Wednesday, December 28, 2016

No More Blogspot Blog

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2016!

Big changes happened in 2016 to my website, blog & now...a newsletter!

Web address is still the same:


- My blog can be accessed from the webpage - sorry no sign up for it, but...

-  I now have a stitcher newsletter! Sign up for: the newest info about releases, fun facts about HOD & the HOD family, this is where I will post complimentary charts (I don't do many...but when I do, this is where I will put 'em). I will also let you know when I put a new blogpost out there - I try to make them a little different!

- Checkout the 'Hands On-line' shop!
    - many of my older titles are now available for purchase on my website ( I want you to go to your fav shop first!!) - we've broken the HOD catalog into categories...check them all out!

    - at 'Hands On-Line' I will have chartpacks & kits that I will only be offering through the editions, experiments, old class pieces...etc - again, you will be notified through the newsletter when I've restocked the on-line shop!

As always, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram!

I will be keeping this account open for those items pinned to Pinterest, but there will be no more new posts.

See you over at the .biz! Looking forward to an awesome 2017!

Hands On Design

Friday, September 2, 2016

Hands On The Move!

Get it?? More on that later...

That annual event of all annual events is taking place: the publishing of the JCS Ornament Issue. I've seen the cover lurking about for months and today I had my 1st 'in-store' sighting! (ok - I wasn't actually 'in' the store...I was 'on' facebook).

The cover looks fantastic & I'm thrilled to say I'm in this issue twice! The [square.ology] design team (yours truly, Cecile & Rachel of JABC fame) made the cover shot this year. features red sleds with a hoop style finish - center position! Be sure to check it out - the hoop finish is super easy (& of course you can order complete finishing kits here on the JABC website)

As always...there is a story behind my ornament!

I was asked to create a 'set' of ornaments again this year (remember Peace & Plenty from 2015?)

I always try to come up with something original & words that aren't done & done. Unfortunately, when my JCS August ornament preview magazine arrived...ummm...something was missing...

After some editorial snafu's, JCS will be publishing the mate to Blessings in the Nov/Dec issue. You know these magazines come out well in advance of the actual month it represents - so still plenty of time to stitch the duo before tree decorating time.

On a side note: the companion ornament (you can see it peeking into the picture above) is charted with the word 'yuletide'. I thought Yuletide Blessings was a sweet holiday wish & how perfect that they would publish in that order...well not exactly. We've been walking around our house wishing each other 'Blessings Yuletide' in perfect Yoda-like fashion!

In each issue, the designer is asked to provide a Christmas Memory & recipe - well, apparently mine hit the cutting room floor...? So you get your very own invitation to my recipe (since you follow my Blog - you already got the cliff notes version of my Christmas Memory.)

Cake Mix Cookies - quick, Easy & Delicious

1 box Chocolate Cake (with Pudding in the mix)
1/2C oil
2 eggs
Peanut Butter chips and/or Chocolate chips

Mix 1st 3  ingredients until blended. Add desired amount of chips.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

These cookies are moist & cake like. Experiment with all different flavor combinations: Orange or Strawberry flavored cake mix with white chocolate chips or Red Velvet with Dark chocolate

Hands On the Move...

No, I'm not moving...but my website & blog did. My website was in much need of repair & while I like a good remodeling project, IT is not my forte.

The web address is the same - - my blog will now be located on my website & I am starting a Newsletter mailing list for stitchers - stay up to date with what's new & happening at Hands On Design.

You can see that my blogposts have moved over & while this blog will stay up (for those that have Pinterested from it), this is the last post here...never fear - blogging will continue. I really enjoy writing this way & love hearing from those faithful commenters.

I encourage you to click on the link above & sign up for the newsletter!

So call your shop & order your magazine...

Blessings Yuletide



Monday, July 11, 2016


A few weeks ago, I got sucked into one of those crazy Facebook tests...'how many states have you been to?' My answer at the time was 38...& I'm proud to say, it's now 39!

Last week I traveled to Cheyenne, WY to teach at my friend Penny's shop, Ewe Count. This teaching experience was a little different as I didn't actually design the stitched portion of the class. That was left up to another friend, Amy Bruecken of the uber cute Amy Bruecken Designs! I had fun taking Amy's 'Life is Better in Boots' design to another level of cuteness with an adorable box finish!

Lots of pictures...hang on & take the journey with me...

Here is our project! You can't see the felt ball feet in this picture!

It was a short 8 hour drive for me - beautiful country!

We stopped to be tourists - neither one of us had ever been to Wyoming, so Penny (center) obliged!

Kind of hard to see, but as I got off the highway and drove towards the shop...these friendly mule deer greeted me!

Every time I wrote the word 'you' this came out 'ewe'. It seemed appropriate!

What a welcome site!!

An inside shot at the front door! This is the yarn room!

The hotel where Amy & I stayed...yes, haunted! They left us alone, but a few other gals said they 'heard things'...

You can figure out what they make here!

