Although winter doesn’t officially begin until December 21st, it arrived here in Minnesota on December 3rd bearing 2 feet of snow and trailing a string of frigid days where the temperatures plummeted to -20°F … that’s just about -30°C for those of you that use the metric system. We take it all in stride up here. In fact, stories related to our heavy snowfalls and frigid temperatures are exchanged and exaggerated as readily as our fish stories. Don’t let any of us fool you, however; we are by no means immune to the cold, and most of our tales are told from the comfort of a warm house with our hands wrapped around a hot drink. If you aren’t from up north, you may wonder why we would ever choose to live here, but there is a pleasant phenomenon that occurs as the temperatures drop and the weather turns fierce… life inside slows down and the mood becomes quiet and cozy.
The heavy snow kept everyone home for two days, and although I work from home, I decided to take some much needed time off as well. After a day of playing in the snow, baking cookies, and pulling out the Christmas decorations, I sat down to enjoy a quiet evening. As I watched the snow come down harder and harder, I was reminded of Laura Ingalls’ story, “The Long Winter”, and the dress pattern I made to go along with it at this time last year. The pattern was released and given away on January 4th to celebrate Thimbles and Acorns first anniversary…. what an exciting year it has been since then, and it is hard to believe that our second anniversary is just about upon us!
The story of Thimbles and Acorns has been unfolding one day at a time, and from my daily perspective it seems as though we are just slowly plodding along. Looking back over the last year, though, it is satisfying to see how far we have come. Since the release of the “Mary and Laura” pattern, our line of historical doll clothes patterns has expanded from 17 to 31…. with three more on the drawing board. It seems so strange to look at those numbers when just two years ago I stood holding the final copy of my very first pattern savoring that marvelous feeling of accomplishment. Early in the year, I began exploring the idea of making multi-sized doll patterns and started to take a closer look at other dolls that were on the market. So many caught my eye that this designer suddenly found herself transforming into a collector as well. The 18-inch “Götz” and the 16-inch “A Girl For All Time” dolls quickly became my favorites because their beautiful features and graceful figures, made them delightful to work with. Using these two dolls as our models, we released our first multi-sized pattern in July.
The beauty of the internet is that the world is your playground. Not only have I had the pleasure of finding many kindred spirits around the globe, but have also had the opportunity to work with some new people as well. During the spring and summer, I had the opportunity to work with two new designers, Heidi Mittiga of “Flossie Potter Patterns” and Meg Lineberger of “Kindred Thread”. Then, Linda, of “VintiqueDesigns”, introduced me to Amy Fitzgerald, owner of HeyAmyLou. For some time, I had been wanting to write a monthly newsletter, but I just didn’t know where to begin to put it together myself, and I certainly didn’t have the time to figure it out. Amy’s passion for computers and marketing mirrors mine for sewing and history. She knew just what to do to get my newsletter up and running, and the sudden realization that I didn’t have to do everything myself was incredibly freeing! Together, we published our first newsletter in August, and began a new chapter in the story of Thimbles and Acorns.
I have been keeping a bit to myself for the last couple of months, but not because there hasn’t been anything going on around here. On the contrary, I have been squirreled away in my sewing studio working on a couple of exciting new projects. What, pray tell could they be? Well, I am afraid you will have to wait a little while longer to find out, as it is to be a whole new chapter in our story… and we can’t be reading ahead now can we?
As this year comes to a close and we look forward to what 2014 has in store for us, I want to say thank you to everyone who has become a part of our ongoing story and offer a warm welcome to those who are just joining us. Like last year, we will be celebrating our anniversary by giving away a brand new pattern at our website for one day in January. Because there is so much going on here, I can’t give you the exact date yet, but we will keep you posted. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest to watch the progress of the upcoming pattern and feel free to share this offer with anyone who may be interested. Have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!