Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Our last few calls we’ve focused on the positive. The year 2008 was a positive one for me, where the good outweighed the bad. Even despite my sister’s illness, we focus on the present and a positive outlook. And, people? It works. Some of you who know me outside this blog, know what I mean. And if you don’t, just drop me an email and I will share my *secret*.
Tonight my sister told me she did her visionary board to back up all her positive thoughts and to drive them forward into 2009. Visionary boards are a visual confirmation of your positive thoughts—a board with pictures of concepts, things and words that convey your affirmations, your desires and your positive thinking. What you want, what you deserve and what you’ll get!
After a week of hanging with lozenges and lemsip (think Theraflu), I decided it was time to reclaim my girls. Together we spent a few hours cutting up glossy magazines into insightful mementos, enlightening and inspiring in pictures and in words. Here’s mine.
Allow me to clarify:
New Home, kitchen, study, bedroom: while we live in a gorgeous area, our house is old and we either need to build or buy...Rock on
Mind Over Matter: need I say more?
Sleek and slim: more so, free and happy with your bod, baby!
Flowers: natural beauty
France: from the girls, home of previous au pair and Euro Disney, need I say more?
Love: for all and to all
Sandy Beach: for DH, he’s craving a vacation hotspot
Movies: more free time to catch my matinees, me myself and I
Flowers: more natural beauty
Mascara wand: from the girls, the only off-limits tool in my makeup kit
Irish Quilting: need I say more?
Shampoo: from the girls, I'm not sure, but I'm all for clean hair
Baby sleeping: from the girls, I had a startling moment with this one, but ahh, it's the sleeping! more ZZZZzzzzzz.
So there you go, a preview of this verry new year for 2009.
What’s in store for you?
Happy New Year!
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
This week I’m sick. Feverish, stuffy and sneezing. Oh my.
At least I have that. I am sick. So when social services come to ask why my kids aren’t in school, I have an excuse. Buried under three pounds of Kleenex, I ask you, is anyone else afraid to drive during an attack of the sneezes?
I kid. Not about thoughts of sneezing into a roadside ditch, but rather the excuse. The truth be told I had no excuse.
Yesterday DH called to ask why Babydoll was home when he saw other kids in the school grounds. Really? The fridge calendar says ‘School Holidays’ on Monday, Dec 22—whoops! Must have meant after school on Monday.
Today DH called to tell me, yet again, he’s seen kids at school. Not again.
Quickly I displace. “Yeah? So why didn’t YOU take Babydoll to school?” After a phone call, it’s confirmed. School holidays began at half day today. Darn! What I wouldn’t give for a quiet, albeit sneeze-induced, morning!
All was better when DH arrived home to nurse me and mind his truant children. A private nurse. Oh yes. This was quickly debated by our 4yo and 5yo unschooled scholars.
Babydoll: Mom, Daddy can’t be your nurse because he is a boy. Boys are doctors and girls are nurses.
Cutiepie: Yes he can, Babydoll!
Babydoll: No, he can’t!
Cutipie: Yes, he can. He’s like, you know, that boy? You know, our godmother in America? You know, her wife! He’s a nurse AND he’s a boy!
Refusing defeat, she turns to me, “Mom! What is Babydoll’s godmother’s wife’s name?”
Me: achoo! uh? achoo! wife? achoo! who?
Cutiepie: You know! What is his name? Babydoll’s godmother’s wife in America?
Me: You mean Steve?
Cutiepie: Yeah! Steve. See? Babydoll, your godmother’s wife Steve, he’s a boy AND a nurse!!
Let’s hear it for gender equality! I think?
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Chocolate ginger snaps, chocolate biscuits, chocolate mints. You name it, I eat it.
I'd like to say I don't know what has gotten into me, but I do. Besides cookies, of course.You see, our au pair has gone home. But before she left, between her and DH, there was more candy, sweets and chocolate in this house than at a grandmother's who's awaiting her grandchildren.
Anyway, I'm trying to empty the house of such evil (and young Ms. Au Pair, I found the stash of chocolate you donated to the cookie jar, thank you very much--NOT a very kind goodbye gesture, if you get my drift, my heavy overweight drift!).
I realize I could just toss the sweet selections in the trash, but really, what challenge would that be?
