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Punch with Judy - January 2006 Newsletter

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2006 - from all at Punch with Judy
Email: judy@punchwithjudy.com.au

Thank you for registering your interest in updates to the Punch With Judy
Web Site.

In This Issue:-
1. Lucky Draw
2. Retreats
3. 2006 Shows Calendar
4. Specials
5. Poem
6. Year in Review

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Dear Friends,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas sharing it with your family and friends. As many will still be enjoying our summer weather and holiday time, please keep it safe and travel carefully.

I had an email from a “member/friend” who is now living in Moscow, describing the scenery at this time of the year. I find it hard to imagine a White Christmas since I’ve only ever actually been in snow twice in my whole life and one was more like sludge. The real time, was when we were staying with Pati Palmer (from Palmer/Pletsch fame) and her husband Jack, who’s unfortunately passed on, took us to Mt. Hood in Oregon USA because they couldn’t believe John & I hadn’t seen snow!

Though it is always summery hot, I still insist on the Traditional English Christmas Dinner and this year we spent the day with Sharelle and her family plus best friends from Wollongong. Unfortunately, Melinda and family weren’t able to make it home this year but they are arriving later today as I write to share a few days over New Year with us. Rowan spent Christmas Day in South Korea alone, as it seems we won’t be scoring a Korean Daughter-in-Law afterall. So, I felt really sad for him but he did phone and talk to us all. March 1st can’t come quickly enough for us all as he’s returning to Australia then.

I know many enjoyed the photo I sent in my Christmas Newsletter, though I did get one email saying it took too much download space and time, so I’ll refrain from ever sending one again. Sharelle is our first daughter on the left in Hot Pink and Melinda is our second born on the right in Pale Blue with MOI in the middle. John & Rowan standing behind us and I shouldn’t have to tell you who’s who. I’m telling you this because a few emailed and said it would’ve been even better with names to go with the people. Sorry, hadn’t thought of that.

I didn’t get that elusive beaut Feather Duster, though Sharelle did try. One emailed me to say try a Commercial Cleaning place which I will do when I get a chance. I know they must exist. Any further sources I’d appreciate.

The family gave John & I a set of three wrought iron birds that stand quite high and are placed, like a fork, into the ground and I have them outside my window so as I see them first thing of a morning and people coming up our driveway see them as they approach the house. Really elegant. The big one must be an Ibis, but the other two could very well pass for Emus, so they are doubly appreciated.

My dear retired secretary Ann, gave me two books to help me learn French, so she must have overheard me in conversation one lunch time I should think. Very thoughtful of her. Of course, lots of other presents, some with Roosters on them too. Hope your day was as enjoyable.

May your coming year be full of dreams coming true, hope for peace everywhere with world situations resolved, good health, more wisdom and if a few extra dollars pass our way then we won’t complain, will we?

Mine is starting off extremely well with one of my own personal dreams coming true. A new Warehouse! You don’t know how long I’ve waited for this.

John & I wish you all the best for 2006 and thank you so much for being part of our successful 2005. We do appreciate you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Your friend,

Judy

1. LUCKY DRAW

This month our website celebrates its FIFTH Birthday. Our Birthday Celebration is our way of saying Thank You. Make an online Website Purchase during the month of January 2006 and be eligible for the Lucky Draw on February 1st 2006.

First Prize is a $100.00 Gift Voucher, Second Prize is a $50.00 Gift Voucher and Third Prize is a $25.00 Gift Voucher. The THREE winners may choose any item or items from our website to that value or have the Gift Voucher value off any higher priced item. We will even pay the mailing. Everyone is a winner though as this January we are also giving you one of our own Punch with Judy Purple & Gold Carry Bags for Free. Just for Website Orders and only during January, 2006. They’ve been a hit at the shows, so if you already have one, doesn’t matter, a second won’t go astray will it?

As with any competition, you have to be in it to win it! Visit our website, make a purchase and start planning what your dream purchase may be.

www.punchwithjudy.com.au

2. RETREATS

A reminder that we have added three additional dates for our Retreats for 2006 due to the overwhelming response we’ve been receiving. Don’t delay in enrolling though if you haven’t already done so.

