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November 2007
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January 2008

December 2007

Mistetoe Madness Charm!

Well it looks like a bunch of you will know what day of the week it is based on the number of calendars we sold today. So what do we have up our sleeves for Tuesday? You'll be charmed!
All charm packs in the store ... including the brand new Maypole, Prairie Paisley and Natural Garden ... will be buy four and get the fifth one for free! {Equal or lesser value of course.}

Make sure you hint to your family to pick up some fat quarters to go along with the charms ... maybe some jelly rolls, too. If you want, we'll hint for you. 

And don't forget a new charming pattern or book ... gotta have something to work on after the holidaze!

{Don't you just love our Chicklets display to hold charm packs? It's so stinkin' cute!!}

Mistletoe Madness on Monday!

Well, if you get my email newsletter, you know that Monday is the start of six days of craziness at the Cottage. Some stores would call it inventory reduction ... we're calling it Mistletoe Madness! Each day, something new will be put up as the special of the day. You'll have to check back to see what it is!

Don't live in the neighborhood? Hey ... we mailorder! Call the Cottage at 651.426.1885 with your credit card and you'll be good to go!

Imgp1631So our first offering on Monday is the very popular American Patchwork and Quilting calendar. Normally $23.95, this will be a steal at $18. It's filled with twelve new quilting projects by your favorite APQ designers.

And see that terrific table topper behind the calendars? That's the June project ... Lemon Bars. Wonder why it's on the chair? Because it's mine! There might even be a few bolts of fabric on the shelf to make this pattern ... a bonus gift for your favorite quilter. Nothing says love like a fat quarter ... or a half yard!

{If you're looking at the Noel mat on the December page of the 2007 calendar ... you can find the original at the Cottage for that one as well. I told you those calendars are filled with projects from your favorite designers, didn't I?}

Ok ... one gift out of the way. Wait until you see what we've got going on Tuesday!

See you at the Cottage ...

Celebrate St Lucia today!

St_lucia_2If you've met me, you know that I am far far away from being Scandinavian in any way shape or form ...  but somehow, my heart is always tugged to the celebration of St Lucia.  Maybe it's the longing to be blond.

As a little girl, I always envied those who got to celebrate by wearing a crown of candles and greens on their head.  Why didn't they combust?

If you don't know the story of St Lucia, here it is in a nutshell. Lucia was Italian but was a missionary of sorts to the Scandinavian countries. She was a 4th century martyr. A thousand years ago, King Canute declared December 13 St Lucia's Day. Lucia is a symbol of light which explains the candles and also is a patron saint of of the blind.  There's a whole big story about her ... google it!

Dressed in white with a red sash, wearing a wreath of evergreen and candles, the oldest daughter wakes up the family with a tray of coffee and Lucia buns.  Her younger sisters are attendants ... can't you just imagine them waiting for the day when that sister moves out?

St Lucia has her own song, too, that the girls sing as they process through their home.

Hark! through the darksome night
Sounds come a winging:
Lo! 'tis the Queen of Light
Joyfully singing.
Clad in her garment white,
Wearing her crown of light,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia.

Of course, it sounds much much different sung in Swedish!

My facination with St Lucia has been a blessing and curse to my family and friends. Just north of me in Scandia, Minnesota they hold a celebration at The Gammelgarden Museum .  One year I made arrangements for a group of us to attend the Lucia breakfast here ... this included little boys who had no desire to get up before the crack of dawn and little girls who's eyes were sparkling with the excitement and magic of it all. Add to that a giant snowstorm that was not going to deter me from going on this adventure! Crazy. Yes. Notice that there wasn't a single husband in the bunch. But it was worth every minute.

The event starts out in this little log church with lighted candle chandeliers and the song book written in Swedish! Everyone knew the words but us but the tunes were familiar so we hummed. Did I mention it was below zero ... ya ... no heat in that place either ... but it still was enchanting. The service was followed by breakfast in another building down the snow covered path ... illuminated by candles in mason jars.  The girls in their white dresses were breathtaking ... almost as much as the gift shop set up for the event. The memory is burned in my brain.  What my boys remember is that we still had to go to Mass afterwards!

The St Lucia in my picture here was my first published project. I had made it for myself, thinking through every detail, but on a whim, took a photo and sent it to Crafts and Things magazine. I need to pull this from my archive to see the date ... I can't remember if it was pre or post Teddy ... but in either case it was a million years ago. I loved every part of making this ... from being inspired by the wood to figuring out how to execute it {keeping that tray in her hands was a trick!} ... learning how to make sculpy buns was another experience. Her face is my favorite ... I love how her mouth makes her look shy and sweet. I'm always amazed at how well I could paint ... I miss painting so much and need to get back to it.  Every year when I bring her out it takes me back to the year I made her. And then I remember when and where I was when the magazine came out which was equally as exciting! {We were on our way to Itasca Park and stopped to look through the magazines at the drug store in Park Rapids ... I still remember getting my first glimpse of my project among the pages! From then on I was hooked on getting my stuff in magazines.}

There are a lot of Christmas customs out there but this one ... St Lucia's Day ... will always be one of my favorites. I hope some day to have some little girls in my life who would love to be enthralled by the idea of this celebration as much as I have been.

