Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Hippie Dippy 60th Birthday Party!!!

I turned 60 a couple days ago...Happy Belated Birthday to me!!!

I'd been wondering how to celebrate, and finally settled on a combined joint birthday party (with my husband, Alan, who turned 60 this past June) and an Open House. We invited our pals to drop in, see our new "pad", and celebrate with us.

We decided on a "Hippie" theme, since we grew up in the 60s and 70s. Groovy, right?

The "dippy" part of the invitation referred to the food. I invited guests to bring their favorite dips (the kind you eat, not your date). I love dips of all kinds! I also made Alan's favorite food - sloppy joes - and updated them by doing sloppy joe sliders with yummy Hawaiian rolls.

I encouraged/invited guests to wear hippie clothing, and told my family they HAD to wear some groovy hippie threads for the big night. And here's what went down...from left to right....

Husband, Alan, ordered a giant Afro wig that I vetoed, but he wore anyway (sigh). Ali (oldest daughter) wore a vintage mumu from her friend's grandmother's closet. She did a leather headband, and looked very "flower child" to me (and I would know...I lived through the 60s!).  She also crafted a little fringed leather collar for her dog, Henry. That's me in the middle with my love beads and John Lennon rose-colored glasses. Sarah (youngest daughter) is wearing my friend's vintage dress from the 60s. It reminds me of something Twiggy used to wear - so authentic it makes me think of middle school. Son-in-law, Jeff, was rocking the love beads, glasses and some giant bell bottoms!

We greeted everyone at the door and handed out funky love beads to get them in the hippie groove. 

And guess what...some other hippies showed up at our party, too! This groovy couple was practically unrecognizable to me!  Jean (left) is usually in conservative banker clothes...but who knew about her inner hippie? I'm still finding strands of her luscious blond hair around the house. Her husband, Dennis, is always hilarious, but his "tattoo sleeves" were a real hoot.

These flower children were also a big transformation from our usual longtime friends, Steve and Saundra. It was hard to tell who was hiding under all the punk hair and heavy beard. Their sparkly glasses were definitely very "Elton John-ish".

The ladies below won the prize for coming the farthest, for a non-relative (my daughter and husband came from Chicago). Look familiar? It's Lindy and Mona from The Silver Needle in Tulsa. Thanks for making the long trek to/fro Ta-town on a Saturday night.

Here are some other hippies enjoying their dippies in our living room. 

And a few more hipsters hanging out in our sunroom. Check out the open windows...the October weather is gorgeous. I just love having my birthday in October, because I never know what the weather will bring.

Alas, all groovy parties must come to an end. So we ended with a "selfie"(below). Clearly "selfies" weren't around in the 60s, but they're sure a part of life now, and so much fun.  

Thanks, everyone, for making our 60th birthdays a really groovy affair! It's back to daily life, so we're trading in our John Lennon specs for our "readers" and our platform shoes for comfy, sensible shoes!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Little broom tutorial

Here's a fun, quick, FREE tutorial for making mini-brooms...just in time for great Halloween finishing!

My finisher extraordinaire, Mona, just posted these instructions to her fabulous finishing blog. She did the darling finish for me on our Limited Edition Halloweenie Kit K82 (more about this kit later in post), and used this tiny broom.

I immediately asked her where she sourced the teeny broom, and she told me she made it! Of course, Mona made it! It would never occur to me to craft a bitty broom, but it is the perfect accent to a host of Halloween projects. And it's so quick and easy, I think I could manage it myself.

Sadly, Mona declined to make me 1,000+ brooms to put in the L*K Halloweenie kits, but graciously offered to post the DIY broom instructions.

See the mini broom above on my Halloweenie Limited Edition Kit...darlng! This little broom would be super cute on a host of other L*K Halloween projects. would be adorable on other designers' Halloween projects, go for it! 

And check out the broom-let on our Why yes, I CAN drive a stick! (Snippet S123). This little Snippet is "flying" out the door at L*K. There are lots of darling fabric choices and finishes for this project on the I Love Stitching Lizzie Kate Facebook page...check it out and be inspired. Everyone is choosing colorful, funky fabrics and having a ball with this one.

Back to those Limited Edition Halloweenie kits...we are running low, and anticipate selling out before Halloween 2015. If you need these 2 little projects in your Halloween repertoire, let you favorite needlework supplier know ASAP. That darling dotted finishing fabric is in short supply, and the end is in sight at L*K headquarters (we won't be seeing "dots" for much longer).

Thanks again, Mona, for making the world a more beautiful little broom and one creative finish at a time!

SNEAK PEEK: Mona has out-done herself with a "flake-y" finish on our upcoming "Snow Story" Flip-it series. Stay tuned for all the snowy details coming soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

L*K Office Tour!

