Monday, August 31, 2009

2 New Pattern Releases for September

Now available directly through me, or by visiting my etsy shop (see link on sidebar)...

Bountful Harvest Pinkeep

Fraktur Bird with Cherries

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I don't know about you, but when I sit down to watch something on the tellie, I find that I crave particular types of food and beverages, depending on what I am watching.

Here are some examples of cravings that have been quite consistent for all of my adult years:

Jane Austen movies = dark chocolate & red wine

Super Bowl = chili & beer (I don't even like beer!)

Saturday AM gardening shows = oatmeal & coffee

AFV = pizza & root beer

the Olympics = tuna/dill pitas & ginger ale w/ lime (!!!)

Musicals/old classics = popcorn & hot cocoa

Suspense/Blockbuster movies = hot tamales & Pepsi

Well, my kids are following suit, and so far their favorite and most consistent pairing is:

Sesame Street = buttered wholewheat toast & apple juice

Friday, August 21, 2009


It has been a long week.

Nothing particularly hard or intense or bad,
just what has felt very looooong.

Most likely it has felt that way because I fought, then caught the cold that the kids have been germy with for awhile now.

But life still continues to go on, even when Mama has a cold, so I carry on.

Weeks such as this, I easily become engrossed in the mundane,
just plodding through the laundry, bills, grocery shopping.

Finally, a step out my doors, stepping away from the chores, even if for a few moments to capture the beauty of Creation around us...

A deep breath, a sigh, ahhhhhhhhh...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Little Miss Pigtails

As a little girl, my favorite 'do' was pigtails. Maybe I liked the way my hair bobbed and swished around my ears, or being told how cute I looked when in my piggy tails... I don't really know. But the nostalgia is still there in my heart, and I was REALLY, somewhat unreasonably JOYFUL, to realize yesterday that Katie's hair has grown long enough to try...

Is it just me, or was that just about the cutest thing you EVER saw???

Friday, August 14, 2009

(Almost) Lost in Translation

If I wasn't already fluent in The Boy's language, I wouldn't know that this "Scoopy AlienT" (with great emphasis on the "T" sound at the end) was really a "Spooky Alien"...

What lost me is how in the world he knows ANYTHING about aliens and why they would be spooky?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Kingdom Come... Finished!

Kingdom Come, Carriage House Samplings...
Stitched on 32 count coffee-dyed linen using WDW fibers in similar color values to original charted colors. I added the paraphrased scripture verse (Isaiah 11:6 ASV) to top and bottom so that it would better fit the vintage frame I wanted to put it in. And... I accidentally switched the color value of the bushes in the middle, but my excuse is good... I was watching Australia (Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman) and was so engrossed in the story that I failed to pay close attention to what I was doing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's Wednesday Morning... Do you Know Where Your Random Generator is?

Here's mine... he is 3 1/2. He knows that it isn't truly Random if he peeks at the names on the slips of paper, so he is covering his eyes very well.

Time to draw... is he Peeking? Oh well, good thing he can't read yet...

Who is it? Who could it be?

I did not originally intend on having TWO winners, but suddenly, out of nowhere, the 1 1/2 year old, desperate to be in on the action, grabbed a name and ran! Apparently I have not one, but TWO Random Generators. Okay, so the second name drawn can win a pattern... Please, oh pretty please, can Mama see the paper, Sweetie?

Thank you!

Winner number 1... of the Woodpecker Pair pinkeep..... AMY!
Winner number 2... of a pattern of your choice..... PAM! (basketsnprims)

Amy, you know where to find me... call or email with your address.
Pam, please contact me with your address and let me know which chart you would like!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My, my, You are Just a Treasure Trove of Information!

Not only have you given me lots of positive feedback about my free design, I have also learned that my "prehistoric" plant is Mullein (verbascum thapsus). Click here to read some very interesting information on its medicinal properties.

And, my little bird friend is a Downy Woodpecker.
We have a few varieties of woodpecker that frequent our property, but until today, the only variety we could identify with certainty is our Pileated pair (think Woody Woodpecker), quite possibly my most favorite bird in the world (although the Blue Heron is right up there too, despite the fact that it often raids our goldfish pond much to my Husband's frustration).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Free Chart... AND... a Giveaway!

