Tuesday, July 11, 2017

*NEW* B is for Beekeeper

As things usually go when being inspired by life rather than doing things in proper order, the fifth letter in my alphabet series is actually the 2nd. But hopefully no one will complain too loudly, because sometimes there is no controlling the creative portion of my brain.

After a few decades of being interested in keeping bees, I started my first hive this Spring. And now I don’t think there will ever be a time when I stop doing so. I am absolutely in love with the processes involved in caring for a honey bee colony, and find myself looking forward to each hive inspection as it comes, and being sad when I have to close up the hive for the week. These tiny creatures are fascinating and clever and inspiring all at the same time. I’m thrilled to be added to a long history of beekeeping on planet Earth.

Honeybees can thrive on their own without human intervention, but there is evidence to suggest that we have been interacting with them from as early as 7000 BC, based on traces of beeswax found in Middle Eastern pot sherds from that time. It appears that beekeeping on a commercial scale dates back to sometime before 2422 BC; on the walls of the sun temple of Nyuserre Ini in Egypt, workers are depicted blowing smoke into hives while they remove honeycomb. Archaeological finds related to beekeeping have been found on every continent.

I don’t have a planned release scheduled for this series. With 26 letters to chart, it might take me ten years to get through them all, since I have other ideas and plans and designs in the works too. They won’t be released in alphabetical order, but instead, as inspiration strikes. The one thing you can count on is that they will all be round, designed to fit into the same frame, which can be found here on etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/178555694/6x6-picture-frame-with-circle-opening?ga_search_query=circle+frame&ref=shop_items_search_2 When you purchase a frame from their shop, they have generously offered a coupon code just for my customers! Enter HEARTSTRING10 at checkout to get ten percent off of your order (this coupon code won't work in MY shop, but only in the SignedandNumbered shop).

You could buy one frame and swap out the letters as you see fit, or a grouping of four or more of them for a nice collection to spell out your last name or a favorite word.

Or, you could finish your pieces as ornaments for an alphabet tree. The options are multiple; use your creativity!

Stitch Count: 80 x 80
Model stitched with one thread over two
on Picture This Plus 32ct. Legacy

Using threads from:
The Gentle Art: Green with Envy, Grecian Gold, Endive, Pecan Pie
Weeks Dye Works: Sandcastle, Cocoa, Deep Sea, Gold, Teal Frost

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Frame by Signed and Numbered:
6” Circle Opening Super Vintage Roman Gold

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email: beth@heartstringsamplery.com

Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer Break: Week Three

The week started out so stinking hot it made every part of me hurt. Not really, I don't suffer from chronic pain, so I don't want to make light of that statement. But heat and Beth do not mix well. And since the heat comes so rarely to our part of the world, most people don't have air conditioning. I make do by hanging quilts over all of the West-facing windows, basically turning the house into as dark and cool of a cave as possible. It always works well for the first day or two, but by the third and fourth day of a heat wave, it's pretty much impossible to bring the house down under 80 degrees. Which does not make me a happy girl.

Enter the new swimming pool. Which is still so cold from all of that well water, that thirty minutes soaking in it chilled me to the bone. Afterward, sitting in an 80 degree house, it took 3 hours for my feet to warm back up. It feels good knowing that I now have a legitimate coping mechanism for heat waves. :D

Other than trying to stay cool, there was VBS to take the kids to, and the usual errands to run. The Farmboy took the week off and started tearing the nearly-20-year-old deck off of the back of the house. We ate in the front yard almost every night and tried to relax as much as possible. I even dialed my work back quite a bit, only taking two runs into town to mail orders, and only answering the most pressing emails.

I ate the first blueberry of the season and showed up to band practice wearing the same shoes as the others (minus one) (yay for Converse!). There were two giant Jackfruits at the local Grocery, which impressed the kids. And I got to end the week with a tea date with my Mama and two Sisters and one highly squeezable Nephew.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer Break: Week Two

The sun returned at last, and with the sun, the bees were out foraging and there was playtime at the new RC Car track carved out at the back of the field. Father's Day was mellow and relaxed, with the Farmboy insisting on doing the cooking: BBQ ribs with all the fixins' and fresh homemade Rhubarb Crisp (made by me) with ice cream.

