Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nashville Part 2

I really have mixed feelings about the classes I took this year. The whole point, in my opinion, is to find out ways to make your business better. The first class I took was taught by a designer. It was a lovely design but I learned squat about anything that could benefit the shop. Some designers should just not teach. I guess by the same token not all teachers can design either. I came home with a lovely project to do and no way of using it in the business end of the shop. The second class was much better. I had a class with this teacher/designer last year and still haven't figured out how to do tubular peyote beading. But this year was much better. I learned how to take cross stitch charts and use them for beading. We learned how to do the herringbone stitch. Much easier than the peyote stitch. Anyway now I can take a cross stitch chart, sell you some delica beads and help you bead a beautiful bracelet. The third class was absolutely outstanding! Lynda from Forever in my Heart is an awesome teacher. She took one of her small free charts and kitted it up a dozen different ways. She then showed the models that went with each kit. It's a wonderful way to demonstrate how to step out of your box and use materials not specified by the pattern. I can't tell you how many customers want to use exactly what is called for by the pattern. I can show them fabric that's very similar to what's called for and nope, they'll insist on ordering the other. I plan on stitching all the kits and having them on display to show people how to use their creativity to make a design all their own. I say it's time to step out of our boxes and make each design our own!

Well, I guess it's time for me to get off my soapbox and finish my homework for the needlepoint class I'm taking at work. I'm almost done and when I've finished I can return to working on Cirque des Triangles. That's incentive enough for me.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Well, we had a wonderful trip to Nashville. It's always so inspiring to go and see all of the wonderful new designs being introduced. It's also like a mini vacation for Merry & I. Especially when someone else is paying the bills. ;-) Where shall I start? I think my favorite piece I saw was the new Shores of Hawk Hollow Run (or is it Hawk Run Hollow? I can never remember). It's spectacular. I'm planning on ordering the silks from Vicki Clayton and using them on it. I was also impressed with a new designer from the other side of the valley called Courtney Creations. We flew out with them and spent some time visiting over the weekend. Courtney has a wonderful pelican that is to die for! I picked up her Bird of Paradise for myself and she gave me a chart called Nightmare. It's a knight's helmet that's kinda fantastical. I told her I really loved it but didn't think I would ever stitch it and she gave me one as a gift. It makes me smile when I see it. We also got the complete set of Dinky Dyes overdyed silk threads for the shop. They are so soft and lovely. If you ever get the chance to try them, take it. They're really wonderful. I also really liked the new designs from European Cross Stitch. There were just so many things to see. Saturday we completely forgot about lunch and suddenly realized it at around 4 pm. But it was a great trip and I felt it was a real privilige to go. Now the hard work starts. We had everything shipped home and it arrived there on Friday. So today I spent all day getting the info into the computer. Still have quite a bit to go. That doesn't count the stuff we had mailed to us. And I still haven't finished processing the new stuff from the show in Long Beach in January.

I'm sure there are lots more stuff that I'm forgetting. Tomorrow if I can, I'll let you know how I did with the classes.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Finally A Finish!

Well, here it is. My first finish for 2008. This is a little freebie I did from the Michael Powell BB. It's called Little Cottage. The exchange required that the item be finished. That's just not my strong point. So I decided a bookmark might be fun. I used a rectangle Token & Trifle and stitched the design on it. On the back piece I put all the pertinent info about the exchange. Glued them together with a ribbon between the pieces and viola! a bookmark. I do think it's a pretty cute way of finishing something when you don't exactly have the sewing skills that others might have. Anyway it's a start, albeit a small one. Today I'm going to work on Cirque des Triangles while waiting for the Super Bowl to start. And, yes, I only watch it for the commercials.
I'm really excited about my trip to Nashville this week. It's so exciting to go and be the first to see (and buy!) all the new stuff the designers are offering. I'd like to start carrying the Lakeside linens in our store and also some of the new linens from Weeks Dye Works. They also have a new line of threads. Well not new colors but older colors wound on spools for punchneedle embroidery. Plus all the new designs that are offered. Merry & I also are taking 3 classes each on Friday and that's always fun for us. So when I get back I'll have lots to talk about.