Friday, December 4, 2015

My great Christmas elf caper!

I love to do crafts!

Yes, I earn my living as a cross stitch designer so I do tons of needle crafts (I still stitch all of my L*K models myself). But sometimes, I just have to try something different and put my hands to work on something new.

And that's where Pinterest...and my crafty co-conspirator, Glenna...take over! Glenna and I get together several times a year - not often enough - and attempt new craft projects. We decide on something we like (usually from Pinterest), gather supplies, and meet in her awesome little "Girls Only" creative haven.

Next to her house, Glenna has a darling little "shed" where creative things happen. Glenna creates beautiful quilts, and all sorts of other lovely, handcrafted things. But when I visit, we usually bust out the glue guns, scissors, and all that. I have limited sewing machine skills, but Glenna has a couple machines in there that make sewing (almost) easy. And sometimes she helps me with pesky sewing tasks.

Here's a pic from INSIDE the little shed. Isn't it darling??? Glenna has been busy collecting lots of things from the past (read: our childhood).Check out the Formica/chrome kitchen table and shiny red vinyl chairs. Everywhere you look there are fun little retro details. I try not to get distracted by all the charm and get to work when I'm invited. You can see the beginnings of our recent caper on the table above.

Our Christmas 2015 mission was to make these "Felt and Pinecone Elves" from Pinterest. We downloaded the free templates, bought beautiful felt (Etsy) and wooden "heads" (Hobby Lobby), rounded up pinecones and lots of glue sticks and we were ready. And then we started to wonder...will our elves be as cute as these guys?

***Note: at the time we started our elves, the pattern download was free. Now they seem to be charging $5. We ordered felt from an Etsy vendor that the pattern maker recommended. Fast and friendly service...and gorgeous colors of felt.

After lots of cutting, sewing (the little pointy hats), and gluing, heads rolling on the floor, eye and mouth markering and scarf's our elf swarm we made that night (below).

And then I got in a sort of elf overdrive mode, and made a bunch more at home!'s a bunch of headless elves waiting on head transplants. Sometimes it was a little tricky to get those pesky elves to stand up straight on their felt-covered cereal box feet. Once the heads were in place, it was surprisingly fun to "get them dressed". I had to choose colors for their mittens and hats, and then tie a little scarf around each neck. I may/may not have obsessed over the elf accessorizing. Everyone loves a properly accessorized elf!

Here's my finished elf army...ready to visit my friends' homes...and help them navigate the busy holiday season. I'm packaging them in groups of 3 so they don't get lonely for elf companionship. These guys are ready to go to work, spreading Christmas cheer and getting to work after the lights go out.

Everyone needs a few elves this time of year...right?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Very Merry Santa is Coming SOON!

I hope all of you had a joy-filled Thanksgiving! We did an un-traditional celebration this year. You know...the "flexible" things you do to accommodate adult children and their busy schedules. And I must say, it was a fabulous holiday weekend, filled with lots of laughter, great conversation and yummy food (of course!).

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, .I want to share with you a quickie, last minute December project we're readying to ship. 

Meet "Very Merry Santa"! Our jolly old elf is merry because he's got a basket full of snowflakes, his hands are full of packages, and there's a plate of warm cookies waiting on him when his Christmas mission is finished.

I've been wanting to do a little "purse" finish, and got this one done just "in the Nick of time!".You can call it a purse, or maybe a pocket. Whatever you call it, it's a fun finish for hanging, filling with some little goodies, or nestling in a bowl of greens, ornaments or other Christmas finery. It's just SO CUTE!!! Can't wait to add him to my holiday decor. The holiday decorating chaos is in full swing at our house...yours, too?

Very Merry Santa Kit includes 28 ct. linen, checked finishing fabric, hand-dyed buttons, French twill stripe ribbon, rusty jingle bell and 2 mother-of-pearl buttons. We're also including complete finishing instructions for your own Very Merry Santa. You supply something Christmas-y to fill your little purse!

Contact your favorite needlework supplier to order NOW! We're sending Very Merry Santa flying out of the L*K office later this week. He's bringing a little holiday joy with him.

