Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friends from out of . . .Country!

Exciting things happened this week. On Friday I went down on a little mini road trip to just North of Ludington to see some friends. These are both Facet Ladies. Many of you have heard me talk about the Facet Ladies. They are an inspiring bunch of women, most of whom are quilters, who are on the Yahoo.list known as "Many Facets" It's a private, invitation only list and we've been together since about 2002. We have members in Washington, California, Canada, Michigan, Maine, Missouri, Virginia, New Hampshire, Wales, and Australia. Correct me if I've missed any please Ladies.

Anyway, our member from Virginia, Judy Hansen, has a cottage in Free Soil Michigan and spends Summers here. The member from Australia, has a son living in Colorado and has taken two trips in as many years to the States. This time she and her husband have come to Michigan and I got a chance to meet them on Friday. Wonderful Fun People!! I had such a good time that I kept thinking about it all the next day!

I left here at about 9 am and stopped at Two Sister's quilt shop on the way down. When I got to Judy's house they were sitting down to lunch and I joined them for a fabulous veggie tray and grill cheese sandwiches followed by a wonderful blueberry pie. We got a very good explanation of the game of Cricket from Graeme who stood up and gave us good visuals of the game so we could understand this otherwise totally obscure sport.

Pam and Graeme from Alexandria, Australia, Photo courtesy of Judy Wright.

After lunch, the men headed off to play a round of golf while Pam and Judy and I went toward Custer to visit the Pig Patch, another quilt shop which was very charming.

These two pictures were taken there and this is proof too that Pam bought something, Judy did not however. Very disciplined of you Judy!

We got back to the cabin and had a little quilt show. I showed my leaf quilt, my GFG, and the quotation quilt among several other things. They both looked at my Scrapbook which was a Facets list project. We sat and talked for a while waiting for the men to get home from their golf game. Meanwhile we chatted about lots of stuff and started to prepare dinner. We were going to have hamburgers and corn on the cob, the perfect summer meal. But Judy discovered that there was no hamburger so instead we cut up some veggies and chicken and steak and made Kabob's to grill. Pam shucked the corn, while I cut onions, we shared the chore of cutting the meat while Judy made rice. So when the men got home THEY COOKED! LOL! Isn't that how it always goes. The men sit near the grill and drink beer and yet the the credit for cooking! LOL!

When the men came in we told them about the change in plans, that got us to the Kabob idea instead of hamburgers. I said we lucked out. Everyone started to laugh. The four of them had had a discussion about this particular turn of phrase earlier that same day. Apparently the same phrase in Australia refers to the exact opposite thing it does here. When they say they lucked out it means they ran out of luck, It means they have had a piece of BAD luck, not Good luck, as it does here in the States.

So this started a whole series of questions about phrases that differ between our two countries.

Later on Judy was telling us about a splinter she had in her foot and Pam mentioned that Graeme was the splinter remover in the family. I was going to tell a story about my husband using a box cutter to remove splinters so I asked Graham if he used box cutters. In his wonderful down-under accent, he said, "That's not a knife." Then he mimed reaching back behind his head and said, "This is a knife!"

We all laughed and I said, "Yeah, OK, Crocodile Dundee!" Being a big movie fan I could appreciate that one. Graeme pointed out that most all Americans know that line of movie dialog!

Other things that happened this week:

On my way home from Class Thursday night I saw this wonderful rainbow. I couldn't get a good picture of it, but this kind of shows the colors. It was actually a double rainbow with echos of color spreading out to the left by thousands of yards. It was so beautiful, I nearly stopped on the road side just so I could watch it until it faded.

Then this morning I went for a long walk around my neighborhood and this silly vehicle was parked in the Cherryland Center parking lot. How interesting!

Apparently, these photos will be put up on the Oscar Meyer website. I have no idea where that is, but it's worth a google! LOL!

The Walk I took this morning was 2 1/2 miles long and I stopped in a couple of stores on the way. I was gone for just over an hour. Tomorrow I work at the quilt shop, and Tuesday I intend to walk again. Maybe do my 5K track, around to Hastings, and 8th Street and back up Woodmere to my house. I'll take my Camera in case I see something all of you should know about!!

