Friday, February 25, 2011

This Fish Has Left the Pond!

I can't believe I didn't make this my first blog entry of the year!!

Did you feel the cold draft way down into Florida? The unbelievable really did happen. . . . . hell actually froze over and I got engaged!!!

Here's a picture I took the morning after the big moment. Awwwwe.

How did he propose? That's the question burning a hole in the minds of all those that know me well. A funny little story explains it.

Let me start by saying we had been talking about marriage since the 1st month of dating - - - - we just knew we had a great, unique thing. So the topic of marriage was not a surprise, nor was it a surprise when he asked me to go along to the jewelry store. So here's the proposal story.

I had gone with him to pick it out, so I knew he had it but was waiting for the best moment to perform the proper kneeling bit and all. So I patiently waited . . . and waited . . . he only had it for 3 days before I began whining one evening, asking him "Chad, when are you gonna ask me?" I just couldn't stand it any longer. I mean that ring was so pretty and looked so so so fabulous on my finger at the jeweler. This sounds strange to my closest friends due to the fact that I very seldom wear jewelry and almost never wear rings. But, this was my engagement ring! The ring I thought I would never get to even see!!!
He let me whine & whimper for a few minutes, as I sat cross legged on the couch in my pajamas. So into the living room he strolled, with a smirk that stretched a thousand miles across. He knelt down and pulled it out of his pocket and asked if I'd marry him. I believe a few tears leaked thru the pure joy as my answer radiated from every cell in my body. Oh yes!!

So, the title to this little entry is fittingly titled. I am no longer in the dating pool, haven't been since last May and I couldn't be happier to leave the pond!

My grandmother has always told me "there's a lid for every ole' pot". She also told me "you can't make a purse out of an old sow's ear". Hmm. She's very excited for me and has since told me "I told you there was a lid". I'm sure these are loving terms that every Gram calls her granddaughter . . . right?

Thanks Gram, for having faith in me.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Sneek Peek at New Summer Design

So, we've had an entire week of nice, relatively warm temperatures. All of the snow and ice is gone off my driveway - Whew Hew! That alone excites me, but our UPS driver has a greater appreciation for it naturally. Our office/warehouse sits up much higher than the road, so the driveway isn't steep, but it's still a trek uphill. He's only slid backward down the driveway once this winter. I bet that's a ride ya wouldn't care to take!
Here's a picture of the driveway. Madee is standing there looking for the source of the chirping she hears - a Bald Eagle chick was chirping loudly from above the bluff nearby.

So, needless to say I've gone thru 150 pounds of ice melt already. Yeah, you could say I'm ready for this warm up. Oh yeah bring it on!

Here's a view of the office/warehouse. Looks more like a house I suppose. Harper is standing out front. Notice that clear blue sky - ahhhhhhh.
The sun has even shown it's sunny face a few of these past days, which as I've said before (and will probably say again) is so-so-so rejuvenating! Hello Sun!!! Puts a smile on my face, a spring in my step and a spark in my creative pencil.

Yes, the sun actually helps to stir my creative juices and I've begun to work on new designs. Actually, I've worked on 2 specific designs; one for fall & one for July. I can't show you the fall yet, as it's going to be featured in the fall issue of Fons & Porter's Easy Quilts. So be sure to pick up that issue and keep your eyes peeled, because it will be a free pattern in that magazine!

The July design I can show you.

Here is a brand new design that will release soon! It's firecrackers & a Bang! At this exact moment, it is so sqeaky new that there is NO pattern for it. But that's my task today is to get the pattern written so it can ship off to your favorite local shop very soon.

