Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nine

It keeps happening. I can't stop him from growing up.

I positively adore the young man that my little boy is becoming. He is thoughtful, smart, funny, gives the biggest squeezy hugs a Mom could ask for, and tells me daily how glad he is that I'm his Mama. I love the way he looks after and plays with his Sister, and I thoroughly enjoy watching him interact with his Daddy in an ever-growing-up way.

This year, I have taken on being his Math teacher (he is otherwise still fully public-schooled, and he has begun taking guitar lessons. He loves to play Minecraft and Little Big Planet and all things Mario. He reads avidly and wishes with all of his heart for his own bow to learn archery with.

He sleeps on the top bunk and his favorite color is blue.

Today, he turns nine years old.

My boy, my heart.

Hi There

Wow... I can't believe I've been gone from this blog for so long. It has been a marathon few weeks around here.

The illness that I had Thanksgiving week turned out to be a walking pneumonia virus. I dodged the pneumonia part by guzzling large quantities of a concoction similar to this. But the kids were not so fortunate. Both ended up missing two weeks of school, and we are just now finally having cough-less nights.

I've been slowly but surely getting caught up on the backlog of chores around here, which allows me to squeak in a note to you. I hope you're all doing well and enjoying this holiday season... I'll be back tomorrow (I hope) with a blast of photos taken in the recent past. Just so we can feel somewhat caught up before Christmas, you know.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Birthday Sale Update #2

Well, my lovely customers, I did not anticipate two things...

one, the duration of the fever that kept me down for FOUR days (my birthday and Thanksgiving included), and two, the quantity of orders I would receive.

I am now officially out of cover stock and must wait for a delivery to finish printing orders. I will send out what I can on Monday, but unfortunately, most of your orders won't be ready to mail until at least Wednesday next week.

I apologize with every particle of my still in recovery-mode-being if you were counting on a quicker arrival. I have now made an official note to self: "Do not run a sale without first checking your temperature and making sure you have more supplies than you think you need!"

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Today...

No matter where you are, or who you are with (or not with)... 


I wish you full hearts

and laughter,

bone-deep contentment

and hope for a tomorrow better than today.

 Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sale Follow-Up

Wow! Thank you everyone for your overwhelming response to my Birthday Sale!

A couple things...

First, I ended up spending all of Monday and Tuesday on the couch with a fever of 102 (which is still lingering today, but so far is enough lower that at least I'm not dizzy sitting here at my computer!). So... your orders will most likely not go out until Friday at the earliest, and possibly not until Monday.

Secondly, there were a couple of orders that I noticed did not use the coupon code for their discount. It is possible that they were from people who weren't aware of the sale, but they also could have been from one of you that forgot to use the code. I don't have the energy to reach out to each of you individually, so if you think you may have forgotten, please go back and check your order, then send me an email with the order number to let me know. That way I can refund the sale percentage amount to you.

Now, go enjoy your families and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Birthday Sale!

Tomorrow is my birthday.
On November 25, 2014... I will officially be in my fourth decade.

Yep. Four-Oh.

Forty.

40.
And I honestly couldn't be happier about it! I like milestones, and this feels like a big one in all the right ways. Four decades of life experience under my belt, and likely at least four more to go (if I trend with most of my female ancestors). So that means I'm at my middle decade. Hows that for sobering/invigorating? I've been reading a book called Pursue the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming. In the beginning, she asks "What kind of old lady do I want to be?" This feels like the right time to be thinking about such deep thoughts, and a good time to be able to change course if I need to.

And also a good time to offer a nice sale to all of you loyal readers. My birthday present to you, so to speak. If you spend a minimum of $10 in my etsy shop, you'll be able to enter the coupon code "40isthenew30" at checkout to get 40% off of your order. Starting right now, and ending at midnight tomorrow the 25th.

Happy shopping!

Monday, November 17, 2014

*NEW* Deeds of Kindness

I spotted the saying stitched onto this design on an antique sampler. I researched the words and found that they come from a poem by Julia A. Carney (1823-1908), titled “Little Things” which was published in 1845.

Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.

Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make our earth an Eden,
Like the heaven above.

I challenge you to stitch this little sampler up and hang it somewhere prominent so that it will be a daily reminder to spread kindness and love to those you come in contact with each day. You never know what they might be going through and how much your smile could impact their life.

