Friday, July 21, 2017

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS Mystery Sampler!!!

It's TRUE! We're doing another MYSTERY SAMPLER, and we can't wait to share all the mysterious details with you. It's been 4 years since our other Christmas mystery sampler, Holly and Hearts. Our holiday hearts are ready for another mystery!

What's a mystery sampler? Many of you know, because you've been asking for another!  But for our rookie detectives, it's a sampler that unfolds in parts. The big mystery is...what will it look like?! Because unlike every other L*K project, there is NO PHOTO on the front (I know...perplexing!). Each month you receive a portion of the design. As you stitch, the project develops and the mystery unfolds!

Mystery Samplers are so fun and popular because...well, lots of reasons:

*It's a giant club with stitchers literally all over the world. And it's our favorite kind of club, because EVERYONE is invited and warmly welcomed. It's fun to chat with other "members" as the mystery develops. It's great for needlework shops because they get to see you/communicate with you every month. 

* We do lots of extra fun things - like developing new products - when it's mystery sampler time. We'll tell you below about our new fabric and thread colors and Needle Nanny (designed just for Spirit of Christmas), and some cool embellishments we're rounding up for you.

*We "gift" Mystery Club stitchers with BONUS projects. Spirit of Christmas will include one BONUS project with each part...3 BONUS stitcheries in all! You never know what you'll "unwrap" when your mystery shipment arrives.


* 3-part series will ship in early September, October and November (finished in time for Christmas, of course).

Stitch Count for Spirit of Christmas is 95W x 191H. Not too big, not too small, just right.

* Spirit of Christmas is stitched on lovely Heartland linen from Picture This Plus. We worked with Marilyn and the Picture This Plus gang to create a gorgeous neutral color. We'll have 4 fabric options...28 and 32 ct. Heartland linen, as well as 14 and 16 ct. Heartland Aida. All fabrics are precut with 3" border on all sides, serged, and individually packaged. You can also personalize with your own fabric choice.

Spirit of Christmas thread pack has 11 skeins of Weeks Dye Works overdyed threads, including an exclusive new color we requested especially for Spirit of Christmas! Miranda (WDW owner and color guru) and I are brainstorming a name for this subtly beautiful color, and we'll reveal that soon.

* There are 3 BONUS projects, one included with each Spirit of Christmas portion. These are each lovely little projects by themselves. Here are the BONUS projects, in the order they will be revealed:

Holiday Home 2 sided scissor fob  - 34W x 33H on each side - September
Christmas Love pin pillow - 73W x 27H - October
Christmas sampler - 93W x 48H - November

* Embellishment Pack with goodies designed especially for Spirit of Christmas. This pack includes embellishments for the main sampler, as well as the 3 BONUS projects.

* For the first time, we're offering a mystery sampler Needle Nanny! Our gal pals at Zappy Dots are making us a beautiful collectible "dot" just for Spirit of Christmas. It's the perfect place to park your needle while you're watching the mystery unfold.

We'll be blogging soon with behind-the-scenes looks at the whole mystery sampler process, including our awesome suppliers/partners at Weeks Dye Works, Picture This Plus, Just Another Button Company, Zappy Dots and (of course) the busy goings-on at Lizzie*Kate. 

We know from previous mystery adventures, that you enjoy seeing all the prep and creativity that make a mystery happen. It's truly takes a (cross stitch) village to put one of these projects together, and we want to include YOU as we uncover the Spirit of Christmas Mystery Sampler together.

Contact your favorite needlework supplier. They are taking pre-orders NOW. 

Look at the Info for Stitchers button on our website. Most shops will ship. Just ask!

Mysteriously yours, 

***Check back soon for Mystery Sampler sneak peek CLUES!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

OOPS - almost forgot to be THANKFUL

I blogged last week about our upcoming releases this Friday, July 21.

I'm so embarrassed to admit, I FORGOT ONE NEW DESIGN (OOPS).

