Well, I can’t believe that I am finally writing my first blog! The last few months I haven’t even been able to keep up with my usual monthly email newsletter as we have been working so hard to create a new website, catalogue and class schedule along with planning promotions to celebrate our 20th anniversary. But first, for those of you who don’t know me, let me tell you a bit about myself.
It hardly seems possible that I founded A Great Notion Sewing Supply just over 20 years ago now. At the time, I was a stay-at-home Mum with 3 children ages 4 through 10, and a husband who travelled at least half of the time. I thought that if I came up with a business idea, I could work from home and still be there for my kids. I started with a desk and computer in our basement and printed an 8 page photocopied catalogue and we haven’t looked back since. My parents were great supporters of the business and could be found helping out wherever they could. A few years later, when A Great Notion had taken over our basement and garage, and then we started having to stack boxes in the living room, it was time to move on, and we moved the business to our first warehouse and showroom in Surrey. A couple of years later we opened a second location in Abbotsford and have just kept on growing, moving both locations to bigger spaces in the meantime. And here it is 20 years later and we are now the largest mail order supplier for sewing, quilting and embroidery notions in Canada! In the meantime, my children have all grown up, married and moved out! Now it’s just Keith (my husband) and I at home, both still working more than full-time in the business.
For the last several years, I’ve been writing an email newsletter, usually monthly for many of our customers. I would always include a recipe and a sewing tip, and usually Keith includes a service tip as well. I’m going to use this blog to partially replace this newsletter, although we’ll still be sending out shorter email newsletters to keep you posted on new products and events that we’ll be offering. My goal is to update the blog once a week, and I’ll alternate between including a new recipe, a new sewing tip or technique, and a service tip from Keith. I hope you’ll like this new format, and send your comments and suggestions as well. We’ve also started a facebook page and I’m really hoping that you will add your comments there and even post photos of your projects. You’ll see a link to our facebook page at the top of this page.
This past week, we had the privilege of hosting Simon Haskins at an event here in Surrey. If you don’t know of Simon, he is the son and business partner of Jenny Haskins, the embroidery diva from Australia. Simon taught an all day hands on workshop teaching machine cutwork and 4 ways to do embroidered appliqué on a beautiful linen table runner. After the workshop, he wowed everyone with a 2 hour trunk show of his beautiful embroidered creations. Now we’d like to bring him back to Canada again, maybe for a longer trip next time!
Tonight we’re having a farewell dinner here at home for my youngest daughter and her husband. He is a Captain in the Air Force and they are leaving in a couple of days to move across the country to North Bay, Ont. Rebecca has asked me for her favourite Bruschetta tonight so I thought I’d pass that recipe on to you!
Grilled Red Pepper Bruschetta
1 sweet red pepper
1 tomato, seeded and diced
½ purple onion, chopped fine
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped black olives
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp pepper
Salt to taste
1 long baguette loaf, sliced into ½” thick slices
Margarine or butter
Grated parmesan cheese
Cut the pepper in half and place skin side up on a baking sheet. Grill under the broiler until blackened. Let cool, then peel off the skin and remove the core and seeds. Chop coarsely. Combine chopped grilled pepper with diced tomato and chopped onion. Stir in cilantro, olives, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Allow to marinate at least 10 minutes – longer is better!
Spread margarine or butter on each slice of bread and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place on a baking sheet and grill under broiler until golden brown – watch carefully as it can burn quickly!
Serve toasted bread with bruschetta on the side. Mm mm good!
Well, I’m off now to get this dinner ready!