Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Exciting News!

I don't know where the summer has gone since we've barely had a summer here in Ohio ~ It's been more like late Spring or early Fall most of the time, although I haven't missed the hot, humid miserable days at all. The green beans and the tomatoes seem to be a bit behind, but we should still have a good crop to harvest.

We received a very exciting phone call yesterday from our Sales Rep at Country Sampler Magazine! I had a sneaking suspicion this might happen because I was getting multiple emails from staffers at the magazine to be a part of their special Home Tours Issue 2010. Still, it was wonderful news and quite an honor to be selected as 1 of 24 businesses to have a product display in that issue. They extend the offer, then choose the products they want to display in the featured homes. It might be a quilt, a chandelier, a pair of curtains. . , or whatever. They already know what product is going in what home. The stylist has requested a specific fabric choice, so I will customize a curtain for a specific window in a specific house. Pretty cool!

So which curtain is it? The Virginia House Swag Curtain of course!! (shown on the right)

The September issue of Country Sampler Magazine is out, and we are SO-O pleased with our featured product ad! I've had customers tell me that the photo jumped out at them!

The Rod Pocket Panels are featured in H590 Black/tea dye Buffalo Check homespun. They are 84" wide x 72" long with an option of H390 Red/tea dye Buffalo Check. Of course, all fabric selections or other sizes are available in this style on our website.

These Quilted and Stitched Pillows are also featured. The first is the 16" Mountain Homespun pillow (top) available in Black/tan or Red/tan. The other is the Amazing Grace prim stitchery pillow (bottom) on a black or red background. Just like the curtains, the pillows are available on our website in other color and size options.

We are gearing up for a very, very busy Fall and Winter season here at Home Sweet Homespuns and in the Yoak family. It is hard to believe how fast the year is going! We are all anxious to meet our newest grandchild, which is due December 23rd. I suspect it will be a little crazy during the holidays for us this year, but we love every minute of it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New car, new store, new website look

The past few days have been a whirlwind of activity resulting in 1) a website update 2) the purchase of a car and 3) the addition of another retail store. First I want to give a big SHOUT OUT to Rachel from Reflections Website Services. She gave our website a makeover two years ago, and she just made some requested updates for us. Check out Home Sweet Homespuns and see what you think.

Secondly, my car has been broken down more than it's been running the past month. Friday we picked up my "new ride" and I am definitely enjoying it! A business friend Renee from Walls Made For Talking has my new Home Sweet Homespuns business decal ready to mail tomorrow. Check out her site for a great way to advertise your business or add flavor to your walls.

Lastly, the newest retail location to carry samples of our curtains and provide custom ordering services is Pine Cone Gift Shoppe right here in Uniontown, Ohio. Gary Chapman provides an awesome design service, and our custom curtain line will be an added benefit to his customers. His new website is under construction and will be available soon. In the meantime, check out a past article in our local paper about his store.

We're gearing up for the next Country Sampler Magazine ad that is due on store shelves any day now. It is the Fall issue, which means we're soon approaching the busiest time of the year. Is it possible that the holidays are right around the corner?!! We've barely turned the a/c on with the cooler temps this year, but time is flying by and soon we'll be decorating and whistling Christmas tunes.

I hope you are all enjoying the summer. Until later. . .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Clearance Category Expanded

Be sure to check out six new products that were added to our Clearance Category! We're clearing out leftovers from former Country Sampler Magazine ads and some overstock store stock. Certain colors and sizes are available for great savings.

We have five pairs of Tapered Swags and five pairs of Cafe curtains left in the H900 Solid Tan/Tea Dye. Inserts are also available.

Only one size is left - 84W x 45L Virginia House Swag Curtains in the H36 Red/tea dye Ticking. Quantity of 8

Limited supplies of the One-Point Valances in hunter green, navy, and barn red.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Starting TODAY, May 21st through midnight Monday, May 25th receive 10% off any order at Home Sweet Homespuns! This is a rare sale for us, but we want to kick off the summer season with a bang. To receive the discount, simply enter SUMMER KICKOFF in the voucher code box while checking out. This offer is not to be combined with any other discount, voucher or sale.

