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I am not talking about any sort of fiber disaster, but a delightful day at P&B Textiles. Yesterday I ran over to Burlingame CA to see my buddies at P&B. We are currently working on a few new lines of fabrics and needed to meet first hand. I always love going to home base because the folks at P&B are much more than "work buddies". They have grown to be dear personal friends. Not always, but fortunatly Irwin Bear was in the office along with his beloved dog, a fabulous big black lab. After working with the team of designers, I got to spend some time with Irwin catching up on old and new stuff. He is VERY excited about this new site and sees the endless possibilities. If you are planning to attend Road to California in Ontario, CA this year, I will be holding a lecture on the ins and outs of fabric. In preparing this lecture, I spent a lot of time asking questions and have furthered my love affair with cotton. If you are in the area, check it out. I belive there is still room in the class.

 

 

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This first week and few days has been very exciting and fun as Ricky, myself and a jackrabbit team have been working round the clock setting the gears in motion. I do think it is always important to thank those who have made this dream OUR (meaning the entire quilting community world wide) reality. Number one on the list would be Martin Favre, President of Bernina USA. I can't imagine being in his shoes (I have decided he never sleeps), with all the responsibilities he holds. But he manages to keep it all going, and first class I might add. When ever we get together, I try to take a picture. This was a Spring Festival last spring. My only regret? The flowers on the sweater.......and what was I thinking?!

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Yesterday was fun and off the usual track. In 2009 I have been asked to be the featured quilter at the Mantica quilt show. Ordinarily I have to pass on these excellent opportunities, but in this case it worked out perfectly, they are 20 miles from my home and besides that we have been friends for over two decades. The guild likes to have the raffle quilt (excuse me, opportunity quilt) to be linked with the featured artist. Not having time to even complete current deadlines, I asked if I could just come up with the idea. Flash forward, this year at my retreat, Kris Spray offered her incredible talents to the project. Well, YES! How lucky can a person be to have Kris offer? In addition the guild has someone lined up to hand quilt it. I told Kris, the rule was that she had to be open with her thoughts and comments.

After pouring over books, we came up with an incredible antique quilt with a to die for applique border (Kris's hand applique is superb). We decided on the colors and went to the quilt shop. After MUCH deliberation with Pam who works there, we finally came up with the fabrics. Wouldn't you know it, the red we need was no longer there. SO, this is where you come in. Can anyone tell me the manufacturer of this fabric? Or has anyone seen it recently and if so where? I never thought a fabric would hold me hostage, but apparently it has!

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As many of you know from an earlier blog, Sunday night was Mom and Dad’s mystery date celebrating 60 years of wedded bliss. Originally John had come up with what seemed to be a really neat plan. Apparently there is an island in the SF bay that has a light house and a restaurant. It is billed as “A hidden jewel.” Perfect! Dad loves boats - Mom loves lighthouses. After a bit of investigation, we realized the island was a barge and the accessibility was not swell. So we decided that this would be something to try some other time. Now where? With the aid of my girlfriend Cheryl (you can catch our pod cast on my site) we came up with the perfect solution, The Cliff House. It is a wonderful restaurant right on the Pacific Coast that has recently been remodeled. In its hay day it was a giant bath house. We got the very best table in the house and the weather was incredible providing an excellent sunset. Along with John and myself, our daughter came and a couple that we have known forever. In fact, I worked in their sporting goods store in high school. The food was great, the restaurant more than accommodating and the company the very best. Let’s go for 60 more Mom and Dad!
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Hi, it’s John, Alex’s DH. I’m pinch hitting for Alex today. It’s her parent’s 60th anniversary party this weekend. (Details will follow later).

Well it’s a new year. I think I am the only one left on the planet who still makes resolutions, but I refuse to stop. Alex never makes resolutions. In the time it would take a normal person to write down what they want to do, Alex usually has it done. Ricky would have done it, stored it on a memory stick and filed it alphabetically. But for me it’s a time of renewal- new ideas, new hope, new commitments and new directions. I always need to set up some resolutions. My first resolution each year is to do things with the family.
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Sometimes when you do things together, everyone is happy.

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Sometimes not everyone is happy.

My personal improvement resolution this year is to finish what I start. I have a habit of being a good starter and not a good finisher. Well this year is going to be different. Here’s how I’m going to do it. I’m going to…what?… The Dallas/Seattle game is on!?…

 

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Suddenly out of the bushes, about a football field down the path, out jumps LIZZIE! I stopped and said, “do you see that?” John, wished he had said no, but we were stunned! A BLACK AND WHITE JUMPIE STINKIE DOG GHOST!

Seconds after the incredible vision, the owners followed out from behind from the bushes. When we finally met up them I was crying all over again. I explained the story, and the wife looked at her husband and exclaimed with glee, “hey, you can get rid of that dog today!” HA HA was his response.

Finally, as we were driving home, the song Bad Day by Daniel Powter came on the radio. See, Lizzie really was my ever faithful companion taking care of us even after the end!

In the mean time, I have a new assistant. She secured the job the day after we lost Lizzie. She found us! She is of a different persuasion, and has settled quite nicely into our life style. I named her Sparrow (for Captain Jack Sparrow) and after 30 years of no animals in bed policy John lets her sleep with us every night. The three of us spoon under the covers keeping snuggly warm.
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Dad made Sparrow new digs for Christmas. Check out the eye makeup - just like Captain Jack!

