As the year winds down...

Taking some time to reflect on 2013,
 and planning,
 as I move onto
 new designs
 for 2014...

~ 2013 ~
 A year in review...


 And that concludes my design work for 2013 folks!  

  I would like to say "THANK YOU"
for supporting me & my work in 2013! 
   I've said it before, 
and I'll say it again, 
"needleworker's are some of the most honest, kind & down to earth people". 
 I feel blessed to work for such a wonderful group of people. 

Wishing each of you each
 a healthy & happy


A Christmas Day Finish!

Our family left early Christmas morning
so it was a relatively quiet Christmas day at the Gervais'.
There were lots and lots of goodies leftover for nibbling,
no need to spend too much time in the kitchen.  Perfect.
Twas a very cold Christmas day here in Iowa...
a perfect day to SNUGGLE IN,
 light a fire,
 enjoy the house all decked out in her Christmas attire,
I had my final finish of 2013 on Christmas evening.
ELIZABETH CLARK sampler is now finished!
Elizabeth is now draped across the back of my "stitching spot".
Each time I pass her by,
I stop for a visit...
just to ADMIRE her ~
I always feel energized after the Christmas rush is over,
 and am ready for a fresh start 
on design work for 2014
 I spent yesterday looking through piles of papers filled with 
DOODLES & SKETCHES that I've drawn over the past several years. 
 It is always exciting so see line drawings come to life, in fabric and fibers.

I made my annual trip to check out the VALENTINES candy aisle yesterday,
 as well.
 The transformation from Christmas to Valentines candy 
is just starting to happen at the stores.  
 I figure in a couple of days I will go back and decide on this years box or boxes to use for my 3rd annual
candy box valentines cross stitch pattern.  
  I will keep you all posted on which box will be used so you have time to locate it.

Today I am changing gears a bit,
 my punch needle is threaded!
  I have a few new pieces drawn up for punch needle and will work on them today and tomorrow on the road trip home to Minnesota for

With thy Needle & Thread,


If I stitch just 3 flowers a day...

it will be finished in 4 days
 (or so I thought...more on that later)
 Does anyone else do this?
Count motifs, estimate how many you will stitch a day,
and then do the math to determine a finish date?

I do this,
 can't help myself...

 I've been telling myself, for some time, that
I am about done with the stitching of this sampler...

I am about done,
 when a piece has 20,000+ stitches,
the problem is,
it can look about done
and still have a few thousand stitches to go...
The "over-ones" are all done.
 That is always a sense of accomplishment!
Love the verse on this one...
The verse is a hymn penned by John Fawcett (1740 - 1817)
Elizabeth Clark has been an enjoyable stitch.
I don't get a lot of stitching time in during the holidays,
 I try try try to sneak in a few stitches a day!

The antique sampler shows lots of fading.
You can see the difference in colors of floss,
 from old to new.
The piece is lovely in it's faded state,
however in charting,
 I have stayed true to the original floss colors
 used by Elizabeth.

When I purchase an antique sampler
 it often times is just one motif that speaks to me,
 and says,
"buy me"!
See those big leaves?
Look harder...do you see the big clusters of grapes?
It is those grapes and grapevine motifs
 that stole my heart...
I'll tell you a little story...
During our college living days,
 the dh & I would load up the kids in our little Dodge Omni hatchback
 and take Sunday drives
through the Des Moines river valley
in search of grapevine.
The area is beautiful in the fall
 and the kiddo's didn't seem to mind!

 It was easy to spot grapevine when the tree leaves started turning.
The crimson to almost deep amethyst colored leaves of the grapevine are very visible then.
 We pulled, tugged, and cut grapevine from the trees
stashed it into the back of our little Dodge Omni.
Bungee cords were used to hold the trunk shut
 and off we'd head down Lincoln Highway 30 towards Ames...
grapevine hanging from our trunk!
Quite the sight...

The vine then got soaked in the kids' blue plastic swimming pool,
to soften the vine.  (Sorry kids, no swimming today!)
 Once softened,
I would create grapevine wreaths.
The wreaths were then decorated with various little hand stitched bears
 or painted wooden geese
sold to local shops.
We are talking early 80's here...
when geese, bears & bunnies
were the decorating craze!

Upon shooting the below photo for today's blog posting,
I noticed another border that I didn't see while charting....ugh
Do you see it?
Look hard, over to the far right, near the frayed edges...
Back to charting,
more stitching,
and more "doin' the math thing".
Scratch any idea that
 this sampler will be done in 4 days...

With thy Needle & Thread,


Ho Ho Ho

New items continue to arrive...
Hills of snow, skinny pines, snowman and quaint little cottages surround
Rudolph and a jolly old soul named,
Punch needle is finished into a ditty pocket and then filled with fresh pine and dried rosehips.
4 NEW Floss Keep designs have been added to our collection.
(Pictured are 2 of the 4)
"Homestead Sampler"
"Needleworker's Sampler"
Visit us online at www.countrystitchesonline.com to view these new items.
New pattern from Pineberry Lane arrived yesterday....it is darling!
Other NEW great patterns from various designers have been added to the website also,
check them out!
It is terribly cold here today...
stay warm,