December 21, 2012

The end of the year . . . . .

Just a note to let everyone know that we are taking time for family and setting most of the work load aside for a while as we head into Christmas and the New Year (which means we are closed!).  We hope you can do the same.  I have some baking planned and lots of cooking for Christmas Eve.  I'm sure you are all in the same mode I am.

Anyone who knows me knows that the Peanuts gang are some of my favorite cartoon characters.  These fun ornaments are on our tree.  

Wishing you all a healthy and happy new year!
Ron and Diane

. . . . . and Gracie!

December 14, 2012

December 13, 2012

December patterns and some news. . . . . . .

The end of the year comes with a bit of sadness as the ornament series comes to a close.  However I have to say, that what is coming in 2013 is more exciting for me than ornaments.  Tomorrow we will give you a small peek at what is coming in January.  All I'll say today is that it is a series of twelve designs . . . . stitch one or stitch them all.  It will be your choice just like the ornaments.  The photo of the first design will go up right after the new year instead of mid-month like we usually do.

Saltbox Village
I saved the Saltbox Village ornament for last. . . . . . I love the red bow Vonna put on top for finishing.  Thank you all for stitching and falling in loving the ornament series.  Perhaps we'll do it again some day but I'm taking a break from them for now to design some other fun stitching projects.  :)

And the very last design this year is the reproduction by Mary Ann Myers dated 1827.  The birds!  Do you see all six of them???  I fell in love instantly when I saw this sampler.  So you may be asking why I chose gingham for a reproduction.  When I began to think about how I wished to present this design as a chart, I wanted to mimic the playfulness at the bottom of the design and add more interest to the lettering.  Marking samplers are awesome, but don't you think the gingham just sets the design off?  I'd like to think Mary Ann would approve.

In the pattern itself I discuss the Quaker leanings of this design.  It is American, from Pennsylvania but is not proven to be a Quaker.  I have identified the young girl through genealogy research which is included in the chart.  I'd love to hear opinions if you have any expertise in this area of identification.

The chart has a bit of over-one stitching.  If you are an aida stitcher this design would not be for you.

And a note of a more personal nature to share with you. . . . . . my step-father passed away on October 25th.  Many of you have come to know my mom over the years and know how she has helped to play a vital role in the business.  She has put stitching on hold for now but hopefully can get back to it some day down the road.  She has stitched some of my favorite designs like Thirteen Colonies and Elizabeth Hancock just to name a few.  I'm afraid her eyes are just not cooperating were her any more to do such fine work as the eye problems she is experiencing are very troublesome.  It makes those models she has stitched even more precious to me.

The year 2013 will be very special for us!  We will be celebrating ten years in self-publishing in September.  We plan on celebrating that marker with some fun give-aways throughout the year.  

Tune in tomorrow when we announce the first of two new series!  Did I say two?  Oops!  Another secret just slipped out of the bag!  


November 30, 2012


With the popularity of Pinterest on the rise, I wanted to share something with you.  The items that are pinned to boards are sometimes protected by copyright.  It has become a huge problem for designers in our industry that find themselves again on the front line battling to retain their copyrights and their jobs.

Personally I do not mind if you share Little House finishes and pattern covers.  Shops do it, bloggers do it, and I do it.

This first pin is perfectly ok with me.

The second photo shows what is NOT ok.  It is a clear violation of the copyright.  Before you pin a chart, look at it carefully to see if it says it is a free chart and can be distributed or if it has a copyright and maybe even a warning.  

The industry thanks you and I thank you for continuing to educate yourself and others in this matter.  And a HUGE thank-you to those who take their time to report the illegal pins to designers.

Happy Stitching,

November 25, 2012

Oldies but Goodies!

Just a few winter designs from the past.

Top Row: Snowflakes and Warm Winter Woolens
Middle Row: Gingerbread Trio and Be Merry, Belle Pepper
Bottom Row: The Angels Sang and Winter Wonderland

Something for everyone!

November 24, 2012

The Cubby

Most of you know my Pottery Barn Cubby.  I am still in love with it and change the little squares out with the seasons.  I put some ornaments in the cubbies before Thanksgiving and took a few photos.  Just like last year, if you look hard, you'll see the last ornament for 2012.  It won't be out for a while but it's a little peek.

It looks like my candy cane came off of my Peppermint Twist ornament!  It wasn't sewn on well and now I'll have to figure out a creative way to attach it.  The silhouette is of my dad when he was a boy.  It's a memento I cherish.

