Wednesday, April 11, 2018

*NEW* Festive Little Fobs : Beekeeping Edition

This series, unlike the others that I’m in the midst of, has a clear start and finish, as well as a total number of volumes. There will be 12 total, one for each month of 2018. Some will be seasonal, the rest will have general themes, good for any time of year. The intent is for there to be a whole lot of littles that you can stitch for friends and/or that you can fill a little tree with. Imagine if you worked your way through this entire series; with at least 9 different motifs per chart, that’s a total of 108 little ornaments or fobs that you could fill an old feather tree with. Or 108 friends that you could spoil with the labors of your hands.

I’ve included basic instructions for a few of the fob finishes, but I encourage you to explore the internet on your own for the fabulous DIY tutorials there are out there on Floss Tube and Pinterest. I’m far from being an expert finisher, and easily confess that my methods aren’t new. The Silver Dollar finish might be original, but the other finishes are the same that are already out there. If you’re not a person that likes to finish their own stitching, I’m sure you can find a willing person out there to do it beautifully for you for a fee.

Each new theme will remain a mystery until the date of it’s release, but I think you’re going to love them all!

Stitch Count Varies: Approximately 30 x 30 or smaller for each fob

Models stitched with one thread over two
on Weeks Dye Works’ 36ct. Parchment

Using threads from Weeks Dye Works:
Blue Jeans, Bluecoat Red, Fawn, Gold, Grits, Havana, Lichen, Mocha, Oscar

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Additional Materials Suggested:
US Silver Dollar
Acid Free Card Stock
Felted Wool
Rick Rack, Mini Pom, Chenille, Braided Floss, Seam Binding, or other ribbon-type finishing notion
Large Lobster Clasp


This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email: beth@heartstringsamplery.com

*NEW* Bee Garden

There aren’t many things I like better than sitting out in the orchard where my bee hives are positioned. Watching the honey bees as they come and go, buzzing from flower to flower is meditative and calming in ways I never imagined. On a warm, sunny afternoon, if my family can’t find me in the house, they know exactly where I’ll be, content and calm, and always reluctant to leave.

With the exception of those that are allergic, I think everyone should have a bee garden, large or humble, filled with flowers that are the favorites of bees. Early blooming flowers and especially late bloomers (for the end of the growing season, when the bees are especially hungry and wanting to store up for Winter); providing forage for the pollinators is the best thing a person could do to help insure the survival of my favorite insect. Even a single pot of a long-blooming perennial could mean one bee gets enough food to make it home at the end of a long day of searching.

If you don’t know which flowers to plant, or if you don’t have a green thumb and fear killing anything you put in the ground, check with a local garden club or horticultural society. Sometimes all you need is a bare bit of ground and some native plant starts and you can have a maintenance-free food plot for bees. I have a combination of both native flowers (which require very little intervention for them to thrive), and showy hybrid perennials that I find a my local garden center. I have heirloom plants and shrubs and humble wildflower mixes all planted side by side. The more I put in the flower beds, the less room there is for the weeds to take root. The flowers make my yard pretty, but most importantly, I feel good about feeding all the varieties of bees that live in my area. Including, but not limited to, my own sweet honey bees.

Stitch Count: 192 by 74
Model stitched with one thread over two on Picture This Plus 40ct. Legacy

Using flosses from:
Classic Colorworks: Onionskin, Honeycomb, Pine Needles
The Gentle Art: Green With Envy, Maple Syrup, Dark Chocolate, Ruby Slipper
Weeks Dye Works: Concord, Pink Sand

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email: beth@heartstringsamplery.com

*NOW AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE* Prairie Life Sampler

The "Nashville Exclusive" status has been lifted, and this chart is now available for purchase anywhere my designs are sold.

