Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Things Unseen Mystery Threads Revealed!

Mystery Sampler Update!

It's finally here...the much-awaited Things Unseen sneak peek thread pack photo! We're really excited to share this lovely color palette with all of you mystery lovers. Look carefully and you'll see a sneak peek of some of our very special embellishments, too.


Can the sampler sleuths identify our new Weeks Dye Works overdyed thread color? We had it dyed especially for this sampler, and it's making it's debut in our Things Unseen thread pack. The pretty new color is called Busy Lizzie. 

BTW...the new Busy Lizzie WDW thread will not be available (outside of our Things Unseen Mystery Sampler thread pack) until Feb. 28, 2014. If you're joining our mystery adventure, you'll want to purchase the thread pack, even if you have a good palette of WDW in your stash. The sampler is large, and will use a lot of thread...not to mention the bonus design (and another little surprise coming with Part 2).

Our early order deadline for needlework shops is October 10, so please contact your favorite shop to place your pre-order ASAP. This will help us communicate with our awesome suppliers (thread, fabric, embellishments) and make sure we have enough supplies when it's time to ship Part 1 to shops on November 3.


In case you've missed some of the Things Unseen Mystery Sampler scoop, here's a review below. You can also scroll back a few blog posts and read everything.

THINGS UNSEEN Mystery Sampler

* We began with a lovely quote from Helen Keller. I'm enjoying reading more about her while I'm working on this project...what an inspirational woman!

* 3 part series will ship in early November, December and January - perfect for holiday stitching and gifting (maybe for yourself?)

* Stitch count for Things Unseen is 165W x 205H.

* Things Unseen is stitched on lovely Wren linen, from Picture This Plus. We'll have 4 fabric options...28 and 32 ct. Wren linen, as well as 14 and 16 ct. Wren Aida. All fabrics are precut with a 3" border on all sides, serged, labeled and packaged.

* Things Unseen thread pack has 14 skeins of Weeks Dye Works overdyed threads, including our exclusive new color, Busy Lizzie (pictured above!). There are several multiples in this pack (in addition to new color), so we recommend our convenient thread pack.

* There's also a BONUS design that will be revealed in 3 parts - a bit with each monthly shipment. BONUS design stitch count is 165W x 34H. BONUS design is stitched with the same threads as Things Unseen, so choose an appropriate fabric and customize your BONUS project. We used pretty Earthen linen from PTP (it's a rosy beige color). Our Embellishment Pack includes goodies for this BONUS design.

* Things Unseen Embellishment Pack! We've never done a separate embellishment pack for a Mystery Sampler, but this one is super special so we're pulling out all the stops (and embellishments!) for this one. We've collaborated with the ladies at Just Another Button Company to design some lovely, sampler-worthy buttons. We named our new button "Helen's Rose". Pack includes a host of other goodies...mother-of-pearl buttons, hand-dyed buttons, beads, etc. Pack includes includes embellishment for Things Unseen, BONUS pattern and ??? (another surprise with Part 2).


This is one of my favorite pictures of Helen Keller. Helen's love of flowers inspired some of the sampler motifs, as well as the new WDW thread color and our new "Helen's rose" button from Just Another Button Company.


Here's our little Part 1 assembly line currently taking up space in our family room. The covers aren't here yet, but we're busy collating the 3 pages. 


And here are the finished Part 1 collated pages, which have invaded our dining room. It seems the Things Unseen Mystery Sampler project is taking up residence in our residence...not just the office! Wonder where the elves will be working once we get to the really labor intensive parts...assembling thread packs and embellishments packs?!

Stay tuned for upcoming posts about our wonderful partners on this project. We're working with the great people at Weeks Dye Works (threads), Picture This Plus (linen and Aida fabric), Just Another Button Company (Helen's rose buttons), Hillcreek Designs (hand-dyed buttons) and Kelmscott Designs (beautiful mother-of-pearl buttons - 2 shapes!).

Happy Mystery, everyone!






Tuesday, September 23, 2014

HOT off the press!

It's that time again...we're shipping new designs to shops this week. We've got stockings...small and large...little sleds and more inspiration coming your way. Here's the roundup!


