The time we spent in Fort Pierre last weekend was amazing: vending, teaching, and enjoying one of the best retreats we've ever been to. The Stately Stitchers quilt guild really outdid themselves with exceptional organization, fun activities, beautiful decorations, amazing food, and more. We (Cindy, Gayla, Wesley & myself) worked hard at our shop & teaching responsibilities, but the guild was so welcoming and helpful it was a pleasure to be there.
Barb, Rose, Laurie-Ann, and her husband Brian report a similar experience at the Badlands retreat in Medora. Everything went smoothly, and by all reports they did great! We can't thank Brian enough for working for the quilt shop on his weekend off. In fact, every one of our employees went above and beyond their usual responsibilities... working overtime, taking projects home to finish, coming early, staying late, and giving up time with their families to help in one way or another at the store.
As expected, it's taken us a while to get our feet under us at the shop. Ellen & Micaela valiantly "held down the fort" while everyone else was gone. If you happened to visit the shop last weekend, you probably noticed a quite a few bare spots on the walls and shelves. My friend Kathleen describes it as "when the Grinch Stole Christmas at Dakota Cabin Quilts".
So, after six quilt shows in eight weeks, we are home for a bit, and don't vend again until January. We'll do our holiday decorations at the shop, work on the website & blog, stitch new shop samples, and get our desks and workspaces organized.
More importantly, we'll have some time at home. It feels so good to sleep in my own bed, cook in my kitchen, and stitch in my sewing room. There's no question that I am a homebody, and I enjoy nothing more than starting the day with homemade soup in the crock-pot, coffee in my favorite mug, and a new project on the cutting table. Matthew & I sit side by side in the sewing room, and he works on the computer or his new workbook. Our three cats arrange themselves around the room, vying for the best position in front of the window. Every now and then we take a break to fold a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, or go outside for a little bit to play fetch with Sox.
Between now & Christmas, I'm hoping to find a handful of "nesting" days, as I plan to make a bunch of small projects for Christmas presents.
The way the weather has been, we're probably in for some "snow days". It has been unseasonably cold and we've had two snowstorms already. It was pretty discouraging to find out that there was only a four month span from "snowflake to snowflake"... June 5th to October 5th.
With the busy holiday season right around the corner, I encourage everyone to carve out some precious moments to create their own version of "nesting time." It's so easy to overdo/overspend at Christmastime, as we want to treat those we love to something special. But, I can honestly say that most people I know would love to receive simple handmade gift like a "Sweet Treat Bag" or "Sweet Roll Christmas Stocking". Tuck a small box of chocolate, some pretty bath items, or a few note cards inside for a personal touch. In this week's blog entry, I'll show you more about the "Sweet Treat bags"... the supplies cost around $10, and you can make a couple of bags in a morning.
If you start now, you'll enjoy it more, and avoid that last minute craziness that comes when you sew until 2am on Christmas Eve... Of course, I'm speaking from experience ;)