Sales of Kits and Patterns
Updated November 2021
I am on hiatus from sales. I've shipped everything from EWeek now and the time belongs to me.
I remember that I owe Time Samplers to people in February but that's all for now..
Keeping Track of My Sales:
If you sign up for my Newsletter will your inbox be flooded? No, I send out a Newsletter a few days before a sale and that's all.
My Newsletters are one page long, with date and time, of a sale and usually a listing of what is in the sale.
Requesting Old Patterns
If you wish to request an old design of mine, please email me with your request. I will do my best to bring back your requests in future sale.
Queendom Website’s Own Jargon
MacSoph is my trusty little Apple MacBook computer.
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.
DH is my 'Dear Husband' who helps me with Mail Jail. He does some of my bookkeeping and he and I drive together to the post office because of parking.
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 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'.
During E-Week, Early Morning Surprise Windows happen on Saturday morning at 8:00 sharp California Time.
Surprise Windows 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 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.
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 in my life.
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 Consort (DH) who helps with bookkeeping and is an occasional staff writer (when I can talk him into it).
and Queendom Website's Faithful Subject, MacSoph (my trusty little MacBook computer).
July 9, 2019 Tuesday
The First Day of My Remodeled Website
My New Year's Resolutions for 2021
1. Take all the pent-up anxiety about perfection and redirect that energy toward creativity. Open up your minds and think of creative possibilities you can bring to your needlework, ways that will personalize it and make it distinctly yours. Here are two ways to start:
Oops you made a mistake and you face a lot of ripping.
Ask yourself, is it really a mistake or a variation?
You do have to rip if you crossed most of your crosses in one direction and suddenly you started crossing them in the other direction, yep no way around that. Why? The real reason for good technique is that it allows all your attention to focus on your design (where it should be).
You don't have to rip if you made a leaf one row bigger than the design called for. This is obsessive behavior that needs redirecting in 2021.
You do need to rip if you make something so large it is out of scale with the rest of the design; you do not have to rip if it is barely noticeable.
You do not have to rip if you mixed up colors and the design is not exactly as the designer's model. For heaven's sake, if it looks OK, stop obsessing.
You do have to rip if a color or texture is not in harmony with the rest of the design.
You do not have to throw away a design if you run out of a dye lot.
If it looks like you are headed toward thread shortage, don't use the thread to the last strand, save at least 1/4 of it. Buy some more and decide where and how to introduce the new dyelot. I actually prefer to work with multiple dyelots. If you pay attention to lights and darks etc., they can bring an added depth to your design.
2. In memory of Audrey Francini, my generation's greatest needlewoman, slow down. Needlework is not a speed contest. Audrey was the slowest stitcher I have known. She was also the best. I have a couple of great stories about Audrey and her speed, I'll tell them in the next couple of mornings.
3. Forget about the Needlepoint Police. They don't exist except in their minds. You may meet people who think they know it all. Good for them, I applaude their confidence, but I don't buy into it.
I have probably told this story a dozen times but it is worth telling again and again. Years ago a friend wrote to me and asked, will this Kreinik braid look good with this silk?
I replied, beats me, try it and see.
Friend: whadaya mean you don't know, you're the teacher.
My reply: if the Immortal Artists Of The Western World don't know without trying, how would I, one mere mortal needlework teacher? (There's a bit more to thsi story too, I'll tell the rest another time).
All this goes to say once again, there is no real right and wrong, there are problems of course. The best way to find solutions is to think creatively.
Those are my New Year's Stitching Resolutions for 2021.
Reminders for me as well as for all of you.
Monday, December 6, 2021
The topic for this morning and for the next few days is Perfect Stitching. If you read my remarks on Queendom Website's home page, you will see that I don't think there is such a thing as Perfect Stitching and I'm not at all sure it is desirable.
'Perfect' isn't going to happen, but there are levels of 'Good' and one of your jobs is to learn to evaluate when to leave what you've just stitched and when to rip and redo it.
If you have stitched for a while, chances are you know to rip if you make a mistake in a stitch progression or your choice of thread doesn't work well with a stitch progression, those mistakes are fairly obvious.
Less obvious: questionable choices and of course tension.
In the next few mornings I'll write a bit about evaluating your work. Let's see if I can help.
Sunday, December 5, 2021
A reminder: CHECK your EWeek patterns and kits for tonight at midnight is the deadline for reporting mistakes. Yes, it is here, so get them out and check them!
This morning a treat: Toni K. just completed Treasured Remembrance and she reports she learned some lessons. I just posted a photo of Toni's finished piece and I have quite a lot to say about her comments over the next few days.
