Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mystery Color Revealed!

One of my favorite things about doing a Mystery Sampler is working with suppliers to make custom goodies for us! There are SO many creative people behind the scenes at an L*K Mystery!!!

I've been working with Miranda and the talented gang at Weeks Dye Works for many years. We've created several cool colors together...clockwork (Spooked! Mystery Sampler), Busy Lizzie (Things Unseen Mystery Sampler) and Oscar (Holly & Hearts Mystery Sampler). Not only do I get to request and collaborate on a NEW overdyed thread color, I get to help with the new color fun.

This year Miranda agreed to create a new color especially for Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler. Our new color will be a part of the Spirit of Christmas Thread Pack, along with 8 other lovely WDW colors. There will be 10 skeins in all, including 2 skeins of one color. 

And....drumroll...the NEW COLOR is...OYSTER!
I'm not sure OYSTER is a holiday word, but hey, I guess lots of people make oyster stuffing? Here's how "Oyster" became a part of the L*K/WDW family.

To begin the process I described the color I was dreaming about to Miranda. It's not a traditional Christmas color, but I thought it would blend beautifully with the muted pinky reds and greens in the sampler. I gave Miranda several DMC numbers that were similar. Since WDW threads are overdyed, they incorporate several beautiful hues.

Then Miranda got to work, mixing her color magic, and sent me 5 sample colors. I'm sure this is a really time consuming and tricky process, but Miranda is a sweetheart. Those of you who have met her know this already. And she has that charming North Carolina accent and politeness that makes me just want to call WDW to chat with everyone in the office. **There were originally 5 color samples,  but I played with 2 of them - stitching, taking out, restitching on sampler -  before I made my final decision.

What color is oyster?
Just like a real oyster, it's a beautiful blend of muted colors...lilac, taupe, pink and gray. It's just yummy (no pun intended)! Do you like to eat oysters? Being a Kansas girl...not so much for me.

I love playing with words, so I originally sent Miranda a list of about 30 possible color names. Maybe I was inspired by the oyster shadowbox hanging in my hallway - from my favorite source, Home Goods?! The colors at WDW are often named after something organic...plants, flowers, birds, animals, fish, get the idea. When we finally chatted on the phone, we both agreed that OYSTER was perfect for this color. 

Fast forward to the exciting day when we received a couple GIANT boxes from Weeks Dye Works with our threads for Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler. **Thanks to your generous response, we had to order a couple more BIG boxes, and the WDW gang is busy at work dyeing more threads, putting them on cards, and readying to ship us next week.

The beautiful threads arrive conveniently packaging in a bag of 100. Inside the bag are 10 bundles with 10 skeins each and a label with name and person who packed it. So organized!

Then the fun begins! We set up 3 work stations to assemble thread packs - 2 in our basement and another in the L*K office. It's a little tricky to get the threads into the plastic bags, but we've developed a system involving that piece of cardboard you see in middle of table.

Then the finished thread packs get stacked in big totes (on loan from the US Postal Service!). Eventually they will find their way into orders from shops around the world...and finally to your house!

Our Spirit of Christmas Thread Pack is available to order NOW! It's an optional purchase, but so convenient to have full skeins of all the threads you'll need. For now, it's the only place you'll find WDW Oyster. Oyster will be available in general distribution in March 2018.

The Thread Pack will have enough threads to complete your mystery sampler. **If you stitch the 3 BONUS charts (you'll receive one with each of the 3 mystery parts), more threads may be required. 

Here are some of the friendly (camera shy) staff hard at work at Weeks Dye Works in North Carolina. We asked them for a few pics, and they sent us these colorful views.

Getting the orders to shops

Beautiful threads and gorgeous wools

Those giant cones of colorful floss!

I've got 100 more thread packs to assemble before the next big boxes of threads arrive next week, so back to work for me and Netflix in my basement.

CHECK BACK SOON for more behind-the-scenes peeks at our upcoming Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler!

