Friday, June 17, 2016


Here I am again with a chart correction, this time for the "O is for Old Glory" design.

I neglected to put symbols at the top of the shield for the stars. You can leave them un-stitched if you want, but on the model I used the same "white" as I used for the eagle's head and stripes at the bottom of the shield.

A note about the "white" used. It is charted for "Caramel Corn", but it has been pointed out that some batches of that color are quite "tan". A good substitute if you want a brighter "white" would be to use The Gentle Art's "Parchment" in place of the "Caramel Corn".

Friday, June 10, 2016

*NEW* O is for Old Glory: The Alphabet Series #1

I didn’t originally intend this to be the beginning of a series. It was simply a patriotic design idea that I loved. But as I sat stitching it, my mind began to wander and in a matter of minutes I had ideas for at least half of the alphabet. Why not? I asked myself. And the answer was a resounding Go for It!

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:

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 choose to finish your pieces as pincushions or ornaments for an alphabet tree. The options are multiple; use your creativity!

Stitch Count: 76 x 70
Model stitched with one thread over two on Picture This Plus 32ct. Ale

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

Frame by Signed and Numbered: 6” Circle Opening Super Vintage Navy

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:

*NEW* Coffee Saves Lives: The Magical Elixir Series, Part I

A playful take on the classic Adam & Eve style of sampler, this design includes a coffee tree tended by a very caffeinated couple, with their magic bean plantation in the background. And, instead of a flower border, there are coffee cherries and beans as well as two rather large flowers (lower left) with coffee beans for centers. The words "COFFEE SAVES LIVES" are included with the alphabets. But the final touch? A giant basket of doughnuts. Heaven, I tell you.

There has never been a time that I haven’t loved coffee. Even as a young kid who wasn’t allowed to drink it, I lived for mornings at my Grandma’s house, where that lovely aroma was the first thing I smelled each day. My parents have never been coffee drinkers, so it was a rare and special treat to watch the ritual of sipping and enjoying the dark elixir made from magical beans.

My ability to drink caffeine has been severely altered in the past several years, but that doesn’t stop me. Decaf isn’t quite as tasty, but it really has never been about the energy boost, nor about the addiction to the caffeine. Purely and simply, I am addicted to the ritual that a hot cup of black coffee brings to my day. First thing in the morning is most important, but I find myself turning to it at any time of the day to bring me back to center focus and make my whole being happy.

This lovely beverage (dark and black, please, with nothing added except perhaps ice on a hot day) is going to be the focus of a new series I’ve titled “The Magical Elixir”. I’m not sure yet how many designs, and what the timing of their releases will be, but I already have ideas for three, and like odd numbers, so perhaps five when all told, so they can create a nice grouping in your kitchen or dining room or wherever it is that you enjoy your morning cup of joy.

Stitch Count: 195 x 195
Model stitched with one thread over two on R & R Reproductions' 32ct. Winter Brew

Stitches used: Counted Cross Stitch, Eyelet, French Knot

Weeks Dye Works: Palomino, Cocoa, Grasshopper
The Gentle Art: Dark Chocolate, Apple Cider, Caramel Corn,
Pecan Pie, Ruby Slipper
Classic Colorworks: Hazelnut

Conversion to DMC included with chart.

Frame by Signed and Numbered: New Cottage Style Vintage Dark Wood Tone
This frame is a custom size and can be ordered on etsy:

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:

Thursday, June 09, 2016


I am struggling to figure out where in the world all of those gorgeous days of May went. The past month was a blur of science fairs, grass growing way too quickly, recitals, field days, hair cuts, flowers bursting out in bloom, dental appointments, deck quotes, swimming lessons, the Oregon Primary, jam making, and concentrating hard on finishing the school year as far ahead as possible.

Not to mention all of the regular stuff we do. Designing, filling orders, laundry, church, band practices sometimes twice a week (church band and the just-for-fun band), volunteering for the local food pantry, groceries, cleaning house, hosting fellowship group, did I mention laundry? It's no wonder I have grey hairs cropping up all over my crown.

I spent three long years not feeling well most of the time and struggling to just make dinner each night. Now I'm fully restored and burning the candle at both ends, it would seem.

Today is our last day of official school work, tomorrow is an all-school field trip to a local amusement park to play and turn in our loaner lap tops. And then... ah... the freedom of Summer! We have our first read aloud all ready to go (the Hobbit), and the Summer Vacation Rules are posted on the refrigerator, with a Summer to-do list in the works. My toenails have been painted and the picnic quilt is waiting by the door. We. Are. Ready.

When you come to the picture of the really, really, really, delicious chocolates, you're going to be wanting some for yourself. Scroll back up and click here to be redirected to the web site where you can learn all about them. They were a gift from one of my lovely customer friends, and I think you all need to discover them as well.

Friday, May 27, 2016


***Re-posting of my 5/23/16 chart correction, but UPDATED 5/27/16 to clarify some mis-understanding: please read, even if you already saw the original post***

There are no missing pages. There is no chart recall or chart re-issue.
The inner grid on the basket (where Parchment is charted) and the entire flag pole (where Old Hickory is charted) should both be stitched with Pecan Pie.

So sorry for the mistake!

Any charts purchased directly from me starting 5/23 will be completely correct, but the charts already sold to distributors, shops, and direct sales will have the error.

When I first started designing Grand Old Flag, it had another portion to it that also included Pecan Pie and I had decided to incorporate it into the basket and bouquet while I was stitching it, but forgot to alter the chart. Later, when I simplified the pattern and removed the other portion to avoid having a drum that was entirely too big, I completely missed that I hadn't put in all of the correct colors.

