Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Norden News

Hi everyone!  I am sorry to say that I won't be able to post this week's issue of Norden's Needleworkers today.  My Dad (Dave, the owner of Norden Crafts) has been hospitalized due to nasty kidney stones, so I haven't had a chance to get this issue finalized.  I will post as soon as I have a moment to breathe. 

He is scheduled for a procedure tomorrow, and we are hoping this will make him feel like his old self.  Matt and I are holding down the fort with the help of our excellent staff, and we have all been extremely busy shipping the Lizzie*Kate Mystery Samplers out today, and Matt and I are now on our way to go visit our Dad in the hospital in the hopes of getting him to crack a couple of smiles. 

Again, I am sorry for the tardiness, I promise I'll get it done ASAP!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lizzie*Kate Mystery Sampler Update

Tomorrow we will begin shipping the enormous amount of thread packs, charts, and linen out to all of our customers that have signed up for the LIZZIE*KATE VERY SCARY Mystery Sampler.  This project has been absolutely unbelievable!  I have had spoke to Linda Ebright from Lizzie Kate almost daily, and she has been an absolute joy to work with.  Weeks Dye Works has dyed 200,000 yards of thread, and dyed almost 450 yards of fabric!  We have made 2,000 laps around the table to make thread packs, and walked 12.88 miles in doing so!  Thank you to all of our loyal customers, and to all of the Lizzie*Kate fans that are supporting this super fun project!  This piece is just AWESOME, and I know you will all LOVE it! 

Because of the HUGE number of them, and the urgency to get them all out ASAP, we are shipping all shipments seperate from orders with the exception of international customers.  

Here are a few pics to show you what we are surrounded by at the moment!  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

AnnaLee Waite Designs & Handcrafts Online

Norden’s Needleworkers – Volume #4 – 06/20/2012

Q. When did you begin designing your own patterns and how did that turn into a business?      
A.  I began designing in 1984.  At that time I traveled often with my job so I stitched on airplanes and in my hotel room at night.  Each summer I attended the cross stitch show at Rockhome Gardens in Illinois.  The summer of 1985 I displayed one of my patterns in the show.
Shasta Parker from Just Cross Stitch Magazine saw my work and asked if she could publish the pattern in Just Cross Stitch Magazine.  Of course I said “YES.”  Once my oldest son Henry was born in 1993 I began considering how I could make a career of designing needlework.  I sent samples of my designs to Norden Crafts and they agreed to distribute my patterns.  I love drawing and stitching – combining the two is a dream career for me!

Q.   Where do you see your company in 5 years?
A.  I am working towards increasing the number of patterns that I publish each month.  In the next few years I see myself collaborating with other designers and manufacturers.  Currently we supply some of our cross stitch shops with needlepoint canvases so I would like to grow that part of my business immediately.  By 2017 my goal is for my design studio to provide products for cross stitch, needlepoint and quilting. 
Q.  What would you like to say to your fans reading this?
A.  Thank you so much to the stitchers and shop owners who buy our patterns.  It really makes my day when I get an e mail from a needleworker with suggestions for new patterns.  I also LOVE IT when we receive pictures of finished projects.  I get lots of  e mail pictures which I print out and put on the bulletin board in our work room.  To the shop owners ”THANKS” for all your support.  I feel so proud when I walk into a needlework shop and see one of my patterns or canvases displayed as a shop model. 
Q.   Do you or are you willing to travel for stitching events?
A.  : I enjoy traveling and meeting new people.  Mu oldest son just graduated from high school two weeks ago so I feel as if the timing is right for me to begin traveling and teaching.  I love working
with people and taught real estate classes in the past so teaching needlework seems like a natural step for me to follow.
Q.  Do you feel your style has changed over time, and if so how do you feel about your older designs? 
A.   I have experimented with a variety of styles in my design work which has allowed me to figure out my best style.  I do enjoy designing patterns which include unique buttons or embellishments which stitchers haven’t seen before.  Some of my older designs are so bad it is embarrassing to look at them now so I have hidden them away at the back of my office closet.  There are two shelves right beside my drawing table which I use to display framed models.  I still like seeing some of my “Oldies but Goodies.”

