News & Views

Gay Ann Rogers Needlework

 

Logo of scissors, needle, thread, thimble, crown

Sales of Kits and Patterns

Updated April, 2018

 

Here is a column about my Sales, essentially to answer my most frequently asked questions (FAQs).

 

How can someone find out about my upcoming sales?

 

Sign up for my Newsletter.

To sign up, email me: GayAnnRogers@me.com.

 

 

Will your email inbox  be flooded with Newsletters?

 

No, that I promise.  Essentially I send a Newsletter a few days before a sale starts and again right after the sale starts. That's it.

 

 

Why don't I have everything for sale all the time?

 

Because I'd be in Mail Jail forever and have no time to stitch. I like to stitch as much as you do, maybe even more!

 

 

So when do I usually sell designs?

 

I usually sell designs three times a year: in February, in May or June and in mid-October.

In 2018 I will have an additional sale on August 10/

 

 

What about old patterns, how can you get the one you want?

 

If there is one you have your heart set on, email me: GayAnnRogers@me.com

I won't promise it, but if I receive other requests for it, I will try and bring it back.

 

 

Which old patterns am I considering bringing back ?

In June I brought back both Echoes of Elizabeth and Echoes II: Tudor Rose Sampler..

 

 

What is the status of my Queens?

 

I have no plans to bring back Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary or Bess or Eleanor, but there will be 'The Last Queen'.

 

Who is The Last Queen?

You will find out on August 10.

 

My World of Needlework

 

July 19 Thursday

I've met my deadline (sort of) and am moving on.

 

Just three weeks to go and the Last Queen will arrive. She will mark the end of my royal era.

 

I didn't plan to be so royal, it just happened. In my podcast with Gary and Christine, Gary asked me about my interest in royalty and I explained it had to do with my website, not with my actual admiration for things royal -- although I like all the kitschy trappings: diamonds, sapphires, gold, silver, silk and so forth.

 

Royalty for me came about in the naming of Queendom Website, of which I am Queen and at that a (relatively) autocratic one.

 

Although I didn't stitch Elizabeth 1 because of my website. I stitched her as a part of a dare to myself. I was leafing through a magazine all those years ago and I saw a portrait of Elizabeth 1 stitched all in original Elizabethan stitches.

 

It was a most awkward portrait because the scale and the perspective were all wrong. I groaned and then an idea came: what if I stitched a portrait of Elizabeth 1 that was totally inauthentic, could I make her convincing?

 

I asked my friend Jane Zimmerman, should I make her a doll or a formal portrait? Jane said 'formal portrait' and that's how it all started.

 

July 18 Wednesday

Deadline Day today.

 

 Most always I need my model to write instructions but I'm almost far enough to finish without the model here.  If I write for 4 or 5 hours this morning and then work on it today and tomorrow, I might finish.

 

In ideal circumstances, I write the instructions as soon as I finish stitching a design, when it is all still fresh in my mind, but ideal is not often. More commonly,  I draw the Oversize Graphs and/or Master Graphs while I am stitching. I keep MacSoph beside me with my draw app (Illustrator) open and I graph the layers as I stitch them. Then I make some notes and move on. Later when I have more time, I write the instructions.

 

This time I might get lucky and finish. Pat said she would proof stitch the heart, so it would be great if I could ship it off to her in the next few days.

 

As soon as I finish writing these instructions, I will start kitting Echoes for everybody. Let's hope that the backordered congress cloth for Echoes and for the Last Queen will be here soon.

 

July 17 Tuesday

We had such a special day yesterday, it was just one of those perfect days, the ones you always hope for and once in a while they come to pass.

 

So it is back to the grind today, but that's OK.

 

I'm not going to make my Wednesday deadline and the time for me to work on it is past. I'll set it all aside and get back to it whenever I find the time.

 

Up next? Putting together Echoes kits.

I plan to start them on Thursday morning.

 

My summer disappointment, I've run out of time for tackling the elephant in my workroom: I don't have the span of time I'd hoped for this summer to start designing my new website. Somehow I just blew through the time.

 

Time: it is always life's bugaboo. There's simply never enough of it.

 

July 16 Monday

A special day today and as long planned, I have half the day off today. I've been scrambling all morning long to see if I can fit in a whole day's work before my half-day off.

 

I'm happy to say I've finished one heart, so there will be a new Heart in E-Week this year. I don't think I will finish the second heart in time, there just haven't been enough hours.

 

I know, E-Week isn't for 3 more months and I could easily finish the heart before then, but I can't get it made into a heart and proofed and the supplies ordered in that amount of time. Oh well, I tried.

