Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Rest of Summer

Concerts in our small-town forest park, concerts in a well-populated city park, sleeping alone in the guest room because the mattress is firm and doesn't hurt my back, scavenger hunts, a heat wave, watering the plants and then watering some more, charting samplers, working out bass lines, visiting the duck pond with Grandpa and Grandma, front yard picnics, apples in the orchard, the kids and I soaking in as much of our Summer break as one can while being an invalid.

It was a beautiful season, no matter the circumstances. We are continually talking about being thankful in all times, no matter what. When things look bad, we start to count our blessings. It sounds a bit trite, I know, but through my Adrenal Fatigue a few years back, and now the pain of a herniated disc, piriformis syndrome and sciatica, I really have relied on the discipline of thankfulness to keep me positive and yes, even content.

By the grace of God,

"all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." -Julian of Norwich
My apologies for the following, if you're not a fan of needles... I wanted to include this picture for my own memory, plus its pretty fun that my needle ankle tattoo has needles around it.
It would seem that we have been adopted by another black cat. This handsome fella has been hanging around for a few months now, growling and yowling at our permanent felines, Freaky and Strange, but the two elderly fellows have decided to tolerate this new youngster, if at a distance. Socks, as he has been named by the youngest Twist, sneaks meals from the open and always full cat food dish, drinks from the freshly circulated water in the fish pond, and hangs out every evening below the bird feeder. We've been trying to lure him closer with quiet gentle words and have worked up to him not bolting every time we open the door. He regards us with suspicion and won't let us get within six yards, but he lets us talk.

Friday, August 05, 2016

*NEW* A is for Acorn: the Alphabet Series, #2

This is the second alphabet design that came to me after deciding to embark on this series. And I can’t think of a better time to release it than now, on the verge of Autumn. Featuring some sassy little squirrels, plenty of acorns, and surrounded by a wreath of greenery, this round design could grace the center of a candle mat, the top of a pantry box, or live in a frame (as mine will). I hope you like it! And stick around… there are still 24 letters to go!

I don’t have a planned release scheduled for this series. With 26 letters to chart, it might take me ten years to get through them all, since I have other ideas and plans and designs in the works too. They won’t be released in alphabetical order, but instead, as inspiration strikes.

The one thing you can count on is that they will all be round, designed to fit into the same frame, which can be found on etsy.

You could buy one frame and swap out the letters as you see fit, or a grouping of four or more of them for a nice collection to spell out your last name or a favorite word.Or, you could finish your pieces as ornaments for an alphabet tree. The options are multiple; use your creativity!

Stitch Count: 80 x 79
Model stitched with one thread over two on R&R Reproductions' 32ct. Winter Brew.

All threads are from The Gentle Art: Old Hickory, Endive, Piney Woods, Pecan Pie
Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Frame by Signed and Numbered: 6” Circle Opening Super Vintage Dark Wood Tone: when you purchase a frame from their shop, they have generously offered a coupon code just for my customers! Enter HEARTSTRING10 at checkout to get ten percent off of your order (this coupon code won't work in MY shop, but only in the SignedandNumbered shop).

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email:

*NEW* Rooster and Acorns: The American Coverlet Series, Part VI

Inspired once again, by the graphic appeal of woven antique coverlets from the beginning of the 1800’s, meet my newest design!

I pulled the various elements of this pattern from different antique coverlets, combining them in my own way. The included chart has lettering that is reversed, in tribute to the same effect on most signed antique coverlets. I was tempted to stitch all of the words and numbers the “right” way, (you can feel free to do so for your own), but ultimately decided to keep mine in the style of the olden days.

I chose the roosters and acorns because they are still appealing today, reminding us of a time when most households raised their own chickens instead of going to the supermarket to get their meat and eggs. In the right climates, they also gathered acorns to use as a natural dye or for oil, and sometimes even as a meal added to breads or hot cereals. During the Civil War, acorns were used as a coffee substitute by the Confederates when they were cut off from supply routes by Union soldiers. Acorns are very bitter unless properly prepared, so I would advise sticking with the stitching of this nut, rather than its consumption.

As you can see by the photo of the model, I did not stitch this one! Kathy Krause put the time in for me on this one, with such lovely stitch work. I am so thankful for those of you that step up to help me when I can't get all of the stitching done myself. I like to stitch my models, but sometimes just have to admit defeat and let someone else shine. Thank you SO much, Kathy! I appreciate the speed and neatness of your labors. Many of you know Kathy, so when you see her, please give her a real or virtual hug from me!

Stitched on R&R Reproductions' 36ct. Old Towne Blend using just one thread over two strands of linen.
Stitch count: 159 x 175

Using thread from Classic Colorworks: Blue Corn
Frame by Valley House Primitives.

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 soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email: