Wednesday, October 19, 2016

*NEW* H is for Holly: The Alphabet Series #3

As things usually go when being inspired by life rather than doing things in proper order, the third letter in my alphabet series is actually the 8th. But hopefully no one will complain too loudly (wink, wink). I wasn’t planning to make the next installment seasonal in any way, but I kept looking at that RED frame, and suddenly knew exactly what needed to go inside.

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.

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

Stitch Count: 80 x 80
Model stitched with one thread over two onDames of the Needle 32ct. Dirty Ewe

The Gentle Art: Endive, Piney Woods, Pecan Pie, Ruby Slipper
Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

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

Monday, October 17, 2016

*NEW* Do You Hear What I Hear? Stocking Ornament

For years now, I’ve been seeing such darling cross-stitched stocking ornaments being offered by others in the industry. I never intended to jump on the bandwagon and create my own, but have had enough requests now and a few encouraging nudges from some shop owners, so I decided to take the plunge. From there, it was just a matter of drawing a stocking shape that would be similar enough to match other stockings that you’ve collected, but unique enough to be my own and not a copy. Figuring out the stitch area didn’t take too much trial and error, and the inspiration for the overall design came to me in an instant.

I’ve always loved the Christmas carol “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Written in 1962 by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Decades later, that particular crisis is over, replaced by multiple other dangerous and violent situations around the world. The message is still as valid today as it was then, “Pray for peace, people everywhere”.

This ornament is intended to last through the whole winter, not just the Christmas season. I hope you enjoy it. And if you, like me, have never finished a tiny little stocking, You Can Do It! It really wasn’t as difficult as I imagined, and I think I’m hooked. I am fully on the stocking ornament bandwagon now, so look out world!

Stitch Count: 50 x 100
Model stitched with one thread over two and one thread over one
on R & R Reproductions’ 35ct. Heartstring Blend

Using thread from The Gentle Art:
Gold Leaf, Cinnamon, Buttermilk, Piney Woods, Ruby Slipper

Conversion to DMC included.

Recommended Additional Materials:
1 fat quarter of co-ordinating cotton fabrics

Fusible interfacing or webbing of your choice

Reserve three 12” lengths of floss for creating the braided stocking loop:
1 Piney Woods
2 Ruby Slipper

This design is now available in my etsy shop, through the shops that are on my auto ship list, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

*NEW* In Everything

Several years ago, I released a free chart to my blog readers called, “Give Thanks”. I always liked that little design and the sewing pouch that I made from it, but something kept nagging at me whenever I looked at it. As I sat and reflected one afternoon, I realized that what that old free chart needed was a companion piece that finished the saying, “In Everything”. It could easily go either way, “In Everything, Give Thanks” or “Give Thanks In Everything”.

Instead of releasing the “In Everything” pincushion all alone, I decided to officially print and include “Give Thanks” with every purchase. You will still be able to go to my blog and download the free chart, but it will also be added in with every copy of this pin cushion, along with some basic instructions for how to make the little sewing pouch.

The two charts could also be combined into one to make a long saying, could be turned into a two-sided pin cushion, or both as individual pin cushions, or framed, or… so many variations. Use your imagination! And as you stitch, join me in pondering what it means to be truly thankful IN EVERYTHING.

In Everything:
Model stitched with one thread over two
on R&R Reproductions’ 35ct. Heartstring Blend
Stitch Count: 104 x 49

Give Thanks:
Model stitched with one thread over two
on Weeks Dye Works’ 35ct. “Linen”
which was walnut stained before stitching.
Stitch Count: 94 x 48

Both models were stitched using threads from
The Gentle Art: Mulberry, Piney Woods
Weeks Dye Works: Pecan, Chestnut, Whiskey, Autumn Leaves

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Materials needed to finish pin cushion and sewing pouch:
“Toast” Chenille trim from Lady Dot Creates.
Narrow strip of felted wool or rick rack.
A button, needle and thread.
Assorted small pieces of quilting cotton in coordinating prints.
Crushed walnut shells or other filler of choice.

This design is now available in my etsy shop, through the shops that are on my auto ship list, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Reading Books

Reading aloud, reading to self, reading on a Kindle, reading from a page, listening in the car... so much reading took place over the Summer.

Kiddo One has always been a good reader, but didn't really start to enjoy chapter books until the discovery of the Redwall series in 2nd grade.

Kiddo Two was later to bloom as a reader, and just this Summer has begun to stick with a chapter book once picking it up. Before, she bounced around from book to book, reading a chapter here and there. Beverly Cleary and Laura Ingalls Wilder, with some attempts at Harry Potter (during the long months when we were listening to the series as audiobooks in the car) but mostly she indulged in plenty of picture books.

