Word Play...

Announcing a series of 12 new little charts,
one for each month.
These are quick stitches
that can be easily stitched
in a weeks worth of stitching,
while enjoying
your morning coffee.

Anyone else do this?
Morning coffee stitching?

Tis my favorite part of the day...
Freshly brewed coffee,
the house is still dark,
the only light on,
is the one I'm stitching under,
the only sounds are the choirs of crickets
the cardinals coming in to feed...

It is often during this quiet stitching time
that I'm thinking of what's next...
I'm showing a snippet of the first release,
What I'm not revealing
on the piece
is a sweet little witch
whose iron cauldron
has become overgrown
bittersweet vine!
Oh, no!

Various words pertaining to the month
are scrabbled onto the linen
along with fun little motifs.
The finished size
is approximately 7" x 4".

Each pattern will be released
on the 1st of the preceding month
(with the exception of Octobers...it will release shortly after the Labor Day Holiday).

Here is a list of themes for this series:
January - snowy days
February - cupid & love
March - everyday/strong words
April - Easter
May - Spring
June - Gardening
July - Patriotic
August - Everyday/strong words
September - Everyday/strong words
October - Halloween
November - Harvest/Thanksgiving
December - Christmas

Also on a side note...
We are patiently waiting for linens from various suppliers
that we used on our latest releases.
We always try hard to order this, well ahead of time, before the release of the patterns. We got part of our order, but not all of it. So here we are once again, waiting for the UPS/FedEx man every day, with hopes that our linen will be on the truck that day. We hold orders with hopes that it will be coming today...

Maybe today will be the day that we'll feel like
giving the UPS/FedEx man a big ole smooch...
we'll keep our fingers crossed!

As of yesterday,
all orders that were for a pattern and it's appropriate linen only...
we shipped the pattern
and put the linen on back order for you.
I really dislike doing this,
please know
we've got a piece of linen
reserved for you.

And one last announcement,
Country Stitches
will be closed
this Friday through the Monday Labor Day holiday.
I'm taking some days off to spend with family.

Have a good day everyone,


Beads & Baubles...

New jewelry creations are here!
this new
trumpeting angel charm!
A color print of an antique sampler,
cherub and glass bead
all dangle
from a chunky chain.
Fun piece
And teddy is modeling our new pin,
featuring a tiny little color print
of the
Mansion at Fox Hollow
antique reproduction sampler.
Tiny brass hand
glass beads
add extra
to this pin.

Jewelry pieces are now available for purchase here.

With thy Needle & Thread,

Coming Soon!

Sampler of the Season

Releasing on the first day of Autumn,
September 22, 2011.

The Spring sampler to follow,
on the first day of Winter.

With thy Needle & Thread,


They're Here!

Look what the UPS man brought us today!
A Schoolgirl's Work by the Spencer Museum of Art,
and the gals from Blackbird Designs.

One made it's way home, from work, with me tonight
then doing things
I should be doing,
like making dinner
for the dh...
I sat down in my comfy chair,
put my feet up,
with this lovely new book
fresh cup of coffee in tow...
1 hour later,
I'm thinking
it might just be
a carry-out type of night...

Books are now posted on our website for purchasing.

Have a good evening,

This is totally amazing...

While perusing on pinterest.com one day
I came upon the miniature carvings of Dalton Ghetti.
I was immediately captivated...
and we all thought
working over 1 thread
on 40 count linen
was intricate work...

Dalton actually uses a needle as a carving tool.

It always amazes me what people
use for their foundation
of art...
Whether it be canvas, clay, glass,
or lead...
Pencil lead.
Disposed pencils,
mostly of which are found on the streets.

Look at this folks...that chain is made from the lead...

And of course,
the needle and thread
is my personal favorite

that button
carved on the carpenters pencil
is a very close 2nd...

Dalton does not sell his artwork,
he only gifts it to friends and family.
I'm thinking he might be,
like maybe,
something like,
15th cousin
or something...
how about you?

