I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Sweetie came home last night with his arms full of blossoms. This is an Azalea plant. I just love the colors. The instructions says best to keep at a cool temperature 65-70F. In our west Texas environment, that is going to be difficult. The greenhouse, even with the windows open, has gotten warmer than that on sunny days. I would love to plant it out in the garden to get it to grow big, but am afraid that I will lose it . A large container right now will be what I choose. Have any of you dealt with Azaleas before? What are your suggestions? I have already matched my embroidery floss to it ......... (inspiration for a later embroidery project..) I had a beautiful primrose in early February and already it is looking sad from the warm weather we are getting. Any information any of you have , would be great!

Monday, April 28, 2008


A friend that recently visited, commented on this embroidered bird I have hanging on the wall of our living room. She had said she had seen a bird like this the other day. I get a lot of good ideas for color and detail in watching the birds at our feeder. This is how I came to stitch this piece. We have little birds that look like they are wearing bicycle helmets. They are so cute. Sometimes I will draw a bird to stitch, but I have come to love Aunt Martha's hot iron transfers for the outline shape in the pattern. I have several patterns I have collected over the years, and one of these is the pattern set called "Birds Galore" which has several birds including the Cardinal in it. So I hand trace the outline of the design on to my fabric, and then I use the stitches I love to embellish and add a few things to make the pattern come to life.
This is the bird I chose to look like the one at our feeder
Hours of time, and thousands of stitches. As you can see, I added extra flower clusters, ripples in the wood fence and grass underneath the fence. I have learned that if you right click onto the picture with your mouse, you can see the detailed stitches better.

I actually took my floss outside and laid against on of our trees and flowers to get the true color for this piece. I tried it on the bird, but he would not stay still! {: I think I might do a cardinal next because we have one that has been coming up to eat the past few days. Do any of you have a favorite bird?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A fun filled anniversary day

Hi everyone. Thank you all for you sweet anniversary
wishes. We had a wonderful day filled with fun.
Our whole family got to go with us, as school was
out for a bad weather day, and one son was off
from work. We went to one of our favorite places,
Lubbock, TX. home of the late Buddy Holly. Among
shopping and eating, we went to our favorite museum,
The National Ranching Heritage Center, where they
have over 40 exhibits, which are old cabins and houses
dating as far back as 1780. One particular house I have
always wanted to go into, but always is closed for different
reasons, is this one pictured below. This Queen Anne style
house was built in 1909. When we arrived, we asked if
we might be able to go inside, the desk clerk said it was
closed for renovations. Just about that time, another lady
was trying to wrestle a treadmill sewing machine out the
door. My son and husband helped her get it onto the path. In
talking with her, we found out she was the museum's curator,
and was taking the machine to the house we wanted to go into.
Because my son and husband helped her get it into the house, she
let us have a tour!! We even got to go upstairs where no one is
allowed, even on tour days! What a treat. I wanted to stay there!
So here are some pictures of just a couple of the houses and
their kitchens.

1909 Queen Anne style house

I just love this old stove!

The kitchen of the 1909 Queen Anne and

an 1883, 1900, 1917 single room cabin made into

a complex dwelling as the family grew.

The Bedroom and the kitchen

Of course there were so many more homes and cabins

but the pictures do not do them justice. No matter how

many times we visit this place, I still find something I didn't

see before. As my chicks are growing and leaving the nest, I have

a feeling this might be the last time we have a chance to all visit here

together. I feel so blessed and grateful to have had such a wonderful

time. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Dedication for the One I Love

our wedding invitation from all those years ago

April 26th, 2008
25 years have passed...... has it been that long? Look at all we have gone through.... together! So many roads taken and explored. So many mountains climbed... so many valleys walked through. I could not have done any of this without you by my side. You still look the same to me as the first time I met you and I still love you as much....even more. Happy 25th anniversary, Sweetie! With all my heart, all my love.... all my life. (kathy)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Do you remember Mrs. Buttersworth in Glass?