Machine Embroidery Retreats for 2006 will be held on 26th – 28th February and repeated on 9th – 11th July.

Advanced Machine Embroidery Retreats for 2006 will be held on 14th & 15th July and repeated on 17th & 18th July.

Patchwork Retreats for 2006 will be held on 5th – 7th May and repeated on 8th – 10th October.

Circulars have already gone out for these, so please email me if you’d like me to forward the relevant information to you for any of the above.

4. 2006 SHOWS CALENDAR

The 2006 Shows Calendar for Punch with Judy has now been uploaded to our website. Please note the New Venue for the AQC in January for this year only, due to the Commonwealth Games being held in Melbourne a little thereafter, many fixtures for various events in Melbourne have been altered. The Melbourne Stitches & Craft Show in March has new dates also.

The Australasian Quilt Convention (AQC) at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre is from 27th - 30th January, 2006. The AQC is designed to bring together quilters from all over Australia as well as attract quilters from overseas and it certainly did that in its inaugural event earlier this year. Gold Pass Delegates can attend classes over the four days of the show as well as the social functions. Day Delegates have the opportunity of Single Day Classes whilst Day Visitors may attend Marketplace and the Quilt Show.

For those attending, I have a Free Workshop at 12.30pm daily in Workshop 2 entitled, “Quilting with Zing & Pizzazz!” Quilts with “zing” attract attention. Pizzazz your quilting with new trendy ideas and products. Let Judy show you how to embellish your quilting with that little touch of WOW!

This will have something for everyone, no matter what your level of expertise. I hope you can attend.

The floor plan has changed a little and as of only the week before Christmas, we have been moved to a new position. As you enter the hall, we are on the right hand side and you should be able to see us upon entry, though not sure if our stand is called 31, 32 or 33 or all three. ?? As I said, this change has only been confirmed recently.

As other Shows approach, I shall give you an update each time as I’ve done in the past. For Pre-Show classes, you have two weeks in which time you may voice your opinion to me for ideas of what you would like. I have one line of thought I’m researching but am open to discussion at this early stage as there’s time for change if required. Of course, I still have to forward any presentation to Organizers who always have the final say of acceptance or not.

5. SPECIALS

Visit our website to see what the January Special is on the homepage. Remember, this changes on the first of each month and you need to visit to see what the current month’s special is.

In the December Newsletter I gave you two Christmas Specials and I still have a few left, so I’m offering my Newsletter readers some extra enticement. Take a further $14 off the price of the Ott-Lite Task Lamp making it now only $75.00. Remember that this one doesn’t have the handle like the one illustrated on our website. Secondly, the Madeira Rayon Embroidery Thread collection is now only $45.00. I can email you a picture of either if you wish. These are not on the website since they are for my Newsletter readers only. I’m still unable to upload any new products to the website until the final changeover is complete, so please refer to December’s Newsletter on the website for a list of some of our new products not yet appearing.

Every online purchase for January also receives one of our Punch with Judy carry bags too. These are GREAT. You’ll love one.

The following are still available from my December Newsletter. Maybe you were too busy with Christmas to snap up these bargains.

DAMAGED ITEMS
I accidentally damaged a hinge on a Slimline Storage Box by Sulky. Normally $55.00, one only at $40.00. Very little damage as it still closes etc. This one stores 104 small spools of thread. Great bargain.

A few people asked for this but I had to say it had been “reserved” for someone who got in first, but then has never followed through. So, here it is again, jump in………

When travelling home from our last show, we experienced torrential rain resulting in some items receiving water damage in our trailer. I have a copy of Pam Bono’s book “A Quilter’s Life in Patchwork” which includes a CD for the patchwork embroidery designs. Normally, this is $99.00, but someone may like this one for $40.00 which is worth it for the CD alone. The CD is not damaged since it is wrapped in sealed plastic, but the book is a little ordinary to say the least. Most is readable, so this is still an excellent bargain for someone.

Have you too many leftovers in your patchwork stash? Maybe you could use them for Locker Hooking. One only book entitled “You Can Be a Happy Rug Hooker 2” will show you how to make all kinds of things with your fabric strips, working them into a canvas with a Locker Hook needle.

