After lunch and opening my birthday presents, we headed down to Valley Junction - a historic district in West Des Moines that was founded during the development of the railroad line - there are more than 120 specialty stores and antique shops (many of them housed in buildings constructed at the turn of the nineteenth century). It is always a treat to head down to main street and we definitely have our favorite store fronts to visit! Our first stop was Sisters, a quaint shop filled with home decor, vintage treasures, stationery, jewelry, and charming gifts - one of my favorite gift shops in the city.
After leaving a few dollars at Sisters, we headed to Carefree Patisserie (in their new FABULOUS location), where they bake the most delicious cupcakes...they had a great assortment of flavors on Friday (see the cupcake counter upper right) - I decided to go with White Almond - Kimber picked up Chocolate Mint - and Merry had a special Butterscotch Bacon...yes, I said Butterscotch Bacon (made in honor of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival held on Saturday), which she said was YUM-O! The new location also has a unique assortment of baking supplies and gifts. I decided to be nice and bring home a cupcake for Travis - for him, I picked up a "Muddy Farmer" (a caramel cake filled with chocolate fudge - topped with chocolate buttercream, honey roasted peanuts and pecans...and a few pig sprinkles on top!)...needless to say, he devoured it!
After enjoying our cupcakes and tea/coffee, we headed over to The Quilt Block - a great little fabric shop, where I found yardage of the new French General line "Rouenneries Deux" and a few sewing notions (have you ever known me to go to a quilt shop and leave empty handed?).
You would think we would be all worn out/shopped out by this time - but no - we had one more stop to make - we left Valley Junction and headed over to Archiver's to do just a bit more economy enhancement. I found a pile of special embellishments and pretty papers...and even purchased a paper trimmer (an American Crafts Cutup - which is WAY cool).
After our day together, I returned home feeling completely inspired and itching to work on a bunch of new projects! It was a perfect afternoon and I felt so blessed to celebrate my birthday with my dear friends.
Once again, Merry and Kimber spoiled me with the most AMAZING birthday gifts...and they had Valentine pressies for me too...
Kimber brought me an adorable owl writer's block with matching pen....the most awesome fat quarter stack of fabrics (aren't they adorable! - I love these!!)...and a decorative pedestal plate with bird and a glass cloche (which was difficult to photograph) - I absolutely adore this - my mind is swimming with ways to display it! Kimber has impeccable taste and I am always delighted with the gifts she finds for me...
In true Merry fashion, I was showered with presents to open! She brought me a bag full of Valentine goodies - including beautiful tasty chocolates from Chocolaterie Stam, two snack mats (she made with frog fabric - so cute - see the tutorial on her blog) and some of her homemade jelly. She also brought me the cutest suitcase style box for my birthday that contained a cast iron teapot (which is something I had told her I wanted), a set of three nesting Japanese teacups, two handmade snack mats, a handmade trivet, and a bag of organic kukicha twig tea...I am such a lucky girl!!
I'll say it again - I have the most wonderful, special, generous, kind, and talented friends! I feel very blessed to be surrounded by friends (near and far) who love, support, and encourage me.
Over the next few days, my focus turns to the TNNA Nashville Needlework Market - I am heading to Nashville on Thursday and I'm looking forward to seeing some very close friends...and hopefully make some new ones...