Wishing you a safe and restful holiday week-end with family and friends!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rhode Island Home Gets Windows' MakeOver

I am finally getting some photos posted from a great customer in Rhode Island! Debbie and I have spoken on the phone so many times that we know each others' voices immediately. The same style was carried throughout her home - dining room, living room, bedrooms, and kitchen- with privacy panels for a kitchen door. We also dressed the bathroom with a new shower curtain and ruffled tank/commode set, but the photos were too blurry to do them justice. Here are a few pics of Debbie's home:

The Living Room window goes bold with the H590 Black/tea dye Buffalo check.

Kitchen curtains carry the black color scheme with H53 Black/Tea Dye Minicheck

A bit blurry, but this photo shows the reversible round doilies we made to match the curtains. They fit just right in Debbie's shelf displaying old tins.

The dining room curtains were made in H70S - Black/Mustard Reverse Window pane.

Thanks, Debbie, for the tour of your lovely prim home!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Topsite Page

We've created a new Topsite Page on our website to make it easier for folks to vote for us. A vote ONCE PER DAY on each Topsite helps our website to rank higher, which makes it easier for folks to find us. Simply click each banner, then click to enter each topsite.

Another advantage of browsing the topsites is having tons of the best country primitive websites and on-line stores at your fingertips for all your decorating needs, not just curtains. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Home Sweet Homespuns is now on FACEBOOK!

We're now on Facebook! Join us on our brand new page at Home Sweet Homespuns! Become a fan, add your comments, interact with other HSH fans, and share decorating tips for primitive country decorating lovers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Future Seamstress?

The other day my 3-year old granddaughter, Natalie, visited my workshop. She was fascinated by my sewing machines and the silver "wheels" (bobbins). This is her first sewing lesson - telling the machine to "GO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O!!!!!!" while Grandma secretly pushed the foot pedal. I hope Nattie is still this interested when she's thirteen.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What happened to Spring?

What fun it is to live in northeast Ohio! The Crocuses are blooming, my Hostas are poking up through the ground, the trees are budding, the grass needs its first cut. . . . and we have a Spring snowstorm! I'll get the heavy coat out again (hopefully for the last time) and scrape the snow off the car, so I can shop for my grandkiddos' Easter baskets.

I wanted to share some pictures we received from a couple of our customers. Take a look.

This customer used the "Ginny" version of the Virginia House Swag Curtains to top her shuttered windows. She knows how to dress up a window!

I love how Lori used different styles and coordinating fabrics. She asked for some customizations such as the long sash on the Hourglass panels and longer straps for the extra-wide Button-up panel.

The white shutters and register cover really complement the dark woodwork, which so nicely frames the Virginia House Swag curtain.

Last but not least, here are the new Rod Pocket Panels and valance inserts I made for my living room.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Brown Homespuns have arrived!

Two of my most favorite people are my FedEx and UPS deliverymen!! Today, the knock on the front door meant the NEW Brown/Tea Dye homespun fabrics FINALLY arrived! They are a soft, warm brown on a tea-dyed background, and they are wonderful!
The five new fabrics are:
  • H901 Solid Brown
  • H92 Brown/Tea Dye Small Check
  • H93 Brown/Tea Dye Mini Check
  • H94 Brown/Tea Dye House Check
  • H96 Brown/Tea Dye Ticking

These fabrics are now part of our Fabric Selections. Complimentary swatches are available upon request.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Grandma's Apron

Guaranteed to bring back memories

The History of APRONS

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.

Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron,

but I don't think I ever caught anything from it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Funny Follow-Up to An Anniversary Remembrance

(Somehow I feel my dad had something to do with this. He was a teaser and a joker, and I'm sure he was chuckling in Heaven if he happened to be peeking in on Mom this morning. If you haven't read the previous post, take a second to do that before reading on).

