Wednesday, February 27, 2013

*NEW* Sampler for Baby

I’m not sure why, with two of my own children and eleven nieces and nephews, I hadn’t yet designed a Baby Sampler. But this last Summer, when my newest niece was born several weeks early, spending the first month of her life in the NICU, I poured all my nervous energy into designing this sampler. She is healthy and growing well now, nearing her first birthday, and hopefully will enjoy having this momento added to the d├ęcor in her nursery.

I wanted a Baby Sampler that wasn’t too gender specific, and certainly wanted to stay away from the pastel colors they are usually made up of. This sampler is meant to be traditional in nature, yet with just enough whimsy to make it suited for a child’s room.

I’ve included a full alpha-numeric set with some extra space on the graph for you to be able to customize it for the baby of your choosing. I do hope you enjoy this design.

Stitch Count: 197 x 133
Model stitched on Picture This Plus 40ct. Sand

Using flosses from The Gentle Art:
7019 Pomegranate, 7061 Caramel Corn, 7080 Endive, 7092 Otter Creek
And from Weeks Dye Works:
1230 Havana, 2202 Bullfrog, 2219 Whiskey, 2241 Chrysanthemum

Frame was thrifted then re-sized to fit.

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:

Monday, February 25, 2013


Phase Three of diagnosing what has been ailing me is complete.

Phase One was treating the immediate symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue with an Acetylcholine-boosting protocol of vitamins and minerals along with a careful diet of foods that would help regulate blood sugar levels. And rest. Lots of rest.

Phase Two was testing my reproductive hormone levels. The results being that my Progesterone is (and probably has been for several years) extremely low. This is a rather easy thing to fix with application of cream. And, most exciting of all, may be the root cause of the insomnia I've battled since my Firstborn entered the world. I'm hoping to experience the restoration of normal sleep in the near future.

Phase Three I entered with skepticism, because I didn't feel that it applied to my situation. But I followed my Naturopath's advice and had a full food allergy/sensitivity panel done. Now this panel, when done by a traditional Allergist, would only test for foods that caused an anaphylactic response. When done by a doctor who wants to find root causes for symptoms, it will also include testing for additional antibodies which may indicate food sensitivities.

Results? Across the board, nothing very obvious or life-altering in my case, except eggs. EGGS? But I love eggs! I have my very own herd of chickens that provide delicious good-for-me proteins and amino acids! Well, I guess not good for ME.

Since I was having this test done, I also made an appointment for the First Grader, who has had lifelong tendencies toward allergic symptoms, and who I have long suspected to be somewhat intolerant of dairy products.

Now this is where the ADAPTING from the title of this post comes in. My Firstborn, Son of my Heart, Delight of my Days, is indeed sensitive to Dairy. But also highly sensitive to Gluten and Eggs.

Breathe a big sigh with me, my friends.

Alone, or even together, Gluten and Dairy allergies can be rather easily overcome in this day and age, because of the vast amount of replacement products available in the supermarket. But add eggs to the mix, and it grows infinitely more challenging. Eggs are in everything!

I have already done a lot of research on eating Primal (Paleo), and think that my family will adapt to this way of eating rather easily, even with the exclusion of eggs.

What has me completely stumped, and put my brain into a vortex of calculations that has even kept me away from this blog for a week, is how to feed a First Grader who doesn't like nuts a hearty breakfast to hold him over to lunch while he's at school, and then there's that lunch... They don't allow much time for eating in the public school system, so snacks mid-morning are nearly impossible to provide, and the lunches have to be quick and easy to eat. Most Gluten free breads on the market are either as dry as a piece of toast or have eggs as an ingredient. So sandwiches aren't totally out of the question, but who wants to scarf down dry bread while the lunchroom monitors are hurrying you out the door? I'm not crazy about the idea of just putting a pile of lunchmeat (even the "good" kinds put out by Applegate) into his lunchbox because to me that equals nasty greasy fingers, and way too much processed meat for my preference.

So for now, I'm going to experiment with a couple of bread recipes that I found on Pinterest, and hope to tap into the resource of a few friends that have already started down the same road. And I will try to stay focused on the reason I'm following through... I want my Boy to be healthy. I want the best for him, and if that means extra work on my part, well, that's just me doing my Mama-job.

