Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

We all at Bird Brain Designs wish you a very Merry Christmas all day and all week!

CookiePressSnowman Robin, Tina, Gail, Kendall and the furry workers, Mackenzie and Campbell!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Today is the First Day of Winter

We are very pleased that we are getting lots of rain here at Clear Lake.  We NEED it!  The snow really fell in the east this weekend and it was exciting as they broke some snow records.401_Frosty&FeatheredFriends

Winter is going to be around until next March.  To celebrate all the snow in the east and just winter in general – applique our bright and cheerful Frosty & Feathered Friends.  I promise, the 14” square pillow doesn’t take forever to complete.  Have him to appliqué in lovely felted wool.  We have the 2009 Holiday Crafts magazine and a complete kit for Frosty….all at a First Day of Winter price.  Check it out on our web site  Brighten all the winter days ahead with this Fun-to-Stitch project.

Happy winter, happy holiday and everything else to you!  Robin

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NEW Freebie Tea Towel Design for Holidays

The NEW December Freebie Tea Towel design is now ready for you to print and get stitching!  This cheerful little Holiday Dove will be a terrific hostess gift to whip up and be ready to P-A-R-T-Y!

421_Freebie-HolidayDove We have put together our handy little “kit” for you to order containing the nice Red Striped Tea Towel from Dunroven House PLUS all the #8 Perle cotton needed to embroider you little dove.

Print out your Freebie soon and send in your order so you can be ready to decorate your home or one of your friends or family.

Happiest of getting ready for the holidays to you from Bird Brain Designs!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Harvest Tables for the Studio

More of our adventures finishing up our fun year of shows along the west coast.  Of course we stopped in Kalama, Washington again on our way home.  We had NOT been able to check out all the stores heading north.  Had another lovely lunch at the Antique Deli and found some treasures in several shops.

In September we found a fabulous harvest table to replace one of the funky Costco folding tables up on PVC pipes to raise them in the studio.  Because we couldn’t fit it in Lucy’s garage then the nice shop owner kept it and 4 chairs for us.   By luck there was a really great NewTableLoadingyoung couple at the store bringing more treasures to sell.  They helped load the table with us. Here is Tina and Don.  I found a “matching” harvest table in the shop and now we have two…so much classier than the plastic folding tables!!

This all happened in Oakland, Oregon, another little town with lots of great attributes – Tolly’s Resaurant, coffee shop, cute houses, gift shops,  Antique shops!  Our finds were from Olde Town Antiques right on the Main Street.  We like our travels a lot and finding such treasures.Table#2Diane, the shop owner on the left and Pam, our new friendly helper watch the progress of loading and stacking table #1.  All got home safely and into the studio.  More photos in the studio and we fix it up during December and through the spring.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Washington Was Wet and Wonderful

As most of you know, it is wet and green in Washington!  Luckily it was nice and sunny for our move in to the show and set up day.  We lucked out again when we broke down to leave.  In between there were torrential rains and a day all of the water on the ground froze solid.  Something we California gals don’t often see!Antique Deli There was an extra day driving up to the show so we stopped at our favorite little town, Kalama, Washington, for some lunch and antiquing at a few of the many cute stores in town.  These are the fun chefs at the tiny Antique Deli in an old building with the Country Gentlemen Antique Shop.  Yummy chicken salad on home baked wheat bread topped off with something homemade for dessert….our great find!WAShoppers The little Mercantile Shop on Wheels looked festive with all our Christmas,  Autumn and a couple of witches displayed.  Our friends in Washington hadn’t see us for 2 years and we were very happy to see them again.

Hope you all have a terrific weekend.


Friday, November 20, 2009

On to Washington’s Show

After Pomona in southern California we headed right up to Puyallup, Washington for our last show of the year.  On the way we made a stop in Portland, Oregon at E.E. Schenk, a huge distributor for all things quilting and needlework.FabricShoppingAtDistributorWe had a wonderful time going up and down the big aisles of mega amounts of beautiful fabric collections.  Our search was for red and white for finishing RedWork plus neat ground fabrics to stitch the embroidery designs on.  I LOVE our muslin but a little variety will be nice too.  We will invent special designs for the new fabrics. 

