Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Its Leap Day, Have You Caught Your Man?

Because I'm snowed in today and feel like celebrating an extra day on my calendar (Hooray for Leap Year!), if you enter the coupon code LEAPDAY when you check out in my etsy shop (today only!), you'll be given an extra 20% off. That means $10 patterns will be $8 and $12 patterns will be $9.60. Woot!

The legend goes that St. Bridget of Ireland was frustrated that all the non-nun ladies in 5th century Ireland had to sit around waiting for proposals that might never come. She complained about it to St. Patrick who, probably impressed by Bridget’s ability to turn her used bathwater into beer, finally proclaimed that women could have the chance to propose themselves once every four years on the leap day. This became known as “The Ladies’ Privilege.”
Maybe its because I've spent the majority of my life under a rock... I had never heard of this fabulous tradition. You can read all about it here, where I found all images and information.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Happy News

I don't know if its a HUGE deal, or a BIG deal, or a normal deal, but I am very excited to tell you that I will be the featured designer in the upcoming issue of The Gift of Stitching magazine. Doesn't feel very normal to me!
I was so taken aback and honored when the editor asked if I would consider doing the interview. Would I? As if saying no to such an opportunity was an option!

I can't show you any pictures of the design that will be released along with my interview, but if you are reading my blog, the chances are high that you love to stitch, and that you like my designs, and that means you are going to love what I have submitted to the magazine. I hinted at my big news back in this post, and also gave a glimpse of the design in progress. Which one is it? You'll have to wait and see!

It is a digital-subscription magazine which I had only heard about but never read until recently. And I have to say that it is chock-full of great articles and charts and interesting tidbits about new items available to stitchers. Most definitely worth the $20 subscription, in my opinion. So, if you are yet to jump on board, now is a good time. The new issue will be available on March 1st.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Living in a Snow Globe

Later Saturday morning, the kids recruited their tall and strong Daddy to help construct "Frosty II".
They always name their snowmen "Frosty II".

Not to be confused with "Frosty I", who is the original Frosty, the one remembered fondly in song, and never to be duplicated, apparently.
This version of "Frosty II" didn't last long, due to a flaw in his construction, we suppose, as he was found face down and broken into bits a mere 45 minutes after birth.

Sometime during the next day, a break in the clouds brought some sunshine while it was snowing.
Which made me comment on just how much I love it when there has been a snowfall, then the skies clear and it gets cold enough that the snow doesn't melt and the whole world turns all bright and sparkly, like the inside of a snow globe when its not being shaken.
And that's what I awoke to this morning.
Everything dusted and glittering and sparkly and bright.
A happy infusion of Vitamin D five inches deep.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


This photo was taken yesterday...
the very first Robin seen in our yard in 2012.

Yippee! Hooray! Spring is nearly here! So Excited!

Uh, wait...

hold that thought...

This photo was taken this morning...

Friday, February 24, 2012

*NEW* Gather Ye Tulips

I can’t even really put my finger on the moment of inspiration for this design. I had seen a super folky and sweet old sampler on an antiques web site that had a girl on a horse. I liked the idea, but stashed it away in my brain for awhile. Then somehow, when I sat down to create my own version, she ended up riding on a Stag! And they were frolicking along through a field of tulips, of all things. The opening stanza of Robert Herrick’s poem, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” came to my mind,

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.

The over-riding message of Herrick’s work is that life is short, the world is beautiful, love is splendid, and we must use the short time we have to make the most of it. I hope he doesn’t mind that I tweaked his poem just a little, by substituting a different flower!

Stitch Count: 146 x 120
Model stitched on Weeks Dye Works 40ct. Beige

Using flosses from The Gentle Art: 0540 Brandy, 1150 Flax, 7019 Pomegranate,
7057 Roasted Marshmallow, 7061 Caramel Corn, 7080 Endive

And flosses from Weeks Dye Works: 1134 Cherub, 1171 Dove, 1230 Havana

This design is now available in my etsy shop, is being displayed this weekend by Norden Crafts at the TNNA show in Nashville, and will be going out to my other distributor and the shops on my automatic shipments list today. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

*NEW* Beatrice Godfrey (a Faithfully Reproduced Antique Sampler)

When I spotted this old sampler in an online auction, it was love at first sight. I placed a low bid, fitting my budget at the time, and hoped for the best. You know the end of the story already, for indeed, this sampler came to my home to live.

Undated, I guess it to be from the beginning or middle of the 19th century, but don’t have much solid expertise to base that hunch on. The person that I purchased it from bought it from a Philadelphia estate. Searches online for a Beatrice Godfrey in Pennsylvania have not turned up any details. I may one day find the time or proper tools to unearth the origins of this sampler but for now, I am content to live with the mystery.

The quote reads:
Short is our longest day of life
And soon its prospect ends
But on that day’s uncertain date
Eternity depends

Stitch Count: 180 x 163
Model stitched on Northern Cross 35ct. Cream linen that was coffee-stained prior to stitching.

