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!

Too Much Camping?

These two – they went on hikes with Grandpa and Grandma and had so much fun. It fun to watch them together. Uncle and nephew and best buddies!

Is it possible to do too much camping? I’m beginning to wonder! After our nice long Labor Day trip and trying to get laundry caught up and the house put back together Abby asked us to go camping last weekend. So, we got home on Monday, ran errands out of town on Tuesday, spent Wednesday evening out at Belva Deer with dad and mom as they were camping and asked us out for supper and then loading the camper up Thursday and back out to Belva Deer we went. After all, when your daughter asks you to spend the weekend with them camping – you just can’t say no!

It turned out Jeremy’s family (Jeremy is our son-in-law) was having their annual family reunion at Belva Deer and the kids were debating whether to camp or not. So Abby asked us if we wanted to camp too and of course we said yes.  Jeremy works until 6:30 most evenings and works every Saturday and they can’t have their camper at their house because of the rules there so they keep their camper at Jeremy’s folk’s house, so that makes it hard for them to get it ready. I told Abby not to worry about food – we took care of that for them and we tagged their spot so they didn’t have to worry about what time they pulled in and not being able to find a spot. We had a great time. Dad and Mom stayed for the weekend too and we just enjoyed spending time with everyone.

Now that the weather is cooler – I get to enjoy the morning campfire again. I love a campfire in the morning before the kids are up, before the campground wakes up. Perfect way to start the day.

Then, once we got the camper home Sunday, Dad and Mom, Joe, Drew and I took a road trip to Pella. The only place Mom and Dad have ever camped is Belva Deer and they have wanted to try full hook up and have wanted to camp at Lake Red Rock in Pella. So, off we went to check out campgrounds and see which one they wanted to try. We have this weekend free but off we’ll be going the following weekend to Pella. I love camping in Pella. Joe and I were just there in August for our anniversary weekend. I’m looking forward to camping there with Dad and Mom. And fall camping is my absolute favorite. But, we have camped so much – it’s time for a break! Just to get caught up at home and to get the camper reorganized and just to simply be home! I’m hoping we can then have a couple weekends off and then maybe get in a weekend or two in in October. There’s nothing better than chilly mornings, crisp, comfortable days, then nice chilly evenings around the campground with the leaves turning and the smell of autumn. My all time favorite time of the year and my favorite time to spend outdoors. There’s nothing better!

And here it is, Wednesday already this week. The days are just flying by. Monday was spent getting caught up from the weekend. Yesterday I got caught up on watching Outlander. I’m addicted to the books and to the show and since the new season started Sunday I couldn’t watch the new episode until I had re-watched the first two seasons to get caught up. Joe doesn’t care for the show so I’ve been watching episodes during the day when I can but we’ve been so busy I wasn’t able to get them in until yesterday. Then I watched the first episode of the new season last night while Joe and Drew were out changing the oil in my van. I never thought I could get caught up in a series that’s based on time travel but oh my. The books have been a favorite of mine for years. I’ve read the series twice now and it takes me almost a year to get through them. Then when they decided to make the series I was skeptical. Usually if I love a book, I don’t care for it on the screen but not this time. I love the actors and the accents and the scenery and just everything about the show. I look forward to Sunday nights now for the next few weeks!

I got a lot of stitching in over the weekend too – sitting by the campfire!

And today I started walking with a friend. I dropped Drew off at school and drove over to Mary’s and off we went. We walked four miles and boy was I hurting by the time we were done! I so need this. I need the exercise and I need the socialization. It’s just so easy for me to not be around people. I’m perfectly happy spending my days here at home. I’ve always been a homebody but when I was working I had to socialize. Now, I have to make myself go out and do things. Unless it’s family related I tend to isolate and just be home. And walking in town, it’s like being in a whole new world! I’m used to going outside and it just being me and my chickens! We walked and talked and I saw parts of town I haven’t seen for awhile and we stopped and chatted with a couple of Mary’s neighbors and petted their dogs and waved at all the cars that drove by. It was fun! I’m glad I don’t live in town. I wouldn’t want to have neighbors around me all the time. The noise and the cars and all that goes with living in town, it’s just not for me. But, I’m looking forward to walking in the mornings with Mary and maybe even socializing a little with the people we meet. It will be an adventure!

Weekend, Progress and Another Start

One of my favorite things – enjoying a good campfire!

Wow, the weekend went fast. Saturday was spent at home just getting stuff done. Joe serviced Eric’s car and cleaned out the shop. I worked in the house. Drew spent the day helping his dad – I was told I wasn’t allowed outside! I love that he wants to spend so much time with his daddy! Then we ran out to Belva Deer for the evening and sat around the campfire with Dad and Mom as they had been camping most of the week. It was beautiful evening for sitting around the fire!

Between having all night Friday night to stitch and then stitching Saturday night while sitting by the fire – I’ve put a good dent in this. It’s a fun stitch!

Sunday was a fun filled day. We had a picnic at Belva Deer with Dad and Mom and my sister and Abby and Jeremy and Braxton came too! (I forgot to take my camera and so didn’t get any pictures.) It rained, which we still need the rain badly, so nobody complained. We just ate our lunch under the awning and sat crowded together and chatted. It was fun! When the rain stopped Braxton, Drew and I went for a walk and left some painted rocks for others to find. It worked too – Dad walked up the bathroom and came back with one of our rocks. He didn’t realize what we were doing and thought Drew had dropped it! After everybody had left except us and Dad and Mom, Eric texted asking where we were. He and his friend Ally had decided to come home to do their laundry! So, he came out and spent some time with Grandpa and Grandma. It was great to see him! He seems to be adjusting well to college life. I asked Abby if she had been hearing from him and she said yes and that she thought he was doing great. I love that my kids keep in contact with each other like that. If only Aaron could have been there, the day would have been perfect.

