Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jingle Time!

We're working like crazy to get Part 2 of our Things Unseen Mystery Sampler ready to ship...but that's not ALL, folks!

We have a couple new things shipping to shops on Dec. 3.  Here's a sneak peek!

Jingle All the Way Kit (K74)
I couldn't resist doing one more Christmas design...the more the merrier, right?  I started with a teeny little elf I graphed, and built the design around him. He doesn't look stressed out...not yet, anyway!

After I stitched the model, I found this gorgeous finishing fabric, and decided to include it with the kit. You'll get the 28 ct. Lugana fabric for stitching (this fabric is a breeze to stitch on), poinsettia finishing fabric for front, striped coordinating fabric for backing (you can see it on pic behind model), 5 jingle bells, 2 little white snowflake buttons, graph and finishing instructions.  Add some bits of floss from your stash, and you're ready to JINGLE!

We're busy cutting, folding, and ironing (yes, ironing!) all the fabrics for this kit. As soon as the printer delivers our pretty color cover, we'll get to work assembling everything. We're hoping to get everything assembled before Thanksgiving holiday, because the turkey is at our house this year! (And can you believe that December begins right after Tday?!)

B50 No Act of Kindness Inspiration Boxer
This is the final winning saying in our Inspiration Sayings contest from earlier this year. This is a classic sentiment attributed to Aesop's Fables. Isn't it timeless? Kit includes 30 ct. natural line, flower button embellishment and BONUS design for the little pillow on the left.

If you want to add any of these new designs to your own Christmas list, let your favorite needlework shop know so they can be sure to order.

It's chaos here at L*K headquarters. We have "officially" outgrown out little home/garage office space. There is stuff everywhere...the shelves and countertops are full, and the floor is getting impassable. Every time we release a new product, we struggle to find a place to store it.

So...BIG news here at L*K...we've rented a little office space near our home. Yes, the commute will be longer - 5 minutes instead of 25 steps - but we are looking forward to our new L*K office. Moving is going to be a huge job, but we think the newly organized and expanded space will be awesome.

And...BONUS...our favorite Italian restaurant is in the same little strip space as us. Anyone want to help us move a little L*K inventory?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mystery mistakes & smart stitcher sleuths!


I got to my computer early this morning with a smile on my face, and a long list of urgent things to do...and I was greeted by a couple emails regarding possible mistakes on the just-released Things Unseen Mystery Sampler - Part One. 

After I resumed breathing, calmed myself and said a prayer of the simple variety "O Lord, help me!" I read the emails. And, of course, these smart stitchers were right!

Yes, even though it's a Mystery Sampler and no one has seen a picture of the completed project, these alert stitchers spotted a couple little errors. Thank goodness they are small, and even if not corrected, would not adversely affect the finished sampler. But, inquiring minds, and stitchers, want to know!

I sent an emergency note to my webmaster, and she posted the corrections on the L*K website. Here they are:

* On the left hand border, the square block stitched in Oscar (next to the word "be") should be 16 stitches (a perfect square) instead of the 12 stitches shown on graph. Refer to the upper left corner block for correct graph. All little "Oscar squares" should be 16 stitches, wherever they appear on the Mystery Sampler.

* The 3rd row contains a row of flowers. On Chart 1 graph, the 1st and 3rd flower straight stitches are incorrectly graphed. They should be stitched like the flowers on stitch illisutration - with all straight stitches pointing towards the center. Refer to the instructions on this stitch illustration for colors for flower petals and flower centers. This correction is only relevant for linen stitchers, not Aida stitchers.

HONESTLY...if I had already finished these little parts, I would not rip them out. I love antique samplers, and they are full of little quirks and inconsistencies. That's what makes them naive, personal and valuable!

WHEW!!! Interestingly enough, my main task for today was to finish the proofing for Part 2. When I called my proofer, Debbie (center in photo) to tell her about the mistakes, she said she was having trouble breathing! I said to "'s just cross stitch". 

This is a running joke between us, because we both truly care about the needlework biz. She is my local needlework shop owner (Heart's Desire in Wichita, KS), and I earn a living as a designer. But years of experience have taught us to do our best, acknowledge that we all make mistakes and roll with it.  Still, uncorrected mistakes can literally make us both gasp!!!

Debbie and I are on our 3rd round of proofing/corrections for Part 2 and we're hopeful to get it right...the first time.

The beautiful Things Unseen Part 2 cover just arrived today! We'll print the insides as soon as proofing is finished, and get to work collating and sacking. When you release these parts every month, the time really flies!

So that's the Mystery update! Many apologies for these little errors, and many thanks to all of you who spotted them.

Tonight's exciting activity? More rick rack cutting for the Part 2 bonus pin pillow. Look out...giant rick rack rolls will be rolling around our floor tonight! If I only had a cat, it would be great entertainment.

We think this little bonus pin pillow is the cutest. I really hope all of you Mystery stitchers enjoy it, too!

Have a great (error-free) week!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Mystery unfolds...

Part 1 of the Things Unseen Mystery Sampler shipped to needlework shops earlier this week!!

Here's a pic from one of Alan's trips to our local post office - it's early morning on the loading dock. We also greeted the UPS man with a smile and a mountain of boxes when he arrived later that afternoon.

Here's our pretty Part 1 Things Unseen cover. Since we used an inspirational saying from Helen Keller, I added some lovely old pictures of Helen. I love the beautiful picture with her smelling the flower. It inspired the new floral thread color we designed for the sampler, Busy Lizzie. The background of the cover is a section of the Part 1 stitching, with some special effects I added on my computer. 

I love designing these covers! I would not be exaggerating to say I tried 100+ ideas before I settled on this one. Choices, I'm working on the cover for Part 2...more choices, of course.

Here's a pic of the Things Unseen Embellishment Pack. This is the first time we've offered an embellishment pack for a mystery sampler, so we wanted to make this really special. We worked with JABCO to create the 2 Helen's Rose buttons (left side). We also included another swirly rosebud button with custom colors from JABCO (lower left).

There are also 5 round mother-of-pearl buttons, and a really special rosy mother-of-pearl heart button. We rounded out the pack with some hand-dyed flower buttons from Hillcreek, and a pinch of iridescent rosy beads (hard to see - I think they slid to the back of pack). 

The embellishment pack will complete the Things Unseen Mystery Sampler, as well as the BONUS design. 

AND...(not to sound like an info-merical here)...we have ONE MORE little surprise to announce. I thought this sampler deserved it's own pin pillow, so I designed a sweet little companion pin pillow. This design will also be included in Part 2. It uses the rose-colored heart-shaped button, and some beads from the embellishment pack. We'll also include a little picture of our finished pin pillow, finishing instructions, and a length of ivory rick-rack to complete your little pillow. (I poked some of my Just Pins from JABCO in my pillow, but these are not included).

Time to start cutting that rick rack for Part 2!