Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sales N Things

Getting ready for the next Market coming up .. my gosh, I just got back from San Diego and will be leaving Feb.5th for the Nashville Cash & Carry Market. I'll bet that some of the stuff I ordered at the Winter Market will not even be in the shop yet when I'm buying new at this next one! Since this is a Cash & Carry Market, that means we have to attend with money in our pockets and checking accounts and credit cards so that we can purchase all the neat new stuffs to bring back WITH us! Dave goes to this show with me .. kind of a mini-vacation, hopefully to warmer weather for him. This is where he can sit in the room, eating room service and watching TV/reading books until I call him on his cell to come find me at such & such floor in that hotel so he can 'Sherpa' my shopping bags back to the room for me, freeing me up for even more purchasing! He enjoys it .. even gets to do some shopping FOR me, as long as he has a specific written out list of what to get, what amounts, and where to get it! LOL
Cross Stitch shops are pretty 'unique' in this type of market. That's why you'll hear about us shops having "Superbowl sales" just prior to going to the show .. to give us the added funds to purchase for you. Oops .. that's right .. we are NOT supposed to use that 'S___ Sale' term anymore ... trademarked and all that. So ... Stitches N Things will be having our "HUGE ANNUAL IN HONOR OF THE BIG FOOTBALL GAME THAT DEB HAD TO GOOGLE TO FIND OUT WHO WAS PLAYING" SALE on Saturday January 31, 2009 beginning at 12:01am EST till 6:00pm EST Sunday February 1, 2009 ONLY - with 20% OFF Everything Store Wide and the chance for you to choose either the STEELERS or the CARDINALS and if your team wins .. you win too with Free Shipping on that order!!!
And yes, I really did have to Google to find out WHO was playing .. I don't have a clue about that kind of stuff! When I first purchased the shop 16 years ago and found out about holding this tyoe of sale, I thought .. in my wee little brain .. how cool is this?!! I can run a sale, and when I get home, the game will be over and I will have been able to miss all the hoopla. NO ONE TOLD ME that the game is on IN the EVENING!!! (deep sigh) So I'd come home exhausted and still have to try to find 'something' on TV to watch.
I eventually had to have the sale run two days .. Saturday AND Sunday .. as we'd have too many people trying to get into the shop on just the 'game day'. Now, the tradition I started with that continues, and probably a good thing as once again I'm in a smaller location. But more so in that NOW, the SHOP itself is only open on Saturday from 10 till 5pm, but due to the wonders of the computer screen in front of you, you can go online at midnight and start shopping, continue after the shop hours have ended AND still be able to shop and save all day on Sunday until 6pm EASTERN TIME ZONE ... that's so you can enter your team to win and the game will not have ended yet in "your time zone" so it's fair for everyone to have a chance at the free shipping offer.
Now .. speaking of who is playing .... Arizona Cardinals? Don't flame me, but I've never heard of this team before. Steelers, yes .. but the only Cardinals I knew about was a BASEBALL team. And if both Cardinal Teams were once based IN St. Louis, how did you know which game you were attending? What if you wanted football and saw everyone enter the field without helmets? Hey now .. THAT would be A Super Game .... football vs baseball. Would the 'ball' be a batted football, or would it be a kicked baseball? Sport against Sport .. I'd be all for watching That One!!!!
Oh well, Nashville is coming soon and I have to be prepared to spend money .. hence the Big Sale coming up this weekend!!!

