Thursday, February 27, 2020

Not One but TWO New Designs

How did this happen?  Not one but two new designs?

It happened because after trying my best to recover from the latest crash I experienced with both Fibromyalgia as well as ME/CFS I've come to the realization that sitting and stitching for any length of time is probably not going to be something I'm able to do any time soon. 

Up to this time I haven't released patterns until the model was stitched.  However, after talking with publishers who assured me it wasn't necessary I've decided to go ahead and publish new patterns as they are created. 

So, I've completed two designs recently, one is the next month in the Calendar Collection - and I've begun going in the opposite direction now, June to January - and I also took an older pattern, 'One May Night', and converted it to an assisi style. 

First up - 'June~Roses & Hydrangeas' which was inspired not only by the beautiful flowers that are brightly blossoming here in June, but by a vintage table runner type of textile.
'June~Roses & Hydrangeas'
The pattern is stitched with a background of squares in close shades of green.

The second design is 'Moonlit Garden', the older One May Night made into Assisi style.

'Moonlit Garden'
 As you can see, roses & hydrangeas are the 'theme' this month, maybe the big piles of snow still outside the window is making me dream of such things? lol

Gracewood in February


'June~Roses & Hydrangeas' is available on my website Here and
'Moonlit Garden' is available Here

Both are available on ICG's Everything Cross Stitch Here

There will be a brief delay in Creative Poppy's listing but should be listed there soon.

How I hope all of you are well and making some 'artful' stitches!


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

December Design for Sale & a Time Out

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year fellow stitchers!

December~Celebrate!

I know, it has been too long since I last posted on the blog and I'll tell you why I've been forced into a 'time out' when it comes to stitching :(

I also want to announce that for the first time I am putting a pattern up for sale on my website and with my publishers before finishing stitching the model.  I like to be positive there are no errors in a pattern and also to provide a photo of the stitched model before allowing any of them to be sold.

However, due to publisher's request since I have finished enough of the pattern to be as sure as possible that there are no errors in the design I'm listing it for sale now.  It is available on my website Here and through Creative Poppy Here 

I'd prefer not to go ahead before the model is done, but it may be some time before that happens.  I've mentioned in past posts that I live with a chronic illness that can be very debilitating and subject to cycles of getting some better only to then crash with symptoms that you don't know each time how deep it will go or how long it will last.

I'm thankful that I'm usually at a level that I can at least stitch, however, this crash has involved a very bad case of costochondritis, inflamed cartilage of the ribs.  I've experienced it before but this has been the worst and the longest yet with no sign of abating any time soon.  With such painful ribs I find it hard to even breathe and sitting holding something to stitch is literally impossible.

So I'm bending my personal rule and making December~Celebrate! available now.  Hope you find it worthy :)

And a photo to show how those two rascal kittens I recently introduced to you have grown... into much bigger rascal kittens!

Bert & Nan 'helping' dad at the laptop

Jasper overseeing the rascal cats!

May you all have a very Merry Christmas and most blessed New Year and may we all make lots of beautiful stitches in it~

Thursday, September 19, 2019

2019 JCS Christmas Ornament & December~Celebrate! Both Debut

It is only the latter part of September but around Gracewood it is feeling a LOT like Christmas!!

I'm happy to announce that the special 2019 Christmas Ornament Edition of Just Cross Stitch magazine is coming soon to your mailbox and will then be available on news stands.  This is what it looks like this year.


The ornament I contributed is this one listed in their 'Home for the Holidays' section.

Homespun Thistledown Christmas
A salute to my Scottish ancestors, this is a pattern I've had in mind for a while and was happy to use it for the ornament issue.  I found the vintage piece of homespun fabric on ebay and I thought it really worked well with the design. 

Another reason it seems like Christmas is that I'm introducing the December design for the Calendar Collection series.  I hope you'll find it a fitting pattern for the month.  It is a time of so many celebrations and this design looked like something that would dress a traditional table filled with all the goodies you can think of, lol

December ~ Celebrate!
I've chosen to stitch the model using Gloriana's variegated silk floss in their beautiful 'Holly Berry' shade. 

I can't promise to finish it by December but I've promised publishers to try so I hope I'll be able to achieve it!

Lastly, it feels like Christmas can't be far away,  because it has been quite cool and wet and everything is just shouting that fall has arrived!  Leaves are turning golden, mushrooms are everywhere, and for the last two nights a bear has raided our bird feeding station and that usually happens when their thoughts turn to that long winter's nap they take!

Hope it is lovely where you are as well~

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

November~Bounty Completed & Combat Gardening!


November~Bounty
Yes, it took me a while longer than usual to stitch the latest design, but I'm happy to say it is indeed complete!  I am very happy with how it stitched and I think it captures the feel of a vintage placemat that might have been saved for use on that special family gathering on Thanksgiving Day.

It is posted for sale on my web site and will soon be available through ICG's Everything Cross Stitch and Creative Poppy.

This year we've filled the huglebeds Terry made in the garden last fall and this far into July they've been as fruitful as we hoped they might be.  Here are a few pics of our raised beds and huglebeds in what can only be called 'Combat Gardening' style.  What is combat gardening?  It is putting LOTS of plants everywhere and then letting them fight it out! lol

Like this -

Borage & Nasturtiums battling it out!

Two huglebeds planted with corn, beans, squash and Lots More!

My dear Terry, the one who does all the work!

