Monthly Archives: August 2011

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All Play and No Work

Well hello, blog peeps! Did you all have a good weekend? (Well, everyone except those of you in the eye of Irene, that is.)  Our weather this weekend was Picture Perfect. I decided to take a last minute trip to see TheFirstChild and SweetiePie. With such a beautiful weekend, I thought a little city living might be in order.

First off, we had the fun of discovering a new quilt shop in downtown Indy combined with a little meet-up with Noblog Robin (Hi Rob — Thanks for coming all the way downtown to meet us! ) Crimson Tate‘s the name and modern’s the game.

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The shop is still pretty small, but so far, so good.  Lots of yummy fabrics.  And cool antiques, used for display purposes.

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Pretty, bright colors.

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And a fun way to display patterns.

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I love the big chalkboard for class lists and announcements.

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And look at this awesome chair.  Heather, Ms. Crimson herself, uses it at her sewing machine.  She let me try it out and it’s really comfortable.  She said it helps eliminate butt fatigue when you’ve been sitting at your machine all day.  It’s called a ball chair — google it!

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Heather is adorable and I could kick myself for not getting a picture of her and her awesome cat-eye glasses.  I’m really looking forward to watching this little shop grow.  What a great little gem in the Mass Ave. area.  If you’re anywhere around Indy, I think it’s well worth the visit.  (Especially when you consider that there’s a Flying Cupcake just down the street!    And yes, we did partake. ;-D   If you need a recommendation, go for the Here Comes The Bride cuppycake.  It might make your eyes roll to the back of your head!)

So, that was the excitement on Saturday evening.  On Sunday, SweetiePie and I went for a bike ride.  Indianapolis has a pretty cool bike path system downtown.

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We rode over to the canal area.  Oh. Em. Gee.  When SweetiePie said we were going to the canal, I pictured a bike path along the White River or something.  The Canal is a beautiful area that links a lot of the city’s museums and fun places.  Probably everyone knows about it but me — I was so pleasantly surprised!

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There are bike paths along both sides of the canal and it’s absolutely gorgeous.  Like a little mini-Venice or something.  We rode around for an hour or so and then had a snacky picnic and people-watched.  It was SO fun!

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Then, on the way home, we decided to stop along the bike path and draw on the sidewalk. Every picnic kit should contain sidewalk chalk.

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Dream Big.

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Love.

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And Fly High.  Sort of hard to see with the dappled sunlight, but you get the idea.

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And now…another work week.  Sigh.  I want a weekend do-over.  Thanks SweetiePie for making it such a perfect weekend.  Don’t use up all the chalk before I get back to visit!

XOXO,
Anna

Friday Finds

Ok.  Show of hands.  How many of you have had these Biscoff cookies and love them?  I first had them years ago on a Delta flight (do they still serve them in this day and age of skimpy airplane service?)  Then one year, someone gave MyDadLovesMeBestSister a huuuge basket of them for Christmas.  And now, luckily, they’re starting to show up in our local grocery stores.  (If you’re in the states, there’s a retail store finder that will help you find out if they’re in a store near you.)

Biscoff

But I’m not here to show you Biscoff cookies.  Courtesy of my awesome invisible friend Linda Noblog, I’ve discovered Biscoff spread.  Aka Biscoff Peanut Butter.  But without the peanuts. Or nasty hazelnuts.  (Oh, Nutella … I love me some chocolate, but did you have to put those bitter hazelnuts in there???)  Have you tried Biscoff spread?  It tastes all brown sugar-y and cinnamon-y just like Biscoff cookies!

Biscoff

When Linda e-mailed me about it, I was in such a hurry to try it that I ordered it off of the Biscoff website.  (It occurred to me later that it’s probably in my local store right next to the Biscoff cookies.)  I’ve tried it on apples, bananas, and bagels — all of which were wonderful.  And even better there are lots of recipes on the internet for using this spread.  Like the Devil’s Food Cake with Whipped Biscoff Ganache that started this whole conversation with Linda Noblog (she’s an amazing baker!)  Or how ’bout Carrot Cupcakes with Biscoff Cream Cheese Icing?  Or a Biscoff Banana Milkshake?  (Ooooh, I even found a recipe to make Biscoff cookies from scratch, although, it’s hard to imagine that they’d be as good as the real thing.)

