Yippeee! Tom’s freebeez Are Here!

Tom's Friday freebeez Opener

This has been a very special week for me and—I hope—today will be a very special day for you.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking . . . “Well, here he goes again.” (Stop that! I can see you rolling your eyes! Yes . . . I can see you. I’m psychic remember?)

Important Notice: To think the following lines correctly, you will need to squint one eye, hunch over slightly and try to sound as much like Festus Haggen from Gunsmoke as possible.

Okay, are you in character? Great! 

Now, continue your thoughts . . . “Tom, What are you up to this time and what makes you think this week is so all-fired special?”

(You’re doing great! Now stay in character. We are working up to a pivotal point in the storyline.)

Then you so cleverly followed up that thought-provoking thought with . . . “And what about today—in particler—is so gall-danged important anyways? (BRAVO! You delivered those lines flawlessly. Shakespeare would have wept over your performance. I am SO proud!)

Well, I’m fixin’ to tell ya why today is so important.

This week is special because on March 6th of 2011 my blogging adventure began. Can you believe it? You and I have been on this fabulous journey for a whole year. I can hardly believe it myself. It seems like it was only yesterday when . . . (Initiate dream sequence.)

On the morning of March 6, 2011, I sat in my studio typing out my Hello World post. There I was, shy as a opossum, just knee-high to a grasshopper, still wet behind the ears and not having a clue about what I was gonna say after that first post. Then you showed up. You sat right along beside me (figuratively) and we started this adventure together. You were always delightful, supportive, enthusiastic and occasionally a little awkward about posting, but boy . . . just look at us now! (Dissolve dream sequence.)

Time has literally flown by and I can hardly comprehend what we have accomplished. Take a look at these numbers. As of this morning I have made 106 posts, racked up over 55,890 hits, received an astounding 2,100+ comments (not all mine.), gained 400+ followers, amassed oodles and oodles of lurkers (Yes, I know you are out there. See . . . another undeniable demonstration of my psychic ability.) and last—but most definitely not least—I have successfully fought off over 3,400 spam hits and barely broke a sweat. I gauge increased spam counts as a sign of success, so we must be doing something right.

Throughout this remarkable experience, you have been a constant and supportive companion. You have been with me through all the incredible highs, the devastating lows and patiently waited for me during my extended absences. You have been a BFF in every sense of the word.

I am pretty sure that if we were to look up the definition of BFF in the dictionary, we would find your picture there. Good ahead, look it up. I know you want to. I’ll just sit here and wait . . .

No, it’s not a problem. Take your time. (Imagine clock spinning.) 

It’s not like I have anything important to say—or do. (Imagine clock spinning and me sitting patiently.)

Making you happy is what I live for. (Imagine clock spinning, me sitting patiently, a blissful smile spread across my face, because I’m thinking only of you and your happiness. Seriously . . . it was a toss-up between thinking of you or cheesecake. I chose you. Really!)

What? Your picture isn’t there?

Are you sure? Hold on. Let me check. (Imagine clock spinning.)

Hmmm, that’s funny. Your photo shows up every time I check the definition on my computer.

Have you updated your software? No? Then that must be the problem.

Don’t worry about it. You look mahvelous dahling! I’m pretty sure that they’re using your driver’s licence or passport photo. See . . . nothing to worry about. 🙂

Okay, now where was I?

Oh yeah, here’s what I wanted to tell you . . .

New Beeginnings
To celebrate this special week and more importantly—your undeniable fabulousness—I am introducing a new section to my blog. This new section is called Tom’s freebeez. (I know. It’s a very clever name.) Guess what you are going to find in this new section? Here’s a hint . . . look at the opening art.

That’s right! You get FREE BEEZ!!! (I just kill me sometimes.)

That’s right buckeroos and buckerettes, on the first Friday of each month I will be giving you a never beefore seen, beeautifully rendered, and unbeelievably cute, free downloadable Tom’s freebeez pdf pattern to use for applique, redwork, embroidery, needlepointhenna or permanent tattoos or for anything else your heart’s desire.

