Sunday, March 23, 2014

Move Over June Cleaver.....

and make room for me! As many of you know, March 7, 2014 was my last day at the print shop. I want to thank so many of you who left kind and thoughtful comments, and to those who didn't, but kept me in their prayers. It has been a tough road for sure, but bored I'm not! I have kept myself busy like never before in my life. Some of it, I'm sure, is nervous energy. But I decided to NOT treat this like a vacation-sleeping in, staying in my pj's all day while I stitch up a storm. I've done everything but. Being unemployed has offered me the time and ambition to do so many things around the house that I previously lacked time for. Our bathroom sink, like most, needed a shelf underneath to make organizing easier, as did our kitchen sink. Such wonderful open spaces....so WHY don't they come with shelves?! I am happy to report, that with a little yankee ingenuity, shelves have been installed under both sinks and look a little bit like this:


The next project I tackled was scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees. Our kitchen gets all the foot traffic and as you can imagine, it's impossible to keep the floor clean. Our tiles are very forgiving, because their color allows the dirt to be camouflaged making one think that "they aren't THAT dirty"..... and that my dear friends, is called denial! I perused Pinterest and found a wonderful recipe for heavy duty floor cleaner. Warm water, washing soda, white vinegar, a bit of dish soap, a Mr. Clean scrub brush and LOTS of elbow grease, back strength, and arm power......BAM! My floor looks brand new once again.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I Wish I Had Better News....

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, I am a graphic designer by trade.

I knew from the time I was a junior in high school, that I wanted to spend my life designing and letting my creative spirit soar.

I have held graphic designer positions at 5 different jobs since high school graduation, and 3 of those 5 have closed their doors.

I received word from my boss yesterday, that our tiny little print shop will be going out of business and that Friday is our last day. I still can't believe it even as I write this terrible news to you. I am at a loss. I have had the wind knocked out of my sails so many times that it's going to be hard to pick up the pieces this time around.

Jobs are NOT plentiful in my neck of the woods or any neck of the woods for that matter.

I truly wish to continue designing my samplers that so many of you have come to love, however that won't and can't replace my full time salary.

I think it's time to leave my graphic arts field in the dust and pursue a mid-life career change. I haven't yet received a sign from "The Big Boss" as to what I might be gainfully employed at.

My faith has always been such a big part of who I am, and I'm finding it so very hard to look to the heavens for help and guidance.

Please pray for me and my family, that peace and prosperity might soon again visit our place down by the creek.

With much love,
Diane


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tomorrow's Birthday is dedicated to....

my INCREDIBLE mom. That's right folks, tomorrow is my 42nd birthday. Just me and ole Abe Lincoln. I like to tease my mom and ask her why she couldn't have held me in for another 2 days so that I could be a valentine baby and celebrate with my grandpa.
This was my 1st birthday in 1973. And the man holding me was my amazing grandpa.
Every birthday I am reminded how blessed I am that God gave me such a wonderful mom. She was faced with the challenge of raising my sister and me after my father left. I always felt that mom deserved flowers on my birthday for giving me the gift of life. Mom, these are for you...
Thank you for being strong for me when you felt weak. Thank you for giving me what I needed, not what I wanted. Thank you for keeping your cool throughout my childhood temper tantrums. Thank you for making me feel important yet not allowing me to think the world revolved around me. Thank you for loving me when I was unlovable. Thank you for telling me I can do anything if I put my mind to it. Thank you for giving me life. I love you!
Mom always made sure I was clothed, fed and loved.
and when I was bad, she fed me to the goats!

1973: In my pj's hanging out with mom
Such a toothy grin! 1st grade 1978
Graduation Day! 1990
2004: When mom married my step-dad
Life is so good! Here's to 42! May it be full of wonderful things (like perhaps a piece of chocolate cake with peanut butter icing)!
 
Thanks for celebrating with me down by the creek!
Diane

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day in PA...

Hello and welcome to a very snowy Silver Creek Samplers blog post. I hope you wore your boots and mittens because we are cleaning out from a storm that left us with perhaps 10" of that cold white stuff. I can't really complain too much as I have said I'd rather have snow than the brutally cold temperatures we (and a lot of you other folks) endured for much of January.

