Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Needle Box kits have arrived!

We're just about ready to go live!! I think you're really going to like the new site. Customers now have the option to register which provides a number of benefits - speedier checkout, order history, tracking of store credit and more benefits to come. The search capability is vastly improved. You'll be able to go directly to the fabric, fibers and embellishments recommended by the designer for our most popular charts. We're really thrilled.

Also, the needle box kits from Charted Imagery that I mentioned in an earlier post have arrived. The kits include directions and pre-cut pieces of mat board. The directions are easy to follow - and the fabric is glued - not sewn. You supply your own fabric to match or complement your decor - the instructions specify how much fabric you will need. I will post pictures of my progress with my needle box over the weekend.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Almost there!

Almost ready to go live with our new website! We're really happy with the features we've been able to add to the site and, even more important - we're really happy with how quickly we can add new products. So, even though we haven't moved everything over yet, we still plan to go live with the new site next week and continue to add products - both old and new - over the next few weeks.
We will be carrying Weeks Dye Works as well as some new designers and some new stitcher's helpers. Look for mesh bags, Picture This Plus fabrics and designs, Dinky Dyes threads and designs, and so much more over the next few weeks. So come visit us - http://www.NeedleartsGallery.com - we'd love to hear from you.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Do-over - again - and my Wish List

Well, once again, we are re-designing and moving our webstore. While overall it is definitely easier to move in cyberspace than in the real world, it is still a lot of work - especially when you do it twice in one year. We have a real tough time with our software partner over the last year and realize now that it would be best to just cut ties and move on. Which means of course another physical inventory and a huge amount of data entry - again.

The good news is that the new store offers lots of features from our wish list and will be much easier to use - and - we have the opportunity to add new designers and products. We are adding the designs by Liz Turner Diehl, including her stumpwork kits. Also, Lorri Birmingham designs, and Drawn Thread designs. We will also have the opportunity to increase our offering of tools and organizers - including Yazzi bags (which I absolutely love) and those vinyl mesh zipper bags which are so incredibly handy all over the house. The downside of all of this is that I have no stitching time until its done. :-( But, I'm still real excited to get the new store up and running.

Since I'm not stitching right now, I am comforting myself with a wish list to start working on as soon as possible. Here's my wish list so far:
  • The Secret Garden Mystery from Chatelaine - it starts in January but I'll start collecting materials as soon as the list is published.
  • Pollyanna's Summertime Lamplighter Knot Garden from Liz Turner Diehl
  • Autumn in My Garden from Mirabilia

Of course, I still have my current rotation to work on as well. Hopefully I'll be happily stitching and answering emails again by December 1.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Chatelaine Indian Summer Reflections

Well, its the end of the month. I didn't exactly make it on half of my stitching goals. I certainly didn't make it all the way to the rabbit on Fairy Idyll nor did I finish any of the name tree ornaments from M Designs. However, I did finish part 3 on Indian Summer Reflections - and I'm pretty proud of myself on that front.

I also managed to get the second boot on little Mr. Giggles in the Snow. Still hoping to get Giggles in the Snow done before it starts snowing.

I think I need more reasonable stitching goals in the future. For the month of November, I will have to stick to Christmas gifts stitching and finishing.

Off to trick-or-treat! Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Snowman Christmas Wallet

Here's my little snowman - stitched on Aida (not my favorite, but it was so stiff it was a great travel project - no qsnaps needed). This is a freebie chart from Kreinik - but I'm not sure if this is Merry, Moe or Flurry.

I think I will finish this one as a wallet, in the style of Just Nan's Christmas wallet. I will need to find a couple of coordinating fabrics for the interior and I can add a pocket for a gift card. The design is almost big enough that I could change the size of the "wallet" and use it to hold a CD in a clamshell case. Hmmm - have to think about that.

Still plugging away on part 3 of Chatelaine's Indian Summer Reflections, but at least I have finally finished the marlitt parts. My goal still is to finish part 3 by the end of the month which should be doable. Hopefully, I'll finish by this weekend and I can catch up on my Christmas stitching.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

New release weekend

Its a big weekend to put new releases up on the site. Now that our power has been restored after Friday's storms and we've been able to restore some data backups, there's a lot to update.

