Sales Newsletter #139
sent via email on 10/29/07
Disclaimer: Please remember that items mentioned in our newsletter archives may no longer be available, or their prices may have changed.


I feel like I haven’t talked to you for a long time! I was busy working on the 2008 wholesale catalog for the stores who buy from us, and personally Jim and I had a very busy fall. So Roz kindly wrote an extra newsletter for me.

Generally speaking, Jim and I lead a fairly quiet life, but we had a seven weekend stretch this fall that was pretty crazy! We were out of town five of those weekends (for a wedding, the trip to Washington, DC, a baby shower, a bridal shower, and Daniel’s birthday party). One weekend Heather and the boys were here for Concordia College’s Homecoming, and the seventh weekend Jim had knee surgery.

This weekend we are staying home! I imagine the weekend will involve some yard work, trying to get the leaves and annual flowers cleaned up before the snow flies. The weatherman has hinted about snow a few times, but no snowflakes yet! Anyway, it is so fun to travel to see family and friends, but sometimes it just feels good to stay home, too.

In recent newsletters I have talked about our participation in the bookmark literacy challenge. Remember, if you want to help, the deadline for us to receive your stitched bookmark is November 15! If you want to read the details of the bookmark challenge, check out my newsletter #136.

After the last time I mentioned the bookmark challenge, Beverly R. from Chehalis, Washington wrote, “I really enjoy your newsletters. This latest one focused on Literacy, and mentioned Concordia College, which rang a bell with me. The Book Club of which I have been a part for over 30 years is reading "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time," by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, and I am the discussion leader.

imageGreg Mortenson attended Concordia College, and has dedicated his life for the past 14 years to building schools in remote, impoverished parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, that are primarily focused on educating girls. He says, "When you educate a girl, you educate an entire village because she stays in the village to raise a family." This coincidence of Greg Mortenson's connection with Concordia College and Literacy, seemed to me, too interesting not to bring to your attention.”

Thank you for writing, Beverly. I was aware of Greg, but had not thought of him in relationship to our literacy challenge. He was featured in a recent Concordia Magazine and was recently a speaker on campus. (for those of you who missed that newsletter, the Concordia College connection is that my husband Jim has worked there for 33 years. In addition, Roz and I met when we were both working at Concordia College. We learned Hardanger because of a women’s group at the college and started Nordic Needle to supply materials for that group. But I digress…)

Greg Mortenson has a fascinating story to tell. In 1993 he was descending from his failed attempt to reach the peak of K2. Exhausted and disoriented, he wandered away from his group into the most desolate reaches of northern Pakistan. Alone, without food, water, or shelter he eventually stumbled into an impoverished Pakistani village where he was nursed back to health.

While recovering he observed the village’s 84 children sitting outdoors, scratching their lessons in the dirt with sticks. The village was so poor that it could not afford the $1-a-day salary to hire a teacher. When he left the village, he promised that he would return to build them a school.

From that rash, heartfelt promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time: Greg Mortenson’s one-man mission to counteract extremism and terrorism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban.

Mortenson had no reason to believe he could fulfill his promise. In an early effort to raise money he wrote letters to 580 celebrities, businessmen, and other prominent Americans. His only reply was a $100 check from NBC’s Tom Brokaw. Selling everything he owned, he still only raised $2,000. But his luck began to change when a group of elementary school children in River Falls, Wisconsin, donated $623 in pennies, thereby inspiring adults to take his cause more seriously. Twelve years later he has built fifty-five schools.

Mortenson and award-winning journalist David Oliver Relin have written a spellbinding account of his incredible accomplishments in a region where Americans are feared and hated. In pursuit of his goal, Mortenson has survived an armed kidnapping, repeated death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. Yet his success speaks for itself. This year the schools will educate 24,000 children, including about 14,000 girls.

He also founded Pennies For Peace, an organization encouraging children to sponsor penny drives at their schools to benefit children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

More information about Mortenson can be found at his website

Thanks again for pointing out the connection, Beverly. Each of us can find a way to make a difference in the world. It might be a small difference or a large difference, but together we can make the world a better place!

As Tom Brokaw said, “Three Cups of Tea is one of the most remarkable adventure stories of our time. Greg Mortenson’s dangerous and difficult quest to build schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan is not only a thrilling read, it is proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world.”

Next I want to include another email that was sent to us by a reader. A few months ago I included information in my newsletter from the American Heart Association about staying or becoming more heart healthy. Along the same lines, this email can educate all of us about the symptoms of heart attacks. But please note that at the end of this email I will also provide some clarification from the American Heart Association. So if you are going to read part of it, please read all of it! It could save a woman’s or a man’s life!

