Friday, August 31, 2012

A Weathered Nest



We weathered the storm fairly well; definitely no Katrina like seven years ago but quite a disaster in its own right...and a looong one at that.  We are 50 miles north of New Orleans and winds picked up Tuesday evening, then torrential wind and rain all of Wednesday, Thursday we saw the tail-end with sporadic showers.  I was finally able to leave and drive to the shop Thursday; everything looks fine.  A little water seeped through under the windows but nothing unexpected after 12 hours of horizontal rain.  I will attempt to open this morning; hopefully my internet will cooperate to process online orders.

Waiting out the storm felt like living in a bubble.  For long periods we had no electricity or cellular connection...it felt a little like the "old days".  I stitched most hours it was light with a dog or a cat on my lap...sometimes both.  We chatted, read, napped.  Occasionally when we would look outside it was like looking out your car window in a car wash.  Only a tiny frog that wedge himself safely in the window of the storm door was our connection to the outside.  I lost a ton of pecans and mourned my future pies; some how my lemons stayed intact and most of my satsumas.  We were lucky in all respects.  Sometimes living in a sub-tropical area is chancy but as a lady put it so eloquently on the news this evening, "maybe one day out the year it's a disaster; the rest of the days it's like paradise"

--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry

Monday, August 27, 2012

When it Rains it Pours.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450"] Hurricane Tracking Map Cross Stitch Pattern[/caption]

This is not my first rodeo, but I have to admit my heart sank when I saw TS Issac's track shift to almost a direct hit to my home and business.  I've been through Katrina and another less well known storm, Gustav and I know most things can be replaced, fixed and cleaned.  We are prepared as possible; I went in to the shop this morning to process, pack and ship all online orders (thank you SO much!).  We sandbagged near all the doorways this afternoon and then locked the doors and made a wish that everything would be safe and sound.  Now, my focus is finishing preparing my home for the onslaught of rain and wind.  Oh, and priorities...I did get some new yarn so I can keep busy if the power is out and it is still light outside.  Hopefully, I be back in business shortly!

See you when the skies brighten!

--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Friends

downton abbey cross stitch

You never realize the things that will stick with you through your lifetime but one of those odd things and hobbies  of mine has been cross stitch.  I was in 5th grade and my homeroom teacher made us create a sampler for our moms for Mother's Day.  We could even stitch during class!  The boys hated it but eventually they got into it and a blessed hush fell over all of us (and I'm sure for the first time my teacher could hear herself think...poor thing was prematurely grey).  I was hooked and kept stitching; I even picked it up again in college...boy, was I cool sitting in my dorm room with a hoop and floss!  So within the last year, I started developing my own patterns - partly to experiment with my own ideas and stitch things I wasn't seeing and of course, make some income.  What I didn't expect was how many people would stitch along and be so appreciative and just all together lovely.  I get e-mails quite regularly thanking me for creating these patterns as they are to become gifts or cherish keepsakes.  Frankly I'm blown away...so thank you all for your support!
I do want to call out and thank two blogs that posted my most popular pattern the past week or so, my Downton Abbey Cross Stitch Sampler

STITCHNMOMMA - she also has patterns and dyes her own Aida cloth (omg, how cool is that!).  Lots of good tips - a true kindred spirit!

The Teakettle Corner - she is stitching the pattern right now!  I almost fell out when I saw her cat sitting on the printed pattern and a glass of wine next to a pile of floss (that could so be my house!)

if you are stitching along, please let me know whether you want a mention or not...I love hearing from you all!

--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Retro Revamp



Isn't this the cutest chair?  This is one of the pieces Marie brought me this past week and its redone beautifully...sanded and painted then reupholstered with this sweet floral fabric.  I had a some serious interest in it yesterday morning; a young lady came in and wanted a full set just like it...could we order it or make it?  Unfortunately, no...it's vintage and rare to have the stars align to find matching sets, let alone upholstery.  She still wanted it and took some snaps but needed to ask her husband *facepalm*.  Its $28.  If he says no, I say it's grounds for divorce.

--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quality Control



I feel like I'm being micro-managed!  This is "Baby" - she's making sure every stitch is perfect as I work out my newest pattern.  Which by the way is available now for an introductory price in my Etsy shop...Yay!



