Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hello From Dallas!

It’s been a crazy couple of days! First off….POOR OSCAR! Yes, this cat just can’t keep himself out of harms way!

Remember a couple weeks ago when I said his tail was hanging funny and it looked like he had been in a scuffle with a cat from the wrong-side-of-the-tracks?!

It had seemed like it was doing better, but when I got back from Virginia, he seemed especially sensitive and guarding of certain areas..I caught him licking at it, and it looked HORRIBLE….one lift of the tail and I could see that the abscess had finally decided to open up…which his a good thing ((And a gross thing!!))

Monday morning I dropped him off at the vet ((wait, was that only yesterday? Yes it was!)) And by afternoon they called me back and said they had lanced it, cleaned it up, antibiotic-shot him and I could come and pick him up.

When I got there ----he was wearing……THE CONE. OF. SHAME.!!

This has to stay on for 7 to 10 days until the tail has healed enough that he won’t lick it. He also has to stay INSIDE…which is easier said than done.

Of course, this all happened as I was making my exit to Texas, leaving the men folk to deal with the application of antibiotics-down-the-throat which Oscar fights TOOTH AND NAIL…Literally!

Needless to say, the menfolk aren’t happy to have to be the care givers either, but what else can be done? They will do it….Oscar will survive, and I’ll clean up the aftermath when I return home. That’s all there is to it!

I went to bed early last night, setting my alarm for 3:45am to catch a 6am flight, only to have my phone go off at 2:45am with a call from United saying my flight to Dallas by way of Washington Dulles was delayed and schedule changed. I had to get up and make a phone call and try to be coherent at 3am…they rerouted me through Chicago on a bit later flight and I got to Dallas a bit after 2pm.

I have had a lovely Tex Mex dinner and we had a very fun Lecture/Trunkshow with the Bear Creek Quilter’s Guild! I’m off to bed…tomorrow is a Cathedral Stars workshop, and then I’m off to my next destination! It’s good to be back in Texas, Y’all!

Off To Texas!

Last night while I was packing and getting ready, I downloaded another freebie book to my Kindle!  It’s called Bridge To Happiness, by Jill Barnett and it sounds like a good one!

Here is the description:

From the luxury of San Francisco's famous hills to the wild freedom of the majestic snow-covered Sierra Mountains, BRIDGE TO HAPPINESS is the intensely dramatic story of one woman's life, the idyllic moments, her humanity, her love, and finally, the difficult road she must walk alone...to discover the strong woman she is destined to become. When March Randolph meets Mike Cantrell, she has no idea how her life will change, and how time will change her. For over three decades she and Mike forge a marriage, a family and a business together, helping to make snowboarding into a popular, worldwide winter sport, and raising four strong-willed and independent children into a adulthood, never once fearing the future won't be as golden as their past. In a heartbeat everything changes, and March and her family suffer a tragic change, one that drives a schism into her once perfect life, and will test the bonds of love and family far beyond any definition of recovery. Suddenly March is stuck in the past, unable to move forward, and only if she, alone, finds the strength and will to move on, can any of the Cantrells have a single, glimmer of hope at a new life of happiness.

It doesn’t have a single quilt in it that I can see, but that doesn’t mean I won’t like it. I love stories of strong independent women, raising children through challenges, and stories that encourage me to persevere! 

Look out Texas, here I come! Yeeehhhawww!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine’s Day Give-Away Winner!

Oh my! So many wonderful stories, some funny, some heart wrenching, some showing such strong women of selfless courage who deserve a lot of appreciation in return.

If I had my way I’d send a free copy to everyone! But we did this the old fashioned way and drew a random name instead!

And The Winner Is ----

Christy! ((No last name but she did include an email address))

She wrote:

My mother, of course. After all, she is the one who dragged me to quilt shops as a kid and when, after five or six years of being toted along, I saw a fabric I couldn't live without...well naturally, she bought it for me.

She also helped me draft out a log cabin pattern and figure how much fabric I would need to make it. She is the one responsible and accountable for sharing with me what is now a passion for both of us.

We now do annual shop hops together. The one year I couldn't be with her (I was teaching in Alaska and she was in New York), I called all the shops on the hop she would be visiting with another of our friends. I arranged to have a gift certificate waiting for her at each of the nine shops.

At the last one (our favorite shop too), I called as she was there and told her I love her and couldn't wait to do the next one together.

My mom's name is Charlene and she is also my best friend.
Thanks for such a great give-away idea!

Christy, this story has me all teary-eyed! Sheesh, can I be your mom too? LOL! Please email me at Quiltville@gmail.com and include a special note to your mom that I can send with the book, along with your mom’s address and I’ll get it on it’s way to her! I'm hoping you can do this right away as I need to have it packaged up before I leave for Texas in the morning.