My comments have to do with imperfections, as well as why one should take time to learn Bullion Knots -- and more. T'will keep me busy for a few mornings as I have strong opinions on these matters.
Meanwhile enjoy Toni's Treasured Remembrance.
Saturday, December 4, 2021
A reminder: CHECK YOUR KITS from EWeek last October. Check to make sure you have everything: count the pages in the instructions, count beads, count threads -- and report any shortages or mistakes before midnight tomorrow night (December 5, 2021).
Why am I strict about this rule? I have told the tales of people writing to me after 20 years asking for missing pages or missing threads. So think midnight tomorrow night. After that, you are on your own.
As I have written previously, December is one of my favorite months and I am busy stitching winter themes and siftung through bits and pieces for a special event on Queendom Website: the 12 days of Christmas.
Historically I think the First Day of Christmas is December 25, but my First Day of Christmas will be December 12, with the Twelfth Day of Christmas on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day itself, I want to post my little winter-themed geometric.
Herein lies a lesson for you stitchers that we all need to remember. So historically it isn't 'right' but I'm doing it and I can do it as I wish and call it a Creative Adaptation.
The same applies to anything you stitch. There isn't a right or wrong, only what you think looks good and what doesn't. If you are stitching it and you think of an adaptation and you like it, it is your stitching, you can do with it what you wish.
If the Needlepoint Police say to you, you didn't follow the pattern perfectly, here's your answer: "I know, I prefer my Creative Adaptation."
Besides that, have you figured out? There aren't any Needlepoint Police....
Friday, December 3, 2021
I finished my geometric, the one with all the sequins. It was such a satisfying project: it was quick and easy to stitch, and I used such basic threads: two pearl cottons and silver Kreinik braid (4 spools) on 18 mesh white canvas.
My challenge was to see if I could use very few basic threads to create a project with some interest and delicacy. I will let you be the judge.
So when will I post it? When I finish the ornaments on a similar theme. My goal: to have them stitched and put together so that I can post the geometric and the ornaments on Christmas Day.
The ornaments are quick and easy, relatively small on 18 mesh canvas also and by tomorrow I should have the stitching finished for three of them.
Here's what's holding me up: I found and ordered more sequins and I am waiting for them to arrive. Just what I need: more sequins, but I couldn't resist.
All my life I've loved the month of December, all except one thing: the daylight is late to arrive in the morning and early to depart in the afternoon. Best get busy while the lovely daylight is here.
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Happy and very productive day yesterday: most sequins and beads in place and with any luck I should finish today.
Meanwhile on Queendom Website's Home Page this morning is Jan Box's American Silver Thimbles Sampler, all finished and framed. Jan, it looks wonderful and thank you for sharing it.
Speedy Stitcher Jan? Yes, of course, but I will tell you, she had a little advance time as she proof-stitched it for me.
American Silver Thimbles Sampler is probably my favorite pandemic design, maybe tied with Salem Witch Sampler, but then as many of you who follow me know, I love American Thimbles (including little bruised ones).
Please note, those of you with packages from EWeek last October: the date for reporting mistakes is coming up. At midnight on Sunday, December 5, you reach the deadline. After that time you are on your own.
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
The beginning of December and time to say Happy Birthday, Carolyn.
I greatly look forward to today, for I plan to spend much of it sewing on little silver and white sequins and beads. Basically I am caught up for the time being and now have the luxury of time with my needle in my hand.
We have made the decision to stay safely at home for a while longer to see what develops around the new covid variant. Would I wish to be out and about again? Of course. Am I tired of living every day at home? Very.
Trying to look on the brighter side, there are some compensations: time with my needle and time to clean up around here. I still have more of both planned, including today's sequins and beads and a little plan for December on Queendom Website.
More about it all in a few days. Meanwhile, my sequins beckon.
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Happy Birthday, Jane Ellen! Enjoy your day.
Last day of November. This morning on Queendom Website I have posted a photo of my current passion: vintage sequins. Actually, like my bead compulsion, sequins are an ongoing and long-time passion and as winter is right around the corner, I thought up some new ideas and went shopping yet again.
In days of old, in LA's garment district there was a super bead and trim shop called Bergers. They had a wall of boxes of sequins in all shapes and sizes for Hollywood costumers, skating and other sports costumes, and I guess for people like me, looking for unusual things.
Sadly, Bergers is long out of business, but recently I found online some sequins still in Bergers boxes and baggies and I was able to top up my dwindling collections of some of my favorites. And of course there were ones I hadn't seen before, and they came to live with me too.
As I reflect on the last year, I know that my needle and my bead compulsion have kept me moving forward. I'm happy for both as creative surges do bolster one's spirits.
