Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I have been having THE best time at the shop lately. Everyone who has come in has had a smile on their face and been very complimentary of the shop and our fabrics and our projects and it's so nice to hear. Thanks so much to ALL of you who make this job so darn FUN.
And, I had a lovely time in Massachusetts. My floorcloth class was full of the same brand of people and they all made gorgeous floorcloths and were very fun to teach. I was talking with Rina about teaching the other day and we both agreed that so much of teaching is not about "teaching" but about "translating." So, I have pictures of the gals from Massachusetts with their projects: First there's Marlene, then there's Shauna and her mother Sallie, then MaryBeth and Marguerite, and finally Arlene and Linda. Thanks, ladies for being such a fun, sweet group and for putting up with my hoarse voice!!! Your floorcloths look Fabu!!!
And speaking of wonderful people, we have this new friend at the shop named Elizabeth and she takes our fabrics and does the neatest things with them. I cajoled her into letting me take a picture of her latest project, which are these throw pillows you see. Aren't they the coolest, most fun and funky things ever??? I'm in love with them, and inspired to make my own throw pillows to go with my decor when I move into the house.
Oh, and speaking of the house!!!... It's coming along great!!! In a few days, I will actually be moving in. That's not to say that the house is completely done and finished and ready, because it's not, but the bedroom and living room are done. My HUGE closet is done and the bathroom will very soon be done so when the bathroom is ready I'm moving in for good. In the meantime I'm moving bits and pieces of my stuff and preparing to take George up on his offer to build me all kinds of shelves and things in my closet.
In other news at the store, we're having a great time in Michaela's Machine Quilting Class. I earned the title of "Speedy Gonzales" when I actually completed my baby flannels quilt last night. It's sooo soft. And I've finished a couple of Turning Twenties that are going to be kits as soon as some fabric comes in that I need. I've started a new batik quilt that is going to be so pretty I think I shall cry. I'm keeping the machine quilters in business, I tell ya. Of course, we have the batik sale coming up. You DO know about the batik sale don't you??? June 30 through July 7 all batiks are buy 3 yards get 1 yard free. So, if you've been jonesin' for some batiks now is a great time to stock up. We've got an incredible selection. WAY too many to put on the web. And all kinds of 108" batik quilt backs and rayon batiks that are great for garments.
Fabric, in general, not just batiks have been pouring into the shop lately. It's like Christmas for us and we don't know what to make something out of next. Happy, happy days.
So, until next time I guess that's all I've got!!!
See you soon!
Posted by Rhea Butler at 8:30 AM
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I find myself back in Boston. Not as a student but as a teacher: I'm teaching the floorcloth workshop tonight at Cambridge Quilt Shop. The sox are in town as well. They lost last night. Pretty badly. As in, 12-2. But, as Mom says: Oh well, if you're gonna lose, you might as well lose big. And after all, tomorrow is another day.
It was so nice to come back and get to see Karen ( who was my "pretend Mom" and took me in while I was staying here in Boston for school these last three years). She has the quilt I made her on her bed and I can tell she and her husband Dan really love it, which makes ME very happy. I'll never be able to repay them for everything they've done, but making them a quilt was one thing I could do to show them how much they've touched my life. That and kick a little ass while I was at school (I just got my last set of grades: all A's, thank you very much). There was no way I was going to slack off when soooo many people were making sacrifices just so I could have the opportunity to go back to school. You feel very different about school when you're older: you realize how much is at stake and you really want to get everything you can out of it.
AnyHOO,.... I rant and I rave.
I had a very interesting car ride down here. A nice young gentleman in a sporty mazda CX-8 (bright blue!!!) was sending smiles my way on the turnpike: all the way from Kennebunkport to the exit for 495. I, of course, returned the smiles while trying not to get into a car accident. And at the rest stop in Kennebunkport there was a jazz band and all kinds of finger foods set up being served by waiters and waitresses in tuxedo jackets. It looked like a wedding reception but, as I saw no bride and groom I can only assume that they were trying to spruce the place up. Mission accomplished. And I saw Freida from our local jewelry store in Damariscotta. Err, rather, she saw me. I must have given her a blank look because I didn't even recognize her and further more wasn't even sure if she was talking to me, but she cleared everything up when she said "You're from my town!" and I said "You work at STARS!!!" Very funny, random encounter. I wonder where she was going... someplace glamorous I bet. And I wonder where Mr. Blue CX-8 was going. He left me at the Worcester exit, blowing me a little kiss. It's nice to know I still got it. He had a Red Sox license plate on his car, too, which truly makes him the perfect guy for me but I'm thinking he was maybe just a fignewton of my imagination. Either way, it perked the long ride up considerably, and like I said, I was VERY careful to pay attention to the road WHILE flirting.
