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.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A NEW Free Chart Available at Wichelt

A wonderful August to you! Last month, Wichelt asked me to do a designer profile for their shop list, and a freebie that is to be available on their site for the next year. I have always wanted to do something smaller with "Amazing Grace," so I did! You can find the new design at www.Wichelt.com , look down the left side of the screen to find the link to the Free Graph. Then... have fun! The designer profile isn't there, but I'm able to share the questions and answers with you here:

Name: Debbie Booth
Company Name: My Big Toe Designs
Years in Business: 10 years
Years Designing Counted Cross Stitch: 10 years
Currently Resides: Northern Idaho

Favorite Wichelt fabric color right now: anything in the country French line. I love the feel of that fabric, and especially the weight of the 32 ct.

Upcoming projects: For designing, I have some ideas in my head for a new large design, scripture based, as well as lots of little designs that relate to where I am in life. There will be at least two new releases in September 2015: a new hymn and a new ornament set. The Building Block series will continue, for at least a few more blocks. With my accessory line, Gingher will soon have out their new Wren scissors, and I look forward to playing with beads and creating the perfect accents for their lovely scissors.

About Me: Our family is currently in a state of transition, between homes, and enjoying the temporary space of a cabin out in the middle of a forest. There are challenges, but mostly we are enjoying the lack of distractions so that we can focus on growing together, as a family, in our relationships with God and with each other. We home school our daughter, which gives us a lot of flexibility to help her pursue her passion in music. Most of our married life, over the past 14 years, has been without family close by, which has made us get into the community and create relationships with friends who become family that we choose. Designing has been an amazing journey, over these past ten years, that has allowed me to put to fabric, with needle and thread, what has been going on in my life. It has brought people into my life, through such a beautiful art, that have refined and encouraged me. I get to express my faith in a quiet way, that both gives me comfort and challenges me. I look forward to what is in store in the next ten years!

**************

Now for the more personal update. It has been a hot week for us, here, but we have spent time on the water and venturing out into the woods. Many of you know that we moved last summer, and part of that move was leaving the gardens, fruit trees, grape arbor, and berries that we had planted and tended at our old house. It has been a strange year for me - not planting, not harvesting, not canning. Well, God took care of that this past weekend! We were visiting a nearby forest and found plums growing! They are these delicious, yellow, small fruits and we picked a whole bunch. The past two days were spent making plum jelly. Yum! Then, yesterday we went and picked wild blackberries. Can you guess what I did this morning? The plum is a little soft set, the blackberry is a little firm, but I got to pick fresh fruit and make something tasty! Tomorrow morning I have every intention of going to get some more plums. Stitching?!? What's that?!? Okay, okay. I am working on the next hymn in the series. There's an old rugged cross in it, but I can't share any more than that.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 2015 New Releases

With the craziness of the past year, I never imagined that I would have another set of releases so soon. What is even MORE amazing is that I already have four designs lined up for September (I haven't, however, lined up the time to STITCH them!). I would like to introduce you to the four latest releases to the My Big Toe Designs line of counted thread designs:

MBT-162 For God So Loveth
Where do I begin with this design?!? I have always wanted to do something more with John 3:16. It was part of an ornament I designed for JCS, and became a Christmas Pinkie, but it cried out for something bigger. I found a 8x20 frame at the not-so-local craft store, and that was the beginning. Next came the colors, and I wanted to do something inky and dark. What came about was four shades of GAST thread on Lakeside Linen fabric, with the black frame and many hours of stitching joy. 

MBT-163 Building Block - Heal 
 Oh, no, I've ruined all of the quilt plans!!! I'm sorry, so sorry, but with some significant encouragement I just had to add to this line of designs. Everyone was so excited when I reached sixteen blocks, because it made sense for a quilt or wall hanging arrangement, and now I've added number seventeen. I guess now I'll have to add at least three more to the line...

MBT-164 I Fail at Flowers
Blame the adorable JABC buttons for this one, and my lack of gardening space. As we are in our temporary home, in the middle of the forest, it doesn't make financial sense to build a deer proof garden for just this season. Plant flowers. Deer eat flowers. Plant veggies. Deer eat veggies. I never remember to water anything in a container, but the weeds are plentiful! The top of this design has the most beautiful arrangement of flowers and the cute little ladybug. The bottom of this design is more my reality, with dandelion weeds, flies and ants. It fits a 5x7 frame.

