Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Working Weekend!

It happens around here a lot...especially 3 weeks before Needlework Market!

We're bringing 3 NEW KITS to market ( in addition to all of the other stuff!), so we're super busy getting them ready. The models are all sewn and photographed...now it's cutting/folding fabric, sacking embellishments, cutting rick rack, printing/folding instructions, designing/printing covers, making more embellishment packs, bagging pom pom trim and more busywork...times many hundreds!!!

It's kinda like Santa's workshop around here...minus the elves...just Alan, Carmen, Henry (granddog) and I. Carmen helps us a couple mornings a week and the rest is up to us. Yes, our daughters and son-in-law are in Europe and we have the granddog - interesting trade off! Alan swears he's not that keen on Henry, so naturally Henry adores him. I suspect the feeling is mutual, since he's sharing Alan's glasses.

But back to official L*K business....here's our new Dear Rudolph kit!

And here's some of the background involved in bringing this kit to life!

After I designed and stitched the Dear Rudolph model, I mail him to my finisher elf, Mona. She's not only a finishing whiz, she's the cutest, sweetest gal around. Just wish she lived closer so we could hang out more! After a flurry of emails and text message photos, we decided to finish Dear Rudolph with this darling snowflake fabric.

Mona finished the cute pillow, added some rickrack and more beads, and set out on a mission to purchase fabric all over the Tulsa metro area. I did the same in Wichita and we rounded up enough snowflakes to blanket the world in snowflake-y Dear Rudolph kits!

I began cutting the fabric into kit-sized pieces. Notice my Klutz glove (safety glove)! The Klutz glove is my new cutting companion after my accident this winter with the rotary cutter and subsequent ER visit.

Here I am having a Donna Reed moment at the ironing board in my "shirtwaist" dress (where's my pearl necklace?)! If you don't know who Donna Reed is, you're younger than me, and you should Google her. I'm folding/ironing fabric before church...in the family room...currently assembly room.

I visited my photographer pal, Steve, to have the kit professionally photographed. Steve takes much better shots than I do, and everything seems to look better in the long run if I start with a high-quality photo. You can see the "big picture" of our shot, before we cropped it down for the cover. Steve is totally used to me bringing in Halloween/Christmas things in the middle of the summer...business as normal!

Meanwhile, more busy work at L*K headquarters. Cutting and folding the linen...

assembling some rather detailed embellishment packs (2 colors of beads, tiny red buttons, and 3 colors of special order hand-dyed buttons)...

and cutting rick rack from some bulk rolls.

I spent an evening on my computer designing this dandy cover. I emailed the file to the printer and told him it was a rush job. He's the best and brought out a proof later that day. Unfortunately, the red looked orangy, and I rejected the first proof. Even when you're in a hurry, it's always best to hold out for the best quality, so I waited for a new, improved proof. It arrived yesterday and was blissfully (and appropriately) Christmas red. By closing time yesterday, our awesome printer delivered a big pile of beautiful Dear Rudolph covers!

I've got plenty of other office work today, so looking forward to a little Tuesday night at the movies (Netflix) and some serious Dear Rudolph kit assembly!

BTW - if you think Dear Rudolph needs to visit your home, contact your favorite needlework shop to pre-order before market. Rudolph is a welcome holiday visitor!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Picnic with the electricians and plumber!

Well, sort of. Last night we had a picnic in our unfinished new house, eating amidst the messes the plumber and horde of electricians are making this week.

We had some unexpected "cool" weather in July, so we grabbed the chance for our first dinner with friends in our new house.

Alan has grown a bit obsessed with cleaning up after the contractors when they're not around. He's busy with the blower and shop vac, and the old-fashioned broom. And then the next day they come in and make a new mess...cutting holes and drilling things here and there...and he starts over again. But hey...I appreciate his work. Some men do contracting, and some men clean it up (and be an executive at Lizzie*Kate, Inc.!)

Everywhere you look there are new things...electrical boxes dotting the walls, and all sorts of interesting heating and air/plumbing things crawling all around/through the walls and ceilings.

