Saturday, December 1, 2018

December New Releases

What is the most normal thing to do while in the middle of boxes and mess, trying to figure out where everything is both in the house and in the new town?!? Release new designs and accessories! Of course that was the most logical thing to do when I can't find half of the kitchen stuff and still have boxes everywhere :-) 

Part of my theme for this batch of releases is sacrifice, the other part is prayer, and lots of struggle. Each one a reminder to myself. These were designed during that first week of our house being sold, knowing we would be leaving an amazing community and my struggle with doing what was clearly God's plan while being selfishly tied to things and people that I loved. Having to take the action of rejoicing, when I wanted to tantrum, take the action of love, when I wanted to be closed within myself, and not letting the troubles of this world keep me from seeing the greater glory that is in the next.

MBT-216 Pray Without Ceasing
Verses from I Thessalonians 5:16-18. Model stitched on 32 ct. Queen Anne's Lace jobelan with Weeks Dye Works thread. This fits a 5x7 frame that I found at JoAnn's.

MBT-217 Love Completely
A companion design to MBT-213 Choose joy. Jean at The Attic, in Arizona, got a preview of this design and stitched it on 56 ct. linen. It is an amazing finish and gave me such a smile (check out her upcoming newsletter)! Model stitched on 32 ct. Cafe Mocha country french linen with Gentle Art Sampler Threads.

MBT-218 Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled
Verse from John 14:27 and a companion design to MBT-109 Revelation. Model stitched on 35 ct. Parchment linen by Weeks Dye Works and stitched with Weeks Dye Works thread. The frame is one from Hobby Lobby that I spray painted matte black.

There are also a few new accessories

Chatelaines Sassy, Bluebird, Bluebonnet:

Whimsy Full Length and Mini Fobs (perfectly match the adorable pin set):

Needle Minders Kitten, Minis and Unicorn:

There are already new designs in the works, each reflecting a lot of what I'm going through. The next snarky ones should be very entertaining! I spent three days alone in the truck, on the drive down, and that time within my head led down some strange rabbit trails. All I'm lacking is time to do the stitching.

We are settling in. We have a lead on a new piano teacher, although it comes with a drive to Austin. The house has had some issues and it has meant a lot of time cleaning just to get our stuff in. We are waiting on delivery of a dining table and bookcases, so we are joyfully using the camp table and just ignoring the stacks of boxes. Thanksgiving was a hoot as we reconnected with family. I haven't laughed so hard or so much in a long time. The cousins all hit it off and it was all blessing.

Some great news is that we are settling into a new church. It felt like home the first week. The fellowship was sweet, the teaching was Bible based, and I'm grateful. It was so strange to sit next to my husband for worship and teaching. Usually I'm up front for worship and then he is up there for teaching. To be able to hold hands while listening to the Word was beautiful.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Closing for two weeks

It is time for us to get packed up and headed to Texas. I've been busy ignoring the packing, instead spending my time working on new releases, so look for some new designs to come out in December. It is so strange to think of how in just five weeks time our life has taken such a dramatic turn. I am trusting God, that it is His plan, but there are moments when my humanness comes out and I struggle with the loss of being in such an amazing community. There have been a lot of goodbyes, a lot of tears, and a lot of hopeful expectation for the new steps in our journey of faith.

Today I was sent a picture of a finish by a kind lady named Joanna. She merged two of my patterns together to make a completely unique and stunning gift for her mom. With her permission I am delighted to share her finish:
With that I say...
So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night,
I want to stitch, but will pack the boxes tight.
So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, adieu,
Adieu, adieu, to leave just makes me blue.

But I will trust and count the many blessings with gratefulness :-) I will be closed until November 21 in order to make the transition. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

On the road again...

In the words of Willie Nelson... On the road again.  I just can't wait to get off the road again. Saying goodbye to another batch of friends. And I dread having to get all unpacked again.

Oh, wait, that was MY interpretation of that song based on my life experience. It's that time again - we are moving! Life is life and we have much for which to be grateful. Hubby has a severe allergy in this area of the country that is causing massive damage. It is attacking his joints and insides and has become life threatening. We figured we would have to move before next summer, but God had a very different plan. In the past four weeks we went from planning our holidays here to having our house sold and planning a move. We weren't on the market, we had barely begun to think of staging the house and readying the property, but God had a plan. In two weeks we will be making the journey back down to Texas.