MBT-165
I was sooo excited to design this piece, and started it with an 8x10 frame in mind that I already had on hand. The frame is beautiful, rustic deep red, and would have been perfect... then life happened. I wasn't paying attention, I designed the border to be a bit too large. Of course, I didn't realize this until the stitching was complete, I was happy dancing, and I went to lace it onto the foam core. AAACCCCKKKK!!!! With a panicked call to my framer in Boise, she made it all better. A series of text messages, pictures of possible frames, and two possibilities were sent this way for me to get the piece framed. I can't say enough wonderful things about Debbie, at Finishing Touch Framing in Boise, who went in on her holiday weekend to take care of me. 

All of the details (fabric, counts, thread, etc.) can be seen at www.MyBigToeDesigns.com and you can order through your favorite LNS!

For the rest of life stuff... we are still in transition. I think transition is our new state of being! I can look back at the discomfort and honestly say that staying in my comfortable world would have kept me stagnant. My passion, and desire to serve, would have been stale, going nowhere, and I would have passed that ease on to the munchkin. There are things I miss (my chicken coop, all of the yummy things we planted and grew, most of my household that is still in storage, friends...), but we have gained so much that is not of this world. 

The doodlebug had her end of year piano recital, this past month, and it was amazing. I love listening to her pursue her passion in music. She played three pieces: Beethoven's Fur Elise, a very complicated and flowing version of In Christ Alone, and A Time Forgotten. She was playing with the big kids, who were nearing the upper levels of high school, and it was amazing to see the contrast between her, the barely four foot something young girl, and the young man who played before her who was over six feet tall! She continues to play monthly at the retirement home, and weekly at church, and is sharing a lot of joy. Her current piece is Reverie, by Debussy, and she is on page four of five. Hopefully it will be mastered in the next few weeks and ready for her next recital. 

Enjoy your summer, have fun with family and friends, and give a little encouragement to someone who needs it. You never know the impact God will have on a life when you let Him use you.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

2015 Spring Needlework Show... And NEW Accessories!

The Spring Needlework Show opens in just a few hours! I am excited to share with you four new accessory items. The first three are all matching, in vibrant spring colors, and a lot of fun. Check out www.NeedleShow.com for a lot of new designers and great projects.

Flutterby Fobs (I couldn't decide on my favorite colorway, so there are two!)

Flutterby Gift Set (packaged with the thread picker and matching pair of pins)

Flutteby Specialty Pins (packaged individually - the Hootie Pins were lonely)

The next new accessory has been quietly debuted with a designer who is using them with a class piece. Her exact pin is just for her, but I am thrilled to release these first four that are available. I can do just about any color assortment, and with any charm from my line. These four are ready now (the one on the end is dark purple and emerald)!

On the stitchy front, I am working on a new design!!!!! I don't usually have something new to stitch, so soon after chart releases, but it was bubbling in my head and had to come out on fabric. Here is the teaser: it is reproduction style, 7x19 on 32 ct., and fits an 8x20 frame that I picked up at the local craft store. The colors are all inky and dark, GAST, and shine beautifully when the light hits it different ways. I'd tell you more, but that would take some of the fun out of the anticipation!!! I'm through page one of four and will soon be heading into a band of motifs.

On the home front, I am drooling over a new cookbook and can't wait to go grocery shopping, tomorrow. It is the "Big Book of Home Cooking", by Gooseberry Patch, and oooohhhh the recipes look yummy. We found it at the farm and garden store this weekend and I couldn't resist. We still haven't found a home, but that is okay. We are still looking and the right one will make itself known. Doodlebug had a piano performance this past Tuesday, and it was amazing. It was her third time for this group, and each time the crowd has grown! She is tackling some new piano pieces: Moonlight Sonata, the first movement, and Beethoven's Pathetique. Add in the songs from Frozen and we have quite the variety!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April 2015 New Releases

New releases are ready!!! They were ready yesterday, but I didn't want to confuse things by updating on April 1st ;-) Without further ado... here they are:

MBT-158 America the Beautiful
Stitch count 115w x 147h
Frame 8x10

By living in the woods these past months, it is some of the most beautiful country I have seen. We have driven around, looking at nearby towns, and I am in awe at creation and how His majesty is revealed. The sunsets and sunrises (when I see those), are new each day and unique in their colors. It is a joy to behold.

