December 30, 2010

The first of the 2011 ornaments!

As promised, I am letting you see the first of the 2011 ornaments after Christmas.  We are still quite away from shipping it out in mid-January.  The supply list isn't available just yet but when it does show up it will be on a link of the LHN web site.
Cardinal Winter

Vonna (The Twisted Stitcher) is in charge of the stitching and finishing of all twelve designs.  She continually out-does herself with the finishes.  Isn't this twig frame perfect for the design????  Even the little corners are wrapped neatly making this one look very rustic. 

There are two more designs I'll show here in the days ahead leading up to our mid-month ship date.  Stay tuned!

Thank you for stopping by my blog all year long and supporting us with your stitching and comments.  2011 will be a wonderful year full of new styles in our regular line and also a few surprises. 
I love surprises, don't you?



December 24, 2010


Our family has a food tradition that dates back to when I lived at home with my parents many years ago.  Every Christmas Eve we serve the same meal: meatballs, hash brown potato casserole, green beans, garlic bread and cranberry. 
Nikki's cookies are served as dessert.
The meatballs are made with a multitude of ingredients.  We use fresh parsley, onions, garlic, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, thyme, basil, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and a few other items besides the meat. 

The sauce is made first and then the meatballs.

Once the meatballs are formed they go into the oven to brown.  Afterwards they join the sauce and cook all day in the crock pot.  Our house will start smelling really good in just a few hours.  The family will walk in this evening and head to the kitchen, following the wonderful aromas this meal provides!

From our house to yours, we wish you a very happy holiday.

Ron and Diane

December 23, 2010

Baking Day - Part Two

Just a few more photos from baking day.  The finished cookies displayed beautifully have been delivered to our house today to share with all of our guests tomorrow night.  You do a great job of baking as always Nikki!

The bar cookie being made on the right is layered with graham crackers, coconut, raspberry filling and drizzled with white and milk chocolate.

These delicious little sweets are made with a peanut butter Ritz Bits dipped in melted white chocolate.  Before it cools, top with a Hershey semi-sweet morsel.  Is there anything better than chocolate and peanut butter all in one bite?

Someone just got caught with their hand in the sugar jar!

Happy baking everyone!

December 22, 2010

Baking Day - Part One

I went to Nikki's this morning to do a bit of baking with her.  It's an annual event right before Christmas.  She has everything we need out on the counter ready to go when I arrive.  This year we had a few unexpected visitors.  I was able to get a few photos.  :)


December 20, 2010

The Nutcracker

What a wonderful afternoon we had yesterday! Our granddaughter, Juliet, performed in The Nutcracker for her third year. This time around she danced in the opening party scene (see below), the Arabian dance and as a Candy Cane. She found us all sitting in the audience early on and her smile got even bigger.

Derrick, Juliet and Nikki

Attending the performance was a wonderful way to start off the week of Christmas.

Happy Stitching,

December 17, 2010

Gracie and the Tree Pretties

We put our tree up last weekend.  It's fun to see the old and new ornaments come out of the box one by one.  It was a bit of a challenge the first night as Gracie had never seen a tree before.  Well not in the house any way!  She has been such a good girl and has left it alone since that night.  She thought sitting for this photo was torture.  Poor thing!  Ron is standing over my shoulder with treats but she kept trying to perform to get one!

Happy Stitching!

December 10, 2010

The decorating has begun!

I finally started some decorating today.  I purchased this wonderful cubby and the first thing I did after Ron hung it for me was put some of my favorite ornaments in it.  I also located a few of my wintry Boyd's Bears, candles, trees and pine cones.  This is the perfect spot for handmade ornaments!

I hope you are inspired to finish some of your ornaments to enjoy this holiday season!

December 7, 2010

A Busy December

Time is flying by and we're as busy as ever here!  But today I pulled out all of my wrapping paper and bows to inventory it so that I didn't overbuy when I went out this morning.
 I still have a lot of paper (I color coordinate!) from past years.  If you look at this paper, and then look at my designs, you can tell a lot about me and the colors I like!