The garage in the back of Lucy, the motor home, was still FULL of goodies to sell in Washington so the bolts of fabric took over the couch next to the big vintage Coats spool cabinet.  No room for lounging!

Enjoy your weekend coming up. 


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our Quilt Shows Are Over

The quilt show circuit for 2009 has come to an end.  We nearly didn’t get to the Rusty Barn show in Pomona due to a leaking gas tank.  After filling up in Lodi, California we found the gas pouring out on the ground…not good!  We called our emergency people and they came right away and unceremoniously towed big Lucy an hour away to an RV fixit place.  She was most embarrassed!

Lucy&TowTruckHappily we were cured by 5 o’clock and back on the freeway to southern California.  We drove for a few hours, slept a few (very) and completed our trip in time to set up for a fun and successful show. 

We saw lots of great old friends at the show and met a lot of new folks too.  Everyone was in a holiday mood getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Beautiful Wool Appliqué Purse

Update and spark up your fall into winter wardrobe with a new Wool Appliqué purse.  The Flower Petal Purses will make a fabulous gift for your best friend too!  The bags are NOT hard to make and will really add something terrific to your outfits.  The best part is that the pattern and the complete kit are both on sale until 11/19/2009 so you can create a great gift and save too. 

Pattern - $9.00
Sale Price - $7.00

Fabric Packet - $49.00
Sale Price - $39.00

Flower lovers and dedicated gardeners will love the hand dyed wool appliquéd with hand dyed Perle Cotton.

Two floral designs that make great accent purses to add to your wardrobe.

  • Rose Petal Purse = 8" x 9"
  • Sunflower Petal Purse = 7 1/2" x 10"

We have the pattern PLUS the fabric packet that include all the pre-felted 100% wool needed to complete all the purses in the design.

Flower Petal Purses

Click here to see Flower Petal Purses...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Is Here!

404_BewitchedHalloweenHanging Time to dress up and get ready for all those scary ghosts, goblins and witches who will be knocking on the door for tricks (on you) or treats (for them)!

Our witches have found their brooms and are ready to fly off into the night until next year.  Cash in on a special price for the kits before Halloween.  Get ready while you are in the holiday mood for fun this Halloween and be ready next year – no pressure!


Our lovely Bewitched Halloween Wall Hanging Witch above has a stunning green complexion complete with large wart.  A terrific addition to your Halloween decor next year.  Appliqué her with felted 100% wool fabric.  Her sistie-ugly, Ghoulish Girl to the left, has the same skin problem including the HUGE nose!  Ghoulish Girl is created in fun to do Needle Felting laying thin layers of 100% wool roving on a design you stamp on the wool background fabric.  Both of these raving beauties have patterns and complete kits to make them for your home.  The kits come with the vintage wooden quill bobbin to hang them.

Happy Halloween to all of you!  Robin

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pacific International Quilt Festival

We had a great time at the show and enjoyed seeing lots of friends and viewing fabulous quilts.  So easy to see everything at PIQF…check it out next year.  PIQF2009 Here is a part of our little travelling Mercantile Store neat and tidy before the tide of shoppers who had a wonderful time finding treasures we brought along.  Our friend Julie is having a quiet moment before manning the cash register.  A nice show!RainbowOnLucyThe morning after the show it was a little foggy and sunny too.  A beautiful double rainbow appeared and seems to be settled on Lucy, the motor home.  We checked for the fabled pot of gold but didn’t find it underneath or inside either!  Oh well, someday maybe.

Keep a look out for your pot of gold – enjoy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tucson Show Was Fun

The second year of the Tucson show at the Tucson Expo Center was a success.  There were SO MANY more happy shoppers this year – they found out how great the show is!

fallshowphoto Holiday designs are making their show debut as – believe it or not – Christmas is coming whether you are ready or NOT!

Our block of the month quilts and the tea towels were hits again…we are so pleased.  We have small gift designs too that will be quick to stitch and ready to give to your best friends and family, too.

