Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Rest of January

Once the snow melted, our month was everything that it should be. I love that empty fresh space that January occupies. It might just be in my head, but once I make it through the cluttered and busy holiday season and there are a few months yet before Spring gardening needs to happen, I feel light and free. I love the months when I can pause a little and regather myself.

Of course, now those empty months aren't so empty as they used to be, because I spend them preparing for the Spring Market in Nashville. But it's different, somehow.

After taking down the Christmas decorations, I left much of my usual decor in their boxes. My window sills are mostly bare, my mantle is sparsely adorned. With the big braided rug gone from the living room, I am enjoying a sense of space that is refreshing. My house isn't very big. Each room is *just barely* big enough for the furniture that occupies it. Add in a bunch of clutter, no matter how carefully curated, and I start to feel a bit claustrophobic. No more. At least until I open a few certain closets, that is...
I don't usually comment individually on my photos, but this next one needs a little special mention. It was taken by my 11 year old. I was de-lighting the tree, sorting through the strings, getting ready to box them up for another year. "Stop, Mama! Don't move!" he said, then snapped this picture. I love watching the creativity coming out in my babies. Didn't he do a great job?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Kids Were Here

*NEW* Be Kind Always

"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you can't see. Be kind. Always." is a quote widely used in many different arrangements. Thought to be originally from Ian Maclaren, a Scottish author and theologian that lived in the late 1800's.

This sampler is my way of reminding myself to be aware that there are almost always deeper motivations that cause people to behave the way they do. I need to stop taking their actions at face value and offer them grace and forgiveness instead. Even if they never know that I did it, in a small way, each positive reaction can make the world a better place.

Stitch Count: 171 x 171

Model stitched with one thread over two on
Picture This Plus 32 ct. Gingerbread.

Classic Colorworks: Honeycomb

The Gentle Art: Brandy, Adobe, Brethren Blue, Old Red Paint,
Parchment, Apple Cider, Picnic Basket, Endive, Piney Woods

Conversion to DMC included with the pattern.

The frame was found at a thrift store and refinished by me.

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: beth@heartstringsamplery.com 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Snow for Days

Hands down, this has been the whitest Winter we've experienced in nearly a decade. We're used to getting substantial snowfalls each winter, but they typically only last a matter of days. Not this year. It has been one snow storm on top of another, leaving our roads packed and rutted and difficult to navigate for anyone that doesn't have 4 wheel drive and some gumption.

The overlapping snowstorms have even satisfied the most enthusiastic snow fans in our number (close tie between me and the girl child). For the first time in years, I think I'll be ready for Spring when it comes. But only if I get at least one more good snowstorm first (insert wink-eyed emoji here).

The local school districts were closed for nearly two additional weeks after Winter Break because of the horrible road conditions (don't laugh at us, you people from the Midwest! We just don't have the infrastructure here to maintain the roads when it snows this much. Add in lots of curves and hills and it gets dangerous very fast.) The Farmboy and I both have 4 wheel drive and have no trouble getting in and out when needed, but I try to stay home when it's bad out there because I don't trust the other drivers!

The great thing about being enrolled in a public/homeschool hybrid is that we didn't miss one single day of school, which means we won't have to make any up come June. Plus, sledding makes for a great PE activity!