Thursday, 28 August 2008

Guilty as Sin

Oh! My life!
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

In Appreciation

Following suit of my pal, Toni over at The Quilting Pirate, we take a moment to appreciate works by others.

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!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Birmingham, Baby!

Yep I’m in Birmingham. At the Festival of Quilts. Alone. Well, ok, with 25,000 quilters, but this mom is off duty. That makes for such silence, I mumble aloud and my own voice makes me jump.

I hadn’t intended it that way, but between you and me, it’s nice.

Many months ago I booked a double room and sought out the girl power on our island to join me on this quilting venture. In an email I invited anyone who might be willing. Lots of sauce, but no bites, funny enough. Oh, but, I was close. The email subject line said, “booked a hotel room, anyone interested in coming to Birmingham with me?” (ok, it really said, “come play with me in Birmingham”) I fired it off one morning. Apparently the power of one girl was actually being powered through her husband’s email. His office email. In a male-dominated financial work place. Oh yes. That email made the rounds.

And still I’m solo, much to the dismay of the lads and their overactive imagination in that bank of-you-know-what-country.

Maybe next year boys, cause this year’s trip is biz, and the computer has yet to power down. Though, it did take me donkeys’ years to fall asleep last night. No Goodnight [Mr.]Moon reading, no excessive thirst, no 32 trips to the potty, not even one imaginary spider or bedbug to shoo away. Heck, I didn’t know what to do with all these covers and without DH how do I play tug-o-war?

Alas, the exhibition is wonderful. So much eye candy. Both in quilts and vendor stands. First, the beauty: the quilts. Wow. Such inspiration. I rarely take photographs, but my daughters have become so interested—I blame Mary Poppins VI, she’s finished her first quilt top and asking for more. It’s contagious, people.

So there I am taking photos of the sparkling mermaid, crazy pieced pigs, and the pink cow, my personal favourite. Funny, how when you’re alone, you have more time to capture the details and remember your favs. Apart from early business meetings and interviews, my unaccompanied viewing is so heavenly. There’s no dissecting multiple opinions nor are there meeting times and places to remember. I love the voyeurism, seeing and listening to strangers’ comments, especially when I know the quilter of the quilt being examined. So many lovely compliments, nary a negative word. Every year I recognize more and more names in the program. This morning I’m off to find my friend Jane’s work.

But not before I go skype my daughters. I promised them a peek at my hotel room. The camera has added the best dimension to our away from home calls. Yesterday the three girls put in their request for Fat Quarters: cutiepie wants princess print, babydoll wants fairy print, and MP VII wants green lined print. The orders are in.

But before I shop, can I just say? The bags on trolley wheels? While in theory a great idea, in the vendor stands where we choose to pack like sardines, they are painful what with minimal ankle and foot room becoming a sore point. Just my two cents. I’ve found a new appreciation for the hall’s cloak rooms provided for stash check ins.

Happy shopping wherever you are! And watch your feet!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Have You Seen This Man?

It's easy to miss him, or not...what with all the gushing quilters clamboring all around him.

Please meet my interviewee, Mr. Ricky Tims; though I realize his charm and talents are well likely to precede his name in blogville just as they did this morning. After an early morning flight, I arrived in Birmingham amid chatter in the hotel lobby, chatter on the shuttle and more chatter in the entrance line about this musician, this quilter, this storyteller. I knew the instant I began eavesdropping, who they were talking of at this colorful Festival of Quilts.

An hour later I found myself straddling the throng of babbling quilters working hard to position themselves into a conversation with The Man himself. Showing uptmost interest and sincerety, he greeted each quilter with all of his attention. I quickly felt sinister for pressing forward knowing my motives were less humbling than that of each mesmerized lady who stood before him. I had nothing to offer but a pitiful apology for missing his show the night before.

His glorious quilts hung all around me. His queue of visitors had allowed me the time to browse and admire each one. Wow. He was pure artist in every sense of the word. And yet, they hung there now, mocking me. I missed his show; something told me the quilts were just the tip of the iceberg. How dare I crowd in with my business agenda?

And yet, he is kind. One look in his eyes and you know he is kind. True to this word, he graciously invited me tomorrow morning for a one-to-one chat. Privately. Before any of his fans arrive at the festival.

But not this one. I should be so lucky.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A Winning Family, well sort of

Remember all those friends waiting for their babies? Well, they’re all arriving now. So far I’ve counted four baby lasses and one lad. And they’re so darn cute!

I’ve only finished quilts for two wee ones and am in the middle of a third pink piecing. The fourth girl is daughter to a quilter, so, um, no, I won’t be quilting for her little one. I’m sure her mom can quilt circles around me. Did I ever say I was a good quilter? No. And know that I’m not. I admit it.

Every August is the Tinahealy Show; it’s very comparable to the County or State fairs in the States. Every year we browse tents looking at all the home produce, home crafts and colourful quilts submitted by folks all over the island. This year we decided to get in on the action.

The girls did a good few crafts and would have even one first prize for Mr. Melon below, but we forgot the ‘on a plate’ as per the entry instructions. Our Mr. Melon head was quite capable upright without the plate.

Truth be told it was Mary Poppins IV and me that created him, the girls’ interest waned after the decorated egg and recycled art.