There is a new limited edition Mirabilia kit distributed by Hoffman - Miss Valentine. These kits have been very popular. The only complaint I have heard about them is that there were a couple of errors packaging the Halloween Fairy kit. However, if you contact Hoffman Distributing, they will correct any problems with the kit very quickly. Here is a pic of the new Valentine fairy.

Mirabilia also released a new mermaid design this past week - South Seas Mermaid. I can't wait to see some WIPs of this mermaid, as (as usual) I don't think the cover photograph does it justice.

The online Needlework Show was last weekend and the new items from the show that we ordered are beginning to arrive. In the next week we will have Dinky Dyes threads and charts up on the site. We are really excited to carry these beautiful threads and designs. We will also begin offering designs by Liz Turner Diehl - her garden designs are gorgeous and her kits are fantastic.

As far as my stitching goes, it wasn't a very productive weekend. Since the leaves finally changed somewhere around Wednesday, and the huge storm came through Friday, it was important to us to go see the few remaining leaves on the trees. I guess I'll just have to make up for that this week!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Continuing to work on Giggles in the Snow from Mirabilia. Its a cute design and a pretty quick stitch. Unfortunately, this is one of the designs that Mirabilia has decided to discontinue. Its one of the few 'boy' designs that was available that I liked. Bobbie G has a few 'boy' designs available that I'll have to look into next.

Its an absolutely gorgeous day outside so I hope to get some sunshine stitching done while the kids play outside. Its probably a good afternoon for a personalized name tree ornament from M Designs. They are relatively quick stitches considering that they are being stitched over 1 on 32 count linen. They will make great Christmas presents when I finish them into ornaments with gift card pockets on the back.

Then there's my ongoing WIP - its been going on for about three years. I love the design - Mirabilia's Fairy Idyll - but the yellow dress just got to be too much yellow. My goal for this month is to reach the rabbit statue next to the fairy.

Shop News
I just ordered some kits from Needleboxes, Etc. from the online Needlework show. I can't wait for them to arrive. They are the folding type of needleboxes - one is a folding pyramid that would make a great Christmas present/ornament. I'll have them up on the http://www.NeedleartsGallery.com site as soon as they arrive.

I also ordered some new bead boxes. These are the style like tic-tac boxes. The great thing about these boxes is that when I accidentally knock them over, they don't completely empty onto the table and roll around.

In the next week or so we should have Dinky Dyes up on the site as well. Both the designs and the silks - absolutely beautiful.

Off to sit in the beautiful sunshine. Best take advantage of it now. Being New England, it could be 70 tomorrow and snow by the weekend.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Still working on part 3 of Chatelaine's Indian Summer Reflections. I always kind of suspected that Marlitt might not be my favorite thread, but I now know for sure that I harbor a strong dislike for it. So, in order to get through this part, I decided not to allow myself to go back to the wonderful silks until I had finished the Marlitt portions. Finally, I get to go back to silks tonight!

Also, still trying to decide how to finish the Emerald Dragonfly from Nora Corbett's designs. Not sure if I should frame it or maybe finish it into a box top.

Hopefully, I'll get a solid couple of hours of stitching in today. If I can finish part 3 of ISR, I'll go back to the Mirabilia design, Giggles in the Snow. Wouldn't it be nice to have it finished before the snow flies again?

Monday, October 16, 2006

I've decided that its time to join this blogging revolution. So, here I'll post my goings on in my counted cross stitch life.

I am currently working on Chatelaine's Indian Summer Reflections. Since I purchased the chart when it was an online Mystery, I get to set my benchmarks by the parts in which the design was released. If you haven't seen Martina's designs, you really must! This is Martina's site for Chatelaine designs. This is the ezBoard for Chatelaine designs - a fantastic place for inspiration.

My other works in progress are Mirabilia's Giggles in the Snow (just the Boy), Fairy Idyll and a couple of personalized name oraments from M Designs.

Mirabilia's new design, South Seas Mermaid is also calling. The chart should be here in a couple of days and I'll be able to get a better idea of the design.