He's currently reading through the Artemis Fowl series, while dabbling in Garfield, TinTin, and other graphic novels. I've just put the book Dream Thief (Lawhead) into his hands while we wait for the next in his series to come in to the library, hoping a little foray into sci-fi might grab his interest.

She is fully involved in the Little House on the Prairie series, finally working her way through the same set that I collected as a grade schooler. I love the conversations we have, chatting about the characters and events with shared interest. Oh, how I love those tales.

Together, we finished listening to the Harry Potter series (Rowling), then moved straight into The Hobbit (Tolkien). We had a brief break while waiting for The Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien), to come in (we are now more than halfway through; yay for my kids finally understanding why I have to keep biting my tongue every time we watch the movies!), so we listened to most of The Jungle Book (Kipling). Those hours spent in the car while running errands are so fun now that we've branched out into audiobooks. The kids are always clamoring for more drives into town, more errands (what!?), because it will mean more listening to great narrators telling even greater stories.

As for read-alouds, we finished last Summer's final book, then made it through a few more that were new to me as well as to the kids.

Pigs Might Fly (King-Smith)
The One and Only Ivan (Applegate)
Freak the Mighty (Philbrick)

We are now about halfway through Alice in Wonderland (Carroll).

And now, for some random reading-related photos. Even if it isn't obvious right away, each and every one of the photos does indeed contain either a book or a reading kid.

Friday, September 16, 2016

*NEW* In the Garden

I’ve returned to the Garden of Eden for another look at life when it was quite literally perfection. Just how the Creator wanted it to be. Before the Snake entered the scene with temptation and our weak human nature ruined it all by listening to that wily deceiver.

In other designs, I’ve placed Adam and Eve inside a giant bouquet of flowers (Permit Me Not to Stray), on a coffee plantation (Coffee Saves Lives), and surrounded them with every creature imaginable (His Eye is on the Sparrow), but this one I kept quite simple. Just the original Parents of our race along with the Tree of Life, some other exotic plants, a lovely Peacock perched up high to inspect it’s surroundings, and inevitably, that sneaky devil of a serpent.

My colors and size were chosen specifically to fit into the lid of one of Lone Elm Lane’s sewing boxes, and the thread palette to compliment her "Herb" color. I can’t say enough just how much I love how it turned out, and I know you will too.

Having said that, I realize that not all of you want or need another box. So please feel free to interpret this as a pincushion (choose a higher count linen or it will be too big), as a cupboard hanger, or even as a small pillow for your stitching chair. Please have fun with this design and customize it to suit your own style. I’ve included an alphabet and number set so you can add your own initials and date.

Stitch Count: 111 x 81
Model stitched with one thread over two
on Dames of the Needle 32ct. Dirty Ewe

Using thread from Classic Colorworks:
Peanut Brittle, Honeycomb

And from The Gentle Art:
Brethren Blue, Old Red Paint, Chamomile,
Woodrose, Pecan Pie

And from Weeks Dye Works:
Dolphin, Oscar, Red Rocks

Conversion to DMC included.

Sewing box by Lone Elm Lane:
8x10 Cabin Box (6x8 design area) in Vintage Herb

This design is now available in my etsy shop, through the shops that are on my auto ship list and that purchased it during the Harvest Market Hop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Rest of Summer

Concerts in our small-town forest park, concerts in a well-populated city park, sleeping alone in the guest room because the mattress is firm and doesn't hurt my back, scavenger hunts, a heat wave, watering the plants and then watering some more, charting samplers, working out bass lines, visiting the duck pond with Grandpa and Grandma, front yard picnics, apples in the orchard, the kids and I soaking in as much of our Summer break as one can while being an invalid.

It was a beautiful season, no matter the circumstances. We are continually talking about being thankful in all times, no matter what. When things look bad, we start to count our blessings. It sounds a bit trite, I know, but through my Adrenal Fatigue a few years back, and now the pain of a herniated disc, piriformis syndrome and sciatica, I really have relied on the discipline of thankfulness to keep me positive and yes, even content.

By the grace of God,

"all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." -Julian of Norwich
My apologies for the following, if you're not a fan of needles... I wanted to include this picture for my own memory, plus its pretty fun that my needle ankle tattoo has needles around it.
It would seem that we have been adopted by another black cat. This handsome fella has been hanging around for a few months now, growling and yowling at our permanent felines, Freaky and Strange, but the two elderly fellows have decided to tolerate this new youngster, if at a distance. Socks, as he has been named by the youngest Twist, sneaks meals from the open and always full cat food dish, drinks from the freshly circulated water in the fish pond, and hangs out every evening below the bird feeder. We've been trying to lure him closer with quiet gentle words and have worked up to him not bolting every time we open the door. He regards us with suspicion and won't let us get within six yards, but he lets us talk.