Thursday, June 28, 2012

*NEW* E Pluribus Unum

This is the third installment in my growing collection of designs inspired by antique woven coverlets (see the other two here and here).

Coverlets in both geometric and figured patterns were widely popular during the early to mid 1800s. I find those with patriotic themes to be especially appealing. This is my own interpretation, combining elements from coverlets by different makers, and with the addition of the Latin words, “E Pluribus Unum” followed by the English translation, “Out of Many, One”. The Latin phrase is found on the seal of the United States of America. It originally suggested that out of many colonies or states emerge a single nation. But in recent years it has come to suggest that out of many peoples, races, religions and ancestries has emerged a single people and nation—the concept of the melting pot.

Stitch Count: 139 x 103
Model stitched on Picture this Plus 28ct. Sand
Using floss from The Gentle Art: 7055 Uniform Blue

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will be going out to my distributors and the shops on my automatic shipments list soon. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Whether I'm ready or not, She is. Or at least she thinks so.
Ready for School... an entire year early.
Following in her brother's footsteps, I suppose.
She is remarkably good at writing her letters and is beginning to sound out words, and plays "School" nearly every day.
But I'm keeping her. No way I'm sending her off one second earlier than I have to... I made her brother wait, and she'll just have to be patient too.
Us girls have some playing to do first. I think I'm going to devote the next school year to teaching her how to become a world-class Picker.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ode to Foxgloves

By far one of my favorites, this native wildflower seeds itself in spontaneous massed spikes of enthusiasm. Currently embedded in a portion of our parking area, I can't bring myself to pull this patch up. Let the wild rumpus continue!
In case you're inclined to be dazzled by these beauties as well, I give you a custom wallpaper for your computer monitor. Click, save, and enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

State of the Garden Address

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to the feed store and brought home some of our last seeds to be planted. Together, we offered a final, proud attempt at successful germination. And several hundred gave their lives to damp, cool weather.
We gather this morning knowing that the turning of the seasons have made the garden safer and more likely to foster good growth. (Applause.) For the first time in nine months, there are no falling snowflakes from the Oregon skies. (Applause.) For the first time in six years, the Mama's distraction by infants is not a threat to the health of the Garden. (Applause.)
These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness and teamwork of the Family Twist. At a time when too many of our seasonal forces have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together to make this Garden grow. (Applause.)
Think about the Garden within our reach: A Garden that leads the state in feeding its people. A Garden that attracts a new generation of bountiful vegetables. A future where we’re in control of our own pest control, and our weeds and varmints aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world. A Garden built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.
We can do this. I know we can, because we’ve done it before. (Applause.)
The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either keep the weeds at bay and the beneficial plants growing strong, or we can allow the mayhem of wild seed to infest our soil. (Applause.) What’s at stake aren’t Democratic values or Republican values, but Gardening values. And we have to reclaim them.
So it is with the Garden. Each time I look at that plot of soil, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those 50 stars and those 13 stripes. We did not build this garden as individuals. This Garden will be great, because we will tend it together. This Garden will be great because we work as a team. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of weed- infestation, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we are joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, and our future is hopeful, and the state of our Garden will always be strong.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Buzz Cut

Until last Summer, we had a tradition of buzz cuts for the kiddo when the warm weather came. He decided in all of his 5 year old wisdom that he was too old, and would be too embarrassed to have his hair that short, and wanted it cut like Daddy's instead.
 So I begrudgingly complied.
Well, this past school year, he had a good friend in class who wore his hair buzzed all year long. It wasn't too hard to convince him to let me shear his head this time around.

Especially knowing that his Luigi would be keeping an eye on me, making sure I didn't mess up and make him bald on accident.
 Allergic to haircuts, just like his Daddy (and various other seasonal substances it would seem).
 "That was funny, Mama! Now you can put a picture of me sneezing on your blog!"
 MWAH! Love that cute not-so-little noggin!
Now if only we could get some teeth back in that mouth...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Babies with Cowlicks

Clara's Daddy had to go back to work for a few days this week, so Auntie Beth got to go sit with her Mama yesterday. It was so nice to be with them again. It has been a week and a half since I last got up to the hospital, and let me tell you, my Sis looks like a brand new woman compared to our last meeting.
Although she is still staying in the hospital to be with her baby, she has been officially discharged and is finally on the mend. At my last visit, she could barely stand, and was still in need of around-the-clock care. That HELLPS is bad, bad, bad.
Clara is up to 3 pounds 9 ounces now, and is taking the optimal amount of food for her weight. Her next task is to be able to take all of her food by mouth so they can get the feeding tube out. They won't take the top permanently off of her incubator until she is at least 4 pounds, and she will have to be able to regulate her body temperature all by herself. At this point, they think she will need to be in hospital for at least another 2 weeks, and possibly more.
This was the first time I got to spend more than 5 minutes in the same room with her, and she charmed my socks right off. She does sleep a lot, but when she's awake, she is so very alert and tries with all her might to get those eyes to focus on her surroundings. I swear she was trying to make eye contact with me. It probably helps that I chose to wear black and white stripes. :)
One teensie foot resting in her Mama's hand. Can you believe how little she is?
My Sister was born with a cowlick. She has never been a fan of it, but I remember distinctly being a bit envious, because it gave her the most adorably heart-shaped face.
Bably Clara appears to have a similar swirl on her little tow-head (she gets that pale, pale hair from her Daddy).
Which brings back memories of my own sweetheart when she was a baby...
There once was a girl
who had a curl
right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
she was very, very good.
But when she was bad she was horrid.

Mm-hm. It applies to my sister (oh, the stories I could tell!), my daughter (don't let that angel-face fool you), and only time will tell if this new baby can triple-prove the nursery rhyme to be true.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Its another bone-saturating-drizzly Oregon day. The forecasters say that we'll have warm sun on the first day of Summer, and the day after that, but then... again... more rain.