Besides I have a good friend, here in Ireland, who had just returned to work after many years at home. She's returned to her consulting position with Unislim (Weight Watcher equivalent). So yes, I'm supporting her. Oh yes, I've already signed up for classes in January.
See? I have a plan. And it does reach beyond the cookie jar, I promise.
It doesn't help that I have been housebound with two little sickies for the last five days. We think and hope they are improving, but the sick bug is in deep.
It all started the morning after our gingerbread party. Hmmm? Which by the way are on display here. Mind you, we did remodel several times over in our construction phases.
Babydoll's house actually withstood the building phase--no remodeling required, walls stood firm and roof upheld. I like to say the candies have remained the same. But I can't. Why? Reread post, no sweets are safe from me!
Ah! Here is the entrepreneur of the bunch. While the others experienced remodeling hassles, reinforcing roofs and walls, this little chicky was outwittingly building panel pieces--why fuss with the whole mess, when you can build, decorate and eat as you go?
Here is a happy builder. Hopefully the manor survived his transit home.
ps., sorry for the stretch photos-- it's the seasonal new graphics, they tweak out my photos!
Friday, 12 December 2008
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
The notion, that, as your own boss, no one is keeping tabs on you is soooo overrated. In fact, the freedom, the liberty, or whatever blissful name you call it, well, it’s just downright deceiving. A grand illusion, that’s what I call it.
Sure, I can come collect it. Freedom? Oh, yeah, freedom to over commit.
Well, I’ll just fit that in between this and that. Yes! I’m at liberty to squeeze in tasks.
Um, ok, I’ll do that while I do this. Right. Now I’m imaging I’ve cloned myself.
They say, "it's 5pm quitting time somewhere", and I say, "it's 9am starting time somewhere, and in that place is someone I can channel." Yeah, like who needs sleep, when there's work to be done?
And housework? Oh, it's there too.
If I walk down the hall one more time with that flint and fluff snickering in the corner, out comes the hoover. Really, how long can that take? Too long.
Or, as I feel the sun streaming through the windows, I look and quiz myself: how did I manage so many streaks—surely I can wipe a window better than that! What? A challenge? Here I come.
One glance in the girls’ room and I’m chasing another taunt. I mean, tangent. How sneaky and good would that be if, while they're in school, I sweep clean of toys outgrown? Too good.
Today I found myself calculating for when rented offices are a possibility in the budget.
Until then my choice of concentration--aka denial of the obvious--is the closed door. If you can’t see it, it can’t be added to the list.
Oh and Christmas decorations? Boxes were opened; garland and shining balls are protruding all sides. Still. Beyond the decorated tree, it’s as if Santa’s elves
When I’m done admiring, or more like, when my mind drifts to the next task, I close the door.
Monday, 8 December 2008
And then there are the other days. Such as...in an airport , 18 hours travel in and 6 hours to go, amid a showing of anxious and weary passengers, Cutiepie climbs into my lap hooking her plump hands around my neck, pulling us face to face, and with volume control that is nonexistent, says, “Mommy, I’m in love with you.”
Or the morning we needed to bring boxes down from the attic. Confident and informing, Babydoll orchestrated the task. “Mommy, you will have to go up into the attic.” Cutiepie chimes in, “Yeah, cause the hole is small and Daddy is too wide to fit.” At which time Babydoll clarifies, “You know, wide is just a nice word for fat.”
Or like today, when I came home late from meetings and exhausted to the bone. I was greeted by my enthusiastic daughters. “Mommy, mommy!” “Guess what!” “You’ll never guess!” The excitement was bursting through the house.
Finally, Babydoll spilled. “Daddy’s making dinner!!” “Really! He is!”
And then like that, I realized there’s a tree in my living room. Christmas has arrived.
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
For months now, I've been run ragged with you-know-what and I decided I get a little play time.
Things are going well. Unfortunately you'll have to wait just a little bit longer for a full update on IT and everything, but trust me IT will be worth the wait.
Lately it's been catch up time with my girls and my sewing box. (but don't worry, just cause I'm not blogging about IT doesn't mean IT is not in full force. And if you haven't a clue about what I'm blogging, then don't worry all will soon be revealed.
Friday, 31 October 2008
Well, I've returned home from Houston. What a blast! It was worth every jet lagged moment. Truth be told, I was not on US soil long enough to be jet lagged, and that, my friends is the best of both worlds when you can't afford to be tired. Houston, was as I know it to be, vast and large, but most importantly, sunny. I was as happy as a kitten purring in the sunshine walking into Quilt (trade show) Festival 2008.
