• Good Things

    Summer’s End

    Goodbye, grasshoppers,

    Hello, gourds.

    Hush, robin-song,

    Sing blackbird chords.

    Jump into leaves

    without diving boards.

    Goodbye, grasshoppers,

    Hello, gourds.

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    May these early fall days be the beginning of a wonderful new season for you.

  • Four Seasons Cafe,  Good Things

    A Giveaway!

    Before I announce the giveaway news, I'd like to let those of you who inquired about where to find my designs at on the online Needlework Show know that you can find them in the Kelmscott Designs "booth!" 🙂

    And now for an exciting giveaway! Head on over to Four Seasons Cafe to find out what it is! (And enjoy another delicious recipe from the Muffins and Soup Queen herself, Marsha (hi, mom).

    Look – Mike is heading over there now!

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    (If you bake them, he will come.)

  • New Designs,  Stitching

    School’s in Session

    In addition to HallowEden, I've got another new release coming out at the online Needlework Show. It's called Miss Lucian's School for Girls, Lesson One. There will be more in this series, but they need to be designed first!

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    The Needlework Show starts on October 21st and runs through the 26th. If you see something you'd like, just inform your shopowner and if they're registered to "attend" the show, they'll place your order. Easy!

  • Crazy Kids,  Good Things


    … From painting shoes! I've painted my last pair (which makes a whopping total of 2 pairs), and I'm officially retiring from it now. 🙂 When Bre saw Bean's shoes last week, she decided to present me with her own blank footware – complete with an enormous, cheesy grin on her face.

    After stammering a bit, I agreed to paint them. Here they are after being given the Sharpie-treatment.. Breanna's ink bled just a bit more than Sabrina's did, probably bc of the larger canvas weave (for lack of a better thing to call it). So if you decide to paint your own, be sure to get a finer "weave" when it comes to the canvas.

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    I used just a few sizes of flat and round brushes (between the two sets, I spent around $8) and the cheapest acrylic paints I could find. The point is not to try to get it perfect, but just to "scribble in" the paint, giving it more of a cartoon feel. If you do go outside the lines, simply wait for the paint to dry and re-draw the line with your Sharpie pen.

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    I didn't use any sort of fabric medium (which is designed to make the paint go on more smoothly when working with clothing) bc I didn't need it to. I was working in tiny spaces, and I mostly just stippled the paint onto the shoes, rather than brushing it on.

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    This is as fun – or stressful – of a project as you want it to be! If you decide that you're going to have fun with it, then you'll most likely love your shoes in the end. But if you worry about how they're going to look bc you messed up here or there, it defeats the purpose of having a pair of shoes that no one else has. 😉

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    You don't need a whole arsenal of paints, either. I bought 5 small bottles and when I needed a color, I went to mixing!  For example, the light green squares on the top of the right shoe were made by combining a little turquoise and a little yellow.

    Bre shoes tp 1

    And there you have it!

    It really is a fun project to do, but the reason I'm going into retirement from it is bc I have way too many hobbies already. And besides, I can't paint with one hand and drink coffee with the other.

    Or can I?

  • Crazy Kids,  Family

    Bean’s Birthday

    Bean turned 17 on Tuesday, and after school she got to open her presents and have her boo stop by. (For those of you who aren't current on teeny-bopper lingo, "boo" means "beau." So now, when you're listening to the top 40 on the radio, you'll feel really dope when you know what boo means.)

    Here's what Boo brought Bean:

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    There were TWO DOZEN of these beauties! I was floored!

    Her dad got her a brand new cell phone that does everything from her schoolwork (so she doesn't have to) to remotely switching President Obama's radio station (so he doesn't accidentally say things like "boo"). He also got her some other really cool things (and he even let me say they were from me, too, bc all I did was give birth to her, which is lame) like an Urban Outfitters gift card and some makeup from Sephora…

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    There he is, holding the lip gloss he picked out all by himself (after calling me about what colors of "eye junk and stuff" to get), as well as a foundation brush that he said "was the brush to beat all brushes." He was very proud of himself for walking into Sephora, knowing what to ask for. What he doesn't realize is that sometimes people wonder about burly men who walk into Sophora, knowing what to ask for.