Stitch Count: 157 x 102
Model stitched with one thread over two on Picture This Plus 28ct. Doubloon

Using The Gentle Art floss: 0460 Grecian Gold, 1111 Acorn, 7034 Gingersnap, 7041 Apple Cider

And Weeks Dye Works’ 2201 Moss

The lovely frame is an antique.

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

Friday, November 14, 2014

Glaze

This type of weather is usually reserved for January or February in our part of the world, but that arctic air that tampered with almost everyone's weather these past few days caused an early Silver Thaw at Hillside Farm.

It is treacherously beautiful out there; I almost twisted my ankle walking across our gravel driveway with the wheelbarrow full of firewood.

Everything looks shimmery and heavy and cold to the marrow.

As beautiful as it is, trust me when I say that ice days aren't nearly as much fun as snow days.
This sweet little Rufous Hummingbird and her rival/friend continue to linger, despite the cold. Since they like to perch on my clothesline so much (I assume due to its close proximity to the feeder), I've dubbed it my year-round, dual-purpose clothesline. There's not much chance I'll be using it for drying laundry any time soon, and I would have usually taken it down at least a month ago, but as long as they continue to perch in front of my kitchen window, it is going to stay up. Click on the picture to get a closer look.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Last Hurrah

The peak of our Autumn color season is here.

This doesn't mean endless expanses of orange-gold-red like you will find in other regions of the country. Rather, our ubiquitous verdant green becomes punctuated with a fireworks display of Autumn glory. Pockets of surprisingly brilliant color (enhanced by the shimmer of dew and rain) burst from an otherwise steady backdrop of conifer and grass (which has responded nicely to the early season rains by greening back up from the late Summer brown).

Fungus of all shapes and sizes spring happily up from every surface imaginable. I can't walk across any expanse without tripping over mini mushroom forests or large clustered communes.

The air smells of mist and damp and woodsmoke. If not careful, we slip and slide on the wet mossy and muddy ground. The clouds roll in and out, but mostly in, making the rare beams of sunshine feel like a hug from Heaven.

It is the last hurrah of this year's leaves, and they are doing their very best to make it a memorable end.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Themselves

Once again, we have made it through a busy October, finishing off with a day that so many associate with candy and costumes. And we are now no exception to the rule, we just choose to participate in a quite un-traditional manner.

Queen Elsa (Disney's Frozen) and Captain Kenway (pirate/adventurer) made appearances in classroom parties, then got freshened up for our Second-Annual Halloweaster Pinata Party.
Joined by their cousins, Super Spy Co2 and Queen Elsa the Second, they donned headlamps and sought treasures in the darkened front yard.
And thence traversed to the shop to hit at a dangling birthday present until it burst and let its contents fly about the room for gathering up.
And finally, before the grand counting of the loot commenced in the warmth of the fireside room, there were sparklers by the light of the moon, with remembrances of the festivities of July months past.
And once again, both sets of kids were so satisfied with the silly-fun-ness of our make-do holiday that they never once asked why they don't get to go door-to-door asking strangers for candy. And I call that a giant win for everyone.

Please know that I hold none of your traditions against you if you celebrate Halloween in the traditional manner. I might feel differently about it if we lived in a neighborhood of our own, but we don't, so this is what we do.

And now the story of the costumes... It was July, the day my girl and I were wandering the back aisle at our local Goodwill store. The day I heard her gasp so hard I thought she would suck all the air out of the room. The day she squealed in a not-very-her way "ELSA'S DRESS!!!". And sure enough, there it was, tucked into a section of passed-over prom dresses. Just my size, too, and at half price, only $7. Maybe I would be Elsa this year and let her dress up as Olaf... "Mama!" Okay, no... I guess not.
It sat in a pile on the floor of my sewing room for months before I finally brought myself to get out the scissors and cut all the extra length of satin from the bottom, but leaving the overlay of sparkly gauze to be her train. Then all it took was a few added hooks and eyes to cinch the back more tightly around her. Piece of cake.

The boy-child's costume was a bit more of a challenge, until I went back to the same Goodwill store and found the really ugly 1980's men's black leather coat for just $12. Out came the scissors again, cutting away sleeves and length to create his leather long-vest, and making him look much more tough than any 8 year old ought to look, who just dressed up as Sir Topham Hatt two years ago.
They were both thrilled completely with their costumes, and I was thrilled with the price tag. And the fact that they were two of the few represented in their classrooms that weren't wearing off-the rack getups. Score one more point for creativity!