Monday, November 30, 2009

Nicey Jane has arrived!!!


May I introduce you to Heather Bailey's new collection, Nicey Jane?

In Heather's own words:

“Small-town girl, Nicey Jane, heads to the city on Friday nights to swing dance with her beau — but not before hanging the laundry to dry and enjoying an afternoon picnic on the farm. Every weekend should be so sweet.”

Isn't that nice(y)?

Some of these fabrics will also be available soon as laminates (those soft, lush, drapey oilcloths from Free Spirit), but for now they are available at the shop and online.

I put together a coupla bundles and after my days off I have plans to put some more together.

One great thing about this line is that as far as I can tell, it coordinates reeeally, reeeally nicely with Heather's earlier collections, too.

Always a smart move on a designer's part, I think.

Makes my job as fabric consultant-ish type person that much easier.

Anyhoo, that is about all I got for now.

I will see you again soon.

Be Nicey Jane to each other!!!



Friday, November 27, 2009

200th post and a giveaway!!!

How was your Turkey Day?

Ours went quite well and I shall never again be afraid of baking a turkey as it was really not that bad at all.

But, I do have some bad news.

I am sad to report that after our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday (which saw everyone leaving our place at around 4 o'clock) that my poor little Mama came down with the swine flu at around 9 o'clock yesterday evening.

Have you ever been that sick when you could pinpoint the exact second you started feeling poorly?

I have.

And now my Mom has, too.

So I am sending lots and lots of get-well vibes her way, and perhaps you all will be so kind as to do the same.

Johanna's flu came and went so quickly that I can't help but hope for the same thing for my Mom this time.

In other news, our Anna Maria Horner flannels arrived the other day.

I only ordered three bolts, but I think they look sooo delicious together.

What do you think?

A lot of the time here in the shop people will see a print and exclaim how much they love it and then upon closer inspection when they discover the print is on flannel they seem kind of disappointed.

I get it.

So, that is why I went easy on these flannels.

(I really do adore them, though).

Aaand, perhaps another reason why I went easy on the flannels was because I purchased a lot of the Anna Maria Horner voile prints.

Those should be coming in very soon and I will of course let you know when they do (I'll shout it from the hilltops!), but the voiles are going to be a little bit on the "dear" side.

They will retail for about $15 a yard, I believe, but I don't have my paperwork in front of me right now so don't quote me on it.

Also don't have sticker shock, because I warned you!

"Why are they going to be so expensive?", I hear you ask.

Because voile is a much finer fabric than a standard quilting weight cotton.

It is definitely geared towards garment-sewing, and is very drape-y and lovely, but it is also more expensive to produce.

"Can you use it for quilting?", I hear you ask.

The answer is "Yes."

Just like a lot of us are using quilting weight fabrics for garments, so too can you use garment weight fabric for quilting.

I'm a big fan of mixing fabric weights and textures in quilts, but you do need to be aware that they may stretch in different ways, so you will want to pin, pin, pin and perhaps bust out your walking foot to do your piecing.

But enough about the voile, this post is all about the flannel.

And more importantly, about the giving away of the flannel!

If you are still with me, I would like to offer 1/2 yard each of these three golden delicious flannels ( a total of 1.5 yards) to one lucky reader.

All you have to do is leave me a nice little comment and at the end of the day on Monday I will ask Ollie to pick a number at random.

Maybe you could tell me some of your tips and tricks for sewing: with or without different textures.

Or maybe you could just send a get-well wish to my Mom.

She will get a kick out of reading those.

Also, I am going to spend some time this morning putting up a "flannels" page on the website, as we have some other very, very nice flannels in stock already and more coming in.

"What nice flannels?," I hear you ask.

Well, we have Amy Butler flannels coming in very soon and some new Valori Wells to accompany the lovely Valori Wells we already have in stock.

So, if you don't win, perhaps you could check out the flannels page for a little consolation prize.

This is Maine, after all, and we do love our flannels in Maine.

See you again on Monday and good luck with the giveaway.

(And get well, soon, Mom!)


Rhea at Alewives


Now that the Season is upon us, am I the only one looking forward to hearing the Bing Crosby/David Bowie "Little Drummer Boy" mash-up on the radio?

Love that song!!!

Comments closed: The winner (chosen by my personal random number generator Ollie) is lucky #36:

Anonymous May said...

Hope your mom feels better soon!

November 30, 2009 7:41 AM

Congratulations, May!

I don't know who you are (unless you are Maylene Mitchell, in which case I know exactly who you are) so I will need a little more info...