--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Free Fat Quarter



I'm not sure how long this offer will last, but I just found out that Spoonflower, one of the sponsors of Etsy August Craft Party is giving away a fat quarter of your choice for free plus shipping.  This is a great opportunity to try one of the colorways of my Hootie Cutie line or any of the other fabulous designs Spoonflower offers.  The offer works by using ETSYPARTY12 at checkout; my shipping, by the way was only $1!  I know, I know, not that I need ANYMORE fabric to pile on to my stash but it's a dollar for pete sakes!!!

--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sweet Treats



It always feels a little bit like Christmas when my Cavallini order arrives.  This time I added a couple items from their Sweet Treats line; if you've never used their rubber stamps...oh my, they are the best...bees knees, in fact.  They also carry acid free archival quality paper that is really pretty enough to just stand alone as art...but imagine the possibilities lining a box or wrapping a special gift.

My friend Marie stopped by yesterday to drop off some furniture she distressed and reupholstered for the shop.  She loves to cook and bake, so I had to show her these ridiculously cute stamps.  She flipped, apparently stamping cookies with a food safe ink is a *thing*.  I told her I would totally volunteer as a taste tester!

All of these items are available in my Etsy shop:

--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Night Soak

I know it is summer and a  million degrees outside, but I have a pinched nerve in my back and a sore knee, so a soak in the tub has been mandatory each night.  Plus...an AWFUL week at the shop...but I'll get to that in a minute.  I made a concoction for the tub that was unbelievably simple and natural.



Saturday Night Soak

  • 2 cups epsom salt

  • 1/4-1/2 cup sesame oil

  • several drops of lavender essential oil


I put about 1 cup of the salt in a container and began putting about half of each oil in and stirred; then filled and repeated stirring the entire batch.  It's been a wonderfully relaxing treat all week.  Which as I hinted at, wasn't too good.  Normally, my customers are just lovely people and I greet regulars like old friends.  This week ranged from just bizarre, off the wall remarks...and in some cases just rude; to yesterday where I actually had to escort someone out (first time ever!).  Maybe it's the heat but sometimes retail is just re-hell!

--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pillow Talk



Holy Moley!  I won this pillow from Fat Quarterly and it's unbelievably lovely!  Everyone, check out their blog...amazingly talented members and frequent giveaways.  This pillow was created by member, Sukie, not only do I absolutely love this pillow but her blog is a great read too!   Anyway, my living room is still a work in progress (as of several months) and this is going to look great once I pull the whole look together...thanks Sukie and Fat Quarterly!!

--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry

Monday, August 6, 2012

No Mistake Scarf



Saturday was Mom's birthday and I gifted her this scarf I made; a few months back she picked out a Caron brand yarn and asked me to make her a scarf.  I wasn't crazy about the colorway on the skein or the fact that it was acrylic but I have to say it crocheted beautifully in this pattern.  I chose the No Mistake Scarf by Jimmy Beans Wool and offered for free on Ravelry as a direct download.  There is a knit version too.  If you are new to crochet this is a fabulously easy and quick pattern and will help you practice your gauge.  The pattern alternates between two colors, but because the yarn was multi-colored I left it all one yarn; also, I left off the fringe edge and liked it a lot more.  Hopefully, she likes it and will get some use out of it when it's not 100+ degrees outside.

This past week I discovered Kat Edmunson by chance listening to the World Cafe on the way to the shop.  I was sold after just two songs...Hopelessly Blue and I Don't Know; luckily too I discovered later that night the MP3 version of the album is only $3.99 on Amazon...score!

--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry

Friday, August 3, 2012

Free iPhone Chevron Cross Stitch Pattern

So...a million years ago, or well, I guess almost a year ago I showed off my new iPhone Cross Stitch case I bought from Connect Design.  I had designed my own chevron design and even a year later it is my most popular blog post?!  So many people asked for the pattern that I started to feel bad about it as I kind of said I would provide it.  As luck would have it, this past weekend I was cleaning up my cross stitch stash and low and behold I found my notes and the exact thread used.  I put it into PC Stitch this week and Voila!  I bought a pink case directly from the Korean company, Connect Design...I think they are more available state side like this one from the Purl Bee.  DMC 893 matched perfectly with the case, so if you purchase a different color look for match and replace the pink.
If you use the pattern and/or alter it, please comment here with a link...I'd love to see what you do with this pattern!



Also, I've listed my newest Downton Abbey Cross Stitch pattern, a Downton Abbey Alphabet Cross Stitch Sampler...more on this later, but right now I've listed it at a low introductory price.

--Lisa LeBlanc

connect with me: website | twitter | facebook | pinterest | ravelry