On with the day.
Monday, November 29, 2021
Goodbye to Thanksgiving Weekend and almost Goodbye to November, just today and tomorrow, and before we know it, we will be saying Goodbye to 2021.
I have moved photos of my two little needlework boxes to 'Treasures'.
All through the pandemic I have shopped. Most of my shopping? Adding to my bead supply, something I didn't need to do but did anyway.
When several weeks went by and I didn't buy any beads, I thought, 'Whew! Glad that extended shopping spree is behind me, I have ENOUGH beads.'
But then along came some new ideas and I started shopping again. I have been productive: I have used both new and old beads so far on three designs. I have sewn the beads into place on one of the three. I hope to sew the beads onto the other two in the next few days.
Along with sewing beads into place, I am trying to decide how I might take a couple of photos of some of my beads without making a colossal mess. I have a couple of ideas and will try them as soon as the light is good.
I have too many beads. But there is nothing new about that. I've had too many beads for years and years. Sigh....
Sunday, November 28, 2021
My new idea? I tried several drawings, working and reworking the theme and ultimately didn't like any of them.
So I set my drawings aside and went on to something else, back some hours later in the afternoon and a good idea of how to do the drawing came to me. It didn't take long to work out the basic structure. I'll now set it aside for a few days and bring fresh eyes to it later on.
It's exactly like writing: if you ever had to write term papers in school, at some point you probably learned that setting your writing aside for several days helps the quality of your writing. Same is true for designing.
Some time and some fresh air both help immeasurably and so I'll return to work on my simple little geometric. I am almost finished with the stitching. Another couple of hours.
What next? I'll decide later this afternoon, or as soon as I finish the stitching on the geometric. Nice day ahead; I'm looking forward to you. Enjoy yours. The last day of the Thanksgiving holiday, then The Holidays are here!
Saturday, November 27, 2021
I was up early this morning and so engrossed in an idea that the time passed quickly and I'm late with this morning's post.
Every now and then I have what I think of as a Creative Surge and that's what happened this morning. In short, I thought of a way to do a design I've wanted to do for a long time. Perhaps a pair for Dowager in the Evening, perhaps just a companion of sorts. I'll see how it unfolds.
Whatever, it is always exciting to put together pieces of a puzzle.
I need a certain sort of bead, a metal finding, to make the design work, I have a sample which I scurried around to find and I wrote to the dealer this morning and asked if she had enough and how much they cost.
Poor dealer is probably thinking, this is a HOLIDAY, so why is this customer haunting me? We'll see if she answers.
If she does, if she has the findings and if they are even part-way reasonable in cost, I'll see if I can work out a rough drawing.
I'm going to sit down about 3:00 this afternoon and either draw or stitch; anybody have time to join me?
Happy Turkey Sandwich Day, 2021
It's not often my website looks well decorated and I like seeing my little boxes on Queendom Website's home page, so I will leave them in place through the weekend.
We both thoroughly enjoyed Thanksgiving Day this year! It was so low key and no pressure. I didn't do a constructive thing yesterday. The best time: in the afternoon, I picked up my needle and watched an American Experience DVD I'd never seen on Eleanor Roosevelt.
A day of relief from the news and from worries. Today we woke up to news of a new variant in South Africa and the stock market bleeding off 1000 points (the Dow) and Zoom up 7%.
Message to me in all this? Prepare for isolation a while longer. Once again, I am thankful for my needle.
Enjoy your turkey sandwich.
Happy Thanksgiving, 2021
On Queendom Website's home page this morning, you will find photos of both my treasured little boxes, along with a special treat. Recently at auction a box with a special provenance and date that has features of both my boxes and as it has a definite date, a good tipoff to the age of my boxes, particularly my little black box.
I woke up this morning in a good mood, maybe the notion of pumpkin pie for breakfast this morning? Maybe just a day to do what I wish all day long.
These times are certainly trying, but I am thankful that DH and I have come through so far in good health. Hopefully with the vaccines and a special pill on the horizon, we will start rounding the corner and be on our way to normalcy.
I am thankful for my needle too, for it has kept me going. Over and over I wonder how I would have made it through the last year and a half without it.
Today will be no exception: soon as I finish writing this note, I will pick up my needle. I had to wait till daylight because I am out of one ball of pearl cotton white and I need to root around for one close in dyelot to finish the piece.
Enjoy your day.
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
The day before Thanksgiving. Watch tomorrow for the comparison of my little boxes as I post the insides of the Red Box. They are much the same but also quite different.
