Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Post Market Report

We didn't take many pictures (we were so busy), and then the few I had of me, I look so dreadful and tired. I found this one of my booth, and by making it black and white and stepping it back a bit, I don't look too awful.

I am exhausted! You people have no idea how much work it is getting ready for market, and I am so much more than pleased to do it for you. The previous eight weeks or so have been almost nothing but needlework...designing, stitching, framing, graphing, printing, packing, kitting. And I had eight new designs (between Shakespeare's Peddler and Raise the Roof Designs) and a t-shirt project (see below.) I missed having Sue along with me this time, but Harrison stepped in and stepped up to the challenge, packing orders like a pro.

And the cool thing about having Harrison there (see him above in his nifty Jenny Bean T-shirt), was that he got to see first-hand what I do when I go away twice a year. And the distributors and other designers said, "Your mom is so awesome," and "Did you have any idea how hard she works?" and "Your mom is super-talented." It made me feel good, and Harrison was proud enough that when we got back home, I got a big hug.

I just finished updating my web site's Theresa's Basket section with almost 100 new things that I brought back with me. Others are forth-coming. Since I wasn't able to start leaving the booth until later on Saturday, I missed some items that were really popular.

I also have a few other designers who have been invited to join in on the Jenny Bean & Friends club...won't post names until I know for sure, but they all gave me a tentative "yes." Lizzie Kate, SamSarah Designs, Primitive Needle and Chessie & Me all said their Jenny Bean Friends charts did well, and there are other samplers already planned in the series.

I want to give a huge thanks to all of you who attended market...shops, designers, distributors and the like. It's wonderful to see everyone, and the weekend always goes by so quickly. TNNA has asked me to teach at the Nashville show, which ought to be cool. I'm not going to even think about designing stuff for that and my retreats next year until ... oh, gosh, I don't know when. I can't even think straight anymore.

I am not needleworked-out, but I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home with a cat on my lap (while I nap? Please, while I nap!)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

St. Charles Market Post

I was up at 5:30 -- there are always a hundred things running through my head during this time of year, and it's just as well to get up and get a few things done.

Market so far has been awesome! Everyone has been loving the new Jenny Bean Sampler, especially, and my This is Christmas piece I designed for Raise the Roof Designs. Also, there has been loads of enthusiasm about Jenny Bean's friends. Linda from Chessie & Me, Patti from SamSarah Design Studio and Linda from Lizzie*Kate have all already said their friends are going to design more samplers. Yesterday I talked to Amy from AB Designs, and she is interested in joining the group, too.

Yesterday morning I was up early, showered, had breakfast, and worked on getting the booth finished up. I had a line outside my door before market opened, and I thought, "Gee, I was never this popular in school. You like me. You really like me." Harrison described the first four hours as "intense." He worked on getting orders packed into bags, and did a great job. By the end of the day, he said he knew the inventory like the back of his hand, and had even done some rearranging for better efficiency.

We went to historic Main Street St. Charles and had dinner at a place called "Quintessential." It was a hip bar & grill where we were able to eat dinner on the roof and listen to live music. We both had this really great chicken dish. We thought it was your typical chicken breast with sides, but it turned out to be three small chicken breasts on a tri-sectioned plate. Each one was done in a different style: one jerk with pineapple salsa, one with black beans and cilantro, and one with a curry rice. Yum! After such a long day, we opted for dessert -- he had cheesecake, and I had an apple galette.

I always like to rearrange the booth a little bit on Sunday, because people see things they missed the first day. I'll go grab breakfast, and get ready for another big day. Market always gets me so rejuvenated. All the weeks/months of preparation have been worth it.

I'll post again later, hopefully with pictures.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just the facts.

The wait is over. Here is what will be available at market this weekend designed/reproduced by little ole me. Special thanks go out to Kathy Krause and Jennifer Regan for helping me with my stitching. You can click on any of the pictures to see them a little bigger and better.

This is Christmas (Raise the Roof). Frame by Crescent Colours and button pack available through Just Another Button Co. Fabric is 32 count Natural Belfast. Threads are a mix of Sampler Threads/Weeks Dye Works/Crescent Colours. A DMC conversion is provided. Stitch count is about 110 by 180.

Winter & Christmas (Raise the Roof). Fabrics are Parchment and Denim Blue Gingham by Weeks Dye Works. Fibers by Weeks Dye Works. A DMC conversion is provided. Button pack and pins available through Just Another Button Co.

