Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Norden Fall Show--Introducing Holly and Gingerbread

You guys. Have you heard? Norden Crafts is hosting an online Fall Needlework show, and it starts on Monday!

We are taking advantage of the fun to introduce a little Christmas piece. In case you missed the announcement on Facebook,
here it is--Holly and Gingerbread.
It's stitched on 28ct Lambswool Jobelan and uses all DMC threads.
"Christmas is Holly with Berries of Red
And the Heavenly Fragrance of Warm Gingerbread"

Here's a link to send to your favorite needlework store so they can order it in for you. ;-)

We hope you enjoy!

Monday, May 25, 2015

With Freedom's Holy Light, an Error, Model Stitching, a Needlework Show...

Just wanted to pass on a few important announcements.

1. With Freedom's Holy Light will be available beginning May 29th from our distributors.

This one was a lot of fun to do. We hope you have as much fun putting it together as we did.

2. There was an issue with the interface between the network and printer with our "Now We Have Everything" Birth Sampler. The result is that there were a very few charts (we are guessing fewer than than 6) that slipped through without a chart printed on the inside. If you ended up with a chart that has nothing on the inside, PLEASE contact us so we can get you a replacement chart at no charge. We just need some kind of proof that you purchased it. A photo of your receipt would be ideal, but if you don't have your receipt we'll take a picture of the leaflet showing the empty inside. Email us at or text 8014715668. Please include your mailing address in your correspondence so we can send you the replacement. That goes for shop owners or stitchers--we just want to toss the unusable chart and replace it for you! We are truly sorry for the error!

3. We are pleased to announce we will be participating in the upcoming Norden Crafts Online Needlework Show.  Watch for future announcements!

4. We have had many, many inquiries about our Model Stitcher hunt. We wanted to announce we found some great stitchers and are good to go. We are grateful for all the interest. Thank you so much to those of you who inquired!

Happy Memorial Day!

Finally! Welcome to Summer!

Holy smokes, it has taken a while to get this one to our distributors.
I started our Welcome To series after we moved to our new home, thinking I wanted to have something to help our house feel a little more festive for the seasons.

 That was in 2013, people. It's been a while. A very long while.

Some of you have been patiently waiting that whole time to get the last piece in the series.

Bless your hearts.

Here it is: Welcome to Summer.

We shipped last week and it should be available from our distributors on May 29.

As a refresher, here are the other "Welcome To" charts.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Announcing charts for April: Loved You Yesterday and Leave an Imprint

Like I said before...we have a case of baby backlog here at CHS.

Blame this cutie patootie.

It feels good to get these designs rolled out of cold storage.

Without further ado, here is one more month's worth of our latest kid-themed charts.

Introducing Leave an Imprint

and Loved You Yesterday.

My stitchers have, grandkids, nieces, and nephews, and you need some equally cute cross-stitch designs to hang on their walls...right??

Hope you enjoy! We are shipping next week so they should be available for shops to order shortly after that.

Is there a theme you need for your sweetie? I'd love to hear from you.
 Our Owl Birth Sampler and Loved You Yesterday both started as requests from stitchers. Email me at if you need something you just can't find. Who knows--we may be able to come up with something inspired by you!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I posted our winner over on FB but realized I had not shared it here as well. Sandy 98221, You won the drawing for a free CHS chart. Drop us an email at with your mailing address and the chart of your choice.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Giveaway!

We'd like to announce a CHS Spring Giveaway.

I know, right? Who doesn't like free stash??

The Giveaway:
One lucky stitcher in the continental USA will win a free CHS chart of their choosing.
(Sorry, international stitching friends! Maybe next time. This one is just for the locals.)

For a chance at winning, you can do 1 of 3 things.
1. "Like" the CHS Facebook page, found here:
2. "Follow" the CHS blog. To do that, Click the little blue Google icon that says "Join this site" over there >>>
3. Send us a picture of a finished CHS design that we can share. Email the photo to

The Fine Print:
You will get one entry in the drawing for liking the Facebook page.
(If you've already "liked" it, that's ok! Just send us an email to let us know that you want your old "like" counted in the drawing for the free chart.)
You will get one entry in the drawing for following the Blog.
You will get one entry in the drawing per photo sent, assuming each photo is a separate design. In other words, you can't send ten pictures of the same stitched piece and get ten entries. One design stitched=one entry. If you're going to send ten photos, they need to be of ten separate finished CHS designs. One photo per design, please!