Using flosses from The Gentle Art:
7057 Roasted Marshmallow, 7077 Cucumber, 7080 Endive, 7093 Wheat Fields

And flosses from Weeks Dye Works:
1331 Brick, 2104 Deep Sea, 2168 Monkey Grass

DMC conversion is available upon request.

Frame by Valley House Primitives.

This design is now available in my etsy shop, is being displayed this weekend by Norden Crafts at the TNNA show in Nashville, and will be going out to my other distributor and the shops on my automatic shipments list today. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Head Colds and Missing Teeth

I poured myself a mug of coffee just now, and spent nearly a full minute trying to figure out how I had managed to only brew enough for one serving. I was certain that I had made the usual amount... Sighing, and resigning myself to brewing more later if I wanted it, I trudged over to my desk.

Where I found a full mug of coffee that I had poured a few minutes earlier.

Good grief. Grey hairs and forgetfulness at 37 years of age... what's next?

In other news, we once again have head colds, no thanks to the Kindergartener and his lovely classmates mingling their germs in a perpetual cycle. At least this feeling-poorly makes me experience less guilt about spending a rainy morning (in between chores) parked right here:
The walking germ-center lost another tooth last night, while eating his supper. He was so excited I thought he was going to bounce right into the atmosphere. Honestly, I remember losing teeth as being a bit on the traumatic side. Not this kid. He is thrilled to have a giant hole in his smile.

Extreme Papercutting

Brian Dettmer's art is breath-taking, is it not?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just Because

Just a few things that struck my fancy on a gloomy stuffed-up-head kind of a day.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Market Releases

I have two new designs that have made the trip to Norden Crafts to be displayed at the TNNA show this coming weekend. If you are so fortunate as to be visiting the show this year, be sure to stop in and say hello, and snap a photo for me.

I'll be putting the first shipments of the new designs in the mail on Friday, going out to the shops on my automatic list. If you want to be included in that first batch, don't hesitate to send me an email. I'll gladly start a pre-order list.

I'll officially post details for each pattern on Friday.

Beatrice Godfrey (a Faithfully Reproduced Antique Sampler) ...

Gather Ye Tulips ...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentines for Kindergarteners

Oh, the piles of candy and store-bought character-themed Valentines my son brought home in his decorated cereal box! I pretty much expected the volume of candy *sigh*. I am such a candy Nazi that we still have a pretty good assortment left, most pieces from Christmas time, but some dating back as far as last Easter.

There were a few very charming hand-made Valentines, but I am claiming the title of "Mom Who Had the Best Valentine Idea" (the yummy filled mini cupcakes just about trumped our contribution, I freely admit).

The home-printer and hand-colored (all by him, I promise) bits of paper say, "You brighten my day!"

And attached to the back? LED finger lights.
Yes, they were a favorite, although, realistically, I realize that the fruit snacks, dip-sticks, lollipops, and pin-badges were all greeted with almost as much enthusiasm.

But I am proud to say that our contribution was the only one that incited a lecture from the Teacher... "ATTENTION CLASS! Do NOT point your lights in each others' eyes! You can point them at the floor or at the ceiling or at the pages in your book, but DO NOT EVER POINT THEM AT EACH OTHERS' EYES!"

Class rabble-rouser... yep, that's me!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Little Ones

I realize that I have been quite remiss in keeping you up to date on the puppies. The last time I posted pictures, they were sleepy little blobs of fur. Well, they aren't so sleepy anymore.

At nearly five weeks old, they are only a few weeks away from going to their forever homes. We usually let our families pick their puppy at the four week mark, but we had the Memorial Service for my Father in Law last weekend, and just didn't want to deal with the extra busy-ness. So this coming Saturday will be the day that these furballs get to find out where they will live and whom they will terrorize for the first few years of their lives (until their brains arrive in the mail and they realize they are supposed to be well-behaved).
We already have an inkling of which pup will be named Lucy, and are pretty sure which ones will be Luke and Rusko. There is also a Fiona in there, and Dungee (as in Dungeness Crab- he's going to a deep-sea fishing family). I think I also heard the names Boone and Agnes, and a few others were being discussed. Its pretty important, you know, this puppy-naming business.

Speaking of puppies, this is often how you will find my own litter, when we grown-ups are busy about kennel chores. Aren't they the cutest ever?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

*NEW* Haste Ye Back... Wool Applique Pattern

I was pretty excited yesterday when it started to snow... on the day I needed to take a photo of a snowy scene, no less! I know that most of you are longing for Spring and possibly want nothing to do with snow right about now, but bear with me...
I have had an image of a vintage hooked rug in my inspiration folder for a very long time. Quite simple and folky, it shows a tiny log cabin flanked by three enormous Fir trees. So cozy and homey and reminiscent of the imaginary picture in my head of Heidi’s Grandfather’s home in the high Alps.

