Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

On this night . . .

I wish you peace and joy.

Merry Christmas


Jennie Lynn

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Caramel Popcorn

For this I used my oven but I'm still not sure if it qualifies as baking. I am not myself a fan of caramel popcorn but my husband and sons adore it and I think it's even easier to make then the fudge.

A few words of advice. I usually separate the popcorn into two batches and coat separately. It's easier to stir that way. I also place them in two baking dishes so that there's only one thin layer of caramel popcorn in each. Also, unless you enjoy soaking and scrubbing for hours, line the glass baking dishes with parchment paper.

Now the reason these two recipes tend to be made on the same day is in making the caramel topping for the popcorn you have also essentially made toffee. Now go ahead and add a little of that caramel to one of your batches of fudge!

Edit: Ooops! I forgot to mention that the measurement is for unpopped popcorn but it does have to be popped before it's coated in the caramel and baked in the oven. Thank you Teri for pointing that out to me :)


Jennie Lynn

Holiday Fudge

I took the day off from stitching today to do a little holiday baking. Can it be called baking if you don't actually use your oven? I believe it can be called baking when the end result is delicious and adds a few inches to your waistline. I make fudge every year for the holidays but other than the basic fudge in the photo I never make the same kind twice.

That's the basic fudge recipe I have used for years but who can really stop at just one batch? This year I made white chocolate almond fudge. I used 2 cups of white chocolate chips with 1 cup condensed milk and 1 tsp almond extract. I poured that into the square pan and then added on top of that 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips that had been melted with the butter, vanilla extract and remaining condensed milk. I topped it with sliced almonds. I also made peanut butter fudge using 2 cups peanut butter chips in place of the 2 cups white chocolate chips. I added mini Reese's candies to the top of that one. I also made mint fudge by using mint chocolate chips and orange chocolate fudge by adding a little orange zest.

I hope a few of you try the recipe. It's embarrassingly simple. Trying to convince my sons to eat dinner instead of the fudge will be much harder!

Happy Holidays!

Jennie Lynn

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the 12th Day of Christmas

We went searching for our tree.

We visited one of our local tree farms. It was a beautiful day, in the sixties, sunny, windy but it always is here. The farm is a bit of a maze, no straight path between any two points. We occasionally got separated from one another as each of us went off in search of the perfect tree. The only way to find one another was to play "Marco Polo" which I have to admit was my favorite part of the day. I think towards the end the boys were running off and hiding just to be able to holler at one another.

After much debate we did all end up agreeing on a tree. That shadow there to the side of my daughter, Emma, texting. Ahh, family time. I don't know much about types of evergreen trees and the farm grows several different breeds. All I know is that this particular tree had soft needles that didn't poke at you when you touched the branches. The children wanted to continue to search but it was getting late and as soon as I informed them there were candy canes waiting at home to be put on the tree suddenly it mattered less to them exactly which tree came home with us.

Here's David and Benjamin taking the first cut. Both boys had a turn but tired quickly of using the little hand saw so Daddy did most of the work. Of course we picked one of the trees farthest from where we parked. I did mention there was no straight path through the trees. Navigating our way through the fields back to the farmhouse was a feat, especially given that most of the trees in that field were taller than both I and my husband. With our boys acting as guides we managed to make it out to the road. With the amount of jostling that tree sustained I'm surprised there was a needle left on it by the time we got it home. We managed to get the lights hung and I decorated around the house with a few of the trimmings from the tree. Leftovers were on the kitchen counter for the kids but dinner consisted mostly of candy canes and hot cocoa.