We've love for Very Merry Santa to visit your house this Christmas. Add "yourself" to your Christmas shopping list. You've been good...right?!?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


It's not even Thanksgiving, but the elves are in full gear at L*K. We've got a final batch of 2015 designs SHIPPING TODAY from L*K world headquarters (in a little strip mall in scenic Wichita, Kansas).

Coming soon to your favorite needlework shop...

#173 Flora McSample's 2015 Stockings
Our sample girl, Flora, has been busy with 3 more mini stockings to add to your collection. She was inspired by her favorite Christmas carols...lovely! Chartpak includes 3 designs and embellishments for all. These little stockings are companions to #168 Flora's 2014 Stockings and #161 Flora's 2013 Stockings (all picture at

The flurries are flying, and snow is headed your way!

We're so excited about this 3-part mini Flip-it series. It's quick, fun, and you don't have to put it away with your Christmas decorations. For all the snowy details, scroll back to our previous post. It's all there!

F155 Cold Hands - Snow Story Flip-it

F156 Warm Hearts - Snow Story Flip-it

F157 Snow Love - Snow Story Flip-it

Our Snow Story all stitched together for one long snow tale!

K83 A Little Coffee Kit
It's always the right time for a hot cup of coffee, but especially when the weather turns cool! A Little Coffee kit includes 28 ct. Amber linen and tiny "cafe au lait" colored buttons. Pour yourself a cup and start stitching!

B51 Gratitude Inspiration Boxer Kit
Inspiration Boxers have been on a mini-break, but they're back. We have a series of 3 Inspiration Boxers coming for late 2015/early 2016. Gratitude Boxer includes 30 ct. Lambswool line, embellishment and super sweet BONUS design.

Finally, I wanted to share a pic of the BONUS project that comes with the Gratitude Inspiration Boxer. I love designing and stitching these little bonus designs, and this is one of my favorites! I stitched on a scrap of Weeks Dye Works 32 ct. Seafoam linen, but you can stitch on anything you like. It's so sweet and cute, it's occupying a corner of my desk right now. 

That's it for 2015...or is it? I thought it was until I had a brainstorm last week for a "Last minute Christmas" kit. I designed and stitched it, and now I'm waiting for embellishments to arrive and hunting down cool finishing supplies. Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

SNOW in the forecast at L*K!

I's not even Halloween yet...but my mind is on SNOW! In fact, my little L*K desk and the L*K warehouse is covered in snowy goodness right now. We probably won't "dig out" from the snow for a couple months, if my forecast is accurate.

We're excited to preview our next Flip-it series...SNOW STORY!!!

It seems like no one can get enough snowmen, or snowflakes, or SNOW anything, so we're doing a 3-part series dedicated to our favorite frozen meteorological phenomenon - SNOW! It's a little snow-y story told in 3 parts, which can be stitched individually, or combined to tell one long SNOW STORY.

SNOW STORY isn't a Christmas design, but it can definitely be displayed over the holidays. The fun part don't have to put Snow Story away with your holiday gear. SNOW STORY is perfect for snowy winter displays after the holidays.

The individual SNOW STORY models are finished flat and attached to snowflake cutouts from Hobby Lobby. We chose 3 different wood snowflake cutouts, and painted them an icy white. We'll have complete finishing instructions available at These little flakes are so charming...I love this creative finish!

Here's a pic I snapped at my Hobby Lobby. Each package contains 3 snowflake cutouts - assorted one each of 3 styles. They're about 10" wide. SKU (inventory number by bar code) is 5434253. Set of 3 is regularly $5.99, but use your Hobby Lobby 40% coupon, or wait for them to go on sale (if you have the patience). Find these darling little flakes in the Christmas crafts section

****As always, you can finish like our models, or do your own snow-inspired finishing. We framed our big SNOW STORY model with a navy/white frame combo...perfect icy touch!

