Sunday, November 29, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like... season!

I have been waiting 'patiently' to redo some parts of our house and since it would be just the 4 of us this year, I bought into the whole 'even if I have to set up a Christmas tree on subfloor' school of thought. 

At first I thought that I wouldn't put up any decorations. After all, we have mapped out a plan as to where we are stuffing all of the furniture (don't open that closet!)...but then I decided a little would go a long way until I get the phone call to say the demolition crew would be on my doorstep!

So here is Christmas 'light':

I stitched this Bent Creek snow globe years ago, but it got a finishing do-over after last year!

I have a very few of these snowflake kits left. Email me if interested ( They are $14 plus shipping and include chart, linen, woolfelt, button, and backing fabric. 

Love my mantle! It's the one item I insisted on: whatever we did to the fireplace surround, I had to have a mantle! 

I just love it when the only lights on in a room are the Christmas lights!

Enjoy the Stitch 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A little stitching...

...on a snowy night. 

It started snowing yesterday afternoon (I love the first snowfall, but after that, well, you know...)

I usually work while I watch tv at night with my husband. This time of year I am still wrapping up a few finishing jobs, but tonight I felt called to stitch. 

This model was suppose to have been completed last weekend at a retreat, but my body and the flu had other ideas!

Hands On Design and Just Another Button Company released [merry] a few weeks ago. Usually I send this to a model stitcher, but you know me and chalkboard...

Here is my first little corner of merry.berry. It is going to be so sweet! I'm ready to turn the pattern! (Like my toe in the pic?!)

With our home (potentially) in flux with home improvement projects this year, this might just be my sole decoration!

Enjoy your weekend and most definitely enjoy the stitch,

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Perfect Pairing

I am just back from Salty Yarns Fall Jamboree in Ocean City, MD!

Let me tell you, this is one great retreat: fun stitchers against the perfect stitching backdrop...the beach! I've loads of pictures if you can stand it!

Last Fall, Sara (Salty Yarns) asked me (Hands On) and Rachel & Cecile (Just Another Button Co) to come teach at the Fall Jamboree (this is one hoppin' shop - tons of retreats & events!). We decided it would be fun to "pair up" on our projects & have pears as our theme. I think it all came together very well, don't you think so?

Here is a closer look at my project (I know we said pears...but I had to throw in an apple for the teacher!)
Here we all are! (including the newest Miss Button - Anna!) Each of us taught a class...we spent 3 hours with a group & then we all rotated between classrooms. A shout out to Sara's son who toted the big items between classrooms!  
Talk about a room with a view! We could not have asked for more perfect October weather!
I knew that Salty Yarns was right on the OC Boardwalk (it's one thing to know this & another to actually be there!)
I learned so much of the history of not just Salty Yarns, but The Lankford Hotel - all owned by Sara's family for generations. I literally walked a few feet from my room, down the boardwalk, to the hotel. This is a commute I could really get used to!
Our first day at retreat was spent preparing for classes & setting up Trunk Shows...but we snuck in a little boardwalk time.
I didn't get any pictures, but it was Hot Rod weekend in OC. We were greeted each morning by a parade of loud cars rumbling down the boardwalk! 

Lots of interesting "artwork" along the boardwalk - looks like a quilt of old advertisements.
Anna enjoyed the fresh sea air!
I too enjoyed the fresh sea air!

Class time! The stitchers figured out why my company is called 'Hands On' - my classes are very hands on!
They were ALL good students!

To a needlework designer, this is the ultimate compliment. She was practically like a one woman Trunk Show of my designs!

I love seeing the various takes on my designs as well! (Podzi personalized her bag with her name!)
This is from a year in chalk - stitched very small & all in color!