Some days I don't mind. I just set my nose to the grindstone and clean house or work on a project with no sunny outdoors to tempt me away. It is the rain, after all, that makes our landscape so green and lush the majority of the year.
But I was really hoping for sunshine today of all days. We are starting a Summer schedule of weekly playdates for some in the Kindergartener's First Grader's class, and the first playdate is this morning. I hope my walls can contain the enthusiasm!
I needed a dose of happy sun on my computer desktop this morning, so I made the above wallpaper, and thought I'd share it with you. I never know if you all like the wallpapers or if you could care less, so please chime in and let me know if you enjoy them... I so look forward to reading your comments on my posts!

As usual, left-click to enlarge the wallpaper, then right-click to save to your computer. For your personal use, only please.

Monday, June 18, 2012

At Last

Last weekend, it was so cold outside we had the woodstove burning to keep our house warm. This weekend, it was shorts and flip-flops, and our first firepit of the year. I don't think we've ever had our two fire seasons so close to overlapping.
The season of grubby fingers and smoky hair is upon us.
Time for a certain Bailey-dog to slowly creep those paws closer and closer, until someone has pity and sneaks a tidbit of Summer to him.
And... OH! Those ooey-gooey, crispy-crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth, sticky-chocolatey treats!
Right there... that chair is where you'll find me just as often as can be managed. Stop in one of these warm Summer nights and I'll pull up another chair for you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

*NEW* The Strawberry Collection

There aren’t very many people who don’t delight in strawberry season that arrives each Spring. For some, that season is already coming to an end, but here, green berries are just starting to form on our bushes, and my mouth is watering at the thought of that anticipated first bite.

I started designing the Strawberry Band Sampler a year or two ago, working on it now and then, but never quite feeling that it was finished. I finally gave up and decided to start again from scratch, using the same elements, but re-arranging them to create the Strawberry Bower Sampler. But again, the design felt like it was lacking. I picked away at both designs for what felt like forever, and wouldn’t you know it, both decided to co-operate and be “just right” at the very same time. Now what was I supposed to do about THAT? Well, release them together as a collection, of course!

Knowing I could never get both samplers finished in time for this year’s Strawberry season, I put out a call for help. I will be forever thankful for the talented fingers of Charity Watral and Christie Mock, who so generously offered their time. Although these two live far away from each other, and to my knowledge don’t even know each other, both samplers arrived on my doorstep the very same day. Now how is that for timing?

I decided to stitch up a Strawberry Pinbook panel as a bonus piece to go along with the samplers. Stitched to a folded piece of vintage cutter quilt, it is a sweet way to transport pins when I’m on the go.

Included in this pattern packet you will find charts for 2 samplers and 1 pinbook, as well as instructions for completing the pinbook. It will arrive in a plastic zip-close envelope for safe keeping.

I will also make available to anyone purchasing this pattern a free downloadable .pdf tutorial for finishing the pinbook; in the tutorial there are step-by-step instructions with color photographs.

The lovely frames on the model samplers were made by Dona, the owner/operator of These frames are made one at a time at her home by herself and her husband. They are not available for wholesale purchase, but are well worth the effort of placing a custom order and doing the framing yourself (or taking to your favorite framer to do the work for you). Stop in at her etsy shop to see her ready-made frames, or to place a custom order, and tell her I sent you!

Strawberry Bower Sampler
Stitch Count: 161 x 131
Weeks Dye Works 40ct. Putty linen

Strawberry Band Sampler
Stitch Count: 136 x 182
Northern Cross 35ct. Tea linen

Strawberry Pinbook
Stitch Count: 77 x 58
R & R 35ct. Espresso linen and vintage quilt scrap

Flosses used:
Weeks Dye Works 1332 Red Pear, 2201 Moss

The Gentle Art 0420 Gold Leaf, 7000 Harvest Basket,
7019 Pomegranate, 7041 Apple Cider, 7049 Lambswool,
7050 Baby Spinach, 7080 Endive

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will be going out to my distributors and the shops on my automatic shipments list soon. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I knew that it would eventually come to this, and have been dreading the transition for a very long time, but... with the advent of high-speed internet in the Twist household, I have to change my business email address.

The worst part is the thousands of patterns that have been printed since 2008 with my old Hughesnet email addresses on them. I fully realize that there is no way to let every single customer out there know that they have outdated information on their patterns. My hope is that the vast majority of people who have my patterns in hand are tech savvy enough that if they want to contact me, they can look me up online.

In effort to never have to go through this transition again, I have secured my very own domain (web site in the future! Woot!), and with it, an email address that should last for the rest of my life. Please update your records to:
 Yep, that's

I have updated the "email me" link on my sidebar, and am in the process of changing every other place on this blog that has my old info, which is quite possibly the most tedious task I have ever undertaken.

At least its a rainy day and I'm fighting a cold, and there is no more school, and I have nothing better to do other than clean house, which I don't want to do anyway. So there.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Such a great word... drippy.
Describes the weather... my nose... and the eyes of a few Kindergarten Mothers this morning, as our kids moved up to the next grade.
On the count of three, they all took bites from "magic" Twinkies, and instantly turned from Kindergarteners into First Graders.

The Little Sister was jealous that she didn't get a special treat too, so I made up for it when we got home. She and I, on the count of three, took bites from Zingers, then magically turned from SisterofaKindergartener and MotherofaSisterofaKindergartener into SisterofaFirstGrader and MotherofaSisterofaFirstGrader. Whew... you really have to keep your brain on its toes when you have kids. Its no wonder I'm more forgetful than I've ever been in my life... I've never before had to use up so much of my think tank on improvisation and spontaneous question answering.