Thanks, everyone for your concern.
Since the end of August when I was recuperating from several biopsies and surgery, I have been coping with changes in my body chemistry, which resulted in the undoing of my mental health medications. I suffer from general anxiety disorder, including intrusive thinking, and some obsessive/compulsive tendencies. These have been controlled for years by medication (and I've done my time in therapy.) When my iron levels shot back up, and my metabolism kicked back in, I was a nervous wreck and, frankly, spent a lot of time in bed.
I've been working closely with my sweet and gentle psychiatrist, and am finally able to face the computer and work again. I had really gotten to the point where I would just sit down at my computer some days and stare at it, unable to do any work at all. I wasn't stitching at all. A combination of four different medications now means that I can sleep properly, function much better, and can face the things that I need to do and want to do.
I used to be able to juggle a shop and an online store and design under two different companies, and I think that has really gotten to be too much for me to handle. My shop has closed, and I am scaling way back on my online store in order to spend more time designing and stitching samplers and working on other creative endeavors. I probably won't be doing much more designing for Raise the Roof Designs anymore -- look for the "odd" chart now and then. The back catalog will (mostly) still be available for Raise the Roof and Shakespeare's Peddler, too.
One of the things I started dreading about designing was the idea that I had to try to fit my designs in a box. Some shops refuse to carry designers' graphs if they use certain thread or fabric companies' supplies. There's also that added pressure of what will sell ... August? Better be putting out some Halloween things. Is this sampler too big? Too small? Too many colors of thread? Will it fit on a fat quarter?
I've had some grand ideas for designs that I have continued to put off, knowing they wouldn't fit someone's criteria for what makes a good/sellable design. And I think designers, as the cross stitch world has gotten smaller, have felt more beholden to the opinions of the outspoken. That's robbed us all, I think, of the grandest things a designer can create.
This week, I am starting work on some of those dream designs of mine. I'm not going to be using anything discontinued in terms of supplies, and will continue to do conversions on the charts to other thread lines. I hope you like them. I know that I will. And I feel really good about moving forward and being my most creative.
Please check out my clearance on my Etsy shop: Letters Great & Small. Anything marked CLEARANCE is 15-85% off the regular retail price. None of my designs are on sale, except for some discontinued Raise the Roof charts. Everything is limited to what is in stock. I have more in storage that I will add as things disappear. It will be great to start the new year with clear space and a clear mind.
Thanks so much to those of you who have stuck with me the last (almost) 18 years. I still value you as sisters in stitches, and continue to appreciate what you give me -- business, advice, support, inspiration, and the chance to be doing something so fulfilling.