Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hippity Hoppity

If you are an avid reader of my blog, then you know I am definitely still a kid at heart...which completely explains why I love the website "Mr. Printables" is chock full of fun, free printable downloads for kids! Check out these ADORABLE Bunny Party Favor Bags - aren't they just the cutest...and you can make them in a matter of minutes (seriously) with very few supplies. First of all you need a computer, Internet connection, and a printer...and I am guessing if you are visiting my blog, you have all you need a several pieces of white cardstock or heavy paper (which many of us have on hand). Do you have your paper loaded in the printer, yet?? Okay, so now click on this link for the Bunny Party Favor Bags - you can now easily download and print four (yes, I said FOUR!) different Bunny Bags for FREE! - there is one large and one small pink titled "Strippy Jumper" and one titled "Woolly Socks" (which are both small - meaning each fits on one piece of 8.5" x 11" cardstock). Once you have the selection you want printed, you will need scissors, a scoring tool/board (don't fret, a bone-folder or pen cap works great for scoring), a craft knife, and a glue can find all those things around the house, can't you?? Now, time for the "crafty" part, cut on the solid lines, score on the dashed lines, and use a craft knife to cut the two lines where shown (this is where the ears fit through)...fold on the score lines...and glue where it notes "glue"...that's all there is to it...easy peasy! There is also an stinkin' cute Frog Favor Bag and it has step by step directions and photos of how to put a favor bag together...wouldn't the Frog Favor Bag be fun for a stitching retreat?! The last and final step is to fill your bag(s) with treats...and maybe a little Easter grass or tissue paper. Fun, easy, and affordable...and you can make them for or with children (or a big kid, like me)...and simply precious...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blue Jeans and Daisies - The Entire Reveal!

Part Three of the Mystery Sampler Club is shipping this week - it shipped to Norden Crafts last week and they started shipping to your favorite needlework shops on Monday! I am so excited for you to see the third and final installment of "Blue Jeans and Daisies"...

For those of you who are not familiar with the Mystery Sampler Club - let me quickly catch you up to speed...
You have to sign up with your favorite needlework shop (you can only get it through a needlework shop - your shop of choice - LNS or ONS) - they will have all the details for the program...and before you comment/post/email "I don't have a local needlework shop" - contact the shop where you purchase your stitching stash (charts and supplies) can be a local shop OR an online needlework shop...OR visit the "Locate" page on my website for a list of shops that will be able to assist you.  There are three parts to the "mystery sampler" - the first part (featured in a January post) started shipping in January - the second part (featured in a February post) started shipping in February - and the third part (featured in this post) started shipping to needlework shops this week...together all three parts make one large sampler. Many of you are familiar with the Lizzie Kate "Very Scary" Mystery Sampler and the With Thy Needle & Thread "Birds of a Feather" Mystery Sampler - this is the very same program.

Now that we have everyone on the same is a look at part three...and a few details...

The mystery sampler is stitched on 30-count Blue Jeans hand-dyed fabric by Weeks Dye Works - this exact fabric is also available in 35-count, should you prefer a higher count linen. It is stitched with Weeks Dye Works cotton floss...and a DMC conversion is provided.
See a complete supply listing on my website:

Part three uses the following stitches (and yes, diagrams are provided): Cross Stitch over two linen threads, Back Stitch, Smyrna Cross Stitch, and Four-Sided Stitch.

The chartpack also includes part three of the Springtime Jumble. Here is a little information about the Springtime Jumble:
The answer to the Springtime Jumble will be the password to open a Mystery Bonus design - this Mystery Bonus has now been revealed on my website ( You will need to collect all three patterns to complete the Springtime Jumble and unlock the Mystery Bonus. Details can be found inside each package. Just a note about the password - it will make sense - and it is case sensitive...when prompted, you will need to enter the password as all capital letters. Please do not spoil the fun by sharing or posting the password - this special Mystery Bonus is intended for needleworkers who have purchased the charts for "Blue Jeans and Daisies". Here is a peek at the bonus design - it is for a treasure box to hold the three coordinating needlework smalls:

Each installment contains a fun finishing idea...and the finishing idea for part three is a needlebook - finishing instructions are included. Use a motif from the sampler and some fabric and floss from your stash to make a springtime needlebook (NOTE: the chart explains to use fabric and floss from your stash for the fun finishing idea - if you purchased a kit including linen and threads, it does not include amounts for the fun finishing idea). I chose to use cotton quilting fabric to "line" my needlebook and coordinating 1/8" grosgrain ribbon for the ties...choose your favorite finishing creative!

Specifics for part three (complete supply listings, stitch counts, stitches used, etc.) can be found on my website:

Additional photos of part two can be found on my website:

Contact your needlework shop of choice to join in the fun (there is still plenty of time)...or if you have questions...they will assist you with obtaining the patterns, the threads, the fabric...and they can answer questions and provide you with alternative sizes and supplies.

