Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day in the life at L*K

What a typical day like in your life? At your job? At home? I love to hear how other people spend their waking hours...just curious, I guess.

I had a BUSY day at L*K yesterday, so decided to "follow myself" around, take some pics and share with all of you. Put on your walking was a busy day!


* I didn't keep an exact time log, but here's how things usually begin. I like to exercise first thing. I don't drink coffee, so exercise wakes me up. In the summer, so many choices...walking, kayaking, biking. Today I took a spin around the 'hood on my bike. **Check out my little bike bell (above). It's just like those ones we had on our childhood bikes, except now mine is an "old lady coming" warning.

With a new neighborhood, lots of nearby places to explore. There are wheat fields about a mile from home. Yea, right next to the Walmart Superstore. I love Kansas!

* Check email. Alan handles most of the correspondence with our shops and customers. He forwards me "stitch-y" questions he can't answer. Here's my little white laminate IKEA table/desk (the kind where you select a table top size and screw on the legs = cheap), looking out at my neighbor's back yard, and lake beyond.

* Check Facebook. I look at the L*K Facebook page, as well as the I Love Stitching Lizzie*Kate Facebook and Lizzie*Kate Mystery Sampler pages. I love to see what everyone is stitching and comment. So many fun and creative people our there in the worldwide stitching community.

* Check blog dashboard. This is where L*K blog comments appear. I have set it up to moderate comments, which means I see and approve them before they are posted. This was an original "setting selection" when my computer savvy daughter Ali set up my blog years ago. I should probably change it, but who knows how?!

* Work on new designs. Yea, this doesn't happen every day...sadly. You would think I spend tons of time designing, but the reality is, I spend most of my time doing other biz stuff. Alan handles the day to day "business" part of L*K, and I'm the "creative" part, but I still do a lot of stuff that is NOT designing.

What's that on my screen? More little sled designs! I have done sets of 3 sled designs (little tree ornaments, or whatever you want to do with them) for the past couple years. These little buggers are quick and fun, stitched on perforated paper (or fabric) and attached to tiny wooden sleds. This year I had so much fun with them, I will be releasing two sets of 3 sled designs this fall.

I'm also working on a new design using a saying from that famous bear muse - Winnie the Pooh. I'm really excited about this one! A former "Pooh-ism" has been super popular, #156 Promise Me. Pooh Bear really is "smarter than the average bear".

Uh oh...I think I'm mixing my "bear" sayings. Can anyone tell me which famous bear originated the phrase "smarter than the average bear"? Leave a COMMENT at end of post with your bear choice. (Youngsters probably won't know this one without Google.)

* Field trip to Heart's Desire, my local needlework shop. I almost always have a list in hand when I head to HD, because I usually have several missions when I visit...proofing, frame selection, deliver an order, buy supplies, browse...just like you. 

 In the design biz, you need to have different projects progressing through different stages constantly, in order to have a continuous flow of new publications. Yesterday I covered a couple of these "stages" at HD.

I've already designed, stitched and photographed all SIX models for this year's Tiny Tidings XXI. I actually LOVE all the little holiday folks I designed this year (more in a future post). I sent all the text files, cross stitch graphs and photo to my graphic designer, Janice. I do some graphic design myself, but Janice does most of the heavy lifting. She's a pro and, BONUS, she cross stitches, which makes her super valuable. Janice takes all that info and turns it into beautiful, informative printer-ready files.


When I get files from Janice, I print and deliver to my proofer, Debbie (owner of Heart's Desire), along with all the actual models. Debbie looks them over, marks them up with red (just like getting your papers graded in school). I go over changes and send them back to Janice for corrections. Sometimes we have several rounds of proofing before everything is submitted in an email to the printer. 

* Pick out frames for new projects while at cross stitch shop. So here are a couple new projects at another stage in development. These are designed and stitched and it's time to select and order frames. Debbie is a whiz at choosing just the right frame. Sometimes we chat so much, it's hard to get our work done. And this day I got home and I had accidentally taken a couple frame corners home with me. OOPS...will return soon.

I'm not one of those "lunch skippers". I never accidentally miss a meal, and don't really relate to people who do. If I miss a meal, I'm well aware of that fact. I usually make lunch at home, and Alan comes home from work to eat. It's very "Donna Reed-ish", I know (minus the pearls). But we really do enjoy eating lunch together. We go out to lunch once a week or so, and one of our favorite hangouts is Pei Wei Asian Diner. It's our "happy place". Love the (giant) Spicy Chicken salad (to share) and their yummy Mandarin Green Tea in a to-go cup for afternoon sipping.

* Field trip to photography studio. Once again, I do some photography myself, but usually rely on my pal, Steve, for the large quantity publications. A picture really is worth a thousands words, and a good quality photo is SO important.

We were shooting a group of small projects for Flora McSample's annual holiday offerings. Flora has designed sets of small stockings the past few years, but this year she did a set of 3 little projects...cushions, pin pillows...whatever you call them, they are vintage cute. Can you spot them in bottom center of the photo?

