You are currently browsing the archives for January 2007.

Made in America, 9 PM Tonight on the Travel Channel

  • Posted on January 30, 2007 at 11:33 am

For all of you U.S. readers, if you want to see John Ratzenberger tour one of the Gore-Tex fabric facilities and do a segment on the company that I work for, tune into the Travel Channel tonight at 9 PM EST/PST. Our company will be the lead segment.

We Loved You, Barbaro!

  • Posted on January 29, 2007 at 1:43 pm

While many of you from outside of the United States may have no idea who Barbaro is, this special horse and 2006 Kentucky Derby winner has been fighting for his life for over eight months. He broke his leg at the Preakness last May with a strange misstep that made everyone cringe as he suddenly started limping and his jockey jumped from his back. People rallied behind him as surgeries were performed and setbacks overcome. Just when it seemed like he might finally be going home, Barbaro experienced yet another setback. And pain that his owners could not and would not allow him to endure.

Today, Barbaro lost the war and was put down. The specialty center where he was being treated all of these months is about 20 minutes down the road from my house and I watched his story with interest. My heart sinks a little lower today with his loss, but I am glad that his owners did the right thing for him.

Rest in peace, big fella.

Cathy, Your Baby’s Coming Home!

  • Posted on January 28, 2007 at 11:05 pm

By “baby,” of course, I mean your round robin from last year. I’m sorry that it took so long to complete Catherine Michele’s part, but it was mighty complex. I swear, if it had been for anyone other than you, I probably would have quit a long time ago. But I didn’t, it’s finished and I think it actually turned out quite nicely. All I have to do now is to add the personalization on both squares. You’ll see it in person on Saturday and I hope that you will be pleased.

While I’m posting photos, I finally finished the Peace and Comfort design that I stitched last September into a bellpull for my grandmother. I presented it to her at a family luncheon last Sunday, in honor of her 87th birthday.

Note: The cording that forms the hanger was just arranged so that it would fit on the scanner. It isn’t magically formed into that shape or anything. 😉

One other note: this weekend was supposed to be Christmas ornament SAL weekend, but with everything going on and me trying desperately to finish Cathy’s RR, I didn’t have time. I will try to stitch up an ornie quickly sometime this week, if I can. And the Barnabee’s Quest SAL starts this Thursday, February 1st. And I have a check-in with my psychiatrist tomorrow afternoon. In addition to all of that, I’ll be placing my initial orders for the ONS this week, so it will be a busy week! WHEW!

I Freaking ROCK!

  • Posted on January 25, 2007 at 12:51 am

Sorry, but I just had to pat myself on the back. I’ve been having terrible, anxiety-ridden dreams flashing back to my days of flute auditions for competitions when I was in high school, except in these dreams, I sucked. And um… well I didn’t, in real life. I won’t go on and on bragging, but I was #1 in Pennsylvania and #4 on the eastern seaboard (and that’s partially because I didn’t have enough time to practice – put it this way, the girl who got second chair, I beat in a previous competition).

Anyway, enough of the ego stroking. The point was that all of these dreams prompted me to put down my stitching after an hour and to go up and pull out my poor, neglected flute. It took a few minutes to get warmed up, but then I was flying through pieces like I haven’t in years – literally. Seriously, I didn’t play most of the time that I had my braces (which were on for a year and a half or so) because I had just finally perfected my embouchure and I didn’t want to screw it up by having to relearn how to play with metal plastered all over my teeth. Once the braces came off two years ago, I played a couple of times and that was it.

The bottom line is that, after not having seriously played for over 3 years, I picked it up and sounded awesome. Thus, I freaking ROCK! 😆

The Ball Keeps on Rolling [Updated]

  • Posted on January 24, 2007 at 12:25 pm

The tax ID number for my soon-to-be ONS arrived this week, and so did nearly all of the supplies that I ordered. I’m still waiting on some more shapes and sizes of Priority Mail boxes and the confirmation of my fictitious name registration for the business name. Until that comes through, there are only a handful of people who know the name. I won’t release it until I’m sure.

So, the tax ID is here. BIG step that is over and done with. As soon as I’m sure the name is registered, then I can go ahead and start placing a couple of orders for products. I even opened a business banking account on Tuesday afternoon that I will link to my PayPal account. The card linked to the account will take a week or so to arrive and I want to give it a few days for all of the transactions to go through and the account to be truly active before I pull any money out of it.

My initial funding is fairly small and I’m not sure if the product will sell, but I’ll give it a shot (plus I have a backup plan, if all else fails). I’m starting with Dragon Floss, Dinky Dyes floss (cotton only, to start; silks will be added later) and designs from The Cat’s Whiskers Design Studio (just wait until you see her new stuff, you will FLIP!). From there, I will try to get the Margaret Sherry cat designs for all of you cat lovers and some of the latest Valerie Pfeiffer bird designs that are so adorable and realistic.

Any other design requests to start? Keep in mind that once I sell some of this initial product, I’ll be able to fund additional orders and open accounts with more suppliers so that I can get in even more diverse products. I know there are a lot of Mirabilia, Just Nan and The Sweetheart Tree fans out there, so I will try to get some of their newer releases in when I can. Any other designers you like?

I am trying to get a line on kits from a company in Scotland called Textile Heritage, but the US distributor has yet to get back to me. The same goes for Olde Willow Stitchery. I will keep trying.

