Monday, November 7, 2011

A non-MBT finish

It's very rare that I get to stitch, but almost impossible for me to have time to stitch on a design that isn't mine. This past weekend I got the pleasure of taking a class offered through the local EGA. It was a blast! I did canvas work for the first time, used stretcher bars for the first time, and even realized why there are needles other than 26 and 28 petite :-) I was only able to attend one day of the class, but oh, what a day! Here is what I plan on taking to the framer this week, when I go to pick up new MBT models:

The beautifully designed piece is called "Quilts", designed by Janet of Krafty Kat Designs. Her design has three panels, and raised fabric panels in the middle pinwheel. It also has a stunning smyrna cross scalloped border around the outside. I wish you could see her model because they are all lovely! All of these I adjusted or omited to make it work for the amount of time I had to work on it, and the reality that there is no possible way I'd finish the whole thing in the next decade. There is a lot of sparkle, some fantastic specialty fibers, and I think I managed to smuggle in a few cat hairs.

Other than that, life here is as normal as it gets. Church is great, the munchkin's ears are doing well with her new tubes, her schooling is moving right along, it's freezing outside and I can justify more stitching time indoors, and the last storm didn't blow off the roof or the siding. Many blessings through the storms.

Now back to the x's... my first thready love!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Quick thoughts

One cereal we cannot have in the house is Lucky Charms. Not because I don't like it, but because I love the marshmallowy goodness! I was thinking that I was the worst mom in the world because I was eating all of the marshmallows out of the box while preparing them in the morning. Dh proposed a new perspective. I'm saving her from all of that sugar, which makes me a loving, caring mom, willing to sacrifice my own sugar levels for those of my daughter. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

MBT news - the needlework show was great. I have new designs floating around in my head and can't wait to put them to fabric and thread. I'm stitching on a repeat of "The Anniversary" so I can get a new cover pic and have a trunk show model.

Hugs to all.

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Releases for October 2011

We have officially survived September and had an exciting start to October. The munchkin lost her first tooth!!! She is soooo proud. There are even two more already loose and she is wiggling them like crazy. The second home school co-op was this week and we had a wonderful time. New friends were made, the kids learned a lot, and it was fun. We also canned peaches! There are 16 beautiful quart jars, full of the yummy fruit, which will be a great treat this winter. There were some left over fresh peaches from the case, and those have been good snacks, desserts, oatmeal toppings, and treats over the past few days. Tomorrow we tackle the tomatoes (again). There are enough peppers and onions in the garden that we should be able to get some salsa AND spaghetti sauce canned. There are also boxes of pears and apples waiting to be washed, peeled, sliced, and dried .

For the MBT stuff... four new chart releases! The 13th Building Block has joined the group. I know there were only supposed to be 11-13 of these, but there are more words, more scripture hunts, and more stitching to be done! MBT-114 Building Block Truth.
The next new design comes from Philippians 4:13. It has been very real in my life over the past year or so. He can do everything without me, but I can do nothing without Him. Through Him, I can do anything. MBT-113 I Can Do All Things. The third design is perfect for Fall, with the autumn colors, or you can stitch it in any colorway for a year-round display. MBT-114 Give Thanks.
And finally, we have the third chart in the series of Christmas Pinkies. It's not too late to get those ornaments done! MBT-115 Christmas Pinkies III.
This past week I spent quite a bit of time getting ready for the fall accessory trunk shows that go out to different shops. I wanted to make some really unique scissor fobs, different from the regular line, so they would have something new. Some of them I fell in love with and made five more of them! If you have a favorite then give your shop a holler and they can get it ordered for you (as long as I have some still here!). Depending on how they do I may add them to the regular line.

There are long ones: And short ones:
The online needlework show will be starting next week. Check it out at . There will be door prizes available, lots of specials for shops, and some great designs being showcased. I hope to 'see' you there!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where did September go?

I can't believe it's already almost October. It has been very busy here with the lots of home school activities, the garden harvest, guests visiting, a sick child, designing, stitching, and scissors!!! The Tessa Gingher scissors arrived today. They have lots of bold, bright colors, and officially have a matching fob. It has been quite a chore to figure out how to best accent the red, yellow, cobalt, light pink, and medium blues, but I think this turned out lovely.