F169 Thankful Celebrate with Charm Flip-it

I frequently refer to Thanksgiving as the "forgotten holiday" in the cross stitch world. Halloween and Christmas designs are SO popular, even outside the US. But the day we reserve to "give thanks" just gets lost in the holiday fervor and the anticipation of Christmas (and in my distracted brain). 

Thankful is the 6th holiday in our 2017 Celebrate with Charm Flip-it series. We'll finish the series with Merry (Christmas), which will be available in October. 

Here are the other Celebrate with Charm holidays already available:

F164 Love Celebrate with Charm Flip-it (includes heart charm)

F165 Luck Celebrate with Charm Flip-it (includes shamrock charm)

F166 Basket Celebrate with Charm Flip-it (includes dragonfly charm)

F167 Liberty Celebrate with Charm Flip-it (includes star charm)

F168 Boo Celebrate with Charm Flip-it (includes moon charm)

Our much-awaited, sadly delayed vacation begins next week. So hopefully after a week away, I'll return more focused and less forgetful. I'm "counting" on it (a little counted cross stitch humor)!



Friday, July 14, 2017

Newbies coming SOON!

Alan escaping the heat

It's HOT here, but our minds (and busy needles) are thinking about autumn and Christmas.


#185 Autumn Smalls - with embellishments

Our seasonal Smalls series continues with 4 charming autumn projects. Every year I enjoy designing with gorgeous autumn hues and stitching the models. These little guys are quick and fun, with lots of creative finishing options. Chartpak includes embellishments.

#186 Tiny Tidings XXII

All 5 Tiny Tidings stitched together!

It's our "tiny" time of year! For 22 years, I've been designing "tiny" little gems to make your holidays a little brighter. This year I did something a "tiny" different. There are 5 tiny design that are great individually, but you can also choose to stitch them together. We included a back cover picture of all 5 stitched horizontally. Stitch individually, or group 3 or 5...whatever your holiday heart desires!

E186 Tiny Tidings XXII Embellishment Pack
We've gathered all the goodies to make your projects look just like ours...JABC custom cookie button, JABC small and medium white buttons, and tiny white button.

S132 The Elves Did It! - Santa '17 Snippet

Santa (the Jolly Old Elf, himself) invited a couple elf friends to join him on the Snippet this year. Those hardworking elves are used to being behind the scenes at Santa's workshop, but this year they're on the cover! There's lots of Christmas merriment and a bit of mischief for 2017.

S132E The Elves Did It! - Santa '17 Embellishment Pack
Includes 2 white snowflake buttons and golden heart charm.

F169 Thankful Celebrate with Charm Flip-it

Continuing our Celebrate with Charm Flip-it series, it's time for that often overlooked holiday in the stitching world - Thanksgiving. Includes golden leaf charm - it's hard to see in pic but it's a cutie.

I do love stitching autumn and holiday projects in the summer. Which is a good thing, because that's when they always get stitched!

Need some L*K autumn and Christmas at your house?

Contact your favorite needlework supplier and request your "must haves"! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, July 10, 2017

1 wedding, 1 funeral and a little cross stitch

So...I'm embarrassed to see it's been over a month since I blogged. I'm sure that's officially the longest gap in L*K blog history.

But a lot of life has happened since we last chatted. Happy, sad, busy, emotional, just plain's all been there.

Sarah "Lizzie" and Ali "Kate" getting ready for Ali and Barc's wedding

On the happy side, our daughter Ali was married on June 2. Barclay is the man she's been waiting/praying/hoping for for many years. And they are adorable together. They're so profoundly happy and grateful to have found each other (at ages 34 and 39), they're just totally embracing life together. It's just a joy to be around them.

Thanks to son-in-law Jeff for this pic before the ceremony

I loved my pretty pink MOB (mother-of-bride) dress. It was so comfy - no hose, no SPANX, and even pockets. Woohoo! Dillard's for the win.

