Monday, November 30, 2015

Rock and Roll Christmas

After an yawn-worthy break from our usual in 2014 (sorry all you who love the Nutcracker, we just didn't get it), we returned for our favorite holiday show this year... The Trans-Siberian Orchestra never fails to put on a fabulous show, and this year certainly didn't disappoint. We sat in the Groupon section this time, so we weren't as close to the stage, but we got to look at it straight on, instead of from the side which was nice.

This is pretty much how I feel after an especially rockin' music set when I play with my band. Too bad they don't let me have lightning and flames around me on the platform at church...
Trust me, in my mind, this is exactly the persona I present to the congregation... Oh yeah, baby!

Thursday, November 26, 2015


It wasn't a big one this year (I passed THAT milestone last year) so there wasn't a big shindig for my birthday but I got to spend several hours with my two sisters, no kids, just us talking and laughing and trying to decide which restaurant/coffee shop to go sit in next. It was really wonderful. For the last three years they lived in California and Hawaii. Now they live a little closer, one in Montana, the other about an hour's drive away. There have been lots of miles and lots of babies in between us for too long. I had thought that it would just be two of us, but the Montana sister was able to drive in for Thanksgiving thanks to clear conditions on the passes.

Thank you Thanksgiving, for falling near my birthday every year.

There was a quick visit with a friend and another with my parents and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from the Farmboy and big squeezy hugs from the kids and a few other favorite things came my way (thanks, Adele, for releasing your new album just in time!).

And then today, on the drive to my Uncle's house for Thanksgiving, my faithful four-wheeled friend passed her own milestone. We're growing "old" gracefully together.

Monday, November 23, 2015

First Snow

I think perhaps the best part about having kids that are a bit older is that I no longer have to bundle them up and stay outside while they play in the snow. Now I get to stay cozy inside and watch the flakes fall while they play to their heart's delight.

But true to form, these two insisted on me being outside at least long enough to document the essential rites: snowball fight, catching flakes on the tongue, snow angels, tiny snow men... and hood ornaments?

They played until they were too cold and were running out of snow to do anything with. And then they stared out the window hoping for more...

Friday, November 20, 2015

*NEW* The Holly Bears the Crown

I know its late to be releasing a new Christmas design, but this little last-minute piece came to me and I just couldn't resist. It really was a very quick project, taking about six hours total, including the finishing.

Long a favorite Christmas song of mine, this sampler is inspired by the lyrics of “The Holly and the Ivy”. I did a little research on the carol itself, and found that it has no known author. The earliest recorded printing of the words with a melody is 1911 in “Sharp’s English Folk Carols”. A few sources claim that the lyrics originated from an old broadside printed in the early 1700’s.

There are tales from ancient British village life that there was a midwinter custom of holding singing contests between men and women. The men sang songs praising Holly for its masculine qualities, while disparaging Ivy. The women sang songs praising Ivy for its feminine qualities while disparaging Holly. The resolution between the two was under the Mistletoe. These three plants, Holly, Ivy, and Mistletoe are the most prominent green plants in British native woodlands during the winter, and for this reason, they earned the respect of early country dwellers and placed highly in their traditions.

Stitch Count: 67 x 60
Model stitched on Picture This Plus 32ct. Sand

Using flosses from Weeks Dye Works:
Havana, Grasshopper, Curry, Red Rocks

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Mini pompom trim "TexArkana Sage" by Dames of the Needle.

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:

*NEW* Narrow Escape

You almost can’t see him there, bounding off into the forest, freshly escaped from the arrows of the hunters. But in my mind, that is exactly what is happening. I’m married to a hunter, and don’t mind that he goes off each Autumn in search of some wild venison for our freezer, but there’s always that part of me that is glad when he is unsuccessful, and I can know that somewhere out there is one majestic antlered animal that escaped for another year.

The image that inspired this design was found on in a publication called, “Children’s Books and their Illustrators” by Gleeson White. The woodcutting itself dates back to an 18th century English chap-book and bore the title, “The True Tale of Robin Hood”.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I spent charting, revising, stitching, frogging, and re-stitching this design. I almost completely abandoned it at one point along the way, but was encouraged by Kathy Barrick to finish it, and since I completely trust her opinion on things cross-stitchy, I kept plugging along. The idea was born in 2009, and it just now is finally ready for you, in the Fall of 2015. It is very different from my usual designs, but I have a love for old woodcuttings and am always fascinated by the solidly-stitched pictorial needlework masterpieces of the earliest days of this art form. This is my attempt to pay homage to those needleworkers of long ago. I hope it strikes the fancy of a few of you out there, so that all those hours I invested won’t be in vain!

A special thank you to Jane Lemm, who put in some of the stitching on this dense piece. She wasn’t able to do much, but every stitch she put in for me meant time that my hands were free to work on another design.

The model was entirely cross-stitched with one thread over two.

Stitch Count: 295 x 221
Linen used: Picture This Plus’ 36ct. Spice

Threads from Weeks Dye Works: Linen, Skinny Dip, Guacamole, Havana, Mocha, Molasses, Tarragon (2), Curry, Sanguine

And from The Gentle Art: Mulberry, Grecian Gold, Country Redwood, Brethren Blue, Cidermill Brown, Sarsparilla, Tin Bucket, Apple Cider (2), Pumpkin Pie, Caramel Corn, Cucumber, Endive (4), Piney Woods (2), Espresso Bean

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

The frame is an antique.

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:

Have You Seen???

My sis-in-law has a new sampler-inspired line of gift-ables... wine charms! Also useful, I might add, for coffee mugs or tea cups (just sayin').

The motifs are from an old sampler in her collection that I'm thinking you might need to twist her arm about and convince her to let me chart it for you all. Hop on over to her etsy shop or blog to check out the details, and tell her I sent you!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November continues, with her shortening days and glorious sunsets. There were colds to be fought off and power outages and the slow calm before the holiday storm and at last the fulfillment of many fond dreams... the Peanuts Movie!
The Right Shade of Orange :: Tea for All :: Preparing :: Migration :: Tea Tastes Better when Filtered through the Tardis :: These Two Always Make Me Happy :: Sometimes its Better to be a Shadow :: When the Lights Go Out :: Shimmer :: After the Storm :: Battleship doesn't Require Electricity

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Into November

I've been downright poetic about the month of November in the past. But this year, the whirlwind of life has swept any poetry from my tired brain. Life is full and happy and I savor moments out of every day. I try to not rush about too much, but find myself collapsing in bed at the end of each day, thinking to myself, "Perhaps tomorrow I'll have time to blog..."

And then I don't... again.

But there are always a billion pictures to share, so at least that's something.
Thankful for November and Turkeys :: Some Days are Better than Others :: After They Log :: Perch :: Almost Big Enough to Sit on :: Stop Growing!!! :: She didn't do a Carrie Ingalls, but I kindof Wanted Her to :: Thick :: Glow :: Of Course Rubber Boots go with Sunday Dresses :: Incoming :: Frosted :: A Pumpkin's Eye View :: Gather :: Ghost of Leaves Past