Monday, January 19, 2015

Things Unseen Mystery Sampler REVEALED!

Part 3 of the Things Unseen Mystery Sampler shipped last week. I realized everyone else was busy sharing the "big reveal" photo, so I had better get with it!

Above is the whole Things Unseen Mystery Sampler! You can see all 3 parts put together, and also the fun embellishments. If you're stitching along with us, don't forget to check the L*K website for some small corrections we have posted on our Boo Boo page.

Here's the Part 3 cover. I had fun designing this vintage looking cover for our "big reveal".

I wanted to share my finished BONUS project with you! It looks so pretty all framed and complete. Check out the embellishment on this pic, too.

Finally, I've put this little "double bonus" pin pillow project to work on my busy (cluttered) desk. This project was included with Things Unseen Part 2 (along with the rick rack). It brings a little smile to my face every day. The embellishment pack also includes the goodies (pink mother-of-pearl heart button and beads) for this pin pillow.

What's next at L*K?

*We have a bunch of new goodies coming soon! Scroll back 2 posts to see all the pics and info. We're planning to ship these to shops around Feb. 10. Just waiting on our printer to deliver a couple things and we'll get to work with assembly.

*A Little Luck (coming in Feb.) is already assembled and waiting for it's turn with the shipping department (that's Alan and I). 

* On my next post, I'll share a bunch of details about the new 3 Little Words Flip-it series. We're really excited to get this one going. We're preparing a Blog Contest so you can contribute you own favorite 3 Little Words of inspiration.

* I'm also working on 4 new kits for our upcoming Nashville Needlework Market. I've got the models stitched, and I'm busy pulling together all the supplies. 

* Oh yea, we're in the middle of moving the L*K office (previous posts). Every day we make lists and transfer stuff back and forth, as needed. Alas, we're losing our quick 25 step commute to work, and replacing it with a 5 minutes drive. Sure hope to conclude the move soon...bring on the needlework elves!

Happy Week, everyone!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

L*K move - Part One

duh, duh.....duh, duh, duh, duh.....duh, duh...repeat

What is this? It's the Mission Impossible theme song, of course. I remember it from back in the day (the 60s and 70s), and it still sounds so fresh and energetic in the newer Mission Impossible movies. Here's a link below to the classic Mission Impossible song.

Last weekend we took the first step on our own Mission Impossible-style mission. We began moving the L*K office into it's new little home! This is the "back room" of our current home office. It's where we keep the big boxes of inventory - fresh from the printer. Many of these designs need to have charms attached before they move into our shipping area. We don't need this stuff everyday, so it was a good place to begin our historic move.

Saturday was the "warmest" day of the week, so that seemed like the logical choice. It was 17 degrees when a crew of friends from our Sunday School class at First Church showed up to help. It was sunny, but unfortunately also windy - so a windchill of 3 (above zero, not below!).  Brrrr....but we stayed busy.

Thankfully, Alan pulled our rented U-Haul right up to the office door. L*K inventory boxes were disappearing quickly from the shelves until...the U-Haul was full. Then we made a trip to our nearby office space, unloaded, and returned to do another half load.

Yikes...the bright sun and a nearby tree made our full trailer look like a scary Halloween scene!

Soon the office shelves were looking like this...

and the new office was looking like this.

We rewarded our moving friends with a trip to Braum's - local ice cream shop near our house. Because, of course, ice cream sounds good on a day like this. Actually, everyone stayed warm as they toted boxes to and fro. that corner of our office looks like this - missing shelves and boxes. See those boxes piled against the wall? We use tons of those in the L*K office. They hold all sorts of L*K inventory in our shipping area, and we deploy them for lots of other tasks, like kitting and accumulating inventory before a new product release. These boxes could tell a lot of stories, that's for sure!

Now we're contemplating Step 2 of the Mission Impossible office move. Before we can move our shipping area, we need to get phones/computer/other boring stuff set up and running properly.

Mission Impossible - Part 1 - accomplished!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 Lizzie*Kate SNEAK PEEK!

Before I get to the 2015 sneak peeks, wanted to share that the Jingle All the Way kit is almost sold out. It's almost jingled out!! If you need a little jingle, for years to come (Christmas comes every year, you know), let your local needlework shop know to order. When the darling finishing fabric is gone, this little kit is retiring and will jingle no more!