If you are lucky enough
to live
a hop
a skip
or a jump
of Chester CT,
his work is now on display
through October 10th
at the Lori Warner Studio/Gallery.

Have a good day everyone,


Hear that song?

Yea, that one.
Sweet Caroline,
baa, baa, baaa...

It's stuck in my head
this Sunday afternoon,
as I sit with my magnifiers
perched low on my nose,
and recounting
as I chart
this antique sampler...
Yep, it's quite the scene...
me in my readers
rocking to Neal Diamond!

I'm really drawn to that bird perched upon the branch,
it is somewhat out of the ordinary
I like that about it,
don' t you?

I'm starting to feel like I'm coming down the home stretch on this piece...
down to charting the petite stitches (worked over 1).
I always find a way to leave those for last...
not fond of stitching
those tiny little pups!

Adam & Eve,
the tree
the serpent
are entirely
petite stitches

It was 1827
she was 13,
her name was
Caroline Hansford.

Sweet Caroline.

I call this my Sweet Caroline sampler.
Caroline stitched this sampler for her mother
and has a very touching verse.

A sampler that will fill my winter evenings
with pure stitching pleasure...
I'm looking forward to stitching this one...
the colors and motifs are yummy!

Back to Neil Diamond...
Any Neil Diamond fans out there? Diamond and his hit Sweet Caroline were a bit before my time...
I was in kindergarten and my oldest sister was a senior when he released Sweet Caroline. President Kennedy's daughter,
who was 11 at the time,
was his inspiration for this song.
He would later sing it to her on her 50th birthday.

so good, so good, so good
who can't get that song out of her head


Dirty Bananas...

You know,
you just never know
what a 2 1/2 year old will say
or call things


A few weekends ago G'ma & G'pa Gervais went for a visit to Beckham's house.
His Momma & I were having a discussion about bananas,
I have no idea how we got on the topic of bananas...
dirty bananas...

according to Beckham
these are "dirty bananas"
he won't eat a "dirty banana".

There cannot be any signs of brown spots on them
he loves his Momma's banana bread...
we just won't tell him,
will we?

I came home from work yesterday,
saw those three bananas
and thought I probably should do something
with those
"dirty bananas".
The dear husband just bought them.
Is it me,
or do bananas ripen faster then they used to???
Or is this just an aging thing...
talking about me here,
not the bananas

I'll never look at a ripening banana again, without a grin
and thinking
of this little sweet heart.

I will admit, there is a small window of opportunity for when I think a banana is best for peeling & eating. This window of opportunity is about a couple of hours long. Can't be too green, and it can't be too yellow, not too firm
and not too mushy,
I'm right there with Beckham...
I don't like to peel and eat a "dirty banana"...

I read in one of my cooking magazines that if you break the bananas apart they will not ripen so quickly. I think this works...now the dear husband thinks this is just a crazy old wives' tale.
It does work,
trust me,
he just doesn't know what he's talking about...

3 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
3 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Cream margarine and sugar, add egg. After thoroughly mixed add sour cream. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl and gradually add to the mixture. Smash bananas with a fork and add lemon juice, stir to mix. Add bananas to dough, mix thoroughly.

Mix 1 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle on top of bread. Bake 25 - 30 minutes (I use the tooth pick test) at 350 degrees. NOTE - I always use the foil mini loaf baking pans. I feel the bread gets done in the middle at the same time the tops are nice and brown....larger pans get so dark on the tops before the middle is done....this is my solution to this problem and this batch makes 4 cute little personal pan loaves of bread! I call them personal because I can sit down and eat a loaf all by myself {sigh}

Banana bread, still warm from the oven,
slathered with strawberry cream cheese,
I like to have a little banana bread
with my cream cheese
a match made in heaven!

Have a good weekend everyone,


Good Thursday Morning...