**One more thing...we keep getting questions if it's too late to order Spirit of Christmas. Definitely not! Just let your favorite needlework supplier know. We will be shipping needlework shops around the world on September 1. That shipment will include Part 1 charts with thread key, 1st BONUS design, thread packs, fabric precuts, embellishment packs, and Spirit of Christmas Needle Nannies. 

HAPPY OYSTER, everyone!

Friday, August 11, 2017

L*K "fan pages" on Facebook

Before I tell you about L*K on a quick SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS Mystery Sampler Update:

Yesterday, August 10, was our pre-order deadline for needlework shops around the world.

What does this mean?
Our first shipment of Spirit of Christmas isn't until September 1, but we need a few weeks to get everything together...charts, thread packs, embellishment packs, Needle Nannies, and fabric (yards and yards of beautiful hand-dyed fabrics), then assemble everything and pack boxes. The next 3 weeks will be "organized pandemonium" at L*K world headquarters. ***The overtime elves will be BUSY!

Based on orders from previous mysteries and early response, we placed tentative orders with our suppliers several months ago. Everything is handmade, so it takes time for all of these talented folks to make and ship us their wares.

This morning we placed amended orders with Weeks Dye Works (beautiful threads, including custom color OYSTER), Picture This Plus (4 different fabrics in Heartland, a new color developed for this project), Just Another Button Company (6 styles of custom buttons) and Zappy Dots (makes of the magnetic Needle Nannies, so you can "park" your needles as the mystery unfolds), as well as 2 other embellishment suppliers.

Why amended orders???
Because the response to Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler has been phenomenal...who knew?!?! We are blown away - and admittedly a little nervous - about the overwhelming pre-orders. We make estimates based on previous mysteries, but YIKES! This sampler is breaking records. ***And we also know from previous years that the orders will continue to increase as the ship date nears. Calling all L*K elves!!!

Getting back to my original topic...FACEBOOK!

I friends have trouble believing this and get the giggles...but there are several L*K "fan pages" on Facebook.

In addition to the "official" Lizzie Kate Facebook page, there are 3 fan pages that are independently moderated and devoted just to L*K you!

Check out these 3 pages on Facebook and see if you'd like to join:

I Love Stitching Lizzie Kate Designs
This is the largest and busiest group with over 3500 members. Almost every day there are updates on L*K works in progress or finished projects. There is so much creativity on here, I check it daily for inspiration. It's full of L*K designs - old and new - with all sorts of creative finishes.

Lizzie Kate Mystery Sampler Club
This page is devoted to our mystery samplers. There are 5 mystery samplers so far...Very Scary, Holly & Hearts, Things Unseen, A Little Mystery and Spooked. We're premiering a new mystery, Spirit of Christmas, in September. Sometimes members post pics of other L*K designs, too.

Lizzie Kate Spirit of Christmas 2017 SAL
This is a brand new group created just for our upcoming Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler. I'm sure this group will be a busy place in the mysterious months ahead.

All of these are Closed Groups on Facebook. To join, just send a request. The group admin will add you ASAP.

***These 3 "fan pages" are independent from L*K. We are just members, like many of you. There are volunteer admins who devote their time to managing these pages. We appreciate them so much! These pages wouldn't exist with the generosity of stitchers who manage them and contribute regularly.

Facebook is just one more way to interact with the worldwide stitching community. These pages are a great way to stitches!

Have a great weekend and check back for more "mysterious" updates next week!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 this happened

MAJOR change in plans yesterday for the L*K "pre-mystery" team. My car got smashed and grabbed!

I was at the gym this morning enjoying my Boomer weight lifting class (I know - a bunch of menopausal ladies - and a few guys - lifting weights together). A staff member interrupted our class and asked if anyone drives a white Mini Cooper. That would be ME!

I followed her out where she told me my car had been broken into in the parking lot. Less than 15 minutes after I had arrived, someone had smashed my driver's side window and taken my purse from under the seat. I know...should have locked it in the trunk before I left home. Taking it in the gym is such a hassle. So for 20+ years I have slid it under the driver's seat - no problem. Until TODAY!