Please send me an e-mail ( with your address and I will arrange to send you the flannels.

Thanks to everyone for entering and thanks so very much for all your well-wishes to my Mom.

She is feeling better but resting a LOT.

She has read all of the comments and was very, very touched by the global concern!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

Hi all...

I wanted to take a moment to share with you a few of the things I am thankful for this year:

• I am thankful for my favorite fiancĂ© I have ever had and his wonderful dog (who is now OUR wonderful dog).

• I am thankful for my family who are all very close (both literally and figuratively).

• I am thankful for my friends (both my "real life" friends and my "online" friends).

• I am thankful for my house (after years of nomad-ing and apartment dwelling).

And lastly...

• I am thankful for my job at Alewives Fabrics and all of our wonderful customers.

I truly do not know what my life would be like if I weren't there and a big part of ME being there is YOU being there.

Does that make sense?

I guess what I am trying to say is...

I am thankful for YOU!!!

(That and we will be CLOSED tomorrow but open as usual on Friday... Sewing Lounge and all).

What are YOU thankful for???

See you after the big day and thanks for all the turkey advice!




There is a rumor underfoot that there will be an ALL DAY Sewing Lounge on Friday to kick-off your Holiday sewing. Feel free to partake!!! (I know I will!!!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pre-Thanksgiving Shakedown


Yes, it has been a week.

I won't bore you with the usual (Blah, blah, blah... I was sooo busy...blah, blah, blah)

But here is a quick recap of what I have been up to:

• Did the ol' 9:00-7:00 shift at the store yesterday. A shift of my own shifting. One of my Dad's friends owns a local business. When he found out Mom and I were buying Alewives he said (and I quote) "Working for yourself is great. You get to choose your own hours. You can work the first half of the day or the second half of the day." Truer words were never spoken.

• Stayed up until the wee hours during my time off to finish a quilt/wallhanging for my kitchen. I put the movie "Sense and Sensiblity" on the computer and went to town, if I do say so myself. I had the "Sex and the City" movie with me as a back-up, which would have made for an oddly appropriate double-feature, I think, but this was sadly unnecessary. (By the by, I made the quilt completely out of the fabrics from this post and I will take pictures soon.)

• Had a girl's night out that began literally Saturday at 5:00 (when I got out of work) and lasted until 12:00 noon the next day (when I had to go to work again).

During these 19 hours we:

A) Drove to Portland (with many bottles of wine in tow).

B) Stayed at a borrowed condo on the waterfront in Portland (which everyone should have, if they possibly can).

C) Ate at the Hibachi Grill (where they toss food into your mouth and I discovered I was pretty good at this game as I was able to provide a very large target).

D) Went to see "New Moon" (which was deliciously cheezy and filled with shirtless men and other moments of cinematic brilliance... in other words the perfect "Girl's Night" movie).

E) Decided we were going to start a blog called "HowToDefineOneselfOutsideOfParenting." (That would probably get a lot of hate-comments, but is a brilliant idea, none-the-less).

***Disclaimer: that is a huge joke: we LOVE parenting blogs!***

and finally

F) Had breakfast at a French Cafe (Tea and Chocolate Croissants!).

• Now with my first day off in a series of 3 (!) I am waiting to watch NieNie on the today show and getting ready for my very first Thanksgiving with the Fam at my place. Wish me luck with the turkey. The man at the Post Office (who is always full of good advice) says I should brine the turkey but my hip new neighbor says brining is "sooo last year."

Any advice???

Besides Chinese Food???

There... now that you know what I have been up to, what have YOU been up to???

See you again soon (I hope!).



Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Monday Monday

Knew it was going to be a long week when I

A) Told the man at the post office to "Have a nice weekend!"

B) Tried all day (unsuccessfully, I might add) to check my voice-mail. Consequently my phone is STILL beeping at me at a quarter past nine.

C) Completely forgot to cash in my paycheck. This is most unlike me, I assure you.

So I have compensated by

A) Taking a hot, hot bath.

B) Reading a fashion mag while in said bath.

C) Having a BIG glass of wine while Ollie did the cooking, STILL while in said bath. I only got out when water began to get cold and hands were prune-y and magazine was soaked and dinner was ready and Ollie knocked on the door and asked in a quiet voice if I was asleep.

Now I am

A) Ready for bed.

B) Ready for my days off.

C) Wondering what "17-year-old-Rhea" would have thought of this scenario.

See you again soon when I am a bit more "conscious."



