Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Time for an Easter Parade!

Do you know the tradition of an Easter Parade? I remember the song from when I was a kid...

But mostly I remember getting a new Easter dress every year when I was young. At our house, "getting a dress" meant planning weeks ahead so my mom could sew it. We began with a trip to the neighborhood fabric store, perusing those thick pattern books and selecting fabric and trim. Then I'd try to be patient while mom diligently sewed. She was an amazing seamstress and sewed almost everything in my closet for many years.

Many fittings - and Mom's hard work later - I got to debut my Easter dress at Sunday school and church. Of course some years the fickle Kansas spring weather didn't cooperate and my pastel dress really needed to be flannel and fur. But whatever...it always made me smile to wear my new Easter finery. Did I mention that white shoes were always important at Easter? White shoes signaled the true beginning of springtime.

We're proud to debut a different sort of Easter Parade this year at L*K!


Does anyone recognize these 3 designs? They are oldies from the L*K archives. Each project was originally a "promotional" kit from a springtime Nashville Needlework market. Several projects haven't been available for many years. Occasionally they pop up on the "I Love Stitching Lizzie*Kate" Facebook group, and there are always requests for reprints...so here they are.

We've combined the trio into one chartpak and are bringing them out of retirement!!! Check out the larger pics of each colorful design.

Hip Hop

Egg Hunt

Peep



The folks at 123stitch.com are also assembling an optional embellishment pack (sold separately) with all the buttons for all 3 projects.

***Do you have a favorite Easter dress/Easter parade story to tell?
Leave a COMMENT below and we'll share some Easter fun!





Wednesday, January 9, 2019

L*K Facebook Fun!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  

It's been a bit since I've posted, so I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season! I find myself having a hard time putting away my favorite Christmas things. I've slowly been un-decorating, removing goodies a bit at a time. Sadly, they are piled downstairs, awaiting the "final removal" so I can orderly pack everything away. (At least that's my excuse for not putting everything away yet.)

Just today I removed my "favorite things" from my kitchen countertops. I brought back this darling little rolling pin and the red/white ceramic ornaments when we were in Germany at the Christmas markets in December (it's not Christmas unless you have mushrooms on your tree!). This display just makes me smile.


Does anyone else have trouble parting with their favorite Christmas decor? I still can't bring myself to put away (throw away?) our little gingerbread houses we made together over Thanksgiving.


But I do admit, I also love "freshening" my house after the holidays...putting away the color and enjoying lots of refreshing WHITE in my house...like my collection of old white pitchers. Never can have enough of these for me.


But the real reason for this post....
I just wanted to drop in and remind everyone about our L*K "fan page" on Facebook.

It's called I Love Stitching Lizzie Kate Designs. It's a "closed group", so you need to request membership. It's easy - just click and wait to be added.

Why should you join the group?
It's just SO MUCH FUN! There are daily posts from stitchers all over the world with their L*K projects in progress and finished. SO. MANY. CREATIVE stitchers out there, doing their own thing with L*K designs.


One fun part of this FB group is the variety. There are newer L*K designs as well as 20 year old "golden oldie" designs. Stitchers are posting projects they're doing for themselves, as well as lots of beautiful finishes purposed for giving. I often see finishes I wish I had created for my models and cover photographs. So much inspiration.

I also love the sense of COMMUNITY on the I Love Stitching Lizzie Kate Designs Facebook page. Everyone is encouraging and helpful - it's just a delight to do a daily browse.

This Facebook page was began many years ago by a shopowner - we didn't even know it was out there for a while.  Wilma faithfully moderated the page and nurtured the community of L*K stitchers.

After Wilma requested a well-deserved break, we asked a stitcher friend to be the page moderator. Again, Carla was fantastic at attending to the daily monitoring of the fan page. We remain so grateful for the time and energy that Wilma and Carla both generously gave to the Admin role.

