Wednesday, September 18, 2013

UNFORTUNATE Misunderstanding...

Good Morning Friends...
I am posting this morning to let you all know that I got some unfortunate news from a couple of my customers recently...
They told me that they had read somewhere...on someone else's web site or blog...that I was not currently or was no longer taking orders for my new book, Christmas of Olde. I was hoping that they could tell me where they saw the post, but like so many of us do, they were going from site to site and couldn't remember where they saw it, so they emailed me to ask if it were true or not.
I don't know who the person is that posted the news, but they are mistaken and have posted incorrect news and I can assure you that it is simply NOT TRUE.
I AM currently taking orders and will continue to do so until further notice.
"Christmas of Olde"
If you haven't placed your order yet and would like to do so, please feel free to email me at either of the following email addresses:  or
UPDATE: Books are right on schedule and are currently at the binder. They are due back to me late next week. I will start processing and shipping all orders the next business day after receiving them (in the order that I received payments) and will be sure to post the news here on my blog
as well as on my PT...
I should also tell you that I have received many pre-paid orders, so depending on when you placed your order, it may take a few days or even a couple of weeks for your order to be shipped...again, depending on when you placed your order, but please know that I will ship everything out as quickly as I possibly can so that you all receive your books in a timely manner.
**Just one more thing...If any of you happen upon a site that has posted anything about me not taking orders, can I ask that you please kindly let them know or email me to let me know so that I can contact them...I am assuming that it is just an unfortunate misunderstanding, but I do want to let them know so that we can clear this whole matter up as quickly as possible.
Now...on a more happy note...I want to tell you all about a great new Picture Trail site that has just opened is called "Gathered Goods" and you can check it out by clicking on the link that I have provided. always, I thank you all for stopping by! Please enjoy the rest of your week and have a wonderful day!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

September Already??!!??

I can't believe it is September already!!
Where on earth has the Summer gone? I hope that you have all had some fun and were able to take a little time to enjoy things this year. Ours went way too fast! The last time I posted was back in July and for the life of me, I can't seem to figure out where August went!
Gesh...I can't remember when I (or my husband) have ever been busier...really, I can't! We did manage to spend some time up at our cottage in-between things though...had to in order to keep our sanity...and that is always fun...even though we also had several things to work on around there. Unfortunately, I have been so busy with "book work" that I had to take work with me every time we were up there, so it never really seemed like I had much of a vacation this complaints...any day at the cottage is better than no day at the cottage, so I managed to just enjoy the quiet sights and sounds of nature while I worked...waking up to the calls of the loons in the early morning hours...the two pair of Bald Eagles who perch on one of our trees while they scan the water for a fresh meal of fish...the waves of the lake crashing against the shore on a windy day...early evening boat rides...and some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen...I guess I was wrong...I had a much better vacation than I thought! :)
Book pre-sales have been booming and I am so thankful to all of you for your emails and for those of you who have pre-ordered your books! The books actually went on press last week and the cover is running this week so they should be arriving to me sometime the last week of this month. I will announce it on here and also my PT when I get a final arrival date. I posted a couple of pictures on my PT of the first form running on press and of the first color check, so click here if you want to see a small peek of the first few pages in print! 
Also...I am well into October for ship dates at this time...all orders are shipping in the exact order that I receive if you were planning on ordering a book, please keep that in it might be a good idea to order sooner than later if you want to receive your copy in a timely manner...especially if you are a shop owner and want them in time for your Christmas Open Houses.
I have also been busy with our daughter's wedding preparations!! And...right after the wedding, my husband and I are planning a trip to OHIO!!! We haven't been there since we moved back here from Springfield almost three years ago and I am SO looking forward to some heavy duty antiquing!!! Just so much fun and excitement to look forward to this Fall!
Speaking of FALL...I got a nice email from one of my on-line friends in Minnesota yesterday...she was wondering if I was going to decorate for Fall this year and if I would be posting any pictures of our new house decorated for the season...I wish I could say yes, but in all honestly, I don't know if I will even have time to decorate this year with everything we have going on. I miss the days when I could just pull out my camera and start shooting some pictures to post on my PT, but we have been so busy since moving into this place that I still don't have everything fact, we still have a storage unit up north that is about 3/4's full of stuff that we can't fit down here.
I will try though...I really do miss decorating and posting pictures of my house for the seasons!!
I have also had numerous people asking me when I will be re-opening my pattern sales and offering my new designs...
Again, and I know that I sound like a broken record, but I have been so busy with book work and pre-sales that I haven't had time to even think about my pattern line. I do still plan to sell my patterns, and I have several new designs that will be offered, I just can't promise a specific time or date as to when I will be able to offer them again. I am very sorry for this and I do thank you for your interest and emails...if only there were twice as much time in a day.....
With Fall in is a picture that I took a couple of years ago... 
I love the simple peacefulness of this shot and the colors really remind me of the season...
As always, I thank you for visiting and your thoughtful emails...
Enjoy your week, Tina 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Christmas in July...