I spent some time today, in between the packing and repacking in getting ready for Texas tomorrow, editing the photos from my Antique Mall Hop!

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Well, I lost my marbles LONG AGO --- but I found them in Lexington! LOL! However, I still have not found my bluetooth ear thing for my phone. Sleepy smile

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And Look!!! I did find my favorite Partridge Family Lunch Box!! OH, I loved this lunch box when I was a kid. I really thought they should ditch Tracy, and let ME play the part on the TV show. I was cuter, and had much more personality and could play that tambourine much better…LOL! ((These are the fantasies of a typical 3rd grade girl back then!)) Even that bus looks patchworky! Do you think this has had any influence on me as a quilter? Who knows!

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One of the booths had bags and purses and other travel type items, and I saw these, instantly thinking how nice they would be as a “busy bag” carry along for sewing supplies on travels. I liked the pink one. Rolling on the floor laughing I didn’t get it…but I am always on the look out for fun stuff to travel with.

So on to the photos! I saw a LOT of humble lumpy quilts. And I know I am drawn to RED…always red. What can I say! My fave is the one with the equalateral triangles set in a “Jack’s Chain” kind of setting. You’ll know it when you see it!

There was also an AMAZING redwork with such detail….and I loved this flying geese style strippy…the hand quilting on it was phenomenal but like many of those old red prints with the black detail on them…the blacks have disintegrated the fabric leaving holes in the red. Still, it was a treat to see all of these. There are some pics of machines I was amazed with too…fun details, and also some coverlets, which I love! Enjoy!

There were too many photos to show ALL the thumbnails on the page, so you’ve gotta click the side show to view them all! I was a bit photo happy, but isn’t that honey-comb/jack’s chain variation above AWESOME?!

Happy Valentine’s Day to each and every one!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It’s a Valentine’s Give-Away!

This Give-Away is Now Closed!

Happy Valentine’s Day to my favorite people---You!

I hope your day is filled with friends and family and loved ones. If I could, I’d stuff little valentines in envelopes full of candy conversation hearts and goodies and drop one in each of your mail boxes!

I loved Valentine’s Day as a kid. I remember taking shoe boxes or lunch sacks and spending time decorating them with doilies, hearts cut out of construction paper, glue and glitter. These special boxes and bags were just waiting to be filled with valentines from friends, family and classmates. Ahhhh, Memories!

I want to help you spread the love as well! So we are doing a “different” kind of Give-Away ----

Remember those poor books that had the imperfect covers? I’ve got one left!

And what I want to do with this special Give-Away is have YOU leave me a comment below with the name of someone you want me to send it to, and why! Tell me about your friendship! It can go to anyone you choose: A mother, sister, friend, even a secret pal! (Though you will have to explain to them why the cover is imperfect! LOL!)

This book will be signed by me and mailed to your friend with a note from you I will print out via email on why you have chosen them to receive this gift. Instead of winning it for yourself, you are winning it for your special friend. Isn’t this a fun idea?!

Of course, if your friend lives near by, you get visitation rights, right? In love

I will be drawing the winner on Valentine’s Evening! I want to be able to mail this out to them before I leave for Texas on Tuesday!

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And here is a fun site I’ve been playing with to make your OWN Candy Hearts with your own sayings! Click here to get to the Candy Heart Generator and spread more love to your friends!

I had a great time driving home from Lexington VA today --- and including some visits to antique malls! I’ve gotta upload some pics, do some editing, and will give you a preview of some of the neat things I saw probably tomorrow…or I might set it to go live on Tuesday when I am flying to Texas!

I’ll be visiting with the Bear Creek Quilt Guild in Keller, the Denton Quilt Guild in Denton, and the Trinity Valley Quilt Guild in Ft Worth! Bring on the Tex-Mex & the BBQ!

Scrappy Mountains in the Blue Ridge!

It was a terrific day for a workshop! We set up our machines and power sewed the day away making Scrappy Mountain Majesties blocks!

I told you last post that this conference room is huge, and it is above the horse arena at the Virginia Horse Center, right?

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This is the view of the well groomed arena from the bank of windows in the conference room! I was told stories that usually on any given weekend you can see riders and horses going through their paces down there while you sew….we must have been sewing on an “off” weekend as the arena stayed quiet the whole time we were there.

We sewed and cut and sewed some more!

After the workshop, I came back to my room and crashed for a while, and then headed down into Lexington for some dinner! I just LOVE colonial buildings, and downtown Lexington does not disappoint!

