Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quick market update...

I'm only giving myself a few minutes here, because I have tons of stuff to scan and put on my site. Market was a blast and hugely successful. Jenny Bean was the talk of the town, and I am going to start designing Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler this week. I think the most flattering thing was how many designers came into my booth to purchase my designs, including Barb and Alma from Blackbird Designs, who each picked up Jenny Bean and her pin tuffet, the Antique Spring Sampler, and MD's Christmas Sampler (among other things). They loved my stuff, and I loved theirs...a mutual admiration society.

I thought I'd include a picture of my sampler display from market. It may not seem like much, but I released my first sampler design just one year ago...so everything you see was created in the space of one year. The other picture is me coming back with a Rogue full of market goodies. Lots of empty space where my designs/charts/kits used to be. I'll be shoveling things out the door this week. Be patient -- remember, there's just one of me. Lots of cool stuff.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sneaky Peeks

Hey all -- I'm making good progress on getting ready for market. I thought I'd give you blog-followers a treat and post four more of my little designs for market. The one on the top is the Jenny Bean Pin Tuffet. The pins are made exclusively for me (shops can buy them from me at market -- customers can order them through my web site). That is available as a chart. The other three are the limited edition kits I came up with last week, start-to-finish. They're being printed today, and I'll be packing the kits tonight. They are: Grandfather's Sleigh (the ornament), Abby Rhodes' Scissor Holder (comes with scissors, too), and Oh the Holly, which I finished with some really COOL upholstery beading I found at Hobby Lobby yesterday.

The edging around the sleigh ornament is some braided leather -- I found some cool leather strips in the jewelry aisle and braided it myself. And I sprayed everything with "Distress It" spray, which makes things look even older/grungier. The kits come with the threads, fabric, pattern and of course the scissors with the scissor holder. I basically made it a stiff pocket, and you tuck the scissors into the upper corner. Super-cool!

Anyway, this week I am printing like a maniac, stuffing things into bags, and generally going crazy. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Here she is...Sarah!

Here's Sarah -- you should be able to click on it to view it larger/see it better. So proud of her -- my friend Kathy did a wonderful job stitching this. She's even way-better in person, of course. Thanks to all of you who have pre-ordered. If you want to pre-order from me, and haven't, I am shipping Sarah and supplies out next week before market. Otherwise, tell your local shop to pick her up at market next week.

I updated my blog, so now everyone should be able to leave comments. I'm still tweaking the format here and there, so thanks for your patience. My three exclusive kits are turning out so neat. They'll be done in time, and I will only have 125 of each. Have your local shop stop by early to make sure they get in on them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Busy weekend -- still getting ready for market

I got quite a bit done this last weekend (thank goodness.) You can see I had help -- Kitty loves it when I'm stitching or working on kits and charts. You can see in front of her an ornament I designed, stitched and (almost) finished on Sunday. It'll be a limited edition kit at market (an ornament by fictitious "Emma," who stitched an ornament with her grandfather's sleigh on it. I designed two other limited edition kits (there will only be 125 of each of these). One is "Abby Rhodes'" scissor fob. It'll come with the red scissors, and is sampler and Beatles-inspired. (Get it? Abby Rhodes?) I'm going to be doing a series of these. I already have a bunch planned out. And I designed and am part-way through stitching "Oh the Holly," with a verse from this great old Irish song and some classic sampler motifs.

Last week when I was packing up Sarah Woodham sampler graphs, I had 11 piles of copies on my table and was one-by-one working my way through packing them into their bags. At one point, the cat leapt up on the table and laid across four of the piles and closed her eyes. Bossy!

Graham had his 13th birthday yesterday, and we had a great time. We gave him money (he's a teenager now), and a few little things. But he had been wearing my grandfather's high school ring around, so I stopped quick at TJ Max and found him a little silver ring with three tiny chip diamonds in it. He was thrilled. He spent the rest of the day gesturing wildly with that hand and making hand poses in front of the mirror. I love this picture of him, because it shows his big hands and his new teenage face. The hands grow first, so you can see him on the edge of manhood with that new silver pinkie ring.

I had to run to the clinic this morning for a double earache (they're not infected, but I am on some medicine to make them feel better.) I went to Target to fill my prescription and found a bunch of great ideas for decorating my booth at market. I'll start taking care of that stuff next week. One thing at a time, and I'll soon be ready.

(P.S. Changed my graphic this morning at the top of the page. I wanted it to be a little less tall, so you could see more of the new post when you log on. Plus, I think it shows what my blog is about. You get to see the needlework, but you get to see what's behind it, too (like the pins holding that sampler in place. This is where I show you my mental pins!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Forced creativity...

