Thursday, March 31, 2011

Out Like a Lion

At least we are done with the snow... but I will be SO happy to be done with the rain as well.

It has been a record-breaking March in our area. By this time last year, we had already reached 60 degrees ten times over (and most other years 5-8 times)... This year? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Double the usual amount of rain and cold.



I have made so many trips to the kennel and back, through the mud, that my rubber boots are cracking apart at the ankle. Hm. Wait a minute... that's a good thing... that means I get to shop for new rubber boots, right?

I have purchased daffodils for my kitchen windowsill twice, and I'm not the kind of girl that buys flowers for herself.

Okay, okay... I'll stop whining now. No one likes a whiner.

Besides, I am a believer in the old Norwegian saying, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes".

Things That Make Me Smile

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beautiful Things

An old crock full of my favorite coffee bean (another free wallpaper! For your personal use only, please)...

hunted-down discontinued fabric (Moda, Kashmir V, Antique Garden, Brown) which arrived in the mail yesterday...

a little girl who just had her first ever accident-free day...

and this strange glowing orb that appeared in our evening sky a few nights ago. Anyone know what it could be?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Brace Yourself

Because you are about to be bowled over by a massive overdose of puppy cuteness.

We assigned numbers to the 8 chubby puppies in Sierra's litter on Sunday. Here they are, at 3 weeks old...

S1, Male, 4.4 pounds

S2, Male, 4.8 pounds

S3, Female, 4.1 pounds

S4, Female, 4.7 pounds

S5, Male, 4.2 pounds

S6, Male, 4.6 pounds

S7, Female, 4.1 pounds

S8, Male, 3.3 pounds

Monday, March 28, 2011

We Have a Winner!

From amongst the multitude of names (gathered in one of my new/old Johnson Bros Hampton bowls)...

Random Generator #1 reached in without peeking, and drew...


Now, unbeknownst to you, this happens to be my 800th post on this here bloggy thing. Eight Hundred Posts. Good grief... that is a lot of words and a lot of photos. And here you are, still reading, not bored to death.

So... I called Random Generator #2 into the room and let her draw a consolation prize winner...


And because I am such a sucker, and didn't want the fun to be over (and the kids were begging me to let them draw again), we did one more round...



Sadly, I do not have any more scissor fobs to grant to our three additional winners. But I do have some remaining note card sets which you will be able to choose from. If you don't get a note from me in your inbox by this afternoon, it is because I can't hunt you down through available methods, and you had better contact me yourself.

Congratulations all, and a huge THANK YOU to all of my readers for indulging me in this fun hobby called BLOGGING!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Picture of the Week

Whelping box heat lamps glowing in the night... Mmmmm... Warm.


I was suddenly struck this morning, as I was making my first kennel rounds of the day, that I am currently the caretaker of TWENTY SEVEN dogs. Does that sound absolutely bonkers to you?

It does to me.

Yet here I am, surrounded by four frolicking dogs (the three mamas... Maggie, Jazzi and Sierra, along with our "porch dog" Bailey, with three more in the play yard clamoring for attention and TWENTY pups.

The pups are almost all walking now, and have begun to experiment with their voices. In between naps and milk breaks, we often hear "rrrrrrrr-rowf!" followed by a "yip!" as someone made an attempt at pouncing on someone else. They are still quite unsteady on their paws, and spend just about as much time toppling over as they do standing.

And there is nothing quite like peeking in at mealtime and seeing a row of fat little nursing bodies attached to wagging tails.

We are nearing the halfway mark, the point when our list of waiting families get to choose and place a deposit on their pup. It is sure to be both exciting (hooray!) and disappointing (boo!), since there is no way to custom order a litter to suit everyone (we wish we could!). But with even more people poised on the waiting lists, we are sure that there will be TWENTY happy homes when May rolls around.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Giveaway!

In order to create a pdf tutorial to go along with my Sweet Lovers Love the Spring design, I had to construct another Silver Dollar Scissor Fob.

The flower is different from that in the pattern, as I made the new fob from part of an abandoned sampler.

It has been sitting here on my desk, looking all Springlike and wanting to be put to use, and I realized that one of you simply must have it.

So... leave a comment on this post if you want to take part... simple as that. No rules or requirements or complicated hoops to jump through. Just give me a hello, and be sure to leave an email address if you are commenting as a guest rather than a google user. I'll take comments all weekend, and a winner will be chosen on Monday morning. Good Luck!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Working Pin Cushion

I glanced down at the counter this morning, as I poured my first cup of coffee, and was struck by how artistic my poor, messy little working pin cushion looked.

I put her to good use yesterday, as I dug into a sewing project.

At one point, I had my mouth absolutely stuffed full of pins, had my foot on the treadle with machine needle whirring, and had to intervene in a small kid argument (yes, they DO squabble, despite their angelic faces). I thought I was going to choke on a pin.

And I suddenly had a flashback of my Mama, with a mouth full of pins, scolding us kids for some infraction, and barely being able to understand a word of what she said. But the emotion conveyed was crystal clear, and we knew we were in trouble if we didn't stopitrightnow!

I wonder how many of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers were caught with a mouth full of pins when they had children to scold.

My working pincushion isn't anything fancy. Its a somewhat vintage tomato that had lost its strawberry. I long ago replaced the strawberry with one of my own making and attached the pair to a wooden base, adding a fringe of linen scrap for decoration.

