it's "code" outside!
Sorry, couldn't help myself...
after a visit from our grandson, Beckham I always find my self talking like a 2 year old. Must be a grandma-thing!
Brrr...it really is cold outside this morning here in NW Iowa. I'm thinking it might be time to get the winter coat out today.

I'd like to say a gigantic "THANK YOU" to all of those who participated in our Cyber Monday event. The elves at Country Stitches will be putting in some over time hours!

Just curious... are all these patterns, being shipped, going to be made into gifts or are you just filling your nests with stash??? Please tell! It's okay to be "squirrel-like"...we all know the winters can get long and it's about survival, right?

* * * * * * *

I've been slowly, but surely, making progress on charting the Ann Dickinson sampler. My goal has been to chart one motif a day. Last evening I was really on a roll, making much progress. I'm to the easy stuff now...gesh, the bottom band was long & tedius. I'm hoping to have the charting finished by weeks end. Then the stitching begins. It will be my winter project... reproducing this piece, 191 years later, onto linen once again.

* * * * * * *


Don't forget today is day 9 of the Home for the Holidays blog hop. Jan Patek is today's featured designer. Last time I checked, things weren't quite ready BUT hop on over to her blog to see what she has in store for us today! I can hardly wait, I love Jan's style and I'm sure it will be wonderfully prim & scrappy.
Bundle up cuz "it's code outside" & have a good day,


Cyber Monday $avings...

Join us on Monday, November 29Th as we kick off the online holiday shopping season!

Enjoy 10% savings on select items at www.countrystitchesonline.com. The Cyber Monday offer is a one day event, ending today at 9:00 PM CST. This promotion is on Internet orders only, does not included emailed or phone-in orders. Some exclusions do apply to this promotion. Items included will clearly be marked with "sale price", those without are not included in the sale.

Enjoy the comforts of shopping online
in the coziness of your home
with a cup of cocoa in hand
even in your jammies

Have a good week,


New Arrivals...

Wear Santa on your collar this holiday season...

Just arrived, two new Christmas pins! Now available for purchase on our website, under the NEW ITEMS category.

Let's blame the turkey...

I think I've over dosed on tryptophan...the stuff in turkey that induces sleepiness. I was in my pj's and in bed at 6:30 pm last evening. It was at 4:OO AM that I awoke and was trying to decide what day of the week it was...for some reason when I don't work I lose track of my days. Laying there in bed totally refreshed, after almost 10 hours of sleep, I realized I had totally forgotten about day 8 of the Home for the Holiday's Blog (or is it day 7, or is it day 9?...pretty certain I have CRS disease too). If you don't know what CRS disease is, you are too young to know...

I'm blaming this guy...it's totally his fault for this drug induced coma I've been in for the past 3 days.


If you already haven't, please hop on over to Primitive Pieces by Lynda's blog for a sweet winter time wool project and her yummy pumpkin bar recipe. See her home all decorated for the holidays, you'll be inspired!

Have a good week,



Our tummies are full of turkey...

not just any kind of turkey,
but rather Great Grandma Millie's ginger turkey cookies!
Before the pumpkin pies
get cut into,
it's tradition to nibble
on my mom's
thin & crisp
ginger turkey cookies.

Hmmm...turkey cookies?
A newly discovered food
for the youngest member
of our family.
Can you guess how many he consumed?
One cookie...

Two cookies...

Three cookies...

Four cookies...

Five cookies...

there still is room in the tummy for more...

6 cookies
were consumed
by this little turkey
then his momma
cut him off...

And yes,
by the time we were done eating
these cookies
was even making
"gobble gobble" noises!
Hoping your tummies got filled with turkey too,


Ann Dickinson

Her name was Ann Dickinson. The year was 1819. Her age, 13 years young.

