Orange is the New Black Cross Stitch Pattern

August 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s time to celebrate with some Chicken Kiev and a little hooch; because my cross stitch pattern, celebrating new show Orange is the New Black is now complete – stitched, framed and now listed on the usual suspects: Etsy, Craftsy and Meylah (all offer an instant download option, the choice of which venue you prefer is up to you.)

Starting today, to celebrate, I’ve added a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to sweeten the deal.  If you buy the pattern through Etsy now through the end of August, you’ll receive the complete alphabet I created for this project.  I’m kind of enamored with it myself.   It can be used to modify this project but would be fun to use on just about any project.  Sorry this is excluded to my Etsy shop – it’s the only place that allows multiple file downloads.

Also, if you have already ordered the pattern…and some of you have, thank you – you should be able to grab the new file – if not, message me and I’ll forward your copy.  Remember, after August this add on pattern will go away and may not be up for parole for quite a while.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Looking Up…

August 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

We installed our new “old” shop sign this past Sunday.  I just love it; it incorporates reclaimed bits of tin and wood from my Grandpa’s old barn.  I’m glad to have a piece of him watching over us as he’s been the spark to my bird-nest-lovin’ fascination.  I remember being very little and running out to this very barn to greet him.  He had a special surprise for me…he held me up and high and on a shelf was a well formed bird’s nest with three small bluish eggs.  I was smitten ever since.

The weekend proved to be a bit better too as it finally seems some of our new marketing strategies are enticing people to come inside the shop.

And I officially finished my Orange is the New Black Cross Stitch Pattern.

It took exactly 44 hours within 8 days to complete…that’s an average of a little over 5 hours each day.  So, when I was finally done I spent about two days doing exactly nothing.  I did at least finish writing up the notes and uploaded the PDF with the computer generated pic (hated that!).  But, I was just useless.  Yesterday tho my malaise began to pass and I hand washed it and framed it up a bit later.  Now, I just need some real pictures and we’re all ready to celebrate for our official launch of August 15th!  Good things to come – so keep watch!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Out on Good Behavior…

August 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

Ahhhhh…I’m 40+ hours into test stitching my new Orange is the New Black Cross Stitch Pattern and it seems totally conceivable I will finish well before the launch date I set for August 15th.  Awe Yiss!  Squeezing this into about a week in half has felt a wee bit like solitary confinement.  And when you do a chunk of monotonous work days on end, your mind certainly goes places you haven’t been in quite a while.   I revisited last meetings with friends who have passed, saw arguments and injustices long ago in a new and slightly wiser light, I even contemplated my value and place in life presently.  It’s been WAY intense and I so welcome finishing this and launching this baby in the world!

Today, though as I was finishing some details on the border and keeping watch at the shop, I was reminded of another prison drama.  A young lady (spitting image of Gretchen Mol, I swear) strides in clad in workout spandex and barks across the store “you gift wrap?”  I explained we do…sort of…if a store labeled bag is ok with a smattering of tissue, then yeah.  She ignored me, and I continued helping someone else.  She comes to the counter with a vintage tea set; darling for sure…total bitch to wrap for someone in a hurry.  So, I’m protectively wrapping each lid and vessel and oh. my. god. she starts to advise me on how to expedite this.  Remember Brooks from Shawshank Redemption, paroled and fumbling around as a meager bag boy?  That was me!

Trying to recover, uh, some dignity, I’m like “Sooooo…are you headed somewhere right now?”  She faltered a bit and finally smiled “uh, yes”“yeah, you seem a bit in a hurry”  Since I’m a pro (ha ha), I give her a blank enclosure card to fill out, at least keeping her busy while I finish up with the wrapping.  Thankfully, she seemed satisfied as she hurried along to whatever festivities (in her workout clothes – yoga party?)  I’m not mad; it actually is pretty funny.  We move so fast in life, we miss out on the details and tiny interactions with one another.  And if I’m being honest, I am just as guilty, because here I am, a chunk of a week en-massed in stitches…hoping they count for something and to someone.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Strange Days…

August 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

This has been a tougher than usual Summer for our little shop; the last two weeks tho have been horrible.  There are days I could of literally sat in just my underwear for hours without anyone ever knowing…as no one ventured in…at all.  All summer we’ve been trying to come up with new marketing ideas, exciting lines and with our trip to market, we were super excited.  I just launched a loyalty program in store to reward my locals.  First I sent it out in our e-newsletter…I received the most unsubscribes right next to the time I messaged everyone about a charity crochet class to make hats for sick kids…for reals.  I posted it to Facebook (which I’m beginning to agree is useless) and got a smattering of likes.  *sigh*

Yesterday the one young lady that walked in was mesmerized with our new candle display.  I literally had just set it up 2 hours before she walked in and it was filled with brand new, beautiful inventory.  She gets on her cell phone and best I could tell she was having a real dilemma deciding on what to get for someone.  She said a couple times how lovely the candles were to whomever and then I hear her say “oh, yeah, I’ll just go to xyz shop” turned on her heel and left.  *sigh*

Despite being quite crest-fallen and wondering if there’s some kind of rumor in town that we kill puppies or something (we don’t), I was pretty eager to get to the shop this morning.  New day, new attitude!  And shortly after I opened the door an older lady enters…yahoo!  And just like I’m living in some bad rendition of Steel Magnolias, because she’s someone locally important’s mama – it begins.  She mills around and wants to let me know “no offense, but your shop sure isn’t much to look out from the outside”  She must of gathered I was a shade lighter than pissed and tried to recover with Southern charm “I mean its just soooo lovely in here…you just wouldn’t know all of this was in here”  This is part where I tell C and she asks…”what are we suppose to drag everything in the store out on the lawn”

I didn’t think the front was looking too bad.  I have mentioned before on the blog that I’ve gotten a few comment on the garden less I forget to weed the front.  Right now we have lantana in bloom and a nice stand of bright sunflowers.  C is working on enhancing our signage too.  And honestly its a rural town, we’re not Macy’s…and never will be.

