Apologies and Explanations

April 13th, 2013 by Justyna

Hi everyone.

So some of you are wondering, I’m sure, what the heck happened to the blogging around here.  Well, what happened is that I took what I needed to keep blogging off of Tricia’s hands.  BUT, that meant I needed to do a bunch of computer stuff, much of which I didn’t know how to do.  So there’s a learning curve.  I’m working on it, but I’m going to need a little more time yet.  Check back in at the end of the month!

Butterflies in the Third Dimension

March 22nd, 2013 by Justyna

OK, time for a quick recap.  As most of you know, Tricia was the primary blogger around here up to December.  Those of you who follow Tricia’s blog over at Thistle Threads  know that the reason she’s not blogging here now is because she’s in the midst of a massive house move and renovation.  Which is why I still haven’t posted the winners of the “Happy Birthday” giveaway – Tricia drew the names, but she’s been too homeless to get them to me.  I think we’ll just give her a break…

In the meantime, I owe you all another dose of spring.  And I think this picture is just the ticket.  I have been a stitcher since I was a little girl, but for many many years everything I made was flat.  Then I discovered the stitching third dimension – things like stumpwork, sure, but also things like mounting stitching to a three-dimensional item.  It was Wendy who proposed what we call Buildable Shapes for our sewing cards, and what a great idea it was!  Shapes like Bon Bon, used here for the butterfly wings, and Confection and Basket were designed to be linked together to create 3D object.  They’re really a lot like Legos – once you start asking yourself, “What can I make with this?” all sorts of great ideas start popping out.

Bon Bon and Confection are available as Trinkets.  Basket is right now still available in the 20-count Tokens & Trifles package, but I hear we only have 60 of those left!

More Bon Bon critters to come…

Just a Quick Note…

March 15th, 2013 by Justyna

The winners of the “Happy Birthday” giveaway have been drawn, but I haven’t yet received the list of names.  But rest assured, we’re on it!


Think Spring, Think Spring…

March 14th, 2013 by Justyna

When I look out my window, I still see plenty of snow.  I live in New England, which means that I’ve gotten a lot of the white stuff in the past month.  Despite that, I know spring is coming.  The evidence – 1) the daily temperatures are high enough to really melt that snow, and I’m starting to see parts of the lawn that have been buried for months; 2) the arrival of Daylight Savings Time (still getting used to waking up earlier, ugh); and 3) I have been struck with the urge to wash windows, reorganize closets, and start some home improvement projects – I think we call that Spring Cleaning.

In honor of spring, I’m bringing out the “Bee & Butterflies” project, designed by Tricia, and featured in the April 2007 issue of Just Cross Stitch.  This project uses another of our versatile “buildable” shapes – the Bon Bon:

So, take a bunch of these and ta-da, look what you can make!  Yup, your very own butterfly and/or bee.

Stay tuned – I will be posting more images and some how-tos soon, including some critters that never made it into publication!  Also, we will be doing a giveaway of the magazine with this project in it – I’ll announce the details in a later post.

“Blue Tongue” Giveaway

March 6th, 2013 by Justyna

Giveaway time!  If you would like a copy of the April 2006 Just Cross Stitch that contains the “Happy Birthday” project (as featured in my March 1st blog entry) – send BLUE TONGUE in the subject line of an email to tricia@alum.mit.edu.  Put your address in the email and we will pick out six winners to send a copy and a Trinkets sewing card.  Enter by March 13th at midnight EST.

Here’s another part of the project – a Britannia circle here playing the role of birthday card/gift tag.  I love seeing the many ways our sewing cards can be used.

Blue Tongues and Pom Poms

March 1st, 2013 by Justyna

Our products might have been inspired by history, but that doesn’t mean that they have to look old-fashioned.  One of Tricia’s projects, “Happy Birthday”, really shows off our contemporary side. This scrapbook project was published in the April 2006 edition of Just Cross Stitch.

I loved the picture that inspired this project from day 1 – just look at that blue tongue!  And I loved how the ever-versatile Confections triangle became a birthday hat here, complete with chenille pom poms.

Check back in here next week, as we’ll be doing some giveaways of the magazine with this project.  Details will be coming!