I recently acquired this sampler from a dealer that resides in the Northwest of England. I don't have much history on the piece, other then it originated from an estate auction in Ireland. The bottom of this sampler has a band of various trees, birds & houses all stitched rather close together... it was this bottom band that drew me to this piece. It then opens up to various motifs spaced slightly further apart with a center motif of verse and signature, in stitches, by Ann.
The words in the center verse have the characteristics of 18Th century handwriting. Upper case letters were used to begin nouns as well as to begin sentences.
The lower case s was written in long s (elongated form), at the beginning of a word, in the middle of a word, and when written twice, as in grass. The elongated s can be mistaken for an f. So the word "grass" as we now recognize it today looks like "Grafs" and "rose" looks like "Roafe", as stitched by Ann.

So it is these days you'll find me with magnifier in hand and on head as I reproduce this sampler into chart form to be stitched once again. Watch for this antique reproduction sampler pattern in 2011 some time.

* * * * * * * * *
Don't forget today is Day 7 of the Home for the Holidays Blog Hop day! Hop on over to Lisa Bongean's blog at Primitive Gatherings. She will be sharing today a yummy molasses cookie recipe and a darling darling pantry jar wrap stitched from wools...perfect for tucking cookies in!

Have a good day,



to order early!

For guaranteed delivery in time for the holidays, orders must be placed by December 13Th. Country Stitches Online will be closed from December 21st thru January 5Th. Orders placed after December 19Th will not ship until we re-open on the 6Th of January.

Thanks for planning ahead...makes for a merrier time for all of us!

Have a good week,


Poor Nemo...

I had the pleasure of visiting Beckham for a couple days, leading up to his big 2ND birthday! We did some shopping, eating out, played with Thomas the Train (surprise, surprise), put puzzles together and watched a movie or two...Finding Nemo seems to be his "new favorite" movie. I'm almost embarrassed to admit I had not seen this movie, so it was a first for Grandma. We're all watching the movie with our fullest attention. Even the almost 2 year old. We get to the part where the big scary fish eats Elmo's mother & from the cutest-little-almost-2-year -old voice, I hear..."poooorrrrr Nemo". Was the sweetest thing I ever did hear, just totally melted my heart! We continued to watch the movie and when the music would get dramatic & the waters got murky and dark you knew something bad or sad was to happen. It would be then once again, "poor Nemo". Grandma can't seem to get those cute little words, in that cute little voice, out of her head, "poor Nemo"...
* * * * * * *
One of the birthday gifts was an Nemo book with music player. Beckham sat and entertained us as he "read" out loud, for us, his version of the Finding Nemo book. We laughed and laughed as he read to all of us about "pooooorrrrr Nemo".

Beckham got lots of nice presents, even two pairs of new shoes. Not one pair, but two pair from Grandma Julie and Grandpa Don. Grandma Julie said she couldn't decide between the two, so she bought both pairs. Grandma's are known to do this...it is totally allowed!
It's hard to believe this little one is already two...it's been 2 years of total fun!
Have a good week everyone,


Oh My Stars...

Have you seen these...sheet music folded into dimensional stars? ABSOLUTELY DARLING...with the smallest star being just a mere 3/4"!! You all know by now that I have a weakness for old sheet music and these immediately caught my eye, while strolling through Pottery Barn yesterday. Check them out! Perfect companion accents to or new "Glad Tidings" pattern. I picked up some holiday bowl fillers from Target and plan to fill my old trencher bowl with this festive mix this holiday season.
Don't forget to hop on over to Tracy's blog at Plum Cute Designs for today's complimentary pattern & recipe. She has a fun little Christmas stitchery pattern for you!

Enjoy your weekend,


I bring to you...

(click photo to see larger image)

Pattern includes instructions for a
- 11 1/2" St Nick & Parson Brown all nestled upon a paper mache box. Vintage sisal trees & wreaths add extra charm to this piece. And you know I LOVE old sheet music, so I've added a scalloped border to the lid of the box for a special touch...
- 11" x 14" quick sew applique picture. Woolly applique along with cross stitched motifs (snowflakes, reindeer, dec. 25) upon my favorite cloth, prairie cloth. And once again...just a little touch of more vintage sheet music!
- 5 1/2" punch needle St. Nick tree ornament. The shape of this piece was inspired by the old glass bulbs that hung on my Grammie's tree...you know, the round ones that tapered to a long pointy bottom...
So it is with this new pattern I bring you, "GLAD TIDINGS" and a blessed holiday season,
* * * * * * * * *
Today is day 5 of the Home for the Holidays blog hop!
Hop on over to Renee Plains of Liberty Star and see what surprises she has in store for you!


