10.09.2014

A little girl named Pepita

While stitching on my newest piece,
my thoughts of a little girl named
 Pepita
and her story
come to mind...


According to old Mexican legend,
Pepita was a poor little Mexican girl.  
She was sad because she had no gift to share.
on Christmas Eve.
  Her cousin Pedro reassured her that any gift,
 no matter its size,
 is a gift
 when given 
with love. 

 She bent over and picked a bundle of weeds and formed a bouquet. 
 The bouquet would be her gift. 
 She placed the bundle of weeds at the base of a nativity scene.  
The weeds would eventually burst into bright red flowers,
 "Flores de Noche Buena", 
or "Flowers of the Holy Night"
or what we know as the Poinsettia.
This is how the 
Poinsettia
&
 Christmas
came together.  

On this upcoming sampler,
you'll find tall pewter urns filled with poinsettias,
 a favorite Christmas verse,
horse and sleigh,
a pine forest,
cozy little houses with smoking chimneys,
a sweet little dame and her gentleman,
whose arms are filled with small gifts.

"The gift is small,
but,
love is all"

With thy Needle & Thread,
Brenda

10.07.2014

~New Patterns are Here!~

The days are growing shorter,
the air is a bit more crisp
and 
the bittersweet is in full bloom...
my favorite time of year!

In celebration of the season,
I am happy to introduce two
autumn-themed cross stitch charts.

These are pieces that can be brought out for Halloween
and
kept out through Thanksgiving.

Queen of Harvest
stitch count - 142 wide x 107 high
worked over two threads
on 40 count Sand linen by Picture This Plus



Where the Bittersweet Blooms
Stitch count - 74 wide X 97 high
Design is worked over two threads on 35 count Apple Brown Bindy linen
by R&R Reproductions

Enjoy!

With thy Needle & Thread,
Brenda

9.26.2014

Bittersweet Harvest!

Once again it's that time of year...
bittersweet harvest!

I love the smell of it's damp leaves...the smell of autumn.
It's that unmistakably smell that you smell just once a year.

It's best picked before the husk burst.
I like to bring it inside where it is warmer and dryer, 
overnight,
and then awake to a whole new looking vine!
The tiny husks have burst open to expose their brilliant orange fruit.
The best color of orange that there is!
Nature is so magical...


I have used this beautiful vine as inspiration in two upcoming cross stitch designs.  They are more harvest & autumn-themed.    Two designs that can be left out through the Thanksgiving season.

Sneak peek of  "Queen of Harvest"....
Bittersweet, pumpkins & acorns...

 &
Sneak peek of "Where the Bittersweet Blooms"...
a sweet and quick - to - stitch autumn time sampler...


Watch for these two new arrivals next week!

Tis going to be another beautiful autumn day here, 
enjoy your day!

Brenda

8.15.2014

New Patterns are Here!


It is market weekend and the following charts are making their debut there.
I am happy to share my new Autumn and Holiday cross stitch charts,
enjoy!
"Boo & Baa-bbie"
Many of you stitched the Patriotic Poppies design, it has quickly become a best seller!  Everyone really enjoyed the little touch and texture of the dimensional wool flowers.  I decided to build upon the summer sheep and create something for Halloween.    The farmstead is now in celebration of Halloween!   Baa-bie is pulling a pumpkin wagon that has became over-grown with Black-Eyed Susans...planted by the crows, no doubt!  This sweet little pinkeep is about the exact same size as the Patriotic Poppies version and worked on the same 40 count Doubloon linen over two threads.  

 "Acorn Gathering Sewing Roll"
It is that time of year when the squirrels are beginning to scamper and scurry a little bit more...
 gathering, hunting, digging,
 &
getting ready for the winter months. 
 I sort of do this myself...only with my stitching goodies! 
  So,
 I thought it would be appropriate to stitch something honoring these little gatherer's...
This design features those bushy-tailed little critters,
who no doubt have hidden a few acorns in those big pots of
autumn Mums
 to be snacked upon on a cold snowy day.
 The sewing roll has a pocket to hide your scissors, needles
&
any other stitching goodies.
And like any good little squirrel,
I have hidden a fun little stitching project in this pattern!
'Tis not pictured,
it's a surprise...
you must dig and hunt to find it!!
You will love this little treasure,
it coordinates so sweetly with the sewing roll!
You can even hide it in the pocket,
if you wish!
Design is stitched over two threads on the beautiful 40 count Doubloon linen by Picture This Plus.    Old mother of pearl buttons and vintage seam tape ribbon adds extra detail and charm to this finish.


