Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Hand-Embroidery Patterns: "The Holiday Sampler Gift Set" Now Available Online!

A bit of good news! A month ago, I featured a "Christmas in July" give-away pillow...

I wanted to let you all know that the eBook with instructions for stitching and creating that very pillow, along with two other holiday patterns is now available at You Can Quilt This and You Can Make This. For you machine embroidery enthusiasts, each design is also available for purchase at SWAK Embroidery as well!

Now is the perfect time to get started on those holiday projects...especially with the chidlers back in school, and maybe an hour or two of free time on our hands! (But remember what I always say: just take that stitching with you, and stitch in the little minutes of waiting here and there, and you'll surprise yourself at how much you get done!)

Nothing beats the price of, and the love put into a homemade gift. Why not give it a try? And remember too, I'm here for you! So if you have questions or need clarification, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'd love to see what you are making! Happy Stitching!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Showcase Summer Memories with a "Rock"in' Necklace

My kids love to collect "stuff" from every place we visit: We have pressed leaves from particular camping spots, pine cones and sticks from the forest, seashells from the beach, and dirt from other vacation spots...each representing happy memories of summer fun.

We found some wonderful rocks on the beach in Oregon this summer, and my Little Missy just couldn't leave one of the souvenir shops there without purchasing the shiny pink rock you'll see in the photos. Needless to say, it's always fun to find a new way to "showcase" parts of their collections, and I was excited to find the idea for these rock necklaces a few years ago, although we finally created them for the first time this summer!

The idea is from Family Fun, and we added our own flair to them, and went it about it in a slightly different manner. If you have a rock hound at your house, this might be fun for you as well! We decided these necklaces were a perfect way to hold onto those summer memories as everyone returned to school.

Here is what you need to make a "Summer Memories" Rock Necklace of your own:

*A small rock
*20 gauge wire
*leather or suede lace, or ribbon
*Needle-nose pliers

1. Start by making a loop with the wire and wrapping the wire around itself to create a loop for hanging the ribbon or leather through. Use the pliers to squeeze the wire together at the end.

2. Next, position your rock toward the "front" of the loop. Holding the rock in place with one hand, wrap the wire around the rock several times, creating a sturdy "cage" for the rock.

Wrap the end of the wire around the loop area, and tighten or crimp with the pliers to hold the wire secure. Twist and adjust the loop if necessary to help the rock hang straight when the ribbon or lace is threaded through it.

3. Thread with a ribbon or suede lace, tie a knot, and voila! You have a new "rock"in' accessory!

My girls think these necklaces are fabulous, but even my teen and tweener boys thought they were worth making. (That says something!) These necklaces are super easy and fast, and a fun way to remember and showcase some of those summer camp outs and vacation memories!

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Christmas After July" Give-Away Winner!

I want to thank each of you festive folks for participating in the "Christmas After July" Give-Away! Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for some Christmas fun when most of you are sweating in the heat and thinking about getting those kidlets "Back to School". (I just sent mine back today...imagine the happy dance going on in my house right now.)

So...the results for drawing are in from, and the lucky winner of our drawing is:

Scott and Katie Ulrich Family!

"That is so stinkin' cute. You are always coming up with such cute things. I love them. I love to check your blog and see what new things you have come up with and what things I could even THINK about making."

Congratulations! (And thank you for saying such nice things! I'll get in touch with you for your postal address so I can get this sent out to you this week!)

Now, I hate for there to be non-winners. It stinks when you're one of them. I really wanted each of you to have this pillow! So after some thinking on this, I've decided that each of you that were so kind to play along with my give-away game will be receiving the instructions to make your own. (I will be happy to help any of you who are feeling unsure about this. I will hold your hand through the process if you need it, and you will have success--I promise!) This e-Book has not yet been released online, so all of you will be the first to have them in your hot little hands via the magic of email.

The e-Book contains the patterns and complete instructions to stitch and sew the "Celebrate the Season" pillow shown in the give-away, along with two additional holiday designs. The e-Book is still in its final stages, but should be completed and sent out to each of you by the end of this week. (Hurrah!!) It should be available for purchase through and within the next few weeks.

So, once again, thanks a bunch for playing along, and congratulations to our winner! We'll do it again!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"A Little Tipsy" Thanks!

If you haven't had a chance yet, please click here to direct you to a "Christmas After July" home decor shelf pillow that I'm giving away to a lucky winner on Monday, August 10! You have until midnight on Sunday, August 9 to enter!

I have been a super lucky gal this week, as another new Blogland friend interviewed me and invited me to be a spotlight on her blog as well. It's been a little crazy around here!

I met a darling person at the "Moms Who Make It" Conference held earlier in July. I was sitting next to her at lunch, and as we were all getting to know each other, I was excited to learn that she had a blog called "A Little Tipsy" and I happened to already be one of her followers! She is a delightful person, and her blog is full of clever "tips" she's gathered and created, hence her blog name (it's not what you might think at first!).

You can see us at lunch in the photo above... Michelle from "A Little Tipsy" is on the far left, followed by Me Myself. Next to me is another hilarious gal named Jen who was representing Boutique Cafe. Next to her are my comrades and dear friends from You Can Make This: Kris (momentarily invisible in the chair next to Jen, but she looks a lot like her twin Kim), Kim, and Sherrie.

