Saturday, July 22, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

*NEW* B is for Beekeeper

As things usually go when being inspired by life rather than doing things in proper order, the fifth letter in my alphabet series is actually the 2nd. But hopefully no one will complain too loudly, because sometimes there is no controlling the creative portion of my brain.

After a few decades of being interested in keeping bees, I started my first hive this Spring. And now I don’t think there will ever be a time when I stop doing so. I am absolutely in love with the processes involved in caring for a honey bee colony, and find myself looking forward to each hive inspection as it comes, and being sad when I have to close up the hive for the week. These tiny creatures are fascinating and clever and inspiring all at the same time. I’m thrilled to be added to a long history of beekeeping on planet Earth.

Honeybees can thrive on their own without human intervention, but there is evidence to suggest that we have been interacting with them from as early as 7000 BC, based on traces of beeswax found in Middle Eastern pot sherds from that time. It appears that beekeeping on a commercial scale dates back to sometime before 2422 BC; on the walls of the sun temple of Nyuserre Ini in Egypt, workers are depicted blowing smoke into hives while they remove honeycomb. Archaeological finds related to beekeeping have been found on every continent.

I don’t have a planned release scheduled for this series. With 26 letters to chart, it might take me ten years to get through them all, since I have other ideas and plans and designs in the works too. They won’t be released in alphabetical order, but instead, as inspiration strikes. The one thing you can count on is that they will all be round, designed to fit into the same frame, which can be found here on etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/178555694/6x6-picture-frame-with-circle-opening?ga_search_query=circle+frame&ref=shop_items_search_2 When you purchase a frame from their shop, they have generously offered a coupon code just for my customers! Enter HEARTSTRING10 at checkout to get ten percent off of your order (this coupon code won't work in MY shop, but only in the SignedandNumbered shop).

You could buy one frame and swap out the letters as you see fit, or a grouping of four or more of them for a nice collection to spell out your last name or a favorite word.

Or, you could finish your pieces as ornaments for an alphabet tree. The options are multiple; use your creativity!

Stitch Count: 80 x 80
Model stitched with one thread over two
on Picture This Plus 32ct. Legacy

Using threads from:
The Gentle Art: Green with Envy, Grecian Gold, Endive, Pecan Pie
Weeks Dye Works: Sandcastle, Cocoa, Deep Sea, Gold, Teal Frost

Conversion to DMC included with the chart.

Frame by Signed and Numbered:
6” Circle Opening Super Vintage Roman Gold

This design is now available in my etsy shop, and will soon be in the hands of my distributors and the shops on my auto ship list. If you prefer to bypass etsy and order directly through me, you can send me an email: beth@heartstringsamplery.com

Friday, July 07, 2017

Summer Break: Week Four

The week started with a celebration/retirement dinner for our Senior Pastor, who has led the same congregation for 29 years. We've only been a part of the church for 2, but we thoroughly enjoyed hearing the stories and meeting the people that go back much further in life history with this man and his family. I volunteered as a photographer, so I got to roam the room, snapping photos to my heart's content. Which is probably partially to blame for the fact that I have very few pictures representing the rest of week 4 of Summer Break.

The next day, we hosted a gathering of all of my siblings (except the one that lives over-seas), together with their spouses and kids, plus my parents and an Uncle. We try to gather as often as we all can, which usually amounts to twice a year, when my Montana sister comes to visit. With 11 adults and 11 kids, I was very glad it was a sunny day so we didn't have to crown into my little house. The cousins had great fun running around, while the grown-ups sat in the shade and swapped stories. And I did more relaxing and hosting that photo snapping.

Two days later, our yard was full again, this time with friends, talking, laughing, eating, then going to see the local fireworks. We think we've finally found the best spot to view the display, after a few years of trial and error. 

The rest of the week included band practice, lots of pool time for the kids, printing and assembling a new design for y'all, harvesting the first of our raspberries, lots of work on renovating the back deck, and a trip to the city to visit my local needlework shop and pick up models from their trunk show. 

Methinks busy = less photographic evidence. 


















Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer Break: Week Three

The week started out so stinking hot it made every part of me hurt. Not really, I don't suffer from chronic pain, so I don't want to make light of that statement. But heat and Beth do not mix well. And since the heat comes so rarely to our part of the world, most people don't have air conditioning. I make do by hanging quilts over all of the West-facing windows, basically turning the house into as dark and cool of a cave as possible. It always works well for the first day or two, but by the third and fourth day of a heat wave, it's pretty much impossible to bring the house down under 80 degrees. Which does not make me a happy girl.

Enter the new swimming pool. Which is still so cold from all of that well water, that thirty minutes soaking in it chilled me to the bone. Afterward, sitting in an 80 degree house, it took 3 hours for my feet to warm back up. It feels good knowing that I now have a legitimate coping mechanism for heat waves. :D

Other than trying to stay cool, there was VBS to take the kids to, and the usual errands to run. The Farmboy took the week off and started tearing the nearly-20-year-old deck off of the back of the house. We ate in the front yard almost every night and tried to relax as much as possible. I even dialed my work back quite a bit, only taking two runs into town to mail orders, and only answering the most pressing emails.

I ate the first blueberry of the season and showed up to band practice wearing the same shoes as the others (minus one) (yay for Converse!). There were two giant Jackfruits at the local Grocery, which impressed the kids. And I got to end the week with a tea date with my Mama and two Sisters and one highly squeezable Nephew.























Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer Break: Week Two

The sun returned at last, and with the sun, the bees were out foraging and there was playtime at the new RC Car track carved out at the back of the field. Father's Day was mellow and relaxed, with the Farmboy insisting on doing the cooking: BBQ ribs with all the fixins' and fresh homemade Rhubarb Crisp (made by me) with ice cream.

There was Rhubarb Jam making and sunbeams and music making and way too much fill-stitching (watch for this lovely reproduction sampler this Fall). And with the threat of our first heat wave of the Summer, we surprised the kids with our first "real" swimming pool; one big enough to require tractor work to level the ground plus 4000 gallons of really really cold well water. I'm not going in first!