Wednesday, April 24, 2019

An update on an oldie and I'll never do laundry again

I have always loved playing with colors. This is why so many of my designs have alternate color options or two different cover models. I enjoy stitching over one thread, on lots of different types of fabric. It just makes each piece more interesting to me. One thing I haven't worked on before is black fabric. Soooo, I decided to experiment. I took an older design, MBT-134 Rejoice and Be Glad, and did a little tinkering. It looks completely different and I love it!
I used 32 ct. "Chalkboard Black" linen, and Weeks Dye Works thread Parchment, Straw, Artichoke, Raspberry and Madison Rose. The frame is from Michael's (#10484379) and I like it so much that I bought a second one while I was there yesterday. The original version was done on Raw Natural Cashel linen with only four colors of thread. All this to show that you should play with your thread!
If you have seen just a small sample of my line, you know that I have a slightly twisty sense of humor. In the most recent batch of releases it was a spider design. There is nothing to fear but fear itself... and spiders. Oh, let me tell you what happened last week. Not just a spider. That I could handle with grace and dignity. Nope. It was a tarantula. In my laundry room. Inside. My. House.
There is no amount of rational argument that can make me be okay with it being inside the house. I understand they eat harmful spiders and that they are a part of creation. I get that. But inside the house? Thankfully hubby saw it first and swooshed it outside with the broom. It is their migration season and it has added a new level of paranoia to yard work.

Upcoming designs continue to progress so look for some in the not-so-distant future! I'm waiting on some new circle frames to arrive for the next two releases in that series. My hope is that they will look just as good as the other ones, but be more accessible. I did a little bit of framing yesterday and the next chicken chart is ready to go. I'm still not certain I like the frame with the next scripture word series (similar to MBT-160 Walk by Faith) so that one is just sitting on the shelf and I'm thinking on it.

Enjoy each one of those x's :o)

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

So much new, so little time!

It has been a whirlwind of a week. Since I was sick for our anniversary I decided to sketch out a little bit of what I would like as a new structure for my website. With all of fifteen minutes before they returned home from vacation, I wrote up some ideas and handed it off to hubby, thinking it would be a few months before we tackled it. Nope. He went with it! This means I needed to redo hundreds of images, come up with text, proof... all in the middle of new releases. Can you hear the crazy from where you're at? So I have not only four new chart releases, and specialty pin releases, AND needle minder releases... I HAVE A NEW WEBSITE!!! It is so much easier to navigate, has great new pics of alllllll of the needle minders and Gingher fobs (now each one is available in long and mini) and most of the pins. I even added a picture and fob of the elusive Laurel 4" scissors. All of the design images have been reworked. I'm still doing some updating but I'm so excited for how far we have come already. 

Now for the new designs!!!

MBT-223 A Place for Everything 
A place for everything and nothing in its place. This has been my life during every. single. move. I know I can fit all of our stuff where it needs to go, minus some things that need to find new homes, but it seems like nothing is where it needs to be! Stitch count is 67w x 99h. Stitched on 32 ct. jobelan, "Queen Anne's Lace" with Weeks Dye Works thread and accented with Just Another Button Company buttons. Frame is a standard 5x7 by Mainstays.

MBT-224 Nothing to Fear
He he he he. I love this design. I was in a mood. "There's nothing to fear but fear itself and spiders." It has the cutest little stitched arachnids that seem to be reaching out to touch things that they shouldn't. They're like little toddlers! Design also includes a sweeter version that just has "There's nothing to fear but fear itself." Stitch count is 68w x 68h. Stitched on 28 ct. jobelan, "Queen Anne's Lace" with Weeks Dye Works thread and accented with Just Another Button Company raspberry swirly bud button. The frame is from Green Tree Gallery and used to be gold. I love spray paint.

MBT-225 Embrace Moments
This is the next step in the circle series. Through the past year, and all of our changes, I have learned to Choose Joy (MBT-213) and I would make a decision to rejoice even in the struggles. Through that is to Love Completely (MBT-217) and know that any sacrifice in done in love, remembering to Cherish Friends (MBT-221) because they are a gift from God. Now I am needing to Embrace Moments and take advantage of the time together because we won't get them back. There will be more in the series, one with family is coming up, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Stitch count is 63w x 63h. Stitched on 32 ct. country french linen, "Cafe Mocha" with Gentle Art Sampler Threads. 

MBT-226 Prayer of Saint Francis, Simple Peace Prayer of St. Francis Assisi
Oh, I can't tell you how much I loved stitching this design. From the planning phases, it was created to be affordable to frame. It is designed so that the left and right edges run into the frame rabbit of a standard 16x20 frame, when stitched on 32 count fabric. This gives it a custom look without the custom price. The total framing costs on this was... ready for it?... under $35. This included the frame (on sale at 50% off), mat, lacing materials, and spacers. Stitch count is 257w x 304h. Stitched on 32 ct. country french linen, "Cafe Mocha" with Gentle Art Sampler Threads. The frame is from Green Tree Gallery. 