MBT-159 Wait Upon the Lord
Stitch count 56w x 56h
Frame 4x4

I won't joke again about waiting, and then things going to fast! We still wait on a home of our own, but are at peace with where we are at. I am learning to draw closer to God, not inactively waiting for Him to make something happen, and turn this into a time of togetherness instead of impatience.

MBT-160 Walk by Faith
Stitch count 97w x 65h
Frame 5x7

This is a design that I have been working on for the past year. It seems like such a small piece to take so much time, but it is one that I struggled with the colors. It had started with jewel tones, and then I put it to the side. A month ago I pulled it up again, and I could clearly see soft colors on a neutral linen. I am thrilled that it has come to life, right before we celebrate the resurrection, because we are walking in faith.

MBT-161 Cross That Stitch
Stitch count 83w x 55h
Frame 5x7

It wouldn't be 'me' without something a little wacky or whimsical. This was a fun stitch, with bold colors, that reminded me that it will all get done in time. The important things will be first, like stitching, and then vacuuming will eventually happen...

Needlework show is coming up in a couple of weeks. I will have some really neat new accessories, an entire new line of pin thingies, and door prizes!

On the personal side - It is just after 7am, and doodlebug is practicing her solo for church this Sunday. I am getting my own, personal concert of "How Deep the Father's Love for Us" and I can't imagine a better way to start the day (yes, there is coffee involved, too).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New releases... almost here!

Pleasant wishes to you from a rainy and cloudy Idaho wilderness. We have been enjoying our time at the cabin, battling colds and bronchitis, and having family visit. There isn't a house in sight for us, but we have broadened our search and will see what God reveals. In the meantime, the cabin is getting new electrical, which leaves my computer running off of extension cords from other floors. It is ALL good. Humorous, entertaining, messy, but good.

We have also had so much rain in the past few days, it has changed up my plans for cover pictures. All of my photography displays are... in storage! So it has been time to get creative. The pile of rocks that will become a drain field for the hillside... it is the backdrop in a couple of pics. My daughter's black piano bench and the yarn from her plastic canvas project... also a backdrop. It has been a treasure hunt to find ways to make it work, and I WILL make it work. 

There will be four new releases, all framed in standard size frames that I picked up a couple of months ago at Michael's. In the middle of lacing them, I called my old framer and told her how desperately she was missed, valued, and appreciated. Lacing and pinning is not my forte. But again, lemons-lemonade, rain-rainbow, puddles... nevermind, that just brings a wet dog and more laundry. Back to the new releases. There is one hymn, two scripture, and it wouldn't be me without one stitchy-whimsical-snarky-sarcastic.

Have a blessed day, full of seeking His purpose.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A not-so-quick update

The quick MBT update - no new designs to release, no new accessories to list.. :-)


The not-so-quick everything update - Here we are in the middle of January! We are settling in to a transitional stage in the move. Our house sold at the end of October, and we moved to northern Idaho. Every door we tried for a new home of our own, both purchase and rental, was shut. We are grateful that my grandparents had a cabin, which is still in the family, about 1.5 hours from hubby's new job, and we were able to move in. It isn't a fun commute for him, but it is where God has us. What I had planned on being a month or two, of living out of boxes, has turned into almost three months and there seems to be at least a few more months with most everything in storage.


For MBT, I brought most of my beads, the bare minimum I need to keep up chart inventory, two lines of thread and my linen and evenweave totes, and one work in progress. Until today, I haven't designed since last July or August. So much of life at the cabin has been focused on the daily part of living - splitting wood, hauling wood, stacking wood, keeping the fire going for heat, shoveling snow, trying to unpack a few things to make this more of a home for us, teaching the doodlebug and keeping things tidy after a dog who finds a mud puddle almost every time she goes out. Laundry is in the basement, we live two floors up, and there are days when I sprint up and down the stairs more times than I can count! The hens are in the dog kennel, and we only have five, now. I have grown to appreciate how spoiled I have been with modern conveniences, and I will never again take for granted things like trash pick up, a dishwasher, garbage disposal, running water, electricity, pavement, central air and heat, not needing four wheel drive to get up the driveway, internet...


