Linen and Needle and Thread

I’ve stitched for so many years I’ve lost count. My aunt taught me when I was a young girl and I’m so grateful to her for taking the time to teach me. I stitched on and off over the years and then for some reason I stopped for a few years. I just had no desire to pick up the needle. I did lots of other crafts and did lots and lots of scrapbooking for a time. I never thought I would get tired of scrapbooking but for some reason the desire just slowly went away. I have some beautiful books and we love to pull them out and look through them but now I hardly ever even print a picture.  I have so many pictures of Abby and even Aaron. Not as many of Eric but I still have way too many. And then Drew comes along and I had stopped taking and printing pictures. I started taking pictures again but I just don’t print them like I should.

Anyway, back to stitching. I picked up my needle again a few years ago and discovered stitching on linens and developed a love for the primitive patterns and the designers that are out there. Good bye Aida cloth and bright colors and cute designs. But along with this new love and more time to stitch again now that I only have Drew at home, I have run out of room for my creations. And I’m a pack rat and feel the need to keep everything so of course I can’t get rid of any of my creations!

Then I started following some primitive and country decorating pages on Facebook which led me to some primitive selling pages and I took the plunge. Joe has been pushing me for years to try and sell what I stitch but if it wasn’t for Facebook I don’t think I would ever have even tried. And low and behold – my creations sell! I’m not going to get rich by any means doing this but I can at least justify my stitching now. I’m not filling the house with unneeded creations and it’s not costing me anything to make what I do because I’m selling what I make. And now when I sit and stitch at night not only am I enjoying myself immensely I’m making others happy too! It’s a win win right??!!

Stitching is a form of therapy for me. To just sit quietly and pull thread through linen. The feel of it, the sound of it, and the creating process.  The beautiful colors of the threads and putting those threads together to make beautiful designs. And there’s something about the primitive designs that just tug on my soul. Their simplicity and dark muted colors. And then dying them in a coffee bath when I’m done stitching to make them even more muted. Picking out the perfect baking fabric – Civil War reproduction fabric is my fabric of choice. Just one more thing to draw me to the past just like these little pillow tucks, cupboard keeps, whatever you want to call them do. I like to think that even back in days gone by, even when our ancestors didn’t have much and they had to sew by hand out of necessity that they would stitch a little pin tuck and put a little primitive design on it to make it pretty to help lighten their load and have something pretty to adorn their home.  My stitching draws me to the past and gives me something pretty to adorn my home too – a little pillow tucked into a little bowl or the corner of a shelf. Just a little something to brighten the day!

Busy Week

This week has turned out to be a busy one. Yesterday saw me walking, then home to do laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. Cleaning out the chicken coop and taking care of the cats we brought home Sunday evening. They are in the shop but they won’t come out when we are in there. Hopefully they will be a little braver today. Then Dad and Mom came over with some apples to share and to see the cats. They stayed and chatted until dark.

Today I’m up early – no earlier than usual but I’m heading to Kalona to meet Abby. I’m going with her to a doctor’s appointment in Iowa City. Jeremy couldn’t take time off work so I volunteered to tag along. Nothing is wrong, just checking for gestational diabetes. I had it with my second two pregnancies and am hoping she doesn’t but since she didn’t pass the first test I won’t be surprised if this one comes out positive. So, I get to spend some quality time with her today which will be nice.

Tomorrow should be pretty normal. Nothing specific planned anyway. Just normal routine. Although I do need to do something with the apples Mom brought over. And I finished stitching my Fancey Blackett I working on so I need to decide on a finish for her. I love those days! Then Thursday and Friday I’m subbing at the elementary school. Friday is homecoming so that should be fun – the kids will be all excited to go see the parade. Not sure I know what I’m getting myself into! It’s nice to visit the school now and again to see how things are run and to get to know the teachers. Especially with Drew there. And he likes having me there. There will come a time when having his mom working at the school once in awhile won’t be so fun but for now he thinks it’s awesome!

And best of all – it’s supposed to be ten degrees cooler today than yesterday and then it’s supposed to drop down into the 60s. Yeah – hopefully fall is here!