And my Boyd's Bears!  I have a lot of those but these are just some of the wintry ones.

Pottery Barn still carries the cubby so if you are interested you can order it online.  They are awesome for holding small stitching pieces.


November 15, 2012

Season of Love and Bear Tree Forest

New pattern time!  We shipped both designs to our distributors yesterday.  The 11th ornament of the year is called "Season of Love".  The little snow couple is so cute holding their stick hands.  Stitch it for yourself but it would make a great gift for a newlywed couple!

"Bear Tree Forest" is another design from LHN featuring THE bears.  I know many of you love stitching "winter" so this was designed for you.  The bears can also be seen on the following designs: Snowy Pines (2010 ornament), Pinetop Lodge and Lakeside Lodge.

Next month we have the last ornament and an amazing reproduction from little Mary Ann Myers featuring six very good sized birds.  You are going to love it.

Happy Stitching,

October 18, 2012

Gingerbread Cookie and Holiday House

The two newest patterns with supply lists are up on our web site!  

Only two more ornaments in the series . . . . . the countdown is on!

Gingerbread Cookie

Holiday House

October 9, 2012

Finished afghan

A few of you have requested to see a photo of the finished afghan. . . . . the one I switched from primarily black to dominate cream coloring.  It turned out beautiful using Vanna's Choice that I picked up at Michael's.  It's throw size. . . . .just perfect for little 'ole me when chilly nights arrive (if they ever do).

There isn't a pattern for the color scheme but you can see I simply alternated two blocks, swapping the cream and green with each other in the centers but then keeping the black and gold consistent in all of the blocks.  Instructions for granny squares can be found for free on the internet.

October 8, 2012

The last of summer. . . . .

Yes, I know summer is officially over but in the southwest, it isn't over until the temperatures go down and the butterflies go home.  So I guess it's still summer here because the butterflies are out in abundance!  Or are those moths?  Pretty creatures whatever they are.  And oh do they love our lantana bushes!  Remember Molly our last Golden Retriever?  She would have pounced all over these winged beauties.  Gracie acts like she doesn't even know they're here!

I know some of you have seen snow and felt cold temperatures already.  Looks like we're hanging on to summer just a little bit longer. . . . . .

Happy Stitching,

September 14, 2012

September Releases!

Happy Stitches to all!  I just finished updating the LHN web site with the new releases. . . . . . I put together a collage to share with you all. . . . . . I know some of you aren't on FB.  :)   

The photo features Winter Plaid, Country Christmas and My Sheep.

And have you seen the new little kit called Peace Tree?  It contains the chart, silk and button. . . . . you supply the frame or finishing.  Shops: this is available only at Hoffman Distributing.

August 20, 2012

Did you see the new patterns?

Hi all. . . . just wanted to be sure you had a chance to stop by the LHN web site to see the new patterns.  Our distributors will be getting them this week so shops will see them very soon.

Left to right: Pumpkin Patch Inn, Take Me Out to the Ballgame and It's Snow Cold.

Happy Stitching,

August 7, 2012

First there was cross stitch, then there was. . . . .

 . . . . . . .  .Needlepoint!

I received a phone call a few months ago from Gail at Ewe & Eye & Friends telling me she was interested in turning some Little House designs into needlepoint canvases.  I can't tell you yet which designs they are using because I simply don't know but I have given them a lot to choose from.  The first canvases will be released in January at the needlepoint market.

You can see their web site here: Ewe & Eye & Friends

More news. . . . . .  the Little House web site has had a big face-lift.  The format is wider and cleaner leaving more room for larger images in the albums on the individual cross stitch category pages.  Use the tab at the top of the page that says "Cross Stitch" and it will take you to a page with links to the themes of the designs.  

This September marks the 9th year we have been in business.  During that time we have released so many patterns and with more to come, I am desperate to find the best way to sort them all out for you.  More changes will come as ideas pop into my head to make navigating easier.  

Happy Stitching,

August 4, 2012

Gracie update and announcement

Yesterday Gracie went to the groomer and had her first ever professional bath and trim.  She looks so cute! It turned out so well that we're thinking it may become a regular event with her.  I'm not saying she liked it though.  When we arrived she looked like she had pretty much had it with all of the "attention" she was getting.  She smells good too if you like the way dogs smell after a bath.  :)

Now on to other things. . . . . . Social media has changed a lot in our industry over the years.  We have taken advantage of two of those avenues for a while now.   Because posts are being duplicated in three spots we're switching things up a bit.  

