Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Country Garden Stitchery & Deer Hill Farm Cross Stitching

Featured Designer

Cathie Richardson of

How long have you been a stitcher and how did you first learn about stitching?
I've been stitching since my children were little.   I first learned about stitching growing up.  I remember hand embroidered dresser scarves around the house and my grandmothers doing different kinds of needlework.  I began stitching with cross stitch kits with the designs printed on the fabric.    One of the first designs I tried to make was a little pink sampler for my daughter when she was a born, but my son found it and my scissors too and started cutting and that was the end of that one!    I also discovered I enjoyed drawing about the same time. My husband and I would take the kids out into the desert to explore and I would draw the old rock houses, old structures, neat gnarly trees and whatever else I could find. I decided to try my hand at designing my own patterns, putting my drawing interest with the cross stitch interest and I eventually added hand embroidery patterns.
How long have you been in business?
My business didn't begin at a certain time, it has gradually evolved into what it is today. I've learned a lot about myself in the process and it has been a wonderful and exciting experience seeing it come together.  I really enjoy working with other needlecraft artists and learning about the industry, trends and products.   I design needlework patterns from my drawings and have come to use the drawings on gift items, fabric and greeting cards as well.  
What are a few of your favorite themes when designing a pattern?
I enjoy working with garden and nature themes and my designs always have those elements in them.  I enjoy drawing daily all year round.  I take my journal outside and find something to draw whether it is something in my summer garden or an interesting shriveled weed in winter.  I draw when we travel and look at my journals for inspiration when designing. 
How do you compare the products that are available in today's market compared to 10 years ago, and how that has changed your designs over time?
I am excited about all the wonderful products available to stitchers now.  The beautiful fabrics and threads are so inspiring!  I almost always use hand dyed linens and flosses in my designs.   The colors are fabulous and add so much to the designs I like to do.  My designs have become smaller over time and I really like this because they are easy to finish with sewing or framing and to take on trips.   I like to use just one color sometimes in my designs for a monochromatic effect for subtle blending of colors in the fabrics and variegated flosses.  
How important is social media in the cross-stitch industry and how do you make use of it for your company?
I feel social media is very important in the cross stitch industry to keep people aware of new designs, trends and keeping the craft alive.  I use several social media sites for my business including facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and enjoy sharing projects on my blog and Flickr.  I appreciate the feedback I get from people on my blog and facebook pages.  I also like to browse and keep up with what is new with the industry and just be a part of the whole process.   I think it is a great way to inspire people to create and hopefully attract new stitchers too. 
A Little Bit About Cathie
What are your three favorite books?
I enjoy reading mystery stories and Sue Grafton is a favorite author of mine.  Unfortunately, I'm almost at the end of the alphabet so have found another author to try ~ Sue Henry who writes mysteries that take place in Alaska (a state on my list of places to visit).   I also enjoy drawing, gardening, hiking and just being outdoors.   I like to watch older movies, movies that are set in places I'd like to visit or set in foreign countries such as "The Good Year" and "Out of Africa".  I like to sew new things for my home like a new pillow or a set of placemats.   I really like doing this for the change of seasons and holidays. 
Would you share a little about your family?
My family and I live in Fallon, Nevada and we enjoy the outdoors.  My husband and I have been married twenty years and we have two children and a funny cat named Douglas.  My son graduated from high school and just started college.  My daughter is a senior and has plans to attend college next year.  We really enjoy going to Lake Tahoe to hike and play in the water ~ when it finally warms up!   We used to ski but have started to become a little more afraid of broken bones so I've been trying to talk my husband into going snowshoeing with me, hopefully this winter.   We explore the desert whenever we can visiting old ghost towns and seeing what else we can find.  
Would you share a favorite recipe?
My daughter makes these cookies for our family a lot and it is one of our favorite recipes.  We also add chopped apricots to the recipe.
        White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
        Preheat oven to 350 F.
        1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
        1 tsp. baking soda
        1/2 tsp. salt
        1 tsp. ground cinnamon
        1 cup butter or margarine softened
        3/4 cup granulated sugar
        3/4 cup packed brown sugar
        2 large eggs
        1 tsp. vanilla extract or grated peel of one orange
        3 cups quick or old fashioned oats
        1 cup white chocolate chips
        1 1/2 cups dried cranberries  
        Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in oats, cranberries, and white chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minuts.  Cool on baking sheets for 1-2 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.  
What are you three greatest achievements?
I'm still working on achieving some things that make me feel great, but then maybe my standards are too high.  I do have one thing though, my children are on good healthy paths and I do feel great about that.    
If you could be an animal, which would you pick and why?
If I could be an animal I would choose to be a bird I think.  At first I thought LION!!! King of the jungle but that's too much for me.  Then I thought monkey because they seem so friendly and like they really have fun jumping from tree to tree and playing all the time.  But a bird gets to fly and be free in the sky and I like that.                       