And now it's Alan's turn! When we announced our retirement in 2018, Alan took over as Admin for the Facebook page. Several time a day he checks in, looking for member requests. Then he gleefully reports to me "I approved some new members!". It's so interesting to see where everyone lives - literally all over the US and around the world.

PLEASE consider joining our little Facebook community. Lots of enthusiastic stitchers with fabulous finishes are waiting to welcome you...and so are we! And really...let's keep Alan busy with his admin duties.

***On another note...wanted to share a picture of our holiday culinary experiment. We made a BUCHE De NOEL or Yule Log Cake!


Our New Year's Eve Buche de Noel (with meringue mushrooms, not boiled eggs!)


What is a Buche de Noel? 
It's a traditional cake for Christmas or New Year. The cake is French in origin and it's name means Christmas log. It's derived from the age-old practice of burning yule logs during the holiday season.

Tasty meringue mushrooms - so sweet and fun to make

Basically you bake a thin sheet cake, roll it up with filling, and frost to resemble a log! Alan and I watched a few you tube videos, then got to work on our "buche experiment". For extra credit we made some meringue mushrooms to add to our woodsy cake presentation.

We surprised our friends on New Year's Even with our "edible log" dessert. Everyone enjoyed having their slice of the decadent chocolate dessert. The airy meringue mushrooms were a big hit, too.

After the party - a demolished log

After the party, the log was considerably smaller. But no worries...we finished off the tasty project ourselves the next day. Chocolate cake, chocolate filling, and chocolate icing...just the right amount of chocolate for us!

Wishing you all a wonderful new year with all the things that make you happy...friends, family, and loads of stitches!














Thursday, November 29, 2018

Early Christmas gift from L*K

Just for you...here's a little holiday freebie to make your season merrier!  Click here for the December freebie.


This little piece is a companion to the Moon Over Blackbird freebie we posted in October on our website.

We've already celebrated "Thanksmas" at our house. What is Thanksmas? It's the combined holiday you celebrate when you share/rotate the holidays with your adult children's families.

Our daughter Sarah and husband Jeff flew in to Wichita from Chicago for the long Thanksgiving weekend. They really appreciated our sunny, unseasonably warm temps - it was 65-70 degrees during their 4 day stay. Thankfully they flew back to the windy city BEFORE the big storm hit and closed the airports.

Thanksgiving feast with our family of 8

Christmas sweater cookie puzzle - if only they were edible!

We enjoyed all our usual Thanksmas traditions....cooking, baking, eating, working a Christmas puzzle, visit to Nifty Nut House (Wichitans will understand!), trip to N and J's (great Lebanese food) and Molino's (fave Mexi food), walks around our lake, annual Ebright talks and more.

Wichita Note: If you're ever in Wichita, schedule a quick trip to the Nifty Nut House near downtown. It's a giant building with an unbelievable selection of fresh nuts, candy and snacks. You can't walk in there without smiling. It's bustling all year long, but around the holidays it's slammed. The cheerful employees always welcome you to the Nut House and smile while they weigh and package your selections. Which makes me think...where did I hide that cajun snack mix?


We also added a new activity to our holiday fun - we decorated TINY gingerbread houses. I found some patterns online and baked the houses earlier in the week. I crafted 3 different house styles from "construction gingerbread". Gingerbread for houses is edible (I definitely ate some), but is a little harder than usual gingerbread. Note to self: When baking more than one style of house, be sure and keep the pieces separate next time - so confusing.

Hard at work with our pastry bags full of royal icing

Extreme concentration from Sarah and Jeff

Our finished "tiny house" village dusted with powdered sugar sitting in a "drift" of Epson salt!


My kitchen tree with leftover gingerbread

I used extra "construction gingerbread" to squeeze out these pointy heart cookies. Thankfully I remembered to poke holes in them for hanging BEFORE baking. I think they're pretty cute!

I still have 2 unassembled houses in my pantry. I'm looking forward to assembling them myself...leisurely. Here's how I picture it: me in my comfy clothes, looking outside at softly falling snow, a Hallmark Christmas movie in the background on TV, sipping a cup of hot tea. Maybe?!