On a Personal Note -

Q.  Besides stitching and designing what are a few things you enjoy in your free time?
A.  I live in Houston Texas so I find myself spending free time outside year round.  I have become accustomed to the extreme summer heat (today’s temp was 96 degrees).  Walking, biking and swimming are my favorites.  I also read a lot.  My husband, Andy, bought me an i phone for my birthday so I now download e books and listen to stories while I stitch.
Photography is also something I am involved in.

Q.  What is your favorite holiday and why?
A.  Halloween is definitely my favorite.  I like it best of all the holidays because of the colors – orange, black, yellow, purple.  Another great thing about Halloween is candy pumpkins.  I could eat an entire bag! Dressing up is fun and I like seeing all the kids trick-or-treating in their costumes.  I think some of my best designs have Halloween themes. I look forward to Halloween because I know Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.

Q.   Do you have any pets?
A.   Our family does not have any traditional pets, however we have a large yard with lots of trees so we have raccoons, possum and squirrels.  There is also a family of armadillos - mother with four babies – which live underneath our garden shed.

Q.  Would you like share a little about your family?
A.  My immediate family consists of my husband and two sons.  My husband, Andy, is British and grew up in London.  He has a great sense of humor and is a lot of fun to be around.  My two sons are 18 and 14 years old.  Both boys are well over six feet tall and play football and lacrosse.  My oldest son Henry will attend Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia in the fall and was recruited to play lacrosse.  My younger son Oliver is athletic and artistic – it should be interesting to see what path he follows.  The entire family enjoys music, traveling, and sports. 

Q.  What inspires you and why?
A.  I am most inspired by nature and spending time outdoors.  I have a beautiful rose garden with a lovely fountain in my back yard. Sometimes I sit in my garden and draw or just watch the birds and animals that I see outside. I am a photographer and use many photographs I have taken as inspiration for new designs. Finally, my entire family inspires me.  I grew up surrounded by amazing women – especially my Mother.  She taught me how to work hard to achieve my goals.  Each day I am inspired by my husband and two sons  to succeed and create.

Bee-utiful Bugs

Nan's Garden

It's Monster Time

Handcrafts Online –

Q.  How long have you been a stitcher and how did you first learn about stitching?  
A.  I began stitching 30 years ago in high school.  My best friend was getting married and I wanted to give her something special as a wedding gift.  I couldn't afford very much for this gift especially after paying for my bride'smaid dress and accessories.   I was pretty good at sewing but wanted something really special, one day I stumbled upon the cross stitch aisle at a local craft store where a wedding sampler caught my eye.  It became my favorite hobby during the first few stitches! 
I became a model stitcher for a local shop and then for several designers.  I did finishing for other stitchers for a while.  It just seemed natural to go on to promote my favorite hobby by creating a place stitchers, who didn't have a local shop, could find the things they needed.
Q.  How long have you been in business? 
A.  I had to double check this in my records, 7 years, wow!

Q.  How important is social media in the cross-stitch industry and how do you make use of it for your  company?
A.  Because Handcrafts Online is a webshop social media is vital!  I think most stitchers find my webshop through my blog but Handcrafts Online is on facebook and I use twitter as well.  All of these are a great way to let stitchers know about new things on the way and special events as well as share my own enthusiasm for cross stitch.   I think all these things help to make shopping at an online shop personal and friendly.   Social media helps my webshop keep in touch with customers all over the world and creates a sense of community even though we may live thousands of miles apart.
Online stitching groups are another way to keep in touch with stitchers and meet stitching freinds.  There are really lovely stitchers all over the world and it is wonderful to connect with others who share a favorite designer or project.

