Announcing the release of two new cross stitch charts
With thy Needle & Thread...

Chart for a sweet 8" x 9" hanging ditty pocket. Christmas motifs are stitched on the pocket and then filled with fresh cedar, candy cane pipe cleaners & vintage sheet music. Old ivory buttons are sewn to the bottom of the pocket for added charm & detail. A quick stitch, worked on 32 count linen over 2 threads. Stitch count of this piece is 109 wide by 70 high.

A whimsical Halloween chart for every one's favorite Halloween character...a pumpkin head. Design is worked in yummy autumn colors on 40 count New Castle linen (color - sand) over 2 threads. Stitch count is 136 wide by 125 high.


Lookie what the UPS man delivered today...
4 wonderful new Halloween/Christmas charts for 2010 from The Prairie Schooler. All charts are now available online for purchasing.

Now doesn't that put you into the stitchin' mood???

With thy Needle & Thread,



new cross stitch patterns!
Check back later this evening for the release of




cross stitch patterns.

With thy Needle & Thread,



And they're off...

I delivered Dave, Matthew & Megan out to a local gravel road where they met up with their support crew. You can about imagine my thoughts as I pull up to this bus, take note of its non traditional school bus graphics....hmmmm, something tells me this may be a party on wheels bus. Team Boozehound will transport them, their bikes, tents and bags to the start of the ride. They'll pitched their tents in Sioux City last evening, and if all goes as planned they are on their way to our town (68.5 miles), the overnight host town. I expect them to roll in around 1 pm. Tonight they will have the use of our showers and beds, no camping or bus showering tonight. Tomorrow they are headed to Algona, lucky for them another night of real beds and real showers as my sister lives there. Come Tuesday night they will be tenting it and enjoying bus showers for the rest of their trek across the state.
Let me point out some of the finer features of this bus. It is fulled loaded with deep freezer, cupboards and tables on the inside. And lovely vintage shag carpeted floors...
See the window unit AC? Very important feature in late July in Iowa.
See the yellow shower curtain? Yep, fully equipped with a shower. The white plastic PV tubing around the top of the bus is the water supply for the shower. You depend on the hot & humid Iowa sun to warm the water for the next evenings showers. The finer feature is the shower nozzle itself...garden sprayer attached to a garden hose!

They will work their way through the famous Loess Hills. Today's route will take them through the small communities of Leeds, Kinsley, Washta, Quimby and finally Storm Lake. If they are lucky perhaps they will see a black squirrel in Kingsley...they are known for their black squirrels. As they enter our county (Buena Vista) they will be in windmill country. Iowa is one of the top states in producing wind power. The route will take them close enough to the windmills that they should be able to hear the loud whooshing sounds these big turbine blades make.

The bike vendors, repair shops and shower semis are currently busy setting up shop on our street, just waiting for the mob of bikers to arrive....more photos to follow of today's Ragrai festivities in Storm Lake.

Have a good weekend,


Phone issues...

thanks to all the wet weather.
If you're try to reaching us our phones are down... you will keep getting a busy signal. Seems the severe weather we've been getting the past several nights has done a number on our phones/computers. Hope to be up and running ASAP.

Have a good weekend,


A Million Dollar Rain...

Was awaken at 2:oo AM this morning to lightning bolts that about thru you out of bed and heavy rains...

A million dollar rain for the farmers as their crops have tasseled and are to the silking stage. Perfect timing as the ears of corn are beginning to form.

Everything is so nice & green this morning...

I couldn't help but wonder "what if" as I layed in bed, preparing myself for the next bolt of lightning?

What if Mother Nature decides to repeat herself with nasty lightning and heavy rains next week as Dave, Matthew & Megan (Matthew's girlfriend) push off on their week long bike ride across the state of Iowa?
This wife/mother then goes into "worry mode" and well let's just say it was a sleepless night from there on out.
Sleeping in tents just doesn't seem to mix with weather such as this...

They will tire dip their back tires in the Missouri River in Sioux City on Sunday. If all goes as planned (crossing all fingers & toes), will do a tire dip of their front tires in the Mississippi River on Saturday at the conclusion of their trek across Iowa...