 

On with a super day today! And maybe some more stitching in the evening, we'll see. Enjoy your day.

 

July 15 Sunday

Half way throuigh July already, how can that be? I know, I'm like a broken record about time but I just don't know where it goes.

 

Deadline half met, I'm happy to say and I have the whole day ahead to try and catch up more.

 

Enjoy your Sunday, hope you will stitch along with me today.

 

July 14 Saturday

I got caught. I HAVE to stitch, not much time for anything else right now. I know, one can't stitch 24/7 and that's my problem: I have a bunch of other personal goings-on, you name it, all bunched up.

 

I'm usually pretty good at time management (terrible at organization but good at time management) but this time I got blindsided, caught with needles scattered around me, I guess I might say.

 

When this happens all I can do is prioritize and right now photos and facebook page are at the bottom of the list.

 

Best I can say is this: I'll get to it soon as I can. There simply aren't enough hours in the day. That said, I'm actually enjoying this squeeze -- I HAVE to stitch which isn't a bad thing.

 

Will you join me?

 

July 13 Friday: Friday 13th!

I am superstitious, I admit it and so I'm staying huddled at home today, hoping no black cats cross my path.

 

Actually, it works out perfectly: I have a deadline just imposed on finishing two hearts and I HAVE to stitch. Hard task, I know  :-)

 

I have to finish by Wednesday afternoon, so here I sit, needle in my hand, huddled up against the dangerous outside on Friday the 13th.

 

Anybody join me?

 

July 12 Thursday

Yesterday I had website publishing problems and a chunk of my day went to fixing them. Happily fixed now, but I didn't finish much else.

 

I still have to take photos. I'm out and about for much of the morning and midday, but I'll try and remember this afternoon. Sigh.

 

Happiness is a stitching deadline. I don't like turbo stitching but I love that I HAVE to stitch now. Real treat!

 

I loved our watercolors class and thought up a small series of lessons just from that class. When life calms down a bit, I'll write them. I decided to name them 'Methodology.' I hope there will be some good coping mechanisms for what I think I will name the Tendency Toward Over-Perfection.

 

Less than a month to go till the Last Queen arrives.

 

July 11 Wednesday

It seems like forever that DH has wanted to take a class in painting with watercolors. He has loved watercolor paintings for as long as I've known him and he finally decided the time had come: he signed us both up for this class about four months ago and last Saturday was the day and off we went.

 

Honestly, I had gone thinking, geeze, I have SO much to do and here I am, on the way to a class that would have been much more convenient if it were five months from now because I have too much to do.

 

The class began with introductions, the way most classes do:  where we lived, what we did in real life and how much experience we had had with watercolors.

 

When my turn came, I said I did needlework in real life and our teacher chuckled and said, 'boy are we going to have to loosen you up!'

 

Fast forward through the day and I recognized, this is about as far away from stitching as an art form can be. All day long I wished my followers had been there, working alongside DH and me, particularly my very uptight followers bent on perfection.

 

I am in fact sitting here right now laughing as I write this, because our day was one free for all in the perfection department.

 

I had a great time and so did DH and both of us wanted to do more. In addition, I came away with an idea for a short series of needlepoint lessons. So much more on down the line about my day in watercolor class.

 

Meanwhile, back to reality: I know I need to take some photos and change poor Queendom Website's home page. I've meant to do it for a couple of days -- I'll try my hardest today.

 

 

July 9 Monday

I've decided, if I have a favorite day of the week it is Monday. Why? After the weekend, Monday always makes me think that the world is moving forward again, be it for better or for worse. Happy Monday morning!

 

Recently Gary Parr asked me if I would make a podcast the him and Christine Williams.

 

I admit, I was reluctant, but I had listened to some of their needlework podcasts and thought it worthwhile to support.

 

So Sunday morning Gary posted our podcast and if you would like to hear me carry on for an hour on Fiber Talk, here’s the link:

 

http://wetalkfiber.com/2018/07/08/fiber-talk-with-gay-ann-rogers/

 

 

July 8 Sunday

I am happy to report I straightened out my heart in the early a.m. and it is on its way.

 

Back to more kitting today as I staple more labels on threads. I will probably spend most of the day working on threads.

 

As soon as I finish the Last Queen, I will start on Echoes. I think I now have all of the threads -- I will check for sure as I start the kits.

 

Enjoy your Sunday. Hope you have a little time for stitching.

