Tuesday, February 02, 2016

*NOW AVAILABLE* Handprint on My Heart

Last year at this time, the members of Dyeing to Stitch's Ladies' Prim Society club received the kit for this design and started posting photos of their progress and finishes online. I have been getting requests from you all ever since, and now that the one-year exclusive status is past, get to offer it to you along with my other charts that are available for anyone to purchase.
Some people enter our lives for a short time, but leave a lasting impression. Others stay with us for a long time, but are taken from life too soon, and we hold onto the memory of times we shared. I imagine that the day when my babies move out of the house will be hard, and they certainly have left a handprint on my heart (as well as a few other places around the house).

With Valentine’s Day approaching, my thoughts turn to love, but not always romantic love. I wanted to create a design to fit the season, that could commemorate a lost love or be a reminder of someone still in our lives that had moved to a far away place, just as easily as it could be made to celebrate romance.

As I browsed for ideas, I came across the song “For Good” from the musical “Wicked”. It has a line that reads, “You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart”. I added the word “always”, some simple motifs and patterns, and stitched it with red thread, the color of strength and joy.

Pattern chart includes a full Initial-in-a-Heart alphabet so that you can customize your pincushion and scissor fob, as well as a full set of capital letters and numbers for customizing the back with your own initials and date.

Stitch Count: 114 x 64 (each side)
Model stitched with one thread over two on R&R Reproductions’ 32ct. Winter Brew

Using thread from Classic Colorworks: Cherry Cobbler, English Ivy

Recommended Additional Materials:
Green Wool: 2 ½ by 3 ½
½” Hug Snug Rayon Seam Binding “Tropic Wine”: 1 ½ yards

Pincushion filling of your choice

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Word About DMC Conversions

I completely understand that many of you prefer to stitch with DMC, either because it is easier to purchase or because it is much more economical for you. I am always available to create conversions for you for any of my designs, past or present. When there is space on the chart cover to include the conversion with the pattern, I often do so, but many times there simply isn't room without adding an additional page. In order to save on cost, I have opted to put in a note saying that a conversion is available upon request. I know that this requires an extra step for you to reach out and ask, but this is what I have found to work best, all things considered.

Many of my customers automatically ask for a DMC conversion to be included with their chart (when purchased directly from me). I am almost always prepared to do so immediately (brand new charts might take an extra day or two as I am busy processing new orders).

I hope that helps you to better understand why I do things the way I do!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

*Updated* *NEW* Sarah Boothman (a Faithfully Reproduced Antique Sampler)

*YIKES!* I was just reminded by my model stitcher that she wasn't able to finish the flowers in the lower right bouquet because she ran out of the Country Redwood. I managed to note on the chart that you will need 2 skeins, but I completely forgot to stitch those darn flowers before framing and photographing... and RELEASING IT to the public!!! The flowers are there on the chart, the threads called for are correct; it is just the cover photo that is wrong. I'll add a picture of the antique to the bottom of this post for reference, but it might be a few days before I have time to add the stitches and re-shoot the cover photo.

**A few of you have asked... the large motif at the bottom center of the sampler is a BUTTERFLY (or perhaps a large moth)!
When I found this charming and naïve sampler in an online auction I didn’t pay much attention to the dimensions of the framed piece. When it arrived from across the pond (England), I was shocked at the size of the box. It was only upon pulling it out of its packaging that I realized that it was stitched on coarse homespun linen. The nearest I could find on the market is a lovely soft 20 count linen put out (thankfully) by Weeks Dye Works.

Finished size when stitched on this count is a generous 20 by 23, and stitched with just one thread over two as was done on the original. This might test all of your sensibilities as a stitcher, but I promise you won’t be disappointed! The finished reproduction is almost mistakable as the original.

As was done on the antique sampler, some of the called for threads are wool, while the bulk of the stitches are with cotton. If you don’t want the experience of cross-stitching with wool, feel free to convert to the same color name in cotton by The Gentle Art. The look will be slightly different, but overall effect will be the same.

Stitch Count: 182 x 224
Model stitched with 1 thread over 2 (yes!) on Weeks Dye Works’ 20ct. Straw

Using flosses from Classic Colorworks: Wilderness

And from The Gentle Arts’ Wool Collection: Midnight, Black Crow, Barn Grey, Cidermill Brown, Apple Cider, Roasted Marshmallow, Endive, Ruby Slipper

And from The Gentle Arts’ Cotton Collection: Country Redwood (2 skeins), Brandy, Antique Rose, Pomegranate, Lexington Green, Mountain Mist, Old Hickory, Caramel Corn, Endive

And from Weeks Dye Works: Fathom, Kudzu, Sweet Potato

Conversion to DMC available on request.