Sneak Peek!

Imagine, if you will...
a warm wooly beard,
old red flannel robe trimmed in chenille,
vintage bottle brush trees,
Parson Brown,
candy canes for good boys & girls,
old sheet music,
gently dusted with ground cinnamon
for that old patina
we all
GLAD TIDINGS coming soon, stay tuned!

Have a good week,


New hand-crafted jewelry pieces...See them here!

Remember...these make great Christmas Gifts, too!

Have a good week,


Winter has arrived!

But not without a fight...there was lightning, there was thunder & there was snow. Never a good mix. It seems like there was some sort of fight goin' on outside last night, a fight between the last of warm weather and the incoming winter weather. I think winter won. It was a sleepless & noisy night...between the road plows, lightning & thunder, scared cat jumping up into bed with us periodically, and then finally the noise of snapping tree limbs...

I was afraid to get out of bed and look out the window this morning, knowing lightning, thunder & snow brings wet & heavy snow.

This is what was laid upon my eyes this morning...

A smilin' Jack & a white winter wonderland.

Looks like today will be spent sweeping snow off the heavy snow-laden tree limbs to prevent any further damage. There is currently no getting out our drive way, as our dear old Red Bud tree's limbs are drooping down to the ground...keeping us home today!

Somehow, I'm not seein' the same humor in this winter stuff that Old Jack is...(Remember, my darling husband has a broken collar bone and shoveling snow & pulling down broken tree limbs isn't on his list of things he can do yet.)



Yes, Virginia...

there really is a Santa!
GLAD TIDINGS coming soon!

There really is a Santa pattern in the works...

Pattern will include - a "quick-sew applique" framed picture using wools & old sheet music with cross-stitched accent motifs, a Santa doll & a Santa punch needle design.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The year was 1897, a letter written by 8 year old Virginia O'Hanlon to the editor of the New York's Sun...

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


In response to Virginia's editorial, written by Francis Pharcellus Church -

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

This newspaper editorial has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages. For me, there is something magical about hearing this letter narrated on the radio on Christmas Eve...


Remember, today is Day 4 of the Home for the Holiday's Blog Hop!

Be sure to hop on over to Kathy Schmitz's blog for her darling holiday banner pattern & yummy cookie recipe!

Have a good weekend everyone,



Mistletoe & Musings...

Today was a candle pouring day...

with scents of Mistletoe, Christmas Cedar & Balsam and Dried Apple...the place smells heavenly! The candles will cure for a couple of days before getting labeled with original prints of our punch needle designs. You can find our candles out here.

Now for the musings part of the post...

I've received a few emails in regards to where are the doll patterns? I have slowed down in the doll pattern design category, definately. There just seemed to be a real slow down in this area 4 or 5 years ago, so I moved into punch needle. One has to go where the market takes you and most importantly go with what is selling at the moment for you. I will also be the first to admit, after 28 years of doll designing, I had some burnout in that area as well so the timing worked to move onto something new. BUT, that doesn't mean I've given up totally in this area of pattern design. So hold onto your britches folks...there will be a new Santa doll pattern, just as there always has been for 28 years, coming soon!! I'm also hoping to get a new little Christmas mouse done as well...we shall see. After that I will be taking a much needed break until after the holidays.

And lastly, our chenille yarn (used on the Winter's Skate pattern) will be here on Friday...yippeee! So those of you who have ordered this, we will be shipping your order at that time. Thanks for your patience!

Have a good evening,

Here's the scoop...

Today is the 10Th...the hopeful release date of our new punch needle patterns.