Enjoying my morning cup of coffee
color planning.
I love color.
I love playing with color.
Trying to achieve that same
The beautiful hand dyed flosses
are wonderful
for helping us achieve
these lovely
faded shades of color.
I'm being a squirrel here...
I'm doing some planning and preparing
this morning
for my winter-time stitching.
This antique reproduction sampler
will be my "in between" project
for the upcoming winter months.
Thinking and hoping
for an early 2012
release on this one.

And speaking of lovely color...
My Surprise Lillies are now standing
full attention towards the late-summer skies,
planted randomly here and there,
throughout my flower beds.
I think they are multiplying
as their seems to be an abundance
of them!
I always toil with the question,
do I cut a bouquet and bring them in the house to enjoy,
or leave them outdoors?

Due to their abundance,
I've decided to bring them indoors
to enjoy.
Their aroma is splendid
their petals of faded pink
are so delicate and dainty...

and they remind me
of this photo,
taken 1 year ago...


I'm getting photo updates
from model stitcher, Suzanne
of the
Sampler of the Season Sampler
it is looking wonderful...
can not wait to see it in person!
Watch for it's release date
on the
first day of autumn.

Have a good one everyone,


You know fall is approaching when...

you find yourself burning fall-scented candles,
your craving roast,
warm starchy foods...

A recipe share of Sunday's late lunch date with the dh.


The cast of important ingredients...
Melt 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine. Add 2 Tablespoons dried seasoned bread crumbs (I use Italian flavored Panka crumbs) and 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir to mix and set aside.
Boil 2 cups of macaroni style pasta according to box. Drain and run cold water over noodles. Add 1 jar (15 to 16 oz) Alfredo pasta sauce
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
Stir all together, place in a greased baking dish and top with bread crumb/cheese mixture. Place into oven and bake when you see and hear bubbling in the center. The top should have a nice browned look to it as well. I believe this is about a 20 - 30 bake time.

A word of advise, don't eat this stuff the week of your cholesterol check...

And a quick and delicious roast for putting on the grill. It's flavor is divine and there is no prior prepping with marinating.

I use about a 2 1/2 pound rolled boneless pork roast. Rub with 1/4 c. olive oil and 3 minced garlic cloves. Season quite heavily with fresh ground pepper and sea salt...going easier on the salt. Place on an outdoor grill, using the indirect heat method. Begin cooking when the coals are the hottest. It takes about 2 hours, on a warm day to cook a 2 1/2 pound roast to 170 degree internal temperature. Use of a meat thermometer is recommended when cooking roasts on the grill.
After the roast is on the grill it's time to prepare the wonderful Roasted Onion Sauce....mmmmmm, this makes the kitchen smell so good! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cut a medium sized vidalia onion into eighths. Place wedges in a small baking dish. Drizzle with 2 tsp. of olive oil and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.
Roast onions, uncovered, until browned and soft. This takes about an hour.
Remove from oven and mash with a fork.
Now for the liquid portion of the sauce...
Mix 1 heaping teaspoon of beef bouillon granules with 2/3 cup hot water. Add 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Stir in onions and heat sauce through.
When the roast is done, take it off of the grill and let it rest for 10 - 15 minutes. Resting time before carving will ensure that the juices of the meat are absorbed into the meat for a moist, cut with your fork, roast.

Slice the roast and pour roasted onion sauce over

It's a dark & rainy Tuesday morning here, I need to end this post and toodle on outdoors and get the hanging plants down from the front entrance, so they can take in some real rain water. Have a good day everyone!


Putting my needle to rest...

Once the stitching of a new design is done,
and tweaked to my
or even re-made
a time or two,
I put my needle to rest...
and I take a deep breath
and move onto the photo shoot/pattern layout and instruction portion
of the pattern design process.
It is this whole coming together of this part that tires me. I begin to get behind at the home front, the dh is doing the laundry, and a home-cooked meal...what's that? Long days are spent with camera in hand, and in front of a computer screen.
The shoulders ache, the neck hurts and throw in a migraine or two...
this is when
my body begins to scream,
are those pattern covers/instructions done yet???