I do think that it will still look great if stitched the way the first batch of charts came out, but if you want it to look just like the model, you will need to make the simple change listed above.

Oh, and FYI... the portion that I removed will be released next month as the first installment in a brand new alphabet series. It is called, "O is for Old Glory".

Saturday, May 21, 2016

2015-16 School Photos

Our new school is a web-based charter and therefore a large percentage of its students don't go to campus for classes like we do. Classes on campus are optional and are mostly electives. We only live eight miles away, so we're there every time the doors are open (two days a week).

One down-side that I didn't realize until too late was the fact that they don't bother to bring in an official photographer for school pictures, since most of their students are off site.

Which made me really sad, since I've always wanted to fill in one of those frames that holds all of the school year pictures over the course of a kids' education. You know the ones, right?

So what did I do? I bought some lights and a backdrop and did it myself! I wish I had done it sooner so it showed what they looked like at the beginning of the school year, but at least it's done, and now I have the means to keep doing it in future years.

And if I do say so myself, they turned out pretty darn good.

Friday, May 20, 2016


"Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created."

-Esther 4:14

Monday, May 16, 2016


I've heard about it for a long time, but never had motivation to give it a try.

Until my trip to Nashville and hanging out with Paulette Stewart and two of her lovely girls. We face-swapped and I laughed until I cried.

The Farmboy thinks it is the most ridiculous thing pretty much ever, and his son isn't too far removed from sharing this sentiment, but the girlie and I can't seem to stop playing with it and laughing our silly heads off.

If your life is too serious or stressful, and if you have a smart phone, you really need to get this app so you can make silly faces and laugh at yourself.

Thought you might like to see some of our favorites. Or not. Whatever. I'm going to post them anyway (grin).

Friday, May 13, 2016


"People will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel."

-Maya Angelou

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

*NEW* Grand Old Flag Pin Drum

Drum roll please...

(tee hee, couldn't resist)

Introducing... my very first pin drum! I've never constructed one before, so it was a relief that it turned out on the first try... whew.
“You’re a Grand Old Flag”, is a patriotic march, written by George M. Cohan for his 1906 musical, "George Washington, Jr." The lyric came from an encounter Cohan had with a Civil War veteran who fought at Gettysburg. The two men found themselves next to each other and Cohan noticed the vet held a carefully folded but ragged old flag. The man reportedly turned to him and said, “She’s a grand old rag”. Many individuals and groups objected to his original version calling the flag a “rag”, so the lyrics were changed.

The song was first publicly performed February 6, 1906, and quickly became the first song from a musical to sell over a million copies of sheet music. A portion of the words go like this...

There’s a feeling comes a-stealing,
And it sets my brain a-reeling,
When I’m list’ning to the music of a military band.
Any tune like “Yankee Doodle”
Simply sets me off my noodle,
It’s that patriotic something that no one can understand.

You’re a grand old flag,
You’re a high-flying flag,
And forever in peace may you wave.
You’re the emblem of the land I love,
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev’ry heart beats true
‘Neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there’s never a boast or brag.
But should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

Finish it simply, with a solid back and stitched front, stitch the bouquet twice so that your drum looks the same from either side, or follow my pdf tutorial to finish it patchwork-style (tutorial can be found by clicking on the "tutorials" tab at the top of my blog).

The chart includes a full alphabet and number set for customization.

Stitch Count: 62 x 71

Model stitched with one thread over two on Picture This Plus 32ct. Ale
Total size needed: 12 x 8

Using The Gentle Art threads: Brethren Blue, Parchment, Old Hickory, Endive, Piney Woods, Ruby Slipper

Conversion to DMC included.

Materials needed to finish Pin Drum:
2 feet “Vintage” Rick Rack from Lady Dot Creates.
Two 5x5 pieces of quilting cotton, your choice.
One 4x4 piece of fabric to patch bottom.
Optional 5x3 piece of fabric to create scissor pocket.
Crushed walnut shells or other filler of choice.

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:

Here's what the backside will look like if you choose to follow my tutorial:

And stay tuned! I have another small patriotic design that I had hoped to release at the same time, but will have to wait until the frame arrives, hopefully very soon!

Monday, May 09, 2016

Mother's Day

This one. The boy that was the first person to ever call me Mama. The ten year old that is already over five feet tall and can knock me over with his exuberant hugs. The kid that still holds my hand in public. He has my whole heart. I truly wish you could all know him. He is the sweetest, kindest boy you will ever meet.

And oh, this girl. The daughter I was scared to have, but that completed my heart in a way I never imagined. The eight year old that still curls up in my lap every time she gets a chance. This happy living bubble of joy. She has my whole heart. I truly wish you could all know her. She is the most delightful, kind-hearted girl you will ever meet.

And can I just say that those crinkles around my eyes must be because these kids make me smile so much. I'm certainly not old enough to be showing this much age, am I? That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.

For Mother's Day this year, we did something we've never done before... a family art project. I've had some stepping stone kits in my shopping cart on amazon for well over a year, and finally pulled the trigger, telling my family that they didn't have a choice. This is what I wanted to do for Mother's Day. Farmboy even gave me a bit of an eye roll.

But afterward? He's a total convert, loved every second, and can I just say that he's got quite the artist hiding out in that handsome head of his?
Kits were purchased from, made by two different companies; we used this one, this one, and this one. Even though one of the kits was missing its bag of glass pieces, we still had enough for four stones with a lot left over. The molds are re-usable, and I can't wait to make more!