Thursday, June 30, 2011

All finished :)

Okay well it was all stitched up on Friday. But then I took the weekend off to relax, and come Monday I was down for the count with some sort of bug. :( Feeling much better now, but oh what a pain. I've been stuck like glue to the computer since Tuesday morning though and, as promised, both versions have been sent off to the distributor now and will be available from ECS as soon as Cindy gets a chance to update the website. :)

And for those who may have missed it, or haven't seen it yet, here is the long band sampler version. I'll be stitching my model for this one later on in the summer - I need a break from lace!! Materials should be starting to arrive soon though, now that the mail is moving again.

I had hoped to have a third design to release today too, but with the postal strike the model for the third one sat at the border for who knows how long. I know it cleared customs at least a week ago or more, so it should be arriving home soon. Hopefully. If it gets lost, can I sue Canada Post/CUPW/Jack Layton for it? I think all of the small businesspeople like me should band together and start a class action lawsuit against them for all the hassles and stoppage of work they caused us.

Now I'm taking a short break from model stitching and working on Petal Fairy for a few days. I do have materials here to start either Marigold or Rose, so I may do that this week. I also have materials on order for a couple others so I might wait until those get here. Not sure, it's just nice to NOT be stitching lace. ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just a quick one

I'm heading out the door to go visit dad for father's day, but since I had AL off the snaps to take to show mom, I figured I'd post a picture. :)

Almost there!! Sorry about the horrendous quality - it's so big it's hard to get a good picture of!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Venting, cursing, rambling...

Venting and cursing first...

Well first, I'm going to vent because my LNS is closing. Brenda has been talking about the possibility for months, but I had really hoped she wouldn't have to. I know I'll still see Brenda and visit with her, and we'll get together to stitch, but I'm sad to see the shop go. I still don't understand how the shops that sell at much higher prices are so much busier, but I'm going to guess that it's because they're in more populated areas.

One of the other reasons I'm venting today, and one of the major reasons shops are closing and sales are declining - copyright infringement. From the numbers on some of these sharing sites I can tell you that the interest in cross stitch isn't declining as much as some may think - they're just stealing their charts rather than buying them. Some of the sharing sites have over 100,000 members. I know it's always happened, photocopies being passed around and such, but with the internet it's getting worse and worse everyday. It's not just the sales numbers that hurt, it's the emotional toll it takes on us. More than a couple days spent in tears myself, and it's not happening to me nearly as often as it happens to some of the other designers. I can only imagine how they feel. Not going into a long rant. Those who do it, you know who you are, (and in some cases, so do we), those who do not, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support. :)

Having gotten that little vent out of the way, I have to say it's been refreshing to see the amount of support we're getting from a large number of people. Much of what we are able to have removed from internet sites is due to reports from stitchers, so a big thank you to all of you out there for dropping us emails and letting us know! We appreciate it more than you know.

Another small vent. Vikki Clayton is having a stitching exhibition over the next two weeks. I want to go so badly, but I just can't swing it. I'm incredibly jealous because one of my close stitching buddies arrived there yesterday and is spending the weekend, and I'm sure will be bombarding us with lots and lots of pretty pictures.

Finally, a really big vent. Canada Post, you suck. I have lost all respect for the union and company alike. The union is asking far too much in my opinion. They would never get anything close to that in the private sector, which is my basis for comparison. And the company locking down has completely pissed me off. I know it was probably so that the government would step in, and I can only hope that the back to work legislation passes quickly. In fact, so do the postal workers locally - they are livid with the union for pushing it to this point. Why am I so pissed off, you may ask? Because I am waiting for several parcels for model stitching. I have fabric and floss for the long version of Antique Lace on order, the threads for My Mother's Garden 2 in the sampler colours coming, and various other threads so I can finalize colours on Celtic Snow. And the model for Tulip is on it's way to me as well. Plus the threads for my brother's Growth Rings. Oh and of course my birthday charts. Service has been going downhill for years, though prices keep going up and up. 2 years ago I could get orders from vendors in the US in a week to 10 days. Now it takes closer to 3 weeks. I know it's not USPS, because they're getting to customs just as quickly as they ever did, it's on this side of the border the hold ups happen. Here's a question for you - why is postage in UK so much cheaper? The price of gas there is near double what it is here, yet it costs my MIL a fraction of what it costs us to send parcels back and forth. Plus theirs is much more efficient and quicker. Food for thought.

