Friday, March 31, 2017

And now for new Doggy Fobs!

The April Needlework Show is almost here! In just a few hours the show will open and vendors from all over the world will be sharing their new and favorite items. It is sure to be a delight for the stitchy senses and I hope you will take a look. There are a few new things that I am introducing at the show...
I have been ever so neglectful to the dog lovers - myself being included - and am hoping to make up for that by adding three new dog mini fob styles! They are mirrors of the recently added cat mini fobs, except they have larger belly beads and some slight color changes.
Joining the line of specialty pins and mini fobs are Tropical Hooties. These vibrant little owls are just too adorable not to fly right over to your favorite pin cushion or pair of scissors. The mini fob charm is a perfect match for the pins!

Today was the most brilliant blue of skies as spring has finally come upon us. It was a peaceful feeling to stand in the sun and soak up the warmth that has been missing for months. Even the hens took advantage of not being surrounded by feet and feet of snow. Our four little gals are starting to come out of their hibernation and are, once again, giving us a bounty of eggs. It is a blessing to focus on the little miracles of life, the little joys, and smile at each day (even the cloudy ones!).

Sunday, March 12, 2017

New kitty fobs!

I started making these new color creations in the last couple of months and they have been a hit! My adorable little cat mini fobs are now available in "Spring," "Summer," and "Patriotic." They are joining their friends "Black/Orange," "Black/Purple," and "Winter." I guess this means I will need to do a "Fall" cat later this year!
The Needlework Show is coming up in just a couple of weeks! Set your calendar for April 1-3. I've started to prepare things for my pages and work on new inventory. I've also had a great time designing during the last few weeks. I ignored housework and have 7-8 pieces waiting for my stitching attention. It's rare that I'm not scrambling to have a few ready, so this is fantastic! As soon as I see the new GAST colors I will figure out the thread for the next Building Block (there is another one coming!). I have a small inspiration piece stitched and it has the most adorable sheep buttons, Christmas Pinkies VI is awaiting a frame, a snarky/whimsical one in progress as my sitting-in-music-lessons piece, and a large hymn on the floor stand. There is also a big scripture design in the works and I am pondering thread colors. It is a companion to the line of The Lord's Prayer, I Corinthians and The Lord is My Shepherd, with a similar style and stitch count. There are a few more, but that should be enough to drool over for now.

The new Gingher scissor picture has been released! They are beautiful and as soon as they are shipped out I will match up beads and come up with the perfect fob accent for them.

For the new things in life - my parents are officially here and settling in. It is good to have them around. Doodlebug loves the attention and all of the card and board games they enjoy playing. I must say, one of the top ten things I never want to say again: I have now finished vacuuming the ceiling. Log cabin, beam ceilings, long hair dog, flies and cobwebs. Enough said, moving on :-) Spring time in the mountains brings on a flurry of homes for sale and we continue to look for a great fit for our family, while making sure to take time to enjoy where we are. I've been doing a study in Exodus and have learned a lot from the life of Moses. God steps into our brokenness and uses it to perfect us. We can't do it on our own, no matter how hard we try! We had the plague of snow this winter, and now all I can think about is forty years wandering in the wilderness ;-)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

February 2017 New Releases

2017... I have to remember that it is a new year. A couple of weeks ago I wrote November 2013 on a check. Think I lost a few years? This has already been an exciting year for our family. My dad was given a retirement date that was earlier than we had anticipated and they will be joining us here, in their retirement cabin, in about two weeks. Two weeks!!! SO, instead of waiting until March 1 to do new releases I have decided to start sending them out now. Without further ado, here they are:

MBT-190 Disturb Us Lord - The Prayer of Sir Francis Drake
This was my focus piece for December and January. It has been a reminder of the joy of being molded and changed over the past few years even though it has been a very uncomfortable season of life. The realization that my plans aren't what is for my good and I need to let go of that desperate need for control. I needed to be disturbed from my routine and nearsighted dreams. It was constantly on my stand, waiting for me to put in x's whenever I had a spare minute.  I simply loved working on the 36 ct. linen with one strand of GAST. The final look is so delicate and lovely. When finished on 36 ct. linen, this will fit a standard 16x20 frame. The one I used was from Hobby Lobby and only $25 after a coupon. Woo hoo! I do have to say that I would have paid just about anything to have anyone besides me do the lacing. The chart is printed with large symbols over nine pages. Thread needs are also listed for those who would prefer to stitch on 28 or 32 ct. fabric with two strands over two.

MBT-191 I Found the One
This scripture is found in Song of Songs 3:4. When stitched on 32 ct. fabric, without personalization, this design fits nicely in a 5x7 frame. An alphabet and set of numbers is included for personalizing it for a wedding, anniversary, or memorial.

MBT-192 Hope and a Future
Years (and years and years!) ago I did a design using part of Jeremiah 29:11. As of late, it has been put on me to do a full version of that scripture and I love how this one turned out. It is a companion design to MBT-183 Trust in Him. They are the same stitch count, style, and frame type.