We had the large wedding at beautiful historic KC Union Station

Henry (on Alan's lap) and Fiona (by his side)

We kept our grand-dogs while the honeymooners were eating their way through Mexico and frolicking on the beach. Henry recently lost his vision due to sudden doggie disease (SARDS), but he was a champ...navigating our stairs and even swimming in our lake.

Those crazy, sweet  newlyweds

****If you need a super relaxing, off-the-grid, not-too-expensive getaway with Mexi-food 3 meals a day...check out Ali's blog post on their honeymoon destination.

I was still reveling in all the wedding bliss, trying to get back to work when I got a call from my Mom's Assisted Living complex, requesting me to take her to ER. My brother and I have been managing her care for 5+ years...driving her everywhere, doing 3 moves, too many trips to the ER, happy times and sad times...many of you know about caring for aging parents.

After 10 days in the hospital, Mom died on June 25. the day after Alan's birthday. We spent the next week planning her church service and cleaning out her apartment (yes, it's done!). On July 1 we had a wonderful celebration of her life at our church. 

Mom, Me (upper left) and brother John...circa 1957

We were so blessed by the service and the time surrounding it. So many family and friends from my past, it was such a joy to chat and catch up with them all. Yet, I can tell it's going to be a long time adjusting to this new phase in my life. Sigh...

The 3 Kathleens..Linda Kathleen (me), Wanda Kathleen (my mom) and Alison Kathleen (our daughter)

We are still patting ourselves of the back for managing to take Mom to the wedding. It never would have happened without my brother and his wife, but we pulled it off. I was her "personal shopper" and dressed and accessorized her head to toe for the big event. 

Back to my blog post title...1 wedding, 1 funeral and a little cross stitch. I've been trying to get back in the work groove. Thankfully I had the next batch of L*K newbies already designed and published. I've been SO distracted. But I'm looking forward to the week ahead - no weird mid-week holidays - and getting back to MORE cross stitch biz. 

***Thanks for your many kind condolences and well wishes on the L*K Facebook page. You can't imagine how much it means to me. The cross stitch community really is an extraordinary bunch of kind and thoughtful people. 

Check back soon and I'll post a preview of NEWBIES COMING JULY 21. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

2017 L*K calendar of newbies!

As promised, here's a preview for the remainder of 2017. Subject to change, of course, but they're on "the list"...and I do love to cross things off my lists.

* Christmas Mystery Sampler - Begins in September!!!
It doesn't have a name yet, but it's designed and almost stitched. Our holiday mystery will unfold in 3 monthly parts in September, October and November.

Once again, it's a "full service" mystery sampler. In addition to the charts, we're collaborating with Marilyn and the ladies at Picture This Plus to offer precuts of linen and Aida in several thread counts. We're also working with Miranda at Weeks Dye Works to create a custom thread color for us. It's going to be yummy, and a bit of an untraditional holiday color...mysterious, right? We're counting on the creative ladies at Just Another Button Company once again to create some fun embellishments.

We're SO excited to begin another mystery journey with you, our favorite stitchers! Stay tuned for mystery details as the 2017 Christmas mystery journey begins.

#184 Red White and Beach

* # 184 Red White and Beach chartpak - coming in June (next month!)
I jumped overboard and designed 4 nautical/beach-y projects that are so fun. They're not strictly patriotic, just summer-y. I loved stitching this bunch of beach-y projects from sunny, landlocked Kansas.

B57 Be Still Inspiration Boxer

* B57 Be Still Inspiration Boxer - coming in June
"Be still and know that I am God". This verse really nudged me a few months ago, so now I'm sharing it with you. Boxer includes 32 ct. fabric, antique gold cross charm and a darling little BONUS design - "Be a Nice Human".