A Brief History of the Trinket

February 23rd, 2013 by Justyna

Back in September 2012, Tricia told the story of how our company was born in this blog.  When we officially opened for business, our product line consisted of three items: Petals, Ivy (oval), and Britannia.  Of course we knew we needed to broaden our offerings.  And one thing that’s true about Wendy and Tricia – they are idea factories.  The trick wasn’t coming up with potential sewing card designs, it was deciding which to ones to pick for production!

Now, we knew we were producing a bit of a luxury product.  The truth was that the process we were using to produce all those lovely fully finished edges wasn’t terribly fast, and this was definitely a case of time = money.  Added to that, a fully cut out card needed post-production handling (at this point, everyone should be realizing that I’m the MBA of our trio – sorry, can’t help it) which brought costs up even more.

We knew we wanted to create a version of our sewing cards that didn’t cost as much – something just about anyone would be willing to add to their pile of treasures at the local needlework shop.  That meant using a whole different process, a much faster process – and accepting its limitations.  The first limitation was the hole count – 18-count was as high as we could go.  The second limitation was that the product would have to be tabbed into a card, rather than fully cut out.

It took a while to figure it out – the exact production settings, the right number of tabs, the way to put the information on the product.  But by 2006 we had done it, and the first Trinkets™ cards debuted. 

We loved that the cards were standalone products – no extra packaging required.  My sister, who is also a stitcher, quickly realized that after she punched out the Trinket, she could use the card as a template for cutting out a backing material.  Brilliant!

Today, of course, we are in the process of transitioning our entire line to the Trinkets™ format.  Confection, Heart, BonBon, and all the Kugels are now available as Trinkets.  We were particularly happy to have Confection available – it had been sold out for quite some time, and it is one of the most versatile shapes.  What can you do with a triangle?  Plenty!

Experiments, Seconds, and “We Ordered What?”

February 21st, 2013 by Justyna

Spring cleaning came in the fall for us this year.  Since the original 20-count Tokens & Trifles™ cards were to be no more, it was time to do something with the boxes of cards that hadn’t ever made it into a retail package.

Going through the boxes was a trip down memory lane for the three of us.  There were the experiments – “remember this product concept?”, “oh, colors! that was fun”, and “too bad we couldn’t make these work for production.”  There were the seconds – the products that didn’t pass our rigorous quality control inspection for retail, but that are still fine for stitching on.

And then, there was my favorite – the “we ordered what???” product.  You see, when we designed a shape, we always created the artwork for both a perf and a blank.  But we didn’t always make a blank.  One shape that we sold as “perf only” was the Confection triangle.  One day, I got an email from Tricia entitled, if I recall correctly, “Oops.”  You guessed it – she had accidentally ordered Confection blanks instead of perfs, and didn’t realize it until the order arrived.  I fired her.  For 10 seconds.  Then I rehired her and we set them aside.  Now, years later, here they were, waiting for a chance to be used in beautiful projects everywhere.

All the experiments, seconds, and yes, the blank Confections are now available for purchase at fantastic prices.  Look for the Seconds Sampler, the Confections Blanks, and a special package of the 2005 Kugels B style – somehow we had more of those made than the A style, but let’s not talk about that…


This May Be Your Last Chance…

February 19th, 2013 by Justyna

We announced some time ago that our 20-count line of sewing cards, the original Tokens & Trifles™, is coming to an end.  The one-of-a-kind machine that produced our higher end, fully cut-out cards no longer exists.  Fortunately, we have Trinkets™ cards to save the day – and more about that in a future blog post.

But in the meantime, we have marked down our remaining stock of 20-count Tokens & Trifles™ packages to 35% off the original price!  We don’t have that many packages left, so this may well be your last chance to purchase the original products.  Don’t miss out!


More Fun Projects for Kids

December 18th, 2012 by Tricia

What can you do with a Triangle? Make Rudolph!

Okay  so the antlers are missing at this point but thats only because when I thought about this one it was 10pm , I had no brown construction paper or brown pipe cleaners and the craft stores were closed,  it was too late to bake some antlers which would have looked pretty weird and I have to admit all this stuff with triangles may be sending me over the edge. Now what to do with all these nifty bits of holiday joy….. you can use them as ornaments, gift tags  or place cards (  use a photo of the recipient ), draw wings for angels or use feathers, take strips of paper and fold then accordion style to make dangly legs, use sequins  and glitter, or puffy paint…… in general have fun