Clear as mud? Great!

We will have our drawing on April 1st...and that's no April Fools. The winner will be announced here on the blog as well as on our Facebook page.

Good Luck!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Now We Have Everything Birth Sampler

We had so much fun putting our March release #2 together for you! Butterflies, hearts, roses, a sweet little birdie and a bird house make a precious birth sampler for a little girl.
The design is stitched on 32 ct. Natural Linen using all DMC threads and includes and alphabet and numbers so you can customize it. The colors and branches coordinate with our other March release, For This Child. Look for this one to make an appearance at our distributors over the next few weeks!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

For This Child

Ta-da! Just wanted to share release #1 this month. It is our version of 1 Samuel 1:27, which was an especially meaningful verse for us this year.

If you've been following the blog for a while, you totally know why.

We are calling this one "For This Child" (I know, so creative!) and are including an alphabet and numbers so you can personalize it a way that is meaningful for you. It uses all DMC threads and is stitched on 32ct Natural Linen. The finished design is less than 5" square, so it is just the right size to whip up over a few nights of your favorite movies or as a quick weekend project.

Watch for it to make its way to our distributors over the next few weeks!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lets Talk About Rosettes


We went a little crazy embellishing our pillows with rosettes last year.

We used rosettes on our Welcome to Winter pillow,

on our Merry Christmas pillow,

and on our We Rake, We Pile, We Jump pillow.

We've had a lot of requests for a tutorial on how to make those little flowers.

Honestly, there are approximately 20 gazillion videos on YouTube about how to make these, and the theory is basically the same on all of them. If you search for "rosette ribbon tutorial" you'll be up to your eyeballs in wrapping and twisting methods that all look the same. I didn't think making yet another tutorial to post here would be an improvement on the body of crafty knowledge already available, but I also didn't want to leave you high and dry.


Let me link you to a helpful video to get you started:

This is not the only way to make a ribbon rosette, but it is the closest one that I found to how I made mine.

There are a few things that the video doesn't show.

1-)  When the video tutorial shows how to start a rosette, it does a diagonal fold coupled with rolling the end a few times. Another method--the one I used on my satin rosettes--is to tie one end of the ribbon into a knot, kind of like this.

Use the knot as the center of the rose, and then twist and wrap around that point. It's a personal preference thing. You can play around to decide which method you like better.  Just wanted to present the knot as an alternative to the diagonal fold and roll method demonstrated in the video. In my opinion, the knot seems to hold a little more securely when you are working with a satin or slippery fabric. If you are working with cotton or grosgrain, the fold and roll seems to work better and be less bulky.

2-)  The length of the ribbon determines how big the flower will be. Every time you fold the ribbon away from the center (to the outside) and then wrap/twist the fold around the center of the rosette, you add a petal. More wrapping and twisting = more petals. More petals =larger flower circumference. It helps me to think about it in exaggerated terms. Basically, If you use a strip of ribbon that is 4 feet long, you are going to have a flower with a larger circumference than if you used a strip of ribbon that was 1 foot long. Right? I used between 1-2 feet of ribbon for my rosettes. This project is not an exact science and is very flexible, so if you are twisting and decide your flower is big enough, snip the extra ribbon off, seal the end with some flame or some fray check, and finish it using the method the video shows.

3-)You can basically use the same folding and wrapping technique with fabric strips, which is what I used to make these rosettes:

If you would like to use fabric instead of ribbon and your fabric has a "right" side and a "wrong" side, just fold your fabric in half horizontally so the wrong side is hidden on the inside. Both sides of the fabric that are on the outside of the strip should be the "right" side. That way, as you fold, the petals will look consistent. If you are using fabric that doesn't have a right side or a wrong side, no folding is necessary. Just twist and roll like you would with ribbon.

I used my stellar computer drawing skills again to illustrate the folding concept for you.

Think of it as making a fabric ribbon.

You don't need to sew the edges together or anything--folding in half is good enough as long as you periodically correct the fold as you are twisting and wrapping the petals into place. You will see some raw edges on the rosettes, but the gluing and rolling keeps the frays from getting out of control. I personally like using fabric because cut edges on the strips makes the end result a little more rustic than if you were to use a ribbon.