River to river.

Hoping & praying for nice weather for my two favorite guys, plus 15,000 other bikers as they take part in the 38th annual RAGBRAI(The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa)...
the longest, largest & oldest touring bicycle ride in the world.

I'm hoping Matthew will pull through for mom once again and perhaps be a guest blogger for the entire week...
snapping pics from his bicycle as he peddles through the lovely rural countryside of Iowa.

Have a good day,


It seems that contemplation is just part of my design process. After 23 years of doing this, I should be used to this, right??
The new cross stitch design, "The Pumpkin Farm" is finished and I am to the contemplating part of the process....
Going on week 2 of contemplation.
Do I like the frame I had originally thought would work for this piece? An antique frame that was proportionately correct
I'm thinking now the frame may be too large for the design...
just to give me peace of mind
smaller frame has been ordered.
the delay in releasing this design!
for those of you who have pre-ordered this pattern, we have not forgotten about you!
If all goes well with 2ND frame choice, look for release date of this pattern by month's end.

With thy Needle & Thread,


We said our good byes & parted ways,
our lovely family gathering at the Irvine Park neighborhood in St. Paul, Mn
had come to an end...

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the home of Ruth & Dirk Dantuma at the Ohage House.
This 8,000 square foot Queen Ann was built in 1889. For more reading, see home feature article in the Midwest Home magazine

(click on photos to view larger image)
Their large backyard is filled with various garden vignettes, sitting areas & fire pit overlooking the Mississippi River.
The Irvine Park area is filled with beautifully restored homes. Our morning strolls took us up and down the streets of this quaint little neighborhood.
I love porches...
The flower gardens were as exquisite as the homes...

& we enjoyed two victories for the Twins! Go Twins!

We played in any water that could be found...
whether it was the bird's water

or water dripping from a faucet!
This little one L.O.V.E.S water...

Our last evening at the Ohage House was spent sitting around the fire pit trying to start a fire with wet wood, a result of torrential rains the night before. After much huffing & puffing and putting their Boy Scout fire building abilities to the test, we all enjoyed s'mores & conversation under the stars.

Fun times were had by all!

Have a good week,



Lily time!

When you have only two pennies left in the world,
buy a loaf of bread with one,
and a lily
with the other.
~Old Chinese Proverb

Have a great weekend,


Buy me some peanuts & cracker jacks...

Heading to the Land of 10,000 Lakes...
a.k.a. Minnesota (my home state) for a few days,
to take in a couple of Twins games at their new home
Target Field.
The Twins after several years of playing indoors are now playing outdoors once again.
Let's hope for cooler weather, no humidity (ha ha), no rain
most important
two Twin victories!
Tickets were gifted to all of us by son Matthew & his girlfriend last Christmas. They will be flying in from Denver to join the whole family. I'm so excited to see everyone once again...it's been since Christmas!

Go Twins,


A visit to the farm...

a funny little story.

I am still camera-less so I am borrowing these pics from my daughter's blog. These were the last pictures shot on my camera before it was left behind.

Our trip to Living History Farms...

We took a tractor ride out to the farm and visited the horses, cows, pigs, chickens & best of all the mother cat and her kittens.

Beckham loved the kitties...
the other animals, well not so much.

We gave the kitties big hugs & worked on being gentle...

and were able to put a real face to the "moo's" in our story books...

And now for the funny little story ...
Beckhams Mommy usually phones me on her days off. We just chit chat about the weather, what's for supper, about what her and the little one did for the day, what new words he is saying, or mostly just about all the funny little things a 20 month old does.

Today's phone conversation about Beckham and his little doings was so cute, I just had to share...

Mommy & Daddy were enjoying their first batch of really good Peaches & Cream sweet corn for dinner the past evening. A new experience for this little one, but he will grow up to learn that all Iowans live for this first meal of fresh picked Iowa sweet corn. Beckham started giggling as he sat and took in this sweet corn eating show his parents were performing across the table. Can't you just visualize this? Little one is giggling so hard at the parents and parents are laughing because the little one is giggling so hard at them. Not to mention butter dripping from their elbows & sweet corn and pepper hanging from their teeth! A scene from the funny farm, to say the least. Was it perhaps strange to this little one that Mommy & Daddy weren't using their forks, or perhaps that they could really use a wet wipe to wipe the butter from their noses, or maybe they reminded him of the pigs at the farm earlier visited!