K75 A Little Luck Kit
Remember my blog request for some "Little" ideas? You sent so many fabulous ideas and I'm working on several. St. Patrick's Day was a favorite idea, and it's that time or year, so I got to work. There's a tiny leprechaun, and lots of other green goodies. Kit includes 32 ct. lambswool linen, golden horseshoe charm and some antique golden beads. Luck to ye!

K76 ABCs of Faith Kit
It's been a long time since we've released an ABC kit, so we're happy to bring you another addition to the ABC family. We worked hard on these ABC phrases - prayer was involved! The beautiful muted colors make this kit a real heirloom. ABCs of Faith kit includes 8 skeins of Weeks Dye Works overdyed threads and pattern. You supply your favorite neutral colored linen. 

3 Little Words Flip-its!
 We're really excited to share our new Flip-it series! I was thinking about the New Year, and thought a little inspiration (not to be confused with resolutions!) would be perfect. I researched and looked everywhere for little bits of 3 little words!

After I chose my favorites (the hard part!) I graphed them in groups of 2 sayings. There are 7 different Flip-its in the series, so that's 14 little phrases. Stitch them all together, stitch them separately, or choose your favorites and create your own personalized inspirational stitchery!

More pics and details of individual designs soon (I just finished stitching the models). I'm also planning an online contest for stitchers (that's YOU!) to submit their own favorite 3 word inspiration sayings! Once the winning saying is selected (we'll vote), I'll  graph it and post on our website for a FREE (optional) addition to our 3 Little Words series.

Flora McSample's Snippets
Who's Flora? She's our little (fictional) sampler girl, created for a market promotion several years ago. We were encouraged to submit a design in a sampler style, and "name" our sampler stitcher. Since then, Flora has made several appearances with sampler-ish designs. Most recently, she designed Flora McSample's Christmas Ornaments (#168)

Anyway, (long story short), this year Flora will be doing a series of small sampler inspired designs, similar to the BONUS projects that come with every Inspiration Boxer. You can frame these little gems, make them into pin pillows, little cushions (the word our UK friends use for "pillows"), whatever you like. They will be charming, quick little vintage projects.

What did you do on New Year's Day? My husband had a terrible cold and I was trying to avoid spending time with him. Yes, I cooked him soup and all that, but I tried to stay as far as possible from his germs. So I stitched this little model (hiding in my home office). It's a lovely saying from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Flora and I spent some quality time together! Look for more small Flora McSample Snippets in 2015.

I wish all of you a very Happy New Year! I hope you have time for lots of stitching, and spending time with those you love. Which reminds me a saying that I'm currently graphing..."Collect moments, not things".

***We're beginning to move the L*K office later this week to it's new little office space. Stay tuned for pictures of the historic move (weather pending!).

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Little Snow

Yes, I know I haven't blogged for almost a month. Not intentionally, of course...the holidays just got in the way.

I've really enjoyed "staying in touch" with many of you on the I Love Stitching Lizzie*Kate Facebook page. It's so fun to see what you're stitching, and all the creative finishes. A kind shopowner oversees this sight, and we're so thankful for Wilma and all the people who share on this FB page.

Here's the official "gather around the tree" photo this year. Our adult kids weren't home (see previous post!) but we had a wonderful time with my Mom and brother's fam here in Wichita. From left: Alan (husband and L*K biz partner), me, my Mom, brother John (sporting new "Santa" beard), sis-in-law Donna (super cook and all around awesome SIL).

I'm working on a BIG blog post with upcoming stuff for 2015. Look for that early next week in 2015!

Meanwhile, sitting in my upstairs L*K office and watching a "little snow" outside my window, I'm reminded of our A Little Snow kit. Our helper, Carmen, just restocked this one and it's a favorite.

Is it snowing at your house? What's your favorite thing to do when it's snowy outside? Does it involve a cozy chair and stitchery (and maybe a pet) in your lap or an outdoor activity with your warm clothes? 

We have this silly tradition of always venturing out to eat when the weather is the worst. My husband loves this (he's already mentioned it this morning)! Everyone else is heeding the weatherman's warnings and staying in and he longs to drive in whatever wintry mix is falling!

Happy Wintry Day!

