Monday, March 25, 2013

*Spring Break Sale*

*** Sorry everyone, as of this morning, Spring Break is over and so is the sale ***

It might not be true where you live, but here in my part of Oregon, not only is there 60 degree weather in the forecast, its also Spring Break!

We won't be going anywhere or doing anything special, just taking a break from school and enjoying each other. And probably not blogging much, if any.

So... to make it up to you, I'm offering all week long, in my etsy shop, a 15% discount when you use the coupon code HAPPYSPRING at checkout. There is a special box to enter it into, so don't write it in the comments, or the code won't be applied to your total (and I don't want to spend my Spring Break fixing invoices!).
Have a great week!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Its Art-Show Friday

Too priceless to keep to myself, I present to you, "The Sunshine, a Christmas Tree, and a Flower"...
And a First-Grade writing assignment, "When I'm 100"...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Free Chart... O Happy Day!

Its dark and drizzly out, and there's snow in our forecast, but I still have cause to celebrate today... Its the First day of Spring!

I hope you enjoy this little free chart I have to offer today... even if its still gloomy where you live, stitch it up and have an instant bit of happiness inside your house.
Click here to be directed to a free downloadable pdf charted version of this happy piece.

I charted it for colors that I like, but by all means, change it up to suit yourself and your stash of threads.

Add your name and date to your sampler... or don't... it is completely up to you.

Off you go... download the chart, spread the word to your stitching friends, challenge each other to be creative, send me photos of your completed work, and start checking the Heartstring Samplery Finish Blog to see how many different ways it is translated!

As always, I would be very grateful if you gave credit to me if you post photos or links anywhere online, or offer your finished goods up for sale.

Monday, March 18, 2013

*NEW* East or West

"One's home is like a delicious piece of pie you order in a restaurant on a country road one cozy evening - the best piece of pie you have ever eaten in your life - and can never find again. After you leave home, you may find yourself feeling homesick, even if you have a new home that has nicer wallpaper and a more efficient dishwasher than the home in which you grew up.” ~Lemony Snicket

This little design was inspired by a couple of folky old hooked rugs, my childhood home next to a family dairy farm, and the forest that surrounds my now-home. It was fun from the first mark in my computer software to the last stitch crossed over linen. I have an inkling of a thought that it may one day also turn up as a hooked, punched, or appliqued design, but for now, let the cross-stitchers have at it!

Stitch Count: 154 x 76
Model stitched on Weeks Dye Works 30ct. Confederate Gray

Using flosses from The Gentle Art: 0410 Tarnished Gold, 0930 Deep Sea, 7007 Cidermill Brown, 7044 Dungarees, 7055 Uniform Blue, 7057 Roasted Marshmallow

And from Weeks Dye Works: 2200 Kudzu, 2202 Bullfrog, 2254 Cinnabar

Frame by Valley House Primitives.

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:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Take Two and Call Me in the Morning

Need a dose of medicine? I know I sure do.
Drizzly weather, fighting a cold, hormones off-kilter... I just want to curl up under a blanket and watch endless episodes of mindless television all day.
But there is laundry and there are kids and I'll just have to make do with frequent lingering glances at the bouquet of daffodils on my counter.
The vase from my too-far-away Sister, the blooms from the grocery store ($2 for ten stems, so I bought 30!), they are about as bright and cheerful as it can get.
Do yourself a favor and go get yourself some. Then pretend with me that they are glowing like the sun and radiating heat, too.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Do You Have a Sampler Wall?

As you can well imagine, I have samplers all over my house. Mostly my designs, but also my growing collection of antiques and a few that were stitched by others, or that I stitched from others' patterns.

I decided to turn that awkward wall in my studio into an overflow/catchall sampler wall...
Much better than my previous filing system in which the samplers lived on a shelf like a bunch of books.
What do you do with all of your finished samplers?

Friday, March 08, 2013

Pork Carnitas with Fresh Pineapple and Cilantro

Finding dinner recipes that don't include gluten, dairy or eggs really isn't that hard. But finding dinner recipes that meet the criteria and also appeal to the limited taste buds of a certain 7 year old, now that's another story.
Enter this recipe for Pork Carnitas, and my own added variation of grilled corn tortillas, brown rice, fresh pineapple and cilantro... Yum!

The pork takes a total of about 5 hours to prepare, but the rest of the ingredients are so simple it really makes up for the added effort of scheduling your day around cooking meat.
Even though he didn't eat the cilantro and ate all the other parts separately, I still consider it a win-win combo.
Let me know if you try it, and how you like it!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


We may be in the midst of our umpteenth day of steady winter rain, but that doesn't mean Spring isn't right around the corner. I offer you some photographic proof...
We've even had a few days of sunshine lately, with more in the forecast.
Ginger puppy has settled into her new life quite nicely, and is now becoming proficient at sitting on command and retrieving sticks and fir cones, as long as they aren't tossed too far away.
So exciting to once again see color livening up our landscape.
What does March look like where you live?

Monday, March 04, 2013

New Acquisition

I spent yesterday afternoon in the city at the Expo center browsing through two buildings full of antiques. And I came home with someone new for you me us.
Ann M. Franks started or finished her work in 1825, comprised of two impossible-to-resist wreaths of flowers enclosing a quote, which, despite missing stitches, I am rather confident reads,

"With all thy soul
Love God above
And as thyself
Thy neighbor love."

I have one other antique in line to be charted first, but hopefully I'll be able to get this lovely sampler ready for release later this year as well. Can you wait?

Friday, March 01, 2013

Leave it to Beavers

Its been awhile since I let you see our Beaver Family's activity down in the creek bottom. Well, they're still busily at work, maintaining their structures. Our rock-skipping beach is now completely drowned.
They seem to be happy with the size of the dam just above the bridge, since they haven't made it any taller for the last month or so. The little waterfall on the right side of the next photo is where the creek has re-routed to flow under a big old-growth log that has been on the ground for at least 50 years.
The nice slope of the dam is now more vertical, having held back some high waters, but in the meantime having been pushed to its stretching point.
During those high waters, we were happy to see that the beavers were clever enough in their dam placement that our road only had a little bit of surface water running over it, and no damage whatsoever to the bridge.
Just enough surface water to splash around in.
And up on the road that heads uphill from the bridge, we discovered this perfectly symmetrical hole leading down toward the water's edge. We think they were digging up to create a new burrow and didn't anticipate our road cutting into the hillside.
For more posts about our Beavers, click here. If you scroll all the way to the bottom (click on Older Posts until you get to the first post), you can read the story from the beginning.

A couple of rough video clips for you... can't for the life of me get the sound to play, but thought you might like to see them anyway.