Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mystery Sampler Madness!

Here's the big question we're asking ourselves at L*K headquarters multiple times a day...
"What the heck is going on???"

As in, "why is Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler going CRAZY?" We've done 5 mystery projects before and this one is topping them all...easily...and we're just getting started.

***The demand is making it really hard for our suppliers - and therefore, us - to keep up with orders. If you didn't order before our pre-order deadline on August 10, you may have to wait a few weeks. Some recent orders will not be shipped until October 2 - our Spirit of Christmas Part 2 ship date.

Here's why...everything is HANDMADE! Our fabric, thread and embellishment suppliers are working hard to get you their products, but it all takes time. We had extra inventory (that was adequate based on previous mysteries) on hand after our original shipment, but demand quickly depleted our supplies. 

1. The fabric from PTP is hand-dyed. Here's a pic of our new Heartland fabric on the drying racks. We'll post more soon about the busy ladies at Picture This Plus in Abilene, Kansas. Marilyn will be driving a new shipment to Wichita next week. Meanwhile, she and her staff are working on hundreds more pre-cuts. 

2. The over-dyed threads from Weeks Dye Works are hand-dyed. We visited Miranda and her team last summer and were amazed at the beautiful, intricate business of dyeing fibers. We call and update WDW several times a week on quantities and they're doing their best to keep up, but...we're not their only customers and it's a busy time in the cross stitch biz. 

Every time we get a package from WDW we're thrilled. Then we begin the tedious process of assembling the thread packs. We can turn these around in a day, with a little help from the L*K elves. If threads arrive one day, we're ready to ship the next day. But you gotta get them first!

3. Our buttons from Just Another Button Company (for embellishment pack) are hand-crafted and hand-dyed...you guessed it! We'll also do a blog post soon behind-the-scenes at JABCO. Cecile, Rachel and the gang have been shipping us thousands of beautiful buttons and they're working on thousands more this week. Picture above shows some buttons being dyed and dried.

4. The Spirit of Christmas Needle Nannies are hand-made! I know...this is getting repetitive. Kim and the dotty girls at Zappy Dots make these little magnetic wonders by hand. I can't imagine the stories they have to tell from working with these powerful magnets. We have a host of them ourselves! Who knew the Needle Nannies would be attracted to the metal legs on our work tables?!

***So...long story short...if your favorite needlework supplier tells you she's waiting on a shipment from L*K, she is!!! And...we are waiting on shipments from our suppliers so we can assemble and ship the needlework shops around the world. No worries, though. The Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler will be revealed to everyone, eventually. 

On a different note...Alan and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary over the Labor Day holiday!!!!

We didn't mean to dress alike...but it happened

I know...FORTY! Sounds like such a giant milestone, and I think it is. We summoned our daughters (and L*K namesakes) and their husbands home to spend the weekend with us...chatting, eating and enjoying the little lake in our backyard. We even got a new lake toy - a standup paddle board with pedals. It's easier to balance than the traditional paddle board with an oar.

Alan, Linda, Sarah, Jeff, Ali and Barclay

Saturday night we had dinner at a fabulous farm-to-table blackberry farm near our house, Elderlie Farm. We snapped this pic during the appetizer course on the patio. Then we moved inside for 5 more fabulous locally sourced courses. It was a perfect evening...quiet so you could talk easily, sharing wonderful food and paired wine with our favorite people - our daughters and their spouses.

As sometimes happens when you've been married to someone a VERY long time, Alan and I showed up in matching blue-and-white striped outfits - without planning it. So funny and a little sweet!

After 40 years, I'm still pinching myself for choosing the right life partner. I don't think we "thought it through" as much as many young couples do nowadays. We just went "hey, we love each...let's get married". And figured out the rest of the stuff as it happened over the years...and years...and years!

We're both looking forward to the years ahead...and a little more sleep after the Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler is solved!


  1. So happy for you on all accounts. We will celebrate 42 next month. We check with each other on Sunday mornings. - what's your color today? Otherwise we end up matching too! Great minds think alike. Or some new cross stitch saying - those who are married a long time dress in same colors?!!

  2. Happy Anniversaryand you both look great in blue!

  3. Happy 40th Linda and Alan... and many more!

  4. Thank you all so much for your hard work for this sampler! I am enjoying stitching it so much and I will really look forward to future samplers!