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Walking uphill I found this one, and the light of the evening was just PERFECT Wouldn’t you like to know what this building was like in it’s original state in the “early” days? I would! I like to imagine what the fashions were, who came and went, and the lives lived. I always wanted to live above a business….I can bet the proprietor had his shop or office on the street level, while the family lived up stairs.

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Love the brick pattern on this one! Isn’t this a cool building? I’m sure it has had quite the life too….

After dinner I sewed the night away while watching tearjerker movies on either hallmark or lifetime, I don’t remember which…..but that Nights in Rodanthe just gets me every time! ***SOBBING*** And I am glad I was here to enjoy it because I “KNOW* that the men-folk at home would not tolerate such chick flicks! LOL!

So this morning, I’m packing it up --- Heading home --- but planning on some jaunts through some antique malls for inspiration along the way!

The sun is shining, the sky is blue…it’s chilly, but hey, at least it is not snowing, right?! Rolling on the floor laughing

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day….and in honor of Valentine’s Day, we are going to have a very special “Share Your Heart” Give-Away! Come back tomorrow for more details!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A bit of Lexington!

I had a LOVELY LOVELY drive up today! It was a cold clear morning, but the sky was the most amazing shade of crystalline blue, and nary a cloud in sight. Just BRILLIANT!

I live about 100 miles South of Roanoke, VA, an easy jaunt up highway 220 with scenic highways and byways…….Within an hour of leaving my driveway, I have crossed the Virginia state line, and I’m in heaven!

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A View From My Dashboard!

((Good thing I got the car washed yesterday or you wouldn’t see that mountain coming up so clearly!))

I get so excited when I see mountains getting closer. All of a sudden I feel like I can BREATHE. Hard to explain, but if you love mountains like I do, you’ll understand!

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Pass one mountain and there is another! Roanoke is snuggled in the midst of the beautiful Blue Ridge on all sides! And though all the hardwoods still are bare, you can sense the sublime beauty of this area! You should see it when it is GREEN! It truly is one of my favorite places on the planet.

I stopped in Roanoke for a yummy Indian buffet lunch at Nawab – I have a 7 or 8 year history with this place. I ALWAYS stop there when going through, and I am never disappointed. Downtown Roanoke is so very walkable, and the historic district is full of wonderful shops and restaurants. I love this size of city! It is much like Winston Salem in size and feel.

The pic at the top of this post is of Lexington, which is about an hour farther up Interstate 81 from Roanoke, so it was an easy jaunt from there. This area is FULL of history!! Take some time to read a little bit here and you will find names you recognize from your history books, if you grew up in the USA.

You will even find a link to the Virginia Horse Center where tonight's lecture and tomorrow’s workshop are being hosted! There is a great conference room up above the horse arena! When it comes to finding meeting places for our lectures and classes and guild meetings, Quilters will leave no opportunity unturned!

The lecture was really fun, and I am now back at my hotel room. I’m pretty wired, so I might sew a bit before going to bed!

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How’s this for set up!? It’s quite a large comfy room, I’ve got a desk AND a table! I set my machine up, I brought my tv tray and my pressing surface –set up to the right of the machine, and I put the ironing board at table top level to the left….got myself a U-shaped sewing station!

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Little table….2 easy chairs for sitting and doing hand work, and my bins of crumbs and strings just ready for some paper piecing! This is the table I’m sitting at now while typing on the laptop you see sitting there. Ipod is plugged into my travel speakers, and I’m listening to my favorite James Taylor….sipping a nice hot cup of Harry & Davids chocolate raspberry tea. Nice, huh?

There was ONE thing I found silly! I’m sure you’ve had your own experiences with hotel furniture “WHHHAA!???” But look at this:

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Nice dresser right? I thought so. Kind of colonial style. ((It is Virginia after all!)) My suitcase is on the top. I don’t know about you, but I like to completely unpack my suitcase and put the stuff in drawers. That way I’m not digging around and making a mess of my clothes. This 6 drawer dresser SHOULD have plenty of space right?

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Except it is NOT a 6 drawer dresser --- it is a TWO drawer dresser! And putting my clothes in a drawer meant I might as well have been putting them on the FLOOR because the drawers go all the way down! Is this not the SILLIEST thing you’ve seen?? I don’t know what is worse….to have to bend over that far to get my jeans off the bottom of the drawer, or to just leave it in the suitcase and dig from there! LOL!

To Erin ((Vesuvius Mama!)) & Nancy & Kim --- Thanks so much for the warm welcome and the great company and the fun conversation tonight! I’m looking forward to a great workshop tomorrow and getting to know the ladies from the Rockbridge Piecemakers Guild better!

Night all ---- I’m off to sew a bit!