Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ode to Summer....

Goodbye, Summer. We shall miss your warmth and the happy experiences you provided for us:


Ladder-ball tournaments...

King of the hill... (Let me explain this one. My son back-packed a golf club and 20 balls on a trek to the highest peak in Utah with his scout troop so he could hit them off the peak. Notice his buddy holding onto his belt loop as he swings so he doesn't have a mishap and fly right off the mountain along with his golf balls. Yeah...it's best that mom's don't know these details until they're home again.)

Ice cream treats from Aunti Em's and Uncle Kel's store...

The Pioneer Trek Experience...

Geode treasures...

Hiking Bryce Canyon...

A little jail time...

Target practice at Bryce Canyon...

Broken arms...(okay, not so much)

Father's Day and homemade ties...

The beginning of football season...

Militia men in training...

Thanks for the memories, Summer...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Totally Wicked Experience!

(Okay, corny title, I know...but it just fits so well!) Now that it's over, I can truthfully say that being on Studio 5 (a local NBC daytime show) was pretty "wicked", indeed.

But before I tell you about it, if you've not had a chance, be sure to stop by You Can Make This to download your FREE "Wicked" Embroidery Project that was featured on Studio 5. It consists of the Back Stitch only (perfect for beginners or experienced stitchers, alike!), and a little gluing on of some sparkling ebony crystals. Pop it into a frame, and you have a new bit of Halloween decor that features a little festive bling. You can literally finish the whole thing in just a few hours! It was designed to be quick and painless, and fun! I promise, you can do this--even if you've never tried embroidery before.

And the image below shows just the spider embroidered and sewn into a holiday door ornament. You can find the FREE download for the instructions on making this hanger HERE. (And by the way, my 6 year old helped to stitch this particular spider...I did part of it, but she did a big chunk of it and loved it! This is a great activity for the kiddos too!)

So my Studio 5 experience was really terrific, although a bit stressful at the same time! I was kept pretty darn busy with preparing for the show and keeping up with my family, and I admit, the night before the show I had a bit of a meltdown. What in the world had I agreed to? I'm too old for this kind of stress! All I could keep thinking of was those episodes of the Brady Bunch (or some classic show I remember watching) when some character happened to be on the air for the first time, and as soon as the red light from the camera came on, he or she simply stood there frozen in place, paralyzed. (And what spells "Epic Fail" more than submitting yourself to be on live TV????)

Well, after a few conversations with my hubby and my sister, and some deep breaths, they eventually talked me down off the ledge, and I started to relax a little....(Okay, so it wasn't quite that dramatic, but I was having some serious anxiety!)

Of course, I was nervous the morning of the show, but the folks there at Studio 5 were amazing. They were so friendly, and warm, and I instantly felt as though I had new friends in the world. One of the show's producers, Stephanie, that I'm here with in this photo, was especially fabulous.

She has a knack of filling you with confidence and believing in you whole-heartedly. She and I had worked on this segment together over the phone and through emails, but meeting her in person was a treat. She immediately put me at ease as she helped me set up my display and talked me through the last-minute particulars of how the segment would flow.

And then Brooke Walker, the host I worked with was remarkable as well. I have a new-found appreciation for the gifts and talents that talk show hosts/anchors have. She did not skip a beat, and knew just how to propel the conversation to help cover the details of the project I had prepared. I have watched her since with new admiration as she so aptly flows through any segment effortlessly. She is truly a kind and lovely person to work with.

And...there is a point in the segment where she ever-so-kindly rescued me from a little bobble! The one thing in the segment that I didn't prepare for was the stitching demonstration, because , well....I figured I know how to do that, right? Well, I didn't consider having to embroider with my hoop facing away from me and toward the camera. Should have practiced that part, I'm thinking now. I was holding the hoop at an awkward angle and my needle wouldn't go through the fabric with ease, and popped out of my hand. Oh, my. But Brooke found a way for us to laugh about it, and I managed to go forward.

So here is the Studio 5 segment...(just watch with kind eyes, okay? ) And don't forget to get your free download!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A "Wicked" Little Sneak Peek!

Something "Wicked" this way comes! See a sneak-peek today on Studio 5 and go to You Can Make This for a FREE download of this new project!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pine Needles...A Favorite Quilt Shop Featured in the "Quilt Sampler", and a Surprise!

I received a marvelous treat in the mail the other day! A magazine I had been waiting for from a quilt shop that I adore, along with a few fat quarters of festive Halloween fabric for my latest project (news about that to come later!).

First, the magazine is the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of the Quilt Sampler, which, a couple of times a year, features 10 fabulous quilt shops around the country (this issue actually has 11). And, the fun news is that one of my designs and patterns happened to show up in a photo inside the magazine! What a great surprise!

(I'm a lucky gal, as this is the second time a design of mine has appeared in this magazine. The other was a few years ago when the magazine featured The Gathering Place, a shop in Idaho that has carried several of my patterns as well. The design shown was "Spring Flowers" as you can see in the photo below.)

So the issue of the magazine this month features one of my favorite quilt shops of all time: Pine Needles in Historic Gardner Village, near Salt Lake City, Utah. As a quilt shop, it is enchanting to visit...the displays are ever-changing with new designs, fabrics, and patterns gracing the walls and peeking from the nooks and crannies. I am inspired every time I visit! There is a plethora of amazing designs and patterns for quilts, table runners, pin cushions, pillows, aprons, and more, that feature hand-embroidery, cross-stitch, quilting, or punch-needle.

The design, "My Dad" from Needle in a Haystack (me!) is shown in one of the photos that were taken inside the shop and printed in the magazine. I was giddy when I heard the news! You can see it in section 3 below.

But the real reason that Pine Needles will forever hold a special spot in my heart, is because it is the place where Needle in a Haystack got its start. About 8 years ago, I was fiddling with my own embroidery designs, wanting to do more with them, but not sure how or where to break into the market. I happened to have one of my stitched designs with me on an outing to Pine Needles and was looking for some coordinating fabric, when one of the store's managers, Holly, spotted the design in my hand. She asked where I got that pattern, and when she found out I had designed it myself, she encouraged me to write up the directions, offer a sample for the store to display, and bring her the patterns to sell. I was thrilled, and so grateful that someone believed in my designs and was willing to take a chance on them.

Some time down the road from that day, my little company, Needle in a Haystack was born. From that time, Pine Needles has been my best customer for in-store patterns, and one of my biggest cheerleaders. The ladies there are fabulous, and Holly, especially, has become a sweet and supportive friend over the years. Follow this link to learn more about their store and blog, and click here to see Needle in a Haystack patterns that are available through Pine Needles.

So, yes, what a great day to see that Pine Needles was featured in the Quilt Sampler---their cozy, friendly, and trendy store truly deserves it! And what a great day for my little business to be associated with them.

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