Happy Thanksgiving preparations, and try to seize even a tiny bit of time to kick back with your needle in your hand. Off and on that's what I plan to do and I hope you'll join me.
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
This morning a surprise, a little red leather companion for my well-loved black box. The two are essentially the same size and the same layout, but the Red Box is slighly later and slightly fussier. They make such a nice comparison.
I have a book where I kept track of collecting the tools I bought in my early days. I had duly recorded both boxes: I bought the little red one about a year after DH brought home the black one. It was a long time ago, over 40 years as it turns out.
In the next few mornings I will post photos comparing the two. For me, throughout my designing life, studying style has been not only interesting but helpful in my work.
It is back to work today for a short while. I have a handful of packages to send off, and then I am finished. I have a section more to write for my new geometric and then I will move on.
I've made up my mind what to stitch for a couple of months: winter blues and white and lots of crystal snowflakes, even thought winter here in San Diego isn't likely to have any snowflakes.
Seems hard to believe that Thanksgiving is two days from now. In some ways time seems all shoved together these days and it doesn't seem possible that we are nearing the end of 2021.
I read the lead article in the NYTimes, about Europe and the pandemic. It seems there is a new strain now that defies the vaccine. Oh my. Try to stay safe.
Monday, November 22, 2021
As I have fewer sales obligations and no plans for sales in the near future, my time belongs to me, and the first thing I decided to do is reorganize and clean up Queendom Website.
Of course this is never easy, and in the process of yesterday's start, my computer swallowed my Sampler Gallery and it was lost.
I retrieved it from a former backup but it will take me a while to redo it all. A project to tide me over the holidays.
In my plans to reorganize, I am reinstalling For Groups and a new category called 'Treasures' for my little black box, thimbles and other 'treasures' I will add. These play such a big role in my needlework that I decided I should include them.
Yesterday I began the process of setting up all this and of moving my little black box to its home, and in its place I have a surprise to show you. My little black box has a companion, and this companion is valuable because it shows pronouncedly the difference in styles.
As time allows. For today I have a busy day packing and sending out stray packages. The single most difficult part of my business: single orders needing special handling.
On with the day. Hard to believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
Sunday, November 21, 2021
I am scurrying a bit today: I have to mail a small number of packages tomorrow morning and I have to get them together today. That's why I haven't added to my little black box saga: no time yesterday or today.
I will see if I can do it all today and also add to my saga, for I have a bit of a surprise coming. My little black box has a companion box which makes my points so well. I have taken some photographs, but I have to shift around files on my website. I just have to find some free time.
The companion box? Yes. These and one other are the only boxes I have. Some years ago now I gave away most of my collection of needlework tools and I confess, I miss them.
As I wrote earlier, I couldn't bear to part with my little black box, nor with its companion.
Soon as I get it together, I will write about the companion as it fills in the story and gives you some photos for comparison.
Saturday, November 20, 2021
I wrote earlier on that I would tackle the subject of Love, in particular, why my little black box is my favorite possession. As you well know, Love is not an easy subject, and I have to confess, I don't really know the answer.
Here are some possibilities:
I love its shabbiness, a sure sign that it didn't spend its life as a (useless) Beauty Queen, but it worked a long time for its living. Admittedly it is idle these days, except that I store precious bits under its tray. My doggie pincushion needs his tail repaired and he and the tiny piece for repair live there, as does information about my IT sheath.
I love the mishmash of things that came in it, tools from long ago but ill-matched to the box, further proof that it earned its living well over its long life.
I love the mystery of its bridging two styles. I've always been corrected when I've said it was predominantly Georgian rather than Regency, but DH who is a more tactful historian says, it is a mixture of the two styles.
I love its beautiful silk print on the inside of the lid and its brass and how high it stands on its feet. Most of these little boxes are red leather, and this one is black and I love the faded black leather and the yellow silk and paper on the inside.
I love its size, for it is a very small traveling workbox.
All these things contribute to my love, but they still don't explain why I love it best. I think it comes down to this: great philosophers and essayists have never been able to explain love, and guess what: I don't think I can either.
Whatever, it simply comes down to this: I just love that little black box. I've loved it for more than 40 years.
Friday, November 19, 2021
It doesn't seem possible: Thanksgiving is next week. In one way this year has seemed to last forever, in another way it has speeded by so fast I wonder where it went. Do you remember when we all looked forward to 2021 and thought it would bring big changes?
Still, there is stitching to do and work to do and I've looked forward to these days of part work and part stitching. I greatly enjoyed my simple geometric, it has almost a Christmas feeling to it and it acted like a reminder that the holiday season is just ahead.
