I wasn’t Born in Texas……

But I got here as quick as I could, as the bumper sticker says. You just don’t move to Texas, it moves into you (probably another bumper sticker). I was born in North Jersey and moved to Texas in the early 70’s, so by now I think that makes me native. Ranch, check, cows, check, drive a pickup…. you got the idea…..  Life has handed me some twists and turns of late and my writing/needlepoint inspiration had abandoned me. But yesterday, I was struck when my new housekeeper, with only three days on the job, killed a pretty big snake just outside my garden.



This guy is a coral snake, yes he is poisonous and yes he is dangerous. But as pointed out by Harper, my spicy daughter, he is iconic. A slithery symbol of the Texas landscape. This got me thinking about all that inspiration around me! Just the striking colors in this picture stopped me in my tracks! He is the third snake this summer, the other two being more venomous cottonmouths. But the best Texas snake symbol would probably be the rattle snake, luckily one of those has not visited ….yet. Several customers in the shop have stitched snakes, including this rattle snake by Liz Goodrick-Dillon that I did several years ago……..scary….maybe this is too many pictures of snakes, might have nightmares.


So now it is life as a cowgirl…..


IMG_5150My desk chair proudly displays my motto. This canvas is by Patti Mann. Life is so different than it was in the 70’s………









So speaking of the 70’s,  I have been working on my Texas Armadillo, specifically his armor.  The stitch used for his armor plate reminds me of a sport coat my Dad wore in that era, almost exactly.



Figures and images of Texas are all over this canvas. The big Guadalupe Bass will be stitched in basket-weave and then covered with clear sequins to look like scales. We shall see…. But he is coming along.


For fun I made each prickly pear pad a different stitch. I am thinking that the tunas (fruit) will need some dimension, but we are still talking. The blue bonnets just cried out for french knots. Done in one of my favorite new threads, several  Threadworx overdyed Kreniks. The monarch has some Flair, some beads and some turkey work, made him flashy.


Had some issues with the grass, still needs some more beads, but now that I am a little more motivated he is starting to come together.

So be inspired by the world around you, Be Texas loud and Texas proud!!    “The last best place”, according to Ted Nugent!


To order any of these canvases please call us at 361.572.0088 or click here


The Yaks are coming

Santa Fe is beautiful whens it snows. The chile ristras and boughs are just starting to come out for Christmas decorations and now they are covered in a light dusting of snow.  My husband, the Redhead and I have come to Santa Fe for business and are having dinner and a glass of wine at a nice restaurant.  This rare occasion is because he went to visit a yak farm today.  Apparently, I need some yaks and it is far better to inform me of this over a nice dinner and a glass of wine. It has taken over thirty years to turn this Yankee city girl into a cattle woman and now you want me to do what?!?!?….. Maybe two glasses of wine.

In an effort to keep our ad valorem taxes low he has been researching animals we could raise in the mountains. We tried raising steers for several years. The mountain lions loved that. Then he looked into buffalo. They can fend off coyotes and mountain lions, but they can also bust a fence and run for miles. Yeah right, we border the national forest…. nope. So now it looks like the yaks are coming. Yaks are healthy as a meat source and once a year you can comb them and use their down to process into yarn. Okay I’m into fibers, I could maybe go for that. But we shall see…..the saga continues……

So in the mean time I have finished a backgammon game board that my oldest daughter started…..

IMG_3978This piece was way too fun. The original set came with game pieces that we have not been able to find anymore (part of the problem when it takes so long to finish something). So I think I will try to make some pieces with FIMO to look like the middle medallions.

IMG_3979Needless to say we will have to wait and see how that turns out……

I also finally finished Dylan’s garden!


IMG_3992Just a wild as my crazy haired granddaughter….

So I thought my favorite was the springy blue stem on the big tall flower, but that little rainbow snail with the bobble eyes has stolen my heart!!!

IMG_3993As you can guess with all those little beads and things it would be way too tempting for an 18 month old to pick all that off, so it won’t be a pillow anymore, it needs to framed.  So off to the finisher, when they come back I will let you see how they turn out…..






My other Redhead

Kathleen is my alter ego. I want to grow up and be Kathleen. She lives on her ranch with all her animals and stitches in bed with her dogs most afternoons.  She has beautiful red hair very similar to my husband,  the Redhead.  I am hoping my granddaughter Dylan will have red hair.

Kathleen was my very first customer. She came in before the store was even finished and my inventory was spread out all over the place. She hasn’t slowed down yet.

