Thursday, February 25, 2010

And miles to go before I sleep... (redux)

Here I am taking a picture of myself at market in front of my display. I had a great time, and although I missed probably ten booths that I wanted to get to, I came back with a lot of good stuff (and sent a lot of good stuff home with other shops.) I made sure to eat plenty of fruits and veggies and get lots of sleep at market. Sue and I had a nice weekend together, plus I was able to spend time with lots of my designer and shop owner friends at market -- Lindy, Mona and Mary from The Silver Needle, Linda and Alan from Lizzie Kate, Patti Connor from SamSarah Design Studio, Sharon from Crescent Colours, Cecile and the gang at Just Another Button Company, Jim and family from The Gentle Art...the list goes on. They've all become like an extended family this last thirteen years, and they're one of the reasons I most like going to market.
I have spent the last two days updating the site, wading through my market orders, writing checks, answering the phone...I'll keep hard at it for the next few weeks (this is my busiest time of year.) I also sent a HUGE box of "Libertyville: Home from Sea" (aka part one) to Sharon at Crescent Colours. It's a new auto that will start shipping soon. I've included a picture of it above, so you can see it. Many people at market commented on my two different designing styles (Raise the Roof and my sampler things for Shakespeare's Peddler.) My favorite quote of the weekend was from Niky from Italy. "Oh," she said, "You have changed your style so much. But I loooove it." :) She makes me smile!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

And miles to go before I sleep.

And miles to go before I sleep. Robert Frost repeats that line at the end of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." And I know why. Because when you've got all of that road in front of you, you feel like, ugh, I've got a loooong way to go. I'm running to get my hair cut in twenty minutes, and then I'll be back at the shop packing as many orders as I can to mail before I go. I finished this "Ole Pincushion" at 5:30 this morning (put it in the Zinc Ball Jar lid.) It's CUTE, and I'm printing it now, and it'll be available for purchase at market as a chart (and I'm selling the lids, too.)

And just so you can see some of what designers' lives look like at this time of year, I've included a picture of a portion of what I'm taking to market (there's more. Oh, there's lots more.) Last market, my friend Jennifer helped me pack kits, and while we were doing so, she said, "I never thought about designers sitting at their kitchen table assembling kits. But I guess that's what they must do." Thousands of pages have been assembled, threads have been grouped, paper has been stuck into many-a-plastic-bag. It's tons of details, but come Saturday morning, it'll all be worth the effort. Thanks to those of you who helped make it happen, especially Chris, Mom, Steve, Kathy and Donna.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Plugging along

I leave for market on Friday morning, and am making good headway, thanks to a visit from my mom who dutifully helped me pack orders, kits and charts for a few days here in Hattiesburg. I have lots more to do this week, but I thought I'd show you another one of my market pieces. This is the Antique Locks and Keys Sampler, and is available as a graph AND as a kit with the Picture This Plus 36 ct. linen and Belle Soie (but I've only made about 85 of those...tell your local shop owner to stop by early!)

I finished mine as a heavy-bottom pillow (stuffing in the top -- crushed walnut shells in the bottom, so it sits up.) And I hand-stitched a piece of antique lace on the front, just for fun (the lace does not come in the kit.) This goes with my whole key theme I've got going on at market -- you'll find other pieces with keys, and I'll be selling antique skeleton keys at market, too.

Wish me luck -- I'm working if I'm awake these days. But it's fun work.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heeeeeere's Jane!

I just now finished stretching the Jane Philpott Adam & Eve Sampler here at the shop. Oh my. Oh my! She is beautiful. I am working on printing and packing charts. Shops will be able to buy charts from me at market, or you may pre-order for me to ship to you. Retail price is $25.00. I am not going to be able to put the bead eyes in with the graph...there's just not enough time. If you purchase a retail graph from me, I will send you eye beads free of charge (you just need three!) Let me know what you think -- I think she's wonderful.

My mom is here in Hattiesburg (at the shop, no less), helping me stuff charts and kits. So, I can tell her to "stuff it!" and she will! Isn't that great? Ha! I hope y'all are getting ready for a fabulous market season. The sneak peeks I'm seeing so far are great, and there are always fun surprises at this time of year. Stay warm and happy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jenny Bean's Humble Servant Sampler

It's finished! I'm going to start printing the charts this week. Thank you, Kathy Krause, for doing a quick and lovely job stitching this sampler. I'm very proud of our, I mean, Jenny's efforts. She's so crafty (wink). I was thrilled to get the sampler in the mail yesterday. My kitten, Boo, will miss the empty box at home...she used it for naps.

A lot of the spring needlework that comes out, I think, focuses too much on the Easter egg colors of baby blue, pink, mint green...I wanted a sampler that looked springy, but in an antique kind of way. I've posted a complete supply list on my web site at Shops and consumers may pre-order the graph and/or supplies, including the wooden box by Olde Colonial (or the frame, which is just like the box...except...well, not a box.)

I will be posting more pictures this next week (before I leave for market) of some of my other releases. I've been working hard (pretty much from the time I get up until the time I go to bed). But it's worth it, and I hope you will have fun stitching what I've designed.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Love the Spring

Things are starting to come together for market in two weeks. I'm already starting to print some of the graphs I'll be releasing, and thinking about things like getting invoices put together, which charts to pack, which models, all of that. There are so many little details to think about when getting a market booth put together. The last two times, I managed to forget BAGS, and Just Another Button Co. and Picture This Plus were so helpful by giving me some. I promise not to forget this time. A person could have nightmares about, oh, forgetting the new models, the graphs, having the car break down on the way up. But a person chooses not to worry.

I just finished stitching my new Raise the Roof Designs clothesline this morning (Clean & Green for St. Patrick's Day). It turned out really great, and I'm using a new nest button by Just Another Button Company (among others.) I'll post a picture of that soon, too, even though I know a lot of you are more interested in samplers than silly things.

I'm starting to feel a lot better, thanks to my doctor and going to bed a little earlier at night. It doesn't help that Boo Boo starts walking on my head between 5 and 6 in the morning. Purr. Purr. Nice Lady? Please get up and feed me. Ack!

Oh, hey, if you want to pre-order anything, you can do so through me on my web site, or ask your local shop to be sure to stop by my booth to get the new goodies. Jenny Bean's Humble Servant Sampler is on its way back to me as we speak. I hope to post pictures around the middle of next week. Boo is going to have to give up her latest sleepy spot -- IN the burl wood box the sampler will go in.