Specialty Pins - Bees Knees Garnet, Blue, Amber
 Specialty Pins - Daisy Days Spring Green, Aqua, Yellow
 Specialty Pins - Silver Wings Glacier, Pink, Spring Green, Purple, Silver
Phew, that was a lot of stuff! It is a huge weight off to be this far and be able to share these with you. I have kept them fairly quiet even though they have been ready for a month, just because I wanted them spaced out a little bit from the February releases. For the next batch, I have a new one in the Quaker Seasons series - just have to find the frame in the garage. May need to tie off with a rope so I can find my way back out of the boxes... There will be a fifth in the circle series and then I have a few options of what else to include. I'm working on a new hymn, some new scripture, a new chicken one and some new sassy. It is a good season for stitching.

I have figured out that I love hiking. I have always enjoyed exploring, but the state parks here are beautiful at this time of year and I love being in them. It is early enough that there aren't a lot of mosquitoes, and the temps are mild, but late enough that everything is green and starting to bloom. So lovely! We have been doing family day trips to check out the parks and it has been renewing. Then the pollen attacks and I get sick for a week, but I'm enjoying what I can :o) God is good. 

Monday, March 25, 2019

New Accessories!

It has been a busy few weeks and things for new releases are moving along. I've been stocking up on lots of new inventory for the upcoming trunk shows that will be visiting some of your local shops. One of my favorite accessories is the handy threader, which is now freshened up with a lot of new beads and color combinations. These are a few of my favorites!
For brand new accessories, the hat pin "Oh, Deer" is just about ready to join the MBT assortment. It will be regularly available in three colors ~ cadet, mocha, and rose ~ but I am more than happy to entertain custom colors for these a-deer-able little pins. I didn't go as far as camo for the regular line, but that mocha pumpkin bead with a green accent bead would be quite cute.
Also joining my line is a fun little centimeter ruler. It can be created with any of the little pictures from my regular sized needle threaders, but it doesn't have the magnetic touch. Perfect for measuring out corners!
Here's a little sneak peak of the new large design as I was preparing it for framing. You're seeing the backside as I was doing the ironing. It is a reproduction style design, similar to MBT-190 Disturb Us Lord, the prayer of Sir Francis Drake. There are some great little features of this design when it comes to framing. The horizontal border is designed to go into the rabbit of a standard 16x20 frame, which gives it a custom look. The frame I used was from Hobby Lobby, and on sale was $25. For everything - spacers, mat, lacing, etc - the total framing cost was under $35. Yay!
The past few days have been very productive for me and stitching. I ended up sick (again! Tree pollens and I are not getting along) for a planned mini vacation to the hill country. So hubby and doodlebug are enjoying hiking in Dinosaur Valley while I have been working on lots of new releases and trying to placate a very pouty pooch (the dog watched them walk out the front door and has barely moved from the hallway since that moment. I finally moved her bed in there so she wouldn't be on the cold floor). It looks like the batch that will be released next week will be shortly followed by another four!
A wonderful beginning of spring to you and yours. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

An update to an oldie

Over the past month I have been working on updating older designs. Contact information has changed for some companies, other businesses have been sold and have new names, and fabric has been discontinued, so I figured it was time to start working on all that. I came upon one of my older designs, MBT-137 Love Always. When I designed it I couldn't decide between "Love Always" or "Love Always Hopes" for the cover model, but I had this beautiful blue square frame and that is what swayed me to Love Always. Both designs were still included in the chart, but life happened and I didn't make it back to stitch that other design for the cover. Until now.
Of course I had to tinker with it a little bit. I stitched it on 28 ct. Wichelt hand dyed jobelan, "Thyme," with Weeks Dye Works threads Grape Vine, Kudzu, and Red Pear. It perfectly fits into a 4x6 frame that I found at Hobby Lobby (Green Tree Gallery #1555218). I changed out the blue thread to brown, so that it better matched the frame. I love how this design turned out with the new colors and frame! This is the original which is on the cover:
Then there is the other fun part of work... new designs! A week ago I had this idea come to mind and it is one of those that comes together quickly because I could see it so clearly. The chart was ready, I found the threads I wanted to use and the cutest little JABCo button accent, and then it was time to drag out the fabric totes and start figuring out the right color to best highlight the threads. I wanted to start on it immediately and could barely contain myself! I turned around to look at fabric, and then this happened:
My helper happened. "Catticus interruptus" in her natural environment - on top of anything of value, or that I need, at any given moment. My new chart is underneath her, with claw punctures and all. She is ten years old and has been with us since she was eight weeks old, when the shelter released her to our waiting home. She licks my pillow at 5 am each day, to let me know she is there and that the sun is going to be up in an hour or two so it is time to start my day. She is the inspiration for quite a few of the snarky pet designs - with still more to come!

With that hint, new releases are probably just around the corner. Today I framed the final new one of four. I need to do cover pics and some formatting and printing and packaging, but look for new designs in a few weeks! There will be two that are slightly sassy, one in the circle series, and one large reproduction style prayer design that is a sight to behold.