Watch our Newsletter for new designs and special deals on the quickly approaching Christmas season.  Let me be the first to wish you – Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NEW Pumpkin Pair Tea Towel Freebie

Amazing!  September has flown by and now we are in the month of pumpkins, witches, goblins and other scary creatures - FUN!

Our latest FREEBIE tea towel is new available for you to enjoy.  This new embroidery design features a pair of pumpkins with scary faces to decorate your kitchen for Halloween.  Take a little time for yourself and embroider these two characters.

Just print the pattern, order the Dunroven House Terra Cotta Tea Towel PLUS the #8 Perle Cotton to stitch and get to work!!

Pumpkin Pair Freebie

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Halloween Witches Are A Hit

Our witches are the most popular gals this Halloween season.

Make one of these "beauties" in wool appliqué or needle felted appliqué.  Either one will make quite the statement for your home decorating for Halloween.


Ghoulish Girl

Enjoy Needle Felting this beauty on a 100% felted wool background.  The Ghoulish Girl  is felted with wool roving using a single felting needle....although a 3 needle multi tool would work wonders too. 
Add layers of wool roving to create interest and texture in her face and clothes.  Lots of fun to do an "appliqué" version of needle felting!

Enjoy a Complete Kit that includes:

  • Pattern
  • Wool Background
  • 100% Wool Roving
  • Felting Needles
  • #8 Perle Cotton
  • PLUS Wooden Quill to hang her from. 

Ghoulish Girl Wall Hanging


Bewitched Halloween Wall Hanging

Decorate your home with a "charming" witch for Halloween.  She is lovely with a green wart on her green complexion....just what you need to greet all the ghosts and goblins who want some treats.

Enjoy Wool Appliqué with 100% Felted Wool and appliqué with #8 Perle Cotton.  Hang your Bewitched gal from a vintage quill once used in a fabric mill as a bobbin for yarn and placed in a shuttle to make the fabric.  Use some funky wire or find cording to thread through the quill.  Adds more interest to your work.

Our Complete Kit includes:

  • Felted Wool
  • #8 Perle Cotton to Appliqué
  • Needle
  • Step-By-Step Instructions
  • PLUS the Wooden Quill to hang your witch

Bewitched Halloween Wall Hanging


Happy Halloween to you!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

San Mateo Show Is Back – BIG Time!

We had a wonderful weekend at the rebirth of the San Mateo Quilt, Craft and Sewing Fest! Shoppers and vendors alike had a super time. The expo hall was filled all 3 days and it was a party in the Bird Brain booth too. So nice to see so many familiar faces and catch up on gossip and news. We, of course, made lots of new friends too.

SanMateo2009 A BIG thank you to all you lovely gals and guys who came to the show…..the support for Bird Brain Designs and for Rusty Barn, the new promoters is very much appreciated.

See you at the show again next February 18 – 20, 2010. Get ready for lots more fun.


Monday, September 14, 2009

It’s SHOW Time

We are packing up and getting ready to head off to 3 shows in 3 weekends! First we will be going to the NEW and IMPROVED show at the San Mateo Expo next to the race track….fun to hear the horses in the barns! September 17 – 19, 2009.

We will be bringing more Vintage Needlework Treasures to the 3 shows. Samples are shown below. Lots of small toy sewing machines, sewing baskets and wooden caddies to take all your

NeedleworkTreasures sewing necessities to classes and workshops plus bobbins, shuttles and other pretties to just decorate your sewing room.

Check our show schedule to jot down the show dates and come and visit. We, of course, will be bringing lots of Autumn and Christmas patterns and kits to get you kick started for the up coming holidays. All fun stuff. See you soon.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Travel Photos You Haven’t Seen

I was just looking in my blog photos and found so many I took along our adventures on the road.  Tina and I are always finding something interesting to see as we drive.  Many of these are a little old but great fun just the same!

In July coming home from Denver, we screeched to a halt on I-25 when a huge herd of buffalo appeared on the hills along the road. BuffaloHerd

I grabbed the camera and took a “herd” of pictures of these nifty creatures.  They looked at me but I couldn’t get a close as I wished.   The BIG boys are really huge!  Because it was summer all their winter fur is coming off….they looked like they were moulting.