That’s right! It’s YOURS and it’s FREE. No strings attached. Well, that’s not completely true. There is one string. I would like for you to give me credit for the original design—beyond that—Enjoy!

Click on the link to download the freebeez pdf pattern.
Tom’s freebeez: 2012 Newbee_ download pattern_BW

Beefore I Go
I have been busy as a bee (pun intended) getting this ready for you, so I am anxious to hear what you think about this new section. It is only the beeginning of what I have planned for you this year.

I am practically buzzing with excitement. (I just slay me . . . I need to stop . . . my ribs are hurting.)

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56 Responses to “Yippeee! Tom’s freebeez Are Here!”

  1. Dreamz Happen Quiltz Says:

    You’re so darn cute I can bear-ly stand it! Love the BEEZ! {{BearHUG}}

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Julie, Your comment makes me smile. Glad you like the pattern. I had a lot of fun making it and can’t wait to see what people do with it. I have my own plans, but will share those with everyone later.

      I checked out your blog and you have been busy. Your bubble quilt looks wonderful. Congratulations. You are off to a fantastic start on threadpainting.

      Butterfly kisses and Bumblebee hugs to you!

  2. Debby Says:

    What a thrill to have something from your fantastically creative soul! I will look forward to each and every one of the FREE BEEZ.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey Debby, I am glad like the new section and the pattern. It’s just a simple way of showing you how much I appreciate your being on this creative journey with me.

      Have a beeautiful day!

  3. Deb Says:

    FreeBeez are so very cool! Thank you for sharing, Tom.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Deb, I’m glad you think so. It was a lot of fun to design and I am already looking forward to the next installment.

      Thank you for sharing my journey.

      Honey covered kisses to you!

  4. Paul Leger Says:

    1. CONGRATULATIONS, one year with great supporters
    2. Free stuff! I am in Heaven
    3. I am trying to figure out if i am a buckeroo or a buckerette 🙂

    Be proud of this accomplishment Tom, you deserve it.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey Paul, Thanks! It’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since I started this little adventure.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the pattern and that it brought you so much joy. You should see about frequent flyer miles to Heaven, because I plan to send you there many times this year.

      On my blog and in my world, you can be anything you want to be. I’m just glad you are here.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Jim Gatling Says:

    Can’t believe it’s only been a year! Congrats!!!! Just want you to know I am the first one in my neighborhood to run that cute pattern off!! THANK YOU!!! I know I am the first because everyone else is older here and they’re still sleeping! You da MAN!!!

    • Paul Leger Says:

      Great idea Jim. Let me be the first in Canada to print it. Will that give me a special prize?

      • Tom Russell Says:

        Hi Paul, Thanks for being the first in Canada to download the pattern. You too kind.

        I’ll have to think about a prize. I see a lot of potential in that idea.

        Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Jim, You are too sweet and so funny. Thanks for making me smile.

      I know. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year. So much has happened in such a short amount of time.

      Thanks for being the first in Morrilton to get the pattern. I’m sure your neighbors will regret sleeping so late. Well, they probably won’t, but it’s fun to pretend.

      Love you!

  6. Margie Says:

    I am one of those lurkers. Have been with you since you started your adventure. You are very talented and have enjoyed all your posts. Thank You for doing this!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Margie, I’m glad you picked this post to come out of hiding. It’s a pleasure to meet you out in the open like this. What a special day it is for me. Thank you for being a part of it.

      It has been a joy to share my creative journey with you. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

      I hope this is only the beginning of many conversations we will share. I am looking forward to getting to know you better.

  7. Susan Kirkman Says:

    I’ll be going to my first ever quilting bee this Sunday, Yippee!…and I’m going to tell them about your web site, so they can join up and see your beeeeeeyoutiful work 🙂
    thankx so much!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Susan, Congratulations on going to your first bee. How exciting! I am thrilled that you enjoy my blog and my work enough to share it with others.