Have a wonderful March!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Just tinkering

It has been one of those seasons. Trying to figure out where things are at (metaphorically and literally). For example. This morning I finished up the next big design for release. Reproduction style prayer that has been often requested. I bought a frame for it before the move. It's a 16x20 frame. There aren't that many places it could be hiding or boxed or placed!!! It is likely somewhere in the garage, but at this point I'm justifying a trip to Hobby Lobby to replace it because I can't put my hands on it right now and I'm anxious to get it framed. I probably unpacked it and put it somewhere completely logical (at the time).

I've also been getting things ready for the new year of trunk shows and fun with models. I've been updating charts, correcting information for companies that have sold or moved, and playing with colors on some of my older small designs. I'll take those along as car projects. This beauty will be travelling in the 2019 trunk show:
It is MBT-213 Choose Joy, done on 30 ct. Weeks Dye Works linen with red, green and bronze threads. I wanted to show this design in a square frame, instead of the round on the model, and show how much the feel of a design can change by tinkering with the colors. The original:
The floral round series has been so much fun for me. The simple phrases reflect what I am going through and what I am holding to.

It has also been the time of preparing new inventory for the trunk shows assortments and testing out new accessories. The rabbit regal pins have been a great success and I just started working on a new pin - oh, deer!
It isn't the web ready picture but he's just so cute I had to share :-)

Friday, February 1, 2019

February New Releases

February sneaked up on me... It seems like January was just yesterday. Oh, wait, it was! Would it be fair to say that it seems like January of 2018 was just yesterday? Our year is speeding by. Doodlebug is taking on new projects and it is keeping me out of the house for most days of the week. My truck has become a mobile office and I am getting a lot of stitching done on smaller projects. I do miss working on the big prayer design that is on my stand at home. Today I managed five whole stitches on it before I was distracted. That's life :-)  Now, on to the new!!!

MBT-219 Still Waters
I just don't think there could ever be enough of the 23rd Psalm hanging on my walls or saturating my life each day. When I'm feeling bone weary I know I can find restoration in Him. Model stitched on 28 ct. jobelan with Weeks Dye Works thread. It is a companion design to MBT-183 Trust in Him, MBT-192 Hope and a Future, and MBT-211 My Soul Finds Rest.

MBT-220 I Should Quit
Am I the only one with days like this. The days when you have major car repairs, pay the bill, and a coupon for the repair place arrives in the mail that afternoon (no kidding, that was my day today)... Today may be a good day to just quit! Through the move I have felt like I am always three steps behind. Yet I keep striving to get ahead of it all. At some point I should probably quit while I'm behind and just stitch. Model stitched on 32 ct. jobelan with Weeks Dye Works thread. It will perfectly fit a 5x7 frame when stitched on 32 ct.

MBT-221 Cherish Friends
The past few months have been pretty raw with leaving a lot of friends in Idaho. It is a good thing we now have unlimited text because I can't go a few hours without pestering one (or more!) of them. This design, the third in the circle series, reminds me to cherish each friend and the time with them. Model stitched on 32 ct. linen with Gentle Art Sampler Threads. It is a companion design to MBT-213 Choose Joy and MBT-217 Love Completely (and a fourth one was started this week!)

MBT-222 Fowl Friends
And back to the snark. Oh, boy, does this design have a story behind it. It all started with a coyote attack. This past summer my chickens were doing their free range chicken thing - eating bugs, fertilizing the yard, and being happy. In the middle of the day a dear friend came over and interrupted the destruction of my flock. Out of my eight hens, we found three dead, one severely injured, and three in the coop. One was missing. Dear friend gave me the best comfort she could - hope. She told me about Schrodinger's Cat. It is the idea (on the most basic level) that without confirming that the chicken was alive or dead, I could believe that it was alive because I couldn't know for certain. The missing hen did find her way home, much to my relief. For the injured hen, one friend brought her husband over to give the bird eleven stitches while the friend who helped me scour the property for an hour to locate the birds assisted that day and came back every day for a week to help me give her daily antibiotic injections. For a chicken. This brings us to Schrodinger's Chicken. I got a mood in early December that I needed to do something special for my two fowl helping friends. I made this little framed piece for each of us. Above the hens are vibrant and alive, below... well... It is a little twisted but that is why it comes with two other very sweet designs! I miss my chickens, my fowl friends, and this is a celebration of them. Chicks rule! Models stitched on 32 or 36 ct. linen with Weeks Dye Works thread.

Now for the accessories:

Funky Chunky VII

Regal Pins - Spring Tulip
Regal Pins - Bunny Love
Specialty Bead Fob Bunny Love
Regal Pins - Elephant Dance
Specialty Bead Fob Elephant Dance
Bronze Rabbit Hat Pins in Pink and Green

Needle Minder Art Deco

Mini Needle Minder Bronze Butterfly

Needle Minder Valentine
Mini Needle Minder Flamingo

There is life in a nutshell! Blessings to you in your stitching endeavors.

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 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.