The babies are a little cuter than all the adults but there were not too many.  Everyone took off in a stampede when I got too close wanting a better photo.  


Quite a sight right next to the freeway.  Fun to see.  Hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend.  Have some fun!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back to School Sale

Bird Brain Designs is having a back to school sale this week

Coupon Code:  school1            (expires 9/4/2009)

Time to give you a treat for sending the kids back to school.  Get 10% off STORE WIDE as a bonus this week only.

Enjoy shopping for all your needlework items more because you can save when you check out.  Everything in the store is on sale, including the following:

Pick up a pattern or kit to stitch up for fall decorating and gift giving.  Halloween is just around the corner and then you know Christmas is NOT far behind!

Use the coupon code school1 on the shopping cart page to get your instant discount.

Pumpkin Patch Stitcheryimage

Friday, August 21, 2009

NEW - Happy Halloween Tea Towels

Get ready for Halloween with our Happy Halloween Tea Towels.  Six whimsical designs with a spooky holiday flavor.

All quick to stitch on our super cotton tea towels accented with colorful stripes.

To introduce the new pattern, we have bundled the six towels for a special price for a very short time.  Take advantage of the savings and make yourself some festive new towels or make some fun gifts for stitching friends and family.

Halloween Tea Towels


Nigel Pumpkin

Tina's Nigel Pumpkin is a terrific Needle Felted fellow to help get the Halloween party off to the right start.  Nigel is a great beginning felting project, easy to do while you try your hand at this fun needle art.  Nigel's complete kit comes with everything you need to make him - the only other requirement is a piece of needle felting foam we can send along with this scary looking pumpkin.  FUN!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Christmas is here in the studio

We are very excited to have received our Holiday Crafts 2009 magazines with our design on the cover – Yay!  Frosty and Feathered Friends look terrific in all the bright 100% wool colors in the pillow.  We are honored to be on the cover again – 3rd year in a row.  We hope you enjoy Frosty and Red Friends too.


It seems a little early to be thinking cold winter weather and snowmen (the temperature was over 100 here at the lake yesterday)  but a quick jump on things is good.  We have the magazine and complete kits for our chilly cutie so you can beat the rush and enjoy some relaxing time in December!


Let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Winter to come.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Back to the Blog – finally

Actually I don’t have any right to say anything about not writing about all the stuff we have done since returning from Long Beach.  Just “didn’t get around to it” as they say!

The International Quilt Festival in Long Beach was super.  We had a great time and I didn’t hear anyone complain about a thing.  This year all the “difficulties” were seemingly ironed out and the show went smoothly. 

The ladies came streaming into the exhibition hall on 4 escalators all heading down – none going up!  All these gals look like they really are on a mission.  Our lucky 1313 booth was right in the front so we were pleased and ready to greet all the smiling faces.

Long Beach opening Our booth looked pretty nice we thought with all the new (old?) vintage needlework goodies we have been collecting for the past many months.  We were so gratified that lots of shoppers thought so too.  Not everyone gets out all around the west coast to find these things – it is nice to see them conveniently displayed!  Lots of toy sewing machines, nifty old bobbins, baskets and sewing boxes found new homes at the show.

Vintage goodies Long Beach

More of our travel log to come this month as I  get back into the blogging mode.  Enjoy your weekend  coming up.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Chickens are the Thing!

Chickens are a fun feathered thing.  When we were coming home from Denver we had our own "wake up" rooster in the park were we stayed the night.  He was also quite the fearless character and went after Mackenzie and Campbell as they were relaxing outside Lucy, the motor home.  He was very handsome and  began crowing from 4 am until we left!

Crowing Rooster - Chanticleer

In honor of our beautiful park rooster, stitch up your own chickens with SPECIAL PRICES on tea towel designs and a popular design reprinted just for the summer.  Words we can ALL live by!

Let the Stress Begin

The Hen Delivers Tea Towel set will brighten up your kitchen.  They will, also, make a quick-to-stitch gift for another chicken lover you know.  Give yourself something to crow about! 