I am grateful that we now know what has been causing so many issues for so many years. I am grateful that we know what to look for in doodlebug because she is showing some of the same issues. I am grateful that God is revealing the very next step we need to take (although I tend to be a five step planner so that would be helpful...). We have a rental lined up that is abundant for our needs. We will be fifteen minutes from family. There will be two amazing needlework shops within a short drive (I haven't lived by a LNS in seven years!). As doodlebug starts thinking college and career, there will be great schools in her areas of interest (concert piano, home design and animal science). 

I've been working on new designs this past month, trying to get things ready for me to stitch while we are in transition. I figured something really big would make sure that I wouldn't finish the project too soon...
I did also create three new smaller designs and already finished two of them. Now I have ideas for another small one and may try to get that ready for the move. The JCS ornament issue request came early this year and I have finished up that ornament and have it ready for mailing. From the sound of all of that stitching you would think I'm trying to avoid packing or something ;-)

All that to say I ask for your patience over the coming weeks as I am packing, shutting down for a bit, moving, and trying to resettle. MBT will be closed from November 7-21. I don't have a new work address yet but will work on that for when we get there. We are trying to spend as much time with friends and family before we leave and it is hard. So many lasts - last time leading worship at church, last time volunteering, last piano concerts, last home school PE, last time hubby preached at church, last craft group. We are going to miss so much but are trusting that there will be good in all things. They may not be comfortable things, or easy things, but ALL things work together for the good of those who believe. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

September New Chart and Accessory Releases

Hold onto your hats, we've got a lot of new goodies! I've been working hard on everything in life - home, family, community - and I managed to squeeze in some stitching last month. Since May I've been averaging an hour per week of time with needle and thread, and that just wasn't enough. The last week of August I set my mind to finishing up projects and ignored all things housework. My vacuum's response to that brief strike was to break the very next time I used it. Ugh! So go grab a cup of your favorite tea or coffee and settle in... you may be here awhile :-)

MBT-212 What a Friend We Have in Jesus
This has been my piano lesson piece. I've been working on this steadily since I designed it in April. Each week I worked in one hour of stitching, during the doodlebug's lesson, and it slowly came together. The border is beautiful and I love how perfectly it works with the frame. Fabric is by Lakeside Linens, 32 ct. examplar vintage. Thread is by The Gentle Art. Frame by Green Tree Gallery, a standard 8x10, and found at Hobby Lobby. Stitch count is 135w x 103h.

MBT-213 Choose Joy
I found these adorable round frames at Craft Warehouse in Boise, when we were visiting there last month. While going through various craft stores I've noticed a lot of round frames available so keep an eye out for those perfect finds! The thread colors are easily adjusted to match your frame and I listed different fabric count finished sizes so you can adjust it to fit your frame. Fabric is by Wichelt, 32 ct. country french linen, Mocha. Thread is by The Gentle Art. Stitch count is 63w x 63h.

MBT-214 My Soul Will Rejoice - Psalm 35:9
The past few months have brought a lot of changes to our future plans (more on that later) and this verse has been my cry. I will choose to rejoice. In the struggles and discomforts I will keep my eyes on God and know that His plan is perfect. Fabric is by Wichelt, 28 ct. hand dyed jobelan, thyme. Thread is by Weeks Dye Works. Stitch count is 69w x 69h.

MBT-215 Stash Today, Stitch Tomorrow
So many days all I get to do is look longingly at my threads and fabric and plot all sorts of creativities that can come from them, but not actually do anything with them. That has been most of my summer. There are also the times when pulling together the materials is as much or more satisfying than finishing the piece. That is this design! Fabric is by Wichelt, 32 ct. hand dyed jobelan, queen anne's lace. Thread is by Weeks Dye Works. Frame is by Green Tree Gallery, a standard 5x7, and found at Hobby Lobby. Stitch count is 97w x 65h. This is a companion design to MBT-149 The Best Things in Life.

