Thursday, October 16, 2014

Online Show Starting, New Accessories, the Move

The Needlework Show starts today! Visit 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 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.

Monday, June 9, 2014

My very first needlework

A few weeks ago, my mom sent my daughter the most delightful little package. It had pictures from her last trip here (the real, printed ones!), an empty photo album, sugary treats, and this:

My very first needlework. Can you tell that I was quite the french knot expert? hehehe.

It's officially summer here because it's getting too hot to want to be outside in the afternoon. Today I spent most of the afternoon braving the sun, getting cover pictures done for new releases! There will be four new charts out in a few weeks. One of these charts is the much sought after, sixteenth Building Block. For those of you (and me!) who want a 4x4 grid of these designs on their wall, or a quilt, or wall hanging... you'll have it in a few weeks. Please promise not to throw scissors at me when I release the seventeenth.

Our chicks have officially turned into pullets, and have joined the hens in the big coop. There have been few pecking order issues, and when they free range during the day, then tend to keep to their separate groups. It's fun to watch them all run around the yard.

This week we are finishing up a bunch of different parts to our curriculum, and next week we will be starting new material. Third grade is almost officially done, some subjects we are solidly in fourth, and some we are moving on to fifth. It's nice to be able to go at our own pace. We've been trying to get lessons done early in the day so we can enjoy time outdoors, walking the dog. She (the dog) has determined that it is necessary to follow me around the house all day, so here is my office carpet-weight ;-)

I wish you all a wonderful week with lots of joy and peace.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Needlework Show

Today is the final day of browsing at ! It has been another fun day for me. I have a door prize offered on the "What's New" page of my website, and will do a drawing for ~5 people for goodies from my line. There are many new vendors at the show, and a gorgeous selection of stitchy stash. Each year it amazes me how much talent is out in the stitching world!

Life in ID - rainy! We are in for a full day of rain, followed by most of the week of rain, and I am thankful for the watered grass. The chickens will be thankful for the worms, and the doodlebug will be thankful for the mud puddles. I will not be thankful for the wet dog. Tonight is the local EGA meeting and I am looking forward to an hour of stitching and chatting with friends. And a couple hours of escape ;o) Time out of the house with people over 4' tall!!! Woo hooo!!!!!! Was that too much excitement?

Stitching projects are moving along. Two of the models are done, and I started working on the third. The two completed models are companion pieces, cutsie ones, and one of them has the most fun button accents. I look forward to sharing it with you in a couple of months! So far I'm planning on an ornament chart, a whimsical chart, a cutsie chart, and a building block to round out the batch. Fall releases should include another repro style, another ornament set, a small scripture and something fun, but don't hold me to that... September is a loooong way away.

Exodus 33:14 My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Up and coming in 2014

I had a question about designs that have to do with our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus (and I haven't figured out how to reply directly to that person!), and if I have any designs that will be coming about for that. The "Grief and Sorrows" design is probably the closest I currently have that deals with that, and if done with spring colors, separating out the florals from the stems from the rest of the design, I can see it as being stitched as a remembrance of this event. Here's a little preview of what I could see with colors. I always welcome the encouragement towards new designs, so please don't hesitate to email me directly with any scripture that you would like to bring to my attention. To me, this design is an encouragement that He has been there through it all, worse than I could imagine or experience, and borne it all for my salvation. There is nothing that He hasn't gone through first, no agony that He hasn't suffered, and the struggles that I go through are weights that He will take, if I'm willing to let Him.

Yesterday was a *great* day for designing. For the quilters who are asking for a workable number of blocks in the Building Blocks series - number 16 is designed!!! I still have ideas in my head for a few more, but this will give you a concrete number that makes sense in a quilt layout. The rest can always be made into pillows :-) You'll have to wait until summer for the official release (and the small detail of stitching the model), but it will be coming soon. I've been working on a few scripture charts AND another witty, stitchy design, that goes along with the "Stitch All Day" style of chart, AND some fun button accented charts AND, AND, AND!!!! It is so strange to have new stuff just come out, and already be excited about SIX more! Now to find where I hid that stitching time.....

On the home front - SPRING IS HERE!!!!! It's raining a lot, but there is GREEN stuff growing and I got to mow the yard. It's always an answered prayer when the mower starts the first time. The hens are still laying ~5 eggs per day, and we get to share the little orbs with the neighbors. The chicks are a month and a half old, and in their awkward tween look. They love meal worms, but not spinach. I am much happier now that they are in the garage, and NOT the guest room. I will be even happier when they are outside. I used an old dog crate, ratty towels, a piece of a wooden tomato cage (that had been disassembled and turned into a tiger pit cover), and office binder clips to make their temporary home and I'm quite proud of myself ;-)

It's not that clean anymore, but it is working out quite well. They are getting used to the sound of the shop vac, as I obsessively tidy up the wood pellets that they take joy in shoving out of the kennel.

Home school is going mostly well (echoes of Princess Bride - he's been mostly dead all day!). I'm thankful we have the opportunity to choose curriculum and move at a pace that is workable for our family, and it keeps the doodlebug challenged. I'm thankful for the relationship we get to work on as mother and daughter, the scripture we can put in every lesson. I'm thankful that I get to witness the excitement when a new concept is mastered, a science experiment spews goo up to the ceiling, or a story comes to life. At the end of the day, I'm grateful for the movie "Frozen," and the two hours a week that it gives me to regroup and remember to "Let it go" (hahaha!).