MBT-193 Grateful Every Day
A week ago I started tinkering with a new design. It was one of those things where I could see it in my head and it came easily out onto the grid. I had the frame in mind, which made it easy to decide the size of the pattern and the colors of threads. That afternoon I started stitching and stitching and stitching. After a night of cereal for dinner, and then very few hours of sleep, I started stitching again, then lacing and framing. Within a 24 hour period it all came together, including framing and photography, and this design was born. So much fun and so little sleep! They very rarely come together like this and I absolutely smile every time I see it on the ledge above my desk. It is a reminder of the attitude I need to choose - choose gratefulness.

On the personal stuff - we're still looking for a house. It has been a very difficult winter, locals say one of the worst in fifty years, and there were many days when we couldn't get the truck out of the drive and hubby had to work from home. The dog and doodlebug loved it. There were times of beauty, when it looked like the entire world glittered and all the trees were frosted white. There were also times of "get me out of here!" New priority for a house - flat driveway :-) We have had a period of lots of rain, which has washed away feet and feet of snow, revealing the most beautiful and non-icy gravel driveway I have ever seen. I'm not-so-secretly hoping that lots of houses will be added to the market in the coming weeks. Until we find a place we will enjoy a multi-generational home with my parents and treasure the days together.

Doodlebug is heading into eighth grade. EIGHTH!!! She also has her first broken bone in the little finger of her right hand. Dodge ball. Enough said. It means a few weeks of no piano but she should be ready to go before her next scheduled concerts. Church will lose their worship lead for a couple of Sundays. It will all work out but the house is way too quiet without her music.

Thank you for sharing the joy with me in the new releases!!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

December New Releases

I was going to wait until January to release this batch, but, again, I have no patience when things are ready to go! Then I got hit with a nasty cold and am about a week behind on life.

MBT-186 Quaker Peace
This is a companion design to Quaker Seasons and Quaker Harmony, each released many years ago. I have always wanted a third in the series and with all of the turmoil in our world this seemed like a really good time to have a reminder that it is all in His hands. It has selections from scripture in John 14:27. Model is stitched on 32 ct. linen, "Latte," with WDW threads. Stitch count is 137w x 236h. Frame by East Side Frames.

MBT-187 Faith, Laughter and Coffee
Coffee really is a love and addiction for me. Sometimes I even put some coffee in with the flavored cream and sugar that makes it oh, so, tasty. This design is also charted for faith, laughter and love, for those who don't share my morning requirements. Model is stitched on 28 ct. linen, "Golden Needle," with GAST threads. Stitch count is 95w x 123h. This fits a standard 8x10 frame, this one I found at Michael's.

MBT-188 Alphablooms
Over the years I have done many ornaments for the JCS Christmas issues and created an alphabet that I use for signing my initials and date on the back. It has been requested and I figured it would be fun to release it as its own design, complete with border and smalls! Main model is stitched on 32 ct. jobelan, "Queen Anne's Lace," and small framed piece on 32 ct. linen, "Chalkboard Black," with Weeks Dye Works threads. Main frame from Hobby Lobby and small frame from Michael's.

MBT-189 Storms Bring the Rains
I have found many times in my life that it is when I am least comfortable that I am most growing in my walk with God. Through these storms in life, some (okay, okay, many!) of which I have brought on myself through my human nature I am drawn closer to Him. Closer to His word. Closer to His people. It is when my self is put aside that I can live life in his strength, instead of trying to do it on my own. This is when we bloom - when our lives are a reflection of our God and His great and loving kindness. Model stitched on 32 ct. jobelan, "Queen Anne's Lace," with WDW threads. Stitch count is 63w x 95h. This fits a standard 5x7 frame and this one is by East Side Frames.

For accessories, the new prints of needle minders have been doing great! The vibrant colors of the owls and trees have me going back and forth on which are my favorites, so I have them everywhere around the house - on the light box, the fridge, my stitching stand... These make great gifts! More variety is shown on the website but these are some of my favorites.

Also recently released is the fourth batch of Funky Chunky mini fobs. From left to right: soft lavender and olive beads with a clock charm (time to stitch!), bright bubble gum colors with candy charm, fall harvest color beads with the most adorable scarecrow charm, Christmas red and green beads with silver accented glass accent bead and heart charm.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my parents visiting. It was our first major gathering that was wheat-free and I can't speak highly enough about the America's Test Kitchen cookbooks when it comes to excellent recipes (yep, a plug for them but the cookbooks have made wheat-free not quite so limiting!). Doodlebug is doing great with her piano recital pieces. Last Wednesday she decided to add "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" to her pieces and almost has it down... in just five days!

I have already started working on the next batch of designs. There will be a new wedding/anniversary piece, for which I plan to pull thread and fabric today. I have a new reproduction style design that I can't wait to get started on but don't have the fat half of 36 ct. fabric on hand (I heard you mumble under your breath... it may be huge, and on high count fabric, but it's really pretty!). Mostly I have been working on custom accessories for shops and enjoying family and friends. I don't think I've touched a needle in three weeks but that will hopefully change today.

On that note... I wish you a Merry Christmas and many hours of x's.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Four New Designs for September!