Mom had a doctor's appointment this morning. The doctor feels her gall bladder might be the cause of Mom's stomach pains lately, so he decided an ultra-sound is the next step. Mom was a little taken back at the thought of a possible surgery and asked Dr. J if "they would cut on her at her age." Dr. J quickly told her yes, if her gall bladder was bad. Afterward Mom needed a prescription refilled, so off to Rite Aid she went. It was a long wait at the Pharmacy, and Mom and the clerk made small talk to pass the time.

"Today would be my 63rd Anniversary if my husband were still alive," Mom proudly proclaimed.

"Are you going to see him today?" asked the young clerk nonchalantly.

Thinking the clerk may have misunderstood, Mom firmly stated, "NO, he passed away twelve years ago!"

To Mom's amazement, the clerk questioned once more, "Are you going to see him today?"

Whether she realized why there was such a shocked look on my 85-year old mother's face we'll never know, but her question soon made sense when the clerk continued,
"My mom always goes to visit my dad's grave on their anniversary."

Mom and I had a good laugh over that one. ;-D

My dad and mom a few short months before Dad went to Heaven.

Sixty-three years ago. . .

February 12, 1946 was my mother and father's wedding day.

Dad has been gone for 12 1/2 years, but I know this day is still a special one for Mom. I remember their last anniversary together - Feb. 12, 1996. It was Mom and Dad's 50th anniversary. Dad had just been diagnosed the month before with adrenal gland cancer, a metastasis from colon cancer five years before. We had planned a surprise party at my house with 40-50 friends and family members coming to celebrate with them. Many cards and notes had been sent from out-of-town relatives. Sadly, Dad was just too sick that day, and we had to cancel the party at the last minute. I had made an album of the cards, and I'm sure Mom and Dad both enjoyed reading the sentiments of their loved ones during the next difficult months. Dad passed away that October,
50 1/2 years after marrying his sweetheart.

Happy Anniversary, Mom!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Girls from the Class of '72

(L to R) Ginni, Me, Kathy, Pat, and Chris

How fast do 37 years fly by? Pretty fast, but five classmates from Green High School Class of '72 did their best to catch up in two hours at Panera Bread this morning.
I'm LOVING finding old friends on Facebook!!
It didn't take long for us to arrange to meet for coffee once we started finding each other. What a nice surprise to find Chris at the last minute and have her join us! She's still as beautiful as she was as the homecoming queen our Senior year. She is a retired teacher and proud to be nearing the 5-yr. mark as a breast cancer survivor. Three of us our grandmas. Ginni is a school bus driver and amateur photographer. Kathy is a photographer for Babies 'R Us. Pat is the Communications/Outreach Coordinator at a Christian elementary school, and I am a self-employed business owner. Our lives have all gone different directions, but we were amazed how much we have in common and how much we didn't know about each other in school. We laughed SO-O much as we shared our experience in marriages, parenting, grandparenting, hot flashes, ex's, as well as some heartfelt childhood experiences. We vowed that today will be the first of many get-togethers for the girls from Green. And we're all on the search for other friends with whom to reconnect. Today was a happy day. :-)

p.s. Pat is such a talented, creative lady. She amazes me that she could create something so beautiful in just a matter of minutes. Here is the poem she just sent to us girls:
New Old Friends

I met some new old friends today –
Found treasures from the past;
Our lives had traveled o’er the years
Down many diff’rent paths.
The dreams of youth – some realized,
Some worn and cracked with age,
Were shared with hearts of tenderness,
As one by one each page
Was turned to tell the story
Once hidden by the days
When children, seen but never heard,
Lived life in shades of grey;
While others, so oblivious,
Secure in warmth and love
Could never really comprehend
How push would come to shove.
Each life became a rainbow –
The hues intense and bold,
For every up and every down
Would turn, somehow, to gold.
The Lord can mend the brokenness
In ways we can’t predict –
He orchestrates the perfect times
When something simply “clicks”.
The minutes turned to hours –
This meeting soon would end;
But as it did, we understood
We’d rediscovered friends.
- P. Burk

Monday, January 26, 2009

Prayers for Delaney

We got word about our little great-niece, Delaney Skye Matasich, and wanted to post the blog about her journey with Progressive Infantile Scoliosis.