 "In Santa Claus Land"
The punch needle pattern, Merry Olde Soul has now been adapted to cross stitch...had many, many request for this! 
I hope you all like it~
When I charted this sampler and sent if off to model stitcher, Suzanne, I had no idea how I was going to finish the piece.   I wanted something more then just a frame... I decided on something a little different for a finish and LOVE how it turned out.  I created this into a long and narrow pocket...perfect to hang on a peg or old cupboard door.  The stitched piece becomes the pocket that's gets filled with cinnamon-dusted vintage pipe cleaners, that I bent into candy canes, pine greenery and a miniature piece of sheet music...precious! The piece is worked over two threads, on 40 count Ale linen  by Picture This Plus.  The backside is faced with red antique reproduction calico.  Old buttons are stitched to the top scallop for just that perfect added touch! 

Pattern includes the miniature sheet music, too!

A big shout out of "THANKS" to Suzanne Garber for stitching this model.  I am forever grateful for your help and friendship.


"Christmas Cottage"
In the late July pattern releases you will find a Halloween chart titled, Hallow-day Inn...it is a pair of spooky little witches sharing a room for two at the local Hallow-day Inn. 
That chart became the inspiration
 for a Christmas themed
 cottage....
Christmas Cottage.
A quaint little cottage all decorated and ready for St Nick to make his appearance.  Take note of the sampler hanging above the mantel...the home of a sampler-lover, no doubt!   You'll find mini woolly Putz sheep, sisal trees, and old fashioned candlesticks  upon the mantel and stockings just waiting to be filled.  Santa has left a new doll chair and pull sheep toy for the good boys and girls.
The design is stitched over two threads on the new sized
 36 count linen,
color - Confederate Gray
from Week Dye Works. 

A big thank you to Susanna Baker for stitching this model.    I wish my backside-stitching looked as good as yours, Susanna!

New charts, linens, and floss kits to support these new patterns are in stock and ready to ship.

With thy Needle & Thread,
Brenda

7.25.2014

New Patterns!

This is my favorite time of the year!
Summer is in full swing,
with the first day of school just around the corner.
It is this time of year that we start gathering projects
for the next seasons and upcoming holidays.
Oh, and did I mention
sweet corn and fresh garden tomatoes?
BLT's, too!

New Halloween & Everyday patterns are ready!
Autumn-themed and Christmas to follow in mid-August.

"Hallow-day" Inn
 -worked on 32 count linen (1 over 2) -
A fun little Halloween piece that I chose a simple finish for.  Edges are just turned under and I will pin it to an old cupboard door with stick pins.


"Gardener Goode Witch"
- worked on 32 count linen (1 over 2) -
This was really a fun stitch!   I finished this into a long & skinny pillow with rusty bells sewn to each end.  Have you tried the new count linens from Week Dye Works?  I used their 32 count, color - Linen for this piece...love the linen, it is gorgeous and has such a wonderful feel in hand. 


"Bittersweet & Broomsticks"
 
And for all you punch needle enthusiasts, a little something for you, too!  This piece coordinates very well with either new cross stitch design.  I chose to mount this on a paper mache' box that I painted and finished with a hand-grained finish.  

"Blue Bunting"
 This spring I had the pleasure of being hostess to a pair of indigo buntings.  They could be found each morning nibbling on the grape jam.  They were the inspiration for this design.  The design is worked on 32 count linen (1 over 1)  I chose the pocket watch frame finish for this.  I gathered a couple of small old books and attached it with some vintage seam tape ribbon.  A tiny bundle of wild rose hips add just a little more detail to the finish.


"Summer Saltbox"
My dream home...a saltbox! 
 I love all their windows,  the simplicity and clean lines of this style of home. 
Fluffy sheep, towering sunflowers and the abc's make for a sweet little sampler.
I plan to tie some hemp cording onto this piece and wear it with a chambray dress.
The design is worked on 32 count (1 over 1).


Have a good weekend,
Brenda


7.07.2014

New Patterns & New Arrivals..of the feather type!

Happy to share with you 3 new sampler designs 
for your summer-time stitching pleasure!