Inside, the show was vast as well. A great display of real quilt talent and treasures. Including, you know who from above, the gregarious and ever friendly Mark Lipinski.
What a hoot. He is everything you think he is. His incredible humor aside, within a minute or two you feel like you're dishing the dirt with a long time friend.
YES. MARK LIPINSKI IS GOING TO WORK WITH ME. A FEATURE, FABRICS AND QUILTS. PATTERNS, DID I MENTION, FOR YOU MY READERS, A MARK LIPINSKI PATTERN?
Alright, alright, I'll lower my voice.
All U.S. or Canada people order here now and if you're anywhere else in the world, call now 353 1 201 9938 or order via firstname.lastname@example.org for your copy of Irish Quilting!
While the economy might be in the tanks, it makes for good schmoozing, what with the absense of crowds, the isles were clear and the hosts easily accessible.
Which reminds me. Ted of Gutermann, originally from New York--the home of schmoozers--and I shared some stories of common thread. (Get it? Gutermann, thread? haha)
Like, who doesn't have a story about a volkswagon?
Let me know if you have a volkswagon tale...you never know Ted and I might co-author that Volkswagon coffee table book. Stranger things have happened.
Hey, even Mark had a volkswagon story. Well, of course he did.
Saturday, 25 October 2008
Just thought I'd share for those unfortunate few in transit, who should suddenly find themselves stranded overnight. Some tips to live by, let's just say.
Spend your money on a good haircut, ladies. A good do will hold up through hours of airliner headrests, sans styling products held in more than 50ml containers, harsh, yet gratis, mini-bottle shampoo, wimpy hotel dryers, and lots of hair-pulling events.
Just the other evening I was justifying the 100Euro cut by my fav coiffeur. He is second only to Babydoll's godmother Andi, who cut my hair for donkeys' years paid for in lattes and margaritas. Which, coincidently is what I argued..100 Euro makes up for all my fantastic freebie cuts received over the years.
A brightly colored scarf is a must on your traveling self. What makes as a great top accompaniment one day, can be a smashing belt the next day. And the same-shift, different-day counter agent hasn't even a clue as to same clothes worn AGAIN!
Don't understimate the value of black clothes. Black worn twice is less noticeable than that fushia paisley and blue blouse over white jeans. On a timely note, enroute to Quilt Show, I do believe I am one of few quilters who continually chooses black attire over colors...can't take the San Francisco out of the girl, people!
Know and Use The Technology That IS Availble to you In these days where security rules mobility, you can no longer just hop on an earlier plane if there's room. Anyone else remember scanning for flights to get out of dodge earlier? Right now, my laptop is worth every ounce of its 14.9 pounds of schlepping. The misery of time lost is forgotten when you can get work done online, or better still, catch up on blogging.
Be Kind to Your Husband Honestly, this doesn't pertain to me on this trip, but I did just overhear an older lady, tersely and loudly, say to her husband, "Now, DON'T be all obnoxious, like you ordinarily are!"
1. in his golden age, really?
2. in a Brittish accent, no less causing this yankee to chuckle, and
3. from a lady I just assisted with luggage, cause according to her, her husband has artificial limbs.
Tell me you're not laughing.
All U.S. or Canada people order here now and if you're anywhere else in the world, call now 353 1 201 9938 or order via email@example.com for your copy of Irish Quilting!
Ok, where was I before the commercial break?
Oh, on a plane feeling all smug. There I am, mag's gone to printers and I'm jet-setting to my first trade show.
THEN, at my connecting Heathrown, my mobile phone is a buzz with the calls from the head print office. Money issues? no. Deadline issues? no. Printing issues. Yes. No, please say it isn't so. So I'm now frantic and desperate to find my designer and fix the pages for printing can carry on. Thankfully, I have a designer who alive and well and can do the job.
I had to do everything to get this magazine to perfect shape, my life depends on it. So does the advertising, the subscribers, my mind and soul, my marriage, my childeren's childhood, the aupair's return (ah! she'll never find her passport!), everything!
Onto Houston. Wrong. During all the fiasco, I miss my flight. Well I miss my boarding, I'm sure my plane was still on English soil, but you know, post911, nothing goes.
