Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Crazed stitch ladies in NY!

Well, not crazy in a BAD sort of way! Crazy in a "can't find enough hours in the day to cross stitch" sort of way. But these creative ladies were really giving it a try when we gathered last weekend for their annual retreat.

I arrived in sunny Syracuse in upstate NY by lunchtime on Friday, after a very early departure from Ta-town. I met Jan, the shopowner of A Stitcher's Garden at the hotel, and the adventure began. Jan and her staff set up a small boutique store in a hotel room, right down the hall from our sunny gathering room. By dinner time, we had 20+ happy ladies in the room, setting up their own little stitch niches for the busy weekend ahead.

One added bonus for this weekend was our other designer, Lori Markovic from La-D-Da! She flew in from Wisconsin and we had a great time together. Photo above shows Lori (left) and shopowner Jan (right) standing in front of her beautiful shop, which is located in a cool restored barn.

We had a busy weekend with lots of projects, my little L*K powerpoint show all about the needlework biz, good food and lots of laughter and fun. After dinner on Saturday, we took a field trip to Jan's shop. Isn't the garden entrance (above) charming?

I admired her unique display of in-stock frames, all lined up to look like a bookcase. That's a lot of small frames!

Now I'm back in the office in Wichita, catching up on blogging and everything else. While I was gone, everything outdoors magically got a little "spring-ier" than before, like this patch of tulips in my front yard - love them!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Invasion of the Birdz & Bugz!

Sounds scary, but we're thrilled to have the Birdz & Bugz arriving in hoards at our office. We've been backordered on this Limited Edition kit since market, almost a month ago, so we're doing the happy dance!

Above is a shipment of the pre-finished stitching kits fresh from the shipping carton. After we receive them, we assemble the kits and ship them out the same day. Then we wait for the next shipment!

Below is a pic of the finished kits like you'll see them at your local needlework shop. Our little fold up stitch kit has 2 linen bands for stitching (one inside, one outside), 2 pockets for stashing stuff, and cute rick rack bands to hold everything together. 

When we were designing the kit I couldn't decide which fabrics I liked best...birds, bugs, stripes...so I used them all! You choose either birds or bugs for your outside fabric. The pink & orange stripes brighten the insides of all the kits. Kits include the designs for both stitching bands, and chartreuse and orange beads to make them glisten.

But here's the "rest of the story"!  These little stitch kits don't just magically appear. Some dedicated and talented sewers are making them all for us. Many months ago my friend Inez from Adam Original contacted me and proposed doing a project together. We spent months looking at fabrics online, and perfecting the design of the little kit. Lots of emails and packages later, we confirmed the final design and Inez ordered the materials. 


Above are the supplies all laid out on Inez's work table, ready for her talented fingers to put them all together.

Above is Inez's faithful helper and friend, Kon, hard at work at the sewing machine.

Finally, here is Inez...still smiling after all those Birdz & Bugz. Thanks, Inez, for all of your creativity and hard work!!

If you're waiting for your Birdz & Bugz Limited Edition Stitch Kit from your LNS, don't despair. They're coming just as quick as we can get them there. Inez and Kon will keep sewing them until the fabric is no longer available. Thanks for your patience...and thanks for loving those little Birdz & Bugz!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ready for a Little Easter?

Spring is officially HERE!  No matter what the calendar says...our grass is green (and ready for ANOTHER mowing), the daffodils are almost done blooming, and my forsythia bushes and pear trees are bursting with yellow and white flowers.

So my thoughts are turning to EASTER!  Working at Lizzie*Kate, my attention is usually focused about 6-9 months ahead of the actual calendar. I'm starting on Halloween and Christmas designs in the spring. It's a little confusing...but I'm in the spring groove!

In the L*K office, we're super busy right now assembling and shipping SPRING THINGS! So here are 2 of my favorite things for spring stitching...one super quick project and another bigger project, for you over-achievers!

