Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just in the Nick of time!

We've got more stitching goodies to put under the tree, or stuff your own stocking (we'll never tell)!

Next week we're releasing our last 2 products of 2012.  I keep a list each year of our new products, as they are released. I just added these last 2 to the list and then did the yearly count!

WHEW! Between all of our different design categories...chartpaks, Snippets, Flip-its, Quick-its, Boxers and Kits...we've released 32 new designs!!! Dear Santa...we've been busy,. AND we've been good!

We think this little kit is a real Christmas gem, and it's aptly named "A Little Christmas". The colors are a muted take on the usual reds and green, and they're beautiful. The traditional design will look good year after year in your Christmas decor. Kit includes fabric, golden heart charm and burgundy beads. We hope you like it as much as we do!

These little stockings are so cute and quick, you've still got time to stitch them! You can see there are 2 stitching options. The personalized one is, perhaps, the fastest personalized stocking EVER!!!  It takes less than an hour to make a little personalized heirloom. Perfect for the grandkids, kids, pets...or even a great gift tag!

We used some little pre-finished stockings from our friends at Adam Original to stitch our stockings. They have a darling, colorful fabric that we love. Both little stockings have an opening up the back side, as well as the top, for easy stitching. You can stitch the back closed later if you choose. You handy sewers can also do your own stocking finishing.

We're shipping these new designs to needlework shops on Monday, Dec. 3. If you NEED these, be sure and let your favorite shop know so they can pre-order enough.

I gotta get back to sacking the A Little Christmas kits and gluing little snowflake embellishments inside the Merry Little Stockings.

Merry Stitching to All!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thoughts of turkey and sad Wildcats!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I'm already in the TURKEY frame of mind. I'm not intentionally thinking "turkey", but it turkeys seem to be multiplying in my kitchen.

Yes, you've seen this one before. I make this edible guy every year for an event at church. He's fun and gets lots of admiring comments...and he keeps in the fridge and makes multiple appearances.  I just de-feather whatever is left on him, wrap him in plastic, and make more "feathers" for his next gig.

And it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without these cupcakes, which also make an annual appearance at my church event. Most of the attendee MOMS take these home to share with their kids...they're really good at sharing...and show more self-restraint than most of us.

Here's my crazy new paper-bag turkey for this year. He looked so deceivingly EASY on Pinterest, but came with alarmingly short instructions. I tried to recreate their beautiful paper Tom, but I'm not sure my turkey makes the "grade-A"!  Whatever...he was a great centerpiece for our football watch party last night. I stuffed him with little zip bags of popcorn and candy corn and garnished him with rosemary sprigs from my still growing bush. 

Want to make your own brown bag bird? Check it out...just realized it was a pin from Martha you really think Ms. Martha created her own brown bag beauty?!?

So here we were, the K-State faithful, gathered at our house Saturday night for a pre-game soup supper. Out football team was ranked #1, we were so hopeful and excited...and yes, even thankful. 

I got to use my new K-State platter, which I just got back from the paint-it-yourself pottery place. Glenna (my craft buddy) and I have both bought Groupon/Coupons and we ran in there the last day to paint before they expired. Glenna had a photo of a similar tray and we tried to recreate it. Neither of us had ever painted pottery before, and we were dismayed that you had to put 3 coats of paint on EVERYTHING! It's hard to stay in the lines 3 times in a row!  But we laughed and really learned a lot. Look out family...there may be hand-painted pottery under the tree this year!

Alas, our beloved Kansas State Wildcats lost to the Baylor Bears!  Their time on the top of the polls was short, but historic. Even our game day kitchen pig put on his sad face!

Friday, November 9, 2012 busy guy!

Every year I design a Santa Snippet...and every year it gets a little more challenging. I think..."what in the world is Santa going to do THIS year?!" 

This morning I'm assembling some Santa Packs. We put these together for the needlework shops so they can easily keep all the L*K Santas in stock...and available for all of you! Each pack includes one of all the previous years Santa Snippets. 

The only Santa NOT in the pack is the current year's Santa. He's busy "unwrapping the joy" in the pic below, all while enjoying a cup of hot cocoa! 

