Monday, March 30, 2009

Welcome Spring! Free Chart

Okay, so I just had to take a break from chart printing, and what better way to clear my mind than to make a little freebie "Welcome Spring" chart for you? Its not in my usual sampler-ish style, but it would make a great pincushion or fob or whatever... you are all so creative... surprise me with your finishes!

You should be able to click on the chart and on the legend and save them both as images. Feel free to stitch away and share this chart, but please remember to give credit to me as the designer.

Just Because...

I'm too busy assembling patterns and shopping for a new diaper pail to post anything coherent. So, without further ado, I give you... my babies:

How can anyone resist at least a little smile?

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Big News

I can now let you in on my most recent exciting news...

Hoffman Distributing Company will now be carrying my designs! They placed their first order just this morning, and I can tell you that I have some serious pattern printing to take care of.

So the next time you are in your local needlework shop, ask them to order Heartstring Primitives cross stitch patterns. I will continue to sell direct, and will keep them in my etsy shop too, but I'm excited to be able to get into those little corners of the world that previously were unreacheable for me.

My next big project will be to create my own web site, but all in due time...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Look What I Made!

In between samplers, while waiting on my order of WDW floss, I stitched up this little reproduction love token...

I made it as close to the original as I could (an image I found online of an antique), stitched it "over one" on 28 count linen, backed it with a piece of wool, and blanket stitched the edges. The background fabric is a reproduction cotton. The little frame I painted and rubbed with wax, some of the original green (its a new frame) and my added bittersweet are peeking through the brown top coat. I can't decide if I'll put glass in front, or let it breathe the air, but I'm leaning toward the latter. What do you think?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

There's Always a Silver Lining

As we were hustling out the door to church this morning, it was snowing. And starting to stick. Sigh... not again! But surely, this would be one of those typical March days when, at our elevation, it snows, but the flakes melt on contact with the ground. Not so. By the time we got home, we had 3 inches on the ground, and it was coming down December-style.

I am SO ready for Spring!

The silver lining for my snowy day? I just got my selection of Weeks Dye Works flosses in the mail, picked up on the way home from church, and that means I can finally start my next model! I have been anxiously waiting this opportunity, and in just a few minutes I plan to start stitching.

In all of my designs to date I have used DMC, because that is all that I can get my hands on locally. I also have a very lousy selection of linens available, so I have been using a 28 count, even though I much prefer 32, 35, or even 40 count. So I decided this time to stitch up a sampler completely differently. I am using a Zwiegart 32 count Cashel Linen which I overdyed using some walnut crystals. My plan is to leave it alone when I'm done stitching instead of the usual coffee bath. I'll let you know how it goes.

Here is the color scheme, stay tunes for updates on my progress.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm Going for It! Announcing My Very First Needle Punch Pattern Release!

I was given so much positive feedback a few weeks ago when I asked if you thought I should start selling my needle punch patterns that it gave me just the boost in confidence I needed to get going.

It took me awhile to put my pattern booklet together, since I really had to start from scratch. And in the meantime, I was a bit waylaid by re-designing the overall look of my pattern covers for the samplers too. But now I am ready, and just got a handful of my BRAND NEW "Lyon Rugg" patterns listed in my etsy shop.

And here "he" is, in all his glory:

As usual, you can contact me directly, or go through my etsy shop. I may list some on ebay, but haven't decided yet if it is worth the effort.

Ready, set, GO!

She Stands!

At 14 1/2 months old, Katie is still not walking. This for the overachieving baby who started army crawling a week before her 7th month. And, to further balk at any normal baby trend, she is not practicing her standing skills by letting go of the couch. Nosirree, not my girl! Instead, she moves out to the middle of the floor, and
from a kneeling position...
the whole time giggling and panting with excitement!
Too bad the sun is glaring on her face, because the expression is priceless.

Rulebreaker(like her Daddy...)! Trendsetter(like her...Mama?)! Weird(definitely like her Mama)! and oh-so-Sweet!

She recently received her first goose-egg... from falling on her big brother's Hot Wheels toy motorcycle handlebar, no less.

She also sleeps like a Stinkbug.

Thanks to Ali for letting her borrow the adorable shirt; I lost count of how many compliments she received for her taste in clothing. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Some Things I'm Excited About

I just finished stitching a new sampler model! I won't release the pattern for a little while yet, as I have to find or make a frame for it before it is photo shoot ready... but the stitching is done, and I just know you are going to like this one mucho!

Despite very wet and gloomy weather, I think we may have "turned the corner" weather-wise, and I can't wait to break in my new gardening gloves! After spending the last FOUR Spring gardening seasons either in first-trimester-exhausted-feelingyucky-phase or with an infant who does-not-like-the-chilly-Spring-air, I can hardly wait to get muddy!