There was Rhubarb Jam making and sunbeams and music making and way too much fill-stitching (watch for this lovely reproduction sampler this Fall). And with the threat of our first heat wave of the Summer, we surprised the kids with our first "real" swimming pool; one big enough to require tractor work to level the ground plus 4000 gallons of really really cold well water. I'm not going in first!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Stitches

The Parting Hour : Gather Ye Tulips : Simple Bounty Cupboard Sampler
I Love You Truly, Truly Dear : (The Birds & the Bees) Olde Bouquet
(Sarah E. Schall) Sarah's Companion : My Funny Valentine
It Must Have Been the Mistletoe : (Tidings of Comfort & Joy) Noel 1705
French Harvest Basket : Great Grandma Johanne's Birth Sampler
Anna's Prayer : Now Christmas is Come
Cross Stitch Nation: Stars & Diamonds : With One Accord
George & Martha : Great Grandma Dagmar's Birth Sampler
Feniscowles Hall : Never Let You Go : A Weaver's Shuttle
1763 Band Sampler : Baby, It's Cold Outside

Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer Break: Week One

As far as first weeks of Summer Break go, this one was pretty uneventful. We mostly just caught our breath. Ran errands, did all the usual things, but without the added pressure of school. It rained way too much to get outside and play, but the local pool is covered, so at least that's something...

An official rite of passage (one that I'm not ready for)... this baby of mine was officially moved up to the church Youth Group. So proud of the person he is becoming, but it is happening so, so, so, fast.

Monday, June 12, 2017

*NEW* Once Upon a Summer

I have long wanted to try my hand at making a basic huswife to better transport my thread and scissors when taking my stitching away from home.

From there, it was just a matter of calculating stitch area and then filling the alotted area with happy growing things, a tiny house, an alphabet, and some little creatures. Once Upon a Summer just seemed like the right name for it. I don’t know about you, but I plan on putting this huswife to good use.

I don’t know exactly how they came to be called huswifes, but there are documents labeling them such that date back as early as the middle of the 18th century. During the American Civil War, they were often sent off with soldiers containing essential sewing implements so that they could maintain their wardrobe.

"I suppose you all know what a housewife is? It is a long piece of cloth with a number of small pockets sewed along one side, and made to fold up like a pocket-book, having separate places for buttons, thread, needles, pins, &c., such as some of you may have seen your mothers or grandmothers use." - The Reformed Presbyterian magazine. September. 1, 1864.

This design was originally released exclusively through the Dyeing to Stitch Ladies' Prim Society club, but is now available for everyone.

Stitch Count: 247 x 71

Model stitched with one thread over two
on R&R Reproductions’ 35ct. Heartstring Blend

Classic Colorworks:
Hazelnut, Poblano Pepper, Tennessee Red Clay

The Gentle Art:
Piney Woods, Pecan Pie, Ruby Slipper

Weeks Dye Works:
Dirt Road, Oscar, Whiskey

Recommended Additional Materials:
3 fat quarters of different co-ordinating cotton fabrics
2 feet of ½” Hug Snug Seam Binding “Havana”

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email: beth@heartstringsamplery.com

*NEW* A Little Quaker

I love Quaker style samplers, but have only dabbled in stitching them. I decided to ease into the style gently with this little slightly-Quaker sampler; a nod to the intricate without the investment. Super quick and easy to stitch up, whip into a pincushion or frame it as I did and hang on your wall. Purposely a little wonky, a little whimsical, a little Quaker.

The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, was a dissenting Protestant group which started in England in the early part of the 17th century. Quaker beliefs about the spiritual equality of men and women led to advanced ideas about the importance of education for girls, as well as education for children from poor and enslaved families. The Quakers founded some of the first co-educational schools in England and America, with emphasis on providing a sound academic and religious education to all students.

Early Quaker samplers were not distinguishable from those of the region in which they were created. By the beginning of the 19th century, however, a transformation had occurred. Samplers produced in Quaker schools on both continents adopted similar alphabets, motifs, and formats. Prominent was use of the Roman style alphabet, in both capital and small letters. Unique to Quaker samplers was the inclusion of bold and intricate medallions and half medallions, often lined up along the edge as a border. Widespread adoption of the same alphabets and motifs led to 19th century samplers that are easily recognizable as having been created under the instruction of a Quaker teacher or one trained in a Quaker school.

Stitch Count: 101 x 93

Model stitched with one thread over two
on R&R Reproductions’ 32 count Stars Hollow

Classic Colorworks:
Cinnamon Toast, Hazelnut

The Gentle Art:
Green With Envy, Brethren Blue, Caramel Corn, Endive, Ruby Slipper

Weeks Dye Works:
Havana, Palomino

Conversion to DMC included inside.

The frame was found at a thrift store.

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email: beth@heartstringsamplery.com