"Sampler Hill"


"Heart of the Home Sampler"

A special "THANK YOU"
 goes out to 
Suzanne Garber
 and 
April Taylor
 for their beautiful work on these two samplers.


"Mary Jane Smallman, 1836"


Also happy to announce we have babies!  You may recall from my recent "bird posts" about our sassy little Robin that we fed grape jam to this spring?  My husband was convinced she was just too lazy to hunt for worms,  and I was convinced maybe she just craved grape jam...all expectant momma's  crave something, right? ;)

Here is momma.  She has moved onto a diet of insects and worms and can be found most days sitting in our little red bud tree.

Keeping a careful watch over these....
 Three little, naked babies. 
 She built her nest in a little row of shrubs that hug the corner of our house.   I enjoy the bird's eye view of the nest outside the bathroom window.  I would like to think it is her way of saying, "thanks for all that grape jam!"     


You will notice little robin motifs on the new Sampler Hill and Heart of the Home Sampler.  I guess you could say this robin had a little hand in my spring designs!  "Thank You, Robin"

I hope everyone has a good week,
Brenda

7.02.2014

Meet Mary!

Happy to share
Mary Jane Smallman, 1836 
- an antique reproduction - 

Mary Jane Smallman was my January 1, 2014 start. 
 This was my early morning stitch,
 with my morning coffee,
 and it took me about a month to complete.

I really enjoyed stitching this piece, 
it was such a fun stitch!
 The floss selection was so refreshing,
 and
 the border so delicate,
simple & sweet.



Mary Jane was just 7 years old.  
Of the antique samplers
 that grace the walls of my home,
 Mary was the youngest needle-worker,
so this sampler is very dear to me.

The verse that Mary chose to stitch
 was written in a 1790's book called,
 Sermon to Children. 
 The verse was later composed into a children's hymn in 1866.

I chose to reproduce the sampler just as Mary stitch the original,
 leaving the verse run into 
and 
beyond the sweet little lavender chain-style border.  
You wouldn't expect the work of a 7 year old to be perfect,
so I felt it was perfect to leave it as is.



                The antique Mary Jane Smallman, 1836...


Chart coming soon!

Wishing you all a safe & happy holiday weekend, filled with family, friends & fun!
Brenda

6.09.2014

Little peeks at Fall

I am into full swing with my Autumn designing.  
  Various designs are in various stages.
Sharing with you a few peeks at what has been keeping my
 hands busy
 and
 heart happy...

A nutty little squirrel....
 the plans are to finish this into a needle case, but that could change. 

X X X X X X 


 A small Autumn-themed sampler...

dimensional wool Black-eyed Susans
stitched bittersweet  ...
a nice mix! 

 I am not certain of a finish for this piece yet.

X X X X X X 


And lastly, the only piece that is finished, titled and photographed...
"Hallow-day Inn"...
I'll let you guess as to who is in need of a room for two
at 
the "Hallow-day Inn".

With thy Needle & Thread,
Brenda


5.21.2014

"Everybirdy"...

"Everybirdy" loves grape jam!

Here is Miss Sassy Robin with grape jam on her beak...
She is now chasing "everybirdy" away from the jam,
she has claimed the dish as hers!
If there is a bird with an attitude,
it is her...


Miss Grosbeak enjoys safflower seed,
 but has decided to check out the jam, too.
She sat there for some time, just watching and waiting...
for a turn.

When the plate was hers,
 all to herself,
she gave it a try.

Mmmm, this is pretty good stuff!

There are still daily squabbles going on between the males.
It is quite entertaining to watch...

They are in a feeding frenzy and no one likes to share.
They aren't the least bit interested in the females,
just jam...
and 
oranges...

I've had commenter's ask where I live, rural or urban?  I live in a small town, with rural countryside a few miles away on all sides.  Our home is in the oldest part of town
with our streets and backyards filled with 100 year old trees...so, we have lots of birds.
The Spring of 2014 will be remembered as the year of hungry orioles, lots of them!


The past few days
I've had the thrill of an Indigo Bunting
visiting "the plate"...
One of my favorite song birds.


You can see his brown winter feathers are starting to turn indigo blue.  
His feathers will turn a brilliant iridescent blue for mating season.
Isn't he the sweetest little guy?


