Monday, 25 June 2007

Rain, Rain Go Away

I am sick of all this rain. It has either stormed and rained or just rained for what seems like weeks. When it isn't raining it is so hot and steamy and the grass and weeds grow far too quickly. Not to mention that it plays havoc with my dyeing. I'm lucky that I have so many drying racks but I like having lots of bright light when I am dyeing so I can see the colours properly.

The rainy days haven't been entirely wasted because I've been designing. I have finished a new Quilt Block and a little Celtic Cross and I have another Celtic design half finished. Janie and I are also going to be releasing a Ornament Collaboration soon, just in time for Christmas stitching.

This week has also bought me some charts from other designers who have used my silks. My friend Debbie, from My Big Toe Designs has a new design 'The Looking Glass' that uses my silks. She has also re-stitched 'Doro Theos' (below) with my new black #130 Black Coral and #91 Jarrah. You can find Debbie's designs in most needlework stores so keep an eye out for the new one.

Judith from Twisted Oaks Designs sent me the chart of a really cute new design, 'Coq Au Pins' which is a collection of stitching smalls including a chicken pin cushion that is so sweet. Be on the look out for that one as well.

We are leaving for Virginia on Friday for a weeks holiday and when I get back, I'll be dyeing my Summer Limited Edition Pack. I posted a message on my BB asking what colours customers would like to see this time. If you usually order these packs, go to the BB and have your say.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

I see a Light

At the end of the tunnel, that is. Most of the orders have gone out. I am waiting on new stock from Heirloom Embroideries in the UK to fill the couple of back-orders I have. I can finally see me having everything finished in time for us to go off on holiday for a week.

Yesterday I spent all day dyeing silk. Tomorrow I need to dye cotton. I must say I enjoy dyeing the silk much more then the cotton but then I am a self confessed silk snob.

Here is a photo of one of my dyeing racks loaded down with hanks of freshly dyed silk.

Today, I plan on sending out the orders that came in yesterday, packing a box of cottons for Tina, one of my winders and then cleaning my office. When I am preparing for a show and for a few weeks after, my office and workroom looks like a bomb has hit it. There are boxes, papers, charts, threads and other bits and pieces everywhere. At the moment I can't see the top of either of my work tables and am dodging boxes everytime I move.

By the end of the week I just might be able to make a start on those new designs that are running around in my head.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Another week bites the dust

Honestly, I don't know where the weeks go. When I was younger the weeks seemed to drag by and now I wonder if I've missed a few days somewhere. I have been busy packing orders and planning out what I'm going to be doing in the coming months.

One thing I can't wait to try is dyeing some yarn. I did dye some up last year but being at Columbus market and seeing all that lovely hand dyed yarn has me inspired. I found a wholesaler who have a wonderful range of undyed yarns so I will be placing an order as soon as I get time to work out what I want.

This is a photo of some of the yarn I dyed last year and the scarf I knitted with one ball of yarn. I have plans for some lovely bright colours in sock yarn and ... well, lets just wait and see what eventuates.

I have ideas for a few more designs and I'd really like to start working on them now, but... I'm still packing orders! Next week I need to dye top up stock so maybe after that I'll be able to start getting these ideas down on paper.

Dinky-Dyes will be closed from June 29 to July 8. Ian and I are going to Virginia Beach for the wedding of the son of one our friends. I managed to get a time share exchange and we are going to spend the following week in Williamsburg, VA. Ian's birthday is July 1 so it will be wonderful for him to have a week off work and what a great place to celebrate 4th of July.

I received a cute photo this week. There is a group of stitchers who usually go to Nashville CATS. Since there was no CATS in Nashville this year they organised a GT at one of the ladies home. I don't want to use names, because I didn't ask permission to do so but the hostess e-mailed me and told me how much fun they had at CATS with my OOPS packs. She said they would take them to the stitching lounge and tip them all out then play and trade. She asked if she could buy some OOPS packs to share with the ladies going to the GT.