Our reader wrote, “I was aware that female heart attacks can be different, but this is the best description I have ever read for women and heart attacks (myocardial infarction or MI).

Did you know that women don’t always have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attack? You know, the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest and dropping to the floor that we see in the movies. Here is the story of one woman's experience with a heart attack.

"I had a completely unexpected heart attack at about 10:30 p.m. with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might have brought it on. I was sitting all snugly and warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking, "Aah, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up."

A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion when you have been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel like you have swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you should not have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial sensation. The only trouble was that I had not taken a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.

After that seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hind-sight, it was probably my aorta spasming), gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone, where one presses rhythmically when administering CPR). This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws.

AHA!! Now I stopped puzzling about what was happening. We all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, "Dear God, I think I am having a heart attack!" I lowered the foot rest, dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself "If this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where the phone is or anywhere else. But, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up at all”.

I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room, and dialed the paramedics. I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts. She said she was sending the paramedics over immediately, asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to unbolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.

I then laid down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don't remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to St. Jude ER on the way. But I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the cardiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions but I couldn't make my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again. I didn’t wake up until the cardiologist had already threaded the teeny angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where they installed 2 side by side stents to hold open my right coronary artery.

I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the paramedics, but actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire station and St. Jude are only minutes away from my home. My cardiologist was all ready to go to the OR in his scrubs and begin restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stents.

Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? I want all of you to know what I learned first hand.

1. Be aware when something very different is happening in your body, not the usual symptoms, but inexplicable things happening. It is said that many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one. They commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or other anti-heartburn preparation, and go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in the morning when they wake up....which doesn't happen. My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the paramedics if ANYTHING is unpleasantly happening that you have not felt before. It is better to have a "false alarm" visitation than to risk your life guessing what it might be!

2. Note that I said "Call the paramedics". TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER. You are a hazard to others on the road, and so is your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what is happening with you instead of the road. Do NOT call your doctor. He doesn't know where you live and if it is at night you won't reach him anyway. If it is daytime, his assistant will tell you to call the paramedics. He doesn't carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The paramedics do, principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your doctor will be notified later.

3. Do not assume it could not be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has discovered that an elevated cholesterol reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it is unbelievably high, and/or accompanied by high blood pressure). Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could survive.”

Remember, I said there were some disclaimers about this email. Generally it does give good information, but the American Heart Association offers a few clarifications that are helpful.

“It is misleading to state that one kind of heart attack typically afflicts men and another kind attacks women. Men and women can both experience both types. Some attacks are sudden and intense, but most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain and discomfort. Often people affected are not sure what is wrong and wait too long before getting help.

However, there is some truth to the idea of gender-based differences. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Women are also more likely to experience atypical heart attacks, the sort that don’t present as sudden shooting pains or a feeling of crushing weight in the chest area. While 60% of female heart attack victims experience the more usual form of attack, 40% feel little or no chest pains at all. This atypical heart attack happens to men, too.”

So the final message is that both men and women need to remain alert to the onset of more subtle symptoms like back and jaw pain, nausea and indigestion.

I hope this information is helpful. Remember – more healthy years means more stitching!

Our recipe today is a delicious and healthy soup. As the temperatures get colder, it just feels like soup weather! This one is easy to put in the crockpot in the morning, and smells so delicious by evening.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Spinach

  • Four and a half cups water
  • One and a half teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 1 can reduced fat, reduced sodium cream of chicken soup
  • Two-thirds cup uncooked wild rice (rinse it several times and drain)
  • One-half teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • One-fourth teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 fully-cooked rotisserie chicken (remove skin and bones and cut into bite size pieces). If you want to cook the chicken yourself, use about 3-4 cups of cooked chicken, but the rotisserie chicken adds wonderful flavor.
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

Put all the ingredients except the fresh spinach in a crockpot. Stir. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours. If it gets too thick, add a little water. Stir in the chopped spinach before serving.

Makes 6 servings

Before I show you this week’s featured products, I want to remind you of some special purchase items and limited supply products that I don’t want you to miss!

You may not be aware of this, but the Burda Hardanger embroidery magazines are no longer being published, so we will not be receiving any new Burda Hardanger designs. When we heard this news we called our supplier. He bought out Europe, and we have bought out most of what he could get of the older issues. So now is the time! If you don’t have all of the Burda Hardanger issues, stock up now before they are gone forever! Many are discounted, and all are “while quantities last”.
Burda Hardanger magazines.