With the tree up it truly feels like Christmas. Last night, my husband said the tree was perfect. We spent over an hour searching for that perfect tree but I think that any tree we picked, once we got it home, saw it all lit up and the children gathered around it carefully selecting what flavor of candy cane to eat, would look perfect. It's not the tree after all, but what it represents. The moment the tree becomes a part of our family's holiday celebration, a part of our memories, it becomes perfect to our eyes :)


Jennie Lynn

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Anniversary Woes

Hanging on the wall of my living room above the stairs is a canoe oar. It belongs to my husband and might seem an odd bit of home decor . . . but there's a story behind it. I first noticed it while my husband and I were still dating, tucked in a corner of his apartment. The handle is inscribed "D. Lopez, 1980". I asked after it and this is what he said:

"I made that [said very proudly]. I carved it at boy scout camp. We all did one. It was June of 1980, the month you were born. I was 15. That summer I was chased into a lake by a moose [apparently moose can be quite aggressive] and had my tent washed out in the rain [for your sake I edited out the bit about correct placement of a tent at a campsite]. Still, that whole trip is one of my favorite memories. The best part was one night we all laid out and watched a meteor shower. It was beautiful, even then, but more beautiful in my memory now. It took twenty years for me to realize it, but that night I watched the soul of my true love fall to earth. It was there for a second and then it was gone. It took awhile, but I finally found her again."

Not bad, huh? It worked on me :)

It's moments like those that I try and remember on days like today . . . when he forgets our anniversary. He said he knew that December 6th is our anniversary but forgot that today was December 6th. I understood the distinction but it mattered little to me. I stomped around the house in a huff most of the day. Still, he stayed home with me and followed me about the house . . . at a safe distance, of course, since I have been known to snap at him for hovering. Eventually, I was won over and the early afternoon found us snuggling on the sofa with Mina trying to wedge her way between us.

"What God as put together, let no man put asunder." I believe that, truly. Not even my husband, with his absent-minded ways, can make me forsake the wondrous gift I was blessed with through him . . . a gift that is made precious by days like today as much as by any other.


Jennie Lynn

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Though my little partridge has been quite happy sitting on my mantle, it is time he goes home for the holidays. I am so happy to be sending him along to Eve of Lee Hill Primitives. She sounded in her e-mail so thrilled to have won. It truly made my day to know that I had brightened someone else's. Take a minute and visit her blog. Her work is so lovely I know this little guy will feel perfectly at home with her. Her work is so beautiful I'm actually afraid he may feel a bit like the poor cousin. Earlier this month Eve had a giveaway herself (I'm so sorry I missed it) and her Santa is breathtaking!

The partridge and pear are all packed and awaiting tomorrow's post and however happy I am he's to grace Eve's home this holiday season his parting has left a bare spot on my mantle. I'm considering filling it with this prim tree. Can you believe it's just a styrofoam cone and some torn muslin? I'm wondering if I should spray some tea stain on it and perhaps sprinkle some cinnamon. It'll stay on the mantle for now, at least until I'm done fussing with it. Though, to be honest, no holiday decoration in my home stays in the same place for more than a few days. I'm creating and arranging (and rearranging) right up until Christmas Eve. It's just too much fun!

In case you must have a partridge of your own the pattern I used can be found at Our Pioneer Homestead. The original design was intended as a dove, but once I added the top feather it made a perfect partridge. The top feather was fashioned out of rusty wire looped with a small bell attached at the end. The base is an unfinished table leg (maybe a leg for a footstool or ottoman given it's height). It's just what they sell at any home improvement store. You can finish it however you like. Mine, of course, is painted and stained and all grunged up. The pear was something I've used to decorate my home in the past but Pamela has a tutorial for that as well. The only difference is I tend to paint mine white rather than black and I use spray paint instead. I've also spiced apples without painting them at all. The little bit of red showing through is very festive. If you're not a follower of Pamela's blog you should be! She sells lovely finished goodes as well as shares patterns and tutuorials. I'm sure you'll get more than a few ideas for holiday decorating.

The rest of the week is full of holiday concerts and hopefully some holiday shopping (hooray!) but I'm sure they'll be time for stitching (even if there isn't I'll make time) and more patterns to share. I'm also looking forward to seeing finishes of the Winterberries free pattern. It certainly has been my most popular free pattern to date and I hope all of you enjoy stitching it. Again, thank you, everyone, for entering my giveaway, following my blog, and being such wonderful friends!