I hauled in some Christmas decor to Steve's studio and we set up a shot. Those 3 big white things at top of photo are giant diffused lights. You can see the camera mounted on a high tripod looming over the whole setup. We ended up choosing some greenery, a wood bowl, antique brush trees and a darling little set of mini children's Christmas books to accessorize. I love to set up beautiful vignettes, but you can't let the background overwhelm the actual products. 

* Steve and I also re-shot this year's Snippet Santa. No worries...we didn't really "shoot" Santa, we re-photographed him. The printer was having trouble getting the colors on Santa to look right, so we finally gave up, and started over with a new photo. This doesn't happen often, but Santa's coloring looked too "off" to make it through a busy Christmas Eve. Try again.

* Deliver digital photo files to Janice, my graphic designer. After I got a disc from Steve with the photo, I drove to Janice's house. Janice works from home, and can even work on L*K stuff while she's on vacation. Have computer, will work.

I give her the photo file and the actual models so she has them in useful. I have already emailed her all the instructions and graph files. Now she does her magic. Janice and her camera get the credit for all the lovely background photos on chartpak covers. Not the product photos, those beautiful background pics that complete the look.

* Drop in L*K office. On the way to my home office, dropped in official L*K office (about 1.5 miles from home) to chat with Alan about a couple things. We talk/email/text multiple times a day, but I usually drop in L*K world headquarters daily to catch up, bring home some embellishments or projects, etc. 

We realized recently that our temporary L*K sign taped in window had disappeared. I mentioned this to my printer, and magically a decal appeared (pic above). Thanks,'re the best!

Alan has set up an assembling line for upcoming shipment later this week. From left to right, you can see SPOOKED! Mystery Sampler Part Two, 2 new sets of Yearbook Double Flips (July/August, September/October) and A Little Bee kit. The blank spot in middle is reserved for Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful Snippet, which is delivering in the nick of time today. You can see preview pics of all these newbies in the previous blog post.

* Home again to some model STITCHING before dinner. Lots of time in the late afternoon I head to our lower level, watch TV and do some model stitching. Here's my favorite spot on the recliner sofa, my little IKEA cart next to me with stitching supplies and a cool drink, my current project in a basket, magnifier light over my shoulder and remote in my hand. 

I just finished 2 models pictured earlier when I was choosing frames for them at Heart's Desire - A Little Thankful (Thanksgiving "Little" kit) and a new Christmas-y Inspiration Boxer. Now I'm stitching on the BONUS that goes with the Boxer kit. 

This is also my time to watch TV series/movies that Alan might not enjoy. Armed with Netflix and Amazon and my many options, so many stitches. Just finished watching season 1 of Jane the Virgin (quirky and sweet), waiting on more Call the Midwife (PBS), embarassed to admit I watched Heart of Dixie (sadly, all seasons), and currently enjoying Gilmore Girls (which I never watched earlier) and Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (PBS series with lady detective from Australia in the 1920's - great costumes). 

Any suggestions for fun TV series you like? I really enjoy historical/period stuff (especially set outside the US), although the list above might not indicate that. Please leave suggestions as a COMMENT at end of post, along with your "bear" guesses. Or questions/COMMENTS about my crazy day!

WHEW! I'm tired just recapping my day. Time for dinner, hopefully more stitching before bedtime, and some book club reading time.

Thanks for tagging along...I've enjoyed your company!!


  1. Grace & Frankie on Netflix is really great!

  2. Yogi Bear - but I rarely watched that show. I did like Boo Boo. :)

  3. I'm pretty sure Yogi is smarter than the average bear :)

  4. Yogi Bear! And regarding shows, I just finished Army Wives which was great but made me cry a lot. Great show to watch while doing all my patriotic pieces.

  5. Have you watched "Outlander"? Season 2 just finished last Saturday night. It's really good! Was it Yogi bear?

    Terry Darmstatter

  6. Yogi... and his pic-a- nic basket!

    1. Yogi Bear! Midsummer Murders is a good one to watch!

  7. What a pace I am exhausted just reading. So many fun things to look forward too. By the way Yogi bear.

  8. Wow! You have one busy day, I'm tired from just reading it. LOL I spend my day working outside of the home and like you I wake up with my workout. I believe the bear is Yogi. I love the wisdom of that silly ol bear. I only watch TV when I stitch too, I've been watching Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix. I love how bright and airy your living area is. Looking forward to the new upcoming designs.

  9. Yogi is the smarter than average bear. I wonder if you can still watch Yogi and Boo-Boo. I look forward to seeing your upcoming designs especially the Flora and XXI Tiny Tidings.