You can read more here:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Remembering "The Building"

For some reason, perhaps because I've been reconnecting with some high school acquaintances through Facebook and my mind has been in "rewind" mode, I thought of "the building". I don't know what triggers such an insignificant thought, but I had to smile as I stepped back nearly 50 years ago to remember "the building."

I was two years old when we moved to Molly Drive in 1956. Dad built our little house on the quiet dead-end street, which soon became home to 13 families. The "circle" at the end of the street was our baseball and kickball diamond, and the hill behind it launched our sleds clear to Rt. 619! Life was simple and quiet. I was a a true tomboy in every sense of the word and a tag-along to my older brother, Bob. Most of our days were spent playing with the neighborhood kids, climbing trees, playing in the woods, riding our bicycles, or riding a cardboard box down our steep bank. There was never a shortage of friends or activities since it was unheard of for kids to stay inside and watch TV or play video games.

I think Molly Drive was once a part of a large farm, and we had mature maple trees, apple trees and a grape arbor on our property. The fruit trees eventually all came down to make room for the garden. I loved to take a salt shaker to the garden and eat juicy ripe tomatoes off the vine! Every year Mom would can hundreds of jars of vegetables to get us through the winter. Beans and cornbread were a staple, and many Sunday evenings we had a treat of fried mush and milk.

Dad laid brick and made a walkway from the house to the backside of our property. The walk led to a small two-room tool shed. One side had a dirt floor and was used for necessary things, but the other side had a wood floor, a separate door, and a window. Dad kept his tools and supplies there since the house was barely big enough for our family of four. Probably not more than 8' x 12', it was known simply but properly as "the building." Whatever Dad needed, it was no doubt out in the building. There was nothing special about the weathered wood frame, but it was a special place for a little towheaded girl with a big imagination. Dad never threw anything away, and the bags and boxes of "stuff" fed my curious mind. If I organized everything just right, I had a pretty nice little playhouse. A couple nails and some twine held a makeshift curtain on the window. My transistor radio gave me access to the world, and I could browse through the stacks of National Geographic Magazines for hours. I was never alone though. My dog Tippy was always nearby. One year the building became a birthing suite for a neighborhood stray cat. I stayed with that mama cat the whole day and still remember how funny it was for a cat to have her litter on Labor Day.

I don't know why I thought of that building. It's been long gone for probably 30 years or more. What I do know is that I'd rather have a wooden plank floor anytime than fancy ceramic tile. I'd rather have an old cutter quilt than ornate silk. I'd rather have a scented candle or oil lamp than a fancy chandelier. I'd rather sit on the back porch and look at God's creation than go to a shopping mall. I'd rather be just the way I am, and know it probably started as a little girl enjoying simplicity in "the building."

It was just an old shack to anyone else.  To me, it would bring a smile and a tear from the memories of 50 years past.

Below are some pictures of other favorite buildings and places. Enjoy!

Long Run Baptist Church, Herald Route, West Virginia was my mother's church as a little girl. It is still an active church home for many of my relatives.

My cousins live on the old homestead that belonged to my mother's sister and her husband.

The original Davis Homestead near Sutton, West Virginia, where my mother was born. This picture was taken at the highest point of the farm looking down upon the house and the driveway. The property was purchased by the State of West Virginia and land-locked when I-79 was built.

The original country store on Herald Route.

One of the out buildings on my cousins' farm

I love the look of weathered wood!

Driving down Herald Route ~ Make sure you have room to get off the side of the road if a car is coming the other way.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

29 years ago. . . .

January 7th is a memorable day for me. Twenty-nine years ago, my youngest son, Keith, was born around 5:30 pm, the 3rd of our three sons. My pregnancy was definitely a surprise, especially with a 2-year old and a 7-month old already in tow. What seemed to take forever to happen (getting pregnant) was now happening quite easily to say the least. When Keith was born, Stevie was 16 months and Brian was 11 days away from turning three. Stairsteps, wouldn't you say? I've always said the first five years were just a blur. . . .

Now my baby is a grown man, married with a home of his own. I'm very proud of the man God has made him to be. Love ya, son!