Biscoff

If food doesn’t grab you, how ’bout a new toy?  Have you seen these new dry erase markers from Crayola?  Be still my little worker bee heart.  Now I can have some color at my desk at work.  They come in regular and bright.  Of course, I chose the bright version, ’cause, well … they’re just brighter.

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They come with a cute little felt pouch, so I put a clip on it and I hang it near my white board.  I was going to add a new flower on my board each day, but most days I forget.  I draw baby stuff on my little twin-expecting friend‘s board when she’s not looking too.  It’s a nice diversion when I need a minute to get up and stretch.  Anyway, they’re really cool and they look like crayons, but erase just like dry erase markers.  I think they’d be great for kids too.

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And my last little Friday Finds are for you Ghastlie lovers out there.  Go check out this gorgeous sewing machine cover, this amazing quilt with a fun creepy twist (Help Me! Help Me! LOL), and this very cool quilt (perfect to showcase the large print).   It’s so fun to see all the Ghastlie inspiration out there!

Ok, I’m off to run errands.  Have a great weekend!
XOXO,
Anna

Simply Socks!

I’ve been to sock yarn heaven and lived to post about it! Oh. My. Gosh. Our little hometown is on the sock knitting map! Look at this adorable storefront:

Simply Socks

Have any of you ever heard of Simply Socks Yarn Company? It’s a BIG on-line sock yarn company and she is local. Who knew? Two weeks ago, my quilty friend Gurney sent us peeps an e-mail to let us know that the on-line company would be opening a real-life store front. (Thanks for the awesome tip Gurney!) Allison is the owner and she had her grand opening on Saturday. All week long, that’s all I could think about (well, that and the Children LOL) ! This is the view just as you enter the front door. I LOVE that checkered floor. Not to mention ALL that sock yarn!  (Please ignore the finger — I was too excited to pay any attention to the location of my appendages.)

Simply Socks

I’ve never seen so much sock yarn in one place.  Holy. Cow.  Just look at all the solid colors.

Simply Socks

I was particularly interested in the solid colors ’cause I’ll admit it.  I saw these socks on Allison’s blog and they’re what drew me in (among other things).

Simply Socks

ANNE!!!  LOOK!!!  IT’S SHEEPIES!!!!  I’m sorry.  I AM screaming!  It’s SHEEPIES!  How perfect for a pair of socks.  The pattern is free on Allison’s blog and you know that yarn had to come home with me.  I would have been haunted for weeks if I’d left it there at the shop.  (Oooh, I got a color card too — I forgot to take a picture of it.)

The grand opening was really fun.  Allison was just as sweet and helpful as could be.  She greeted me when I entered the shop (in spite of many other customers) and helped me find those sheepies right away.  After that, I took a look around.  Look at this awesome idea — a table where you can try several different yarns and see if you like them.  (Or maybe Allison is brilliant and this is a way to get some socks knitted LOL!)

Simply Socks

There was so much yarn everywhere and there are several pictures that I didn’t get.  I missed the food tables.  Lots of yummy looking cakes and cookies.  But really.  Who can think about food when faced with such a fab selection of yarn?  Look at these cute things.  You buy the gradiated (methinks that’s not a word) yarn in groups…

Simply Socks

so you can knit something like this.  Yummmmmy.

Simply Socks

Lots more yarn that caught my eye.  I’m looking forward to visiting the shop again.

Simply Socks

Simply Sock Yarn Company is still primarily an internet business and she has pretty limited store hours, so if you decide you need a little road trip, be sure and check the hours on her blog.  It’s WELLLLL worth the trip. (Plus there’s a bakery and chocolate shop in the same neighborhood and two other yarn shops in town.  And, well, Jenny and I are here — what more could you ask for???   If only we had a quilt shop, we’d be THE destination!!!)

Ok, one last thing — I suppose you’d like to know who won the Children at Play giveaway??? I made TheRandomManoftheHouseGenerator a good dinner tonight, so he faithfully performed his duties and burped up 27.