So, what about next year? So far, Santa has appeared in his striped nightshirt, his long underwear and suspenders, and all sorts of variations on the traditional big red coat. He's ice skated, come down the chimney, posed with his animal friends, held a lot of Christmas trees, stars, and of course, gifts!

Christmas is coming next month...yikes...but I'm already thinking about Christmas 2013. I just finished designing and stitching a group of 12 Christmas ornaments for 2013. I can't wait to get them back from my finisher, because it's "magical". I mail them away, and they return a week later looking more beautiful than they left, and exhibiting finishing skills I could never master myself. 

Meanwhile, if you have ideas for next year's Snippet Santa...leave a comment. I'll put it on Santa's list!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Back in the USA!

We're ba-a-a-a-ck! After a whirlwind tour of the south island of New Zealand, we're back in the good ole USA and back to work. Even after a wonderful trip, it sure is good to be home...and just in time for Halloween treats (adore those bite size Twix bars and teeny Reese's)!

I just downloaded hundreds of photos off my camera. I love flowers, and I'm sure there were a hundred photos of gorgeous flowers, ferns, and moss alone. I don't want to bore you with a complete travelogue,  but I'll share a few highlights.

We traveled with our good pals Doug and Vicki. They were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, and we were celebrating our 35th anniversary. Doug and Vicki left 10 days before us and toured the northern island. Then they ferried to the south island and met us at the Christchurch airport with the hilarious signs below! Can you make out the Lizzie*Kate on Vicki's sign? After a long flight, we started our time together with a good laugh!

We got our rental car and took off to see the mountains, beaches, green hillsides, glaciers, sheep, deer, cows and everything else...all while driving on the wrong side of the road! Doug and Alan really did a good job (and that GPS was worth every penny!) and we didn't need to do TOO much back seat driving.

Our last 2 nights on the island, we did a "farm stay" at Pete's Farm. I'd been wanting to do a farm stay, and this really exceeded my expectations. Pete and Gay were amazing hosts and literally shared their house with us. And they took us outside for up close and personal time with their farm animals!

But first, we all put on our gumboots, or Wellingtons. Just in case...

Sheep, sheep and more sheep. This guy was really "ba-a-a-a-a-ing" to welcome us. 

Pete showed us that sheep don't have upper teeth...just lowers...who knew?!

There were also some friendly llamas...check out he smile on the white one. 

Pete asked us if we'd like to see a sheep get a haircut, and we said "yea"...that's New Zealand talk for "yes"! First, the very enthusiastic farm dog has to round up the sheep. He loved his work and never stopped barking while he created a small sheep stampede into the barn. 

Pete chose one lucky, very hairy sheep for a haircut and we posed for his "before" picture. Did you know when sheep sit on their back legs they are pretty much immobilized? Pete just rocked him backwards and with his front legs off the ground, he was ready for his closeup...and his haircut!

Pete used to be a professional sheep shearer, so he did a quick haircut. He repositioned the sheep as he cut and got the wool off in one big, furry piece. I'm not sure which end is up in this photo!

We took a short trip to the family dairy farm and visited some equine friends. I definitely thought the calves were cuter than their adult counterparts. 

And really, they may be youngster cows,  but are they really fooled by this feeding machine?

We arrived in the middle of morning milking time and watched 44 cows simultaneously being milked. They milk 650 cows twice a day! Can you see the lower walkway that runs down the middle? The lucky/unlucky farmer's wife walks in that trough and hooks up all the full-to-bursting ladies to the milking machine. I think the farmer must be a very persuasive person. Can you imagine his proposal...."marry me and you'll get to spend many hours a day on the underside of milk cows?!"  Let's just say...this experience confirmed my aversion to drinking milk!!!

Alas, it was time to leave the farm, but not before another silly photo op!  We are all avid Kansas State fans (we may have listened to an important football game in McDonald's in rural New Zealand), so we did a little KSU (use your imagination) in the field. It's a tradition to do the KSU wherever you are travelling, submit a photo to the alum mag, and hope it will be published. 

As we drove away from the farm, we noticed Pete hanging the laundry with the sheep dog nearby. Now that's a REAL man!