SO... notice a theme? "What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer," "Choose Joy," "My Soul WILL Rejoice." Part of our spring was the delight of settling into our new-to-us home, building my dream garden and tending to the wonderful fruits it is producing, raising our chicken flock, and continuing to be blessed by the community in which we live. This coming year we are looking at another move, due to family health issues, and, while knowing that there is greatness in His plan, there is grief for what we will be leaving behind. Another step on a journey of faith.

Ready for accessories? There are bunches of new one (how was that for a slick change of topic?)

Rabbit Hat Pins

Floral Hat Pins

Lights of Christmas Needle Minders

Cute and Colorful Pin Set Anemone

Perfectly Pretty Pin Set Whimsy

Gingher Scissor Fob for Eleanor - Ellie's Dance and Petit Ellie's Dance

Regal Pins Angels - also in pink and purple

There are even more new accessories shown at www.mybigtoedesigns.com in the What's New section, but these are the highlights! All of these are available through your favorite needlework store and I hope you find something just right for your own stash or as a gift for a friend. God bless.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Beautiful new fobs and chatelaines

I've been trying for months to get together some new chatelaine offerings, as well as a new Funky Chunky mini fob set. Months!!! What happened, you ask? Spring happened. Spring. The desperate need for a garden area that is safe from deer, turkeys, and chickens. My cry out to dig in the dirt and plant seeds. It has been a crazy rush to build the structure in time for planting, but it is done! I have a (prayerfully) deer safe enclosure with nine raised beds and oodles of the most adorable little green things popping out of the soil. I even got a goat!
He's a cutie. Doesn't eat much, keeps to himself, and is very quiet. We live below the road, so everyone driving by can see just about everything we do in the yard. I move the goat from box to box so I can take joy in the expressions on people's faces while they think we have a live goat eating everything in our garden.

My update for My Big Toe is accessories!!! I have updated all of the chatelaine pictures on the website, so you can better see all of the beautiful bead colors. Three new creations have been added to the chatelaine line.
Chatelaine - Flutterby

Chatelaine - Java (matches the coffee mini fob!)

Chatelaine - Fuchsia

Also new is a set of Funky Chunky Mini Fobs. From left to right, there is a pink Hawaiian flower with a circular 'hope' charm, fall colored beads with an acorn charm, shades of blue with a circle of dolphins charm, and soft purple and green with a floral charm.


I look forward to the release of the new Ginghers and will post a pic here when I have a fob ready for them. Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

New patterns for April 2018

A wonderful spring to you! We have had an uncommonly wet spring this year, but the sun is starting to shine regularly and I've been able to spend hours and hours outside. Our hens are loving their freedom from snow and are doing their best to help with pest control. Both our string mower and push mower started up without issue after their winter hibernation, so the yard is all mowed and the weeds sure look pretty when they are all the same height ;-)

A blessing of the rain was more time inside to stitch! This batch of releases has four designs that all work into a series or have a companion design. I have already put the first few stitches in the next batch of releases, but now we have sunshine and it is beautiful so the stitching will likely take a back burner for a bit.

 MBT-208 Let It Begin With Me
This design was so much fun. It is a take off on "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me," but it better fits my personality. With the saying "Let there be caffeine on earth and let it begin with me" it fits for coffee, tea, or soda drinkers. A dear friend saw a preview and told me it was great, but she had one of those days and needed wine. Wine. So I needed to make that work for her. This led to an alternate version "Let there be cabernet on earth and let it begin with me." It is a companion design to MBT-198 More Than Coffee. Model is stitched with Weeks Dye Works thread on 28 ct. linen, which fits perfectly into an 8x10 frame. Info for the cabernet version is in the chart.

MBT-209 Guide Me in Truth
This scripture is from Psalm 25:5, "Guide me in truth and teach me." The model is stitched with Weeks Dye Works thread on WDW 35 ct. linen. On 35 ct. it will fit a standard 5x7 frame. It is a companion design to MBT-160 Walk by Faith, MBT-176 Saved by Grace, and MBT-182 Love One Another. 