Q.  What would you say to a young person in order to get them to try stitching for fun?
A.  That cross stitch is a great portable, social pastime.  Young people are so busy, I think this would be a great pursuit to help them unwind and put their thoughts in order.  I'd suggest starting a stitching group at the local coffee shop, much more fun than sitting around with friends who are all checking their phones!

Q.  Who are some of your personal favorite designers?
A.  I have several.  Little House Needlworks and Priarie Schooler have been long time favorites.  The Prairie Schooler annual Santa card was frist published the year I got married.  I've always wanted to do that series as an anniversary project.  I love the sweet charm of Little House Needleworks, the designs are exactly what I want to see in my home and they stitch up so fast, I always have fun with those.  I'm a serious Jane Austen fan so I also stitch designs by The Sampler Girl quite often.  I frequently stitch things that can be sewn into a pillow with pretty fabric as you may have noticed if you visit my blog.

On a Personal Note -

Q.  Besides stitching and running your business, what are a few things you enjoy in your free time?
A.  I've been learning to knit, I love to sew and when I have time I read.  I almost always listen to audio books when my hands are too busy to hold a book.  I also enjoy cooking, photography, and long drives in the mountains.

Q.  What are your three favorite books?
A.  I have so many favorite books it's too hard to narrow it to three.  My favorite Jane Austen is Persuasion, I love Agatha Christie but I can't decide if Miss Marple or Poirot is my favorite detective. I'm aslo a big fan of C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, and loved the Harry Potter books.  As a homeshooler and history student I really enjoy history text books and biographies, my kids think I'm wierd.  I like math too!

Q.  What’s your favorite holiday and why?
A.  Christmas!  I love the coziness, the celebration, the lights, the music, the expectation.  Christmas is an important part of our family's faith and tradition.  I love everything about Christmas except shopping!  Of course I love Christmas stitching but never seem to get started soon enough.

Q.  Would you share a little about your family?
A.  Jerry and I were married in 1984.  I met Jerry when I was 14 but we didn't date until I was out of high school but he told me right up front that he wanted to get married and I agreed.  We did date for 2 years before the wedding.
We have 4 children a girl and 3 boys.  Our daughter came along about 13 months after our wedding, our plan was to wait 5 years to start a family...oh well.  Our youngest is 9, that was a big surprise too.  I wouldn't change a thing.  It is interesting having children who are 17 years apart in age.  I've been a homeshooler since 1992.  This fall I will have only one student at home.

Q.  Do you have any pets?
A.  We currently have 3 cats much to my husband's dismay!

Mary Kathryn Peter
Handcrafts Online

Next week we will be featuring The Sweetheart Tree,
& House of Stitches - La Porte, IN

Friday, June 15, 2012


Here is a sneek peek of the Lizzie Kate Mystery Sampler pattern, fabrics, and threads!!!  We are getting soooo excited here at Norden now that things are starting to come in.  It will take us about a million trips around the table to make all these thread packs up, but rest assured we will begin shipping on June 27th!  Thank you to all of you that have joined in on the fun this summer with LIZZIE*KATE, NORDEN CRAFTS, AND WEEKS DYE WORKS! 

VERY SCARY is coming!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pricing Correction!

The Country Stitches Thimble Purses that I mentioned earlier today are $13.00 retail not $26.00 as I originally typed.  I am sorry for the error!
Pre-Order Country Stitches Limited Edition Thimble Purses Today!

GREAT NEWS!!!  We just found out that we are going to be carrying the Thimble Purses from Country Stitches! 

We are getting a very limited number of each of the designs, so make sure you call and pre-order today!  They won't be available for shipment for about 6 weeks, as Brenda is waiting for the purse frames to come in.  These are LIMITED EDITION and won't be available after we sell out of our stock!