The last morning before heading home. I don't think I need to say anything else.
A huge thank you to Sara, Sally & all of my class angels (you earned your wings!).
Enjoy the stitch,



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Gather a Harvest

I admit it - I love designing for the Fall season. With it's rich colors & textures, the words flow easily.
 I wrote this ditty a few years ago when I was asked by Cross Stitch & Needlework magazine to design an acorn door hanger (do they sit in a meeting and say 'we want an acorn doorhanger...let's ask Cathy')? 
At the time, I actually designed the larger sampler as well, but the acorn was the only part in the magazine. This Fall season, I felt it was a good time for that sampler to see the light of day - so it got a make-over - yes, kind of like the make-over TV shows: the squirrel got a re-do as did the colors.
Now - when you say the words in your head - you must say 'Leisure' the hoity-toity way...'le-sure' to make the rhyme work. That's the way I wrote can make our own adjustments.
I had some emails about the acorn doorhanger finishing. I've come up with a crude, but useful pattern. There will be a link below to print a version, but 1st a few directions:
Acorn Cap - cut 2. I don't know if the sizing will stay true when you print the pdf, so I've included measurements for a point of reference. The 2nd picture is the back of the doorhanger so you can see a little more of it's construction.
I've given directions in the chart for finishing the stitched portion. You will insert the stitched portion between the layers of wool (I pinked my edges for that extra cuteness factor) as well as the acorn stem (you will need 2 of those as well; stitch the 2 stem pieces together with a running stitch all around before inserting into the top of the acorn cap.
A few well placed pins will keep everything (stitching & acorn stem) in place as you stitch cap front & back together with a running stitch (I used 3 strands of a coordinating floss color).
I chose several yummy colors from my wool collection (yes, I have a wool collection) for the leaves. Cut 2 in each color. I like the depth that 2 layers gives. Sew them together with a running stitch all around & add a few veins & lines in the middle of the leaf for added texture.
I also added the JABC Herringbone button with a touch of cool ribbon (yes, I have a ribbon collection too).

Thank you for your emails & go out there & Gather your Wool...umm I mean Harvest!
Enjoy the Stitch,

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It's All 'bout That Tray!

It's almost October & no post since July...not gonna' apologize. It's just been that crazy getting ready for markets, teaching, kits, company, kids...ya' know - life! So, good to 'see' you again - I've got some important info!

A loooong time ago (which is like yesterday in magazine publishing terms) - I was approached to put a design in Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue. If you follow me at all, you know I get inspiration from all kinds of places & often it's the finishing aspect that starts the process.

Enter - that tray!

I was at Hobby Lobby trolling up & down the unpainted wood objects aisle (I don't now what it's really called, but that's where you'll find me.)

This tray was cool. This tray was inexpensive. This tray came in various sizes. This tray could easily be painted, and sanded, and stained.

Nobody said, this tray would be DISCONTINUED!

Calls, emails, posts, instant messages - thanks for the supportive words (& I've developed a thicker skin for the not-quite-so-supportive words). At least I knew you really liked the design & wanted to stitch it! Woo Hoo!
So options:
Back to Hobby Lobby I went to stamp my not quite so little foot & ask about the secret cache in the warehouse. Being told there was no secret cache & indeed they could not help me, I went back to the unpainted wood objects aisle (it's like my 2nd home).
I found these:

That could look like this:

Of course, they need to be painted, and sanded, and stained.
The number for the rectangle tray is 130559S & the octagonal plaque is 709139.
As an option for the rectangular frame, you could sew fabric to the sides & corners to help it fit to the shape (personally, I think it would look better once the tray was painted).

Here's a shot with the idea of fabric attached.

Some more options - flat finish the piece as you would to fit the tray, but make a wall hanging. Here I've shown it with rick rack trim & ribbon hanger. (Check out my "Blissfully Unaware" design - that's I how I finished this piece)  
Enter this awesome company I've been working with lately: Retromantic Fripperies. They make those cool Thread Holder cards in all sorts of fancy designs. They've been a huge help with the [square.ology] line of designs. I'm pretty sure they are the MacGyver of woodworking.
I sent them a plea, a photo & a few measurements.

Ta Daa! (& no painting, sanding & staining!)

The big question - would it fit? I assumed I would have to restretch my piece, but after I removed it from the original tray with a spatula, it went in like like butta'! Molly & Kath - you outdid yourselves!

The Retromantic tray is a little more shallow, but the tongue in groove construction speaks to the quality of this piece. ( Ask your shopowner to order it for you. I believe the tray will retail for $38ish - still way less expensive than custom framing!