Product Photo #1079 Burda Hardanger (pictured left)
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Another category of products that we can no longer get are the porcelain doll heads. There was some explanation about the demand for porcelain in China, but whatever the reason, our supply from both our primary vendors has dried up. So what we have may be all we can get. In the last weeks three options have sold out, and I noticed in the warehouse that four more options are almost gone. So if you plan to make angels or Santas in the coming months or years, you might want to buy the heads now!
Porcelain doll heads
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Roz mentioned this in one of her newsletters, but in case you missed it, I want to be sure everyone knows. We are not able to reorder Needle Necessities thread at this time, so if you love their overdyed floss or pearl cottons, or their overdyed metallic braids, order them now! Every day a few more options disappear, so don’t wait!
Needle Necessities threads
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If you are looking for Christmas gifts for someone who likes to sew, quilt or do needlework, these two scissors sets could be the perfect gift! I have just reduced both sets to 70% off, and I don’t expect them to last long at this price! Again, these were a special purchase item, so we will not get more at this incredible price.
#990-554-1869 Mundial Cushion Soft Scissors Set (8.5” shears and 4.25” embroidery scissors)
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#990-554-6608 Mundial Red Dot Scissors Set (8.5” shears and 4.25” embroidery scissors)
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Finally, a reminder about the beautiful and affordable Pfaltzgraff frames we are offering, while quantities last. I know that many of us don’t have time to do large projects, yet we want our “quick and easy” projects to be attractive, elegant, meaningful, useful…you get the picture. The Pfaltzgraff frame is all of those! We are offering this gorgeous Pfaltzgraff collage frame in several ways. You can buy just the frame (at a substantial savings!), or you can get the frame with a book of Hardanger designs that will fit in the openings (also at substantial savings!). When you buy the frame with the book you will also receive either the three stunning photos with a pink theme, or three gorgeous blue-themed photos. You can make up your finished project exactly as we have shown it, or substitute your own, meaningful photos for the ones we gave you.

Can you see all the possibilities? This could be the answer to holiday gifts for many loved ones, and each gift could be different! We do have a limited supply of the Pfaltzgraff frames, so if you like this idea, buy them now!

The beautiful dark mahogany Pfaltzgraff collage frame is 11” x 11” x 1.5” with four openings that fit a 4” x 6” photo. The two horizontal openings are closer to the front of the frame while the two vertical openings are deeper, giving the frame additional interest and depth. The frame includes both a built-in easel and two sawtooth hangers, so you can use it on wall or table! Display your favorite photos or pieces of needlework in this beautiful frame. Limited supply!
990-666-0003 Pfaltzgraff Dark Mahogany Collage Frame
$20.00 on sale for $12.99 Save 35%

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Product Photo990-666-0002
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Or buy the frame with three pink or three blue photos, plus the book Elegant Greetings in Hardanger Embroidery. This book includes five oval or rectangular designs that will fit in the frame openings, plus 11 round designs that would also fit. An alphabet is included in the book for personalizing your pieces. In addition, seven pages of basic, beginning Hardanger embroidery instructions with clear diagrams are included. With all these patterns to choose from, plus using your own photos, the possibilities are endless!

990-666-0001 Pfaltzgraff Collage Frame with Elegant Greetings in Hardanger book and 3 pink photos
$29.95 on sale for $17.99 Save 40%
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990-666-0002 Pfaltzgraff Collage Frame with Elegant Greetings in Hardanger book and 3 blue photos
$29.95 on sale for $17.99 Save 40%
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Have you shopped in the Almost Gone categories lately? This last week quite a few items were added to these categories, and every week products disappear! Be sure to check out these categories today for products you just don’t want to miss!!

Now shall we look at this week’s featured products? Each of them is discounted 40-60%, while quantities last, so don’t delay!

