Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

Life is...

...not always easy, but...

"There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle." 
- attributed to Albert Einstein
 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Lately

One day getting sunburnt, the next bundling up in layers because it's downright chilly out.

Sunshine, rain, hail, in quick succession.

This is Spring in our part of Oregon... At least we haven't had any late snowfalls this year.

It is turning so green outside that it sometimes hurts my eyes. Glowing shades of the brightest chartreuse with flowers, flowers, flowers everywhere. Cherry blossoms and dogwood and lilacs and the bulbs springing from the ground. The earth has waited long enough and all of that saved up energy is bursting into the air, leaving behind a dusting of pollen on every surface.

He wants to eat the double blooms on the flowering cherry because they look like cotton candy... She breathes them in so deeply that they tickle her nostrils and make her laugh.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New Mug Design!

You guys! I made up a new mug design! I'm super excited that Costco has expanded their mug line to include color options AND that they now have a 15 ounce size in addition to the 11 ounce mug they already carried.

I've just listed the digital file for Cross Stitch Nation in my etsy shop. As before, this is the IMAGE ONLY, so that you can go to the establishment of your choice to have mugs made.

I spent a few hours online trying desperately to find a good source so that I can stock these and have readily available as a finished mug, but there are just no good options for me. I am very willing to special order finished mugs to be sent directly to you, so don't hesitate to ask. I just don't have room to stock the huge order quantities that most of the wholesale companies require.

As before, with the other mug designs I've created, you can either purchase the graphic through my etsy shop for $5 and take it to your own place to have made into as many mugs as you want (for your personal use or for gifts only please), or you can order completed mugs by contacting me via email (beth@heartstringsamplery.com).

If you choose to order a finished mug directly through me, and you live in the continental USA, your total will be $20 for the 11 oz., or $24 for the 15 oz., which will cover the mug plus all shipping fees and tax. Color options for handle/interior are red, black, blue, or white. If you live outside the US, please contact me directly and I will work up a quote based on shipping to where you live.

These would be perfect for Birthday gifts, or a happy day surprise for someone, or for YOURSELF, to enjoy while you stitch.



Friday, April 08, 2016

Reading Styles

We all have a preference, don't we?

Some have readily made the switch to reading electronically without looking back.

Others will never, ever give up their love of turning pages.

I'm somewhere in the middle. I prefer pages, but have found that I fit a lot more book-reading into my life when I have the freedom of picking up my phone and flipping to the Kindle app no matter where I am. The result is that although I've always historically been a one-book-at-a-time person, I now usually have two going; one bound and with a cover, the other made up of pixels and light.

Scratch that, I usually have three going... we like to listen to audio books in the car.


My kids... well, pretty obvious where they fall. How about you?
My current books:
Bram Stoker's Dracula (this edition)
Marcus Sakey's Brilliance (via the Kindle app)
J.K. Rowling's Order of the Phoenix (audio book)

What she's reading:
C.S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew

What he's reading:
J.K. Rowling's The Deathly Hallows

Sunday, April 03, 2016

First Firepit

After last Summer's ban on fires (which started in late June), our firepit was extremely neglected and in need of an overhaul. The ground is sand, which means the weeds pull up rather easy, but also means that they germinate profusely. You could hardly tell where yard ended and sand begun.
I usually tackle this project manually, pulling the weeds by hand. But the severity of the weed problem required that I call in the big guns.
The farmboy rearranged some boulders and scraped the surface with his tractor bucket, helped rake it out, then left me to my devices to finish pulling all the unwelcome guests up by their roots.

Don't let the following photo fool you. These two are still pretty worthless when it comes to weeding. But I did make them return the wheelbarrow and tools to their homes once I was done. 
One sunburnt back (really? on April 2? guess I should know my complexion better by now.) and a collection of very tired and sore muscles later, she was returned to her former glory.
And with the promise of an evening that would remain unseasonably warm, we kicked back and enjoyed to our heart's content.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

First Crush

I always want to remember her like this... new batch of freckles across her nose, both proud of her drawing and embarrassed to show that it is of "Legolus", who she loves with all 8 years of her heart.

We've been watching through the J.R.R. Tolkien movies, first the Hobbit trilogy, then the Lord of the Rings set. My three all know that I'm the local expert on all things Tolkien and regularly ask questions about whether or not something is in the books, or for clarification on what/why something is happening. I can hardly wait to read through the books with the kids (up next after we finish the Harry Potter series).

This girl was shocked and so, so, SO sad to find out that Legolas Greenleaf wasn't actually a character in The Hobbit. I like to think that if Tolkien had known about Orlando Bloom, he would have written him into every single one of his books, just to make the girls of America sigh with happiness.

As I tucked her into bed last night, she whispered and giggled in my ear that she also likes Aragorn. And just to make her laugh, I told her that I thought Gandalf was the most handsome. "Really?" she squealed, laughing until she had tears in her eyes. "But I thought you loved Daddy!"

Friday, April 01, 2016

Life is...

...a story. Every single one is worth the telling.
 

*NEW* Cross Stitch Nation

During my recent trip to Nashville for the yearly cross-stitch Market, I went to a writer’s round to hear some local songwriters performing their original music. I was able to meet them before the show (it was a very un-crowded venue, and one of the writers was a childhood friend). Apparently, they found the reason I was in town to be intriguing, because there was an impromptu rendition of one of their songs mid-way through the evening, that included a reference to the Cross Stitch Nation. I knew immediately that I needed to use that phrase in a design.

Consider this our very own stitched anthem, to be displayed proudly above your stitching chair or on your sewing room door:  I belong to the Cross Stitch Nation.

I realize that although I created a few different body types and hair colors, I didn’t represent the demographics of our nation very well in that all of the people have pale skin. Please feel free to customize one or all of the skin/hair combinations to reflect you and your local stitching group, or online stitching bffs. I did it that way to keep the color palette simple, but would love to see what variations you bring to your version of this design.


Stitch Count: 200 x 83
Model stitched with one thread over two
on Silkweaver 32ct. Wexford “Midas’ Touch”

Weeks Dye Works:
Charlotte’s Pink, Fathom, Red Rocks

The Gentle Art:
Endive, Lambswool, Mountain Mist, Mustard Seed, Picnic Basket

Classic Colorworks:
Eggshell, Hazelnut, Muddy Puddle

Conversion to DMC included,
as well as an alphabet and number set for customization.

The frame was found at a thrift store.

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