What a MESS!!! Turns out when you smash a window glass goes EVERYWHERE!!! Not only the front seat, but also the back seat was covered in tiny bits of very sharp (I quickly discovered) shattered glass. Nothing was missing except my little wallet/purse. Not to be melodramatic, but that little purse was my "life"!

What to do first? Call Alan...husband to the rescue. But I didn't have a phone - yep, they got my iphone. Along with lots of credit cards, gift cards, driver's license, tiny bit of cash and my favorite readers :(. I'm pretty sure the petty thieves didn't know what to do with my readers! I'm assuming they were not geriatric car smashers. But favorite pair. And did I say my favorite lipstick and powder - double darn.

I must admit - sadly - that I felt a little panicky without my phone. Where to go/when to be's all on my phone Calendar. SO MUCH info stored in that little silver technological device.

Long story short...Alan and I both spent the remainder of the day - ALL DAY until bedtime - cancelling credit cards, going to phone store twice, stopping by bank, on the phone with Apple help line, and visiting the scary Driver's License Bureau. When we stopped in at 3:45 it was a teeming mass of humanity and the estimated wait time was way longer than the remaining hours. Will have to face that reality later today after my Mini gets it's new driver's window. Sometimes it's good to be self-employed - really thankful for the flexibility.

Yes, I did file police report while at the gym. Called the non-emergency number and talked to super nice lady. She remarked on the fact that they didn't steal my Home Goods bag - clearly not a female thief - a little crime humor!

Meanwhile, at L*K headquarters in our absence, orders were rolling in for our upcoming Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler. The pre-order deadline for shops worldwide is tomorrow,  Thursday, August 10. We've got a spread sheet going and it's a busy form right now. Lots of catching up to do today.

Before the day imploded (or should I say "got bashed"), I got some early morning proofs from my printer. Here are proof press sheets for the Spirit of Christmas Embellishment Pack and Needle Nanny inserts. You can see bunches of them all ganged up on the pages.

Hoping for a "normal" work day today and trying not to concentrate on the fact that the creeps who smashed my beloved Mini, stole my purse, immediately disabled the "Find my iphone feature" and used my debit card 4 times before we could cancel it (and tried after that) have my ADDRESS....yuck.

***Special thanks to pal Doug who vacuumed about a zillion pieces of glass out of my car.

If you read this whole thing...bless you! And may you learn from my mistakes...

****MORE mystery sneak peeks coming SOON!

PS....after sleeping on it, I'm THANKFUL for several things:
1. I wasn't hurt.
2. The $1000+ in uncovered expenses (deductibles) on auto and home (my phone and purse) insurance is something I can afford, even if I don't like it.

Friday, August 4, 2017

"Spirit of Christmas" Sneak Peek Pic!

It's HERE! Our "famous" SNEAK PEEK MYSTERY collage photo!

Here's your first "clue" to solve the Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler. What do you see?

We've packed lots of little clues into one picture. Take a close look and put your "private eye" skills to work!

I spy with my little eye....

* Christmas Love Pin Pillow BONUS design - coming with Part 2
* Beautiful threads including our new custom color OYSTER, but which one is it?
* Holiday House 2 sided fob BONUS design - coming with Part 1 (wonder what the other side looks like?!)
* "Cleverly crumpled" Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler (unframed)
* "Artfully rolled" Christmas Is...Mini Sampler BONUS design - coming with Part 3
* A spatter of lovely mother-of-pearl heart buttons.
* Spirit of Christmas postcard
* A few of my brush trees - I love to collect these little buggers!

What did your "inner gumshoe" find? Anything else?

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW if you find any other CLUES.

Contact your favorite needlework supplier. They're taking pre-orders NOW. 

****Our pre-order deadline for shops is August 10. You can order after that (definitely), but if you want to receive Spirit of Christmas Part 1 and all the supplies at earliest possible date, ORDER NOW!