I've been teasing about new designs, and now it is time to show you what all of the excitement is about! This month I am releasing four new cross stitch designs. All of the thread/fabric details can be found at www.mybigtoedesigns.com and you can get a bit more of the personal details here.
MBT-182 Love One Another
A companion design to "Saved by Grace" and "Walk by Faith", this design has the same stitch count as the other two, 97 x 65, and fits a standard 5x7 frame. The moulding I used is by East Side Frames and I chose the fabric and thread colors to best accent the frame. This verse is from 1 John 4:7. Every day there is more strife, more anger in our world, and more opportunities to show the love of God, which is so far beyond what we can do in our humanness.
MBT-183 Trust in Him
I simply love stitching borders that become a frame for the piece. This is one of those borders with delicate leaves, beautiful flowers, which surround scripture from Romans 15:13. As our journey through the past couple of years has gone on for a bit longer than I had planned, I have been praying for peace while trusting that God has a much bigger plan than anything I could see. 
MBT-184 Kids Leave Handprints
I have a dog and a cat, hence then paw prints designs from earlier this year, and decided that the child couldn't be left out. Each day there is a trail - it is like marking territory. Hair ties, books, notes, legos, pencils, laundry, dishes... And then there are the good things. Surprise hugs, giggles that turn into snorts of hysterical laughter, smiles... This design has lots of vibrant colors that could be accented in the frame, depending on the needs for the family.  The bottom border could be lowered so that the name and birthday can be added to make this a birth announcement.
MBT-185 You are LovedThis was the final piece to come together for this batch of releases, and I just love the finished product. The thread colors are so vibrant, but this could easily be a monochromatic design. The frame is a 5x5 round tin tile style that I found at Michaels and I used the thread colors to match. This design would also be so sweet as an ornament, pin cushion, box top, or finished in many creative ways.

This summer has been one of very limited stitching time, but I am so glad with what has come together. I have already started on a piece for the next batch of releases. It is a larger design that will be a companion to my earlier Quaker series (Harmony and Seasons), which is a design that has been on my mind for years. The next Christmas Pinkies chart didn't get finished for this batch, so it will also be a project on which to work.

We continue to look for a home, but still God has not moved us forward into one. Hubby has developed some allergies that have made it difficult to be around wheat, which is pretty much the entire area where we have been looking for the past two years. So we continue to wait on Him, serve as best we can, and slowly stocking up the kitchen with gadgets we miss that are still in boxes. Two years ago I argued against getting internet set up at the cabin, because we wouldn't be here long and I didn't want to be locked into a two year contract that would mostly sit unused. HA!!! Now the contract is almost up! I never imagined on releasing a single set of releases while here, and I have spent these years pouring out my heart with needle and thread, sharing what we are going through. It has been good. It is all for our good. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Oh, drool.... scissors

There is something to be said for a good pair of scissors, and it is even better if they are beautiful! Gingher has released their Sawyer scissors, and they are stunning in person. I was planning on red, but they are the most lovely shade of ruby. The leaf detail on the white background has an amazing simplicity, which I have matched with both a long and short fob. The fobs are Ruby Lyre and Petit Ruby Lyre, and are a perfect adornment to Sawyer.
 What made the week even better is that in the same box with my Saywers, was a brand new pair of ring lock scissors! These are my absolute favorite scissors for every day use. I have a couple of pairs (in storage) and decided that since it has been almost TWO YEARS since my plans of being settled in my own home in a couple of months, I was going to treat myself to scissors. More scissors. They are a great weight and pivot so nicely. I have them dressed up with a fob from the Funky Chunky Minis III set. Sadly, since my cat is a fob thief, I can't keep them on there or I will spend more time hunting down my scissors than stitching.
Also, keeping me busy, are custom needle minders. This is Flossie, available through The Heart's Content, and she is a lovely little stitcher. I pictured her with the Sawyer items because they were on my desk already, but isn't she adorable?
Charts, you ask? Oh, yes, stitching!!! That little thing that I do during guitar and piano lessons, or for the fifteen minute chunk during the day that I can grab between playing with beads, housework and the cat getting into everything? Well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow for that update. I will have four new designs going live on September 1. I might decide that I want to sleep in until six tomorrow, so keep an eye on the website tonight if you want first glimpse!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August Needlework Show

So... I'm a little late on letting you know that the August 1-3 Needlework Show has started, is going, and it's the last day! I have a few new accessories featured there, in addition to the most recent chart releases. The most fun accessory is the new Dragon Delight set. The colors are very different from what I have done before, and just scrumptious for the fall.The matte beads with Swarovski accents and a dragonfly theme all fit together so beautifully.
 Also released is our third set of Funky Chunky minis! This line of fobs use more unique beads that won't be around forever and are a so much fun to play with. I think my favorite from this set is the purple one. Or the yellow flower rainbow bead one. Or the ladybug. Or the soft aqua.... Let's just say I like them all.
And why have I been so distracted, you ask? Summer camp! The doodlebug headed off to her first ever week of summer camp. I don't know whether I should dance or cry, so I'm doing both. The house is so quiet, without the piano or guitar going, and the dog is completely lost without her here. I've also been swamped with custom stuff for shops (accessory sets for clubs, custom needle minders and tags... so much fun!) and grateful for each project that keeps my hands busy and allows for so much creativity in my days.

