• 31Jan
    Categories: Everything! Comments Off on Back in Business

    Now you’d think that would be a good thing, but when you’re trying to retire, not necessarily so!  

    During my recent GOOBER (Going Out Of Business – Early Retirement) Sale at Anna Lena’s, Bob and I were working closely with a couple who wanted to open a fabric shop in our building.  They wanted to buy our remaining inventory, all the fixtures, the fudge business and rent our building.  This really nice couple had a lot of energy and some great ideas.  I was excited that there would still be a quilt/fabric shop in town and that there would be someone running it who would add a new twist on things as well.  

    Well, you know that news you hear every night about the tight lending climate?  Suffice it to say, it hit a little too close to home.  No deal.  

    So, here I am, acting all retired, but really I have a not-quite-empty store.  In fact, I have 1700 bolts of fabric!  Really nice fabric, too. 

    Pretty fabrics

    Fun fabrics


    Theme fabrics!

    1930’s fabrics.


    Did I mention I have 1700 bolts of fabric!  Did I have a Plan B?  NO!  But I have one now.  

    Earlier this week I started pulling some of the fatter bolts of fabric and cutting 6 yard off each one.  I put them on my web site and offered a Backing Special–6 yards for $19.99.  

    HOLY CRAP!  People REALLY liked that price.  I started selling lots of 6 yard cuts.  I had to take more photos and upload more backing specials to the web catalog.  Then I had to fill and ship all the orders.  So, that’s been my life everyday this week.  Working at the store, cutting backings, shipping backings, taking more photos and coming home and loading them up on the computer every night.  Hey, I used to have people!  People to do these things.  I miss my people!  But I love going to the post office with my shopping cart full of boxes!  Luckily, the PO is just across the street, so I go out my backdoor with my shopping cart and wheel it across the street.  There’s usually some nice postal patron going in or coming out of the post office who holds the door for me, and I wheel on in.  Bye-bye more fabric.

    But I’m never going to be able to get rid of all the fabric that way.  So, Plan B-and-a-half.  I’m going to re-open the store.  Wait, wait, wait.  Just for four days.  Over President’s Weekend I’m having a Last Chance Sale.  February 13, 14, 15 and 16 I’m going to open the doors from 11 – 4.  All fabric will be $3.99/yard.  If you buy 10 yards or more, I’ll sell it for $3.00 a yard.  And that doesn’t mean 10 yards of one fabric, that means 10 yards total!  All books will be $7.00.  All patterns $2.00–or, buy 10 patterns and they’re just $1.00 each!  

    So, cross your fingers and help me hope that by the end of the long weekend, I really will have an empty store and will be retired!  

    I don’t want to have to come up with a Plan C.

  • 22Jan
    Categories: Everything! Comments Off on Inauguration Day

    I spent a lot of time in front of the TV today, watching the inauguration festivities.  Very exciting!  I hope the optimism I saw reflected in so many faces helps us turn a corner for the better.  While none of my family traveled to the other Washington for the big event, my mom and dad did get up early to go to an inauguration party.  They stopped by the studio afterwards.  Don’t they look adorable?


  • 21Jan
    Categories: Everything! Comments Off on Orange You Glad?

    Orange you glad you stopped by?  I am!  

    I’ve been in an orange mood lately.  Well, it isn’t all that unusual that I’m in an orange mood–it is my favorite color, after all.  


    But, I must confess, for years I tried to hide my love of orange.  It stems from a bad experience in the mid 1970’s.  For those of you who remember, “earth tones” were the buzz word of the day.  That usually meant avocado green and harvest gold.  Insert gagging sound here.  But, along with those two colors came burnt orange and rust.  Yes, rust.  As in, “See that old old hulk of a car out there in that field?  The one that hasn’t run in years.  Yes, I’d like that color for my home decor.”  I got married and got my first house in 1974.  (Okay, really weird thing happening right now.  The Moody Blues Nights in White Satin is playing on my radio!  Flashback to the Seventies!)  But, I must proceed.  In my new-to-me ranch house, I redid the kitchen/family room.  The carpet–indoor/outdoor patterned carpet in brown and orange.  The wall paper–also orange.  But not the pretty orange that I truly love.  It was BURNT orange.  That sounds almost as appealing as rust.  We lived in that house for three years.  When we moved out, I turned my back on orange.  

    But, hard as I tried, I still really loved orange.  For years I denied it.  If I’d see something cute that was orange, I’d say things like, “Oh, that’s so cute–even though it’s orange.”  But, slowly, with the help of a twelve step program in my mind, a few years ago I finally started admitting that I liked things BECAUSE they were orange.  A whole new world opened up to me when I let orange back into my life.  


