Thursday, September 23, 2010

Belly Bug... Blah!

Got hit with a belly bug the past couple of days, so I have some catching up to do, but I'm working at it. Glad to be feeling better! Fortunately it was just a 24-hour thing.

I did manage to add some new items to the store today: More cotton fabrics: Assorted solids and tickings. Also added a yo-yo maker under "Notions: Miscellany." I've used one myself and recommend them. They are a lot of fun and make very nice, consistent yo-yo's with much less work than trying to make them "free-hand." And, I hope you all like the solid and ticking fabrics! I had a fairly nice variety of each; I just hadn't gotten around to listing them until now! Stop by and take a peek when you get a chance. More coming soon and often! :-)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rainy Sunday Musings

I added a few more new products to the store yesterday, including the adorable Love, Putford, and Tudor Rose needlework scissors. I also added the first 3 of what I'm sure will be many patterns from my friend Maureen Mills of Sweet Meadows Farm. Maureen is a FABULOUS artist, and I've made many of her doll patterns myself in the past. I hope you'll take a look... these are 3 of her most recent patterns, and they are all incredible, and too cute for words!

We were awakened by quite a rainstorm this morning! In fact, my husband said that as he began to wake, he was first absolutely certain there was a shower running in the house. Funny how the sleepy mind works. Of course, my own mind can be a little goofy sometimes. After all, I am heavily medicated. Aaahhh, good old immunosuppressants and pain pills. My short-term memory sure isn't what it used to be.... At any rate, we were very glad the heavy rain mostly subsided by the time we got up, or we would have had a pretty tough time getting the girls (our 2 shelties) to go out to potty. They are very spoiled girlies and don't like getting wet!

I'm so pleased to have a follower... thank you so much! I've been doing some blog-hopping this morning, signing on to follow others' blogs I've enjoyed visiting. Perhaps some of them will find this blog and follow it as well. I will be very grateful for all the new blog friends I can find.

I've also been noticing all the great static backgrounds and way-cool formatting many of you are using for your blogs! It's been far too long since I learned me some basic HTML, so I'm afraid I'm out of the loop. I've tried to set this blog up as best I could using Blogger's new template tools, but I'm afraid I'm a bit of an "epic fail" as the kids these days would say. If any of you would care to share the secrets, I'd be forever grateful. Maybe there is a terrific tutorial published somewhere on how you are formatting your blogs... with those great static backgrounds and such. And maybe you'll post a link to me. That would be awesome! I have a lot more work I need to do to this blog, but I'm glad to at least have it started. I had a hard time just getting Blogger's new system to accept my background upload... and as it stands, I'm not overly satisfied with the image I did manage to get posted here. But I'll keep working at it.

I'm also going to make a pledge, right here and now, to try to post to this blog fairly frequently. I have a blog under a separate membership here for Autumn Comforts, and I've been a bad, bad blogger with that one, I'm afraid. But I think I can manage to post here more often, now that I'm not having to spend so much time making items to sell. As slow as I have become, doing resale of supplies instead truly should help me out considerably in terms of time. So, my dear visitors, I promise that I will do my best to post here fairly often. No guarantees on just how often it will be... well, okay, let's say at least 3 times a month. That's a reasonable amount, I think. And, I think I can likely do much better than that. But I'll hold off on pledging daily posts for now.

Until next time....

Prim Blessings,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Greetings from Hannah's PinKeep!

I'm so excited about our new store! Our goal for Hannah's is to eventually have and keep in stock a myriad of great doll, quilt (and quilted goods) cross-stitch, punchneedle, rug hooking (and other forms of rug making), and other needlework patterns, along with all the consumable supplies (and even some of the "hard" supplies as well) that one would need to make each of them. Our focus is on today's styles based on days gone by: Primitive, "primsical," country, colonial, Quaker, Shaker, etc. You won't find any bright, bold, primary colors, modern shapes or styles, cartoonish prints, batiks, etc. at Hannah's. But you will find patterns and supplies for making beautiful raggedy dolls; muted, earthy rugs; muted-toned quilts in the old, traditional styles; Quaker and primitive cross-stitch designs; and so much more... all inspired by those muted, secondary colors and old-fashioned, prim styles so many of us will likely never stop loving!

I'm Jodi, and I am the proprietor of Hannah's. I'm looking forward to chatting with all of our visitors at Hannah's! A little about me: I'm 50 years old, and I live in Bend, Oregon with my husband of 30 years, and our 2 kitties and 2 spoiled rotten shelties. We also have two fantastic sons who are both in their 20s. They live in Portland and Vancouver respectively, so I don't get to see the boys as often as I'd like; but they're both pretty good about keeping in touch with their old Ma. The boys have both gone through the common rituals of some college shortly after high school, then deciding they weren't on the right path, working for awhile, then the recession hit and they both lost jobs and couldn't find new ones. Now they're both back in school, and while neither is thrilled about the sizable student loans they are building, I think they both feel pretty confident now about the paths they are on. Both are quite single at the moment, but I've already put in my order for some grandbabies, so we'll see what the future brings. ;-)

I have been involved in needlework and other handcrafts for most of my life. I taught myself how to crochet starting at about age 8 or 9 (and remember,this was in the 60s; no internet tutorials were available back then!), then got heavily involved in good old macrame in the 70s as a teenager. I even made several plant holders that I sold to a local lady for resale in her books and houseplants store. In 1976, our country's bicentennial, I took a class in high school specifically on this important anniversary. We each had to pick a project that reflected the history of our country. This was when I made my first patchwork quilt. I cut squares of old fabrics (with scissors!) and hand-stitched them together. It was quite an undertaking! At any rate, I've been hooked on handcrafting ever since.