***L*K CONFESSION
Hello, my name is Linda and I am addicted to Hallmark Christmas movies. It happens every year. Even though the plots are predictable and repetitive, even though every woman has the same hairstyle (soft waves!), even though everyone looks model-perfect all the time, even though it is ALWAYS gently snowing (never blowing), even though someone has always lost their "Christmas spirit" and even though there are a huge number of obscure PRINCES wondering around the US looking for mates....I find these irresistible. 

I'm not sure I have ever watched/listened to an entire Hallmark Christmas movie. I just like them in the background during the holiday season while I'm putzing around my kitchen. 

Want to share a favorite Christmas tradition at your house???

LEAVE A COMMENT below and share the holiday fun!










Friday, November 2, 2018

It's THANKFUL time!

Halloween has passed in a blur of sugar cookies (I'm trying to learn how to make the pretty kind!), scary movies (well, not TOO scary), and my favorite fun-sized candy bars.

Frosting pastry bag 101 - their expressions reflect how I feel holding a pastry bag

FUN "Old timer" FACT:
Can you believe fabulous fun-sized candy bars weren't even invented when I was a youngster? I know! Not until 1968 were these delicious bite-size wonders invented with Snickers and Milky Way being the first to the "tiny party". On the other hand, in the olden days we used to score entire candy bars, if we were lucky!

Can you believe it will be Thanksgiving in only 3 weeks???
I sure can't!! I'm still cutting outdoor flowers and bringing them inside to enjoy.

We're hosting the annual Thanksgiving gathering at our house this year. Sarah and Jeff (daughter and son-in-law) will be home from Chicago and my brother, sis-in-law and nephews will complete our not too big gathering.

Our spatchcocked bird!

As usual I will trust the turkey to Jeff (those big raw birds completely gross me out) and Sarah and I will tackle the remainder. The last time Jeff was in charge he spatchcocked our big bird. If you don't know what that is, look it up. Our festive bird was flattened out like road kill and he tasted great.


Give Thanks Free Design

Here's a little Thanksgiving freebie that you can complete before the big day. I'm sure you've got tons of cooking and holiday prep on your schedule, but...there's always time for a quick stitch. And if you don't get to it this year, Thanksgiving rolls around every November!

Here is the link to the actual pattern.

****And ONE more thing...the miniature experts over at Zappy Dots just added a Moon Over Blackbird Needle Nanny to their L*K collection. This little dot matches the autumn freebie I shared with you on a previous post (picture below). It's amazing how adorable a design looks on a tiny magnetic dot...and it's useful, too.



Moon Over Blackbird freebie

In case you missed it earlier, here's the link to the Moon Over Blackbird freebie pattern

Enjoy your November, everyone!











Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Sampler Claus debut!

Santa '18 is here, which means only one thing...you've been GOOD!!!

Santa is busy gearing up for Christmas 2018, surrounded by his favorite Christmas things...wreath, gingerbread, trusty reindeer, basket of goodies, bird in hand, and more workshop goodies.

Here is the link where you can find Santa.

After my retirement this spring, I found myself strangely "moved" to design my yearly Santa. I guess the Christmas spirit really did visit me this past summer. Santa lives!

#191 Sampler Claus

Sampler Claus is an exclusive design available at 123Stitch.com. The chartpak includes designs for both projects shown above.

You can purchase Santa at 123stitch.com and buy supplies from your favorite needlework supplier.


I stitched Santa on a piece of 32 ct. Natural light linen. It's a beautiful neutral color. You can choose whatever fabric you like best, or pose Santa on something different...maybe a pretty pale gray or light green? Santa will be jolly wherever you stitch him!


Could the finish on this little pink/red house project be any cuter? I think it's adorable, resting in a pillow-y wool snowdrift. There are even tiny icicles hanging from the eave. So many fun textures on a "cool" Christmas finish!

Would you believe...it's only 78 more days until Christmas?!

