Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Homegrown Supper

Yessiree! Just-picked baby carrots and zucchini, peas, cilantro, and mesclun topped with toasted day-old home-made hamburger bun croutons and fried eggs that were gathered just this morning.
How I wish I could eat like this all year round!

Passing Through

Although I haven't posted about it much lately, our trail cam is still in constant action, capturing glimpses of what travels through our bit of woods on a daily basis. Lately, these are our most popular critters:

Monday, July 30, 2012

*NEW* Stars & Diamonds

This design started with a fabulous old frame… long and narrow, it demanded quirky motifs and a sentimental saying.

I borrowed the border idea from an old sampler glimpsed at an antique show, and a romantic phrase from a Bob Dylan song.

I know, I know… pairing Boots of Spanish Leather with an antique-style needlework sampler seems an odd choice, but how could I resist the lines,

Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean
I'd forsake them all for your sweet kiss
For that's all I'm wishin' to be ownin'.

The entire model is worked with cross stitches, using one thread worked over-two.

Stitch Count: 268 x 94
Model stitched on DMC 28ct. Natural linen which was coffee stained upon completion.

Using flosses from The Gentle Art: 0420 Gold Leaf, 1130 Wood Smoke, 1190 Fisherman’s Wharf, 7004 Brethren Blue, 7045 Mountain Mist, 7046 Weathered Barn, 7061 Caramel Corn, 7080 Endive

The lovely frame is an antique.

This design 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: beth@heartstringsamplery.com 

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's Friday

Wishing you Belly Giggles and an Imagination as deep as the Atmosphere.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I'm up to my elbows every other day in raspberries and blueberries... just enough to make me sigh and grin and shake my head and set to it all over again. Pick, pick, pick, wash, smash, stir, bubble, pour, freeze. Repeat.

And last night, look what I spotted in my garden by the hundreds...
Every year I think my garden is going to be the death of me. And every year I do it again. Because the home-grown food throughout the winter is worth it... Remind me of that truth at least once a week until the Summer is over, okay?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hodge Podge

In which I unload a bunch of random photos that have been waiting in my "for blog" folder, too good to throw away, not good enough, apparently, for a full blog post. Poor photos.
Da-dum, da-dum, da-dum... welcome to Amity Island!
This one is called, "Dandelion Bokeh":
To be followed by "Red Poppy Bokeh":
I think I'll leave my bokeh experimenting for lighted scenes.

Know anyone hooked on sudoku? My dad and son both are.
Personally, I'm hooked on Rhubarb Custard Pie.
And goofy-cousin photo ops.
And kitties napping on coffee bags.
And chartreuse trees trimmed with day-glo red hearts.
And my family...
We are all together only about every three years. The last time we united was in 2009. This photo was taken on Sunday. My parents and two brothers with their wives and most of the grandkids are seated on the ground. Back row is my two sisters and I with husbands, babies (Clara's first visit to Twistville!), and our Uncle.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Pace of Summer

I'm having a hard time reconciling my view of what Summer ought to be (lazy, relaxed, luxurious), and what in reality is taking place.
I see the snails creeping about in the morning, and sleeping all through the day.
The berries invest every particle of energy into slow ripening, taking their time to develop as bud, flower, fruit.
The trees in the orchard slowly produce and swell, promising to give ripe gifts... eventually.
The rust, lichen, thorns, even the sweep of the sun across the sky feels slow and heady with sleep.
But the turn of the calendar is much too swift, and I see the store shelves stocked with pencils and pee-chees and Back to School!!! glows in bright signage.
S l o w  d o w n, world. Don't rush these Summer days of mine. I'm not ready yet to think about letting my boy go. We have too much yet to accomplish... freckles to grow, frisbees to throw, clouds to gaze, marshmallows to toast, woods to explore, feet to bare, adventure to hoard.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cross Stitch

After a night full of thunder and lightning, I felt this morning like my brain needed a re-set. I sat down without a clear plan of what I wanted to write about today. When the writer's block didn't evaporate, I headed over to etsy for some inspiration. Its been a long time since I browsed just for the fun of it... I typed in the words "cross stitch" and selected the "vintage" category. Lo and behold, I found 195 pages worth of listings!

Antique linens, marked true to the fashion of the time...
Lovely old samplers...
Vintage table cloths...
Even printed mattress covers...
And inserts in leather portfolios...
Pre-printed kits hailing from yesteryear...
Lithographed tins...
Vintage kitchen samplers...
Victorian perforated paper tokens...
Even a vintage Saks Fifth Avenue shirt printed with a cross stitch pattern... and for only $10... I'd be buying this one if I was a size small... anyone?
By the time I got to page 30, my eyes had started to cross, and I decided I had better go find another way to re-set my brain... Perhaps some weed pulling will do the trick.


By the way, click on each picture to be re-directed to its listing on etsy, and tell me if I helped you find a new treasure! Happy shopping...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fun With Kids

It doesn't take much, really.
Just an old camera, held together with a rubber band and masking tape,
and add a little dose of silly imagination.
Good old-fashioned fun is there waiting for anyone who wants to take hold.
There is much to be said in defense of Innovation as the Mother of fun.
 Who needs to rely on plastic and factory wares for entertainment?
Who says feet are meant to stay on the ground?
I say feet are there to be used as we see fit, and if those feet can make a person soar, then so be it.
Especially if that person weighs 37.6 pounds and has the most contagious giggle in the world.