Fall Brings Fancey Blankett

Shoo! – by Wendy Stys-Van Eimeren, Pineberry Lane

My husband lovingly says I’m weird, or crazy, or odd. Which word he uses depends on the day! And I’m okay with that. I know I’m not normal and I really don’t want to be! He just shakes his head when I tell him how happy I am to see Fancey Blackett again. I know he’s thinking I might be a little loopy but that’s why he loves me! Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the crisp fall air, the smell of burning candles, the leaves turning colors and crunching under foot. I love pulling out my sweatpants and sweatshirts and blankets to cuddle and making chili and veggie soup and casseroles. I love to decorate with pumpkins and mums and buckeyes and natural things. I could go on and on. But one thing about fall that I really love is bringing out Fancey Blackett. Who on earth is Fancey Blackett is what Joe asked me when I brought her up the other day. Well, Fancey Blackett is a sweet prim character created by one of my all time favorite artists, Wendy Stys-Van Eimeren of Pineberry Lane. Fancey Blackett is someone I get the joy of stitching into my home. She reminds me of all the things I love – sunflowers and pumpkins, gardens and black cats. I haven’t stitched up all the Fancey Blackett designs yet but I plan to. I’m taking my time and enjoying the process. I’m enjoying stitching Witch’s Brew right now and Fancey and I are enjoying our evening chats as I stitch along. It’s like visiting with an old friend I haven’t seen for awhile! She comes out for a  visit every fall. One of these days she just might not leave for the winter. She just might have to stay, pumpkins, broom sticks and all!

A bowl full of Pineberry Lane – October Ride (with Fancey Blackett) is middle left. Fancey Blacket and the Butter Churn is bottom center. Tansy, Yarrow, Rue top center and All Hallows Eve middle right.
Fancey Blackett – Witch’s Brew – love the little pumpkin border!

A Little Bit of Fall Decorating

I was soooo sore after walking yesterday. I think we might have overdone it a tad – four miles right out of the gate! But, after walking this morning I’m loosened up and feel much better. Still sore but it will only get better from here right??!! Yesterday afternoon, instead of working on Drew’s room like I had planned, I got some fall decorations out. Every year I do less and less and this year is no exception. I’m mostly using my stitched stuff. The less I get out, the less I have to put away later and the less cluttered the house looks right!

Butter Paddle Purchase

When Joe and I stopped in at North Creek Antiques over the weekend I made one little $6 purchase. I’m finding the older I get the less I want. My house is overflowing with “stuff” and I see all these neat things on Pinterest and Facebook and Esty that I think I want. Then when I go to an antique store, I change my mind. Everything is so expensive anymore and I just don’t have room for things and I really don’t need all this stuff anyway. I wanted something though to remind me of our anniversary camping trip and decided this would be perfect. After a little cleaning and some mineral oil it looks perfect in one of my old wooden bowls! And maybe a couple more old wooden paddles would look nice to go with it – maybe I will have to go back and see what they’ve got!

Just needs a little mineral oil.
Now to spread the oil around – it’s amazing what a difference a little bit of mineral oil makes!

More Black

Looking at this picture, I think it needs some distressing and some staining. That will have to wait though – too much going on, at this week. No fun crafty projects for awhile.

I think I shouldn’t be allowed to have black paint. I’m not sure why I bought this cupboard due to the color. It’s green. Not a color that I decorate with. But I do like the cupboard. It’s solid and very well made and I love the make do handle. Due to the color though I had stored it away and had not used it for a few years. Then recently I brought it out but was just not happy with it because of the color. Then I thought, why not paint it black! And I love it. It fits in with my black bench in the dining room. But now I have to decide whether to leave it like this or to distress and stain it. I’ll live with it for awhile before deciding. In the meantime, I wonder what else I can paint black??!!


I’ve been busy painting the past few days. It’s so hot outside – we’ve been under an excessive heat warning – so I decided it would be a good time to pain my kitchen cupboards. Joe has been gone too so that gives me more “free” time to work on bigger projects. And, I decided to go with black. I know the trend right now is a light and airy farmhouse look and I think it’s beautiful but I’ve never been one to fit in with the norm or to follow the trends. I went from light colors to black! And I love it! And even better, when Joe got home he said he was really surprised but he likes it too! I don’t have nice cupboards and they’ve been painted a few times but the black really sharpens them up and this time I went all out and painted the insides of the doors too. That made a huge difference. Before the insides showed all the different colors they’ve been painted and didn’t look nice at all. Next is different countertops and flooring and trim and backsplash around the stove and a new refrigerator. But who knows how long it will be before we get around to that. No sense in getting into a hurry – the kitchen isn’t going anywhere right??!!

