Sunday, May 31, 2020

Details on new project -

I was wondering how many people who embroider have tried flower thread? I love the stuff but seldom use it when designing. That is until now. I'm working on a series of new designs and the second one will be made using a combo of Ginnie Thompson flower thread (still being sold !) and DMC flower thread (which isn't). I prefer the DMC and I'm lucky to have a small stash as you can see in the pic above. Since using a thread that's hard to come by, though you can still find it on etsy and ebay, I went in search for conversion charts. Both DMC and Ginnie Thompson have them. I like that there are charts to switch from flower to regular floss, too. The Ginnie Thompson site says that 1 strand of flower thread is equal to 2 strands of floss. I think the 1 strand of floss is so much nicer to stitch words with but it's nice to know what to use as a substitution.

The fabric in in pic is what I'm using for the series. I've been collecting fabrics with clouds, stars, and dots for years. Thought it was time to use one from the large stash. This one even has a bit of sparkle to it :) I like doing series when it comes to the embroideries. So right now there are 4 planned with 2 designs in each release.

I was looking thru pics I've edited to post online and realized I never posted the cookie recipe my husband came up with. He loves oatmeal cookies and will spread them with peanut butter so he decided to combine his 2 favroite cookie recipes and came up with the one below. He wrote out the ingredients and I added the rest.

The peanuts I used were the ones in the shell, and yes I'm the one who opened them all. I tried the oringinal oatmeal cookie recipe with all butter but Jack likes it with 1 stick butter and 1 Fleischmans (dairy-free). The only reason for the dairy free is that it's what's in the house since I'm lactose intollerent.

Some more info on what I used. b soda mean baking soda, the peanut butter was Aldi's Peanut Delite Natural creamy (which is why I used 1 cup of nuts), and the oatmeal is the oldfashioned kind not instant. I did use store bought brown sugar for this recipe but I often use white sugar and add molasses to make brown sugar when I bake.

I'm debating whether to make some ravioli today. The heat wave broke and it's a really nice day for gardening. I still need to get the pepper plants and bean seeds in so cooking may have to be something quick instead.

Here's a pic of one of my favorite tiny flowers, forget-me-nots. Sadly they are growing in a grass section of the yard so when that section needs mowed the flowers are gone. They are strong little plants and rebloom again and again. I've thought about moving them but since the chickens dig up everything newly planted I'm leaving them where they are.

Haley and Dash, 2 of the nine chickens we have. Most of the chickens seem to know their names but Haley comes when you call her. We're worried about them and the ducks since one of the duck girls is missing. Guess she became dinner for something.☹️

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Just a chat - about gardening and more

The weather has changed from a wet spring to hot dry spring. The heat has been so bad it's killed most of the tomato plants I put in last week, so Jack went to a nursery to buy some.

 It's beyond sad when you see plants you nurtured from seed shrivel up and die. The peas, lettuce, and other greens seem to be in a holding pattern of growing. It's like they can't decide whether to keep growing or just die from the heat. 

At least the chives have started blooming. I picked some when they were just buds so we could add them to salads, stir fry, and eggs. We like the tops of the onions and garlic, too. When I was growing up my Mom always snipped them off and tossed them away. It wasn't until I started gardening after getting married that I read about how this was a waste and the tops were great to eat. I grow garlic just for the tops :) but this year not much is coming up so I'm guessing all the rain in the last 2 1/2 years was too much for them.

The rhubarb has gotten large enough to finally get some for pie though I did add strawberries. I transplanted some small clumps from one house to the other but the chickens found them. They couldn't wait to dig in the fresh turned ground. The roots are still burried but the tops were scratched off.

Here's a pic of the yummy pie. Jack had me freeze half since he's on a diet. I love to bake and it's making me crazy that he doesn't want me to right now. The over abundance of eggs is making me want to bake cookies and cakes. I can't eat fried or boiled eggs, only when they've been used in baking. My gut just can't tolerate them. So that means way too many eggs but we do share them.