Through the years, I have made quite a lot of pancakes, and have bought quite a lot of syrup. My children liked Mrs. Buttersworth better. That was back when her bottles were made of glass. Along with embroidery, I also like to play with paint now and then. I thought it was a shame to throw these cute bottles away and one day decided to give Mrs. Buttersworth a makeover. Here are the results.{: The red bottle is one of the later produced with a plastic cap. The green is older and has a metal cap. My son found her half-way buried under one of Bell's trees in her back yard. He knew how much I loved these bottles and asked Bell if he could give it to me. I have a couple of the much older, much larger ones that I found at flea markets, and I have a wonderful friend in Dallas who used to mail them to me. I have about a dozen with the plastic caps waiting to be painted, and a few with metal caps. I hesitate to paint them now that they are no longer made of glass. I only have these two painted and have given one in blue away to a friend for her kitchen. My idea was to replace the plastic caps with pump dispensers so that the bottles could be used for lotion or dish soap. As you can tell, each lady has an apron and a hat with flowers. I also name my bottles. The green is Mirella and the red is Clara Beth. I spent the weekend stitching and since I didn't have any thing new stitched to show, I thought this might make you smile.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A stitching weekend

Well, I have much to do and that's where I am..... hopefully, getting it done. {: I hope to be stitching to get my projects finished, taking care of neglected housework, and playing in the mud out in the greenhouse. I will be back in a few days, so until then, take a look at my previous posts, stop and say hi! For all of my friends who have left your sweet comments, let me just tell you all how much you make my day! So to everyone, have a blessed weekend!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I've been tagged!

Julie, at http://gingerbread-pumpkin.blogspot.com/ has tagged me and I am supposed to tell 6 things about myself. Ok, here goes.....

1. My favorite colors are pink, greens, rusts, and other autumn colors.

2. My favorite time of year is Autumn. The evening sky has a certain glow to it,
and I love the time of caramel apples and pumpkins.

3. When I was young, I had dreams of being a songwriter and going to Nashville,
however, I chose love, marriage, and family instead. ( I wrote our wedding
song). Before marriage, I won first place in my first talent show, auditioned to
be in a vocal group at a college, got the audition and a scholarship, and from
that, was asked to sing at every one's weddings across the country.

4. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's a time for family and being grateful
for our blessings.

5. Hearing someone laugh always makes me laugh.

6. I feel my life will be certified "well done" if my children will grow up to be
happy. Money and things won't matter. All that matters is if they are happy.
Well, that is all for now. All of you have a wonderful weekend, blessings, Kathleen

Thursday, April 17, 2008

crocheted curtain or crocheted tablecloth?

In between embroidery, I pick up my crochet hook now and then to play with different projects I hope to one day finish. Do any of you have several projects that you have not quite finished? Our home is a little over 100 years old, and it has very large over-sized windows through out with large wood framing. They measure 82 in. in length and 56 in. in width including the frame work. When I first saw them, while we were in the process of purchasing our home, my first thought was.... these need lace curtains, especially the dining room. While going through some older crochet material I have, I found the pattern for this beautiful square pineapple doily. I left off the scalloped edge so that I can join the squares together. Not sure how many it is going to take, and I have no idea when I will get them all finished. But I think they would be beautiful for a curtain. However, one friend who has seen them commented on how pretty they would be made into a tablecloth for our table. What do you think? Have any of you crocheted curtains or tablecloths ? If so, what did you fix to be able to hang the curtain. All suggestions, I am writing down and placing them with the pattern. So thank you if you can help!{:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Old becoming new again

I'm sure you have all noticed how older things we once knew from decades ago, have a way of showing up and being the latest new trend? I love dolls, especially Horseman dolls. The rubber bodied, no movable arms or legs, and with plastic sculpted hair. I also love making doll clothes. I have a box of unclothed Horseman baby dolls waiting for a wardrobe.( Another tucked away dream of someday fixing a wardrobe, plus a carrying case to sell with the doll. ) Last year, I was delighted to find in the pattern section, Simplicity pattern company has reproduced their baby doll clothes patterns. On the front of the envelope it says Simplicity archives and I think this is a pattern from around the 1960's. This pattern number is 4707 and has 3 sizes for the patterns. I had put this away, to use at a later date, but thought about it the other day after a visit with my friend Bell. I have mentioned Bell in earlier posts. She is 91 and along with her late husband, has spent years traveling to flea markets, stocking up her shop with wonderful antique finds. She still lives at home, can only get around with the help of her motorized chair, and still has a love for antiques and flowers. While visiting with her, I went on my usual round looking at her treasures. Lying on a pile of old dust covered magazines was this poor little doll waiting to be rescued. So here she is in need of a good scrubbing and a decent wardrobe. She is an Alexander doll, yet I am still not sure how old she is. So..... as soon as I get that tablecloth done....... well, I'm sure you all know how this story goes. {:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Time for trade days