Check back next week for the 2015 PREVIEW!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanks-mas @ 2901 Oriole

Q. What is Thanks-mas?
A. It's the very important holiday you celebrate when your adult children can come home for Thanksgiving, and not Christmas. 

Q. How do you celebrate Thanks-mas?
A. Choose your favorite parts of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and have FUN together!

Sure, it's a little sad when your grown kids can't make the trip home for Christmas, but you smile and adjust (and remember that next year will be different!).

Once everyone gathered, we began the great pie caper...pecan, pumpkin, and 2 apple pies were on the list. Ali (right) is a pro food blogger and insists on homemade crusts. I typically use the refrigerated ones you roll out...

but I did learn a lot about crusts after making 4 of them, under her supervision. She has a couple tutorials on her blog that are helpful. I guess you're never too old to learn something new?

Alas, I was too busy helping Alan with dishes to participate in the lattice top. Four cooks in the kitchen sure makes a a hurry!

Clearly, I was too distracted to take enough pictures, but we delivered 3 beautiful pies to a friend later that evening, and kept this apple beauty for ourselves. I also made some homemade caramel sauce for the pie. Oh my...once I discovered this delish microwave caramel sauce, I never buy the jarred stuff. It's kinda magical when you make it in the microwave - no candy thermometer required - and it's SO yummy!

On to the star of the Thanksgiving feast...the turkey! Our son-in-law Jeff decided to spatchcock the bird this year...YIKES! Basically, a little surgery flattens the bird out (looks like he got run over). He sits nicely in the pan and cooks evenly in less time.

And our bird was suspiciously GREEN before he went in the oven. Jeff had the gobbler resting on a bed of veggies and coated with herbs.

Apart from a quick photo op, I stayed out of the kitchen during the turkey process. EEWWWWW!!!! I don't want to deal with the bird until he is cooked and resting on my plate.

And speaking of's our Thanks-mas table setting. I used some pretty green hedgeballs from the yard and funky Dollar Tree black crows for a centerpiece.

On Friday morning we opened Thank-mas presents! Conveniently, my Christmas cactus started to bloom that day. It's always a little off-schedule, so blooming at Thanks-mas was perfect.

One highlight of our time together was our Annual Ebright Talks. They're loosely based on TED talks - short, informative talks on a variety of topics. We initiated the Ebright talks last year, and they were so fabulous, we did them again.

NOTE: After last year we were so psyched and all purposed to work on our talks during the year. But procrastination rules, and we were all "cramming" for our talks a few hours beforehand.

We each prepared a little informative talk on a subject that interests us. Many of us had visual aids, and used the TV to show computer power point slides. It was a fabulous evening full of fun facts, snacks, wine, and hilarity!

Here's our talk topics on photo above, going clockwise from upper left

Ali: healthy multitasking using Barre 3-inspired toothbrushing workouts
Dr. Erin (honorary 3rd daughter): Flu shot mythbusters
Sarah: Similarity in world religions as seen in art and architecture (she teaches AP Art History)
Alan: Innovations in geothermal heating (we're using this in our new house)
Me: WWII history of Bletchley Park code-breakers in England, breaking the German Enigma codes
(can't wait to see the new movie, The Imitation Game)
Jeff: Beer Tasting 101 - including tasting! (I still don't like beer, but now I know more about it)

Alas, Thanks-mas...the party mix is gone, and the leftover turkey is in the freezer (after some awesome turkey hash the next day - thanks, Jeff and Sarah). 

Now it's back to the office and shipping Part 2 of the Things Unseen Mystery Sampler and more new L*K designs. Check back soon for photos!

Happy Thanks-mas!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jingle Time!

We're working like crazy to get Part 2 of our Things Unseen Mystery Sampler ready to ship...but that's not ALL, folks!

We have a couple new things shipping to shops on Dec. 3.  Here's a sneak peek!

Jingle All the Way Kit (K74)
I couldn't resist doing one more Christmas design...the more the merrier, right?  I started with a teeny little elf I graphed, and built the design around him. He doesn't look stressed out...not yet, anyway!

After I stitched the model, I found this gorgeous finishing fabric, and decided to include it with the kit. You'll get the 28 ct. Lugana fabric for stitching (this fabric is a breeze to stitch on), poinsettia finishing fabric for front, striped coordinating fabric for backing (you can see it on pic behind model), 5 jingle bells, 2 little white snowflake buttons, graph and finishing instructions.  Add some bits of floss from your stash, and you're ready to JINGLE!

