Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Just Can't Wait One More Second... 2 New Releases for You!

I wasn't planning to announce these new releases until tomorrow, but I just can't handle the wait, silly me...

You all remember "Constance Sullivan", right? Well, she is ready now (but won't be listed in my etsy shop until tomorrow- contact me directly if you want to pre-order):

Retail Price: $10.00 (includes shipping)

And BRAND brand new, inspired by the acorns growing on our Anniversary Tree, "Emily Acorn's Pinkeep" (won't be listed in my etsy shop until tomorrow- contact me directly if you want to pre-order)...

Retail Price: $10.00 (includes shipping)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Some Lovely Surprises

A few days ago, I stepped out onto the front porch to snap a photo of some foxgloves blooming at the base of a tree in the evening light.

It wasn't until I snapped the first photo that I saw Mr. Robin Redbreast perched on the lower branch. And he gladly stayed there for a full photo shoot... Vain little birdie!

And yesterday, during the kids' naptime, I actually had a chance to do this:

A lovely surprise indeed!

Oh, My Adorable Kids

Katie loves to put hats on...

And Jack, who has been "potty" trained for a few months, seems finally *maybe* OH-HOW-I-HOPE! to be getting the hang of *ahem* putting ALL of his efforts into the toilet.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Old Enough for Acorns

Silly as this may sound, I am SO Excited! I just have to share... For the very first time, our Anniversary Tree is producing Acorns this year...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our Beach Trip

One of my little brothers lives with his wife and son in Singapore, where he teaches at an International School. It has been 3 years since they were in the States visiting, so to celebrate their brief visit this summer, we rounded up the troops, rented 2 houses at the beach and spent a few days together.

This is ALL of us 5 years ago on our last family beach trip (my parents, 4 siblings, and various spouses and significant others):

And 5 years later... here we ALL are (an additional adult significant other and SIX grandkids under the age of 3 1/2):

My parents with all the babies:

Since it is mostly non-family that read this blog, I won't inundate you with any more photos of my extended family members. Here is MY little family enjoying the Oregon Coast:

And THIS... my very favorite spot of the entire trip:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm Back...

This is where I've been...

I'll tell you all about it later. For now, I have laundry and pattern orders awaiting my attention.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In the Meantime

Matt is on vacation this week, and I have decided that I get to be on vacation too! So I won't be posting here for a few days, and my etsy shop will go un-checked until the weekend.

But I'll be back to posting on Saturday or Sunday, and you can be sure that there will be lots of great pictures... of playtime with the kids, and hopefully stitching progress too!

In the meantime, you can go take a peek at the pinkeep I just listed this morning on ebay...

Monday, June 15, 2009

How Does YOUR Garden Grow?

Despite frequent visits from a few of these little fellows...

we have Beautiful rows of Sweet Strawberries ripening...

and the vegetables are growing like crazy. I love seeing the orderly rows of homegrown goodness, and the blue plastic shovel that testifies to my little boy's growing love of working in the dirt...

I also have gorgeous outdoor bouquets of Peonies.

Mmmmmm... they smell SO good!

And my little Greenhouse has a door!

My clever husband has been saving this bent Cedar branch for a long time, just waiting for the right place to use it... I almost squealed when I saw it (and I'm really NOT a squeal-er!)...

Connie, see how we put your old broken-down fence to use? Absolute and utter Perfection, if you ask me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Still Like LEGOS

Growing up, my most favorite toy to play with was our huge family LEGO collection.

My kids are still a bit young for "real" LEGOS, but the DUPLOS are a close second and get almost constant play time in our house.

Mostly by me.

This is my most recent "Drop-Down Tower" (so named by Jack). I have been making Drop Down Towers for him since he was 9 months old. The towers come in many shapes and sizes, but the main component is a hollow center with a hole at the top, and opening at the bottom, so small toys can be dropped down from the top and out they pop from the bottom... endless entertainment for the kids which buys me time to sort laundry, clean the kitchen, and even sometimes, on a rare occasion, stitch in the middle of the day!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Spelling With Photos

I really enjoy photography. I would market and sell my pictures, but I enjoy stitching even more than photography, so I don't.

