Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Tuesday

Tuesday began as any other Tuesday for me. I got to the store early for the large Drop-In Quilting Class I teach at Scottie Dog Quilts. These ladies celebrate birthdays, have pot lucks, gab about their children & grandchildren and even do some quilting! The UPS man came and delivered 6 huge boxes containing our new GO! Cutter display, several machines, dies, tote bags and more. This is the home version of our big AccuQuilt machine. The Go! Cutter will cut perfect shapes using up to 8 layers at a time in just seconds. To learn what I'm talking about Click here. We'll have the display up by next week. We are now distributors of the Go! Cutter.

We also got several boxes of flannels from Robert Kaufman, a gorgeous red, black & white line of Poppies from Fabric Freedom, blenders and more. Be sure to check them all out.

Then I had to go to the doctor for my annual check-up. I was anxious about it. Nearly three years ago we discovered I had very high blood pressure (a new thing since for most of my life my blood pressure bordered on too low) and my cholesterol levels were sky high too. I had originally gone in for severe knee pain (osteoarthritis). That is pretty much under control...I have some stiffness and pain but haven't had to use a cane as I did a couple of years ago. So first thing I got weighed. Every woman's nightmare, right? I was less than last year...not as much as I'd like, but the evil scale did record a loss. The verdict: I was in great health! My BP is quite normal and my cholesterol levels are also in the normal range. Success! Dr. W had suggested in January 2007 that I go (permanently) on the South Beach Diet. I was leery.....wasn't that a fad diet? One of those crazy no carbohydrate, high protein diets? I picked up a couple of books and did a study on-line and found out that this diet was designed by a heart specialist in Florida and had been successfully tested by millions. I've tried to be pretty faithful and after nearly three years I know what & how to each. No white flour, white potatoes, white rice, refined sugars. This diet is based on glycemic index of all you eat. Took me a couple days of reading to be convinced that it was a very healthy alternative diet. I found Kalyn's Kitchen, a blog that Kalyn Denny writes for South Beachers and her food is fabulous, quick and easy and for the most part uses foodstuffs you can get at any grocery store.

Dr. W's assessment was that I was in fabulous health. He felt that it was apparent that there had been a huge change since last year and he was proud of me. I was pretty proud of me.Made me feel pretty fabulous too!

After work it was the Humboldt Accordionairs night. Sydney and Liz came too (see Liz binding a quilt in the background?). This picture is of Sydney and her "beau" Caleb doing the Cakewalk up and down the aisles to "When The Saints Go Marching In." I danced several dances and got my exercise in for the day!

Here's what I had for dinner tonight (sorry about the glare...I don't know how to Photo Shop it out yet). Grilled chicken breast with garlic & parsley, steamed asparagus and some broiled tomatoes (first spread with a very grainy Dijon mustard and then topped with fresh ground pepper and fresh shredded Parmesan cheese. I was stuffed and satisfied! All South Beach Heart Healthy! Delicious!
And that's the way it was.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rickstrew Ranch

We had planned a day trip at the end of Quilt Market to Galveston. We hadn't been there since Hurricane Ike and wanted to see how rebuilding was taking place and to have a seafood dinner to help the local economy. Galveston is about 45 minutes from Houston and I have never seen the lay of the land between these two cities as I have slept in the car each way every single time we've gone!

We had an early morning meeting Monday with some of my quilt shop owner friends and then decided not to go to Galveston but to drive to our friends' grass farm (Bermuda grass...not pot!) in Floresville near San Antonio...only 3 1/2 hours away! We made it in time to meet Tommy & Tracy Rickstrew (and Big Tom & Linda) with the kidlinks Riley & baby Abram at a little Mexican Restaurant. Linda knew how to order...a kid's enchilada plate for me was more than enough! We were hardly out of the car in the parking lot and 3 year-old Riley latched on to me...I got my Grandma fix that day! He snuggled up to me and pulled up a chair so he could sit next to me at the table. He wanted to share his chips with me and play cars & airplanes at the table.

Mr. Scottie Dog and Tommy have been buds ever since Tommy worked for him in Eureka. They didn't stop talking once while we were there but got right to changing the oil on a truck, riding around the property....I think Mr. Dog was quite envious and would love to be working the ranch too!

The farm is an idyllic place---at least the day we were there was warm & muggy but not really hot. The landscape was all greens, we saw lots of cattle and little goat herds before we actually arrived on the large ranch. There is a charming little creek and a pond. Tommy & Tracy have a vegetable & herb garden right outside their door.