Anyways, I suppose I should mozy... So many people to visit... so little time. I'm just enjoying this little bit of downtime before the craziness starts. It's going to be a whirlwind trip as I'm leaving for home at 6:00 am. Got to beat that early morning traffic and got to be at a meeting at 10:00 am in Nobleboro.
Wish me luck!!!
PS... these are pix of Dan and Karen on their Harleys. Aren't they just the picture of bad to the bone?
Posted by Rhea Butler at 12:59 PM
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Once upon a time, in my family, when I was 10 or 12 or so, we all had the Mid-winter blahs. It was February, I believe, and all Mainers get a little nutty around February due to the cold/lack of daylight/cost of heating fuel, etc, etc, etc. Anyways, my Mom had bought this little Iris that sat on our table top and never really bloomed, until one day, all of a sudden, in the middle of February, it bloomed a lovely, purpley-blue. My Mom, my brother and I declared it "Iris Day" and made it our own personal holiday and gave each other little gifts. And every year after that (for three of four years, anyways) we celebrated "Iris Day" and used it as an excuse to cheer ourselves up when there was really no other Holiday to look forward to. And all of this really has nothing to do with nothing, except that My Mom has a killer deep, dark Purpley-Blue Iris in her garden now and it blossomed the other day and gave me pause and made me very happy and reminded me of Iris Days past.
In other news, SOOOOOO much has been going on at the store. I know it's been a lil' bit since my last post but the craziness at the store was mostly to blame, and I'm glad it's been crazy. Happy/Crazy, not Crazy/Crazy. If that makes any sense. Here's a picture of our newest friend Lynn with her "Fresh Cut Floorcloth." She was one of the glas in our floorlcoth workshop this weekend. We've had oodles of classes (Machine Quilting, Two-fer Runner, Skrappy Sack, Floorcloth Workshop, and Doggie Leashes for the 8-12 year old set, not to mention Sewing Lounge which could be a whole footnote of craziness) and seen lots of old friends (Most notably my kindred spirit Robina from Vermont, who I KNOW is out there somewhere, sewing something fabu and reading this right now... HI ROBINA!!!) This is a picture of her in a "Turkish Dancer" jacket which she made from a pattern and fabric purchased at a GREAT little shop in Damariscotta Mills that I know. She brought in 2 little sprites (Anne and Olivia) who were new to the whole Alewives/Midcoast Maine thing. It was obvious they were having a magic weekend.
And the house is coming along slowly but surely. George says I will be able to move in in a few days, but I think not, as I'm sure I would have "Unfinished Kitchen" nightmares. I say, I'll move my stuff in and certainly "hang out" a lot more, but I shant be moving in until the kitchen is done. If I have a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen, I'm good to go. Remove one of these three key ingredients, and call me crazy, but it kinda takes the fun out of the whole thing. And when everything (meaning the upstairs, the downstairs, etc, etc, etc) is done (we're talking many more weeks, here, people) then I'm going to have a huge shindig/open house and really warm the place up. I'd love to invite Betty (the home's former owner) but I'm afraid she'd faint, it's so different.
And last but not least, i went to my little sister Johanna's art show last night. The whole school was decked out in everyone's art work. Kudos to her art teacher ( whose name eludes me at the moment) for doing such a great job, and the graphic designer in me apprecciated the way EVERY piece was mounted and matted and presented so attractively. It makes a huge difference and did not escape my attention. There's a lot of good energy going around in Johanna's little school. It sounds cliched, but it really does seem like a family there, and every student gets a lot of praise and support and all the benefits of a small school. Johanna's art work was great. She puts all kinds of little details in her art. My favorites were the clay Oyster shell mobile with dangling seahorse, sea otter, angel fish and dolphin, and the Conch Shell shaped color wheel. Other favorites by kids I didn't know were the Miro inspired "Pig Elvis" and a great take on Munch's "The Scream." There was also an adorable talent show. As a Bonus, on the way home, Mom and I stopped to get cold drinks, and on the eddy near their house there was amazing fog ("sea smoke" Mom calls it) hanging on after a thunder shower. The showers really cooled off the air and the sun came out for a view of the eddy I had never seen before. I had to pull over and photograph it. Just as I was pulling out, our friend Kim and her daughter Avae were pulling over to do the exact same thing.
It was a lovely ending to a lovely day!
Be back soon (I promise!!!) Class tonight with Michaela and the girls... I have to go do my homework!!!
Posted by Rhea Butler at 10:18 AM