• Stitching,  Travel

    Shepherd’s Bush

    Well, by the time you read this I'll be out of town again! I just thought I'd pre-blog the photos from one of the most wonderful places on earth: Shepherd's Bush, in Ogden, Utah!

    I didn't get a lot of different pictures this time because the shop was packed to the rafters with delighted customers, filling their arms with new stitching goodies, and I kept bumping into people and saying, "Oh! Excuse me!" So I thought that I'd best snap as many pictures as I could (which wasn't that many) before Tina or Teri had to call Cross Stitch Security on me.

    I hope you enjoy this very mini tour! It's a shop that's brimming with something new and lovely and soft and happy in every nook imaginable. Being there makes you want to stop and stare for a few moments, and then  start joyously collecting new projects that you didn't know you needed.

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    I had a fit over this "Wicked Plant" by Barbara Ana Designs, and will indeed be stitching it just like Shepherd's Bush has it.. and then sending it right off to Jill Rensel for that fabulous set of painted mats and moulding!

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    After visiting the shop for all of about 22 minutes (I had a lot to do to to prepare for my first class), so I couldn't stay as long as I wanted to!), we whisked off to Jill Rensel's studio to see what stunning new pieces she had waiting to be picked up by their owners.

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    Does anyone know the designer of the piece below? I think it's fabulous! (Sorry for the glare!)

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    Jill had these sweet little ornaments she was giving away to visitors in the shop…

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    And here is Norma with one of Jill's sweet babies…

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    It was such a delight visiting sweet Jill and Amber, but I don't have photos to share here because I just realized they're all on my phone! I was wondering where they'd all disappeared to..

    I'll be back soon with pictures from the retreat at The Canyons, with some of the teachers' projects, the pincushion exchange, and the retreat boutique, which was literally a store-away-from-the-store, packed with loads of stitching treasures!

    In the mean time, to those of you who attended, I hope you're enjoying all the projects you came home with! It was one of the best times ever, getting to visit with you all!

    See you soon!



  • Autumn,  New Designs,  Stitching

    Fall Releases, Part 3

    Me again, back to show you my final two autumn releases (in case you haven't seen them already)!

    The first design below was originally released at last year's Dyeing to Stitch retreat in Virgina Beach, as an accompanying small to Jack's Bash. It was named Jack's Birthday Tart, but since I've decided to design a series of these tarts, I've changed the name to Jack's Sweet Shoppe: The Birthday Tart.

      The Birthday Tart

    Jack's Sweet Shoppe: The Birthday Tart

    Stitch count: 71w x 66h
    Linen used: 35 ct. Espresso by R&R
    Threads used: The Gentle Art (with DMC equivalents in parentheses) in the following colors:

    Raven (310)
    Aged Pewter (647)
    Piney Woods (730)
    Pumpkin Pie (781)
    Apple Cider (829)
    Brandy (834)
    Sarsaparilla (975)
    Walnut (646)
    Parchment (3023)
    Old Hickory (640)
    Mustard Seed (832)
    Oatmeal (Ecru)
    Endive (3012)

    This design was stitched over 2 threads, and a personalization chart has been included. Additionally, a short tutorial on how to finish this design into a tart is included.

    I found the 4.75" tarts on Amazon (sold in sets of 6), but since they're by Wilton, you should also be able to order them from Wilton's website or perhaps find them in a cake decorating aisle or hobby store. And if you're really lucky, your shop owner may have some on order, and you can pick one up with the chart!

    Finally, my last release for this glorious, orange-and-gold season! The second in the Jack's Sweet Shoppe series! This one features a cat motif similar to what can be found on lots of very old samplers.

    The Autumn Tart

    Jack's Sweet Shoppe: The Autumn Tart

    Stitch count: 67w x 65h
    Linen used: 36 ct. Ligonier Latte by R&R
    Threads used: The Gentle Art in the following colors:

    Carriage Black (3799)
    Harvest Basket (644)
    Piney Woods (730)
    Gingersnap (400)
    Apple Cider (829)
    Sarsaparilla (975)
    Walnut (646)
    Old Hickory (640)
    Oatmeal (Ecru)
    Endive (3012)

    All cross stitch over two threads, with a chart for any personalization you may want to include. There is also a short tutorial on the personalization page that tells you how to put the tart together.