We have this weird, prehistoric-looking wildflower that pops up each summer in various places around our property. They grow to be easily 7 feet tall by the end of July, so they create quite a statement, even if they aren't the most lovely of wildflower.

I glanced out the kitchen window a few days ago, and saw a strange grey-ish lump on the side of the prehistoric flower head...

What on earth?... Having a suspicion of what it could be, I grabbed my telephoto lense and snuck around the side of the house. Sure enough, a woodpecker!

Eating seeds? Bugs? Whatever he was doing, he was very happy, and allowed me to snap several photos before he swooped off into the forest.

It doesn't show, but he/she had a red crest on the very top of its head.

That one little incident inspired this design, a free chart for you to stitch up however you might like... (left click to get the enlarged version, then save to your desktop).

You may do what you like with this little freebie, even stitch it up to sell, but please give credit to me as the designer- otherwise, there are no strings attached.

Here is my version of "Woodpecker Pair" stitched on chunky prairie cloth (27 count!), and turned into a pinkeep.

I used WDW Havana, Mocha, Honeysuckle, Bullfrog, Curry, and Brick.

I backed it with some of my favorite fabric, a Williamsburg fraktur pattern, filled it with a mixture of sawdust, crushed walnut shells, and dried lavendar (I still need to embroider my initals and date).

Its not my best work... I used the wrong wool for the sheep's tongues around the edge, so it is fraying a little, and the corner tongues keep wanting to stick staight up(or down)... but, it is still a fun piece of work, and smells delicious too.

If you are interested, I will have Jack draw a name on Wednesday morning from all who leave a comment on this post that they want to be included.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Happiness Is...

Running through the Sprinkler...

Digging in the dirt...

Picking (and eating!) fresh Raspberries...

Hearing Katie, almost 19 months old, say "Mama" for the very first time...


On the way home from our field trip to the Philip Foster Farm last week, I took a tiny little detour to an old, old cemetery. Some of the earliest settlers to this area are buried here. People who share their last names with some of our "main" country roads. You wouldn't even know that their resting place was hidden back at the end of this gravel road, for there are no markers showing the way.

I can't explain why I have always been drawn to old cemeteries. Maybe it is the mystery surrounding those old names and dates.

Or the beautifully carved headstones.

My heart can hardly stand not knowing these people's stories... My imagination quickly steps up and fills in the gap between "Born" and "Died".

Monday, August 03, 2009

New Pattern Release... On the Oregon Trail

I am so excited to introduce to you:

On the Oregon Trail
Stitch Count: 140 by 342
Model stitched on Weeks Dye Works 35 count Linen-colored linen.
Model stitched using mostly Weeks Dye Works flosses, with the addition of a few DMC colors.
Frame by Valley House Primitives
Retail Price: $12

The idea for this sampler has been floating around in my brain for quite some time; it is my tribute to Oregon's 150th year of statehood.

Although the characters in my little story are fictional, each aspect of their story is a historically documented event that occurred during this important part of American history.

Lydia Winters dearly loved to work with needle & thread. At 11 years of age, she was already an accomplished seamstress. Upon learning that her family would be traveling the Oregon Trail, she immediately knew how she wanted make a record of their travels. She had from infancy admired the carefully preserved band sampler which was stitched years ago by her Great-Grandmother, & had always wanted to make one herself. But sampler stitching was no longer in vogue, so the opportunity had not presented itself to her until now… Now she would stitch bands representative of the visions they would surely see on their way.

In addition to the charted sampler, there is a more complete story of the Winters family, including a sheet dedicated to telling the historical context of each band stitched in the sampler.

The pattern is available through my etsy shop (see sidebar for link), or by contacting me directly.

In a fitting finish to this project, I drove the sampler and the kids just 7 miles down the road to the Philip Foster Farm for a quite meaningful photo shoot.

It may be that we were in an air-conditioned SUV rather than a rickety wagon pulled by oxen, but my sampler model and I did travel a portion of the last leg of the Oregon Trail together.