While my boys are out shoveling, I thought this would be a good time to catch you up on what's happening in my corner of the world. With the projected storm on it's way, yesterday my boss declared today a snow day. The print shop I work at is a very tiny company with 3 employees and my boss has a 1.5 hour commute to work every day. He said he couldn't expect us to get to work when he himself would most likely not make it either, so we closed up shop for the day. Quite sensible if you ask me.
So glad the boys didn't have trouble getting the shovels to start!
First order of business: an update on my transformation. I mentioned in a previous post, my long over-due and sorely needed trip on the weight-loss wagon. I'm still riding the wagon with a total weight loss of 55 pounds so far. I haven't felt this fantastic in many years. I can't put into words how good it feels to look in the mirror and actually like what I see. I have taken my picture every month so I can remind myself how far I've come. If you don't mind, I'd like to share them with you now...

September 2013 
October 2013  
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
I'm up Monday-Friday by 5:30am to walk my 4 miles on the treadmill. I also walk every Saturday, just not as early. I hope to participate in a 5K in May and another in July. Thanks for sharing in my victories so far. Now on to NEW stitching business...

With so much of my focus on weight loss, I don't seem to be stitching or designing as fast as in years past. BUT I do have something new in the works that I'd like to share a sneak peek of...
"Shelter of Your Wings" will be my next release, as soon as I can finish the stitching. As with weight loss, stitching does take time and doesn't happen over night, but the rewards are sure worth it!

Thanks for visiting with me here at Silver Creek. Oh by the way, I'm almost up to 100 followers. Me thinks that it's almost time for another fun pattern give-away, so spread the word and invite some new friends to join my growing list of followers.

Stay warm and happy stitching dear friends!

Diane


Friday, December 27, 2013

Unwrapping a New Year

Hello blog-reading friends! Well, it's 2 days post Christmas. The gingerbread cookies have been consumed (only 2 small ones made it past my mouth!), the gifts have been exchanged, and there's only a small bit of Christmas dinner (chicken-n-biscuits) that remains in the refrigerator.
Colvin and Molly on Christmas morning.
Colvin, Me, and my hubby Alan
Since I began designing in 2009, this time of year worries me a bit. As each year has drawn to a close, I have amassed a collection of 10-15 newly designed samplers awaiting their time to be stitched and released. Each year, I wonder silently to myself: What if no one likes my new designs? What if my creativity fails me and I turn up with a bad case of designer's block?

Am I the only slightly insecure designer to feel this way? I surely hope I'm in good company and not in need of professional help. My wish is that 2014 brings downpours of inspiration and endless design ideas. I wish to thank all of you for supporting Silver Creek Samplers over the past 4 years. Without you, this would merely be a pipe dream instead of the reality that it has become. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.

On that note, let us all clear out the clutter from the past year and ready ourselves to fill the blank pages of this brand new coming year. Together, we can make it GREAT!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
from Silver Creek Samplers

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I hope there's still time.....

for you all to stitch another Christmas sampler. In a previous post, I shared a sneak peek of "Mary's Lullaby" with you. Since I'll be shipping them to my distributors very soon, I will now reveal the whole sampler to you...
Here is a list of the floss supplies needed for this sampler:
The Gentle Art..........Oatmeal
Weeks Dye Works.....Sand
The Gentle Art..........Cinnamon
The Gentle Art..........Crystal Lake
The Gentle Art..........Slate   
The Gentle Art..........Old Red Paint
Weeks Dye Works.....Hibiscus 
The Gentle Art..........Summer Meadow
Weeks Dye Works.....Deep Sea    
Weeks Dye Works.....Gold    
Weeks Dye Works.....Tin Roof 
The Gentle Art...........Dark Chocolate

Thanks for stopping by the creek!
Diane      

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sweet Lullabies

Did any of you have a special lullaby that you sang to your child?

I did. I used to sing "Edelweiss" to Colvin every night. It was a soft soothing tune that was guaranteed to send Colvin on his way to dreamland, as is the nature of all lullabies. I decided to personalize this special lullaby by changing one word in the last phrase. "Bless my homeland forever" was lovingly changed to "Bless my Colvin forever." I can still hear his sweet little toddler voice asking me to, "Sing Edel-mice, Momma". Even though Colvin is now WAY past the age of lullabies, my song has now turned into a prayer for him.....May you bloom and grow forever.

With the Christmas season swiftly approaching, this post has me wondering what kind of lullaby Mary sang to her newborn Jesus. Surely he cried and needed to hear a soft melody that would calm and soothe him. Perhaps it was one that had been sung to her when she was tiny.

My new Christmas sampler which is due to be released VERY soon, is a tribute to the lullabies that Mary surely sang to Jesus. It is fittingly named "Mary’s Lullaby", and here is a little peak to feast your eyes on...
May the soft soothing sounds of the upcoming Christmas season, calm and quiet your soul.

Bloom and grow my friends!
Diane