Thursday, January 28, 2016

Our "almost forgotten" Boxer kit

It's a RARE occurrence when we get a new product ready a month ahead of time at L*K. When we release new designs every 2 months, our new inventory is usually ready "just in time". And often while we're packing orders, we run out of new stuff, and have to stop and assemble more.


And that's my excuse for why I forgot to mention our upcoming Inspiration Boxer in the previous 2 blog posts. It's been ready to go for a month - gasp - and collecting dust on the L*K shelves. I think it got lost in the holiday shuffle going on in my mind.



I'm excited about this one! The saying is "Life is better with stitching friends". It's a great stitch to share with a special friend who shares your passion for stitching, or keep it for yourself and smile.

Inspiration Boxer kit (B52) includes 30 ct. Lambswool linen (great inbetween thread count), dark blue buttons, and BONUS design. I LOVE this little BONUS (pictured below)!  Ever since it returned from Mona, my magical finisher, it's been sitting on my very crowded desk.

Check out my newly restored terrarium behind the BONUS project. I cleaned out a couple overgrown terrariums last week, and replanted with tiny new plants and newly pruned remnants of terrariums past.  . Sometimes those plants are so happy they outgrow their glassy spaces, not to mention get the glass all gooey and icky. Clean and happy again...these terrariums make me smile...and no watering!


We'll be having a working weekend at L*K, and get all 5 of new releases shipped to shops everywhere next Tuesday, February 2. Can you believe February is just around the corner?

Happy Stitching!



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2 new kits coming soon!

We're shipping new goodies on Tuesday, February 2 to needlework shops everywhere. Check out our previous blog post for our other 2 new releases. One design has great empowering words for 2016, and the other is just plain "undergarment" fun!

Meanwhile, here are our 2 kits coming SOON! We're busy cutting/folding linen and finishing fabric, sacking buttons/embellishments, and doing all those pesky assembly tasks. I expect when our friends gather at our house to watch basketball games in the weeks ahead, there will be some kit sacking stations in the TV room. 


A Little Baby Kit (K85) will join the "Little" kit club. This one is a cutie, and has space for easy personalization. It's a quickie gift that will last a lifetime. The colors are also easy to tweak for girls or boys. Just change the color on the baby booties! Kit includes 28 ct. Lambswool linen, antique gold charm, and alphabet/numbers for personalization. The personalization with name and date is stitched over one linen thread - thank goodness for magnifiers!


Hello Spring Kit (K86) is a companion to our recent Very Merry Santa Kit. I just adored doing the little purse/pocket/whatever you want to call it finish, so I'm doing a series for 2016. We're including some yummy vintage looking fabric, burlap-y ribbon, 2 mother-of-pearl flower buttons and a baby pink button. And, of course, complete finishing instructions. This is a real spring cutie - I just love the sweet colors and cheery flowers on this one.

I enjoyed my Very Merry Santa model so much, he found a place in my holiday decor. Now I'm plotting where to display the Hello Spring Purse as soon as spring is in the air. It's freezing outside today...I'm hoping for our first snow, or (alternatively) some 60 degree weather!

***Missing Big Girl Panties update. No sightings to date. We'll keep our eyes open, but I'm thinking this missing model crime will remain unsolved, just like the runaway bunny. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, see previous post.)

Enjoy your week, everyone!


Friday, January 15, 2016

What's coming in 2016

It's been over a month since I blogged! What happened??? The holidays, of course!

So now I'm trying to get back to my desk, and return to the daily groove of running a cross stitch biz. I'm making lists, and even starting to cross things off. I'm trying to pull everything together for a new bunch of designs coming in early February. These designs were all stitched before Christmas, but somehow the publishing part is taking longer than usual, due to some unusual setbacks ***see details below!!