The patterns are here, but we are still waiting for the stamped cloth to kit the patterns.


So...the patterns are posted on our website for pre-ordering purposes. Monday will be spent kitting the patterns with Tuesday the official release/shipping date.



"Oh Tannenbaum" chart

Pattern for a sweet little 5 1/2" tree ornament stitched on 28 count linen over 1 thread. We are having a special offer on this cross stitch pattern. We are offering a blog special to our followers...here is the scoop! Pattern retails for $9.00, but is FREE with any $50.00 order. To receive your free pattern, you must spend $50.00 worth of merchandise (before shipping), and mention the words "Oh Tannenbaum" in the comment box when placing an order. It isn't necessary to add the pattern to your shopping cart, the words in the comment box will be suffice. Hurry...FREE pattern offer ends November 23rd at 9:00 PM CST. Pattern is also available for purchase for $9.00.

Have a good day,



Day 3...

Hop on over to Quilts by Cheri for day 3 of the Home for the Holidays Blog Hop. Cheri has a complimentary quilt pattern for you...a wonderful little "scrappy" quilt with wool applique adornments and hand embroidery. I love Cheri's cookies...they remind me of just how my Grammy Fisher's cookies looked! Hurry...go check these Christmas goodies out!

Hop on over & enjoy,


New Punch Needle...

Take a sneak peek here!
Release date is November 10th.

Have a good week,


New lovelies...

New cross stitch charts from Italian designer, Nicoletta Farrauto...

(patterns are written in English)

The "Flowers" booklet consists of 8 charts for various quick-stitch sewing companions, sewing rolls, needle books & rolls.

Included are:

Dog Needle Book

Alphabet Rose

Blossoming Tree Pocket

Tulip Scissor Keeper

Carnation Sewing Roll

Honeysuckle Pincushion

Daisy Strawberry Fob
Poinsettia Bag

Booklet has colored photos of each project. All designs are worked on 32 count linen over 2 threads using DMC flosses. LOVELY booklet...

and more from Nikyscreations...

"Christmas Strawberry"

"Christmas Friendship"

"Fall Sewing Rolls"

we are excited to be adding little scissors to our store. We have various styles and shapes...these are a perfect fit for the projects in the "Flowers" book, shown above.

Little Gems...

just 2" tall

"The Love Scissors"

4" black matte-finish scissors...perfect for hanging a scissor fob from!

"Putford Scissors"

2 1/2" scissor...small in size, but big in prim charm! Perfect gift idea for your stitching friends!

and some pretty scissors...

"Elizabeth Scissors"

2 1/2" miniature scissors with roses entwined on the handles.

and then there is the needle...

or is it, where is my needle?

Various styles available...

"NEEDLE MINDERS" let them mind your needles!

Do you ever put your needle down, either on the table or through your fabric, only to come back and it's gone? This little needle minder will mind your needle for safe keeping's. Another perfect little gift for a gift exchange.

All lovelies are now posted on our website for your viewing pleasure.
With thy Needle & Thread,


It's Day 2...

be sure to hop

on over to Granola Girls

for Day 2

of the


blog hop!

Debbie has a wonderful

"North-Woodsy" pattern

and yummy

chocolate & caramel cookie for you!

Have a good day,


Oh Mercy Me...

isn't this just the cutest
you ever did see????
And Rudolph, well he's pretty dashing lookin' himself...

This new chart by Wendy of Pineberry Lane just arrived this morning...
I'm sneaking one home in my purse tonight, this is on my "to stitch" list!

Also arrived this week are 2 new charts from Stacy Nash...wonderful as always!
Patterns are up on the website for your viewing pleasure.

With thy Needle & Thread,



to Day 1 of the Home for the Holidays blog hop!

Presenting today's complimentary holiday-themed pattern...