Jennie Lynn

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Winterberries Free Pattern

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I thought that if any of you could find time between shopping and finishing off the left over pumpkin pie you might enjoy stitching my Winterberries free pattern. It's the start of the holiday season and though I don't feel festive just yet I intend on starting some holiday decorating today to hopefully foster the holiday spirit.

This pattern was stitched on a scrap of 30ct R & R linen using all Gentle Arts threads and it measures about 4 inches square. I plan to sew it into an ornament and have the fabric and ribbon all picked out but am waiting until the kids go back to school on Monday. I was anxious to share it, though, and try out my new idea. I would like to try something a little different with my free patterns. Winterberries will be my test run and hopefully some of you are willing to be my lab mice :)

On the Free Patterns page, below the photo of Winterberries, there is a link (a little bird to be precise). Click on the link and a PDF of the pattern should open in a separate window. From there you can either print the pattern or download the file onto your computer. I've tried this on all three computers in the house and it's worked each time. Of course, that's no indication it will work for everyone else. If you have any difficulties downloading the pattern e-mail me and I will send you the PDF file as an attachment. Provided everything works out as planned, though, I think this will be a much better way to share my patterns with all of you. The PDF file is just a simpler version of my PDF patterns for purchase and should give everyone a much clearer chart to stitch from. If there are too many issues or if all of you just prefer it I'll go back to the way I did it before. I do hope it works, though. I have plans to convert all of my older free patterns to this format as well, so fingers crossed.

Be sure to let me know what you think!

Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway. My little partridge still needs a home for the holidays.


Jennie Lynn

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone many things to be thankful for this day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Euphemia Myles Finishes

Dora was kind enough to send me a photo of her finish of Euphemia Myles Sampler. She stitched it on 36ct R & R Creme Brulee using all of the suggested threads. Instead of the embroidery on the bottom she added some motifs from my June Blooms free pattern using Gentle Arts Woodrose. Isn't her finish exquisite? I adore the hand stitched quilt binding and am now anxious to try it for myself.

Her timing was impeccable since I have just finished framing my Euphemia Myles Sampler. The frame has been sitting for weeks in my craft room; I just couldn't seem to find the time. I'm not sure where to hang it, which might explain my procrastination. For now it is sitting on our entertainment cabinet, right behind the X-Box console. With four children and a husband who loves all the latest technology my house is an interesting blend of both old and new. I would love a truly prim house but between the building blocks, sippy cups and endless electrical cables my home is more of a hodge podge. I can't complain though. I have a wonderful family and I can't help but smile when I see my son's latest Lego creation perched proudly on the mantle right next to my antique iron stone.

I haven't picked up needle and thread since finishing Cora Lipton's Marking Sampler. My hands have been happily busy but they are aching to stitch again. Josephyn Sayer has been sitting for over a month now almost completed. I had hoped to have her finished and released by Thanksgiving. I suppose I still can but I hate working under a deadline. So much of my life is scheduled, right down to the minute, or at least it seems. I even wait to use the bathroom until it seems my daughter is least likely to get into trouble while I do (any mother of small children will know of what I speak). For me stitching has to remain the one thing I do when my heart tells me to, not the clock or calendar. I realize I have yet to post a photo of my stitching on Josephyn Sayer. When I take it out to stitch next (very soon) I will snap a photo of it first.

Until then I wish you all the best.


Jennie Lynn

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Patridge & A Pear Giveaway

In honor of my one year blog anniversary I am hosting a giveaway for a sweet little partridge make-do and one of my prim pears. This is my creation from the other day and just so you know there is still cinnamon stuck under my fingernails :)

The partridge is heavily painted and stained with wool wings stitched to his body and a rusty top feather made of wire and a little bell. He is firmly stuffed with cotton and tied with string to a painted and aged wooden base. The pear is painted and then dusted with cinnamon and coffee grinds and smells wonderful! The make-do measures about 9 inches tall including the base and the partridge measures about 7 inches from tail to beak.

