Friday, October 30, 2009

Best Friends

Jack calls Katie his best friend.

They give big hugs and kisses to each other daily.

Katie knew how to say "Ja" before she ever attempted to say "Mama".

I hope they stay this close for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Before the Colors Fade All Away

Peegee Hydrangea

Bigleaf Maple

Corn and Pineapple Sage

Wild Strawberry


Glory Bower

Oregon Grape

Monday, October 26, 2009

Winners! Do a Happy Dance!

While Random Generator #1 was busy drawing names for a Facebook winner, Random Generator #2 was looking out for you, my blog readers...

Winner #1 of the little sampler pillow (whose name was thrown back into the box before I could snap a photo, but NOT before I got a chance to read)... Melissa (Words and Blooms)!

And winner #2 of the chart of your choice... Michele!

Ladies, please contact me...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Free Chart... AND... a Giveaway!

I am so very thankful for you, my friends, family, and customers. As a little token of appreciation, here is a free chart for you to stitch up however you like (left click to open in full size, then right click and save to your computer):

Use your favorite Autumn colors and turn it into a pinkeep or wall hanging or whatever else your little heart desires. You may even make a small amount of them for resale, but please give credit to me as the designer.

I stitched mine on Weeks Dye Works 35 count Linen-colored linen, which I previously overdyed with walnut dye. I used a hand-overdyed orange for the pumpkins; the remaining colors are Weeks' Bullfrog, Whiskey, Chestnut, Pecan, and Raspberry.

See how I made it into a little needle book? It was really easy and came together in one afternoon.

There is a little pouch inside for scissors and floss.

And now for the Giveaway... Please excuse the horrid color shading in these photos, it is a wet and gloomy day outside, and the compact flourescent bulbs in my kitchen turn everything orange. I have attempted to doctor the photos so that you can see the true colors, but they are still a bit off.

Anyway, I used a piece from a Williamsburg fabric panel, which contains a dozen or so little sampler prints...

I backed it with a brown cotton print and filled it with bits and scraps and dried lavender (mmmm... smells SO nice!) for a nice little primitive lumpy pillow.

It would work nicely as a pinkeep if you so desire, but would also be very sweet just propped up in a cupboard or old wooden bowl.

To enter your name in the drawing, simply leave a comment on this post, and be sure that I have a means to contact you, should you be the happy winner.

My random generators will draw a name on Monday morning, October 26, West Coast time.

And if you happen to be a fan of Heartstring Primitives on Facebook, head over there for a second opportunity to enter a drawing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oh, to be Her!

I could really use a nap right now.

New Pretties in my Etsy Shop!

Yesterday I got busy and listed several new items in my etsy shop... some jewelry pieces and two brand new papercuttings. I will continue to add more besides just patterns over the next month in preparation for the Christmas holiday, so check back often to see what's new...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More Detour-ing

Still working away at my hooked rug- I think I must be very slow at it... I feel like I should be done by now! I'm sure that there are many factors working against me. I have never taken a class or even SEEN rug-hooking taking place, I am just doing it how I think it is supposed to be done, much in the way that I imagine it was done years ago. I am hooking on a burlap coffee bag, which is uneven and course. And I am hooking without the benefit of a frame; call me crazy, but I stitch "in-hand", and although I tried using a big quilting hoop in the beginning, decided that I much prefer to hook "in-hand" as well.

Here is my progress at the end of the weekend:

And after the last two evenings, this is what it looks like this afternoon:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Not Your Mama's Pumpkin Bread

I have tried quite a few pumpkin bread recipes, always ending up with a similar good, but not remarkable product. Don't get me wrong, I love pumpkin in just about anything, and those sweet, cake-y breads are certainly yummy. But what I really want is a pumpkin bread that is tasty AND nutritious. The following recipe I adapted from this one, which was adapted from this one.

Now for the Beth version...

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

2 c. flour
2 c. brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 c. wheat bran

1 c. raw, hull-less pumpkin seeds

2 c. pumpkin puree (instructions follow)
1 c. oil
2 whole eggs
3 egg whites
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two loaf pans.

Using a whisk, combine all dry ingredients, then stir in 2/3 cup of the pumpkin seeds.

In separate bowl, combine all liquid ingredients.

Gently stir wet and dry ingredients together, just until combined.

Pour into loaf pans. Sprinkle batter with the remaining pumpkin seeds.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let sit for 10 minutes, then turn out of pans onto a cooling rack or cutting board.

Cut a slice, spread it with butter, and eat it piping hot! Oh me, oh my... YUM!

Now, for the puree... I don't use store-bought pumpkin puree anymore, not since I discovered how easy and CHEAP it is to make it up myself. And have you heard that there will be a shortage of canned pumpkin this year? I have been told to stock up now, because there is a good chance that come holiday season, there will be none left on the grocery store shelves.

Choose a nice, ripe pie pumpkin from your local farmers market, grocery store, or garden. Cut the stem end out, then cut entire pumpkin in half.

Remove guts, saving the seeds to roast for another tasty snack (clean, toss with seasonings and roast at 250 until browned, stirring every 15 minutes to keep from burning and sticking).

If your pumpkin is reasonably sized, simply place the gutted pumpkin halves on a baking sheet and roast at 350 for about an hour, or until all of the flesh is tender. If you have a huge pumpkin, such as some of mine, you may need to quarter it and roast it in batches.

Let your roasted pumpkin cool a tad, so that it can be handled without scalding your fingers. Scoop the softened flesh out into a blender and puree until smooth (careful, if the flesh is still hot, it will spew out of even the most tightly sealed compartments once those blades start going... I like to put a thick kitchen towel over the top of my blender and hold it in place around the outside with my hands), adding water if it is too thick and not mixing well.

Divide the puree into freezer containers or ziplock bags. Seal, label, and store for use throughout the winter. I had hoped to can my puree this year, but discovered that it is not adviseable for pumpkin to be home-canned due to its low acidity, and high possibility of growing icky bacterias that will make you very, very sick.

I hope you'll let me know if you try this recipe out. I want to know what you think!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our Anniversary Tree

Each year, we take a photo in front of our Anniversary Tree, a Northern Red Oak that we planted 11 years ago in the front yard. To see previous posts regarding this tree that is so special to us, click here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pumpkin Love

Who needs to go visit a pumpkin patch when you can go outside and hug your very own pumpkin any old time?
Katie thinks her pumpkin is a drum.

Jack knows that God makes the fruits and vegetables to grow. He also thinks that God is the one who made this particular pumpkin to grow WITH his name on it. We haven't corrected him.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I was struck, when editing the photos from my Sunday walk, just how many of the items I captured were reminiscent of a wagon wheel. Radiating spokes of petal, leaf, filament, from a central point.