MBT-210 Building Block Abide
Finally, finally, finally... block number 18!!! This is the eighteenth block in the Building Block series. Each one has the same stitch count, is stitched with Gentle Art Sampler Thread, and is on 28 ct. cream linen. My goal is to get to twenty in the next year. Each block is a deep dive into scripture and a conversation piece when I have it as a project at different meetings for 4H and home school group. 

MBT-211 My Soul Find Rest
This scripture is from Psalm 62, "My soul finds rest in God alone, from Him comes my salvation." The model is stitched with Weeks Dye Works on 28 ct. jobelan. It is a companion design to MBT-183 Trust In Him and MBT-192 Hope and a Future. The frame is by East Side Frames. 
Hat Pins!!!
I've had these pins around for a while, but marketing them hasn't been a huge priority because of time constraints. Time is still constrained (isn't it always!), but I just have to show these little beauties off a bit. They are available in any color requested and are perfect for picking out stitches, if you want them to be useful, or for adorning a pin cushion or biscornu, if you want them to just be beautiful! I want to put them in my potted plants, just as that little sparkly surprise for anyone who cares to look past all of the dead leaves (I have a truly black thumb when it comes to houseplants).

You are officially up to date with all things My Big Toe! My hope for myself in the coming months is to focus on contentment. I want to enjoy the songbirds that are perching themselves on the sills of our window and doors. I want to sit by the pond and watch the frogs try to hide from a curious child. I want to enjoy the beauty of creation as things cast of the dormancy of winter - and before it is so hot that I don't want to be outside in it! God's blessings to you.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Pickers, pickers, and more pickers!

Part of my beginning of the year work stuff is assessing my inventory and making updates. At the end of the year I stock up on all sorts of fun beads. I can't tell you how much I enjoy looking for the most unique, bold and fun stones and crystals to add to my line. I stalk the delivery drivers, not even waiting for them to get out of the truck before I am at their door, and am usually breaking open the boxes before I reach the office. This makes now - right now! - the perfect time to stock up on your favorite colors and pieces.
My most recent assembly marathon was thread pickers. These neat little gadgets are perfect for removing 'oops' stitches, counting out your starting place, and my cat thinks the ones without needles are the perfect toy. I've been told that they are helpful for English paper piecing, but I haven't tried it myself because I barely have time to stitch models as it is!

Speaking of stitching - I am doing that whenever I can! I've been asked to participate in the JCS Ornament Issue for 2018 and, as of tomorrow, my finished ornament will be in the mail. It is always a joy and an honor to be asked and I hope you enjoy my design as much I as do. I am working on a new Building Block and am 1/3 of the way done with the stitching. Another small design, in the line of MBT-160 Walk by Faith, MBT-176 Saved by Grace, and MBT-182 Love One Another, is stitched and ready to be framed. There are two more designs awaiting my stitching time and I hope they can all be released in mid-April. I have frames for all of them so the only thing holding me back is time.

We are experiencing a heavy snow storm this weekend and it is beautiful to look outside. My day yesterday was dedicated to all of the housework, just in case we lost power, and today I will go sledding and snowshoeing. We have had a very mild winter and I want to enjoy this snow as much as possible!

Yesterday we had a small crisis in our home. The coffee machine stopped working. For the last couple of years I have nursed her along, doing cleanses and updating parts to bring her back from the brink of death. I thought we had surely lost her yesterday when she wouldn't put out any water for tea. While deciding how long the mourning period would need to be I did a quick search and found a possible solution. With minor surgery (removing a few screws and tubes, and cleaning out a check valve) she is back to working and we should all be glad for that ;-)  My husband laughed as I did a cheer when she gave me clean, hot water, and then I followed up with a happy dance. Little joys.

Time for sledding... The snow is calling!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year - Happy New Designs!

New designs are ready! There are some good stories behind a couple of these, so grab a warm drink (if you're as buried in snow as we are) and get ready for some giggles.

