Summer Life & ‘Welcome Fall’ Cross Stitch Pattern

Goodness, where did the time go? Suddenly we’re at the end of August. It’s been hot here – most days right around 105-degrees. But the air is dry, the sky is deep blue, and the sun shines forever and ever. The tall dry grasses on the surrounding hillsides shimmer pale and rich gold in the afternoon sun. And just yesterday I saw fallen leaves dashing along the walk. It feels a bit too soon to anticipate autumn, but the fist intimations of the changing seasons is always exciting. In the meantime, my favorite thing is watching the hot summer wind dance through the palm fronds.

This summer, aside from odd days out, we’ve become mole people. Our days are spent cloistered up in our little home, the AC humming, working long hours on a very special project. It’s wonderful and exhausting work. At nights we fall into bed with a thud, dreaming busy dreams. I look forward to more relaxed days ahead, and some time this year we’ll be able to share more about what we’ve been up to. In the meantime, we designed this little cross stitch treat for you – ‘Welcome Fall’! Just a dapper little scarecrow and his little blackbird friend. Autumn kawaii charm.



And as I rather love process pics, here’s a handful for you. (Isn’t it lovely how cross stitch designs unfold like a story?)





Keep an eye out for many more Trellis & Thyme kawaii cross stitch patterns in the coming days, weeks, months…


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The bee balm decided to flower this summer. I’ve waited three years for these little darlings, and it was so worth it.



I read The Beachside Sweet Shop earlier this summer, and loved it. Marnie and Beth became my dear friends, and I was sorry the book came to an end. Thankfully, Karen Clarke wrote The Beachside Flower Stall, and now I’m in the midst of that story (and loving it just as much!) Carrie and Ruby are just as delightful. And Megan – I rather enjoy a character that can induce a good eye-roll. Clarke’s prose is subtle and effortless. Her characters are believable and true to themselves. A pleasure to read, really.

I made a point of “lighter” reading the last few years, and it’s been a good thing for me. I take “lighter” to mean “not high-brow” and not emotionally draining. I look for stories that focus on the everyday things that make up a life – the ups and downs of relationships, making a living, overcoming challenges, and just keeping things together and making life better (with a touch of humor, of course.) It’s been so rewarding and inspirational. And there’s a big collection of just this sort of literature these days, so I’ll be busy for a while…



That little fabric bundle below the books is my next batch of pillowcases, all cut and ready to sew. I got them ready months ago but didn’t have the time to actually sew them. September will be Pillowcase Month at the Caetano Residence, I think. There’s something seriously satisfying about sewing pillowcases; Maybe it’s the fact that they’re so practical and necessary. And when you make them yourself you can create some very pretty ones. I know we’re always excited in the most goofy-silly way when there’s a set of fun new pillowcases to snuggle into.

Am I the only person who doesn’t mind playing with yarn in 100+ degree weather? Crochet (and sometimes knitting) are my non-stitchy passions, and I really don’t feel their enjoyment should hinge on the weather. So I sat down and crocheted granny squares for my (Karen Clarke-inspired) Sweet Shop throw in 107-degree dry heat, in the shade. I had an iced coffee to keep me company. And Cuddles, who blends in so well with the sun-washed garden stones.





Also somewhere along the way I finished my Rock Candy scarf. Now it’s ready for winter walks (whatever those are.)



It’s back to designing for me (for us.) This time of year there are so many autumn and winter patterns to work on, it’s a bit of a whirlwind! But we absolutely love it, so there’s that.

I’ll try harder to blog more often. Story of my life. Hope you and yours are doing great these days.

‘Till next time…

Yarn in Autumn

November is a beautiful month in Southern California. The days are warm, crisp, and blue, with the occasional passing cloud. Leaves are turning all sorts of wild colors, falling wistfully to the ground. By Thanksgiving, the skies will sometimes turn gray and dark, and the nights grow cold. Winter peeks in over the garden wall, promising frost and a peaceful slumber to all the green things. Sometimes I wish I could hibernate in the winter, too. After a long and busy year, the shortened days are a reminder to turn inwards awhile, and tend to the spirit landscape. I try not to fight my body’s natural tendency towards slowing down, resting more, and being still.

In other news…I had to share with you this utterly magical thing that happened: we’re in Mollie Makes! (See the kawaii cuties poking out from the corner of the cover???) This was such a delightful project to work on, and it’s amazing to see our darlings in the pages of one of our most favorite magazines.