 

July 7 Saturday

I stole some time in the evening daylight and started a heart I'd been thinking about for some time -- and at the end of a couple of hours I re-learned some lessons I have been well acquainted with for more years than I like to remember.

 

Here's my story:

I had a small design where the scale was eensy; I had made a pattern I like and I had drawn a heart based on the shape and the pattern and it was this design I started last night.

 

Shape fine; pattern fine; scale didn't work. I had blown up the element and the scale needed to be larger. I guessed it would work but it didn't and In the wee hours of this mornng I ripped it all out.

 

This is a common happening in my life: I think up something and it works just fine in my mind, but reality is a different matter. So I will try again and maybe even a third and fourth time.

 

Here's what interests me: I hear from people who say this designer or that designer is magic because she/he can totally predict on paper how something will work on canvas, and as long as the stitcher doesn't deviate from the plans, she/he will produce a masterpiece.

 

Really?

 

In my travel teaching days a student would ask me 'will this work?' and I would reply, don't know, try it.

 

Student would say to me, how come you're the teacher and you don't know.

 

I would reply, I never know, I can guess, but I always have to try.

 

I could tell, student was disillusioned with me that I didn't know all the answers. So once I replied: if the immortal artists of the western world didn't know, why would I mere mortal needlework teacher?

 

Moral of my story: needlework isn't formulaic, at least not at its best. I can give you a formula that will get you somewhere from OKto good, but it is my firm belief that wonderful is seredipity, a gift that shows up after a lot of hard work, some good guesses and a lot of luck, and even then it doesn't show up all that often.

 

 On the occasions I do get there, I treasure the experience, and then head off to struggle again.

 

Will this little heart work out well? Don't know, I'll have to see. Sometimes it doesn't come down to knowing what to do but how many different paths I can think up.

 

July 6 Friday

I am very pleased to say that I am on schedule, in fact a little ahead.

My guess is, I will finish kits for the Last Queen sometime next week. I will post some photos soon as I am finished.

 

The 6th of July today: only a little over a month to go.

 

Do you eer have everything at your fingertips but a needle? I am out of #24 tapestry needles, so I'll have to scrounge today. Shhh -- I have been stealing a bit of time to stitch.

 

Not much, but a bit of stitching time. I'm using stitching as a reward: if I count so many bead packages, I get to stitch for half an hour, etc. Here's my favorite: if I count so many bead packages without spilling the beads, I earn a bonus 15 minutes of stitching time. Then the bonus 15 minutes turns into half an hour....

 

You know how that goes.

 

July 5 Thursday

The skies cleared last night and we enjoyed a brilliant display of fireworks from our living room window. All together there were 7 different displays, four major ones and three minor. As we've always said, 4th of July night is the best one of the year from our house.

 

I had a good time waiting of the dark and the fireworks: I drew a new heart and started a drawing of a coordinating geometric. Heart is ready to go, geometric needs more work.

 

So the question now is, which of three hearts do I make for E-Week?

The single one I drew last night or the pair I'd planned to do all along.

 

Here's what I think: happy dilemma indeed!

 

Hope the 4th was a happy one for you and you had a chance to spend some time with your needle.

 

July 4 Wednesday,  Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July!

 

Yesterday I had a note from a Brit and almost replied to her, Happy 4th! Then stopped and thought, wrong nationality. Changed my mind and wrote, "with all that's going on here, I'll bet you're glad we aren't colonies any longer."

 

I also woke up this morning to a cute card from my friend Jean across the pond and replied the same to her.

 

I'm looking forward to today! Half day of kitting, then I get to knock off and stitch the afternoon away! Yay! If you're not overly busy with hot dogs, potato salad and fireworks, hope you will join me.

 

This is usually the best night of the year at our house: we can see 7 sets of fireworks from our living room, but in the past couple of years, the weather has been overcast thereby obscuring full view. Maybe tonight will be clear.

 

Enjoy your day and I hope you will find a little stitching time.

 

July 1 Sunday

Welcome to July! I wish I could think of something inspirational, but I am afraid it is more of the same here. I am looking forward to the afternoon of July 4: I plan to spend the afternoon stitching, maybe working on my whitework sampler, maybe starting the new heart I've meant to start for quite a while.

 

Meanwhile: I am writing instructions in the morning and kitting threads and beads in the afternoon, and I think this is my plan for a while to come.

 

As I think ahead, I think only a month and 10 days until the Last Queen arrives. I know how that time will go by: I will blink twice and it will be August 10.

 

Father Time, would you please slow down a bit?