  10. Yogi Bear...he's "smarter than the average bear"!! And his buddy Boo-boo.

  11. Yogi Bear is "smarter then the average bear!" It was great to watch on Saturday morning cartoons!

  12. Yogi Bear and he had a sidekick (much smaller in size) named Boo-Boo bear. Great cartoons. Wish the grandkids could see them.


  13. Yogi Bear ! Love watching The Walking Dead , Game of Thrones and for oldies , Tenko .

  14. That's a busy day for sure! I'm in between jobs right now so I have been able to stitch a lot. That will be ending soon since I have an interview tomorrow. I'm also an empty nester. Here where I live, 48,000 people, sometimes you find a pasture full of steers behind our modern hospital. It's kind of weird like the wheat field next to Walmart! One question-Do you get to stitch for yourself? Like stitching another designers designs? Love your designs!

  15. Oh, I would keep the moderate comment function going. Spam finds its way onto blog comments also. It's just everywhere, unfortunately.

  16. Thanks for sharing your LK day! And I think Yogi, was "smarter than the average bear"!

  17. Yogi!! I loved Yogi and Boo Boo as a kid. I like Persons of Interest. Very interesting show. Same with Lie to Me.

  18. Love living the Lizzie Kate day! much more interesting than mine....
    the bear is of course, Yogi Bear!

  19. Thank you for sharing! Perhaps you want to look up some old books-- Tao of Pooh and Tia (sp) of Piglet -- as reference? I so love to learn about artists and their creative processes. Just finished Mansfield Park my favorite book of all time! (I might be biased since I'm also married to clergy��). Movie was not very good-- loosely based on the book. I do enjoy watching Bug Bang Theory as well. Thanks again!

  20. Had to be Yogi Bear. Working on My To Do List at the moment. Awaiting the next Pooh saying. Have to say I loved Top Cat as a child. Winnie the Pooh will always be a favourite though

  21. Lol! Great post. Thank you for sharing your day. Oh my goodness! I loved Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo

  22. Your blog has energized me! Yogi Bear, of course :)

  23. Yogi Bear said "I am smarter than the average bear" :) I guess knowing that makes me old lol

  24. Thanks for the"tour"! Looks like a busy but fun day!!
    Yogi bear and BooBoo were some of my favorites as a child!! But I must admit Pooh is my all time favorite!!
    TURN and Band of Brothers are both great historic type series that I have watched several times each. A bit more graphic than some but good none the less. I LOVE the Miss Fisher series!!

  25. Yogi Bear!!! The pickanic basket thief. :)
    I've just finished part I of the mystery sampler and can't wait for part II. This is the first time (of all the samplers I've done) that I am actually stitching on schedule. I love your designs.

  26. Yogi! I actually said Hey BooBoo! to someone last week. What a coincidence.

  27. It's absolutely Yogi!! Saturday morning cartoons. His side kick was boo-boo. I had that bike bell and a totally cool basket too.

  28. What a Day! Yogi, of course (no Boo Boo!)

  29. Yogi Bear!! Our guilty pleasure last summer was Grand Hotel on Netflix. It's all in Spanish with English subtitles...make stitching a little challenging, but like not so classy Downton Abbey done in Spain. Sweet Husband liked it, too!
    Tanya in Houston

  30. Yogi Bear! He and the ranger were always at odds. Thanks for your lovely designs. I really enjoy the scripture ones. The 2 Corinthians one is one of my favorite. Have a great day!

  31. What a great recap of your day! I work in a big corporation, so my day is filled with email, meetings, and hallway discussions - no time to sit on the couch and stitch! Can't wait to see your new patterns and heading to Facebook now to check out the Lizzie Kate groups. Have you watched Outlander? It isn't free, but you can get it as an add-on to Amazon Prime. Beautiful landscapes, costumes, and a great love story set in 17th century Scotland.

  32. Wow you generally have a very busy day. Most days I am out if the house at 5:30 am to water walk at the pool, easier on me and my arthritis. After breakfast I stitch but before I sit down in my comfy chair I set the timer for 1 hour, then when timer goes off I get up and do some housework, yard work etc for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then back to stitching. My hubby is a long haul truck driver and generally gone Monday through Friday. On the weekend we work on our metal art business which we sell at craft fairs. Happy Stitching.. hugs Patty

  33. Yogi Bear of course and Boo Boo always agreed with him.

  34. A wonderful historical/period romance is a 2004 BBC production of North & South. It is a "pride and prejudice" love story by Elizabeth Gaskell (a contempory of Charles Dickens - she wrote for his publication (almost a magazine). It is wonderfully filmed and cast...just a hauntingly beautiful, smoldering love story. Yogi bear is the smarter than average bear.

  35. Yogi bear.......I miss Yogi and Booboo

  36. My bear guess is: Yogi Bear.
    And I have the "Promise Me" all kitted up. Hopefully I will get it stitched in time to give to my DD for a present WHILE she is still in college!!!

    Thank you for designing such FUN DESIGNS!!! WTG!!!

  37. I'd love to know what brand of magnifier light you use.