Friday, February 27, 2004


Just when I thought I couldn't be tempted to collect another thing, an evil thought popped into my head "I wonder if dance cards ever had embroidered covers?"

Just look at these beauties, several of them call to me.

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Being frightened of furniture collapse whilst sleeping, the new giant printer has been relocated to a rolling desk return equipment shelf given to me by Jake the Cat's personal assistant several years ago. There is also room for Libby's old laptop (the Brick) next to it. It does print fast and will load nearly a ream of paper in its tray. It moves a little slowly now because the Brick isn't the fastest thing around. Libby has progressed x 2 notebooks since the Brick. But it is a powerful feeling being surrounded by scanner, CPU, monitor, keyboard, printer, notebook, printer. Rather like playing a theater organ at times. By using both printers I put an end to a big distributor order last night in record time. Now for a robot puncher and binder.

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Thursday, February 26, 2004


I think my new printer has been taking little blue pills developed for Hewlett Packard. It was delivered today while I was at the day job - even though I was told it would be delivered on Monday and had arranged to be here for the delivery.

I came home to find a carton the size of a small refrigerator at my door. Hmmm I thought - they sure put lots of packing around this. Then I dragged it into the apartment and believe me I knew that was pretty heavy styrofoam or a much bigger piece of equipment than I expected. The picture looked SO SMALL.

The first instruction was that this was HEAVY. It would require two men to lift it. Well, this little old lady has slung pregnant women onto delivery tables in her past, so did she back off - No!

BUT where to set it up. No place for it on my workspace. Its footprint is twice the size of my HP 2300. Hmmm. Get out sturdy cardtable. No space to really use my desktop as a server for it. Get out the laptop. Put all the printheads and ink in. Initialize it. It makes the cardtable shake and quake in fear just aligning the ink cartridges and printheads.

Now I know how I will spend the weekend - rearranging my entire workspace to move this giant HP3000 to a sturdier perch. It is calibrating, calibrating. More news as it occurs.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004


Busy day around here. Libby came over this morning and we styled and shot photos to go with an upcoming article about yours truly and her work.... It's fun getting out the bits and bobs for window dressing of the needlework. Now back to the less glamorous printing, printing, printing and webbing, webbing, webbing.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Which law of physics sets forth the action/reaction rule? It seems to apply to life, the universe and everything as well.

I came home with new goodies from England to put on the website and from Nashville with lots of shop links to upload as well.

BUT the website fairy has withheld her labor and I have to update the website. Just a little whine though, it's a super feeling to know that more of my designs are out there in folks' LNS and I'm tickled pink to be able to offer new and unusual stuff on the website. So hi, ho, hi, ho - it's off to web we go.

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Sunday, February 22, 2004


The V&A has a current exhibit on collecting decorative arts. Now I come from a family of collectors! Or packrats? My mom collected souvenier plates, my parents both collected American Indian arts and crafts and books, as a child I collected miniature pitchers/jugs (under 2 1/2" please), a cousin of my mom's collected china (and other materials) shoes, my grandmother collected matchbook covers, postcards, salt & pepper shakers, one of my nephews collects spoons, another keychains and another shot glasses. You get the picture.

Other than socks, I now am caught up in collecting children's/miniature/toy tea sets, books (of course), heart shaped trinket boxes, AND rubbers (erasers to the American ear). Across the hallway from my case full of little jugs is a knick knack shelf full of erasers collected on my travels. Children's shops in museums are often a great resource. This trip to England seemed doomed. Kew Gardens shops (ZERO); V&A (ZERO) but Libby found four new ones for me at the British Museum, including one that doesn't scan well. It commemorates the 250th anniversary of the museum. Now to find space for them on the shelves.

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Friday, February 20, 2004


All the returning boxes with display racks etc arrived from Nashville. For just an extra $3.00 I had the entire shipment held and delivered FedEx Ground Home Delivery Scheduled Delivery. So I swanned off to England and had everything held for a week after arrival in LA and delivered today.

Now off to do errands and look at new printers. I really beat up printers printing a lot of booklets and I have one that is groaning and gasping its last.

Last minute treat in England. Libby gave me a present of two new pairs of socks - one pair grey with red double decker buses and one pair with "Mind the Gap". All thanks to duty free shopping at Heathrow

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Home again, but not ready to blog coherently. After a 4 cities tour to two trade shows and some touristy stuff. Stitches at the NEC in Birmingham, England was a great show this year and I managed to spend a fair amount of money to order thingies not found in America for our booth/website in 2004. Had fun meeting up with Su and HWP (he who paints) who is delightful although I expect rather overwhelmed by being in the presence of three avid American needlework designers.

As I unpack, I'll share more memories of the journey. Today it is working at home awaiting delivery of the boxes shipped from Nashville. FedEx says they are all here in the Los Angeles area just waiting to come home.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004


Nashville was great. We broke even. All you can expect from a little niche market sort of designer. But saw lots of friends and made contacts that may generate more orders in the future and may have some teaching requests as well.

Jennifer as Warrior Queen was nothing short of spectacular and Anne and Libby worked their fingers to the bone.

Now we're in Washington and off to the American History Museum tomorow - hopefully to a book signing/talk by an author who has written a book on Mary Todd Lincoln and her dressmaker, Mrs. Keckley.

Probably next blog from London.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2004


The important boxes seem (according to FedEx) to be progressing safely to Nashville. Now we just have to hope they don't run into bad weather and arrive on schedule. I sympathize with Jennifer having to deal with transporting goods from another country. Although some folks do feel California is "another country" as well. Most of our shows and events seem to be East Coast Centric and always having to travel long distances is a pain. When I was teaching at consumer shows (CATS and HOCS) I used to arrive on the east coast and have to appear in a classroom at 8:00 a.m. Now the organizers did not stop to think that my body and brain thought it was 5:00 a.m. and that is a diabolic hour to expect students to put up with me.


I consistently preach that 90% of good needlework is being able to control one's equipment and materials. That is why I would rather teach someone the skills necessary to accomplish their goals. They can always find a design to use those skills or design something themselves. As Robin/Sabrina is finding out - reaching that critical mass of skills point of being in control is a super feeling.

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The Thistle sampler just won't be at Nashville. The whitework is rubbish and has to be re-thought. Sometimes walking away from a design brings it in to focus at a later date and stuff often just can't be rushed to meet commercial deadlines.

So now, it's on to packing up models, printing off a few more Celtic Alphabet books (Nordic Needle decided to start carrying it and they got most of my Nashville inventory) and leaving home at 4:00 a.m. on Friday. I had a nice chat with Libby's and my friend Anne Roza tonight. She is a TN resident and comes over to Nashville, or is that up to Nashville? to give us a hand on show weekend. That is if she has not been cast in a major dramatic role or isn't knitting costumes or some such nonsense. This year she will be there and we will have a great weekend.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2004


Smug she was feeling - having sent off 6 huge cartons of stuff to Nashville yesterday.

THEN we had flash flood warning in LA. The stuff just started pouring down. Up to 2 inches per hour in some areas. What did the local news decide to show as an example of the storm severity? A huge FedEx Ground truck overturned!!!
I'm telling myself over and over - "your boxes were NOT on that truck".

The thistle progresses - might just make it. Working on Whitework today.

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