Thursday, October 23, 2014

Anniversary Tree 2014

Every year, around this time, I get out the tri-pod, set the timer on my camera, and we snap a family picture in front of our Anniversary Tree, documenting the changes in our family as well as the growth of our tree.

This tree was chosen by us on the first anniversary of our first date, which also happened to be a month after we got married. So watching its growth has been a special and fun tradition.

I love to look back over all of the photos to also see how the landscape has changed. From a tree surrounded by field to the development of flower beds and fencing, the addition of greenhouse and kennel, the move of the vegetable garden from the South side of the house to the North side of the house, growth of surrounding bushes, addition and sad subtraction of pet family members. Even seeing the varying shades of color change in the tree itself has been fun, indicating either tardiness of photo taking or unusually mild seasons.

Our photo was snapped 9 days late this year (goal is always October 10), and still the color is just beginning to change. But my heart is full when I look at this image, because the happiest moments of my life are when I'm surrounded by these three people, the very dearest gifts to my heart.

Friday, October 17, 2014

*NEW* Ann M. Franks (an Antique Sampler Reproduction)

I found this 189 year old sampler at a local antique show and immediately fell in love. Ann M. Franks started or finished her work in 1825, comprised of two impossible-to-resist wreaths of flowers enclosing a quote, which, despite missing stitches, I am rather confident reads,

“With all thy soul
Love God above,
And as thyself
Thy neighbor love.”

I don’t consider this a truly faithful reproduction, because the original was stitched on uneven weave linen, giving it that nicely out of round, taller-than-wide appearance. But the availability of similar linen is extremely low, so I chose to stitch the model on even weave. The colors too, were a big challenge to match, so the overall effect of the reproduction, although lovely, is different enough from the original to warrant a changed subtitle from what I would usually use. “An Antique Sampler Reproduction” rather than “A Faithfully Reproduced Antique Sampler”. Regardless, she is lovely, and well worth the time and crossed-eyes it took to get her charted and framed.

Without the helping hands of my model stitcher Candace Shalongo, this sampler would most likely still be waiting her turn in a digital folder, since my stitching hours are all taken up with my original designs. She gladly took the project on, and finished quickly and skillfully. A heartfelt Thank You from me to you!

Stitch Count: 232 x 181
Model stitched on Silkweaver 32ct. Midas Touch
With one thread over two.

Using flosses from The Gentle Art: 0112 Grasshopper, 0511 Country Redwood, 7025 Shaker White, 7040 Lexington Green, 7044 Dungarees, 7045 Mountain Mist, 7049 Lambswool, 7057 Roasted Marshmallow, 7080 Endive, 7082 Piney Woods

And flosses from Weeks’ Dye Works: 1118 Goldenrod, 1268 Molasses, 1274 Terrapin, 2219 Whiskey

Frame by Valley House Primitives.

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

New Friend


Our large family of Rufous Hummingbirds seem to have all migrated, with the exception of two that linger still. If they stay all winter, they are classified as "vagrant" hummingbirds, which apparently isn't that uncommon, even in areas with harsh cold winters. We'll keep the nectar flowing and defrosted for as long as we continue to see them coming.

It was a big surprise to us to notice this brand new individual that started visiting our feeder bank a few days ago. It took me awhile to be fast enough to capture it with my camera, and boy am I glad I kept trying! Isn't it beautiful? It appears to be an Anna's Hummingbird, and I hope it sticks around.

Three feeders + three vagrant winter hummingbirds = Perfection.

Click on this picture to see a larger version of our gorgeous new hummingbird friend.

His Eye is on the Sparrow *Another Chart Error*

Good grief... yet another chart error! It is small, but thought you'd like to know that the stem and leaves of the little flower just under the T in "watches" are charted for Brethren Blue, but the model was stitched with Endive.

I am completely out of the original batches of printed charts, so any orders that go out from here on will contain the corrections that have been found. It is all of you that came out in support of this design early on that will need to make notes on your chart.

Kids Were Here

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lately

Sunny and mild days, chilly nights, more frequent rain showers, and starting-to-turn leaves. Dewy mornings, too much school (not enough kid time), ripening orchard fruit, and holding on to these pleasant afternoons with all of my might.
Mums :: Work in Progress :: Grapes :: Homework :: Muted Sky :: Warm Kitties :: Rain on the Sunroof :: Lone Bandtail Pigeon :: Fiery :: Stonecrop :: Sour Apples :: Weathered :: First Fallen :: Return of the Downpour :: Splash :: Ethereal :: Heavy Laden :: Catch! :: Home Where She Belongs :: Pileated Woodpecker :: Swing :: Motocross and Stitching :: Missed the Migration :: But Will the Weather Hold? :: New Linen Order :: Her Turn to Read

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Past Octobers

You guys! Someone stop time for me PLEASE???

These kids of mine are growing up way too fast.

I can't even start to believe that my babies are little people now.

When I try to cuddle with them, they are all elbows and knees instead of being soft puddles of baby fat that conform to every nook and cranny. There is morning breath and stinky you-know-whats and sweat now, instead of all the sweet smells that used to surround them (well, the diapers weren't so sweet, now that I think about it).

I saw a picture recently of my little sister's two year old and two month old together, and it reminded me of a similar picture that I thought I had somewhere. So I went digging through my 2008 folder (the year my daughter was born), and I couldn't pull myself out of that memory vortex until I had looked at e v e r y  s i n g l e  p i c t u r e.

I stopped myself before continuing the journey through the thousands of photos between that year and this, but I did choose one from each October since my oldest joined our family.

Watch and weep with me:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

His Eye is on the Sparrow *Chart Error*

*UPDATED 9/29/14* There is another place where I goofed. The two hyena/jackal-like creatures to the right and left of the basket of fruit are both charted incorrectly. They should both use Tarnished Gold and Pecan Pie, the left being using the lighter for the body and darker for the fur, the right one being just the opposite.

Hi everyone... it was just brought to my attention this morning that the large sheep in the very bottom left corner is charted with Old Hickory, when in fact it should be Cidermill Brown. Make a note on your chart now, if you want your sampler to have the same variation as the original!