For MBT designs news - four new designs are coming out soon! In the next week or so I should have everything ready to send out announcements to the shops. There's a new Buliding Block, more ornaments, an inspirational one that is dear to my heart, and a design of thanks. All sorts of fun in x's.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September already?

First the scissor stuff... There are two beautiful prints of Gingher scissors coming out this fall: Alicia and Tessa. I've been drooling over these since the preview pictures were made available. I now have Alicia in my hands and it follows that I also have a matching fob available! In my excitement to pick them up at the local craft store last night (driving there as fast as legally allowed, still covered in grass clippings from yard work, dirt in a line across my forehead from where my hat was, and not caring because there were SCISSORS on the line) I barely glanced at the print and thought "oh, blue and green scrolly flower thingies". Imagine my surprise to take a closer look and find that they're covered in peacock feathers! I'd like to introduce you to Alicia, with her fob "Plume".

Each long and short fob is beautifully crafted with Swarovski crystals and glass accent beads. The short fob has a cobalt end bead but it never comes out right in pictures. The blues pull out the subtle color changes throughout the handle and the reds get the centers of the feathers. Your local shop is happy to order these for you and if you don't have one just give me a holler and I can direct you to one that will gladly decorate your scissors.

And the stitchy stuff... Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issues have started arriving at the local shops and I'm thrilled to be in there again this year. Each time they ask it is an incredible honor and my feet don't touch the ground for weeks. My ornament this year is not quite the usual Christmas one - it's a memorial. Earlier this year I lost one of my closest friends very suddenly and this was a way for me to work through that grief. I miss her dearly and pray that if you stitch this as a memorial for a loved one you find peace and comfort in each x.

Now for the "other" stuff... Our home is finally returning to what we consider normal around here. The construction is done, the storm damage all repaired, and I no longer hear nail guns in my sleep. The garden is producing a lot of really tasty treats and we are enjoying the healthy snacks each day. It is a learning process to teach the little one about "ripe" and "not ripe" when it comes to picking the grapes and berries. The squished face she makes when a grape is not ripe is very entertaining. She checks under the nets each day to see what she can munch on and does her rounds along the property line to scavenge for berries. When we planted the starts in the spring I didn't mark everything, assuring myself that I would remember what everything was (yeah, right), so it's not a surprise that we have mystery melons and squash taking over the back corner of the yard. This past winter we couldn't wait for fresh tomatoes and now we don't know what to do with them all! Lots of bruchetta, pico de gallo, and BLT's are coming out of our kitchen.

I do have to share a proud mommy moment. It made my heart delight when I was preparing breakfast this past week and looked over to find the munchkin sorting her Crayola's by color! Oh, goodness, I was so proud I even shed a quiet little tear! The blues with blues, purples with purples, all sorted by shade. There's hope for our next generation! She is showing an interest in knitting and needlework. I'm all for encouraging the yarn-work until it is turned into a spider web at the top of the stairs, tying all of the door knobs together and weaving the 'garland' down the hand rail. At least the cat wasn't tied into the middle of it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 2011 New Releases

I'm very glad to be able to post the pictures for these new designs and accessories today. The website has been updated, and through the grace of God and a very well written tutorial - I updated it myself!!! I'm a person who can't remember her own phone number half of the time, so this was a huge step for me. Woo hoo! Goodness, I almost broke my arm while patting myself on the back ;-) Orders have already started shipping out to the stores, but the bulk of them will be heading out Tuesday morning. Sooo, without further ado, here they are:

MBT-109 Revelation - From Revelation 21:4 - "and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." I stitch what I'm experiencing, and this has been of great comfort. With all fo the stress, strife, and struggle in our lives, we know that there is hope in an eternity with Him.

MBT-110 Count It All Joy - I can't tell you how much I ripped thread on this one. I was certainly not counting it JOY! There was more frogging on this design than in all of the last ten projects I've done. It was our camping project over Father's Day weekend, the munchkin had her play horses out, and the orts turned into their "food". Unfortunately none of them will be the same after the overfeeding. All kidding aside, I'm thrilled with how it turned out and love the colors. Even through the tough stuff we can find joy.