Stitch your tea towels in RedWork or in colors of #8 Perle Cotton.

Both styles look great!

The Hen Delivers Tea Towels

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Come to the Beach - Long Beach July 24-25

We are heading off to Southern California and the beach in Long Beach.  This is the second year of the west coast version of the Houston International Quilt Festival and should be even bigger and better than last year.  The convention center is right on the water and you can see the Queen Mary from the show.  Maybe you can treat yourselves and take a room on the famous ship now a unique hotel.

Our booth is the first one as you come down the escalators .  Don't miss us in lucky booth number 1313-1317!

We have another batch of vintage needlework treasures.  Maybe something will be perfect for you to take home to your own sewing studio and make your space unique and wonderful.

Visit to see all the classes and events planned.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Enjoy the new Season

Its a new season!  You can enjoy all of the 4 Seasons with the Seasonal Patchwork Samplers lap quilt or wall quilt.  Each Sampler block celebrates the best of that season in whimsical blocks of RedWork Embroidery.  You can, also, finish each Sampler by itself to feature in your home changing your display as the year rolls by.

We are featuring the fun to do year 'round design at a special price for you.  Have some fun each new time of year!

Seasonal Patchwork Sampler

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NEW Summer Picnic Ant Freebie

It is HOT here at the lake - summer is really here big time.  The new Freebie Tea Towel for your summer picnics and parties is ready to print. 

The tea towel's silly ant celebrates his own summer party with a flag to remind you of the time of year.  Enjoy a little time for yourself and embroider a towel for you or as a gift.

Freebie Design

We have the Sage Green Stripe Tea Towel plus ALL the #8 Perle Cotton for you to stitch right away. We have all the other supplies you will need here to purchase if you need them for your project.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Traveling Needlework Companion

When I am traveling or on the road from show to show I enjoy doing RedWork.  There is just the lovely shade of Turkey Red #8 Perle Cotton to worry about - you can't pick up the wrong color to stitch!

On a plane trip I cut the Perle Cotton lengths and loop them over a small embroidery hoop or the strap of my stitching tote.  They are ready to use pronto and you only have to trim the completed length as you go.

Quick and Easy!

Have some traveling fun this summer even if it is just to sit under a nifty tree in your yard to enjoy some quality embroidery time!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Come See Us In Denver

We are looking forward to having a great time at the Rocky Mountain Sew Festival in Denver July 9 - 11.....please come and visit if you live near by.  The show is always a success and we love seeing "old" friends and meeting all of you new friends. 

Something NEW in the Bird Brain Booth.  Come and see all the vintage needlework treasures we have collected.  Maybe something will be perfect for you to take home to your own sewing studio!

Vintage Needlework Stuff

Two NEW RedWork Leaflets for Summer

Enjoy a little time for yourself this busy summer and embroider one of our RedWork Leaflet designs.  The stitching area is 5" x 7" and stitching with Turkey Red #8 Perle Cotton on our wonderful Muslin won't take long.  We finished our designs as a small wall hanging attached to one of our Vintage Wooden Quills just for fun.  They will make a fun little pillow center too.  Get out your embroidery hoops and needles, find a comfy spot and get to stitching!

189_I Love Apples RedWork Stitchery Leaflet


Make a little Welcome sign to hang on a door knob in your home to welcome all your friends and relatives.  Fun and quick to stitch

Welcome To The Hive RedWork Stitchery Leaflet

Friday, July 3, 2009

We Are Hitting the Road Again

Today we 4 travelers are hitting the road again – Robin, Tina, and 2 furs, Mackenzie and Campbell.  We are going first to Hailey, Idaho to visit our fabulous web designer and web master (Robin’s son) and his terrific family, Brenda, Anika and Zane.  Then we are off to Denver through Salt Lake City and Wyoming.  


Mackenzie has her spot picked out on the couch in the motor home.  Back to loading up the refrigerator and driving our 2 lane road to I-80 and into Reno.  It is not so pretty then but we head north after Wells, Nevada into Idaho.

See lots of you in Denver we hope!