Christmas Cards!

There are some Christmas cards that you just can't resist sharing with others.  Here's one I received today from the Minnesota State Fair.

Now if you 'live' at the fair as much as some of us do, you'll know who the mascots are. And why this is so stinkin' cute!

What cracks me up,  and everyone who I've shown this card to today,  is the food-on-a-stick in the dream bubble.  And the little holly and ribbon in the corners. And the snow falling down through the windows.  Perfect touches.

I love every part of this card and is one that I'll put in the keep pile. It makes me think of the fair ...  the smell of the onions cooking for the footlongs ...  the corn roast ... the sounds ... and the crush of people  on a busy weekend ... aaaahhhh SUMMER!

It's spun my mind away from the things I need to focus on right now to how much I'm looking forward to being a vendor at the fair again in 2008. Lots of plotting and planning to do!

Happy Holidaze!!


Toys for Tots donations low!

Donatepic3_2One of the activities that the Marine Corp does each year ... this is the 60th anniversary! ... is collect holiday donations for Toys For Tots.

My favorite Marine boy has drill this weekend. They work at organizing and loading the toys for the organizations that will be receiving them during December.

Imagine my shock when he told me all they did yesterday was sit around or go to the gym to work out because THERE WERE NO TOYS!

I'm sure many people haven't donated because of the toy scare. How do you know what's safe? But not every toy can contain bad things ... plush toys, games, coloring books and crayons, puzzles ... surely there's something that is quick to pick up and donate. Something that would bring a smile to a child's face.

I noticed that the boxes at Linder's Garden Center ... a huge Toys For Tots supporter in the Twin Cities ... were empty last night when we were there shopping. I thought it was because the Marines had picked up their donations. But now, I'm thinking it might be because they didn't have anything to send! I hope that's not the case.

So ... go out today and buy a toy. If you don't know where to drop it, bring it to the Cottage. I have a direct link!

On the cutting table.

Imgp1642Well it's that time of year where everyone's working working working to finish little gifts for those on their list.  And I'm no different ... except that I'm making 40+ of the same thing ... ya ... I have a lot of friends!

The quilters in my Thimbleberries Club gave me recipes so I could make a holiday cook book for them.  But a cook book sounded so yesterday ... so I decided that I'd make them a recipe file instead. Ramp it up a bit!

I've been wanting the 4x6 file die cut from AccuCut so this was my excuse.  All of the recipes are put on to recipe cards and will fit into the folder.

The folders are cut from double sided Cosmo Cricket card stock.  After my 12 Days of Tags class at Archiver's, I lifted their idea as an embellishment on the front of the folder ... it even has a sparkly little gem in place of the dot over the J. Cute cute.  Up in the tab on the folder, I stamped the date of the club meeting next week.  A million years from now when someone is going through the estate sale for the club members they'll wonder about the significance of the date ... can't you just imagine them scratching their heads and puzzling over it? Makes me LOL.

As I've been working on them my mind has been drifting ... one of the best parts of creating. I'm thinking about a few things I'd like to make for gifts ... a project for the store I'd love to get going on ... a few boring things I need to get off my plate ... pulling together the final thoughts for my next store club {stay tuned} ... and remembering something my friend Jennifer said the other night.  She commented that sifting through the pile of stuff on the table is always more enjoyable than actually using the things to create something ...  and she's right.  I love looking at the goodies someone else is using!

So I took a snapshot of what was on my cutting table as I make these little prizes ... and after I loaded it up I saw the glimmer of my  next project waiting for me ... the gift exchange with my ebay sister.

Jenn  ... what's your face doing there among the clutter????

A charming delivery during the snowstorm!

You've gotta love it when you're socked in because of snow continuously falling down on you ... and the UPS guy braves the weather and delivers Spring! So here's what we got yesterday ... new charm packs, jelly rolls and fat 1/4s from Moda! Woo hoo ...  Christmas at the Cottage ... well ... except for that invoice that was attached to it. Bummer.

Look how adorable they look in my Chicklets rack! Perfectly displayed with the strip books from Design Originals and This and That pattern company.

So let's see ... what was in the box.  Maypole with lots of yellow and purples and cherry pinks.  Prairie Paisleys with their patriotic look.  And Natural Garden with deep reds, greens and purple and dainty little flowers.  All lovely and very touchable.

Stinkin' cute in their very charming displays at the Cottage. Betchya they'd make fabulous stocking stuffers!!