In addition to my new store, Hannah's PinKeep, I also own a site called Autumn Comforts (formerly Gingerbread Mountain... and before that, Whimsy Creek... and before that....) We first got a computer and internet access in around 1992, and it didn't take me long at all to learn some basic html and set up my first web site. My very first was actually called "Jodi's Graphics" ... I know, how original! ;-) I drew and sold mouse-drawn graphics (done in a paint program) for use to decorate web sites. I did pretty well, and this business lasted quite a few years, actually. I sort of "partnered up" with a lovely group of ladies who were my fellow "original, mouse-drawn graphic artists" of the internet back in those days. I think there were only about a dozen (or less) of us when I first started. In fact, I was, as far as I know, the first "mouse-drawn graphic artist" to set up my site to require a paid membership for the conditional use of my graphics. Seems like hundreds more followed suit not long thereafter.

While new graphic artists were seeping out of the woodwork, I was getting tired of seeing my graphics stolen, altered, misused and abused, and I was losing interest in that business while simultaneously gaining more and more interest in selling my handcrafted goodies online instead. I had been turned on to the world of primitive... and I fell in love. While the styles known as "primitive" have evolved somewhat over the past decade or two, I am still head over heels. There is something about the era, the simpler times, the more agrarian style that just suits me. I can't bring myself to even remotely like some of this modern style "stuff" I see these days. Give me an old-fashioned, tattered "Grandmother's Garden" quilt -- stained, frayed, and well-loved -- over one of these new bright-colored, computer-designed, garish quilts I see so many quilters making these days. I'm definitely a prairie doll in a Barbie world.

Anyway, getting back to Autumn Comforts. Any of you who are familiar with my long-time site know me for my raggedy dolls (made using other fabulous artisan's patterns, mostly), candles and melts, and more... especially, I suppose, my rag quilts. I've made and sold well over a hundred rag quilts, from throw-sized to "Cal-King" bed-sized quilts complete with shams and throw pillows to finish off the set. Most have had appliqued raggy stars. And all have been very well received. I've always used very muted, earthy-colored (okay, primitive colored) homespun (woven) fabrics for my rag quilts. They fray better than prints, and the woven plaids and stripes just work for primitive rag quilts.

About 8 years ago, give or take, I developed what later was diagnosed to be the beginnings of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. Inflammatory arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, has become the most serious of the assortment of medical conditions with which I've been blessed. Seems I've had psoriasis pretty much all my life, and psoriasis, a skin condition, is actually also considered an autoimmune disease. And when my kids were just babies, I developed Graves disease (thyroiditis). A dozen or so years ago, I had bouts of vertigo that put me in the hospital again. Turned out that I also have another chronic condition called Meniere's disease; a disorder in the labyrinth in the ear that causes vertigo, balance problems, and hearing loss. And now, we've added the inflammatory arthritis conditions along with fibromyalgia to the mix.

Probably needless to say, in spite of some heavy-duty medical treatments and medications, my hands just don't work like they used to. The joints, muscles, and nerves throughout my body are slowly being damaged more and more, and my hands and feet have suffered the most in terms of loss of function. I used to type like a demon; now I find myself hitting a lot of typos, typing much more slowly, and having to break frequently to stretch out my fingers and wrists. I can't hold a pen and write anymore. Even signing my name is painful, and the signature is illegible as can be. And stuffing dolls and stitching quilts? Well, no. Not really. I can still do some, but it takes awhile and is a painful process.

But there is no way anything is going to keep me completely out of the industry that I love. I'll still be making items to sell; just not as frequently as I'd like, nor as I used to. But I can certainly provide the designs and materials that others use to make similar items to mine! Hence, the birth of Hannah's PinKeep.

So that's "a little" about me. Now you know more about the person behind Hannah's PinKeep. And I hope I'll get the chance to know more about you. I want very much to make Hannah's YOUR favorite place to visit and shop, so please don't hesitate to send me your suggestions and ideas. Remember too that if there's a primitive-style needlework, fabric, or similar item you'd like that I don't yet have in stock, chances are that I could order it for you, so please do ask. And, I hope my visitors will all note that I'm offering tiered discounts on all your purchases; orders under $25 will be at the product prices that are listed. But orders for $25.00 to $49.99 are 10% off the listed prices; orders between $50.00 and $74.99 get 15% off; and all orders worth $75 or more will receive 20% off! And that offer extends to everyone, every day! You don't have to do a thing to get the discount, either; my shopping cart will automatically figure it in for you before you check out.

Thank you for indulging me by reading this "little" bio! ;-) I hope we'll grow to be great friends... and thank you again, so much, for visiting with me and for being a patron of Hannah's PinKeep! :-)

Prim Blessings,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010