* F168 Boo Celebrate! with Charm Flip-it - coming in June
* F169 Thankful Celebrate! with Charm Flip-it - available in August
 *F170 Merry Celebrate! with Charm Flip-it - available in October

We'll complete 2017 Celebrate! with Charm holiday Flip-it series before 2017 closes. These 7 holidays roll around every year, so if you haven't discovered this series, there's more holiday stitching in your future. Our Halloween Flip-it pictured above, BOO, comes with an antique gold moon charm.

#182 Summer Smalls - more "Smalls" coming soon!

Autumn Smalls (coming in August) and Winter Smalls  (coming in December)
We're loving the "Smalls" series! I've already designed and stitched a crop of 4 Autumn Smalls. I just adore doing Small projects, especially with luscious autumn colors.  Who doesn't love some quick stitching satisfaction?!

* Tiny Tidings XXII and Santa Snippet '17 - coming "to your town" in August
Our yearly Tiny Tidings and Santa Snippet series continues with more holiday charm. I designed 5 Tiny Tidings this year, and for the first time you can stitch them separately, or together in any combo you like. They're equally fun separately, or as happy holiday companions. This year's Santa Snippet has a couple darling little elf helpers, guaranteed to make you smile.

S128 Peppermint Sleds from 2016

* More Sleds!!! - sliding your way in October
Our little Snippet sleds are so popular, we're doing more. Just stitch on perforated paper and attach to pre-finished wood sleds and you've got a darling ornament/gift. I'm stitching on 6 of these little gems now. They'll be presented in 2 Snippets with 3 sleds each, and include embellishments.

2016 Flora McSample's Treats

* Flora McSample's 2017 Treats - October release
We're not sure what our sampler girl Flora will design this year, so stay tuned. Sometimes they're little stockings, last year was a quartet of "littles", but they're always full of vintage sampler charm. Not designed yet...

* Dear Santa, I've Been Good...Chartpak - October release
A loyal stitcher sent me a saying...and sent it again...and again the following year. Finally, it made it into the official L*K line-up. And I'm so glad she kept bugging me to design around this saying - it's sweet and funny and a great addition to our Christmas collection.

WHEW! I've been busy designing and stitching!!!

The June releases described above -  Red White and Beach, Be Still Inspiration Boxer and BOO! Holiday Flip-it -  will ship to shops everywhere on Friday, June 9. 

We have a week to recover from our daughter's wedding on June 2. That should be enough time, right?

Happy Memorial Weekend, everyone!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Distracted in Kansas's been almost a month since I last blogged. I used to blog twice a week. Now I aim for weekly or every other week. Lately, I've completely fallen off the blogger bandwagon!

Here's my (self) diagnosis: DISTRACTED!

****The post title "Distracted in Kansas" was meant to be a variation on the popular movie "Sleepless in Seattle".  Just thought I'd better explain, and clue you in to my movie-inspired sense of humor.

In 20+ years of working from home, I've been super diligent and disciplined. I'm frequently asked if it's hard to work from home and get anything done. On the contrary, I have found it's hard to get away from work - it's always right around the corner. But lately....

I do love to make lists!!! Do you like lists? Be sure and leave a comment below if you're list-addicted.

Here's my list on why I'm distracted this spring of 2017:

Ali and Barclay's wedding is June 2!

1) Wedding!!!
The time between Ali (our daughter) and Barclay's Christmas engagement and June 2 wedding is a short 5 months. But, the bride and groom are doing 95% of the planning themselves. Truly, I only have a small amount of details to pull together. Other than being the MOB (mother of bride) at 4 bridal showers, I'm mostly thinking happy thoughts about the big event ahead. And wondering when I'm going to get my dress altered. I'm putting it on this week's LIST.

Alan enjoying the newly fluffed back patio
2) Spring
I adore spring! I can't get enough of watching everything turning green, visiting all the plant stands, going for walks in the woodsy area behind our house, arranging my patio for summer fun, and kayaking our little lake. So. Much. Spring. Very distracting!