Now I am off and working! I do have to vacuum, but only so I can lay out fabrics to figure out materials for a new design. I *should* have three for September 1 release, and maybe four. Definitely two. MBT-182 is already formatted and ready to print, and will be a companion piece to "Saved by Grace" and "Walk by Faith." MBT-183 is almost finished being stitched, and would be done if I wasn't being so finicky about the color layout. It is a whimsical saying about kids and the messes they leave. I'm convinced that the doodlebug marks her territory with books and hair ties. The frame for that one is on order with East Side and should head this way this week. MBT-184 is awaiting my attention for materials, the frame is already here, and MBT-185 is still in my head. I'm hoping to find design time in the next few days. Maybe I can coax is out with coffee and chocolate.

Many hugs and prayers to you, for peace and joy in the midst of struggle, laughter during the times of sorrow, and love when we are feeling unlovable.

Friday, July 1, 2016

New releases July 1

So much for my getting a post done every month, this year! I really had the best of intentions, but then life happens. We have had lots of family visits, many cabin projects, and many attempts to find a new home (still trying!). I finally gave in and ordered some stitching supplies (scissors, larger qsnaps,  thread, fabric, etc.) because I have given up on getting to the stuff in storage any time soon. It was fun to get a box with some stitchy goodies.

On to the more important things... new designs! I have four of them for July 1. I'm getting better at doing my own framing, which is a plus, but I still miss my framer in Boise. The website isn't updated yet, due to a technical glitch between the chair and the keyboard (technically, it's me!), but I'll keep working on it and you can enjoy them from here, for now.

MBT-178 Jesus Paid It

"Jesus paid it all, all to Him I own, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow"
Another hymn has been added to the series, and I love the frame that I chose for this design. It is from Michael's, a standard 8x10, and I used thread colors to best accent the grey in the lacy trim.

MBT-179 I'm a Stitcher

"I'm a stitcher ~ and I hoard
can't even close the closet door
under the bed, in the drawers
taking over all the floors
fabric, buttons, scissors too
pins and needles, less won't do
charts & threads, here & there
it's overflowing everywhere
I should stop, I really should
but do not think I ever could
I'll stitch it all before I die
it may kill me, but I'll try
I'm a stitcher ~ and I hoard
to stitch an x is my reward"

This poem was so much fun to write, and I can't read it without smiling and starting to giggle. Sometimes there is a complete giggle fit! The large design is stitched on 28 ct. jobelan, Star Sapphire, but I also wanted to show the design in more neutral colors



so I designed the ornament. Both stitch up quickly and are very cute. Frame by East Side Frames.

MBT-180 Today's Storm

"Today's storm doesn't compare to tomorrow's sunshine"
I've had some of *those* days, when it seems hard to remember that there is so much beyond the little frustrations and struggles. Moments when I need to reflect on learning and growing through the experience, and not just try to muddle through, reminding myself that there is a bigger picture beyond the raindrops. Fits 5x7 frame.

MBT-181 Lost My Horse

"I'm not sure if I found a rope or lost my horse"
And then there are these kinds of days! Oh, to be younger and have all of my brain cells again. I tell ya, there have been weeks lately when it feels like a constant come and go and not enough time for anything! A funny note on this one: the first rendition of the bandana was styled differently, and hubby teased that he thought it was panties. Fits 5x7 frame.

There have been so many adventures over the past couple of months. We had a mouse in the house, and not one kept in a cage as a pet. I started by noticing its 'trail' in the kitchen one night, and then it ran across the doodlebug's bedroom. She runs upstairs, hollering with all sorts of drama, and the cat just sits on the bed, watching the circus. The cat was totally useless. I think she figured it was a toy for her amusement. She wouldn't be on the floor with it, but watched it from the counter, table, bed, or chair. Useless!!! We set out traps, and I ripped apart the kitchen to clean out every drawer and cabinet. It's final act, to irritate me further, was to die under the kitchen cabinet, in an area that we would have to cut apart with a saw to access. Wasn't that thoughtful? (insert eye roll) The hens have decided that the forest is their playground, so they don't get out of the coop as often as when they stayed close. I get tired of hiking all over five acres to find them, and we have coyotes that have been active in the day so I can't let them roam. Doodlebug, being who she is, looked up the definition for "doodlebug," and inquired as to why I was calling her ant larvae. Now I just call her "ant larvae" so as to eliminate any confusion. Yes, I understand that I am not to provoke my child to anger, but it is entertaining ;-) She is still leading worship at church each Sunday, learning lots of new hymns and worship songs, and did great at her recital. She had four pieces and they were all wonderful.

That's life! I'm off to try and remedy the technical web issue (more coffee for the glitch in the chair?) and get the site updated. There may not be enough coffee in the house, today...

Friday, April 1, 2016

April New Releases

I *almost* posted this yesterday, but the I wouldn't have my April post ;-) I am excited to bring you four new cross stitch designs for this batch of releases! They are being debuted at the Needlework Show, and currently in stock at many needlework shops.

