Archive for May, 2009
Ahhh Mondays! I usually spend most of my Monday figuring out what I have to accomplish the rest of the week. This week I have ad composition to do, work on the new layout of the magazine, set up the photo studio so we can do our own photography, start getting my act together for the TNNA trade show, and get all of my editorial content to my Assistant Editor, Ann Blalock. I hate to admit this but these were also my goals for last week. I work long days but so much is going on with the magazine right now that it isn’t hard to be derailed by little projects that crop up on a daily basis. The good news is that the new web site is up and working and we have streamlined many of the systems we use to track subscribers, advertisers and shops. The work is at times overwhelming but always very rewarding.
I’m excited about the July/August issue. The stories are coming in and they are great. I was worried when I took over the magazine that I would have a hard time finding people to contribute content. That has not been the case. Designers and writers have been very generous with their work. The quality of the designs and writing is amazing. I can’t wait to share it all with the subscribers.
I want to encourage needlepoint enthusiasts to submit designs and articles to Needlepoint Now. What am I looking for? I’m looking for new designs that have not been published. You do not need to have the directions all nicely laid out. Wonder Jean the Charting Queen will build all of the charts and we can assist in the written instructions for projects. I am always on the lookout for interesting stories about stitchers or pieces of needlepoint as well as projects. What can I offer you? Mostly the opportunity to be published but I also trade with ad space.
Today is May 11th and effective today the Post Office has had another 2¢ rate increase. The magazine has not had a price increase since it started in 1999. As much as I don’t like to do it, I have to increase the subscription price of the magazine. A single issue will go up from $6 to $7. A one year domestic subscription will go from $32 to $38. Jay, the husband and CFO, informed me that this was about a 18.75% increase and the Post Office has increased their prices by 37.5% since 1999. Paper prices have also sky rocketed. Price increases are a tough decision to make as a new owner. I truly don’t know how Joyce avoided raising the subscription price for eleven years.
Now that I’ve broken that bad news I must get back to work. I must focus! I must produce a quality magazine that the subscribers will love…
Welcome to Needlepoint Now’s blog. We are excited to have the opportunity to communicate with our needlepoint community on a regular basis. My intent is to keep up an informal communication of what is going on here in Elmira, Oregon the new home of Needlepoint Now.
As Many of you know Needlepoint Now was moved from Virginia to Oregon in January. Joyce, the magazine’s founder, decided that it was time to retire, move on and take a much deserved break. She wanted to spend more time on the the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her family. The Outer Banks is an area that has meant a lot to both Joyce and myself. I grew up there and that is where I met my best friend and husband twenty-nine years ago. Nags Head, NC as well as a southern upbringing, needlepoint, beading and knitting where a few of the interests that Joyce and I share. Our mutual love of needlepoint and people are what bonded us to each other. I am very happy to be carrying on her legacy of publishing Needlepoint Now.
Joyce and I started talking and planning the future of the magazine about seven years ago. We were brought together by Roberta Montgomery, a long-time contributor to Needlepoint Now. Roberta often had teachers from all over the United States come to her home in Tacoma, WA to teach to her local chapter of EGA. I had come to know Roberta and was flattered to be included in the classes. Tacoma is about a four and a half hour drive from my home but the classes were always well worth the drive. Roberta had been after me to come for a Joyce Lukomski class. Although I had never met Joyce I knew who she was. I wanted to meet this woman who was living my dream of running a needlepoint magazine but was having a hard time scheduling in the class. Roberta got down right insistent with me that I needed to take this class and she wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer. It didn’t take me long to figure out what Roberta had up her sleeve and the rest is history.
The Gingham Dog & The Calico Cat that were on the March/April cover are two of Roberta’s early designs although not the first of her pieces to be showcased in the magazine. Many of our long time subscribers may remember Roberta’s Witch Hazel that appeared in the September/October 1999 issue. I am very lucky to have such good friends like Roberta who look after me and guide me down the path I’m suppose to travel. It was fitting that Roberta’s pieces would be on the cover of Joyce’s last issue and my first issue of Needlepoint Now.
The May/June issue is being mailed out today and I hope everyone likes the direction I am going with the magazine. It is a bit scary to be walking in Joyce’s footsteps. She has given so much to the art of needlepoint. I hate to think where needlepoint would be today without her knowledge and talent that she so generously shared. I know that I will be compared with Joyce but hope the readers will like me for who I am and not hold it against me for not being a clone of Joyce.
The first thing that you will notice about the magazine is that there is a painted canvas designer on the cover. I have been stitching for over forty years and as much as I love to stitch counted designs, I’m a sucker for a beautifully painted canvas design. I met Kelly Clark at a trade show and fell in love with her and her designs. It has been a dream working with her and I can’t thank her enough for making my first cover such a knock out. Even if you don’t like painted canvas, Kelly’s stitch guide is full of wonderful fibers and techniques that you may want to try on your own pieces.
When I look around at the needlepoint trade shows I see aisles that are filled with painted canvas designers, thread distributors, companies who manufacture all those cute little gadgets that we all have to have, tote bag companies, you name it and I get very excited about all the possibilities for articles to present to you. I take the title of the magazine very seriously. It is Needlepoint Now and therefore I hope to bring to you what is new and exciting in the ever changing world of needlepoint.