Product PhotoThe first book is a wonderful way to learn Hardanger embroidery, or expand your repertoire of stitches. Designer Donna Olson of Satin Stitches has been teaching Hardanger embroidery for many years, and she published her teaching approach in this wonderful book. The six designs provide lessons that contain the basic techniques and tips to enhance learning Hardanger embroidery. Each design can be a stand-alone lesson. Taken in order, each subsequent design builds on previous lessons, and introduces new stitches. The six finished designs can be framed, made into pillows or grouped for a quilt top.
0753 Hardangersom Techniques from Donna’s Classroom
$24.99 on sale for $14.99 Save 40%

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Product PhotoMaybe you want to play with some blackwork designs? This simple blackwork sampler design, using the colors of the season, is 5.75" square when stitched on 28 count white lugana (3270-100). The pattern calls for using DMC floss or JAR Designs floss, but you can easily adapt it to your own color scheme. In fact, it would be a great way to use up leftover bits of floss or silk!
1310 Spring Blackwork
$7.99 on sale for $3.99 Save 50%

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Product PhotoIf you are short of time but want to produce some beautiful gifts for friends or items for your home, huck embroidery is the answer! You won’t believe how easy it is to learn and how quickly the patterns work up. This pattern for a huck embroidery table runner can be worked on 11 count aida or 7 count popcorn. Worked on 11 count aida the design as shown is approximately 15" x 39". On 7 count Popcorn as shown, it is approximately 18" x 40". Add or subtract repeats to change the length or width! Designer Katherine Kennedy of Swedish Weave Designs recommends three colors of DMC pearl cotton size #3 (DM003-0797, 0798, 0799) for working on Popcorn, and three colors of DMC pearl cotton size #5 (DM005-0500, 0501, 0502) for aida.
1363 Rolling Hills Table Runner (huck embroidery)
$7.95 on sale for $4.79 Save 40%

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Product PhotoIf you are a cat lover (and I know many of you are!) here’s a pattern for you – or for your favorite feline! Britty Kitty Christmas Stocking is 9.5" x 13.75" when stitched on 28 count fabric (start with 16" x 20"). The chart is coded for Weeks Dye Works overdyed floss, but DMC alternates are also listed. Thorough finishing instructions are provided for making this adorable stocking.
2612 Britty Kitty Christmas Stocking (cross stitch)
$7.50 on sale for $3.75 Save 50%

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Product PhotoHere’s a timely design in cross stitch! This "Harvest Blessings" design features pumpkins, a pineapple, a bird and more. Stitched on 14 count smoketone aida or 28 count toasted almond Cashel linen (3281-333) over two threads the design is 10.25" x 6". The chart is coded for DMC floss.
4525 Fall Blessings (cross stitch)
$4.99 on sale for $2.50 Save 50%

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Product PhotoHow about some fun and gorgeous gadgets? Scissorstails are jewelry for your scissors! If you need a practical application, they can identify your scissors, which is useful when stitching in a group, and Scissorstails can keep your embroidery scissors from disappearing into the cushions of your couch! You can also put different colored Scissorstails on different types of scissors for quick identification - red for Hardanger cutting scissors, blue for serrated edge scissors, aqua for metallics, etc.
7134A Aqua Scissorstails
$11.99 on sale for $7.19 Save 40%

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Product PhotoWe can all use “just one more” scissors, right? Especially when they are beautiful, and a bargain, too! This lovely 4" stainless steel embroidery scissors has gold-plated handles and sharp points that cut to the tip, for all types of needlework. They are good quality and a great buy! Very limited supply!
7236 4” Regal Embroidery Scissors
$14.50 on sale for $7.25 Save 50%

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Product PhotoFinally, I have a fun and colorful accessory for you. You can use these for needlework embellishments, or you might decide you know some children who would enjoy them for tiny toys, crayons, candies, whatever!!! These wonderful bead tubes are just 4" long and 1" in diameter - perfect for storing beads or other small items. Package includes six tubes in assorted colors (pink, aqua, royal blue, red, lime green, purple) plus six labels. At 60% savings these won’t last long!
6335 Bead Tubes (package of 6 assorted colors with labels)
$5.99 on sale for $2.39 Save 60%

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I hope you have found some interesting or exciting products in today’s newsletter.

In closing, I wanted to share a story with you. It relates to the literacy challenge, and to the importance of books in a child’s life. Last weekend Jim and I were in Minneapolis, and my mom and her sister (aunt Lucille) were at Heather’s house for a gathering. My 90 year old aunt Lucille taught elementary school all her working life and understands the importance of reading. When I was cleaning out some closets before our trip, sorting out things to bring to Heather, I came across a copy of Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever. It was inscribed to Heather from Aunt Lucille and Uncle Lloyd, dated two weeks after Heather was born.

When I showed this 30 year old book to Lucille, she said “yes, I always gave books as gifts.” What a great gift! I remember it was one of Heather’s favorite books as a toddler and preschooler, and this trip Daniel and Gabriel and I enjoyed it, too.

Books are timeless and the time spent with a child and a book is priceless. Pass it on!

Have a great week.

Sue showing book to Aunt Lucille

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