book itself.

Once I kicked back my feet on the hotel bed and started reading I became absorbed.

Perhaps with the exception of Midwest Modern by Amy Butler, this is like no other craft book out there.

First of all, there are no patterns, no instructions and no materials lists, so you must clear that notion from your head.

This book will not provide dimensions or facts and figures but it will serve as an inspiration resource.

Comprised of several vignettes where Brocket waxes poetic about her domestic endeavors, (beginning with what "domesticity" means these days), the book then goes on to tell tales of sweater vests, homemade marshmallows, knitting, embroidery and of course quilting.

You may not think that an essay on sweater vests can be absorbing, but you would be deliciously wrong.

Each essay is independent from the other, meaning you can skip around the book and read in short spurts, in whatever order you want (kind of like a magazine).

I had a great time breezing from one page to another, drawn in by the gorgeous photography, and reading Brocket's musings on cupcakes and tulip bulbs, the relationship between colorful fruit and even more colorful yarn, her first meeting with Kaffe Fassett, art, movies and yes... sweater vests.

Brocket finds joy, art and inspiration in the everyday.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to do the same.

There may not be any instructions for the gorgeous "Sunshine After the Rain" quilt on page 112 (which was inspired by a single piece of fabric: a process with which I immediately identified), but after reading Jane Brocket's process of creating the quilt you will want nothing more than to run out and make your own.

You will be inspired to knit and bake and clean and enjoy it like you've never done before.

Now, obviously, we don't all feel the call to be domestic divas.

But should you find joy and beauty in just one menial task or one hobby or one daily chore, or even if you just imagine what that may feel like, this book is for you.

A coffee table book?


A bathroom book?

Yes, YES!

(And that is the highest compliment I have in my arsenal)

Even if you are late to the party, I highly recommend The Gentle Art of Domesticity.Link



I am pleased to announce that Jane Brocket will soon be releasing a book devoted entirely to quilting!

The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking
will be released in the coming months.

Of course we will carry the book and perhaps if I am very lucky and perfect that clone I have been working on I will even review it in a timely manner.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Coming out of the closet

Maybe I am overtired from the looong day at the sales, but it seems like a good idea for me to come out of the closet.

I've been living a lie and now it's time to come clean:

I am secretly one of those girls with long legs and a giraffe-like neck and an A-cup who can eat whatever she wants and never gain an ounce but I am trapped in the body of a hobbit who hates to exercise and will probably always struggle with her weight.


I feel sooo much better now that I've gotten that off of my chest.



Friday, November 6, 2009

Just in the nick of time...

Look what came to the shop yesterday...

New Anna Maria Horner oilcoth!

(Also known as laminates...)

(That was a nice surprise...)

And some new Kaffes!

(Also a nice surprise.)

These weren't supposed to arrive until December, but I'll take 'em.

Both are up and at 'em in the shop, just in time for the Late Riser's Sale.

In other news, my poor little sister Johanna got the Swine Flu.


I am happy to report that she has already made a full recovery.

It was very scary, though, and my heart goes out to all those children who are not bouncing back as easily as she did.

I am so thankful that she is okay.

And today is my brother Jesse's birthday.

He is 28.

If you see him, give him a birthday smack from me.

For anyone out there keeping count, I have one sister (age 11) and at last count I had four brothers (ages 28, 15, 14 and 8... I think).

There will be sewing lounge tonight and I am looking forward to it, but I am kicking everybody out at 8:30 on the DOT so I can go home and catch a few winks before the Early Bird Sale.

It snowed again this morning which reminds me I need to get snow tires put on my car.

OH, and by the way...

About this Fine as Kind/ Finest Kind debate which was much more heated than I had anticipated...

I am sticking to my guns.

Here's why:

While I concede that one may say "Fin-est Kind," I know for a fact that some Mainers say "Fine as Kind."

A lobstermen told me it was "Fine as Kind" many moons ago.

It was Mark Libby, for any of you super-locals out there.

I wouldn't argue with him.

Also I have been to at least one cottage on the lake that had a carved wooden "Fine as Kind" sign.

I am also pretty sure that there is a restaurant in Maine named "Fine as Kind," but I am unable to prove it with a website, although I did find one guy with a "Fine as Kind" MySpace page.

So will you compromise with me and agree that one may say either/or, depending on regional preference?

(I know there are "Fine as Kind" supporters lurking out there, come on, speak up!)

I guess that is all for today.

Hopefully I will see a few of you tomorrow and hear from a few of you on Sunday!

Have a great weekend!



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Little Halloween Bodkins


It is snowing here this morning (much to my delight).

I thought you all might like to see some of the little ones who visited us on Saturday...

Here's Scotty and Izzy:

(I was informed by Scotty that he is not holding a pitchfork: Devils and Farmers use picthforks. He is holding a trident, because Poseidon and Gladiators use tridents. I told him Thank You for clearing that up.)

And here's another shot of Izzy with her pink bow:

(Because all little Mummies need a big pink bow)

And here's Blake the French-Canadian Lumberjack:

Don't cut down my barrel, Blakey!!!

Here's my cutie-patootie next-door neighbor Olive the Octopus

(Aren't I lucky to have a real, live octopus living next door?)

And I'm so glad that these two could put aside their differences long enough for a photo shoot:

(I thought that deserved some candy.)

And here's my little Lauren the Pumpkin and Sarah Mae the Witch:


We also had a visit from Patches the Clown:

(Normally this is the kind of thing that would scare the bejesus out of me, but luckily there was a Power Ranger nearby to protect us.)

And, I got a surprise cupcake visit from my good friends Shawny and Erin.

Don't you love surprise cupcake visits?

(Sadly, most of these were accidentally eaten by Reuben, but he said he enjoyed them very, very much.)

Don't you think I had a nice Halloween?

(I do.)

How was yours???




Don't forget: Late Riser's Sale this weekend for locals and non-locals alike!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Post Halloween check-in

You know Halloween is over when:

None of the customers are asking for gold lame or black tulle or fake fur anymore.

There is a BIG ol' bowl of leftover candy on the counter.

The bathroom sink is littered with white cream face paint and fake eyelashes.

You start getting ready for the Early Bird/Late Riser's Sale.

I wanna go shopping at the Early Bird (especially at Darling&Delisle... I guess you probably aren't supposed to shop for yourself at the Early Bird Sale, but I feel a new scarf coming on!).

And I can't wait to bust out the scissors at the Late Riser's Sale.

Will I be seeing you there?



I promise an update on the Oliver+S School Days Jacket and Coat... as soon as I figure out how to clone myself.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!