Recently, a friend came to me and asked if I would help her with an idea... she had seen groupings of photos, which upon closer inspection spell out words. In the photos were not letters, but random objects that when framed just-so resembled letters. What a great idea, I said, I'd love to take the challenge. So a few months and a great IKEA frame later, here is her commissioned piece (can you figure out what it spells before scrolling down to get the answer?)


Monday, June 08, 2009

Ropin' Up Stuff

Recently, Jack has been asking for a "Cowboy Rope- so I can rope up stuff". And since his Daddy has a shop AND a barn full of cool boy-things, he was able to set our kiddo up. Here he is, with his freshly roped-up wheelbarrow, taking it for a romp around the front yard:

Katie, who is now 17 months old, has FINALLY decided that walking can be used as a form of transportation, not just as entertainment. This is after two SOLID months of practice walking back and forth across the living room. This is one very happy Mama here, and the little girl is having the time of her life.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

June = BLESTB Pinkeep Month

Hello all, in honor of my ebay group's Patriotic Pinkeep Extravaganza during the month of June, I have decided to offer my "Long May She Wave" pinkeep model for sale. You can check it out here. And please also check out the other group offerings all month long by typing "BLESTB" into the ebay search bar.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Rhubarb Custard Pie

I really and truly adore Rhubarb. As girls, my Sister and I used to eat it by the stalk- raw- Mmmmm... pucker-up tart, crunchy, it signified the beginning of Summer freedom.

I think my most favorite way to eat it is in a pie. I know that for most, Rhubarb in a pie usually means Strawberries too, but for some reason, I just can't handle the taste of a cooked Strawberry- they are one fruit that I firmly believe should never be tampered with- but that is another story for another day.

If you are fortunate enough to live where Rhubarb grows in abundance, or if you are desperate enough to pay too much money for this delicious plant, then you need to try my...

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Double batch of your favorite pie crust recipe
4 1/2 cups Rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/4 cup Flour
dash of Salt
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
a splash of Milk

Combine Rhubarb with Sugar, Flour, and Salt. Let stand for about 15 minutes, tossing ingredients a few times, until the dry ingredients are no longer dry, but rather soft and starting to liquify.

Pour Rhubarb mixture into prepared pie shell.

Combine eggs and Vanilla. Add just enough Milk to thin the mixture out a little- you really won't need more than a Tablespoon or two. Pour custard mixture over Rhubarb mixture.

Cover with remaining pie crust- I love to make the top into a Lattice, because I think it is so pretty- but a regular crust on top will work too.

Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 30 minutes.

To me, this pie tastes best when completely chilled, and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Mmmmmmm... yummy!

Monday, June 01, 2009

New Sampler Release... Long May She Wave

Many Colonial women supported the Revolutionary War effort. Some particularly daring women chose to serve as nurses, attendants, cooks, & even spies on the battlefields. Others, such as the famous “Molly Pitcher” (who fought in her husband’s place) & Deborah Sampson (who disguised herself as a man) saw action in battle. Most women, however, fought the war at home. As husbands & fathers left home to fight, wives & mothers took to managing the farms & businesses. A majority of women helped by making yarn & homespun necessities such as socks & underwear, both to send to militiamen & to support the boycott of British goods.

I like to think that a few also made commemorative samplers, inspired by the spirit of the time, Betsy Ross’s beautiful flag, & revolutionary words being spread like wildfire amongst the colonists.

The English author & philosopher Thomas Paine helped turn Colonial public opinion against Britain & solidify the emerging colonial unity with his January 1776 pamphlet Common Sense, which denounced King George III as a tyrannical “brute”. Paine, reasoning that it was unnatural for the smaller England to dominate the larger collection of American states, called on Americans to unite & overthrow British rule so that they could usher in an era of freedom for humanity. Inspiring & easy to read, Common Sense stirred the hearts of thousands & persuaded many would-be Loyalists & fence-sitters to fight for independence. The pamphlet caused a huge sensation throughout the colonies & sold over 100,000 copies within a few months of its first printing.

Sampler model stitched on 28 count even-weave linen
Stitch Count: 140 by 100

Pinkeep model stitched on 28 count even-weave linen
Stitch Count: 70 by 39

Price: $10 for my standard chart pack with color photo on the cover, enclosed in a plastic zip envelope. Cost includes shipping.

You may go to my etsy shop to purchase or contact me directly at: beth@heartstringsamplery.com