I had hoped to get my favourite quilt entered. But as it goes, it was not done in time. I even stayed up late the night prior. But you know what? It is to be my favourite and darn it I’m gonna take my time and do it right. So I called a friend. We had been at their house recently and a quilt I made {in a rush, I note here] hung neatly and picturesque in a foyer leading to the kids’ room.

So I asked if I could borrow it for the fair.

The girls ooooed and aaaaed in each tent as we spotted our very own work. Verry proud of their drawings as Babydoll points them out to DH. A family of successful artists. Yeah, right. And, we’re also millionaires, did I ever tell you?

When I collected my quilt, the organizer tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Here are the judges’ comments for your quilt.” Judges? Comments? Um, this was just for fun, people. Really.
But no, I got it, at least I thought I got it. ..there were ribbons awarded...I just thought one look and the judges would know I was only entering for fun. Let’s just say I knew what was in that envelope. I’m not fooling anyone, people.
The comments read:

1. Great notion for kids. Children will love it. [play pockets with finger puppets]
2. Not well made. Not. Well. Made. NOT. WELL. MADE. [in case you missed that one, it’s not made well.]
3. Could benefit from technique lessons. [like, daaaaaah, don’t I know]
4. We hope you’ll try again next year. [you bet I will, if only to see my girls’ eyes light up again]

And so finally, my mind and the world were in agreement. There were marvellous quilts in there, of which I have great respect, but my work is not yet competition level. I do need classes and practice. (Maybe I shouldn't have entered, do you think?)

DH had been reading over my shoulder and I think it had a bigger effect on him than me.

“That’s a bit harsh, isn’t it?” He mumbled, head down. Poor guy, you’d think we’d have to go home and get our report card signed by mammy. He was so deflated.

“Oh, honey” I consoled him. “I’m a writer, not an accomplished quilter like some. Just means I have room to learn. Come on, let’s go home, we’ve got a magazine to publish.”

Speaking of which, you will not believe the pros we’ve got contributing in the first issue of Irish Quilting.

Mind if I namedrop a little? Ricky Tims, Elizabeth Scott, Pat Sloane, Luana Rubicon, Anna Maria Horner, Tammy Tadd...just to name a few.

Patterns, patterns, and more patterns. Stunning photography. Tips and techniques. And a whole lot more.

Trust me, I’ll learn yet how to quilt like a pro!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Sometimes It's Mom Who's Oblivious

Lately my life is running a million miles an hour. Just go go go. But I do make an effort to extract 10, 20 30 minutes here and there for by two babies. And still, at 3 and 5 yo it can take so very little to make them smile. Donning high heels with freshly painted toe nails or peeling carrots for dinner or the extracting measure tape in my sewing box brings seconds, if not, minutes of awe and attraction. They are little adventurers, they are.

Tonight, as I popped them into the bath, the luxorious bubble bath I beckoned for myself, I said a little word of thanks. Having just coaxed them using piggy back rides and fair lady dances, I murmered, 'thank you. They are old enough to manage alone together in the bathroom. Maybe, I can go sew for a few minutes.' This desperate act of abandonment always makes me think of two possibilities.

1. Too much noise means the place is soon waterlogged and soggy everything.


2. Too little noise might very well lead you to this:

Tonight it was the wet variety. Oh, well. They can't always be angels.

Like, when Babydoll was barely 13 months old. She had been walking for four months already. Really. She resembled the AllyM*Beal dancing baby--for her frame and face was so infantile, yet her limbs moved her swiftly along upright.

On this night, she was spashing away in the tub while I sat across from her on the floor reading a book. Clearly this is a scene from a few years back since a) I had time to keep the floors clean enough to settle in and b) I had time enough to read a book for no reason other than it was a good read and and it featured neither Dora nor My Little Pony.

Sometime into the bath play, she rose to her feet. My head buried in the book, I sensed this movement and commanded her, "Babydoll, sit down. You don't stand in the bathtub, you'll fall." This happened several times until, it seemed Babydoll fully understood her mommy to be the smart and safe one. Right? Wrong.

As I was patting my proverbial back for my ability to teach my child to follow my commands, a strange silence filled the room. No water splashing. No toys swishing. This time I fully looked up head to head, face to face with Babydoll and the bathtub side blocking all other view. She had a simple face, no grin, no frown, just a simple stare for me.

As I leaned up and forward, my questioning fell short, when I immediately realized Babydoll and her toy pals were sitting in an empty bathtub! The water had emptied out much to my inattention. She was such a gem, that baby. A cold, but delightful and obiedient baby.

Tonight, browsing her 13month picture folder, I found more evidence of a life under less pressure. These pictures are from Hawaii, when I clearly had too much time on my hands and apparently spent it shopping for her bathing suits.

The next was my least favorite. Nothin' special, you know? Paris Hilton would be disappointed.

Now, we're talking. Hawt. Pretty in pink.

And, my favorite, the polka dot bikini. Makes you want to sing along.

Fortunately for Babydoll, there was an endless supply of water in both the ocean and our hotel pool.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Where I've Been


Soaking in a bubble bath
Reading a good long book
Hosting a dinner party
Window shopping
Enjoying a matinee
Walking in the mornings
Watching LivingTVmarathons
Sipping a piƄacolada

But I'm still thinking of you all!