And the winner is...

Tammyca. Congratulations! I actually made this a two-day contest because I was sure I wouldn't get enough participants otherwise. Thirty six comments later and boy was I wrong. Thank you all for the wonderful comments and welcome lurkers—I knew I'd get a few of you to speak up :)

To answer some of your questions from the comments. No, I didn't embroider this—it looks machine-done as many handkerchiefs would have been. Yes, Stitch School will be back soon. My work load (the graphic design one, that is) got overwhelming and I just couldn't manage it every week. I can't promise I'll do it every week but I will be doing more of them.

Several of you mentioned handkerchiefs. You can always frame them (and they can be very pretty that way), but don't be afraid to use them either. Most of the ones I use for sachets are damaged in some way so I don't feel guilty cutting them up. As long as you have one corner that has no holes, stains, or frayed crochet, you're good to go. And even if there is a tiny hole or spot, you can always cover it with a button.

So, Tammy, email me (janet@primrosedesign.com) with your address. And watch for more contests in the future. This was fun and I'll probably do it again!


it's beginnning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas sachet

I've been sewing like a mad woman and stocking the Primrose Design website with lots of goodies for holiday shopping. I tend to not make many holiday-themed things because, if they don't sell, I'm stuck with them until next year. But I had a cute handkerchief embroidered with poinsettias and holly in my stash and it was just crying out to become something holiday-related. Another hanky with green crocheted edging, some poinsettia fabric, and a red and white button stack were the perfect companions. Voila—a hanky sachet!

Christmas sachet

I've never done a give-away on my blog before but this seems like the perfect opportunity :)

So, leave a comment here before noon on Thursday (that's November 29th) and I'll throw all the names in a hat and pick someone to win this sachet. I'll announce the winner in another post and that person can then send me their mailing address. I'll wrap it up and send it on it's way the next time I go to the post office.

Sound like fun? Well, get writing :)

(Please note that I moderate all comments before they're published, so don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away).


happy turkey day

We're spending Thanksgiving with friends as we usually do. They have a big family and cook a huge turkey, so there's plenty for the various friends who don't have families of their own to celebrate with (or whose families are too far away). I've spent the morning baking my contributions to the feast—prosciutto and parmesan puff pastry palmiers for an appetizer and a linzer torte for dessert. I'm not crazy about the traditional raspberry jam filling so I substituted cherry preserves. I particularly like Bonne Maman brand preserves and the jars are cute for storing buttons and beads in your craft room, too!

jam torte

Palmiers with Honey Mustard and Prosciutto

1 sheet puff pastry (the packaged kind is fine)
3 tablespoons honey mustard
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 teaspoons water

Place the puff pastry on a work surface and spread the mustard over the top. Arrange the prosciutto evenly over the mustard to cover all the pastry, and then sprinkle with the Parmesan. Lightly press cheese into the prosciutto with a rolling pin.

Starting on one end, roll up the puff pastry like a jelly roll just to the middle of the dough; then roll up the other side in the same fashion, making two rolls that met in the center. Squeeze the rolls together a bit with your fingers. Using a serrated knife, cut the rolls crosswise into ½-inch slices. Place the slices on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and press lightly with your hands to flatten. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Beat the egg and water together in a small bowl. Brush the top of each palmier with the egg wash. Bake until puffed and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 20.

Since there will be ten people today (no way will they only want to eat two of these), I doubled the recipe, using the entire package of puff pastry.


Recipe courtesy of The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, Workman Publishing, New York, 1984.


first snow

Just enough to dust the leaves of the rhodedendrons with white...

first snow

Aha, but here's what the five inches that fell later and during the night looks like...


Now I wonder if I'll be getting to the post office today after all :)


I mentioned in passing a while back that I'd purchased an ad in a major magazine's winter issue. It was Adorn and it's out on the newstands now! I've been adding lots of vintage buttons and trims in anticipation of heavier web traffic from the crafty girls who read this magazine. And a special welcome if you're one of them!

I've recently added a smallish section for vintage sewing patterns on my website and will likely be expanding that soon. I kept finding cool patterns in my travels this summer and last weekend at a local antique mall I scored an entire box of 1960s patterns—at least 100 of them and all in perfect condition! I may end up selling them on Ebay but I'll announce that here if I do.

I've been spending some time cleaning up my studio and reorganizing my fabrics. With that flurry of sewing and orders recently it got to be quite messy. When I can't find things I know it's time :)

After that, who knows? I have some ideas to test out for new products. And I may still get a few more custom orders for the holidays. I can't believe how quickly that's approaching!

Don't forget Project Runway: Season 4 starts tonight—Bravo, 10pm!


no two are the same

My friend Anni recently sent me a link to an interview she did about her participation in the auctions to benefit Robert's Snow: for Cancer's Cure. Having two parents who died of cancer and being a cancer survivor myself, this is an issue that's close to my heart.

So, what's this all about? I couldn't describe it any better so here's what they say on the website:

Own a piece of art from your favorite children's book illustrator while helping to fight cancer. Participate in Robert's Snow: for Cancer's Cure, a unique fundraiser for cancer research. Since 2004, this online auction has raised over $200,000 for Dana-Farber, and with your help, we can continue this holiday tradition in 2007.

"Robert's Snow" is a children's story about a mouse not allowed in the snow. Children's book illustrator Grace Lin wrote the book, which was inspired by her husband Robert's battle with Ewing's sarcoma. After the book was published, Grace gathered artists from all over the children's book illustrating community to create special snowflakes to be auctioned off, with the proceeds benefiting sarcoma research at Dana-Farber. These snowflake auctions became known as the event "Robert's Snow."

When I worked as a children's magazine art director I had the opportunity (really more of an honor since these artists are so awesome) to work with so many wonderful artists and illustrators including Anni and several others who've I've since kept in touch with. Many of them made snowflakes for this auction and I'd like to give a special shout-out to those I've worked with personally—Stephanie Roth (whose snowflake you can see here), Ellen Beier, Philomena O'Neill, John Nez (see his snowflake here), Jane Dippold (see hers here), Judith Moffatt (my personal favorite snowflake—I'm keeping an eye on this one) and Anni, whose snowflake she generously allowed me to publish a picture of here.

Pop on over to see all the snowflakes and make a bid on your favorites if you're so inclined and finances allow. It's a worthy cause and you'll have a chance to own an original piece of art from some truly talented and creative artists. Auctions happen on November 19-23, November 26-30 and December 3-7.