Day 1 of class - Amy walked the students through stitching on linen, playing with Memory Thread, cool embellishments, and filling us in on her 'story'. I told her she looked like a librarian talking to little kids at story time!

Saturday was my turn - I think they figured out why my company is called 'Hands On'.

I walked them through the steps of making a box finish!

Everyone got a chance to practice their lacing!

Here's the ribbon station!!

Quite a few finished the whole project! What an accomplishment!

The yearbook shot! These ladies were so much fun!

Amy & I got a special surprise! Cindy & her mom Gail drove in from Denver to visit! Cindy owned Fancimats & More for many years. I've always had fun with her mom as we are both finishers! This was so special. 

By now, you know I make a little kit for retreats. I Count, do Ewe?...well of course you do!

Penny had a few of these little gems left (complete kit for $13).

She had 1 or 2 class kits left as well if you are interested. Call her at the shop 307-638-1148 & she will gladly ship them.

I almost forgot! This was a piece I designed for the Stitching Across the Rockies Shop Hop: 4 shops & each was assigned a season. I guess it's easy to figure out what season Penny had! She also has these little kits available!

Whew - thanks for hanging in there! It's been a BUSY summer here at che Habermann/Hands On Design! I hope you are enjoying the hot months...we'll be complaining about the cold soon enough!

Enjoy the Stitch!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Just in case you think I've been slackin'...

Thought I would take a moment to play catch up, but first! A sneaky peek ahead to one of the next To the Beach releases!

I won't 'weigh' you down with titles just yet!!

Read to the end - I promised I would give stitch counts for the series to help those stitching all 12 together!

What have I been doing since the last post?!?
We took our oldest to the State Special Olympics games in Ames, IA. A great weekend all around & he brought home 1 Gold, 1 Silver & a 4th place finish! woop - woop!

A quick trip to Pittsburgh with Bill...

to celebrate my Dad's Birthday (one of those 'significant' numbers!)

Around that time, I released VINO - 5th in the Block Party series...

planted some posies...

& picked some berries!

More beach!!

& how about some Christmas ornaments (never too early to start!)

Hitting the road soon to teach a finishing class...

and in between I am working away on a new website!! I hope to go 'live' soon! (This blog will transfer to the new site - look out for a post with links telling you when & where!)

What else you ask? I've got a fun new club in the works with shopowner Lois of Elegant Stitch (I love her patience!!) - a designer series with StitchyBox & I just had a 2 hour conversation with Priscilla (my fav chalkboard friend!) today...nothin' much!

Here are those stitch counts!

Released charts: Oh Whale - 92x61, A Little Cottage - 92x60, Adjust Your Sail - 91x59, Flock Together - 94x61, On Beach Time - 92x60, Starts in the Sky - 93x60

Remaining charts in order of release (stitch counts only): 93x62, 90x59, 92x60, 92x60, 92x60, 94x62

I have seen a few stitchers putting all of the charts on one cloth - awesome!! Leave at least 5 to 6 stitches in between - I have also seen stitchers shorten the design by a thread or 2 to make it fit - also a great idea!! 

Enjoy the stitch!

Friday, May 13, 2016

To The Beach

Yay - Summer's almost here & we have freeze warnings tonight! - that's NW IA life!

Summer has always meant BEACH to me.

Growing up in the Pittsburgh area, my family would pack up the car & drive to NC to meet up with friends - a week of long beach walks - swimming & laying out all day - rabbit ear type TV's - no A/C - make our own beach movies (ask me about the 'bucketheads' sometime) - fireworks in the sand...

Once college, jobs, kids & several moves took over, I didn't get to the beach much. Fortunately, the beach & I have been able to reconnect over the past few years - I've been lucky enough to teach at retreats & seminars near the beach (tough job but someone's got to do it!) and Bill & I have learned to book time away for ourselves.

Naturally, my love of the beach has spilled over into my design work - I've done beach in bright colors, beach in deep colors - but Vintage Beach called to me!

To the Beach is a series of 12 designs - all will fit into a standard 5x7 frame when stitched on 16 or 32ct - each has a sweet saying - I worked to create a play on words or offer up a bit of inspiration - each design stands on it's own. Be sure to check with your shop - many are offering automatic shipment  on the series. 4 are out now - released 2 every 6 weeks or so:

OH Whale - the 2nd one designed - but the 1st released - (did I tell you, I literally sat at my computer for 2 weeks turning sketches into designs - I was like a writer in the groove!) 
A Little Cottage - I think you understand the inspiration behind this one now!
Flock Together - I had to work a flamingo in somewhere! The pelican was in honor of George who used to live on our dock in FL & the tall guy on the right greets us in Sanibel each year!
When life gets a little rough 'Adjust Your Sails' - words to live by! (that's my version of Shiplap in the background! There's more of that to come thanks to my current obsession with Fixer Upper)
That's the 1st 4...8 more to go...shall we head 'To The Beach'?
Enjoy the stitch,

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

There & Back Again!