The rules to enter are simple. You must be a follower of my blog (new followers welcome) and leave a comment on this post. That's it! (My apologies but I can only ship within the US). Though it's not a requirement to enter feel free to post about my giveaway on your blog or post my link on your sidebar. I will draw the winner on November 30th, the anniversary of my first post.

Everyone says it but I can't believe it's been a year since I started my blog. It started entirely on a whim, bored sitting at my computer one evening. It's grown a bit since then; I'm nearing my 100th posting and have over 150 followers. I would never have guessed I would have had that much to share or that so many people would be interested in it. I am so thankful for all of my followers and for all the friends I have made in the past year. I can't say how much I appreciate all of you. Reading your comments and seeing your finishes of my patterns always brightens my day. This blog has become such a part of my life I can't imagine ever stopping but it wouldn't be any fun at all without all of you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart <3


Jennie Lynn

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting dirty . . .

I'll keep what I'm working on a secret for now but here are just a few of my supplies. Please tell me I'm not the only one with a collection of rusty treasures? I would rather work with them than I would the shiniest gold.

How about a steaming jar of coffee stain? I personally prefer that to actual coffee. I'm a tea drinker myself.

Today the stitching stayed in its' basket. There was still handwork to be done,though. The best thing about today? I got good and dirty! My fingers are stained with rust and there's cinnamon stuck under my fingernails. I'll have to take a scrub brush to my hands tonight but boy was it fun :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Back

I've heard people complain about it getting darker out sooner, protest the long nights, the lack of sunshine. Personally, I love it :) Maybe we run fewer errands and do a little less cleaning. No more yard work and less light to clean the trash out of the van. Instead there are long dinners that last well beyond the food. Lengthy conversations over empty plates as the sun goes down instead of running out the door to the grocery store. No more evening walks and playing at the park. Instead there are dance parties in the living room, my husband playing the guitar and making up silly songs with the boys. For every season there is a purpose . . . but this one is my favorite!

Even if you don't agree, really, who couldn't use a little more time? What do you plan on doing with your "extra" hour?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Cora Lipton's Marking Sampler

I have finally finished my little marking sampler. It was an absolute joy to stitch. Though I doubt I could do it often, it was wonderful to sit down and just stitch without worrying about counting stitches or constantly having to look back to a chart. I must confess that I did cheat, or at least try to. When I began stitching the cursive alphabet up top of the sampler it became obvious I was going to have trouble fitting a full alphabet. I did pull up my pattern maker software and try to configure it in such a way that I could include the entire alphabet. I couldn't figure out how to do it without frogging stitches so I left it as is. I have seen many antique samplers with incomplete alphabets so I imagine I am in good company in just simply running out of room.

In this sampler I also experimented with intentionally pulling stitches so that the piece would look as if it were worn through time. I left out a couple of letters and a few of the borders are incomplete and I purposefully left blank most of the lower part of the sampler. In a few places I pulled the thread under in the back to secure it and then pulled it back out through the front in the last place I had stitched leaving a little of the thread hanging to make it look as though the stitching had come undone. Again, I doubt I could do this regularly but it does give the sampler a very old feel to it.

The threads are lovely. I used Gentle Arts Picnic Basket, Gentle Arts Toasted Barley and Gentle Arts Wood Trail as well as Crescent Colours Green Onion and Crescent Colours Onion Skin. They are beautifully faded colors of brown and green with Crescent Colours Green Onion being the most subtle. It mostly appears as white but there are slight hints of a very pale green. I adored working with the thread. I didn't intend to stitch the entire cursive alphabet in that particular color but once I started stitching with it I didn't want to stop. The linen is a scrap of 30ct R & R Reproductions Flax. It's a smaller pattern and not much linen is needed.