I'm beyond furious, I'm a responsible adult and this happens. The last flight I missed was in 1994 and I missed my NY connection to Martinque and that resulted in 5 further connections and 7 hours in San Juan...but that was after an all night drinking fest in NYC with Lenny from the Bronx. Or was it Benny? Jenny?
Anyway, I'm back out the door to get my shuttle and hit Houston much this morning. DH questions the logic of 36 hour journey for 4 hours of convention?
Yeah, but the Mexican food in Houston? Gotta have it!
Friday, 24 October 2008
One thousand grey hairs
A dozen stress warn wrinkles
Five abandoned best friends
Two kids in therapy
One overworked au pair
a very lonely husband later,
there is a magazine.
I pressed Send for the approval of the premier issue of Irish Quilting.
Monday, 20 October 2008
I attended to and fulfilled his request, and said, with a sad murmur,
"You see when I had the time to sew, this closet would get a good cleaning once a week. I miss my sewing."
To which my DH said,
"Yeah, well, since you don't sew anymore, can we just get rid of it all?"
I think not. grrrr!
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
I miss my bed.
I miss my daughters.
I miss my blog friends.
I miss my sewing time.
Soon, soon, I will have some of my life back.
Oh, but the excitement. This is crazy. More important than all, this is a dream come true.
There are three people in my world who have a inkling of what I’m going through and that’s cause they’re here holding my hand and when they aren’t holding my hand, they are busy producing this dream come true. Some people are priceless.
I'm talking about Ben and Laura (aka Twirly) who work magic on their Macs; none of this would be real without them!
And to my DH, who has turned husband extraordinaire through it all.
Oh, Cutiepie and Babydoll, well, let’s just say they get it. In our house, in the cutiest of voices, everything can be heard to have a ‘pattern’, ‘a draft’ and ‘a good photo?’
Oh, and the girls? They are forever having “a plan.”
We are at that wonderful stage where everything mommy and daddy say is repeated.
Guess I should be thankful we are at a productive stage of our lives and what we hear isn’t all that bad for child rearing...I hope.
Yesterday Cutiepie held up our 8 page media packet and exclaimed, “Mommy, making a magazine is SO HARD.” I know honey. Try adding 92 pages to that!
Did I say three kind saints in my life? I meant four... and I’ll let you guess at who.
Yep, Natalie, she minds, feeds, dresses, entertains and teaches my sweethearts...knitting. Tugs at the heart, don’t it?
And just for hanging in there and coming back when you never know when I might surface, here's a sneekpeak:
Monday, 6 October 2008
Either way, I'll post this before one of us self destructs.
This is a little diddy we did in one afternoon. 'Cause we have no more time than that, even that time was borrowed.
Babydoll and Cutiepie both attended a local playschool over the last three years. When the school was introduced to me, it was said of the owner, "she is a godsend and will help in whatever way with schedules." I'll never forget our first phone conversation, when she said, "You tell me what you need, and I'll see how I can accommodate you and your daughters." To an overworked mom struggling to make deadlines and schedules meet, Michelle, the owner, was a dream come true.
This month Michelle had a baby girl and ironically, named her Babydoll's name (no, not 'Babydoll').
I could not pass up the opportunity to payback her kindness and since she already had two boys, surely she could use more pink.
So here we have it. It is a basic patchwork, quick and easy. I've found the simplicity of patchwork allows me to play with my machine quilting. When machine quilting images, I find a canvas of all squares helps make measurements even. If you turn the quilt over you can see the rows of flowers.
Ok time's up. Off to soothe my gmail shakes.
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Well, now that dream is realized and as all roads do, they lead back to the beginning, for reflection or otherwise. We examine where we come from—as we should. As such, I have adjusted that post for every good photo deserves a credit and every quilt its own appreciation.
That particular post illustrated photos from Pat Sloan’s book Tour of Ireland with lovely quilts made exclusively for that venture. We are lucky if we can repeat the genuine and fantastic love of Ireland in our Irish Quilting magazine. The copies of pictures posted on my blog were from photographer Cheryl Johnson found in the book published by Leisure Arts.
This same group of people has contributed to our first issue generously. Not only has Pat provided a quilt and pattern to feature, she wrote an article for the issue! But it doesn’t stop there, she has been promoting the magazine and we’ve loads of inquires from every corner of America. Pat is a very real and humble person as I’ve come to know her well in cyber space and she has been very gracious in this most embarrassing gaffe of mine. Another instance of the exceptional character of quilters. Truly loving and kind. Thanks Pat!