I know that international designers have been mentioned and I would love to try to get some of the less available ones in for you, if you can give me names and/or websites (preferred). I also have a surprise new and very talented international designer whose designs I will be carrying, but I’m not ready to let that cat out of the bag yet, either. 😉

I know that Gentle Arts Sampler Threads and Weeks Dye Works threads are very popular, but I am going to hold off on those for a while, particularly because they are so popular and are relatively easy to get from any needlework shop. Of course, maybe I am looking at that a bit backwards… Hmmm…

Also, if I were to experiment with regular or hand-dyed fabrics in my first round of orders, what size would you be most likely to purchase? 9 x 13, 13 x 18, or 18 x 27? And would you prefer regular or hand-dyed? Linen or evenweave? What count?

A lot of questions this round. Would you prefer an easier to answer polling mechanism?

[Updated to add: I wrote to Sharon Crescent and received a very prompt answer, so I think that I will probably be carrying Crescent Colours floss, as well. That also means that I can get my hands on those adorable thread packs that Crescent Colours and Little House Needleworks teamed up for. I guess that’s another designer that I should consider – especially the coffee and chocolate menus…]

Giveaway – Free Stuff!

  • Posted on January 24, 2007 at 11:31 am

Now, come on, admit it. Everyone loves to get free stuff. 🙂

Selina has a community under her site and it would sure be more fun with more members to hang out and post. To this end, the lovely Angela has arranged a giveaway for some stash, but you have to be a community member to sign up. So, go over, check it out and sign up!

Here giveaway post on the community is here, if you want to cut straight to the chase.

Come along and meet some new friends! 😀

SBQ – First Happy Dance of 2007?

  • Posted on January 20, 2007 at 9:44 am

This week’s SBQ asks:

Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or just point to the entry that talks about it.) If not, when do you predict it will be?

Nope. Too much going on, plus I’m working through larger WIPs at the moment, and proud of it! 🙂 I predict one in the next couple of weeks, as I want to finish Cathy’s round robin off before I see her on February 3rd. Not sure when I’ll have time to get all of the stitching done, but I’m determined to find it!

Floss Clubs – Addendum

  • Posted on January 19, 2007 at 11:47 pm

Okay, so Zohrah brough up some information about the price of Dragon Floss relative to its length. So, I will need to carefully consider having a club for that as opposed to just carrying a few of each of the available colors.

How about clubs for other threads? Like Carrie’s Creation, Dinky Dyes cottons (or silks) or Six Strand Sweets?

Any other suggestions of threads that you can’t easily find in other stores? I’d like to carry less common items, if possible.

Dragon Floss Club – Interested? [Updated]

  • Posted on January 19, 2007 at 3:15 pm

Hi Ladies, I think that I might actually have to define a category for ONS shop talk since I seem to be doing so much of it. 😉

I have determined that Dragon Floss is going to be one of the first products that I am going to carry. Jo is an easy person to deal with and someone with whom I have previous connections through a model stitching board, plus her restrictions for starting up a wholesale account are a little less stringent. The main deciding factor for me, though, was the seeming lack of representation of her products in the US. Not many US shops seem to carry her products (which are lovely!) and that is one of the areas on which I would like to focus my initial efforts.

My question to you, loyal readers and hopefully future customers, is would you be interested in joining a Dragon Floss Club that would automatically ship a small number of her fibers to you every month? Similar to the Monthly Bits and other automatic shipment programs established by other retailers.

Would you be interested in signing up? Would you be willing to sign up ahead of time (I would not charge anything until I ship)?

I’m looking to see how much interest I might have to help determine how much I should purchase in my first order of Dragon Floss. My price per skein of Dragon Floss will be $2.00 (USD). I would probably make the monthly shipments bundles of 5 skeins of floss, at a cost of $10.00 (USD). I may consider reducing the shipment prices, though I intend to be very fair with my S&H prices and stick to actual shipping prices plus a low handling cost to cover supplies.

[Edited to add: Nicole brought up a good point about discounting the total price for each shipment. I will have to do some calculations to see what price would be enticing to you, but still fair to me. I will definitely look at discounting from $10.00 USD to something a little bit lower. How much discount would be an incentive? If it was $1.00 ($9.00 USD), would that be enough? Or maybe keep it at $10.00, but make the shipping free? What would it take for you to want to sign up?]

What do you think?

I want to limit this post to one question, for now. Maybe I will create a poll that you can answer. I have ideas of how I am going to set my ONS apart from others, or at least a set of business ideals and ethics by which I will operate the business. I would like to run these past you in another post in the near future, as you will be my initial customer base, with hopefully some added word of mouth. 🙂

Let the Thumb Twiddling Begin!

  • Posted on January 16, 2007 at 4:25 pm

It’s a case of “hurry up, then wait” right now with the ONS. I spent Thursday, Friday and Monday with my brain totally rattling off all of the things I need to do, points, I should consider, etc. I’ve approached distributors, suppliers and trade organizations. I’ve purchased packaging supplies, shipping supplies and accounting software. I’ve filed and faxed paperwork to establish a fictitious name for the business and to obtain a sales tax license. I’ve written down pages and pages worth of notes. I’ve filled out an application for a Post Office box (but not taken it in yet), opened a PayPal merchant account and have an appointment with the business accounts manager at a local bank next week to setup a business checking account.

All of that, and now I have to wait. . . .

I’d love to start placing orders, but I need to open and fund a checking account to link to the PayPal account before I can deal with one supplier and I need the tax ID number in order to deal with another supplier and one distributor. Then, once I have those 3 trade references, the whole world opens up to me because only then can I open a wholesale account with Hoffman Distributing Company. That’s the big time. I can also register for a buyer’s account for the April edition of the online Needlework Show.

Get your wallets ready ladies, because I’m coming soon!

In the meantime, I have to sit and wait. And I’m not a very patient person. It’s a good thing I have stitching to do and a storefront to design. 😉

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