Friday, 31 October 2008

ReMark on Houston

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.
At one point, I had to remind myself my hours in Houston were turning to minutes, and I forced myself to move along. But not before Mark ever so kindly offered to collaborate on our next issue of Irish Quilting.


Alright, alright, I'll lower my voice.
But really, guys, this is an editor's dream. The whole 3am-layouts, printing-stresses, missed-flight, 5-hour-Houston stay, well it's pretty much all gift wrapped in a bow after landing this loot. And listen, if you aren't a subscriber of Irish Quilting, then this is your kick in the butt to do something!

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 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.
And schmooze I did. I love Americans for schmoozing. I don't think we schmooze in Ireland. It is more like storytelling here. But still, a story is a story? Doesn't matter if you schmooze it or singsong it.
And stories we told.

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)
Anyway, he and I reckon there's a story in everyone. And anyone with an ounce of f-u-n in 'em has a story about a volkswagon. He had a great story. So of course, I had to divulge my volkswagon story, circa 1987, you know, the boy, the beach, the bonfire.

Like, who doesn't have a story about a volkswagon?

Let me know if you have a volkswagon 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

Lessons Learned in Transit

UPDATED: just realized Antique Mommy is hosting for all to share traveling tips. What do you know? I have the perfect post. See, these things happen for a reason!

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.

Not So Fast, Little Lady

This time yesterday I was aboard a Dublin plane enroute to Houston, where the largest quilt show for the biz is happening. Also, where our magazine's distributor is selling us! Check it out!

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 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

Deep Breaths

The glow on my laptop illuminated the time: 4:46 a.m.

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.

Print on!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Don't Be Silly, I Told Him

In the hall closet, where my fabric stash lives, so lives all the linens, towels and toiletries. In search of something, DH grew frustrated. "Honey, where is the..." his cry could be heard.

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


The things I miss.

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:

Curious? Don't know about you, but my 2009 is gonna be rockin'!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Payback with Pink Patchwork

Ok, I can't believe this, but I am blogging this evening on a day -weekday, no less- where I haven't even checked my email. Yes, I have the shakes. Seriously, is my gmail in fear of malfunction because the inbox remains unchecked? Yes. Yes. I think so. Or maybe it's me who will shrivel up.

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

When Dreams Become Reality and Humble Pie's for Dinner

Back when, I was dreaming. One day in June I posted some examples of what made up my dream. Some lovely quilts in Irish settings. I was rambling and in my excitement I took no care to credit the books, the photographer, and was even so bad as to give a less than worthy description of the quilts—my obsessive attention on my dream.

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

The Word Is Out

Last night and this morning my email is bursting full of subscription inquires for our baby Irish Quilting. Because..the media kits have been hitting the cyber streets. (and a big thanks to Pat Sloan for spreading the word.)

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!)

Media packets and more information are available by emailing The website, though only a front image for the moment, is

Excuse me, I have to return to the dredgework of production.

Miss you!