Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Yeah. We sure know how to party.

Ginger cookies, peppermint tea, Burt's Bees, lots of lamp-light, and a good puzzle.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Free Chart for the New Year

As I have been busily overhauling my closets this week, I have found myself thinking of the upcoming year and all that it may hold. I am not one for making resolutions, but I do find that a fresh new year always inspires me to reflect and re-focus.

My heart has been both heavy and light, as I think about the ones I love and the trials and joys that they are experiencing right now. They are spread both far and near to me, family and friends that hold a special place in my heart. I love to reflect on the happy times that we have spent together.

Truly, the classic New Year song is fitting this year more than any other year for me. Have you ever read the words or discovered the roots of the song? Do it!

And so, I give to you, as my gift for the New Year, an "Auld Lang Syne" sampler:
Click on the image to be redirected to a downloadable PDF file.

I utilized some lovely new colors in my chart, but please interpret it however you wish. The row of initials at the bottom are representative of some of my friends... replace them with your own meaningful initials. And when you are finished, will you please share a photo with me? Feel free to stitch it for yourself or to give to another, or even a limited number may be stitched for sale, but as always, please respect my gift and give credit to me as the designer.

Wishing you a year that includes meaningful time spent with those you love, both near and far.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cleaning Up

This time of year, I almost always do a major clean-out of closets, wardrobes, toy baskets. Wanting to start the New Year with a fresh, clean slate, I suppose.

Yesterday it was the Pantry. Today it will be the Hall Closet and perhaps one of the bedrooms upstairs.

I have no pictures of this cleaning-out project. You don't really want to see, do you?

I do, however, have before and after photos of a certain Someone being Cleaned Up.
I hope to return tomorrow feeling much fresher, saner, and cleaner.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

*New* Let It Snow

How about one more design for 2011? I was originally planning to release this in January, but I just can't help myself.

We are all super ready for SNOW to come again, so why wait? Get the word out! Let it Snow!
Inspired by the graphic appeal of woven antique coverlets from the beginning of the 1800’s, with Pinetree and Snowball patterns.

This is my own interpretation, combining elements from coverlets by different makers, and with the addition of those irresistible lyrics from one of my favorite Winter songs.

Let It Snow!, written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne in 1945…

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Stitch Count: 135 x 121

Model stitched on Northern Cross 40ct Cream linen that was tea-stained prior to stitching.

Using thread from The Gentle Art: 7055 Uniform Blue

The lovely frame is an antique.

My Shadow is now available in my etsy shop and will be going out to my distributors soon. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Redux

Stocking-unloading on Christmas Eve,
the Flashlights being the biggest hit.
The presents have been under the tree for days,
but now, finally... OPEN TIME!
Followed by Waffles My-Way (Almond Butter and Maple Syrup),
and Waffles Your-Way (Blueberry Compote and Whipped Cream),
and yes, even Your-Way (Sausages, Maple Syrup, Raspberry Jam, and Whipped Cream).
Then... MORE presents.
And... MORE play.
Evacuate for lunch (Cheese, Crackers, Veggies)...
Play some more.
Leaving PJs on all day long.
Cook and eat dinner.
Eat dessert (Peppermint Ice Cream and Brownies) as close to the new toys as possible.
The End.

"Mama, is it going to be Cwistmas again tomowow?"


Paella for Christmas

The Farmboy and I have watched and re-watched this segment of a Rick Steves' Europe episode many times (start at 2:19). 

I decided to surprise him with an 18 inch Paella pan for Christmas, complete with all the ingredients and a bag of briquettes so that we could cook it on our charcoal grill.

So excited about my plan, Paella was certainly on my brain. Which, along with the depth of understanding that comes from 12 years of being happily married, it only took a couple of hints for me to realize that he was also planning to get a Paella pan for ME for Christmas.

Sadly, I had to let the cat out of the bag in advance, or else one of us would have had to deal with shipping a giant pan back to its place of origin.

He was still rather excited, and started our very first batch yesterday evening. There are a bajillion recipes out in cyber space. We took them as suggestions, and created our own version.

First, we got a big pile of coals really hot. We put our Paella pan on the grill. Once it was hot, we added some olive oil and 1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenders.
The chicken was browned on both sides, then a little more oil was added, along with a pile of chopped fresh veggies (one large sweet onion, two red peppers, one green pepper, and about a cup of halved cherry tomatoes).
We let the veggies cook until they were soft, then added a very large pinch of saffron, salt and pepper, and 2 1/2 cups of brown rice. We stirred the rice and seasoning just until it was all moist, then added 5 cups of vegetable broth, which had been brought to a boil on the stove.
At this point, we let the Paella simmer away for 8-10 minutes at a time, adding more hot broth whenever the liquids had evaporated away or been absorbed. All told, we added another 2 cartons (32 oz.) of broth, and then, since I had no more broth, about 4 more cups of boiling water at the end, and it took about 50 minutes for the rice to be ready.
When we thought there was about 5 minutes left for the rice, we threw in 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp.
Amazingly yummy, but we will tweak the ingredients next time. Because that's what we do.

More chicken? More saffron? Less pepper? Chicken broth instead of Vegetable? Add pumpkin or Butternut Squash? I'll let you know.