Hope that is as clear as mud! As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at . I'll see what I can do to help!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Shhhh! Don't tell, but this is a sneak peek!

 I just got back from LouAnn's house (LouAnn is our model stitcher extraordinaire) and am so excited about our next release that I had to share a sneak peek of her lovely handiwork.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Birthday and an Anniversary

Our CHS 2 year anniversary and our baby's first birthday are kinda sorta about the same time, so we thought we'd combine the celebrations into a little virtual party and invite you all.

Cupcakes all around!
Since this is Baby's first taste of cake, we have to have a cupcake smash. Right? It's tradition.

Baby, meet cupcake.

Cupcake, meet baby.
Ok, this is not the response I was hoping for.

It must have passed the inspection. He went in for more and the second glob went straight to his mouth.

Um... it made his eyes water. Good sign? Bad sign? 
He's thinking.

Verdict? Blech!

Baby, 1. Cupcake, 0. Frosting is overrated.

He'll take a balloon instead, thankyouverymuch.
 S'ok. More cake for us! Yum!

Happy Anniversary, CHS--and Happy Birthday, Baby!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Holy Smokes... 2015, Are We Glad to See You or What!? (2014, Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out.)

You guys.

For serious.

By the end of last year I kinda wanted to poke my eyeballs out. Cry uncle. Something. 2014 at the CHS house started with spinal surgery and hearing loss and ended with a few rounds of meningitis, brain surgery, vision loss, and hospitalizations spanning 3 states' worth of Neuro Trauma Units and Intensive Care.  If I am counting right there were 8 hospitalizations. Eight. Throw the new baby into the mix... and oy!

If you've wondered where CHS disappeared to, the answer is, "to the hospital!" It's been a bumpy ride. Also, if anyone is wondering, yes... I would like a nap. :D.

I want to say we are back and ready to pick up where we left off (and holy cow, do we ever have a back log of designs and some tutorials to push through) but I won't.  I am not superstitious, (ha!) but since both times we said that publicly on the blog last year we promptly found ourselves inpatient once again-- I'm going to knock on wood, throw some salt over my shoulder, and cross all my fingers and toes instead. If you would like to send some good luck vibes our way, we'll take them!


I will say that as of today, we are almost ready to get some new stuff rolling toward our distributors, and are maybe 2-3 weeks out from some official releases.

Assuming nobody starts flirting with death again ;).

We have had to do some restructuring and re-evaluating how things work behind the scenes here to accommodate my favorite little troublemaker's frequent flier status at children's hospitals, and so this year we are hopeful that the changes we made will help things run smoother. The goal is for you to see more designs and less pauses in new releases. We'll see how things go. We've got some help stitching models, we've found a fantastic finisher, and as of this second our little patient appears to be doing all right. I still don't dare plan past tomorrow, but wanted to let you know we are still here!

Onward and upward, right?

So, in the spirit of a very belated holiday letter, sort of like the one we posted last year, I
thought it would be fun to recap how our CHS family spent the holidays again.

I use the word "fun" loosely, in a "you can laugh or you can cry, but laughing hurts less" kind of way. ;)
Ready for a photo explosion?

Awesome. Here we go.

First of all, I have to share my latest holiday culinary discovery. Last year it was bacon frosting, and I still kinda retch thinking about it. This year, it was cranberry salsa. No retching on this one, people. It is life changing, and I am not kidding when I say I could eat this stuff by the gallon.
 You're welcome.

Ok, for real. The holiday recap.

We had a pretty big surgery for this little dude scheduled around Thanksgiving, and we knew he'd be inpatient the day after Thanksgiving which is when we usually set up our Christmas tree. We wanted him to be able to participate in the festivities, so we put the Christmas tree up before we left for the hospital. It was a poignant day for us, because this was not a low-risk operation.

Sure enough, he spent Thanksgiving day in the ICU, and so our Thanksgiving dinner came hospital cafeteria style.

It felt like that old familiar school lunch sort of way.

We weren't really in the mood for eating anyway, so it was ok. There was dry turkey and flaky pie. No complaining here.