I don't know an item number & I don't think it's on the website yet (it's that new!) - but I do know you could say Octagonal Tray & they would know what you were talking about!

Well, there you go! (thrilled to be crossing this off 'the list')

On to the next chart question: Gather a Harvest. I had a few questions about a pattern shape for the acorn cap. I will be receiving my model back from it's current Trunk Show tomorrow & will make & post a pattern.

Have a great day - I'm off to Hobby know where to find me.

Enjoy the Stitch, Cathy



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back to the basement for me!

Long story or short?? How about the highly edited version!
17+ years ago I opened my needlework shop. After a difficult search looking for affordable, convenient & not falling down commercial space, I dipped my toes into the retail my basement.
At the time, we lived in a house with a separate entrance so customers didn't have to traipse through my home. It was a great way to build a good foundation of inventory, business contacts, and customers. 3 years later, we moved to a small building (think Cat's Meow type building for those of you who know what that is!) and not quite a year later we moved again, upping 450sq ft to 2100sq ft!
Each time we moved, I learned what was necessary in my work space. Fast forward when I closed my shop after 9 years when kid's activities took over, I created a finishing studio (different home now) in our basement.
As CherryWood Designs began, I kept the supplies & inventory at my home (basement again), but we designed out of a coffee shop, so it all still worked. Around that time, I graduated to an upstairs studio - I felt like I had been invited to the grown-ups table!
Going solo as Hands On, I was once again FT out of my home but started to discover that I no longer "fit" in the smallest room in the house (not including bathrooms of course!). Designing took place in the kitchen - not good for the diet. Shipping took place in the dining room - not good for family togetherness. Finishing took place in a room I could barely move around in - not good for my sanity.
After one of those "what if" type of conversations (my husband loves those) - I decided to take over the downstairs game room...yup, back to the basement!
Contractors, cabinets & countertops (new lighting too) - Hands On Design has a new, much more efficient home!

Cecile & Rachel of Just Another Button Company made this for me to celebrate the new digs! They are correct, this is my happy place!
A very cleaned up version of what it looked like when we started (this place saw lots of Legos, train tracks & video games!)

All cleaned out!

Day 1 progress! (Dan is my favorite contractor - we have done many projects together over the last 15 years!)

Woo hoo!

Billy helped me move all the "stuff" in!

Counter space for shipping, cabinets for all sorts of supplies...

and a nice nook for designing & stitching!

The cats are still trying to figure out the new place - I'll have to get a bigger computer screen if Whisker doesn't stop visiting me like this!
Well, I'd better get back to work & show just how efficient I can be!
Enjoy the Stitch!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

"Fun Summer 2015"

Last summer was...well, not fun. Bill & I worked and worked and the next thing we was September! So. Not. Happening. This. Year.

To kick-off "Fun Summer 2015" we went "on the hunt" last weekend at Junk-Stock (think Wood Stock, but with Junk)

It was so much fun!

I kind of went with a list of certain things I was looking for & I did manage to score a few bargains. I tried to remember to snap pictures along the way:

Junk Stock is held in a huge field (in Omaha, NE) & it's been a rainy Spring! Mud boots were a plus!

"One Man's Junk"...the theme of the day!

Which way do we go? Arrows everywhere. The turquoise one came home with me for a friend!
Fun displays & booths!

Oh, I bought some goodies here!
Keeping up our strength - the pork was great - the sauce was AWESOME!

Now I feel really old. I had a Wee Wagon when I was little (& could actually fit my butt into it!) It's still in my garage & now I see one where they sell...vintage. :(

Bought something you can't lift? They have JunkHunks roaming around to help you load it in the car!
A few of my treasures!

We got home just in time to run back out the door to watch Chris play in the Fremont Open finals. 2nd place & a cool trophy.
It was back to work this week prepping to release "flutterby garden" - my Ltd Edtn Summer 2015 chartpack. We ship to shops next Tuesday, so be sure to ask at your favorite LNS. (Chartpack includes finishing cottons, woolfelt flutterbys, & bakers twine)

I would have to say the kick-off of "Fun Summer 2015" was a success!

Enjoy the stitch,