It's still a "work in progress", but I thought you might like to see my new home office space. I had to wait until afternoon to take photos, because this room has bright east sunshine in the morning. Here's the view out my east office window. We're on a little cul-de-sac on an inlet of the main "Kansas-sized" lake. The "big" lake is around the corner to the left.

I thrive on bright (stitching) light and well lit rooms, so this office space works well for me. We have lots of windows all over our new house, so we can enjoy the lake and woodsy views. I chose a cheerful pale green for my office walls. The color is called "Dune Grass", so it furthers my personal delusion that I'm living at the beach.'s the thing. I designed our new house to look "coastal". I have the delusion that we are living at a beach somewhere on a lovely coast, but really we're living on an old sandpit lake in the middle of Kansas! I want my new house to look like an old house on a beach somewhere. Hey, whatever floats your boat - a little "coastal" humor.

My home office is tucked behind the kitchen and dining room in a spare bedroom. As I walk in I see this sweet little display of some of my favorite old things...globes and pastel pottery on a bookcase I bought years ago at a junk store. There's also an old DMC wood box on the top shelf. On the bottom shelf are some "vintage" pics of Lizzie and Kate that went with us to market many years ago. I "found" these old pics during our recent move...amazing what you "find" when you move!

As you look to the left, you'll see my new IKEA desk, looking much neater than usual for this photo op. I downsized my desk from my former office. So far this IKEA setup is working really well. I bought 2 flat white laminate tops that come in lots of sizes, then screwed on the legs. On top of the main desk you can catch glimpses of some upcoming designs...the new "yet unnamed" Flip-it series that's all about SNOW, 3 little Flora McSample mini stockings, "A Little Coffee" kit, and a new Inspiration Boxer.

As I sit at my computer, here's my view out the north window. I see my neighbor's lovely backyard, and bit of the lake beyond. My teeny desk calendar tries to keep me on schedule (OK, it looked bigger in the picture when I ordered it). I just made myself a little moss terrarium - we'll see if it thrives. The bowl of old marbles was another "find" when we moved. I found this stash of old glass marbles in an old purse from Alan's grandmother...who knew...and why was her purse full of marbles? Whatever, I love them!

Did you see my "ort" lamp on my desk? It's one of those fillable lamps and I've stashed it with colorful orts (bits of leftover threads). Ah...the many lamps I could have filled if I had found this sooner. It's sort of like the "ghosts of projects past" inside that lamp!

Behind my desk is my IKEA cube credenza (so glad IKEA finally came to Kansas City). Behind those doors and drawers are tons of threads, printer paper, you name's hidden in there. But the real star on this wall is the giant pink sprinkled donut painting!  Our daughter, Sarah, did this custom artwork for my office. It makes me smile every time I glimpse it, and it really brightens the whole room. Sarah teaches high school art near downtown Chicago (shout out to Ms. Wain and her fabulous art students).

Check out the funky pink globe on the right (above). My son-in-law, Jeff, brought this to their marriage, and it somehow ended up at my house...hmmmm. (Not everyone has room for a pink globe in their decor!).

In the nearby corner is an old child's desk I've had for years. This desk has lived in so many different rooms of my house, but I always find a place for sweet. Right now it's displaying the 3 BONUS projects from our current "A Little Mystery" Sampler. Under the drape is the model for "A Little Mystery". We shipped Part 3 (the final part) of "A Little Mystery" earlier this week, but I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone.

On the remaining wall is the real "star" of the CLOSET! Instead of clothes rods, I had the carpenters build shelves in my closet. It's crammed full of threads, fabric, and every kind of cross stitch supply imaginable. The tricky part is remembering where I put stuff in there when I hastily unpacked.

On the left (above), you can see the doorway that leads to my little office. Beyond is our sunny dining room with a few of my happy plants.

Finally, here's the office bath. I like to think of it as the "executive washroom". The office was originally a guest bedroom, so hence the private bath. I found a bright shower curtain at World Market that coordinated with my coral walls. I furthered my "old house" delusion by adding beadboard walls, tilting mirror with glass shelf underneath, pedestal sink and hexagonal black/white tile floor. I love the little floor flowers! 

Last, but not least, here's my office light fixture. I think of it as "Jetsons meet the Brady Bunch". It doesn't really match anything else, but I just saw it and loved it, so...

Thanks for joining me on the official Lizzie*Kate new office tour. If you have any ideas/suggestions for the L*K office, please let me know. I'm anxious to add more artwork, more plants, and surround myself with more "happy" things. Meanwhile...back to work!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Halloweenie Time!

