Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year - Happy New Designs!

New designs are ready! There are some good stories behind a couple of these, so grab a warm drink (if you're as buried in snow as we are) and get ready for some giggles.

MBT-204 Better to Dwell - a Journey Through Proverbs
This is my favorite design out of all of them in this batch, for the season of my life that it represents. This past summer I was really struggling to adjust to a new normal. We moved into a new home and I had created a picture in my mind of all that life would be. Reality was far from my ideal. There were the hiccups of finding 'surprises' in a new place, but also the acceptance that we aren't going back to where we lived before - where I had dear friends and an incredible church. That isn't to say that God hasn't blessed the journey to where we are, and that I'm not surrounded by a community of friends and family in our new home, and not in a wonderful church - the people here are amazing and our church is beyond blessing. BUT, it was a hard realization for me to accept and it hit me hard. I struggled. During that struggle my husband was ever so patient, praying for me, encouraging me. He was willing to fulfill the most ridiculous demands and draw me in when I was prickly and could have easily been pushed away. I was quarrelsome - he had every right to be on the corner of a rooftop, it probably would have been safer!

The design is stitched over 2 on 28 ct. linen, with GAST threads. The border is designed to go into the side of the frame, in a reproduction style, with a gap at the top and bottom. When stitched on 28 ct. it will fit perfectly in an 8x10 frame. There are many many many Proverbs that could fit my life on any day, and I hope you will join me on a journey through them, with needle and thread, in the coming year.

MBT-205 Beware of Dog (and cat!)

Oh, my cat. My silly, silly cat. During our most recent move we have experienced a lot of adventures with our animals. One of them is not being able to trust our cat to do her job - keep mice out of the house. She not only watched as they helped themselves to her food, I woke up one morning to find her being chased around by a field mouse!This is why I had to add a rat button to this design - a taunt to our cat. She did end up redeeming herself by catching a mouse a week later, and then leaving it on the coffee table for me to find. I could have done without her proud display of bravery. 

The design is stitched over 2 on 32 ct. jobelan with WDW threads. Will fit a 5x7 frame and we used one from East Side Frames Crazy Daisy line. Adorably accented by JABC buttons. This is a companion design to MBT-171 and MBT-172 (cats/dogs leave pawprints, the snarky versions).

MBT-206 Be of Good Courage
This was a recent challenge piece for me. It was a challenge to my mindset, to focus on the blessings of life, being grateful, and getting back to what I am called to do - share the gospel and serve (even when there are mice in the house and the roof is leaking...) 

The design is stitched over three threads with three strands. This sounds really strange, and it is kind of weird to do, but the look is beautiful with the chunkier threads on the fine fabric. It could also easily be stitched with two strands over two threads, or on aida, or however you would like!

MBT-207 God Sustains
Along with my current theme of struggling and refocusing, it is building faith. Remembering that God has brought me through trials and challenges to build my faith, and that He will continue to sustain me. Are there days when he gives me more than I can handle? Absolutely! That is so that it is clear that it is by His strength, not my own. But I can look at His record in my life - He is always there, leading me back to Him, building me through trials and blessings with things that are for my good ( just not always my comfort!).

The design is stitched over 2 on 28 ct. jobelan with WDW threads. It is a companion design to MBT-193 Grateful Every Day, MBT-194 Seek the Lost, and MBT-202 I Will Not Forget Thy Word. They all use the same frame - and spray paint! 

Those are the four new designs that give you my life in a nutshell. It has been a wild, bumpy, joy filled, love filled, hard, easy, blessed ride through 2017. I have no idea what is in store for 2018, but I hope it involves fabric and thread. And maybe chocolate and coffee. Definitely coffee.

Last week we experienced what much of the US was dealing with - snowstorms and bitter cold. We also found out that what we thought had fixed the roof last month didn't, and we leaked. Again. A lot. I volunteered to climb up and shovel it off (it was a much easier job than shoveling off what I pushed down onto the deck) and this was my view from the rooftop.
I wasn't feeling quarrelsome that day :-)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Beautiful, beautiful beads

I sit here looking out the window, thinking of the possibility of making it to town later today. We had a white Christmas. A very very very white Christmas. Now it's an icy day after Christmas. It gave me time to rip apart my office, rearrange every single piece of furniture and the industrial file cabinets, and then wonder if it wouldn't have been better if I had left it how it was.