Much to my great happiness, my 10-year-old daughter has become obsessed with all things related to the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, just as I was at the same age. She’s read all of the books (some of them multiple times), and we’re currently watching through the television series as a family. At some point this past Autumn, she turned to me and said, “Mama, all I want for my birthday is for you to design a sampler for me.” Be still, my heart! How could I say no to such a request? Once I had the design partially done, I showed it toher on my computer screen and she gasped out loud with delight. This nearly brought me to tears, if I’m being honest. At that point, I let her give input into the final version of the sampler. It was her idea to have Laura hold a fishing pole, to put in the tiny little copper penny beside the tin cup and candy cane (from Laura and Mary’s Christmas in the big woods. She requested the basket of eggs and lunch pail as well as the Grizzly Bear in the forest. I think we make a great team, don’t you? And when it came time to stitch the model, she was very intent on stitching that copper penny all by herself. I hope she treasures this sampler for the rest of her life.

The quote included in the sampler is from a letter written in 1947 by Laura Ingalls Wilder, addressed to the children that read her books. In the letter, she gave a brief update on many of the people in her stories, including herself, and closed with, “The Little House books are stories of long ago. The way we live and your schools are much different now, so many changes have made living and learning easier. But the real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.” Good words that apply even now, another 70 years after being written.

Stitch Count: 203 x 203

Model stitched with one thread over two, one thread over one, and also includes some straight stitching.

R&R Reproductions’ 35ct. Classic Homespun

Weeks Dye Works threads: Beige, Straw, London Fog, Havana, Palomino, Dirt Road, Sage, Garrison Green, Caper, Molasses, Dolphin, Baked Apple, Deep Sea, Gold, Sanguine, Sand

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

The lovely frame is by Valley House Primitives.

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email: beth@heartstringsamplery.com

Monday, March 12, 2018

*NEW* Nashville Releases are now Live in my Etsy!

Whew! You all knocked my socks off with your warm welcome of my new Nashville designs! It is always SO hard to estimate how many charts to take with me to Market, and I try really hard to keep it as minimal as possible, since I have to ship charts there, then pay again to ship any unsold charts back home. Well, I greatly underestimated your love of a few of my new designs, and therefore spent the entire week upon my return, filling backorders to the shops that attended.

Oh my goodness, was this year's Market ever a busy, happy, full-of-smiles-and-laughter-and-scrambling-to-keep-up weekend! I feel so blessed to get to continue to do this designing gig, which I honestly thought would never amount to more than just-for-fun. But you have turned it into a full-time job for me, and I couldn't be happier with the arrangement. You keep supporting me and I'll keep designing! Deal?

Anyway, I apologize wholeheartedly for the delay, but I finally have my 4 general-release designs now available in my etsy shop.

If you have your eye on my Prairie Life Sampler, please go seek out one of the shops that attended Market to purchase it. This chart will be exclusively available from the 150+ attendees that bought from me until sometime in early April. When I make my two new April designs available for purchase, I'll also add Prairie Life to my Etsy shop. Until then, go support my favorite shops scattered across the country (and around the world!).

Here the new designs are, in no particular order:

Queen Bee Pincushion

Stitch Count: 53 x 53
Model stitched with one thread over two on R&R Reproductions' 40ct. Patriot's Brew

Using threads from:
Classic Colorworks: Blue Corn, Tennessee Red Clay, Honeycomb, Hazelnut
The Gentle Art: Endive, Maple Syrup
Weeks Dye Works: Grasshopper, Cayenne, Molasses, Grits

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Pincushion base by Lone Elm Lane:
4” Shaker Round in Timber Brown

Trims by Lady Dot Creates:
Rick Rack in Mother Lode
Mini-Pom in Sandy Gold

Model was stuffed with 2 ounces of pure sheep's wool.

Thou God Seest Me

Stitch Count: 86 x 91
Model stitched with one thread over two on 28 ct. mystery linen that was coffee stained by myself.

With threads from Classic Colorworks: Cinnamon Toast, Hazelnut

The Gentle Art: Brethren Blue, Caramel Corn, Endive, Ruby Slipper

Weeks Dye Works: Palomino
Conversion to DMC included with the chart.


The frame was found at a local thrift store, then refinished by me.

Coffee Bean Sampler; the Magical Elixir Series #4

Stitch Count: 119 x 171
Model stitched with one thread over two on R & R 36ct. Plum Street Blend
Stitches used: Counted Cross Stitch

Weeks Dye Works: Grasshopper
The Gentle Art: Maple Syrup, Dark Chocolate, Apple Cider, Picnic Basket, Caramel Corn, Ruby Slipper
Classic Colorworks: Hazelnut

Conversion to DMC included inside.

