Wow.. I made it through my first Christmas with online shops. The last day for shipping to the US and Canada was December 13th, and I needed to have anything for friends and family here in Finland to the Posti by the 16th. I only had one last minute crisis with running out of braid. We had to go into town for more. Then we had a winter storm hit and we lost our power. I did make it through, and found out I *can* stitch by candlelight if I have to! Whew!! I can breathe again!!
On the horizon for the shops…. spring, Easter, some items for Valentine’s Day. I do have some charts in the works for more Finnish magnets. The shops will all get a new banner shortly, and new items. Christmas ornaments will be retired from some of the shops, but will be available year round in others. I do work on Christmas pretty much year round, I just don’t always put things in the shops! I do plan on having goodies for Halloween next year too. Just know you will see a lot more of my work, and in more places than before.
I do hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. Please do drop by the Facebook Page often. I will try to update a bit more frequently as I add things.
There will not be a postal strike… they managed to settle on a contract so things are going to go back to normal here very quickly. Maybe it is because I had a game plan already in place just in case?
Of course, Good News always has Bad News paired with it. In this case, it is mixed news. We do have a postal increase coming on January 1st. I am going to do my best to keep my postage and handling the same. It’s about a 10% increase, which is pretty hefty. Still, I am going to put off raising any of my pricing and fees until I absolutely have to.
Christmas is winding down as far as the shop goes. I will not be introducing anything else new this year – there simply isn’t the time to do it right. Have no fears – the shops will be there year round. For next year, you can count on far more variety than I had this year, and I will start listing the new stock as I complete it. Watch this blog or my Facebook Page for notices of releases.
So.. like our happy little elf here… it’s time for me to skedaddle…
This isn’t good news. The Finnish postal service has been in negotiations recently and said if they did not reach an agreement today, then they would stage wildcat strikes intermittently. Several cities will not have services on Friday, the 29th of November. There is also a threat of a national strike beginning on December 9th. IF this happens, this could seriously delay any shipments sent out after that date. They do pick a great time, eh? As it is, the suggested last day to send anything outside of Finland for Christmas delivery is December 13th (regular mail).
My suggestion.. If you plan to place an order, please do so early. I would hate to see an order placed that I cannot get delivered to you before the holidays. IF there is a national strike, I will place the shops in Vacation mode. This means you will not be able to place an order UNLESS you email me first.
I will keep you updated on this development. Just don’t panic if you see the stores in Vacation or Closed mode. I am not closing shop or going anywhere. It is just the postal strike.
Hard to believe this is already mid-November! No snow yet here in Western Finland, but it won’t be too much longer. Yes, I know, I have been too quiet lately. That just means I am getting some things done.
The shops have had new ornaments added since the last posting. My collection of Christmas greetings is growing – Finnish, Swedish/Norwegian, Italian, French, Spanish. I still have more to stitch. If the collection isn’t done this year, it may be done for next! Ornaments will be available year round at the Headquarters, Galleria, and Showcase shops. You are always welcome to message me and request something special for next year. I already had one smart shopper do just that, and her custom ornament is already on its way to her.
One huge note — the last recommended day to order if you are in the US or Canada is DECEMBER 13th! Because most of my items can be shipped as letters, you have just a few extra days to order. You can still place your order after that date of course, but I cannot guarantee delivery before Christmas.
The shop also has a new mascot — that pretty silvery reindeer. We have named him Perttu mainly because when anything happens around the house, my husband always says that Perttu did it. You will see him holding my ornaments in the latest pictures. The reindeer is almost a national symbol here in Finland as we have so many in Lapland. You will see a lot more of Perttu in the months to come. And yes, he is not just a holiday decoration here either!