Here's what's on my desk for 2016:


175 Bras and Panties
The Big Girl Panties are back!!! Many years ago I did a kit with the saying "Pull up your big panties and deal with it!". I still remember trying to explain this saying to an Italian customer at Nashville Market. Anyway, it sold out in a couple hours and had the shortest life of an L*K kit to date. (I only made a small number because I had no idea if anyone would like this phrase...who knew?) Since then I've had numerous requests for more Big Girl Panties! I've tweaked the original design a bit, and added a second design about Bras.  Now we will have an underwear duo, both packaged as a chartpak. We're including some hand-dyed buttons in orange and pink to add to the "unmentionable" fun! Ask for #175 Bras and Panties.

***Regarding the above mentioned "unusual setbacks"....I have a really funny story to tell about the Big Girl Panties. Before Christmas, I stitched the design at home. Then it went to the L*K office to have my husband mail it to my finisher, Mona, in nearby Oklahoma. A couple days later she told me it still hadn't arrived. Panic and dismay! The Big Girl Panties had gone missing! And...long story short...they have never resurfaced. The Big Girl Panties model is now officially MIA. We can't find a record of it on the shipping log, can't find it in the L*K office or at home, the UPS man isn't confessing, and it certainly isn't at the Magic by Mona headquarters. After mourning it's loss for a few days, I realized my release deadline was approaching and I reluctantly (argh!!!) restitched the model.


Mona says the Big Girl Panties have absconded with the "Runaway Bunny" (pictured above before he went AWOL) - another model that went missing in spring 2015. We thought we might find the missing bunny model when we moved last summer, but alas, no :"wascally wabbit" resurfaced. It's a truly sad day when your panties are missing!


#174 Be Bold and Brave
Everyone keeps requesting inspirational sayings, so I've combined 2 favorites in this chartpak, plus a bonus coordinating pin cushion design. I just love both of these empowering phrases. They're great words to begin the New Year! I used a darling little Shaker pin cushion from Lone Elm Lane.

Instead of making resolutions, I have friends that select a "word" or "phrase" for the New Year, and try to live the year with intention through their selected words. Wouldn't the 2 phrases above be great for a 2016?

What else is coming in February?
I've urgently pulling together a couple more kits. I'll share pics and info on the next post. I'm really excited about both of these. Stay tuned for our next blog post - soon, I promise.

Meanwhile, keep an eye out for those missing Big Girl Panties!



Friday, December 4, 2015

My great Christmas elf caper!

I love to do crafts!

Yes, I earn my living as a cross stitch designer so I do tons of needle crafts (I still stitch all of my L*K models myself). But sometimes, I just have to try something different and put my hands to work on something new.

And that's where Pinterest...and my crafty co-conspirator, Glenna...take over! Glenna and I get together several times a year - not often enough - and attempt new craft projects. We decide on something we like (usually from Pinterest), gather supplies, and meet in her awesome little "Girls Only" creative haven.


Next to her house, Glenna has a darling little "shed" where creative things happen. Glenna creates beautiful quilts, and all sorts of other lovely, handcrafted things. But when I visit, we usually bust out the glue guns, scissors, and all that. I have limited sewing machine skills, but Glenna has a couple machines in there that make sewing (almost) easy. And sometimes she helps me with pesky sewing tasks.


Here's a pic from INSIDE the little shed. Isn't it darling??? Glenna has been busy collecting lots of things from the past (read: our childhood).Check out the Formica/chrome kitchen table and shiny red vinyl chairs. Everywhere you look there are fun little retro details. I try not to get distracted by all the charm and get to work when I'm invited. You can see the beginnings of our recent caper on the table above.


Our Christmas 2015 mission was to make these "Felt and Pinecone Elves" from Pinterest. We downloaded the free templates, bought beautiful felt (Etsy) and wooden "heads" (Hobby Lobby), rounded up pinecones and lots of glue sticks and we were ready. And then we started to wonder...will our elves be as cute as these guys?

***Note: at the time we started our elves, the pattern download was free. Now they seem to be charging $5. We ordered felt from an Etsy vendor that the pattern maker recommended. Fast and friendly service...and gorgeous colors of felt.


After lots of cutting, sewing (the little pointy hats), and gluing, heads rolling on the floor, eye and mouth markering and scarf tying...here's our elf swarm we made that night (below).


