Here's what's been happening as we near our big day:
Two weeks ago we received 3 giant boxes from the colorful folks at Weeks Dye Works. My photo is blurry, the boxes look less than perfect, but the threads arrived in perfect condition. They're sorted by color with 100 thread skeins per bag, bundled in neat little packs of 10...which we then proceed to take apart!
We unloaded the boxes and sorted the lovely threads all over the basement floor - office is too crowded. As we have watched the piles diminish the last couple weeks, we know we're almost finished making thread packs...whew.
We set up thread assembly stations at both the office and at home. Our helper, Carmen, found a clever new way to get those pesky threads into the zip bag. After literally thousands of thread packs with previous mystery samplers, we've improved the process...slightly. There's just no super speedy way to get the job done. It requires time and a good TV series/lots of movies!
Here's Alan on a typical evening in the basement. I'm sitting on the nearby sofa stitching on a model...of course.
We filled a nice pile of plastic totes (the ones that hold inventory for Nashville Market every year), and toted the totes to the L*K office.
Last Friday Alan traveled to nearby Abilene, Kansas to pick up a car-FULL of fabric from Picture This Plus. Marilyn and the gang had packed and neatly labeled the boxes of 28 and 32 ct. Ale linen, and 14 and 16 ct. Ale Aida.
The PTP ladies cut, serge and individually label and package each piece of linen and Aida. I don't think we could handle this process at our crowded office. We appreciate this extra service so much, and so do the needlework shops. NOTE: these fabrics may appear darker in these pics than in person.
After all the invoices have been typed, we're finally ready to pack SPOOKED! Mystery Sampler orders...yes! We set up an assembly line on our shipping table. From right to left...SPOOKED! Part 1 charts, 4 kinds of fabric, embellishment packs, and the order invoices. Where are the thread packs? They're on the right, just out of sight on the pic.
And here's the happy packer...Mr. L*K himself, Alan. This is how he spent most of the weekend, and many hours to go, I'm sure. Sitting on the near side of the packing table (bottom of below pic) are pulled orders. Each one of those boxes - or sometimes more than one box - represents a shop order. We accumulate several pulled orders, then stop and box them.
Alan loves the satisfaction of a "well-packed box". It's kind of a "thing" when you do a lot of shipping. A well packed box is when you choose the perfect size of box (not too big/not too small - on the first try) and everything fits neatly inside for happy shipping.
After all the boxes are packed, we begin labeling using online postage from the US Postal Service. Even though we save addresses for our regular customers, it will take most of a day to complete labels.
We ship the cheapest method possible, and nowadays that's usually USPS. Just a few years ago, we had a close relationship with the UPS man with a daily pickup. Now, we see him occasionally. But...surprise, surprise...he also delivers to our new house, so we still get the occasional "how ya doin'?". We'll put the super big shop orders in UPS boxes. International accounts advise us on their preferred shipping method.
I had better get back to packing. There's a deadline in a couple days, 'ya know!!!
But before I go, I want to tell all of you a giant THANK YOU!!!
THANK YOU for joining us on our summer mystery adventure (whether you pre-ordered or join the party later), THANK YOU for reading these blog posts, THANK YOU for your comments and encouraging notes, and THANK YOU for being loyal L*K stitchers and making this job a reality for us!
Let's have some FUN!!!
****I keep getting Facebook comments, blog comments, emails, etc...asking where to order SPOOKED! It's easy...just order from your usual needlework supplier. Lots of stitchers don't have local shops anymore (sad), so rely on shipping from shops around the country. You're not alone, if you're in this boat! But don't let yourself sink...there are tons of great shops out there who would love your mail order business. You can find a list of shops on the L*K website. Just click on the Info for Stitchers button. Many of these shops will be happy to mail you. Some have online ordering, some you will have to contact by phone or email. Hopefully you will find an awesome needlework supplier that can help with all of your urgent cross stitch needs!