Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Month of June

The vast majority of these photos were stolen from my Instagram account. Because apparently I can't be bothered these days to pick up a real camera to take a better picture. It has just been too darn hot. June in our part of the world is supposed to be lovely and green and lush, with sunny days separated by plenty of rain to keep things cool-ish. But no, this month was all about the bright sun and barely a drop of moisture to be found. The grass is all brown everywhere; along the highways and roadways and around our house.

Except for the front yard, which was just re-planted, and therefore has been kept watered faithfully (thank goodness we're on a well and don't have to pay for the water!). More about that in another post.

I think the garden is the only member of our family that is happy about all the sun. I don't think we've ever had a better batch of crops, and we are already seeing green tomatoes, which is completely unheard of around these parts.

I am generally very uninspired by hot dry weather, and the sun just blazes down on me burning my poor white skin, sapping my desire to do anything more than just exist. The inside of the house is dark, because I have blankets and quilts hanging over all of the West-facing windows in order to try to keep the interior below 80 degrees. It works most days, but I'm tired of not being able to look out the windows or go out the back doors onto the deck. We are very seriously considering getting some air conditioning installed. We've lived just fine in this house for fifteen years without it, but this year we're wishing for a different way of dealing with the heat.

But other than the heat, it has been the best of times. The days are just me and the kids, reading books, playing, visiting here and there, enjoying cousins and a few friends from school. Catching up on the backlog of projects and piles that were just too big to tackle during the school year. Both of my sisters are back in the area for the first time in three years, so we've been trying to fit in as many visits as possible before one of them moves to Montana at the end of July. When all of us that live in the PNW get together, there are ten adults and ten kids under ten. It can be a little chaotic, but it is good for my soul all the same.

I've been doing plenty of stitching and designing and pattern assembly, and once again my walls are bare while a truckload of my models visit The Silver Needle in Oklahoma for the month of July.

And that's about it in a nutshell. I'll try very hard to be better about blogging from here on out, and I made a promise to my camera to stop ignoring her, so hopefully all of you Instagrammers won't have to keep looking at the same pictures over and over again.
Home Safe :: I Prefer My Roses on the Wild Side :: The Next Ladies Prim Society Design :: I Heart Succulents :: My Office Wall :: Guitar Lessons :: Summer Read-Aloud #1, The Cricket in Times Square :: Tall Grass and Chickens :: Farmgirl's Bouquet :: Happy Garden :: Clean Car :: Tiny Bubbles :: Kitchen Windowsill :: Happy as a Field Full of Daisies :: BFFs :: My Happy Place :: Lavender is My Favorite :: My Other Happy Place :: Cloud Patterns :: My Mother's Day Basket :: Blueberry Season :: Red Elderberries :: Still Life With Eggs :: A Country Girl's Stained Glass :: Barn :: Mock Orange :: What if we didn't try so hard to hide our flaws? :: Mountain Huckleberries :: Bunting for a Sweet Baby :: And There They Go Again...

Friday, June 12, 2015

My Little Pianist

She absolutely adores playing her songs and scales on the piano.

The same piano that I played on as a girl, but didn't really love.

I hope she continues to feel this way,
because when she plays, my heart is happy.

Monday, June 08, 2015


I just love the feeling at the beginning of Summer when it seems that the lazy days stretch out in front of you endlessly. So many hours to spend with unscheduled kids, time to relax, time to accomplish the things that got dusty during the busy months behind.

Summer Kids

At any given moment, I can hear them chattering, laughing, teasing, discussing, negotiating, playing together. I am so blessed to have two kids that love each other as much as they do.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

*NEW* For Spacious Skies

“America, the Beautiful”, is a patriotic song, whose lyrics were written by Katherine Lee Bates, and the melody composed by Samuel A. Ward. It wasn’t until 1910 that Bates’ lyrics and Ward’s music were published together to great acclaim.

The lyrics were written in 1893, while Bates was on a train trip from Boston to Colorado Springs. She was inspired by views along the way, such as Chicago, with its alabaster buildings; the wheat fields of Kansas, and the majestic view from high atop Pikes’ Peak in Colorado.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Stitch Count: 111 x 104
Model stitched on Picture this Plus 40ct. Sand

Using thread from The Gentle Art: 7004 Brethren Blue, 7019 Pomegranate, 7080 Endive, 7100 Ruby Slipper

And from Weeks Dye Works: 1092 Grits, 1223 Schneckley, 1232 Palomino, 1273 Grape Vine, 1277 Collards

Recommended Additional Materials:
1 small piece of cotton quilting fabric for backing
28 inches rick-rack trim for outer edge
2 small squares of cotton quilting fabric for patches
Pincushion filling of your choice

Full alphabet and number set included so that you can customize it with your own initials and date.

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

Sampler Candles!

My Sis-in-Law Jen is back at it! After an extended break from selling, she is once again stocking her etsy shop with sampler candles. She currently has two designs, and with new packaging, they are perfect for gift-giving. These candles are battery operated, so your sampler finish will last just about forever instead of burning away with use.

You know you want one! Click here to visit her shop.

We are discussing the possibility of collaborating and putting some of my designs onto her candles. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Those Kids of Mine

They were sitting there, on the back steps, just hanging out together, he with his Kindle, she with her Mimi doll.
She decided to get up and flit about the yard. Being the gentle Mother wannabe that she is, she very carefully set her precious charge at the feet of her big brother, who was so enraptured by his game that he didn't notice.
He thought that I was taking photos of him because the cat was laying by his side, and quite frankly, because he was pretty sure that I found him absolutely irresistible (which I do, but that's beside the point). I snapped pictures for a good long minute.

Meanwhile... little sister was doing all she could to keep the giggles at bay.
When he finally noticed, with a loud "ARRRRRRGH!", the sweet (but slightly creepy) Mimi doll tumbled and did a faceplant in the grass.
Much laughter ensued, then the maternal instincts of Little Missy-ann took over and the doll had to be comforted. Big brother had already moved on, back to his game.
And that pretty much sums them up. Good natured, attached at the hip, yet oh-so-different in their personalities and distinct in their genders.
I can hardly wait for the school bell to ring at the end of the day on Friday so I can keep them all to myself for the entire Summer!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Her First Piano Recital

This girl of mine definitely has some genes that did not originate from my body. In the weeks preceding her first piano recital, she was SO VERY excited. The full outfit, hair, cowgirl-boot ensemble was planned way in advance. The thought of all the strangers watching her play was more exciting than scary. She practiced her bow (with left hand on the piano and right hand holding music, just as her teacher demonstrated) with such seriousness and pride. The song itself was almost secondary to the event of being on stage with a live audience.

At that age, I absolutely quivered with fear at the thought, and successfully kept up a habit of either quitting lessons before a recital or navigating out of it completely until I was in fifth grade. At which point I was such a basket case that I completely froze up on stage and swore I would never take lessons ever ever again (I did, a few more times, ultimately succeeding in a recital at the college level).

But this girl... the stage is apparently calling her name quite strongly, and she performed with more confidence than most in her age group. I couldn't be prouder of my darling little stranger.