Shopping N Spinning N Things

Back from 'heaven' into Michigan's cold. It didn't bother me until I was walking the 'tunnel to the terminal' at O'Hare .. and I could see my breath!!! That was a shock! And so far today it's only 7 degrees (actual, remember - I detest wind chill figures!), but the wood stove is warm and I'll be watching a movie and stitching soon, so that's ok!
I fully meant to blog from San Diego but had some computer hook up issues - slow slow connections for the 'economy' rate of $9.95 for 24 hours usage at the hotel. When Theresa got it, we signed up for the 'business' rate of $12.95/24 hours on her computer. She has wireless, I had modem there. But .. since the two computers have different IP addresses, we EACH would have had to pay the $12.95 rate in order for each of us to be able to use our separate computers. NOT!!
Trade show was good .. meetings were good. I'm on The National Needlearts Association's Retail Council Board and have to attend the markets where the meetings are being held .. that's what took me to the West Coast. Historically this Winter Market is for Needlepoint and Knitting .. I do believe that I WAS the ONLY shop owner in attendance who has ONLY Cross Stitch in her shop! But, I found some neat accessories to purchase, and great bags/totes/storage cases, and watch for two EXCLUSIVE SNT items to appear within the next few weeks too!!
The classes were good too .. only had two: a business class on understand how Search Engines work (interesting- Tink Boord-Dill is a fabulous instructor!), and my 'Spinning" class ... it was 'Drop Spindle Spinning'. I went into that class with NO expectations - so if I did well, super! If I did terrible, hey - I wouldn't be surprised! That's the way to a win-win situation for sure!
I did pretty good for a first timer using this HUGE Cat Toy! Drop Spinners obviously do NOT have kitties .. or else they lock themselves in the garage or bathroom while spinning! Think Toy Top .. I could foresee the 'potential dangers' right from the start. And I got all excited as the instructor began to talk about "How To Draft" ... finally something I understood. But apparently, Drafting In NASCAR and Drafting In Spinning are not EVEN the same!!! (sigh)
I mean, I did pretty good in that for the most part, my yarn making was not thick and fat ... I tended, like my Type A+ Personality, to make very fine, easily breakable yarn. And when that spindle is spinning and the yarn breaks, that sucker can really travel across the floor ... fast!!!
The instructor would tell us ... "If there are "fat soft areas", known as slubs in your yarn or thick spots and thin spots, you can keep them and make a novelty yarn". Good thing that was what I was really going for .. I don't knit, but I thought it sure would be fun to have some neat textured fibers of the same color as the wool roving I was using in my felting/wet felting to give it an extra neat look!! So .. all in all, I have entertainment for the cats (hopefully without vet bills caused by the attack of the spindle) and some 'novelty yarn' for my own non-knitting use!
I'm going to end this post now .. and post 'anew'!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stitches N SUN

ohmigwad .. I'm in heaven!! Total, utter heaven! It's in the mid-70's, bright blue sky, soft gentle breeze and it's -7 at home!
Now THIS is what San Diego was expected to be like ... not the SD of two years ago when it never got above 43degrees the entire week I was here! I'm blown away, totally, utterly "knock your socks off so that your white white legs are clashing horribly with your pale khaki Capri pants" blown away!
No one else that I know is here yet as I got in earlier than I should have arrived (and I'm so incredibly happy now that I did). Yesterday I got up at 3am to make my flight, got in California at 10am, was actually able to check into my room then, walked around the Gaslight district, took a nap, went out for another walk and had dinner alone at a neat restaurant on the pier (very unlike me - I'm rather uncomfortable in strange surroundings by myself ,unfortunately) and made the mistake of having a wonderful Margarita before dinner. Mistake? Apparently tequila and jet lag do NOT go well together and I found myself quite a very bit tipsy after the second or third SIP!! Met the bartender who is a 'Detroit native' and found out that he lived two houses away from where I worked every summer up in Cheboygan at the Hackmatack Inn! Such a small world - he called his mom right then and there to see if she knew my family! LOL
I staggered rather elegantly back to my room on the 29th floor overlooking San Diego Bay and the harbor marina. It's now 5:30pm. I was too "tired" to even pick up a needle so watched a bit of TV, reading at the same time, until I couldn't stand it anymore .. it was now 7:30pm and .. went to sleep!
Woke up after 13 hours (WOW that felt terrific!!!), went down to find caffeine, took about a 5-mile stroll around the harbor, around the bay, on these neat little outlet park walkways, got a smoothie, came back to the room and now will take my stitching down to the poolside, where I plan to laze back in a chaise lounge, under a cabana, with another cool drink and .. stitch!!! Not sure what time Theresa (Homestead Needlearts) is flying in - she'll be my roomie, but I found some super looking places for dinner during my stroll this morning. I 'should' be able to handle my liquor better tonight (lightweight that I am!)!
I just wish I would have brought my camera with me .. it never occurred to me, I guess because my last trip here wasn't "HEAVENLY weather" like this trip is. I've taken a couple pictures with my phone, but haven't the slightest idea HOW to get the pictures off my phone and into an email. (sigh .. Debbie .. where are you when I need you!!!)
I was also rather disappointed to find that the coolest little boutique found on my last trip here .. Splash .. is no longer in existence. My Sister In Law had given me a Gift Card for Christmas and I planned on using it there. Good thing I left that GC at home. (deeper sigh)
No meetings until tomorrow morning at 8:30am; then my first class (the spinning without bike class) will be at 8am Friday morning .. then let the shopping begin that evening at the Sample It!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Writing N Stitches