Since it's the end of the year I have been making my bead purchases for the new year, finding all sorts of stunning glass and stone creations with my wholesalers. All of the vibrant colors inspired me to make even bigger pin sets. Now available are seven-pin sets in my Cute & Colorful line.
The top set is CCPS-001 Teardrop, and the bottom set is CCPS-002 Creativity. I think they would be adorable around an ornament, pinning the ribbon trim in place, or accenting a stunningly stitched biscornu or pin cushion. These aren't exactly rainbow sets, because pink isn't a Roy G. Biv, and I couldn't just leave out pink!

There were so many things I needed to do last week. Frame and photograph new releases, clean the house, decorate the tree, laundry, cooking, print and package charts, assemble a thousand or so marking pins, pick up straw bales for winterizing the coop, unpack things that are still in the barn. What did I end up doing, you ask? I drove eight hours to bring home five new hens for our flock. My priorities are a bit off. Hubby's response was "You only got five?" I love him and think I'll keep him. They are really cute (of course they are, they're chickens!). They will lay blue, olive, chocolate brown (wouldn't it be amazing if they were real chocolate eggs?!), pink, and green eggs, and all are between 3-5 months old. Our three old hens aren't thrilled with sharing their home, but they are creating boundaries and figuring it out. I spend time in there each day, keeping order and letting everyone get food and drink.

Some exciting news for those looking towards new design releases - they are coming. Soon! I will be packaging them today, notifying the auto ship shops tomorrow, and then will start shipping!!! There are four new counted thread designs: two are scripture based, one is inspirational and one is pet themed. There is a little bit of everything from whimsical to reproduction style. Stay tuned for that update!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Almost Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I know the reality is that I will likely forget to be back here in a week to wish you peace, joy, and comfort while reflecting on the birth of Jesus (because I know my brain!). So I pray all of those for you. Our Christmas will be quiet, with the hope of using the three day weekend to make enough tamales to last us through the next year. It is the best Christmas gift that hubby could give - at least one meal of tamales each month, ready to steam and devour.

This week I would like to share with you some new handy threaders. I ran out of them and a dear friend had some special color requests, so I did a mass assembly and am excited to share the fun bead combinations.
From the bottom left heading up: red/crystal, iridescent green/crystal, garnet/linen, fuchsia/crystal, purple/crystal, lilac/crystal, emerald/crystal, blues/crystal, spring colors, aqua/crystal, dark blue/crystal, hot pink/crystal. The two in the lower right corner: fuchsia/aqua/purple, purples/crystal.

I still have the best of intentions with new release counted thread designs. I have four models ready... for framing. All I have to do is get the cutting mat, blade, ruler, frames, lacing tools, iron, ironing pad, and all that in the same place at the same time. It sounds so simple!

We are still settling into the house and I still have not unpacked the barn. One of my wish list items was venting the range hood to the outside. The recirculating vent hood just doesn’t do it for smells and cooking oil, even with a carbon filter pad. It has been put off because, when we last investigated inside of the walls, there were issues of support beams and all sorts of things where the holes would need to be cut. 

Now we know that our walls are like onions - they have layers. Their layers have layers. First is the bead board, then drywall with wallpaper, then some type of thin particle type board, then wood paneling, then barn wood. Literally, barn wood. I joked that we could strip down to the barn wood and instantly have a $30k kitchen remodel because that stuff goes for a pretty penny and is all the rage. I also think we unearthed hundred year old anthrax spores by cutting into the stuff. *cough, cough* ;-)

The good news is I have my hole in the wall. The exterior venting is done, the holes are cut in the new upper cabinet, the cabinet is mounted and the range vent is done and working. We tested it and the smells of bacon didn't permeate the house. All that is left is to finish cleaning the wood dust from just about every surface and clear the rest of the tools from the dining room. 

Each season brings new challenges, learning new things about the house and figuring out how it all works. We have made it into the first snow and are doing okay. Next week we get to see how things do with the single digit temps. Another stage in the process. The community is still amazing and we can see God's plan unfolding. The relationships are growing and we are grateful for friends and fellowship. 

Merry Christmas to you.