Today's the day! The Harvest Market Hop online needlework market is officially open, and it's time to "reveal" our new design. Last week was the "sneak peek"'s the whole "Halloweenie" thing.

"Halloweenie" Limited Edition Kit (K82) includes 2 quickie little projects, both full of spooky, Halloween fun. Here's what we're including in the "Halloweenie" Limited Edition kit:

* 28 ct. Amber linen for pillow
* Orange/black polka dot fabric for pillow finishing
* Funky green/orange rick rack for pillow finishing
* 2 sets of googly eyes (1 for pillow, 1 for fob)
* Complete finishing instructions for pillow, fob, and tiny broom tutorial
You supply a bit of fabric from your stash to stitch the bitty fob. You can do something neutral like we did, or have fun and try something colorful and quirky...just like Halloween!

Below is the official "Halloweenie" cover!

Sorry...the Hop is an online wholesale market, so only retail shops can "shop". But you can "shop" on the Harvest Market Hop Facebook page and let your fave needlework retailers know what you need! 

I'm sure lots of needlework retailers will be busy copying and pasting all the Hop design photos and you'll see the images soon - probably before I do (I'm usually the last to know what's new!). Just let them know if you need Halloweenie K82, and a lot of great products from other designers to come to your house.

What else is coming from L*K next week? So glad you asked!

Along with Halloweenie kits, we'll be shipping Part Three of our "A Little Mystery" sampler club. This is the final part and I'm a little sad to see another mystery coming to a close. You'll be glad to get the remaining part, and see the "big reveal" for the complete design. There's a photo on the Part Three cover of the completed "A Little Mystery" sampler. Mystery solved!

Part Three of "A Little Mystery" also includes the BONUS design for the "Little Sampler" above..."Don't let yesterday take up too much of today". This trio of BONUS projects from "A Little Mystery" are hanging out on my desk right now, bringing me a smile each day.

Our final new release is a Snippet called Grateful Thankful Blessed S124. I had a great time designing and stitching this model with some gorgeous fall colors. It's perfect for Thanksgiving, but I like the sentiment year round. I don't do Thanksgiving designs every year, so now's the time for some "thankful" stitching.

Back to the Hop for me! Orders are coming in from shops for Halloweenie, and we're busy combining them with pre-orders on "A Little Mystery" and Grateful Thankful Blessed. It's gonna be a busy weekend!

Monday, August 31, 2015


Everywhere I go the shops are full of autumn and Halloween stuff..and it suddenly looks fantastic!! Isn't it weird how every year I suddenly crave ORANGE in my house? Not normally a color I want to sprinkle around the house, but every fall it just seems irresistible to plop pumpkins and leaves everywhere.

I'm equally seduced by designing Halloween stuff. I thought I was "done for the season". But then I  had an opportunity to participate in a cross stitch "Harvest Market Hop" event, and decided to do one MORE Halloween design. And it was so much FUN!!!

Here's a sneak peek photo of our new "Halloweenie" kit. Yea, didn't have any brilliant inspirations for a name and "Halloweenie" kept running through my head, so I went with it.

"Halloweenie" Limited Edition kit includes 2 quickie little projects: pillow (left peek) and bitty fob (right peek). I love adding fun little bonus fobs to my designs. I might even have to use one for MYSELF sometime instead of sending them on the road in my trunk shows! I have a couple sweet fobs that were gifts, and those keep my scissors handy, but never use my own designs...weird.

Our "Halloweenie" Limited Edition kit is debuting at a new online event September 10-12. It's called Harvest Market Hop and it's a "virtual" market for needlework retailers to shop from a bunch of designers. Sorry, this event is not for consumers. It's "filling in" for an actual fall market this year. can view the Harvest Market Hop Facebook page NOW and see a lot of sneak peek photos from designers that are participating. Check it out! More designers are posting sneak peeks daily.

If you'd like "Halloweenie" to visit/haunt your autumn home, let your favorite needlework retailer know to place their orders at the Harvest Market Hop from Sept. 10-12. Those retailers ordering during the online show will get "first chance" at this Limited Edition kit. 

Here's what we're including in Halloweenie Limited Edition Kit:
* 28 ct. Amber linen for pillow
* Orange/black polka dot fabric for pillow finishing
* Funky green/orange rick rack for pillow finishing
* 2 sets of googly eyes (1 for pillow, 1 for fob)
* Complete finishing instructions for pillow and fob
You supply a bit of fabric from your stash to stitch the bitty fob. You can do something match like we did, or have fun and try something crazy and fun...just like Halloween!

At the L*K office (and at home!) we're busy prepping for this kit. We're going a little batty seeing DOTS as we cut the finishing fabric for the kit. These orange/black dots are so cute and cheerful, it's worth the effort.