Above is a cute note I received in 2008, after I taught cross stitch to three groups of fifth graders (including my son's class.) I got the best thank-you's from all of the kids. One of the cards said, "Thank you for showing me how to cross stitch. I think that this type of art work is awesome." Another said, "Thank-you for teaching us how to cross-stitch. I had fun doing it, too. I hope you become famous." My favorite one was, "Thank you for teaching us how to crosstitch (sic). It is in everyone's hand now that you tought (sic, again) us how to stitch. Sincerely, Kyle."

I went and checked out the TNNA Market Exhibitor Listing and found that I'm supposed to have some limited edition/St. Charles exclusive kits. (I had to write my market description something like six months ago, so you always have to guess what you'll have at market.) So, this weekend, I'm putting together (i.e., designing, stitching, and assembling) these goodies. I have a few great ideas, and just ordered a ton of red scissors from The Nordic Needle up in Fargo. Plan on something sampler-y, and something fobby, and maybe something ornament-y (I am going to try to create three little kits), and I'll post pics. as soon as I can here on the blog.

Wish me luck -- I'm crossing things off on my TNNA show check-list left and right, front and center, up and down, and all around.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ann Hobbs

I wasn't totally happy with the way my printing came out when I published the Ann Hobbs graph. The original is LOVELY -- very delicate motifs and colors and just a fun old English style. I just took a picture here this morning to show everyone, since you may have missed it. Stitching motif samplers is a lot of fun, because you feel like you make progress really quickly as you finish the motifs one-by-one.

You can't even imagine how many photocopies I'm making in preparation for market. I love being able to print here at the shop, although the whoosh-ca-chunk noise may eventually get on my nerves. I'm out of paper again, so I have to head next door to Sam's Club for more. Got a big box of ink yesterday, and lots of envelopes and bags for packing kits and charts. Wish y'all could come over this weekend and help me pack them up. Wouldn't that be fun? I'd totally buy the pizza.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sarah Comparisons

I thought it would be fun to show you the Sarah Woodham Sampler as it is and as it was. On top, you can see the reproduction. The colors are vibrant and clear, and of course all missing stitches are filled in. Below is the same section of the original sampler. You can see some of the holes that are in the original (remember, this one is from 1770!) I had to fill in a lot of stitches on the whole sampler, where they were just missing entirely. You can see the central flower had been outlined with a charcoal grey, but on the original, this is almost gone/invisible.

I absolutely love the colors in this one. And those rabbits (or whatever they are there by the flowers) simply knock me out. I am done with the graphing, now, and will be printing graphs today at the shop. The covers will have to wait until I get the reproduction put in the frame. Needless to say, it will be ready for market.

This weekend was fun, although I did a lot of "work." (I feel guilty calling it that, because stitching and designing hardly SEEMS like work, although it is.) Last night, I pulled out a 15-year-old Prairie Schooler pattern with a birdhouse on it, and a verse (it's one of the Garden Samplers, I believe), and my ring of Sampler Threads, and started stitching it on 40 count natural linen with various colors of over-dyed threads. Will post a picture once I make more progress.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sarah Woodham and other news...

The frame came in today for the Sarah Woodham sampler (the original is pictured above). My model stitcher (and great friend), Kathy, stitched the reproduction in about a month -- it was over 25,000 stitches, and it's gorgeous.

I didn't realize until I got it back that the original is stitched on an unevenweave linen, so although the original is square, the reproduction is taller than it is wide. R&R is dyeing me lots of the Olde Towne Blend in 40 count, and I've got silks hanging at the shop ready for my customers. But first, I've got to stitch in two more words and two little birds that I left off of the chart (the birds were intentional; the words were not.)

Today I finished printing the charts for the Jenny Bean Pin Tuffet, which is a companion piece to the Jenny Bean Halloween Sampler. I used the most adorable Shaker Pin Cusuhion from Sudberry House. I designed, stitched, finished and printed that chart in less than a week. The finishing was a breeze (took about ten minutes). And yes, I did use my hot glue gun. And yes, I did burn myself. Just Another Button Company designed me some exclusive pins to put in this. There are three "Funeral Rose" pins, and a swirl and a checkered circle. All are tea-dyed. I'll post a picture here on the blog soon.

So, now I have to decide which of my old samplers to reproduce next. I know I'll be designing another Jenny Bean sampler, too. Oh, oh, and I've ordered envelopes and will be printing notecards with pictures of samplers from my own collection to sell at market and in the shop.

Since there's always so much to do right around market, I generally don't sleep well. I have been up too, too early all week. I was designing a Noel Pin Garden this morning at 5:30. No rest for the wicked? The weary? Well, not for me, anyway.