Are excited to see the third and final installment of this special springtime edition of the Mystery Sampler Club? - it has been a treat for me to work on this project...and I hope you are enjoying stitching each and every section, along with the needlework smalls...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Friend Indeed...

A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.  --Anonymous

Does the needlework in the photo look familiar to you?? Well, it was a complimentary chart I offered on my website back in 2006, titled "A Friend Indeed". This freebie has been retired for years, but after some gentle nudging, I have made it available (once again) for a limited time.

To obtain a copy of this complimentary pattern, simply visit my website: and click on "Freebie" in the left-hand menu - you will see a photo of this new design at the top of the webpage - click on the statement "CLICK HERE FOR CHART" (directly under the photo) - a new window will open containing the design in PDF form (you will need Adobe Reader to view/print the chart). Please remember, this design is protected by copyright law - thank you for respecting my copyright.

I hope you enjoy the re-release of this special design - my gift to you for your continued support, friendship, and encouragement...and if you haven't stitched any of my designs before, I hope this chart will entice you to purchase some of the larger designs in my catalog from your favorite needlework shop...

My hope is you will stitch this special design for a dear friend...use your favorite colors...and finish it in your own personal style...
Enjoy...and happy stitching!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Stitching and Sewing...

It has been a productive week - I have been working on class materials and having model stitching and finishing marathons...along with working on items for my Etsy shop for several hours during each day. I have a very detailed list of what I plan to accomplish in the next couple weeks and I am doing my best to stay focused to meet my goals. I have a nice long list of new ideas for my Etsy shop, but have had numerous requests for more Needlework Pouches and Stitch Starter Ruler Sleeves I finished up 55 pieces during the week...and yes, there will be some  more needlebooks and project bags on the way.

The Sewing Cases (Needlework Pouches) measure approximately 4" W x 5.5" H (when closed) - one is the perfect size for carrying your needlework tools in your project bag...or to hold a small sewing kit...or to easily hold a smart phone and your cash/credit cards...even a passport or iPod fits easily inside. They have two nice size pockets, fully-lined with no exposed seams - a sewn-in velcro closure - and most are embellished with wool felt/fabric flowers, hearts, and buttons.

The Stitch Start Ruler Pocket Sleeves measure 3.5" x 3.5" and holds my Blue Ribbon Designs 3" square ruler perfectly - they are fully lined with no raw seams...and they use fusible fleece to give them a bit of padding and stability. Each Stitch Start Ruler Pocket Sleeve comes with one Stitch Starter Ruler (single Stitch Starter Rulers without a sleeve are available, as well). To read more about my Stitch Starter Ruler, visit:

All the pieces shown  have now been listed...

We have a full weekend planned - including a birthday party for my mother-in-law tomorrow...and then fantastic tickets to see "Million Dollar Quartet" at the Des Moines Civic Center tomorrow night (can't wait). I hope this weekend finds you doing something you enjoy...and I hope you have a little time set aside to do something creative!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Greetings

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!
                                   - An Old Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day to those of you celebrating today...I hope you are wearing your green and you have a chance to enjoy a nice cold green beer or margarita...or maybe a cup of green tea....or even better, a Shamrock Shake! I truly hope you are having a happy St. Patrick's Day - filled with the gift of friendship, good luck, and life's blessings...

BRD-065 Letters, Leprechauns, and Luck

Friday, March 15, 2013

Brightening and Inspiring

Hello friends! I know I have been a little quiet the last couple weeks...but that is just because I have been busy with projects (most of which I can't share with you just yet) fingers have been stitching and sewing up a storm.

Part three of the mystery sampler "Blue Jeans and Daisies" is complete and back from the printer, so I will be getting those bagged and packaged this weekend - the fun finishing idea for part three turned out adorable...and the mystery bonus turned out even better than I expected (I just adore it!) - I can't wait until the week of March 25th, so I can share them with you! I also have stitched and finished my ornament for the Just CrossStitch 2013 Ornament Issue - and I am very pleased with the will coordinate nicely with my ornaments from the last couple years. I have been working every night on the class project for the New England Stitcher's Retreat and hope to have everything finalized and photos available by the end of the month (fingers crossed)  - it has an autumn theme and is designed around a Shallow Shaker Carrier (made by the same artist who made the "Beauty In Simplicity" Shaker boxes) - one of the unique smalls has been giving me some designing fits, but I think I have it all hammered out now. I have also been finishing up the details for the Elegant Stitch Workshop I am teaching in April - I have all the extensive finishing kits prepared and I am now working on the class binders...all of which will be shipping to California by the end of the month. Plus I have a couple new designs I am preparing for printing that will be released in late April/early May.

