Tuesday, February 9, 2016

28 years...

If you've been a follower & have a really sharp memory - you will remember that I always have a gift at the ready for my dearest on our anniversary...which of course was last Saturday...

...well, it WAS stitched in time but just not finished.

He certainly understood as our house has recently been in turmoil with construction (almost done there), kids activities (they may be grown but are still busy little buggers!), AND market is in less than a month now!!! Let's just say he's used to coming home to see me with my hair on fire! (it's not a good look for me)

Anyway, BE MINE is this year's Valentine. It's a dainty one & only took me, slowest stitcher on the planet, an evening to whip up!

I've listed the fabric & threads on the page but with such a petite piece, scavenge your surroundings! My surroundings included a piece of 32ct Glastonbury Tor (thanks Stephanie!) - a neat shade of green I know DH will like. I gave mine a great big Chenille hug from Lady Dot Creates & the perfect pins from JABC.

I have updated the webpage with some looks as to what's about to release so take a peak & in the meantime, enjoy Be Mine.

 
                                                                   Be Mine Chart

Want designs from the past 3 years? - search the blog history for the past 3 February's...the links are still there!


                                                                 Enjoy the Stitch,
                                                                          Cathy

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A whole latte like...

You have no idea how many bad coffee jokes we have been making around this house with the release of the 3rd Block Party - JAVA.


 
As with all of the Block Party pincushions - no 2 sides are alike (that would be boring). This, however makes it really difficult to photograph for the cover shot!
 
Here are the other sides...as you can see, short tall, stacked & to go- something for all!
 




So what's with the spoons you ask? Kind of a weird thing: my family (mom, dad & sisters) loves (I mean L-O-V-E-S) ice cream. When I was little we had a smattering of spoons that didn't match the rest. They were always in the back of the drawer. Somewhere along the line - I  knew it to be so, that ice cream tasted better when eaten with the 'fun spoons'. Even today, I love my yogurt (love the ice cream - it just doesn't love me) with a few fun spoons of my own. 

JAVA is on it's way to shops right now! Oh & the pinset? JABC always comes through when I say pretty please. After knitting needles in the last set (see Block Party WOOL pins), I just knew they could fashion a fantastic to-go cup...right down to the little green Starbuck's-like stopper!


We've had a lot going on the home front as well. I have been wanting to redo our floors for some time, but re-doing floors meant re-doing the paint & the fireplace, & the laundry room  & on. I will do some better before & after pics at some point but you get the gist:

You can see at one point I tried to paint the back of the bookcases red (which promptly got covered by fabric)
 

The finisher in me was fascinated to watch the hearth come apart. I told them if they found treasure in there it was mine...bodies were theirs!
 

 
Cassie loves the contractors, but not the noise they make.
 

 
Floors are in, walls are painted & stone is laid. At this point, I am waiting for the hearthstone & mantle (& DH has started new TV shopping now that we have more room for 'bigger'!)
 
As always,
Enjoy the Stitch
 
Cathy
 
 



 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What A Year!


It has been an eventful year for Hands On Design. As I think about it, I realize that I get to stitch, work & play with some pretty amazing friends.

Part of our stitching group - we still gather when possible. We stitch, talk, listen & basically solve the world's problems. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to one of our group this year: a reminder to say & do the things you mean to say & do.
 
Stitching Group selfie! I have to say that without these women (we're missing a few in the pics) - I would not have been ready for Market this year!!
 
Without them, this would not have turned into...
 
 
this!
 
 
 
I'm fortunate enough to call these 2 designing women my friends. (Tracy, Ink Circles & Beth, Summer House Stitche Workes) We collaborated on a small project last year & had so much fun...you bet, we're doing it again! We manage to Skype: the hardest part is managing 3 different time zones!
 
I was thrilled to work with several shopowners this year. I designed this piece for Pat of Stitchin' Post in Nashville! Her shop celebrated a milestone birthday this year!

I also enjoyed teaching at several shops this past year (apparently I need a camera crew because I have NO pictures!!)
Stitches 'n Things in MI kicked of the year followed by Heart's Desire in KS. A quick stop into For the Love of Stitching in NE and ended the year at Cecilia's Samplers in MO & Salty Yarns in MD! All over the country, shopowners & stitchers were so welcoming!

 
I made a new friend this year! Priscilla (of the uber-beautiful priscillas2000.blogspot.com) took a chance & allowed me to interpret her wonderful chalk art into cross-stitch. This series has just kicked off in the Jan/Feb 2016 Just Cross Stitch issue. Priscilla & I have been working together since last March & we haven't even officially 'met'! I hope to solve that sometime in 2016! I'm so excited to see this series unfold (see the previous blogpost for more info about this project).
 
Speaking of designing with friends: it has been a treat getting to work with Cecile & Rachel of Just Another Button Company on our design collaboration [square.ology].

Bumble is probably my favorite design from [square.ology] mostly because I remember so clearly how he got designed: it was like a design dance one evening as we sat at the dining room table, passing around sketchbooks, computers & even babies!
 
 In the midst of it all, Rachel decided we needed cake! (which is never a bad thing!)

Working with these ladies is a lot of this:
 
 
this,
 

 & even this.
 
(Anna, Rachel's youngest, grew bored with the design process but found my thumbs, necklace & glasses fascinating!)
 
 
The #1 question I get asked: Will there be more chalk?
 
...and the answer is - Of Course! While I have the Chalk Art series already kicked off in JCS, there are more reveals to come very soon...
 
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to All!
 
Cathy
 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

When A Plan Comes Together



Where to start?

- I had this little idea for the "A Year in Chalk" series. 
- I do all kinds of research on chalk art: fonts, styles, borders, etc...
- I keep running across this blog with beautiful pictures of someone's home and all of her chalk art (seriously, this is a home worthy of HGTV!)... & she stitches!
- I 'turn off' all images before I start sketching my series, but her blog never really leaves my mind. 
- As 'A Year in Chalk' winds down, I think about what's next...

Enter Just Cross Stitch magazine with a request for a series. 

So, I pitch my idea and hear those magical words that any designer loves to hear..."we're happy with whatever you want to do".

Then, I had to not only introduce myself to Priscilla via FB, but pitch her the idea too. days later, we were busy chatting on the phone discussing colors and themes (& kids and families...go Aztecs! I have been watching her son on TV playing college football!)

What a fun friendship & project this is turning out to be! I know I'm learning a lot and I always like a project that pushes me creatively.

We send pictures back and forth as we each stitch our own models. I have committed to stitching the magazine models myself since I'm making a lot of changes as I go. 

Here's a few 'behind the scenes' photos that didn't make the magazine!

My first photo to Priscilla as I model stitch. 

Priscilla's first photo to me!


Me again!


Priscilla again! It was really cool to see how we both stitched in a different order!



Once my piece is complete, I ship it to Priscilla so she can photograph them together in her home. 



Finally! Just Cross Stitch Jan/Feb 2016. We started this project last March! I'm so excited to bring you a year full of Seasons in Chalk Art (7 in all). (FYI: each piece will be the same stitch count. The model is stitched on 32ct Slate from Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie)

Visit and follow Priscilla's blog:
www.priscillas2000.blogspot.com

Enjoy the stitch, I sure have!
Cathy








Sunday, November 29, 2015

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

...construction 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 (handsondesign@ymail.com). 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 
Cathy





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,
Cathy

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,
 
Cathy