Friday, August 21, 2015

Now Available!

My two newest designs, Morning Star and Forget Me Not are now available for purchase in my etsy shop! Thank you for your patience, and for taking part in the online wholesale show through your needlework shops. By all accounts, it sounds like it was a success. This industry can take all the boosts of energy it can get, and you all came through. Thank you!


Thursday, August 06, 2015

New Designs Coming Soon!

Norden's Fall Needlework Show is starting up on Monday! It is a wholesale only show that hopefully your favorite needlework shop has signed up for. All designs released during the show dates of August 10th - 19th are exclusive to Norden Crafts. That means you won't be able to order them from me or anyone else except a registered needlework shop until after the show closes. I have two designs that they'll be releasing for me.

They are... (drumroll please)...

"Forget Me Not"
This is a re-release of sorts. It was originally designed for The Gift of Stitching magazine back in the Spring of 2012. Anyone that subscribed to the magazine had access to the design, but it has never been officially distributed or available to my direct customers until now.

Stitch Count: 100 x 57
Model stitched with one thread over two on Weeks Dye Works’ 40ct. Tin Roof

Using threads from Weeks Dye Works: 1193 Guacamole, 1230 Havana, 2104 Deep Sea, 2201 Moss, 2219 Whiskey, 3960 Teal Frost

Additional Materials: Cotton fabric for backing, Cluny Lace Ric Rac in “Antique Caramel” from the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe, and Crushed Walnut shells for filler.


"Morning Star"
I once saw an antique sampler with a portion of a Christmas hymn that piqued my interest, having never heard the words before. After a little searching I found the lyrics and used some favorite parts of them to set the structure of this sampler.

The words were written by Reginald Heber (1783-1826), who was an English clergyman, traveler, and poet. He is best known today for his hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty”.

The words are set to the tune “Morning Star”, composed by James Proctor Harding (1850-1911), who was an English organist and choir master.

Stitch Count: 301 x 129

Model stitched on Lakeside 32ct. Vintage Sand Dune
Mostly cross-stitched with one thread over two, also including eyelet stitch and French knots.

Using flosses from Classic Colorworks: Barn Door, Honeycomb
And from The Gentle Art: 0350 Mulberry, 7041 Apple Cider, 7080 Endive, 7082 Piney Woods

Frame by Valley House Primitives.


I'll put another announcement on my blog when these designs are available in my etsy shop. But for now, I encourage you to contact your favorite needlework shop and request it through them! This online show is a new experiment and I'm hoping it does well for Norden Crafts and for the shops that invest their time in shopping this sale. We are a hard-working industry and have to be supportive of each other if we want to continue to grow and have great new designs and materials available regularly.

For a list of retailers signed up to purchase from the show, click HERE.

Monday, July 20, 2015

*NEW* Take Heart

Recently, there was a charmingly naïve, skinny and tall, really worn and primitive band sampler that I nearly won on ebay. It was one of those days when I totally could have been present to place the winning bid, but completely spaced the timing and therefore lost the auction. I was so sad, and irritated with myself, because I had planned to share it with you all, not to mention the fact that I really wanted to hang it on my wall! Because I now couldn’t offer it as a pattern in good conscience, I chose a completely different verse, different colors, different motifs, but tried to capture the same feeling and dimensions. It was a super quick little sampler to stitch up, taking me only four days, and the size is perfect for hanging on an end wall or the side of a cupboard.

The verse is a favorite of mine from the Bible, found in John 16:33, the full verse reads, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Stitch Count: 55 x 256
Model stitched with one thread over two on R&R Reproductions’ 32ct. Star’s Hollow Blend
Using Classic Colorworks': Cocoa Bean, Hazelnut, Honeycomb, Olive Branch, Used Brick, Weeping Willow


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

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer Days

When I look back on this Summer I will remember it as a hot one.

Hot and dry and wonderful.

Don't get me wrong, its not the heat that I have loved.

What I have loved is the pace, still full of stitching deadlines and chores, but with time to breathe, to study, to read out loud to the kids, to have playdates with friends and cousins, to spend time with my sisters (both have just returned for the Summer after three years away).