Greetings Friends...
I hope this post will find you well and enjoying your summer!!
Ours has been a pretty good one so far...busy in the beginning with the usual for this time of year...graduations, weddings, Memorial Day picnics and going to the cottage.
Our little Harper is growing like a sweet little weed and I so wish I could post a few pictures of him so that can all see what your prayers and good thoughts helped in blessing us with! He is doing GREAT and as all of you grandparents out there know, he is truly the love of our lives!!
Boy, it's a HOT one here today!!!
Supposed to be in the nineties for the next couple of days and very humid...I don't mind the high temps so much, but you can have the humidity, so.....
How about we celebrate a little "Christmas" in July?!!
Before I get started, I want to dedicate this post to a friend of mine who is having a bit of a hard time right now. She is a very dedicated follower and we have become friends via emails. She tells me that reading my blog lifts her spirits and I feel so badly that I have been too busy to post more often, but CANDI...even though my posts are few and far between these days, I do think of you this one's for you!! :) 
I am going to tell you all a little story about when I was a will probably bore you to pieces, but it brings back very fond memories for me and looking back, I wish that all kids these days could experience at least one summer like the ones I did when I was little.
Growing up in the sixties and seventies meant that things were very different from the way they are now, especially for me because I grew up in the country...we didn't have close neighbor kids to play with, computers or hand-held games, or cell phones...heck, we didn't even have a colored TV until I was in my late teens if I remember correctly!
For nine months of the year, September through May we had school every day so things weren't so bad, but June through August...let me tell you in a word...B-O-R-I-N-G!!!
For amusement we had to be creative and let me tell you, there wasn't much to be creative about living in what we called, "The Boondocks"! 
Every summer my siblings and I would venture out into the woods and build forts. We used what ever we could find for building materials. We took small, dead trees that were still sturdy enough to use for bases or foundations and nailed them about shoulder level to four trees and used any old boards we could scrounge up for the floors and walls.
Some of our forts were three stories high and had hand-made ladders so that we could get from one story to the next. It was just like Swiss Family Robinson!  I wish I had a picture of one so that you could all see what they looked like. Crooked and slapped together as best as we could build them and eye sores to most I am sure, but in our minds they were works of art and I can't tell you how much fun we used to have and how many hours and hours we spent playing in them!!
There was one year though, that I didn't take part in building the "summer fort". It was the year that we moved out of our first home, the old hunters cabin and up into the new house on the hill that my Mom and Dad built. Instead, my younger sisters and I sort of "took over" the old cabin and turned that into our fort.
I always felt safe and comfortable in that old place when we lived there, so turning it into a fort just seemed to make sense and it just felt right. Now, I can't say for sure what month it was, but we moved out of the cabin sometime after school got out so it had to be close to July if not for sure, so just for today's post, let's say it was July...OK? Anyways...that summer, when we were playing in the cabin I remember us going out into the woods and cutting a small evergreen tree and putting it up on an old table inside. We even made some hand-made paper ornaments for it and pretended that it was Christmas time with our dolls! Can you believe it...even as a child, I had Christmas on my mind all year long!!
It makes me sort of sad to remember that now because I think that that was the last summer that I actually "played" down there. I was getting a little older by then and that sort of thing was for babies, as we used to say, but thankfully I will always have my memories. Funny how something so insignificant at the time turned out play such an important role in forming my life as I know it today.
It's obvious that Christmas has always been special and important to me. It was always my favorite time of year when I was little too, and the last Christmas that my family spent living in the cabin has always been my favorite. It is no wonder that I grew up to write Christmas books!! ;)
Speaking of Christmas books...I wanted to let you all know that I am finally starting to take pre-orders for my new book, "Christmas of Olde" that is due out in mid to late September. I have posted all of the information on my Picture Trail so please follow the link if you would like more information on how to place your order.
I sent out an email to everyone in my AOL contact list, but I did get a few back as undelivered, so if you didn't get my email, that is probably why. If you have any questions please feel free to email me. Wholesale information will be provided upon request.
Here is one of the sneak peek photos that I have posted on my PT....just click on the link above to go to my site and see more Sneak Peeks.
Well my Friends... the day is slowly slipping away from me so I had better get going.  As always, I thank you all so much for stopping by and for hanging in there with me through these busy times.
Have a wonderful day everyone...and Merry Christmas in July!! ;)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Christmas of Olde"