Have a wonderful day,


After 14 days of stitching...

The Pumpkin Farm
is nearing
I've found an old picture frame from my ever growing antique picture frame collection that I will use to frame this piece. The frame measures 8 1/2" x 8 1/2...a perfect fit for The Pumpkin Farm. I don't know much about the artwork in this piece by Jessie Willco Smith...
After carefully removing the old rusty nails and wire hanger from the back of the frame, I'll give it a coat of rusty orange or maybe gold over black and then distress it for an old "time-worn" look.

This ends my weekly Sunday afternoon stitching progress post of The Pumpkin Patch. The next pictures will be of the finished piece...woot woot!! Keep a close eye right here for pictures of completed piece and release date of this cross stitch pattern.

The Jack 0 Lantern chuckled
then winked his funny eye,
"I'd rather be a pumpkin head
than be inside a pie!"

Jolly wolly pumpkin head
you're happy tell us why?
"I'd rather be a pumpkin head
than a pumpkin pie!"

Have a good week,


The return of my guest blogger!

As you may remember from a recent post, I am camera-less...darn I miss my camera, it is just always there and is just a part of me. How could I forget it and leave it behind...sorry camera. Sure the DH has a camera, but it is small, 6 megapixals and doesn't have my very favorite lens...just doesn't work for taking pictures of tiny things, such as cross stitch.

My son to the rescue! I received an email this morning from him loaded with pics and text too, made my day & now I have a new post, camera-less and all!! The email starts something like this...(mom please proof read it pretty please). I did some some minor editing with a few artistic graphics added here & there.
Please welcome returning guest blogger my son, Matthew. Enjoy!

Well since my mother left her precious camera at my sisters house i figured its about time i make another guest appearance and fill in for her and if you read far enough you might catch a recipe for your next camping trip...

As my folks were relaxing at home i was out and about in the wilderness of Colorado camping and hiking with some of my friends. For some reason people love hiking 14'ers so we decided to hike Mt Torreys (elevation 14,267). Here is a picture of me looking like a mountain man. Over my right shoulder is Mt. Torreys, I believe...

The hike would have been a lot easier if i looked anything like this guy we ran into...
Here are a few pictures of the way up/down

Here is a good idea of the vertical feet...

Ok so after seeing those pictures you better bet your bottom dollar i was STARVING. As my mom knows I get kinda cranky when im hungry so i decided to throw together a "hobo" camping meal. I saw many different recipes online but decided to just throw whatever together and see how it goes.

Here is what i tossed in there. Couple taters, couple carrots, a whole onion (love onions), 1 lbs beef, a whole bunch of random spices, cream of something (most call for mushroom but im not a fan so i got the cream of chix) foil to roll it up in and a beverage to sip on while it cooks.

First step is to lay down a couple layers of tin foil, i used 3 - 4 layers and it cooked it just fine. Now its time to chop up all the veggies.

Now the spices, the more the merrier...

Now its time to pile on the meat

& the cream whatever

Now its time to roll it up in a ball. Since I was feeling like a mountain man i made mine the size of a small bear, i was very hungry. Not recommended for the faint of heart.

Now its time to stick it in the oven...err stick it by the fire.

After a long hike it is always good to drink some milk. Milk does the body good. (Okay, so maybe mom sort of revised this sentence...)

The boulder of food needs to be turned while its on the fire probably every 10 minutes. I cooked mine for um...probably about...90 minutes?? Yeah that sounds good.

After about 10 minutes of people sitting around the fire trying to figure out if its going to be ready or not its time to pull her out of the fire. Look at that mess of delicious food!
Time to chow...

& don't forget to rub that belly after a good meal!
That's all i have for now, until next time...

My moms favorite son,
Mom here again...
Looks like this mother needs to pay this son a visit and either buy him a new pair of favorite jeans or try her hand at mending. So glad I taught my children to always put on clean undies every morning...even when they're in the wilderness!