And the kids, my dearest heartbeats, hearing them giggle and play and fight and negotiate and have the freedom to just be kids together. I adore them. I adore their ages. I adore their grubby fingernails and dirt-embedded necks, her growing batch of freckles, his shade-seeking tendencies. The only thing that could possibly make this Summer better than it is would be for the Farmboy to get to shed his work responsibility and stay home with us.

Oh, and air conditioning. That would be nice too.
Homegrown :: Family :: Pulling Weeds :: Ahead of Schedule :: Marionberries :: Before there was Stained Glass, there were Butterfly Wings :: Oxalis :: Together, Always :: Faded :: They Beg to Chase Me Up the Driveway :: Morning in the Greenhouse :: Spirea :: This is Why I have Eyelet Curtains and Wooden Windowsills :: Summer Read-Aloud #2, Charlotte's Web :: Growing :: Clothesline at Sunset :: I Would Hide there Too :: Washington Side of the Columbia River :: Sign of New Life

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bangs!

For most of her life, my baby has had one-length hippy-child hair. She has never been a big fan of wearing any kind of decoration in her hair, and pony tails and braids only last an hour or two before they are torn out and her hair is once again liberated.

But lately she has been wanting a change, so I begged my hairstylist and bribed her with blueberries to come visit us and work her magic.

A little backstory... I have curly hair. I was born with waves which turned into curls when I was in my early teens. Up until two years ago when I found Mychal through an extensive online search, I had never had a haircut that didn't result in tears and/or frustration. It is apparently difficult for most hairstylists to compensate for the temperamental nature of my individualistic hairs. So most of my adult life I have had long frumpy hair styles that didn't really feel like "me". She not only rescued my head from years of boredom, but has become my friend.

So it really didn't take that much convincing to get her out here with her adorable son and equally adorable baby bump.

And the results made my sweetie so very happy.
"Now our hair matches, Mama!"

Monday, July 13, 2015

Vignettes from an Antique Show

One of my favorite places to be is out looking at a thousand or so booths full of old things.

So much history. So much potential to add to an item's personal story.

And now, thanks to my smart phone (Moto X), I can capture little bits of the experience to share with you...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

First Annual Front Yard Concert

The new grass in the front yard wasn't quite established, but it was good enough to hold what is sure to be our First Annual front yard concert.

In cahoots with some friends, we hired a mutual friend who is a singer/songwriter that has some mad guitar-playing skills to come be our entertainment. We invited a small group of friends and family to come join us for a bring-your-own-meat-and-beverage potluck on our front porch.

I got to pull out the large collection of thrifted dinner and dessert plates that I've been accumulating for a few years now for just such an occasion, as well as all the cloth napkins and table cloths that I made for my 40th birthday BUNCO party. The Farmboy thought we should use paper goods, but even though it took me two days to do all the dishes, I will never regret the decision and fully intend to do it again! Sometimes its the little touches that make an event just *that* much more special.

Chris Stewart's performance was spot-on and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The kids ran and played and behaved themselves. There was ping-pong and marionberry cobbler and tiki torches and picnic blankets and laughter.

I wanted to immediately reverse the day and start over again.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A New Front Yard

Fifteen years ago, there was a brand new house sitting in the middle of what used to be a cow pasture, looking quite lonely. A Girl and her Farmboy worked very hard to create flower beds and split-rail fences and rock walls and grape arbors and outbuildings in order to lend a more established air to their new home.

And it worked. The place looked hospitable and welcoming.

And it took a LOT of work to maintain.

Then two children were born within two years and the whole place went to seed.

Fast-forward to a few years ago, and you would see that with the growing of the children, the Girl had more time to devote to the land and things were starting to look better again. But the old fence was falling apart and the grass was full of moss and clover and the Farmboy had had enough.

So they decided to set their hands to correcting the problem areas, and in so doing, also eliminate a good percentage of the maintenance work needed to keep the place up.

Part of the fence and several yards worth of flower beds were torn out and the grass was allowed to die. Then there was tilling and a sprinkler system was installed, there was leveling and fertilizing and planting of grass.
And then they waited.

And watered.
And waited some more.
And at last, green returned to their view, and they were very happy.