After a little research, and based on the recommendation of some trusted friends, Jack's very first Bible arrived in the mail yesterday, and I am looking forward to sitting down and reading it together in just a few minutes while Katie is napping. I'll let you know what I think of it in a future post. I confess I'm a bit picky, and the reason he doesn't have many Bible books is due to my distaste of anything I deem too fluffy, or even worse, those children's books that flagrantly take a story from the Bible and turn it all around backward, disregarding the way the actual story happened (ie., Jonah and the Whale).... but I digress. Don't want to bore you with my theological rant!

And last, but CERTAINLY not least, a story that I know Many of you will Appreciate... A month or two ago, Amy sent me an email telling me about some samplers on Craigslist that she thought I might be interested in. I checked out the listing, and found a collection of 9 primitive samplers for $75. The photo wasn't that great, but it was good enough to inspire a drive to Gresham to meet and see the collection. A few days later, standing in a rainy Michael's parking lot, I decided that yes indeed, although about half of them were more primitive than my decorating taste, the other half were gorgeous reproductions, and I wanted them. Two of them were easily worth three times the asking price for the whole collection.

And now the best part... It wasn't until I got home and was more closely inspecting my purchase that I noticed those two samplers that I really liked were not only Beautifully done, but they were signed on the back... Kathy Barrick Dieter. My heart literally skipped a beat. But NO, it really couldn't be possible, could it? How on earth would not one, but two of Kathy's models be in Oregon, of all places? (For those of you not familiar with the world of stitchers, Kathy is a very talented designer whose patterns are widely circulated and adored by many).

I set about to try to find out if they were forgeries or if bychance they could be the real thing. I sent photos of the samplers and the signature to Kathy, but didn't hear back for a very long time. Hm. Not very promising. Feeling like a total pest, and not wanting to bother her, I finally sent one last email, this time without the pictures attached, thinking that possibly the original message was filtered out by her Spam blocker, or not opened because of an attachment coming from an unknown source.

Anyway, she responded almost immediately, saying that no, she hadn't received the photos and REALLY wanted me to send them again, because she was very curious. And the answer (drumroll please)... YES! She stitched hundreds of samplers back in the 90's and sold them all at Folk Art shows, and mine were her originals! OHMEOHMY! I can't tell you just how proud I am to own them.

Without further ado (sorry for the long story, all you who could care less about the stitching world)... here they are:

Remembering Max

I had the pleasure of making a custom papercutting to commemorate the life of Max the collie via my etsy shop... I was pretty happy with how it turned out...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Can You Tell We're Related?

(sorry for the low quality images... I simply couldn't get a high resolution on those 1970's scans... now I'm off to figure out why).


Jack likes to eat it with a naked belly...

Katie prefers to use hers as a beauty treatment.

No One is Exempt from Bedhead

Not even the cutest little girl in the world...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Punchneedle Boxes

We've been having internet issues the last few days, so I have been unable to get any listings done. Hopefully, now that we are back online, I can remedy that little problem shortly. I can't wait to offer these:

Elusive Spring

Just a few days ago, Little Man and I went for a walkabout, and were so very glad to discover touches of Spring...

I won't show you a photo of what my eyes see outside today. Its too depressing. Snow has been falling and falling and falling for a few days now... I'm glad its not really accumulated more than 3 inches, but still. I want me some warm sunshine and growy things!

My eyes may not be happy, but my ears certainly are... I just downloaded U2's new album No Line On The Horizon. Mmmmmm... nice.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Recently, when he heard his Daddy say he was heading out to the shop responded, "Can I go to the shop too? ...I'm a good fixer." (Ha! Already, the powers of negotiation and persuasion are Strong in Matt's Mini-Me).

So, out to the shop he went, and a little while later, Matt came to the house and told me to hurry out with my camera, ensuring me that I would not be disappointed.

Here is what I saw when I stepped in the door:

And now for the close-up:

Yes, he wore those "safety glasses" most of the afternoon. And was Proud as can be. Good thing he doesn't know what a Geek is just yet, or else I would never have photos to blackmail him with later on in life!

Being allowed to steer the tractor for the first time:

And finally, while we're on the topic, here is a little shop update photo (since taken, there has been the addition of a pellet stove for warmth, and lights are now installed overhead... now for that tax return to arrive so the walls and ceiling can be installed!)


At nearly 14 months old, loves to read books by lamplight:

Is still a tiny little thing. Check out the size difference, sitting on the couch with her Daddy (and a good book):

Has not gained the confidence to walk on her own yet, but the piano is great motivation to practice her standing skills:

Continues to keep us on our toes... she's a little Spitfire, that's for sure. She rarely holds still for very long, loves to climb onto things (usually getting "stuck" and crying for help shortly thereafter), and is happiest when either her Mama or big brother are within arms' reach.

Drawer of Wonders II

Sure to inspire Giggles and loud Peals of Laughter.

My House Smells Good

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My Very First Design

My Sister in Law keeps this hanging on her living room wall... it is my very first design. Sure, it is sweet, but my style and use of color has really changed since those days (although I must say I did a fantastic job stitching that little rabbit over one thread, and on 35 count linen).

Just thought I'd share.