 

June 30 Saturday

The last day of June, the last day of the first half of 2018. I plan to make this a productive day: I'm in line to finish the Last Queen's kits by July 4, and if I come even close, I plan to take off half of Wednesday and stitch. I'll work on the morning, but come lunchtime, I'd like to stitch while I wait for the fireworks.

 

I'm back at work a bit (just a bit) on my big whitework sampler. Gradually I'm coming close to finishing it. It's fun to watch the sampler evolve into its final form and difficult to leave it alone.

 

But kitting calls.

 

June 28 Thursday

I am happy to report: I counted beads for the entire day yesterday and managed not to spill any large quantities. A good sign, as I had very large sacks of very tiny seed beads.

 

More of the same today and tomorrow and in fact for the week to come. My goal is to finish kits for the Last Queen by July 4. Then I will start work on Echoes. I had notice yesterday that more of the supplies will arrive in the week to come.

 

I am trying to finish primary obligations so that I will have some time to start the extensive webwork that will be a part of my life for the months to come.

 

June 27 Wednesday

Today and three more days left in June, and then the first half of 2018 will be gone. How can it be.

 

This morning I converted the photo of two reds into black and white to show one small way to tell about the strength of colors. I wrote a bit of commentary, but the photo in this case says it all. Interesting, isn't it.

 

If you are choosing colors for a project, one way to make a judgment about the colors is th convert a photo of them into black and white. For an effective color selection, it is nice to have a range across the grayscale, from lights to darks.

 

More kitting today. I am back to spending the day counting beads. Here's what I wish for most: that I don't spill 20,000 14/0 seed beads. I've done it before and it isn't fun.

 

Enjoy your Wednesday.

 

June 26 Tuesday

Very successful day yesterday! You know those days where everything goes wrong, and then now and again you have a day where everything goes right? Yesterday was one of those days where everything I touched went right, it was lovely!

 

If I could have a few more days like yesterday, life would indeed be good and I would indeed finish kits!

 

Will see how today goes.

 

June 25 Monday

The beginning of a new work week but for me more of the same.

I'm afraid not much interesting to write about, just more kitting chores.

 

Life was more interesting last Friday when I received a very large box of silk, always great fun to open. The box included some of the threads for Echoes, so guess what: when I finish kits for the Last Queen, I can start on kits for Echoes. Actually, Echoes is fun to kit. I love the overdyed red that Echoes uses.

 

Happy Monday! On with the day.

 

June 24 Sunday

I put in a very long day yesterday and I am pleased with my progress. I worked all day long on assembling the silks for the Last Queen.

 

Before I took them apart, I snapped a photo of the two reds in the Last Queen and color corrected the photo for my monitor. I'm hoping the photo will look OK on your monitors as well.

 

Sometime ago I discovered a red that is slightly desaturated, ie weaker that a traditional red. Most desaturated reds turn into pink or coral very quickly; this one is desaturated but still reads as red.

 

Red can be a difficult color to use, much the same as a strong rich black can be difficult, and this slightly desaturated red is, in my life the equivalent of using charcoal instead of black. It just takes the edge off a strong color. Given my color sense, this can be a great help, as it was in the Last Queen.

 

I know real artists are probably rolling their eyes because most artists love very strong colors. When I get in these conversations with a real artist, I always shrug and say, eh, I'm a grayed out person.

 

I actually used a bit of each red on the Last Queen, just a tiny bit of the real red. In my defense for bailing out into the weaker red, I notice the artist who painted the portrait I referenced bailed out of red entirely: the motifs in his painting are converted to cream-colored accents.

 

As it turned out, red was one of a handful of color contrasts that were center stage in making the Last Queen a bit of a challenge to stitch. Color contrasts weren't my most difficult problem -- the Last Queen's face was by far the most difficult -- but they were challenge enough.

But that's all the fun part :-)

 

June 23 Saturday

Yesterday and early this morning, I finished putting together the beads for The Last Queen and began the long process of wrapping each set in bubble wrap.

 

I have set up a workstation for wrapping beads in bubble wrap and I will try and do it at least half an hour to an hour a day until I've finished. It is a genuinely boring task. I mean, how inspiring is it to look at a seemingly endless pile of bubble wrap strips.

 

The other task I am working on is a much more inspiring one: I'm beginning to gather the silk colors into their final bundles, twisting them together and fitting them into their own baggies. I like doing this task because the colors gathered together in their final stages  always look so different than they do in their original large amounts.

 

The Last Queen is sitting here beside me and I enjoy looking over at her and remembering when and why I chose the colors. One of the things I love about Soie d'Alger (always my go-to thread) is the beautiful color range and it came to my rescue more than once.