So I just wanted to send a huge "THANKS" her way for taking the time to spotlight "Needle in a Haystack"! Check out her blog---she's got great ideas for gifts, showers, birthdays, home decor, organizing, you name it. And if you're not totally sick of reading quirky tidbits and factoids about me, you can visit her interview of me here:

Now, on to other business....I'm guessing some of you out there are feeling rather shy about commenting about this give-away that I'm sponsoring, or that you hate thinking about Christmas in the summer, or perhaps you really hate festive home decor items, or absolutely don't want to get a jump start on your Christmas gift shopping. ...Aww, I'm just teasing about all that.

But really, I'd love for each of you to have the chance to win the holiday pillow I'm giving away. (I made it with my own two little hands!) Click here to be directed to the give away, and if you like what you see, please leave me a comment and you'll automatically be entered to win! You have until Sunday, August 9th at midnight to enter.

Thanks, and good luck!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Trip Over to the iLash Girls...

Be sure to scroll down for the opportunity to win a "Christmas After July" Home Decor Pillow! Leave a comment by August 9 to be included in the drawing!

You've heard me talk about my friend Leigh Anne over at

She has THE yummiest and some of the most unique recipes I've tried. Everything I've made that she's shared has been absolutely delicious! And her pictures make you want to eat right off the screen---do you see what I mean? These Banana Cupcakes are next on my list to try!

She's a very talented woman, and one I'm glad to have gotten to *know* through our interactions and emails via the internet. Be sure to visit her blog regularly. I promise--she will not disappoint!

Leigh Anne's friend Sherra also has a blog at in which she shares life lessons and her witty sense of humor and take on life. Not only is her blog entertainly funny and down to earth, she is a talented speaker, specializing in helping women balance life and their homebased businesses.

Together, they have created a blog specifically designed for promoting and supporting women called iLash Girls. They are a dynamic team! Their site is a place to bring women together, share ideas, promote womanhood, and to encourage women to take time for ourselves. I love their philosophy, and you can read more of it here. They focus on one word each month, and that word becomes the theme for their posts. They offer regular quotes, and sometimes interview people with a story that relates to the theme. And another bonus? They have some fabulous give-aways! They seek out and find some marvelously talented women out there who provide some amazing gifts. (Still waiting for my lucky number to be drawn!)

A while back I sent a comment to these gals about an experience I had when my mother died--how a simple act of kindness by some friends had such a great impact on me. Well, they contacted me recently and asked if I would be interested in being interviewed on their site, and to share that story with their theme of this month, which is "Simplicity". I was thrilled, and of course, said yes! You can read the interview and the story about my dear friends here.

In the interview, they asked me some interesting of which was, "What is something no one knows about you, but you don't mind the whole internet world knowing?" Well, for the life of me, I couldn't think of anything very interesting to share that no one really knows. I was momentarily saddened to realize that I have such a dull life. (Maybe that's a good thing?) I ended up telling about my truck driving experience on our farm when I was 14. Hmmm....Not too gripping. Even asking my hubby wasn't much help. The options I had to choose from? Let's see...

*I HATE earwigs more than almost any crawling thing. More than spiders. They totally creep me out.

*How about the blind date I went on with Jimmy Osmond in college. You know...Donny and Marie's little, (not-as-handsome) brother? He was polite and nice, but it didn't amount to anything at all, and I never saw or heard from him again. And, I never met Donny or Marie. However, my college roommate became Marie's nanny for a while, but that's a whole different story!

*I could say that once upon a life I was a BYU Cougarette--back when I had energy and a thinner frame! Yep, poofy hair, head flips, leotards--the whole shootin' match for 3 years. Some of my favorite memories.

*Or, I succumbed to peer pressure and used to jump off a local bridge into a canal and swim with my high school volleyball teammates after practice. Doesn't sound like such a bad idea, except for the fact that I was a horrible swimmer, and could have easily been swept downstream and drowned.

*I had two miscarriages.

*I have a degree in Elementary Education and taught 5th grade for 6 years.

*I lived one summer in Switzerland with two college roommates.

*I'm the youngest of 6 kids--my oldest sister being 21 years older than me. Yes, she could be my mother, age-wise.

*Cancer is a threat we siblings have to face. My dad died of colon cancer, my mother of breast cancer, and my oldest sister has faced a brain tumor twice now.

*I was part of a three gal team that pitched the "Qwikit" scrapbooking system to Provo Craft. Okay, so that's sort of interesting. Provo Craft took the idea and ran, but through poor marketing, and a list of complications, it failed miserably after only a few months. Big bummer for us, but a cool experience to go through.

So, I guess there are maybe a few out-of-the-ordinary things about my ordinary life, now that I have forced myself to reflect on them....but whether we consider them interesting or mundane depends on our perspective and where we are in our lives, I suppose. And just maybe, a seemingly dull life is A-ok. Less drama has to be a bonus, I'm thinking.

But that's also got me thinking, and my inquiring mind wants to know....what about the rest of you out there in blogland? How would you answer that question? What are things about you that the rest of the world may not know about you? Please share. I'd love to hear.

And, be sure to check out iLash Girls and sign up for their RSS feed. It's a great community to be a part of!

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