Wednesday, July 29, 2015


There, I've said it, the great big scary word.  If you know me, you know that while I may talk a lot, I rarely get on my soapbox. When I do get on my soapbox, the topic is typically ethics in business.

I will assume you are reading this because you have some level of interest in needlepoint and what I do.

I do what I do because I love it yes, but also because it provides for me, my family and my four-legged creatures.  It's my job, my livelihood, something I am good at.

Most of what I do is no secret.  It's simply pretty threads on a pretty canvas in a pretty combination.

But then, there is what I sell. The documentation of those pretties.  Hours and days go into documenting what I do and how I do it, so that you can follow along.  Let's not even get into the cost of the state of the art computers and software that allow me to make the document that you will follow.  Then there are the photographers who get paid to photograph the pieces when I don't and the web programers who created the website where all this pretty stuff is sold.  There are expenses.

See where I am going.  There's lots of behind the scenes stuff that boils down to a very small profit margin.

There are many other designers and authors like me.  Tony Minieri, Robin King, Kelly Clark and Brenda Hart to name a few.  We all work quite hard hopefully bringing joy to your corner of the needlepoint world.

The documents that we create, print and sell are copyrighted.  Which simply means that you can't copy it and resell it.  You may sell your original.  We have no control over that.  You can shred it if you would like.  It's yours.  What you can not do is make multiple copies of it and sell those.  (Documents that are sold as online downloads have entirely different laws behind them.)

What, you are aghast!  People would do that?!!! Yes, there are people who will do that.  It is sad.  They are out there, making copies of various stitch guides and selling them over and over on ebay.  We see it all the time.  We have friends that look out for us and we see it.  It's not hard to see how many times one item has been sold by the same seller.  

Sandy Gilmore designed a canvas for us for our anniversary, Beadazzled.  Brenda Hart wrote the stitch guide and I market it.  That guide has been sold on ebay several times by the same seller. Probably several more times if we knew all the aliases for this one seller.  (Insert big sigh here.)  

We as designers are spending a significant amount of time creating clever options to protect our work.  There's expensive paper that when copied will show a great big mark in the center marking it illegal and useless.  There are embossers that will show a raised medallion so you the purchaser know if you have an original or not (No embossing?  It's a copy.)  There is also software that will put the purchasers name and purchase date on the stitch guide so that if a copy is made and several copies show up we will know exactly where they came from.

All of these are bandaids and they take time, effort and money.  Which in the end means that prices could go up and you will then be paying more for your needlepoint just because someone decided it was okay to make and sell a few copies of a guide.  

We've seen it happen.  As I said, I've seen several of my guides sold numerous times on ebay.

If you would like to see us keep doing what we are doing and making pretty things, buy guides direct from your LNS.  You know you will get an original guide this way.  If your LNS can't supply the guide, contact the designer.  We will most likely be happy to help you out.  We will also know if the item for sale on ebay is a legitimate copy or counterfeit.  

We understand you want a fair price for what you are purchasing but enabling those sellers with stitch guides on ebay has ramifications that will in the end increase costs all around.

And if you are reading this and copying my guides, please stop.  It's getting old.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Alligators are snapping

This is just the coolest canvas ever.  The one and only Eleanor Grosch designed this florida alligator.  I love her style.  It's perfect for stitches.  Every detail is boiled down to the minimum number of shapes necessary to tell the story.

Can't you just see the alligator gliding through the water in search of his dinner?

Add to the wonderful canvas, threads and stitches selected by Gale Washington and I can't tell you how magnificent it is now!  The stitches she created add an incredible amount of depth to the design.  So many fun nuances.  The alligator's back is lumpy bumpy and the water just flows around him.

The water stitch alone is amazing!

The turtle shells are perfect.  The little guys even have eyelashes!

Should you decide you have just the perfect spot for a snapping alligator, the canvas is available complete with stitch guide.  Give us a call at 410.296.0405 or order online here.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Feline Follies Monthly Club

We are delighted to introduce you to the Feline Follies Club!  You saw the dog club in the previous post so please allow me to unveil the cat club!  I commissioned Rebecca Wood several years ago to create these animal ornaments exclusively for us.  
Seven super sweet kitties doing comical cat-like things.  Change them out per season or finish them all as ornaments for your Christmas tree. 
Each monthly shipment includes one hand-painted canvas on 18ct mono along with a full color stitch guide by Sheena James. Each canvas is approximately 4" x 6". 

Club starts October 2015
Here's the super cool part, a portion of the proceeds of each canvas sold will be donated to the ASPCA!  Support our furry friends through your stitching.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Canine Capers - New Club!

We are delighted to introduce you to the Canine Capers Club!  You probably know I love dogs and cats!  I commissioned Rebecca Wood several years ago to create these animal ornaments exclusively for us.  
Seven super sweet dogs doing comical dog-like things.  Change them out per season or finish them all as ornaments for your Christmas tree. 
Each monthly shipment includes one hand-painted canvas on 18ct mono along with a full color stitch guide by Sheena James. Each canvas is approximately 4" x 6". 
Club starts October 2015
Here's the super cool part, a portion of the proceeds of each canvas sold will be donated to the ASPCA!  Support our furry friends through your stitching.

Monday, July 20, 2015

It's all in the details

Lots and lots of little areas and details.  That's what makes this canvas so fun.  Even though the areas are small we can still fit stitches in them.

Today was lesson two of Lulu's La Sirena Mystery Class.

She's oodles of fun to stitch. 