      Thank you for sharing this special day with me!

  8. kathydrew Says:

    Hilariously funny and entertaining as always. Love your blog. It is fabulous, just like you.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Love, I’m glad you enjoyed my little post. If it made you smile, then it did everything I could have hoped for. Your smile is addicting and I can’t get enough.

      Thanks for sharing this very special day with me.

      LOVE YOU BUNCHES!!!! xxxooo 🙂

  9. eileenkny Says:

    Tom,
    It’s adorable! That little guy even looks like he’s blushing! lol Have a great weekend; hope the weather is as nice there as it is here.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Eileen, I’m glad you like this little guy. Yes, he’s blushing a little. He’s pretty new to flying, but still wants to make a good impression.

      The weather here has been a little wet, but wonderful. Great temperatures and little humidity. Fabulous Winter weather for Texas.

      Thanks for dropping by and helping me celebrate my special day.

  10. Chris Says:

    I am one of those lurkers. I met you with DeNiece at Houston last fall and I so enjoyed talking to you. Each and everytime I read one of your posts, I am right back there at that restaurant having a great time, laughing and smiling and enjoying myself with friends. Your blog is so you and is one of the few blogs I follow faithfully. You are a fantastic writer and photographer. Keep it up!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Chris, What a wonderful surprise! I remember you and how could I forget the wonderful dinner we shared with DeNiece? It was a fantastic evening and I be looking forward to the seeing you again at Festival.

      I think DeNiece will chose something other than the Habenero Fish Taco from the menu. I know she remembers aspects of that memorable dinner better than we do.

      I’m glad that you are enjoying the blog. It makes the journey even more special to know that I have such great companions to share it with.

      Thanks for sharing this special day with me, but most importantly, thanks for coming out of hiding. I’m thrilled to know you are out there.

      Have a wonderful day!

  11. Robin Says:

    Wow! How cute!! I really, really enjoy reading your blog. You make me smile, laugh, and sometimes cry, but that’s okay, too. Thank you!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Robin, What sweet and touching things to say. I racked my brain to come up with a clever reply, but the best that I could do was “Thank you.”

      I am thrilled that you enjoy my blog enough to keep coming back for more.

      I am sure there will be lots more laughter, many more smiles and a few more tears to shed, but that’s what makes life interesting.

      Thanks for sharing my journey with me. Enjoy the pattern!

  12. Bobbi Russell Says:

    Oh Tom thank you so much for your free bees you know how much quilters love free… I love your pictures … the flowers are sunshine… you make me smile…. such a joyful spirit!!! thankz

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Bobbi, You are most welcome. I agree. Quilters love free. It’s one of our favorite words.

      It’s great to hear that you are enjoying my Magic Camera Mondays. When flowers are that beautiful, it’s hard not to take a picture of them. They are practically asking to be photographed.

      Your enthusiastic spirit makes me smile. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

  13. Jayardi Says:

    • • • You kill me too – ALL the time. Your sense of humor is right up my alley. (sorry couldn’t think of a clever pun) I can’t believe I got here so late for your historic announcement.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!

    I really don’t want to burst your bubble, but I bet a good portion of those hits are mine. You see, I check in EVERY day (sometimes a little late, but nonetheless, EVERY day). And, on the days that you don’t post, it could be five to ten times looking to see if you have any words of wisdom or new inspiration for me. OH, don’t worry, I am not stalking you, really! Only the BEST BFF’s get this kind of attention. 😀

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey there, I’m glad that I’m not the only one that finds me funny. I’m a big fan of corny jokes and I love puns.

      I checked and your name does come up frequently. I’m glad to know you are out there. I even write things with you in mind. If you read something that sounded like I was talking to you, then you I probably was.

      You make me smile. I would welcome you into my world as stalker or BFF. Either way is good. I’m just happy that you are in my life.

