Monday, August 18, 2014

Been there, done that...

Needlework Market, that is!

How many times have we gone to market with Lizzie*Kate? Heaven only knows, but every time it's a combination of fun, laughter, and plain old hard WORK! (Definitely not a vacation, except for the "travel" part.)

Speaking of travel and is a pic of my local shopowner and her helper who kindly schlep a bunch of Lizzie*Kate inventory to market for me every year. We've just unloaded their car in front of the Embassy Suites (where our market is) and we're waiting on a rolling cart to get the boxes to our room.

The BEST part about needlework market is seeing all of my friends...shopowners and other designers! Some shops have been supporting L*K since we began 19 years ago. Miraculously, none of us look a day older! I think cross stitch has magical anti-aging properties, or maybe our eyesight is just fading? We also get to make new friends at market every year, which is also wonderful. It's a huge blessing to be around people who understand what we do...and love and appreciate it. We love and appreciate you all, too!

Now that market is over and all the attending shops are busy blasting the new images all over the internet, I can release the photo of our "Market Exclusive" kit - SPOOKY EYES!

SPOOKY EYES kit (K72) includes EEK! hand-dyed linen (faded orange with gray/black swirls), hand-dyed black pom pom trim, kohl WDW overdyed thread, and spooky eyes (2 mother-of-pearl buttons topped with tiny black buttons). 

Here I am on Saturday morning, ready for a busy day in room 601 Lizzie*Kate expo! I brought a roll of black kraft paper along and had fun with chalk making a few impromptu signs. Making the freelance signs was fun, but crawling around the hard floor on my hands and knees with chalk (and no yard stick to keep things straight) seems to be getting harder every year. Alan snapped a pic of me on the floor but I'm not sharing it...TMI.

This was my favorite sign (covering up the mirror over the bar area in our room), announcing our Inspiration Boxer Sale. We brought ALL of the Inspiration Boxers (B33-B48), so there was plenty of inspiration for all!

Part of the challenge in decorating our showroom in the Embassy Suites is the existing decor in the rooms. Everything is positively psychedelic at this looks like a 60s party gone wild! The walls are orange (there's orange everywhere!), the sofa is a crazy wild print (designers have all sorts of creative ways to cover these sofas), and the decor has a zillion competing patterns and is very distracting! So if these photos are glowing a bit...

The other "stars" of the party were our other 2 new kits! SNOW DUDES (K71) kit comes with both patterns, fabric for both, and embellishments, including polka dot mushroom cap.

DEAR RUDOLPH (K73) kit includes lambswool linen, snowflake finishing fabric, white rick rack trim, 4 buttons, red and white beads and complete finishing instructions. I always bring along a few fun props for the new stuff, including a favorite Santa mug for this one. Also check out the fun red/green scissors. We sold out on these, so get them while you can!

WHEW! It's been nice taking a break sitting at the computer, but I've got to return to unloading boxes and catching up. 

Note to self: Next time I go to market, take pics with shopowners, designer friends, and try to capture the laughter and fun we have together. Thanks for joining me on this little trip recap!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Snow Dudes!

I couldn't figure out what to name this new kit I'm taking to market this weekend. How do I combine a snowy owl and a Santa gnome in one clever title?

I was I asked my husband, Alan. He often makes suggestions at L*K and I usually say something like..."oh yea, I'll think about that"...or "that's an interesting idea".

But when Alan said "SNOW DUDES"...I knew I had the winning name!

I had the idea to do a little Santa with a pointy hat. When I changed his coat to blue, he magically transformed into a Santa gnome...who knew? And what is the perfect gnome accessory? A little red/white polka dot mushroom, of course.

I admit I didn't know much about gnomes when I accidentally brought this little guy to life (and still don't), but I tried a little research. It seems gnomes always have mushrooms with them. Can someone tell me why? The gals at Just Another Button Company made me a tiny little mushroom cap button - so cute!

I'm also obsessed with owls and realized I didn't have any Christmas owls, so remedied that with design #2.

Kit includes 28 ct. Lugana fabric for both ornaments, and lots of embellishments...polka dot mushroom cap, red buttons, and lots of white iridescent beads.

These dudes are ready to hit the road to St. Charles Needlework market! If you need the charming SNOW DUDES to visit your house, contact your favorite needlework shop and let them know. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Orange is the new Black...I mean KIT!

Yes, I've joined the bandwagon (one season late!) and I'm busy watching Season 1 of Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, skip ahead to the "orange cross stitch" portion of this post. But, for those of you also watching "Orange is the New Black"....OH MY! Such an interesting TV series set in a women's prison. It's funny, heart-breaking/heart-warming, troubling, thought-provoking, irreverent and totally unlike any other series I've ever watched. And it's based on a TRUE STORY...gulp/gag/I hereby purpose to make responsible decisions and never break the law! Warning: not kid-friendly viewing (for mature audiences)

Back to the TRUE reason for this post - we have a new ORANGE themed kit called SPOOKY EYES! Alas, no picture...yet!

We're headed to market in a couple weeks, and we're keeping this one under wraps. There's a special promotion at market with a bunch of vendors, and we agreed to participate and make this one a surprise!

But here's some behind the scenes scoop on SPOOKY EYES!! I promise our "orange" secrets are not half as scary as what goes on in that women's prison!

After I did this little Halloween design, I searched for the perfect spooky fabric. I chose a fabric called (very appropriately) EEK! from Picture This Plus. This gorgeous fabric is a muted orange with gray/black streaks running through it - perfect for the spooky season. It looks darker above, because it's wet and hanging out in the dye pots. This hand-dyed fabric company is in my Kansas neighborhood, so it's fun to work with a nearby vendor. 

Here's the fabric after it's overdyed with the dark swirls...hauntingly beautiful!

Now it's hanging on the drying racks. After it's dry, PTP graciously agreed to cut the fabric into individual pieces and serge the edges. The gals at PTP are the best, hardworking, Kansas fabric gals I know! Marilyn (the owner) is a farm wife, but "commutes" to town to run her biz out of an historic building downtown. The fabric dyeing happens in the basement, with an awesome bookstore above her on the main level.

Another fun product I'm including with this kit is some over-dyed pom pom trim. I can't get enough of pom pom trim lately - so darn cute! I ordered up a giant batch of this stuff so I could include it with each kit. It's BLACK, with some purple/dark blue highlights. 

I spent several evenings cutting/bagging pom pom trim into kit-size while watching Orange is the New Black. It's a boring job, but much more enjoyable when I'm diverted by the drama of all those ladies in orange!

Final SNEAK PEEK! Here's the star of the show - SPOOKY EYES -  spending some time in the spotlights and getting photographed. Can you spot it, nestled in the middle of those Halloween props?

Need more ORANGE in your life? Contact your favorite needlework shop and ask them to order SPOOKY EYES for you! Kit includes 28 ct. Eek! linen, black pom pom trim, mother-of-pearl buttons and tiny black buttons, kohl WDW thread, and complete finishing instructions.