    Now I’m surrounded by orange–happy orange–bright orange–gay orange!  I have astudio full of orange.

    And have I mentioned that I have a great family and great friends?  They help feed my orange obsession.  Here are the things I got for Christmas this year that are orange.


    And yesterday, when my friend Robin came by to spend the day sewing, she even wore orange!


    Life is good when you love orange.

  • 15Jan
    Categories: brilliant ideas, fabric design, quilting Comments Off on Village Garden BOM

    Aren’t girlfriends great?  I’m blessed to have a lot of them, both in my personal and professional life.  One of my best “circle of friends” and I blog together over at My Quilt Village.  We’re all shop owners or designers in the quilting world.  At last Quilt Market, Karen Montgomery thought it would be fun to add a Block of the Month to our blog.  And that girl came prepared!  She brought us a nine block design that she had done.


    We’ve divided up the blocks, and each month one of us is responsible for posting the pattern for the next block and some chat about it!  The first one is already up on the My Quilt Village site and I’m responsible for February.  (Oh, please, please let me remember.   That’s only 16 days away.  Mental note, mental note!)

    The quilt is a happy mix of simple pieced and applique blocks.  The picture here is of Karen M’s quilt.  Of course I’m going to make my own version of the quilt using some fabulous 1930’s fabrics.  Since Karen M. has a sample all done, I don’t really need to make all the blocks, but it’s such a cute quilt, and I’d love to see it in my fabrics, so I’m committed!  The first block went together in a jiffy, and for the applique blocks I’ll be doing some fusible and a buttonhole stitch on my Elna, so that will go fast, too.  Here’s the first block done up in my fabrics.

    Not to get all salesman-y here, but if you’d like to make a 1930’s version of this quilt, too, I’ve put together some kits with everything you need.  There are 10 fat quarters of my prints for the blocks and frames, Super Ivory for the background, my green Square-Dot for the corner stones, and the blue Trillium for the binding.  Click here to get to the online catalog.  I love that the pattern uses fat quarters, and there is enough fabric in the fat quarters to do the cool square frames around the blocks.  If you decide to do this, I want pictures!


  • 13Jan
    Categories: travels abroad Comments Off on Graduation Trip

    I’ve been tripping down memory lane these last few days.

    Sorry for the grainy photos!  My daughter, Melissa, graduated from high school in 1987.  For three years before that, she and I had a ball planning her graduation trip–to Europe.  I couldn’t let her go alone, could I?  We had maps and guide books and poured over them planning all the things we wanted to see and places we wanted to go.  We were to be gone for six weeks.  We bought a VW Jetta through a tourist program, picked it up there, then had it shipped home at the end of our trip.  It was Melissa’s first car, and she took it to college.  The above photo shows her the day we picked it up in Vienna, putting the country sticker in the back window.  She was one happy girl that day!

    So why am I posting about this now?  When we got back from that trip, Melissa put her photos into a couple of albums.  (Remember those albums with the “magnetic”pages? Yuck!)  She had enough pictures to fill two of them.  When I was visiting her last summer, she showed them to me.  They had been through a flood in her garage and were in really bad shape.  She was thinking of throwing them out, so I brought them home.  Of course, they’ve just been living in the Ann Frank room since then.  But, now that I’m on my organizing spree, I found them under some other treasures, brought them downstairs and started removing the photos.  They came out surprisingly easy.   I’ve decided to make a scrapbook for Melissa, hence the trip down memory lane

    Now, if I was really organized, I would have been able to find the little glue applicator to stick the photos down, but I haven’t gotten there yet.  I think you know what’s coming.  I had to buy a new one!  

    Our first stop was London.  We were without a car there, which was fine!  

    The Hard Rock cafe was a big deal!  Hey, when you’re 18, it’s a lot more fun than another museum!  Now, I must tell you that during those three years that we were planning our trip, Melissa kept asking my mom if she’d come with us on the trip.  My mom’s answer was always, “If I’m still in good health.”  Well, guess what, that was 22 years ago, and my mom’s still in good health!  Hey, Mom, ready for a reunion trip???

    We visited Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and Sweden.  It was a wonderful six weeks.  After two weeks, we were in Milan and my sister joined us.  She stayed for two weeks, then she and my mom came back home and Melissa and I spent the last two weeks just the two of us.  


    It really was a great trip, and I do think we should do a reunion tour!

    I’m Karen Snyder and I approve this message!