MBT-174 I Will
Stitch count 123w x 276h
Thread GAST Black Raspberry Jam, Briar Rose, Chives, Dark Chocolate
Fabric 32 ct. country french linen, "latte" (a lovely and soft linen)
This was designed as an anniversary design for my fifteenth, but could easily be done as a wedding piece. Yep, he has loved (and tolerated!) me for fifteen years! I wrote the poem, and the design is easily adjusted for you to personalize the date, add some names, take off the date, change the length of the poem, etc. It is showcased in an East Side Frame, doubled up with OCRN lined with SCWN.

MBT-175 Hymns of Christmas
Stitch count 269w x 429h
Thread GAST Cucumber, Briar Rose
Fabric 32 ct. country french linen, "latte" (a lovely and soft linen, and I used it on two releases this month)
Yes, it's April. Yes, Christmas is many months away. Yes, it will take many months to finish stitching this design and have it ready to hang on your wall. Yes, it eats thread and the border is a challenge, but, but, but... it's really pretty! Doodlebug has been leading worship at church since the fall, and spent many hours each week practicing hymns and winter recital pieces. I couldn't help but put those into a design when my world was so infused with their beautiful tunes.

MBT-176 Saved by Grace
Stitch count 97w x 65h
Thread WDW Flatfish, Eggplant, Cranberry Ice, Battleship, Tarragon
Fabric WDW 35 ct. linen, "parchment" (available in other counts!)
This design is a companion piece to MBT-160 Walk by Faith. It is framed in a 5x7 by East Side Frames OCPW. I love the swirlies around the letters and the colors with the fabric.

MBT-177 Our Family Tree
Stitch count 85w x 53h
Thread WDW Grape Vine, Pea Coat, Blue Jeans*, Tarragon, Plum*, Williamsburg Red* (*these colors are used for just a few stitches, but they are pretty!)
Fabric 32 count jobelan, "lambswool"
Deep down you know that this fits your family, too. If you can't think of the nut, maybe it's you? hehehe This whimsical little cutie fits a 5x7 frame and I used OLK-MRL by East Side Frames.

I think that's it from here. I'm already stitching on the next hymn design and have lots floating around in my head for other releases. My only goal for today is a nap. It's not going to happen, but a girl can dream!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Will this be the year?

Will this be the year that I have a post in every month? It's a little early to get excited about it, being only three months in, but I have hope that I can keep things up to date!

The Needlework Show starts in a couple of days, and I have so much new stuff coming out that I decided to split it into a couple of notices. This one will have the accessory stuff, and the next one will have the FOUR new counted thread designs. First, I would like to start by showing you a preview of a new chart, and a good example of why my job is so difficult ;-) 
That would be the cat trying to get it on the picture. She has to be in *everything*. She does her worst when I am sitting in the desk chair, and she quietly comes in and paws at my back. Her argument (if she could talk) is that she is giving me a massage, or a quick cardio workout based on  how high I jump, but I think she is trying to give me a heart attack. When I try to do pictures outside, I am battling either the hens or the dog, or the wind, or those awful little hopping bugs. The cat is, by far, the peskiest of them all. But she is mine, and I like her (most of the time).

Now on to the second group of images. The accessories!!!

These are the new specialty pins, in three shades of blue with neat little metal accents. Very cute!
 
Also coming out are a second set of funky chunky mini fobs. These use fun, bold and chunky beads to make adorable fobs that are perfect for your scissors with the oversized clasp. 
And, finally, there are the Perfectly Pretty Pin Sets. Each set comes with four coordinating pins that are, well, perfectly pretty! The current sets are (upper left) "Fire Flower," (carded) "Ocean Blues," and (lower left) "Violet Blooms." I have many more color schemes in mind, so these will be sure to be added to in the coming year. The floral shape of the beads look great in your favorite cushion, and they are easy to grasp while using them to count your spaces.
These aren't a new item, I have been doing them for well over a decade, but I have freshened up my inventory with a host of new colors and beads, and they will be featured at the Needlework Show.
That is the MBT update of things. Nope, still no house. Yep, things still in His hands. Doodlebug has added guitar lessons to her musical schedule, and it has been a surprise to see how quickly she is picking it up. She is getting ready for seventh grade (aaaccckkk!!!) and still enjoying all sorts of craft projects. In all of the hiccups of life, the adventures and challenges, He is still in control and is reminding me of that each day. Hope in Him, faith in Him, joy in all things, knowing all things are for our good (especially chocolate). See you back here in a couple of days for the rest of the new goodies!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Christmas Pinkies V Compilation

It is a drizzly and dreary day in northern Idaho. We've had rain, rain, and more rain, and are expecting days of even more rain. It is wonderful for the water table, and for the ponds and greenery, so I am thankful for the rain (but I'd really like to see the sun!). Since outdoor projects are on hold, I've been working on framing up some pieces. Several will be released April 1, and I can't share those just yet (even though it's driving me batty!), but one of them is the compilation piece for Christmas Pinkies V, MBT-166.

The Joy ornament was released in the 2014 ornament issue of JCS, and I added a few friends to make it a full chart. The cover has all of the individual ornaments in 3x3 frames, but it included the chart with the compilation design and border. Now you can see what the compilation looks like when it is stitched! It is framed in an East Side frame, Peddlers Alley Oliver Twist (PAOT), 7-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches. This model will join my full trunk show in fall of this year when all of the models are updated and it heads to Craft Gallery in Ohio.