Riley can ride a two-wheeler like the wind and stopped only for a second to pose with me. Some how I didn't get a shot of Baby Abram or Tracy, but we got in some great snuggles and conversation. We went up to the Big House and toured Linda's Sewing Room.....I'm envious! It is a wonderfully large space on the 2nd floor and filled with natural light. Tracy has a corner too and Liz showed her how to paper piece.
Big Tom gave Liz the tour of the land and she learned all about grass farming. She even got to drive the tractor around the yard!
Next year I want to go a couple of days early to Market and spend a day or two helping out on the ranch.....well, I can cook pretty well and I could hold a Quilting Lesson for the ladies! Oh, and I could again get a Grandma fix!
One last picture.................even the bugs on the car are bigger in Texas!

Scottie Dogs At Quilt Market

At Quilt Market 2009 we found Scottie Dogs galore! They were on packages....

Scotties were on bags.....

and on more bags.....

Scotties were on quilts....
There were Scottie Dogs just hanging out....

And there were some Scotties being cuddled. All of these were in the Bunny Hill booth. Watch over the next several weeks and we'll have these patterns and more coming in.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More to follow...

OK, so here it is Thursday, October 15 and I promised more on Market on Saturday night...well, I caught a cold and we stayed up way too late and we changed our After-Market plans and went to Floresville to visit friends and....and....then because of the storms in Northern CA and some mix ups with United Air Lines I haven't had a chance to blog before now....and I really don't have time to blog because I should be at Scottie Dog Quilts in just a I'm alive and well and will get more pics up hopefully later today. More to follow......

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day Two Quilt Market 2009

Day Two: Liz and I had only scheduled one appointment at Quilt Market for Saturday....or so we thought! We just "happened" to be looking at the Michael Miller Booth at 10 am and found out from our Sales Rep that we were right on time for our appointment! So we looked at all they had to offer and guess what? We will be getting the Roaming Gnome...he's in Paris, Rome, Moscow and all over the globe.

We looked at fabric, patterns and books and more, but today we met people.....old friends, new friends and all people who love quilting.
Here I am with Ricky Timms, the Quilting Cowboy, author of "Convergence Quilts" and a concert pianist.

I walked down one aisle and heard my name good friend, Beth Ferrier, author of "Hand Applique by Machine" and NEW book just out "More Hand Applique by Machine." Beth came to Eureka several years ago and stayed with me.

Liz and I were perusing booths when we saw Jay McCarroll....and did a double-take. Congrats to Jay, he's lost a LOT of weight. ('s on the QT but he'll be starring in a reality show in Feb. called "Celebrity Fit Club.") Jay was the winner of the first "Project Runway" TV Show and we met him last year and were impressed at what a nice guy he is. Lots of fun, too. After Quilt Market Jay's Pennsylvania family will be joining him in his new home in LA and then driving up the coast to Seattle. We asked him to stop in Eureka and it's fairly probable that he will stop into Scottie Dog Quilts. Now wouldn't THAT be fun!
Me & My Sister is a great pattern design team...two sisters we have enjoyed a lot over the years. In their booth they had these photo opp boards. What do you think of us?

And last, but not least, here are Mr. Scottie Dog and I with the elusive Gnome. More tomorrow! Check out Liz's Blog while you are at it! She'll have more pictures and chit chat about Market.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Schoolhouse & Sample Spree

I'm tired and my head is so full it might just burst like an over-blown balloon. If it does, be sure to pick up all the pieces of new quilts and information that will be lying around! Today was Schoolhouse at Quilt Market 2009 (the 30th anniversary of Quilt Market!). What is Schoolhouse? There were 15 sessions from 10 am till 6 pm. Some were only 15 minutes long and some a half hour. It goes like this: At 9 am they pass out a booklet that lists every class that is held each session.....Each session has about 15-20 classes listed. No repeats! So you have an hour to peruse the booklet and make your choices.....Over 1,200 people were there taking these classes all offered by fabric designers, pattern companies, book publishers, distributors. Here's Heather Baily showing off her newest fabric and patterns. She has to convince the shop owners to buy her fabric and patterns and quilt teachers to teach the projects. We're going to order many of these fabrics tomorrow or Sunday.

In another class Karen Combes shows off a cute way to display eggs in an egg carton. This class was about marketing, display and creativity.

We took a class with Ricky Timms and Alex Anderson touting the new GO! Cutter from AccuCut. This is a home system for die cutting fabric.....We'll have these ordered tomorrow. They had the quilting banter down pat.....they produce a quilting show on-line together and it was just announced this past week that they will be putting out a new magazine called, "The Quilt Life."

So I saw Pat Sloan, Jo Morton, Karen Montgomery, Karen Snyder, Amy Butler, Eleanor Burns and so very, very more notable quilters. I saw presentations for new 30's fabrics, batiks, bears, frogs, princesses and monsters on fabric.