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WooHoo – Ms. Periwinkle, Come On Down!!!! (Haha, maybe it was the dinner that made him pick a number from the UK.)
Have a good week!
XOXO,
Anna

Tweet Tweet

MeMum had a birthday this week (Happy Birthday MeMum!!!) and I was ridiculously excited about the birthday present I found for her.   Everytime I saw her this week I said “Tweet Tweet” and told her it was a hint about her birthday present.   So…

Once upon a time, MeMum and BigDaddy went to college at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.  (MyDadLovesMeBestSister and I were born in Logan when they were in school — Yay!)   On main street, in Logan, there’s an adorable little restaurant called the Bluebird and it’s been there since 1914.  (It’s true, we were born after 1914.  ;-)  )

The Bluebird

It’s an super cute little place with an old fashioned ice cream soda bar.

The Bluebird

And lots of candy and sweets.  It’s like an ice cream and candy store, but with a big restaurant in the back.

The Bluebird

Our family all loves to visit the Bluebird.  When I was at market in May, I went to Logan with my aunt and my cousins and we had dinner at the Bluebird.  Look at the cute logo on their dinnerware.

The Bluebird

And while we were eating there, it hit me.  MeMum would have a birthday soon and she loves dishes and she loves the Bluebird.  So, I asked if they would sell some of their dishes (new dishes, not used LOL) and they said yes.  WooHoo!  I babied those plates all the way home on the airplane.  Then when I got home, I spied a little bluebird ribbon that I had in the stash, so I trimmed a few towels to go with the dishes.

The Bluebird

(Sorry for the dark pictures — the plates really aren’t as creamy as these pictures make them appear.) And that’s the story of how MeMum got Bluebird dishes and dishtowels for her birthday.

The Bluebird

The End.

Have a good weekend!

XOXO,
Anna

P.S.  If you’d like a chance to win a few quarter yard pieces of Sarah Jane’s Children at Play fabric, don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

The Children are Here!

Look, Looky, LOOK! Sarah Jane’s Children at Play have arrived in ThimbleannaLand and I Luuuuvvvvv them so! They’re adorable and I even passed up a few hours of painting in the kitchen so I could play with them. (Ok, it wasn’t a stretch to give up painting for quilting.) I started by piecing a courthouse steps block — keeping the pink and aqua in separate ladders.

Children at Play

Then I decided to play a little in photoshop and copy the blocks. The plan for a quilt like this would be to use different little motifs in the centers of each block.  (And happily, my piecing skills at the sewing machine are better than in photoshop, but you get the idea.)

Children at Play

I also decided to do a little copy/paste in photoshop and edit the aqua steps out. For a more aqua quilt, I could have edited the pink out. (Sheesh, I think I need EQ7!)

Children at Play

After the courthouse steps block, I decided to piece a few star blocks.  I love star blocks — they’re so versatile and you can do so many things with their centers.

Children at Play

I could easily have spent a few hours playing with different layouts, but I ran out of time.  (That hopscotch print is killing me!  I spent many hours drawing chalk hopscotches on the driveway when I was a little girl — what fun memories.)

Children at Play

As I was putting my fabric away, I noticed that it matches some of my Divine Twine. How Fun!

Children at Play

There’s even twine to match the boy fabrics.  If only I could make those big toe grabber stitches with it.

Children at Play

I can see a TON of possibilities for this fabric. It’s my new Ghastlies and I might be a little obsessed. I couldn’t help it, so I put some of my favorite prints in the Thimbleanna.com shop. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

And Wait! There’s More! If you spend more than $50 in the Thimbleanna.com store, I’ll send you a free pair of ginsu knives these cute little polkadot scissors — another of my favorite little finds. (If you have a color preference, make a comment on your order form and I’ll do my best to honor it.)

Children at Play

And while we’re giving away ginsu knives, let’s have a little giveaway. Leave a comment by Monday, August 22 (Happy Birthday to my bigboy FirstChild) to win a quarter yard pack of my favorite boy prints.  In your comment, would you mind telling me which version of the courthouse steps layout you like best?  Aqua or white?

Children at Play

Good Luck!

XOXO,
Anna