Blackie is a one ton

Though I may be obsessed with needlepoint, I have an extreme fetish for pick up trucks.  Yes, another Texas icon. This manifested itself in high school when I first saw a Ford F-150. Done deal.

Blackie, as I affectionately call her is my current craze, a 2011 Ford F-350. Yes, she is a female, I have never trusted a male to take me where I am going. The current in a long line of big rigs, she can haul with the best of them! Load of cattle, no problem, tractors on the flat bed, sure thing, but also just me, Karma and Bruzr (my two dog sidekicks) headed home after work.

The Redhead (my husband) is my enabler. Over the years trucks have been the norm for various gift needs. One year I received a Deuce and half, a two and half ton army truck that, in later years he dubbed too small, so now I have a 5 ton Army truck that my grandsons adore. My grandson Trace has named her “Wrecking Crew”  and Davis, who is three isn’t even as tall as the tires.

Davis and "Wrecking Crew"
Davis and “Wrecking Crew”

Another of my favorite rigs is a 1963 restored Power Wagon. She did a stint as the fire truck for the small town of Stonewall, Texas. Now she just carts grand kids over high mountain roads in search of various adventures. She is my avatar! See her in my profile.

The Coleman is a 1962 snow plow, who lived most of its life on the Taos ski mountain before coming to retire with me. A cacophony of colors, but a true workhorse (most women are, right???)

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As you might guess Blackie is black, which is my favorite color, or as Elaine (who runs the shop) told me black is not a color, but the absence of hue. Well anyway it is still my favorite. Several years ago I finally stitched a stocking for myself.

It, of course has a lot of black. This Liz Goodrick-Dillon stocking was just so striking I had to stitch for somebody!IMG_3807

I consider myself more of a “realist” stitcher. I love fanciful stitches, but Liz stockings just seem to scream the need for life like. Most all of the Santa beards that I stitch in stockings are solid outline (or stem) stitch.

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The poinsettias were quick work in an angled satin stitch, same for the leaves and then just a few beads for the centers and the berries.

I just love his beard flowing thru the pine needles.


Santa with Poinsettias can be purchased by clicking here, calling 361.572.0088 or logging on to


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 or call 361.572.0088 or just click here. We would love to stitch along with us! (No guns please).

Afro is Neurotic

But that’s okay he is an emu. Actually I am not even sure that he is a he or a she.  Anyway, one day there he was, in the back pasture just kinda hanging out with the cows. Don’t know how he got there or where he came from.

Unfortunately for poor Afro, he is not very attractive, a little on the scary side and generally a ranch outcast.

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The cows tolerate him well enough, he eats the feed that falls out their trough and can easily side step an irritated mama cow with a calf in tow. But he and the horses….nope, not a match. I am not sure who is more frighten of who, but it is best to just not keep them together.

Right now he is up in the front of the house in one of the weaning pens. He spends most of his day pacing back and forth (hence the neurosis).

He looks a lot better than when he first arrived, his feathers have calmed down and the little top knot of fluff on his head (Afro) has filled out, so we think he is happy enough. Some of my friends though, have said I should give him to the zoo, but geez how would I get him there??? He is not like the cattle that you just load in a trailer and move on….. Anyway we believe God sent him to us for a reason, what reason, I don’t know….so he stays.

Though not neurotic like Afro, I am obsessed. There are many times (like going to market) that I see a canvas and just have to have it. When will I find time to stitch it is irrelevant.  When you own a LNS this can happen daily ( I must learn to pace myself).

IMG_3362Case in point is this amazing Gingerbread Christmas Tree from Shelly Tribbey. Now my whole Christmas decorating theme (yes, of course I have a decorating theme) is based around this piece. Went to market saw it, had to have it, done. I have customers who also have this obsession, thankfully, which is why I am still in business.


Like usual you can buy this great canvas by clicking here, or calling 361.572.0088!

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.

Trace broke my nose

Yes, when he was 2 years old, we were cuddling/wrestling in bed. He zigged, I zagged and BAM there you have it.  He is currently almost 7, a little man with a heart the size of Dallas and Fort Worth. He has taught me so many lessons. After three daughters and one granddaughter, he is my first boy.  He can bounce off concrete and keep going, is quite the wheeler dealer in monopoly and loves to fall asleep watching TV in my lap. So a special guy needs a special stocking…..

IMG_3572 I love stockings from Liz Goodrick Dillon. To date I have finished 16 of them.  For Trace it was a study in turkey work and beading. I wanted his stocking to be elegant, but then also something for concrete bouncing superhero.  Santa’s coat called for a lot of beading and couching down Krenik threads.

IMG_3573 Turkey work is tough for a lot of people, but there is nothing like it for effect. My only secrets are: Don’t give up, make your loops big and cut a little at a time…you can’t put it back on !

IMG_3574So if you have bigger loops, when you cut them you can actually carve the thread.  Over the next couple of blogs you will meet more of my cast of characters, our escapades and adventures and of course, their stockings and other projects. Please remember that all canvases can be purchased from my website or by calling 361.572.0088.


To be here is absolutely shocking me! I can’t even sleep!

First and foremost I want to thank the residents gurus that made all this happen, Blythe and her husband Cale, Janet and Elaine.

The rest of the cast of characters range from Bruzr, Karma and Zusha my three dogs, currently a count of about 25 momma cows and their babies, some horses, mules and one stray and very neurotic emu (that story to come), and those to come and as yet un-named.

In our family Christmas centers around “the stockings”. All of them are from Liz Goodrick-Dillon. The first one was for my Redhead. I hope you will see that my stitch selection and ability has advanced over the years……