Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Hearts

This weekend I will be whipping up a batch of these lovely wool hearts, just in time for February. I will post patterns for sale on Monday to start off the 'month of love' just right! Here is a little taste:

The patterns will come with the heart shape for a template and the cross stitch alphabet that I have created. These are very much for the do-it-yourself-er out there. You can make them exactly as I did or use different colors of wool, linen and floss. The decision is yours. And for those who want them already made up but also personalized, you will be able to order them as such.

The nice thing about these sweet hearts is that you can make them over-the-top Valentine-y or, like I did, keep it a bit simpler and use it all year long. (I could even attach ribbon to the tops of my hearts and hang them on the tree come Christmas time!)

Anyway, back to stitching. I think I hear Asher up from his nap, too. Have a great weekend and don't forget part 2 of 'Emma' tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spring Sweets

...not the kind of sweets you're thinking about. These sweets have zero calories and I doubt they'd actually taste good. But they sure do look yummy!!!

These are samples of my next project- Spring Cookies. There will also be three more designs; a tulip, lilys of the valley and a daffodil. I am going to make the flower cookies using the same colors as I did for the sheep, bunny and birdie. I then plan to make a set that will be more colorful, pretty pastels. After that, I see candle mats and runners and boxes. When all is finished I will be making up a booklet with patterns and projects for these diet-friendly treats. Stay tuned:)

I did some wool shopping on Sunday and have been taking apart jackets and sweaters in order to felt them. It's making me sneeze! With my myriad allergies I know I shouldn't be surprised but, come on!!! This one coat had a used kleenex in it and I found an earring. Once I found the kleenex I decided to give the seam ripper a rest. And I thoroughly washed my hands. (Shudder here.)

I am almost finished with 'U is for Undertow'. I don't like to rush through these books because I enjoy the characters so much, but it has to end sometime. I could have finished it off last night but decided to wait. After this, I am going to read 'Cranford' by Elizabeth Gaskell. I so enjoyed the movies on PBS and I am looking very forward to reading the book. I also plan on using this book as inspiration for more patterns.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

How wonderful was the first installment of 'Emma' last night? I just love that story and, as I've said before, I have a 'thing' for Mr. Knightley. This latest Mr. K doesn't disappoint. So here is my Gallery of Knightley's. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Gray, blah day outside my window. Inside, it's peaceful and a little sleepy. One child is asleep, the other is watching 'Treasure Island'. I've been stitching. Cross stitching in particular. And, it's something for me, my home. Sometimes it feels so indulgent to do something crafty for myself. I find that it is necessary, though. It gives my brain a chance to settle. Sometimes, I am amazed at the wonderful ideas that pop up while working on something for myself. Other crafters and artists are so inspiring. I think working on something created by their creative fingers helps to clear cobwebs and jump start my own creativity. So, here is a little 'shout out' to The Sampler Girl whose patterns I have been devouring lately. Thank you!

Yesterday, my 7 year old had his 'Star Student of the Week' interview. My husband and Asher and I went. It was a lot of fun. He answered the questions like he was on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?'.
"Nathanael, what is your favorite ice cream?" asks a classmate.
"I'm going to guess... vanilla with sprinkles." responds Nathanael.
It was cute:) When asked what his favorite number was, he said "44". When asked, "Why 44" he said, "Because that's how old my dad is." Tee, hee! Then another boy called out, "My dad is 44, too!" And another boy said, "My dad is 56." (The boy next to him said, "He's your grandpa then." Imagine the many conversations around various greater Lansing dinner tables last night!) And on it went.

Well, I guess I'll get back to being a mom. Fold some laundry, take care of dishes, wipe up crumbs....

Enjoy your day!

P.S. Don't forget 'Emma' tomorrow night at 9:00 on PBS!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Roses, Love Stoies, and Mr. Knightley

My fingers have been very busy, in many ways.

First, I finished my 'dornie' (a small, decorated pillow for hanging on a doorknob) for "Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses". It looks very sweet and it is a simple enough of a project that you could whip it up rather quickly. It has a small amount of cross stitch, in two colors, all red and white with some bright green to make it pop. A pattern will be available at my website and on Etsy.

Etsy, you say? That's how else my fingers have been busy. I put 23 items on Etsy at my store (click on the link in the margin). It's easy enough to do. Just time consuming and repetitive. Go check it out.