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This is the time of year my thoughts turn to yarn. Needlework is my forever love, but on the first frosty wind comes a yarnie passion I can’t resist. My mind races and tries to sort through all the possibilities: stripey knit fingerless gloves, crochet mittens, knit hats, colorblock crochet scarves, shawls, tree skirts, table runners, coasters… In other words, all the beautiful things. I couldn’t decide on my knitting needles or crochet hook, wool, cotton, or acrylic, something for the house or something to wear… So I played with yarn for a bit to see if any colors spoke to me. Then I started a crochet linen stitch square for a possible scarf project. Nothing was clicking.




One day, quite by accident, I discovered this beautiful blog. I think I heard bells then, or birdsong – it was lovely. So I chose a few of my favorite Christmassy colors and got started on the ‘Granny Square Table Runner.’ I’m hoping to get this lovely project done in the next week. (And I foresee one of these for every holiday!)



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November is like a second spring in the garden. All the plants that withered in the scorching summer sun have been revived. The tomato vines are flowering, nasturtiums are popping up everywhere, and the rosemary is covered in purple blooms. In a few short weeks the frost will come and put an end to the green things, but it’s lovely to see a green revival in the meantime.

Cuddles the Garden Cat has put on his winter coat – a perfectly poofy strawberry blond he is, sunning himself on the cinder block wall behind the flower bed.

And the zinnias. Love of my garden life. They’re still blooming away – the hot pinks and reds more ferocious than ever, the whites more stark, the yellows richer, and my heart fuller than ever.





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Ahh…needlework. Happy, soothing needlework. Without it, I would be one very grumpy frumpy girl. (Because why bother getting up in the morning?) I’m making progress on my ‘Jolly Reindeer’ cross stitch. He’s such a sweet thing, and I can’t wait to stitch up his eyes, mouth, and nose. I just need that jolly retro smile of his.



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We hope you’re enjoying these last few weeks of autumn, before winter sets in. If you’re in the States, we wish you a warm and happy Thanksgiving!

‘Till next time!

Sweet Autumn

Oh, sweet autumn! The days are warm and the nights are cold enough for orange and black stripey socks. Leaves turn late in this part of the country, but already they’re hinting at gold. Time is always playing tricks on me, but it’s October so I’m fine with the trickery. This month that celebrates the shadows, witches and goblins, wicked smiles, candied apples, black cats, and pumpkin moonshine – it’s enough to send my spirit soaring.

To add to our October jollies, there’s a bit of Trellis & Thyme news at the booksellers and craft shops: We’re featured in the ‘Meet the Designer’ interview of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine! (Issue 234/November.)




We’re so over-the-moon about this! I’d like to pretend we’re entirely cool and blasé, but that’s not us at all. For us this is pure magic, and we’re more inspired than ever to add to our collection of cross stitch designs, and share our love of needlecraft.


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I’ve been stitching a storm, as usual, ever aware of the power of needle & thread and how much my well-being depends on it. For me, it’s calming and empowering, soul-soothing and enriching. I especially enjoy working seasonal designs and motifs. These days everything whooshes by so fast, it’s hard to enjoy the little mysteries and inspirational treasures hidden in the holidays. Stitching classic seasonal motifs is a lovely way to experience the present, to really relish in the charms of whatever season you’re in. This applies to all seasonal crafting, I believe. It just connects you to the present, no matter what you’re doing. And it’s wonderful.

I’m nearly done hand-sewing the binding of my Halloween Crackle quilt. It’s Dennis’ quilt, technically, and he’s been waiting patiently for it for three years! I am taking my sweet time, loving the mindful motion. Also, it feels just lovely curling under the quilt, windows open to the cold night air, crickets chirping, kitty cat at my feet, warm cup of tea at my side.





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We hope that this October finds you well, wherever you are. And as always, wishing you all good things.

‘Till next time!

September

These are the last petaled jewels of summer. September’s soaring swiftly by, and soon we’ll arrive at the equinox and the true beginning of autumn. I’ve been designing, stitching, and sewing endlessly all summer long. Creating draws time out, doesn’t it? It stretches it like taffy. Sometimes I marvel at just how much we can do in one day, or one season. And while we worked so hard on so many projects, those seemingly endless stretch of summer days are still coming to an end. But I have an account of them – stitched and sewn and charted in countless things. That makes me so deeply happy.







Now I’m really rather tired. I want an autumn holiday. I want to sort through balls of yarn and crochet silly Halloween bunting. I want to cart out the painted pumpkins and the haunted village Dennis and I made last year, and decorate our home. I want to pour over cookbooks for new and favorite fall recipes. And I want to bake bread again. Mostly I’m dreaming of a slower pace, one to match the new season.

‘Till next time, wishing you the best of days.