This dish can be intimidating, since it is traditionally made in such large batches, but don't be afraid to try it. I found many recipes online that tell you how to make it on your stovetop in a regular pan. If we have inspired you to give Paella a try, be sure to let me know!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Oh Glorious Day!

Glorious Day (living He Loved Me) lyrics
Songwriters: John Mark Hall;Michael Jr Bleecker

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a Virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He

Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

'Cause living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He's ascended, my Lord evermore

Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him from rising again

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my beloved one bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day, oh, glorious day

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev'rywhere you go;
Take a look in the five and ten glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in ev'ry store
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev'rywhere you go;
There's a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well,
The sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas;
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Random Generator #1 and Random Generator #2 had great fun this morning, picking from my giant bowl of contestants.
Each comment was printed, cut apart and crimped, then mixed together with the others. Like a big bowl of spaghetti seasoned with kindness.

The following SEVEN winners, please contact me via email: with your mailing address and your choice of one of my available designs (as seen here), which I will send off in next week's mail.

AnneMarie, : Congratulations on 1,000 posts! I look forward to reading 1,000 more! I always look forward to reading your posts and seeing your pictures. Not to mention your beautiful needlework. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
Joy, who said: Beth, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Your photos are always beautiful and inspiring. I look forward to seeing the children and what they are doing. Happy Holidays and congrats!! 
Paula, who said: Beth, I enjoy making your sweet blog a part of my day. It is part of my "me" time. I especially enjoy your photos. I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!
Catherine, who said: Wow! That's a lot of posts! Congratulations!! I finished Sing We Merrily and an waiting on the frame to arrive! Might be starting Humility tonite!! Love your posts, pictures and designs!! 
Debbie, who said: Beth, you have given me so much to think about each day, and your photo's are so spectacular. Because this is your 1000,00 post, I am going to send you two of my Grandfather's photo's. I'll have Colleen go thru them and pick out some farm scenes. The Chicago Hystirical has all of his glass negatives, and a book was written called Chicago Under Glass. I know you will loves these, and I would be honored for you to have them. You Beth are very special. Merry Christmas to All at The Twist Farm.
Diane, who said: Congratulations on your 1,000 posts. I enjoy your blog. Your cakes are amazing that you make for your children - always love when it's their birthdays. Wishing you and your family happy holidays from Pennsylvania.
Juels, who said: Congratulations! I enjoyed the pictures from the post above this one. Thank you!
The following SEVEN winners, please contact me via email: with your email address and your choice of one of my available designs (as seen here), which I will send to you as a PDF pattern next week.

Belinda, who said: Dear Beth, I am thankful for your blog because it is inspiring, beautiful, and thoughtful. I will be returning to New Zealand to live in about one month's time and will follow you from there. I am loving your patterns. I am currently working on your Victorian pincushion. Merry Christmas to your family. 
Diana, who said: Congratulations on your 1000th post! I enjoy hearing about your family's life. I look forward to many more posts 
Darlene N, who said: congrads! I love your corner of earth!! I read you daily I adore your family and your dogs and your pictures and your cam pictures and your beavers and the tree you planted when you moved there and your chickens and and and!!! You are a joy to read Thank You!! Have a wonderful holiday. Thanks for the chance
Deborah, who said: Congrats on 1000 posts! I look forward to next 1000. Have a wonderful holiday!
Donna G, who said: Thanks for sharing your pictures, thoughts and beautiful patterns. I always enjoy checking in on your blog.
Jessica, who said: Congratulations on 1,000 posts! I think I may have missed the first few hundred, but I've loved the last few hundred, even though I have never posted before. Please, keep up the lovely work!
Mouse, who said: well i think that yahoo has eaten my last comment ... said wow you talk more than me heheheh and just love your photos especially with the droplets and the spiders strand :) hope you have a fab christmas and a merry new year :) love mouse xxx

Congratulations to all of you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thousandieth Post Giveaway

Wow, you all sure know how to warm this girl's heart. I read and re-read your notes yesterday, and couldn't keep the smile off of my face. They like me! They really like me!

Writing this blog is super fun for me, and has become almost as natural as breathing. I told my sister recently that I think my operational frame of reference is now permanently set to "Blog". It doesn't matter what I am doing, there is an automatic sensor that chimes in my head if an action I take or an image I see falls into the "Of Interest to My Blog Readers" or "Post This One for your Family's Memory Bank" category.

Very rarely do I labor over what to write about. It just comes out automatically, dripping from my fingertips. But often those tidbits that I share seem so normal to my life that I question my sanity for bothering to put it into words.

Then I go check my Analytics chart and see the numbers. There you are, checking in, two... sometimes three-hundred of you, each time I post. I am humbled and blessed.

I will leave the comments open on yesterday's post for one more day, then will draw several of your names tomorrow morning. Comments are closed on this post to avoid confusion.

Now, to avoid a photo-less offering, I am now going to share a group of rather spectacular photos with you.


I know that you have been dying to see my Chickens, foraging in the mist, haven't you? Well, here they are...
Oh, and who isn't charmed by Dogs in the mist?
Lucie, the second from the left, is starting to show a growing belly. We are still in wait-and-see mode though, because she has fooled us in the past. If she is indeed pregnant, her pups will be born the middle of next month.