I made the background out of navy blues, so it would have the feeling of night sky fireworks. There's a little bit of embroidery details that are too small to see in this photo, but the pattern cover photo will show all the details. =)

My childhood memories of July 4th are filled with fun, fun & more fun. When I was a kid - say around age 8 and on, my family would take a road trip down to Missouri to buy fireworks for the 4th of July. Fireworks, or at least the fun ones are illegal here in Iowa, so there's a steady stream of cars on I-35 heading across the state line to (insert gasp) purchase illegal fireworks. I know. I was an accomplice to my parent's illegal activity. Yahoo!!! We found this very sweet older couple who sold fireworks out of their garage and we returned to them for a few years to make our . . uh . . hum . . purchase.

So back to Eastern Iowa we would return with a truck load of "fun" fireworks. It was like "release the hounds" when my brother, my 2 cousins and myself were allowed to finally dig into the boxes of explosive goodies and take out the "daytime" ones for an all out day of fun.
Daytime fireworks for us were the Black Cat firecrackers that had a fuse which lasted for a whole split second! Man those fuses were like lighting fast! Ouch! Sure they were dangerous, but it sure did sharpen our reflexes. When you lit the fuse, you'd better be ready to throw! No dinkin' around.
Okay, I have to pause a second and ask what kind of mental image of my family do you have at this moment? HA HA! I'll finish painting the image by sharing this:
As if giving us split-second-fused firecrackers wasn't dangerous enough, we were also given lit cigarettes to light off those firecrackers with! Well, we had to light those somehow! Duh!

When I was growing up, we as kids were given so much responsibility, though in the eyes of "today" this story about giving kids a gross of firecrackers and a lit cigarette could land a parent in jail for abuse or neglect. Quite the contrary. My childhood memories are full of fun things my parents would let us do, such as this. I mean, I had a fantastic childhood. My memories are precious. But the responsibility, independence and no-fear I learned was the bigger lesson. We knew if we were caught lighting anything other than a firecracker on fire, we would never see the bang of another firecracker. I'm sure at some point we all tried a puff off that cigarette, but it must have choked all of us, because not one of us kids grew up to be smokers. There's so much more than good reflexes that I learned from July 4th celebrations as a kid. My fearlessness and sense of independence learned at a young age, has served me well.

So, today I leave you with a little glimpse into what has made me, me. I hope you enjoyed the story. . . . . til next time.
I better get to work writing this new pattern!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Meet the girls

Okay, I sort of fell off the "gonna keep up my blog" wagon. More like fell off, bumped my head, forgot where I was and called myself Francis for a few months. HA!

Seriously though, I am back on the task of blogging. It's one of my new year's resolutions. So here I go.

This time of year I am usually busy designing new patterns specifically for Spring Quilt Market. I am one of those people who gets the worst case of cabin fever this time of year and this year is one of the worst yet! We've not seen the ground since November, or temps above 35 for that matter. It's a winter that keeps dragging on & many of you know what I mean.

But today is a gorgeous day! The sun is beaming down and melting so much snow & ice. Ahhhh. . . it's fantastic. A real pick-me-up. I've been out chipping ice off the driveway all afternoon, just soaking up that energizing sun. Did I mention . . ahhhhhh? Feels so good those rays.

As if the day wasn't warm & sunny enough, the UPS man dropped off the new dog beds I had ordered for the "ladies". They are my 2 dogs, Madee and Harper - 2 golden retrievers that melt your heart. I often refer to them as the "ladies" or the "girls". Well, they didn't know it but I ordered them new plush dog beds as a little surprise. They didn't look nearly as excited as I when I began opening the box. . . hmm.

So, to start off my new year of blogging, I thought I'd share a couple pictures of my ladies using their new loungers. HA!

Madee is testing out her bed in between whining about wanting to go outside & pester the neighbors who are trout fishing across the road on this fine day. Madee loves to bound over there and jump in the creek, which really makes the trout bite! Yeah right.

And Harper snuggled right in her new cushy bed. She couldn't care less who's fishing across the road. There's a sweet nap to savor!

So, now you've seen my girls. Now, I'm off to steal a few more sun rays before the sun drops down over the hill. Till next time, thanks for peeking in on me!