The amazingly tiny sampler scissor fob was stitched by Patti. I kept losing it (and the attached scissors), so I hung it from the cushion, where it now lives in plain sight so that I can enjoy it and have a place for keeping my working needles separate from the pins.

The giant needle was my Grandmother's. I have no idea what project she used it for, but I find it handy for keeping scissors corralled.

And a little present for you... this final picture has been especially sized to use as wallpaper on a widescreen monitor. It is free for your personal use. Simply click to enlarge, then save to your computer & enjoy!

And by all means, I REALLY LOVE TO READ YOUR COMMENTS... if you have a mouth-full-of-pins or pin cushion story to share, I would love to hear it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


While eating my usual morning bowl of Kashi cereal the other day, my eyes caught a cheerful pattern.

I seem to be finding faces in the oddest places these days. And I promise... not a single one of them has been staged.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Would Someone Please Turn Off the Faucet?

Super Moon

Did you see the Super Moon on Saturday night?

To my naked eye, it didn't seem any bigger than a normal full moon, but boy, was it bright!

A camera should not be able to take a photo like this at 11 pm...

Thats our Chicken House and long shadows of trees stretching across the field.

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Release... Sweet Lovers Love the Spring

A new design for you today... now listed in my etsy shop and also available directly through me via email (

Inspired by Shakespeare and Spring Fever, this sweet little pin cushion is a quick and festive way to combat the lingering-winter-blues.

I used one line from a song that the author included in his famous As You Like It play (the entire song is printed inside the chart cover).

Also included in this pattern are a bonus alphabet for customization and an over-one version of the verse, in case you would prefer it to be tiny.

In addition, there are instructions for making a Silver Dollar Scissor Fob, which is filled with... a real US Silver Dollar. I just love how compact yet weighty it is. I confess that until now, I didn't really "get" fobs, but I find that I'm a little hooked on the feel of this fellow dangling from my scissors.

Stitch Count: 113 x 113
Model stitched on Weeks Dye Works 40ct. Angel Hair

Using flosses from The Gentle Art: 0450 Corn Husk, 0520 Copper, 0540 Brandy, 7018 Woodrose, 7041 Apple Cider

Conversion to DMC provided with the pattern.

For finishing the Pin Cushion, you will need additional matching linen for backing, wide rick-rack in a cream or ecru color, and batting or filling of your choice.

For finishing the Silver Dollar Scissor Fob, you will need additional matching linen for backing, narrow rick-rack in a cream or ecru color, and one US Silver Dollar.

All of my patterns come with a fully detailed & professional thread chart, color photograph, & my recommendations for floss and fabric. It will arrive in a plastic zip-close envelope for safe keeping.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I braved some cold, wet, weather yesterday. Not just on one of my many trips to the kennel with a bottle of formula, but...

because I glanced out my kitchen window and noticed this...

Now, it has been far from Spring-like around here lately, so I was a little surprised. But Forsythia is usually one of the first, so... okay.

Then, on the way back to the house, with my head down to avoid rain in my eyes, I spotted this...

and this...

and best of all, this...

Hellebore, glorious Hellebore, oh how I love thee!

Undaunted by cold, gloom, and so much WET that the grass sloshes when stepped upon, you stand there, defiant.

I am going to take a cue from you, pretty flower, and bring the Spring weather on with the force of my will, if at all possible.

Oh, and by the way... to ye of Irish descent... and to ye who celebrate for the sake of celebration... A Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Valuable Training

When they were younger, I used to say to the kids, "Okay, its clean up time!", then I got down on the floor and helped them clean. And by "helped them clean", I mean that I did most of the picking up, and had to coach and coax them to stay on task.

Now all I have to do is pull out the vacuum cleaner (insert evil Mom laughter here).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thankful for Kerosene and Generators

Yesterday afternoon, a storm front blew through, bringing winds up to 70 miles per hour and driving rain. It was a rather short blast, only lasting about an hour, but it knocked power out to thousands of homes in the area.

We lost power around 3 yesterday afternoon, and it wasn't restored until 6 am. There are still many in our county that are without power as I type this.

It wouldn't have been much of a deal for us on a normal night. We have wood heat and a small collection of old footed glass oil lamps that are always ready to light. But this time around, there are puppies to keep warm too. They are still young enough that they need a steady 80 degree environment. So my in-laws came to the rescue with a generator that kept the kennel warm all night, and also gave us a chance to watch part of our favorite Sunday evening show with the kids (AFV, of course!).

If you click on the second photo, you will get a larger version that I custom sized to fit your flat screen as wallpaper. Feel free to take a copy, but only for personal use, please!

Speaking of puppies, last week was a tough one, with five struggling puppies that we were feeding with a dropper. We lost four of them. We know that we did everything we could to keep them alive, but it would seem that they had issues in the womb that they weren't able to overcome. Being our first litter (Maggie's), it was a shock to our systems. I don't cry very often, but I did shed tears for the families that were hoping to take them home, and for the injustice of puppies born only to suffer and die. We have so many wonderful customers; more customers than puppies, and losing four made the ratio of pups to homes even lower. The good news is that the fifth puppy seems to finally be winning the battle, gaining a few ounces this weekend, and showing signs of being able to nurse on her own.

And even more good news... on Wednesday, in the midst of a visit from my Parents and Grandma, and feeding sick puppies, Jazzi had a litter of NINE puppies. We won't call their colors officially until they are pretty close to time to go to their new homes, as they can develop pigment in that time, but we are pretty confident that the majority of them will be able to claim a rare color: white.