Please ignore the clutter – I hadn’t picked up after painting and the paint is still wet!


Then, spur of the moment, I decided to bring this bench back into the house. I saw one on another blog and loved the way she had draped a blanket over the back. Joe’s dad made us this bench years ago and I had it stored out in the garage because I’m not a fan of the heart cutout in the back of the bench. I had racked my brain trying to think of something to cover the heart and never once thought to drape something over the back of it. I brought it in today, cleaned it up and painted it black. It still needs another coat in areas and some touch up but I couldn’t wait to see how it was going to look in the dining room! Then I dug this old quilt out of the bedroom closet (I didn’t even remember having this quilt. No idea where it came from. I was actually looking for my doll quilts made by my grandmas but I didn’t find those in my search). I love the way it covers up the heart and I’m loving that I brought the bench back in the house. Albert loved doing woodworking projects when he was younger and I’m blessed to have this and a hutch that he made. Treasures for sure.

Not So Colorful Decorating

A splash of colorful flowers – a mix of wildflowers and garden flowers with a splash of blue in the old quilt square on the table.

As I visit different blogs, check out different decorating groups on Facebook, peruse Pinterest and scroll through Instagram I am amazed at all the beautiful colors that people use to decorate with. I’m especially drawn to vintage and cottage style decorating and colors. And yet, as much as I am drawn to them and love looking at them, I look around my home and that is not what I see. I don’t have bright cheery colors. I don’t have a lot of fun vintage shades of aqua that I am so drawn too. I live mostly with primitive colors. Everywhere I look. And I feel the most comfortable with this. It fascinates me how color plays such a part in our lives. It would be a boring world if we didn’t have color and it would be a boring world if we all liked the same colors. I’m thankful I can appreciate all the different colors and decorating styles out there but give me the primitive browns, burgundies, blues (got to have blues!) and golds with a splash of a little brightness here and there and I feel comfortable and at home! There’s nothing better than a piece of old wood that is weathered and worn from time and use – that to me is one of the most beautiful colors in the world!

Old books, old bowls, old bowl and pitcher on an old Hoosier cabinet. The old wooden box on the wall holding my antique sheep – a favorite corner of the dining room!

An old shelf I just painted black. It still needs to be sanded down to show wear and then a coat of stain. I’m thinking I need to paint the little blue frame on the bottom shelf. Or give it a coat of wax to dull it down!

Old ironstone on a chippy old shelf in the kitchen. The grater on the left was a gift from Eric one year for Christmas. He knows me well! The spice cabinet on the right was a Goodwill find I painted, sanded and stained then added the material under the glass. The tea towel was a gift from Abby!

Old frames are a favorite of mine. And if they aren’t old – a can of paint and some stain will help to make them look that way!

Peace Be Upon Us. A favorite stitched sampler I stitched years ago framed in an old frame found at a favorite antique store in town that has now closed its doors.

Old, chippy and blue. My favorite combination!

Even my stitcheries have to be coffee stained and left wrinkled to look right to me! Add a touch of Sweet Annie to smell good and add that drab touch of perfectness! The frame on the left holds the lyrics of a song called Fading Echoes written by my Great Grandma Houseal. A treasure for sure.

A splash of color in the kitchen. But of course it’s sitting on a doily I stitched and stained for that beautiful prim goodness. These faux lemons smell wonderful! I do have a splash of color here and there!

Peonies and T-Ball

It’s always nice to get back into our routine after a long weekend. Although holiday weekends are lots and lots of fun, there’s something to be said for the regular day to day routine of living.

My peony bush has finally bloomed and it is beautiful! I’ve never seen so many blooms on this bush. I have four other bushes I planted last year. They came up this year but are small and aren’t blooming. I hope they do better next year. Five bushes blooming would be so pretty!

Waiting patiently for his first time at bat.

Drew had his first t-ball game. It was held in Parnell. The game was to start at 5:30 but after some kind of mix up they ended up not playing until 6:30. At least they didn’t just send us home. We were willing to wait an hour and get the game in and not have to come back some other time. They don’t keep score, everyone gets to bat and everyone goes out on the field. It was pretty comical to watch and the boys all had fun. We stopped in North English on the way home for ice cream. Next game is Friday in Williamsburg. We just might have to stop in North English again on our way home – they have great ice cream!

He had no idea what he was doing behind the plate. He never got off his knees! He said it was fun though!