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December 2009

The stockings are hung. On the chimney. With care!


Low key 'day before Christmas' here in (truly) White Bear Lake! The Cottage is closed for the day and hopefully no last minute people are beating on the door. Christmas morning's breakfast is ready to slide in the oven. Ted's up at Cub Foods helping last minute grocery shoppers. The rest of us are headed to the mall ... just for fun. If I can tear myself away from all the holiday decorating shows that is!!

No one seems to know where Ted's stocking tag is so he gets last year's ornament instead.

We've turned our kitchen tree into a photo gallery this year ... tucking all the photo cards we've received between the branches.

Big, fluffy flakes are falling outside ... they're coming straight down because there's no wind. Last night, the small flakes were falling fast and furious giving us about 6" of snow to wake up to this morning. More coming later in the day ... and then through the night ... and then on Christmas ... all the way to Sunday! Who exactly was wishing for a white Christmas??? That's ok ... it's really pretty ... just like a Christmas card.

In the rush of preparations today, I hope you get a minute to stop and enjoy the commotion and activity. Merry Christmas from our home in really really White Bear Lake!

 Stocking ornamnet

Zippity do-dah!


Everyone is sewing bags and purses and have you noticed that many of them need zippers? We know "zippers are no big deal" to quote a famous designer. When it comes to putting them in, we have a secret weapon.

The instructions in Terry Atkinson's bag book are the best around when it comes to sewing zippers into bags and purses. Terry's method of finishing the edge of the zipper so you don't have that ugly, rough end is top notch.  And now, Terry has added another reason to add zippers to your bags ... beautiful, colorful, affordable zippers for sale!

We just loaded our Clip-It-Up display with a rainbow of zippers ... something to match every. single. piece. of fabric you own! And did you see that price? Ya. Eighty-nine cents!!! (You can't match that with your chain store coupon.) Bring in your fabric and match it up perfectly with the best color of zipper. And if  you're still a little afraid to sew in a zipper ... maybe scarred from middle school home environment classes ... home ec to us old folks ... ask to see our step-by-step notebook where we'll show you that zippers really are no big deal ... in both assembly or price!


Falling into a rainbow!


Holy cow ... I was dreaming in color last night because yesterday, I drove up to Brainerd to visit Cherrywood Fabrics. There are thousands of quilts waiting to be made by all the hand dyed fabric within their walls!

First order of business was to hand off one of Terry Atkinson's Fire Escape quilts done in Cherrywood fabric. It looks like suede. We found Terry and Kirk hitchhiking along Hwy 10 because they decided to go to Cherrywood, too! Just kidding ... everyone in Minnesota knows you don't hitchhike in below zero weather ... you call your pals to pick you up instead and make a day of it.

Before we got down to business, we needed to take a litte tour. Shelves and shelves of outrageous colors! It was impossible to look away from them.

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Bins of Cherry Rolls ... and then a surprise on one table ... they hand dye t-shirts!

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They have 'manglers' to help them cut and fold their fabrics after they are dyed. The name just fascinates me! Ok ... and here's some other Cherrywood jargon. An 8-step is a fat quarter bundle that has two yards of fabric ... a 4-step has one yard of fabric ... and of course you can always buy yardage. We weren't allowed to go through the door to where the action happens ... all of their washers and dryers and deep dark secrets are kept there ... sort of like the CIA.

But finally we settled down to the real reason for the trip. I decided to use their fabric for my quilt for the Twin Cities shop hop in April. I went in with one idea and came out with something totally different and am excited to start cutting! Did you know that's Cherrywood's main problem? Quilters are hesitant to cut it ... like they can't get more or something. Girls ... take the fabric off the display shelf and put it to work. You can get more. Truly. I saw it with my own eyes.

After auditioning a number of choices and figuring out the yardage ...

... I ended up with this beautiful stack ... including the quilting thread. Yes ... they have it all!

Linda (on the left) and Karla were so helpful and excited about their fabrics. They gave us petit fours for a snack ... how cool is that? I've known Linda for a million years ... from back in the day when she had her quilt store in Staples. This was my first time meeting Karla and she was as nice in person as she was in emails and on Facebook. (I betchya she dyed her t-shirt.) They go to a lot of consumer shows around the country so you've probably met them. I'm still totally amazed by what they do inside the walls of their workshop! What a great day!!


Racing toward the holiday finish line!


The Christmas clock is tick tick ticking toward December 25th! You know there are people on your list that you'd love to give just a 'little something'. If that's the case, then you want to be at the Cottage on Friday, December 18th from 10am to 6pm and on Saturday December 19th from 10am to 4pm. Come in, sit a spell and create these fast holiday ornaments. Both are made from hand dyed wool that we've pre-cut for you. All the supplies will be on the table for you to make the Perfect Pear or Grinchy Christmas Tree ornament. The pear is $7.50 and the tree is $5.25. They're quick!!


We've had a number of requests to do our Christmas trivets again, too so we're offering those this weekend as well. The tiles are about 6" square and have one of four holiday designs decoupaged on to them. The trivets are $7.95 each. A substantial gift!

Crafting and creating are stress-busters and who doesn't need something like that this time of year! Come, pull up a chair and lose yourself for a few minutes.

For our projects days, everything is while supplies last. If we run out, we'll try to snag a few elves to come in and help us get more kits ready! See you soon ...

 Christmas tile boy

The tots need toys!


Look at these Toys for Tots bins ... they're empty! Help fill them up. Marine Wing Support Squadron 471 packs toys each weekend as part of their monthly reserve drill and there aren't enough toy donations to keep them busy. Help the Marines and the kids out. Find a donation location and make a bunch of people happy this year!!


Holiday throwback!


Oh my gosh ... it was a trip to the past when I went to Hunt and Gather in Minneapolis last week! This place has the best of the best when it comes to vintage and 50's retro stuff. And the displays are always the best, too. I took so many pix that I have enough for a holiday blog and some left over for one just on the weird stuff I saw there. So are ya ready? Christmas first.

Oh my ... a tinsel tree and a boatload of shiny brites. Really. It was a boat!



Isn't this just the best ... the letters hanging on the tree are made from manila folders. They look great even though they're pretty simple. Think about all the other shapes you could cut from folders ... maybe add some manila tags stamped with holiday words, too.

Not sure what this poster was about but I love the the red and white look.

Honey comb snowman ... kind of tipsy! Wonder if that party hat and blowers indicate what happened.

Do you get the feeling each of these Santas are looking at you? Check out those eyes.

Such a heavenly choir!

Santa's taking a little spin on the turn table.


Even cowboys need a little holiday decor!

Yum ... plaid is always such a great combo during the holidays!

Merry Christmas!!