MBT-204 Better to Dwell - a Journey Through Proverbs
This is my favorite design out of all of them in this batch, for the season of my life that it represents. This past summer I was really struggling to adjust to a new normal. We moved into a new home and I had created a picture in my mind of all that life would be. Reality was far from my ideal. There were the hiccups of finding 'surprises' in a new place, but also the acceptance that we aren't going back to where we lived before - where I had dear friends and an incredible church. That isn't to say that God hasn't blessed the journey to where we are, and that I'm not surrounded by a community of friends and family in our new home, and not in a wonderful church - the people here are amazing and our church is beyond blessing. BUT, it was a hard realization for me to accept and it hit me hard. I struggled. During that struggle my husband was ever so patient, praying for me, encouraging me. He was willing to fulfill the most ridiculous demands and draw me in when I was prickly and could have easily been pushed away. I was quarrelsome - he had every right to be on the corner of a rooftop, it probably would have been safer!

The design is stitched over 2 on 28 ct. linen, with GAST threads. The border is designed to go into the side of the frame, in a reproduction style, with a gap at the top and bottom. When stitched on 28 ct. it will fit perfectly in an 8x10 frame. There are many many many Proverbs that could fit my life on any day, and I hope you will join me on a journey through them, with needle and thread, in the coming year.

MBT-205 Beware of Dog (and cat!)

Oh, my cat. My silly, silly cat. During our most recent move we have experienced a lot of adventures with our animals. One of them is not being able to trust our cat to do her job - keep mice out of the house. She not only watched as they helped themselves to her food, I woke up one morning to find her being chased around by a field mouse!This is why I had to add a rat button to this design - a taunt to our cat. She did end up redeeming herself by catching a mouse a week later, and then leaving it on the coffee table for me to find. I could have done without her proud display of bravery. 

The design is stitched over 2 on 32 ct. jobelan with WDW threads. Will fit a 5x7 frame and we used one from East Side Frames Crazy Daisy line. Adorably accented by JABC buttons. This is a companion design to MBT-171 and MBT-172 (cats/dogs leave pawprints, the snarky versions).

MBT-206 Be of Good Courage
This was a recent challenge piece for me. It was a challenge to my mindset, to focus on the blessings of life, being grateful, and getting back to what I am called to do - share the gospel and serve (even when there are mice in the house and the roof is leaking...) 

The design is stitched over three threads with three strands. This sounds really strange, and it is kind of weird to do, but the look is beautiful with the chunkier threads on the fine fabric. It could also easily be stitched with two strands over two threads, or on aida, or however you would like!

MBT-207 God Sustains
Along with my current theme of struggling and refocusing, it is building faith. Remembering that God has brought me through trials and challenges to build my faith, and that He will continue to sustain me. Are there days when he gives me more than I can handle? Absolutely! That is so that it is clear that it is by His strength, not my own. But I can look at His record in my life - He is always there, leading me back to Him, building me through trials and blessings with things that are for my good ( just not always my comfort!).

The design is stitched over 2 on 28 ct. jobelan with WDW threads. It is a companion design to MBT-193 Grateful Every Day, MBT-194 Seek the Lost, and MBT-202 I Will Not Forget Thy Word. They all use the same frame - and spray paint! 

Those are the four new designs that give you my life in a nutshell. It has been a wild, bumpy, joy filled, love filled, hard, easy, blessed ride through 2017. I have no idea what is in store for 2018, but I hope it involves fabric and thread. And maybe chocolate and coffee. Definitely coffee.

Last week we experienced what much of the US was dealing with - snowstorms and bitter cold. We also found out that what we thought had fixed the roof last month didn't, and we leaked. Again. A lot. I volunteered to climb up and shovel it off (it was a much easier job than shoveling off what I pushed down onto the deck) and this was my view from the rooftop.
I wasn't feeling quarrelsome that day :-)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Beautiful, beautiful beads

I sit here looking out the window, thinking of the possibility of making it to town later today. We had a white Christmas. A very very very white Christmas. Now it's an icy day after Christmas. It gave me time to rip apart my office, rearrange every single piece of furniture and the industrial file cabinets, and then wonder if it wouldn't have been better if I had left it how it was.