IMG_3818My life and Kathleen’s run very linear. When she comes to visit we talk about cows, horses, dogs, oh yes and needlepoint. My favorite Kathleen story was when she needed to shred at her place down by the coast. She was lamenting how to get her tractor down there. “How big is the tractor?” I asked ” I don’t know, pretty big.”  she answered. ” Well, Kathleen, do you think it would fit on a forty foot?” “Oh I am sure.” she said.  “Okay, I will have Sherry bring the forty foot to your house.” Done. So later on that month her sister comes in from California and exclaims how great everything looks now that it is mowed. “However did you get that tractor down here Kathleen?” the sister questioned. “Well, I just went to the needlepoint shop….”

Full service, I just love that Kathleen….love you too…..

So Dylan’s Garden and I are back talking. I found some stitches to work into the background, finished the flower on the left and the big one in the middle.

IMG_3860IMG_3859Love the pom poms in the middle. They are glued in there with fabric glue. I am very new with working with Silk Wrapped Pearl Purl, so don’t look too close….


Got some ideas for the flower on the right, needs a few beads….

Next time we will see what happens with all those leaves and stems……

As always we would love to have you call 361.572.0088 or visit our website pasttiimesneedlepoint.com to purchase this canvas or anything else we could help you with!

Yard Rage

Texas has lots of symbols and icons… pickup trucks, lone star beer, longhorn steers and armadillos to name just a few. Believe me these are not the warm fuzzies played out in soft plush toys. I am talking about armadillos. This cast iron armored menace can lead to many late night escapades at my house. A single armadillo can totally tear a yard up in one evening. Being nocturnal they attack in the wee hours of the morning, then under the guise of looking for slugs and bugs, they can totally demolish my whole yard. This of course mainly happens when festivities are planned and after all the gardening is “done”.

My ranch in South Texas is run by one amazing lady. Sherry is often my accomplice in various adventures, one of which is armadillo hunting.  Lest I offend anyone who is not familiar with an armadillo, this is no easy task. Though not very smart, bearers of bad eyesight and general malaise, they are still very wily. It is true hunting.

We have tried angling wooden boards from their hole into a trap. Nothing will make you madder than waking up the next morning to the boards all over the yard and everything dug up again.  Poison, plugging up the homes, but… Plan B….. Sherry sets her alarm to 3 in the morning, gets her AR-15 (a lot of gun for an armadillo, but now she is mad) turn on all the lights in the yard and hunt down that little toot. Sherry is of medium stature with long blonde hair, so you need the picture in your mind of her in her nightgown and cowboy boots, toting that big gun.

Gunshots at 3 am are not the norm at my house, but not unusual either. Annie Oakley of course sent that guy to better yards in the great beyond. So when Melissa Shirley’s Armadillo came into the shop that “gotta have it” fever struck again and now he will be the next project, a memorial if you will. Of course full of Texas icons, I am most fascinate with the monarch ( I think I will stitch him first). We will have to make him pop!


Then I think next will be that large mouth bass. Got some ideas…..we’ll see where it leads.


Full of pecans, horny toads, mockingbirds and bluebonnets I am thinking I can get over the armadillo.


So if you want to follow along please get online to pasttimesneedlepoint.com or call 361.572.0088 or just click here. We would love to stitch along with us! (No guns please).

The mule lived

Mainly because everything came together.

Rhonda is a very small red mule. She is not my mule, but belongs to Christine, who helps run things up at the mountain ranch. Late yesterday evening, the Redhead and I heard Christine’s voice come over the radio,  the mule was down. She was talking to her husband Mike, asking that he come to the barn to help her. So when we didn’t hear anything for awhile, I called back on the radio to find out how Rhonda was doing. Christine was crying. Rhonda had colic. She had gotten into a patch of fresh alfalfa and eaten too much. So the Redhead starting looking up 24 hour emergency vets in the area. I called Joanne, my housekeeper for about five years, who literally knows everything. We got Christine on the phone with the vet and JoAnne was driving back to the ranch with a shot to give Rhonda to help with the colic.

Today Rhonda is fine and up eating hay. I love a happy ending.

Some needlepoint projects take a lot longer to come together.IMG_3504

I have been working on this canvas for my granddaughter Dylan. At first everything was just coming together so fast, then the pink leaf with the beaded edge wasn’t right and I couldn’t grasp the big flower in the bottom middle.


I tried beading it…..nah, but I do really like the pompoms! Arghhhh, ok take out the beads and walk away. Sometimes they just need a little time to themselves…..

Like always you can get this canvas and follow along in this adventure, just click here or call 361.572.0088 and order directly from the store.