So… stay warm and dry. Get your shopping done early… and until next time,
How about shop news without the views? Let’s just say it has gotten pretty intense behind the scenes lately. I do have lot of new treats for everyone. Most are still trying to think of what they are going to do for Halloween, and have no clue about Christmas yet. Well.. I try to have things available early for those that like to avoid the rush. This is a new design that is available in all of the shops. It’s also one of my own. I will probably not be selling this chart due to the number of fractional stitches. If you want this chart, leave a comment for me on Facebook, and I may be persuaded.
My Finnish tonttu is also stitched and in the shops. He was so much fun to do. I have released the chart for this one, but fair warning – it is not for the faint of heart. Just about every single row has some sort of fractional stitch! I will have an easier one out too.
I have other Christmas designs filtering into the shops as I get the stitching and finishing done. So far, it is the Finnish, French, and Italian greetings that are completed. I will have more before November 1st.
I do have more than one place to find my pieces now, each has their own features and strengths. The first 3 shops also have a promo going on through 10/31. If you use the coupon code HOMEATLAST when you check out, you will get 20% off your order entire order.
The Boutique has the most current releases and offers instant downloads of PDF files. This shop is in a huge marketplace, so if I don’t have what you are looking for, you do have lots of other choices. Be careful though – not everyone is handmade there. You will see your selling price in the currency you set.
The Galleria has the full range of my items. This marketplace is clearly marked as to what is handmade and what is not. PDF Downloads are by email at the moment (instant to come soon). Selling prices here are in US dollars only.
The Showcase also has everything, much like the Galleria shop. The difference here is that if you don’t find what you want in my shop, there are very few other stitchers in that marketplace. Selling prices are in US dollars only. PDF downloads are by email only.
The Bazaar is the newest shop and not fully stocked yet. This one is based in Germany. The marketplace is geared a bit more towards fashion and accessories. I do have the Christmas ornaments there currently and will add more very soon. Selling prices are in the currency you set. PDF downloads are by email only.
Headquarters has all the products all the time. There is no marketplace here – this is the main location. If you don’t find what you want in my shop, there are no other shops you can visit. On the other hand, this is the only shop with everything I have stocked that is priced in Euros. PDF downloads are by email only.
So you see, I have been very busy. It is time for my little fingers to get back to flying on the fabric instead of across the keys.
There is just something so very exciting about taking the first few stitches in a new project. I do a LOT of smaller pieces for magnets and ornaments so it should not be a big deal.. but it is. I have two larger designs I have promised to do for a request quilt. Both are due next year, but… I don’t want to wait and it is their day today.
The challenge is to find a superhero chart that will be between 4 x4 and 9×9 inches when complete. The young recipient happens to like Superman. This chart popped into mind immediately when I signed up for the project. No, it will not be on black.
Today happens to be our 2nd wedding anniversary (Love you, Baby!) and we went to the neighboring town of Rauma. The local yarn shop carries some DMC colors and I wanted to be sure I had fresh skeins for the blue and red parts. Kajava doesn’t carry either blue called for on this chart!!! It is okay. I have a backup plan in place. I have a shop here in Eura that does carry Anchor and she has most colors. I do have full skeins of all the colors on hand, so I am good to go.
Get the fabric out, make sure it is the right type and size to meet the guidelines for this project. Seal the edges of the fabric with Fray Check because I don’t have a sewing machine yet… find the center.. yes, the very very center. Now, count carefully to your starting point. Mark it.. count it again. Start your thread and breathe…. it’s on its way. I’m now about an hour into this one…
This is the left side of the neck (as you look at the chart). The reds tend to fuzz a bit, so they will be the last color to go in if at all possible. I did want to stop and share the excitement of the first few stitches with you though….
Please don’t think for a moment that I am ignoring this blog. I have just been very busy lately. For the shop news, I did add several new magnets, including a really cute red squirrel and my first round magnets.These have all been done on a beautiful, soft antique white 28 count linen. I was so pleased with how the round magnets came out that I will be doing more (including Christmas ornaments) this way.