Sampler Roundy (Shakespeare's Peddler). Available as a kit (limited edition), and a graph. Fabric is 32 count Vintage Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linens (not included in kit). Kit comes with limited edition threads, reproduction antique brass button, chart and instructions for making the pincushion base. I also am making pincushion bases for sale (if you don't want to bother with it.) Graph uses limited edition Harvest pack by The Gentle Art. I have these for sale to shops and stitchers.

Spanish Mystery Sampler (Shakespeare's Peddler reproduction). Fabric is 40 count Vintage Light Exemplar by Lakeside Linens. Threads are Belle Soie, Needlepoint Silks and Gloriana. Conversion to DMC and Sampler Threads is provided. Stitch count is about 500 by 320. Frame is by Valley House Primitives.

Jenny Bean's Friendship Sampler (Shakespeare's Peddler original design). Fabric is 40 count French Vanilla by R&R Reproductions. Threads are Sampler Threads, and a conversion is provided to DMC. Frame is by Eastside Mouldings.

Jenny Bean's Christmas 2010 Ornament (Shakespeare's Peddler original design). Fabric is 40 count Vintage Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linens. Threads are by Crescent Colours (Belle Soie). Conversion to DMC provided.) The ornament base was something I found at Hobby Lobby and painted. Then I strung a chain through it. Easy-schmeasy!

Halloween Towne (Raise the Roof). Crescent Colours is distributing this. All four parts come together as one piece with the Belle Soie silks. Button pack is by Just Another Button Company. Fabric is 32 count Vintage Pearled Barley by Lakeside Linens.

Father Sail Home (Shakespeare's Peddler original design). Fabric is 40 count Vintage Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linens. Threads are a limited edition thread pack by The Gentle Art, but a conversion to their regular line and DMC is provided. Pencil box by Olde Colonial Designs.

I hope you like all of my new designs. These are available from me, they will be at market this weekend, and you can most likely get them at your local shop (bug them to get an order in, would ya?) A lot of hard work goes into designing, stitching, framing, charting, organizing, printing, stuffing, and just getting these babies ready for your hands. If any of you asks me "is this all you've got?" -- you're going to get a knuckle sandwich.

Happy stitching!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spanish Mystery Sampler: Finished

I just put this beautiful sampler in the frame, and oh my, it's a stunner. I wish you could see it in person -- delicate blue, golds, white and pretty repeating bands and interesting alphabets. The frame is by Valley House Primitives and will retail for $130.00 (this is for the 40 count linen frame size).

The linen is Lakeside Linens Vintage Light Exemplar with a mix of Gloriana, Belle Soie and Needlepoint Silks (not too many colors.) Thank you so much to my good friend, Kathy Krause, for her many diligent hours spent stitching this for us. She did a wonderful job, and said it was a fun one to do.

The charts are available for pre-order now through me, or ask your shop to get them at market. If your local shop won't be attending, they will be able to order this in several weeks from Norden Crafts, Yarn Tree and Hoffman Distributing. The chart will retail for $20.00, and comes with the graph and writing about the original sampler.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just for you guys...

I finished working on this last night, and as a treat to my loyal blog followers, you guys get to see it first. This is "Sampler Roundy," and it is being released as a graph AND a limited edition kit at market. I was just going to do the alphabet in a circle, kind of clock fashion, but then started moving letters around, and my Boggle mind (no one will play with me, the master), started seeing words. If you like word puzzles, or know someone who does, wouldn't this be fun to put on a desk?

The kit will come with the antique reproduction brass button and the limited edition threads (in a round tin.) I am not including fabric -- everyone likes a different count or type (I stitched mine on 32 count Vintage Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linens, but you could use Aida, evenweave, hand-dyed, make it small...bigger...whatever!) Both the graph and the kit will come with instructions on how to make this pincushion base (that cost me maybe five dollars all told) and finish it into the pincushion you see here. I used three different-sized round plaques from Hobby Lobby, some Arlene's Tacky Glue, some paint, and a little rick rack. Oh, and adhesive cork for the bottom, so as not to scratch any of my already-scratched furniture.

