Monday, December 31, 2012

One Day at a Time

The puppies have all gone home.

Most Christmas celebrations are over (one pending).

This is the full moon the other night, beaming through mist and tree branches.
I may be pretty scarce around here for awhile. I've been knocked pretty low by some mystery virus that has me completely drained of energy. Doctors are on task, but so far no clear answers. I may have to just wait it out. I'll be putting my etsy shop in vacation mode so that I don't have to worry about getting orders out. Pray for me, and lets hope together that 2013 dawns much brighter.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

And if that isn’t enough, we also wish you
Music, fresh air, playful puppies,
flaky-crusted homemade pies,
and True Peace that you feel
in the very depths of your soul.

The Twists . 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Just in Case... (Apocalypse Sale!)

Just in case the world does indeed end today, I thought I'd take the opportunity to tell you how much I like you.
Its because of you that my inner artist was discovered and allowed to flourish through photos, words, stitches.
I'm sure that one way or the other I would still be taking pictures, writing, and stitching, but certainly not on the same level and with such a kind group of recipients.
Feel like taking a risk today? Think the world will still be here tomorrow?
Enter the coupon code MAYANAPOCALYPSE when you checkout in my etsy shop and you'll get 21% off of your order. Today only! Because, you know, we might all be gone tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I know... I've been terribly bad about posting puppy pictures this time around. Want to see what I see several times a day during their romp and eating sessions?
 Their seventh week is almost here... the time they get to go become members of a new family.
We so look forward to that time around here.
For the families whose excitement grows by the day, and for the puppies who will now get undivided attention, and for us, because we get to rest!
The first puppy to leave will go home on Friday afternoon. His name is Rusko. His little face has changed so much since this picture was taken two weeks ago.
There was only one little girl  puppy this time around. Her name is Willow. Her owner tried to get a puppy out of our very first litter, but it didn't work out. Double the happiness for her AND us. We're so glad she got the one she wanted.
This next little guy will answer to the name Bentley... his family have been waiting to meet him for an entire year. They thought they wanted a girl, but he won their heart over the very first time their eyes met.
The resident litter chunk-o pup, who weighs in a full pound and a half heavier than the next in size, is going to live far away in Idaho. His name is Jax. He hasn't had the chance to meet his family yet, but continues to eat his way toward his go-home date with much anticipation.
This not-so-little guy (look how he fills out the weigh-in bag!) just met his new family last night. In our experience, people don't tend to register for a yellow pup when they see that the Daddy is a black and the Mama is a chocolate. But genetics are funny, and there are usually a couple of yellows that end up needing a home. When they arrived at our snowy home in the dark of evening, it was with a wait-and-see attitude. One look at that face and it was all over, no question. This pup is theirs. He might get the name Chaco, but with such short notice (we tapped into our waiting list to find them), they haven't quite made up their mind yet.
 And last, but certainly not least, is our other Bentley. Yes, two families, independently chose the same name. Wouldn't you like to say that you have TWO BENTLEYS parked outside? I would. Although on second thought, I'm not sure they would handle the snow and gravel that well. This Bentley is going to be best friends with twin boys. How's that for the perfect life of a Labrador?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

6 Reasons Why We Might Skip School Today

December Windows

Imagine the joy and delight going on in the house this morning... first truly measurable snowfall of the year, and school is on a 2-hour delay. Now to get in a little playtime before life returns to schedule....

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Baby is 7!

My sweet boy, who came home so very tiny and fragile (5 pounds 4 ounces and 3 weeks early), now stands 53 inches tall and weighs 80 pounds. At 7 years old.

He's up to my armpits already, unbelievable as it seems... and he is the light of my life.
We celebrated on Saturday so that he could have all weekend to play with his new toys. It was such a great day, enjoying his joy, delighting in his delight (I totally cheated... pressing M&Ms into frosting just didn't feel like much of an accomplishment, but boy, did he love that cake!)
And I'm sure you understand that my Mama's heart also felt grief. So many of those little lives taken in Connecticut were the same age as my baby. Just 7, or turning 7 soon. I held him (and her) tighter, cherished him (and her) with more vigor.
Purposed to make this celebration so special, so that he feels how much he's loved down to his very bones.
I also hugged his teacher extra tight this morning when I dropped him off at school. She understood.
And later this morning, I'll be arriving with a cooler full of TCBY to share with his classmates. Each of those little people is so precious, and I look forward to sharing a special treat with them.
This boy of mine has the power within him to change the world.