Good Morning Friends!!
Did you all have a Safe, Happy and Wonderful Memorial Day Weekend???
Ours was the perfect start to what we hope will be an awesome SUMMER!! We took a few extra days and drove up to our cottage for a six day weekend. Both of the kids were able to join us and we got to introduce our sweet little Harper to the great outdoors...the north woods of our beautiful state of Wisconsin...and our FAVORITE place to be when we want to just get away from it all!!
We love going is so peaceful and relaxing. The weather was a little chilly and we had to have a fire going every night and most days...but as much as I miss my "wood burning" fireplaces at our old house, I wasn't going to complain a bit about having to get up in the night a few times to "stoke the fire"!! The fireplace we have here used to burn wood, but the previous owners changed it to gas at some point and we haven't had it lit once since moving in. :( Just doesn't feel the same to either of us.
When John and I were little, our family homes were both heated with wood furnaces, so being raised with nothing else, I guess it is something neither of us will ever tire of. I remember how when we were little kids we used to play out in the snow until our teeth chattered and our cheeks and noses were a rosy red and we would get soaked right through our snow pants to our clothes and my Mom would help us take off our wet coats and mittens and dry them by the fire. (Once in a while we even had a cup of old-fashioned hot chocolate waiting for us...remember...the kind we used to make with Hershey's cocoa?) There is just something about the warmth of wood heat during these cold Wisconsin winters...especially at Christmastime!!!
Speaking of CHRISTMAS....
I am so excited to post this morning!!
I have revealed the title and photo cover of my new Christmas book!!
"Christmas of Olde" will be available for purchase in September and I will start taking orders very soon!! Please watch for the email with all ordering details to arrive in your in-boxes within the week! :)
Well my friends...I have to run. As always, I thank you all for stopping by!! I am still playing a little catch-up with emails due to being gone last week, but I am getting there, so if you haven't heard back from me yet...your response is coming!!
OH...I almost forgot...I am afraid that I won't be posting the new patterns for a while yet, but I will open the album with the new designs as soon as I can. I am afraid that I just don't have the time right now to process any orders...very, very sorry to those who have been waiting. However, due to the inconvenience this has caused for some of you, I will be offering a special deal when I do finally release them!!
Take care all...have a wonderful day!! Tina

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hap-Hap-Happiest Mother's Day EVER!!!!!