The online Needlework Show was a lot of fun and there were four winners of door prizes. All were contacted and let me know their prize selection. Next show is April 1, so not far off! New releases will come out then. The large design has been previewed by a dear friend (I seriously have no will power when it comes to keeping pics of new stuff to myself) who promptly offered me her first born for the chart. It brought her to tears, which I consider to be a good sign! Start thinking Christmas colors and ready your fat halves of fabric... a new big one is coming :-)

Monday, February 1, 2016

February New Releases!

It is February 1, the first day of the new Needlework Show format, and we have new releases!!! There are oodles, so get comfy. Also, check out www.Needleworkshow.com to see lots of new goodies from dozens of vendors, AND go to www.MyBigToeDesigns.com to enter for a door prize!
MBT-170 Holy, Holy, Holy 
Stitched on 32 ct. linen, water lily, with GAST thread. Will fit a standard 8x10 frame when stitched on 32 ct.  
 MBT-171 Cats Leave Paw Prints (the snarky version)
Stitched on 32 ct. jobelan, lambswool, with WDW thread. Adorably accented with JABC buttons and framed in an East Side frame. I am owned by a cat. She plots my death by sleeping by my head in an attempt at suffocation. I'm willing to bet she has tried biological warfare by trying to lick my toothbrush. Her most effective technique is sleep deprivation. It has led to general clumsiness, which she exacerbates by trying to be underfoot on the stairs. She is a cat. 
MBT-172 Dogs Leave Paw Prints (the snarky version)
Stitched on 32 ct. jobelan, lambswool, with WDW thread. Adorably accented with JABC buttons and framed in an East Side frame. I am also owned by a dog. She just loves me. She drools. A lot. I think the cat has manipulated the dog into her plan for world domination by encouraging her to be under foot. She lays on the kitchen floor, and she is the same color as said floor, which means a lot of tripping and food falling to the ground. Hmmm... maybe the dog is smarter than I thought.
MBT-173 Friends are Family
Stitched on 32 ct. linen, french lace, with GAST thread. This is a frame I found at Hobby Lobby, which is increasingly carrying more of the 5x5 sizes. I matched the fabric and thread to the frame, which was fun, but I also stitched a smaller version to show you what can be done by using many colors. The chart contains the exact colors I used, but I encourage you to play with what you have and come up with a unique piece.

Visit www.MyBigToeDesigns.com to see four new fob sets! I did create a chatelaine to match the most recent Gingher release, Wren. The set is "Plum Crazy" and the chatelaine is pictured below:
Most everything personal was updated just last week, and we don't have that interesting of a life to have much to add ;-) We had a bit of snow, it melted. The dog played, got muddy. Life continues. I've been doing a study on Mark, which has been really good. Reading about Jesus calming the waters when the storm is raging. In our storms, He is with us in the boat! He has complete power over all, and He put us in that storm so that we could be used to His purpose. Our faith is refined in those storms, and He will see us through. He is ahead of us in the storms, along side, and coming behind. For years I have read that story, but never connected how personal it is - He is with us! 

(and, yes, I am still happy dancing over the TV show thing ;-) )

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Amazing Grace and Dickensian

It has been such an exciting week! I received a picture showing proof of my design in the Dickensian show (thank you, again!) and the production company gave me permission to share it, so... 
It is soooo exciting! Look! That's my design!!! And it's clearly showing the scripture!!! I haven't stopped giggling for two days and probably annoyed just about everyone I know by calling, texting, emailing, smoke signaling... If you are in the UK, you can watch episode 7 and see the piece in action! This is my new claim to fame ;-) (I now either need more coffee or a nap... maybe both)

I do have more news than just this (even though the TV stuff was beyond amazing!). The freebie for "Amazing Grace" is now up at www.MyBigToeDesigns.com and ready for download if you would like a quick to stitch, ornament sized, piece that beautifully accents the large design. I stitched it on 28 ct. antique white jobelan with Weeks Dye Works thread. The frame is by East Side the colors are a perfect match. 
Check back next Monday for the release details on the four new designs that will be debuting at the Needlework Show!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Snow. No snow. Snow. No snow.

A wonderful January 2016 to you from a very not snowy northern Idaho. We have had lots of storms through this winter, and have gone between "not getting up the driveway because of the depth of snow and ice" and "rain saturated everything." On Saturday we had four inches of white stuff, and now we are being soaked with rain and it is all melting away. I take comfort in *only* getting the truck stuck once this year, but that low number is probably because I've been too chicken to go out more than necessary.

There have been a lot of very exciting on-goings for MBT. Let's start with the one that has had my head in the clouds for months. Last summer, I was approached by a UK television production studio who wanted to use one of my large designs in their upcoming drama. I had no idea how it would be used, and only had a basic outline of the show, but it was scripture being used in mainstream TV so how could I refuse? AND, I didn't even have to stitch it again! Not only did I not refuse, I giggled and danced and cheered and called friends and relatives! SO, for all of you in the UK, or areas that can watch BBC over there, if you watch "Dickensian" please keep an eye out for my "The Lord is My Shepherd" design. The show premiered last month and I would love to know if you see the needlework in there.