Robin, Tina and the Pooches

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bobbies and Palace Guards

It was interesting to see the British policemenBobbies, Bobbies, around town.  They do not carry weapons (except 3 that we saw guarding the Houses of Parliament with automatic weapons, one in the back right in this photo) but find it necessary to wear bullet proof vests.  They have the same sad crazies in Europe as we have here!

Looking just like toyPalaceGuards soldiers we found 2 very young men at one of the entrances to St. James Palace near Buckingham Palace.  They can stand for ages without moving a muscle.  I would have an itch I couldn’t scratch most of time!  As we walked near them they marched in place a couple of times and moved their rifles to the other shoulder.  Milo loves that!  That might keep them awake and upright for another hour or so. 

Even the footmen at the House of ParliamentFancyFootman look fabulous.  This fellow was at one of the side entrances where the British big wigs enter the building.  He greets them and opens doors etc.  Very fancy stuff!  The United Kingdom takes their monarchy very seriously and has lots of traditions, costumes and rituals that we certainly enjoyed seeing.  We liked the double decker RED buses and I didn’t even take a picture of one.  Hundreds of them zooming around for tours and just to get from place to place.  We liked riding on the top the best.

Robin and Tina

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

English Flowers

We stayed in a bed and breakfast hotel in the Chiswick area of west London.  The Brook Hotel has been in the same family since the 1970’s.  It was fashioned from 2 adjoining 3 story row houses.  Each had a big garden in the back joined to make a lovely spot to sit.  Milo loved running around and kicking his soccer ball.  

The roses in the hotel’s garden were wonderful.  Everyday there was a Roses From Gardenvase of roses on the entry table and in the lounge.  Wonderfully scented blossoms we enjoyed sniffing.  The French doors to the patio garden from the lounge and breakfast room were something I would love to have at home.GardenDoors  Both doors had window boxes filled with petunias, geraniums and multi-colored Lobelia drooping over the edges of each box.  So nice!  I took lots of photos of flowers all over our city route.  Just so nice to see window boxes of flowers on business building windows and across the balconies of others.  We need more of that kind of thing here think!   Here is DowntownWindowboxanother window box on a lovely marble sided office building.  We were off to find St. James’s Palace and park next to Buckingham Palace.  LOTS of walking!  More of our travel log tomorrow. 

Robin and Tina too.



Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Off To and Back from London

We were able to have a lovely journey to London, England to join Robin’s daughter, Jennifer and Milo the 5 year old Grandson.  We were Granny/Nannies for Milo while Jennifer worked for the week at the University of London.  As one of our friends, Cyndee, said before we left, “have a Big Ben of a time” and we did!  Here is Big Ben plus part of the immense House of Parliament.

Big Ben & House of Parliament We bought a pass for the “tube” and travelling all over town was a great success.  What a wonderful way to move lots of people – so sad we have only a few services like that in the states.  Very efficient and easy!  Tina and I dragged little Milo around to all the “required” spots to see in London and he never complained once after hours and hours of touring the sites.  

Unfortunately the Queen must have been busy while we were in town and didn’t have us call on her but we did get a look at Buckingham Palace, her downtown office.  Quite a site with so much traffic, tourists and regular folks all around!

Buckingham Palace

Not nearly as beautiful a spot as when first completed in the 1800’s for Queen Victoria, the first Monarch to live there.  Gone are the beautiful gardens surrounding the palace.  There still are some across the way in a formal garden we walked around.PalaceGarden

More of the travel log soon!  Great to go away and wonderful to come home again…..Robin

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mackenzie Got “Skunked”

She is now feeling quite sorry for herself after a bath at 3:30 this morning.  I’m not too thrilled either!  She protected us from the little black and white kitty but has really smelled up my bedroom!

Sad Mackenzie To prove how bad she felt, she couldn’t even enjoy her morning dog biscuit until a couple of hours had passed since her bath.  The jury is still out whether her nifty purple collar can be saved!  Luckily she heads to the groomer tomorrow morning and maybe they have a magic potion to fix her up again.

Watch out for cute little black and white kitties at your house!