F155 Cold Hands SNOW STORY Flip-it

F156 Warm Hearts SNOW STORY Flip-it

F157 Snow Love SNOW STORY Flip-it

We stitched on icy "Storm" overdyed linen from Picture This Plus. We used 28 ct. Storm for the 3 individual models and 32 ct. Storm for the combined model. "Storm" is a gorgeous medium blue-gray color. I don't think the pics really show how pretty it is. You can choose your favorite fabric, too - just make sure it's dark enough for the SNOW to show up! 

Stitch for the entire SNOW STORY is 229W x 33H. Individual stitch counts are F155 Cold Hands 82W x 33H, F156 Warm Hearts 73W x 33H, F157 Snow Love 73W x 33H.

Our SNOW STORY thread list is short and easy: Weeks Dye Works clockwork, deep sea, seaglass, and whitewash (3 skeins of snow goodness!). These Flip-its really stitch up quickly because the color palette is easy. Each SNOW STORY Flip-it also comes with 2 hand-dyed blue buttons. 

***DISCLAIMER: I stitched SNOW STORY while I was recovering from knee replacement surgery. I thought I was paying attention and fully present...but oh my! I discovered all sorts of funky little stitching mistakes later (some quite interesting - like reversing motifs!). Thank goodness for Photoshop editing. I was clearly "one snowball short of a snowman"...and didn't know it!

Ready for SNOW?? We're in full SNOW preparatory gear at L*K headquarters. The flakes are flying and we're almost ready to send SNOW STORY your way soon!

We'll be shipping to fabulous needlework shops around the world on Tuesday, Nov. 11

There's a SNOW STORY storm coming your way soon. Better get your needle and thread might get "snowed in"!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Time for "thankful" stitching

Halloween stitching is winding down, and now it's time for one of my favorite holidays...Thanksgiving!

Tday is often overlooked as we rush towards Christmas, but it's already on my mind. You know the "motherly" thoughts...what family will be home, where will we eat, who will bring what, and all that!

I don't do Thanksgiving designs every year, but I did one this year. S124 Grateful, Thankful, Blessed

I had the best time designing and stitching this little ode to autumn and thankfulness. I pulled every imaginable fall-ish color of floss from my stash for the leaves, and ended up with a beautiful color palette. Hey...I don't know if there really are any blue/gray or blue/green leaves, but they sure look pretty with the traditional leaf colors. It's a quick stitch, but you'll display it for many years to come. 

There are lots more Thanksgiving designs on the L*K website.We've counted our blessings a lot fo/ time over the past 20 years!

Here are a few of my favorites:

#010 Come with Thankful Hearts - one of my original 20 designs that I took to market my first year.

F44 November Stamp - comes with tiny burgundy buttons

Q06 Sampling Thanksgiving - comes with tiny golden apple charm

120 Pair O Pilgrims - patterns for 2 standups and complete finishing instructions.

F32 November Blocks - comes with tiny golden acorn charm

Happy Thankful Stitching, everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Hippie Dippy 60th Birthday Party!!!

I turned 60 a couple days ago...Happy Belated Birthday to me!!!

I'd been wondering how to celebrate, and finally settled on a combined joint birthday party (with my husband, Alan, who turned 60 this past June) and an Open House. We invited our pals to drop in, see our new "pad", and celebrate with us.

We decided on a "Hippie" theme, since we grew up in the 60s and 70s. Groovy, right?

The "dippy" part of the invitation referred to the food. I invited guests to bring their favorite dips (the kind you eat, not your date). I love dips of all kinds! I also made Alan's favorite food - sloppy joes - and updated them by doing sloppy joe sliders with yummy Hawaiian rolls.

I encouraged/invited guests to wear hippie clothing, and told my family they HAD to wear some groovy hippie threads for the big night. And here's what went down...from left to right....

Husband, Alan, ordered a giant Afro wig that I vetoed, but he wore anyway (sigh). Ali (oldest daughter) wore a vintage mumu from her friend's grandmother's closet. She did a leather headband, and looked very "flower child" to me (and I would know...I lived through the 60s!).  She also crafted a little fringed leather collar for her dog, Henry. That's me in the middle with my love beads and John Lennon rose-colored glasses. Sarah (youngest daughter) is wearing my friend's vintage dress from the 60s. It reminds me of something Twiggy used to wear - so authentic it makes me think of middle school. Son-in-law, Jeff, was rocking the love beads, glasses and some giant bell bottoms!