The squirrel really jumped out at me. I love squirrels for some unknown reason. When I lived in Texas, I had one resident in the oak trees in my yard. My cats loved watching them come over and steal the bird seed. We have resident squirrels here in Finland too, and yes, they are bird seed thieves!! This one won’t steal anything but your heart…
As you can also tell, I am playing with new backgrounds. The round ones were shot indoors on a paper that has glitter. Then we found a really neat handmade light blue-gray paper. The squirrel was shot outdoors on the new paper. I did not do any color correcting to it, and I think it is a much more accurate picture of the magnet. It is so important to try to get these pictures as close as possible to the real thing. People who are looking for these don’t have the chance to see these in person. All they have to go by is the picture.
We have family arriving on Sunday, and will be taking an overnight cruise on the new Viking Grace from Turku to Stockholm and back. We are all excited about this. Yeah, I know.. who gets excited about a ferry boat ride? Well, this is more of a cruise ship with the restaurants, nightclubs, and other facilities. Plus, it is brand new. We watched the christening of the ship live. Finns do these cruises as mini-holidays, and it is very reasonable. For me, it will be a test. I usually take my laptop when I leave home. This time, my computer stays here. I am taking only one small stitching project – another first for me. I am going to relax and enjoy some quality time with my husband. Two years ago this week, he proposed to me. It’s a special week for us, and I hope you have a special week as well.
Today is a huge day for this humble little shop. I finally purchased a domain name and started building a more permanent home. Soon, you will have just one spot to go to get the latest news, find the shop links, see what is going on, and enjoy pictures of Finland and my work. The new domain is My Needle’s Song.
I will have more items coming for the shop next week, and then.. it is time to start getting ready for Christmas. Look for a Santas, Snowmen, and Angels. These will roll into Storenvy first, and then be listed at Etsy in September.
The birch trees have finally begun to show their new leaves, and the fields are freshly plowed. The ice cream kiosk is open. I think I can safely say that Spring has officially come to this part of Finland. It is gorgeous!! I love watching the earth come back to life after the long winter under its soft white blanket of snow. We are going to be heading to eastern Finland for a couple days this week, and I will get some pictures to share.
I finished my quilt panels and sent them off to California last week. I am literally on pins and needles until I know they have arrived safely. I have one more to start but I need to go get more fabric first. With luck, I will be able to work on this while I am on the road. Not to worry, I do have PLENTY of other goodies to work on.
If you follow my shop, you know that I recently introduced several picture magnets on evenweave. I’ve been working on adding more. Personally, I prefer these to the ones worked on Aida.
As a refresher, I posted the lavender butterfly comparison above. The evenweave is on the left. Evenweave comes in lots of flavors and colors — this particular one is a lovely 32 count linen from Wichelt.
So, I have been adding more. Here’s a teaser…
The smaller piece of fabric on top is Aida, and the sheet underneath (with the squirrel) is linen. I get to keep working on this fabric while I am on the road, hopefully, and should have some of these pretty, springtime magnets ready to go into the shop shortly.
I really want to encourage everyone to visit the Facebook page and LIKE it. I will announce sales and specials there more than anyplace else.
While working on the magnets for the Finland Handcrafters Team, I decided to offer some designs on evenweave. There are very few sellers out there that do this. Most stitch on 14 count Aida or perforated plastic (which is also 14 count). Some do stitch on 16 or 18 count Aida, but very very few use evenweave. I happen to love working with this, and I will offer it with some appropriate designs.
I have also started grouping items into sets, especially as I complete enough designs to have it make sense. The first up is a set of 3 butterfly magnets, available in either fabric choice.
This is a picture of the Aida version. The evenweave version is on a lovely 32 count antique white Lugana.
And yes, that is the same lavender butterfly that was featured in the earlier post on Aida versus Evenweave. I do give a nice break on price for buying the set, plus it is only 1 item for shipping which saves you even more. As I add more to the categories, I will add a listing for any 3 magnets.