Monday, September 30, 2013

October 2013 New Releases

I am so excited to share with you four new designs! The website is updated, orders are being shipped, and newsletters are going out, so I get to update the blog :-) The thread details are at , but here are the more interesting tidbits that go along with each one:

MBT-140 The Apostles' Creed
This design was encouraged by a lovely lady who emailed me a couple of years ago to see if it was something that I would design. After over a year of prayer and nothing coming of it, I was inspired to do it in a reproduction style. The creed has been used for centuries and is currently recited today in many churches. The design process was surprisingly smooth, with lines of words lining up perfectly at the end, and then I started pulling thread colors and stitching. I haven't fought so awfully with colors in a design in a long time! The end result is exactly what I saw in my head, and I love how it turned out, but I ripped out almost as much as I stitched. The chart comes with a little history lesson on the design, and a conversion for some of the wording.

MBT-141 Blessed Assurance
Hymn designs have become my new favorites. It is a joy to be able to sing along with my stitching! I've been back in a purple mood, and the new GAST color "Amethyst" was perfect for what I was feeling with the colors for this one.

MBT-142 To Stitch or Not to Stitch
There has to be a whimsical design in each batch, and I was feeling a bit pensive with this one. It is in the same design line as "Normal Family," same color families, and same attitude :-)

MBT-143 Joyful, Patient, Faithful
Romans 12:12 tells us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. I need so much of all three of those each and every day! The border is a tangle of flowers, and it could easily be brightened up a bit for spring colors, or stitched in one color, OR add in more colors for the flowers!

Thank you for sharing in this stitchy journey with me. I appreciate all of the kind words, encouragement, feedback, and prayers.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Seeing spots!

I had the joy of a bead 'trunk show' a couple of weeks ago. One of my wholesalers sends around a big van, loaded with goodies, and I get to dig and dig and dig, to my heart's content. It's soooo much fun! I came away with a lot of new needle threader bead offerings, and here are a few of my favorites:
Lots of dots! The flower in the middle is a deep violet color. I wish I could get a backlit picture that could better show off the color, but it's beautiful. New designs will be coming out in a couple of weeks. There will be four new ones: one large reproduction style, one whimsical, and two inspirational. Keep an eye out for the next update!

This is usually the time of year when I'd be posting lots of yummy garden food updates, how the canning process is going, and what we're planning for winter seeds. A few weeks ago we had a bad storm come through, it had lots of hail and winds, and we sustained a lot of damage. If it was outside and green, it was shredded. The hail came down so hard that it went through the fruits and veggies, destroyed all of their leaves and vines, and left the grapes and berries looking like it was already December. It broke a skylight on the house, ruined some window screens, "textured" the aluminum trim on one side of the house, flooded the front and side of the property (including the hen house!), and worked down into one of the bathroom vents and made a wet mess. Our neighbor had hundreds of dents in his vehicle, and another one had the paint stripped off of his house! It is nothing compared to what some CO towns are experiencing, and they are all in our prayers. We still ache for the lost food, but I'm counting the blessing that God freed up a lot of my time this fall and I'm waiting to see what He is going to do with that time.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gingher Julia's are here!

Technically, I guess they're here again, since there is another pair of Julia's already in existence, BUT the new ones are here! It was an early surprise because they're usually not out until late September. They are lovely, with lots of vibrant colors, and it was a treat to sit down with the beads today to make fobs. The fob will be officially named "Chasing Rainbows" because of the adorable butterfly charm and the rainbow of colors.

New design releases won't be out until October, but I can share that I just dropped off the big one at the framer yesterday! I'm restitching it in a solid color silk, and then need to work on a few smaller designs. Most of life has been taken up with camping, family in and out of town, the munchkin's schooling, and the yard. Oh, the yard. Good news - canning season! Bad news - canning season! Yesterday I made a dozen jars of jalapeno jelly, and it is hot and tasty. Today was canning peaches and peach jam. Tomorrow will be apples. Monday will be pears.

Personally, it has been neat to see how God is revealing Himself each day. The past couple of months have been of new friendships, new ways to serve, and continual encouragement that this is where He has us and we need to find joy in each day, instead of trying to get through the day. He is showing me a lot of shortcomings, refining me through trial (or through seven year old), and letting me see how great He is in that He loves someone who sins so wretchedly. Lots of things to praise. He promised it's for our good, not for our comfort :-)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Release for the Columbus Market

First the good stuff: a new release!!!