I spent a bit of time yesterday fiddling with the photos of my little black box and for this morning's entry, I posted the silver scissors sheath next to the photo of one of the corners from my box. Interesting to look from one to the other.
So what about why I love this particular little box so much? A part of it is my belief that it straddles two styles and the good time I have sorting out its heritage best I can.
I'll write more about love in the coming days but first we have to deal with the snobbery of the centuries. That's coming next.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Yesterday afternoon I snapped some photos of the brass on my well-loved little black box and this morning I have posted them on Queendom Website's home page.
I particularly like the photo of the lion's head handle for you can't see it well in the photos of the box and the handles on the box are outstanding.
Yesterday I earned time for photos and a bit of stitching by drawing graphs showing the location of the beads on my new geometric and I have to say, it taxed the limits of my abilities at times.
I mention time spent drawing these little illustrations because I made a style decision about the drawings: they aren't perfectly symmetrical and they look the better for it.
That's a lesson I keep learning over and over: there are always multiple ways of looking at style, not one 'best way.' There is no best or worst, just different.
So after a long day drawing little bead illustrations, I stood back from the computer and thought, ahhh, I like them this way, they aren't so rigid.
All this of course applies to our needlework: as you stew over right and wrong, stop for a minute and remember, there isn't just right or wrong, not even best or worst, most of the time it's just 'different' and full of choices.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
I meant to take photos yesterday to illustrate my commentary about my little black box. Alas, I spent all day with my mind on writing instructions. It's a good thing that I am in instruction-writing mode, but I will steal some time to photograph some closeups of the brass on the box, plus another little surprise.
Today will be an easy day. Easy but boring, for I have to draw a lot of Diagonal Tent stitch, so that I can draw little beads on top of the Diagonal Tent Stitch. Boring! But hopefully it won't take more than today and tomorrow. I am making progress, always a good feeling.
I will work away, drawing Diaognal Tent Stitch until the light is good, then I'll take a break and do photos.
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
This morning I posted a short entry about dating my box on Queendom Website's Home Page. One of the fun things about collecting is sorting out styles and dates, almost always a guessing game but fun to play.
I finished my geometric and its ornaments yesterday. It was easy to do, used a lot of scrap threads from my stash and some beads and sequins I loved fiddling with.
Today? I think I'll be disciplined and start writing the instructions. I've drawn the Oversize Graphs; I draw them as I stitch.
Mid November: a month and a half left and then it will be 2022. It looks to me like life isn't going to change much in the next 6 months, what with Covid cases soaring again.
The upside? More time to stitch. I'm off to find my needle. I want to make a snowflake ornament next.
Monday, November 15, 2021
This morning I posted photos on Queendom Website of hands down, my favorite possession, a little black traveling needlework box.
Over the years DH has told me that my collecting habits are part of my DNA and I think he's right, for my mother and both grandmothers were collectors.
Why did I decide to collect needlework tools 3/4's of a lifetime ago? I didn't make the decision, my mother and my (paternal) grandmother did.
Not a lot of years later, when DH and I were living in Chelsea, one day DH came home with the little black box. On his way home from the tube stop, he stopped to look in the window of an antiques shop and there sat my little black box. "It has certainly seen better days," said the proprietor, "but its elegant form made me think it was worth saving."
In the next few mornings I will write about the box and how it has influenced not only my collecting habits but my ideas about design as well.
Sunday, November 14, 2021
I was so engrossed in finishing my little geometric that I forgot to update Queendom Website yesterday. Know that I had a lovely day stitching almost for the whole day.
The geometric I'm working on has been an easy one. As I wrote previously, I simply raided my stash of old pearl cotton balls for colors I particularly like, added white and a neutral and -- as usual in my life lately -- spools and spools of Kreinik braid in gold and silver.
Sounds boring? Not so, for the design has taken a couple of small twists that have kept life exciting and I've enjoyed watching it all evolve.
It reminds me all over again: when you are new to choosing colors, choose ones you particularly like. My guess is, just as happened with my favorite pearl cottons, you will know what colors you like together. Choose them to start with.
In time as you gain confidence you will branch out -- maybe. Yes, maybe, but it's not necessary. I've always said, give me a handful of colors I like, threads I like and a handful of stitches and I could stay busy thinking up all kinds of variations.
For remember this: it's not really about the colors, or the threads or the stitches, it's all about what you imagine doing with them. For example, to bring this back around to choosing colors for Peacock Square, it isn't the colors you chose, but where you decide to put them and in which proportions that matter.
MAIL JAIL ia over. My deadline of December 5 is past. Now I hope you will stitch all those little designs and send me photos. Thanks!