• Freebie,  Holidays,  Patriotic,  Stitching

    Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

    I sort of really like George Washington.

    Maybe you knew that.

    So to celebrate his birthday this week, I've got a free chart for you! (This little design was inspired by one of my favorite peep-peeps, Wendy Davis, because she was thoughtful enough to send me an e-birthday card this morning – for George's birthday, of course; mine was last month. Thank you for the laugh, Wendy!)

    If you'd like to download and print the chart, the link is below the image. 🙂

    Happy Presidents Day Eve! (Don't worry, Mr. Lincoln, I love you too.)

    Happy Birthday Mr President tp

    Download and print: Happy Birthday Mr President

    I'll see you all soon!


  • Crazy Kids,  Critters,  Family,  Gardening,  Holidays,  Home,  Martha,  Photography


    Dear Paulette,

    Remember when it was January? Like, just yesterday? And everyone was telling you Happy New Year, and you were in your usual blissful state of all-things-are-new-again?

    And let's not forget all those New Year's Resolutions, which included this beauty:

    Blog more.

    And this one:

    Take pictures of things besides pets.

    It's probably best if you stopped resolving things. That's all.

    Yours Truly,



    I was going through my photos from 2017, and I thought I'd share a few of the in-between moments that either never made it to my blog, or maybe found their way to Instagram instead. Mostly though, they're just pictures that made me smile… and yes, the majority of them are probably of pets.

































    I hope you all had a really lovely start to your new year, and that the remaining eleven months are filled with lots and lots of moments that make you smile. Even if it's mostly your pets. Or fosters. (I don't actually own 1,284 pets, despite what it may look like.)

    I'll see you soon!




  • Family,  Food and Drink,  Holidays,  Home

    A Day with My Niece

    Happy New Year!

    Sort of.

    You wouldn't believe how often I think about blogging.. I miss it so much! But as I was telling someone today, I spend so much time in my mind organizing my to-do list and then chasing new ideas that I forget what was ever on the list to begin with. I can't seem to stay in one spot long enough to get anything done because I'm spending too much time being inspired to do things!

    Anyway, I was looking back through some pictures I took over December, and I wanted to share with you just a few moments that I had the pleasure of spending with my precious niece, who turned 10 this past year. She was visiting with my sister and brother in-law for Christmas, and I invited her to come over to help me make "reindeer eyes," which are basically round pretzels that have been filled with melted white chocolate bark and then decorated with a red-or-green M&M before the bark hardens.

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    After she and I finished the pretzels, she went outside to play with the bits of snow here and there that were left over from a brief snowfall the week before. Since she lives in the south, she rarely sees snow, so she had fun picking up any handful she could find and tossing it into the air… Martha was a bit intrigued with what she was doing, staring at her curiously as she played. Eventually though, Martha was able to go catch the frisbees my niece threw for her that were flipped upside down and filled with snow – a new invention she dubbed "The Snow Launcher."

    I had such a fun afternoon with her! It was sweet having a "little one" hanging around the house again, with all of her giggles and love.

    So my sweet niece, if you ever stumble across your favorite aunt's blog, thank you for spending the day with me, and I sure do love you!

  • Christmas,  Freebie,  Holidays

    Our Savior’s Birth

    I am so thankful for the Gift that God gave to the world that He loves so much.

    Please accept this small gift from me to you, and if you choose to stitch it, my hope is that you will be able to slow down and reflect on why we celebrate this beautiful season of Christ's birthday.

    Merry Christmas to you! (And please click both of the links below the image, or your pattern will not print out correctly!)

    Our Savior's Birth 2

    Our Savior's Birth

    Download Our Savior's Birth CHART

    Download Our Savior's Birth INSTRUCTIONS

  • Christmas,  Holidays,  Home

    Slowing Down

    What a whirlwind this month has been! I need to slow down and take it all in.. if only I could turn the clock back and enjoy all the twinkling lights and favorite Christmas movies just a bit longer.

    Every year, I try to get my Christmas decorating done in one afternoon, but this year I just pulled a few things out of boxes whenever the mood struck (usually in between sending out orders).  Here are just a few of the places in my home I've tried to make festive and jolly, before the kids get home. 🙂

    I posted this on Instagram, but it's one of my favorite decorations. My feather tree, filled with vintage bird ornaments…

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    This is on my dining room table.. I cut off a bottom branch from our tree this year, and mixed it in with some artificial greenery and berries…

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    I've been collecting annual Starbucks ornaments for years! I have a banister that separates my family room from the dinette room, and every year I've hung a garland on it, filling it with my Starbucks treasures (they're just so much fun!). These are just a few of them…

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    Here is this year's ornament – the coffee delivery truck!

