Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday Stitches

In the margins of Apostle's Creed.
From that time I made my BFF
put some stitches into linen for the first time
because it was about time
she experienced my world a little more intimately.

Friday, January 12, 2018

*NEW* V is for Valentine

As things usually go when being inspired by life rather than doing things in proper order, the seventh letter in my series is actually the 22nd letter of the English alphabet. But hopefully no one will complain too loudly, because sometimes there is no controlling the creative portion of my brain.

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: 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 Nikyscreations 32ct. Old England

The Gentle Art threads:
Barn Grey, Onyx

Weeks Dye Works threads:
Loden, Red Rocks, Sanguine


Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Frame by Signed and Numbered: 6” Circle Opening Vintage Red Dye


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* Festive Little Fobs : Valentine

The idea for this series came to me as I was sitting at a freshly-wiped computer hard drive wondering if any of my lost charts and data were going to be recovered. I was at a complete loss for what to do if I had to re-create months worth of charts that I had in queue for 2018. I opened a new file and started designing some simple little motifs, and then the ideas started rolling. Before I knew it, I had a rough list of 12 different themes, enough to fill a year, should I need to start from scratch with releases to keep you all busy.

This series, unlike the others that I’m in the midst of, has a clear start and finish, as well as a total number of volumes. There will be 12 total, one for each month of 2018. Some will be seasonal, the rest will have general themes, good for any time of year. The intent is for there to be a whole lot of littles that you can stitch for friends and/or that you can fill a little tree with. Imagine if you worked your way through this entire series; with at least 9 different motifs per chart, that’s a total of 108 little ornaments or fobs that you could fill an old feather tree with. Or 108 friends that you could spoil with the labors of your hands.

I’ve included basic instructions for a few of the fob finishes, but I encourage you to explore the internet on your own for the fabulous DIY tutorials there are out there on Floss Tube and Pinterest. I’m far from being an expert finisher, and easily confess that my methods aren’t new. The Silver Dollar finish might be original, but the other finishes are the same that are already out there. If you’re not a person that likes to finish their own stitching, I’m sure you can find a willing person out there to do it beautifully for you for a fee.

My intention for this series is for the motifs to be mix-and-match-able. Your fobs don’t have to be one-sided; you could easily stitch front and back with the same motif, or with different motifs of the same size. You can customize with your initials and date over two or over one, or put in the initials of a special someone that you are making a gift for. Use your creativity! They are small and really quite simple to make… don’t let your fear of finishing get in the way. If I can do it, so can you!

You could also finish your pieces as ornaments for an old feather tree. There are no limits to the things that could be made with these little motifs. When you finish, please send me a picture; I love seeing what you all do with my designs, and I like to share on my finish blog for others to see as well.  www.heartstringsamplery.blogspot.com

My utmost thanks for the lovely stitching of these motifs goes to Nataly Koplovsky. I did the finish work, but there’s a strong chance this series would have never been brought to fruition if she hadn’t so willingly stepped up to do the stitching. Give her a hug for me the next time you see her.


Stitch Count Varies: Approximately 30 x 30 or smaller for each fob

Models stitched with one thread over two
on Weeks Dye Works’ 36ct. Parchment

Using threads from Weeks Dye Works:
Red Rocks, Oscar, Mocha, Havana,
Bluecoat Red, Fawn

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Additional Materials Suggested:
US Silver Dollar
Acid Free Card Stock
Felted Wool
Rick Rack, Mini Pom, Chenille, Braided Floss, Seam Binding,
or other ribbon-type finishing notion
Large Lobster Clasp

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, December 26, 2017

Festive Things

One very long, very festive sentence coming your way right here: White Elephant gift exchanges, decorating Gingerbread Houses, dark windows and twinkling lights, bits of holly and evergreen boughs tucked into all the right places, brown paper packages tied up with string, the cutest little Mary in the church's Christmas Pageant, siblings exchanging gifts that they bought with their own money for the first time and deciding to do it on Christmas Eve and bringing giant smiles to each others' faces, candlelight shared with Believers in the Christ Child born to save the Whole World while singing carols that bring tears to my eyes, dearest friends and dearest family, and a carrot shaped like a Manatee: all the most festive merry happy things from this Christmas season.

And to all, a good night.




















Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Borage and a Bee

If it weren't so frivolous and expensive and if I wasn't so intent on making sure everyone around me feels comfortable all the time, I would probably have a patchwork of tattoos on my skin. It really isn't about getting other's approval, it's more about not liking to be the center of attention. And I live in a very small, very conservative town where I would certainly draw stares on a consistent basis if I had as much skin art as I'd like to have. So I am on a very slow, very purposeful journey toward collecting ink.

This one has been in my mind for nearly a year. Borage! and a Bee! Because bees love Borage and I love bees and also because Borage represents Courage and Optimism and Peace in the home, and because it is used for adrenal strengthening; something I'll probably always need. I couldn't be happier with this little bit of permanent ink on my shoulder. Done by Momma Tomma at Anatomy Tattoo in Portland.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

12

This kid. My sweet, kind, gentle giant. The first to call me Mama. Who gives the best hugs and still holds my hand in public. He's 12 years old today (insert crying emoji here).

He wanted to keep it low-key this year, so we had just a few family members over on Saturday evening to celebrate with Carnitas and ice cream cake from Dairy Queen (thanks again, Theresa!).




On Sunday, his actual birthday, he was the "lighting expert" for the children's Christmas pageant at church. Afterward, he got pizza for lunch at his favorite local place followed by a much-anticipated viewing of The Last Jedi. This kid gets a Star Wars movie released on or near his birthday just about every year now (the blessing of having a birthday one week before Christmas, I suppose).


The final special event was a day with his two best friends, devoted entirely to Nerf wars and video games. Every 12 year old boy's dream, I'm pretty sure.

I love this kid so much. He continually surprises me with deep, mature conversations. He has a grasp on the world that is both 12 and 65 years old at the same time. I hope he is forever and ever the same gentle old soul that he was as a baby, and still is today. I pray that life won't take any of it away, but will only make it deeper and more solid. I wish you all could meet him. I don't think I'm biased when I say that he is a rare treasure among boys.