Today was such a fun day! I have been so busy with the new releases and catching up on work, I REALLY needed some time away (seriously, there are no words for how much I needed to get out of my office). Simba was scheduled to go to the groomer today, so while he was enjoying a bath/haircut, I met my good friend Merry at the local quilt shop for a little retail therapy. It was so enjoyable to see the new spring fabrics, pick up a couple new projects (more stash!), and just be "out in the world". We then had plans to eat at a new Japanese restaurant...which was FABULOUS! The best part of it all was spending some time with my friend and a couple cups of hot tea...catching up, gossiping, and giggling - it was such a "pick-me-up" and a much needed break from the chaos which has been my life lately. To top off my day, she brought me the most thoughtful handmade birthday gifts (don't you just love it when your birthday celebration lasts for a week!). As I have said before, my friends are so extremely talented...and Merry is no exception - she does beautiful handwork, sews, quilts, knits, and crochets (and is one of the best cooks I know)...she is always working on something creative. Months ago, she asked me about my favorite piece I had designed - this was a tough question, as all of my designs are my "babies"...so I chose my most recent release (at the time) "A Sampling In The Square"...I knew she was up to something, but didn't get any specifics. Today, I finally found out her little secret. She took a photo of the design I chose and made it into a pendant for me...and it is teeny tiny....about 1 inch square...I mean SUPER SMALL...in fact, it was almost nearly impossible for me to get a decent photo because it is so miniature...she also attached a bee charm to to bottom, knowing I am sentimental about bees (my grandfather was a bee keeper). I am still amazed by this...so thoughtful and so special. Her gift also included a couple items she made for my kitchen...an adorable flour sack towel adorned with hand stitching of the cutest flower pot and a floral fabric accent...and a new dish cloth...my kitchen is all set for spring (which can't get here soon enough!).