With all those irons in the fire, I somehow managed to cut and prepare around 60 items for my Etsy shop - a new pile of Stitch Stater Sleeves...more Needlework Pouches...and there will also be some new Project Bags. I have been trying to schedule a few hours each day to sew....and I have started to get a nice little pile of complete items - I hope to get some listed over the weekend...

We have still been having undesirable weather here in Iowa, however, yesterday, the temperatures were in the mid-40s and the snow finally started to melt away - it was so wonderful to see the sun shine! I decided to celebrate by getting in almost ten miles of training/walking yesterday afternoon - I started out with just over 2 miles with Simba (a good warm-up)...then dropped him off at home and walked 7.5 miles on my own. I was so happy to  break in my new shoes, even though I had to dodge the puddles and melting snow.

I know many of you have already started to experience springtime weather...and I am so very jealous (I am completely green with envy)...I sure hope it reaches us soon (although I see "frozen mix" is in the forecast again for next week). Good thing I have friends that send me sunshine and flowers in photo form (even if they are trying to be vindictive and rub it in my face - you know who you are!). Here is a collage of photographs from a dear friend in California that have been brightening and inspiring my days...I am so excited to travel there next month and see some of this beauty in person...

Finally, my husband just returned from his annual 10-day fishing trip to Lake Fork, Texas....every year, he travels to Texas in early spring for some bass fishing. I wanted to share just a few photos from his trip with you...he only took a handful of photos, but did manage to capture a beautiful sunset and an eagle perched high atop a tree branch...and of course, I have one with him holding his "catch of the day"...

Wishing you an inspiring, wonderful, and creative weekend...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring Cleaning and Savings

The snow finally started to melt today...the forecast calls for rain all weekend...and I have had more bird sightings...could spring be arriving? I am so ready for sunshine and warmer temperatures....and I'm definitely in the mood for spring is time for a fresh clean start in 2013! I have already started cleaning my studio and going through fabric, notions, embellishments, and patterns...picking fresh new projects and planning upcoming pieces...I am overflowing with creative inspiration!

I thought you might like to help me with my spring cleaning, so I have decided to offer a coupon code for my Etsy shop (which incidentally will officially be one year old next month!)...yep, it is time for my first ever "sale"...time to clean up the shelves and make way for my new items in the works. The store is full of items for St. Patrick's Day and Easter...along with several types of pincushions, needlebooks, stitching cases, small pillows, pin and button packs, lace ornaments, and stitch starter rulers (with or without sleeves). If you have had your eye on something now would be the time to put it in your shopping basket. This will be a shop-wide sale of 10% off your purchase - simply use the coupon code LUCKY0313 at checkout. This special offer will last through 11:59 PM CST Sunday, March 10, 2013 - the discount does not apply to shipping charges and is not valid for previous orders or custom orders/special requests. Shop early for the best selection!

For now, I am back to cleaning my studio/office...and daydreaming about new projects and designs I have in the many creative routes to travel...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Excellent Eggs...

Despite the sleet and snow that has been falling for almost 24-hours, I did see more birds in the trees I am still hopeful that spring is on the way! I can't believe Easter is in just a few's no wonder why I have had and urge to work on some cheerful, springtime items. I wanted to do some seasonal freestanding lace ornaments for my wrought iron tree and found some wonderfully digitized Easter eggs at made a set for myself and decided they were so bright and beautiful, I just had to make some for my Etsy shop. I started out making several sets in pastel colors...then I made a few sets in citrus colors...for some reason these Easter eggs make me happy! I immediately put my set on display...which is a lovely way to distract me from the gloom and icy/snowy conditions outside. These eggs are machine embroidered and measure an average of 3" W x 3.75" H...and I am thinking they would look good on an Easter wreath (I may just have to make myself some more!)....

I have been getting quite a bit of designing and model stitching done this week. I designed, stitched, and finished my ornament for the 2013 Just CrossStitch Ornament Issue...I designed and have almost finished the Mystery Bonus for Blue Jeans and Daisies (plus I finished the "fun finishing idea" for part three)...and I have been stitching the class project for the New England Stitcher's Retreat being held this has been a productive week. I also have another fun design in the works - something very special - and I will have more to share with you in the near future.

For now, I will be spending the rest of the evening in my cozy stitching's the perfect place to relax on a cold, snowy evening...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Sign of Spring??

Right now, we have a foot of snow on the ground and more on the is cold and gloomy...and my temperature is definitely reading "spring fever"! I could really use a vacation...a trip to somewhere warm with a beach and a lovely umbrella drink (a girl can dream!)...however, today, while walking Simba, I did hear several birds chirping in the front trees - which did give me some hope...

Could this be my first sign of spring?? Again, a girl can dream!...