But there are things I treasure that have come from being completely uprooted. We unplugged. We have spent hours and hours listening to sermon messages from our old church. My daughter craves the time listening to them, while we craft and look out at the nature around us. We have sat and watched deer, elk, turkeys, and all sorts of birds go right through the property and on the roads around the house. We have made a commitment to join the community where we are, and doing the things I always put off because "there wasn't enough time." Our relationships with one another have grown, matured, and are great blessings. It is a big hike to get to the town, so we eat at home all but once or twice a month. Our health has improved. We found a new church, with great people from the neighborhood.


Now, back to the not designing thing... I designed today :-)  I have honestly been dragging my feet on new designs. The stress of not having a close framer, not being able to focus on the computer, not knowing if it would really matter if I took off six months or a year, not knowing where we would be in a month or two, not having a house with my 'stuff' and walls filled with stitching inspiration. This weekend, I got a letter from a lady in PA. It was like God spoke through her and then gave me a little hand pop on the back of the head! I shared the letter with hubby, cried a bit, and then felt peaceful. We went to Moscow this weekend, found a Michaels, and I bought frames. I took away the excuse of not having frames easily accessible. Today, I sat down and designed for those frames, and I am so excited to have something to stitch! Tomorrow, I will await the sunshine and then pull out the fabric and threads, with great joy.


Life has continued on a grand journey.  I cannot whine for the struggles, because it is truly all God. It is all in His hands. Every house that we have wanted, and tried for, it was revealed (in God's time!) that there would have been significant problems with us being there. With each failure to find a place of our own, I keep in mind that His vision is much greater than my own, and He is abundantly providing for all of our needs and most of our wants. If He gave me everything I wanted, I would have missed out on what I needed.


 Thank you to those who have prayed for our family, my company, and His will over our lives. Thank you for the encouragement and love. Thank you for the patience in new designs coming. Thank you for the support. Thank you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Online Show Starting, New Accessories, the Move

The Needlework Show starts today! Visit www.NeedleShow.com to see a lot of vendors with many wonderful stitching goodies. Then, have a chat with your local shop owner and add lots of lovelies to your stash! I am debuting a couple new accessories at the show:


This little guy is adorable. Just as the Gingher "Eve" scissors brought out my snake/apple side, I saw this little skeleton charm and couldn't resist. It's a fond reminder of college days, in biology and anatomy classes, and just a huge reminder of how amazingly we are created.


Also joining our catalog is a new "Specialty Pin" line. These are our traditional marking pins, which have been a hit for the past decade, but have a more stylized bead on top. The first new friend is Hootie, and he's a hoot! These pins are packaged "by the each", so if you want a matching pair, please be specific as there is only one to a package but I'm glad to dig to find you a set. He is available in an assortment of fall colors: olive, pumpkin, ruby, cobalt, deep purple, etc.

I have spent the past couple of weeks updating inventory, which includes hundreds and hundreds of new needle threaders, with and without clasps, and oodles of the new items. Stitching?!? What's that?!?!? I look forward to being snow bound for a bit so I can get back to needle and thread.

Now on to move news. We're moving! We're really, really moving. It's amazing how many boxes can come out of one small office. Our official close date is the end of next week, and the truck is being loaded on Thursday. My office is being boxed on Wednesday, after the final online show order is packaged. We will be staying in a temporary place, until we find a home of our own, so it will be a slightly crazy time of transition. We'll also be waaaay out in the middle of the woods, so shipping to shops will be 2-3 days instead of 1-2. I don't know how long we will be in this state of transition, so I appreciate your patience and understanding as I have limited cell reception for my business line and possibly spotty email. If you need me, and don't hear back in one business day, try again. My business number and email are on the website, as is my new PO Box.

The goal is to not close down the business at all during the move, but I don't know how many rings I can keep running in this circus and not have the monkeys escape ;-)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New releases for October (yep, I'm early!)

It's that time of year for me - new releases! I had originally planned on waiting for October, but life changes. And I have the patience of a gnat when new designs are ready. I'm delighted to have several new offerings this fall, and each one has been a journey for me. 

MBT-155 The Greatest of These
Model stitched on 32 ct. Examplar linen, by Lakeside Linens, with Gentle Art Sampler Threads. It uses a LOT of thread, but it's a beautiful piece. This is the third in the reproduction style series, and is the largest of the three. It uses most of the fat quarter, and needed a couple extra pages for printing!