We greeted everyone at the door and handed out funky love beads to get them in the hippie groove. 

And guess what...some other hippies showed up at our party, too! This groovy couple was practically unrecognizable to me!  Jean (left) is usually in conservative banker clothes...but who knew about her inner hippie? I'm still finding strands of her luscious blond hair around the house. Her husband, Dennis, is always hilarious, but his "tattoo sleeves" were a real hoot.

These flower children were also a big transformation from our usual longtime friends, Steve and Saundra. It was hard to tell who was hiding under all the punk hair and heavy beard. Their sparkly glasses were definitely very "Elton John-ish".

The ladies below won the prize for coming the farthest, for a non-relative (my daughter and husband came from Chicago). Look familiar? It's Lindy and Mona from The Silver Needle in Tulsa. Thanks for making the long trek to/fro Ta-town on a Saturday night.

Here are some other hippies enjoying their dippies in our living room. 

And a few more hipsters hanging out in our sunroom. Check out the open windows...the October weather is gorgeous. I just love having my birthday in October, because I never know what the weather will bring.

Alas, all groovy parties must come to an end. So we ended with a "selfie"(below). Clearly "selfies" weren't around in the 60s, but they're sure a part of life now, and so much fun.  

Thanks, everyone, for making our 60th birthdays a really groovy affair! It's back to daily life, so we're trading in our John Lennon specs for our "readers" and our platform shoes for comfy, sensible shoes!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Little broom tutorial

Here's a fun, quick, FREE tutorial for making mini-brooms...just in time for great Halloween finishing!

My finisher extraordinaire, Mona, just posted these instructions to her fabulous finishing blog. She did the darling finish for me on our Limited Edition Halloweenie Kit K82 (more about this kit later in post), and used this tiny broom.

I immediately asked her where she sourced the teeny broom, and she told me she made it! Of course, Mona made it! It would never occur to me to craft a bitty broom, but it is the perfect accent to a host of Halloween projects. And it's so quick and easy, I think I could manage it myself.

Sadly, Mona declined to make me 1,000+ brooms to put in the L*K Halloweenie kits, but graciously offered to post the DIY broom instructions.

See the mini broom above on my Halloweenie Limited Edition Kit...darlng! This little broom would be super cute on a host of other L*K Halloween projects. would be adorable on other designers' Halloween projects, go for it! 

And check out the broom-let on our Why yes, I CAN drive a stick! (Snippet S123). This little Snippet is "flying" out the door at L*K. There are lots of darling fabric choices and finishes for this project on the I Love Stitching Lizzie Kate Facebook page...check it out and be inspired. Everyone is choosing colorful, funky fabrics and having a ball with this one.

Back to those Limited Edition Halloweenie kits...we are running low, and anticipate selling out before Halloween 2015. If you need these 2 little projects in your Halloween repertoire, let you favorite needlework supplier know ASAP. That darling dotted finishing fabric is in short supply, and the end is in sight at L*K headquarters (we won't be seeing "dots" for much longer).

Thanks again, Mona, for making the world a more beautiful little broom and one creative finish at a time!

SNEAK PEEK: Mona has out-done herself with a "flake-y" finish on our upcoming "Snow Story" Flip-it series. Stay tuned for all the snowy details coming soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

L*K Office Tour!

It's still a "work in progress", but I thought you might like to see my new home office space. I had to wait until afternoon to take photos, because this room has bright east sunshine in the morning. Here's the view out my east office window. We're on a little cul-de-sac on an inlet of the main "Kansas-sized" lake. The "big" lake is around the corner to the left.