Friday, November 13, 2009

Mind your Manors...

"Aster Manors," that is.

The collection just arrived this week and all I can say is "Hubba Hubba."

These are up in the shop, of course.

In other news, I have a new netflix obsession: True Blood, based on the Sookie Stackhouse books.

Just please don't watch it with your five year old.

It's pretty spicy.

In other other news I know the holidays are fast approaching because all the commercials on TV are making me cry.

And every weekend is filling up fast.

It's like some crazy Christmas Rubiks cube to fit everything in.

I know one thing, I am jonesin' to put up my tree, much to Ollie's horror.

Oh well!

See you again soon!



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy News

This just in...

Miss Jessica's engaged!!!

It couldn't happen to a nicer gal.

Congratulations, Jessica and Jon!!!



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book Review: The Gentle Art of Domesticity

Happy Tuesday and a great big Thank You to everyone who came out for our Late Risers Sale over the weekend.

It was really fun.

I'm such a nerd but I really look forward to Sale days.

And another Thank You to anyone who donated food to our Food Drive.

I have a lot of goods to deliver to the local food pantry and for that I am very grateful.

Please keep in mind that we are continuing our food drive through Christmas and anyone who donates a non-perishable food item will receive a free gift from us.

So if you did not make it to the sale or you forgot your donation then you are not too late!

Alright, on to the book review.

Today I wanted to talk about the book The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art and the Comforts of Home by Jane Brocket. We have been carrying this book at the shop for about a year now, so I am a bit late to the party for a book review.

But, better late than never, right?

I have been reading Jane Brocket's blog for a long time and browsed the pages of her book many times. Both book and blog host beautiful photography. Eye candy, really. Porn for crafters. But up until recently I never really sat down and cozied up to the book.

Rewind to a couple of weeks ago when Ollie and I were on vacation to Bar Harbor. We stopped at an antiques store called "The Love Barn" (which, by the by, I had been trying unsuccessfully to visit for about five years now, but this time was triumphant). Upon stepping foot inside the building what should I see but the cheery pink spine of Jane's book peeping out. Never one to pass up a bargain but perennially one to forget a good book when I go on vacation, I bought the book, along with some really pretty vintage rose fabric that I think would make Jane Brocket very proud.

The grand total?

$7.00, thank you very much.

Now, let's by-pass the obvious question (which is "What the heck was this book doing in a second hand shop?"), and let's talk about the book itself.

Once I kicked back my feet on the hotel bed and started reading I became absorbed.

Perhaps with the exception of Midwest Modern by Amy Butler, this is like no other craft book out there.

First of all, there are no patterns, no instructions and no materials lists, so you must clear that notion from your head.

This book will not provide dimensions or facts and figures but it will serve as an inspiration resource.

Comprised of several vignettes where Brocket waxes poetic about her domestic endeavors, (beginning with what "domesticity" means these days), the book then goes on to tell tales of sweater vests, homemade marshmallows, knitting, embroidery and of course quilting.

You may not think that an essay on sweater vests can be absorbing, but you would be deliciously wrong.

Each essay is independent from the other, meaning you can skip around the book and read in short spurts, in whatever order you want (kind of like a magazine).

I had a great time breezing from one page to another, drawn in by the gorgeous photography, and reading Brocket's musings on cupcakes and tulip bulbs, the relationship between colorful fruit and even more colorful yarn, her first meeting with Kaffe Fassett, art, movies and yes... sweater vests.

Brocket finds joy, art and inspiration in the everyday.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to do the same.

There may not be any instructions for the gorgeous "Sunshine After the Rain" quilt on page 112 (which was inspired by a single piece of fabric: a process with which I immediately identified), but after reading Jane Brocket's process of creating the quilt you will want nothing more than to run out and make your own.

You will be inspired to knit and bake and clean and enjoy it like you've never done before.

Now, obviously, we don't all feel the call to be domestic divas.

But should you find joy and beauty in just one menial task or one hobby or one daily chore, or even if you just imagine what that may feel like, this book is for you.

A coffee table book?


A bathroom book?

Yes, YES!

(And that is the highest compliment I have in my arsenal)

Even if you are late to the party, I highly recommend The Gentle Art of Domesticity.Link



I am pleased to announce that Jane Brocket will soon be releasing a book devoted entirely to quilting!

The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking
will be released in the coming months.

Of course we will carry the book and perhaps if I am very lucky and perfect that clone I have been working on I will even review it in a timely manner.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Coming out of the closet

Maybe I am overtired from the looong day at the sales, but it seems like a good idea for me to come out of the closet.