 

 In the coming mornings I'll post some of the colors and write about these choices. I've enjoyed reminiscing about them.

 

June 22 Friday

I did indeed sitch all day yesterday -- I worked the whole day long on a small crown, I never did start my heart. I hope you had some time to join me and spend some time with your needle.

 

Today: back to work, expressly I am returning to work on kits for The Last Queen. As soon as I finish a new grouping, I will post it in place of the Kreinik braids.

 

Long hours of daylight mean it is almost full light until 8:00 p.m. so I may knock off work at about 5:00 and stitch again for a while. Will see how the day goes.

 

June 21 Thursday  Summer Solstice

My favorite day of the year is here, the longest day of the year, the most daylight hours, the best day to stitch.

 

I would like to start off the day by remembering Diane Clements, a wonderful stitcher teacher that we lost to cancer several years ago. Today was her birthday and I always stop and think of Diane and all the wonderful pieces she stitched.

 

As I reflect on Diane, I see that first light is almost here in San Diego, almost time to pick up my needle for the day.  Day Two of our Stitching Marathon.

 

Yesterday I worked on my little crown design. In the morning all I did was stitch and rip, start over again, and stitch and rip some more, so that by midday I had very little to show for several hours with my needle.

 

In the afternoon things improved and by twilight I had quite a bit of stitching to show for my day, and best, the little crown was set up and shouldn't be much of a problem.

 

My question today: do I keep working on it or do I start a new heart?

I have the design all set to go. Hmmm.... I'll work on the crown for a little longer and then, if indeed all is well with the crown, I will start the heart.

 

Hope you will join me for a while today.

 

 

Queendom Website’s Own Jargon

 

MacSoph

MacSoph is my trusty little Apple MacBook computer.

 

Actually I have two MacSophs, now. They both work on Queendom Website, particularly during Sales.

 

Back in the late 1980’s DH and I had an SE and an English friend named that computer ‘Sophie Enchilada’ a bit of ridiculousness that stuck and our computers have been ‘Soph’ ever since. As I said, I now have two MacSophs.

 

DH

DH is my 'Dear Husband' who helps me by running Mail Jail. Actually he does most of my bookkeeping also since I am so bad at it.

 

The main thing to know about DH in connection with Queendom Website is the concept of ‘First Thing in the Morning’.

 

First Thing in the Morning means just that to me: it is the first thing I do in the morning.

 

DH has a different concept: First Thing in the Morning can often mean before 4:00 in the afternoon. DH isn’t a morning person.

 

This arises in connection with ‘Mailing Packages First Thing in the Morning’.

 

How Queendom Website Got its Name

Not long after MacSoph and I started our website, a friend said to me, your website is just like your own little private kingdom.

 

I replied, “yes, but not a kingdom, it’s a Queendom and I am Queen.”

 

And that’s why I usually have an abundant number of crowns and things Royal on Queendom Website.

 

E-Week

E-Week is my big once-a-year sale usually in mid-October. I have other sales during the year but E-Week is my extravaganza.

 

E-Week is named after Merchandise Night at seminars. Merchandise Night at seminars is an evening when teachers and other vendors sell their wares for 2 hours or so. Now I have E-Merchandise Week, shortened along the years to 'E-Week'.

 

Early Morning Sales

During E-Week, Early Morning Sales happen on Saturday morning at 8:00 sharp California Time.

Early Morning Sales have special items, often limited in number, for a short period of time. If I do say so, they are a special part of E-Week and they are great fun!

 

Mail Jail

Mail Jail is the shipping division of my little business and it is the main reason I don’t have things for sale on Queendom Website all the time.

 

I used to be mired in packages until December; at last year's E-Week I was in Mail Jail until February which was way too long.

 

So I found Jay who has taken over Mail Jail for me. He is so efficient at it and I am delighted that he is willing to do it.

 

Kit Hell

Every needlework teacher knows about Kit Hell. That’s the time before a class when you do nothing but order supplies and then divide them up into kits.

 

Even though I am retired from travel-teaching, I still have a bit of Kit Hell now and again.

 

Bead Mania

If you have ever spilled 10,000 seed beads, you will know about Bead Mania.

 

This is all the Queendom Website Jargon I can think of right now. If I think of more of it, I will post it here.

 

 

Queendom Website's Production Team

Queendom Website's staff includes:

Queen (me),

Queen Consort (DH) who manages Mail Jail and now has become a staff writer,

and Queendom Website's Faithful Subjects, MacSophs II and III (my trusty little MacBook computers).