MBT-156 I Surrender All
Model stitched on 30 ct. Confederate Grey linen, by Weeks Dye Works, with Gentle Art Sampler Threads. This is the seventh hymn in the series, and something that I am working through - surrendering all! All control, all fear, all anxiety... Surrendering it all.


MBT-157 Do Not Weep
Model stitched on 30 ct. natural brown undyed linen, with Weeks Dye Works thread. This is my memorial piece. It's kind of twisty that I wrote my own, but I am walking with a friend while she is dying of cancer, and it was important to me to explain how I want the living to keep living, even if I'm not here to share in the laughter and sorrows. For obvious reasons, I didn't date it, but there is room to personalize it if you extend the border by a few stitches, and an alphabet is included.


Gingher Barbara Full Length and Mini Fobs
These scissors were found in a back warehouse, without too much information for what they were to be purposed. The packaging is the newer plastic boxes, as opposed to the metal tins that were really neat for a while. The blues are very vibrant. The fobs are Ziggy and Petite Ziggy. I like the fish.


The online show will be here in a few weeks, and I will have some very special pins there, as well as a new mini fob! Be sure to visit www.needleshow.com to see a lot of neat new stitchy items from oodles of vendors.

On the person front, I will wait on the Lord. And wait. And wait. And, oh, wait, no, it's all moving too fast! It's amazing how discontent I can become when I get my way. As of this morning, our home is officially under contract, pending, without contingency. Closing is to be the week of the online show (ACK!?!?!) We passed all of the inspections and the buyers are enamored with our home. They are very kind people and I pray they will have a wonderful life with my grape arbor and purple chicken coop. They even told me I could come back in the spring to get clippings of my merlot vines! My hope is to take the hens with me, but that may not be realistic. If not, they have been offered a great home at a community garden, providing eggs to single parents and the elderly, or those who need a little help for a time.

Now begins the process of finding a new place to live and packing everything up. Over the past 10 years of MBT, I have committed to extremely speedy shipping, most often within a day of it being ordered, so I ask for grace during this time as I will be in transition. There will likely be a couple of weeks when I will have to shut down, or run things on limited bead inventory, and I will post that information here. I ask for prayer, that I will be patient when things aren't as I think they should be, and that I will be kind and loving when I'm feeling in over my head, and that I will find comfort in knowing that it is not in my hands or controlled by my shortsighted self.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Gingher Eve Fobs

I'm glad to share that my Eve scissors arrived last week, as did my bead order with new baubles to match the adorable little dots that decorate these shears. As the scissors are called "Eve," all sorts of fun (and slightly dark) ideas came to mind for the charm. First thought - serpent. Second thought - be normal, use a flower. Third thought - normal is overrated, maybe an apple? I didn't have any apples... time to order charms! The apples are here!!!


What I have ended up with is a Swarovski Crystal fob that pulled out the cream and khaki colors, and plays on the black background. The standard fob will come with a stemmed rose charm, but you are welcome to explore your twisty side and request a serpent or apple. All three charms are pictured. 

Also up and coming will be three new designs. I had anticipated four, but life happens. I'm still hoping for four, but I'm praying for our house to sell and for me to need to spend all of my time boxing up stuff and cleaning for the new owners. Yesterday, I dropped off the final two designs at the framer, I will pick them up Friday, get all of the pictures and formatting and printing and packaging and marketing done, and then they will be out for the end of September. I'm hopeful that I'll also be announcing a move at that time... a girl can dream! ;-)

For what I'm learning right now - I will wait on Thee. I will wait, and wait, and wait, and prayerfully learn the lesson of patience that I have failed to learn in my decades so far. I will wait with grace, live with mercy, have an occasional fit of tears, and appreciate with gratefulness all the many blessings while accepting the experiences that are not so pleasant. I will wait on Thee.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A quick update for August

It's hard to believe that it is almost September! Every year I get to the end of summer, and wonder where all of the time has gone. This summer I can definitely say where it has gone - a move! We are in the middle of a move to northern Idaho, which is a great blessing and a complete change of mindset. We've been in our current home for five years, and I haven't envisioned anywhere else. God has given us a new path, clearly laid out before us, and we are starting on this journey. Our house has not yet sold, but I trust that the right buyers are in His hand and our future home is also being prepared.