When the sampler was finished I signed the bottom Cora Lipton. For a week's worth of evening stitching my husband and I were watching Band of Brothers on DVD. I have an affinity for war films and it is a wonderful mini-series. Lipton is the last name of one of mine and my husband's favorite characters. I can't explain it but the name got stuck in my head and it just seemed . . . right. Cora was simply a first name that I liked. It is odd how we come up with these things isn't it? Wrapped up in this little sampler is a memory of my life that will now always come to mind when I look at in years to come. I imagine each and every one of you can say the same thing about things you have stitched. It doesn't always occur to me as I'm stitching but it is true that every stitch carries with it a little piece of the women (or man) stitching it of that moment in her life.

I finished the piece by folding over the edges and binding it with a blanket stitch. I've considered stitching a ribbon to the back and hanging it on the dresser in my bedroom. For the time being it looks lovely sitting on the table in the living room. I just have to remember to move it every time Mina climbs onto the sofa :)

If you would like to stitch this little sampler it is available as an e-pattern only and the cost is $7.50. The pattern is complete, showing all the "missing" stitches and a second chart included contains the rest of the cursive alphabet. Perhaps you could find a way to incorporate the remaining letters into the pattern? The sections where I chose to have "missing" stitches are marked. As always the pattern will include a color photo of the finished piece, both black and white and color charts to print and finishing instructions.

If you would like to purchase the pattern for Cora Lipton's Marking Sampler you can e-mail me or use the Paypal button on My Design page.

Now onto finishing the sampler I put aside when I started working on this one. There seems to be a never ending stash of designs to stitch but unlike with say, laundry, I love always having something waiting to be worked on :)


Jennie Lynn

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

No stitching, but something even better. This is a picture from our outing yesterday. We took the children out of school early and went to not one but two pumpkin patches. The first has the most spectactular corn maze. It has large towers to climb up, rope bridges, and tunnels to climb through. I lost track of the boys more than once as the ran through the maze. This was Mina's second trip and her first since she's learned to walk. This is the only photo I have of her that isn't of her backside as she's running off. The second pumpkin patch is where we selected our pumpkins. I didn't take many pictures there since I was the one tasked with pulling the wagon that carried both Mina and the pumpkins.

It was a wonderful day and for our family the official start of the Autumn season. How are you celebrating the season?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A gift from a friend and a giveaway prize

My sweet, sweet friend Lynn sent me this little care package of flosses. Two are Crescent Colours which I don't normally stitch with and don't really have a stash of. Of course now I need to start one. She also sent a skein of Gentle Arts Brandy. I already have a skein (or two) of that thread but the one she sent me is a completely different shade. That's one of the things I adore about hand dyed threads: no two dye lots are identical. It was such a sweet and unexpected little surprise. Thank you, Lynn!

My second surprise this week was winning Sandy's giveaway on her blog The Humble Stitcher. This sweet little pinkeep arrived in the mail just yesterday. The stitching on the piece is beautiful and the fall colors are so rich. My youngest daughter, Mina, went to it as soon as I opened the package. Apparently, she's a lover of prim as well. She especially loved the buttons hanging for its' beak. I haven't decided yet where I'm going to keep this little lovely but it will have to be out of her reach.

Last week Mina was evaluated for a speech delay. Despite being 20 months old she has the speech production of a 9-12 month old. Both of her older brothers had moderate speech delays and are still receiving therapy for some articulation issues. They're seven and nine years old, so issues like these aren't resolved quickly. It's a struggle for both Mina and I, but having been through it twice already I feel as though I am in more of a position to help her than I was with either of my sons. I am just thankful that this is so far the biggest challenge any of my children have had to face.

Other than that it's been quiet here. Later this week my husband is going out of town. It's both a blessing and a curse. I enjoy having time with just the children and I and yet it's also very challenging having so much time with just the children and I. I don't realize how much I rely on my husband for back up until he's not there to help. The weather is warming up again; Summer is having one last hoorah. By next week the Autumn season will be in full swing. The Halloween costumes will be arriving, we've planned a trip to the local pumpkin patch and corn maze, and soon after will follow pumpkin carving and decorating. By far my favorite time of the year it always goes so fast. I've often complained to my husband to move to a part of the country where the weather is more often like it is now. I swear, Summers here last nine months of the year. But then again if we did move to such a place then Autumn wouldn't be nearly as precious, so I'll simply enjoy the days I have, and wish all of you the same.