Since it's the end of the year I have been making my bead purchases for the new year, finding all sorts of stunning glass and stone creations with my wholesalers. All of the vibrant colors inspired me to make even bigger pin sets. Now available are seven-pin sets in my Cute & Colorful line.
The top set is CCPS-001 Teardrop, and the bottom set is CCPS-002 Creativity. I think they would be adorable around an ornament, pinning the ribbon trim in place, or accenting a stunningly stitched biscornu or pin cushion. These aren't exactly rainbow sets, because pink isn't a Roy G. Biv, and I couldn't just leave out pink!

There were so many things I needed to do last week. Frame and photograph new releases, clean the house, decorate the tree, laundry, cooking, print and package charts, assemble a thousand or so marking pins, pick up straw bales for winterizing the coop, unpack things that are still in the barn. What did I end up doing, you ask? I drove eight hours to bring home five new hens for our flock. My priorities are a bit off. Hubby's response was "You only got five?" I love him and think I'll keep him. They are really cute (of course they are, they're chickens!). They will lay blue, olive, chocolate brown (wouldn't it be amazing if they were real chocolate eggs?!), pink, and green eggs, and all are between 3-5 months old. Our three old hens aren't thrilled with sharing their home, but they are creating boundaries and figuring it out. I spend time in there each day, keeping order and letting everyone get food and drink.

Some exciting news for those looking towards new design releases - they are coming. Soon! I will be packaging them today, notifying the auto ship shops tomorrow, and then will start shipping!!! There are four new counted thread designs: two are scripture based, one is inspirational and one is pet themed. There is a little bit of everything from whimsical to reproduction style. Stay tuned for that update!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Almost Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I know the reality is that I will likely forget to be back here in a week to wish you peace, joy, and comfort while reflecting on the birth of Jesus (because I know my brain!). So I pray all of those for you. Our Christmas will be quiet, with the hope of using the three day weekend to make enough tamales to last us through the next year. It is the best Christmas gift that hubby could give - at least one meal of tamales each month, ready to steam and devour.

This week I would like to share with you some new handy threaders. I ran out of them and a dear friend had some special color requests, so I did a mass assembly and am excited to share the fun bead combinations.
From the bottom left heading up: red/crystal, iridescent green/crystal, garnet/linen, fuchsia/crystal, purple/crystal, lilac/crystal, emerald/crystal, blues/crystal, spring colors, aqua/crystal, dark blue/crystal, hot pink/crystal. The two in the lower right corner: fuchsia/aqua/purple, purples/crystal.

I still have the best of intentions with new release counted thread designs. I have four models ready... for framing. All I have to do is get the cutting mat, blade, ruler, frames, lacing tools, iron, ironing pad, and all that in the same place at the same time. It sounds so simple!

We are still settling into the house and I still have not unpacked the barn. One of my wish list items was venting the range hood to the outside. The recirculating vent hood just doesn’t do it for smells and cooking oil, even with a carbon filter pad. It has been put off because, when we last investigated inside of the walls, there were issues of support beams and all sorts of things where the holes would need to be cut. 

Now we know that our walls are like onions - they have layers. Their layers have layers. First is the bead board, then drywall with wallpaper, then some type of thin particle type board, then wood paneling, then barn wood. Literally, barn wood. I joked that we could strip down to the barn wood and instantly have a $30k kitchen remodel because that stuff goes for a pretty penny and is all the rage. I also think we unearthed hundred year old anthrax spores by cutting into the stuff. *cough, cough* ;-)

The good news is I have my hole in the wall. The exterior venting is done, the holes are cut in the new upper cabinet, the cabinet is mounted and the range vent is done and working. We tested it and the smells of bacon didn't permeate the house. All that is left is to finish cleaning the wood dust from just about every surface and clear the rest of the tools from the dining room. 

Each season brings new challenges, learning new things about the house and figuring out how it all works. We have made it into the first snow and are doing okay. Next week we get to see how things do with the single digit temps. Another stage in the process. The community is still amazing and we can see God's plan unfolding. The relationships are growing and we are grateful for friends and fellowship. 

Merry Christmas to you. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

And the show is over...