Her tail is a new Scallop Stitch stitched in the prettiest pink over dyed silk and accented with sequins and metallic.

Her wings are a beautiful lacy eyelet stitch, quick to do with big impact.  

We will finish her in three weeks!  Just one more lesson.  More canvases will be arriving so if you would like to stitch your own mermaid, give us a call at 410.296.0405 or order her online here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Be Merry

Our Thanksgiving Weekend class 2014, featured Julia Snyder teaching Amy Bruecken's Be Merry canvas.

It is back from the finisher and will stop you in your tracks with its uber cuteness.

So many fun techniques and such super cute finishing.  Love this piece.

Give us a jingle at 410.296.0405 or order online here, if you would like us to send you a kit.  The canvas is complete with stitch guide.  How fun will this be to stitch?


Monday, July 13, 2015

Embellishment by Ruth

Stitching with Friends.  That's what this weekend was.  Ten wonderful friends old and new in one store with lime green walls.

Each of the ladies had a different canvas.  They were welcomed to the class with wonderful bags of threads, beads and goodies waiting for them on their canvases.

Then there was the big reveal, complete stitch guides for each canvas ready for stitching.

Each of the canvases was special.  They were all fun to stitch guide.

Peggy requested the EyeCandy Snow White Collage!  Lots of embellishment opportunities here.  Real metal threads, beads, crystals, Russia Braid and more. 

The Zecca Anu Bird is going to be a riot of silly textures.  It is a fantasy bird after all.

I am in love with this game board also from Zecca.  Jamie got a lot done and it is spectacular!

Lani's Spring Easter Collage is going to be stunning when complete.

Pretty little borders that bring out the green in the design made Beverlee very happy.  We used lots of overdyes in this design not to mention lots of sparkle and beads.

Maggie's Cityscape is packed with tiny details but trust me there's lots of fun stuff in this one too. 

I love the Corina Luyken canvases from Maggie, Dog Walker is no exception.  So many details and opportunities for stitches.  The trick is handling the black outlines.

Kate challenged me with a very traditional Shorebirds canvas.  The background is sooooo elegant. 

What?  Another Zecca canvas?  Who can say no?

Wading is a cutie pie.  Again from Zecca but who's complaining?

Kathy gave me my choice of two canvases for this class.  (Yes, you all spoil me!)  I chose to stitch guide the Colors of Praise Paper Lanterns for her.  It's super light stitching but stunning as it comes to life.  The lanterns are paper in real life so they need to look like that on the canvas too.  The light shimmers through them.

Apparently the dress code on Saturday was black and white.  Too cute, girls.

We will be having more embellishment by Ruth classes in the future so check your calendar and start thinking which canvas you would like me to guide.  Next class is January 16/17 of 2016.  I'll need your canvas by September.  

In the meantime, if any of the canvases above speak to you, we are happy to kit them up and send them your way.


Thursday, July 09, 2015

Gadgets Gizmos and Great Inventions

This is a fun new club. Nine months of cool gadgets, gizmos and must have stitching accoutrements.
These are my must-have tools of the trade. Yes, we can buy every gadget that comes out, but some truly are better, more useful than others. These are the best of the best. The ones I really use. I’m not a gadget girl so it had to work hard to make my list. Some are new, some you have seen before.  Even if you’ve seen them you won’t mind having a second for your stitching bag.
And speaking of stitching bags, wait until you see the limited edition tool bag perfect for toting your tools. Each month you will receive a curated group of tools that you will love. Stitchy Things, Clippy Things, Picky Things and more.
I can't reveal what's in each shipment.  What fun would that be?
I can tell you that some products are new on the market, some are ones I am developing, some are old tried and true.  If you aren't up for the adventure, you can wait until the party is over and order individual items separately if they are still available.  Some are limited edition.  You know I love limited editions.
Club starts September 2015 
Non-refundable enrollment fee is $48.00  Pay $48 each month plus shipping for the monthly collection of great inventions.  Club lasts nine months.

Honeybee Alert:  If you are a honeybee, the enrollment fee for the club is only $24!  A gift to you, my honeybees!
Give us a call at 410.296.0405 to sign up or sign up online here.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Halloween Hooter

Whaaaaat?  Halloween?  It's barely the 5th of July!

But yes, it's time to think about the next Mystery Class.  If we are going to have canvases in time to start class August 23rd we need to plan now.

So, without further delay, I am pleased to announce that the next Mystery Class after the mermaid will be the Halloween Hooter by dede.

What a riot this guy is.  So many fun details ready to come to life.  I love that it is painted on yellow 18ct mono.   Do you think I will do an open background?  Hmmmmm?

There will be four lessons for this mystery.  You may sign up to take the class in person or long distance.

The cost of the class is the cost of the canvas $216 plus $15 per lesson plus the bag of threads beads etc needed for that lesson.  It's going to be a fun adventure.  As I type this, the ideas are brewing.

Classes will be August 23, September 13 and 27th and October 18th.

Sign up online here or by calling us at 410.296.0405.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Nifty New Project Bags

With some of our classes and clubs we send out coordinating project bags.  If you have received one you know how handy they are for toting around those projects that we have just a few of. :-)

We have packed super cute sets of bags, one large for your project and one small for your threads.

Available sizes are:
14 x 14 which will hold 11 x 11 evertites
18 x 18 which will hold 15 x 15 evertites
24 x 24 which will hold 21 x 21 evertites
32 x 25 which will hold a stocking!

Give us a call to order yours or order online here.
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