Category Archives: Cross Stitch


quilts and miranda sings 002

Last year, my quilting friend and I talked about getting together each month to sew, which rarely happened. But 2015 is a new year, and yesterday we met at her home resolved to sew.

She worked diligently with her rotary cutter to make pieces for a placemat. Her daughter, who was home from college on break, joined us needle in hand to sew a cross stitch picture. And I stared blankly at three unfinished quilt projects that I had sprawled out on their dining room table.

Each of my pieces had promise, but my creativity was stumped. I was ready to stick each project in a drawer never to be seen again, much less to be completed, when my friend rearranged some of the squares of the first project, offered her suggestions on the second and admired the third.

Seeing my work through her eyes breathed new life into the dormant quilts. I wrote down her suggestions and some of the ideas that they sparked within me. Now the projects are moving forward again.

Needle arts are more than the mechanics of stitching. They also involve the sharing and communicating of ideas.


SWEEPING AWAY THE SEWING DUST BUNNIES My children are entertaining themselves this week, so I’m having my own stitching retreat at home. The first day, I finished putting the binding on a table runner that I began about three Halloweens … Continue reading


PROGRESS COMES WITH DOING NOT WATCHING I was feeling down yesterday when my my kids suggested we watch the movie Secretariat together. “Let me get something to sew while we watch,” I said. But I didn’t move out of the … Continue reading


RESCUE ME My mom, sisters and I like to browse through second-hand stores. They do it all the time. I’m a rather new shopper. I might have to stop because almost always I find a piece of needlework that must … Continue reading


WHAT’S ON THE BACKSIDE ALSO COUNTS My friend’s sister runs an orphanage, and one of the skills they teach the children is needlework. Her sister sent me a beautifully hand-stitched kitchen towel, which is adorned with a strip of colorful … Continue reading


A YEAR OF CRAFTING KICK-OFF A new year of crafting has begun! Each July, my mom, sisters and I get together to plan craft projects we want to work on for the next 12 months. I am in awe of … Continue reading

Visualize. Organize.

I cross stitched my New Year's resolution and made a magnet to hang on my refrigerator.

If I want to adopt a resolution for 2012, the goal comes down to two words – visualize and organize.

“Visualize” opens all kinds of creative doors for crafters. We each see the world through our own eyes, so each item we make reflects what we see. We can all follow the same scarf pattern. But if we compare the finished products, they will each end up featuring different sizes, different colors and different flaws.

What I like about crafting is that each time I work on a project, ideas for the next project start flowing through my thoughts and fingertips. I don’t want to lose my passion for the next idea, which is why I am usually working on several projects at once.

This is where the “organize” resolution steps into my craft area. I have all kinds of tools – paper, scissors, fabric, beads; needles, yarn, pencils, patterns. They each need a place, so I can find them when I need them. Otherwise, my projects come to a standstill while I search through drawers and closets. Or even worse, I end up spending money on supplies I already own.

For 2012, I want to visualize and organize. The possibilities are vast.


Get Skinny, Make Money

This gallery contains 2 photos.

  The meaning of my Christmas tree changes after December 25. The twinkling lights that gave me a feeling of waiting and hope throughout Advent, now inspire me to act and shine brightly in the new year. The possibilities of … Continue reading

Back to School — Nautical Ruler

The message on this ruler is "Measure It."

ChatterboxBeach offers a variety of back-to-school items. One of our favorite, is an acrylic ruler that has the message “Measure It” written in nautical flags. The ruler is a great addition to any desk and makes a great gift for a favorite teacher or student. It would be a welcome addition to a college freshman care package.


To see more gifts available from ChatterboxBeach, visit

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Holiday Sweet Tooth

Candy Cane Topper

Candy canes are a special treat at Christmas time. Why not give the school bus driver or your special hair stylist a jar topped with a red and white cross-stitched candy cane lid cover. Fill the jar with individually wrapped candy canes or peppermints and you’ve got the perfect gift. Or consider putting the jar with candy on a table for guests in your own home.


ChatterboxBeach is celebrating Christmas in July. Thinking about holiday décor and gift-giving now might offer you more time to enjoy the holidays with friends and family in December. We will be featuring Christmas in July products for the rest of the month. To see more holiday gifts available from ChatterboxBeach, visit

Enjoy browsing!