Some other news - this year you will find me in both the JCS Ornament Preview issue and the regular ornament issue. My current stitching project is the ornament for the regular issue, which is a companion to the preview issue, and will eventually be released in a chart with two more companion designs. It is an honor to be asked and I hope you enjoy them when they are published.

More news - the Needlework Show has changed up the format for the show this year. Instead of just the April and October shows, there will be FOUR shows! They will be the 1st-3rd of each month for February, April, August, and October. What does this mean for me? A totally completely crazy January, moving up the new release schedule, coming up with new accessories, and preparing the booth. On February 1 please check out www.NeedleShow.com or www.MyBigToeDesigns.com or www.Wichelt.com or this blog (!) to see four brand new designs (two of which are completely adorable) and some new accessories.

A little more news - I'm already working on the April releases and there will be a new large design that is Christmas themed! Prepare your fat halves of fabric and your favorite thread colors because a new big one is coming!

Final MBT news - if you are planning on doing stitchy gifts for your stitchy friends, now is a great time to schedule custom items! I'm glad to work with you and your favorite LNS to make some unique items for you to give as gifts in your small groups, guilds, retreats, or just for yourself.

On the personal side of things... still no house, and it's okay. We are fifteen months into our transition, which I had only planned on being two months, and it's all good. It still isn't all comfortable, or easy, or painless, but that IS what is so good. We take joy in sharing in a great community, serving, and being the weird neighbors. Homeschooling has settled into a good routine, the cabin remodel is mostly done, and church has been exceptional. The people there have taken us in as family, inviting us sledding and snowmobiling, out for meals and into their lives. I have become more used to the a-frame exposed beam cabin style of my office area and am not hitting my head on the roof with as much frequency. That's one thing to smile about! lol

God bless and remember to take joy in each day. Joy is a choice, an active movement outside of ourselves. Choose joy.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

So I'm sort of a doofus

I sit here, working on Christmas cards, and for the first year ever I have self sealing envelops. It is such a strange process for me that I keep trying to lick over the removable paper that is covering the sticky stuff. I may change things up and let the doodlebug do the rip and stick while I stick to the personal notes.

The doofus-ness doesn't end there. When I thought through the needle minders, I was thinking of everyone using them how I do. I put them on a metal screw top in my stitching stand, on my magnet board, on the sewing machine, or on the fridge, and just about everywhere but on my fabric. You see, I am a cross stitcher, and I use qsnaps with softer fabrics. The weight of the minders can cause my fabric to be a little slack (not much, but enough), which drives me nuts (it's a short trip!), so I don't think about needing a second magnet so you can put them on your fabric. Silly me... SO, there will be a change in the packaging process and the minders will now come with a second magnet. There is a slight price adjustment, because those little magnet pieces are pricey, but it isn't too bad.
Except for that hiccup, the needle minders have been doing well. I have listed them in individual pictures on their own page at www.MyBigToeDesigns.com . You can see current availability, which ones are limited, and then pester your favorite shop for your favorite minder! There are some new ones, including the pink roses with music notes.

We are heading into Christmas, which tends to be our quieter time of year. We have family visit for Thanksgiving, and then it is just the three of us for the Christmas holiday. I have all sorts of design ideas going through my head, am almost done with two coordinating pieces that will just need to be framed, am almost done with a new large poem design, have a hymn in the wings, and then oodles of notes for new ideas! I joked that I wanted to be snowed in so that I could have more stitching time, but I think that may be pushing it a little far. Doodlebug wants to learn how to make a rag quilt, and to knit a small bear, and to do wool needle felting, and to paint, and play baseball, and read, and draw, and go hiking, and, and, and... This past year, we were't planning on being at the cabin for too long, so we didn't set up a tree (ornaments in storage, me allergic to pine...). This year, I think a tree is in order. We won't have the historical ornaments and all of those memories tied to them, but I think we will get a few small ones and create some new memories.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Door prizes and Needle Minders

My third post in a month! I'm trying to be better at staying on top of announcements. It occurred to me that I didn't post a picture of the beautiful new needle minder accessory! Okay, so maybe I was afraid to post a picture because inventory was being ordered as fast as I could make it. They were debuted at the Needlework Show, and did amazingly well. So well that I ran out, and spent many hours trying to get more made before the shops realized that I was in the weeds! Here are the current needle minders that are available:


Soon (when I can sit hubby down at the computer to update the website), I will have individual pictures on the website so you can see current availability. They will change, over time, and I can already tell you that I have some amazing new minder designs that are just itching to be assembled!

The show orders are mostly shipped, shops are delightedly opening their boxes of goodies, oohing and aahing over all of the lovely products from the many vendors, and I was able to sit down and draw for door prizes! There were five winners, emails have been sent to them, and I thank all of you who entered. The comments were fun to read and I look forward to sending out envelopes with treats to the winners.