Such a pretty blue.
Made me want to work with blue floss
and inspired me to create this little guy in cotton & linen



It is tiny, worked over 1 on 40 count and then framed in
a pocket watch frame.
  I simply tied it to a little old book 
with vintage ribbon
for a sweet little vignette.
I nice little remembrance token of the Spring of 2014.

With thy Needle &Thread,
Brenda




5.15.2014

Decisions & Distractions...

 I've snapped a photo of this robin.

 She is a sassy robin and can be found most days chasing other birds away.
  She likes to forage in the seed droppings on the ground.
 I'm not sure if she is eating seeds or finding bugs in the seed droppings, or both.
She likes grape jelly, too!



You can even find Miss Sassy Robin on this sampler.
I chose lighter shades of floss for this piece.  
I was aiming for a more prairie style feel, something that will fit in nicely with
lots of old farmhouse whites and ironstone collections.

For the past week I been trying to decide a finish for this piece...
frame it,
or something more special?


I am finding,
 the older I get,
 the harder it is for me to
 make a decision...


Here is a sneak at a second sampler,
 waiting for a finish decision.


This piece is worked on the Corn husk linen and I love it!  
The greenish-yellow linen is a perfect canvas for the selected spring-time shades of flosses.
Frame it?
Make it into a pillow?
I can't decide.


Maybe there are too many distractions to make decisions...

Like this...
(Miss Sassy Robin has built her nest in this tree)
and these...

My last blog posting I showed you photos of the Baltimore Orioles. 
 These are snaps of the Orchard Oriole.  
They are a deeper rusty orange and smaller in size.
  Not quite as showy as the Baltimore Oriole.
  Males are rust and females are yellow.  
They are a very skittish, nervous, sort of bird.
 Any movement by my window and they are gone. 
 It has taken them some time  to get comfortable
with the lady on the other side of the window,
and I was able to snap a couple pics yesterday. 

When is it my turn?


And then there was this guy
 distracting me at lunchtime yesterday...

Who is he?
A new dinner guest?
It's a smaller bird, and
I figured it was a warbler of sorts,
but,
 I couldn't identify him...
My bird book tells me this is a
Cape May Warbler.


I only have seen one male and no females.
According to the book, he is off his normal migration route. 
 He is a  further west then normal.
He seems content with the Orioles.
Maybe he thinks he is an Oriole!

This Cape May Warbler is migrating 
to the forest of the Northern United States and Canada. 
 He has made his way here,
all the way from the West Indies,
where it winters. 
 During the winter months he fed on nectar
 that it collects with it's unique curled, semi tubular tongue.
  During the nesting season 
it will feed on spruce bud worms.

He is currently enjoying grape jelly and oranges in Iowa
 with the Orioles.
From my reading,
he is
 awaiting for a strong southerly wind 
that he will ride further northward to it's place of nesting.
Amazing!
Isn't he beautiful?
Look at those delicate little bird legs!

Wishing you all a day of good decisions and good distractions,
Brenda

5.11.2014

Happy Mother's Day!

To all you Mom's & Grandmother's,
Happy Mother's Day!
 
 
I have enjoyed a day of phone call greetings from both of our kids,
and
a day of quiet stitching.
Yesterday was spent having lunch and shopping with
my 85 year old Mother & sisters...
 
Mom was pretty quick to let every
waitress and store clerk know
that she was our mom...
she is so cute!
 
 
Mother's Day weekend also marks the return of the 
 Rose Breasted Grosbeaks and Baltimore Orioles to our backyard.
Like clockwork, every year!
 

They are hungry little buggers...
so I've been busy with bird chores.
 
Hmmm....where is that grape jelly?
 
 
I am on my third large jar of jam,
 since Friday
and I've lost count on the oranges!
 
 (male Oriole in front, female in back)
 
I will enjoy this spectacular view from my kitchen window for about two weeks,
and then they are off...
 

 
 off to the rural countryside
 where they'll find some big old Cottonwood tree
and weave their hanging
pouch-like nests,
in which to raise their young.
 
 
 The grosbeaks are here just to enjoy the feast of safflower
 and then...
 

(male Rose Breasted Grosbeak)
 
they will continue their journey
a bit farther northward
to their nesting grounds.


 (female Rose Breasted Grosbeak)

 
life is good.
 
Wishing you all a week full of sunshine,
Brenda