Here's our Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler shipping schedule:

September 1
* Part 1 of Spirit of Christmas, including thread key and stitch guide
* Thread packs with 11 skeins of overdyed Weeks Dye Works thread including exclusive NEW color 
* Fabric precuts of Picture This Plus Heartland (NEW color) linen (28 or 32 ct.) and/or Aida (14 or 16 ct.)
* Embellishment Pack with goodies for main sampler and all 3 BONUS designs
* Spirit of Christmas Needle Nanny (to park your mystery needle!)
* Holiday House 2 sided fob BONUS design

October 2 - Part 2 of Spirit of Christmas and Christmas Love BONUS design.

November 1 - Part 3 of Spirit of Christmas and Christmas Is...Mini Sampler BONUS design.

***We'll be adding more blog posts with behind-the-scenes Mystery Sampler pics SOON. Check back often as the mystery excitement builds. 

Thanks for joining us on our holiday mystery journey - it's gonna be a great trip together!

Friday, July 21, 2017

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS Mystery Sampler!!!

It's TRUE! We're doing another MYSTERY SAMPLER, and we can't wait to share all the mysterious details with you. It's been 4 years since our other Christmas mystery sampler, Holly and Hearts. Our holiday hearts are ready for another mystery!

What's a mystery sampler? Many of you know, because you've been asking for another!  But for our rookie detectives, it's a sampler that unfolds in parts. The big mystery is...what will it look like?! Because unlike every other L*K project, there is NO PHOTO on the front (I know...perplexing!). Each month you receive a portion of the design. As you stitch, the project develops and the mystery unfolds!

Mystery Samplers are so fun and popular because...well, lots of reasons:

*It's a giant club with stitchers literally all over the world. And it's our favorite kind of club, because EVERYONE is invited and warmly welcomed. It's fun to chat with other "members" as the mystery develops. It's great for needlework shops because they get to see you/communicate with you every month. 

* We do lots of extra fun things - like developing new products - when it's mystery sampler time. We'll tell you below about our new fabric and thread colors and Needle Nanny (designed just for Spirit of Christmas), and some cool embellishments we're rounding up for you.

*We "gift" Mystery Club stitchers with BONUS projects. Spirit of Christmas will include one BONUS project with each part...3 BONUS stitcheries in all! You never know what you'll "unwrap" when your mystery shipment arrives.


* 3-part series will ship in early September, October and November (finished in time for Christmas, of course).

Stitch Count for Spirit of Christmas is 95W x 191H. Not too big, not too small, just right.

* Spirit of Christmas is stitched on lovely Heartland linen from Picture This Plus. We worked with Marilyn and the Picture This Plus gang to create a gorgeous neutral color. We'll have 4 fabric options...28 and 32 ct. Heartland linen, as well as 14 and 16 ct. Heartland Aida. All fabrics are precut with 3" border on all sides, serged, and individually packaged. You can also personalize with your own fabric choice.

Spirit of Christmas thread pack has 11 skeins of Weeks Dye Works overdyed threads, including an exclusive new color we requested especially for Spirit of Christmas! Miranda (WDW owner and color guru) and I are brainstorming a name for this subtly beautiful color, and we'll reveal that soon.

* There are 3 BONUS projects, one included with each Spirit of Christmas portion. These are each lovely little projects by themselves. Here are the BONUS projects, in the order they will be revealed:

Holiday Home 2 sided scissor fob  - 34W x 33H on each side - September
Christmas Love pin pillow - 73W x 27H - October
Christmas sampler - 93W x 48H - November

* Embellishment Pack with goodies designed especially for Spirit of Christmas. This pack includes embellishments for the main sampler, as well as the 3 BONUS projects.

* For the first time, we're offering a mystery sampler Needle Nanny! Our gal pals at Zappy Dots are making us a beautiful collectible "dot" just for Spirit of Christmas. It's the perfect place to park your needle while you're watching the mystery unfold.

