While the Sun Shines

It’s a sweltering 102-degrees in the afternoons, while I sip hot tea and sew a Christmas quilt. Like Billy Mumphrey, I suffer from the all-consuming affliction known as unbridled enthusiasm. (They said it would go away this side of childhood, but I think it’s gotten worse.)

This quilt’s been such fun. We call it ‘Washi Star’, because it features sawtooth stars, squares, and rectangles in a lovely, twinkly, washi tape array. We designed it so that all the pretty fabrics could take center stage. (By “all the pretty fabrics” I mean the most delightful Andover and Kaufman cotton chambrays, paired with Cotton+Steel’s ‘Tinsel’ and ‘Garland’ collections.) All that’s left is piecing the larger blocks together to finish the quilt top. I’ll see about taking a proper photo of the layout for my next post.





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Against his will, Dennis has been watching Poldark with me. (Though by the way he yells, “I can’t hear!” whenever I talk over the dialogue, you’d think his lamentations were, well, fake.) The production is just glorious. The acting is splendid. I am a bit torn though: I just can’t muster any positive feelings for our protagonist, Ross, no matter how hard I try. Oh, I have the time-honored love-by-proxy, and having been by his side through all manner of misery, I also have a good dose of wifely pity, but that’s not the kind of love you want for a fictional spouse! On the other hand, there’s the diabolically enchanting George… I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be so fond of him, but I am and that’s that. Demelza’s a dear girl. And Elizabeth? My feelings wax and wane for her, though I positively adore Heida Reed and her performance.

Now I have to read the books. Winston Graham has such a charmed writing style: a few sentences and you’re drawn completely in. I’ve ordered the first through the fourth novels, so that should take care of my social life for a while. What with design-work, stitching samples, miscellaneous craft projects, making dinners, doing laundry (though not folding it,) etc., I have way too much time to spare. Hence, reading. Oh, who am I kidding? I predict everything but reading will suffer.


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The garden’s bursting with flowers these days. There are fresh blooms all over the house, like every summer, making everything in life a bit better. Flowers do that. Cuddles is his dapper self, (when he’s not being a complete brat, that is.) And my ‘Life on the Farm’ cross stitch is growing cheerfully each day. I will have to pause for a moment and start ‘Trick or Treat’, because that jolly Jack and his curious black kitty are calling me.










In the meantime, we’re working on so many lovely new projects (some we have to keep hush-hush for a bit.) And ’tis the season for holiday stitching, so be sure to pop into the shop regularly to catch all the festive new cross stitch patterns!

‘Till next time, cheerio!

Strawberry Days

Goodness, it’s been a while! Life’s been wonderfully busy: lots of designing, stitching, gardening… And now we find ourselves in the midst of a sun-drenched summer. Summers in Southern California stretch on and on to eternity. Some days you feel lucky to have the deep blue skies and everlasting sunshine. Other days you’d give up sugar for a cold winter afternoon awash in storms. But the flowers! I can go on about the heat and the scorched grass, but this sun brings forth the most glorious jewel-toned flowers.


The zinnias seeds we sowed grew tall and blossomed. Once they were transplanted into the garden, they grew dark and robust and started blooming like mad. (With the help of some special fertilizer “tea,” which gave them a much-needed boost of energy.)

We grow zinnias every summer, in all sorts of different colors and varieties. They remind me of the Mad Hatter and the March Hare and all the wonderful crazy things you’d find at one of their tea parties.



I finished my ‘Succulent Wreath’ a while back. Loved every moment of it. (The ‘chalk board black’ aida by Wichelt is a dream to work with, and I encourage anyone who’s wary of true black to give it a try.) I love the perennial quality of this wreath; The colorstory is earthy and soothing, perfect for stitching and display any time of year.


Of course, after one big project you need absolutely no time off before starting another big project. Enter Trellis & Thyme’s ‘Life on the Farm’ sampler. It’s an absolute dear. All the little farm motifs just melt my heart. (My favorite is the herd of curious cows on the grassy hill.) And the colors! We wanted this design to exude happiness – so we chose a lovely array of primary colors. Strong, bold, bright – happy.

I absolutely love cross stitch process photos – don’t you? It’s like a sweet story unfolding with every new stitch.




In other news: Our intrepid little strawberry plant delights us daily with precious red berries.

Cuddles the Garden Cat sleeps the day away under the rose bushes, where the soil is moist and dark. In the evenings around six, he wakes up, stretches, and realizes his belly is empty. Then we’d better hurry up and feed him, or else…








And that’s a teensie glimpse of our summer days. I made a promise to myself to blog more frequently, so please stop by again soon!

(Also, bake these. They are delicious.)

‘Till next time, cheerio!