"Happy Holidays....starring St. Nick"

A quick little punch needle project for a 6" star-shaped Santa. Rusty jingle bells and chenille trim adds additional detail and texture to the piece. I chose to mount my St. Nick on an antique sewing machine oil can purchased on eBay. Piece could also be made into a tree ornament by adding a Christmas tree hook to the top of the hat. How about reducing the pattern down for a sweet lapel pin or enlarged for an accent throw pillow? Just adjust the size of the jingle bells accordingly. Have fun with it and remember we love pictures of finishes!!

you can find the pattern here.

(Remember when printing to set at 100%. Most printer defaults are set at "shrink to fit". You want to select 100% in your print preview. The pattern will print on two 8 1/2" x 11" pieces of paper.)

I collect Santa dolls so it only seemed fitting to share a Santa pattern with you. I received my first Santa in 1988 from my husband, a corn husk Santa. He picked it up on his way home from his first job interview after graduating from college. Upon entering our humbling little student housing apartment, he gave me the Santa and told me his good news...news of being hired. Really no words needed to be said, the twinkle in his eye, dimples in his cheeks & a little corn husk doll in his hands said it all...

My Santa collection has grown over the years, many made myself, some purchased and some received as gifts. The little corn husk Santa still sits on the piano each year...it has a special spot in my heart.

* * * * * * * *

When our children were young, freshly baked Christmas cookies were placed on a plate for Santa, along with carrots for Rudolph, the night before Christmas. The kids would both write Santa a note, explaining to him that they had been good little children (there may have been a white lie or two), before heading to bed. Sadly, kids have a way of growing up and some of these Christmas traditions are just warm fuzzy memories of days past. With the addition of grandson Beckham to our family, things have come full circle. We will once again put out a plate of cookies for Santa and maybe a carrot or two for Rudolph...I can hardly wait, as Santa will be sliding down our chimney once again, filling stockings of good boys & girls.

Christmas cookie baking day is an annual event in my kitchen. It is just a one day event. It is a big day of baking...a marathon baking day, you might say. The house on this day will be filled with the sounds of my favorite Christmas songs, the aroma of cookies baking & a Christmas candle or two burning, and myself dusted from head to toe in flour, colored sugar & frosting. I'll bake Spritz cookies for Erin, Peanut Butter cookies with Hershey Kisses for Matthew, Mrs. Ulrich's Sour Cream Cut Outs for Dave and Raspberry Almond Short Bread Thumb Prints for myself. Today I am sharing with you my personal favorite cookie, enjoy!

"Raspberry Almond Short Bread Thumb Prints"

Click here for a printable version of recipe card.

(Two tips to pass along when making these. Rather then using my thumb for the indention, I use a spent cork from a wine bottle ...makes the cutest, best little holes for the jam. Another trick is to fill a small sandwich zip lock bag with the jam. Zip bag shut and cut a small piece off of the corner of the bag. Jam now squeezes out into holes with no mess. I use the same bag method for applying the glaze.)

We'll be spending Christmas with our kids and their families at our home. We'll feast on the traditional supper of grilled beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings. Dessert is always Red Velvet Cake...a tradition started by my Mother. After supper Dave will build a fire. We'll sit around the warmth & crackling noise of the fire, and unwrap gifts and enjoy the presence of each other. A few days later we'll go to the farm for Christmas...my Mom & Dads. We'll all meet at our favorite shopping destination and shop for our adopted family. We'll double up in teams of two's and shop for our particular family member. We then head back to the farm and take turns wrapping our gifts in the center of the living room on a small card table. The gifts are then placed into a big sack, simulating Santa's bag, and delivered to the family in time for their Christmas. We'll then enjoy a meal of Mom's homemade chili, various appetizers, ginger reindeer cut-out cookies and Red Velvet cake once again. Christmas doesn't seem complete until that has happened. There really is something to be said about the phrase..."Home for the Holidays".

Wishing you all a blessed & joyous holiday season! Also it is at this time I'd like to say "Thank You" to all my followers & customers. Your comments and patronage are sincerely appreciated...our customers are the best and we enjoy serving you!

Please join the Granola Girl for day 2 of the blog hop.

Kind Regards,