The rick rack is also super fun. It's slimy limey green with some orange doodahs, and it's the perfect accent to the Halloweenie pillow. 

Several years ago I ordered a boatload of tiny yellow buttons for a Flip-it series...then changed my mind, and ended up using different embellishments. We're diving into the yellow button bag for this kit, and using them to make googly eyes - fun and easy!

Happy Halloweenie,'s coming before we know it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Summer is almost gone!

I KNOW...say it isn't so!

But Labor Day is looming a couple weeks ahead, and I guess that's the official end of summer, especially for those of us who aren't sending kids back to school. I don't send KIDS back to school, I "send" my daughter/teacher, Sarah, back to school. Shout out to Sarah as she returns to teach high school art in Chicago Public Schools for her 4th year. Woohoo...Go Lane Tech!

At L*K, Labor Day is also the official "retire" day of our Limited Edition kit, Sweet Summer. Alas, the "Sweet Summer" of 2015 is coming to an end...sigh.

We're busy making up one more big batch of kits to fill the anticipated last minute flurry of orders. I'm cutting and sacking little shell trim (love this charming stuff) and winding that tricky iridescent thread into little bundles and wrestling it in little zip bags. I love the way the iridescent threads look, but they sure are a pain to work with.

We will make up kits with the remainder of our linen fabric on hand and then Sweet Summer (K81) is GONE for good.

If you need one more dose of Sweet Summer K81, let your favorite needlework shop know ASAP so they can order. Summer comes around every year, so whether you stitch it this year or next, you'll be ready for Sweet Summer again!

Here's a little picture of me enjoying my Sweet Summer, kayaking in the lake in our back yard. I got permission from the ortho doc to get back in the lake (yes!) after knee surgery. 

And here's a pic my husband took during his early AM/daybreak kayak excursion. He keeps inviting his guy friends over to kayak and watch the sun come up. He tortures them with an early alarm, but the view is rewarding...and maybe the cinnamon rolls I feed them afterwards.

I hope your summer has been a Sweet Summer to remember. I know I won't forget the summer of 2015 for a long, long time!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What does XX mean?

Remember studying Roman numerals back in the day in school? Put on your thinking caps, because it's time for a refresher course.

Tiny Tidings XX is here and that means 20 YEARS of Tiny Tidings...and nearly a hundred little holiday designs during the past 20 years!

It also means Lizzie*Kate has been around for almost 20 I must be 20 years older than when this needlework adventure began?!

Here's our batch of 5 holiday goodies for 2015! As always, they're petite designs with lots of fun finishing possibilities. They're all packaged together in one convenient chartpak 172 Tiny Tidings XX.

I wanted to try stitching on the petite dot linen, so used that for several models. It's not necessary to use the dot fabric, just a fun option. On the two lower left designs (Snow and Snowy House), I graphed some snowflakes so you can stitch them, in case you use a solid fabric. If you use the dot linen, you omit the stitched flakes...easy.

There's also a separate embellishment pack if you want all the little buttons, charms, etc. that we used on our 5 models. Ask for E172 Tiny Tidings XX Embellishment Pack. This year I used white and aqua snowflake buttons, tiny red buttons and an antique silver star charm. These items may/may not be decorating the floors around my house...assembly errors!

Need Tiny Tidings XX at your house? We're shipping to shops everywhere today, Wed., August 12. It's our big annual "holiday release" and lots of goodies are leaving L*K headquarters in Wichita, Kansas for destinations around the US and around the world. 

Here's what's shipping NOW!  Scroll back to previous blog posts for photos and details on everything below.

* A Little Mystery Sampler Club - Part Two
* 172 Tiny Tidings XX
* E172 Tiny Tidings XX Embellishment Pack
* S121 Night Before Christmas Sleds (includes embellishments)
* S122 Celebrate! Santa '15 Snippet
* S122E Celebrate! Santa '15 Embellishment Pack
* S123 I Can Drive a Stick Snippet

Hope that keeps everyone busy this late summer and fall. It's always a great time of year to stitch, isn't it?!

****Personal Note: Just returned from 6 week check with my orthopedic surgeon after my total knee replacement. Got a great report on my progress and warnings not to try to do TOO much (have they been spying on me?). Also got permission to get in the lake in my backyard again, and I'm looking forward to a swim/kayak time later today. I'm so thankful for my super talented surgeon and his uber-friendly staff. Both the surgeon and his PA sat down and generously chatted with us this burying their faces in the computer screen. Isn't it amazing how some quality face-to-face time with your doc improves the whole visit?! It's been a long summer, but my knee and me are happy and improving!