Jennie Lynn

Friday, October 7, 2011

Progress . . .

My little project appears to be turning to a small marking sampler. I stitched row after row of borders then decided to add in the alphabet. Since I took this photo I've added an uppercase alphabet as well. Another alphabet? Some motifs? I have no idea where I'm going to go next and I'm perfectly fine with that!

My laptop is currently out of commission. I know nothing about computers; that's my husband's department. I do know that I love my laptop. I also know that it's the only laptop we own that hasn't (in four years) ever had to be taken in to be repaired. It's the only laptop of that particular brand that we own and has turned out to be a real trooper taking quite a bit of abuse and never once failing. It's funny, though, because the only reason I purchased that brand was because it was the only laptop available at the time that came in pink. A silly reason, I know, but it worked out well for me. The only issue I have ever had is having to replace the power cord. This will be the fourth time I've had to do that. It's a small expense compared to other computer repairs we've had but I do have to wait for it to arrive in the mail. For the time being I'm "borrowing" the children's laptop which doesn't have any of my photos, files, or programs. I actually think the kids are having a harder time of it than I am having to share with Mommy who can be a bit of a computer hog.

Well, there is always a bright side, and less time putzing on the computer means more time to stitch!


Jennie Lynn

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flea Market Find

This past Saturday was the perfect fall day. It was in the mid 60's (a little chilly) but sunny with a nice breeze. I should have been cleaning out our mudroom but couldn't bear to stay indoors. After rummaging through bins to find cool weather clothes from last year that still fit the boys and after they gathered together their allowance monies we went to the local flea market. I feel it's my responsibility as a parent to pass on the joy of flea markets and antique stores to my children and each boy did indeed find his own "must have". It makes me so proud to see :)

Helping them look through the booths and count out their money left little time for me to browse but I did find this wonderful antique photo album. I love collecting old photos though my husband finds them a bit creepy. Despite that, I decorate throughout the house with them, dotted here and there amongst other displays, changing them out every so often. The ones that aren't displayed I would keep in an envelope in a drawer. This photo album is soooo much nicer and I couldn't pass it up.

Here are a few of my photos tucked neatly into the pages. The book is old and worn which to my eyes makes it all the more beautiful. The spine is damaged but the album still looks great tucked into the bookshelves in the dining room. The picture below is one of my favorites. The baby has the cutest expression on his/her face.

When we got home my youngest son began inspecting his wares. He had chose a tray with some small wine glasses. He draped a dish towel over his arm and served us all water at the dinner table. He practiced carrying the glasses on his tray without spilling. He did this throughout the day. Everyone had to carefully navigate around him while he was practicing and I always had water on hand to drink, whether or not I was thirsty :)

I still haven't gotten the mudroom tidied up but as far as I'm concerned it's more than a fair trade. Cleaning can wait; memories can't. I hope everyone enjoyed the first October weekend and hopefully soon I'll have some pictures to share of my stitching.


Jennie Lynn

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taking a different path today . . .

For the past week or so I've been working on another sampler. It's lovely and I am enjoying stitching it but . . . maybe it's because it's a large sampler? perhaps it's because I had so much difficulty choosing the right threads? could it be because I'm stitching from a printed chart? Whatever the reason, I decided today I needed a little change of direction. This morning I took a scrap piece of linen from the basket, a few colors of thread that I liked, and just sat down and started stitching. It's so relaxing to just stitch without having to constantly reference a chart, worry about what thread color I'm going to stitch with next, or count to make sure my stitches line up

I have to admit I'm enjoying traveling without a map. I'll post photos tomorrow of what I've come up with so far.


Jennie Lynn

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Apple Tree Free Pattern

I adore apples and not just apples but apple orchards as well. Growing up in Upstate New York I have the utmost appreciation for the beauty of apple trees year round. Even in Winter the bare branches are beautiful covered in snow. The bark is almost black and the trees have such a striking shape contrasted against the snow. When I was younger they would bring to mind the writhing limbs of a tortured soul, but I was a morose teenager. Now they look to me as if they are dancing.