Today I will start to put the spring product on my web site. Then I have a couple of patterns I want to work up. Busy, busy!

In other news.... Since hearing that Erich Segal, the author of 'Love Story', passed away, I've had the theme song for the movie 'Love Story' going through my head, ad nauseum. I've nearly reduced myself to tears a couple of times and have been apprehensively awaiting the moment that "Love means never having to say your sorry" comes flying out of my mouth. But, alas, today the music is gone.

Now I am focused on Sunday and Jane Austen's 'Emma' that will be on PBS. I received my Jane Austen and Me 'The Emma Project' from T.S.G. the other day. It is a pattern for a beautiful cross stitch sampler with a quote from 'Emma'. Now, 'Pride and Prejudice' is my favorite J.A., but 'Emma' is a very close second. I have to say, even though I find Mr. Darcy handsome and intriguing, if I had to pick a J.A. male character to spend the rest of my life with, it would be Mr. Knightley. There, I've said it.

Okay. Back to work.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The computer has been a bit under the weather the past couple of days, thus my silence. It is up and running now and I can't begin to express how relieved I am! I don't want to express how relieved I am. I was one of those who believed that computers were a passing fad, nothing more. Now I find myself relying on the cursed things! Oh well, submit and move on, Danielle.

Now that the computer and I are back, I can show you what I've accomplished while we've been living like the "olden times".

The "Ring-a-ring-a roses" pillow is complete. I will be selling the pillow on my website but I will not be selling a pattern. I will, however, be making a pattern for a "dornie" (a little pillow to hang on a door knob). I'm even thinking of selling it as a kit, maybe both, I don't know.

I also spent time taking pictures of spring items that I created last year to sell on the website. There are a couple of patterns that I will be offering- stay tuned.

Nathanael lost his first tooth, pictures to come.

Off to Etsy. I have lots of product to upload. I need an assistant. At least I'm not doing laundry today.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Already!?!

Happy Friday! Boy did this week fly by! I'm not the only one who thinks so either. A couple of the other blogs I follow made the same observation. Not that I'm complaining. There will never be enough time to get everything done that I need to but getting to the weekend quickly is always a good thing.

It's been a busy day already. Asher had his two year check-up today. He did real good. He is very tall (37+") and apparently has a big head. The doctor asked if he comes from a big-head family. So, here's the thing. I know I come from a tall family, I'm 5'10". Dave comes from a big and tall family. Ergo, Asher come's from the land of giants: long legs, long arms, long waists and big heads. However, when a doctor starts asking questions like that about my wee baby boy, my brain stalls. I started picturing a bunch of tiny headed, petite ancestors. I had to call my husband after the appointment to let him know how it went. He answered the phone and I led with, "You have a big head, right?" There was a bit of a pause and then a quiet "Yes", probably through gritted teeth. I then explained why I was asking. He proceeded to remind me of my own build and said that my Dad's head is bigger than his. Thank goodness the appointments will only be once a year from now on!

From there, Asher and I went to Joann's (because what's better to soothe a 2 year old after getting two shots than buying fabric?). I bought floss and found more of the fabric I used on the "Laurie's Proposal" pillow. I also found the perfect fabric for a grouping of things that I am going to make for my Mom's bathroom. She wanted rocking horses (no surprise) and the fabric I found had rocking horses on it. WOO! HOO! I'm going to work on some sketches today and I'll keep you updated on my progress. I am planning on making patterns for what I make.

I am also already in-progress on a sweet, little pillow inspired by "Ring-a-ring of roses". All red and white with a bit of blue. Very pretty! I'm going to keep this one to myself though, until I'm finished. There has to be some mystery, right?

Speaking of mysteries.... I am currently reading "U is for Undertow" by Sue Grafton. I love this series! I love Kinsey Milhone, the P.I.! I want to be her assistant or unpaid intern, I wouldn't care. There are some literary characters that you get to know so well they become like a friend. Each time a new book comes out it's like a letter from your friend filling you in about what has been going on with her. I have always felt that way about Kinsey Milhone.

Alright! Enough of this typing! Off to wind floss...

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Pattern!

The "Mary, Mary" pattern is complete and posted on the web site. In the near future, I will be posting a tutorial on making the violets. It will really be just a bunch of pictures but I think it will help.