School Girl Sampler Thimble Purse- LIMITED EDITION w/purse frame
Retail $26.00

Birds & Berries Thimble Purse - LIMITED EDITION w/purse frame
Retail $26.00

Home Sweet Home Thimble Purse - LIMITED EDITION KIT w/ purse frame
Retail $26.00

Quaker Sampler Thimble Purse - LIMITED EDITION KIT w/ purse frame
Retail $26.00

Tree of Life Thimble Purse - LITMITED EDITION KIT w/purse frame
Retail $26.00

Samplers Revisited & Reflections Framing & Stitching

Norden’s Needleworkers Volume #3 – 06/13/2012
FEATURED DESIGNER -                        

Q.  How long have you been a stitcher and how did you first learn about stitching?
A.   I remember stitching guest towels with little blue x’s on them when I was about 6 (and sewing the towel to my skirt)!  My mother knew how to sew clothes, embroider, knit, and crochet and both my grandmothers made me quilts (that inspired me to quilt in the 80s).   I grew up just assuming that everyone did all these things  - - - along with being able to handle wood working tools and do most of the repairs to a home!  

Q.  When did you begin designing your own patterns and how did that turn into a business.
A.  It took 3 tries for me to finally launch Samplers Revisited in 2005.  I discovered counted cross stitch in 1978 and immediately started charting simple motifs for myself and others.  I was living in Japan at the time with no LNS so I did not have access to many patterns.  I was hoping to launch a series of quilt blocks in counted cross stitch, but after I finished the model and started thinking about how to publish it, someone beat me to it!
            The second try was in 1985 when I was living in Scotland.  The local antique auction occasionally had small samplers for sale.  I bought Ellen Milne 1904 and charted it by hand.  I advertized in Just Cross Stitch for $3 and a SASE you could have a copy of my hand drawn chart (no picture).  I think I sold perhaps 10 charts this way.  I couldn’t figure out how to make it look professional enough.  I did realize at this time though, that I really liked the idea of reproducing schoolgirl sampler charts.  I collected a few more antiques while I lived in Scotland and continued purchasing more when I returned to the USA in 1988.
            The third successful try was in 2005.  By then I had designing friends in our local guild that guided me on how to package my charts, how to set up my business, design my webpage, and how to market my charts through Norden Crafts.  By then we were in the computer age with designing software and desktop publishing that gave me the professional look I wanted and the market demanded. 
What are a few of your favorite themes when designing a pattern?
            My main business is accurate reproductions of schoolgirl samplers.  I like to get the sampler out of the frame if possible to see the original colors on the back and make sure I am charting the proper stitches.
            When I want to have fun, I design originals that have an interesting saying or have a seashore theme.  (Hint- besides new samplers to be released at the Baltimore TNNA show in September I am bringing out a Mermaid chart)!

Q.  Do you stitch your own models, or do you have model stitchers?
A.  I stitch all my own models.  I first chart on the computer and stitch from that.  This way I catch my charting mistakes before I release the chart to the public.  With my original designs, I may change my chart as I go (constantly correcting on the computer).  This also gives me an idea of what I can change on my charts to make them the easiest to read and follow.

Q.  Do you feel your style has changed over time, and if so how do feel about your older designs?
A.  I started out with my original stash of antique samplers that were on the small side and usually not very grand.  As my business has grown I have enjoyed more detailed, older, and more historically interesting samplers from many regions (not just Scotland and England).  I still love my first attempts.  Not everyone wants to stitch a huge sampler with multiple stitches. The simpler ones are good choices for those just starting to stitch on linen or perhaps on evenweave fabrics.  As my website says, all needlework is important! Even those samplers made by girls with out access to the finest patterns, teachers, fabrics, and threads should be preserved and enjoyed.  

On a Personal Note -

Q.  Besides stitching and designing, what are a few things you enjoy in your free time?
A.  I like to knit, read, and walk on the beach in the morning when it is quiet.  I like spending time with family and friends over shared meals and coffee.  I also like decorating and organizing around the house as well as babysitting my grandsons Grayson and Curves to keep in shape!