I'm hanging my head in shame that I didn't get my update done the first day of the show. We had the incredible blessing of having family in town - my aunt, uncle, and grandfather came from out of state - and my time was focused with enjoying their company. It had been fourteen years since we had visited with them and it was a treasure. We have spent so many years without family close by and I am starting to get used to (and crave!) the company. SO, the show has concluded for the year, but my accessories have been flying out the door and into your favorite shop! Here are the newest additions for the accessories:
 Emoji - so many smiles! I giggle whenever I look at them. They are little but mighty.
 Specialty Wedgewood - bright and brilliant blues.
 Perfectly Pretty Pin Sets - four coordinating pins in bronze and garnet.
 Scissor Hugger - the little octopus will snuggle your scissors!
Funky Chunky V mini fob set - It's pet themed! The adorable little sleeping kitty, tweety bird, heart with best friend pawprint, and the pawprint charms are just too cute. I was feeling very multi colored when designing these so they are a beautiful variety of Swarovski crystals and glass beads.

I had fifteen minutes about a week ago and tried to put some of my design thoughts into the pattern program. It felt wonderful to be working with x's again and I really hope for a few hours of focused thought as soon as I finish catching up on Needlework Show orders. My inventory mostly held for the show, but several items were wiped out. I have trays of beads awaiting my attention with lots of fobs and chatelaines to assemble.

Today we are hosting the monthly craft group for the home school girls, again, and I am so excited to share with them in their finishes. Some have taken to it and can't wait for their next project, others  don't see this as their favorite activity, but the time together is a blast and the new friendships that are forming are a joy to behold. The moms are having a good time, too!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Almost the Needlework Show!

I'm so awful about keeping things under wraps, so I figure I can update things here and not update the website, and then I'm not really releasing anything early. Or I'm just too overwrought with technology at the moment (my color printer died...again!) and am afraid that I'll break the website. I'm not going to share everything coming up, but here are a few teasers...
Fall is a time for lots of trunk shows and gift items, and I was picking through merchandise to see what was going out to shops. I got to my pins and thought they had become a little bit bland. Soooo many new beads have  been added to my stash  been released by my wholesalers since I started designing the pins years ago. I decided to redo every. single. marking pin. set. Every single one. It has been a lot of fun to see the colors come to life and the new combinations now available.

I'm also adding new specialty needle minders to my line! There will be more than these available, but here are a couple of them... you'll have to wait a whole week until I showcase the other new sets.
Persian Tapestry
Mod Floral

There are a couple other sets that will be official in a week, as well as a new scissor hugger, and a new perfectly pretty pin set, AND a new funky chunky mini fob set with a pet theme!

We are still settling in with the house, but I am making progress in the barn. Two whole more boxes came in the house for me to put away! My plan was to do a box a day. I should have been more realistic and set my sights on a box a week. Maybe a box a month. 

The new biggest hurdle, for being settled, has been the mice. Oh, the joys of an old farm house! About six weeks ago we had a mouse in the house. The cat found it to be the greatest new toy, killed it, and left it for me in her food bowl. Not a big deal. She puts everything she steals into her food bowl; my needle threaders, fob wire, thread pickers, pipe cleaners, hair ties. My cat is a thief. I did my best CSI impression, found where she had 'played' with it in my office, and cleaned everything up. Then a few weeks ago I start towards the office at 5:30 am. It's dark, lights are off, again not a big deal. See the shadow of the cat, avoid tripping over her. Head down the stairs, hear squeaking. Now it is a big deal. I turn on the lights to find the cat being backed around the coffee table by a mouse! You read that right - my CAT was being chased by a MOUSE! And here I thought the chickens were all out in the dog kennel (another story for another day). She is the biggest chicken! I grab a towel, catch the mouse, return it to its field outside, and the cat spends thirty minutes pouting and howling that I took away her friend. Dear hubby has plenty of time to ruminate over the cat drama, so he comes home with this line... "While the mouse was chasing the cat, was it saying 'Halo, my name is Inigo Mousetoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!'" One of the absolute delights of our marriage is the humor in these walls. Fast forward a week and I wake up to find the cat has redeemed herself and left a dead mouse on the coffee table. I found where they are coming in and fixed it. I hope I fixed it.