The weekend was filled with the gardening and embroidery worked I had planned to do, yet, I was still able to "steal away" to a neighboring town for their trade days. We usually go at least once a year. Last year, I enjoyed the folks who brought their turkey, chickens and pheasants for sale. I also met the little old man who gave me the pine cone seeds and who planted the idea of raising pine trees in my heart. So as soon as we arrived, I headed out in search of these two favorites. I was so disappointed, as I did not find either one. However, all was not lost. I found these pretty cafe curtains at a booth for such a good price. They are from the Martha Stewart Collection. I did not buy them for my windows, I bought them because the embroidery and edging is beautiful. I was thinking how pretty one would be made into an apron perhaps? I still have plenty gingham and floral material that would also be pretty to go along with it, or it would be just as nice left alone with just a apron tie belt of white cotton added. I always hang on to something like this for a little while before I take scissors to it. Other ideas always pop up.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Coming along......slowly

I have been working on a tablecloth for a friend of mine......since November? Has that much time already gotten past me? If I had not been lured away with spring fever, playing out in the mud, and on the computer as much as I have been, I would have made more progress. One thing I have made myself a goal for, is to finish this tablecloth within the next 6 weeks. I have a short side panel done, and the eyelet swirls done all the way around. Now I still have leaves and roses to finish. If I did not have to clean house, cook meals, and run errands, I could do nothing but stitch all day! So I am determined to be more disciplined and will probably not post here until the weekend is over. Although I need to say, with all of the rain we got last night, I will also do some much needed work outside.{: The photos above show the picots, roses and leaves. I can't wait to have this done and to hear how it looks on my friends table. So for all of you, dear friends, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I will catch up with you next week!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A cookbook/cooking blog

Hello everyone, in case you have not found out already, I just started up a country kitchen blog. I hope to share cookbooks, recipes, and vintage kitchen finds along the way with other tasty tidbits. You can find my link on this blog or go to http://countrykitchenkat.blogspot.com/ . I hope you all enjoy it!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

gathering inspiration

Hello everyone, hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I spent this weekend, working on a tablecloth for a dear friend. I really want to get it finished as she has just moved into a new home... a great house warming gift. Several have asked me about my esty shop... I would love to have one. My work is very slow in finishing, so it takes me a good long while to have things ready for sale. The things I have completed are usually sold to existing customers who are acquainted through the years with my work and are usually wanting to see what I have next. However, I have made myself an "etsy shop box" in which I am trying to finish one thing a month to place in there to get ready to "open shop" as they say{: . The previous posts showing the pillow cases and coaster sets are some of the items waiting. While I worked outside this weekend, I stopped to take pictures of the newest blooming flowers. They are such good inspiration for design and color in my embroidery. As it is getting warmer, the crawly creatures start showing themselves. I have found such beauty in spider webs and colorful bugs. Nature offers such a beautiful palette to work with.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Embroidered cocktail coasters

A few years ago, I stamped an ordinary cloth with various designs just to get the red ink off of the transfers. I find that if the red inked transfers are stored a long period of time, the design rubs off on other transfers. I then keep the transfer for later on and hand trace it on to what ever it is I want to embroider. I came across this cloth a few weeks ago and thought the designs were so pretty that they needed to be made into something. While browsing vintage textile sites, I have often seen little embroidered cocktail coasters in sets of 6 or 12. They are just as adorable as can be. These are a little larger, but still so cute for springtime and glasses of lemonade. I embroidered one and need to satin stitch or buttonhole the edges. I need to decide on two other designs, maybe a butterfly?