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As you can imagine, the past week has been super duper fun, busy and exciting. The part that has been really overwhelming is the intricate computer stuff (understanding the ins and outs of what it takes to run a site like this - words I have never heard before)! As you can imagine, Ricky is a genius regarding these things and I am trying really hard to get in line. I will never be a Ricky Tims when it comes to these matters, but at least I don’t want to embarrass myself. So, that said, in the midst of Ricky’s involvement with getting the site ready for us, I would call him and say, “now how do you do this on Power Point?” With little or no sleep, he would gently guide me through the process, ALWAYS the total gentleman. It has been crazy, but in the very best way!

Speaking of having help, every once and a while I get an email with a query usually ends with, “Could you have someone on your STAFF look into it, pretty please?” My staff? Hmm, okay! So I would glance at my feet and ask my trusty, faithful companion, Lizzie, if SHE could handle it for me. Yes, Lizzie was our black and white, jumpy stinky dog. I rescued her from a really, really bad home -basically it was a drug dealer’s haven with dozens of dogs to spare. The local vet (who lived down the stree from the ‘action’) told me about the puppies. Thirteen years ago, in the back seat of my white ford Taurus, Lizzie came to Livermore and joined our family. Never having a dog before, little did I know what we were in for - she stole our hearts!

Sadly the day came when we had to say good-bye to her. I don’t do things like this gracefully. I cried so hard my head got stuffed up tight like trying on jeans that are two sizes too small. Getting past the horror of that day, we decided to head for the hills that afternoon. On a back country road I almost threw up in John’s new car (but I didn’t). It was really, really BAD.

The next day John wanted to go for a walk, to the secret place we always took her. As we wandered into Lizzie’s favorite wilderness, John said he wanted to go to Lizzie’s favorite water hole. “No way, No way!”, I said, and we started bickering like an old married couple. Suddenly, from out of the bushes (and I mean Nowhereland), about a football field’s distance down the path - out jumps Lizzie! (to be continued)
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Picture of Lizzie

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Speaking of John, a little history about us. We met at Chico State (that is where I started college) We met at a dorm 50’s party and he looked pretty scary. He kept following me around all night, frankly it was disturbing. He was dressed like a tough guy and being in sound mind I kept trying to ditch him. The next day, my roommate Debbie pointed him out as the guy who was stalking me and I thought, “he’s hot!” So then it was my job to have him remember me (get the picture?) and further more get a date. The rest is history. We have been married over 30 years and have managed to stay flexible with the ebb and flow of life together. Sometimes we start bickering like long time married people, and I wonder what’s up with that?! Then I remember we are old married people! No kidding, though, he has been an incredible cheer leader for me. With out his support my dreams could never have been realized in the way they have.
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Speaking of the good old days!

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Everyone always asks about Mom and Dad. If you ever met them you would understand why. They are both in their 80’s and running strong. In fact, they just got back from a road trip celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. They weren’t sure how long they would be gone, but they took off up the Northern Ca. coast and came back when they ran out of money. I guess some things never change. Mom didn’t want a party, so next week we are going to take them on a mystery date. Can’t tell them and won’t tell you until it is over. It was John’s idea and it is pretty cool.

Mom was never sewer, but she is very creative in her life style. The house they live in is just darling (a Victorian cottage) and it is always fixed up perfectly. Her art is her lifestyle.

You have seen Dad on SQ and he is a very handy and creative person also. In fact he rebuilt the house they live in while they resided in it. That project took seven years and their marriage stood the test!

Mom and Dad live about a mile from us and it is great having them so close at hand. They pop in every now and again, and sometimes come over just to hang. When I am on the road, John has a nice place to eat supper if he gets tired of being alone. I guess you never end baby sitting your kids, right? Tomorrow, my better half.
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My three biggest cheerleaders enjoying a moment in Dubrovnik

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If I can do it, so can you! x

Just to think, about a year ago I was voted off the island (fired, let go, axed, downsized, canned, what ever you want to call it) and yet excited about what 2006 would bring. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the unimaginable. A year ago, I didn’t know what a podcast was, let alone a daily blog. It is safe to say I was a technological dork. This past year I went digital, learned to pod cast and discovered Skype. Did you know you can call your Skype buddies for free and video conference? And finally, Power Point is in my life. No more shuffling around slide carousels. For my birthday last January, John gave me an ipod. Intimidated by such great technology in a little package, now-a-days white buds are always dangling from my ears. Little did I anticipate what 06 would hold and frankly I am so excited about this next year it is hard to wrap my brain around the possibilities. From a year ago to now it has been a whirlwind journey of learning.

I would like to be the first to wish you a Happy New Year. Do stick around; together we are going to have a blast discovering the advantages of the Internet. Possibly the most exciting part of our World Quilting Community is that we are going to build it together.

For my first couple of blogs, I plan to give you a little peek into my family whom I love and adore. They really shape who I am and because of their continued support, this blog and so much more, has come to fruition.

As an aside, I found a horse shoe embedded in a fireplace log we were burning today. I think this means good luck!



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