Friday, 19 December 2014

What a year!!

I can hardly believe 2014 is almost over! I have to keep checking the calendar because I think that can't be right! Where has the year gone? It's a little bit crazy to think that this time a year ago I was getting ready for my youngest son's first Christmas, doing the odd chart when time allowed to sell through Jodyri Designs, and worrying about what I was going to do when my maternity period was over. That all changed on 12th January! And what a year it has been! The change in my life between this year and last is incredible!

My oldest son has just completed his first term in the final year at primary school! He'll be joining the big kids in just a few months, and I'm really not sure if I'm ready for that! My daughter has just turned nine, and what a proper little madame she is becoming. It's also very scary how much of myself I see in her, and true to that, she loves messing about in the kitchen (the batch of mince pies she's just made are cooling in the kitchen as I type), and she still picks up her stitching when the mood takes her. My youngest is 19 - NINETEEN!!!!! months old now. He is absolutely loving the Christmas decorations and lights, and I can't wait to see his reaction on Christmas morning!

But all of those changes are just in my personal life. Professionally, not to blow my own horn too much, but I have never been prouder of myself. In a little over three weeks, KLT Charting will be a year old! It's crazy. It's insane. It's brilliant!! I love it! I've waited a long time to find a career path that suited me like this one does. I get to spend all my free time with my children, and when the older two are at school and the youngest is sleeping, I work my butt off doing things that I love! Then it's time for the school run, dinner time, play time, bed time... and then I work some more! Yes, just lately I have been exhausted, and most days it feels like I don't stop doing something from the minute I get up, until I finally collapse into the arm chair or turn the laptop off in the late evening, but it is all SO worth it. I did start tearing my hair out a little at stitching withdrawal, so started being a bit firmer with myself - I don't work in the evening at weekends. That's MY time, and in the last few weeks since doing that, I think I've been a lot happier. It's all about balance, and I really believe I'm getting somewhere with that.

I still very much feel like a small fish in a very big pond with regards to where I stand in the cross stitch world, but I'm not as small as I was this time last year. I was non-existent then! I am dedicated to building a good reputation for creating charts people want, and great customer care will always be at the top my priority list. And do you know how I know I'm building my reputation? Because I have the BEST customers anyone could ask for! They are loyal, kind, generous, and I see them sending others my way, and I hope they know how much I appreciate that, because I really REALLY do.

My stock has grown massively in the last year too. As someone who started off just designing charts, I listened to what people want, and combined that with a direction I wanted to go in, and now stock DMC threads, needle minders, hand dyed fabrics, stitching accessories, and more! As mentioned in a previous blog, I also have plans for a new product in 2015. No, it's not hand dyed threads (I have absolutely no intention in going down that road - I do not have the time or space to deal with that haha), but it's something I'm looking forward to getting sorted and on the website. I hope all my customers will like them as much as I do!

A few months back I was going through some orders and realised I was well into the 400s, and I set myself a mini goal of fulfilling my 500th order before KLT's first birthday. Well I did that a few days ago, and I was SO happy! 500! Five HUNDRED orders have been placed through MY website! Me! I did that! I've had the most amazing support, advice, guidance and suggestions from some very special friends, but all of that wouldn't of been worth a thing if I hadn't put in the time, money and effort. Am I tooting my own horn too much? I don't care! I'm proud of what I've done, and you know what? You won't believe how much I am looking forward to 2015 (apart from the big boy going to school in September - I'm going to hide my head in the sand over that one)! If I've achieved all of this in a year... imagine what I can do in two!

So if you've put up with my ramblings this far, thank you!
If you've been a customer in the last year, thank you!
If you're one of those who has given me advice, suggestions, help, guidance, support... THANK YOU! There are FAR too many to name them all, but I would like to say a very special thank you to Nicola, and in particular, Michelle. I don't think either of you will know how much I appreciate all you've done for me.
If you're going to be a customer in 2015, thank you! I can't wait to work with you!

But until we actually get to 2015, I'd like to wish all my customers a very Merry Christmas. May all your dreams come true, and as always, happy stitching!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Where I've been, and where I'm going

Did I, or did I not say when I started this blog that I know what I'm like, and you'd probably go weeks without hearing from me? I didn't mean to, it's just that life has a habit of getting in the way!

I still intend to finish answering the questions that were put to me, but right now, it's 7:22am, I'm still lying in bed, about to get up, and just wanted to check in and say hi. Things have been so busy lately! I managed to get behind with my custom charts so have been trying to catch up there, and then had the genius idea to begin production on not 1, but 2 new products!
Product number 1 is hand dyed fabric, and there are 10 colours on the website already, with lots more to follow. 
Product number 2 is being kept under wraps until it can be properly made and product tested. Safe to say, I'm very excited!!
Changes in EU VAT legislation in January means that there will be changes in how I distribute my charts, so these new additions to my stocks have come at the perfect time, I can't wait!
Anyway, now that's been said, I really should get up and get my kids to school. There's more dyeing to be done!