We invited some of our long-time friends (not old friends, long-time friends) to meet us for pizza dinner in our new sunroom, overlooking the lake. It was a BYOB event...bring your own chair! One couple forgot their chairs, so they got to sit on a cooler and random wood scraps.

It looks like Alan and I took turns supervising the buffet line. 

It was a gorgeous evening to hang out with friends! Here was the view through our open sunroom windows. Hardly a ripple on the water...so rare to not have any wind in Kansas. 

After dinner, we "toured" the house and the recent progress. We talked and walked, and even toured a couple neighboring homes under construction and enjoyed the beautiful, blissfully cool weather.

Here's our nature pic of the week! It's not a good picture, but this is a bird's nest...inside a cardboard box...nailed to our wall. It turns out some barn swallows had made a nest in a bad spot under our eaves and it fell out. The contractors saw it and relocated it on a nearby wall. 

I didn't get a pic of the speedy little birds in flight, but they're going crazy hanging out in their new high-rise condo. Barn swallows are our friends, because they eat tons of bugs and insects. 

Welcome to our new house...little birds and adult friends!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Our slimmer Santa!

A slimmer Santa? Tell me it isn't so!

No, it's NOT true! Just our Santa design is slim this year. The jolly, old soul is still our favorite chubby, benevolent holiday guy!

And Santa has a new pal, resting on his shoulder. We designed a sweet little gingerbread button, and the creative gals at Just Another Button Company brought this little guy to life for us. 

We've been doing a Santa every year for many years! Every year I sit in front of my computer and think..."what in the world am I going to do with Santa this year?"

Honestly, there have been so many great Santa designs over the years from other designers and I collect them. Someday, I might even stitch them...if I live that long. Thank goodness for my magnifier lamp!

So this year I was inspired by this sweet verse I found and our annual Snippet Santa came to life!

Santa '14 is available at needlework shops everywhere this week. If your shop doesn't have it, ask them to order it in! Santa Snippet and gingerbread button are sold separately. You can check out all our "historic" Santa designs on our website at www.lizziekate.com. 

One final random pic...here's a cute pink pig I saw at the County Fair last weekend. He was lazying around in his pen, waiting for his date in the show arena. To be more accurate, at the fair they're not called pigs...or even hogs...they're SWINE! Whatever he's called, I thought he was very photogenic and charmingly PINK...all 255 pounds of him!

Happy Christmas in July!

Thursday, July 3, 2014


The gang is all here...the Tingles series is now complete!  All 12 of our tingly, spooky, creepy, charming little Halloween designs are all available next week. Contact your favorite shop to join the fun!

Here they are - all combined into one big Halloween extravaganza! Each Tingles Double Flip comes with 2 designs and olive and black tiny buttons.

If you're the sort of stitcher who needs some extra "bling", opt for our extra Tingles embellishment pack. We collaborated with the creative gals at Just Another Button Company to create 20 extra buttons for more spooky fun. They're incredibly cool and funky!

The all-together piece is AWESOME, but I designed these little guys to be done separately, and still look great! We used lots of varied and creative finishes, and there's a FREE finishing blog. Check it out at http://magicbymona.blogspot.com/
Mona's a finisher extraordinaire, and her instructions are clear and easy to follow. And she's also a great friend...thanks, Mona!

Here are the 6 newbies - not in any particular order. OK...I confess...I put my favorite one first - the Gone Haunting. I love this little bitty witch and her wagonful of pumpkins. 

If I were a better blogger (thinking of my daughter, the pro food blogger), I could figure out how to artfully arrange these photos. But honestly, it's a miracle every time I manage to find and import these files, get them to this blog post and then to you all! I'm so NOT a techie!

 Here are the titles for the final 3 Tingles Double Flips - available next week in your favorite needlework shop!

Lizzie*Kate Star F145 It's Hallo-scream/Toil & Trouble Tingles Double Flip
Lizzie*Kate Star F146 It's Halloween/Fright Night Tingles Double Flip
Lizzie*Kate Star F147 Gone Haunting/Spooky Tingles Double Flip

The covers are so bright and fun...I love this batch of Tingles!

Finally, here are boxes and boxes of Tingles awaiting their date with the shipping table and shipping crew (Alan and I) over the long weekend.

Happy July 4th, everyone!