Tuesday, January 28, 2014

That Girl of Mine

This is how I caught her not too long ago...

So studious and quiet and calm... what could she possibly be doing?
Ah, those painter people on OPB. I love them too.

Monday, January 27, 2014


You all probably know by now that I have a weak spot in my heart for old pincushions and scissors (and I dare say many of you share my obsession). I've been very good lately about keeping myself from the temptation to buy, and was rewarded come Birthday and Christmas time with such charming additions to my collection that I find myself satisfied. For the time being, that is.
The discriminating eye of my Sister-in-Law found an assortment of old scissors, including the pair with the cross and heart motif, giving them to me for my Birthday, and therefore officially making my sundry pairs picked up hither and yon into a bonified collection.

Which then made it necessary for me to find a way to put them on display together, leading the famous Farmboy to find a vintage spoon rack for me on ebay, sneaking it under the Christmas tree, and thereby wiggling his way further into my heart.

The scissors on the top left were given to me by the doctor that removed stitches from my 12 year old body... I know they don't really belong there, but they did become my first pair of make-do embroidery scissors. Plus I'm old enough that they'll truly be antiques in no time at all.

The scissors on top center belonged to my maternal Grandmother and have quite twisted points from someone using them to pry something open.
The amazingly hand-made white silk strawberry make-do was smuggled under my very nose from a favorite dealer at an antique show MONTHS ago, and faithfully stored away until just the right time. Some people just know the way to a girls' heart... and to elaborate on the story a little more, the little cross-stitched patchwork cushion was purchased off of my etsy favorites by the same sneaky person.
And this. crazy. whatever-cushion? Found on etsy by me. I positively couldn't resist.

Have you ever seen its like? Reported by the seller to come out of the home of three ladies who never spoke a word of English....only their native Norwegian, and lived somewhere in North Dakota or Minnesota and possibly made around late 1890s or early 1900s.
Too bad there are still some empty spots open in that scissor rack...

Monday, January 20, 2014

*NEW* My Beloved is Mine (Journal Cover)

I have more or less always kept a journal. There have been periods of time when the entries were scarce, but there is always one nearby and I find the act of putting my thoughts down with ink onto paper to be very cathartic. Having seen a few journal and book covers online, I thought I would try my hand at designing one as well.

The front cover features a colonial couple surrounded by a laurel wreath and the words "My Beloved is Mine" and "Solomon's Song Chap. 2". The back cover has another wreath, this time holding the words, "His left hand is under my head and his right hand doth embrace me". Instructions included will walk you through the assembly of the journal cover, including a ribbon marker and pen loop, all measurements intended to fit this specific journal.

Used for writing about daily life, as a way to count your blessings, or as a project and inspiration tracker, if you haven’t started the habit of daily writing yet, give it a try! Perhaps this sweet little cover design will be all the initiative you need to get started.

Stitch Count (Cover): 107 x 89
Stitch Count (Back): 107 x 70

Model stitched on Picture This Plus 40ct Sand
Using thread from The Gentle Art: 7019 Pomegranate, 7080 Endive, 0350 Mulberry, 7025 Shaker White, 7041 Apple Cider, 7042 Raven, 7045 Mountain Mist, 7048 Old Hickory, 7092 Otter Creek

And from Weeks Dye Works: 3500 Sand

Additional Materials Needed:
Cotton fabric for lining, flaps, and pen holder
Ribbon for bookmarker
Scissors, needle and thread, sewing machine
Ruler or tape measure
Journal or notebook to cover

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

*NEW* Forever Young

Once again, the words of a Bob Dylan song have turned up in one of my samplers. A meaningful wish for others to live a blessed life, but even more, the words are me hoping that regardless of life’s trials, you will keep a young spirit fresh within. Released on his 1974 album, Planet Waves, the original lyrics are:

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

Stitch Count: 166 x 178
Model stitched on Weeks Dye Works’ 30ct. Confederate Grey
Using The Gentle Art floss: 0511 Country Redwood, 0590 Terra Cotta, 7000 Harvest Basket, 7039 Bayberry, 7048 Old Hickory, 7060 Picnic Basket, 7080 Endive, 7092 Otter Creek

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: beth@heartstringsamplery.com

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Raindrops, Cousins (ten of them age 8 and under, plus one more on the way! We wish the other 8 year old could have been with us that day), 6th Birthdays are the Best, drinking Tea instead of Coffee (huge sad sigh), Festive Cuddle time with Grandpa, Mock Orange Bush full of Juncos, Lilac Buds, Boy Cousins after nearly 2 years apart bonding over Angry Birds, Pretend Food and LEGOs and Darth Vader once wrapped in Hello Kitty paper, Katkins on the Magnolia, and Playing at the Oregon Zoo.

Friday, January 10, 2014


It really is astonishing, how quickly they grow.

One day she's small and snuggled in my arms, and the next, she's off to school and growing like a weed. Sweet as honey with an imagination to beat the best, my baby girl, the one that stole our hearts with that little swirl on her forehead, is officially six years old today.
My sweet Sunshine, I love you to the end of a million Rainbows and back.
Happy You Day!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The End of 2013

In which I flood you with the remaining notable pictures from last year so that I can move on to current happenings...
Christmas frippery, Birthday breakfast Crepes, Family LEGO time, New Appliances to replace the elderly units that all started to give up the ghost at the same time, walks in Winter Woods, Family Game Night, Mary's Sampler finished and framed, Cousins, pre-Christmas excitement, a Quilt finally finished after months and months of intention, mossy Bones of tree, the Farmboy and his Friend still boys, Sunlit Corner, Christmas Pajamas cuddling, Canning Jar Candlelight, post-Christmas building Projects, the Kids Sleeping by Dreamlite and Christmastree Light, the Farmboy loves his Jeep, tearing out a Beaver Dam to protect our Bridge over Bear Creek, Country Folk Ornaments, Studious Kindergartener, four days spent on a Feverish Couch with Laptop and Christmas tree and new Toys for company, ringing in the New Year with a 12 year Glenlivet and wool socks and roaring fire and Dickens on the Kindle.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


So much of this past year has been hard, uncertain, left unfinished. Dreams yet to be fulfilled, goals put off for yet another year, visions of peace marred by the incursions of sadness, anxiety, frustration. I found myself this past week, as I lay on the couch fighting a fever that lasted for days, wishing I could have just one more month to get everything in order before the New Year started. As if the turning of a digit cared one whit for my to-do list.
I wanted to feel closure, accomplishment, a happy resolution to 2013.
Then I read this post on Ann Voskamp's blog (go ahead, click the link and go read it, I'll wait right here).
"How in the world do you step hopeful into the next year when you tripped messy through the last year? How do you stand brave with all the smiling rest and ring in the new year when the old year still feels a bit like a millstone around the neck? What if everyone else is making New Year’s resolutions and you just want New You solutions?"
And so, I let it all go. All of it.
I breathe, long and slow and deep, and with the exhale,
all the things that I've been holding over my own head,
they fly free into the atmosphere.

I'm starting fresh today, with a clean slate, asking with an open heart,
"what do You, who holds the world, hold for me this year?"
"And there’s the utter release of being more grateful for what is than feeling guilty for what isn’t — The moving forward always happening in the relief that all the guilt is covered by His grace."
A Happy, Fresh, Clean-Slate New Year to you all!