MBT-111 A Very Faint Line - "The line is very faint between hobby and mental illness" Now y'all have to agree with me that some days we can take our hobby to an extreme that no sane person would recognize as healthy. For some it's thread, others fabric, and then charts, and the most normal ones of us have our scissor collections. Of course we always need scissors, so I think I am completely justified in this one. Yep. That's what I'm sticking to. I was stitching this one outside during some of the more moderate weather we had, and it was a challenge. The design was an easy stitch, but finding the single lost needle in the needing-to-be-mowed grass just about drove me crazy! I understand "needle in a haystack" now more than I had ever wanted. I though finding a needle in carpet was hard! This design is adorned with five JABC buttons, one of which is a rubber duckie. I can't even look at a duckie and not go into a fit of giggles, so this kind of fit. Also coming out this release are some new accessories. We have a 2011 Summer needle threader set, which is the set of five threaders you see in the picture. There are new colors of teapot mini fobs as well. These are now available individually, or boxed with a thread picker or matching needle threader. Details for all of the charts can be viewed at

That's pretty much all of our MBT stuff. Today our house is torn apart and I'm trying to stay calm while the dust settles. It makes sense that since the siding has to be replaced next week (see earlier post on micro burst) we go ahead and replace the windows that have cracked seals. Hubby is blessed with a handy streak that makes most house projects a joy for him to do himself, and I'm blessed by one of his friends who came over to help lug the heavy things around. The munckin is happily using the vacuum to suck up all of the dust bunnies and dry wall chunks. As of now, 3 windows are done, 4 to go. My office window is one of the ones being replaced and I have to start clearing out access through my incredibly well organized piles of random stitchy stuff (it's a good thing it's a clear day or I'd be afraid of being hit by lightening for the misuse of the word organized). Have a wonderful week to all and enjoy your x's!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer, wind, and upcoming new releases

Here we are in the middle of July and we are so far enjoying the weather. We've had a few hot days, but nothing like what some of our country is suffering through. Overall our year so far has been cool, with a very late warm up for the garden. My tomatoes and peppers are not happy for that. The pumpkin, however, is taking over everything! If anyone has any good pumpkin recipes I welcome them. The munchkin was fascinated with the "Giant Pumpkin" seeds and I can definitely say there was truth in advertising on that packet of seeds.

This past month we went to northern Idaho for time with family and a new friend. We met Deb, from Tempting Tangles, and had a great evening with her and her husband. It was neat to meet a fellow stitcher, and see all of the lovely projects she is working on. My plan for the vacation was to get in lots of stitching. That failed. This was for the best because we spent lots of time with family and out in the gorgeous nature that surrounds us. Honestly, who can get much work done when there is this to look at:

We went riding through the hills, seeing deer everytime we went out, and enjoying the beauty of His creation. It's humbling to think that scenes like this were created for us to treasure. The munchkin picked wild strawberries, chased butterflies, and hiked the mountain with a curiousity and boundless energy that only a child could fully experience.

I did find some designing stitching time over these past months and have three new designs coming out in a couple of weeks. All that is left to do is format, print, package, market, stuff envelopes, send out newsletters, and then hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I have. Hubby will be able to help with some of it and the munchkin will take seriously her job of sticking stamps to the 300+ newsletter envelopes. One project that I can share today is "Be Not Forgetful", stitched over one, for the 2012 trunk shows. My scissors are in the picture to show the scale, it's pretty small!

The other three pictures will be released in a week or so. Then it's time to start stitching on designs for late September. I found so much joy in the treasure hunt of the last Building Block that I will have another one coming out at that time.

This past April we learned a new weather term: micro burst. It is what happens when there is a localized downburst of wind. We were driving home from running errands, being hailed on, and joking that it was a good thing we weren't in Texas because this was tornado weather! We pulled up to the house just in time to see a swirl of leaves, and then a good chunk of our roof and siding blow off and into the neighboring properties. Our siding was found over an acre away, some stuck in trees, and the shingles were just about everywhere. Bright side - insurance has been wonderful to work with and our adjuster has been very understanding. Down side - the "thunk, thunk, thunk" of the nail gun. Our roof is now rated to 160mph and I can only pray that it is never tested. Siding should be replaced in the next couple of weeks and I look forward to having the house put back to normal.

