Happy Halloween!

Wishing everyone a

Taking a "grandma day" tomorrow to go visit our little pumpkin!

Tricks & Treats to everyone,


What are your thoughts....

I've been asked by a needlework distributor to think about starting a "Stitching Club"...

This is uncharted (no pun intended) waters for me
I'd like to get some input (good or bad)
from my blog friends.

The stitching club would involve a membership. You would join the club (becoming a member) at your local needlework shop or favorite online shop. By joining you are committing to purchase each cross stitch pattern in the series. You will be charged at the time the new pattern is released. These patterns will be available to members only. At sign up time you will see the first pattern of the series and know the "theme" of the club. The remaining patterns will come to you as a surprise!

Here is where I have some questions...

1. Would you like this to be a quarterly club or a bi-monthly club (meaning 4 patterns or 6 patterns in the series)?

2. What month would be best suited for you for the club to begin? Do you want it to begin in the summer months or the winter months?

3. What has been your experience in joining this sort of club? Good or bad comments welcome!

4. How many such clubs are you currently a member of?

Any comments are welcome & greatly appreciated! Please note that all comments to this post will be kept private.

With thy Needle & Thread,



Merry & Bright!

Now available...
Merry & Bright Candle Pocket
Stitched into a petite 3 3/4" x 5" bag. I've filled the bag with black grubby candles for a nice & prim holiday accent piece. Fresh pine greenery and vintage candy cane pipecleaners tucked into pocket would be another fun & festive option.

Cross stitch pattern is now available for purchase on our website.

With thy Needle & Thread,


Peace & Quiet...

We are back from our wonderful stay at Berwood Hill Inn in Lanesboro, Minnesota.
Total peace & tranquility there...
pretty little bird songs,
cows mooing off in the distance field
the noise of grey squirrels rummaging for acorns.
What a beautiful way to wake in the morning...
I am still a country girl at heart
i guess.
Before I had two feet out of the car I knew we had to come back in the summer months. The gardens here must be breathtaking in their prime.
I took 150 plus pictures of the grounds at the Inn...too many to post.
Sit back & enjoy the beauty
of Berwood Hill Inn.
(Click on photos to view a larger image)

A small cottage out in the gardens (pictured above) is rented out in warmer months.

Many of the garden ornaments were crafted from old farm implements, corn cribs & cupola's from old barns.

This chicken lawn ornament was huge, hard to capture size in a picture...probably 10 ft tall!

More cupola's....

beautiful fall colors at Berwood Hill Inn...

more roosters...

more cupola's

Can I move in?

I'll be back...
Have a good week,

Another finish!

Another photo finish of the free Indian Summer sampler...

this one is from Virginie. Be sure to stop by her blog for a visit, she has some beautiful embroidery on her blog. The blog is in French, but her pictures are wonderful "eye candy".

The piece is over-dyed for a great primitive finish. Virginie then stitched the piece into a small pincushion. Old safety pin with buttons and tiny x's add nice charm to this finished piece.

Great finish Virginie & thanks for sharing!

With thy Needle & Thread,

Keep those photo finishes coming folks...we love to see finished work!


Sneaking off...

...just my dear husband & I for some

(photos courtesy of Berwood Hill Inn)

Our little getaway is taking us to Lanesboro, MN. Lanesboro is the B&B capital of Minnesota. We are staying at the Berwood Hill Inn. I'm looking forward to their 5 course breakfast...sounds overwhelming to someone who usually misses the most important meal of the day! The Berwood Hill Inn is a country Victorian home that sits on 200 plus acres of rolling hills that overlook a hardwood valley. The leaves are supposed to be at peak so I am hopeful there will be a lot of photo opportunities...I'll have my camera in hand!

Lanesboro was chosen as a top "prettiest cities" in the U.S. on both Yahoo.com and Forbes Traveler.com lists for 2009. Another city on this list is Guttenberg, Iowa and we will be swinging through there on our way to Lanesboro. Guttenberg sits on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.

We have had a week of rain and cold dreary weather...hoping for a warm up for the weekend!
With thy Needle & Thread,

Some finishes to share!