Talk with you again next week.
Cindy K-K
Haunting again!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This Week

This was a particularly busy week for me. One of my old haunts is the Fairgrounds. My quilting group has been going there to do Hand Quilting demonstrations for as long as I've been a member. This year it almost fell apart. We didn't have a quilt to quilt on. But I managed to pull out my old GFG (Grandmother's Flower Garden) to work on. There was just enough for Eleanor and I to do two good days worth of work on it. It's down to the bare nubbins now! There are a few little missed spots, one small area on the far left side and then just the last row around the edges. I'll endeavor to take some pictures this week so you can see what I'm talking about.

So today, Sunday, we decided to take a break and go to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. We had a pass, that we bought last weekend when we went Cannoed the Platte River, and wanted to get some use out of it. So we went up and took the drive around the Pierce Stocking Scenic drive. It was very nice and even Walt(native of TC) had not gone up there before. I had been a summer resident before I moved here when I was a kid, and so of course I know all about the more touristy things.

Here we are, Tammy and Walt and I, on the top of the Dune looking out over Lake Michigan.

Things are going very well at the shop. Here are two of my beginning quilting students, Joni and Marge, showing off the log cabin bags made from my pattern (soon to be available in stores.)

I have decided to start my own pattern company. I have been developing patterns on my own for a while now and have written up quite a few pattern sheets for the shop and the guild. So, I asked myself, why not make them more professional and start my company.

It will be called The Quilt Lynx and the picture of the Winking Lynx will be the logo. I already have it arranged, and am going to do some artwork on in to finish it.

Anyway, projects I've finished in the last two or three months are few and far between. Remember I have decided to focus on hand work and specifically Applique. So as a result, I will probably only get blocks done between now and Christmas. That's OK, I will then be ready for the next UFO club.

I did however, sign a contract about the GFG. I will be finishing that project between now and January. It will be done by the January meeting or I will be publicly humiliated! I worked on it at the fair and then again all evening on Friday and got two of the edges bound. It's difficult to bind a GFG because you don't use standard binding. You have to piece by piece fold under the top edge and cut the backing to match, folding it under as well and then blind stitch the two edges together using a ladder stitch. It's very similar to applique only your folding under both the top and bottom together. It's impossible to quilt the last row of quilting until the binding process is completed because it would interfere with the turning under of the edges. So therefore, once the edges are complete you then have to go back around and quilt the last row of hexagons. I'll take pictures of it this week to show you.

Anyway, for your viewing enjoyment. Here are two projects I did manage to finish over the last few months. The first is the project my students are doing for their beginning Patchwork class.

The second is a wallhanging I did for the shop. Tawni (the shop owner) did a similar one using a different color scheme. They hang side by side a the shop just to show people what kinds of things they can do with the five inch charm squares.

This week is going to be another busy one. I have classes going this week, and then Friday I am going to Ludington on a road trip to see a "facet" of my life that I have never before met. Remind me to explain this next week!

Oh and BTW, I lost those ten pounds that I had gained. Protein is a wonderful thing! All I needed to do was make sure my body did not think I was trying to starve it. Protein sends the message, "Oh yes, there is plenty here to eat, no need to go into starvation mode." Therefore it allows me to lose more weight. All I had to do was lay off the extra calories, sweets, walk around the fair once or twice, canoe down the Platte and drink a protein shake every morning and most evenings. Voila! Ten pounds gone. Lets see if I can get down another 10 this week! Hahaha!

See you next Sunday,
Cindy K-K

Saturday, August 08, 2009

An update

I know, I know, it's been what, a while, a long long while since I updated. But hey, I've been busy!

I got a job, I'm working at the new little Quilt shop in Interlochen Michigan called Interquilten! My friend Tawni Gilmer is the owner of the shop and we are getting along fantastically. We build off of each other's ideas, and she makes me feel like a valued part of the business which is wonderful.