We're busy cutting, folding, and ironing (yes, ironing!) all the fabrics for this kit. As soon as the printer delivers our pretty color cover, we'll get to work assembling everything. We're hoping to get everything assembled before Thanksgiving holiday, because the turkey is at our house this year! (And can you believe that December begins right after Tday?!)

B50 No Act of Kindness Inspiration Boxer
This is the final winning saying in our Inspiration Sayings contest from earlier this year. This is a classic sentiment attributed to Aesop's Fables. Isn't it timeless? Kit includes 30 ct. natural line, flower button embellishment and BONUS design for the little pillow on the left.

If you want to add any of these new designs to your own Christmas list, let your favorite needlework shop know so they can be sure to order.

It's chaos here at L*K headquarters. We have "officially" outgrown out little home/garage office space. There is stuff everywhere...the shelves and countertops are full, and the floor is getting impassable. Every time we release a new product, we struggle to find a place to store it.

So...BIG news here at L*K...we've rented a little office space near our home. Yes, the commute will be longer - 5 minutes instead of 25 steps - but we are looking forward to our new L*K office. Moving is going to be a huge job, but we think the newly organized and expanded space will be awesome.

And...BONUS...our favorite Italian restaurant is in the same little strip space as us. Anyone want to help us move a little L*K inventory?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mystery mistakes & smart stitcher sleuths!


I got to my computer early this morning with a smile on my face, and a long list of urgent things to do...and I was greeted by a couple emails regarding possible mistakes on the just-released Things Unseen Mystery Sampler - Part One. 

After I resumed breathing, calmed myself and said a prayer of the simple variety "O Lord, help me!" I read the emails. And, of course, these smart stitchers were right!

Yes, even though it's a Mystery Sampler and no one has seen a picture of the completed project, these alert stitchers spotted a couple little errors. Thank goodness they are small, and even if not corrected, would not adversely affect the finished sampler. But, inquiring minds, and stitchers, want to know!

I sent an emergency note to my webmaster, and she posted the corrections on the L*K website. Here they are:

* On the left hand border, the square block stitched in Oscar (next to the word "be") should be 16 stitches (a perfect square) instead of the 12 stitches shown on graph. Refer to the upper left corner block for correct graph. All little "Oscar squares" should be 16 stitches, wherever they appear on the Mystery Sampler.

* The 3rd row contains a row of flowers. On Chart 1 graph, the 1st and 3rd flower straight stitches are incorrectly graphed. They should be stitched like the flowers on stitch illisutration - with all straight stitches pointing towards the center. Refer to the instructions on this stitch illustration for colors for flower petals and flower centers. This correction is only relevant for linen stitchers, not Aida stitchers.

HONESTLY...if I had already finished these little parts, I would not rip them out. I love antique samplers, and they are full of little quirks and inconsistencies. That's what makes them naive, personal and valuable!

WHEW!!! Interestingly enough, my main task for today was to finish the proofing for Part 2. When I called my proofer, Debbie (center in photo) to tell her about the mistakes, she said she was having trouble breathing! I said to "'s just cross stitch". 

This is a running joke between us, because we both truly care about the needlework biz. She is my local needlework shop owner (Heart's Desire in Wichita, KS), and I earn a living as a designer. But years of experience have taught us to do our best, acknowledge that we all make mistakes and roll with it.  Still, uncorrected mistakes can literally make us both gasp!!!

Debbie and I are on our 3rd round of proofing/corrections for Part 2 and we're hopeful to get it right...the first time.

The beautiful Things Unseen Part 2 cover just arrived today! We'll print the insides as soon as proofing is finished, and get to work collating and sacking. When you release these parts every month, the time really flies!

So that's the Mystery update! Many apologies for these little errors, and many thanks to all of you who spotted them.

Tonight's exciting activity? More rick rack cutting for the Part 2 bonus pin pillow. Look out...giant rick rack rolls will be rolling around our floor tonight! If I only had a cat, it would be great entertainment.

We think this little bonus pin pillow is the cutest. I really hope all of you Mystery stitchers enjoy it, too!

Have a great (error-free) week!