And truly, it’s not just me that’s having a sh*t summer in town.  1 business closed last month, 1 will close this month, and 2 will more than likely be gone in September/October, their landlords just don’t know yet.  Everyone wants small businesses, mom and pops, but I don’t think the majority realize were an endangered animal of sorts.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Test Stitching OITNB

August 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

This is happening y’all!  I knew a few episodes into binge watching new series, Orange is the New Black, that I wanted to show my devotion in the best way I know how…cross stitch.  It’s been a while that I’ve been so taken with a show…not since probably seasons one and two of Downton Abbey…that I’ve been so wrapped up in character after character.

I developed the pattern in a couple days (some perks to being in retail during the slowest of slow summer months) and now I’m in the tedious test stitching phase…working out the kinks.  Currently I’m 25+ hours in; I feel like I will be finished by Monday, but I’m giving myself until August 15th for the official launch date.

To celebrate I’m offering a pre-order of the pattern – though you won’t get the pattern until the release date, I will provide you with a materials list so you’re ready on day one!  The pattern will retail for $8.95 and will be available thru my Etsy and Craftsy shops as a downloadable PDF.  If you would like to take advantage of the pre-order, I am offering the pattern for $5.  Woot!  Simply send me a message via nestinteriorsllc [at] yahoo . com and I will hand-process the order via Paypal.

Thanks again for your support of my work!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Looking Fa-BOO-lous

August 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s here!  My latest gingham embroidery or chicken scratch pattern!  Especially designed for Halloween, this batty Boo Y’all can be created with or without the text…giving you more design options.  I personally like it as a stand alone piece, but the bat by itself would be darling as an embellishment to clothing or home goods.  Also, in keeping with the Halloween theme, I selected DMC E940, a glow in the dark embroidery floss…looks white when the lights are on and then after dark ermahgerd!

Whether this is your first time embroidering or you’re an experienced stitcher looking for something new to learn, this will not disappoint you!  The pattern is available thru Etsy and Craftsy as an instant download.  Included in the pattern is detailed information on stitches used, supplies with sources, and helpful hints with photographs.

And if you like this pattern, be sure to check out my fleur de lis chicken scratch embroidery pattern tutorial.

–Lisa LeBlanc

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Catching Up…

July 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

I am really not sure where the month of July went?  Summer is nearly over and so many of the projects I just knew I would finish are still at the bottom of an ever growing pile.  ugh.

I can show you a few bits and pieces coming thru my studio…

A new chicken scratch embroidery design for Halloween!  It actually is embroidered with glow in the dark floss…gah, it is a-maze-ing!  However, my camera pooped out during our vacay and I’m just not sure how I’m going to capture that after dark glow with an iPhone??  I hope to finalize writing the pattern this week because Halloween will be here before you know it!

At a snail’s pace, I am still trying to keep up with the Craftsy Block of the Month.  This is June, recently completed in the month of July.   *sigh*  I love the block, the Lamoyne Star; but hated the technique of Y seams.  This was actually my 2nd stab at completing it.  The center points still are off but closer than the first try.

And here is July’s Tumbling Blocks all cut out.  If I complete it today then I will have caught up…but alas, I seriously don’t feel like sewing (more Y seams *sob*)…not to mention all the other things to do.  I really do need to assemble it soon as just yesterday a sales rep came in threw a bunch of his stuff on top of all the teeny tiny pieces.  What numb-nuts does that???  Seriously.

Believe me, he was just as annoyed with me.  This is where modern day Southern collides with the “Grand Ole” South.  Generally, I do not like sales reps to just drop in; I even have a nice note on the door to schedule an appointment.  No one ever reads it; so when “grandpa” strolled in and asked if I was too busy to see a bunch of stuff in the trunk of his car.  I replied “yes, I am – do you have a line sheet or website listed on your card”  First I noted an air of disbelief that I was truly busy and then he seemed surprised that I would ask for something of this nature.  A line sheet is a pretty common offering to leave with your clients.  He was already teed off, but I was curious – “what other stores do you sell to in the area?”  He wouldn’t tell me, he just slyly prodded “who you worried about, honey?”  No one – I just don’t want to carry the same sh*t my neighbor sells.  Anyway, hysterically – he told me twice before he left – that I could call him to set up an appointment.  For what?  I still have no idea what he sells?!  Ahhhh, retail!  It does keep life interesting!

Ohhh, and before I forget!  I’m so excited to say that just about a week or so ago, the HGTV Design blog featured my Downton Abbey Cross Stitch Pattern in a fun post about TV based DIY crafts.  Yay!  Check it out!

–Lisa LeBlanc

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