    And thank you to the best mom in the world, Marsha Kwaak, for stitching this for me! I love love love you, Mom!

    I haven't even begun to think of winter and Christmas designs yet, but I do have the Twelve Days of Christmas about 1/4 of the way finished. I told so many of you that I'd be releasing it this year, and I'll do my best, but I am so sorry to say that I don't know if it will make the cut. I'm working as fast as I can though, and will do my very best!

    In other news, I'll be posting the Shepherd's Bush retreat photos soon, in case there are those of you who'd like to see how it went. I'm pre-blogging this post before I've even left for Utah, but I can definitely say that it will go most excellently, and I can't wait to share the experience with you!

    One last note: All of the designs I've shown you this week can be pre-ordered from your favorite shop, and will be sent out to them very soon. However, any re-orders or add-ons that your shop makes will not get sent out until the end of the month, as I'll be out of town with my newly-minted 21-year-old daughter, Sabrina. (We've planned this trip together since she was a middle-schooler!)

    I hope you all have a wonderful day, filled with love for one another, blessings, no poxes, birds in autumn boughs, and plenty of sweets.

    See what I did there?

  • New Designs,  Stitching

    Fall Releases, Part 2

    This next release was inspired by old Pennsylvania Dutch watercolors that I find so fascinating! I hope you enjoy my autumn version.

    Autumn Fraktur

    Autumn Fraktur

    Stitch count: 239w x 107h
    Linen used: 36 ct. Ligonier Latte by R&R
    Threads used: The Gentle Art (with DMC equivalents in parentheses):

    Nutmeg (433)
    Old Hickory (612)
    Sarsaparilla (632)
    Aged Pewter (646)
    Piney Woods (730)
    Brandy (833)
    Espresso Bean (3371)
    Wood Trail (3781)

    All cross stitch over two threads, and stitched amazingly fast by Kathy Krause! Thank you so much, Kathy!

    Framing by Sherri Berkman (love this girl) at Total Framing in Fairfax, Virginia. (703.426.0660)

    I'll be back with my last two autumn releases tomorrow. And just a reminder: the shops on my auto will have these charts very soon, so if you'd like to preorder any of them, let your local or online needlework shop know!

  • Autumn,  New Designs,  Stitching

    Fall Releases, Part 1

    What a busy, busy, busy, busy, busy month! It's flying by! Where on earth did January even go?

    I've got some new releases to show you, and if you like them, just let your shop know! The shops on my auto will receive theirs very soon, and they've already got the info in hand for the supplies you'll need if you choose to stitch any of them.

    First up is Love One Another, stitched by the lovely Nicole Neville.

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     Love One Another

    Stitch count: 133w x 77h
    Linen used: 36 ct. Vintage Cedar Plank by Lakeside Linens
    Threads used: Classic Colorworks in the following colors (the DMC equivalent
    is given in parentheses):

    Roasted Chestnut (400)
    Zach Black (645)
    Fool's Gold (832)
    Pea Pod (3011)
    Antique Lace (Ecru)
    Black Coffe (310)
    Calico Kitty (356)
    Whatley Woodlands (869)
    Stepping Stones (3021)

    All cross stitch over 2 linen threads.

    Framed by Sherri Berkman at Total Framing in Fairfax, VA. (703.426.0660) (By the way, the moulding is really deep and absolutely fabulous in person!)

     Next up is Primitive Moodkeep… as stitchers, we have all kinds of "keeps" we stitch, like pinkeeps, threadkeeps, scissorskeeps.. so why not a little pillow to let others know what mood you're keeping that day? One side for a good stitching day, and another for a day of frogging. 😉

      Primitive Moodkeep Blessings to Thee

    Primitive Moodkeep A Pox Upon Thee

    Primitive Moodkeep

    Stitch count for Blessings to Thee: 138w x 77h
    Linen used: 40 ct. Olde Towne Blend by R&R
    Threads used: Weeks Dye Works in the following colors:

    Swamp Water (844)
    Tarragon (3011)
    Cocoa (611)
    Tatanka (3031)
    Oak (3782)
    Copper (3776)

    Stitch count for A Pox Upon Thee: 142w x 72h
    Linen used: 35 ct. Creek Bed Brown
    Theads used: See above list.

    All cross stitch over two threads.