And then I got in a sort of elf overdrive mode, and made a bunch more at home!


Yikes...here's a bunch of headless elves waiting on head transplants. Sometimes it was a little tricky to get those pesky elves to stand up straight on their felt-covered cereal box feet. Once the heads were in place, it was surprisingly fun to "get them dressed". I had to choose colors for their mittens and hats, and then tie a little scarf around each neck. I may/may not have obsessed over the elf accessorizing. Everyone loves a properly accessorized elf!


Here's my finished elf army...ready to visit my friends' homes...and help them navigate the busy holiday season. I'm packaging them in groups of 3 so they don't get lonely for elf companionship. These guys are ready to go to work, spreading Christmas cheer and getting to work after the lights go out.

Everyone needs a few elves this time of year...right?











Monday, November 30, 2015

Very Merry Santa is Coming SOON!

I hope all of you had a joy-filled Thanksgiving! We did an un-traditional celebration this year. You know...the "flexible" things you do to accommodate adult children and their busy schedules. And I must say, it was a fabulous holiday weekend, filled with lots of laughter, great conversation and yummy food (of course!).

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, .I want to share with you a quickie, last minute December project we're readying to ship. 

Meet "Very Merry Santa"! Our jolly old elf is merry because he's got a basket full of snowflakes, his hands are full of packages, and there's a plate of warm cookies waiting on him when his Christmas mission is finished.


I've been wanting to do a little "purse" finish, and got this one done just "in the Nick of time!".You can call it a purse, or maybe a pocket. Whatever you call it, it's a fun finish for hanging, filling with some little goodies, or nestling in a bowl of greens, ornaments or other Christmas finery. It's just SO CUTE!!! Can't wait to add him to my holiday decor. The holiday decorating chaos is in full swing at our house...yours, too?


Very Merry Santa Kit includes 28 ct. linen, checked finishing fabric, hand-dyed buttons, French twill stripe ribbon, rusty jingle bell and 2 mother-of-pearl buttons. We're also including complete finishing instructions for your own Very Merry Santa. You supply something Christmas-y to fill your little purse!

Contact your favorite needlework supplier to order NOW! We're sending Very Merry Santa flying out of the L*K office later this week. He's bringing a little holiday joy with him.

We've love for Very Merry Santa to visit your house this Christmas. Add "yourself" to your Christmas shopping list. You've been good...right?!?


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

SHIPPING TODAY - Sneak Peek!

It's not even Thanksgiving, but the elves are in full gear at L*K. We've got a final batch of 2015 designs SHIPPING TODAY from L*K world headquarters (in a little strip mall in scenic Wichita, Kansas).

Coming soon to your favorite needlework shop...


#173 Flora McSample's 2015 Stockings
Our sample girl, Flora, has been busy with 3 more mini stockings to add to your collection. She was inspired by her favorite Christmas carols...lovely! Chartpak includes 3 designs and embellishments for all. These little stockings are companions to #168 Flora's 2014 Stockings and #161 Flora's 2013 Stockings (all picture at www.lizziekate.com).

SNOW STORY FLIP-ITS!!!
The flurries are flying, and snow is headed your way!

We're so excited about this 3-part mini Flip-it series. It's quick, fun, and you don't have to put it away with your Christmas decorations. For all the snowy details, scroll back to our previous post. It's all there!

F155 Cold Hands - Snow Story Flip-it


F156 Warm Hearts - Snow Story Flip-it


F157 Snow Love - Snow Story Flip-it


Our Snow Story all stitched together for one long snow tale!



K83 A Little Coffee Kit
It's always the right time for a hot cup of coffee, but especially when the weather turns cool! A Little Coffee kit includes 28 ct. Amber linen and tiny "cafe au lait" colored buttons. Pour yourself a cup and start stitching!



B51 Gratitude Inspiration Boxer Kit
Inspiration Boxers have been on a mini-break, but they're back. We have a series of 3 Inspiration Boxers coming for late 2015/early 2016. Gratitude Boxer includes 30 ct. Lambswool line, embellishment and super sweet BONUS design.