I have also begun work on a news letter for my business. Oy! Computers! It always seems like such a great idea until I have to start figuring out how to do the new-fangled things. But then I say to myself, 'Self, your smart. You've got a college degree (in fine arts/drawing). You can do this (draw a picture of a newsletter)." Then I go and do more laundry.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


It is finished!!! The 'Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary' candle mat is officially finished.
The pattern is almost done. If I don't get it on later tonight then I'll put it on the website tomorrow.

Silver Bells

The bells are done! It feels like this mat has been dragging on forever but I promise you it's not. I haven't been able to give it my undivided attention lately. There has just been too much to do. So, I've been working on it piece-meal but an end is finally in sight. It is pinned to the backing fabric and all I have left is to blanket stitch it together. I was originally going to 'write' "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?" in a small ring in the center of the mat but I have decided not to. I think it would make it look too busy. And, when I set a candle on it, I thought it looked fine as is. The text would have been hidden.

What's next? 'Ring-a-ring-a roses' of course! Hint: it will be a 12" pillow, lots of red and white. I'm already excited about it! I found the perfect fabric for the base.
Okay, that's enough 'hint' for now:)

Meanwhile, I spent most of yesterday going through 2009 paperwork and setting up my new binder for 2010. Borrrringgg! But it had to be done. April 15th will be here before we know it. Arrggh, urrrggh...

My husband and I also began our diet yesterday. I didn't do as bad over the holidays as I thought but I do feel the need to get back in shape and get healthy. One day down...

Back to work. I have high hopes for myself and my little mat today. I'll post when it is complete. I plan on putting the mat I made for sale on my website along with a pattern. There has been a lot of detail put into this mat so I plan on giving the do-it-yourself-er some less detailed options.

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Release!

I remember the first time I read “Little Women”. I was about 10 years old and it was one of those books that became part of the very fiber of my being. Jo was the perfect protagonist for any young girl. Laurie was an ideal first literary crush.

I remember, as if I had been there, when Laurie proposed to Jo. And she said 'No'! I had to re-read that part several times. I was certain I had mis-understood because I, like Laurie, thought he and Jo should marry. I would have said 'Yes'! But then I got to 'watch' the relationship grow between Laurie and Amy. I recall it didn't seem right at first but then, as I watched them grow and change as people, I began to understand. So, when they were out rowing and Laurie proposed, and Amy accepted, I thought, 'Perfect'!

Enjoy this little reminder of a wonderful story and a sweet romance.

"Amy had been dabbling her hand in the water during the little pause that fell between them, and, when she looked up, Laurie was leaning on his oars, with an expression in his eyes that made her say hastily, merely for the sake of saying something,-
'You must be tired; rest a little, and let me row.'
'I'm not tired; but you may take an oar, if you like.'
Amy accepted. She rowed as well as she did many other things; and, though, she used both hands, and Laurie but one, the oars kept time, and the boat went smoothly through the water.
'How well we pull together, don't we?' said Amy, who objected to silence just then.
'So well that I wish we might always pull in the same boat. Will you, Amy?' very tenderly.
'Yes, Laurie,' very low.
Then they stopped rowing, and unconsciously added a pretty little tableau of human love and happiness to the dissolving views reflected in the lake."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Birthday Boy

New baby!

One whole year!!!

Getting so big! He's not a baby any more!

My little Asher turns two today.

Chocolate chocolate cake is imminent:) (And it helps Mommy process the passage of time.)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Flowers and Shells Are Finished

I have finally finished the ring of 'pretty maids' and 'cockle shells' on my 'Mary, Mary' mat. I also took step-by-step pictures of the flowers and how I put them together. I plan on posting a set of instructions with pictures on this blog for those of you who want to make the detailed flowers. The pattern will have step-by-step instructions and drawings, too, but this way you can get further help.

Next, the silver bells.

We got lots of snow here yesterday and throughout the night. As a result... SNOW DAY!!! Nathanael just told me today was the best day because he has been able to play all day. It's been nice not having to go any where. Being holed-up once in a while isn't that bad. It's cold but pretty out there. The dark, brown and white tree limbs against the pale, blue sky is down-right inspiring. Maybe I'll have to come up with something in those colors.

Back to the laundry. (Am I always doing laundry?) I don't have to put much thought in to dinner, though. We're having pancakes and bacon tonight. A simple and stick-to-your-ribs meal that my husband will need after having been shoveling snow all day long.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Look at those blue eyes!