This sort of reminds me of a cake stand, and was a really fun little project. Plus, I am super-pleased with how it came out. Ask your shop to pick these up at market. I'm only making around 250 of the kits. You can also pre-order the kit or graph through me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sneak Peek Number Three...Almost There

I just finished stretching and framing Jenny Bean's Friendship Sampler. I'll take a more "artistic" shot for the chart cover, but hey, now you get to see 3/4 of the sampler AND the wonderful frame by Eastside Mouldings. When I designed the piece, I wasn't sure I liked this third house...seemed weird to me. But when I'd go to change it, I'd keep coming back to it. And once I stitched it, I loved it! The roof is very cute, and the colors are strange, and look at my cats! In the corner you'll see Boo and Ruby. You can stitch colors of your favorite cats and their initials. In a week, I'll post a picture of the whole thing. LOTS of people are pre-ordering this one, and shops are chomping at the bit. Yea!

And since you're all such kind and good people, here is another market sneak peek. It's "Father Sail Home." This is finished in an Olde Colonial Pencil Box I bought at the last market, because I thought it was so cool. It's stitched in Sampler Threads, and shops can pick up this limited edition set at market. But there is a conversion to their regular line and to DMC, too. I was girl. And then I just got to daydreaming about a little girl named Emeline whose father had just sailed off for adventure (or work.) Kids still miss their moms and dads when they have to travel, and it's always so nice when the whole family is together again. Hope you like it. Thanks (again) to my good friend Kathy for stitching this for us.

I accomplished quite a bit this weekend. I finished my Jenny Bean 2010 Christmas ornament, and I also designed and have almost finished stitching a sampler round pincushion that will be released as a limited edition kit at market (it'll come in a tin with the limited edition threads and finishing instructions.) I'm still hacking away at market things. This week will see the printing of many a graph.

Today is my son's fourteenth birthday -- happy birthday, Graham! You're so cool!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sneak Peek #2: Jenny Bean's Friendship Sampler

As promised, here's sneak peek number two (if you click on the picture, you can see it larger). This sampler was a lot of fun to stitch, and you can pre-order from me, or make sure to have your local shop pick some up at market. I can also take orders from shops and ship right after market (this might be faster than waiting for the distributors.) Next week, I'll show another quarter of the piece...and the week of market you'll get to see the whole thing in the frame (I'm still waiting for that to come in.)

We had a relatively quiet Labor Day weekend. Graham stayed home with a cold on Friday, and then promptly shared it with the rest of us. No big deal -- we're all feeling better, and I did get lots of stitching done. I finished two new pincushions (they will go with some pin sets from Just Another Button Co.), and designed and started stitching Jenny Bean's Christmas ornament for 2010, which will go nicely with the Friendship Sampler.

One cool thing we did this weekend: Thanksgiving Dinner! Sunday, for fun, I roasted a turkey breast, and made homemade stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, and even bought a can of cranberries (it was the best I could do fresh or frozen ones in the store.) It was DELICIOUS! What a treat! Everyone kept saying: "Oh my gosh, this is sooo good." We ate until we were too full, and then I think a few of us took naps. Who says you can only have that meal once a year? It's easy to cook, and so delicious (and inexpensive...I spent way less on that dinner than if we had gone out to eat.) And the leftovers (what little there were) tasted delightful.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

OK, so this is cheating...

This isn't a Shakespeare's Peddler piece, but it is designed by ME and it is sampler-y. I designed this under the Raise the Roof Designs label for Crescent Colours, and this will be released in a few weeks at market. It's called "Halloween Towne," and shops can pre-order with Sharon at Crescent Colours (or pick up packs at market.) This will come out as ALL ONE PIECE (rather than four separate pieces.) The charts will come with the silks, but no buttons or fabric (retail price will be $28.00).

In case ya need to know, the button packs can be ordered through Just Another Button Company, and the fabric is 32 ct. Vintage Pearled Barley by Lakeside Linens (shops: you can get three to a half yard cut.) Hope you like it -- so fun to get this in the mail today, since I hadn't seen it stitched.

And in other (fabulous) news, I got my Spanish Mystery Sampler back from stitcher extraordinaire Kathy this morning! It is not stretched and framed yet...frame to come from Valley Primitive...but here's a sneak peek down the sampler that will get you drooling for silks and linen. This is LOVELY LOVELY, and I know a lot of you are going to enjoy working on this intriguing (and unique) sampler!

You can click on both images to make them larger. I'm working 'round the clock. Wish me luck!