Normally, $39.95, one water damaged copy for $15.00 only.

6. POEM

Bob, the Superior Threads Professor, recently included a poem from Helen Godden in Canberra who put her comments about the wonders of sewing with Superior Threads to words and music ("’Cause We’re Living in a Material World and I’m a Superior Girl!") and has kindly allowed me to repeat it for you because I thought it brilliant and because I like to promote our great Aussie Talent. This was Helen’s reply to me.

Hi Judy...nice to meet you. Glad you liked my verbal overflow. My mind just goes "off" somewhere else when I am quilting...I just love it so much. I learnt a lot about Threads from Heather in just a 3/4 hour chat in Houston....lovely lady and nice that she is an Aussie at heart.

I am actually quite new to the whole game of quilting and indeed sewing having owned my first machine, a Bernina for just over 2 years now. I have also just won the latest Bernina 440 for BEST of Show ACT and will be at AQC in Victoria for the Best Of Australia awards. I have just returned from Houston where I was awarded Judge's Choice in the HUSQVARNA VIKING Masterpieces Travelling exhibition and will be receiving a new Husqvarna soon too. (This info is not on my website as yet.....can’t do everything) So for a newbie to quilting, I have jumped in feet first and am doing well. I also received a 4th last year in Tokyo and my second quilt I ever made was in Houston last year. I am a visual artist and have just moved into fabric as my palette and I "draw" with my sewing machine and thread.

This is a long winded way to say "yes" you may use my poem. Bob changed the O MY GOD to O MY GOSH so do as you see is PC. It does not "sing" to Material Girl, that was just an extra thought.

Thank you Helen, yes, I’ve changed your text to the original version and I agree with Bob that you certainly are multi-talented. Readers, I hope you enjoy the poem and may I invite you to visit Helen’s website. http://www.aussieapplique.com.au

Here’s the link to the Superior range of threads too.

The Poem for Superior Threads


Sew, What is Superior About Superior?
I’m having a go with this fancy gold thread.
Sewing with metallic I usually dread!
I used a topstitch needle, I do as I’m told
But it made no diff” the last time I sewed gold!
But, I will give it a try, bet it’s just like the rest!
I’ll give it a go, maybe Mother S does know best!
O MY GOD!
This gold doesn’t jump! This gold doesn’t skip!
This thread doesn’t pull! This thread doesn’t rip!
This gold doesn’t break! This gold doesn’t tear!
This gold thread doesn’t even make me swear!
This thread does not split! This thread does not fray!
This simple spool of thread has really made my day!
It stitches so smooth, she quilts like a breeze!
With this amazing thread I can quilt with such ease!
The Bobbin Thread under allows the gold to just float,
It’s smooth and it’s even…now I don’t mean to gloat . . . but
My quilt looks fantastic, my design, it looks great
My ideas are flowing at an incredible rate.
But this thread it keeps up with my speed and my mind
as I draw with my machine, the gold does not bind.
This thread it just flows and enhances my quilt.
This thread is so wonderful and I have no guilt
when I shout it out loud.. ”this IS a Godsend!
This Superior thread is a quilter’s Best Friend!”

by Helen Godden, back from Houston and back in her studio Down Under, having a fab day with Superior.

7. YEAR IN REVIEW

As I think about 2005 overall, it is nearly “ditto” from my previous Year in Review with Punch with Judy attending all the Craft & Quilt Fairs, being one in each State plus one in New Zealand, as well as four Stitches & Craft Shows. We chose not to exhibit at the September Melbourne Stitches and were unable to attend the mid year Trade Show, however, we added the November Quilt Trade Show in Melbourne and the inaugural AQC early in the year, also in Melbourne.

To our “show staff”, a huge Thank You for your assistance and, in particular, to Penny and Leaenda who flew Interstate several times, our appreciation for your extra efforts in travelling and living away from home.