I hope that all of you had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend and that you were able to celebrate by spending it with your loved ones!! My Mother's Day was one that I will never forget and it will certainly go down in history as one of the most memorable days of my life!!
I am so happy to post this morning because I have some really wonderful news to tell you all!!!
Last Thursday my husband and I decided to take a four day weekend up at our cottage. He had been working 12 to 16 hour days for weeks and I have been pretty busy myself, so it was mutually agreed upon that we both needed a little time off. Since Hannah wasn't able to travel because of her approaching due date, and our son having to work, we thought we would go up early Thursday morning and then stop by the kids on our way home so that I could at least see both of them on my special day.
BUT...that all changed on Friday after Hannah's DR appointment and our weekend away was cut a little short!!
She called me to tell me how things went and I could tell by the tone in her voice that it wasn't going to be long before we got "THE CALL". Nothing was happening just yet, but my motherly intuition kicked in and I told her that I had a feeling she would be calling us back that night. I immediately started packing because I just knew that we would have to leave in the middle of the night to go to the hospital. To make a long story a short one, we did get the call later that evening, and at 11:23 p.m. my phone rang and it was Hannah telling me that they were at the hospital and she was definitely in labor!!!!!
It took us 2 1/2 hours to get to the hospital (2 1/2 of the looooongest hours of my life I might add) and I don't think that I have ever had so much adrenalin running through my veins! I was so pumped up that I probably could have jumped out of the vehicle and gotten there faster by running!  ;)  Just teasing...but seriously, I am sure that all of you first-time Grandmothers know exactly what I am talking about...we simply couldn't get there fast enough!
After a 12 1/2 hour and very hard labor, not to mention a delivery with some unforeseen complications, our little Nugget finally came into the world!!!
Any guesses????
An absolutely beautiful and perfect bouncing baby boy!!!!
"Harper John" (named after his daddy and grandpa) was born at 12:31 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and you are NEVER going to believe this after all of the troubles Hannah had throughout her entire pregnancy, but he weighed 8 lbs. 7 oz. and was 21" long!!!
Can you believe it? After all of the stress and worries of our Nugget being born early Hannah almost carried him to her due date! Our prayers were definitely answered, weren't they? Hannah was released from the hospital on Monday but little Harper isn't getting released until later today and they are both doing very well!
What a PERFECT Mother's Day...I got to hold Harper for the first time Sunday morning...AND...I got to spend time with both of my kids as well!! Life surly is good!! :)
I know that you are all going to want to see pictures, but Hannah has asked that I not post any just yet, so you'll all have to wait a little longer before I can officially introduce him to all of you. He is so incredibly beautiful!!!
OK...what if that isn't enough... ;)
Oh...I know that many of you are waiting for me to release my new Sampler and Pin-keep patterns, but obviously I have had a lot going on. I wanted to open the new album of patterns on my PT today, but that will have to wait until Monday afternoon. I have two more designs that I have to put into pattern form yet and hopefully will be able to get those done over the weekend and have everything printed up by then as well. Most of the designs are "everyday" but there are also a couple Americana designs as well.
I also wanted to let you all know that I have posted some "Sneak Peek" photos of my new Christmas book on my PT. AND...because I am already getting so many emails from folks asking to prepay for this book, I will be sending out a mass email to everyone on my contact list very soon with the ordering information, prices, etc. ***Please note that I won't be taking any orders until the first part of JUNE, again, all information will be in the email that I send out in the near future.
If you are a shop owner and wish to carry my book, or if you are not already on my contact list, please email me so that I can add you to that list...thanks!
Well, I have to run is pouring down rain today so a good day to work inside...always so much to do.
As always, I thank you all for stopping by!!
Tina - A.K.A. Grams!!! :) :) :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Collecting Early Cutters