    Nate was watching the gift-unwrapping from afar, so Friday kept him company…

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    Here is Bean, reading her annual letter from her Dad…

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    Sophie got her some Bath and Body Works products (her favorite thing to give to people!) and created a birthday masterpiece with her Mr. Sketch markers…

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    Even though Nate was getting ready to take Bean out to dinner and to a movie, we decided to spoil their appetites with cake and ice cream first…

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    And then, before they left, Nate played his guitar and sang beautifully to her  – and to Sophie, who loves to hear him sing and play as much as I do. (I think, however, that Sophie is secretly studying his talents to see if he will be worthy of singing backup for her one day.)

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    After their date, Bean's friends had a surprise birthday party for her at the home of one of her best friends, where she was crowned with a tiara and given lots of fun gifts. She had absolutely no idea this was coming, since the plan was to "hang out" as usual. 🙂

    I'm so happy my Bean had a fun day… although I do still owe her a birthday frappuccino, as I'd promised. And I'm very thankful that she has such good friends who made her day special.

    And thank you to all of you! It was so sweet of you to leave her best birthday wishes on Tuesday, and she got a kick out of reading them. 🙂

  • Crazy Kids,  Family


    My sweet Bean's birthday is today. This baby girl  – straight from the Lord's Hand – has grown from a precious, thumb-sucking sprout into the perfect blessing of a kindhearted young woman. I'm so proud that she's not only my daughter, but my friend.

    I love you, Bean. Happy Birthday.

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  • New Designs

    Coming Soon

    Here's one I'll be releasing at the upcoming online Needlework Show, which is October 21-26. It's called HallowEden, and the chart will include the option of making it slightly more Halloween-themed, if you so choose.

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    Thank you to The Family Tree Frame Co. for providing the awesome frame (which reminded me of apples, which inspired me to design another A&E!), Crescent Colours for the cotton fibers, and Lakeside Linens for the gorgeous Vintage River Willow linen!

    P.S. The sampler sitting under the cup of hot apple cider (posted on Oct. 1) was this one. 🙂

  • Contest Winners

    A Winner!

    Well here I had a video all ready to show to you of the dogs announcing the winner, but I can't find my movie-making software! :(  At any rate, I had so much fun reading everyone's comments about their dogs (and cats!).. and we have a winner!

    VANESSA!! Vanessa has 3 cats and a "schnauzer who channels Satan." Oh my, my… I'm so sorry to hear this, Vanessa. I can definitely relate, bc when The Yorkie starts her screeching, my head starts spinning around in 360's, and then Mike has to call in the local exorcist.

    Anyway, congratulations, Vanessa! Email me!

    And thank you to everyone!

  • Crazy Kids,  Good Things

    Purrfect Fit

    Many many many days (weeks?) ago, my Sabrina bought a pair of plain white canvas zip shoes that she begged me to paint for her.

    "What do you want painted on them?" I inquired.

    "Oh, I don't care – just paint something!" she replied.

    They sat on top of the dryer for ages, and every so often she'd say, "Mom, I thought you were going to paint my shoes? Pretty soon I won't be able to wear them…"

    Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Sweet-face guilt trip.

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    So today I picked them up and decided to paint them. I hauled all of the acrylic paints up from the  dungeon basement and found that most of them had dried. I also found that I hadn't properly cleaned my brushes the last time I used them, which rendered them useless. So off I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased new brushes and new acrylics. Then I grabbed my Sharpie and got to work…

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    Who knew Olga would show up? And what is she drinking??

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    I really hope Sabrina didn't have something else in mind, like just a solid color. Cuz then I think I'd join Olga in her imbibition.