Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Sneaky Peeky and a little Lindsey

Hi sweets!

Well, this little bunny has been running around with packing tape and bubble wrap! hee,hee, hee. The movers come next Wednesday to get all our stuff. Bunny ears crossed that everything goes smoothly on Thursday and we can move into our new cottage, which I have decided to name "Bayfield" as our street name is Bayfield Dr.

Today I wanted to give you a little sneaky peeky of the 5th block on our journey down Briarside Lane. Jules and I are having a total blast with these and we hope you are enjoying your creative journey as well. This block will debut on May 1st.

Also today, I wanted to share a new video from my favorite violin gal, Lindsey Stirling. She is touring in Australia now. Hopefully, some of my Aussie friends will get to see her in person!

See ya next week!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"In a Fix"

Hi ya!

Well, I guess I really did shock you last week when I told you David and I were selling our cottage and yes indeed, it did sell. There are many reasons behind it like trying to cut down on his 50 minute commute to work, or the fact that we thought we would live here for nine years until he retires and then move to Florida. However, we discovered how much we LOVE this town and never want to leave! Prices here keep going up and up and up. We decided that if we were going to retire here, we better get to where we want to be before we couldn't afford it.

That being said, we have felt like we were on an episode of Property Brothers. You know where they show the people a really nice house with everything they want and then shock them with the outrageous price tag? Well, that has been us. Most places have increased $30k in the last 18 months. But like everything in my life, the winds of fate bring me right where I should be and then the moon and stars align to make it all work out (even if I have to go through pure HELL first).

You know I have a HUGE love of houses and honestly, just like when I design quilts and wool pieces, I can envision what a house will look like finished. I get down right giddy thinking about what can be done! hee,hee,hee.

So back to the winds of fate. We were lead to a house in my FAVORITE neighborhood here in Wilmington. My bestie, Lydia, can tell you because I always drove through here saying "One day I will live in Wilmington and live in this neighborhood."

If all the banking, inspections, blah, blah, blah go as planned, we will be moving into this cutie cottage in TWO WEEKS!!!! Yep, you heard that right. Yikes! Although it looks large, it's actually smaller than our current house and that is just fine with us. We love little houses with big character.

So, if all goes according to plan, I will be adding a segment to my blog called "In a Fix" because we will literally be living in a fixer upper. I thought it would be really fun to take you on this adventure with us and show you how we transform this little cottage and the yard into our dream home.

I'm still pinching myself that what I said all those years ago is coming true. I'm living in my favorite place and in my favorite neighborhood. You ready? We sure are!

Hugs to you,

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Cottage for Sale

Helloooooooooooo! Well, I woke up this morning and realized I didn't write my blog post yesterday. LOL!! Time gets away from me as there has been much happening around Bunnyville. I haven't really talked about it because I wasn't sure how it would go, but David and I are selling our cottage. In fact, it may be sold and thus the reason I was busy with that yesterday and forgot to write my post.


I will give you more details on all of it next week. If it has indeed sold, we will have to move out of here in three weeks. Yikes! We are not sure where we are going yet, but let's just say we are looking forward to an adventure and if it all works out, we can't wait to share it with you!

Until then, here is a 3-D tour of our cottage. It's amazing how buying and selling a house has changed over the years. Looking forward to reading your comments.

Hugs and see ya next week!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Packhorse Bridge - Block 4 of the journey down Briarside Lane

Hello travelers! We are delighted you have joined us as we make our way across the Packhorse Bridge, the fourth stop on our journey down Briarside Lane.

The Packhorse Bridge – by Jules Woolford

On an early autumn morning, we are wrapped up warmly against the frosty air. The lane is leading us through the wooded valleys of Exmoor, where a tumbling stream murmurs and chatters as water flows over moss-covered rocks. We need to cross the creek – but how?
The answer lies ahead of us. Framed against the purple and gold of the distant heather moorland, is an old, stone, packhorse bridge.
Today, it’s a beautiful remnant of the past, bedecked with moss and lichen, wreathed in wild flowers and clambering ivy. Once though, centuries ago, this was a much busier crossing place; many travellers walked and rode across the cobbled arch. We follow in their footsteps, pausing a moment to take in the tranquil scene. Almost on cue, a heron, standing like a sentinel on the far bank, silently takes flight across the water. It’s the final touch of wonder in this lovely, peaceful place.