Little Keithie - There are still people who call him that. One of my favorite studio photos - always with a smile and the chubby cheeks that got pinched for years and years!

Christmas, 2008 ~ Keith is acting "surprised" over his Christmas present. I'm pretty sure he picked it out.
Happy Birthday, Keith! Enjoy the last year of your 20's!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to Work!

It feels good to get back on a schedule, although I hoped for an earlier start than what I had. We've had SO many requests for catalogs and fabric swatches that I spent all morning getting all the mail ready to go out, ordering fabric, and getting jobs pulled for the girls. Here it is lunchtime already, and I haven't sewed a stitch! Still, there are other aspects to running a business that need my attention. I hope my energy level returns quickly as the strep throat has left me dragging a bit.

Here's a quick look at my workshop, formerly our large family room.

My office is through the French doors where I can always glance at the computer monitor to check for new orders/emails from customers. To the right of the office is my laundry room, and I'm multi-tasking as I write (definitely one of the advantages of working from home).

Just thought I'd give you a glimpse of my shop. I'm looking forward to another great year for Home Sweet Homespuns!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Olde Picket Fence

I made the January updates for The Olde Picket Fence's website today. Hop on over and check out the specials for the month. Wanda is offering 10% off on all Crossroads' candles this month. They are WONDERFUL candles! My favorite is the Buttered Maple Syrup, but Wanda says the Country Breakfast is fast becoming a favorite. Stock up during the sale on Crossroad's jar candles, reed diffusers, votives and tarts.

The fifth book in the series by Judy Condon is now available and flying off the shelf! As Time Goes By has 300 color photographs on 144 pages. Some of the chapters are The Keeping Room, The Guest Room, Boxes, Baskets, and Bowls, Hallways and Small Ways, The Privy!

It's hard to keep these books on the shelf, so order yours now for $24.95 at The Olde Picket Fence..

Friday, January 2, 2009

January 2009 News and Views

Can you believe 2009 is really here?! The past two weeks have been a much-needed break for me physically and emotionally. It's a time to concentrate on family and priorities without the constant distractions of working the business. I actually have taken more of a break than planned since the sore throat I woke up with on Christmas Day ended up being Strep Throat. Haven't had that since I was sixteen years old! Don't want to have it again either. Needless to say, starting to sew on a limited basis this week did not happen. My body just needed to heal and rest, so I've spent the time wrapping up the year end bookkeeping, tax records, analyzing the year, and setting goals for 2009. I'm feeling good as new now, and I will start working on orders again on Monday.

Some exciting news for January ~ Our fabric manufacturer is expanding some of the Black/Tea Dye homespun fabrics, and they are expected to be available around mid-January. I am especially excited about the Black/Tea Dye Ticking!!! I've been wanting this fabric for quite some time, and I predict it will be a very popular fabric choice. I've pre-ordered the Ticking and the Buffalo Check print, so those will ship to me as soon as they are in the warehouse.

H590 Black/Tea Dye Buffalo Check

H500 Black Solid

H56 Black/Tea Dye Ticking

H52 Black/Tea Dye Small Check

There is a BRAND NEW COLOR FAMILY coming in February also! The Brown/Tea Dye Homespun line will start out with five patterns, plus I have another very nice print from IndoUs that I will add at the same time. I'll post more about those prints later.

I have laid out the 2009 monthly schedule for special discounts, promotions, and contests at Home Sweet Homespuns. Every month will be some type of money-saving special, either free shipping, a sale items, a percentage off coupon, a chance to win a SPECIAL gift, etc. During January, any customer who orders $100.00 or more will receive FREE SHIPPING when they enter the voucher code JAN09 at check-out. It does not come off automatically; you have to enter the code. Our customers are the absolute best, and we value your business. Be sure to take advantage of the specials.

In closing, I would personally like to wish you a blessed new year. We can look at a lot of things that would cause us fear, anxiety, or distress. Let us not lose sight of hope and our faith that all things are controlled by someone bigger than ourselves. Using my husband's favorite closing line. . .

In His Grip,
Donna Yoak

Rod and Donna Yoak