I thrive on bright (stitching) light and well lit rooms, so this office space works well for me. We have lots of windows all over our new house, so we can enjoy the lake and woodsy views. I chose a cheerful pale green for my office walls. The color is called "Dune Grass", so it furthers my personal delusion that I'm living at the beach.'s the thing. I designed our new house to look "coastal". I have the delusion that we are living at a beach somewhere on a lovely coast, but really we're living on an old sandpit lake in the middle of Kansas! I want my new house to look like an old house on a beach somewhere. Hey, whatever floats your boat - a little "coastal" humor.

My home office is tucked behind the kitchen and dining room in a spare bedroom. As I walk in I see this sweet little display of some of my favorite old things...globes and pastel pottery on a bookcase I bought years ago at a junk store. There's also an old DMC wood box on the top shelf. On the bottom shelf are some "vintage" pics of Lizzie and Kate that went with us to market many years ago. I "found" these old pics during our recent move...amazing what you "find" when you move!

As you look to the left, you'll see my new IKEA desk, looking much neater than usual for this photo op. I downsized my desk from my former office. So far this IKEA setup is working really well. I bought 2 flat white laminate tops that come in lots of sizes, then screwed on the legs. On top of the main desk you can catch glimpses of some upcoming designs...the new "yet unnamed" Flip-it series that's all about SNOW, 3 little Flora McSample mini stockings, "A Little Coffee" kit, and a new Inspiration Boxer.

As I sit at my computer, here's my view out the north window. I see my neighbor's lovely backyard, and bit of the lake beyond. My teeny desk calendar tries to keep me on schedule (OK, it looked bigger in the picture when I ordered it). I just made myself a little moss terrarium - we'll see if it thrives. The bowl of old marbles was another "find" when we moved. I found this stash of old glass marbles in an old purse from Alan's grandmother...who knew...and why was her purse full of marbles? Whatever, I love them!

Did you see my "ort" lamp on my desk? It's one of those fillable lamps and I've stashed it with colorful orts (bits of leftover threads). Ah...the many lamps I could have filled if I had found this sooner. It's sort of like the "ghosts of projects past" inside that lamp!

Behind my desk is my IKEA cube credenza (so glad IKEA finally came to Kansas City). Behind those doors and drawers are tons of threads, printer paper, you name's hidden in there. But the real star on this wall is the giant pink sprinkled donut painting!  Our daughter, Sarah, did this custom artwork for my office. It makes me smile every time I glimpse it, and it really brightens the whole room. Sarah teaches high school art near downtown Chicago (shout out to Ms. Wain and her fabulous art students).

Check out the funky pink globe on the right (above). My son-in-law, Jeff, brought this to their marriage, and it somehow ended up at my house...hmmmm. (Not everyone has room for a pink globe in their decor!).

In the nearby corner is an old child's desk I've had for years. This desk has lived in so many different rooms of my house, but I always find a place for sweet. Right now it's displaying the 3 BONUS projects from our current "A Little Mystery" Sampler. Under the drape is the model for "A Little Mystery". We shipped Part 3 (the final part) of "A Little Mystery" earlier this week, but I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone.

On the remaining wall is the real "star" of the CLOSET! Instead of clothes rods, I had the carpenters build shelves in my closet. It's crammed full of threads, fabric, and every kind of cross stitch supply imaginable. The tricky part is remembering where I put stuff in there when I hastily unpacked.

On the left (above), you can see the doorway that leads to my little office. Beyond is our sunny dining room with a few of my happy plants.

Finally, here's the office bath. I like to think of it as the "executive washroom". The office was originally a guest bedroom, so hence the private bath. I found a bright shower curtain at World Market that coordinated with my coral walls. I furthered my "old house" delusion by adding beadboard walls, tilting mirror with glass shelf underneath, pedestal sink and hexagonal black/white tile floor. I love the little floor flowers! 

Last, but not least, here's my office light fixture. I think of it as "Jetsons meet the Brady Bunch". It doesn't really match anything else, but I just saw it and loved it, so...

Thanks for joining me on the official Lizzie*Kate new office tour. If you have any ideas/suggestions for the L*K office, please let me know. I'm anxious to add more artwork, more plants, and surround myself with more "happy" things. Meanwhile...back to work!