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    My mom has done a hot chocolate bar the past couple of years, and I joined in the fun this year, making one for Sophie – since she always seems to be asking for hot cocoa in the evenings lately. 🙂

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    I have to include this picture, bc it makes me laugh; I was trying to take a picture of Poor Martha standing outside of the glass door, and I forgot to adjust my camera. She ended up looking like The Little Matchstick Girl, by Hans Christian Andersen…

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    My parents dropped this beautiful boxwood wreath off on my doorstep this year! I love it hanging in my window…

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    My dear friend Bonnie stitched me this darling ornament! I have a banister in my entryway as well, on which hangs another garland and lots of stitched ornaments, but this one was so unique in its finishing, I hung it on the greenery in my bathroom!

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    This sparkly Kringle is also in my bathroom…

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    I found these wonderful, jumbo-sized white jingle bells on Etsy (The Bead Hutch), and I placed them in a dough bowl with some soft, glittery leaves (also from The Bead Hutch; she had them displayed this way, and I loved it!)…

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    Ever since I discovered Rae Dunn on Etsy several years ago, I've loved her style.. I couldn't resist this mug, especially since I absolutely love A Christmas Carol!

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    Here's another picture I posted on Etsy: the nutcracker Mike got for me last year. He sits in my kitchen, right next to my coffee pot…

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    I'll wrap this up with a couple of my favorite pictures… the first is Dusty, who will be moving to Dallas with her big brother Maji, when Sabrina drives them to her home after Christmas… this was actually taken back in October, when I was trying to get a photo taken for one of my releases…she jumped in the greens and I couldn't stop myself from quickly taking her picture!

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    And lastly, my Miss Martha, who is a very big girl with new bows on her ears. I just wish you could see them in this picture!

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    I hope you all are having a beautiful December so far!

  • Christmas,  Freebie,  Holidays,  Stitching

    An Ornament for You

    My goodness… has it really been since October 20th? I haven't chatted with you since before Thanksgiving? And I just left you hanging with only the first part of the Shepherd's Bush boutique! I am so sorry!

    There has been an awful lot going on in my household this summer and fall, and believe you me when I tell you I can't believe I lived to tell about it. Not because I was in any danger, mind you, but because I've had one plumbing/remodeling/everything disaster after the next, and I think at one point I was near to squatting in a corner and rocking back and forth.

    But let's not relive that. I sat down today and designed a little ornament for you, in case you were all out of things to stitch. 😉 I've been drawn to lighter colors these days, so that's what I designed with, but if you choose to stitch this ornament, please feel free to stitch it in your favorite palette! Or whatever color scheme you're drawn to this season. (Sometimes mine changes from year to year.. one year I'll want lots of deep, antiqued hues, and other years I prefer lighter-colored decorations… like this year!)

    Anyway, I hope you all are having a beautiful Christmas season thus far… it's my very favorite time of the year!

    Merry Christmas!

    P.S. Remember to click the link below the image to print out your chart! 🙂

    Holy Night tp

    Download Holy Night PRINTOUT

  • Holidays,  Stitching,  Sunday Mystery Sampler

    The Grand Finale!

    Well here we are.. the very last week. Twelfth Day!

    I hope you've enjoyed this stitch-along. I am so grateful to all of you who have been so willing to share your progress.. it's been so much fun! Whether you've decided to stitch all twelve days as a sampler or divide them up into individual ornaments, I hope you have a finished project you are happy with.

    Twelve Days of Christmas

    Click here to print Twelfth Day: Download Twelve Drummers Drumming

    Click here to print the Sampler Layout (one page) (optional): Download Twelve Days of Christmas Sampler Layout

    Click here to print the entire Sampler Chart (four pages) (optional): Download Twelve Days of Christmas Sampler Chart

    I wish you all a very, Merry Christmas!

  • Holidays,  New Designs,  Serial Bowl Collection,  Stitching

    Final Releases for 2015

    My goodness, where did January go? Is it already December first? That truly doesn't seem possible.