Don’t we all have an ideal image in our minds of a peaceful and rustic place to escape the busy reality of our everyday lives?

Now I have a reminder hanging on my wall to Haste Ye Back… even if that just means setting my tasks aside for a few moments and breathing deeply, imagining myself in a peaceful and cozy place.

Included in this pattern booklet are full-size, ready to cut out template pieces, and basic instructions.

For now, this pattern will only be available through my etsy shop, or by contacting me directly.

I had the pleasure of working with my friend, the owner of Wool Town, who custom-dyed the wools for my model according to my often-rambling descriptions, and got the colors spot-on. For a limited time, she will make custom kits available for sale in her shop. Hurry and place your order before they are gone!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Day

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness."
Jeremiah 31:3
That's what it says.
We are loved with an EVERLASTING love.
Not like everlasting gobstoppers that really don't last that long.
This is the true meaning of everlasting... forever love... isn't that what we all long for?
Someone who sees who we are, to the very core, and yet... loves us unconditionally?
And there it is, simple and pure and free.
"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, 
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." 
John 3:16
While I cherish the love of my Husband, Children, Family and Friends, 
this forever LOVE is what I cling to the hardest.
God won't send me chocolates or flowers today, but its okay... 
He gave me a greater gift. He gave up His very life for me.

Monday, February 13, 2012


So sorry I have been absent awhile longer than usual. The deadline bugs have been swarming about my head, buzzing and nagging.
I sat down for a few moments to write to you on Thursday morning, and just then, the power went out. We're all a little gun-shy about power outages at the moment. So I went into survival mode, checking puppies, and getting busy with other chores. The power was restored less than an hour later, but by then, all thoughts of blogging were in the past.
In a few days, I will have met all of my deadlines and life will resume at a more natural gait... I hope...
But first... 27 classmates and half a dozen teachers need Valentines tomorrow... there is an exciting project to finish up and send off, a secret that will be let out of the bag at a later date... there are two new releases coming out at the TNNA Nashville show at the end of the month, and one more to be revealed any day now right here on my blog... anyone want to come be my assistant?
Meet Lucie, proud Mama of the quickly growing pups. This is what she does the second you stop rubbing her behind her ears. I think maybe I need to learn to be as demanding as she is. I could use some shoulder rubs myself.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

At All Hours

If I had a GPS Tracker around my neck (or on my ankle!), the loops I would leave on a map would look something like this:

bed, coffee maker, pantry, wood stove, kennel.
coffee maker, laundry room, desk, kennel.
wood stove, laundry room, coffee maker, kennel.
driveway, school parking lot, classroom, return.
upstairs, laundry room, kennel.
wood stove, pantry, desk, kennel.
desk, upstairs, kennel.
driveway, school parking lot, classroom, post office, grocery store, return.
kennel, pantry, laundry room, kitchen, kennel.
kitchen, dining room, family room, upstairs, kennel.
stitching chair, kennel... bed.

And on one of those after-dark loops through the kennel, I would notice the brightness of the moon and stars and make an extra trip back to the house to see if my new camera (unlike my old camera) would take a picture that captures the stars.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Our Super Bowl Party

It was really exciting. There was water to drink and popcorn to eat. It only lasted for 2 quarters (the last half), and was mostly filled with cuddles and tickles in between commercials and trips to the kennel to check on puppies.
I made my grand entrance when there was about a minute left on the clock. Just after the Patriots let the Giants get a touchdown, in the hopes that they would then have enough time to take it to the other end for the win. That's how I like to watch games. Let all the jostling and legwork get done, then pop in at the end, when the moves they make REALLY matter.

The only way it could have been better would be if I could have spent the entire game sitting and stitching. But sometimes there are just bigger fish to fry.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Even the Mighty Fall

Do you remember my favorite tree? The one that I said our Beaver Family had been nibbling on?
That was November. We have been watching the winter winds blow and the snow pile on, and the rains fall. Each time the gusting winds passed through, you could find us standing at our window, watching it sway, knowing that it has been eaten within an inch of its life, waiting, hoping, to actually SEE it fall... and yet still it stood.

During the night, this past Thursday-into-Friday, the winds blew again, but this time out of the East. And that was all it took.
One glance out my window that morning, and my breathe caught.
The kids and I took an adventure that morning, to investigate.
You'd think they planned it out... every potential variance of weather and wind. Gnawed only from three sides, rather than all the way around.
It fell *exactly* across the creek, and just downstream from their dam.
Not too far from the tip of that other tree they felled.
For nearly 13 years, this tree has entertained me.
That is twice the length of time that the Cottonwood of my early years captivated my climbing and imaginary play.
Silly, I know, but I am sad to see it go. Soothed quite a lot, though, by the means of its demise.
Its a little like living in the pages of a National Geographic article.
Watching the change of the landscape under the teeth of a remarkable creature.
Captivating the attention of a new generation.