Well, I just happened to have a few packs floating around that I sent off to the hostess and this week I received a lovely e-mail and two photos.

The OOPS packs were appreciated and as you can see the tradition of tipping all packs out and sharing continues. The kitty represents one friend who couldn't make it at the last minute. They didn't want her to miss out on the fun.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Stitch Maui 2008

I'm still packing orders. The crud I bought back from Columbus got much worse and I did nothing all weekend. The Dr has given me antibiotics and cough syrup and I do feel better this morning. Today will be full on packing orders.

So, I know you are wondering what Stitch Maui 2008 is. Well, my friend Keri Duke from Keri Designs who lives in Maui and I are planning a stitching retreat in Maui in October 2008. We had several meetings in Columbus and decided on dates and put more ducks in rows.

There will be several teachers at the retreat teaching Needlepoint, Cross Stitch, beginner Hardanger and Silk Embroidery. Keri and I will both be teaching and we have two other friends of mine, a well known cross stitch designer and a hardanger teacher, ready to pack their bags. I am still looking for another cross stitch designer to join us.

I can't let all the details out of the bag at the moment but I will be releasing information as we get things finalised. If you would like to be put on a mailing list to receive updated information, e-mail me at

If you have read previous posts in my blog, you will see how beautiful Maui is and we plan on giving you plenty of time to explore as well as stitch. It is going to be a very casual week and you can pick which classes to do. You don't need to sign up for all the classes offered.

Here are two different links to Maui websites so you can start planning what you want to see and do while you are there.

I had better get to work of packing orders. More to come.....

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

I'm back from Columbus

It has been a while since I blogged. The days rushed by before market and I was so busy trying to have everything ready to take with me, I had no time to post.

Fran and I picked up Kat on the way to the airport on the morning on March 31st and we were off to Columbus. We had to get a mini van from the airport with all our luggage - 6 large suitcases and assorted stitching bags, lap top cases and handbags. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott - Downtown and although the hotel wasn't new, it was clean and the staff were wonderful. The buffet breakfast was pretty good too!

Thursday was a rush. We had about 2 1/2 hours to get from the airport to the hotel then off to the class. I wasn't looking forward to that but it went really well. I threw in a few Aussieisms like 'Spit the Dummy' or 'For Ron' and Fran the handler played translator. I think all the people in the class just liked listening to me talk!

Friday was set up day. I thought I had everything but I had left the chains for the thread display at home. Laura saved the day by calling into a Home Depot to buy more for me on her way down from Canada. I am distributing for Laura through the US now and she had her stunning new designs and hand dyed fabric on display in my booth.

We had a 20 foot booth and since I had asked for, and received a corner booth, I left one end open to make it appear less cluttered. Above is the top end of the booth with the thread wall, the two needlepoint models and some of mine and Janie's designs. Below is a close up of the thread wall.

It is much less work setting up for an 'Order Only' show because we only need to take display stock and don't need enough to fill orders.

This photo shows 1 of the back walls with Janie's lovely pieces on the table and my designs hanging behind.

At the other end of the booth was the new designs from Enchanting Lair, Heirloom Embroideries and my display for The Gift of Stitching. All the stores who looked were very impressed with Kirsten's magazine and we did sell some subscription packs. Hopefully, more stores will contact me in the coming weeks to purchase subscription cards.

We did very well at the show with the orders rolling in from existing customers as well as a lot of new stores. Needlepointers were impressed with the silks and I had quite a few orders for full sets from various designers.

One of the best parts of going to the shows is socialising. Fran, Kat and I had so much fun with Pam and Ruth from 3 Stitches, our local Needlework Store and a new friend Edith Anne. Connie from Designs by CJ also joined us for dinner one night.

My website has been updated with the new silks and Janie's new designs, including our new collaborative effort - a class design that I taught at Columbus. It includes the chart, designed by Janie with full colour coded instructions, buttons and a new limited edition silk. It is also available with the fabric on request.

I have more to tell you but I need to start packing all the orders from Market.