Featured Shop -

Deer Hill Farm Cross Stitching
1225 Rt. 9-G
Suite D
Hyde Park, NY 12538
Pat Athanas

How long have you been a stitcher and how did you first learn about stitching?
My grandmother taught me to crochet, knit and stitch on stamped fabric,  Sadly, when I was 10, she was killed in a car accident.  I gave it up and becoming a teenager, I guess boys were more important. You know the old saying" boy if I knew then what I know now" I was teaching crocheting at a local craft store about 30 years ago and the owner gave me a little cross stitch owl kit and I was hooked.

How long have you been in business?
I have been in business 22 years so i carry many supplies to do with cross stitching.  Some of the supplies I carry are leaflets,threads(gentle Art, Weeks, Caron, DMC, Soie d Alger and Rainbow Gallery. fabrics all sizes and colors,lots of gadgets, button beads and silk ribbons.

What are some of the biggest changes in the industry you've seen since you've been in business?
The biggest change I have seen is the Internet. I love it for looking up what is new and ordering, but I do not have a web site.  Personally,  I like the personal touch with customers, showing them the different color fabrics and threads and how the design can be changed withe the different fabric, threads, button and beads. I love meeting new customers from close and afar, and have made some really nice friends through my business. I think the Internet has hurt many of the brick and mortar shops with so many people shopping on line.  Shopping on line I think you can't  see the subtle difference in fabrics and threads, like you can in person.

Who are some of your personal favorite designers?
Some of my favorite designers are Just Nan, Sweetheart Tree,  Rosewood Manor, JBW Designs and Lizzie Kate.  I really like them all I even like doing the Mill Hill Bead kits.

Have you attended a TNNA trade show, and if so what are your thoughts on them?
I have attended several trade show in the earlier years of the shop. In the las few I have not because traveling is such a hassle.  I loved Charlotte, that was a good show.  I am going to try a cash and carry show this year because I can drive, I think it should be a good one.

A Little Bit About Pat!

Besides stitching and running your business, what are a few things you enjoy in your free time?
Besides stitching I enjoy traveling in our motor home when we have time.

Would you share a little about your family?
I have been married 52 years and have-lived in Hyde Park our whole lives, we have 3 sons and 5 Grandchildren.  We just returned fro a week at Hershey with our grandson(10)  who wore us out.

What types of books do you like to read?
I love to read, in between the stitching.  I can say I don't have a favorite author, I just love to read.  The latest funny readings have been Janet Evanovich , her Stephanie Plum series and I really like James Patterson.

None of us are perfect - tell us about something that embarrassed you!
Embarrassing moments happen to me quite often, I think its my blonde roots.  One of the most embarrassing times i remember , you know you try to forget them,. A customer came in the store and had gained some weight and I asked her if she was pregnant again.  I don't know who was more embarrassed.

Would you like to share a favorite recipe?
I love any kind of seafood , this is my most favorite recipe and easy to make.
Shrimp Scampi
8oz thin spaghetti
6-8 cloves of garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1/4 cup  lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
4 scallions
1 lb medium shrimp cleaned
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp basil
3 tsp Parmesan cheese
Cook spaghetti while  preparing sauce.  Saute garlic, add tomatoes cook 5 minutes
Pour in wine , lemon juice, sugar, red pepper, pepper and scallions cook 7 minutes.  Add shrimp cook until pink about 4-5 minutes.  Stir in basil and cheese.  Toss with spaghetti

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