Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vacay! Hooray!

Oh, why don't I take more vacations? Silly me.

My good friends at Ackfeld Mfg. (Peg & Skip Ackfeld) have been asking me to come down & visit them near Branson, MO. Of course, being the work-a-holic that I am, I've been great at conjuring up excuses why I am too busy to take a few days off. Fortunately for me, Peggy Ackfeld booked me for a speaking engagement at a quilt guild meeting near Branson, knowing I would surely visit in the name of work. Thanks Peggy. I owe ya one!

Well, I had such a fantastic time on my "business" trip, that I thought I'd share a few photos of my hard work with you all.

Here I am telling my story of how Patch Abilities came to be. I tend to morph into quite a ham, when I get in front of a large group of people. Surprise, surprise!

This group gets together once a year at their local library (I am told), for a guild meeting & asks everyone to donate $5 to the library. What a great idea to help out their library.

Work, work, work. That's all I do. Here I can be seen deeply contemplating important business
decisions. It helps to take my shoes off.
It also helps if I move my chair to a more sunny location. That's a nice garden waterfall behind me - it was necessary for my decision making.
Rhonda Ragspun, if you're reading this, these are the pictures you've pestered me about. Enjoy!

I worked with these unusually tame flamingos. Shhh. Quiet, or you'll scare them.

To the right here, I am doing my best to test out the fiber quality of this loosely woven fabric. I guess, some people call this a hammock. My tests were inconclusive though, so I'll have to go back for more . . . uh . . . . testing. Yeah, that's it . . . testing.
I spent 5 gruelling days at the Ackfeld Ranch. I worked so hard. So hard. To the left, are the slavedrivers as they surround me.
Oh, who am I kidding? Are you seriously buying the load of crap I'm dealing you? Well, stop it!
I did go down to Missouri for a speaking engagement, but my 5 days with Peg, Skip & Gramma Ackfeld were nothing less than pure bliss. Gramma is 96 & she can still bend over & pick up something off the floor. What a woman! That's more than I can do sometimes. She is quite an inspiration to stay active & live a long life.
A lesson is to be learned from every experience. Yes, every experience. So, what did I learn from my visit to see my friends? That I had waited too long to make my first visit & also that excuses serve me no purpose, rather they hold me back.
For those of you, whom aren't yet sure who the hell these folks are . . . . Peg & Skip Ackfeld are the owners of Ackfeld Mfg. They make the great wire hangers that I feature on all my patterns & my website. Gramma is Skip's Mom. Her name is Flori. They opened me into their home, hearts, & kitchen. Wow, did I eat good . . . like a princess.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Good morning campers! Oops! I mean quilters.
Spring has sprung here in the deep freeze we call Iowa! Yesterday I saw my first Robin. I was so excited to see it. I wasn't quick enough to catch a picture of it with my new digital camera, but trust me, they have arrived. Our temps here today, unfortunately tell a different story (high of 20F), but I am optimistic. The sun is shining brightly & the Robins are back. Screw old man winter, he's a cranky old scab anyway. Just having the sun shining, is enough to put a big smile on my face - I'm a simple gal.

So, here I am writing my 2nd blog entry . . . . . I'm really on the fast track now. Chances are, I won't write a little entry every single day - I am a woman of substance. When I read something, it has to have a point & so I'll treat my blog entries the same . . . I feel they must have a point. As opposed to rambling on & on about what I ate for breakfast & what I watched on TV last night. No rambling here! Too many rambling, pointless blogs out there, I think.

In light of my "no rambling" rule, I was thinking this morning about a good blog topic. As fate would have it, I found my topic in a phone call from a shop owner yesterday. She called to tell me she thought I had a mistake in one of my patterns - the Easter Eggs (MM04). Her voice sounded a little apprehensive, but I told her she was right. I actually did have a mistake in that pattern & I only figured it out @ a month ago. I thanked her for calling, sent her the corrected replacements, mailed her a catalog & told her how much I appreciated her taking the time to contact me. You know what? She emailed me this morning thanking me for being so pleasant as she brought my mistake to my attention. Apparently not all pattern designers react this way. WHAT!? I am personally mortified when I've found a mistake in my patterns. I had to accept long ago, that it happens. There's no amount of editing or proof reading that will make my patterns mistake-proof, there's just no way around it. How I react to my mistakes, however, IS in my complete control. If you've read my "about me"( ) page on my website, you've read that I started this business when I was at my rock bottom. While at the bottom, I read self-help books because I was broken, & only I could fix me. I learned so much in that time, but one of the most important things I learned that will always stick with me is this: positive energy. What the hell am I saying? I am saying I choose to accept & give positive energy. Not negative energy. I could react negatively to my mistakes, but I choose to accept them, learn from them & correct them if I can. I choose positive. I believe my conscious choice to embrace positive energy is THE key to my success. Yep! If I had to choose one key, that's it.

Now, I don't want you to have the impression, I'm this annoyingly cheerful, every moment is a beautiful blessing kind of person. Not so. I want to smack those people. With a positive look on my face, that is. I do, however, love to walk barefoot thru the grass, smile when I see my first Robin of the season, enjoy a cold beer on my front porch on the first warm day of spring & thank someone who's called to inform me I have a mistake in my pattern. And maybe have one more cold beer.

By the way, if you have my Easter Eggs (MM04) pattern & the eggs are 2 different sizes - then you have my mistake! Please email me & I'll send you a replacement . . . . with a smile!