#168 Flora McSample's 2014 Stockings 
They're back! Flora did a group of 3 tiny stockings last year, and they were super popular. Our sampler girl has been busy again, and this bunch is (in Flora's humble opinion) beautiful! These designs are quick-to-stitch, yet really charming little projects. Chartpak includes designs and embellishments for 3 stockings. Companion chart is #161 Flora McSample's 2013 Stockings.



 #169 Reindeer Stocking
Finally...another FULL-SIZE Christmas stocking! Our customers have been asking for years, and we've been slow to respond, but it's here now. Includes 2 large round buttons and 1 star button. Our Reindeer Stocking is a companion to #93 Santa Stocking, #99 Snowflake Express Stocking and #110 Angel Stocking. Stocking is stitched with DMC Perle cotton.



S116 Sled Dudes
We've designed 3 little sled ornaments, using the darling sleds from Foxwood Crossings. Our models are stitched on antique brown perforated paper and we added some embellishments. Super Snippet includes designs and embellishments for 3 little sleds. Super cute for ornaments for your tree or for gifting!



B49 I Cannot Count My Day Complete Until Needle and Thread Meet 

Inspiration Boxer 
Here's the second winner in our Inspiration Saying contest. Design has lots of sampler-y motifs, old-fashioned fonts and a much-requested saying. Boxer kit includes 32 ct. Lambswool linen, embellishments and bonus design. (Special thanks to Missy for being the first to submit this saying in our recent contest)


The boxes are packed and now we're busy putting mailing labels on everything. This pile is patiently waiting for labels. The finished ones are piling up on the other side of the office.

SPECIAL THANKS to all of you who left comments on this blog and on Facebook, responding to my previous post requesting "Little" kit ideas. The suggestions are great, and it's really nice to have your input! I'll get to work on more "Little" designs soon. 




Friday, September 19, 2014

A Little ????

A couple years ago I did a small design called A Little Love. It's a sweet little kit with some fabric and embellishments.


I guess the world needed "a little love", because this design has been super popular. We've kitted it again and again, and reprinted several times. And, of course,  stitchers started asking for more "little" designs.




Now we have a whole family of "Little" kits...A Little Easter, A Little Liberty, A Little Christmas, A Little Snow, A Little Beach and most recently, A Little Boo.


I really enjoy designing and stitching these "Little" kits, but I need HELP!  Please HELP ME decide what "Little" kits to do for 2015. I've got lists of ideas, but I'd like to hear from you!

Leave a comment below and send me your suggestion(s) for the next "A Little ????" design. Thanks in advance!






Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My iphone Mystery!


Last time I got a new cell phone, I couldn't decide on a new case. What color...what pattern...serious, silly, whatever??? 

So I chose a (very cheap) CLEAR one and I've been playing with paper and scissors ever since! I change out my phone cover frequently, using bits of scrapbook paper, images I create on my computer, bits of this and that, whatever seems timely and fun.


My new cover is so pretty, I want to share it with you. You've all probably seen the Things Unseen Mystery Sampler promo card already, but here it is in my phone....strategically resting on another area of our Things Unseen Mystery Sampler.


This is one of my favorite areas of the sampler...beautiful colors and lots of little critter motifs. It's always tricky to decide which areas to show on SNEAK PEEK pics, and I couldn't resist sharing a bit of this section.

Need more info on Things Unseen Mystery Sampler? See previous post for all the scoop! Contact your favorite needlework shop for pre-order info.

I've been working on this project for many MONTHS now. Every week, there's a different task. This week I'm working on the printed material for Part 1. I've designed a pretty cover on my computer ...and redesigned and redesigned over and over again. I think I've tweaked it enough?!

As I work on a project, I accumulate paperwork, supplies, stitching...it all gets thrown in a basket and carted around. I realized today that my basket has an impressive amount of paperwork categorized and clipped together. Pretty clips are my best strategy for happy organization :)


Part 1 of Things Unseen will come with 3 pages of printed materials, in addition to the cover.Page One will have important info you need to keep for the entire sampler including stitching instructions and color key with symbols. 

Page Two will have the chart for the first part of Things Unseen. It's the upper left section of the design. There are instructions for how to link this section to Parts 2 and 3. Page Two also includes instructions for embellishment placement on the first section. You can attach embellishments as you go (you'll need the optional embellishment pack) or attach them all at the end (my preference).