I know I can use UPS or Fed Ex, and in some cases I may go that route in future. In some cases that isn't an option, my vendors don't all offer that as an alternative. Plus, the cost of using these services can be pretty prohibitive. I scarcely make enough to cover materials now, in fact I used birthday money to buy supplies for the next couple of models, so additional costs for shipping isn't something I fancy.

The issue I have with them is their absolute selfishness, the company and union alike. Do they really not care how many people depend on them to run their businesses, and how much strain they're putting on THEM?

And an off topic vent... my hair. It grows much too fast. I caved and had it cut short a couple of months ago, and have had it trimmed back to chin length once already. It's already long enough to put in a pony tail again. I swear it grows 2 inches a month!! Suppose it's time to get it cut again.

Okay, venting and cursing over. I think.

A little update, Antique Lace is almost finished. I'm starting on the last couple of pages this weekend, then there will just be beading and ribbon left to do. Excited!!! I know I've been terrible about posting new pictures and updates but I just want to get it done now. Of course being this close to finishing, my usual stitching ADD is kicking in and I'm spending all sorts of time dreaming about other things I could be stitching instead of just getting it over with. I will try to get Jon to take a picture of me holding it so you can see how bloody huge it really is! This will be a HUGE happy dance.

And Tulip is finished. May dropped it in the mail to me on Wednesday. :) So look for that one to be released soon as well, so long as CP doesn't hold it hostage for too long. You rock, May. I'll probably release all three together at the beginning of July - 3 months ahead of schedule in fact. :)

And finally, a big, huge, THANK YOU! for all the birthday wishes, and a hello and welcome to my new followers! Inching up to that 100 mark. ;)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's can't possibly be...

...June? Already? Where did May go?

It's been a busy week. It was my birthday on the weekend, and I had a wonderful visit at the LNS and treated myself to a couple of new charts I'd been eyeing - Courtney Collection's Garden Fair and Prairie Moon's Red and the Black II. How could I resist? Brenda was working on it and I could fight it no longer. :) They had a cake for me and everything. I was absolutely touched. I got some stash money from my mom and which I'm using to pick up supplies for MMG2 ver 2.0 and AL version 2.0, and thread for my brother's Christmas present. AND I got a GC from Jon's mum so I ordered the Cricket Collections Spring, Autumn, Winter and Summer (thanks to Karen and Wil for their enabling) and Glendon Place's Sleepy Hollow. When will I stitch these? Lord knows. But I thought they were so cute! And Sleepy Hollow is just plain cool. I'm not usually one for Halloween stitching, but I love that story - it terrified me when I was kid!!

Speaking of MMG2 (My Mother's Garden II for those of you who are new to my blog), it's June 1st and that means that the new issue of The Gift of Stitching is available. I'm soooo excited because Tracy Horner has an amazing new design in this issue. I know I have to do Growth Rings first for my brother (I can say that here because he doesn't read my blog!), but this one will be hard to resist.

I'll be away for the weekend, having a little getaway with my mom. We're going up to Bancroft to relax and visit my aunt who I never get to see anymore since my grandmother passed away. It'll be wonderful to visit! Mom has already ordered to bring ALL my models. And I'm sure she'll insist on a bunch of other things too. I should just let her pack them all then! lol

And another small note - I'm having no end of problems with my email of late. Things I send aren't getting to their destinations and I'm also not receiving messages at times - yet they're not going to spam either. It's extremely frustrating. If you have sent a message and not heard back, it's because either A - I didn't get it, or B - I replied and you didn't get my reply. If this has happened, try sending again. I've been back and forth with the gmail tech support (who aren't all that helpful I'm afraid) and I'm looking into alternatives.

And finally, a little shout out to my new followers - I'm up to 49!! I might have to have a little draw when I reach 100. Thank you to all of you!