Daily Workshops were held in all the Retail Shows as well as one advanced Needle Tatting Class. Pre-Show Presentations were given at all the Craft & Quilt Fairs on “Photos to Fabric” via a Power Point Presentation. I owe gratitude to my daughter Sharelle, who put this together for me and would also like to thank Hewlett Packard in USA for their guidance and literature. These were extremely successful with excellent attendance in all States as well as doing both the Machine Embroidery Seminar as well as the Photos to Fabric Seminar in New Zealand. I do thank you all for your support and interest in all of these.

The Machine Embroidery Retreat held in June at Wagga was also completely booked out with me having to add an extra one a few days before in my own home simply to accommodate the number of students. My gratitude to Robyn Miller for her co-operation in tutoring at these and making them such the success that they are.

We have enjoyed quite a successful year and our show stands continue to expand so it seems which is a far cry from my very first stand which was 1m x 3m as the end corner of someone else’s stand since there was a waiting list a mile long even be able to break into the show scheme. As our website also continues to grow, the idea is to cut back a little in other areas each year until it takes over our business completely. We seem to be increasingly busy, so I’m wondering when that plan will start to take affect? The website certainly does take a lot of time in maintaining, as do these Newsletters, but it is with much pride that I tell you our new look website with present day sophistication is very soon ready to go “live” for your enjoyment. I am just doing the testing of each section now whilst my webmaster is away on holidays. This will be transferred over late January and I certainly will welcome constructive comments as we still have a lot of ideas to shape and form to make it even better. We have been constantly updating our present Website but we do really welcome this new look and the updated sophistication means of continuing to serve our customers. It's our aim to please all and offer new and exciting products each month. From our very humble beginnings in the spare bedroom and rumpus room of our Campbelltown home, to expanding premises and home on our 100 acre farm at The Rock with our separate Mailroom, it is now an even greater achievement that we're now commencing 2006 with a beautiful new large Warehouse. This has been a dream come true for me. One NZ friend told me that the NZ based company with a chain of stores called “The Warehouse” has now been sold, so you never know their name may change and I can really call it “The Warehouse”. Local Postie suggested I call it “The Emporium”, another reader said “Judy’s Warehouse”, yet another said “Judy’s Treasure Trove”, but I still can’t get the establishment here from calling it anything other than “The Shed” and that’s a shame because it is more than a SHED! It is a large separate building to the Mailroom and also the "Pleater Room" where we manufacture our range of Pleat Makers. Another good friend, Bob the Builder, is even travelling down from Biloela, just west of Rockhampton in mid Qld., to help with the interior fittings during this month. What a friend! Of course, Carol will have to accompany him. These are our good friends who stayed with us just before Christmas, so this is truly an incredible offer of professional expertise and friendship.

It is with your continued support that we have been successful in our expansion and continued growth of our business. We both thank you.

Nancy Zieman has always been my mentor and I was in awe at her very large professional set up in Wisconsin, USA when I visited. Our population will never allow us to be that big! Plus, I've come to the conclusion that I don't wish to be because then I couldn't deliver the personal touch that so many of our customers appreciate. I think I have a very special liason with all those on our Emailed Newsletter Group and I want to keep that feeling of belonging and sharing just as it is, without becoming a huge commercial company because so much gets lost in that transition. There are more and more websites to choose from making our field very competitive so your custom and loyalty is appreciated. It is interesting to note that many companies and other websites subscribe to my Newsletters which I find very flattering and hope we continue to be a leader in our field.

To Adrienne our Webmaster, it is amazing how she is not just a Webmaster with a job to do, but indeed, a wonderful partner in caring about what we do and how we do whatever. It has been a mammoth task in transferring our huge Website over to another system and she has spent ages researching what was available before we made the final choices and decision on how to go about things. I wanted a Website that looked the same as our present one, not too busy and easy for you to navigate, without all the flashy lights and boom, boom, boom feeling, one that was a pleasure to visit and made you feel like this was the place to go if you needed something. I hope together we have achieved this. It is your “home” too and I invite you to email me if you can’t find something because not everything we sell is on the Website. We didn’t win the new award for the Best Website in 2005 (public voting via Pride Publishing/Down Under Quilts) but maybe we could in the future with more comments from you upon what you’d like to have to make it even better. Put a reminder in your diary now to revisit www.punchwithjudy.com.au late January.

