Monday, August 27, 2012

Spooky Part 3, OR so long, summer!

If we're shipping Part 3 of the Very Scary Mystery Sampler, I guess the summer must be almost over! When we agreed to the project, shipping 3 parts in 3 months didn't seems that demanding. But, thanks to your awesome response, it's been a BIG job!

Below are the boxes fresh from the printer...actually printerS (plural). We use one printer to do the black/white stuff on the left, and we selected a couple new colors of the pretty parchment paper. Another local printer does the color cover work for us, in the box on the right.

Those boxes may not look intimidating, but it was a BUSY weekend getting them collated, assembled and sacked into the beautiful bins you see in the pic below...and that wasn't everything. In order to beat monotony, we set up tables in our family room and watched some movies. 

Has anyone seen the Hatfields and McCoy's mini-series on the History channel? That's one of the things we watched while we were sacking.'s a wonder anyone lived to tell the story with all those gun-toting guys. Who knew the whole thing started over a pig?! Kevin Costner starred in the series, and even though he was really grizzly and a hillbilly to boot, he made the sacking go a little smoother and put a smile on my face.

Alan put Part 3 into big boxes and the always friendly UPS guy had to use his dolly for this shipment. We ran out of sacks (oops) and had to finish shipping on the following 2 days.'s a genuine needlework emergency when you run out of 6" x 9" sacks. Thank goodness for overnight shipping!

If you're waiting for Part 3 to complete your Very Scary Sampler, or just waiting to see Part 3 before you begin, just hang on a little longer!  It's COMING!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Henry's Dog-Gone Party

We've been keeping our adorable grand-dog, Henry, for the past 17 months (not that we're counting). During this time, Henry has become a big part of our family and needlework biz. He comes to work with us every day in the L*K office...

after he reads the morning paper with Alan...

He cheers on our favorite teams...

and he hangs out with our friends!

But, alas, it's time for Henry to return to KC and take up residence in our daughter Ali's new loft. Henry has made alot of friends during his stay in Wichita, so we invited a bunch of his "people friends" to our house for a Dog-Gone Party! I had a good time making this little invite on my computer. In case you can't read the fine print, is says to "COME on over, SIT a bit, STAY and chat, and get a TREAT". So after the invites were mailed, I needed to make  some dog-themed treats!

My creative guru friend Glenna came over to help me decorate sugar cookies. I baked the cutout cookies in dog-friendly shapes...bones, dog houses, fire hydrants and pawprints. We found a cute photo on Etsy of some doggy cookies we used as a guide, and we got to work. Glenna did the hard part...mixed up all the colored frostings, put it in pastry bags and bottles, and reminded me how to frost cookies. Lots of messy fingers and laughs later, we had some dog-gone beautiful cookies!

When the big night came, I crowded the table with everything doggy I could find. We had a couple giant bowls of puppy chow, which I personally find absolutely irresistible. Hmm...maybe I should go grab a handful of the leftovers right now?! I served it in NEW doggie bowls from the dollar store, which were really cute and cheap! I also baked some really yummy gingerbread bones, which looked a lot like real doggie treats.

We also ate a lot of tiny hot dogs, I mean Pigs in a Blanket! 

Henry had a fabulous time partying with his friends....the very young (Ellie was clever enough to keep her chips out of Henry's reach)....

and the slightly older crowd.

In the end, it all comes down to FAMILY, doesn't it? Here is my favorite pic of 4 generations of our family. From left, me, daughter Ali, my Mom, and Henry with his tuxedo tie in the middle. Henry, you're "movin' on up", but there's always a home for you here in Ta Town!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bring on the Belles!

It's been one of THOSE weeks! A zillion things on my calendar, I'm running to and fro, and somehow fitting urgent work in the oddly timed spaces in between!

And still, it's been a great, productive week! At L*K, we're busy readying for next week's BIG holiday product release. The piles of inventory are getting larger and I'll be setting up our little assembly line to pack orders later this afternoon. Can you spot the upcoming products? That's a tower of Boxers in the back, chartpaks in the middle and embellishment packs for Tiny Tidings XVII and Santa '12 in front.

I'm definitely not taking any pics of the new products cluttering our family room and kitchen. Assembly happens and it's not always pretty! There's a lot of back and forth between the house and the office. 

Yesterday I visited the printer to do a final press check on the 6 Snow Belles. Here's a pic of the happy printer showing the whole press sheet. I'm fortunate to have the same pressman on most of my jobs, and he says I'm the only one who takes his picture! Look closely and you can see all 6 Snow Belles, and their matching bookmarks running across the top of the press sheet. Today the Belles are chillin' out in the bindery, getting cut (ouch) and folded (oh!) and stacked into boxes. I'm expecting a late afternoon delivery!

Here's a closeup of the Belle's border and logo. I added a lacy border top and bottom on all the Snow Belle designs, just so you can tell the guys from the gals at a glance!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I think we've got a bit of SNOW in our weekend plans!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lizzie to the rescue!!!

In our July 20 post we talked about the mysterious "missing" freebies in the recently released Part 2 of the Very Scary Mystery Sampler. DON"T panic!  We solved our own little "mystery" and fixed the situation before it got to shops and all of you!

Way back in 1996 when I began Lizzie*Kate (and named it after our daughters), we kept the kids busy with L*K assembly. I remember that very first summer, recruiting the neighborhood kids to sack charts and donating money to their little clubhouse fund. Then they got older, and L*K grew, and...hmmmm....we're still sacking those charts! Sarah "Lizzie" and Ali"Kate" grew up and moved away - darn! The pic above shows the girls in our old back room - hard to believe that every chart had it's own big box back then...and all we had was chartpaks (no Snippets, Flip-its, Quick-its and all that)!

So when I realized we had a bonafide "cross stitch emergency" on our hands last week, I called Sarah "Lizzie" to rescue us. The giant boxes of charts were arriving at Norden in Chicago, and conveniently, Sarah and husband Jeff moved to the windy city 3 weeks ago!

Sarah made the 45 minute drive to Schaumburg to pick up the charts and freebies (I shipped them as soon as I realized the omission) and took them home to reassemble. Her normally semi-social cat Penny took a real interest in this new activity. She usually restricts her artistic endeavors to walking through Sarah's still-wet old paints. 

Many hours and lots of driving time later...mission accomplished! Here's a pic of Sarah and Katy Fong at Norden, smiling after we averted disaster. Check out the bins of corrected charts and beautiful carrot linen behind them. It's hard to remember, but many years ago Sarah and Katy were some of the "kids" running around Needlework Market, trying to help in their parent's booths.

Here's a cute pic I took at my LNS, Heart's Desire in Wichita. I told Debbie she could display the finished model, if she was able to securely hide the unreleased portions. She concocted this little display on her checkout counter, posting brown paper over the mystery parts with the ominous message..."To the person who dares to have been warned!"  Debbie hasn't caught anyone peeking under the brown paper...yet. Today she should receive Part 2 in the mail...time to unveil a little more!