"Came the Spring" - part of the Little House on a Pincushion Class Series

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting 30 lovely ladies that came together for The Hands On Design Weekender - organized by Barb from Country Cupboard in Orland Park, IL.

It was almost a year ago that Barb asked if I would come teach at her retreat, & even then, I knew this was going to be a special trip: My parents grew up in this part of the Midwest woods & I still have relatives in the area. I left Thursday morning & arrived at my Uncle's house in Frankfort... a time when my scattered relations seem to only meet up for 2 of life's momentous occasions, it was great to visit 'just because'.

Friday I headed to the LaSalle Manor in Plano, where Barb hosts the retreat.

That's Barb standing in the center of the picture above (where is my camera crew when I need them?)
Let me tell you, Barb organizes a great retreat: food, door prizes, games (the Yankee Swap was lots of fun!), she sets up a shop with tons of goodies (I brought a trunk show as well).

This was the view coming out of the room where I stayed - I felt like I slept in a treehouse!!
I got everyone on the staircase for an "I finished it" shot after class. They were all wonderful students - many not only finished their pincushion, but a few finished their bonus scissor fob too! (see the photo above)
 I always design an exclusive piece for each retreat I am asked to attend. I offered to re-chart the word Spring to Winter as we had rain, snow & sleet during our weekend (which was OK because we also had fireplaces...very cozy!)

Barb took any extra kits back to her shop with her - she may have some left (kits include everything but the batting - chart, linen, enamel pan, floss, woolfelt leaves, ribbon, pins & round finishing disk). Call her NOW at 708-460-7779.

I came to the retreat only knowing 2 of the attendees - a little nervous to stand up in front of 'strangers' - but these gals were so welcoming & put me right at ease. I made some wonderful personal connections & enjoyed the laughter, the jokes & the stories. Many thanks to Barb for all of her hard work! Be sure to stop in her wonderful shop if you ever pass through that area!

Once retreat was over & the car loaded, I made the 20 minute journey to my cousins house!! I have fond memories of heading out to Sandwich as a little girl with family. Once I drove back into the area, instinct took over & before I landed at his house, I found my way to the long, narrow driveway that used to take me to Grandma's house...

My cousin Chris.

I spent a great evening catching up with Chris & his wife...marveling at how parallel our lives & families are - genetics? age? who knows...we even have similar dogs! (same breed but practically opposite in coloring!)
Monday morning I hit the road to home, but stopped 1st to visit with Cathy of Inspired Needle! Another terrific shop, Cathy is taking some of my models to Celebrations in Nashua, NH soon. After a visit over bagels & coffee - we got to work!
I think I'm getting better at this selfie thing!

There is much to see at this wonderful shop - I had to look fast as I needed to hit the road & head for home.
So I made it there & back again...time to work on new projects, designs & classes...but very happy to have the memories of this trip!
Enjoy the Stitch,


Monday, April 4, 2016

A Big Day at Our House

There are 2 'anniversaries' of sorts today at Haber-house!

First, my youngest (my baby), turns 21!

Bill & I spent time looking back at old photographs yesterday, so you can imagine a lot of laughs at good memories & of course Kleenex too. A new item on the 'to-do' list...scan all of those old photos into the computer! (Imagine, taking baby pictures before I-phones!!)

There has been a lot of 'where did the time go' kind of talk between Bill & I lately. Some of it is sad & bittersweet, but I choose to focus on the 'what's to come' part of it all. We are so excited as soon Chris will start his senior year of college & then lookout world! We are so very proud of him, but also hold much respect for the child that has grown up: he is smart, loyal, strong (& perhaps a little stubborn & sarcastic...but I'm not sure where he got that!)


What about Anniversary #2?

Well, on Chris' 3rd birthday (I don't remember why we did it that way...), I opened Hands On Needleshoppe & began my career in the needlework industry!

I often find it hard to tell people what I do for a living (a needlework shop..what's that?, you finish needlework?? you design cross-stitch?? my grandma does that!)...but the reality is, 18 years & I'm still here!

The brief bio:
- Hands On started in the lower level of my home - retail space was at a premium ($$$) - I stayed there for 3 years, building, learning, growing. We moved to a teeny tiny 450sq location & stayed less than a year! Moved to 2400sq ft and stayed almost 6 years. Cross-stitch, yarn, classes, retreats, gifts...we had it all, but time with family was tight & necessary.

- the year after I closed the shop, I did finishing full time for various shops & customers. While I loved the flexibility, I missed contact with stitchers & teaching! Enter: CherryWood Design Studios, where I hung my design hat for 5 years and learned a whole different side of the industry. 3+ years now on my own as Hands On Design & I still feel like I learn & grow with each design!

My husband's favorite thing to tell me during some of the early growth years: 'it's all a process'! Man, I really disliked that saying, but 18 years later, I know what he said was the truth...

Releases from this year's Nashville Needlework market.
I'll talk more about them soon...but today we have much to celebrate!
Enjoy the stitch,