I did find a few boxes of stitchy goodies and am more excited than ever to have the craft group back at my house next month. A few of the girls have chatted about new projects, some have picked them up, and then I had to order a few new stitchable items (the wooden die cuts are cute!). One of their projects was entered in the county fair and won a ribbon!
The design is a modified version of MBT-188 Alphablooms. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

September New Releases

September?!?!? I think every year I get to this time and wonder where the months have gone. This year I'm wondering where my stitching time has gone. Oh, yeah, it went into the yard and house ;-) I did manage to prepare three beautiful new releases for you!

MBT-201 To Everything There is a Season
I've been promising this design for months, but then the house happened. This is a companion design to my other large pieces, with scripture selections from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. I used a Needlepoint Inc. silk thread that is the most beautiful, deep shade of gray blue. My NPI has been in storage for years and I forgot how amazing it is to stitch with silk.

MBT-202 I Will Not Forget Thy Word
When I designed this I had a very specific reason in mind... and then I forgot! Seriously. I forgot what event had spurred this to mind and brought about this creation. But I still love the design! My initial stitching had it laced to be an ornament, but then I couldn't find trim that I liked. I restitched it and framed it in a similar frame to Grateful Every Day and Seek the Lost. The frame used to be turquoise, but there is something to be said for a good can of camo green spray paint. The stitch count is 71x71, so it is a companion design to the above mentioned designs but I stitched in on a higher count fabric than the other two pieces.

MBT-203 Let Us Be Thankful
This is my theme for this year. In all of the struggle of our new home, the challenges that have come up, I am thankful. I'm thankful for every ache and pain, as it reminds me of the beautiful eternity to come when this body is gone. I'm thankful for the dishes and laundry, as it means food to eat and clothes to wear. I am thankful for the family that loves us, the friends who have made us their family, and a God who loves me. This design has fall colors, so could be Thanksgiving themed, but it is neutral enough to hang year round.

I'm busily working on accessories for (another!) custom event order and have new beads on their way (they are in my post office box now and awaiting my trip to town!) to start working on new pretties for the October 1 Needlework Show. I'll have new *everything* to showcase at the next show - needleminders, pins, fobs, oh, my! So many sparkly things to make people smile.

Yesterday I had the joy of hosting our first home school craft group, at my home. It was so much fun. I had the adventure of teaching six young ladies how to cross stitch (the seventh, doodlebug, already knows how to stitch). Each one took on a project, chose their fabric color and threads, got a pair of their own pretty scissors and a hoop, and learned the basics. My plan was that each month we would learn a different craft. Their vote was to continue with cross stitch next month! The two hours went by way to fast and I think I'm more excited about next month not getting here soon enough. Just think of the stash they will have by the time they are our age!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

It's still August... barely

My goal was to update at the last online show, but life happened. It does that sometimes. The house settling in has been good. I have models on the walls, thanks to the visit of a friend who wanted to see everything hanging. It was a good encouragement to finally make it feel more like a home. Since then we have been hosting friends and family for food and fun, which has added a joy that I had been missing. Good times! I have a few accessory items for update, and then next week I will be adding new designs!

Gingher Lauren has arrived! And she is beautiful! Her bold blue geometric design was just needing an equally bold color choice and adorable bird charm. They are now available (as soon as I make more than the one of each that I did for the picture!) to adorn your favorite snips.
Coffee fobs were introduced as a very limited item and I had no idea how they would do. They sold quickly and I ran out of beads! The good news is that I found another wholesaler who had them in stock and I bought as many as I could. It isn't enough to last for decades, but it will get me through for a few more of the coffee addicts (like me!).
Best Friends mini fobs are the new must have for you and a stitching friend. I have them in all sorts of colors, even more that are pictured, and I am glad to make you something with colors that are personal and unique to you. These come packaged as a matching set and will be great for holiday gifts.
Life in our house tends to revolve around the child, cat, dog, and chickens. Not always in that order. The cat and dog run the show inside, the chickens are outside for obvious reasons, and this is what I walked in on the other day. The dog was pouting about not getting enough play time, and the cat was tired of my vacuuming so staging her protest by sleeping just five feet from her own bed - and on my coffee table!  It's a good thing I love them so much.
Come back to visit in a few days when new charts are available!