OK, so in other developments. I am also now the Vice President of the Rumpled Quilts Kin Quilting Guild. As such I am in charge of putting together programs and activities for the guild. Do I have a plans for the guild. They want to do the UFO club again in January, so I figure my job between now and then is to get them to start as many different projects as possible. LOL!

Meanwhile, I've had a fairly busy summer. I did the Cherry Festival 5K race, and came in just over one hour. But hey, I made it and next year I plan on making it again only faster! Imagine, two years ago, I wouldn't have been able to make it even one mile let alone 3 and 1/2!!! Then the film festival came and went! I saw lots of great films and one or two mediocre ones. Then this weekend is our annual Canoe trip down the Platt river, which we will enjoy. The Northwest Michigan fair is coming up this week and I will be out there quilting with some friends. Then my friend Pam from Australia will be in Michigan near the end of August, I hope to see her for at least one day. Then On Labor day is the Bridge Walk. I'm in training for that one as well.

So here it is, my intention for the rest of the summer and into the fall: It is my intention to update my Blog at least weekly, to let you know how I'm doing. The reason for this Blog was to show you my haunts, and to keep myself actively pursuing the goal of being healthier and thinner. It's hard to write anything if I am being a slug and not doing anything toward this goal. But it's even worse when I'm too busy to really dedicate myself to the task at hand. I can't be too busy, this is my health we're talking about. It's too important a task to just leave on the side of the road. Because, like I say every morning in my daily affirmation, I am living on borrowed time, and I intend to live my life as such. I will enjoy every moment I have left. I will not do anything I am not enjoying for longer than 15 minutes. Likewise if I find I am enjoying a task I thought I would not enjoy I will go ahead and spend more time on it. I will not have surgery every again of my own free will. And I will live my life with the idea that I will take care of myself so that further surgery can be avoided. I will live out the rest of my borrowed days, living for the moment and enjoying my life, and with the certain knowledge that I have done my best!

So with that in mind, it is my intention to walk tomorrow, and then come home and work on two or more sewing projects. I went to a yard sale today and bought some fabric, yards and yards of it. Much of it was very good fabric, designer stuff. I got it sorted out and put away in my stash cupboard (which used to be my linen closet) and now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do with it.

OK, so this post has mainly been an over view of my summer thus far. So be it! I will post again in less than a week, and there will be more detail.

I have to say, though. Tonight I saw the movie Julie and Julia. It was kind of film fugue that showed the similarities between the lives of two women. Julia Child (brilliantly played by Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell who wrote a Blog about Julia Child as she cooked her way through Julia Child's book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I have to say that I had a copy of both volumes of that book when I was younger and sold it on e-bay because I just couldn't see my way clear to follow her recipes. I'm thinking I should have tried harder.

Anyway, seeing this movie has inspired me to get back to this Blog. Why my life is so interesting I know not. It probably isn't. But I do like my life.

I like living in Traverse City, I enjoy all the friends I've made here. Wonderful people for sure. I enjoy quilting, handcrafts, scrapbooking and basketry and all the other artistic things that I try, always experimenting and trying to find my niche. I love working at the quilt shop even though it causes me to spend money and start more projects. I love the opportunities for outdoor gatherings that we have here. The movies, the baseball games, the parades, the fire works, the concerts, the festival activities. I love the fact that we can go paddle a canoe on the river one day and take our chairs out into left field at the baseball game the next. I so love that we Traverse City people keep our chairs in the trunks of our cars in case there is a need for them. We will, at the drop of a hat, carry out portable telescoping chairs out into a big field and sit there for hours waiting for something to happen. And it always does. And weather doesn't always matter. We are apt to go to a ski race with our chairs as we are to the open space for a big screen movie. Doesn't matter. Have chair, will be entertained! That's all we really need to know.

I do love my life! Even though I'm really trying to improve it daily, in many ways, it's perfect as it is.

While my spirit still dwells in this body, I will haunt this town! After it finishes it's usefulness though, I won't. Then I'll have better places to be!

Cindy Koch-Krol