Finally, I wanted to share a pic of the BONUS project that comes with the Gratitude Inspiration Boxer. I love designing and stitching these little bonus designs, and this is one of my favorites! I stitched on a scrap of Weeks Dye Works 32 ct. Seafoam linen, but you can stitch on anything you like. It's so sweet and cute, it's occupying a corner of my desk right now. 

That's it for 2015...or is it? I thought it was until I had a brainstorm last week for a "Last minute Christmas" kit. I designed and stitched it, and now I'm waiting for embellishments to arrive and hunting down cool finishing supplies. Stay tuned!!!














Wednesday, October 28, 2015

SNOW in the forecast at L*K!

I know...it's not even Halloween yet...but my mind is on SNOW! In fact, my little L*K desk and the L*K warehouse is covered in snowy goodness right now. We probably won't "dig out" from the snow for a couple months, if my forecast is accurate.

We're excited to preview our next Flip-it series...SNOW STORY!!!


It seems like no one can get enough snowmen, or snowflakes, or SNOW anything, so we're doing a 3-part series dedicated to our favorite frozen meteorological phenomenon - SNOW! It's a little snow-y story told in 3 parts, which can be stitched individually, or combined to tell one long SNOW STORY.

SNOW STORY isn't a Christmas design, but it can definitely be displayed over the holidays. The fun part is...you don't have to put Snow Story away with your holiday gear. SNOW STORY is perfect for snowy winter displays after the holidays.


The individual SNOW STORY models are finished flat and attached to snowflake cutouts from Hobby Lobby. We chose 3 different wood snowflake cutouts, and painted them an icy white. We'll have complete finishing instructions available at magicbymona.blogspot.com. These little flakes are so charming...I love this creative finish!


Here's a pic I snapped at my Hobby Lobby. Each package contains 3 snowflake cutouts - assorted one each of 3 styles. They're about 10" wide. SKU (inventory number by bar code) is 5434253. Set of 3 is regularly $5.99, but use your Hobby Lobby 40% coupon, or wait for them to go on sale (if you have the patience). Find these darling little flakes in the Christmas crafts section

****As always, you can finish like our models, or do your own snow-inspired finishing. We framed our big SNOW STORY model with a navy/white frame combo...perfect icy touch!


F155 Cold Hands SNOW STORY Flip-it


F156 Warm Hearts SNOW STORY Flip-it


F157 Snow Love SNOW STORY Flip-it

We stitched on icy "Storm" overdyed linen from Picture This Plus. We used 28 ct. Storm for the 3 individual models and 32 ct. Storm for the combined model. "Storm" is a gorgeous medium blue-gray color. I don't think the pics really show how pretty it is. You can choose your favorite fabric, too - just make sure it's dark enough for the SNOW to show up! 

Stitch for the entire SNOW STORY is 229W x 33H. Individual stitch counts are F155 Cold Hands 82W x 33H, F156 Warm Hearts 73W x 33H, F157 Snow Love 73W x 33H.

Our SNOW STORY thread list is short and easy: Weeks Dye Works clockwork, deep sea, seaglass, and whitewash (3 skeins of snow goodness!). These Flip-its really stitch up quickly because the color palette is easy. Each SNOW STORY Flip-it also comes with 2 hand-dyed blue buttons. 

***DISCLAIMER: I stitched SNOW STORY while I was recovering from knee replacement surgery. I thought I was paying attention and fully present...but oh my! I discovered all sorts of funky little stitching mistakes later (some quite interesting - like reversing motifs!). Thank goodness for Photoshop editing. I was clearly "one snowball short of a snowman"...and didn't know it!

Ready for SNOW?? We're in full SNOW preparatory gear at L*K headquarters. The flakes are flying and we're almost ready to send SNOW STORY your way soon!

We'll be shipping to fabulous needlework shops around the world on Tuesday, Nov. 11

There's a SNOW STORY storm coming your way soon. Better get your needle and thread ready...you might get "snowed in"!