MBT-139 Words of Wisdom, is stitched on 28 ct. Lambswool Jobelan with GAST threads. The poem is something I've been working on for a while now, and it came together this spring. The poem says:

read your Bible every day
use kind words, often pray
keep the Lord above all things
joy and peace is what this brings
tell the truth, help a friend
be faithful to the very end
make time to stop and take a rest
daily give your very best
be respectful to your mom and dad
(OR be grateful for the life you've had)
all these things will make God glad

An alternative line has been provided for "be respectful to your mom and dad," even though I think that line should be stitched in bold letters, with bright sparkly thread, and accented with flashing neon lights. The alternative charting is "be grateful for the life you've had," and depending on where you are at in life, it may be a better fit. I'm in the world of an almost third grader...

Now for the rest of the stuff: It's almost summer, technically the day before it starts, and the weather is beautiful in Idaho. We had a high of 68 today, and a blue sky with huge, puffy clouds. The cooler weather is helping the spinach and lettuce to stay around longer, and we have really enjoyed picking fresh greens each day to have with dinner. I had my annual run in with the ants and the edger, because it seems every year I forget where their hill is and that they don't appreciate when I go over them with yard tools. A few weeks ago we had a nasty frost, which killed off most of the new grape vine growth and what produce had started on the trees. It will be a sad harvest for those things, but the berries are more than making up for it!

The chickens have gone broody. And they're molting. We haven't had an egg in a month, and I plan on adding a couple more hens in July so that we can have eggs again. So far, the threat of making them share the nesting box with strangers has NOT had the desired effect. Hubby built an extension to the coop, just finished the door to it tonight, which will give us room for a few more hens.

I am stitching some, but not much. I have a new big design in the works, and I'm stitching two versions of it. The monochrome one is in black silk on 40 ct. mottled linen, and I love how it's turning out. It's just a LOT of little x's. I have a new beady friend who will be joining the frog fobs this fall, but you'll have to wait to see what it is at the online show!

Have a wonderful summer...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New releases for April 2013

Yes, it feels like I just had new releases... And I did! This year we are trying something new for the online show, and having new designs debut for the show. It has been SO much fun to design and stitch these. 

MBT-136 It Is Well ~ Stitched on 32 ct. Belfast linen, "Limestone", with Gentle Art Sampler Threads. I loved stitching on this one, and chose a deep blue for the main color because of the depth of the oceans color that is such a key part of the author's life. In the midst of great loss on earth, he could say that it was well.

MBT-137 Love Always ~ Stitched on 28 ct. jobelan, "Lambswool", with Weeks Dye Works thread. The most frequent question I get with this one is "Where did you get the frame?!?". It's from Hobby Lobby, and is made by Greentree Gallery. I bought the frame first, fell in love with it, and designed to fit the frame and match the colors. This design is also charted with the words "Love Always Hopes," and will fit a standard 4x6 frame.

MBT-138 All About Me ~ Stitched on 32 ct. jobelan, "Antique White", with Weeks Dye Works thread, and accented with JABC buttons for the eyes and mouse toy. We own a black cat, she thinks she owns the house, and she probably does (see the previous post on how she 'helps' me stitch). This can be easily stitched with thread to match the queen of your house.

Pink and Blue Froggie Fobs ~ We've added a couple of hoppers to the line! Our rainbow class of amphibia didn't seem complete without these! The frogs are now available in green, cobalt, sunflower, purple, pink, and blue.

The website has been updated with all of the details! Have fun stalking your favorite shop :-)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ornament Preview... Shhhhhh

This is my reality while stitching. It's the reason I end up frogging so much. It's the reason I can barely get any x's done. Her name is Bones, and she thinks she is the queen. She doesn't just do this when I'm under a deadline, or when I get a precious solid hour to sit and stitch, she does it ALL THE TIME when I have something on the couch. Her determination to keep surfaces clean means that she knocks everything to the ground - cups of water, scissors, paperclips, pens, car keys... She also steals needle threaders, thread pickers, skeins of floss... Cats!!!