Page Three will have a couple stitch diagrams (2 easy specialty stitches) and alternate instructions for those stitching on Aida. Page Three will also have the 1st section of the BONUS design. The BONUS design unfolds horizontally, so you'll link the second part to the right of the first part.

WHEW!  So many details to wrestle and keep straight. I'm taking a whole pile of Things Unseen Mystery Sampler paperwork to my local needlework shop (Heart's Desire in Wichita, KS) for proofing this afternoon.  But, maybe a few more changes before I go....



On an unrelated note...here's the daily garden haul. Lots of cherry tomatoes, Romas and jalapenos...regular tomatoes and big peppers are still MIA. I've been roasting and freezing lots of tomatoes which will reappear in yummy things this winter.

HAPPY SEPTEMBER, everyone!




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Things Unseen MYSTERY SAMPLER!

The secret is out...we're doing another Mystery Sampler! It's called Things Unseen, which we think is the perfect name for a Mystery Sampler. It's a year-round design with beautiful "heart" felt words to live by...any day...all seasons...all year long.

We're SO excited to share the details with you. Here's all the sneak peek scoop!


THINGS UNSEEN Mystery Sampler 

* We used a lovely quotation from Helen Keller. (I'm busy reading/studying more about Helen's fascinating life and looking forward to sharing some of that. She was certainly an inspirational, remarkable woman!) This isn't a seasonal sampler, so you can enjoy it all year long!

* 3-part series will ship in early November, December and January - perfect for holiday stitching and gifting (maybe for yourself?!)

* Stitch Count for Things Unseen is 165W x 205H.

* Things Unseen is stitched on lovely Wren linen, from Picture This Plus. We'll have 4 fabric options...28 and 32 ct. Wren linen, as well as 14 and 16 ct. Wren Aida. All fabrics are precut with 3" border on all sides, serged, and individually packaged. You are certainly welcome to choose your own fabric, too! We're offering precut fabric as an option.

* Our thread pack has 14 skeins of Weeks Dye Works overdyed threads, including an exclusive new color we requested especially for this sampler. We named this luscious new pinky-plum color Busy Lizzie (it's another name for Impatiens flowers).

* There's also a BONUS design that will be revealed in 3 parts - a bit with each monthly shipment. BONUS design stitch count is 165W x 34H. BONUS design is stitched with the same threads as Things Unseen, so choose your favorite fabric accordingly and customize your BONUS project. Our Embellishment Pack includes goodies for this BONUS design.

* Things Unseen Embellishment Pack! We've never done a separate embellishment pack for a Mystery Sampler, but we're pulling out all the stops (and embellishments!) for this one. We've collaborated with the gals at Just Another Company for some lovely, sampler-worthy buttons. We named our new floral button "Helen's Rose". Pack also includes a host of other goodies...mother-of-pearl buttons, hand-dyed buttons, beads, etc. Pack includes embellishments for Things Unseen, BONUS pattern and ???? (maybe another surprise).


This is one of my favorite pictures of Helen Keller. This was an inspiration for our exclusive new button, which we've named "Helen's rose". The beautiful flowers in this picture also inspired our lovely new "mystery" overdyed thread color from WDW, Busy Lizzie.  


Do you remember studying Helen Keller in school? I remember reading The Story of My Life, and watching the film The Miracle Worker (photo above, starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke). I'm sure I learned a lot more about her life in school, but alas, have forgotten much. 

Now I'm busy re-educating myself about the fascinating, diverse and sometimes controversial life of Helen Keller. She was a world-famous speaker and author. Not only was she an advocate for people with disabilities, she was a suffragist, a pacifist and a radical socialist...who knew? Helen met every US President from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon Johnson, and was friends with many famous figures. More later...

You're ALL invited to join our Things Unseen Mystery Sampler Club! We've mailed info and order forms to needlework shops around the world. Just contact your favorite needlework supplier for pricing and pre-order info. 

We'll be blogging soon with behind-the-scenes looks at the whole mystery sampler process, including our awesome suppliers/partners at Weeks Dye Works, Picture This Plus, and Just Another Button Company, and (of course) the busy goings-on at Lizzie*Kate. It's truly takes a village to put one of these projects together, and we want you to know how it happens...step by step...as we unfold this mystery together.

Mysteriously yours, 
Linda
Lizzie*Kate


















Monday, August 18, 2014

Been there, done that...

Needlework Market, that is!