This is our recently released "A Little Easter" kit. It's so full of springtime goodness...trailing floral border, Easter basket with pastel eggs, carrot border, and 2 of the cutest chicks in the Easter parade!  Kit comes with antique white linen, baby pink button (upper left corner) and bitsy pale pink beads (flower centers). This little kit is a "companion" to our "A Little Love" kit, which premiered earlier this year. Pop this in your Easter basket!

Our #146 Spring Alphabet design was released last spring, and was the first part of a seasonal alphabet series. Each alpha letter has it's own font and unique sampler-inspired border. Then we filled in the extra spaces with pretty springtime motifs. The colors on this designs are so pretty and well....spring-ish!  Chartpak comes with design and embellishments (tiny purple buttons and antique gold dragonfly charm). 

With all this spring inspiration, I've got my house decorated for Easter, even though it appears no adult children will be coming home. Sometimes you just have to indulge in all those eggs, bunnies and carrots to please yourself!

Here's the table in my entry hall that tucks under the stairway. My fake chocolate bunny is making his yearly appearance. He lost his tail to a shipping incident last year when he went to Nashville market, so he's hiding his rear disability under a cloche this year. Funny thing...he just never melts! Just like that famous Energizer bunny...."he keeps on going!"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stitch-less in Wichita!

No, not those kind of STITCHes! As always, my desk is over-flowing with new cross STITCH projects here at L*K. I'm just excited to report that my knee STITCHes came out last week, and the ortho doc says I'm a star patient.  I'm still hanging out a couple times a week with the PT guys, but I'm starting to do stairs the "normal way", instead of the snail-paced one step at a time method. Which is a good thing, since my office is on the 2nd floor of our little L*K building. Henry still beats me to the top every time, and looks over his shoulder to see if I'm coming!

SPRING is in full swing here at the L*K office and in Wichita!  With high temps predicted between 75 and 80 degrees ALL week, the grass is greening and I can see blooming pear trees from my office window. Some of my herbs even survived the winter and are ready to cut and cook!

And my desk is adorned with the yearly infusion of shamrock (oxalis) plants. I LOVE these little plants that always appear in the store near St. Pat's in March. The 4-sided leaves open up for the sun and close their doors when evening comes...and they have dainty white flowers a couple times a year.

It's the perfect day for lunch on the patio...that's halfway between our house and our L*K headquarters (behind me in photo). The patio is smack in the middle of our commute. Ah...a glass of iced tea, lunch with my hubbie, (dog laying underneath table)...springtime is great!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When life gets in the way of work...

The last few posts have been about our CRAZED pace leading up to market, the FRENZIED pace during market, and then....a slight pause! So here's ONE of the reasons I haven't blogged for over a week.

I had a little knee surgery to correct a couple of tears in my meniscus. After a couple doc visits this fall and finally an MRI, I got the answer to my insistent knee pain. No, I don't know how I tore it (everyone asks this)...probably some gradual thing related to GETTING OLD, but it needed to be repaired. I postponed the eager ortho doc until I returned from my business trip, and reported to the surgery center the day after we returned.

All went well at the uber-efficient surgery center, and I was home a couple hours later.  I was propped on the sofa with my own little igloo machine, humming softly as it circulated cold water around my knee. My faithful granddog Henry was as close to the action as possible. After orthroscopic surgery, you only have 2 little incisions on the knee. But my leg was mysteriously wrapped from ankle to mid-thigh in gauze, the water therapy thing and a thick frosting of Ace bandages. I was supposed to use crutches, but realized immediately I was a klutz and a real danger to myself. Thankfully, I could put weight on it right away, so I hobbled around for a few days. What a thrill it was to limp to the door to greet the flower delivery guy, and multiple friends bearing food!

Now I'm back in the office, except when I'mhanging out with 2 handsome physical therapists a couple times a week. Who knew physical therapy could be entertaining? The young therapist is just a couple months from graduating, so he has another attractive blond guy there to oversee him and give him verbal pop-quizzes while he works. And did I mention the student therapist looks like a young Chris Noth (famous actor from Law & Order, Sex in the City, The Good Wife)?? I'm sure a menopausal woman in sweat pants isn't the most exciting part of their day, but they put a smile on my face...even while I'm doing my exercises!