I do love what I do though,
and feel very blessed each and every day
that I'm doing exactly
what I love.
I also appreciate all your visits here
and the kind little comments you leave.
This is what keeps me motivated and going,

After a weekend of intense computer crunching
and playing with graphics,
the new pattern covers are done
and I can now

And in a few days
I'll look over at my teeny little tomato pincushion
(which I love dearly, by the way)
and hear my needle calling me,
and then we'll do this
all over again...

Here they are folks...
new pattern covers for your viewing pleasure,
(click on photos to enlarge, for better viewing)



Printing, collating and packaging begins tomorrow,
bright and early!

Have a good week everyone,

Some peeks...

at a future pattern release,
"A Stitcher's Purse"...

A tiny little needle booklet
that opens to a woolly heart to keep my needle safe.
The little needle book fits perfectly into a dainty little stitching purse. A place to keep your favorite scissors and thimble as well. Purse is topped of with mother of pearl purse frame. Various motifs and stitcher's verse adorns the purse front. I've already put this needle keep and purse to use and I love it...makes me feel so "put together"!
And lastly on this future pattern is a pin keep to set at your side as you work.

An antique sewing bird clamp, various motifs and stitcher's verse are stitched in nice faded shades of floss. Vintage silk ribbon is rouched and frames the pin keep for a nice finish.

"A Stitcher's Purse" and other stitching needfuls pattern,
coming soon!

Have a good week everyone,


Meet Ann Dickinson

She was 13,
the year was 1819,
when her needle
crossed her last stitch.

One hundred ninety two years later,
I lovingly
crossed my last stitch
in her reproduction.

Ann must have loved flowers, both earthed
potted in fancy urns...
there are 12 of them.
I pondered the significance the two ships a sailing had,
if any...
Ann must have liked birds.
There are big birds,
little birds
even a couple of funky striped birds...
15 birds to be exact.
As I was finishing up the bottom band of the sampler,
I was getting to the point
where I had the "bird pattern"
almost memorized!
A row of unusually shaped trees...
10 to be exact.
I wonder
if Ann's beginning point of this sampler
was the bottom band of the house, birds and trees.
It is fairly long,
running the width of the sampler.
This band then opens up
to the motifs
which are spaced somewhat far apart.
Did she stitch the bottom band first,
only to finish it and think,
Heavens to Betsy
it's going to take a lot of little motifs
and stitching to fill the sampler?
Did she opted for larger motifs,
spaced further apart,
as her method to fill all the space?
Whatever her method or thinking was,
I liked her end result
I love the naive look
and feel it gives the sampler.

The verse reads,
in it's form of 18th century handwriting,
"The Grass is green
The Rose is red,
This may be seen
When I am Dead.
Ann Dickinson
Work Aged 13

In keeping true to the antique,
I charted the wording in the center cartouche
using the same usage of letters
as Ann.
The sampler has two sweet little woman
with their walking sticks
and two funny little men.
One is what appears to be smoking a pipe
and the other...
I'm not sure if he's blowing a horn
or smoking a pipe as well.
Or perhaps its a looking scope?
What did these two little men
in their top hats
represent for Ann?
We can only wonder...
There are two 8 pointed stars on the sampler.
One has a stem,
the other
does not...
probably a stitching error.
The omission of the stem
could have been Ann's
intentional stitching error.
It was often believed
that perfection
was left to be
for the Almighty Creator...
And here she is...
meet Ann Dickinson 1819,
the antique
from my personal collection.

And the reproduction...
lovingly reproduced
with thy
needle & thread
so that others
may enjoy
Pattern coming soon!
I began the reproducing/charting
of the Ann Dickinson sampler
in the Autumn of 2010.
Stitching of the piece
began around the holidays.
This piece was what I call my
"in between"
I would pick it up
in between
other seasonal designs
and work on it leisurely,
motif by motif,
saving the bottom band
for last.
I crossed my last stitch
the last day of July, 2011.

Stop by tomorrow
for a visit
to view sneak pics
of the "Stitcher's Sewing Purse"!

Have a good Saturday,