How many times have we gone to market with Lizzie*Kate? Heaven only knows, but every time it's a combination of fun, laughter, and plain old hard WORK! (Definitely not a vacation, except for the "travel" part.)


Speaking of travel and work...here is a pic of my local shopowner and her helper who kindly schlep a bunch of Lizzie*Kate inventory to market for me every year. We've just unloaded their car in front of the Embassy Suites (where our market is) and we're waiting on a rolling cart to get the boxes to our room.

The BEST part about needlework market is seeing all of my friends...shopowners and other designers! Some shops have been supporting L*K since we began 19 years ago. Miraculously, none of us look a day older! I think cross stitch has magical anti-aging properties, or maybe our eyesight is just fading? We also get to make new friends at market every year, which is also wonderful. It's a huge blessing to be around people who understand what we do...and love and appreciate it. We love and appreciate you all, too!

Now that market is over and all the attending shops are busy blasting the new images all over the internet, I can release the photo of our "Market Exclusive" kit - SPOOKY EYES!



SPOOKY EYES kit (K72) includes EEK! hand-dyed linen (faded orange with gray/black swirls), hand-dyed black pom pom trim, kohl WDW overdyed thread, and spooky eyes (2 mother-of-pearl buttons topped with tiny black buttons). 



Here I am on Saturday morning, ready for a busy day in room 601 Lizzie*Kate expo! I brought a roll of black kraft paper along and had fun with chalk making a few impromptu signs. Making the freelance signs was fun, but crawling around the hard floor on my hands and knees with chalk (and no yard stick to keep things straight) seems to be getting harder every year. Alan snapped a pic of me on the floor but I'm not sharing it...TMI.


This was my favorite sign (covering up the mirror over the bar area in our room), announcing our Inspiration Boxer Sale. We brought ALL of the Inspiration Boxers (B33-B48), so there was plenty of inspiration for all!

Part of the challenge in decorating our showroom in the Embassy Suites is the existing decor in the rooms. Everything is positively psychedelic at this hotel...it looks like a 60s party gone wild! The walls are orange (there's orange everywhere!), the sofa is a crazy wild print (designers have all sorts of creative ways to cover these sofas), and the decor has a zillion competing patterns and is very distracting! So if these photos are glowing a bit...


The other "stars" of the party were our other 2 new kits! SNOW DUDES (K71) kit comes with both patterns, fabric for both, and embellishments, including polka dot mushroom cap.


DEAR RUDOLPH (K73) kit includes lambswool linen, snowflake finishing fabric, white rick rack trim, 4 buttons, red and white beads and complete finishing instructions. I always bring along a few fun props for the new stuff, including a favorite Santa mug for this one. Also check out the fun red/green scissors. We sold out on these, so get them while you can!

WHEW! It's been nice taking a break sitting at the computer, but I've got to return to unloading boxes and catching up. 

Note to self: Next time I go to market, take pics with shopowners, designer friends, and try to capture the laughter and fun we have together. Thanks for joining me on this little trip recap!

















Monday, August 11, 2014

Snow Dudes!

I couldn't figure out what to name this new kit I'm taking to market this weekend. How do I combine a snowy owl and a Santa gnome in one clever title?

I was desperate...so I asked my husband, Alan. He often makes suggestions at L*K and I usually say something like..."oh yea, I'll think about that"...or "that's an interesting idea".

But when Alan said "SNOW DUDES"...I knew I had the winning name!


I had the idea to do a little Santa with a pointy hat. When I changed his coat to blue, he magically transformed into a Santa gnome...who knew? And what is the perfect gnome accessory? A little red/white polka dot mushroom, of course.

I admit I didn't know much about gnomes when I accidentally brought this little guy to life (and still don't), but I tried a little research. It seems gnomes always have mushrooms with them. Can someone tell me why? The gals at Just Another Button Company made me a tiny little mushroom cap button - so cute!

I'm also obsessed with owls and realized I didn't have any Christmas owls, so remedied that with design #2.


Kit includes 28 ct. Lugana fabric for both ornaments, and lots of embellishments...polka dot mushroom cap, red buttons, and lots of white iridescent beads.

These dudes are ready to hit the road to St. Charles Needlework market! If you need the charming SNOW DUDES to visit your house, contact your favorite needlework shop and let them know.