So remember, it’s not... Watch what you wish for, it could come true,
But yet... it is, Believe in your wish, and give all of it the uptmost respect it deserves.
Oh, and don’t think I didn’t try to pin this blunder on DH. Of course. Who wouldn’t try? I asked if I could retell it as if he posted that no-credit-no-respect-post. He said ahem, no.
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Our designer, photographers and I have been buried under layouts and content proofing, nary a moment to flout the obvious.
And even at that, the image below is not best; I've done something to the PDF while making a jpg and it's not cooperating obviously! I don't want you to feel neglected so I'm going to post it still.
Hold on to your batting, here is the preview. (drumroll, please!)
Excuse me, I have to return to the dredgework of production.
Monday, 29 September 2008
Oh, and I'm in love with you too.
Graphics courtesty of Twirly--ain't she great?
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Friday, 12 September 2008
Today, Cutiepie summoned me to the toilet for the usual maintenance. Helping her finish her usual-but messy-business, I asked, "How does your tummy feel? All ok?"
"G-dood" she retorted. On a second thought apparently, while washing her hands, she says to me,
"Mommy? Why do you always ask that? It's working. You know, my tummy, it's working."
Right. Ok. Then.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
And shopping. Have I mentioned shopping? I am not a big fan of shopping. I know, I know, *gasp* But it is a delight to see the art of shopping come alive right before my daughters' eyes. Cutiepie is hooked. Every car ride now prompts her to ask, "Are we going to go shopping, Mommy?"
And the groceries below...yummy delish shopping. Aren' they so pretty?
The girls are better travelers on every trip.
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Who out there has lived a double life? Come on. Out with it. Any secret agents? Any despicable two-timing cheats? We want to hear from you.
Cause I'm guilty. Oh so verry guilty.
What only nine months ago, I was lonely, lost and looking for love. Remember that? The great love affair to be had? The great search was on. Looking for love. So what if I kissed a few frogs?
And now, look at me. I'm a slut. A bonafide slut. I'm sleeping around on my man worse than Ross ever did when he and Rachel were on a break.
You see, Mr. JobRightNow has been good to me. And yet too good. Yeah, can we blame it on him? He pays me, he lets me have my own time and has gotten a lot less demanding. But when I'm with him, it's boring. Safe, but boring.
And then, along comes Mr. FollowYourDreams. Capturing my heart, imagination and all my senses, he's now got the attention of my friends and family. Go for it. He's a keeper.
But what about him, you know that guy that nursed me back to life nine months ago? I'm sneaking around behind his back with my new man. Oye. Cheating takes a lot of work. I think I'm getting an ulcer. Or are those butterflies?
Thankfully, Mr. FollowYourDreams is about to become Mr. BlissfulReality in just two shy months. The nuptials are written, the guests are waiting and this bride is about to walk the isle. Then the news will spread, it will be printed all over the island. Literally. Across 96 pages.
And my Mr. JobRightNow? What will become of him? I don't know. But what I want is to stop the deceiving. Stop the cheating. And start the living.
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
I only wish I had more time to involve myself with swaps. They are so much fun and you always get rewarded with someone else's talent!
You will see from these pictures that I love to put them in play at our house.
My first one had the bright cheery colors that my bathroom needs. We are still in the planning stages of its remodel, but this little doll below is setting the color palette.
My second swap sweetie really set the motion in my sitting room. The colors tied everything in--especially my couch, which is of a color that is not my preference. Across from this terracotta couch is my newly painted accent wall in forest green. So the colors blend so well.
And like I wrote above, I use my gifts. We love this on this table--the table, my favorite--had gotten marred and marked as things do in life with little kiddies, so this piece is a perfect topper. And regardless to how they look, they are durable--love that all that stitching is machine washable. Last week I even cringed when a red wine glass toppled over--but it came out of wash as new as when it arrived! I love this addition to my home!
And another recieved goodie. I think it might still be feeling its way around my chosen room. Love it in my dining room here, but it seem to be on its own on this lone wall; I'd like to see what I can do to make it more comfortable. Again, the colors could not have been better picked for this particular room (see the curtains?)
Finally, I have one interesting swap that included a favorite item, but I'm just at the finishing touches. Stay tuned.
Be back in a flash!