One GREAT improvement about to happen will be the transferring of this Newsletter List to a more sophisticated system because, behind the scenes, this year has been a nightmare in maintaining the email list. Patience and perseverance have been two words I’ve grown to appreciate the meaning of. We are five times bigger than the present system is designed to cope with.

What’s been the most popular products in 2005? Our Stencil Burner for Cutwork and making your own quilting templates stands high on the list but Machingers Gloves and Bobbin Savers are still winning. These are closely followed by the Curve Master Presser Foot, the Quilt Pounce and our new range of Pewter Charms which are exceedingly popular (these from our Show Stand not all on our Website). Our newer additions of Swarovski Crystals with the Decorative Touch Applicator Wand and now the range of Angelina Fibres we have are giving them all a nudge and are sure to be big sellers in 2006. The Appliqué Patterns from Joan’s Own Creations are still our best pattern range for sales but all of the bag patterns from various companies total very high on the list too.

The range of threads from Superior Threads is steadily growing as more and more professionals and noted quilters are recommending them to their students.

We have exported many more of our Pleat Makers during the year and I’m very excited that Burda Magazine will be featuring a beautiful contemporary quilt wallhanging in an issue approx. April with a little editorial on our Pleat Maker since it was used for sections of the project. I am planning a visit to France in June and one never knows what doors may open in Europe, so this is very exciting.

I also thank the staff of Express Publications and Pride Publishing for their continued support of Punch with Judy and the wonderful array of new products we keep presenting.

In particular, to Lynn & Yvonne, from Australian Stitches & Machine Embroidery magazines, it is a pleasure to work with you.

I know most are enjoying the experience of the entertainment and education on www.quiltersnewsnetwork.com but one reader asked me to forward this to you.

“Just thought I'd better let you know so that you can pass it onto others...that U.S Video sewing site you told us about....it's great, very captivating, easy to get sucked in......word of warning though....those with limited downloads be aware that it eats up those downloads fast.. I chewed through 30% in one sitting over a couple of hours and wasn't aware of it...and that was at the beginning of my month, so I had to be careful for the remainder of the month so as not to extend over my limited downloads.”

I’d never thought of this point since I am on unlimited downloads. More and more are changing to Broadband too which makes the site work so much better.

Ann who has been part of the furniture here for ten years has decided to retire because her husband retired a little while ago and they wish to travel and “get a life” as she puts it.

I will miss her but I’m happy to introduce Leonie and Jennifer to you who will adequately look after your phone calls and process your orders. Gloria will continue part-time in helping with mail, packing and show preparation.

For those who like to know, the Emu Chicks are thriving and growing rapidly. Being accustomed to humans feeding them, they allow you to pat them if you’re lucky which thrills the grandchildren. Big Bird is proving to be quite a Daddy in protecting Fifi and her new brood – 9 of the 10 turkey chicks have survived which is quite amazing. Maybe he’s destined for a longer life yet!

HIM has a new sheep dog, as much as I thought we needed another dog like a hole in the head because we are away so much, I didn’t win this one. “FRED” (what a stupid name for a dog, sorry Glenys) has endeared himself already as a great little pup and although only 9 weeks old, is already helping to round up the sheep doing whatever Rusty does and yapping behind him. He’s even been initiated to a working shearing shed and travelling on the back of the ute. As many of you would appreciate, the task of going through the puppy stage is quite a challenge, particularly, when on the back verandah and around the new landscaped little patch of garden.

Pondering over the year and thinking what were the big milestones, I’d have to say taking the plunge and having eye surgery so as I now no longer wear glasses and having a new Warehouse.

May I extend to you on behalf of all the staff at Punch with Judy, the very best wishes for a bright, happy and successful New Year as we welcome in 2006.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

from your friend Judy

Punch with Judy
P.O. Box 62
THE ROCK (near Wagga) N.S.W.
AUSTRALIA. 2655
Website: http://www.punchwithjudy.com.au
Email: judy@punchwithjudy.com.au
Phone: 02 6920 2238
Fax: 02 6920 2021
International Phone: 61 26920 2238
International Fax: 61 26920 2021