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New releases for March 2014

We have passed the official first day of spring, and I have to say I am enjoying the sunshine and all things green! I may not be as enthusiastic about the sun when the temps are triple digit and I have to mow and edge the yard, but I am really good at sticking my head in the sand and ignoring what is inevitable.

MBT-147 Our Father
I greatly enjoyed stitching on The Apostles' Creed, and loved the tradition that style of design represents. This version of The Lord's Prayer has the scripture reference, the introduction to the prayer itself, and a place for personalization at the end. The model was stitched on 32 ct. Lakeside Linens, "Pecan Butter," with Gentle Art Sampler Thread. There are three frames in this series, one blonde (this design), one brown (The Apostles' Creed) and one black, so you will see at least one more design in this style!

MBT-148 I Need Thee Every Hour
This is another design in our hymn series. The model is stitched on 32 ct. Belfast linen, "Platinum," with Weeks Dye Works thread. The chart is printed over two pages, so the symbols are large and clear.

MBT-149 The Best Things in Life
I have to have a whimsical one!!! This is the 'cutsie' design for this batch of releases. It fits in a standard 5x7 frame, can be done in any floral colors you like, and is just fun. The model is stitched on 32 ct. jobelan, "Ivory," with Weeks Dye Works thread. I did it in two colorways, for both the spring and fall feels, and really loved stitching this design.

MBT-150 Griefs and Sorrows
This design was one of those 'unplanned' surprises. It all started with a frame sample. My framer did a kitchen project for a lady and had a bunch of this moulding left over. I fell in love with it and was determined to do a design for it. She let me borrow the corner, so I could select fabric and thread that went well with the colors, and then the design came to life. God put this scripture, from Isaiah 53:4, into my head and would not let it go. From design to framer it was four days. Since the moulding was a bit chunky in size, the design needed a little umpf, so I stitched it with three strands over three threads on 30 ct. linen. It was so much fun! It looks chunky and earthy because of the size of the stitches, but elegant and delicate because of the linen. If you want to stitch it over two threads on 28 ct. it will fit a standard 5x7 frame.

That is all of the MBT stuff! For life in general - I like our dog. She has become family, is leaving fur everywhere, and is now sleeping in our daughter's room. We are her pack, and she is completely intertwined in everything we do. She did try to herd the chickens, once, but has since learned that they are not her job. We added six chicks to our home, first in the guest room and now in the garage, and I look forward to them being outside. They are cute, but they are LOUD. Hubby is working on a pit greenhouse, which means a big hole and a lot of dirt being moved. It will be nice to have fresh tomatoes in December, and it's a great at-home science project for doodlebug, but it is a big project.

This morning in church we talked about thorns (2 Corinthians 12), and how we pray to have them removed, but sometimes the answer is 'no' or 'not now'. We grow to depend on God more through the pain, the humility, the weakness, and learn that His grace is sufficient. It was encouraging to be reminded that it is in His strength that we live with our thorns, having grace through the challenges instead of despairing that they aren't removed. Thank you for all who have shared not only their joys and blessings, but also their thorns with me.

Friday, January 10, 2014

New releases for January 2014

A very Happy New Year to you! Every year we come to this point and I wonder where the last year has gone. I have already started my annual protest to only write 2013 on everything, my statement that the last year shouldn't yet be done and over. Okay, the reality is that it will take me until August to remember to write the new date, and by then, what's the point since 2015 will be here soon?

The best thing about winter is that the yard doesn't need as much work. There's still firewood to haul, chickens to feed, and show to shovel, but there's also a LOT more stitching time. The idea is that I get to catch up on inventory, while we hunker down at home, but these last few months have been busier than I'm used to for this time of year. It has been a time of family, new friendships, catching up on old relationships, and time at church, so it's not like I haven't enjoyed the time, but it has been different in a good way. On that note... let's get to the new MBT stuff! There are three new designs:

MBT-144 Early to Bed is stitched on 32 ct. jobelan, "Antique White," with Weeks Dye Works thread and JABC accent buttons. This design snuggly fits into a 4x6 frame, which makes it a much more affordable piece to finish and have in your home. The frame I used is from the current collection at Hobby Lobby, and was under $5. Yeah!!!

MBT-145 Bless the Lord - Psalm 103:1 is stitched on Fabric Flair 32 ct. linen, "Iced Coffee (ODE)," with DMC thread for the main model and Caron Waterlilies 063 for the single color piece in the corner. This design comfortably fits into a 5x7 frame and I bought it at Hobby Lobby (it's one of my favorite stores for frames!).

MBT-146 Building Block - Serve is stitched on 28 ct. linen, "Cream," with Gentle Art Sampler Threads. I'm running out of wall space where I have this series hanging, above the kitchen area and in the dining room, so it will probably be winding down in another couple of blocks. I've greatly enjoyed the series, but I don't want to rearrange everything on my walls to fit more in! I have the entire series framed in 11x11 openings of various frames that are done by the local framer (Finishing Touch in Boise).

Non-MBT life is a lesson in contentment during this season. In all of the uncertainties of our physical world, the discomfort of our physical bodies, all of the turmoil and chaos, I am praying for contentment right where we're at. We added a dog to our family, a 2 year old retriever, and it has been a big adjustment. I've never had a dog, let alone a 60 lb. creature who sleeps in our room and bounds down the stairs, but we've discussed it for the last 2 years and prayed about it seriously for the last 6 months. She is a ball of energy and a joy to have around the house. The cat, who has had the house to herself for 5 years, is not amused (that may be the understatement of the year).

Thank you for another wonderful year of new friends, encouragement, and sharing your stitching and lives with me.