Today I get to play with fabric, thread, and buttons for new designs. It is ornament season, which is always fun, and then there are the March releases that I have to start getting ready. I plan for March, and then get all excited when they are ready in January and I can't wait to release them... so I don't wait and then have to come up with more for March! We have a well being drilled, today, which means noise and mud. I think we'll stay inside...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Gingher Wren Scissors and a furry pain

My beautiful scissors have arrived, and I was delighted to create a new fob to match. The newest from Gingher is called "Wren," and they are the most lovely purple. I have created both long and mini fobs, and am glad to make anything from my line to match. The official name is "Plum Crazy." As beautiful as the purple and white scissors are, on their own, I felt they needed an accent color, in addition to the two shades of purple Swarovski crystals, so they are adorned with the most lovely cherub pink frosted bead.
SO... last week I was preparing pics for the brand new top secret accessory that will be added to my line at the Needlework Show on Thursday. I was so excited to get them all done, the lighting was perfect, color was great, and then. And THEN. Cat hair. I was going through the images, cropping and editing, and in every single image there was a single black cat hair. And you know what? I left it there. I did not retake a single picture. Do you want to see the culprit? Here she is:
I ordered dog food, and in the box was an insane amount of brown packing paper. I probably pulled out a good thirty feet of the paper, set it on the bed in the loft, and someone turned it into a cozy place to sleep. Better the packing paper than my needlework, which is where she usually tries to make her bed. 

This Thursday will be the beginning of the fall Needlework Show and I do hope you'll stop by www.needleshow.com to visit all of the wonderful booths. I'm excited to be participating and look forward to showing off some new accessories!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October Already? AAAUUUGGGGHHH!!!

Can anyone tell me where the past year has gone? Seriously... if you find the last twelve months that seem to have disappeared, please let me know so I can figure out where they went and how to make the time slow down!

I would like to introduce four new designs to you! There are all sorts of details at www.MyBigToeDesigns.com , but there are also some fun notes that don't make the chart.

MBT-166 Christmas Pinkies V
The fifth installment in this series is a set of four ornaments, and it includes a border so that you can make them all into one wall  hanging. I had time to stitch the ornaments, but not the compilation. It's cute, if that helps ;-) One of these ornaments was in JCS, and it needed a few friends. The little frames are from Hobby Lobby, and you can get them through their website (I had to!).

MBT-167 The Old Rugged Cross
This is the next design in the series of hymns. I love the image of clinging to the cross, where the One who is true and blameless took all of the punishment for me, for those who are lost and wretched. This piece ended up being shipped to my framer in Boise, and she did a great job selecting something unique.

MBT-168 Armor of God
Over the past year, this has been the most requested set of verses. The kids' club at our old church did a series on the armor of God, so it has been something I have wanted to do, but this year it all came together. It fits a standard size 8x10 frame, so it makes it a more affordable gift to put together. I did get a comment that it was a bit masculine, and that let to a girly, giggle-filled conversation about how to make it more feminine, "because a girl's gotta have her armor, too." After discarding suggestions of purple helmet feathers, blingy bead accents on the sword hilt, and other moments of fun, I think the best way to soften it up a bit would be to use a very feminine frame with big swirls and lots of detail, and leave off the straight line border so that there isn't the rigidness.

MBT-169 Retirement Planning
Yep, I have issues, BUT, almost any crafter I know can relate to this design. Quilters, stampers, knitters (don't make me open the closet doors that lead to the stash you keep with all of those beautiful colors and textures), beaders (I see you, but am then also pointing the finger at myself)... this isn't just limited to cross stitchers and needlepointers! This design, when stitched on the 35 ct. linen, fits a 5x7 frame. This color of linen is also available in 30 and 32 counts, so don't panic with the really tiny, teeny little holes.

For new accessories: there will be new ones coming! I have an entire new line of a brand new-to-me accessory that will debut at the online Needlework Show... in two weeks! (Is it really that soon... ack!!! I have work to do!!!) There will also be a new fob to match the next pairs of Gingher scissors, and new specialty pins for the holidays with matching long and mini fobs (I really, really have a lot of work to do!!!).

Life in the woods is still life in the woods. It is challenging, difficult, strange, confusing, exhausting, magnificent, faith building, beautiful, and beyond anything that my mind could have put together. A year ago this week, our old house had just gone under contract, and I was packing up five years of being settled in to a home. My plans were for a short transition, maybe a couple of months, until we found a new home of our own. Oh, boy, did God have other plans. Amazing, encouraging, growing plans. Everything that I have missed, he has abundantly provided. Church, garden, friends, design inspiration, rest (well, this on we are still working on), He has provided.

Doodlebug is doing great. Home school lessons are moving along, and she is able to pursue her passion and gift of music. She does two concerts each month, and has started regularly participating in playing piano for worship and the offering at church. PE co-op has started up again, which is a blast. Today is a bit sad, because we had to put down a beloved chicken last night, but it is a time of growing and learning.

It has been a year. We are still looking for a house, and will continue to stalk the websites for new listings. It becomes harder and harder to leave this community that we have embraced, and has embraced us in return. God will keep us here until His job for us is done, and then the path will be made clear and the right doors will open. He is good, He is faithful. He loves me in my tantrums, in my pridefulness, in my brokenness, and reminds me of His grace and mercy each day.