  • 08Jan
    Categories: Everything! Comments Off on Grandkids!

    We spent last weekend in Bend, Oregon with our kids and their families.  Yes, we have great kids, but who takes pictures of them when you have GRANDKIDS!  Of course, ours are the most adorable ever.  I’m sure you’ll want to see pictures of them……..

    Here’s McKenna in a pretty new sweater.  Oh, and Bitty Baby has a new outfit, too!

    Justin loves his Papa–and the feeling is mutual!

    Jason is showing you his new hat from Sweden.  Moose Crossing!

    What’s this?  Carson discovered Bitty Baby and left his John Deere tractor–for awhile!

    I’m Karen Snyder and I approve this message!

  • 08Jan
    Categories: Everything!, fabric design Comments Off on We Have A Winner

    We have a winner for the Twinkler!


      I used a random number generator this morning–that was fun, by the way–and our winner is Judy J from Sedro-Wooley.  

      Congratulations, Judy.  

      The drawing was lots of fun and I made a lot of new bloggy friends.  I appreciate all of you taking the time to comment.  I hope you’ll do it again soon.

  • 05Jan
    Categories: brilliant ideas, Everything!, fabric design, musings Comments Off on IKEA

    Pottery Barn taste on an IKEA budget


    I had several questions about the shelves in my quilt studio after my last post.  So here goes…..  When we were building the studio, I looked through all kinds of magazines and catalogs trying to get ideas.  Then I saw that there was a new book coming out from one of the quilt publishers.  It was called Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space by Lois Hallock.  


    I could hardly wait for the release date!  As soon as it came out, I bought a copy and read it from cover to cover.  I wanted every sewing room in it!  I wanted the green one!  I wanted the knotty pine one!  I wanted the one with the antique armoire!  I wanted this Lois Hallock person to make me a pretty room and put me in a book!  I read all of the helpful hints and thoughts on organizing, then I read the author’s bio.  It said she grew up in Pennsylvania.  Wow, that’s a long ways from Long Beach, Washington.  But, it mentioned a web site.  I checked it out.  She lives just north of Seattle!  Now THAT’S do-able!  So, I bribed Lois with a weekend at Long Beach and hired her to consult on the studio.  She drew out my layout, explained why ironing boards are big space wasters, explained why book shelves are perfect for fabric storage, talked to me about proper heights for cutting and sitting and sewing.  But, best of all, she recommended IKEA.  But I LOVED those Pottery Barn units that I’d seen in the PBK catalog.  But, dang!  They were expensive!  

    So, here’s what we did.  Bob and I went to IKEA, found shelving units that we liked, and dressers that we liked and would work for cutting and ironing surfaces and brought home all these flat boxes.  Be prepared for lots of assembling if you buy IKEA stuff.  Oh, and no words in the instructions, but great pictures!  

    Now the one thing that set those Pottery Barn shelves apart was the placement of the doors–not at the top, not at the bottom, but just above the bottom shelf.  So clever.  So artsy.  So glad I have Bob!  The IKEA shelves were made so that you could put doors on the top OR the bottom, but not in between.  Enter Bob.  Sure, he says, he’d love to figure out how to do it some other way than the instructions say.  Well, okay, not really love it, but he must love me, because he did.   Then you need my sister, Sally, to find you all kinds of great bins and baskets to fill up your shelves.  Didn’t she do a good job?  She even found the Pottery Barn basket liners on close-out sale–and they were orange and aqua!  They were too big for my baskets, but, guess what?  I know how to sew!  

    There are 5 book cases in the long wall unit, then two double sets for fabric storage.  On those, I let Bob put the doors on the bottom!

    We bought two dressers for the cutting surface and put them back to back.  It’s a great surface, and great storage, too.  We also bought an additional dresser and Bob made an pressing surface for it.  More storage and a great, big place to press (or pile things–no, wait, I don’t do that anymore!).


    The corner desk unit is also an assemble-it-yourself, but it came from Dania.   The drafting table and butterfly chair were a treat to myself and made by a company called Sticks.  


    Now, regarding the new resolution for organizing.  I was gone over the weekend, and on the long drive home decided that the best way, the way that might work for me, is to spend the first hour of everyday working on organizing.  It has to be the first hour, or I’ll never get to it.  So, this morning, when I heard Bob get out of bed, I jumped up (well, I stiffly eased my way out of bed), pulled on my sweat pants, and headed to the Ann Frank room–my equivalent of an attic–and dug in.  I made some real progress and plan to be back in there with my timer tomorrow morning!  

    I’m Karen Snyder and I approve this message!