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas season as we anticipate Christmas '18 together!

****Thanks to hundreds of you for joining our L*K Facebook "fan" page after I mentioned it in the last blog post. There's still room for everyone in this fun, creative group! To join just send a request to the I Love Stitching Lizzie Kate Designs Facebook page. I know you'll love the community of stitchers and beautiful creative projects that are shared.

****And one MORE THING! Thanks to all of you for graciously enjoying the autumn freebie I posted here last week - Moon Over Blackbird. There are already some finishes on the I Love Stitching Lizzie Kate Facebook page - those speedy stitchers. I will look forward to seeing some fun finishes on this fall project!






Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Fall Freebie!!

Is it really FALL already? I can't believe it is already October. I always say that October is my favorite month because I love the changing seasons, getting the house all "cozy" for winter, making soup, looking forward to the holidays ahead...and because (who am I kidding?) it's my birthday month. Shout out to all of you October birthdays!

Moon over Blackbird FREEBIE!

Here's a little freebie to keep your needles busy during this lovely autumn season.

Click here to download the Freebie.

I've included a few options (2 border choices) so you can personalize your fall stitchery. Choose your favorite, or stitch it several times with different choices and share the autumn goodness with those you love.

I stitched on a piece of 28 ct. Weeks Dye Works natural/tin roof gingham linen from my stash. It's super cute on the gingham, but any bit of neutral fabric would work. You have some extra fabric, right?

Happy Fall, Y'all!! (even though it's gonna be 90 degrees here today!)

***By the way, our "fan club" Facebook page is still active, even though we're not. Check out I Love Stitching Lizzie Kate Designs for lots of fun finishes. If you're not a member of this closed group, just ask to join. It's a great group of creative people and we'd love to have you enjoy the stitching fun!


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Here comes "Sampler Claus"!

I hadn't planned on designing a Santa this year (truly, I had NOT!!). But something unexpected happened this summer. I was overcome with the holiday spirit on a hot summer day, retreated to my office to piddle around with my design software...and guess who emerged? Santa Claus himself!

I had the BEST time working on this jolly old elf. I literally surrounded Santa with my favorite vintage sampler motifs - Lizzie*Kate style - it's so fun!

There's no "saying" on this Santa design, so he differs from the previous 20+ yearly Santa designs, but change is good...right?! I think he's letting the cheery Christmas motifs do the talking.

We're calling him Sampler Claus. Alan thought of the name, so he gets the applause. This name makes me smile. And, truth be told, I don't take Alan's creative advice very often. I usually smile and say something like "yea, I'll think about that".

Sampler Claus "Sneak Peek"

When I work on graphing a design like this, I always have "leftovers"...little bits I have graphed that don't end up in the final design. Sometimes they're some of my favorite bits, but just don't fit in with the final design.

That was definitely the case this time, as I began my Santa design by graphing a red and pink house. I've never done a red/pink house before and those colors just made me happy. I mean...who really has a red/pink house...but again, why not?  Alas, the charming house didn't make the final cut for the big design.

Sampler Claus "Joy Sampler" Sneak Peek

So I did a smaller design and began with the little house. Then I surrounded it with other fun "leftovers" and filled in with some snowflakes here and there.

***And here's what I've learned about my almost "retirement". It's SO much more relaxing to work on a design when you aren't on a schedule....when you don't have to churn out 4 more designs to release at the same time...when stitching a model is pure pleasure and you're not on a time crunching schedule. Not to complain about my previous life as a designer, but this is so much more chill and sigh...rrrreeeelllaaaaxxxiiinnngggg.

We are headed west soon on a road trip to Salt Lake City to visit the gang at 123stitch.com. We'll be carrying a big load of L*K including Sampler Claus (in our sleigh?). We will also deliver 17 oldies (vintage L*K chartpaks) that have had "facelifts" and been reprinted in our current chartpak format.

Sampler Claus will be available to purchase soon at 123stitch.com.

We'll keep you posted when Santa "comes to town"!