    Optional embellishments: The Gold Quaker Star button, sewn to the Blessings to Thee side, is by Just Another Button Company. The rusted safety pin attached to the A Pox Upon Thee side was made by my mom. I'm not sure how she made them, but I believe you can find a tutorial online.

    These designs were stitched on two very different colors and fabric counts, and although they were sewn back-to-back to form one pillow, you can just as easily use two matching fabric counts or colors. And if you don't ever find yourself in a dark mood, feel free to make a single-sided pillow wishing blessings upon all who enter your home. 🙂 Or maybe stitch it as a birthday gift for a dear friend!

    I'll be back tomorrow with another release to show you! In the mean time, enjoy this gorgeous fall day, wherever you are!

  • Crazy Kids,  Family,  Friends

    Homecoming for Sophie

    All through the eighth grade, Sophie dreamed of the ninth grade: the new friends, the new teachers, the dances and football games, and that awesome feeling of finally arriving. The first day of school came, and she and her friend nervously walked up the long courtyard and into the front entrance, hauling their brand new backpacks and school supplies, probably trying really hard not to smile too broadly and risk looking uncool on their first day as freshman. (It was uncool enough that the moms were all waiting in their cars to see if their babies made it into the building, and didn't get bumped on the way by one of those huge upper classmen.)

    In the few weeks since school has started, I've heard no less than 1,072 times these words: "I'm not in the mood for school today."

    Ah, so the novelty wore off, and the new beginning was suddenly old routine.

    Last weekend, however, the homecoming football game and dance finally made their appearance on the calendar, and all was well again. If Sophie had been dreaming happily of her first day of high school, then she was positively enraptured by her first homecoming dance.

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    Checking the mirror…

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    I can never resist a flower-sniffing photo that makes no sense whatsoever, given that these blooms have no fragrance, and I don't know of any 14-year-olds that will stop and smell the zinnias.

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    This is probably my very favorite picture of Sophie, because she had just gotten a text message from a boy, telling her that the homecoming dress selfie she posted looked pretty.

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    Her exact words, after reading the text, were "Awww!"

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    Soon it was time to go to her friend's house to pick her up (the girls were each other's "dates")…

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    …and then I drove them to the house where they would meet up with some of their other friends…

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    Oh, to know what those girls were looking at! A text? A cute picture?

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    When I picked up the girls at precisely 11 pm, they were full of chatter about the evening. I asked if anyone had on the same dresses they did, and Sophie said that two other girls had on her dress, while her friend said "About forty-five girls had on mine!" (I love this age.)

    Later on, I asked Sophie if the evening – from getting ready to coming home – was everything she thought it would be, and she said it was. And she was free to smile as broadly as she wanted to.

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  • Stitching

    There’s an App for That.

    For those of you who haven't heard, there's an amazing new app for keeping your hoards of cross stitch supplies perfectly organized! I've had so much fun using it, and it's come in very handy when I need to see quickly if I've got a certain thread – or heaven forbid, buy a chart that I already had in my stash!

    Here's a few screen shots of the app, from right after I got it. The photo on the Home Screen is the default one, but I can upload any photo I want from my album.


    My dear friend Katrina's husband, Jeff, created the app when his perfectionist/neatnoid/accountant wife decided that she needed a tool to help keep all of her charts, threads, linens, and even shopping and wish lists all in one mobile place. (Jeff, I need an app that makes my husband take out the trash, if you don't mind. Just whip that up, would you?) Jeff then got a few beta testers to try it out, and it was such a hit, he made it available in the App Store for purchase for iPhone or iPad.


    Of course, I had to have it, and it's been a lot of fun entering all my charts under their respective designers. Here's just a small view of my entries… each picture is customizable, and obviously I haven't taken one for the bottom entry yet. I've also added notes, which you can see a snippet of beneath the design title.


    The only down side to this app is that if your husband stands over your shoulder and sees all that you've entered, you're busted. When he says "Is that a new chart?" you'll have to resort to, "This old thing? Oh I've had it for ages!" (And then drive the point home by muttering something about your linen being practically dry-rotted, you've had the project going for so long.)

    Anyway, unless you've got a "little black book of stash" in your purse like my friend Pam Hoerner, look up this app (called X Stitch) in the App Store and see if it's something you could use! And if you download it, I'm happy to share my new Wish List with you…  😉