The frame was found at a thrift store and refinished by me.

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

A photo of the antique (They are so large that I just couldn't make a good photo for the cover that included them both)...

Friday, January 08, 2016

In January

The new year comes, grey and cold.

I love the still months after the holidays, when the earth is sleeping, saving up energy for April. No long lists of gifts to buy, traditions to maintain, people to see.

January is when I get to take a deep breath.

Corners get dusted that grew a few too many dust bunnies during the busy season. Drawers and shelves and cubbies are freed from some of their hostages, kept for far too long. I have brain space to think, plan, strategize for the coming year.

It's all good, I tell you.

Farmboy yearns for Spring, itches for warmth and sun. But me? I like saving up energy along with the earth.
Greenhouse at Rest :: Backyard Conquerors :: Western Red Cedar :: Hidden Treasures :: Star Magnolia Bud :: Aim Carefully :: Lilac Buds :: Winter Sky :: Mourning Dove :: While She's Still Little :: Tiny Rainbow :: Most Winter Days in Oregon Look Like This

Thursday, December 31, 2015


Our Winter break was so full and doubly blessed in every way. It was the first time we were all completely healthy for the holidays in a few years, and we were so grateful. We celebrated the season with our dearest friends and our church family and just the four of us and again with each side of the family. It was way more busy than we like, but we wouldn't have missed one single event.

We had a slightly white Christmas, having been dusted with a few inches the day before. It always feels so much more festive inside when all outside is bright and glittery.
Chilly George :: All is Calm :: All is Bright :: Festive :: Happy :: Still :: LEGOs Win the Day :: Peek-a-Boo :: Woodland Friend :: Cousins :: And More Cousins :: Catnap :: Golden Light :: Farewell Old Year!

Monday, December 28, 2015

*EXPIRED* What You Really Wanted... a Year-Ending Sale

I hope you all had a really wonderful Christmas with your favorite people.

I hope your time was spent cherishing and enjoying the simple beauties of life.

I hope you had some relaxing and quiet moments to stitch on a favorite project.

I hope that if you exchanged gifts, you received and gave items that added delight to your life.

But if some or all of my wishes above were not fulfilled in your life this week, I offer you a year-ending sale so that at least your project bag for 2016 will contain something that you really want.

Go to my etsy shop and add whatever you want to your cart. If your order minimum is $10, and if you remember to enter the coupon code "WHATIREALLYWANTED" into the coupon code box when you check out (sorry, but I won't be able to add the discount after the fact if you forget), then you will get 25% off of your entire order.

I will not be processing any of the orders this week; they will be processed and shipped the first week of January.

Wishing you a peaceful week-after and a Happy New Year!

See you in January...

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Mama Got Macro

Several years ago, the Farmboy gave me a set of extension tubes for my then-camera, that allowed me to take macro images without the expense of a real lens.

They were a fun toy that I used off and on, but they were a bit tricky to work with, and usually the photos fell short of what I wanted. I haven't said a word to him about wishing I had a better option for macros in the years since then, so imagine my surprise and delight when I opened my gift from him on Christmas morning and found the real thing (for curious minds, it's a Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8).

It isn't super high-powered, so don't expect close up images of snowflakes or insect eyeballs, but it is a wonder nontheless, and perfect for the things I have often wanted but couldn't get close enough to capture before.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Handmade Christmas

In the old days, before my design business really started to make me busy, I used to make gifts for almost everyone on my list each Christmas. This year I let myself off the hook, so to speak, realizing that I would only drive myself insane trying to get it all done while maintaining my work, my home, and did I mention I'm now homeschooling my kids three days a week?

But... there were two little exceptions this year. Two people were "blessed" with labors of my time.

For my Mama, a tray of glass bubble magnets, depicting the cute heads of her 12 grandbabies.

And for my sci-fi loving baby brother, who actually asked for interesting/odd things to put on his desk at work... a tin can pencil holder with a cross-stitched Star Trek: The Next Generation wrap (design by weelittlestitches on etsy). I changed up a few of the colors and added all of the gold stars to the background to help fill up the space needed to cover the can.
And now I might have to make a few more for next year, because there were some jealous people in the room when he opened it (the sci-fi gene is strong in this family).

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

All the Rest

More storms and power outages, the last classes of Fall semester, good friends, flooding in the valleys, Christmas books and Christmas ornament making and Christmas program at church. The month of December has been full and good in every way possible.

These two... always these two...