I learned new ways to use rulers, adhesives, needles, coloring, texture magic and more. I chatted with old friends, new friends...FaceBook friends and the like. Mr. Scottie Dog, Liz & I ate lunch at some point and parted again for more informational classes. My head hurts just thinking about it all. I can't wait to share.

At 6 pm we regrouped and walked a few blocks to a Chinese Restaurant we'd been to last year. Ah....quiet for a bit. Then we waited for Sample Spree to start. The stampede began lining up at 6 pm but we just waited until they'd all gone in and walked into this.....Here I am with only about 1/4 of the Ballroom's worth of crowd! But we got some fat quarter towers and more. We'll be able to bring these home for show and tells.

It's late...I'll sign off for now and back to the Sales Floor tomorrow at 9:30 am!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

To Market, to market......

Not much of a post today, more of a teaser. I'm off in a few minutes to the airport and on to Houston, TX for International Quilt Market. I'll be connecting with friends, other shop owners I know and admire, all the big name quilt teachers & authors, looking through 3 football fields-worth of booths showing the latest and greatest quilting fabrics, embellishments, books, patterns, buttons, purses, etc, etc. I'll be thinking of YOU when I make my choices. I'll try to blog from there, but not sure if I can.


Monday, October 5, 2009

The Poky Little Puppy

I'm sure every Baby Boomer has read at least one Little Golden Book in their life. I loved these little books with their cardboard covers, cute stories and artwork. The Poky Little Puppy was one of the twelve original stories published as Little Golden Books by Simon & Shuster in 1942. They originally sold for 25 cents. It is still a good seller. Since I love books, I made sure I read this one to my girls when they were little and now my grandchildren are enthralled.

And so now Quilting Treasures has produced fabric with our friend, Poky on it. Nostalgia has it's appeal for all of us.

At Scottie Dog Quilts we have several prints for sale.....

Of course there's Poky and friends playing on a grassy field.

We have this wonderful gold print....look familiar? Of course it's the same as the inside covers of every Little Golden Book.

There is even a soft book you can put together for a little one in your life.....title? Of course it's The Poky Little Puppy! I've got to make one of these. The last time I made a soft book instead of using batting between the pages I used fusible interfacing and it worked well....easy to turn pages but not so bulky.

Last, but not least we have this lovely yellow print with lots of the Little Golden Book stars....Saggy Baggy Elephant, Tootle, The Little Red Hen, Sky Kitten and more.
I'm off to sew!

Sunday is Seafood Night

Sunday at the Scottie Dog House is usually seafood. We live on the Northern California Coast, where there is always an abundance of fresh (and I mean REALLY fresh) seafood. Mr. Scottie Dog and I enjoy most fish and shellfish....I suppose there is a lot we've never tried.....octopus, whale blubber, giant conch, etc. But what we HAVE tried we've been pretty happy with. So Sundays we usually buy some fresh fish at WinCo. Last week was Wild Salmon steaks and scallops. We are privileged to have a JenAire grill cook top so most all proteins are grilled at our house. We've done catfish and snapper and cod and sand dabs and more. Today we never made it to the store so we grabbed some small prawns out of the freezer.

Here's my salad pepper, cucumber slices, pickled cauliflower, chopped romaine and some couscous & shredded Parmesan cheese with South Beach ranch dressing. Oh yes, a couple of Sonoma Jacks' brand garlic & herb cheese wedges. I hadn't thought to photograph it until I was grinding the black pepper on top.

I don't know how interesting this is, but it's a typical Scottie Dog House dinner.....salad with something grilled on top.

It was good! What did you have for dinner?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.....

October is here....Sydney said she was cold today and I told her it wasn't Summer any more. "Why not, Gwandma?" So I tried to explain it was Fall. "Who falled down, Gwandma?" Then I tried to tell her that the leaves turn colors and "fall down" from the trees (sounds good, doesn't it?). But the tree in front of us had fully green leaves (they probably won't turn for a couple of months). I smartly changed the subject.

Tonight my son-in-law posted his FaceBook Status as:

Jason Hache is listening to Christmas Music.....I'm sorry, I tried to fight it as long as I could, but "baby it's cold outside."

Now, I like Christmas music as much as most people....actually I like it more than most people and would be glad to be listening to it along side of him but it does bring up the panicked question: How many days until Christmas?

Let's is Oct. 1. 30 days has September, April, June....OK, 31 Days in Oct. plus 30 days in November and then add 25 days for December.....YIKES! it's 85 days till Christmas. I'd better get working on those gifts, decorating and .......well, what about Christmas Cookies.

This morning I woke up to this:

My Christmas Cactus is in full bloom.....on October 1. Jason, I can hear it now......It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.......