Flowers and Shells

The past couple of days have been spent packing up Christmas and saying 'Good-bye' to my parents.

Christmas is not completely gone but I at least have the kitchen and living room back to 'normal'. I've left out some snowmen and set piles of romantic books all over. I've also been stitching some little cross stitch Valentine decorations. Nothing is fully completed yet. Yet.

My parents have gone back to Florida and weather much like our own here in Michigan.
I miss them terribly, as do the kids. Kids make it both easier and harder to deal with the separation. Easier because you are concentrated on being strong 'for the children's sake'. Harder because they keep bring it up!!!:)

So, yesterday and today I started working on the flowers, white violets, for my 'Mary, Mary' mat. I sketched, in colored pencils, exactly what I wanted. I studied beautiful photos. I willed my fingers to make my flowers a reality. And my fingers said, 'Whatever!' Snotty, little fingers:)

My first attempt was not what I had in mind. So I grabbed my seam ripper and ripped that blossom out! I hated to do it 'cause I get frustrated thinking about the wasted time. But, in the process of seam-ripping, I had an idea. We'll call it 'divine inspiration'. I cut out new petals and stitched away. After getting the main part of the blossom created, and liking it, I set the mat aside and moved on to something else. I remember learning a long time ago that you have to know when to stop, step back and, sometimes, move on.

So this morning I woke feeling excited about adding details to my little blossom. I did just that and am pleased with the outcome. I also finished one of the cockle shells and am happy with that, too. (Although there was a wee bit of seam ripping with those shells, but I'm over it.)

Enjoy the pics and enjoy your day!


My mother-in-law gave me several large jars and canisters of buttons about two years ago. Several months later she gave me this little wooden box with two drawers in it that held more buttons, her mother's buttons. I have yet to got through and organize all of the buttons. I've done a lot so far but I still have a ways to go.

And I'm going to need to buy a couple of more organizers for these wonderful buttons. A daunting task! Also addicting. Once I get started it's hard to stop:) The buttons that I have to still go through are, for the most part, quite old. And dirty.

And beautiful.

Wanna see?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to school, back to work...

Well, it's Monday. (Keen observation, I know.) Nathanael is back to school and I'm back to work. I did some cleaning, put away some Christmas decorations and stitched a bit. It's kind of nice to get back into my old routine.

Anyway, I promised some updates on my latest pattern/project, so here goes!

See the beginnings of cockle bells and pretty little maids? Hopefully I can get all of the 'background' work finished today and I can get started on the flowers. I can't wait to see how those turn out. In my head they look fabulous:)

The mat that I am making will have a lot of detail in it. I am going to make the pattern so that you can do a more basic pattern and/or add more detail as you like.

Back to the stitching and perhaps a little laundry.

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Okay, I've decided what's next. 'Mary, Mary, quite contrary'. I've just finished sketching out my design. Now to make a pattern and get it sewn up. I'm pretty excited about it already so I'll get going on it real quick.

Nathanael goes back to school tomorrow. Boy did that Christmas break go by fast! I'm sure having my folks here helped speed things along. I was genuinely surprised to find that today was actually, for-real Sunday. (I've been feeling like it was Sunday since last Thursday!) I have a feeling that we are going to have a hard time getting ourselves around tomorrow morning.

My parents leave on Wednesday, weather permitting. It looks like the weather will be pretty decent. Oh, well, we got them to extend their stay one day at least:)

As soon as they leave, I'm going to start dismantling Christmas in the house. I'm going to do things a little different this year and do a little winter/snowman/Valentine's day decorating. We'll see....

Okay, back to the drawing board. I'll post pictures of my progress as I get further along. I'll also take some pictures of some other stitching I've been doing.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New for the New Year

Okay! I'm off to a good start. Hopefully I can keep up the momentum for the rest of 2010!!

Need a new project? Something to put out for Valentine's Day? Or to make and give to a sweet stitching friend? Check out the latest at It's a fun little project just in time for Valentine's Day and inspired by Mother Goose and Kate Greenaway.

Bonny lass, pretty lass,
Whilt thou Be Mine?
Thou shalt not wash dishes,
Nor yet serve the swine;
Thou shalt sit on a Cushion,
And sew a Fine Seam,
And thou shalt eat Strawberries,
Sugar and Cream.

Click on the pattern image to the left and you'll go straight to the website.

Enjoy your day!
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