As an aside, the downside of having a child who hangs out in intensive care is that you get intensive care germs on your clothes and can pass them on to other folks. Like, your nursing infant, for example. Baby gets a double dose of ICU germs switching back and forth taking turns with whichever parent isn't at the bedside, and then can get sick off those ICU germs and may wind up in the emergency room while big brother is still critical upstairs.

Even if you've been insanely good about hand washing.

Ask me how I know.

2 kids inpatient at the same time. Differerent hospital wings. Par-tay.

This is me with no sleep. I think I was on day 3 here, but I really don't remember.  Baby was feeling better, though! We were waiting for discharge papers.

Also, don't tell, but I think I go cross-eyed after too much mountain dew. Don't judge. You do what you need to do to survive, amiright?

Believe it or not, I didn't realize leaves changed colors in California. I thought they just had perpetual summertime there! This was the view of the courtyard in the hospital as I was walking back and forth between my boys' rooms. Pictures don't do it justice. It was beautiful!

When it was time to leave the hospital with child #2 post-op, our surgeon asked us to hang out in town over the weekend just to be cautious, in case something happened. So we did. Home was a 2 day drive away, and he felt better about us being close.

This was right next to our hotel room. If I hadn't been so tired I might have wandered over to see if they offered tours!

 Anyway, nothing happened over the weekend. It was gloriously boring.

We drove the 2 days home. Again, gloriously boring.

I don't know if it was just the recent hospital experience that made us appreciate the beauty of the drive, or if things were just especially exquisite those 2 days, but wow. We sure savored the sights.

The San Mateo Bridge

Somewhere near the Great Salt Lake.

We got home and were so exhausted we didn't even bring the suitcases in from the car. Our thinking was we'd get some sleep and unload them the next morning.

Murphy's law is a beast.

A few hours after pulling in the driveway, our little surgical patient went downhill at lightning speed.
Back to the ER, this time at the hospital close to our home.


Admitted again.
 And my hospital "Go" bag was full of dirty clothes. Awesome.
A few days and a whole lotta drugs later, our little man got to go home again. We made it back just in time for a ride on the North Pole Express Train with a local organization that provides activities for sick kids and their families. I can't overemphasize how much we needed the mental breather!

The place holder over our seats on the train:

We didn't know it at the time, but that night was basically our entire Christmas holiday.

Peanut spiked a scary fever not long after.


A fever that high makes people pretty nervous when you've just had brain surgery.

We made a mad dash across a few states to get to the neurosurgeon, who took charge and was everything a parent hopes their child's surgeon will be when things don't go as planned.

Inpatient. Again.

Really, after you've been inpatient for as long as we had been at that point, you start appreciating the little things.

Like, say...urinal wreaths.

Nothing like some well placed potty humor to help you get into the holiday spirit.

Just sayin'.

The hospital got our little dude all fixed up, again, and we were homeward bound. Again.

It wasn't quite sunshine and lollipops, though. We realized during the Christmas admission that it just wasn't going to work to keep trying to find folks to tend our duckies every time we had to run to the hospital. You can leave a dog or a cat with a pet day care center, but kennels don't take barnyard critters. So... we made the hard choice to rehome our birds. We found a nice squash farm for them, and were promised they would spend their lives wandering among the horses, eating garden bugs, and swimming in the pond.

Loaded into the crate, saying goodbye on the way to their new home. *sniffle*

Hospitals do funny things to kids. In all seriousness, scared hearts take longer to heal than sick bodies, and can be a lot harder to fix. With our duckies gone, we adopted this poochie to help with some of the fallout from the hospital as well as some of the health challenges our little boy now struggles with. This doggie is just what the doctor ordered!

(How can you not fall in love with a face like that? And those ears?!? stoppit. *swoon*)
Our kids are calling him Muffy.

Don't tell, but that's short for Muffin top.

We've got him on a diet, but I'm pretty sure that even when he is svelte and trim, the name is going to stick!
And that, my friends, was how we spent our holidays: Heavy on the hospital, light on the festivities. We are quite hopeful that next year I can report 2 solid weeks of flavored popcorn, White Christmas marathons, some stitching, and gluttonous amounts of egg nogg consumed. Keep your fingers crossed!  If, however, we don't break with tradition and we end up inpatient again, we may ask you to share photos of your holidays....Just so we don't forget how normal people live! Deal? Deal.  ;).