Monday, March 31, 2014

Our Spring Break

Mountain Huckleberry :: Yardwork :: Haircut :: Magnolia :: Fresh Dirt :: Growing Feathers :: Old Enough to Help :: Tools of the Trade :: Sunshower :: Popsicles and Potato Starts :: Dreary :: Steamy :: The Smell of Spring :: Acorns and Threads :: Oxalis :: Woodsy Walk :: Holly Hobbie :: Perfect Perch :: The Best Way to Wear Mud

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This Week

I positively adore having my kids home with me. And this is our Spring Break, so I might not post a single thing more until its all over. We have plans to cut hairs, pull weeds, watch the rain, play Words with Friends, read books, run errands to places farther than we usually have time for, and generally enjoy each others' company.
Oh, and I might fit in some collaborative sampler designing too, with a wonderful lady who has been in the industry much longer than myself. I can hardly wait to see what we come up with! And I'm not going to tell you one little bit more... spoilers!

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Stitch in Time

Every so often I spend some of my down-time browsing for "cross stitch" in the vintage category on etsy. Here are some of my most recent favorites (click the image to be re-directed to the treasury so you can check out the individual items)...

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Its a little hard for me to believe, but I am nearing my 100th distributed design (that number doesn't count free charts or exclusive designs)... and ONE HUNDRED patterns available through my distributors is a pretty big deal to me.
When I first released a batch of six patterns to my ebay customers back in May of 2008, I had not an inkling of what this venture might turn into. I determined in those early days that the best way to establish myself in a market full of talent and saturated with beautiful designs, was to continue to push myself to release at least one pattern per month. And I'm proud to say that even when I thought surely I would run out of ideas six months later, it is now nearly six years, and I'm still going strong. And all because of you and your consistent encouragement and support of my efforts.
As I thought about this up and coming BIG number, I decided to do something equally BIG for that 100th release. So I took a tape measure to a large open wall in my entryway that I've been wanting to fill, and charted a design to fit. A design that takes up 12 pages in order for those tiny symbols to be read.
Its a doozy, my dears. Perhaps not quite as big as the famous Dutch Beauty that so many of you have taken on, but nearly so... it is 435 x 363 stitches, and I'm working my threads into 28 count linen to make it seem as big as possible.
Holding that much linen in my hands feels like a luxury and a burden all at the same time. A project warming my lap while I stitch is a feeling I usually ascribe to crocheting a blanket, not stitching a sampler. And I keep wondering if I'm actually going to be able to finish it in time!
I don't know how many of you will be game for such a large undertaking, but I'm doing it anyway, as a landmark for myself in this needlework design journey. I'll keep you posted as I go.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I don't know about where you live, but the late Winter weather is always unstable and random around here. Warm sun, hail, wind, fog, snow, rain, sometimes all in the same day, and sometimes multiple times in the same day. As if two weather siblings were squabbling for supremacy.

And I suppose in a way, they are.

Winter vs. Spring, who will win?

On any given day, its hard to tell, but once those first buds start to form, the changing of the seasons appears more and more sure. The hardy blossoms of early flowers seem to take it all in stride. The ground yields willingly to shovel and tiller, happy to be waking from a long rest.

Saturday morning, as we climbed into the car for a long drive to Grandma's memorial service, we saw Swallows for the first time this year. We always look for them to show their fleet forms by the end of March, but it felt like a sweet comfort to see not one, but six of them looping right over our heads and calling their glad tidings to us... Spring is nearly here!... on a day of such deep contemplation.
Grape Hyacinth :: Digging In :: Daylilies :: Plum Blossoms :: Crocus :: Daffodil Kitty :: Lilac :: Forsythia :: Purr :: Violet's Snowy Blanket :: Frolic :: Therapy :: Pollen :: Red Pond :: Looking In :: Baby Chicks :: Chrp Chrp :: Grandma's Legacy

Monday, March 17, 2014

Good Dog

January 9, 2003 - March 14, 2014

Eleven years just doesn't seem like long enough to share life with such a good dog.
We first brought him home when we were still two young lovebirds with time and energy to give.
He patiently took a step to the side when kiddos entered the family
and never once batted his eyes at needing to welcome their little selves into his pack.
I could ascribe all the usual terms given to our canine family members... loyal, faithful, devoted. 
But he was also mellow, kind, brave, and just a little bit rebellious.
Bailey lived a double life, heading over to the neighbor's house each morning after we left for work.
We tried everything we possibly could to train him to stay home, afraid he was annoying them.
But then in an over the fence conversation, the neighbor told us that he always looked forward to Bailey coming over for "his morning biscuit".
We were telling him to stay home, but he was being rewarded for leaving. 
What's a dog to do?
As a result, he lived a twice-loved life,
and is survived not only by the four of us and his two BFFs Freaky and Strange (our black cats),
but also by our truck-driving neighbor and his Harley-riding son,
along with their elderly black lab Lincoln, and newly-rescued pit bull Pinky.
We will miss you, you old wiggle-butt dog.