Friday, August 05, 2016

*NEW* A is for Acorn: the Alphabet Series, #2

This is the second alphabet design that came to me after deciding to embark on this series. And I can’t think of a better time to release it than now, on the verge of Autumn. Featuring some sassy little squirrels, plenty of acorns, and surrounded by a wreath of greenery, this round design could grace the center of a candle mat, the top of a pantry box, or live in a frame (as mine will). I hope you like it! And stick around… there are still 24 letters to go!

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 on etsy.

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 79
Model stitched with one thread over two on R&R Reproductions' 32ct. Winter Brew.

All threads are from The Gentle Art: Old Hickory, Endive, Piney Woods, Pecan Pie
Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Frame by Signed and Numbered: 6” Circle Opening Super Vintage Dark Wood Tone: 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).

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* Rooster and Acorns: The American Coverlet Series, Part VI

Inspired once again, by the graphic appeal of woven antique coverlets from the beginning of the 1800’s, meet my newest design!

I pulled the various elements of this pattern from different antique coverlets, combining them in my own way. The included chart has lettering that is reversed, in tribute to the same effect on most signed antique coverlets. I was tempted to stitch all of the words and numbers the “right” way, (you can feel free to do so for your own), but ultimately decided to keep mine in the style of the olden days.

I chose the roosters and acorns because they are still appealing today, reminding us of a time when most households raised their own chickens instead of going to the supermarket to get their meat and eggs. In the right climates, they also gathered acorns to use as a natural dye or for oil, and sometimes even as a meal added to breads or hot cereals. During the Civil War, acorns were used as a coffee substitute by the Confederates when they were cut off from supply routes by Union soldiers. Acorns are very bitter unless properly prepared, so I would advise sticking with the stitching of this nut, rather than its consumption.

As you can see by the photo of the model, I did not stitch this one! Kathy Krause put the time in for me on this one, with such lovely stitch work. I am so thankful for those of you that step up to help me when I can't get all of the stitching done myself. I like to stitch my models, but sometimes just have to admit defeat and let someone else shine. Thank you SO much, Kathy! I appreciate the speed and neatness of your labors. Many of you know Kathy, so when you see her, please give her a real or virtual hug from me!

Stitched on R&R Reproductions' 36ct. Old Towne Blend using just one thread over two strands of linen.
Stitch count: 159 x 175

Using thread from Classic Colorworks: Blue Corn
Frame by Valley House Primitives.

Full alphabet and number set included so that you can customize it with your own initials and date.

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, July 08, 2016

*NEW* The Bird Collection, Part II

This booklet is the second installment in a collection highlighting my favorite Pacific Northwest birds. I hope you enjoy taking off on this feathered journey along with me.


All models stitched on Picture This Plus 32ct. Wren with one thread over two.

Western Tanager: Stitch Count: 59 x 83
Threads: The Gentle Art: *Brandy, *Country Redwood, *Endive, Grecian Gold, *Ohio Lemon Pie, *Old Hickory, *Pecan Pie, *Piney Woods, *Raven

Redwing Blackbird: Stitch Count: 100 x 53
Threads: The Gentle Art: *Country Redwood, *Endive, Espresso Bean, *Ohio Lemon Pie, *Piney Woods, Pumpkin Pie, *Raven, Toffee

Swainson’s Thrush: Stitch Count: 99 x 60
Threads: The Gentle Art: *Brandy, *Endive, Harvest Basket, *Old Hickory, Parchment, *Pecan Pie, *Piney Woods, Weathered Barn


*Flosses with an asterisk are used in more than one of the designs, but you will only need one skein total for entire booklet.

DMC conversion provided inside chart cover.

The frames were thrifted and then refinished by me. Tutorial available on request.

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

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Independence Day

After last year's mis-interpretation of our small town's firework display invitation, (not the first time either, you should read back through our Independence Day experiences sometime) we arrived this year informed by experience and ready for a great show.

And armed with a certain picnic quilt that was celebrating its fifth anniversary.

It was too dark once we got positioned to take photos, but that's because we stopped at the market for some tubs of ice cream because last year we were disappointed by DQ being closed and not allowing us to have Blizzards. And also because I forgot that I had a different lens on my camera than I would normally use.

But I had my favorite people with me and some really chocolatey ice cream, and my snow boots on my feet to keep them warm, and I live in a country with more freedoms than many around the world, and I am blessed in more ways than I can count.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Family Time

I am the second of five children. Growing up, we always got along well, even when there were ten or twelve years difference in age. Due to life situations, we are only able to get the entire family together every 2-4 years. This time around, it was 4 years.

So the month of June into early July, when my brother and his family were in the United States, were very full of as many gatherings as possible, each including at least most of us, culminating in a final gathering that held every single one, plus the addition of one of my Dad's brothers.

There were probably a thousand photos taken between all of us, but I'll spare you and only share a few of my favorites. Photos taken in a park while celebrating a 4th birthday, at a Mama and Daughter date for tea, at a Sisters-only night out, and finally all of us gathered here at our homestead.

1 Grandpa + 1 Grandma + 5 Siblings + 5 Spouses + 4 Nieces + 8 Nephews (with 1 more on the way)

= Lots of Love (and maybe sometimes a bit too much Crazy)

Friday, June 24, 2016