We'll be blogging soon with behind-the-scenes looks at the whole mystery sampler process, including our awesome suppliers/partners at Weeks Dye Works, Picture This Plus, Just Another Button Company, Zappy Dots and (of course) the busy goings-on at Lizzie*Kate. 

We know from previous mystery adventures, that you enjoy seeing all the prep and creativity that make a mystery happen. It's truly takes a (cross stitch) village to put one of these projects together, and we want to include YOU as we uncover the Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler together.

Contact your favorite needlework supplier. They are taking pre-orders NOW. 

Look at the Info for Stitchers button on our website. Most shops will ship. Just ask!

Mysteriously yours, 

***Check back soon for Mystery Sampler sneak peek CLUES!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

OOPS - almost forgot to be THANKFUL

I blogged last week about our upcoming releases this Friday, July 21.

I'm so embarrassed to admit, I FORGOT ONE NEW DESIGN (OOPS).

F169 Thankful Celebrate with Charm Flip-it

I frequently refer to Thanksgiving as the "forgotten holiday" in the cross stitch world. Halloween and Christmas designs are SO popular, even outside the US. But the day we reserve to "give thanks" just gets lost in the holiday fervor and the anticipation of Christmas (and in my distracted brain). 

Thankful is the 6th holiday in our 2017 Celebrate with Charm Flip-it series. We'll finish the series with Merry (Christmas), which will be available in October. 

Here are the other Celebrate with Charm holidays already available:

F164 Love Celebrate with Charm Flip-it (includes heart charm)

F165 Luck Celebrate with Charm Flip-it (includes shamrock charm)

F166 Basket Celebrate with Charm Flip-it (includes dragonfly charm)

F167 Liberty Celebrate with Charm Flip-it (includes star charm)

F168 Boo Celebrate with Charm Flip-it (includes moon charm)

Our much-awaited, sadly delayed vacation begins next week. So hopefully after a week away, I'll return more focused and less forgetful. I'm "counting" on it (a little counted cross stitch humor)!



Friday, July 14, 2017

Newbies coming SOON!

Alan escaping the heat

It's HOT here, but our minds (and busy needles) are thinking about autumn and Christmas.


#185 Autumn Smalls - with embellishments

Our seasonal Smalls series continues with 4 charming autumn projects. Every year I enjoy designing with gorgeous autumn hues and stitching the models. These little guys are quick and fun, with lots of creative finishing options. Chartpak includes embellishments.

#186 Tiny Tidings XXII

All 5 Tiny Tidings stitched together!

It's our "tiny" time of year! For 22 years, I've been designing "tiny" little gems to make your holidays a little brighter. This year I did something a "tiny" different. There are 5 tiny design that are great individually, but you can also choose to stitch them together. We included a back cover picture of all 5 stitched horizontally. Stitch individually, or group 3 or 5...whatever your holiday heart desires!

E186 Tiny Tidings XXII Embellishment Pack
We've gathered all the goodies to make your projects look just like ours...JABC custom cookie button, JABC small and medium white buttons, and tiny white button.

S132 The Elves Did It! - Santa '17 Snippet

Santa (the Jolly Old Elf, himself) invited a couple elf friends to join him on the Snippet this year. Those hardworking elves are used to being behind the scenes at Santa's workshop, but this year they're on the cover! There's lots of Christmas merriment and a bit of mischief for 2017.

S132E The Elves Did It! - Santa '17 Embellishment Pack
Includes 2 white snowflake buttons and golden heart charm.

F169 Thankful Celebrate with Charm Flip-it

Continuing our Celebrate with Charm Flip-it series, it's time for that often overlooked holiday in the stitching world - Thanksgiving. Includes golden leaf charm - it's hard to see in pic but it's a cutie.

I do love stitching autumn and holiday projects in the summer. Which is a good thing, because that's when they always get stitched!

Need some L*K autumn and Christmas at your house?

Contact your favorite needlework supplier and request your "must haves"! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!