The Back Story: Jules’ favorite place in the world is the beautiful Exmoor National Park. It’s a unique landscape of moorland, woodland, valleys and farmland, shaped by people and nature over thousands of years. Medieval, packhorse bridges are common here. Today they are used by hikers and horseback riders… and much photographed! This stop on Briarside Lane is based on the famous ‘Robbers Bridge’ which crosses the tumbling Weir Water. A magical place where brown trout swim, heron fish and Red Deer roam over the moor.

Here is Jules' original painting that inspired my wool and embroidery version.

Here is how the block looked before I stitched it. Isn't it amazing how much life the embroidery and Valdani threads add?

My dear friend, Babs Fullerton, stitched the embroidery version. I love seeing how she is inspired to stitch each piece.

The e-Pattern and wool felt kits are available in my shop.

I still have a few of the Valdani thread collections available

and Soft Fuse fusible web

and embroidery needles

and bunny scissors if you are needing a few extra goodies for yourself or a perfect Easter gift for a sewing friend.

So hop on over to the SHOP.  As always, we are delighted to share this adventure with you and are truly grateful for your friendship and support of our small business.

Hugs and hoppy stitching!
Michelle, Jules and the Bunnies

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Sneaky Peeky and Changing Times

Well hello there! I want to start out this week with a little sneaky peeky of the 4th block on the journey down Briarside Lane. This block will be debuting on Saturday. How are you coming with your other blocks? I know it's the time of year when everyone starts running out of gas for creative things as the warm days and fresh air are calling them outside. Yet another reason Jules and I made this a 6 month project.

Also today, I wanted to share this note I received from Kona Bay fabrics. Not only are quilt shops closing up, but so are fabric manufacturers. I received another notice that Red Rooster fabrics is closing. The times they are a changing. First, many quilters are aging and have sooooooooo much stash, that they are overwhelmed and have decided to reduce what they have and not buy any more. Second, there aren't that many young quilters or young people interested in quilting. If they are, they tend to be attracted to the modern quilting. Also, they don't buy like all of us did. They buy what they need or buy a kit. They don't collect hoard fabric like we all did. The industry is changing for sure. I noticed it a lot when I vended at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival. A lot of the vendors I have seen for 25 years are gone and more said they are retiring within the next year or two. It makes me rather sad to say the least, but I know that nothing stays forever and times change. It will be interesting to see what it is like in the next 5 years.

Here's the letter I received.

After 26 years in the fabric business, it is time for Da Textile Samurai to close down Kona Bay Fabrics.  This is our last week.

I'm sure you realize how tough this economy has been for many years and can understand how challenging it has been for so many.

The last few years, in particular, have been very hard but I wasn't ready to quit before I could honestly say that we gave it our all and did what we could to try and keep Kona Bay Fabrics alive.  Alas, it just wasn't meant to be.

Many shops have closed during these tough economic times.  Attendance at Quilt Market has fallen off over the years.  Colleagues and friends whether they be competitors or sales reps have also decided to change their profession and move on.

Having said all this, I look forward to the future and await what it will bring.  I'm still young and energetic and am merely ending but one chapter of my life.  

What I will miss the most is the friendship that I have made during these past 26 years.  Quilt Market was always a time when friends who shared a love for fabric and quilting came together.  Speaking to quilt guilds gave me a great opportunity to be with people who love our fabric and always gave so much encouragement and support.  

Through our constant emails (and I hope I didn't email you too often), we were able to bond with our friends and supporters and have crazy contests and giveaways.

I will miss the great staff and supporters who really made Kona Bay Fabrics our home for the past 26 years.

I don't know what the future will bring so I don't really think this is good-bye.

For now it is MAHALO for your past support and ALOHA to everyone!!

Da Textile Samurai
Kona Bay Fabrics

So what are your thoughts on all of this?