In Spring the blossoms can boast the most lovely shade of pink I have ever seen. I have such fond memories of the Apple Blossom Festival every year in the town I grew up in. And of course in Autumn they bear such a wonderful fruit even as the leaves on the branches begin to change.

Where we live in Maryland there are no apple orchards and though cherry trees can be quite beautiful they do not (to my mind) hold a candle to apple trees. I do miss my hometown, apple trees being just one of many reasons. In their honor and in honor of the town I grew up in, here is this month's free pattern. It was originally meant to be part of a larger sampler but in the end I opted for a tree with a slightly different shape. The two apples depicted here are Macintosh and Red Delicious, two of my favorites stitched using Gentle Arts Mulberry and Gentle Arts Limited Edition Plum Pudding. The tree is stitched with Weeks Dye Works Bark and the leaves are Gentle Arts Endive. If you would like to stitch this pattern for yourself you can find it on my Free Patterns page. I hope you enjoy this pattern and just in time for the start of apple picking season.


Jennie Lynn

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hooray! New Threads . . .

I thought I would share with you some new thread releases that I recently received. They just arrived in the mail today. What a wonderful treat on a Monday!

The first is from Crescent Colours. It's not a thread line I use often but these new colors are wonderful. When I ordered them I was told they were "plain". You know what I love about over-dyed threads? They're never plain. There's always so much subtle variegation and depth in even such a "simple" color as brown or grey. I specifically like Eggshell and Polliwog. Brown Hen is a very complicated color with light and dark brown with hints of grey/green and yellow. Honestly, I don't know how to describe it.

The next is Gentle Arts. You've already seen Antique Lace; it's used in Blest Art. Wheat Fields is my favorite of the new threads. It's a wonderful combination of dark and light gold and green. It's perfect for Autumn and I'm trying desperately to fit it into a design but that rarely ever works for me. I'm sure that if I let it sit long enough on my table it will eventually inspire its' own design. I'm still waiting on the new Weeks Dye Works colors but I'll share a picture when I receive them.

On another note, a friend of mine purchased the e-pattern for Marked Anne and commented that she had difficulty printing the pattern so that the chart lines were dark enough for her to see. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, please let me know. I always print out a test of all my e-patterns and assume that if it prints well for me that it will for everyone else. If you've had any problems please e-mail me. I would hate to think that anyone purchased a chart they couldn't use.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have this month's free pattern stitched and ready to post. It's in honor of my favorite time of year, apple picking season. Until then I hope everyones week got off to as good a start as mine did.


Jennie Lynn

Monday, September 12, 2011

Marked Anne

Marked Anne is my another recent finish, a smaller piece done in Gentle Arts Nutmeg and Dark Chocolate. My intention was to finish it into a pincushion but it seems just a little too large. Stitched on 30ct R & R Reproductions Dye Pot Blend it measures approximately 5 inches by 9 inches. Perhaps I will still stitch it into a little pincushion or pillow or maybe framed along with all my other pieces patiently waiting. I adore the rusty pumpkin orange and the linen has a hint or orange to it as well. It's a very simply primitive piece and a quick stitch taking me only a few evenings to finish.

Between this and Blest Art I am certainly gravitating towards those wonderful "Halloween" colors of black, orange, and green. The weather here the past few days has been wretched, 85 degrees and humid, as far from Autumn as I could imagine. Here in Maryland the season won't begin to turn until the end of October. But as the calendar says Autumn is approaching I will choose to make it so in my mind regardless of the weather outside.

Marked Anne is available for purchase as either a printed or e-pattern. You can visit My Design page or e-mail me directly for more information, pricing, and to order. Thank you to everyone who ordered the Blest Art pattern and I know some of you are already begun stitching on Euphemia Myles Sampler. I can't wait to see finishes!

