Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chessie & Me & NEW SHOP ALERT! Finishing Touch (Louisville, KY)

Featured Designer

How long have you been a stitcher and how did you first learn?
Autumn Sewing Book
I've done some kind of hand work since I was a child.  My grandmother first taught me to embroider on flour sack dish towels.  In the 70's, I was teaching weaving and needlepoint at a Junior College and someone introduced me to counted cross stitch and when I discovered that you didn't have to fill in the backgrounds, I was hooked!!!

What are a few favorite themes when designing a pattern?
I LOVE fall and Halloween themes and could designs them any time of the year.  Patriotic is another favorite.  Other than that, I really am inspired by the current time of year, a location I happen to be in or even seeing an interesting house will spark an idea for a new design.

How do you compare the products in today's market and how has that changed your design?
The quality of both the linens and threads available have greatly improved.  I've really become addicted to overdyed linens.  I love the aged look they give to any design.  I'm also a fan of over dyed threads, whether, silk or cotton and in the last 5 years have used those exclusively for my designs.  For me, they give the design so much more depth and the colors themselves will sometimes inspire me to create. 

Do you stitch your own models, or do you have model stitchers?
Yes, I stitch all my own models and sometimes even restitch them.  I'm a very tactile person, so I hand chart, hand stitch, change colors until I'm satisfied and then send the model to be charted on the computer.

Do you or are you willing to travel for stitching events?
Yes, I do travel quite a bit.  I come from a teaching background and enjoy meeting people from different areas of the country when I teach workshops.  Since most of my design and work time is pretty solitary, I really look forward to time spent with people who share my passion for stitching!!

Let's Learn a Bit More About Linda!

What's your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving!  I love to cook and there's no present buying pressure, so for me, a house filled with loved ones and good food is just the best holiday ever!!!

What are your three favorite movies?
I have so many, but, my absolute all time is Casablanca.  I will watch it anytime, anywhere and have probably seen it a gazillion times!!

Would you share a little about your family?
My immediate family is just me, my husband, John, and our two cats, but we have lots of brothers and sisters between us and tons of nieces and nephews whom we adore!

Do you have pets?
Yes, we previously stated, I have two spoiled cats, both of whom think they are a HUGE part of my business!  Brewster, is a 12 year old tiger, who at 18lbs, loves to be my lap cat....especially when I'm stitching on a new project, and Chesapeake II (Chessa), is a 6 year old grey and white tabby who pretty much takes control of everything else.  Chessa's actually sitting on top of the printer, staring at the screen as I type....I'm sure if she doesn't approve, I'll hear about it!!

Featured Shop

Saundra Cox
The Finishing Touch
2004 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206

How long have you been in business?

In 1978, I opened the original Finishing Touch and enjoyed seeing it grow and change for 30 years.  After spending a little more than four years in retirement, the new Finishing Touch opened its doors on September 14, 2012.

How do you compare the products available in today's market compared to 10  years ago and how has that changed your business over time?
There is no limit to what is available to the stitcher today in the way of products to inspire creativity.  Moving forward from the days of limited fabric, fibers and embellishments to today's range of hand-dyed fibers, beautifully colored fabrics, designs of every degree of simplicity and difficulty brings us to a needlework world with something for everyone.  What a wonderful thing to be able to offer so many choices for hours of stitching joy and personal fulfillment.

Where do you see your company in five years?
In the coming years, our goal is to once again provide a shop where stitchers feel comfortable and relaxed while shopping or sharing time with others who share their passion.  There have been many great memories shared with customers in years gone by and, hopefully, many more to be made.

Being profitable would, of course, be a bonus.

What type of events do you offer at your store?
Super Bowl Sundays and Market Sundays always provide  fun afternoons in the shop.  Not only do shoppers get to browse and chat on a day we are not normally open, but we always have freebies, prizes and finishing ideas in addition to all the newest designs.  Trunk Shows and Designer visits have always topped the list of favorite days.

Our "Ladies of the Touch" developed into a large dedicated group of stitchers who shared countless hours of ideas, techniques and support for one another - inside and outside our shop.

Do you have any advice for aspiring shop owners?
While needlework shops lend themselves to a more casual atmosphere than some businesses, it remains a serious business that can be what you make it.  Patience and tenacity count and the possibilities are endless.

A Bit About Saundra

Besides stitching and running your  business, what are a few things you enjoy in your free time?
When I have a moment, I usually reach for a book from the stack waiting to be read.  My husband and I have enjoyed traveling through our own country and beyond; many  happy memories made while traveling.  I also love taking on a new project whether it be a new kitchen, beginning a new sampler or renovating an old building to be  a new shop.

What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas has always been tops on my list.  Love to collect decorations of the season and spend time arranging them throughout our home.  The Christmas Season always includes contact  with those you might not see on a regular basis as well as the opportunity to begin a fresh new year. 

Would you share a little about your family?
My immediate family is very small.  Have been married to the same person for 50 years and have one daughter.  Our daughter is single and a hard-working executive..  She also owns a personal fitness studio in the same building as "The Touch," so we have much to share.  Two cats complete our little family.  I think my "extended" family is enormous and that is a wonderful feeling.

What changes would you make if you could go back in time?
I would start with a big family and try to not take myself so seriously.

8 oz. Package Cream Cheese
1 cup Margarine (2 sticks)
½ cup Butter
2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
½ cup Unsweetened Cocoa
6 Eggs
2 ½ cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cream cheese, butter and margarine together. Gradually add sugars and beat until well creamed. Add cocoa and one egg. Beat well.
Add flour, baking powder and salt alternately with the remaining five eggs. Beat well after adding each egg. Add the vanilla and blend.
Bake in a 10-inch stem mold that has been well greased and dusted with cocoa or flour.
Bake at 325 degrees for 85 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Makes a large cake - about 16 servings.
Drizzle cream cheese frosting over warm cake. Sometimes we top with fresh raspberries as well.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 3 oz. Cream Cheese
1 tablespoon of Evaporated Milk
Pinch of Salt
2 cups Confectioners Sugar

Beat cheese, milk, vanilla and salt until smooth. Add confectioners sugar and beat until creamy.
This cake is wonderful to have during the Christmas holidays. It will stay fresh for several days. Great to serve at the end of a meal or as a late evening snack.

1 comment:

  1. Your friends in Cincinnati will be planning a road trip to visit your new/old shop. We've missed The Finishing Touch.