      Thanks for sharing my journey with me. Love you!

  14. Dot Collins Says:

    Wow! a year! and a wonderful way to start the next one! Love the Bee and the Free beez – looking forward to the next ones! Dot

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Well, hey Dot! It’s so good to hear from you. I’m glad you like the bee. I have a ton of them, so it was hard to not give them out all at once. I have to exercise a little self control from time to time.

      I am looking forward to seeing what people do with this pattern and the subsequent ones. I think my future is going to bee filled with beeautiful surprises.

      Thanks for dropping in to share my special day with me.

  15. müller chris Says:

    Thats so sweet, thank you. I love all your pictures.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Chris, Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you liked the pattern and enjoy my photographs.

      I will be looking forward to bringing you more of both.

      Have a wonderful day!

  16. Leslie C Says:

    Love you!!! Thank you so much… I’m looking forward to getting a little “Tom” in my quilting repetoire!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Leslie. Love you too! Your response brings a big smile to my face. I can’t wait to see what happens after you start adding a little “Tom” to your quilting.

      Thanks for sharing your day with me and for making me smile.

  17. Jackie Says:

    How great, love the pattern. You must have been a screen writer in a previous life, love reading your blog. All the best, and hopefully many more years of blogging ahead of you. I do wish you lived next door though, have a great day!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Jackie, I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the blog. I am not sure what I did in a past life, but hope I had as much fun in it as I’m having in this one.

      I plan to be blogging for many years to come. It’ll almost be like living next door. I promise that if you keep following my blog, you’ll hear about what goes on in my life before the rest of the world does.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing my special day. Enjoy the pattern and I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.

  18. Brenda Wall Says:

    Cute, precious, adorable and thank you!!!!!
    You work so hard to make your “peeps” happy.

  19. Wendy Says:

    Thank you bunches. I see it as as a machine applique design. Hope I find the the time to follow through with it.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Wendy, I think it would bee perfect for machine applique. You’ll have to send me a picture when you are done, so I can share it with the world.

      Don’t find time to quilt. Make time to quilt. You’ll be happy you did.

  20. Carol Anderson Says:

    Well, if that isn’t the dangdest cutest lil’ ole thang ever! Thank you for creating such a wonderful little critter. I can just see several of these on a little girl’s quilt (has to be a little girl with all of those cute little dots).

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Well, Ms. Carol Anderson . . . as I live and breathe . . .

      Glad you like the little bee. Feel free to put it on anything your heart desires. I am sure you will find the perfect place for it and it will be beeautiful.

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing my special day with me.

  21. deb Says:

    LOVE the bee, Tom! It’s so adorable! You do realize you’re a “mess”, don’t you? ;-D

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Deb, Glad you like the bee, and yes, I know I’m a mess—a chocolate mess to be exact. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. It’s always great to hear from you.

      Love ya!

  22. Joy Says:

    Tom – Big congratulations on your 1 year blogging anniversary!! I have been following you from the start—and yes, alas, just lurking. 😦 But I have SOOOO enjoyed you always.

    We met when you came to the HGTV Retreat in Houston and I must say you put on an awesomely incredible show. Your Sunbonnet Sue & Sam rendition was over the top!!!! And staying for the pj contest was just too much. I totally and completely love your work, because it is so whimsical and happy. Every piece I saw you share screams my name! Seriously. You may not hear it but I do 🙂

    Anyway, I did want to stop lurking & tell you how much I admire your talent & personality. I kept you in my heart and prayers when you lost Bill. Hopefully thoughts of him continue to inspire you and bring you sunshine now instead of sadness. I wish you much happiness and continued success. Wait, that sounds like a goodbye. No! I’m just getting started—no more lurking for me 🙂

    Much love,
    Joy

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Joy, Thank you for your sweet comments. I am tickled that this post pulled you out of lurkdom. There is no need to feel bad. You are now fully out and there is no going back.