And then I saw these old fashioned candy canes at Target.  They were .88 cents for twelve!  Not much is under a dollar any more.  Bob's candy canes were around when my kids were small.  I read they've been in business over eighty years!
This wreath and two garlands are as far as I've come with decorating though.  I hope that after I get the shopping finished I can focus a little more on making the house merry and bright!

Happy Stitching!

November 23, 2010

Luke and Gracie's First Birthday!

The pups turned one on Sunday!!!  Our grandson Sean shared his birthday party with them after his was well over.  They wore cute little party hats, shared a can of dog food (they usually only have dry) and exchanged gifts.  Gracie gave Luke a nice stuffless cow because he always tears his toys apart to get the cotton out.  And Luke gave Gracie a cute pink dog which she loves.  Thanks everyone, for sharing their first year with us!

They are two wonderful dogs!!!!!

November 17, 2010

A few of my favorite winter patterns!

This design, "Snowflakes" that we released a few years ago is one of my favorite snowy designs. 
 I love little saltbox houses and stitched snowflakes. 

"The Angels Sang" - I bring this one out at Christmas.
It had a companion ornament in the JCS ornament issue that year.

And last but not least, this year's release of "Be Merry - Belle Pepper".
I think Belle is going to have a place in my decorating too!

I love using darker fabrics this time of year so that snow shows up!

November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Parade

This is our grandson Sean.  Nikki took the photo minutes ago from the starting point of the Veteran's Day parade in downtown Tucson.  He and his fellow scouts are proudly walking with the veterans today as they wind their way through the heart of the city.

November 10, 2010

The North Wind

I don't see much snow in Tucson, but I love this children's rhyme!  It was always in my head when the kids were little because it was in one of the bedtime books I read to them.  I know the cold and snow lasts a long time for many of you so this robin can keep you company.

Regarding my last post:  I have received a few emails regarding the Beatrix Potter sampler I am stitching.  It is from Needleprint and the original chart sold out.  They do however have a chart that can be downloaded for people like me who waited too long to buy it.

These days I am busy designing for 2011 so I haven't cross stitched much but I have found time to teach my granddaughter, Juliet to crochet.  She is just learning but she seems to have a love of yarn already!

November 1, 2010

A few of my side projects

I am between designing projects so I decided to work on a design that I started months ago.  It's my Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler.  The colors I chose are Crescent Colours Belle Soie. . . . . . natural and beautiful.  I was faced with the same dilemma that everyone else has been faced with when sitting down to stitch this design which is color.  I went round and round on what colors to use and in the end went with the ones I thought could stand the test of time even if I changed my entire room. 
They are Cinnamon Stick, Baguette, Tortoise Shell, Mudpie,
Vanilla Pudding and Walk the Plank.

The other thing I have been doing is crocheting granny squares!
I chose just four colors. . . . black, green, cream and gold.  I rotate the two center colors and will add them every other in the finish.  I use a lot of black, gold and cream in decorating so this was a good choice for me.

The first granny squares I ever made were when I was eight.  I was taught to crochet by my grandmother who would sit beside me for hours as we stitched together.

I wish I still had that old blanket but moths found it years ago before I knew they were even interested in it.  Being all wool, I remember picking that sweet blanket up and it hung sadly with holes and falling yarn everywhere.  I had no choice but to let it go.
  Ron says he likes watching me make "pot holders". . . .  I'm ignoring that comment since he knows it will be an afghan. 

October 27, 2010

A Family Sampler Finish!

Isn't this the most adorable finish?  Look at all of the girls in pink.  It is too cute for words.  I have already added it to what I hope someday will be a gallery on my web site.  I've posted it to the bottom of the Family Sampler page.  Thank you Bénédicte for allowing me to post it.  :)  This is a shop in France!  What a clever way to use the elements!!

Just as a reminder, if you finish the sampler, press it off and photograph it or frame it first. . . . .it doesn't matter to me. . . . . .and send me a clear photo with permission to place it on my web site.  I hope to see your family there very soon!

Happy Stitching,