After my mad dash to finish Blest Art I will most likely take a night or two off from stitching. I believe my husband is starting to feel neglected. These past few nights I've done little more than shush him while I was preoccupied counting stitches. A little rest is in order but I do promise September's free pattern soon along with a sneak peak of my next pattern. I can't keep from needle and thread for too long!


Jennie Lynn

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blest Art Sampler

Blest Art is finally finished! I've been busily (and happily) stitching away at it every free minute this past week, hence my lack of blogging. It is finished, though still unframed. I just couldn't wait to share it.

I have been working on this piece for awhile now, stopping from time to time to work on another piece, but then dutifully returning. The design is somewhat whimsical (for me anyway) which I've come to like in it. As I said before, the border was a bit of challenge to design and I had to go back and tweak it a few times after I had started stitching. I do like it, even though it is a bit wonky. I had difficulty choosing how to design the vine border between the first to lines of the alphabet. I'd considered stitching a simpler version of the outer border but in the end decided on a stem stitched vine with a few little leaves added in cross stitch. Finding the perfect color white was challenging as well. Thank goodness for Gentle Arts latest thread releases. The color looked perfect online and I ordered it right away but still I had my doubts. When my package from Gentle Arts finally arrived the color was even better than I had originally thought. Of course I opened the package minutes before the children were due home from school with hours left before I could stitch with it. I think I showed a great deal of patience that day though I do admit to rushing through the evening cleaning. GA Cornhusk is a wonderful color as well. It's a little bright and I was skeptical at first but as I began stitching it won me over quite quickly

The colors are Gentle Arts Cornhusk, Weeks Dye Works Onyx and a new color from Gentle Arts Antique Lace. It was stitched on 30ct R and R Reproductions American Chestnut and finished measures approximately 12 inches square.

The verse is one of my favorites. Be my ambition to excel in the blest art of doing well. I adore the sentiment and hope I in my own life take care to do well in all that I choose to do.

The pattern is available for purchase as either a printed or e-pattern. You can visit My Design page or e-mail me directly for more information, pricing, and to order. I have one more finish to show you (what I worked on while waiting for my thread to be delivered). Hopefully I will find the time to post it tomorrow; for now the time has come to start preparing dinner. I hope you enjoy the pattern and please let me know what you think of it.


Jennie Lynn

Monday, August 22, 2011

Progress on at least something . . .

The drama of the air conditioning unit continues . . .

The gentleman who came out last week looked at the unit for all of five minutes and decided it couldn't be repaired but rather needed to be replaced. I was a little skeptical. He spent more time writing up the bill than he did actually inspecting our air conditioner. I asked that someone come out today to do a full appraisal. The gentleman who came out today came to the same conclusion but he spent almost an hour examining the unit and talking to my husband. So it looks like we are getting a new central air conditioner. I'm both a little excited and nervous. Any major home repair puts me on pins and needles and not the kind I like :)

Now begins the negotiating between the heating and cooling company and our home warranty company. So far both have been very accommodating so I have high hopes. We're still waiting on the actual bid to do the work then we need approval before any work can be done. Right now we're just . . . waiting. By our estimate the whole process will take about two to three weeks. Then of course we have to put the attic back together and start repairing all the water damage. For having gotten so much done in the past week it feels as though so little was actually accomplished.

I did manage to make progress on Blest Art. Virtually all of the alphabet is finished as well as some of the verse. I'm still not entirely happy with the white thread I've chosen. I'm in the middle of a pretty heated argument with myself about the color when I get an e-mail from Gentle Arts about their new thread releases. Have you seen them yet? If you haven't you can see them here. Antique Lace looks perfect! It's hard to be sure with nothing but an image on a computer monitor but I went ahead and ordered it. I'll just hold off on stitching those parts of the sampler. Even if I don't end up using it for this particular piece I'm always thrilled to order new threads. They are like candy to me and there can never be too many colors to choose from :)

In the future I promise to talk a little more about stitching and a little less about my air conditioner. It has dominated my life this past week and I fear that will not end anytime soon but nothing can keep me from needle and thread for too long :)


Jennie Lynn