Q.  What are your three favorite books?
A.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, any Richard Jury mystery by Martha Grimes, and any book with a Scottish theme from Alexander McCall Smith.

Q.  What kind of music do you like to listen to?
A.  I listen to Jazz most often.  I stream it on my computer (KPLU World Jazz on iTunes).  I have about 5,000 tunes on my iPod that range from R&B, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Pop, Classical, World, and contemporary artists I have found.  Depending on my mood, I listen to it all!  I have been known to listen all week to hits from the 50s and 60s and surfing music (I grew up in Southern California).

Q.  What is your favorite meal?
A.  Any food cooked by loved ones accompanied by a good bottle of red wine.  Notice, I did not say I cooked it!

Q.  What are your three greatest achievements?
A.  1. Raising a lovely, talented, generous loving daughter.  2.  A master degree in Marine Biology from California State University at Long Beach.  3.  Finally launching Sampler Revisited and seeing my charts in print and distributed worldwide. 

Patty Yergey
Columbia, MD

Original Mary Clare Carroll 1738

Catharine McNeal 1843

Original Ellen Milne 1904

Reflections Framing & Stitching

Q.  What types of products do you offer?
A.  We offer Counted Cross Stitch charts and kits.  We also offer Aida, evenweave, and linen fabrics.  Our floss collection is from Crescent Colours, Gentle Arts, Weeks Dye Works and Carries Collections.  We provide a variety of accessories for the discriminating stitcher including scissors, needles and finishing products.  We also offer custom framing from cross stitch and a variety of finishing techniques to preserve the memories that our customers have made.
Q.  What would you say to a young person in order to get them to try stitching for fun?
A.  Counted Cross Stitch is simple to learn.  Just one leg of floss over the other.  Just making crosses to develop a beautiful keepsake. 
Q.  Who are some of your personal favorite designers?
A.  Some of our personal favorite designers are Plum Street Samplers, Cherrywood Designs, Little House Needleworks and Blackbird Designs.
Q.  Have you ever attended a TNNA trade show, and if so what are your thoughts on them?
A.  We try to attend as many of the TNNA trade shows as we can.  It is always a delight and adventure to meet the designers and suppliers.  We always get very excited to see all the new products available.
Q.  What types of events do you offer at your store?
A.  We have an annual cross stitch exhibit that local stitchers participate in.  We display their cross stitched pieces for a month.  Customers vote on their favorite designs.  We have two weekend retreats every year.  One in the Spring and one in the Fall.  We have stitch-ins twice a month on the second and last Saturday of the month.

On a Personal Note - 

Q.  Would you share a little about your family?
A.  We are a family owned business so all of my immediate family gets involved at one time or another.  Anywhere from helping improve the appearance at the shop to walking in our local parade.  They all seem to have a hand in what we do.  My husband and I have 4 grown children and 4 grandchildren.

Q.  Do you have any pets?
A.  We have an inherited cat.  Our cat was living with our son and his wife for the last 10 years.  It was decided that they needed to separate the their two cats, so naturally we inherited one of the cats.  She rules our household now and seems to have fit in rather well.

Q.  What would you do if you won the lottery?
A.  I would probably build our own building to be able to house our shop and have a retreat center right there.

Q.  What changes would you make if you could go back in time?
A.  I don’t think I would have changed anything in my life accept I would probably have become a shop owner a lot sooner.  I was in fund raising and the administrative side of nonprofit organizations for many years.  I enjoyed my career but now being involved with stitching and framing gives me the chance to be a little more creative. 

Q.  What kind of music do you listen to?
I like all sorts of music.  I guess I enjoy country and the oldies the best.  I grew up in a family that enjoyed music.  It was not uncommon to have my aunt playing piano and all of us listening or dancing on a Saturday night.

Mary Ann Arnolde
825 Tara Plaza
Papillion, NE 68046