Getting ready to leave for the San Diego Trade Show and checked the weather there .. it's actually supposed to be "California Weather" this time around! 2 years ago, the warmest it got the entire week I was there for Market was in the low-40's!!! I was not amused .. especially when I had called home one night and Dave told me it had actually been warmer in Michigan than it had been in San Diego! I guess I'm safe in packing 'summery' clothes with me this time (fingers crossing).

My immediate problem is what to take for airplane/airport stitching. I have some books ready, and know that I'm taking My Big Toe's Quaker Harmony with me to finish, but that project is on scroll rods and is really too big to take with me in those cramped airplane seats. Well, I'd be OK with it, but the person next to me would not be that happy. I've also got Carriage House Samplings' A Happy Hallowe'en . I'll be doing this one on BLACK Silk Gauze, but 32ct instead of 40ct. I have done 40ct Gauze on airplanes before - as long as I have a magnifier with me, and as long as the pilot keeps flying relatively 'smooth', I'll be fine! It's just a half stitch (tent stitch) after all and really works up fast. My only real problem is .. this Black
Gauze comes already mounted on a matting for ease in stitching. I usually mount my own by sewing it to a piece of fabric, cutting out the opening in the fabric for the gauze, and mount it in a Q-Snap. That way I can just clip my magnifier to the Q-Snap and everything is light enough to hold/stitch easily! I've not yet tried my magnifier on the matting .. of course, I could always cut
the gauze out of the pre-mount and fix it my usual way. I'll decide later on today what I'm doing there I guess! I also have one of Teresa Layman's KNOT designs to finish, and since it's just filling in the background, I don't need floss color changes OR counting, so that will be a airline breeze!!
And it's not like I won't have TIME to stitch .. somewhere in my wee brain I got it that my meetings began on the morning of the 14th .. and the only flight I could get that did not have more than 2 stops leaves at 6am from Flint and arrives in SD at 10am on the 13th (I can't check into my hotel until 3pm). BUT .. in reality, my meetings begin the morning of the 15th .. so I'll have an entire day and a half and a night to just sit around with nothing on my agenda and my friends not arriving in yet either! (sigh)
While I'm on the show floor shopping, I'll be wearing a pedometer and be Walking For Breast Cancer at the same time! Wow .. not only buying stuff but helping a great cause as well! If you would like to sponsor me .. step by step .. click here How Many Steps Will Deb Take? It's in Adobe PDF format that you can print off and send in to me .. or copy and paste in an email and send in to me (at the shop).
Spent the day yesterday getting orders ready to be placed in my absence .. and did place some myself. Debbie and Louann and Diana are the best - they've made sure I had extra coverage in the shop so I could get all the pre-work stuffs I have to do out of my way before I left. I have to plan shop bill paying, ordering, etc for a week and a half in advance when I go to Markets, and if you know me at all, you'll know that planning in advance is basically a totally foreign concept for me! And, I had Camp Stitchalot class brochures, agendas, and stuff to get sent out before I left too. As Debbie said to me yesterday ... "where is our fearless leader, who are you and what have you done with her?"! (they know!!!!!)