Making cookies together = successful marriage

3) 40th wedding anniversary
Alan and I are eagerly anticipating our 40th anniversary this fall. We were babes when we married - just out of college - and it's been an amazing journey together. I can't imagine doing life without this man. So to celebrate we booked a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine and Danube in July. It will also be a great "recovery" from the wedding whirl in June. We'll be accompanied by some dear friends who are also celebrating their 40th.

Our daughter Ali and her fiance, Barclay, took a Viking Cruise last summer and adored the experience - even though they were decades younger than most of their fellow cruisers. It turns out Barc loves to charm the little old ladies.(No wonder we get along so well!) Can't wait for the beautiful scenery, yummy food, and overall pampering.

***Isn't it interesting how often your kids get to have cool experiences before you do? Now it's OUR TURN!

Having said all this about being DISTRACTED from my work...NO WORRIES, cross stitch faithful! I may be staying up late surfing Pinterest wedding pics, but I've still got a full line-up of newbies scheduled for 2017.

Just this morning, I finished the new product release schedule for 2017. On my official new release LIST, of course!

***Check back soon, because I'm working on a BIG blog post with all the newbies coming in 2017, including our top-secret Christmas Mystery Sampler.

Meanwhile, if you love LISTS like I do (and appreciate the supreme satisfaction of crossing things off a list)...LEAVE A COMMENT and tell me about your list addiction.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

L*K Office "Redoux"

I've worked from home since the beginning of L*K almost 22 years ago. I began on a table in my family room, moved to my basement, built an L*K "mini-me" office next to our house (it looked like a miniature version of our house), then moved almost 2 years ago to our new home.

Alan moved the L*K warehouse/shipping to a little strip mall near our house, and I snagged the main floor "guest bedroom" for my L*K home office.

When we moved, I hastily pulled together the L*K office and got to work. Almost 2 years later, I was in the mood for a "refresh". The theme is based around my giant pink donut painting, and it's FUN!

Here's a peek into my tweaked L*K office and the eclectic decor that keeps me happy and inspired.

On the short hallway to my office (from the kitchen eating area) I have favorite art on both walls. I just got this pink/orange print called "Let's Grow Old Together" from Minted. I adore it! I love the image of the couple walking into the beautiful landscape. That's Alan and I...can't you tell?

And on the other side of the hallway is a colorful contemporary print with a beautiful indigo sky that I love. Can you see the kit flying over the houses?  I figure if art makes you smile, no matter what the style, it's now your style.

And here's what I see when I step into my sunny office every morning. The walls are pale green and it's BRIGHT in here with the east sun pouring in through large windows on right of pic. I have to close my shades to see computer well for a few hours. The color in this pic is kinda dull, but unfortunately I've never learned to edit photos, so picture it bright and colorful.

I love to create little vignettes and this one that greets me first thing changes frequently. It's an old faux bamboo bookcase I got at a junk store 20+ years ago. It's lived in almost every room of the house. It's usually full of old pottery and now it's got a contemporary "dot" painting (Minted) on top. Just got the A/Z bookends from Target, and need some colorful vintage books.

Back to my busy desk. I sold my large pine table and downsized to a sleek white formica desk from IKEA. I wasn't sure how I would like it, but it's perfect. You choose the size of top (I got 2 and turned them into an L-shape), then screw in the legs. I also stuck an IKEA filing cabinet with drawers under big desk. It's a great option for an inexpensive work area, and the smooth white surface is perfect.

I love my new aqua polka dot desk chair from Home Goods. They are new to Wichita and I am a loyal customer. You never know what you need until you see it at Home Goods. I got the funky pillow there too, on the "Clearance/nobody wants me" aisle.

I recently decided I needed more organization on my desk to track all the projects in progress. That really is the hardest part for many projects in all different stages of production. So I bought these fun pink stackers. I ordered from a company called Poppin and am delighted with them. For some reason, pink stackers make organization more fun.