1.)  The blog is remaining but it will only be used for chats, how-to's or important announcements and of course, pictures of Gracie.  You will no longer see images of new releases here unless there is a special story or how-to attached to the design.

2.)  Facebook (where we have over 2200 followers) will be the spot where we release the new photos of upcoming patterns.  
If you don't have a Facebook account and don't want one, don't worry.  Patterns will still be on our regular web site so you won't miss a thing.

3.)  The LHN web site will continue to function as it has but we will be adding more pages with information such as supply sources for the materials used in our patterns.  

Moving on. . . . . . many of you probably saw the news release from Crescent Colours the other day regarding the change they made regarding sole distributorship of their products to Hoffman Distributing.  If you didn't, this is news to you!  Anyway, this included the thread packed "kits" that Little House and Country Cottage did for them.  They are still available but instead of getting them from Crescent Colours you are ordering from Hoffman.  

Happy Stitching,

July 31, 2012

When a designer is not a photographer. . . . . . .

Have you ever wondered who takes the photos for Little House?  The answer is, I do.  And it isn't easy!  I have had some very nice compliments over the years from stitchers and shop owners on the photos for our covers but in my mind they are never quite good enough.  They either don't capture the details, the colors seem off or the composition is all wrong.  

Just recently a shop owner called on the coloring for the photo "Old Nantucket."  We had a wee of a time trying to figure out if the colors for the house were labeled wrong on the chart or if it was just my photography.  In the end, it was the photograph.  The house itself was the only main color that looked off from the actual model and everything else looked fine.  Why is that?  Does anyone know?  I'd love to be able to bring you covers that would look exactly like the finished piece you are stitching.  

Some of the more difficult fabrics to photograph are grays and greens.  And don't get me started on the gingham checks!!  lol. . . . The greens look grey and the grays look green. Help!  Are there any stitchers that can offer advice as to how to get all the colors looking as they should in the photograph?  I'm open to suggestions.  :)

Happy Stitching,

July 12, 2012

New Patterns for July

I know I'm terribly late posting this but since the patterns don't even ship until Monday, I still feel like I'm within the deadline!

The ornament of the month is "Hot Cocoa".  Oh yum!  Wouldn't this make a great box topper if the box was filled with a gift of hot cocoa mix?  Just an idea.  :)

This is our newest "Inn" design called "Patriot Inn".  
It's smaller than most and comes in the Piece of Cake! design line.

Lastly we have "Around the World in 80 Days".  You will see more book covers down the road in 2013.  I think my job for the most part is a fun one.  Designing this chart definitely fell into that FUN category!

The LHN web site will be updated with supply lists within the next few days.  

Stay cool . . . . . .stay indoors and stitch!

June 23, 2012

Strawberry Stitching Time!

For me, designing a strawberry is as much fun as eating one!  Strawberries are one of my favorite design elements.  I picked four for the collage but there are more!

Starting at the top left and moving clockwise: Strawberry House, Summer Splendor, Fruit Game Boards and M'Lady's Strawberries.

You can also find strawberries in the patterns Fruit Bowls, The Family Sampler, and the Strawberry Cotton Thread Pack.  There may be more but that's what I remember!

Now all you need is the shortcake and whipped cream.  :)

Happy Stitching,

June 21, 2012

“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

Love One Another - Famine Relief
Please see the LHN web site for a special offering from me to you.  
We can make a difference, one person, one dollar at a time.  

LHN Clickable Link

Many Thanks,

June 14, 2012

Old Nantucket and Six Little Cardinals

It started with a box, an antiques dealer, and a mystery. . . . . . .  .

Often times LHN designs begin with my love of something in particular like Early America, stitched houses, fruit, etc.  I think this is the first time a design came from an antique object that didn't belong to me.  Many of you know I like to dabble in genealogy from time to time and it was because of genealogy that I formed a friendship with an antique dealer in New England.  Every now and then he needs help locating the original owner of a sampler and I am always more than happy to jump in to lend a hand.  Last year he presented me with a box that led me down a twisting path to find the girl whose name appeared on it.

Inside lid
The outside of the box was nice, but the inside held the treasure.  I wanted to know all there was to know about Nantucket as I felt I knew close to zero.  After studying the area and the time period I was totally inspired to create a sampler.  By the time I was finished it was complete with an original verse, Cape Cod styled house, whale, ship, and a woman waiting for her love to return home from the sea.  The colors for the design were inspired by the box as well.