Brussel Sprouts & Fennel and I think the Sprouts are winning!
July has also brought some additions to the Gracewood family.  We had a pair of black and white 'Tuxedo' cats for many years that were littermates and terrific hunters that kept the pesky critter's population low.  We loved them loads and couldn't bring ourselves to replace them as they aged and passed on. 

Until, a few weeks ago when we saw chipmunks disappearing under the truck and we know that chipmunks/mice, etc., can do expensive damage to a vehicle.  So we knew it was time to look for a new generation of hunters and were so happy to find another couple of Tuxedo's who are also brother and sister. 

Meet Nan & Bert (I'll send some Gracewood calendula salve to the first poster who knows the literary source of those names :) - at 8 weeks they are still inside till they are big enough to head outside.  They were very quiet the first days, she had an eye infection and he was extremely shy, thankfully, now they are all well and are having a ball playing with each other and learning how to hunt.  Definitely a couple of rascals!

Bert is on the left and Nan has the black nose
Hoping all is well with you in your part of the world!



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

November~Bountiful Progress & Visitors

It is definitely Spring in the Rockies~!  That means some days rain, some days snow, some days warm and last night we had a heavy frost that took some of our early plantings.  The forecast was for a good bit warmer so we didn't put our covers on, oh well, such is a gardener's life.  Thankfully, it is early enough to get some things started again for our short growing season.

I'm finding that November~Bountiful is a fun and rather easy stitch so far.  Photos don't do the color justice, I'm using Rainbow Gallery's Splendor silk floss in their most deeply purple shades.



Spring always brings hungry visitors to Gracewood, like this pair of Canada geese that stopped by for a snack on their journey north.  Aren't they beautiful?  Noisy, but beautiful.

Canada Geese
And the deer who have had a tough winter with a lot of snow are SOOOO enjoying the grass of Spring.  Every morning there are at least half a dozen deer gorging themselves in our meadow and then they lay down and snooze like this young one.


As we enter the busy time of year when chores call from every corner and I do enjoy all the loveliness of April, I also am going to miss the more mellow and cosy time of being indoors and not feeling guilty about something being done in the garden!  That's why I love four seasons, just when you are tired of one the next one arrives, lol

Wherever you are, spring in the north or fall in the southern hemisphere, I hope you are enjoying your days and of course enjoying some stitching!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

New Design in Calendar Series & How Terry Spent His Winter

Hello all, hope everyone is well and getting stitching time!

After finishing 'October~Homespun Oak' I went through the usual feeling of going crazy without something in my hand to stitch so immediately sat down to try and create a pattern that would both catch the feeling of our Novembers and also play well with the first four designs.

It always takes a few days of drawing in ideas on the software only to remove, reshape, polish and tweak my ideas into the next new design.  I think I was successful in translating the themes November brings in the northern hemisphere of bountiful times when we can finally rest from all that storing up of what we grew all summer.  So here is the next pattern and hopefully, since vintage textiles are the basis of much of my work, this one will be reminiscent of a placemat that might be used on a festive table, especially at Thanksgiving!

Created in shades of pure purples, here is 'November~Bountiful' and so far it is a fun stitch, hope you'll find it so as well.
November~Bountiful

And I wanted to share what my talented husband, Terry, was working on this winter when his inside days were long.  You may remember early last year that I posted some photos of chickadees at our feeders?  Well Terry is attempting his own series of work and using the four photos I posted to turn into some wonderful watercolor paintings.

These photos can't capture all the detail of his work, but it will give an idea of what he created.

First two chickadee paintings
I know I'm prejudiced but I think these are so finely done, I look forward to having professional photos taken so we can upload them to his Fine Art America page and you can get a really much better idea of how beautiful they are.

Not much time for art these days as he is dealing with spring weather, one day plowing snow and the next getting seeds started to be ready for the day it is finally and truly spring and warm enough to begin planting things.

Life on Gracewood is about to swing back into outdoor action, hope it is lovely wherever you are~

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Homespun Oak Model Stitched!! And Snowpocalypse Happens

October~Homespun Oak pattern's model is complete, yeah!! and I'll have it up for sale on my website and through publishers in a few days, but I wanted to get a quick blog post of it up first.

I'm very happy with it, hope you like it too.

Thankfully, it plays well with the first three months of this series.  I'll post a photo of the four of them together soon.

October~Homespun Oaks


It must be frustrating for my publishers that my designs don't always (make that rarely) 'match' the time of year they come out and so may not catch the mood of the season they are promoting at the time, but I'm afraid it is the only way I can work.  Even if I design them at the right time they don't get stitched till the next month/season comes along.

Right now the calendar is telling me it is time to get some plants started indoors if I want them to be of any size to go into the garden, however, the actual weather - which has been termed 'SNOWPOCALYPSE' this year in the northwest - is not allowing me to even get to the area where we mix up soil, make soil blocks and get seeds planted.  Photos below will prove the point -

Peat Moss, Vermiculite and Compost waiting to be made into soil blocks.

Looking out back door, the snow is higher than the porch.  The ghostly humps are garden beds.
Icicles Galore!
So I'm sitting here with $200 worth of organic heirloom seeds for everything from tomatoes, beans, corn to melons, strawberries, and asparagus to get started and it is completely impossible.

Oh well, things have a way of getting done somehow if you don't give up.  At least the huglebeds we made last fall are getting a great dose of moisture before we plant them.

Hoping all is well in your neck of the woods!