Here's a funny pic from the garden. Jack went a bit overboard when he planted turnips. You can tell by the way he planted way too many seeds that he loves them (me, not so much). Since I'm the one to do the thinning I save them to add to salads and stir fry. Why waste "micro" greens ;) We bought them at the farm market last year. Now I know it's a lot cheaper to grow our own.

You may be wondering about the TAST embroidering I was posting. Well I'm still printing the stitches every week but find I'm just too busy or tired to do them. I'm not a fan of late spring, summer, early fall because there's just too much yard work with 2 houses. Jack keeps making the garden bigger every year so there's all that work, too.

I am taking time to work on new patterns to sell. I'm updating 3 more clothespin doll patterns. If you missed it I made up kits for those who want to make the dolls but don't have tools for cutting and drilling the clothespins. I'm also working on various embroidery patterns. Don't forget that I have a free one up till June 24. I still don't have the next one drawn out to my liking. I keep changing the flowers but I'll get it done soon.

Hope you all are doing well now that lock downs are ending. Stay safe and don't forget your masks and hand sanitizer!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Next free pattern in the keep calm series

Here's number 2 in my keep calm series. It will be free until June 24th so get it while you can :)

I traced this design using a Micron pen in sepia. When it came time to do the butterfly dashes, I just did dots. You may want to leave them off and free-style the dashes. I did the same with the dashes around the heart.. I traced the rest of the pattern as shown.

Here's an explanation of the stitches I did. The most obivious difference is the outline stitches. Instead of the dashes I couched floss. This was easy to do since I just made small dots with my pen. The heart was done in chain stitch. The butterfly has 2 rows of outline/stem stitch, single feather stitches in the wings, and tiny single straight stitches for the antennae. The center of the flowers are buttonhole wheels, the petals are filled with straight stitches and French knots. The petals, leaves, and text are done in back stitch.

I'm having trouble with my printer. It's smearing everything I print on fabric. This all-in-one is not as good as my old Canon that was just a printer. I don't know if it's the way the fabric/paper is pulled thru or if it's the ink I'm using but it's driving my crazy.

In case you missed my post on the drawing classes I've been taking I wanted to mention #johannabasford, Johanna's web site again. My design was inspired by her classes. She's doing a live class Monday thru Friday on her Facebook page. They are about 1/2 hour. Some are drawing and some are coloring. There are more free classes and printables on her site on the Happy Place page. The drawings she's sharing would be fun to do as embroideries if you wanted to work on something larger.

Sorry if you didn't get last month's pattern. Look for another next month and remember the patterns are only up for 1 month. This one will be up for free until June 24 and then it will be replaced with a new one.Click on the drawing then right click to save it to your hard drive.

©Billie Jo Heisler 2020
All rights reserved

I drew this design by hand then used a software program to edit it.
Please consider the drawing copyrighted. You have my permission to print copies of the drawing in any size for your own use but not to share or sell. If you want to share the pattern please link to the blog pages.
The embroidery design is my own. I have not knowingly copied anyone else's work.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Clothespin Doll Kits at Etsy

I finally sorted kits for making my clothespin dolls. The clothespins have been cut and drilled. I even give you a small piece of sandpaper to clean up the cut edges. As you can see in the photo you also get the head bead, wire, and directions for putting the pieces together. The kits come in 2 choices of curled yarn, yellow or brown. With this kit you don't have to deal with curling the yarn! All this in a mini bag with free shipping for $9.00 :)

BTW, I'm working on updating the mermaid pattern and making a new fairy pattern. It's all about finding the time now that my husband has got the gardening bug and he's dragging me along for the work.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

New Embroidery Pattern up at Etsy!

Some of you may reconize this design. I updated and added to last years June/July stitch-along. Now it's a PDF pattern for sale at my Etsy store for $3.50. There are a lot more pictures and directions. This is the first in ones I will be selling there.

Sorry for not writing sooner. I was sick with food poisoning and it's taken me 2 weeks to feel well enough to get back to work. I won't be eating any tuna for a long time :(

Here's a pic of my comet chicken named Hailey with the tote. She always wants to see what's going on.

I'll be listing my next free embroidery pattern later this week. It's my birthday on Thursday and I'm planning on extending the pattern sale at Etsy for another month as a gift for you!