Until next time (which hopefully won't be so long), happy stitching!

Kim xx

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Well that's just... odd!

During the giveaway blog, I wanted people to ask questions that I could answer, so that's what I'm doing now - answering another question. Nic wanted to know what was the strangest thing I've ever been asked to chart.

I thought about this for ages, and every time I think oh yeah - I'll put that, ten minutes later, I remember something else which was odd, The thing is, no matter how odd something might seem to me, if someone has gone to the trouble of asking for it, it obviously means something to them.

Chacmool, for example. I hardly even know if I'm pronouncing the name right! But someone asked for it, having never been able to find a chart anywhere of it before. A little research, and...

Then there was the day someone simply said "can you chart me a spoon please". I thought maybe an intricate love spoon or something. Oh no. Just a spoon. Turns out it was to do with Spoon Theory, which if you don't know what that is, google it. I did, and the information that comes up makes for some fascinating reading. My eyes were opened, and I felt the need to chart not one, but two spoons.

Of course let's not forget the Unicorn fiasco. I believe it started as a joke, or at least, I hope it did. But somehow, and to this day, I still don't know how, the idea gathered speed. I couldn't move without someone asking if I'd done the unicorn yet. In the end, charting a farting unicorn was easier than putting up with the nagging, and Unicorn Magic was created.

I also want to give the tribal charts a mention.... especially the manatee. I really was confused about this one when the request came in. I mean, a manatee is just a blob, right? Well, no, I know they are more than that, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect for someone to pay good money for a cross stitch chart of one, but mine is not to question. I just went ahead and fired up the software and...

If I'm honest, I love the unusual ideas. Unusual ideas provide two things.
1) A challenge. What's the point in creating easy charts that anyone can create in the blink of an eye? Every chart I create is a learning curve for me, and the more complicated the design, the more I learn.
2) My aim is to build a reputation in the cross stitch community for being the person who charts the designs that you can't find anywhere else. And I hope I'm getting there. I mean, if the above charts are anything to go by.... I've certainly had some odd requests!

Until next time,

Happy stitching,

Kim xx

Monday, 22 September 2014

Getting Into It.

My give away is now closed. I fired up a random number generator just now, and the winning question was number 3, which was asked by danielle louise burton. Congratulations Danielle! You have won a free standard PDF chart from my website. Please can you email me at with your request and I'll send it over.

Danielle's question was how did I get into charting, and what was my first ever chart. Here's the answer...

My friend Michelle runs Jodyri Designs which sells amazing hand dyed threads and fabric. She also sells cross stitch designs, but she was SO busy with the dyeing side of the business, she didn't really have time to sit and chart. I offered to try and come up with a few charts to help out. Even though I had offered, I was so nervous of what people would think of what I'd done, I started charting through Jodyri under a different name. For a while there, I was Laurel Wood. But Laurel didn't seem to last too long. It seemed like everyone liked what I was doing, so I came clean and owned up that it was me. My first chart was Penguins, and is still for sale on my website.

I began charting for Jodyri in the July, and in the following January, decided to branch out on my own, and started up KLT Charting. But even now, I enjoy a very close professional relationship with Michelle and Jodyri designs. I tend to avoid creating charts if I know Michelle already has a similar one, and have no issues with recommending her to my customers, because I know she does the same to me when the situation calls for it. Our second joint SAL is currently in progress, and I even now stock Jodyri fabrics and threads to sell as kits with my charts.

So there you go... how I got into it, and my first chart. I hope the answer wasn't too boring haha.

Until next time, when I'm sure I'll answer another question,
Happy stiching

Kim xx

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The top of my wish list...

I'll announce the winner of the blog giveaway tomorrow, since I said it will run to the end of the week and we're not quite there yet, but in the meantime, I thought I'd answer one of the questions that has already been asked.

Crazystitchbitch wanted to know what's at the top of my wish list. Of all the questions asked, this was the easiest to answer! More time!! I just never seem to have enough of it. No matter what I do, I never seem to get everything done - something is always being neglected. I'm either charting, or cleaning the house, or helping a customer, or updating the website. Once in a blue moon, I get to do some stitching, but when I do, I still feel bad, because that's time when I could be charting....or cleaning the house... Or updating something on the website!! Charting is the life blood of KLT, without it, I have no business, and at any given time, I could probably reel off about 20 things I wish I could get charted NOW, but of course it doesn't happen like that. To get a chart right takes time. Even when I've got it pretty much perfect, I'll still wait and look at it again the next day to see if it still looks right to fresh eyes. Often I'll send a picture of a new chart to friends (previously referred to as persons B and C lol). Right now I could tell you I have at least 3 ideas for new SETS of charts, all of which will probably have to wait as I work on a custom chart for someone, a new SAL, freebie charts for the existing SALs, and of course not to mention expanding the sets I already have.