Old Nantucket
My mom was the model stitcher for this sampler and the ornament below.

The ornament of the month is Six Little Cardinals.  I love cardinals. . . . . . they show up in a lot of  LHN winter designs.  Nothing better than a tree full of them!  

I will update the LHN web site with supplies in the next few days.  Both of these designs ship to our distributors tomorrow.   Happy Stitching!

May 31, 2012

Did you know?

A short while ago Norden Crafts asked shop owners and designers who were interested, to sign up for a new program they were starting.  Little House was chosen as the first designer to start things off and "In Stitches" in Alexandria, VA was the first shop selected.

You can see what they put together HERE.

And as a thank-you to all of the loyal followers of LHN and the ornament series we are offering you a complimentary design to stitch.  Follow the link above to get your chart!

Happy Stitching,

Rose Hill Plantation - Copyright 2010
See the LHN web site under Inns and Plantations for more information!

May 30, 2012

Plant a Garden With Thread!

Oh how I wish we could have a garden!  A good friend of mine is busy planting hers in a state far away where the soil is rich and the conditions perfect for seeds and new plants.  As for me, gardens need to stay on blog backgrounds (see the new wallpaper?) and on linen!

Fresh Watermelon

Fresh from the Garden

If you are like me and can't plant a garden, or simply don't have a green thumb, take a peek at these LHN designs and see if there is one here that takes the place of a real garden!

Garden Pleasures

Gourmet Garden

Stay Cool and Happy Stitching,

May 21, 2012

Changing Colors

I can't tell you how many times I have seen one of my designs done in different colors and I've said "I wish I had thought of that."  It's true.  In the moment when I'm designing I have a "vision" for the design.  That vision is an expression of my likes and the things I surround myself in my personal life.  

Designing is very personal but so is stitching.  I have heard people pass over a design because it isn't in their colors, saying if only it were in red, blue, yellow. . . . . . . 

Let me show you just how easy it really is to go from my vision to your own.  Let's start with "Home of a Needleworker (too!)."  The design has a red, white and blue color-way.

The dominant color is blue and if your home is void of blue, this could be a problem.  The dilemma most people have with color changing is that they simply cannot get a vision for the design any other way other than the way it was originally stitched.  So how do you even begin to make changes?

First, ask yourself what color you would like to see in the design and pull it from your stash.  Next, using the cover of the pattern as the work space, lay it on top of the color you'd like to replace.  You can blur your eyes a little, squint . . . . but what you are looking for is a general idea of what the design my look like stitched in "your" color.  You don't have to replace every color, maybe just the dominant one(s).  And if in doubt just choose neutrals or those colors found in nature like browns and greens.

The four examples I've shown above have had a minimal amount of change yet they look very different from the original.  After you decide on the main color, go ahead and pull the rest of the threads listed on the pattern and lay them on the fabric.  Look for contrast with the background and color harmony.  

The pattern I chose to illustrate changes in is an easy one to work with.  Granted, many patterns are very complex and take designers hours if not days to complete color choices.  But when it's an easy one like this pattern, you can do it with relative ease and have fun in the process.

Happy Stitching,

May 16, 2012

Ding Dong

The actual name of the ornament this month is "Ding Dong Merrily on High."  And thank goodness I have Vonna doing the finishing again!  She is so creative.  I just love what she did with this one.

It is mounted on foam core and trimmed with twisted thread on the sides with a bow at the top.  All three designs will ship on Friday this week.  It won't be long now!  I hope to have the LHN web site updated that day too.

The temperature in Tucson is HOT.  It doesn't matter if it is 100 or 105.  There comes a point when it pretty much all feels the same.    

We just did some dog-sitting for Nikki while she and the family were away at Juliet's last dance competition of the season.  I caught a sweet picture of Luke and our grandson Andrew that I want to share.

It was so hot on Sunday.  Andrew stripped down to his diaper and played in the pool we had set up for Luke and Gracie.  It was clean water. . . . . I promise.  :)  The dogs were in it the day before, the water changed and then they went in after he left.

When Luke gets in he just lays in the water.  Gracie tip-toes around in it, gets a drink and gets out.

So that's all for now. . . . . thank you all for the wonderful comments on the new patterns, here and on Facebook.  

Happy Stitching,