Feel free to chime in with any suggested resources you may know of from your own personal experience.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Challenge

Awhile back, I purchased a wonderful old sampler from Kathy Barrick. She had had it for some time, with the intention of charting it for reproduction, but decided to part with it. Now that I have it in my possession, I can certainly understand why she never got around to working up the chart. My goodness, I have my work cut out for me!
But it is such an amazing old sampler that there is no way I could keep it to myself. Which leads me to a question that I want you to answer for me...
When stitching reproductions, do you prefer them to resemble the antique, complete with missing stitches, or do you prefer to have the missing/decayed stitches filled in so that you can see what it may have looked like in its original form?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Two Years

Two years ago on President's Day, we moved six adult dogs into our new kennel as we took over the Labrador breeding business started by my Father-in-Law. It has been a challenging and rewarding two years resulting in 52 families being sent home with a new furball to love.

Well, this time its our turn.
Introducing Ginger, our very own 7-week-old puppy, who, in two more years, if all things go well, will begin yet another generation of furballs to bring joy into human lives.
A generation that will hopefully contain a good dose of strawberry blondes.
Strawberry blondes that like to chase bubbles,
and hang out with little girls.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What is Love?


“There is no greater love than this: 
that a person would lay down his life for the sake of his friends.”
John 15:13 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentines for First Graders

Its that time of year again. The time I sigh and dread yet another influx of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Everything in moderation, right? Yet it seems that its become completely appropriate for the Littles to be loaded up with candy on any holiday.

So my quest continues... the quest to participate without contributing to a bunch of 7 year olds bouncing off the walls.

My idea last year was a huge hit in the Kindergarten class, and my Boy even requested we do the same thing this year. But I convinced him otherwise with these...
Little wooden bird whistles (sadly, I broke a rule and bought them even though they're made in China), found in bulk on amazon.
Little home-printer tags that have the kid-approved non-mushy sentiment "You make my Heart sing." printed on them, with room on the back for a hand-written To and From (look Mama, I can write my name in cursive!).

The whole assembly came to about sixty cents a piece. Those kids are completely worth it.
Simply attached with a rubber band and ready to become a deadly weapon in the hands of 29 First Graders who have had too much sugar to eat.
Perhaps I'll give the Teacher a pair of ear muffs this year. 

Friday, February 08, 2013

If I Could...

I would fill your windows with sunshine 
and make sure your day includes surprising encounters with love.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

*NEW* George & Martha

Found in two completely different locations, within a few months of each other, there is no historical connection between these two sets of silhouettes. However, there was just no way I could split them up once brought together, so you get two versions of the same colonial couple in one booklet.

I chose to only stitch models of one set of silhouettes, and to make them in miniature, and absolutely love how they turned out!

Martha & George Miniatures
Stitch Count: 41 x 63 each
Models stitched over-one with one strand on R&R Reproductions 28ct Old Mill Java.
Using Weeks Dye Works’ 3900 Kohl.
Frames found at a local craft store.

Martha & George Originals
Stitch Count: 41 x 63 each
Stitched over-three with two strands on approximately 40 count linen.

George & Martha Originals
Stitch Count: 41 x 57 each
Stitched over-three with two strands on approximately 48 count linen, leaving one thread in between crosses.

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:

Right on Time

"Your journey has molded you for your greater good, 
and it was exactly what it needed to be. 
Don't think that you've lost time. 
It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. 
And now is right on time."  
- Asha Tyson

Monday, February 04, 2013


I am proud to announce that as of Friday, I have now packed away the remaining bits of Christmas.

Well... with the exception of the little fake tree on the upstairs landing covered in kids' ornaments. Perhaps later this week for that task...

Part of the joy of getting the decor all put away was the subsequent cleaning and organizing that led me to the stash of Christmas gifts that I had ignored during the weeks of my sickness. And there, at the top of the stack, my very favorite.
A secret organized by his school teacher, which came home wrapped, with a handmade card, and rested under the tree for agonizing weeks.
"Merry Christmas! Mama" it screamed at me from the front.

And inside, "happy holoDay's! MAma! I have a Present for you. close the carD anD open the present it's a nice present."
And indeed, it is. You should have seen his face when I told him that it was going to live on the mantle once I got the Christmas garland put away. He was so happy and proud to know that I was willing to put it up with some of my favorite things.
And truly, it is the one thing up there now that I would try to save if the house went up in flames. Such a priceless little treasure, crafted with love by my Boy's hands, and painted blue because he knows that's the color I love best.
What was your very favorite Christmas gift this year?