    Here are my very last releases for this year.. I hope you've enjoyed all of the projects you've worked on, whether you finished them or not! Please let your shop owner know if there are any of these below that you'd like for her/him to order in for you.


    This is the one I stitched for my mother last year for Christmas! After I give you the information for this release, I'll tell you the changes I made on it from my mom's piece to the model, in case there is any confusion out there.


    The stitch count for this is 106w x 100h, and the model's fabric was 36 ct. Vintage Pearled Barley by Lakeside Linens. The threads (one strand over two linen threads) used were a combination of The Gentle Art (GA) and Classic Colorworks (CC) in the following colors (with DMC in parentheses): GA Old Hickory (611), GA Cherry Bark (221), GA Sable (3781), GA Caramel Corn (437), GA Oatmeal (3865), GA Dried Thyme (3011), GA Parchment (822), GA Antique Rose (223); CC Balsam Fir (935), and CC Hickory Sticks (834).

    The model was stitched by the ever-amazing Deborah Bixby.. but you may recognize her as cranberrysampling on Instagram. I believe she had it finished in 11.34 minutes. Or so it seemed. Thank you, Deborah!

    The frame for this piece is by Sherri Berkman at Total Framing in Fairfax, Virginia. She does such an amazing job! Thank you, Sherri!

    Now.. here's the information on my mom's piece, as many of you saw it last year (pictured below):

    Photo 3

    This original Merry Brew was stitched on 32 ct. Plum Street Paddock by R&R Reproductions using two strands of floss over two linen threads. The threads used were The Gentle Art in Toasted Barley (611), Cucumber (935), Cherry Bark (221), Walnut (646), Caramel Corn (437), Oatmeal (3865), Dried Thyme (3011), Parchment (822), Carriage Black (844), and Antique Rose (223). These original supplies are not listed on the new release, and I honestly don't recall why I ever changed the colors, but I believe it has something to do with not being able to find my original list of threads used until very recently. 🙂

    Next up:


    I've had lots of requests for a Christmas tart to add to the Jack's Sweet Shoppe collection, so I finally got one done!


    The stitch count for the tart is 77w x 69h, and it is stitched on 36 ct. Olde Towne Blend by R&R Reproductions. The threads (one strand over two linen threads) used are by The Gentle Art (GA), Weeks Dye Works (WDW), and DMC in the following colors: Antique Lace (822), Espresso Bean (3371), Portabella (612), Garden Gate (3787), Endive (730), Heirloom Gold (only four stitches total in this color)(729), WDW Baked Apple (3777), and DMC B5200 (B5200).

    There is optional chenille trim around the piece, which can be purchased from Dyeing to Stitch at 757-366-8740, and the tarts can either be purchased by your local shop (if they choose to stock them) or ordered from www.amazon.com or www.wilton.com (tarts come in sets of 6, and they are the 4.75" size with the removable bottoms). As usual, finishing instructions are included with each tart chart. Don't be afraid of them! They're very easy!

    And lastly…


    This is the follow-up to Merry One, which is sold out. I showed this design on Instagram yesterday, and noted that I was curious to see if anyone would change Santa's coat to red! I love it when I see the changes people make to designs to suit their personal tastes. 🙂 As usual, this chart comes with the threads and trim to complete one project. You supply whichever color and count fabric you like!


    The stitch count for Merry Two is 129w x 62h, and the model was stitched with Weeks Dye Works on 36 ct. Stars Hollow Blend from R&R Reproductions. Most of it is stitched with one strand over two linen threads, but here are the places you will switch to over one thread: Santa's eye, the snowman's eye and mouth, and the snowman's buttons. If you abhor over-one stitching or are stitching on Aida, you may certainly substitute the over-one areas with seed beads or French knots, or stitch them over two threads, making a few minor adjustments. Any way you choose will be wonderful!

    As with the other Serial Bowl Collection kits, these are limited in number. The Sampler Lessons series has one more kit to go, to be released next year, and the Bowl Full of Merries series will go on indefinitely – most likely with two per year being released. But I do have lots of other themes in mind, so if you are waiting on anything in particular, I imagine it's on its way! 🙂

    I will be back soon to post some pictures I took at the pumpkin patch with the girls.. there is snow on the ground as I write this, but I still haven't had my fill of orange and red and bonfires and acorns and those last warm days of autumn.

    Enjoy your week!