I received pictures of 2 finishes
of the
free Indian Summer Sampler
cross stitch chart
want to share them
with the rest of you.
These should motivate
you to get yours finished!

Sylvia K. of Germany
has chose
bright cheery tones
to stitch
her piece up in.
Doesn't it look great?

Sylvia's blog here
for more stunning photos
of her finished piece.

This finished piece
is stitched by
Simone of the Netherlands.
She chose a
darker cloth
and hand dyed,
shades of floss
for a wonderful
"time-worn" look.

Simone's blog here
to see her
lovely finish of this piece!

It's so nice
to see this design
worked two ways,
one on a lighter background
the other
with a darker background.
Thanks Sylvia & Simone
for sharing
keep those
photos coming...
We love
to see finished work!

With thy Needle & Thread,


Oh Susanna!

No, I'm not singing the "Oh Susanna!"song,
(as I cannot remember all of the words)
I am doing the happy dance
just perhaps to the tune
of Oh Susanna!

You see...
a package arrived today
from Susanna.

This is what was inside...(digitally framed...not certain of finish yet)

She does a beautiful job stitching the tiny stuff...

Finished size is a petite 3 3/4" x 4 7/8",
worked on 28 count over 1

Thank you Susanna!

New cross stitch designs

in the hands of my stitchers

will now start trickling in.

"Merry & Bright II" (shown above)

"Feather Your Nest Sampler"

"Be Kind Be True Sampler"

Patterns for the above mentioned coming soon!

With thy Needle & Thread,


My stitching companion...

Carefully perched
upon an old side table
next to my "stitching" chair
you will find
this sweet little bird....

A steel sewing bird clamp ~ Circa 1850's

While the little sewing bird
no longer gets used as once intended,
it does bring much delight
to my surroundings
as I sit and stitch.

I can't help but wonder
what it's story is...
who the woman
was that may have received it
from her soon to be husband...
what it held in it's little "clamp" beak...
was it bedding,
was it clothing
or some other handmade
household item?
Sewing birds' came into fashion
early in the 18th century.
Invented & crafted
in the Georgian period
in England.
It was the first device
that allowed the seamstress
to move the cloth
without having to loosen the clamp.

These sewing birds
were used to attach
one end of a piece of cloth firmly
to a table to enable a seamstress
to hold her sewing nice & tight
with one hand while stitching with the other...
often times
called the "third hand".

These were considered
luxury items
were often gifted by
a young man
to his future bride
just months
before their wedding.

While my little bird wasn't gifted to me
by my husband, rather a gift
from me to myself...
I thoroughly enjoy
it's presence as I
sit & stitch.

Watch for an upcoming
cross stitch pattern design,
"starring" my little bird clamp!
Release date for this pattern
is sometime after
the holidays.

With thy Needle & Thread,


2 bags later...

after 2 bags of Haribo Gold bears,
(I call these gummi bears)
& a few cups of coffee
(okay, maybe more then a few)
the pattern instructions for
the 3 new Christmas ornament
cross stitch patterns
are written
& proofed....

As for the gummi bears...
if I don't stop
doing this,
my belly
is going to shake
like a bowlful of jelly...
just like Santa's!!!
Oh dear...

Friday we will begin printing,
collating & packaging the new patterns.
Monday we will begin shipping
Tuesday I'll begin my exercise regimen
to work off
those darn gummi bears!

The new patterns are now posted on our website for purchase!

With thy Needle & Thread,


They're almost ready...

...shouldn't be too much longer!

Here is a little
pattern preview
of the
NEW 2009 Christmas Ornament
cross stitch patterns...

Vintage ivory buttons from Grandma's button jar & wings constructed from old sheet music adds extra charm to this angelic ornament!

Sweet Huck branches make perfect little antlers for this tree ornament. A tiny french knot works perfectly for Rudolph's nose...just love the simplicity of this guy!

