Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Word About DMC Conversions

I completely understand that many of you prefer to stitch with DMC, either because it is easier to purchase or because it is much more economical for you. I am always available to create conversions for you for any of my designs, past or present. When there is space on the chart cover to include the conversion with the pattern, I often do so, but many times there simply isn't room without adding an additional page. In order to save on cost, I have opted to put in a note saying that a conversion is available upon request. I know that this requires an extra step for you to reach out and ask, but this is what I have found to work best, all things considered.

Many of my customers automatically ask for a DMC conversion to be included with their chart (when purchased directly from me). I am almost always prepared to do so immediately (brand new charts might take an extra day or two as I am busy processing new orders).

I hope that helps you to better understand why I do things the way I do!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

*Updated* *NEW* Sarah Boothman (a Faithfully Reproduced Antique Sampler)

*YIKES!* I was just reminded by my model stitcher that she wasn't able to finish the flowers in the lower right bouquet because she ran out of the Country Redwood. I managed to note on the chart that you will need 2 skeins, but I completely forgot to stitch those darn flowers before framing and photographing... and RELEASING IT to the public!!! The flowers are there on the chart, the threads called for are correct; it is just the cover photo that is wrong. I'll add a picture of the antique to the bottom of this post for reference, but it might be a few days before I have time to add the stitches and re-shoot the cover photo.

**A few of you have asked... the large motif at the bottom center of the sampler is a BUTTERFLY (or perhaps a large moth)!
When I found this charming and na├»ve sampler in an online auction I didn’t pay much attention to the dimensions of the framed piece. When it arrived from across the pond (England), I was shocked at the size of the box. It was only upon pulling it out of its packaging that I realized that it was stitched on coarse homespun linen. The nearest I could find on the market is a lovely soft 20 count linen put out (thankfully) by Weeks Dye Works.

Finished size when stitched on this count is a generous 20 by 23, and stitched with just one thread over two as was done on the original. This might test all of your sensibilities as a stitcher, but I promise you won’t be disappointed! The finished reproduction is almost mistakable as the original.

As was done on the antique sampler, some of the called for threads are wool, while the bulk of the stitches are with cotton. If you don’t want the experience of cross-stitching with wool, feel free to convert to the same color name in cotton by The Gentle Art. The look will be slightly different, but overall effect will be the same.

Stitch Count: 182 x 224
Model stitched with 1 thread over 2 (yes!) on Weeks Dye Works’ 20ct. Straw

Using flosses from Classic Colorworks: Wilderness

And from The Gentle Arts’ Wool Collection: Midnight, Black Crow, Barn Grey, Cidermill Brown, Apple Cider, Roasted Marshmallow, Endive, Ruby Slipper

And from The Gentle Arts’ Cotton Collection: Country Redwood (2 skeins), Brandy, Antique Rose, Pomegranate, Lexington Green, Mountain Mist, Old Hickory, Caramel Corn, Endive

And from Weeks Dye Works: Fathom, Kudzu, Sweet Potato

Conversion to DMC available on request.

The frame was found at a thrift store and refinished by me.

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: beth@heartstringsamplery.com

A photo of the antique (They are so large that I just couldn't make a good photo for the cover that included them both)...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

When a Girl Turns 8

When a girl turns 8 and her older brother just had an epic birthday the month before, you might think that she would expect to have a similarly epic birthday and demand equal treatment. But if she is as sweet as they come, she'll just be happy that her brother had an amazing birthday, and only expect some family time and a few presents for herself.

But that would be no fun for her Mama now, would it?

So... when a girl turns 8, there should definitely be a trip to the zoo with a cherished friend and surprisingly active animals considering the cold, cold weather. A visit complete with big cats and pocket gophers and porcupines and elephant ears and hot cocoa.
Then, after the long day's adventure, there should for sure be gigantic gift bags that hold pink polka-dotted babydoll prams.
And there should also be a really boring cardboard box holding a yet-to-be-assembled, but long coveted play kitchen, because five years of asking is just such a long time when you're 8. And of course, since this is a girl's 8th birthday, and since girls are allowed to be overcome by emotions from time to time, this experience should most definitely lead to a heartfelt declaration.


By way of refreshment after such a long and emotional day, there should be an amazing ice cream cake created by her favorite DQ cake decorator, with a candle shaped like the number 8 on top.
And the next day, all of her local family members should pile into a back room at Olive Garden for pasta and cupcakes and presents, while she presides at the head of the table wearing a paper crown with Elsa and Anna on it.
When a girl turns 8 and her celebration is life-changingly amazing, then presedence is surely set, and who knows what on earth could possibly follow it up the next year.


Eight

When she entered our lives, I wasn't sure I was ready. Just barely feeling recovered from the firstborn, and scared to death of what having a daughter might mean, I wasn't prepared to be swept off of my feet by everything about her. I thought I wanted only boys, but as it turns out, she is just what I needed.

This girl of mine is truly a treasure. She is 100% eight-years-old in every way; she is all about sparkle and rainbows and cute kittens and princesses. She loves to swing and pick flowers and pretend that her babydoll is real. She is quick-witted like her Daddy and a bit sassy like her Mama. She is growing her first batch of freckles on her nose and does not like having her loose teeth pulled. She likes sharing a bedroom with her big brother, but dreams about the day when she can decorate her own room (a big corner hammock for her stuffed animals is high on her "want" list). She is highly social and has a way of drawing kids out and making them feel wanted that blows me away. Her heart is gigantic and she notices people that seem like they might be sad. She absolutely adores her big brother and still wishes that it were possible for siblings to marry each other (although I'm pretty sure she would settle for Legolas Greenleaf if he would have her).

She spends most of her spare time playing make believe in whatever capacity presents itself, weaving elaborate storylines into Minecraft, LEGOs, her upstairs play kitchen or outdoor play fort, leaving no stone unturned. I do believe that this girl could create a BBC-worthy drama out of two sticks and a blade of grass.

She wants to be a chef or baker when she grows up. She refuses to leave socks on her feet for longer than absolutely necessary even in the cold of winter. She is becoming quite good at playing the piano and rarely walks past without playing at least a few bars from one of her songs. She is brave and kind and so so sweet.

I can't imagine my world without this wonderful girl.

Happy Birthday Sweetheart, you make me proud to be Mama.