Thursday, April 27, 2017


Oh my lands, have I ever been busy! This little business venture of mine called Heartstring Samplery has been growing slowly and steadily for the last 9 years, and its been a good thing; but I've reached a breaking point, it would seem, between keeping up on designing and filling orders while also homeschooling three days a week and managing our household. I think I have the equivalent of three full time jobs overlapping all at once. Between all of these wonderful, necessary things (and I confess, the easy nature of Instagram for posting pictures), I've sorely neglected this here blog thing. I've heard from more than one of you that you are missing my posts, so I am currently on an airplane taking advantage of the hours that I'll be sitting with nothing better to do, and am determined to get caught up! I'll be back-blogging (post dating) entries all the way back to January, so keep scrolling down if you're one of the faithful readers who really want to know what I've been up to (but bear with me if you're reading this immediately after posting, because this airline internet connection is pretty slow).

I did finally break down and hire a friend to start doing the bulk of my chart folding and stuffing, which has been an immense relief. I kid you not, the day I gave her the first big batch of orders to assemble, I literally slept better. I didn't realize how much stress I was releasing by doing so. Up until now, every single blessed chart has been touched by yours truly at least three times. Now you all have dearest Becky to thank for the freed up creative space in my head. I just hope and pray that she doesn't get sick and tired of the job any time soon.

As I type this, I'm en route to my first ever teaching gig at a stitching retreat in Virginia Beach. Pat and Ann at Dyeing to Stitch have been so helpful in giving me all the direction I need to prepare, but I admit I'm a bit jittery over how it will go. I get that way when doing something new. Not worried that I'll fail, but just not knowing what it will be like. Once my brain has a frame of reference, I'll be good. Having never even attended a stitching retreat before means I have no clue what to expect. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

This year has been a blur of preparation. First getting ready for the Needlework Market in Nashville, which started for reals as soon as the holidays were over, then as soon as I got home, I started planning and devising fun things for this retreat. I don't know what I'm going to do with myself once this trip is through. No more travel on my calendar for 2017 other than a couple of family vacations. I think it will be very nice to just breathe for awhile. :)

Now with no further ado, here are some pictures from the month of April, including lots of blooming flowers, smiling and growing-up-too-fast children, our first firepit of the season (it was a balmy 65 outside that day, who could resist?), and some Resurrection Sunday fun with cousins.

Friday, April 21, 2017


We thought we were all done with the whole puppy-breeding business. But our old couple had other ideas.

Mama Jazzi is very scared of travelling by vehicle, so for the last three years, instead of having her permanently "fixed" so that she can't have puppies (because it would involve a traumatic trip to town), we've just managed her heat cycles by separating her from her boyfriend Hooch during the critical times. Well, somehow the two of them fooled us good, because there was a tiny litter of puppies born while I was away in Nashville at the beginning of March.

As things usually go when it comes to America's favorite dog breed, we didn't have a hard time finding a new home for the pups. For eight weeks they were called "Mr. Tubs" and "Little Miss" by the kiddos, who for the first time, really seemed to enjoy the process of caring for baby dogs. Especially our own little Miss, who could hardly bear the idea of not keeping them forever and ever.

As of the last weekend in April, life is back where the Farmboy and I prefer it... puppy-less (to say we got burned out after the years of puppy-rearing is putting it mildly). Hooch and Jazzi are back to their usual retirement schedule of napping, sniffing around in the field, occasional barking about who-knows-what, and exuberant if short-lived chases after balls. And the puppies are now living with forever families in Idaho and Montana, where there will be plenty of love to go around.