We all do.
He may spend most of his free time playing wii games and building with his LEGOs and giggling with his sister, but he knows how to LOVE.

And Love is the only thing that can make a real difference in the lives of this hurting and broken world.

Happy Birthday, my kind, clever, persistent, uninhibited, happy-hearted Boy. I love you with every atom in my body.

Friday, December 14, 2012

*NEW* Sarah E Schall 1850 & Sarah's Companion (Two Faithfully Reproduced Antique Samplers)

Found in two completely different locations, within a few months of each other, there is no historical connection between these two sweetly naïve samplers. However, there are so many similarities in condition, style, color, that I felt I had to put them together in one pattern booklet.

Sarah E. Schall was nice enough to include her name and the year, along with miscellaneous motifs and another name. Her teacher perhaps? The linen of her sampler is worn to a gauzy-thin web.

The sampler I’m calling “Sarah’s Companion” is undated and unsigned. Her linen is also worn to a soft and fragile state.

I imagine the girls that stitched these letters and motifs were of similar background and means, and most likely worked their samplers within a decade or two of each other.

I do hope you enjoy this charming pair. Just because their stitches weren’t so skilled or spectacular as many others of their time were, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be added to the selection of authentic reproductions available today.

Sarah E. Schall 1850
Stitch Count: 106 x 98
Model stitched on Picture This Plus 28ct. Mello
Using flosses from The Gentle Art: 7019 Pomegranate, 7048 Old Hickory, 7092 Otter Creek
Frame by Valley House Primitives

Sarah’s Companion
Stitch Count: 102 x 145
Model stitched on Picture This Plus 28ct. Mello
Using flosses from The Gentle Art: 7019 Pomegranate, 7048 Old Hickory, 7060 Picnic Basket, 7061 Caramel Corn, 7080 Endive, 7092 Otter Creek
Frame by Valley House Primitives

This booklet 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: 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

PDF Patterns

Did you know that a portion of my designs are available as PDF downloadable patterns? Well they are.

I have not, nor do I ever intend to give permission to any other seller to offer my designs in this format, so be aware that if you see them out there in cyberspace, being sold by anyone other than me, that they are pirated copies (and please let me know!).

I just decided to add two designs to my list of available PDFs...

I Sew'd My Heart, which many of you received as a free chart when you sent me a photo for my Around the World collection. Now available for purchase in my etsy shop or by contacting me directly (and still available for free if you want to play along and follow the rules as seen here).

And Partrige, Pare, & Turteldove, an early Christmas design of mine that I originally made available for a just short time. I still get requests for it from time to time, so I've permanently added it to the list.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Tree

12/12/12... I feel like I should be posting something ground-breaking in significance. I have a friend whose son is turning 12 today... that's pretty significant.

But no... I have nothing. Just some pictures of our Christmas tree.

One morning, late last week, the Farmboy left for work with a promise that he would do his best to get home before dark so that we could cut down our tree in photo-graphable light.

The kids were waiting with much excitement when he pulled into the driveway... Santa hats on! Boots on! Festive happiness bubbling!
The tree had been chosen days before... last row, sixth one down from the kennel... tallest, fullest one in our collection.
But not so tall and full that the almost-seven-year-old couldn't help by carrying the top end.
I had my trusty camera out, but wasn't holding my breathe that I would be able to capture any of the moments with much clarity. But once again, my gem performed better than expected, and although blurry, drew in so much more light than I thought possible.
This is the second year now that we've cut a tree from our own little Christmas tree plot. Fat and full, but still a bit on the short side, we were still so proud to bring it into the house and bedeck its branches with sparkling bits of memories.
We made sure to hang those new Beaver ornaments far away from the trunk of the tree, just in case they decided they wanted a snack.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where Mushrooms Grow

They're all over these days, those little umbrella funguses. Popping up in groups and as individuals. We like to play "Mushroom Hunt", and constantly have our eyes on the ground when we're out walking.
There's something about these little microcosms that always get my imagination firing. They make such whimsical little vignettes, growing there among the mosses and leaves.
Sprouting inside rail holes in fence posts.
Brown and white, purple, pink, slimy or dry. They are sure to shelter tiny little fairies during our plentiful Pacific Northwest downpours.
I know that if I were a fairy, I would certainly spend time cozy under one of these fabulous parasols.
I would probably also swing around their center poles just like Gene Kelly and the lamp post.
And then, when the rain stopped, I would bounce from cap to cap until I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe.
Too bad I'm not a tiny little fairy, eh? I'm sure I would put on a good show.