The exciting news is that I'll be in the Just Cross Stitch magazines again this year! Yeah!!! It was an honor to be asked, and what started out as a single ornament turned into two, then turned into two ornaments and a Thanksgiving design. SO, later this summer, check out JCS! I'll be in three of them!

For the rest of MBT news - here's an early teaser on a release for Thursday. There will be three designs debuting at the Needlework Show, and some new froggies! The whimsical design is pet related, and soooo fits our home. You'll understand when you see it. Make sure and check out the show and check for door prizes. If you'd like to see the colors of the new hymn, here's a sneak peek:

This morning we woke up to snow, after a very chilly day yesterday. The weather is so wacky. Our chickens aren't minding it too much, and they're blessing us with about a dozen eggs per week. Grandma is visiting us this week, which is a delight, and hopefully we'll get in some good family time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

With a chick, chick, here

We are just a couple of days away from Spring, and enjoying the warmer temps of the 50's. Last week we added two new family members: Goldie and Gloria. They are our new hens! We found a used coop, a knowledgeable breeder, and added two bantam egg laying hens to the yard. They are about 8 months old, with speckled feathers, called Mille Fleur d'Uccle, and have funny personalities. I better understand the phrase "being pecked to death by a chicken" now that I have watched them eat.

We decided against starting with chicks, because of the impossibility of getting ANY school lessons done while they were in the house. They have already provided us with three eggs, which made the yummiest chocolate chip cookies. These two enjoy banana and cantaloupe, don't like grapes, and will enjoy free range of the yard as soon as we're outside gardening more. Due to the predator population around our house (hawks, foxes, raccoons, cats...), they won't be able to forage without us being outside with them. As soon as it is a bit warmer, I plan on stitching outside while enjoying the company of our little clucks. You can definitely tell the dominant one - Goldie! The breeder said they were 'friends', and spent most of their time together, which sold the munchkin on them right away. Our coop will comfortably hold two, and after seeing them in there I immediately wanted more.

Now onto the My Big Toe stuff. A new design!!! BUT, you'll have to wait until it is unveiled at the needlework show next month. I put the final stitches in it over the weekend, and it will head to the framer tomorrow afternoon. I'm hoping for a second new release, but my design/stitching time is currently filled with inventory stock up. My line of fobs, needle threaders, marking pins, and thread hoppers are topped off, and the 500 thread pickers are in progress. I had a big bead order come in and spent the morning putting all of the pretties away and thinking of new accessories. So much fun! There will be a couple new froggies joining the family - pink and blue - along with a gorgeous new selection of needle threaders with clasps. I found a frosted glass cat bead that is the perfect size for a clasp needle threader, so look for that April 18th at!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 2013 New Designs

The new designs are officially released! Emails have been sent, auto ships have been shipped, and you are now welcome to pester your friendly local shop owner for new projects :-) Without further blabbering, here they are:

Nothing But the Blood
Stitch count: 127w x 127h
Thread by Weeks, Fabric by Lakeside Linens

Stitch All Day
Stitch count: 135w x 114h
Threads by Crescent Colours, Fabric is Jobelan

Rejoice and Be Glad
Stitch Count: 85w x 57h (fits standard 5x7 frame)
Threads by Weeks, Fabric is Cashel linen

Name of Jesus (it's finally here!!!)
Stitch Count: 238w x 390h
Threads by GAST, Fabric is Belfast linen

Thank you for letting me share in all of my happy dances! We are enjoying a beautiful day of blue skies, cold temps, and strong winds. The plus is that the wind clears out the inversion, and we can enjoy sunlight again. Munchkin's fish had babies last week - 30 little guppies. The piano is going well, and I am finding peace during her practice and a house full of melodies. Have a blessed weekend, stay safe, enjoy some stitching...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More stubborn than the weather

Idaho, like much of the country, has been experiencing some wild and abnormal weather lately. We spent several weeks in negative temps, highs in the single digits, with snow staying on the ground and sheets of ice on the roads. Since our van died (affectionately known as the snow toboggan), I've been driving the truck. I AM that person who can't park a truck, being relegated to the very last spot, taking up two because I can't pull in straight, and has to do a 13 point turn to get out of said spot. My deepest apologies to those who try and park around me - I deserve your head shakes and grimaces as you wait for me to get turned around :-)