      I had a blast at the HGTV message board retreat. It was a highlight in my quilting career. I will never forget that evening and images from the pj party are forever burned into my memory.

      Thoughts and memories of Bill bring both inspiration and sunshine. There is also sadness, because there is no replacing him. The loss is always there and always present. The pain is less raw, but it is unending. Thank you for your kind words. They make the tough days easier to get through.

      I’m glad that you are going to be a frequent contributor going forward. Your enthusiasm and generous spirit will always be welcome here.

      Have an absolutely fabulous day!

  23. Evelyn G Says:

    He’s oh so cute. I must think of a great project for freebeez. Congrats on your first year. Thanks

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Evelyn, Thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you like the bee. I hope you will share your project when it’s complete. I’d love to see what you do with him.

      Have a wonderful day!

  24. Donna Kirkland Says:

    If you could see me Tom, I am sitting here in front of my computer and squealing with delight. I have admired your work and my heart has ached for you during your down times.

    You give me a lift each week with your bloggs. I always look forward to them.

    Thank you for your specialness (yes that is a Texas word, but I don’t recommend trying to look it up –snort, snort). Anyway, you have just made my weekend! I can’t wait for the first Freebeez. See I was so excited to thank you that I didn’t read the rest of the post. It is already there….

    Thank you again Tom! I can’t wait!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Donna, I wish I could see you, especially if the pattern made you that happy. If it brought you that much joy, it did more than I could have hoped for.

      Thank you for you kind words and caring thoughts. I knew that you were out there and that support meant the world to me then and means even more to me now.

      It’s great to hear that you find joy and happiness in my posts. It makes the process of creating them even more satisfying, when I hear that people look forward to reading them.

      Thank you for making my day. Enjoy the pattern and have a fantastic day!

  25. Linda Says:

    Hey, cousin! I like the freebeez idea. I downloaded your little bee. I don’t quilt but may use it for some other craft. Thanks!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Linda, I’m glad you like the pattern enough to download it. Use it on anything you’d like. I’m sure whatever you decide to make will be wonderful.

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing my this special occasion with me.

  26. Carla Says:

    Here you go again making me laugh, and yes, roll my eyes with a shake of the head. Congrats on the one year blogging anniversary and thanks for the freebie. Who doesn’t like free?

    Now you know some little quilter not familiar with computers is now trying to upgrade their computer so they can find their picture under BFF.

    You shy?… I don’t think so.

    Can’t wait to see what’s next on your blog. Hugs

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey Carla, You make me laugh too. I saw your face and that twinkle in your eye as I started reading your comment. Oh, your comments bring me a lot of joy and a big smile along with it.

      Thank you very much. I can hardly believe it’s been a year. The reason for that is because of people like you. Your funny and supportive comments have made the process so rewarding and made the time fly by.

      As I said in my post, I wouldn’t have been able to continue without wonderful people like you to share this experience with, so THANK YOU for showing up each week and letting me know what you think.

      Oh yes, I’m shy. Very very shy. 🙂

      Thanks for you delightful comments and for bringing a smile to my face.

  27. Shannon Young Says:

    Tom! Can’t believe it’s been a year!!! You are a fab blogger – have you thought about writing for a quilt mag??? If you haven’t, then you should start now. 🙂 Thank you for being a ray of sunshine in a world that needs as much sunshine as it can get.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Shannon, How wonderful to have you come by for my special celebration.

      Yep, it’s been a whole year. I never would have thought I could keep it up that long. What a surprise this has been.

      Nope, haven’t thought about writing for a magazine. I’m not sure what I’d write about, but I said the same thing about blogging. Who knows, I may be able to add writer and author to my list of quilting credits.

      Thank you for your kind words. They mean more than you can imagine. Hearing from you brightens my day in ways that I can hardly express.

      You are something else Shannon Young and I’m thrilled and honored to know you.

      I hope you have a day that is filled with sunshine and magic.

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