Good Morning All...
I am finally finding a minute to post!!!
A "little extra time" is something that I have very little of these days, so much is always going on around here!!
This morning's post is going to be about "early cookie cutters". I am going to share a little story with you about how I began collecting these fascinating little pieces of cut-and-shaped tin in just a few minutes, but first, I wanted to up-date you all on a couple of things...
My first and most exciting news...Hannah and baby are still hanging in there! Tomorrow she will be at 36 weeks and at her appointment last week she was FINALLY taken OFF bed rest!!! She has started to dilate a little and Baby could come at any time, but we are still hoping for our little "Nugget" to stay put for another week or two if possible.  This certainly has been a trying time for us all these past few months, and I couldn't have gotten through the bad days without all of my good friends and followers from this blog! Thank you all once again for your prayers and guys ROCK!!! :)
Second, I will be having a small up-date on my PT tonight at 7:00 CST. I will have a few cross-stitched items as well as a couple small hookings...AND...if I have time to dig them out, maybe even a few more "gently used" items as well. I have several errands to run today, so time will dictate that, but...if you can find a minute to stop by, I'd love to see you there! :)
Collecting Early Cutters...
It was back in the early 80's that I first fell in love with the "country" look. I had purchased a few old things here and there at garage sales or auctions, but I didn't really start "collecting" until the early 90's. My very first collection started with a small, tin-backed cookie cutter in the shape of a dog. I don't remember where we were going, but we were driving through the down town where we were living at the time and I asked my husband if we had time to stop at this little antique shop that was there on the corner. I had driven by it many times, but had never taken the time to stop, so that day we did.
I remember how fascinated I was as we browsed through the place and looked at all of the things they had for sale and I think that it may have been that very day that I first truly realized my appreciation for all things old. Because we had never collected antiques before and this was all so new to us, we had no idea of the cost of things either, and back then we didn't have a whole lot of extra money, so when we saw what some of the things we were interested in were going for, we were a little surprized....not a lot by today's standards, but for us just starting out, it sure was.
We were just getting ready to leave the shop when I spotted something in a little back room. It was an old corn dryer hanging from the ceiling and it was filled with old cookie cutters. Not the kind that my mom or grandma used either...these were cookie cutter like I had never seen before. They were all made of hand cut tin with flat backs and in all kinds of shapes! (If I had only known then what I know now about antique cutters!!) I specifically remember an eagle cutter that was just wonderfully detailed and it was priced at $18.00...can you believe it...just $18.00!!! I also remember one shaped like a boot, it was much more expensive than the eagle, but the man told us that it was very rare and so the price was quite high. They were both amazing and I would have loved to buy them both that day, but...
Then I spotted it...a darling little cutter in the shape of a DOG!!! By now you all know what a dog lover I am, and at that time, we had our first Golden Retriever, his name was Bo. I always say that he was the "love of my life...of dogs" and even though we lost him many years ago, there isn't hardly a day that goes by that I don't think of him, even  now...he was "my boy"!! Anyways, that cutter instantly reminded me of Bo, was reasonably priced at just $6.00, so I left that day with what I thought of back then as "the buy of a lifetime"!!
I don't know about any of you, but when I leave a shop or show with a wonderful new treasure, I love to sit and look at it...all the way home if I'm not the one driving!! I don't know why, but I always take my smaller treasures out of their bags and I look at them...I look at the patina, wonder about every little bump or bruise, think about the hands that crafted it all of those years ago...maybe that sounds silly to some of you, but to me, that is all a part of the thrill of finding a new piece. Needless to say, I held that little cutter all the way to our destination and all the way home as well! :)
For today's post I want to share a few of my favorite cutters with you...starting guessed it, my very first cutter...the little dog that reminds me of my it is...
...the little $6.00 purchase that started my collection all of those years ago!

The little lady here is my newest addition, she was purchased by my husband from my friend Darlene Lesicko when we stopped in for a visit on our way home from MO last December. He gave her to me for Christmas this past year. The Colonial man is probably my rarest piece and my second favorite, after "Bo".

I have bunnies and rabbits...

...and hearts in all sizes.
I especially love the little heart on the top right with the flat bottom...I like to imagine that it's maker didn't have a big enough piece of tin for the back, so he had to adjust it's shape to fit, I think that it's just precious!

Leaves for Fall...

Another favorite...a sweet little horse!!

Folky birds...I just love that comb on the head of the top bird...and their sweet little feet...too cute!!

A whale, cat, bear and lion!!

Rooster, Chicken and chick...

I think that the guy on the left is a sailor...though I can't be certain. Another little lady and a Parson!

A Santa and reindeer...

Stars, stars, stars...

And last, but not least...a couple of eggs...or at least that's what I think they are!!!
Well, my friends...I reeeeeally have to get going. Times a tickin' and I have another busy day ahead of me. I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at some of my early cutter collection...maybe it will inspire you to start collecting them too! ;)
As always, I thank you so much for stopping by!
Have a safe and wonderful day!