I've been riding a lot the past few days and it's all still kind of just blowing my mind — can't quite find words to talk about it, really. I probably will find some words at some point, knowing me. For now, when I get home I am sooooo tired, it's actually quite hilarious. I'm speechlessly tired. I take my shower, eat, stretch, and climb into bed, where I lay almost completely flat. Pointing the clicker at the TV and changing the channel feels like a major accomplishment. Then I fall right asleep. I thought I was appreciating the new showers before — that was nothin', people! I sit in the shower under steaming hot water and go like this: "Uhhhhhhhhh. Nice shower. Good boy. Nice shower [patting tile]." Anyway, it's been just the best thing ever. I am so happy. I have a few days off now (now that I'm an athlete-in-training and all, you know, I have a few days off) so I expect to get caught back up here. I hope you can bear with me!
Thank you again for all of the generously kind feedback on the alphabet sampler! That has also made me so happy! (What a good week it was!) I expect to finish the sampler today or tomorrow (I have just three letters left) and then frame it on Monday. Then I will take its photo so you can see the whole thing all nice and stretched, and then I will start taking pre-orders for the kit next week. The kit will include the cotton background fabric with the design already silk-screened, all of the crewel yarn you will need, and a needle. I am also going to be carrying a small, curated collection of my preferred embroidery supplies, including the best birchwood embroidery hoops (along with the twill tape for wrapping them, and instructions on how to do that), beautiful embroidery scissors, and other necessities. You don't need many supplies to embroider, but it's really very wonderful if you can treat yourself to the right ones. I am so excited to be able to have these things available right in my web shop so that if you need them, you can order them when you order the kit. So, more on all of that. Oh and yes, we do ship overseas.
For now, just know that as soon as I am ready to start accepting pre-orders for the kit, I will leave the pre-orders open for a couple of weeks. Everyone who orders a kit during that time will get one. We will make some extra — but not many — because that's how we roll, so please make sure you place a pre-order if you are interested. We order supplies based directly on the number of pre-orders we get (because that's what we can afford) and then we go into production mode: I get the pattern instructions written (which I haven't actually done yet), designed, and printed; Andy gets going on the silk-screening (this all gets done in one major push); and then we'll assemble everything together for you and start working on the packing and shipping. I expect that will all take several weeks. But we'll do it all as fast as we can so you can get working on this. It is going to be a really fun summer project, I think. I had kind of a Sister-Golden-Hair thing going on in my mind as I designed it, and I like to think of you sitting on your porch in a halter top and bare feet, drinking peach iced tea, working on this as you watch the dandelions bloom and the summer unfold.
Oh — and I wanted to mention: A lot of people have left comments about being intimidated by crewelwork. Don't be!!! It is really nothing more than embroidering with wool thread, that's all. The stitches I use are (generally) exactly the same as they are for cotton-floss embroidery, and you know I like the basics: backstitch, stem stitch, satin stitch, lazy daisy, stuff like that. I will include illustrated stitch guides for every stitch that's included in the design, so do not worry. These are all very easy stitches and you will be fine. I will also have a page on my web site that will give you enlarged images of every letter, bigger than I could ever do in print, so you can see the stitches up close and really get a good look at them.
What else. Oh yeah, I wanted to tell you one more thing. When I frame this sampler on Monday, I will do a photo tutorial at the framing place and show you exactly how to do that. I frame all of my embroidery myself with the help of the do-it-yourself framing place. It is so easy, and so much fun (if you like that sort of thing, which I do), and in my opinion, if you've gone to all the work of embroidering it you might as well frame it yourself, too. Because no one will care about getting it just right as much as you do, and it's really satisfying to see it all into completion. I had never framed anything myself until a couple of years ago and I totally love framing now.
Anyway, okay. Apparently I have no words about horseback riding but I can still find millions for embroidery. Sorry! ;-)