So there you go Crazystitchbitch...more time is at the top of my wish list! If you wanted to know which chart I would wish for, you should of been more specific haha ;)

I'll answer more questions soon!

Happy stitching,
Kim x

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

As the mood takes me... (Giveaway now closed!)

I've decided that the most difficult thing about writing a blog (for me at least), is deciding what to write about. I've thought about this quite a lot, and what I can use it for. I thought I could use it to get organised and write myself to do lists, but with running a house with three kids as well as KLT Charting, I rarely get to plan out what I do each day, let alone have each day be dictated by a blog list. I chart according to two main things... customer requests, and my mood at the time. Sometimes I have a long request list, and what I WANT to chart has to wait, and at other times, I might think I need to do some more 'In Words' charts, but I feel like doing a new tribal animal, for example. So working from a list probably wouldn't work either. I wondered if I could write a new blog each week, on a Monday for example, outlining what I'd done the week before, but as organised as I like to think I can be, I know after the first or maybe the second Monday, something would of come up that prevented me from doing what I intended. In the end, I've settled on blogging as I chart... I'll do it as and when I feel like, as that usually produces better results. Sometimes there might end up being 3 weeks between posts, and other times, you might get three in four days. I'm just going to wing it and see how it goes!

In the meantime, I'd like to do a little blog giveaway. To be in with a chance of winning a free standard PDF chart of your choice from my website, simply comment below with a question you would like me to answer. It can be anything you like, to do with KLT Charting or not (within reason!! lol), and I'll do my best to answer the questions in future blogs. Each question you pose will earn you 1 draw entry for the chart giveaway. Entries will close at the end of this week (Sunday 21st September), and I'll announce the winner next week, so make sure you follow my blog to see your answers and if you have won. Sound good? Ask away!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Starting Somewhere...

I've been told, the beginning is a good place to start. I've been told that lots of times. But no one ever says the beginning of what. I don't know why I decided to start a blog, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. But now I'm here... where do I begin? I'm sure no one is particularly interested in me going right back to the beginning. Unless... Well I was born to Gerald and Sandra on a rainy April day in 1970-something. Actually, I have no idea what the weather was like. You'd have to ask my mother, though I have no idea what the weather was like when I had my three children, so I don't see why mum would remember it when I graced the world with my presence. So no, you're probably not interested in me going that far back.

So do I go back to the beginning of my cross stitch journey? That actually wasn't that far back. I resisted to be drawn into the stitchy world for the longest time. Grandma tried repeatedly, but I wasn't having any of, and to this day, I have no idea why. But eventually, after a trip to Hobbycraft where I couldn't ignore the call of a tiny little parrot design, I decided to give it a go. The rest, as they say, is history. I was hooked. Well that's that sorted. Now what? The beginning of KLT Charting? Despite there being a reasonably good story behind it, if you're in to that sort of thing, it's a pretty long story which, if I'm being honest, and I might as well be, I can't be bothered to type it out. I'll give you the abridged version. Person A was mean to Person B, who happens to be very dear person to me. A group of strangers rallied together to support Person B, and the group of strangers became a group of friends - the very best kind of friends, who since everything happened with the person A, have relied on each other through thick and thin, through happy and sad, through sickness and health. God, it sounds like we all married each other! But seriously, I have met some of my now very best friends from this group. Person C was in the group, and that person gave me an opportunity which at the time, neither of us even realised what it was.

Bored yet?

I will always be grateful to Person C, but the day came when I realised I could step out from behind C's shadow and take a giant leap of my own. And it really was a giant leap. I was getting to the end of my maternity leave, and needing to decide about going back to work. I didn't want to leave my soon to be 9 month old baby with strangers, so thought I might be able to make a living out of this chart designing melarky. It was make or break. A couple of 'do you think I'm being stupid?' messages to persons B, C and a few others, and KLT Charting was born. The giant leap was back in January, and here we are in September. KLT is going strong, and I'm sat here... blogging for the first in my life.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to use this blog for... Teasing about upcoming chart releases? Knocking ideas around? Perhaps I can just use it to get more organised? I have no idea. Tell you what... if you've actually managed to read this far, (well done, by the way - you're still awake! yay), why don't you tell me what you'd like to read about from me? Feel free to leave me comments pointing me in the right direction! Don't let me down... I'll be refreshing the page every 2 minutes to see who has read and commented ;)

In the meantime, I'm going to go, maybe design some new charts, and if I get time, do some stitching of my own - the housework can wait another week or 2, right?!

Happy stitching,

Kim xx