That's most of our updates on this end. The munchkin is still good, loves to read, devouring books, and as energetic as ever. She is struggling with allergies and ear infections, both of which we're trying to get under control, but loves to run, play, and is blessedly an active child. She is enjoying lead-line time on the horses at a neighbor's farm and finding new ways each day to surprise and challenge me. Life is good. Stressful at times, hard, and a genuine struggle some days, but still good.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New releases for March 2011

We're enjoying a beautiful and unexpected snow storm right now. There are huge fluffy white flakes coming down and it looks like God turned us into a snow globe! Tomorrow my mom is coming to visit for eight days and we feel very blessed by the time with family. The munchkin adores the time with Grandma, and Grandma will be someone new to read to and play with. Our sourdough starter is going in full bloom and the yummy treats that are coming from the kitchen bring out smiles every day. Eventually the neighbors are going to stop opening up their doors when I bring over the extra loaves!

There are four new releases for us this season. Each one has a very special place in my heart. The first one is "A New Day Accessory Set." This design consists of a box top or wall hanging, scissor fobs, ort box, needle book, name tag, and friendship gift. There are step by step tutorials at the website.
It has been two years since I designed and stitched the last Building Block, and it is past time that I do another one. This is the twelveth block in the series, "Joy." It really was a joy to work on!
The third new release is "The Pursuit of Happiness", a beautiful little patriotic design that has the most adorable little button accents on it. My framer did an incredible job helping me to pick out just the perfect frame to surround the red, white, and blue.

Finally, and probably my favorite in this batch, is "The Fruit of the Spirit." The joke with this one was that I just wanted to get past patience without having to frog! Thankfully each x came together through "Self-Control" and my "Gentleness" with the thread didn't have to be tested.

The website has been updated with all of these and a brand new accessory. Each will be showcased at the Needlework Show next month and is now available at your local shop. Details on the stitch count, thread used, and fabric are listed at the website.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The New Year is here... where did January go?

It's already the end of January and I have no idea where the month went. We started out with everyone getting the crud, spent four weeks of illness working through the house, and all of us are finally back into good health. The only bright spot of not wanting to move is that my hands still worked fine and I could STITCH! Yep, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Too tired to vacuum, throat hurts too much to cook, but never too sick to stitch.

The Building Block series will be adding a new word. It has been a couple of years since a new block was added and it's about time! The time of hunting through scripture for the perfect verses, putting them to fabric and watching it come to life, it was refreshing for my spirit. I hope to add another one this summer. This past week I decided that it was time to update the cover pictures on all of the Building Blocks. I ripped apart each frame, took out the glass, put them back together, and managed to get some beautiful new cover pics. Then I begged my framer to put it all back together again :-) Below is a sample of how much improved the pics are, you can see the rest at the website.

All dozen blocks are now back on my walls and providing daily inspiration and smiles. I still haven't gotten pictures of the chatelaines done. It's taking a top priority this weekend and hopefully the lighting will cooperate. Currently I'm stitching on ornaments for the 2011 JCS issues and trying to figure out the best way to finish them up. There are three new releases that will be out in March, possibly a fourth, but the laundry doesn't do itself and I may not be able to squeeze in enough hours in the day. With the help of caffeine I'm doing my best! hehehe

Home schooling is a daily challenge, finding the balance between being a wife, mother, house keeper, stitcher, business owner, and now teacher. Hubby decided to start teaching the munchkin about negative numbers and algebra and I just about fell over. She's taking to it, enjoying it, but it's never something that even crossed my mind to present to her. Level four readers are now being added regularly to the bookshelf and we have started independent reading with chapter books. This month without outside activities (besides Awana and church) has raised our indoor energy level and I can't wait to start swimming lessons up again next month.

A few weeks a dear friend of mine died suddenly and it has made me realize how temporary everything here is. I know she was a Christian and is in heaven now, which I can take joy and comfort in, but I still miss her. She was a huge part of my life, personal and professional, and was always an encouragement. Hug your loved ones, don't put off the email or phone call to check in on someone, smile at a stranger, help someone load their groceries... be a light. We all need a smile.