The 4 compartments hold, in order from top to bottom:
* New designs, not stitched (you can spot 2017 Snippet sleds on top)
* Stitched new designs, not published yet
* Published new designs, not yet released
* Recently released designs

I hang onto a lot of paperwork/pre press stuff for a while...stitching notes, sources, proofs, all that stuff that documents the progress from original design to published material...hence the stackers.

And next to my pink stacker is my new gold bulldog tape dispenser. No, I don't need tape often, but I couldn't resist taking home this doggie from the sale bin at Target. And post-its, of course. 

Also here's a recent letter from my sponsored elder friend at Unbound. I've talked about Elena before. She lives in Guatemala, and we correspond frequently, via a translator. Here's the original note written in Spanish, thankfully accompanied by English translation. I write her online and send pics and they're delivered to her. If you want to sponsor an elder or a youngster, check out

Nestled under my desk - next to IKEA file cabinet - is a basket of finished L*K models (Home Goods). These are "yet to be released"...coming soon in April and June. I keep them near until release date, then they spend time at my LNS or travel in a trunk show. Adios, models!

Circling to left of main desk is my computer table. Here's a sneek peek of upcoming Autumn Smalls chart. I'm stitching these 4 little guys now and they're sure fun. They are a companion to Summer Smalls - coming next week. Also an old-fashioned calendar and a no-maintenance terrarium, one of many at my house.

Directly under my computer desk is my furry footstool from the Hobby Lobby clearance aisle. Even 2 years after knee surgery, sometimes my knee enjoys a little pampering.

Directly behind my desk is my favorite part of my office - the giant pink donut painting! It's an original from my daughter, the talented Sarah Wain. By day she's a high art teacher near downtown Chicago, but in her spare time she loves to paint, do collage, printmaking, and all sorts of beautiful art. Who doesn't love a workspace with donuts and sprinkles?! And no, it doesn't make me hungry.

I just added this fun little print from Hobby Lobby. It's a note to myself, reminding me not to doubt myself and my creativity. The cool thing about this HL's so CHEAP! If I grow tired of the print, I can pop something else in the sleek white frame and mat. 

Next to the old aqua dresser and giant donut painting, is my new clear acrylic airchair. Because...WHY NOT? It was inexpensive on Amazon and fills the space nicely. It's holding funky pillows and underneath is L*K model overflow...oops.

As I enter my office, there's a closet that I've converted to supply storage space. I hastily arranged it when I moved in, and it needs some tidying. needs A LOT of tidying. I know my supplies are there, and keep searching until I find them. There's a charming pink stool from my husband's family farm.

Almost forgot's just behind my computer desk and I see it beyond my giant monitor. I've had this child's rolltop desk for decades - literally. Isn't it scary when you can say this, and it's true?! Like much of my furniture, it's traveled all over my home, but I'm glad to welcome it in the L*K office.

Couldn't finish without sharing my pink plant. I don't know what it is, but I got it a few months ago and it loves my cheerful environment. It bloomed a bit (bonus!) and it's so PRETTY. It also keeps my big fig trees company. 

And the best part of my home office...looking out the windows! I've got east and south windows and have water views both directions. The interesting thing about living near water is the ever-changing view. No matter whether there are giant whitecaps, or whether it's satin's a delight to behold. 

Thanks for joining along on the "new and improved" L*K home office tour! office is sighing because it was impossibly neat for these photos, and now it can relax and resume it's normally state of creative messiness. And "NO", I haven't lost my marbles...they're right in front of me every day! 

***Unlike a lot of decor blogs I follow, this is NOT a sponsored post! I just listed sources in case any of you liked my goodies and "need" them at your house.

I'd love your feedback!!! Please LEAVE A COMMENT with ideas, suggestions, observations, whatever. I have chronic rearranging syndrome, so the office is never "done". I'd love your input!