Since Abby was around I couldn’t stitch on the stocking so I got started on a little bit of fall stitching while sitting under the awning during the rain. Any idea what this is going to be? It’s by Jenny Hoffman, Country Rustic Primitives.

Today it’s nice and quiet around here. Joe is gone to work and Drew is gone to school. I plan to work in Drew’s room a little bit. Go through some clothes and organize his drawers. Tomorrow will be spent with a friend. Then it will be time to work on getting the camper ready for our big Labor Day Weekend camping trip. I have lists to make, food to prepare and a camper to organize. We’re looking forward to the weekend and spending it with good friends we hardly ever get to see. It’s always a fun time!

 

Progress!

I’m making progress on baby girl’s Christmas stocking! I’ve been stitching instead of doing other things lately but that’s okay. I haven’t stitched forever and it’s nice to get back into it. Tonight Drew’s tired and crashed already and Joe is gone to the high school football game to run the chains which gives me an evening of quiet time. The windows are open and the cicadas are singing, it’s nice and cool with a breeze blowing through the house. Perfect for watching a little Alaska: The Last Frontier and getting some stitching done. Tomorrow I’ll be cleaning out the fridge, cleaning my bedroom and making a macaroni salad for a Sunday picnic with family out at Belva Deer. And I just made plans to spend Tuesday with a dear friend. She lives in town but has this beautiful little cabin out by the river. It’s family land and the cabin was built by family and her and her husband have fixed it up. It’s so cute. There’s no running water or bathroom but we’re country girls at heart – we can handle roughing it. It’s so fun to spend the day out there – away from everything. Just time for chatting and enjoying each others company, watching the river flow by, and maybe going on a 4-wheeler ride. Can you tell I’m really looking forward to it??!! I can’t wait!

Wednesday Chatting and Stitching

Happy Snowman designed by Tina Herman, Shepherd’s Bush.

I had a surprise visitor yesterday. Aaron stopped by and spent the majority of the day here. It was so nice to see him and have a nice chat. We hadn’t seen him for what seems like forever. He started a new job as a manager at Walmart and he’s also still working part time at Casey’s. He’s been putting in 70+ hours a week between the two jobs. That’s too much as far as I’m concerned. I tell him what I think but ultimately it’s his decision and he knows I support him in whatever he chooses to do. As a Mom I have that right to tell him how I feel. He can take my advice or not, it’s his life and he’s an adult. He just knows I’m going to tell him how I feel and at the same time respect his decisions!

While visiting with Aaron, Eric and Drew I gathered up floss and linen and got a great start on Christmas ornaments. One stitched and a good start on another. I stayed pretty true to the suggested colors on these two, just switched them up a little. I still have to decide on Baby Girl’s. I’m thinking pinks of course! And I need to figure out a font to use to stitch the year and their names. Then hopefully I can find some tiny snowflake buttons and some fabric to back them with at Hobby Lobby. It’s great knowing I can head to Hobby Lobby now whenever I need to and not have to plan a trip to Iowa City! It’s good to be back to stitching. I didn’t realize how much I was missing it.

The rest of today is going to see us working on Eric’s bedroom, doing laundry and packing for college. My pack rat Drew is having a ball. Eric is giving him all his Iowa State stuff and he’s loving it! Then tomorrow we meet my sister to drop Andrew off with them. He’s heading out on a camping trip with them in their RV. They’re going to Illinois for the weekend. Saturday we go to Burlington to spend the day at our annual fish fry at my aunt and uncle’s. Looks like a couple busy days ahead. Sunday and Monday will be finishing up packing, organizing and probably shopping so we can move Eric to Iowa City on Tuesday. Now I’m going to be wanting to plan trips to Iowa City. I have a feeling he’s not going to be coming home often so we’ll be heading that way if we want to see him!

Panic!!!!

I searched and searched but could not find a picture of the stockings I made for Abby. These are my family stockings. As you can see – the first four match. Then Eric came along and I stitched him a Shepherd’s Bush stocking. Then Andrew – he loves that his is the biggest one of them all!

No – I am not ready for Christmas yet! I am ready for fall. We’re having such beautiful fall like weather and it’s my favorite time of the year but as I was searching through some of my favorite cross stitch designer’s patterns this morning looking for patterns to make my annual Christmas ornaments for Drew and Braxton I was not having much luck. Then I decided to check out the Shepherd’s Bush site and see what they had. I found a free snowman pattern that is so cute and I can customize it with different colors and add their names. Perfect! But searching the Shepherd’s Bush site led to panic mode! Oh my goodness – here I’ve been stuck in a rut not having anything really to work on crafty wise in the evenings, just yesterday I was thinking about how I’ve not been in a rut like this in years, when all of a sudden it hit me. I have to stitch a Christmas stocking for baby girl. Maybe that explains the rut – I knew there was something I needed to be working on. How could I have not remembered this before now? When Braxton was born I made Shepherd’s Bush stockings for Jeremy, Abby, and Braxton. I picked Shepherd’s Bush for many reasons – they are beautiful, they all match, they come in a kit and specifically, there are so many of them that I knew if/as Jeremy and Abby added to their family, I could easily find a pattern to fit in with what I had already made for them. The panic part is due to the fact that these stockings are big and intricate and take time – lots and lots of time! So, this morning Drew and  I picked a stocking, ordered it and now I will wait impatiently for everything to arrive – and I’ll have to break the news to Mom. She did all the sewing into stockings after I finished the cross stitch part last time. Hopefully she’ll feel up to the task again! In the meantime I should probably get started on the ornaments. With baby girl coming I’ll be making three this year instead of two!