The lovely frame is an antique.

Festive Little Fobs #Three, the Stitching Edition

Stitch Count Varies: Approximately 30 x 30 or smaller for each fob

Models stitched with one thread over two
on Weeks Dye Works’ 36ct. Parchment

Using threads from Weeks Dye Works:
Fawn, Mocha, Havana, Red Rocks, Bluecoat Red, Lichen, Blue Jeans, Oscar, Confederate Gray, Mascara

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Additional Materials Suggested:
US Silver Dollar
Acid Free Card Stock
Felted Wool
Rick Rack, Mini Pom, Chenille, Braided Floss, Seam Binding, or other ribbon-type finishing notion
Large Lobster Clasp




Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Two Februarys

Way-too-early buds and blossoms (the daffodil was purchased, but the other blooms came of their own accord), growing grass that had to be mowed, sunshine as well as rain.

Then... suddenly, Winter came. After a season bereft of snow, it came and came and came. And we were glad.































Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Valentines

This guy. We've had 20 Valentine's Days together now. Things are different than they were way back then. Then it was all about fancy restaurants and one-upping the previous year. Now, we share the day with our little Valentines (love takes all shapes and sizes); we celebrate family love instead of romantic love, although there is something to be said for romantic love that grows deep and strong and steady even after the excitement and thrill diminishes.

This year there were lovely flowers and dinner at my favorite local Thai restaurant.




But then... in addition... my Farmboy gave me the most romantic gift I could possibly imagine.

He gave me the sunset.

On a section of our Western horizon, where trees used to block the sun all winter long, he carved out a path, so those elusive setting-sun's beams can reach my eyes.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

2018 Market Preview


Well, here it is, Ladies and Gents! My official 2018 Nashville Needlework Market preview. Click on the photo to see it a little larger.

I am now accepting pre-orders, but only through your local needlework shop that will be attending Market. Feel free to flood their inbox and answering machine with requests!

The details: I have 5 new releases this year. Yes, you heard that right, FIVE. Some designers do more, I know, but this is the maximum that I can handle, so hopefully it's enough to keep you happy for awhile.

From left to right:

Prairie Life Sampler (Market Exclusive): $12

Festive Little Fobs Three: Stitching Edition: $10

Thou God Seest Me: $10

Queen Bee Pincushion: $10

Coffee Bean Sampler: the Magical Elixir Series #4: $10

What does "Market Exclusive" mean? It means that this design will only be available through shops that attend Market for the first month. I will not be offering it through my Etsy shop for one month after Market. You will not be able to get it from any shop that did not attend Market for one month. Even my distributors will not have it available for one month. But shops that attend Market can get as many as they want/need, even if that means placing re-orders after Market, that I send via mail. Get the idea?

This is my way of saying THANK YOU to the shop owners who go to the trouble/expense of attending Market instead of staying home and ordering from the comfort of their home or shop. If shop owners did not attend Market in person, then there would be much excitement and enthusiasm lost; networking would not happen; relationships would not blossom. I absolutely LOVE getting to meet and chat with all parts of this cross-stitching industry when I go to Market, but it is expensive and LOTS OF WORK for all involved. Those of us selling and those that go to shop! I know it might sound dreamy to you all that don't get to be there, and don't get me wrong, it is an amazing time, but it is also HARD. So, I will ALWAYS have at least one Market exclusive, and this is both my way, and potentially YOUR way of thanking your local shop owner, by ordering the exclusives through them right away, instead of waiting until it is available to everyone. Okay? Sermon over.  :)

If you are a shop owner viewing this post, there will be an email going out to Market attendees this afternoon or tomorrow, that will include all the details, such as linen, threads, stitch count, etc., to help you prepare your shopping list for Market. Please wait to contact me with pre-orders and questions until you've received that message.

And now, since you've made it this far, here's a video clip in which I give a little more info and show each of the new designs up close and personal: