Kind of Like A Norman Rockwell

There was a moment last weekend, when things were nearly picture perfect. Like a Norman Rockwell illustration — real, a bit silly, a hint of chaos emerging or recently visited.

And having it come on the heels of a bit of a stressful week — starring visits from a few plumbers, sick kids, and a few additions to our house “need-to-get-done-ASAP” list — it was impossible not to feel so much joy and thanks for a nearly idyllic scene.

I had built a roaring fire, with the help of a YouTube tutorial. And at some point, before dinner but after the 50th plea for the 30th snack of the afternoon, I found myself sitting on the couch facing the fire reading (A Dragonfly in Amber), with my husband sitting beside me relaxing with his iPad, and our two girls playing independently on the floor in front of us. Our oldest was playing a very exciting game with seven DC Superhero figurines and a Fisher Price castle, and our youngest was putting George Pig to sleep inside of a bed she had built from Duplos.

I nudged my husband and we shared a smile at this rare and exciting scene — four humans happily pursuing their interests, independently but together near the active fireplace. It was excitingly peaceful. It was nice.

And, in all honesty, our full immersion in our individual pursuits didn’t last long. Maybe I read one more page after that shared smile and silent giggle of excitement.

And that was fine because I love the way my oldest squeezes between me and my husband for maximum snuggles. And I adore the way my youngest narrates her play to us to keep us in the loop!

And this is what I’m thankful for this week as Thanksgiving approaches. I’m so thankful, with an enormous heart, for my little immediate family. They are good and kind and silly and brighten my day.

And you shouldn’t listen to what I say when I’m tired and drained, I wouldn’t want to spend a single day or night without them right next to me!

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What are you thankful for? I know that blog comments are clumsy with having to prove you aren’t a robot and all that. So let me know on Instagram or my pen&thimble Facebook Page. I want to know! 

Also, in lieu of the typical holiday sales that roll around after Thanksgiving, I’ll be offering FREE SHIPPING IN THE US when you spend $40 or more November 20 – December 1 at pen&thimble on Etsy. No gimmicks, no coupon needed. My way of saying “thank you so much,” for being a customer and thank you for your support! I’ll be around –making and posting and chatting on social media — but I wanted to wish you very Happy Holidays now, before the overwhelm and hype starts.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!!!

 

Snug As A Bug Making Snow Angels

Um… Did you see all the new kids infinity scarves in the shop? This seems totally biased to say, but… these are the best kids scarves! And I only say that because they totally are. But let me tell you why…

Whether you call it a tube scarf, cowl, infinity scarf, double loop scarf, I’m here to tell you that this scarf lasts for years; stays on while kids play; is bright and fun; and with that fleece lining–oh so warm and cozy! Real mom talk: It’s just nice to be able to shovel snow without having to stop every 2 minutes to re-wrap my kid in her scarf. And less scarf fussing means more play (for the kids) and quicker shoveling (hopefully) for me!

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Snug As A 4 Year-Old Bug Making Snow Angels!

There are seven fun prints of these cotton and warm fleece scarf blends: super heroes, black bears, foxes, mermaids, pandas, space, and sharks! Just $24! Shop cozy warmth today!

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My Creative Director wearing the same scarf 3 years prior. Also, I’m not kidding that these last!)

Santa In October? But I Just Want To Be A Burrito!

Autumn is my favorite season. I think I write that sentence in a blog post every year around this time. My reasons change a bit each year, but my love of the season is mostly about boots,  food — butternut squash, brussels sprouts, warm apple cider — and the free pass to snuggle indoors. #hyggelife

As a human person who wants nothing more than to read under a quilt by the fire without worrying about ice dams on my roof, I never want autumn to end.

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Image Credit: lillisketchtumbler.com
As a small business owner, autumn is something entirely different. It’s when THE HOLIDAYS are meant to be start. No, not Halloween or Thanksgiving. Autumn marks the beginning of Christmas and Hanukkah and gift-buying and gift-giving (my favorite part). So instead of wrapping myself like a book-loving burrito by the fire, I’m supposed to be thinking of snowmen, gift wrap, and eggnog.

And each year, I rebel against The Holidays coming so soon — even as a business person — because my human-burrito side just wants all the autumn all the time! And if I can’t have it all the time, can I just have it during autumn? Pleeeease!

This year, the answer is no. No I can’t. pen&thimble is starting The Holidays “early” this year. Which is really just “on time” with all the other shops. Holiday items have been made and photographed and are just waiting for me to finish one last bite of an apple to be listed on my Etsy shop.

This year, I’m offering a gift wrapping option too!  Bright hand-stamped (by me) stars and a gift note wrapped in twine. It’s already designed and photographed and waiting to go live as an option soon! But first I’m going to slide on my boots and crunch up some leaves and maybe start a fire in my fireplace and read a bit.

Post Update: Holiday Items have rolled into the shop. Gift wrapping option coming soon! 

Table Tales — Stories and Snacks

I hear you. You want sets! It took a number of custom orders for me to realize it, but I get it now! So in the past week, I’ve started adding placemat and napkin sets to the shop. And I’m especially excited about these first offerings because they promise to bring whimsical tales to your next snack or meal!

 

When you sit down for lunch, why not tell a tale of a couple of bears who went camping or a girl who took a basket to her grandma’s house and met a wolf on the way… These aren’t just placemat sets; they’re stories to share, lessons to learn, and imaginations ignited. Find your little bear cub or brave traveller a story set HERE.

 

And as always, these placemats and cloth napkins are easy to care for and made with love and care.

My business is based on my dual desires to 1) add cheer to childhood and 2) ease the frustrations of parenthood. Children love bright colors and whimsical items that are *theirs.* Parents love baby and kid goods that are thoughtful, easy to care for, and made to last. I strive to offer both in every fabric print I pull, every design I create, and every offering in my shop.

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I want to give you more of what you want! What other sets would you like to see? Visit my shop HERE and let me know what YOU want! I was thinking of combining crowns and necklaces for birthday gifts, coordinating bibs and teething toys. What would you pair with a feeding bib — a napkin or a placemat or something else? Let me know in the comments below or on my Facebook page.

I hope you have a wonderful story-filled week!