Inspiration for this design comes from the olde favorite Christmas carol, 12 days of Christmas. This pleasingly plump French hen has various holiday motifs stitched upon her body. Old sheet music for tail feathers and wings gives the French Hen a nice olde-time look. In keeping with the French theme, Merry Christmas is spelled out in French!

I call these "day project" patterns... You can easily finish one of these in a day!
Got to love that!

With thy Needle & Thread,



Oh dear...these are cute!!!

After a couple of long days
of intense cross stitching,
I decided it was time
to give the eyes,
and the neck
a rest for the evening.
instead of stitching tonight,
I've been baking
these darling
little things...
Oh dear, these are dangerous!!!
You see,
these are bite-sized
I am eating
them by the handfuls...
just like popcorn!
Aren't they cute?
Do you want to make some too?
Sure you do...
& I betcha
you can't eat just one!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Orange paste or gel food color
Yellow paste or gel food color
Line bottom and sides of a 9" x 5" loaf pan with waxed paper or plastic food wrap. Set aside.

Combine butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, orange extract and salt. Continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking soda. Beat until well mixed.

Divide dough into thirds. Press one-third of white dough evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Place another one-third of dough back into same bowl. Add small amount of orange food color; mix until color is well blended. Press orange dough evenly over white dough in pan. Place remaining one-third of dough into another medium bowl. Add small amount of yellow food color; mix until color is well blended. Press yellow dough evenly over orange dough in pan. Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours).

Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl; set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Invert loaf pan to remove dough. Peel off waxed paper. Place layered dough onto cutting surface. Cut loaf crosswise into 1/4 inch slices using sharp knife, trimming edges to make even if necessary. Cut each slice into 6-8 wedges. Place 1 inch apart onto un-greased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 - 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Immediately place warm cookies in bowl of sugar; roll in sugar to coat. Place cookies onto cooling rack. Cool completely.

Store in loosely covered container.
Makes 15 dozen miniature cookies.



Frost on the pumpkins....

No, take a closer look... that is snow on the pumpkins!

We awoke this morning to a pretty little dusting of snow...

the first of the season.

The growing season has sadly come to an end...

Time to clear off the gardens,

heap on the wood


get the warm woolly sweaters out...

Summer is over...the reality of it is just settlin' in.

A good day to nestle in and do some stitching


cook up a batch of soup

to warm

the tummy...


Come along & let's make some soup...
Cheesy Pepper Chowder, that is.

Super easy & and equally delicious!

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet. Add 1 package (3 cups) frozen pepper and onion stir-fry mixture. This can be found in your frozen foods section. Cook vegetables for 5 - 7 minutes or until tender.

Add 2 minced cloves of garlic, stir for 30 seconds.

Add 1/2 pound of chicken fajita meat. Available in the deli-meat section of the grocery store.

Mix 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon granules into 1 cup of warm water. Stir in 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Pour into vegetable/chicken mixture.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. It is at this time that I cut up the pepper strips into shorter lengths with the edge of a spatula.

Over medium heat, add 8 ounces shredded Velveeta cheese.

Add 1 cup whipping cream to chicken mixture. Cook and stir until cheese is melted.

Add 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. dried Cilantro; stir to mix in. Let simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Watch closely as you don't want this to boil.

I like to serve this chowder with Avocado flavored corn chips (available at Wal-greens...they are yummy!)

Wishing you a warm & cozy evening,


there are just a few hours left in our FREE SHIPPING offer! Hurry on over to www.countrystitchesonline.com before it ends tonight at 10:00 pm CST.


Free Shipping at Country Stitches!


In celebration of Columbus Day,
Country Stitches is offering
to our online shoppers.

Offer applies to orders
shipped within the
United States only.

The free shipping special
Monday, October 12th
at 10:00 pm CST,
no exceptions!

With thy Needle & Thread,


A visit to my favorite blog...

How many times a day do you visit your favorite blog?
5 times...
10 times...
15 times...

I'm too embarrased to say how many times I check mine...

Imagine visiting your favorite blog
and finding this...
or this...

Get's me everytime...

This little one really knows how to melt grandma's heart...

New hat to go with two new "toofers", priceless!

have a good wednesday,