For the past few years, new release pictures have been taken in my backyard. Even in winter, I've been able to set up the wreaths and florals on the grass, and bundle up in a heavy coat to get just the right shot. Since the snow has been hanging around, I haven't been able to do that this month, and I have been putting off cover pictures. Yesterday, I could take it no more! I disassembled my dining room, set up every portable light I could find, and got the pictures done!!! The cat ran off with most of my florals, and sat on every new release model that I left on a flat surface, but they're done!!! I'm not ready to share all of them, yet, but will give you a quick preview of one of them:

The fabric and threads are all here for the next big design. I have been happily stitching away on the fat half of fabric. Putting in that first stitch, on such a big canvas, is always intimidating and exciting! The fabric and thread creators have all been warned about the yards and yards and yards that I am using, and I am excited to share the new designs with you... in a few weeks. Some teasers: it is a companion piece to a design from the 'early days', I have been promising it for years, and it will be stitched in GAST thread in brown and red.

Last weekend I had the reminder of how much I respect single parents. Hubby went on a men's retreat, and the munchkin and I had a few days together as mommy and daughter. I have been getting through an awful cold, which meant we had movie day on Saturday. All day Saturday. One of our favorite movies is "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", and I giggle while the munchkin is singing along with the songs, and counting which brothers are in the scenes. She got to watch "Singing in the Rain" for the first time, and she laughed out loud through much of it.

School lessons are back on track, new curriculum has started arriving for her 3rd grade year, and I am ever so grateful for the inquisitive, thoughtful, and downright BUSY child that the Lord has given. She is teaching me love, patience, understanding, patience, encouragement, patience, compassion, patience, to laugh at myself... and a true appreciation of grace and mercy.

Next week - I go coffee free. You have all been warned.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Insanity is the sound of a metronome

Recently we added piano lessons to the munchkin's weekly school plan. We found an old piano on craigslist, set it up in the living room, and brought in the most fascinating little battery controlled black box. It's not one of the older metronomes, with the swinging pendulum - I could see the cat tackling that and it being a short lived part of our home. It's one of the ones you can spin the dial to change the tempo and then flip a switch to change the tone. It goes fast, slow, fast again, REALLY fast, then quiet, loud, kind of in the middle, REALLY loud, and then it goes up on a shelf. A high shelf. Turned off.

One joy of the season in our home is sugar cookies. This is the only time of year that I make them, because I could eat dozens of them in one sitting. Royal icing is too tempting for me to resist. I love the fun of rolling out the dough, then playing cookie-cutter-tetris, trying to fit in as many shapes and waste as little dough as possible. Who am I kidding - dough doesn't get wasted in this house. Somehow we ended up with pastel green trees, and yellow gingerbread men, but they were all tasty.

This past year I have decided to experiment more in the kitchen. Tonight it started with a pork taco recipe that was done in the slow cooker, topped with queso blanco crumbles, and served with a fresh diced mango salsa, all on warm corn tortillas. It was really yummy, and reminded me of a mutton dish I had in India (a couple decades ago). Rich flavors, a hint of sweet, but a LOT of work to prepare the sauce for the crock pot. Hubby was a fan, and went back for seconds. Munchkin gave me another "meh", sideways thumb, but did manage to finish her meal. We're trying to encourage her to try new things, within reason, and if it's not too spicy (or something that the cat wouldn't eat), then what is served is what is to eat. Thankfully she is a good sport, and has found quite a few things that she enjoys and to which she will give an enthusiastic thumbs up. We haven't had to resort to frozen pizza, yet!

Stitching has not been a priority over the past week, even though I would have loved to make more progress on the new hymn design. The end is in sight, and I likely have only 8 or so more hours to work on it. At this point, on the second stitching, I have the border mostly memorized and don't have to look at the pattern often. The two pieces at the framer should be done this week, and it's exciting to be that much closer to new releases!

Last week I added a note to the end of my post that I wanted to do a giveaway, and would love to hear from you about your favorite holiday memory or stitchy story. Thank you to all who emailed. I laughed, cried, felt comforted, and shared in a lot of your lives. I couldn't pick just one, so I'm picking two. Congrats to Tricia and Brenda! This was so much fun for me, keep an eye out and I'll do these again throughout the year.