I've been living a lie and now it's time to come clean:

I am secretly one of those girls with long legs and a giraffe-like neck and an A-cup who can eat whatever she wants and never gain an ounce but I am trapped in the body of a hobbit who hates to exercise and will probably always struggle with her weight.


I feel sooo much better now that I've gotten that off of my chest.



Friday, November 6, 2009

Just in the nick of time...

Look what came to the shop yesterday...

New Anna Maria Horner oilcoth!

(Also known as laminates...)

(That was a nice surprise...)

And some new Kaffes!

(Also a nice surprise.)

These weren't supposed to arrive until December, but I'll take 'em.

Both are up and at 'em in the shop, just in time for the Late Riser's Sale.

In other news, my poor little sister Johanna got the Swine Flu.


I am happy to report that she has already made a full recovery.

It was very scary, though, and my heart goes out to all those children who are not bouncing back as easily as she did.

I am so thankful that she is okay.

And today is my brother Jesse's birthday.

He is 28.

If you see him, give him a birthday smack from me.

For anyone out there keeping count, I have one sister (age 11) and at last count I had four brothers (ages 28, 15, 14 and 8... I think).

There will be sewing lounge tonight and I am looking forward to it, but I am kicking everybody out at 8:30 on the DOT so I can go home and catch a few winks before the Early Bird Sale.

It snowed again this morning which reminds me I need to get snow tires put on my car.

OH, and by the way...

About this Fine as Kind/ Finest Kind debate which was much more heated than I had anticipated...

I am sticking to my guns.

Here's why:

While I concede that one may say "Fin-est Kind," I know for a fact that some Mainers say "Fine as Kind."

A lobstermen told me it was "Fine as Kind" many moons ago.

It was Mark Libby, for any of you super-locals out there.

I wouldn't argue with him.

Also I have been to at least one cottage on the lake that had a carved wooden "Fine as Kind" sign.

I am also pretty sure that there is a restaurant in Maine named "Fine as Kind," but I am unable to prove it with a website, although I did find one guy with a "Fine as Kind" MySpace page.

So will you compromise with me and agree that one may say either/or, depending on regional preference?

(I know there are "Fine as Kind" supporters lurking out there, come on, speak up!)

I guess that is all for today.

Hopefully I will see a few of you tomorrow and hear from a few of you on Sunday!

Have a great weekend!



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Little Halloween Bodkins


It is snowing here this morning (much to my delight).

I thought you all might like to see some of the little ones who visited us on Saturday...

Here's Scotty and Izzy:

(I was informed by Scotty that he is not holding a pitchfork: Devils and Farmers use picthforks. He is holding a trident, because Poseidon and Gladiators use tridents. I told him Thank You for clearing that up.)

And here's another shot of Izzy with her pink bow:

(Because all little Mummies need a big pink bow)

And here's Blake the French-Canadian Lumberjack:

Don't cut down my barrel, Blakey!!!

Here's my cutie-patootie next-door neighbor Olive the Octopus

(Aren't I lucky to have a real, live octopus living next door?)

And I'm so glad that these two could put aside their differences long enough for a photo shoot:

(I thought that deserved some candy.)

And here's my little Lauren the Pumpkin and Sarah Mae the Witch:


We also had a visit from Patches the Clown:

(Normally this is the kind of thing that would scare the bejesus out of me, but luckily there was a Power Ranger nearby to protect us.)

And, I got a surprise cupcake visit from my good friends Shawny and Erin.

Don't you love surprise cupcake visits?

(Sadly, most of these were accidentally eaten by Reuben, but he said he enjoyed them very, very much.)

Don't you think I had a nice Halloween?

(I do.)

How was yours???




Don't forget: Late Riser's Sale this weekend for locals and non-locals alike!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Post Halloween check-in

You know Halloween is over when:

None of the customers are asking for gold lame or black tulle or fake fur anymore.

There is a BIG ol' bowl of leftover candy on the counter.

The bathroom sink is littered with white cream face paint and fake eyelashes.

You start getting ready for the Early Bird/Late Riser's Sale.

I wanna go shopping at the Early Bird (especially at Darling&Delisle... I guess you probably aren't supposed to shop for yourself at the Early Bird Sale, but I feel a new scarf coming on!).

And I can't wait to bust out the scissors at the Late Riser's Sale.

Will I be seeing you there?



I promise an update on the Oliver+S School Days Jacket and Coat... as soon as I figure out how to clone myself.