One of the biggest chuckles in this adventure has been preparing the house for market. Our agent, ever so gently, suggested that we "depersonalize a bit, and take down a few of the wall hangings." That brought quite a giggle! I had well over 100 cross stitch pieces hanging on the walls. I did remove a couple dozen from the front room, leaving only Beatitudes hanging over the piano, but my office is... well... staying as my office. For obvious reasons.


As a disclaimer: this is not the normal state of my office. I am grateful for the invention of the wide angle lens, and the fact that there weren't pictures taken of everything shoved into the closet! The rule I had for the photographer - don't open any closets or look behind any of the shower curtains.

This entire update was prompted by an inquiry about if and when I would have new fobs for the Eve scissors. Thank you for that nudge! My scissors were ordered last week, and should be arriving shortly. I have been stalking both the mailman and the UPS trucks. As soon as they are in my hands, I will be matching up beads and making a striking creation to perfectly accent the beautifully spotted scissors. As for a stitchy update, the model is done for the third installment in the reproduction style series! My framer brought it to the EGA Ice Cream Social on Tuesday night, we all ooohed and aaahed over her talent for framing, and I will work on a picture this afternoon. Then it's formatting, printing, packaging, and prayerfully one or two more new releases for early October.

Through it all, I can say it is well. He is good and faithful. His timing is perfect, although it hasn't yet matched my own. There is something that I'm supposed to learn in this transition, and I pray that I learn it willingly on my knees. I pray that I can use this transition as a time of peace, and not just waiting for it to be done and over with and constantly looking for what's next.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New releases June 2014

Summer is almost officially here, the weather has been up and down, and I had the joy of stitching for an hour today! The garden is growing well and the little green tomatoes are now medium green tomatoes. Tomorrow we harvest peas, which will be tasty with dinner, and we should be able to start using the fresh onions soon. Yum! It's a lot of work to start with seeds and tend the garden, but it's nice to have home canned produce in December and fresh greens on the table throughout the year.

There are four new releases this month, and a new batch of threaders, so here we go:
Four Blooms
I have a fantastic bead supplier who got in these beautiful floral beads. I couldn't decide on just one color, so I went with four. Beads are almost as bad of an addiction as thread or scissors. They have a nifty clasp, to attached to your scissors or a chatelaine, and are super sturdy.

MBT-151 Christmas Pinkies IV
This chart has two designs that were previously released in JCS ornament and preview issues, and two brand new ones. Since the joy for me is in designing, not in finishing, I chose to use some cute little frames that I found at Hobby Lobby. 

MBT-152 Building Block Power
Here it is, the sixteenth block!!! There are only five scripture verses on this chart, but each one has great meaning. There will likely be a few more blocks in the series, so stay tuned! I don't have too much more wall space where that series is hanging, but I can wiggle in a few more ;-)

MBT-153 Hens and Chicks
It's no secret that we have chickens. We currently have 13 hens, 7 laying and 6 pullets, all different types, and I'm often found in the yard, talking to them and singing (please, don't commit me!). It started with 2 little bantams, a used coop, and a "Chickens for Dummies" book, and it has turned into a big flock and a fun coop that hubby built last year. When asked what color I would paint the coop, a few things went through my mind. I could be conservative, and paint it to match the house. I could be traditional, and paint it barn red. When asked what I woudl choose if it could be any color I wanted, I chose purple. DMC 3041 purple. WDW Purple Haze purple. With white trim. SO, with that, the coop in the chart is purple, and is named "The Egg-plant," and I fully encourage you to change it to the color of your coop and stitch in your coop's name (an alphabet is provided). The three eggs in the picture are from our hens - Goldie (bantam) laid the small one, Black (Ameraucana) laid the blue one, and Zebby (barred rock) laid the tan one. No hens were harmed in the making of this chart.

MBT-154 Not How Many You Finish
Another not-so-secret secret... a lot have stitchers have a LOT of projects started - AND NOT FINISHED!!! I have a box of decade-old WIP's, and I'm not ashamed. I had every intention of finishing them, but life happened, and so did new projects. For those of you in the same spot as me - unite! It's NOT how many are finished, it IS how many you start. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! hehehe

Now we return to life as normal. School is going well, ups and downs, but still glad for the journey we are on as a family. We still have studies during the summer, but we also do more play dates and fun outings. God is there in the sunshine and the storm - I'm choosing to see the rainbow and jump in the puddles.